-Two Realms (Romance Thriller)

Read Story: Two Realms (Romance Thriller)… Part 21

A story written by INEGBENOISE OSEODION OSAGIE. (07068221839, 08093828575, [email protected])

At her apartment, Lauren removed her clothes from their hangers, folded them and arranged them in her suitcase. The wall clock announced twelve and reminded her the driver would soon arrive. She thought of the exam she wrote about an hour ago as she carefully folded a blue-sleeved shirt. It wasn’t so difficult, but it was. Her mum was right; schooling in America could be better and easier, but at the time, she wasn’t looking for better.
A knock happened. The driver would have to wait till the packing was done, she mused, and walked to the door. Her mum was standing with a half-smile. Lauren smiled and embraced.
Mum sat on the bed and roved as though she hadn’t seen the place before, complained of how stuffier the place had become than when she first came. Nothing happened to the apartment; maybe mum only grew wider.
Mum rose and sauntered to the closet. “When are your exams results coming out?” She unwrapped a shirt off its hanger and helped in the folding.
“Maybe at the end of session.”
Her mum cocked head. She had gained another excuse to hate the school, to hate the country.
“It could come out before then,” Lauren said, if that would straighten her mum’s head.
“You ought to see your results few weeks after the papers are written.”
“Don’t blame them. The students are a bit much. To compile the results should be tasking.” That didn’t help. Mum continued the folding with a scowl.
When done, Lauren arranged her shoes in her bag, and gave the room a last look. Everything was in order. She gestured to her mum for them to start leaving.
Her Lexus stood out front, the one her dad barely allowed her ride when he was around because of some stupid get-to-eighteen-and-create-a-license-first, and it seemed her mum had turned it into a personal ride or was about to. No one knew what happened at home.
“I only borrowed your baby. Your dad’s second car broke down last week,” mum said, surely out of self-guilt. “The mechanics are finding it difficult with the required spare parts which I doubt can be found in this part of the country.” She folded face into a grimace, and pointed the grimace to the entire country.
“You’ve not searched outside Apapa.”
“There’s no need wasting time.” She opened the car doors and they entered.
Lauren rested her Samsung by the gear and caught a tear on the leather chair. “What’s this? You’ve ruined my car.”
Mum glanced at the tear and started the car. “That was there before.”
“It wasn’t.”
“All right, I’ll mend it.”
“You don’t know where to do that. I’ll do it myself tomorrow. I’ll find a friend to take me to where it can be mended.”
“A friend. Which friend?” Mum left eyes on her for a second before returning them to the windscreen.
“You don’t know him.”
“Him.” Mum adjusted on the chair. “I should know all your friends. At least all the hims.”
Lauren chuckled. “That’s impossible. You can’t know all. The course mates, the neighbours. They add up every day.” She faced the side window. Some children played around their veranda Unclad, and the elders nearby couldn’t reprimand them. They let the people trekking and riding get a view of the children’s buttocks.
Lauren waited to hear her mum’s lecture on how uncivilized the children were, and how some of them when grown, would find their way overseas, where they would end up displaying their uncivilized nature, and if measures like deportation were not taken early, they would corrupt the innocent whites. But her mum said nothing of the kids, instead continued the talk of which of the “hims” would take her daughter to where the Lexus could be repaired.
“I should be able to know the one that can take you to repair your car,” she told Lauren
“Many can take me there.”
“You finally chose one. I should know that one.”
“All right, maybe you will. Mom, increase speed.”
“Church member?”
Mum glanced, “Then who?”
“A businessman.”
Her mum probably tried to hide her shock by looking straight to the windscreen, but was so poor at it. Her mouth almost turned agape.
“Businessman? How did you know a businessman?”
“He’s from a similar company with dad, occupying same position as dad. We met in Cherlet’s opening.”
“You think he will agree to take you there? He might be busy. He should be busy.”
“Mom, he will take me there.”
Her mum glanced at her. “What makes you so sure? Dad knows this man?”
“They talked a little at the opening, necessary business talks. Ever since then, I’ve not heard his name from dad, or dad’s from him.”
Mum took a bend, and they entered a new road, freer than the previous one. “What company does he work?”
“Erneto. Dad talks about that one. I’d love to see him.”
Lauren weighed her mum’s words. They were beyond heavy. “Maybe. I can’t just walk up to him and say ‘my mom wants to see you.’” She snuck a look to her mum. That worked.
“Don’t make it sound like a command. African men don’t like when women do that. It is better you tell him your mom would love to see him. In a polite manner, of course.”
Lauren nodded to avoid any further lecture from the woman. She checked the time on her Samsung. Forty minutes had passed, and they were still on the road, on an unfamiliar ground. She never used this road, and if she were on the driver’s seat, they would have long reached home. Her mum hadn’t changed from picking the long routes.
“Why did you take this route? It’s way longer,” she asked her mum.
“This is the only road I know. I’ve not morphed into a full-blooded Nigerian yet.”
“Nobody’s morphed.”
“Your dad gradually is, and you are. If not, how come you know other routes than the main road?”
“’Cause that’s where most cabmen follow.”
Mum twirled to her with a crumpled face, making Lauren check if she had uttered any wrong word. She had. Mum had always warned her not to take cabs because of how reckless she thought of their driving, and the TV news did not help a bit. They always reported cases of fatal road accidents caused by reckless sober drivers who thought the highways were racetracks.
“If I hear again you enter one of those cabs, then I’m afraid I’d have to ask your dad to police you. Believe me, if it comes to that, I wouldn’t hesitate in taking actions.” She carried the same scowl she did whenever she saw Lauren sleeping without a mosquito net, that kind that made her face look like a squeezed paper ball. “Always call the driver. No argument on that. He’s a driver that likes driving, and that’s why we employed him.”
Mum’s face gradually loosened as the drive continued, and was near normal when they reached home. She inserted the key in the port and the gate rolled open. Lauren squinted at a white Toyota standing by the generator’s cabin. It looked very much like Jide’s, its glittering covering and all. Jide had never been at her house. Mum parked at the carport and they stepped out. Lauren had a better view of the car, and any glee was replaced by gloom. The plate number was Canada’s international.
“Mom, who has that ride?”
“It’s Aunt Juliana’s. It’s rented.”
At that moment, she hated the loved Aunt Juliana. “What’s she doing here?”
“Just visiting.”
“All the way from Canada?”
“Aren’t you happy she’s here?”
“Sure.” She smiled. An aunt could be useful.
The door opened and a slender Aunt Juliana showed herself. Lauren yelled and widened arms for a hug. Her hands almost skirted the woman. Aunt Juliana had grown twice thinner.

To Be Continued…..

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