The next morning I woke up very early in the morning. I found it hard to sleep the previous night. I kept dreaming about the pretty lady with the sweet tongue and vocal accent.
I woke up countless times at night to confirm if it was already morning. I was crazy about the lady I had seen at Madam Amaka’s house.
I needed to know who she was. I needed to talk with her. If possible, I needed us to be friends with her- I mean something more than friends.
I knew Madam Amaka was not going to go out anytime soon. She hardly went out in the mornings, especially on Saturdays. And so I waited until noon. I kept a frequent glance at our window to see if she comes out. I was like a watch man watching over a princess in a tower.
Luckily for me, that afternoon, Madam Amaka’s car drove passed our house. My heart leaped for joy. I jumped happily with my hands in the air.
It was almost evening already. Wherever Madam Amaka went, I knew she was not going to take too long before she comes back.
And so I acted on impulse. I walked out of our house in a hurry and straight to Madam Amaka’s house. I knocked on the door like a visitor. I was like a complete stranger.
I was not used to knocking the way I did. Madam Amaka usually left her door open. She knew I was bound to come at any moment. All I did was just open up and walk in. Her house had become mine.
But here was I knocking at a door I knew was already opened. My heart was pounding. I was nervous.
The door opened and the pretty lady popped her head through the small opening.
”Hello. You again?” She threw softly at me.
I stared at her like a lost stranger. I was completely stunned. Her smiles were sweet and her fragrance polished. She was clad in a bomb shot and a crop top. She looked extremely beautiful.
“I could stand and look at you all day long.” I said. I was lost in a harmless stare.
“You. Wale right?” She grinned with her index finger pointing at me.
“Yes I am Wale. How did you know my name? Who told you?”
“I heard mummy Amaka call you by that name last night. Were you not the guy who brought the vegetables last night?”
“Yes …yes.. I am.” I replied.
“Who are you?” I asked inquisitively. “What is your name?”
“My name is Patricia.” She said.
I smiled. I felt relived.
“Ah thank God.” I heaved happily.
“Why? Why the relief?” She asked.
“Nothing. Nothing serious. I am just happy to meet you.” I said.
I was really happy at that moment. Who wouldn’t be? It was not Anike. My prayers were finally answered.
I already knew the two roads that was going to lead me to my early grave. The first road was leaving Madam Amaka, and the second was making advances towards her daughter. God knows that I prayed all night for this pretty lady not to turn out to be Anike.
“How about Madam Amaka? Where did she go to?” I asked, turning round and pretending not to have seen her drive off earlier.
“She got an urgent call last night from her husbands family. She had to travel this morning. It sounded like an emergency.”
“When will she be back?” I asked in surprise.
“I do not know. She never told me. But she said she will be back very soon.” Patricia replied. “Do you want to come in. I would really want to close the door.” She said.
I walked into the house like one who had never been into the sitting room before. Considering the way I was welcomed by Patricia, I was sure Madam Amaka had not told her about me. She had barely even mentioned my name after handing the vegetables to her last night.
I wish she did. It would have made my advances towards Patricia even more easier. Just may be it would had made me more free around her.
“So wale what can I offer you?”
“Nothing. I am filled up already.” I replied. “What brings you to Madam Amaka’s house. In twelve years I have never seen anyone step feet in her house.”
“How do you know that?” She asked.
“Because my mother is her best friend and I am a regular visitor in this house. I mean, I grew up in Madam Amaka’s house. I am just like her son. And I never saw anyone come spend the night in her house before.”
Patricia walked over to the huge flat screen and turned it on. She picked up the remote control and scrolled through the channels.
She seemed like one who never talked much.
Her short silence said it all.
“Well I will live Madam Amaka to answer that question properly. I really do not have answers to that question now. When you see her, she will tell you who I am, and what I am doing here.”
“I know you are not her daughter.” I muttered almost immediately. “She told me about her daughter Anike. And today, just when I thought you were Anike, it turned out that you were Patricia. So that means you must be a relation or better still her friends daughter or something.”
Patricia chuckled. She walked to the cushion and sat down with her right leg crossed upon the other. She pulled side ways the falling strand of her that fell in front of her eyes.
“Why are you laughing at me? Okay you must be her …. Her….”
“Wale stop cracking your head over who I am. Stop trying to solve my puzzle. It doesn’t really matter. Lets just watch this program please. It is really interesting.” She said.
“Canes and canine? This program is not even interesting. Who makes a drama series and names it Canes and Canine.” I protested.
“But at least it has a sweet name. And its interesting to me.” Patricia defended.
