Guest post by one of my most favourite humans on God’s green earth! You can find more of his compelling stories at rodneypatrick.com. Go ahead and check him out.
One day our father came home with a boy who he introduced to us as the son of a very good friend of his, the boy’s name was Kalvin, and he wanted us to be friends with him, just like that.
The age gap between Kalvin and Chiesa, my older brother, had to be about two years. Chiesa was thirteen years old and was still in junior secondary school while Kalvin looked like he was either sixteen or seventeen and was through with secondary school. He had a rectangular face, slightly broad shoulders that sat on a slender body and he had hints of hair growing on top of his lips and strands under his chin. He wasn’t shy like the other kids who sometimes came to visit us in the company of their parents, the kids who sat at a corner of the room saying and doing nothing but taking sips out of the bottle of cold Fanta placed in front of them. From the day Kalvin came into our lives, he became the life of the party. He even started wearing our clothes and wanted to assume an elder brother position but Chiesa would never let him. They fought each other and sometimes because of his height advantage Chiesa always bested Kalvin despite the age difference. Chiesa might have been thirteen years old but he was a very tall thirteen years old boy with a lot of stubbornness in his blood. When our mother was around she said Chiesa was the replica of our father in everything, his height, his stupid big head and his stubbornness, only him alone.
Every day after school Kalvin came over to our house and spent the whole time with us and left at night to where he said was his mother’s shop. He never said who his mother was, though; all he said was that he had a mother and that he went to her shop every night. I think he expected us to already to know something we didn’t.
One night I and Kalvin sat outside our house, Nepa had just seized power and he was fixing to go back to his mother’s shop, as usual. Just before he left I asked him where his mother’s shop was and he said it was at 202 in Festac and he stayed with her until she closed and it was time to go home.
202, wasn’t that where our father said was his playground? I thought.
“My father calls that place his playground,” I said.
“What place?” Kalvin asked, raising his left brow.
“202, my father said that is where his playground and football field is,” I said
“There are no playgrounds at 202, there is just my mother’s shop, and she runs a beer parlour,” Kalvin said, and then he left.
One night after Kalvin left I and Chiesa lolled on the couches and tried waiting up for our father for the hell of it. The fact that the courses of our day separated me from Chiesa didn’t mean we weren’t friends at all or that we didn’t talk and have conversations with each other. We did every now and then. But mostly at the end of the day because that was the only time we were alone with each other. During the day I was at the back of the house throwing back flips and breaking my ankle or gallivanting about and picking things up from the ground. Chiesa was mostly with his friends, Ejiro and Moyimi, and most recently, Kalvin. That night we talked about my birthday which was coming up and how it would be since our mother was no longer with us, and then suddenly Chiesa said he watched Mapouka.
“What is mapouka?” I asked him.
“It’s a dance video Kalvin brought to the house to show me and my friends. The name was big ass Mapouka.”
I didn’t have a response to this so I said nothing. He continued anyway.
“The dance is like Awilo’s makossa but women dance it naked with their hands to the floor, they only wear a small wrapper tied on their waist so you can see their pant and their toto.”
I became interested when I heard the word ‘toto’; I knew the word meant vagina. I have heard the bigger boys from block one say “I go fuck that girl toto.” all the time and I read somewhere on a bathroom door in block one that said “Toto is sweet.” I sat up on my elbows and jutted my neck towards where Chiesa laid on the couch with his hands behind his head and his feet crossed at the ankles. I was still young to understand most of what he said to me but I listened to him anyway.
“You need to watch the dance to understand what I’m talking about,” he said, “Kalvin said he would bring it again and he has another video at home, he would bring that too for us to watch.”
“Okay,” I said and lay back down on the couch.
After that he told me another story of how he and his friends used sticks and spark plugs to make nice potato guns but I was not interested in none of that.
The next day after school we all assembled at the parlor and waited on the couches while Kalvin played the tapes he came with as promised.
“Play the Mapouka first for Chiadika, he wants to see that one first,” Chiesa said, to Kalvin.
Moyimi sniggered and nudged Ejiro knowingly as the video started.
‘Mapouka show au Cote d’ivoire’ flashed across the screen and soukous music started playing. The scene opened with a group of women, with scarfs tied around their waist, lined up with their backs facing the camera. At first they shook their behinds mildly to the beat of the drums then the shaking and gyrating progressed into a vigorous bucking of their behind in a sensual and erotic way that sent shivers down my spine. I felt the bulge in my pants and I was gripped with inhibition, I grabbed one of the throw pillows and used it to cover the bulge in my jean shorts and adjusted my sitting position.
