Sunstreaks of Sunlight at Dawn 7

Sunstreaks of Sunlight at Dawn 7

Athena sat in the British Airways VIP lounge while waiting her flight. It was a busy day at Muritala Muhamed Airport, but she could have been there alone. She heard nothing, only the timed sequenced of her breathing. In and out, in and out. She had to keep breathing, it showed she could keep living. There was too much to live for, no reason to feel so despondent and bereft. In and out… in and out…

Announcing the boarding of flight BA7437 going to Heathrow Airport, flight BA7437 to Heathrow, now boarding at gate D21…”

She heard that, looked up and smiled at the hostess that asked if she needed help. Athena picked her briefcase as she shook her head. She walked away from everything with each step she took, and she determined not to look back. This time, there was no going back.

………………………………………………………………..

Akindele had never driven so recklessly. He was sure he’s have been booked at least 5 times if her was in the States. His expression was grim, hard and tense. He had to get to that airport before she boarded. He looked at his time and prayed that she dis the usual wait-till-everyone-boards routine. He prayed hard. Thee was a bit of traffic on the upwards slope leading to the departure section.

“Mr. Ahmed,” he said to his companion, “park in the car park on the left and wait for me…” as he jumped out of his mom’s car. He ran up the slope as fast as his will power could carry him and knowing Nigerian airport security, he brandished his blue passport as he brushed past them.

“Wait for me, Athena… wait for me…” he said repeatedly as in a prayer.”Where is she, where is she… Lufthansa!”

Feeling a bit more confident, he walked briskly towards the Lufthansa counter scanning the monitors for flight details. He found no flight to the US, not a single one!

“Excuse me, any flights to America tonight?”

“None sir, not tonight. You can check at our office in Victoria Island for flight bookings. We don’t book flights here…”

“I’m looking for someone… do you know which airlines are flying to the States tonight?”

“Just one sir, and that would be… oh! The flight has gone… it left 20 minutes ago… KLM.”

“Thank you…” He was confused. She didn’t fly KLM to Nigeria, did she? Toke booked the flight, but… Athena preferred direct flights… He should have called her before now. This should not have happened. How did he let things get out of hand when they were going so well already? He suddenly felt very tired. As he walked towards the exit, he heard a familiar voice.

“Akindele!”

Turning around, he saw her, Anike, an old family friend, also an old unkindled flame.

“Hey! What are you doing here?”

“I came home briefly o, catching the BA flight, almost late as it is. How are you?”

“I’m good, very good. Here, let me help you with that…” he offered, pulling her brown leather trolley bag behind him as they walked towards the BA entrance.

“Thank you, Dele, it was nice seeing you again. Don’t be a stranger, ok?” Anike said, pecking him on both cheeks. “Call me…”

“Sure thing! Have a nice trip!”

…………………………………………………………..

Athena was attracted to the hugging couple. her gaze was drawn to them even before she saw them. The man had his back turned to her but he could see the way that he held her that they were really close. She could have been that lady and Dee could have been that man. But all that mess had to happen to ruin an almost great thing. She turned and continued walking when she heard the lady say “Call me!”. She smiled again, enjoying the free show of affection they shared. And then she heard his voice, “Sure thing!” he said.

…………………………………………………………….

The journey back home was the longest he’d had ever. His mind ran through the many other options that he had. He could cut short his trip and go back to the States by Friday. Or he could keep calling her till she picked his call. Or he could just forget about her and move on with the rest of his life. He couldn’t stop the tear from trickling down his face. It was frustration, and despair, and the pain of the possibility of Athena being gone from him forever.

………………………………………………………………

If anyone had asked me who it was that I felt understood me, knew me to my deepest core. I would say it was Dee. He was my friend, my best friend ever. We had been together for as long as I had been in the States, save for a few years of immaturity. Dele was my pal, and I thought he got me… I was wrong. All this while, he’d been trying to fix me. Make me good again. Like I was some charity project! I couldn’t believe my ears when he said it…

“Athena, grow up, for Pete’s sake! You’ve been hiding behind this… thing… for too long! I’m sick and tired of seeing you act like you are the only one in pain!”

“Dee… don’t mess with me now, I’m not finding this funny… who’s side are you on anyway?”

“I’m being honest with you, for the very first time, if you’ll let me!”

“Dee… what are you talking about? You mean you’ve been lying to me? See! I’m justified then! You have been lying to me! And then I ask you a simple question and you turn psychology major on me!”

“Listen! For once! This is no longer about you! Your cousins need to know what is going on here! They need answers that your aunt cannot give, answers that you have! Stop this charade and be selfless for once! It’s not always about you!”

“You keep saying that! You keep saying that, what the hell do you mean by that? I’ve been suffering in silence all my life, because of everybody else. I don’t complain, I don’t question anyone’s decisions, I just let them have their way. But not this time! No one, and I repeat, no one is going to make me topic of a family meeting! If they want answers, they should ask me at his funeral!”

Dee was silent. I shocked him just as much as I shocked myself at the words of my mouth. I didn’t realize I had so much venom in me. The man was still alive, and yet I wished him dead. I looked at his face and saw disgust.

“I give up on you, Athena! God knows I have tried! All these years, taking all your crap, because I thought there was something in you that could be saved… I should have known… you are too into yourself to see that other people hurt too… Well then, knock yourself out! I’m through with this!”

“Dele! Akindele!”

He stopped then, fury in his eyes. We had never had this kind of fight. Actually, we had never really fought. I had kept grudges, pouted and acted silly, but Dele always found my antics amusing and forgivable. Up until now.

