I'm a bad b*tch
What you wanna do bout it,
I got you in deep,
Yeah I'm like a brad pit,
Pin you down,
Love your shouts, they high-pitched.
"You can do better than this crap", she thinks to herself.
I'm a bad b*tch,
Heard bout me?
I'll smoke you like weed,
Don't worry about it,
Cos you'd taste like you was sh*t,
But you're not,
Just a bag of nuts,
Like an unerect bag-of-d*cks,
And while you suck at this,
I'll be a honey, boo,
Making money moves,
Like a cardi-bee do.
"Much better, Ms. Biz you've got this". This is Bisi reassuring herself. "Great things don't always happen to great people, great people happen to create things." These words are like a mantra to her, before and after every writing session she recites them thrice for formality. This is what she does -writing battle raps- when there are no men, just after the hours when she's concluded with classes from the vocational school where she is learning music production.
Bisi never liked the men, plump Dare, short Luke, bulging-stomach Nnakwe, each of them with a trademark, that way it was easy to keep track of them. She wishes that it can change, but mom always settles for less.
Just then, "Bisimilola!" The voice is distinct, it's Albino Aliyu. "My mom's out, at the back" she answers gesturing to the backdoor that leads out onto the lawn of the bungalow they shared with two other black families. Aliyu shuffles his legs past her, pinching his nose the usual way everytime he has to go meet his girlfriend in the little garden where she plants vegetables.
Lil pump's Gucci gang is playing in one of the bedrooms, the one opposite Bisi and her mom's. The one where lolo shot himself dead after his mom told him he was a mistake. Now, Micah lives there. He works as a handyman by day and a bartender by night. Micah lived by himself because his own mom committed suicide leaving behind a note that stated, "I wish I cared enough to stay, but it's better this way", what an irony.
When Bisi thinks about these tragedies, she is pushed to recognize the fact that her mom is only throwing herself around to avoid the truth that they have both been visited by tragedy too. She claims, "it's one of these Nigerian men that are caring and understanding that we need, a true African man will never leave his family." Bisi won't blame her, the fact that her husband left them to suffer supports her claims, afterall he was white. She fears there maybe no limit to man's imperfection.
Albino Aliyu has finally fulfilled the long-time promises of many. Plump Dare was a lazy unemployed ass and it hurt Bisi that her mom still cried and begged him to stay when he said he would leave her because he wouldn't marry someone that couldn't cook his traditional meals. Short Luke was from Mauritius, he had a beard that made his fair face look like messy chocolate scoops on a vanilla ice cream. He too promised to marry mom but disappeared after Mom caught him staring at Bisi's behind. Bulging-stomach Nnakwe was found out to be already married, so... But Albino Aliyu was different, a funny guy if need be. He had a boyish charm about him but he could get mad in a second, flaring like gas from an oil rig. He was fun and cool, neither mom nor I tried his patience. He beat mom once and that's when our enimity was born, fully built malice. However, "we'll be traveling to Nigeria during the winter break, Aliyu and I are getting married", was what Yewande, Bisi's mom greeted her with as she entered the house holding hands with Albino Aliyu.
"I'm kunle", he said stretching out his fine hand to meet Yewande's. "I'm guessing this is a first time for you, young lady" he said turning to Bisi. Bisi knew that he was right but she wanted so bad to impress the man, old enough to marry her mother, old and good looking enough too. She wanted anything to stop her mom from making the mistake that they were on a plane now, on their way to Nigeria to make.
Kunle thought to himself :
Even as she nodded, I knew her thoughts, like it was my job to, it was what I and six others had been sent here to do. We were needed that's why we came. I could read Yewande's too, she was anxious, distressed even.
Yewande was reluctant at first but Kunle proved to be one cosmically connected to her. He loved what she loved, joked her kind of jokes with the weird noises and everything, and Lord! He was handsome. The way she laughed during the flight one would think she brought her personal comedian along, on the plane.
