After Aunt Engee’s attention was called to where I passed out, she left Mr. David alone and ran to rescue me. One of the neighbours helped take me to the hospital while Mr. David escaped. We heard he had ran to his car immediately aunty’s attention was drawn by the neighbours; he drove as fast as he could, out of the barracks. I was there in the hospital for two good weeks, I pitied aunty because I knew she had no money; I knew whatever she was spending was either borrowed from one of her friends or given to her by a man.
On the day I was discharged, she came in very late, looked at me and smiled
Aunt Engee: “Shiber, how you dey now? You know say Mama Bisi ask of you? She say Bisi tell am say you no well. Chai! This our neighbours nawa for dem o” she laughed and sat beside me
Me: “hahaha aunty I’m very fine o. I don’t know why they are still keeping me here.” I looked up at the drip flowing into my veins, then I whispered
“What did they say is wrong with me” I did not want Miebaka to hear
Aunt Engee: “Don’t worry my dear. When you comot from here your body go strong kakaraka! And you go get the chance prepare that moi moi wey I dey love” she laughed
Poor Miebaka had not left my side since the day I was admitted; even the days Aunt Engee decided to spend the night with me, he still stayed at the hospital. I felt for him, his father had left him without saying goodbye, and it looked like he was more comfortable with us than leaving with his dad.
Four years after the whole ‘Oga Deji and Mr. David drama’, I became healthy, so healthy that I barely remembered the painful past. Aunty had started her chiffon business and it was booming like the oil business. Sometimes we would take some of the chiffon tops and gowns to the Kano market, and most times we would stay back at home because most of the Muslim women in the barracks preferred to buy from us at home. I also enrolled in GCE lessons to prepare or my WAEC examinations; aunty had taken me out of the lessons and put me in a private secondary school.
One afternoon, I was in the bedroom trying one of the second-hand Jeans trousers Aunt Engee had bought for me from the market when I heard a knock on the door.
Me: “Who is that?” I asked, even though I knew who it was
Miebaka: “It’s me, what are you always doing in that room all by yourself? I will come inside o”
Me: “Come now, then you will see what you are not supposed to see…then you will go blind” I laughed
I let him in after I was done trying out the trousers. He sat on my bed and asked me to sit
Miebaka: “you are now eighteen, I have waited all these years, chosen you over my father, because I want to be with you” he paused
I understood what he was saying and I could predict what he was about to say but fear gripped me
“Marry me, Shiber!” he announced
I stood still, went closer to him held his chin up and laughed so hard…I could not hold the laughter back
Me: “Marry you? Hahaha do you have a good job? Do you have a car? What money will you use to take care of me? See, I don’t want to suffer o! I want to marry a rich man who will have a very big house, many cars, sooo much money that I can go and bury my parents properly; then go and arrest the people who took Sandra away…Ehen, I will now take aunty to America with me…then you will come with us and I will make sure you complete your education
Miebaka: “Love is not about money, you know we can start from somewhere. Aunty’s business is booming now, I can also start selling some things in the market, become successful like her and then we get married. All I need is for you to say yes, Shiber. Please”
Me: “Miebaka please don’t say this again. Finish school, get a good job and ask me this question and ill say yes” I replied and stood up, he stood up too
Miebaka: “I know you love me, and I love you too. But we can start to build the relationship now…”
Me: “Who says I feel anything for you?”
Miebaka: “Shiber, look into my eyes and say what you just said, then ill never talk about this again until I am made”
I refused to look at him, I stood for a few seconds then made for the door. Miebaka pulled me back, and that was it; he kissed me like I was a queen. I did not want his lips to ever leave mine; he did not mind the taste of Vaseline on my lips, he held me tight and breathed as heavily as I did. The moment I opened my eyes, I could not look him straight in the eye, I short of words, I ran out of the room without saying a word.
Approaching the living room, I felt Miebaka walking behind me
Miebaka: “Why are you running away from me? You love me! I knew it…just tell me, or are you shy? We both giggled as he came closer and tickled my waist
Me: “Leave me joor!” I said shyly and turned around to hug him
Miebaka: “Thank you for loving me back. You don’t k now what this means to me”
Before I could reply, I heard Mama Bisi calling my name
Mama Bisi: “Shiber dey here?” she said in a sorrowful tone
I pulled my arms from arms from Miebaka’s and ran out of the house
Me: “Good afternoon Ma. Aunty is not around but the chiffon dress for Bisi is here in the house, should I bring it now?
Mama Bisi: “I know say she no dey house…Shiber, who dey house apart from you? Any senior person?”
Me: ‘Yes ma, Miebaka is around”
Mama Bisi: “No, any other senior person? “ she asked and wiped her tears
Me; “Mama Bisi, is there a problem?”
Mama Bisi: “Yes, riot dey for Kano market. Dem dey kill all d Christians and women. Your aunty send Bisi make she come tell me say make I tell you say make you and Miebaka run…the bomb wey dem throw for market don wound her bad-bad…” she let out a loud cry and sat on the steps
I did not know what step to take, I was dumbfounded, I sat on the ground and screamed, like I was in the labour room…then I saw people running helter-skelter, some holding their children, some grabbing their bags…I was confused.
To be continued!
Gan gan gan…..
What is Aunt Engee’s state in the Kano market? Will she survive the riot? How will Shiber and Miebaka survive?