The house was quiet now. Ken could not help feeling a little tired as he walked into the living room. He paused by the wall of the living room, feeling for the light switch in the darkness but changed his mind at the last minute. The light coming from the compound outlined the furniture so that he could see the single sofa of the sparsely decorated room.
“Not so dark,” he muttered to himself, twisting to avoid the flat base of the lamp stand that rose high above him to hang over the center table. He settled into the sofa with a sigh. Homecoming wasn’t easy. It was just as he expected. His parents were still the same.
“You are not a child any longer,” his mother told him the morning after his return home as he lay on his bed, trying to sleep off the last traces of jet lag. “It is expected that you get married soon.”
Ken had listened to her with a meek expression on his face, even though every muscle in his body was knotted with tension. He knew she was trying to market the daughter of another acquaintance of hers and it irked him to no end. There had been several other “wonderful” choices she lined up in the past years. Then, it was as if he every holiday at home came with a new girlfriend as part of the package. She had been disappointed when he had fallen in love in school. Now that he was finished with that chapter of his life, she was back to testing her matchmaking skills again. Ken could not help feeling as if he was constantly under a microscope. He felt vulnerable, like a wriggling worm exposed to the harsh glare of light.
His father hadn’t been any better. Just this morning, he had summoned Ken to the main house, a white fifteen room mansion with terracotta roof.
“You should resume duties tomorrow,” his old man had told him, sitting on his favourite black leather recliner in his spacious black and white styled living room, his hand on the controls of the hand rest as he pushed down a button to push up the lever supported leg rest. “My secretary has already set an office in the company.” He had looked up from the phone on his hand at Ken. “I expect you to move the company ahead with the knowledge you gained at school.”
So that was it. His fate was sealed. Sometimes it seemed as if his parents already had his life planned out before he was even conceived. First was the boarding house in Otta when he was barely four years old. Then Atlantic hall came and he was shipped off to Epe. By the time he was in his final year at secondary school, he had fun trying to guess the next move his parents would pull. They hadn’t disappointed. As usual, they were shoving an application form down his throat. This time it was Cambridge and the city was to be his home for the next four years. Now he was back and wished his parents had another application form to wave before his face. He was missing the freedom that came from being away from his family.