Allen’s Avenue Episode 20


I walked gingerly down the stairs, admiring everything about the house. It was so big and magnificent. The photo of a beautiful dark skinned woman and a man in a garden caught my eyes. They looked so happy, so alive, so…
” She had a lovely voice too”
I whirled around in fright and Emeka caught my hand before i could collapsed on the floor in sheer fright.
” Easy, didn’t mean to frightened you.”
” Its okay. Your parents?”
” Yea.”
” Do you still miss them?”
” Sometimes. They had the virus, actual my dad had it and they only discovered when they went for their medical test as required by the church for their wedding”
My eyes drifted close.
” Despite dad testing positive to HIV, Mom insisted on marrying him, her family cut her off and they ran away together. They lived in happiness for five years until a condom accident one night, it either slipped off or broke”
” And they had you.”
” Yea”
” So how come you also have it? didn’t she have you through a C_section?”
” In those days the stigma was much worse, she was rejected at many hospitals when the news got around and she had me on the way to the hospital”
” Am so sorry”
He shrugged. ” Dad sold off his business and properties and put the money in a trust fund for me because he knew his family would try to take them away from me. None of them wanted me anyway, one day dad met doctor Debola and recognized the kindness in him. He made the doctor my legal guidian and for a while i was glad to have a home until his wives found out i had it and they became mean. ”
” What did doctor do?”
” He sent me to a boarding school and always came for every open days and parents meeting. When i turned 18, i made Ada my surrogate, her only child and son was my best friend but he died before we graduated.”
” So much death”
” Yea”
He walked away. Before i could see his tears.
It took Kofi another three days to find an old Togolese woman traveling to Nigeria in the park. He had called her aside that his daughter in Nigeria had a terrible illness and he wants to send the vials across to her. At first she was stricken when she heard i will take them from her once we get to Benin republic. She insisted on inspecting the vials to see if it wasn’t cocaine.
After much plea she accepted to carry the little vials. She went to the rest room and put them inside her tight pocket ( the tight with a pocket in front of it mostly worn by old women or traders to hide their money and other valuables). I almost kissed her with Joy, she declined the money we offered her and we started the journey.
There were three of us at the back and a couple in front. Ifeoma was all i thought of during the journey. I hoped she was alright, the old woman nudged me and gave me a weird looking food wrapped in leaves, i accepted it and thanked her.
” This one very good. Chop, chop, ablo”
” Thank you.” I pinched little of the white cake like food and put it into my mouth. It was soar. But I forced it down with a smile.
Just like Kofi said, i was thoroughly checked at the border, my bags were scrutinized by the officials with utmost care. I almost shouted in frustration. Being a Nigerian doesn’t make me a fraudster! We are all not bad, there are so many good people in Nigeria but why are we treated like low lives and scums at embassies and check points? the old woman was allowed to pass without a blink.
” Thank you so much, God bless you.” i said when we got to Benin republic motor park.
” No wahala. Me i stay for Benin today, tomorrow i come Nigeria”. She said after giving me the bottles. ” Tell the little girl say God heal her”
” Amen. Thank you”
The journey after that was smooth and by 4 pm i was already in Lagos, Nigeria. I almost screamed with joy, i hurried home and showered. I went by the restaurant to check how sales was going and i was impressed when i checked our sales book.
” Good evening ma” i knocked on the door and entered. Ify’ s mother was reading a devotional.
” Welcome, how are you?”
” Thank you, am fine ma.” I sat down on the settee because i knew she wouldn’t invite me to sit down if i didn’t . ” Is Ify sleeping? ”
” Am glad you came now, Mr Ambrose is out of Town and i needed somebody to talk to…….i am confused.”
” About what ma?”
” Although i have read it up on the internet i still want to know more about the HIV virus”
” Okay. What do you want to know about it?”
” Is it contractable by touch? Although i read it’s a sexually transmittable disease but one never can be too sure” she said with disgust.
I sighed. ” It is not only a sexually transmitable disease, you can also contract it at the salon, by touch, by breathing the same air!” I stood up in anger and marched towards Ify ‘ s room while she gaped at me.
” She’s not inside”
” Where is she?”
She looked perplexed. ” I don’t know……….”
” You honestly don’t know? how could you sit down comfortably when you don’t know where your own child is! What sort of a mother are you?!. I swear you will definitely regret this someday but it will be too late for you!”
I went out of the house in anger, lord please let her be alright. Where could she be? i pondered over this until i heard a loud bang and realized i had rammed my car into the one in front of me. My God! the driver came down, strutting towards me in anger, i opened my door with shaky hands and came out of the car.
Our eyes met and time froze. He had aged well, he was still as handsome as he was years ago although he was a little thick around his midsection now. This was the man i had foolishly given my heart to.
” Ebere ” he paled like he had seen a ghost.
” Dayo”
” S*hit!” He exclaimed in a hoarse voice.
To be continued..