Part 9
Opeyemi Akintunde

I couldn’t believe that the children I had trained for over 10 years would comfortably sit while an elderly person was sweeping the floor…

” NONSO! AMAKA,! Are you both drunk?” I screamed and I could tell I sounded like a Lioness.

Without saying much, they got the ‘gist’. They rushed towards the man collecting the broom from his hand.

” So you knew what was the right thing to do and you refused to do it? Is this what I get from you both? Rebellious children? The Bible says “He who knows the right thing to do and does not do it, it shall be counted as a sin.” Nonso and Amaka, You knew the right thing to do and you didn’t do it, so tell me the consequences of commiting sins like this?”

” Due punishment as deem fit by you ma” they chorused.

The man stood transfixed with his mouth wide open…

” Sir, I apologize for their show of disregard. Please forgive them”

” I …I ..I mean .. it’s my job to sweep ma ”

” This is a self service apartment, meaning guests ought to take care of it like theirs for the days they ought to be there.” I argued

” Well, you are a bit correct, but here we have decided to lessen the stress of our guests.”

” Stress? Sweeping or cleaning where I mess up should not be stress. Please I am not your usual guest, Kindly drop the cleaning essentials. ” I said.

” Wow! Your husband is a very lucky Man.” He said “He has a good mother for his children. Well done ma” He said smiling

I became the one quiet. The man had touched a part of me he ought not to have touched ..

” Thank you!” I said out of courtesy expecting him to leave.

As he turned to leave, I unleashed on my children…

” Will your father in the grave be happy with what you have done?” I wanted to stop but my frustration started speaking, my anxiety about seeing my in-laws started speaking, my pain started speaking, my loneliness started speaking…

I knew what I was doing was wrong, I knew I was not meant to vent my anger on my children but I needed to let out the steam of what was boiling inside me.

My children started crying. Nonso had tears pouring out his face, likewise Amaka was sobbing…

” Is this the kind of Children you want to turn out to be, despite my dedication to you. Can you imagine? What if you had done this at your grandparents’ house, God! Face the wall now” I screamed

My tears poured out! I was mad!

” Please! ” The man said

I had forgotten about his existence. I turned to him and said…

” Please sir, if you do not mind, can you leave me to handle my children. I believe in discipline. A mother who loves her children will discipline them.”

” Yes ma’am” He said leaving the apartment

It was past 12 midnight and I couldn’t sleep. I decided to sit outside on the stairs in front of the apartment. I wanted to cry so badly and I didn’t want my children hearing me; Amaka was a light sleeper, she would hear me if I was crying in the living room.

Earlier, I had apologized to them for taking out my frustration on them. They also apologized for their wrong.

The episode had brought back memories of Chike and that night I was missing him badly…

” God, Why didn’t you save Chike from that assassination?” I asked the question I have always asked God, but as usual no answer…

I bent my head , burying it into my laps and trying hard not be loud…

” Do you mind if I sit with you?” I heard a voice say.

I jumped back in fear.

It was the man with Chike’s face…

” What are you doing here?” I asked

” As a staff here, I live here too, we are neighbors and I have been watching you for the past 30 minutes crying. At first, I thought I should let you be, but as I kept watching, it was heart breaking watching a good woman like you in pain” The man said ..

” Can you lend me your ears tonight…I really want to talk” I asked…

I wanted to talk … For the past two years, I had not opened up to anyone about my true feelings. I had it bottled up in me. I wanted to express myself and I felt the stranger was best. After a week, I may never see him again…

” Sure, it would be a honour to help a strong woman like you feel unburdened”

My tears poured out like rain…

I started far back as when we met. I said ALL not leaving any detail out. I was saying it all out for the first time. I wanted the air to carry my pain away… At a point, I forgot about the stranger, instead sitting by me was Chike.

