Madam Amaka tilted her head towards the door as well. She flashed a smile at Mama and turned back to rest head on the pillow. I was scared. I immediately threw my legs over her Madam Amaka’s back in a bid to come down.
Mama must be angry with me for massaging another woman’s back I thought to myself.. Instant sweat trickled down my face.
“Where are you going to? My friend continue.” Mama threw at me instantly.
“Where is he going to? See this boy o.” Madam Amaka said.
Mama laughed. She walked into the sitting room and dropped the flask beside the cushion.
“I know he is scared. He thinks I will quarrel him.”
I watched as the both women laughed. They looked quite happy to see each other. I could see no sign of anger on Mama’s face. No sign at all.
“Wale, mummy Amaka is just like your own Mummy. Anything you do for me, do to her too. She is your mummy and will not harm you okay? So don’t be afraid.” Mama said.
“Yes mummy.” I replied with a grin on my face.
I was feeling much more comfortable now. I was happier than ever. I had gotten the permission to carry on my massage from my mother herself.
I reached happily for the bottle of oil and squeezed it into my palm. I landed my ten tiny fingers on Madam Amaka’s back and kept rubbing the oil in.
“See how Wale is happy.” Mama said. “He is even doing it perfectly..”
Madam Amaka Chuckled lightly.
“Eyaaa. Mummy Amaka it seems you are really stressed up?” Mama asked.
Mama had noticed that Madam Amaka’s face was not as bright as it used to be. Madam Amaka now spoke few words only. She was not really looking cheerful.
“Yes o” she replied heaving a deep sigh. “I am. Mama Wale. I am really stressed out. This is what my husband usually helps me do before he died. Once a week, he oils my back and gives me a good massage with his firm muscular arms. But now he is no more.
Loneliness and boredom want to kill me. I go to bed every night only to find my bed empty. The pillows in my room stare at me with pity all over their face. I have cried on them and cuddled them all night. I am just like a stranger in my own bedroom.”
Mama sighed. She folded her arms and legs and shook them continuously. The last time I had seen mama in such mood was when she had come to sympathize with Madam Amaka the day she lost her husband.
“Mummy Amaka I understand. I understand you quite well. You will get over the death of your husband soon. I know it is not easy. You will soon be out of this state you are in. I feel your pain. I really feel it. I too cannot imagine myself without my husband by my side. How will I cope? No no no no. I don’t even want to imagine it.” Mama said snapping her fingers three times and throwing it in the air. “God forbid bad thing.” She added.
Madam Amaka heaved a deep sigh.
“My sister. You do not know how it feels. I do not pray for any woman to loose the man she loves. No. I do not pray for such. I loved Tunde so much. I loved him with all my heart. He promised to stay forever with me. He promised not to leave me. But today he is gone. Tunde is gone. Do you know I still call Tunde phone number?”
“You do? Is someone with his phone?” Mama asked.
“No. I call his phone number mistakenly, only to cut it right back when I remember that my Tunde is dead. Till this moment, it feels to me like Tunde has travelled for one of his business meetings.
I still wait until late at night, hoping that Tunde is going to return back home. May be he is caught up in a go slow. May be he was held up at work. Just may be. I try to console myself.
But then, anytime I turn to his Obituary picture, and I see the face of my own Tunde starring at me in the eyes, I am been drawn back to reality. I realise that he is truly dead and would not return. Mama Wale, you will not understand. Living without a husband is the worst experience a woman could ever experience. The worse of it all is to loose the one you once had. It is painful. Very painful.” Madam Amaka said.
Mama heaved again, and spoke with a consoling voice. She was filled with so much pity for Madam Amaka.
“My sister, we are here for you. You will scale through this. I promise. Wale and I will ensure to make you happy. Thank God Wale is on break now. He will always be with you when I am not here. He will keep you company.” Mama said.
I grinned happily.
“Mummy Amaka I will be here for you. Don’t be sad. I will take uncle Tunde’s place.” I said excitedly.
Mama busted in laughter. Madam Amaka chuckled.
“See this small boy o. Do you think you can take her husbands place?” Mama asked.
“But mummy, Daddy said I am the man of the house. And when he is not around I am to stand in for him and ensure to take care of you. If I can take care of you, I know I can take care of Madam Amaka too. She is my own mummy as well.” I said, boldly beating my chest with my hands.
“Chai. Children are growing o. This generation is getting wiser every day.” Mama said.
“Yes na.” Replied Madam Amaka. “If you hear my small daughter Anike speak on phone, you will think it is a matured lady. Oyibo life has opened her up. She does not talk like a small child anymore.” Madam Amaka said.
“That reminds me. How is Anike? She has not come home ever since her father died. Is she not coming to see you. Or has she now become a citizen of the Oyibo country.”
“That one, she will come o. The truth is that no body planned for Tunde’s death. Paying her Flight back to Nigeria would be expensive and it was not something we planned for. Even if she comes back, she will have to go back immediately and that is another expenses. She wanted to come, but I refused. She already knows about her fathers death. She should mourn him there please. I can not bear the expenses. Let her just stay there for now. Once it is time, she will come back home. At least I am not alone. Wale the small man with a big heart, is here with me. Or Wale can’t you take care of me?” She asked.
“Yes na. I can take care of you very very well.” I blurted happily.
“They both women laughed. I seemed to have turned to a comedian over night. Probably I had inherited part of my father’s character. He alone had a rare gift to make people laugh with ease.
“Mummy Amaka I cooked you vegetable soup and pounded yam. You should try to eat something. Considering what you going through. I know cooking will be a big problem for you.”
“Ah, it is the last thing on my mind o. Who am I cooking for eh? When I don’t even have a child or husband to feed. But you shouldn’t have stressed yourself now. I will always find my way out.” Madam Amaka said.
“No no. Don’t say that. I am not stressing myself. I actually cooked for Wale’s father, and fetched out to give you. This will help to hold your belly until you are ready to cook”
“Thank you my sister. I wonder what I would have done without you. Thank you.” She said with smiles.
“Do not mention. I will be going. Wale, if you are hungry your food is in the kitchen. Just go home and eat. Don’t eat mummy Amaka’s food o.” Mama said with her hands pointed at me.
I nodded my head.
“No no. We would share my food with Wale. Just go. If it is not enough for me, then he will bring his share and we would eat. He is my son na.”
Mama and Madam Amaka both shared one last laugh together. I watched as she walked out of the house shutting the door behind.
I squeezed Madam Amaka shoulders tighter, and pressed harder on her back. Madam Amaka moaned sweetly.
“Wale you are just too good. But wait let me eat. I am hungry. When I am done eating we would continue. This time you will massage my legs with the oil. Go and lock the door first.” She instructed.
I stood up from Madam Amaka’s huge buttocks and ran to the door to lock it. When I returned, Madam Amaka was seated on the cushion, with her wrapper loosely tied to her chest.
She stretched her hands to draw the food flask closer, when her wrapper slipped down her chest unavailing her huge breast which housed a thick hard n—-e that was starring me in the eyes.
To be continued….