Here we are, four of us
In total shock, me and her
I close my mouth, I swallow spit
While thinking to myself this is some deep sh…
The words from R.Kelly’s “Trapped in a Closet” seemed very appropriate for the situation. They all just stood there for some unreal number of seconds, digesting this latest bit of information.
He opened his mouth to say something, but he was temporarily unable to utter a word. He looked at his mother’s face; she was as shocked as she was, probably tying all the loose ends together before she spoke. His father… George (he couldn’t bear to think of him as his dad anymore) just stood there, looking totally unfazed. Gladys had her face in her hands, probably too ashamed to look at anyone in the room.
He realized that he had been standing there with his mouth open… like a dead fish!
He closed his mouth and made a beeline for the in house bar, which was stocked up (as usual) with an assortment of drinks. THIS was one conversation he didn’t want to continue sober.
He was reaching for a glass, stopped halfway, and opted for sending the rich brown liquid down his throat straight from the bottle. He had taken two gulps when he heard his mother’s voice behind him.
“George, but why?”
Huh! Mum didn’t shout? It was barely a whisper.
He turned and was shocked to see that his mother wasn’t angry; in fact she looked like she was going to burst into tears, very unlike her.
“George, why would you do this…to your son…to me?”
And then the unexpected happened…
The room stood still. And suddenly the ‘tick-tocks’ of the wall clock seemed louder than ever.
Joe hastily dropped the bottle and walked over to her and helped her to a seat. He had never seen her look this venerable before…never. In fact it was…
“ABASSEY, Ayaya o, A ya…”
The maid walked in, to pack up the plates probably, clearly not expecting anyone to be in.
“I’m sorry, I….ahh, madam… I…”
They all shot daggers at her with their eyes as she made her hasty exit.
As she ran out, she couldn’t get one thought out of her mind.
Madam Becky dey cry? Chai! Wey Sule oh, gist dey.
They all seemed to find their respective tongues as soon as the door closed shut.
“I know you’re upset, I….” George.
“You’re even worse than….” Mother.
“I can’t believe you both….” Joe.
“Joe, it’s not, I actually…” Gladys.
They all went on and on. Everyone was saying something and no one was listening to anyone. Mother had gotten past the hurt and her anger was oozing out with reckless abandon.
“Well it doesn’t matter. You can scream from today till tomorrow, it won’t change the fact that I’m pregnant for your father.”
Joe looked at Gladys, and then at the man he called father.
“So when did this errr, thing start?”
That shut them up again. Gladys looked at George, he returned her stare and then she spoke.
“Well, some months back. Uummm, you remember when you…”
“When you… you know what Joe, just forget this. Your father’s right, what’s done is done. I’m expecting his child, nothing can change that. Fine, you weren’t exactly supposed to know the genesis of the matter but now you do, let sleeping dogs lie!”
She said all this in one breath and was quite flushed when she was done. Even George seemed surprised at her outburst.
Joe was stunned. Who the hell is this woman? To think he was going to marry her!
His mother seemed to have lost steam (and hope) because she was shaking her head and reaching for her purse.
“I’ve had enough of this, this, this…. This!”
As she headed for the door, Joe also decided he had had enough and turned to go too.
The door suddenly opened and Sammie stood in the doorway.
“Sammie? I though you said you weren’t going to come. What are you doing here?”
But Sammie stared straight at George, anger burning in her eyes.
Joe turned to look at his father and noticed he had paled slightly.
“Good evening George,” Sammie blurted.
“Or should I say daddy?”