Going on picnic was a regular routine for we the Tokunbos. We always fix it on Sunday when everyone is at home, tho not all Sundays but out of the fifty two Sundays in a year, we’re sure to use twenty six Sundays for picnic.
Dad seemed to have been very busy ever since our new family moved in, I could barely see his face. He’s not even taking us to school again, brother Adamu has been doing that.
I even thought the picnic which was supposed to happen on Sunday wasn’t going to hold again because dad didn’t inform anyone about where we’ll be going to and I thought maybe he wanted us to get used to the new family first.
In the beginning of every year, everyone would sit down and we’ll all pick the Sundays which was going to be for picnic and when mom died, dad didn’t because of that stop the picnic.
I was kinda happy that the Sunday picnic was on the verge of getting canceled because I was sure everyone including Ben will be going.
After our encounter on the first night he and his mom arrived, we’ve not seen each other, it was like he was avoiding me and I was trying to get my shit together, by lying to myself that I was moving on, something I don’t think is possible.
Dad’s feeble knock on my door woke me up that Sunday. He came in to ask me to prepare for the picnic which he said was going to take place in sultan beach in Badagry.
In as much as I would have loved to go to Badagry, I turned it down. We’ve only been to Badagry once, we went to Gberefu island at the point of no return. The sea which according to dad was used to convey our forefathers to Europe where they served as slave.
” why don’t you want to go my first lady ” dad asked looking surprised because he knew how much I preferred going to picnic than to church. If y’all make your calculation earlier, you’ll all know that we split all the Sundays in a year into two. When we’re not on picnic, we’re in church praising God. I prefer going on picnic to church and everyone knows that.
” you already relieved me of that position dad ” I replied him humorously.
” I know you’ll say that ” dad said smiling. ” okay, he’s the president while you’re his first lady ” dad said and I find myself blushing at the statement.
” don’t say that dad, I’m already moving on from this guy and you’re trying to ignite the spark again ” I said to my dad but in my thought. He’s got to be able to read mind if he wanna hear it. ” first lady or no first lady, let’s all just stay home today and let’s all of us get used to ourselves first before we start going to any picnic ” I said to him.
” like you’ve been doing since the last three days ” dad said smiling staring at me like I was guilty of some crimes which I didn’t know. ” Susan told me that no one’s getting closer to other because you both always stay in your respective room and I think this is the best way to kickstart a relationship between all of you ” dad said to me.
” okay dad, I’ll start preparing now ” I replied him when I know it’s already a lost battle. Unless feigning been sick, there’s no other means of escaping dad and if he had told me about the picnic on Saturday, I would have woken up with a severe fever that morning .
” alright my first lady ” he said smiling as he pecked me on my cheek.
I got up and started preparing for the picnic, after I was through, I checked the time and it was eight o’clock on the dot. We always leave home when going for picnic at eight thirty which means I had thirty more minutes to myself before we leave.
I took my phone and logged in my Instagram account which was the best way to whirl away time .
When it was twenty five minutes past eight I exited my room to join the family in the living room. Chris habitual was already there with dad and Mrs Salako but Ben wasn’t there.
” maybe he’s against it ” I said to myself happily as I joined them.
I couldn’t express my displeasure when it was thirty minutes past eight as we all stood up to leave and Mrs Salako said she’s going to get Ben.
I went out with dad and Chris while she went to get my doom.
Few minutes later when we were still waiting for Adamu to bring out the vehicle for picnic, which I know they’re loading it with our stuffs because there’s a door leading to the kitchen from the garage , she came out with Ben and to be honest, he was super handsome. I couldn’t help but stared at him till they got to where we were standing.
I wished he would grabbed me that moment, stare into my eye smiling and tell me that he remembered me and what he said to me four years ago.
He greeted dad and Chris, he noticed me staring at him and I swiftly averted my gaze elsewhere.
” I don’t like him, I’m only been sentimental, I hate him, this is mere infatuation, he’s not even that fine, he’s too tall for my type, he’s not fair enough to qualify for the type of guy I like, he’s this, he’s that ” I occupied my mind with different reasons to hate him and shed off the one sided love sticking to my heart like a reptile skin. I didn’t know or hear anything happening again around my surrounding but I saw everyone laughing and couldn’t fathom why.
