He goes back into the room and wakes Iyabo who is still sleeping on the bed.
Iyabo: “Kilode now? Can’t I have a moment of rest in my house again? Why are you shouting my name early morning as if I owe you money? Last night, it was Charity that won’t let me sleep with her ceaseless knocks. This morning, it is you. Which kind local wahala be this now?”
Mr Jide: “Which house? Ehn, Iyabo, tell me which house do you refer to as your house? The one you brought from the gutter where I picked you? Do you remember how we met? You used to go round the houses in our town begging to wash people’s plates, do their laundry and any domestic chores so that you can get money to feed yourself and your siblings because your mother abandoned you all and ran away with another man and your father married another woman and abandoned you his children. I had pity on your condition and when my wife died and my people were pressurizing me to get married, I chose you because I thought with the kind of background you have, you will be the best mother for my child. It is that same you that now has the guts to lock out my own child. You who know what it is to be homeless and hungry. What did this girl do to you? Why do you hate her this much?”
Iyabo: “Oh, you stand before this little rat and remind me of my poor background? Now tell me, what have you achieved by running your mouth like a woman? Are you the only man that has ever established a man? Some men have built mansions for their wives, set up multibillion companies for them and nobody knows anything. Yet, you stand here and brag, the half man that you are”.
Mr Jide: “God knows that I took care of you to the best of my abilities. I may not have done what other men do for their wives but I gave you the best of everything when I had it. All I ask of you is to love this motherless child as your own. Is that too much to ask for?”
Iyabo: “I cannot take care of another person’s child as my own. Why should I? People shouldn’t give birth to children and then die and leave them without taking care of them”.
Mr Jide: “Iyabo, you don’t even fear God. You even mock the dead. I can see that your heart is bitter because you haven’t been able to have another child after you lost your first child”.
Iyabo: “Jide, you! You now mock me because my only child died at infancy? It will never be well with you, my God will punish you”, she curses, crying.
Mr Jide: “Iyabo, I am tired of you and your drama. What you did last night has shown that you can actually kill this girl. And to think that I slept off without knowing anything about it, you are wicked. Pack your belongings and leave my house. I cannot continue to leave with a Devil’s incarnate”.
Iyabo: “hehehe”, she claps her hands together. “You want to chase me out of my home because of this witch that killed her mother, no way. I am going nowhere”.
Mr Jide:”of course you will leave. There can never be two captains in one ship. Since you cannot be submissive, then leave my house. You can come back when you are ready to be submissive”. He goes in and begins to bring out her belongings.
“Daddy! Stop!” Charity shouts. “Please, don’t send her away because of me. Let her be”.
Iyabo: “Will you shut up, you pretender? You think I don’t know that you have been praying in your heart for your father to send me out?”
Mr Jide: “Whether she has been praying or not, Iyabo, just leave my house!”
Iyabo: “Okay, I will leave. You think that this one is a house? I will leave; I will leave you to marry your daughter since you have chosen her over me. Look at this man that I have been managing all these years. You are not even man enough, seff”.
Charity and Stephen leave few days later for her registration. It had taken almost two days for her to convince her father to allow her accept Stephen’s help. Her father had objected, saying that men do not render free help to young girls. He had invited Stephen over and after discussing with him, he permitted her to go. On their way to her school, Charity decides to ask him some questions.
Charity: “Tell me about yourself, the only thing I know about you is your name and the fact that you are going with me to my school to pay my fees, that’s all”.
Stephen: “Oh well. My name is Stephen, I am the 4th child among nine children, my daddy worked as a civil servant before he retired and my mother owns a shop where she sells clothes and different materials. I studied Law in Ahmadu Bello University, Zaria, I did my Law school in Bwari, Abuja. I was called to the Bar two years ago and I am practicing in a Chambers in town”.
Charity: “Wow, you are a Barrister, no wonder you have this NBA sticker in your car”.
Stephen: “That is correct. So tell me, are you engaged?”
Charity: “No, are you married?”
Stephen: “Married? Not at all. Do I have any ring on my finger?”
Charity: “You don’t have to keep a ring on your finger, now. How many married men wear their wedding rings these days? Some pull it off and when they want to go for their runs, what some people call away match”.
Stephen: “Hahahha…You are so funny. Which one is away match again?”
