My family was a “churcheos” type, we were very religious and deeply spiritual. Our neighbours said we took the religious matter too extreme, my dad always told them off with his most favourite line “we are not of this world”.
I and my siblings were brought up to fear only God, our family was duly represented in all facets of the church. My dad was a deacon, my mum a choir mistress. I and my siblings took active part in the church activities. We were well known in church. We weren’t known in the school talk more in our street.
We were one of the best students in school, I and my siblings. We did well, passed examinations in flying colours but we never partook in extra curricular activities. “those are things of this world” my dad would say. My mum wasn’t as zealous as my dad, I think she followed his footsteps cause she was just being his “obedient wife”.
I was odd. I did things in abeyance. I joined the drama club, the football club and virtually all clubs in school maybe just to “anger” my dad as he put it I was the devil. Always going against laid down regulations.
For my disobedience, I was constantly whipped, and would listen to sermons and sermons of how a good son ought to behave.
A new boy parked into our compound, I was instantly attracted to him. The way he walked, the way he spoke, the way he carried himself, I loved everything about Kayode. We became friends instantly. The only thing other people’s judge odd in the Kayode’s home was the fact that they attended a white garment church.
Regardless, Kayode was still my friend. My dad would warn us not to go close to the “unholy”. They were not Christians he would tell us. I couldn’t understand my dad’s anger. He would always shout at Kayode anytime he saw us together. He accused Kayode of “spoiling” me. I would try to defend Kayode, I would receive a slap for it. Kayode would stay away from me avoiding me.
At the slightest chance my dad got he will always mock Kayode’s dad. I overheard him one day telling his visitor that Kayode’s dad sacrificed his mum to their Church occult. Sometimes he would even make it an open accusation.
All along Kayode’s dad wouldn’t talk back at my dad. He was the direct opposite of my dad. My dad would hit us, even hit my mum. Kayode’s dad had never hit anyone, he never hit Kayode. I would always wish I was Kayode’s brother, I bet my siblings wished same.
My dad got sick one day. I woke up to the cries of my Mum. I ran to the room only to find my dad breathing heavily, he was gasping for breath. My mum was crying. My siblings were also awake now. My dad suddenly stopped breathing. ” he has to be in the hospital now” my mum cried.
How would my dad go to the hospital now? Who would take him there? I ran around crying. We had cars, only my dad could ride our 3 cars. He wouldn’t even let my mum touch it, less alone ride the car.
I ran to the neighbours, knocking their doors, describing to them the emergency. All the doors I knocked on refused to open.
No neighbour opened the door to us. I didn’t blame them. After all my dad did to our neighbours. No one in his right senses will open his door to meet Mr Okeke’s need. No one.
I remembered Kayode. I ran to their flat. I knocked. After sometime, Bayomi, Kayode’s sister opened the door. I explained to her. I was crying. Kayode’s dad came out. He ran down stairs. I ran after him. He went straight to his car, started it. “call Kayode to bring your dad to the car now” he told me. Before I got to my house, Kayode was already carrying my dad on his own. I gave him a hand.
Surgery was successful. Kayode’s dad paid part of the bill for the doctors to perform surgery. We didn’t have any money. No one knew my dad’s ATM pin, not even my Mum, his wife. “this things ought to be personal” he would always tell us. When the doctor demanded for advance payment, my already wailing Mum increased the velocity of her cries. “don’t worry Doctor, just carry on, I’ll pay” I heard someone say behind us. I knew it was Kayode’s dad, my mum hugged him. We all hugged Mr Bamidele.
My dad recovered. We told him what happened, everything. He stared at us, just looking. I know my dad would never be the same. I know my dad is now “of this world”.
We didn’t pay back Mr Bamidele. He refused the money.
“you would have done the same for me” he told my parents.
Happy new week.
ABOUT THE AUTHOR:
Kingsley Asoegwu writes for the contemporary screen. He captures with the challenges of social justice with a deep and quiet ease. taking you on a roller-coaster ride through familiar terrains, communicating very wisely. He is young and #fearless, waiting to captivate.