BROKEN HEDGE (Part 21&22) – TOYIN TAIWO

Part 21
(BROKEN HEDGE)
©️Toyin Taiwo

CRYSTAL
I closed an hour earlier so I could pay my dad a visit at the h0tel he lodged. I had to leave Silver at the office. I told her to join the staff bus for that day.

I got to the h0tel, I met with the receptionist. I was asked if he’s expecting me. I told them I didn’t inform him. The receptionist called his room, he told them to let me in. I was given his room number.
“Good day sir” I said immediately he opened the door. He gave me a bear hug. It’s all written all over his face how excited he was to see me.

“You didn’t tell me you are coming”

“I didn’t tell anyone not even my mum”

“Really! Have a sit, it’s nice to have you here. I never have someone visit me except Oba”

“Thank you” I said and took a sit.

“Coming from work?”

“Yes I left work early, I had a less busy day at the office so I decided to check on you before going home”

“What can offer you?”

“Nothing I won’t be staying long or else I’ll get stucked in traffic”

“Ok then”

“How long have you been staying here, this h0tel is sure expensive?”

“Close to two weeks now”

“Your search for us as really cost you a lot”

“The most important thing is that I found you. I was able to make peace with you and your mum. That’s priceless my dear”

“So you stay in the room all day?”

“Most times, I have no one here and Oba has to work. He advised me to go downstairs to the restaurant, bar and the pool. So I do that once in while”

“Hmm…can I come take you out this weekend at least to unwind a bit” I requested.
____________________Toyin Taiwo

“Yes…yes, I’ll love that. At least we’ll get to know little about each other”

“Yea. So I’ll pick you up by 10.00am on Saturday morning”

“It’s fine by me”

“Ok, I have to run now, I’ll see on Saturday” I said and picked my bag.

“Alright my dear, thanks for stopping by. My regards to your mum” he said and saw me off to my car.

I got home, parked my car in the compound. I went through the connecting door that leads to the supermarket to greet my mum. I left the store and went upstairs where I freshened up and made dinner for myself and mum.

Mum joined me later upstairs and I told mum I went to check up on my father. She was surprised though. I thought she will scold me for seeing him without informing her but she didn’t complain. Instead she was happy I made the move. I also told her about the plans we have for Saturday. I asked if she cared to join us but she said I needed time alone with him

On Saturday by few minutes past ten, I was already at the h0tel. I picked him up and I drove down to one of the best relaxation center I can think of in Lagos.

We settled down, I got us refreshment and we got talking. He told me so many things about himself, his family and business.

He told me about his children who gave him nothing but sorrow. He told me how his wife indulged them and transformed them into what they are presently. He said she never allowed him disciplined them. The kids grew up to see him as the bad father who hate them while they see their mum as the one who loved them.

“I failed as a father, I also fail as a man who can’t control his own home. I don’t even have a responsible child that can carry on my legacy. My friend’s children are doing well, some of them have even placed their children at strategic post in their company. I dare not try that because I didn’t produce a graduate. It’s either one stop school while the other was rusticated. And another did not even make an attempt to study at all. They believed their father has money enough for them to spend. Everyone working in my company are outsiders” He opened up to me.
____________________Toyin Taiwo

I don’t know what to say. All I could say is all his well.

“Crystal, I’m really proud of you, even as an only child your mother trained you well and look at you today” A stray tears escaped his eyes and he dabbed it with his handkerchief.

“Don’t be too hard on yourself. As for your children. You can still help them by praying and counseling them”

“I pray it’s not too late. I feel like staying here. I have peace here Crystal”

“Don’t say that, your life, business and Family are all in Enugu”

“You think I still have a life there! Especially now that my eyes are cleared. Legally I’m an unmarried man and those sons of belial, I can’t stand them for a minute”

“Still….” He cut me short.

“Crystal I leave home early and come back late every day to avoid them. I’m the owner of the company I’m the first to get to the company aside the securities and last to leave the company”

“Is it that bad?”

“I did all these to avoid them. I made sure my office gave me all the comfort I needed. I eat breakfast, lunch and dinner in my office. I specifically delegate that job to a cook. Or how long do you think I’ll continue to eat at restaurants”

“Your wife don’t cook?”

“She has no time, her business is more important”

“Then she should have employed a cook”

“She changes cook every month”

“Why is that?”

“They can’t stand her, so they leave after collecting that month’s salary”

“Jesus Christ!” I said with my mouth open.

