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That’s her mummy!’ Prince Akubor pointed.
Shadia quickened her steps and marched towards the young
‘Good morning ma.’ The bespectacled young lady greeted smiling
but her smile vanished as Shadia’s hand gripped the collar of her
‘Not only morning but your days will be full of tales if you dare
lay your filthy fingers on my child ever again.
She pulled back the woman’s hand. ‘Ma, this is improper… Did
Prince tell you what he did?’
Her grip tightened. ‘I don’t care!’
Prince beamed triumphantly. At that moment, a teacher peered
out of the classroom and rushed to the staffroom.
The teacher coughed, ‘pl… please.’
‘silly girl, at your age you’re not married, you don’t even know if
you will have children and you dare touch my only child!’
[Three male techers rushed towards them and freed their
colleague who gasped for air and who have slumped if not that
she was held.
‘Mrs Akubor come to my office right away.’ The principal had
been alerted. ‘Take her to the school clinic.’
‘How I wish Dad was home more often…’ Ini wiped the plates
with a napkin and arranged them on the rack.
‘We can’t always have what we wish for.’
Indi was seated on a dining seat surfing the net with his phone.
‘I love daddy so much,’ she stared into space momentarily and
smiled,’ he is so understanding and different from mum.’
‘How I wish he’ll be home often.’ She placed the last plate on the
pack and sat opposite her brother.
‘Daddy’s with us too Ini, he’s serving the country. It’s a
She heaved. ‘Sometimes, I wonder what our fate would have been
if mum was in the military.’
Indi burst into bouts of laughter forcing the imagination out of his
mind. He paused the game and looked at the girl he had known
all his life. He pitied her more than he did to himself. They were
malnourished of their mother’s love and approval.’ Hey babe,
we’ll be fine. It’s your friend’s birthday today.’
She nodded sadly.
‘We can go and come back before mummy gets home.’
Her face light up but was quick to be filled with horror.’No o big
‘You know mum and her ways, she might just walk up to
Nnenna’s mum on sunday just to find out if I attended. I don’t
want wahala, she might kill me this time.’
‘Yeah right!’ He stood, rested his hands on her shoulder and
squeezed it lightly.’ I love you dearly and I’ll do all I can to
She hugged him. ‘Thank you. I don’t know what we’ll have done
without you being around.’
‘Come on, let’s take a stroll before you get all mushy and soak
my shirt with tears.’
Knowing she would throw a fist, he fled and she pursued!
‘Chei yah ma, you shouldn’t have bothered.’ Ijeoma said as
Mama Bisi set the can malt on the side table.
‘Bother ke,’She sat across her. ‘It’s not everyday I get visitors or
have neighbours come around.’ The older woman smiled.
Looking beyond the slack and top she wore, make and artificial
lashes, one could tell she was no more a lady. Been in her late
fifties, the grey hairs began to table its root but using hair
products and expert, she chased them away. A proud mother of 5
children, eldest 2 were still in the country why the rest in
neighbouring country and across the atlantic ocean .
Her youngest daughter had sent for her father to help out with a
project. Hence, her husband absence for 2 months and counting.
The children had been closer to their father.
‘Thank you ma.’
‘So welcome dear. Chidubem can come to stay. I’m happiest
when my grand children visit.’
‘Thank you.’ Ijeoma knelt.
‘I’m a bored woman, I sometimes have to rearrange the whole
house.’ Mama Bisi chuckled and Ijeoma laughed.
My husband’ll make him toasted bread or get him snacks for
lunch.’ ‘Iya Chiamaka èma worry, I am a mother who fed her
children well. I will take good care of him. Pls don’t make Papa
Chiamaka to start doing kitchen work o.’ Ijeoma laughed. ‘He
used to be a better cook than I was when we were courting.’ ‘I
beg leave Tetete matter.’ Both women burst out laughing. She put on her matching heeled shoes, grabbed her bag and
head. She couldn’t wait to show off to her mum. ‘Ha-han! You’re
not dressed. Morenike was lying on the bed with the duvet
covering her midway. ‘I don’t feel so good dear.’ Temilade alarm
was overwhelmed with worry. She was beside her mother and felt
her neck. ‘Do you need to see the doctor?’ She smiled,’ Baby I’ll
be fine. Go ahead, go to church and pray for me.’ She pat her
back. ‘you look really good like a small sisi.’ Temilade laughed.
