The dining room was well-lit by the golden chandeliers hanging from the high ceiling and the huge windows that were providing a perfect view of the Lagoon. The classic brown traditional mahogany dining table was properly decorated with beautiful looking delicacies; the juicy roasted turkey, bowl of rice designed with carrots and green peas, salads and more. The melody from the forks and knives was the only thing that could be heard in the room.

Mrs. Wendy Turner cleared her throat, “Arghh! Hmm!!”. She looked at her son that was sitting across the table. “So Jimmy, when are we going to finally meet your girlfriend? You are not getting any younger. All your mates have gotten married, you know?”. She took a sip from her glass of wine.

“Mother, when I meet her, I will let you know. I am currently busy with my career and stuff”, he replied as he put some salad in his plate. “Hmm, Hmm, Uhmm”, Jessica started making random noises, giving Jimmy the “I know” look while taking a sip of black tea. She smiled, “You are busy with your career?! You have been saying that for the past five years. Next time brother, just bring that beautiful muscular guy that is both your roommate and best friend”. She winked at him. “I know that you understand what I mean.”

“Jessica!! What nonsense?! Shut up! You’re so rude. I am sure that he will soon bring the woman of his dreams, get married and bear grandchildren and heirs for our empire”, said Mrs. Turner staring angrily at Jessica.

Felix could not control his laughter as he hugged his mother, “Empire? Which empire?? Mum sorry, but you need to have several seats! This is not Cookie Lyon’s family”. He continued to laugh.

Mrs. Turner used her elbow to push him off her. “Shut up Felix!! Eat your food quietly or else I will spank you!!” She looked at her husband, who has been quietly enjoying his meal. “Thomas, c’mon say something!! These kids are so rude and spoilt. We have to do something about this! Please don’t just sit and watch! You should at least contribute some parental effort whenever you visit us. I am trying my best, but I cannot train our children alone!” She almost started crying.

“Drama!!”, Jessica shouted as she was recording a Snapchat video on her phone.

“This is sincerely insane, Jessica! How can you be so insensitive?! You can see what you started and you are still making fun of the situation. Oh! So you really want to show your millions of friends on Snapchat how great your family’s New Year dinner is? Don’t be stupid! Delete those videos right away!! We don’t air our dirty laundry in the public”, said Jimmy.

Exactly!”, added Felix.

“No, I’m not deleting my Snapchat videos. You aren’t the boss of me. I can do whatever I want! Moreover, this is a very precious family moment. We only have a complete family during Christmas, New Year and Easter, so HAPPY NEW YEAR bro!”, she said as she stood up, filled her plate with food and walked upstairs to her bedroom.

“Daddy, did you see that? Your baby girl has grown wings”, said Felix as he also walked out of the dining room. “Thanks for the wonderful dinner. I am going out with some of my friends, mum”, he shouted from the entrance to the dining room and ran away before his mother could even reply.

“Daddy, Daddy! Are you travelling tomorrow as usual or a miracle has happened and you would be staying a little longer?”

What do you mean, Jimmy? Don’t tell me that you are also rude and spoilt”, his father replied.

“I’m sorry, dad. I was just asking, because I would really like to borrow your private jet. I need to get to Abuja tomorrow afternoon and I would like to avoid the bad roads and most of all, Lagos horrible traffic”

            “No, you cannot use the private jet. It is strictly for my company’s business and you know that jet fuel is not cheap. When I was your age, I used to trek without shoes! Drive the car that I bought for you with my money. You have to be disciplined, wake up early and hit the road”, Thomas Turner replied his son.

“Ok sir. I guess I have to go and get ready for my trip tomorrow. Hopefully we will get to see you again during Easter or whenever you have some business in Lagos. Good night!”, he said as he also went upstairs.

Mrs. Turner looked at her husband and also took a quick glance at the surrounding. “Thomas, money cannot buy happiness. I really admire your effort to keep us happy and comfortable, but you hardly have time for us. You have hardly spent two years with your children, if we have to calculate all the vacations and your drop-bys. I mean, your children don’t really know who you are. I don’t even know who you are anymore! This gigantic house is always empty or very quiet because we do not do anything together. You promised that this would be just for five years, so that you can build up your business, but it has been almost 25 years now and you are still travelling all around the world, having little or no time for us. I do not want to complain, but these kids are no longer babies, they now do whatever they like and react negatively to this kind of family situation that we have. Please honey, we need more of you here. Let your children experience what it really feels like to have a complete and happy family.”

            “Wendy! Wendy!! If I do not keep on working hard, there is no way we can be able to eat or maintain this standard of living. I am not ready to let my family go through the struggle we went through while growing up. I want to leave something behind for my children. I am going to pack my bag. I have to be in London tomorrow for a meeting.”

            Jessica had been secretly recording the whole dinner event for her YouTube channel. After a while, she went back to the dining room to take the hidden camera, but she was surprised when she found her mother sitting alone and crying in the dining room. Before Jessica could say anything, “I have deleted all the stupid videos on this thing”, said Mrs. Turner as she threw the camera at Jessica. The camera fell and got broken into pieces. Jessica ran angrily back upstairs.

“Oh God! Can’t we have a wonderful family time for once? No one has time for the other plans I made for this evening. Why are we living in a luxurious wilderness?! Why can’t I just…”

Before she could complete her complaint, Jessica ran back downstairs and spoke quietly, “Mum! Mum! I think I found something!!”




…to be continued.

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