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The Mechanics Of Yenagoa (Season 2) – XVIII
Post Series: Mechanics of Yenagoa

I didn’t speak to BRD about the money for two days. My intention was to ignore him for a couple more days so he wonders what I have up my sleeves – and the plan worked. Not knowing how I intended to handle the issue or deal with him was enough punishment for Broderick. The dude couldn’t even stand up straight whenever I asked him to get me a tool or run any other errand for me in the workshop.

He was acting all sober and contrite around me. Broderick Degi had suddenly become nice and polite, and doing things nobody sent him.

Only yesterday, he swept the whole compound, cut the overgrown grasses in the backyard, cleared the gutter in front of the gate, washed my clothes and Anda’s, cleaned out all the mess in the garage, mopped the church floor and even made breakfast for all of us. All these he did before 6 o’clock in the morning.

While his guilt and apprehension drove him away from me, it pushed him to everyone else in the compound. One by one, they came pleading to me on his behalf.

First to speak with me was his colleague and roommate, Biodun. When that didn’t bring about the expected outcome, he reached out to my sister, Ebiakpo. Her entreaties fell on deaf ears so he approached Reverend Ebizimor, who rather than speak on the boy’s behalf was more interested in knowing when I was going to pay my tithe on the N2m I got from Honourable Aaron into the church account.

I was certain BRD had reached out to Blessing as well to intervene on his behalf. But knowing how things stood between me and her, and how it seemed like her mind was made up to leave me for good, she must have advised him to carry his cross and allow her heart heal in peace. The reason I came to this conclusion is because I even got a call from Saka who was still in Lagos with his newfound agent, Director Paul D, the same guy that directed the commercial and hooked him up with the Timaya music video gig.

Apparently, Paul D had taken Saka under his wings and had scheduled a number of auditions for him in Lagos, including one for a small speaking role in an upcoming Kunle Afolayan movie that would begin shooting in Abeokuta in the New Year. We spoke for a couple of minutes about what he was up to and the antics of his girlfriend, Agnes, before he brought up BRD’s transgressions.

“Saka, I don’t want to talk about that stupid boy, please. You, just concentrate on what you’re doing over there in Lagos and let me worry about managing the people in my workshop.”

Afraid of ticking me off, and sensing that nothing he was going to say would make me reveal the punishment I had planned for BRD, Saka ended the call. Obviously, he must have advised BRD to change his tactics after our short conversation, because the next thing I knew, BRD played his joker. He called in his mother.

“My pikin, you don really really tried for me and my children,” Broderick’s mother said to me. She refused the drink Ebiakpo offered her, and she wouldn’t even sit down. “The things you dey do for this my pikin and even him brother when no dey even stay here with you for this house, na only God go bless you and your sister.”

“Mama, make you siddon na, I no dey comfortable as you stand and me and my sister when be your junior for age come siddon as if we dey judge case for court.”

“Ebinimi, this one no be siddon or matter of who senior who. As my son phone me this afternoon come tell me the whole thing when happen between you and him, and the kind of trouble when you for enter with your big oga for Abuja because of him mumu behaviour, I know say you don tire for am, and me I no blame you at all.”

“Mama, make you no dey talk like this. I am the one that should to apologising to you for not being able to control Broderick. Maybe he was stubborn in Amassoma, but here in Ovom, he has become worse. Now he hangs out with bad boys, he drinks, he smokes, he carries girls and he does drugs.”

“But you dey teach am something here, something when even him own papa no fit teach am because the only thing when that man sabi na drink-drink. But you, you don teach am this mechanic work and if him put him head down learn am well-well, one day-one day him too go marry and start him own family.”

“I be mechanic oh mama, but I go school. I be graduate and any day when this mechanic job no pay me again or e tire me, I go carry my certificate jeje go find another work. I fit even become politician. That is what I have been trying to teach your son, but he wouldn’t listen to me.”

“Ebinimi my pikin, Broderick go listen. He have learn his lesson, and he no go disappoint you again. I swear.” My heart went out to her and at that point I had no choice but to compel her to sit.

“How are we sure he has changed?” Ebiakpo asked.

