Jumoke was loading the printer with paper and trying to
print at the same time when the printer jammed.

“Oh crap! What sort of rubbish is this?” Jumoke almost
screamed in frustration. It was a Monday morning and instead of work to flow as
freely as she had expected it to, things were not working to her favour.

“Good morning Jumi… can you step into my office?” Bode,
her boss said through the intercom.

“Sure…” Jumoke said and leaving her desk, she headed into
his office.

Bode was standing, he had a meeting in five
minutes and he had resumed work extra early that morning to get things in order
for the meeting.

“Good morning Bode…” Jumoke said, with a straight face,
she couldn’t hide the fact that her cancelled ‘mommy and me’ day was almost
ruining her day.

“I’m off for a meeting now but I need you to do me a quick
favour. You see, Shade’s teacher called me and said that Shade is in tears
because her aunty Kemi didn’t show up, could you step in? I know it’s last
minute…” He said apologetically.

Jumoke’s face instantly brightened up.

“Yes…sure…of course…” She said.

“Errr…you can wear what you are wearing…I mean…it’s
appropriate.” He said to her.

Jumoke smiled as she remembered tossing the blue dress she had
bought over the weekend into her work bag and bringing it to work, hoping that maybe, Aunty Kemi might change her mind about coming.

“I came prepared…” Jumoke said, flashing a smile at Bode.

“You amaze me every-time!” Bode said walking up to her to
give her a hug.

“Do I?”

He tweaked the tip of her nose and said. “Yes you do!”

Jumoke giggled and rushed off from his office heading to her
desk and picking up her bag, she hurried to the bathroom to change.

*******

Mommy and Me had started and while the girls sat down in the
large school room with their mothers or female members of their families, Shade
sat somewhere at the corner looking downcast, her auntie had not shown up at
all. Suddenly, someone beautiful in blue sat beside her in the school room.
Shade’s eyes widened as she turned to look at Jumoke, she threw herself into
her arms and hugged her.

“Thank you so much for coming auntie Jumi…thank
you…thank you…” Shade whispered as she hugged Jumoke.

“You’re welcome hun…” Jumoke said as she hugged her back.

They both sat down as a elegant looking lady stepped forward
introducing herself as a counsellor and an author, she went ahead to sensitize
the girls and their mothers on sexual abuse and spoke intensively about sex, at
the end of the day, Jumoke learnt a lot, same with Shade.

 Jumoke had a question
for the woman as she stood up and quickly asked her question.

“My name is Jumoke and I am representing Shade’s mother. Can
you kindly explain the reason we should tell young girls the names of their
female genitals? Isn’t the word wee-wee good enough?”

“No it’s not! I believe that when you refer to a child’s
vagina and say, ‘that’s your wee-wee’ she gets curious and instantly knows that
there is more to it. So, it’s best to tell her that it’s her vagina and not
mince words because we call ears, nose, eyes, mouth, shoulders, legs by their proper names and these
words haven’t been coined to sound funny.”

Jumoke nodded in understanding while the lady continued her lecture.

Shade was proud that aunty Jumoke asked a question and she proudly puffed her chest while the other girls stared jealously at her for having such a smart aunt.

After some minutes, the girls and their mothers were invited to have
lunch. Jumoke was delighted by the exotic types of food displayed and she went
ahead to get some, first for Shade and then, for herself. She was just scooping
some noddle soup into her bowl when she heard the loud voice of a woman.

“Who? Who did your father call? Couldn’t he have called me
instead? I totally forgot but that doesn’t mean that he had to send someone
else to represent your mother!” The woman screamed.
Jumoke turned to see who was making such noise, the
resemblance was uncanny, it was no one else but Shade’s aunty Kemi who bore
close resemblance to her mother.

“Who did he send? Who represented your mom?” Auntie Kemi
demanded shouting at a scared Shade who was seated in the chair, eating her
rice.

Shade pointed at Jumoke who held the bowl of soup in her
hands. Aunty Kemi rushed up to Jumoke and snatching the bowl of soup from her
hand, she poured its contents on her face.

“Shameless pig! Look at you taking the opportunity that the
mother of the child is not around to shine! Useless whore!” Aunty Kemi barked.

The school security rushed up to her and tried cajoling her
to leave.

“Don’t you dare touch me!” Kemi warned, she turned back to
Jumoke who was horrified over the soup on her face which thankfully didn’t have any pepper in it.

“Listen to me and listen good! Stay away from my brother
in-law and his family. Look at the thing! You are not his type, do you hear me? You don’t even hold a touch to Tosin.” Kemi said quickly and turned to shout. “Who is the principal? Who is in charge?”
She screamed.

Some ladies walked over to drag her away from Jumoke while
others helped clean Jumoke’s face with some clean water and a piece of cloth. Shade sat and stared at
the whole scenario, in horror!

*********

Augustine put on his best behaviour as soon as he saw Susan’s family walk through the terminal at the airport. He could tell
that they were her family because Susan’s sister bore such close resemblance to
her and he had checked through Susan’s picture album at the house.

“Good afternoon sir, ma…young lady…” My name is
Augustine, I am Susan’s fiancé.

Cool eyes regarded him, Susan’s father stretched forth his
hands in a handshake.

“How are you?” Susan’s father asked.

“I am very well thank you sir.”

“Where is my daughter? Who did the useless police say she
murdered?” Her mother asked.

