‘Edna’ I heard my friend who was our neighbour’s maid, Alice call out.
I smiled roughfully, Alice came too late, they came too late. Adieu Mon Amir. I said as I slipped into oblivion.
I felt it very cold in my arms. It was as if my arm had been placed in a deep freezer. It was soothing.
I opened my eyes to find myself on the bed. Alice bent over me with her tears drenched face.
What’s wrong with her?
I looked around and found no one else. The room was quite dim and I wondered what was wrong.
‘Alice.’ I called out to her.
It was then I noticed she was the one that was applying something on my hand.
‘Ah Edna, you are awake. My God is the Almighty’ she rejoiced as she hugged me slightly.
A part of my head ached and I cringed ‘Switchedon the light please.’ I said and she stood up, moved to the window drapes and pulled them down.
She afterwards switched on the light and tiptoed to my side.
‘What happened?’ I asked as I saw awe in her face.
She smiled happily. ‘When I saw you after falling, the look on your face said “Oh bye bye. Till we meet at Jesus feet” I was so scared’ she said and I looked lost.
What was she saying?
I tried to stand and then I couldn’t. I felt pain all over my body and I tried to recollect what had happened. ‘What happened?’ I asked again as I saw my hand heavily coated in a whitish substance. She looked at me so caringly ‘That’s Ogi, I mean akamu. . . pap. . . you get? My madam said it’s good for burns’ she said. ‘Burns? Do I have any burns’ I asked and she looked lost.
She came close and held my face in her hands like a mother holding her infant. ‘You can’t remember anything?’ she asked and I nodded. She gasped sadly.
‘My madam said it o. . . That since you banged your head against the bed, you might suffer from concussion. Is her word coming to pass already?’ she was almost crying.
‘What happened exactly?’ I had to asked again, I had to remember so vividly ‘My madam was going to work and I helped her carry her bag. She was about to go when we heard a very loud cry from upstairs. We ran upstairs and found the door locked. Your mother didn’t open the door till after a while when my madam threatened to call the police.’
I didn’t get enough details.
I was still in the dark.
‘So?’ I asked.
I wanted more information.
I couldn’t afford to be in the dark.
‘We hurried to your room and you were on the floor, your eyes half opened with regretful smile on your face. My madam asked your mother what had happened and they have gone to discuss outside.’ she said and I shook my head as tears ran down my face. I felt the hotness of my tears against my skin, I could remember so clearly what had happened. ‘So why Ogi?’ I asked and she smiled ‘My madam said she should take you to the hospital but your mother said they might ask for police report before attendingto you and she can’t afford police wahala. So, she said Ogi is also good.’ she exclaimed. Tears welled up in my eyes as I remembered it all, so all she could afford was Ogi? Who can I run to now in heaven and on earth?. ‘But Edna, what happened this time around?’ she asked as I tried sitting up. I felt pain in my right side and she quickly supported me. ‘Thank God it’s just a two degree burn. My madam said three degree burn would have required plastic surgery’ she said again.
‘I don’t care if it’s one or two or three degree burn Alice! I would have preferred a seven degree death. I should have died!’ I cried out again as thick phlegm clocked my throat, causing my voice to be croaky, she looked at me, her eyes bulging out, ‘What happened? You want to die?’ she asked in a baby like voice that sounded like cat’s voice in Sam and Cat.
I nodded vigorously.
Two weeks later. . .
I had become the shadow of myself. I didn’t care about the way I looked any more. I didn’t care who looks at me or who doesn’t. I still followed them to their church but my ears are always plugged with ear piece that if any usher comes around to stop me, I would show such person the stuff I was made of. I remembered one occasion when I was seated amongst the congregation in the adult section of the church. An usher came to my side and pulled me with such force that I had to bite her hand. What sort of a woman does that.
‘I am a lady myself and not a small girl. That I am a pastor’s daughter doesn’t mean you can drag me however you like?’ I screamed into her ears. She was a very short woman so it was easy to speak straight to her ears, she was shaken by what I said to her that she staggered before pulling my ears.
‘Your dad must hear this’ she said as she pulled me out of the auditorium since I was already becoming a distraction to the church as Pastor Emeka, one of the pastors of the church was busy talking about ‘Obedience’. I didn’t care no more.