HE SAID NO
Mrs. Robert was pacing to and fro the sitting room, she was restless, it’s been almost a week since Amifel left home without a word. At first, they didn’t know that she had left. They thought she locked herself up like she always does whenever she was upset, but when it was way past midday and she had not as much as opened her door, they got alarmed and her mum decided to check her up in her room. They were shocked to meet her abs£nce.
They did not know what they were in for until Amifel didn’t come home to sleep that day and even days after. They call and s£nt numerous texts, she acknowledged neither of them. Mrs. Robert had been tensed up since the very first day and she regretted that she abused her so much but she tried to justify herself by telling herself countless time that, ‘I only told her the truth as a concerned mother’ and Mr. Robert also tried to make her feel better at every opportunity he got by telling her that Amifel was not a kid, and as such, could fend for herself. Mrs. Robert did not think so.
“My dear, why are you pacing up and down like someone whose house has caught fire?” Mr. Robert said as he settled on a sofa in the sitting room.
Mrs. Robert ignored him as she stood still with her arms akimbo, she kept looking into space like she was seeing an open eye vision. Her husband waited a bit as he watched her in amusement before he spoke.
“Madam, plea-se get me something to eat, I am hungry.”
Still no response.
“Hope you heard me?” he asked.
“plea-se don’t disturb me!” she hissed angrily as she sat on the sofa adjacent to the kitchen door.
“How am I disturbing you? I said I am hungry, or shouldn’t I eat again?”
“Didn’t you eat some hours ago? The last time I set my eyes on my daughter was 5 days ago, and you are here asking for food. Aren’t you worried at all? My mind has been in shambles since she left and you have just been nonchalant! What kind of a father are you?”
“A father that cannot kill himself!” Mr. Robert yelled, “A father who does not want to have hypertension!”
“So, it is me that wants to kill myself? Ehn?”
“I did not say that, I am only trying to tell you to calm down, she probably nee-ds a break.” Mr. Robert lowered his voice again, hoping it would calm her down, he was tired of saying the same thing over and over.
“Is that all you would say? So, what she did was right abi? “
“Woman, I don’t un-derstand you anymore! Weren’t you the one that chased her away? Or when you were hurling abusive words at her, what were you expecting? Moreover, is she a small girl? plea-se leave this girl alone and bring my food!”
“But, you also ignored her, you said nothing and that is even worse! St©p pushing all the blame on me!”
“Fine, get me my food!” He was evidently tired and he was beginning to regret that he [email protected]£ home. What made it worse was that he still had some weeks to spend at home, except he just wants to leave home to hang out somewhere till his next business trip.
” At this junction, I am beginning to have a feeling that you have another child outside, but as far as I am concerned, Amifel is my only child and I am way past menopause so plea-se if you will not help me find my daughter, at least let me look for her in peace!” Mrs. Robert grumbled, stamping her feet angrily as she walked out on her husband.
“That’s your business, just get me my food!” Her husband said loudly.
Mrs. Robert ignored him as she locked the door firmly behind her.
Mr. Chukwuemeka Robert was a staunch Igbo man, he fell in love with Yetunde who he made his wife some years after they met. They gave birth to Amifel about 2 years after their wedding and ever since then, there had been no other issue. They sought all of the help they could think of, medically and spiritually… all to no avail. Mrs. Annabel Robert, who was Chukuemeka’s mum tried all she could to make her son take in another wife but he refused, she died not too long after.
Mr. Chukwuemeka Robert loved Yetunde so much and not even infertility issues could make him hurt her.
Although, he was worried but there was nothing he could do, after all, he didn’t even say anything to her the night the whole thing happened. He was mad at Amifel for ma-king all their efforts to get her married futile and his anger which had subsided by the next day metamorphosized to panic when they discovered that Amifel had left home without telling anyone.
“Who would I call, ehn?” Her worried state was evident in her voice.
Amifel had never done this before, the highest she had done before then was to lock herself up, go out without talking to anyone and lock up herself again when she got back.
She suspected that she was probably with her friends but she did not even know their names talk less of where they lived. As she remembered that it was one of her friends that got married to George, she hissed again as anger rose in her heart. That was what pained her the most.
She felt that George was such a good and promising young man, and it hurts her so much that Amifel’s friend got him instead.
“I just want her back home. I want to see my daughter,” she said to herself as if to remind herself of the state she was currently in.
She tried her number yet again, it still didn’t go throu-gh.
“Amifel, this is not fair oh.” She sighed pitifully as she stood up to fix something for her husband to eat before he got angry with her and left home as Amifel did. That would be worse.
“Hello, am I speaking to Miss Amifel?”
“Yes, you are,” Amifel answered, oblivious of who she was speaking to.
“This is Cynthia, I have been trying to reach you for quite a while,” the lady at the other end said.
“Oh, okay.” Amifel still couldn’t remember, she tried to buy herself a little time to see if she could recollect.
“I wanted to tell you that we changed the colors of the day, we would now be using champagne gold and wine,” she announced.
“Oh, “ Amifel stuttered, still confused. “I am sorry, but I think I am mixing things up. What event are we talking about again?”
“My wedding, don’t you remember me? We met about 3 months back and I told you my wedding would be coming up around mid-June. Bidemi Ayangbami linked us up…”
“Oh, oh oh… I remember now, I remember. I apologize, plea-se. My mind is super-clouded right now, I apologize plea-se.”
“It’s okay, I think we nee-d to meet, that is if you don’t mind. I have some new specifications.”
