Story: Curse (Season 1)

    Episode 1

    Pamela and her mum sat in the vast living room with just a few old furniture. The wall of the living room was decorated with pictures of children in their early childhood signifying Pamela was not the only child born to Mr. and Mrs. Ozoemena of Umuachakpa in Enugu Ezike Oba. Of all the three children they had, Pamela was the most beautiful of the girls. She was dark in complexion with a nose as pointed as the tower of Babel. She had a lovely voice that could sing the most troubled of souls to a peaceful slumber. Her siblings, Amaka and Odinaka were beautiful as well but none of them could be compared to Pamela.
    Pamela: “Mama, who are those people on bike coming to our house?” she asked as a bike drew into their compound.
    Pamela’s mum: “I don’t know, but I can recognize Martha nwa Idoko, your great aunty. I don’t know the man limping on one leg that is with her”. She tried to elongate her neck in order to see the man properly as they approached the front door.
    Pamela: “How can a man be that ugly mama? Ewwwww…”
    Pamela’s mum: “Shhhh…They are almost here so stop blabbering rubbish”. Their guests knocked at last and they were asked in.
    Pamela’s mum “Welcome, welcome. Please have your seat” she gestured for them to sit down.
    Aunty Martha: “Thank you very much my in-law. How are you Pam Pam?”
    Pamela: I’m fine ma, thank you.
    Pamela’s mum: “What shall we offer you?”.
    Aunty Martha: “Nothing at all, I will just go straight to the point. This man here whose name is Ikenna Odumegwu saw a ripe orange in this compound and has come to seek for your permission to pluck it”.
    Pamela’s mum: “Ripe orange?”.
    Aunty Martha: “Yes… He wants your daughter, Pamela’s hand in marriage”.
    Pamela’s mum: “Oh! Pamela is not ready for marriage yet, as you can see she’s just eighteen years and just finished secondary school. She still have a lot to learn about life so she cannot get married just yet”.
    Aunty Martha: “Pamela, is that true? You won’t marry this man?” she faced Pamela but noticed her mum was gesturing to her with her eyes to say no. She took Pamela by the hand and led her outside, out of her mum’s earshot.
    Aunty Martha: “Pamela, you know you are the first daughter of this household and your siblings will be looking up to you. You don’t have any time to waste now that your dad is dead, his responsibilities fall on you. And this man here is a responsible man, he has a house in Lagos and in this village. He is the pillar of his own house. Forget physical appearance, men are never ugly and you know I, as your aunt will not deceive you. I want the best for you and he is the best”. She stopped talking at last and waited for Pamela’s response.
    Pamela: “Well… Since you said he’s rich, I will give it a thought”
    Aunty Martha: “Oh good! That’s my girl” She said patting Pamela’s back.
    As they entered the living room, they met Pamela’s best friend waiting for her impatiently in a corner of the room glaring disgustingly at the man. She sprang up as soon as she sighted Pamela and drew her out forcibly.
    Ngozi: “Pamela who is that man? The sight of him repulses me.”
    Pamela: “Hmmmmm…. Ngozi that man is asking for my hand in marriage and I’m going to agree.”
    Ngozi: “Eeewooooo! Aru eme la eee tell me you are joking. Are you trying to piss me off or what? This is outrageous”.
    Pamela: “I’m tired of this village, I want to get out of here as soon as possible. I shouldn’t have rejected all those men who came asking for my hand. I’ve realized my mistake now and I’m going for this one.”
    Ngozi: “Pamela, don’t do something you will regret later. I’m telling you now not as a friend but as a sister. If its charm that was used on you, I am ready to take you to Father Mbaka this moment but if it’s not a charm, then you should wake up already. What exactly is making you want to do this? He’s neither good looking nor rich”
    Pamela: “The woman that brought him said he’s rich and has a house in Lagos”
    Ngozi: “And you believed her? Foolish girl, I feel sorry for you. If he’s that rich, where is the car he brought? Look at the tattered motorcycle they brought. Pamela!”
    Pamela: “Look at you, do you think he’d want to show it all off? I even like his humility so if you don’t have any other thing to say to me as the so called sister you are, please I will have to go in now, and they must be ready to leave”. She said and walked away from her childhood friend.
    Ngozi Obumneke was a bright girl, the same age as Pamela. She always felt inferior to Pamela because of her beauty but she was able to conceal that well enough. They both went to the same secondary school and passed out the same year. Just like her friend, she had a mirage of guys asking for her hand in marriage but she knew what she wanted out of life despite her parents’ penury.
    The next day, Pamela and Ikenna went to a private hospital in Nsukka to do blood test, the result came out favorable and the marriage preparations started. Pamela’s mum did not relent in warning her amidst tears not to marry the man but turned deaf ears to her. Ikenna and his people took palm wine to her mum and paid the bride price. All of Pamela’s friends taunted her about how ugly her husband was, they asked how she was going to let such a man touch her. She started reasoning with them but then it was already too late, he had paid her bride price and the marriage preparations were already on going.
    She wept day and night, begging her mum not to give her out in marriage to Ikenna.
    Pamela: “Mama please, I don’t want to marry him anymore, please don’t let this happen to me” she pleaded amidst tears with her mum five nights to her traditional wedding ceremony.
    Pamela’s mum “Pamela, are you trying to disgrace me? Didn’t I warn you? Now he has paid your bride price and you want me to cancel it all? How can you be so thoughtless?”
    Pamela: “Odinaka…” She called out to her immediate younger sister “please help me beg mama, I no longer want to get married”.
    Odinaka: “Mama…” she began but was shushed by her mum immediately.
    Pamela’s mum: “Don’t mama me, what do you know about anything? Take your siblings to the room now!”
    Odinaka: “Okay ma” she replied angrily, went over to rouse Amaka up and led her to the room.
    The three of them slept that night with a heavy heart. Pamela’s mum felt like a huge stone was tied to her leg and thrown into the deep blue sea. She was in a dilemma as of what to do. She was concerned about what people would start saying about her and didn’t want her image tarnished in the village. As soon as she closed her eyes to sleep, she heard Pamela’s voice from the other room and ran there to know what was wrong. She kept hearing “sister, sister please stop that. Pleeease…”
    Question: What can you say about this Episode?

    Episode 2

    Pamela: “Take me to my husband’s house, mama come and take me to my husband’s house o ehn” she wailed stamping her feet on the floor.
    Odinaka: “Mama before you came, she was acting like a possessed person; rolling her eyes and speaking gibberish”. She said, obviously frightened.
    Pamela’s mum: “Shhhhhhhhh…Keep your voice low so Mama Nkechi will not hear you from the next house. I’m sure Pamela was only trying to scare you. Get back to sleep, I will handle this messy situation” she said dryly then led Pamela to her room.
    Pamela’s mum:  “Pamela…” She started after she had forcefully made her sit on the mahogany bed in the room. “What do you mean by we should take you to your husband’s house? What has come over you? Just few hours ago, you were crying about not being interested in the marriage anymore. Now you want to go to his house?”

    Pamela: “Just take me to my husband’s house mama or I’d kill myself. I am already close to doing that” she threatened.
    Pamela’s mum: “Okay then, I’d do that at day break. Just go to sleep for now. First thing tomorrow morning, you will be in your husband’s house ok?”
    Pamela: “Okay mama” She replied, placed her head gently on the pillow and slept off immediately. Her mum looked at her worriedly and shook her head. She wondered why her first daughter would be giving her so much heartbreak.
    Pamela arrived Lagos with her husband two weeks after their traditional marriage. She was disappointed at what she saw; Ikenna lived in a one room apartment that was not even as big as the room she shared with her siblings in the village. The only piece of furniture in the room was a tattered and dirty looking chair at one corner and a small mattress placed on the floor at the other end of the room. He had few cloths hanging from the ceiling and a small standing fan. The heat in the room could make a fish sweat in the pond. She felt like running away, she was restrained because of the abomination her mum told her about. Her mum’s words reverberated in her head every minute of the day. Her mum had told her:
    Pamela’s mum:  “Pamela my daughter, don’t forget you are the first child of this household and your actions as a married woman will reflect back on your siblings. Do not forget the Enugu Ezike married women have a taboo and that is, they must not meet another man. If another man as much as touches you amorously, the curse will come upon you in the form of madness until you’ve confessed before the whole elders of your house and your husband’s. I’m sure you won’t want such shame on our family. So when you get there, behave yourself well enough and make your husband happy”.
    Pamela had thought it was going to be a bed full of roses and was expecting to be given a coat of many colors in Lagos but the reverse was the case. Every night she begged for death to take her away while Ikenna was on her, pumping his seed into her. The disgust she felt at his touch, his black lips on her soft skin made her want to throw up.
    That night Ikenna noticed she was not responding despite his efforts and he stopped to look into her eyes. She looked at him back and shivered at the look of him. It was like a demon was looking straight at her, she wondered when she’d wake from that terrible nightmare.
    Ikenna: “Honey what’s wrong with you? Why are you acting so rigid on bed? I’m your husband remember?” Ikenna was perturbed.
    Pamela: “I’m not rigid, are you done with what you are doing? I want to sleep” she replied, pushed him off gently and turned to the other side. Ikenna was confused and decided to let the issue rest for that moment.
    Ikenna Odumegwu was indeed the pillar of his family even though he was poorer than the church rat. He relocated to Lagos despite the fact that there was no one to take him in as an apprentice. He worked and slept at a motor park in Iddo part of Lagos mainland as a load carrier till he was able to afford the one room he shared with his wife presently. The people in the village believed anyone in Lagos was rich so they thought he was one of such and pestered him to get a wife at all cost. He loved his wife to the bones and worked even harder to ensure she did not suffer but his efforts earned next to nothing still.
    Depression set in for Pamela. Her whole countenance lacked luster as she existed by merely a sheer will. She often heard a voice whispering to her and that voice gave her succor. She’d wait every night for her husband to sleep off do she could do its biddings. Sometimes it told her to touch herself, sometimes to cut herself. The blood she saw coming out of her own body gave her a kind of sexual satisfaction she had never known and so not regarding the pain it carried along, she did it anyway.
    The voice: “Pamela…” Came its soothing and gentle voice and Pamela quivered under the power of it, its masculinity made her feel protected and loved. “Do you want to see me?” It continued.
    Pamela: “I want nothing but that” she quivered under her breath and looked at her still husband to be sure he was really asleep.
    The voice: “Then come, I’m here waiting for you”.

    Pamela stood up gently from the bed and walked out of the room into the stillness of the night, into the open arms of darkness and its wetness. The voice talked her to the edge.  Of the Orile bridge at their street and said “jump”. She looked down the bridge and saw nothing but endlessly emptiness, doom and death but that did not scare her and so she jumped. She fell headlong, then sideways, she did not scream. Falling like that gave her pleasure like cutting herself did… She was still falling like that when …she felt a very heavy weight on her, she opened her eyes slowly to see her husband struggling with her panties. She jerked him off and gave him a resounding slap.
    “How dare you try raping me in my sleep? Are you probably possessed or what? Why is it that all you ever think about is sex? You bastard” she fumed.
    Pamela you are really trying my patience you know, I’m frustrated sexually yet I have a wife. You even dare slap your own husband, who among us do you really think is possessed?” he snapped back.
    “That’s your business Mr. who cares if you are sexually starved or not? How many of your friends rape their wives in their sleep? Shows how cowardly you are. You bloody weakling”.
    “Hmmmmmmmm…I made a mistake of marrying you. Marrying you is my greatest mistake in life” he was close to tears.
    Question: Do you think Ikenna is right about his statement ‘made a mistake of marrying Pamela’?

