Cynthia was getting tired of following Henry. She began to sweat profusely after riding for a long time. Her thighs were beginning to ache, her eyes were sleepy, and a headache was coming on. But she wouldn’t just leave her Madam in the hands of that dreadful beast, hence she was prepared to follow till the end. It started to feel like forever before Henry finally pulled over to the right side of the road.
Cynthia quickly brought her bike to a stop, got down silently from the bicycle and ran into the nearest bush hiding she could find. Henry had parked his car quite farther ahead, so she didn’t need to fear being caught, but she remained cautious. Cynthia heard the car’s door open, footsteps, another door opening, the falling of a body into the bush, doors being shut, then the car zooming off at great speed.
She heaved a heavy sigh of relief before she stepped out of the bush. She looked around the street. This street was not developed, but there were a few houses at the next right turn up-ahead. Cynthia looked ahead of her to where she heard the body drop – her Madam’s body drop – and ran as fast as her short legs could let her. By the time she arrived at the location, she was breathless and began to step into the bush, searching for the body.
When Cynthia found the body, she noticed that Henry had removed the sheet he used to wrap Ireti’s body. She also noticed the evening gown, the one Ireti had worn for dinner just hours before. Cynthia caught herself weeping again. And she couldn’t control it. She was looking at the face of her dear friend, the one who treated her more special than anyone on the face of the earth. Ever since they met, Cynthia had loved Ireti like she would love her sister, even though Cynthia had none.
Again, Cynthia had to do something, and fast. She bent low so she could touch Ireti, to shake her to see if she would wake up.
“Madam. Madam, wake up. I’m here, Madam. Na Oga do you like this? Kai, Madam please wake up, you hear?”
Cynthia put her ear to Ireti’s chest to listen for a heartbeat. She remained as quiet as she could, not breathing nor blinking, trying hard to detect life in her Madam. Cynthia had watched a lot of American movies on the big screen TV in the house, and she had seen doctors doing what she was doing now, trying to listen for some sign of a heartbeat. Now she wished she had a stethoscope.
There it was! So faint! So soft, but Ireti’s heart was still beating. Her chest was barely lifting and falling again, so that was why Henry had not noticed that she still breathed. Cynthia began to laugh and cry at the same time, clutching her hands together in prayer-mode, looking up to Heaven, thanking the universe for listening to her prayers. Then she hurriedly grabbed her skirt to clean the tears streaming down her face so she could see clearly. And she needed to find help, someone willing to take her Madam to the hospital. Thankfully, Cynthia had spotted lights coming from a few houses on the next right turn. She walked fast towards the houses, wishing that she would find someone kind enough to offer a helping hand. She needed a “Good” Samaritan.
“Who be that? Who be that?!” Someone was pounding heavily at the front gate and the gate man was having a hard time keeping his anger in check. Fear had gripped him at first, but now the persistent banging was beginning to piss him off really bad. Did this person not possess the word ‘patience’ in their dictionary? Apparently not. So Steven ran to the gate, pulling his trousers over each leg, trying hard not to trip. By this time, he knew his ‘Madam’ would have heard all that noise and would be very much awake now.
“Who be you?” Steven asked the stranger that kept looking at him through the peephole, with wide, frightened eyes, like someone had been chasing her for hours.
“Who you dey look for?” Steven asked again as she refused to answer, but kept looking up and down the empty street behind her. The darkness was all too encompassing not to be shaken to the bone.
“Woman! Talk now! Or leave this place! Abi you dey craze?”
“Eh, I beg, no vex. My name na Cynthia. My madam…please I wan’ see your Oga. Call your Oga for me.” Cynthia was wringing her hands together almost painfully, filled with fear that she was the only one standing on the lonely street. She was beginning to shiver from the fright she felt building inside of her.
“Yes? Wetin do your madam? How will my Oga help you?” Steven was beginning to see where she was going, but this lady was just too afraid to come right out with it. So he opened the gate wide open and looked at her full appearance.
