Locked In: 9.29am

posted in: Locked In by Frank Anozie | 0


Linda was already bored and tired of staying in her room. She never enjoyed staying at home, it was even worse with her dad at home.
If she was at school now, she would have been around her friends or would be busy learning. It would have sure been better than being at home with her dad harassing everybody. What a Monday.
It was almost 9.30am and nobody was talking about breakfast, she was getting hungry. She decided that she must go out into the kitchen and get herself something to eat. They mustn’t deny themselves of something to eat because of a missing key, she was sure that even her enraged dad would understand.
She stood up from her bed and walked towards the door. She could hear Ada’s voice from her bedroom even though John’s bedroom separated her elder sister’s room and hers. She was sure Ada was talking to her good for nothing boyfriend. The thought of Mike always made Linda mad.
Her dad was just coming out of John’s bedroom, so she waited. The best thing anyone should do today was to avoid him as much as possible.

**                   **
Ada was busy enjoying her call that she didn’t notice that her dad was in John’s bedroom. Or maybe she noticed but didn’t think she would allow it spoil her fun.
Her father was just coming out of John’s bedroom and was already dazed with the realization that his little son was already smoking and having sex and indulging in all sorts of juvenile delinquencies. He had never seen his son from that angle. He
never thought that there was a possibility that John, who was still a kid, would be doing these things. He was both unhappy and angry.
He heard Ada’s laughter from the corridor that led to the three rooms. The sound even angered him the more. He felt his children were feeling unconcerned at the fact that he was at the brink of losing his job because of the household’s carelessness. He thought everybody’s behavior was arrogant and felt he felt he had been working his butt off, denying himself the pleasure of relaxation for his household who didn’t care or bother to show concern that he could lose all he had ever worked for because of someone’s carelessness. Meanwhile John had even made matter worse.
He angrily worked towards Ada’s room and opened the door. This was the first time he was entering her room.
Ada was surprised to see him at her door. He was the last person she expected to ever come to her room. She quickly dropped the phone from her ear as the wide smile on her face turned to fear.
“Look at you, behaving like someone who has no training. You think you are in the jungle where people behave anyhow. Perhaps I should join you and laugh and rejoice that the key to the exit door is missing and I might be in serious trouble in my office.”
She remained silent and continued to look at him in fear.
“Give me that cell phone. Give it to me.” He authoritatively ordered. She quickly handed the phone to him and he collected it and headed for his room.
Ifeoma was lying on the bed when he entered. He didn’t care if she was asleep or not.
“Did your son also tell you that he now smokes and have sex all over town with women? Did he discuss with you how he misses classes and is surely going to repeat class?”

His wife was startled. At first she didn’t understand what he was talking about, “I don’t understand what you are saying.”
“How can you understand? I have come to notice that you don’t understand anything.”
“Can you just relax and talk to me for once? I am yet to make out what you are saying with you displaying all these tantrums.” She gently replied.
“I will display anything I want to. I don’t know how you expect me to react upon the realization that my little son has started smoking and missing classes right under your very nose. How am I sure that he has not started taking hard drugs
and mingling with criminals?” he was getting more furious and obviously now very prepared to face it out his wife.
“What do you mean by under my nose? Am I supposed to attach myself to him and follow him everywhere he goes?” she was beginning to get irritated once again.
“Woman, you have no excuse whatsoever for John’s behavior. While I work hard and deny myself all the pleasures of life, the best thing I expect from you is to ensure that our children are…” his cell phone rang. He stopped and looked at the
caller ID. It was his secretary. The call got him angrier. Office matters can wait, especially with the new development about John’s behavior.
He picked the call, “Blessing, I am in the middle of something, I will call you back later.”
“But the CEO asked me to…”
“I said I will call you back later!!” he barked into the phone and cut the line.
Ifeoma was just staring at him. The information he had just brought about John was a real shocker to her. How could she have missed noticing anything strange in her son’s behavior recently? John was just fifteen for goodness sake, how could he be drinking, having sex and missing classes? Where does he spend his days when he misses his classes? Again she wondered if her husband was sure of what he was talking about. “But how could John be smoking?” she asked.
“You can ask me that foolish question again. Look, I will not take this in this house, I will not…” the cell phone in his left hand vibrated. He looked at it, in his anger he had forgotten that he was holding Ada’s cell phone. “Look at this,
all your daughter does is waste her whole day on her cell phone, I wonder if she finds time to read her books.” Immediately he finished, the phone vibrated again.
He instinctively checked through the cell phone and stopped short.
It read: My angel, rmber we’ll spend d whole day 2day. I’ve a lot of 1derful stuff I’ll do 2 ur body, jst d way u like it. Pls come wit d mony. Patiently waitin. Love.
The sender’s ID was Mike.
With shaky hands he read the first text message that came in before the one he just read. It was a message from Vicky.
It read: if u tink u r pregnant, den we must do somtin about it. We have to talk to Mike immediately.
Benson’s heart started to beat faster, he hands began to tremble. By the time he looked up at his wife, his eyes where bloodshot, the vein on his forehead was visible. Ifeoma knew instantly that this wasn’t just anger, it was rage.
“Look at what your daughter is doing,” he muttered slowly through clenched teeth. “Ada is pregnant.”
His cell phone rang almost immediately, he looked at the caller ID and it was his boss. He angrily picked the call. “I am very sorry I can’t make it to the office as soon as I thought. In fact, we will see tomorrow.”
“What is wrong with you Mr. Ikedi? What is happening? You have left everybody here hanging, I am really embarrassed, and you know I don’t condone such behavior. If there is a problem why didn’t u call and give us…”
“I said that I will see you tomorrow sir and explain things to you, thank you.” He cut the line and switched off his cell


