I went straight to the park around 12pm with my small back-bag with small collectibles and clothes,but as I was in no mood to entertain the Park agberos and their funny tricky motor loading flick,I headed straight to ITC park still along the Aba/Owerri road or more precisely and accurately, at Factory road.
As if I was that last passenger(which I was that day) that everyone was waiting to come and complete the bus.
I put a call through to Amara telling her that I was on my way,and she said she is waiting for me.
Five minutes into the journey, I have already slept off.Forty-five minutes later,the man sitting beside me woke me up asking me whether I slept at all in the night.
It was then I realised that we were at Weatheral Road and he was actually alighting there,and it happened that I was blocking the motor exit passage…..And I was alighting at the same place too!
I crossed over to Douglas road and booked a keke that will take me straight to Orji,around that Ama-wire region as that was the place where Amara and her people stayed.
Twenty minutes later,I was inside their place and only Amara was around..
I swear,my emotions would have betrayed me,but I controlled it and went straight and hugged her so tight,she accurately probably interpreted it that I have missed her….and of course,I did miss her.
“Guess what I cooked?” She asked me.
“I have like a million things to say as my guess,but I can’t o.Just tell me!” I concluded.
“You are not yet serious!” She retorted back immediately.
” Hian! I just arrived o.Hope u still remember that?” I asked,dropping my bag.
“It doesn’t matter my love” she said as she went over across me,and to my backside and held me as if I was about to carry her in my back literally.
“Is it vegetable soup?!” I asked.
“Hahahahhaaah!” She laughed and came to the front,my front.
“Now you are talking” she said as we went straight to her room.
We talked a lot.We chatted and chatted and talked and talked till she said she had to offer me food knowing fully well that once the talkative aspect of me is aroused by my person(s) of interest and topics of interest,stopping is usually a problem.. or at least,most of the time!
After eating and relaxing, I told her I have to start going to Mbieri to see grandma cuz it is the primary aim of me coming to owerri,or put correctly the con that gave me access!
Amara said she would have loved to go with me,but her parents..Of course am still coming back,its just to go there and see grandma,sleep over for that day and then use the remaining days as I wanted..
So here was my plan:
In everything I do,I always try to be proactive.I already told my parents that I was going to stay from that Wednesday till Sunday.As that is not my village,and the probability of any of my cousins being around is like 10%,I figured that I had to use Tobechukwu(whose mum,my aunty,that grandma was staying with) as an excuse to leave the village the next day cuz he was staying in Awaka with one Rev.Father like that.But actually,the back plan was to stay with Amara,and by extension,her family till that Sunday..
That was my plan,and that was exactly what I told Amara.Even though she shared her concern about my aunty and influence coupled with that of grandma,I assured her that am still “the Odii” that they all loved,which makes it imperative that I will always have a way with them….And she smiled…..Oh! That smile!
I left their place and went to where I will enter a bus going to Mbieri and switched on my phone again which I switched off earlier..As I was always carried in a car whenever going there,giving there by myself this time around,I found it a little bit time consuming locating their park.But I did finally locate it.
When I was finally in a car,I got a call from Ugoeze,my cousin.
“Odii where you dey?” He asked me.
“M ka bara motor biaga side unu ugbua!”( I just entered a car coming to your place now) I replied.
“Na wa to you o.you just switched off your phone since.Your mum has called us like a zillion times already,highly worried!” He said.
“Nnaa hapu that woman.o na e disturb onwe ya too much!”(Leave that woman,she disturbs herself a lot for nothing) I replied and he laughed.
“You don go dey see umu nwa gi ikposara na”(you have gone to see the babes you left behind na) he teased me and We both laughed.I told him the bus has started moving after we chatted more and he told me to holla at him immediately I reach somewhere he told me to tell the bus driver about,so that he can come and pick me up.
Within thirty minutes or above or thereabout,we arrived in their place.
Akudo(my cousin and my Aunty’s last born) and Ugoeze that picked me up coupled with their parents are the only people around and the time was like around 6:twenty-something.
On a normal day,my aunty would have queried me in a scrutinizing manner,but she didn’t.But the real shocker lay ahead.
Imagine my surprise when with all the enthusiasm and euphoric excitement brimming and overflowing in me,I went to where grandma’s room(or the room they gave him) and greeted her and she didn’t recognise me.I told her grandma its me,your “odii” and she was like “odii ka ole”( which Odii)..
At first,I felt bad,very very bad,heck tears were even beginning to formulate in my eyes when my aunty entered and asked me whether she recognized me and I said ‘no’.
She was surprised though, telling me that it was me she has been talking about almost two weeks now.
My anger was why they didn’t even tell me so that I would have prepared myself emotionally.
She now told me that grandma suffered a series of illness that made her rarely recognise anybody. The only person she recognised is her brother,nda Damian.
She even started telling me the problems she faces everyday trying to make her remember her…Everyday!
