THE HOUSEMAID DISASTER
With one last look at Adaora, Ngozi opened the door wide for her to enter.
Adaora took time observing the wide parlour. She couldn’t remember when last she was in that parlour.
She forced out a little smile on seeing their father’s old picture hanging somewhere on the wall with other frames. Ngozi had begged her husband to allow her put it there so she can always remember him with it.
Adaora reached for it and rubbed her hands across it. She developed hatred for him when he gave almost all he had to Ngozi and only but few to her.
She turned her face to Ngozi who kept staring at her and went back to where she was sitting.
Ngozi went in and soon emerged with a glass of cold water for her. She lifted the glass of water, stole a glance at Ngozi and gulped it down.
Ngozi was sitting on the large sofa while Adaora sat on a separate one. Adaora retreated to ponder in her heart whether to unravel the heavy secret. She knew it wasn’t something Ngozi would take easy with.
“I must start by apologising to you. I have done you harm time without number out of envy. We both know it all started after our father’s will was revealed” Adaora began.
Ngozi nodded, waiting patiently for her to bring up her daughter issue as she stressed out earlier. What is it about Angela she wants to say?
“The reason why i am here is because of your daughter”Adaora revealed again.
“Not Angela”Adaora answered.
“Then who? How many daughters do i have?” Ngozi was loosing her patience.
“I know you have the right to even strangle me to death or report me to the police if you choose to be merciful but i have to say it. She has suffered untold hardship with me. I derived no joy from her suffering. I wished i could give her the better life you would have given her but instead she work day and night wearing herself out inorder to get money to buy me drugs……”
“Who are you talking about?” Ngozi interrupted her.
“Many years ago, a baby girl was taken away from you by some armed men. I had a hand in it” Adaora dropped the bombshell.
Ngozi stood up on her feet with eyes as sharp as the sun, coming close to her.
Adaora stood up too, not to fight her back if she comes for a fight but to defend herself from her if she does so. And just like she guessed, Ngozi fell upon her like the falling olympus, tearing and pulling at her clothes and hair.
Mr uwa returned just then and beheld the unholy sight. He quickly drew out his wife. Adaora made no attempt of retaliation and it came clear to him that Ngozi was the one fighting her. Though she was the one shedding tears.
“What is going on here?” He demanded,looked at his wife for an explanation but when he saw she wasn’t going to say anything he turned to Adaora, wondered what might have prompted her coming to his house in the first place.
Adaora composed herself together. Those punches really gave her great pains.
“I need you to undestand and forgive me,” Adaora drawled, “Your daughter’s maid is your daughter but now, she is in a situation that i cannot help her… but you can. You can stop her from going to prison with your wealth and influence”
Ngozi felt her heart ache. Heat suddenly filled her body. That young woman, her daughter?
The car pulled up in front of the police station. Mr uwa, his wife and Adaora came down and went inside the station.
One of the policemen took them to Sonia,who was surprised to see Angela’s parents there. She thought they must have heard what she did.
Mrs Ngozi held her face and looked into her eyes. Those eyes looked exactly like Angela’s. Her lips look exactly like her own lips. She fought the threatening tears and locked Sonia in a thight embrace, keeping her heart racing.
Sonia couldn’t grab anything, her confusion got to it’s climax.
“Mom what is happening?”She turned to Adaora.
“Relax, We are going to make sure you come out of here. We are going to hold talks with the necessary personnels. We are also going to contact that lady behind all these” Mr uwa assured her.
“I shot her this morning” Sonia whispered to them.
“You shouldn’t have done that. You are not a murderer” Mr.uwa broke the silence Sonia words created.
“Don’t worry about anything. We are going to see if she’s dead or alive” Ngozi held her close again, leaving her in the wildest of imaginations,”oh your hair looks ruffled” Ngozi produced a comb from her handbag and ran it severally over Sonia’s natural hair, making sure some of the hair got caught in the comb.
After that,she left with her husband.
“Mom?” Sonia looked into her mother’s eyes for some sort of explanation.
“One thing i want you to know is that i am only human but what i am doing now is for your own good. Don’t worry, you would soon get to understand” Adaora said,trying to hide the guilt in her eyes.
As soon as Mr.uwa left the station with his wife, he brought out his phone and dialled the family doctor’s line.
“Doctor Ben. I am coming over. I need you to run a DNA test for me”
“My daughter.. its time to come home” Ebere heard the voice. She saw her calling on her. It took her sometime to realise it was her mother.
