HE SAID NO
Mrs. Akinwale Grace made yam and was just about to fry her raw blended pepper. She suddenly started craving for yam and fried pepper, she even had to get to Balogun market, which was quite a distance from her house to get yam. But the moment the raw pepper hit the pot of h0t oil, she suddenly bec@m£ nostalgic and felt the nee-d to throw up. Their son, Tobi was alre-ady asleep and tucked up in his be-d.
She was on her way back from the toilet when her husband, Mr. Akinwale, c@m£ back from work,
“Welcome,” she greeted weakly, she didn’t even wait for a response, before ma-king her way back to the kitchen,
“Uhn uhn,” he answered with his nose as he sat on their sleek sofa, and made to untie his shoes. They lived in a rented 3-be-droom ap@rtment with a fairly large sitting room. The sitting room walls were coated with white paint and it hosted four single wine leathered sofas were arranged opposite each other while a three-seater sofa was at the other end, a 32 inches plasma television was hung close to the white-coated wall and white and wine flowery curtains graced the sitting room, ma-king it a beautiful sight to behold. The other p@rts of the house were not left out either.
Back in the kitchen, Grace was alre-ady regretting that she made yam because the smell of the pepper was ma-king her feel like throwing up. She dished out her husband’s food instead and arranged them on the dining table,
Akinwale headed to the dining after changing and freshening up,
“I have not seen Tobi today,” He said as Grace dropped a bottle of cold water and a cu-p, she was in her first trimester and her protruding belly was gradually becoming obvious in her oversized go-wn. Her hair was scattered and her clothes reeked of onion and pepper.
“He’s asleep,” she answered, as she poured him a glas-s,
“Come come come, what is this?” he asked disdainfully, as he uncovered the food,
“Yam? I told you I wanted pounded yam and vegetable,” he said, looking up at her, “I don’t know how you want to do it but that is what I am having for dinner tonight, ”
“I don’t have the strength to pound yam, I feel weak and tired. I had to go to Balogun market to get yam, and after I got back, I just used my last strength to prepare yam, plea-se manage it. I would make pounded yam tomorrow with the remaining yam. “she pleaded,
“So, because you went to ordinary Balogun market, you are talking as if you trekked to Ghana, Uhm, woman, don’t get me angry! you know what I can do!”
“Abah now, pity my condition, ”
“What condition? Are you the first person that would get pregnant? So, because you are pregnant now, I should not eat?” he looked at her disgustfully as he hurled out more hurtful words on her, as usual.
“But this is food before you, why do you just like ma-king issues out of noth…” She hit the tiled floor with a thud as a thun-derous sl@p landed on her face before she could complete her s£ntence.
“I feed you and clothe you and just to make me dinner is your problem, it’s not your fault, useless and good for nothing old woman!” he stood up, pushing the dining chair backward as he angrily walked out on her.
Grace held her face in her hands as h0t tears streamed down her face, she could not make any sound, but de-ep down inside her, her soul was in bitter pain and agony.
Grace, Mrs. Biodun’s daughter had been married to Akinwale for about 3 years and it has been hell on earth for her.
Amifel sli-pped into her flat shoes and carried her bag before taking one last glance at the standing mirror she hung at the back of her wardrobe. It was Wednesday and she scheduled a meeting with a client who employed her services for his late mum’s burial.
“Mummy, I’m off. See you soon,” she said to her mum who was seated in front of the television, seeing a movie.
“Off to where, George?” she said, grinning from ear to ear,
“Mummy, you don’t know more than George, ” she remarked,
“That is the only name you have put in my mouth oh, give me another name whether I won’t switch, ” she laughed
“Okay oh, it’s not George, I nee-d to attend to somethings and I also have a meeting,”
“You are going to plan other people’s wedding again without planning your own,” she hissed,
“Mum! It’s not a wedding, it’s a burial ceremony!”
“Ah, burial ke, Not in our own house oh,” Mrs. Robert said while swinging her hands backward to symbolize that she rejected it.
“Mummy, plea-se not now, not now. You asked me to stick with George and that I have done. I have told you that if he proposes again, I would say yes,” she answered while turning to go. She was tired of her mum’s persistent naggings.
“Wait wait, Again? What do you mean by again? Has he proposed before?” her mum inquired,
Amifel forgot that she didn’t tell her mum about his initial proposal “Mummy plea-se, we would talk about this when I get back,” she replied, trying to evade the question,
“You are not going anywhere until you answer me and if you lie to me, I would ask him myself,” Mrs. Robert insisted, Amifel knew that her mum won’t take no for an answer and that she meant every word she said. The last thing she wanted was for her mum to talk to George on her behalf,
“Erm, yes, he once did and I said I wasn’t re-ady,” she said, scratching her scalp,
Mrs. Robert bec@m£ dramatic, as she stood up and lifted up her hands “Ah! God! Amifel will not kill me, so you rejected the answer to your prayers, ehn? They even pres£nted it to you on a platter of gold, you are joking with menopause!”
“Did you listen to what I just said at all? I did not tell him I was not marrying him. I told him I wasn’t re-ady,” Amifel said in a bid to defend herself,
“What is the difference? Grace is there, happily married with one child on ground and one on the way while you are here rejecting proposals” Mrs. Robert said with her hands akimbo,
“That’s it mum, have a great day,” Amifel could not bear it any longer, she could still hear her mother’s shrill voice but she ignored it as she ban-ged the gate angrily on her way out.
Mrs. Robert really is a drama queen!
