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Twenty Ways I Thought I Died. Part Two. Chapter Three.

I am a writer, a customer care rep, a business administrator, a lover of life and a successful single lady who sees every child as hers.

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A lot happened last year, and as I sat listening to the radio on a lovely Sunday afternoon, I had no other reason but to smile in appraisal of my good job so far. I never told you guys that I have a flare for writing. I have been working on a book for years now, beginning from my secondary school days and it was recently bought by a radio station as a play. As I listened to DJ jazz mimic the character Tolu so well, I could not help but smile. At this point, you all may be wondering, how I was able to sell my book and what I wrote about. Well let’s just say I made use of a bad situation to produce something brilliant.
Remember Rosa? From last year who had an affair with, or rather was my brother in-laws mistress? Yes that Rosa! We were in touch prior to when my aunty Ejiro, found out about Kelvin's love affair.

Why do you think I was able to reason that the baby she was carrying wasn’t Kelvin’s? Well let me give you the breakdown.


After Rosa was fired, I went over to her house to meet her. I went to confront her about what I discovered the other night in Kelvin's office. And this was how it went.


How did you find me? Miss Ufoma what are you doing here?


That information is not the reason I am here. Now this is how we are going to do it, you listen, I ask questions and you answer. Is that clear?


She nodded, and I let her hand direct me from where I have been standing outside her door, into a well furnished flat. She sat and offered me a sit; still with her hand. As I sat our eyes locked in a stare, slowly we sized each other.


Nice apartment. I broke the silence.


Yes. Kelvin did a nice job. Rosa replied sarcastically.


I know what you are thinking, but I am not judging you from that standpoint. I think you rather did a nice job. I mean, if you were not so good in bed, oops on offices chairs, kel won’t have gone this far for you.


What do you want Ufoma? Get to the point please. I am getting really impatient with this conversion.


Why? I asked. Is Sam coming here today?


Okay nice question. She let out a laugh. So your visit today is not about me doing your in-law, but about Sam? Are you in love with him?


Well, I would have loved to be. I answered honestly. But how could I be in love with a man who is about to father a child, for a woman who is more of a whore.


Well I don’t mind you calling me a whore. Sam calls me his bitch. So please spill your rubbish and leave my house quickly.


Believe me Rosa, I cannot even stand one more second here, in fact I need to leave right now because here stinks a lot. I am leaving.
As I stood up to leave, Rosa followed me behind, not minding my sudden reaction. As I got to the door, am sure she expected me to turn around and give some last speech. But I just opened the door and walked out.


From behind she called out: so you just came here today to see how comfortable I live!


I walked away without a word and I did not look back.


Now you all may be wondering what I accomplished by going there. Let me hint you.


I and Sam had been communicating. Remember Sam from my part one, whom Kel sacked along with Rosa? I got to find out that Sam was also having an affair with Rosa, and kel got to find out about it on that faithful day I caught him and Rosa together. He wanted to have his last with her on that day, but got caught.
After a few weeks, Sam called to tell me he got a chic pregnant and ran far away. Being a good friend of mine, I offered to help him relocate to another African country. I did that because I found out the chic in question is Rosa. So Rosa has been distracting my guy to be? I thought within. Who does she think she is to mess with I and aunty Ejiro? I reasoned again. And she really thinks she could trap them both with the baby thing? So I devised a plan.
I knew the baby she is carrying is Samuel’s. But that she would want to blackmail kel with it surprised me. What was her mission if not to exploit him. I only intervened because Ejiro threatened to bring down kel, and that would be bad for the company, and I would eventually lose my job. I need to stop that from happening.


I did a video recording in Rosa's home that day without she knowing. I needed a real picture, real recording, to pin her down. I wanted her to states the obvious, that I was there on that faithful day. And then, she won’t e able to deny she never said those words.


I got a friend of a friend to edit the video and her words. The video was a confession of how Rosa intended to ruin Kelvin and his wife, and how she had used juju to seduce him. And how she had slept with various men for money. The video also states that Rosa was pregnant for her ex boyfriend whom she cheated on and he abandoned her.

