Eyes pierced him from all sides, he felt the huge lump in
his throat weigh him down. As soon as he opened his mouth to speak, a huge wail
erupted and it all dissolved in tears.
“Cries cannot solve this issue….” Said his mother to him
“Look at me Caleb! Look at me! Do I look sober?”
“No ma.” Caleb replied and shook his head.
The neighbours stared on and shook their heads in disdain,
he heard one say;
“Even after all his step father did for him. What an
ungrateful child.”
Caleb’s gaze strayed to his mother’s and he flinched.
“What do I do with you? You have succeeded in terribly
wounding my husband. All because of you, I have to look for money to take care
of his hospital bills.” Shouted his mother.
Caleb kept looking at her, he tried hard to see even a
flicker of motherly love in her gaze but all he saw was hatred. His mother
hated him and even though he had come to terms with it before, he didn’t see
any reason why he couldn’t now. His step father was wounded badly, he had a
cracked skull and a broken neck and it was his fault but he didn’t care,
atleast that would make him stay far from him as much as possible. Caleb looked
at his mother, the umpteenth time and he knew this was his last straw.
“I have had it with you, you hear? I do not want you in my
house again. First thing tomorrow morning, I will have your father’s sister
come for you. I don’t need potential murderers under my roof.”
Caleb felt the salty tears touch his lips and trickle into
his half open mouth, ‘what if?’ he asked himself, ‘what if he told his mother
the truth about her husband, will that solve anything?’ He stared at his mother
again and this time she slapped him hard.
“Madam calm down.” Pleaded the neighbours who had gathered
into his house when he released his cry for help and consequently called his
mother.
As soon as his mother arrived at the house, his unconscious
step father was rushed to the hospital.  When his mother returned from the hospital with
some of the neighbours and demanded to know what had happened, Caleb simply
told her that he pushed her husband down to the ground. This reply triggered a
lot of questions which he didn’t answer and this made his mother run mad with
anger.
“It’s no use… I can’t take this anymore…first it was his
father and now, him. Why can’t they let me have peace? I curse the day I met
his father…. I pray that…” His mother continued.
Caleb’s mouth suddenly forced itself open. ‘Why was his
father always to blame?’ he asked himself ‘was her husband any better?’
“Do not compare my father with that husband of yours.”
Snapped Caleb.
“What? Are you mad?” Screamed his mother as she rushed off
to find a cane while the neighbours held her back.
“Take it easy madam.” The neighbours begged.
“That husband of mine? Have you forgotten that you live
under his roof, you eat off his hard work? I want you out of my house and I
never want you back… to me, you had never been born.” Screamed his mother
hysterically.
Caleb went into his room, opened a bag and stuffed all his
clothes into it.
*********************************************************************************
image source: www.movieweb.com
Bukky stood before her parents in fear, Chioma had long gone
home and her knees wobbled under the weight of her parents gaze. The guidance
counselor, Mrs.Ade had urged her to tell her parents the same story she had
told her during break period and Bukky was too ashamed to see the horrified
looks on their faces. She was sure that she would be beaten or punished for her
offence but the fierce hug she received from her mother shocked her. Her father
quickly picked up his phone and dialed a number repeatedly.
“Sir, may I ask whom you intend to call?” Asked Mrs. Ade
“The police of course.” Screamed Bukky’s father.
“I must warn you that it’s a very wrong step.” Said Mrs. Ade
“Wrong step? Madam, courtesy demands I respect your office
and as long as I remain here, I will regain my calm but… I must get the police
involved. How dare he?” Fumed Bukky’s father.
“Calling the police into this case is the best way out but
not this way.” Cautioned Mrs. Ade.
Bukky’s parents stared at her in shock.
“For all we know, Bukky recounted her ordeals as a child,
maybe it was an illusion, or a dream but for all we know, we have no proof. Her
uncle might accuse you of wrongly accusing him and that’s an offence.”
Continued Mrs. Ade.
“What… what can we do… he’s my brother but… but… that’s not
what a brother should do to his sister’s child. What is the world turning
into?” Cried Bukky’s mum.
“First thing to do is, catch him red-handed.” Said Mrs. Ade.
“What? Red handed? Where? Is that necessary? How do we go
about it?” Bukky’s father asked.
“Bukky mentioned that her uncle had said some inappropriate
words to her and has been trying hard to be alone with her. I suggest you set
some kind of a trap, tell him to babysit Bukky one of these days and one of you
should hide yourself around the house pretending that you have gone to work. We
will take it up from there.” Said Mrs. Ade
Bukky’s parents nodded in affirmative and listened further
to what Mrs. Ade had to say.
**************************************************************************
Image source: visionarydaughters.com
Chioma sat in the small sitting room of the boys’ quarters
they lived and strained her eyes to the candle light as she read a book. It was
some minutes past eight pm and her father wasn’t home yet. Zubby had long gone
to sleep on an empty stomach and she was hungry as well. As usual, her father
had left the house without giving them enough money for upkeep. There was no
power supply in the boys’ quarters except the main house where Uncle Bobby
resided, his generator served the main house and gateman’s house alone.
Suddenly, she heard a heavy bang at the gate outside and sighed as the bangs
grew louder. ‘Who could that be?’ she asked herself.
She had just stepped out of the small boys quarters when she
heard the gate open and a familiar female voice shrill loudly all over the
compound. Chioma hesitated a while and later decided to see who it was, the
voice sounded like someone’s whom she had known all her life.
“I demand to see Bobby this instant.” Screamed the woman.
“He is not around madam and please stop making my job
difficult for me.” Screamed the gateman in return.
Chioma reached the gate and froze in shock at the woman
before her, it was her mother. At that moment, her mother’s eyes met hers and
they stared at each other for a while.
“Chioma… is this you?” Her mother spoke.
“No…” Replied Chioma tongue tied.
“I have searched everywhere for you all… I have missed you
so much.” Said her mother sounding sad.
“How did you know we were here?” Chioma asked but stopped
when she remembered she had heard her mother ask about Uncle Bobby instead.
“Wait-a-minute, how do you know where Uncle Bobby lives? I am sure you never
knew we live here either. Uncle Bobby never mentioned to my dad that you knew
his house. Did we walk into a trap set by you and Uncle Bobby?” Chioma blurted.
“Noo….that’s not what you think…. Let me explain, your
father is incapable of taking care of you all, I ….”
“Does this explain the fact that you are here? What has
daddy’s abilities in taking care of my brothers and I have to do with
anything?”
“Listen to me Chioma, come with me… we will talk on the way.
Where is Zubby and Ekene, go and bring them …”
“Is this what you are here for? Has this been your intention
all along?”
“I am your mother Chioma, you have no right to talk to me in
such way. Do as you are told.”
“You can go back to wherever you came from, Chioma Agballa
goes nowhere!” Screamed Chioma as she turned to walk away but stopped and
turned back to face her mother.
“Do you have Thomas?” Chioma asked, anger written in her
gaze.
“No… I don’t.” Replied her mother.
Chioma stared at her mother for a long while and shaking her
head in disappointment, she ran back to the boys’ quarters determined to find
out the truth. 

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