AMAZING LOVE - Episode 15

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As Ekaette sobbed her body trembled. She still could not believe it that she had been absolved from all claims that she killed those ch...

As Ekaette sobbed her body trembled. She still could not believe it that she had been absolved from all claims that she killed those children. She recalled her plea of innocence when her parents beat her with machete and tore her flesh open before throwing her out of the house, “Aunty Christy I swore to my father that I had nothing to do with the deaths of my siblings or with the children of our street, yet he did not believe me. He threatened to kill me with his machete and beat me like an animal. You should have seen my skin when I was brought to the hospital where Dr. Gerry works. My mother… the very woman who bore me for nine months and gave me suckling, tore off my clothes and dragged like a dead beast into the street stark naked. Yet all this while I pleaded I was innocent…” Eka paused, and began to cough terribly. She had choked on her words. Christy yelled Dr. Gerry’s name, “Gerald! Gerald!” Dr. Gerry who had gone into his room to research what sort of poison was possibly killing the children in Eka’s street, dashed out and saw Eka choking in a terrifying manner, he laid her face-down on the floor and raised her trunk toward her head. Eka puked and took a deep breath, “Go get some water!” yelled Dr. Gerry to Christy. In a jiffy Christy was back with a can of water and a cup. She poured out some and gave it to Dr. Gerry who served it to Eka to make sure she gulped it slowly.

Seeing she had calmed down a bit, Dr. Gerry sat her up and had her rest her back on the wall. Christy and Dr. Gerry watched her silently. Unknown to them, Eka was more aware of what happened the day her parents beat her and threw her out of the house than she was aware of them. The poor girl was relieving the experience all over again. She could feel the pain of her father’s machete being slammed on her raw skin, she felt her mother’s teeth sunk into her skin and she relived the shame of being thrown out naked into the street. The shame of that event came over her like showers of rain, she yelled in pain and sprang to her feet and made for her room. Eka was clearly beside herself. The thought that she suffered all that while she was innocent, tore her heart to shreds. The more she thought about her pain, the more she acted insanely. Truthfully Dr. Gerry and his sister were scared. In Eka’s room, they sat beside her on the left and on the right and sandwiched her in the middle. They didn’t want her to do anything stupid. Eka recreated scenarios that had plagued her thoughts. She recalled how she was beginning to believe she was perhaps a witch indeed.

“They made me believe I was a witch. Many times I thought of killing myself so that I won’t have to eat children any more …” her broken voice filled the quiet room. “Ekaette, I feel your pains. I am glad you have been vindicated. I wish I had the right words to say now to make you feel differently from…”  “I do.” Dr. Gerry interjected, stopping Christy from finishing her words. Eka turned and looked at Dr. Gerry with her eyes filled with tears. “I don’t understand you; you even look more beautiful when you cry. It would be the happiest day of my life, and I believe that of any man whom you would allow to share your beautiful heart for the rest of your life. Not even the things you have gone through could dent your sublime beauty…” Eka’s heart froze for a moment; the words had the effect Dr. Gerry intended. Eka switched from the unhappy thoughts which ran amok in her mind to the pleasant dreams she nursed almost every night about she and Dr. Gerry spending their lives together as husband and wife. Christy was surprised by Dr. Gerry’s words. She wondered to herself, what is Gerald doing? Dr. Gerry wasn’t done yet, he reached for his phone and took a picture of Eka and Christy and showed it to Christy and asked, “Please tell me sister, isn’t she far more beautiful when she cries than when she does not?” Christy still wondering what her brother was up to, nodded her head and said, “She is beautiful, even more than the sun.”

