Archive for December, 2013

family reunion

Everyone was shocked at the table, even Chibueze. He tried to hide it but his first facial expression showed he hadn’t seen that coming. So much for a so called girlfriend, I guess he barely even knew her.

Mom left her to continue with her prayer, surprisingly. She started praying in English after praying for a while in Arabic and she thanked God for the beautiful family she got to spend Christmas with and prayed that we may see many more years to come.

We were finally eating with little or small talk around the table. No one ready to voice out the obvious, at least not yet. Classic Chibueze had done it again. Why wasn’t I surprised? I’m sure more than half of us weren’t. Where did he find this one again? What had surprised me was how calmly mom was taking it. We were all Igbo, even our spouses. Mom had never wanted us to marry or even date a person from a different tribe, talk less of a different religious background. She had made sure of that.

It wasn’t long before my question was voiced out. Mom suddenly asked the question that was on our minds that wasn’t in connection with the discussion at that moment.

Ebee ka ị ịhụ nke a ọzọ?” (Where did you find this one again?). She asked.

He didn’t look surprised. He smiled like he had been expecting the question.

Nne, ọ bụghị ebe a na ọ bụghị ugbu a” (Mom, not here and not now.). He replied calmly with a little irritation in his voice.

Ị ịgwa nne gị otú ahụ, nwa okorobịa” (Don’t talk to your mother that way, young man.). Dad suddenly interjected sternly.

Mgbe ahụ, o kwesịghị ịjụ m ajụjụ ndị dị otú ahụ nke ọnụnọ onye obula” (Then she shouldn’t ask me such questions in the presence of everybody.). He replied, raising his voice slightly.

“Chibueze” Dad chided.

Mimi raised her hand to place over his own on the table, in an attempt to make him relax but he quickly removed his hand as she touched him.

Ọ dị m nwute” (I’m sorry) He apologized to mom.

Ọ dịghị nsogbu ma anyị agaghị mere ihe a” (There is no problem but we not done with this.). She replied.

“Why am I not surprised?” He asked sarcastically.

Mom turned to his girlfriend and said “You are a muslim.”

More of a statement than a question.

“Yes ma, I am” Mimi replied.

“How is it that your name is Mimi?”

“That’s a long Story, My name is Aminat but I’ve been called Mimi since when I was young.”

“Ooohhhh” Almost all of us chorused like she was talking to us.

“She’s the one, I think she’s a keeper. I definitely want to find out.” Chibueze said forcing himself to smile at her.

“Please, that was what you said to my friend Vanessa, remember?” I said a little bit irritated.

He shot me a ‘not now’ look “Yea, like that would have worked.” He replied with sarcasm.

“You hurt her and my friendship with her got ruined all thanks to you” I continued.

“I thought we’ve moved past this, what I had with your friend would have never worked.”

“Okay, but what about my bestfriend, Adanna?” Chidinma asked.

Ehen, what about her?”

“You broke her heart Chibueze and you know it” She replied sounding annoyed. Raising her voice a little she continued “I had to work hard to get our friendship back to the way things were before you left her heartbroken, I even gave my daughter her name and made her my daughter’s godmother. The only thing I still regret out of all these was me introducing her to you”

I noticed Mimi was shifting in her seat, not so sure she was comfortable with the discussion.

“You didn’t stop there, you also had to go after Dumebi, what do you have to say about that” Chidinma continued.

Mimi had stopped eating. She just used the fork in her hand to play with the food in front of her.

“That stupid whoring bitch”

“But that didn’t stop you from fucking her, did it? She said almost screaming. Nnamdi her husband, held her hand reassuringly trying to calm her down.

“Watch your language, both of you! We have children here” Dad chided.

“You also hurt my friend brother Chibueze, when you visited me in school.” Chibuike said.

His statement made heads turned in his direction with surprised looks on their faces. Mimi was not only surprised, disgust was also written all over her face. I’m sure she was more than embarrassed.

“Can we talk about that later, it wasn’t my intention, I got a little carried away” Chibueze replied.

