We were sitting in our favorite place, under the mango tree. Maami was singing one of those yoruba songs that always left me feeling sad and happy at the same time. I put my hands in her curly white hair, closed my eyes and let the smell of the shea butter she used as hair cream, fill my nostrils. Of all her grandchildren, I was the only one allowed such privileges.
‘Ki le o le she, olorun mi, ki le o le she?’
‘When will you teach me a new song Maami?’ I asked her in the dream.
‘As soon as you learn all the ones I have been teaching you. You with your americana accent.’ She replied and we both laughed.
We were still laughing when my father strode into the compound. I knelt before him in the way that Maami had told me good children greeted older people.
Maami called him ‘Bamidele’ in greeting as he walked towards us and so he had to be my father even though when I looked up at him, it was Marcus’s face that stared back at me.
‘Go to your room.’ Maami said to me, touching my right foot softly as she gauged her son’s mood.
‘What is she still doing here, Maami? I thought you assured me she would be gone by this week? Why is that bastard still here, eh Maami?’
‘Bamidele! Leave the child alone. It is bad enough you treat her like a leper and reject her so harshly. She might not be your child but she is my grandchild. You might not see any good in her but everytime I look into her eyes, I see the man you could have been.’
‘I am old Bamidele and have no quarrel with no man. Leave her alone Bamidele, leave…’
My bedclothes were soaked in sweat when I finally woke up. I called in sick to work and I haven’t returned any of Segun’s calls.
It is only a dream I keep telling myself, it is only a dream, a dream that is also a memory.
My heart bleeds for the little girl, standing in the hallway of her grandmother’s house, listening to her father’s rejection.
But lightning doesn’t strike twice and she is safe from him and his hurt now.
Marcus came over last night and we had sex.
He left immediately after and I stood in the hallway of my apartment building for the longest time, listening to the rejection that echoed in his hasty goodbye.
Maybe lightning does strike twice afterall.
Song of the day: Ed Sheeran- Give me love