    Episode 3

    Pamela:  “Your greatest mistake? You idiot, you don’t even know yourself enough, I guess I will have to tell you this too. Your greatest mistake in life is being born so ugly; despite the fact that you are ugly; you still couldn’t find something better to do to make you at least the proverbial ‘men are never ugly’. I cannot stand even the sight of you let alone your touch. You think I don’t know you used charm in order for me to agree marrying you? You fetish demon”.
    He could not take it anymore so he stood up to leave the room for her, took with him a pack of cigarette and went outside in the cold.
    Pamela: “Shameless man, isn’t that all you know how to do? Go and smoke yourself silly outside and make sure you stay there till daybreak then go to your disgraceful work from there. Onye nzuzu” she barked after him.
    That morning, Ikenna went to work with a heavy heart, he was so downcast that he did not hear when Obinna, his only friend at the park greeted him from where he stood close by.
    Obinna: “Ikenna…Ikennnaaaaaaa….” Obinna wailed yet Ikenna was far from hearing him and kept walking with drooling shoulders. Obinna ran up to him and tapped him roughly on the shoulder. He jerked from his reverie like a thief caught unawares.
    Ikenna: “What???? You wan kill person? Abi na wetin dey do this guy sef” he blasted Obinna in pidgin.
    Obinna: “O boy, na me suppose dey ask you that question, wetin dey do you? I don dey shout your name sotey the whole park dey do jigijigi and you still no hear me. Wetin dey happen na”.
    Ikenna: “Hmmmm… you wan know wetin dey do me? Come make we go sidon for mama Ngozi shade, I go tell you the kind load wey I carry for my mind now”.
    Obinna: “0kay now, oya make we dey go” he said and dragged Ikenna along with him to the shade. Mama Ngozi was a customer of theirs who sold pepper soup and beer to them almost on daily bases so even when they were not buying anything, she allowed them to seat in her shop in good faith.
    Mama Ngozi: “Una don arrive? Una welcome o, shey make I bring una regular? Mama Ngozi asked them cheerfully.
    Obinna: “No worry our cook, we wan rest first” Obinna answered her.
    Mama Ngozi: “No wahala na. I dey busy for backyard, make una help me watch my shop o”.
    Obinna: “We don hear” Obinna answered impatiently curious to know what was disturbing his friend. “Oya start”.
    Ikenna: “Obinna I don suffer for my wife hand” he said and paused.
    Obinna: “Wetin she don do this time na. That beautiful girl ehn…”
    Ikenna: “She no gree make I do that thing na. I wan die for hin hand”.
    Obinna: “Ehn? You dey craze? No be your wife she be? Tie am for bed and do wetin you wan do abi you no be man? Or you no pay hin bride price?”
    Ikenna: “Sebi na wetin I try today be that, you for see the kind insult she gave me. Even my mama never insult me like that before. I’m really tired, I for no marry am. No be about beauty alone o, my brother when you are ready to get married, please take some time to get to know the person you want to marry, don’t just see her and go ahead with the marriage just because someone told you she is a wife material or that she is a good girl. Get to know her yourself so you don’t suffer the way I am doing now. My life is in a holy ruin right now”.
    Obinna: “Well, my own be sey make you close your eyes force am. I know you love am boku but you suppose teach am lesson. Give am belle by force by fire. She go dey respect you after she don born your pikin”.
    Ikenna: “I pray oo”. Ikenna replied after which they went about their business of loading the buses.
    As he walked home after the day’s business, his heart was heavier than it was that morning. He wondered how he’d get his wife to submit to him. As he was about to cross to the street leading to Adewole Street, a man in native attire stopped him. He looked at him mysteriously and shook his head; whether out of pity or loathing, Ikenna did not know and he did not bother to ask.
    Man: “I’m sorry for stopping you all of a sudden but you are in danger”. The man said without much ado.
    Ikenna: “Sorry, what do you mean danger? Danger of what?” Ikenna asked perturbed.
    Man: “You are in danger of “…uhn… “He hesitated.
    “Danger of what Mr. Man? You know what? Forget it, I am sure it is you who is in danger not me. Look into your life and see what I am saying, may God help you”. Ikenna said and hurriedly walked away.  “Jobless man” he muttered under his breath as he noticed the man still stood hands akimbo watching him.

    He hesitated for a while before entering into his one room apartment. As soon as he had stepped in, he saw his wife on the bed, her naked ebony body glistening under the dim light emanating from the old bulb they used. She was fingering herself and moaning so sweetly he got an erection immediately. As he walked towards her like a zombie drawn to a beating heart, her whole body quaked under the power of her release, she relaxed, opened her eyes slowly and heaved a sigh of relief.  Immediately she saw him standing there with a huge erection and lustful eyes, she quickly made to sit up and cover herself with the blanket but he, like a lightening grabbed hold of her and pinned her down with the weight of his body.
    Questions: Would you agree Ikenna to rape his wife? What danger message was the man about to deliver to Ikenna?

    Episode 4

    Pamela:  “What in the name of the gods do you think you are doing Mr.? She asked in between clenched teeth.
    Ikenna: “You whore, so you can masturbate, pleasure yourself but won’t let me touch you?” he cursed under his breath.
    Pamela: “It’s my body and I have the right to do whatever I want with it, now get off me or…” before she could finish threatening him, he cut her shut with a resounding slap.
    Ikenna: “Or what? I said or what?” he barked and continued nibbling roughly at her nipples.
    When she realized she could do nothing to stop him, she resigned to her fate and he did with her as he wanted. With the aggression of the past months she had denied him of his rights, he ravaged her over and over again. By the time he was done with her, she had bruises in places she didn’t even know existed.  There was no one to console her for her grief not even The Voice was there to give her succor.
    Pamela: “Mama, you did this to me, I will never forgive you mama you sold me off for a morsel of bread, now I bear the brunt of your callousness. If my dad were alive, I’m sure this would not be happening to me” she wept and wept till the ocean of tears dried up and she had nothing to cry anymore.
    Ikenna felt like he had won a lottery afterwards, he went outside and called Obinna on phone to narrate everything to him…
    Obinna: “You be my real nigga. Na wetin I dey tell you be that. Make you start dey act like man, you be man you no be sissy.” He hailed and at the same time advised him.
    Ikenna: “I dey tell you, the thing wey pain me the most be sey she dey do herself when I dey here dey suffer.”
    Obinna: “She na sharp girl…But my guy, we’ve made a mistake o” he said switching from Pidgin.
    Ikenna: “What mistake?”
    Obinna: “Are you an idiot? You shouldn’t have raped her. Have you forgotten already?”
    Ikenna: “Oh shit! Shit! This is a terrible fuck up. What do I do now?” he said pacing around nervously.
    Obinna: “I don’t know, shouldn’t you have known the right thing to do too? How can you be so dumb?”
    Ikenna: “Weren’t you the one who advised me to force her? What is wrong with you?”
    Obinna: “So if I ask you to put your hand inside fire you will too? Good one. I have got to go now.  I am quite tired, we will talk about it tomorrow.” He said and hung up the phone.
    Ikenna was perplexed and in a dilemma as to what to do. Thinking about it make his legs weak.

    In the village, Pamela’s mum felt on edge over the fact that no one has called to inform her that Pamela was pregnant. She sat at the front yard musing over this issue. “I’m quite sure my daughter is not barren, we are very fertile in our family. No one in the history of this family has ever being barren. Hmmmmmmm, but this is becoming too burdensome. They ought to have called by now or is it that they are trying to keep it a secret for now?” she thinking until Odinaka went to join her after she noticed how deep in thought her mum was from where she sat under the huge mango tree in the compound.
    Odi: “Mum, what is wrong this time around ehn? Why are you so deep in thought? What on earth is bothering you?” she asked one question after the other without waiting for an answer.
    Pamela’s Mom: “My dear, you are too young to understand anything now, besides I’m not worried over anything, I’m just meditating”. She replied dismissively.
    Odi: “Mama… but what you are meditating on is making you quite worried. Just take a careful look at your face in the mirror, you are like ten years older than your normal age”.
    Pamela’s Mom: “Oh really? Well I will be fine my dear. I’m glad I have you and your sister here. I just wish we had a man in the family too”.  Her expression became sullen immediately she said that.
    Odi: “Don’t worry mama, I will be better than even ten sons in due time. Just hang on for me please, stay strong and healthy. I will make it on time and take you to the city’.
    Pamela’s Mom: “Ahahahahahahahahhah… ehn ehn? You will do that? Sounds awesome but dear, if I live this compound who will be here to take care of my husband’s grave and compound? When you go and come back will you like to meet a house overgrown with bush?”
    Odi: “Well you are right in that regard, when the time comes, we will see about that though”.

    Pamela’s Mom: “Oh sure my Brainiac. It’s going to be fine soon. I have to get to the farm now, I have a palm fruit ready to be taken down. I need to find someone who will help me do that since I can’t climb a palm tree.” She said standing up and retying her wrapper.
    Odi: “Okay ma. I will go call Okechukwu Ugwuja to help out now. So sit tight till I come with him or till he comes”.
    She watched as her daughter curried off. She wished Odinaka was the son she never had. She was so brave, understanding and hardworking unlike some girls in her age grade. She prayed within her that she’d get enough money from her palm oil trade to sponsor her education to the higher institution. She knew Odinaka had a promising future and she was certain it wouldn’t be compromised like Pamela’s was.
    “Mama Pamela eeeeeeeee, eeeewooooo… aru emela eee” came the screams of Mama Okey; her husband’s uncles second wife’s scream. She ran towards the house with her hands on her head.  “Where is your mum?”  She asked Amaka who was playing hide and seek with her friends outside.
    Pamela’s Mom: “I am here mama Okey, what is wrong? Why are you looking so aghast?” Pamela’s mum said after she ran to the front yard from the backyard where she was busy preparing lunch.
    “Heeeeei…… come and see for yourself” she said and took off. Mama Pamela followed suit. They half walked and half ran. Pamela’s mum could not think of anything to help quench her curiosity and fear of what the matter was but she followed Mama Okey anyway with clenched teeth and heart in her throat. When Mama Okey finally stopped in front of the village square. What she saw made her jump with grief. It tore through her heart and a heart wrenching shriek escaped her throat.
    Pamela’s mum: “Oh God! Somebody help me please, Odinaka lets go home ehn? Why are you just standing there like a statue? Mama Okey please why are her eyes dilated like that? Can no one tell me what happened to my daughter?” Odinaka stood there unmoving, unresponsive.
    Mama Okey: “Okechekwu, tell her what happened” she said facing her son who had a palm tree climbing rope strung across his shoulders.
    Okechukwu: “Ma, help me hold this first, let me carry her home, I will tell you what happened to her there. Look at how people have surrounded us here”. He passed the rope to his mum and lifted Odinaka to his shoulders. It was just like carrying a dead body.
    Okechukwu: “Okay” he said as soon as he had laid her on the bed in the girls’ room.
    Pamela’s mum: “Okay what? Please hurry and tell me what happened to my daughter biko” she said while scrutinizing all of Odinaka’s body desperately.
    Okechukwu: “She came to call me to help you put down a palm fruit, on our way here, she just screamed and became quiet. I really don’t know what the issue with her is. I just pray she will be fine” he explained worriedly.
    Question: What’s that special force tormenting Pamela’s family? What can you make of what Obinna told Ikenna?

