HEAT

“Lower the heat oo! Shalewa lower the heat! Do you want to burn down my house?”

 

You would think that I had increased the temperature of the gas burner so high, that flames had burst through the kitchen windows and were eating up the street. I was only trying to fry some plantain, and it was taking too long. I don’t have time to waste.

 

Anyway, all the cries and shouts of ‘heat lowering’ from my mother were just entering one ear and coming out of the other, like wind. Not because I am an alaigboran- which some members of my family claim I am. Uncle Funmi says I’m as stubborn as a he goat, but what does he know anyway? He is a man and his name is Funmi, his parents must have probably passed their poor judgment to him.

 

Anyway Uncle Funmi called me a he goat just because he told me I shouldn’t carry the large bucket of water from the outside of the house to the bathroom in the house. He doesn’t know that I’m very strong. Of course I carried it to show him. If not for the stupid carpet that decided to trip me, I would have made it. Instead of everybody to tell me sorry for falling down, they were shouting that I broke bucket and poured water on the floor. That day mummy shouted and shouted and shouted, I thought her throat was going to collapse with the pressure.

 

So as you can see I am not an alaigboran. Bad things just tend to happen to me. Aunty Bukky says it’s the people from my father’s village that are following me. I wonder why they are following me, where do they think I’m going? I never really liked Aunty Bukky anyway. Ever since that day that she shouted at me just because she said she wants to eat ‘yam hand hegg’ and I said Mummy didn’t cook ‘hegg’ that morning. That day she said I’m very ‘senseless hand hunserious’. It took me a minute to figure out what she was trying to say.

 

It’s obvious that my family members don’t love me. Last week I tried to run away but mummy caught me when I was trying to sneak some rice from the bag in the store to take with me on my long journey. I had decided to go to Lagos to see my daddy. He’s the only one that loves me. He buys me everything I ask for, and he doesn’t shout at me or call me a stubborn goat. On my 7th birthday this year, he bought me a phone. I use it to call him and play snakes. Anyway, that day he came and I told him how mummy beat me the day before, because I was sweeping the living room but they started showing ’As told by Ginger’ on the TV and I stopped.

 

My daddy’s face became very red! Did I tell you that my daddy is half-caste? He looks like Ramsey Noah. Anyway, my daddy went upstairs to talk to mummy. I’m sure he went to tell her to let me watch TV anytime I want. I miss when daddy used to live here. He told me that mummy and Aunty Bukky and Sister Tokunbo sent him out of the house, because they don’t want him to have any friends. I remember that day. Sister Tokunbo went out and saw daddy with his friend, Catherine and came to tell mummy. I don’t know what is her business. Anyway mummy and daddy started shouting that night as usual, and then they started banging the wall and screaming. I never understood why they did that. Daddy will make noise, ‘gba’ ‘kpo’ ‘gbo’ and mummy will now be screaming and shouting. Was it some sort of game? When they were done, daddy would leave the house and mummy wouldn’t come out of her room till the next day.

 

Anyway, Daddy left that day for the last time. He never came back. He told me he had to move to Lagos to stay with Catherine his friend. I begged Daddy to let Catherine stay here with us, in the house in Ibadan. I even offered to give her my room but Daddy said no.

 

So Daddy went upstairs to talk to mummy about my TV, and they started playing their game again. I hear ‘gba’ ‘kpo’ ‘gbo’ followed by mummy’s screams. I increased the volume of the TV because I knew they would soon stop, but it kept getting louder and louder. I wanted to go upstairs, but I know mummy will say I should stay downstairs with Sister Tokunbo. That’s what she does anytime they play their game.

 

They finally go very quiet and I can finally hear what Blossom is telling Buttercup on Cartoon Network. Praise God. Daddy comes downstairs and runs straight out of the house, so fast I feel the wind blow past as he leaves. He didn’t even say bye to me. What did mummy say to him? I go upstairs to ask her but I’m calling mummy and she’s not answering.

 

“Mummy! Mummy! Mummy wake up now are you sleeping? What did you say to daddy? Why is he angry? Muuuummmmmyyyyy!!”

 

Mummy isn’t answering me, she’s acting like she’s asleep but her eyes are open. She’s staring at me but she’s not saying anything. Me I don’t understand. Aunty Bukky and Sister Tokunbo are sitting beside her, crying and screaming. Why is everybody shouting?

 

Something feels funny. I don’t understand it. But I’m going downstairs to finish my power puff girls. When mummy wakes up she will explain everything.