Cynthia pointed at the road, to where Ireti lay.
“My Madam, her husband try to kill her. Please call your Oga, make him come help carry her go hospital. She no dey breathe well. Please sir. Help me” She began to fall to her knee when Steven stopped her midway and pulled her back to her feet, asking her to come into the house.
“Steven! Steven! Who is that? Steven!” Sandra was pulling her sleeping robe round her body, trying to keep herself warm from the chilly night’s air.
“Madam! Na one woman. She say she want to see you. Madam, she dey with me. Come see her.”
Steven was pulling Cynthia by the elbow towards Sandra who stood on the balcony on the second floor of her house. Then she bolted the gate behind them for safety.
“She talk say her Madam dey die outside. Her husband try to kill am, before him go dump her for bush outside. Talk to her Madam” All the while, Cynthia followed Steven obediently until Steven let go of her hand and stepped to the side, waiting for his Madam to respond
“What is your name?” Sandra was looking at Cynthia apprehensively, wondering how authentic her story was.
“Cynthia, Ma” She continued to squeeze her chubby hands together, hoping the madam would help Ireti soon. Cynthia briefly looked at the woman and said “Madam…” before she looked at Steven who was watching her with what looked like…scorn?
“Tell me everything. What has happened to your Madam, Cynthia?” Sandra could clearly see how scared Cynthia was, and she was beginning to open her heart to believe whatever this lady was going to say to her.
“My Oga try to kill my madam. They fight before Oga come carry my Madam come this place. My Madam need hospital. Please help my Madam. My Oga na bad man. He try to kill my Madam” She began to cry again, almost rushing her words because she could hardly breathe from the tight pain she felt in her chest. She thought she was going to have a heart attack. Then began to hyperventilate before Steven grabbed her hand again and shook her to her senses. She had her gaze fixed on her feet the entire time.
“Madam, please come make we help this woman. I believe her. Make we help them.” Steven continued to hold Cynthia, making sure she remained conscious while stealing glances at his Madam to see her next move.
Sandra looked at her gate man whom she had entrusted her life with for the past 6 years and looked at the bewildered woman standing a few feet below her. She turned immediately towards her bedroom and raced down the stairs, picked up her car keys and her house keys. She hurriedly looked her front door, instructed Steven to open the gate quickly, and asked Cynthia to hop into the car while she got on the driver’s side. Steven had the gate open by the time the car was warmed-up before Sandra began to drive out the compound.
Cynthia kept her eyes on the road ahead of her, pointing her fingers as soon as Sandra was close to the spot where Ireti lay. Sandra parked her car beside the curb, looked at her wristwatch – 12:45am, turned off the engine and got out of the car. Cynthia was out the door in a flash, already walking into the bush, looking for Ireti. She didn’t think it would take her more than a minute, but she was having a hard time remembering where her Madam was. The night was still dark after all. So she began to panic as time seeped by before Sandra called out a few feet to the right.
“Cynthia! Cynthia. Is this your Madam?” Sandra called out after she had tripped over something that felt too wide for a fallen tree branch. She looked under her foot and gasped at the sight of the nearly life-less body.
“I’m coming Ma! I’m coming!” Cynthia was wiping tears off her face by the time she found Sandra squatting over Ireti’s body, searching for a pulse. “Ma, she still dey alive? Oh God. We don too late”
“No no. I mean, yes. She’s alive. Come. Carry her legs, I’ll carry her shoulders. Let us move her to the car. Hurry Cynthia” Sandra’s brain was working quickly, calculating how far the closest hospital was from their current location. If God was on their side, they would be there in under 10 minutes.
They worked silently, each woman praying that Ireti would live long enough to make it to the hospital, much less receive instant treatments. Eight minutes later, Sandra’s car wheels were screeching into a free parking space outside the hospital complex. Cynthia could hardly wait to run out of the car, thinking that the woman who drove had done a fantastic job keeping everyone alive, while driving like a crazed woman in the middle of the night. At least she understood how critical her Madam’s situation was.
