“Come back here young man I am not done with you yet!” TJ stands up from the Dining Table and matches to his room, ignoring his dad’s order. He was visibly angry at everyone for not believing in him and his dream. He slammed the door behind him and everyone was silent avoiding each other’s eye. “Why don’t you want him to sing Oko mii?” “Mum please don’t start, it is for his own good”, “but there are people singing out there now, I kuku see them on Television since I don’t go out, the Wiz-child, and David omo O, I wonder what the O stands for sef, but really they are making it in the music industry”, “Mum!! I don’t consider them responsible or role models to kids anywhere, and I don’t want any of my children following such a path”, “But Timi Dakolo sings and he is inspiring, Married and doing great, Cobhams also, Adekunle Gold and Simi even Falz is a Barrister but still doing good with his music, so dad I beg to differ not all of them are bad influences just like in every profession there would be the bad eggs” Tori cut in, “Shut up young lady, you don’t interrupt two adults when they are speaking, and you don’t speak unless asked to. It is unladylike and rude” Mrs Ajayi countered with vehemence. “All I know is no child of mine is singing in this house, that is my final verdict” Dr Ajayi said, he rose up and left the dining table. “Like father like son, strong-headed but handsome, look at my husband and Grandson, no one can confuse the similarity” Gram mii said smiling, Tori and Mrs Ajayi laughed at the words. “I am happy I can put a smile on your faces ladies, I see I still got the magic, Bukola omo mii, you better rub the chest of your husband and use your feminine attributes to get him to calm down, and you Tori go talk to TJ and get him to stop boiling like hot water on fire” Gram mii said, “I will do that Mummy but you know on this topic I support my husband”, “of cause who would you support again, I cannot even complain sef, my aging bones would not allow me”, Gram mii then winked at Tori, “I saw that mummy, I know you two are up to something again for the umpteenth time” Mrs Ajayi cut in, “Don’t worry your head iyawo wa, Tori is a true reflection of me, so even without saying a word our instinct connect, shey Tori?”, “Of cause Gram mii, you know how we roll, Bonnie and Clyde”, “what again is Bonnie and Clyde e gbami, all this things sef, don’t sha sell a motherless and fatherless old woman ooo” they all laugh.
“Hello TJ come open the door, it is Tori”, “Go away sis, I am not opening the door for anyone”, “look here young man you know I don’t have time for all this nonsense, mum can take all this initially whining of yours and then eventually you open the door for her, I am not your mum, I don’t have experience for such shitty actions and my patience is very low, infact it is at an all-time low right now, so just open the door and let’s talk, Man up bro and stop being a baby”, “I don’t like your tone of voice, you are not a nice person at all” the door opens anyway, Tori gives a wicked grin, “you know I am not nice TJ but you are one of the very few people I love still, don’t forget that”, “yeah right, love indeed I can tell. So what do you want from me?” “I want to talk to you, since dad just likes going all emotional with a topic like this, I would be objective and listen”, “Thank you Tori, I wish you were like this every day it would make the world a better place”, “sarcasm, I can see I am mentoring you just fine, but in this case you just ruined it all, besides if I was like this how would I have gotten those boys to stop bullying you back when you were in JS1 eeh?” “errrr I don’t know, anyways what do you want to know Tori”, “First let me state here that storming off like that is rude, in every family only one person gets the chance to be the black sheep, the rude one, the stubborn one and I have filled that position so sorry bro, try in your next life” both of them laugh, “all I am saying TJ is you don’t have to get all worked up, dad is protecting your interest that is why he is like that but if you really want something then you have to prove to all of us this is not just a phase, a sweet idea you would let go after a while for another fantasy or dream. So tell me why Music? why do you want to do this? To impress the ladies? To be famous and everyone shouting TJ? To sing nonsense and get all the presidents calling you for a show? What is it that motivates you into wanting to go into music?” “I love to sing, I love to express myself through music, I love the thrill when I hit a note, when I rehearse for days and score the song. It feels refreshing and elevating, I feel I am in cloud 9. I don’t want to go into it for all you mentioned, yes they would be nice incentives but really I am doing it more for me because I feel it is my calling than anyone or what I stand to gain Tori”, “and you are ready for all the risk? Even failure?” “As dad use to say No risk, No reward.. I am ready for whatever sis”, “You speak like a man TJ, but you know me more than most I never believe the words of men, I prefer to watch out for their actions then I will give my verdict, I will be watching you TJ. But whatever it is, I will tell you the truth, not what you want to hear or what dad wants you to hear but what I know to be the right thing”, “Thanks Tori, you are a darl sis” and he hugs her. “Sigh.. don’t go all mushy on me boy, you where a man just few minutes ago, get a hold on yourself”, TJ ignores his sister and hugs her a little longer then lets her go “I love you too sis”, “Now I am out of here, before you start crying too” they both laugh.
