Ever since the robbery incidence, Henry refused to talk to anyone, not even his wife. No one knew what was going on in his mind, no one could get him to say something no matter how much they tried. Before he used to sit with his wife at her restaurant but recently, all he did was stay at home drinking and talking to himself. She decided to try talking to him again that night when she got back from work.
Abigail: “Are you still like this? Honey, are you really still like this? You are drunk every minute of the day” she slumped down on the single arm chair which stood right beside the 16” LED flat screen TV they used.
Henry: “Uhn” he grunted drunkenly.
Abigail: “And to think of it, you actually remind me of the story I read on Adelove blog some time ago, a father who wagered his daughter’s life on the Devil’s gambling table just that yours was done in another style. This drinking habit you just cultivated is what relates you to Olamide and it could be your downfall also. Why can’t you remove this mourning cloak you have decided to don around yourself and find a way to make things better? What will you tell your sons when they come back and ask after their sister?” she leaned forward so her head was just inches away from his.
Henry: “I am drinking so I can easily die of course. A person who intentionally exchanged his life and that of his daughter on the Devil’s gambling table should not live right?” he said indifferently.
Abigail: “At least you are still with your wits. You are alive because you have been given a second chance otherwise those robbers could have killed you. You should find a way to set things right”
Henry: “See woman leave me alone or what is your problem? Leave me alone and stop pestering me. How on earth do you think I can set things right at this age? I am okay this way, this alcohol makes me forget my troubles but you keep reminding me of them. What kind of wife are you exactly? All you do is complain endlessly, nag endlessly, what exactly do you want that I haven’t given you?”
She felt like she had been stricken with lightening at his sudden outburst, she felt tremendously hurt…
Sunlight seeped into her eyes as one of the maids pulled the window blinds to let light in. she squinted her eyes as she opened them slowly. The events of the previous day went rushing back into her memory. The look on Dave’s face when he set eyes on her, like he regretted that she was there, he had something else blazing in his eyes she didn’t want to think about. It almost seemed like desire mixed with anger, no one else had noticed it but her. He had grumbled a hello to her and stormed out of their presence like one who was uneasy. His parents had given an excuse for his misdemeanour that maybe he was tired but she knew better than that.
She yawned and stretched on the California King Size bed which was in direct contrast with her orthopaedic bed at home due to its softness and fluffiness. She looked beside her and realised Richmond was not by her side which was unlike him. She got out of bed, went to the bathroom to freshen up, wore one of the many designer clothes they had gotten for her and stepped out on uneasy legs. She prayed in her heart that she wouldn’t bump into Dave. She had succeeded in avoiding him most part of the day.
He knew she was avoiding him, maybe she was able to decipher his reaction that day, he felt bad for giving her bad impression about himself on their first day of meeting. Just that he was struck by her beauty. From the legs to the hair was beautifully crafted. The way her eyes rolled in their sockets when she saw him almost made him want to pee in his pants and that was why he had to leave before he did something wrong. What perturbed him the most was how his brother went about landing himself such a rare gem? He had always abhorred Nigerian girls but this one took his breath away at first sight.
He walked briskly to the balcony where he noticed she always went to stand at for some minutes every morning. He stood beside her, watching as she closed her eyes, tilted her head up while air blew on the braids she had on. It was like watching a Hindi goddess with a fan intentionally fixed on her hair to seduce men.
Dave: “Hmm hmmm” he cleared his throat while she opened her eyes suddenly and looked sideways, she opened her mouth to say something but closed it again. “I’m sorry for distracting your meditation. I didn’t know you’d be here, just came in for some breath of fresh air and for the sight. I always love watching the cars, pedestrians, especially the stuffs happening at this filling station right under us at this same spot before I travelled. Living upstairs is bliss” he said without looking at her, he knew she was doing that already, didn’t want to make it more awkward than it already was.
Adaeze: “Yeah it’s blissful” she chipped in.
Dave: “My name is David by the way. Sorry I didn’t wait to introduce myself properly yesterday. I felt like I had known you for a very long time kindof”
Adaeze: “It is fine. My name is Ada”
Dave: “Yeah I have heard a lot about you from Richmond. He just won’t stop talking about you. So how come you agreed to marry my brother? Is it cos of the money?” he regretted saying that as soon as he said it “I am so sorry, I shouldn’t have said that” he apologised when he saw the look on her face.
Adaeze: “Yes it was for the money. To be sincere, your dad paid a million naira as my bride price. What lady would refuse such?” she snapped and tried to walk away but he held her back and drew her closer with her chest brushing against his and her breath caught in her throat. “What are you doing now you jerk?” she asked pushing him away.
Dave: “I am sorry, I just couldn’t let you walk away angrily like that” he said bowing his head like an erred school boy who was about to get reprimanded by his class teacher.
Adaeze: “So you decided to make me even angrier? Wow! Are you always like this or you learnt it from wherever you came from?” she asked trying to stop herself from laughing. For some unknown reason, she found him amusing, the facial expression he made when he apologized, how he bowed crookedly. It all made her want to see him as being adorable.
Dave: “So I heard you are a dancer, wanna dance with me some day?”
Adaeze: “I don’t wanna. Just steer clear of me in this house okay? Something tells me you have nothing for me but trouble” as she took a step backward, she heard someone ranting drunkenly in the sitting room. She recognised the voice and ran off immediately, taking the steps two at a time when she saw her dad being pushed out by the driver.
Henry: “Thank God my daughter is here, I have come to take her back home with me” he said and lunged for her while the driver tried holding him back.
At the back of her eyes, she saw Dave approach, she felt so ashamed of herself and angrier with her dad for bringing disgrace into her life in the house he had sold her into. Mr Nwokolo was sitting on his wooden klismos chair where he loved sitting to read the day’s papers.
Mr Nwokolo: “I said throw that man out of my house, he has no daughter in this house” he bellowed without looking up from the papers her was reading.
Henry: “You are a wicked man Abuchi, you are very wicked. You think I don’t know you sent those armed robbers to steal the money? Today, I must go back home with my daughter. Yes I must. Ada come let’s go home” he shouted while still struggling with the driver.
She didn’t know when tears started streaming down her face, she could not believe that was her dad, the drunkard in that living room was actually the Dr Henry she knew.
Adaeze: “Please get out Mr Henry. I don’t know you and I don’t ever want to see you in this house again. Now get out” she took giant steps towards him and started pushing him out too. He stood still for a moment, staring into thin air, what Ada had said hit him in the head like a tornado. He turned back on his own and started walking out.
Henry: “You are going to regret this Abuchi” he muttered as he walked back on wobbly feet.
Mr Nwokolo: “Don’t ever come back to this house again, greedy man” he shouted after him.
Question: Was it right for Ada to have spoken to her dad like that? Does Dave have a good intention towards Ada?
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