|Picture from: THE FEMINIST WIRE|
Bimbo Omotosho woke up wanting to pee. She went into her bathroom and when she returned, sat on her bed and stared at the night light. She wasn’t sure she could fall right back to sleep. ‘Maybe a glass of milk would help’, she said too herself. She looked at her bedside clock and saw that it was 2am. Her mother always snapped about having late night snacks and Bimbo really didn’t listen. When she was hungry, she ate. She had a stash under her bed which helped her cravings.
Bimbo bent down to pull her goodie bag and was shocked to see it empty. There was a note from her mother saying, ‘I was born way before you and I know all the tricks you can possibly pull young lady. No more unplanned snacks!’
Bimbo was mad! Why did she always do that?!
Well then, she had to find another way.
Bimbo knew her mother slept like she was in a coma but like most people in a coma, you never knew what would make her start. So Bimbo opened her door as gently as she could and, thanking God for the plush carpets that lined most of the house, tip-toed past her parents’ room and downstairs. She prayed her father didn’t wake up but knew that even if he did, he would most likely help her get her milk and share a cookie.
When she got to the kitchen, she poured herself a glass of milk – the real stuff and not the 2% milk her mother always insisted she drank – and took out one cookie from the jar. Her best bet was to eat it in her room. As she closed the fridge door, she could have sworn she heard a moan. She shrugged it off as a figment of her imagination and set out to her room. As she passed her maid’s room, she heard the moan again. This time, coming in slightly louder. She was scared but curious and in the end, curiosity won. She kept her milk on the floor and oh so gently turned the doorknob.
With his back to her, her father was naked and kissing their maid; who was also naked. They were running their hands all over each other but what was more disturbing was the fact that a similar scene was playing on the television.
Bimbo stood there, cookie in hand, transfixed as she watched her father, their maid and the actors they were copying. She may be eight years old but she knew what she was seeing was wrong. However, she couldn’t avert her eyes. She was so transfixed that she didn’t hear her mother walk up to her, gently pull the door close and point upstairs. Bimbo didn’t need to be told to go to her room. She ran to her room, locked her door and laid on the bed.
The screams began, followed by the crash of glassware.
Bimbo buried her head under her pillow and soon enough, fell asleep; cookie in hand.
The glass of milk remained where Bimbo dropped it, unbothered by the destruction that went on for hours.
The divorce was quick. Turns out Bimbo’s mum took a couple of pictures that could ruin her husband, the very respectable Pastor Biodun Omotosho, senior pastor, Live Church, with a congregation of over ten thousand people. After her crazy tantrum, she piped down and made her demands. She would keep Bimbo, the house, two cars and a steady allowance to continue living as she was used to. In return, she would not publish the pictures to his loving flock. She would also pretend she was the one who got tired of the rigors of marriage to a ‘man of God’ so his impeccable reputation remained untainted. He jumped at the offer, promising to do all she asked. In less than a week, a joint statement was released and as expected, Bimbo’s mum was labelled the bitch! She wasn’t worried because in truth, she married Biodun for his money and wasn’t into all that religious stuff anyway.
To ride out the drama, she took her daughter and went off to Canada.
In all these, no one spoke to Bimbo about what she had seen that night. Even when she tried to bring it up, her mother shut her down by saying, ‘You did not see anything! And next time, when I say don’t do something, you better obey me! In fact, this is all your fault! If you had obeyed me, I wouldn’t have known…just forget it. You did not see anything.’
But how could bimbo forget it when every night she went to bed, she kept seeing the actors doing things to each other?
As Bimbo grew, she realized what she had seen her father do that day was have sex and what was playing on the television in her maid’s room was porn. As she became more internet savvy, she spent time finding and watching porn, and erasing her internet activities. It wasn’t as if anyone cared. Her mother was too busy dating rich men to be bothered about what her daughter was doing online.
Bimbo started craving sex like she wanted food. As soon as she became a teenager, she wanted to practice what she had been watching for four years so she could find out if all the feelings she got from watching porn could be felt in reality. She began to make moves with the boys in school but they were all so scared. They kept acting like she would eat them. Bimbo knew that if she was to satisfy her urges, she had to aim higher; older.
It was no wonder that the moment she saw Ricardo Esteban, her mum’s newest boyfriend, she knew he was the one she wanted.
Ricardo was a tall, ripped bodied, dark-olive skinned hunk of a Columbian millionaire and it wasn’t surprising that her mother was dating him. She told Bimbo to be nice to him to make sure he married her because at close to 35, she wasn’t the young lady she used to be. Bimbo could hide her crush for Ricardo from her mother but she wasn’t hiding it from him. She might have been a chubby kid when she was younger but as a teenager, she was tall, and the curves had started coming in. She knew men loved sexual women and whenever her mother wasn’t looking, she gave Ricardo the come-hither look.
For six whole months, Ricardo didn’t seem to see her beyond being the child of his paramour. With each passing day Ricardo treated her like a child, she got more frustrated. Her mother was happy with her boyfriend, which in turn made Bimbo mad.
