Okwuchi had reached Nkechi’s place and began calling the man on phone.
“Hello Baba” she first greeted, swallowing her breath.
And Nkechi signalled her to continue speaking.; “Come on speak, stop holding back your words” she whispered
And Okwuchi nodded, looking tensed.
“Baba, it’s me Okwuchi, the woman you gave charm for her daughter Inlaw” she paused, listening to hear what the man will say.
“Okwuchi, what is it? Speak up woman” the herbalist ordered in a deep rude voice and that made Okwuchi to become uncomfortable.
She thought that the man will scold her for making a mistake and also strike her dead on the process and she then disconnected the call.
“What? You ended the call, but why?” Nkechi asked, looking confused
“Nkechi, that man is sounding wicked. I rather deal with whatever happens to Ogechi than his anger”
“Seriously, you amaze me. How did you know that he is angry?”
“You needed to hear how he sounded over the phone, I was already feeling his rage. Maybe, I made a mistake in the way I prepared the charm, that was why Ogechi collapsed. So I better not implicate myself by revealing my stupid mistake to him”
“Okwuchi, you can’t stop amazing me with your foolishness. You were the one who raised the idea of calling him, so why behaving like a child now? You should have explained things to him first before concluding on anything. Now, you have missed our chance of finding out what happened to Ogechi. Okwuchi, I have told you, I just don’t want to stain my hands with blood.”
“Nkechi, I know what your fears are, but I promise you, Ogechi will not die ”
“What do you mean promise me? Listen to your self speaking as if you have her life in your hands”
“The only option we have is to be hopeful. Let’s have faith, she won’t die. She can’t just die like that. I need her alive so I can kick her out of my son’s life in one piece, so that my son doesn’t have to suffer after loosing her”
“What do you mean by that?”
“Don’t you know that if she dies, my son will suck himself mourning over her. Weeping for her death and it might take time before he gets over her death. So I don’t want to see my only son in that awful situation”
“Hmm, you are not even considering the life of that girl, you are here worrying about your son.. You are just too much, Okwuchi..” Nkechi sighed
“Urm, my friend, I think I better go back to the house now before my son returns”
“You are not calling the man again?”
“No, I’m not calling him again. That man’s voice scares me” she said beginning to head back to her house.
When Ndubuisi arrived the hospital, Ogechi was having a heart flip that he will check his wallet, she then began looking for a way to put the money back.
She found herself fighting with her heart, just that the Kleptomania spirit was getting a strong hold of her.
“Lord, definitely, there is something wrong with me.” She was still wondering and another urge to steal came again.
“Huh! Another one? What is all these… This is not me naa, when did I become an addict?”
Just then, Ndubuisi alighted, asking her to get down.
And she did, began looking around, searching for what to steal, but nothing was on sight.
When they entered inside, they were informed that the doctor was not around, and that, they had closed.
“Close? But this is a hospital, does hospital close?” Ndubuisi blurted
“My husband, I told you, this is village, don’t expect more from them.” Ogechi said, rejoicing in her heart that Ndubuisi won’t be checking his wallet that moment.
“God I thank you for this.. Please help me and figure out what is wrong with me, because this is not ordinary” she silently prayed in her heart.
“Honey, I think you are right about all these unequipped village hospitals. Thank God that Mama is feeling better now, we will leave this village tomorrow, so I can take you to a better hospital. Because what happened to you this evening is enough reason to get me worried” Ndubuisi said
“Yes Honey, so let’s go” Ogechi said, rushing Ndubuisi for them to leave before the urge push her into snatching somebody’s thing.
When they returned to the house, they did not meet anybody at home.
“Where is Mama? She is not here? Where could she have gone to?” Ndubuisi got worried
“Don’t you think she could be at Ma Nkechi’s house?” Ogechi asked
“I thought she is sick, she still had the strength to go there?” Ndubuisi asked
“Maybe, it was because she was feeling lonely that was why she left” Ogechi suggested
“Hmm, you may be right. Let me go and get her then” but as he was about to leave, he sighted Okwuchi opening the gate
“Ow, she is here…” He said
“Ndubuisi my son, I have been calling your number but not reachable. Where is Ogechi, my beautiful daughter?”
“See her over there” Ndubuisi said pointing towards Ogechi’s direction.
“Oh my daughter.. You really got me scared. I thought I have lost you.. Oh Lord, I thank you for saving her. How are you feeling now? Did the nurses inject you? Hope it’s not painful” Okwuchi asked, sounding so concerned.
“No Mama, I’m perfectly OK now. The doctors did not even get the chance to inject me” Ogechi explained
“But how did you get healed?”
And Ndubuisi then narrated how everything happened.
“So that is it Mama, tomorrow morning, I’m taking her to one of the hospitals in the city. The one in this village does not work at all”
“You are right my son, she needs the best treatment. Please, I don’t want anything to happen to my daughter.” She said, pretending to be crying.
“Aww, don’t cry Mama, your daughter is fine now.” Ogechi said, trying to make her to stop crying.
“Ogechi, over my dead body will I allow my son to take you to any good hospital, so you want to squander his money? I won’t allow that to happen. Let’s see how tomorrow goes.” She said in her heart.
“And by the way Mama, where were you coming from?”
“I got tired of waiting for your calls after trying your number countless times. So I went to my friend’s place to get consoled because I was getting scared that something had happened to Ogechi”
“You got worried unnecessary Mama. Thank God she is fine now” Ndubuisi said.
So later in the midnight, Ogechi who was in deep sleep got interrupted by the urge again. It was as if somebody tapped her to wake up.
“That feeling again? Lord, help me, what is wrong with me?” She was still praying for help and the charm pushed her up from the bed and took her to her mother in-laws room. It took her straight to the place Okwuchi kept her money. And she then tiptoed back to her room with the money in her hand and then went back to sleep.
Okwuchi who felt a sound woke up immediately and saw a human figure leaving her room.
“Wait, is that not Ogechi? OK, if I hear the screeching sound of their door, then I will know she is the one” she said and then began listening closely..
“Oh my! It was her. It was Ogechi. She came to my room, but for what? Is it to check up on me? No, I don’t think so. If it was to check up on me, she would have switched on the torch light to see my face or could it be she came to steal my money? Ooow, the charm worked? It worked.. I can’t believe it, because, according to Baba, the charm will be leading her straight to the places money or things to be stolen are kept… OK, let me check my money. I hope she doesn’t touch my money. She should be stealing her husband’s things and not mine. Anyway, let me check first.”
And lo and behold, all her money were missing.
“What? She took my money? She took my money? No Ogechi, I need that money back…. You should be stealing only from your husband and not from me” She said, heading straight to Ndubuisi’s room to grab the money back from her but realised she was about making a mistake.
“Okwuchi, are you alright? Is that not what you wanted? At least, my son will get to know about her new nature and then my money will return to me after they search it out from her.” She paused, laughing… “Ow, this is so interesting. Ogechi, I can’t wait to see your face when you will be finally get thrown out of this house for stealing from your mother Inlaw. Who knows where she will hide it? It will be in her bag off course. So her bag is the first place to search it. This is good news, I can’t wait to share it with Nkechi my friend, our efforts have been paid off. We were only worried for nothing”
To be continued
Mama Why? By Ngozi Lovelyn O.
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