“What the fuck do you mean my brother?”
I snarled as the car had just pulled up on the side of the road.
“I am sorry to say this sir, but from my findings it appears that your brother and your fiancée have been in a sexual relationship for sometime now.”
Lawyer Williams replied.
I couldn’t believe what I was hearing.
What do you mean by findings?”
My mother jumped in and said,
“Since I had known that your father was going to pass, I made sure to look into every individual joining our family.
Since you two were going to get married, I had her looked into. There wasn’t a lot on her; seems like she is an orphan, but she has been supported by a family that we know.”
Still in absolute shock, I said,
“Wow, this is crazy.
So in all the research, they couldn’t find out that we hadn’t been having sex?”
My mom chuckled and said,
“Adetomiwa, do you expect us to not assume that you two were doing all sorts of things? From all the traveling and posting pictures, I frankly assumed that you both were very in love with each other –
…okay maybe not love but at least deeply attracted to each other.”
I sighed and turned my head to the left, looking out the window.
This was just too much.
“How sure are you that it belongs to my brother?”
“With 99% certainty, sir.”
My head dropped and my mother put her left hand around my back.
“I am sorry, son.”
I started to cry. Maybe it lasted a few minutes or maybe longer but I was so tired.
This was too much in a short span. I just wished I was in bed acting like the last few months had never even happened.
In that moment, I became annoyed with my father. His death, his insistence that I marry Ivie and my love for making him proud had all contributed to this unfortunate situation that I couldn’t figure a way out of.
As I battled the sniffles and gathered myself, I asked,
“Where is Adesuwa’s body?”
Lawyer Williams turned around to look at me and said,
“Taken care of.”
I glanced at my mom and then at him.
“Taken care of?”
He nodded slowly and looked at my mom.
“What are you guys up to?”
My mother spoke,
“We have notified her parents and made arrangements for a funeral.
My team of investigators and the police will get to the bottom of it. Don’t worry yourself and none of it will blow back on you.”
I was dumbfounded.
My mom told the driver to start driving and then I spoke.
“What is there to investigate? Ivie pulled the trigger.
She should be arrested and find out what the hell is going on here.”
My mom smiled and then got serious,
“Her father just motioned for a board vote. Along with all of this happening, it is safe to say that we are playing a bigger game here. And I won’t lose. Nor will I let us lose.
Let us handle it and watch me work… driver take us home. Let me call the house, so they can prepare you some food.”
It was the first time I tasted my spit. It was thick and bitter.
My appetite for food was gone; for revenge though, palpable.
All of my siblings had made it to Lagos by the next morning. Except my brother, obviously.
I had just come from a run down the street. My mom had the gateman run behind me just to make sure another set of eyes were present.
The run cleared my head and I felt a little bit lighter.
“Dejo, when dem build the house across the street there?”
I asked him as we stretched in front of the gate.
“Ah, oga maybe like 4 months now. I hear say them even import all the furniture from abroad.”
He laughed as he saw me laugh.
“Dejo, how you know say na from abroad?”
I teased him.
He flashed his big smile and replied,
“Me and their gateman dey watch ball together. Both of us be Chelsea fans, so we dey watch game together.”
I remember teasing him that Chelsea was not that good, as we entered the compound.
Cars were lined up.
My sisters were around.
As I entered the living room, I gave hugs and greeted everyone.
It was clear that what was troubling us was very different.
They were there for answers.
I was too, but to very different questions.
I went upstairs to take a shower while everyone got ready for breakfast.
I could smell the eggs as I returned some minutes later.
The table was set with yam and eggs with tea, juice and wine. There was also bread because Kehinde somehow didn’t like yam; weird because she ate so much of it as a child.
We all sat down and started eating.
The elephant in the room was waiting to be addressed, especially with our father’s pictures hanging from every corner of the house.
But unlike when we were kids, and couldn’t talk while eating at the table, everyone seemed to yap away including my mom.
As the table was cleared after the meal, my mom began to speak.
“So I know there was a lot that was said during the will reading. I know you all probably have questions, but let me assure you that I will do my best to answer truthfully and to the best of my knowledge.”
