Noise

“The problem with men is that they do not listen”

Chinazom is holding out her phone to the woman weaving her hair. Mama Tope smiles at the picture, four girls with their mothers light skin and a dark boy, his arms over his mother’s shoulder.

“Your family is very beautiful”

Chinazom smiles “I wish men would just listen to their wives”

Omada who is slowly picking the attachment agrees, “Them no know say women sabi see certain things”. She shakes her head violently and makes clucking sounds from her throat

“When something bad wan happen I dey feel am”

Omada talks about her dream of packing her father’s things a week before he died

“For the dream I just dey help am”

She looks to the sky in the open market

“I remember him favorite agbada

I ask am “Papa you dey take this one? And he just say make I fold am well”

Mama Tope sighs and says something in Yoruba, her mouth turned down the sides, her hands still working, weaving

“The doctor dey treat him for malaria but na hypertension kill am”

Chinazom is still smiling at her phone, now holding it for Omada to see

Omada smiles “Ehen! See how the girls resemble their mama. Bride price go plenty”

“My husband died when my son was 12” Chinazom was still looking through her pictures, scrolling, her voice plain and void of emotion

“I told him to go to the hospital, he didn’t listen.

I told him to go for weeks”

She heaved a sigh, a hint of resignation in her voice

“He convulsed the day before. There was no light when he died, I remember it well. It was almost 1am”

“Ahh! Why you no force am go hospital?” Omada’s face is contorted, she makes the clucking sound again

“Big man like that? How will I carry him?”

Omada falls silent, there is only the buzz of the market

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