Ego and Tina sat at the waiting area and waited. Tina stole
a glance at her friend, she was fuming and looked like a red balloon about to
burst. She wanted to tell her that there was no need coming here but something
told her to shut up or she’d get Ego’s silent treatment forever.
“Come in…” A sharp male voice shouted from the inside.

Ego and Tina stood to their feet and walked over to the
door, removing their shoes and dropping them off at the entrance, they made
their way inside the shrine.
The shrine was rather bare but covered in white paint and
red and black markings on the wall. The man seated before a black and red pot
was bald and the two fair women flanking his sides were covered from head to
toe in white.
“Good morning sir…” Ego greeted.
The man looked up at her and after a while, turned to look
at Tina.
“What brings you here? Sit down…” He said. “But first you
must pay homage to the goddess and drop what you have.”
Ego took a bundle of crisp one thousand naira notes and
dropped them in a bowl on the ground.
“Let the money touch your foreheads…” One of the women
said to her.
Ego dutifully took the money and touched it against her
forehead and gave Tina to do the same. Tina rolled her eyes and did the same,
she wasn’t happy that she was doing this because as far as she was concerned
she had only accompanied Ego to this place.
“Sir, my man, Chief Shedrach has taken another woman, I am
hurt and sad. The worst thing is, I wanted to be pregnant for him so that I
could be secure for life but he has refused that I ever get pregnant for him.”
She said.
“Chief Shedrach….” The man said dipping a long stick in
the pot before him and turning it about. “Hmmm….he has a new woman…..”
“Yes, he does…I used to be his mistress and his all, but
all of a sudden, he took another and left me out in the cold.” Ego said.
“You were never his only mistress and if I were you, I’d
count myself lucky and move on.” The man said.
“What? Move on? I am sorry sir but I will not move on. That
man is my guarantee….without him I’d be penniless. He picked me up from
nothing and now I’m somebody, I just need to have a child for him so that my
future with him would be secure once and for all.”
“What makes you think you can have his child?” The man
asked.
“What do you mean by that?” Ego asked worriedly.
“Well, I have been asked to shut up my mouth but warn you to
leave that man now!” The man said still looking into his pot.
“Wait…what? Leave him alone? Never! I will never leave him
alone! I want a child for him and I am going to have that child even if I have
to sleep with all the men in town to have it.”
“You’ll be playing with fire. It’s only a stubborn fly that
follows the corpse into the grave’, my advice to you is, run now, while you
can. Take whatever he’s given you and run far away and start afresh.”
Ego stood up angrily.
“Thank you for the very annoying advice…I’ll take my leave
now.” To Tina, she said. “Let’s go Tina…”
Tina stood up to leave but the man’s voice stopped her.
“You too Tina, what are you waiting for? Take what you have
and leave….” He said.
“Me? I have a secured life, I have a son and a man who
provides for me…”
“Do you know the story of the hen and the hawk?” He asked.
“Yes…the hen went to look for food and…” Tina started.
“The hawk took her chicks one after the other….be warned.”
He said and looked up from his pot at her. “It’s better to leave half-full than
empty handed.”
Tina was shaken, she left the shrine with Ego and they
quickly wore their shoes at the door and headed outside. Once they reached the
car, Tina said in a panic.
“That man…he seems to know what he’s saying…”
“Oh please! That’s an old fool! Did we ask for advice? We
asked for a solution to my problem with the new Zino girl and not advice….he
should shove his advice up his throat for all I care.” Ego spat.
“Wait…Ego…we need to think ooo…I am getting scared.”
Ego started the car and as she drove out of the place, she
said;
“Be scared all you like, I’m headed to another place for a
solution.”
As they left the place, all that the man had said to Tina
flooded her mind.
*********
“Are you freaking kidding me?” Evie screamed. “When I
arrived at the airport and a man came to me and asked me if I was Evie, because
he had my picture in his hands, I was shocked. When he led me to an amazing
ride, I was doubly shocked and when he drove me here, I was like, ‘what the
heck?’ Tell me Zino, did you win the lottery?”
“Hahahahaha….me ke? Which kain lottery dey give house,
car, clothes and bags of money?”
“Where did all these money come from? The last time I
checked, you couldn’t pay your rent…”
“Well, sorrow may last for the night but joy comes in the
morning…” Zino smiled. “Make yourself comfortable. My cook is preparing
something special and there’s red wine to go with it.”
“Pinch me! Please pinch me Zino! This is not real…”
“It is real jare…one hundred percent real!”
“How did all these come to be?”
“Well, I used my brains and my body to get all this…”
Evie looked at her in astonishment.
“This is too good to be true ooo…Zino! Let me be your
voice of reasoning….this is too good to be true!”
“Hahahahahaha…yes ooo….”
“You are laughing…I am serious ooo…”
“I am serious too….” Zino laughed. “Come on, let’s drop
your bags in one of the rooms and get ready for lunch after which, we hangout
somewhere…”
“Well, I am going to pocket my voice of reasoning for a
while, lemme enjoy my stay….because it’s just for the weekend.” Evie said.
The ladies laughed and headed towards the rooms.
**********
Zacchary was outside perched beside a vehicle when he saw a
little boy dart pass him chasing a small ball. He observed the house where the
boy lived silently and soon saw a young dark lady emerge from the house calling
out his name.
“Femi! Femi!” She called out perching her hands on her hips.
“My ball…” The little boy said running back into the house
with the ball.
Another lady emerged from the compound and addressed the
dark skinned lady that had come out to fetch her son as ‘Layode’, he instantly
knew he had found the boy he’d been looking for.
He was patient and quickly starting his car, he moved it
over to a safe distance where he parked it and alighted, heading back towards
the house. The ball came tumbling outside again and this time he caught it.
The little boy ran out again in search of the ball.
“Looking for this?” He asked kicking the ball.
“My ball…” Femi echoed.
Zacchary started kicking the ball towards the other side of
the street and the boy followed him, hoping to get his ball back. He kicked the
ball steadily till he reached his car, then he picked the ball and handed it
over to the boy and just as Femi collected the boy from him, he carried him and
pushed him into the car.

To be continued…..

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