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‘Shalewa, get the door…’ i said to the maid standing
beside me. She bowed a little and went to the door. I
buried my head back in the newspaper. I didnt have to
go to the hotel today, Kainene and Kaka were already
‘Chichi…’ a baritone voice called. I froze. My heart
skipped a bit. I raised my head.
‘Shalewa, leave us’ i said, she nodded and left.
‘Chichi…’ he said again. I stood up immediately, went
to the door and opened it ‘get outtttt!’ i barked.
‘Chichi please, i’m here to….’
‘i dont bloody care your reason for being here! All i
want is for you to get out of my house and my life!
Leave Chuks, leave!!!!’ i screamed.
He was silent for sometime and all we did was stare
at each other. I felt my eyes water and my heart
melted at the sorry sight of him. He looked so lean
and sick and the designer clothes he had on looked
like some cheap bend-down select clothes because he
looked like a skeleton in it. My heart bled.
I sat on a nearby sofa and broke down in tears. I cried
for sometime before he sat beside me. His shaky
hands landed on my shoulder as i cried.
‘Chichi, i’m sorry, please hear me out. I can explain
everything that has happened back then’
‘i dont want to listen to your explanations…’ i said in
tears. He raised me up staring deeply into my eyes.
‘you want to Chioma, your eyes are already showing
you’re dying to listen to all i have to say…’
‘where did you go to after our divorce? I searched
everywhere for you…’ i said looking into his eyes.
‘i was in Togo…’
‘you didnt even deem it fit to check on your daughter
even once..you didnt give her the opportunity to get
to know you..now she hates you’
He closed his eyes and nodded ‘true. She hates me. I
was here sometime ago and she banged the door on
my face. She still recognises me. Kainene still
‘i showed her your pictures…’
‘can you please speak to her on my behalf? Tell her i
still love her please, she’s my one and only child…’
‘i cant help you with that Chuks. You deserve
everything she’s doing to you…’ i said hitting his
‘i went to Togo because of you. I left because i knew
my presence was hurting you. I knew…Chichi, please
forgive me. You’re the one i truly love. You dont know
how this past few years has been without you. Its
‘what were you doing in Togo?’
Then he looked away and sighed ‘i was in prison’
‘pri what?’ my eyes bulged ‘what prison?…why…why
were you in prison’
He released my shoulder ‘rape…child abuse’
‘i slept with a fifteen year old girl. But it wasnt my
fault Chichi, the girl came upon me, she seduced me,
‘shut up! Shut up you stupid and shameless man!
They are always seducing you! Everytime, they seduce
you. Every single time! Whats in this your trouser that
attracts girls like poo attracting flies. Whats there? Is
it not this thing i’ve seeen how many times?’ i asked
hitting the place between his legs. Then i started
crying again. He started crying as well. And together
we wept like kids.
‘what the hell is going on here?’
We turned to see Kainene standing with Kaka. I
wondered why they came home early. I quickly wiped
my tears. Chuks stand up as well ‘Kaine….’
‘mum, have you been crying?’ then she glared
furiously at her father ‘you devil!’ she advanced
towards him and pushed him backwards till he fell on
the sofa behind him.
‘Nene!’ i screamed and held her.
‘mum, just how could you allow this man into this
house? And why were you both sitting so close to
each other?!’ she barked.
‘i’ve forgiven him Kainene…’ i said calmly shocking
myself, Kainene and Chuks who gasped loudly.
‘yes…’ a tear ran down my cheeks ‘he made some
mistakes in the past but thats where it is. In the past.
We are all humans and we are liable to make
mistakes. Kainene, you have to forgive him too….’ i
placed my hand on her cheek.
She slapped it away ‘dont touch me!’ Then she
matched away to her room.
Kaka greeted me and went after her. I fell on the sofa.
‘thank you…thank you Chichi..’
‘shut up and leave my house, leave this instant!!!!’
‘babe, calm down na shuoooo…’ Kaka drawled ‘na
forgive your mumsi forgive, she no slaughter person
oo, which one you carry nyash put for air? Abi you be
Caro the shoe maker?’
‘look babe, i’m so not in the mood for this. You said
you’re sleeping over but i’m sorry, you have to look
for an empty room. The room before mine is empty,
carry your luggages and siddon tight for there abeg…’
i said covering my dreads with my hairnet.
‘you dey joke! Baby Oku in London! See, all this your
gra gra will not help you. It will not help you one bit!
For crying out loud, this is your family
Kainenechukwu…. Yes, i had sworn never to involve
myself in your matters again but you na my paliest
pally na. If i no siddon ontop your matter, who else?
Babe, chilax jareh…park well. That film wey you act
for parlour just na, you get luck so no be my mumsi.
She go use slap eh, decorate your face….’
‘Kaka, please…! Why cant you just mind….’
‘mind my business? Hell no, i wouldnt! You’re my
friend K. I care about you. I take you as my own sister
and your mother like my own mum. If i see you doing
the wrong thing or following the wrong path, i’ll tell
you. Forget my gra gra, na according to Waffi wey i
grow, you get? But, back to the matter, you really
need to forgive your dad. Yes, he left you and your
mum when you both needed him the most but
remember, there are two sides to a coin, the head and
the tail, and so, there are always two sides of a story.
