The thoughts of what our adventure at the cinema would look like enveloped my mind that night. I kept imagining a lot of things. Don’t blame me, it was going to be my first time seeing a movie outside the walls of my parents’ house. The thoughts of my parents forgetting about my birthday crossed my mind.
“Auntie Gloria, can you believe my parents did not even remember that today’s my birthday, let alone celebrate it?” I said as I sat down at the dining table.
“Well, I’m not surprised. We didn’t grow up being showered with so much love. We barely celebrated our birthday when we were growing up. I am guessing the same is for your dad. You should also understand that your parents are busy. Their busy schedule may also be the cause” She said.
“You are right, this is not the first of its kind. I don’t even know why I am this pained.” I said as I started eating.
“I understand. You should call them once you are done eating. I’m sure they’ll try to make it up to you.” She said as she stood up. “I have to go to the sitting room, there’s a series I can’t afford to miss”
“Okay, I’ll come join you soon” I said.
After I was done with my food, I joined her to watch the series but I was pretty lost. Since I couldn’t find my bearing in the series, I decided to go to bed.
I dressed my best that day, you’d have thought I was going on a date. Well, It was indirectly a date, but with my aunt. So, I wouldn’t regard it as a date. Auntie Gloria seemed to be a good company as I was enjoying her stay.
She connected her phone to the car music player. I never knew she was also a lover of gospel afro pop. I nodded my head in intervals following the rhythm of the music as we were on the journey.
“You love this kind of music too?” I said looking at her intently.
“Yeah, it’s cool. You know? The vibes and all.” She said glancing at me.
“My mum won’t stop nagging at me for listening to this kind of music. Yesterday was a lucky day for me. Only God knows why she did not get to do the usual.” I said.
“Tell me about it,” she laughed as she turned down the volume of the music player.
“It’s not something that serious. She has been really annoying. As a mother, she doesn’t spend time with me. The little time we get to be around each other, we are always at loggerheads. It’s either one thing or the other.”
She laughed. “You’re talking about my elder sister here, you know.”
I decided to stop talking when it dawned on me that I may be putting myself into trouble with what I’d been saying. She noticed I would not talk again, “I was just joking. You can trust me.” She pinched me playfully.
“Got a girlfriend?”
I decided to affirm what I heard by looking at her. She burst into laughter and hit the steering wheel repeatedly.
“Don’t look at me like you don’t know what I’m talking about. Do you have a girlfriend?” She said.
I wanted to lie but the smile I gave when I remembered my dearest Margaret betrayed me.
“Wow! Wow! Someone seems to be in love”. She laughed and pinched me playfully.
Aunt Gloria was unusually different from my mother, or a typical African mother. What kind of African mother would take it lightly when she gets to know that her 17 years old son has a girlfriend? Definitely, not a typical South Western Nigerian mother. I just had to trust aunt Gloria not to tell my mother.
“You are not going to tell her, right?” I asked.
“Who?” She pouted “Oh, you mean my sister? You can trust me.” She smiled.
At this time we were at the University of Ibadan second gate. I couldn’t help but steal glances at the entrance. The International Conference Centre was really a beautiful sight to behold. I knew that was where the University freshmen always had their matriculation. My imagination knew no bound as I could already see myself being matriculated, sitting in the hall as if I knew what the hall looked like.
“Auntie, It’s UI I’ll be applying to for admission when I register for UTME in few months” I said smiling.
“Wow! That’s great. That means you’re still home.” She said.
“Well I don’t mind.”
She looked for few seconds, “I guess that’s because someone dear to you is applying to UI too.” She said laughing. She really knew my intentions. Margaret was more reason I decided to go for UI. Only if I had known.