Lanre Ayomije had always been a queer sort of child. The kind that would stare with interest at a twisted limb, just imagining how the bones lay beneath the surface. The kind of child that grew beyond his age because of his interests.
I knew he was a bit odd when he was 6, he never threw tantrums or did all those childish things, he was mature.
“Lanre, how was school?” I asked from the drivers seat, it was a sunny day and cars sped along the expressway. I had just picked him up but he hadn’t said anything. If I didn’t initiate conversation, he’d just ignore me.
“it was fine, no one fell today” he replied, pausing to stare out the window before fiddling with a toy.
“you really shouldn’t be bothered with who falls or not, do you want ice cream?” I looked at him from the mirror and frowned, he wasn’t smiling, children love ice cream.
“no” he said, fiddling with the buckles of the car seat now “I want strawberry jam”
“I’ll stop at the mart and get some for you.”
I smiled, he liked jam.
The smell of rubber burning alerted me and I slowed down checking for anything odd, moments later the car behind me sped past a few cars and skidded to the right as a tyre popped, it exploded and three cars that didn’t stop in time were caught in the mix, one car had toppled over on its roof and the driver scrabbled to get out.
I parked my car and went to help, oblivious of Lanre. I noticed him a bit later standing in front of a burning car, just standing and watching the trapped girls in that car cry and scream for help with a small smile on his face.
He looked at the car and took a few steps back right before that car exploded, blood had started pooling at the soles of his small shoes.
Someone yanked him away and called him a demon. He, on the other hand, just smiled wider and said thank you. I retrieved him and shoved him in the car, the scene playing out over and over again and so I started watching him.
and he knew I watched him but either he wanted my reaction or he just didn’t care.
He had been reasonably normal for a while and I got him his first puppy at 10, I met the Lhasa’a skinned and dying when I returned from work, the bloody bits of fur marking his room floor.
When my sister wanted to travel, I asked her daughter, Toyosi, to stay with us. This she did, since I felt Lanre just needed company his age although I had my doubts. He had become older and I figured he would have discarded those things that were disturbing.
Shortly after, Lanre warmed up to Toyosi and I felt a bit calm, thinking he was just lonely and quite frankly, relieved.
After a couple of months, I found my niece hanging in Lanre’s room. I couldn’t say it was him as we had gone out together that day, but I knew he had a hand in it. I called my mother and she insisted that it was largely spiritual, recommended a church for him and that was that.
His father and I arranged for him to be taken to a psychologist and when his test results came back with sociopathic tendencies, we moved him to rehab.
Four years and a few months later, his father died and he had to return to me as I was ill myself.
I talked to him and he seemed…different. not that Lanre I knew. so I was hopeful.
The smallest and most simple of things can evoke the memories I thought I forgot.
It’s been four years since I came visiting, but now mum is ill, she needs me. Dad passed away a couple of months earlier and I personally feel like she’s just aching to meet him.
After leaving her bedside, I meandered around the halls to my room. Upon inspection, the maids seemed to have dusted it very recently.
But nothing had been moved, as If I had never left.
I closed my eyes and flared out my nostrils, trying to get the scent of my room, but I was met with the faintest smell of disinfectant and air fresheners.
I let my fingers trail across my bookshelf. every single book in its place, dusted. it’s spines proudly showing off its names.
I finally got to the bed and pulled back the duvet, I sat on the bed and burst into a fit of giggles.
Ingrained in this large fabric are the memories I thought I’d forgotten about.
Dusty rose silk sheets, the color reminded me of Toyosi.
“what are you doing, Lanre?” she asked me,
her fine ass facing me as she reached down on the other side of my bed searching for a couple of books in my bookbag. I stood and leant back on my table, before taking off my belt and undoing the buttons of my shorts.
One of the books landed on the bed with a dull thud, I glanced at it slowly noting that it was just one out of the collection, the 8th one out of 12.
“you should use a pillow you know, leaning over like that would hurt your shoulder” I said, passing her one of my pillows, she took it saying “we would have been done by now if you’d move your flat chest and help me.”
“you’re lazy, that’s why I’m not helping”
“fuck you” she said, her voice a bit muffled from burying her face slightly in the pillow. I smiled a bit, she just voiced my thoughts.
I moved to the bed, listening to her little grunts as she shoved books aside.
“I do not understand why you couldn’t have arranged them before you shoved them here”
I reached forward and slapped her ass. Hard. she giggled and shifted, the graphic print skirt riding up her dark shiny thighs.
“leave me abeg”
I joined her on the bed, the silk sheets wrinkling in with my knees, and she shifted, exhaling in relief, she turned and lay on the pillow I’d supplied, a big smile on her face. “oya check your bag there.”
I smiled at her, and leaned forward as if I was reaching for the bag, her legs between my knees.
I grabbed her face and covered her mouth with my Palm. she had a look of nonchalance until I pulled down her top and bralette.
her dusty pink peaks matched my sheets.
I pulled at one with the free hand, watching It harden as it reacted to the cold air in my room.
she began to shriek, muffled by my Palm, when I dragged her skirt up and bunched it about her waist. Panties shifted, I unzipped my shorts and lined up with her.
her eyes scrunched up in her head as I slammed into her. in the back of my mind, the Virgin bells were going off, but I was here already.
no one was at home, no maids, no guards, just me and Toyo. after a while I didn’t even bother with anyone hearing her screams
I was close, my breathing had become shorter and my balls seemed to rise up into my body, so I pulled out of her and covered my pulsing head with my fist, letting out a string of profanities as my body released.
after I caught my breath and cleaned up, I found all the books and gave them to her and she left my room without being able to look me in the eye.
I busied myself shortly after with scrubbing off the spots of blood on my sheets.
Mother met me some hours later. I was in the kitchen stealing bread when she saw me.
“Lanre, have you seen Toyo? ”
“no mum, she should be in her room”
and after a while;
“Lanre, what’s wrong with your cousin?”
“what’s wrong with her?” I asked back
” I’m asking you a question and you’re asking me back, she’s crying.”
“maybe her boyfriend broke up with her or something” I yelled back.
A few days went by and the silence between I and Toyo stretched out.
Until one day, I had just returned from my outings when I saw her in the middle of my room.
hanging from the fan.
with my silk sheets tangled around her neck.
a little piece of paper sat gingerly at the edge of my stripped bed, and I reached for it.
A quick scan of it blamed me for her death, I broke her, bla bla bla. I crumpled the paper and flushed it down my toilet, before I yelled for my mother.
she was a bit mortified that I wanted my sheets back, but she yielded and let me have them.
I put it on my bed the day Toyo was cremated, and my mum hovered around my room.
Her urn was placed in the hallway and I remember smiling at it everyday till I left the house
“sir? Sir? !” a voice ripped me from my reverie and I looked up at a maid.
“well?” I asked her
“your mother wants you, sir” she said curtly before waving her ass out of my room.
I passed the urn on my way to mothers room, then I backtracked a bit and took it in my hands, shook it around a bit then dipped my finger in it.
I wiggled it around, feeling the bones that studded it, before I extracted my finger, looked about for observers and licked the ash.
Sweet, even in death.
I had a five fingered snack on my way back from mother.
No one noticed that I had moved the urn into my room.
no one noticed that my tea had a grey look to it.
no one noticed when the urn was returned.
no one noticed the urn was empty save for the bones.