She told me that I should just calmly tell her who I am again from the beginning, that is how she does it..
I cried bitterly in my mind!
Well,I had to do as I was told and that was how she recognized me again.As is typical of her,she even wanted me to come and sit on her laps so that she would carry me.
Man,that night after eating,grandma talked and talked and talked and we chatted deep into the night till i slept off in the chair i was sitting listening to her talk..
* * *
“How are you here?” I asked on seeing Pretty now in the same room with me and grandma,and with grandma telling me that my wife is very beautiful(which I laughed to by the way).
“How else? Have you forgotten we came together?” She asked me back.
“I don’t remember coming here with you!’ I replied back defensively.
” That’s what you think!” She said.
“Is this how you two always quarrel ” grandma asked no person in particular.
“Leave him grandma!” Pretty said immediately.
” Don’t you know you should always make your wife happy,not quarrel with her every time?” Grandma asked.
“You are now supporting her na Mmaa” I said and left the room.
“Leave him,that’s how he behaves” grandma told her.
Immediately I reached for the door and crossed to the other side,I woke up to Amara’s call.
“How are you and your night?” She asked together.
“Fine o” I replied,clearly exhibiting all the signs one shows when in my shoes.
“How is grandma?” She asked .
“She is very fine aside from the consistent temporary amnesia she suffers” I answered.
” Well,its expected shaa” she answered.
“Yea I know,but not like this na!” I answered.
“Don’t think too much about it” she told me.
“No problem” I replied her,and continued:
“With the way things are,I don’t think I would be coming today.It will be tomorrow. Am really sorry about it” I concluded.
“Well,I expected it shaa and am OK with it.You and grandma deserve each others company” she said.
“Abi?” I said.
“Yea! Just be on the first bus out of that village tomorrow to this place.” She said.
“Yes madam” I replied!
“Bad boy” I heard Ugoeze say to me,with me wondering how I got into his room in the first place.Well,I suppose they woke me up from the chair I slept off in and I went and slept there.But,I don’t remember it though!
“Na u be Oga na.You know how many girls for my village way dey ask me of you?” I replied him.
We started chatting and reminiscing old times till the day totally brightened out and it was sunny again.
After eating breakfast and chatting with grandma,Ugoeze told me he wants to go somewhere and that I should accompany him.
After pressuring him,he finally told me what his true aim was.
He told me that there was a girl like that he was going to f*ck,saying furthermore that punny too dey hungry the girl wella.
He even told me that I can even f*ck too if I want.
The way I relate with Ugoeze,you would think we were mates.But,this my cousin is like better elder to me.
I told him “no o”,that am not s*x starved!
He said I might change my mind shaa and we left.
After ten minutes or so,we arrived at the girls place and she was alone with her other sister,a younger sister,but according to my cousin,they are a family of seven, so I guess the rest aren’t round!
Smiling at me,Ugoeze left me and went to an inner room with the girl she told me about earlier.
I was left alone with the other girl,who according to me is purely not my kind.Even if she was my kind,I still would have said she wasnt my type.I just needed an excuse to stay away from her!
Don’t get me wrong though,its not that the girl in question was ugly or lacks the basic necessary features that most of our modern day guys find tempting, she had them.But,my state of mind was purely off on those type of stuffs,and I beguiled myself in a positive way into reaffirming that I didn’t need it and that it was not paramount..
Like twenty-minutes later,he reemerged with the girl with the only thing been spoken by me with the girl I was with being the fact that Ugoeze is my brother/cousin and that we live in Aba; but that I just came to visit my grandma.
* * *
The rest of that day was kinda dull except towards the evening when Their light came and then I in my boredom induced state unwillingly watched some of the silly Nigerian movies they had lying around.
* * *
The next day being Friday, after staying with them till around 12pm,I took my leave,making them believe I was going to Awaka to see Tobechukwu and stay with him till Sunday before going back.I confided in my aunty not to let my people know of this fact shaa(using a false pretence to legitimate the veracity of my lie.).
As I entered a bus coming to Owerri,I started recollecting the events of the night in my mind.
Pretty came to me again,telling me that I was actually doing the right thing of which I will reap the reward in my later years.In her consolation speeches,she assured me and reassured me that she totally understands that what I was doing was really hard and she appreciates it;especially, as I am doing Ur for her.
After having so many more series of mind striking thoughts about Pretty and her total committal to making sure that I don’t deviate from what I told her I would do,I started having thoughts about Amara.
Of all the many mind speeches,dialogues and the likes that I debated within my mind,one thing I never did think of was the fact that “was Pretty really worth it?”..I know I asked myself questions like why am I always so susceptible and subtle to considering Pretty’s persuasions but for reasons unknown to me,I always felt that Pretty was just it,another part of a bigger me,complementing me in ways no one else has done..
We arrived at Owerri and I called Amara and tools her am coming to their house. She was eagerly receptive as usual,but then it struck me that my Journey,my real journey just began!