Jane Ford 4

(a family reunion)

Jane Ford 4

Joe had a strange feeling in his head; like a crushing weight, the change was hurtling towards him, and there was nothing he could do to make it slow down. He lay still and looked up into the ceiling watching the blades of the ceiling fan, trying to catch up with one which seemed to eventually blur into the other two, even if he would fail, then he would start again.

He thought about a lot of things and murmured to himself before he opened his laptop and began typing….

‘DEAR father,
Forgive me for taking this much time to reply you. I received your message, I was handling a situation that has almost occupied all of my time. Yes, I am doing fine, I understand your concerns. Studies are fine and we are almost through with the second semester.

Dad, this world is full of things I can’t understand, full of people all searching for something. I have learned this on my own, there is no shortcut to salvation. Although I have faced different challenges in the past year, and have stopped running away from my troubles. I will write to you more often from now dad because I will need all the fatherly guidance your wisdom can offer. Tell mama she will be made proud one day, Bye.’

Joe ended the letter with a swift hard punch on the enter key of this laptop sending the letter to his fathers mail. Once again he felt bad for not replying him on time. He stood up and quickly went to the bathroom where he washed his face, looking into the mirror time and again, wiping it with his hand, hoping to get a clearer view of himself.

His grandfather, Chief George Okoye married two wives, one Yoruba and other, Igbo. His children came up to ten boys and nine girls, including Joe’s father. Each year, the family got bigger till old man died, leaving only their grand mothers.

Chief was a very wealthy and successful politician in that town, once the town’s chief and also governorship aspirant. All of his children lived abroad except Joe‘s father, a successful business man in Abuja, who had a special obsession with Nigeria.

The new year drew closer and their village house started to fill up with people, his uncles and their families, their wives and children. Soon joe was brought into the compound by a taxi. He was happy about the new development in their village house, more structures was added and the compound expanded.

Relatives trooped in from different parts of the world, forming an endless turn of greeting, hugging and chatting. Flashy cars filled the compound and security was tight, armed men patrolled around their gate. He made his way to the entrance and was welcomed by his younger siblings and cousins who jumped onto his body causing him to stagger a little because of the weight around him.

His bags was taken from him by the house helps as he walked into the mansion and greeted everyone. His grand mother was excited to hear his voice, old and vision impaired now, she listened more and recognized people by their voices. Joe gave her a big hug and sat beside her on bed while she ran her hands around his face and felt his beards.

She smiled, brought out some garden eggs from under her bed and gave it joe, saying she saved that one specially for him because he had eaten too many foreign foods and needed some African delicacies to balance the diet.

Joe thanked her and left for his room. On his way he tossed the garden egg into the thrash can, he never really liked it, but he couldn’t refuse it, it came from her grand mother.

That evening lots of family members kept on coming in and the house was filling up. Joe’s favourite cousins were already in the house, josh, emeka, jeff, Nicole and peter, they all studied in different schools abroad. They sat together outside around a glass table, decorated with different types of drinks and chatted about the life overseas.

‘ You better put those chocolates away if I can’t have them’’ Nicole said referring to Joe’s body.

He was putting on a shirt, walking towards them as her eyes sparkled, running over his body, the wind blowing her hair around and scattering them all over her shoulder. Her English came out in a subtle, slight manner, almost like the English people.

Nicole has always been Joe’s favorite female cousin. They were too close and share many secrets together. Joe had teased her one certain time that if she wasn’t his cousin that she would be his wife.

‘Nicole, it turns out you and I have a friend in london, how did you know captian sebastien?’’ joe asked, pouring himself a drink.

‘’Oh, sabs is just an online gig, he and I were mutual friends on Facebook’’ she said, smiling her dimples deeply rooted on her both cheeks. She was elegantly beautiful, just like her mother, aunt magret, one of her grandfathers prettiest daughters.

‘Son of a bitch lied to me, said he didn’t know you’’ she cut in again.

Joe smiled and spread his legs on the glass table, sitting down comfortably.

‘’He told me he didn’t know you either’’ Joe replied, fixing his eyes on her.

‘Are you having some sort of chemistry with him?’’

