Oviyon and Mautin’s dad is my aunt’s husband, and I call him my uncle. I am a cousin to the kids but can fit into an aunt, if you know what I mean. My uncle is comfortably rich and very generous. He wishes to have disciplined children but spares them the rod of punishment always – I wonder how that works.

If you deny Oviyon what he requests for, the neighbourhood would not rest the entire day. He will continue screaming until you give him what he needs the way he demanded. And his dad sees nothing wrong with that.

“I am not going to be a part of this” I had told my uncle. I used to think Mautin has more courtesy being the older one until she walked up to me one day:

“Anty, why is it that you don’t help mummy to do anything in the house. All you do is sit right there and enjoy what she cooks. I hope you’ll soon return to your house, never to come here again”

I was shocked beyond expectation. If I were told something of this manner by someone my age, I wouldn’t have spared her a breath. I couldn’t remember any child that dare behave this way in my childhood. Again, I feel she must have heard her mum mention it somewhere.

I remember the last time I asked Mautin why she stopped attending the school down the street, just as we were approaching the building, she replied.

“They’ve been teaching us rubbish”. It was so loud that the Proprietress heard her. When I reported Mautin’s statement to my aunt that day, she was filled with shock. I discovered it was my aunt’s exact expression in the past. So, I have a feeling that her mum must have said something about me.

Anyways, this line of narration can wait till another time. The episode that transpired between my aunt’s husband and I happened when he returned from work that evening and my aunt and the kids were out.

“Welcome sir”

Nawe?” he said to me in his usual custom. Nawe is an Ogu word for how are you? And he encourages me to pick up some words from him. The Ogu people (popularly called Egun) live predominantly in Lagos (Badagry, Epe, Ikorodu) and some parts of Ogun State Nigeria.

“Dagbewe” I replied, meaning I’m good

As instructed by my aunt, I quickly dished his food and served it on the dinning table as usual. It was his favourite; Akpanran (a starchy food like fufu) and Obe ila (Okro soup).

“Thank you so much Feranmi, what would we have done without you?”

“You’re welcome sir” I said and turned to go back to the kitchen, but he wasn’t done with me yet.

“You always wash the plates, make sure we have water in the reservoir, sweep and put the house in order. May God bless you abundantly” he concluded

“Amen” I echoed with my legs itching to go. I moved quickly to the kitchen. This is the only time I have to myself. I can watch movies and read novels without unnecessary intermissions from my aunt. I moved as fast as I could to get my body and soul together, but that intention was aborted the very minute it was conceived.

“Feranmi !”

“Sir” I replied. Jumping right to the door, I made my way back to him.

“Sit down there” he said to me with his mouth full, giving out an irritating sound. I thought this to be very disgusting and ill mannered of him to have done that. Never talk with food in your mouth was a golden rule crested in my heart and those of my siblings by my father. My dad will never do this nor accept it from anyone – never. Sometimes you don’t know how much you’ve imbibed until an occasion arises.

Anyways, I comported myself, trying so hard to hide my irritation, awaiting his reason for calling me.

“Feranmi”

“Sir”

“How old are you again?”

“I’m 19, sir”

“Do you have a boyfriend?”

“No sir”

“Why?”

“It’s not right to have one sir”

I hope Ben doesn’t get to hear this, he will break up with me that very moment. But, I’ve got to say what I’ve got to say. This is what he wants to hear.

“wow! Fantastic! Your parents must be proud of you”

“Yes, they are. Thank you, sir”

For the next 3-5 minutes, I practically watched him swallow every cut of Akpanran until the very last. All this while, it was dead quiet, and I didn’t know how to get myself out of the awkward situation that as soon as he was done, I jumped on my feet to clean up the table.

“Don’t worry. You can do that when we are done” he said washing his hands and wiping it thereafter. I reversed my steps in the opposite energy with which I stood.

“You see, Feranmi. You are no longer a child.”

“Yes sir” I responded to cover the deafening silence that followed his statement.

“Sooner or later, you will get married. Make sure you satisfy your husband to the latter…”

I really do not know where this conversation is coming from nor where it is headed but I stayed calm!

“One of the things that makes or destroys your marriage is sex, you have to be careful and experimental”

I opened my mouth to say ‘yes sir’ as usual, but nothing came out, so, I tried to close the mouth at least, but I failed at that too – my mouth remained so, till the end of the sermon.

“Now listen to this” he punctured without leaving his seat. I begin to look away because I don’t know what to expect anymore. I was however a bit at peace because there was no attempt to leave his seat – or should I not be?

“Do some kegels with your husband in bed. He will love them. You know what kegels are right?

I was taken aback. What and what with your husband in bed ke! I was freaking out but nodded in response hoping he won’t ask me to say what kegels are because I really don’t know. Plus, I want to get out of this conversation already.

“Do some of those with him”. I was totally lost and very uncomfortable at this point and he must have noticed because he quickly added.

“That’s when you get married Feranmi. That’s all…”

“Yes sir” I finally responded, standing up to get rid of the used plates and of course myself.

“Thanks for all you do” I heard him say on my way to the kitchen. In there, I washed all used plates at once. I knew he was still in the sitting room and I can’t make my way to the room without getting seen. I have become so shy and scared at the same time. I wasn’t sure of what can happen next.

Just then, I heard the main door open and I advised my legs to move.
I got to the room, bolted the door and sat down to think about the entire scenario. So, I thought it wise to read up kegels at the very least. First, I discovered it’s an exercise;

To do it excellently, I need to try out a little experiment in identifying the correct muscles. When next I sit down to urinate, I’ll start off normally, and then, tighten the muscles in the pelvic floor to stop the flow of urine. These are the muscles needed to perform Kegel exercises. After identifying the correct muscles, all I need do to perform the exercises is simply contracting and relaxing the appropriate muscles…”.

While at this, the idea of doing it with my husband in bed keeps popping and it totally confuses me. Just then, a knock at my door got me frozen…

Hang on for the next chapter please…

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Author

Rebecca Maulome Padonu is an enthusiastic writer with a soft spot for factions. A RubyWrites 2016 finalist. She has completed several freelance writing projects, including BBC Media Action’s Drama series, Story Story (series 32 & 33).

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