Read Chapter XXXVI here.
“I’ll go and check up on him,” Bisi said as she got up and made her way up the stairs. She could hear her heartbeat with each step she took. She sighed nervously as she paused in front of his door.
“Nhyira…are you okay?” She asked. No response. She called his name again. No reply. She tried opening the door but found it locked. She knocked.
“Nhyira…please open the door.”
“I want to be alone, mum.”
“Just let me in for a minute, okay?”
“No. I don’t want to talk.”
“Are you sure? I promise you’ll feel better if you let me in.”
Bisi gave out a heavy sigh. Maybe it was better she left him alone. She entered her bedroom and sat on the bed. The door opened some minutes later and Fiifi walked in. Bisi had covered her face with her palms. He sat beside her.
“He didn’t want to talk to you, huh?” She shook her head. He put his arm around her and pulled her into his bosom. He kissed the top of her head.
“It will soon blow over. Everything will be okay.”
“Are you speaking out of certainty or hope?”
“Hopeful certainty…it’s all we’ve left. Sooner or later, he’ll come to terms with it and be himself again.”
“And if he doesn’t?”
“Why wouldn’t he? This is the only family he’s got.” Bisi wished that would make her feel better, but it didn’t.
Nhyira lay wide awake on his bed, staring at the ceiling when his door opened.
“Are you awake? Great. Good morning. What would you like to have for breakfast?” Ewuresi asked.
“I don’t know.”
“Don’t tell me you’re still sulking.” She sat on his bed.
“Do you want to talk about it?” He shook his head.
“Where is mum?”
“She and dad have already left for work. She asked us to look after you.”
“I want you to know that we didn’t tell you the truth earlier because we didn’t want you to feel like a stranger with us. We all love you dearly and you coming into our lives has been a blessing. I hope you’re not angry with us.”
“I’m not. I’m just sad that mum…is really not my mum. She really takes care of me…”
“Because she is your mum, Nhyira. The fact that she didn’t carry you inside her doesn’t make her any less of your mum than your biological mother. Constance told you all those lies so you would hate mum but you know how much mum cares. She is not who Constance says she is,” Esi said. He nodded. Their mother hasn’t treated him in any way to make him doubt his place in the family. But it still hurt to know he had no biological ties to the woman he has grown to love as his mother.
“I know mum loves me. Thanks for reminding me, Esi.” Esi smiled.
“So what do you want for breakfast?”
“What are you eating?”
“Kuks and I are going to have the best of English breakfast today. It’s been a while and since mum is not home, we can eat as much protein as we possibly can. It would be our welcome home treat. Wanna join?”
“Great. Lay your bed and join us after you’ve brushed your teeth.” She got up from the bed.
“See ya,” she said and left the room. Nhyira got out of bed and entered the bathroom.
The three had a feast for breakfast and then moved to the living room where they binge-watched Grey’s Anatomy. They chatted for a while, watched a couple of episodes and they all fell asleep on the couch. The sound of Kukuaa’s phone ringing woke her up. She picked it.
“Yeah, mum?” She yawned.
“Have you prepared lunch for Nhyira?”
“Huh? What time is it?”
“Almost three. Don’t tell me you’re still in bed.”
“No; I was sleeping when you called though. And why are you only asking about Nhyira? What about us?”
“Oh I’m sure you two can commit to some fasting if you want. I just don’t want you to starve my boy while you are at it.”
“Wow…what an impartial mum you are.” Bisi chuckled.
“Anyway, there are some stews in the fridge. I’m sure you can put together something.”
“Aha, don’t forget dinner. Cook something nice. Something romantic for two…”
“Oh wait…how’s he doing?”
“Nhyira? He’s fine. We were all sleeping but your phone call woke us up. Mum, could you pass by the supermarket and do a little grocery shopping?”
“Why, I did some shopping not too long ago. I believe we have enough…”
“Nah, not exactly.”
“Don’t tell me you had another of your ‘royal’ English breakfasts today.”
“Great. Then you owe us one, your dad and me.”
“Okay. Take care, mum. See you soon.”
“Yeah, love you.”
“Love you too, bye.” She ended the call.
“That was mum checking in if we had had lunch.”
“Awww…isn’t she the sweetest?” Ewuresi asked.
“Um…actually, she was only concerned about Nhyira.”
“And she wants a romantic dinner for two.”
“So we’re going to be her chefs for the vac, huh?”
“Looks like it. Let’s go and see what we can eat.” She got up and Esi followed suit. Nhyira started playing a video game. He smiled to himself as he thought about their mother calling just because of him.
When Fiifi returned home, the school vacationers had just finished dinner.
“You couldn’t wait for me?” He asked.
“We wanted to but mum requested a romantic dinner for two which meant we were not invited so we decided to take the lead,” Kukuaa explained.
“Oh, then I’m good. I hope you have our candles ready.” Kukuaa smiled and shook her head. Her parents could be annoyingly sweet sometimes but she wouldn’t have them any other way.
The four of them sat together and listened to the evening news. When Fiifi mentioned he’d be going to the States on business, the girls began to bombard him with things they wanted.
“I’m going with daddy!” Nhyira announced.
“What? What about us?” Esi said.
“I don’t intend to keep long. Eight or nine days at most. But do you really want to go, Nhyira? Your sisters are home now. Don’t you want to stay home with them?”
“I want to go with you.”
“Yeah, you should go. This way, you can remind him of the things he should get for us,” Esi said.
“You’re not seriously sending me on women shopping errand, are you?”
“Come on dad, it’s not like you won’t buy something for mum. Just take it as some extras.”
“Of course I’ll buy something for your mum. She’s my wife. You’re not.”