” Chike, I am in pain…Chike, why did you let go of my hands, we were meant to do forever together. You have always been my first and only love. How can I live this life without you in it. You were my world, and when the world was taken from me, I was left in hell”

” I love you, and I never would have wanted to leave you, but since it has happened, you have to move on. You have to live ..You have to live for me, For the Children…” Chike replied me.

I hugged him so tight, I did not want to let go, I stayed in his arms for few minutes before realising it couldn’t be real. I moved back and realized I was hugging the man.

” Oh! It’s you”

” Yes”

” Were you the one who spoke just now ?”

” Yes, I believe that’s what he would want to say to you”

” Oh! Thank you!”

” Don’t mention …Please Live…” He said. He rose up to leave.

” You are leaving?”

” Yes, I have to be up early to attend to guests”

” Oh! Thank you!” I said and He simply nodded in response…

” Please your name?” I asked

” Chi…”

Part 10
Opeyemi Akintunde

“Chi…Andrew” He said

” Chi…Andrew! I have never heard that before…” I said

He laughed…

” Actually, Andrew is what I go by here, but my birth name is Chima…”

” Chima! Oh! But I thought the woman at the reception said you were not Igbo.”

” I am Igbo, but chose not to be identified by that in public ”

” Ok, Mr Chima Andrew…Thank you. I apologize for taking your time. My regards to your family ”

” She will hear ” He said as he disappeared into the darkness…

” She will hear!” That kept echoing in my ears…

” I said Regards to his family, and He replied She will hear” I thought

” That means he has no kids yet, only a wife” I concluded. I suddenly felt ashamed and guilty for hugging another woman’s husband.

I planned on avoiding him, so by morning I placed a call to the reception.

” Hello ma”

” Mrs Nwosu, good morning ma. How was your night?” The woman replied

” Glorious, we thank God. Please ma, I would want a change of staff assigned to us” I said with

” I don’t understand..”

” I mean if my family needs anything, can you send someone else aside from Mr Chima.. I mean Mr Andrew”

” Oh! Is there a situation?”

” No, I have my reasons ”

” Ok ma, but we also have a challenge. He is the only staff we have”

” What?”

“The thing is, this is a Self service Guest house, so we do not see the need to have a lot of staff.”

” Wow!” I was beyond flabbergasted

That means I didn’t have the choice but to see him a few more times.

Deliberately, I avoided him like a plague. There was no asking for anything from the reception.

Eventually, the day of the burial came.

We were fully dressed when Joan called to ask where we were lodging.

I told her, I couldn’t tell her. She asked that we do a video call ..

” Please, Don’t tell me that is the hair you plan on rocking today…” Joan said

” Were you expecting me to braid my hair ? I came here to mourn” I replied smiling

“No, we are not mourning my Chike, we his friends are celebrating him. Let me send you the address to the Salon I used yesterday when I got here. Please quickly go there right away. We still have 3 hours to go.”

” I am not going anywhere ” I replied laughing

” Please…I beg you… Look good ” Joan ended the call and while still thinking over her words, I received the text message for the address.

” Mummy, I really want to make my hair like Aunty Joan suggested” Amaka said

I saw in her eyes that she wanted to look good.

“Ok, Let’s quickly get to the place”

We had finished our hair and I was indeed pleased with how we looked. We stepped out to get a taxi back to the apartment, fortunately for us, a taxi was waiting outside the Salon. We told him where we were headed.

As he drove us back to the apartment, he suddenly parked the vehicle and three men got into the vehicle. One man sat in front and the two came in through the two sides.

” Put your daughter on your laps” The man to my right barked at me…

” If I hear a word, I will kill you” The man to my left warned showing me his gun…

I didn’t need any one to explain who the men were. They were sent by those who killed my husband. However, I wondered how they knew my whereabouts. I concluded Joan definitely was an enemy.

Nonso and Amaka were already crying…

” Stop crying! God is with us!” I said to my children patting their back…

” God, I can’t die like this” I prayed within me…


1. The Story was Inspired by the Living Word

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