Mr Nzeribe entered the home of Mr Adepoju, humbly. He greeted the man quietly and explained to him the reason for his visit. His daughter, Chidinma had been impregnated by his son, Tope. He was therefore at the house to discuss what was to be done to avoid any scandal.
Mr Adepoju watched him, silently, his hand on his chin.
Mr Adepoju: “What exactly do you want, my man?” he asked.
Mr Nzeribe: “well, my daughter is pregnant. The right thing to do in such a case is to get the two of them married as quickly as possible.” He replied, puzzled at Tope’s father’s nonchalant attitude to the matter.
Mr Adepoju: “well, I am sorry to inform you that you are quite late. You see this virile son of mine also impregnated the principal’s daughter and we have carried out the first stages of the marriage rites before he left for Kaduna. I don’t know if he is keen on having a second wife or if you are even keen on having your daughter as a second wife. I am most definitely not interested in welcoming your slut of a daughter into my home. I hope you understand?” he replied, smiling.
Mr Nzeribe: “My daughter is not a slut. I thought your son was a gentleman but looks can be deceiving. It was a foolish thing to think I could depend on a man that treats his home as a boxing ring to understand anything. Have a good day sir.” he replied, walking out of the house.
Mr Adepoju looked at him with anger blazing in his eyes. He moved to speak but Mr Nzeribe was gone. He breathed heavily, then he got up,
Mr Adepoju: “where is this woman? See the insult her fool of a son is bringing to my name? All because he cannot keep is trouser zipped shut.” he muttered, angrily.
Biodun entered the home of the Nzeribe’s to meet a quiet that seemed like they were in mourning. He greeted Mr Nzeribe quietly and took his seat.
Biodun: “How is Chidinma?”He asked, quietly.
Mr Nzeribe said nothing. He just kept staring at a wall. Mrs Nzeribe entered the sitting room and smiled on seeing Biodun.
Mrs Nzeribe: “you came, Biodun. How is your father doing?”She asked, sitting down by her husband.
Biodun: “He is improving. What is wrong? Did something happen to Chidinma?” he asked, staring from Mr Nzeribe to his wife.
Mr Nzeribe: “your friend is pregnant for that despicable human being called Tope.” He replied, wearily.
Biodun stared at him, shock on his face.
Biodun: “when…how…?” he asked.
Mr Nzeribe: “to believe I watched the snake talk to her and did nothing about it. He even came here, saying he wanted to marry her. Can you imagine the boldness? Meanwhile, he was getting married to the principal’s daughter, who by the way is also pregnant for him.” he continued, angrily.
Biodun’s head whirled with confusion. He stood up,
Biodun: “can I go and see her.” He asked, quietly.
Mr Nzeribe: “yes. Any man can go and see her now. The crown on my head has fallen to the mud for anyone to step upon. You can go and see her.” he replied, derisively.
Mrs Nzeribe: “Obi! Don’t mind him. She is in her room.” She replied, apologetically.
Biodun nodded and walked out of the sitting room, the subdued voice of Mrs Nzeribe reprimanding her husband, following him out.
He got to Chidinma’s room and knocked then he opened the door and entered. Despite the fact that it was late morning, the room was in darkness. He stood and waited for his eyes to get used to the dark before he stepped further
Chidinma: “you have come to mock me, right ugly face?” she said, her voice filled with loathing.
Biodun: “why would I do that? People make mistakes; people fall, people get up. It is called living.” He replied, sitting on the bed.
Chidinma was seated on a chair by her window. Her hair was scattered and uncombed combined with the scar on her face, made her looked like zombie in a horror movie. Her eyes shone with malice, as she stared at Biodun.
Chidinma: “what do you really want from me? Do you want to have your share of me as you and Tope had of Seyi?” she asked, her lips smiled but her eyes were cold.
Biodun sighed, “I want to be your friend because I feel you deserve one.” he replied, sadly.
