My name is Feranmi, meaning ‘love me’. So, I thought I should be loved naturally by everyone, but I was wrong. Totally wrong. Sometimes, I feel my name makes people even more furious.
“So, your name is Feranmi?” they will ask with a sense of sarcasm and sometimes pure irritation peeping through their sleeves.
Ehen… my aunt, Mama Mautin, called me into her room last week. She was obviously bulging with an information that will soon burst through her thorax if not spoken out as quickly as possible. Her chest was bulging with concealed words by the time I got to her.
“Feranmi, are you still busy?” She called from her room.
“Yes ma” I said aloud through my breath. Making sure the sound breaks the wall to her bedroom
“come over here” she has said almost immediately.
I walked over the pile of clothes I was trying to arrange and moved hurriedly to her room in order to avoid her very harsh complaint about the promptness of response not corresponding with the speed of movement. I opened the door to her room after two audible knocks at the door and having waited few seconds to hear an approval.
“Are you still folding the children’s clothes?” she asked without raising her face from the book she was reading!
“I will be through in few minutes ma”
“I’ll like to have a word with you when you’re done”
My heart skipped 2 beats at once. “OMG. What have I done?. Could it be the clothes she left in the washing machine that I forgot to remove? O yeah! The other time I didn’t wash the pot before leaving for Oviyon and Mautin’s school. But it was only taking time and I had to pour in more water. Abi?”
I was scared to the bone and had a lot of guesses on my mind. That morning, I did more than just fold clothes. I proceeded to mopping the entire corridor. I noticed the waste bin wasn’t properly placed, so, I adjusted it.
While trying to fix the flower vases at the door step, I suddenly noticed a movement behind me, so I sharply turned around. There was my aunt, standing behind me.
Why has she turned into my tormentor this morning? I whispered to myself
“You said?” she asked, searching through my face for a response
“I’ll be through soon ma” I stammered
“There is nothing more to do Feranmi. Come over here” she said in a hurry, looking around to confirm her words.
I moved away from the flowers and marched towards her. She walked to her room while I strolled behind her in utmost silence. My thoughts took the better of me that I didn’t realise we had gotten to her room and she had asked that I sit down.
“Feranmi!!! why are you still standing there?” she muttered
“I’m here ma” I looked at her and quickly moved my gaze away to the ceiling.
“I said sit down” she motioned with her hand and eyes.
Okay ma” I said and moved over to the couch her hands pointed.
“Feranmi, you’ve been a good girl and I want you to continue the way you are”
“Thank you, ma,”
“But there are some things I have noticed about you and wish you change” she muttered, and I begin to wonder why she lowered her voice so much that I could barely hear here. We are unaccompanied in this big house, but she had to lower her voice in such a way that I believe we are not really by ourselves.
“You see, I don’t want you to be alone with my husband in any part of this house. Apart from the fact that he is my husband, he is also like a father to you and it will be disrespectful to share the same space with him”.
That got me for a second. So, I kept quiet and only asked a question when she didn’t say anything further.
“But I have always tried to be as respectful as ever ma. Have I done anything wrong?”
“of course not, I’m just saying what is right. I can’t wait till he complains, you know!”
I wonder if she had any idea what had transpired between her husband and I. Maybe she does anyways, the reason for this urgent meet up. I felt a bit awkward going back to my room. The scene of her husband and I started replaying in my head.
That day as I recollect, she had gone out with Oviyon and Mautin and left with directives to be carried out as soon as her husband returns. But, as soon as Daddy came back, he called me to the sitting room…
Wait for the next chapter!