Matilda was in dilemma when her friend left the guest house for where she had no idea of. She sat at the edge of her bed resting her chin in her palms. She wandered in thoughts and the words of her friend re-echoed in her head as though they were illusions. She stood up, peeped through the window and saw a seagull perching on the beach and running after one another. She wished she was not born. She wished she were a bird and she would fly to any height higher than the sky without being stopped by any circumstance or issues of life. She would be free. She chuckled as she heard some sounds seeping through from the flat next to hers on the left – another tourist from Canada had just lodged into the guest house. Kate was a Canadian-Ivorian lady in her mid-forties. Matilda had an instant detest towards her the first day she set her eyes on her on the walkway that led to their flats.
“Make I mind my business. My own dey my body” she soliloquised as the giggling and creaking of the bed from the next flat almost burst her ears. She had a knock on her door, but she refused to open, after she had peeped through the door hole to see who was at the door and saw that it was Bukayo.
Matilda: “Whetin this girl dey find sef. She be monitoring spirit? Hmmmm, Wendy’s premonitions are becoming true o. I am beginning to suspect this girl sef. Why the gum body all the time sef?” she whispered as she tiptoed back to her former position.
Bukayo was almost frustrated after several knocks and no response. She decided to dial her number, while she put her ears down to be sure she really was not in the room should she hear any phone ring from the room. However, Matilda’s phone was on the reading table close to the corner of the door. She was lost in thought when her phone rang out loud. Bukayo felt convinced when she heard the sound of music playing from the room. She knocked on her door again.
Bukayo: “Hello Matilda. I know you are in there. Open the door” she held onto the door knob.
Matilda: “Oh shit” I should have put my phone on vibration or switched it off sef” she muttered as she head towards the door. “Hey come in” she ushered the nosy neighbour of hers in.
Bukayo: “What is the problem with you? Were you having a nap? I have been knocking sine ages that my knuckles are beginning to hurt” she complained rubbing her back palm.
Matilda: “Oh forgive me. I was fast asleep. What’s up with you?”
Bukayo: “Okay. I just came to check on you. Is anything the matter?” She asked turning Matilda’s face sideways.
Matilda: “Ogini?” she asked sarcastically, grinning.
Bukayo: “Meaning?” she shrugged off her shoulders raising her palms up.
Matilda: “It means what. Because I am wondering why you are moving my face sideways.
Bukayo: “Oh, that? You look so uncheerful, because I can sense that your smile is fake. Are you brooding?” She asked pitifully, squinting her eyes.
Matilda: “See, mind reader. Bukky the Psyche. So, you know who is not happy or brooding by reading faces huh? Wow, bravo, the face reader. Your own na face reader no be mind reader again. See this girl let me be. I have my cross to bear.
Bukayo: What is it Matilda, I have spent few months with you. I have observed you to some level, and I now when you are truly cheerful or brooding. So, you can always feel free to share your thoughts with me. You can confide in me your secrets are safe” She said in a rather low tone that could tempt one to pour out their mind like a flowing spring.
Matilda was tongue tied afterwards. She was wondered whether to tell Bukayo what she was facing. But, the fresh memory of Wendy’s warnings replayed in her head.
Matilda: “Never mind, Bukayo. I will be fine”. She assured her.
Bukayo: “You will be fine or you are fine? These are two different things.
Matilda: “Okay! I am fine. Is that okay by you?
Bukayo: “You said so.
Mariama: “I have arranged with my cousin in the UK to fly my kids to her as soon as possible. I have no time to waste. The earlier the better for me. I can’t afford to lose my kids to that son of a bitch”
Wendy: “I don’t have no time to waste here either and my chances of going back to Nigeria are very slim. I left the country long ago, and I don’t want to set my feet on the soil that brings bad memories to me anymore. I am still fighting the battle within me, more importantly that my never-do-well uncle sickens me. I could kill him if I set my eyes on him. His sight reminds me of my wounds” she complained.
Mariama: “Get over it girl and move forward. Heal you! Now is not the time to remember the past. Think of the way out of this mess and move on. Step up.
Wendy: “I have done that long ago.