    Episode 5

    Pamela’s mum: “Oh God! Somebody help me please, Odinaka lets go home ehn? Why are you just standing there like a statue? Mama Okey please why are her eyes dilated like that? Can no one tell me what happened to my daughter?” Odinaka stood there unmoving, unresponsive.
    Mama Okey: “Okechekwu, tell her what happened” she said facing her son who had a palm tree climbing rope strung across his shoulders.
    Okechukwu: “Ma, help me hold this first, let me carry her home, I will tell you what happened to her there. Look at how people have surrounded us here”. He passed the rope to his mum and lifted Odinaka to his shoulders. It was just like carrying a dead body.
    Okechukwu: “Okay” he said as soon as he had laid her on the bed in the girls’ room.
    Pamela’s mum: “Okay what? Please hurry and tell me what happened to my daughter biko” she said while scrutinizing all of Odinaka’s body desperately.
    Okechukwu: “She came to call me to help you harvest a palm fruit, on our way here, she just screamed and became quiet. I really don’t know what the issue with her is. I just pray she will be fine” he explained worriedly.
    Pamela’s mum: “She just screamed? Just like that? Kai, who did I offend that has refused to forgive me? Who is that person who has decided to ruin my joy and hope?” she tied and untied her wrapper dancing to the tune of grief.
    Mama Okechukwu: “Relax nne Pamela, if you injure yourself who will be here to take care of this children? Please take it easy. Okey, go and call doctor Ndu immediately.
    Okechukwu: Okay, I’d be right back” he said and dashed out of the room.
    Thirty minutes later, Okechukwu and Doctor Ndubuisi came hurriedly into the room. The doctor was a younger in his mid-twenties who recently set up a private university in the village immediately after his housemanship in the university of Ilorin teaching hospital. He was attracted to the young girl but wanted her to be focused with her studies so he did not bother telling her about his feelings. But he went to the house once in a while so he became a family friend and doctor to them. As soon as he heard it was Odinaka, he left the paperwork he was dealing with, grabbed his first aid box and his stethoscope and followed Okey without a second thought.
    Pamela’s mum: “welcome doctor, see her here, hurry come and take a look at your friend” she said dabbing her eyes with the edge of her wrapper.
    Dr. Ndubuisi: “Do not worry mama, it’s going to be fine.  I’m here now”. He checked Odinaka’s dilated pupil and shook his head. Checked her heartbeat and other vital signs and was relieved to know she was still somewhere in there.
    Okechukwu: “So doctor, what do you think is wrong with her?”
    Ndubuisi: “I can’t tell for sure yet but it’s unlike something I’ve witnessed before. I will come back with some drugs soon to keep her heart in check while I do some research on this illness. I will be back soon” he said and hurried out of the room.
    Pamela’s mum: “Hmmmmmm… God have mercy on me. Odinaka my child, don’t worry, I will not allow you to die” she reassured her daughter lovingly

    Two hours later, Dr. Ndubuisi came back looking even more distraught than ever.
    Pamela’s mum: “Doctor, so what’s the cause of Ody’s illness? And why are you looking so gloomy?”
    Dr. Ndubuisi: “I haven’t. It’s like a sickness out of the blues. It does not exist anywhere in the books. I have even placed some calls to my professors in school but even they came up with no explanation as to the cause of this illness or even its name but one of them did promise to call a doctor friend of his in the US.”
    Pamela’s mum: “Are you trying to tell me this sickness is diabolical?”
    Dr. Ndubuisi: “I haven’t said that ma but that can also be the issue. I don’t know what exactly to do than to give her anti biotics and that will not be enough”.
    Pamela’s mum: “who do I run to now? I don’t even know any native doctor, I don’t know anyone who knows one. Doctor what do I do?”
    Dr. Ndubuisi: “Don’t worry ma, I will do my best as regards this issue. I know the God we serve will make a way for us”.
    Pamela’s mum: “He should make that way fast, He took my husband away from me now he’s about to take my daughter away too. Please help me tell Him to make that way fast”.
    Dr. Ndubuisi: “I will be going back to my work now ma. Please do take care of Ody, if you notice just a slight change in her please call me”. He said and left before Pamela’s mum could utter another word.
    Ndubuisi went back to his hospital downcast and distraught. What pained him the most was that he could do nothing to help the girl he loved medically. He felt useless for the first time in his entire life.
    Dr. Ndubuisi: “What can I do to save this girl? Should I talk to my dad about it maybe he’d be able to help? Should I fly her abroad? What if they are unable to find a cure and she dies there? No way! I should not even be thinking about death at all”. He kept thinking to himself. He was startled out of his musings by a loud vibration of his phone in his shirt’s breast pocket and said “hello…”

    Pamela’s mum’s voice: “Doctor…start coming now now now, I don’t know what’s happening to Odinaka ooo. Please hurry up; my daughter is not herself anymore o” her voice echoed over the phones speaker.
    Dr. Ndubuisi: “I’d be there soon and please…” Pamela’s mum had already disconnected the call before he could finish what he was saying. He sprinted to their house like a mad man chasing nothing praying for God’s help and wisdom to tackle the problem.
    Question: What can you say about this episode?

    Episode 6

    Ikenna: “Had I known, I wouldn’t have done what I did. I feel so terrible about the whole thing. Uhn! Maybe I shouldn’t feel sorry for her? She deserved every treatment I meted out to her last night for how she has treated me these last months. The Bitch deserved it all and more. I’m sure she will start behaving herself now” he chided and justified his actions at the same time. “All I ever needed from her is a little support and love. We are already married, it’s  not like she can do anything to change that. Imagine the way she was touching herself last night when I’m here to do that for her, hmmmm”  he sighed. He glanced where she laid sprawled on the floor and started feeling sorry for her again.
    Ikenna: “Sweetheart, I’m so sorry about last night. I just didn’t know what came over me last night after seeing you like that on the bed. Please my heart” he said after he had sat down beside her on the bed. He made to touch her on the shoulder but withdrew his hand not knowing what her reaction to that gesture would be.  “Honey, can you hear me?”
    Pamela: “Please leave me alone. You’ve already done what you wanted to so no need for lame excuses now. I beg you leave me alone” she replied weakly.
    Ikenna: “Okay, I will leave you alone after you’ve had your bathe. Stand up now OK?” He said and tried helping her up. He was surprised at how fragile and weak she was. The bruises on her body made his heart ache with regret. He led her to the bathroom they shared with six more tenants: luckily for them there was no one using it.  He helped her clean up and led her back to the room. He was surprised at how submissive she had become. “It’s probably because she is very weak” he thought. She went to sleep as soon as her back had touched the bed. He watched her sleep and felt his heart reaching out to her. She looked so lovely even while sleeping that he felt like placing a light kiss on her soft lips but quickly checked himself. He knew he had to be careful in order not to incur more of her wrath. All of a sudden his mind went to the conversation he had with his mum the previous day:
    Mama Ikenna: “My son, come back home and get another wife. Send that useless wife of yours back to her parents’ house, please take heed unless you fall.”
    Ikenna: “Mama… why are you giving yourself unnecessary headache? No one is going to fall here, just give us some time all will be fine soon” he reassured his mum.
    Mama Ikenna: “I know you are bewitched so come home, I will take somewhere so you can get cleansed. My dear, how long do you want to be childless? How long?”
    Ikenna: “I will call you back later… I have work to do” he said and ended the call before she could say anything further. He sighed after he came back to the present and kept watching his wife closely.
    Ndubuisi and Pamela’s mum watched as Odinaka sat stiffly on the bed, eyes staring into space and hands hanging limply by her side. They had tried getting her into lying back but she was as immovable as a thousand year old mountain. Ndubuisi had called his dad to come over as soon as he got there and so they stood impatiently awaiting his arrival. Few minutes later Chief Ojobo arrived and was also taken aback by what he saw.
    Ndubuisi: “Thanks for coming so soon dad. We really need your help here”
    Pamela’s mum: “Amakaaaaa…” she yelled out her last daughter’s name.
    Amaka: “Maaaa” the little girl yelled back from the backyard and ran into the room.
    Pamela’s mum: “Get a seat for the doctor’s dad from the parlor now!” she ordered and the little girl scampered off to do what she was asked to do.
    Ndubuisi: “Dad, do you probably know what this is?” he asked as his dad stooped down to examine Odinaka closely.
    Chief Ojobo: “I’m coming, let me quickly go get someone. This case is critical and must not be treated lightly. Ndubuisi, you go back to work, there must be other lives at stake waiting for you there. Go attend to your patients and leave the rest to me here. I will handle it” he assured his son whom he knew had feelings for the girl. He left without sitting on the seat Amaka had brought for him some minutes back and without saying a word to Pamela’s mum.
    Ndubuisi: “I will be going back now” he announced dejectedly.
    Pamela’s mum: “Okay my son, may God bless you”.
    Ndubuisi: “Amen! Do take care and make sure you eat something soon so you don’t break down”.
    Pamela’s mum: “Thank you”. She replied and stood up to see the doctor off. She paced up and down when she got back to the room, looked at her zombie-like daughter and burst into fresh sobs. “Ody my precious daughter, my joy and hope, why have you decided to dash my hope on a stone like this? Where are you my daughter? Can’t you because of this forlorn mother of yours come back to reality? You told me just some few hours back that you’d take me to the city, I’ve agreed to go with you. We will be inseparable so sweetheart, wake up and stop hanging in the limbo” she looked at her daughters face and saw tears cascading down her lean and beautiful face. She reached out and cleaned it off with the edge of her wrapper and pecked her lightly on the cheek.
    Mama Nkechi, their immediate neighbor who was almost always at loggerheads with Pamela’s mum noticed odd movement at their house and sent her first daughter Nkechi to check what was going on there without being noticed. Nkechi who was the same age as Odinaka was just as lousy as her mum and was more than happy to carry out the task. From the backyard of their house, she tiptoed to the window and eavesdropped on Pamela’s mum’s heartfelt monologue and went back home to tell it all to her mum.
    Nkechi: “Mama, I think I know what is happening in the house at last”
    Mama Nkechi: “Ngwa tell me something” she said clapping her hands like a teenager
    Nkechi: “I think Odinaka has become a zombie. She can neither walk nor talk, I heard her mum say she’s hanging in limbo”.
    Mama Nkechi: “Heeeeeeeiii…so the rumor is true? I heard the thing caught her on the road but I wasn’t sure since I did not witness it myself. You see? My Chi has caught their mother at last with the way she’s been cheating me in this village and acting like she’s the only one whose daughter is married to someone in Lagos. That’s good for her kwa”.
    Nkechi: “Mama do you know what I think? I think Odinaka is possessed by Satan itself” she said feeling proud of her observation.
    Mama Nkechi:  “Tufiakwa! You people should better be careful, the only time you are allowed to go near their house is when you want to go and do your CIA work there. If you go there anyhow and you also get infected with whatever is hailing her then you will be on your own” she warned her daughter sternly.
    Nkechi: “Whatever, that’s their own problem, me I cannot get possessed o since I am the marine goddess myself” she bragged.
    Mama Nkechi: “Oh shut up there! Marine goddess my foot, ngwa vamoose to the kitchen with immediate effect, your siblings will soon be back from wherever they go to and must meet food when they get back” she watched her retreating daughter and shook her head. “Look at her, there’s nothing she knows how to do: go to school she refused, find a husband she was unable to, all she knows to do is snitch around. Only God knows who she took after with her ugliness. Kai! How much will she fetch me as bride price? Cheap little thing. Look at Odinaka her age mate, very intelligent, responsible and will soon be writing WAEC at the age of fifteen, who knows she might actually become a doctor later and her mum will start being called Nne doctor. Heeeeei, I’d be damned, how I wish the girl never recovers from her illness or demon possession or whatever it’s called” She mused.
    Chief Ojobo later went back to the house with a native doctor whom immediately he had set his eyes on her, left the room with the chief on his trail.
    Native doctor: “Ojobo… you know I will not lie to you, the person behind this girls predicament is…
    Question: Do you think the Native doctor will tell Chief Ojobo who is  behind her predicament? if not, what will he tell him?

