Sheila headed for the main house. Getting away from her aunt was the best thing to do at the moment. She did not want to cause a scene at her grandpa’s birthday bash. She had also promised her parents that she would be a ‘good girl’ today. She didn’t want to disappoint them. But her aunt was bent on making her break that promise. That woman should go and get a life. How old was she anyway? Thirty-nine going to forty, what a shame.
Her aunt’s shrill voice stopped her in her tracks. She turned around and saw Martha marching towards her. What was wrong with this woman? Why was she following her? The devil himself must have sent her.
“How dare you walk out on me?”
“Why don’t you just leave me alone?” She turned and started to walk away. Something was definitely wrong with this woman.
“Sheila! Get back here!”
She ignored her and made her way into the house. She went straight to the living room, switched on the T.V and settled on the sofa. Her aunt’s attitude was beginning to get to her. The farther she was from her, the better.
Martha walked in fuming. It was high time she taught her neice a lesson or two. She has had enough of her rude and unpleasant attitude. The whole family has had enough. She wasn’t getting off easily this time. She picked up the T.V remote and switched it off.
“Aunt Martha, that was uncalled for.”
“You are a very silly girl. How dare you walk out on me? Who in God’s name gave you the audacity to disrespect me? You lack home training. Your parents are not… I repeat, they are not capable of impacting good morals into your thick incorrigible skull. ”
Sheila got to her feet, her aunt was beginning to get on her already fried nerves, “Please don’t bring my parents into this.”
“Why not? They have failed in their responsibility. How old are you? Eighteen? Look how you have turned out. Uncultured, mannerless, spoilt…”
“Please, please… What do you know about responsibilities? You are not married, talk about having a child of your own. Here you are talking about what you do not know.”
Martha hit her across the face, “Don’t you ever, ever in your lazy life, speak to me like that again. How dare you?”
John and Eureka walked in. Boma and Edidiong had informed them that Sheila was being scolded for being mean to them. They had hoped that the day would end without squabbles, but it seems that, that was not going to happen.
“What is going on here?” John approached them. Her mother took a seat on the seatee.
Sheila barely acknowledged them, her surprised gaze was trailed on Martha’s angry ones. She could not believe that her aunt had slapped her. This woman has gone too far.
“Martha what is wrong?”
“I am disappointed at both of you,” she eyed John, then Eureka.
“Martha, this is not the time to trade insults…”
“Insults…” She glanced at Sheila, “You should have been here when this ‘small thing’ painted me blue and black.”
Sheila attempted to hit her, but her father held her back.
“Sheila!” Her mother jumped to her feet, “What has come over you?”
“Leave her alone John. Let her try it. I will show her the stuff I am made of.”
She eyed her aunt and released her hand from her father’s firm grip. “You are going to regret this.”
She met her father’s gaze, he didn’t look too happy. She turned to look at her mother, she was frowning. She dreaded the long lecture they would give her when they get home.
“I don’t care what happened or who is at fault. I want you to apologize to your aunt this minute.”
Sheila eyed her father, she can’t and won’t apologize to her aunt. Why should she? They were not here when the witch slapped her.
She turned around and headed for the door. Eureka’s jaw dropped in astonishment. John sighed, God, what did I do wrong?
“Can you imagine? Look at your daughter. She has gotten out of hand. Both of you need to do something about her,” she eyed them again, “… something fast.”
John and Eureka exchanged glances. What else can they do but to continue praying and talking to her. What else can they do but to wait patiently for her to change. After all, she was their daughter, their only child, and they loved her regardless of her faults.