Tue. Feb 13th, 2024

PART 23

 

I took a bath in their bathroom and dressed up. Emeka called me into the room. He was leaving and I wasn’t happy about it. Even though we had our differences, I still loved him and I knew I would miss him.

 

“My baby, you have made me proud. What will I do without you? My brother-in-law hopes my sister would learn a thing or two from you. I knew you would cope. Do this for me, my love. Just tolerate her. See, if she doesn’t give you food, this is money. I will give you cash to hold and we will deposit the rest in the account. Let me warn you though, never you tell her I gave you any money. Do you hear me?

 

Don’t accept I gave you any money. Tell her I said it is only feeding I am paying for until after our wedding. Tell her your uncle gives you money for transport and

 

 

handouts. If you make the mistake of telling her you have money, she will milk you dry. Eat-in the house. Your auntie gave you provisions; use it privately. I know her. She wants to know everything, give her the excuse of reading. Lock yourself in here and read. We will buy a table and chair today for the room. I will get the room well-lit so you will be comfortable. I have seen how you lived in your auntie house and I will ensure you live the same here. Just manage on my behalf, because of the love you have for me”

 

I nodded. I knew him leaving would make me break down. We went out to get the table and chair; we also got a dressing table as there was no mirror in the room I could use. We brought an electrician to fix a fluorescent light in my room so the place will be very bright for me to read at night. As we came back, Jacinta watched us carry the things in. I tried to talk to her but she was back to her snobbish self. I ignored her and went to get the remaining things in the car. We set up together. I had the opportunity to offload my things from the box and arrange them in the wardrobes and dressing table. I used my own bedsheet and duvet on the mattress. The light made the room look nice. It had fresh paint so I suspect they did that before we came. The place looked nice and comfortable now.

 

Emeka packed his things while I sat down very downcast. I was going to miss him. Although it didn’t go as expected but then I appreciated all he did including taking out time to bring me back to school and staying until I settled in.

 

“What’s wrong with you? Why are you so quiet?” he asked appearing very concerned.

 

“I wish you could stay a bit longer. I will miss you so much”

 

He smiled at me and said, “When I am here you will run to sleep in the parlour instead of staying here with me. You are afraid I will do something to you? I won’t. I have to go; I have overstayed by one day already. Come here” he opened his arms for me to come into. He tried to kiss me on my lips but I turned away. He held my face and said to me, “the next time I will be back here is to marry you. If I kiss you now, the next time I will kiss you again will be after the traditional wedding. Allow me to kiss you for the road” I stayed steady for him to kiss me. He kissed me on the mouth and tried to separate my lips with his tongue but I declined. He then pulled me closer to him and I heard him take a deep as he

 

 

squeezed my body into his. I was uncomfortable but if it made him happy, why not.

 

The door opened suddenly. I had tried to pull away but Emeka still held on to me. Jacinta said “Emeka aren’t you …. Sorry o. I should have knocked. Pardon me”

and she left.

 

He kissed me again and asked me to open my mouth. He didn’t ask, he ordered me to in a voice I couldn’t resist. I did and then he took possession of my mouth. I allowed him to do what he wanted. It came to an abrupt end when he said: “Let me feel you”. I pulled away from him as his grip had loosened. I shouldn’t have; there was lust in his eyes. He tried to get me to come back but I refused. He sat on the bed and said to me, “See what you do to me. You drive me crazy with passion but I have tried to control it. We are getting married, let me just feel….”

 

“God forbids. The one we have done is enough. We almost committed sin now. Until we are married, nothing”

 

He looked at me and then nodded his head. He asked me to sit down too. We talked about other things until he said he was calm and ready to go. We left to the car together. Jacinta was in the sitting room. she eyed me.

 

“Are you ready now?” she asked and he said yes. She brought out some things for him to take home to their parents some of which were the things auntie Nneoma sent. I didn’t say anything.

 

We drove to the bank to deposit money into my account and gave me cash of N5000 to have on me. I already had that amount from uncle Emma so I paid it in too.

 

‘Don’t let her know how much you have in your account. I have warned you” he repeated.

 

“I heard you”

 

We went to eat together and then I stopped by to buy things for the kids. I also told him to but chocolate and biscuits when he is coming back for them too. He agreed

 

 

to. He dropped me off in front of the house, asked for a kiss again. I declined but he begged me for it to give him something to reminisce about before he gets to the village. We kissed and then he pecked me on my cheek and said “I have a lot to teach you and one of them is how to kiss. I can’t wait until Easter to see you. I love you” he kissed me again and I came down from the car.

 

When I came back inside, Jacinta looked at me funny. I walked into the room and tidied up the remaining things. I heard her call out to me so I went to answer her. “I am going to pick the children from school. Are you going anywhere or I should lock my door?”

 

“You can lock the door. I am not going anywhere”

 

I went into the room to relax. My phone rang; it was Emeka. We spoke until his sister returned from picking the children and I gave them their snacks. I was still on the phone with him until he got to Umuejika. He stayed outside and we talked a bit more before he went in.

 

Then I called Chiamaka. She was the only one I could share this type of experience with. I told her all that transpired and she was silent. When I was through.

 

“Did you enjoy it?”

