Hello everyone, wow!!!!! The dust in here an choke the hosts of heaven, *coughs*. I haven’t even here in forever. This series is two years old and two years dead, but now it has been revived *inserts bring me back to life soundtrack*. I am deeply, really sorry for not writing for you guys, please forgive me. Thanks.
You might need to start from the prologue to get a hang of the story. At least I had to.
Now to the story.
Ifunnaya opened her eyes and felt around for Samantha, her hand connected with wood, she tried turning around to look for her daughter, then she noticed the cold. ‘That’s strange’ she thought to herself, it felt like winter plus her hands were as cold as ice. It was so dark, ‘who turned out the lights?’ Was their generator bad? Oh well, they’d have to manage with the rechargeable lamp, Samantha hated darkness and she didn’t want her daughter to wake up to this deep, thick darkness. She made to get up from the bed but her legs felt rather heavy, then as she tried to sit up, her head hit something hard. It felt like wood, wait, where was she? She lifted her arms, they also felt heavy,and they connected with what felt and sounded like wood, what was all this wood all around her? Then from somewhere she couldn’t pinpoint, a faint voice reached her ears, the voice was weeping. It was coming from way above her head, wait, not one voice, many voices…. ‘Ashes to ashes, dust to dust’, a man’s voice called out…. ‘Mummy, mummy, come back!!!!’ Wasn’t that Samantha’s voice? The voices grew louder, why were they crying? ‘We will meet at the feet of the Master on that sweet day, don’t cry like the heathen, Ifunnaya is not gone forever, our Saviour said he will raise the dead on the last day’, the man continued. ‘Wait, no, noooo, nooooooo!!!!!! I’m not dead, let me out of here!!!! Somebody!!!! Please!!!!!’ She began hitting the roof of what she had just discovered was her casket.
‘Mum! Mum!! Wake up!!!’, Samantha shook her mother who was thrashing around on the bed. She bolted up, sweating profusely, her eyes adjusting to the familiar room. She hugged her daughter, ‘it’s just a dream’, she breathed with relief. The doctor’s words came back to her, ‘get out before you end up in our morgue and take your daughter with you’. She knew what she had to do.
‘Mummy, mummy’, Temi heard Lolade calling to her from a distance, she opened her eyes. Why was she so tired? Where was she? She opened her eyes and groped around her, she winced as glass pricked her palm, why was there broken glass around her and what was she doing on the floor? She struggled to sit up, her eyes met her daughter’s, wide as saucers, fear and curiousity radiating from them. Something was obviously wrong. Then she saw the knife and it all came back. Oh my God! She exclaimed as it dawned on her what just happened. Lolade was just staring at her mother curiously. I need help, I seriously need help, I nearly killed a man tonight, she drew her daughter to herself and hugged her. For her daughters sake, she was going to brave the dark past and get help. She cleaned up the kitchen, threw out the ham and carried her daughter to her bedroom, she saw the painting that Lolade had made and smiled, ‘don’t worry baby’, she said to her daughter who had fallen asleep, ‘nothing will tear us apart’, she then carried her to her own bedroom .
She saw him through Samantha’s window, he was wheeling a suit case, she saw his red passport as he put it in his breast pocket and deduced that he was travelling to England, she waited for him to drive out then she looked at the clock, 6am.
She prepared breakfast for Samantha, they got dressed, she wore a hooded zip down dress and shades, dropped her daughter off at school and headed to Ikoyi, her parents house. As she turned into the street that housed her childhood memories, she smiled briefly, her dad had taught her to ride a bike on this street, she and her mum had walked their dogs on this same street. She longed to come back, to turn back the hands of time, she wanted to be a child once more.
She pressed her horn and a young, unsmiling security officer opened it. Where was Musa? He was obviously waiting for something, when it dawned on her that he did not know her and was waiting for some identification, I’m ifunnaya, your boss’ daughter. He immediately began to gush and proceeded to usher her in.
The house was the same, well, almost, her old dog had since long died, her swing had broken and had been discarded. She looked at the house wistfully and held back tears, this was her fortress, she and her daughter would be safe here.