It was just the perfect kind of video to make Ejiro forgive Kelvin, and keep the company safe, and save my good job. And it worked!
I got a promotion for that, and I and Kelvin became best of friends. He got me that radio deal to sell my book as a play, and I made extra income from it.


I am also happy to announce to you that at twenty three, I am now an aunt!

Ejiro gave birth after the first quarter of the year to a bouncing baby girl. And she was named Dorcas Chika Onorme Okwu. She is the most beautiful baby girl I have ever seen. And I promised her to be the best aunt ever. Could I hold up to that promise? Yes I can. Back to the present, my phone is ringing.


Hello who is on the line?


Hello babe this is your friend Titi.


Which Titi? Titi Idowu? My friend from secondary school?


Yes oh babe! How you dey?


Inside life! So na so you forget me Titi? Chai! If persin for tell me say this kin thing fit happen, I for bite am.


Babe abeg you never leave this your pigin tongue? Bad Urhobo girl. Babe, I get gist o!


I trust you na. Gist babe fill me in. This one that you remembered me today.


Guess who is getting married!


Abeg na the gist be that? Just tell me jor. You know I am not good at guessing such things.


Ufoma, this one go wound you o! This one hard me talk sef. You know see as I don enter pigin too?


Oghene! Titi what’s going on? Your bobo don leave you wan marry another woman?


My dear, na your story you just relate so o. Your bobo wan marry another woman. In fact, he wants to marry your enemy!


My bobo? My enemy? Which bobo and which enemy I get?


Onyeka your bobo wan marry Bisi your enemy!


Titi, you are just a clown! I burst into a long laugh that ached my heart afterwards. Which Onyeka?


Onyeka your childhood bobo na.


That can never happen! In fact its not possible. Onyeka never liked that yeye Bisi, and besides she is Yoruba speaking. Onyeka na Igbo guy na, he said he can never marry a Yoruba girl.


Eh… says who? Bisi is not just a Yoruba girl now o! She is a rich international model! Remember that modelling contract she stole from you? She don hammer! Onyeka dey follow her now like fly to shit. Chai! Money dey control man! Na now I know. All that mouth Onyeka was making. I cannot marry a non Igbo girl, its only Ufoma I can marry because she is from Delta state, and her state is close to mine Anambra. Story o! Onyeka don see dollars, Bisi don turn to Igbo girl. She ended with a loud laugh.


Titi, let me call you back please. I was already shaking.


Oluwa o! Ufoma are you okay? What’s wrong?


I ended the call without saying one more word. I just cannot begin to explain how I felt. The point is, this is the ninth time I thought I died. Oni me uku na yoma-a. Mother this cup is not good at all. How do you expect me to bear this without you in my life? Onyeka getting married? And to top it all, to my enemy? How come? I never saw this coming. So Bisi did not just steal my deal but also my guy? And to top it all she is getting married before me. At that point, I turned into a twenty three year old devil. Its pay back time.

With that, I made a quick call and headed for somewhere I should have gone a long time ago.

I hate the bride!

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Onyeka! I called out to him as I entered his workshop. He looked up the set of chairs he was observing. Ufoma? Wow what brings you here?
I heard you had learned carpentry, but I never thought you had made it this big.
Chineke! Ufoma Ufoma, always wondering. You just got in and you are already speaking riddles. Come in please. He said giving her a side hug as he walked her into his office.
What riddles? I spoke clean English. Or should I have mentioned that dollars have been doing you good.
He burst into laughter. So you have heard? I thought as much. There must be a reason for this visit. What do you care for, wine or juice?


So its true? Onyeka the mighty Igbo guy now marrying the dirty Bisi he never liked in all areas. Or has Bisi suddenly turned Igbo?


What’s that? Common Ufoma you should know that lightening strikes once. I got struck and fell inlove. Why won’t I love a girl who loves me for my poor me and calls me her hero.


