Mama Ikenna: “Where are you coming from madam the madam? Where have you been for the past three days I’ve been here? Is this how your useless mother brought you up? Is this how you were taught to act as a married woman? She raved accusingly immediately she sighted Pamela.
Pamela: “Welcome mama, I did not know you were around” she replied wearily.
Mama Ikenna: “How will you know? When you are busy jumping from one bed to the other. I said it, you are a prostitute sent to disgrace my son. Ikenna do you see it now?” she turned to Ikenna. “And who is this? “She asked when she noticed Tunde for the first time.
Tunde: “I am her friend, good evening” he replied with the same vigor she had used in talking to Pamela.
Mama Ikenna: “I see! So you brought one of your customers home? No wonder you are looking so pitiful. Shame on you” she spat on her.
Ikenna: ‘Mama what is wrong with you now? Can’t you see there is a visitor in this house?”
Mama Ikenna: “What visitor? You mean her customer? So you are also an accomplice uhn? You did not tell me you now use this house as a brothel” she continued stubbornly while Pamela stood there still wondering what to do about her confession.
Pamela: “I will just drop my bag inside and come back mama” she said and made to walk away but she drew her back forcefully.
Mama Ikenna: “Where do you think you are going to? You no longer belong here so get out of this house this moment or else I will call amadioha to descend on you.”
Tunde: “Madam why don’t you take it easy?” he said going to stand by Pamela.
Mama Ikenna: “Look at her, barren good for nothing asewo” she said with disdain.
Ikenna: “Mama that is enough, please go inside now!” he ordered pointing at the door leading to the room.
Mama Ikenna: “I cannot stay in the same house with this girl, its either she leaves or I do”
Pamela: “Really? Leave my house? My own house?” she asked incredulously.
Mama Ikenna: “Your own house? Look at this senseless girl. This house belongs to my son, what do you know about making money?”
Ikenna: “You should leave Pamela, go back to where you are coming from so peace can reign in this house. Come back when mama leaves” he quickly said afraid that she’d tell his mum she had been the one paying the rent and all.
Pamela: “Wow! Wow!”
Tunde: “Come let’s go. I think you’ve had enough for today” he said drawing her forcefully out of the house.
Mama Ikenna: “Don’t ever come back to this house again, do you understand?” she shouted after them. “Good riddance to bad rubbish. Now my son can have peace” she muttered under her breath. “Where is Nkechi? Nkechi…” she called.
Nkechi: “Mama I am coming, she answered from the room where she had been all along and ran into the sitting room nervously.
Mama Ikenna: “Have your seat and stop shivering as if I want to reprimand you for doing something wrong. Did you do anything wrong?”
Nkechi: “No ma”
Mama Ikenna: “So relax… I know you are pregnant, who is it for?”
Nkechi: “It’s for… for…?”
Mama Nkechi: “Talk now, I told you I am not reprimanding you, I just want to know who is responsible for it. Besides being pregnant is a good thing, a great news so hurry and tell me now”
Nkechi: “It’s for Ikenna” she said looking down
Mama Ikenna: “Which Ikenna? My son?” she asked excitedly.
Nkechi: “Yes ma”
Mama Nkechi: “Wow that is great! So eventually I am going to become a grandmother? Hai, Chineke nna ndeewo, Chineke nna ndeewo imela…” she stood up singing and dancing retying her wrapper endlessly. Nkechi looked at her and started giggling and grinning from ears to ears.
Mama Nkechi: “My daughter thank you, thank you very much. You have just saved this family from disgrace. Some people in the village have started insinuating that my son is impotent but you have just proved them wrong. When I get back home, I will go and arrange for your bride price to be paid with immediate effect”
Nkechi: “Mama isn’t that too soon? I cannot stay in this house with my madam. What if she kills my child?” she said pretending to be really worried.