Have you ever cared to listen to his own part of his
story?’ i opened my mouth to speak but she beat me
to it ‘now hold on, i know the next thing thats going
to fall out from is your mouth is…no matter what his
own side of the story was, leaving us wasnt
justifiable…we know, na the same matter we still dey
on top. Kainene, you have to agree with me that your
father’s absence has done you more good than
‘let me finish. You know, i’ve said this so many times
and i’m going to continue saying this as far as i
remain your friend. Kainene, you. Dont. Live. Your.
Life. In. Other. People’s. Shadows. You. Dont. Judge.
Your. Life. By. Other. People’s. Mistakes. I will say
this over and over again as far as i remain your friend
Kainene…You just have to forgive your father. A
complete family is what you did for your stable mind.
I’m not trying to say you’re unstable. But you’ll do
better with a complete family, a father especially. Not
all marriages are strong enough to survive the test of
time. Despite your parents failed marriage, all other
people’s marriages are still waxing stronger and
stronger everyday. Have you not seen people from
broken homes having successful marriages? What is
your problem Kainene?!! Na only you your papa run
leave? I tire for you sef!!!’ she said.
I stared at her like she had gone bananas. Then i
picked up my blanket, my pillow and left the room. On
my way to the next room, i bumped into mum.
I stared at her ‘mum?’
‘she’s right Kainene. Kaka is right…’
‘just let me be mum…’ Kainene said clutching her
pillow tighter, then she walked past me, i followed
her. She opened the door to the next room and
entered, i followed her.
‘my dear, i understand what you’re going through
right now…but i just need your attention please….’ i
‘i’m forced to use strong language now mum, dont
force me. Just leave me alone, go back to your room.
Or better still, go back to your husband!!’
‘i need to tell you the whole truth Kainene, you need
to stop hating your father….’ i swallowed hard ‘your
father never left me…’
‘i mean…he didnt just go on his own accord…’
‘is that what he sent you to tell me?’
I shook my head ‘no. I just felt i should tell you. I was
the one who wanted a divorce….’
Her face expression showed confusion. So i
‘your father wasnt faithful. He slept with almost all
my friends. He did the first time and i forgave him.
The second and the third, then i couldnt take it
anymore. When he did it with my best friend, i couldnt
take it anymore…he did ask me for forgiveness but i
thought it was just like the other times when he
promises to change but he goes back to his lifestyle.
Your father practically called everyone we knew, they
all begged me, but i refused. Dont take me wrong, i
loved him but i got tired. I just gave up. I didnt even
think of changing him. I just wanted to be free. I
equally knew he loved me too. But his libido was
something else, i couldnt match it. I was a rape
‘i was raped by my stepfather. Nene, have you ever
wondered why i refused to remarry after your dad?
Because of what your stepfather did to me at a tender
age. I didnt want you to go through all the things i
went through. Sex was always difficult for me,
whenever your father climbed me, all i could see was
the brutal face of my wicked stepfather. I didnt enjoy
it and your father understood. He never pestered me
too much for sex. Whenever i didnt want to do it, he
didnt disturb me or get angry with me, he simply told
me everything was going to be okay. I thought he
was a perfect man, he could be without sex, but i was
wrong….’ i swallowed hard as tears burnt at the back
of my eyes.
‘Kainene…’ i reached for her but she recoiled ‘your
father isnt entirely at fault here. I’m partially
responsible for all his actions. I starved him of sex. I
was selfish. All i thought about was myself..i didnt
even think about his libido. I unknowingly led him into
the waiting arms of my unloyal friends. I pushed him
to do it….’
‘no mum! You didnt push him to do it! Dad doesnt
love you, he doesnt love you!!’ she screamed angrily
‘because if he really loves you, he will understand. He
just didnt love you, he was selfish and all he cared
about was sex!’
‘wrong! He loves me. I can still feel it…’
‘you are just too old for Mills and Boons mum. You’re
too old for Harlequin romance stories!’
I smiled ‘what happens when your heart flutters at the
sight or thought of that special person Nene? What
happens when their touch are like magic and the sight
of them causes chill down your spine…’
‘is that what he told you? Well, if thats the case, he’s
only decieving you….’
‘thats what i feel for him Nene…’
‘mum, you are so….!’ she ceased her breath ‘i refuse
to say you’re shameless!’
‘you can say whatever you want to Kainene…i love
your father..i love him and his arms is where i want
to stay for the rest of my life’
‘you obviously do not know what you want mum…..’
‘stop living your life in my shadows Kainenechukwu…’
i said closing my eyes ‘you’re different from me, i
might be your mum but our destinies are not the
same. Why dont you just understand that?’
‘failed attempt…’ she said nonchalantly ‘you cant
convince me, i’m sorry’
‘Kainenechukwu…please…’ i placed my hands
together ‘listen to me, please i beg you. I can go on
my knees if i have to, live your life my dear. Explore
life, you just have to. Get a good man who will love,
respect and understand you no matter what. You will
be successful. You will enjoy your marriage. You will
have your own family. Not all men are the same my
dear, how many times will i tell you that!! How or
when will i talk sense into you? Who will talk sense
‘no one. Because i already have the sense, i dont need
anyone to tell me anything different from what i know.
Yes, maybe marriage is fun and nice, but MARRIAGE.
ISNT. CUT. OUT. FOR. ME. When will you understand
‘good night mum…’ she drew the covers to herself.
I sighed and left the room.
To Be Continued