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A Story written by Durodola OLAWALE YUSUPH (Durodolad9ty7@gmail.com +2348166920449, www.penprimus.com Info@penprimus.com)

If crying could kill then Serena should be dead hours ago. She was lying on her bed tears dripping out of her eyes like water is coming out of a waterfall. If anybody had told Jake would deny her even if the face of death, she probably would contact the police to arrest such a person, because she believed if she could stick her neck anywhere to stand by him, then he should have no problem reciprocating the gesture. And to say Jake wa s with her five minutes before the arrival of her father, and he was begging her, so why the change? What made him change his mind? “Don’t you know how impatient the male folks are when it comes to women? You kind of put the guy in suspence amd when he cou ld take it no more, he did what was best for himself.” A voice her subconscios told her. “But is denial the next thing? If truely he loved my girl, he should take the risk and face the consequence without fear.” Another voice said. “Can I ever force myself on any guy?” she asked herself a bit loud and just then, a knock sounded on her door.

Even though she wanted to ignore whoever was at the door like she had always done, but when the knocks became persistent, she had no choice than to unlock the door. Outs ide her room stood her father. She gasped in suprise because she couldn’t remember the last time her father entered her room, maybe when she was sick. She also wasn’t expecting him so soon. She expected him to still be angry with her, so what does he want ? “Can I come in?” He asked with a smile, even though it is not genuine. She quickly stepped aside and opened the door wider for him and he walked in, admiring her room as he sat on the only chair beside her reading table. “When did you furnish your room?” He asked smiling. “Its been a while sir. There is no furnishing, just my bed and the carpet.” she replied cleaning her eyes with the hem of her top. “It looked beautiful. You also used my money to paint your room?” He asked. “Dad! You bought the paint” sh e replied. She tried her best not to smile, but her voice choked in the process. “Have you been crying?” He asked when he noticed her wet eyes. “No dad.” she replied. “Are you crying because of that boy?” He asked She quickly shook her head in the negativ e. Then, she went on her knees. “Dad, I know you must be disappointed in your only daughter by now; but dad never for once forced myself on him. He lied. His coming here today was to beg me and see if I would agree to date him. Daddy, believe me. ” She c you.” He said. ried “l believe She quickly looked at her father as if he just spoke a fOriegn language “l know you can never force yourself on a man. The kind of training I gave you is not the one that can make you force yourself on a man. But when you lo ok at the level of obsession from your end, one would conclude that you desperately want him for yourself. You have his pictures everywhere, even in your head.” He explained. “Another thing is, if you look at it critically, he doesn’t love you one bit whil e you love him a lot. The way he denied you said it all, up to the point that he painted you black. But I don’t blame him anyways, he protected himselfl He was afraid of what I can do to him, because he knew dating at this level is unheared of. Even though I won’t mind having him as a son went on.inlaw in the not so distant future. ” He Serena was no longer listening to her father, all she could do was shed tears and she could feel her tear gland running out of tears the next minute When all hope was lost God suprised her. Even though, whatever made her father change his mind, she didn’t know; but she suspected her brother, even though she had no idea if he had left the officer and the staffs in the house are not allowed to interfere in the issues concerni the family, since they are not being paid for that. ng “And one thing you forgot to do is tell me about the Agodi garden episode. Even though I have forgiven you and it is now up to you to move one, face you exam, get it done and secure admission. Spending another one year at home is bad for you and l.” Her father explained. “Daddy, I promise to be of good behaviour. I won’t let you down. I won’t get myself entangled with boys. I have a point to prove to you.” She said. “l hope so.” After a few more minutes of begging, she knew her father’s visit to her room had a reason. She knew he didn’t believe all she said. She knew he no longer trusts her. But he pretended to be on her side so that she will have an enabling environment to prove herself as not being pro miscous like Jake had painted her. She knew her father may ignore her greeting the next morning, but the fact that she has a second chance, she was ready to win his trust. A message flew into her phone that moment from Jake. It reads; “Stephanie and I are dating now. You pushed me away.” She hissed. Anita was kneeling down inside the 21st century living room where the majority of the appliances and things inside were imported. Pa Patrick Thomas was seated on the only available three seater couch and beside him sat his friend Pa James. “Anita, I have told you times without number, you still remain Oluwole’s lawfully wedded wife and I am against the whole divorce of a thing, but your decision to have affairs with other men is what I don’t and will never suppor t. Abi James, what do you think?” James who was a first hand witness of how Patrick saw Anita and Barrister Olu together has been trying not to get himself involved in the issue so he doesn’t cause problem in the family. Because, as an outsider, and a ver y good friend of the family, plus his ager everything he says will be valued and they’ll want to take to it. Which was why he had avoided visiting his friend for a whole week for the fear of meeting Anita or finding them in a large family meeting, but when he ran out of