“Unaware”- 3


Tayo got to the office on  Monday morning feeling less than refreshed and ready for work. For the first time in months, he truly pitied his wife, Ibimina. He had not realised that Tami, his daughter had become more than a hand’s full. It seemed it was easier to love from afar instead of involving himself emotionally. Once again, he wondered why Tami was different from other children.

Once upon a time, he had appreciated that she was different from most babies in the sense that she was way more prettier. She had been his pride and Joy. He enjoyed the attention he got whenever he carried her around, everyone wanted to carry her and mothers booked  her as their future daughter in-law. She was extremely fair like a tanned albino but without spot, her hazel eyes never failing in capturing  his heart each time she stared at him. Tami had been a playful  adorable baby who gave and enjoyed attention, never selective of anyone carrying her. But now, what could he say about his supposed little Jewel?

Tayo suddenly felt overwhelmed by everything going on his life.  “How can I stop myself from hating my own daughter” He cried out.  For the first time in years he burst out in genuine tears when he thought about his family. Even though he was married, he  felt as if he wasn’t, even though he was a father, he felt as if he did not have a child. Ibimina’s full attention was on Tami and Tami’s attention was on something unknown while he stood alone with nobody to care for him.

He began to weep like a child, lost in thoughts, grief and tears. In his tears he watched as  bubbles of joy, laughter and happy ever after ending that he had envisaged when he got married burst into the nothingness of space.

“Tayo come over here”. He heard a female voice call his name with so much familiarity and boldness. Surprised that anyone but his wife or mother would call him like that, he raised his head quickly, forgetting to wipe the tears off his face. His gaze eventually fell on Munachi from the Branding and Marketing department. He had not heard her come into his office but he knew she had probably come to give an update on a project. He became self conscious and then embarassed that a younger colleague had seen him cry like a child. He was going to tell her to return later but her warm smile and open arms encouraged him to move his feet towards her. He was pleasantly surprised when he wrapped his large frame around her. He had not imagined he would derive so much comfort from her small frame. He cried some more as she whispered calm words to his ears till he was finally able to control the tears.

When he finally  un-squeezed her from his fierce embrace, he felt more foolishly embarrassed for taking comfort from a colleague who happened to be a junior staff. He felt too embarassed to look into her eyes, so he backed her. “Please leave. I’ll return the document directly to your line manager”. He said stiffly

She laughed. “Sir. You don’t have to be embarrassed, sooner or later we’ll have to face each other again. For work sake please let’s just deal with this embarrassment once and for all, not that I think you should be embarassed. Anyways, I’ll leave now to come back in 10 mins”.

He heard the sound of her shoe move towards the door then pause. She spoke again “By the way it is not a big deal to cry, we’ll not be human if we are unable to express our hurts through tears. In my opinion it is better to cry out than to bottle it up only to drive ourselves to the brink  of madness”.

He didn’t turn away from the wall until he heard the door close behind her. He could not help but smile. “I like her. 

Ibimina had been that way before they got married and definitely before Tami came into the picture. It was one of the major things that had attracted him to her in the first place; her boldness and wittiness. But these days all she did was cry, nag and kill him with complaints.


Tami liked the receptionist in her school, her name was Ms.Zara. Tami liked her because she had stars in her eyes and a peaceful breeze around her. Tami tried to smile when she saw Ms.Zara enter into her class but ended up biting herself and running to the back of the class.

“Tami Tami Tami” Ms. Zara squealed on sighting Tami before she began to chase her round the small class.

Tami  laughed. She liked  when Ms.Zara ran after her.

“Okay Tami enough of the running,  I have a new song for you, come closer”.  She beckoned to her,

Hey, diddle, diddle,
The cat and the fiddle,
The cow jumped over the moon;
The little dog laughed
To see such sport, And the dish ran away with the spoon.

Tami liked Ms.Zara fruity voice. She liked when Ms.Zara sang to her, so she sang along.

Zara loved playing with Tami, she watched her little face brighten with Joy when she demonstrated the part of the nursery rhyme where the dish ran away with the spoon. She repeated the song until Tami was able to grasp the tune. For a brief second she wondered what  the composer of the song was thinking of when she wrote down the lyrics, she laughed. Just as that thought passed, another came to her mind. She wondered if  Tami’s mum took time to play with Tami. The woman never smiled or interacted with anyone except  for the cursory good mornings whenever she dropped Tami off in the morning.

“Tami I have to go back to the reception, I’ll sing for you again tomorrow. Okay?” She said to the little child. “Tami please smile”

It was hard for Zara to leave especially because of the frown that had now appeared on Tami’s face. Even though Tami never smiled or came to her whenever she played with her, she could tell the child was happy whenever she came to her class . Tami was just a child who expressed her emotions very differently and today she had progressed to resting on her laps without even realising it .

Tami felt unhappy when Ms.Zara waved at her, she knew Ms.Zara was about to leave. She did not want Ms.Zara to go but she did not know how to tell her to stay. She wanted to follow her; she wanted to continue hear her sing ; she wanted to see her shake her head side to side when she played with her, but Ms.Zara continued to walk away from her and that made her very sad.

Just as Zara got to the door, Tami began to scream.  Zara watched the girl who had been singing happily a few second ago bite herself hard without flinching .
She was afraid that if anyone asked what was wrong, the teachers might implicate her by saying “The child was okay before until Ms.Zara started to play with her and then the girl got upset and began to scream”. No one would mention that Tami sang and was happy during that time.

 “Leave me alone” She cried but no one heard her.
Tami got more agitated as many hands touched her and so she continued to scream. Unfortunately, they were unaware of the message that was being passed in her tantrum.

“Leave her alone!” A firm voice eventually shouted from behind.

Tami was relieved when she heard her mum’s voice.  At least her mum would save her from the trauma of the many fingers that touched her while she sulked that her Ms.Zara had stopped singing to her when she still wanted to sing and play.

“Please come Ms.Zara, Please come play with me. I will let you hug me, I promise”. Tami whispered in her heart, but once again, they were unaware of the message she passed.

Thanks for reading. Be kind to drop a comment.

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