“You visited your younger brother in school, when was that?” Mom asked.

They continued and ignored mom’s question like they didn’t hear her.

“I had to help her get over it and clean up your mess.” Chibuike said.

“Classic Chibueze. Always leaves you to clean up his mess for him.” Chidinma said, shakimg her head.

“I won’t let you talk to me in that manner, I am not you mate” Chibueze was furious.

“Then act your age and take responsibility for your actions once in your life” Chindinma replied him, matching the tone of his voice.

“That is enough, both of you.” Chigozie finally spoke. “This is the reason why we are here, we are family and we should treat each other as such. I can’t believe you still fight like kids. Can we just eat in peace?”

The air in the room was tensed up, now more than ever. The silence was deafening and it seemed everyone tried so hard not to speak, wanting it not to end up in one huge fight. Chibuike spoke after a few minutes breaking the uneasy silence.

“Sorry but have I met you before?” Chibuike asked Mimi suddenly.

There were confused looks on our faces. What was he talking about? He hasn’t been in the country for long, where would he possibly have met her?

“No, I’m sure you haven’t, I would have remembered” She replied him smiling. There was something about her smile though, as if she was flirting with him, or so I thought.

“I’ve never been good with faces but…” His voice trailed off. “Never mind, maybe I just mistook you for someone else.”

Just then, I wasn’t sure but I think I saw a look pass between Mimi and my father, for just a second, or maybe I was just imagining it.

Chibueze wasn’t eating anymore, I was certain he had lost his appetite. Being ridiculed in front of his family and new girlfriend he was trying to make a good impression on, could have that effect on you. I felt guilty that it was my fault, I shouldn’t have started it in the first place, but in a way, he did deserve it though. His girlfriend too wasn’t at ease, I’m sure she couldn’t wait to leave, maybe take to her heels and never look back.

Chibueze stood up and excused himself. The girlfriend soon followed suit. A few minutes later she returned to the room.

“Thank you sir, thank you ma for having me and for the wonderful meal. I want to take my leave now. It was wonderful meeting you all. Hopefully, we would see again soon.” Mimi said.

“You very much welcome. Goodbye.” Dad replied her and mom just tried to force a smile that came out crooked.

“Bye” Mimi replied and left.

“Oh my gosh! I just remembered where I know her from, she was the girl I brought home from the club, the other night!” Chibuike said almost screaming.

“What?!” Dad, Chidinma and I screamed at the same time surprised.

Mom who held her glass close to her mouth spat out the content in shock.

We all turned to look at him in shock.

“Oh, damn! Did I just say that out loud?” He looked down at his food to avoid looking at any of us.

We all wanted to know what happened but no one asked, not even mom. So the girlfriend was not such a good girlfriend after all. I knew there was something wrong, everything just didn’t seem right. If no one was making a move to know what happened with Chibuike and Mimi, I was going to. Just when I was about ask, dad spoke.

“It’s funny how we try to keep you guys together by having this reunion every year and fail almost every time. Your mother and I have tried to straighten out the issues between you guys but I think it’s time we stop trying. I think you guys set a new record this year. You didn’t even try to put your differences aside and eat as a family” Dad said, stood up and left the room.

Mom left after a few minutes without saying a word. Her silence was unsettling.

Didn’t any of them want to know more about Mimi? Sometimes I just don’t get my parents. Their total silence on the issue was bugging me. I sighed.

So much for Christmas…

 

*We conclude tomorrow… Cheers!

©JAY
@SirJay_Suave
www.facebook.com/jaysblog

*Dusting cobwebs* 

Hello guys… Compliments of the season. Yea yea, I know I haven’t written in a while, oh but I have. Links below, that’s if you haven’t read them already.

Letter to my next

What could have been…

Enjoy…
family reunion

I yawn and open my eyes. I’m cuddled up close to the love of my life. I hear his steady heartbeat as he sleeps soundly. All the memories of the previous day hit me as I feel the ache all over my body. It’s the 26th of December and I thank God it’s a public holiday. At least I could use the whole day to rest. Just then, I realize we were in my parents’ house and I wasn’t so sure about resting again, considering what happened the previous day….

