AMAZING LOVE - Episode 35

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By early the next day, Ekaette and Simbi left the University of Calabar and headed home, about mid-day they arrived at their street a...

By early the next day, Ekaette and Simbi left the University of Calabar and headed home, about mid-day they arrived at their street and went to their separate houses to get ready to leave for Dr. Gerry’s house. Eka’s parents who thought she had left home without telling them were happy to see her return home. However, Eka was still not in the mood to relate with her parents in the manner they wished she would. On entering the house she ignored their greetings, went into her room and began to pack her stuffs. When she was done, she told her father who saw her leaving the house that she was going back to Dr. Gerry’s house that day. Before her father could inquire of her when she would be back, she had already slammed the door shut and left the house. It was obvious to Mr. Effiong that his daughter loathed having anything to do with him or his wife. He desperately wanted to mend the broken relationship with his daughter but lacked ideas about where to start. Outside, Eka went straight to Simbi’s house so they could leave for Dr. Gerry’s house. Her presence on the street caused a little stir as it had been doing since she came back to the street. Many of whom had falsely branded a witch could not stand the sight of her of. Many of them would avoid eye contact whenever they saw her. Some would look on the ground, while others would head in no certain direction as the shame of their wretched conduct toward her overcame them.

There was much more disturbing Eka’s enemies on the street. Simbi had made sure she spread on the street the news of Eka being engaged to a handsome medical doctor who had also started a business for her. The news of Eka’s prosperity made things harder for those who hated her because of her beauty and sought to destroy her with their ‘witch rumour’. Her appearance alone left men and young women on their street rooted to their spot whenever she passed and had them ogling at her jealously. When she arrived at Simbi’s house, Simbi had not begun to pack her stuffs; she was in the kitchen helping her mother cook a meal. Eka had to join them to make sure the food was prepared fast. While she worked with Simbi and hummed a love song to herself, Simbi’s mother asked her, “Ekaette, have you forgiven me for the things I said about you and how I treated you in the past?” Eka was surprised and looked from Simbi’s mother to Simbi and back again. “Of course I have forgiven you mama. Why did you ask? Did I not greet you when I arrived here?” “You greeted me; but I am wondering if you have not forgiven your parents, how then could you forgive me? Aren’t you merely pretending that you have because of Simbi?” “Mama, I have forgiven you, if I did not, Simbi would have known. As for my parents, that is an entirely different matter. Only God can move away the hatred I have in my heart toward them. If they drop dead this minute, believe me, Ekaette will not cry. In fact I will be happy to commit them to mother earth to get rid of them from my sight.”

Eka’s words shocked both Simbi and her mother. Simbi’s mother still dazed by Eka’s words cautioned, “Don’t sound that way my child! You don’t know how strong blood is! If they die now, I bet you will feel very lonely without them. In the name of God, I plead with you, please go back and make things up with them. I do not mean to make light of how they treated you. In fact I still do not know how they found it in their hearts to do the things they did to you. I can never treat Simbi that way even if she was a witch. However with that said, you still have to reconcile with them, your siblings are dead and they are the only people you have. Please Ekaette forgive them.” Simbi’s mother knelt down on the floor and continued to plead with Eka. Ekaette tried to explain the hurt she felt toward her parents, “When everyone claimed I was a witch I expected my parents to stand by me. You just said it yourself; if your daughter was a witch you would never have given up on her. What did my parents do? How did they treat me?!” At this point Eka broke into tears. She continued, “They went to Oron and believed whatever the God-forsaken witch doctor told them about me and came back and threw me out of their house! If not for the sake of a godly man, I would have ended up dead by now or had gone into harlotry to eke out a living! Those two are not my parents, when I am ready to know who my parents are, they will tell me!”

Simbi understood the warning signs in her friend’s body language, Eka was beginning to shake. It meant anger and the unpleasant memories of the things she suffered were taking over her mind. Simbi stopped what she was doing and put her hands around her and led her out of the kitchen. In Simbi’s room Ekaette sat by the window and stared down at her father’s apartment on the street. A million and one thoughts of how to make her parents feel a bit of what they put her through ran through her mind. Simbi took note of the way her face furrowed as tears flowed freely from her eyes. She had to go close the window and dragged Eka to the bed. Leaving Eka, she went back into the kitchen and asked her mother, “Mama, what were you thinking when you brought up the issue of Eka forgiving her parents?” “I was only trying to help; her mother has been pestering me to plead with Eka on their behalf.” “Mama, you don’t know how much Eka’s parents have hurt her. Do you know why Eka is back on the street?” “No, I don’t.”