The following day, Tori fulfils are promise to Gram mii by bringing breakfast to her in bed, “Gram mii I am at the door”, “come in my humble steward, you have found grace in the sight of your Queen”, Gram mii tried to suppress a laugh, “You are enjoying this are you not Gram mii?” “Of cause Granddaughter of mine, every tiny little bit of it. Infact I need this week to go as slow as possible because I need to use it judiciously Tori”, “my turn will come Gram mii and I won’t be merciful”, “Young lady I am ready for you, bring it on your dad never won with me why do you think you would?” “Because I am just like you Gram mii, and a woman too so I know every little trick in the book” they both laugh, “so how is TJ doing?” “He is doing well, we had the talk and I think he really wants to sing if you ask me. I did not encourage him, neither did I put his dream down but I don’t know, dad would never allow it”, “hmmmm I know this my dear but first we have to let your mum and dad even see TJ sing first and plant a seed in them then we can move on from there”, “how are we supposed to do that Gram mii?” after thinking for a while, Gram mii raised her hand, “I know just the thing, “here goes Gram mii in all her powers, hit me with your amazing illuminating wisdom though Queen Gram mii”, Gram mii laughs hard, you see child, you are truly my mirror I cannot get over your naughtiness. They both laugh, “So I remember TJ telling us about this football game his team are in and which all parents or at least one of the parent should be available for, it is a game in his school shey?” “yes Gram mii a home game” “Oshey Ore mii, why don’t we get the principal to let him sing before the game starts”, “hmmmm but how are we going to pull that off” “what are we pulling Tori?” Gram mii looking confused, “we are not pulling anything off, I meant how are we getting this plan to work” Tori replied looking frustrated, Gram- mii quickly grins and winks, “it works every time, I was just pulling your legs Toriola. You always fall for it, everytime”, “that is why you are my Gram mii and it is Tori” rolling her eyes, “Toriola nii oruko e, back to the matter, facebook and twitter”, “Gram-mii!!! Stop now”, “ok I am serious now baby girl, now all I need to do is call the principal and put my acting skills to good use” “the one you use for my dad shey that makes him do what you want him to do without him knowing”, “wa gbayi, you know this, that very same style. So when I do my part it would be your job to convince TJ he would be singing in front of the whole school and would also get a chance to impress dad and mum, maybe even change their mind, get his closest friends to get banners or something for him without him knowing and finally we both would make sure your dad and mum are present for all this, very important unless everything else would be futile effort.” “Got it Gram mii, Operation TJ sings” “We will begin tomorrow, just get me his Principal’s phone number and leave the rest to me”, “All correct General Gram mii, your government I follow”. They both chuckle.
Later in the day Tori sends Gram-mii a text message and she makes the call. “Am I speaking with the principal of International School Lagos(ISL)?” “Yes please and who do I have the pleasure of speaking with?” The principal replies, “Oshe Omo mii, my name is Grandma Ajayi, my Grandson hmmm Babatunde Ajayi happens to be in your school, he is a very good boy and plays for the football team”, “I know him Mrs Ajayi, very good boy he is, both in his academics and sport”, “I am glad you can agree with me and that is why I am in so much pain and sorrow regarding him” Gram-mii replies and sniffs, “what is going on Mrs Ajayi?!” The principal replies in shock, “My son has been depressed for a while o and I just listened to the news about how depression is not good and it is no respecter of age or status and how we must seek to help those that feel depressed, am I right?” “Yes Mrs Ajayi you are very right ma’am”, “Even the International health day celebrated, emphasized this point”, “you are current too Mrs Ajayi”, “Thank you the able Principal of my son”, “You can call me Mr Madu ma’am. But what caused his perceived depression if it is in my place to ask?” “Thank you Mr. Madu. It is his singing ooo, o fe korin nii, my grandson wants to sing to the world, he has that gift also and his parents would not buy any of it” Gram-mii begins to sob, “sigh.. I can imagine ma’am”, “All I want him to do his follow his heart and be happy at what he does, either he decides to go ahead and become a doctor or a footballer like Nwankwu Kanu or he wants to sing like David omo O, so far he does it well it would bring me joy, but he has to be given the chance is all I ask for”, “hmmm you are right ma’am a chance is needed, everyone should be allowed to follow their dreams and make good use of their talent but his parents would need to play a role too”, “that is where the slight issue is, my son, his dad would not consent to it”, “do you want me to call them in for counselling, our school provides that for parents so they can see the potentials in their kids and wards”, “That would just harden them, I have a better idea Mr. Madu if you would give a poor old lady a chance to air her view”, “of cause please I am listening with undivided attention, a child fulfilling his or her potential is my greatest joy and goal”, “You are a good man and I appreciate you. Back to the matter if TJ can sing before the whole school before his match in which his mum and dad would be there to hear him, maybe just maybe that would melt their heart, and I heard those footballing matches are compulsory for at least one parent?” “Yes it is Mrs Ajayi, you are right I can make a case for that instead of the school band, he sings the national anthem and just maybe make a strong case for his abilities to his parents”, “You know this Mr. Madu, Thank you very much, God bless you much, Olorun ma bless e funmi”, “Thank you ma’am. For this to work both parents have to be there, so I would leave that to you Mrs Ajayi”, “You can bet on that from me, wo ma wa. They will definitely come” Gram-mii sobs some more, “please stop crying, he will get his chance and we will all be happy. Would that be all ma’am”, “ko ku, that is all oooo.. Thank you”……………………… and the line went off
Gram-mii had a smile on her face, she knew she should be awarded an Oscar with such beautiful performance displayed, now the next step was convincing her ever busy Doctor to create time and come, his wife wouldn’t be a problem, she used her mother in-law get out of jail card judiciously and this would be one of it, she clapped her hands together and do a little bit of dance moves. She still got the scheming ways in her intact. It was all left for Tori to accomplish her end of the bargain.
