We Have Secrets

©Ottih Onyedikachi


Present day

“Aunty Omotayo will be coming tomorrow.”
“Yaaaay!” We scream excitedly and run round the parlour waving our hands. I stop and pick up my machine gun on the couch and point it at my brother.
“Stay quiet and listen,” she admonishes. I stop in my tracks, gun in hand. “Aunty Omotayo will stay with us longer than the last time. She has finished with her senior secondary school and will help me look after your stubborn heads when I and Daddy are at work. Understand?”

“Kpa kpa kpa kpa! You’re dead!” I chime.
My brother puts a hand to his chest and gasps for breath while my Mommy laughs and walks past into the corridor to the kitchen. He falls down, tongue out and closes his eyes.
Now we are on a draw. 1-1.

Aunty Omotayo had come to stay with us sometime ago. I was younger then. She was kind to me and would always carry me on her laps when we watched television. It was a one-week holiday when she was in SS1.
My brother, Damilare, twelve years old, and I, Segun at nine years had been disturbing our parents for the next coming of Aunty Omotayo. With the news my Mommy announced this morning, I looked forward to seeing her oval face and shiny eyes that twinkled when she laughed.

The next Monday, Mommy bathes us early. Aunty Omotayo will be arriving this morning. Daddy has gone to work and Mommy stays back to entertain Aunty Omotayo and her daddy.

When the knock comes, Damilare runs to open the door, and Mommy comes out from the room. I first see Aunty Omotayo’s stout Daddy before I see her slender frame behind him. Damilare and I prostrate in greeting: heads bent, one knee down with our hands touching the ground.
“Ekaaro, Baami,” we chorus.

His face broadens in a smile, revealing crooked teeth darkened by tobacco. I peep at Aunty Omotayo from my bent posture and see her legs. Aunty Omotayo’s Daddy touches us on our backs.
“Ese eyin, omo mi. Shey e wa daada? Mi lero pe en se daada si awon obi yin?” We answer noisily.

“Aunty Omotayo!” I exclaim. Immediately I raise my head, I run pass Aunty Omotayo’s daddy and embrace her. Her Father steps into the house and hugs Mommy. Damilare tries to not look so happy, but his face cannot shield his gladness at their visit.
She clutches a small ghana-must-go bag, and Damilare promptly carries it from her and goes to drop it inside. Her room have been arranged before now for her. It used to be my room, but I will share with Damilare now she is here.

Mommy and her father exchange long greetings and progress into serious conversations. We stay in a corner with Aunty Omotayo and answer all the school and home questions she has for us. She touches our cheeks and remark that we are grown boys now.

Before her father leaves, he gives us two N100 notes to buy biscuits, asks Aunty Omotayo to take care of her cousins, asks her to be obedient and respectful to my parents, and leaves the house with Mommy.

I lie in bed facing the wall. I do not want Damilare to see, to know, what is happening to me. I twist my face from the discomforting ache in my pee. It arches against my underwear, and I put my hand to try to adjust it.

Damilare comes into the room. I know he has his eyes on me. He likes to eye me whenever he feels I am unhappy.
“What is it? Won’t you come downstairs?”
“I’m coming.”
“What’s wrong? I’m playing the game alone.”
“Ok. I’m coming.”
I feel his eyes stay on me for few minutes more and then, I hear the retreating footsteps. I close my eyes and imagine comfort in the disturbed part of my body.

Another knock makes me open my eyes, but I do not move. I pray silently that Damilare has not called Mommy to report that I am not well.
“Oko mi, kilode?” My heart leap. It is Aunty Omotayo.

Mommy walks into our room that Saturday to tell us that she will call us to bath. Damilare jumps down to the parlour to play game before it is time. I have a bulge and the ache persists. I yearn for Aunty Omotayo. I know Mommy will be displeased to see my pee up. I have never seen my brother’s up. I walk downstairs to the parlour on my big, blue shorts.

Minutes later, Mommy marches us to the bathroom. The smell of fried meat filters into the house from the kitchen. Daddy has not come out yet.
Mommy turns on the shower, and we start to undress. I wince as I drag down my short. Mommy looks at me and peers down at the erect pee. She straightens up and heaves.
“Baby? Do you want to pee?” She asks. I shake my head.
“Are you sure?” She gulps. I shake my head.

She scans me for minutes, looking fearfully at Damilare, pleading for an answer. After inspecting me without taking her eyes off to her satisfaction, she asks us to put our clothes back on. Damilare stays in the parlour while I go with her into the room. She orders me to undress for Daddy. He looks at me, then at my pee and stands. I tremble.

“How long have you been experiencing this, baby?” My Mommy inquires.
“For some time now, Mommy.” I look down at my feet. I should have gone to Aunty Omotayo in the kitchen instead of waiting for Mommy in the parlour.
“Is it paining you?” My Daddy asks, his voice grave, his hands touching me with the tip of his index finger. Then as if on a change of heart, uses more fingers to survey it. He tells Mommy that I will be taken to the hospital for a test.