Bisi too marvelled at the connection, she felt it, saw it too. She wished Aliyu was in the cabin somewhere, wished he'd see a reason to be vexed and for once, hopefully mom wouldn't beg him. But he had left a week earlier, he had gone to prepare his family for the rites. Mom was orphaned after her and her parents left Nigeria so she knew no relatives for such rites. She invited Kunle, they exchanged social media handles, Kunle gave her his Nigerian number since she didn't have one yet.
Lagos welcomed them with a rainstorm, they took an airport taxi to a place Mom called Victoria island. The traffic held up it's reputation to Bisi's face, they were on the road for hours. Bisi double-checked the Google map on her phone again and again. Lagos was really small, the confusion was how the destinations became so far off. The driver and Mom chattered away, she had been to Nigeria a few times in the past, even after her parents passed and before Bisi was born, the story was, Bisi's mom and dad actually met in Lagos. The voice from the radio was reading out a headline, "one kolade Johnson shot dead by policemen", Bisi cringed. It was a surprise to her that even among people of a colour such things could still happen. The voice in the radio paused and when Bisi gave her attention, she heard, "three children heads found in the sack of alleged mad woman." Bisi nearly screamed at the driver who was oblivious to the news, "change it, put erm... Music, put music." The news just made her question even more weighted, "what is the limit to man's hatred?"
Majaku kept the gate of the house they drove into, it was a storey building of two flats arranged on top of each other on one side and on the other side, a duplex. The flats had tenants but the duplex was vacant. It was where her grandparents had lived. Albino Aliyu called Mom and when they talked for a while about the journey, she looked up at Bisi and smiled "I think she's tired, you can talk to her tomorrow." She held the smile and their gaze even when Bisi knew Albino Aliyu was shouting on the other side. Mom was such a people pleaser sometimes. Power was restored by dinner and they had rice and stew, mom had asked Majaku to order on their way in.
The church wedding was in three weeks, but the traditional marriage was in a week, there were rehearsal dinners and little parties in between. Bisi wondered why Mom left Nigeria in the first place, the duplex had three large rooms, and the entire house looked like a King's abode. The power stayed for the better part of the night. Since, she was going to miss her rap battles for this. She went on browsing 'rap battles in Lagos'. She found a few that would hold around the time she would be in Lagos for. The one she found happening in two weeks time had a digital flyer attached to it and she saw him. Kunle was the host, it seemed like he was the perfect man for mom now, she'd have to register.
Bisi called Kunle on the day Albino Aliyu came to the house and told Mom blankly that his family had refused her because she had a child from another man. Mom was heartbroken, Bisi felt numb. So, she was in the way of her mom's 'happiness'. Kunle came in a flash, like he was SuperMan living down the road or something. "Yewande, it's alright you know? These men that still live like cave men are no good anyways", he told mom. Mom was glad he came, she had a minute gladness too in the fact that Aliyu was out of the way, she and Kunle could work something out. They kept in touch after the flight, so it wasn't weird that he could touch her on the shoulder and she'd feel comfortable, at ease like still water.
They began to go out, excluding Bisi of course. The fact that Kunle hadn't gotten an attachment to his name showed that Bisi was in support of the union. Bisi later told Kunle about her application to SPAR the rap battle contest he was hosting. "Do you know why I called it SPAR, it spells RAPS backwards and it means to fight, only this time with words", he told Bisi with a smile. Bisi already guessed it, but she looked surprised.
"Yeah, I heard you an only child,
Is that like a medical condition,
'Cause here in Africa we make making babies a mission,
Father prolly left cause a son wasn't in the picture,
Look at her legs, look like two of the seven dwarfs,
Coulda been dwafted for the army but came up too short,
Breasts looking like two dumbbells,
I couldn't manage you though,
Save you for my cousin, that n*gga looks like a ho,
The only thing you could turn on is the TV,
Anything erect at you amazes me,
I'm talking about dem monochrome,
Don't try that on my plasma though,
a girl wants to beat me in my city, in my country,
This ain't America, women over here are baby factories,
I'm sure it'll be a pleasure to teach ya our rules and culture,
The best you could amount to is behind a paintbrush- caricature,
Prolly have trouble sleeping after this,
I got your medications alright, you can see me after this,
Don't forget to remember I killed the sh*t outta this b*tch."