“You can remove it now and put the one you said you came with,” Chiesa said.
Kalvin got up from where he sat and walked up to the front where the TV and three-loader CD player sat, with a mischievous smile on his face he said “You people would like this one better than the Mapouka.” He pressed play and then went back to his seat.
The movie started with a lady cat-walking inside a compound. She was wearing a red halter-neck dress with a slit up to her thighs that revealed red lace panties. She climbed upstairs to a flat that looked like a section 8 flat and lolled on the balcony railings, shifting her weight from her right leg to her left leg and shaking her behind in a sexually suggestive manner. ‘Ebony Angels’ flashed on the screen in rainbow colors and then disappeared.
“It’s starting,” Kalvin said and laid back proper on the couch.
Soon a car, an Argos painted Toyota Camry drove into the compound and a heavily built man came out of the car. His was cornrowed. The lady smiled at him and climbed back down the stairs to meet him. Her gait as she walked towards him screamed finesse and she smiled a lot, one leg first, with an extra buck of her hips and then the next leg, slowly until she finally got to him. They smiled at each other lecherously and wouldn’t say anything to each other, they just smiled. Then they started touching each other, and then the two of them started kissing each and fondling each other. As they kissed the man loosed the knot at the back of her neck and the straps fell in front of her, he pulled down her dress to reveal very full breasts and squeezed them. She sucked on his lips and moaned. I adjusted my position again on the chair and applied more pressure on the pillow that was covering the rock hard bulge in my pants.
“She would put it in her mouth,” Kalvin said, he jeered loudly.
“Say God,” said Ejiro, his voice filled with hysteria, “say God”
“God,” Kalvin said, excitedly.
Shortly after the woman went on her knees, takes out the man’s penis and puts it her mouth.
Ejiro jumps up on his seat and said “she put am for her mouth sha” he turns around and tapped Moyimi on the shoulder “You dey watch this thing?”
Moyimi already had his penis out and was stroking it gently; he smiled only to himself and watched with rapt attention. Kelvin had his hands in his pants and one finger in his mouth too, and Chiesa; I couldn’t bring myself to look at him after that, and after that day it became one of those things we couldn’t talk about to each other.
The pornstar kept pleasuring the stud orally until he groaned loudly and shot his semen all over her face. The sight nauseated me. My stomach stirred and I felt liked vomiting. I placed my hand over my mouth and ran to the bathroom; the barf was already in my mouth by the time I got there. I vomited all over the bathroom and even got some on my feet. I retched for a while before rinsing my mouth and mopping the ground with a wet rag I found at a corner at the back of the door, before going back to the parlor.
Nepa struck the moment I took my seat.
“Jesus! Chiesa exclaimed, my daddy would kill us today if he comes back and finds that CD inside there,” he said, he wore a muddled expression on his face “he is going to kill us”
“Calm down, he won’t,” Kalvin said, assuring Chiesa “Give me a screwdriver if you people have let me remove it, it has happened to me many times at home.”
Chiesa went into our room and came back with a black screwdriver that came with our small tiger generator and handed it to Kalvin. Kalvin took it from him and squatted in front of the CD player and after some minutes he removed the cd and held it up for us to see.
“I told you he won’t find out,” He said, grinning.
I look a lot like mother, I had her complexion, her oblong head and her nose, but I had Father’s lips, hands and feet. Chiesa was everything father was. Mother didn’t tell a lie. Chiesa even had interests in architecture and wanted to further his education in that direction. He liked drawing and I heard from Father that when he, our father was still in the university Chiesa drew some of his assignments for him and he passed, even at his tender age. Father told me things like that during the weekends when he was home all day and we both sat on the dining table sharing a bottle of cold beer together. He was like Chiesa too in a way, they both told me things I didn’t understand, but I listened anyway. I always thought those things might be useful for me in the future.
I liked me and father’s occasional conversations and small talk; it wasn’t the normal conversation about school or about my teachers most fathers have with their children. He just talked and I listened to everything he said even though I didn’t understand most of what he said. Like when he said if I wanted to enjoy Kunu I should pour a whole can of peak milk into the bottle, shake very well and then pour into a cup filled with ice cubes. I didn’t even know what Kunu was; I only knew peak milk because that was what our help used in making my tea. Another time father said bitter kolanuts and tom-tom was the best treatment for a throaty cough, and that whenever I ate kerosene mango and drank garri with sugar I should drink palm oil else I would die of food poisoning. Sometimes we just sat in silence and I watched him as he smoked and twisted the beards under his chin into tiny braids and when he wasn’t looking I would grab the beer bottle from the table and take a big gulp of beer.
