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Richard looked from his father to his mother in utter amazement and shock. He could not believe his eyes. After roaming the estate and road, he had come to the conclusion that it was high time he forgot about the past and move on. He afterwards went about finding out where his mother lived. He did not call his father; neither did he call Tunji or anyone who could probably inform her because he wanted to catch her unawares in order to know the state she was in. He reached into his pocket to fetch his phone only to find it empty with only his wallet. Not willing to go back home without reconciling with his mother, he went to a business centre, bought a thousand naira card in the attendant’s phone, used it to make a few calls and left without even using #100 worth of the card. He got the address and set out to search her out. He had admitted to himself that Belina was right and that he truly needed his mother. There is always a place a mother occupies in the heart of a child.
Richard shook his head in regret as his annoyance started showing up in full velocity. He still could not believe that his father could have anything to do with her despite all that she did to him.
“What are you doing here richard?” Mr. Branson asked looking uncomfortable.
Richard slowly turned his gaze to his father. “I should be asking you that father. What the hell are you doing here with this… woman?” he asked shifting his gaze back to his mother.
“c’mon Richard, respect her. She is your mother”
“respect. Respect? No. I can NEVER respect her. NEVER. You should not even be the one telling me this, dad. Did she respect you when you were struggling to make her happy? No. Did she respect you when she brought various color of guys to your matrimonial bed? No. (Laughs bitterly). Did she respect you when she slapped you in front of her stupid sex partner when you caught them red-handed? No. Talk of me? she never respected me once; not once. Now don’t talk to me about respect because I am sure she does not know what it means”, Richard said.
Mr J. Branson hadn’t forgotten all these but hearing it again made it even more painful. He could not say anything again as he stared into space remembering that day. His world had been shattered into pieces when he saw his wife with a fat white haired man. He had just come back from a trip, a bit earlier than he had proposed because the business did not fall into place. He got to the entrance of the house and met his son crying. He asked why he was there but he did not respond, trying to stop him from entering the house. He neglected Richard’s advice and let himself in with his key. On entering, he saw clothes all over the sitting room and his temperature increased as he began to get the picture of what he might see. He entered the room and the sight before him almost drove him mad instantly. He wanted to be sure he had seen correctly so he closed his eyes hoping that he would see something different when he opens them but his eyes were forced open with a very hot slap by Loretta. She was stark naked just like her partner who sat down at the edge of the bed looking like a fat pig. She had pushed him out and locked the door to continue her act.
As he remembered all these, fresh tears flowed out of his eyes and he left the room quietly. Richard looked at his mother with contempt written all over him. Tears threatened but he held them at bay; he hadn’t cried for a long time and she would not be the one to change that.
“you know, I actually came here to settle the rift between us now, I don’t care about that anymore. You are just an opportunist and a shameless whore. I am ashamed I came out of you. Get a life and leave my father alone cos he has a respectable wife”, Richard said through gritted teeth and turned to leave.
“No Richard, please. I am sorry”, she said pleading with tears.
Richard turned at the entrance. “Yes. You should be sorry. Sorry for yourself”, he said and stormed out of the apartment.
Prisca woke up to the ringing of her phone. She looked at the phone and was a bit surprised but after checking the time, she saw that it was past nine. They always had the habit of sleeping early ever since she got married to Tony.
“What’s up girl?” she asked immediately she picked.
“Prisca…” Belina said over the receiver with a shaky voice.
Prisca became fully awake in an instant. “What is the matter Bell, have you been crying?”
“Richard is not back yet, is he over there?” she asked
“what do you mean he is not back yet? He is not here. Have you called him?” she asked. Tony was already awake, staring at her curiously. She put the phone in speaker and Belina’s voice filled the room.
“he left the phone in the room and I have been calling him up until I went into the room and saw his phone there. Since he left, he hasn’t returned. I am scared something might be wrong with him”, she said obviously crying.
“relax honey, he’ll be fine. We would –”she was saying when she suddenly heard ‘richard’ over the phone and the phone went dead.
I stared at Richard as he entered. He was obviously very angry but I didn’t give a damn. He did not notice my tears and I wiped it off immediately.
“where are you coming from sir?” I asked sarcastically.
He rubbed his palm on his head. “see, I can’t explain anything now?” he responded
I was taken aback. “You can’t what? You better start explaining. How dare you leave the house in the middle of an important celebration in our lives, come back this late and give me that crap? Do you know how worried I was? I called how many times? Let me check… 42 times, only to find your phone inside and now you tell me that you can’t explain anything now?” I lamented.
“Alright, sorry. Are you ok now?” he dropped coldly and stormed into the bedroom. That only made me angrier. My anger increased several degrees but I kept it inside. My tummy was screaming for food but my mouth was not ready to accept anything. This is a thing that occurs whenever I am angry.
I entered the room and started changing my clothes. Richard was in the shower and I did not care because I was in no mood to have any bath at all, besides, I took my bath before the party began and I did not dance or do anything that would warrant another bath. The anniversary was just a total disaster.
I wore a nightie and got into my side of the big bed. I pulled the blanket up to my chin and switched off the bedside lamp. I closed my eyes as tears flowed down my cheeks. I pinged Prisca, telling her not to worry that Richard was already back, switched off my phone and placed it beside the lamp.
I heard the shower go off and Richard step out. I pretended to be asleep but I knew that Richard was not easily fooled. The light came and I felt him seat in front of me.
“sweet heart. Lina” he called but I did not respond. He gently kissed my checks and went to the other side of the bed to sleep. More tears slipped out of my closed eyes unhindered as I remembered all the events of the day.
I woke up with a banging head and a rumbling stomach. It was like my head was being hammered and would be shattered in any minute. I looked at the other side and saw Richard sleeping soundly. I stood up and went into the kitchen to fetch a pack of juice. I poured myself a glass of juice and drank it at a go. I took part of the food from yesterday and put it in the microwave. I poured myself another glass and sipped. In no time, I was eating at the table in the kitchen. I was so famished that I did not notice Richard’s presence.
“I am also hungry”
I was startled on hearing his voice but I gained composure almost immediately.
“Good morning”, I said and stood up to fix him something. We would be preparing for church anytime soon and I was already envisaging a very long day now that I did not plan to talk to Richard. I ignored his ‘how was your night’ reply and focused on what I was doing. I put the food in the microwave and I turned only to find Richard right in front of me.
“Allow me” I said staring past him but he did not give in. I stared into his eyes with a renewed anger propelled by the remembrance of his cold utterances the night before and repeated my earlier statement.
Richard closed the distance between us and covered my mouth with his in a deep long kiss. My anger just seeped out of me with each passing second. When we broke the kiss, he looked into my eyes. “I am sorry. I should not have behaved the way I did yesterday, I was just so angry at the moment” he said.
I pounded his chest in a play-like manner and said, “don’t you ever do that. You really got my blood boiling”
He smiled softly and kissed me again and the sound of the microwave separated us. We laughed, ate our food and prepared for church. The headache was nowhere to be found when we were through.