I cut in abruptly. “Ma!”
“Sorry, I didn’t mean to embarrass you, I was just so concern about you. You are one of the hardworking staff this organisation has, and that deserves the best from this organisation” She said.
“Thank you. I ought to have tell you this, but I’ve been having so many things to deal with. I tender my sincere apology, ma’am!”
Her face showed she was concern and curious.
“Do you mind to share those things?” Mrs. Lawson asked.
“They are nothing serious, I’m getting over it” I smiled sheepishly.
“I must confess that you’ve seriously emaciated. You are not the Mrs. Akpan everyone knew, you’ve changed. Are you being traumatised?”
“No!” I clasped my hand tightly, letting my vains out.
“What made you think so?”
“Nothing actually. Just observing closely” She said, tugging at the wristband on her wrist.
I sighed deeply!
“I’m not traumatised, just facing challenges that are recalcitrant to my will. I’m in the throes of ‘hard’. Permit to call it hard because I wager if I’d get the best adjectives to describe it.”
Tears gathered up in my eyes, my voice trembled as I speak as well. I’m one emotional type that doesn’t struggle for tears before it well up.
I looked up swiftly. Our eyes met in contact.
Did she just call my husband’s name?
“That’s my husband’s name. You know him?”
“Remember the day I came to your house.”
“Oh!?” I exclaimed.
“I’m so sorry for the other day ma. Mike was not like that before, he suddenly changed”
“It’s nothing, Lola” She said, waving his hands in the sky.
“I heard you saying ‘you are the Mike I married’ that day, are you the wife he married?”
Her word pierced my soul and left it scrappy for sanitation.
“Dear Lola Akpan, truth must be told! You’ve neglected that man in your house. The day I came to your house, I could deduce all that went wrong, where it went wrong, and how it went wrong”. Mrs Lawson raised her voice.
I fidgeted on the chair.
“How? When? What?”
“That is not your husband, the man you married! I know!” Lawson said.
“Yes!” I exclaimed.
“Thank God you know. What have you done to bring back the man you married? The man has been affected psychologically, spiritually, physically….”
I cut in “But I tried my best. I have a stumbling block before me now”.
“Who is that?”
“His mother, Mrs Akpan. The woman is a beautiful devil saddled with the responsibility to torment my marriage.” I cried.
Mrs Lawson stood up from her seat and moved near me.
“Lola, you need someone, you need God. The author of every home” She said, patting my back gently.
“Have you informed your husband that you are pregnant?” She asked.
“No, I’ve not.”
“We are partially not on the same ground”.
She cupped my jaw into her hands.
“Tell him tonight. Just say it, that could make him happy” She shrugged.
“How do I go about that?”
“How you both did it.” She winked.
Smile enveloped my tear-filled face.
“Want more?” I asked as I was serving him a chill water.
“No, thanks” Mike replied.
We got back very early due to my condition. Mrs. Lawson told me to sign out for the day.
“Where is Mama?” I asked.
“Father called me this afternoon to inform me that he came to pick her. The man said he’s missing his wife greatly and I should stick to mine and leave his.”
“Oh! She’s gone”
“Yes, she is. Gone to make you happy”
“Happy? Anybody sad in this house?” I pretended.
“Yes, Lola Akpan”
“Mike Akpan, parables are meant for the disciples not Lola Akpan” I stood arms akimbo.
“Forgive me, Lola. I made you look like a woman in her forties, when you still in your twenties. I was influenced by my mother”.
“Would I be forgiven?”
“She initiated me into a cult” His voice shook terribly.
“Cult?” I screamed.
“She said you are a witch, and I need protection to fight against you”
I pulled myself on the cushion beside him.
He continued…”The cult I was initiated into tried to damage your uterus, which would serve as a sacrificial bond to the gods”
“And you believed all she said against me”
“I could not have, but you made me to”
“How?” I asked.
“Remember the day you threatened to kill me if I don’t tell you where I got a that new car. My mum told me those are the signs I would see, which I saw”
“Mike! But that was just a threat” I shouted, grabbing my arms tightly.
“It never occurred to me like that” He said, slightly out his shaky voice.
I was panting!
“I gave your uterus out as a sacrifice, which means you won’t be able to carry a foetus again. That was how my mother advised me to frustrate the hell out of you till you leave this house. Mother want a baby but you can’t provide again”
The fact remains that I’m pregnant, so all his words seems confusing to me
“Things went wrong thereafter. Your uterus was rejected by the gods, and that caused my psychological disturbance”
“You mean it wasn’t accepted” My ventricles relented in it’s bumping gradually.
“Yes, it wasn’t. My mother came over to take care of me with some concoction. Mrs. Lawson, your boss, came to check on me a day like that. Mama went to the market, you were off to work” He explained.
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