The hotness of James’ trickling tea on his body jolted his consciousness back to the land of the living as he sat at the dining table for his breakfast. He had pressed the water dispenser to get hot water for the tea, after getting his eleven months old son ready for the nanny. He saw the tea drip, but his mind was virtually out of his body to notice what exactly was happening, not until it dropped on his body and sent throbbing jitters all over him. He remembered his wife who had left him few months ago, with their then five months old son. From the deep valley of his thinking spree, he heard a gentle but loud thud. He boggled and his hand shook, causing the remaining tea on his spoon to pour on his clothes. Before he could hiss about the tea, he heard a loud cry. That was his son Junior; he had fallen from the chair down the living room where James had sat him down. James rushed to him and lifted him up. He looked at his head and saw a lump which was rapidly swelling up. He used his palm to massage it. That made Junior to cry even painfully more; but he had no choice, he needed to dissolve the lump before it turns into something else. When he felt the lump was gone, he darted to the dining table to get the baby milk which he has been buying since the mother left. He poured two scoops into Junior’s feeding bottle, took the cold water which he had kept for himself on the dining table and poured inside the feeder. He shook it and poured a drop on the back of his hands. It felt cold, and he immediately discerned the secret behind that ritual; the milk must be mixed with warm water, hence the check to know how hot it is. He sighed and made to pour it away so as to properly mix another. As he got closer to the sink located just beside the dining table, Junior let out a loud deafening cry which forced him to hurriedly cover the bottle and hand it over to him. Junior gulped it down like it was just a spoon of tea.
“Wow! That was fast.” He shockingly said to Junior who kept sucking the empty feeder. He looked at him and noticed his happy mood, so he slowly collected the feeder from his hand, but the effect that brought forced him to return it back.
“Okay, you can suck till I finish changing.” He softly said as he took him to the sitting room, sat him down on the floor, and then moved inside to change his stained shirt. He took a glance at the wall clock which was right above his head; it was eight forty-five.
“Jesus!” He exclaimed. “Where the hell is this woman?” He cursed as he moved into the room. He had just finished undoing his button when the door bell rang. “God save me if I don’t kill her.” He muttered as he walked out, doing-up the buttons of his shirt. He opened the door, and to his surprise, it was his mother. They both peered at each other in a standstill motion for some minutes.
“What are you doing here mother?” He finally broke the silence. He had warned his parents never to visit his house or call his phone, especially his father.
“I am doing great. Thanks for asking.” Catherine said as she walked pass him into the room. She dropped her bag on the couch and carried Junior who was lying on his stomach struggling to catch his feeding bottle which seemed to have broken up with him. “Oh my son, look how thin you have grown. Has your father been starving you? Don’t worry, granny is here and…”
“I made myself clear when I asked you and father to steer clear from my house. So what are you doing here?” He asked with much seriousness as he locked the door and walked towards her. He waited for an answer, but Catherine was too busy playing with Junior. He looked at her, and at the hand bag she had dropped on the couch which was fully packed; a strange thought struck him. “I want to sincerely believe you have no intention of sleeping in this house.” He asserted.
Feeling satisfied that he has made his intention known; he grabbed Junior from her and walked inside the room. Just as he laid Junior down on the bed, his phone started ringing. He looked at it; it was his boss. He checked his wrist watch and automatically knew he was in trouble. He picked the phone and after some seconds, which seemed like ages to him, “I am sorry sir. I am stuck in traffic, but I will be there hopefully in less than thirty minutes.” He sadly apologized.
Immediately an unknown anger took over him. If he had stood his ground when the whole marriage issue was trending in the house, he would probably be enjoying his marriage by now. He would have kissed her wife and left for work long time ago. But trying not to be a disobedient child has landed him into something more than disobedience. He was at risk of losing his job. He couldn’t even begin to conceptualize why Helen, the nanny he employed to take care of Junior from morning till night has not resumed for the day. If he was paying her, he expected her to come to work early and properly perform her duties, so he could go to his work and make the money where her salary comes from. His anger was stoked by three incidents; the presence of his mother who helped the cause of his agony and the self pity she came with which he did not need, then Helen, who if she had resumed work early, he wouldn’t have been at home to meet his mother, and lastly his boss who called with prudential severity that something bad might happen to him ‘if he doesn’t get his silly ass down the office.’ He finished tucking in his shirt and buckled his belt. He looked at Junior who was busy sucking his index finger.
“No prince. We don’t suck our fingers okay?” He said as he carried him and pulled the finger out of his mouth. That however did not go down well with Junior as he started crying. He overheard his mother say something about the cry but he ignored her. He cuddled Junior for some time and he kept quiet. He opened the door and walked pass his mother inattentively pressing his phone, he picked the feeding bottle, dropped it on the dining table and made for the door. Catherine stood watching his son toil with his phone with no regards for her presence.
“This attitude is never in any means the solution to this problem. We as a family need to think together and figure out how to bring back your wife. You cannot because of Junior go to work late every day.” She said with a gentle and motherly tone.
Catherine was a tall chubby woman, who believed in her children, but yet, forces she could not control has always shaken her faith in her children, and she has always in the face of all these forces failed them. If only they, especially James knew how much she loved and cared about them.
James however could not believe what he heard. How could the devil that helped ruin his life, turn to offer help in elevating him from the ruins she had sunk him into? He had fallen before, and that could be called a mistake but falling this time would be foolishness, and that was never going to happen. He scowled at his mother for some time. Something in him was pushing him to scream senses into her head, tell her how evil and selfish she was, and how inconsiderate she has been, but he found himself being pulled back by a force he could not explain. “I appreciate your unwanted concern mother. But please, do me a favour by taking your bag out, I want to lock my house.” He finally won the battle in his mind.
…the story continues tomorrow.