AMAZING LOVE - Episode 41

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The revelry which followed the engagement party, held no interest to Dr. Gerry’s mother. Her thoughts were far removed from the event...

The revelry which followed the engagement party, held no interest to Dr. Gerry’s mother. Her thoughts were far removed from the events around her. She could not wait to visit with Udo to unravel the mystery behind Ekaette’s beauty. “I have allowed these children far too much liberty. The old ways have not been followed in the choice of my son’s would-be wife. Imagine arriving at my son’s engagement ceremony only to find out the girl he intends to marry may have come from the same abominable water cult which ravaged my people in the past. She looks every inch like them. Huh! The old woman does not watch while the nanny goat gives birth with the tether around its neck. I will stop this madness before it festers,” Dr. Gerry’s mother mumbled to herself. “Mama! Mama!! Get up for a picture with Eka!” shouted Christy as her mother snapped out of her thoughts with a pseudo smile on her face. Not willing to give anyone the impression that she had not approved of Eka just yet, she asked to be allowed to take a shot with her alone, “Gerald, stay away. I want this photo alone with my water baby. I have known you all my life, Gerald. I want this one with her.” “Mama, we have to take one with you! You can’t just have a photo with Eka alone,” Dr. Gerry protested. “Okay after this one I will have another one with the two of you.”

Eka did not like being called ‘water baby’ by Dr. Gerry’s mother. To her it sounded like being called a witch.  She made no fuss about it and let it pass. She was however going to discuss it with Simbi. Though her mother in-law had tried to hide the fact she did not exactly like Eka; somehow Eka had seen through it. She didn’t know what Dr. Gerry’s mother might do, but she could not help stopping her thoughts from straying to what Faustina had said about ‘the woman who was coming’. She and Dr. Gerry had thought the woman was NK, but going by how Dr. Gerry’s mother treated her the first time they met, she could not help but think she might be the woman Faustina spoke of. Managing to brush the thoughts away, Eka focused on the day and kept her face glowing with a smile. On the other hand, Dr. Gerry’s mother kept up her act of pretense, dancing and taking photo shots with Eka’s parents and their friends. Eka was not the type to be fooled easily. She did not let her mother in-law out of her sight for a moment. If she had a word with anyone Eka knew, she made a mental note of who the person was. She would ask them later what it was she asked or said to them. A battle seemed to be brewing ahead of her and she would not want a surprise when it begins.

A day after the engagement party, Sammy was around to whisk Simbi away. In spite of Eka warning to Simbi to keep her going out with Sammy on the low, she still could not resist going out with him. She found her guy alluring, charming and far too difficult to turn down. Eka could not wait for Simbi to return so she could let her in on what she thought about Dr. Gerry’s mother. Away at La Campana hotel, Simbi was in a lounge showing off her dance steps to Sammy. The guy was having a fight keeping himself in check. Simbi’s curves and edges seemed to be pronounced when she moved on the dance floor. “This is the best love I have had so far; Lord, help me not to rush into things and spoil it,” Sammy mumbled under his breath. In a bid to stop what Simbi’s captivating feminine figure did to his heart, Sammy asked her to get off the dance floor and watch him instead. He wasn’t much of a dancer, but he was willing to hold it down until Simbi got bored with watching him. “What is that move called?” asked Simbi as she came back to try it out. “No go back and watch me. It is my turn to dance,” Sammy protested. Simbi was already dancing. She made the dance step she copied from Sammy seem natural to her as she moved to the beat.

