It was relived in the lenses of my brain and eyes as if it was a digital movie shown on a LCD television!
I sat on the gossip chair in front of the girls’ hostel where I was a serving corps’ member, pressing my runner-band supported handset. I was getting furious because I was kept waiting for long.
“Where are you for goodness’ sake?” I typed
I was almost getting mad!
I am a woman for Christ’s sake and I shouldn’t be kept waiting for long for one damn man from wherever!
I love him…oh yes I do!
But it’s sunny
It was so scorching that it felt like I would have tanned greatly.
Adejare had told me to leave my hostel very hurriedly and I had been very scared of what could have been wrong.
I left the tray of groundnut I had just peeled and was blowing to take garri and I quickly wore a very long, fitting gown.
I stepped into flat slippers and jumped out.
To my dismay, forty minutes after the ‘pajawiri’ call, he was nowhere in view!
There was no reply, though the message marked ‘read’
My heart started beating and I became really vexed.
If I had checked the mirror, my eyes would be so red
Exactly how was I supposed to feel?
How was I supposed to feel?
…but I felt angry.
In our years of friendship, we had always kept to time, keeping no one in suspense.
I stood up and turned towards my hostel.
‘If he called later, I might not come out o’…I thought to myself
I turned to look round again to be sure he wasn’t near.
There was no sign of him, so I started walking away angrily.
As I placed my right leg on the first stair case, I felt a warm hand on my shoulders.
I turned around fiercely.
It was a guy’s hand and I wondered who had the audacity to touch my shoulders.
It was Jare!
I tried my best to hide my anger but no!
“What sort of a thing is this? Were you kinda playing some games with me? Jare, you should know me better. Excuse me” I said and started mounting the stairs
He followed me
He was not panting
That only meant, he had not run.
If he had run to catch up with his fiancée sitting under the sun and who had waited for him for the past 40 minutes, he would be panting like a deer now.
It meant he had been quite around for some time, watching and waiting to see the level of my perseverance.
Jare shouldn’t be the one doing that to me.
I hate those kinds of tests, abeg!
“I am sorry dear” he said calmly
…and it worked
Magically….as it always did!
I stopped in my tracks
I was still backing him.
“What?” I asked angrily.
“Sorry for wasting your time” he said coolly.
I felt guilty and turned to look into his face.
There, in front of my face was a very big bowl of ice cream scoop.
I held my breath
“Are you for real?” I exclaimed loudly, smile erupting my face
He came closer to me and covered my mouth
“Bush girl, don’t embarrass me jhur” he said sweetly into my ears
And I blushed!
I loved it when he called me bush girl!
But wasn’t I really a bumpkin?
The last time I saw this very large bowl of Ice-cream at Shoprite, I went to check the price and so clearly, it was embolden on the cover ‘N2, 500’
Where was I supposed to get that from?
But here it was on a platter of gold!
He took his hand off my mouth and I smiled sweetly at him.
“This is so sweet of you” I said and he smiled too
“Let’s leave this place for the shade over there” he said as he pulled me gently back to the gossip chair.
As we sat down, his eyes were steadfastly set on my face and I looked away
“What is the problem?” I asked
He sat beside me
“What would Gun Jun Pyo have done if he were to be the one waiting?” he asked and my eyes shone brightly
“You watched Boys Over Flowers?” I asked so astonishingly, beaming with smiles
He smiled too as he shook the head
“If I didn’t watch it, you said you would withdraw your ‘yes’ nah and I didn’t want to lose my all round beautiful angel!” he said and I blushed with excitement
“You won’t kill me Adejare!” I said softly and he pressed my right palm sweetly.
I watched the Korean movie on my roommate’s laptop and I loved it so much that I had pestered and threatened that he must watch it.
But he had always had one or two things to criticize about the movie which I always fought him about.
The language irritated him but that sent cool chills down my own spines whenever I watched.
Talking about the main character now (Gun Ju Pyo) showed how much he cherished my interest and how much he wanted to be a part of my life.
I was happy that he watched my best movie ever!
“Now, for real, Gun Ju Pyo stood outside the Namsam Tower from evening till dusk…not in the sun or rain or….but in the snow!” he said firmly, a small knit of frown on his forehead.
I pouted my lips as I hugged his left hand firmly.
