‘boo boo’ Ann said into the phone happily.
‘how are u Ann?’ Lex asked.
‘i’m doing well boo…where are u? We didnt see you yesterday as promised…’
‘oh my dear, i’m so sorry…something important came up that i had to take care of…’
‘something related to our wedding, but its a surprise…’
‘really? I like the sound of that’ she giggled ‘by the way boo, i want you to meet one of my friend, she’s a very good friend of mine and her name is Emmy, seriously Lex, u gonna love her’
‘if i so happen to love her more than the way i love u then i will just dump you for her then…’
Ann laughed ‘like seriously, Emmy is just five years old’
She laughed again ‘seriously you thought she was big…she’s just five but she’s my best friend’
‘how can a five-year old girl be your best friend Ann?’
‘you wont understand……friendship isnt about age or size, i love her so much that i’m even thinking of adopting her’
‘what of the child’s mother?’
She paused…wondering if she should just tell him abt Fiona…but what and how was she to say it…i’ve found ur sister…or…your sister never died, she’s still alive and she’s the mother of Emmy…she shook her head.
‘Ann are u there?’ Lex’s voice brought her back from her thoughts.
‘uhm, yes dear…i’m here…uhm, the child’s mother is…the child’s mother…is my friend…my friend from way back in…in….Maiduguri’ She smiled at her lie.
‘really? When will i meet this beautiful friend of yours?’
‘how do u know she’s beautiful when you havent even met her’
‘you are beautiful dear….show me ur friend and i’ll tell u who u are…if u are this beautiful then ur friend must be beautiful’
‘i’m serious my princess, i’m not flattering u….i love u dear…’
‘i love u more’
‘i’ll call u later…uhm, what of ur mum?’
‘my mum, uhm…she went out…dad said she went out to meet you and she came back looking like a ghost…’
‘really?’ he laughed ‘i just took my mother-inlaw out, nothing much’
‘and dad’s angry you didnt deem it fit to come see him’
‘pls apologise to him on my behalf…is he still around?’
‘traveled to Maiduguri this morning’
‘when he comes around next time, or rather, we go to Maiduguri and pay him a visit…i miss that state’
‘me too…i miss it more’
‘alright love, my regards to ur mum on my behalf okay?’
‘no problem…i love u….’
‘i love u too’ He hung up.
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Ann looked at her phone and smiled…there was this inner peace and love she felt whenever she spoke with him. She loved him so much…she loved him to the extent her heart was at bursting point…she had never loved anyone the way she loved him and neither will she ever love anyone apart from him.
She closed her eyes dreamily and imagined his hands all over her body, kissing her, caressing her…making love to her…she couldnt wait for that moment when they were going to make love again…he was the perfect man for her.
She quickly opened her eyes and beheld her mum, hands akimbo and looking at her assessingly.
‘whats wrong with u?’
‘what…nothing mum, why do u ask?’
‘you were making light sounds…or do i say u were “moaning”‘
Jovita sat beside her daughter ‘i know you were…erm…u know…raped…but i want to ask a question….have u willingly had s-x before?’
‘erm…mum, why do you ask?’
‘well, mum…your question is somewhat embarrassing, very embarrassing…but erm….’
‘no need, i know the answer already….well, its not like ur hymen can be brought back but just keep yourself till u marry Alex or Lex whatever…do not have s-x with him till u marry him because i’ve been watching u and i dont want to say more than this…. remember your father does not wed pregnant women’
‘taking a nap’ She noticed the dark circles under her eyes ‘mum, its either u cried yourself to sleep or you didnt sleep at all…which of them?’
‘huh?’ Jovita touched her eyes ‘why do u ask?’
‘you have bags under ur eye mother’
‘erm…erm…your dad and i had a little argument….’
‘seriously mum, u and dad still have conflicts?’
‘it was a mild one but i got very emotional and cried…but we reconciled immediately…’
‘sure abt that mummy?’
‘okay…Lex sent his regards…’
She noticed the way her mum stilled at the mention of his name, then she smiled and left for the kitchen.