Sammy stood in awe and watched her for a while. “Have you given making a career out of dancing a thought?” asked Sammy. “No I have not; and I am not interested. It is one of the secret weapons I hope to use some day to keep my future husband glued to me. Friends have said I look irresistible when I dance.” “So you know what you have been doing to me all this while.” “I see the way you look at me when I dance. I like it. It makes me want to dance more.” “But it can make a brother sin.” “What! I am very sorry. I didn’t think of it, forgive me.” Simbi said as she stopped dancing. “Common, I didn’t mean it that way. You shouldn’t look too remorseful about that.” “I know, but I don’t want to be the reason for this beautiful stuff we have to go bad or make us get ahead of ourselves,” Simbi said as she sat down and sipped her drink. After a brief moment she asked Sammy to take her home. The words Eka had said to her were beginning to ring loud in her head. She felt she had put her man in a compromising situation. “Do you want to go home because of what I said?” asked Sammy. “I don’t want to be your temptress. I am a good church girl, a Jesus freak. I feel sick having done something that made your mind stray toward filthy thoughts.” Sammy’s mouth hung wide open. He could not believe his find. He had thought that girls like Simbi were last seen in the middle of nineteenth century.

Sammy stepped closer, put his hands around her waist and asked, “Did you mean what you just said or were you putting up a front?” “I meant every word of it. I love the Lord and hate everything he hates… I am a-no-sex-before-marriage-girl. Are you going to leave me now that you know the sort of person I am?” Sammy kissed her passionately on the forehead and exclaimed, “No! In fact I am now madly in love with you!” “Are you for real?” Sammy did not answer her back; instead he swept her off her feet and swung her around in the air. Simbi loved that. It was blissful to let herself go in the arms of a man who truly loved her… who loved her for the things she feared he might leave her for. Her laughter rang out happily through the lounge as Sammy kept swinging her around. When he wanted to put her down she yelled, “No!! Please! Do it one more time!”

Back at home Eka had grown tired of waiting for Simbi to return home, so she decided to dial her phone number. Too bad it had occurred to Simbi that Eka might want to cut short her fun and so she turned off her phone. In Christy’s house, Dr. Gerry’s mother had presented a plausible reason to be allowed to go back to the village. Under the layers of her lies was the intention to visit Udo the seer, to find out who Ekaette really was. “So mama, if you leave for the village in the morning, when would you return to the city?” “Ah aah! I will be back in just days. I don’t love to bury myself in the farm like you people think. I like the city too,” replied Dr. Gerry’s mother. She actually meant what she said. Her intention was to return to the city as quickly as she found out who Eka was in the spirit realm. She would return to crash the proposed wedding. Gerald was her only son; she would not let her marry from a water cult which was dreaded in the past for claiming the lives of young men in their ripe age. “Mama the way you sound, it seems like you have a business in the city which we do not know of,” observed Ema. “Yes, I have taken note of that too,” said Dr. Gerry. “Mama is acting like a woman who has had a bad dream and can’t wait to get back to her village to find out the meaning,” said Christy as she studied her mother closely. “Mama, please, in God’s name I beg of you. Don’t return from the village to tell us that the girl Gerald wants to marry is a witch,” said Emeka, Christy’s husband.

With that said, they all turned to look at their mother. She blinked ceaselessly to clean from her eyes of any impression that Emeka was right. Still feeling she had been caught, she flared up, “Emeka you are stupid for saying that! What makes you think I would say such a thing about a beautiful girl like Eka? I have observed you often like to insult me!” Christy jumped in to defend her husband, “No, mama! My husband did not insult you. He only asked a question which is not beyond the sort of thing you can do. I must admit, the way you were looking at Eka during the engagement party got me worried. I wonder what the girl must be thinking about you now.” Their mother got up, ran into her room and began to pack her belongings to leave for the village that night. They all had to plead with her not to leave and tendered their apologies severally. Grudgingly she let the matter pass.

By morning she was driven to the bus station by Emeka, with Dr. Gerry in their company. She said very little on the drive to the bus station. Her thoughts were fixed on issues she would rather not speak of. At some point, Dr. Gerry thought she heard his mother sigh and said to herself, “Fools, do they know what killed their father?” At the station his rather sullen mother brightened up, she was happy to leave for the village. What her children had to say were inconsequential, she was their mother and had the right to protect them all. By late afternoon when she arrived at the village, she dropped her bag, not bothering to unpack and ran off to go see Udo.


Written by:
Uzoma Ujor

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AMAZING LOVE - Episode 41 An African Literary Blog
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