Later that evening Tori goes to TJ’s room after a very quiet but tense dinner, everyone seemed to be on the edge and no one wanted to start the inevitable World war III. “Hello my favorite brother”, “I am your only brother you don’t have a choice”, “You are my carbon copy when you brood you know” Tori cuts back, “well after all blood is thicker than water, I can’t fight it any longer, I succumb to the powerful influence of empress Tori”, “Oh! Boy if you only knew how those words’ sound, they are music to my ear and if not that your high classed medical personnel of a dad would probably straggle me and you, I would have signed you up for the theatres”, “yeah right, someone who cannot even accept my singing, that would be just tantamount to TNT”, they bought make a Bomb sound and then chuckle, “Thanks sis, I needed to get some weight off my chest”, “I understand how you feel TJ, but you know they are just being parents and it is their duty to do parenting first, we can’t blame them because they want the best for us wheather we admit it or not”, “Coming from the black sheep of the family, Wawu!!! I am impressed”, “Really TJ, it would be nice for you to know I was all white and sweet till you came along, scratch that, till I allowed you come along. So watch your mouth boy before I start one of my famously known Black sheep tendencies”, “I apologize Empress I totally did not know what came over me, that is so ungentlemanly and I therefore desist from such wayward vices” TJ replies with a British accent while taking a bow. “So TJ why don’t we do this, I know my heart is made of diamonds and feelings are rare but I hate to see you this way, so I decided that we put you on a stage to show us just how good you are”, “No!! NO!! NO!! on a stage I am not doing such Tori”, “Young man so if you cannot sing for a small crowd how do you want to perform in an audition, dude I know you can sing, but if you ever want to convince your parents then you got to take a leap of faith bruv and get up any stage you are given the chance and sing your lungs, heart probably even kidney’s out. You know you have demanding parents and very hard to please once to, so if you not killing those notes or doing justice to any song, you can as well kiss your singing career that never even got started goodbye”, “strong words sis, you don’t mix words do you?” “No way!! I drop it like its hot, Tori got no worry, so she aint going to say sorry, cause being blunt is my hail Mary”, “My sister dropping lines and rapping, I thought I had seen it all”, “Trust me you are not the only one with talents bro, I am just humble about mine. So are you down with whatever gig I set up for you?”, “You will never take No for an answer”, “you well damn sure know I won’t boy, I am Tori, don’t forget that and to make this more entertaining and keeping you in check so you don’t back down last-minute, we will have a bet, if you go out there and sing your heart out and win everybody over that includes mum and dad, I will buy you those Nike Airmax, also you get to have my apple Laptop the very one you so crave and lastly I take you to the auditions myself and wait it through with you”, “Deal!!!” TJ shouted, “You didn’t even wait to hear what I get if you don’t win the bet?” “I don’t lose, I am an Ajayi, I never lose” “cliché, sounding like dad now, anyways I will tell you. If you don’t impress I get your pocket-money for the next three months and because I am not wicked I will give to you just enough to feed day by day. Also you would wear a customized hoodie of me on it with the inscription TORI IS QUEEN, I SUBMIT TO TORI’S RULE and finally you do all my chores for one month, and I mean all of it. You still brave enough to shake to it boy”, “I am not boy Tori, I am my own man and I will win this time and prove you wrong” they shake to it and Tori could see the fire burning in TJ’s eye, the plan was taking shape. It needed one final piece, which was convincing her parents to come. “Remember I choose the gig, where ever and you do your thing, capisce?” “You are on Sis”
