Dad said he wanted to leave Abuja in 2019. He was on contract and it had been renewed every two years for nine years. He said he came to work with my Lord the president (who just retired)
According to him
“Once My Lord retires in 2019, I’m going with him” he said
“But what about me?” I asked him
“What about you ke?”
“But you can’t leave me in Abuja and go back home”
He looked at me whimsically…like warrris dis one even saying?
“What do you want me to be doing here? I’ve stayed long enough. I’m going back to ibadan when president leaves”
I hung my head. It wasn’t pleasant news to me. It looked scary.
How can I live in Abuja on my own? Not that we lived together. No.
But for the safe assurance that you had your father with you. The sense of security that made you feel safe and not alone.
And again, my life was structured in a way that I could practically not live without him. I mean, he did everything for me. He even bought the bed I sleep on. He brought it to my house on a Saturday many years ago. I asked for mortar and pestle and he went to get it. That was the last thing he brought to my house before he kicked the bucket. He ate on that Saturday morning. I made bean pudding but he had bought cooked rice for me on his way💋❤️
I followed him to the kitchen to wash his hands and told him his shirt was very fine. He was pleased with himself 🤣
The thought of living without him was an aberration. It wasn’t possible. Probably I would have gotten a transfer to ibadan or something. I even heard that their staff bus in Ibadan goes as far as Oje market😀. But I would never follow any bus in Ibadan. I would have been driving his Camry jejely to the office and back and be basking under the euphoria of “omo oga”.
We were together in Lagos, going back and forth every weekend. We had that same conversation when he was transferred to Abuja. We were on our way to ibadan from Lagos. Just few kilometers from home, he had said to me
“They’ve directed that some of us should move to the headquarters in Abuja”. My eyes opened wide. That was when I just finished working at Compass and had gotten another job immediately. They were even calling me to pick up my letter. I had also, a postgraduate admission waiting for me at unilag. The future looked good.
I didn’t even think about the job. The only thing I said was
“Dad, you can’t leave me here. Please, let me follow you to Abuja.”
“But what will you be doing in Abuja? You don’t have a job there”
“Daddy I will get. Let’s just go together”. He didn’t take me serious. He had better plans for me anyways, bigger than moving to Abuja. Only that the plan failed. We eventually came to Abuja together. His driver picked us from jabi and they drove me to Mararaba where I stayed.
So, after he died and he appeared to me in the dream telling me to follow him😀😁😂, you go understand say na me cause am. No be me dey follow am everyhere? No be me dey beg am say make e no leave me?😋😋(only that when I woke up, it wasnt a dream. It looked like I was in a trance or that it actually happened. Only that my body was helpless while it was happening). It took the effort of many people in the dream to rescue me from him. He wanted to take me forcefully. I can never forget that dream. If to say i follow am again for dream, I for no wake up again😀.
But where I’m actually going is that I ran away from my house that time and began to sleep in my neighbor’s. The church had sent someone to stay with me the first night, the pastor’s wife actually. But she had to leave.
I was so small in those days. Then after the stress of his death and the emotional pain I went through, I shrank even further.
One morning, after I woke up as usual from my neighbors’. She said she wanted to talk to me. So we sat down in her sitting room
“Now that your father is dead, I think you should try and do something with your life. Try and gather your o’level certificate so that you can go to the university. Because now, if you graduate, you will be able to fend for yourself”
I wiped my face.
This was another “do you know who I am moment”😀😁😂lol lol
At that time, I wasn’t going out to work so to speak. But I was actually working from home. I made good money then….more than what I even make now. My routine was to wake up and write up to five articles per day. I had up to three clients…one in Lagos/London, another in Ireland and one in Enugu. I was a Ghostwriter and life was good. All three clients paid at the end of the month even though I charge them per article. I had just paid for my book to be published as well.
I was angry. I felt disrespected. So obviously she had been looking down on me. She saw me as a small girl who was jobless but fed and taken care of by an old man who they said was her sugar daddy. No wonder the first time I moved in, she went to stand at the gate with her mother and they were looking at me suspiciously. She later came at night in form of a welcome but I didn’t allow her to enter. The day she was able to enter, she looked round and round.
Then, each time dad visited, I knew she was always peeping from her window. She came after he left one day.
Dad’s style was to call me on phone at the gate
“I’m at your gate. Bring a sack to pack the things I brought for you”
That was how I would pack juice, pack rice, provisions, even his newspapers. He always got another paper on the way.
She saw me packing juice and provision and came to tell me how her supposed husband left her. She was pregnant then. I didn’t even say a word. And I didn’t offer her anything. The goodies were still scattered in my living room floor. She was looking at it as she spoke.
So, on this day in her living room, after the unsolicited nonsense she spat,
I replied her
“Madam, I’m a graduate already….with two degrees sef. But thanks for the advice.”
I left her house. She was shocked. She changed from calling me by name to greeting me in the usual respected yoruba way. I didn’t give a damn. I just marvelled at the size of her brain. She doesn’t know that ariwo ko ni music, empty barrel lo ma n pariwo.
Some months back, It leaked through compound news that she had told everyone that time that the man who died was my sugar daddy and not my father.
Because pray, how many people’s fathers come to visit them every time? And why would she always be packing things inside everytime he came. And he always came in an official car…a hilux for that matter. I didn’t know that all those things qualified my dad as my sugar daddy.
They later gave him a Camry too one time. And the man always dressed so well, even wearing a hat at times. Yeah, dad can dress to kill. He must have been a very rich sugar daddy.
Little did I know that all the times I was in her house, she was just pretending to console me. She was actually happy that my sugar daddy had died.
And when I came back from the burial, I brought meat for her. She ate the meat and came to thank me.
There was also a time that dad brought plenty cocoyams for me. They had sent it from his farm in the village. So I spread it in from of.my room outside. It was harmattan season. My neighbor saw it and came to beg for it. I told her to pack as much as she wanted. At least, we both benefited from the man. My supposed sugar daddy.
Now, she just put to bed again. For the 2nd man. Without a marriage.
So I really can’t get angry with such people. Their crazy life speaks. Their poor choices make you know who they are. Two kids for different men without a marriage. So, if my dad actually was my sugar daddy for real, what makes her better than me?😂😁😀
P.s I pray she reads this someday. So that she can know that I know.
P.s. I think you should fear people who don’t talk, who mind their business, who don’t relate with others, who won’t even retaliate when you hurt them even though they know.They are the wrongest set of people to offend. And why it is bad is because they won’t even talk about it. If they tell you, it will be better. Maybe I’d write about it someday. But if not, mind how you step on people’s toes. And if you do, pray that they tell you so that you can apologise.
But you see those ones who you hurt intentionally(especially by casting aspersions on their personality, slander etc) and they are still feigning ignorance, still relating with you, do not cross them because you will always pay for it. They may not hold you to ransom, they may not remember it. But it will come back to haunt you.
You can’t break them but you will end up being broken instead.