Charity: “Are you asking me? Na married men fit answer that one o”.
They arrive the university and begin the tedious registration process of moving from one building to the other, paying bills and filling different forms. Stephen accompanies her to everywhere without complaining. At the end of the day, she has to opt for a change of course because the department of Linguistics which is the initial course that she was offered is already filled up. She had no option but to study Theatre Arts.
It has been almost two years since Charity started the University. All these while, Stephen has been very supportive as he single handedly takes care of her bills without her father contributing anything. They are so much in love that her friends and course mates used to think that they married because he is always coming to check on her during weekends. He has also introduced her to his parents and they accepted her as their own child. His siblings showered her with so much love that she couldn’t wait to become a member of their family. Charity’s roommate Stella who is also her course mate has been trying to talk Charity into attending parties and keeping male friends just like she does. Charity refused and each time Stella comes to the room late and drunk, Charity advises her to desist from such acts. On this day, Charity having read till 11:30pm decides to turn off the light and sleep because she thinks that Stella will not come back again. She is on the bed when Stella starts knocking. Charity gets up and opens the door.
Charity: “I have told you to stop coming back by this time. I am tired of waiting late for you. I am not a gate keeper so you don’t expect me to be up anytime you knock”.
Stella: “Charity baby, how far na? This one wey you dey provoke with me so, Stephen no call you this night? Shebi na because my key lost if not I for no dey disturb you like this”.
Charity: “I am not joking. You need to stop this life style. We are in 200level and so far the number of courses that you have failed is more than the number than you have passed. You have so many carryovers that carryover is now synonymous to your name. All these sugar daddies you follow around will just dump you after spoiling your future. Don’t you want to graduate with your mates?”
Stella: “Ehn-ehn, just hold it there. Who are you to tell me how to live my life? Oh, I don’t blame you, now. I blame the university that made us roommates. If you don’t know how to enjoy your life, I do. Don’t try to rub off your holier than thou attitude on me. Be there and be keeping yourself pure for one man that may even end up not marrying you at the end of the day. You don’t know what you are missing, Charity AKA Virginia. Biko, don’t disturb me o, I want to sleep, I am tired”.
Charity: “Okay, I shouldn’t disturb your sleep right? You will see who will wake up to open the door for you when you come back late tomorrow”.
Stella: “Ah-ah, sorry now, ore mi. The only friend I have in this university, every other friend that I have is a counterfeit. See there is this dinner in town tomorrow, it’s in honor of one big politician and many big men will be there. You need to follow me there, you don’t have to do anything, just smile and they will just be dashing you money anyhow. You know that you have a charming smile. I can also hook you up with a big politician that will be giving you money”.
Charity: “No, I am not interested”.
Stella: “But you know that you need extra money and…”
Charity: “Please, allow me sleep”.
Charity wakes up early the next morning to prepare for her 8:00am GST lecture. She is rushing her plate of hot custard so that she can leave early and secure seats for herself and Stella who is still sleeping when her phone begins to ring.
“Yes, hello who is this? What ! My father? N120, 000! Where will I get that kind of money from? God, I am finished”.
Stella jumps up from the bed when she heard Charity scream.
Stella: “What is it? Why did you scream? Wetin happen? Na who die?”
Charity: “It’s my father, he is sick at the hospital. I need to go there now”.
Stella: “Hold on, I will go with you”.
They set out for the hospital. When she gets to the male ward, she meets her father lying down, looking weak and fragile. He tries to get up on seeing her but gives up because of the excruciating pain in his lower region. Charity notices that his palm is swollen as a result of the drip that he has on.
Charity: “Daddy!” She runs to him and hug him, tears flowing from her eyes. “What happened to you? Do you want to die and leave me in this world all alone? What did I do to offend God?”
Mr Jide: “No, my daughter, you are not alone, God is with you. Don’t worry about me, I will be fine”.
Charity: “Your hand is swollen, I am not sure the drip is flowing well. I need to call the nurse”, she runs out and informs the nurse who comes with her and adjusts the drip”.
Charity: “What did the doctor say is the problem?”
Question: Will Stella succeed in corrupting Charity? What is happening to Charity’s father? Where will she get the amount needed to save his life?
… SEE Episode 10 Below (You don’t wanna miss this!)
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