AMAZING LOVE - Episode 17

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The mention of that name, Jesus, unleashed a power which thrust her grandmother out of her room. It all happened in a flash; it was as ...

The mention of that name, Jesus, unleashed a power which thrust her grandmother out of her room. It all happened in a flash; it was as though the soul of her grandmother was subjected to a torture beyond human conception. The painful cry from the old woman rattled Eka momentarily. She knew the spirit which came to attack her had received a surprise beating and so she hit the floor on her knees and began to pray with every ounce of strength in her. Eka prayed for what seemed a little over an hour and then climbed into her bed and dozed off. In the morning she woke up with a spring in her stride and a stream of joy in her heart. She remembered how her grandmother fled from her room in torture and fear and that made her very glad. “At least whenever you think to attack me again, you will remember I have someone who watches over me. I am not alone,” she boasted to herself and laughed maniacally. As had become her habit, she went into the kitchen and prepared food for Dr. Gerry, scooped some into a food flask, packaged it nicely and left it on the dining table for him and went back into her room. She was elated and thought she could pray more, the result she saw encouraged her. But she had hardly started praying when she dozed off. Having kept awake for most of the night, her body craved sleep. When Dr. Gerry was ready to leave for work, he went to check on her to give her some money and the direction to Christy’s shop. However he found her asleep. He stood by the door and watched her for some minutes. To him, she seemed like a newborn baby sleeping peacefully in the hands of its mother.

If not that he had to leave for work, he would have stood there and watched her all day. Quietly he closed the door and went to the dining to leave her a note and some money on the table. He picked his food pack and left for work. While Eka slept she dreamt of people crying and calling for help in Faustina’s apartment. She thought it was all just a dream, but when the shouting and cry grew louder, she woke up and listened for a while. It wasn’t a dream after all; something was going on for real in her neighbours house. She wasn’t sure if she should go and find out what it was. Faustina’s attitude toward her, discourage her to go so she sat on the bed and listened. For some reason she felt she was not alone as she listened. Hastily she turned to look at her window and saw a big black owl staring at her with bulging eyes. She yelled, “Jesus!” and the bird flew away. Eka sprang to her feet and ran outside to see if she could get a good glimpse of the evil bird; but what she saw left her confused all the more. She saw two men exiting their compound through the gate; it seemed they bore someone who was in a critical health condition, she was certain she saw a flailing arm. She ran to the gate to get a good view of what really was happening, but somehow she was late. All she could see was some Peugeot 306 driving away hurriedly. One of the passengers at the back looked at her with his eyes full of hate.

Eka scratched her head and went back to their flat wondering what was happening. When she reached Faustina’s apartment she paused and banged loudly on the door, but there was no answer. She put her face on the glass window and tried to see if she could make out any human figures in the apartment, but there was none. She went back into their apartment and planned her day. She arranged her activities for the day in the order that they should be attended to: she had to go collect the cloth being woven for her at the tailor’s, go to Christy’s shop, sew Kingsley’s school uniform and later in the day show Mary’s mother sample of the work she could do. Waiting to pick the cloth being woven for her by 12 noon would mess up her plans, so she decided to go earlier to plead with the tailor to weave her clothe earlier than they told her they would, so she could take it and leave for Christy’s shop. When she got there she found that her clothe had been woven for her. One of the boys at the tailor shop who took interest in her the last time she came, had done it for her to impress her. Eka thanked him generously, paid and left with the clothe.

From the tailor’s shop she asked her way to Christy’s shop. When she arrived Christy was in her office with one of her major customers. So Eka had to wait for her. Christy’s apprentices were struck dumb at Ekaette’s presence. She wanted to ask them about some of the designs she saw in the shop, but the apprentices preferred to ogle at her like a film show. So Eka took a pose on her seat and allowed them to have a good look at her. At some point she changed her position and shook her long silky hair and some of the girls almost fell off their feet. Ekaette was beginning to grow confident with the thought of Dr. Gerry willing to make her his wife when she would be ready. After some time Christy came out of her office with her customer, as they bantered, the customer’s eyes fell on Ekaette and in admiration of her beauty, she exclaimed, “Oh my God! This is raw natural beauty…” Pulling Christy back into her office, she asked, “Who is that girl? I know a lawmaker is looking for a girl just like this to marry. If we could introduce him to that girl, we would get more than a million Naira right now!” “Sorry NK, she is for my brother. You have to find your lawmaker friend another girl to marry.” “Do you mean your doctor brother?” “Of course, do I have another brother?” “You have to be kidding me! Since when did your brother who has no interest in women develop taste for such beauties? Please Christy, give one of your girls to your brother. I saw one who has a killer shape amongst them. Let’s take this girl to my lawmaker friend and by this evening, you and I will be millionaires.”

“NK, you are wasting your time. I have a lot to do. No amount of money can make me do this, okay. In fact I will let you introduce my girl who has a killer shape to your lawmaker friend. Won’t he be happy to pay the same amount of money for her?” “No, he won’t. The girl’s face isn’t as fine as her shape.” “So you are telling me my brother doesn’t deserve what is good, right?” Christy left NK in her office and went to meet with Eka. “Eka you are looking mmmaww! How many necks did you break on your way here?” “Seriously Aunty Christy I lost count. Even the driver of the taxi I boarded refused to collect money from me. He was intent on getting my phone number. I sincerely told him that I don’t have a phone but he wouldn’t believe me.” Behind them, NK stood looking at Eka unbelievably. “Aunty, look at this design, I want to make it for myself, but I will display it to draw customers,” Eka said as she removed the woven cloth design from her nylon bag. Christy studied the design and asked, “Where did you see this design?” “In an old magazine in Dr. Gerry’s house.”  Christy spread the design on a table and invited her apprentices to come assess the style. She noticed they were more interested in Eka than in the clothe design she spread out on the table and she said to them “Look at her as much as you can, because she is a masquerade you get to see only once in a year.” Her apprentices laughed and gathered around the table to look at the design.

From behind Christy, NK let herself out of the shop having contrived an insidious plan to get Eka for her lawmaker friend. Christy knew her customer and was prepared for what she was going to do. “Eka you are going to sew this design here. I want to see how good your finishing is.” Christy’s apprentices set up a sewing machine for Eka and she went to work on the design. Christy went into her office and called her sister, “Eno, Ekaette is here now. You can come over and see her, or should I bring her over?” “Don’t bother I am already on my way to your shop. Gerald told me that she should be in your shop by now.” “Do you know my customer NK?” “The yellow lady that sows fifty clothes every month…” “Yes, you know her! She wanted me to allow her introduce Ekaette to her lawmaker friend for the reward of one million and some fractions. Can you imagine such impunity?” “So who Gerald go come marry nah (so who will Gerald marry then?)” “Aboki  (uneducated, uncivil Hausa girl).”

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Written by:
Uzoma Ujor

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AMAZING LOVE - Episode 17 An African Literary Blog
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