I knew what he was driving at.
“I ordered for the strawberry flavor which they didn’t have. So I had to wait till it was freshly mixed. My mind was on fire as to how worried you would have been. I was so shocked that looking at you from the back view, you didn’t look worried but angry! Is that our love? No patience?” he asked and that was when I knew that he meant business.
“Are you angry?” I asked and he shook his head
“If in the movie you recommended for me, a proud, arrogant rich kid could wait for hours in the extremely cold snow for an ugly duckling as he did call her, I don’t know why you beautiful lady couldn’t patiently await your sweetheart for some minutes” he said and I smiled ruefully.
“I am so sorry dear. It was intentional. Forgive me” I said, touching his small beard playfully.
He looked away
“No problem. Take your ice-cream before it thaws” he said as he placed the big bowl into my hands
“Thanks” I said, smiling but he looked away still.
I had to do something to save the situation before it got out of hand.
“Please smile and tell me you have forgiven me” I said and he gave a little smile
“I have forgiven you” he said curtly
“Add darling jhur. I have forgiven you my darling” I said and he smiled largely.
“You can’t be for real!” he said
“I am for real. Say it”
“Say it jhur”
“I wont say it jhur” he said on.
By now, my playful frustration had made his smile to grow larger but I wont let go until he added ‘my darling’
I moved to his side and started to tickle him hard.
He fell upon me in a fit of laughter.
I didn’t let go
“Say it loudly”
“Darling…I have said it” he said, gasping for breath as tears strolled down his face from the forceful laughter.
“Say it in full. Smile and say I have forgiven you my darling” I ordered again
I intensified the tickling
“I have forgiven you my darling” he said and I tickled him the more as we both laughed out loudly.
It took some minutes before we became sane again.
“Eat ice-cream with me please” I said to him but he shook his head and held my hands softly, stirring deep into my eyes
“What have you eaten today?” he asked
“Nothing. I was about preparing food when you called me” I said and his face lightened up
“What delicacy were you trying to prepare?” he asked sweetly and I smiled
“Garri. I got some freshly made groundnut. It would really be a good combination” I explained and he shook his head
“Garri! I wonder why your eye sight is still as good as this when all you take is nothing but garri! I just wonder!” he said, so worried
“I will be fine. I just love it” I said and he shook his head
“You like garri or there is no money? Which? Would you stop lying! You wouldn’t allow anyone to help you even in the slightest way and it’s tiring. You have become so lean and I really don’t know what to do to you again. I just want this service year to end so I can marry you shaperly” he said and we smiled
“I can’t wait too. But as much as I love you and wanna spend my life with you, the big obstacle on our way wouldn’t give me real joy” I said with mixed feelings even as I sadly inserted few scoops of ice-cream in my mouth.
“My parents?” he asked as he nodded knowingly
“Whether my parents like it or not, it is you I want, not another! You are my wife” he said authoritatively.
I nodded like a chicken and took in more spoons of ice-cream
I looked into his face
He looked pained
“I just don’t want to be the cause of any problem between you and your parents. I don’t want wahala for you” I said again when I realized that he looked so withdrawn and sad that I had not said anything sensible since.
He shook his head.
He took the bowl of ice-cream from my hand and placed it on the mud bench with a bang.
I looked into his face with shock etched on my heart.
He held my hands and pulled me up
“We have to do something important now.” He said as he pulled me away
I was mum as he pulled me on till we got to his car.
He opened the door of the front seat and made me to sit down.
He turned to enter through the driver’s seat.
I was so patient.
He sat for a few minutes after he had put on the regulator in the car to regulate the temperature in the car.
“Erm…” I said after I became bored of the silence.
He looked at me.
Tears flowed down his face
I was shocked
“What is the matter?” I asked as I held his hands in amazement
He wiped his tears with the back of his palm and looked outside.
“I am scared” he said and I became more scared
“Of what?” I asked and he turned to look at me
“Of you! I am scared of you!” he said firmly and my mind was in serious disarray.
“Of me? How? Why? What do you me?” I pressed his hand the more
What could be wrong that he would be scared of?
“You are loved! Many men love you so much. They look at you and even come to you at all times” he said and my heart was muddled
“So?” I asked and he scratched his head
“I am scared that you won’t be able to scale through my parents’ discouraging comments on phone even without meeting you. I am scared that you would one day tell me that you had reconsidered our relationship and that you are backing out. I am scared” he said, bursting out into tears the more.
