I understood my parents will have issues between them, they might not feel like being married to each other sometimes but they genuinely work towards making gay moments count.
Their constant snub of each other’s presence sometimes emits an unwelcome aura in the house. Everyone walks around scared, like the tap tap of our feet would be the reason for an uproar. At those times my mom gets vexed at the slightest of things and my dad becomes so distant, I often prayed he went out for long hours. When the house becomes icy cold I sneak around like a wet rat looking for some warmth.
I remember the year my dad bought my mom first phone her, he came back from work walking gaily and proud. I welcomed him and tried collecting the parcel from his hand but he shooed me away jokingly. He dropped the parcel on her side of the bed and placed their wedding picture on it. When I wanted to enter the room to pick something, he shouted at me to get out like I was going to steal the phone. I laughed and ran to the kitchen. When my mom got back she greeted him casually and went to the room to change.
As little as I was I loved details and human expressions, I didn’t want to miss what tingles will be in her eyes when she saw the gift, so I ran before she shut the door, what is it, she asked me, check your bed I replied giggling. She went to the bed and started smiling sheepishly as she saw their wedding picture, her eyes widened as she opened the pack to remove the Motorola phone. The stars shone in her eyes and I knew that was where my love for gifts and pleasant surprises came from. She walked fast to the parlour and my dad sat watching the news with a false air like he didn’t know what he just did yet his demeanour betrayed him and we all knew he was waiting for the shower of praises that will spew from our mouths.
I remember my Christmas carol when I was in primary three, I was the only girl then with two baby mothers, Timi was my immediate and Segun was the last born then. My school promised to have Father Christmas in attendance but they insisted that every child should bring their Christmas gift from home. I laughed at their plans yet I was worried because I wondered how and what my dad was going to buy for us. We were going broke then and my dad just started his welding business.
The carol day came and we were dressed in our best Sunday clothes, my dad dropped us in school that morning without the gifts, I felt betrayed and kept staring at his car as he left. The gifts were not going to be shared till twelve o’clock. My dad came back before gift time and brought three wrapped gifts, mine was a teddy, Timi’s was a toy car with the latest super strikers’ magazine and Segun’s was a toy robot.
I remember my paternal grandmother’s kind words and constant care for my mom when she was sick with hepatitis and heavily pregnant. She was constantly indoors for the first trimester of her pregnancy. My grandmother took immerse care of my mom, visitors who didn’t really know my family often asked if my paternal grandmother was my mom’s mother. Their closeness was that of mother and daughter (which is how mother and daughter in-law relationship should be). I learnt a lot from their rapport.
My kid sister Joy was three years old when our neighbour’s dog dragged her left leg with its sharp teeth, she screamed as her chubby arm bruised the gravelled ground until the dog was called by his owner. We were scared of rabies, so we rushed her to a family friend’s pharmacy where she was given an anti-rabies injection. I was surprised at the number of neighbours that came to check on Joy when we came back from the pharmacy.
The care was evident in their presence and kind words, my parents came back home and kept asking who was there when while the dog dragged Joy, why was Joy out alone, a little of blame game was going on. I always love to say the care from our friends and neighbours healed the deep wounds on her legs, daily there were people in the house once it was evening to check up on her and ensure she was getting better.
At the end I understood my parents will have issues between them, they might not feel like being married to each other sometimes but they genuinely work towards making gay moments count. Friends and family are not perfect yet they give us moments where we can honestly be ourselves and have fun. They wrap my siblings and I in moments that fills us with intense lovey dovey feelings, fear a times and most of all hope.
Written by Omolola Onigbinde.
Omolola Onigbinde is a poet, short story writer and simply an evolving female.