“As The Court Pleases…”

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The first day wey I go court, come see how that place be, I really tire gan. Nor be small thing. Which one be say, “as the court pleases”? Court dun turn to Almighty God, abi? So, if accuse come kill persin reach court and the judge come say na lie, na the dead man kill himself, na so the case go come be, “as the court pleases”, abi? Na wah o, kill and go courts dem!

In fact, babanla wayo dey this matter and na there people wey invent court make serious mistake, sake of say the court alone cannot “pleases” at all, at all. Now, if man come get stubborn wife wey him want divorce because him dun tire for her wahala and the court no come “pleases”, nko? Wetin come consine court inside the matter, abi na court money dem take marry the woman?

I remember one time like that for we village. This baba come get tiri wife. The first one, him marry am when him be young man of 20-something. The woman dun born like seven children for the baba. But before Mama born number four pickin, Baba marry second wife for middle-age, join am.

This second wife na good woman wey nor de find trouble. And she fine, well-well, just like Mama when she be tear-rubber. In fact, this second wife correct sotay, na Mummy she de call wife number one. And na so Mama come like am like say na her junior sister gan-gan. Everywhere just peaceful for the family like say na Mama born everybody.

As time come de go o, Baba come de roll in money and contract come de flow like River Niger the time when oyinbo been de use ship pass for there. Nor be him devil come begin push Baba sotay, him go take him hand, take him own money go buy wahala come put for house!

We nor know where from Baba come take see this opeke so, wey fine, yellow sotay she come be like mamiwota. Na so her hair take long, make mior-mior like say she from Arab. Ah, Baba sha! Him like fine woman die! But this opeke proud sotay to ordinary greet Mama good morning sef, na big wahala. When Baba finally carry am come home, she come born only two o, na him kasala come burst for everywhere.

Everyday, na so-so fight-fight. Na him one day, both Mama and number two come decide say, enough is enough. Even the neighbours dem hate this opeke die, as dem take love Mama and number two, nor be small. In fact, na Mama, the whole area de call number one. But na only Baba and Opeke like themself.

So one morning, as Mama de bath, to ready go her shop, na him Opeke ready to commot, too, but her car nor gree start. She just waka go carry Mama key, drive her car commot, without no permit from anybody – not from either Mama o, nor Baba, himself. Nor be God want catch dog so, wey make dog nor fit smell shit again?

Everybody for house come spark, like lighter! Even sef, within one hour, the whole street dun hear am and na so everybody come de vex, fala-fala. Even Baba sef, gan. But Baba warn everybody say make dem nor touch am when she recome back, make dem just do am, best-answer-to-fool-is-silence.

The following Monday, Baba come go divorce court, say him nor want again. Na him Opeke come say, for wia? Say nobody fit porshoe am from her husband house. To make matter worse, the judge for the matter come be onoda fine opeke like am. So, as the court pleases, the judge come rule say na so the matter go be. Isorite. We go see sha. Na Africa we dey, so!

Opeke come return home, come de sing triumphant song like say na Jesus enter Jerusalem. She come carry anointing oil wey her babalawo pastor and boyfriend give am, de spread am everywhere, de halla, “Holy Ghooost…fayaaah!” But snake wey go bite tortoise, nor be trouble him de find so?

For night, Opeke nor fit sleep. Na so she carry cloth for hand come outside, de shout say, once she close eye to sleep, she go dream as Baba carry coffin for head de porshoe am everywhere, with big cutlass. And na so, true-true, for morning, na so small-small marks come full all her body. E nor even reach 6 am sef before Opeke carry her pickin dem, plus all her load, run commot for Baba house. She nor even remember to carry mechanic come fix her car and na so the motor come longside for Baba house, there, come de rotten.

As the court pleases, kor. Shay na court money dem take pay her dawary? Court leave dem work come de consine themself with onoda man matter: bad thing, with naked neck! And since Opeke carry her yeye self, with all the demons wey follow am, commot for Baba house, peace dun de flow back, as before. Oya, make the court come pleases again for Baba house, make I see. Yeye de smell.

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