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[STORY] LIVING WITH MY GRANDMA (Episode 12)

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LIVING WITH MY GRANDMA Story by Frank The Writer _ AllNaijaEntertainment
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Episode 12.

After I rebooted myself like a corrupt system, I walked down the staircases. It still seemed like I was dreaming. Like, he didn’t even feel remorseful nor stopped to say anything to me. That thought alone was crazy. I left the lodge and walked down the street. I really thank God I wasn’t hit by a moving car because, if you saw the way I was walking absent-mindedly, you’d think I lost a huge amount of money.

The day was getting darker, I had to walk faster like I was being chased by someone. My pace was weird. I finally stopped a bike man and asked that he take me to where I’d see a bus going to my hometown. He obliged and said my money was #200 naira. I didn’t argue. I quickly climbed and we zoomed off on the tarred road. My heart was just beating anyhow. I have never felt that way before. My first heartache and it wasn’t nutty. It literally felt like my heart was crushed. Nothing felt right in my mind. Everything went dark and felt meaningless.

Before the bike man could reach where he would drop me, I had already developed a slight headache. You needed to see my face. When he finally stopped, I paid him and he left. I stood there by the roadside. Cars and trucks swooshed past. It bubbled with so much excitement with people loitering about. Twinkle stars dotted the sky, and it was 7:14 pm when I glanced at my wristwatch. I became so worried. What if I get home very late at night and peradventure grandma had gone to bed, what would I do? My phone was down too.
So many negative thoughts clouded my head. But I was left with no option. I knew nobody in Awka, and even though I did, there was no means to reach anybody.

There were other people by the roadside also waiting for the next available bus to stop. We waited for fifteen minutes before one eventually halted when it got to where we stood. Everyone took on their heels, running towards the bus, vying for space. The sharp girl in me quickly got activated. “Nwayoo Nwayoo,” the conductor gestured them to take it easy. I didn’t dull myself at this point because I knew what was at stake. Who knows when another bus would come. The way and manner I squeezed myself inside the bus got other passengers talking. They marveled, but I gat no joy, so I didn’t join in the laughter.
When finally it got filled, few other people were unlucky, so they stood waiting for the next available bus.

The driver ignited the engine and screeched loudly on the tarred road. I sat calmly in the back seat nursing thought. I was impatiently waiting to get home so I could just sleep over the heartache and hope the next day gets better. The driver played one annoying song that I felt like planking him. The road was free. No traffic like while I was coming the previous day. Though there were still few uniform men at several checking points. As usual, collecting what they feel was their right. The driver didn’t argue whenever they flagged him down.

It was around 8:17 pm when I finally alighted from the bus and gave the conductor #150. I have one more route to traverse before getting home. And it required just about a ten-minute ride from the junction where I stood fagging down bike men, but they tried taking advantage of the time to charge me higher. I didn’t have enough cash with me again, so I overlooked those greedy bike men and waited to see if I’d see one that would take a lesser amount from me.
Just then, a mini bike drove past. It turned and drove back and halted before me. “Zee, what are you doing here by this time of the night?” cane a masculine voice.

I quickly looked up to see who knew me. It was Ikenna, one of my classmates then in secondary school. But Ikenna left our school after he wrote junior waec with us. He didn’t move on with school after the exams. He simply went on to learn electrical wiring and connection. And he had turned a certified electrician, making his own money.

“Ikenna, is that you? Hmmm… longest time.” I chuckled.
“Yeahhhh. Otegokwa oo.” He meant it’s been a while.
“Where are you coming from? Are you going home now?” he added in one breath. He then rubbed his hand against his long beards.
“Yeah. I went for my screening exam at Unizik, Awka.”
“Oh! How was it? Well, I trust you naa. Z for Zee!” He showered me with praises.
“You this boy, you still haven’t changed.”

We laughed.

“Well, it didn’t hold again.”
“Postponed?”
“Yeah.”
“Okay. Oya enter, let’s get going.”
“Oh! Thank you, so much.” I climbed the back seat, and we zoomed off.

We didn’t get to converse while he drove. Ikenna was on earphones too. Probably he was listening to music.