‘I’m not a small sisi o. How’s my scarf?’ ‘Justok.com dear. I
guess you won’t be needing my help anymore.’ Her smile
radiated revealing her dimple and gap tooth.’ Thank you mum.’
How she reminded her of her father! She pointed to her dressing
table. ‘Get me my purse.’ she sat up. Temilade obeyed. Her mum
searched thru the notes. ‘This is for offering, the other is for keke,
I know you won’t be able to trek so far with the shoes and the
change is for anything you need to buy.’ She received the pair of
200 notes gratefully. ‘Thks mum, I hope uncle wale’s still home.’
he was a member of their church 3 houses away. Her worry
returned and she looked at her mother searchingly. ‘Just in case
u feel worst, don’t hesitate to call me.’ ‘I’ll be fine.’She gestured
with an open arms and Temilade went in for a quick hug. ‘Take
care.’ ‘You too.’ She hurried out of the house.
Mnenga Akubor stared at his wife then finally spoke
up.’Sometimes you behave like a woman who has not seen the
four walls of a tertiary institution! How can you go to your child’s
school and try to strangle his teacher? His voice was laced with
anger. ‘Haba darling, I didn’t strangle her o.’ Shadia both hands
were up. ‘When a child misbehaves, he should be punished.’
‘That girl has no right to touch my child!’ ‘You have no right to
strangle his teacher!’ ‘Darling please calm down.’ His gaze
lingered on her before he went to seat on an armed chair. ‘The
school authority want both of us to come to school on
wednesday.’ She plea with her eyes. ‘That thing you started, go
and finish me, did you hear me?’ He pointed his index finger.’I
have no time for frivolities!’ Just then a knock on the door.
Shadia stood to open and lo and behold, the subject of their
arguement. ‘Mummy I want icecream.’ Prince said ‘There should
be icecream in the fridge.’She placed a hand on his shoulder. ‘I
searched there is none.’
Shadia stepped into the room and glanced around. She found
what she was looking for, her phone. She picked it and started
pressing the phone. ‘What’re you doing?’ ‘Darling I want Yisa to
get for him.’ ‘By few minutes before 9. If he can’t do survive
without icecream, go get it yourself.’ she knew better than
protest. ‘I’ll be out soon. Let me change.’She told him. When the
door closed, he hissed. ‘Nonsense!’
‘Hey baby.’ He called sweetly,’How’re you my love?’ ‘I’m good,
how about you?’ she turned on the travigator light and slowed
down. Omoefe Okoh shifted the phone from side to side. ‘What’s
that sound, are you driving?’ ‘Yes baby but I just parked.’ Ima
brought the car to halt. ‘Okay, I’m well. How’re the kids?’ ‘They
are very well, the holiday progress.’ ‘Hope they are not so much
of a handful or two handfuls.’ He chuckled at his joke. She
laughed,’It’s normal, besides I’ve been in charge and will always
be in charge.’ ‘Trust you babe. I miss you, I miss the kids. I
thought I’ll be home this time to spend the holiday with then but
I’ve to be at South Africa. After this, they would have no other
choice than to grant my leave.’ ‘I understand dear, we’ll wait
gladly. Hope you’re feeding well.’ ‘I’m just perfect. How is my
baby girl?’ ‘She’s fine.’ ‘I send some goods across, amongst then
is a phone for Ini, do get her a SIM. Tell her I want to be the first
calls!’ ‘I will, thanks dear. Send my apologies to them.’ ‘I’m sure
they do understand.’ ‘Love you baby.’ ‘Love you dear. Bye.’ Ima
smiled as she turned on the ignition. She had the sweetest man
in the entire world as her husband. She missed his absence
greatly but his coming back was always awesome time for her. It
had actually been an arranged marriage between both fathers
who had been childhood friends and had retired in the military.
Her father had retired as a brigader general, her mum as a
military nurse. They had both been reluctant at first but after two
dates, they had an understanding and gave room for their love to
grow. In two months they got married, she was 29 and he was
4years old. They welcomed their baby 2years later.