Editi arrived home at about 9p.m. Her mother and her sister rushed at her excitedly. When Nneoma heard the boisterous laughter, she rushed to her window and peeped through it.
Her heart sunk when she saw Editi and the baby wrapped in her arms.
Editi’s mother collected the baby and began to sing joyfully in an indigenous dialect. Nneoma watched with admiration in her eyes. She didn’t have a mother or a family who would rejoice with her when her baby comes. They’d all deserted her for marrying someone outside their doctrine.
She rushed downstairs and when Editi saw her, she screamed, “Mom-to-be!”
They held each other’s hands and walked into the house. The women talked about everything, but whatever Nneoma told Editi were lies.
Akwang served dinner. And everyone ate while they listened to Editi talk about their son and the sleepless nights.
“Babies are like that, they don’t sleep at night. You and your sister were worst,” her mother said. Everyone laughed.
“I hope your friend is a married woman. Don’t make friends with single women o. They sleep with people’s husbands without conscience,” her mother said boldly.
“She is married mama, can’t you see the ring on her finger?” Annie said.
“Oh that’s good,” her mother said nicely.
Nneoma forced a smile. She was shy, she couldn’t even stare at Akwang’s face when his mother in-law made that statement. But Akwang concentrated on his food like whatever they were saying was ordinary women’s talk.
That night, Nneoma held Nathan in her arms for the first time, and while she watched him sleep in her arms, she saw Akwang in him. He looked exactly like his father. She wished her baby was going to look like him too. Editi began to take out piles of new clothes she’d bought from America and shared to them. They collected them with great delight.
“I also bought perfumes,” she said, as she unzipped another smaller box.
Her sister rolled her eyes, “I hope they are good designer’s perfumes?”
“Stop it Annie, your sister will give whatever she can afford,” her mother said sharply.
“Yes mama,” she responded.
“When will Abas resume work? I am just imagining how I’m going to clean this whole house by tomorrow,” Annie said.
“Don’t worry, I will call her before I go to bed. I will call with my husband’s phone,” Editi said as she handed a bottle of Jimmy Choo perfume to her mother.
“Thank you,” her mother said calmly and then asked, “You want to call a maid with your husband’s number? What happened to your own phone?”
“She misplaced it before she left for America Mama.”
“Then call her with my phone. You have to be very careful with these housemaids. They are the ones who snatch people’s husbands and take over the home.”
“God forbid!” Annie exclaimed.
Editi laughed, then threw a bottle of Versace perfume to her sister Annie.
“I hope you also brought something for your husband’s people?” her mother asked.
Editi nodded, “They are in the other box. My mother in-law will be here by next year. She is busy at work,” Editi said.
“Ah, I can’t wait to see that good woman,” her mother said joyfully.
“Are we not allowed to choose whatever we want?” Annie asked.
“No,” Editi said meanly.
Then she threw a bottle of Elizabeth Aden perfume to Nneoma. “I have perceived something of that nature on you before,” Editi said.
“Hmm. I love Elizabeth Aden!” she exclaimed emotionally.
The women laughed and talked about everything including how white people behave in America.
Nathan started crying and when Editi carried him, her mother advised that she shouldn’t carry him in her arms for so long, so that he won’t get too used to people carrying him.
Akwang texted Editi at that moment, ‘I miss your body, I miss your scent.’
She smiled at the message and said, “My husband needs me. Everyone, to your beds.”
She handed Nathan to her mother and ran upstairs.
That night, he kissed her lips all through. “How long am I waiting before I can touch my wife?” he asked sensually.
“Now. I can’t even wait anymore,” she said.
He kissed her from her feet to her belly button.
Her mother knocked on the door three times before daybreak. “Nathan is hungry, come and give him breast,” she would say.
Editi only sighed and sat up each time.
Morning came, and Nneoma watched Akwang carrying his son in his arms, under the early morning sun. Nathan didn’t have jaundice, so she wondered why he had to do that.
They’d stopped talking to each other on the phone and chats. She had to respect Editi’s presence for a while.
Few weeks after Editi came back, Nneoma called Editi and said, “Please can you send your husband to come help me on my inverter, it’s not working. I don’t understand what’s happening.”
When Editi told Akwang, he sighed before her. But he couldn’t wait to kiss Nneoma again, or, make love to her for a few minutes.
When he opened her door, her heart didn’t tremble at his sight anymore.
“Nothing is wrong with my inverter,” she said.
Next Chapter: |Chapter 23|
|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|