Cynthia had the passenger’s door open before the engine was turned off, one foot out the door. Sandra was beside Cynthia in record time, lifting Ireti out of the car by the shoulders, while Cynthia grabbed the rest of her body as it emerged out of the car. They both carried Ireti to the front of the emergency building. A nurse arrived immediately, pushing a bed along to place Ireti on. A doctor arrived also, asking Sandra what had happened.
Sandra gave him the only explanation Cynthia had given her some minutes ago, telling the doctor that Ireti had been brutally beaten and abandoned by her husband just that morning. All the while, the bed was moving swiftly towards the Emergency ward for treatments.
“Did you check for a pulse, Miss Sandra?” Doctor Kunle asked with his pen positioned above his notebook, waiting to take notes.
“Yes doctor, I did. But her pulse was so weak. Please can you save her?”
“Please, Dokinta. Save my Madam” Cynthia quickly burst out, trying hard to control her tears.
“And who are you, young lady?” the doctor asked while taking note of Cynthia’s swollen face. It was apparent that she must love the victim very much.
“My name na Cynthia. Na me be her maid, Dokinta. Please what of my Madam?” They had all finally reached the door of the Ward, the end of the line for both Cynthia and Sandra.
“Ladies, please you’ll need to stay outside while we take a look at the victim. What is her name?”
“Ireti, Sir. Her name na Mrs Ireti Okoronkwo.” Cynthia replied before she went to take a seat. She was beginning to hyperventilate again. She was so tired herself, she wished she could crawl into bed.
“Miss, the nurse here will call the police and they will ask you and Cynthia to make statements about the incident. I must attend to the patient now.” With that Doctor Kunle walked briskly into the Emergency Ward.
Meanwhile, Sandra stood quietly with her head wrapped around the events of the past hour. And what a morning! She was glad she was there to help, but now all she had to do was sit and wait for results from the doctor. The memory of Ireti’s pale, beautiful face was all she could see as she robotic-ally walked to sit down beside Cynthia.
‘What a cruel man’ Sandra thought to herself.
“Poor woman”, she said out loud as she looked towards the Emergency Ward. Cynthia nodded her head in response to Sandra’s outspoken thoughts.
“My poor Madam” Cynthia said to herself, but Sandra must have heard as she placed her right hand over Cynthia’s shoulders. She knew no other way to comfort this woman who loved Ireti so much. It was as if Cynthia and Ireti were born from the same womb. In reality, they were from different worlds. ‘Love’ she thought. The love of a friend is thicker than blood. And at that moment she decided to ring her best friend -Nkechi- to let her know what was happening. She needed her buddy.
3 rings in…
“What is it, this girl?” Nkechi drooled on, rolling onto her left side of the bed.
“Why you gotta be so rude girl?” Sandra was smiling. Gush, she loved this girl.
“So what? Are you calling to bitch about why you can’t sleep?” Nkechi too was smiling, forcing herself to sit up. When Sandra didn’t respond, she sensed there was trouble.
“What is it babe? Should I come over? The silence is unlike you.”
“No no. It’s nearly 2 in the morning. I just needed some emotional support. So here’s the deal. I’m sitting in the Emergency Room in the hospital beside this young woman called Cynthia. Her Madam was beat up by her husband and then dumped in a nearby bush close to my house. Then Cynthia rushed to my house to ask for my help. I helped bring both of them to the hospital. The doctor is treating the woman, Ireti as we speak.”
“Nkechi, the victim looked dead. But she’s such a beautiful woman. I wonder what kind of beast would hurt his wife like that. She looked so pale, too.” She placed her head on her left hand, trying not to cry. Then she took a peep at Cynthia who had fallen asleep minutes ago. Cynthia looked so exhausted, whispering once a while in her sleep. Sandra touched Cynthia’s head affectionately, feeling her pain sweep over her.
