9 - Syrup To Get Thick
"Ehen Tiwa," my mom calls as she barges into my room. "You need to prepare for your trip to Canada. You know you'll be leaving in two month's time."
I stare at her in disbelief, my eyes darting between her and the door. Why are African parents just different?
"Mummy, you didn't knock. As usual." I point out as I push to sit up on my bed. I didn't even hear what she said but I know her mouth moved when she walked in.
She moved to my desk when my laptop sat.
"Is that what I said? Turn your music off!"
Quickly, I turn it off. My eyes glued on my mom and hoping she doesn't start touching anything.
"You'll be going to college, baby. University." she says with a proud smile though her eyes are filled with sadness.
Her hands glide over my keyboards, before she double taps the shift key on my laptop.
And just like that, my heart drops.
"What is this?" she leans towards my computer and I quietly make my way out of the bed. "Sophia!" she screams.
I dash out of my room in fear and she follows suit, carrying my laptop in her arms.
"Daniel!" she yells. "Come and look at what your sister has been searching on Google."
Jesus! She's about to make a fuss out of my business.
Trust Daniel not to waste time with that tone my mom used. He rushed out of his room, making me curse and wish today we not Sunday.
"How to get thick in a week. How to get thick in a day. Medications to get thick in two weeks. List of syrups needed to add weight. How to take eggs to add weight…" my brother reads from my laptop.
I'm hiding under the dinning table, my face to the ground as embarrassment seems to have its arms around me.
"Can you see this child?" my mum yells as she sits on the sofa.
"I don't really know what's wrong with Sophia oo."
"Where is the stupid child? Tiwa!" she barked. "If you let me find you, ehn?"
My brother looks around in search of me. Stupid me! I mistakenly push a dinning chair with my left leg in an attempt to stay out of sight.
"Gotcha!" he shouts.
I curse as I come out of my hide out.
The look on Daniels face is enough to make me sell my soul to any spiritual being that can take me out of this situation right about now.
He's trying hard to contain his laughter but he's doing a terrible job.
"Come here and explain this madness!" My mum frowns.
"What do you want me to explain again na?" I stomp my feet. "Yes, I want to get thick. Mum, I'm small and i hate it." I finally find my words.
"You're really sick, Tiwa. You're not just thin, just slim and it's attractive yet you don't want to agree. Me that am looking for flat tummy up and down, yet you have it without stress." My brother chips in and that only makes me want to slice his neck and cut out his tongue. He talks too much.
I glare at him.
"You want to kill yourself, abi? You want to go into drugs?" my mum jumps into conclusion. Typical for a Nigerian woman.
I shake my head repeatedly. "Ahn ahn. That's not…" I sigh. "I just want to be thick and look, like a regular seventeen year old." I say quietly with my head bowed.
"This thickness obsession!" my brother laughs.
The fact that he finds my…pain and frustration funny is enough to make my eyes well up with tears.
"Well, I need to step out for fresh air. See you guys later." Daniel leaves while my mum continues to give me judgy eyes and shake her head.
"Mum, I'm sorry."
"What were you doing with that whore in the kitchen?" she asks all of a sudden.
I could've sworn we were passed this. I lower my head, with my palms together as I think of what to say.
"Answr me, Tiwa. You're not deaf!"
I flinch at the rise in her voice. "Nothing na. I just went there to take my apples." I reply with a whine hoping she'll let it go.
"Tiwa." she says with a warning tone and I hold her gaze. She doesn't break contact and the look intensifies. "Tiwa?"
Jesus! "Ma" I answer, rather impatient.
"How many times did I call you?"
Silence rests on our shoulders before her shoulders come up in a shrug.
"I don't want to see you anywhere near that whore. Do you hear me?" she asks pulling she ears. "Answer me-"
"Should you be using that word in front of our children?"
I turn to face my dad as he emerges from the side. One of his brows raised with his eyes trained at my mom.
"Should you be bringing whores to this house?" my mom fires right back.
Dad looks away. Like he's had too much already. He holds my gaze.
"Good afternoon, Sir" I want to say something rude but I don't know what I will get as a reply and besides, mom is crossed at me to even back me up.
His face softens. "My dear-"
I fight the urge to roll my eyes, but here we go.
"I am so sorry I missed your graduation-"
"You always have an excuse for everything." I say in a causal tone and quickly collect my laptop from my mom who has her eyes glued to the TV.
"I know but-"
"Not even a text? Please, I'm tired. I want to rest."
"What did you do that you're tired?" he asks. "See, I got you a new sneakers-"
He doesn't have to finish that statement. My eyes brighten up immediately.
"It's in my car." He says and fishs out his keys, juggling it in the air.
I reach to get it "This conversation is not over." I say and hurry to get my shoes.
I do have a messed up dad but he finds a way to bribe himself out of the prison I set for him. Smart.
I take the box of my new shoes and while I can't wait to wear a them, I walk into the sitting room almost immediately, my dad stands from where he sat with my mom on the sofa.
"This moment you're all over me, next minute you're avoiding me." I hear him grumble.
"Ah come and sit down oo, Mr. Animashaun. Did I hold you?"mom hisses.
"My baby needs my attention. And we need to eat super fast. We're starving." he says and begins to climb the stairs.
"Well, no one is stopping you from cooking-" mom starts to say.
"That's why I married you. To cook for me and my guests."
I am beyond disgusted by those words.
I watch as my mom lowers her head to her hands and her shoulders trembles. It breaks my heart to see her cry.
I let the box drop to the floor and I hurry to her side. "Mom?" I half whisper with a lump in my throat.
"I'm fine." she says with a shaky voice and that makes me scoff.
Shouldn't us girls stick together? I hold my mum against my skinny body and she leans into me.
The only sound I can hear is my mom sniffing away at her tears, trying to contain herself but breaking down each minute.
"We'll be fine." I say, holding in my own tears. I truly hope so.