Let's Play House

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14

It was past midnight. My mother was on the phone telling on me to my father. She was such a snitch!

She was dressed in a white bodycon dress, her hair in a perfect low bun that would break if hit with a hammer, like she always said even in the middle of crisis a woman ought to be elegant. that was the opposite of who i was, even at my best i could never come close to her elegance.

"I thought we taught you well? we gave you everything and you want to throw it away for a boy you just met?" She spoke after ending her call.


It was just my first date and my mother was acting like i was now ruined.


"It was a one date. Nothing happened."


sadly.


He didn't kiss me.


"It should remain that way until you graduate and marry a man of substance." she felt the fabric of my dress between her fingers and shook her head in disapproval.


I couldn't understand her disapproval with my dating while she and father started dating in high school.



"He is a man of substance." I knew better not to get into a disagreement with her but i wasn't ready to let go of my Leo dream.


She huffed in disbelief, "College guys only want one thing." Her stare burned through me. i wasn't that naive my gut told me Leo was different.


"But you and dad..."


she cut me off mid sentence and narrowed her eyes on me, "Don't ever live your life basing it on a perceived success of someone. you don't know half the story. we are only trying to protect you." She gave a serious look.


It was hard to figure her out.


I knew it was a closed chapter and speaking more about it was defying my mother's boundary and would just anger her more, hence greater the punishment.


The rest of the ride was spent in an awkward silence.


******

I lifted my head and found Lydia staring at me.


"Why don't you just call him." She suggested.


It had been two days since my date with Leo. Two days since my dramatic mother dragged me back home. He was yet to call and i was growing anxious if i should be the one to call. The night did end in a promising manner, he did speak about a second date. That meant he liked me, right?


"Will i not seem too desperate?" i decided to put my books a way since i couldn't even concentrate on them.


Lydia let out a mocking laugh, "Serious, you haunted the guy down, now a call seems desperate?" she bluntly said.


I flashed a smile to conceal my wounded feelings caused by words. "He will call." i murmured under my breath.


"When are you coming back to live in the hostels." She asked.


"That is up to my father when he comes back today." I said.


she laughed and shook her head, "Wow, your parents are pretty uptight mine don't know the direction leave alone the name of the university i am admitted."


It was the first time she was talking about her family, we only spoke about mine.


I agreed with her, "You don't know half of it."


Across our table my driver and Annie, our help who was acting as my chaperone throughout the campus sat. Hiring people to watch and follow me around wasn't even near the extremes my parents would go just to control my life.


Annie nodded at me indicating it was time to go since she was aware my classes were over. My mother had taken the initiative when i was admitted here to copy my entire semester timetable to know my schedule.


"It is my time to leave." i told Lydia.


"I hope you come back, i have been so alone at our room." She complained.


"You have Harriet and Natalie" i reminded her.


"Natalie came to pick the rest of her stuff she isn't coming back soon and with Harriet it makes no difference with her." She shrugged her shoulders.


"Be kind to her." Lydia could cross boundaries with Harriet and Harriet being the quiet girl, she barely could talk back or show any hurt. Her silence was her mask.


"I am. Her quietness is like a sickness." Lydia cringed.


"She can't help who she is." I couldn't understand her problem.


"Okay. Just suck up to your parents so that you can come back." We hugged and said our goodbyes.


I knew my father was back when i smelled the Lamb roast with Rosemary. I dropped my bag on the floor as Annie picked up and left to put it away.


"Daddy..." I caught him by surprise when jumped in to hug him. I found him at the living room.


"What is this I am hearing about a boy?" He asked as he put away a paper he was reading.


I knew I had few minutes to convince him to my side before my mother came and she would corrupt him.


"Mum overacted. Leo is a nice focused boy, he is in his final year, he has good leadership traits just like you Dad, he is running for university presidency." I let my hair loose as it fell to my waist.


"It is not the right time to be thinking about boys, Angel." He said and I knew the endearment was just a way to get me to agree with him.


I realized there was no winning when it came to the subject about boys.


"When am i going back to school hostels?" i drop the subject about Leo, they only disapproved of him because they didn't know him. I wasn't giving up on him.


My mother walked in with her apron on. She was a tradition woman, despite the wealth and the availability of servants she believed it was her responsibility to cook and take care of her husband.


She eyed me with disapproval, "Have you had your bath?" She asked.


My silence and stunned face was enough to answer her. I hated how she treated me as a kid.


"You are a woman Prudence, cleanliness is next to godliness."


I had my bath in morning before I left for school and i had planned to do so again before I slept. There was something convenient for her to say about me as a woman.


"Prudence wants to go back to school hostels." My father told my mother.


"So you can continue seeing that boy and your bad influence roommates especially that Harriet?" She said.


Harriet?


I could not hold my laugh, was she talking about the same Harriet i knew, the shy quiet second year medicine student i shared a room with?


"She can barely speak to people," I was amazed, Lydia ok, she had a mouth on her but Harriet?


"She is pregnant and unmarried." My mother said with conviction.


My mouth fell to ground, she was joking. She was just trying to make up excuses why i shouldn't go back to staying at school.


"I have been a nurse for more than fifteen years, i can smell when someone is with child and with her, it is too evident." She said.


I still couldn't believe Harriet was pregnant, she was so private. She spent most of her free time at the library or the reading lounge_ we called it, RL. I had never seen her with a friend leave alone a boyfriend. People could surprise you.


"I have both of you as my parents, i can't end up like her." I tried to built up my defense.


"NO, you will be commuting from here. if you persist I will take you to a catholic nursing school." My mother resounded.


And i knew not even my father would save me. i was doomed.


"I will go take a shower." I stood.


"Don't forget to use the Loofah." My mother reminded me.


"And you haven't told me how you blew up your credit card. You better have a good explanation when you return" My father added.


Just my luck when i thought Leo case would make him forget that.





































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