Monday, May 18, 2015

When In Nigeria - Chapter 13


The events that followed Patricia’s first three weeks in Nigeria were nothing less than shocking. She saw life in its saddest form, and life that brings yet again hope. 

After her conversation with Yemi’ husband, everything changed. He would come home every night with no stench of alcohol smell on him. He would ask after his kids before going off to bed. One day, he even helped get his daughter ready for school. Another evening, he requested that Patricia called him by his name which was Patrick. His son had been named after him. He seemed like a new man, but was he lost without his wife, or did he miss having someone to use as his punching bag?

After a week, Yemi was still nowhere to be found. Her brother was slowly losing it. There was nothing Patricia would say to him that wouldn’t make him snap at her. Patrick stayed as far away from Ade as he could. Each other’s eyes never met. The only thing they had in common was the missing girl.

On the morning that marked the tenth day since Yemi went missing, Ade’s girlfriend stormed in on Patricia.  She’d just had her bath and was coming out from the backyard when she came.

“I just had to come see it for myself.” She said.  She began digging into her handbag. She brought out her cell phone and made a phone call. While she waited for the other person on the line to answer, Patricia decided to leave because she couldn’t recognize who the lady was. Ngozi stopped her, saying, “You. You just stay there.” She commanded. “Let me see if he can save you now.” she hissed.

“Look, I don’t know who you are…”

“Hello... Hello, Adekunle? So you decided to pick up my call today ‘abi’ after leaving me for almost one month?” Patricia’s jaw dropped as Ngozi spoke. Almost instantly, she began to recall her face. It’s her. It’s the same girl who had stormed into Ade’s apartment demanding for him to throw me out. It had all happened so fast that night that Patricia never really got a chance to see Ngozi’s face clearly, but if anything Yemi had told her about the woman standing in front of her were true, Patricia knew she wasn’t safe with her.

“Please, I don’t have anything to do with Ade. It’s his sister I came to see, not him.” Patricia stated with fear in her voice. Ngozi kept on yelling and ranting on the phone about all the things she was going to do to Patricia before Ade runs home.

“She’s even tying your towel, Ade. The one I bought for you. What do you expect me to think? I warned you, Ade. I warned you not to cross me but you did. I will show you that the stories they said about me were all true.”

Suddenly, Ngozi grabbed a hold of the towel Patricia had secured tightly on my chest. Patricia tried to fight Ngozi off but Ngozi was ready to see the towel loosed and have Patricia naked right on the spot. Who would help me now? Ade had gone to look for his sister and the only person left was the new paper who was sleeping. As if someone had heard her plead for help, a voice came.

“‘Oya, that wan don do; leave her alone my daughter.”

“’No o mama; let me show this girl the kind of person I am.”

Not recognizing the voice, Patricia turned around with the little space she had and standing behind the lady who sold akara down the street was Yemi. She hid behind the woman.

When Patricia saw her, she suddenly found her strength. “Where in the world have you been?!” Patricia yelled, pushing Ngozi to the side. She rushed to Yemi. Patricia was happy to see her but her anger surpassed that happiness. “Just where? How could you leave your kids… Ola, Patrick? How?” Patricia screamed as her eyes became clouded with her tears. She’d thought on many nights that Yemi was never going to come back. She’d been too afraid to say that to Ade.

“I thought they were safe with you.” She answered, her voice beginning to break. “No, you don’t know me, Yemi. I left my own child behind and ran away, what made you think I wouldn’t have done the same to your kids?”


“Patricia, I’m so sorry. I just couldn’t take it anymore. My husband was ready to kill me if I didn’t get away… can’t you just understand?”

“And you left those defenseless kids with that same husband who hits you. What made you think he wouldn’t have done the same to them? Did you even think this out at all?”
The woman who came with her stepped forward saying, “I know… I know you’re angry with her but my daughter, Yemi didn’t run away. She has been with me all these while.”

“Excuse me?”

“Yes,” Yemi nodded. “I just wanted to get away for some time to clear my head. I saw Ola every day when she walks’ past Mama Wale's akara place. I even saw Patrick take her to school yesterday. That’s why I came back. I was afraid something might have happened to you. I thought you had left for France. How is Ade?” She jammed her hands together and said, “Please, Please, Patricia, you have to help me explain to him.”

“Explain what?” Ade asked from behind the ladies. They all turned to find him standing by the back door. As soon as his girlfriend saw him, she flung herself into his arms. Patricia watched as Ngozi began raining forced kisses on him.

“Not now, okay? Not now.” Ade said keeping his eyes fixed on his sister who seemed like she was ready to run out in any second. He pushed his girlfriend aside and began making his way through to where his sister was standing head bowed.  He grabbed her by her right hand and demanded, “Let’s go.” That was all he said before he began forcing his sister into the house. Patricia tried stopping him but she knew she couldn’t.
“Ade, we’re not done here o, don’t just think because your sister is back that we’re through. I deserve some explanations and I’ll come back for them.” Ngozi said before she dashed off.

Ade’s sister pleased with him to try and understand, but all Patricia could do watch as they disappeared into the house. The yelling began once he had her inside. The pleading also followed. The cries of the new baby came next.

“Should I go in there?” Patricia asked the woman who came with Yemi.

“Should I?” she asked again this time in a hurry as the voices in the room grew louder and for the second time, Patricia got no response from the woman. She turned around to see if she was still with her, but the woman who was now standing in front of Patricia looked nothing like the same woman who had dropped Yemi off.

Mrs. Bummi had her right hand stretched out in front of Patricia as if she was reaching out for something in thin air. Her stretched hand was shaking. She looked as if she’d just seen a ghost. Patricia quickly reached for the woman before she fell down.

“Madam, are you okay?” Patricia asked baffled at how sudden the woman had fallen ill. Everything that could possibly go wrong that morning was happening. All hell was breaking lose.

“The scar… that mark,” she breathlessly stammered. “The scar on your shoulder, has it always been there?” Patricia nodded as she became conscious of the nasty scar which laid on my left shoulder. She’d forgotten the scar was even there since it’d started to fade away as she grew into a teen.

“Ola,” she called out. “OlaJumoke. My daughter, it’s you.” Her lips trembled.

5 comments:

  1. Go through the story again. There are too many mistakes. I don't know y bunmie refused to tell you. Hope it's not cos of me

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  2. @olasehinde you are right , May be peace was in hurry bcuz she tried to give us new episodes as soon as possible .

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  3. @ peace start from the tenth stanza. " suddenly, Ngozi grabbed the hold of the towel Patricia had secure tightly (on my chest). Correction: on her chest .

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