Joseph looked up from the laptop he was
typing from and saw his friend grinning from ear to ear into his phone; he shook his head and went on with what he was doing.
The room was getting hot and he does not want to put on the generator at that time of the night.
“What is the matter Dave, do you realize Chinwe is a married woman?”
Davis looked up at his friend and asked his
friend “what are you talking about?”
“Who you dey follow chat?”
“Clara? Aha I saw her this afternoon; she
stopped by at the café before she went home.”
”That is what she is just telling me”
“I thought you were chatting with Chinwe, I for say make you tread gently before her father have you picked up”
”That will not happen, I am not breaking her marriage, it seems as if there was no marriage between those two”
“Still it is not right to chat with a married
woman at this time of the night”
“Na you sabi, why is your laptop screen
“Henry almost broke my laptop; I am
surprised it is working with that kind of fall”
“That boy ehn!”
Davis’ phone rang and he decided to end the call, so he could call his sister back.
“Blessing how are you?”
“I am fine, how are things there?”
“Fine, what is happening, I hope you are
“I am o, just said I should say hi”
“What is the problem, I know you have more than hi to say, if you are calling at this time?”
“I have another carry over, making it a whole 18 unit I have to clear after the normal units of the regular course for the first semester.
I am tired of my life and I don’t know what else to do”
“What is your CGPA now?”
And your last GP is?”
“Okay, so what do you want to do, I have told you before now, drop out of that course and go for literature that you love and wanted to go for, you have no interest in this course you are pursuing”
“After 3 years? Dad would kill me”
“He would kill you all the same, but painfully and slowly if you continue to have so much carry over and have to take an extra year”
“It is the truth, I wanted to study Statistics, he thought Engineering would sell more, I did the engineering and now he wants me to come and head a business I know nothing about. I told him I wanted to get my masters
in Business administration, he wanted me to go to Canada to study international business.
He will not stop running your life. Cut the
leash now and live your life before he runs it down, don’t worry about the tuition fees, he will pay, he would not want to appear bad to his friends.
[b]“But still, I am scared, I have gone 3 years, this is my second year after pre degree and I am not getting any younger,”
“Yeye, you are just 21, you are young. If you want to be happy and not turn up on your 27 birthday to be a frustrated fool like me, you better take a hold of your life now, I will support you.”
“Is 21 young?, anyway, I will think about it”
“Think fast and let me know before I start investing in the things I want to do here”
“Alright big bro, I will. Thanks so much, if I say I love you now, ”
“E go sound like America film” fondly, he ended what has been their bye -for-now anthem for some years now.
“Na wa o, I just don’t understand your parents, they have money to support your dreams, but they are forcing their dreams on you both, where as my own papa dey encourage me to go for any course as long as na university I enter, I just don’t get it”
“I wish I developed some balls earlier, the 4 years I spent messing up his business with innocent people covering up for me all in the name of the CEO’s son has caused me more embarrassment than I can allow my sister to go through.”
I know jack importing and distribution of
those tanks and containers he sells, leave me with any broken device and the right screw driver and I will make it work again if God wishes it, but asking me to seat in front of a computer just drowned my brain. It got to a point that I installed PES on my official laptop which I would play from 8 to 4 sometimes”
“Na wa o, if my father has the half of what your father does, he will move mountains, I swear.
Although he also has his own faults,
don’t marry Yoruba, don’t marry Hausa and all those things he is still holding on to.
I plan to make him wait to the extent that he will beg me to come home with any girl I find on the street”[/b]
Davis and his friend laughed heartily at
Joseph’s joke “but who will suffer the consequence? By the time you are 50 and your son is 4 or so, what joy and fun will be there? When you can’t play football with him and some other things together.”
“Dude forget, with this body and the way I plan to stay fit, even at 50, I will still be bouncing”
“But I like your advice to you sister, if it were some other big bro, they would confuse the poor girl more and make her feel like she is not being serious”
“Well, I did that the first year, but I see
articles this girl writes for our church and her school magazine and how she is able to read stories, interpret and narrate them, I concluded she does just not have interest in the course she is doing now”
“Yeah, Dad is manipulative, he hears that his friend’s child is studying this course and he thinks it is the best, he hears about that school and concludes it is the best, and sometimes when I expect mom to help, she starts her love in Tokyo talk about how our father knows the best and wants the best for
us. I am just tired”
“All is well. Our parents cannot be 100%
perfect but in all their fussing, they actually want for us what they think is the best.”
Power was restored, so Joseph stood up to plug his phone and laptop into the wall
“Watch out for that wire, so you don’t pull your laptop down” Davis cautioned his friend.
“Lest I forget, a lady dropped her laptop for me to help her find someone to repair it; can you take a look when you come back from class tomorrow?”
“Sure, it is in the café right?”
“Yes” They talked more till one of the fell asleep.
Chinwe called Clara and they spoke about a lot of things, she talked about her job and her new boss, saying she likes him but not sure he is a single man. Chinwe encouraged her to be open with him and expect nothing from him, saying men are all the same.
