“Abebi just push a little while and you would smile soon” her mother cooed. She pushed and groaned but nothing came forth. She had been like this for how long she doesn’t care to know. She just want to be out of this present pain.
“Haaa, Dewale, see what you haaaaa have put me! I would have cursed hmmmmm you but…but.. Haaaaa mother, My back”!!!! Abebi cried… She can feel her privates expanding to almost explosion.
And prrrrrtttttttwwwww… Came the baby!!!
“You did a good job, your baby is here. You would be fine in no time” said the midwife whom her mother was assisting.
Abebi was almost glad it was over until she discovered she couldn’t stop groaning like one in labour again. The smiles on the two older women froze! Her mother scurried closer and placed a hand in her privates.
“Please wait! I think another baby is on it’s way. It is an Ibeji birth!” She said with a mixed feeling.
The second was not as stubborn as the first as it came tumbling after some few groans. A fraternal Twins!
She was left to rest after the Cleaning and her twins bathed, then squeezed in a raffia bed made for one baby. Abebi dozed off immediately after giving birth.
She dreamt of Dewale in a joyous mood when he heard of their twins birth. He looked merry like how he always looked before she told him of her pregnancy. She had been a plague since the announcement like he didn’t want a baby just yet. In this dream, he really looked happy.
A shrill of a baby cry followed by another made her stir.
“Whose babies are these disturbing my peace?” she thought before jolting up at the strike of reality!
“My baby….my babies!” she made to jump up but her mother was faster to reach the tiny creatures. A woman like her mother. Could she really be that amazing in motherhood like her mum had been?
Iya Abebi as her mother was fondly called was a very strong and compassionate woman. She had accepted her with love when Dewale who had promised her heaven and earth had ditched her at the mention of pregnancy. Why are men like that? Always not true to their words. She remembered her dreams now. She wondered how he would feel when he heard she gave him twins.
“Maami, I reckon the news of my twins birth must have reached my husband. Has he come yet?” she asked innocently.
“He is not your husband yet Abebi, he hasn’t come to ask for your hand in marriage”! She said with a pained expression and a tight lip.
“What does it matter now when i have made a father of him. He would come soon to take me away. That I’m sure of”
Her mother shook her head and sighed heavily. “If only he loves you with a little iota of hope you have in him, it would have been better. Please just concentrate in raising this reward the Almighty has given you and forget about him. HE TRAVELLED TO LAGOS TODAY!”
The last sentence flew out like a grenade and hit her hard. Dewale ran to Lagos leaving her to cater alone for what they both should! How callous! She didn’t know when hot tears rolled down her face. She only remembered her mother comforting her.
Motherhood truly is not an easy feat! After six month of grooming her ibeji, she admitted being a mother isn’t one easy task at all. One thing she knew was, she respected her mother more. The first problem she encountered was balancing breastfeeding routine between her babies. While breastfeeding one, the other as if jealous would clamour for the other breast. It was tiring but it is more in the nature of a mother to be loving.
She finally balanced breastfeeding routine and she was faced with the problem of a sore nipple!! The sharp mouth of her babies caused her soreness. She clenches her teeth when she breastfeeds and sometimes shivers at the thought of such moments only for a reoccurence in the next few seconds.
Her babies looks so much like the man who jilted her. Even the girl looks more like him than her. She has grown to hate him even more. Whenever she felt pains, she wanted to curse his generation but she couldn’t make herself do. There was a little tinge of hope that he might come back for them. If he didn’t, she had a grand plan for him.
She had heard so many tales about Lagos. How there was a large bridge with a big mass of water flowing under it. How hoodlums own the street and even rule the city. How it is beautiful and civilised and how all sort of cars and aircrafts one could imagine litters the street. When Asake who happens to be Dewale’s sister narrates Lagos tales to her, she always felt like being in it as she always imagines herself there in a big mansion where Dewale must be living.
Why she never asked herself how Asake knew Lagos so well when she herself has never left the boundaries of their village didn’t come to mind.
Once Abebi’s twins clocked a year old, she bundled them one fortnight and ran away from home in a bid to join her estranged husband in Lagos. Her mother wouldn’t have allowed her out of her sight with her daily fears of the life in Lagos.
“Lagos is not safe to live for a young inexperienced girl like you. Not even with the children” her mother would say. But how can she even believe the story her mother told her of her own youthful time spent in Lagos. Maybe she made all those up. Her mum doesn’t sound like one who has stayed in the kind of place she fantasised everyday. She didn’t leave without taking Dewale’s address from his sister. With some saved up cash, she left Odooba village to a life in Lagos.
