Hi all! I’m sure this post is a surprise. I’ve been considering starting a new series but Ebube wouldn’t leave me alone. She wants her story told. And so, here she is.
The air in the house is scented and perfumed, the smell of vanilla and chocolate working its way up my nose. Due, of all things to scented candles. My mom hates candles! But she sits now, directly in front of one, holding hands and exchanging naughty looks with Mr. Aghoture. He told me to call him Frank but it sounds really weird to me. As does calling him Pabby. So when I refer to or talk to him, I refrain from using his name.
For some reason, I feel irrational today. I’ve chosen to blame it on the candles.
Next to my mom and her husband, sit Bunmi and Patrick. Another candle; peach- scented this time, flickers before them. They are engrossed in silent conversation. I can hear snippets of it if I concentrate and imagine.
Her: “I love your eyes in candlelight”
Him: “Your hair smells like mangoes and oranges”. I want to scream; ” it’s MY shampoo!” But I don’t scream. I roll my eyes instead.
To my left, not illuminated by any lighting at all, Amara and her husband are feverishly making out. She told me once that they don’t want to have children immediately. I once planned to stay with them for a couple of months but they would not stop with the touching. It was kissing each other like they were sucking oranges, touching each other in places it’s indecent to refer to. Every time they were together, the passion was tangible. I had to cut my visit short. I expect that any day, Amara will announce that she has gotten pregnant.
The most incongruous guest at this little get together, is my father. When my mom married Frank, she gave my father the property we used to live in. I haven’t plucked up the courage to ask her what she’s repaying him for. Her 3 daughters? Being an above average husband for 11 years?
He lives there now and I live with him. Every two weeks, his son, my half brother comes over to spend the weekend. I hadn’t been around him much but I quickly discovered that the way to his heart was his video games. So I stocked up on them and learned how to play each of them. Whenever he comes over now, he comes to my room first and we play a death round of Mortal Kombat. After the first round, which I almost inevitably win, we relax and start another round, leisurely this time and he fills me in on school and his home life. Then we go to the kitchen and I cook for him or he cooks for me or we both cook for Daddy. Bunmi lives with Amara and my mom. She has rooms in both their houses. My mom and Pabby live within a walking distance from her office but on the weekends, she likes to visit her fiancé and go for premarital counseling. Her fiancé lives next door to Amara.
However, every once in a while, she stays at my mom’s on the weekends or she comes to visit with dad. Whenever she does so, I search her face for hints of problems. She seems happy. Really, truly happy.
My dad stands up and in the dim lighting, he hits his leg on the table and lets out a loud yelp. Soon we’re all laughing at him. The overhead lighting is switched on and I breathe a sigh of relief. It does not last.
With brighter illumination, Amara who has become a serious jokester begins to tease me. Bunmi joins in and finally my mom stops them. Then she asks why I did not bring a date. I smiled and replied that I did bring a date; dad. There is utter silence for a moment. I see my mom and Pabby exchange stricken looks and I wonder what that’s all about. Soon I notice that everyone is done with their food. So I pack all the plates and go into the kitchen to do the dishes and escape from the atmosphere of romance that for some reason, saddens me and makes me long for something I cannot articulate.
Six Months Later
It is November, Christmas decorations are already up. I’ve been invited for 2 job interviews and they’re both in the same area. I’m done with the first and I suspect I’ll be given the position but my stomach is roiling as I wait for the elevator that will take me to the office where the 2nd interview is supposed to take place. This is the job that interests me. The job description suggests that it would be more work for me but I’d love to be a part of it. The opportunities are extremely attractive; I’d get to create jobs for other people, head the CSR operations of the company and even more importantly, at the interview stage, I noticed six other people like myself. They were definitely in my age group and they seemed friendly. If I got the other job, I’d work with people older than my dad. If I get this one, I’d have colleagues my own age. I’d left so many friends behind and I hadn’t had many chances to reconnect with the two close friends I left here. My dad has been dropping subtle hints that I need to go out more. And I finally realize that he was right. I’d love to make new friends. So as I entered the elevator, I closed my eyes and begged God to give me this job. When I opened them, the elevator was stopping at the 2nd floor to pick up more passengers. I shut my eyes again and repeated as in a litany, “Please Lord, you know what I need. Please let me dazzle them. Let them hire me”
When I opened my eyes, there was only one passenger left. I was about to close my eyes again when she bent down to adjust her shoelaces that had come loose. For a minute, I thought she was Bunmi, then I saw her face. I’d met her before, at the reception for Bunmi’s mom. Ebube. The same powerful thud was in my heart, the same breathlessness. However, before I could approach and alert her to my presence and hopefully remember to take her number this time, the elevator opened and she stepped out. I noticed that it stopped on the 22nd floor and I noticed that she stopped at an office with Rock Pension Managers emblazoned.
I started praying again, I had another reason to want to work here now.
Scene 2 will be up tomorrow.
My article recommendation for today is:
http://lifeinpagessite.wordpress.com/2016/02/16/i-didnt-mean-to-they-told-me-to-do-it/. It’s long but I like it. Hope you do too.
Until the last episode, I’ll be bringing a charity to your attention. You are not obliged to do anything, or donate anything. I’d appreciate you sharing and praying. But you’re not obliged. Today, it’s a girl (Dolapo Jasmine Igboin), a year away from becoming a medical doctor when she faced a loss of funding. The goal has been met but I guess with arrears in school fees and all it entails, there’s still a need for more donations. Just go to this link: http://www.gofundme.com/mun4wm78?utm_source=internal&utm_medium=email&utm_content=cta_button&utm_campaign=upd_n.