“I want to go with you daddy.”Jane whined once more.
“Jane, I told you I’m not leaving you.”
“Grandma said you’re going to another house with aunty
“Hey, I think it’s time for Sophia the first. Go and check it
She ran off immediately.
I marched to the kitchen to meet mum.
“Mum, did you have to tell Jane that I’m leaving?”
“Yes I had to. You know Jane asks too many questions and I
will not be guilty of lying to a child.”
“No mother. I don’t stand with what you did. Elliot hasn’t
been here in months, and you know she sees me as her dad.
How can you tell her I’m moving out?”
“Your wedding is in two weeks Jathniel. Do you want her to
wake up one day and find out you’ve left the house for
“Mum, why are you talking like I’m moving to Paris or to the
North pole? I’m still in Uyo for heavens sake.”
“It’s easier said than done son.”
“I’m going to see Uncle Don with Mille. I don’t know when
I’ll be back.”
“Take care son.”
I left the kitchen. It took a lot of talking to convince Jane
that I was coming back. Before she let me go, she collected
one of my phones and ran off to hide it somewhere. I smiled
at her childish sense. Mille was at her house so I picked her
up. We were having our last counseling session with Uncle
“Mille, you won’t believe what mum did today.”
“She told Jane I was leaving the house for good and now
the poor girl is so sad. She almost didn’t let me leave the
house some minutes ago.”
“So you’re mad at your mum right now.”
“Of course I am. How could she? I mean the poor child has
suffered the absence of her father. I feel bad for her and I
wanted to find a comfortable time to tell her myself.”
“Why don’t we take her to live with us?”
“I thought of that but mum would be alone in the house.”
“We’ve all finished service, Gloria is back for good and can
stay with her.”
“You know my sister and her crazy ways. She may decide
“And I know she adores you and will do whatever you tell
her. Everything will turn out perfect in the end.”
“Are you sure about this? It won’t be easy to take care of
Jane as a new bride.”
“Abeg. It’s fine by me. You know I love her a whole lot.”
“And you know I love you more than a whole lot Mille”
“I love you more.”
“I know what you want but I have not the energy to argue
who loves the other more.”
She laughed, her typical contagious laughter.
“You’re worn out right?” I asked.
“Yeah. The stress hasn’t been easy at all. I never thought
planning a wedding was so energy draining.”
“Same here. Don’t worry darling. In two weeks, you won’t
even remember all of this stress.”
“Yeah! Mrs. Jathniel here I come.”
“Oh my goodness! She’s crazy over me.”
“Stop making your head swell biko.”
The jokes and love talks continued till we arrived the church
for our meeting.
It was quite a short one to my utmost surprise. Uncle Don
was fond of really long sermons. I knew they were for our
own good and so I swallowed every bit of it as expected of
me. After the meeting, I took her to the house I built for us
to live in after the wedding.
Mille asked the interior decorator to make some changes to
our bedroom so I thought it wise to let her check out the
work that had been done there. Well, she loved it. I could tell
from the “Wow, I knew it was gonna be just perfect.”
She was really excited about everything and right there, I
knew I would give anything just to keep that smile on her
face. We had dinner together in a restaurant before I
dropped her at home.
I was exhausted when I got home and I sincerely hoped I
wouldn’t get to witness any drama with mum or Jane. As I
entered the house, the first thing that hit me was the smell
of Gloria’s perfume, followed by her tiny voice coming from
the dining room.
“Jathniel!” She screamed excitedly when she saw me and
before I could blink, she made herself comfortable in my
“It’s not Jathniel,it’s me.”
“Oh come on, you know you can’t fool me.” She released
herself from the hug.
“Hmm, You know I almost missed you sis. Oh mum, good
“Welcome dear. How was it?”
“It went well mum.”
“You both have been seeing each other for months abeg. Let
me have Jathniel to myself before he gets married.”
“Speaking of marriage, my bride will roast you alive if she
sees you clinging to me like this.”
“Abeg, she should go and sleep jare.” She held on to me as
we went to my room.
“Is Jane asleep?”
“So you refused to come back home madam. You stayed
extra two weeks after your passing out parade.”
“Yeah. I had some unfinished business there. I couldn’t just
leave like that.”
“What kind of business could be more important than
“You’ll know later jare. I missed you plenty.”
