It’s Another Saturday…#28

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I’m So Not Sorry

I don’t let them drive with me. They are tailing my car and I’m wishing to God that I can just lead them off a cliff or lure them to some place where someone will have them abducted or something worse. I do not want them near the Onuoras.

I honk my horn at the huge gate before me as I bring the car to a stop. A smaller, pedestrian gate opens and a uniformed guard walks out to meet me. I let down my window.

“Aunty, good evening,” he greets.

“Good evening, Solo. How you dey?”

“Fine, ma. Erm…una no fit enter. No space to park inside.”

“Oh. Okay.”

“Maybe you fit give me your key make I park the car for you.”

“That would be great.”

I turn off the engine and step down. I walk to the car my siblings are sandwiched in and relay the news to the cab driver they came with.

“Is this your house, Erhinyuse?” Jessie asks as we head into the Onuora residence.

“Yes.”

We file in through the pedestrian gate. I notice that Emeka’s, Tola’s and Kalu’s cars are all parked in the compound, hence the lack of space.

“You share the house with other people?” Harry questions, his eyes scanning the environment.

“Yeah,” I reply. I lead them right to the front door and knock. Seconds pass, Jide comes to the door and opens it. Harry’s face transforms into an ugly expression. It is the only dignified way he can express shock.

“Good evening,” Jide greets. “We’ve been expecting you.”

I am dragged in with a light kiss on the lips and we both step out of the way to let them through. They walk in cautiously but nothing prepares them for the sight they find before them. The Onuoras are all waiting. Daddy, Nne, Kalu, Emeka and Oba, all of them, present.

I did not anticipate this pleasant surprise, one which is very much appreciated. I wonder if it was planned before I informed Jide about the meeting with my siblings. This can’t be a last minute setup.

“Our guests are finally here!” daddy says heartily. “Welcome! Come in, come in!”

I can see the infuriation that takes over Harry’s countenance which he masks with a smile. He hates being taken unawares.

“Good evening, sir.” He greets daddy. The others follow suit, acknowledging Nne as well. Eventually they settle into the couches offered to them.

“We feel sort of ambushed,” Harry mentions with a laugh. “Erhinyuse didn’t inform us that we would be coming here or we would have prepared. She told us she was taking us to her home.”

“This is her home,” Nne answers offhandedly.

“No, what I meant was…”

“She is part of this family. That’s what my wife is trying to say,” daddy elucidates. Harry keeps mute. “I think we should be properly introduced. Honey, can you do the honors?”

I am only too glad to show off the Onuoras to my siblings. One by one, I mention names and occupations.

“Impressive,” Harry mutters. “Our little sister learned well from us, choosing the right family for herself. It’s a pleasure to meet you all.”

The maid comes with drinks. I choose to serve them myself. When I pour drinks for Jessie, she leaves unkind eyes in mine and rejects what I offer. After I’m done serving them, I sit beside Nne.

“So, what brings you here?” daddy queries.

“Nothing of special occasion,” Harry responds. “We just wanted to see how our baby sister is doing. We haven’t heard from her since our father died and being that she was the closest to him, we were worried that she was finding it hard adjusting. We didn’t know she was being well taken care of here. It’s good to see that she is faring well.”

I feel my blood sour.

“But aren’t you in town to talk about your father’s estate with her?” Jide probes. I look at him with furrowed brows, the same way they all stare at him.

“Excuse me?” Jessie asks. She is trying to keep a plain face.

“The only reason you called Honey to see her is to talk about the estate your father owned which you turned over to the bank while he was sick and dying. Your plan right now is to bring fake documents to Honey, telling her the estate belongs to her, passed down by your father, and that it is about to be claimed by the bank unless she contributes money to save it.”

Jessie laughs. “What is this boy talking about? You sound confused, my dear.”

“You all know what I’m talking about. You plan to take everything her mother passed down to her under the guise of saving your father’s sweat and blood which he invested in that land. You will convince her that each of you is putting in a substantial amount to save the estate from the bank. Am I lying?”

I turn away from Jide and look at Jessie and also at Harry, who at the moment is finding it hard to hide his shock. Slowly they focus on Jane; she shrinks into her seat.

“But it is you, Mr. Harry, who has lost everything to the bank.” Jide goes on with so much calm, it’s scary. “Your name was one of the names listed under the Central Bank directive as owing hundreds of millions. You ran your business in debt and built houses and bought cars for your siblings with borrowed money from different banks. You have already given away your father’s estate but it was not enough to settle the massive debt you’ve acquired for more than ten years. The only way to stop them from ruining you is to rob your sister blind, knowing the moment you mention anything that has to do with your late father, she would gladly give in.”

“Lies!” Jessie laughs. “Plain lies.”

“Your sister, Jane, did the right thing, coming to me with this information,” Jide mentions. “Your wickedness has gone on long enough. It has to end.”

I feel tears leave my eyes. I try to speak but words fail me.

“Erhinyuse, Jane, you two brought us here to humiliate us?” Harry accuses in Urhobo.

“Brother, I did nothing. It is you who is trying to steal from me.”

“This was a setup between you and Jane! You brought us here to humiliate us in front of these strangers!”

“They are not strangers!” I retort.

Daddy steps in.

“I think your cup is full, mister man. It is time for you to stop your wickedness or something worse will happen to you. All the horror tales Honey told us about the maltreatment she received in your hands, it all ends here today. I am adopting her as my daughter. She is an Onuora from now on and I know your father and her mother will be happy to know that they did not leave her as an orphan. My son, Jideofor will take care of her and treat her the way a man ought to treat a woman, not the way you did. You will stay far away from her and desist from troubling her life from now on. Am I clear?”

Harry, whose eyes are set on me, can’t seem to utter anything. And for the first time, I am audacious enough to hold down his glare.

“Am I clear?” daddy repeats.

“Yes.”

“Honey?”

“Yes, daddy?”

“You have anything to say?”

I think of all that has been burning in my heart for years, all I wanted to tell them about how they hurt me. It’s right there on my tongue, a whole speech put together, memorized and rehearsed so many times but somehow, seeing them all intimidated, speechless and humiliated, I realize they are not worth my breath.

“I forgive you,” I tell them in a small voice.

“I forgive you,” I repeat, a little louder.

“This is all nonsense!” Jessie growls.

“I forgive you for all you did.”

Jessie stands and makes for the door. Jide who is standing by one of the windows, parts the curtain.

“Solo, let out the dogs!”

Jessie freezes. Her eyes widen.

“We’re not prisoners here! You can’t hold us against our wishes!”

“Then sit until Honey has finished what she has to say.”

“Madam, sit down,” daddy orders.

