……….After taking the call, Adaeze’s mom called herself and her siblings and broke the news to them; their father was dead.
Then the drama began, we all know in Igbo land an African man cannot die a natural death; someone has to be responsible for it.
His family came with the drama; they alleged his wife and children abandoned him and contributed to his death.
It didn’t matter that he had abandoned them as children and didn’t contribute a dime to their upkeep or education. He was their father and that meant they owed him the duty of care.
It didn’t matter that they were mourning the death of a father they never had, all of that didn’t matter; in Africa it rarely does.
It was in times like this Adaeze asked herself if all the pre-wedding fact finding actually makes sense. Because if with all the fact finding people still end up married into horrible families; what’s the point?
Then came the sympathy and the sympathisers, it felt awkward, almost hypocritical.
The period was a difficult one for all involved, the antics of the father’s people didn’t make it any easier. Mrs. Chukwuemeka had to relieve the pain of the separation all over again; accusations flew all over mainly centered on abandonment. Mr. Chukwuemeka’s people were having a field day.
Then came the story peddlers with their false story telling; they said Mrs. Chukwuemeka abandoned her husband because he lost his job and could no longer cater for his family.
In a world where history is written by the loudest voice there also is the belief in silence being golden. Why do we hush our children when they attempt to express themselves, why do we perpetuate the culture of repression with only a few speaking up, and them carrying the day eventually? It’s in every aspect of our culture, we glorify the silence of the multitude and praise or envy the outspoken few. Lol. Some of the most loved and hated celebrities come to mind.
You know that feeling of being surrounded by people yet alone? Adaeze felt it deeply at this time.
Chike; her boyfriend (or so she thought) was the first person she called to share the news with. He didn’t answer his call at the time; no surprise there, Chike had an annoying phone habit; he was always on the phone but never with his phone when you needed to reach him. So she sent him a whatsapp message. He called hours later. Asked all the questions, said all the needed things and killed it with; “Let me see if I can come?”
That saddened Adaeze. It was a Saturday, what was he doing asides hanging with friends? Could he not see she needed him?
He sent a message later; he couldn’t make it!
Absence makes the heart fonder is a big lie! A more accurate maxim is; nature hates vacuum, or out of sight is out of mind! The next day she was on her way from church when he sent a message asking what time she would be home. She replied with an ‘I don’t know’ for at that point she was upset already. What was he coming to do; to comfort her? If her comfort was dependent on him she would probably be in perpetual mourning.
He called. She ignored the first call, he called back. She repeated the same thing her message said.
‘I’m trying to find time to come and you are being difficult. Just tell me when you will be home?’ He had said clearly exasperated.
Not wanting to get into an argument with him at the time, she ended the call.
He sent a message; ‘Don’t ever end the call on me again.’
Lol! She was done, and this time for good. How Chike could make this difficult time she was in about himself was beyond her. He was always doing that. She had known him for two years and in those two years he had never been there for her. Theirs was the classic situationship where he took all she could give but gave little or nothing.
Birthdays, other joyful moments; he always made excuses. Traffic, something came up, illness, all this were excuses he used to avoid being there for her. Whereas the reverse was the case with her. She was there for him when he sneezed, every event, occasion during their two years; if she knew about it, she would be there. And it wasn’t just her praising herself, he had also attested to it.
She remembered how they met, it was through a joint venture their companies had. In reality, she has been the one to chat him up. Maybe that was where the issue lay. It’s no secret most guys can’t handle being propositioned. Maybe that was why he had never valued her or their relationship. Theirs was a relationship that had never been defined. They weren’t even friends with benefits for they was nothing to benefit from it. They were more or less sexual partners or in a ‘situationship’ for lack of a better word. Well, whatever the case; she was done. Really truly done. For two years she couldn’t think of a 3 month stretch when they were together, but there were stretches that long where they were apart.
What she couldn’t understand was why he didn’t want to let her go. He had said to her severally that she annoyed him but every time she tried to break it off, he refused. This wasn’t the first time she had tried to end the relationship but he always refused. Well. She was done, he just didn’t know it yet.
He came by 3 weeks later. He came with a mutual friend. She ignored him. Ain’t no time for rubbish. It was a Saturday and her family was home so that helped to mask her ignoring him. Adaeze didn’t care though! A week later he sent a message asking if her ignoring him when he came to her house was good. And I’m her mind she was like; ‘I hope this young man is ok’?
Like really he couldn’t see anything wrong with his actions? That must be done serious shit. She ignored the message. It was a whatsapp message so he will be able to tell it had been read but she wasn’t going to respond to it. 2 weeks later he sent another message that he was in the neighborhood and could he stop by?
‘Okay.’ She had responded.
If only he had left it at that. If only he hadn’t tried to push by asking if she will talk to him this time if he came to her house. For that was when she snapped!