Tue. Feb 13th, 2024

PART 29

 

In Enugu, Emeka called me. Since he got the job in the middle east, we could only make voice calls. We were so happy speaking on skype after such a long time. I was excited seeing him. He had grown a beard and hair. He said there was no time to clean shave his hair and shape his beards. We spoke excitedly about what had happened during the period we were apart.

 

“Let me see you” Emeka said suddenly.

 

“You are seeing me” I replied.

 

“I want to see your body; I miss it”

 

“What do you mean?”

 

“Don’t you miss me?”

 

“I miss you. But showing you my body like this?”

 

“Lock the door place the laptop and the external camera as we discussed. Take off your clothes let me see your body”

 

“Emeka I can’t do that”

 

“Arm I not your husband? Isn’t your body my property? Let me see it; I have missed it so much”

 

I couldn’t bring myself to do it. I was struggling within myself and it was obvious. He then stood up and took off all his clothes. He was stark naked that I had to close my eyes. Then he came back and said, “Lock the door, strip for me let me see your body. I don’t have anyone here with me and I don’t want to be with anyone but

 

 

you but if you keep acting naïve and shy around me, then I will have to look for someone who can give me what I want”

 

“What does that mean? What you are asking me to do, I have never done before”

 

“There is always a first time and it is best with your husband. I will teach you many things you have never done before. Strip first or I will go off the video call and not talk to you again”

 

I locked my door and stripped. I had never seen Emeka so excited before. He made me turn around and do many other things I wasn’t really comfortable. Gradually, in the two weeks break, he introduced me to phone s£x which did more for him than for me. I didn’t realise then that he was in a Muslim country where he couldn’t just have s£xual relations with a girl; it was very risky. There was a day auntie Nneoma was knocking on the door while we were at it. That was when I tried to put an end to it. He didn’t speak to me for almost a week. I felt hurt. When we settled, we will only do it at midnight my time.

 

I asked him about fixing a date for the white wedding but he said he would not be able to come back to the country for a year. He can’t leave the country he is in to travel anywhere and he is still on probation. He was being heavily paid for this job which will enable him retire early and we can start out lives anywhere in the world I desired. I wasn’t happy the white wedding wouldn’t hold. I knew my father wouldn’t be happy about it too. Personally, I felt It sounded good. It was a sacrifice I was willing to make. I didn’t want to wed him in absentia.

 

My parents weren’t happy about the turn of events but when Emeka talked to father, he was able to convince him it was in our best interest. He also added, he was away and wouldn’t get me pregnant until he comes back. he sent some money to my father for upkeep saying, “While you children try to find their feet in life, you are my responsibility. I am your son. Don’t say no. You gave me a precious gift who I love so much. She hasn’t ever given me cause to complain. I am indebted to you forever”. My father remembered those words until the day breathed his last.

 

I came to Emeka’s family for the Christmas holiday. I was there for just two weeks s instructed by Emeka and left for Enugu.

 

 

Emeka didn’t want me to stay with my auntie; she disrupts things. He sent money for an accommodation on campus but not in the hostel. He wanted me to live alone so we could time enjoy our time together. He paid for two years. I got a big room self-contained with a big kitchen, toilet and bathroom. It was a new building. He asked his brother to bring all the furniture and electronics in his room to me in Enugu. Auntie Nneoma was very happy about that. She helped me with tabletop gas cooker and other kitchen essentials. She also gave me new curtains for my windows. The floor was titled and cold so she gave me a small rug for a portion of the room. I had foodstuff and provisions. I also had a fridge. I was a big girl on campus. My style had changed and auntie Nneoma observed. During her last trip, she bought me much more suitable clothes and I was happy.

 

My year two was over faster than lightening. I believed it was because it was uneventful. I didn’t have anyone trying to frustrate me or making my life misery. I spent most of my time studying that even talking to Emeka had to be scheduled. Emeka was getting bored with my stories on campus; he had only one thing in mind and the easy convenience to get it made him happy. I was very relaxed and I excelled. I was so proud of my performance and so was everyone else. I smiled at all my achievements.