As she paused, my older sister Yewande asked,
“I think I speak for all of us here when I ask, was all the information from the will reading true?
Was Daddy not our father?”
My mother sipped from her coffee, placed the mug down, locked both sets of her fingers into each other and placed them on her lap. She looked up and said,
It was as if the whole room let out a sigh of relief.
Not at the news exactly but at the truth being spoken.
“Years ago, your father found out he was unable to have his own kids after a checkup. He had gotten very ill and we thought we were going to lose him.
We had just gotten married and everything seemed bleak. We went to a doctor in Amsterdam and it was there we found out his count was too low and he may never be able to have children.
Your father took it hard but it was no real fault of his. It was genetic.
Talking to his mother, he found out that your grandfather had the same issues, but turned to traditional medicine and some dark magic stuff.
Your father was never that type of man. He was…”
Taiwo’s phone began ringing out and my mother temporarily paused as we all gave her the stink eye.
My mother smiled and gracefully continued,
“He was never going to go that route. He believed that everything he did came from God and he had worked hard to become who he was. He was confident that he deserved whatever he got from God.
Even I in my naive mind, I tried to convince him to let us try “alternatives”
He knew that I wanted children and I knew he did too, despite the fact that he could not have his own.
One day, after almost 5 years of being married, he came to me with a proposition.
Your father had spoken to him on one of their boys trips and he offered to father the children.
I remember cursing out your father and even leaving the house for weeks.
I was so disappointed.
I never even allowed him to explain that the eggs would be artificially inseminated. When he finally told me, I battled with it for months before I finally agreed.
We went to see a consultant in Germany and then the team that did the job was in Italy.
No real questions asked.
Once I had you Inumidun, your father was the happiest man in the world. The way he loved on you was amazing.
I had never seen a man show that much love before, even though I was confident that he loved me.
When I had you Tomiwa…”
She paused and smiled hard.
“Anuoluwatomiwa, that was the name we chose. Your father’s family would ultimately pressure him into Adetomiwa but we knew what we chose and what it stood for.
But once we had you, the man was even more in love. He was crazy about you and your sister. No one could touch you anyhow. People had to wash their hands and if he felt their energy was off, he wouldn’t even let them near you.
It was so beautiful.
That summer, he went on his boys’ trip and came back with your brother. Knowing his situation, I was sure he didn’t get some woman pregnant but I couldn’t explain where the child was from.
He claimed to have seen him at an orphanage on a business trip and then brought him home. We named him Ayokunle because in all honesty, he brought more joy to the house.
The way Inumidun and Tomiwa took to him, it was perfect. We had the money, too much of it; who was I to stop us from taking in more children and blessing them.
We thought about having one more kid. I wanted a girl to balance the equation. Miraculously, after the eggs were inserted, we found out we were having twins.
I was overjoyed and so grateful we had kept Kunle. 3 girls, 2 boys – all from this womb.
I was grateful to God. “
She sipped her coffee before continuing,
“About 10 years after the twins were born, your ‘biological father’ passed away. He never wanted the limelight or money; despite that, your father ensured that he was an honorary member of the company and his family still gets payouts yearly. They are disguised as dividends from the company.
Telling you who he was was now moot.
However, your father planned to tell you this year. Late last year, he was diagnosed with stage 4 prostate cancer.
It deteriorated fast, even though outwardly he was our warrior.
He never got the chance to explain, but that is the story. You all know how much he loved you.
If you will be upset with him, take it up with me as well. We are one team and we made every decision together.
You are OUR children.”
The twins started crying once my mom finished.
As you can imagine, it was a lot.
But I felt such great relief.
He never lied to us, he just never got to telling us the truth as we would understand it.
I respected him for it.
We all got up and hugged my mom.
We didn’t need the follow up questions. We knew who our father was and that was enough for us.
As we broke away, my older sister said,
“Where is Kunle?”
Teary eyed, my mother went into strategist mode.
“He’ll be with us soon. He was handling some important family business for me.”
I left and went up to the room I was staying in.
