The serenity of the estate mattered less, I was oblivious of it. The streets of my mind was busy with the roads occupied with vehicles of thoughts which I was hopping from one to another. Subconsciously, I’d kick stones as I walked towards our house. I found it hard to get myself from going wild in my thoughts for long.
“I just hope this stupid woman has finally left.” Sincerely, I did not know when I started to speak foul languages.
Two weeks with an aunt who molest sexually was enough to make any teenager crazy and enraged. Let alone, the shameless one I called a friend who was gradually turning me to a full blown masturbation addict. I would feel like screaming out sometimes. Just in two weeks. Pornography. Masturbation. Sex. What should I call the one with Okon? Masturbation or Homosexuality?
“Now, school’s at stake! WASSCE is just at the corner. My dreams have always been coming out with a clean result sheet of A’s. I hope this is not being shattered in my face.” I thought aloud.
“Baba! Abeg make una come open the pedestrian gate.”
“Welcome my son,” Baba said after opening the gate.
“Good afternoon Baba. Please, is Auntie Gloria gone?”
“Yes, e no tey when she comot. She even talk say make I...”
“Baba, don’t worry.” I cut in
“E be like say…”
“Ah! Eh eh! Baba, don’t worry ehn.” I shut him up.
As I moved into the compound, I saw my Dad’s car. They were back. Balls of fear rose within me, my legs were moving a little wobbly.
“And the young man is home.” Dad said, as he hugged me.
That was the opener for that day, I was surprised. Dad never hugged me before. I was confused about what was going on. He was too nice and caring to be the father I knew.
“Gloria told us about how you behaved well. She said a lot of good things about you.” my mum said, I had to feign a smile in response.
“Guess what Michael.”
“I wouldn’t have asked you to guess if I wanted to tell you. Guess.“ He grinned.
“Ta-da!” He shouted as he brought out a new phone pack.
“Whoa! Samsung Galaxy S3! This is like one of the coolest phone in town!” I stared at the phone pack in my hand. Immediately, I got the phone out. It was a cool phone. At least, my friends would not make jest of my tanasobe phone again.
“You like it?” Mum asked.
“I sure do.”
“That’s your birthday gift. We thought it’d be fair we got you a nice phone.” Dad said smiling.
“Baba Michael! This was my idea, not yours. E de wa n so bi e ni wiipe eyin le get e.”
“Ah, calm down obinrin yii. I said we thought about it together. Ehn, even if you brought the idea, at least I bought the phone.”
I bothered less about their discussion. The phone got my full attention.
“We got you a SIM card too.”
“Thanks so much. God bless you.”
In all sincerity, the feeling I got from having not just an android, but a cool one temporarily engulfed me, and it was almost like I was not the one almost slipping into depression few hours before then.
As for my parents, they came home changed. I couldn’t place my hands on it exactly but I was sure somethings happened. My father spent more time at home, I wondered if his itinerary leaked. My mother didn’t nag as much as she used to. She still nagged, but it was much of an improvement that I could not shun. She did not complain of me playing music in the morning. She didn’t shout at little mistakes I made. She was more tolerant. It was more that I could ever thought. I wished it had been that way from the start, probably I’d have learnt to open up to her.
She cared more about making me study the Bible and pray which was more like a job for me. She was caring, asking me per time if I was good but I couldn’t tell her everything that had happened. Imagining what her reactions would be, how things would turn convinced me that it was just all right to keep shut. Besides, I didn’t grow up to learn telling my parents what was going on with me.
I couldn’t bear it, I confronted her three days after their return.
“Mum, I need to get something.”
“What’s that?” She removed her glasses as she replied.
“Ehm, you see. Ever since, you have been super nice and I think it’s unusual of you.” She smiled and patted the sofa signaling to me to sit down. I sat down beside her.
“We learnt a lot where we went to minister, Michael.”
“I thought you were the one to minister there. How come?”
“Yes. The lead pastor at the church hosted us in his house. I can’t tell you all that happened but son, trust me. We are becoming better parents. It’s a change. A positive one.”
“Waw, that’s great. It’s good this is happening.”
“…but why now?” I thought.
“It’s alright.” My mother said.
My Samsung galaxy S3 was the talk of the class. Some envied. Many wanted to be my friend because of it. Margaret was not left out. After I had settled our rift, she came to tease about my new phone. She gave me her 2go username so I could be her friend on the platform.
“Michael, this your phone na jazz o” Okon said.
I smiled looking at him with the phone in his hands. “I was really surprised when I got it. Mehn! I didn’t expect it.”
“You get data?”
“Yes. Guy, you should send me 2go and Facebook application.”
“We go do that one later. Come make I show you something.” He took hold of my hands and dragged me to the school toilet. I knew what this meant.
“Okon, let go of my hand. I don’t think I want to do this anymore.” He released my hand.
“You no dey calm down. I wan show you something ni now. Wait.”
Before I could decipher what he was trying to do, he already got to a pornographic website and started playing one of the videos. My guards was shattered. And it happened again. Just like every other time. I felt guilty. I couldn’t help myself. Aunt Gloria was gone but Okon was another ditch I couldn’t get myself out from.
I slid my phone into my pocket, walking back to my class. Mr. James called me from behind, I turned to respond.
Mr. James stared and gave me a cursory look for a short while. I kept wondering what was happening.
“Michael, what are you doing to yourself?”
An hot ball of fear rose up my chest but I managed to reply. “What do you mean sir?”
“You know just what I mean!” He said with all atom of seriousness evidential on his face.
“Oh my world, did he see Okon and I in the toilet? This is really not a good one” I thought loudly.