AMAZING LOVE - Episode 14

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In silence Christy and Dr. Gerry devoured the food which Eka served. Dr. Gerry was careful not ...

In silence Christy and Dr. Gerry devoured the food which Eka served. Dr. Gerry was careful not to praise Eka’s cooking. He keenly watched Christy to see how much she was impressed. Christy’s thoughts were far gone. The little she had seen of Eka impressed her; she carried herself with the air of a woman far older than her age. But something gave her a little concern; Eka’s seeming surreal beauty and the allegations against her. That witch label didn’t sit comfortably with Christy. As she ate, she thought, could there be any truth to it? As if realizing that Dr. Gerry was with her for the first time, Christy observed, “I can’t believe a fourteen year old girl cooked this food. I must admit, my cooking wasn’t this good when I was her age. Her mother must have done an amazing work of training her in domestic matters.” “Eka has been true hell. You won’t believe half the things she has been through. Perhaps her experiences have afforded her maturity beyond her age.” “Have you given thought to the witch claims against her?” “That is the most stupid thing I have heard about this girl. I have lived with Eka for some time now; I can tell you the claims are all baseless. I am yet to see the vaguest suggestion that she is a witch, or could even muster the guts to kill her siblings.” “I am just wondering why anyone in his right senses would drive away a girl as responsible as this,” Christy wondered aloud.

“At first that gave me some concern, especially when you factor in her beauty; but having spent some time with her, I can’t stop laughing at that grotesque suggestion.” Christy turned her attention back to her food; she was a meticulous woman who hated waste. She made sure that she wiped her plates clean of the food which came in them. Dr. Gerry observed his sister and shook his head, “Christy, you haven’t changed a bit, have you?” “What are you referring to?” “You haven’t changed your eating habit. You still wipe your plate clean.” “Why should I change? At least I haven’t heard my husband complain yet. I think he has even taken after me.” “You know I can’t take you out because of this habit.” “That is your business; Am I begging you to take me out? My husband takes me out regularly and I eat this way each time. Don’t make me feel bad about myself Gerald.” “Sorry I didn’t mean to.” Having given them time to enjoy her cooking, Eka came out from her room to clear the table. “Eka I enjoyed your food. I think I would like to take some of the soup home.” Eka blushed and said, “Thank you aunty Christy. I am glad you enjoyed the food. I will scoop some out for you to take home.” “Thank you Eka.” Eka began to clear the table, and Christy joined her. “No Aunty, don’t do that! Let me take care of all the plates.” “Eka who do you think does it for me at home? I do it myself. Let’s go clean the plates.”  Eka had a quick mind; she could tell she was being assessed by Christy. She had nothing to hide or fear, so she let her have her way.

As Eka packed some of the plates, she wondered why Dr. Gerry had not said a word about her cooking. He was usually effusive with appreciation whenever he ate her food. To get his attention, she deliberately brushed herself against him and stepped on his toes. Dr. Gerry knew exactly what Eka was doing and began to laugh. Eka frowned and went to the kitchen. Christy did not see the body language between them, but wondered why her brother was laughing. She could tell Eka and Dr. Gerry talked in a manner she could not understand; after all she did that too with her husband.” In the kitchen Christy suggested they wash the few plates with division of labour, “Eka you will wash the plates and I will rinse them.” Eka began to laugh and asked, “Aunty Christy, why don’t you let me do this?” Ignoring her, Christy asked, “I have heard of the things you have been through, how do you handle all that bad treatment and pains with a smile?” “I don’t always wear a smile. Sometimes I am overwhelmed with bitterness. It hurts deeply to be thrown away by one’s parents on allegations which are unfounded.” “Has anyone from your family tried to reach out to you?” “I wouldn’t know, but my friend Simbi told me that my parents came to ask her if she had heard from me.” “When was that?” “Two days ago.” “So finally they have had a change of heart?” “I still do not trust them; they only came to ask Simbi about me all because more children are dying in the street and much more are sick. I am no longer around to be blamed and labeled a witch who was eating the children. Slowly they are beginning to realize I was innocent…” Eka paused and the sound in her voice changed. Christy could tell it. She looked into her eyes and saw tears.

Eka knew she was on trial and Christy the judge, so she held her nerves and continued “…Simbi told me that now my street dwellers have invited government health workers to investigate what could be killing the children. For my sake, I hope they find it quickly so that I could have my name cleared.” By now tears flowed freely from Eka’s eyes. Christy’s heart was broken; she held Eka and wished she had not brought up the subject. She could see Eka went through much torture being judged as a witch. Eka buried her face into Christy’s chest and sobbed bitterly, “I am not a witch. God knows I am not a witch. I have no clue what killed those children, I would give everything I own to find out what killed them. I fear that the witch label will stick to me till I die.” Dr. Gerry could hear Eka’s tender sobs and plea of innocence, but he waited for his sister to see for herself that Eka’s heart was pure. Christy did not know she too was crying until she felt her tears drop on her hand which she wrapped around Ekaette. At the dining, Dr. Gerry’s phone began to ring; he picked it only to hear a hysterical voice asking to speak to Ekaette, “Hello! Hello! Please! Please! Can I speak with Ekaette?” Dr. Gerry was scared and wondered what might have happened and whom he was speaking with, “Who are you? What is it? How did you get my number?” By now Eka and Christy were listening to Dr. Gerry and the strange caller. “Sorry sir, this is Simbi, Ekaette’s friend, can I speak with her please! It is very important.” “Hold on for her, Simbi.”

When Ekaette heard the name Simbi she ran from the kitchen to come take the call. Before Dr. Gerry could finish saying, “Eka you have a call.” Ekaette was already in the dining reaching out to take the phone from him. “Simbi what is it?” “Ekaette! God has begun to vindicate you! The government health workers have found what has been killing the children.” “Are serious Simbi?” Eka’s voice was further broken. “Eka this is not time to cry, it is time to celebrate!” “Tell me please; what did they say killed the children?” “The water in their school is poisoned. They said the poison in their reservoir can kill a whole community. All the children and teachers in St. Gregory Primary School have been rushed down to the hospital for immediate check-up.” “So I am not a witch, Simbi?” “Eka, the witch story is in the past now. Your father’s house is full of people who  have come to apologize to him for claiming you were a witch. Even my father has gone to apologize to your parents.” Eka sat on the floor and sobbed deeply. It was as if her heart was going to implode. Christy sat beside her and held her as warmly as she could. Dr. Gerry could hear Simbi yelling over the phone, “Eka! Eka! Eka!”

Dr. Gerry picked up the phone which was on the floor and informed Simbi, “Hello Simbi. Your friend is crying, she can’t talk now, you will have to call her back or when she recovers from the news you just gave her, she will call you back. But please I want to know, what did they say killed the children? I am a medical doctor.” “Oga, they said it is something mercury, I don’t know the full name. They have taken all the children in the school and their teachers to go and test them at the hospital. They said there is no cure for the poison.” “Thank you Simbi.” “You are welcome sir.”

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Written by:
Uzoma Ujor

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AMAZING LOVE - Episode 14 An African Literary Blog
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