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Thursday, September 27, 2018

It's A Love Story (5)

Once upon a time, when stories still began with ‘once upon a time’, my mother told me of a lady who set out looking for gold for a husband, and then she ended up missing the silver lining in the one guy who truly loved her.

Now I remember that story every time I lay my head down to sleep. I think about how it happened that someone would sacrifice happiness for next to nothing. 

My elder brother also told me, “Never leave a place you are having fun to a place you think you will have more fun”.

I wonder why I ended up going against everything my brother taught me. Sometimes I feel it’s my stubbornness and incorrigibility that killed him. 

And I also think sometimes that it was his death that killed my father and makes my mum hate me so much. Nedu was our father’s favourite till he died, and maybe even afterwards considering that they are perhaps together in heaven. 

Nedu died when I was fourteen years old. I was in S.S.2 then. I was home for the mid-term break. Doctor said he died of a bad heart. “Bad heart?!” My father was puzzled and he could not understand how a child so smart and gifted and good in every aspect would have a bad heart.

 “You see Mr. Alozie, the lining around your son’s heart was very thin and weak. Those things are not easy to detect, some people never know about it till they are dead. 

Some others get to know before then, but even so, there would still be hardly anything that can be done to fix the heart. The best we can do is buy more time for such people with diet and control”, that was what the doctor told my father.

My father found it hard bearing the loss of his first child, his only son. He died a year later in a car accident. He was drunk and was speeding down the third-mainland bridge on his way back from work. 

He lost control and could not stop the vehicle from running into the trailer ahead of him when he did realize it. He never made it to the hospital.

A lot of things changed after that. My father did not leave a will and so his people- brothers and the rest of the family, came and took away most of what my father left behind. 

They only let me finish from my secondary school where the school fees for a term was N150,000 because I was in my last year there. My sister had to go to another school that paid much less because they said they would not pay for her to finish from that school.

My mum is a strong lady but she always liked to have someone to blame for all her misfortunes. She blamed me because she felt I was not as smart and productive as my brother was. 

She simply blamed me for being a lady basically. Traditionally, the ladies don’t get any share of her father’s property, except that which is given to her by her brother(s). My brother was dead and so my father’s family took possession of almost everything.

The money we received from my father’s people reduced with time and my mum did not like the fact that we had to go to them to ask for money and things that belonged to us. 

She dreamt of a breakthrough and I just wanted to make her happy. I wanted her to see that I could be better than the son that she loved but lost.

When Seun came to my house that evening with her offer, a lot of calculations were done in record time in my head.

 I saw my opportunity to make my mum love me again like she used to when Nedu was around. I used to be her favourite then, or so I thought, until Nedu died and everything changed.

I accepted the offer hoping that there would be other men out there, even better than Tony. I was mistaken. I miss Tony and I want him back.

 To be continued

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