 

We, my husband and I, were on our way to my family’s house for the usual Christmas family reunion. I come from a very active family. I’m the third out of five children, three boys and two girls. My parents are still very happily married after over thirty years. Everyone was going to be around for the reunion, with their own families too.

It was going to be big. My eldest brother, Chigozie, the first born was coming with his wife, Amara and two kids. Our second born, Chibueze, was coming with his new girlfriend, he’s always having one new girl or the other, even with the consistent nagging from our mother to get married. Not so sure he’s going to ever get married. He wasn’t just interested in the whole marriage thing. It was even hard to keep tabs on him. My mother always complained that he moved and travelled around a lot and whenever she made him come see her, he always came with a different girl. He was definitely the black sheep, no doubt. My younger sister, Chidinma was married too, to Nnamdi with a child and our youngest, Chibuike was still schooling abroad and had come back for the holidays. Upon the number of grand kids my mother had, you would think she would have been satisfied but no, she wasn’t. She always made it a point to remind me that I hadn’t given her any. Mothers, I know right? My husband and I weren’t ready yet for children, we were still into ticketed with love and just wanted to explore it more before we start having kids.

We usually went a day before Christmas Day but this year due to my work and my husband’s, we couldn’t make it. To say the truth, I wasn’t looking forward to going a day before and listen to my mother complain about the whole family, both extended and the ones I have no idea about, then make me explain for the umpteenth time why I haven’t given her grandchildren yet. So, we left early on Christmas Day, hoping for the best. The roads were free; it almost got me wishing that Lagos traffic could be as light as that every day.

We got there in record time. We were the last to get in with the exception of Chibueze and his new girlfriend. After the whole greetings and exchange of pleasantries, a little joke here and there, everybody was acting so nice and warm towards each other. Remembering that now, I wish it was the same attitude we carried the whole day. I went up to my room and drop my bag and make use of the bathroom. Done with that, I went to the kitchen to assist mom with the little left, knowing she had done most things with the help of her two maids, so we just chatted and did the usual catching up. My younger sister and Amara later joined us.

My mom began telling me about an uncle who had tried to scam them out of some money. She had explained a little about him and asked if I remembered him. I nodded even though I had no clue who he was. I just wanted to avoid the long explanation of which descendant and the lineage line he was from. I shot my sister a knowing look and we both understood that we had no clue who she was on about.

 “…so the yeye man calls your father and tells him that he should pay him two million naira into his account and in less than a month he would have made a profit of over ten million naira. He had sent a proposal before this, but everything didn’t add up and to top it all, it was a private account he sent for him to pay in the money.” She said. My sister and I nodded letting her know she had our full attention.

“We finally confirmed it was a scam when your father googled it and saw something similar on a blog where someone else had narrated his experience and had strongly advised against it.” She continued. “So, I called up this man and washed him ehn, I told that if he wanted money he would have asked instead of trying to play a fast one on us. I told him he was dumb and stupid.”

“Na wa oh. He didn’t even mind that you were family.” Amara sighed.

“What did he say?” Chidinma asked.

“What would he say? He kept on trying to defend himself as if he didn’t do anything wrong” She hissed. “Useless man, that’s how he will die of poverty.”

“Ahn ahn! Mommy!” I suddenly exclaimed, squeezing my face.

“What?! Leave me let me talk oh” She said with a hand raised up facing me and hissed again.

Just then, laughter from within the house interrupts us.

“Ever since your younger brother got back from school I haven’t heard a word again in this house.” She sighed. “That game he brought back, your father and him have been on it like kids with new toys and your elder brother joined them yesterday when he came, even your husband.” She said pointing to Chidinma. “It’s surprising after all these years of marriage and aging, he still has the same flare for video games like he was still in his twenties.” A smile slowly forming on her lips but I saw something flash through her eyes for a second and it was gone, wasn’t sure what it was though.

