Mrs. Igbinovia had ended up being the party pooper! As soon
as Isiuwa ran from the house, the teenage guests stared at Mrs. Igbinovia with
mixed feelings, some looked at her as the ‘monster’ while others felt she was
just being plain wicked. Isiuwa’s cake stood there at the center of the sitting
room waiting for the celebrant to cut it. Isiuwa’s mother, after her public
display of discipline, knew she had outdone herself but refrained from blaming
herself. Muttering under her breath, she said, “Insolent child” and hurried
upstairs.

“Please could we all settle down?” Mense started trying to coordinate
the guests as though nothing had happened.
“Will the party still hold? Isiuwa is not here and its her
birthday party!” One of the girls in church, Chekwube said.
“We know that Isiuwa had a moment with her mom and we
sincerely apologize but, we can’t let the food go to waste. Or the drinks.
Please settle down let the party continue.” Mense said.
“Humph! I knew that Isiuwa’s mom was going to out-do herself
one of these days!” Frieda said in disgust.
“Young lady, can you leave this house now? And take your
friend with you, the both of you have done more harm than good.” Mense said
directly to Frieda and Morenike.
“Oh please…the party was a disaster even before it started
anyway.” Said Freida and turning to Morenike she said. “C’mon let’s leave this
dry house!” Then to the guests at the party she said.
 “I wonder what you guys
are still doing here. Don’t you have sense? The party is over! Isiuwa wrecked
the party by running away and leaving you all alone to do what? Eat cake? Drink
juice and cocktails? Grow up guys, you deserve better than she just dished you!
However, if you guys want to have a taste of a real party with DJ’s, huge
cakes, nice decor and all, come for my birthday party next month, it’s going to
be da bomb! I’m even going to invite the stars like Psquare, Tu-Face and all…” Frieda boasted.
“Get out!” Mense shouted, with eyes flashing in anger.
Frieda eyed her succinctly and left the house with Morenike
at her heels. As soon as she left, other guests started getting up to leave.
“No…no please don’t go…” Mense pleaded with them.
“It’s obvious we came at a bad time with Osas being in the
hospital and all, it’s really a hard time for the family.” Chekwube said.
“Please….I promise that I’ll find her and she’ll come
back…” Mense said desperately.
“No…the party is over! There is no celebrant….and I have
homework to catch up on.” Another teenage guest said as she rose from her
chair.
“Okay, you can go if you insist but let’s cut the cake and I’ll share
it for you guys to take home as well as some treats.” Mense said.
The guests nodded and waited for the cake to be cut and
shared. As Mense cut the cake, she felt so bad, she tried to hold herself
from crying but she couldn’t as the tears spilled over and plopped on the cake.
She thought she had the worst mother who always had an excuse not to be at home
but the truth was, her mother was by far better than Isiuwa’s. At least she
didn’t try to impress anyone or try to show off her skills in model parenting.
Her mother was as real as they come. She was a proper Benin woman who trained
her daughter with firm hands yet she was soft, Mense knew that sometimes, she
went the extreme because she was vying for attention and now she regretted that
she had put her mom through all that stress. Besides, she was doing her best as
a single mom and working so hard to make her have a bright future. Isiuwa and
Osas on the other hand had everything she had wished for as a child, they had a
complete family while she had to make do with just one parent but in all, their
lives were destroyed as it was because even though they had everything, their
parents didn’t place their best interests at heart, rather they thought of what
the society would think.

By the time the cake was shared around, everyone left the house except
Sesan.
“What are you still doing here? The party is ended.” Mense
said, wiping tears from her eyes.
“I feel so guilty…Isuiwa gave me those invites and made me promise not to invite anyone in school and suddenly I come here and see
Frieda and Morenike.” Sesan said.
“The truth is, Freida and Morenike didn’t spoil the party,
Isiuwa’s mother, my aunt, did.” Mense said sniffing back the tears.
“Can we go look for her?”
“I really don’t know this area too well, can you do that for
her?” Mense asked, shocked that Sesan stayed back and was willing to search for
Isiuwa.
“Sure…I’ll do anything for her.” Sesan blurted.
Mense realized at that moment that Sesan had a crush on
Isiuwa and she smiled. He was a handsome young boy who looked a bit too
gullible.
“Okay…err…let me tell the nanny that I’m going to search
for her and we can go.” Mense said and disappeared into the kitchen.
Sesan stood at the sitting room and waited patiently for
Mense. Isiuwa’s mother came down the stairs and spoke to him.
“Everyone is gone, why are you still here?”
“Err….I….am Isiuwa’s friend and …I wanted to go look
for her with her cousin.” Sesan said in a shaky voice.
“Don’t worry about that, just go home…Isiuwa would be
fine, she should be around somewhere. When she’s tired of wandering about town, she’ll come home.” Mrs. Igbinovia assured.
“It’s no problem ma, I don’t mind going to look for her.”
Sesan said.
“You see, I really don’t approve of friendships between my
daughter and the opposite sex, same with my son, so since the party is over,
can you please leave?” Mrs. Igbinovia asked.
At that moment, Mense walked into the sitting room.
“Let’s go….” Mense said to Sesan.
“Go where?” Mrs. Igbinovia asked.
“We are going to look for Isiuwa…” Mense replied.
“Look for Isiuwa? Is she missing? When did you guys join the
police force?” Mrs. Igbinovia asked.
“Sesan’s your name right?” Mense asked Sesan and when he nodded she said, “Let’s go.” Completely ignoring her
aunt’s statement.
“Mense, you are under my roof now and you are going to
respect me. I have told the young man to leave this house as the party is over.”
“What has that got to do with me?” Mense asked rudely.
“Excuse me? Are you talking to me? Mense are we mates?”
“No we are not so I don’t expect you to understand the fact
that I am worried about my cousin’s whereabouts.” Mense blurted.
“If you leave this house, do not come back again, this is my
house and anybody who lives here, lives under my rule.”
“Well I don’t live here so I am immune to your rules!” Mense
shouted back.
“Osalumense! Are you mad? What has gotten into you?” Mrs.
Igbinovia asked.
“Why don’t you get it? Your son attempted suicide under your
roof, your daughter ran away from her birthday party. Doesn’t that speak
against your parenting skills? My mom is a single mother and even with her late
night outs, her work related affairs and all, I have never ever loathed her. I
have never ever thought of committing suicide because I know how devastated she’ll
feel if she found me lying down dead on the ground! I have never had a reason
to run away or tell her that I hate her! You and uncle are not the only pastors
with children, I know a lot of them and many popular pastors have grown kids
who strive to be better than their parents, these pastors do not destroy their
children but love them and listen to them. If you and uncle have listened to
your children, this wouldn’t be their outcome. I am going to look for my cousin
whether you like it or not because regardless of the fact that you know that we
live in a dangerous world, you are not moved by the fact that your daughter, my
cousin, might be either run over by a car right now as we speak or fall into
the hands of bad people.” Mense shouted in tears and turning to Sesan she shouted.
“What are you waiting for? Let’s go!”
Mense stormed out of the house while Sesan followed suit,
while Mrs. Igbinovia watched them leave.
To be continued tomorrow…

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