The past two weeks have been topsy turvy.
Something bad has happened to my dad.
He wouldn’t say what when I asked him but I could see the lost, forlorn look on his face.
Mum moved out most of her things few days ago.
“I’ve rented a temporary flat” she said as she bundled her box into her car.
“I’d come get you and your brother when I’m settled”
I nodded and watched her leave; road dust settling in the wake of the speeding car’s disappearance.
I think the worst part of the fortnight has been Mark’s silence.
After narrowly escaping being caught with me, he sent me on my way few minutes after my mum left.
“I’d call you.” He said as he shut the door in my face.

I’ve tried to call him but his number is unavailable.
I picked up the courage last week to visit him but he wasn’t home.
Even the file he said he would return….
I feel like I’ve done something wrong but what??
School has been a blur.
I haven’t been to church the past 2 sundays; affecting an illness whenever it was time to leave.

Friday evening and I’m in bed being moody.
“This sucks” I mutter to myself as I switch lying positions.
I hear voices in the living room.
“Sounds like mummy”
I get off the bed, put on my flip flops and go check.

I’m right.
Its mummy…and Mark?
“Welcome mummy” I say and just stare at Mark; the hurt I’m feeling showing on my face.
More puzzling is the fact that he doesn’t even appear contrite..or guilty.
“Vivi baby” He says brazenly and gives me a smug smile.
My mum is confused and looks at the both of us.
I cannot meet her eye and I make to go back to my room.

“Vivian go call your dad and come down with him thank you” he says after me.
I look at my mum for confirmation and she gives me a little nod smiling.
I don’t know what he had in mind coming here and I don’t like it one bit.
And calling me baby in that mocking voice?
What was that for?
Tears prickle me eyes and I berate myself for the silliness.
And calling out dad??
Is he trying to start a fight or something?
And why is mum so cool about this?
I go tell me dad he has guests and walk out before he asks me who they are.

“Take a seat” Mark says to my dad as he enters the living room.
“Its my house young man. Watch your tone” my dad says and settles down on his favourite sofa.
“So Stella, this is ‘the toy boy'” he says giving Mark the once over and then resting his gaze on my mum.
“Has your contempt gotten to this extent?”
My mum has the decency to look uncomfortable.
I’m seated as far away from the drama as possible.

“Baby, sit down too” Mark says and I look up wondering…
Oh he’s talking to his other ‘baby’; my mum.
My dad’s eyes narrow.

“Now that you are all settled, let me begin” Mark starts.
Suddenly my heart is thumping.
This cannot be good!
Would he expose…
“Chief Badejo. Does this name ring a bell? Onome.”
My dad looks at him with distaste though I can almost see his brain working to remember.
“If you have come hear to waste my time Stella….” He says addressing my mum but Mark interrupts him.
“Trust me Sir, this isn’t a waste of time. Do you remember Onome Okon?”
“Ono?” Mark says in response to my dad’s blank stare.

It clicks.
I could tell the exact moment it did.
My dad’s eyes shone in recognition…and fear?
Mark sees it too.
My mum looks puzzled and looks askance at my dad.
I sure am confused myself.
My dad’s eyes are locked on Mark’s and I can see his lips moving, trying to form…a rebuttal? Or denial.
Mark beats him to it.

“Let me properly address you.”

“Good evening, Father”

My jaws lose elasticity and my mouth hangs open.


(To be continued…wait for it! The finalé!)