Oh, how she missed the woman. The cold hands of death snatched the woman away from her when she was still very young, leaving her under the care of her relations.
“Come my daughter. Come” She smiled again, smiling pleasantly.
“I am coming mommy. I am coming” Ebere said happily running up to her.
Ebere felt someone tapping her. She opened her eyes only to find herself on the hospital bed. She had been day dreaming. One of her house neighbour was beside her. She was the one who tapped her, hearing her talk in her dream.
Ebere winced and moaned painfully as she tried to shift on the bed. Her eyes darted to her shoulder which was dressed with bandages and white cloth. The memories of how Sonia had shot her flashed through her.
She dropped her raised head back on the pillow.
“I’m sorry ok? The doctor said you will get better. They have removed the bullet already” her neighbour told her.
Ebere nodded. She couldn’t believe she was still alive.
Just then, she saw Angela’s parents, Adaora and another neighbour of hers enter the room. Her heart skipped a beat.She thought they have come to finish her up for having a hand in the kidnapp of their precious daughter.
At first, Mrs Ngozi couldn’t believe it was Ebere, the only good friend of her daughter, who kidnapped Angela and even went as far as wanting to kill her. Angela had pleaded with them not to involve the police.
However, they have found it as a perfect opportunity to persuade Ebere to retrace all her steps against Sonia.
Ebere eyed the woman who brought them to her, calling her ‘over sabi sabi’ in her mind but the woman was not to blame afterall. Her fears were clearly written all over head as she fidgeted uncomfortably on the bed.
Mr uwa cleared his throat and asked Ebere if she could tell her two friends to excuse them. Ebere signaled to them to please give them a little privacy.
“Why do you want to kill my daughter?” Ngozi asked her with distate.
“It’s between the both of us” Ebere answered shamefully, confused about their visit which looked like a peaceful one. How could they be easy with her when she tried killing her daughter.
“What actually do you have against Sonia?” Mr uwa asked.
“It was between the both of us too but now, its known. She is murderer” Ebere replied.
“What exactly did you tell the police?” Adaora threw another question at her.
“Just exactly what i said. She is a murderer” She maintained.
“What evidence have you given them?” Mr Uwa asked her.
“I haven’t given them any evidence yet, but i’m sure i have one. Sonia cannot deny it” Ebere answered him.
“You must withdraw that case immediately or else, you would also face the law for kidnapping my daughter” Mr uwa threatened her.
Ebere kept quiet, different thoughts racing through her. She felt empty and miserable. How was she going to live again knowing she tried to kill her friend but failed? The thought of getting her again for the ‘dibia’ never crossed her mind.
She soon heard herself sniffing. From simple sniffing, she bursted into a loud cry.
“Just look at me…am i not getting older by the day? Are my mates not married? I am 32…will any man ever…”Ebere coughed in between her loud sobs. Her rate at which her tears flowed could make one believe they would fill a bucket.
“Some one told me it was Angela who told mike about my lifestyle, telling him the ones i did and the ones i didnt do. I was forced to believe because she swore with her life that she was telling me the truth. I decided to take revenge on her” Ebere cried, regretting everything she did.
“How could you believe such a story?”
“please forgive me. I am sorry. help me plead with Angela to forgive me. tell her i am sorry. i still want to be her friend. she never did me any harm. I will do whatever you asked me to do about Sonia. I will….” she couldn’t continue due to her excessive sobs.
Ngozi went close to her and tried comforting her.
“i just want to have peace of mind. I will tell them the whole thing was a mistake, Sonia did nothing to me. I will try and make sure the police releases her,” She assured them, “Please tell Angela that i am sorry”
Mr and mrs Uwa took turns looking at the DNA result.They still found it hard to believe it. After twenty three good years.
“Mom, Dad, is that a letter” Angela shocked them, standing before them but she didn’t get a good view of the report. Her father quickly folded it and filed it bank into the envelope it came with.
“It’s nothing my dear. Don’t worry” Her father smiled at her, while her mother nodded in agreement with her father.
“I have to get going. Firstly, i am visiting Ebere. i have made up my mind to. I told David about it. She has been calling me on phone but i refused answering” Angela said, hugged them goodbye and left.
Ebere was in her room when the knock came. She slowly walked to the door,clenching her teeth in pains. Her shoulder still gave her great pains. She managed to open the door with one hand, only to find Angela standing there.
Ebere was short of words on seeing her.She thought Angela would never have anything to do with her again. She was even planning to go over to her home and apologise to her.
“I am sorryyy Angel. I am sorry”She begged, falling at her feet. Angela felt her tear drops on her feet. She soon saw herself shedding tears too.
