THE ADVENTURES OF TOLU (TAOT)
I never knew a new chapter of my life was about to be opened. I was glad that I had another sister, it didn’t struck me that the new ‘houseguest’ was going to eventually show me the back-door. My sister Dunni loves Dara, she looks after her and tries to ensure always that nothing happens to her.
One day, my sister wanted water, so she went to the kitchen, opened the fridge, took a bottle-water and just as she was trying to reach for a mug, she mistakenly dropped the mug and it broke. The sound of the breaking mug made me rush to the kitchen to see what was happening. But when I got there, Aunty Rebecca was already there. “You this spoilt little girl! Why would you do this! Don’t you know they bought this mug with money? Oh! You think because your father has the money, you can spoil things? Not under my watch!” Aunty Rebecca started yelling at Dunni as she reached for a broom. She started flogging Dunni. The last time I saw someone being flogged like that was on the TV and that person happened to have stolen a goat. My sister had never been beaten like that before. I just watched the situation from afar as there was nothing I could do.
Seeing my sister cry was quite painful, but i trusted Aunty Rebecca’s judgement. I felt she was training my sister to be a better person.”Aunty Rebecca can’t be wrong”. I said to myself.
Two weeks later, I was in the sitting room, watching TV. Aunty Rebecca came and wanted to watch a programme, so she changed the station. After watching the programme for about five minutes. Darasimi who was just about 8 months old cried from inside. Aunty Rebecca went in to attend to her, but when she didn’t return for about fifteen minutes, I changed the channel to check if the programme I was watching was still on. That was when Aunty Rebecca came out and the first thing she did was that she gave me a resounding slap, took the remote from me, and asked me to go and bring my dad’s belt, she carried me on the chair and gave me 12 lashes with my dad’s belt plus one extra. It would have been more, but I had to run away. I ran to my room, i was in pains, I started rubbing my body. The pain was just all over. I had been beaten in some parts of my back that my hands could not reach no matter how hard I tried.
My sister entered my room and started crying. I wanted to stop crying but I couldn’t. I have never been treated like that in my life before. Maybe this time, I know that Aunty Rebecca is wrong. “This is just not right! Nobody deserves to be treated this way. If my mum were to be alive, this wouldn’t be happening to me! God, why did you have to take my mum. Why!” I said, crying. I was trying to keep calm because of my sister but I just couldn’t. The more I cried, the more she cried.
This behaviour continued, at first, I thought I wasn’t going to tell my dad. Firstly, because he’s very busy, he has a lot on his mind and I did not want to bother him with the issue. Secondly, because Aunty Rebecca is not my real mother and I might appear as a rebel. But it had gotten to a stage that I couldn’t hold back.
On a Friday, my dad came back, and I wrote a note that I wanted to see him and gave it to him secretly. So that Aunty Rebecca doesn’t find out. He didn’t do anything about it. I thought he didn’t read the note, so I went to my room. Some minutes later, my dad came in. “Tolu my boy, what is the problem?” I was really excited, as I narrated all the problems my sister and I had been facing with Aunty Rebecca to him. What he said surprised me. “Tobi, Aunty Rebecca is training you. She wants you both to be better children in the future. You may not like it now, but you will definitely thank her later.” He said to me. I replied. “But daddy, Aunty Rebecca is…” He cuts in sharply “No buts, and let this be the first and the last time you report my wife to me.” He said to me and left my room immediately.
My dad, whom I thought was going to save us from the ‘witch’ totally turned his backs on us and silenced me totally. The treatment continued, from days we didn’t eat till evening, to days that we were punished for reasons best known to her. We were like slaves but my dad was too busy to see what was going on.
It all continued for two good years and one day, a particular event occurred that almost got me mad…
TO BE CONTINUED…