“What could have been the problem? How did she even know I’m now around? This is unusual! Something must be wrong”
A lot of thoughts filled Shade’s head while she was on her way back home. She would have taken a bike to fast track her movement but none was available. She paced very fast as her legs could carry her and got home after some minutes.
Shade met her mother in the sitting room with her arms akinbo, wandering around. Her heart beat increased geometrically while looking at her mother’s stances.
“I’m here ma.” Shade finally spoke out with tremble in her voice.
Her mother turned around. The look on her face dragged out happiness out of Shade’s life. She looked helpless like a wounded lion that has lost its claws and teeth.
Shade was the Apple of her mother’s eyes. Words only couldn’t express how much her mother loved her, but yet, she never tolerated any act of indiscipline from her. This was so because she was the only female and last born of the family. And also, she happened to be the only brilliant one. Her two other older brothers were dullards. They couldn’t get their O’ level results completely let alone of furthering.
“Where did you go to since you came back from Ibadan and where are you coming from?” She asked, searching Shade’s eyes, expecting her to lie.
“Emm, Tunde’s house ma.”
Shade was panicked. She wished to say the truth but she has been warned by her mother not to mingle with Tina again.
Shade’s mother stopped Tina from coming to her house and warned Shade from going to her when she suspected her sons were having crush on her. And she believed Shade could be an intermediary between them.
Sequel to that, Shade had no other alternative than to mention somewhere else if she didn’t want to experience excruciating punishment. But where would she say she was just coming from?
Shade’s mother eyes bulged out of there sockets like that of a dragonfly when she heard Shade’s response. She couldn’t believe her ears.
“Eeen! Where did you say you went to? Tunde’s house or where?” She interrogated while looking at her disappointedly.
Shade was sorted of words. She stood shamelessly, scratching her own neck with left hand while her eyes blinked like that of analog wristwatch. She knew her mother knew the truth, but she just had to say something.
“Can’t you talk?” Her mother barked at her.
“So you too have cultivated the habit of lying, en? Eni to ba paro ma jale ( whoever lies will definitely steal ). Haa, Shaaaaade! Now, tell me where have you been since you left Shola’s house?”
Shade couldn’t withstand the pressure mounted on her any longer and she decided to say the truth so as to set her mind free.
“Em, en, Ti , Ti, Tina.” She said stammeringly and took some steps backward, preparing herself to flee in case her mother made any attempt to catch her.”
“Eeen! Despite all the warnings? Did you grow your ears for decoration? I pray you don’t implicate yourself with your adamant attitude.”
She paused a bit and was a bit calmed. She felt like beating her initially, but she later gave it second thought, after all, she said the truth. Aside from that, she has been warned by Shade’s father not to lay her hands on her ever since the day she fainted and later woke up on a hospital bed after two days when she was been beating by her.
“Now, listen and listen good, never and ever in your life, I repeat, never and ever in your life do you go to Tunde and Tina’s house again. But you can just try me if you have two heads.
Move to the kitchen and prepare what to eat tonight jare. Oni ranu.” She warned emphatically.
Shade quickly found her way to kitchen within a tick. She placed her left hand on her chest with her eyes gently closed and heaved heavily. She was relieved and happy for not got beaten by her mother, but sad with her condemnation.
“Why would mum stop me from visiting Tunde? What could have been the issue? Even her reactions when I came around was suspicious. Something must be fishing.”
She pondered over the issue. Her mind was not at rest and she became restless as she engaged herself in the cooking. When her mind couldn’t resist the worry any longer, she dialed Tunde’s number… And she got more worried when there was no response from the other end after several attempts.
“Oh my God! Where did he drop his phone now? Or is there anything wrong?” She asked rhetorically.
She decided to dial the number for the last time before given up and fortunately for her, her call was picked up, but by a woman.
TO BE CONTINUED…