When I got back home, I discussed the whole thing with Mimi. As expected, she cautioned me with her usual advice to thread carefully with Boma, even if she didn’t believe the whole cultist part as much as I tried to convince her. She strongly believed they weren’t cultists, until I played out the recorded conversation between I and the lady as my proof. She went numb.
“We should really stay off these guys,” she said.
“We really should.” I agreed.
We spent the rest of the day indoors, studying for the papers we had the following week.
As expected, Mimi’s morning prayer was what woke me up the following day.
“In the name of the Father, the Son and the Holy Spirit. Amen.” she concluded, getting up on her knees.
“Must you always wake me up?” I asked and hissed from where I laid. She turned and faced my direction.
“Did I wake you? Sorry,” she apologized.
I turned back and faced the opposite direction, using the pillow as a cover.
“Won’t you go to church? It’s Sunday, Fifi. People don’t stay at home on Sunday,” she said, probably expecting an answer from me. I gave her none.
“Let the past be in the past and face the present, Fifi. It’s for your own good.” she said and left. I hissed after her and made sure she heard it well.
Moments later, she was done preparing for church and asked me to keep something for her as she left. I shut the door and went back to bed, but somehow, the sleep wasn’t coming. I felt uneasy within me to the extent that I had to leap up and check myself out in the mirror. I seemed fine on the outside as the mirror reflected, but my mind was troubled for no reason. So I had an idea, to attend to chores and housework, and maybe watch a movie.
In the middle of doing this, as I swept, cleaned and tidied the room, I saw a small handout close to Mimi’s bed. It had the sign of the cross and a printed image of Jesus Christ on it. It looked like, the more I looked at it, the more it stared back deeper.
“So it’s you they call Jesus Christ?” I asked tauntfully, obviously expecting no answer from a piece of paper.
“Look at your hair, too rough!” I mocked finally as I threw it into the wastebin. Thereafter, I turned on the TV set to see a movie.
“Repent!” a voice echoed out instantly as I turned it on. It was one of those prophetic programmes as usual. That alone ruined my taste for the movie, so I decided to have a bath instead and stroll out.
As if that wasn’t enough, the dress I kept on my hanger had been torn by rats. I became annoyed. I arranged another dress and went to have a bath, only to discover that the tap wasn’t running.
That was the height of my problems that morning. At most cases like that when the water ceases, it mostly meant that we weren’t going to be expecting water for a couple of days, and when that happens, everyone in the compound resorts to fetching.
I had to plead with a neighbor to borrow me her gallon to use. When I finally got to the place, after walking a long mile from my home, I met a massive tonfold of crowd. The gallons were lined up in queue, so I dropped mine and patiently waited for my turn.
When it got to mine, I fetched and hurdled it back with a scarf on my head. I had barely walked halfway home along the road when I hit my leg on a stone, tripped and fell. The gallon tumbled from my hand and landed with a loud thud, causing it to burst and leak.
Passers-by immediately came to my aid and shared their sympathy. I was lucky not to have any wound on me, but my sandal sprawled and cut. Luckily, a cobbler was passing by that exact moment.
After sewing it, I took up the gallon and continued, with a scarf tied around the broken part to prevent it from leaking. As if my day wasn’t bad enough, when I arrived home, standing next to my door was the least person I expected to see. My landlord.
“Oga landlord, good morning,” I greeted, wondering what brought him to my place since my rent wasn’t due yet.
“Fifi Ghana!” he reciprocated my greeting with the nickname he was fond of calling me. He came closer and helped me with the gallon, off of my head.
“What brings you here today, Oga landlord?” I asked casually, expecting a jovial answer. Our landlord was a funny man.
“Nothing o. Today is Sunday as you can see, and my friends are waiting for me at Mama Obi’s shop. I want to calm myself small with her palmwine before Mama Ijeoma and her silly daughters return with their trouble,” he said. I laughed uncontrollably.
“So how am I involved?” I asked, still laughing.
“I saw when you were leaving to fetch water, I was preparing then. As I finished and was about stepping out, a certain guy and a lady approached me, asking after you. I told them you just left and asked them to wait, but they said they couldn’t, that I should help them give you this,” he said, handing me the nylon he held all along. I took a peep in it and couldn’t believe what I saw.
“What’s wrong?” he asked.
“Who were they?” I asked.
“A guy and a lady”
“No, I mean their names, did they tell you?”
“The lady said you should know her, but the guy said I should tell you Big Tiny.”
TO BE CONTINUED…