Linkon had the first go against Ms Biz. Kunle could see that Linkon got to her with that verse, being that it was the final round he had expected the heat but he knew this was way too hot for her, for anyone. "Oh, Linkon is coming at you Ms Biz, are you ready Ms. Biz? Your two minutes starts now, DJ drop that beat", Kunle said in the manner these Mc types do.
"linkon, hey I know you miss your mom,
And I know you miss the songs you sang,
But look- after I'm done with you,
You're gonna be singing "I'm sorry mama" in a loop,
I ain't just a girl,
You know I'm that kind in Hansel and Gretel,
Like a witch I'ma eat you up right here and now,
In front of this crowd,
Only you'd taste bad,
Can't even see a d*ck-line,
Ain't this a b*tch right?
Saw yo momma crying over cabin biscuits,
It's like she dropped out of Oxford,
Saw her wedding picture,
Yo, what she kissing an ox for,
Yo daddy unsteady with that intercourse
Heard they wanted a daughter,
Hit her real good on Sunday,
But on Monday that n*gga went off course,
It's why you sound like you're iron mike,
When really you's a plastic pipe,
Talk like you a gangsta,
When the closest you are to connected is connecting Wi-Fi for customers,
Is that why your name is Linkon?
Real good boy telling em the link to click on,
So stop pretending to be a pissed off sh*t,
When you're nothing but a piece of sh*t,
Peace out b*tch.
"Woah! She's back from the dead, did you see that coming? It's like she got you linkon, but that's not for me to say, let's hear from the judges" Kunle exclaimed breathing into the Mic like he'd been holding his breath all the while Bisi was rapping.
It's unclear to say who won since the judges declared it a draw, but on Twitter and Instagram the next day, Bisi's followers multiplied and comments rained in on how she should have won Linkon.
In the days after the contest, Kunle, Bisi and her mom became closer. He was bound to fly in days to Ghana for the country's own edition of the contest. However, as they spent more time together it became inevitable, they were meant for each other. So, it was decided, they'd leave with him for Ghana and return to Nigeria after that. Bisi liked the idea that she may become Nigerian after all.
The thought that the misery you put someone through can put them up for greatness crossed Aliyu's mind often. The rains had come and gone, just a year after he had left her, yet she seemed so happy on Instagram. The man beside her was handsome, they were both in traditional attire, it looked like pictures taken at the traditional marriage ceremony, so someone accepted her in the end. Aliyu's mind was plagued with jealousy, he wanted to take back all his not loving her gave her. He wanted to stop her from feeling the joy he knew she felt without him, and he had his chance. At the bottom of one of the posts she put directions to the church where the wedding would be done.
He arrived Nigeria, a week before the wedding. That week, he drank till he was drunk, smoked till he was high, did drugs that he'd never done before.
He pointed the gun at his replacement, "I begged months after months for you to come back to me, that I'd marry you against my parents wish that time, but you had him already didn't you, you had him already", with that, two bullets flew in the church auditorium, one in Aliyu's head and one in a bridesmaid, Bisi's stomach. She had jumped in at the last minute to save Kunle. She knew now that there was no limit to man's wickedness, she wouldn't let the only man that could prove otherwise die just like that, if she'd get to heaven she'd find out if Kunle was man after all.
She didn't make it to heaven however, I was watching through Mom's belly, Daddy bent down, prayed, picked her up and ran like hell to the nearest hospital, five months old me trailing behind in Mom's tummy. To me and many that witnessed the awry incident, Bisi's question took a new turn, is there a limit to man's love?
© 2019 Jimeto Onyedika. All rights reserved.