Wednesday, 16 March 2011

A Grown Child...

Message from author: I have decided to change the format/style of writing.

I left Samson’s place feeling uneasy. On the way home Peace was trying to talk to me, but I wasn’t paying attention. Her voice was like a hum in the background mixing in with the sound of noisy kids on the bus and slow moving traffic.
I casted my mind back to when me and Samson agreed to go travelling. It seemed like a good idea at the time, meeting new people, seeing new places and most of all… escaping my father; but after some thinking I came to the realisation that the main reason why I wanted to travel wasn’t a good one. I obviously had problems with my dad and running from them wasn’t going to help. So I did what I thought was wise and chose to go to uni instead. I understood Samson’s frustration though, he was very keen to go travelling.
When I and Peace arrived home mum had already served food on the dining room table. My father sat in his usual seat. Mum welcomed us with a big smile.
“Peace, guys are back. What took you so long?” my mother asked.
“Sorry, I guess I lost track of time” I responded.
“Ah ah, but Peace didn’t you have your iBerry? You could have called me.”

Me and Peace looked at each other confused? Then it hit me, she was referring to Peace’s BlackBerry. I laughed; even my father was amused.

“You mean her BLACKBeryy?”  My dad asked.
“Ehen, Blackberry. Anyway they’re back, no problem.”

For dinner we had Pounded Yam and Edikaikong Soup. My sister used a fork to eat her food; something which I always thought was weird.
“So, Obi…where did you and your sister go to?” My father asked interestedly.

His tone was calm and friendly. I guess I had no reason to feel tense like anymore. Ever since our little talk I felt more relaxed around him.

“We went to see Samson” I replied
“Oh, OK. How is he? I heard he decided not to go to university; I hope he’s faring well.”
“Yeah, he’s fine. We talked a bit, nothing much.”
“Has he found work yet?” my father asked
“Work? Err, I don’t know” I replied.

A part of me felt happy to say that….at least I won’t have my dad go on about how smart Samson is.
After dinner I went up to my room to lie down, while the rest of my family watched TV in the living room.
I started thinking of my future options when my phone rang and cut into my thoughts. I looked at the screen-display; it was Samson.

"Hi, Samson?"
"Yeah, Mikel, What's good?.. I just quickly called to you know...earlier today, I…well we…" Samson didn't finish his sentence; but he didn't need to I knew what he meant.
"Yeah, I know, Sam. It's cool." I replied.
"Anyway, there's one thing I wanna discuss with you. I recently got info about a youth group in the area; it just opened up and and they’re looking for workers, you know people like you who are academically talented.”
I laughed at the way he described me.
“So are you interested?” he asked.

I thought about it for a second and decided to go for it. I already knew how hard it was to find a job these days.

“Yeah sure, I’m interested; I need something to do anyway till I can find something in Accounting.”
“Cool bro.., I’ll holla at you again and give you the details. Bye Mikel”

After the call ended I went back to my thoughts and what I’d do with myself. Youth Work wasn’t exactly what I saw myself doing, but it was better than nothing. The only thing was how my father would take it. I decided to bring out now and get it out of the way.
Downstairs my father was reading, whilst my mum and sister were watching the news. As if my dad could sense something, he looked up at me.
“Anything the matter, Obi?” my father asked.
“No not really, I just wanted to talk to you about something. I just got off the phone with Samson. There’s some youth work going on and it sounded interesting, if I get the job I thought it’d be good, till I find work in Accounting & Finance.”
My Father just looked at me blankly, placed the book on his lap and smiled slightly. I couldn’t tell whether he thought I kidding or he was just trying to supress anger. My sister and mother’s attention was now fully on us.
“No problem.” He said. “I just hope you thought about it first.”

Although I was happy my dad approved, I still expecting a little more resistance from him, I was glad he had loosened up on me, but it felt weird…and almost too good to be true. I gave a silent sigh of relief and went back up to my room to lie down again.
As I lay on my bed, I began to think about my father. He had changed towards me slightly and I don’t know if I liked it or not. His relationship with me had a lasting effect on me; I was still weary of him. At least when he was hard on me it was predictable; now it was the opposite. I thought to myself: I'm grown but still feel like a child when in my father’s presence...a grown child. The thought scared and amused me at the same time.
As I started dozing off the last thoughts in my mind were that I should be happy. My father had loosened up on me; but why wouldn't he? after all I'm grown. I smiled a bit as my eyes got heavier; a thought came into my mind; no matter how grown you are, you're still a child in your parents’ eyes.