“Well, I understand, but how many men have we met in the universe that could lead to that conclusion”
“Well the ones we have met are enough to make us say that” Chinwe argued stubbornly
“Chinwe, you need to be realistic. Your
situation hurts me more than you can ever know, my cross should not be a barrier for you in life, I am truly sorry for what I have caused you.” Clara said with a tinge of sadness in her voice.
“Clara, it is not your cross that has blocked me, it is the error of an undisciplined man that has refused us the peace we so much deserve, and also you need to stop apologizing.”
“But has he asked you what your reasons were, for running away I mean?”
“Yeah, he did”
“And what did you tell him?”
“The truth; that his past mistake has ruined someone’s life”
“And his reply?”
“Trust any man now; he said he did not
understand what I was saying, until I asked if he would also rape me for him to recall the incidence of 4 years ago”
“Could it be he does not recall the incident?”
“Who knows, maybe there have been so many that he can’t even keep track”
“So he denied it, I am sure when he sees me and his son; he won’t be able to, not even with the resemblance with Henry. I see his face in my dreams sometimes; I can never ever forget that face. He was brutal, he hit me
several times Chinwe, threatened to cut off my throat after he finishes if I dared to shout.
He raped me in the toilet and left quickly,
before I could even dress up, the police came and took us all away.”
“You don’t have to recall that horrible event Clara”
“I never stopped remembering, you can
imagine losing your virginity to a man like
that, but in all that I thank God everyday for the son I have. His face makes the dreams bearable. I can live with myself knowing that what happened that night was not my fault”
“No it was not, it was mine, all mine and I tend to make him pay for it”
“It was not yours either, but his. I have lived with it for 4 years but I hope you know I did not just make up a story”
“Even if you did, are my eyes not working?
Henry is a spitting image of him and that
birthmark on his head, Clara, that is enough to take the story”
“But I think your father needs to know exactly who he is, maybe that would make him allow you divorce him”
“Hmm, forget that man, I will not bank on that. Even when his action could have saved me years back, he did nothing. Now that his money is involved in our union, he would never agree to it. You know what he told me?
Even if he is the devil, you must marry him”
“Na wa o, what about your mum, someone needs to know, you can’t continue to live like that, with him forever”
“Mum has enough on her plate; handling or coping with Dad, she would love to help but, Clara my reasons are best known to me”
“But how long can you stay like that?”
“Till Dad dies; which I hope it will be soon anyway, he is not immortal”
“You are sick babe, what if he lives longer than… you know”
“Then you have to join me in prayers for him to die soon enough. If I would be the only one to suffer when I leave Tokunbo, I would not have returned to Lagos on Saturday, but he would make life miserable for Mum and Nkem, so pray with me that he dies soon, otherwise I am condemned to a life with
“What, that is the fact Clara. He would not make it possible. Do you know my
international passports are with him; he still pays me stipends as monthly allowance and does not allow my mother work for a reason and did not allow us study outside the country for the same reason. I and Nkem are the pawns for getting my mother to stay with him.
His friends and informants are in every
place I could run to for help. I know the man my father is, he is a monster and as I said earlier, there are many things about him I did not tell you back then.”
“waoh, but now that you are married, don’t you think you should insist you want to work”
“I never thought of that before I married Tokunbo, I have only known one life and that is being dependent. I am not even sure I will be a good employee”
“Don’t say that, you are a strong lady and whatever you want to do, you will succeed at it, get a job and follow instructions. Would all
those certificates waste away?”
“Clara, I have never had a job in my life”
“You start from somewhere, I did and I am growing my confidence daily, insist you need to work and let them get you a good place to work”
“You are right o”[/b] Chinwe said thoughtfuly
“Yes I am, you need to have control over an aspect of your life, and they can afford you that”
“There’s a reason we are friends this long”
“Yes, I am your common sense, yeye”
“ahhhh, see pride o, just a compliment and it has gone to your head already?”
“I miss you”
“I miss you more; you don’t know what it is like without you 2. How’s my boy? I want to speak with him”
“I made him sleep by fire by force”
“ahah, what happened?”
“He was being naughty jare, asking me to buy him Bobo after eating a solid meal, he cried from Joseph’s café to the house. When I could
not make him stop, I gave him 2 towais on his butt0ckz, bathed him and asked him to lie down and sleep.”
“ahhh, you beat my baby because of bobo?”
“Ehn now, the 500 with me is what I am
holding on till they pay salary. Where is the money for Bobo and don’t you dare send any
money to me this time, you need it too”
“You must be out of your mind, do you think I send the money because of you? It is for Henry and not for you. Buy him packs of bobo and if you don’t, I will send money to Joseph
or Davis and ask either of them to buy it.”
“Ahah, I know I will have a godmother one day soon, I have hope”
Their friendly banter lasted a long while till
Chinwe asked her to go and sleep, reminding her she needs to work the following day.