Rael called her mum to inform her that she was going to get home late. She needed to ensure that her grandpa was asleep before she slept so that he does not cause any mischief and put her in trouble. She also needed her alcohol levels to go down before she could drive home. She really loved it here better. She had laughed so much that afternoon and didn’t have to worry about saying something offensive. Her mother was not very happy that she was staying out late on her first night at home.
“Gaki, you just got here today and you are running late? We have not even talked and you missed dinner.”
“We will talk tomorrow mami. I took some shopping to sokoro and I felt he is so lonely so I kept him company. I will eat when I get back”
“Okay. I will not lock the gate and the door. Say hi to sokoro and remind him to take his medication.”
As she drove back to the house, she thought about what her grandfather had told her. All along, she thought that her uncle had received the same punishment her sister got but sokoro had revealed that their late grandma had protected uncle Osoro and insisted on his innocence. He was one of her favorite uncles and right now, she did not know what she felt about him. She was surprised to see the living room lights on and wondered why her mother was awake despite her assuring her that she was going to be fine. Her mother always worried too much and she needed to stop especially with her high blood pressure issues.
“Mummy, I told you I was going to be fine why…..oh, it’s you Priscilla. I thought it was mum. I did not expect you to be awake.”
Priscilla ignored her as usual. The beers and gin Rael had taken, gave her liquid courage and she decided to continue talking to her sister despite being ignored.
“You know Riri, I have been thinking the whole day about why you hate me so much and it hit me that you might be angry that I did not stand by you when uncle Osoro raped you. I am very sorry. I was a child and did not know any better. I should have come to you earlier on. It really hurts me that you have completely shut me out of your life. I miss you sissy.”
“First of all, never ever call me Riri again. That name died when I was six years old. Secondly I do not hate you. You and a few other people completely stopped existing in my universe many years ago. I did that to protect my own sanity. In fact, why am I talking to a ghost? Let me continue ignoring you”
“Priscilla, I was a child and I did what I thought was the best thing at that time? You are being harsh and unreasonable.”
“You are very selfish Rael. You always have been. Do you know what your actions did to my life? Reporting me to mum without getting my side of the story, made mummy and aunty beat me like a thief. Grandma pinched and beat me then took me to her bedroom, undressed me to check my vagina and commented that it had become as wide as that of a prostitute and that I will never get married. She, mum and some of our aunties made me swear that I will never tell a soul about what had happened to me. No one bothered to take me to the hospital for treatment and therapy. Your dear uncle and best friend did not stop raping me. All that had happened gave him more guts to do whatever he wanted to do with me and I could not say anything. What hurt me the most was you thinking that I deserved all this and even feared that I could infect you with my bad manners. You cannot call me harsh and reasonable. You know nothing about what I have been through”
“I am sorry sissy”
“Do not sissy me. Where was my sissy when I cried myself to sleep? Where was my sissy when my mental health was a mess and suicide was always on my mind? Rael do you know for the longest time I blamed myself for being ‘rotten’ and started sleeping with random men because, after all, I was a spoilt one? I masturbated every day and got addicted. I cannot begin to talk about the number of abortions I have had and how useless and helpless I felt every day. So dear sissy, the day I discovered therapy and healed on my own, I decided to cut off and mentally bury everyone who hurt me and started my life afresh.”
“I cannot begin to tell you how sorry I am Priscilla. I know it is not an excuse but I have been going through a lot that it has taken me so long to realize how wrong I was and most importantly, how hurt you were. At first due to ego, when you stopped talking to me, I revenged by not talking to you too and did not think much about it. I would really like us to be friends again and get to talking again. I have missed you. If I knew all this, I would have been with you and would have held your hand all through. You do know that.”
“I don’t know if we can get back to the same place we were at. It has been long. Priscilla, you are still friends with my molester. In fact you are best friends. You just came back from visiting sokoro. The same whose wife tormented and broke me. How can we be cool when you still entertain those people?”
“Knowing what I know now, even if you decide to never be cool with me again, I will never talk to uncle Osoro again. He is disgusting. It is funny you mentioned grandpa because as I was there, he said that one of his biggest regrets was never speaking up about the injustices done to you. He is absolutely sorry and sad that you don’t talk to him anymore but if it offends you that I talk to him or go there, I will stop. You are more important than them. I want my sister back”
“I am really glad that we are having this conversation. I have forgiven you. We will take baby steps in mending the relationship and getting a therapist when need be. For now, let us go to bed and sleep over everything. I also need to talk to the kids. Time difference is making my life one big hell. I will need that gin I can smell on your breathe tomorrow. I cannot be suffering from sobriety alone.”
“Is the smell that strong? Oh my God! Mum would have been mad. Let me brush my teeth and go to bed. Please say hi to the kids for me. I am really happy we had this discussion. I love you more than you can imagine Priscilla.”
As they hugged, they both started to cry profusely and Rael felt so happy like she had never felt in a long time.
“Before we start wailing, hebu let us go to bed. By the way, why are you not mad at mum and dad as you were at me?”
“Mum and dad apologized to me a long time ago. Also a lot of fights they used to have back then was because dad did not like how mum and his family had treated me. I viewed them contracting HIV as punishment enough and I forgave them”
“Do you know that I knew about their condition when I got admitted about a month ago? All along, I though dad had cancer. These secrets are too much.”
“I knew about it because I was older, nosy and knew too much for my age. Plus mum would always vent to me whenever they had issues with papa. She loudly blamed me for their marriage woes”
“That must have been a lot. I am so sorry. I hear your phone is ringing. It must be your husband. We will catch up tomorrow.”
She went to bed a happy girl and in that moment nothing else mattered. Not Evans nor Steve or even her financial woes mattered. She was back to talking to her sister after many years and that was an answered prayer. She texted Sandra and informed her of the miracle. She knew she would be so happy for her. She even texted Steve and told that she had made up with her sister so she was sure that he would forgive her too. Funny enough, he replied.
“Good for you. I am happy for you”
“Thank you. So, will you forgive me?”
“Stop pushing it. Goodnight Rael. Enjoy home.”
She woke up super early and went to Priscilla’s bedroom and started catching up. Her mum found them in the room talking and her joy and shock could not be hidden.
“Good morning my daughters, is this you two talking or am I dreaming?”
“It is us mama”
“I can now die in peace”
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