Lola Opatayo

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Behind Mud Walls S01 E10: “Exodus”


Dear reader,

The season has come to an end. I do hope that you’ve enjoyed it and that I’ll see you here in the next season. 

The next season begins on the 1st August. 

As always I appreciate your feedback so please send them here or here.

In the meantime, my novel and short story are still available for purchase! Do I see you logging into your account and doing a transfer? I think I do! 🙌🙌🙌


“You’re going to let your younger brother have intercourse with me because you don’t want your reputation to be tarnished?” Mowunmi said to Adegbola later that evening.
“You have to make sacrifices for this family just as we have made sacrifices for you…”
“Made sacrifices for me? What have you done for me? I am the one who has been doing something for you! I could have told my parents about you but I didn’t. I was being a good wife! I covered you even though you deliberately trapped me in this marriage yet you will allow your brother to sleep with me, because you want to keep up appearances? I will rather die than let that boy touch me!”
“Don’t provoke me Mowunmi, it’s been a long day and I don’t have the strength to fight with you over anything.”
“I will provoke you! I will provoke your sprit!” Mowunmi said wildly, her hands on her waist and her voice raised.
“Mowunmi, be very careful! Don’t provoke me.” Adegbola warned.
“I say I will provoke you! I want you to do your worst, can it be more evil than what you and your wicked father have planned?”
Adegbola slapped her cheek hard.
“Good!” she yelled. ”Good! You must continue slapping me until you kill me. It is better that you kill me!”
Adegbola stared at his wife and realized that he had made a mistake bringing her to the house. She was wild, angry and irrational. She would do whatever she could to prevent the plan. He stared at her eyes and was reminded of her beauty and the passion he had had for her. He had loved her but circumstances had turned his love to indifference, his impotence had made him insecure and cruel.
Mowunmi stared back at him, feeling intense hatred for a man that she had once adored. She wondered what she had seen him. She had given everything, how could it not be enough? She felt empty, betrayed, used and exhausted. Her exhaustion gave way to tears of frustration.
She slumped on the floor and cried bitterly. “Don’t do this to me!” she cried.
Her cries broke his heart. He had grown indifferent towards her but he hadn’t completely stopped loving her. He knew in his heart that she didn’t deserve what she was getting but his pride was more important than whatever sacrifice she had to make. He didn’t love her enough to be weak.
“I’m… “
There was suddenly a loud rapping on the door.
“My sister! My sister!”
Mowunmi sat up recognizing the voice, it was her brother Olumuyiwa. She dashed to the door and flung it open.
“What has happened?” she asked, seeing the apprehension on his face.
“Baami! He’s dying! Maami said I should call you.”
“Dying? How?” Mowunmi was confused.
“He slumped and fell at the farm today! Come quickly!”
Mowunmi ran out of the house and followed him, leaving Adegbola staring into the darkness.
“Where is Mowunmi?”
“She’s coming, I’ve sent for her.” Ibironke said. “Please just hold on! Don’t leave me Agbeniyi, how will I cope without you?”
Agbeniyi struggled to breathe looking straight at the thatch roof. The younger children were crying silently in the corner, scared of losing their father. An earthy smell filled the room, announcing the presence of Fadare who shuffled into the warm room. He was accompanied by two of Agbeniyi’s brothers.
“Baba, welcome!” Ibironke greeted, surprised to see him and wondering why they had not brought Fakorede as Agbeniyi had requested.
“My child,” the old man said. “Wipe your face and stop crying, the oracle doesn’t appreciate mourning.”
“Get out of here! Go somewhere else with your sniveling!” the eldest of Agbeniyi’s brothers said to the children in the room..
The children reluctantly left their father, giving room for the adults.
“You should go too.” he said to Ibironke.
“You don’t need to be here. We will tell you whatever he tells us to do.”
“I’m not leaving my husband! I will stay here and hear whatever he has to say.”
“Ibironke, are you trading words with me?”
“I’m not leaving my husband!”
“I said get out of here! Are you not an ordinary woman?” he thundered.
Ibironke scampered out of the room, crying all the way out.
“I apologize Baba. She is a very stubborn woman, my brother has allowed her to be too vocal.”
Fadare didn’t reply, he sat down slowly and spread out his white cloth and then tossed his beads on the floor.
“Death is looming.” He said gravely, adjusting the beads on the white cloth and muttering.
“Death is looming.” He said again. “A sacrifice must be made to appease the oracle and prevent his death… you must provide two pigs, five kegs of palm oil, seven yards of a white cloth, and a big white bush rat. Do this quickly so that the sacrifice can be made before he dies.”
The brothers looked at each other, wondering where they could get the sacrificial materials. They were all struggling to make ends meet and this was a costly sacrifice.
Fadare packed up the white cloth and beads.
“Isn’t there anything you can do to relieve his discomfort?” One of the brothers asked hesitantly.
Fadare looked disdainfully at him. “Do what I asked you to do and maybe your brother won’t die. If you’re looking for a cheap priest, go to the others.”
When Mowunmi and Olumuyiwa got to their father’s house, the brothers were outside discussing the sacrificial items with Ibironke.
“Where do I get such money from? Can’t we try another priest?”
“Our brother’s life may not be valuable to you but it is to us. We won’t call a cheap priest that will take our money and not do anything.”
“But we don’t have the money!”
“Good evening.” Mowunmi greeted.
“Ah it is good that you have come! Why didn’t we even think of her earlier?” one of the brothers said.
“How is my father?” she asked apprehensively.

