Thelma woke up with a
start! She looked around at her surroundings and breathed a deep sigh of
relief, the dream had felt so real, it had seemed like she had experienced
everything first hand. 
Obinna lay beside her asleep like a baby, he hardly ever
woke up during the night and he always slept fitfully till seven am every morning. She touched
his forehead and smiled, he was alive and not mad as the dream showed but then
again, could the dream be telling her something?

Thelma never believed in
the significance of dreams, she had always proved to her friends that dreams
were nothing but mere hallucinations, a repetition of the day’s affairs or a kind
of subconscious happening. But this, something told her that this was much more
than a dream, it was real.
She looked at the time,
it was almost six am, she still had about three hours to get ready for work. Thelma the CEO of Thelma’s Sweets & Treats,  was a professional caterer who made mouth-watering cakes, pastries, finger foods and the like, she also had loads of clients on a daily
basis and had a staff strength of five people.
She stood up from the
bed and left the room, angry to have been disturbed by the dream.
By the time Thelma had
prepared breakfast and lunch for her husband, it was about seven am and soon
she heard his footsteps as he walked up to the kitchen.
“Rise and shine
beautiful…” He said as he walked up to hug her.
“Rise and shine ko…I
have been awake for the past one hour.”
“Really?” He said nibbling her ear.
“Stop it…Obinna…or
I’ll use this hot spoon on you.” She joked.
“Then I’ll be burnt for
love…I’m sure Shakespeare made such quote about love.” He smiled.
Thelma smiled and kissed
him, they had been married for four years and they still behaved as though they
were dating.
“I made fries for
breakfast and rice with beans for lunch…” She said to him.
“I love that…thank you.”
He said.
“You’re welcome.” She
said.
Obinna proceeded to open
the pots on the cooker.
“Obim…” She started.
“Hmmm…” He replied
still assessing the situation in the pot.
“I had a very disturbing dream last night.”
“Dream? Haha…don’t
tell me you saw a spirit or I’ll run from you. You know dreams are not real.”
“Yes, I do…but this
one…this one was so poignant…I…can’t explain it…I saw faces, I heard
names…you were greatly affected by the dream.”
“Really? Please tell me
what could affect the mighty Obinna, I’d like to know.”
“I dreamt of uncle Ekwy,
he was like having these incantations and stuff you know, he had three chickens
and a white chalk and he was saying that you run mad and that I die childless. 
He….he…did that and buried the chickens alive and surprisingly, in that
same dream, we were at the dinning table having dinner when all of a sudden you became mad. Can you make sense of all this?” She asked.
“I told you to stop
watching Africa Magic…see what it’s doing to you.”
“C’mon this is real.”
“What is real? Listen to
yourself Thelma, you said you saw Uncle Ekwy, my father’s brother who after my
father died, has been the only father-figure I have. You are saying you saw him
wishing madness on me in the dream. Tell me darling, who were the characters on
your Africa magic movie last night? I remember that you came to bed late last
night because you were watching a Nigerian movie.”
“I know but…”
“Don’t spoil this
morning, I beg of you…” He said and turned to leave the kitchen.
“My period was delayed
yesterday and I’m hoping it doesn’t come today…” She started, quickly changing the topic.
He turned to her and
said.
“I’ve told you, we will have children at the right time…stop worrying about it.” Obinna said
and left the kitchen.
Thelma took in a deep
breath and started washing the dishes.
********
Stephanie was at work
but she wasn’t concentrating, she knew she had seen a human being at Sunday’s
window last night and she couldn’t explain it.
“Stephanie! Can I see
you in my office?” The marketing manager said to her.
Stephanie stood up from
her chair and followed her through the cubicles of her colleagues till she
reached her office.
“Please sit.” Mrs.
Chinyere said.
“Thank you ma…”
“I asked this morning that all senior marketers give me brief details of their field work for the past month and you sent yours some minutes ago.”
“Yes ma…”
Mrs. Chinyere brought
out a paper from her drawer and handed it to Stephanie.
“What is that?”
Stephanie took the paper
and looked at it, it was a  report of her activities in the past
month. She was drawn to the bottom of the paper and almost screamed, her eyes widened in shock as she stared at Mrs. Chinyere.
“I thought as much.”
Mrs. Chinyere said to her.
“I am so sorry madam…I
am very sorry…” Stephanie said.
“You have worked in this
bank for four years and I’ve come to like you very much and see you as someone
who’ll take my seat someday. I want you to understand that focus is a watchword
and if I hadn’t read through your report thoroughly before handing it over to
the board, you would be in serious trouble.”
“I was rushing…and I
wasn’t concentrating…and…I promise never to make such mistake again ma.”
Stephanie said in apology.
“It’s okay…I need you
to go back to your desk, read through your submission and resubmit it to me.”
“Yes ma…thank you
ma…” Stephanie said and hurried off.
As soon as she got to
her desk she buried her face in her palms and shuddered. She took the paper
again and stared at it, focusing on the bottom of the page where she had ended
her report with the four letter word, ‘MEOW’.
*********
Ekweme watched his first
son, Nnayelugo, stagger into the house, his wife had left him two years ago after his
business failed in Aba, taking along with her, his two daughters.
“Nnayelugo! Where are
you coming from?” He barked at his son.
“Sh…uuuurrrrup!” His
son slurred as he staggered to the sofa to lie down in a heap.
“You have been living
under my roof for the past two years, I have been feeding you, taking care of
you…I won’t do that anymore. It’s either you leave this house and go and look
for means of livelihood or I will send you out.”
“You
can’t….send…me…no wherrrrreeee…..this is my father’s house and as far
as I am concerned, you are…the tenant and I am the landlord.” His son slurred
pointing to his chest.
“Chika!” Ekweme
screamed. “Chika!”
A young lady of about
twenty five years walked into the sitting room, she was wearing a very short dress
and her feet were encased in a very high heeled shoes.
“What do you want dad?”
She asked.
“Where is your mother
and why are you dressed like that?”
“I am going to school…”
She said. “I don’t know where mom is…”
“Going to what school?
The school that your mates graduated from five years ago or what?”
“I am studying medicinal
studies and our course takes longer years.” She said chewing a gum.
“Chika! You got into
school at seventeen, you are going to be twenty-six in two months, how long
will it take you to study micro-biology?”
“As I said earlier, it
is a long course and it takes ten years to finish it. Anyway, I shouldn’t expect you to
know, you are an illiterate.” His daughter said.
“Me? Illiterate? Chika,
may thunder destroy your mouth for calling your father an illiterate.”
Chika waved her hands at
him and walked out of the house hissing at his curses. Nnayelugo had begun
snoring, the stench of the alcohol permeating the whole sitting room.
“Nkechi! Nkechi! Where
is that woman? She has to take these children back into her womb and abort
them. They are such a disgrace!” Ekweme said as he left the sitting room of his
house.

To be
continued on Thursday…..

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