Even after a year, Odinaka could not explain what had happened to her. All she could say was that her spirit was following one particular person whose face she couldn’t make out. She gained admission to study Obstetrics and gynecology in Enugu State University of Technology. Her mum found it very difficult to raise her school fees, they almost gave up on her studying the course but for Ndubuisi’s timely intervention. He promised to help her through university and even beyond if she wanted.
Pamela: “I’ve fallen head over heels in love with you and it makes me feel like the worst person on earth. I’m not worthy of your love sir. I’m the least of those you should be loving.”
Tunde: “You are still talking in parables dear, make me understand what you are talking about. As it is now, there’s nothing you might have done in the past that will make me stop loving you. Besides no one is beyond mistakes. So talk to me.”
Pamela: “I have such dark secrets that you cannot fathom.” She said lowering her gaze.
Tunde: “Dark secrets? Tell me all of it”
Pamela: “I’m married” she blurted out after a long pause.
Tunde: “Wow! Hold on please? You are married? But you told me you weren’t when I asked you?” he exclaimed with eyes spitting fire.
Pamela: “I’m sorry I lied to you the first time you asked me please. I just didn’t want to lose your friendship”
Tunde: “You are sorry? My friendship? Did you just say my friendship? With this revelation how can you still refer to us as friends? Now how much heart wrenching secrets have you kept from me?”
Pamela: “Em…uhn” she stuttered.
Tunde: “You know what? Just leave…”
Pamela: “Please I’m sorry Tunde…” she wept with her face in her hands.
Tunde: “I said leave before I do something we both would regret later.” He raged pointing at d door.
Pamela: “But you told me that no matter what I have done, you will understand?”
Tunde: “See… please just leave my office” he said a little calmly without meeting her gaze. She not knowing what to say anymore walked out of his office feeling distraught.
Two hours later after Tunde had calmed down, he reasoned within himself that what she revealed to him was actually not a dark secret and sent for her again. He wanted her to finish what she had to say, he was curious.
Tunde: “So you said you had dark secrets, I want to hear them all.”
Pamela: “That is not a good idea now. I think we should just go our separate ways from now on”.
Tunde: “You have no right to tell me that. Just tell me what I want to know while I’m still being nice.”
Pamela: “No way! I am sorry but that is all I have to tell you. There is no more”
Tunde: “Liar, don’t add more wood to a raging fire, it will consume you. So whatever you have to say, say it now”
Pamela: “What difference will it make? We are going our separate ways anyway. So please let this rest boss”
Tunde: “You are really trying my patience. You want to see me get mad for real?”
Pamela: “Please excuse me… I have work to go back to. Maybe we should do this some other time, when you are calmer and more composed.” She said, rose up and left his office.
Tunde was flabbergasted at her audacity to walk out on him. He was so short of words that he flung himself on the settee in and laughed uncontrollably.
Three days later at a construction site, Tunde summoned up courage to ask her for further details. She hesitated for a while but knowing fully well that that could be the last time he would ask and that she might eventually lose him, she decided to tell him everything. She told him about the shady way she got married to her husband. She told him how she hadn’t allowed him to touch her for a whole year because she detested him and had lived with a man she couldn’t withstand. She told him about the mysterious voice. She left no stone unturned.
Tunde: “Wow! You’ve gone through hell Pamela and this is a serious issue. But let me ask you one more question: why did you agree to marry that man you call a husband? Why?”
Pamela: “My dad died and I knew I had no means of furthering my education anymore. When that woman told me my siblings would be needing my support later, I saw the marriage as an opportunity to help them but it was all a lie.”
Tunde: “Wow what naivety. A man you knew nothing about and you believed her?”
Pamela: “I just can’t explain how it all happened. It was like a switch in my head which kept flipping on and off. I knew I shouldn’t agree but I found myself longing to go with him anyway”
Tunde: “Wow! So about this voice you mentioned which even makes love to you, how on earth did you come about such evil?”
Pamela: “I actually can’t understand it myself but I feel it exists in my head”
Tunde: “Sweetie, you can’t give such thing a space in your life. I don’t know how possible this is but if it is true, you have to let it go. I am here for you to love now”
Pamela: “It’s not really that easy but I guess I have to let it go.”
Tunde: “Yes you have to. And for the record hon, I’ve not stopped loving you. I think you have to get out of this sham you call marriage. I will help you.” He said holding her two hands as they stood facing each other. I still love you so much and I can’t think of a life without you. I’m not going to give up on you. I will keep fighting till you are totally mine.”
Pamela: “No! I can’t let you do that. You have to give up now, I’m not worth all this trouble and I can’t stand seeing you hurt.”
Tunde: “But us not being together is hurting me the most. I promise to be everything your husband is not. Baby please.”
Pamela: “I said no, what the hell is wrong with you? We have a taboo where I came from. A married woman must not have an intercourse with another man. It carries great repercussions.”
Tunde: “Seriously? That’s barbaric and superstitious. There is nothing like that, maybe there was but it has been wiped out by Christianity. So baby discard all that and lets plan a future together please.”
Pamela: “You still don’t get it do you? I know of women who have lost their dignities by this. I mean they started displaying momentary madness till they confessed to their husbands and then performed the traditional rituals to appeal to the spirit of Ndishi. Do you want me to go through all that?”
Tunde: “Of course not. I’m saying all these because I know you can’t go through all that. I’d be here to protect you.”
Pamela: “Mr. Tunde Arowolo… and how do you plan on protecting me from something you can’t see? Stop being so childish. And for the record, there is a reason I keep dodging your touch. If you as much as touch my waist amorously, I’d be arrested by Ndishi. So be careful with your hands.” She warned jokingly.
Tunde: “Nawa for your Ndishi o, I wish I could punch him in the face.”
Pamela: “Well, if you were the one married to me, you’d have been thanking it or should I say him by now.”
Tunde: “Don’t go thinking I won’t marry you later, like I said, I won’t give up and that’s all.” He said dismissively and made to hug her but she eased away from him. “Uuuurrrrrgh! Ndishiiiiiiiiiiiiii…” he lamented.
A month later, Pamela took leave to go visit her mum in the village for the first time since she got married. Many people trouped to their house just to catch a glimpse of her. She was a sight to behold indeed. Most of the women were surprised to see she didn’t bring any child home and was not pregnant. Rumors started spreading far and wide that the beautiful Pamela was actually barren.
After the house became free of visitors at last, she and her mum had time for a personal chit-chat.
Pamela’s mum: “My daughter, Ikenna is really taking care of you. Look at how you are glowing.”
Pamela: “Which Ikenna? Do you know how much I’ve been suffering in the marriage you pushed me into? Mama you could not fight for me. Why?”
Pamela’s mum: “My daughter it’s not like that. I was just afraid of what people will say. That we collected his money and still rejected him. You know the way people in this village think.”
Pamela: “So are you trying to tell me you care more about your reputation than your daughter’s happiness mama? Is that really what you are insinuating?”
Question: Did Tunde make the right decision? What is your take on Pamela’s mum’s attitude
… Stay tuned for Episode 11 (You don’t want to miss this!)
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