I maintained my silence
I beheld my phone as it rang effortlessly, cutting the call would be suspicious, and not picking at all would create more suspicion.
I tried to think of the first word to say to conceal the identity of my caller.
Daddy’s piercing eyes and pointed ears got the words properly stuck to my throat.
“hmm,what’s up nah?
“I wanted to check up on you”
I quickly ended the call to avoid long discussion and dismiss any suspicion but “okro anaghi akari onye koro ya” (an okro tree never overgrows its owner)
My name being called in full whispered trouble to me, my dad was never the type to flog you for anything, the only time I had ever received strokes from my dad was one time I bought ‘blue film’ from the market out of built up curiosity, my friends were talking about it and being the inquisitive type, coupled with desire built up in my heart, I decided to also watch them. My dad almost disowned me that day while my siblings lurked around to say sorry and ask their whys? Questionable surprises written all over their faces, I had always been daddy’s good girl.
My mum had always taught us to answer “yes daddy” but my adrenaline circulation had reached its full climax ready to burst out of my system could literally feel the circulation as fear overwhelmed me.
“bia ebea” (come here)
I walked into the sitting room like a sheep led to the slaughter and was ushered to a seat while my father’s expression remained unreadable, usually his expressions were never certain and can’t be related to any ongoing incident, he was born with that “look”.
“kedu onye bu ihe a” (who was that?)
“you didn’t hear me?, so you have started sharing out your number okwia?”
“mba oo” I said waving my hands to deny the allegation
“okwa nwa neighbour anyi” that was just chinaza our neighbors’ son I tried to explain better.
“ituru ime,i won’t even talk to you”
The incident that unfolded and the second call I received from our neighbor’s son expressing his displeasure over the accusation and hurtful words he received from my dad almost made me flip the table, just like me, we were only good teenage friends.
I had always been the good girl; being locked up behind the four walls of a convent school was enough to show my dad that I didn’t have time for boys.
My dedication to God as a church girl should have convinced my dad that i wouldn’t date any boy ,my constant reminder to my dad that I would make him proud should have made him think highly of me, trust me and trust me more. I was wrong.
My dad never failed to remind me that if I got pregnant, he would disown me. I got up one morning with the intention of getting a boyfriend, sleeping with one and probably taking in and then face the disownment but I grew apprehensive, an undeniable fear that I was going to end my career, dreams and aspirations threw me off the hook. I felt disgusted at my thoughts. I withdrew. But each time even till some months ago as a single Christian girl, when I took ill or vomit, dad tells my mum
“odikwa ka nwa gi odi ime” (seems like your daughter has taken in)
It hurts me not to be trusted but more than that I can’t allow my emotions to becloud my sense of judgment.
Dear African parents,
please trust her/him no matter what, you may not understand how much it hurts when your dad looks you in the face and says boldly “I don’t trust any of you”
Each passing day, as I prove my dad wrong and counter his view and supposed poor judgment of me, my face lights up and I beam with smile seeing how happy he is whenever am around. Each time he seeks my suggestion on a matter, discusses intimate issues or asks for my prayers, my heart leaps with joy knowing that he is slowly understanding life and respects me. I guess respect and trust is earned and should be worked for.
Like me, some kids may be courageous enough to withstand your finger pointing while some would rather carry out your accusations and damn the consequences.
“What’s the worst that could happen, besides I could use contraceptive”
Someone once told me, they say those things so that you would not do them.
I have noticed two kinds of parents that give sex education “the type that tells you all the negative parts of it without explaining anything in details, you only keep hearing “girls are evil and “boys are devil and destiny destroyers” “and the type that simply shy away from talking about it”.
Dear parents, please tell your wards the panorama of sex, give them proper sex education, don’t assume they know and don’t just tell them that if an uncle touches them, they get pregnant.
Please, that line? It’s old and kids have “tear eyes” this present generation have grown wiser and braver they probably know better than you from the raunchy society in which they live in, either their friends tell them including the practical involved, show them how it’s done and lead them into the main deal or the media and internet at their disposal does the job well.
There are actually subtle ways to initiate these sex talks like I do with my siblings
It could start with few questions like do you have a close friend?
What is the gender of your friend?
Do you mind bringing your friend home so I could see them?
Teenage period is actually a time of bonding with your kids.
For the teen and young adult reading this anyone can suspect you, it’s what humans do best but it’s your call, to make them feel different about you, prove them wrong and build the vision
The ball is in your court.