I went inside to see Jamille. She was still lying on the sofa,the same way I left her minutes ago. She probably felt my presence and opened her eyes. She sat up immediately “Jathniel,I thought you had already gone home.”
“Why don’t you lie down miss?”
She rolled her eyes. “I’m not sick Niel, I was only shocked at how everything turned out this evening.”
“I know Mille and I’m sorry.”
“It’s nothing Niel ,I’m fine now. I never knew you had wrestling skills though.” She laughed.
“I thought you were unconscious of your environment then.” I stuttered.
“I was actually unconscious. Rachel gave me the news in brief.”
“I’ll kill her.” I muttered under my breath.
“Niel,my ears are still very sharp.”
“I know. I have to get going Mille. Where’s mum and everyone else?”
“Jathniel,I’m here.” Aunt Liz appeared at the stairs.
We said our goodbyes. I asked of uncle Liam and was told he had gone to his room. I didn’t get to see Kara again and I was thankful. The girl made me a tad uncomfortable.
As I left the house, I drove straight to Uncle Don’s house. I’ve never known what he would prefer I call him,whether Uncle Don or Pastor Don.
When I got there,he was in his study as usual. I wondered why a man would prefer staying single instead of getting married. All his siblings were married with children. The oldest among his siblings and the odd ball in the family. Maybe,he considered himself too spiritual to be hooked with a woman.
I knocked on the door of his study.” Come in.”
“Good evening uncle.”
He sat in his swivel chair. This man could give me a run for my money any day with his physical appearance. He never failed to exercise everyday. At 62,he still looked fresh. His large framed glasses rested proudly on his nose. He looked like one of those old-time professors.
“Ah! It’s my favorite child. Come son.”
“Uncle, you left the door open again. There’s still a word we call robbery.You know that for a fact.”
He laughed.”Son,they have no business with me. I don’t hold any of their properties. Tell me what you’ve come for Jathniel,there’s something weighing on your mind.”
“Yeah,you’re right.I think I’ve been caught in the web that I thought would never get ahold of me.”
“It’s Brian’s daughter that spun this web right?”
I chuckled. “Yeah,you could say so.”
“So,what’s the barrier son?” He asked.
“She’s quite young Uncle. She’s just 17 and I’m 25.”
“Well,my father was ten years older than my mother. You know there’s another reason why you don’t want to get involved with her.”
”Well,you got me there uncle. I’ve managed to keep my silly temper in place for the past one year. I’m afraid it’ll come back uncle. I don’t want the poor girl to witness such.She’s suffered enough.It breaks me each time I see her broken.”
“That’s reason one Jathniel,tell me the next one. When you’ve let it all out,I’ll know.”
“I feel Karma may come for me anytime soon. The thought alone makes me sick.”
“There,you just told me what’s really bothering you.”
The weekend flew by so fast. It was Sunday already. Rachel and I left after service. I wasn’t at ease throughout the weekend. Jamille and mum noticed how uncomfortable I was. They asked me countless times till I flared up. I told them I was okay each time they asked. Deep down,I knew I wasn’t a single mile near being okay. Mum’s ever inquisitive eyes bore deep into my skin more than a hundred times. I chose to ignore her and I managed to do so successfully. I was more than delighted when Sunday came. Thankfully, Rachel didn’t notice my awkward behavior during the weekend. If she noticed it, I would have been toast. She had a worse inquisitive spirit than mum. The secret I carried with me would soon be out, but, before then, I decided to set the atmosphere right.
The kids had all gone to school. Liam left to a building site where he was working. Before he left, I forced him to promise me that he’d come back early. After doing some light cleaning at home, I left for my supermarket. The sun wasn’t shining bright. It lay hidden behind the clouds so I chose to take a walk down there. It wasn’t a long distance from the house.
I observed my surroundings keenly as I walked with a million thoughts clouding my mind. I exchanged pleasantries with the few people I met on my way. The area wasn’t crowded with residents because it was an expensive part of town. The few people who lived there were wealthy people.
I cast my mind back to the previous weekend. The first person who came to my mind was Jamille. She was OK after all the drama that surrounded her over the weekend. I was happy that my baby was getting fine and strong.
Rachel was fine as usual. I loved the way her life was. She had no drama trailing her at all. She was always in her own little world of fun and she often pulled the whole house into her fun world.
Kara,next in line in my thoughts. Yes,she caused me some sort of worry. I constantly had the feeling that she was hiding something from us all. Why on earth would she be nervous if she wasn’t.
“Maybe it’s the Philip issue that was weighing her down” I concluded. I had reached the supermarket already. I went round inspecting everything before I settled down. I was grateful to God for giving me dedicated staff to help me run the place well. I stayed in my office till 1:30pm. I still felt unsettled about something. It felt like something was going on under my nose and I was totally oblivious of it. I picked my phone to call Brian but I decided against him. I decided to pay him a surprise visit. I wasn’t sure if he was home but I decided to try my luck.
I boarded a cab for the first time in almost a year. I gave the driver the address of my destination and paid him to drop me there. I wasn’t sure of the recent cab fare so I didn’t argue when he asked for N800. The journey was a bit long but I had no choice but to endure it.
When I arrived ,the gate man opened the gate for me.
“Ah! Mummy welcome.”
“Thank you,is my brother home?”
“Yes ma. Make I help you carry your bag ma”
“No,thanks. I’ll be fine.” I still held a strong dislike for him after what happened with Mille.
I rang the door bell and a lady opened the door for me.
“Who are you?” She asked.
“What’s this again. Not even a simple greeting.” I thought.
“Tell Brian that Liz is here to see him” I replied curtly. She shut the door,leaving me standing outside. I heard her shout “Darling,do you know any Liz?”
My insides turned. I prayed I wouldn’t embarrass myself by throwing up. The door swung open and this time,Brian stood at the door,grinning sheepishly at me.
“Can I at least rest my weary feet inside you house?” I asked with irritation evident in my voice.
“Forgive me sis. Come in.”
I entered and he shut the door.
The human who left me outside sat on the sofa with her legs crossed,watching Telemundo.
“Tessy,meet my sister Liz. And Liz,meet Tessy.” Brian introduced after I eyed him.
She went on her knees.” Welcome ma,I didn’t know you were his sister. I’m so sorry ma.”
I faked a smile “It’s OK. Thank you.”
She got up and went towards the kitchen. She definitely wasn’t above 35 years old.
“Sis,what brings you here?”
“I just wanted to come say hello to you. It’s been a while.” I gave my second fake smile for the day.
“Liz,save the fake smile for someone else. What is it?”
Tessy or whatever he called her came back from the kitchen with a can coke. “Ma,what can I offer you?” She smiled.
“You think I’ll eat anything from you?” I thought.
“I’m perfectly fine dear. I’ll be leaving now. I have an appointment in fifteen minutes around here. I just thought I should say hello to my brother.” I got up and Brian shook his head but I ignored him.
“Oh OK ma. Thanks for dropping by. My regards to your family.” She disappeared into the kitchen. I carried my Coke from the table,I couldn’t deprive myself of the right to enjoy because of some Tessy lady. I headed towards the door without sparing Brian a glance. He didn’t even care. He just closed the door once I was gone.
I had no objection to him remarrying but his choice of woman was a big NO for me. Plus,he couldn’t even say a word about her to me after all I had done for him. To me, a woman who couldn’t be nice to people unless they were family wasn’t qualified to be called a true lady or a wife material. I boarded a cab back to my shop. I wanted to see Brian and indeed, I saw him.
To Be Continued