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I could not stay around Mason. I was so angry that he did not trust me enough. I did not hug him or tell him good night. I did not invite him in, immediately we got to the door, I opened it and went inside and locked it.
My phone rang so many times but I did not answer it, it was Jayde. I sent a text to Jayde that read “I’m fine.” History was repeating itself and it scared the crap out of me. Mason called me later, I was so reluctant to answer the call but in the end I did.
“I am so sorry, I’ll come by tomorrow. I hope by then you’ll be in the right frame of mind to talk” he said.
I had a very miserable night, filled with nightmares. Jayde was the first to come knock at my door the next day, I opened it and when she saw me she screamed.
“What is wrong? You look very sad”
“I am fine.” I managed to say.
“You missed the fashion show and all you can say is that you are fine?”
I locked the door and told her that mom was the one behind her stolen designs, she did not believe me. We ended up arguing and as she was about to leave I told her to check her account balance. She hissed and called me a jealous girl. I stood up from my bed walked towards her.
“Forget it, forget I told you anything. You may leave now.”
Jayde left and I was so angry. I vowed that I was never going to bring up the issue again. Two hours later, we left for church. I was absent minded althrough the church service and dad noticed my mood. After lunch, dad called me aside. He told me that he had noticed my change of attitude.
I smiled uneasily and left, mom called me back and she asked me why I have been avoiding her. I denied immediately and dad backed me up by saying “oh honey, she has been like that. She has not gotten over Dubem’s demise”
I nodded and left immediately.
Mason called me some minutes after, my heart beat faster. He told me he was coming over and I told him not even think of it.
“My dad is around so don’t even dare come. I will meet you half way.”
I ran to my room and dressed up; I went to tell dad that I wanted to take a walk. Dad warned me to be careful because Dr Adigwe still wanted my head. My dad was unusually understanding and I liked the new him.
After leaving the house, I called Mason to find out where he was and he told me to keep walking downwards. After walking for some seconds I saw him and I smiled. I could not hide my excitement. I ran to meet him and hugged him.
“I am so sorry for acting like a psycho. I was scared that what happened to Dubem would happen to you. I am so sorry.”
“You are choking me Jessa.” he said “I was not angry I knew you needed space, I had to give you space. No offence taken but I really missed you.”
“Nothing has changed my love. I even love you more.”
“I promise you Jessa, I will never leave. I am going to be here for you. I was just scared that you will abandon me after I told you.”
I left him and started walking because I was not happy that he thought so low of me. He caught my hand.
“Come with me. I have a surprise for you.” he said.
“I hate surprises Mason, they scare me. So please tell me about the surprise.”
“Then it won’t be a surprise.” he said
We kept strolling and I was wondering what Mason was up to. We went to the far end of crystal Estate, there was a stream there.
“Why are we here?”
“I like this place; I come here anytime I need to clear my head.”
He brought out a pink jewellry box and handed it to me “for you” he said. I smiled and opened it immediately. Behold! A silver necklace with a sapphire pendant, my smile disappeared.
“Are you trying to bribe me? I do not need your gifts and besides this is too much.”
“It is just a gift and you are worth more. You are priceless.”
“It must have cost you a lot.”
“Errr I did not buy it. It was my grandmother’s; my grandfather gave it to me some years back and he told me to give it to the one after my heart.”
“I cannot accept it; I am not even married to you. This belongs to your family.”
“Someday I’ll welcome you into my family.”
He hugged me; so many thoughts ran through my head. Losing Mason was not an option, the more I thought of it, the more terrified I got. I did not know when I started sobbing.
“Mason Nikos.” I said.
“Yes my love, I am here.” he replied.
“If you ever leave me or abandon me, I’ll never forgive you. Mason Nikos, you are not permitted to die or grow out of love for me.”
“Yes ma’am, your wish is my command. You also have to promise me the same.”
Prof Nanya called, it was nice hearing from her and she told me the progress she had made in finding her child and Rene Jean-Michel. I was elated. I told her to find her child and her first love soon so that she would come back to Nigeria “I miss you mom.” I said. After she hung up, my cheerful mood disappeared.