“Oh babe. Wow. Which hospital is this? I’m coming over.”
Nkechi was pushing herself out of the bed, waiting for Sandra to say something. Her friend seemed so far away, like she witnessed the woman’s beating first-hand. She began to think about this Cynthia lady, how she must feel about her dear friend being beaten up. Oh, she wouldn’t even be alive to see that day come upon her best friend Sandra. She would kill the bastard before she even let that happen. He would be dead and buried fifteen feet under before his hand dropped to slap Sandra. And she would make sure of that.
“Bastards, all of them, bastards.” She cursed before she caught herself, and looked at the photo of her husband. Then she said “Not you baby. You were a good man” before she picked up his picture and kissed it.
“Who are you talking to Nkechi?” Sandra had heard her the entire time, picturing her friend going through the whole process of cursing out every man alive, then apologizing to her dead husband, before leaving him a kiss. She shook her head at Nkechi’s madness.
“Oh, you’re still there? Girl, tell me now. Where you dey? I’m already getting dressed” Indeed Nkechi was throwing her night gown aside, before searching for sweatpants and a t-shirt to wear. After all it was still too early in the morning for jeans.
“I’m at VICHS hospital babe. Where else would I go? Plus, you know it’s very close to the house. I drove so fast, I didn’t get to see how long it took me.” she shrugged her shoulders, feeling like a boss, knowing she drove like a maniac and beating the normal time it takes to reach the hospital.
“Chai, omalicha nwa. I trust you now. Fast and bloody furious indeed.” Nkechi was trying to cheer her friend up, knowing her modesty was as a result of her moodiness.
Sandra had a smirk on her face, trying to liven up herself.
“Indeed. I beg. Do fast and come oo. A sister needs you.”
“That’s right, I’m walking to the car right now. See me there before you can fart successfully.”
Sandra could not hold in her laughter any longer, so she let it out.
“Gush, please don’t try. Cynthia would be in that Emergency Ward with Ireti if you even just try.”
“Ah, Nkechi. Please oo. Cynthia is sleeping, I can’t be laughing in such a critical situation please. Save me my sanity.” She was already wiping tears out of her eyes from laughing so hard. At least she tried stifling her laugh by covering her mouth. But Cynthia didn’t even swerve. She was too far gone.
“Even if I farted, this girl wouldn’t budge. She’s too gone.”
“Poor girl. I can just picture all the emotional trauma she’s been through today. I have to go now. I’m driving. Stay safe till I arrive. Bye” Nkechi dropped her phone and focused on her driving. Placing her foot on the pedal a little too hard. She was going so fast, she would have hit the car coming out of an intersection from her left side, if the other driver hadn’t stopped immediately.
“Jesus, Nkechi! Are you trying to join your husband so soon? Slow down biko!” she scolded herself after witnessing the other car halt right beside her car door. She couldn’t even stop to apologize for her carelessness as she had zoomed past him.
“Foolish woman!” shouted the other driver who had just narrowly escaped his death.
Only a couple of minutes had passed by when Nkechi tapped Sandra on her shoulder. Her head rested on her knees, with her folded hands between her head and legs.
“Ah, you’re here, finally! Thank God” Sandra stood, wrapping her arms around Nkechi.
“Yup. As I promised” Nkechi hugged back, catching sight of the sleeping beauty behind Sandra.
“That must be Cynthia, knocked out as you said.” Nkechi mentioned as Sandra took her seat, making a little space for Nkechi to sit.
“She’s been asleep since the victim was taken into the emergency room. I just feel sorry for both women. And I kept thinking how I would feel if you had married a bastard like Ireti did. I would have killed him before the matter even became this bad. You know me now? I go just turn Boko Haram overnight. One time!” Her voice rose till she was nearly shouting.
Cynthia steered from her sleep, trying to stretch only to hit Sandra square on the nose. Sandra gently moved Cynthia’s hand, before Cynthia snatched her hand away, frightened – forgetting where she was.