The sounds of angry dogs barking outside forces Jessie to behave. She returns to her place beside Harry.

“Sister Jess, you held me down and put hot pepper between my legs because you caught me talking to a boy. Not once, not twice. Brother AB, you punched me on my nose because you lost your five naira and you thought it was me who stole it. You always threw frogs and lizards on my bed while I was sleeping at night; even dead rats in my schoolbag. Why?”

Abel, the quiet one, the psychopath amongst them gives me a squint for an answer.

“Brother Harry, you beat me every chance you got and then threatened to kill me if I reported you… You made my childhood and teenage years hell. All of you. But I forgive you. I do hope that all you did was worth it in the end, though. None of you deserves my forgiveness but I’m doing this to move on. That’s what our father would have advised me to do. So please, do me a favor and forget that I exist. Don’t call and don’t text.”

I give Jane a smile.

“Thank you, Sister Jane. You came through for me again.”

Jane smiles back. Harry rises up.

“Thank you for the drink and the cozy welcome,” he says to the Onuoras. “Erhinyuse, you have my blessing to marry your boyfriend. If you people want to do things the proper way, you will be warmly received at home.”

He clears his throat.

“I admit that we might have done hurtful things to you in the past. But I want to assure you that it meant nothing. It was all youthful exuberance. Please, let bygones be bygones.”

“They can never be,” Jide fires. “She still lives with the scars. Can those be bygones? Can you take them away? Can you undo this so-called youthful exuberance?”

Harry flashes a tight pout. I have never seen him this mousy before. I had no idea it could take so little to get him to cower. It turns out that Jessie is even gutsier than he is.

“I think your answer is as good as mine,” Jide concludes. “Bygones can never be bygones.”

Harry draws out a noisy breath. “Well, in that case, if you don’t mind, please tell your guard to hold the dogs while we leave,” he entreats.

Jide parts the curtains and leaves orders with the guard. While we wait, there is an itchy silence which no one cares to break. Beneath it all, I’m beginning to feel weightless as a feather. Years of pain are being lifted off my back. The emotions are running deep and I wish I had Jide’s chest to unburden myself.

“The dogs are secure,” Jide informs Harry. “Y’all free to go.”

Not adding any more words, Harry flurries out. Jessie and Abel follow while Jane remains. I walk over and hug her.

“Sister Jane, is it safe for you to go with them?” Jide asks.

She nods. “I’ll be fine.”

“Are you sure?”

“Yes.”

“Thank you.”

She hugs us both, says goodnight to everyone and exits the house.

The Onuoras break into banter with Oba replaying the drama we all witnessed. He gives his own hilarious version that has us all entertained.

“How do you feel, sugar lips?” Jide pulls me into a hug.

“I feel…good. How did you and Jane plan what happened here today?”

“Well, their incessant phone calls always left me restless and annoyed. So, I had Bobby contact friends in Warri who followed your brother around and found out he had serious debt issues. When your cousin’s wedding came and they got into town for it, I called Jane and we had lunch and I drilled her, giving her the little information I knew. She spilled everything, including their plans to take your money. So, we devised our own strategy and I’m glad you listened to me and brought them here.”

“Thank you, hotstuff.”

He kisses me. Once, twice and when we go for the third one, daddy stops us.

“Biko, no be for here o!”

Jide unlocks from my grasp to face him. “De Lawrence?”

“Sir?” daddy answers.

“Since she is your daughter now, can I officially ask for her hand in marriage?”

“Put a ring on it first.”

There is uproar of laughter. Only God knows where the old man learns these things.

Emeka comes to us. “Have you guys seen Tola?”

“No,” Jide answers. “But her SUV is outside. It’s been here all day.”

“Momsi said she parked it this afternoon and left. She didn’t say where she was going. I’ve been trying her line all day. Nothing.”

“Last I saw her was in the morning, we were at the salon together with Mary,” I recall. “And then she said she had a patient to see. Have you checked the hospital?”

“She’s not there. Well, if she calls you, please tell her to call me. I’m worried.”

“Sure thing.”

He makes a turn but stops and tells Jide something in Igbo. The look in his eyes is not friendly. Jide does not reply. Emeka walks off.

“What did he just tell you?”

“Says I should stop putting ideas in Yazmin’s head.”

I give Jide a pointed look.

“Yeah, you told me so.”

“So what plans do you have for the night?” I put my arm around Jide’s waist.

“I’m thinking loud music, lots of sand and the sound of the ocean.”

“The beach?”

It’s our thing to take long walks by the beach at night once in a while. After each walk, we’ll stop to have suya and drinks and watch high people do stupid things while getting intoxicated from secondhand weed smoke.

“Let’s go.”

We say goodbye to the family and head out.

∞            ∞            ∞            ∞            ∞            ∞

Mary has different faces to her. There is sweet, caring, selfless Mary whom we all adore. Also there’s wise, insightful Mary that we all turn to for guidance and good counsel. And then there’s stubborn as an ass, irrational Mary that is nothing like the woman we know. She hardly ever gets into that mode but when she does, oh my God! You just feel like giving her a good beating.

That is how I feel right now.

“Mary, you shouldn’t do this.”

“Are you going to follow me and be useful by toning down my excesses or are you going to sit there, trying but failing miserably to stop me?”

I watch her slip into a long batik-designed gown.

“Mary, he is a man of God. You don’t just question him like that.”

“You see, that’s the problem. You people think these men of God are unquestionable and that’s why you can’t confront them. Well, me I don’t see them like that and that is why I’ll go to him and ask him if he really heard from God about my situation or not. It’s a simple question that deserves a simple answer.”

“Mary…”

She packs up her hair.

“I am not listening, P. So not listening.”

Again, I watch her. She applies lip gloss, lines her eyes, slips on her earrings and pushes her small feet into a pair of designer slippers.

“I’m ready to go.”

There is no use trying to stop her. She is resolute on her decision. I’ll simply do as she suggests.

As I follow her out of her apartment, I ask myself why I decided to visit her this morning. If I had kept my bored feet at home and engaged in my daily job search online, I would have been oblivious of her mischief and enjoyed my day in bliss.

Outside her apartment, we get into my car and I appeal to her one more time but she snaps at me.

“Madam, drive or I’ll get into a taxi and leave you here.”

I shake my head and start the car.

∞            ∞            ∞            ∞            ∞            ∞

Pastor Bayila has a busy day and we are told we have to wait to see him. Mary doesn’t mind. She has come with her earphones which she insists on sharing with me. We both have the same taste in music, so I sit quietly with her, listening to her song collection. The only time I stop for a break is to receive a call from Celia who is babysitting Sammy.