“What is wrong?”
“Mom connived with Mr. Maleek to steal my sister’s designs for the bridal collection. I have lost all the respect that I have for my mother. Jayde does not believe me; she called me a jealous sister.”
“Your mother must have a reason.” Mason said.
“No!” I snapped. “Jayde’s designs were sold to another fashion designer and Mr. Maleek paid mom’s share into my sister’s account. I was able to ruin the transaction and Jayde does not believe me.”
My mood was ruined by the whole issue and I told Mason that I wanted to go home and Mason was sad, “please don’t go.” he said. I was adamant and just as I was about to leave he pushed me inside the stream and followed suit. I was angry at first but I didn’t know when I burst into laughter.
“You look like a drenched cat.” he said.
“Oh Mason I am going to have my pound of flesh back someday. How will I go home now?”
“Don’t worry I’ll walk you home.” he said.
“Okay thanks love. I will be going to the NYSC secretariat tomorrow for my posting letter.”
“Oh that’s nice my dear. I hope you get posted to a very good place of primary assignment.”
When I got home, mom and dad were amazed to see me drenched.
“What happened to you?” both of them chorused.
“I fell into a ditch.” I lied.
Mom was about to come near me when I backed away. “I stink mom.” I said.
“What is wrong with you Jessa? You have been trying to avoid your mom. You treat her like she has a virus. I am beginning to think you are bipolar, you need to be examined. One minute you are happy the next minute you want to bring the world down.”
“Dad I am bipolar because, your wife, my mother connived with Mr. Maleek to steal her daughter’s designs. I treat mom like she has a virus because she betrayed her daughter, my sister. My mom got paid for her evil deeds; they paid her five hundred thousand naira.”
Mom was dumbfounded, dad looked at her for denial and her silence said it all. Guilty as accused! Dad walked out immediately, mom stared at the floor. I went to my room, after I locked my door, there was a knock. I knew it was Jayde so I didn’t answer.
I had my bath and laid on my bed thinking about the day’s activities. Jayde started knocking again and I just pretended as if I was asleep and it worked. Dad came to knock at my door later and I had no choice but to open.
“I need you to come down stairs for a meeting.”
I went downstairs and everyone was sitted, mom looked like she had been crying for hours but I did not care.
Jayde looked at me pleadingly. I avoided looking at them. Tare was also present. Dad asked me to narrate how I knew about mom’s evil deeds. I started from when Jayde called me and told me about her stolen designs and the phone call. I also told everyone about the money that Mr. Maleek paid mom’s share of the money into Jayde’s account.
“Mr. Maleek thought he was speaking to mom, so I instructed him to pay it into Jayde’s account. I felt that was the only way I could compensate Jayde.”
Dad was so angry, Jayde was in tears and Tare looked puzzled. Dad asked mom if she had anything to say. She was mute; dad had to repeat the question again.
“I am so sorry my children. I stole the designs to make Jayde look incompetent so that Jessa would be forced to come back to Aurevah.”
“You are evil mom! I hate you! To think I was insulting Jessa because of you. It is so evident that you love Jessa more.”
“No Jayde. I love you two equally. We all make mistakes, I am sorry sweetheart.”
“I am sorry dad, I have to leave. Excuse me.” Jayde said.
Jayde ran upstairs and I just kept staring at mom. Tare was so calm, Dad stared at the floor. I quietly stood up and headed for my room.
I went to the NYSC secretariat at Surulere to get my posting letter the next day. I was excited because that meant the end of my idleness. I waited for about three hours, the workers at the secretariat resumed late and there was no power supply and there was fuel scarcity so turning on the generator was impossible.
I brought out my head phones and that was it! Music! The soothing effect was blissful. I forgot about the issue on ground for a while. After about two hours, there was power supply. My posting letter was eventually printed; when I collected it I was sad! My expectation had been dashed. I was posted to a remote village in Badagry, Lagos.
I had to search my mind for what I had done to NYSC to deserve this treatment, first it was faraway Kaduna and now, a remote village in Badagry. I wanted to call mom but I remembered that we were not in good terms.
Written by Kezi Angela Patrick