Previously on 88,000 Acres of Bad Shit,….
We reached Akala’s residence some few minutes past lunch. Mother had an unusual impeccable timing. She had carried all manner of paraphernalia from the village. Brother wasn’t home. The snake had anticipated our arrival. The cursed woman was only good to me when mother and brother were around. It wasn’t much of a reunion. It all mattered if mother was happy.
It was hot and sunny, the city had it’s own rusty smell. He lived on the other side of the city where the air was crisp and clean. Brother had pushed his way up the corporate ladder despite his numerous escapades. You could tell he was well financially. It was a dream come true for him. But with all that money, happiness always eluded him. I could understand why. I always listen to him when he was in his drunken stupor. He tends to mask his frustrations through alcohol. He tends to speak to himself and he recoils further into his cocoon every single day.
I texted him to let him know that we had arrived safely. He was eager. He texted back saying that he would be home early. Brother had always spoiled me from when I was a little girl. He would buy me things not even other boys of my age could afford. I secretly admired him. But he’s my brother nothing could go beyond the confines of our boundaries. Time rather passed by quickly before he came home. There were myriads of activities which were done. There’s no resting when it comes to mama and her pet snake. They’ll make sure they’d overwork a person till their bones would collapse due to fatigue. They made a very good couple. Each with their own sinister motives. Mother found someone she could manipulate. My sister in law on the other hand found somewhere she could belong.
I didn’t care to know much about her despite her numerous efforts to try and befriend me. We didn’t just click. At around 8 p.m. brother came home. He didn’t smell of whiskey or cigarettes though he smelled nice, his cologne wafted along the room signifying us of his presence. Mother was over joyed to see his only prodigal son back home. He wasn’t well pleased to see mother. He knew whenever his wife and mother bonded there would be some sort of circus happening.
We were all rudely shocked when he told us that members of his church would be coming for a luncheon the following day after the church service had ended. Our jaws fell wide open to the floor. Before we had even finished collecting our jaws from the floor, he said that he had accepted Christ as his personal savior. He prayed for his food before he ate which was highly unusual of him. This wasn’t the brother I was looking forward to.
“Finally he decided to be mad. Since when did Akala become a religious person?” Mother asked.
No one was ready to address the elephant in the room. He broke up the silence which was too loud for us and said that he was tired of fighting Nneka, arguing with mother, fighting for a lost course that brought a lot of war, grief and eternal turmoil within him. He was tired of having people trying to kill him, he was sad that he wasn’t happy and all he wished for was that everyone would be able to live in harmony with each other. He didn’t want any squabbles.
The room fell silent once more. I for once was happy that he played his cards well. After all this was a power game between him and mother. I felt that mother was meddling too much in their companionship and that snake was too comfortable with it.
“I’d be starting physiological therapy on Monday to help me come to terms and overcome the various pressures I’ve been having lately. I won’t run away and haul myself in hospital.” Akala said.
We didn’t even know that he already had a psychologist. It was a night full of wonders and surprises. After dinner had ended Akala led the family into an evening prayer before everyone retired to bed. He made it clear that we would all be going to church the next day. Mother was bewildered regarding that she was never a woman of the cloth.
As I headed out to the guest room, he called me and said, “let the Lord guide you in your endeavors.”
I was keen, curious and interested in wanting to know what type of trickery brother would pull this time.