He turns around gripping the feather, adjusts the bag comfortably on his shoulder. There is no one in sight. He takes a glance at the feather, then hears a shrill voice. It is the security man who yelled at him. His gaze steams, wearing a bland demeanor.
Amobi cannot tell how he feels. ‘This useless boy again’ the man thought. Amobi watches him closely. Behind the man are blood, cutlass, sword, and other sharp objects, with a butchered goat on the ground. His mind strolls away, he remembers tomorrow is the school’s cultural day. He starts walking toward the security man.
“Which class are you in?” the security man asks.
“S.S 3 — senior secondary school three.”
The security man looks at him from the head to his toe. “Why you come dey behave like small pikin,” he says, waves, so he will walk into the security lounge.
He walks in, sits on the torn blackened sofa. The lounge has a foul stench, flaring the hair in her nostril.
Sooner, Amobi observes the security man smacking his lips, taking in his facial features. He sighs, looks up at the wall clock. It had been more than thirty minutes since school hours ended. The security man excuses himself to take a shower. Amobi hears the splatter of water in the bathroom’s floor and starts having thoughts. He looks up, sighs, puts the feather into his pocket, and scurries out of the lounge. The road to his house is far and exhausting, so, he starts thinking about how he will get home.
He strolls home paying no attention to the humming vehicles, whisperings, and noises from people.
Ifeoma is sitting on the chair in front of the house when he walks into the compound through the rusted black gate. The vicinity is quiet. Amobi can tell Mama and Papa aren’t around by the silence that greets him. The house would have been buzzing by Mama’s restlessness and chatters.
Ifeoma’s face has been sober for days. Beneath her eyes are obvious dark spots. Her stomach is bigger compared to the last time she returned from the University of Lagos. She drags the wrapper around her waist to cover up, in order to prevent prying eyes, especially from their neighbours. She has been home for the last two weeks. The night she arrived looking dejected, one could tell from her faded eyeballs that she was not entirely okay. That night, Mama was sitting on the sofa, silent and delirious.
Papa says it cannot be rape. His screams are loud, reverberating the living room. The fan looks like it would fall off from its grip. Amobi doesn’t stop staring at him. He is sweating but the room is chill. Ifeoma is crying, Papa is shouting. His voice reverberates the television as he says the pregnancy isn’t because Ifeoma was raped. Mama argues saying there is a possibility of an actual rape. Papa has an irritating glare that doesn’t stop darting at her, then he looks away. Amobi can see Papa’s rage when he looks at Mama. He wishes he could run to his sister, hold her tight, and pat a kiss on her cheeks. Then, he say, “I believe you.”
Amobi stops in front of the house to greet Ifeoma. She does not reply. For sometime now, there has been a spirit of hostility brewing between them. He made sure he greeted her in the morning though she never replied.
Ifeoma has also been ignoring Ma. She began greeting Papa the day he screamed at her. Ifeoma did nothing every day but eat, drink, think, and sleep. Papa swore he would never pay her school fees again. Many times, Amobi wondered why Mama never said anything when Papa comes at them with his threats. Mama is a fearless woman and can challenge Papa.
He walks into his room, thinking about Jaiyeola, then drifts into other thoughts. It ended with a quick siesta that came abruptly in between his dream about Jaiyeola. Jaiyeola is holding him tight at the school’s backyard. He feels his warmness, slowly closes his eyes. There is no one in sight. Jaiyeola lowers his lips to his own and they kissed. He heard a series of clapping, then turned. There are students at the back clapping and giggling. His face flushes, he lowers his head, placing it on Jaiyeola’s shoulder. He closes his eyes again. Then, he blinks and wakes…