Comfort

Itunu was born an escapist. Three dead siblings, the third made it to four. Itunu arrived quietly on a rainy Sunday night along with rumbling thunder and her mother’s scream of pain. A midwife gently tapped under the newborn’s feet, one after the other, willing her to cry.

Her mother who swore God was present at her last child’s funeral named this one Itunuoluwa: ‘Comfort of God’, but she would grow to escape God too. Her father couldn’t stop staring at the quiet newborn, her eyes as large as her mother’s, another fragile thing. When Itunu gets home they would pray for many more sons, a daughter was enough.

Two years after their  “Amen” had been said, Motunrayo came to stay, her name a fulfilling prophecy.

Motunrayo was nurturing and kind from a tender age but Itunu always demanded greater attention. Escaped childhood at thirteen, stubborn as a man, ill-mannered and talkative. She refused to be quieted by her teacher’s chastisement and often got in trouble for skipping mass.

The final straw was when she started to ask the nuns who created the nothing God transformed into earth, she went on for weeks searching for answers. Unsatisfied she grew curious, drilling holes and picking inconsistencies from sacred teachings.

Two suspensions later Itunu was sent to military school where she first felt lust, she often thought of Kanayo the boy 3 levels above who had started growing a beard and liked the warm feeling it gave her between her legs. Months later she would kiss him underneath the staircase, his breath heavy and arms wrapped around her waist, she moaning without guilt.

Years later she meets Laura, a sophist with a head full of red hair and shelves full of books, but when they kiss it’s something different. Laura fills all the holes inside of her and drills new ones.

Itunu calls her mother by 6 pm every Friday, she never tells her she’s in love.

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