THE GLOOMY CORRIDORS (Episode 24) – Olumide Fatunsin

Anne watched her mother as she turned her face to the other side. Charlie then asked her to look at them but she was in tears. Anne came to sit beside her and hugged her. She began to tell Anne how she has missed them and her struggles to raise Charlie alone. Then, Anne held her hand and shared her journey with her father.

“On that fateful day, my father and I took a flight to Paris. I didn’t know much until he handed me to a family after staying in a hotel for three days. I had thought we were there for a holiday but the way he was making frantic phone calls to his friends made me realise that something was wrong. I stayed with that family for two weeks before we travelled to London. He travelled a lot leaving me at home with my studies which made me despair of life. Mum, I couldn’t trust anyone and tears and fears were my daily food and drinks. Sometimes, he would take me along to cities meeting business partners and enjoying life…”

“Did you ask why he left his wife and son?” She interjected.

“I remembered how he slapped me when I repeatedly asked him and I finally stopped the day he told me … He said… You are…”

“That I’m dead? Right?” Lisa answered sorrowfully.

Anne nodded in agreement.

“My daughter, I was truly dead and buried.”

“How? Mum, you were dead? I don’t understand?” Anne asked surprisingly.

“Sister Anne, let me explain to you. Mum died and was rushed to the hospital. The doctor told her not to worry. Mum cried a lot. When I’m enjoying chocolate, she would be crying. When I’m watching cartoons, she would be sad. Why?” Charlie said in a dramatic way.

Anne smiled, “May be she fainted. She didn’t die. Ok?”

Lisa chuckled and continued, “I died emotionally. I mean, I fell into depression thinking where I had gone wrong in my relationship with your father. The most painful part was the manner he took you away without my consent.”

“Mum, you mean you weren’t aware? Now I understand. He told me you are a … He said…you are…”

“A witch? A deadly witch? That’s my second name.” Lisa said sarcastically.

“Yes, that’s my mum’s second name. She always says, ‘I wish…I wish …’ Wish is her common word…” He said and continued watching his cartoon on the television.

Anne couldn’t control her laughter and told her mother how happy she was to meet her pleasant brother.

“Back to the story, he usually called me a witch whenever anything went wrong then. He wasn’t like that before until he came back from a business trip.”

“Mum, he was always in one meeting to another. It seems he loves his secular job more than his family. Mum, I was deprived of my teenage years with you. How I longed to feel your motherly care but Josephine couldn’t replace it. Never!”

“Which Josephine?”

“I don’t know her surname but she was so close to dad. She is always cheerful and talks about their childhood experiences.”

Lisa thought for a moment before she responded,

“She is a bit taller than your father and talks fast. Am I right?”

“Yes Mum! Do you know her? Since the day she came into dad’s life, he has always done her biddings. Mum, I hate her.”

“Josephine was my Chief bridesmaid!”

“What! You know her? My God! And she pretended she never knew me? Her presence with my father always irritates me. Why the betrayal?” Anne lamented.

Lisa bit her lip in anger when she remembered her wedding day.

“Josephine stood with me through our courtship period until the wedding day. She always praised my husband, I mean your father to the skies until the wedding day. We were preparing to go to the church when she told me how she wished to be the one going to the altar with my husband, I mean your father. I didn’t take it to heart until when we were finally going to the hotel after the wedding. She told me how she wished to be the one my husband, I mean your father would sleep with that night. The most daring moment was when she followed us inside the hotel room and hugged and kissed my husband, I mean your father. I was so naïve and thought it was a normal thing for a woman who had stayed abroad for some years. I never knew she would still go after him after some years. What a world!”

“Oh my God! I don’t know why I hated her. Her presence always irritates me. If I had known all these, I would have shot her dead.”

“Shoot her? No! Are you a policewoman?”

“Dad has a pistol. Josephine has some guys working for her and…”

“What? Your father has a pistol? My God! What’s his job?”

“Dad deals with people of questionable characters. His hands are not clean. He has a lot of secrets under his belt. In summary, my father is unpredictable!”

Lisa’s eyes welled up with tears because of all these revelations. By the time Anne looked at where Charlie sat, he was already asleep with the remote control in his right hand.

Lisa continued with passion written on her face,

“Peter was a Christian who loved going to church.”

“Who is Peter?” Anne asked.

Then her phone rang. When Lisa picked it, she screamed when she …

To be continued in Episode 25.


Olumide Fatunsin

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