Finally, Pastor Bayila asks us into his office. He is having breakfast when we get in, although it is lunchtime.

“Good day, ladies,” he greets. His boyish face reminds me of the COZA pastor anytime I see him. I always want to ask if they are related.

“Sit.”

He offers us seats in his comfortable office. Mary makes herself at ease as do I.

“Sister Peace, how are you?”

“I’m fine, Pastor.”

He nods and invites us over to eat with him but we both politely decline.

“So, how may I help you?”

“Um…” I lean forward. “It’s my friend here, Mary. She asked to meet with you.”

“Hello sister Mary.”

“Good afternoon, Pastor.”

“I am listening.”

I look at Mary. I think she is a little surprised by his down-to-earth manner. She hesitates before she speaks.

“I am not a member of this church, sir but I have been here a few times, invited by Peace. I was here for the beginning of the year one week program.”

“The fasting and prayers.”

“Yes, sir. I attended each day.”

“Okay?”

“Erm…I don’t think you remember me.”

Pastor Bayila shakes his head graciously. “I don’t. Please, remind me.”

“On the last day, on Sunday, when you were preaching, you picked me out from the crowd. You told me God had a word for me…”

Pastor Bayila puts down his cup of coffee and is off thinking.

“Really?”

“Yes, sir.”

“You said something about me meeting my husband…”

“Oh!” Pastor Bayila recalls with amusement. “The lady in green Ankara! That was you?”

“Yes.”

“Oh my! You have lost a bit of weight. How are you?”

“I’m fine, sir.”

“Good! Good. So you are our dear Sister Peace’s friend?”

“I am.”

“Great.”

“Sir, I’m here to ask you some questions about what you told me that day.”

“Go ahead.” He picks his coffee again.

“Sir, was it really God who told you those things?”

I shift in my seat at Mary’s direct question. But Pastor Bayila merely smiles.

“You think I came up with it myself?”

“I’m not saying that. I just want to be sure that God spoke to you because marriage is a serious thing and I don’t want to simply run into the arms of a stranger just because you said God said…”

“Mary?” I scold.

“It’s okay, Sister Peace. Let her speak.”

“I don’t believe in prophecies. I’m a very practical person and when it comes to my love life, I’d rather choose my husband myself. I like taking things into my own hands, so you see where this whole prophecy thing leaves me…”

“It leaves you out.”

“Exactly. Right now, I feel I am not allowed to make my own choice. I feel confused. I feel frustrated. I need to be sure, Pastor. I need to be really, really sure you heard God, that you did not imagine the whole thing. I need to be sure.”

Mary is all nerves. Her voice trembles with each word. I feel bad that I did not recognize her frustration earlier.

“Sister Mary, from what I deduce you seem to have found your husband and just like God made clear, you are rejecting him.”

“I have no feelings for the man. He popped into my life from nowhere and proposed to me. If I was to ever agree to marry him, I think I would prefer to know him better, to fall for him on my own terms but right now, I can’t. I am being forced to say yes to him or miss God’s plan for my life entirely. Do you understand my dilemma, sir?”

“Yes, ma.”

“And to worsen it, he is my friend’s ex-boyfriend. You see how messed up it is?”

“I see.”

“He waltzed into my life so casually. The day was not special and I never saw a sign. There should have been something in the skies on that day. Maybe a heavy rainfall or…something! But there was nothing!”

She moves forward until she is on the edge of her seat.

“Maybe you have another message for me, something entirely contrary?”

Pastor Bayila sighs out.

“God speaks to me mostly from the bible, Sister Mary. That’s the only way he knows he can get through to me because I am as much a skeptic and a practical person as you are. I’d have some divine revelation in a dream and brush it aside until he confirms it through another person, so I understand where you’re coming from. And that is why when he speaks to me the way he did on that day in January, I make sure it is from him.”

Pastor Bayila props back on his swivel chair.

“God gives his word and it’s up to you to obey it. He will not force you. We have the gift of choice, Sister Mary. Feel free to do as you desire but do not come back here to complain about the consequences.”

“Okay, sir. Thank you for your time, sir.”

Mary is up on her feet in haste. She doesn’t give me the opportunity to say a proper goodbye to Pastor Bayila before she leaves. Nonetheless, I stop to thank him.

“Have you heard from him?” he asks, concerning Reno.

I recall Reno’s visit four nights ago. He came in tears and a thousand apologies and with that look on his face that always did me in. I almost let him kiss me.

african_couple_kissing

 

Almost.

“No, I haven’t heard from him.”

“Stay strong, Sister Peace.”

“I will. Thank you, Pastor.”

I walk out of the office. Mary is waiting in the car when I get to the parking lot.

“You told Celia?” she flares when I slip into the driver’s seat. I see the backlight of her phone held in her hand go dim.

“Yeah, I told Celia.”

“When?”

“Last night after we spoke.”

“I didn’t ask you to tell anyone else! When did you start letting out secrets, P?”

“I’m sorry. I thought it was just one of those things we share amongst us girls.”

“I kept your secrets secret, P. How about a little show of respect on your side?”

I stay mute and contrite.

“I’m sorry.”

“Just start the car, let’s go.”

I do as she wishes. We haven’t gone quite a distance when I realize she is crying.

“May-may?”

I slow to the curb of the street we’re on and stop the car. I try to touch her but she slaps my hand away.

“It’s stupid that I’m crying over this. Stupid!”

“It’s not.”

“Is God going to come save me when this so-called husband turns into an asshole and starts hitting me or cheating on me or raping me?!”

“Mary, you are judging a man you don’t even know.”

“I don’t want to know him! My life is going in a certain direction and then he jumps right into it and I can’t keep going where I want to go because we are allegedly paired up by God! And now, I have to marry and play wife and have kids to a man I don’t freaking love!”

I so want to give up on her right now. She is completely gone bunkers.

“Mary… No one is saying you should marry him like immediately or even give him a yes.”

“The entire saga is making feel claustrophobic, P, and I’m afraid that I may end up falling for him. I just wish God could have let me make that choice all on my own. Who says I can’t pick a good life partner? Look at Jide and Honey, they chose each other without any divine intervention. Same with Shady and Celia and all our friends. Why must my own be different?”

I have no answer for her.

“I want to go away, to move to a new place just to get away from him but then I remember the story of Jonah who tried to run away from doing what God asked him to do and got swallowed by a fish!”

For some reason, I break out in laughter. Maybe it’s the tone of her voice or the analogy she employs but I am laughing real hard and I can’t stop. Soon enough, she joins me. We both laugh until the humor dies away and she is left with a distressed face.

“Reno came to the house some nights ago,” I reveal.