“It’s okay. Get up” Angela helped her up and supported her into the room.
Ebere felt a great inner peace. Her joy knew no bounds.
“I know that i am not worthy to call myself your friend again. I don’t deserve you. Inspite of all you have been doing for me. From our school days up till now…”
“shhhh. It’s alright, lets call everything that bit in the night mosquitoes. Let by gones to by gones. No matter what happens, we are friends for life” Angela said, not even believing she was saying that. Ebere’s unstoppable tears came again as she fell into Angela’s arms sobbing.
A knock came on the door. Ebere told Angela unnecessarily that it was one of her neighbours who has been rendering help to her.
“The door is open” She said, referring to the person at the door, expecting the expected neighbour to come in but nobody came in.
The knock came again.
Ebere tried to get up with the pains to open the door but Angela offered to open it.
When she did, whom she saw made her almost loose balance as he kept staring at her. She didn’t know how to feel at all. She stole a look at Ebere, barring the person from looking inside the room with her body.
“who is it?”Ebere asked.
Angela opened the door wide and stood at one corner for Ebere to see for herself.
For some seconds, Ebere couldn’t figure out whom it was. She stood up from the foam and came closer.
Then, she saw him.
It was MIKE, standing there with two hands in his pockets.
Ebere came closer to the door, to make sure her eyes weren’t deceiving her.
For few minutes, nobody said anything. Ebere took time staring at him from head to toe. His appearance still speaks volumes about his wealth.
Angela too was surprised; after all these years?
“Have you come to add salt to my injuries?
Have you come to scratch my healing wounds?
What do you want?
Just leave” Ebere produced her two hands and pushed him, forgetting that hands would hurt. She let out a loud cry. Her arm ached, giving her the worst pain she ever felt since the incident took place. She bent down and supported the wounded hand with the other. Angela rushed up to her to support her. Ebere’s push came all of a sudden. She could have stopped her if she had seen it coming.
“Why did you do that? You shouldn’t have done so”Angela reprimanded her.
Mike came in. He wasn’t angry by the way he was pushed but he pitied Ebere. The way she was crying truly showed she was passing through great pains. ‘or could it be that his presence also added to the pains?’ He thought. His spirit tempted him to touch her hand, to give her some comfort but he held himself for the meantime. She might do the worse.
“What happened to you?” He asked, showing great concern.
“It’s none of your business! Just leave!” Ebere barked, pointing at the door for him.
“Baby! Keep quiet! Just keep quiet. I guess you don’t know what you are doing” Angela hushed her and turned to Mike, “I’m sorry mike. She’s just going through a hard time”. Mike nodded.
“Baby why don’t you hear me out first?” Mike said, rather asked, looking at Ebere’s eyes pleadingly.
Ebere hissed and took her eyes off him.
“Baby, you must listen to him” Angela said.
Mike went down on his kneels, keeping his pride aside to the astonishment of the Angela and even Ebere, though she concealed it. Getting Ebere back was the only thing on his mind. The only mission he has to accomplish.
“Baby i am sorry. I have come to realise that you are my missing rib. I am incomplete without you. Ever since i left you, i have been to hell and i’m back. I realised that you are like a file in my heart that can never be erased. I hope there is still a place for me in your heart. Please Baby…forgive me and accept me back into your life..I know i broke your heart and left you with great pains…..” He paused and reached for his handky. He wouldn’t dare cry in front of them for the man that he was but a drop of tear which tricked down from his eyes had betrayed him.
Ebere looked away, crying her heart out at the inside.
Angela who couldn’t stand it, went up to him, helping him get on his feet.
“It’s okay. Just stop….please” She urged him.
“It’s been four years Mike. Four years. Just few days to our wedding you broke up with me. Tearing me apart emotionally. I fell sick Mike. Yes, I almost ran mad. why..why?” Ebere wept.
Mike found the courage to come closer to her. He held her, drying her tears with his own cloth.
“I am so sorry. I will never do that again” Mike kissed her forehead, gently drawing her to himself. Oh how soft it still was; that softness that gave him relief whenever he felt it.
Angela smiled and winked at Ebere,who showed a little happiness.
“We are going to arrange for our marriage without wasting anytime” Tony whispered to Ebere. She smiled and nodded. Overwhelmed with the sudden joy that filled her in. She still found it hard to believe this was happening. After all this years.
Mike searched for her lips, kissing them warmly, trying to ease her pains. After sometime, he stopped. Ebere wished he didn’t stop because its really been a long time he got such a true kiss from some who truly loves her.
