The okada man stopped right in front of my Aunty's mini duplex after i instructed him to. I had signalled for a ride immediately i got out of the commercial bus which brought me to Abuja and he was the first to come meet me where i stood with my small luggage and handbag. I had planned using the opportunity to take some few things i needed in school so i felt taking my small sized luggage will fit into the purpose.
The house was silent as usual as i stepped into the compound. At this point, i wished my aunty has kids, maybe the whole house wouldn't have been so quiet.
"Welcome Gina. How was the journey?" Funsho greeted immediately i entered into the house. He was sitting in front of the TV just as i expected. He got up and gave me a hug. He smiled and sat back.
"Thank you jare. The journey was okay" I replied with a smile, as i dropped my bag and sat down.
"Let me get you a cup of water" He got up and went into the kitchen immediately. I was taken aback.
"Funsho! Offering me a cup of water! God is really good oo" I scoffed.
He came back few seconds later with a cup of cold water.
"Thanks" i collected the cup from him and gulped down it's content.
"You are welcome"
I dropped the cup on the glass centre table.
"Where is Aunty and Uncle?"
"Upstairs......probably taking a weekend rest"
"Oooh okk. They really deserve it after a week of hard work.......Anyway, don't let me disturb them" I got up and took my bag. "I'd be in my room"
"Alright" Funsho responded.
I could notice an unusual tension between us. I started noticing from the way he greeted me. Normally, he'd have carried and swung me around till i beg him to stop. Then, he offered me a cup of water without asking him to do so. Funsho isn't someone to be described as 'nice'. He'd rather tell you to go get it yourself. I moved towards the staircase then suddenly stopped and asked "Funsho, are you okay?"
He gave me a weird look
"What makes you think I'm not"
I moved close to where he was sitting.
"Well, I'm just having a feeling you are not. Does it have anything to do with the reason aunty asked me to come home this weekend"
He got up and moved close to me. He smiled and placed his two hands on my shoulders, facing me.
"I'm fine Gina. I guess it's just school stress"
"Hmmmmm" i sighed and removed his hands. "If you say so then. I'd be in my room sha".
I had a feeling Funsho wasn't saying the truth. There's something he wasn't saying and it must be connected to what Aunty wanted to tell me. I retired into my bedroom and jumped on my bed. I really missed it's softness. I buried my head inside my big and soft pillow and try to guess why Aunty Jemima wanted me home.
"Is she already tired of catering for me?" i thought
"Or maybe she already has a clue of who killed my family". Even though the police already stopped the investigation, there was not a day i didn't feel like knowing who that Vincent is. I wished my Dad included his surname so finding him would be a lot more easy.
The knock on the door woke me. I must have dozed off while trying to enjoy the comfort of my soft bed. I managed to get up, i stretched and walked towards the door. I opened it and met the eyes of my Uncle, Aunty and Funsho.
"Good evening Aunty. Funsho said you and Uncle were asleep when i arrived, so i didn't want to disturb you"
"It's okay my baby. Can we come in?" Aunty said, smiling.
"Yeah sure" I gave them space to allow them come in.
"Is everything alright? Why are we meeting in my room?" i asked as they all troop in.
"We just want to discuss some things with you" Uncle replied.
Aunty sat down on my bed, while Uncle stood beside her. Funsho leaned on the wall facing my wardrobe. I was anxious. I stood, facing aunty waiting for someone to talk.
"Uhmmmm, Regina....." Aunty never calls me by my name. Something must really be wrong. Nevertheless, i listened attentively.
"I'm sure you know by now how your Uncle and i have tried all we could to have a child"
I responded with a nod. Aunty looked at Uncle's face, he gave her a nod and she continued.
"Well, we discovered few years back that we can never have children of our own"
"Oh my God Aunty" I moved close to her and hugged her in sympathy. She rubbed my back.
"There's nothing God can't do Aunty, just believe"
Aunty released herself from the hug and stared into my eyes.
"God?" she chuckled
"We've been waiting on him for over 10years now. He should have answered us a long time ago if he wanted to".
I saw something I've never seen in Aunty's eyes before. Hopelessness!
"But aunty......we've both read in the Bible how God answered a lot of women who seemed barren"
"Listen Gina, We are not here because we want you to preach to us. Of course we all know the story. We are all Christians here remember. We came for something else". Then she stopped and looked at her husband again.
"What's it aunty?"
She held my hand and looked me in the eye.
"We want you to give us a child"
"What?! Aunty! What do you mean? I don't understand". I looked at my Uncle and then Funsho. It seemed they are privy to the details of the decision.
