STEPPING INTO MAGGIE’S SHOE (Part 7&8) – OPEYEMI AKINTUNDE
“STEPPING INTO MAGGIE’s SHOE …” S.I.M.S
©️ Opeyemi Ojerinde Akintunde
“ Madam, we have been driving around for the past two hours, where exactly is your destination? Are you on the run?” the taxi driver asked through the inner mirror
“ Yes…I am running away ooo” I said trying to make a joke out of my serious situation
“ Then I am sorry ma’am you may have to alight from my cab.” He said with a very serious tone
“ Haha! That is so insensitive of you, at least you could have asked me why I am on the run..” I said very irritated at his sharp response
“ I am sorry, it’s not in my nature to meddle in the affairs of my passengers, Moreover, I don’t know exactly why you ran out of the church before jumping in to my cab, Who knows Maybe you committed a crime and by driving you around aimlessly, I could be abating a crime…”
“ For a taxi driver, you are quite knowledgeable”
“No food for a lazy intelligent man, I don’t have a choice, I need to take care of my family and very soon I plan on getting married, so I need to work for money….and that been said ma’am your bill is N5000” he said sharply
“ 5 What?” I asked but I checked my wristwatch and I realized we had been driving for close to 2 hours 30 mins, as I kept telling him to go from one location to another.
“ You know what? Never mind, just stop the car” I counted his money and gave to him.
After alighting from the cab, I stood on the main road not knowing what to do…I removed my heels and started walking… My home was about 3 hours journey from where I was, so I didn’t know where exactly I was going…
“Julius, you caused all these, if you had gathered money for my bride price , all these talk about marrying Apostle won’t come up” I muttered to myself…
“ Do. I love Julius?” I asked myself
“ Well, I like him enough to want to spend the rest of my life with him” I replied
“Julius has a good heart, he is only unambitious and partially Lazy” I told myself…
I kept on analyzing Julius as a potential good husband as against Apostle. I knew Julius didn’t have the inner push to get what he wanted, he believed too much in miracles.
Apostle was a life of paradise, being the wife of the General Overseer was tempting but sudden fear gripped my heart as I imagined been the center of focus. No, that didn’t sit well with me, Apostle was a no no…..
I brought out my phone and saw 72 missed calls. My mother, Julius and two other strange numbers had been calling…I decided to return Julius’s call
“ Hello, Happy….Happy where are you?” I heard concern in Julius’ voice…
“ I am fine, I am around Badagry”
“ Bada – what?, what on earth are you doing there?” He voice sounded like an alarm in my ears
“ I wanted to escape the evil conspiracy “ I said
“ What conspiracy?, Is it about you marrying the Apostle?” He asked sounding very calm about it
“ You know about it?” I asked very dumbfounded
“ Yes, I just came out of the marriage committee office. After I saw you running out of the church and I chased after you fruitlessly, I went to them to find out what happened?”
“ And So?” I asked
“ They explained everything to me and made me see reason why you have to marry the Apostle” he said and he kept quiet
“ And …. I agreed to let you go since like they said I have nothing to offer you, I am jobless, I don’t have money to pay your dowry and your clock as a lady is ticking fast” he said sounding like a defeated baby
“ I don’t understand what you just said, can you try saying it in a way I will understand?” I asked as I found myself sitting on the floor in front of a closed shop…
“ Happy, I know it doesn’t sound good to the ear, but I guess this is destiny, I have always known you were meant for something greater, You deserve to be the wife of a general overseer than a poor church member like me” he said and hot tears dropped my cheeks
“ Stop it, Julius , Stop it, “ I was screaming and crying… “ Why Don’t you have the nerve to always fight for what you want?, why do you give up easily? I am not getting married to Apostle. Listen to me, I am getting married to you so get that into your thick skull” I said and hung up….
“What kind of a man is Julius?” I said to myself.
A strange number was calling…
“ Hello, Happiness” the familiar voice said…
“ Hello, please who is this?”
“ Raymond? Sorry I don’t know any Ray….” then it suddenly clicked
“ Pastor Ray… I mean Apostle…?”
I didn’t want to hear anything , I immediately ended the call and dropped my phone on the concrete floor beside me as the phone appeared to be hotter than fire in my hands…
The phone rang again, and the level of respect I had for Apostle made me pick up…
“ I am sorry sir, I guess the network sir…” I had to lie
“ Ok, I know that was a lie” he said laughing and his laughter warmed my heart but I had to concentrate on what he was saying….
”Please just give me two minutes of your time!”
“ Ok Sir!”