 

I visited Nsukka four times while I was in Enugu; auntie Nneoma insisted. Emeka was very happy about it. Dr Maduka entertained me very well. The children and help were very happy to see me. Jacinta was indifferent. I had fulfilled all righteousness. Dr Maduka promised to visit me in Enugu. He made good his promise. He introduced me as his sister to his colleagues. He took me to lunch and gave me some money. He never saw Ugonna.

 

I waited for Emeka to come back but he was not allowed to leave his country of residence. It was crazy. We were getting frustrated not seeing each other. He asked me to open new accounts both savings and domiciliary account He was pumping money into these accounts. I never touched the money except the ones he asked me to take out and give to people. He told me there were some good deals there and he wanted the money paid into the account so we could build in the village. He said because we didn’t wed when we wanted, we couldn’t have babies yet because we haven’t had enough time to spend together. This excited me. He was to come back

 

 

after my third MBBS exams and stay for three months. Then we will wed but we will get pregnant just before he leaves. I was so happy about that.

 

The money in the account was enough to start a building but I was of the opinion he made not financial sense to build in the village without returns when we can build in the town and also rent out to others. I discussed it with my father and he was impressed with my thinking. I mentioned it to Emeka but he was only interested in building a mansion and showing he had arrived. I tried to convince him but he wasn’t interested. He wanted an architectural drawing down. I asked Obinna to do it for him. Obinna took inputs from father and his boss he worked with and came up with a beautiful building. I sent it to Emeka. He was impressed. Obinna did it at a very cheap cost because Emeka was his in-law. He recommended a contractor for the building. I took the man’s bill and showed father. Father had a good laugh and told me that money could build two houses. I hitched a plan with father and my father-in-law whom we swore to secrecy. We started work using another contractor.

 

When school resumed, I was doing very fine. Everything was great. I travelled back to the village once in a month because of the construction and I gave pictorial progress reports to Emeka. The job was going very well and at a good pace. Emeka had talked to an importer from China to buy finishings for him. He asked the man to liaise with me for payment. That was fine.

 

One day, Emeka called and informed me that cultist attacked his sister’s hostel and killed two people. Everyone had run away. She didn’t have anywhere to go. He appealed to me to allow her to stay until the end of the semester. I wasn’t comfortable with it. I told Emeka so. I was about to write my second MBBS, I couldn’t cook or clean after anyone. Instead, I would go back home and leave the apartment for her. He promised me it was just until the semester ended. He had asked her to look for other accommodation. I moved my valuables things back to auntie Nneoma’s house and just a few clothes in the room which I change every two weeks.

 

When she moved in, initially all was well. She respected boundaries and didn’t expect much from me. I told auntie Nneoma and she ensured we had soups and stews in the fridge for us to eat. A few weeks after she came, she told me she had a roommate who was stranded too. She begged me to allow her to stay with us. She

 

 

promised they wouldn’t be in my way. I told her the bed was not big enough for three of us but she said she would come with a mattress and sleep on the floor. She promised she would stay for just two weeks so she can find a permanent place. I accepted.

 

Ugonna’s roommate, Esther, was very nice. She saw I had no time for anything so she cooked and cleaned the house. She always reserved food for me with a note saying it was mine since I was hardly around except when I wanted to talk to Emeka. They knew not to be around at that time. I was our private time and it was special for us.

 

The problem started when Ugonna would wear my clothes without asking, dump them for me without washing them. I was upset about it. I overheard Ugonna one day telling her what she was doing was wrong and she told Esther her brother bought them so she had a right to them. I was upset but I kept my cool and pretended as though I didn’t hear anything. Packed all my clothes and locked them up in my box. She had finished the cereal and milk in the house which I use for breakfast to dash out. I had to replace it. In three days, it was done. I didn’t buy again. It was almost two months and I wanted her out.

 

When Emeka and I talked, I brought it up. I asked when she was leaving.