Mama Nkechi: “Tufia! She is not coming back to this house again. Look at this house my dear, it’s now yours. I trust my son, he will take proper care of you” she said assuring her newly found daughter in law.
Ikenna stood unnoticed at one corner watching the two of them– “This ones do not know anything yet, not until it has dawned on them. Now that she has sent my wife away, what do I do? I know she is going to come back, she always comes back” he thought.
As soon as they stepped into Tunde’s house, she became still and fell on the ground with her whole body quaking violently. Her normally pink lips became so black and her eyes rotated in their sockets. Tunde was left confused as he tried calming her down. He remembered he could not do it on his own and started praying immediately. His houseboy Tope ran into the sitting room and was transfixed on the spot at what he saw.
Tope: “Oga this na epilepsy o no touch am, she go transfer am to you” he warned still keeping his distance.
Tunde: “It’s not Epilepsy, please go into that Foursquare Church nearby and call anyone you see there, even if it’s just one person. Hurry up!” he ordered and Tope ran out with speed. He carried her gently to the bedroom as the quaking reduced a little. Tope returned with two men trailing after him.
Tunde: “You are welcome, please we need prayers. Help me pray for her so she wouldn’t die please” he pleaded. The one who was with anointing oil introduced himself as Pastor Jim and his second as his PA. He uncorked the anointing oil and poured it directly into her mouth praying silently. The quaking suddenly stopped and she sat up immediately, quivering.
Pamela: “Yes I will confess, I will confess just stop tormenting me please”
Pastor Jim: “What do you want to confess to?”
Pamela: “I had intercourse with this man standing here” she said pointing at Tunde.
Pastor Jim: “Then you should ask God for forgiveness”
Pamela: “No, Ndishi will still kill me, its tormenting me so much. It wants me to confess to my husband, it will kill me. I will confess” she kept ranting. Tunde went close to draw her into his arms since that was all he knew he could do for her but she jerked back startling him. “Mad man, you want to touch me? I the queen of Ezike Oba? The only sweetheart of my heart? Wait… I will confess” she kept ranting. Tunde knew the momentary madness was back again and he paced around restlessly, Clueless and helpless.
Pastor Jim: “What is she talking about? What is Ndishi?” he asked confused.
Tunde: “It’s a god or should I say an idol which punishes any woman who engages in adultery in her hometown. Adultery is a taboo to their women”
Pastor Jim: “Then you have to take the necessary steps tradition requires” he said after Tunde had narrated how it can be appeased to him and how that is the only way despite his arguments that Such curses have been wiped out by Christianity.
She became herself again some hours later. She sat up feeling aches all over her body. Tunde was there by her side, holding a wet towel he was apparently using to keep her body temperature in check while she slept.
Tunde: “How are you feeling now?’
Pamela: “I feel terrible. Embarrassed is an understatement”
Tunde: “Hey! You don’t have to feel embarrassed, it’s just me and don’t forget what I told you earlier. Your embarrassment is mine too. So let’s not feel embarrassed and find a way to end this”
Pamela: “This will not end till I’m dead or confessed to the elders in the village and then do the necessary ritual cleansing”
Tunde: “Then let’s do that! I will go to the village with you. I can’t let you bear the shame alone. I have to be there with you since we committed the act together”
Pamela: “No you can’t go with me. It will make everything worst”
Tunde: “You know you can’t dissuade me right?”
Pamela: “Hmmmmmm! Okay I will give it a thought. But I still need to tell my husband about it first and I don’t know how to do that with his mother around” she felt like the weight of the whole world was strapped on her back.
Tunde: “Then let’s call him over. Who knows? He might show up”
Pamela: “I strongly doubt that. He is somehow egoistic too. But we can still try” she said trying to stand up from the bed.
Question: Do you think prayer can avert Pamela’s challenge without going to the village for confession? Should she confess regardless of her mother in law’s presence?
… Stay tuned for Episode 21 (You don’t want to miss this!)
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