The Other Side Of Love 4
Anita switched off her phones and stayed in her room. She told the house assistant not to disturb her. She slept and woke up when she heard her dad’s entourage enter the gate. Two hours later she changed into a pair of jeans and a white blouse. She found her dad having a dinner of boiled green plantain with green vegetables and fresh fish. He wore a white shirt, black trousers and black sandals.
She greeted him and sat at the dinning table.
“Dad how was your day?” She asked.
“My day was fine.” He saw the look on her face.
“Have you had dinner?” he asked.
“I am not hungry.”
He stopped eating and looked at her. “Are you okay?”
“No, I am not.”
He rose up from the dinning table and went into the living room. He sat on his favourite chair. Anita sat opposite him.
“Is this about what we discussed last night?” He asked.
“Yes, it is.”
The cook appeared with a glass of freshly squeezed ugwu leaves and placed it beside him.
“Would you like some?”
“No, thanks.” Anita found the green liquid quite bitter. She preferred using the vegetable to cook soup.
He took a sip of the green liquid and placed the glass on the stool beside him.
Anita didn’t know how to tell him about the drama that ensued in Chief Nosa Osagie’s house.
“Dad, I met the Osagies.”
Gogo Batubo twisted uncomfortably in his chair. “You did what?”
“Edward took me to visit his parents today.”
“After what I told you yesterday, you still went to visit that family?” He asked.
“Dad, I didn’t plan to be there…”
“Why are you so stubborn? I told you to stay away from that family, they are bad news. There are many good men out there, why do you choose to be with the son of my sworn enemy?”
“I never knew your connection to his family until you told me last night.”
“You never told me who you were dating until two weeks ago. If you had said something earlier I would have told you not to have anything to do with him.”
“But dad, what has Edward done?”
“Isn’t what I told you enough to make you think twice about him?”
“Dad, I love him deeply. I still think our relationship has a chance.”
“A chance for what?”
“For us to get married.”
“No daughter of mine will marry an Osagie.”
“But I think we can,” Anita insisted.
“Have they hypnotised you to marry their son?” He asked.
“No one has hypnotised me. There are many unanswered questions in your story about the Osagies.”
“Now you doubt me and believe my enemies?”
“Dad I don’t doubt you, I just need answers.”
Chief Gogo sipped some of the green juice.
Anita could see where this conversation was headed. She wasn’t the one being questioned. He was. She had no choice.
Anita took a deep breath.
“Dad, I had a chat with Mrs Osagie.”
Chief Gogo sat up in his chair.”You spoke with Vivian?”
He even knew the woman’s name. How well did her father know this woman?
“She said I should ask you a question.”
“Dad, what happened in May, 1979?”
Gogo Batubo’s face dropped in fear.
“Wh…what…what are….you talking about?” He seemed to have aged another five years before her eyes. He suddenly looked tired, weak and vulnerable. Anita had never seen her dad in this state before. She didn’t like to see him like this but she had to find out what was about to tear her own life part.
Chief Batubo lifted the green liquid to his lips. His hand shook slightly and some of the liquid poured on his white shirt. Anita tried to wipe it with a paper towel but he pushed her away and sat back in his chair. His eyes were withdrawn and he stared into a place only he could see.
“Vivian. Hmm.” He sighed.
Anita knelt beside his chair and held his hands.
“Dad, please tell me what happened? What is going on?”
He held her hand and shut his eyes for some seconds. He was sweating but the room was cool.
“Should I call the doctor?” Anita asked.
“I will be fine,” he managed to say, but he didn’t look fine.
“I am sorry Anita, please forgive me.”
“Forgive you for what?”
“For not telling you the truth.”
“The truth about what?”
“I wa…was only trying to…to protect you.” Tears came to his eyes.
“Protect me from what?”
“Protect you from my past.” He shook his head and stared at the floor.
“Dad, please say something.”
His lips trembled slightly. When he started talking, whatever strands held Anita’s sanity together gave way and her world shattered.