    Episode 7

    Just too powerful for me. I don’t think I can handle this case at all. I’d suggest you take her to someone higher in rank than me. Or even to a higher power because she does not have much time anymore. Please do something fast” the native doctor advised, turned his back to him and walked away. Chief Ojobo thought hard about what to do or what to tell Pamela’s mum, he just stood there lost in thought not daring to go inside to break the sad news to her.
    Pamela remained on bed for three days, nursing her emotional wound even after the physical ones had healed. Her constant companion was The Voice. She used what happened that Saturday night as an excuse to stay on and fantasize about the mysterious Voice in her head. Ikenna had gone to work as usual since he had tried severally to talk and cajole her out of the bed without success.
    That afternoon, around 12 p.m., she thought she saw a shadow perch on the edge of the bed beside her. She was so frightened that she started quivering until he spoke and she realized it was her mysterious Voice.
    The Voice: “Shhhhhhh! don’t be frightened, it’s me”.
    Pamela: “Oh thanks goodness you are here at last! Where have you been? I’ve waited endlessly for you today”. She said, close to tears.
    The Voice: “I’m here now, no need to worry anymore. Did you do the things I thought you to do to make you feel better?”
    Pamela: “No, shall I do them now?”
    The Voice: “Of course! I want to watch you do them” he said smiling mischievously.
    She dashed out to the kitchen, searching frantically for the blunt knife they used. Aisha, the youth corps member living there looked at her suspiciously but waved her fears aside. Thinking it was none of her business anyway. Pamela sat down on the bed and showed the knife to her formless companion who nodded to her to go ahead. She held the knife tightly and cut herself deep just above her left wrist. She grimaced with pain but when she saw the blood gushing out, she relaxed and enjoyed the feel of it dripping down her palms.
    Pamela: “I’ve done it, and I feel so good” she smiled.
    The Voice: “I love the look of you when you do that too. Now I shall give you a gift to make you forget the feel of that man’s touch” it said seductively, made her lie back, and started wriggling on her body. He touched her face, her boobs and she moaned with pleasure. That noon, instead of asking her to touch herself, he made love to her over and over again then disappeared when it knew it was time for her husband to return from work.
    Before Ikenna returned, Pamela had cleaned herself up, nursed the wound on her hand and worn a long sleeve gown to conceal it. She wiped clean the floor where the blood had dripped onto and laid back on the bed contented and happy.
    Ikenna: “I am back” he announced unhappily thinking he would get no reaction from his wife as usual.
    Pamela: “Welcome back Mr. How was work today?” She asked standing up from the bed.
    Ikenna: “Oh wow someone is back! I seem to be the luckiest and happiest man on earth today” he took two steps to where she stood and hugged her warmly. “Welcome back my love, I hope you’ve finally forgiven me?” he asked looking into her eyes.
    Pamela: “Yes I have but I have a condition”. They sat down.
    Ikenna: “Okay, let me hear it”.
    Pamela: “You will not make love to me for the time being till I say so”.
    Ikenna: “What? What kind of talk is that? You shouldn’t even be insinuating that let alone blurting it out so blatantly. Are you out of your mind?” he raved.

    Pamela: “Sure, I’m not out of my mind, I just need some time to heal. I didn’t say we won’t make love but just give me some time to heal emotionally. What you did to me almost killed me, you know that. Now even the thought of sex makes me depressed” she said cunningly.
    Ikenna: “Okay, give me some time to think about it”.
    Pamela: “What is there to think about? I need your reply now please and your corporation except you don’t want this house to be peaceful. If you agree, I will start cooking for you regularly and probably find something to do too to augment your peanut of an income. So my dear, what do you say?”
    Ikenna: “Okay! Okay! I’m agreeing because of the peace I need in this house but you know it’s not going to be easy right? Don’t blame me if this boomerangs on you. Don’t blame me if you are unable to bear the repercussions of this decision of yours?” he warned.
    Pamela: “Of course Mr. I will not blame you at all” she said happily without giving a thought to his warnings.
    Ikenna: “And stop calling me Mr. call me something else other than that”.
    Pamela: “Uhn… Okay sir! Hope sir is okay by you?” she giggled.
    Ikenna: “Funny!” he could not help but smile back at her.
    Mama Nkech: “I heard about your daughter…how is she now? Hope she is now responding to treatment? She asked Pamela’s mum at the orie afor market when she saw her at the meat sellers’ stand.
    Pamela’s mum: “I thank God for his mercies and grace. If not for the early intervention of the pastor who prayed fervently for her, she could have lost her life. And to think of it, I hated that pastor Chuks before now for his rantings on the street and the way he prays.
    Mama Nkechi: “Ehn ehn! That is good news, I am happy for you. May we never witness such a thing again in our lifetime?  Hmmmmm”
    Pamela’s mum: “Amen ooo” she replied clasping her hands together.
    Mama Nkechi: “But what exactly was wrong with her? I heard it was demonic possession?” she whispered.
    Pamela’s mum: “And who on earth told you that? Why am I even answering you in the first place? You must have used juju on me” she fumed.
    Mama Nkechi: “Of course not, don’t talk like that now. Was just concerned, that’s all. Besides there’s something I need to tell you very urgently. If you want, I will come by your house to discuss it with you”.
    Pamela’s mum: “Okay, I just hope it will be worth my while. I have to go now. See you later”.
    Mama Nkechi: “Sure see you later…mtchew she thinks she’s all that just because her daughter is in Lagos. Onye ala”.
    As Pamela’s mum walked home that day, she remembered what Pastor Chuks had told her after Odinaka had been restored to health:
    Pastor Chuks: “Madam, how often do you pray?”
    Pamela’s Mum: “I don’t know how to pray, I can only say few words before I sleep off so I don’t usually bother myself.”
    Pastor Chuks: “Then you must develop the habit of praying now. One thing I can tell you is that there is fire on the mountain but this time around, running will not help, you must quench that fire with your prayers.”
    Pamela’s Mum: “What are you talking about? But Odinaka is well now, what other fire can there be on the mountain?”
    Pastor Chuks: “You have another child besides these two?”
    Pamela’s Mum: “Yes and she is in Lagos” she said smiling
    Pastor Chuks: “Pray very hard for her. You must pray very hard for her.”
    Pamela’s Mum: “Okay I will do that” she replied as he stood up to leave. “Thank you very much Pastor. We are indebted to you”.
    Pastor Chuks: “Thank God not me, I am just a vessel He used to restore your daughter to health.” He said smiling.
    Few hours later, Mama Nkechi and Pamela’s mum sat in front of the house discussing.
    Pamela’s mum: “So you wanted to discuss something important with me, I am all ears now”.
    Mama Nkechi: “It’s about your daughter Pamela…”
    Pamela’s mum: “What about her?” she said sitting up.
    Mama Nkechi: “Well…
    Question: What is mama Nkechi going to tell her? should Ikenna have agreed to her condition or term?
    Can you believe I didn't take any medicine/injection because I was scared ooo drugs are bitter... Injection eh my bom bom will pain me... But am healed because you guys prayed for me.. thanks guy's love you all

    Episode 8

    …it is nothing serious. Just that by now she ought to have gotten pregnant so it won’t be good for her to stress herself at all”.
    Pamela’s Mum: “So what are you getting at?”
    Mama Nkechi: “Ehmm… why don’t you let Amaka go stay with her in Lagos so she can be helping her with little little chores?”
    Pamela’s Mum: “Wait! How does all these concern you? It is my family ish, just leave it all to me.”
    Mama Nkechi: “My dear I only have your daughter’s best interest at heart, is what I am saying now going to do her harm or good? Think about it.”
    Pamela’s mum: “Well you have a point there. But who do I send to her? I can’t let any of my girls out of my sight just yet and I don’t think I can go scouting for a house girl in this village”.
    Mama Nkechi: “Awwwww! It’s a pity that none of your girls can go. Uhnnnn! What do we do now? You know Pamela is like a daughter to me. Okay, how about I send Nkechi to her? Will that do?”
    Pamela’s Mum: “Nkechi? Isn’t she too big for all that? It is a great idea but will Nkechi agree to go?”
    Mama Nkechi: “I will talk to her”. She said Smiling.
    Pamela’s Mum: “Okay…Thanks a lot, I appreciate it”
    Mama Nkechi: “It’s okay, what are friends for? We are friends now right? No more bickering, no more backbiting”
    Pamela’s Mum: “I hope so…But you sound quite funny though” she said and they both laughed.
    True to Pamela’s words, she worked hard to augment her husband’s meagre income. She worked at a construction site as a PA to the architect and before then, she worked as a laborer: carrying mixed cement to the builders until the manager noticed her and recommended her to the architect. Because of her beauty, she found favor with her boss. He got a private tutor to tutor her on computer education and the use of English. She learnt quite fast.
    With the little she earned she added it to the little her husband had managed to save up to get a one room and parlor apartment just a stone throw from their former house at Orile.
    Pamela: “Here are the files on the present construction we are working on sir. I need you to append your signature here sir” she said moving closer to show him where his signature should be.
    Architect Babatunde: “I told you to call me Tunde, that is what all my friends call me and you are my friend too. So just feel free when you are around me okay?”
    Pamela: “Okay sir! Just that it sounds too informal. But since we are friends I will try getting used to it”.
    Tunde: “Good! Let me have the file” he collected the file and signed it. “Besides have you eaten today?”
    Pamela: “Not yet”
    Tunde: “What? By this time? It’s almost past lunch time or are you fasting?”
    Pamela: “I am not fasting, I’ve just being busy all day”.
    Tunde: “Okay wrap everything up and meet me downstairs, let’s go and eat something uptown. You gerrit? He asked humorously.
    Pamela: “Yes sir! I’d be downstairs in a jiffy”.
    Few minutes later, they walked into a five star restaurant at Victoria Island. Every head in the restaurant turned to look at them. One whispered “o boy! See cute couple”, another whispered “what a beautiful lady, wow!” The ladies in the restaurant could not get their eyes off Tunde. The suit he wore flattered his already broad shoulders. He looked so handsome with small pointed nose and pink lips. The ladies swooned and drooled at his feet but his attention was only on the lady beside him.
    Pamela: “Hmmmmmm Mr. handsome, look at the ladies dying to catch your attention. “She said shyly.
    Stanley: “See who is talking, I am even scared that all these macho men staring ravishingly at you might come beat me up” he said pretending to be frightened. Pamela: “Very funny” she threw her head back laughing. A waiter came, took their orders and left.
    Tunde: “Hope you are not having any challenges in the office?”
    Pamela: “None I can think of except being PA to a ravishingly handsome young man” she winked.
    Tunde: “Oh God! I feel so guilty your majesty, how do I punish myself for that great offense?”
    Pamela: “Your sense of humor is nothing to write home about” she said shaking her head.
    Tunde: “So you aren’t humored? You are just too rigid, sad little thing” he said as the waiter set their food before them. They ate and talked more about office stuffs after which he took her back to the office and went to hang out with his friends Kolapo and Stanley. They talked football for some time then diverted to their normal guys chit-chat about ladies.