“It’s a long story…please come with me, my truck is
waiting at the front…I didn’t think that you all will come but since my truck is a five
seater, I’ll move my building equipments from the back to provide space for all
of you.” Augustine said.

“I would like to see my daughter please…” Susan’s father
said swiftly.

“Yes you will sir…” Augustine said, then swiftly changing
the topic he said, “I was expecting you guys on Sunday…”

“There were no flights for Sunday due to the weather.” Susan’s
sister said, eyeing him from head to toe.

“Okay…I am glad you made it all the same.”Augustine said
smiling.

Susan’s sister couldn’t place a finger on the young man’s
behaviour, he looked and sounded odd.

“Who are you if I may ask?” Susan’s sister asked.

“My name is Augustine…I am your sister’s fiancé…”

“I don’t believe you!” Susan’s sister said rudely.

“Keep quiet…let’s go and see your sister first before
trashing this issue of a fiancé or not…” Her mother cautioned.

“Why do you say that? Susan and I are a couple…” Augustine
started, sounding a bit offended.

“No way! I know my sister too well and if she was really
dating you, she’d have said it, at least to somebody…” Her sister said.

“Here we are…that’s my car parked over there.” Augustine
said, changing the topic and too annoyed to get into a word brawl with Susan’s sister.

They all got into the car and Augustine started the engine
and they drove off.

********
Susan had been seeing people all day, from the Managing
director of her company to the CEO and then to the Human Resources manager, they
had spoken briefly to her and pretended not to hear her pleas that they should help
her out of detention. Now, she sat on her cell floor watching the cockroach
climb up the wall, a police officer walked towards her cell and shouted.

“There are people to see you….it seems like you are
popular.” He said.

The gate was opened and Susan walked out of the cell, her
face was swollen and she was a sight for sore eyes.

She stepped out to the counter and was shocked to the roots
of her hair, her family stood there at the police station waiting to see her.
As soon as she saw them she burst into tears.

“Susan…my daughter…Susan…” Her mother cried,
stretching out her arms to her over the counter.

Susan hugged her mother and her dad joined in as well as her
sister. When they broke the hug, Susan wanted to ask them how they found out
where she was when she saw Augustine lurking at the corner.

“What happened? How are you being accused of murder?” Her father asked in shock.

“It’s a long story dad…”

“Are you innocent?” Her dad asked, he was the only one who
really knew how to get the truth out of her.

Susan looked away and quietly said.

“Is there anyway I can get out of here?”

“What is your company doing about this? Are they aware?” Her father asked.

“Yes and infact the MD, CEO and HR has been here this
morning….they said that they are talking this over with Tom’s family and the
expatriate community. They are scared that the news could damage the company’s reputation.” Susan burst into tears.

“I am meeting with my friend, Okwudili, who is a lawyer, as soon as
we are done here. He is based in Abuja and he has promised to look into this
case.” Susan’s father said.

“Please…tell him to help me…I am suffering here…I don’t
eat…worst thing is…I am so sick…I have told them that I had nothing to do
with Tom and they don’t believe me.” She cried.

“Shh…my baby…it will be fine…” Her mother said.

Her sister glared at her not saying anything.

“How have you been?” Susan asked her sister.

“Fine…” Her sister replied, trying to hold the tears from
falling.

“Don’t cry please….I beg you…” Susan said.

“Why shouldn’t I cry? We told you from the start that coming
to Abuja was a bad idea….look at you now…” Her sister cried.

“No need of crying over split milk!” Her father said. “Augustine
will drive me to the lawyer’s place this afternoon.”

“Who? Don’t let him come close to you!” Susan shouted.

“I told ya…that guy is scam…” Susan’s sister blurted.

Augustine appeared at the entrance to the police station and
looked at Susan.

“Do you think I don’t know? Do you think I’m that naive?
Leave my life Augustine! You have done your worst…” Susan shouted.

“Susan…baby…what are you talking about?” Augustine said
in a calm voice.

“Don’t listen to him dad, I can bet on my life that
Augustine is the reason I’m locked up behind bars.” Turning to Augustine she
said “Deny it you vagabond! The police said they received a parcel from a unknown person. You are so sneaky, Augustine!”

Augustine looked at her tenderly and said.

“I love you so much Susan. I told your parents about you and
they came over to see you, how can you repay me with such evil?”

“How did you get their number? Psychopath! You need to be
hospitalized! Get out!” Susan turned to regard her father. “Don’t you follow
him do you hear me?”

“Okay we won’t follow him, let me go and get our bags from his car.”
Her father said turning to go.

Realizing that Susan’s parents were about dumping him as
well, Augustine raced back to his car, jumped in and starting the ignition, he
drove out of the police station with Susan’s family’s bags in his truck.

“What just happened?” Susan’s father asked in shock.

“He just drove off with all our luggage…” Susan’s sister
said.

Susan shook her head in disbelief.

To be continued next week….

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7 COMMENTS

  1. Aunty Kemi to the rescue? i don't think so.
    She just pushed Jummy into the hands of her brother-in-law.
    Augustine the great, …could the police just arrest this guy na wa oooo
    Susan, your ordeals just began…

    Ada, thanks for writing and making our weekend blisful

  2. Augustine is really sick & needs help. Tosin is toying with fire as I see Bode & Jumoke becoming a couple. Nice one Ada. U are always on point. U never disappoint.

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