“He did?” Mary wipes her nose.

“He said he wanted to see his son. I let him in. He stayed with Sammy, put him to bed… And then we talked. He said a lot of rubbish; that he was sorry… that he missed me. He wanted us to get back together but first he wanted to kiss me.”

Mary tilts her face to look into my eyes.

“Did you?”

“No. No, I couldn’t.”

Mary doesn’t respond to what she’s just heard and I stay in silence with her until her phone begins to ring.

“Celia wants to talk,” she informs me. “Let’s drive over.”

I start the car again.

∞            ∞            ∞            ∞            ∞            ∞

yazmex6

Breakfast in bed the way Yazmin does it is always epic. She works her ass off to sexually satisfy me like any sidechick would. I hate to call her that but she reminds me every time that she is fine playing second fiddle to Tola. This morning, however, I am the one serving and I give her the full princess treatment. I initially did not have plans to touch her because she just returned from the hospital and is yet to fully recover. But each time Yaz begs for the D like one hooked on steroids, I simply cannot say no. Nobody likes to shine congo like her, plus she’s a junkie for my love.

We start the morning with selfies. She has me all over her Instagram. Every moment we share together is a reason to upload something new; today is no different. She tags it #malariafree #grateful #inbedwithhubby #aunaturale #wokeuplikethis. Never mind that she spent a good fifteen minutes tempering with her face and now looks nothing like one who just woke up or is recovering from an illness. Mexican chicks and makeup, though.

Not long after her upload goes live, we get a comment from a user @poonydoc. It simply reads: use a condom, please.

Yazmin shows me the comment and I shake my head. Tola hides behind that particular alias, being a constant nuisance to Yazmin on Instagram. Well, I’m glad she’s back on my radar, nuisance or not.

“I hate this bitch! Arghh!”

I take the phone from Yazmin.

“Is she another of your hoes, papi?”

“We already had this talk, mi vida. I don’t know this person. And it may be a guy. The handle says poonydoc, which means…”

“I know what it means but why does the person keep stalking me?”

“Because you’re sexy as fuck.”

I start to kiss her in places that are too sensitive to ignore. It takes seconds to make her forget poonydoc and abandon her phone. Her mind goes back to begging for sex and so I give her what she wants, slowly, gently, intensely. I surrender all of me like I do to Tola, annoyed that Tola has abandoned me and gave me hell worrying about her. I fully expend myself in pleasing Yazmin.

I am so deep into the whole thing right now that even if a bomb drops, I won’t stop. The cool of the morning after a heavy downpour, her moans and the numerous Spanish expletives she uses, the way she claws at my back and bites my shoulders… the girl is driving me nuts. I feel myself getting close to the peak. I drive in harder and deeper and then…

“Can you cum already so we can talk?”

I pull out from Yazmin in a flash and swing around to see Tola standing by the door. Yazmin covers her breasts and snaps close her legs.

“Are you crazy?!” she screams at Tola.

“Doc?” I make no attempt at covering myself. I face Tola with an unpleasant expression. There is no need asking her how she got in. It was she who helped get Bose as a maid for Yazmin. The girl will always remain loyal to her.

“Sorry for interrupting your thing, Yazmin, but I need my husband urgently.”

Swinging her backside provocatively, she strides out.

“Yaz, I’m sorry baby. I’ll be right back.”

Yazmin is angry. She cusses in Spanish, throwing my clothes at me. I hurriedly wear them and force a kiss on her lips.

Outside, I find Tola waiting in her SUV. I get into the passenger seat. She gives me a full stare from my head to my feet and then she stops at my midsection on her way down again.

“So, you’re really into her? It’s not just sex?”

“You shouldn’t have walked in on us.”

“Walked in?” Tola titters. “Dude, I stood there and watched you guys for a long time. You were so lost in that Mexican vagina, pounding it like a sledgehammer.”

I hold back a laugh.

“Well, all I know is that you can’t use those same moves on me again.”

I pick something naughty in Tola’s eyes.

“Were you turned on watching us?” I ask.

“It’s either that or I get jealous. This is for better or worse, abi? Including swallowing my pain when I watch my husband screw another woman senseless and then somehow turn that pain into something perverted so I can have a sane mind.”

There’s no mistaking the presence of this ‘pain’ she speaks of in her tone.

“I’m sorry about the claudia thing, Tols.”

“Your wife gave it to us.”

“No, I did. There was some chick…”

She lifts her hand to stop me.

“Condoms from now on.”

“I did the tests as you asked.”

“Condoms until the baby is born, Mex.”

“Fine.”

She massages the area above her left brow. That’s her way of calming frayed nerves. I lean over and kiss her neck. She lets me take her lips.

“You taste like vagina, Onuora.”

There’s no annoyance in her tone. Beyond all the long talk, I know Tola too well. She loves the idea of another woman in my life or Yaz would have been history by now. She enjoys the drama Yaz’s presence brings and I will not be foolish to stay exclusive to her. If I try, the babe will just straight-out disrespect me. She’ll ration sex, food and affection. Yazmin keeps her on her toes.

“I’ll make nsala soup for us.” She plays with my sideburn. “And then you can buy me chocolate ice cream and some chicken pie to go with. Coleslaw too. Peppered gizzard, apple juice and finally, Sade Adu to keep me sane. All night long, baby.”

No, seriously she literally means all night long. She is the only woman I know who would spend six straight hours loving a man and still wake up in the morning to serve him breakfast. She scares me sometimes. I’m glad it happens only once in a blue moon.

“But first, go in there and give some excuse why you can’t continue where you left off. I will not let you waste one more drop of sweat on her.”

I can’t even dream of protesting. Yazmin will just have to wait her turn. Madam is back and I want to be a good boy for her highness.

∞            ∞            ∞            ∞            ∞            ∞

Na wa for Celia o! Drinking medicine for another person’s headache. Is it by force to have a man and get married? See me see wahala! Abeg, people should just learn how to give advice and end it there. Just because you’re my friend doesn’t mean you should try to impose your ways on me. If it wasn’t for Peace’s long mouth, you won’t be involved in my love life presently. All of you should just leave me alone jor!

I hiss out loud, so loud the woman sitting next to me in the bus gives me a curious stare. I pretend not to notice and hiss again. Celia and Peace are really pissing me off. They believe that my life will suck balls if I don’t heed to Pastor Bayila’s prophecy. But the more they push, the more obstinate I get. They will soon get tired and leave me and my life alone.

“Owa o!” I call out as the bus nears my stop. The conductor bangs his palm over the hood of the vehicle and the driver slows. I step down and begin the short walk that would lead me to my apartment.

