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A Story written by Gaglo Blessing (blessinggaglo@yahoo.com)

Tomi

” Tomi look at you!” Mom exclaimed. ” You are so thin!”

” I look alright mom”

” No you look starved. Kilode?”

I looked around the room. The paint was peeling off, the furniture was so old, the foams in it has long since been replaced with carton papers. Mom had  even made a makeshift cover for it. The old TV set was on but the images on the screen were dancing in a zig zag pattern. I hit my palm twice on the top of it to reset it.

” Mom please talk to daddy nau! it is embrassing to still have these garbages in one’ s home! ”

”  No, no, you can’t call the TV my late brother gave to me garbage! that is outright disrespect to the dead! ” he removed his glasses and sat down on the hollow sofa.” When did you get here?”

” Good afternoon dad, i got here some minutes ago”

” Daddy Tomi we should change this furniture nau, it is not like we can’t afford a new one.” Mom said.

” Woman don’t let these children of now adays fool you. You see these things here have sentimental values for me……i can still remember when my father died in 1950.”

I groaned inwardly. Dad was about to delve into his famous family history. Mom and i traded looks. How my grandfather fought in the second world war, how he single handedly defeat a lion! most of the stories were lies but who dares to argue with my father?

” Dad they are so old!”

” My dad willed these furniture to me…….my father was a galant soldier……Omo Ekun himself” dad laughed.” He was a retired soldier at the time he willed these furniture to me”

” Dad he gave them to you! he never willed anything to you because he died interstate. We have to change them!”

” Whether he willed it to me or gave them to me when he was alive the koko is of all his children i was the only one he honored and that was in 1950 few months before he passed away.”

” If our daughter brings home a suitor today where will they sit? i can’t even invite my friends home because of the way our home is”  Mom complained before going to the kitchen.

” You see your mother? ehen..women! they are so erratic! the eracticity of women can be likened to our Nigerian government. They are just too unstable and incomprehensible”

You just can’t win an argument with my dad. My mother and i had pleaded with him several times to allow us paint the rooms and changed the furniture but he refused. It was like he was afraid to let go of the past or maybe he was afraid to let go of his dear late family members. Old decaying and dusty newspapers from the past,  before Nigeria got her independence was on an equally shaky three legged table at a corner of the living room. My father still keeps the old headmaster mustache and afro. He was never seen without his trouser suspenders and grey faded headmaster face cape. I used to be ashamed whenever he comes for my PTA meeting. My class mates would laugh openly and jeered at me. Dad doesn’t see anything wrong with the way he dresses.  As i grew older i learned to appreciate his kindness and vast knowledge of the world. It doesn’t matter if my dad looked like a papa Ajasco replacement. He will always be my father.

” When are we meeting him?”

Dad asked suddenly.

” Who?”

” My dear dont feign ignorance and by the way i hope you are still a vargin!”

I blushed to the roots of my hair. I wish i wasn’t an only child so my parents will have someone else to pester. Ofcourse i was still a virgin, i was pure both in my heart and thoughts.

” You should see the big wedding held at church last week! you know Tolulope ? that small girl that i use to send on errands?” Mom asked coming into the room with a tray of steaming hot amala and gbegiri soup. ” Omo rada rada yen ti sha ju e loko” ( that useless girl has gotten a husband before you.) ”

” Woman you should be happy for others so they too can celebrate with you when it is your turn!” Dad spat out.

” i know her” i managed to say.

” That girl has slept with the whole of Ojota but if you see her wedding ehen! fear will catch you ” Mom said with envy.

I went to get my food from the kitchen while they continued planning my yet to be wedding, throwing playful barbs at each other. I hugged both of them when i was done eating and went back to my apartment. I had tried my best to transform my apartment, my sofa was neat, i had few clean clothes in my wardrobe and few clean bedsheets as well.  my novels were back on my bed instead of the bathroom where they were before. I lowered the volume of my plasma TV. Someone was at the door.

” Baby” he said and staggered in as soon as i opened the door.

” What are you doing here?” i demanded angrily.

” How could you……” He belched loudly.

He reeked of alcohol and he looked older, his beards were days old and his shirt looked so rumpled you will think he pulled them out of his a$$.

” Rich, you are drunk! Please leave at once!”

” Tomi i love you…….but you f*ucked me up! Why?”

” Rich please go”

He pulled my hand and we both collapsed to the ground, he ended up on me. I struggled to push him off me . he tried to kiss me, I removed my face and the slobbery wet kiss landed on my cheek .

” How dare you! See! See what you have done to me!” He slurred out the words.

His hands forced apart my legs brutally. I closed my eyes and sank my teeth into the fleshy nook of his neck. He yelped in pain but he still didn’t let go of me. He ripped my top, latched his tongue onto my n.ipple. he bit hard on it and raw pain blinded me. I continued struggling with him but i was getting tired.

To Be Continued…

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