Iye, your father is coming back home tomorrow!
She didn’t see that coming at all, the words hit her through her ears and sent viral angered chills down her spines forcing her to abruptly release the ceramic plate she was brushing. Her mother stood there, by the door, bearing the news, holding her Motorola phone where she just finished receiving the call from the prison and peering deep at the plate she just lost.
But that was far from the problem at hand, her heart wished for more plates to be broken if that could keep her husband longer in prison.
Why is he coming back?
Iye broke the uncomfortable silence slowly while forcing the words out of her mouth. They was no verbal response, just a shoulder shrug and head shaking from her mother.
Iye reached for a broom and an old picture of her father which she used to replace a parker and cleaned the broken pieces of the plate from the floor. “You will have to get a parker, you don’t want your father finding out the only picture he had himself together is being used to clean dust”
The rage grew as she realised everything would never be thesame the moment he walked right through that door and their lives would go back to being the under fed life of the after party. This also meant her mother would go back to being gloomy and their savings box will continually be invaded for cigrates and bottles of fermented palm wine.
The image of her father caused her more pain than the thought of a kynethic crystallized and unattainable relationship. They wasn’t a time he wasn’t soaked in liquor or drenched in cigrates and the few times he avoided alcohol, he was picking peoples pockets in the neighborhood.
The only friend he had was Ojong, one couldn’t tell their difference except that Ojong had no family to exploit.
The world was again slowing down close to her, just when she thought she could attain whatever without the daily interference of an intruder she was forced to call “Father” what annoyed her most was how the old man loudly argued about her women were useless and a drunkard for a son was better than a house full of girls.
She held tales told behind her back from children whose parents witnessed her birth of how her father stormed out of the gathering of midvives when he was told his wife had a female child. From then on, he mistreated both mother an child and regarded them in the language of sheffs.
Once he came back drunk, drunk and late
Asked for dinner and it was served. He rose up almost immediately and spanked hell out of his teenage daughter for serving him cold coco yam and soup with only two meats.
Some months ago, he was arrested by the town vigilante and handed to the police for trying to steal sockets and stationaries from the Local Government council office. No one could afford his bail,
Let me rephrase that, nobody wanted him out of the prison.
Iye had spent this months pursuing for freedom, for the strength to stand him when he got out and not bend at the thought of his presence. Time had engraved its mark on him and his absence was the best part of her existence. But of course this good news which brought sadness to her was gladness for her old man who would be out any moment to continually make her life a living torment.
IYE! IYE!! The shout accompanied a weary slim figure that had lost ten pounds just merely thinking of her husband’s home coming.
Someone is at the door her mother shouted, and I the person is literaly trying to bring down the house.
Her face fell into her hands…
Written by Ukung Alawa