The Suspicion

by - October 25, 2017

By Vincent Ekeji

You had just returned from school, exhausted. Still backing your school bag, you hurried to the house and flung it on the sofa facing the T.V set. You set fort towards the kitchen for your food. It lay properly covered in a glass plate. You opened it: your favourite -- rice and dodo. You unconsciously felt relieved a bit as you walked to the parlour holding the plate between your arms. As you gulped some spoonful; you kept huffing, fell back on the sofa. 

There was silence in the house. It deepened so that you could only hear the clattering of the plate. Then a faint voice broke in. You became nervous. Your heartbeat raced. The spoon fell off your hand as you walked towards the sound, tiptoeing to aunty Nkechi’s room. As you got closer, your heart throbbed, threatening to jump out of your mouth. You gulped down your spittle, noisily. Your footstep thud as you held the walls to support your wobbling gait. Drawing closer, the voice became more familiar; its Dads voice, you guessed. You went further scurrying. You tried not to be nervous, gulping down air that felt hot in your throat.

Strange thoughts flooded your mind. What would daddy be doing in aunty Nkechi’s room? You remembered he had informed you earlier that he would return late today when he dropped you at the school this morning. You reached the door. The voice you heard was mournful. You placed your ear on the door, and couldn’t make out the words. What would dad be saying to her? Your inquisitive mind stood taut. You made the sign of the cross and glided the knob.
You pushed the door gently, Peeped with one eye through the door. Your mouth hung open at the gory sight.

“Uche, abeg come. Thank God you are here. Let’s take him to the hospital; he’s too heavy for me.”
Your dad was lying carelessly on the ground. He kept panting. What happened? You wanted to ask, but the spurting of blood from your father’s head glued your tongue. You didn’t know when “Jesus” fell out from your mouth. You hurriedly joined hands with aunty Nkechi who held him by his shoulder.

Next morning in the hospital, you would learn that he had wanted to rape aunty Nkechi, but ended up having his head broken. The nervous feeling came back again after the news, but this time you just allowed the tears run down your eyes.

Vincent Ekeji studies at the University of Ibadan. He is from the South-East of Nigeria. 

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