She knocked, Mrs Coker opened the door, something’s never change. The housekeepers face hadn’t aged a day and except for the gray hair, she looked pretty much the same. ‘Ifunnaya! This is a pleasant surprise’, they exchanged pleasantries, ‘is all well, it’s not even eight yet’, she asked. ‘All is well Aunty, where’s my mother?, she asked even though she knew where she was,
She went to her mothers bedroom, for some reason, her mother insisted on having her own room in a separate wing of the house, she told Ifunnaya that she and her father liked to play hide and seek and moving rooms made the game more fun.
She met her mother studying her bible on her bed. She observed the older woman from the door and noticed the new lines on her face, her hair was graying some more, she had gotten older since she saw her last on Samantha’s twelfth birthday. Sensing a presence, Mrs Agu looked up and smiled, ‘Naya my child, why didn’t you tell me you were visiting? How are you sweetheart, how’s Samantha? When are you bringing her to see me? What about Mark? i was watching the news…. The smile faded and the older woman stopped when ifunnaya began to cry, she then proceeded to take her shades off as well as the good of her sundress.
‘Chineke!!!’ her mother exclaimed in shock, ‘were you attacked by an animal?’. She rushed to her daughter’s side to inspect the bruises. Ifunnaya unzipped her dress and her mother stood rooted to the spot speechless, as she saw her daughter’s battered body, the tears fell freely, shock paving the way for recognition and in that instant Mrs Beverly Agu knew.
She knew that her daughter her made the same mistake she made many years ago, she had married an animal.
Temi managed to rustle up a sick leave for three days, she packed bags for her and Lolade and hit the road, she tried to clear her head so she could concentrate on her driving. She needed to see her mother, she hadn’t seen the woman since Kanmi unceremoniously called off their relationship. Hmm, Kanmi, that bastard. Well who could blame him?
He had promised to be there for her no matter what. She shook her head as if to physically shake off thoughts of her former fiancé.
She willed her thoughts back to her mother, she loved that woman something fierce. Her weak, spineless mother, who couldn’t take care of herself talk less of her daughter. Her thoughts went to her father, his face took form in her mind, handsome man he was, tall and proud. Well he wasn’t so tall and proud that night, was he? That night will always torment her, but if she had to she’d do it again. He was going to kill her mother and she wasn’t going to have that.
She saw the welcome to Ibadan sign and sighed, she hated this city because it brought back so many terrible memories, her ghosts were hanging everywhere waiting to torment her, well at least, the weather was sunny. That had to count for something.
Her mother was gardening, tending to her precious plants in her overly spacious house in new Bodija. Temi still hated this house, but as she watched her mother love those shrubs into life, she remembered how she took care of her mother, dressed her wounds, applied ointment on her bruises, she had inherited her mothers hands, healing hands, they called them.
‘Good afternoon mummy’, her mother looked up, ‘Temilade’, she smiled, removed her rubber gloves, then her eyes fell on Lolade who was hiding behind her mothers legs. She couldn’t believe it, she could have sworn that it was Temi as a child, but Temi was here as an adult, this had to be her, the little bastard wretch.
Her bastard, wretch of a grandchild.
She didn’t even realise the tears were flowing freely on her face.
‘Lolade, that’s my mummy, your grandma, say good afternoon’. Temi instructed her daughter, while watching the display of emotions on her mother’s face.
‘Good afternoon Ma’, the child said politely from behind her mothers legs.
‘Come’, and Lolade went to her. ‘You’re so pretty’ she studied the little girl’s face for a few minutes, ‘do you want a flower?’ Lolade’s smile was instantaneous. Temi wiped her face, her eyes met her mother’s and for the first time in forever, she was glad to be home.
‘Mum, please call your shrink for me, I’m losing my mind. I almost killed a man, please mummy, I need to go to uch tomorrow to see him, help me book an appointment’. She sat beside her mother on the grass, watching Lolade meander through the garden.
She whispered, ‘mum, please help me, I don’t want another man’s blood on my hands’. She was too caught up in her confusion to notice the look on her mother’s face.
The same way she was too confused that night to notice that her dad was still breathing after she hit him severally with her mother’s wok.