WRITTEN BY: LIZZY OYEBOLA YAKUBU
(CLICK HERE FOR EPISODE 8)
It had been two days in my room and my dad hadn’t even tried to check up on me.
I was inconsolable.
I knew my dad was a newlywed and that I shouldn’t expect much from him again but it felt so weird. No matter how tired I was, my dad would always walk into my room to wake me up for prayer at 6am. We would never miss that! We had never missed it!
And before we slept every night, my dad and I would never miss our ‘Tete-a-tete’ as we did call it. I would tell him of the boy I liked in my class and of how my best friend ate a part of my lunch and of how my principal told me I would represent at a competition. Then, he would tell me of how he was to represent his work in Germany but that he had to fight against it because of me, since he couldn’t leave me alone.
I remember one day when he came into my room, beaming with smiles. I smiled too as I sat up, waiting for the good news.
“Princess, I am finally going to Germany next week to represent my company” He broke the news and I was shocked.
“Dad, I thought you said you would never leave me alone. I thought you said you would never agree to go to Germany because I would be alone. Who is going to stay with…” I kept blabbing when he lifted me off the bed and started to throw me up. I kept screaming for him to put me down but he looked so excited.
“We are going together!” He said when he finally placed me down. Though my eyes were dizzy as a result of the vigorous throwing I just went through, my heart and mouth screamed for joy at the same time.
“Dad, we are going together?” I asked, my eyes widened. He nodded and pecked my forehead. I started jumping and hugging him at the same time.
“Mr. Gbadebo needed me to just be there. And before I could bring up my daughter’s matter again, he brought out your international passport. Behold, it has a Germany visa on it already!” He said, showing me with so much glee.
“Wow! Wow, daddy, wow!” I exclaimed, jumping up with so much ecstasy. “So, he still had the passport since the last time you dumped it on his table” I asked, laughing. My dad joined too. We laughed so much that tears rolled down our face.
I smiled slightly as I remembered what had happened on that occasion. My day had gisted me about what he had done at the office earlier that day. As soon as Mr. Gbadebo, his boss spoke about his Germany representation again, he had dumped my passport and all travel details on his table.
“Sir, if it is granted that my daughter be my travel partner with all her travel expenses paid as well, I would be ready, absolutely ready to go to Germany, even tonight!”
As soon as he had said that, the shock on Mr. Gbadebo’s face notwithstanding, he walked out of his office, with his heart in his mouth.
“Princess mi, I was scared o. I was very scared. In fact, I had to start praying when ” He had told me and I smiled as I patted his back as always.
“Mr. Gbadebo sees you as a treasure to his industry. He can never do anything to you. You won’t lose your job, instead, you will…” I paused for him to complete it.
“Blossom!” He replied and gave me a high-five.
My dad would always say that even if anything was threatening, he knew he had a ‘Blossom’ at home, so he believed that all would blossom for him. And over the years, I had watched my dad blossom in all ways. Mr. Gbadebo handed over the Nigeria and Ghana companies to him as he retired. Financially, my dad blossomed.
Even ministerially, he blossomed! My dad was such a musical person. Our house was always littered with musical books, musical instruments and all. He had always desired to serve in the choir department of the church but the church wouldn’t allow him because he wasn’t married.
“But daddy, where is mummy?” I had asked him one day, when I was five.
“She has gone” He replied casually, rubbing my shoulder.
“She has gone to heaven? To meet Jesus?” I asked, quite inquisitively.
“Ermmm…let’s say that she is dead” He had told me and I pouted.
“Awww, thank God” I had said that day.
“Why did you say that?” He asked.
“If she was here now, we would be three in the house. But we are two, you and I. I like that. Let’s stay like this forever” I said. Though I was little, I had always been known to be so intelligent. I would never forget how my dad hugged me afterwards. He prayed for me.
“God bless you, princess. I like that statement. I would never leave you. We will be like this forever” He had said.
