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Sleeping With Yesterday (Episode 8)

Posted by on September 9, 2016.

Sleeping With Yesterday

As she leads the men up the staircase, Nnafuka hums to the tune of the music in the sitting room. She turns at the end of their climb and says to Dayo, “Honey, you have to be patient with me. I’ll be downstairs to present your lunch soon.”

Malik turns to Dayo, whispers, “She is still the caring lady.” They smile. From afar Dayo sights the door to the playhouse and sees a doll on the floor there, half its body out to the hallway with eyes staring at them, the other half inside. He remembers that it was the day he brought this doll home for Seun that he ventured upon Iya holding the baby up by one leg, each swing bursting the baby’s lungs as her tiny voice screamed. Mama Rashidi was there, the uncertainty of Iya’s intention scrawled on her face. She did not say anything. Dayo dropped the doll he had in his hand and rushed over to his mother.

“Iya, kilon shele? What are you doing?”

The woman held on to the baby’s leg and said, “Welcome, omo mi. This is how we do it so that baby will strong. It is how we do you too. Now, see, you are strong.”

“No. No.” He extended his hand to collect Seun. Iya shifted her out of his reach; Seun’s cry almost piercing the walls of the room.

“Iya, nobody does this anymore. You will harm my baby. Give her to me.”

“She is grandchild to me too. I’m doing good.” She insisted, but when Dayo’s face transformed to a burning coal she balanced the baby on her other hand and slowly handed her to Mama Rashidi. As she was leaving she said, “Why are you allowing medicine that is not strong like Oshogbo medicine to catch you like this?”

Dayo looks at this doll on the floor the way he looked at Mama Rashidi after his mother had left the room.

“Where is my wife?” he asked her.

The woman’s voice quavered. “I tell her, oga. I tell her, but she no gree. She even slap me.” She turned her left cheek, and three lines, red hot, were there. Dayo had wondered what would warrant Iya, his mother, a woman who had him taken care of while they struggled through his secondary and university education, a woman who encouraged him to be good to others, to work hard so that he could prove to the world that his drunkard father was not the end of their destiny, Dayo wondered what would make her slap a woman almost the same age as her.

But he acted as though he did not see what Mama Rashidi had shown him, as if he did not hear her. He asked again, “Where is my wife?”

“She go market.”

He marched out, and within seconds he was back in the playhouse, touching Seun up and down, looking at her eyes, feeling her stomach to make sure that she was okay. When Nnafuka returned from the market, he had helped her wipe the sweat on her forehead and talked about Iya slapping Mama Rashidi. He did not mention Iya turning Seun by her leg.

Now, he says to Nnafuka, “Why is that doll on the floor?” Before she can speak they are already at the door of the playhouse, Malik covering his wide open mouth with his hand, Dayo baring his eyeballs in disbelief.

“See?” Nnafuka is still smiling as she enters the room. What they are looking at is the playhouse for sure but the white floor of the room is no longer white. It is filled with splatters of blood. Nnafuka carelessly steps on the blood as she walks in, spreading it all over the floor. When they look at the wall, they see an enlargement of horror there. A rat is pinned on the wall with a kitchen knife. On the opposite wall are three rats, small this time, pinned also to the wall with kitchen knives. Blood drips down their dead bodies, down the walls, to the ground.

“What- What is this?” Dayo manages to say.

Nnafuka looks at him with disbelief in her eyes, “This is the playhouse, honey. Are you okay?”

“I mean what is all this blood and these things on the wall!” The words burst like tyre, loud and striking, a gunshot in the silent confusion.

“Oh.” Nnafuka is still smiling. Then, “As I was packing the toys I came upon this family of rats,” her face is turning like a cloud ready to burst forth with rain, “I managed to kill them, kill them, kill them all.”

“Why did you have to hang them on the walls like this with knives passed through them?”

“I needed to show them and everyone that I will never be mocked with babies. The rat was mocking me with her babies!”

Dayo looks at Malik as Malik looks at Dayo.

To Be Continue

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4 Responses

  1. dat woman done dey mad oo, they beta do something b4 its too late

    by Michelle on Sep 9, 2016 at 12:05 pm

  2. I pity this woman….

    by nnajiofor on Sep 9, 2016 at 2:48 pm

  3. hmmmm…I love did story..pls update us

    by amie on Sep 10, 2016 at 7:10 am

  4. oga o abiyamo,may God help her

    by dupe Samuel on Sep 14, 2016 at 9:50 pm

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