The Baby is Mine by Oyinkan Braithwaite

Like Treasure, The Baby is Mine is not in the same league as Braithwaite’s My Sister, the Serial Killer. Still, if you are looking for a short and relatively compulsive read you should consider giving this short story a try.

The Baby is Mine takes place in lock-down Lagos and is narrated by Bambi a serial cheater (ahem, fuckboy) who finds himself booted from his girlfriend’s place after she comes across some incriminating evidence. Bambi decides to seek refuge at his Uncle’s house. His Uncle has recently passed away and Bambi finds his home to be occupied by Bidemi, his Uncle’s wife, and Esohe, his Uncle’s much younger mistress. In the house, there is also a baby boy, and both Bidemi and Esohe claim to be his mother. Unsure who to believe Bambi falls victim to the oppressive atmosphere of the house, believing one woman one minute, the other the next. The two women are at each other’s throats and their escalating behaviour—sand in food, a suspicious stain on the wall—alarms Bambi. Due to the pandemic, he’s unable to request a maternity test so the three remain at an unbearable standstill.
I think the author does a great job of creating and maintaining a sense of unease. Bambi was too much of a himbo at times, taking longer than was necessary to ‘realize’ things. I also wasn’t keen on the two women being portrayed as ‘hysterical’ new mothers who spend their time crying or shouting. It got boring fast.
Still, this was a quick read and even if it was obvious who the ‘real’ mother was (not to Bambi though) I still found myself looking forward to the reveal.

my rating: ★★★☆☆

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