For the one month I spent in the hospital, mum was always there for me to lean on. I would not know if she took time out to do some other things, but the much I knew, she was ever there telling me I would walk out of the hospital with my two legs.
Dad too was ever sending cards or speaking to me on phone. In one of his cards, he wrote some line which nothing, not even time can obliterate in my memory.
I eventually walked out of the hospital with my two legs. I had missed a lot in school, but being a brilliant chap I was able to cope. My friends helped out in copying the notes I’d missed. But another headache was to hit me when I was almost setting down in school.
“Dennis,” mum called, “please my dear I want you to go to the Island to get me these things” she handed me a list of provisions.
“The driver is not around,” she continued, “so you’ll have to take a taxi…”
“No problem,” I assured.
She gave me the money and I left the house. Unfortunately, (or is it fortunately) I could not get a taxi at the amount she had given me. It was one of the periods when black Gold was not much in circulation, despite our country being among the global producer of petroleum products.
I returned home to see Mr. Nwanne’s car in our compound. When I walked into the living room, neither mum nor Mr. Nwanne was there. I wondered where they could be. I sat in the living room for some time before I moved near mum’s room upstairs.
“You are such an irresistible person. I always have fun having you around…I wonder what life would be without you around.” I heard a voice I recognised to be my mother’s. I kept my ears very close to the door as to hear clearly. Meanwhile, I prayed it would not be what my mind was telling me. Was my prayer answered?
“I remember something,” said a voice I recognised to be Mr. Nwanne’s.
“What is that?” My mother asked.
“I’ve a card for you here…”
“Let me have it now. It is for your birthday.”
“For your birthday and also to tell you how important you are to me.”
There was a silence, suggesting they were k-!ss!ng or doing things of that sort. My God, my own mother! My head was rising painfully.
“You’ll follow me to that party,” said Mr. Nwanne
“Which party?” Mother asked and immediately added, “Okay, now I remembered. We will go. No stopping it.”
I could not stand it any longer. I went straight into my room and tried to monitor when he was going to leave the house. About forty minutes later, mum saw him off. Not to the car but to a place I did not know. All I saw was that she entered his car and returned later in a taxi.
“When did you come back?” she asked on seeing me in the living room.”
“Just now,” I lied.
“Where are the things I sent you?”
“I could not get them…”
“The money you gave me was not enough for transportation…I tried to convince the drivers but when I saw they were not going to take less amount I decided to come back home, only to meet the door locked. Thanks to my spare keys. You didn’t tell me you were going anywhere.”
“I just saw a friend off,” she said evasively.
Meanwhile, I’d sneaked into her room. I saw the card. The content was clear enough. I also saw a pack of durex with two already used. Mum noticed I was disturbed, but I lied to her.
Dad’s case with the police is now as good as settled. The real culprit was recently nabbed. So he’ll be returning to Nigeria any moment from now. Mum sounds very happy at this development. But what is the guarantee that she’ll stop seeing Mr. Nwanne when dad eventually returns?