“I didn’t just divorced her on the basis of cheating alone. She’s a daughter of Jezebel”

“Still, You can’t just abandoned everything you’ve built your whole life”

“What about you, you are my family. You need me”
____________________Toyin Taiwo

“I’m fine without you, you know that, of course I wish you live here. But some other things needs your attention than me”

“You are just as selfless like your mother”

“I really feel sorry for you. And I was here thinking that you had a happy and perfect Family. I used to think your legitimate children are lucky to have their father to them”

“Far from it my dear”

“Irony of life”

“Crystal!”

“Sir?”

“You are better than three sons” he said with a tight smile”

I took his hands in mine. “Dad” I said and he smiled heartily. That was the first time I call him dad.

“Thank you, I’ve been longing to hear that from you”

I smiled. “All will be well Dad, that I’m sure off”

After our heart to heart talk. I took him to a place where he could unwind and lift his burdened heart. It really worked by the time we returned back to the h0tel he looked so happy and full of life.

I dropped him off at the h0tel and went home. I got home, drove into the compound and saw Soma’s car. I sighed before turning off the ignition. Then my phone rang. It was Dad, I smiled and pick up. He asked if I was home and I told him I just got into the compound. The line went off, I picked my things from the car and went inside.
____________________Toyin Taiwo

SOMA
I went to Crystal’s place. She didn’t know I was coming. She has been avoiding me so I decided to go see her at home instead of the office. I met her mum at the supermarket. She said she’s not in. But she went into the house with me and she entered me that is Mummy Ejiofor for you.

Crystal walked into the sitting room and met her mum and I. She greeted her mum and I stood up giving her a side hug. She told us to excused her and she left for her room. Before she returned Mummy Ejiofor said she needed to be at the supermarket. Shs left and I concentrated on the TV.

She went into her room and came back changed into a short and tank top with her hair packed into bun. I guessed she showered her face was without make up and she still looked beautiful. I just wished she’ll be mine again.

“You didn’t tell me you are coming” She said with a sharp tone.

“Crystal!”

“I didn’t mean it that way. What can I offer you”

“Mummy had done that”

“Good, how’s your cousin? My secretary” she smiled to what she said.

“She’s good and she told me everything she said to you”

“I’ll soon fire her. If she thinks she has immunity because of you then you should start preparing to get her another job because she’ll soon become jobless” she said sarcastically.

Silver had told me a lot about Crystal even before I knew she was her secretary. She always gushes over her boss. She idolized her.

“Don’t mind her manners, she’s doing that because she knew you like her and won’t fire her”

“I’ll shock her soon” she shrugged.

“But seriously. Now that we’ve settled the rift between us, let’s start afresh. I mean from been real friends again. And let see how it goes”
____________________Toyin Taiwo

“We’ve always been friends and you’ll always be my friend”

“That’s not true. We only act as friends when we are among the others. You even gave me rules” I pointed out the fact.

“That was then, we’ve moved pass that, you are right here sitting right next to me in my sitting room”

“That was because I made the move to come”

“Ok. I get it, friends again”

“No more holding back?”

“No more holding back” I made her stand up and hugged her. I really missed our friendship. I remembered the old times. I released her and took a sit beside her.

“So… How did it go with your Dad. Mummy told me you went out with him”

“I thought it will be boring but it was actually fun. We are getting to know each other”

“That sounds good”

“And guess what?” She asked with enthusiasm.

“Can’t guess, spill it”

“Somadina….. I like my Dad already and to crown it all he has a good heart!” She said sounding like a spoilt child.

I took a good look at her. Now my friend is back. The Crystal who tells me everything.

“Now you wanna make me cry. You just reminded me that I lost my father”

“I’m sorry I didn’t mean it that way” she said and put his two hands on her cheeks. I can see that she was overly excited about her father. And I’m happy for her. She had grown up without a father.

“It’s ok, it’s getting late I better take my leave”

“Ok, thanks for stopping by”

“Yes and thanks for accepting me back as your friend”

“That! You never stopped being my friend”

“What about dinner during the week to celebrate this?”

“Are you asking me out on a date?”
____________________Toyin Taiwo

“It’s not date as in….. date that kind of a date. Just dinner. Me and you”

“Ok” She agreed.

“I’ll call you. I can come pick you up at the office. I’ll have someone take your car”

“I thought you said it’s not that ‘kind of date’ She said quoting me.

“Why are you reading meaning to this thing. Ok, I’ll send the address of the restaurant”

“Good, see it then”

She saw me off to my car but I checked on Mummy Ejiofor at the supermarket before I left.

.

