“Ma?” I pretended as if I didn’t hear her.
“I said I can help” She repeated herself.
“I will be fine, ma!” I said, trying to defuse her.
“Nne, I can do it” She shrugged, rushing out those sentences in her dialect.
My blood stuck then!
How on earth will I cope?
Where on earth should I start?
It pinched myself for definite assurance of what I heard.
Mike’s admission was curtailed by his quick response to treatment.
“Lola!” I heard the voice inaudibly.
I wasn’t sure it was my own Lola, so I looked squarely to where I was going.
I walked sluggishly. I was stressed out, I haven’t taken anything since I got to the office that day. I was heading for the nearby canteen.
“Lola Adesina” The voice shouted my name this time around.
Not my name alone, but my Father’s name.
The person must be someone I vividly know.
I looked back swiftly.
I almost fell into another pedestrian track. Strength drained in me.
“What is she doing here? Why is this woman perpetrating against me? Is anything wrong with Mike?” I asked myself rhetorically.
“Good afternoon, Mama” I greeted, genuflecting gently.
“Good afternoon ooo” she replied, looking at me disdainfully.
“Mama, what are….” She cut in abruptly.
“I won’t be coming home soon. That is why you’re seeing me here”
I still did not get her. I furrowed my eyes as she continued.
“I have an urgent place to go. Take this things with you.”
My mouth was wide agape!
I wished I could refute, but I was dumbfounded.
“Make sure you get everything done before my arrival” she concluded.
I nodded like an agama lizard. She left me in the spot, carrying two big sacks.
I just did not get anything about her.
She saw me suited, heading for the canteen, looking helplessly…
…And all she could do is to bagged loads for me to carry.
She is committed to making life miserable and tedious for me. She was the one who instructed Mike to collect the car he bought for me.
How do I carry this sacks home?
Myriad thoughts evolved in me mind.
I’ve always wanted to snarl up, but at times I remember Mr Akpan.
I dragged the two sacks to the nearby canteen, so I contemplated I would come for it in the evening-after work.
I turned back immediately I dropped the sacks. I did not have any appetite anymore. She just changed my motive.
She did everything overtly.
The masculine voice startled me, I fell off the chair I sat.
“Oops! Kens, how can are you?” My words were gibberish, but I disguised as if they were phrased.
I smiled sheepishly.
“It’s late. I was thinking…” Kens was explaining.
“Oh my days! 8:32pm?” I screamed, looking at my wristwatch.
“You don’t know?”
I didn’t even bother to give an answer to that. I packed my thing, and headed for the door.
He blocked my tracks.
“Let me give you a ride” He said, giving me lascivious smile.
“Nah! I’d love to go alone” I dashed out.
I stepped out my office, there is the unwillingness poking my heart.
I remembered the sacks!
I almost cried!
I stood arms akimbo for minutes I didn’t take note.
“Lola”. Kens called out from my back.
“Errrm! Hi Kens” I said, smiling sheepishly.
“Thought you’ve gone”
“Yeah! I actually came back for my things” I lied.
“..and what’s that?”
I’ve managed to elude Kens, but he keeps pestering me every now and then.
He has been on my nerves since I got into this office, always asking about his proposal.
“I’m a married woman!” I exclaimed, facing him squarely the other day he gave me a lift.
“I’m less concerned about that, all I need is love”. He said, caressing his sprouting beard.
“Love is one, and not two.” I replied, changing the gloomy countenance I brought to the office that day.
Here is he!
He wants to know why I’m standing here.
“My things?” I asked him again.
“Yaaay! Your things!”
“Yes! My things!” I bumbled my words.
He patted my back softly, and said. “I understand”.
He sighed deeply. “I can help you with the sacks”
I looked at him, when our eyes met in contact, I looked away swiftly.
I couldn’t even phrase a sentence, I was totally mystified by his words.
“How did he got to know?” I asked myself.
He held my wrist, and he moved me with him.
He pulled the car to a standstill when we got to my gate.
“Press that button” He instructed.
I stepped out of his car, moving to the boot to get the sacks down.
Kens got down as well. “Let me help”
“Oh! Thanks, Kens.”
He helped in getting the sacks down.
“I’d love to say thank you, I sincerely do not know where to start. Thank you for providing a shoulder to lean on” I said, shyly.
He was just mute, but smiling. I stretched forth my hand for an handshake.
He welcomed my hands. We stood there for minutes and it caused me inconveniences.
“I..I..have to go” I said, slightly out of breath.
“Okay” He dipped his hands into his chest pocket, and brought out a glint object I caught a glimpse of.
It was a ring!
He swayed it in the air.
“I found this on your table. I thought it was what you came back for”
“Yes, your ring”
“Yes, your ring”
I laughed hysterically. I wished the question and answer section would last longer than that.
“Thanks” we said, concurrently.
He winked at me and made for his car.
I inserted the ring into my left fourth finger. I carried the load and headed for the gate.
“Well done mama”
She sat down on the sofa, letting her wrapper free a bit.
Since I didn’t get an reply, I made way for my room.
“And where on earth do you think you’re going to?”
“My bedroom of course”
She unfold her wrapper and fold it tight.
“Come back here”. This time, she was on her feet.
“Here I am”
“Look at the time” She said, pointing at the clock underneath the table.
“10:00pm” I replied bluntly.
“Mama, I’m not a toddler. You don’t have any right to monitor my movement in this house. You’re staying here because of Mike, and not because of me. So face Mike squarely and stay out of my way.” I said, blazing with fury.
Her reaction was not was I expected. I’d love to see her blaze with fury too, but she was gentle as a dove.
“…and one more thing. Don’t you ever repeat what you did today. The next time you do such a thing, I’ll make sure you spend a day or two in the barrack.”
I hissed, dropping the sacks on the floor.
“Ehn, ehn. You called me Lola Adesina then. Mama, let me tell you what you don’t really understand. I was once Lola Adesina, I’m now Lola Akpan. Take it or leave it, I’m still your son’s legal wife.”
“Lola!” She exclaimed!
“Ehn, what is it? Why do you have to raise your voice so loudly just because you want to call me? Mama, let this thrash stop” I said, pointing my index finger at her.
I did not even know where those words were coming from, I still didn’t change my countenance.
“I was just asking you” She said.
“Don’t ask me anything please.” I said, waving my hands in the air.
I bumped into Mike on my way.
I looked at him closely, he has really emaciated a lot.
I haven’t noticed him for a while, since I don’t have the time to stay with him.
He grabbed my waist, caressing my ear. He bent slightly and kissed my forehead.
What was happening?
Things like this happens in Nollywood, and it’s been long I watched one.
“Hi!” I greeted.
He didn’t reply, neither did he showed a facial expression.
“What happened between you and mama?”
My eyes dilated with surprise.
Watch out for Episode 4