 

“Somehow, I did”

 

“That’s how it starts. You have allowed him and he will come back for more. When you allow him to have his way, he will go back to Spain. Once you are pregnant, you will have to do things his way; he will call the shots”

 

“But you know I can never give him my body now”

 

“But you have”

 

“We only kissed; we didn’t have s£x”

 

“But he touched your body. Anyway, don’t allow it to get further than this”

 

“I won’t. He said he will teach me how to kiss. Is there a bad way to kiss?”

 

“You haven’t kissed before; doesn’t he know? Wait, does he know you are a virgin?”

 

“We never talked about it. Although I think his sister mentioned it”

 

“Just be careful”

 

“I will”

 

True to her words, Emeka wanted me to join him to Lagos and come back the next day. I refused. I saw him off to Enugu and that was it. He was upset but I told him we had to resist temptation. I held on to him and told him I would miss him. He kissed me on my cheek and then left to board. His brother took me back to school

 

“How are you coping with Jacinta?” he asked me

 

“We are coping well” I replied.

 

“She is not the easiest to be around” he added.

 

“Really?” I asked.

 

“Yes. She is stubborn and snobbish. She is a first-class material but decided to sit at home and take care of her husband and children; I can never understand why”

 

“She sounds intelligent”

 

“She is. If not more intelligent than your husband. But she got married early and began a family. Why she refused to work or even further her education I can never understand”

 

I was silent. I had learnt how not to talk ill about anyone because it is what you say that will be related to the person. I preferred to remain mute.

 

 

Jacinta was not in my way. I helped every morning by preparing the children. I planned with the house help to wake up early and we clean up before getting the children ready for school and we were always on time. I helped prepare dinner every evening.

 

Lectures had started so I made sure I left the house by 7:30am every morning. I come back after lectures. I eat in school before I get home so I hardly ate in the house. Ugonna resumed and came to visit us as often as she could. She was in Enugu campus for her second year but she came around some weekends.

 

I had made some observations. Husband and wife had separate bedrooms. They hardly sat down to talk with each other. When Ugonna comes around, she stayed with her sister in her bedroom. I only saw Dr Maduka at weekends. On Sundays, they attended Mass separately too. I left for Mass at 6:00am to meet the 6:30am Mass. The parents had no interest in their children’s schoolwork. The children came to my room when I was back and we did their homework together. They preferred to be with me even when Ugonna was home. We strolled to make their hair which I gladly pay for and we stroll back.

 

On one of Ugonna’s visits, I had just come back from lectures and overheard them talking from outside.

 

“Emeka left that beauty queen you found for him for this local fowl. I am so disappointed. I don’t get what he sees in her. Chisom is a million times more beautiful; yellow girl with small eyes and oblong face” Ugonna emitted with so much bile.

 

“Don’t you know why he chose her?” Jacinta asked her.

 

“Is it because she is intelligent?”

 

“For where. It is because she is a virgin. He wants to be the first and only one to enjoy her”

 

“I for say! I was wondering the attraction and she was still tossing him around. The guy nearly ran mad because of a woman”

 

 

“Emeka is so annoying. He dumped Chisom after feasting on her. Now he wants to marry someone no one has tasted”

 

“I don’t blame him though…..”

 

I knocked on the door and came in. I didn’t want to listen anymore. I felt offended. Why were they talking about my virginity? So truly Emeka had s£x with the girl he was supposed to marry; why did he then dump her? She had questions but no answer.

 

Tests commenced and I had to read late into the night. It affected my waking up early. Jacinta began to complain. I explained to her that all will be sorted after my tests in a few days but she was trying to prove difficult.

 

One morning, I had a test for 8am. I hadn’t read to my satisfaction so I signed up for tutorials. I helped get the children ready and I was about leaving when Jacinta called out to me.

 

“Where are you going?” she asked.

 

“I am going to school. We have tutorials by 7am before the test”

 

“Who will clean the house?”

 

I was shocked. I did it just to help her not that it was my responsibility. Why was she now imposing it on me? “Sister Jacinta, I can’t do any work until I come back. I have a test”

 

“I have taken your rubbish enough in this house. You are not going anywhere until you clean this house”

 

I stood and stared at her in shock. I should miss my tutorials and tests because of house chores. I was tired of all her nonsense. I went back into the room and called Emeka. I woke him up from sleep and told him everything.

 

“In as much as I felt it was a good idea you helping out in the house, I knew one day she will abuse it. Don’t worry, I will call you back”.

 

 

As the call ended, she banged on the door saying, “Didn’t I ask you to clean up the house? Do you want me to come there and drag you?”

 

As she opened the door, I heard her husband call out to her. I remained in the room as there was a heated argument. I was checking the time. It was already 6:50am, I wouldn’t get there in time as I had to walk a little distance before I could get a bike or Keke.

 

“Akwaugo, come out here. From today onwards, you are not to do anything in this house. That’s my instruction as the head of the house” then he turned to me and asked, “Are you ready?”

 

“Yes, I am”

 

“I will drop you off”

 

I was desperate to leave that I didn’t pay any attention to Jacinta. I got to the tutorial room at exactly 7 am and had to take a back seat which annoyed me. I wrote the test and stayed in school until the evening. I decided that would be my routine. When I got home, I gave the girls popcorn and went into my room to rest. AKWAUGO

 

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