GIFT: Obidi, did you hear papa’s voice?
(Gift continues peeling the yam)
(The voice was louder this time)
OBIDI: Saahhh, I’m coming.
(Obidi looks at his sister as if to say I didn’t hear his voice before)
PAPA: Where is your sister?
OBIDI: She is peeling the yam sir.
PAPA: Where were you?
OBIDI: I was helping her sir.
PAPA: Don’t you have better things to do – better things than hanging around a kitchen?
OBIDI: No, papa – I was just helping her blow the fire.
PAPA: Are you mad? Your mates are playing ball down the road, it is my business what you choose to do with your life, not yours. (Pulling his ear)
If I ever find you anywhere close to the kitchen, you will stoop down for days.
Am I clear? (No response) Are you deaf, am I clear?
OBIDI: No – I mean, yes papa.
PAPA: So you were with her, you heard me call you; she did not hear me call her. Tell her if I don’t see her before I open my eyes, she will stoop down too.
(Obidi holds his left ear as he leaves the room)
(A few seconds later, Gift enters and faces her father, fear is written all over her face)
PAPA: Why did you let me waste my voice, you want to tell me that you did not hear me ba?
GIFT: No papa.
PAPA: How will you hear me, when all you do is walk about the house, eating every food and blowing up? We cannot even find you a husband because nobody wants to marry a fat amoeba. Look in the mirror. If you can’t help yourself, nobody can help you. I am just saying my own.
GIFT: Sorry papa.
PAPA: Sorry for yourself. Put off the light and lie down here.
GIFT: Papa, I cannot do it today, I have blood.
(Gift backs slowly towards the wall)
PAPA: Will you shut up your rotten mouth and obey your father, oh – I see you have another father outside this house that will be paying your school fees ba?
(At this point, Gift is crying and dodging her father as he tries to reach for her)
If you don’t shut up, I will beat the living daylight out of you. Put off the light and lie down here my friend!
(Gift looks at her father and makes several kneeling gestures as she continues crying)
PAPA: That your cry will soon turn into something else if you don’t answer me.
( Papa grabs her by the elbow and forcefully places her hand on his crotch and he begins to squeeze himself with her hand)
(Gift is crying, but makes no sound)
(Papa pushes her down and rubs petroleum jelly between her thighs and begins to rub his penis between them )
(Gift just lays there, she does not move, she uses her hand to cover her eyes in the dim room and tiny sobs slips out of her. Papa uses one finger to move her panties aside and he takes his hand away immediately he realises that she truly had blood. Papa, let out a loud moan and pulls the left arm of her blouse down and he begins to fondle with her breast. Gift did not make any move. After some minutes, Papa stands up and zips his trouser)
Get out of here, if you say pim to anyone – you trust what I can do.
(Gift does not take her hand away from her face. She hits her leg against a stool as she makes her way out of the room)
PAPA: That is the only thing you know how to do, spoiling things.
(Gift sits on the floor outside Papa’s room – the shoulder of her blouse was slack on one side. Her hands are still on her face and this time, her sobs were a little louder. Her skirt was rumpled and Papa’s cum was already drying up between her thighs and from the way she sat, it was very visible as it formed a map on her dark skin)
OBIDI: Mama, welcome.
Mama: Where is Gift, has she finished cooking the yam?
OBIDI: Mama, I don’t know what is wrong with Gift o, she is just sitting on the floor outside Papa’s door and she is crying.
MAMA: Crying, why?
OBIDI: Mama, I don’t know o.
MAMA: Is your father at home?
(Mama asked suspiciously)
OBIDI: Yes, he is inside.
MAMA: (Thinking aloud, as she walks towards Papa’s room) I hope this man has not done it again?
(Gift is already asleep by the time Mama gets there, Mama notices the cum on her daughters thigh)
MAMA: (Mama is speaking to herself quietly)
Chai, what does this man want me to do, ehn? Nobody is even safe in this house. Is this how we will continue living? Look what he has done to the poor girl again! How will I even tell people – how will they look at us… at me?
(Mama spanks Gift to wake up)
(Gift opens her eyes and looks at her mother, her eyes are dry and she continues to stare without making any move)
Obidike get me some water.
MAMA: You too, you just came here and started sleeping, don’t you have any sense at all? You earned this foolishness from your father. Couldn’t you have at least cleaned yourself up – what if it was someone else that found you like this? You people will not kill me in this house. If your father refuses to be sensible, does that mean you should also be senseless? You better start learning things for yourself, I cannot teach you everything. Just make sure you don’t say pim to anyone. One day, God will punish him in His own way.
(Tears stream down Gift’s eyes as her mother uses a towel to clean up her thigh. She does not make a sound.)
An Original play by TIENCEPAY LAWAL