The old woman looked intently at Jay and he shifted uncomfortably. He wondered what could be going on in the woman’s mind. Of course, he wouldn’t pretend he had no idea what she could be thinking. She hadn’t set her eyes on him in the past fifteen years! He had made sure he dodged every chance of their meeting. He refused to attend the weddings of her last two children which held several years ago. He also didn’t attend the burial of her husband about ten years ago. That was the last straw. The woman had stopped calling him on the phone after that. He felt a relief. He could do as he wanted with their daughter. And he actually did, until he realised that contrary to his belief, he would need her the way fishes need water.
He shifted uncomfortably again. Her eyes seemed to pierce through him to the depth of his soul, digging up the lies and cover-ups in him. He felt so transparent.
He swallowed spittle and his goitre bobbed. He cleared his throat even when there was nothing in there.
“So, what exactly did you say is your problem?” She asked him.
ddHe cleared his dry throat the umpteenth time and rubbed his palms together.
“It isn’t exactly a problem. It’s just that…just that…just…” he stuttered.
“So, what is it?” She asked again.
Jay looked into space. He didn’t know what to say. He shouldn’t have come alone. He just realised that. But then, it was a stealthy move he made. How would he start confessing his folly to people? He was really foolish, he knew. He remembered the portion of the Holy Book which says that there’s a way that seems right to man, but its end is damnation. This is exactly what it means. Chaaaaaaaaaiii!
“Are you here at all?” The woman asked.
Startled, Jay nodded and said, “Yes aunty”.
“So, what do you want? After ignoring us for more than fifteen years, you appear at my door and can’t even say what you want. You’re lucky my husband is dead. He would have chased you out of his house. I called you when he died, even when I knew that Adele would have told you, you neither turned up during his burial, no performed the rites meant for in-laws. You know that if it was in the olden days when our ancestors worshipped the earth, the ground on which you rested your foot would have been against you,” the woman said.
Jay lifted his feet off the ground. It was a reflect action. Then, he placed them back gingerly on the floor.
“Aunty, I’m sorry. I’m very sorry,” he said.
The woman stared intently at him but said nothing.
“Aunty, I have come to see you. I’ve come to right the wrongs of many years,” he said, suddenly getting bold.
“Where’s our daughter, Adele? How can you visit us after more than fifteen years without her? I can’t welcome you here without our daughter,” she said.
“Aunty, I came to see you. I’ll come with her soon,” he pleaded.
He knew he was lying. He knew it would be easier for a camel to pass through the eye of a needle than for Adele to visit her aunty with him.
“I’ll not listen to you unless you bring our daughter,” the woman said, hissing loudly.
She stood up and went towards a door.
As she opened the door, she turned to Jay and said, “The gateman will let you out when you’re ready.”
Then, she slammed the door after her. Jay sat nonplussed. Anger surged through him. He felt like kicking everything in sight. But he also remembered that where he was wasn’t his house. If he misbehaved, he would be cooling his arse behind a counter in a police station. He breathed deeply to calm himself down and left. How on earth would he be able to get Adele to visit her aunty with him? He realised the true meaning of the word, impossibility.
As he drove out of the compound, he smiled. A plan was building up in his mind. He would get Gabby…
“So my daughter ran mad and no one told me?” Debola’s mother wailed.
“Haaaaaaaaaaaaa! This world is wicked o. Who did I offend? Who? Who?” She cried.
“Mama, it’s not so. Debola is just disturbed. She’s not mad,” aunty prophetess said soothingly.
“Please spare me that! Do I look like a kid that you can confuse with your grammar? You heard what the doctor said. He said her mind is disturbed. Is a madman’s mind not disturbed? They should discharge her for me let me take her to my pastor,” she said, pulling off the the scarf on her head and encircling it round her waist. She knotted it firmly and continued her ranting.
Tears welled up behind the prophetess’ eyelids. She forced them back. She had to be strong now. If she broke down in tears, then Debola’s mother would lose hope. She would think her daughter had truly gone bonkers. The onus fell on her to make mama understand the fact that one’s mind could be disturbed as a result of stress and that it didn’t amount to madness.