“Adejare! You almost killed me with your words. Is that all?” I asked, still pressing his palm softly
He too his hand off mine and wiped his face
“You don’t just understand. Not at all do you understand!” he said and I held his two shoulders and shook them gently.
“I love you. I will stay by you. I will always love you. I will not leave when you when you need me most. I won’t. I promise!” I said and he looked into my face
“Are you sure?” he asked as if he was a baby
“Yes I am sure” I replied like his mother as I wiped his tears.
We had been friends for years and I understood clearly that he didn’t want anybody between us.
He jealously wanted me for himself only!
“Swear” he said, seriously
“I swear!’ I replied him.
I didn’t believe in swearing but since that would make him ok, I decided to do it.
He smiled and gently pushed me aside as he hurriedly checked his drawer for something I didn’t even know.
He brought out a razor blade.
“What’s this?” he asked, raising it to my face
“Razor blade” I replied, still unsure of whatever he was driving at.
Before I could stop him, he had cut himself on the left thumb
My eyes widened
“What was that for?” I asked as I held my chest in horror
He panted quietly
“Lick it” he pointed the finger at me
“What!” I exclaimed and he urged me with his eyes
“Only if you love me, Glory. If you sincerely do” he said and I shook my head
“I love you Adejare. But what’s all these for goodness’ sake? What?” I lamented and tears gathered in his eyes.
“I will lick yours too. It shows you love me unto death do us part. There is no side effect” he said again and I sighed deeply as i licked his salty red body fluid.
He smiled and then picked my right thumb, cut it a little bit and licked my blood
He smiled again, looking satisfied
“Please repeat after me…” he started and I nodded as I turned to look at through the window
I was never going to leave this guy!
I wonder why he was wasting his time doing something fetish and unbinding as this
“…the day I go against this bidding, let the ground receive me” he said and I repeated after him
He hugged me afterwards and that was how our relationship became strengthened till we finished our service in Nasarawa state.
Was that the blood covenant the pastor was talking about?
It couldn’t be anything other than that though!
Because I had never killed anybody…not even a fowl!
I just needed this God!
The God that saved my Doctor from the devices and enterprises of the enemies….
I need that God too!
The whole house looked forsaken and abandoned!
The kitchen had plates that flies perched on because of their filth!
My room had different clothes littered on the floor.
I felt nauseous immediately!
Just for the one month that I was away!
…and everything had already changed this much.
My children looked unkempt- all of them!
“They are still kids o…so, you can’t expect them to keep the house the way you would have done” my doctor said as if she could read my mind
I couldn’t feign laughter
I was mad!
“But this isn’t nice at all” I said as I surveyed the children
“Taiwo and Kehinde, you couldn’t even take care of your young ones? You couldn’t bath them? See how diseased you all look!” I almost wept
“There was no soap. The detergent we were using finished” Taiwo said
“Detergent?” the doctor asked, quite surprised.
“It is also good on the body o. it’s just like medicated soap” I tried to cover up our pauper lifestyles
“I don’t like that at all. These detergents are not good on the skin o. They sometimes eat into our skin. You couldn’t have asked me for soap when you visited the hospital” the doctor said and I looked down in shame.
I had to save the situation again.
“Kehinde, come here” I called at my daughter who looked so weird and withdrawn
She staggered as if she was drunk and fell to the ground before me.
I jumped back as the doctor rush to bring her up
“What is wrong with you?” I asked but there was no response from the girl
“Talk to me….somebody talk to me. When did Kehinde become paralysed? Kehinde!” I exclaimed as I turned back to be sure a cushion was behind me.
I sunk into one and looked on.
“Taiwo, Tola…somebody talk to me..” I pleaded, very weakly
“Mummy, Sister Kehinde yaf pregnant” James said and there was silence
…as if everyone in the house except me knew about this except me!
I blinked as if my life depended on it.
“Kehinde, pregnant…how? Doctor, you know about it? Please talk to me somebody. Someone should tell me it’s not true.” I was almost crying
My heart couldn’t just accept the bad news.
None of my children I ever have such thought towards in my entire life
Teenage pregnancy?… ah ah!
