Freedom 18

To understand the antipathy that existed between Jennifer and Uncle Monday, you would have to go to the genesis.

6 years ago
It soon became obvious that Jessica was angry with her. What no one knew was why. It spilled over into everything she did. She no longer joked with her, cooked with her or teased her. One memorable moment was the time Jennifer had attempted to help her cook and she had walked out, leaving the fish on the fire and the plantain burning. They had planned to attend the same school- University of Ibadan. She later found out that Jessica had changed hers to OAU. To no avail, she kept trying to find out the cause of the abrupt change.
Most surprising, however was the call she had received from Alex. Jessica had broken up with him. Through a text message. He tried to find out why. She wouldn’t see him,  refused to pick his calls or reply his messages. He asked Jennifer to help. This too, met with nothing but stony silence. She enlisted the help of her father and brother as to the cause of the silent treatment. Stony silence still. She decided to leave her be, assuming she would come around soon.

Later that week, Jessica noticed that Jennifer was carrying on as she had before. Smiling. Laughing. One would think nothing had ever happened. Then the thought came into her mind. When she returned from lunch, she noticed her bag was oddly placed and Jessica was not on her desk. She resisted the urge to right it, a delayed self- conscious response to years of being teased continuously about having undiagnosed OCD. That was her first mistake. The second, she had always thought, was forgetting to lock her door as she always did whenever Uncle Monday came visiting. She paid for both.
By the end of the day, she had been fired and it wasn’t only Jessica giving her the silent treatment. They got home to meet Uncle Monday, ingratiating smile and all. He kept smiling at Jennifer. It freaked her out and she resolved to double lock her door that night.

No one knew exactly what happened that night. It was as though they were all drugged. Jessica went to her room first, followed by Jennifer, with a final sad glance at her father. Johnson exhaled deeply, resolved to try to fix everyone’s issues tomorrow, thanked God he would be returning to school soon and went to the room he’d share with his uncle. Later that night, everyone was woken up by a piercing scream. When they rushed to Jennifer’s room, her bed was soaked with blood and there were lacerations on her arms and legs.
Finally, the day had come when Joseph was to run away. Monday had timed it perfectly. In addition to agreeing to take care of his uncle and aunt, he gave his cousin some of the money he had received from his father. Joseph took it with mixed feelings. On the one hand, he was grateful for his now supplemented savings. On the other, he knew this was not being done out of charity and he wasn’t sure he could pay the price he was sure Monday would ask.


One thought on “Freedom 18

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )


Connecting to %s