May 4th, 2013
Waking up with a sudden burst of energy, I decided to go to the market, to shop for foodstuff, and possibly even cook for my husband…for the first time in weeks (if not months sef!). So, I drove to the market near my neighborhood, and literally shopped till I dropped, buying baskets of tomatoes, onions, and enough foodstuff to stock in my freezer till I drop this baby. Midway through, I started feeling a bit achy, and worried if I’d perhaps overdone it. But all it took to get me back to my normal self was a cold bottle of malt drink. Aaaaah! One of my best parts of coming to the market.
When I got home, I immediately got to work in the kitchen, washing meat and chicken, cutting vegetables, and bagging anything I wouldn’t immediately need. Before long, I had pots of stew, edikang ikong soup, and jollof rice brewing. The look of ecstasy on my husband’s face more than made up for all the stress and wahala. I’d forgotten how good it feels to cook for my man.
After I’d dished his meal, I set about to do something I knew I had to do. Yes, my brother is now married, but that doesn’t mean we should abandon the woman also carrying his baby….
So, after a quickshower, I dished a little of everything into small coolers, and set off to the hospital Akunna was admitted in. I didn’t want to drag Patrick through any potentially ugly situation, so I decided to go alone.
Getting there, after a timid knock, I opened the door gently to let myself in. The curtains were drawn, and the lights and TV were off. The room looked dreary…to say the least.
“Akunna…” I called out tentatively.
She was lying on her bed, and didn’t stir at first. I couldn’t even see well enough to decipher if she was sleeping or awake. I half walked, half tiptoed into the room, and as I was putting the food basket on the floor, she sat up.
“Faith?!” she exclaimed “What do you want?!”
“Hi Akunna…how are you?” I asked nervously. “I…I brought you some food. I finally got the strength to cook, so I thought you might like to eat something different, for a change?”
She grunted. “Why this sudden act of kindness? Is this pity or what?!”
I didn’t even know how to answer that question.
“What did you bring?” she asked.
“Some pounded yam and editing ikong soup…as well as jollof rice…just in case you don’t feel like swallowing…”
“Let me have the pounded yam,” she muttered.
“Can I turn the lights on?” I asked, almost afraid of what the answer would be.
“Suit yourself,” she muttered, lying down again.
“Where’s your Mom?” I asked, as I dished the food, grateful I’d had the presence of mind to bring plates and cutlery from home. The last thing I wanted to do was to have to ask her for anything more.
“Home, I suppose. She said I’m depressing her…” she answered drily.
I stole a glance at her. I’ve seen a number of sides of Akunna…annoying, arrogant, condescending, saucy, rude, scheming, conniving…but I have never seen her so deadpan and melancholy.
“So…” she said, with forced enthusiasm which I later realized was sarcasm. “My baby daddy finally married his sugar mummy!”
I set the food down in front of her, determined not to lose my cool. It was understandable for her to be angry, so I decided not to take her comment to heart.
“You’re keeping quiet?” she said, taunting me. “Tell me how it went na! You that lied at work, so you could attend the wedding!”
I inhaled deeply. “It went very well.”
“But is that how it was doing them? Were they so desperate to marry that they couldn’t wait till after her discharge from hospital? Getting married in a common room though!” she remarked, as she ate the food. “Or were they so scared of what danger I could pose? Was she scared that I would win Phillip back?”
I had to bite my tongue from telling her that she was the least of all the considerations that had led to the rushed wedding.
“And there you were…laughing like a clown!” she retorted, giving me a dirty look. “Faith, you are the real definition of slow poison! You’ll be acting all nice and friendly with me, but killing me behind!”
This time, I couldn’t keep silent.
“Why wouldn’t I laugh and be happy at my brother’s wedding?” I asked angrily. “Have I ever given you the impression that I’m anything of supportive of his relationship with Diana? I am showing you love and friendship because you are going to be the mother of his child…not because I’m in your corner in this love triangle. So please…don’t get it twisted!”
“What is going on here?!” came a voice from the door.
My eyes widened, as I recognised that voice. The last thing I needed was yet another confrontation with Akunna’s mom.
“What are you doing? Who brought you that food you’re eating??!” she shrieked at her daughter.
Akunna had barely answered the question, when her Mom grabbed the plates, and emptied their contents into the bin.
“You are a big fool! So you mean if I hadn’t come here now, you would have eaten food from this evil family?! Do you know if they are trying to poison you?! Don’t you think they’ll want you out of the way?!!” she screamed.
Akunna licked her fingers. “Mom, you didn’t have to throw the food away! That soup made plenty of sense!”
The woman spouted a few choice words in Ibo, which I assumed were insults directed at her daughter, before she turned to me.
“You better get out of here, before I throw you out!” she shouted. “And carry the rest of your rotten food with you!”
I gently rose to my feet, and made to carry my basket. I kuku don’t know who sent me.
“And tell your brother that we are discharging ourselves from this useless hospital! We don’t need any handouts from your family!”
In unison, Akunna and I exclaimed, “What??!”
The older woman turned to her daughter. “Yes! Your father and I have decided, and it’s final! We don’t need to take anything from this family. Since they feel it is fine for their son to marry another woman, then so be it! We will take care of you ourselves! You are moving back to your Uncle’s hospital!”
“In Isolo?!” I heard myself exclaim.
“What are you still doing here?! Or do you want to take Akunna’s place on that hospital bed?”
I quickly scampered out of the room.
In the car, I sent Phillip a text to tell him what Akunna’s family is planning to do. I hope, for her sake, that they won’t carry out that threat.