My Daddy had traveled that morning and considering how heavy he’d packed, It was very obvious that he was going on one of his usual “business trips”. This always meant that we won’t be seeing him anytime soon.
Just the night before, on my way back from seeing Oluchi, I’d eavesdroped on Daddy’s conversation with his wife (my stepmother).
Daddy had asked my stepmother if it was okay for me to go over; to be with my Mum for a while. Especially since we were on holidays (at the time).
“Ha! No now. Have you forgotten what happened the day that woman was leaving this house? Have you forgotten what led to you, literally prying Richard off of her hands in that hard long battle? Don’t you know that if he goes over to her place now in the disguise of holiday, he won’t be coming back again? She will just keep him to herself and you might never be able to have access to him, ever again.” My stepmother said.
I heard my Daddy heave a deep sigh. I was afraid that he must have thought there was some sense in what my stepmother had just said.
I’d not seen my mother since that day she left the house. I’d not heard her voice either.
My stepmother found a way to make my daddy forbid it; forbid any means of contact.
One would have thought that my school should have been a perfect place for a meet, if my mother cared enough but it wasn’t.
My stepmother ensured that that was not an option either.
My stepmother made my Daddy go over to the school authorities one day, to have them ban my mother from ever coming anywhere close to the school premises to see me. He also made sure that my mother could not possibly wait at a particular spot to see me on my way back from school either.
“But he is still her son and she deserves to see him too. Its been so long since they both last saw.” My Daddy said in rebuttal to the point my stepmother had raised earlier, in a manner that depicted “reason”.
I was happy to hear that part, in their conversation.
I was hopeful.
It meant that my father was not so unreasonable after all.
But my happiness was short leaved.
“Hmm! Well, on a second thought, I think you have a point in what you have said. That woman is mischievous and could have something planned. Paul is not going anywhere.” Daddy concluded.
I was eclipsed by sadness at this point.
As i turned to leave that night; to take the long sad walk towards my room, I heard a voice; a very familiar voice.
It was Oluchi’s.
Oluchi whispered in my ears…
“Don’t worry baby, she’ll wish she had let you go, before long.
My daddy was away for three weeks. In those three weeks, my step mother’s cruelty upon me, heightened.
I was convinced that this woman devices new means to cause me pains every time she was bored.
My stepmother was so good at it, that at a point, I began to wonder if she was not just wasting her God’s given talents on “little Me”.
That woman’s creativity in causing pain was unmatched.
I was sure; very certain that my stepmother’s inspirations to enact most of these evil she enacted upon me were “divine”.
It couldn’t have been anything besides being “divine”, it just couldn’t have.
No one could possibly wrack their heads so hard, just so they can come up with “unique” ways to enact these cruelty like this woman does. No one.
I mean, my step mothers does these, effortlessly.
But there was just one small problem with all of these.
I was the only person seeing this side of my stepmother.
Even my daddy, to a reasonable extent see my stepmother as a loving, caring, God fearing, responsible and very reasonable (woman) wife.
The only flaw my father assumes my stepmother has, is her short temper.
My stepmother was an elder in church. She mentors people. Prominent people looked up to her and her words were usually “watch words”.
If you see my stepmother preaching on a pulpit, advising or even counseling people, you won’t be able to help it; falling in love with the personality she portrays was imminent.
During a conversation with Oluchi the other night, I was forced to ask…
“If the world thinks very highly of my stepmother and I happen to be the only one (besides my mummy of course) who thinks otherwise, doesn’t that make me (us) the minority? If she was as terrible as I have come to see her to be, should I be the only person seeing it? I’m sure I’d once heard, during pastor Isaac’s sermon, that characters were like smoke and can not possibly be hidden forever? Why are others not seeing what I am seeing glaringly in this woman day in, day out?”
Oluchi smiled all through my questions. When she finally opened her mouth to say something, I’d expected it to be an answer to my question but it wasn’t.
It was something else; something dark; something more.
“Don’t worry, Paul, we’ll make the world see her for who she truly is, and even a little bit of who she isn’t. It’ll be her little punishment for being evil at heart and saintly in the presence of all”.
To be continued…
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