“this is your season to be blessed, your season to locate your partner, the devil has bound you for so long, come and receive your own husband… ” pastor Chris Ojigbani’s voice boomed from her television
The last time she attended the program was last year, when Barido was still in her life, they have dated for three years without him asking her the dreamed question, she was worried. “I am still taking my time” Barry had always answered when she had voiced her worry to him. Barry was the latest of the many men that had entered her life and walked away leaving her dry like a desert.
It was Amaka that had suggested they should attend the program, “That was where Chimele and Chinwe went to and got married few months later” Amaka had persuaded
“Amaka that was the same thing you said when you wanted us to visit that Witch Doctor you called a spiritualist” she had reminded Amaka, feeling reluctant to follow Amaka
“Stupid spiritualist that made me wash my vagina in front of him while he licked his lips…not to talk of that thing he gave me to rub all over my body that made me smell like chicken feeds for three days” Elizabeth had added
“At least she gave us two full chickens to eat while calling on our Men…”
“That was a freaking voodoo Amaka!”
“But we eat full chickens now, when last did you have a whole chicken for yourself?”
“And where is Chike now? Has that made him my husband?” Elizabeth had asked
“Eh…Okay I admit it was a mistake, but we cannot stop trying now, this one is a church program and ladies a giving testimonies…”
Amaka had succeeded in convincing her, she was also desperate to get Barido to propose to her, she was thirty-three then.
It was like Nigerian movie when they got there, Men were proposing to their women in church, and some even got strange phone calls from men abroad proposing to them. A particular lady’s testimony got her shouting the loudest ‘Amen and waving Barido’s picture above her head as if God was short sighted and needed to see the picture very clear.
Her spirit was very high, and her faith as strong as the big rock at ‘Nsugbe’ when the program ended. She stopped by the market to buy stuffs she would use in making ‘Onugbu soup’ for Barido, and drove straight to his house unannounced.
She had met another woman in the kitchen, with a bum-short and a summer-bra, cooking with the utensils she bought. She didn’t need to ask who the lady was, the look on Barido’s face told her everything, and the girl asking him “Baby who is she?” sent her out of the house in a speed of light.
She didn’t know how she got home or how she survived the days after that night.
“…last year was a blast, we had over thirty proposals and marriages from this Alter…come the lord will do it for you ”
Elizabeth chuckled and sipped from the cup of green tea she held. “some of us has finally realized that we can only fantasize about love and weddings” she muttered before she stood up to check who was at the door
“Big sis! I thought you weren’t around o, I was about turning back” Her brother pushed through the door, with a wrapped box of cupcakes in his hands. A box he had already torn and had already eating one of the seven cupcakes.
“Ike, I wouldn’t have opened the door for you if I knew you were the person knocking” Elizabeth followed behind
“You would have slammed the door on my face rather, have I not entered fast” He picked another cake from the box and sat down “I know you don’t want me around”
“You always spoil my things, so why would I allow you in?” She sat beside him “And which of your numerous girls gave you a box full of cupcakes?” she envied her brother for being able to eat anything without adding a single weight
“Hmm…which girl? They have all left me” he munched “…said I am unserious…” he bit and munched
“So where did you get it from? I know you are too stingy to give yourself this type of treat” Elizabeth said
“Big sis you don’t know me o… I can spend money o…but I didn’t buy this one” he glanced at his sister and hurriedly took one more cupcake “a delivery man gave it to me as I was coming to your house…” He looked at his sister again and noticed the change in her facial expression, he moved away from her “I think it is actually meant for you…” he fling a small card to her and ran inside the kitchen.
