BY THE WAY IF YOU IN LAGOS AROUND SATELLITE TOWN AREA COME LET’S TURN THIS INTO AN AUDIO DRAMA/
“Mummy good evening,” I said looking at my sister. She was scared, I could tell by the look in her eyes. She obviously didn’t think it through before following Reginald. That was my sister for you, act first then think later.
“Eh eh, good evening,” my mother said to me. “You just wait there; I want to discuss something important with you. Cynthia I asked you a question.”
I went to lean by the wall; Cynthia was now trembling, looking everywhere for the help that did not seem to come.
“Mu – mummy,” she stammered, looking from me to my mum and then at the ceiling, and back to me and my mum. I knew she wanted to say she was with me, that we both went together to Philip’s house, but wasn’t sure if I would back her up, considering I was still silent. “I was – I went to I got.”
“She was with me,” I finally said, deciding there were other ways to get my revenge. “We went to Philip’s place together, just incase, I wanted to be safe.”
“Mgbo Cynthia is that true?” my mother asked pointing the stick at Cynthia.
Cynthia nodded, her trembling air replaced by a breezy one.
“Yes it’s true,” she said. “Philip even said we should greet you.”
She looked at me, expecting my approval but I just rolled my eyes.
“You’re lucky,” my mother said to her. “I would have beaten you today till I saw blood from your body. You are only seventeen and you want to eat what ten years your senior is eating. Come on will you get out of hear. Idiot.”
Cynthia hissed out loud before she could stop herself, but my mother had already turned to me and so maybe did not hear her, or perhaps she heard but felt I was more important right now.
I sat down beside her, my hands folded, waiting for her to speak. My mom’s age was beginning to get the better part of her. She no longer looked as beautiful as she once was, or perhaps it was the stress she was going through, and the ever growing absence of my father. She cleared her throat and tapped her feet on the floor. It’s how she acted whenever she wanted to deliver important news whether good or bad.
My heart raced a bit now, because I expected bad news. Maybe my father had died, or the supermarket had burnt down, or perhaps someone had stolen all her money, or something of that sort. But when she opened her mouth, it was a mark of respect, or perhaps tiredness that stopped me from getting up and walking out on her.
“How was your date?” she asked me.
I sighed with relief at first when no bad news had come forth, but a minute later I was furious.
“Is this why you called me mummy?” I asked her, not believing my ears. “Why is it so important to you?”
I must admit it was becoming a bit odd the way my mother was interested in this date.
“That is not the question I asked you?” she replied calmly, which was weird. My mum would have shouted on me to shut the hell up and answer the damn question she asked. The sound of hurried footsteps in the room told me that my sister had scurried to the door to hear our conversation.
“It went fine,” I lied at first, then I thought to myself, there was no point in keeping up this charade. “It went horrible mummy.” I answered tiredly.
“Why?” she asked, again in that calm tone that surprised me. Why was she not raining curses on me, and accusing me of trying to stunt her generation?
“I don’t know mummy,” I said. How on earth was I going to explain the whole mess that had gone down these past few days with Philip? How would I even tell her, Mummy I tried to have sex with Philip the first day we met that I went to his house, and he refused, so I thought he was gay, and the second day….
“You don’t know how?” my mother asked, and I sensed a smidgen of anger here, which told me she was trying her best to hold back from shouting, which only made me more suspicious. “Did he beat you? Did you see him with another girl? Is he in a cult or something?”
“Yes mummy,” I said, deciding to go for option two. “I saw him with another girl, fair girl, tall and fat,” I said, describing my runs girl friend Lara.
“Really?” my mum said, and I thought I sensed some sarcasm in her tone. She tapped the stick on the floor. “How are you so sure she wasn’t his colleague, fellow doctor, or his nurse at work? Lillian are you sure you want to get married?”
“Of course I want to get married,” I answered. “But I won’t marry for the sake of marrying, I just wont.”
“You’re so naive,” my mother said.
“I’d rather be naive,” I said to her. “Than wake up one morning and realize that the several business trips my husband claims to take every now and then is just a ploy to get away from me.”
“God punish you!” my mother said, and I knew she was really restraining herself from breaking that stick on my head. “I don’t blame you,” she told me. “I cannot help you if you don’t tell me exactly what is going on between you and Philip.”
“Mummy if you like this Philip so much you date him then,” I said to her, pushing my luck. Surely she would hit me at this point, I knew it. “Nothing happened, we are just not compatible.”
“Two lies in less than an hour,” she said to me, raising two of her fingers for emphasis, and before I could protest, she added. “Keep lying for that little demon in the room, I know she was not with you.”
