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Too Late To Cry – Season 1 – Episode 4

‘Sweetheart, your baby arrived and I haven’t seen you come to him. He’s been crying for you.’
‘I don’t want him again.’
‘Why? Eyinju you have been waiting for this baby. Have you forgotten all the things you planned to tell him when he arrives?’
‘Grandma and aunt Isi said he is the heir and I am no longer important in this family.’
‘Oh dear!’ my mother exclaimed, holding me even closer. ‘That is not true darling. You are the first daughter in this family and he is your baby brother. How can you not be important when you will be teaching him a lot of things?’
‘Are you sure?’ I asked innocently looking up to her.
‘I can never tell you a lie Eyinju. I know you love this baby and he loves you too. Come with me dear, come and welcome your brother.’
I followed mom to her room but I discovered the level of expectancy had dropped. There he was, eyes wide opened. I held his tiny hands. Was that a smile?
‘Hey Eyinju, did you see that? Did you see your brother smile at you?’ Mom shouted excitedly with her arm slung over my shoulder.
‘Hey Eyinju,’ my dad called to me, ‘where have you been all day?’
‘Sweetheart, you won’t believe that the baby just smiled at Eyinju.’ Mom reported as daddy joined us at the cot.
‘Really? Hey come on young man, give me a smile too. Have you seen your brother dear? He asked sparing me a look. I didn’t answer.
‘Hey, don’t tell me you are jealous already.’
‘Why would she be jealous Dayo?’ my mother retorted sharply. ‘She has anticipated this baby’s birth just like all of us. Can you people please stop planting all these stereotyping ideas into her head?’
‘We all know Eyinju enjoys attention. We should make her understand that there is a son in the family now and she won’t be getting all the attention.’
‘A son or a baby? I think we need to talk about this. Sweetheart please go to your room, I need to speak with your daddy.’
I quietly left the room but I could hear their heated arguments warming my exiting back. I had tears in my eyes all the way back to my room. I apologized to my dolls that I had abandoned for months and arranged them back in the play area I had created for my baby brother in my room.
My mind was made up.
I made no attempts thereafter to befriend the baby and things didn’t get better between my father and mother. Grandma was always at loggerheads with my mom. Seemed she had taken permanent residence in our house. My father didn’t make things better, he had suddenly become a mommy’s boy. He sought his mother’s endorsement before he could do anything. Our schools were changed because mom was too close to our teachers and the schools administration.
You would have thought grandma was the mother of the baby with the way she ordered mom about. The maids were answerable only to grandma, how she was able to achieve that was confusing to my young mind. My mom was good to them and they used to be loyal to her. My aunts were always in the house like they had no business of their own to attend to, prattling about like they owned us all. I began to hate this family very much.
Mother tried several times to get me to play with Bob, a shortened form for Bobola, as he was christened but I only felt anger toward the baby.
I could never do anything right where grandma was concerned. She basically murdered my self-esteem.
‘koja sibi Eyinju kilode to n se sme sme bayii. Why are you being so sluggish? Even if you aren’t a boy can’t you be smart?’ she’d shout
at me.
‘Grandma, omo yii kere now.’ My mom would protest, ‘please go to your room Eyinju.’
Then I’d hear heated argument between them and later between her and dad.
My once peaceful family was being torn apart because of him. My home was getting to the point of being broken and it was all because of this baby. Mom was getting depressed. I could read unhappiness on her face. There were times I checked on her in her room and I’d meet her face wet and her makeup smudged.
Other times, she’d come to my room and stay for lengthy hours.
‘I just want to spend some time with you Eyinju. I had you first and you remain the first child of this family. Here hold your brother and play with him.’
Once or twice, Grandma would come to my room and order her out.
‘How can you bring the baby here Denike. This room is not ventilated enough now. Se o fe ki omo yen wa infected ni? Do I have to still teach you these things? Oya gbe omo yen, ki o koja si nursery. Eyinju come to the nursery if you want to play with the baby,’ she’d order.
‘Grandma, this room is well ventilated. I wouldn’t put Eyinju here if it wasn’t. If it is good enough for her, then it is good enough for him.’
‘Ma ba mi so nonsense Denike. Eyinju is a girl. Bobola is a boy.’
‘No..Grandma, I….’
‘Mum its ok. Please take Bobola to the nursery, I will be right behind you.’
I can never forget the pained look in her eyes, as she’d pack his toys and head out of the room and at those times, I’d just wish he could die.

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