“OHO! You thought I wouldn’t know? How foolish! It shows all over you! Not to mention the fact that you have not asked for money for sanitary pad yet. Abi, do you want to deny that you are?” Banke’s mum asks now staring at her daughter with bulgy eyes, eyebrows raised as if trying to sense the answer out of her panicking daughter.
As Banke thinks, she forgets the pain from the slap as well as the fact that her mother is even raging like a bull and waiting for a response.
Now, sincere regretful tears follow what initially poured from pain and fear.
“Banke you have finished me! You have finished us!”
Banke now snapping out realizes her mum is still talking.
Her mum sits weak on the stripped mattress (doubling as a bed and sofa), as though now giving up. Facing Banke, she asks
“Who is responsible?”
At this point, Banke is panicking more than she was initially.
“Oh Lord, how do I tell her? How do I tell a woman who’s suffered so much from life and is only struggling to train me, that I am carrying our retched, illiterate Landlord’s child? Jesus! How now??”
She thinks and cries louder.
“Banke!! DON’T LET ME GET UP FROM HERE, ma bimi ninu! Do not annoy me or else I will bury you this night!”
Banke’s mum says to her sternly….
“Banke! Who is responsible?”
In a faint voice and stammering, Banke responds
“M-u-mm-my, it, it is……oga Deji”
In shock, Banke’s mum replies.
“See this foolish child, what is bringing Landlords matter into this? Did I ask about house rent? I said WHO IS RESPONSIBLE FOR YOUR PREGNANCY Banke???”
Banke cries profusely and for a moment there isn’t any reply. She hadn’t been looking at her mum all the while, but owing to the silence, she looks up to see her mum’s head bent between her thighs, visible tears dropping on the cement floor. Banke bends her head as well. All that is heard at this point are sobs.
Banke’s mum realizing that her daughter did not call the Landlords name because of house rent but really because he was responsible for her pregnancy turned mute, only speaking through her tears, questions running through her mind.
“God! Are you still there? Is this now the plan, after all we have lost? My husband, our place in life, haven’t I suffered enough? Am I not trying enough?? I thought you said there’s time for everything! So, this fate is permanent???”
She dries her eyes with the edge of her gown, shakes her head and looks directly at her daughter. Angered, she asks.
“Are you Daft?” Now referring to her daughter, who wasn’t shocked by the question at this point.
“What did Deji say to you, that you could not think?”
“Abi, did he rape u ni?” She actually waits for a response to somewhat convince herself that her daughter couldn’t have been that stupid. To her dismay
Banke shakes her head in denial, “mummy I’m sorry”
Banke’s mummy on hearing this stands abruptly and heads for the door and out of the room shouting
“DEJI! OGA DEJI!! LANDLORD!!!!”
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