“ Sis Happiness , I have always loved your personality and dedication to God therefore When your name dropped in my heart, I was really grateful to God. Your running away further shows you are not like any of the other girls who are power and wealth driven…I would love you to consider my proposal and really bring back happiness into my life just like God said” I heard him say
I didn’t have any reply to give him…
“ Are you there?”
“ No…” I said and I hung up… I wasn’t there…
I knew what I was going to do…
I was going to borrow Julius Money to pay my dowry….
Or what do you think?
“STEPPING INTO MAGGIE’s SHOE …” S.I.M.S
©️ Opeyemi Ojerinde Akintunde
“ So, You eventually decided to come home?” My mother said when she opened the gate of the house for me.
I didn’t have the strength to reply, I had walked for close to two hours with two voices fighting in my head. I eventually had to take a cab an hour earlier to bring me home…
I crashed on my bed , but my mother was at my doorway… My father joined as they both stared at me…
“ What?” I asked
It always felt bad been an only child, as my parents were always in my business…
“ What’s your decision?” My father asked…
“ You know I would never force you to do what you don’t want to do” he said
Knowing my father, I could read the undertone of his words … He was trying to tell me to be patient with Julius…
My mother also got the hidden message…
“ Let her speak,don’t lure her into saying what you want her to say…” My mother barked at my father…
“ So?” She asked and I knew my mother would not let me be if I did not answer her…
“ I am getting married to…..”
“ To who?” My mother asked angrily…
“ To, To…To Ju…Julius” I replied
“ Ju.. what? Are you sick? Or sickness has gotten a hold on you?… the same Julius that has shifted your engagement date twice, the same Julius that has never deemed it fit to buy us a pin, talk less of a bottle of wine…, What is wrong with this child? You want to end up like me?” She said those words, eyed my father and left the doorway…
I knew what my mother meant by saying “Do I want to end up like her?”.
My father was just like Julius, he wasn’t ambitious. My mother was the Jack of all trade, working hard to take care of the family. My father was a civil servant, but after he lost his job 10 years ago.. he refused to rise up…He was satisfied with whatever my mother was able to bring home….
I stood up and followed my mother to the Living room…
“ Mummy, I don’t want to die, something keeps telling me, if I marry the Apostle I will die” I said trying to make my mother see reason with me…
“ You can’t die as long I am your mother”
“ Mummy, don’t despise Julius, Honestly Julius is a good man, do you know that he is the only graduate his family has produced, and he is trying to see to it that his younger ones also go to school. His background is very poor…one of the reasons he is yet to make our marriage happen is because of his younger sisters, he wants to see his youngest sister through university…” I said trying to justify his actions
“ So how does it affect him paying your dowry?” My mother asked with irritation in her voice
“ He said he doesn’t want them to hate me as being the one who will not allow him take care of them, so he is trying to settle them before our marriage or even if our marriage will happen now, he won’t want to tamper with the money he has set aside for their education to pay my Dowry “ I said
“ Why are you talking like a fool? Happy… all you just said doesn’t make sense and I don’t want to hear it, and the one about you being afraid of death if you get Married to Apostle, throw that thought to the trash, I am solidly behind you like a rock… Do you know what I have done ?”
“ What have you done?” … that last comment from my mother was questionable…My mother was not someone who threw words around carelessly.. She must have done something….
“ Mummy, What have you done?”
My voice had increased…
My heart was panting, I was not sure if I was ready to listen to what my mother was going to say, but I wanted to hear it….
“ Nothing oooo” She said and once again knowing who my mother was, her “ Nothing oooo, meant Something”
“Mummy, there is something, tell me now or else I will kill myself” I was shedding tears as there was this strong knowing in me, my mother must have done something to make me the sudden interest of the Apostle… I ran towards the kitchen and I took a knife….
“ Happiness, don’t please” My father who saw my seriousness said, trying to take the knife from me…. “ Mimi, answer her, what did you do?, you know she can do what she is saying” My father shouted at my mother…
My mother knew I was serious and based on my history of me having bipolar and a little bit of psychosis ( Yes!, I had a little psychiatric background), my mother knew I was serious…,
“I am sorry, I was just trying to find you a good home as my only child, the day you came home lamenting that your pastor’s wife was badly dressed and you wished you were in her shoes….I decided to to….”
“ To what….?”
“ To …To…”
ATTENTION PLEASE: TO SHARE YOUR TESTIMONY OR TO GET THE HARD/SOFT COPY OF THIS NOVEL, PLEASE CONTACT THE AUTHOR ‘MRS OPEYEMI AKINTUNDE’ via EMAIL: [email protected] or PHONE NO: 08151103646. God bless you