Nelson waved to his children and went to board his plane back to America. He almost smiled, but couldn’t. His children didn’t know what they were in for. He only hoped thing’s happened the way he expected
It has not been easy convincing his wife. She was scared that their children will be damaged and they will never forgive them. He believe differently. He knew they might cursed them if they grow up spoilt and life has to train them through tough ways
He had made his decision to send his children to Nigeria after he had caught Brian experimenting with Marijuana. He had gotten weak in his knees and knew he had to take extreme measures when Brian’s excuse had been
“But dad,everyone is doing it!”
Brian was only fourteen
Nelson wondered what else everyone would be doing and Brian would have to follow, or what Christiana will decide to do when she starts noticing everybody doing something wrong.
He couldn’t take the chance’s on the life of his kids.
“But we can train them from here. We only have to be more firm and careful”
His wife Chioma had argued.
“We don’t have to send them to Nigeria”
“You know the methods used here is not what made us responsible adults today. I’m not saying it’s ineffective, I’m only saying we don’t know how to use it, and it’s affecting the kids”.
Nelson argued back. He was afraid.
“But they are our children, God gave them to us, we can train them ourselves…”
“And we will! Let them just go there and see another facet of life, then we will bring them back”.
Chioma was quiet, Nelson knew she was thinking
“How long will they be there for?”
Chioma finally asked
“I’m thinking three years” Nelson replied back. Chioma bit her lip. Nelson had to give her a chance to think: They were also her children.
“Okay I agree” She said.
That was three months ago.
As Nelson sat down, waiting for the time of his flight. He hoped he made the right decision.
“Dear lord please let this turn out good”. He prayed, just as they annouced his flight.
Brian woke up with a start. He looked at his wrist watch, it was only 5 am. Who was singing so early? He plugged his ears with his earpiece and tried to go back to sleep.
“Brian! Christiana! It’s time for morning devotion”
His grandmother called out.
Brian thought. His dad didn’t tell him about this. He hoped this was not going to happen every morning
His grandfather called out this time.
Brian quickly got dressed and ran downstairs, meeting Christiana on his way down. She also look surprised, but not angry. She didn’t say anything. The devotion lasted for forty-five minutes making Brian angrier.
As they stood up to go back to their rooms and catch up on some sleep, their grandmother called them back.
“Brian, Ifeanyi, can’t you greet? And you Ozioma, where are you hurrying back to? In this house you greet your elders, so it is morning, and you should say good morning”
Ozioma got herself first
“Good morning”, and Ifeanyi followed
“Good morning to you too. Next time you say good morning ma or sir as the case maybe. Now go and greet your grandfather and come back for your morning chores”.
The duo stopped on their way to greet their grandfather.
They echoed. They had chores back in America. But they did them when they liked.
“Yes morning chores. Hurry up!”
They hurried up and before they knew it, the sleepiness was gone from their eyes. By 7am, Ifeanyi had swept the compound and watered the plants while Ozioma was setting the table for breakfast. She had just learnt how to make akara.
They soon discovered they had afternoon and evening chores also. For the first time in a really long time Ifeanyi slept off the moment his head touched the pillow. He had to wake up by 5 in the morning.
The next morning after devotion, Ifeanyi decided that there won’t be a replay of what happened the day before. He had rights too. So when he was told to do his morning chores, he went back to sleep dragging Ozioma along.
“We are going to get into trouble”
Ozioma warned. She didn’t want any punishment.
“What will they do? Send us back to America? Isn’t that the best thing?”
Brian said, he had never like the idea of coming to stay in Nigeria.
“They may do something else”
“Something else like what? Go back to bed. At least I am” he said as he entered his room and went back to bed.
“Ifeanyi! Ozioma! Come down here now!”
His grandmother called. Ifeanyi ignored. He feigned sleep. He had to be strong or he knew he’d be doing this for the next three years. There was silence.
“Didn’t you hear your grandmother calling?”
The voice of his grandfather sounded behind him tight inside his room. He quickly turned. When did he get here?
“Before the count of five I want you downstairs with your sister doing your chores. One!”
He looked at his grandfather and saw him staring at him calmly. There was a daring look in his eyes
Ifeanyi quickly got up from the bed and went to fetch Ozioma who was already waiting for him at her door, fear written all over her.