Chidinma: “I want nothing from you ugly face, get out of my house and stop coming around here. Go to your army or whatever.” She replied, her eyes spitting venom.
Biodun: “what do you plan on doing about the pregnancy?”He asked, ignoring her tantrum.
Chidinma: “nothing that concerns you. Leave! Leave me alone!” she screamed.
Biodun nodded, he got up and placed the letter from Tope on the bed and left the room. As soon as the door closed, Chidinma burst into tears. Biodun stood by the door and listened.
Chidinma: “God, I am dead. I am finished. Who will take me? Who will love me? Tope…Tope…where are you? Where is the love, you promised? God, I have become a cause of shame to my parents. Who will cover my nakedness? Who? God, please come to my aid.” she murmured as she cried.
Biodun shook his head and went to the sitting room. He said his goodbyes to Chidinma’s parents and took his leave.
Biodun sat in his room and opened the book under his pillow. He looked at the picture of Preye and shook his head sadly, his hands fingering the beads on his neck. “I am confused. I can’t let Chidinma live life like this. She deserves better than this life she is in. You were right, we are from two different worlds and it was by chance that our paths crossed.” He sighed sadly.
Gladys entered his room and stood watching him.
Gladys: “there’s food in the kitchen, if you are hungry.” She said.
Biodun nodded absentmindedly, his hand caressing the beads on his neck.
Gladys: “what is wrong?” she asked, walking into the room to stand in front of Biodun.
Biodun: “I want to ask Chidinma to marry me.”
Gladys: “do you love her?” she asked, taking a seat on Biodun’s bed.
Biodun: “Sometimes, love is not enough. I just feel that she will be good for me and I will be good for her. She needs a friend right now. She is a good girl from a good home.” He replied quietly.
Gladys: “Have you spoken to her father?” she asked.
Biodun: “No. I have not spoken to her father about it.” He replied, looking at Gladys sadly.
The bell rang and Gladys left him and went to the door. She returned some minutes later, she looked at him weirdly.
Biodun:”what is it?” he asked
Gladys: “you have a letter from one Papa John.”She said, handing over the letter to Biodun.
Biodun took the later and quickly opened it. It was from Papa John. He read it quickly then he gasped and turned to Gladys with tears in his eyes
Biodun: “She is dead.” He said, his voice filled with pain.
After prayer session with Margaret, Peterson went home and continued in his war against goddess through fasting and prayer. It wasn’t easy for Peterson to go through with it; the aroma and sight of food was not easy to ignore as he had never fasted in his life before now. By 4:30pm on the first day, he felt that as he continued along with the fasting, all his five senses increased in sensitivity.
Peterson: “Mama, this is difficult to do. I don’t think i can face this.” he said, his stomach rumbling with hunger.
Peterson’s Mother: “It is well my Son.This is the temptation and interesting thing in fasting; when your next door neighbor cooks a fresh pot of Okra soup with goat meat, you will know it. Every desire to draw closer to God will be obscured in vivid images of goat meat floating inside the thick richness of okra soup. All you can imagine is the smooth, delicious flavor as you swallow a lump of properly pounded yam with the soup. But to say the truth, you will learn that you can live quite happily without food. God supplies all your needs emotionally for the trials and difficulties of the day.” she replied, smiling.
Peterson: “All i’ve been thinking about is food. Every single second i’m thinking about all different kinds of food; both real cooked food and junk food. I don’t know how much longer i can keep this up mama. This is not easy.” he replied, sighing.
Peterson’s Mother: “It is written, Man shall not live by bread alone, but by every word that proceeds from the mouth of God. That’s what the book of Mathew 4:4 says my Son.Temptations come to us all, just as they came to Jesus. He battled satan with the word of God and won, so can you my Son.” she replied, patting him on the shoulder.
Peterson bowed his head and went back to studying the bible, Margaret had given to him.
Question: Who is dead? Do you think Mr Nzeribe will accept Biodun as his daughter’s husband?Do you think Peterson can truly face this fasting trial?
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