Like in every country, independence is the best part of life, but it also looked hostile as those independent seemed to suffer from the hard chores of life. Many wished to be big but can’t achieve it, many try to but were ruined. Such is life- only the determined achieve greatness, Grandpa said to me.
“Grandpa can you tell me more?” I asked.
“Yes I’ll tell you but this time about your mother.”
I smiled as I sat on the bench opposite him while he relaxed on his deck chair.
“I’ve three children: Roland, Kiki and Stella your mother.”
I smiled as he mentioned mother’s name.
“Although I was in lack of finance when Roland was born, my little farm couldn’t provide much not only but the several attack by pests that got nourished by my little planting. Oh! Chimo…!”
I laughed as he gave a funny grumpy look.
“Roland would’ve gotten the best bicycle, clothes…” He sighed as he shook his head, “before I knew it Kiki was born.”
She was so fair like you…”
I smiled as he made reference of me.
“…like how I was during the period of the missionaries, when I was following father Benedict. I was like his… His…”
“P.A! Personal assistance.” I exclaimed.
“Eh-en! You’re really trying with your studies, see how you mentioned it so fast, just like me when I was in class one, ah! I was always coming out first… I was so brainy that I was given scholarship by my community chief but you know… This country…” He whimpered, “they ate the money and even told my father that I should pay to get the scholarship.”
“Who?” I asked.
“The people in charge of the scholarship scheme.” He shook his head, “if not my dream was to study at Oxford.”
“Really!” I teased.
“Ah-ah! In fact you go study for Oxford, I’ll tell Stella let she take you to the United Kingdom.”
“UK!” He mentioned it vigorously, “it’s a fine country oh, father Benedict do tell me of there, if you go there eh…”
“Grandpa, you’ve changed from talking about the story.”
“I know, I don’t forget things easily.” He snapped, “my mother will send me to the riverine to buy fish and other things at the market, I won’t forget anything she tells me. I’ve a computer brain.” He said touching his bald head.
“… Kiki’s time I was a gate man at a bank and was having little money. The time I saw money well was when they born your mother!” He paused, “I was paid hugely for helping the bank recover their money from some arm robbers and then I was advanced so they said they will pay me off… The money was much that I gave some people, Roland was in the university, in the city then and Kiki was in secondary school. Things was now bad when your grandma fall sick. Oh my her soul rest in peace.”
I was touched as I felt tears flowing.
“…her sickness made me spend much, I took her to hospital and tried herbal remedies but to no avail till she died…”
I felt pitied.
“By the time your mother graduated to secondary school there was no money to give her, Roland was arrogant to help, Kiki was struggling in the university. I tried to help but things became worse there feeding wasn’t even easy- even the government schools were tasking students… Corruption!”
I sighed with pity but was desperate to hear the end, how mother met father all those were suspense.
“Your mother can tell you better. But I’m happy she married a nice man, a man that built this house and is paying me salary, faith smiled at her.”
“What of uncle Roland and aunt Kiki?” I asked.
“Only chi knows!” He sighed, “you’re my only grandchild.” He held my hand, “they forgot me, they don’t even call to know about their father…”
Then my mother came around as she smiled. I guessed they may be around! Like mother do tell me of single world as many think more of themselves.
“Only your mother has been caring for me.”
“Papa…!” Mother teased.
“Em, when Juli wan enter university make she school for Oxford.” Grandpa interrupted.
“Ah papa, to school in Oxford is a big deal oh, I need to kill an elephant for that to happen.”
“Let she fulfil my wish.”
“Mother It’ll be better.” I added.
Mother paid less attention to my comment, she knew it will cost much.
It was on our stay in the village during the festive period, I enjoyed the moments spent with grandpa. I watched as mother helped him inside as she exclaimed he needs some rest.
“Mother what of uncle Roland and aunt Kiki?” I asked as I got the moment with my mother.
“Do you wanna know”
I sat enthusiastically, “yes mother!” My ears were desperate to listen.
“Uncle Roland left the university but before then he was a nefarious cultist, he created a kingpin named gangster.”
“Dunno! Maybe because of money… Grandpa was unable to provide.”
“Where is him now?” I asked.
“Why asking me of a bother that didn’t care of his sister, he was full of himself and perhaps his bad gang was favouring him.”
“How of aunt Kiki?” I digressed.
“She too was on her own, didn’t care to call or ask about home. She was angry as papa couldn’t support her.”
“How was she coping?”
“Um, like what I heard she was a big girl in campus, doing a call girl job.”
“Call girl!” I exclaimed.