"Well, you see, Gina. Your Uncle and i can't have children because of all the various acts we got into when we were young but we know you and we know you are a good girl and Funsho too"
"Funsho?" i frowned a bit. "What has he to do with this?"
Then Uncle spoke
"uhmmmmm Gina, we wouldn't want you to take this the other way. Funsho is my younger brother and i know him well. We felt there's no other way to raise kids unless from both of you. The kids will be like ours too since you are both related to us"
I got up
"Uncle! You want Funsho and i to raise kids for you? I can't believe this"
Aunty got up and placed her hand on my shoulder.
"Gina, we know it sounds somehow especially with the fact that you've taken Funsho as your brother but we want you to remember you guys are not related in anyway. Your Uncle and i have thought this through and besides Funsho has agreed, we are only left for you to agree"
"And trust us, we will make it worth your while. We will send you guys abroad, anywhere you want to go. Nobody has to know about this arrangement. It's gonna be a family issue. Then after you give us a child. You can choose to continue living there till whenever or you can come back home and we will live as a happy family. The only thing is, nobody has to know it's your child. We will make it look like it's Jemima's baby" Uncle added.
I was speechless. I couldn't believe my ears.
"I need time to think about this"
Aunty sighed and rubbed my back.
"It's okay baby. Take your time"
I watched as Aunty, Uncle and Funsho walked out of my room.
I couldn't sleep the whole night. I was confused. It's a very huge step. I thought about all the good things Aunty Jemima and her husband has done for me since i lost my family. They've been my parents ever since.
"What if this is the perfect way to repay them. But what about me?......Funsho is like a brother to me. I can't even imagine sleeping with him. Or should i suggest IVF? What is the difference. I'd still be carrying a baby either ways. Settling abroad sounds really good to my ears. Having my own flat, my own car, going shopping every weekend and flaunting them all over Social media. Hmmmmm. But what will my parents think of me. I've vowed to keep myself till my wedding night"
These were the thoughts going through my head all through the night. Around 1am, i got up to go get a cup of water downstairs. Everyone would have slept or be in their room. I didn't want anyone to know I'm out of the room so i tiptoed. I got downstairs and saw Funsho lying down on the sofa. He almost gave me a fright 'cause i thought he'd be in his room by now.
"Oh My God, Funsho! I thought you'd be asleep by now"
He raised up his head
"Sleep?" he chuckled "Where will the sleep come from?" Then he sat up.
I sighed and sat on the sofa opposite his.
"But what made you agree to such a thing"
"My Uncle said he'd stop sponsoring me in school if i refuse. I felt i didn't have a choice. I'm in my 3rd year already"
"Hmmmmmm. Do you think they'd stop sponsoring me if i disagree too?"
"Are you thinking of doing so?"
"Funsho! This is crazy, can't you see?"
We talked in whispers so we won't wake them up and lead them downstairs.
"I know it is, but we are all they've got now Gina"
I sighed and got up to get a cup of water.
"Gina, this whole thing lies on you right now because you'd be affected the most. Make sure you think it through" Funsho said as i was about going back upstairs.
"I will, thanks"
The following day was a Sunday and for the first time in many years, i didn't feel enthusiastic about going to church. I didn't sleep all night. At about 7am, i heard a knock on my door.
My Aunty walked in with a smile.
"Morning my baby. I hope you slept well"
I sat up in bed and my Aunty came to sit beside me.
"Well, i couldn't sleep aunty"
"Hmmm. I understand baby.......
So were you able to make up your mind?"
"Aunty" i scratched my itchy nose "I want to know something. For how long have you and Uncle been thinking about this?"
"Uhmmmmm, long time ago. It was one of the reasons my husband decided to take you as our own. Which is why we can't afford for you to say No. We've invested so much into this". She took my hand into hers and caressed it. I took my hand back and got up. I paced the room quite a number of times.
"So i was in this house for a reason? You had this planned all along? You didn't take me in because i had just lost my family? You were only being selfish?......"
Aunty got up in a rage
"How dare you say that Gina? How dare you call us selfish? We took you in when no one else was there or do you think any of your useless father's family would have taken you in? We did you a great favour if you don't know. So many orphans are in the streets struggling to put food in their belly or do you think they've got no family members?.....Think about this well Gina. I will be back this evening and you had better tell me something good or else kiss this 'world' goodbye" She made a wave to show she meant my world of affluent, then she walked out of my room and slammed the door.
I collapsed on the floor in tears. My world is crashing down once again. My aunty had just threatened to throw me out of her life if i refuse to oblige to her request. I didn't know what to do.