“Madam. Madam! Where’s my Madam?” Cynthia rose, suddenly awake, looking around the waiting room frantically.
She recognized Sandra and asked“Aunty, where is my Madam? What of Dokinta?” Cynthia was tugging on Sandra’s arm, a little too painfully.
“My dear, calm down. You have been sleeping. Your Madam is still in serious hands. My friend here, Nkechi has come to stay with us for now. Since you have slept, you can stay awake until the doctor comes out with word on your Madam. Me? I want to sleep” Sandra replied, rubbing her left hand behind Cynthia’s back to soothe her a little
Cynthia looked from Sandra to Nkechi, trying to understand the big grammar this woman just spoke. Finally, she said “Okay. I stay awake. Sleep, sleep. Morning never come, but I will wait for Dokinta”
Nkechi smiled at the young woman and yawned loudly. “All is well, my dear. We’re here for you until my daughter begins to search for me then I will have to go home.”
She turns to Sandra and asks “What about you? No work today?”
“Oh oooo, at least you are the boss. Call it a day off for me biko. I will work from here, promise” Sandra replies with a big grin and a wink
“No wahala. Time to sleep. Good night sisters, because I am fagged out.” Within thirty minutes, all three women were asleep, even the one who was to wait for her ‘Dokinta’ to show up.
By the time the three women were asleep at the hospital, Henry had driven himself towards the house of his present lover. He had no idea where he was going, but he somehow found himself banging his hands at his lover’s gate.
“Kate! Kate!!” He knocked lightly the first time, before he began hitting the metal with his hardened fists.
“Oh, what is all this?” Kate sighed as she rolled out of her bed cover.
She heard him the first time he knocked on the gate, but was hoping he would just go away. After working all day long, all she needed now was her beauty sleep.
“What is even wrong with this man? Na so this his love dey shack am?” From the way Henry was banging at the gate, the matter was serious.
So she hesitated at the front door, wondering whether it was wise to approach the gate without first calling for backup. After all, her gate man had left that day to visit his hometown. So she was left all alone
“Oh what the heck. This couldn’t be that bad” Kate said to herself as she walked briskly to open the heavy metal gate for Henry.
The minute the gate was open, Henry burst in, throwing his arms wide open in an attempt to embrace Kate.
“Oga!! What is the meaning of this harassment? Do you think this is okay at all?” Kate managed to squeeze out when he had hugged her so tight.
“I’m so sorry Kate. I didn’t mean to come here so late, and to wake you up in such manner” Henry finally pulled away from Kate so he could take a good look at her slim figure.
“You’re the one I love now Kate. I love you. I love you. I love you. Will you marry me?” He got down on one knee while looking deeply into Kate’s eyes.
Meanwhile, Kate looked beyond flabbergasted. She couldn’t bring herself to agree with what her eyes were seeing at the moment.
“Henry!! What do you mean by “Marry you”? I thought you said your wife would fight with everything she had to stop us from happening?”
Henry sighed deeply as he rose to his feet. He held her shoulders and told her what had happened that night. With no details spared.Kate gasped and nearly fell unconscious.
“What?! You said what?” She started to struggle out of his grip, trying hard not to scream. “Is she dead? What did you do to her?”
“Hold on Kate! Just wait a minute! What did you expect to happen? I was fed up with this woman and I just thought this would help us be together. Finally, isn’t this what you wanted, what we wanted?”
“Let go of me Henry! Please just leave! LEAVE! I don’t ever want to see you again! If she’s dead, then the police will come to you for questioning. Jesu! Get out of my house!!”
Kate was becoming frantic. Raising her voice with every word that came out of her mouth. Henry wouldn’t let go of her. He tried to hug her, while she wrestled with him to leave her house.
“Baby, I thought…I thought this was our chance to run away together! Please don’t leave me now. The witch is dead! Please I…..I”
“I said, get out! You, murderer! Get out!”