Grace was standing at the tail end of a long tarred road, it looked like she was waiting for someone or something. All of a sudden, she saw from a far distance, some uniformed men dragging a young man in handcuffs, up the tarred road. She could not see his face from the distance and she was hoping to see him when he got to where she was. Then she saw that it wasn’t just one man, another woman was being dragged aloñgside with him and she was also in handcuffs. But from that distance, she recognized the lady,
“Amifel! Amifel!” She screamed, jumping as Amifel was being dragged closer, Amifel, who was in tears, couldn’t say a word as she tried to resist the uniformed men, which made them handle her quite r0ûghly. The first man on the other hand didn’t resist the uniformed men and was just looking receptive to their directions.
“What happened? What did she do? What did he do?” Grace wondered,
Meanwhile, Amifel was soa-ked in tears as Grace kept screaming ha-rder but it seemed like she was incapacitated to help sort of. But even while looking for a way to rescue Amifel, she was still trying to see the face of the young man, he had almost gotten to where she was when she woke up sweating and p@n-ting ha-rd .
It was a nightmare!
“Amifel!” She yelled as she glanced at Blessing who was slee-ping on the be-d they shared. She was slee-ping so soundly that she didn’t move one bit.
“It’s a dream! Thank God it’s a dream, ” she heaved a sigh of relief. But her heart was heavy with a burden to pray, she hurriedly checked the time, time was 2:30 a.m at midnight.
Grace tried to reminisce about her dream. She could not see his face, and she was wondering what he could have done to deserve such harsh treatment and why was Amifel also dragged alongside him?
She decided to st©p asking questions and pray instead,
“Dear Father in the name of Jesus! I call on you on behalf of Amifel, ” she started as she re-moved the duvet off her b©dy and adjusted it on Blessing before standing up to pace the room so she wouldn’t sleep off,
“For every tra-p that has been prepared for her, there is a mighty deliverance!
The bible says in the book of Isaiah 49:24-25,
Shall the prey be taken from the mighty or the lawful captive delivered?
But thus saith the Lord , Even the captives of the mighty shall be taken away, and the prey of the terrible shall be delivered: for I will contend with him that contendeth with thee, and I will save thy children.
*prays in the holy ghost*
There is a mighty deliverance!
*prays in the holy ghost*
Yes! Amifel, because you are precious in God’s sight, he would give other men in place of you in the name of Jesus!
You are delivered from the tra-p of the enemy in the name of Jesus!” She prayed, pacing the room, she prayed for over an hour till she felt the burden on her heart melt away.
“Thank you father, thank you father, ” she muttered as she la-id back on her be-d, and zoomed off after some minutes.
Mummy grace la-id on the cushion with her legs straightened out as she scrolled throu-gh her phone for her daughter’s number. She was in her shop as usual and her sales girls were attending to customers.
“Hello my daughter, how are you? ” mummy Grace asked as soon as her daughter picked up her call,
“Fine, ” she dragged, she was slee-ping when her mother called,
“What of my grandson?” She asked quic-kly as if that was why she called,
“He is fine, he has gone to pl@ywith my neighbor’s kids, ” Mrs. Grace Akinwale quic-kly added before she would ask to speak to him, she always does anytime she called.
“Why! How many times would I tell you not to leave my grandson at the mercy of strangers? Ehn? ”
“Mummy, I can’t kill myself, I nee-ded to rest!” Grace answered grudgingly as she turned on her matrimonial be-d,
“You can as well lock him up in your room so that he would be within your reach, let him pl@ywith his toys and if he is tired of them, buy him new ones. People are dangerous oh!” Mummy Grace stressed,
“I have heard you, mummy, ” Grace replied reluctantly,
“My other baby nko? Hope she is kicking well?” She asked, smiling as she demonstrated it with her legs as if Grace could see her.
“He or she is fine, ” she replied bluntly,
“What of your husband?”
“He should be fine, ”
“What do you mean by, ‘he should be fine?’ Didn’t he sleep at home last night?” Mummy Grace asked,
“He did but we didn’t talk, as usual, he sle-pt not too long after he got back and he left before I woke up this morning, ” Mrs .Grace explained,
“It is well, ” Mrs Grace said,
“It is well ke, is that all you would say? Anyway, when are you coming to visit us here? It’s been long we saw you, ”
“Visit you for what?”
“Okay, when are you coming to visit your grandson?”
“If it’s about my grandson, there are many ways to see him. You can bring him to my shop or I visit him at his school, I am not coming to your house!” She said bluntly,
“Ahn Ahn! ”
“What is Ahn Ahn? So that your husband would beat me up this time around? Shebi the last time I c@m£, he just pushed me and I hit my head on your wall? ”
“But he has apologized and even got you expensive jewelleries to compensate you!”
“So because he bought me jewelry now, I should allow one small boy to s£nd me to my early grave? It is his mother that he would kill not me! Even my husband did not succeed in killing me!”
“But you want him to kill me abi?” Mrs. Grace asked she was almost in tears.
“He cannot kill you, you know that your dad too was a ha-rd man, but a woman must be tolerant and to live with a man, Grace. People will make jest of her if she leaves her husband’s house! See me now, no one knew what was going on with me till he died, ” she stressed as one of her sales girls c@m£ to tell her that a customer wanted to buy goods in bulk and she nee-ded her attention,
“Just keep praying, my daughter. God will see you throu-gh, Greet my son for me, and take care, shogbo? (you hear?) I have to go now, ” she concluded before hanging up, she didn’t even bother to wait for her daughter’s response.
“No child can kill me because I didn’t kill my parents!” Mummy Grace muttered as she gave a slight hiss before she standing up from the cushion to attend to the customer,
To be continued…