“Take it easy Mrs. Olowo” I heard the doctor say and I looked at her, so lost in thoughts
“You know about it?” I asked in a very loud voice
The doctor looked at me and smiled lightly
“I couldn’t tell you anything because of your health condition but thank God you are hale and hearty now” she spoke on and I couldn’t but watch on in silence.
My heart was racing so fast.
As she explained to me the ordeals of my daughter’s pregnancy, the abortion and the brutal method used, the bond that existed between one Haruna and my daughter, I couldn’t believe my ears.
I pinched myself, slapped myself, and slapped my tongue against the roof of my mouth severally so I would be startled back to reality
… But it was the truth!
The bitter cola!
I slid from the chair on which I had sat to the cemented floor and wept like a virgin widow who had lost her husband to ‘Magun’ before he could even touch her.
My girl was just fifteen years old for God’s sake!
What did she know about sex?
What did she know about abortion?
Abortion with hanger???… Chai!
Iron hanger for that matter!
My body flinched severally that I couldn’t control it.
“Who did I offend in my past life? Exactly who did I offend that is afflicting me like this? Afflicting my children too? Ahhhh…Jesu oooo!” I wailed on, slapping my laps as my hands gathered momentum.
I looked at the Kehinde under my teary eyes and she was so pitiable.
Her collarbone was visible and she looked hungry- weak and uncared for.
“Kehinde” I called out to her. The doctor still held her lovingly as she sat on the floor with her. Her hands on her shoulders
I didn’t know if I should be harsh, or calm according to the Doctor’s prescription or angry, or wounded or disappointed.
I didn’t just know how to act at all.
“Ma” she answered faintly, her head shaking on top of her neck as if it was so light like paper.
“What happened?” I asked, fixing my eyes on my daughter- my filthy daughter!
“I ron’t doh” I heard her say, her eyes half shut.
I sat straight and looked at the doctor.
“Doctor, what’s wrong with her? Her tongue is tied? Please check for me” I was so scared.
When did she start pronouncing don’t as ron’t and know as ‘doh’.
I stood up immediately and went close to her side.
Her eyes were contracting and her tongue was tied.
The doctor stood up to the situation and laid her down on the floor.
“Get me a pillow please” she said and Taiwo rushed inside for one.
The doctor used it support her head.
“Kehinde…Omokehinde” I called out as I pulled at her hand.
The doctor pulled out her stethoscope as my girl started making croaky voice from her throat.
I was scared.
“Don’t die please. Kenny, please don’t di…” I was still saying when she dropped her hand suddenly and her tongue wagged out to the side of her mouth.
“Mummy…to…lli” she seemed to say what I decoded as ‘sorry’ and she closed her eyes in death.
The doctor shook her head and I let out a heart-rending scream
“Jesu ooo!! Ina omo ti jo mi oooooooo” I screamed so sadly.
Taiwo sat on the ground close to her twin and tugged at her, tears strolling down her face.
“Oh Jesus! Oh Jesus!! Oh my Jesus!!!” the doctor exclaimed too.
“He has failed me again. He has failed me again. Your Lord has failed me again.” I cried the more as my head started thumping.
I sat close to the corpse and carried the heavy lifeless body in my arms.
I started rocking it as tears ran down my face.
The doctor held her head in regret as she shook her hand intermittently.
Immediately a crowd started forming in front of the house, I dropped the corpse gently and rushed into my room, locked the door and fell on the bed- on my tummy.
The great pain I felt made me to flinch as I cried out the more!
I felt that instead of my problems being solved after the so called reason for the bitterness kind of life had been discovered, it was becoming bitterer!
Wouldn’t it just be safe to commit suicide?
Oh my God!
Oh my good God!
This was just not my plan at all!
It just felt as if the Lord had failed me.
As I drove back from the market where I had gone to after dropping the corpse in the mortuary, my mind just welled up in me as if it wanted to pop out.
“God why? Why?” I asked as tears ran down my face.
I had trained myself never to question God’s act but in this case, this was someone I was trying to win for the Lord!
Why should this happen to her Lord?
Tears strolled down my face and as I wiped with my bare hands, the smell of the fish I had bought wafted to my nostrils and I became irritated.
The woman had locked herself in the room for hours.