And in spite of herself, Cynthia responded.
“I am no little demon mummy.”
My mum got up so fast it almost made me dizzy, and ran towards the room where Cynthia was eavesdropping. But Cynthia was faster, slamming the door shut and locking it up till my mother had calmed down.
My mum made my favorite food that night, spaghetti and crayfish sauce but I wasn’t hungry.
“Sister the food is really delicious,” my sister said. “Mummy even put shrimps in them.”
“I’m not hungry for the last time,” I said to her, knowing that she did not really care if I ate the food or not, but was in fact seeking my forgiveness. Guilty conscience could be a good and bad thing at times.
My little sister finished eating and came into my room, sitting at the foot of the bed. I pretended not to notice her as I watched a video clip on my phone.
“Daddy called me today,” she said quietly. “He said he tried calling you, but your number was busy.”
“Ok,” I said, locking my phone for the clip had just finished. I turned around to face the ceiling, thinking.
“Are you okay?” my sister asked.
“Yeah,” I said trying to sound as indifferent as I could possibly be. “Never felt better. Cynthia you a re disturbing me. Is there anything you want in particular?”
“Did you believe me when I said I did not know it was Reginald?”
I was silent for a while. I was kind of shocked that she asked me this. It really did bother her, I knew in the tone she used when she asked it.
“It does not matter to me,” I said to her, checking my phone reflexively. “I’m no longer interested in Philip anyway.”
“But it matters to me,” my little sister said, just like I knew it did. “Sister seriously I did not know.”
It pained me that the one person I wanted to gist about how my date with Philip was ruined was partly the cause of the ruin. At times I wished I kept in touch with my old friends as often as I should, they would know what to do and give me adult unbiased advise. But they were just too outspoken and were either into one illegal runs on the other. And try as I might, I was never bold enough to do the runs girl thing. I remained silent though.
“So you’re not going to say anything?” she asked me, and I wondered what she wanted me to say. The truth is that I wanted to believe that she did not know, but the anger I was feeling towards her would not let me.
“Ok then, if you won’t talk then just listen.”
I turned my head to the other side, to show that I wasn’t interested in listening to anything she had to say even though deep down I was, and that’s why I hadn’t asked her to get out yet. I guess she thought the same thing too, because although I had just met Philip less than seventy-two hours ago, I had already fallen for him, not enough to make me commit suicide by overdosing on one of the many drugs in my mother’s cabinet, no, but enough to make me want to know as much as I could about him. To tell you the truth, I am still confused as to what happened moments ago, so maybe, just maybe, whatever this little brat had to say might shed some light on the whole mess. Maybe Reginald the talkative imp might have let something slip.
“So Reginald came to the supermarket to get milk,” she began, and explained how she had seen him, how he had given her his number how she and taken a knife just incase, how she had followed him to the house in the horrible car, and how they ended up seeing each other.
I wanted to tell her that a G-wagon was a very expensive car, and was far from being horrible, but I controlled myself to keep quiet, maybe later when we were in good terms I would tell her that.
“But to be honest,” she said to me. “I kind of suspected it was him, but secretly I wished he wasn’t.”
I could not help it anymore, I had to speak.
At the question, she moved up an inch and made herself more comfortable on the bed.
“He’s very friendly,” she said.
“He’s annoying,” I said to her.
“He’s funny,” she responded.
“He’s a talkative prat,” I said, remembering the fair bastard. I could choke him to death and no one would know. “Is it because he is light skinned?”
“Sister purl ease,” my sister said. “Emma is fair in complexion but I never saw an uglier guy in my life. With his Igbo accent, Bebe you’re looking kinking.”
I laughed before I could stop myself, and she laughed too.
“So do you like Reginald?” I asked her.
“Yes but only as a friend,” she answered, to which I snorted.
“That’s what they always say,” I told her. “And then next thing, you know…”
“Sister please,” she cut me short. “I am not like that.”
“Abeg let me hear word,” I replied.
“I am serious,” she assured me. “Anyways, I am not going to see him again, if it upsets you.”
“You are crazy,” I said, realizing that this little idiot was trying to guilt trap me. “Don’t stop seeing him on my account.”
I knew I was supposed to tell her to stay away from him, as the big sister, after all we had witnessed, it seemed the most reasonable thing to do, but I also knew she would do what she wanted to do regardless.
“By the way I got the picture you sent,” my little sister said, and the bright light that suddenly appeared told me she and opened it on her phone. “What were you thinking?”