“That’s mean!” Fiifi laughed. “Just joking.”
Bisi arrived home and called the girls to unload the groceries from her car.
“Good evening,” she greeted as she approached Fiifi.
“Good evening. It seems you’re in a bit early today,” Fiifi said, checking his phone.
“Yeah, I didn’t want to stay out too late for our romantic dinner. And talking of it, you did prepare us our romantic dinner, didn’t you?” Bisi asked, turning to face the girls as they walked in.
“Yep; dad even requested candles.”
“Aww…thanks, girls. Really appreciate it.”
“You owe us one,” Kuks said, sitting down.
“Oh really? What about what I had to go through, carrying you in my womb for nine solid months?”
“Really mum, you had to bring up the nine month card? Haven’t you overused it?”
“That card never expires. Ask any mother. So you two owe me a lot.”
“Going to change.” Nhyira got up and took her hand. Bisi beamed.
“And my prince is taking me up the stairs.”
“Uh huh, Queen B is home!” Ewuresi said.
“Yep! I’ll be down soon, honey. I know you must be hungry.”
“Nhyira wants to go with me to the States,” Fiifi informed Bisi.
“Oh yeah, he wasn’t in for it the first time.”
“Yeah, I wonder what changed.”
“Well, I’m sure a change of scenery for a few days would do him some good. You were right. He seems like himself today,” Bisi remarked.
“Of course I am. We thank God we can put this behind us quickly.”
“Yeah, me too. Hmm…this is delicious,” she said, smacking her lips.
Bisi hugged Nhyira and his sisters hugged him in turns.
“Have fun but take care, okay?” Bisi said. He nodded.
“Do you want me to buy anything for you?” He asked his mother.
“Aww…that’s thoughtful of you. Um…if you see anything nice you think I’d like, you can get it for me.”
“You like chocolate,” he said. Bisi smiled.
“I like chocolate.”
Fiifi came downstairs. “We’ve got to go.”
He hugged his daughters and then his wife, holding her for a while.
“Be safe,” she muttered.
“You too.” He kissed her cheek.
“Goodbye, sweethearts. We don’t want to be late for check-in.” They walked the two outside where they got into the back seat of the car. John started the engine and hand waves were exchanged. He took it. Bisi sighed.
“Now that we are left alone, what do we do?” Bisi asked.
“Girls’ day out!” Kuks and Esi shouted together. She glanced at them suspiciously.
“It seems you have something planned.”
“Oh we do. Let’s go inside and we’ll tell you all about it.”
Three days later after father and son arrived in the States, Nhyira had a distressing dream which left him unsettled. The more he thought about it, the less enthused he was about going back home. Fiifi left him with his cousin when he went for meetings. After returning from one, Nhyira asked him about schooling there.
“What do you mean?”
“I don’t want to go back home, dad.”
“Nothing. I just want to live here for a while. It’s nice here.”
“I understand but you just can’t live here alone. You can finish senior high school back home and then come here for college if you want.”
“But I can live here with Auntie. Please…”
“Your mum won’t agree.”
“Then don’t tell her. Just go home without me.”
“What? She won’t like that.”
“Please…dad, if you tell her and she talks to me, I wouldn’t be able to say no to her. But I want to stay here.”
“You’ll be lonely here. You’ll miss your mother and sisters and friends.”
“I know but I don’t want to go back home. Mum wanted me to come here, right? Maybe she’ll like that I stay here,” Nhyira pressed.
“I doubt that.” His phone rang. It was Bisi calling.
“Please don’t tell her, dad. I just want to stay here for a while…away from Auntie Constance.”
“What’s going on?” Fiifi asked, not sure of his son’s line of thought.
“Just don’t tell her, dad. Promise.” Fiifi sighed.
Fiifi entered his matrimonial home, dragging is suitcase behind him. Bisi came out of the kitchen.
“You’re here! Welcome home!” Bisi was about to hug him when it dawned on her. She looked behind him.
“Um…he didn’t come with me.”
“What do you mean? Why, what happened?”
“He…he didn’t want to come.”
“I wanted to tell you on the phone but he asked me not to. He says he wants to stay over there.”
“But he has school to attend here.”
“My cousin is arranging for him to get enrolled into a school.”
“So you made such a decision without me?”
“It was his request, B. I couldn’t…”
“Couldn’t what? We are a team, remember? We make such decisions together.”
“I know but you wanted him out of here because of Constance…”
“For a few weeks not forever!”
“It’s not forever.”
“I can’t believe you could do something like that. How could you decide on your own to keep our son away?”
“His mind was pretty made up, B.”
“Did you ask why?”
“He said he wanted to be far away from Constance. It was when he said that I gave in.”
“That is no excuse for keeping me uninformed of this, Fii. You’ve really disappointed me.”
“I’m sorry, B. I thought…”
“I don’t want to hear it.” Bisi said and walked back into the kitchen. She took her phone and called Fiifi’s cousin.
“Hey, this is Bisi. Can I speak to Nhyira?” She waited for a while as he she went to fetch him.
“Sorry, but he says he doesn’t want to speak to you.”
“I know. I’m wondering what’s going on with him.”
“Thank you. I’ll call back.” Bisi ended the call. Fiifi walked into the kitchen.
“Who were you talking to, my cousin?” She nodded.
“Nhyira doesn’t want to talk to me.”
“I just lost my son because you weren’t courageous enough to say no to him.”
“I…Let me call him.”
“Don’t bother. I suggest you find yourself another ticket and fly yourself out of there and go get me my son!” Bisi shouted.
(c) Josephine Amoako 2016
Read Chapter XXXVIII here.