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“He is dying but you can help.”
“The priest is asking for two pigs, five kegs of palm oil, seven yards of a white cloth, and a big white bush rat.”
“Ah!” Mowunmi said.
“You see the problem!”
“Where do we get the money from?”
“What do you mean where do we get the money from? Are you not married to a rich man?”
Mowunmi shook her head, this was the last thing she needed. Begging her enemies for money to save her father’s life.
“I can’t ask them for money…”
“Why?” the brother asked. “Are you shy? Don’t worry we will ask on your behalf.”
Ibironke shook her head. “Agbeniyi would not be in support of this. He wouldn’t want us begging our in-laws for money.”
“Woman what is your problem? It seems that you want our brother to die! Why? He might not be a rich man but he is a good man. Why do you want him dead?”
“I don’t want him to die, I just don’t want him to be angry.”
“If he is dead, he can’t be angry!”
The other brother patted the speaking one. “Don’t bother arguing with her. We will deal with her later. Let us go and speak with Adegoke.”
As soon as Mowunmi was sure that they had gone she turned towards her mother.
“They want me to sleep with Adeyimika!” she blurted.
“What did you say?”
“They said that he will take his brother’s place and impregnate me, we will have intercourse during my fertile period. We’re supposed to swear an oath tomorrow.”
“And what did you say?”
“I said I wouldn’t do it.”
Ibironke was shocked. “I told you not to marry this man Mowunmi!”
“I know my mother!” she cried, “I should have listened to you. What do I do now?”
“And your uncles have gone to beg your father-in-law for money!” Ibironke squeezed her wrapper in her hands and shook her head sorrowfully. She already knew what would happen, Adegoke would ask for an exchange. Mowunmi’s cooperation for his assistance.
“You have to run away.”
“Maami, I can’t do that. My father-in-law is a very wicked man! Who knows what he’ll do to you?”
“I will give my life for you Mowunmi. I will not let you be a pawn in the hands of rich people. Let them throw me in jail, I’m alright as long as you are safe. You will go to my maternal grandmother’s village in Okeaje. Tell her everything, she will support you and give you whatever you need. Tell her to pray for me.”
“I can’t leave you Maami!”
“I can’t sacrifice you.”
“Go home and pack your expensive clothes. You will need to sell them to sustain yourself.”
“What if they trap me there?”
“It’s too late.” Mowunmi sighed. “He is already here.”
Mowunmi turned and saw her father-in-law, husband, and uncles heading toward them.
“My in-law.” Adegoke said tonelessly. “We were already on our way here when I met these men. How is he?”
“He is holding on. Thank you for coming.”
“It’s nothing. Where is he?”
“He’s inside.” She replied, leading them in.
They all went in and found Agbeniyi sleeping. Mowunmi stared at his dull face and heard his labored breathing. He looked so helpless, her eyes filled with tears for the father that she loved dearly.
“But this happened suddenly didn’t it?” Adegoke said.
“Yes, I was told that he just slumped.”
“Hmm… have you called anyone to look at him?”
“Yes. They initially took him to Osanyin but she couldn’t help him. Then my in-laws called Baba Fadare…”
“That is why we were coming to see you.” One of the brothers interrupted.
“What did Fadare say?”
They told him.
“Hmm…” he said and smiled. “This is why we are in-laws. We help one another to help our children. Mowunmi is my daughter, I will not let her father die. I will do all within my power to make sure that Agbeniyi is well. I just want one thing.”
“What is that our in-law?” One of the brothers asked.
“I want Mowunmi to swear to be a faithful daughter-in-law who will obey me in all things.”
“Does she have a choice?” he asked irritably, looking at her.
“I know what I’m saying…”
“And we know what we are saying too! She has no choice, she will do whatever you tell her to do. We support whatever you tell her to do.”
“In that case, since I have your blessing…”
“Please let me have a word with you…” Mowunmi said to her uncle.
“Am I stranger that you can’t speak freely in front of me?” Adegoke asked, knowing what Mowunmi wanted to say and not willing to give her the opportunity to do so.
“No, you are not! Please don’t pay her any attention.”
Ibironke tried hard to keep a straight face. “Please don’t be offended my in-law, I don’t know what she wants to say that is more important than what we are saying now.”
“In that case, if you will follow me I will provide you with everything you need. Mowunmi can come with us, or do you need her here?”
“Not at all. She can go with you.”
Ibironke had to let her daughter know that she still wanted her to follow through with the plan. “Let me offer you some oranges which we just harvested from our farm.”
“Don’t worry my in-law, I don’t want to shorten your ration.”
“No, no, no! You must give the children in your compound. Besides, we have more than enough. My in-laws, please beg him to accept my offering.”