Part 22
(BROKEN HEDGE)
©️Toyin Taiwo

MUMMY EJIOFOR

We closed for the day. After the lock down, I went into the house and also told Saburi to lock the gate.

I walked into the sitting room and met Crystal with a big bowl of popcorn and red wine. All her concentration was on the TV in front of her.

“Crystal, which of this guys are you seeing?” I asked obstructing her view.

She looked up at me and rolled her eyes. “Mum!”

“Never mind” I gave a smirk. “What movie are you seeing?” I said and sat next to her.

“Beauty and the best, not the animation version though” she said with a mouthful of popcorn.

“So how was your day?” I asked as she passed the popcorn bowl to me and poured herself a glass of wine.

“You mean how did it go with my dad!”

“Whatever. Wait you just called him dad!”

“Is it wrong?”

“No I just heard you call him that ever since you met him. You simply refer to him as father. Even this morning you called him Daddy Afam”

“Don’t mind me, you know Oba refers to him as Daddy Afam I subconsciously said that this morning”

“So how did it go?”

“It was fun and I wish I had known him all my life”

“There is still plenty of time to catch up my dear”

“Mum! My dad is not happy”

“Why?”

“I know you too would have thought he had a good life with his family, the way I use to think. I always at this thought that he abandoned us for his perfect family but the reverse is the case”

She said and I dumped the bowl of popcorn on the center table.

“Si gi gini?”(what did he say?)

“Mum, he said he’s three sons are sons of belial”

“What do you expect of the children of a diabolical woman. He beclouded that man’s minds for years. As for the children I pray God will change them”

“Amen”

I listen with rapt attention as she continued. She told me everything her father discussed with her and I really felt for Afam.

“Ana m’anu!” (What a story) I sighed heavily. We continued with the movie.
I thought about what Crystal told me. Truth be told he did not deserve that kind of a woman as a wife. If he had Jesus before he married her in the first place he wouldn’t have fallen into the trap of that kind of a woman. By the grace of God my daughter we never fall into the hands of an unbeliever. The Bible had already said it. ‘what as light got to do with darkness’ It will never work.

“Mum!”

“Yes” I replied and jolted out of my reverie.

“Daddy said he feels like staying back in Lagos”

“He can’t abandoned his family and of course his business” I shrugged.

“I told him so too. That reminds me he’s going back on Monday but he wants to come check on you tomorrow before he leaves” she informed.

“No problem” I said and heard my phone ringing.

“Guess who’s calling?” I raised my phone at Crystal.

“Daddy” she replied with a smile. I nodded and picked the call.

I spoke with him on phone he asked if he could come.

“Afam, I already told you my door is open for you anytime. You have a daughter under my roof remember” I told him. He said he’ll come with Oba after service.

____________________Toyin Taiwo

AFAM
I called Oba on Saturday evening and I told him, we will be visiting Amara’s place on Sunday. He said he’ll come pick me up for church in the morning, then after service we’ll go to the place. I love the arrangement.
On Sunday, after service we went down to Amara’s house. They have already made lunch by the time we got there. It was pounded yam and egusi soup and I wandered how they achieve that in no time. After lunch we went back to the sitting room.

“I never saw an house help in this house. So who did the pounding?” I asked Amara.

“Your daughter of course” she replied.

“I’ve never seen an only child raised like this Amara. Thank you for making a fine woman out of her”

She just smiled. Amara asked when I was leaving and I told her the next day but I promise to always keep in touch. I told her to give me her account details but she refused. I turned to Crystal too to ask and she gave me the same reply as her mum too. Crystal said I can give her gift on her birthday and she gave me her birthday. Coincidentally we also share the same birth month. I’m not sure if I still remember Amara’s birthday. I asked to confirm and luckily I still remember the month though I missed up the day

Amara exchanged numbers with Oba. She told him he’s welcome anytime. By 5:00pm we were already out of the place. We returned back to the h0tel and Oba promised to pick me up the next morning for the airport.

The next day, we got to the airport and I gave Oba a bear hug when my flight was announced. I payed him and I left. Inside the plane, I was smiling all through the flight. I left Lagos fulfilled, the faces of my smiling daughter and Amara flashed at me. I smiled to myself. Some hours later, I landed in Enugu. I called my driver who came to pick me up. I lodged back into the h0tel I was before I traveled to Lagos. My driver came to pick me. And I reminded him that if anyone knows about my whereabouts then he’s automatically fired. I called Amara, Crystal and Oba that I arrived Enugu safely. I got calls from the company and I told them that I’m resuming the next day.

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God bless you