    Stanley: “Tunde, how far about Eunice na. The crazy bitch you said you were in love with.
    Kola: “He has already ended it with her, aren’t you in this universe?”
    Stanley: “So who is in the picture now? That reminds me… that PA of yours, I need your permission to bang her for a bit” he said smiling wickedly.
    Kola: “And I also need permission to continue when Stanley gets tired. She’s just too beautiful and hot. Merely looking at her could make a man cum”.
    Tunde: “What bullshit! Are you guys crazy? How dare you even talk about her with those dirty mouths?”
    Stanley: “Calm down man! We are just joking, we meant no harm at all.”
    Tunde: “Don’t even joke like that next time or I’d be forced to do something neither of would be proud of.”
    Kola: “But wait o, I smell fish. Tunde are you probably in love with her?”
    Tunde: “It’s none of your business.”
    Stanley: “Talk jare. It’s written all over you. If you love her that much, I’d suggest you open up to her. Tell her how you feel now before someone else hijacks her from you.”
    Kola: “Don’t forget we are here, I might actually be the one to do the hijacking” he said moving away from Tunde’s reach. They talked well into the night then later dispersed to their different places at VI.
    The next morning, Tunde called Pamela into his office.
    Tunde: “There’s something I want to tell you…” he said fidgeting with the pen in his hand.
    Pamela: “Okay? I’m all ears”
    Tunde: “I am somehow unsure about how you’d feel about it but I still need to get it off my chest. I have feelings for you. Since the first time I saw you a year ago. I tried so hard to hold it back but to no avail. Not being able to tell you is eating me up deep down my heart. I feel like there’s a perforation in my heart already.”

    Pamela: “Hmmmmmmmmm…” she sighed.
    Tunde: “Why are you sighing dear? Believe me when I say I am not trying to play you. For the first time in my life I am losing my sleep and peace over a lady. If only you could see my heart, if only could hear how much my heart has professed love for you since the first time we met. Dear, I will not promise you heaven on earth but one thing I will tell you is you will never regret going down this lane with me. Please? He pleaded with tears in his eyes. Even Pamela was weeping softly. “Hey! why are you sobbing? Is it because of all I have just said?” he said when he noticed she was sobbing quietly. He went and sat on the arm of the chair she sat on and made to draw her into his embrace but she jerked up taking three steps away from him.
    Pamela: “I’m sorry Tunde, but I can’t do this” she said in between sobs.
    Tunde: “Why? Do you have someone already? Are you engaged? Is there something you feel I need to know about? Please talk to me, you are driving me crazy here.”
    Pamela: “Well… em… em…
    Question: Do you think Pamela should tell him she is married?

    Episode 9

    …I also have something I need to tell you. I doubt you’d be able to withstand it. I am so sad right now.”
    Tunde: “Just say it, talk to me babe. We’ve been friends for too long you know you can tell me anything” He cajoled her.
    Pamela: “You won’t understand…this can change your perception about me”
    Tunde: “This must be serious, to the extent of changing my perception about you?” he laughed wryly.
    Pamela: “See? You don’t understand and that’s why you feel I am joking”
    Tunde: “Then make me understand by telling me what it is already. I promise id understand even if its murder you committed, I will still understand and keep loving you”.
    Pamela: “I’ve got to go now” she said and fled out of his office.
    Tunde in deep thought paced up and down in his office. “What could this be about? I am quite certain she has feelings for me too or could it be that am mistaken? Is she into a serious relationship or what? His mind went back to the conversation they once had few weeks after they met…
    Tunde: “How are you coping with the tutor I got for you? Hope he treats and teaches you well?
    Pamela: “Yes sir! He does treat and teach me well. He’s so nice too” she replied coyly.
    Tunde: “Nice in what sense? Hope he does not act funny? You know like acting as if he loves you or something?”
    Pamela: “Not at all sir. He is just a nice guy” she said smiling.
    Tunde: “So who is the guy in your life?”
    Pamela: “Sir? What did you say sir?” she stuttered.
    Tunde: “I said who is the guy in your life? Like a boyfriend, fiancé or husband?”
    Pamela: “Emm… there is no guy in my life sir. I am still single”.
    Tunde: “So who do you stay with in Lagos? Your parents or a guardian?”
    Pamela: “I stay alone sir, my dad is late while my mum is in the village. I have only survived through the help of a friend whom I came to Lagos with.”
    Tunde: “Ehya! I’m so sorry to hear about your dad. May his soul continue to rest in peace?”
    Pamela: “Amen sir. Thank you very much and God bless you for all you are doing for me.” She said curtseying.
    He was jerked back to reality by a loud knock on the door…
    Pamela went back home that night with her heart in her mouth. She met Nkechi and her husband in the sitting room watching Super story on their colored Television.
    Nkechi: “Aunty welcome back” she ran and collected her bag.
    Ikenna: “Welcome honey” he said with his eyes still fixed on the screen of the television.
    Pamela: “Thank you sir.” She replied and walked wearily to the bedroom. Without undressing and having her bathe like she used to, she flung herself on the bed and wept her eyes out.

    Nkechi had become the only female friend she had and her close confidant though it’s not everything she disclosed to her. When she entered inside the room and saw her lying down like that, she knew something was definitely wrong.
    Nkechi: “Aunty what’s wrong with you?” she did not answer her. She went close to her and tapped her on the shoulder. She lifted her head up and the tears streaming down her face could fill up the River Nile. Her pillow was soaked beyond measure. “Ah! Aunty, what on earth happened to you?” she queried even more seriously.
    Pamela: “Nkechi please leave me alone for now. I just want to be on my own?”
    Nkechi: “Okay. Just make sure you sort yourself out well and please stop crying. I’d suggest you go have your bathe that will make you feel better.” She advised and left her to her thoughts.
    Three hours later, Ikenna came into the room and roused her up from her hard earned slumber.
    Ikenna: “I have something I need to discuss with you right now. So sit up” he ordered.
    Pamela: “What is it?” she asked drowsily.
    Ikenna: “Haven’t you healed yet? Or how long does it take a person to heal emotionally? It has been a year for crying out loud.”
    Pamela: “Please sir, I really need to rest for now. Let’s talk about this at daybreak. Please?” she pleaded wearily.
    Ikenna: “You are pushing me to the wall. No, my back is hard pressed on the wall already and I must do something or I might not survive this.”
    Pamela: “I thought we had an agreement. You are supposed to wait till I am ready right?”
    Ikenna: “Have I not waited long enough? What kind of wife are you exactly?”
    Pamela: “I am exactly the kind you married” she snapped back.
    Ikenna: “But why do you hate me this much? All I have ever done is love you but you’ve made me an object of ridicule among my friends. Why? Is it a crime to love a woman? Or why is my own case different?” he asked rhetorically.
    Pamela: “I feel terribly sorry for you but there’s nothing I can do for now. Just be patient for me please.”
    Ikenna: “Patience my foot!” he snapped and stood up furiously from the bed. I’ve said mine, one day you will regret this” he said and walked away.
    Pamela: “Whatever! You can as well just go to blazes” she said and turned to the other side.
    Nkechi sat on the longest settee in the sitting room impatiently waiting for Ikenna. “Hope it’s not that they are having sex? That bitch sure can pretend, I can’t wait for the time this man will fully become mine. I really can’t wait.” She thought. Ten minutes later, Ikenna joined her…
    Ikenna: “Sorry I kept you waiting for so long my baby girl.” He said and leaned down to kiss her but she shoved him off roughly.
    Nkechi: “Get your filthy hands off me… so you want to touch me after having an intercourse with that bitch? No way!”
    Ikenna: “And who told you I had an intercourse with her? She repulses me you know that. I can’t even bear seeing her naked let alone having an intercourse with her. Besides didn’t you notice I ignored her when she came in? Trust me baby.”
    Nkechi: “How do you expect me to trust you? You were with her for more than an hour” she sulked.
    Ikenna: “An hour? You are exaggerating my dear, wasn’t even up to thirty minutes”
    Nkechi: “So what were you two talking about all day?”
    Ikenna: “Does it really matter?”
    Nkechi: “It does not matter of course. Because I am not important to you?” she started shedding tears.
    Ikenna: “You know you are the most important person to me in this house. Okay… I went to ask her what was wrong with her, she looked really out of it when she came back”
    Nkechi: “You went to ask her even after I told you I already did? Well you are lying, I overheard everything you two talked about and you were there begging her shamelessly for sex when I am here” she said in a hushed voice.
    Ikenna: “Well I asked her just to fulfill all righteousness, you know if I just let her be after such a long time she might start growing suspicious of us. Please understand now” he cajoled her.
    Nkechi: “What if she had agreed?”
    Ikenna: “I was quite certain she wasn’t going to agree at least not in that state of mind she was in at that moment. That’s why I decided to ask her when I did”
    Nkechi: “Oh! You are so smart my love…” She said and hugged him tightly. That night they had sex over and over again like wild animals while Pamela did hers with her Precious. It became an endless cycle in their home
    The next day in the office, Tunde noticed Pamela was trying so hard to avoid his gaze. He felt he had compromised the bond they shared as friends. He knew he had to make amendments and yet he wanted to understand her better. So he sent the office errand boy to call her.
    Tunde: “Have your seat” He said when she entered.
    Pamela: “Thank you sir” she said unable to meet his gaze.
    Tunde: “Why is your eyes looking so puffy? Were you crying?”
    Pamela: “No sir!”
    Tunde: “I feel so bad about yesterday, I’m really sorry. I hope I haven’t destroyed our friendship with my blatant proposal?”
    Pamela: “You don’t need to apologize Tunde. I should be the one apologizing”
    Tunde: “Why do you think you need to apologize?”
    Pamela: “I’ve committed an unforgivable sin against you and I’m sorry, I really am.”
    Tunde: “What are you talking about?”
    Pamela: “Yes I did”
    Tunde: “You committed no sin against me so stop blabbering rubbish my dear. Or maybe you should tell me what this is all about?”
    Pamela: “I love you too Tunde and for the first time in my life I actually love a real person.”
    Tunde: “Oh! That is a relief, I thought mine was a one sided love. I’m so relieved. But what did you mean when you said for the first time you actually love a real person?”
    Question: What did she mean when she said “…for the first time in my life I actually love a real person?” Do you think Ikenna is sincere with Nkechi?

