I am sorry that I haven’t been replying comments, my network is down and has been so since Saturday. I’ll get to them once the network behaves…thank you everyone for the beautiful comments.
Stephanie was laughing
at the jokes that Aunt Maggie was cracking, Aunt Maggie had allayed her fears
about last night and the stains on the sheets and she felt more comfortable.
She was having breakfast of fried plantain and eggs when her phone rang. Not
knowing the caller, she frowned and answered the call.

“Hello…good
morning…”

“Good morning….it’s
David on the line…” The voice said.

“David? Who is David?”
She asked.

“Pastor David, I saw you
at the church yesterday….”

“What do you want?”
Stephanie asked in hostility.

Aunt Maggie looked up at
her, wondering who was speaking to her over the phone.

“I’ll be at your house this
afternoon, I was wondering if you’d be available.”

“What for?” Stephanie
asked.

“Nothing much…I just
want to pay you a visit, I want us to be friends.”

“Well…I am not
interested in your friendship…” Stephanie said.

“You are treating me
badly you know…” He said humorously.

“That’s your business!”
Stephanie spat.

“You’ll be leaving for
Lagos soon and I’d like us to have a one on one…”

“I’ve changed my
mind…I’m going nowhere….”

“What do you mean by
that?” David asked.

“I am settling here…I
am not returning to Lagos.” Stephanie said.

Aunt Maggie smiled
discreetly.

“But you have a job
there, a very good job for that matter…”

“I do as I please,
besides, it’s my life!” Stephanie said.

“Well…when I come
over, we’ll discuss this better…”

“Whatever….” Stephanie
said and hung up.

Aunt Maggie ate some
fried eggs and stared at her step-daughter.

“You sounded so angry over
the phone…who were you speaking with?”

“Oh! He’s a pastor my
mom took me to see yesterday…he says he wants us to be friends.” Stephanie
replied.

“A pastor? You know we
have lots of fakes in the world.” Aunt Maggie said.

“Yea….well…we do.”
Stephanie said.

“So, are you going to
see him?” Aunt Maggie asked.

“I guess…even though I
don’t want to see him….” Stephanie answered.

“If you don’t want to see
him when he comes, I suggest you accompany Elohor to her dance class. In that
case, you can evade him completely….besides I hope he’s not trying to court
you because I’m sure he’s very poor and his shoes are worn out and tattered.”
Aunt Maggie laughed.

“Hahahahaha…Mommy
Maggie, you are too funny…God forbid sha.” Stephanie laughed.

“I only aim for the best
my dear and you deserve the best” Auntie Maggie smiled.

“Thank you aunt Maggie,
you are the best.” Stephanie smiled.

They all continued
eating breakfast and chatted the morning away.

*********

“My God!” Was all Chi
could say as she stared at Thelma as she told her story.

Thelma had missed
nothing and she told her sister in-law everything, from the beginning till the
end. They were all in Evangeline’s church as Thelma had been able to convince
Obiageli’s husband to take his wife there.

“That’s the story and I
am so sad that things are happening this way…” Thelma said.

Chi turned to see
Obiageli seated on the ground while some prayer ministers surrounded her.

“However did you find
this place? I could have never imagined you in a place of prayer…” Chi asked.

“My dear, situation can
push you to places you never imagined you’d visit. I am glad I found this place
and I’ve promised myself that I’ll never let go of God again if He helps me
return sanity to my family.”

“Amen…He will.” Chi said.

Obiageli’s husband knelt
by the altar side and was crying hard. The two ladies looked at him and sighed
in sorrow.

Evangeline walked up to
them and said.

“You have to eat
something…”

“We are not hungry…”
Chi said blandly.

“We start prayers for
her at midnight….as soon as the clock strikes at twelve. It’s still two
thirty pm and it’s a long wait till then.” Evangeline said.

“I’ll fast…” Chi said.

“Me too…” Thelma said.

Evangeline looked at
them and sighed.

“Fasting is very
necessary but you both have to eat something now, then after that, you shouldn’t
bother eating again.” Evangeline said.

“How can I eat when my
sister is in that condition and my brother too?” Chi asked.

“Don’t worry, God will
fight our battles for us.”  Evangeline
said.

“Is there any hope for
her?” Thelma asked.

“Seeing that she went on
her own accord to a shrine to swear, I really don’t know but we will pray and
ask God for mercy.”

“Why did she do it? If
uncle Ekweme was insisting, why did she do it?” Chi asked.

Thelma shook her head
and remained silent.

“I’ll eat something…”Thelma
said.

Evangeline smiled and
nodded, leaving Thelma and her sister in-law staring at the ground.

********

Ekweme paced the small
space where Obinna was, he was angry and bitter over the way his niece and his
In-law had stormed into his house and stormed out and never returned. Word that
reached his ears was that they had gone to the market and taken Obiageli. To
where? He asked himself. The dibia had assured him times without number that
Obiageli would die no matter the solution her husband and sister sought on her
behalf as she had willingly gone to the shrine to swear without being forced..

“Where are they?” Ekweme
shouted into thin air.

Obinna made a startling
sound and he walked up to him and gave him a loud slap on his cheek.
“Will you shut up? You
are the cause of this whole thing! If only you died when I planted the trap for
your brothers, I wouldn’t be having these issues now.” Ekweme barked.

Obinna coiled himself
like a snake against the wall and stared at him in fear.

“I should kill you…you
know. I can’t take any chances anymore. By midnight today…I want you dead.”
Ekweme said and turning around, he left the room.

*******

Stephanie was preparing
to accompany Elohor to dance lessons, she was still worried because she was
still haemorrhaging. She quickly stepped out of the house with Elohor and just
as they approached the gate, it opened and David walked in. As soon as he saw
her, he stopped abruptly.
“What’s that mark on
your head?” He asked in surprise while pointing at her forehead.

“What mark? Are you
alright?” Stephanie asked offended at his comment. Turning to Elohor, she
asked. “Do you see any mark on my head?”

Elohor looked at her
face and shook her head.

“No…” She said.

“What’s your problem?”
Stephanie hissed.

“You are under a heavy
hand…” David said.

“What are you talking
about?” Stephanie hissed, walking away from him and heading to the gate.
David dragged her back
and she almost fell from the strength of his arm.

“What are you doing?
Leave me alone! Unhand me this moment!” Stephanie shouted.

“You are coming inside
the house with me, now!” David ordered.

“Are you stupid? Are you
crazy? Will you leave me alone?”

“The stubborn spirit is
not yours….and the voice speaking is not you…” David said.

“Hahahaha…see this
senile man ooo…” Stephanie laughed.

Aunt Maggie emerged from
the house and stared at them.

“Steph, why are you
still here? Elohor, you will be late for dance lessons.” Aunt Maggie said.
“This useless man doesn’t
want to unhand me!” Stephanie screamed.

Stephanie’s mother and
sisters emerged from the house.

“Pastor David…”
Stephanie’s mother said, confused that he was gripping her daughter tightly on
the arm.

Pastor David dragged
Stephanie towards the house.

“Will you let her go?”
Aunt Maggie shouted advancing towards him.

“By the power in the
name of Jesus, I refuse to let go of her!” David said with fire in his eyes.
Aunt Maggie took an unconscious
step backwards and said.

“Elohor, go to your
lessons alone…”

Elohor nodded and
disappeared through the gate.

“You know you can’t hold
her against her will…” Aunt Maggie said to David.

David stared at her
intensely and not replying to her words, he dragged Stephanie towards her
mother and sister. Stephanie’s mother led the way and David followed suit,
pulling Stephanie along with him.

To be
continued on Sunday….

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