Angela clapped in ecstacy,smiling happily.
“Wow wow wow. I am so happy Baby. I can’t wait” Angela rushed her words and embraced both of them together.
“The police is not releasing the girl in question because of anything else if not for the fact that the person who brought up the report has explained to us that everything was a mistake. Not because you are my friend. We fined her enermously, though we are still going to investigate further. We are releasing her but if we later find out she was responsible, the law would not hesitate to take action” The inspector of police told Mr.uwa
“I know that too well. The law doesn’t understand friendship. Thank you very much” Mr uwa shook hands with him.
Angela was lying on the sofa watching a programme on the television when David entered. She had kept her business on hold for the time being.
She walked up and welcomed him.
“Honey, i have been feeling somehow for days now” She complained.
“How have you been feeling?” David asked jokingly, smiling and staring at her.
“I’m serious,” Angela made a face, “i think i should visit a doctor”
“I am a doctor, Visit me Or let me examine you” David playfully touched almost all part of her body, examining it, leaving Angela wondering why he’s acting so funny.
He had been acting funny and pampering her like an egg lately.
“I have detected the problem” He announced.
“It’s like something good happened today” She guessed rolling her eyes.
“I will show you” He whispered and took her off the ground in his arms like a baby, running into the bedroom. Angela only laughed out loud as he carried her. Her husband has gone crazy lately.
David landed her on the bed and produced the pregnancy report the doctor gave to him.
“This is the result” He handed it over to her.
Angela hastily opened the envelope and brought out the paper in it, reading it silently.
“Who is Angela Dike?”she asked.
“Who else if not you my Angel?” David clasped his palms together,” Please Angel, don’t get angry with me for not telling you”
Angela was dumbfounded. Something told her those feelings of hers were signs of pregnancy but she wasn’t so sure because she never experienced it before. She screamed in joy, tears of joy dropping from her eyes as she hugged David, overwhelmed with joy, trying to stop the tears but they kept coming. David kissed the tears dry, happy too that she was happy.
Just as they got down on the bed in their happy romantic mood, the sweet voice of Rihanna “Shine bright like a diamond”
“Shine bright like a diamond” coming from Angela’s phone disturbed them. David grumbled.
“A minute honey, pleeease” Angela begged and reached for the phone in her pocket.
It was Ebere calling.
“Hello baby”Angela spoke into the phone.
“Angela its Mike” Mike responded with a shaky voice at the other end. Angela noticed the abnormality in his voice and sat up.
“Mike what’s the problem?” She asked, hearing him sob.
“Angelaa. Baby is dead. Ebere is dead” Mike cried.
“What?!” Angela screamed in disbelief. Her hands were trembling and she lost hold of her phone. The phone fell to the ground with the sobbing voice of Mike still coming from it.
“What’s going on?” David asked.
Angela quickly picked up the phone.
“Mike what are you saying? What happened? She wasn’t sick” Angela jabbed trying not to believe it but equally aware that death isn’t something anybody would joke with.
“We just returned from sharing our wedding invitation cards and she said she wanted to rest and laid down sleeping. Later on, in her sleep i heard her pleading for her life,saying she would bring the lady for the sacrifice. Before i ran to her to wake her up, she was no gone” Mike cried like a baby on the phone.
“Oh noo. God whyyy? Whyyy now that something good is about coming her way?” Angela pulled at her hair, her ever ready tears wetted her face.
“Ebere is dead”She told the inquisitive David who kept demanding to know what happened, and rushed to her wardrobe to change up.
“I’m coming with you” David called after her as she hurriedly made for the door.
David’s car pulled into Mike’s compound.Angela didn’t even wait for him to park well before she came down from the car, leaving the door open.
People were already there. Some were trooping in in-twos and threes while some were going out.
Mike was being comforted at one corner by his friends.
“Where is Baby?” Angela rushed at Mike, who was more hurt than anyone else. He was crying and shedding tears. Something he couldn’t remember when last he did.
“Take it easy,” One of Mike’s friend urged her,” she is still inside. The ambulance is yet to come”
Angela ran inside to see her. She wanted to see for herself before believing. She wanted to see her and tell her ” Baby wake up Angel is here” if she ignores her, that would tell her that it was really happening in reality not a dream.
But when she shook her, calling her all the sweet names she new and she just lay there, speechless, cold shivers ran through her. Ebere was stiff. She felt she was shaking a log of wood, not her own Ebere. It then dawned on her that she was gone. Gone for life.