“Well it is not interesting to me. I watch it at home every single day. Every single day and I do not learn anything from it. Nothing. It is boring and just not complete. It is better I watch zee world or even network news. At least that is what I grew up watching.”
“Then you should try directing your own movie Wale. Do you think directing a movie is interesting?”
“Look let me tell you, If I had a chance eh, I will change the Nigerian way of movie making. I will change their style.” I spoke boldly.
Patricia stood up and walked towards the door. She looked infuriated by my sudden argument.
She opened the door wide and stood with her hands on her waist.
“What is it? What is wrong?”
“Wale I think I will want to watch my boring program alone. When Madam Amaka is back, I will tell her you came. I will tell her you stopped by.”
I was speechless. All I did was stare at this lady who dared to send me out of a house I practically grew up in. I wanted to say no. I wanted her to force me out and lets see who wins. But instead, I found myself standing up and walking towards her with a wry smile in my face.
I held onto the door and slowly pushed it close.
“You do not look beautiful when you boil in anger. I prefer it when you smile. I do not wish to make you upset. Patricia I am sorry.” I pleaded warmly. “Eh. Sorry na… It was joke. I loved to play this way. I am sorry. Sometimes I love to argue to. Especially when I know I am wrong. I just love to win.”
Patricia never moved. She stood with her hands folded.
“Well you should know when to loose an argument. You should know when to keep quiet and let a lady win.” She fired angrily. “Why did you even come here this morning?” She asked indignantly.
I heaved a sigh. I knew I had spoilt everything now. Even though this wasn’t the right time to say what I had in mind to say to her, I felt this was the only opportunity I had now.
“I came to see.. I came. I came to see you.” I stammered. “I could not sleep last night. You kept running through my mind. I do not know why. I do not know how. But I feel something strong inside for you. I like you a lot.”
Patricia raised her head and looked at me. She stared piercingly into my eyes. Fear gripped me. Just then, the power went off. The TV went off too. Silence took over the atmosphere. All that could be heard was our breath and the beating of my heart for her.
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Its been three weeks since I last saw Madam Amaka. Mama had told me that Madam Amaka received the sad news of the death of Tunde’s mother. Being the wife to her late son, Madam Amaka had to make the emergency journey to her late husbands village the next day.
Mama never knew Patricia as well. She could not recognize her. She was also shock to have noticed that a new girl now lived in Madam Amaka’s house.
When Mama asked me if I knew the new girl, I was confused as well. I never got to be close to Patricia. All I knew was her name and that was it.
Mama once tried to confirm who the new girl was. She called Madam Amaka over the phone two weeks back to confirm. But instead, Madam Amaka waved off the question.
She insisted that when she comes back she was going to tell Mama. She. Said it was going to be a long talk.
The last time I stepped feet in Madam Amaka’s house was the time Patricia opened the door for me to leave. It was the very day Madam Amaka had made her journey to her husbands village.
Patricia totally avoided me from that day onwards. She spoke less to me. She never opened the door even when I knocked countless times and stood beside the door for hours. Patricia never wanted to see me again. Her actions said it all. She walked passed me on the street and would never say a word to me.
I tried to apologise severally. I tried to make her see reasons with me. I really tried, but Patricia had grown so much hatred for me.
One day, mama and I was seated infront of the house when Patricia walked passed. Her face was pale. She appeared to have gained a sudden weight.
“Good afternoon ma.” She greeted Mama.
“EEhen. My dear. How are you?”
“Fine thank you ma.”
“Where are you going to?”
“I want to buy noodles and some pepper at the junction.” She replied.
“Ah ah. Is that why you are going alone. Let Wale walk you na. Wale walk her.’ Mama said, pushing me from my back.
“no ma. No it is not necessary. I will be fine. I love walking alone.” She blurted.
“Mama she is fine.” I muttered. “The junction is not that far na.”
Mama waved her as she walked away. While we watched as she walked away, mama shrugged my shoulders.
“Wale, do you know this girl is pregnant?”
“Eh? Mama! Pregnant? How?”
“Can’t you see her.” Mama pointed in her direction. “See how her bumbum is dancing like that of a mother baboon.”
“Ah ah mama how did you know?”
“Wale. I am a woman. I know when a woman is pregnant. I can tell from her eyes and her breast. This was not the way she was when she came three weeks back na. She has added weight. Just look at her.”
I turned and kept looking at Patricia as she walked away. Left to me, she was just a girl who gained weight from just eating and sleeping at home for three weeks. But mama eyes was seeing what I could not see.
“But how could she be pregnant? How?”
To be continued.., ….
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