Linda brushed past me into my living room, Miss Maggie and her father were closely behind her.
” Good evening sir” i called out in greeting to him but he ignored me.
” Young lady is my daughter here with you?”
” Why is Victoria here Tomi and why didn’t you tell me!” Linda huffed like an angry mother duck.
” No she isn’t here” i replied calmly.
” Please if she is here tell us……we are so worried about her.” Miss Maggie pleaded with tears in her eyes. ” Victoria! Victoria! Please come out if you are here”.
” I will pull her out wherever she is hiding!” Linda pushed me aside, marching towards my bedroom.
” Linda wait” Mr Joseph said. ” Come back”
” Why dad? someone saw her car parked here just yesterday! Does Victoria think that we have nothing better to do than chasing after her all over the continent! This is the fifth day she has left home without a single word or explanation! I don’t have time for this! ” she walked out angrily, banging my door with all her might.
” You are sure that she wasn’t here?” Mr Joseph asked again.
” She wasn’t here and i had no idea that she was missing.”
” Thank you” he said. ” Maggie let’s go” he held her by the arm and they went out.
I dropped on my sofa with a deep sigh. That was such a close call.
” Vicky! They are gone”.
She walked in. I had heard their car pull up just in time to warn Vicky and she had locked herself in my bathroom. She still hasn’t told me why she won’t see her family.
” I have to leave here. They might be back”
” Vicky i think you should talk it out with them. Whatever it is.”
” You won’t understand Tomi! I can’t face them just yet!”
” But you can’t hide forever ”
” You……you won’t understand please. I have to leave here fast. When will that guy bring back my car?”.
” He should have brought it back by now.” I searched frantically for my phone before i found it inside the sofa. ” I will put a call through to him. Where will you go Vicky?”
” I…….i will be fine.”
” You should stay here”
” Don’t worry about me i will be fine.”
A knock sounded on the door and we both froze on the spot.
” Tomi i am back”
We sighed in relieve. My neighbor had begged to take Vicky’ s car to pick up a friend from the airport. I wouldn’t have it but Vicky didn’t think it was a big deal and she had handed over the keys to the car to him but i could say no. I unlocked the door, collected the keys from him and shut it back.
” Vicky please stay here” i pleaded, handing the car keys to her.
” I know Linda. She will surely come back here……i can’t face any of them just yet.”
” Where will you go?” I asked.
But she was already talking softly on her phone, she was giving the person on the other end the direction to my place.
He was her ferociously hitting her,her eyes were almost shut. She pleaded for mercy but his ears were deaf to her plea and heart rendering sobs. I tried to pull him off her but he roughly shoved me aside. I tried to hold his hands, i could feel the tremor in them.
” father leave her alone! Let go of her!”
” You don’t know what she has done” A voice said.
I looked up to find my elder brother standing on the staircase, calmly watching his father beat the woman who had brought him into the world black and blue.
” Useless woman!” An old voice cracked, the owner of the voice marched into the room.
My mother lay writhing on the floor in pain. My heart went out to my poor mother whose only crime was making a Rich man’ s son fall in love with her. Ever since i could remember,my paternal grandmother has been a thorn in her flesh. But it has never gotten to this and i won’t have it. I pushed the monster pounding her into the ground off her.
” Sola how could you watch father do this to our mother! What has she done to deserve this from you father! ”
My father tried to hit her again and i took hold of his hands, he tried to yank away his hands but my grip on him was firm.
” Tosin stay out of it! ” Father threatened.
” You will have to run through me with a knife before you get to her!”
My grandmother let out a dramatic wail, she called me all sorts of names.
” Sola go bring out her belongings” father said.
Mom got on her knees and held onto his legs.
” Yes father” Sola said, leaving to do his father’ s bidding.
” Please have mercy on me……where will i go?”
Mother cried out, pleading with tears and catarrh mixed dropping on her tattered blouse.
” Did you think of that when you were cuckolding my son?! I warned my son not to marry an ibo girl but he didn’t hear! He said my mouth was smelling and i was talking too much!”
” What has she done father?” i shouted.
” Ask her! Ask this useless woman yourself!”
” I am innocent! I swear with my God in heaven that i am innocent! ” my mother sobbed out.
” She is not going anywhere! ” I said bravely.
” Yes she will!” Both mother and son said in unison.
” Mom what happened? ”
My mother bowed her head crying. Sola had already dragged down two of mother’ s boxes. How could he not feel for his own mother? i wasn’t surprised because he had been brainwashed as a child by our grandmother who always had something bad to say about the eastern people. As we grew older, Sola became just as vicious and malicious as the cunning old woman.
” Tell your favorite son what you did! Tell him! Obirin rada rada oshi!” this was from the old woman again.
” What happened father?”.
” My mother has been telling me about her immoral activities but i refused to believe because of the trust and love i have for her! But today! I caught her red handed in the hotel with another man! Ask her if i am lying against her!”
” it is not true! I was at home and an unknown number called me….the caller said my husband was in that hotel with a woman and she gave me the address. Of course no woman will hear that and not react! the last thing i remembered afterwards was talking to the receptionist at the hotel and ………and i don’t know what happened” mother explained. ” Until your father shook me awake and there was a stranger man beside me on the bed. ”
” It is a lie! Big lie! We caught you this time around! My God has exposed you! ” grandma screamed at her.
I knew right then that my mother had played into the hands of my wicked grandmother. Father and my brother were already throwing her belongings outside and the evil woman was beside herself without unconcealed joy.
” Father please hear her out. Things are not always what they seem, i think there’s more to this matter if only we can dig deep into it.”
” You may leave with her if you want.” My father said.
” If you leave this house with her Tosin, it means you are a ba.stard!” His mother seconded.
” Tosin, grandma and Father caught her red handed. How could they both be lying against her?” Sola asked, obviously on their side.
Grandma was pushing out my mother by this time and i tried to stop her. My mother freed herself from the woman’ s hold and walked out of the room. I tried to go after her but my father blocked my path.
” If you go with her i will disown you. From today she has ceased to be a member of this family and she is no longer your mother!”
My mother signalled me with her finger not to worry, she struggled with the boxes while the gate man opened the gate for her with pity.
” Your father will cut you off without a penny if you even contact her again” grandma threatened and she meant every single word.
To be continued..