“Yea, have you heard of it?”
“Something like a telephone prostitute…” I stressed.
Mother was astounded at my reply, she stared at me with as she wondered how I got to know of it. I wondered how much aunt Kiki charges per meet. I was like her, chubby and attractive especially to the hips.
“Is she still into the business?” I asked.
I wanted to ask about aunt Kiki again but paused, “mother how did you get to meet father?”
Mother smiled, “I tried to learn tailoring but the woman needed money to start which I don’t have, then I was with papa, helping him in his farm… One day I decided to visit Kiki, the address I got was wrong as she had vacated to building some months before. It was a guy I met- your father.” She smiled, “he lodged me for the night and during our discussion he promised to give me some money to learn tailoring. I didn’t finish the learning as papa became ill, I’ve to take care of papa…”
I interrupted, “I guessed you went back to the village then, so how come you still met father.”
“After some while I was using my knowledge in making clothes and it was nice even as I was given a contract to sew for a wedding- all the ashebi wears. The Ankara sewing brought much recommendation as one of the girls made me her personal tailor, I was to sew some clothes and deliver it for her… I went to deliver it on a cool day not knowing there was party in her house, I didn’t wanted to interrupt as I was outside waiting for she to come out. The party ended and some came out with surprises to see me, then she came out and introduced me to them, while we were talking your father came out…”
“Wow!” I smiled, “what of the lady?”
“Umm, of recent she was working at First Bank PLC.”
Is she married?”
“Yea,” mother replied, “she has three children.”
After some introduction they were finally married, three years later I was born. Sixteen years later the family is not united, mother has established her mall and it was more of fashion. Father had been away for months, he was said to be seen around the Eko five-star hotel. The day I visited him he lodged me in a different room, I wondered why?
Father has his own say, “your mother is not the same virtuous woman I saw nineteen years ago, she’s a whore!”
“What!” He interrupted.
“Why are you saying such.”
“Do you know what she has done, there are several stories of her-“
“She is following young guys…”
I exclaimed, “father!”
“You feel I’m lying,” father said, “most of her friends are those luscious and outrageous women that are full of slothful ways…”
I felt bewildered at his comment, I glimpsed at a cheque on the table while pacing around.
“Father this is huge!”
“Give me that!” He snatched it from my hand as he put it in his pocket.
“What’s the money for?”
“How do it concern you, so that you’ll tell your mother.” He sighed.
“Father ten million naira isn’t your salary?”
“Can’t emergency arise?” He cut in.
“Go to your room!” He ordered.
Few minutes later I glimpsed through my door to see father passed with a girl, he was charmed by her waist as he held it.
“They’re both cheating themselves.” I whispered.
“…you haven’t given me the money for the cloth I told you the other day…” She exclaimed.
“Ohh, how much is it?”
“Fifty thousand naira!”
He laughed, “that’s an understatement, when triple of it is waiting for you.” Father giggled.
I was dumbfounded as I listened. Her huge boobs, nice shape built in a brown complexion with roses on cheek, pink balm sticked to lips, foreign hair and a charming peach fragrance that could make father promise more.
“Oh! That’s nice of you.”
“I promised to spoil you with money, run you mad with money…”
I felt like putting my hands on my head.
“Dad!” I yelled as I interrupted their privacy, I couldn’t hold the anger for long. After some minutes of weird disturbance I heard someone opening the door as the lady stormed out, I watched my father pleading.
“Father aren’t you ashamed of yourself?”
“What is your problem!” Why didn’t you knock?”
I returned home and and informed mother who was furious.
“This man is off with his sugar girl!” She rioted. I sat on the sofa as I watched her rain curses on father.
“What’s this noise!” Father said as he entered.
He just returned.
“Um, so your girl couldn’t satisfy you…”
Father interrupted, “what’s she talking about?” Father turned to me.
The argument was tensed. Since then father detested coming back as he said the house isn’t a home for him. Father was promoted to the headquarters as he don’t care of home.
Me and mother was in the hair salon one day when I eavesdropped mother discussing with her friend, she was telling mother about a baba that will help her make money and about a young guy so awesome sexually… I stared at her blushing face from the mirror, it was a combination of different colours, mother was biased till she opened her mall. Now I’m in the hands of some kidnappers, will my parents care or not I thought as I woke up to find the room at a serene state.
“The heart of a man is absolutely wicked, only God can Judge.” Grandpa always tell.
I thought of it over the time, can a guy you love be evil, expose your identity to those against you, make you the subject topic and open to harm… All these thoughts were coming up in my mind as I remembered George.
