“The smile on your face seems cemented in place.
You are looking at your wife’s uncle -Brother Tijani- as he swallows another mouthful of schnapps, you wonder how he does it.
“Ola o, I dare say you are the main man!” He tells you.
You smile sheepishly like a twelve year old which you definitely are not, you are a father now.
“Baba Ibeji” your elder sister calls you as she walks in from the bedroom, she had been with your ‘wife’ and your mother.
You nearly reply her with ‘ma’, then you catch yourself. You are no longer thirteen plus, you are a father now.
“Yes” you reply instead.
“We were just talking about the Ankara we’ll buy for the naming ceremony” she announces. She doesn’t reveal if she was or wasn’t pleased with the ‘yes’ you’d used in answering her.
Leave it to women to think of aso ebi immediately after each event.
“Okay” you say, you are not even sure if your boss would lend you enough money to be able to kill a goat for the necessary ceremony, the ceremony was a must as only a bastard did not have the privilege of being named amidst extravagant ceremonies but still you say instead of voicing your worry: “Are the twins asleep?”.
“Its Kehinde that has slept, but that Taye ehn, she sucks like a boy “.
You laugh as Brother Tijani says: “Let them leave small for their father to suck o”.
Your wife comes in, one of the twins is sucking desperately at her left breast, she looks older than her age. What becoming a mother could transform a fifteen year old girl to.
Your mother is behind her, carrying the sleeping twin.
You wonder how they can tell them apart, they both are just masses of red flesh to you.
“Baba Ibeji, won’t you carry your child” your wife asked you.
And you are suddenly fifteen again, this time though you don’t see a naked Silifat in front of you, in her place is a child, stretching glass arms to you and saying ‘daddy carry me’.
You snap back to reality, you are no longer fifteen, no, you are sixteen, a father of twins. You had handled the naked Silifat correctly and the result was this twins, with one of them making you feel like you are still an inexperienced virgin, but they are testimony to the fact that you have come a long way from that.
You collect the child, carefully in other not to rip off her hands.
The child looks at you curiously.
A number strikes your mind, twins? Single two?
You’d play it in the lotto when you get back to work.
Your phone rings.
You notice that the women have withdrawn into the room.
Brother Tijani was staring dreamy eyed at the empty bottle of the schnapps.
“Hello” you answer.
It’s your boss, the lotto agent popularly called ‘Ijeun Agba’ roughly meaning ‘Food for elders’, in all his characteristic impatient glory.
“See ehn, Baba Ibeji, I know you had to see your child but customers are waiting for you already at the shop”.
You look at the child at the end of the call.
You remember Silifat. The hot afternoon she had given you free access to the secret tunnel between her legs. How it had become: “I didn’t see my period o”. Then how her parents had brought her, your ‘wife’, one night like that and how your aunty had accepted her saying: “At least Dapo is not a horse drawing inside a book that can be seen but cannot do what others can see”.
You will get that money by all means you decideand you’ll kill a cow instead of a goat. The aso ebi would also workout.
You called your ‘wife’.
She comes out alone, you get your sixteen year old ass out of the plastic chair that had Leoplast pasted on the backrest in the two room apartment that you had shared with your aunt before you ‘got married’. The only other chair was occupied and the table in the center of the sitting room would take only four novels arranged aid by side, but right now it holds only the empty bottle of schnapps that the now drooling brother Tijani and consumed, alone.
“I am going to work” you tell her.
She smiles as she collects the child.
You suddenly recall what someone had said the previous day, something about a child being good fortune. You could see no fortune now in the child’s eyes, all you see is expenses and responsibilities that you never thought you’d be ready for.
You walk out as the other child starts to wail.
You keep trying to remember which of the twin likes breast milk and which loves sleep.
About the author:
Onwuasoanya Obinna Jones is a passionate writer, an avid reader, football writer and an undergraduate of Imo state university.
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