I woke up to Lami’s call the following morning, she was saying something about some of my classmates wanting to come pay me a visit. I quickly rebuked the idea and told her I would be in class the following day. She gave the phone to Elvis who went commando telling me how he helped me with my PHY109 (Practical course), Ok! I have to admit that I won’t afford such kindness, but I gave it up for him, maybe he was a friend after all.
Mum came in with Tea, bread and eggs – fried… Before she dropped it on the little table in the room, I had to ask her the same question that I had wanted to ask.
“What have you been up to old Lady?”
“What do you mean?”
“This… that? All of this?” I asked, pointing to the food, the ‘supposed’ direction of where the car was parked and to where she was – respectively. She sighed, sat on the bed quietly and said: “Yeah right. I hired Kome Tunde to get me up again psychologically.”
Prof. Kome Babatunde, a renowned psychologist who has written countless journals and of course books on Human Psychology. He was famous among the elites – yeah! Most of them are seriously mad. And he was Mum’s classmate in some University in the U.K that I seriously don’t remember.
Ahahaha… That man is divorced. You hear me? Your Mum has found another man mehn!… I hated the voice, although I liked its British ascent.
“You aren’t by any chance dating him are you?” this angered her but like I said, something was different. Kome Babatunde was a chronic womanizer but that was not why I asked, the woman I used to know would have slapped me for asking such question but I suuweear, she was calm. Strange right?
She came closer to where I laid and she tried something she had never done before, as in… never even tried. Like I became 18 few months past and for the first time since I can remember, she leaned in for a peck on my Forehead? I pray make I allow am oh! Maybe Prof. Kome had been showing her too much movies.
It turned out that Mum had been taking her sanity too serious as her trip to Benin was not only to make sure I recover from the my side effect of living, she came to Benin to apologize for all I went through when I was a kid. However, it seemed she didn’t know how to start because I was somewhat stone cold on the past.
There was no way I was going to talk to her if she continued with her sudden “I care” attitude. Yes, she cares… I know but she was crossing her boundaries. I caught her crying on the phone the day she went back to Lagos, I was not a fan of eavesdropping but I am afraid I had to do it. She was telling someone that she is trying her best but it seemed I had sealed off my past. Like it never happened – which was true, except that I spend each night dreaming of those nights, nights that I sweat my eyes out – nah! I don’t cry.
The next morning, she had asked we do morning devotion (seriously, I had to make sure I was not dreaming… all her prayers were directly asking me for forgiveness mehn!) and on her way out of the house to the airport, she asked for a hug.
Nor b hug? I gave it to her but she dropped something in the pocket of my joggers.
“Just to show you how sorry I am, please do this lonely woman a favor and accept please?”
It was the frigging key to the Mercedes Benz. Ok, maybe I was dumb never to think that the brand new car in the compound was yet to be received by ‘Mum’s friend’ even after a plate number was fixed on it the previous day but damnit, how did it escape me that the car could be a gift? Well, probably because I was warned never to drive and even if the sun in Benin City was somewhat like hell, the last thing I needed was a car. Not just a car, a 9million naira German machine. A sexy machine 3.5L V-6 engine of 302 horsepower and damn a 4matic…. Ok, google C350 and see for yourself abeg. *O.J Osas, how you take know????*
You know when they say blood is thicker than water? Well I will say blood is not thick, blood compared to water is rock solid. I looked into my Mum’s eyes and I could see tears – or sweats. I developed cold feet; I hate to see her cry. I told myself the day my Dad left her that I would never let any man hurt her, and I hated myself for making her cry. I didn’t want anything from her, I felt like she was bribing me with a car but just maybe I would just make her happy for once by collecting the car, just maybe she had changed. A weird feeling overshadowed me, there was no way I was going to cry in front of my Mum. I had spent years trying to proof to her that I was stronger than she imagined. So I did what I do best, act like I was the strong one.
“Mum, don’t… don’t cry on me now…” I stuttered. I couldn’t hold the tears any longer.
“Let it flow Bala… Its Okay to cry, Mummy is here,” Mum said, her right hand stroking my left cheek.