During my second year in Busyminds Academy I got to meet George, he smiled at me at first sight.
“Where is that girl with brown eyes?” He asked someone during break.
I laughed when I heard it, Gloria and Selena guffawed.
“Seems he love you.” Selena started.
“Yea, why not give him a trial.” Gloria added.
“We haven’t known each other very well.”
“But you both can meet!” Selena suggested.
Gloria to my surprised brought George to our gathering, he was shy to talk as he was wondering why I would be calling him.
“You asked of her.” Selena said.
“Yea, wanted to have some chat with her…”
I came down from the high platform I sat like I was the queen among them and joined he for a short walk…
Things were going better between us until George became coaxed to have me, he tried but I refused. I knew he’d been influenced, as his desperation is undying, that caused our date to be cancelled as I changed my schedule.
He was bothered for not seeing me, and when he tried my phone an alarming male voice picked. That was ridiculous, he tried the number severally but this time it was switched off.
“Hello baby!” Doris entered. A plump brown skin lady appeared, that was his ex. The one he said he left to have me.
George was surprised, the last he heard was that she left the state, her presence threw much reminiscent to George but with a bad omen; as he only had lust over her. He remembered when he got attracted to her mother and was also dating the mother, when Doris discovered she divorced him and travelled oversea.
“What is going on, what are you doing here, and at this time?”
She grinned, “I came around and decided to meet my lover, my sweet and luscious lover-“
“I’m not getting you clear.” George watched as she sat on the settee close to him, “I thought the day I saw you last, you blasted words at me that it’s over between us…”
“Naah…! How could we.” She romanced her hand around his shoulder… “You aren’t looking good.”
“Got some issues at hand.” George cried.
“Ohhh! She!” Doris got up.
“I don’t know, perhaps only a girl can make you this gloomy.” She winked at him.
George was confused, like a game playing before him.
“We’ll see later, got some things to pay attention to.” She kissed George and left.
George was amazed at her appearance, then he remembered he was up to meet me.
“Give me your father’s number.” The gangster asked me. I was mute, confidence kept me to mute but they forced it out of my mouth.
“Hello, is this Juliana’s father?”
“Yea, who’s this?”
Gangster laughed, “your daughter is being held in our custody…”
“What!” Father yelled.
“Sir, to get her released you have to pay twelve million naira.”
“Ah! That’s too much.” My father cried.
“”Then we’ll force the money from you, maybe after we rape her you will comply.” Gangster said in low tune as he was caressing my legs.
“Please don’t do it.” Father cried, “I’ll call you back.”
I heard father voice and his impatience cry, cloth was forced into my mouth after I tried shouting. Time kept going but father haven’t responded.
“This dude is claiming wise.” Gangster giggled.
He ordered as they forced me into another room, with my hands tied they put me on a table, I tried to resist but the force was beyond me.
“Young lady, your father is acting to be wise.” He giggled in his husky voice, “I’ve held my nerve enough.”
I said nothing as I tried to squirm. His hand was having some fancy touch on my body and heading to my bosom, it was like my doom as he was loosing my buttons from the top, his gang were around, he smiled faintly as he took control over me. I tried all I could to resist but his hands were hard and possessing as got my breast from beneath. He hand was going down, this time between my thighs…
Soon strange bullets scattered around and hit gangster and some of his gang, there was exchange of bullets as I was surprised to see some policemen come to my rescue. I closed my eyes and wished no bullet touch me, the sounds of the shot was so shocking and making me to tremble.
“Wait a friend is in the other room.” I said as we were about leaving.
I saw reasons to smile as we rushed left the uncompleted building. I couldn’t wait as I jumped into the rear seat of the car told by the policemen I should enter, Christine did as well.
“George…!” I exclaimed as I discovered that he was the person in the driver’s seat.
“Yea..!” He smiled.
“How did you locate us?”
“The call made me to investigate…”
“How!” We interrupted.
“My ex, the girl I was dating before we broke up…”
“How then does she relate to us being held hostage?”
“…I loved her so much-“
“Did you sleep with her?” I asked.
“Ummm, can’t tell.”
“It’s some years ago.” He stressed.
“I did.” He snapped, “are you satisfied?”
I turned away my look to the scene outside the window.
“I eventually got into a relationship with her mother and that made for our breakup, few days later I heard she’s left the state…”
I was perplexed as he was explaining what I never bother to hear at the moment. Christine was mute as she was staring outside the window.
“Why telling it now?” I asked.