The journey to Lagos was a strenuous one especially with the twins but it was part of what she had to endure for love’s sake. She wasn’t having much money with her but still enough to get the twins food to eat along the journey. She starved herself so the food could be enough for the Duo to share. She swallows spits and gets full on the thought that, all will be over when Dewale sets his eyes on them.
She finally got to Lagos and almost all she heard Aduke say was true. She passed on the large bridge with a large mass of water under it, even though she couldn’t look up for fear the vehicle might tumble into the water or the bridge will give way. It was also true there was many cars on the street of Lagos but she hasn’t seen much of an aircraft. Maybe they had a time when they fill the air like bats in her village. She also witnessed street urchins collect money from their bus driver. Then it must be true Dewale is living luxuriously like Asake said. Lagos is truly a dream come true!
“iya ibeji, we are now at Oshodi where you asked to be dropped” the driver said.
She took one extra bus to get to where the address states. Her husband would really be shocked to see them. He didn’t know they were coming. No, she meant to surprise him. The house before her left her jaw-dropped! It was a mansion with a very big black gate. She felt like dancing that she has finally struck luck. The patient dog eats truly, the fattest bone. With one twin strapped to her back and the other in the front, she made to knock the door. The gate opened and to her delight was Dewale dressed in a somewhat military costume looking handsome. She smiled..
“What are you doing here Abebi??” he asked with shock registered on his face.
This question took her by surprise. Wasn’t he happy to see them. Even though she hated him, that feeling vanished seeing him like this. She had come to enjoy Lagos with her man and father of Ibeji…
“Am I not talking to you? What are you doing here?” he thundered
“I… eerrmn… I… Came… Asake gave…. I mean… Your….”
He dragged her to one corner before she could complete her words.
” I don’t know why you came to Lagos but I am the last you should think of disturbing. I am only a security agent in this house and my boss must not see you. Go back to the village and stay with your mother. That’s where you fit and not here… So please leave!” he said pushing her away.
“What about your babies?” she said before he could get back in.
“You mean your bastards? Take them out of here before I scream thief on you” and he slammed the gate leaving them out there.
She felt slapped in the face. Oh no! This is facing betrayal full view!! She was wrong about him! What happened to the lifetime of love he promised her when they started. She sat on the floor crying and the twins who was frightened by the argument earlier and seeing their mother in this state started crying too.
Who would comfort who???
It could have been easier if she had enough cash to transport herself back home to the loving arms of her mother but she would be stuck in Lagos. She knew no one here except him and he has turned them away. She picked herself and the ibeji up and was moving in the direction she knew not. It was night and she has no where to sleep.
With no food in her stomach and two children in her embrace, she was exhausted and had no choice but chose an open store to stay the night. She prayed it doesn’t rain. She would surely stay up all night after the twins had slept to ensure they are safe and ward off mosquitoes. She spread her wrapper on the cemented store front and lay her twins to sleep. She assumed the mosquito killing role and security. What a mother would always do for their children.
She remembered the first time she fell in love with Dewale. He had been a charming young man and one loved by all maiden. She felt so lucky when he chose her from amongst them. They had been going out for some months when he threathen to leave her for someone else for not allowing him touch her intimately. She never wanted to lose him. Moreover, he had promised her marriage. So she allowed him. They had done it subsequently with no problems until she felt unwell one fateful day and was confirmed pregnant by her mother.
With joy, she left home to meet Dewale under the Mango tree they meet every evening to share the goodnews. He got angry on that day and told her he wasn’t ready. Why would he do anything with her when he knew he wasn’t ready for a child. He didn’t even talk about marriage again as he turned cold towards her. He wouldn’t come to their meeting spot again. Her pregnancy had the both families clash as Dewale denied paternity of the babies and accused her of sleeping around. His family believed him and rejected her, except for his younger sister, Asake who knew how mischevious her brother could be.
What could prompt the change in him? She was no god who could make fertile na. Did she truly commit a grave mistake by keeping the pregnancy? A quick glance at her babies gave her the answer she needed. It was a no! She love her twins no matter how useless their father is! That was her last thought as she dozed off in the sitting position she assumed.
“Woman, who are you?” someone tapped her on the shoulder. She slowly opened her eyes and saw that it was morning already! How could she doze off like that with two infants in hand? Her eyes darted to where she laid her twins and her heart went mad when she couldn’t see one of her twin!!!!
“Madam, I say why are you here?” the woman who seem like the store owner asked again.
“Where is my Kehinde??”….. Abebi grabbed the woman’s blouse…
To be continued….