“Oh… Okay.” Amifel answered, without enthusiasm. “When exactly is the wedding plea-se?”
“June 15 and 16, the engagement is on the 15th while the white wedding is slated for the 16th.”
“Oh…Okay. “she shrugged.
“Alright thank you… and plea-se save my number this time.”
“Okay, I will.”
The lady hung up.
“Oh no!” Amifel shrugged as she sunk her head in the pillow beside her. She was preparing for a birthday [email protected] that was slated for later that week when she called. She closed her record book and la-id back on Grace’s be-d.
Amifel had been spending most of her time back at home, except she had engagements for an event and she still refused to talk to her parents.
Although she had been entertaining other events, Amifel had deliberately been avoiding wedding events in the mean-time, in her words, she nee-ded time to heal and she was tired of planning weddings for other people.
“It makes me traumatized.” She had said in one of those instances.
She had been referring her wedding clients to close t©p-notch event planners that she knew. She didn’t mind losing the money, it was just for a while.
“When would you be re-ady?” Grace asked the previous week.
“I don’t know, much later.” She answered, not sounding like she would be re-ady in a year.
Grace, who had tried to talk her out of it, later had to give up on her conviction stories. Amifel wasn’t really someone that could be f0rç£d to do what she doesn’t want to do. Thankfully, Grace’s wedding was still later in the year. She was definitely going to organize Grace’s wedding and that was non-negotiable.
Now, she was in a fix. Miss Cynthia’s wedding is less than a month away and she was supposed to organize her wedding.
Why can’t she turn it down or refer her to other people like she had been doing for a while? She alre-ady gave the young lady her word and she had collected a hvge chunk of money as [email protected] payment.
She had no choice, well, except she was re-ady to return the money and lose a ju-icy client and possibly more referrals!
Grace knelt with her sides close to the wall socket, she was ironing her clothes. Light hasn’t been so stable of late, Grace had to wear a rumpled go-wn to work that day and it didn’t feel good. As soon as power was restored, she ignored the tired state of her b©dy, reeled her rumpled clothes off the wall hanger and set to work.
Amifel [email protected]£ in while she was at it, she was looking tired and the first thing she did was to un-bu-tton her yellow shi-t and yank it at the far end of the be-d. After they exchanged plea-santries.
“Why are you looking like that?” Grace asked Amifel as she settled in, “Did mummy call?”
“Have you forgotten so soon that I blocked them?”
“Oh, I forgot. Don’t you think you should at least speak to them? They must be worried sick by now, its going to a month since you left home.”
“I am not going back home!” Amifel said with a note of finality as she sh0t Grace a very stern look.
“At least, let them know you are fine, especially mummy.”
“Like they care, I am not a baby, Grace. They should know that I am fine.”
“I don’t know whether they know oh but I know that you are very stubborn,” Grace said with a sm-irk as she stood up to hang her ironed white shi-t on the wall hanger.
“Don’t go and buy a wardrobe and mind your business.” Amifel hissed.
“Heed your advice first, at least I am not hanging it over your head.” Grace retaliated with her ton-gues out.
Amifel kept silent as sat still on the be-d, while deliberately swinging her legs which were a few meters from the ground, the dejected look that she wore into the room had resurfaced. As Grace glanced at her, she felt that she had talked too much and guilt stung her momentarily.
“Are you angry?” she asked, pausing her ironing for a while as she sat on the chair and faced Amifel.
“Urghhh,” Amifel shrugged. “Whoever takes you seriously does not really know you.”
“Yeah, right. How did your day go?”
“Good, I guess. I went to see a client, she wants me to organize her event.“
“Isn’t that supposed to be good news? I mean, that sounds like money to me.”
“Yeah, her wedding is in two weeks.”
“Oh… wow! Do you know her husband?”
“So why are you not happy that she is getting married. “
“I have to attend her wedding.”
“Oh oh…” Grace chuckled, she alre-ady crossed her Ts, Amifel was still avoiding wedding [email protected] “Well, you don’t have to attend.”
“I wish, I really wish I could organize her wedding without being in attendance,” Amifel repeated, dabbing her face with her right palm.
“You gat no choice baby,” Grace said without sympathy, as she resumed ironing. She straightened out her black suit trou-ser on the thick clothes she folded for ironing.
“I know, right. You don’t have to poke it in my face!” Amifel sulked as she landed with her back on the be-d.
“But seriously, maybe this is a setup oh.”
“What do you mean?” Amifel asked as she unpacked her bag.
“You know how God does his things…Maybe he wants you to be conversant with weddings so you can do yours like a pro, or maybe he wants you to learn better dancing steps, “Grace said with a sarcastic tone.
“Hope you are not hungry? Are you saying I don’t know how to dance?”
“Ah! Ami, fear God oh! Is it those archaic stepping that you call dancing?” Grace who had alre-ady left her clothes was reeling on the floor, laughing her head off.
“Look at this one, as if your own is better.” Amifel cackled coldly.
Amifel usually avoided dancing, especially in front of Grace because she usually made fun of her dance steps, Grace had said she was dancing like a c0ckthat had seen a knife. You know how a c0ckscampers for his life when he sees you bringing a knife close to its n£¢k… something like that.
Blessing and her mom also said the same thing, Amifel did not think so but she avoided their banters all the same.
Grace would not un-derstand, she really won’t.
She had no choice though. But after this one, “I am turning down any other wedding ‘skorobo’” she said to herself, resorting to fate.
To be continued…
He said no Episode 35 & 36