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[STORY] DIARY OF A PASTOR’S SON (Episode 06)

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DIARY OF A PASTOR’S SON by Frank The Writer - AllNaijaEntertainment
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Episode 06.

“Bukola? Oh! That’s my classmate from secondary school.” I took my phone from Aramide and by then the call already ended. Agatha gave me that look that literally says are you sure? She didn’t utter any word but it was written all over her face. I averted my eyes from her direction.
“Femi, I hope you’re saying the truth. Let it not be what I’m thinking.” My father broke the short silence.

“Bukola is my classmate,” I insisted. Though my heart thudded against my ribs, I still comport myself like I was telling nothing but the truth. Without looking at my phone, I pressed down the volume side and it went into silent mode. I put it behind my jeans pocket.
“You are sure it’s not the new girl in the compound?” My father added as we moved towards the farm.
“Noo.. you told us not to relate with the new tenant,” I replied speedily. My phone vibrated from my behind. No doubt she was calling again and I was glad I did what I did. I knew my father might want me to pick up the call if it had rung again.

My father lead the way to the farm while Agatha and I followed behind. She still had that uncertain look towards me but we didn’t say anything to each other. We soon arrived at the cassava farm which was about two plots of land. The cassava farm was my late aunt’s husband’s extra source of income. He loved farming aside from other works he was into. The cassava was due to be harvested. On the other hand, I was less experienced in how to harvest it but I was willing to jump right in.
I watched Agatha harvest it like a pro. Being on my father’s side, I watched him carefully as he held it at the stem—and pulling out from the soil.
Soon we were half of the farm. I kept yawning. My stomach felt empty but I didn’t want to complain of hunger. My father had declared fasting during the morning devotion which would last till 3 pm.

About two hours later, we were done harvesting the ones due for harvest. My right hand was red and sore. My dad laughed as he watched me open and close my hand. He taunted me and called me ‘ole’ he meant I was a lazy person. Well, he was right. I wasn’t used to such kind of work.
As we walked back to the house, I looked around and it seemed the mornings here feels magical. The sky was golden as the sun rose. Birds chirped from a distance and the temperature felt friendly. My father was telling me something about the people of Ibadan and their cultural heritage as we walked back to the house. Agatha followed behind.

***

By the time we got back to the house, my aunt and other family members had started breakfast for the younger ones. It wasn’t for us because we were fasting. I don’t even know why my father wanted us to fast that very day.
My eyes were already turning and my belly made a loud noise. I can’t really tell why but anytime we were instructed to fast by my father, those were the period I feel hungrier. On other days I might stay till noon without feeling famished, but anytime my father asked us to fast, that day, all the worms in my belly would assemble and start tormenting me.

The house was bustling with people as neighbors and friends came to offer their condolences. The rest of the day went just like that. People came and left while my Aunt tried her best to remain a good hostess. I’m sure you would like to know if I fasted till 3 pm that day? Uhm, well, without mincing words, I didn’t!
I tried but I couldn’t bear the hunger. Just like my father would always quote the Bible, “No man can do the things of God except he is with him.” Maybe God wasn’t with me and maybe that was why I couldn’t engage in fasting. It was around 12:30 pm when I sneaked inside the kitchen.

The following day would be my Aunt’s husband’s funeral, and it was really starting to set in that he was gone and gone forever. Late in the evening, a small circle of men was seen outside the house. I could see they were all men who were a lot like my Aunt’s husband. Men of integrity. My father was talking to them and I decided to move closer. They spoke of the deceased, and the kind of man he was, telling stories about some of his crazy ideas and sayings. Of course, nobody usually speaks ill of the dead. It was all positive stuff I heard.

Well, it was a good feeling as I learned more about the man who I knew so little about. I soon found out that my Aunt’s husband had not only been a good husband to my Aunt but a perfect friend to all of these men. They were saddened to have lost him so soon. He was 47 and my Aunt was 38.

