AMAZING LOVE - Episode 4

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Ekaette visibly calmed down and a sweet smile wrinkled her pretty face. It had been an awfully long time since someone had something good...

Ekaette visibly calmed down and a sweet smile wrinkled her pretty face. It had been an awfully long time since someone had something good to say about her. From outside Gerry’s office, a male voice called out, “Gerry! Gerry! Hey!!” Gerry whispered to Eka, “Now listen to what he will say about you.” Gerry swiftly made it out of his office and stood by the door. “Gerry! O boy! Who was that angel I saw you with at the canteen? Heey! There are amazing things in this world o!” “She is a friend.” “What sort of friend? I mean are you two so close I can’t make a move on her? Please tell me the truth.” Before Gerry could give his colleague a reply another guy came over asking, “Gerry I heard an angel came by. Is she your guardian angel or did God send her to all of us?” “God sent her to me, and if she bears any message that has any use to you, I will gladly pass it to you.” Gerry replied laughing. Inside Gerry’s office, Eka heard Gerry’s friends and giggled happily. She was so happy she momentarily forgot all her pains. Before long about six men clustered in front of Gerry’s office describing Ekaette’s beauty with different adjectives. One described her beauty as ‘heavenly’, while another called her ‘Angel Michael’s younger sister’. After the cluster of men left one after another, about three ladies came over to make their own inquiries, “Gerry who was that girl I saw you with at the canteen? Her hair is not of this world. We just argued in Ubong’s office whether her hair was real or fake. Is her hair real Gerry?” “I don’t know, but it seems real to me. At least I know she wasn’t wearing it, it grows from her scalp.” One of the ladies observed, “Gerry someone said she has been in our hospital for weeks now, is that true?” “Yes. She was treated here for a minor accident wound.” “Are you serious? That means you are too stingy Gerry. Why didn’t you let us meet her?” “Don’t worry Ada, soon you will get tired of seeing her around this place.”

After Ekaette’s male and female admirers had left, Gerry went back into his office and met Ekaette in joyful tears. Amid her tears she said to Gerry, “I heard one of your female colleagues wondering aloud about what makeup I wear. I don’t wear any and have never worn one before. And your male colleagues, they are all clowns. Did I hear one call me Angel Michael’s sister?” “Eka, you have seen nothing yet. Wait till you start working here; you will need a Doberman to keep them off your back.” “Doctor Gerry, can we go eat now?” “No Eka, I will go buy the food for you…” ‘No Doc. My mother will be disappointed to hear I let an elderly person go buy me food from a canteen. Let me go buy the food.” “Eka, you are on your own now. Your mother doesn’t give two hoots about you anymore. And if you were to step out of this office again, then I won’t be able to do anything to day; my colleagues will crowd into this place and my bosses won’t like it. So I will go get the food, okay.” Grudgingly Eka allowed Gerry to go buy the food.

 By the time Doctor Gerry returned with the food Eka’s eyes had moistened with tears; and it wasn’t because she was going to eat a sumptuous meal, but because she could not believe it that someone could value her so much as to do things for her. Like a maiden wife serving her husband food the first time after their wedding, Doctor Gerry took pains to set the food on a small table for Eka to eat. Eka stared unbelievably at Doctor Gerry hoping to unravel his intentions by the look of his face. Eka stared harder at him, trying to fathom what sort of thoughts played out in Gerry’s head. She came up with nothing and so promised herself that if by the time they get home and Doctor Gerry doesn’t do anything stupid, then she might start to believe that God had seen her plight and sent her help. With her mind full of thoughts, Eka silently ate the food. While Doctor Gerry worked on a stark of medical files on his table, he keenly studied Ekaette’s sublime beauty. Bewildered by her beauty, Doctor Gerry thought to himself, “There has to be a reason someone could be this beautiful. This beauty must have a purpose from God.”

Minutes after Eka had finished eating her food, there were still no words spoken between the two of them except Eka’s tacit appreciation for the food to which Doctor Gerry replied, “The pleasure is mine Eka.” The two of them seemed lost in their private thoughts until Doctor Gerry  said, “Ekaette I think it is a good time for me to take you home, I have a lot to do today at work. I won’t like you to stay around till my close hour.” As if she did not hear him, Ekaette asked, “Doctor Gerry what is your full name?” “Oh! I shouldn’t have let you ask, please forgive me the oversight. My name is actually not Gerry. ‘Gerry’ is a nickname sub-classing from Gerald. My real name is Gerald Chambers. I am from Ikot Abasi. My grandfather served white men so they gave him an English name.” “My name is Ekaette Rita Efiong, I am from Eket. Is there something more you have to tell me about yourself doctor? I am about to move into your apartment, at least I should know much more than your name and home town.” “I can see that your beauty is not superficial, it reaches deep within. Well I am the oldest of three children by my parents. The other two are ladies and are married. My parents are aged and live in Ikot Abasi.” Ekaette smiled and said, “Good to know a bit more about you. Well as for my siblings and parents, you know the gist already. I think I am ready to move into your apartment now.”

Doctor Gerry picked up Ekaette’s bag and tried to make his way out of his office; with a baby’s grip Ekaette grabbed her bag saying, “Please it is my bag, allow me to carry it. I wasn’t brought up to let elderly people to things for me. See doctor, I can push a barrow containing six twenty-five liter gallons of water all by myself. Don’t pity me, the bag is not heavy.” Doctor Gerry started laughing uncontrollably and replied, “Eka, you are not in your father’s house. You don’t have to work like a horse anymore. Like you said, the bag is not heavy and that’s the more reason you should let me carry it.” Eka tried to protest but no words came out of her mouth. She was very uncomfortable with letting doctor Gerry do things for her and that made her uneasy. Doctor Gerry could see her struggles, but he ignored her, pretending he did not notice. To him Eka would be caught in cloud nine by the time he would begin to treat her as precious as she really was.

As they made their way out of the hospital, heads turned in their direction staring at them. This time Eka didn’t miss her step nor did she think they were looking at them because she was a witch.  For no reason she could explain, she reached out and held Gerry’s hand and walked beside him with an air of panache. For the first time in her life Eka began to come to terms with the fact that she was truly a pretty girl. Back in her street, though she heard it often that she was very beautiful, but people didn’t make her feel she was worth much, rather they branded her a witch. In her new environment she could tell from the little she had seen that she would be adored for the same reason she was branded a witch back home. She didn’t let go of Doctor Gerry’s hand until they left the hospital premises. Outside the hospital, just beside its gate, Gerry turned and asked her, “Did you notice how people were looking at us? I hope you know it wasn’t because they thought you a witch.” “Yes, I am beginning to realize that now. With time I will come to terms with the fact that people look at me not because I am a witch…” She paused, obviously thinking deep about something. Gerry could tell thoughts were on something else and he waited for her to volunteer them. “Doctor Gerry, how beautiful am I?”

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Written by:
Uzoma Ujor

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AMAZING LOVE - Episode 4 An African Literary Blog
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