As I lay on my bed, I rubbed the sides of my head as they were throbbing really bad.
I had not tasted anything since the day dad’s wife entered the house. And that was two days before. I had not even tasted water! I didn’t go to school, neither did I have my bath. I couldn’t even move to the bathroom to bathe. I was so weak.
“Dad wouldn’t even come check up on me?” I said to myself as I hugged my pillow. I sighed. My eyes drifted to my desk and rested on my Bible.
We had not had devotion in this house for two days!
Two whole days!
I sat up at that. It was not normal for my dad not to come check up on me, neither was it normal for him not to come call me for devotion.
My heart started racing.
“Is my dad alright?” I asked no one in particular.
I moved quickly to the bathroom, rinsed my face and mouth, combed the edges of my hair and changed into a simple gown.
‘I need to go and check for my dad. I need to help my dad’ I said as I hurriedly picked my Bible and went on my knees.
“Lord Jesus, I apologize for not praying to You in the past two days. These two days have been the craziest days in my life, Lord. I know You know it. I know You are aware. God, help my dad. Keep him safe. Do not let your spirit depart from his life.” I prayed, rushing my words. Afterwards, I opened my Bible and scanned through. When I didn’t know where exactly to read and when my heart wasn’t too strengthened to stay still, I hugged my Bible and cried.
“God, I don’t even know where to read. I do not know what to do but as I hug your Word, I claim all Your promises. I don’t even know if that works, but please help me. Thank You Lord” I prayed, jumped up and wiped my face.
I moved to the door and opened. The house was so silent. I looked to the left and to the right, there was nobody. The sitting room was empty but very dirty. There were so many bags on the floor with so many clothes littering everywhere. I looked on in shock as I turned to go to the kitchen. The sight that greeted me was terrible. There was almost nowhere to place my feet. The floor was littered with so many dirty bowls as if they had been kicked around like footballs. The sink was an eyesore.
I shook my head as I started to pick them all up.
I had just created a big bowl of soapy water for washing when I felt a hand on my waist.
‘That can never be dad!’ I thought. Even though my dad and I played a lot together, there were so many places that were sacred. He had even warned me about some certain places I should never allow anyone access into.
My dad had taught me a lot about sexual purity.
“If a guy is not content with shaking your hand briefly in greeting and taking his hand off, my princess, he is looking for something else. You don’t have that thing, so send him off with immediate alacrity” He had told me severally.
As I turned around to check who it was, the hands moved from my waist and wrapped themselves around me. I was alarmed. I dropped the wet sponge I was holding and started struggling with the person.
“Who are you? Who is this for crying…” I was asking, fear gripping my heart all of a sudden.
I felt a warm face at my neck, almost pulling my ear into his mouth when I made to scream. As I screamed, he chuckled wickedly.
“No one can hear you, baby, allow me” He said and I knew just then, who it was. It must be the son of my dad’s wife who had looked at me lustfully a few days earlier.
He was so huge so my hands couldn’t even push him off. As he started tugging at my blouse, I knew he meant business. I knew he wanted to hurt me. I couldn’t overpower him so I just looked up at the ceiling.
“God, I am sure You are there.” I cried, silently. Suddenly, I picked up a spoon and started to use it to push his hand off my bust. That must have hurt him because he yelled painfully.
Just then, he picked a frying pan with his right, still holding me captive with his left hand and two legs. He banged the frying pan on my head and I screamed.
I burst out crying as he laughed some more.
“Your so called dad is not at home, you are mine to…” He was saying when I suddenly heard a familiar footstep in the kitchen.
My dad stooped, picked up the frying pan and banged it heavily on his head twice. He let his hands off me and yelled as he jumped out of the kitchen.
“Daddy!” I cried as I ran to meet him. He hugged him and I could feel his heart beating so loud and fast.
My dad must have been so scared!
As the boy increased the volume of his wailing, my dad held me by the hand and started pulling me away from the kitchen. He pulled me into my room, locked the door, fell to the floor and started weeping.