**       **


After her dad collected Ada’s cell phone from her, Linda came out of my room and headed straight for the kitchen. She was glad Ada’s cell phone had been taken away from her. Her elder sister was always on the call even at odd hours of the day. Her world was beginning to revolve around it.
She got to the kitchen, open the fridge and was glad to see that the loaf of bread she had yesterday was still remaining. She warmed hot water and made tea for herself. Then she entered the sitting room and switched on the television and waited while the DSTV loaded. After it finished loading she selected Disney channel and allowed the show to feed her eyes, while she eat her tea and bread. She had not watched for more than ten minutes when her dad came into the sitting room. His bloodshot eyes stared at her angrily.
Linda instantly regretted why she came into the sitting room. She remembered he had collected Ada’s cell phone because it made her act like she was ignorant of or insensitive to the situation at home. Now she had allowed herself to fall into the same situation.
“What’s that? Will you turn off that television and go into your room? Are you not supposed to be in school? You can’t be reasonable enough to know that you are supposed to spend the most part of this morning studying your books.” He
stopped and continued to stare at the little girl with disgust.
Linda hurriedly turned the TV off and headed straight for her room.
“Call Ada and John for me.” His angry voice said to her back.
She hated the day with all my life.


**                   **


Linda quickly informed Ada and John that daddy wanted to see them and hastily entered her room. She felt really bad, almost hating her dad. Why must he be so mean? She had often heard most of her friends talk about their dads at school. She often sees how they related with their parents when they come to pick them from school. Most of them weren’t as rich as we were. But they were much happier.
Her own home was filled with nothing but constant quarreling. Nobody was ever happy with anybody. Their father was a stranger to then all and she never get to hang out and do anything meaningful with her sister.

Ada didn’t care about anybody in the house, in fact she didn’t want anybody to know anything about her so she was always in her room, making and answering calls like the calls was the only thing that made her happy when at home. She never laughed with anybody at home, not even me, her only and little sister.

Her mum was so withdrawn that they hardly get her to tell then anything interesting. She was just a woman of her own world.

John was just strange. As the days went by, he had transformed into a dangerous person. Something was just bothering him. He was learning to be somebody he wasn’t comfortable with.
They’ve never seen their mum and dad share happy moments together. The few times they talked, they would answer each other in monosyllabic replies and when they talk long it was always when their father was in his squabbling mood. He would bark at her and continuously complain at any little thing he feels she had not done right.
Linda just wished she could ask God for another family.
She got tired of just lying down and doing nothing, so she decided to read her book like her dad had suggested. While searching for the book to read, she thought she heard the metallic sound of keys. She quickly searched through her bag and behold, in between her homework note book was the key everybody was looking for.


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