At that moment, something changed in Henry’s eyes. Blood shot from his feet to his eyes, and hatred filled his lungs. He became a breathing volcano about to erupt. Kate had sensed a shift in his demeanor too, but it was just too late now. She gasped when she looked into his eyes, covered her mouth, and shook her head. She proceeded to turn around, facing the direction of her house, and took to her heels. Unfortunately, Kate wasn’t fast enough when Henry grabbed her from behind and held on to her bare throat.
Unknown to her attacker, Kate had been taking Judo classes, and she had learnt how to retaliate when being threatened with a choke from behind. She turned with flashing speed to face Henry, and then gave him a very loaded jab of her knee to his manhood. The pain was so exact that Henry couldn’t even wince before he fainted. Straight on his back. His knees didn’t buckle; neither did his eyes widen. He had no time to feel, so the only thing left to do was to pass out.
Kate placed her hand on her chest, to steady her beating heart. She thought for a second that she was dead meat. Oh thank goodness! She had taken those defense classes and had put her all into practicing the moves. Unfortunately for Henry, he was the first person she had ever really tried the move on.
Bulls-eye! Sitting down just a little distance from where Henry collapsed, she began to sob. She never planned for Ireti to lose her life, because she had met Ireti once and she was a pleasant woman. Kate could bet her life that Ireti could sense that she was the mistress Henry was interested in. All she had said to Henry was to leave his wife, but NEVER to kill her!
Lord! What monster she had created. Nevertheless, she just had to do something about his presence in her house pronto. She would get rid of him for good.
But how? She thought deeply. No way on earth would she involve the police, because they would think she was an accomplice in Henry’s plans. And she knew Henry well enough that he wouldn’t like to go down alone without putting her behind bars too. So what then? Pacing for a few seconds, the idea hit her, and she swayed a little. Could it be done?
Kate ran towards the back of the house to get the wheelbarrow she kept for heavy-duty work. And Henry was heavy-duty. When she got to where he lay, she put the wheelbarrow flat on its side to allow her drag Henry to the open space of the barrow. And Henry was no light-feather either. So it took her a couple of minutes’ worth of dragging. A few times she winced at the wounds she must have been inflicting on his body, but this was the only way she could do this. At least, the only way she could get him out without killing and butchering him.
Twenty minutes later, she was rolling him out of her gate and to the street. From the wheelbarrow, Henry was transferred to the solid ground of the concrete road. The distance between her house and where Henry would be found wasn’t too far, but it was enough not to draw questions towards her. Thank goodness for the fact that Henry only visited her at night, and never during the day when all eyes could see them together.
Finally, the deed was done, and Henry was out of her life for now. The only thing left to pray for was that he wouldn’t wake up too soon and hunt her down. Henry needed to remain unconscious until when found by people on the streets.
Back At the Hospital
“Mmm….” Ireti groaned as she opened her eyes for the first time in a month of being unconscious. The woman couldn’t move her neck, but she could rotate her eyes, looking all around her. As soon as she spoke, Cynthia rushed to her side to stroke her hair gently.
“Madam” Cynthia whispered. “No shake body abeg. Just relax. Make I call Dokinta” Cynthia took to her heels in search of the Dokinta.
When she ran into the doctor, she held him by the right arm and dragged him saying that her Madam was finally awake. The doctor had become friends with Cynthia, so when she acted in that manner, he didn’t refuse her. He simply followed. They got to the bedside of Ireti and the doctor smiled at her. Ireti looked surprisingly calm for someone who had been asleep for more than a month now. He went closer to his patient and touch her cheek. For some reason, he had become fascinated with how peaceful she looked when she was fast asleep.
“Good morning Ireti. Cynthia here told me your name. It’s nice to see you are finally awake. But I noticed you aren’t able to turn your neck. Never mind that, it would take some time to loosen up.” The doctor moved his hands from her head to her legs, asking Ireti if she felt any sensation when he tickled her.
