I eyed him from head to toe and wished he was the same thirteen year old boy who clung to his mini keyboard. You could hear him always humming to a tune or the other.
The slap I would have given him, for two days he might still be nursing his face.
“Jide, Olajide Victor”,
How many times did I call you and how many ears do you have? I called sternly.
Frustrated that he’s not being reasonable.
“Sister mi, relax, it’s not as bad as you think”
“For crying out loud, Jide, you were brought up in the ways of the Lord and….
“Taught the precepts of the bible, he completed.
“Do you know how many times you have said that?”
He smiled, tickling my ear.
“Relax, I’m a young man with fresh blood. Besides, I only go to the club to be with my friends. I don’t mess around.
Cynthia is my only babe, we’re engaged already. I don’t have eyes for another lady”.
“Jide, but a life outside Jesus is like a chick playing in an open field. The hawks can descend at anytime to pick it up”.
“Say that to your fake Pastor Obinkwo. The very man that taught me the Bible yet he stabbed me at the back. Or to your mommy Gladys assistant women leader. How she connived to make my life miserable. Hope they’re like chickens too in an open field?
I opened my mouth to shut him up, then heard a throat clearing.
We both turned to see my husband.
He walked up to Jide and they shook hands.
“Good evening sir, I didn’t know you were in”. Jide greeted.
“Jide the bobo!, how will you know when you didn’t ask”
They both laughed.
They made small talks here and there and left for the living room.
I knew the tactics was to get Jide from me.
I texted my husband. ” but we’re not done talking “.
“I know, you will continue later”. Came his response.
Turning on the blender I drifted to the past. I knew what Jide said was true, but how do I make him let go of those memories. They were too hurtful to remember.
Dad and mom were strong Christians, eager to do anything and go anywhere. For us kids it was an adventure when dad announced one day that he has joined the evangelism/ missions outreach. We knew what that meant; more travel time.
What we didn’t know was that few months after this dad will go the extra mile.
” I don’t understand what you are saying again, what do you mean quit?.
It was my mom. Her voice was angry. She was supposed to come pick us up from school but after an hour of waiting all three of us walked home.
I meant, I would like to go with the missions team to Kubwa, to join others in planning churches. And if necessary I would quit my job.
I say ‘mba’
Missions yes, quit your job , a big fat ‘No’.
Since when did this leading come?
What will happen to us?
How will we survive?
Mom asked before storming out of the bedroom.
We have never seen them quarrel before. But whatever will make mom forget her kids at school was quite intense.
She was shocked to see us.
” how did you get home?
Oh no, I totally forgot.
I’m so sorry.
Dad came out with a strained face.
He had forgotten us too.
The trip to Kubwa did hold, but dad didn’t quit his job.
I didn’t know the details but he came home a month after being away.
He was so lean but happy.
Mom cried and hugged him.
But Jide wasn’t home that day. He had gone for choir practice. And he came back home with the story of a new girl in the choir; Ayomikun.
Jide focus on your 200l exams and forget Ayomikun.
I scolded that day. We only came home to see dad.
At dinner we laughed and talked, Jide humming to Jay Mikee new song “Heaven”, me, asking dad for more stories from the mission field. And Mosun, leaning on dad, and asking if she can go next time too.
Maybe, but that would be during your holidays.
Mosun at 16 was thrilled. I looked at her and laughed. I have never met a teenager like Mosun. Who wants to spend her summer holiday in Kubwa, no good water, good roads, no stable electricity. What about the mosquitoes? I asked her
Humph! “My blood is bitter for the mosquitoes.”
We are laughed, “you mean this your skinny arms and legs that they can’t even find any flesh to bite”?
Mommy!, hear what she’s saying, Mosun whined.
“It’s true na”.
“Leave my baby alone for me, my mom cautioned. Mosun stuck her tongue out while picking the chicken from dad’s plate.
Then she turned my dad’s face to hers.
Daddy, I’m having that headache again.
“Sorry my baby girl”. My dad whispered.
We prayed and went to bed.
But our sleep was interrupted by a scream.
A scream that would change our lives forever.