“I don ask am and him tell me say na here him wan stay.  He don’t want to come back to we suffer-suffer life. Abeg, give am another chance, I will continue to talk sense to him and this God when I dey serve so, go change am for me.”

With Saka and Oputi gone, I didn’t want to lose another member of staff. I just couldn’t afford to. So, I told BRD’s mum that I wouldn’t be sending him back to Amassoma with her after extracting his assurances to be a better man, going forward.

Beyond the pressure of trying to cope with just one assistant and any new apprentices I took on to replace those that left, BRD was now like the kid brother I didn’t have. He was family and no sane person stays mad at family forever. I always knew I was going to forgive him because I just couldn’t cut-off or disown my blood brother no matter how much he hurt or wronged me. Since I had accepted the responsibility of mentoring him and helping his parents mould his character that first time I took him in, letting him go now would be admitting failure, so Broderick stays.

Because of the rice and other items I had for BRD’s mother, I offered to drop her off in Amassoma. On my way back, I called Oputari and she agreed I could stop by her house. She said it was time I met her family.

Oputi was waiting for me by the door. She led me into their well-furnished living room. It was my first time inside her home and I was impressed at her parents’ good taste. I whispered this to her, and it made her chuckle.

“You don’t have to whisper, Ebinimi. Mum and dad are out of town, so today I’m going to live out my Cinderella Complex and act like you are my prince charming and this house is the castle where we get to live forever happily ever after.”

“You mean we have this big house to ourselves?” I asked, already imagining the wildness we would get up to.

“Not really, my sister is at home but she’s cool with you being here. You know she has been dying to meet you,” Oputi said, sounding really excited. “Would you like to meet her now or after you’ve had dinner?”

“Dinner can wait. Let me meet her first. I can’t wait to hear all the lies you’ve told her about me.”

“I haven’t had the chance of gisting her about you just yet, so she knows next to nothing about who you are and what you do for a living,” Oputi beamed radiantly. “Abi you are afraid I might have told her about the death threats I’ve been receiving from your ex, Blessing, and also about your insatiable appetite for sex?”

“Hmmmm, I saw what you did there, Oputi. You rhymed ex and sex,” I grinned at her and in response she did a mock courtesy. “On a more serious note though, why is Blessing still sending you those messages when we have both moved on?”

“Maybe you have moved on, but I don’t think she has, because I got another message from her this afternoon.”

“Wow, I think it’s time I did something about her fixation. Perhaps if I let Reverend Ebizimor know what she has been up to, he can counsel her and make her stop.”

“I would like us to see him together, immediately, before things get out of hand.”

“We can do that tomorrow. Today, I just want to meet my future sister-in-law.”

“Okay, let me go and tell her you’re here. Meanwhile, please make yourself comfortable. I’ll only be a minute.”

Oputi left me in the sitting room and went in to fetch her sister. While she was away, it hit me how much she had changed, and quite honestly, I really liked this version of her. She looked relaxed and happy and not at all bothered by the hounding from Blessing. Even though we hadn’t really spoken about our future together, it was obvious we were both thinking about it.

“Ebinimi!” I heard my name from the hallway. “Please, can you come over here, I might be needing help with my sister’s wheelchair!” Oputi called out to me.

Her sister was on the bed when I got into the room. I couldn’t make out her face because the room was pretty dark, but I didn’t need to see her under shining lights to know who it was, because the person on the bed had a very familiar presence. I would recognise those features anywhere in the world and at any time of the day or night.

“Oyintari?”

“Ebinimi, you know my sister?”

Oputari and Oyintari were sisters? Suddenly my head began to spin and I could feel my legs wobbling. I didn’t know if it was horror, terror or anger, but Oputi must have sensed something in the way I said her sister’s name that worried her too, because she started moving away from the bed in slow backward motion, like they do in films.

“Ebinimi, wetin you dey do here? You’re supposed to be dead,” Oyintari AKA Jigger, AKA Sucking-Blood may have lost the use of her legs, but she didn’t lose the timbre in her voice.

“What is going on here?” Oputi screamed at both of us. “Ebinimi, Oyins – can someone please tell me what the heck is going on here!” she shouted turning from me to her sister and then back to me again. And because her sister wouldn’t say anything, I was forced to speak.

“Your sister tried to murder me in August.”

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