“Mama, that wasn’t exactly what the doctor said. Debola is not mad. She’s going through a very difficult time and she is thinking too much. That’s the problem. The doctors had to force her mind to rest. That’s why they gave her sleeping drugs to make her sleep. She’s not mad, mama,” prophetess told her.
“She’s not mad, she’s not mad, but she told me a madman was following her about, calling her his wife. Can a sane person be thinking like that? How do you convince me? How come a sane mind could cook up such crazy story? Tell me, I say tell me!” Mama said and burst into another round of wailing.
“Mama, she didn’t cook up that story. It actually happened,” prophetess said.
Immediately she uttered those words, she knew she shouldn’t have. Now, she’d have to let the cat out of the bag. She felt very sad. Debola’s mother was staring at her.
“You mean a madman was actually following my daughter and called her his wife?” She asked and dumped her bum on the available seat.
She stared at the prophetess and made a sign for her to keep her voice down. The prophetess stared at her.
“Sit down, my daughter,” Debola’s mother whispered to her, looking around to see if anybody was paying attention to them.
The prophetess complied and sat beside her.
“How could you be saying such. If anybody hears that, they will conclude that something is wrong with my daughter. Don’t you know that it’s not a good omen for a madman to be chasing a sane woman? It’s a curse o, a terrible curse at that. Please don’t say that again,” she pleaded with the prophetess.
Despite herself, the prophetess almost burst into laughter. It was so funny. She kept herself in check though. This was a mother who, moments ago, was almost undressing herself, wailing at the top of her voice that her daughter had gone mad. Now, she didn’t want anyone to hear that a madman chased the same daughter.
“My daughter, tell me, what happened? Where did the madman see her? Were you with her or she told you?”
Prophetess didn’t know where to begin, she whispered, “I wasn’t with her. She told me. It was the stress that led to the bleeding. She lost the pregnancy…”
Debola’s mother opened her mouth in surprise.
“You mean my daughter was pregnant? For who? Who?” Her voice was gradually rising.
It was the prophetess’ turn to remind her to keep her voice down.
“How can I keep my voice down when you people want to kill me? Tell me. Tell me o. You children won’t wait for a man to come ask for your hand in marriage…” Debola’s mother was saying and suddenly stopped. Debola wasn’t a kid. She was knocking on forty and definitely needed a man!
“Mama, let’s go outside,” the prophetess said.
Once out of earshot, Debola’s mother said, “My daughter, tell me the truth”.
The prophetess told her everything. She held nothing back.
“And where is the man at the centre of this?” She asked.
“Mama it’s Jay,” the prophetess said.
“Who’s Jay?” Mama asked.
“It’s that same man that you didn’t approve of,” prophetess replied.
Mama’s two hands flew to her head.
“Debola has killed me,” she wailed.
“Why? What is the matter mama?” Prophetess asked, confused.
“That man has a curse placed on his head,” she said, fear in her eyes.
“Who told you mama?” She asked her.
The mama looked furtively around her and beckoned her to come closer…
Adele looked so refreshingly different. She felt so too. She had always wanted to spot a low-cut and had finally mustered the courage to go for it. The barber who shorn her hair talked her into dyeing it blonde. After much hesitation, she had called Bolan and asked for his opinion. He told her to follow her heart. She agreed and had the little hair left on her scalp to be coloured. No doubt, she looked very different…but ravishing. When she sent her new look picture to her children, they made her feel she should have shorn her hair ealier.
Everywhere she went, she got compliments -from known faces and total strangers.
“My woman, when am I meeting your aunt?” Bolan whispered into her ears as he nibbled them at intervals.
Bolan smiled. He had never failed to get what he wanted. He wasn’t about to fail now. When he set his eyes on Adele over a year ago in that restaurant, he knew she was the only woman made for him. He was ready to stake all he had to get her. Now, the real battle was about to be fought. He would crush everything on his way to get Adele into his home permanently.
He kissed her all over as he felt his man stir again. He never could have enough of her. She was also always ready to receive him. She seemed permanently slippery wet for him, giving him mindful masturbation. With her newly shorn hair and creamy skin, she looked like a goddess among men. He drew her into his arms and kissed her throat…
Let’s continue this journey on Sunday!
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