Dike sat in his hugeness with both hands on the hand-rest of the expensive couch he found comfort in. He just finished his dinner watching a program without wearing a shirt. He had only a black voluminous trouser with stockings on. His stomach bulged out having hair all over it even to the chest. Though, he noticed Chioma standing a bit far from him but neglected her presence thinking she would leave sooner or later but she lingered thereby bringing his attention to her. He looked at her to see how worried and inquisitive she was twisting her fingers too, so he turned down the volume of the television.
“Papa, there is something i want to ask you” Chioma voiced out.
“Go on” Dike stared at her then she swallowed hard feeling her quivering legs which weren’t noticed. She normally felt that way when she wants to discuss something that might get her father angry.
“Umm.. Papa, are you in any way responsible for the criminality that has been happening in this village?”
Dike waited for a why before responding to her. The longer he waited, the faster Chioma’s heart beat increased. “You must have taken a tipple, haven’t you?” he finally asked, then Chioma became afraid.
“Papa, what is tipple?” she mumbled under her voice.
“Spare me that pretentious interrogation and explain to me how you came about with this niggling aspersions!”
“Papa, it’s a rumor that has been going on in..”
“Shut your vocal cavity!” Dike interrupted. “So you have decided to trifled me because of what you have accumulated from belligerent scumbages and scandalmongers with a decadent lifestyle. Have you gone bonkers! How dare you tendentiously relate vandalism and fauxpas to someone with my personality who is always fastidious to his pious actions?”
“I asked a simple question that demands a straight response from you but you are twisting it to something else” Chioma became bold. The father remained speechless for some times before he said, “If not that i can remember vividly on how you started giving scratches to my scrotum and eventually ended up in your mother’s womb, i should have said that you are a very big calamitous clunker to this family”
“Let me believe that what you’re saying is that you aren’t responsible to what is happening because i don’t want to lose you” Chioma warned.
“Lose me in what way?”
“Don’t you know what they will do to u if you are caught?”
“Are you in any way concluding that I’m behind what is happening?”
“I don’t know, all I’m saying is that if u are the one, better abstain from it coz i wouldn’t want anything to happen to you oh!” Chioma held one of her ears.
“You have gotten me umbrage with your uncharacteristic attitude” Dike adjusted in his seat. “Who is the person or consortium that has the ability and capacity to trigger the cause of you losing me?”
“So you’re really saying that you are behind..”
“Get lost!” Dike interrupted his daughter.
“I have said my own oh!” Chioma briskly walked into her room.
Inside Chief Ebube’s modernized kitchen, only Adaku, the only daughter, was found there weeping bitterly. She wore a bomshort and a yellow top. Her painted fingernails could be seen as she cleaned a washing sink with a rag. She could remember one of her ex-boy friends telling her how he never loved her and called her all sort of names. “I never loved you, so get a hell out of my life!” he had said pushing her away. As Adaku remembered all that, she began to weep seriously. She casted her mind to Ubiji again but the image of Chioma appeared in her mind. “God, why?” she began to think. “Why do i always have clash of interest with Chioma? It has been like that even before i went to the city. Now, she will soon get married..”
“Adaku” her mother’s voice interrupted her from behind then she began to dry her tears swiftly. “Why are u shedding tears my daughter?”
“Nothing, mummy” Adaku replied without looking back. The mother gently placed a hand on her shoulder. Of course she knew that her daughter was troubled emotionally.
“Adaku, I’m your mother, you can always talk to me. Your happiness is my priority. Is it about the money your father gave to you for your youth service? If it’s not enough, I’ll give you more”
Hearing that, Adaku suspended what she was doing and looked straight into her mother’s eyes. “Mummy, do u think money is everything? Can money give you all the happiness, love and joy you want in life? Can money really solve all problems? I don’t think so” she walked out trying to hold her tears. Only then did her mother understood what her problem was. Of course she is a woman.
The four criminals set to leave handling their guns and other dangerous weapons. All looked at each other in the room then wore their masks at the same time except Chidi who reluctantly wore his own.
“Let’s go” Obinna commanded and they with out into the darkness..
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