She’s at it again. It was becoming embarrassing and I was getting fed up of apologizing to my husband and mother_ in_law. Funmi had only been with us for three weeks but it felt like an eternity in hell. She wasn’t the sweet kind hearted lady I used to know, it was like an alien had taken over her body. She dresses scantily, she speaks rudely to my mother_ in_ law and they are always at loggerheads.
I had tried speaking to her but she was like a hard unmoving wall. Her cries of moans kept us up every night and she’s at it again tonight. Uche’s bandage was taken off today and he’s been emotional and he even refused his dinner. He had just drifted off to sleep when her moans broke into the serenity of the night. I knew what she was up to and I wasn’t going to allow it, no not tonight.
I got out of bed and marched towards her door. I pushed open the door and there she was, legs spread wide open, eyes closed and her hands buried in between her legs. I touched her gently and she opened her eyes.
” You need help Funmi,” I said, crossing my arms across my chest.” You are addicted to……to….this thing you do.” I wondered why she would constantly get herself worked up like that. She used to be such a saint. What caused this sudden change?
” You could have knocked ” She threw back, pulling the sheet over her chest. She looked like she wanted to rip off my head for daring to intrude on her privacy.
I sat down beside her on the bed.” I’m sorry. I shouldn’t have barged in the way I did. Funmi, you need to see a counsellor. If you can’t talk to me about what happened in Ghana, you should at least try to see a professional. It is not healthy for you to keep up this way.”
She nodded her head, acting docile but her eyes said something else. She was furious with me.
” Time heals all wounds. You will be fine but first you need to let it go.” I tried again, hoping I could make her understand.
” Thank you Dupe but I am fine. Can….can you do me a favour?” She asked.
” Yes, sure”
” I want you to help me beg Tade’s mother on my behalf.” She said quietly.” Tell her to forgive me,”
“Funmi there’s nothing tying you to that family again.Let them be. Or is there?” I asked.
” Please Dupe.” She said, suddenly on the verge of tears.
” Alright. I will be going to the hospital in the morning, I will go see her on my way back home. Are you happy now?” I asked, smiling tiredly.
” Thank you.” She replied, her hands stealing under the sheets.
I stood up. ” Can…..can you keep it down? I mean your voice. Uche’s having difficulty sleeping.” I said.
She nooded her head and I walked out of the room. Uche’s cries got me running into our bedroom. He was having a nightmare and he was thrashing about on the bed. I pulled him into my arms and rubbed his shoulders. I whispered into his ears, reassuringly until he settled back into sleep.
Uche had gotten me a new car only few days ago as a wedding gift and I was feeling on top of the world with my new sleek ride. I parked my car outside Mrs.Afolabi’s house and knocked on the gate. I didn’t wait for long before Papa love opened the gate. He flashed me a smile which surprised me. He rarely ever smiled. He looked different today too, he looked almost sane.
” What’s the good occassion Sir?” I asked, returning his smile. I was also in a sunny mood because laying in my handbag was the positive pregnancy result. I couldn’t wait to get back home, Uche would be beside himself with joy.
” I am going to see my friends. ” he replied, beaming.
” Oh” I uttered in surprise, I didn’t know he had friends or that he even allowed anyone get close to him. No wonder he wore a new khaki short and an oversized polo with his black shoes polished.
” Don’t look so surprise young lady.” He said.
” I am happy you do have friends. That’s lovely, is Auntie in?” I asked, stepping into the compound.
” Yes.” He said, ” Bye now”
” Bye” I said.
He marched out of the gate and I shut it behind me. I wondered what I would tell Auntie, how do I even begin when I knew nothing about what went down in Ghana. Funmi wouldn’t tell me a thing but one thing I do know was that she had changed. Something had changed in her.A whole lot of things.
” Auntie ” I called out, opening the door. She walked out of the house and welcomed me in warmly.
” Dupe, sweetheart, what are you doing here?” She asked.”
” I came to see you Auntie, how are you ma?”
” I am fine. Please sit down dear, how’s your young man?” She asked.
I settled myself on the comfortable couch.” He’s doing fine.”
” What should I offer you?” She asked.
” I am alright. Thank you. It’s been a while I saw you in church Auntie”
She sighed heavily.” I didn’t want to run into Funmi or her family.”
” Why Auntie?” I asked.” I think you should hear her own part of the story. We both know she’s a good person and she wouldn’t hurt a fly.”
” People change. The Funmi you knew is dead. Can you believe that she seduced my son?” She asked dramatically.
I gasped.” She….she seduced your son?”
” He told me everything that happened. That girl is crazy and I’d advice that you distance yourself from her. Mabel also told me how she turned her little daughter against her! I was also speechless when I heard how Funmi had been impersonating Mabel all over Ghana!” She shouted.
I was also speechless and I wished I could say all what I just heard wasn’t true but Funmi had been acting strange since I brought her back. Auntie might be telling me the truth.
” How…..how do you think that I could help her? she’s my best friend and…..”
” Help?” She laughed.” How else do you help a would_ be murderer? You send them to jail of course.”
” I must confess Auntie, she sent me to plead on her behalf. Please hear her out.” I said.” She…she hasn’t been herself”
She sighed deeply, seemed to consider it briefly before replying. ” Alright. Tell her to see me this week.”
” Thank you Auntie. I will be on my way now”
We both stood up and she gave me a quick hug.
” Take care my dear,” She said.
” Thank you Auntie.”
She saw me off to the gate and went back inside the house. I unlocked my car and drove out of the street. I was almost at the end of the street when my phone beeped. I picked it up and clicked on the message box on the screen.
” Please hurry back,I forgot to tell you something” _Auntie.
I put the car on reverse and headed back towards her house. I parked outside the gate and went into the compound. I felt a sense of dread as soon as I opened the main entrance door. Auntie’s groans of agony confirmed my fears and I sprinted into the living room. She was on the floor, a pool of blood was gathering beside her. A bloody kitchen knife was stuck in her belly and she was struggling to sit up.
I dropped my handbag and ran to her. I lifted her up, while her bloody hand flew to my blouse. It was like a scene in a horror movie, blood was leaking out of her mouth and her eyes were bloodshot. I was almost hysterical, not knowing how to help her or what to do.
” H….h. …help me” She said weakly, while blood gushed out of her belly.
” Auntie! Auntie!” I shouted.” Somebody please help!”
” She …she….she followed you here. Pull…. pull it …” She managed to stutter out.
” Who Auntie! Who?” I screamed.” I should pull out the knife?”
I reacted without thinking and pulled out the knife with a mighty force. She jerked severally, blood streaming out of her mouth. What should I do? I thought wildly. Help. Yes, get help.
” Auntie, I want to go get help.” I said.
” No….late…..too late…. I must” She coughed out blood.” I must tell you …”
” I will be back with help!” I said and ran out of the living room like a mad woman. Then it occurred to me that whoever had stabbed Auntie could still be around and a chill went up my spine. I ran out of the gate, banging it loudly. First I need to get help for her, I thought.
To be continued