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“She’s right, we should offer you something, no matter how little.” One of the brothers said.
“Alright.” He agreed reluctantly.
“Mowunmi come and get them quickly.” Ibironke said to her daughter.
Mowunmi shuddered as Adeyimika stepped into the room. Adegbola had brought her to the house directly from her father’s house and stayed outside the house. He hadn’t said a word to her but they both knew that Adeyimika would be in their house that night.
“Why are you still wearing your clothes?” he asked as soon as he came in. “Get up and take them off!” he ordered.
Mowunmi gave him no response.
“And what is that you have around your nose?”
Still Mowunmi did not respond.
“Can’t you hear me talking to you? Do you want me to teach you a lesson first?” he asked irritably, angry at her aloof expression.
Again she didn’t reply and this time he was furious. He charged at her as she swiftly knocked the oil lamp over and blew the powder she held in her hands in the air.
“Make sure your nose is covered when you blow it out. He will fall asleep immediately for about a few minutes. You must get away from the room as soon as you can. Do you understand?” her mother had said.
Mowunmi heard him fall to the ground and promptly opened the window and climbed out.
Run to Baba Fakorede’s house and tell him to hide you till the morning when you can safely travel. Go safely, may my spirit guide you.”
Mowunmi ran as fast as her legs could carry her till she got to the grove that surrounded Fakorede’s house.
“They told me you were coming and I have been waiting for you.” the priest said when he saw her. “Come in quickly!”

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