Ekweme’s wife looked at
him eating his lunch of roasted yam and oil garnished with dry fish and pepper
and shook her head.
“I don’t know how you
can sit here and eat this food while your family falls apart. Obinna is mad and
he has been confined to a small room for days now and Obiageli has run mad. How
can you eat food, like you have no care in the world?” His wife accused.

“Woman, am I the cause
of their misfortunes? Thank God that I have been vindicated because people
would have been pointing fingers at me if I hadn’t been wise enough to demand
that we visit the shrine for swearing.” He said as he licked the oil which was
trailing down his arm.
“May God forgive you.
Even if it’s Obiageli that has been doing all these things even though I don’t
see any reason why she would wipe away her family members for some kind of
selfish reason, why can’t you stand firm as the elder of the family and look
for solutions instead of eating yam and oil like one who has no problems?” His
wife shouted.
At that moment, a car
drove into the compound and stopped right in front of them. Obiageli’s husband
and her sister alighted from the vehicle with worried frowns on their faces.
“Uncle Ekweme, what have
we heard?” Obiageli’s immediate younger sister asked.
“Is that the good
afternoon that I am supposed to be accorded? You have forgotten your
manners…Chi?” He said to her.
“I am sorry uncle…good
afternoon….” She greeted reluctantly.
“Good afternoon sir…”
Obiageli’s husband greeted.
“In-law…welcome…”
Ekweme said eating his roasted yam. “You meet me well, please join me.” He
said.
“Where is my wife? Where
is Obiageli?” Her husband asked.
“Well, just as I told
you over the phone, it has been discovered that Obiageli is the cause of all
our problems. She killed my brother’s two sons and wants to kill Obinna….”
Ekweme said.
“That’s a lie!” Obiageli’s
husband shouted.
“You are an in-law and
this is not your house…so you have no right to talk rubbish in my house.”
Ekweme said.
“Uncle, I support my
brother….” Obiageli’s sister said in support of her brother in-law. “Why did
you take my sister to swear an oath without duly informing her sisters and her
husband?”
“Look at this weaned
child! You have no respect. How can I inform you and your younger sister about
an oath that I decided to organize as the head of this household? Do you know
what has been happening in this house? Haven’t you been enjoying yourself in
your husband’s house? What rubbish!”
“Uncle, you didn’t do
the right thing. I should have been informed.” Obiageli’s husband shouted.
“Go and sit down! Who
are you? What is your business in this compound? Obiageli is my daughter and as
far as I am concerned, you are just her husband.”
“What are you talking about?”
Obiageli’s sister asked.
“Where is my wife?”
Obiageli’s husband demanded.
Ekweme ignored them and
kept eating his food, his wife spoke up.
“After the oath, she ran
mad and has been roaming the markets…”
“Please lead us to where
she is…” Obiageli’s husband said and headed towards his car.
Ekweme’s wife followed them
to the car.
“If you’re bringing her
back from the market place, do not bring her here….take her to your village
ooo…” Ekweme warned.
They paid him no heed
and got into the car and left.
********
Thelma had begun prayers
with Evangeline and her husband. She had been supported by some members of the
church who had joined them in prayers. Thelma was quickly learning to pray fervently
and couldn’t help but wonder what had become of her husband.
“I don’t want to sound
as one who had no faith but what next?” Thelma asked Evangeline after they
finished their afternoon prayers.
“We wait….God always
has a way of making a way.” Evangeline smiled.
“I don’t know how to
have faith. I mean, God is so big but yet He’s far away. I haven’t seen Him….no
one has seen Him yet we believe that He’ll do miracles and stuff. I think I
should go to my husband’s compound with policemen and take my husband out by
force….I need to get him to a mental hospital.”
“I am not contradicting
the importance of mental hospitals but you must know that Obinna’s case is very
delicate and it’s been confirmed that the devil has a hand in it…so we must
pray…” Evangeline said.
“I feel so empty. I have
no baby, no husband…I have nothing. The devil has succeeded in taking away
everything from me.”
“The devil has not
succeeded….in fact he is far from succeeding in your life. The word of God
says, if only you can have faith as little as a mustard seed, you will say to
the mountain ‘be cast into the sea’ and it will obey you.” Evangeline said
smiling.
Thelma looked at her and
nodded.
“Let’s go to the market,
I need to buy some food stuff and I don’t want you to be ever left alone…”
“I have known you for a
few days and I feel that you are the best friend that I’ve ever had. Thank you.”
Thelma said.
Thelma smiled at her.
********
Evangeline drove the
large squeaky bus she shared with her husband to the market and Thelma sighed
at life. She had a very good car at home and Obinna’s car was also in good
condition. They were both living so well yet, they had nothing. Their lives
were next to meaningless but here was Evangeline and her husband who lived in a
small cramped up house and ran a small church, yet it seemed as though they had
everything.
Evangeline had just
parked the bus at a corner when they saw that there was a commotion at the far
side of the market.
“The market seems
rowdy…what’s happening?” Evangeline asked.
They both alighted from
the bus and walked into the market, Evangeline walked up to the place where the
fish sellers were and only a few fish sellers were at their stalls.
“What is happening?”
Evangeline asked a fish seller.
“It’s a woman who
recently became mad and has been roaming the market. It seems her family have
come to take her and she’s been resisting…” The fish seller said.
Thelma turned to look at
the scene, but people had crowded the supposed mad woman and her family
members. She sighed to think of how similar the woman’s condition was to Obinna’s
and she thought of how much she missed him.
Evangeline just finished
purchasing the fish when she signalled to Thelma that they head over to the
place that garri was sold and as Thelma turned to follow her, someone caught
her eye. It was her sister-in law. Thelma shouted in alarm and headed over to
the place where people were crowded and screamed aloud.
“Chi!”
The woman turned and saw
Thelma and rushed to hug her. They both started crying.
“Thelma! Where have you
been?” Chi asked.
“It’s a long story…”
Thelma said.
Chi took in Thelma’s
appearance, she was wearing ill-fitting clothes, very big slippers, and her
hair was covered with a scarf.
“Did you know about
Obiageli?”
“What happened to
Obiageli?” Thelma asked in surprise.
Her sister-in-law
pointed towards the crowd and Thelma saw Obiageli’s husband trying to carry his
wife with the help of some able-bodied men.
“She ran mad….they
said that…she took an oath and ran mad…” Thelma’s sister in-law cried.
“Oh my God!” Thelma said
and broke down in tears.
Evangeline rushed up to
them.
“Thelma, what is
happening?”
“That’s my sister
in-law….Obiageli….you saw her at the house. She’s run mad…” Thelma said
pointing to the men who were trying to carry a struggling Obiageli out of the
market.
“What? May God forbid!”
Evangeline exclaimed.

To be
continued on Sunday….

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