Sunday, 26 February 2017
Melvin wasn’t smiling, his face was grim as he spooned the rice with chicken curry sauce into his mouth and forced the meal down his throat. His parents had told him the truth a few days ago and he had been shocked to the bones.
His mother was leaving them soon and somehow, he’d been expected to accept it just like that. Since he was given the news, he hasn’t spoken to his parents or broached the subject again. He was hurting.
Saturday, 25 February 2017
All through the journey back home, Queen wasn’t herself. Her mind kept going back and forth on the conversation between her sisters-in-law and she was worried. She hated the silence and the lingering stares whenever she walked into the room where her husband’s sisters-in-law gossiped, it always felt like she was being observed or talked about.
“Are you okay?” Zach asked as he turned to look at her.
Friday, 24 February 2017
Ella looked at her phone on the table, it was ringing and the caller ID read ‘Hubby’ she shut her eyes and took in deep breaths, she was too upset to answer his call. Just as his call ended, the phone began ringing again and she peered at it and saw that it was a call from Lawrence, she answered the call.
“Lawrence, I am so sorry for the scene my husband caused here at the office, I sincerely apologize.” She said.
“Oh please don’t apologize, it wasn’t your fault...I guess you have a jealous husband.” He said trying to be humorous.
“No, being jealous is not an excuse to act so uncouth and I’m so disappointed in him. Please don’t be angry.”
“I’m not angry, I just called to know how you are. Are you okay?”
“Yes, I am...” She said.
“Okay then, that’s good to hear...I’ll see you some other time and that would be with my freshly squeezed juices.”
“Don’t talk that way, you know that you’re also my friend and not just my juice supplier.” She said.
“I don’t want to cause problems in your marriage...” He said.
“I appreciate that...but...”
“I have to hang up now, I’m getting a call from my business phone, I’ll speak to you soon.”
She nodded and hung up. As soon as she dropped the phone, it started ringing again. The caller was none other than her husband.
That night, as Queen prepared for bed, she forgot totally about her conversation with Jessica and the fact that she’d asked her to send her the details of the place she believed her husband was harbouring another woman. She propped her pillows and made herself comfortable. Her husband walked in looking worried.
“Is anything the matter?” She asked him.
“Yes...why do you ask?”
“You’re frowning and you’ve been frowning all day...even Junior noticed it.”
“Junior doesn’t notice anything,” He said stiffly.
“What do you mean by Junior doesn’t notice anything, he has a little problem with hearing and speaking but he’s no lunatic.” She said sounding offended.
“Really? Then why can’t he communicate with other children? Why does he have to be the odd one out among all his cousins?”
“What has gotten into you, Zach? What is wrong with you?”
“What is wrong with me? I’ll tell you what’s wrong with me. It’s the fact that I have only one child and he’s nothing like the rest of the kids in this house and I’m sick and tired of it.”
Queen sat up on the bed and stared at her husband incredulously. Junior’s speech and hearing impairment have always disturbed her and whenever she wanted to find solutions to his problem, Zach had been quick to stand against it, claiming that the boy will come around at his right time.
“Zach! How dare you speak of our son like this? How many times have I told you that I want to fly him abroad for treatment and didn’t I tell you when I arrived in Lagos that Junior was the reason I decided to take the job at the Lagos branch of my office? I have been the only one striving hard, saving up money to fly our child abroad in search of better treatment and God knows that you make more money than I do and you haven’t put a dime in my savings to get a better treatment for our son. Now, you dare stand there and call him names?” She asked with tears in her eyes.
“Queen...I didn’t mean what I said...I guess I’m just upset about my dad...and I have a right to grieve or don’t I?” He said quietly.
“If you want to grieve, do so the proper way and don’t insult my son or call him names or even compare him to your siblings’ children because he’s not like them. He’s special...he’s different and he’s our son.” She cried and got off the bed, heading out of the room.
Zach wanted to stop her from leaving but he caught himself, he still had to check up on Jessica before he slept and he couldn’t do that with Queen around. Jessica was giving him the cold shoulder and he didn’t know how best to approach her, he knew she was hurt that he hadn’t filled her in on his father’s death and that she was also doubting his sincerity as well. He didn’t know what to do.
Marrying two women wasn’t fun anymore.
Queen walked out from the room where her son slept and shut the door, she was very upset with the way her husband had spoken about her son and she wished she had said more to defend Junior. It wasn’t his fault that he was born that way, and it wasn’t her fault either. She contemplated on whether to make her way to the bedroom or go outside for a walk in the compound, she chose the latter.
She walked towards the front door leading to the balcony and had just placed her hand on the doorknob when she heard female voices.
