The love-letter Revenge
I know most of you have been wondering what I did with that letter from Kunle. Well, what do you think, that I just strolled over and handed her a love letter from the love of my life? Is that what you would have done?
Well, thankfully I’m not you. And no, I didn’t burn the letter either. If you think burning such a letter is a war strategy then I must say that you have no comprehension whatsoever what weapons are used for in war.
Let me enlighten you.
When you have a weapon in hand, you use it to bring down your adversary. Which is exactly what I did.
Let’s not bother with how or when, let’s quickly get to when my tactical move yielded it’s much expected result.
Daniella and I were in the sitting room, with daddy and mummy. Daniella was asking daddy questions on the Economics assignment she was doing. For the life of me I don’t know where she got the idea that daddy, a spare parts dealer knew anything about Economics. But that was her problem, not mine.
I got up from where I was sitting pretending to be reading Twelfth Night. “Jesus! I just remembered I have an assignment in English.” I exclaimed.
“Ada, do not take the name of the Lord in vain.” Mummy reprimanded self-righteously.
“I’m sorry, mummy.” I apologised. No need for any insolence, not with my plan waiting to hatch. “Daniella, please can I borrow your English textbook? I forgot mine upstairs.”
“Of course, no qualms.” Daniella smiled. As usual. “But do remove the papers I left inside, they are important notes.”
“No wahala.” I smiled back.
I made sure I raised the textbook and proceeded to remove the papers one after the other, making small comments as I did. “Dani, you have so many papers in here o. Why do you jot so much on piece of papers now? Na wa o. What if you misplace any of them?
“Ada, just put the papers in my bag. I’m not going to misplace them because I know where I keep them.” Daniella responded without looking up from her writing.
“Okay o. And you even have some in envelopes sef.” I chuckled raising the brown envelope. “How many papers do you have inside sef?” I asked jocularly drawing out the paper inside. Then feigning a shocked gasp and looking all caught-in-the-act guilty, I stuttered. “Ha… sorry… I didn’t know… ah…”
And just as I predicted, my stuttering caught daddy’s attention. “What’s that rather bulky paper you are putting in that envelope?” He asked suspiciously.
I stifled my smug smile. I just bet he thought it was something to do with me. “Daddy, it’s… em… nothing… I mean I think it’s a letter.”
“Letter kè?” Daniella raised her head. “In my bag?”
“In your English textbook.” I replied, raising both the book and the envelope as Exhibit A. “I thought it was just your jottings.” I gave her an apologetic look.
“Let me see the letter.” Daddy ordered stretching out his left hand. I hesitated. “Ada, let me see the letter.” He repeated, his voice sharper now.
I reluctantly surrendered the letter to him. Daniella looked on bewildered, and shook her head when her mother looked at her questioningly. I gave a I-don’t-know-what’s-going-on shrug when she looked at me.
A minute later, daddy exclaimed. “What!”
“Darling, what is it?” Mummy asked immediately jumping quickly to her feet. “What is in the letter? Any bad news?”
“DANIELLA.” Daddy thundered turning blazing eyes at the now frightened Daniella. “What is the meaning of this letter?”
“Daddy… I… I don’t know.” Daniella stammered. She looked at me and I raised my shoulders again in bewilderment. Na today!
“What do you mean you don’t know? Daddy shouted. “You have an opened love letter in your bag and you say you don’t know what it is?”
“Love letter?” Mummy snatched the letter from daddy’s hand. Then shrieked. “Daniella, who is Kunle?”
Daniella looked from mummy to daddy, utterly bewildered. Her eyes were beginning to shimmer with tears. Her Economics question-and-answer ITK section was over and she was now on her feet, shuffling from one foot to the other like a child seriously pressed to relieve herself.
Me? I was the face of innocence and astonishment.
“I say, who is Kunle, Daniella?” Mummy demanded again, glaring at her precious daughter.
“He’s the SP.” I supplied tentatively.
“The SP is writing you love letters?” Daddy growled, his eyes glittering with fury. “You and the SP are now exchanging love letters? Is this what you do in school? Write and receive love letters?”
As Daniella shook her head, tears slipping down her cheeks, I almost laughed out loud. But instead I decided to play the good sister. It was my turn to be miss goody-goody. “No daddy, I don’t think that Daniella has been exchanging any…”
“Will you shut up there?” Daddy roared. “Of course you will defend her. Have you been receiving love letters too?”
“Ah, no o.” I denied. “Nobody has been writing me love letters.” At least not any you or anyone else will ever see.
“Daniella, you are receiving letters from boys?” Mummy looked thoroughly shocked.
“No, Mum.” Daniella shook her head vehemently.
“But the letter is in your textbook, opened obviously by you.” Disappointment was slowly creeping into mummy’s eyes.
And for no just reason, daddy turned to me and asked. “Adaeze, what do you know about this letter?”
At the question, I almost sang aloud You are a miracle working God. Daddy had provided me with the loop-hole I was looking for. “Me! I…I…” I stammered knowing that that would further arouse daddy’s suspicion.
“Adaeze, I said what do you know about this love letter?” Daddy repeated angrily, getting to his feet.
I shifted back as if in fear. “Ah, daddy, all I know is that I saw Daniella and her friend Chisom looking at what appeared to be a brown envelope earlier today at break time.” I replied.
“No o.” Daniella instantly denied. “That wasn’t the letter we were looking at o.”
Of course I knew that wasn’t the letter they’d been looking at. I knew because I was the one who’d sent an anonymous secret admirer letter to Daniella during break period. And the stupid girl had fallen right into the trap I’d set for her.
“So if this was not the letter you’d been looking at during break time with Chisom, then which letter was that?” Mummy asked starting to lose patience with all the drama.
“It was another… em… another letter from…” Daniella stuttered, crying now. “From a secret admirer.”
“WHAT!” Daddy bellowed.
“And where is the letter?” Mummy asked furiously. “Hand it over to me NOW.”
“I tore it up. I swear. We, Chisom and I, tore it up after reading it.” Daniella cried, making a swear sign with her finger.
The gesture did not save her as Mummy pounced on her like a lioness after the neck of an antelope. She beat her everywhere her hand could reach. And Daniella writhed and danced about like an atilogu dancer in some in my village.
Very long drama short, Mummy was totally disappointed and remained disappointed for a while. As for daddy, he was not only disappointed but furious, outraged and dejected.
The last of course had sort of annoyed me. I mean why did he have to act like some precious daughter had disappointed him? I was his daughter for Christ’s sakes, not that silly yellow pawpaw.
But in spite of the little annoyance, you could say I had a triumphant revenge.
For the next couple of days, I was re-instated in daddy’s eyes as the good daughter. Even mummy seemed to prefer sending me on errands and stuff. And Daniella was sentenced to a kind of Limbo where hardly anyone seemed to talk to her. And luckily Nmaa had gone over to Aunty Ngozi’s house so there’d been no one around to see through my plan. Or even give solace to Daniella.
But unfortunately the love letter fiasco soon blew over. You know how fickle human nature is. Before the week was over, Daniella became again the beloved daughter, stepdaughter and granddaughter, and it was almost like the love letter fiasco never happened at all.
Meanwhile, I’m hungry. Where is that damned bell? So, if I don’t ring the damn thing, they won’t bring me my lunch, eh?