You will have to search the archives for the first part of this story. Laziness won the battle against dilligence. Forgive me.
‘You are rebellious…but I don’t blame you. It’s my fault. We have not been saying our morning prayers as a family. The devil is trying to come into this house. From today onwards, we will pray together every morning. Go and call your brother and the two of you meet me in the living room.’
I stared at my mother in amazement. Even after a good night’s rest, she still blamed me?! She allowed the house boy get away with insulting me and then flogged me to add injury to the insult. How will I not rebel?!
I dragged myself out of bed and went to wake my brother.
If she thought prayer would solve the matter, she was in for a surprise. No apology, no reconciliation. Make that apologies; one from her and the other from Effiong.
‘Go and play the keyboard so we can sing.’
You want me to play after flogging me?
After five minutes of stumbling over chords, she realised I was still mad.
Is it because I beat you that you are playing nonsense?! Get away from there. If you don’t want to play, don’t play.
I got up and went to kneel next to my brother. I’m not playing.
As was the custom, my mother opened the prayers and then my brothers and I would pray in turns and then she’d round up. After reluctantly singing a few worship songs, I said Amen to her ‘In Jesus name.’
‘Father we thank you for keeping us alive to see this new day. We thank you for you love and your provision for this family. Father we thank you for health. I commit each of these children into your hands. I pray that you will make them children I can be proud of. Children that will be obedient. Children that will be respectful. I pray against the spirit of rebellion… ‘
Oh, that’s how we’re doing it eh? Okay, we will allow God settle this matter.
As was the custom, the oldest child prayed first but before my brother could start, I kicked off.
‘In Jesus name. Father I thank you for everything. I thank you that you see all things and know all things. Father I ask that you vindicate your children. Give us a mother that will love us. A mother that will be kind to us…’
I looked up to find my mother staring at me in awe…and anger.
I’m talking to God o, I wasn’t talking to you.
‘What kind of prayer are you praying and is it your turn to pray?!’
‘Mummy, I have things I want to say to God. You told him you don’t want rebellious children and I told him we want a mother that loves us.’
‘Are you saying I don’t love you?’
‘Do you love me?’
‘Of course I do, what kind of question is that?! That I correct you doesn’t mean I don’t love you.’
‘Then why is it okay for Effiong to curse me?’
It’s not okay but it’s also not okay for you to curse him back or ignore your uncle when he calls you.’
‘Mummy I was angry. I’m sorry I ignored Uncle.’
‘I understand that but it’s no excuse. Will you apologise to Effiong?’
‘Yes, but not until he apologises to me.’
‘Effiong!’ she shouted.
I went over to where she was sitting and gave her a hug.