Thelma and Agozie stepped
into the small house, at first glance it looked as though it was abandoned but
on entering Thelma found that it was actually a residential house.
“Why is everywhere
quiet?” Thelma asked in a low voice.
“Shhh….” Agozie
cautioned.
They both entered the
sitting area and sat down on the wooden benches provided.
“Good afternoon.” A
young lady greeted. “Who are you here to see?”

“There’s a wise man that
lived here….I don’t know if he still lives here…” Agozie said to the lady.
“Do you know his name?”
“I can’t remember but I
know that he helped my aunt get her husband back…” Agozie said.
“Then you are in the
right place, take off your shoes and walk down that corridor, knock at the
first door on your right.” The lady said.
Agozie and Thelma took
off their shoes and walked down the corridor to the room, Agozie knocked and
when they heard the man’s grunt, they entered.
“Good afternoon Baba.”
Agozie greeted.
Thelma genuflected, she
was surprised at herself for following her friend to this place.
“Sit down my daughters,
what brings you here?” The man asked.
Thelma took in the room,
there was a huge poster of a man in white holding some candles in his hand. The
man in the poster bore no resemblance to the man they had come to see.
“My name is Baba Chaka,
how can I help you?” The man asked.
“Thank you for your warm
welcome, Baba Chaka…” Agozie said with a smile.
They both sat down on the bare ground and faced the man.
“Hmmmm…” The man
murmured.
“My friend here, wanted a child of her own for the past four years. She has tried everything and
done everything to no avail that’s why we are here, you are our last hope
baba.” Agozie said.
“What is your name?”
Baba Chaka asked.
“Thelma sir…”
“Thelma, hmmm…when was
the last time you saw your monthly cycle?”
“I am currently on my
period.” Thelma said, feeling uneasy about telling a strange man about herself.
“It’s a good thing you
came today…I will help you.”
“Thank you so much
baba…thank you…” Agozie said excitedly.
“Show me your palms…”
Baba Chaka said to Thelma.
Thelma held up her palms
but Baba reached out and grabbed it, peering into the flat palms.
“I’ll give you
something…and today you’ll see the signs.” He said.
“Thank you sir…thank
you…” Thelma said.
The man closed his palm
over hers and when he removed his palm, there was a stone in Thelma’s hand.
Thelma gasped at the mysterious appearance of the stone.
“Take the stone and when
you get home, put it in everything you wish to eat, drink and bath with. Put
the stone in the water you drink and remove it after some minutes, when cooking
food, put the stone in the pot and remove it after some minutes, do the same
with your bath water.”
Thelma held the stone
tightly as though her life depended on it.
“Your money will be
fifteen thousand naira.” The man said.
Thelma quickly opened
her bag and brought out some money, she counted it and gave him fifteen
thousand naira. Baba Chaka collected it and smiled at her.
“Don’t worry, you’ll see
the signs…” He said.
Thelma and Agozie stood
up to leave.
“Before you go, you have
to bow to the master.” Baba Chaka said pointing to the poster behind him.
Thelma and Agozie did as
they were bid and exited the house.
**********
Stephanie arrived Delta
state in the evening after a long bus ride, she alighted from the taxi at the front
of her father’s house. Stephanie’s dad had a very big bungalow where his family
resided and as he was married to two women, he had built the bungalow in such a
way that there were three wings. The right wing was occupied by Stephanie’s
mother and her children, the left wing was occupied by Stephanie’s step mom and
her kids while the center wing was her father’s.
“Stephanie! What a
pleasant surprise! I never expected to see you home.” Her father said standing
up from the wicker chair at the balcony of the house to hug his daughter.
“Hi daddy…” Stephanie
smiled. “Miguwo sir…” She greeted.
“Welcome home dear…”
Her father said. “How is work?”
“Very well sir…I am on
leave…”
“Really? It’s so nice of
you to decide to come home.” Her father smiled.
“Lemme drop my bags and
say hello to my mom then I’ll come out so that we can catch up.” 
Stephanie
said.
“Yes…yes….please go
in and come out quick. I have to hear about all you’ve been up to in Lagos…” Her
father said.
Stephanie walked to the
wing she shared with her mother and siblings and pushed open the door. Her littlest
sister, Ivanka, was sprawled on the ground watching a seasonal movie.
“Steph! Welcome!” Her
sister squealed as she jumped to her feet and rushed to meet her.
“It’s good to be back.”
Stephanie started.
A very skinny woman
walked out of the room and Stephanie wanted to ask who she was but froze when
she realized that it was her mother.
“Mommy! Why are you like
this?”
“Welcome home
dear….don’t mind the cough that has been ailing me for months…” Her mother
said weakly.
Stephanie couldn’t
believe that her mother looked so frail and ill and she was never told.
“How come no one told me
about this?”
“We didn’t want to worry
you…” Stephanie’s mother said.
“No mom! You should have
told me, I hardly even recognized you ….you are a shadow of yourself.”
Stephanie said holding back the tears.
“Have you eaten? I
prepared something tasty for you…” Her mother said.
Stephanie wasn’t happy,
she took her bags into the room she shared with her sister, Pamela, and dumped it on the
bed. Ivanka walked into the room and stared at her.
“Everyone is not happy
with the way she looks Steph. Uncle Maro was here some days ago and he said he
wanted to take her for traditional help but daddy refused.” Ivanka spoke of their mother’s brother.
“Why wasn’t I informed?”
Stephanie cried, sitting on her bed and staring at her sister.
“What would you have
done? I am hopeful that she’ll get better…it all started with a cough and
since then, it’s gone from bad to worse.” Her sister said.
A loud voice floated to
them from the sitting room.
“Where is my first
daughter? Steph! Stephy baby…”
“Oh! That’s mommy Maggie…” Stephanie said of her father’s second wife.
The door burst open and
Stephanie’s step-mother stood at the entrance to the room looking like a
million dollars. She had grown lighter as the cream she was using on her skin
seemed to work for her and wasn’t giving her any dark patches.
“Come and give mama a
hug! I’ve missed you my darling!” Her step-mother said.
“Mommy Maggie…good
evening ma…”Stephanie greeted, rushing over to her to give her a hug.
Stephanie didn’t notice
that her sister quickly slipped out of the room.
“You look good…Lagos
is favouring you.” Her step-mother said.
“No it’s not! I’ve been
working my ass off day and night…” Stephanie laughed.
“And by night do you mean,
that there’s a fine bobo in the works?” She asked.
“Naaaa…..not like that
jo…” Stephanie said. “How are my siblings, Alvin, Ochuko and Elohor?”
“Alvin is preparing to
leave for his masters,you know he got admission into a university abroad, he went to the market to get some things while Ochuko is
at school preparing for his exams. Elohor isn’t back from her friend’s place,
she went to borrow a book.” Her step-mom said.
“That’s so good to
hear…” Stephanie said.
“So, what did you bring
for us at home?” Her step mother inquired.
“I bought bread and some
bananas…”
“You know I don’t like
bananas and that bread makes me grow fat, maybe if you give me some money, I
could get those things I like…” Mommy Maggie said.
“Stephanie! Come and
eat…your food’s getting cold.” Stephanie’s mother said from the doorway.
“We’ll talk later my
sweets…” Mommy Maggie said and left the room, not sparing her husband’s first wife a
second glance.
Stephanie felt uneasy
with the countenance of her mother but she shrugged it off and placing her hand
in her mother’s they both walked to the sitting room together.

To be
continued on Thursday…

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