‘what?’’ she was suprised he was asking her, but he didn’t look surprised.
‘’No, did he tell you we did have one? You know father would kill me’’
He exhaled before letting out a smile, and replied ‘’not really’’ then added ‘’he stopped talking to me when he found out we were mutual friends.

She chuckled in a way that meant something only Joe could understand.

‘’what games are you playing with him, sister?’’ he asked.

‘’I think the question is what games is he playing with me,” she replied.

‘’why won’t uncle approve your relationship with an English man?’’ Josh asked, fixing his gaze on his phone like something was distracting him all along.

‘’Dad is furious when it comes to the English men. Said they think they can get any African women they want with their polished accents and blue fancy suits.”

‘’I don’t think it is about the suits, maybe he hasn’t really told you why he hates them right?’’ jeff cut in, looking at joe as though he was expecting him to agree with him.
‘’Maybe’’ Nicole said, holding her glass firmly and rubbing her thumb around its smooth surface.

‘’And he always sweeps it off to a totally different thing whenever I bring it up’’ she replied, getting up to leave.
‘’ you’ll come to the party, right?’’ Joe asked, looking at her as she made her way into the mansion.

‘well if there won’t be any London guy who is a mutual friend to my beloved cousin attending, I’ll think about it’’ she said, smiled and walked off.

Joe liked her sense of humor, it was almost the whites way of conveying it. However this new year was different for joe, it was a time to finally meet his whole family. Normally he would have been in their village driving around the neigbourhood with his cousin brothers, playing loud music and drawing attention to themselves and it always worked for them. Young pretty girls walking around each corner of the street wearing their best outfits always sought them out.

Joe always thought that these girls were looking the best they could so as to draw the attention of their abroad brothers who would eventually get them pregnant and marry them. He remembered one man he visited with his father a day after they arrived in the village Maazi Nduka. His father spoke highly of him, saying he was a great friend to him back in the days.

The old man welcomed them inside the unpainted house with wooden windows and widely opened door that led into the ‘sitting room. The old musty chairs with tattered and torned foams that smelt of urine mixed with a touch of palm wine and tusk and the surrounding air neansueated him.

The mans brown teeth which showed everytime he smiled made Joe want to smile too a little bit much. The man would load a black tusk on his thumb and stuff it up his nostrils. Joe wondeed if his dad will start showing all these signs as he got older and also if he could sit comfortably beside him.

He looked at the cobwebs on the corners of the sitting room and black and white pictures of different people who he assumed could be dead hung on the wall. He could almost feel them breathing down on him.

The man called out a name, ‘Ada!’ and said something in igbo which joe understood. He was calling someone to bring them kola and palmwine. It was not long before a young girl stepped into the sitting room with a tray and a jug of palm wine, her worn out blue skirt stuck to her body revealing her round nicely shaped ass that moved up and down as she walked.

She greeted joe’s father and waved slightly at joe with a matching smile. Joe waved back and fixed his eyes on her body while she served the kolanuts and poured the palm wine. Her collarbones jolted out from the orange shirt that wound slightly up, revealing her deep navel designed with curly black hairs, which scattered all over her tummy.

Joe felt himself grow in between his legs as he saw the shiny hairs that came out from her skirt and flustered on her tummy, he imagined what the hairs looked like on her thighs and the warmth she would feel in between her legs, with his hand caressing them and mowing her perfect buttocks.

The man had a smile which spread to Joe’s father’s face. He blessed the kola with his strong Igbo dialect, speaking words only joe’s father could understand. After prayers, the girl wanted to leave but the man refused insisting she sat with them while he told Joe’s father about her. She sat beside joe because that was the only space available, and the old man started.

‘‘She is my grandchild, my daughter’s first born.”

Joe could see that from her young looks. She smiled at each compliment the man showered on her as the old man continued on about how she has been taking care of him since she came back from her school in lagos, how it was tradition for her to be married to someone in Joe‘s family.

Joe felt a sense of disgust in him again. Traditions like this made him sick, but he wouldn’t mind being the one for this pretty girl beside him, after all, he thought. He felt his body shudder every time the side of her laps brushed against his body.

It happened frequently and at some point, joe thought she was doing it on purpose. His father then started talking about him. He always felt a sense of pride in him each time they visited someone and his father told them that he was leaving for Canada to finish his education.

