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Sleeping With Yesterday (Episode 22)

Posted by on September 16, 2016.

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At the hospital, Nnafuka is looking out through the window. She watches as plastic bags lift into the air and get plastered on trees trying to bend for the wind to pass. Most times, this is how the rain comes in Bida. It comes first with this kind of wind, circling like a masquerade, kicking up stand into people’s eyes, blasting at loose windows and trying the strength of roofs. The rains hardly come, but when they do it is as though there is an ongoing murder in the air, like there is man being suffocated, who in a bid to stay alive, claws and kicks at anything he can reach.

Nnafuka wraps her arms around her chest, wondering if, as Dayo had gone out, he had seen to the burial of Helen’s remains. Nnafuka casts her mind on leaving this hospital.

On leaving she does not want to set her eyes on whatever remains of Helen, her friend. Her remains would appear to her like the remains of her own secret, like fingers painted with blood wagging at her in accusation. But she knows somewhere within her that this is not so.

She knows that Helen’s family must be informed and they must come down from Benue to see their daughter’s corpse. She knows that they must ask questions and questions and satisfactory answers must be provided. This is because, as her mother once told her in the village when she was young, a corpse carries too many questions and even if all those questions are not answered they must be asked for the sake of asking. Now, Nnafuka feels that it would not be just for the sake of asking in this case. It would be for the sake of finding out her secret. She shivers and her stomach rumbles. She moves her mind from Helen to food.

Trying not to ask herself out loud what is keeping Dayo. She is willing, though, to give him all day if that is all he needs – as long as she gets to eat by night – because Dayo has gone through a lot for her, for them. She imagines that this love of hers, her husband, has probably not eaten but is currently trying out everything in the kitchen to see that he comes up with food. She is not really looking forward to the nature of what it is he will bring in for her. She is looking forward to seeing him, eating whatever he has brought, looking at his eyes and saying, “Thank you for everything.” And by ‘everything’ she means Dayo’s love for her that makes him not poke so much for answers, for words, for contributions in their desert journey into having a child.

She remembers the day he stood up for her in spite of Iya who had accused her of using her womb for rituals in her ‘Igbo village’. That was before Seun came. That day Dayo had said to his mother, “Don’t ever accuse my wife, Iya. So ti gbo?” A knock comes on the door. She turns around to it. “Come in.” She is expecting Dayo with the food and change of clothes but it is Harrison who comes in. He has a plain white shirt on now and a pair of jeans. Nnafuka looks at the clock. “Yeah. I thought I should come back early enough,” Harrison says. “There is no need waiting for tomorrow.” He smiles. “You are not with your Bible.” Nnafuka looks at his hands rubbing against each other. “No. We are done with evangelism.” “Come. Sit.”

Nnafuka moves to her bed as Harrison sits on the chair by the bedside. “Madam, you mentioned having a child.” “And you said your God would give it to me.”

Harrison looks at his shoes. “That man that I came with for the evangelism, he is my father. He has just established this new church and decided to draft me, his only son, into it. To be honest with you I am a realist. I only carry the Bible and say the things inside whenever I am with him.” Nnafuka is not so surprised. “So you are not a believer in what you were saying earlier.” She lies back in her bed, sapped of all interest in the young man. “Yes, I am not.” Harrison stands. “But I saw the way you were looking at me.” Nnafuka turns to see him looking at her. She feels an itching sensation on her nipples. She knows what he is doing. “I like older women, madam.” “That is none of my concern.” She raises herself and sits on the bed, facing him. “Now tell me, Harrison, can you give me a child?”

Harrison walks closer to her in bed and puts his nose to her neck. “Yes,” he breathes. Nnafuka closes her eyes, his breath playing a tingling sensation on her neck. She feels Harrison’s hand on her breast and she holds his face and forcefully begins to kiss him. Outside, the wind struggles on. The gate of the hospital opens. Malik drives in with Dayo seated by his side. As Malik moves the car slowly, looking for a parking space, Dayo keeps his eyes up on the window to the room where Nnafuka is.

To Be Continue On Sunday

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4 Responses

  1. See gobe!

    by bola on Sep 16, 2016 at 4:13 pm

  2. ghen ghen

    by wurah on Sep 16, 2016 at 7:28 pm

  3. Haaa y sunday naaa

    by Favour on Sep 16, 2016 at 9:03 pm

  4. Favour Don’t U No Dat He Is D One Posting Second Chance E Easy Make U 2 No Post Ur Own Abi Make E No Rest?

    by Anonymous on Sep 16, 2016 at 10:20 pm

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