A Story written by Durodola OLAWALE YUSUPH (Durodolad9ty7@gmail.com +2348166920449, www.penprimus.com Info@penprimus.com)
The time was 8:30am and Serena knew it would take ten minutes before her father leaves the house nad she needed to talk to him. She walked out of her room towards her fathers room with her heart pounding hard against h er chest in such a way that anybody standing before her could see how blood is being pumped from her broken heart. Why won’t her heart be broken? She is binded together by blood with her parents and brothers, their hearts are well connected and she knew it because at times, one of them could deduce what was going on in the minds of the other family members. A practical example of such was when Nathaniel came home from school when no one was expceting and when asked why he decided to embark on such journey, he said he was having a strange feeling that something is not right with the family he left in the city of Ibadan and truely, two days later, his parents were seperated by a court in Ibadan. Everything is wrong with her family and mere knowing how it all started is enough reason for her heart to be broken. She knocked gently on the door and the next second, her father’s voice thundered. “Yes, who’s there?” Her heart almost flew out of her chest, the broken pieces to be precise In the last few weeks, her f ather had turned to be something else. Mere hearing him talk is enough reason for her to start feeling all jittery. “Its me dad.” She stammered “Come in.” She gently turned the door knob and pushed the door open. “Good morning sir.” She greeted going down on her knees like a typical yoruba woman would do to the elders. A tradition that has lived for thousands of years to an extent that, the failure to greet an elder properly, either by going down on their knees, in terms of the ladies or prostrating when it comes to the men, such a person would listen to the story of how his/her father was given birth too, even how he made it through farming or how he travelled to Lagos in search of greener pastures. “Why weren’t you at the morning devotion?” He asked. She w anted to leave her father’s room that moment because she wasn’t prepared to answer questions about her refusal to show up during the morning prayers because she had no excuse. “l..err…l..” She stammered while her father was looking at her amusingly, prob ably having fun as he watched her speak gibberish. Why am I even afraid of this man? Serena asked herself, but she couldn’t answer her own question. “Do you know the importance of praying together as one family? With one heart?” Her father asked. “No, you don’t.” He replied himself. “l was too tired to wake up.” She managed to reply. “The same excuse your mother used to give. Her failure to be binded in the spirity with this family was the begining of our problems, but I won’t talk about that today.” She h ate it, when the issue of her mother is being discussed with no one talking from her mother’s perspective. She hate it when everyone is castigating her mother without anybody taking into consideration, the reason why her mother behaved in that manner. But right now is not the time to support her mother, because she needed help and she must do everything to please the man before her. “So, what brings you here?” He asked finally. “Daddy, my exam is in two weeks and I have decided to sign up for a CBT exam tra ining where I can familiarise with the way questions are answered. ” She replied “Do you have up to two weeks before your exam day?” “Nine days to be precise.” She replied, at least, she was gaining ground. “And what will you learn under nine days? And it s not even a twenty four hours per day programme, maybe an hour or two. You want to learn how to operate computerO” “l mean, how to answer the questions, you know its quite different from paper exam. ” Serena replied. One of the reasons why having an educa ted father is disadvantageous. He tends to know everything including things that you yourself don’t know. “The tutorial centre belonged to JAMB or is it private owned?” Her father asked “Private sir.” “Good, you’ll go there today with you laptop and buy th e exam software, you’ll install it on you system and practice with it here at home.” Her father said counting wards of Naira notes from his bedside drawer. “That’s five thousand naira, It should be enough. I’ll call a cabman to take you to and fro. See you later. ” With this, her father picked his suitcase and made it out of the room leaving her behind. Now she understood what was going on. Her father didn’t want any of them closer to their mother which was why he made sure Nate was driven to school and now , she would also be driven to the tutorial centre where