It was a sweet relief when Dr. Sokari informed me that dad would be discharged soon. He had spent almost a month at the military hospital in Ikoyi but it felt like a year. My family was literally falling apart as a result of his long-absence and there was virtually little I could do to salvage the situation.
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Mum had only recently joined dad at the military hospital albeit briefly. She had collapsed from the impact of the pebble that had been thrown at her by one of the aggrieved tenants Timi had dubiously leased one of the apartments at the rental residential property in Amosun street, Ojota to.
The whole drama that unfolded at Amosun street had started some 2 months ago. If I had been more proactive, the ugly incident that transpired at Amosun street could have been averted. I blamed myself for letting Timi get too far with his baleful sport.
It was two months ago when I first found out that Timi was trying to play a fast one on our old man. Although he had threatened me when he realized I knew about the forged lease documents he was planning to use to admit illegal tenants into dad’s property, but I guess that wasn’t enough reason for me to keep mute over a matter that could later backfire. Even when I was provided several instances to nip the situation in the bud, I failed to summon the courage to.
You may want to call me weak, but I know my brother too well to want to dismiss his threats. I remember when I once reported to my dad about his clandestine activities in school. He had arranged some of his loyalist to deal ruthlessly with me and after that experience I needed no soothsayer to tell me to start keeping my mouth shut!
There was a time my mum was into the business of supplies and sales of food stuffs. Mum always came home with a lot of cash and her business was booming at the time. She had a secret safe she thought no one had access to, but unknown to her, Timi had been stealing from her and she didn’t even notice because she was making huge profit from her business.
Initially he had started small, however things took a dangerous twist when Timi got really greedy and decided to go for the kill.
I was just in Junior Secondary School three at the time. It was during our secondary school’s inter-house sports festival. I and Ebun had left the house for school pretty early because we were practising with the march-past teams of our respective houses. Timi on the other hand had the day off the tracks having successfully qualified for the 100 and 200 metres boys final.
It was the last day of the heats and he was relaxing from the stress he went through that saw him qualify for the final races of the 15th Inter House Sports Festival of Ojota Comprehensive High School.
I had to return home from school because I left my Maths assignment notebook we had to submit before midday that particular day at home. The door to the main entrance was unlocked when I reached the house, I made my entry into the living room with no difficulty whatsoever wondering who must have left the door open.
As I drew close towards momma’s room to ascertain if she was around, suddenly Timi stepped out of her room concealing wads of cash in his underpants. Initially I didn’t understand what it was about and it took some few seconds to decipher what it was Timi was up to.
“Timi are you stealing money from mummy?”
“Are you mad! Why would I do such a thing?”
“So what are you doing with all that money?”
“Which money?” He looked around him to be sure he concealed the money adequately enough, and even glanced at the floor to be certain nothing dropped.
“The one you are hiding under your pants?”
“Oh the money? That’s the money my house master gave me for coming first in the heat races,” he couldn’t hide it anymore and he was sure he had been caught red-handed this time
The moment he spoke in defense of himself, I knew the dude was lying and even Timi knew the lie he told was an obvious one. “What are you even doing here? Are you not meant to be in school?” He tried to look for a detour.
“I came to pick up something,” I replied.
“Then go pick the thing and leave for school at once, abi which kain bad market be this?” He said in a very mean manner. That was my cue to leave.
As I walked away from him, he immediately brought out a bunch of keys from his pocket to lock the door. That explained one thing, my brother had the keys to mum’s apartment, however what caught my eyes was the gold wrist watch he held alongside the bunch of keys and then the fancy baseball cap tucked into his back pocket which I noticed for the first time.
These items had been a subject of controversy recently. As I looked up at my brother in shock, the look in his eyes suggested only one thing; I had to get out of the house as fast as my tiny legs would carry me.
Timi’s eyes had suddenly become bloodshot and his hands were reaching for a shiny object around his waist region. I didn’t wait to confirm what it was when I made a run for it!
Bad Market continues next week…