Laying on the bed and facing the ceiling with my arms spread wide on the bed, I kept thinking.
What exactly I was thinking about, I am still not sure.
Suddenly, it clicked.
I needed to get to the bottom of the Ivie and Kunle thing. Plus, why did Adesuwa pull a weapon on me?
I got up and headed to the reading table.
Adesuwa’s phone was dead. I plugged it in and waited for a few minutes. Soon enough, it lit up.
I played with a few variations and then I tried her card PIN number which she had shared with me many years ago.
Oh my luck.
What I was about to see would show me that luck was nothing compared to the grace that saved my life.
IVIE: “The man will bring it to you.”
ADESUWA: I have never used one before, outside of a shooting range.
IVIE: It’s totally fine. Cook. Have sex with him. Once he is sleeping, you do it. We will come and pick up the body.
ADESUWA: Ok. But when will the money be transferred?
IVIE: A quarter has been moved. Half within 24 hours of completion and the remaining quarter after 30 days to avoid any suspicions.
ADESUWA: And you are sure this won’t come back to either of us?
My mouth was completely ajar as I read this full exchange between Adesuwa and Ivie.
I couldn’t even believe it.
My heart was shattered.
I couldn’t imagine what Ivie could possibly have said or offered Adesuwa that would make her willing to kill me.
My head was hurting and the betrayal was unlike anything I had ever experienced.
I was in so much pain, I never came out of my room for the rest of the day. I spent most of my time crying and sleeping.
The next morning, I got woken up by a call from a long time friend.
I didn’t know the number and I must have answered while half asleep. He just called to check in, but it was good to connect with someone from my regular life and remind me of some normalcy that I once had.
As I lay there, there was a knock on the door.
“Who is it?”
It was my older sister.
“Mom wants you downstairs now.”
It felt like a school morning. I tossed for a few minutes before coming down.
As I walked down the stairs, the living room went quiet.
Emerging from the stairway, I noticed Kunle and Ivie sitting next to each other.
“What the fuck are they doing here?”
I asked broadly while almost charging at them.
Kunle stood up. Ready for whatever, he was the type.
My mother and lawyer Williams tried to calm me down.
They led me to sit down.
I stared at them for a minute and then I said,
“Ivie, I just want to know why.
She looked down at her hands and then said,
“I am sorry. I really am.
I didn’t mean any harm.”
I was boiling
You didn’t mean any harm by sleeping with my brother and getting pregnant for him?
My sisters gasped.
“Oh you guys didn’t know?
Well I just found out too and not even from you! So please tell us how you meant no harm?”
Kunle jumped in and said,
“Let me explain.”
I stood up and snapped,
Don’t you say a fucking word ‘cos I swear, I will rip you apart with my bare hands.
Let her explain to us. You were supposed to be family, but I guess you are just useless and stupid.”
He postured but he knew I could probably take him.
“Come on Ivie, tell us why you decided to fuck my brother for YEARSSSS and then try to have me killed?”
Kunle was shocked.
He turned to her in shock and said,
“Ivie tell me he’s making this up.”
My mother was standing and reading to charge.
The whole house felt like it was about to collapse.
“Fucking tell us!!!!”
I yelled at her.
She was beginning to sob. Kunle was shocked to his core.
My guess is that he never knew the extent of her plans.
Before she could talk, Dejo ran into the house and said in the direction of my mother,
Come see something for gate.”
“Dejo, what is it?”
She asked like he was being a nuisance.
He, panting, said,
“Madam, na wetin I never see in my life.
We saw the concern in his eyes and reluctantly we all followed.
We got to the gate and he pressed the controls to get it opened.
As it peeled open, what stood on the other side was unlike anything I had ever seen in my life.
I looked around as mouths and jaws were on the floor.
The WhatTheHeckMan couldn’t even be said.
All that stood on the paved concrete of Lagos was my father’s coffin.
Yes, you read that right.
The coffin my old man was buried with in Ibadan was right in front of our home in Ikoyi.
My mother was right. This was war.
But this was never the type of blow we expected.
What the actual fuck, man?
End of Part 3.
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