“Don’t worry”, he told her, “I will find a way to stop this. Even if…”
“Are you downstairs yet? Four!”
Ifeanyi concluded, rushing downstairs with Ozioma close behind him. As he watered the plants, he told himself he had to do something.
“Tomorrow is another day”, he thought as he begans weeping “I will win this”.
The next morning, Ifeanyi decided that he wouldn’t go back to bed. After devotion, where he was sure his grandmother was talking directly to him, when she say’s ‘The bible warns children to respect elders and obey their parents’, he went behind the house and sat down playing his Nintendo.
“Brian, go and do your chores! You are going to piss off granny and grandpa”. Ozioma warned. She didn’t see anything so wrong in doing chores. She loved peace.
“That will be okay. I hope to piss them off well enough so they will send us back”. Ifeanyi responded without looking up from his game
“I don’t think that’s going to happen”. Ozioma said and left him to go and do her morning chores.
“What are you doing here gbo Ifeanyi?” His grandfather asked. But Ifeanyi ignored him and continue playing his game.
“It’s rude to ignore someone talking to you especially when the person is an older person asking you a question”. His grandfather asked again. Ifeanyi ignore him again
“Okay young man, hand over the game”.
“What? I will do no such thing!”
Ifeanyi shouted and turned back to keep playing.
“Hand the game over now, and get to your chores, or I’m going to have to show you that you are not too old to be disciplined”.
“You won’t dare lay a finger on me”, Ifeanyi shouted standing up and facing his grandfather “I know my….”
Ifeanyi didn’t get to finish the sentence, as a stinging slap from his grandfather stopped him mid-way. He didn’t believe it
“You slapped me? You are going to regret it. You will….”
Another slap on the other cheek brought immediate tears to his eyes, shutting him up in shock.
“Good. Now you are silent you will listen to me. I am taking your nintendo and you have to write a letter of apology before you show up at the dinning table for breakfast. Don’t make me look for you again”.
Ifeanyi angrily wiped away tears as he swept the compound. He didn’t expect his grandfather to slap him. He quickly finished his chores and took his bath. He remained silent throughtout the meal, only saying thank you after he finished eating.
He walked back to his room, wondering what to do. He wished he could call his mother, but they refused to get him a phone, saying he was too young to have one. He was fourteen for goodness sakes. Fourteen!
He remembered he had an apology letter to write, so he got down to it. A knock on his door drew his attention. It was christiana.
“Come in”, he invited. She was the only person he wanted to see.
“What are you writing?” She asked as she came into his room.
“You looked gloomy at the dining. What happened to you?”
“Grandfather slapped me. Twice!”
“Ouch! That must have hurt. I’m sorry, but I heard you threatening him. That was not so wise. You know he is bigger and older and stronger than you”, Ozioma was in her lecture mode. Ifeanyi hated her when she lectured him, though she was usually right.
“Is that all you have to say? Just forget it I’m going to find a way to end all these”.
“Don’t do anything stupid. Grandpa and granny are not so bad. Anyway, I came to let you know that we will be starting soon in two weeks time. I have to go, it’s time to start preparing lunch”.
Ifeanyi was shocked.
“You are enjoying this right?”
“At first I didn’t, but there’s nothing to it. I’m just learning. And I enjoy grandma’s company”.
“Yeah. Whatever. Leave my room”
“Yes sir” Ozioma said, bowing mocklingly as she left.
Ifeanyi processed the information. He got back to writing his letter as he made another plan.
“Do you think I acted too hard by slapping him?”
Joshua asked his wife of fifty-five years as he got ready for bed
“I’m too old for this. I feel like calling Nelson to come and take his kids. I was hoping to have fun with them, but Bri..Ifeanyi is proving to be a handful”.
Salome smiled at her husband. The husband she knew would have been ready to slap an insolent child and here he was, wondering. If he was to hard in disciplining one. Truly they were getting old.
“Maybe you shouldn’t have slapped him, maybe you did right. We won’t alway’s know, but what is important is that we do everything in their best interest and off course ask the holy spirit to lead”. She replied sounding like the counsellor she was.
“I pray for them. I do. But I don’t want to repeat the mistakes I made with Nelson. He thinks we trained him well, but he has no idea how much to his training was done by the holy spirit. I almost lost him with my hot temper”.