Their conversation soon diverted as one of these men asked my father, “Has Bose (My Aunt) told you what she plans to do with the farm?” he said and everyone went mute to hear what my father would say. “No, not yet,” replied my father speedily. “But that wouldn’t be a problem. I’ll talk to her, too. Bose is a strong woman too and I think she can take care of it in the long run,” my father added.

After a few seconds, my father spoke again. “Uhm, I think Femi might stay with her for a while after the funeral. I was puzzled. I turned in his direction with my eyes widened, and he nodded his head in affirmation of what he just said. He patted my back too. I wasn’t really happy he said that. I stood up and went to the backyard to ease myself.

“You could go inside and do that,” I heard a voice in the dark. It seemed like Biola’s voice and my guess was right when I turned to see her standing behind me. I quickly zipped up my jeans. “I’m sorry,” I uttered, embarrassed. On hearing my voice, she turned, “Oh! It’s you,” she said surprised. Biola was the youngest sister to the deceased, my Aunt’s husband. She was probably 20 or less.

I tried kicking some sand over the little pond I had created. I didn’t want her to perceive the offensive smell of my urine.
When I looked back at Biola, I could see her eyes watering and I knew she was trying not to cry. She slowly turned around, and I stood there wondering what to do. My eyes wandered up and down her protruded backside. She had a pretty face but she was short. She always tried to wear shoes with heels just to increase her height.

“I’m so sorry about your brother,” I said slowly. “Thanks,” she said, still facing away. When I embraced her, she cried; sobbed, and breathed heavily like she just heard the news. I knew she hadn’t gotten over the whole thing. “It’s okay, Biola,” I pleaded with her to stop. When she was finally calm, my clothes were wet from her tears, and with my right hand, I wiped her face. Her eyes seemed red already.
Minutes later, I held her in her left hand and we headed inside.

***

The next morning, we had the funeral. The entire day was a sad ordeal. I soon realized how much I hated seeing my mom and Aunt cry. My dad had his arms around my Aunt. He consoled her while using some Bible chapters and verses to remind her of God’s promises. I can’t really remember, but I knew he mentioned Philippian’s something something. Forgive me, I can’t remember the chapters and verses.

I didn’t feel like crying but watching my mother sob broke my composure and I could feel my eyes watering. Aramide was sobbing uncontrollably, and I was glad Shola and a few other people were around her. Aramide had been with them for three years, and she was reeling, having seen the casket buried. We stayed moody hours after the funeral had ended, and I couldn’t help but contemplate all the changes death brought.

Later in the evening, my father and I talked about what he said yesterday. Though I had given it a little thought, considering all the people I’d miss back in Ondo. Agatha and Bukola would surely miss me too.
We had a long discussion about how it might be useful if I stayed with my Aunt at least for two weeks or more. I was really perfect for the task because I had nothing waiting for me back home. The only challenge was that I came to Ibadan with few clothes.
“You’ll buy a few clothes to stay here for some weeks,” my father added. He seemed to be tired of seeing me doing nothing at home.

My father didn’t waste any time proposing the idea to my Aunt. The first thing she said was, “How about his school?” My father answered by telling her I was done with secondary school. My father took me aside and informed me that he would be depositing some funds to help me get a few clothes and other things I’d need. I was glad, considering I had only twelve thousand naira left in my Kuda account.

When I got back to the room, my mom, Shola, and Agatha were getting their things ready for the next day. Bidemi was the only one absent from the funeral. Her school was in session and she couldn’t come. Her absence was so noticeable because she would have talked and talked.

I spent the next couple of minutes thinking about what my stay in Ibadan would look like in absence of Agatha and Bukola. Now faced with Aramide the religious sister of mine.

Well, Biola was staying back too. She planned on spending a few days before returning to Lagos. Biola had always called me by my pet names that I wondered if she had a crush on me. She seemed to like how I treated her too, and who knows maybe she planned to stay back because I was asked to stay back with my Aunt. Or maybe it was just my weird imagination or something. My few days in Ibadan would surely tell.

To be continued…


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