Joe’s father invited the man to the reunion party, insisting he brings his granddaughter along too. The old man was more than delighted at the invitation. It was soon after that, that they left the mans house while he waved at them, watching them drive out of the compound.

Joe didn’t know whether he was happy or angry that they visited the man, he had some thoughts about the fat envelope his father left for him, but thoughts about the girl filled his mind and overshadowed all these. He regretted not having his shot because he wanted to talk to her, possibly invite her to the abroad singles bash going down that weekend but he wouldn’t have anyway, his father was there. He hoped to see her again.

After the meeting, Chief Nduka visited them with his whole family. The man was a big politician and business man in Abuja and also from his village, he always teased his father and called him chief.

Chief came with his two beautiful daughters. They both stood up and greeted Joe’s father when he told him with a feeling of pride that they were both graduating from a Nigerian university. His wife went to the kitchen to meet the other women and their surprised shouts of joy were heard clearly from the sitting room, which made joews father turn up the volume of the television.

Joe’s siblings have already met chief outside when they arrived. Chief asked about Joe and his father called him to come and say hello to the visitors. Joe quickly changed into something much more simpler and clean. But it wasn’t for the chief, his interest was on his two daughters. One of his cousins was already telling him about his interest in the one in green.

She was the more beautiful one and her eyes met with joe’s when he walked into the sitting room. Joe prostrated before the man who was smiling and saying things about the last time he saw him being so little and running around the compound playing football. Joe smiled while his father laughed along with the chief.

He was struggling to know what about what chief said that made them laugh so loud, then he remembered, it was the chief, they had to show him every hospitality he needed. He also thought about what he said about the last time he saw him and wondered why elders always did that. Of all the memory he could remember of him in front of his daughters he choose when he was running around the compound which was almost nine years ago. He knew he had seen the man at a wedding he went to with his father last year.

He sat down on a chair beside his father trying not to relax, sitting at the tip and listened as his father spoke about him. His father told the man about his leaving to Canada for his second degree in medicine. With pride, he saw the looks of surprise on the man’s face when his dad mentioned it, and tried to suppress the feeling behind a serious look that meant it wasn’t such a big deal anyway

Everytime his father looked at him he would look away as if the pride on his face didn’t matter. he tried to keep his eyes away from the girls, particularly on the one in green a few times, which body seemed to magnet his eyes. Her green dress stuck to her short, dark ebony skinned body and she kept playing with her hairy legs and curls. Her beauty was simple and very attractive.

Joe wondered if women selected the ways their bodies changed positions when they are around any man or it all happened too frequently without control. There was something about the way she looked at Joe, he couldn’t understand it at first, didn’t understand it at all.

He was having these crazy imaginations about what her body would look like in bed with him, her hairy legs curled up around his body; how subtle her moans will sound like when he grabbed her turgid breasts or sucked on her dark nipples.

He imagined the colour and type of panties she was wearing, and how black stricken with a mix of tiny hairs her pussy looked like. In his mind, he felt his hands on her clit, slipping into her pussy walls. Naughtily, he felt himself building up and prayed his father wouldn’t send him on an errand because it would be very embarrassing.

Quickly, he snapped out of those thoughts and chose to focus his attention on the news on the television which had already capured his dad and the chief’s attention. They were debating loudly about a peaceful truce called between the Americans and some other country. Joe stood up, excused himself and went outside after he was sure his erection had come down. He left to avoid further distraction and the embarrassments.

As he was resting his hands on the balcony, looking out into the compound admiring the beauty of the house, the cars, he felt a presence around him. He turned and it was his green lady. She walked up slowly to him and stoped. At first, she didn’t say anything, Just looked at him for a while before her voice came,

‘Hi, can I use the toilet please?’

Joe looking startled by her request thought about his reply seriously. He thought about giving her directions, considering the fact that she might walk into the wrong room or possibly bump into one of his cousins who would be willing to assist her and even help her pull down her panties if she wanted. After many careful considerations, he decided to take her by himself.

“umm, its downstairs… I’ll show you.”

She smiled and walked alongside him. They got to the stairs which were seldom filled with people

“Canada indeed,” the girl said out loud.

