“I have been thinking.” He said.
“About what?” I asked.
“About you coming to work at my company?” He replied.
“Your company?” I asked, dropping the polymeric spoon on my plate.
“But you know I have no degree or any qualification at all.” I said, frowning.
He made a sigh and said: “I know, I know, but since you won’t take any financial help from me, it’s better you come work for me then.” This was not the first time we have had this conversation. I had refused the money he gave me to rent an apartment for Dare and myself after I told him about my supposed mother being my aunty.
“You can work as my personal assistant, I will teach you all you need to know plus it won’t be a bad idea having you around me all the time.” He smiled and I also smiled at the thought of that. But won’t people start to talk? I was thinking. If there was one thing I have learnt in all my life, it was to never care about what people out there have to say about you. I was my own person and my life was mine.
“How soon can I start?” I asked excitedly. I usually fight him in nearly everything.
“Wow! Are you seriously going to do it?” He asked. He was more excited for me but I should be the one thanking him anyways.
“Only on one condition, you will treat me like every one of your other workers… okay?”
“That’s fine, anything for you Lola.” We shook hands across the table as if we were business partners. He paid for our meal and we set out to go back home.
Upon getting to my house, we kissed good bye and I went in. I could hear some commotion coming from around my house. And when I heard my mother’s voice, I increased my pace.
“Kate, please don’t do this to me, your mother.” She said. I badged into our living room to find Kate holding a knife to her wrist.
“What is going on here?” I asked as I dropped my purse on the floor. As soon as my mother saw me, she ran towards me crying. “I don’t know what has come over her; please help me talk to her.” She said softly like a girl of my age.
“Mama, please calm down.” I said to her as I moved closer to where Kate was standing, still holding the knife to her wrist. Kate began to move backwards saying, “Don’t come any closer or I will do it.” She was panting and ranting so hard. In fact, I could see the fear in her reddened eyes. “Kate, talk to me. You don’t have to do that, Mama and I are here for you.” I pleaded.
She laughed. “Do you think I want to be like you?” She asked. “This thing inside of me.” She pointed the knife to her now growing stomach. “I want it out!” She yelled.
“Dayo is not coming back Lola, what am I going to do with my life now?” She started crying.
“Kate, you know you are not feeling too well, so how about we talk this out without the knife honey?”
“You know what she did to you when you got pregnant and after Bolu left you.” She said looking at our mother. “I will not be subjected to that.” Oh, I saw what the problem was. Kate did not want to go through what I went through in the hands of our mother.
“Kate!” My mother exclaimed. “I would never do such a thing to you, you are my daughter.” She cried out.
“She was your daughter too Mama and you treated her like your slave!” Kate yelled. This was a matter between mother and daughter. I would have allowed them to talk it out but Kate still held on dearly to the knife.
“Kate look at me, am I not fine?” I asked her. She looked away not wanting to hear what I was saying to her. “Am I not strong? Have you ever heard me complain about my giving birth to Dare? Have you, even with everything that has happened?” I asked her. She still wasn’t paying attention to me. I walked closer to her.
“Yes, it has been hard without having his father around but I have been strong for the both of us. You can do the same for yourself and your child.” I stood in front of her. I took a daring step of pulling the knife away from her hands and she did not resist. She gently gave the knife away and began to sob. I walked her to a lounger, held her close to me, resting her head on my shoulders. I kept rocking her back and forth like a baby in the crib. Those were all the things I wished someone had done for me when I found out I was carrying Bolu’s child. Of course, I never thought of harming the child but I understood every little pain Kate was feeling.
“What am I going to do now Lola?” She was crying so loud, I joined along. My mother was at a corner praying to God for delivering Kate from the hands of the devil that inhibited her body for those few minutes.
“You will be fine baby girl, I promise?” I said. “But you have to be strong for your baby, okay?”
Later that day, my mother thought we should inform Dayo’s parents about Kate’s pregnancy, maybe they would be able to talk some sense into their son. I totally went against it. Dayo should never see the baby as a reason for him to reconcile with Kate, if he still loves her, he would call her without ever knowing that there was a baby involved. I told my mother, and I told her not to inform anyone. I refused to let my sister be stuck in a loveless relationship or marriage.
“Mama, what are you doing self?” I asked.
“What do you mean?” She replied back.
“Can’t you help your dear daughter raise her child so she can go on with her life? She still has school to finish.”
“Kate you know I have a shop to keep and……” She said, dragging her words.
“And so what?” I asked.
“Mama, I have said all I know. Whatever you want to do now, go and do it!” I hissed as I went into my room.