November 29, 2021

Without Bridges episode 6

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Without Bridges

Episode 6
“Happy birthday to you, happy birthday to you, happy birthday to you Ho..Hope, happy birthday to you” everyone chorused and Hope gave me that familiar look. I knew what he was going to say, “why didn’t you give me a longer name?” he would ask every year and this was his sixteenth year. It was my boy’s sweet sixteen birthday; I was excited.

I watched him grow up, I groomed him with massive help from Aunt Zainab . Severally I feared he was going to turn out to be like his father, a r*pist or a criminal but Hope was different.

Music got turned out and some of Hope’s friends danced in excitement while others extended birthday wishes to him.

I noticed David stare at me; he has been staring since he came in. I turned to him rolling my eyes. I almost forgot he was here- the only unwelcomed guest present at the gathering.

David is my boss at work, he has been asking me out for years but I’ve continuously turned him down. Not once has he given up, which gets me angry most times.

All men are scvm! They’re not to be trusted. That’s an ideology I’ve taken up since the experience I had with Mr. Titus.

I’ve refused opening my heart to other men. Sure there have been so many admirers, but I swore never to date.

I had to try it out after Aunt Zainab tucked me into trying a banker out.

He was nice and all but I just didn’t like the idea of having to get married to the same specie responsible for putting me through hell years ago. I wasn’t into women either.

The

thought of getting married to a man and fulfilling his every desire irritated me. Being alone suited me. I was doing fine with just me and my son.

I met David two years ago when he was transferred to work as the manager at Chike Aluminium. I had been working for three years in the company already. He made his intentions known from the start but i hated his guts.

I sighted him walking towards Hope and I nervously stared at them. They talked and laughed for a while, I wondered why they would be laughing.

I badly wanted to know what they were talking about then they both turned to me laughing. David even pointed at me.

Just when I had it up to my neck, I approached them. “I never knew David was such a comedian, I just couldn’t help but notice you guys were laughing and also talking about me” “Amebo will not kill some people” he replied which had Hope laughing.

“Don’t

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you think you’ve over stayed your welcome” I chipped in sending a message for him to leave.

“Mom he wasn’t saying anything bad, he was just commenting on how good you look on the dress.” Hope said and I stared coldly at Dave. “Seriously?” I asked then he walked away.

” Mom you were rude to him”

“You don’t understand Hope, I’m always being rude to him and he’s not to be trusted”

“I’ve known him for a while mom, I trust him”

“Men are deceitful, they’re scvm” I continue and Hope scoffed rolling his eyes. “So am I mom.

You’ve forgotten I’m a man” my boy argued and I felt bad, he had a point there.

“You’re a still my little boy” I corrected rubbing my palm on his cheek. “And I’m sure you won’t grow up to be a scvm”

“Why not have that little faith in Uncle Dave, even a blind man would know he sincerely loves you”

“I..” I stammered when Dave came back with a wrapped box of gift handing it to Hope. “Happy birthday to you” he said and Hope quickly opened it seeing jamb past questions on it. “Seriously?” He asked turning to Dave who was chuckling. “When we chatted, you talked about jamb classes.”

When he dug in, I saw him raise a game pad up. “All work and no play makes Jack a dull boy” Hope immediately hugged him, I’ve never seen him more happier.

“Can

I steal your mom for the evening?” Dave requested now gazing at me.

I felt weird.

“Feel free to steal her for the night!” Hope answered and I tapped him on the arm. “Come on mom, have a little fun for once in your life”

I felt hurt. I’ve had fun moments, I thought to myself. Taking care of my boy has been more than fun. Work has been fun.

“I have things to do”

“She has nothing” Hope argued. “Mom, just say yes, one night would not hurt anyone would it?”

“Yes” I finally answered half-heartedly. His brow arced in surprise, he was definitely in shock.

It was my first time saying yes to him. I watched him grin like a goat. My heart bled as a result of my injured pride. Why did Hope have to be so persuasive?

“Where?” I asked him, “Erm..uh…I” he stammered. “I don’t know but I have to go prepare” he said walking away then he came back now looking confused. “Are you sure?” He asked, “do you seriously want me to change my mind?”

“No” he answered sharply. “Bye Hope” he paused then looked at me smiling. “I’ll call you” he added rushing out.

As much as I tried to forget and move on from mom’s death, I couldn’t. Sixteen years from when mom died and it still hurts as though it happened yesterday.

I excused myself out of the party in the room where I let all my tears running.

Aunt Zainab walked in immediately. “I knew you were going in to cry” she snapped and I tried to clean my tears with my hands. “I wasn’t crying” I lied, “My eye hurts… I’m emotional, probably premenstrual symptoms”

“You can’t fool me Aisha” Aunt Zainab added sitting close to me. “You promised not to cry over your mom again. It’s been sixteen years”

” And I still miss her. I miss her cooking, I miss her stories, I miss a lot of things.”

“That’s why I keep telling you to move on” she suggested.

“Here we go again again” I answered rolling my eyes.

“If you had two more kids to worry about, trust me, your mom’s death anniversary would be the last thing on your mind” Aunt Zainab confessed and I chuckled. She says it every single time.

“You’ve achieved so much Aisha, you have a good job and you’re self-dependent. I’m proud of you and I’m sure your mom would have been so proud of you.” She added and I smiled.

“You think so?” I asked, “I know so” she answered rising from the bed.

“I accepted Dave’s offer to go on a stupid date with him” I blurted out and she resumed sitting. “Finally! It’s about time”

“Not like it’s going to go further than this. I accepted because Hope persuaded me to go”

Aunt Zainab sighed.

“Give this guy a try ehn, how long has he been trying and how long do you plan on remaining single?” “I haven’t seen the perfect guy yet and I don’t know if I can trust David”

“Everyone deserves a chance, just give him one.”

Tbc

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