It was a terrible Monday morning and Henrietta was angry and
frustrated at the same time. She asked herself over and over again why she had
accepted to come for her acceptance letter from the company where she had been
interviewed just last week by the miserable and annoying woman called Ngozi. And
to show that the new job had a bad omen attached to it, the bus which she had
boarded from her bustop to CMS suddenly developed a fault.
They were on their bumpy ride to the Island when all of a
sudden, they heard the loud burst and the car which was once moving bouncily on
the road swerved right and left before almost crashing into an electric pole at
the side of the road. The loud sighs from the passengers could be heard as many
of them who had been screaming, “Jesus!” when the car was moving like it was
controlled by breeze suddenly couldn’t wait to race out of the bus.
“No be only me waka come ooo!” One of the passengers said
while others tried to muster up a tired laugh.
They stood at the side of the road while the driver who
didn’t want to refund their monies for transport worked on the tires of his
bus. The left front tire had shredded completely, leaving only a bare covering for the wheels and
the driver dived into the boot of his bus scavenging for a spare tire. After
working on the tire for about thirty minutes, he nodded that all was well and
they all jumped back into the bus only to discover as soon as he started the
engine that the tire wasn’t fixed in properly hence, it was having difficulty
moving.
Angry and embittered, the passengers asked for their
transport fares which the driver grudgingly gave though not all of it and those
that knew their way about the axis exited through other routes. Henrietta was
left stranded at the side of the road and all the buses that drove past were
already full and she was running late. Work resumes at eight-thirty and she
almost screamed in frustration because she had woken up at five-thirty and had
left the house at six-thirty only to be trapped at the side of the road. She glanced at the time again and winced, it was
five minutes to eight am.
“Oh gosh! What time would I get to this office? And on my
first day too? I should have listened to my second instincts ooo…” She hissed.
Suddenly she heard a honk and turned towards the direction,
it was coming from a black sleek car. Her heart beat fast as she slowly
realized that her dream of marrying big was almost coming through and without
second thoughts she practically raced to the vehicle and once the window slid
down, she poked her head through the window.
“Hey pretty.” The man seated at the driver seat greeted.
“Good morning.” Henrietta greeted, faking a very confusing
British-Naija-American accent.
“Where are you headed?” The man asked.
“I’m on my way to V.I, Adeola Odeku.” Henrietta said.
“Hop in, we are going the same way.” The man said.
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Henrietta wasted no time, this was one opportunity of a
lifetime. She mentally pinched herself when she realized that she had worn her
knee-length skirt instead of the one which rode high above her knee. She also
cringed at the blouse she had worn which was not flattering or revealing at
all. Her boobs where her greatest assets and the blouse did nothing to
accentuate them. She entered the smooth car and buckled up her seat belt.
They rode for about five minutes in silence and Henrietta
wondered why the man wasn’t speaking so she decided to be a sharp babe and
initiate a conversation.
“My name is Henrietta.” She said, pronouncing her name with
a drawl so it sounded more like ‘Henrierra.’
“Oh it’s nice meeting you, my name is Jonathan.” The man
replied.
“So, where are you headed…?” Once the words left her mouth
she knew she sounded stupid, of course he was going to work.
“Well…I’m going to Victoria Island. I am going to sign a
contract for the renovation of one of my office properties.” He said.
“Really?” Henrietta asked with eyes wide open. “Your company
owns properties? Are you in real estate?”
“Hahaha…” The man laughed. “The properties are mine…they are
actually my dad’s but he’s on a business trip so…” The guy said, sounding bored
as though he had made this explanation a thousand times before.
Henrietta couldn’t believe it, he was rich, super-duper
rich! The kind of man she had always wanted from the world go! She quickly
glanced at his left hand and she sighed in relief when she saw no signs of a
wedding band. Immediately, she knew she had to throw in the ‘how to catch the
guy’ moves that she had learnt from Cosmo! Smiling slyly, she crossed her legs
and placed her palms on her knee. It wasn’t really the ideal posture because
just at that moment, Jonathan swerved sharply as he had almost bumped into a huge
truck and Henrietta lost the posture within seconds as she grappled the edges
of the car seat for her dear life.
“Sorry about that. It was clumsy of me.” Jonathan
apologized.
“It’s fine…thank you for apologizing.” She squeaked.
“So how was your weekend?”
“It was good, I was basically lazing about the house…you
know…not that I’m lazy or anything but you know how it is on weekends. Besides
this is my first day of work…officially.”
“Oh really? That’s nice. Congrats.”
“Thank you…so tell me about yourself. Not many men would
stop to pick up damsels in distress you know…”
That was where Henrietta’s encounter began with Jonathan,
she laughed at his dry jokes and kept smiling like one whose teeth was on