    Episode 10

    Even after a year, Odinaka could not explain what had happened to her. All she could say was that her spirit was following one particular person whose face she couldn’t make out. She gained admission to study Obstetrics and gynecology in Enugu State University of Technology. Her mum found it very difficult to raise her school fees, they almost gave up on her studying the course but for Ndubuisi’s timely intervention. He promised to help her through university and even beyond if she wanted.
    Pamela: “I’ve fallen head over heels in love with you and it makes me feel like the worst person on earth. I’m not worthy of your love sir. I’m the least of those you should be loving.”
    Tunde: “You are still talking in parables dear, make me understand what you are talking about. As it is now, there’s nothing you might have done in the past that will make me stop loving you. Besides no one is beyond mistakes. So talk to me.”
    Pamela: “I have such dark secrets that you cannot fathom.” She said lowering her gaze.
    Tunde: “Dark secrets? Tell me all of it”
    Pamela: “I’m married” she blurted out after a long pause.
    Tunde: “Wow! Hold on please? You are married? But you told me you weren’t when I asked you?” he exclaimed with eyes spitting fire.
    Pamela: “I’m sorry I lied to you the first time you asked me please. I just didn’t want to lose your friendship”
    Tunde: “You are sorry? My friendship? Did you just say my friendship? With this revelation how can you still refer to us as friends? Now how much heart wrenching secrets have you kept from me?”
    Pamela: “Em…uhn” she stuttered.
    Tunde: “You know what? Just leave…”
    Pamela: “Please I’m sorry Tunde…” she wept with her face in her hands.
    Tunde: “I said leave before I do something we both would regret later.”  He raged pointing at d door.
    Pamela: “But you told me that no matter what I have done, you will understand?”
    Tunde: “See… please just leave my office” he said a little calmly without meeting her gaze. She not knowing what to say anymore walked out of his office feeling distraught.
    Two hours later after Tunde had calmed down, he reasoned within himself that what she revealed to him was actually not a dark secret and sent for her again. He wanted her to finish what she had to say, he was curious.
    Tunde: “So you said you had dark secrets, I want to hear them all.”
    Pamela: “That is not a good idea now. I think we should just go our separate ways from now on”.
    Tunde: “You have no right to tell me that. Just tell me what I want to know while I’m still being nice.”
    Pamela: “No way! I am sorry but that is all I have to tell you. There is no more”
    Tunde: “Liar, don’t add more wood to a raging fire, it will consume you. So whatever you have to say, say it now”
    Pamela: “What difference will it make? We are going our separate ways anyway. So please let this rest boss”
    Tunde: “You are really trying my patience. You want to see me get mad for real?”
    Pamela: “Please excuse me… I have work to go back to. Maybe we should do this some other time, when you are calmer and more composed.” She said, rose up and left his office.
    Tunde was flabbergasted at her audacity to walk out on him. He was so short of words that he flung himself on the settee in and laughed uncontrollably.
    Three days later at a construction site, Tunde summoned up courage to ask her for further details. She hesitated for a while but knowing fully well that that could be the last time he would ask and that she might eventually lose him, she decided to tell him everything. She told him about the shady way she got married to her husband. She told him how she hadn’t allowed him to touch her for a whole year because she detested him and had lived with a man she couldn’t withstand. She told him about the mysterious voice. She left no stone unturned.
    Tunde: “Wow!  You’ve gone through hell Pamela and this is a serious issue. But let me ask you one more question: why did you agree to marry that man you call a husband? Why?”
    Pamela: “My dad died and I knew I had no means of furthering my education anymore. When that woman told me my siblings would be needing my support later, I saw the marriage as an opportunity to help them but it was all a lie.”
    Tunde: “Wow what naivety. A man you knew nothing about and you believed her?”
    Pamela: “I just can’t explain how it all happened. It was like a switch in my head which kept flipping on and off. I knew I shouldn’t agree but I found myself longing to go with him anyway”
    Tunde: “Wow! So about this voice you mentioned which even makes love to you, how on earth did you come about such evil?”
    Pamela: “I actually can’t understand it myself but I feel it exists in my head”
    Tunde: “Sweetie, you can’t give such thing a space in your life. I don’t know how possible this is but if it is true, you have to let it go. I am here for you to love now”
    Pamela: “It’s not really that easy but I guess I have to let it go.”
    Tunde: “Yes you have to. And for the record hon, I’ve not stopped loving you. I think you have to get out of this sham you call marriage. I will help you.” He said holding her two hands as they stood facing each other. I still love you so much and I can’t think of a life without you. I’m not going to give up on you. I will keep fighting till you are totally mine.”
    Pamela: “No! I can’t let you do that. You have to give up now, I’m not worth all this trouble and I can’t stand seeing you hurt.”
    Tunde: “But us not being together is hurting me the most. I promise to be everything your husband is not. Baby please.”
    Pamela: “I said no, what the hell is wrong with you? We have a taboo where I came from. A married woman must not have an intercourse with another man. It carries great repercussions.”
    Tunde: “Seriously? That’s barbaric and superstitious. There is nothing like that, maybe there was but it has been wiped out by Christianity.  So baby discard all that and lets plan a future together please.”
    Pamela: “You still don’t get it do you? I know of women who have lost their dignities by this. I mean they started displaying momentary madness till they confessed to their husbands and then performed the traditional rituals to appeal to the spirit of Ndishi. Do you want me to go through all that?”
    Tunde: “Of course not. I’m saying all these because I know you can’t go through all that. I’d be here to protect you.”
    Pamela: “Mr. Tunde Arowolo… and how do you plan on protecting me from something you can’t see? Stop being so childish. And for the record, there is a reason I keep dodging your touch. If you as much as touch my waist amorously, I’d be arrested by Ndishi. So be careful with your hands.” She warned jokingly.
    Tunde: “Nawa for your Ndishi o, I wish I could punch him in the face.”
    Pamela: “Well, if you were the one married to me, you’d have been thanking it or should I say him by now.”
    Tunde: “Don’t go thinking I won’t marry you later, like I said, I won’t give up and that’s all.” He said dismissively and made to hug her but she eased away from him. “Uuuurrrrrgh! Ndishiiiiiiiiiiiiii…” he lamented.
    A month later, Pamela took leave to go visit her mum in the village for the first time since she got married. Many people trouped to their house just to catch a glimpse of her. She was a sight to behold indeed. Most of the women were surprised to see she didn’t bring any child home and was not pregnant. Rumors started spreading far and wide that the beautiful Pamela was actually barren.
    After the house became free of visitors at last, she and her mum had time for a personal chit-chat.
    Pamela’s mum: “My daughter, Ikenna is really taking care of you. Look at how you are glowing.”
    Pamela: “Which Ikenna? Do you know how much I’ve been suffering in the marriage you pushed me into? Mama you could not fight for me. Why?”
    Pamela’s mum: “My daughter it’s not like that. I was just afraid of what people will say. That we collected his money and still rejected him. You know the way people in this village think.”
    Pamela: “So are you trying to tell me you care more about your reputation than your daughter’s happiness mama? Is that really what you are insinuating?”
    Question: Did Tunde make the right decision? What is your take on Pamela’s mum’s attitude

    Episode 11

    Pamela’s mum: “I care about your happiness my daughter but things are not just done that way.  Don’t forget how you threatened to kill yourself if I didn’t take you to your husband’s house.”
    Pamela: “Oh please mum! Didn’t you wait to think about how abnormal that was? You should have tied me down with a rope. Just look at the way you stood for Odinaka and now she’s in school studying medicine. How I wish I also had someone to really encourage me.” She sniffed back the tears threatening to choke her.
    Pamela’s mum: “I’m sorry my dear, find a place in your heart to forgive me. I was just being cowardly.” She pleaded. Pamela took one look at her mum and started feeling sorry for her. She knew at the back of her mind that it was mostly her fault.
    Pamela: “It’s okay mum, there’s no need for you to be pleading like that. Let’s let bygones be bygones. Hope Odinaka is not finding things difficult in school?”
    Pamela’s mum: “Thanks my daughter. Odinaka is doing just fine. Doctor Ndubuisi is sponsoring her education at the moment.”
    Pamela: “Ehn ehn? That’s awesome. May God bless him for us o.”
    Pamela’s mum: “Amen. That reminds me… why have you not conceived since you got married? What exactly is going on?  Rumor mongers have started wagging their tongues like bulldogs.”
    Pamela: “See mum, leave that story for some other time. Besides nothing is wrong we are just not ready for children yet.”
    Pamela’s mum: “Na wa o, how can you say that so easily? I need to carry my grandchildren before I join my husband. If I leave like this, what will I tell him his grandchildren look like?”
    Pamela: “Tell him they look like him. Exactly like him.” She winked at her mum who just shook her head and smiled.
    Pamela’s mum: “All I know is hurry up, there isn’t much time left. Don’t make yourself an object of ridicule in this village and hope you are not doing anything that would jeopardize your marriage?”
    Pamela: “Not at all ma.” She replied looking away.
    Mama Nkechi who was eavesdropping on their conversation from her room which was somewhat close to Pamela’s mum’s was more than overjoyed to know Pamela was not ready to have an issue yet. “Good, good, please don’t ever be ready to have a child, my daughter will have it all on your behalf. That dumb girl, I hope she is doing what I sent her to Lagos to do. She must not come back to this village empty handed otherwise I’d roast her alive.” She thought to herself and giggled wickedly.
    Nkechi and Ikenna had the whole house to themselves. They made love everywhere they found themselves in the house. Ikenna stopped going to work just to be with her for the period of two weeks his wife was to be in the village. Meanwhile, Tunde had decided to go calling at her house while she was away. He had begged her several times to introduce him to her husband but she had flatly refused each time he brought the topic up. He was so curious to know who the husband of the girl he loved was.
    He knocked at the door but no one answered, it was a Sunday afternoon so he knew someone must be home. He turned the handle of the door, he was surprised to find it unlocked. He pushed it open and was rooted to the spot. On the floor laid two naked tangled bodies both oblivious to their surroundings. The man was moaning and groaning while the lady wept for him to go deeper inside her. The whole sitting room stunk with the odor of their love making. He wanted to turn back but changed his mind.
    Tunde: “Hello peeps in this house.” But no one answered him. He cleared his throat and tried again, this time a bit louder. Ikenna and Nkechi jumped and fidgeted for something to cover themselves with. He looked at the ugly man struggling to put on his boxers and shook his head. “Please I’m here for Pamela’s husband but I think I have the wrong house, sorry for disturbing you. Carry on please” he said and made to leave.
    Ikenna: “I am Pamela’s husband, who are you?”
    Tunde: “You are Pamela’s Husband? You?” he wanted to be sure he did not imagine hearing what he heard.
    Ikenna: “Yes na, please what do you….” Before he could finish what he was saying, a blow came flying his way which sent him staggering across the sitting room. He was dazed for a minute or two. “Wh…at was that for?” he stammered.
    Tunde: “That is for cheating on your wife who is my friend son of a bitch. I will make sure she divorces you before this month runs out.” He fumed.
    Ikenna: “Wait, you’ve gotten some things wrong. I love my wife and I wouldn’t have done this if she hadn’t denied me sex for close to a year now. I am married yet unmarried. Put yourself in my shoes Mr.”
    Tunde: “Bastard, you could have found a way to make her yours again, rather than raping and molesting her. There simply is no justification to your barbaric acts. You are done for.”
    Ikenna: “How is this any of your business? And what are you doing here by the way?” he shot back.
    Tunde: “Bastard, you even have the guts to talk back?” he said incredulously.
    Ikenna: “Wait, I smell foul play here. Are you probably in love with my wife? Are you?”
    Tunde: “I am feeling sorry for you, very soon you will take back everything you just said to me”
    Nkechi heard their battle of words and came out angrily.
    Nkechi: “And who do you think you are to interfere in what is none of your business Mr. Tush? Please get out already. Go and do your freaking worst because we don’t fucking care.” She shot back at him.
    Ikenna: “Nkechi please go back to the room, let me handle this.”
    Nkechi: “No way! I won’t, I know you will only be pleading cowardly. You are just too soft for my liking. So I’m here and I’d treat his fuckup.”
    Tunde: “But wait… miss, aren’t you the Nkechi she keeps telling me about? That you are her only friend and confidant in Lagos state? Wait aren’t you the one she brought from the village to stay with her?”
    Nkechi: “I am all that and more. Now that you know, can you please pick up your phone and call her already? Tell her everything and see how grateful to you she’d be. Do it now or get out!”
    Tunde looked at Ikenna furiously and walked out at last.
    Ikenna: “Why did you do that? You should have just allowed me to handle everything myself. Now you’ve made an already bad situation worse.”
    Nkechi: “I thought you’d be thanking me now?”
    Ikenna: “Thank you for? You shouldn’t have talked to him like that”
    Nkechi: “And were you talking to him any better than I did? The son of a bitch hit you and you could not retaliate. You disappoint me IK.”