“Just blink twice if you feel this. Blink once if you can’t” And Ireti blinked twice. The doctor nodded his head and smiled again.
“Very good. Your spine will be checked much later today” He looked at Ireti a little longer with some sort of affection and then tapped his finger on his palm.
“Alright then. Miss Cynthia, your Madam is back! Enjoy yourselves lady, but don’t gossip too much now”. He winked at his friend, Cynthia and left the ward.
All the while, Cynthia held her tongue until the doctor left. All she could think of was how she wanted to hug her Madam! But from what Dokinta just said, it wasn’t going to be possible for now. Oh well, she thought, she would talk with her Madam till Ireti was sound asleep again.
Anita’s marriage was gradually slipping towards the lines of disaster, and Anita knew it well. Nevertheless, Anita wasn’t prepared to give up the concept of being a complete Madam like her friend Angela. Unfortunately for Anita, Angela’s husband wasn’t Mac. Even though Caleb did not seem so strict in the internal affairs of his home, Mac couldn’t think of any other thing.
When Mac was a young chap, in his teenage years, he watched his parents fight every breathing second of the day. And whenever the fights were going on, his dad would say that there couldn’t be two captains controlling one ship. In essence, no matter how much his mother wanted “change” in their marriage, she wouldn’t get it. His dad was the head of their ship, and he would steer it whichever direction he chose.
It saddened Mac a lot and made him mad many a night. But he couldn’t fight his dad, who was a retired Army General. And he just couldn’t find the will to die for his mother. So his mother took his place and killed herself when she had had enough. Ever since her death, Mac swore from then on never to remain in the same place as his father, and never to lay a hand on his future wife.
Mac thought about his past experiences while sipping some Red Wine on the balcony of his two-story building. He swirled the drink in his hand and sighed deeply. It was a beautiful Saturday afternoon, with cool breezes blowing the Ube (pear) trees that he had planted in his compound years ago. And then he began to think about his marriage. What could he do to make things work in his marriage?
The house help approached Mac and said that her Madam had called him to the dining table for lunch. He obliged and went to join his wife. Anita was seated at her usual position, on Mac’s right hand side while he sat at the head. Even though he preferred that she sit on the left instead, she chose to do otherwise. He couldn’t care about her subtle stubborn ways anymore.
“Hi darling. Thanks for joining me. I thought you wouldn’t come after all the fights we’ve had”
“Don’t worry about those anymore. Let’s just eat.” Mac replied without looking at her face. He had formed that habit when he first lifted his hand in an attempt to hit his wife. It was shame that caused his attitude. But Anita thought it was a sign of hatred coming from the arguments. They both sat down and Anita continued to buttress her point.
“But baby, you know that these arguments have left us feeling very distant. Or shouldn’t we talk about these things?”
“Anita honey, let’s not start now. We haven’t even started eating. Please, permit this meal to at least appear delicious.”
Anita frowned at his comment and refused to take the hint.
“Well, Angela and her husband always talk things out. I mean, that’s how every other…”
“Anita! Please, for the last time, let us eat! Should I go hungry because you want to settle scores? Why didn’t you join me at the balcony before saying these things now? Why call me to the table and then start blabbing? Anita, this is our home” He finally looked into her eyes and took her hands to hold them lovingly.
“Please Anita, realize that this isn’t Angela’s home, and you can never be her. I can never be Caleb. Let’s stop this whole Madam charade and be in love for a minute.”
“Well, there’s no such thing as being in love. We just love, that’s what the other women are saying these days.”
Mac took his hands away from Anita’s and sighed deeply. He was close to tears then, thinking about the big mistake he had made marrying this woman. But she looked so promising in the beginning, so full of life and willing to adapt. Until she met Angela and their worlds turned upside-down. Yes! Now he knew the source of the problem, he would warn Caleb, and he would do it now!
He pushed himself off his chair and walked to their bedroom, leaving Anita looking stunned. He went straight for his phone and dialed his best friend’s number. It rang three times before Caleb picked
“Hello? Mac, how far?”