Elizabeth caught the card and ran after her brother who had already locked the door behind him “if I catch you eh… you will regurgitate those cakes oh” she shouted
“you no need am na, you dey watch your weight, I say make I help you chop am” her brother responded from the other side of the door
She walked back to the sitting room and read the card;
‘A little peace offering for last night, though you are still beautiful even when you are angry. E’
“A new guy huh?” her brother crept closer to her, he noticed the faint smile on her face
“Just an…” she hesitated, not knowing what to call him
“Just who sis”
“Just a guy I met few days ago” she saw the look her brother gave her “see there is nothing more to this Ike…”
“Why will a guy give you a box of cake if there is nothing going on between you two”
“I don’t even know his name…why am I even explaining to you? you are just like Mum” she left him standing and laughing. When she settled in her room with her legs curled to her chest, she pulled out the card and read it again
“I don’t even know his name”
“here I am, trapped in this god forsaking village, my men in a gun battle with some bloody militants at Bony water ways, and the thought of a beautiful lady fills my head”
He stepped out from the cabin that served as shelter for them, his legs sank with his boot in the muddy ground as he walked with his colleague towards the waiting speed boat.
“who is this woman that has captured your heart?” Abdulazeez asked, he picked the two life jackets and handed one to Ebube.
“all I know about her is that her name is Elizabeth and she has a temper that can microwave a frozen pot of soup” he acknowledged the two junior officers in the boat
“My guy na die you dey o, how can you be attracted to a lady like that? You way no wan wahala…how you go take cope?”
“Abdul I said I like her there is nothing else going on, I have not even spoken to her more than twice, and those two times weren’t encouraging”
“Na una dey worry una self, if na my place eh, watin you go carry matured woman do if not to knack am clean mouth, na to go fine one small girl way no go give you wahala eh, marry her fiam! You don rest be that”
“You no well abdul…watin I wan carry small pikin do? I no envy you at all…” their boat docked at the Jetty
“Sir!” he was greeted as he stepped out of the boat
“What is the situation Commander?” he kept walking
“Not too good sir!” the commander followed him
“What do you mean not too good”
“Another Pipeline was blown up yesterday and Sargent Ayo said two vessels were taken over by these boys”
“they took vessels from you?” Ebube looked angrily at the commander
“They were more than our boys could handle…”
“Bloody idiots are more than you can handle?”
“Sir these boys have sophisticated weapons; we need reinforcement of arms…
“Also, these boys know the terrine more than we do, it has been difficult locating their hid outs and capturing them”
“It’s more obvious we will be staying longer than we planned Abdul” he thought of her again and suddenly wished he could see her.
“You ungrateful child! Come on follow me or I will hit you more”
The child was crying and insisting on not going anywhere with clara, her mother. Her grandmother has gone to the market, leaving her with a house help
“Auntie she say she no wan follow you leave am now…” the house help who has been shielding the child and has been taking the beating the woman meant for the child, said.
“Did you just talk to me! Na me you dey talk to? If I wooze you slap eh, your face go turn go back” Clara turned towards the crying child “ Oya make we dey go before I break this your legs and your papa no go know you again”
She dragged the girl and was about walking out from the gate when Mama Ebube came in, she ran toward the woman and snatched the child from her “Hapurum nwa m aka (leave my daughter for me)” she said
“Mama what is your problem now?” Clara asked angrily
“What are you doing here? I told you not to step your feet in to my compound again” the woman protected the child behind her
“Give me my daughter let me go!” Clara reached for the child but couldn’t get her
“she is nothing to you! you have not been a mother to her, why do you want her…”
“She is my daughter! The court gave me custody, she is mine!!”
The old woman left Clara screaming and threatening, and walked in to the house with the child, “Bia napunum ya naka…anumpama, I na acho nwata I na apigbu (Come and take her away from me let me see, you are looking for a child to kill)”
She watched the woman and the child disappeared and know there was nothing she could do , as much as she wanted to cause them pain, it would not be that day. But her day would come and she would enjoy watching them run around like mice with their tails on fire. Omalicha was her key to achieving her plan, until she would have her, Clara would have to painstakingly wait.
“Very soon Ebube, you will beg me”
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