Few days after, Matilda’s had gone to “crucify her supposed enemies” as Mama Tope had suggested to her, she was in her room dancing and wiggling her waist. She sang both Igbo and Yoruba praise songs together meddling the lyrics together. Her daughter entered the room wondering what could be responsible for her mother’s state of ecstasy.
Mercy: “Mama, ogini?” she asked, looking bemused.
Matilda’s mother: “God has done it for me, what my father cannot do, he has done it for me” she sang, counting her steps and lifting it after each other to the rhythm of her song.
Mercy: “Mama, whetin God do nah?” she asked, feeling so curious.
Matilda’s mother: “God is fighting my battle. He has put all of my enemies to shame one after the other” She replied pointing her fingers to invisible objects in the room as if her supposed enemies were right in front of her.
Mercy: “who are the enemies o Mama?” she asked, looking at her mother like someone suffering from mental imbalance.
Matilda’s mother: “Mama Tope for church invite me go one church for Iyana-Ipaja side, so na there God answer my prayer. You no see as God dey work? After I don go put coal of fire for them head, them don surrender whetin belong to us give us. You no see sey this God goo?” she bent again lifting her big backside up and dancing. While the daughter looked at her, smiling at her display.
Mercy: “so, mama, you still never tell me whetin God do o” she reminded her over joyous mother.
Matilda’s mother: “Oh sorry my dear. My joy is overflowing just as the pastor said, that our joy shall over flow very soon. Your uncle, he come here today come beg me say make I forgive am all the things wey he don dey do us since your papa don die. That one no even concern me, the real thing be say, e talk sey e ready to return all our entitlements, both land, house whey your papa no finish before he die.” Mercy jumped up as she heard this.
Mercy: “Mama na lie” she leapt up as she heard this covering her mouth with her hands and hugging her mother.
Matilda’s mother: “I use that kain thing joke with you before?” She asked rhetorically.
Mercy: “wait make I call sister”
Mariama called a cousin of hers, Fatoumata, based in the UK to send her kids to her should any trouble loom out. (Fatoumata could not turn her cousin down as she felt so indebted to her for the help she had rendered to her and her family in time past).
Mariama: “hello Fatou”
Fatoumata: “Hey Mariama. Good to hear from you. How are you doing? How is everyone over there?” she asked in Wolof.
Mariama: “We are all fine. Thank you. I need your assistance urgently. It is very urgent” she said snpping her fingers.
Fatoumata: “You know I will do whatever assistance you need. So, can I hear you out?
Mariama: “Will, my ex-husband is here in the Gambia to get my kids with him, and of course you know what that means, if he gets hold of them and they travel with him to the UK, no more child support allowances for me, and I might not get to see my kids anymore. So, to avoid that I want those kids to be with you till I am able to settle the whole thing. We are getting a lawyer to re-visit our case, but before then, I want my kids to be in safer hands and place.
Fatoumata: “Oh, come on, and you call that an assistance? I will be willing to have them with me for as long as you want. I don’t’ even mind if they stay with me till they become independent” she replied, offering to help her cousin.
Mariama: “Good, nice of you. I will book their flights before this week ends. So, they can join you over there.”
Fatoumata: “I shall be expecting them here. I am sure my kids would love to have them around as well.
Mariama: “Thanks so much. I really appreciate you. Love you” she hung the call.” Yes, good. One issue has been resolved now. I can always find my own way. I will travel to Monrovia, from there I can fly to the US. Or should I go straight to the UK? The issue I still have now is how to get rid of this girl. The security is threatening right now…” she soliloquised as she paced the room.
Matilda and Bukayo were in the lounge of the guest house when her friend, Wendy came into the guest house sweating profusely under the scorching sun. She met a group of men drinking Attaya as usual outside the gate. She looked around paranoically as she alighted from the taxi as though she was being pursued by some ghost in horror movies. She readjusted her dark shades on her nose bridge properly, tying a turban round her head to form a veil.
