Victims – Episode 6
A Story By Rosemary Okafor
The day was Sunday and people were reluctant to leave there mats.
“Neighbor, Inaro eje Uka? (You no wan go church)Her neighbor asked, struggling with an old head tie that has holes on it, the head tie swallowed her forehead and [email protected] of her eye brows.
Her name was Mmasinachi, Ukwuoma later learnt, the day a fight broke out between her and her husband.
“Mkpi na agba ewu! (He goat that mates every female goat) you think I no know say you dey knack that army woman eh? Now my b©dy no good for you again eh Okechukwu, she don give you chop and clean mouth, her bolom-bolom nyash don enter your [email protected] sotey you don forget say my own been your sweet honey before abi?” he neighbor has shouted angrily to her husband
The poor Man was a direct opposite of his voluminous wife, slender and fit, he could [email protected] for a handsome man if not that the situation kept his beards over grown and his skin rou-gh and [email protected] like an iron sponge.
Who would blame the Man for always disappearing from the tent even before his wife drags her [email protected] b©dy off the mat, and like a dog he would find his way to Officer Fatima’s quarters where he would stay till dusk, only ti-ptoeing back to their corner when he was sure his wife must have gone to be-d. Sometimes he [email protected]£ with a loaf of bre-ad to compensate her and shut her up.
But that night Mmasinachi wouldn’t be bribe-d with bre-ad and few tins of sardine, she had wanted S-x and the poor man couldn’t get his joystick;
“This Toto no be for decoration, na for you to do the thing” she said holding him by the shi-t, her b©dy bouncing vigorously with every stump of her feet and movement of her hands.
Their pandemonium woke the alre-ady angry settlers, but they soon adjusted themselves and laughed heartedly as the rumble went on;
“if na me get this kine woman, I go even run away since sef, who wan sleep with h!ppopotamus, the man no wan die” someone commented from the crowd, arousing laughter from those around him.
“Oga give am knack na ah ah, no be only make you put your something for her something? Watin heard for there?” one woman shouted from afar
The Face shamed Man was rescued from his wife’s firm grip by other men, who promised Mmesomachi that they would talk to her husband and get him to find a conducive time and place to have S-x with her.
Okechukwu, her husband hurried away with the men, leaving his wife swearing and raining curses on him and his mistress, the Army woman
“I dey beg you? I no dey bey you o, you think say na only you sabi knack army? I get plenty army men way wan hold this my nyash, na make I gree them remain…” Mmesomachi’s loud voice trailed her husband as he walked out with other men, amidst chuckles, snaring and nas-ty talks.
Ukwuoma wondered how husband and wife would be comfortable having S-x in the tent not minding that other settlers might wake up in the night and see them, hasn’t she woken up to a cry of a baby, only to realize that the father and mother were having S-x as if they were fighting, with the woman’s [email protected] in her mouth to prevent her from [email protected] ing, the baby woke up and thought that his father was beating his mother.
The next day after Mmesomachi’s fight with her husband, Okechukwu was not seen in the tent and he didn’t return for two days.
“You said church?” Ukwuoma asked Mmesomachi
“Yes na, you no dey go church before? Abi you be idol worsh!per? My children don go baff o, do fast make you follow us go, e get one church way dey come every Sunday for that big there…” Mmesomachi said to the reluctant Ukwuoma
“Okay, you can go, I will come with my son later…”
“Osi later? You no wan seat for front? Them dey share food o, e beta make you come early seat down for front, food fit no reach people way dey for back” Mmesomachi said
Ukwuoma tapped her Son gently, and led him outside with their bucket, brushes and some powders charcoal for brushing.
“Madam, no dey waste your time dey look for toothpaste here o, I cost, go for that their kitchen by that toilet side, collect charcoal grind am make you dey use am” someone had told her the next day after the day she [email protected]£ into the barracks, and was begging for toothpaste for her teeth.
The plastic seats were almost filled up by the time they got to there. It was as if they were not the only people who knew that foods would be coming to church that day.
