THE HOUSEMAID DISASTER
With one last look at Adaora, Ngozi opened the door wide for her to enter.
Adaora took time observing the wide parlour. She couldn’t remember when last she was in that parlour.
She forced out a little smile on seeing their father’s old picture hanging somewhere on the wall with other frames. Ngozi had begged her husband to allow her put it there so she can always remember him with it.
Adaora reached for it and rubbed her hands across it. She developed hatred for him when he gave almost all he had to Ngozi and only but few to her.
She turned her face to Ngozi who kept staring at her and went back to where she was sitting.
Ngozi went in and soon emerged with a glass of cold water for her. She lifted the glass of water, stole a glance at Ngozi and gulped it down.
Ngozi was sitting on the large sofa while Adaora sat on a separate one. Adaora retreated to ponder in her heart whether to unravel the heavy secret. She knew it wasn’t something Ngozi would take easy with.
“I must start by apologising to you. I have done you harm time without number out of envy. We both know it all started after our father’s will was revealed” Adaora began.
Ngozi nodded, waiting patiently for her to bring up her daughter issue as she stressed out earlier. What is it about Angela she wants to say?
“The reason why i am here is because of your daughter”Adaora revealed again.
“Not Angela”Adaora answered.
“Then who? How many daughters do i have?” Ngozi was loosing her patience.
“I know you have the right to even strangle me to death or report me to the police if you choose to be merciful but i have to say it. She has suffered untold hardship with me. I derived no joy from her suffering. I wished i could give her the better life you would have given her but instead she work day and night wearing herself out inorder to get money to buy me drugs……”
“Who are you talking about?” Ngozi interrupted her.
“Many years ago, a baby girl was taken away from you by some armed men. I had a hand in it” Adaora dropped the bombshell.
Ngozi stood up on her feet with eyes as sharp as the sun, coming close to her.
Adaora stood up too, not to fight her back if she comes for a fight but to defend herself from her if she does so. And just like she guessed, Ngozi fell upon her like the falling olympus, tearing and pulling at her clothes and hair.
Mr uwa returned just then and beheld the unholy sight. He quickly drew out his wife. Adaora made no attempt of retaliation and it came clear to him that Ngozi was the one fighting her. Though she was the one shedding tears.
“What is going on here?” He demanded,looked at his wife for an explanation but when he saw she wasn’t going to say anything he turned to Adaora, wondered what might have prompted her coming to his house in the first place.
Adaora composed herself together. Those punches really gave her great pains.
“I need you to undestand and forgive me,” Adaora drawled, “Your daughter’s maid is your daughter but now, she is in a situation that i cannot help her… but you can. You can stop her from going to prison with your wealth and influence”
Ngozi felt her heart ache. Heat suddenly filled her body. That young woman, her daughter?
The car pulled up in front of the police station. Mr uwa, his wife and Adaora came down and went inside the station.
One of the policemen took them to Sonia,who was surprised to see Angela’s parents there. She thought they must have heard what she did.
Mrs Ngozi held her face and looked into her eyes. Those eyes looked exactly like Angela’s. Her lips look exactly like her own lips. She fought the threatening tears and locked Sonia in a thight embrace, keeping her heart racing.
Sonia couldn’t grab anything, her confusion got to it’s climax.
“Mom what is happening?”She turned to Adaora.
“Relax, We are going to make sure you come out of here. We are going to hold talks with the necessary personnels. We are also going to contact that lady behind all these” Mr uwa assured her.
“I shot her this morning” Sonia whispered to them.
“You shouldn’t have done that. You are not a murderer” Mr.uwa broke the silence Sonia words created.
“Don’t worry about anything. We are going to see if she’s dead or alive” Ngozi held her close again, leaving her in the wildest of imaginations,”oh your hair looks ruffled” Ngozi produced a comb from her handbag and ran it severally over Sonia’s natural hair, making sure some of the hair got caught in the comb.
After that,she left with her husband.
“Mom?” Sonia looked into her mother’s eyes for some sort of explanation.
“One thing i want you to know is that i am only human but what i am doing now is for your own good. Don’t worry, you would soon get to understand” Adaora said,trying to hide the guilt in her eyes.
As soon as Mr.uwa left the station with his wife, he brought out his phone and dialled the family doctor’s line.
“Doctor Ben. I am coming over. I need you to run a DNA test for me”
“My daughter.. its time to come home” Ebere heard the voice. She saw her calling on her. It took her sometime to realise it was her mother.
Oh, how she missed the woman. The cold hands of death snatched the woman away from her when she was still very young, leaving her under the care of her relations.
“Come my daughter. Come” She smiled again, smiling pleasantly.
“I am coming mommy. I am coming” Ebere said happily running up to her.
Ebere felt someone tapping her. She opened her eyes only to find herself on the hospital bed. She had been day dreaming. One of her house neighbour was beside her. She was the one who tapped her, hearing her talk in her dream.
Ebere winced and moaned painfully as she tried to shift on the bed. Her eyes darted to her shoulder which was dressed with bandages and white cloth. The memories of how Sonia had shot her flashed through her.
She dropped her raised head back on the pillow.
