Grace was still busy with her chores as her phone rang.
She checked and found out that the call was from Oluba..
And a sheer smile crossed her face.
“Good evening” she greeted
“Good evening Grace, how are you?”
“I am fine, and you?”
“I am good my Darling”
And Grace said “OK” sounding shy
“Hmm, Grace, are you feeling shy?”
She smiled faintly and said : “No, I am not shy”
“But I can feel it clearly from your voice.”
“It’s not true…… So tell me, what did you eat this night?” Grace asked
“I have not eaten, but I have biscuit in the fridge, I can make do with that”
“Biscuit? Are you not hungry?” Grace asked, sounding so concerned
“Even if I’m hungry, there is nothing I can do about it, that is why I can’t wait to have you here, so that you will start taking care of me…..” Oluba said, but Grace only smiled softly, she did not respond to that statement, she was so shy on what to reply him.
And Oluba who noticed her shyness asked again: “Grace don’t tell me you are shy, it’s still me o, Oluba your friend, or am I now a stranger to you? What happened to that your voice that used to whine like oil bean?”
“Why are you saying that I’m shy? I am not, just that I don’t know what to reply you”
“OK, hope you are ready to receive me and my people tomorrow?”
“Yes, I am ready” Grace replied
“So, tell me how you are feeling about it?” Oluba asked
“Hmm, I am feeling excited about it” Grace replied casually
And Oluba who noticed the lack of intimacy in her voice decided to air his mind
“Grace, why are you still being casual with me? Please, I want you to be more romantic, OK?. Our relationship has gone beyond friendship, we are now lovers and will soon be husband and wife. Ok?”
“Oluba, if I tell you that I have not done this type of thing before, you won’t believe me, but for your sake, I am willing to adjust, I love you so much, and whatever that will make you happy is my primary priority” Grace said in her heart and then spoke up: “Honey, I don’t know how you got the idea that I’m feeling shy, but I’m telling you that I’m not feeling shy” She said with a shaky voice, listening to hear if Oluba will tease her for calling him “Honey”
“Yeah! You just called me ” Honey”, this is a good start” Oluba said
The way Oluba sounded made Grace to laughed out loudly, waking Nana from her sleep.
Nana who noticed that she just woke up from sleep screamed, thinking that it was already morning, but when she checked the time, she noticed that it was still some minutes before 10pm.
“I almost ruin everything. This sleep, I won’t allow you to deprive me of this opportunity, destroying this marriage before it matures is my primary reason of coming to this house. Just look at her, smiling and laughing with Oluba, the man that almost became my husband. She used style to take him away from me. Grace, you will never be happy for snatching my own happiness away. You will pay for all the shame and pains I had to go through for loosing a wonderful man like Oluba….. We shall still see about that. I will have to allow her to finish answering the call, then I will force her to take the bath” Nana concluded, looking bitterly at Grace who was smiling in love and joy, chatting with Oluba on the phone.
Chibugo was becoming worried on why Nana had not sent her a message concerning the task up till that moment.
“I am still yet to see Nana’s message, does it mean she has not done the task yet? I hope she has not fallen asleep, because she hardly miss sleeping by this time. I think I should send her a message, I don’t want to give chances for any mistakes” Chibugo said, and then sent Nana a message, asking her “how far” and also requested her to reply her back in order to confirm that she was still awake.
Immediately her message beeped Nana’s phone, she immediately replied that she was still on it.
“No Grace, the time to take your bath is now, no more excuses” she said in her heart and then took the portion her mother gave to her, hid it in the pocket of her short and tied a wrapper round her waist to cover it.
She then sat patiently, waiting for Grace to finish answering her call.
When Grace finished chatting with Oluba, she continued smiling as she dropped her phone..
“Nana, you are awake now? Sorry that my call interrupted your sleep” Grace pleaded
“No, you don’t have to apologize, won’t you receive your call again because I’m sleeping?.. So, are you through with the chores now?” Nana asked
“Still remaining one small thing to finish…..”
“Enough now Grace, tomorrow is an important day in your life, I don’t know why you are working yourself out. Do you want to look warn out tomorrow? You should be as beautiful as you can tomorrow. You have to be beautiful for him, just go and take your bath, we will say a very short and powerful prayer and then you sleep. The remaining chores can wait till tomorrow, or what if I help you with them? You need this prayer Grace, can’t you see how happy he is making you feel. The joy is radiating through your face, so you should do yourself the favour by protecting this marriage with prayers” Nana said, inciting Grace into taking her bath
When Grace reminisced how happy and joy Oluba made her felt when she was chatting with him over the phone, she then said: “Nana, I think you are right, just give me 5 minutes to finish up some things, I will be right back”
Nana nodded, and said OK.
10 minutes later, Grace returned and began pulling off her clothes to take her bath.
When she wrapped her towel and about heading to the bathroom.
Nana approached her and said: “Grace, tomorrow is your day, and I’m sure that when your wedding date is fixed, I will be the maid of honour, so from this moment, let me start performing my duty”
And Grace smiled calmly and asked: “And what duty is that?”
“Starting from now, I will set water for you to take your bath, arrange your clothes and do some other things for you. And in doing so, I’m also tapping from your blessing, so that one day I will get married too.” Nana said, pretending to be in a joyful mood
When Grace wanted to react to that statement, she asked her to remain still.
“So, as I’m lifting this bucket, you follow me to the Well so that I will draw water for you” Nana said, carrying the bucket, and drew Grace to follow her
Nana wanted the job to be excellent, she never created room for Grace to suspect her.
So after drawing the water, she said: ” Now, let’s get back to the bathroom”
Immediately Grace turned to her front to head towards the bathroom, she added the portion in the water.
And finally, Nana succeeded in mixing the portion in the bathing water and Grace bathed it.
The next morning, when Grace woke up, she felt her body so wet. She wondered why she was feeling so wet, as she touched her body, she felt bumps, and also noticed that her body was itching her. She then sat up, and was terrified at what she saw.
She quickly tapped Nana to wake up..
Immediately Nana saw her, she pretended to be in shock.
She ran out and called Patience.
“Mama Grace, come oh, I don’t know what is wrong with Grace. She is looking terribly sick” Nana said as Patience and her husband ran to Grace’s room and was shocked as well
Her body was filled with red rashes, dark patches and huge bumps
Grace changed completely and was unrecognizable.
Immediately Peace entered, she began screaming at Nana, that only she knew what happened to her sister.
“Mother, I warned you but you wouldn’t listen, now see the resultant effect of your blind trust”
“Peace, will you shut up your mouth! This is not the time for this nonsense. You see that your sister is sick, instead of speaking for a solution, you are here worsening it.”. Patience shunned her
“Peace, why do you hate me this much? How can I hurt Grace, after all the prayers we made last night? And besides. I was the one who severally advised her to pray against any evil plans of the enemies… Just ask your sister, just ask her, how can I hurt her when I have prayed good for her?” Nana said , shedding tears, looking at Grace who was squeezing her face in pains
“Papa, can you please take me to the hospital let’s see if I can get healed before Oluba and his family arrive” as she was still speaking, her whole body began itching terribly. When she tried to scratch, the bump burst and pus began dripping out.
“Mama, what is happening to me? Just look at me, am I going to die?” Grace screamed in pain, crying…
“No Grace, you will not die, but you will wish that you had died.. You want me to die in shame in this village, right? Let’s see how that will happen in this your terrible condition” Nana replied in her heart and then spoke up: “Papa Grace, let’s rush her to the hospital immediately, I don’t understand this kind of sickness, please let’s rush her to the doctors” Nana said, pretending to be so concerned
And later, they took her to the hospital.
To be continued
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