“You missed me but I was always the one calling everyday. I
dey feel your own type of missing.”
“You’re my big bro na.”
I smiled. “Come jor, I missed you too dear.” I pulled her
close for a hug.
“I can’t believe you’re getting married bro. It’s like the
backbone of this family is leaving.”
“Nah. Don’t talk like that smallie, I’m around. I need you to
do me a favour.”
“I’m sure you want me to stay here at home with mum and
“Yes. Mille wants us to bring Jane to live with us.”
“I hope you both are sure about this.”
“Yeah. I hope it works out though. I’m just so stressed out.”
“Sorry bro. I hate to say this but I don’t know why Elliot
behaves like this. You both are twins but you’re worlds apart
in behavior and approach to life.”
“Gloria! He’s still your older brother. Elliot hasn’t had it easy
and we’ve been disturbing him too much so maybe he
needed a break.”
“A break? He’s been gone for about three months without
even a call to know how his daughter is doing.”
“He knows he left her in safe hands.”
“Why do you keep defending him? You know deep down that
you feel the same way I do.” She yelled.
“Because he’s my twin brother, young woman. Even if I don’t
always agree with him, I try to see things from his angle too.
We’ve had our differences but I’d gladly take a bullet for him
any day because he’s my brother. The same blood runs
through our veins. I love him just as much as I love you,
mum and Jane. You know why?” I paused for a while. “It’s
simple Gloria, because family is all about love, understanding
and forgiveness.” I stroked her cheeks.
“I’m sorry for yelling big bro. I just got pissed.”
“I understand, that’s why I didn’t yell back.”
“You have a heart of gold. I’m sorry but no matter what you
say, I cannot forgive Elliot for this rubbish and neither can
“I’m not forcing you to. I only told you what I felt about
“Why don’t you tell me what it feels like knowing you’d be
married in two weeks?”
“With a bride-to-be like Mille, it feels awesome.”
“Hmm, I’m jealous.”
“Well, if you are, you should forget about Jason and open
your heart, then someone would definitely come for you.”
She lowered her head and I could see she felt embarrassed.
“It’s alright bro. You’re just saying the truth.”
I turned on my laptop and plugged my modem in. I noticed I
missed a video call from Elliot.
“How strange.” I thought.
“Are you even listening to me?” Gloria asked.I had left her on
the bed to sit on the study table.
“What did you say?” I turned to face her and she made a
face. “I know you hate repeating stuff ma. Just pity me this
“I asked if you’ve had something to eat.”
“Yes smallie. I had dinner with Mille before dropping her off
but I don’t mind having some freshly made juice by you and
you alone.” I winked.
“Alright. Juice coming straight up.” She gave me a peck. “I’ll
be right back.”
“I’m a patient man.”
She chuckled. “ If you weren’t my brother, I would have
stolen you from Mille long ago.”
“And she would have buried you alive.” I said as she stepped
out of the room laughing.
Immediately she stepped out of the room, I retrieved my
phone from my pocket and placed a call through to Elliot.
His phone rang surprisingly, it had never rang since he left
He picked on the fourth ring.
“You must have seen my missed call.”
“I did and I don’t understand why you suddenly called after
going on exile for three whole months.”
“I’m ready to tell you everything Jathniel. When I do, you’d
understand why I had to leave.”
“Where are you?”
Gloria chose that time to come back with the fruit juice.
Ending the call at that instant would cause suspicion so I
resorted to acting.
“I love you dear and I’m missing you.”
“Yeah yeah. What time will I meet you love?”
“I’ll call later ‘cause I don’t understand how I suddenly
became your love.”
He ended the call.
“Hello…hello…” I pretended like I couldn’t hear anymore.
“Love in Paris.”
“Nah, it’s love in heaven.” I downed the juice. We talked for
a while but my mind was far away from what she was
“I’m really sleepy smallie.”
“That’s strange, you never sleep this early when I’m around.”
“I know but today,I’m tired.”
“Alright. Good night dear. I’ll just wash the cups and go to
bed too. You’ve made me feel sleepy too.”
She left the room. I waited till I heard the sound of her room
door closing before I called Elliot.
“Sorry man. Gloria was here so I had to act.”
“I was beginning to think you had gone crazy.”
“Let’s switch to video call so we’ll talk better.” I suggested.
“Great idea. There’s a lot to confess.”