“Don’t rush it.” Father would say to me, “don’t rush beer like that else your head would knock, learn to hold your liquor.”
I would smile and squirm as I swallowed the gulp down in small quaffs.
We never talked about the whereabouts of our mother, an unspoken rule. Although I knew if I asked where she was he would be real with me and say things like she left him, even though that would make me feel bad. But that was him, our father; he said things as they were and apologized later for how it made you feel, if he really had to.
“I’m tired of rice and chicken,” I said swinging my legs back and forth on the dinning chair I sat on.
“I will cook vegetable soup tonight,”
“So you can cook?”
“Of course I can cook, who do you think fried those delicious yam and plantains you enjoy when you get back from school?”
“I don’t know…, are you the one who cooked the rice and chicken you send to us at night when you aren’t back from work?”
“No, my friend cooks it, don’t worry you would meet her soon. She’s Kalvin’s mother, do you like Kalvin?”
I wanted to say I didn’t like Kalvin because he came to the house to play videos of women shaking their buttocks and other nasty things that made me vomit. But I changed my mind and nodded my head.
Father nodded his head too liked we just closed a deal and took a drag of his cigarette and puffed up a cloud.
I coughed hard. The smoke made my eyes water.
“Go out and play with your friends, this is not for children,” father said and gave me a fifty naira note. “Use it to buy biscuits.”
That night Father cooked Vegetable soup. He said it wouldn’t take more than ten minutes to get done and it didn’t take more than ten minutes to get done. But it was a bit watery and it lacked leaves. According to him the waterleaf he used melted and the heat shrunk the pumpkin leaf. I heard him grumble something that sounded like “your mother does it better.”
When he served dinner that night the eba wasn’t smooth liked the way our mother usually did it and the eba stuck to our hands that we had to use our teeth to scrape it out. The soup was a flood of water with leaves motely on the surface, with three pieces of chicken in it liked boulders in a swamp. The soup was so watery that it ran down my hands to my elbow as I ate. If our mother was around it would have been a sight to see. The eba would be turned so nicely and smoothed with water so well that when served it would look like a golden trophy. The soup would be thicker than a rainforest, leaves and assorted meat in abundance.
We ate in silence, only gulps, sounds of our esophagus retracting and contracting and sounds of smacked lips was heard until we finished. After we finished Chiesa cleared the plates and I mopped the table with a rag. Usually I was the one who cleared the plates and washed them but I broke one too many plates and then broke our father’s favorite bowl. He wasn’t having it anymore and I got the belt. He ordered Chiesa to take over the plate washing while I took over the sweeping and cleaning of the house. Chiesa hated me for it.
After dinner we sat there still, waiting for the food we just ate to go down. Our father took out his pack of cigarette and removed a stick; he hit the butt of the stick on the table before putting the butt in his mouth and lighting it. He took a long drag and I held my breath to see how long he would go before he choked and coughed the smoke out. I almost tire out and gasp for air when I saw it slowly creeping out of his nose, until he puffed and everything came out.
He cleared his throat.
“What do you people think about me marrying a new wife?” He said with smoke coming out of his mouth
“What?” Chiesa said and shot me a glance.
I blinked twice and said nothing.
“Chiesa do you like Kalvin?”
I looked at Chiesa and saw him nod his head and then I looked at our father. He took another drag of his cigarette; I heard the crisp sound of the tobacco burning rapidly. He took the stick out of his mouth and nudged the butt twice with his thumb so the ashes dropped into a Malta Guinness bottle. That was his ashtray, that bottle, and in it was a heap of cigarette butts carcasses.
“Kalvin is the son of the woman I want to get married to, he is going to be your brother.”
“Is our mother not coming back? She told me she would come back,” I said.
I dared to ask the question and as I expected, it cast a pall over our heads. Everybody was mute. The only sounds were that of our eyes blinking and the crisp sound of tobacco burning. Father took a last drag and then put the cigarette butt into the Malta Guinness bottle.
“It’s getting late; the both of you go to bed.”
Father got up and entered into his room.