Bitter Sweetness Episode 1


I had little choice. I just had to accept my fate. I was going to spend my first few weeks in Enugu with Mr. Darlington Agbo; dad’s childhood friend. It was now my own time within the school curriculum for the compulsory Industrial Training popularly known to students as IT.

After extensive search for a proper firm that will offer me both the needed experience and financial assistance, myself and dad settled for one pretty decent firm in Enugu. They offer technical services to telecom companies and that defined my field every bit, but what didn’t do quite that, was the location; Enugu.

We had nobody there and would mean I would have to settle in faster than usual; which can be utterly difficult.

The search was on, for any kind of friend who knew a friend that knew a friend that stays in Enugu but the result was always the same; none. We almost then settled on finding an apartment first hand when suddenly dad bumped into Darlington at the recently concluded trade fair after what seemed close to ten years. They had lost any form of contact.

Darlington, who we used to know as Uncle D as kids, had moved to the east after getting married and that literally severed ties with my dad. Dad quickly got into conversation with him which led to his asking about myself.

“He is a grown man now” dad must have said, “looking to move to Enugu for his IT”. This stirred Uncle D’s interest the more and before the conversation was over, he fully knew I was still in need of an apartment and being currently based in Enugu, offered to assist us in accommodating me while the search lasted.

The arrangements were soon fixed and I was set to make the trip. His apartment was not the nearest of places to the firm in question but who cares at this point? At least I could afford to enjoy the use of some decent apartment or so I thought, until I could find myself one that will serve me for the remainder of the six months I was scheduled to spend.

It was in September that I eventually took off for Enugu. Of course, as the start of the story suggests, I was not very keen about this. Reason being that I had always disliked seeming to be some kind of source of discomfort to a family even though the family had been the ones who sent the invite in this case.

There was also the case with my girlfriend too. We had broken up but I was still currently hoping on getting back into the relationship. She had caused me to wish I never dated her but somewhere in my heart, I still missed her and really wanted her back but I was never going to make the first move. She had hurt me and must show some kind of remorse towards her act.

This was looking ever more difficult now, considering that I would not even have the privilege of using my presence to stir this into happening. However, all of these were eventually dropped back home as I journeyed to the east.

It was a Sunday and I arrived towards evening. My journey had appeared less stressful than I had envisaged. They were all at home or so I thought, judging by how full the house was; and they easily received me. Their apartment was cozy and nicely furnished. It was going to be hard to miss home in such a comfortable environment.

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A movie was playing and just after the early expected enquiries about my trip, my people and whether I had been to the state before, of which I gave a firm no, I quickly settled to see the movie with them while eating the plate of Sunday rice they had served me. It was also a good time to take a more withdrawn but closer look at the family.

Uncle D of whom I had always felt was a talkative was as expected, on top of his voice, analyzing every single scene that played before them. Despite being in his mid-thirties, he still had this trait. I would always think it is the only rather ill habit he had as he was generally a decent man. Tall and well built with a look most girls will still die for. The others seemed to find him comfortable despite his many analysis, and his excessive talking only made the time fun.

Sitting next to him was girl of about twenty. She was beautiful and I easily passed her for his daughter but was not sure how that was possible, given that she was fair in complexion while D was dark. She also spotted a nose that was unlikely to come from D or his wife. I did not know much about his family before now so could not tell how right I was.

Another girl who also looked like the first sat close to her. Beautiful too and I easily noticed how she stole quick glances at me. I was not flattered, I had experienced that all my life being the natural looker I was. This continued as long as I knew but I felt it was too early to begin making any advances towards any ladies now, given my mission in Enugu.

Uncle D’s wife was the only one sitting directly opposite me. Looking obviously beautiful and younger than D, you could tell she just got into her thirties. She had what seemed a firm body and her curves were perfectly at the right places. Even though she was yet to stand since I walked in, I could tell from her sitting position that she was just few inches shy of six feet.

However, she had been quiet all along apart from the period when I arrived during which she asked me of my trip and ordered one of the girls to get me something to eat. Since then she had bore a rather indifferent look.

She sat quite conservatively with both legs kept together. Even though she had her eyes fixed on the TV, I still did not think she was overly interested in what was playing before her.

“Does she really like my coming here?” I remembered asking myself coming off what I interpreted to be a worried look on her face. I was not going to give any d–n thought to that, after all, they placed the invite. In a month or less, I should be out of there anyway.

There was also a guy in their midst who I easily felt to be either the houseboy or the driver judging from how he sat and where.

The day gradually rolled by and soon enough, I was already making my bed for the night. I had been shown one of the bedrooms and was told it was for one of D’s daughters who was in school. The girls I saw earlier where actually their nieces who visited. They had two daughters and both were all in school.

“Mind how you use the bed” Mrs. D who I later learnt was Onyinye by name, said to me as I stepped into the bedroom “the supporting wood is failing”. This might be the truth, but the manner with which she said it, made me sense that feeling of dislike once again. She did not want me in their home. It was obviously bare this time. My only question was, how much of this would I bear until I found my own apartment?