“You should let mummy be for a while, Sheila. She must be exhausted from the long trip,”
Tade tried shushing our daughter who had not stopped talking since we got in the car.
“But daddy,” she pouted, “I have missed mummy so much. I want to talk to her all day.”
“I know, baby but mummy is not going anywhere yet. When we get home and she is well rested, you can chat with her all you want.”
Hearing that word made my heart thump anxiously. I had mixed feelings about going back to that house and only agreed after much persuasion and the clear knowledge that Tade’s mother would be away on a trip for the period of my stay. When Tade suggested the trip on whatsapp chat few months ago, I kicked against it.
“You know I don’t really know anyone in Miami. The people I know in the US don’t live anywhere close by and I am not about to check into a hotel for that length of time. Owo na da? I don’t have that kind of money abeg,” I protested.
Tade gave his own protest, “Haba, Arinola! How can you even think like that when you have a place to stay.”
“I do? Where?”
“Of course you do, silly! You used to live here, you know…”
“I used to…not anymore.”
“It’s still your house Arinola, you know that.”
Humph! I snorted.
“It’s not my house Tade. It was never my house. It was, and still is your mother’s house.”
“C’mon, Arin, don’t talk like that. I would think that seeing and being with Sheila is more important to you than that ke.”
Yes, Tade was right. I would give anything to be with my daughter in real-time. Our interactions all through the years were limited to virtual communication, thanks to technological advancement. We survived on voice calls as well as video calls. Though worlds apart, there was a very strong mother-daughter bond between Oyinade and I – so strong, it was palpable. Of course, Tade was instrumental in making that happen and I was always very grateful for that. However, until that time when my daughter is old enough to be on her own and out of her grandmother’s control, I was content with utilising virtual communication platforms effectively.
I continued my protest, “Wo Tade, gbagbe e. Forget it. I don’t have the liver for any kind of wahala. I’ve been through your mother’s hell once, I am not willing to step near it again – not even an inch close.”
We went back and forth with him trying to convince me to make the trip and stay in his house. He was still much a ‘mummy’s boy’, I could tell, and though I had stopped resenting him for that, I had no intention of ever setting foot in that house, especially not with his mother living under same roof.
Eventually, he was able to win me over when he opined that I make the trip when his mum would be away on vacation.
“She’s visiting some family and friends in Paris. She’ll be gone for about a month. You can come within that period and you’ll be in and out before she returns. Are you okay with that?”
Well, that sounded like a plan I couldn’t fault and truth be told, I so much craved holding my daughter in my arms once again after yonks. I agreed to the trip. I booked my flight, Tade paid for the return ticket and here I was, headed to the same house I vouched I’d never return to.
To be cont’d…
© 2017 AyotundeElegbeleye
Jesus is LORD!