WE ARE ABLE
My body shakes as I set my eyes on her. What can she
be here for? Even my mother isn’t asking her anything.
Suddenly, her stern face drops and she seems sober.
“G–good day,” she greets us. I have read her lips to
get what she says.
“What do you want?” my aunt challenges her. She didn’t
invite her in.
“I–I come to apologize,” she must have said, going by
the gesture she makes.
My aunty didn’t take her serious at first, but eventually,
Toyosi tells us that she has regretted her actions. She
says that she wants us back in the house. When my
mummy tells her that it won’t be possible, she began to
My mummy tells me the whole story in detail;
according to her, John is getting worried over not
having anybody to take care of Bode and himself. He
visits Toyosi in her matrimonial home often until she
advised him to take back his wife and children.
“Don’t worry, John will take a very good care of you and
your daughter,” mummy says, mimicking in sign
language how Toyosi has said it.
“So, after throwing our loads out that man still have the
gut to beg us to return, huh!” I say angrily.
“Hey, Rose, he’s your daddy, so you have no right to call
him that man!” Rachael says. “By the way, this is just a
kind of an answer to our prayers. Didn’t I tell you
yesterday that if you go there tomorrow to beg him, he
will listen to you?”
“Heard,” I gesticulate. “What about that wicked wh’ore,
did she apologize to you before she leaves? Remember
she was bragging few days back that she will do
something terrible to us.”
“She did apologize,” my mother says.
“Remember I say she will come and do that in one of
our prayers,” Rachael says. She always love bringing
God, church, bible and prayers into every little matter. I
love her for that anyway.
“Younger sister, you are a prophetess,” my mummy
makes fun of her and pushes her head slightly.
“That’s a gift from above sister,” Rachael says. “Even
before my husband died, I foretold his death; it came as
a vision, but my husband didn’t pay attention.” Rachael’s
face develops into a grotesque. Remembering her
husband has remained her ugliest moments; a cross to
My mother turns to me and says, “Rose, infact Toyosi
promised to come and spend this weekend with us so
that she can have time to have fun with you.”
“With me? Why?” I say in an unforgiven manner.
“Rose, let her come, there is no big deal about that.
Afterall we have prayed to have peace with everyone
and our prayer is being answered right now,” mother
says. “Rose, she even said that you will teach her the
sign language when she comes.”
My aunt makes her mouth into something for a while.
She must have coughed, going by the way the lips are
set. Seems she doesn’t approve of the idea that I teach
her sign language.
My mother looks at her face for a while. A sparkle of
shock is on her face. It is as if the cough is a
significance of something I don’t know.
“First thing tomorrow morning, Rachael, I’m off to my
husband’s house,” mummy says eventually, shutting her
I can’t sleep at night. I just keep rolling around on my
fat bed. My eyes are clear. My mind flashes back to past
events; those harassments from my father. I weep. I
hope it won’t continue.
My dream is the sweetest ever; I ride on a horse with
my father. I speak with him verbally, Bode sitting with
my mummy on the other white horse. A long horsetail
is in my grip. I feel like a queen.
I come off the horse’s back and fall to the ground.
“What the hell!” I have just rolled off my fat bed to the
ground. Dream is silly indeed.
Contrary to my thought, father welcomes us heartily.
He embraces and kisses my mummy in the presence of
Toyosi who is smiling.
“Husband and wife, open the door and kiss,” Toyosi
says and laughs.
“Go and meet your husband too, Toyosi,” my father
When my mummy tells me all these, I doubt it.
“Are you sure Toyosi is happy with us now?” I ask her.
“Didn’t you see it with your eyes yesterday?” mummy
“But this is strange and so sudden, how come?”
“That’s the miracle of God,” says mummy. “Don’t you
know that when the way of a person pleases God he
will make his enemies to be at peace with him?”
But Toyosi didn’t tell us the reason why she had to
change her mind towards us suddenly like that. Bode
hasn’t changed a bit, yet his mother did warn him not to
continue misbehaving towards us.
It is holiday period, so I spend all my time at home
enjoying myself. Daddy isn’t bothering me anymore.
Infact he is a changed man too. I think he is behaving
according to Toyosi’s dictate. She has told him to be
kind to us because we are his legitimate family and not
Mummy shares the testimony in her church of what God
has done to her; how God has changed her husband’s
heart. My church is a large one. I didn’t even know my
mum is up there on the podium sharing her testimony
until I begin to see the interpretation of her testimony
in sign language; how would I have known she is up
there when the church has relegated we, the special
ones so called, to the back of the Church? I have asked
our ‘deaf and dumb’ interpreter a question once, during
question and answer session after our Sunday school.
“The topic today is Show Love Without Discrimination,
ma, but why don’t I see the love in our church here?” I
“What do you mean?” she asks me.
“According to the Bible Reading, it is stated that it is
wrong to tell one person sit here while you tell another
person come over to this high seat. But why is it that
we deaf and dumb in this church have to sit far away
from the stage like this?”
The interpreter smiles. She must have been thinking of
what to reply.
“Hmm…” she smiles. “Rose, it is to avoid distraction,
that’s why? If we do our service close to them, they
will be distracted with the movements of our hands.”
“I disagree!” I barge in. “Why are we not also
distracted with the movement of their mouths? We
don’t hear the sound of their mouths, our hand
movements don’t produce any sound too, we only get
to see each other, that’s all. It’s fifty-fifty!”
She becomes mute. But that was not all. I still have
more to say in rage:
“Why can’t the preacher even be preaching in sign
language and someone should be interpreting to them
in voice language? This is also discrimination!”
Everyone laughed that day in the deaf and dumb class
and I was rechristened ‘Miss Discrimination’.
To be continued