“What was the meaning of that?” Mrs. Ifeoma Uzoma frantically tendered as she bashed into the matrimonial room.
Chief B. U. Uzoma who was furiously seated on the bed, kept quiet, never moved an inch.
“Why did you walk out on your son who just returned from the campus?” she rode on, standing right before the hubby. “Someone you saw last over two months ago.”
He remained mute, facing elsewhere.
“You even walked away when he was greeting you.” She further observed. “What is going on here?” She urged, stood still. “Is there anything you are not telling me..?”
At this time, Ikenna was seated in the sitting room, felt seriously perplexed as he was yet to fathom what was actually going on.
“Since you want to know,” quoth Chief Uzoma. “Come and sit down.” He enjoined, tapping the bed.
On receiving the invitation, Ifeoma calmly stepped closer and sat right beside him. “I am all ears.” She said, stylishly looking at him.
“I got a very bad report about your son.”
“Our son.” She corrected fiercely, seated attentively.
He ignored the correction. “It came in yesterday while I was in the office.” He added, stopped.
“I am listening.” She reminded anxiously.
“My dear,” he proceeded tenderly. “You wouldn’t believe what I heard.”
She was silent, couldn’t wait to receive the full gist. Sure, the suspense was apparently telling on her person. “Please, can you go straight to the point and save me from these pains?”
“Hmm…” Chief Uzoma took a deep breath. “I was told he is now living with a girl.” He eventually disclosed, looking at the other side of the room.
“How?” Ifeoma verified curiously. “What do you mean?”
“Someone told me your son is harbouring a lady in his school apartment.” He frankly clarified, fixed his gaze on hers.
“What..?” she exclaimed, looked into his eye sockets. “My son Ikenna, living with a woman?” She supplemented, placing her spread left hand on her chest,
“Now you have known why I have been avoiding him.”
“But, who told you this?”
“Woman, that’s not important now.” He replied.
“No, this is not true.” she assumed, stood up. “I know my son.” She added, stepped towards the door.
“So, where are you up to?” enquired Chief Uzoma.
Ifeoma looked back. “To confront him, of course.” She responded, dashed out.
When she got to the lounge, Ikenna was lying in a three-in-one upholstery chair as he kept rhetorically asking himself what exactly prompted his beloved father’s sudden change of attitude.
Chief Uzoma had been a loving and lovely father ab initio to his five children, particularly Ikenna who was exemplarily intelligent – both academic and social wise – thus his abrupt weird character toward the chap could be so surprising to anyone who knew the family too well. So, at the moment, Ikenna who last saw his dad two months back had chosen death rather than being treated like a total stranger by a man whom he once knew and regarded as an angel.
“Ikenna.” Mrs. Ifeoma called in a low voice as soon as she entered the lounge, walked to a seat sited adjacent to his and sat down.
“Yes mum.” He weakly answered as he lay in the cushion.
“What is this I am hearing about you?”
“What mum?” he said, quickly rose from the seat.
“That you now live with a girl?”
“What…?” the chap shouted to the hearing of his dad who was still in the room. “Mum, who told you this?”
“That is not the issue.” quoth Ifeoma. “True or false?”
“Mum, even you..?” he uttered. “You of all people.”
“So, it is not true?”
“Mum, how could you think of such thing?” the 20-year-old Ikenna boiled. “How can I do such thing; where have all the morals gone? he asked, stood up. “All the morals you and dad taught us?”
“Hmm…” sighed Mrs. Ifeoma as she loosely sat in the cushion. “I don’t know who to believe again.” She murmured.
“Mum,” Ikenna called stood still, looking strongly into her eyes. “If you must believe anyone, it should be me.” he said, paused. “Yes, me your son Ikenna.” He supplemented, tapping his chest with his right hand.
“Ifeoma was speechless as she fixed her gaze on his.
“Your son who has always believed in doing only the right thing.” he rode on more emotionally as he stood right before the plump and average-height woman, attempted to shed tears. “Who has always told you and dad that he would never disappoint you.”
The last clause struck the woman, thus kept her in a sober mood. Therein, she was left with no choice than to believe that her husband had been wrongly informed. “I believe you, my son.” she enthused tenderly. “Please, come and sit down.’ She enjoined, gesticulating.
Ikenna quietly walked closer to the two-in-one chair she was seated in and sat very closely to her as he inadvertently began to weep.
“Is okay, my dear.” she urged as she help to wipe the sobs in his face. “I can see, your father has wrongly accepted a rumour.” She eventually thought aloud.
“So,” the chap said. “This is coming from dad, right?”
“Don’t worry,” quoth Ifeoma. “I must get to the root of this.” She assured.
Before she could finish her sentence, Chief Uzoma calmly joined them in the lounge having overheard every bit of the conversation.
“Dad,” Ikenna called on sighting him. “Who told you this?’ he inquired anxiously.
The father was speechless as he separately sat in a single cushion.
“So, this is why you have been avoiding my calls?” He added hesitantly.
“Honey,” Ifeoma interrupted. “Please, how come about this?”
After all said and done, it was discovered that it was truly a mere rumour. It was rather Ikenna’s younger sister, Nnenna – who was also an undergraduate in another school – that came to spend two nights with him, but unfortunately she was mistaken to be his ‘lover’. Funnily enough, the chap’s cousin, Okey who forwarded the slander to Chief Uzoma never caught a glimpse of the scenario; he only acted based on the information he received from a friend who lived closely to Ikenna’s apartment.
Having gotten the actual truth after putting a call across to Nnenna as well as inviting Okey to defend his allegation, Chief B. U. Uzoma rebuked the latter for coming up with such scandalous accusation, though blamed himself for accepting the rumour hook, line and sinker.
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