Emeka came to pick Adaora again for the weekend. My daughter told him everything that had happened in her school while he was away. His reaction baffled me. When he brought Adaora back, Sunday evening, he wanted to talk.
Adaora’s school was reputed to be the best in town and the most expensive. I wouldn’t argue if he wanted to change the school but which other one would we choose? If this sort of thing could happen in the school, then no other school is safe.
The incidence had happened long after closing hours when most parents rush to pick their children. It was almost closing hours for teachers. Parents and guardians had almost all come and gone, and the traffic was light. The man must have looked like any other parent. He must have blended well with the usual closing hours crowd. There was nothing anyone could have done.
The school had now made necessary security precautions. Each student was registered afresh and everyone picking children were also registered. Parents/Guardians and their wards were given security identity cards. Any change in who was to pick a kid had to be made through due process. The school had only gotten better.
“I think you should move your things from this house. Adaora needs a more stable environment,” he said, knocking me off balance.
“Move? This environment is very safe. We’ve been here for over three years and had that incidence with thieves only once. I think this place is safe enough.”
He allowed me to finish, and then looked straight into my eyes and said, “I’m not talking about that kind of safety. I’m talking family. Family ties. Emotional safety. Psychology.”
I said, “I don’t understand.”
“Adaora needs a father and a mother.”
“Eno, you know what I mean. How long are we going to continue playing games…?”
“You’ve proven to me that you can make it without me. I appreciate that but must our daughter suffer for our mistakes?”
“How will she suffer? What are you talking about?” I feigned ignorance.
“She needs a proper home and you know it. We are the only people who can give her that.”
“You’ll soon be married to Annie and I have my brother here with me. Adaora will have as close a family around her as she can get.” I said. What was he getting at?
“Listen to yourself. Is Annie her mother or is Etteyen her father? If you move in with me, even if you don’t want us to be married…”
I interrupted him with a cynical laugh, laced with anger.
“Who do you take me for?” I said in a low furious voice. “What do you take me for?”
“No, you listen. Listen to yourself. Will we be flat mates or I’ll be your… your housekeeper or call girl?! Give me some credit, will you?”
“That’s not what I mean…”
“What do you mean?” I shouted. “You walked, remember? You threw me out. Now you ask for me to come and live with you… as a … a whore? Your whore?” I swore under my breath, too angry to think.
“We can explore the possibilities!” He bit out. His anger swept mine off completely. He had no right to be angry!
“Please don’t be ridiculous.” I tried to pull myself together. When I looked back at him, for the first time, what I saw in his eyes numbed me. He was hot! I dragged my eyes swiftly away.
He swallowed, and paused before saying, “I’ve thought about this for a long time, Eno,” very softly, and then added, “Please.”
I couldn’t believe this. What did he want from me? He was in a ‘stable’ relationship with another girl.
“I do hope to get married someday, you know,” I smirked.
“I will ask again,” he whispered before leaving.
I was thoroughly shaken. Ask what?
Published as 52 Ways to Provoke God. Get your copy here.