Mariama: “That is by the way, now that you are planning of relocating, how about Matilda?” she asked her looking so worried and pitiful.
Wendy: “I was at hers yesterday. So, I explained everything to her. That I might the leave the country as soon as possible without notifying anyone. So, she should find her way as soon as she can.
Mariama: “Don’t you think that is mean?” she asked looking at her with a mild irritation.
Wendy: “What is mean in telling her? It could have only been mean if I had not notified her prior to the time of my leaving, when she finds out I am not in the country anymore. Life is per head. Everybody has their battles to fight. I have done all I can as a friend. And besides, she is much secured than I am. Is she being hunted? No. so, I believe she will be fine”
Mariama: “She is your friend. So, I believe you two will understand each other better than I do.”
Wendy: “That reminds me. How about the girl you are holding hostage?
Mariama: “Yes? How about her?
Wendy: “How are you going to get rid of her?” She asked curiously.
Mariama: “That is my major worry now. I am yet to know what to do about the girl. Because this is a very crucial period, you know. Any attempt to take her out now can lead to a serious catastrophe, so I have to take my time to map out my plans before I act. I am still thinking of the strategy to use to get her off my neck without any trail of her to me.
Wendy: “Yeah, that is true. You have to be extremely careful and watchful.
Mr Henry was giving report to the head of the agency against trafficking-in persons about the improvement made so far.
Mr Dawda: “Any latest improvement so far.”
Mr Henry: “Yes, the ladies are under our watches. There was a report that one of the ladies now wear veils as a form of disguise. So, we are not relenting on our investigations. And I believe very soon, they shall be apprehended.
Mr Dawda: “I need actions from you guys. If you don’t act fast, these people might outsmart you. Act as fast as you can to get these people, before they escape.
Mr Henry: “Okay Sir, we shall.
One of the friends to Mukhtar, the guest house keeper, Yusuf, stopped Bukayo to question her as she was about to enter the house.
Yusuf: “Hello, lady!
Bukayo: “Yes? How can I help you?” She looked back holding the knob of the gate.
Yusuf: “I need an assistance from you.
Bukky: “Okay. Can I hear you out?”
Yusuf: “That friend of yours that came visiting a couple of days ago in veil, where does she live? I think I like her” He lied so as to get certain information from Bukayo.
Bukayo: “She is not my friend. But I think she stays at Bakau.
Yusuf: “Okay, thanks.
Wendy was coming from the Bakau beach to get some fresh fish from the fisherman on the shore, when she noticed a guy in the crowd that pretended to be a fish monger walking towards her. He ran after her shouting to get her attention.
Wendy: “Hey Mudu, is my fish ready?” she asked the guy that supplied her with fish.
she was lost in thought while Mudu was packing the fish in the polythene bag, whn a guy walked up to her and said: “Hey lady, buy my fiss. It is fress” He persuaded her to patronise him, (pronoucnig the -sh consonant sound s””. A default accent customary of the majority tribe in the Gambia).
She was startled as she was caught unawares by the guy, who looked so unkempt and fish smelling all over him – the foul smell that could nauseate one.
Wendy: “Oh. Never mind. I don’t need no more fiss” She replied sarcastically, mimicking the guy as she tilted the shades on her face downwards, her eyes met with the guy’s. She jabbed her plastic bag from Mudu and left the shore as fast as her legs could carry her.
She looked back as she walked up the hilly route to the gate to be sure she was not being trailed after she sensed the guy was up to something.
She was almost at the gate of her house when she looked back again and saw a guy, who was totally different from the one she met at the shore, watching her suspiciously. She hesitated a bit for the guy to walk to the front of her house.
Wendy: “No, he can’t be the one?” She doubted if he was the guy she saw at the shore or at the guest house on the day of her visit to Matilda’s as she fondled with the lock of the gate. She raised her head up to steal a gaze at the guy who walked to the other side of the road with his hands tucked in his pockets and a baseball cap covering his face.
Question: Who could the spy by? And what would Matilda’s fate be?
SEE Episode 21 Below…(You Don’t Wanna Miss This!)… Adelove Stories… Premier Naija Inspirational Blog!