Brother James ati Sister Rebecca (II)

by ahjotnaija

Iya Children visited one evening. It was not an unusual visit. She had always visited and talked about many things with Moomi, while we children sat and listened in on their conversation. Iya Children is Iya Children because she had nine children for her husband Baba Adeniji. To the adults in the church and community. To us children, he was Baba Children. He earned that name because Iya Children was his wife. Actually, Iya Children was Iya Children because she was the Children Coordinator in the church among other offices her weight in the church added to her personality. In our house, she was Moomi after Moomi; a grandmother indeed and in action.

There was a day I wanted to die. It was her house Moomi carried me to; to not die at home, at least. Who knows if the gbekude fortification that kept me alive since after the abiku suspicion of early childhood has expired and the Grace of God upon which Moomi relied thereafter, was now not enough or had never worked? In any case, if I was not to live, it should happen in a place where all must have been tried to keep me alive.

So, Iya Children visited that evening to discuss Sister Rebecca. I had fallen asleep before the conversation started, so that I needed not be sent into the room like other children. The core of the conversation went like this: Mo ma ti salaye fun Rebecca pe James o ma gbodo ku. Rebecca daju bi ose ni. Odabi pe koribe ni sa. Mio sa tun le ma sofun wi pe James fejo re sunmi. Ehn, Iya Sunday, Se ori James ni wi pe oti ku kikida orun ati eegun?! Ehn, Iya Sunday.

Apparently, Brother James had reported his wife that she only fed him, when and what she wanted. She bought him food from foodsellers on the streets, fed him bread and beans, not home-cooked while she Rebecca sat in the kitchen to prepare. She had no time, she was busy. Very busy. Her bread market, her cloth selling markets, her customers, her more pressing business deals. No time to be a wife or housewife. No time.

There were times Brother James wore rough shirt to church services, rougher than when he was an unmarried single bachelor and only a Church Coordinator. Now that he was Substantial Pastor, a position added to his coordinating job of the Ifelodun Church, this branch now upgraded to a more senior church in the Church of Christ. And then a married man! All these, in his opinion and that of Iya Children and Moomi, made him even more deserving of a wife that saw and understood his condition and need for good food and care.

Not that we children noticed any change for worse in Brother James really; at least not until Iya Children came to talk about Sister Rebecca and how she intervened to appeal for change in Sister Rebecca towards her husband. Not that he deserved to be Sister Rebecca’s husband anyways.

There was also that part of the conversation that was not meant for the ears of children. But since I was asleep and the other children were in their room, they could talk about sex between the couple without worry. They, Brother James and Sister Rebecca, had hardly any beautiful communication that did not end in good quarrel. Sex was a major issue.

Was she starving him of sex too? Moomi asked. Could they not sleep with each other or what is this nitori Olohun?! But why is Rebecca like this for God’s sake?!

Iya Sunday, Se gbogbo nkan timo nso koye e ni latekan? Ibi ti James ti bere oro gaan niyen! I asked Rebecca how they wanted to have children if she ignored him that much. Iya Alaso, myself and Iya Rebecca fun ra alara re lajo wa mbe ta mbe Rebecca wi pe ko dariji James.

They begged Sister Rebecca to forgive Brother James. When months after that conversation their first joint child was born, I concluded Sister Rebecca must have forgiven Brother James. I am not sure if I attended the naming ceremony of their first child.

If I did not attend their wedding and the naming ceremony of their first child together for whatever reason, it was not because of jealousy that Sister Rebecca called me her husband and that she would marry me. She gave me special bread; she brought my own bread to church on Sundays and patted me on the head whenever she saw me and Moomi. She liked me and showed it with bread gifts and kind words. If my sisters gossiped about my bedwetting, and talked about how much likeness I showed for Toyin, a girl I liked well in church and always sat around, and their gossip was when Sister Rebecca was around, she defended me and told them to mind their business. It was not because I could not marry her any longer as Brother James is now her husband that I missed both occasions. It was just sheer coincidence. Nothing more.