Dad has always emphasized the fact that patience is a virtue. Patience is the key to healthy living as well as time being for everything, but all you need to do is be patient. Well that wasn’t the case for his sister-in-law Aunty Kemi. Aunty Kemi is from a family of 11 with mum being the seventh child. Aunty Kemi who was too lazy and unserious to graduate from the Lagos State University dropped out after spending six years on a four-year course with nothing to show for it. She got married to Ahmed who she met barely two months ago and all her siblings warned her especially Aunty Tosin but she turned deaf ears.
“Kemi, you can still end this madness even if we are just few minutes away from walking you down the aisle, you don’t really know this boy!” Aunty Tosin said.
“Well Tosin, don’t you ever call him a boy, go and get a man of your own, you are already 41 and stop taking drugs for other peoples’ headaches,” Aunty Kemi replied, accompanying her words with two dirty slaps. Aunty Tosin turned back and left the premises without attending the wedding. The union was rosy until after the honeymoon. Ahmed beat Aunty Kemi on a regular basis, he beat her before going to work in the morning and seconds after he steps into the house in the evening. Monday to Saturday she had to take his beatings while on Sundays they would both come to our house to eat the usual Sunday afternoon Jollof, playing and teasing each other like nothing had happened.
On a fateful day, I was on my bed in school when my phone rang. I didn’t know the number so I didn’t pick. It rang continuously and mum always told me that “when your phone rings continuously with the same number, make sure you pick up,” so I picked up and to my greatest surprise it was Ahmed. We exchanged pleasantries but I noticed a trembling in his voice which sounded a lot like fear.
“Ahn ahn Ahmed, what’s wrong,” I asked. He said Aunty Kemi was at the hospital and was in a coma. “What could have happened?” I asked in anger.
“She fell from the stairs,” he answered.
“But the last time I checked, bungalows don’t have staircases,” I fired back at him.
“Well, that’s not the point, just get down here!” Ahmed exclaimed. I immediately understood what had happened so I took my bag and rushed down to Lagos. I was almost at the hospital in Lagos when mum called to tell me Aunty Kemi had given up the ghost. I got so angry and went to the police station to report what had happened.
“Good day sir, I’d like to report a case of domestic violence as well as possible manslaughter,” I said in tears.
“What! Where! Are you sure of what are you saying,” the detective asked. “Not to worry, my boys and I would go with you,” he added.
We got to the hospital and I saw everyone in tears but amidst the tears, I was determined that Ahmed was going to jail for what he had done.
“There he is!” I thundered. Ahmed was shocked. He took to his heels and fled the hospital. He was eventually caught after a 15-minute police chase and charged to court. We got to court three days later and Ebun who happened to be Aunty Kemi and Ahmed’s only child saw that they were calling people to a box and asking them to talk when she started crying out loud that she had something to say. She kept on crying when she wasn’t listened to so much so that the judge came down from her seat to carry her. Ebun however still insisted that she had to something to say until the judge finally relented.
“What could she possibly have to say?” we all wondered as Ebun ran into the witness box. “Daddy beat mummy everyday even when mummy is sleeping, daddy slap mummy with frying pan, mummy fall down. Mummy did not stand up again, daddy still continue slapping mummy with frying pan till mummy finally die,” Ebun said. The courtroom was filled with noise.
“Ahmed you are evil,” the judge said. “Well, let this be a lesson to you impatient ladies and hot tempered gentlemen in this court room,” she continued. “You! Ahmed Ikuelogbon, has been found guilty on a 2-count charge of domestic violence and murder, you are hereby sentenced to life imprisonment with hard labour. I rise.” The judge thundered in annoyance.
Two years has passed and Aunty Kemi’s case hasn’t been forgotten and the same time we made up our mind that it wasn’t going to spoil our mood because Aunty Tosin was finally getting married. The wedding was fantastic and amazing. When it was time for the thanksgiving, Aunty Tosin broke down in tears and asked for a minute silence for her late sister. When the minute was over we all ate, danced and gave glory to God.
“SÚRÙLÉRÉ!!!” Dad whispered to Aunty Tosin as we bade her goodbye.
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