advertorial display, while he studied her and knew right away that she was
naïve.
*****
“Aren’t you going to work today? Ade?”
“Awww mommy! Please let me sleep for five more minutes.” Ade
whined.
“It’s almost nine am you know?” Her step-mother said.
“What!’ Ade screamed and lunged for the alarm clock which
sat beside her huge bed. “Why didn’t you wake me up?” Ade sulked.
“Because you didn’t tell me to besides, I just checked up on
you because your dad said I should tell you that he’s coming home today from
his business trip.”
“Oh yay!” Ade said not sounding enthusiastic at all.
“I’m going to supervise the cook in the kitchen, I will not
tolerate the kind of Efo-riro that he cooked yesterday. It was full of sand.”
Said her step-mother as she left Ade’s room.
Ade’s house was impressive, not only was it built to
perfection, it spoke of high-class and taste. Ade’s room had an Aqua-theme,
from the walls to the curtains, Persian rugs and bedding, everything was blue. The mini aquarium in her room boasted of three gold fishes which she named, Minnie, Mannie and Mo. 
She hissed quietly as she remembered why she was so sad. Emeka hadn’t called
her since last week, after she stormed out of his house. She remembered leaving his house and running home to cry herself to sleep. Even her
family who knew her to be the rambunctious one, felt that there was a sparkle
missing from her eyes, not only was she moody, she snapped at everyone that
crossed her path. Picking up the phone, she dialed the home staff quarters.
“Good morning Miss Ade.” One of the helps greeted.
“Why hasn’t my driver called me to tell me that he’s here?”
Ade asked.
“He isn’t here yet ma.” The help answered.
“How come? It’s almost nine o’clock. I only told him to take
my car to the mechanic yesterday and make sure he brought it back this morning.
How come he isn’t here yet?”
“I’m sorry ma but I have no idea.” The help replied.
Ade hissed and hung up, she brought out her phone from her
wallet on her side stool and checked it. There were five missed calls, hoping
and praying with all her heart that the missed calls were from Emeka, she
clicked to view the caller ID. Behold, it was Bola her cousin.
“What kind of stupidity is this? What is she calling me for
this time?” Ade snapped and throwing her phone on the bed, she jumped off the
bed and headed to the bathroom.
She emerged minutes later, toweling her hair and body when
the intercom buzzed. She hurriedly picked up the phone and when the voice at
the other end of the phone came through she ranted.
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“Jonathan! How many times do I have to tell you that I am
not a slow person? I am late for work all because of you. If you knew that you will be delayed at the mechanic shop on the mainland, why didn’t you
call me to tell me that?”
“I am sorry madam…the traffic was too bad. I left the
mainland at seven am and…”
“Oh…will you shut up and bring my keys upstairs. My cousin
wants to borrow you for the day so I’ll be driving to the office on my own. If
you finish with him on time, please come back to my office and wait for me. I
need you to run some errands.” Ade said.
Hanging up the phone, Ade shook her head in disgust, she needed a new driver, Jonathan was already growing wings, she could hear that from his sly tone of voice.
****
Photo Credit: Mark Hall
Henrietta was so giddy with excitement! Jonathan had given
her his number and promised to keep in touch. ‘So this is how I’ll leave this
miserable life of mine and transcend into the arms of Jonathan and live in his paradise
all the days of my life’ she thought.
She had resumed work an hour ago and was still waiting for
her boss to arrive, the other units were already buzzing with noise and she was
still seated at the desk beside the entrance to Ngozi’s office. Suddenly, Ngozi
sauntered up the stairs, her bags were carefully carried by the one of the
messengers who walked ahead of her.
“Good morning Madam.” Henrietta greeted.
“Hmmm…” Ngozi replied absent mindedly.
Henrietta stared at the formerly intense woman who had made
life a living hell for her last week and was shocked. The lady looked a shadow
of her former self. She seemed to have lost weight and even though she tried to
hide it with excess make-up, she had huge bags under her eyes. She entered the
office with the messenger and after the messenger had dropped the bags and
left, the door was kicked shut.
Ngozi fell on her chair and held her head with her palms.
She had not slept for days and some of her belongings still nested at the booth
of her vehicle. The weekend was long and hard as Nduka who had chased her away
from his house went on a short trip with his fling and still hadn’t returned. She
knew this because after he had chased her away from the house, she had gone
nowhere. She had housed herself in her car and immediately she noticed that
Nduka and the girl were on their way out on a short trip due to the duffel bags they carried, she waited till they left the house
and using her spare key, she found her way back into the house, promising
herself that she would never leave it again for any reason even if it meant
Nduka, killing her. That was on Saturday morning and the neighbourhood was still asleep.
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In the afternoon, after she had roamed around the house aimlessly, while crying over Nduka’s
betrayal, she suddenly remembered a mythical shrine where she had visited with one of her friends some years ago. Kate, her former colleague and friend who
