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Sleeping With Yesterday (Episode 20)

Posted by on September 16, 2016.

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“I want to tell you something,” she says.

“Go ahead, honey. I’m listening.”

Nnafuka draws in a deep breath and opens her mouth to speak.

For some seconds that mouth stays open without uttering a word. Dayo is already feeling worse inside for allowing himself tell Nnafuka to go ahead with whatever she wants to say. He imagines the pain that she must be going through, losing a friend in the search for a solution he had almost forced on her.

“Honey, please reserve your strength. We shall talk when you’re out of here.”

“I was not involved in the crash, Dayo. Please tell the doctor to let me go.”

“The doctor is being professional, Nnafuka,” Dayo says to her.

“I am not bleeding anywhere. Please take me home.”

“I can only take you home when he says so, honey. Now keep calm and rest.”

Nnafuka keeps quiet, then Dayo begins to hear a growing sound coming from her throat. The sound erupts into a sob. “So, we cannot go home and get to bed soon? I want a baby, Dayo. Right now we can try.” Nnafuka’s hand jams against his zipper, her fingers fumbling in his groin. “This might be it. Right now we can have a baby.”

Dayo holds her hand, wrestling it with one arm until she stops reaching.

Nnafuka is still sobbing. “Your mother keeps mocking me for being without a child. She is always in my dreams. She is always there. She has a hand in this.”

Dayo is silent. As Nnafuka’s sobbing eases into silence, he stands up and says, “Let me go and get you a few clothes to change in and some food. Is there something else you would want?” He is looking at Nnafuka. When she does not say anything he walks out of the door.

He shuts the door and stands there in the hallway, ruminating on what Nnafuka just said. Her mention of Iya having a hand in what is happening to her comes as a buttress to the point that it was during Iya’s visit that Seun suddenly died. After Seun’s death, which up till today he does not know how it came about, Iya had packed up her loads one morning and had come knocking for him in their bedroom. When he opened up, Iya had smiled at him – smiled, a woman whose granddaughter was buried the day before – and had told him that she was leaving Bida that morning.

When Dayo shifted in front of the door to say something, Iya had peeped into their bedroom, spotted Nnafuka still in bed, clutching a pillow wet with her tears, and she had said in Yoruba, “You see that she just brought an abiku into this world in order to spite us? Dayo this Igbo girl wants to end your father’s line. Just say the word and I will come back next week with a new wife for you. A woman that is fruitful enough to fill this big house.”

Dayo had closed his mouth, swallowed his word and looked at the ridiculousness of Iya’s words. Iya had taken another look at him, shaken her head and said before walking out, “As long as she stays here there will be no peace here. I will make sure of that.” She said it the way Nnafuka would hear it, in English.

Dayo is shaken out of his thoughts by voices coming from another room. He straightens his shirt with his palms and walks on, past the voices, to the staircase.

In her room Nnafuka begins to hear the voices in the other room, but they do not mean anything to her until she hears a knock on the door. She thinks it is Dayo, Dayo who is being insensitive to her need to become a full woman, so she does not say anything. The knock comes a second time and this time the one knocking does not wait. The door opens and three persons – two men and a woman – walk in, each with a Bible in hand.

Nnafuka turns in bed and looks them.

“Good day, sister,” says the elderly one in a dark blue suit and a long tie who appears to be the leader.

Nnafuka keeps silent, throwing her eyes on them.

“We have come to share the word of God with you,” the woman with them says, her headtie a sharp milk against her dark skin.

“This word of God, will it give me a child?” Nnafuka’s voice draws itself from the bottom of her belly.

“Oh, sister, where is your faith?” This is the second man, a young man. As he says this Nnafuka catches the carving of his high eyebrows, the way his eye balls stay steady, the way his lower lip seems to cower under the upper one. This is a handsome man that once more raises a demon in Nnafuka.

He has already opened his Bible, bringing out verses where God provided people with children. He mentions so many names but it is Sarah that catches Nnafuka’s attention.

“Sarah?” she says. “Is that your name?”

The young man smiles. “No, ma. Sarah is a woman’s name. My name is Harrison.”

“Please you should all go.”

The first man makes to speak but Nnafuka says it again. “Go!”

They look at each other, close their Bibles and start filing out. Harrison is the last person to go through the door. Before he leaves Nnafuka calls to him, “Harrison, will you come back tomorrow and pray for me?”

Harrison turns. “Yes. We will.”

“No, I mean you. You alone.”

Harrison cocks his head, then he nods and goes out.

There is no smile on Nnafuka’s face.

To Be Continue By 4pm

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One Response

  1. I hate u

    by tolani on Sep 16, 2016 at 12:19 pm

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