“Her parents took money from a stranger and agreed to lie against Eka and her fiancĂ©. It was a messy case which got to national dailies and television.” “Oh my God! When did this happen?” “Recently. Going forward, I don’t want you to talk to Eka about forgiving her parents. I know my friend, one day she is going to let all that bitterness go. But for now she is still smarting, please let her be.” “I know what I am going to do Simbi.” “What are you going to do mama?!” “Don’t worry, I don’t mean harm against your friend. When next Ekaette’s mother comes to bother me with talking to Ekaette on their behalf, I am going set her ablaze with my mouth. I will so insult her that she would go home and hang herself!” “I won’t ask you not to do that. Maybe it will make her realize how much pain they have caused their daughter. Imagine after branding her a witch and throwing her out of their house they still came after the man who risked his life to save their daughter. If you can pull off her feathers with your mouth, please do it!” “Leave that to me Simbi, have you forgotten that my mouth is far more dangerous than a bomb?”

When Simbi returned to her room Eka was already helping her pack a few of the things she thought Simbi would like to take. When they were done, Simbi told her mother where she was going to with Eka and the two of them left. At Dr. Gerry’s house, Eka who did not speak one word on the way came alive again. She began to hum songs and clean the house. Realizing she wouldn’t be done with everything she wanted to do before Dr. Gerry would return, she left the cleaning of the house to Simbi and went into the kitchen to prepare a meal. All that while Simbi observed her friend keenly. All the pain Ekaette felt seemed to dissolve the moment they entered Dr. Gerry’s house. Simbi could not help but mumble prayer to God, “Please God, give me a man that would make me feel like Ekaette. Look at how the bitterness which almost choked her on our way here has vanished by merely being in the house of the man who loves her.” From the kitchen Eka thought she heard a voice and asked, “Simbi, who are you talking to?” “God!” “Were you praying for me?” “No, I wasn’t.” “So what were you telling God?” “It is none of your business!” “Since when did we start keeping secrets from each other?” “Eka, leave me alone!” “What is wrong with you Simbi? You are acting strangely. Why don’t you want to tell me what you said to God?” “Eka! If I come to that kitchen I am going to cook you along with that food you are preparing. Please let me mind the work  I am doing.”

“I can see it has been a while since I spanked you. I am coming to remind you who your elder sister is!” “You are welcome Ekaette. Thank God I am in a foul mood now, I won’t mind shredding you like a piece of old rag!” Eka covered her cooking pot and came out of the kitchen for a mock fight with Simbi. She was in high spirit. Her face glowed and her heart tumbled with a sea of joy, she was in the house of the man who loved her, nothing else mattered. When she entered the living room, Simbi was standing akimbo and poised for a fight. Just then Eka’s phone rang, it was Dr. Gerry. He voice was filled with mirth and gladness, “Hello baby. Are you at home now?” “Y-e-s! I am.” “Oh God! So I am going to see you today?! I am coming home now!” “Oh no! I am not done cooking; besides it is not yet time for you to close work for the day.” “Who said that? I can leave work whenever I want, especially when my baby whom I have not seen in ages is around.” “If you come home before my food is ready, then I will beat you up.” “I don’t mind so long as you are the one to do the beating.” Dr. Gerry blew her a kiss and hung up the phone. Eka dropped the phone and ran to Simbi who was still waiting for a fight and yelled, “Dr. Gerry is coming home! He is coming Simbi! Thank God you are here. Already my head is swooning!” Simbi gave her a gentle slap on the face and said, “Get a hold of yourself! You have only been away from him for a few days!” Like a baby Eka nodded and said, “Okay I will.” and returned to the kitchen. “Eka how about beating me up?” shouted Simbi. “That will no longer happen today; by tomorrow when Dr. Gerry must have gone to work I will spank you real good.”

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Written by:
Uzoma Ujor

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AMAZING LOVE - Episode 35 An African Literary Blog
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