“I wonder why he’s deceiving her. Why can’t he tell her the truth?” Layla was saying.
“I think it’s best to leave him with his secrets, one day, everything will come to light.” Cassandra said.
“Do you realize that I almost shot myself in the foot when I addressed her by the wrong name? I should have been warned that they are two and not one.” Layla said.
“Shhh...” Cassandra hushed. “You don’t want her to hear do you?”
“Why is it that Zach is so much like his dad...he’s so...” Layla started.
Queen’s heart thumped in her chest, the women were talking about Zach. She was shocked, she inched closer to the door and placed her ear against it to hear what was being said when the door gave way and she almost fell in.
“Oh my goodness!” Layla shouted.
“Queen! Are you okay?” Cassandra asked standing from her seat.
“Oh...sorry, I slipped...I wanted to step out for a walk...” Queen said.
“Okay, we were just about retiring for the night. Sorry about the door, we didn’t shut it properly.” Cassandra said,
“Are you retiring already? We’re leaving tomorrow and it would have been nice to bond before we leave.” Queen said.
“Oh that would have been nice but we leave first thing in the morning.” Layla said standing to stretch and yawn.
“Yes, my kids wake up so early and that means I have to wake up early too...goodnight Queen.” Cassandra said.
Queen watched the two women quickly get into the house and pondered on the snippets of their discussion that she’d heard.
“What did they mean by Zach was so much like his dad? And were they referring to me when they spoke about deception?” She asked herself aloud.
Ella opened the door to the house and saw Jacob seated on the sofa with a bottle of beer before him on the center table.
“I have been calling your phone, where have you been?” He spat.
“After the stunt, you pulled in my office, I don’t want to talk to you.” She said and made her way towards the bedroom.
Jacob followed her and when she got in, he slammed the door behind them.
“Jacob, I understand that you did practically nothing today but I have had a long and hard day and I want to rest.”
“Rest? How can you rest when Lola is missing?”
“She’s your relative! Look for her and stop disturbing my life!” She shouted.
“I was calling your phone and I noticed that your line was busy from time to time. You were talking to that fruit friend of yours right?”
“I have clients and you do understand that I have a job, so most of my calls were business calls.” She said drily.
“I was calling all afternoon.”
“I didn’t want to speak to you.” She spat.
“I was calling to tell you that Lola has been kidnapped.”
She turned to face him in shock.
“Kidnapped? How? Who told you that?”
“They called me...this afternoon and threatened to kill her if I don’t produce the money they are asking for.” He said.
“Kidnapped? I can’t believe this.”
“That’s why I was calling you. I need your help, Ella, the money they asked for is too much and they warned that we don’t involve the police.”
“We have to report this to the police...” Ella said in fright. “We can’t handle this case by ourselves.”
“Listen, they have warned that we should get the money without informing the police.”
“Can you listen to yourself? There’s no other solution to this problem other than to get the police involved.”
“They will kill her if we do.”
“So, what’s your best option? How do we save her?”
“I suggest that we get the money and give it to them.”
“Get the money? How?”
“What do you mean by how? You know you have a lot of money chilling in your account, what’s the paltry sum they’re asking for, compared to the millions in your bank account?”
Ella looked at her husband in stunned silence.
“So, what do you mean by what you’re saying?” She asked slowly.
“I need you to bring the money so that we can get her out.” He said.
Ella stared at her husband as though he’d gone mad.
To be continued tomorrow....
Thursday, 23 February 2017
Tuesday, 21 February 2017
Chekwube was taking out the garbage bin when it fell from her hand to the ground. She sighed as she removed her rubber slipper and began to push the waste back in. As she pushed the waste into the bin, she noticed something. It was some wraps of moi moi. She wondered who must have eaten the moi moi as she was sure that her sister’s husband didn’t eat before leaving for work that morning.
Monday, 20 February 2017
Ola heard the rap at her door and stood up from the bed to open it, she was bored of sitting at home all day and doing nothing.
She opened the door and was shocked to see who her visitor was.
“Good morning.” He greeted.
“Baba Tee...” She said.
“Yes, na me in flesh and blood. How you dey?” He asked, flashing a smile at her.
Sunday, 19 February 2017
Kentura stared in disgust as two other girls on the same mission as she was, walked up to stand not too far from her spot. She felt irritated. This was her spot and she never shared it with anyone. Why did they have to come here today? She wondered. Not letting them deter her, she walked up to her spot and stood, placing her hands on her hips and staring ahead at the road.