My heart broke as I saw him weep. I fell beside him and held his hand. He wept even louder.
“Hurry is not of the devil, it is the devil!” He said as he cried.
“I was content with having you as a mother, a best friend, a daughter, a housemate, everything! I didn’t think it was necessary to have a wife. I didn’t even see the need, because I have you” He started. I nodded, wiping my tears.
“And suddenly, mum came to me, saying you were a bad omen. She said you were the one who stopped me from getting married. She said I would have achieved more if I had gotten married. I disagreed of course but she pestered me for so many months! She would call and text me concerning the issue to the extent that I fell for all of it. I met the lady and didn’t like her! I didn’t” He cried on.
“The Holy Spirit said ‘No’, I said ‘Yes’ and look at this, I allowed myself to be pressured. I did, Blossom. I did” He cried the more. I burst into a new realm of weeping again as I wondered what exactly to do. I had never seen my dad weep in my entire life.
“You might have wondered why I had not checked up on you the past few days. My dear, I had to lock myself up in the church o. I came in not too long ago, dropped that bag on your bed…” He was saying. I turned to check my bed and I could see a big leather bag on my bed. “I didn’t know why the Holy Spirit asked me to pass the back door but look at it. If I hadn’t, I wouldn’t have realized that my only daughter, my only child was almost being molested in my own house” He wept on. I picked his hand and squeezed it lovingly in a bid to console him but I just couldn’t stop weeping.
“I brought in the devourer into my home, by myself!” He said, shook his head and looked into my eyes, his eyes bloody red from excessive crying. My heart broke and my eyes welled up.
“Those huge children are now my responsibilities, Blossy. She told me she had four boys. How could I have known that she was referring to four men, big men! Men that lack home training and the fear of God. I would have to sponsor them and….ah, God, please have mercy! Have mercy on me!” He wept on.
“Daddy, why didn’t you tell…”
“Yes my dear, why didn’t I tell you! I know you feel betrayed and I am foolish for that. I didn’t even do my homework well at all. My mum simply said she knew her parents and her husband before he died. I, in fact, I was so foolish. How could I have delegated this important part of my life into my mother’s hand? This was supposed to be handled by God Himself. Oh, poor me!” He wept again, wiping his face and weeping some more.
“Dad, we are in this toge….” I was saying when he looked up at me suddenly as if he remembered something.
“Blossom dearest, do you know I had a dream day before yesterday, yesterday and today again?” He asked and I nodded.
“Tell me about it, dad”
“In each of those dreams, I called many people to be gathered to a cemetery. I carried spade and started digging. I told them to watch on. When I had dug a pit large enough to contain a man, I slept inside of the pit and started to cover it up. People were surprised. They tried to stop me. When I was getting out of the pit, because of the people’s concerns and your vigorous crying, just then, this woman that I went to marry came forward and started pouring in the sand on me, pressing me with her high-heeled shoes as she did. Then, I would wake up. Yes, I have had those dreams three consecutive times now” He said and my heart started racing.
“Dad, I am so scared. Oh my!” I covered my face with my two hands and wept with all the strength that was remaining in me.
He stood up suddenly, picked my hand and started pulling me to the bed.
“This is the bag I bought for you.” He said and unzipped it. I was dazed. I couldn’t process what was happening.
“I bought you a few simple wears” He started and started to show them to me. “These are two bedsreads and a comforter.”
I sat down on the bed and couldn’t take my eyes off him. I couldn’t think straight.
It better not be what I am thinking!
“I have a small pillow, pillowcases, blanket, laundry bag, laundry supplies, towels, alarm Clock…” He was saying when I cut in.
“Dad, all these are for what?” I asked, shock definitely written all over my already red face.
“These are some cloth hangers. I also placed your Bible in here. Here is a desk lamp. I got you more books. I got you a padlock. These are your food warmer and water bott…”
“Daddy, what is all…” I asked, almost screaming. He covered my mouth immediately and started looking around the room to see if there was no one watching.