Finally, Adamu brought the car and we all entered it, Ben and Chris sat on the second seat before the last while I sat in front of them.
My mind was still preoccupied with different thoughts when dad suddenly asked if we’re happy.
I didn’t realize how my thought managed to find my lip without my permission and my lip rebelled against my brain as it opened by itself and “no” escaped out of it.
It was as if a terrorist had gone to church with congregations in it to declare who he was.
All eye was on me and it took me some seconds to process what really happened .
” why are you not happy miss Happy ” dad asked using my name as pun.
” I’ve got a confession to make ” I said as I was lost of reply and worsen the situation more.
” what’s the confession ” dad asked me like a priest demanding the confession of a member.
” I hate him ” I said negating the real reply on my mind and everywhere suddenly became silent as I pointed at Ben .
” well the feeling is mutual ” Ben said putting an end to the silent as he completely shattered my heart and fed it to the dogs.
It was an unexpected reply. I turned my head slowly to his in terror and he had this look which shattered my liver after there was no heart to shatter again.
” looks like we’ve got two standup comedian with us ” dad said to quench the fire of the situation and Mrs Salako bursted into laughter, Chris was also smiling but Ben has this kinda stern expression that will make you wonder what’s really going through his mind.
The rest of the journey was terrific for me. It was still fun denying it myself but seeing how he denied me without blinking an eye about it threw me into the abyss of darkness.
I brought out my phone, fixed my earphone to it and started playing music on it but I couldn’t understand or hear anything.
He was conversing with Chris and he even got a new phone with him. They seemed to be transferring files from Chris phone to his.
Even tho the journey was just two hours plus drive but to me it seemed like an eternity.
Dad was preoccupied with his wife and Chris with his new brother. I was left all alone. It was like the earth was against me and I was left alone to fend for myself in a no man’s land.
Finally we got to our destination, dad was issued a ticket before we’re allowed entrance.
Dad drove to the spot where vehicles are been parked.
We all got down and I must commend, the sun was scorching hot. I felt my skin burning and I imagined how we were gonna cope under the sun for the next hours which we’re going to use there.
Dad asked all of us to take off our shoes which we did. He opened the trunk and brought out five pairs of boots. We all picked according to our size and wore it.
Dad asked us to go and get a spot first where we were gonna set off all what we brought.
The sand was sharp and plenty, the sight of the sea was awesome and seeing people playing in it cooled my heart. We walked for a long time before dad got the perfect spot.
He asked me and Mrs Salako to stay there while him the boys unload the stuffs inside the trunk.
My heart began racing fast when they left the two of us, she was looking at me like she got a lot on her mind to ask me. I swiftly buried my gaze on the sea and the people playing inside it. I smiled on seeing some ladies running away from the roaring sea trying to get them.
” why do you hate Ben ” Mrs Salako finally dropped the bomb.
” ma ” I replied feigning not to hear the question.
” I thought you’re happy about the coming together of me and your dad and I can vividly remember how you used to like Ben when the two of you were still small, always following him around, clinging onto him like you two are twin ” she said staring deep into my eye. My leg quake and I felt strength slipping away from it. My body was becoming heavy for it to carry and noise coming from different angles slowly faded away.
Her question sounded like a torture to me and I prayed someone save me from her soon before I utter what I was gonna regret later on.
” My Happiness ” she said as she suddenly grabbed my hands tenderly.” I love your dad so much but don’t think I’m here to take over your mom’s place in his heart ” she added staring at me in a loving manner.
” we’re together to fill the void which our late partners put in our heart and also to supply the three of you cares which you’re missing, I love you and Chris just as much as I love Ben and it will be great if the three of you can work things together ” she added still staring at me.
” I love him ” I suddenly said surprising myself.
” you love who ” I heard dad’s voice asked me from behind. I turned and everyone was there all looking at me weirdly.
” did I just succeed in ruining three days relationship of my dad ” I asked myself as the guilt feeling weighed my heart down.