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Kamsi – Episode 8

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My father died the day after Tega proposed to me. I noticed the house was still when I woke up that morning, I went to my parents’ room and I saw my mom lying on the floor weeping. My father was still in bed. He seemed asleep until I touched his body and it was lifeless. I dragged my mother from the floor and tried consoling her.

I went to the kitchen to prepare breakfast as if nothing had happened. I even made for my father. I placed the food on the dining table as was the norm in my house. I went to my parents’ room to call them.
“Mommy, I have prepared breakfast. I made for everyone!” I tried to sound cheerful. My mother looked at me like a strange object she could not identify.
“We can eat now, then daddy can take his later.”
She still did not reply, so I went to eat. I couldn’t go back to her room, so I went to my room to bathe. I was about entering my bathroom when I heard my phone ringing. It was Tinu. I had forgotten about work.
“Kamsi? Why are you not here? Are you running late?”
“My father died.” After I said it, I felt it. The tiny thread of disbelief I was holding onto snapped. He was really gone; he was not going to take the breakfast I made for him, he was not going to stand up from the bed, he was not to see me get my first salary after years of making sure I got to this stage. I felt lonely, disappointed, angry, betrayed. I started crying because all what I was feeling was choking me and I needed an outlet.
“Kamsi, Please stop crying, I’m so sorry, I didn’t know. It’s okay if you need some time off.”
“I don’t need time off.”
“I’m ordering you to take at least a week……”
“Tinu…..”
“Kamsi! It’s an order, I’m your boss. I need to get back to work, I will call you later. Please don’t do anything stupid. Hope you have friends and family around?”
“Yes.”
“Good. Take care, so sorry for your loss.”

Friends. I didn’t have friends. I am my friend. I suddenly had the need to have a friend, a friend in the real sense that could understand what I was going through. I went to my parents’ room. My mom was sitting down on the floor lifelessly and she stared blankly. My dad was still dead. The tears flowed freely, I shouted and cried harder but he still didn’t wake up. I thought things I should have done with him if he had been happy with me before dying, how he would have reacted to my engagement. And then I thought of how no one was going to call me Kamsiyochukwu because only my father called my name in full.

Tega called me four times before I answered his call.
“Hey dear. Miss Williams told me about your father. I was waiting and I called you so when you didn’t pick I had to check your office. I’m coming right now okay?”
“Okay”.
In my excitement of yesterday, I forgot to tell anyone about my engagement. It was lovely; Tega took me to the beach because I love the wonderful combination of water and sand. He didn’t kneel down, I would have been upset if he did something so cliché. He stood inside the ocean and shouted “I love you, deeply in love with you. Your hair, your extra eyes, the way you touch your brows when nervous. Please spend your forever with me so I don’t have to jump deep into this ocean and be wiped off from existence.”
I didn’t say yes. I went to him and kissed him real long and then I took the ring and wore it myself. I was elated and I fantasised about becoming his wife.

It was when I opened the door for Tega, I realised I was still tying my towel. Immediately he came in, he hugged me and I felt relieved. He forced my mother and I to bathe and eat. He also forced me to call Adora and Cheta. They rushed over. Cheta drove because Adora was crying and shaking till she got the house. Cheta showed no emotion, she started calling family members. Cheta and Tega planned for my father’s body to moved to the morgue. He was really dead.

Author:

I'm OnyinyeOlufunmi, a visual artist, writer and psychologist from Lagos, Nigeria.

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