Monday, June 3, 2019

Adventure of my lost sister

What are your qualifications?” he asked in an impatient voice.
He waa so tall, oh my, this is Lola’ s husband my heart was racing for. Stop it! Stop it my stupid heart!
” Are you alright? I don’t have all day! My God! ”
Where was Lola? sh*t! i should have given her a call before coming, but what would i have said? that i was coming for tea?! We heard a loud crashing sound, Mr tall dark and handsome swore under his breath. Why wasn’t he rushing up the stairs to find out what was wrong? Another loud thud and a crashing sound had the dark Greek God loosening his tie in frustration, he sat down on the sofa obviously weary.
” Monkey keep it down!” He hollered.
My God! they named the child Monkey!
” Are you alright? ……..shall we start?”
A chubby little girl with hair dyed red came tumbling down the stairs. I rushed to help her but she brushed me off.
” Is this the nanny?” She asked
” Go back upstairs!” he shouted. ” Miss please am running late! ”
The girl rolled her eyes and stuck out her tongue before dashing up the stairs. Oh my child. Do i even have the right to call her my child? what manner of parents allows a little girl dye her hair red! and they had named her monkey!.Where was Lola?
” What is your name?”
” Ebere”
” See am running late and Monkey is a handful so i need to know if you can handle her and i want to see references too! I need to know am not entrusting my daughter into the care of a maniac! God forbid! Lola would have my head for that!”
The name Lola had my heart racing, where was she?
” Are we clear?”
I nodded.
” Can i see them?”
Oh my God! What was he asking for?
” Your CV”
His phone rang and he excused himself. He came back minutes later full of apologies.
” Ebere i have to go, give me your contact address and if you don’t have the references with you now no problem…… but i will have to instruct the security not to allow you out of this building until i get back……in the mean time you are hired. Let me introduce you to Monkey”
My heart was racing fast. I felt like a burglar caught red_handed.
” The little girl that came in before isn’t she your daughter?”
” The one that came crashing down the stairs?. No. That one is for my brother. ”
I sighed in relief.
” Monkey come and meet your nanny!”
We heard loud thudding sounds and a loud bang before two rihanna wannabe sailed down the banister. My God! She was worse! Her hair was dyed blue, her lips were lined with dark pencils, there were three ear rings on each of her ears. She had on a crazy jean and crazy top with one arm cut off. This couldn’t be!
” Monkey come on! am late please! meet your nanny Ebere, say hello to her”
The little devil stood defiantly, mischief shinning in her eyes.
” Hello Monkey ”
” I don’t like this one! Get another one!” She spat out.
Tall and dark ignored her. ” Ebere meet my daughter Constance……. She is a sweet angel when you get to know her and please don’t let her get to you.”
” Uncle You didn’t introduce me too” red hair grumbled.
” Sorry angel, Ebere meet my niece Liz, Liz meet Constance’ s new nanny”.
” I don’t like this one too! ” miss red hair announced and they both ran up the stairs.
” Please don’t let them get to you.i will be back by four and remember you are not allowed to leave until i get back.” He breezed out of the room hastily not waiting for my reply.
I sagged down on the sofa in exhaustion.
” Miss! miss! Constance is no longer breathing! ”
I rushed up the stairs with the red hair girl, What happened? why did i leave them by themselves! the blue haired girl, lay very still in the middle of the pink princess theme room. I placed my ear on her chest and she jerked up laughing. She gave her partner in crime a high five as they screamed ” gotcha!”
I couldn’t help laughing with them. They had gotten me real good.
” Why does your dad call you monkey? ”
” Wow she thinks that was funny, cool!” Liz said.
” The last nanny went running out of the house ” Monkey said laughing. ” Can i have a chocolate bar?”
” Me too”
” I guess”
” Cool” they screamed running out of the house.
My phone vibrated in my jean pocket. ” Hello Ify… are you?”
” Am okay” she replied at the other end.
I knew she wasn’t OK. ” What are you up to?”
” Am in the hospital”
I could hear my blood pounding in my ears. ” Why are you in the hospital?”
” Am having a bronchoscopy”
i wondered what that means. ” But are you okay?”
” They said i have to get a bronchoscopy to see if am infected with pneumocystis before i have the sysmptoms”.
It was always They said this, they said that! Ify was going through a lot and there was nothing i could do .
“But are you alright? do you have the… Psy……py…do you have it?”
” No. Not yet.”
I hate seeing her so helpless. Chiboy’ s mother was forever forcing something down her throat. How someone could drink two bottles of annointing oil in a day was terrible. I wanted to speak out, i wanted to tell her to go to hell with the so called holy oils but what if Ify could truly get her healing by drinking them?.
” Are you there Ebere?”
” Yes i am” i said wiping away my tears.