“Sit down, oko mi,” Mommy cajoles. I obey. “When did it start happening? Have Omotayo been bathing you?”
I nod. Then, to my Daddy she says, “I wonder why she hasn’t reported this to us.” She goes out to the door, calls out loudly to Damilare, and instructs him to call Aunty Omotayo.
“When it happens like this, how does it go down? Is it when you pee?” She comes back to me and continues her probing.
I shake my head.
“Tell me, oko mi. It’s Mommy. I promise not to beat you. It’s paining you, abi? How do you make it stop paining you?”

We go round the questions many times. Mommy keeps persuading me to talk. She threatens that if we go to the hospital and she finds out herself, that she will flog me if I lied about anything.
Each time I open my mouth, I close it back. I cannot say anything. Mommy does not relent. In annoyance, she gets up and tells Daddy she is going to get the cane from the store room. I dread the crack of whip on my skin. She looks at me as she makes to leave the room. Her frown tells me of what will happen to me if I allow her get the cane.

“Aunty Omotayo makes me better,” I blurt.
“Eh? What?” She stops in her tracks and return to face me, her face changes to the colour of Panadol, the one Daddy forces me to drink when I have a headache.
“Aunty Omotayo. She touch it and it is better.”
“She touches you how to make it better?” Her voice rise in alarm.

My daddy stands transfixed, mouth agape and mopes at me.
Slowly, I run my hands over my pee in the ways Aunty Omotayo does.
Mommy let out a scream. Daddy trembles. We hear footsteps run away from the door. My Daddy scrambles to the door yelling for Aunty Omotayo.

Few weeks ago

I sit in the parlour with Damilare while Aunty Omotayo fries eggs for breakfast in the kitchen. Mommy goes to work earlier knowing that there is someone at home to take care of us now. Daddy’s schedule is the same: leaves early, returns late.

Aunty Omotayo calls me from the kitchen to come help her. I dash up from the couch, dropping the game controller and run into the kitchen. A vapour that tugs at my throat rises from the covered pot of stew. The frying pan with the eggs in it is on another cooker.

She looks at me, beaming that I answered quickly to her call. I wait by the large counter for the instructions from her. She opens the pot on the cooker, stirs it with the big spoon and beckons to me. I walk over. She takes my hand and pulls me closer.

“You know aunty loves you?” She eyes me as she queries.
I nod.
“You know I won’t allow anyone beat you?”
“Beeni.” I nod vigorously, confirming that I love her, too.
“I want to show you something, but you must promise not to tell Mommy, Daddy or Dami. If you tell them, I will not give you meat again. And I will not smile at you.”
I want meat, and I want Aunty Omotayo to smile at me that smile that makes her eyes twinkle. That is the beginning.

Aunty Omotayo puts my hands on her body. It feels warm and soft. She puts her hands on my pee and strokes it till the pot on the fire sizzled.

On the second knock on the door after Damilare left, Aunty Omotayo enters.
I turn and sit up looking down. She sits at the edge of the bed, reaches out her hand to me. I put mine in hers and she urges me forward. She looks down on my pee and smiles.
“You need Aunty, abi?”
She puts a hand inside her blouse and brings my face to her breast. Her hand finds its way to my pee while I suck on. Soon, I feel the warmness that always makes me feel better when I ache. The warmness that came on three days into our pleasure times.

Following this warmness is the bulge that comes on often. The painful erection that will make Mommy find out.
Aunty Omotayo does not stop till the small, glassy, liquid runs out. I relax. The throbbing pain slowly stops. She hugs me, asks me to come quickly for lunch, adjusts her clothes and leaves the room.

Present day

My Mommy lets out a scream. My Daddy trembles. We hear footsteps run away from the door. My Daddy scrambles to the door yelling for Aunty Omotayo.

I know it is bad and I have put Aunty Omotayo in trouble. I do not want her to be in trouble or she will stop making me feel better. I love how her hands make me feel. I love the relief I get each time the session is over. I love the feel of her breasts on my face and in my mouth. I don’t want her to stop putting an extra meat under my rice plate. The bulge and the ache from the past weeks feels better with her mouth, body and hands. But will they understand? Or will I be wrong to wish it does not stop.

Mommy’s scream is laden with a hurt I cannot explain. The retreating footsteps is pursued by Daddy. I stand in the room, allow Mommy put a shirt over me and grab money from their drawer. I think about Aunty Omotayo as Mommy carries me to the car. I know that I might not see her again. I know that if I see her again, she will not look at me the same way. I will not see her eyes twinkle. We had a secret.

Based on a true life story.

11 thoughts on “We Have Secrets

  1. So real. The society looks out more at the girl child while letting the male child suffer a lot of abuse and assault in the hands of aunties and house helps.
    Please pay more attention to your sons at home . Thanks for sharing.

  2. This is crystal clear that alot of things happens behind closed doors, thanks for the eye opening ,, more blessings dear🤗🤗

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