On the way I stop to buy akara and yam. I also get some raw pap. I have a deep freeze full of different types of soups but I have no appetite for my own meals. I’m no different from other cooks who would rather have junk food or eat someone else’s less-appetizing cooking.

Having purchased my dinner, I follow a busy path that leads to my house. I have scarcely gone in and put some water on the electric cooker when someone knocks on my door. Concluding it’s my neighbor’s teenage daughter who loves coming around to watch cable, I open the door without a second thought.

An unpleasant surprise greets me. I gasp at the face that meets my eyes. On impulse, a foot of mine steps back.

“Good evening, Mary.”

My hand goes for the door to shut it but my unwelcomed guest stops me.

“Please, I want to talk. You can step outside if you wish. In fact, I think that’d be best.”

“Have you lost your mind showing up here?”

“Mary…”

“To the same place where you raped me? Have you lost your mind, Reno?!”

“Calm down, Mary. And listen to me, please.”

“Go away, Reno!”

He moves back one step and goes on his knees.

“No, Reno. You can’t do this. Just go away!”

“I am sorry, Mary. I am very sorry. I am not asking you to forgive me; I just want to let you know that I am sorry. I will say it anywhere, to our friends, to the police, to anyone…I will confess what I did to you…”

There are huge tears coursing down his cheeks but I am not in the least bit moved. I just want to kick his face in.

“You raped me, you bastard.”

I feel my own tears coming.

“And I can never take that back, Mary. I know.”

“You raped me, Reno. In my own house, on my own bed… You choked me with my own pillow. And now you’re coming here to say you’re sorry? Sorry for what? For making me hate my own house? For making me not trust even my closest male friends? Or are you sorry that your wife has abandoned you and you have no friends anymore and you spend your nights getting drunk and screwing prostitutes? First you visit Peace and load her fragile heart with BS and now you’re here trying to spit out the same drivel? Reno abeg, leave before I scream rape and they set you on fire in this neighborhood. Go!”

“I’m sor…”

“Leave!”

He wobbles up and turns away. Something about him is broken but like I said, I don’t give two. I retreat into my house and lock my door. Not long after, I hear another knock.

“Oh God! Didn’t I tell you to go away?!”

I dash into the kitchen angrily, pour out the water I have set on fire into a bowl and hurry back to the door. I’ll give Reno a lesson he’ll never forget.

Without pausing for a second, I wrench open the door and in one swoop, I furiously hurl the water out, just to realize a little too late that I have assaulted the wrong person. The bowl falls off my hand as I lose control of my muscles the moment shock takes me.

Holding his face in agony and falling to the ground is Ekene.

“Jesus!” I clasp my hands over my mouth.

Oh Lord, what have I done?

©Sally@moskedapages

Images Credits: r5ftnickjonas.tumblr.com, www.wattpad.com

 

To continue with this story please click HERE to find it on Okadabooks or simply send me an email to moskedapages@gmail.com

It’s Another Saturday…#27

What’s Love Got To Do With It

Last night, I was down in the pits. There was a trigger, a text from Harry that I ignored, and before I could stop myself, I lurched into this senseless state of melancholy that I couldn’t get out of. I went to bed and found myself feeling like the walls were closing in on me. Tola and Mary had long gone to sleep and when I checked the time, it was 1am.

I sat by my window for a while. The bed seemed to be laid with pins and needles. It took me exactly twenty-seven minutes to decide that I needed to sleep in Jide’s bed to feel better.

I got the car key, slipped out of the house and drove all the way to Jide’s. I had not expected to find him at home. When I entered his room, he was in bed, awake and reading.

He looked at me when I walked in, showing no surprise.

“I’m getting used to this,” he said. “The impulsiveness. The spontaneity.”

He turned a page in his book.

“I understand that it’s your way of fighting your snags but can you please call me next time you want to leave your house at 2am to come see me?”

“I didn’t expect to find you here.”

“Just…call me next time.”

He didn’t understand that I did not want to burden him with my problems, that at that time of the night I just wanted to get away from the four walls of my room and it didn’t matter if I put myself in danger.

“I’ll try.”

He went back to his book while I entered the bathroom for a shower. It made me feel better, the change of environment, the cool of the water. I breathed out when I turned the shower off.

These days I try not to worry about certain things even though it’s hard. I take each moment as it comes as Jide has taught me. It’s difficult to have my shortcomings and my gloom laid bare before another person but he doesn’t complain – not when I sometimes withdraw to some place to brood or when I lash out at him for no reason or even when I dive into some unexplainable mood of excitement. He’ll tell me there’s no difference between me now and the person he fell for. But I know the difference; it’s something I suffer daily. Having finally been taken off my meds, it’s hard to keep a balance.

“And that’s because you worry yourself about staying normal. Just live.”

That’s what I’m trying to do. I wish it wasn’t so darn hard. I wish my siblings would just stay out of my life for good.

“Hon?”

I walked back into the room where it was freezing. He winched up the blanket and I stole in. He had his arms lifted to let my head rest on his chest but that wasn’t my final destination. I slid all the way down, taking his Calvin’s along. I needed something to distract me.

He didn’t protest.

And here I am this morning, tired, lazy, not willing to leave the bed for my morning out with Mary and Tola.

“Sugar lips?”

Jide taps me. I pretend not to hear.

“You should wake up.”

I moan.

“Honey…”

“Leave me. I want to sleep.”

“Your period is here.”

Straightaway, I throw off the bedspread I’m covered in as I jump up. True to his words, I’ve stained his bed. I look at him in shame. He’s seated at the other end, eating an apple, calm.

“I’m so sorry. I’ll clean this up immediately.”

I drag the bedspread and dash into the bathroom. I’m a bit sad that my period is here. It means the baby we’ve been planning for is not coming anytime soon. This threatens to dampen my mood but Jide appears with a pack of tampons.

“Maybe history will repeat itself,” he says and kisses lips I’ve pressed together. “I’m going to work and then off to my parents’. Will you promise me that you’ll not let your menstrual cycle or whatever it is that made you drive into the night dictate your happiness today?”

I nod, determined to act upon his words but I have no idea that somewhere in town, my evil siblings are thinking of the best way to ruin my day.

∞            ∞            ∞            ∞            ∞            ∞

I am staggered! I simply cannot believe this.

Somebody please tell me I am not dreaming right now. Please tell me my eyes are not imagining things because I am sitting here lost, confused, shocked to my bones at the sight before me.

This is not just happening.

“Mary, you’re not saying anything.”

Of course I am not saying anything because my mouth is hanging wide open and my tongue has lost its speech. How do you expect me to speak, Ekene?!

“Mary?”