At last, Ikenna dropped me outside our gate and I couldn’t thank him enough for his kind gesture. He refused to collect a dime from me. I thought he might even request my phone number, but he left without asking for anything. I heaved a sigh of relief, finally getting home safely. It was a few minutes past nine, and the gate was locked. I had to hit harder at the gate before grandma came out with a rechargeable lamp. I saw her through the side of the gate as she walked towards the gate.

“Ziora, why didn’t you stay and come back the next day? I have been calling your number and it wasn’t connecting.” Grandma lamented in the Igbo language when finally she opened the big black gate. She even went on in a proverbial statement that I barely understood. I stood there dumbfounded. If only she knew my pains, she would just leave me to be. She was angry because I kept late night and still didn’t call to inform her I was coming. “What if something bad had happened to you?” She added to my discomfort.

Silence.

She turned and walked in, and out of nowhere, Darlington was the next person I saw behind her. Damn! So, this guy is here again; I said to myself. He didn’t say anything to me. I returned the energy too. We just stared at each other, I was already pissed off by grandma’s harsh words. Darlington waited till I walked in, he then locked the gate and followed behind me. I walked straight to my room. There was light, so the first thing I did was plug my phone into a socket. I walked towards the bed and slumped tiredly, my eyes glued to the white bulb.

Heartbreak really sucks. Tears were gradually forming in my eyelids. I thought I could handle it. I thought I could shrug it off. I just lay on my bed balling in tears. Old memories kept popping up. I remembered those happy days with my guy. The days we had good moments and laughter. It seemed like the world was coming to an end, and I was the only one who knows.

I was left with tons of questions. I pondered if I’d ever move on from Meska, the one that ripped my heart out. What actually made me fall in love with him and what really made him break my heart? I rose and reached for my phone. It had added some charges, so I powered it. WhatsApp was the first app I clicked on. I texted him. I had to pour out my heart with words. My messages ticked two but he didn’t seem to care. He didn’t open my messages, even when it was obvious he was online. I tried a lot to interact with him but he seemed too busy to read my texts. I had hoped he would reply me, but, still, I got no reply from his side.

Again, I controlled my mind by thinking he was busy. I felt jealous recalling I had met him with someone else earlier. She might be the one getting all the attention now, I had pondered. Tears trickled down my cheeks and I dabbed my face with my left hand. I never knew a day would come when I’d cry because of Meska. The same guy I had been supporting with everything in me. I remembered teasing him about his girlfriends treating him well in school and he denied and said it was just me. Damn! So, Meska had been playing me all this while?

Again I messaged “Hello” and a reply popped up saying, “Yeah?” I didn’t know what to say anymore. The question mark was a big a turn-off and that got me feeling terrible. Maybe I shouldn’t have texted him. Well, I got some courage and I still confessed my feelings and how terrible he made me feel, Meska read but didn’t reply. I felt broken but it was okay. There was nothing else I could do. I got hurt knowing that he actually read and ignore me.

I lay there on my back, feeling the tears streaming down my face after I have ran out of energy for those big sobs. Looking at this particular cloth of mine he wore the last time he was in our house, all I felt was pains. I felt like changing his contact name from Meska to pains, so I don’t get to re-read all of those WhatsApp messages again. It pained me not knowing how he felt about the whole thing, but I was almost certain he didn’t feel what I felt. I remembered what Grandma once said, “they don’t love you, they’d only sleep with you and move to the next person.”

Thirty minutes later, I was staring at one of the pictures of Meska and I were in a romantic pose when I heard someone cough from behind. I was flabbergasted when I realized Darlington was standing behind me. Who knows how long he had been standing there.

“So, this is the dude you have been allotting grandma’s foodstuffs?” He said. Damn! I was shocked to my bone marrow. How on earth did this one get to know? I was certain nobody knew about Meska and I. How come this guy knew. I deliberated as I stared blankly at him. “You know what I’m saying, or do you want to deny it?” He added.

Silence.

He was getting at my nerves with all those provoking queries. As if what Meska did to me wasn’t enough, and there he stood acting like one headteacher. Surprisingly, the next move Darlington made was, he turned. And when I thought he was leaving my room, he locked the door and turned at my direction.

To be continued…


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