Labake’s Woe

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    “You will be fine” that’s what everyone has been saying since I came to life. I believe ó ò, like the gullible girl I was raised to be until today. Do you see me standing there? No, I’m not the cute girl frowning at the okada man and also not the one with the big bumbum either, focus mehn;okay look for the short girl standing in front of the locked shop chewing on her nails like her life depends on it – yes that’s me. You see, I wasn’t always like this;nervous I mean, but before, I tell you why I’m standing there, you have to know how it all started.
   “Labake, Labake, Labake”, my mother’s screams in hurried succession with every ìṣàn in her body. As an OG,I am comfortably perched behind the kitchen door, chewing my guguru and epa without any care in the world. Before maami has the chance to begin her screams all over again, I shout “ma” at the top of my voice like one who is being chased by irunmole. I am greeted by two hot slaps upon my arrival and without acknowledging my pain, she recites out her errand for me. I am to go to Baba Shola, the carpenter to ask for her stool. I have no problem with that, as a matter of fact, I am very pleased simply because Shola and I have been an item albeit an hidden one for quite sometime now. I quickly wipe my face and skip over to the shop to deliver the message and also see Shola. Luckily or unluckily for me, (alas the latter is the case as I would later get to discover), Baba Shola is out and only my garden flower is left. I adjust my skirt above my knees short enough to supposedly look more worldly than my 16.5 years of age demands. Catwalking like a bride on her engagement day, I approach Shola. The smile in his eyes communicate his approval and the caterpillars in my stomach hatch into butterflies. The last time we were alone, Shola and I started experimenting some of the things we watched on his elder brother’s laptop. Today seemed like the chosen day for us to carry on. After making small talk, the butterflies migrated to my head and started whispering chants of “kiss him”. I licked my lips like a food taster and moved closer, Gbam! Our lips mashed. Before long, my inexperienced Shola was already fondling my breasts like he was moulding strong clay while also struggling to unbutton his trousers. As he was raging battles with my breasts and his trousers, I started fiddling with my skirt and like an alarm almost forgotten, maami’s words rang loud and clear through my head “To bá lọ lóyún péré, má padà wá silẹ mí” (if you get pregnant, do not come back to my house). Like a fly perching on my ears, I brushed her words away and looked up to the eyes of my lover. My skirt was on the floor and my pant was the only obstacle in the way and as we struggled with that last piece of clothing, there was maami and Baba Shola standing in the entrance of the shop staring at us. I died a thousand times and yet my soul was continually refused at the pearl gates,it was like I was supposed to die by my mother’s hands.
   You still do not understand what I’m doing at the front of the Shop, think deeply, I’m sure you’ll figure it out. In the meantime, I will continue chewing on my nails and hoping they will offer flavours of wisdom that will help me get out of the deep mess I’m in.

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