 

“I thought you enjoyed her company that was why I didn’t say anything. What’s the matter?”

 

“I just feel she should go to her own place. I am not comfortable having them in the apartment”

 

“Them? Who are them?”

 

“Her roommate is here but I like her. My food has finished and now provisions. I can’t afford to keep up with the expense”

 

“But she collects money for food. I don’t want it to look like you are complaining. Her allowance is due. I will tell her since she is with you, I have to give you more money to fend for herself and her friend. She will get the message”

 

 

“If you think so. I don’t want to be petty by locking up my things but I will do so if there is no change”

 

“I will sort it out”

 

Later that evening when I came back to change and go for tutorials, Ugonna verbally attacked me.

 

“What did you tell Emeka?” she asked breathing heavily obviously spoiling for a fight.

 

“I don’t get” I replied.

 

“What did you say to my brother? You reported me to my brother?”

 

“Explain to me how”. As I said this, I took my phone and pressed record.

 

“You told my brother you are feeding my friend and I. What nonsense is that? Feeding who? Can you feed me? Look at this riffraff my brother picked up from the village to change her life. Because you managed to enter the university to study Medicine you have turned to a queen. I will put you in your place. My brother paid for this room and everything in it. I have a right to them. Mind yourself. I am warning you; do not cross paths with me. If you try that shit with me you will be dealt with…..”

 

My phone rang and it was Emeka. I picked the call and he could hear his sister shouting at me. I had taken a lot. I escaped one and now I was stuck with another. I couldn’t bear it. All I said to him was, “What did I ever do to deserve this?” I cut the call, packed some of my things and left the room while she was still talking.

 

I went for tutorials. After tutorials, I took a taxi to auntie Nneoma’s house. She was shocked to see me. It was almost midnight when I got home. I fell into her arms and cried. She kept asking me what happened and I played the recording for her. She felt bad. Ugonna called me names. Emeka was calling but I didn’t pick up. she allowed me to calm down and then she asked me what happened. I explained everything to her. When Emeka called again, she answered him and said, “She just

 

 

got in and she is asleep. What happened? Why did she come back this late and so tired?”

 

“I don’t know ma. I will call her back when she wakes up. Good night ma”

 

When she ended the call, she said to me, “Don’t let him know I know what is happening. Pretend as if you don’t confide in me. I don’t want him to be too careful around me”

 

“Ok ma”

 

“Concerning Ugonna, I will go back with you in the morning to pack your remaining things. Until Emeka sorts out his sister, you can’t go back there”

 

“My exams are coming soon. How do I read at night? How do I attend tutorials? That’s my major problem”

 

“And you don’t have friends you can squat with until this is sorted?”

 

“No ma. When I get there tomorrow, I will see how it goes”

 

Emeka called me early hours of the morning. I refused to pick his call. He sent me a message begging me to pick up. I was tired of making too many sacrifices for him. I knew what he would say. I had to pass my exams; I didn’t need her distraction.

 

Eventually, I picked up on my way to school.

 

“Akwaugo I have been calling you. Why are you behaving like this? You would have called me immediately. Anyway, I have asked her to move out of the room if she cannot have respect for the owner of the room. She begged me but I don’t think she can stay with you anymore. I heard some of the things she said and they were demeaning. I apologise. Why my sisters behave this way I can never know. Go back home, I told her friend to stay until you come. You are my wife and no-one has the right to disrespect you like this”

 

 

I didn’t respond. He talked some more but I said nothing. I went to school and after my lectures, I came back to the room to pick up my remaining things. Esther was in the room. I greeted her and began to pack.

 

“Nwunye anyi, why are you being so impatient? Ugonna was wrong by every standard and you should have faced her instead of running away. If the feeding expense was too much for you to bear then you should have stopped feeding us. Leaving this house makes it look like she won. She can’t win. Your brother is very angry with Ugonna and has asked her to leave. We were one big happy family. Set rules and we will abide with them but don’t throw us out”

 

AKWAUGO

 

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