Don’t mess with Tena

“Be good, have a fun day at school!”

“Yes, Mum!” The children chimed. Tena ran back to her mother and tugged at her dress. Mum looked down affectionately, she knew what Tena wanted. She bent over and let Tena kiss her cheek. “Love you Mama!”

Mum smiled and looked at Oloko who looked away, he was 12 and like most preteen boys he wasn’t going to kiss his mother like his 6 year old sister. He just waved limply and ran to his friend who had also just been seen off by his parent. “Hurry and join your brother and get to class on time. Mummy loves you both!” Mum said the last part loud enough for Oloko to hear who shrugged his shoulders in response. Tena skipped happily toward her brother looking back at Mum waving. She was an adorable little girl.

As mum drove off, Oloko shoved Tena and she stepped in a pile of dog poo and began crying.  Oloko’s friend Saidi felt pity on Tena and offered to help her up and then reassured her that she could get it clean by wiping it off in the grass. Oloko was holding his tummy pointing at his sister in teary laughter. Tena loved Oloko too much to hate him for that, but he would pay somehow. The bell rang and they were off to class. Oloko always teased Tena because of the affection she showed Saidi. Who could blame her; he was the only one who didn’t pick on her.

At 3pm, Oloko picked up Tena from class and made her walk backwards as he yanked her along with her rucksack. “Why do you let your brother do that to you Tena?” Mum asked. Oloko had a dumb look on his face; he had not noticed Mum had been watching them for 5 minutes from the hallway.  Tena hung her head. Mum used her pinky and lifted her chin up. She smiled her usual warm smile. “OK…Stand up for yourself.” Tena said as Mum echoed her. They both smiled. And mum pointed to the car, and the children hopped in.

Just as it got close to dinner Tena knew it was bath time and for some reason Oloko had a tendency to walk around in his underwear and flex like a body builder and leap off the couch onto a pile of pillows on the carpet as imaginary assailants. This evening what Oloko did not know was that Tena had ‘kindly’ invited his neighbourhood crush, Haiya, over for a ‘tea party’ in the living room.

When mum called out as normal for Oloko to hit the shower he stripped to his undies and ran to the living room with a roar. He lept on to the couch from the back and as he roared and flexed around, lo and behold, there before him was Haiya having a tea party with Tena’s smug look on her face.


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