As You Make Your Bed Episode 9


Ifeoma’s voice was loud as she charged back at her mother, “mummy you must kill me today!” She cried as she held onto her mothers wrapper. It took the intervention of their neighbour, Mrs Nwokedi who saw the girl charging at her mother and rushed to separate her from the woman. That evening, when Mr Okonkwo came back from work, his wife narrated what had transpired earlier in the day to him.
“So, Ifeoma wanted to disgrace me, right? I assumed getting lesson teacher for her will help her academically. Now, I know better. As punishment, I shall make the rest of her holidays unbearable.” Mr Okonkwo snapped and sent for Ifeoma immediately.
“What nonsense have I heard about you? You were flirting with the lesson teacher I brought to help you academically?” Ifeoma was quit. She had eyes on the floor, counting the small patches that made up the rug.
“Answer me before I descend on you,” her father thundered.
“daddy, I didn’t do anything with him! He said he liked me, and that was all”
“Oh! I see! He said he liked you and that was all. Her father repeated after her. His mind drifted to where to he had kept his raffia palm cane. “Your mother had already pleaded on your behalf about your waywardness and arrogance, otherwise, I would have taught you the difference between gun and kite,” he threatened further.
” A young man I brought to help you, deviated and was telling you he liked you. What did you do to stop his advances? Did you warn him to stay away from you or what did you do? Of course you didn’t do anything,” the man’s voice grew louder, “You were enjoying his sweet talks and felt very comfortable with his hands on you.”
Ifeoma lowered her head and became speechless. He warned her seriously that he did not want to see her near Ikenna anymore and ordered her out of his presence. He confessed, “imitation” does not usually work. My wife wants to imitate our neighbours by getting a private teacher like them. But she had no time to monitor what was actually going on. Thank God for Chukwudi. Ikenna would have destroyed this little girl. He would have tainted her innocence to our detriment.” As far as he was concerned, Patrick had been fired. He would simply send for the young man, pay him off and warn him to steer clear of his children.
The next morning, just as her father had threatened, Ifeoma was asked to remain indoors all through the remaining days left in the holidays. She was not allowed to watch TV or play games with her siblings.
While at school, Ifeoma tried to read her books in preparation for her Senior Secondary Certificate Examinations, but sometimes she slept off while reading. The examination date drew closer, making everyone that would sit for the exams increase the time and intensity of their studies. Ifeoma had not made any serious effort but was almost nonchalant in her academics. Her friends had since avoided her company. They had very little or nothing to gain academically from her during the examination periods because she was not intelligent. She spent a great deal of her time, loitering and engaging in other activities instead of reading her books. She had resolved to rely on luck during exams. Each time she picked up a book to read, she would simply flip through the pages, taking no time to read in details. She would comfort herself that there was still time and that she would read all her books later. What she did not know was that procrastination is a dangerous habit.