“What’s going on?” Kunle asks as soon as I’m off the phone. I try to find my balance and then sit slowly on the bed. I am not exactly sure of the next thing to do. I check the wall clock; it is some minutes past 10pm.
“Are you okay?” He is by my side now, looking at me with deep concern clearly written all over his face.
“I need to return to Lagos.” I decide. Then in minutes, I have all of my things packed.
“Do you mind telling me what is going on here?” He demands after unsuccessfully getting anything reasonable out of me.
“My son – He fell down the stairs. Celebrate thinks he might be in a bad shape” I respond.
“Oh” he says. I turn to look at him and his expression is blank. I know he has things on his mind he wants to say. And I want to hear them.
“What is oh?” I ask, slightly irritated.
“Your son fell down the stairs while being looked after by the perfect houseboy” the sarcasm is unmistakable.
“You know, Mr I have never made a mistake my whole life, you do not have to be here. I do not even need you here. So can you please leave?” He is so freaking annoying! How can he even say that now? I feel like pushing him out. I’m so screwed up. “I know your type…” I start again
“Oh you do” he responds grinning.
What’s so funny? I wonder.
“Yes. You believe you do everything right and expect the same from everyone. But guess what? Some of us are humans and we make mistakes!” I yell.
“At least you have agreed you made a mistake” he says calmly. This guy has the nerve. And I’m done exchanging words with him.
“Please leave” I say. We hold each other’s gaze for a few seconds and after a while he leaves the room. I check the time again, I cannot leave now but I have to in the morning. I feel a deep stab of guilt; I honestly shouldn’t have left Ore for that long. But it isn’t the first time and I happen to trust Celebrate so very much.
I toss and turn the whole night and I get up in the morning earlier than every other person in the house. My grandmother isn’t up yet and so I wait impatiently by her door, hoping she would open up soon. She does after a few minutes and I can tell by the look on her face that she is not out of the mood she was in last night.
“Good morning Grandma. I have to head back to Lagos.” I say, knowing deep down that I dare not voice the whole truth.
“Why?” She asks
“Work related.” I lie.
She’s not satisfied. “I thought you were the boss?”
“Not exactly – I am assistant creative head and I have been filling in for head who resumes next year” I answer and I hope she won’t ask further.
“So why are you travelling down?”
Grandma make this easy would you?! I yell inside. “Erm…something I have to quickly take care of before the new creative head resumes next year”
“You will leave after breakfast” she says and shuts the door, leaving no room for objection.
The whole family meets me at the table for breakfast an hour later. I am getting more impatient but I still won’t divulge the real reason I have to jet out to my family. No, I won’t give them more reasons to judge me.
“I will pray this morning” Mommy London says and stands up. “We need the spirit of God in this family”
No, you need the spirit of God.
“Close your eyes everybody” she orders and then launches into several worship songs. After the fifth song which is her own spiritual version of Daddy Showkey’s Fire she stops.
“Let us open our mouths and pray that the enemy within should be exposed! By fire!!” Then like that, she begins a prayer session which only she participates in. I chuckle as I open my eyes. What is this – A one man show? Even her daughter seems clueless.
After what seems like three centuries, she finally ends the prayer session.
“I would like to admonish us this morning” she begins, I start to laugh. I can’t help it. What is this woman doing? A retreat at a family breakfast?
She ignores my laughter and continues, “Let this family love. Love is the most important thing in the world” I honestly cannot take this anymore and even though I know all her worship songs, prayers and preaching are aimed at me, I find it more hilarious than humiliating. Without saying a word, I stand and head towards my room.
I have an ailing son in Lagos; I won’t sit in Ibadan while my dysfunctional family participates in some senseless comedy.
My phone rings and it is Celebrate again. “Hello Celebrate…yes I am on my way. Please don’t give him any medication yet. I would be home soon…he’s sleeping? I will be home soon” then I pick my bags and head out of the door.
When I emerge from the bedroom minutes later, mommy London is talking to Kunle. I eye him curiously, what is he looking for?
“My son don’t let the enemy use you” I hear her say. Ridiculous!
My phone rings again and I begin to wonder if Celebrate would let me get home in one piece. I check the caller ID it is my baby Daddy. My heart skips a hundred beats.
I press the receive button and I listen to him rebuke me. After a while, I speak “Makin I am sorry this happened. I am already on my way to Lagos…what now it is my fault? You haven’t exactly been a responsible daddy either…oh please don’t play the innocent one here…how easy of you to say I don’t do enough!” I am getting agitated “go ahead and take him to a Doctor!” The conversation ends and I can’t help it but as soon as Kunle walks up to me, I throw my arms around his neck and begin sobbing.
Everyone is looking at me now, I can feel it. And I just feel so humiliated. Mommy London couldn’t humiliate me but the situation at hand has. I stop sobbing and hold on to my support at the moment but I don’t look up at him or anybody else. He holds me and as much as I know he is confused at that moment, I’m grateful I am being held regardless. I fear having to look at him and anyone though, I do not want to explain the reason I am this messed up, they would judge me again.
“Hi Husband. Your mom told me you’re here.” Startled, I look up and see standing in the doorway a woman who looks like something off a Paris Runway. She is impeccably dressed in a short, tight fitting peplum dress, her hair tied up in a bun and her legs are stylishly fitted in a pair of what I know are very expensive blue platforms. Her attention is fully fixed on me and Kunle.
“Mr Davies, irresponsibility was never one of your vices.” She continues, oh, did I add that her dentition is the best I’ve ever seen and that the diction is perfect?
“But you apparently picked it up” then she points her hand in our direction, “what’s this?”
I’m not sure if she’s asking what we are doing holding each other tight or “what” I am.
Mommy London breaks into a song of praise clearly aimed at me for meeting my nemesis so soon.
I sigh. Can the morning get less dramatic?!