Wednesday, 27 April 2011

Rough Round the Edges

I awoke from sleep, I checked the time on my bedside digital-clock: 4:32am. I grumbled in frustration. One thing I always hated was waking up at such awkward times. I had just managed to get comfortable considering it was a very warm night. I briefly thought about Samson and the youth-work he spoke about.

I got up to get a drink. I tip-toed my way down and crept into the kitchen. The floor didn't feel as cool as it usually did. I walked to the fridge and pulled out a bottle of water. I sat at the kitchen table and reflected on my life, my father, my future and even my sister. She did still have unresolved issues with our dad; i assumed he and Peace spoke about these issues the other day.

The sound of my father's footsteps broke my track of thoughts; I had a split second thought at how people recognise the footsteps of individuals in their household. I held a mouthful of the cool-water and when he entered I gulped it down. My dad switched on the light and I winced as the light painfully hit my eyes.

"Mikel, you're up." My father said.
"Yeah. I couldn't sleep, the heat is bothering me." I replied.
My father laughed soft and quietly.

"Heat? ajebutter; what will you do when you go to Nigeria?" He said amusedly as he took a seat right next to me.
"I'll find a way to cope" I replied smiling.

"So what's new?" He asked me.
"I was just thinking...about stuff. Me and my life, you and Peace.."
"Me and Peace? why, what's wrong?" My father asked.
"Haven't you and her spoken lately? I thought you did the day me and you had our talk?" I looked at him for a few seconds h just looked back.

"Obiora, what is wrong with Adannaya?" I could tell he was genuinely concerned because he called my sister by her Igbo-name.
"Nothing dad, it's just that she feels she can never top herself with you" My father looked at me as if I had just spoken in a different language.
"Dad, whenever Peace had achieved something you've also just been satisfied with her. You never really focus on her like you do with me?"

My father scoffed as if I was telling him a lie.
"I've been very kind and fair to her and I know she wouldn't be ungrateful for that!"
I continued speaking.
"With me, I've always...ALWAYS had to top what I have previously done, but when it comes to Adannaya..." I paused for a few seconds and took a drink of my water.
"...everything is just fine, she told me you're just content with what she does. I mean, can't she please you like how I do sometimes?"
I slowly bowed my head a stared at my water-bottle. I felt as if I had just betrayed my sister.

My father's eyes continued to rest on me. I could feel them on me. The chair creaked from his weight as he leaned back.
"I don't want to make you feel like you're a bad father but, you're ..." I hesitated to speak.
"Gini? Oya..., complete your sentence" he demanded.
My tongue felt dry, as if I hadn't been drinking water at all. "'re not perfect, you're sometimes rough around the edges."

He mumbled my words back to me in a confused way.

As I end my sentence he stood up, I almost flinched. Although my dad hasn't smacked me since I was 13, a stroke of fear passed through me. I tried to style it out as if I wanted to stretch. My dad just kept his eyes on me. My father slowly walked out of the kitchen, switching off the light as he left. He didn't say anything, but I could tell what I said really got to him; I guessed that was a good thing.
I left my bottle of water and went back up to my room I could see the dark sky start to lighten up. I got into bed and waited for sleep to carry me off.