Jane burst into tears as she walked down the street. Eyes flashed at her but that was her least concern. “We had a bargain. Quitting means I’d stop your son’s treatment! And I mean every word I just said!” the words sunk into her as she flagged down a cab. The driver pumped his brakes as the cark jerked,
Driver: “Where you dey go!” she shook head, “Wetin? You no sabi talk?”
Jane:”Don’t worry just go!”
The driver angry,
Driver: “Your papa left nyash! Idiot!” stepped on the accelerator and zoomed off.
Jane didn’t mind the insults. He was the least of her problem.
Jane: “Jake baby, I’ll do anything for you!” she wiped the tears and turned back, “Jerry, I’m coming for you! I can do this. Jake, mummy is gonna be strong for you!” She dialed Chief’s number, “Hello,Chief, I’m in! “
Audu: “That’s my girl! I know you can do this!”
Jane: “I’ve got to go, sir!” she said disinterestedly and dropped the call.
The boys were blasting music and smoking when they heard a knock.
Jerry: “who is that?” he handed a wrap of weed to Kingsley. Nnamdi went for the door. It was Jane. Nnamdi left the door half opened and turned to friends,
Nnamdi: “Na di babe ooo!”
Jerry rushed towards the door, Kingsley followed whispering,
Kingsley: “Don’t do anything stupid oo!”
They knew Jerry had short temper. Once he was angry he didn’t care who the person was. He’d beaten so many women. He had little or no emotions. The last girl friend he had, Ijeoma she called him a beast. He had beaten her to pulp because she didn’t pick his calls. The accusation was that she was with a man that was why she didn’t pick.
Jerry: “What are you doing here?”
Jane: “I came to work,” she looked into his eyes.
Jerry: “Your services isn’t needed please! Get lost!”
Jane: “Please, I’ve got other things to attend to allow me lemme clean and get going!”
Jerry, Kingsley, and Nnamdi exchanged glances. She pushed pass them. There was a bargain and she needed to get her part done she wasn’t ready for any spoilt brat to stand in her way, “what on earth is this?” they did let out a cackling.
Tears gathered in her eyes. Irritation grappled her. She couldn’t believe her eyes. The sitting room was upside down. Clothes flung on the cushions. Bottles of dry gins, beer and syrups were strewed on the ground. Ash trays on the center table, rug and dining table. Sticks of cigarettes, smoked, were on the tiles. The white tiles had stains of oil. Plates were equally on the ground. She held her nose as she entered the the kitchen, “Oh my God!!!” she screamed.
They rushed to kitchen seeing that she was angered with the heap of plates she met in the sink. Laughter blocked her eyes; their laughter.
“Welcome to my world, baby!” they ran out.
Jane held her head and sat down,
Jane: “where do I start from? What have I gotten myself into?” she could hear their noises from the sitting room. It irritated the more. A sound blared out and it almost made her jump out of the skin. They had put on the sound system. Rushed to the sitting room, “Can you guys please put down its volume!” they ignored her. Biting her lips, she needed to do something drastic. Scrambled to the sound system and reduce it.
Kingsley: “what’s that?”
Jane: “would you guys quit acting like kids!”
Jerry stood up towering over her,
Jerry: “This is my house! And I decide what happens here! Yours’ is to come and clean and that’s all!” he yelled.
She felt cold and ran back into her shell,
Jane: “I’m sorry!” tears stood in her eyes.
She went into the kitchen and started doing the dishes; the smoke from their cigrattes travelled into the kitchen. She couldn’t wait to leave the house. She shut the door of the kitchen and started washing. In less than twenty minutes, she was done. She took mopping stick and cleaned the kitchen tiles. it was effulgent . One could actually sleep on it. She did the same to the wall-tiles. The kitchen looked renovated.
Jerry screamed from the sitting room,
Jerry: “we are out make sure the house is cleaned before I return and take the cash from the table and cook something!” she sighed.
It was 10:30 am. She needed to call her baby,
Jane: “Ama, how are you?”
Amarachi: “Fine ma, “she couldn’t hear Jake’s voice in the background,
Jake: “hello, mum!” he had dived for the phone, “when are you coming?”
Jake: “ Okay,mum!”
Jane: “Have you taken your medications?”
Jake: “Yes,ma. And my injections too. Uncle Tee just left!”
Jane: “Hope you didn’t cry?”
He shook his head and said,
Jake: “Big boys don’t cry remember?” Amarachi laughed, she giggled too.
Jane:”Yes, baby. Got to go! See you later… I love you baby!”
Jake: “I love you too, mum!” the call ended.
She sat down and cried bitterly. How would she cope if Jake leaves her? Crying, she said,
Jane: “I believe in miracles!!”
Remembering there was a lot to do. She resumed. Cleaned the sitting room, dusted and mopped the house. Took the cash Jerry had kept on the table with an instruction of “cook something nice!” Off, she went to the market got back and prepared Ofada rice for them. Before she left they were back. Jerry had returned in the company of friends mostly girls. They feasted on the food. It was delicious. Jerry seemed very impressed.
The next day as she was preparing Jerry gave her a call,
Jerry: “Hey, I kept the key to the house with one of my neighbours. The next door actually. Go get it!” ended the call.
Jane: “what?” she said looking at the phone . She had never met an uncultured being like Jerry, brash and rude.
Chief sent a cab to pick her. Donald was taking him to the airport. By the time she got to the compound; following instructions she collected the key from the neighbour when she opened the door she seemed to be in dream world as she received a punch.
For weeks, Israel had stopped picking Comfort’s call. She had moved out after the incidence thinking he’d feel remorse and apologize. But he didn’t and she was angry but couldn’t get him out of her mind. They needed to talk not just about the incidence but the abnormal feeling her body was experiencing. Every morning she felt pale and feverish,
Comfort: “was it pregnancy?” she thought, “but I hear it comes with throwing up now!”
She just didn’t understand the signs her body was given her. It was possible that Israel had infected her with some kind of sexual transmitted disease,
“And I pleaded with him ooo! I even begged him to use protection but he refused,” she started crying. What if it was HIV? Why were men so cruel? The thought made her scared of going for a test. Enough was enough; he had avoided her call for too long, “I won’t call him again! I’m going to his house!”
She took the keys to her Jalopy but the car like always wasn’t in the mood to start,
Comfort: “Nonsense car!” she poured aggression on it.
Getting to his house, the door was locked. She hissed, “What kind of thing is this eh?” as she turned to go back voices chimed from the bedroom. She decided to wait. He was in with some woman. Tears stood aghast in her eyes. No wonder he had abandoned her. All those years he lied to her about being in love. As she leaned on the door, it opened. They had forgotten to bolt it. The voices became louder. She wanted staying put and waiting for him at the sitting room but something pushed her. Approaching the room, she could hear them crystal clear. They were moaning.
Comfort: “Jesus!” she screamed as she opened the door. It was unbelievable. Was she dreaming?she ran out!
For how long can Jane put up with the uncultured Jerry? Why did Comfort run?
… SEE EPISODE 17 Below (You don’t wanna miss this!)
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