What We Didn't Know Chapter Four (4)

This is the fourth chapter to What I didn't know. For previous chapters, check my profile.

The next morning, I woke up to the sound of my father's voice; it didn't sound like his normal, calm voice. He sounded angry, upset, and frustrated. He was shouting at my mother concerning something. But he was home. Thank God. Dara was in my room, on the floor, playing with his papers and making the swoosh sound he loved to make. It was time to eavesdrop. I pushed the blanket off my body, making my way to my parent's bedroom door. Ah, Adewale,". My mom said; she sounded like she was scolding him. "This boy is meant to be in school. He has to be in school. For God's sake, he has been home for months. All I ask is that we take him next week for the exam, and he comes back home for the midterm. Why are you behaving like this?".

It was Dara's finances they were talking about. Even if my mother and I weren't close and not always on the same page, she was right. Dara had been at home for two months because of the school fees. My mother couldn't work well and take care of my brother at the same time. Mayowa went to work some days of the week, and thank God, I was home most of the time since my school was on holiday, but what happens when I resume next month? "Get a maid then." My father suggested. I even hissed. I hate house girls. Sure, I was lazy, and we could need the young woman to help us with the chores, but I refused to get a maid in the house.

We had two maids before. One stupid ashewo Gladys and one useless Beatrice. Gladys tried to get intimate with my father when I was 10. Mayowa told me that my father even slept with her once and who knows how many times after that. As for Beatrice, she tried to act nice. She was a yes-man to my parents. Not knowing she was beating Dara behind our backs and the poor boy was afraid of her. It took every ounce of me not to beat that woman up the night we found her with a belt. Mayowa had to hold my mother down because she would have killed the woman that day. My brother had suffered.

I'm not getting a maid". My mother refused; very good of her, I commended". Because of what? We have two other children that can take care of Dara while I'm not home. I'm talking about his school fees. I know you have money; give it to your child. When last did you pay his school fees?".

Do I care about him?". My father hissed. He showed his disdain for Dara most of the time; I didn't think he would be expressing it to the mother of the child. God will forgive you". My mother said; it sounded like she was in tears. I sighed, moving away from the door. "Ah, Titi." I heard my father say. I turned and bent down to greet him". Good morning, Sir".

Ah, Good morning, my daughter. Did you sleep well?". He asked, moving past me towards the hallway mirror. I hadn't seen my father for a week. He was always running away from home, maybe because he wasn't happy here. "How is everything?". He asked with a smile; I missed his smile". I hope you have money. Do you need some?". She would rather you use it for Dara's school fees". Mayowa said, coming out of the room. Of course, Mayowa was listening. The original amebo of the family. Is that your good morning?". My father said while walking downstairs. I wished to speak up, to say something but nothing was worth it anymore.

I walked back to my room; Dara was on my bed with the wrapper over him. I chuckled". You want to sleep now, Dara?". Dara repeated while yawning,". Sleep". I had to laugh at how cute he was". Sleep, ke, better wake up and go and sweep the staircase. That was his main work in the house. My mother recently started making Dara work. She made him wash his clothes by himself, sweep the staircase and wash the gutters. He was also meant to make the bed every morning. She made him work because his therapist had advised that he should be involved with the family affairs. Dara was a rush-rush kind of person, they didn't do it well, but my mother would urge him to do it again till it was perfect.

He, like Mayowa and I, is very lazy. Dara smiled and began to laugh". Sleep". I could tell he was making fun of me. I sighed, moving towards my wardrobe. If he only knew what was happening. Dara darling". My mom entered my room. I turned back and prostrated". Good morning mummy". Hmmm, you didn't know I was awake abi". She said,". Only your father you could greet". She didn't wait for me to reply. She stretched out her hand". Dara oya, time to work’’. I sighed, watching them leave. My mother was either trying to put me in a bad mood or was transferring aggression. I heard her ask him whether he slept well. She never asked me. She never really did ask me anything. I looked by my window towards Nathaniel's house. He was probably on the plane now. We had a video-called last night when he came back.

I sighed, looking away from the house; last night replayed in my head every time I thought of him. I wasn't 100 percent sure that he liked me; although he made sexual jokes relating to both of us, we were always cool. Now I had to move on. The way I hid that after-sex pill yesterday was so funny. I can't risk getting pregnant. I even bought a strip to be sure in case of anything. Everyone always said our friendship was fake, that we were hiding our feelings through our supposed "Friendship." Maybe it was. Now that he was gone for a while, what will be of us? Distanced friends? Distanced lovers?

Mayowa stormed into my room. I hissed, rolling my eyes". Ohhhh, this guy. Don't be barging into my room anyhow, abeg". What are you hiding?". He ignored me and lay on my bed". Those tiny things". He chuckled, gesturing to my chest, and I rolled my eyes. "It's better than those hoes' things you cherish so much." I twisted my lips at him, then reduced my voice." Las Las, you'll get someone pregnant." "Pregnancy? No. Chidinma my God". He shook his head, and I laughed; His girlfriend loved to play tricks with him every month concerning pregnancies. I didn't even think of what my mother would do if she found out I smashed my best friend in this estate.

Mayowa scoffed". Do you know Daddy is not being reasonable?". He's our father, Mayowa,". I cautioned him. But he's not". Mayowa insisted on his opinion". Dara deserves to go to school. What nonsense is he saying?". I'm tired of this!". We both heard. You could imagine the way we both ran to the window and looked down. My father was yelling at my mother with Dara in her hands. "Let's just….". He crossed his arms". I don't want this marriage again. None of it. I don't want this, son; I don't want anything from you". This man. He mumbled some things before stepping into the car and didn't give her time to talk. My mother stared at the car with crossed arms. Why didn't she call him back? Assure him that things will be better.

Please come back, I pleaded inwardly. Mayowa stared at me and told me once again,". Our father is a bastard; you're a fool if you don't know". A part of me didn't want to believe it. Apart from my brother's issues, I think I had a new one coming_ dealing with my parent's divorce. My father was about to give up. I walked back to my room, taking my dirty clothes in a basket. Today was Dara's washing day.

As Dara was washing the clothes with his weak little thin arms, I couldn't help but smile. He squeezed it, not successful, though, but he tried. We had a washing machine, but my mother forbade us from using it when Dara was around. I understood what she was trying to do. The boy started to hum some songs while he lazily spread the clothes, which I had to adjust after. He was a blessing; my father had to see it. And I was going to show him. More than I did before. I won't just show Dara's successes to him but put up a show to convince my father that Dara had so much potential and he wasn't a joke.

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