“Oh my God! Olakunle, I didn’t know you went through this much”, Ideraoluwa said to me.
I smiled at her as I raised my hand to my face only to realize I’ve been tearing up all along. I wiped my tears as I continued to narrate my ordeal to her.
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“I’m sure his death took a turn on you and your Siblings right?” She asked.
“Are you joking? It took several turns Idera”.
“Could you believe despite the fact that we didn’t really know lots of our family members when the going was good, they all showed up after daddy’s demise. That was when I believed the saying that bad things spread faster than good things. But do you know the thing that surprised me the most?”
“What is it Kunle?”
“Would you believe that my Mummy didn’t show up at all? It was as if she has been deleted from the surface of the earth”.
We buried my daddy a week after the family members came. I can never forget how they all actually came for the property instead but they were heartbroken when they realized we’ve been poor all along.
They all looked sad as if they’ve wasted their time coming all the way to pay daddy his last respect when they won’t even get anything in return.
I had the feeling Daddy wasn’t really loved among his family members but I couldn’t figure out why because daddy wasn’t a bad person at all.
After the burial, a small family meeting took place between my daddy’s elder brothers and his younger siblings and us. I and my sisters stood clueless as to what is next in life for us.
Uncle Agba ; “what do we do with these kids?” He asked the rest of the family.
“What do you mean what do we do? Olakunle and his siblings are no longer kids now, Abi se omode ni won ni,(or are they kids?)” Aunty Abeni said as she shrugged.
“Haba Abeni, se bi iwo naa bi omo ti e( be calm Abeni, remember you have your own kids)”
“Beeni AUNTY mi, I’ve my kids that’s why I don’t treat people in an inhumane mannar. Did their own parents forget that life is not forever when they took life too serious. Uncle agba, you’re aware of all the evil acts perpetrated by their mother. She turned my brother’s back against us all. Sent all family members away from him all because she wants to render him useless. Now where’s she today, now that my brother is dead? Where’s she? As bad as she is, she didn’t even leave little space to love her children”, she said in anger.
“E wa ni ki n ma to ju awon omo kan( you’re asking me to take care of some kids) I can’t do that o… I have enough log in my eye to deal with. Don’t add more for me” she added angrily.
I and my sisters had no words to say as I watched as Shindara was about to cry. She has always been the caring one amongst us. She doesn’t deserve all these happening to us. None of us does.
“We’re sorry ma and sir”, Shindara said in tears.
“Eh! Oko mi (my dear), don’t cry, God won’t give you a reason to cry. You all didn’t offend us, it’s your mother that is the bad one here”, Mummy Abiola said as he beckoned Shindara to sit on her laps.
“Well, to be honest, I really don’t have an idea of what to do with them”, uncle Agba Said.
“Coupled with the fact that there’s no property left to take care of on behalf of the kids” he said in a disappointed tone.
I was in shock as I heard this. So the only reason why they were here was for property? I thought to myself.
I could sense Kittan fuming in anger as I could see the rage in her eyes.
“Sir! Are you trying to say that without my father having property, we don’t count? So the property is why you’re here?” Kiitan asked shutting them a dreadful look.
“OlaKiitan would you keep shut”, Uncle taiwo said raising his voice.
“Didn’t your mother teach you that when adults are talking small ones don’t interfere?” He added.
“Fii le (leave her alone), she’s beginning to take after her mother, I hope she doesn’t end up like her”, Aunty abeni said eyeing Kiitan up and down.
I was too weak and lost to say a word. I just stood there listening to how they continued to push us to themselves like we were some sort of commodity. I felt helpless knowing I couldn’t do anything.
I looked at my sisters and my heart began to pound knowing fully well that I had lots of responsibilities to fulfill. I was lost in thought until Uncle agba hit my arm saying;
“don’t you hear again?”
“Have been calling you since o jere” he said annoyingly.
“I’m sorry sir” I said sluggishly.
“Shior”, Aunty abeni said eyeing me as if she was irritated.
“Walk like a man joor”, she shouted as I moved close to sit in front of Uncle Agba.
“Look, Olakunle, you’re now the man of the house and you should begin to act like it
We’ve all concluded that you all will stay here in this house while we come to check up on you from time to time. After all, that’s the only thing left behind and it won’t be nice we take it from you” he said calmly.
“You’d call any one of us, especially me, whenever you all need a thing. We’d talk about the rest on the phone” he added.
They all chorused “Beeni” and they all left after some minutes.
“What kind of family is this?” Kiitan said angrily. “Madam ITK, You know all these wouldn’t have happened if you didn’t call them”, kittan said to Shindara while she raised her voice.
