(cont from part 3)
The room was silent. Olise stared at the floor and stuffed his hands into his pockets. He wished he could relieve the evening. He was trapped. He could go to his room and climb into bed, but sleep would elude him. His father was right and yet he hesitated, his cowardice standing in his way. “so you think I should go tonight, isn’t it?
“Olise, I have always had a lot of faith in you. You have to decide. But whatever you do, make sure you are the one who decides. Don’t go because you think I want you to, because when you look back on this moment, you will want to look back on something that you decided and did.”
The minutes ticked away. Olise stood before his father, not debating his course of action. That was settled, even though he had not yet verbalized his resolve. The pause was an attempt to build up his courage. It had taken no courage to leave Peace waiting. It would require a great deal of courage to face her now.
“can I take the car? ” he asked in a whisper. His father nodded. Slowly he turned and walked to the front door, his stomach churning, his mouth dry and his hands slightly shaking.
On the way to the Inyang’s home, Olise hoped that the house would be dark, everyone in bed, giving him an excuse to postpone the confrontation.
He groped for an apology, something that would lessen the ignominy of his tardiness, but his nervousness prevented him from organizing anything meaningful.
Finally he was there. One light burned in an upstairs window. He knew if he waited in the car for just a moment he would lose the courage and never go through with it. He stepped out of the car, and before he could realize it he was at the door ringing the bell. His heart was pounding, and his breathe was deep and almost painful. All the while he hoped that no one would come, that the upstairs light would go off and leave him in absolute darkness.
Soon, he heard footsteps; then the porch light flipped on and the front door opened a few inches. Mr Inyang stood there, still dressed, no sign that he had been in bed that evening. There was no smile or greeting, just a curt “yes?” which came out more as a challenge than a question.
“Is Peace up?” Olise asked, his voice cracking slightly. Mr Inyang stared at him for a moment without answering and then nodded his head. “can I speak with her?”
Mr Inyang looked at his watch and glanced back into the house. “it’s a little bit late”, he answered shortly.
“I know, but I think I really need to talk to her – if I could.”
Mr Inyang took a deep breathe and said gruffly, “I’ll go check”.
He was about to leave Olise standing outside, but he reconsidered and invited him in by opening the door a little wider and monitoring with his head.
For almost six minutes Olise waited, and then Mrs Inyang stepped in and said, “she will be here in just a second.”
“Oh, Mrs Inyang,” Olise called out, could you and your husband come in too.”
The three of them were soon standing there. The two parents entered somberly and Peace followed timidly, avoiding his eyes, but even in the shadows of the dimly lighted room, Olise could see she had been crying. She wore her dress, and though her hair was a little messed up, it was so apparent that it had been fixed earlier.
to be continued…Cheers