“Akindele Bamidele-Savage, if you walk out of that door with those words as your last, be sure that it’s the last thing you want to say to me.”

“What is that? A threat?”

“No. It’s your choice.”

“Fine then, whatever!”

And he walked out of my life.

Now I think about it and I wonder if it’s not the best for both of us. All these years of dragging feet… I closed my eyes and relived the events of that day. It was the day after Grandma Coker’s memorial service. We were all at Isolo, aunts and uncles, cousins, nieces and nephews. Then Toke looked at me and suddenly asked.

“Athena, what happened between you, mummy and my dad?”

I look around to be sure no one heard her, but it’s obvious they all did. Here am I trying to be familial and not anti-social. Here am I doing what is expected of me and hosting family members that I cannot remember, when I could be somewhere far away soaking the past few days in my way, a good book and some quiet as my escape. And the one person I feel most comfortable with asks the most unexpected question.

“What? How do you mean?” I respond, unfolding my folded limbs and setting my feet in my flip flops.

“Don’t do the “runaway” now, Athena. I need to know. Too many things are happening here and I need answers!”

“Mummy… why are you shouting at Auntie Athena…”

“Not now Tri, go and play with Trey…”

“Mummy…”

“Now Tri!”

I got up, looked at her and looked around me. They were all staring at me, for some reason, I felt guilt and shame. I needed to get away from them all. I grabbed my bag on the stool and walked towards the door. I could hear the voice of their silence. Toke seemed to have lost steam, which made it obvious that someone had put her up to this. They had discussed me and my Aunt’s husband behind my back! God knows what they would have said. I was so glad to see Dele standing by the door.

“Dee, I need to get out of here.”

We drove straight to the hotel. I didn’t even need to tell him where to go, it was like he read my mind. I felt so lucky to have him…

“Excuse me, ma’am, will you like anything to drink? We have…”

“I’m fine. Nothing at all.”

The smiling hostess brought Athena out of her reverie. She looked up to see if the 1st class cabin was full. Right beside her sat the lady she saw talking to Dele. She had expected to feel anger or jealousy. None of that came. Only sadness, and that was a familiar feeling.

We walked into the room in silence. We had driven in silence.

“How long do you want to stay here?”

“I don’t know… I’m not going back!”

“Why? Athena, your cousin need you now. You can’t leave her alone there with all those people…, not now…” He was holding my hands and rubbing my shoulder. “You want to talk about it?”

“About what? I don’t want to talk about it! I’m just so angry with Toke! How could she put me on the spot like that? Why should she think anything happened with me and her folks? What did she mean by that?”

“Did something happen, Athena?”

“Don’t try that psycho-drill on me Dee, not now!”

“Don’t kill the topic. Did something happen?” He was sounding like he was containing something. I wasn’t sure I liked what I heard in his voice.

“Happen when?”

“Did something happen between you and Toke’s folks?”

“If it did, what has it got to do with anything?”

“Athena… your cousins are going through a lot right now. They are asking questions that they ought to have asked years ago, and there is no one else to answer those questions…”

“Then they should drop it!”

“But they can’t, Athena! Would you? Would you drop it if you were in their shoes?”

“What do they know? What do they care? Now they want answers? They can all go to hell! I’m not ready to answer any questions and no one’s gonna make me!”

“That’s not a fair position to take…”

“Fair? What do they know about fair? Was it fair they way I was treated by that family? Was it fair the way they all turned a blind eye to everything mean that was done to me? How dare anyone ask for my good favors now! How dare them all!”

“Darling, you need to look beyond your hurt and your anger, this once…”

“Oh! I am! I’m looking far beyond it!” I said, gesticulating like a mad woman, “that’s why I’m even talking to any one of them!”

“They are your family… Toke…”

“To hell with Toke and her stupid questions! I don’t owe her, or any one of them anything! If anything, they owe me! Apologies! Loads of it!”

“Well then, give them an opportunity to give you one…”

“They had better make that opportunity happen themselves! I’m never going to cower and weaken for anyone of them! And this is the last time they are all going to see me here!”

“You can’t do that… it would be the cowardly way out…”

“Watch me…”

“Athena, grow up, for Pete’s sake! You’ve been hiding behind this… thing… for too long! I’m sick and tired of seeing you act like you are the only one in pain!”

“Dee… don’t mess with me now, I’m not finding this funny… who’s side are you on anyway?”

“I’m being honest with you, for the very first time, if you’ll let me!”

The conversation was supposed to be about my family. Somehow it turned out to be about us, and how our new found love ended.



<!–[if !mso]>


11 thoughts on “Sunstreaks of Sunlight at Dawn 7” by yetitweets (@yetunde)

  1. Okay next part. Sure there’s another part. Maybe not a happily ever after ending, but there has to an end. Really loving this. Noticed some typos though. Had no atom of effect on the flow of the story though. Guess the repetition of the dialogue was also intentional. Good one girl.

  2. BTW or ATM, think Athena’s really acting like a sweet baby. Hope the concluding part justifies her babylike attitude.

  3. Mazi Nwonwu (@Fredrick-chiagozie-Nwonwu)

    I like it so far. Not too much of a romance lover, but you are doing great.

  4. Hmmn! I need more.

  5. Yeti, hm’s all am gonna say!
    This is powerful!

  6. There were loads of typos especially at the beginning, but I enjoyed it. Please post the next part quickly o.

  7. Typos done…I want more…..

  8. watch out for them typossssssss,very interesting and gettin hot.
    Nxt part dearie

  9. hmmmn…they broke up? someone needs to slap some good sense into her head…mscheeeew!

  10. hmmm, break up? I like happy endings o

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