I manage to bring my dazed eyes away from where it has been held bound and direct it to Ekene’s hand on mine. His touch is warm, yet strange on my skin.

“Please, say something. Even a ‘no’ would be a lot better than this silence.”

I take my eyes away from his hand and look into his face.

It’s a stranger’s face. I don’t know this man at all. Not his pink lips. Not his rubbery nose. Not his light-brown eyes. Not even the whole beard gang thing he has going on.

I don’t know him!

“Mary?”

Something snaps in me and I recoil from his touch. He raises his hand, moving back a little. I pick my phone and handbag, and still maintaining my silence, I hurry to the door as if chased by a ghost.

“I need my answer in four days, Mary!” he says as I open the door. “Four days!”

I slam the darn door and half-run, half-walk my way to Honey’s house. When I get in there, I collapse into a chair in a huff and stare at Jide who is watching some TV.

“He proposed,” I say.

Jide turns down the volume of the television.

“What did you just say?”

“Ekene proposed to me.”

Jide’s reaction is one of puzzlement. He calls Honey who walks in with questioning eyes.

“What’s going on?”

“Ekene proposed to me. He got out a ring and just popped the question from nowhere.”

“For real?” She grins. “Where’s the ring?”

I blink a couple of times at her and shake the dazedness out of my head.

“What ring? You think I’d say yes to that type of proposal? First of all, he tricked me into coming to his house. There was no girlfriend there! None! Just me and him and a house that can take twenty more people. I asked him where his girlfriend was and he was like the dinner was a surprise for her and if she knew about it, the surprise would be ruined. I believed him and went ahead to cook and he stood in the kitchen the whole time, not talking, just staring at me and giving me the creeps. After I was done and served the food, he asked me to sit. He confessed that he had lied about having a girlfriend and was hoping that I’d be the one.”

Jide stopped me. “Wait, what?”

“My thoughts exactly. I now asked him, ‘Ekene, what type of creepy, by-force toasting is this that you Igbo boys like doing?’ Sorry Jide.”

“Be nice.”

“No, but seriously, have you not seen those market traders that will grab your hands and pull you, calling you stuff like ‘my wife’ ‘my color’? Ekene looked like the same thing to me! No difference! I had scarcely recovered from him calling me his girlfriend when he brought out this blinding diamond ring from nowhere, looked straight into my eyes with that his cockiness and said, ‘Mary, marry me’.”

“No way,” Jide remarked.

“I swear. He said it like that. Not ‘Mary, will you marry me?’ And he didn’t even go down on his knees!”

“And your answer?” Honey asks.

“I freaked out, Honey. In fact, I am still freaking out! See, how my heart is pounding in my chest. My tummy is even turning sef.”

Honey is laughing; Jide is equally amused.

“Why are you freaking out, though?” Honey wonders. “I’m sure you’ve met different types of men. Kene can’t be the weirdest.”

I stand up. “He is. By far, he is. I just can’t deal.”

“You like him,” Jide states. He is not asking; he sounds sure.

“Me?”

“Yes, boo. You. See the effect he has on you.”

“He scares me. I don’t like him, Jide. When did we meet that he’ll propose to me just like that? Abeg o! I’m sorry, Honey, I know he’s your friend but his actions today ring of all shades of ritualist behavior.”

“Haba nau.”

“Then explain why a man that rich who has been around the world and has everything going for him will go and buy an expensive diamond ring and propose to a girl he hardly knows? It makes no sense! Unless he wants to use his wealth to dazzle me into marriage and then offer me as sacrifice to prolong his life.”

Honey rips apart in laughter.

“She really likes him,” Jide tells her. They both nod.

“Can you stop saying that, Jideofor?!”

“He’s getting you all worked up.”

“He is not!”

I breathe out.

“He is not.”

Another breath.

“I am calm. Very calm. Very, very calm. And I will repeat: I do not like Ekenedilichukwu Obiecheta.”

“Wow!” Jide sits up. “You called his full names, using the correct Igbo accent and you didn’t even stutter. Abeg, husband him.”

I am mad at Jide. I hiss and pick my handbag.

“I’m going home.”

“Why?” Honey frowns.

“All of you are annoying me. You and you and Ekene…all of you. Ekene clearly doesn’t understand the concept of boundaries and feels he can just pop a proposal from nowhere and I’ll say yes. Then instead of you two to be on my side, you’re making fun! You should all enjoy yourselves. I’m going home!”

I don’t give them an opportunity to respond. I know I am being silly but I haven’t been in this mood in a really long while. I march into the guestroom and shut the door behind me. But then I remember one vital piece of information I didn’t pass to them. I poke my head out.

“Oh, and he told me right before he asked me to be his girlfriend… he said, ‘I can have anything I want. Anything, including you.’ Can you imagine?”

“You don enter,” Jide sniggers.

“No, she has not.” Honey tries to remedy things. “Kene is just being Kene. He teases a lot and he understands boundaries, Mary. Please, don’t go. I’ll talk to him and tell him to behave. Just please, don’t go, Mary boo.”

I give a vehement shake of my head. My mind is made up.

“Okay, can you allow me speak with him first?” she requests.

“Still not changing my mind.”

“Please?”

Honey goes for the door and she’s out in a jiffy.

“You want to know my thoughts?” Jide asks.

“No, thank you.”

I close the door, leaving him still amused.

∞            ∞            ∞            ∞            ∞            ∞

mary's ring

“I told you not to propose to her, didn’t I?”

“Hi Honey.”

Ekene lets me into his house. The place is grand and spotless – as usual. The only difference from the last time I was here is the aroma of food in the air.

Ekene leaves me standing in the living room and walks to the dining area. I trudge after him and find him seated at the table, having dinner. The meal and setting is something only a professional like Mary can pull off. My tongue longs to have a taste but I’d rather listen to him explain his actions.

“You had to go freak her out, Kene. Why?”

“Well you know me, I don’t have time beating about the bush. And I’m too old to be doing boyfriend and girlfriend unlike some people I know. I learned my lesson with you. Years of my life wasted in love. Look where it got me. No more time for long talk, baby.”

I pull a chair and slide into it, my eyes catching the glitter of the controversial diamond ring as it sits in its box, untouched.

“Kene, you’re probably the closest friend I have and Mary and I pretty close; she’s an amazing person. And that was why when you told me you were crazy about her, I gave my blessing. In fact, I even dreamt about you guys getting married. I wanted you two to work but the way you’re going about it is wrong, Kene. You can’t force love. You have to…”

“Who said anything about love?”

He picks a piece of watermelon from a bowl of intricately-diced fruits and throws into his mouth. He looks at me.