“Dad, you want me to go to the boarding house?” I asked and he nodded, swallowing so hard as he did.
I let the warm tears stroll down my face.
“Dad, you are sending me away from you?” I asked again and he nodded, tears running down his face too.
“I have become unfortunate, Blossom” He announced so tragically that I could not control the teary cough in my throat from interfering. I coughed and wept, coughed and wept again. I couldn’t believe my eyes and ears.
“Dad, you have not become unfortunate. Okay, let’s even assume you have, daddy, we have to be unfortunate together” I said, pulling at his shirt. He shook his head.
“Your exams are fast approaching. You have not been to school in the past few days. The house is too hot for you.I might not be fully there for you, again” He said and I fell on his chest in agony. We wept together. It felt as if the house I had built for over a million years suddenly got shaken by a wind and fell down flat. It felt as if I was ruined.
“Dad, with this bad dream that you had, it could mean that you might contemplate suicide soon or your wife might kill you herself. How then can I stay far from you? How can I…” I said again, my voice shaking violently as I did.
“You need to leave now before Jerry’s mum wakes up. Forgive James for ever trying to mess up with you. That is a life without Jesus!” He said and I nodded.
“Dad, even if I am leaving for the boarding house, it shouldn’t be today when…”
“It is today. In fact, it is now!” He said, moved to my desk and started packing my books into a small box. I started breathing very shortly as if life was escaping through my throat.
“I have not had my bath, dad. I have not even eaten since three days ago” I said, trying to find an excuse to make me stay a little longer with my dad. He shook his head and came to my side. He squatted.
“My baby, you are the only one I have in the whole world except my Lord. Both of us cannot face fire together. You need to go and hide your head and fire on prayers for daddy. If we are here together, it will be a loss for both of us. These guys could break in one day and gangrape you. This woman might hit you heavily one of these days. I wouldn’t be able to watch that. You need to save daddy from falling and dying this early, baby. You need to go now” He said and I fell on the ground and wept.
“So, daddy, I would be leaving you for real?” I asked as I growled in pain- the pain of separation.
“Yes, my darling. You need to leave now. I have spoken to the vice-principal already. She was so happy to know that she would be having her head prefect-girl in the boarding house with her. Don’t worry my darling, it is just for a few months. Exams would soon be over. I have asked everyone to make sure they take a very good care of you, my darling” He said and pulled me up from the floor.
As he pulled me into a warm embrace, we wept inconsolably like we were never going to see each other again.
Immediately he was done praying with me and we stepped out of the room, we were greeted by a ferocious looking woman. Mummy Jerry looked so angry as she danced on a spot.
“So, you were the one that had the audacity to bang the head of my son with a frying pan?” She asked, looking so disrespectfully into my dad’s face.
My dad held my box in one hand and pulled me with the second hand. He signalled to me to keep quiet and keep moving.
But, the woman would not allow that.
“Wait first, are you not the one I am talking to?” She asked but my dad and I were in the sitting room already. “Are you mad? How dare you touch my son?” She started.
I heard a bang on my dad’s back. My dad made a painful noise and we both turned back to see what it was.
The frying pan!
She threw the frying pan at my dad!
I was infuriated.
“Romoke, did you know what you just did?” My dad asked, shock written all over his face.
“Were you deaf and dumb when I was asking you a question? Plus, is it bad to use what to use on my son on you, the offender?” She asked, chewing on her gum noisily.
I was so mad. I dropped the leather bag I was holding and was about saying something when my dad stopped me.
“By the way, where are you taking the bastard child to?” She asked again. My dad shook his head.
“Romoke, see, you can do whatever you want to do as a devil incarnate that you are. But the day you bring in my daughter and you call her a bastard, you will have to pack out of this house” He said, angrily, his jaws, very shaky. His wife burst out laughing and slapping the wall at the same time.