George took a deep breath, “I got to know that she’s in town, I still don’t know but she plotted against you guys. She got those guys that kidnapped you both and told them to rape you…” He paused, “someone exposed all to me, so I decided to act fast.”
“How did you trace the place we were?” Christine finally asked.
“Rex have some gang that got to know about the notorious gangster…”
I thought of Rex and his love for cult which can’t be stopped by his parents or Busymind students.
“…they told us about the hideout.” George said.
“Woman, why was your daughter kidnapped?” Father barked as he just arrived. The call made he to do so. “When I say you can’t perform your responsibility very well.”
“What of you? Your mates are taking care of their family, but you’re not concerned if yours is fine or not. Why won’t you put the blame on me, when last did you see your daughter, talk to her, try to now what she’s passing through. Shameless man.”
“That’s the job of a woman, if I do it what then will be your job?” Father asked.
“God will judge you, shameless man. Idiot.”
“Me idiot!”father pounded his fist on her back severally, mother cried severally but father was more furious.
“It’s high time you leave my house.”
“I’m going nowhere, you’ll kill me in this house.” Mother whimpered.
“Abi wait for me,” he barged into the room leaving mother to grumble as she sat on the sofa.
Later father entered the sitting room, “the kidnappers asked for a huge ransom.” Father said as he went to the bar, a corner close around the dinning where he emptied a bottle of St Moritz into a glass cup.
“Will you pay it?”
“It’s much and they mentioned of raping her…”
“Heey…! Let them not try it oh! You’ve to pay them!” Mother said in a loud voice.
“Will you give me the money?”
“How? What of the money you have, the ones I’ve seen you extort from your company, the ones that will make you hide your wallet and brief case, the ones that you use to do give to Tracy and the rest…”
“What did that mean?” Father glared at her.
“It means you’re a disgrace to manhood.”
“Are you trying to insult me?” He barked, “can you do ten percent of what I’ve done?”
“What have you done?” Mother yelled.
“I don’t blame you, your daughter is held hostage and you’re nonchalant.”
“Oh! It’s now you’ll have concern over your daughter, have you tried to ask about her academics, about how she’s doing?”
Father slurped noisily from his cup, “that’s the job of the mother.”
“Who’s to take care of the family?”
Mother gave a stern look, “what’s your job, only to bring little penny!”
“Oh! It’s little because you now own a mall.”
“And how’s it your concern?” Mother sighed.
“Don’t worry I’ll leave the house for you.”
Mother shouted, “you can go I don’t care! After all your presence is of no reference.”
“How will it be, when you’ve many toy-boys?”
Mother sighed, “just count your tongue with your teeth.”
“Meaning?” Father asked.
“Clean your eyes before cleaning someone’s own, how about your own toy-girls?”
Father chuckled, “am I silly?”
“You’re not ohh! In fact you’re more…”
Immediately father’s phone rang.
“Hello, who’s this?”
“You’re playing wise, make the transfer of hear your daughter’s death.”
“Okay, send your account details!” Father rushed, “I’ll do it immediately I receive it.”
“Who was that?” Mother asked as father hang up the call, “is it the kidnappers?”
“Yea,” father was panting unsteadily as he was desperate to receive the message.
Father got the message the same moment they heard a car horn outside, I came out of the car and knocked on the door; Christine had dropped at her mum’s place so the car was left with George and I. Though not thought for but it was an amazing ride as we spent some time snogging with some romance; I smiled even as I knocked harder.
“Who’s that?” I heard mother exclaiming.
Mother was surprised to see me as she opened the door.
“Juli!” She embraced me tightly, “she’s here oh!” Mother turned to father.
“How’re you? Hope they didn’t harm you, they didn’t rape you…”
“No! They almost…” I cried as we walked inside while I was telling my experience, mother still held my tight as we sat on the sofa while father and George sat on the armchair.
I thought of mother up to somewhere as I stared at her bird embroidery wrapper with white laced blouse.
“They called, I was about making the transfer when you entered.” Father said.
I stared at George, he did the same with that of surprises. What went through my mind was will he be there if they return for me?
“Who’s he?” Mother asked finally.
“He’s George, a friend.”
“But what’s he here for?” Father added.
I stared at him rudely.
“Em, Juli- I’ll be going.” He said before I wanted to reply father. I glimpsed from my seat through the window as I watched George drove out; I knew he wished of getting it on me; his stuff was erect, same was my nipples I felt it when he trapped my breast, I knew he couldn’t wait but the car wasn’t room enough.
“Mother, let me shower!” I said as I went to my room.
…TO BE CONTINUED…