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

The people regarded as the backbone of the Thomas family were all present inside Mr Oluwole’s ward where he was pouring out his heart or better still put as telling them the actions of they(his family members) that he doesn’t like. “Uncle Patrick, with all due respect, you can’t impose things on me, no way. It is my life, my family is at stake, my happiness is at stake, this decision rests on me an me alone. And even if I need to seek advice, I have grown up children who could chip in a thing or two. This has to do with the Thomas family under the leadership of Oluwole, not the Thomas in generality.” Oluwole began. “Wole calm down.” Jane said. “Let him talk to me anyhow, He is now richer than all of us abi? He has millions, he travel to Lagos in airplanes while we go to the park or go in our cars. Leave him, let him talk.” Pa Patrick said. The room fèll silent for a moment “This is not a matter of who is rich or who has money. I started this famil y without a fat bank account. I built this financial bouyancy with my family solidly behind me. All thanks to Anita, but regardless of how she helped me during the trying times, I can’t sit back and let her kill me. Afterall, she wanted me out of the way. I mean, Uncle, if your wife start to act all up in the house, what would you do? Its a pity you were out of the country while all these was on, I would have loved her to walk you out of the house one day or threaten to call the police or release the dogs l ike she did to Collins.” Wole standing up to his feet. “l took drastic measures because I can’t allow any woman, no matter her status or whatever handle the family where I came from anyhow or reduce them to nothingness. I divorced Anita because of her face off with Collins and the phone call threat she put accross to Jane’s husband. I sacrificed the unity in my own family because I cherished my extended family. Now the extended family wants me to go back to my vomit No way]” “Wole, I’ll fight you o. Sit dow n for once and let us settle this issue.” Jane said pushing her elder brother back to the bed. “There is nothing to settle. This is my family and it is nobody’s business. I alone run it, third parties can go to hell.” Wole snapped as he removed the drip ba g from where it was hunged, held it in his right arm and made for the door. “What audacity. Can you imagine Wole talking to me like that? Wale, a boy I nutured.” Pa Patrick said to his siblings who cared to listen. “Uncle, two wrongs can never make a right . For the sake of peace, let Anita go. If there is no string attached to your obsession with her ‘must return,’ then I think we should let bro Wole have his way. Afterall, his fámily belonged to him, he alone can run it. The best you can do as an elder is advice him to do the right thing and if truly you have adviced him and he claimed he doesn’t want to do your biddings, then let him have his way.” Collins spoke for the first time in one hour. “You mean, I should leave Wale?” Patrick asked. “Yes Uncle’ Col lins replied. “Okay, I will let him have his way, but as from this minute, consider the bond between Wole and I broken.” With this, Patrick stormed out of the door and his other siblings ran after him pleading. “Get out of my way.” Patrick said pushing Dav e in the process which sent the warmer he had in his hand crashing to the ground and the content of it spilling. “Am sorry Uncle. ” Dave said prostrating, when he realised the damage the food had done to his Uncle’s white shirt. “Look at this bastard of a boy.” Patrick said vernomously moving closer to Dave who stood his ground. If there was a word he hated, it was the word BASTARD. No matter how hard he tried, he would always loose his temper at the mention of the word. “Uncle, you shouldn’t have called t he boy a bastard, Afterall, he is our son.” Jane stepped in once she noticed the defiant look on Dave’s face. “l will call him whatever I deem fit.” Patrick replied “And I’ll hit you in whatever way I deem fit,” He muttered and just before Pa Patrick coul d react, even if he didn’t hear him, he still know he had spoken back at him, Jane dragged Dave away from the scene Aunty Jane…. Sorry, Mum, what’s going on?” Dave asked as they walked out of the reception. “Your dad and Uncle just finished having a he ated argument. I don’t know what Uncle stand to gain in this issue of . Jane allowed her voice trailed off when she thought of the impact that her words might have on the young man beside him. As they leaned against one of the cars in the parking lot Jane asked; “Do you want your parents back together?” She asked. “No.” He said sharply causing Jane to raise her brows. “Not after what I heard was going on between her and Uncle Clu.’ “You knew about it too?” Jane asked, shocked to the marrow. After hearing t he knock on the gate, Serena had before walking out of the house concluded the person outside the gate to be Jake. Afterall, only four people could visit her, even though two are unlikely. If it were to be Stephanie, she wouldn’t bother knocking on the gat e, instead, she would put a call accross to her that she was at the gate and other times, she uses text messages. If it were to be Henry, even though the possibility of Henry visiting her is as high as the possibility of the Nigeria’s male football team kn own as the super eagle moving to within the first ten in the popular FIFA ranking. Henry in his usual domineering way of life would have called right from the time he left home asking her to stand outside the gate waiting for him, because he doesnt want to spend more than five seconds outside the gate. If it were to be Taiwo, she wouldn’t bother knocking, rather, she knew how to open the gate from outside, everytime suprising the gateman. Jake was the only friend of hers who would either knock on the gate o r press the bell and since whoever was at the gate was knocking, and the knock was characterised by the lightness of it, then she couldn’t think of someone else “Hi.” He greeted with a smile. “Hello.” She replied with an askance look, devoid of smile. “You look so well Thank God for that.” He said. “How are you feeling now?” “As you rightly said, I look so well. At least, I walked on my own to open the gate for you, that alone is a testimony. She replied “Thank God for that. ” Serena was suprised with the way Jake mentioned God incessantly like he was paid to say the word. Some words she had never seen Jake say in his life were, church, bible, God and any other thing that has to do with the almighty God. Even though he called himself a christian, something Stephanie calls, ‘christian by mouth’ but he himself claimed he was a ‘christian by heart’ because according to him, only God knows who and who is for him and no amount of church going would make God see you as his own, except if you walked with him blamle ssly like he commanded Abraham. In other conversations, he claimed that his father, being a very popular business mogul in the city of Ibadan built his empire in two decades without going to church for once and the same path he wanted to thread. Even thoug h Serena had on several occassions told him about grace and mercy which God can bestow on anybody just to test if they’ll glorify him with their wealth and position, citing several stories of kings in the bible, but Jake would have none of that. “Can I com e in?” He asked. “What exactly do you want?” She asked, “l came to see and check on you.” He replied.

To Be Continued…

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