AMAZING LOVE - Episode 40

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If Eka had thought that her romance with Dr. Gerry would slow a bit after she moved into her parents’ house, she was wrong. While s...

If Eka had thought that her romance with Dr. Gerry would slow a bit after she moved into her parents’ house, she was wrong. While she waited for her engagement party in a fortnight, Dr. Gerry made the habit of gracing Mr. Effiong’s house almost everyday after work. Before he would leave for his house to retire for the night and to get ready for work the next day, he would join Eka in about everything she did. He was with her, helping measure clothes, deliver sewn materials and even deciding what meal to cook for her parents. Their love simply took on a magical dimension. In-between Dr. Gerry’s visits he found time to make plans with his family about his engagement party. On the other hand, Simbi was airborne and left practically jazzed as love bore her far away into the hands of Mr. Romantic, Samuel (aka Sammy). Though Eka had promised she would be her chaperone, but the demand of her bludgeoning business made it difficult for her to accompany Simbi when she went visiting her prince in shining amour.

There was little for Eka to worry about whenever Simbi was out with Sammy. Sammy may not have been another Dr. Gerry, but he was his own man who offered a different kind of love, which often left Eka salivating for more juicy tales whenever Simbi began to narrate the blissful experiences Sammy treated her to. “He can cook, Eka! You won’t believe the surprise I met in his house last week. You should have been there Eka. I think Sammy may have missed his destiny. I am sure he would be better of a professional cook. He made Chicken Curry rice for me. Well at first I did not believe he made it. I thought he bought it. He had to take me to his kitchen to see the rest of the food…” Eka licked her lips and asked Simbi, “The name of the meal is interesting, what did it taste like?” Simbi licked her lips and rolled her eyes dreamily before answering, “It tastes like first kiss…” “What! Don’t tell me you have kissed him already, Simbi!” “No, I have not. But the food was so good I had to compare it to a first kiss.” Eka looked at her curiously and said, “For you to compare his cooking to a first kiss means you have begun to dream it. Haven’t you?” “I find myself dreaming of it each time I leave him. I don’t know if he thinks of it too, but I do.” “Thanks for being honest with me. Now you are on lockdown; there will be no more going to see Sammy or going out to eat with him. From hence forth, if he wants to see you, he has to come here.”

Simbi wanted to protest but had a change of mind. “I know he if I tell him this, he will start coming over like Dr. Gerry does. I will still be seeing him, it makes no difference.” “It makes a world of difference Simbi, when you too are around others, you can see him a little differently from the narrow, infatuated way you do. I know because I can see Dr. Gerry a bit differently from the way I did. I just found a few things I don’t like about him. Though they are not much to worry about, I am glad I can see him as human.” “I don’t want to see any faults in Sammy. I forever want to see him perfect.” “There you go again, Simbi. If you don’t see he is human now, I bet you, your first quarrel will be your last.” “Never! We will never quarrel.” “I was like you. I can understand the way you feel…” Changing the topic Eka asked, “…did you get to find out if Joy was actually pregnant?” Simbi got excited and covered her mouth; making sign to Eka to wait for the gist. She moved into her gossip mode and began with raising three fingers in the air like a referee officiating a wrestling match. “Don’t tell me the three fingers mean what I am thinking!” Simbi sustained the three fingers in the air and shook them before announcing, “It is not just bad enough that she is three months pregnant, she doesn’t know which of her many lovers who is responsible for the pregnancy!” “Jah Jehovah! Since when did she become Keziah?” “Since she began to take delight in other people’s misfortune!”