” I want to join an AIDS Survivor’s Support group” her breathing was laboured.
” Sweetie i will be home shortly, we will talk. I love you”
” Love you too”.
The mischievous duo were staring intently at me. I felt no connection with the little blue haired girl. She was ebony and chubby while i was light skinned and slim. No resemblance. No emotional connection. Maybe she favored Dayo, but i couldn’t tell. She and little red riding hood looked alike. Same ebony skin, same rosy dimpled cheeks. Is this even the child i brought into this world?
” That was your boyfriend? ” blue asked.
” No. My Sister”
” Mind if we have some Pizza?” Red asked.
” Yea i guess”
” Cool! i wish you were my nanny!”
They raced out of the room once again, their laughter twitttered in the house. I followed them down the stairs, they had four slices of pizza on their plates. I pulled out a chair smiling at them.
” Are you sure you are a real nanny? you are supposed to say we should eat our veggies and fruit. and no junk food before dinner ”
I blinked. What do i know about kids? ” Today is world international kids day, tomorrow i can be a proper nanny to you” i lied smoothly.
They traded looks and grinned happily. They were both adorable.
” Where is your mommy?”
They both went silent.
” She’s in heaven ” Red answered. ” And she is now our guidance angel”
I felt a thick lump in my throat. Lola.
” Are you alright ?” red had asked.
Dark and handsome arrived after five pm and apologized for being late. The duo flew into his arms gisting him about their day, he sat down settling each one on his thigh. He listened to them, kissed their cheeks before sending them back upstairs. I had already forced them to eat the spaghetti and meatballs i made for dinner.
” Hope you didn’t leave any for me? How did you find your first day of work?”
” Exciting”
He laughed. ” I know they can be a hand full but am glad you are still here. I know you must be tired, let’s discuss the terms of the job.”
” Please can we do that tomorrow? i will be here by 8am”
” OK that is fair enough. Thank you ” he stood up.
I declined the money he offered me and drove back home. I had seen my daughter. She had a blue hair and her name was monkey.
I reached for my phone at the head of my bed. My body felt like it had been run over by a dangote trailer. How could two little girls be so much work? I don’t know what i hoped to achieve by going there in the first place. Lola was gone, how do i lay claim to my child with no evidence? how could i even uproot the little child from the only home she had known for ten years?
” Something came up, please come on Thursday. Apologies for any inconvenience. Thanks. Ayo Williams.” From dark and handsome.
I couldn’t believe i had saved his number as dark and handsome. Ayo. The name rolled off my tongue over and over, the room felt hot suddenly. I got out of bed, how could he make me feel hot with just a simple text.
Ify was silent during breakfast, her breathing was laboured and there was a new blistering purple sore on her wrist. Her eyes were fixed on her plate while her hand toyed with the food in it with her fork.
” What is wrong?”
” I called my dad yesterday.”
I relaxed.” That is wonderful sweetie, what did he say?”
” He wants to see me”
” That is good, when is he coming? ”
She shook her head. ” He doesn’t know about the HIV”
I covered her hand with mine. ” Give him a chance, okay?”
In the evening i drove down to the AIDS Survivor Support group address Ify had given me. The building was a grand house in Lekki. I wondered if i had come to the wrong place but i honked in front of the gate despite my doubt. The gate was opened by a chubby friendly security man. He directed me to park my car and walk to the main house.
The door was opened by a pot bellied middle aged man. He welcomed us warmly and i could hear Ify gasp beside me.
” Come in, am doctor Debola and i am AIDS survivor”.
We followed him into the beautifully furnished room, the chandelier caught my eyes first. Instead of a center table or an art work there was a big mat spread in the center of the elegant sitting room. Five people were seated on it gisting, two men and three women.
I could see a collection of people at the dining area, some were thin as straw, some were robust and beautiful. They were talking animatedly. No frown on any body ‘ s face. They all called out greetings warmly.
” Hi am Ada and i am a PWA ” one of the women seated on the mat said.
Ify smiled at her warmly and turned to me.
” It means Person with AIDS.”
I also gave her a warm smile. The man that welcomed us at the door clicked a spoon against a glass cup and the others came into the living room and found a spot to settle down.
” We have new members in our midst tonight. I will start by introducing myself first, my name is doctor Debola, i have a private hospital and i am AIDS Survivor”. ” You are on Emeka, and the next person beside him follows”
The young teenage boy smiled at us brightly. My heart sank. This young boy of not more than fifteen is also living with such deadly virus.
” My name is Emeka and i am AIDS survivor. I have had the virus since birth. ” I need a girlfriend! ” He beamed at us.
The others clapped loudly.
” My name is Kofi and am a survivor with full_blown AIDS. I need a cure!” A skinny dark skin man shouted in anguish.