She was in her room one evening when she heard Ricardo’s car drive in. She went to her window and watched him get out of his car. It was like he knew she would be there because he looked up at her and smiled.
Bimbo felt her insides melt. She quickly wore a bum short and tank top and went downstairs, feigning a casual stroll out of the house.
‘Oh darling! You are the best! Thank you!’ Bimbo’s mother squealed in delight.
‘What is going on?’ Bimbo asked.
‘Ricardo just booked me into a two-day pamper fest at the best spa in Vancouver and I am so excited! I love to be spoiled dear daughter! And he knows my buttons. And before you pout about being left alone, it is two days and I am sure you can manage on your own. Right?’
‘Will Ricardo check on me to make sure I am fine?’ Bimbo asked before she could check herself. Her instinct was to cup her mouth, but she knew her mother would become suspicious so she started scrolling through her phone, acting all unbothered.
‘Darling, Ricardo is a busy man. He doesn’t have time for nonsense. You are thirteen! You can take care of yourself. After all, aren’t you the one always asking me to treat you like an adult? So…be an adult for two days! Ricardo darling, why don’t we go upstairs so I can properly thank you for this gift.’
Ricardo didn’t say much. He just smiled at her and followed her mum upstairs.
Bimbo got mad and went to the pool. She took off her clothes and jumped into the pool. When she emerged out of the water, she saw Ricardo watching her from her mother’s window. She smiled and waved. He turned away from her and went into the room.
Bimbo made herself a sandwich and sat before the television. The maids had closed for the day and she made sure the house was properly locked. She was so engrossed in her movie that she did not hear a car pull up. When she heard the doorbell, she froze. Who could be calling at this hour?
She went cautiously to the door and peered through the peephole. It was Ricardo! She was excited and quickly opened the door.
‘Hi Ricardo. Did you forget something?’ she pinched herself for sounding breathless.
‘You wanted me to check up on you. So I am doing that.’
And with that, he kissed her.
Bimbo knew having an affair with her mother’s boyfriend was wrong but she didn’t want to stop. He had proven to her that all that time spent watching pornography had been worth it. He was an expert lover and she was glad he was the one who finally introduced her to the world of sex. She was happiest with him and saddest when he was with her mother; which was a lot. They had to figure out a way to keep their romance secret and that meant having his driver pick her up from school or the park.
The affair had been going on for four months when their luck ran out. Ricardo sent her mother on a shopping trip to Toronto and they were making out in her room when her door burst open. Her mother took in her nakedness and Ricardo’s near nakedness and lunged at him. They jumped away from each other and Bimbo quickly got into her dressing robe.
‘You weren’t supposed to be back for another day!’ Ricardo said as he tried to get away from her.
‘This is my daughter you bastard! She is a baby! How could you do this to my baby?!’
She clawed at him and in spite of everything Ricardo was doing to hold her still, she drew blood.
‘It is not his fault mother. We are in love.’
Bimbo’s mother stopped fighting and turned to Bimbo.
‘What did you just say to me?’
Bimbo took a step backwards. ‘I am sorry to hurt you mother, but we are in love.’
Ricardo responded. ‘No, we are not. Baby, it wasn’t my fault. She paraded herself before me, seducing me, making me behave foolishly. You know I have eyes for only you. It is all her fault! I am sorry baby. And I am willing to do anything to salvage this.’
Bimbo watched in horror. She couldn’t believe that Ricardo just blamed her for everything.
‘Even if she paraded naked before you, no one forced you to sleep with her! She is thirteen for crying out loud! You know she cannot possibly give consent. And you know this is rape! How could you do this? Why did you do this?!’ Bimbo’s mum shouted as the tears came in torrents. Bimbo remained in a daze, shocked that in spite of all the ways she pleased him in bed, Ricardo still chose her mother.
‘Both of you, leave my room. NOW!’
Ricardo got his clothes and walked out. Her mother looked at her for the longest time and Bimbo knew she was fighting her very being by staying calm. Her mother turned and walked out.
For the very first time in her life, Bimbo was scared of her mother.
In less than a week, Bimbo was shipped back to Abuja, Nigeria. She remembered the look of hatred on her mother’s face as she told her the news.
‘You are like your father; mean, evil and spiteful. In spite of everything I have done for you, you decided to pay me back by seducing the man I love. And at age thirteen! What will you be doing at twenty, twenty-five or even thirty?! You are nothing but a little slut and I am ashamed to call you my daughter. I wish I never gave birth to you! I am done with you. You will return to your father and live with him. Get your things packed and ready. As soon as I have your flight ticket, you are leaving my house.’
Bimbo remembered the pain each of those words seared into her heart. What was worse was, she deserved it! It seemed fitting that she returned to the man who set her on that path after all; the man whose sexcapade led her to discovering her sexuality way too early.
Her mother asked a taxi to take her to the airport. As the car pulled out of the house, Bimbo looked at her mother, hoping that she would show some form of forgiveness, but the hard face that looked back showed a heart that was closed to her; forever.
Bimbo turned away and thanked God she hadn’t told her mother about the tiny secret. After all, she would get rid of Ricardo’s baby when she got to Nigeria.