John sat on the bed in his pyjamas reading the morning news on his ipad. Sheila knocked and came in.
“Morning dad,” she sat on the bed beside him.
“Morning pumpkin,” he said, kissing her on the cheek.
“Hmmm… ” His eyes was glued to the ipad screen.
“Daddy,” she frowned, wondering if he was listening to her.
“I can hear you pumpkin. What is it?”
“When are you going to buy me a car?” She flashed him a smile.
“What do you need a car for?” He eyed her.
“Mobility, dad. I am nineteen. I am old enough to have a car.”
She crossed her hands against her bosom, “Boma and Edidiong were driving before they were nineteen.”
Her frustrated look wasn’t lost to him, “Most of my course mates drive their own cars.”
He shrugged, “You are not everybody, you are Sheila Adams.”
She groaned, right now she wished she was someone else.
“When you graduate at twenty one, you will definitely get a beautiful car,” he returned his attention to what he was reading.
“But I want a car now.”
“Who wants a car now?” Eureka strolled into the room. “What are you both still doing in your pyjamas? It’s past nine and breakfast is ready.”
John got down from the bed, “I am famished,” he pecked his wife on both cheeks and walked out of the room.
Sheila met her mum’s questioning gaze. “You told me your parents bought you a car on your eighteenth birthday.”
“So? Is your name Eureka?”
“Good, your breakfast is getting cold,” she marched out of the room. Sheila collasped on the bed. What was with her parents? Why couldn’t she have a car now? Everybody she knew have a car of their own. Why should her case be different? Money wasn’t the problem. But her parents were conscious when it came to spending it.
“Sheila Adams! Get your lazy bum off my bed and go join your dad in the dining room!” Her mum’s voice echoed through the walls.
She dragged herself off the bed and walked out of the room. Her mother was waiting outside.
“You will get your car when you graduate.”
Sheila rolled her eyes and headed for the dinning. Two years was a long time to wait for a car. Her mother walked past her.
“I got a call from Dorcas,” she pulled out a chair and sat down, “Martha and Daniel are getting married on Saturday. The traditional wedding is on Thursday and the introduction is on Tuesday.”
“Good for them,” he filled his mug with decaf coffee and added milk, “We are not going.”
Eureka and Sheila stared at him.
“My dad doesn’t want my daughter at any family event.”
She sighed, “He was upset when he said that, he… ”
“If Sheila is not going, we are not going,” he took a sip from the mug and added more milk. Sheila tried to hide the smile curving from one end of her lips to the other. It is good to know that her father has decided to stand up for her. It feels good to be Sheila Adams right now.
“Whoever doesn’t want to see my daughter does not want to see me… or my wife.”
Eureka realized that her husband had made up his mind. Two wrongs could not make a right. John was as stubborn as his father. She hoped this didn’t turn into another undesirable conflict between father and son.
“Since I don’t have a car, I don’t think I will be able to come home every weekend.” Her parents turned to look at her. “Taking a taxi home every weekend is denting my monthly allowance which you have refused to inflate.”
“Is this about coming home every weekend or the increment of your monthly allowance?” Eureka eyed her daughter.
“You are both very smart.”
John and his wife exchanged glances and bursted out laughing.
“Children of these days,” he shook his head.
“What is she studying?”
“Economics and Statistics.”
Sheila stared at her parents as they talked about her as if she wasn’t there.
“Can you imagine?”
“Yes, I can. How much do we give her?”
“More than enough,’ he sipped his coffee.
She shook her head and bite into her toast bread.
“Hello… I am right here.”
Her parents looked at her again.
“Forget it young lady.”
She eyed her mum.
“If you really want an increment, then I want to see a list of what you spend your allowance on.”
She frowned at her dad. List? Yeah right. There is no way she was writing a list. “I need provisions too.”
“Hold your horses girl,” her mum waved a spoon at her.
“Seriously… I am out of beverage and cereal.”
John and his wife exchanged glances. “Your mum will drive you down to the supermarket on your way back to school.”
“Thanks,” she filled her mug with a beverage, “Can I get ice cream too?”
“No,” they choroused.
She buttered her toast bread, “Edidiong told me that Boma has gone to Abuja for his NYSC programme.”
“Good for him,” he refilled his mug with decaf coffee.
“I wonder where I will be posted when I graduate.”
Eureka smiled, “I was posted to Rivers state back in those days.”
She nodded and drained her mug.
“Where were you posted to dad?”
“It wasn’t that interesting, that’s a story for another day,” he got up, “Nice breakfast honey,” he winked at her and left them.
“Was his experience that bad?”
Eureka shrugged, “Please wash the dishes when you are done,” she yawned and refilled her mug with hot choco.
Sheila wondered what her father’s experience was like in Imo state.
“Dad, mum, Martha and Daniel are leaving,” Dorcas informed her parents.
“Oh! Great,” Nnese got to her feet.
“May be we should leave too,” Charles suggested.
She nodded in agreement and they followed their daughter out of the reception hall.
Daniel’s parents hugged the couple and prayed for them. They stepped away and gave Charles and Nnese room to speak with the couple.
“You look radiant,” Nnese embraced her daughter.
“Thank you mum.”
Charles and Daniel shook hands, “Welcome to the family once again.”
“Thank you sir.”
The couple waved at their family members and got into the car. The driver back out of the parking lot and nosed into the busy street.
“Are they leaving for Paris this evening?”
“No mum, they need to rest tonight,” Dorcas winked at her mother, “Where did your driver park the car?”
“Over there,” she pointed to her left.
“Ok, have a good night mum, dad,” Dorcas returned to the hall while her parents walked to their car.
“I can’t believe that John and his wife did not attend Martha’s wedding.”
Nnese remained quiet.
“Dorcas said she called him and he told her that he wasn’t coming because I said I didn’t want Sheila to attend any family functions for now.”
She looked at him, but decided to say nothing.
“Can you imagine? What was he thinking?”
Their driver opened the door of the car, he and his wife got in.
“I am going to call him tonight. This is pure nonsense,” he noticed his wife’s straight face, “Won’t you say something?”
“What do you want me to say Charles?”
She met his angry gaze, “I warned you.”
He dropped his jaw and blinked several times, “You? You warned me? When? About what exactly?”
She looked away, “You shouldn’t have stopped your grand-daughter from attending family functions because of her bad attitude. It is the same thing as saying you don’t want John and his family to come for any family occasions.”
He shook his head, “No… ”
“Yes,” she eyed him, ” You made a hasty decision in a moment of anger, and John has retaliated.”
His frown deepened, “This is not a battle of wits.”
“John is as stubborn as his father.”
He sighed and leaned back on the car seat, what if his wife was right? What has he done? If John was as thick headed as he is, he won’t listen to anyone until Sheila was allowed to grace every family event. But that can be disastrous! What was wrong with his grand daughter? Why does she attract trouble everywhere she goes?
Nevertheless, they all had to settle these issues once and for all. It was getting out of hand.