Rosita stood there rooted to the spot, she stared at Patricia in alarm with her mouth wide open. Patricia turned to look at her.
“Oh, I see that you’re here already. So, you couldn’t keep waiting in the sitting room huh?” Patricia said.
When Rosita didn’t reply, she continued.
“You’ve met Chuks…haven’t you? Anyway, I’ll make the introductions again since he’s now my fiancé.” Turning to face no one
Rosita stared at the empty kitchen, there was no one there except Patricia and maybe, herself since she was standing at the door.
“Chu…Chuks? Where is…?” Rosita stammered.
“Why are you stuttering?” Patricia asked. Then turned to regard the empty kitchen, she said. “Chuks darling, could you hand me a plate?” She suddenly laughed and added. “Oh…never mind…you’ll just break it anyway.”
Rosita stared at her friend and began to cry. Then, it all made sense. No wonder she had seen the real Chuks at the supermarket with a woman. Chuks wasn’t here, he was someplace else, living his life while Patricia was going senile and acting as though he was here with her.
“Are you joining us for lunch?” Patricia asked. “We are going to have a quick bite before heading to the beach.”
Rosita didn’t know what to say. How could she tell Patricia that there was no Chuks and that she was deceiving herself.
“I will…err…I will go home but…I will return.” Rosita started.
“Sure, go ahead, I don’t really need you here anyway.” Patricia answered. “If I remember correctly, you were telling me that you had a message for me, am I correct?”
“Oh…it can wait…I’ll errr…come back later.” Rosita said and fled.
She rushed out of the house and headed towards the gate when the gateman saw her and said.
“You don use eye see am abi?”
Rosita looked at him in alarm, she was still quite unnerved.
“When…did this start?” Rosita asked.
“E don tey sha…de woman be dey normal before ooo…den, she just change like say pesin use jazz slap am.”
“I really can’t believe this. Does she go to work?”
“Yes, she dey go work steady…but e be like say na when she reach house, naim her madness dey start. She be ya sister?”
“Madam, make I advice you. Find strong pesin wey fit arrange her well ooo…na so kolo dey take start. Now, you go dey reason say she still dey okay but one day, e go just do am like magic. She go pull cloth enter road.”
Rosita looked at the gate man, she was scared.
“Na devil dey use him hand to do dis kain thing. Maybe she get enemy wey nor like am…maybe naim do am dis thing.” The gate man continued.
“I’ll get help…I will be back soon…I promise.” Rosita said and rushed out of the house.
Marianna was seated in her living room and flipping through the pages of a magazine when there was a knock at her door. Cynthia went to open it and when she walked towards her, she had a scared look on her face.
“Auntie…” She said.
Marianna looked at Cynthia with a frown.
“What is it?”
“There’s a man at the door and he’s with two policemen.” Cynthia said.
“Police men? What are you talking about?”
At that moment, Robert appeared, Marianna drew in a deep breath, she was scared.
“Rob…Robert…” She stammered.
“Officers, that’s the woman…please arrest her.” He said.
The policemen walked up to Marianna with handcuffs.
“Wait! Arrest me? What for? On what grounds? Robert!” Marianna yelled in fear.
“Nothing is hidden under the sun, Marianna. To think that you could send thugs to attack me is so shameful of you!” He spat.
“Me? What…I…mean…what?” Marianna stammered.
“A few months ago, I was attacked by some men. They beat me to a pulp and I am lucky to have survived. What they didn’t know was that while they beat me, someone recorded their act and that person was the one who took me to the hospital. My Good Samaritan later showed me the video of the men and I got the police involved. After a long search, we caught up with them and right now, they are in the station.”
Marianna panicked, she couldn’t believe it. She had felt that all had been taken care of and here she was, about to be arrested for what she had done.
“They named you as the person behind the beating.” Robert said.
“Please…Robert, I can explain…I beg of you…I can explain…please let me explain…” Marianna cried.
The police officers dragged her away while Cynthia rushed off to make a call to Marianna’s husband and inform him of the happenings.
Rosita stood inside Anna’s house and paced, Anna’s husband walked into the sitting room and handed her a glass of water.
“I never expected this…I never…ever…” Rosita said with tears in her voice. “How could this have happened?”
“There must be a reasonable explanation for this.”
“I saw her…she was speaking to no one but herself…can you believe that?” Rosita cried.
“How am I supposed to do that? Patricia is my sister! I can’t bear to see her that way…I can’t…I can’t…” She cried.
“Okay…I will go with you to her house but first, I need to drop the kids off at your place so that your sister can help me keep an eye on them.” He said.
“No problem…please hurry…please.” She said.
He nodded and hurried out of the sitting room. Rosita buried her face in her palms and sobbed.
When Rosita and Anna’s husband parked their cars at her house, she was reasonably calm. Anna’s children stepped out of the car and ran upstairs to Rosita’s flat.
Rosita and Anna’s husband entered her flat and Rosita stared around in stunning silence. There were some bags in her sitting room.
“What is going on here? Sarah!” Rosita called out to her sister, wondering why the bags were in the sitting room.
The door leading to the rooms opened and her husband stepped out, he looked very remorseful and pale.
“What…what is going on here?” Rosita asked. “Why are you here…”
“I am home.” He said quietly. “Darling…I am home!”
To be continued….