When someone knocked the door. My mother knew it was Mama Bolanle from her voice. My mother had hidden the information about her travelling from her but we were surprised about what she told us.
“Mama Rebecca, I had a revelation about your family. I saw a man who took something precious from your house and never returned it. I have prayed about it but you need to be careful.” She cautioned and prayed with us before she left.
There was no small contention between my mother and me when she left. I pleaded with her not to take that trip to Lagos but she shouted me down and warned me not to inform anyone. Early in the morning, she took a bus to Lagos leaving me alone in the whole house. I hadn’t stayed alone without my parents in the house before but this phase tested my independent ability.
I waited until afternoon for my mother’s call to know her whereabouts. When I decided to call her phone, I heard her phone ringing in the bedroom. Fear gripped my heart when I discovered the mistake she made. She once forgot her phone with one of the meat sellers at the Central Market. It took us two days before we could find it.
“How would she contact me?” was ringing aloud in my head as I sat on the bed.
I began to think of various possibilities of her getting in touch with me until my mind strayed to the Priestesses. The probability of being charmed by them hit me hard but I discarded it based on her strong belief in God. Also, the thought of Mama Bolanle’s revelation scared my feeble mind and I began to think about the recent confrontations and my imminent trip to Germany. I couldn’t connect the dots properly but all I knew was the fact that all would be well. I sighed deeply when I looked at her phone in my hand. Everything about her trip to Lagos was so quick and it was as if my mother had lost herself temporarily longing to see her husband or was there something else I needed to know.
I went to the sitting room and sat on the sofa to clear my mind. While I was deep in thought, her phone began to ring. It was a strange number but I picked it all the same.
I recognised my mother’s voice immediately. She told me she had reached Lagos before realising her mistake. She promised to buy another cheaper phone and sim card. I asked her again whether she knew the right address and correct information about my father.
“Rebecca, I will get back to you. Take care” was her short reply.
Home alone depicted my situation as I sat there looking around the house. The photo of my parents where they were holding each other like Romeo and Juliet hung lovely on the wall and I had few drops of tears on my face. It seemed their kind of love was made in heaven but I wondered what might have happened along the way. I had read in one of the novels,
“Marriage is like a beautiful garden that must be watered regularly with love, care, respect, understanding, forgiveness and positive influence”
Despite my mother’s constant complaints and murmuring about him, she couldn’t wait a bit when she heard a piece of information about him. I didn’t know the right scale I would use to measure their love. I just wished she could find him and let me leave in peace for my studies in Germany.
The noise I heard outside our house made me look through the window to assess the situation. The scary scenario of that weird rabid white dog hadn’t left me as I dreaded going outside without any cogent reason. I saw Mrs Lewis begging some men from dragging her son to death. I knew Johnson, her son might have committed an offence again. Nothing good could be said about him. When I remembered how their stay in the US influenced him negatively, I shuddered at the idea of my travelling to Germany.
I tried to gauge my home training with the likely societal influence outside the shores of my country, I gave myself a pass mark. But when I remembered Mama Bolanle’s constant warning of neglecting God in this troublesome times, I trembled. The day she described the horror of hell fire changed my perspective about God. She said this God of love is also a consuming fire. I couldn’t wrap my head around it.
The night passed without hearing anything from my mother. Aunt Sharon called me in the afternoon to ask after my mother when she couldn’t get her. Against my mother’s wish, I opened up to her. She was furious and called her a fool.
“A fool?” The insult rang aloud in my ears.
I was shocked to hear that from my mother’s younger sister. She repeated it and I regretted ever telling her the truth about my mother. She ended the call abruptly. I couldn’t stand anyone insulting my mother. If she wasn’t my aunt, I would have given her a piece of my mind. While I was lost in my thought, she called again.
“I have called her and she is on her way back. Take care.”
I couldn’t believe what she said. To be sure of what she told me, I called her and she confirmed it. When I wanted to press further, she silenced me. Whenever she behaved that way, I knew something strange might have happened. I lost a bit of my interest in Aunt Sharon for her unruly behaviour.
Later in the evening, Mr Babajide came to check on me because he was the only person who was aware of my mother’s absence. He brought some oranges and bananas for me and I appreciated him. He asked some questions about my future plans to which I responded with caution not to let out the Germany trip. He felt at home sitting on the chair beside the door and I sat on the opposite sofa.
“If you need anything, let me know.” He said when he rose up to leave.
“Thank you sir”
He turned to me and asked, “I hope your mother will arrive tomorrow or day after tomorrow?”
I nodded without saying anything.
“Rebecca, are you not feeling lonely here?” he said as he stood by the door.
“Sir, I’m not lonely here. In fact, I’m enjoying the serenity here”
He smiled at me and said, “That’s great. Would you mind if I ask you something?”
Before I could reply him, …
To be continued in Episode 17.