“Because you’re in love you think everyone else has to go your way to maintain a happy relationship?”

“No. I…”

“Honey, I am not looking for love. I am looking for a wife. A beautiful, godly, industrious, humble woman I can take home to my dear, old mother. Mary fits the bill. Simple. Abeg, don’t go mushing up things in her head and filling her with romantic ideas. Plus I really, really like her. Do you know she has a birthmark on her neck that is shaped like the one on my left ankle?”

I smile at him. “But you used to believe in love.”

“I still do but not love at first sight and all that nonsense about being struck by lightning and having butterflies in one’s tummy. I want to grow into my feelings.”

“Well, you have a point. I’m just saying the whole proposal thing…”

“Is medieval. I know, and that’s how I do my thing. Leave me be, abeg.”

“You scared her.”

“I’d be worried if she wasn’t scared, Hon. The way she bolted out of here was proof that she is the one. Do you know how many women would walk in here and see that ring and go nude for me? But she didn’t; she got scared and that’s why I want her.”

I stare at the ring.

“Is this the same one you got for me?”

“No. I returned that one the day I went over to your house and from outside I heard you moaning and screaming out your boyfriend’s name like he was the best thing you ever had.”

“He is.” I give Ekene a straight face.

“Well, I’m glad you’re happy.”

I pick a slice of apple and stand.

“I know Mary will say yes,” Ekene adds. “She just needs to figure things out. She likes me. Maybe not as much as I like her but she likes me. And that’s enough for me.”

“I really want you guys to work, so stop being cocky and try not to screw things up.”

“How are you these days sef?” He looks at me.

“Good.”

“He knows?”

“Yeah. And he’s so amazing, and so patient, and so…”

I stop as I think of the many, beautiful ways Jide has been there for me from the moment I shared with him the story of my bipolar disorder.

“He’s an angel, Kene. And this means you have to stop being an ass to me. I have a bodyguard now.”

Ekene smirks. I tell him I’m leaving and he waves absentmindedly as he concentrates on his meal. I stroll back home with plans to talk with Mary but when I get in, Jide Informs me that she is gone.

“She says to tell you that she is sorry but she misses her home.”

I dump my sad self on Jide’s laps. His arms enfold me. I’m going to miss Mary. Tola is gone already. I have come to love both women in the short time they spent with me. Jide is right about having friends who will stand by you in dark moments. They both know about my depression and have been beside me, patient and supportive. I have had a couple of blue moments which they helped me through. The house is going to be quiet without them.

“You can come bunk with me if you need a roomie.”

Jide’s breath on my earlobe gives me goosebumps and other ideas. Too bad it’s that bloody time of the month.

Jide stares at his watch at the exact moment my phone starts to ring. I groan. I decide to let it ring out.

“You won’t pick the call?”

“Nope.”

“Okay. Um…I have to pop back to my parents’.”

“Again?”

“Family meeting.”

“Is everything alright? I don’t understand these family meetings you guys have been having all day.”

“Everything is fine, baby.”

“Can I come along?”

“No.”

I try to read his eyes which seem kind of evasive at the moment. Jide is always open with me about everything. What is he hiding?

“Are you coming back?”

“Sure.”

He kisses me before he leaves. Worrying about him, I stand by the window and watch until he’s out of sight. The moment he’s gone, my phone rings again. The Caller ID tells me Jane is calling for the millionth time. I know she wants to scold me for not honoring our cousin’s wedding, an occasion had no intention attending.

“Good evening, sis.”

Jane huffs on the phone. “Erhinyuse, why are you treating me like this? Fifteen times I called. Fifteen!”

“I’m sorry, sister.”

“This is not fair at all.”

“I know. And I’m sorry. I was busy.”

“Too busy for me?”

I stroll to the kitchen. I am so not in the mood to be scolded. I’m having cramps and the last thing I need is someone breathing down my neck.

“I’m sorry,” I say for the last time.

“Why didn’t you come for Sabina’s wedding?”

I open my fridge. “Well, you know… everyone else will be there and I don’t want drama. Brother already sent a text, telling me I was acting irresponsibly for not attending the wedding even though Sab and I are in the same town.”

“And what did you reply?”

I am staring at a fridge stocked with fresh fruits and salads. “Nothing.”

“That’s good. Ignore. Anyway, I want to see you.”

Immediately, red flags go up.

“You want to see me?”

“Yeah. Are you at home?”

I quickly recall a casual conversation I had with Jide two days ago about my family and how he warned me not to let any of them near me. His warning had sounded odd and when I asked why he came up with it from nowhere, he simply repeated himself and added, “If they want to visit, don’t take them to my place or yours. Bring them to my family house.”

I asked no more questions after that, finding it uncanny that at that moment we spoke, my cousin Sabina was having her traditional wedding and no doubt my siblings were present. I did not want to share that information with Jide. I felt my family issues were mine alone to handle. Just being with me was enough burden on him, although he must never hear me speak this way of myself.

“Can I come over?” Jane requests.

“Erm…I’m not at home right now…”

“I just want to drop your aso-ebi with you.”

I frown. “I don’t recall contributing for it. Or is Sab giving it out for free?”

“I paid for it to save face, okay? So tell me where you are let me hand it over to you with some other food ingredients I brought from Asaba since you have now started cooking.”

“You know what? Tell me where you are and I’ll drive over.”

“Even better. I’ll send a text.”

She goes offline and I remain standing, the light of the refrigerator in my face. I settle for a bowl of chicken salad. While I await the text, I dive in with a fork.

∞            ∞            ∞            ∞            ∞            ∞

Jane is at some fast food restaurant as her message says. I drive there, still with no intention of informing Jide. It isn’t until I park the car in the parking lot and realize that Jane is not alone that I decide to dial his number. Annoyed, I speak to him on the phone.

“You were right about not trusting any of them,” I tell him.

“What’s going on?”

“Jane is in town. Everyone else is here as well for my cousin’s wedding. Jane told me she wanted to see me and asked me to meet her at this fast food joint. I drive here, thinking I’m meeting with her alone and you won’t believe who she’s here with!”

“Your other siblings.”

“I have a very good mind to turn this car around and go home right now, Jide! I am so pissed! She tricked me into coming here!”

“Calm down, sugar lips.”

“I trusted her.”

“I know. Just calm down and listen to me. Go and meet them. It’s safe. It’s a public place. Just go there and tell them you’d rather host them at yours–”

“Never!”

“Listen to me. Remember what I told you the other night?”

“Yeah.”

“Do it. Tell them you’re taking them to yours but bring them to the family house.”

“Jide, I don’t want them near your family. It will be a disaster…”

“Let me worry about that, sweetheart. Just bring them over.”

