Catch up on Parts 1 & 2
“Meji, what in the world was that??”
My mom yelled at me as the whole compound was in chaos. Everyone was trying to figure out what was happening after the bomb I had just dropped.
“Why are you yelling at me?
What did I possibly do wrong here?”
I asked in response.
“Are you serious?
You could have picked any other time in the world to say this and you chose now?
That is so selfish!”
I couldn’t believe the words that I was hearing.
I was enraged and I fired back
“You are telling me that because I called out my cousins for something that they have been doing that is clearly wrong, I am selfish?
Or because I did at the wedding?
Because I don’t know how you hear something like that and I am what you are focusing on. Not the lies and secrets we continue to keep as a family.”
My mom took a deep breath and then said
“do you think they didn’t know?
Do you think the whole family is stupid? that nobody saw it all along?
We did but to keep the peace, you learn to mind your own business…to shut up.
Families protect each other to the core. You stand for your family and to the outside world, you give your best impression of your family”
I scoffed and said
“Well, I am sorry mother but our family unit is fucked up. We are liars and abusers and we need to be held accountable, not sweeping it under the rug”
As my last words trailed off, I walked out of the room and slammed the door.
There were people outside, in the hallway, listening to everything that was just said.
I can’t remember exactly where I went but I kept on walking till I was out of the compound.
“Bring one more bottle”
I had downed 5 full bottles of Star, an alcoholic beverage popular in the Nigeria.
The lady serving me was beginning to look concerned that I would not slow down.
“Uncle, śe sure?”
(Uncle, are you sure)
I waved her on and soon she emerged with my drink. As she opened it, it foamed out and I stared at the bottle as the foam trickled down the sides.
I suddenly felt a huge sense of regret and sadness.
I was all alone.
And that moment, I was clothed in style and value but lacking the true substance that made me important.
There was so much that I was angry for that I had channeled the anger at the wrong parties.
Jola deserved her wedding weekend to be spectacular regardless of what had happened years before.
I motioned to the lady and asked for a glass of water.
I downed that very quickly.
And I quickly rose to head back towards the house. As I approached the compound, I noticed cars leaving and people walking out.
It was soon very clear that the traditional proceedings for the wedding had been canceled.
Walking into the house, I began to look for Monsurat. People that were not super close to my family, avoided eye contact and barely said anything as I walked through.
it was as if I was bringing the darkness.
I finally arrived at the living room. It was filled with senior members of our family.
One of my grandmother’s brothers, motioned to me and said
“Meji, joko sibi”
(Come sit down or sit down here)
I dragged my feet and I sat.
My mother would not make eye contact with me. I could tell she was disappointed. My aunt, Bunmi, had stopped crying.
My granduncle, also known as Baba Agba opened with a Yoruba proverb
“Eyin kule lota wa, inu ile laseni ugbe”
(The enemy is in the backyard but the executor of his plan lives in the house)
“It is very clear that the devil is trying to steal the joy of this family on what should be a glorious occasion. And sadly, we almost allowed him to succeed.
I have heard some of the details of the accusations and they are grave, very grave. In some parts of this country, people are killed for such things.
But today, Mjwe will speak to truth and speak to unity as a family.
Jolade, tell us what happened”
Since I had walked into the room, Jola had stayed silent.
I am not sure what emotions she was juggling but she finally opened her mouth and said
“I am deeply saddened by what has happened here.
Not just today but within our family. We let this happen. Not the devil.
….My family has always walked around like it was better than all of the others in this family and that is clearly not the truth. We are much more broken than we are ever willing to admit.”
She paused and lifted her teary eyes up. Her makeup was ruined and she sniffled then continued
“Mj, did not lie. He spoke on the truth he knows about.
One thing is for sure MJas a lot to be angry about. Juwon and I did some despicable things as children. Some out of naivety but others frankly out of evil and jealously for Mj.
But one thing Juwon and I never did was have sex with each other.
That never happened but we forced Mj and someone else to have sex with each other, while we watched and laughed”
Gasps across the room.
Jola cried harder.
“there is not much I want to say further but humbly as for your forgiveness Mj.
It is all I can ask for and I hope you find it in your heart to forgive me and my brother”
I didn’t realize it but I was already in tears.
I wanted to walk over to Jola and give her a hug but I chose not to. There were more tears around the room and then I responded and said
“Hola, I am sorry also for how I acted this weekend in taking the focus away from a beautiful union.
You deserve love and peace and I am hoping that we can get you married to start the next chapter of your life”
She rose and walked over to me.
As we hugged, my eyes closed and I heard applause around the room.
As she walked back to her seat, I cleared my throat and said
“I am somewhat glad this came out. It has been a burden on my chest and weighed me down for years.
But there is something else I would love to share with you all, now that I have all our family here…. I am in love with Monsurat”
The gasps this time were louder.
Monsurat, standing closest to the door, was shocked and rightfully so. I had not informed her that I was going to do that and frankly I didn’t know I was going to do that either.
I looked at her with her mouth ajar and in one move, she turned and bolted out of the room.
I mean, she ran so fast. I couldn’t believe it.
I was shocked and so was everyone else in the room. And in true asshole fashion, I heard someone snicker.
I turned to my right and it was Juwon.
I don’t know what happened but something snapped in me, I noticed a bottle of Mirinda on the table, I grabbed it and smashed it on Juwon’s head.
He was knocked unconscious and everyone in the room stood up and ran away from me.
The bottle broke and the butt of it was still in my hand, everyone cleared out of the way as I stormed out of the living room and into the back house.
As I sat in one of the rooms, I cried.
Hours passed by and people tried to come and console me.
I couldn’t believe it.
Why did she run?
How could she run then?! After all we had been through?
I must have cried for 5hours straight because when I finally opened my eyes, it was nighttime.
I had been awoken by a sound of keys, someone trying to enter the room I had locked myself in.
The door flung open and with the rays of fluorescent light coming through the blinds, I noticed for big men walk into the room.
The grabbed me and proceeded to punch and kick me.
They beat me till I was bleeding and almost unconscious. And then they left but not before locking the door back.
I sat there coughing up blood.
But knowing fully well that it was my blood that had called the hit on my life.
We’ll you’d have to come for Part 4 to find out. 😊 LEAVE ME A COMMENT & ANSWER THE POLL!!!!
It’s Part 3 of The Man, The Shadow: Diary of a Lost Soul by The Wordsmith @adewus4real
PART 4 drops next Saturday!
Thank you for reading and commenting. You are highly appreciated.
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