excuses, he had no other choice than to come visiting and to his suprise, he was yet to settle down before Anita entered the house, and the infOrmation he gathered, this was Anita’s first visit since she was caught with Olu. How he wished h e had visited before now. “l think you have said well.” He replied tactly. “Anita, let me tell you the truth. Even though the court divorced you two and we both know that the court played an active role when you got married. But another key player when you got married is yet to say a thing, tradition. You were taken from your parents traditionally, which means your family met with us and they gave their word based on our request. Now that my brother wants divorce, I think we should carry tradition along as we go with the white man his grey haired friend who urged him to continue. r s law.” Patrick paused, glanced at “Suffice to say, we will meet with your parent the same way we met with them some twenty six years ago, tell them what we want, they return the d owry and other things we gave out. Then you can go your seperate ways. Even though the children remain yours as well as your husbands.” He paused. “But in our family, we don’t encourage divorce. When anybody is having issue with their spouse, they contact us and we settle it before it escalates. But I think your lack of reaching an understanding level with your in laws cost your your place. No matter what your offences are, if you have a good relationship with your inlaws, they’ll help you out. Even thoughI learnt you took things to far, you were hard on your husband, as well as your children, even your in laws who interfered were equally disgraced. To what gain?” Anita remained on her knees with a sober look “You see, as a divorced woman, you may choose t o remarry or have affairs with other men, but there are some men that you should never go out with. Your husband’s friend, his relatives or anybody who is directly connected to him. And as an elder that I am, I won’t sit back and let this family disintegra te. We will settle this problem, provided you call off whatever you are having with Olu. Even though Olu will be sanctioned in the family. Then we will see your husbandr we’ll tell him about your affair with Olu, if he is okay with it and could forgive you , then we know what to do from there. But before that, we need to do a DNA test on your children.” Anita gasped at the mention of DNA. “Wole is the biological father of my children. He fathered them all.” She said. “Please let me come in here.” Pa James sa id. “You see my sister. Deep inside yourself, you know that Wole is the father of your children and if otherwise you know. But with the situation of things, even if Wole is a man of God, the first thing he would ask for the the paternity of the children, w hich is where the test result comes in. And I think the reason behind Patrick talking that way is because he is not sure of when you started going out with other men. Don’t get me wrong, but as humans, it is normal to ask when you started seeing other men. ” Pa James explained “Thank you very much friend.” Patrick said then he turned to Anita. ‘Like I promised, we will settle this issue if not to ensure that you return to Wole’s house, but to see you have equal access to the children. I will talk to the fam ily and see what happens.” “Thank you very much uncle. You see, I love…” She was saying. “l know you love him.” He cut her short, sacarsm evident in his voice. “And by the way, the food is ready.” Finally, the day of reckoning is here. The day when we sh all remove the serious students and put them where they belong and the unserious one made to sit an extra year at home. Serena sang the song of praise as she got dressed this morning and during the morning devotion, she prayed like she was trying to avert death or danger. Her father and brother was quite suprised to see her pray in such manner. She kept repeating a single prayer point for about ten minutes until her father told her she was the only exam candidate in the house. Even though she was nervous, s he had a feeling she would pass the exam, even if she hadn’t prepared so well for the exam, she knew she would manage to get the cut off mark of two hundred for most universities or one hundred and eighty for most polytechnics. The first message she reciev ed was from her mother who sent a short but straightforward message praying that she succeeds. “So, she still remembered?” Was the question on her mind as she read the message. And before she could drop her phone, another message came in, this time from Na thaniel, her immediate elder brother which reads; “Good morning lil sis. I guess today is your exam, isn’t it? If yes, I wish you the very best and remember, dot your ‘i’ and cross your ‘t’ even on the computer screen. But if your exam is not today, keep i t safe and read this message whenever you are going for your exam. Much love from Nate.” She couldn’t help but smile while reading the message and she didn’t know when tears welled up in her eyes. “Are you set?” Her father’s voice brought her back to reali ty as she picked up her small handbag and headed out of the house to meet her father smiling beside his land rover jeep “Goodluck.” Dave said as he hugged her and went over to her father’s second car and drove off to work. Fifteen minutes later; her fáthe r was speeding on the express way while the clutched her bible to her chest and just then her phone vibrated twice. She read the first message, it was from Jake which reads; “l wish you success in your exams today. I will be waiting for you outside your ex hall when you are done.” She hissed angrily. The second message as expected was from Stephanie and it reads; “Girlfriend, you can’t fight with me for life. You will sit down beside me for two hours and I hope your calculator doesn’t stop working, becaus e I know you won’t ask for mine. We’ll talk after the exam.

To Be Continued…

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