The journey to the office was a short one because the roads were as free as air. Till today, I don’t understand how there is hardly any traffic on the roads in Abuja. I mean look at Lagos, there’s always traffic, almost every time and most of the time, it’s because one mumu refused to wait for his turn to move, he will now chuk head inside road and cause hold up. So is it that there were no impatient people in Abuja or what exactly? I digress.
As we were nearing the office premises, my phone rang and it was my over bearing mother. I knew she was calling me to ask when I was coming back to Lagos, seeing that I had been ignoring all her WhatsApp messages. I hissed and let out a small laugh. So if I haven’t been replying WhatsApp messages it’s now phone call I will pick. LOL. This woman had forgotten that we are two branches from the same tree of which sef, my own branch is stronger than her own. Where her own madness stops is where my own starts and my own doesn’t even finish. She thinks it’s those days when she will slap me in public and I will still do mumu and be following her up down, mscheww. I let her continue calling and calling, I was not going to answer her till my stomach was full, these wings that I had grown, she wasn’t going to be able to clip it, not easily at least.
After the phone rang more than seven times, I thought of changing my opinion about my mother. Maybe she was the madder one between us, she wanted to show me that she was madam, even from far away Lagos. Sophie interrupted my thoughts as usual.
“Pick up the phone now or put it on silent. All this ringing is disturbing my ears.” She said.
“Sorry jare. It’s my mother that keeps calling and calling and I don’t want to talk to her, not now at least.” I said.
“And you don’t want to because?” She questioned.
“Her wahala is too much. She’s been calling me since to tell me to come back home, that she and my dad have found a way to redeploy me to Lagos. I know it must have been her idea, because my father will never do anything like that on his own, she’s always influencing him and sometimes, negatively.” I hissed.
“Mothers, you gotta love them. You know, I wish my parents were together, I’d have been able to experience this kind of drama.”
“My dear don’t wish o, it’s not a beautiful thing to go through. I even envy you, you don’t have someone breathing fire down your neck when you do something the way she doesn’t like it.” I told her.
Sophie didn’t respond, instead, she looked to the window, her face full of sadness. I noticed tears welling up in her eyes and I was confused. What did I say now that was making her cry biko? If there’s anything I hate in this life, it’s people mourning beside me. I’m too unserious in this my life to start consoling someone because I don’t usually know the right words to say.
I looked at her as she started sobbing. What was I going to do? Ask her what the problem was? Say sorry or comfort her, which one? The whole situation made me very uncomfortable. I finally turned to her and asked what the problem was. She used a finger to dry the tears in her eyes before saying there was no problem. This was another wahala, it was already hard having to ask her why she was crying, I now had to go through the rigorous task of making her tell me what it was. If I didn’t insist on finding out, aunty will now think I am a bad person who doesn’t care about anybody.
“Sophie talk to me, why are you crying?” I asked again.
“Nothing serious really. It’s just that I remembered my mum as you spoke about yours.” She said.
Come to think of it, I had never really bothered to find out about she or Demilade’s mother, so as the chance for amebo presented itself, I took it.
“What happened to her?” I asked as I adjusted my sitting position.
“She’s not with us.” She said sadly.
“I’m so sorry. May her soul rest in peace.” I said.
“Wait, what? I didn’t say she died.” She looked at me in shock.
Ahan, abeg if someone says ‘she’s not with us’, doesn’t it mean that the person is late? Abi this one doesn’t even understand the English she is speaking.
“Oya sorry,” I apologized. “What did you mean?”
“She and my dad are not together anymore, that’s what I meant.” She said.
“They are divorced?” I probed further.
She heaved a sigh and said,
“They were never even married. My dad and my brothers’ mum are married. Let’s just say he had a small affair with my mum and the outcome was me.” She said.
This is the kind of sweet gist that deserves popcorn. Shebi I was saying it because my instincts have never failed me. I knew that Demilade’s father had hoeing tendencies, ahan. Other people will have affair, nobody will hear, only him will do his own and come out with full child and he will still be doing like saint, shior, oshisco plc.
We had already arrived the office but I couldn’t let Sophie come down from the car without hearing the full story so I asked,
“So where is your mum now?”
“She lives in Port Harcourt, with her husband and my junior brother.”
“Oh, so she got married to another man?”
She rolled her eyes and said,
This her gra gra wasn’t even my business, I just wanted to hear gist.
“Okay?” I asked, waiting for her to continue talking.
“She was dating her husband and my dad at the same time, let’s just say she was dating my dad for the money. She found out she was pregnant with me when she was about to get married so a few months after I was born, she handed me over to my dad, I mean she couldn’t be nursing another man’s child in her new matrimonial home now, could she?”
I wanted to say,
“Of course not, when she’s not mad.”
But since I’m not exactly stupid, I said,
“So your father’s wife took care of you?”
“No o, my dad took me to his sister in Enugu so she took care of me till I was ten, then I went to boarding school before going to Uni. She was the one who even told me this story.” She said.
“Wow.” I exhaled.
“Yea, story of my life.”
“So at what point did your dad’s wife find out about you?” I pushed for more details.
“I don’t know exactly. I met her for the first time when I went to Lagos for secondary school and she was super sweet to me. She treated me like I was her own child, even told me to call her mummy.”
“And your brothers? Did they accept you easily?”
“I think because their mom accepted me wholeheartedly, they had no choice. We became so close and my dad even sent me to join them in the UK when it was time for me to go to Uni.”
“That was so kind of her, most women wouldn’t have accepted a child from another woman, they’d rather die.” I said.
“She’s a real angel. Sometimes I wish she was the one who gave birth to me, but in as much as we’re close, I still miss my biological mother.”
“Who wouldn’t, blood they say, is thicker than water.” I said.
“Yea, I guess.”
“So your real, sorry, your biological mother, how often do you see her?”
“I visit her once a year. Used to be twice but my dad reduced it to one.”
“Why?” I questioned.
“Her husband doesn’t like me, so as you can imagine, he is not very welcoming whenever I visit. So even when I go to visit, I don’t sleep in his house, I just spend the day with my mum and then sleep in a hotel.”
“That’s not nice, is it your fault that his wife has another child?” I frowned.
“I honestly don’t know what his problem is. He doesn’t even let me talk to my baby brother and if I must, he sits there with us. I wanted to take my brother the UK one summer so I could spend some time with him but this man blatantly refused, saying he cannot leave his son with a stranger. Can you imagine, me, stranger?” She cried.
Her eyes were watery again and I rubbed her back in a bid to console her.
“Don’t mind him, he’s probably just jealous.” I said.
“Jealous? Of who? Of what?” She asked me.
I had no answer to give, the words had just come out of my mouth because i was trying to make her feel better.
“Maybe because you have the money to take your brother abroad so he thinks you’re rubbing it in his face by asking to take his son abroad. You know how synonymous men and ego can be.” I explained.
“Someone who is a pastor? How can he be behaving like that?” She looked at me.
“He’s a pastor? Wow.” I exclaimed.
This gist sha, aunty small girl, big God ended up with a pastor who is a vile and bitter man. Could it get any worse? And here I was, treating my mother anyhow and refusing to pick her calls. At least even though my mother is mad, I still come from a functional family unit and my father doesn’t have an illegitimate child lurking around. He cannot even try it, because my mother is not like Demilade’s mother, she will tear both the side chick and her child to pieces and trust me and my siblings to join hand.
In a bid to continue consoling her, I said something that sparked up a series of questions and landed me in trouble.