You are so not a man! You disgust me now. When I heard you had opted for carpentry, I did not feel bad at all because I saw the humility and hard work in you put into action, but when you decided to marry Bisi you do not love just because you needed a better life, I felt rage. You know why? It made you a worm.


Ufoma, you do not even know why I opted for carpentry. Bisi made me. She told me of how that skill is quite lucrative abroad and she would invest in it. You know Bisi loves skill businesses and she encouraged me to engage in it. That was how it started, and little by little my mentality changed, and I fell in love with her. That’s it. If you don’t like it, that’s your problem. I loved you Ufoma, I wanted to marry you but you kept on pushing me away due to your own superior almighty reasoning; madam know it all.


Pass tense noted. With that I walked away. I did not love Onyeka, I never saw him in that light, but something deep inside me was sad. Not sad because I feel I had lost a good man, but sad because I hadn’t found a good man. Maybe it was time to fall in love. I said to myself.
I drove over to see my best friend Ini, as I drove I made a call to my grandma, and she was glad.


Pretty grandma, how are you?


My precious princess, I am not to well dear.


Oh no what happened? Did grandpa Ogaga trouble you or did one of his women?


Ufoma you will not kill me with laughter. She laughed and continued. You know I am too old for those things. I never even concerned myself with his private life when we were young, so why should I start that now?


But grandma, how do you cope with grandpa Ogaga? How can you give your entire life to a man and he betrays you this much?


My precious grand daughter, I did not give my entire life to him, I gave it to God. And that’s what I want you to also do. If you give your entire life to a man, then you will be living a fool’s paradise and be disappointed for life. My husband sinned against God for not respecting His standards for marriage, he will have to answer God. Whatever we do, we have God to answer to. So I will not take your grandfather’s sins personal. I do my part and leave him to God.


Hmmm you have a large heart grandma. So what’s making you ill?


It is my son, your father Efe. I don’t know why he doesn’t want to get married. He has never married in his life. He keeps on punishing himself for the death of your mother. Please my daughter, talk to him and encourage him to settle down. I don’t like the way he is living his life.


OK ma, I will talk to him but I don’t want you to be worried over that please. Father is a grown man and you have your health to worry about. Have you taken your medications today?


Yes dear I have. And don’t worry about me too, I am fine now since i have spoken to you about this. Diabetes can’t have the better part of me.


Trust you my ever young grandma! Love you.


Love you too baby.


With that i ended the call. As I approached Ini's home, I had a lot on my mind. I wanted to call my maternal grandmother, but I know she will be too busy roasting her fish or attending to her customers and would not hear her phone ringing. I will call her at night. I concluded.


There is something about Ini that use to disgust me, and I admire now. Her devoted love for marriage, motherhood and relationships. I want to be like Ini. Men love timid women, whom they can subdue and control. Maybe I should become such in other for me to get married. If I were like Bisi, running after a man that doesn’t love her, I would have been married by now. But I acted that way towards Gideon and was terribly insulted. Well maybe Gideon just wasn’t the right guy. But that kind of person isn’t me, I am not that kind of woman, I only acted on ini's advice. Now I am going to the same Ini for relationship advice. Am I not being desperate again? Well I don’t think so. I reasoned. I am just trying to become a better person, change is constant remember. I concluded.


Ini had come out of her gate to receive me. She was wearing a pink top and black pants with her hair cut short.


Babe why did you decide to cut your fine hair?


Ufoma you just arrived, please let’s go in before you begin to scold me. She laughed and gave ma a hug so tightly that I can still remember till date.


As we sat in her well arranged small room, the aroma of her stew filled the room. Her stove was right by the corridor close to her entrance door, and she could view from inside everyone that walked passed her boiling pot of stew.


Where are the children? I asked.


They went out with their father. He actually took them to the barbing salon to get a hair cut.


You are really looking good now I must confess. Much more like the Ini I use to know in our university days.


She laughed and added. When will you stop bullying me?


Am I? I haven’t even started. I teased. But tell me babe, why did you cut her hair? If you needed money you know you can count on me.