“I’m sorry, I thought they’d be able to help us. Which I think they would seems they ask us to always call them” she said calmly.
“You’re so naive and dumb”, kittan said angrily as she walked out of the room.
I pulled Shindara into a hug and I wiped her tears.
“Trust me, we’d pull through this with or without them. We’d all be successful and they’d be sorry they ever made such decision”, I said sounding determined.
“I believe in you brother Olakunle, she said back as she pulled me into a more tighter hug”.
“I’m not dumb and naive like Kiitan said, I just felt they could help us” she said sadly.
“It’s fine, I understand you and I love your kind heart” I said to her.
I knew right there and then that I had more to do.
Weeks and months passed and life continued like it didn’t just lose an angel. But it hasn’t been the same for I and my sisters as things have been tough.
The family didn’t really keep to their promise. I’ve been saving us from the little money I’ve been getting from fresh and Ajanaku.
The last time they gave me money, they told me to “wise up” and stop begging them. Whatever that means isn’t really bothering me.
For some reasons, I’ve not been able to reach Rashad, if not, life would have been easier.
I was about leaving for the cafeteria when I received a call from Kiitan
“Hello!” she said sobbing on the phone.
“OlaKiitan, what’s wrong?” I asked anxious.
She kept on crying
“Talk to me now, how’s Shindara, is she okay?”
“Shindara is fine brother Olakunle”
“Then what’s wrong with you?” I asked her.
She continued to cry
I’ve never seen Kiitan cry like this, for her to be this broken, then something must definitely be wrong
“Kiitan dear, you’re scaring me” I said in fear.
“I was sent out of school,” she said, as she let out more sobs.
God, for a second, my heart stopped pounding and I could feel the relief in my heart knowing fully well that nothing bad had happened.
“Why?” I asked calmly.
“It’s my school fees of course and our waec would start soon. I don’t want to miss out on this”, she said crying more.
“I love my education too much for me to miss out on this”, she added.
“How much is it?” I asked
“Daddy already paid some and it’s sixty five thousand naira left (65, 000.00)”
I felt a heavy pound in my head as I consoled her and reassured her all was going to be fine
“We’d get the money kittan” I said as I hanged up.
I began to think of how I was going to get the money then I remembered I still had fresh and Ajanaku. I know they told me to stop asking them for money but I’m sure if they’re aware of the reason then they’d be glad to help.
I immediately rushed down to their place as I was about knocking when I heard;
”Ajanaku, what do we do about this deal now? If we miss this, it’s not going to be good”, Fresh said.
“God! I wish Rashad was still here, things hasn’t been the same without him. This is something Rashad can pull off in the blink of an eye”
“All we need is third hand who will go inside that shop with me while you secure the building” Fresh said.
“God and this business is huge. Imagine the amount we’d get from this”
“What do we do now?” They asked each other.
I started to think fast and at that point I was determined to join them. I mean whatever the amount they’re talking about, it will be enough to pay kittan and Dara’s school fees I said to myself. This is my time to think like a man and make things happen for my sisters especially for Dara because I love her so much and I don’t want her to ever suffer. She’s my favorite.
I opened their door without knocking while they both turned to look at me.
“I’m in”, I said in a determined tone.
“You’re in with what?”
“I’m in. I’m going to help with the robbery”, I said to them.
They were both shock to hear me say that.
“What do you mean robbery ?” They asked.
“Look, don’t act dumb with me. I know too much. Ever since Rashad was here, I’ve always known about your operations” I said not ready to back down.
“Fuck! Rashad sold us out”, Ajanaku said as he held his head.
“No he didn’t. He trusted me, and you should too” I said looking straight in their eyes.
“Shut up man! Tell me one reason why I shouldn’t blow your head off now” Fresh shouted.
“Because you need me. You won’t deny the fact that I’m very intelligent, and my intelligence would aid this organization and make it a better one”, I said smiling.
“Plus all we’re saying now is on record, if you kill me because you don’t trust me, then when the police find you and find this little evidence you’d all rot in jail and this would affect Rashad wherever he is and I’m sure y’all won’t want that for your boss”, I added.
“And come to think of it, If I had wanted to fuck you up wouldn’t I have done that since Rashad was here? Cmon guys, you’ve helped me more than anyone else can. I just want to prove my love and loyalty to you. That’s all. I want in, please give me a chance” I added.
They both looked at me in silence for some minutes.
“Fine you’re in bro but if you ever betray us, one bullet is enough to end you”, Ajanaku said.
I smiled and I said;
“I won’t disappoint”
“Fine, let’s get down to business” they said.
That night was my first robbery experience.
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