Mac remained silent, besides the sound of his breathing
“Mac, how far now?” Caleb repeated before he stared at his phone to make sure the call was still on.
“Mac!” Anita had stepped into the bedroom and saw how Mac stood with the phone to his ear, looking like he wanted to murder someone.
Mac turned to face his wife instantly, from the shock he experienced when she shouted his name.
“What is it Anita? Won’t you permit me to make this call in peace? Or do you want to keep bitching about how your other Madams treat their husbands?” Mac yelled, forgetting that Caleb was still on the line.
“I’m only trying to call Caleb to tell him to hold his wife, to stop her from being your friend. Anita, this isn’t you! You’ve changed ever since you met this Angela!! If you two hadn’t met, then you wouldn’t be so enticed by this Madam nonsense. I want my wife back!!!”
When Henry was done talking, Caleb dropped the call on his end and looked blankly at the cell phone he held in his right hand.
“What is going on?” He asked in a whisper. He too was beginning to boil on the inside, and it was because of his wife! He was going to teach her a hard lesson tonight, and a good one at that. He dialed Mac’s number and Mac picked up immediately.
“Have you told your wife to stay away from my wife?” Mac spurted out as soon as he picked the call.
“Just hold on man. I have a plan, so you just listen. We are men after all, aren’t we?”
It took Mac a moment to gain his composure once again, before he smiled knowing the plan was going to be awesome.
Mac and Caleb met together at Ikoyi Club to talk things out. They needed a plan, and they brought their house maids with them. Tina was Caleb’s maid. While Blessing was Mac’s house maid. They talked and even bought drinks for the ladies. An agreement was reached between the four of them and the men made their phone calls. By the time they called their wives, it was 7pm. They needed the women to know that they were on their way home. The party of four left the vicinity and their plan was on the way. Caleb and Mac had bought skimpy looking clothes of all colors and shapes for their maids before they went home.
And as usual, when Anita and Angela received calls that their husbands were coming home, they ran down the stairs to welcome their beloved ones. It wasn’t as if the love they had for their men was so great, but it was to make sure that the maids didn’t get the first greeting when they arrived. But this night was going to be different.
Caleb came home completely drunk, with Tina holding on to him to stop him from falling. She too acted like she was tipsy, dressed in very provocative clothing. When Angela stood by the stairs and saw the two come in through the front door, she nearly fainted. She became unbalanced and proceeded to sit at the bottom of the stairs. She couldn’t move, neither could she talk. But all the while, Caleb was very vocal, saying all the things he had enjoyed with Tina that night. Tina in turn acted her part well, even sizing-up her Madam as if she were very insignificant to them.
Angela ran to her bedroom to get her phone. She needed Anita right now, she couldn’t even remember to inhale correctly. Her world was spinning too fast. And unfortunately for her, Anita was just about to receive her own shocker.
Mac came home too, carrying his maid in his arms. Blessing acted like she was sick to her stomach. She was hysterical, even crying and begging for her boss to save her. She thought she was going to die. Mac held her tightly, speaking very soft words into Blessing’s ears. He promised he wouldn’t leave her, he promised he would be by her side till she was well. He promised that she would be alright. All the while this was happening; Mac didn’t even take notice of his wife who stood amazed in the hallway. She was so dumbstruck, it was dizzying. The scene unfolding before her eyes was just too much for her to digest.
Nevertheless, Mac carried Blessing up the stairs and to his marital bed. He laid her there and lay beside her, stroking her hair gently while Blessing struggled to fall asleep.
“Shhh. Shhh. Just rest Blessing.”
“Oga, I mean, Mac. Please don’t leave me”
Anita watched these things happening and stood silent. And when Mac kissed Blessing on her forehead, Anita ran out of the house. When she got outside, she saw a taxi dropping off a neighbor and she immediately got on the taxi and told the driver where to go. She was going to see Angela.
And so was the beginning of hell on earth.
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