Everyone lived in the increased fear of Baba Ade after the mystic death of Ade’s pregnant woman. I have heard a lot of tales, even watched countless movies where ghosts dress in white and haunt their killers, but I never imagined experiencing it firsthand. There are countless cases of couples murdering their partners due to domestic violence. However, living in a compound where such manifested to the death of a couple was revealing. Showed me how swift love could turn to hate. The question on everyone’s lips was why a woman who left her husband for a new lover suddenly upped one morning and killed the lover. Whatever transpired between them remains a mystery hitherto.
My name is Abiodun, but for the purpose of the chronicles of Baba Ade’s villa you can call me Kopa Abbey like my co-tenants got used to. Whenever death strikes, people mourn but don’t stop living. After two weeks of extreme caution at the villa, things normalized. The gym started oozing of alcohol like always, Emem was back on my trail, Lameda won a bet and Sly took charge of the early morning devotion. The only change everyone had to live with was the landlord’s depressive countenance. He eased into a daily routine of smoking marijuana and drinking local gins while watching the street from his balcony. Lameda who won a bet of 70,000 naira spent some percentage of it on buying alcohol for the boys and lost the rest to the betting company. His victory was quickly enveloped in disappointment. The villa was back to turninoniown.
I went about my business of serving the fatherland, teaching junior secondary school students Civic Education. I had gotten used to life at the villa I could walk into some selected rooms and dine with them. Despite the variance in lifestyle, we remained a family. Slowly, I began to channel the tout in me. There was an issue of a teenage boy disrespecting Perry, it was none of my business but I slapped him severally. I began to talk and live like them, the only defining difference being my education background. It always jolted me back to reality whenever I drown in the thug life. Sly kept pressuring me into sleeping with Aisha but I didn’t succumb. She was an underage, and though she wanted me badly I couldn’t afford to break the law. Not just that, I was constantly reminded by my conscience that my younger sister was her age mate whenever the temptation arose. I once told her she was like a sister to me and her response was,
“Kopa Abbey, I know how many children my mother gave birth to, and they are all girls.” She grabbed her breasts, illustrating as she continued. “This thing I am chasing after you with have other guys begging for it.”
I didn’t bulge.
“I can’t sleep with you Aisha and you shouldn’t allow those other guys. Keep yourself till you are of age if you are in a haste to enjoy sex.”
“How are you so sure I am a virgin?” she questioned.
“I hope you are. Are you?”
“No, I am not. That does not mean I sleep around o. In fact I have only had sex with two people in my life.”
I was shocked by the confidence with which she expressed herself. I didn’t like where the conversation was leading to as I wanted to avoid being involved in her personal life, so I changed the topic. I asked her about her education, and I was even more surprised that she was awaiting her O level result. My expectations about her were not high, I perceived her to be a dropout.
“Kopa Abbey, our mother doesn’t joke with our education o. Since our father chose to be irresponsible, she has made it her life’s purpose to see us succeed. She keeps emphasizing on the fact that I must be better than her.”
“Exactly the reason you shouldn’t be concerned about having sex with me or anyone. Be focused on securing a bright future for yourself and making Iya Ai proud.” I chipped in.
“I hear you Kopa brother Abbey,” she teased with a wink then asked, “What is the worst that can happen?”
“You could get pregnant and a baby at this age could disrupt your academics and slow you down” I retorted.
She interjected, “Isn’t that why there is abortion?”
I got scared at the sound of ‘abortion’; her sexual orientation was ill-patterned. At first, I thought it must have been as a result of her environment but sorrow held my heart captive after I learned of why she processed sex that way.
“Why would you even consider abortion as an option?” I asked her. She gazed at me rhetorically for a moment then laid the burden upon me,
“Because I have aborted before, when I was thirteen. I was sexually abused by my own father for months. I tried to tell my mother about it, but she was too busy and my father would always beat them threaten me.”
That mogbe moment. I stood, transfixed! She kept narrating,
“My mother found out after I was pregnant, relocated to Oyo town from Ibadan and took me to a doctor who performed the abortion. So you see, Kopa Abbey, there is nothing new under the sun.”
I managed to mumble some encouraging words to her, still astonished by the revelation. Indeed, she was braver than me at that moment. To lighten the mood or perhaps distract me she said,
“I will not have sex with anyone only on one condition.”
I quickly asked, “And what condition could that be?”
“On the condition that you will wait for me till I finish school and marry me.” She looked serious for sometimes then burst into laughter. I joined in too.
“Small thing” I said, trying not to be too serious. She hugged me and it felt strange; it felt like I was shielding her from the danger of the world she had been exposed to. I withdrew my body from hers before it got awkward and made a conversation about what course she would like to study when she gets admitted into the university. She traded her plans for my counsel while walking me home. On arriving at the gate of the villa she stopped to turn back, but that was after she said to me with some seriousness,
“Think about it. I can keep myself for you if you are willing to wait.”
She returned to her mother’s shop and I headed inside. I didn’t stop thinking about her, especially how at her age she had an experience of a 20-year-old. I stumbled on Sly on my way in. He was about to dine on a heavy dose of fufu and seventh heaven efo-riro. It was the first time I saw him with a homemade meal. He revealed he won a bet and decided to cook for a change. He invited me to join him and I didn’t decline. I was famished! We were done and sweating profusely in five minutes.
“You enjoy the lem?” Sly asked.
I responded, “the chao make brain die”
“Correct! Na ugwu and weed you just chop so.”
The rest they say is history.