AMAZING LOVE - Episode 38

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After unloading Eka’s personal effects from the van and moving them into the house, they all sat down in Mr. Effiong’s living room ...

After unloading Eka’s personal effects from the van and moving them into the house, they all sat down in Mr. Effiong’s living room and began to chat happily. Eka and Simbi let themselves out of the house to go buy some drinks to entertain both Dr. Gerry and Simbi’s parents. While they selected the drinks they wanted, Eka decided to add some fried meat to the collection they were to pay for. She had not anticipated that her return would somehow turn into the happy celebration she left behind at home to go buy drinks. She felt lighter both in her head and heart, a burden had been unloaded from heart and she knew what it was – she had forgiven her parents. She had thought she would hold unto grudges against them all her life. There was a time she was addicted to the grudges and bitterness against her parents and for some unexplainable reasons loved hating them. Strangely she thought those feelings of hatred toward her parents felt good. Oddly it made her feel good in an eerie manner. However as she stood in that shop buying things with her friend, she realized that the new feeling of forgiveness and love was much better. She could recall the things her parents had put her through without feeling hurt.

Leaning closer to Simbi, Eka whispered, “I think God has healed my heart. I no longer feel hurt recalling how my parents treated me. Maybe I should extend this forgiveness to everyone on the street who branded me a witch for reasons best known to them. I don’t want to lose this exciting feeling for anything. By tomorrow I am going to extend the olive branch to all the people who hated me and spoke ill of me.” The way Simbi looked at her suggested she was not in agreement with her over forgiving everyone who had done her evil in the past. “What is it Simbi? Is there anything wrong with forgiving those who have done me wrong? I am tired of carrying the burden of unforgiveness. I am not a witch; it is no use bearing grudges against those who claimed I was one. I simply want to move on and be free.” “You are making it easy for them. You should have let them choke on jealousy and shame for a while before letting them off the hook.”

“I am tired of being unhappy about how people treated me in the past. It is my right to be happy and I intend to exercise it to the maximum. If you have the shoulders to bear all that anger and unforgiveness, I won’t mind offloading them on you.” “Maybe I have not forgiven them. Perhaps all I wanted was for you to forgive just your parents and not them. In a few days I will give thoughts to forgiving them. I feel sad thinking about it, they don’t deserve it.” “Nobody deserves forgiveness, Simbi. We give it because we often need it too.” On their way home, they ran into a lady, Joy by name, who took particular interest in making sure she spoiled Eka’s name back in the day when everyone claimed she was a witch. When Joy saw Eka she crossed to one side of the road, threw her face away and quickened her pace. When she was about to pass Eka and Simbi, Eka called out to her, “Hello Joy! How are you? It has been a long time.” Joy could not believe her ears. She stood rooted to her spot. Eka crossed the road and Simbi grudgingly followed her. Reaching Joy, Eka shook hands with her. Joy still could not look Eka in the face even though she was standing in front of her. Clearly she did not know what to say. As if overcome by grief, Joy blurted out, “Eka, please forgive me. From the beginning I knew you were not a witch. I hated you because what your good looks did was to remind me of how ugly I am. I thought getting rid of you would make me feel better. I am sorry, please forgive me aunty Eka.” “You are not ugly Joy, and I have already forgiven you Joy. If you happen to need any help from me, don’t hesitate to ask me.” Joy bowed her head and said, “Thank you.”

Simbi did not say a word to Joy; she stood beside Eka and looked away as though she was counting the birds in a nearby corn farm. After pleasantries with Eka, Joy hurried off to where she was going while Eka and Simbi continued home. “Did you hear her say ‘aunty Eka’? She no longer knows her to pronounce the word ‘witch’,” Simbi said and sighed loudly. “Did you take a good look at Joy, Simbi?” “I didn’t. Is there anything about her worth looking at?” “She seemed to me like she was pregnant.” “What!!” Simbi shouted excitedly, clapped her hands energetically and announced, “I am now friends with her. This evening I will pay her a visit to find out if this is true. If indeed she is pregnant, then she will find out she is not the only one who knows how to gossip.” Simbi talked excitedly about Joy until they reached home.

At home Christy and Ema had already arrived and they were not alone. Five other friends had joined them –three ladies and two guys. The living room was filled with guests and people on the street could hear Mr. Effiong cackle happily. Christy and Ema did not come empty handed. They brought with them loads of gift items for Eka’s parents. Quickly Eka and Simbi began to serve the drinks and pieces of fried meat which they had bought. Realizing they had not bought enough, Simbi took some money from Eka and dashed out to go get more. One of the guys who had arrived with Ema and Christy learned closer to Ema and asked, “Which of the girls is your brother’s fiancĂ©e?” “The one wearing her hair long,” replied Ema. “I guessed as much, how about the one who just left, is she her sister?” “She is her friend, a bosom friend.” “Okay,” said the guy. “What are you thinking Sammy?” “Nothing.” “I know you, when you say nothing your head is actually full of thoughts. You like the girl, don’t you?” “She caught my eye the moment the two of them walked in.” “Do you need my help get in touch with her?” “Can you help?” “Did you just ask me if I could help? I make a living matchmaking couples. Leave it to me, before we leave I will hook you two up.” “Thank you Ema.” “You are welcome.”

In a short while Simbi returned with the things she had bought. While she served the guests, Sammy’s eyes followed her around. His attraction toward Simbi was so obvious that Christy had to pinch him and whispered, “Take it easy, Samuel; your head might fall off before we leave here if you don’t watch it. The girl is not running away.” Sammy smiled and continued to ogle at Simbi. Simbi could tell one of the guys was looking at her but was very conscious not to lock eyes with him. When she finished serving the guests, she headed for Eka’s room. At the door she turned back to look at the guests and her eyes locked with Sammy’s. She almost bumped into the wall as her heart skipped a few beats. The guy looking at her was a handsome hunk. She had to dash into Eka’s room breathing heavily. Eka looked at her and asked, “Simbi what is it? You look different.” “One of the guys in the living room just won’t take his eyes off me. When I had a look at him… o God!” “O God what?” “He is too fine. His looks made my heart to sink into my stomach.” “Wow! Maybe love has found you. Which of the guys is it? I want to go have a look.” “The one sitting in-between Ema and Christy; he is wearing a light blue shirt.”

Eka entered the living room pretending to refill the plates on the table with fried meat and looked in Christy’s direction. The guy Simbi described was saying something to Ema, while Eka’s father addressed his guests, narrating how a bad father he had been to Ekaette. Paying no heed to what her father was saying or to Dr. Gerry who made a sign to her to come sit beside him, she paced hurriedly back into her room. In her room, the two of them did a high-five and giggled amorously. “Simbi he is hot! If indeed he has his heart set on you, then you had better go get a gun to chase other ladies away.” Simbi sunk into the bed beside her. Making a face, she said, “I don’t want a man I have to fight to keep. I want someone like Dr. Gerry.” “What are we doing? You don’t judge a book by its cover. Maybe he is another Dr. Gerry. We just have to wait Simbi.”

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Written by:
Uzoma Ujor

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AMAZING LOVE - Episode 38 An African Literary Blog
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