AMAZING LOVE - Episode 6

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Doctor Gerry thought he knew Eka was beautiful, however as he stood by the door staring at her, he realized he was wrong. Actually he h...

Doctor Gerry thought he knew Eka was beautiful, however as he stood by the door staring at her, he realized he was wrong. Actually he had seen nothing yet. Eka had to tap him on the shoulder to knock him off his stupefied state of mind. “What happened? You came back,” Eka inquired further. “I…I left my office key behind, can you fetch it for me? I remember leaving it on the table.” “You don’t want to come in Doctor.” “No! No! I am already behind schedule.” Seeing he wouldn’t come in Eka turned to go get the key for him, in the process showing off a curvy shape that would have made Monalisa swallow hard in envy. Under his breath, Doctor Gerry mumbled a query to God, “Dear God, what have I done? I have brought a great temptation into my house.” Eka picked the key and turned to go give it to Doctor Gerry, smiling while she did that. And her smile; oh God, left a smooching palpitation on Gerry’s heart. When she got to the door she playfully refused to give the key to Gerry and asked, “Didn’t you notice the clothe I am wearing? I was going to show it to you, but you wouldn’t come in.” “Eka I noticed it and you look beyond beautiful in it. Frankly speaking, I thought I knew you were beautiful, but right now I have realized I was wrong. Your beauty is not of men.” “Are you suggesting I am a mermaid?” “No Eka, I wouldn’t say that of you. But to be candid with you, I don’t know what you are. Even mermaids would be envious of you.” “My aunt said I was too greedy and took all the beauty for the women in my generation. I think she was right. Perhaps that’s why life has been cruel to me. I would give this beauty away just to have a normal life.”

Eka’s twisted reasoning, which revealed more of her hidden pains, jolted Gerry back to his senses and barked at Ekaette, “Don’t say that again! Life is not being cruel to you. One day, all you have been through will be nothing more than a faded memory.” “I hope so.” “Eka, don’t say ‘I hope so’, say ‘amen’.” “Amen o!” “You are a woman of little faith. Can I have my key now?” Eka handed him his key and he left. Eka locked the door and went back to try out more of her new clothes. All the clothes Gerry bought for her were so good on her that one would have thought she was sewn into them. For a long time; she could not even remember the last time, she saw herself smiling without any cause. She sat on the bed and looked around her room. It had all the things she never dreamt she could one day enjoy. There was an LG air conditioning set on the wall, an OX ceiling fan, a Samsung flat screen television on the wall and a home theater set. Done assessing the room she went back to stand in front of the mirror again and admired herself in her new clothe once more. Feeling she hadn’t had enough look at the other clothes she had tried on earlier, she put them on again and admired her ravishing self in the mirror.

Done checking out the clothes, she went back to the living room and checked if she had securely locked the door. Satisfied she had locked it; she went back into her room and locked herself in. There were a few more pieces of wear she needed to try on and she did not want anyone to see her she tried them on. Removing her new set of under garment wears which Doctor Gerry bought for her, she tried them on one after another. Their fitting on her made her to pause and think momentarily. She went to her Ghana-must-go bag, unzipping it, she stared down at the sort of wears which the bag contained and drops of tears fell from her eyes. With the back of her hand she wiped off her tears. Changing to one of the clothes Gerry bought for her, she carried her Ghana-must-go bag out of the apartment and set it on the ground. Standing in front of Gerry’s apartment, she searched for the perfect place to set them on fire. There was none, fortunately for her, a woman came outside from the next apartment and Eka asked, “Good day Ma, please where can I burn some things?” The woman did not answer her a word, instead she looked at her unbelievably and then took a few steps closer and touched her hair. “What sort of hair is this? This is not Brazilian hair…wait! Jesus! It actually grows from of your scalp!” shouted the woman. “It is my natural hair…” “And your skin! How can a human being have such hair and skin?” The woman’s innocent rhetorical question hurt Ekaette deeply. She surmised the woman was suggesting she was a mermaid. “Please madam, where can I burn some things around here?!” Eka asked with her voice harsh and raised a little.

