Monday, May 18, 2015

When In Nigeria - Chapter 14


“Why does she keep calling me by that name?” Patricia asked Ade. He stood staring clueless at the woman who had collapse a few minutes ago. Although Patricia had hated ruining Ade’s reunion with his sister, she’d ran to get him the moment the woman who was now sitting in the longer couch in Yemi’s living room fainted.

Yemi came back into the room with a cup of water in her hand and her baby in the other.

“Aunty Bummi, drink this,” She said, handing the cup of water to the woman.
Mrs. Bummi collected the cup with hands that wouldn’t stop shaking. She gulped down the content before she spoke again.

“Olajumoke,” She said voice still hoarse. There she goes again. What does this woman want from me? Patricia thought and as if Ade could read minds, he asked, “Aunty Bummi, do you know this lady right here?” With his left hand on his waist, he pointed towards Patricia with the other.

“Ade, don’t you think we should give her time to catch her breath?” His sister insisted. “But she can’t just come in here and start making accusations about someone she’s never met before—”

“No.” Mrs. Bummi interrupted. “I know what I’m talking about.” She faced Patricia. “Olajumoke, I never thought I’ll see you again. When… when she took you, she promised…”

“Wait, wait a minute, slow down. Now you’re saying someone took me? How? Who?”

“Yes. Sade promised she will… oh, how could I have been so careless with you. I thought she would bring you back to me. After she married Phillip, I never… I never saw her again.”

The puzzled look on Patricia’s face as Mrs. Bummi spoke soon turned into anger. Just what was this woman talking about? How did she… how did she know—

“Who are all these people?” Ade requested, turning towards Patricia for answers but her face was as pale as the truth… she didn’t know.

“Patricia, do you know these names Mrs. Bummi just mentioned?”

“Well…” she shivered, unsure how to answer. What was the possibility? Many others are named such?

“Well what? Is she telling the truth?” Ade demanded.

“How would I know? Did I look like someone who doesn’t know whose child she belongs to? Wow!” Then the possibility hit it, sending cold jolts through her bones. Could my parent not be my parent? Patricia allowed herself absorb the possibility. If not, then, who was this woman who stared at her with hope in her eyes?

“Patricia,” Daniel called out calmly, nudging for an answer.

“I don’t know!” she snapped. “I just don’t know.” Yemi came to her side immediately.

“How could this be?” she asked no one in particular.

“My… my m-mother’s name is Sade.”

“And your father’s? Phillip?” Ade asked.

Patricia dropped her shoulders in defeat as she whispered an answer. Yes.

“God has brought you to me again, omo mi. I never thought I’d see this day.” Mrs. Bummi rose up and made her way towards Patricia.

“They took you away from me,”

“Who?”

“They promised you would come back.”

“Who?”

“I had nothing. My husband… your father, he was a coward, a drunk!”
Just then, Patrick stumbled into the room. Immediately after he saw his wife, his breath caught in his throat. He wanted to go to her but he was stopped by an overpowering brother.

“Don’t you even think about it,” Ade commanded as Mrs. Bummi continued on with her story.

“He came home one night drink as usual. I’d just given birth to a baby. My mother refused to come take care of me because she feared his temper. He swung the door opened and stumbled in, wrecking of cheap cigarette and palm wine.”

Her voice began to quiver. Yemi directed her to seat down but she refused, demanding she stands up and face the child she hadn’t seen in twenty-six years.

“I rushed to bring him some water but he was so reckless, he flung the cup at me, demanding for food instead. I ran inside and scraped up our last soup on a plate for him. As I watched him eat, I noticed there were blood stains on his clothes. He was used to fighting after he drinks.”

She continued, “I went into the kitchen and poured our last drops of water into a kettle to heat up so I could press his wounds. That was when I heard him shout my name. As I was about going to answer him, you began to cry. I had left you alone in the room for too long.”

Me?

“I wanted to back you,” she used her hands to describe the action. “With my wrapper but his voice made me jump in anxiety. I needed to answer him first so I picked you up from the bed and balanced you on my shoulders.”

“Upon getting to him, I asked if I should bring the boiling water. He nodded and continued with his food. The same food that I’d been scared to eat because I needed to feed him first.”

Every eye in the room rested on Mrs. Bummi, waiting for the rest of her story. Curiosity ate at Patricia. Should I believe anything she’s saying?

“A few minutes later, I made my way back to our living room with a bowl of hot water in one hand and you on the other.”

“How many times have I told you not to serve me the burnt bottom of old soup?” Mrs. Bummi said, imitating her husband. “That was what he asked; his cold voice halted my movement.”

“How many times have I warned you not to feed me like your slave? He snapped, rising up abruptly to his feet. His height towered me, making me seem like nothing.”

“Drop that baby and answer me right now! He demanded. I moved no further from where I was standing. I wasn’t moving so he decided to come to me.”

“Give me that baby! He struggled with me. I wouldn’t let you go. I knew he would hit me as soon as you were no longer in my arms. We wrestled endlessly and just then, I could no longer hold the bowl of hot water, the content came pouring down on us. Your sudden, sharp cry rang across the room.”

“The hot water had poured on both of us. It landed on your shoulders and it ate away your skin. I didn’t know what to do. Your father ran out the door the minute it all happened. I was in so much shock. I didn’t even realize my skin was also on fire. I dropped you on our couch and ran to go fetch some water but when I opened our drum of water, I was faced with an empty, hallowed space. I’d boiled our last water for him.”

“There you were, two months old, fussing and stretching in pain on the couch.  Your skin was turning red and all I could do was cry.” 

8 comments:

  1. Replies
    1. A new turn for the better... and for Pat, where is home exactly?

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  2. Replies
    1. awww... I hope you've read the next episode??

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  3. This just turned to nollywood... Not enjoying it anymore

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Hey Adebisi I think you're not getting the big picture here. Not everything is nollywood and nollywood isn't that bad.

      A girl who is running away from home, comes back to place she never knew existed and that place becomes home... there's no nollywood there. This concept is a reality.

      Anyway do read some more.

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Thank you guys for always reading,