This story is in sequence with other stories I have posted on Tell’s 31day Writing Challenge. You might want to read the previous stories for better comprehension. Thanks.
“I have done the right thing now” Mrs Jacobs reassured herself for the umpteenth time. After she had walked round her matrimonial king-sized bed in the room she shares with her husband. In the last forty-five minutes, she has walked round the bed, sat on it, stood up and repeat the cycle countless time in a deliberative manner, reassuring herself that she has done the ‘right’ thing and searching through her mind for her justification.
“The rich moves with the rich and the poor stays with the poor. That’s the order and it is only an ignoramus that dare cross the line an disrupt the order, causing disorderliness. Why would an impoverished person says he wants to be close friends with wealthy ones if not for an ulterior motives. Are his fellow poor people that scarce, for him to look for one to befriend? Yoruba will say ‘Ere kinni aja n bekun she?’ (what manner of conversation goes between a dog and a tiger?).”
She paused in her soliloquy, she stood up and began to walk round the bed. Her wedding pictures, hung on the rose colored wall, attracted her attention and she noticed a particular one she took with her parents. Her father beaming with richly smile in his stately apparel and her mother on the other hand looks reserved in her exquisite attire. She recalled how she and her father had to go through a lot of pleading and persuasive words before she agreed to don the attire. Left to her, she preferred to go for something not so flashy.
Such was the contrast she lived with while she was with her parents. Her father believe in the saying ‘Dress as you want to be addressed’ and he always says ‘We are the noble ones, the privileged ones and dressing is one of the ways we attract our kind. So let’s dress our status.’ She remembered her mother would disagree saying just because they are rich doesn’t mean they should be extravagant and that the poor will be rich someday. Her father would discard her mother’s argument by saying ‘ Till then let the rich stay with the rich, and the poor with the poor. It’s called class and that’s why we have philanthropist; the rich who are merciful to the poor. We can do that to show our benevolence but to ask us to stoop so low and accommodate them in our circle… Haba! They don’t even have the etiquette. Common cutlery skills they lack. So we should give them food and also teach them how to eat?’ Her mother usually lose the argument at that point. That has set the way she (Mrs Jacobs) view the poor. People of no standard. She preferred her father’s teaching and even few times she tried to embrace her mother’s view, she has got dissapointed.
She recalled her first love was a lowlife. She forgot her father’s word and allowed her emotions to cloud her judgement. She believed he loved her just as she loved him and she was determined to change his status so that he can meet her standard, until he showed his true colors and duped her. Her animosity to the poor has increased since then and she still thinks herself to be the heroine who saved her husband from leaving her, a wonderful choice, to marry one peasant fellow he was into at the time of their courtship.
She hated the poor and wants nothing to do with them except some philanthropic activities, at least, to show her benevolence. But the last thing she wants was for one to be her son’s friend, intimate friend to make matters worse. So she has always want to put an end to the friendship, get rid of the boy. The kidnappers offer has come in a gold platter. An opportunity for her to kill two birds with one stone. Save her son and finally get rid of the boy.
“My decision is right.” she reassured herself again “Afterall he’s not my son and he has his parent too. Why should we pay his ransom?”
She could feel the emotion she has been suppressing with her reaffirmation.
” How could I be guilty of saving my own son? Guilty of not saving his friend? But he is not my responsibility. Moreover, saving him might make people think I’m showing off. At least, mother used to say just because we are rich shouldn’t make us to be extravagant.”
She adjusted her glasses.
“What if I pay his ransom and the kidnappers comes for my whole family? They’d say we kuku have the money. I can’t risk that for that nonentity oo. We are not paying his ransom jare”
She dropped her head and sigh. Then continued her soliloquy.
” But everyone thinks I’m the bad one now. I saw the look on Alex face. Not to talk of how my own son, Tony, has destroyed me with words. God knows what Hope will think of me now. Tony doesn’t even know the length have gone too while he was away before we even contact his kidnappers. Am I really wicked? Or wait, could saving this boy restore my family back to how it was?”
She adjusted her flowing gown and left the room as she said the words “I know what to do.”