The first car pulled up and just as she bent to look inside, the car drove up to the other girls and after a while, one of the girls got in and the car drove away. Kentura was mad! Not only were they stealing her spot, they were taking her clients too. She wanted to storm up to the lady who had been left behind and warn her off her spot but on second thoughts she let her be. She didn’t want to draw unnecessary attention to herself or get the police involved as that would mean, no work for tonight.
Saturday, 18 February 2017
Friday, 17 February 2017
Jessica looked at her bandaged foot which was pressed on the brakes of the car and frowned.
“We’ve been here for more than an hour. When are we going in?” Her sister asked.
Jessica looked at her sister and sighed. They had driven all the way to the address of the place her husband had rented in his name. They had set out on their journey as early as five am in the morning so that they could be done on time and get to their workplaces.
“You’re exaggerating Lisa. We’ve only been here for less than twenty minutes,” Jessica said.
“Why don’t you turn off the car engine, your foot has been on that brake since...”
“Oh stop it! I am trying to concentrate.” Jessica said.
Thursday, 16 February 2017
Her four inch heels clicked on the paved road as she walked, it was a long way to the spot but she loved the feel of the night air on her skin. The cars zoomed past, mostly taxis and a few buses, a number of private cars slowed down but she wasn’t in a hurry, she knew her spot and that was where she intended to build her clientele for the night.
Wednesday, 15 February 2017
“Get out of my house!” Sister Lucky spat at me with rage in her eyes.
I fell on my knees before her.
“Sister, I beg of you...I did not take anything. I entered your room but I did not touch anything...I swear.” I cried.
“Don’t swear to me! Just get out of this house! I can’t live with a thief! Go!” She spat, pushing me towards the door.
Tuesday, 14 February 2017
Chekwube ran to the gate of the school in frenzy, she was so afraid to be late but alas, as soon as she got to the gate, she saw other latecomers kneeling in the dust. She wanted to cry.
“Kneel down!” A male teacher spat at her.
She stood there not knowing how to explain her situation.
“Sir, I am a new student...I didn’t know the way to the school and...” She started.
The hard slap on the thin long cane on her legs sent pain through her body, she yelped. She wasn’t used to being beaten.
Monday, 13 February 2017
It was the first day of school and Chekwube didn’t want to be late, she had woken up at six am and had made sure to brush her hair which was cropped low. By the time it was six-thirty, she had finished sweeping and cleaning the small room which she shared with her sister and her husband. Her sister stared at her wistfully as she wore her uniform.
Sunday, 12 February 2017
Kentura pushed open the door to her apartment and shut the door behind her. She rested her back against the door frame and breathed in deeply and slowly. The words from that lady at the church had hit her where it hurt.
She quietly walked into the mini apartment where she lived alone and made her way into her bedroom. She tossed her bag on the bed and sat in the chair before the mirror and stared at her reflection. Suddenly, it all came back to haunt her.
Saturday, 11 February 2017
Queen hated to lie to herself; she hated the man her husband was gradually turning into. He was becoming very controlling, obsessive and too possessive. She had arrived his home town three hours ago and was presently in the house with his family members. Queen knew her brother in-laws quite vaguely but she didn’t really know their wives so well, except for one, Cassandra.
Friday, 10 February 2017
Jessica hopped into the office with an umbrella for support, she smiled politely at her colleagues and waved at those who asked questions. Her ankle hurt badly and she didn’t know how to tell anyone that she’d had a bad fall all because she’d been snooping on her husband.
Queen had just sent her email to the Human Resources department and was on her way there to speak with the manager when she saw Jessica hop in.
“My good Lord! What happened?” Queen asked in concern.
“It’s a long story...” Jessica said wincing in pain.
Thursday, 9 February 2017
Bianca stood before the full length mirror in her bedroom and stared at her reflection. She was wearing a gold embroidered mermaid gown with a V-neckline at the back and at the front. She was still twirling and admiring herself in the mirror when the door opened and her mother walked in.
“You look breathtaking my darling...” Her mother said with a smile.
“I know mum, I had to wear this dress today because Melvin and I are going to be on the podium together. He is preaching for the special service while I will be giving the special number and also leading the choir.” She said sounding excited.
Wednesday, 8 February 2017
Sister Lucky charged into the sitting room with fire in her eyes.
“Where is the money?” She asked in anger.
We all looked at her, each of us staring in silence and afraid to speak.
“Am I talking to deaf people? Where is the money I left on the stool in my bedroom?”
“I don’t know where it is ooo...I’ve been at school all day today.” Kemi said.
“Yes ooo...I’ve been at school too.” Yusuf added.