Mmesomachi gave her a long stern look, and she knew the woman was blaming her for ma-king them arrive late.
“Mama, this place no dey full like this before o” one of her daughters commented
“Don’t mind them, sinners that only seek Jesus for bre-ad” Mmesoma added, as if she wasn’t eager to hijack both the bre-ad bakery if giving the chance.
“…if you believe, all your sins will be forgiven and your problems over…” the young minister was saying from the wooden platform which served as the pulpit
The pulpit reminded Ukwuoma of her grandmother’s old kitchen table which had lost half of its legs to termites and was supported with stones to prevent it from falling.
She remembered one of the days she stole pieces of goat meats from her grandmother’s h0t Onugbu soup, and the table lost its balance, s£nding both the pot of h0t Onugbu [/i]soup and its h0t content all over her.
She had planned with her Cousin Jonah to strangle one of their grandmother’s goats so they could be able to eat meat after a long time, since their grandmother would not kill and cook any of those goats except any of them dies of sickness or accident. But when the goat was killed and [email protected] of it used for soup, Jonah was giving a large chunk while she got one piece and few pieces of [i]Mangala fish.
Her grandmother had [email protected] two teeth out of her mouth that day as she was caught with a piece of the meet in her mouth and one in her hand, added to the two she alre-ady eaten. She had cried, jumping up and down like a frog in a h0t water, with spittle gushing out of her mouth and the meat in her mouth falling off with her teeth, mixed with blood and the color of the soup.
“Ima ego ole m jiri sie ofe a ikwafuru? (do you know how much I used in preparing this soup you just poured away)” her grandmother had cried bitterly for the soup, as if she was mourning her dead child, not even her red skin from the h0tness of the soup had mattered to her grandmother.
“Mummy, I wan drink water…” Ogugua tugged her Sk-irt and brou-ght her mind back to the preacher’s voice
She opened the old container she picked few days ago, which now serves as their drinking water can, and gave Ogugua to drink. The child gulped the content greedily, spilling half of it on his b©dy. He coughed so heard, drawing attentions to them.
“…Judgement is for sinners, poverty is for sinners, if you are in Jesus, your life will change like mine did…” the preacher continued
“Oga we no wan hear again, abeg do commot there make we chop…”An elderly man muttered behind her
“…my helper oh my helper
My helper oh my helper
There is something that makes me
Come into your pres£nce my helper…” the preacher broke into singing, while the congregation joined with [email protected] and dancing
“We are going to take communion, I will bless it and it will turn into the b©dy and the blood of Jesus Christ…if you receive this, you will not die again!”
“You will not thirst again!”
People were filing out to receive the pieces of bre-ad and the Zobo drink, out of hunger more than out of religion;
“Drink plenty Zobo, make you take that one hold belle before the food” A mother told her son
She stood up too and joined. Her grandmother had changed her perspective about communion and the Whiteman’s religion. Though her father was a bishop, her grandmother st©pped going to church and [email protected]£ a traditionalist.
On her dying be-d, Ukwuoma’s father had wanted to give the woman a communion, but she had declined and had said in her old frail voice:
“Where we raise the Kola nut made by God, you people raised your bre-ad made by man. When we declare ‘HE WHO BRINGS Kola BRINGS LIFE’ you people declare ‘THIS IS THE Bre-ad OF LIFE’. We offer thanks, you also offer thanks. We blessed the congregation; you too blessed your congregation. we call on our Ndichie and worthy ancestors by their name: Okeke,okafo,Okoronkwo,Okorie,Igbokwe, Odenigbo, in the communion of the living and the dead to come and [email protected] in our Kola, you also call on your Ndichie and ancestors by the name: St Peter, St Paul, St Phili-ps, St Caro, to come and [email protected] in your bre-ad and wine. We break the Kola, and you also break your bre-ad and wine. My son, a true concentrated Kola is the Kolanut”
As the warm Zobo t©uçhed herl-ips, she realized how hungry she was; she wi-de-ned her palm to [email protected]£ more bre-ad crumbs and wished she could have more of the Zobo.
To be continued
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