The Men In Her Life - One

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Since she lost her sight, Ife had resulted in using her hands to find her way wherever she was in the house. She made her way out of her room with her hands stretched forward as she moved to prevent colliding into the wall or some other things. She was used to the house, so she used to find it easy to know wherever she was in the house and how to walk carefully in each place. She got into the doorway and walked straight till she was on the stairs. She took her steps slowly and carefully. She held on to the railings as she descended the stairs. When she got to the sitting room, she waved her hands sideways and touched the wall. She walked slowly, taking her steps one after the other till her fingers brushed the back of one of the sofas. She held on to it and slowly walked around it to its front then sat quietly but on the throw. She quickly sprang up, but on realising that it was the throw, she picked it up, sat again and put the throw on her lap. She used her hand to check her sides if there was any other thing there but nothing was there. 

She stretched her hand to the centre table to pick up the remote but only brushed her fingers against the edge of the table. She winced. Since her sight was gone, her hands had been in trouble. They were always the ones that suffered the most. She had once brushed her fingers against the furnace. She had also got them stuck in the shutters while trying to shut it. 

She successfully picked up the remote and switched on the television. She knew where each button is located on the remote control. She changed the channel till she got to the channel that she preferred. 

The front door opened and a charming young man entered with plasters on him.

She turned to the door on her seat. "Dave, is that you?"

"Yes, sis."

"Oh, what a relief. I was beginning to get scared. You took so long."

He winced in pains. "I'm sorry. I didn't know that I'll be this late."

"Did he decide to help us?" She asked. 

"No sister. If only you can see right now, you'd have been shocked at the state I am."

"Wh-what state?"

"Do not worry sister, I'll take care of myself."

"O-okay," she said and as he took a few steps, she asked, "b-but what did he do to you? were you beaten?"

"No sis, I'm fine."

"O-okay."

Dave mounted the stairs and she sighed. 

"I'll be waiting."

"Okay, sis."

Some minutes later, he returned to her in another dress and sat on another sofa. 

"Dave, come and sit here beside me."

"No sis. I'm fine here."

"I insist."

He swallowed hard and went to sit beside her. She touched his face and frowned. She ran her fingers on him and her frown deepened. 

"Are these plasters?"

"Yes, sis."

"What happened? Dave, do not lie to me."

"I went to Collins's house but I was not allowed in by his gatekeeper. When I refused to leave, he came out to me and I told him to help us with anything that he has. I told him that we...we're hungry." Dave cleaned the tears that had circulated in his eyes. "He insulted us. He asked if he was the one who killed our parents or if he was the one that got you blinded. He asked us to sell the house or get rid of our miserable lives."

Ife shook her head slowly as she swallowed hard. "Collins said that?"

"He did. He said even more."

"So what happened? Did he beat you?"

"I continued to beg him but he hissed and turned to leave. My eyes caught the wallet in his back pocket and I quickly removed it. I removed some notes from it, threw his wallet to him and turned to leave but he screamed that I was a thief. Some passersby ran up to me. They had beaten me up before he told them that we're cousins. I fainted and found myself in a hospital bed. He paid my hospital bill before he left."

"Collins did all that?"

"Yes, sister."

"If Collins could do that then the rest of our relatives would have throttled you," she said. 

He swallowed hard. "Sister, I begged for alms," he said and brought out some naira notes from his trousers' pocket. "I got five thousand and fifty naira."

"Th-that much?"

"Yes, sister."

"Maybe we should start begging for alms."

"I'm not in support of that."

"Why? We're just in this big mansion. It is all we have. Our brother has taken every other thing our parents left behind away. We need to feed it we'll die of hunger."

"I'll go and work."

"So you'll leave me all alone? Do you know how scared I was before you returned? What if I die before you return from work?"

He sighed. "But begging–"

"Dave, we have no choice. Let's stay at the gate. We may even find someone who knows us and will help us. At least our parents helped a lot of people before they died."

Dave shrugged. "Fine then."


To be continued...

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