she intend to buy the exam software. She walked dejectedly out of her father’s room. Anita was seated inside the very spacious living room of her friend’s family, Dr Mrs Janet Olukunler the wife of an other Ibadan based popular business tycoon, Ambassador Jacob Olukunle. Anita has been putting up with the Olukunle family since the last three days when she moved out of her exhusband’s house, even though, her friend Janet was the only member of the Oluku nle at home, while Jacob Olukunles is currently on an official assignment alongside the Nigeria’s minister for Aviation to Isreal to sign a bilateral air agreement. Jacob Olukunle was a very firm man and a no nonsense one for that matter, she got married to his wife when she was seventeen and by the time she was twenty, they had given birth to their first child who presently works with the American government Olukunle Jacob who built his business empire around his father’s small business firm, he thrived o n inheritance and made his money through the sale of shares, it was through himm that Mr Oluwole Thomas, Anita’s exhusband became known. Thomas once worked as the south regional supervisor for Olukunle rwest s company which was where he met Anita, in Ogun state where she worked as a sales girl. He was able to send her to school and in the end they got married, even though they had no plans of getting married, but pregnancy prompted their marriage. Anita by now had finished speaking with whoever she was talk ing to over the phone. “You are done.” Doctor Janet said as she settled down on the nearest couch. “Yes, I just finished speaking with your boy, Nate.” Anita replied “Oh! The cutest member of the family.” Janet said as she picked up the remote control and switched television channel Anita didn’t reply, but she focused her eyes on the tv screen. “Jacob is returning tomorrow.” She informed. Anita wanted to disapparate that moment, but beggers can only ride if wished happens to be horses. “What did you say? Anita asked. “My husband would be back tomorrow.” She replied emphasizing the words, ‘back’ and ‘tomorrow.’ “So?” Anita asked still trying to know what was expected of her, maybe to pick up her bags and leave or better still start cleaning the house. “You will have to leave.” Janet replied “Why should I leave? Because your husband is coming back home? Am I a stranger in this house?” Anita asked.
l think you should know better. Jacob is a good friend of Wole, he definitely will be in support of Wole.” Jane t explained. “l don’t think so, he will listen to my own side of the story.” Anita replied. “Your side of the story? Do you in anyway have a story to tell? What do you intend to tell him? You want your husband to recieve orders from you.. Don’t decieve you rself, Jacob will never listen to you, I am sure he hasn’t spoken to Wole, because if he had, he would have called me.” Janet explained. “So? Are you saying….?” Anita said. “Yes, it is just for the meantime, you may leave your bags here and take a few cl othes to lodge into an hotel. Jacob will travel next week, so you can come back.” “Okay.” Anita stood up relectantly and walked into the visitor’s room where she picked her bags one after the other and pushed them out of the house into her car. Janet who b y now was in the kitchen head a sound that made her return to the living room. “Ani, what’s that?” She asked starring at the blank tv screen. She needed no soothsayer to tell her what was wrong. “l think its the tv.” Anita replied as she made to open the f ront door. “Are you taking your bags with you?” Janet asked bewildered. “Yes, it seems I am not welcomed here and I think leaving would be the best thing.” She replied. “Now I see you don’t understand all I told you. Its not that you can’t stay here, but J acob’s reaction is what I am afraid of. You might not like it.” “But you said Jacob acts on your orders, you can tell him to allow me to stay and he’ll listen.” Anita said. She was begining to have a feeling that her friend has been lying all this while, m aybe she wasn’t controlling her husband afterall “l can do that and trust me, Jacob will do whatever I say, but he would at every given opportunity try to frustrate you. You remember he wasn’t in support of your marriage with Wole, Jacob is a principled m an, he will see you as a wayward person, moreso, his families will ask questions and they’ll see us as the same thing.” Janet explained. That was it, so Janet still sees herself as different from me? Well she is right, afterall we both tried to control our husbands, she was successful, I failed, she is still a married woman, I am divorced. That proves the difference.” Anita thought as she swung her car out of the Olukunle’s compound.
To Be Continued…