Minutes later, she heard the sound of sniffing and she tiptoed to the kitchen to see her mum sobbing her eyes out.
Jovita jolted out of her thoughts as Anabel and Emmy walked in. She quickly wiped away the tears gathered in her eyes, she didnt want her daughter to see her that way.
‘mum….’ Ann called ‘you are hiding something from me…this isnt the first time i’m seeing u cry…whats eating u up?’
‘no…nothing…Emmy, how are u?’ Jovita spread her arms and Emmy ran into it.
‘is there something wrong big aunty?’ Emmy asked innocently.
Jovita smiled ‘no baby…how was ur first day at school today?’
‘i wont tell u unless you tell aunty Annabel and i whats making u cry’ She folded her arms and pouted.
Jovita smiled even broader ‘there’s nothing wrong my darling princess, really…i was slicing onions and all of a sudden i started crying…cant you see i’m all smiley?’
‘if Emmy’s going to believe that story of urs then i wont….’ Ann cut in ‘because u were sobbing loudly, isnt that so Emmy?’
‘right aunty’ Emmy nodded.
‘now the both of u are ganging up against me…too bad! I have no one to support me’ Jovita pouted ‘so not fair!’
Emmy looked at Ann and giggled throwing herself on Jovita’s body, she pecked her cheeks and whispered ‘when aunty Anabel leaves the house, i’m going to tell you everything that happened in school today but its going to be a secret between u and i okay?’
Jovita laughed. Emmy could make anyone no matter the amount of grief….laugh.
Emmy hugged Ann and bolted out of the sitting room. She knew it was adults talk and had to leave them alone.
Ann sighed, her arms akimbo ‘i think its time u start stating the reason for ur unlimited tears nowadays because yesterday i saw u crying on the kitchen counter and i purposedly left you alone because i felt you needed time alone but this time, i will not leave u alone because something is eating deep into you. Whats it mother?’
‘its nothing really…just a moment of weakness’
‘just a moment of weakness indeed! Mummy, who do you think you are fooling? Something is wrong, something is terrible wrong and i hope its not what i’m thinking because i notice everytime i mention anything about Lex, u become still and i also cant help but notice how Lex has been asking of you everytime he calls since the day he “took” u out. You are a pastor’s wife so i believe u act in a pastor’swifely way’
‘what?! Ann, are u implying i…i…’
‘i’m not implying anything! I’m just airing out my thought because its really suspicious and i believe you are too matured and godly to do that kind of thing…i want to believe so’
‘Ann i’m disappointed in u!’ Jovita sprung on her feet angrily ‘i’m disappointed that you could actually think so lowly of me? How dare u?’
‘this doesnt call for raising of voices because i just dont understand whats going on between u and Lex…while he always has this mischievious look whenever he asks about you, you stiffen when i talk about him. There’s something going on and i’m going to find out, it will be better u tell me now because if i find out, i will never forgive u and the whole world will hear of it’
‘i am just airing out my mind like i’ve said before…i wont share Lex with anybody, not even u mum’
‘how can u say i’m sleeping with Lex? How could u? Someone old enough to be my son? My daughter’s fiance? With my reputation and religious beliefs?’ She couldnt believe it as a tear ran down her cheek.
‘i didnt say so. I didnt say you were sleeping with Lex’
‘but thats what u meant!’
‘i’m just saying i’m not going to take it mum! I dont know whatever u and Lex share but i beg you to cut it off immediately’
‘dont let me lay a curse on u Annabel because it will follow you for the rest of ur life!’
‘ur words dont scare me mother!’
‘may your children treat you the same way u treat me and may they say the exact words u are saying to me right now to u’
‘only if i go around frolicking with their fiances!’
‘SHUT UP!’ Jovita screamed so loudly little Emmy practically ran downstairs ‘i hate u! I hate u!’ More and more tears ran down her cheeks and she was already sobbing.
‘i dont care if you hate me. Hate me as much as you want mother, i dont care…this is my last warning, stay away from Lex because i certainly wont share him with anyone, not even u!’ She hissed and walked out.
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‘boo boo’ Ann said into the phone happily.