He would cry and cry; don’t go out, sit down there, read to my ears, cram this, recite that. Father, as I called him, was a sexagenarian. Yet the energy in him could be compared to that of a vibrant youth. He was a retired Catechist and well revered in the whole of Ewekoro. Father did not buy the idea of corporal punishment. His wont was to plunge me into his pool of biting words. But as I grew up, I began to dance to his tunes. Father’s joy oft refilled to the brim when he saw me turning to a new leave. 

I had just finished secondary school. My WAEC result was an eyesore. Father would plunge me again, but this time deeply in his pool. I don’t need anyone to tell me this. When I left the cybercafe that morning the news went viral like the news of Ebola in Ewekoro — everyone knew the result was out. I had left home early in the morning to check my result. Gbam! The LCD monitor popped it out; I couldn’t believe what my eyes had beheld. I rechecked the examination number and fixed my gaze, perplexedly on the screen again and again — I was the owner of the result.

As I headed homeward, I began to think with sweat trickling down from my head. Some fine thought crept into my mind. “I will tell Father my result is withheld. No Father is too inquisitive; he may go to the WAEC office in Sapati to request for my result.” After long and long rumination, I summoned up the courage to tell him the truth since he always preached against lie. He would say those who lie have no home other than Gehenna.

The sun had found it way out of the blue sky with protean white-black clouds. It was not too sweltering when I returned home from the café. I walked in apprehension into the living room with face like that of a woman that has given birth to yet another stillborn but chooses not to weep. I met Father in the two seats couch. Now his eyes directed away from the Bible he held. He adjusted his glasses, down to the tip of the nose. And he gave me a bizarre look. He read the miserable message on my face and then cleared his throat as though something was in there he intended to get rid of. I prostrated and said some words of greeting. Then I gave him the paper. Father held the A4 paper that my result was printed on. He adjusted his glasses and fitted his eyes on paper at the same time nodding profusely; the paper was blessed with Faataai — F9 parallel. Father returned the paper to me; I was trying to explain the reason behind the ugly result when he powerfully uttered to me to disappear from his presence. 

I knew staying a second before I flew could mean many things, I knew Father would never wield a cane, not because I was sixteen but he was not used to it. I walked into my room sluggishly in a mood of rue.

I was still in my room when Father’s voice broke in. In his voice, dissatisfaction was obvious…

To be continued 

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