She kept on telling us about the family, her elder brother that had an illegitimate son that no one knew about, her second cousin that we met during a trip sometime last year to our home town who had died, our father’s half sister, whose daughter was into prostitution. Family drama, one never seems to get enough of it.

“By the way, when are you and Tobechukwu giving me a grandchild?” She asked facing me with a questioning look. “Hope it’s not when I’m on my deathbed?”

“Mom, we’ve been through this several times. We would when we are ready.” I replied. “You have three already and only God knows if your son Chibueze hasn’t added to the number without knowing.” I continued.

Hian! Love wan tin tin(little by little). You and this husband sef!” She teased. “And as for Chibueze, I wouldn’t be surprised, that boy is a dog. Tufiakwa!” She exclaimed and snapped her fingers.

We all laughed out loud.

We were done cooking so we had to set the table for lunch. My parents had a separate dining room with a huge dining table for family reunions like this and always made it a point to add extra seats to it if the family grew bigger or just make a new bigger one entirely.

I walked into the second sitting room where the men were and had set up their game. FIFA 14, just as I thought. I saw my husband with a pad playing against Chigozie and was so engrossed with it like his life depended on it. He never gave me this much attention when I’m telling him about something, unless we were playing against each other at home, which I always won, by hook or by crook. I gave into my evil thought and walked over to him, sat on his leg and kissed him full on the lips. He grumbled and murmured something about me distracting him while I giggled.

“Chinyere! Chinyere! Come and help us set the table.” That was my mom screaming my name so I had to leave him. Just as I walked away I heard him sigh in relief. I smiled making a mental note to get him for that.

As we were setting the table and chatting we heard the front door close loudly.

“Merry Christmas! Merry Christmas! Merry Christmas to everyone of this household!” That was my elder brother, Chibueze screaming so everyone could hear him.

“I can’t wait to see his girlfriend, I wonder who he brought this time.” Chidinma said.

My mom shot her a sarcastic look which made her and me laugh out loud.

I heard him greet the men in the living room and introduce his girlfriend. He asked where the rest of us were and few seconds later, he walked in.

“Hello everyone. Merry Christmas.” He said as he walked up to our mother. “There’s the first love of my life.”

He kissed her on her cheeks and forehead then gave her big hug. Mom hugged him back reluctantly but she gave a smile that said she loved him unconditionally even though he gave her cause to worry. He then hugged me, Chidinma and Amara. I saw mom staring and I followed her eyes to the person she was staring at. His girlfriend had just walked in and she was putting on the shortest bodycon dress I had ever seen, it barely covered her vagina, she also had on 6inch heels, heavy makeup and she was very light skinned. Mom had this irritated look as his girlfriend kept on pulling her dress down in female modesty.

“Mom, meet my new girlfriend, Mimi. Mimi, that’s my mom, my two younger sisters and my sister-in-law” He said as he pointed each of us out.

We all replied differently at the same time with the exception of mother who just smiled at her.

“Chibueze, can you come with me please.” Mom said as she walked out of the room. He followed after her.

“So, is there anything I can help with?” Mimi asked, revealing not so white set of teeth.

“No” We all chorused. “You can just join the men in the other room, we almost done.” Chidinma added.

She smiled and walked out.

A few minutes later, we were all seated around the table, including the kids, with dad and mom at both ends, all fourteen of us. Small talks here and there, but mostly quietly staring at one another. You can guess who got the most stares but she seemed relaxed and not nervous, a little too relaxed if you asked me.

“Mimi, right?” Mom asked as total silence fell around the table.

She nodded her response.

“Please can you say a short prayer before we eat?” Mom asked again.

“Yes ma.” She replied as she nodded. She stood up, put her hands out and her palms open together like she was about receiving something, then she began praying in Arabic.

The expression on my mother’s face was priceless. It was only by the grace of God I hadn’t laughed out loud. I stifled it and shared a knowing glance with Tobechukwu.

This reunion was going to be more interesting than I thought… 

 

*To be continued tomorrow…

©JAY
@SirJay_Suave
www.facebook.com/jaysblog