Joe wasn’t sure if she was asking a question or trying to start a conversation, but he liked that she talked to him, especially the way that phrase came out of her mouth.

‘’Yes, Canada indeed’’

“You didn’t look too proud, you don’t wanna go?” she asked, looking carefully at the stairs so as not to trip.

“Of course, I want to go, I just don’t like that my father tells everybody about it” he replied as they walked on the corridor leading to the toilet.

The shiny, bright lights made her skin glow and illuminated the way. She walked slowly and Joe couldn’t help but walk at the same pace with her.

‘My father tells everybody that I and my sister are graduates, I dunno how I’m supposed to react to that sometimes but I seem happy about it’’ her accent became lighter as each word came out.

‘Or maybe you were trying not to look too impressed before me and my sister, which is kinda cool, I mean I know we’re hot’’

Joe smiled, amused by her charming ways of getting to him, not sure of what to say. They approached the ladies toilet and she went in, came out a few munites later, readjusting her dress which seemed to spring up too high after easing herself. Joe looked away and she noticed and smiled while they made their way back to the balcony.

‘‘You’re shy,’’ she said

‘why would you say that?’’ he replied, trying not to look at her.

‘’I know a shy guy when I see one. I’ve met lots of your type, so trust me, darling, you’re one.’’

He smiled and rested his hand on the balcony. She did the same with her head tilted to the side of her shoulder as if expecting him to say something.

‘I’ve been told worse’’ he replied sharply.

‘You know, sometimes I think my dad’s compliments are his schemes of selling us off to potential men,’’ the girl said.

Joe couldn’t select the right reaction to that so he smiled and this time looked at her. Her dark brown eyes sparkled so much that he could see his reflection in her eyes.

‘’I’m happy you see me that way,’’ he finally cut in.

‘Don‘t be too impressed darling, I hated those times he did that. Sometimes he would take us to parties, business parties with men walking up to us like we were the host.’’

‘’Talking about parties, you should come to the youngs abroad night this weekend, its where we get to meet everyone in this town living abroad.’’ Joe offered.

She kept quiet for a while thinking about his invitation

“Your sister should come too, it’s going to be fun, I promise you,’’ Joe added quickly.

She smiled

“Are you bribing me with my sister?’’ she asked, him fixing her gaze on him.

He stood up straight and smiled again. It seemed he has been smiling too much he thought.

‘’Umm not exactly but you should come, really’’

The chief stood up and was about going. Without giving her reply, she went back into the sitting room and took her bag. Joe and his father walked them down to their car, she walked beside him.

‘’I might try if you promise not to be shy,’’ she whispered to him.

He smiled and said nothing. They drove off, leaving behind a shaky assurance.

That weekend the party was lit and the building was filled up. No villager was let into the building. Joe was at the top looking out as if he was expecting someone. Girls trooped in, some of them with their partners. It wasn’t long before he saw a figure he recognized but wasn’t sure if she was the person.

She entered the party and walked to the bar and sat down, Joe came down trying to be sure it was her, to his surprise it was Ada, the old man’s grandchild. She looked different, a brown shiny brazillian hair, bum short that revealed her fresh hairy legs, she was a beauty to behold and guys had already started making moves towards her. Immediately, Joe saw the way she acted, the way she shooed them off.

He smiled knowing he was one person she could not shoo off. He walked towards her and sat beside her. She looked at him without any surprise at first, then looked again and smiled out of amazement.

‘’You?’ she said

Joe smiled and replied, ‘’Yes me.’’

Her brazingly red lipstick glistened in the light. Joe admired her tight shirt that was half buttoned and slightly showed her cleavages. She kept on smiling in a plastic way, not sure what to say to him with Joe unsure too.

To Joe‘s surprise, another familiar figure came into the party. He didn’t know what to do, she stood at the door looking around for a while before making a move into the building. Joe excused himself from Ada and gestured to one of his cousins to keep her occupied and distracted while he approached Chief Nduka’s daughter.

‘’You made it,’’ he said as she turned to face him.

She was also wearing a bumshot, a green one, which made Joe wonder if she was obsessed with the color.
To be continued


Written by Emerie Ebube

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