“That will never happen. The day you opened this house to me, it became ours! I can never leave this palace. If you want to leave, you can leave but for me to leave, never!” She said, so confidently. I was mad.
“Baby, let us go” My dad said. I was reluctant at first but when I saw the pain in my dad’s eyes, I picked up my leather box and followed after him.
“Bastard girl plus an impotent father, what a wonderful combination” She said when we were almost stepping out of the sitting room.
“Impotent?” One of her son’s asked as he stepped in.
“He is really impotent, mum?” Another of her sons asked and she started laughing.
My head became so light.
My eyes went moist almost immediately.
“The thing no dey work o. The guy no fit perform at all” She said and my dad dropped the box in his hand and turned to look into her face. He looked so pained.
“Mummy, you too dey talk o. The thing don dey pain am o” One of the sons said again. My dad moved closer to that son and smiled.
“Yekini!” He called loudly.
“Yes sir!” Our driver answered from outside.
“Moses!” He called out again.
“Yes sir!” Our gateman replied from outside too.
Soon, they were in the sitting room.
“Belts!” My dad roared. The duo started removing their belts.
“Face the uncultured children and I will face the uncultured, untrained mother” My dad said.
“Yes sir!” The men replied.
The woman burst out laughing.
“I married a mad man sha!” She laughed. “Try something and I will show you the stuff I am made of” She said but she soon became quiet as dad overpowered her and pushed her into the settee.
Moses and Yekini focused on the four huge boys. They lashed them so painfully that I simply had to look away out of fear.
“You need to learn how to respect our boss!”
“Our boss is not your mate!”
“You should see it as a favour to be in this house!”
“Who are you by the way!”
As the men beat the children, they wailed so loudly.
“Please, please” I could hear James, the one who almost molested me cry. I felt happy for a while. But immediately I saw my dad raising his own belt up to lash his wife, I covered my mouth in shock.
“Dad, don’t!” I screamed.
“You better tell him so that he doesn’t rot in jail. You better tell him” His wife said, fear lacing up her voice.
“Yekini!” My dad roared like a different man.
“Yes, boss” He replied, sweating profusely after dealing mercilessly with the boys.
“Take my princess to school now!” Dad said but I shook my head.
“Dad, no! Jesus wouldn’t want you to do that! Dad, don’t touch her. Remember the dream. Daddy, please” I pleaded with tears.
The more I pleaded, the more my dad lashed his wife heavily at her back. He looked so furious.
As Yekini pulled me out of the house with his huge hands despite my reluctance, I knew that things would never remain the same again.
I heard her wail each time a lash reached her back.
I was glad to see her in pain but I was so sad that marriage had turned my dad into an uncontrollable beast.
Sitting down in the car, I wept!
We were almost getting to the junction when Yekini pulled off from the road, bent his head on the steering and started to weep.
“If this is marriage, I don’t want it!” He wailed.
“My oga, My own oga! My boss, ah! An angelic man, ah! Marriage is not good o” He kept wailing. I couldn’t even console him. I couldn’t even utter a word.
I allowed my tears to freely flow.
“Oh my God! Oh my God! Why is her life so sad? Why is her life so sad? Oh my Ancient God!” Grace wailed, holding her protruded tummy and crying.
I stopped the recording, went to her side and hugged her.
“If you do not want it again, I can stop playing the Blossom story to you” I said and she looked up at me suddenly.
“Kuku kill me” She said and I smiled at her.
“Don’t say such words. We will continue from here tomorrow, then” I told her.
“Oh my, what will happen next?”
“Oh my, just continue playing this thing o. Please”
“What will happen to her father?”
“What will happen to her?”
“Is the boarding school really the best choice for her?”
As she kept asking those questions, she wept uncontrollably, her baby tumbling so playfully in her.
WATCH OUT FOR EPISODE 10.
I am so sorry for sending this in quite late. It was not intentional. This past week has been….But thanks for your love, concern and prayer. Happy new month, people of God. May it be a juicy July for us all in Jesus Name. Amen.
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