They both stagger into the room; he, chanting the lyrics of afowómutí, and she, slurring incoherent words. I curl up in my corner, and shut my eyes so tight that they hurt, but it’s better than watching them act out their drunken lunacy.
I hear them fall heavily on bed with a thud, and although my eyes are closed, I can see her laying on the bed, legs spread wide apart, and him, laying atop her, slipping in and out of her, just like those hot afternoons when he started visiting, before he finally moved in. Those afternoons saw us, Deji and me, sitting behind the window, listening as groans and moans unite and then, burst into rattles of maybe, satisfaction.
It all started last year, five years after Baba’s death, when Mama started to consider her friends’ advice to get a man to warm her bed and assist her in training us. I hate it when those friends of hers come over here to fill her ears with gossips and stupid advices that overflowed with spittle from their large mouths. I hate their nightmarish, nature-cursed bleached skins that stink so much that I almost see ‘putrid’ written on every part of their bodies.
-For how long will you stay without a man?
-I wonder o, abi your body is firewood?
-You need a man to take care of these boys o, you know two heads are better than one.
-Beeni, these boys need a father figure in their lives, if not, they will become wayward and your husband’s people will blame you.
In this particular order, advices rained for five years until Mama got a man, because two heads are better than one. Yes, the man who ensures her bed never goes cold, and also, father figures us. The man who blessed her drinking habit with a terrible progress, and also, introduced her to gambling. Yes, the father figure we have to feed with the peanuts we make from hawking, and also prepare his bath water every morning, because he, as explained by Mama, is like our father.
As they both trumpet like elephants in the name of snoring after their noisy flesh merging, I wonder if their two heads are better than any at all.