“I’m sorry ok? The doctor said you will get better. They have removed the bullet already” her neighbour told her.
Ebere nodded. She couldn’t believe she was still alive.
Just then, she saw Angela’s parents, Adaora and another neighbour of hers enter the room. Her heart skipped a beat.She thought they have come to finish her up for having a hand in the kidnapp of their precious daughter.
At first, Mrs Ngozi couldn’t believe it was Ebere, the only good friend of her daughter, who kidnapped Angela and even went as far as wanting to kill her. Angela had pleaded with them not to involve the police.
However, they have found it as a perfect opportunity to persuade Ebere to retrace all her steps against Sonia.
Ebere eyed the woman who brought them to her, calling her ‘over sabi sabi’ in her mind but the woman was not to blame afterall. Her fears were clearly written all over head as she fidgeted uncomfortably on the bed.
Mr uwa cleared his throat and asked Ebere if she could tell her two friends to excuse them. Ebere signaled to them to please give them a little privacy.
“Why do you want to kill my daughter?” Ngozi asked her with distate.
“It’s between the both of us” Ebere answered shamefully, confused about their visit which looked like a peaceful one. How could they be easy with her when she tried killing her daughter.
“What actually do you have against Sonia?” Mr uwa asked.
“It was between the both of us too but now, its known. She is murderer” Ebere replied.
“What exactly did you tell the police?” Adaora threw another question at her.
“Just exactly what i said. She is a murderer” She maintained.
“What evidence have you given them?” Mr Uwa asked her.
“I haven’t given them any evidence yet, but i’m sure i have one. Sonia cannot deny it” Ebere answered him.
“You must withdraw that case immediately or else, you would also face the law for kidnapping my daughter” Mr uwa threatened her.
Ebere kept quiet, different thoughts racing through her. She felt empty and miserable. How was she going to live again knowing she tried to kill her friend but failed? The thought of getting her again for the ‘dibia’ never crossed her mind.
She soon heard herself sniffing. From simple sniffing, she bursted into a loud cry.
“Just look at me…am i not getting older by the day? Are my mates not married? I am 32…will any man ever…”Ebere coughed in between her loud sobs. Her rate at which her tears flowed could make one believe they would fill a bucket.
“Some one told me it was Angela who told mike about my lifestyle, telling him the ones i did and the ones i didnt do. I was forced to believe because she swore with her life that she was telling me the truth. I decided to take revenge on her” Ebere cried, regretting everything she did.
“How could you believe such a story?”
“please forgive me. I am sorry. help me plead with Angela to forgive me. tell her i am sorry. i still want to be her friend. she never did me any harm. I will do whatever you asked me to do about Sonia. I will….” she couldn’t continue due to her excessive sobs.
Ngozi went close to her and tried comforting her.
“i just want to have peace of mind. I will tell them the whole thing was a mistake, Sonia did nothing to me. I will try and make sure the police releases her,” She assured them, “Please tell Angela that i am sorry”
Mr and mrs Uwa took turns looking at the DNA result.They still found it hard to believe it. After twenty three good years.
“Mom, Dad, is that a letter” Angela shocked them, standing before them but she didn’t get a good view of the report. Her father quickly folded it and filed it bank into the envelope it came with.
“It’s nothing my dear. Don’t worry” Her father smiled at her, while her mother nodded in agreement with her father.
“I have to get going. Firstly, i am visiting Ebere. i have made up my mind to. I told David about it. She has been calling me on phone but i refused answering” Angela said, hugged them goodbye and left.
Ebere was in her room when the knock came. She slowly walked to the door,clenching her teeth in pains. Her shoulder still gave her great pains. She managed to open the door with one hand, only to find Angela standing there.
Ebere was short of words on seeing her.She thought Angela would never have anything to do with her again. She was even planning to go over to her home and apologise to her.
“I am sorryyy Angel. I am sorry”She begged, falling at her feet. Angela felt her tear drops on her feet. She soon saw herself shedding tears too.
“It’s okay. Get up” Angela helped her up and supported her into the room.
Ebere felt a great inner peace. Her joy knew no bounds.
“I know that i am not worthy to call myself your friend again. I don’t deserve you. Inspite of all you have been doing for me. From our school days up till now…”
“shhhh. It’s alright, lets call everything that bit in the night mosquitoes. Let by gones to by gones. No matter what happens, we are friends for life” Angela said, not even believing she was saying that. Ebere’s unstoppable tears came again as she fell into Angela’s arms sobbing.
A knock came on the door. Ebere told Angela unnecessarily that it was one of her neighbours who has been rendering help to her.
“The door is open” She said, referring to the person at the door, expecting the expected neighbour to come in but nobody came in.
The knock came again.
Ebere tried to get up with the pains to open the door but Angela offered to open it.
When she did, whom she saw made her almost loose balance as he kept staring at her. She didn’t know how to feel at all. She stole a look at Ebere, barring the person from looking inside the room with her body.
“who is it?”Ebere asked.
Angela opened the door wide and stood at one corner for Ebere to see for herself.
For some seconds, Ebere couldn’t figure out whom it was. She stood up from the foam and came closer.
Then, she saw him.
It was MIKE, standing there with two hands in his pockets.