In the living room, while Dr. Ajayi and Mrs Ajayi are watching Tinsel, Gram-mii walks in on them, “Salewa, I love that girls acting sha, oma mu inu mii du”, “so she makes you really happy Maami?” “Of cause, with the way she mixes the English and Yoruba, she just represents”, “Reminds me of a mummy with swag aka Gram-mii no rival” Mrs Ajayi cuts in, “Oh!! This young lady you can sha make my head swell, I knew my son married right when I first met you, you can swell someone’s head to the moon and back and even though I know you are just whyning like my daughter Toriola would say, I still love it anyways”, “Haba Mummy I am saying the truth now”, “I agree. “But Maami I noticed Toriola came to give you breakfast in bed, are you two at it again?” “Yes ke my son, we play she wins none and lose all, she does not realize I am the king in this games ooo, I invented the rules” they all laugh, “she is like you ooo Gram-mii one day you will be surprised what our royal highness, don’t-call-me-Toriola-it-is-Tori, is capable of doing oooo”, “before that day comes my daughter I will gladly retire and leave when the ovation is loudest, I must continue being the champion” they all laugh, “have your sit Maami now, don’t overwork yourself ooo” “Thank you my Doctor, I was waiting for you to give me a medical advice since, you never fail to disappoint lol” “maami haba, can’t someone play with you, is that how you use to do”, “Kolewerk!!” Gram-mii cut in, everyone laughs, “Mummy you are too in tune with current events sha” Mrs Ajayi finally said after a long laugh, “Yes ke mo Jasi, I cannot be referred to as old school for any reason at all”, “You are my Young Mummy under-18 to sure” Dr Ajayi replies. “Errrrr my two lovebirds there is something I want to discuss with you both ooooo!! I know I am interrupting the Tinsel show but this thing is bothering me gan and it is better I share my burden, mo ti fe ku. I cannot come and die of heart attack o!” “Maami sit down and talk to us, you are not going to leave us, when Tori and TJ have not married or given birth, no way”, “Oshe omo mii, you are wise. It is about TJ oooo”, “If it is about his singing please Maami my decision is final, no son of mine will sing, it will not happen not under my roof”, “Oma n be, you will at least calm down and let me finish” Gram-mii scolds, Mrs Ajayi tries to suppress a laugh and she does a bad job at it, while Dr. Ajayi gives her the angry face. “If you like vex more than that I will speak my mind, unless you did not suck from this two breast of mine and made it all fall”, again Mrs Ajayi giggles holding her lips so she would not burst out in laughter. “I am all ears Maami, I am sorry” Dr Ajayi finally gathers himself and says, “That is my boy, don’t be angry eeh, you know I love you omo mii to sure, TJ is so much like you no wonder you both never agree. Anyways TJ’s football match is coming up this weekend Tori and I have been going for it on your behalf you two, but this one is the final of the local government challenge and the parents are mandated to be there, even if you would not allow the boy sing, would you also deny him the ability to be the next Okocha, that is how he showed me the mother of bobo Pogba with her three sons. Me I still want to enjoy the good life” “But Maami don’t I give you……” “Don’t interrupt me joor, I am not complaining Rotimi I am just saying if there is a better I don’t mind nii. So like I was saying, all I ask is that you two create time this weekend, I don’t want any excuse from you my son, or you my daughter, unless this house will not contain all three of us oooo, ekuku mo, my wahala is plenty oooo, so give me this one thing” “Sigh Maami, is that all?” “Ko ku ooo, that is all I ask ooo”, “Darling we don’t have a choice now, hope you don’t mind?” “Koo mind joor, she doesn’t mind at all, my beautiful daughter with grace and sweetness cannot mind se, I know her too well she has not disappointed me since she came into our family, she will not start now, or will you?” Gram-mii cut in facing Mrs Ajayi, “You heard mummy, my hands are tied, I am boxed into a corner. There is only one answer I will have to be there and you would too” Mrs Ajayi, “Olubukola mii, that is why I love you, even more than my son sef” Gram-mii again cut into their conversation, while dancing and singing Seven, seven… seven.. seven… seven is the number Oluwa shina, “I have heard you Maami, TJ will be ably represented by us, and I hope you will not arm twist me for any other thing for a long time?” Dr Ajayi inquires, Gram-mii does a baby face and then replies “why would I want to do any of that, I am innocent ooo”, she then turns continue with her song and walks into the room.
She meets Tori at the door of her room, “So Gram-mii?” “Let the games Begin”.
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