We broke up silly nasty.
It happened in what Lagosians would call a roforofo fight; a shameless display by adults – people-who were old enough to know better, act better. Yet, I have to admit that I enjoyed the final episode of our “The Street Titans” live drama. No regrets. A year later, now, I can say really, no regrets at all.
You know that combination of disgust, feigned surprise, is-this-really-you-calling-me-so-soon feeling after an emotionally charged parting with one you were all kisses + roses and of course, thorns with … after they’ve told you “You won’t get someone better than me.” Then, your phone rings and the first thing you hear is “Please, don’t cut, we need to talk.”
Yeah. That’s how I have been feeling, recently.
And I have to confess I am kinda enjoying it; yes, I know it is sadistic, vengeful and petty. I won’t stop it though.
Yemisi and I could have been twins; Siamese twins. The gruesome surgery which saw to our independence was carried out by Halima. A 10 year old girl.
I loved Yemisi. And Halima too. On returning to Nigeria from the United States in 2015, I gave the girl so many of my old size 4 clothes lurking in my house.
Yemisi got latest editions of jewelry, designer clothes, bags and shoes, yet longathroat wouldn’t allow her rest.
“How can you give her finer clothes?”
“Haba. Yemisi, you’re a size 14 naa“.
“You want to squeeze yourself into those tiringbeku (very tiny) dresses and pants?”
“Oh. You’re now calling me fat ehn because you gave us clothes?” she hisses.
“Yemisi, what exactly is the problem? Those clothes are too small for you and date back to over three years ago … ”
“Ehn-en?” she cuts me short with her dull dark face, now cloudier than before.
“Yours are more recent naa Yemisi. Don’t spoil my mood.”
“But, why will you give her finer clothes?”
With my mouth open, I turn to see Yemisi still sitting on the floor of her living room “Are her own finer?”
“Yes naa. Can’t you see ni?”
Confused, I stare at the clothes, jewelry, shoes and bags my childhood friend has angrily dropped on the floor. Then, I look up at her seated on a chair.
“Yemisi, these ones are more recent.” I notice my voice is shaky.
“But how can you give her such nice clothes?” she demands to know.
“I’m lost. What exactly is the matter? Is there something I’m not being told? Is it my first time giving her stuff?”
“It’s your first time giving her such beautiful clothes”.
I’m more confused.
“How dare you give my house-help something without me first inspecting them?!”
I can’t help but notice that her voice, tone, body language have changed.
“Yemisi, but it’s not my first time giving her stuff. You’ve never inspected what I give her naa?!”
“Because you used to use your brains until now. This America you went to, has changed you. How can you give house-help, common house-girl, such beautiful clothes? You gave my daughter less beautiful ones.”
But she cuts me short.
“Yes. I’m stating the fact. You think you can clean up my house-girl, so that she can seduce my husband?”
“Haa Yemisi”, I try to stand up when she shouts “Sit down there, let me tell you the truth.”
I slump back on my buttocks, out of shock.
“You think you’re better than me ehn?”
I am still searching for my voice. But I know it has deserted me.
“If you’re better than me, why don’t you have a husband? No wonder you’re always giving my house-help good things so Akande will notice she’s pretty. Your plans have failed!”
By now, my heart is drenched with tears. I have to struggle to get on my feet; partly because of the shocker, partly due to my sudden weight gain. Used to be a size four, but now a size fourteen.
“Talk naa if I’m lying. Home-breaker!” By now Yemisi has stood up and is shouting at the top of her voice. She is also clapping and jeering at me like a p*ssed off pepper-seller in a local market. “You think I don’t know all those your caring for Halima is all wash?”
By now, I have regained my balance and am heading for the exit.
“M-u-m-m-y!” screams Jesusegun who is staring at her mum, amazed.
“Will you get get inside your room?!”
The 10 year-old burst into tears.
“Advocate my foot. ‘I don’t like how you beat this girl‘,” she mimics my voice mockingly, as I open the door. “Go and marry, get a house-help and let me see how you will spoil her the way you’re trying to rock my home!”
I didn’t wait to hear more.
Thunder and storm fought in my head and bedroom for the next three weeks. My pillow, tears and head broke global three-some records.
I felt I had been raped over and over again.
I searched my soul. Under other circumstances, her words would have been laughable. But I wasn’t laughing, because although her words were full of ridiculous lies, Yemisi’s accusations stung deeply …
EROBOT ON TRIAL is a serialised, true story.
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