Tuesday, 7 February 2017
It was all his mother’s fault, Gbenga thought as he stared at his phone. If she hadn’t given his father sole custody of her son, things might have been different. He thought. If she never left his dad, things would have been different too. Mothers were the ones who pleaded with fathers whenever they made unreasonable decisions regarding their children. They were more emphatic because they went through childbirth and knew what it takes to bring forth a child into the world. He wished his mother was here with him.
He pulled open his drawer and brought out a framed photograph, it was a picture he’d taken with his mother when he was one year old, he’d been chewing a straw and standing beside his birthday cake while his mother stooped beside him with a smile. He wanted to cry, he wished he could but there were no tears; even though he knew that growing up with his mother might have helped balance his life, he really had no reason to miss her. His father provided him with everything he wanted and much more. He was still staring at his mother’s picture when he heard a rap at the door.
Monday, 6 February 2017
After Chekwube had been returned home safe, Mickey sat on the stool in the small bedroom her brothers shared and tore pieces of fried chicken and placed them in her mouth, chewing nosily. Tiwatope sat on the bed beside Babatee.
“Na wah for dis our relationship ooo....I’m the one that’s always chasing you about town.” Tiwatope complained.
Sunday, 5 February 2017
Saturday, 4 February 2017
Ella’s phone rang and she sighed when she saw the caller ID.
“Hey mommy....” She greeted. “Good evening.”
“My dear, how are you? Your sister told me all that’s been happening with you and I’ve been very worried.”
“Oh c’mon mom.....” Ella said. “Don’t worry about me, it was all just a dream.”
“What dream?” Her mother asked.
Friday, 3 February 2017
Ella was fast asleep and the only sound coming from the bedroom was the low rum from the ceiling fan. Her eyes were closed and her lips were parted; a low snore escaped her lips. Suddenly, she bolted upright and let out a loud scream.
Jacob shot up as well and jumped off the bed as though the room was on fire.
“Help!” He shouted, and then turned to look at his wife who looked disoriented and who was staring at her hands as though she was seeing them for the first time.
Thursday, 2 February 2017
Kentura opened her eyes and saw the bright light.
“Am I in heaven?” She asked herself, just then, a horn beeped loudly and she jolted up. She heard the door of a car slam shut and footsteps approach her.
“What are you doing? Do you want to get yourself killed?” A male voice asked.
She looked up and saw nothing, only the bright flash of light, only the loud horns coming from the cars that sped past her on the road.
Wednesday, 1 February 2017
I was hungry, very hungry! There was no food in the house and there was no one home either. I had spent all night reading for my exams that I hadn’t even bothered looking for food and the rules in Sister Lucky’s house states that everyone must be involved in the cooking or not eat at all. I hadn’t been involved in the cooking last night so it was logical that food wasn’t reserved for me.
Tuesday, 31 January 2017
Mickey had watched the new girl run off in pursuit of the young boys and laughed. She knew that there was no way she was going to catch any of them unless she was Usain Bolt. On the other hand, if she had been the one in Chekwube’s shoes, she’d have just gone straight to the boys’ families to speak to their parents since she knew them so well and save herself the stress of running after them.
This was going to be so much fun; she smiled as she jumped off the pavement and made her way into the compound. The new girl was going to go through hell in Lagos and she was going to make sure that she contributed to it. She was sure that before the month was over, Chekwube would have packed her bags and fled to the village where she belonged.
Monday, 30 January 2017
Gbenga was in his bedroom with his friends, Lanre and Austin. The three boys were looking through some magazines rated eighteen.
“My brother goes back to school in two days so, I have to return these mags to his drawer.” Austin was saying.
“Chill jo...you just brought them out today and you’re threatening to take them in already.” Lanre hissed.
Sunday, 29 January 2017
Pere made his way through the market with nothing but a nylon bag folded meticulously and stuffed into the back of his pocket. He walked with sure steps as though one on a mission and indeed, he was on a mission. He needed to get food or he’ll starve. He made his way through the very bubbly market on the outskirts of Warri town and stopped at a garri stall.
“Good morning...” He greeted.
Saturday, 28 January 2017
Ella heard the knock at the door and stood up to answer it, she glanced at the clock on the wall and yawned. It was still four am in the morning.
“Ella...wake up.” A voice whispered. It was Tamara, her sister.
Ella rolled her eyes wearily, Tamara had decided to come spend a few days with her in her home as she was on a short break from work.
Friday, 27 January 2017
Queen sat at her desk and smiled, she was content and very happy. She had successfully moved into her new home with her family. She was so thrilled. She was still smiling when she heard someone say.
“A naira for your thoughts.”
She looked up to see Jessica staring at her. Queen smiled back but cautiously, her husband had told her avoid people who clung to others, all in the name of friendship.