For Tokoni the rule is no rule. Every other person must come home two hours before midnight. But seeing her strut by 2am is a reason to celebrate — she would often drag her feet in when it’s almost dawn and Mama would be waiting with a hot breakfast on the dining table.
“At least she returns home every day,” Mama’s queer response whenever we questioned her. But let it be someone else coming home by midnight, Thor’s hammer is a loving caress compared to the slap Papa would graciously give. We all hated him; because he confined us to his rules but Tokoni was the wind — no one could grasp her.
Our hatred for Papa remained until one day Aunty Douere confessed;
“Tokoni is your sister but not his daughter. You all were too young to understand, it was just one night according to your mother, but Tokoni the product of that one night still lurks around. It was the vow your father swore; only what was his is bounded by his rules.”