“What do you mean what was I thinking?” I snapped, turning to her. She showed me the pictures, as if I wasn’t the one who sent it to her in the first place. “He left me alone I the room when you guys arrived, and what else could I do but snoop around.”
“OMG hold on,” my sister said, as realization dawned on her. “Are these Philip’s?”
“You’re really slow,” I said to her. “No for real,” I took the phone from her, and looked at the pictures again. It seemed like it was years ago that I had taken this picture in Philip’s room, that wonderful and exciting room of his. I wondered what other secrets lay inside that cupboard. “Where did you think I took the picture from then, and why would I send it to you?”
“You did not add any message,” my sister said to me. “So I thought… well I just felt… are you serious?”
“Damn serious,” I said to her, still looking at them. “And they smelt of soap, like they had been washed, which means they had been used.”
“Just stop it, Philip would never,” my sister said, half amused. “And when you confronted him what did he say?”
“There was no time,” I said. “That was when you and Reginald came in.”
My sister fell silent after I said this. She was probably still feeling guilty, guilt that I knew wouldn’t last.
“I’m not angry,” I reassured her, and it was true. Once I started responding and we started talking, I felt freer.
“Oh, ok,” my little sister said. “But you know the underwear can mean anything?”
“Again with the hope,” I said. Why did she want to give me hope with Philip at all costs? I would have said it’s because she was feeling guilty, but even though that was true, it was also true that even before now, the night of the first date she was giving the same hope. “There’s really nothing to justify storing a female’s underwear,” I said in a final sort of way.
And she stifled a giggle.
“You can laugh, it’s okay,” I told her.
“What if it is his side business,” she said to me. “Maybe doctors aren’t earning enough these days, and he sells them for extra.”
“Or maybe he is a cross dresser,” I replied, hissing.
“Or maybe they are his trophies,” my little sister said. “Evidence of his conquests. Guys in my school talk about keeping girls’ panties a lot.”
And that was a possibility, but one I rather not take into consideration because it only solidified the fact that the reason he didn’t sleep with me was probably because of me, and nothing else. Point, blank period.
“Whichever,” I said, deciding to stick with my own suggestion that he was a cross dresser because it was an easier conclusion, one that made him less desirable and easier to forget. “I really don’t care. I’m even thinking of going for those job interviews after all, I want to start putting myself out there.”
It was amazing how one little incident could make one see things differently, and want to do things differently.
“But wait sister you are funny sha,” my little sister said.
“I was just thinking how it would sound when telling someone your story with Philip,” she said to me. “Let’s say you started talking about it to someone, and they asked why it didn’t work out, what would you say?”
The question hit me as hard as I knew it would feel if my mother had hit me with her stick. I had never thought of it that way so if I was telling my friends about this, and I really wanted to be honest, this is how the story would go… Me and this guy Philip we met but it didn’t work out because he refused to have sex with me the first time we met, and when I tried the second time….. I shook my head in dismay.
I mean that story would be cool if I was a guy, but I was a girl, a self proclaimed lady with manners.
“Oh God I never thought of it like that,” I said to myself, but loud enough so my sister could hear it.
“Now you see,” my sister said to me. “So will you try to see him again, or at least if he calls you.”
“Look,” I said to her. “These last days has brought out some sides of me that I don’t like.” I wanted to tell her that I was going to just have fun, and get used to dating for the fun of it and nothing serious, and if sex happened, cool, if it didn’t no big deal, but because she was my junior sister, I could not say that to her, I did not want to encourage rubbish in her, so I just said. “I just want to focus on myself and do something positive.”
“What if he calls?”
“I won’t pick it, I swear,” I told her. “He’s too toxic for me, but that doesn’t have to apply to you.” I was as sincere as I could be, the least I could do was support her so she would tell me everything, and whenever she needed saving I would swoop him and save her in anyway possible.
“Sister if you’re talking about Reginald,” my sister said to me. “I have forgotten about him already. Except you want me to ask him what’s Philip’s deal with the underwear.”
“Cynthia,” I said, in a sing-song way.
“No seriously sister,” she insisted, earnestly. “You know he talks too much.”
“Is that the real reason you want to see him,” I asked her.
“What other reason?” she replied, forgetting that she had just told me that she liked him. And because I knew she was still going to see him anyway, despite the guilt, and would not believe if I told her I was okay with it, I smiled and said. “Okay then, ask him about the underwear for me.” Because I knew my sister like the back of my hands, that asking Reginald about that would be the last thing on her mind when she was with him.
The only thing I could do was just to keep a vigilante eye on her, and make her as comfortable as possible so that when trouble came knocking in form of a fair imp with a penchant for talking too much, I would step in and nip it right in the bud.