“Oh Lord, I am now crazy, seriously I am, what is wrong with me? I can’t bear this alone, I need to call my mother and inform her about this” Rose said, dialing her mother’s number.
“No, I shouldn’t call her, this will add to the list of her worries. And I can’t even call Okeoma, that one will not have any reasonable thing to say. My appearance disgusted her the last time we met in school. What am I going to do now? Yes, I should look for a public toilet around and take a bath. Yes, I can’t be smelling like this. See how people are looking at me as if I’m a ghost. They can’t stand the stench, I should leave from here, I need to find a public toilet, as for the prayers, I am done with it.” Rose lifted her bag, searching for a place to wash.
The moment she stepped away from where she was standing, Nduka and Mekus arrived.
They searched the entire place, but they couldn’t find her.
“Mekus, she is not here, did you hear me? She is not here.” Nduka panicked
“Nduka wait, I can still perceive her stench, you can perceive it too, right?”
“Yes, yes…which means she was here. But how are we going to locate her now?” Nduka asked, looking so worried
“Nduka why not try her number one more time to know if she will answer?” Mekus suggested
“OK, let me call her” Nduka agreed, bringing out his phone.
And Rose answered.
“She answered” Nduka whispered to Mekus and then continued
“Beauty, where are you? I just went to a big boutique and spent huge sums of money to buy different designer wears for
you, but you are nowhere to be found. You shouldn’t have left without letting me know, don’t tell me you will not be a respectful wife after marriage, don’t tell me this is who you really are” Nduka stylishly acted so concern and in love.
“No Nduka, if you are trying to make me return to that house, no way. Did you hear me? I said, “No way”. And as for the prayers, I am done with it” Rose revealed her stance
On hearing her utterances, Nduka felt his stomach swallowing his heart. His voice became coarsely shaking, as he tried to attack her verbally over the phone.
“Nduka, just calm down, don’t shout at her” Mekus whispered
So he continued: “Beauty, I never knew you are this wicked, you don’t have a human heart. Do you think the prayer was so easy for me? You are not even considering me at all. I had to suck dirty vag just for your own protection, but you are not showing any appreciation. Do you think you are the only one seeing strange things? I see them too, just that I have to remain cool as the man I am, so as not to create unnecessary tensions for you.”
“Don’t you get it, I love you so much, I don’t want to loose you, that’s why I can go to any length just for your happiness. Now see all the gifts I bought for you, you really need to see them, this is to tell you how far I can go to make you happy.”
“Beauty, do you know how badly you are smelling, but yet I dip my mouth in there to lick out anything that dripped out of it, just to make sure that my woman is far from harm’s way, but you, what are you doing? Giving me unnecessary headaches, searching for you, making sure we don’t skip a day as the man of God instructed. Beauty, if you are not scared of getting harmed, I am for you. My heart will break into pieces if anything should happen to you, that’s why I’m preventing it from happening”
And again, Rose felt warmed, as her melted and she said: “Honey, I am not saying that you don’t love me, I love you too and I appreciate the wonderful sacrifices you are doing for me, just that, I can’t stay in that house any more, I will come only if you agree to take me to another place, or maybe lodge in a hotel.”
Rose was answering the call, observing passersby furrowing their faces, as the stench hit their nostrils..
Some even ran away from the spot she was standing.
“Nawao! I’m still wondering what I have turned myself into.” Rose wondered in her heart, forgotten she was still on phone.
“Hello! Beauty, are you there? Tell me where you are right now. I am coming to get you, we will look for another place to stay as you requested, agree?”
“Yes, agreed” Rose replied and told him the exact spot she was standing.
“Good, don’t move an inch OK, you will see me soon” Nduka requested
“Alright, I am waiting for you” Rose replied
“Mekus, start the engine, I know where she is, please be fast before she changes her mind” Nduka shivered
“Good” Mekus replied as they hurriedly entered the car and spade off.
Rose was still standing waiting for Nduka when her phone rang and it was her mother.
She answered and noticed that her voice was breaking.
“Mother, are you crying?”
“My daughter, its your father. I don’t know what is happening to him o, he is requesting to see you, that if he did not see you, he will die. Rose, I want you to enter the next available bus and come to the village. Your father has refused to eat anything. He is dying slowly” the mother said, crying
And Rose’s heart flipped on hearing “dying slowly”
“Mother, don’t cry, God is in control. Nothing will happen to father, I am coming to the village right away, so don’t cry, OK?”
“Please come quick my daughter.”
“Alright Mama, I am on my way”
Rose loved her parents so much, especially her father. She was willing to do anything just for his sake. At that moment, nothing mattered to her more than seeing her father. She immediately concluded traveling to the village
After the call ended, the way her mother sounded over the phone pierced her heart, and she became drenched with
fear of loosing her father.
“No father, please don’t leave us yet. I’m coming to the village right away, and I know that, you will get well once you see me” Rose said, flagging down a bike that will take her to her hostel to get some of her things.
She was trying to stop a bike, but it was proving so difficult. The moments they tried to stop, the odour oozed right to their nostrils, and they zoomed off immediately, without waiting to hear her out.
“No bike will agree to carry me, I have to wash myself, especially, my private parts” Rose said, turning around and saw a small boy who selling a sachet water.
She called out for him, and the boy heeded.
N100 pure water, hope the one you are carrying is up to 100 own?” Rose asked
Just then the boy covered his nose and said: “Anty, something is smelling here, are you not perceiving it?”
She became weak, looking at the boy.
“What is your name my dear?” She asked
“Okey” the pure water boy answered
“Good, so Okey, I want to tell you a secret. Did you know that I fell inside a pit toilet?”
“Huh!” The boy shocked, gazing at her whole body.
And Rose continued: “So I want to tell you something, I am the one smelling. But I will need your favour.”
Rose was still discussing with the boy, as Mekus and Nduka drove closer to the spot she was standing.
“So of what help will I be to you?” The boy asked
“Please, I want you to stand guard for me at that place, so that I will wash my leg and face, can you do that for me?”
“Offcourse Ma, you need to wash yourself because you are smelling so badly” The boy replied
So Rose bought all his satchet water, and went behind an uncompleted building that was close to the place she was standing.
“Oh, I will need a soap” she said and then gave the boy 200 to help her buy a soap at a shop that was closeby.
Immediately the boy stepped away, to get the soap, Mekus and Nduka arrived the place.
They searched for her, but couldn’t find her. He then tried her number, but Rose was not able to answer because she didn’t hear it, her phone was inside her bag which she placed on the floor.
They stood for some minutes, but Rose was no where to be found.
“Nduka, look, can you see the uncompleted building over there? Maybe that’s the placed she told you she is standing”
Mekus suggests looking at Nduka who was already feeling worried.
“Mekus, but why is she not answering her call?”
“Nduka, don’t tell me you are becoming worried unnecessarily?”
“Mekus, tell me, why won’t I? When my life is on the line here. I don’t know why Oshimiri instructed me not to force her, otherwise, I would have dealt with her mercilessly for dishonouring my warnings.”
“Nduka, you have to take it easy and concentrate on getting her.” Mekus said as Rose’s stench oozed out.
“But wait a minute, did you perceive that?” Mekus asked
“I mean Beauty, Which means she is near by.”
“But where is she? I can’t find her anywhere.” Nduka replied, looking around.
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The author of Dirty Sleep: Ngozi Lovelyn O.