Wendy: “hello Mukhtar” she greeted the guest house keeper, with his friends drinking and giggling. She looked away and entered the guest house as she saw one of the guys staring at her suspiciously.
Wendy: “Hello Matti!” She greeted her friend who looked at her like some alien and wondered why she was so covered up on a hot sunny day.
Matilda: “Today na Egugun festival day for Nnewi?” she asked sarcastically, laughing at her friend’s new sense of dressing.
Wendy: “Hey, I no dey here for joke. I am here to see you for a crucial matter” she dragged her friend along the walkway to her flat upstairs.
Wendy: “See babe, there is fire on the mountain” She said, peeping through the window and door to be sure no one was behind the door eavesdropping. Matilda was bewildered, wondering what had come over her friend.
Matilda: “Whetin happen? Which fire dey which mountain? Where the fire where the mountain?” she asked with a slight humour still looking around as if the mountain was right behind her.
Wendy: “Be serious this time idiot”
Matilda: “E don reach that level? Whetin happen sef?” she asked, standing arms akimbo and her jaw tilted up to listen to what her friend had to say.
Wendy: “You know why I am dressed like this?”
Matilda: “I be think say you don convert nah, maybe your new catch na Emirati nationality or one Arab millionaire. We never can tell. Change is constant, so far money is involved” She replied, smiling.
Wendy: “Matilda, when did you turn to a clown? Fine the reason is because, anti-trafficking agency is hunting some persons down, Mariama is on their prime watch list. And of course I don’t need to tell you all with my mouth. You definitely know what my fate will be should Mariama get apprehended. So, the reason behind my dressing to avoid being noticed by spies because from information Mariama is gathering spies are planted everywhere and you know how small this country is, there is no where you want to run to, before the day ends you will get caught, that is how bad and terrible this place is. So, I have come to tell you that any moment from now, I fit gbez. So, be alert anytime any day any moment.” She said, pulling her own ears to show how serious she meant to her friend.
Matilda: “Hmmmm” she sighed heavily, with her arms folded under her breasts. She looked around the room and back to her fined again. “Now that you said you can flee the country anytime, where you wan run go?” she asked staring into her eyes.
Wendy: “Na here be my country? See, if I no go Nigeria, Ghana or Ivory Coast dey there, and besides I get link for Germany, I fit run go hide there for some time. My own be say, just dey prepare your mind. Anything fit happen anytime. So, you too go find your square roots be that.
Matilda became weak as she heard what her fined had just said to her. She searched for a seat to sit on, spreading her palms like a visually impaired searching his way through.
Matilda: “Now that you are leaving, what will be my fate?” She asked, with her voice heavy, and her eyes clouded with tears ready to flood the floor of her face.
Wendy: “See, this life is per head. You fight your way through life. Salvation na per head o. so, you find your way my dear. That is even by the way, see be careful who you talk to or open up to. You see that medical student you call your friend, don’t tell her anything. I don’t trust that girl at all in fact I dey suspect say she be NIA. Never contribute to any discussion or whatsoever anywhere, before you begin to spout like a rushing tap” She warned her friend sternly to avoid any form of public discussion with anyone.
Matilda: “Wendy, you no tell me say na like this e go be o, when you offered me to come here. Where do I see money to go back home? Where do I start from? How do I tell my family? Ha!” she asked regrettably.
Wendy: “See no dey blame me here o. I be God? Abi I be see seer abi fortune teller whey dey see future? How I wan take know say na like this e go be? Who know sef whether na you bring bad luck come give person here, since you come, everything no dey move smoothly again. And here we are again being wanted by the government like a national criminal. If no be say I don know you tey tey, I for say you sef be spy because I no trust anybody as I dey so in this trying time”. She hissed, eyeing her friend.
Question: “Back to square one! Is Wendy being fair and helpful to her friend leaving her behind to flee the country?
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