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Paradise Street. Chapter Twenty.

I am a writer, a customer care rep, a business administrator, a lover of life and a successful single lady who sees every child as hers.


Number seventeen was at it again and this time around; it was the tenant who lived at the detached building, her name is Tinuke. She was a wayward woman who lived with her five children in the detached two bedroom flat. Yes, five children from three different men. Her first child and son was into Internet fraud and brought strange girls into the building every time to chat up white men on the internet and he always paid them for their services. His mother was a benefactor of this scheme so she tolerated his games. Well, she had no choice since she couldn't provide for him financially and couldn't produce his father. At last, her son got tired and left the country with the money he saved up, and cut all ties with his mother.

Tinuke was now left with four children. Her first daughter the second child and her second son the third child shared the same father with the first born. While her fourth child and second daughter had a different father.

Many times Tinuke was heard insulting her first daughter on how cheap the boys in her life were. She made fun of her for not bringing in real men with good money. She compared herself with her daughters bragging that despite her old age, she still attracted rich old men and supported the family financially. Her last child and daughter was for another man; even the little girl knew that secret, and was grooming herself to be like her mother.

At her little age, she would watch out for any young man that came to visit any female in the compound and parade her little self in front of him, sit on his lap calling him brother, and even asking him if she could serve him food. Everyone except Cynthia and her mother, thought she was just a little girl behaving funny. According to Cynthia and her mother's mind eye; this child would grow up just like her mother.

Your writer.


Tinuke's source of income was on men. She was so good at it that you would never pass her for a prostitute. I mean, at her age she just can't be; but she was. She slept with different men for money, the only difference was that she did it one after another. She can be with one man for six months and dump him when she gets another with more money. She enjoyed it! She got food, bags of drinking water, money for fuel and Ankara to sew for the many parties she attended looking cheap but still attracted semi rich old men.

One of her secrets were soon blown up when she and her best friend quarreled and that one told everyone who care to listen that Tinuke goes to a native doctor for charms to attract these men. All these didn't disturb Tinuke as she still parades herself with so much splendor always looking like a scholar with her fake reading glasses she wore every second to wash, eat, fetch water from the well and make trouble. She would sit on the broad ways of her compound reading one of the newspapers she got from her lover even though she didn’t understand a thing! The only language she perfectly understands is yoruba and her gossips centered on Woni woni woni. That is in English: they say, they say, they say. There was no news Tinuke will say she read or saw. It was always based on what she heard others say.

Tinuke paraded herself as a widow even though she was never married and all the men she had children for are still alive. She paraded herself as a business woman when all she sold was her body. She paraded herself as a good mother when all she was, was a bad example for them and only coaxed them to respect her or no food and shelter would be given them. She paraded herself as a peaceful neighbor when all she is a trouble maker and a fighter and her loud noisy voice was always the first to give her away. But one thing she never paraded herself as, even though that one thing is the whole embodiment of her image is: A loser.


On this particular day, this fine Tuesday morning and exactly 10:30am Tinuke was just giving everyone one more reason to tag her a loser.

Come out here you this husband snatcher! Come out. Haaa a mi! You know to collect my man but you could not collect back the one that your friend took from you. Useless dirty pig!

Old mama! Old mama! Came another voice the neighbours recognized so well as Yemi's voice, the very one nicknamed piggy. What were you thinking? That it's only you that know how to get beta man that can give someone money. Old mama youngi shame on you.

So you get mouth to talk! Eh! Tinuke shouted back. I don't blame you, it's that idiot that I blame. I don't know what he see's in you this smell smell pig to sleep with.

Me smell smell pig? See this stretched mark giant! I wonder how that baba self over looked this your overly stretched marked body to have sex with you.

And that was the straw that broke the Carmel's back. Tinuke did not find that truthful insult funny, as she went in to put on her one and only short nika she wore to usually feel sexy, to now feel comfortable to fight piggy in it. As her daughters tried stopping her, they received slaps for such obstruction and that gave Piggy ample time to flee before Tinuke would pounce on her.

Yes, Tinuke was everything vile, and despite her age, she is most especially a fighter everyone feared.

Tinuke learnt her lesson that period. And it was not to depend solely on her juju man for charms to keep her man, if not piggy won't have snatched this man from her after she had walked in from seeing him off to the gate. He wouldn't have forgotten about her soo quickly with just one sex he had with piggy. He wound not have given Piggy 30,000 naira at once! Such cash he never gave her at once. She got all the facts right and she made sure it never happened again.

Yes, the next old man she got was well guarded. She always saw him off down to his car, and watched him drive off before she went back into her flat. Anyways, what Piggy did to her became a blessing in disguise because the other man she got; had more money that the first. He changed her tiger generator and bought her a big generator and opened a small koise for her. Some rich man, you would say.

Out of all the tenants in the yard, Favor was the only one who deeply respected Tinuke. To her; she was a tough woman who knows how to handle men and get what she wanted. She preferred her life to hers. She wished she could just have some kids and live alone with them at her own whims and get money to enjoy her life and raise her kids from different men. Favor felt so unfortunate. She was a girlfriend to Bayo who was a direct neighbor to piggy. Bayo shared the apartment with three of his male fiends and made Favor their maid. She washed their cloths, cooked for them, cleaned for them, and was Bayo's sex tool at night which at the end of it all resulted to pregnancy.

When she became pregnant his friends decided to leave the little apartment for him and his girlfriend Favor. Favor gave birth and some token was given to her parents as bride price. But as we all know, what is gotten cheap is never appreciated. And Favor took her aggression and frustration on mild quiet Cynthia; her direct opposite neighbour in the building.

She would insult Cynthia, poke fun at her and try incite her into a fight because she was jealous of her. Cynthia had a decent life and she didn’t. That annoyed her. Oh she tormented her; but Cynthia never gave in. And Cynthia was always compensated for that in a funny way. Cynthia would say: Don't worry, I won't insult you or touch you, your husband will soon come home and beat you for me. You know he always does. And that's exactly what happens.

Occasionally on most evenings; Favor's husband vented his frustration on her by beating her with his belt and their child cried and watched in the background. Favor would cry and scream but no one would come to her rescue. Her husband would beat her and beat her till his hands will grow tired. Yes, Favor got her reward for venting her frustration on Cynthia.

© 2020 Jade George Anibor

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