Babe I know. You have been too kind to me. You are a blessing in my life. Well its just that I felt I needed a new look though. Nothing other than that.


Oh if that’s he case then you look younger. How are things with you Ini. I asked. I really wanted to know before I burdened her with my issues.


Things are better since we became friends again. You know what they say, two are better than one. Sometimes we don’t find that comfort in our marriage mate, but in a friend like you. You have helped me stand on my feet again. She smiled with teary eyes.

My dear, its God. We have God to thank for that. Do you know I almost lost my job?


What?


Yes! Let me tell you of how aunty Ejiro almost closed down sythex.


You don’t mean it!


As I went ahead to relate the whole ordeal, Ini was so quiet through the gist. That is something she always does. She was more of the listening type, while I was too quick to talk in between conversations and flare up most times. We truly complimented each other. No wonder we remained friends till date.


Wow Ufoma, you aunty is truly a strong woman. She managed to say after the hot gossip. You are just like her.


Do you think it’s a thing to be so strong? I asked hoping she would say yes. And yes was her answer. I was relived.


Babe my stew has boiled enough. I have prepared rice already, I kept it in the cooler to keep it hot. Should I dish?


Yes please. I miss this your calabar stew. I smiled as I watched her dish. I was actually hungry, but was too concerned with the annoying news I got earlier that I forgot to have a meal.


Ini I am so angry. I finally confessed during our meal.


I knew from the moment you called me, I could sense the worry in your voice. And since I wasn’t the issue, I knew it was something else. A hungry man is an angry man, but since you are no longer angry, spill it up. She smiled.


Ini looked so pretty while she smiled. She is so hardworking and such a good cook, very patient and understanding. How come she ended with such a man for a husband. But at least she is married and has kids of her own. But what’s the big deal in that? I reckoned.


Ufoma, talk to me. Is the situation that bad?


Yes it is. Onyeka is getting married.


Which Onyeka?


The one you know. My childhood toaster.


Okay. So why is that an issue? You and I know you never loved him. So good for him.


Its who he is getting married to that’s the issue.


Who is she?


Bisi!


What! The same Bisi? The one that stole you modeling contract which led you to coma? She asked as she dropped her spoon full of rice almost at the tip of her mouth.

Yes the same Bisi. I said perplexed.


I thought he said he can’t marry a Yoruba girl? That he is an Anabramite and so on and so forth.


My sister, he saw dollars na, and immediately Bisi became an Igbo girl over night to him.


You don’t mean it? Ini asked laughing. No wonder, I saw him one certain evening. It was quite late and he was locking up one big show room. I thought he worked there but he said he owned it. I began to wonder, how he managed to open such a big show room, in a short while. He just got through with his carpentry course na?


So you knew he now had a showroom and you didn’t tell me? I asked.


Abasy! babe! Since when Onyeka gist begin dey sweet you like this?


Well that’s not even the issue. The issue is I need to get married by fire by force. I am twenty three! How come Bisi is living my life! And am just here. I need to find a good man.


Babe marriage no easy o! Are you sure you are ready for it?


What do you mean? You wan scare me?


Can I? She laughed. You na lioness na.


I want to be like you Ini. Please teach me to be naïve and timid.


Is that an insult? She asked wide eyed.


I shock my head. It isn’t. I still confirmed.


She knew I was right. But what she just discovered was that, I knew she made herself timid and naïve. And I now know why.


Ufoma just continue to be you. Our mothers taught us something else, and that’s why I am like this today. Be happy no one taught you such terrible traits. Such traits are hard to break or bend.


My mother was like that. My father still speaks highly of her even in her death.


But still that led to her death. Ini added.


Ini please teach me what your mother taught you. I want to learn.


Are you sure? She asked. I am asking because I love this you. I wish I am like you. Tough, strong, confident and admirable intelligent.


I no longer want be such. What have I gained so far? Please Ini, I want to be like you.


You will regret this.

For the first time since I knewn Ini, she sounded so confident.

© 2020 Jade George Anibor