‘You bitch! How dare you lay your hands on me?!’
Years of receiving blows steeled me for daddy’s punch I knew was coming. After all, that’s all I’ve received, all I’ve learned to receive. Blows, slaps, fucks… another one or two wouldn’t make a difference. So I steeled my face for that oh so familiar sting that I’ve grown accustomed to but it never came.
My jaw drops when I see Daddy on the floor and Tosin rubbing his fist.
‘Shit! I told you to wait!’
Daddy’s face wore a look of surprise. I couldn’t blame him, I’m sure my expression mirrored his. I turn to look at Tosin whose eyes are still fixed on daddy’s.
Why did he do that? Does he think hitting daddy would make me forget or forgive him for lying to me all these while?
I bared myself to Tosin, spent the majority of tonight telling him things about my past I had never told anyone and he didn’t even bother mentioning that he has been working with daddy or the very least that he knew him? Never! I will never forgive him for working with daddy even after knowing what he did to me!
Then a small thought enters my mind
‘What if he didn’t know who daddy was to me?’
Yes. What if he didn’t? It’s not like he knew daddy. We met once when I came to his house and that was it but… then… why didn’t he tell me he was working with daddy? Why did he hide that fact from me?
My head begins to spin. Nothing makes sense anymore. From the moment Tosin came back into my life nothing had made any sense.
‘Fuck you! Because of this whore?!’
Daddy’s words interrupt my thoughts as I watch him slowly get up off the floor. I’m unable to read Tosin’s expression cause he has his back to me but he remains deathly quiet.
‘Oh I know why.’
My attention shifts. There was something about the way Daddy said it that made all the hairs on my skin stand. It was like he knew something I didn’t. Something heavy. There’s a wide grin on his already swelling face.
‘It’s because she’s…’
‘Dozie. I’m warning you.’
He’s warning him? Why?
My curiosity is piqued and Daddy notices it and smiles at me. I cringe.
‘You don’t need to fight her battles just because she is your half sister.’
My already aching ankles cause me to lean heavily on the table and I slowly slide to the floor.
I must be hearing things. No. No. Daddy is trying to get to me. He’s trying to hurt my feelings because Tosin didn’t let him hit me right. Right? Yes, that must be it.
There’s a wicked grin on daddy’s face and I turn to look at Tosin. His back is still to me but it’s hunched like someone who has been defeated.
The word escape before my brain could even process what I want to say.
Tosin turns to look at me and that expression is there again. That look of guilt I spent most of tonight witnessing.
I’ve always been scared of ever seeing Daddy again. Since escaping from Tosin’s daddy’s house, I’ve tried as much as possible to grow a thick skin. A skin so thick it would make a bull jealous so that when I finally do meet him, nothing he does or says will ever get to me.
And I succeeded… or I thought I did.
There were days I starved, others I received beatings and on one occasion, I even had to sneak out on a client who had sick tastes.
I thought I had grown stronger, that with everything that has happened nothing could phase me, nothing could break through but… I was wrong.
That I could work and eat, I was content.
That I had people I could laugh and joke with, I was content.
Until I met Tosin. A small sigh escapes my lips.
I shake my head.
God must have a twisted sense of humour to be constantly messing up with my life.
My half brother? Who would have thought?
I say shaking my head slightly.
I didn’t even know Mummy was… wait, if Tosin is my half brother then does that mean…?
Tosin is wearing a pained expression.
‘Fuck! Fuck!! Fuck!!!’
For the first time in years, the tears stream down my face unprovoked by physical pain. My heart feels like it’s too big to contain my rib cage.
‘Why?! Mummy why?!’
I want to throw up desperately but nothing comes out. I hear daddy’s laughs in between my sobs.
‘I told you your mother was a whore. You thought Yemi was an angel? Ha! Like mother like daughter.’
Someone crouches next to me and tries to put an arm around me and I turn to look at him, hate and anger fill my face.
It wasn’t a question, it was a statement because at this point it’s so obvious to me that I’ve been played for a fool. After all these years, no matter how hard I had tried to change who I was. Ola was still Lola. The naive girl abused and used by everyone around her.
‘Lola… please. You have to understand…’
The tears suddenly dried up and I was filled with rage.
‘Have to understand? Please tell me, brother, what do I have to understand? Mmm? That the one person that made me feel things for the first time, the same person who paid for me to fuck him happens to be my blood!!!’
It was Tosin’s turn to cringe but I wasn’t done.
‘Or the fact that my mother, the one person who was a source of light in my life was actually with someone like your dad! The same man that…’
I use my palm to cover my mouth as the memories wash over me. I couldn’t bring myself to say it. Why?! Why must life keep finding new ways to break me?! I’ve been such a fool. Such a damn fool.