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Ade's Journal Part 6

Ade's Journal Part 6
My Valentine & The Elegance Of A Clean Breakup

Ade's Journal Part 5

Ade's Journal Part 5
My Scrumptious Valentine Kiss

Ade's Journal Part 4

Ade's Journal Part 4
A Scorpion is not a Lobster

Ade's Journal Part 3

Ade's Journal Part 3
My Insane Week Before Valentine

Ade's Journal Part 2

Ade's Journal Part 2
He Had The Guts To Come Back

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Sunday, 11 March 2018

Pins And Needles Berries And Flowers


  The compound was spread far and wide with hardened clay that spread on for miles. I loved the sound of the large ram with spiral horns that didn't curve backwards and downwards like the smaller rams around the territorial bull. I didn't get close to it, it had the habit of ramming into people who ventured near.
My spirally hands swayed back and forth as I hopped and jumped and tried to dodge the pi s and needles my granduncle placed on the floor to deter my aunties from dragging their feet in my family compound.
Agboile was full and because my grandfather had four wives and most had an average of four children, we just ran wild and free, bumping into each other. My aunties tasked us with secretly collecting as many pins and needles we could pick and the person with the most will be rewarded with the most fried ram meat she or he could gather with our arms and hands.
I hopped and picked and knew I had win this assignment and as the ram was roasted and fried, I waited eagerly for my prize.
I picked thirty three altogether, my granduncle was really naughty for his age and I was kind of worried for my grandmother's. I think he just wanted all who lived here on Bola Street to lift their feet when they walk. As the massive stainless steel perforated bowl arrived with fried meat, my eyes widened and then I was given all of it. My cousin's and siblings clustered Around me as I listened to them tell me how much I owed them and had to share the prize with them. My grandmother arrived with a plastic bowl and soap and made us all wash our hands and take one piece of meat each. As I moved it to my mouth, the aroma of the well spiced and tender meat made my stomach flip.
And yes, I forced myself to wake up....
  If you have nit yet noticed, I have. I have been sleeping a lot lately and really need to get a hold of myself. It's as if I have replaced crying with sleeping and also I kind of want to reunite with them all, my past, my late husband and the children we both lost. It's like the harder I try, the more they slip away from me.
 The reason I dreamt of me as an eight year old in my grandfather's house is because my father talked about him. The way he calls his father's name as if it was a Yoruba word and the emphasis on the word 'Daddy', makes me smile. He was my favourite person back when he was alive and treated me as if I was 'the chosen one'
His hugs and fondness for his grandchildren will always be in my heart and I miss him a lot. I always wonder how much my own father misses him because they were close.
  My mum was quiet as my dad spoke, probably because she was more sensitive about talking about people we have lost around me. But I do welcome my father's attitude, he never walked around eggshells with any of his children. I pray I do the same...
  I was in their home and could feel it and almost taste it. She had prepared efo riro and egusi soup with Amala. I'm usually not a fan of 'swallow', but I have not had a delicious meal like this in awhile.
'So how is everyone? I mean Ajoke, Celine and Bala and Pierre?' My mum asked a little concerned I am all alone, I suspect.
'All happy and resting, this Sunday is a bit too short'
'After that long nap', she was acting strange a lot more worried now.
'Mum, I work throughout the night that's why?'
 I tried to justify my many naps that everyone is complaining about.
'Okay ooo, just don't break down'
'I won't, after all my work load is lighter'
'Eh hehn, before I forget. Nnoye called, she's on her way...'
'Why... What kind of question is that? Did you two fight?'
'I just have different priorities...'
'Ade you can't throw away friends...'
'Mummy I lost my family', I snapped at her.
I did not like when she tried to defend my friends instead of me, her daughter. So I milked the fact that I was a grieving widow.
She was quiet and I felt guilty.
'Mummy...', I called out to her and she said nothing.
'Mum, I did not mean to snap at you but I want this time to be about you and I'
 I rocked my mum and hugged her with her side in my arm. She tilts her head to meet mine and we both smiled.
 Then I continue to devour the large piece of soya bean fed turkey, a treat only my mum could serve because she grain fed her poultry. The flavour was like heaven.
'What I was trying to say is she is on her way'
 I dropped my turkey and stared at my mum.
'With the two babies?'
'Junior and Angel...'
'What of her own mother?'
'Ade don't be childish, you know I treat you all like my daughter's'
'But her mother does not treat me that way...'
'...And so?'
 She gave me a stern look and I stopped rocking sideways and widened my eyes.
'I don't want to be as close as I was to her...'
'That is your choice...'
'She took Angel from me...'
'..Which is a blessing in disguise, Angel's mum will come back for her. What would you have done then?'
 My mother was right again, Kai this wisdom of hers is good.
'You are right, a little hurt now is better than a lot of hurt later'
'Now clear the table so Nnoye can eat on a decent dining table'
 I obeyed as if I was fifteen again and enjoyed washing my plate. From the windows I could see Nnoye and the two babies, she looked scattered and exhausted. Junior was screaming, not crying and Angel looked scared. My muscles walked up to Junior and collects him and Nnoye awkwardly thanked her and kneels to greet her as she carries Angel out of the crib.
Junior calms down as my mum says he has a fever and calls out to me.
Nnoye looks at the window and spots me.
'Mummy, you didn't tell me Ade was here'

  I inhaled and then exhaled four times before stepping out of the kitchen and into the living room.
I hug Nnoye and Angel reaches out to me and I stare at Nnoye.
'Please carry her, these children will will​ not kill me'
 Angel curls into me and starts to search for breast milk.
'Her baby food is here', Nnoye hands me a warm bottle and I feed her.
'Nnoye your baby can feel your distress..', my mum adds.
'He won't stop crying', she grumbled and holds her forehead.
'You have a fever's, my mum adds and she leads Nnoye to the long couch. Junior too finishes his meal and cries for more. And Angel sleeps clutching onto my blouse as if to say don't drop me.
My mum signals and we leave Nnoye who is asleep on the couch.
In my former room, we both burp the babies and let them sleep on the bed.
'Mum thanks', I said realizing how much help she was giving Nnoye.
'She tried not to come here every week, but I tell her that it's fine to reach out for help'
'Mum, I can't give her...', I was almost in tears. It was as if I had tons of Pins And Needles Berries And Flowers, all at the same time.
'No one expects you to, you need help to. Don't force it, don't beat yourself because of it. Just take your time and keep your mind and line open'
 Mum is right of course and I watch her as she tells me stories of how naughty I was as a child and how entertaining it was to try to calm a restless child.

 Isn't life beautiful, but now Nnoye and I would have to talk when she wakes up

**"ADE'S JOURNAL" Season 3 Episode 8**
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Adebusola Ukayat Elegbede is a Playwright and Content creator with a passion for real life challenges. Born in Kaduna state and lives in Lagos Nigeria, she has a passion for story telling from the perspectives of characters in conflicting situations. I started out on the New Writing Project in Nigeria with the British Council Lagos Nigeria and The Royal Court Theatre, Sloane Square U.K. My passion for creating stories led to comic books, television drama's and an online journal on my website (busolaelegbede.com). As part of the WPIC in Stockholm Sweden 2012, the experience has forged life long friends and ignited my passion as a volunteer and advocate for human rights and the United Nations 17 Sustainable Development Goals.

Follow @Busola Elegbede