“Go to your girlfriends, I will be grateful if you never come back here!” Nneoma yelled as she watched Jackson pack his luggage out of the house.
He put up a serious face as he packed his things and walked out of the compound. Nneoma wondered where he was going. He didn’t leave with any of the cars. She kept shouting until he couldn’t hear her anymore.
She shouted and cried at the same time.
She slammed her door and wailed, then she took a Bible and began to scream, “Jehovah! are you there watching your daughter suffer like this? How long will I wait? For how long will I be like this?”
The knock came at intervals; it was Editi.
For one consecutive week, Nneoma hadn’t been seen outside. Editi wasn’t comfortable with what was happening to her friend.
“Nneoma, open the door and let’s talk,” she would say at her doorpost every morning, afternoon and evening. But she could only hear footsteps and no replies from her.
“I have been calling you on the phone. I have sent you text messages, please reply me let me know you’re alright,” she said.
Nneoma coughed and said in soft loud whisper, “I am fine. I am alright.” She was by the window, but Editi couldn’t see her face.
“Okay,” Editi said and nodded calmly, “If you need anything, let me know.” She reluctantly walked away.
Editi had complained to Akwang over the phone, and even told Abas the maid about how sad she felt for her friend Nneoma.
“Aunty, they need to go to a prayer house to find out why she no fit carry belle,” Abas said.
“Abas, please leave me alone,” Editi said. She’d just finished drinking chocolate tea and was already feeling sleepy. Akwang was coming back the next day to prepare her for her trip to America.
“I won’t leave without my mom. I heard that most women who had their babies abroad had postpartum depression,” Editi said softly when Akwang called to tell her to prepare for the trip.
“If that’s what you want, no problem,” Akwang said. “Inform mama then, I will make arrangements for emergency visa,” Akwang added.
When the call ended, Abas asked, “Aunty, will I be in this house alone when you leave for America?”
“No, you’ll go to your house until I come back,” Editi replied.
Abas nodded. She didn’t want to go back to her family house, she enjoyed being with Editi. She wasn’t the kind of madam she’d expected her to be. She was kind, unlike her previous madams who gave her soup without meat once in a day. And ordered her to do many things at the same time.
The afternoon Akwang arrived from work, Nneoma watched from her bedroom window as she hugged Akwang and kissed her belly. Their eyes met briefly, it was obvious she was lonely, and Editi felt for her. She managed to take one of Akwang’s bag, the smallest of them all, while Abas carried the rest into the house.
“You’ll first leave for America in few days’ time. Mama will join you later,” Akwang said during lunch. “My cousin Jerry will pick you at the airport, you’ll be staying with them. His wife Salma will be taking you to the hospital for your ante-natal.”
“So soon?” she asked.
“Yes my love. I have to do this now, I will be working for a few more weeks before my paternity leave will be granted.”
“How long will the paternity leave be?” Editi asked.
“Three months or less. I don’t know yet.”
He took some fishes and ate them noisily.
Days passed, and a night before the day Editi was leaving for America came. She walked gently to Nneoma’s house and used both the doorbell and door. She knocked on the door just once, and when she heard it click open, she inhaled a deep breath.
Nneoma’s eyes were teary. Her face was pale and almost reddish.
“Hi,” Nneoma said weakly. She was so weak she had to lean on the wall.
“I came to tell you that I’ll be leaving for America tomorrow,” Editi said as if she was trying to control her words.
“Oh Editi,” Nneoma cried out and hugged her firmly to herself. The smell of her body was offensive. Editi could smell every bit of it.
“What have you been doing in there alone?” Editi asked suspiciously.
“Come in,” Nneoma dodged the question.
Editi passed a few empty bottles of whiskey as she walked into the sitting room that smelt like dead rats and old wet dirty clothes. She covered her nose, “I think I will ask Abas to come help clean this place, it’s really messed up,” she said.
“I’ll be grateful,” Nneoma said coldly.
“You’ll need a shower too,” Editi added.
“Okay. I will do just that, then I will write out lists of what you will get for me from America,” she said weakly, as she fell on the couch. “I will be leaving for field work soon,” she added.
“What’s field work?”
“To preach to people and share our magazines to them,” Nneoma said.
Editi stared at her in surprise. She’d never heard Nneoma mention that before.
Next Chapter: |Chapter 15|
|Chapter 1||Chapter 2||Chapter 3||Chapter 4||Chapter 5||Chapter 6||Chapter 7||Chapter 8||Chapter 9||Chapter 10||Chapter 11||Chapter 12||Chapter 13||Chapter 14||Chapter 15||Chapter 16||Chapter 17||Chapter 18||Chapter 19||Chapter 20||Chapter 21||Chapter 22||Chapter 23||Chapter 24||Chapter 25||Chapter 26||Chapter 27||Chapter 28|