Out of Breath

The first time Mojola ran, Adun went after him with everything she had. Money, time, strength, hope… The third time…


March 29, 2018

The first time Mojola ran, Adun went after him with everything she had. Money, time, strength, hope… The third time it happened, she hesitated for a few minutes. That moment’s hesitation was all it took to realize how tired she was, how out of breath, how much she hated the chase.

By the fourth time, she gave up; refusing to run after him, preferring to begin a new dream, one where he wasn’t a main feature.

He returned a month later but it was already too late.

‘You can’t stay here any longer.’ She told him, as he tucked him another plate of the Jollof rice she had been saving for tomorrow.

He started to cry then and for the first time, Adun saw clearly what men like Mojola were.

Biology had been her favorite subject in high school. She had always thought she would become a zoologist and study animal life but Baba had got in the way, as he did most of her dreams. He had informed her early on in her Zoologist dreams that she could study Accounting and join the family business or find someone else to pay Oxford’s fees.

If not for that obstacle, maybe she would have understood the etymology of leeches better and been able to avoid the Mojolas of these world. No matter, she understood now, she thought as she watched Mojola cry tears not worthy of a crocodile.

‘I am sorry. I just needed some space and time to realise how much I loved you. I love you Adun, I really do.’ He said in between tears, but Adun was no longer listening, entranced instead by the way his mouth moved so smoothly over the words like it was sucking the life out of something, of someone…

She let him finish his Jollof Rice at least and just as he started to make for her wine bar, she dialed for Adio, the security guard.

Adio’s father had been Baba’s driver. One day, when she was about 19, she had overheard Adio’s father ask Baba for a raise so Adio could go to the university. For as long as she lived, she would remember the evil cackle her father belted out in response. It was so very long ago now yet she remembered it like yesterday. Today, Adio was a security guard who spoke perfect English thanks to all the books she brought home for him from Cambridge.

She watched him now with some pride as he got rid of Mojola, whose skinny, spoiled frame was no match for Adio’s muscular, no nonsense build.

It was a good thing Baba never approved of Mojola. The inquiries to the failed state of her most recent relationship would be minimal at most when she finally broke the news to him at some point in the future. There would be none of the insults and recriminations that had come with the previous relationships; all of them men, Baba himself had handpicked for her. Spoiled sons of his fellow billionaire friends; three bumbling idiots and one who was so openly gay, their relationship had been a joke to everyone except their blind parents.

She had wasted so much time wondering what people thought, letting their opinions guide her every step. It came with the territory of being the only child of the kind of man Baba was. It came with the territory of having no mother.

She went upstairs to her bedroom after washing the plates Mojola had eaten with. She had wanted no trace left of him. In her room, she undressed slowly, folding her skirt and top in the way she had been taught by the finishing school in Switzerland. In the bathroom, she scrubbed hard until her skin was raw and pink, even though Mojola had barely touched her.

When she was done, she toweled herself dry and went to stand by the window that faced the gates. She stood there, and waited, again thinking about how too old and too tired she was to care about people’s opinions. There was already a thickening of her waist in the place where children were formed. What would people say? Chief Kosoko’s only child- an unmarried mother?

Mostly though, she thought about how as children, whenever she and Adio, the driver’s son played hide and seek, she had always ended up out of breath. Back then, her now late mother would chide them kindly, reminding them to be careful for Adun’s frequent asthma attacks and to make sure their play ended before Baba returned and caught his child at play with the servants.

Whatever would Baba think if he knew that someday he would have to leave his billions to the children of a man he had refused to train, to the servants he had warned her never to play with?

She picked up her inhaler and breathed in deeply on her father’s behalf as she waited silently in her room for Adio.


Song of the day: Snow Patrol- Chasing Cars

  • Children
  • Father
  • Love

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