In spite of herself Eka wiped her tears away with the back of her hands. Dr. Gerry shouted, “Don’t do that! I was going to take more shots of you with those tears in your eyes. Now you have to cry again for me to take the shot I need.” Eka buried her face into Christy’s chest. She could not keep her gaze on Dr. Gerry. That look in his face which easily disarmed her was back again. While Eka buried her face in Eka’s chest, Christy winked to her brother as if to say, “What are you doing?” Dr. Gerry winked back at Christy, miming the words, “It is working!” Eka removed her face from Christy’s chest and asked shyly, “Can I see the picture Dr. Gerry?” Dr. Gerry showed her the image on his phone. “Hmmm!” whispered Eka, she had seen photos of herself but not one that looked as good as that one. The strands of her hair seemed to take on life of their own. Her eyes glowed and her skin had radiant feel. Seeing she was impressed with the picture, Christy said, “Eka it doesn’t matter what you have been through, what matters is that you can look this great even when you have been through your worst moments. I may not have known you for long, but I believe in you. Dr. Gerry believes also in you. In this world, it matters a lot to have people believe in you and to have a wonderful smile as you do. Take your eyes off your past; your life is ahead of you. I didn’t know much about you when I gave you one of my sewing machines, and I am glad to do more for you now that I have come to know you much better.

“Have you thought of it? If your parents had not ill-treated you and thrown you out, you would not have met Dr. Gerry and you would not have met me. Maybe by now you would still be hawking oranges and being branded a witch in the street. Eka, I don’t know about you, but I believe there is a purpose to your pains. I don’t remember the last time I met someone I barely knew and believed this much in her. Don’t let bitterness stain your heart, I have seen it and it is pure. Keep it that way.” Eka wiped again the tears dropping from her eyes and took a few rounds of deep breath. Eka opened her mouth to thank them but, nothing came out, instead much more tears flowed from her eyes. She breathed a few more times and said, “I am very glad I met you people. I am still crying not because of the beatings and rejection, but because of God’s love. I can see how he kept me from destruction through my trying times. Thank you Aunty Christy and thank you very much Dr. Gerry.” Eka smiled at Dr. Gerry and said, “I think I have more tears in my eyes now, you can take more pictures if you want to.” “Yes!!” yelled Dr. Gerry as he began to take snapshots of Eka. When Dr. Gerry was done, he gave his phone to Christy, sat beside Eka, (the first time he would do that since he came to know her), put his hands around her and said jokingly, “Snap us quickly Christy, the tears are drying up!” They all began to laugh.

While they snapped pictures with each other in Eka’s room, a knock was heard on the door. They broke from their quasi photo session and went to see who was at the door. A boy was standing by the door holding a nylon bag and grinning from ear to ear. “Good evening, sir,” the boy greeted Dr. Gerry who was standing in front of the others. “Good evening. Who are you looking for?” asked Dr. Gerry. “I am looking for the beautiful girl. I told her I will bring some cloth for her to sew a school uniform for me.” Dr. Gerry stepped aside, pointing at Eka who stood behind him, he asked, “Do you mean her?” The boy said, “Yes!” with glee in his voice. “Eka, here is your first customer. Come in,” said Dr. Gerry. The boy followed them into the dining and sat down on a couch. “You are welcome. I did not know you were serious when you said you would bring some material for me to make a school uniform for you. Please remind me your name, I am Ekaette.” “My name is Kingsley.” “Kingsley you are welcome once again.” Christy and Dr. Gerry were going to his room to discuss some of the things he said while he was trying to comfort Eka, when they heard voices outside in front of their flat. Dr. Gerry and Christy went outside and saw a mother and a teenage girl. “Good evening sir. Good evening ma.” The woman and her daughter greeted Dr. Gerry and Christy.” “You are welcome ma.” Dr. Gerry and Christy responded. “My daughter here has been disturbing me since I came back from work. She says she has a new tailor and has gone to take the materials I gave our tailor and insists her new tailor will sew them for her.  I don’t know this new tailor or how good she is. Just to get my daughter off my back, I decided to follow her to see the new tailor. Madam, are you the tailor?” “No, I am not,” replied Christy. 

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Written by:
Uzoma Ujor

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AMAZING LOVE - Episode 15 An African Literary Blog
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