“Jide…”

Bring them.”

I concede, but not wholeheartedly. Imagine the shame if Harry or Jessica decide to act up in the presence of Jide’s parents.

“And take it easy on Jane.”

“She betrayed me. I’m so done with her.”

He laughs. “See you soon, sugams.”

I leave the car. Jessica is the first to spot me. The huge glass windows that act as walls do not hide what’s going on in the restaurant. I see them all looking at me. Jane is the only one with a lowered head. I grip my wallet tightly to still my nerves as I walk in. They keep their eyes on me and there is not one smile to go with their offensive stares.

I, however, maintain a poised exterior as I amble towards them.

“Good evening,” I throw in a general greeting. For a moment it seems my show of respect would be ignored by them as they used to do years ago but Harry breaks into a scary grin that halts my steps.

“Erhinyuse, my darling sister! Come and give me a hug.”

I stand frozen. Something evil crawls up my spine and fills my throat as I glare back at the same hands that abused me throughout my childhood now spread open to me in a show of love.

What on earth has this old devil up his sleeves this time around?

∞            ∞            ∞            ∞            ∞            ∞

Processed with VSCOcam with t1 preset

I am not sleeping. I’m sprawled on my floor, eyes to the ceiling, hands on my chest.

To watch the video or not to watch the video.

This is a rerunning dilemma in my head. I have one good reason to watch the video and an equally damning reason why I shouldn’t. Following my hysterics earlier at Honey’s house, I have decided to handle the situation with commonsense. One would think I’d toss Ekene’s proposal aside but I can’t. This video holds the reason why.

I turn around. My laptop is asleep. I tap it awake. It takes me another ten minutes or so of fighting the urge to go on YouTube. In the end, I do. I search for the video and with a palpitating heart I play it.

It’s a recording that stretches for an hour and twenty-one minutes. I should forward to the frame that mostly concerns me but I decide to watch from the beginning to calm my nerves. I sip cup after cup of green tea while I watch. I’m into my fifth cup when the video gets to the moment of truth. I sit up and clasp the cup with both hands.

“There’s a sister at the back row there!”

The voice of Peace’s pastor fills my ear, bringing nostalgia and a host of other feelings into me. My eyes stay glued on my laptop screen and I am transported back to the day the video was recorded.

Peace had invited me to her church for some program they were having at the beginning of the year. It was something they did annually. Seven days of fasting and prayers. I had begrudgingly attended; the end of last year had seen me in a terrible relationship that left me somewhat depressed. Church was the last thing I wanted but Peace assured me that I’d feel better when the program ended, and so I decided to attend just to get her off my back.

It ran for one week and finally we came to the last day, which was a Sunday. The church was packed to the rafters that morning and I had found myself somewhere at the back because I came late. The service was one of those power-charged affairs and when finally Peace’s pastor took the stage, people’s hearts were open to hear God’s word with a lot of expectations. I wasn’t one of those people. I was a tad disappointed that a whole week was wasted and I didn’t feel any better about my state. Years of failed relationships had left me bitter and resentful of the male species.

Somewhere in the middle of his sermon, the pastor stops, turns and directs his eyes straight into mine. But he says nothing and continues preaching. I tell myself I imagined the occurrence. However, towards the end of his sermon, he repeats his action and this time, he calls out.

“The sister at the back row there!”

He points. Heads turn left and right, including mine.

“The one with the green and yellow Ankara!”

Now, all eyes focus on me. There’s no one else wearing a green and yellow Ankara outfit except me. Slowly, I put my hand to my beating heart to confirm if it’s me as I rise to my feet.

“Yes, you. You have a surprise coming for you this year.”

Yeah right, my inner skeptic remarks. I have always had a strong dislike for pastors who did things like this. In my church we do not entertain such. We are more orthodox in our way of worship.

“Your husband will come this year,” the pastor continues. My inner skeptic snorts. It’s clear that I am not married because I am not wearing a ring. Please, man of God tell me something else.

And he does.

“God says to give you two signs so that you will know this message is from him because the man will come into your life and without these signs, you will throw him off.”

Okay, this is getting interesting.

“First sign: he will propose to you without any relationship going on between you two. Second sign: when he proposes, he will give you a short time to return with an answer.”

I remain a doubting Thomas.

“And God says you should say yes to him because that is your husband. He said he has made events and situations in your life align to that man. Your years of searching and frustration are not wasted years. The time was not yet set but before this year ends, you will wear a ring on your finger.”

The congregation choruses out a loud ‘amen!’ that terrifies me. I slump back into the chair, annoyed at Peace. Clearly, she told her pastor things about me.

“I did not,” she says in sincerity after the church service.

“You’re sure?”

“Why would I even do such a thing, Mary?”

“Maybe out of concern.”

“Please believe me, I did not. And you know what’s even scary about what happened here today?”

“What?”

“Our pastor hardly ever does what he did. He is more of a teacher than a prophet. If he prophesies in a year, it might be two or at most three times. What happened today was rare, so please take it as a message from God.”

Indeed. And that’s how I go through the year, a disbeliever, even though deep inside I know the message wasn’t a hoax. For fear of wanting it to come true, I refuse to entertain the presence of any guy. I dedicate my year chasing my career.

And then Jide returns home after five years and the feelings I once had for him are re-ignited, especially after the kiss we share. I tell myself he is the one. I speak to Peace first but she dissuades me, reminding me of her pastor’s prophecy. Ignoring her words, I share my feelings with Celia and the rest and they are only too happy to pair us up. Peace is not in support but she keeps mum and goes with the flow. When Jide brings Honey to the get-together at Celia’s and throws all of us off, only Peace shows support for their relationship. Well we all know how that story ends and how the next day, I debase myself by stripping for Jide and he gives me the tongue-lashing that I rightly deserve.

Peace’s reaction to the incidence is an ‘I told you so’.

“Shebi you will listen to God now?”

Listen to fire. I tell myself that the chances of that prophesy coming true is one in a million. I am more likely to get a yes if I propose to any random man out there than find Peace’s pastor’s dream husband for me.

I carry on with this state of mind as the months go by, oblivious of what waits for me around the corner.

Ekene is a blow to my face I don’t see coming. His proposal knocks me off balance and the after-effect still leaves me swooning. I am fighting him with everything in me and even after watching this video as a confirmation of where my life is supposedly ought to be heading, I insist on rejecting him.

“I do not like Ekene,” I say out loud. I need to believe this. I need God to hear me. “I don’t like him.”

I finish my cup of tea.

“I will not marry him.”

©Sally@moskedapages

Images credits: www.virgosandkisses.com, mystictalia.com