    Ikenna: “Why did you come fight him on my behalf then since you are all that?
    Nkechi: “That is your headache. Besides there is something I need to tell you…
    Question: Was Tunde’s reaction to what he saw justifiable? What do you think Nkechi would tell Ikenna?

    Episode 12

    Ikenna: “I am all ears”
    Nkechi: “Guess please…”
    Ikenna: “You won a lottery” he said nonchalantly.Nkechi: “Is gambling the only thing you know? Can’t you think of something better?” she said feigning annoyance.
    Ikenna: “I can’t think of any other good news you can probably have so tell me already, I’m not in the best of moods this noon” he said impatiently.
    Nkechi: “Okay then, since you are that curious I will tell you. I am pregnant” she said clasping her hands together in excitement.
    Ikenna: “Pregnant? For who?”

    Nkechi: “What kind of dumb question is that? I’m pregnant for you of course. We are having a baby”
    Ikenna: “You and who is having a baby? You must be out of your mind” he said springing up.
    Nkechi: “What’s with that reaction?”
    Ikenna: “There is no way I am the father of your baby. So free me please”
    Nkechi: “Don’t do that Ikenna. Please don’t. I know you are like this because of your wife. But think about this: has she really ever acted like your wife? Who does all your cooking? Who mates with you? Who washes your dirty underwear? I’m sure she hasn’t opted out of this marriage because of Ndishi. If not, she would have left you in a lurch a long time ago.”
    Ikenna: “Well you are right but she is still my wife and I’m not supposed to be doing this to her. At least she is not sleeping around, if she were Ndishi would have arrested her. So let’s handle this ish with maturity…”
    Nkechi: “What maturity? If you are talking of abortion, just know I will never do it so don’t mention it. The best thing for you to do now is go to my mum in the village and pay my bride price because you’ve gotten yourself another wife. Please do take care of us.” She said curtsied and stormed out of the sitting room.
    Ikenna: “This is a terrible situation, if Pamela gets wind of this, she’d abandon me and I’m just a load carrier without her. I’d probably have to go back to that degrading apartment. No way will I let that happen.” He picked up his phone and dialed Obinna “Hello Obaino, please meet me at the park ASAP. This is a matter of life and death…”
    Obinna:” What is the problem this time o” Obinna noticed his voice sounded hoarse on the phone.
    Ikenna: “I will tell you when we see just meet me there in the next twenty minutes” He said and hung up the call.
    Pamela at her in-laws’ place in the village had to put up with their irritable actions towards her for not having a child yet. They treated her like an outcast and picked on at every single provocation.
    Pamela: “Here is your food mama, I prepared your favorite of Otipiri.”  Otipiri was a kind of traditional food made from grounded maize. It’s usually prepared with vegetables and beans. It was a delicacy in Enugu Ezike Oba.
    Mama Ikenna: “Which food, please get it out of my sight you worthless girl. Isn’t that all you know to do? Eat and grow fat. I’m sure you must have milked my son dry to look this good.”
    Pamela: “Here you come again mama. Why don’t you just let me rest for once? Why do you always have to pick on me?”
    Mama Ikenna: “Did I hear you say rest? There is no rest for a barren woman. You are better off dead, there is no use for a woman who cannot conceive.” She stood up looking Pamela in the face and in the process bathed her with showers of her spittle.
    Pamela: “Did I hear you say dead? And what if I were to be your biological daughter? Would you have used such a word on me?” she wept.
    Mama Ikenna: “There’s no need for you to be shedding crocodile tears. You think I don’t know you are a witch? You bewitched my son into marrying you. I will make sure you leave his house one day, ogbanje. Mtcheeeeeeew…”
    Pamela: “Thanks mama but I’m sure the truth will be revealed one day and we will know who is evil and who is not.” She said and ran into her little hut, locked the door and cried herself to sleep.

    Mama Ikenna: “What truth? We already know the whole truth, you are a witch and you’ve donated your womb to your coven. My soon is just a victim, a victim of circum
    Pamela: “I’m back…” she announced but Nkechi pretended not to have heard her. “Nkechi, I said I am back” she emphasized and snatched the novel from her hand. “What kind of novel are you reading that you are so lost in? What if I were to be a thief or someone more dangerous? You are supposed to be taking care of the house.”
    Nkechi: “Sorry madam, I did not know you were back, Welcome. I thought you said you will be in the village for two weeks? It’s been just a week.”
    Pamela: “Whichever way I’m back. Aren’t you happy to see me?” she said sitting down unbuttoning her shirt.
    Nkechi: “Why will I be happy to see you?” she muttered inaudibly.
    Pamela: “What did you say?”
    Nkechi: “I said I am extremely happy to see you. Welcome once again” she said and returned to reading her novel rather than taking her madam’s bag inside.
    Pamela: “Are you not supposed to take my bag inside? Or am I to remind you of that too? You scatterbrained girl.” She said jokingly. Nkechi snatched the bag from the floor and headed for the room without uttering a word. Pamela thought her actions were strange but she quickly discarded the thought.
    Nkechi went to the room and dropped the bag angrily on the floor…”Witch why did you have to come back now? To spoil my good chance of becoming a wife in this beautiful house? Heeeeeiiii… why didn’t she just have an accident on her way back? How much I prayed for that to happen. Chukwu Okike Abiama you no longer answer prayers o” she fumed.
    Pamela could not wait to see Tunde so the next day she prepared and went to the office even though she still had a week before she was due to report back to duty. She headed straight for Tunde’s office. Without knocking, she pushed open the door and saw him on his desk engrossed with the sketching of the recent project he was to work on. He looked up slowly from it and smiled warmly at her.
    Tunde: “See who is back…” he said standing up from his seat. “It’s my beautiful village girl who did not bother calling me for a whole week” he continued, walked up to her swiftly to hug her but she stopped him beaming with smiles.
    Pamela: “Don’t forget Ndiiiishiiii” she mouthed.
    Tunde: “Urrrghhhhh” he groaned. “How was your journey? How is everyone at home? Why are you back so soon? Missed me right?” he winked at her.
    Pamela: “Missed who? I wouldn’t do that for the universe. I just feel you wouldn’t survive in this office without your able PA” she pouted her lips.
    Tunde took one look at her pouted lips and felt his erection rise. He had to cross his legs to hide it. He felt anger surge within him for not being able to hold the woman his heart belonged to. He felt rage when he remembered what transpired between he and her husband the time he had gone there.
    Tunde: “Sweets, I have to ask you a question about this Ndishi you keep talking about”
    Pamela: “Please ask away”
    Tunde: “What about men? Does it arrest any man who engages in extra Marital affair?”
    Pamela: “Not really. A man can have as many mistresses as he wants as long as they are not married. It can only arrest him if he sleeps with a married man. Also, if he has an idea or knows that his wife committed such act and did not take the necessary actions for her to appease the god, it can lead to his death while the woman would be free.”
    Tunde: “Wow, that’s huge but it is a little partial now. Men can do whatever they want with unmarried women while women can’t? That’s outrageous. Well that’s by the way. I have something I need to tell you…”
    Pamela: “Okay? This one you are looking so serious, it must be a serious something o, hope you are not about to ask me to marry you?” she said crossing her arms across her chest jokingly.
    Tunde: “I don’t even know whether to tell you or not…”
    Question: “Should he tell her what he saw at her house that day?”