The very thin woman next to him said ” My name is Rachel and my husband gave me the virus. The bas.tard is died now and i need Justice!” She screamed in anger.
Doctor Debola came over and patted her on the back.
” Am Toby, I’ m HIV symptomatic. I am a survivor and am angry. I need cure!” He was so delicate i was afraid he might break into two.
” Am Susan and i was a s--t. I am a survivor with HIV, no symptoms. I need acceptance! ”
The others clapped for her, it got to Ify’s turn and she said in a quiet timid voice ” My name is Ifeoma, am a survivor. I have HIV, low T_cells and no symptoms and i need……………….I need my happy ever after.”
They clapped for her and all eyes fell on me. I swallowed hard. ” My name is Ebere………I was a s--t and i am HIV Negative. I need a cure for Ify and advice”
They clapped and cheered me loudly.
” Let’s start. ” Doctor Debola said.
Ada began. ” I have been seeing so much death going on around me! I have lost so many friends and my little boy! Nobody even wants to come to the funeral! we are not animals! ”
” I have lost both of my parents and my relatives won’t have anything to do with me! All I want is some love and understanding! all I want is a girlfriend! ” Emeka shouted.
Ify leaned closer and gave him him a peck. He blushed and grinned at her.
” I want my wives and kids! I want my family back!” Doctor Debola shouted.
” I don’t want to die! I have three little girls!” Rachael cried out.
” I want an HIV reorientation for my people! The stigmatization is heartbreaking in Togo! Nobody wants to buy or sell to you! they won’t even reply your greetings! I want to be buried on the soil of my motherland but I won’t be allowed to cross the border! I need a cure! I want to see my little girl before i die ” Kofi howled.
He was given hugs by everyone around him.
” What kind of advice do you need Ebere?” the kind doctor asked
” I gave a woman my baby ten years ago and i want her back now. I want Ify to meet my child, I want us to be a family now ”
” Is Ify your wife?” One of them asked suddenly.
” No, my sister ”
‘ You have a big fight on your hands Ebere ” The doctor said. ” Sometimes things are better left as they were ”
Ify squeezed my hand and my eyes brimmed with tears.
I was shocked to see the doctor who had broken the bad news of my illness to me, at the AIDS Survivor Support Group. So he had been talking about himself on that fateful day! but he had altered the story to give me hope, to give Chiboy hope. Hope was all i had left…… I clung to it desperately in the middle of the night when my bones aches, when a part of my face starts swelling for no reason. I hoped that death won’t sneak up on me when i least expected it.
That was why i had given my dad a call. I had picked up my phone and dialed his number before i could get cold feet. I felt like a little girl again……..i wanted approval. I want love and hugs. I wanted my dad to accept me.
” Hello. Who is this?” he answered in his thick ibo accent.
” Dad” i whispered.
There was silence in the background until i heard a scratching sound, a distant sound of tears and laughter.
” Nne, Ify? ”
” Yes it’s me.”
He was crying now and i felt awkward not knowing what to say.
” Nne where are you? i want to see you “.
I disconnect the call and switched off my phone.
But after my discussion with doctor Debola who had contracted the virus through a needle stick injury at work, i realized just how much i had missed my dad. I texted him my address as Ebere drove us back home that night.
Early the next morning a knock sounded at the door, i walked slowly, my breath was coming out in pants. I opened the door and froze.
” My baby!”
Dad enveloped me into his arms crying like a baby. Mom stood awkwardly, she tried to touch me but i drew back.
” Ify…… am sorry” she said.
I gave a little tired laugh. Dad sat down still holding me in his arms. Mom went on her knees.
” I know i have lost the right to call you my child and i don’t except you to forgive me but please give me another chance. Please don’t push me away,i did my best combing everywhere for you.”
” Yea when Toby died! you were looking for a replacement! please stand up! i have nothing against you and you are right! you have lost the right to be my mother!”
She sobbed silently on her knees.
” Ify please…… i know we have wronged you greatly but please forgive us. Your mother has been through a lot and she is a changed person now.”
I stood up angrily.” She has been through a lot!?,do you have any idea what i have been through?! I was raped and kicked out in the middle of the night!”
They both gasped and mom’ s sobs became louder.
” Do you have any idea what have even been through?! how i managed to survive for the past ten years! you both ruined my life! I will never get married! i will never become a mother! i won’t get to see my children graduate! I won’t even live to see my 30th birthday! ”
Dad got up and took me into his arms, we were both crying.
” What happened to you Ify? are you sick? I will fly you overseas for treatment, am so sorry my child. Don’t talk about death Nne, you are still so young and there is no illness without cure as long as there is money.”
” This one has no cure dad”
” Ify we will fly you oversea, you will be OK” mom said.

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