“Sister Tope… Sister Tope…” the voice whispered softly as quivering fingers tapped at her.
Tope flinched and stretched sleepily on the small bed she shared with her younger sister.
“What is it?” she asked, not bothering to mask
the irritation she felt at being disturbed. She picked up her mobile phone from underneath the solo pillow that graced the upper part of their threadbare mattress. The screen read 2:11am.
“Can’t you see what time it is? 2 o’clock!”
There was no answer.
“Kemi what is it?” Tope quizzed again, eager to go back to bed.
“Em… Em… I… It wasnt my fault” Kemi stuttered, looked at her sister’s silhouette, glad that the only source of light was the moonlight through the thin curtain.
Tope let out a loud hiss. “Is that why you woke me up at this time of the night? I thought you were going to hide it forever”
Kemi’s eyes widened. “So… So you know?”.
“Ofcourse I know! You broke one of mommy’s special ceramic plates, and went to throw it away. I expected you to tell mommy. As if she wouldn’t discover it tomorrow” another hiss escaped her lips.
“No not that… I…” Kemi struggled to swallow the lump of fear that had materialised in her throat. “I think I am pregnant…”
The silence echoed. This was the part wherethe ground would snap open and swallow her. It didnt. Male mosquitoes sang in her ears instead.
“Kemi… You’ve had another bad dream havent you? Go back to bed” Tope broke the silence, visibly shaken, “stop joking about such things”
“I told him I didnt want to do it, that I’d get pregnant. He said nothing would happen. I tried to stop him…” Kemi continued in a shaky voice.
Silence hung above them like their aged ceiling fan.
“Sister Tope, what should I do? Daddy would kill me!”
“Shut up! Didnt you know before you did it? My God! How could you even let a boy…” Tope’s voice trailed off. She couldn’t afford to let her parents hear them from the next room. She shuddered at the thought. Questions chased each other accross her mind in search of answers. Who would believe Kemi knew anything? Her 17year old sister. The innocent little daddy’s girl. And now she had to play big sister. She suddenly didnt fancy the role.
She could imagine what would happen. For a moment, she was furious. Her parents’ fingers would certainly point to her. “You see why I said you shouldn’t wear trousers? Your sister would copy your example and do worse”. Or… “Where was Tope?”. Worse still that silent but pregnant stare that seemed to say “Nothing stays hidden for long, better confess before you get caught too”. Her fury soon turned to pity, then helplessness
“Who is the guy?” she finally asked.
“Uncle Lanre, ‘corpashaun’.”
“My God!” Tope exclaimed.
The light switched on. The girls turned.
Their mother stood at the door, arms folded.
The girls gasped.
The room fell silent.
The ground didn’t snap open.
Outside, crickets chirped.