‘Daddy’s Gold Watch?’
I nod wondering why this person chose to repeat what I just said.
‘I’m guessing you mean your father’s gold watch. Well, my father has lots of gold watches and I don’t know how we will be able to find the one you want… unless you know what it looks like?’
The light isn’t in my eyes anymore but I still can’t see who this person is. I’m happy because I think this person wants to help me find daddy’s gold watch. I know daddy said not to let anyone see me but this should be fine right?
‘Weeeeeelllll? We can’t stay here forever. It’s really late and I have to go back to sleep.’
I don’t know. Will this person be angry if I tell them I don’t know? Daddy didn’t tell me anything about the gold wrist watch and I was too scared to ask. What am I going to do?
A hand touches my shoulder and I’m brought out of my thoughts. The person is now standing in front of me. I don’t even know when I jump back or why. This person isn’t daddy. Daddy is waiting for me and I need to take the gold wrist watch and give it back to daddy, if not, I won’t have a place to stay or food to eat.
‘You know, my father usually buys gold watches when he travels out of the country for vacations or work. I know because he shows me whenever he does. Even though… anyway, he got one fairly recently without having to travel and oddly enough, he didn’t show me. Now that I think about it, he was really closed off about how he got it even when I asked.’
I don’t even know what to say or think and this person doesn’t even give me the chance to say anything. I’ve never met anyone who spent this much time just talking and talking. There are times when I don’t understand what this person is saying but I don’t want to say anything. If this person can help me in any way, I’ll keep quiet.
‘… you don’t talk much. I know it may seem like I’m rambling but I think I know where your father’s gold wrist watch might be.’
I’m happy. This person knows where daddy’s gold wrist watch is but why? Why would this person help me take daddy’s watch?
‘Uhmmm… thank you.’
‘It’s fine. I’m Tosin. What’s your name?’
‘Ok Lola, if we are going to steal your father’s watch we need to be very quiet and careful. First things first, I need to sneak you in.’
‘Are you a man?’
For some reason, this person starts laughing at me. I don’t know how what I asked is funny. Is it the way I said it? I know mummy is a woman and daddy is a man but it’s too dark for me to tell and this person’s voice isn’t very clear. Will this person still give me daddy’s watch? What am I going to do if this person decides not to?
‘I’m sorry. I’m sorry. Please still give me daddy’s watch. I need to give it back to daddy. He really wants it.’
Mummy used to say, ‘begging never really helps’ and when daddy… with daddy it didn’t work. I’m just hoping it’ll be different with this person.
‘Hey! No! Stand up. Don’t beg me. You must never beg. I learnt that from my father. We need to work hard for whatever you think you deserve. He keeps telling me that, says it’ll build character or whatever. Either way, it’s fine. To answer your question, I’m a boy, not yet a man but getting there.’
At first I move away when his hand touch my arm but then I allow him help me stand. The way he talks about his father, it’s different from the way mummy talks about daddy. I wish his father was daddy. I’m suddenly pushed into a tight space and the light goes out. I can feel Tosin next to me and his hand on my mouth. I think he wants me to be quiet. Not long after, I hear a voice and the a dull light.
‘Ha! The food wey chef cook do my belle strong thing oh. That last shit go down wella. My belle don empty. Ah! 2:43am. Make I go sleep before morning reach.’
Tosin’s hand remained on my mouth until the light went out and I couldn’t hear the man’s voice anymore.
‘That was close. That yeye gateman. Always eating. That’s the first hurdle. All we have to do now is to enter the house and sneak upstairs to my father’s room without anyone, especially my father seeing or hearing us. I’m not exactly sure where he kept the watch but I have a rough idea about where it could be.’
I don’t know what to do. Once again I’m just staring at Tosin as he keeps talking and talking and talking. Hurdle? What does that even mean? Is it really alright to follow this man, boy?
‘Mummy, I know you’re not here but I don’t know what to do. I need you.’
It comes out as a whisper and I remember when mummy did the same while we played hide and seek from daddy. I wondered why she did that back then but I know why now. She wanted a big hug from God. Right now, I want a big hug from mummy. Right now, I just want to be with mummy.