Abdulsalami

by Tioluwani Rachel Adeleke

I had known Salami since I was three.
The lively, always smiling gate-man of ours.
Energetic and ever-ready.
And he is a polygamist—three wives, thirty three children.

Though, I was three, Salami would spank my bum and give crazy chuckles.
Salami would rather take me to school on his bike, than run errands for our neighbor’s dog, Coldstone.
At three, Coldstone was the love of my own life. With innocence, it always turned me on. When I was ten, at the sight of its wank, my nipples would be ‘turninoniown’. 
Coldstone or Salami?
Salami!

Salami had a small kiosk close to the house. With the 15,000 naira my dad and neighbors contributed for him every month, it seemed like he had all he wanted.

He had a motor bike; even Chinedu that owned a very big supermarket at the centre of town had no bicycle. Salami would always say that when he bragged about his farms in Daura and cows in Chibok. When I was six, I would reply intelligently that everyone has got personal priorities. 
‘Frioritisss’, Abdulsalami would mimick. 
‘Chinedu is poor fa…
‘Me, I know say Salami Danlitiny na baba olowo fah.’
He’d touch my cheek as he boasts of all he had, intriguingly.

Salami had that spirit, one who could convince Èsù Láàlú 
that Jesu Kristi died for his own personal sin.

Who does that?

He would look at his bike again, smirk, and say he would wait for me to be of age and bring so much money to my mother to take me away. Of age to Salami was ten or twelve or thirteen.

He gave out Kadaria his second daughter at age twelve, and Husseinah at sixteen, determined to pass her secondary school leaving exam and gain admission to study law, was being loathed for her ambition.

Out of thirty three children of the three wives, it was Husseinah that stayed in shop while her father must have gone on his commercial motorcycle to make ‘kudi’ as he used to say.

Husseinah at fifteen would sit me down and rant as though I was fifteen too or more. I remember she would hide no emotion, they flow through her to me like the Maidan river down our street. She would only hide her face when tears was streaming down it as sorrow surged from her heart to her head.

I loved Husseinah, too. I would wish I had money and marry her. But, I never heard nor saw females marry the ones who has breasts and clit like themselves. I still loved Husseinah. And Coldstone.

Salami.
Salami, whenever he took me to school, put me before him on the gas tank that was filled with fuel. At times, he would allow passengers behind, if he thought the person seen at the junction was innocent and looked indifferent enough to mind his or her business.

As the only daughter and last born, then, my brothers would trek to school hours before I was ready to leave bed. Right from infancy, my Momma found joy indulging me. Not too much for her only daughter and last born.

Salami would put me before him with no space between the stain tobacco had put on his teeth and the tallest strand of hair on my head; with no space between the stench that departed from the little space between two teeth at the side of his mouth and my ear.

I was always getting to school slightly soaked in some whitish akamu. That was what my twenty year old teacher used to think.

Salami would push his bum as meticulously as he could to meet mine and sometimes I would be sitting faced to him with my hands wrapped around him. He used to do this at the junction away from home.

I would feel some strong thing hitting me here and there; and many times, the force caused me great pain. For many years however, I never understood neither did I ever mentioned to anyone what confusing condition I passed through every morning to school.

Salami, my close friend loved it. So, I thought I was safe. Was it not Salami that bathed me after school when mummy was away and daddy was in Sidi’s room wanking her to always moan and scream? The sound I would hear behind Sidi’s door resonated like some ethereal feeling of pain. I still do not understand.

Salami my close friend, would fetch water from the tap and take me to the unexposed tiny space that breathed between the wall and his kiosk, bathed me with just soap as he stroked my hair and sucked my tiny nipples. One of those feelings I never wanted to end. Just too sweet.

He would put his middle finger in my barely opened vulva and use the other hand to caress his big pintle. I used to watch in dismay; until I was seven and in basic three when my Auntie, as I fondly called her, would put me on her lap during break and watch with me, funny intercourse between males and females, females and females, males and males.

This particular period was one I always looked forward to amidst every other thing I observed in school.
I was Auntie Nina’s toy. She used to play with me, touching here and there as though I was to her, Coldstone, my neighbor’s dog.

Too much for a girl, you would say. Girl thought her childhood was the best.

Back to Salami.
Salami and I were growing fast and furious, simple and sweet, though in intricacies.

As adolescence came, I got used to Salami; I would hop on his okada as soon as mum brought me out of the house, dressed in black and white. I’d feel so much sensation as his crotch did wonder to the thing between my thighs. Salami and I would get wet with so much pleasure written over us, until mum thought I should stop sitting at his front.

Sighs.

Auntie Nina and I were not going too well, I didn’t love the tasks she gave, telling me to suck her nipple and rub her crotch while she moaned inside the staff toilet.
But I loved what Salami did, and I would wish I would grow up quick, and instead of always visiting Salami’s store, I would have my own phallus and let Husseinah’s sheath receive and always welcome it just like I do to her father’s pintle.

I used to daydream a lot.

A sunny afternoon was all I needed to have my dreams and sensations lost. The scorching sun burned every thing I felt.

It was another riot between the Hausas and Yorubas. We seemed used to it by then. The usual fight erupted from a slap a Yoruba woman had dashed a Hausa trader. Fire would burn down houses and career certificates because the Hausa man retaliated, a Yoruba passerby felt irritated and landed a trader a teary slap. People would later die because of a crises that started with “You I no geh pipty naira change fa”.

That afternoon, Salami had come pick me from school just after my do with Auntie Nina; I was yearning for Husseinah’s smiles. Of course, I knew she would be the one helping Salami with sales at shop.

Salami picked me from the corridor, threw me up and then to his back and to his bike. I blushed and giggled—love lived here! Maybe Salami should have been my father; I would not be able to cope with thirty two siblings and too much Maggi in my food though.But the thought alone—Sweet Sensation.

Something revived me out of my reverie. It was a scream.

A shot.

Salami had just been shot. Salami, who had risked picking me at school, rest assured his own people would not harm him, and that his familiarity with the Yorubas would save us, died.

I watched blood gush as he tried to save me from the fall of the motorcycle.

I cried.

One would think the blood from Salami’s stomach was coming from my eyes.

So much trauma for a girl of eleven.

At that spot, I wanted death—something that would make me feel what he felt and be where he would be.

The abuser I fell in love with, I wished he never had to die. I wish he lived.

I wrote letters for many months, letters I had to burn as I stopped seeing Salami.

Husseinah never came again.

Auntie Nina never stopped the irritating touches.

My heart never loved again.

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