The woman didn’t take notice of the change in Eka’s tone of voice; she was still rhapsodized by the look of her skin and hair. Eka asked again, almost shouting, “Madam! Is there nowhere I can burn things I don’t use anymore?!” “Oh! I am sorry,” said the woman. “There is a place outside the gate. Wait, you can’t let smoke touch you. I will do it for you.” the woman continued. She ran into her apartment to probably get a box of matches and kerosene. Eka having been told where she could burn her stuffs hurried outside of the compound and dumped her bag on the makeshift incinerator and poised to collect the box of matches and kerosene from the woman when she returned. Eka knew she would be very embarrassed to let the woman see the condition of some of her wears in that bag, especially the undergarments. Her mind was so set on collecting the match box and can of kerosene from the woman that she did not notice the drama her appearance on the street caused. A group of boys were on the street discussing betting and football when Ekaette dragged her bag out of Gerry’s compound. The sight of her hushed them as they stared at her stupidly. They could not tell if Eka was a turbo-charged Barbie doll or a human being. While she waited for the woman, more people stared and whistled in excitement.

When the woman came out, she was so much eager to serve Eka that Eka could not stop her from setting her bag on fire for her. Eka had to shout, “Please Ma, don’t open the bag, burn everything together!” Happily the woman poured some kerosene lavishly on the bag and then struck a stick of matches and threw it at the bag. Turning to Eka she said, “You shouldn’t do such things. It is not good for your skin. Whenever you want to burn anything call me I will do it for you. My name is Faustina, I live in the flat where you saw me enter. Are you doctor’s wife?” “Oh no! I am just a young friend of his.” “What do you mean by you are just a young friend of his? All the things a man needs are in place.” With glee in her face and mirth in her voice the woman inquired again, “Are you the doctor’s wife?” “No madam Faustina, I am only his friend.” “Ah ha! You will get there very soon. It doesn’t matter if you are just a friend. See, any time Doctor Gerry is not around and you need anything, tell me, I will be glad to help.” “Thank you Ma.” “Don’t call me Ma. My name is Faustina. You haven’t told me your name.” “Oh! I am sorry. My name is Ekaette.” Feeling overwhelmed by Faustina’s overzealous offer of help, Ekaette made a brisk walk back into Gerry’s apartment and locked the door. Breathing heavily in an effort to force back tears, she let herself sink into a couch in the living room.

“This is not happening; they all think I am special. By the time someone who knew me back in my street brings my story to this place everyone will hate me. Imagine that woman telling me smoke is not good for my skin. How I wish she knew I cooked every day with firewood in my father’s house, pushed gallons of water with a barrow and hawked fruits. I don’t even have a secondary school education. If not for Simbi I wouldn’t even have been able to read English words.” The thought of Simbi having crossed her mind, she ran back into her room, to make sure she did not burn, along with her Ghana-must-go bag, the phone number Simbi gave her. When she saw on the bed, the piece of paper on which the phone number was written, she picked it and held it tightly promising herself she would call Simbi when Doctor Gerry returned from work. About 7:00 pm Doctor Gerry came back and was welcomed by the aroma of a sumptuous delicacy. “Eka, what storm did you cook up in my kitchen? My nose is under pleasant attack.” With that same disarming smile on her face, Eka replied, “I invaded your kitchen and found some things to transform into good food, and so I decided to cook so you could have something to eat when you are back.” “But I told you not to bother with such things. You are not my wife and I don’t want you to work like a slave here. You should have only made something for yourself.” “If it is wrong for me to cook for you, then it is wrong for you to buy me clothes and bring me into your apartment when I had nowhere else to go. If you won’t let me do little things around the house to show my appreciation, then I will leave your apartment.” “It’s okay Eka, it hasn’t come to that. But I don’t want you to live with the pressure that you must do these things okay.” “Thanks for letting me help. I am going to serve your food now.”

Doctor Gerry parted his lips to tell her no, but in view of the understanding they had just struck, he closed his mouth instead. Happily Eka walked into the kitchen to go serve the food. With his head hung down, Doctor Gerry went into his room and let himself drop like a log of wood on the bed and cried out, “Oh God! I didn’t know it would be this hard when I asked her to live with me. I don’t want it to seem like she was my wife when I barely know her. I don’t want to forget I am just helping a teenage girl in need. Look at how good she looks in those clothes; maybe I shouldn’t have bought them for her.”

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Written by:
Uzoma Ujor

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AMAZING LOVE - Episode 6 An African Literary Blog
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