AMAZING LOVE - Episode 11

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In silence Dr. Gerry watched Eka as she excitedly tried to make use of the sewing machine. She ...

In silence Dr. Gerry watched Eka as she excitedly tried to make use of the sewing machine. She was oblivious of him. Her excitement had peaked very high, threatening to touch the sky. To Eka, the sewing machine was her passport to the future she dreamt almost every night in her father’s house. She cut the piece of cloth she took from her room and began to make a baby clothe out of it. Mid-way her work, she paused and turned to look at Dr. Gerry; she found him looking at her. There was something in his eyes that made her heart to palpitate. She hadn’t seen it at any time. She knew that look from her street. Most men who at one time or another told her that they loved her had that look in their eyes. Her heart began to beat very fast. Suddenly she could not concentrate on her sewing.  She tried hard to turn her attention on the baby clothe she was making and did what women do most when they notice a man they already like has in interest in them – pretend they don’t notice the man’s intentions. After a brief moment Eka turned again to look at him and found him still looking at her. She could not stand an eye contact with him, it sent a quiver down her spine and made her heart race very fast. She was so self-conscious she thought Dr. Gerry could hear her heartbeat.

If there was a nob on her chest which could be used to turn down the volume of her heartbeat, she could have used it. As if to make matters works, Dr. Gerry stood up and walked toward her. Eka could feel her hand trembling. Not to let Dr. Gerry notice how she felt, she grabbed the sewing machine with both hands and held it tight. Dr. Gerry stood behind her and said, “Eka you are so beautiful that a man could look at you all day and never get bored. I have to go back to work. If I don’t go now my head will begin to give me a thousand and one reasons I should stay back home. When I get back I would be glad to assess whatever you sew on that machine. Please don’t forget to cook up storm in the kitchen. The food I took to work drew an unusual human traffic to my office. They would not let me enjoy it alone. I will eat nothing till I come back from work.” Having observed his pure intentions, Eka calmed a bit and said, her voice sonorous as ever, “I think you should get something to eat. It is still a good number of hours before you will be back home.” “No, I will endure the hunger so that when I come back, I would be able to eat double rations of the regular quantity of food I consume.” “Why would you want to eat a double ration? Over-eating is not good, I hope you know that,” Eka said jokingly. “Yes I know that. However fix some food; I know what to do to it when I get back.” “Okay, what would you like to eat?” “Anything you cook.” “Okay then, a surprise will be awaiting you on your return.”

Eka turned and looked at him once more and saw the look was still in his eyes. She could not stand it, so she quickly turned away and said, “Start going to work doctor or else you find reasons not to go back. I have a few things to sew and food to cook. Time is suddenly a scarce commodity for me.” “Trying to make a baby clothe out of that cloth is a waste of your talent. We have to get you good materials which would allow you show what stuff you are made of.” Elatedly Eka turned to face him, this time trying very hard to ignore the romantic look in Dr. Gerry’s eyes and asked, “Do you really mean to do that?” “Yes of course! You have to sew some good stuff which we can hang outside to convince people to give you cloths to sew for them.” Eka wanted to hug him, but she held herself in check. She was wary of the look in Dr. Gerry’s eyes and her own growing tenderness toward him. “Wait a minute!” Dr. Gerry said and ran bolted into his room as if something had hit him from the blue. Eka stood and waited breathlessly for him to return. From his room Dr. Gerry emerge with a fold of tie-and-die cloth in his hands. “We bought a similar material at the hospital to attend a colleague’s wedding. I really liked the material so I bought this one to make clothes with it. It’s been four months now, yet I have not had the time to take it to a tailor to sew for me. You can make use of it. With this, we don’t have to buy new cloths for you to show what you can do.”

As if receiving holy sacrament from him, Eka took the cloth from Dr. Gerry’s hands with reverence and a huge smile in her face. “Thank you Dr. Gerry,” Eka said with a voice filled with happiness. “You are welcome Eka.” The weight of the cloth suggested to her that the cloth must be more than ten yards. “How many yards of cloth is this? It is heavy.” “I don’t remember.” “Probably you bought this much so that you and your girlfriend could sew it as uniform.” “Are you pulling my legs or what? I have told you I don’t have a girlfriend Eka!” Giggling mischievously Eka pleaded, “I am not pulling your legs! Can’t you see my hands are not on your legs?!” Dr. Gerry raised his hand to give Eka a playful smack on the head; Eka ducked and threw the fold of cloth at him. Instead of going after Eka, Dr. Gerry grabbed the cloth and Eka gave him a lame punch to the chest and ran outside, her voice ringing with a joyous laughter. Dr. Gerry was surprised by how smartly she outwitted him and asked, “Who taught you to do that? Where did you learn that stunt?” “Didn’t I tell you there are things you have got to learn from me?” “Be serious, tell me who taught you to do that?” Eka, bouncing around on her feet and her fists balled like she was going to throw a few more punches, replied, “I learnt it in the street. If you have to hawk stuffs in the street to make a living, then you must learn to survive out there. So I had to learn to duck and throw punches. Hahaha! Don’t mind me, Simbi’s uncle who spent years in Lagos taught Simbi and I how to fight. He said you could literally see young men in the streets of Lagos throwing punches to the wind and referring to unseen foes as egbon (friend).”

“But if the punch you threw at me was your best punch, I am grateful to God that you never had to fight in the street; they would have broken your bones without your putting up a good fight.” Still bouncing around like a boxer in the ring, Eka said, “No. You are wrong doctor. That was my Sunday punch. I gave it to you because I like you. If I were to give you my Monday punch, you will be on the floor. It is called left hook.” She started to turn her left hand. Dr. Gerry took a step toward her and she fled from the apartment, shouting like she met a lion. Uncontrollably, Dr. Gerry began to laugh and sunk himself on a chair nearby. As he laughed, he could not stop wishing Eka was a little older than she was. He was growing fond of her faster than he had planned. He took a look at his watch and realized he had been away from work longer than he planned. Dropping the cloth on a chair, he hurried out of the apartment. Outside he startled Eka who was trying to tip-toe back into the flat. “I am not after you. You have made me stay longer than I should be away from work. Reserve your Monday punch and left hook till weekend; we will go to the gym together.” Eka started boasting again, “I didn’t run because I was afraid, I ran because I didn’t want to hurt you.” From the gate Dr. Gerry replied her, “You are very right. In fact I am afraid of Ekaette, the world’s heavyweight boxing champion,” Eka shouted, “Yeah!” and pumped her hands in the air trying to show off her biceps which had no toned muscles at all. Dr. Gerry laughed his way out of the compound. As he sat in a taxi on his way back to work, he thought about Eka deeply and whispered to himself, “If I could be patient and wait for Eka, I think would be the happiest man on earth.”

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Written by:
Uzoma Ujor

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AMAZING LOVE - Episode 11 An African Literary Blog
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