By Adebayo Mayowa
Dear diary, I Ifeanyi Ifeyinwa, I’ve never felt more confused in my whole life as I looked from one familiar face to the other. My heart was practically in my throat as I felt the tension in the room. I thought all had been revealed and a worse fate awaited me and my family.
We could be kicked out of the house that instant and now that I think about it, I didn’t even catch his name or maybe none of them said anything about it. I was too overwhelmed to think straight.
Looking at my mom with a little sadness in his eyes, he told my mom that he was sorry for the path he was paving for me. He said if he had his way he would not have accepted but he knew we needed all the Independence this offer would bring. He got up, drew me in his arms and hugged me fiercely. I heard my mom cough when it was getting a little bit long.
We disengaged from each other’s arms and he left the room. My mom took the place he had just vacated and looking at me, she said ‘ did you think I would tell him right? ‘ She told me how embarrassed she felt seeing me naked under someone and laid emphasis on WOMAN. She said that she didn’t what had gotten into me and that if I wanted happiness in life, I should refrain from such. I was about to hug her when she stood up and with her index finger pointed at me, she told me I needed deliverance and she’ll see to it once we left this place and stormed out angrily.
I plopped on the bed sad and I instantly became depressed. I cried out my eyes before I decided to start packing. I was still at it when Dika came in chattering away. He told me that he made dinner with Aunty Sharon after doing the dishes and that they had talked. She seemed a nice person. He chattered on and on and when he noticed that I hadn’t replied to all he had said, he walked up to me, sat on the floor and held my hands in his.
He rocked me gently when he saw my tears stricken face. ‘I’ll always protect you’,he kept on muttering. ‘Could he protect me from myself? ‘ I asked myself sarcastically.
When I felt I could talk, I told him to start packing. We packed what we owned or what my father’s family members had reduced our property to. All done, put our dirty clothes in a separate bag and helped pack our mother’s clothes. We were halfway through when she came in and entered the bathroom without a word to either of us. Not even a thank you. I was close to scattering her neatly folded clothes on the floor but decided against it, knowing that I’d still be the one to arrange them.
I left Dika to put the bags in a side of the room and went to the gazebo to think about my life and what I really wanted in life.
The sun had already made its way to the west and the sea breeze was blowing gently as I made my way to the gazebo. I wrapped my hands around to keep myself warm and walked on. I got there to find Uncle Ben drinking brandy and staring into space. He also had changed his clothes into sky blue tennis shorts and grey tank top. His legs were placed on the other wicker chair while he swirled and inhaled the brandy.
I turned to my heels since there was no other chair available but he beckoned on me and asked me to sit on the other chair he just made vacant. He patted the chair and asked me to sit. Not wanting to be uncomfortable, I carried the chair and moved a little further from him and sat, facing him.
He seemed amused by my act and laughed out really hard. He told me his friend KC was lucky to have beauty, brains and a streak of stubbornness. He told me how they had met and how close they were, he told me about their youths. It’s not like I cared or anything because like seriously I wasn’t marrying the man. One baby and am out of their lives forever. I listened with mock attention to all his tales and couldn’t wait for him to be done with it.
The sun’s orange glow had abandoned the horizon by the time he finished talking and am sure if I was to be given a test based on his narration, I’d fail woefully. He fell silent after that and the ensuing silence was so loud and deafening. Aunty Sharon broke the silence when she came to call on her husband to dinner and she was surprised to find me there with him. He told her to go ahead and that ‘we’ will join them shortly.
He asked me after an awkward silence if I knew anything about his wife’s unfaithfulness. He swore that he could feel it but that he just couldn’t confront her yet. My legs became weak and my mouth went dry. I mustered enough courage to ask him why he would think such. He looked at me, smiled, picked up his bottle and said to me that I was a kid and he’d rather I remained innocent. The he was gone.
Innocent ke! I wish I could say that with utmost sincerity but I cannot. Feeling worse than I gone there, I left and sat down to dinner.
Dinner was just spaghetti and meatballs. I ate and had little to say afterwards and after doing the dishes by myself, I left for my room and slept till the next day.
Dika was the first one up and was already bathed and dressed early the next day before waking my mom and I up. My mom had her bath and reluctantly, I got up to do the same. We had an early breakfast of poached eggs and toast as the couple were on their way to church. They left us at home and urged us to lock the door securely on our way out because KC was taking too long.
It was well past an hour when we finally heard a car honk and the gate open. Dika quickly started to get our bags out while KC parked. He got out and greeted my mom, while he smiled at me. He apologized for being late and started to put the bags in the boot of the car.
We locked the door and were soon out of the house. As if entranced, we three looked at the house that was once ours as the car left the neighborhood. We moved from a beautiful environment to a more beautiful one. We drove for a while until the car stopped in front of a mansion!
To be continued…