had moved to the United States two years ago had been the customer of the
mysterious owner of the shrine. It was the potions that the woman mixed for Kate that kept her relationship with her then boyfriend, Femi, alive and strong.
Ngozi quickly ran downstairs and jumped into her vehicle while she rummaged
through her mind as she tried to remember the address of the woman. Ngozi at
that time had followed Kate to the woman’s place on three occasions and even
though she never went into the woman’s home, she couldn’t forget the streets
leading to the place. Luckily she found the place and proceeded down the dirty
streets in search of the magical woman who everyone in the vicinity knew for fixing broken pots when
in actual fact, that was a camouflage as her specialty was fixing broken
relationships. Ngozi recounted her experience at the woman’s place and cringed to think that she had
gone through all that just because she wanted her man back. She remembered the
look on the woman’s face immediately she saw her.
“Hmmm…seat down. I know what you are looking for but it’s is
a difficult one…” The woman had murmured.
“Please ma…you are my last resort. When my friend brought me here, years ago I never knew that I would come but here I am,
tired, wounded and hurt. I need my man back, please.” Ngozi had cried.
“Someone has taken possession of him, someone strong and
powerful.” The woman said. “But that person is not too strong for me, Jelia!”
The woman said beating her chest with her palms.
“Please what can I do? I want him back! I cannot live
without him…he is my soul mate…my heart’s desire…” Ngozi continued.
“Shhhh…go and bring his singlet and some hair from his head
then, bring yours too. I need your bra and some of your pubic hair…I will mix
the potion for you tonight. Wherever he is, he must come back home to you
whether he likes it or not.”
“Thank you ma, I’ll go and bring it…” Ngozi said, already on
her feet.
“While you are at it, I need the tongues of three vipers and
four crocodile eggs.” Jelia supplied.
Ngozi’s eyes widened in disbelief.
“This is Lagos! Where would I get that from?” Ngozi asked.
“Well…if you can’t get them, they cost twenty thousand naira
for each item so drop the money and I’ll get back to you with the items.”
“But ma, twenty thousand naira for each item is too much. I have spent all I
have already.” Ngozi said remembering how much she had spent buying Nduka’s
birthday gifts.
“Do you or don’t you want your man back?”
“I want him back desperately.” Ngozi answered.
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“The ball is in your court…play wisely.” Jelia said.
Ngozi had left the place feeling tired and embittered, she
had no idea where to raise the money from and she looked so disheveled that she
didn’t want to go and ask any of her friends because they would see her in her
bedraggled state. At that moment she remembered that she still had the gift
items that she had bought for Nduka as he hadn’t taken them with him on his
trip. She rushed back home and picking up the items, she took them back to the
store where she bought them. The shop keepers were kind people, they refunded
her the money and collected the items. With that already in hand, she gathered
all the items Jelia had asked her to bring and hurried back to the shrine.
Something told her that it wasn’t the best idea to bring Nduka back with magic
medicine but another side of her argued that it was the best idea ever.
Jelia mixed the potion and told her how to use it. She was
to share the potion in three places and sprinkle the first part round the house, use the
second part to bath for three days and pour the last part in his food. Ngozi
had done the first two parts and now, she was waiting for Nduka to return inorder to complete the last part. Hopefully, the charms she had sprinkled around
the house and used to bath will work positively on Nduka before he eats the
food she’ll prepare with the last potion.
The knock at her door resounded again and Ngozi beckoned to whoever it was at the door and Henrietta stepped in.
“Ma, there’s someone here to see you.” Henrietta said quietly.
She had been seating at the desk outside Ngozi’s office door and waiting for
her boss to call her in for briefing when the intercom had buzzed with the
receptionist at the other end of the line. The receptionist had informed her
that someone was looking for Ngozi and Henrietta, eager to please had hurried
to Ngozi’s office to inform her.
“Who is it?” Ngozi asked.
“The receptionist says, it’s Nduka.” Henrietta replied.

Ngozi stood up slowly
from her seat and felt the edges of her mouth form a huge smile.

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10 COMMENTS

  1. Mehn! This Ngozi girl is in over her head already…
    On no occasion should you use magic to win a man's heart. What's happening with people? C'mon!
    Ade is such a funny character, I like her a lot. If she were real, I would love to meet her.
    Henrietta please focus on your job…u go wound ooo…
    Nice work Ada, you are doing a great job! I'm hooked.

  2. I can't wait for the next episode. This Ngozi girl mehn,i just can't deal…well let's see how far it all goes. lol@ Henrietta and Jonathan

  3. I can't wait for the next episode. This Ngozi girl mehn,i just can't deal…well let's see how far it all goes. lol@ Henrietta and Jonathan

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