Eka stared down to the floor, looking thoughtful about Joy’s condition. “What are you thinking about, Eka?” “Joy’s condition is giving me worries. Look at the two of us; we have men in our lives. If we don’t get careful we just might be like Joy.” Simbi waved her right hand in a circular fashion over her head and said, “God forbid!” “If we want God to forbid, then we must stop kissy-kissy, and that includes dreaming about it.” Folding her legs one on another, Simbi said, “My legs are closed and shall forever be closed,” making the sign of zipping up her skirt. “I can’t just figure out why I am suddenly scared over joy getting pregnant. I should be happy considering what she did to me.” “Are you pregnant, Eka? You shouldn’t be afraid if you are confident of yourself.” “Me, Ekaette Effiong, pregnant? Thunder fire Satan! Never.” Simbi stood up to her feet and began to leave in a hurry. “Simbi where are you going, we have only begun our gist?” “I am going to see pastor, I have not told him about this Sammy. I need him to see and saw for me before I fall into kissy-kissy. You just got me scared.” “You haven’t crossed the line, have you?” “Thunder fire Satan! I will never cross the line unless as a married wife!”

“Go quick and come back, I need to hear more about Sammy and his lovely nature.” Simbi ran off with the promise to return in a few hours. To Eka the two weeks it took before her engagement party felt like eternity. To her parents it was too close. In Eka’s father’s house both families converged to officially see their daughter and son promise each other to spend the rest of their lives together as man and wife. Christy and Ema brought loads of their relatives and friends around; they just could not pass up the chance to let them see the beauty their only brother was getting engaged to. Eka turned the party on its head with her makeup and dressing. Without makeups, she had tongues wagging and necks bending almost to breaking points. When she was led into the living room by her mother, everyone seemed to stop breathing for a while. Dr. Gerry’s mouth hung open for some while that Simbi, who was standing next to him had to close it for him. The Ekaette he knew had transformed herself into a virtual mermaid of beauty.

Against her supple glowing skin her sexy bright eyes beamed love for her man. She had decked herself in headscarf and costly George apparel. She looked every inch a mermaid. When she walked, she seemed to float. Dr. Gerry’s mother could not believe her eyes when Eka got introduced to her as the one her son was getting engaged to. In their native tongue, she said to Christy, “This one is from the river world. Did your brother ask questions before proposing to marry her?” “Mama she is not even from the forest. What you see is the handiwork of God.” The old woman was not convinced; she knew what she would do, after the party she would visit village to inquire who Eka really was. No matter how much it had been hidden from others, she was certain that Udo, the great seer will see it.

While Dr. Gerry’s mother mused on her intentions, Dr. Gerry and Eka moved into the middle of the living room. In the background a love song played and cameras clicked. Simbi and Eka had done wonders with the decoration in the living room. With calabash, baskets and veils of different colours and lights, the once simple-looking living room was turned into a studio of some sort. As Dr. Gerry took Eka into his arms he wished that day was their wedding day, and that after it was all over he would take her home. Eka on her part fought hard to keep back tears from messing up her makeup. Samuel had through Ema fought his way into being made Dr. Gerry’s ring bearer. Garbed in the same fashion as Dr. Gerry, he stood near them, bearing the engagement ring in a saucer-like basket. They had all chosen to go native in all their decorations and dressing. Still holding Eka, Dr. Gerry slowly went down on one foot and began to make a short vow before slipping the ring on her finger, “When you look at this ring, I hope it reminds you of my promise to never stop loving you. This ring symbolizes my intent to marry you soon, and on that day, I'll replace it with a wedding ring. We will be sweethearts forever from beginning to end; my commitment to you will never break or bend. Will you declare to all present that you will marry me by accepting this ring?”

Like rain drops, tears began to cascade from Eka’s eyes. She turned and looked at her mother, she too was crying. Her father had his hands clasped in a prayer-like fashion, looking on intently. Only Dr. Gerry’s mother looked indifferent. Eka turned back to look at Dr. Gerry and said, “I will accept the ring,” holding out her right hand toward him. Dr. Gerry stood to his feet, took the ring and slipped in on Eka’s finger. With the ring on her finger, Eka took Dr. Gerry into her arms and held her as though he was going to take off. With Sammy some distance away from her, Simbi flounced across the room and held her father tightly, letting tears run freely from her eyes.

Written by:
Uzoma Ujor

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AMAZING LOVE - Episode 40 An African Literary Blog
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