“Lord, why are you quiet?” I cried out loud again as I parked my car in front of the small building which was their residence.
“God, please teach me and use me for the short period of time I would be spending in this place” I prayed silently.
I wouldn’t let what happened affect my faith in Christ even though it had been shaken vehemently!
It had been four days that I had been in the house teaching the kids and consoling them.
Glory Olowo had been inside the room without coming out of it for that long.
Only her tears and sobs reassured me that she was alive.
Her husband had not shown up even though he had been sent for.
I just wanted God to prove himself strong in this family
He had never failed me before and He wouldn’t start now.
I had stocked the kitchen with different stuffs and the children had been feeding well after being consoled a bit after their sister’s death.
“Let’s try knocking the door again if she would open” I told Taiwo and she nodded uncertainty etched on her face.
We knocked on her door and after some wet sniffs and a low cough, there was a movement
“I am fine here” she said…her voice hushed
“Yes you are fine but I want to see your face. Open the door and eat something no matter how little” I pressed on
“Why? I don’t need to eat o…do I know the next person to be taken off my family now? Do I? NO!” she exclaimed loudly but weakly
“Please don’t be discouraged ma. The battle is toughest when the victory is near. That’s the explanation for this. Please reconsider and glorify God for He is good” I admonished her when she gave a scornful laughter
“You must be a joker! Glorify? Except He proves Himself to be God. Except He doesn’t only takes us to the root of the problem but solves the problem, he then can be considered by me! For now, I really think you go!” she said firmly and I withdrew from the door.
My pastor had travelled to Lagos State for a prayer conference and I had informed the prayer band about the issue at hand.
But the heavens seemed shut against us!
“Daddy” the children echoed together as a moderately tall man stepped down from the bike with about four to five polythene bags.
He smiled at the children as they attempted to collect the polythene bags from him, although he didn’t release them.
He came inside and saw me
“Good evening” he greeted
“Good evening sir. You are welcome.” I said to, genuflecting a little
“I am Mr. Adejare Olowo, the head of this family. And you are?” he asked and I smiled faintly
“My name is Dr. Flora Adegite. The gynecologist in charge of your wife and daughter” I said respectfully
He smiled ruefully
“Kehinde used to be my favorite daughter” he said as he dropped the polythene bags.
“Hmmm” that was the only thing that left my mouth.
“I learnt that she committed abortion” he said and I nodded.
“She did a very dangerous abortion but days later, she used dangerous drugs as she experienced some pains. She also had some internal bleedings before giving up the ghost.” I explained and he shook his head in regret
“Where is the mother?” he asked
“Daddy, she af lock hersef in da door” James said.
The father pulled his ears softly
“She has locked herself inside the room” he corrected him as he proceeded to the bedroom door.
“There are soup ingredients in one of the polythene bags. Water melons and other fruits in the other…bring the other nylon….my wife’s goodies are inside” he said and Taiwo blushed as she took it to him.
That looked real…a real man!
He knocked the door and waited
“Dearie. Its Jare. Open the door” he said sweetly and waited.
Wasn’t it this guy that beat his wife to stupor over a month ago?
He had not come home since then, so why this niceness when he was just resurfacing?
What goodies did he buy his wife?
He didn’t even seem to mourn his daughter’s death.
Was there more to this that I can’t just see?
Open my eyes Dear Lord to spiritual insights….
Show me the secrets oh Lord as your word says in Psalms 25 that if I fear you, you would reveal your secrets to me.
Why are you silent Lord?
I felt very troubled within that I glanced occasionally at the door side where he stood.
If she opened the door, then would I be sure that there was a big wahala!
I had knocked that door to no avail for many days.
If she opened to a man who almost kicked the life out of her and life her for many weeks, then, I would be certain that I would be in for a big problem!
“Open the door dear” he said again
It looked like a movie though as I heard the door creaking as it opened.
“How are you?” he asked in a baritone voice
“You are welcome” she said faintly and Jare hugged her.
I blinked hard
My ears went deaf!
What kind of a thing was going on?
Welcoming into your room the man who had almost killed you few weeks ago?
It didn’t seem to make sense to me and I needed to get to the root of the matter!
It looks like the story is meaningless shae?
Yes I know this isn’t my style of writing…
But this is a message…
Please Watch out for 5