    Episode 13

    Pamela: “What is it now? I thought you are busy or something?”
    Tunde: “Okay never mind, it’s of no use then. Let me get back to my work.” He tried standing up but she drew him back.
    Pamela: “Tell me now. I have a feeling it’s something unpleasant”
    Tunde: “You won’t imagine how unpleasant it is” he muttered under his breath
    Pamela: “Why exactly are you all chewing your mouths rather than talking to me? What did you say?’
    Tunde: “I said I missed you a lot, I love you more than words can express. Those are what I wanted to tell you. Was just having conflicted feelings you might not want to hear them.”
    Pamela: “Seriously? Are you sure? Or you’ve changed it?”
    Tunde: “Very very sure beauty. Let me take you out later in the evening to anywhere of your choice to celebrate your safe return from the village. What do you say to that?”
    Pamela: “It’s a great idea sir. Let’s make it a date after office hours then.”
    Tunde: “Good!”
    That night when she got back home, she met Ikenna in the sitting room obviously waiting for her angrily. He sprang to his feet as soon as he saw her.
    Ikenna: “Where are you coming from by this time of the night?” he checked the wall clock.
    Pamela: “Good evening to you too” she greeted sarcastically.
    Ikenna: “I said where are you coming from by this time?”
    Pamela: “What do you mean by that? It’s just 8p.m.”
    Ikenna: “Just? Isn’t it 6p.m you close from work? Latest 6:30 you should be home but here you are”
    Pamela: “6:30? Have you forgotten my office is quite far from here? And when did I ever return from work by that time?” she was losing her patience.
    Ikenna: “Where are you coming from madam? Just tell me the truth” he said pacing around.
    Pamela: “What has gotten over you all of a sudden? Are you intentionally picking on me?”
    Ikenna: “What is wrong with this woman? Will you answer my question?” he yelled.
    Pamela: “I only went to eat at a restaurant with a friend and we did not even stay up to thirty minutes” she said crossing her arms across her chest indignantly.
    Ikenna: “So you are dating someone else? Is it that boss of yours?” is he the one? Answer me immediately” he ordered impatiently.
    Pamela: “Yes he is the one but I am not dating him. We are just friends”
    Ikenna: “Shut up you whore, asewo. So you think I am daft? Have you ever seen a man and a woman being just friends? So You are dating outside marriage?” he pounced on her, slapping her endlessly. The more he did the more his rage intensified, he punched her face, then her stomach, kicked and stepped on her while she cringed with pain and begged for mercy. He tore her clothes off her leaving only her undies and pushed her out of the house. “Rot outside there or call your prince charming to come save you. Onye nzuzu, anu ofia” he cursed breathlessly.
    Nkechi jumped out from the room where she had hid herself watching the drama between the couples with excitement…
    Nkechi: “Oh wow! That was awesome. You are finally recovering from the spell she had cast on you. Well done my husband” she gave him a thumb up and winked seductively.
    Ikenna: “Please lock the door and stop acting so childish. I just needed something to use against her just in case that jerk already told her what he saw earlier this week.”
    Nkechi: “Whatever, all I know is you beat her up and pushed her out. That is enough for tonight. Come let’s go and sleep. Look at the way you are sweating” She said using the edge of her Caribbean skirt to dab at his face then led him by hand into the room.
    Meanwhile, Pamela had expected Nkechi to open the door for her later. She waited and waited but there was no sign of her. She had no option but to go knock on the door of their neighbor who gave her a piece of clothing and let her crash at her place.  The woman was quite taken aback by the recent development in their normally quiet home but did not bother discussing it with her seeing how tired and emotional she was.
    At daybreak, she waited till Ikenna had left for work to go back in.  She met Nkechi sleeping soundly on her bed, almost naked.
    Pamela: “Nkechi…wake up” she tapped her roughly on the leg.
    Nkechi: “Who is the idiot disturbing my sleep?” she opened her eyes slowly and pretended to be surprised seeing her. “Madam you are back? Welcome” she greeted lazily and yawned.
    Pamela: “Nkechi, weren’t you here last night when IK threw me out of the house in the middle of the night? I expected you to come to my rescue but you seemed to have hidden yourself inside the closet. So tell me, why didn’t you open the door for me after you sneaked out of your hideout?”
    Nkechi: “Ah! I swear I did not know about all these. I was washing the bathroom and when I later asked of you, he said you called to inform him that you wouldn’t be back because you had a lot to do in the office. I swear”
    Pamela: “I see! So what are you doing on my bed half naked when my husband is just leaving the house?” she eyed her suspiciously.
    Nkechi: “I just climbed onto the bed now after he left. I did not sleep here all night o…”
    Pamela: “Are you sure?”
    Nkechi: “Of course or are you suspecting me of something?”

    Pamela: “Whichever way, next time he tells you such a thing. Call me to confirm it for yourself okay?”
    Nkechi: “Okay now”. She said rising up from the bed.
    That morning, she went to work wearing dark shades and scarf wound around her neck to cover the bruises on her face and her puffy eyes. She tried her best to avoid running into Tunde. Her colleagues taunted her about the shades she was putting on and some even went as far as asking her if she had developed morning blindness. She ignored them all and took their taunts as a joke.
    Tunde was passing by her desk when he noticed her unusual demeanor. He thought she was probably having the normal ladies’ mood swing so he ignored her too. When it was time for lunch break, he waited for her endlessly at their normal rendezvous in the café at the first floor of the skyscraper he had his office space at. He called her but she ignored it. Then he knew something was amiss. He abandoned the wine he had already ordered and sprinted to the elevator.
    He met her at her own cubicle, weeping silently into a handkerchief.
    Tunde: “Pamela… what is wrong with you?” he said moving closer to her.
    Pamela: “Nothing is wrong, I’m just a little emotionally down today probably due to PMS.” She said wiping her tears with an already soaked handkerchief. He brought out his from his suit pocket and handed it over to her. “Thank you” she said blowing her nose into the handkerchief loudly.
    Tunde: “Now lift up your face, I wonder why you’d be talking to me with your face in between your legs like that” he said putting his hand under jaw and lifting her face up slowly. He saw the darkened flesh around her left eye. He saw the bruises and stood up enraged. He drew her roughly to his office and flung her on the settee.
    Tunde: “Who did that to you?” he said pointing at her bruised face.
    Pamela: “I…I… I tripped on my way home last night and fell down”
    Tunde: “You are lying, this does look like the fist of a man. Did that man lay his filthy hands on you last night? Did he probably molest you sexually?” he said looking intently at her.
    Pamela: “No he did not molest me sexually”
    Tunde: “Then what did he do? Did he hit you?
    Pamela: “I told you I fell down last night on my way home and…”
    Tunde: “Oh cut that crap, I am not a kid. I will dig around and if I find out it was he who did this to you, I won’t take it lightly with him.
    Pamela: “You talk like you’ve met him before, like you have something against him. Do you?”
    Tunde: “Whether I have met him or not is not the issue right now” he said ignoring the last question she had asked him.
    Pamela: “Well there is no issue at all then, let me get back to my work” she said standing up.
    Tunde: “Don’t you walk out while I am still talking, see I am your work so don’t ever use your work as an excuse to avoid me again. Now tell me who did this to you” he asked even more adamantly.
    Question: Should she tell him? Should he use this opportunity to tell her what he has against her husband?

    Episode 14

    Pamela: “He did, my husband did” she said trying to hold back the tears threatening to come streaming down.
    Tunde went berserk with rage.
    Tunde: “Damn it!” he snarled. “He did this to you” he barked pacing up and down furiously.
    Pamela: “Please calm down” She went over to him and laid a hand on his shoulder.
    Tunde: “Please don’t touch me, except you want me to have you here and now. And for the record, I’m calling the police right away. No one does that to you and gets away with it.”
    Pamela: “No! You can’t do that. I don’t want my dirty linen washed in public. Please let this go”
    Tunde: “You mean I should let the bastard go after he had brutalized you? Would you want me to do something only after he has killed you? Wake up girl…we are no longer in the 19th century. No man has the right to lay a finger on his wife anymore. So my dear let’s do the needed or you pack in with me with immediate effect.”
    Pamela: “I’m going for none of the aforementioned. I will stay in my husband’s house like I’m supposed to. Don’t try talking me into doing the abominable.”
    Tunde: “Your life reeks of abominations and taboos. How on earth did I get to fall in love with you?”
    Pamela: “Thank you. All I know is don’t interfere, I will handle this my way.”
    Tunde: “I feel like kissing the hell out of your pretty lips right now. You don’t know what having to hold back is doing to me” he felt his manhood twitch with anticipation.
    Pamela: “You know I’m not going to say anything about that but every night, with the power of my thoughts, I lay you on my pillow and sleep on your arms. That is how much I long for you” he looked into her eyes as she said that and her eyes spoke volumes. What her lips could not mutter, her heart and eyes spelt them out in bold letters. It took him all his self-control not to enfold her in his arms at that moment.
    Tunde: “I’m really unhappy, I feel so helpless knowing there is nothing I can do for you. How I wish money can buy everything I would have bought your freedom with every penny I have”
    Pamela: “You are already doing a lot by being here with me. I don’t know what would have happened to me if not for you. I should be thanking you, no matter what happens I will always be indebted to you” she looked at him and shook her head. She felt scared not knowing how long he was going to hold his ground. The thought of losing him made her quiver with dread.

    She did not know whether to curse the day she met him or bless it. She could not believe she could have such physical and emotional attraction towards a man even in her wildest dreams. At that moment, she realized how much she had missed out in life.
    Tunde got home that night with an ominous feeling that something was about to go wrong. He pushed the door open quietly and was taken aback at what he saw. His huge sitting room had been ransacked. Everything was turned upside down. He ran to the room to check the cash and other valuables he had in the house. His blue prints and other work related documents and was even more surprised to discover nothing was missing. He quickly left the house to lodge at the Shantelle hotel and suites close to his apartment.
    As he drifted into a restless slumber in the executive room 41, he felt the wind whoosh across his face. He thought the window was open, as he made to stand up to check, he saw a shadow leaning on the windowsills looking down at him. He fell back on the bed and quivered frightfully.
    Tunde: “Who aaaaare y…ou?” he stammered.
    The Voice: “I am your worst nightmare man, and you have nowhere to hide from me because I am everywhere you go.”
    Tunde: “Get out now before I call the police. I don’t care who or what you are, just get out” he replied when he found his voice at last
    The Voice: “This will be your first and last warning. Steer clear of my lover. She is mine till it’s over. She will remain mine”
    Tunde: “Your lover? Who are you talking about? You mean Pa…Pa…mela?” he stammered. “How is she your lover? Who made her yours?”
    The Voice: “I’ve got no time to batter words with you mortal…just stay away from her…stay away from her” it’s voice echoed  and reverberated in the hotel room then it disappeared.
    Tunde became jittery with fear, he felt like his whole world was crashing down from the Himalaya Mountains. He thought of calling Pamela to warn her of the danger she was in but he changed his mind. The so-called Voice she said gave her succor was nothing but pure evil. He left the hotel for Stanley’s place.
    Stanley: “Oh man! You look like shit. What happened to you? And why are you out this late?” he queried with curiosity.
    Tunde narrated his ordeal with the mysterious Voice and how it warned him to steer clear of Pamela.
    Stanley: “Wow! This is huge. You seem to be in great danger right now.”
    Tunde: “Yes I am and I don’t even know what to do about it or who to run to.”
    Stanley: “Why will you say you don’t know what to do about it? What you should do is clear and well spelt out before you. Leave Pamela alone, run for your dear life- she is a danger zone.”
    Tunde: “Of course I knew you’d tell me that but I’m sorry I can’t heed to your advice. I cannot leave her alone now that she needs me the most. I can’t just abandon her.”
    Stanley: “Don’t be a fool! You have to leave her so you can live or do you want to die?  There are so many beautiful ladies out there swooning for you, so just choose one or leave that to me, I will arrange one for you.”
    Tunde: “That is not necessary because I’m not leaving her alone. What kind of man will I be who abandons his friends just because they are having problems? I just feel everything happening to her is not her fault. I will be here for her no matter what.”
    Stanley: “I’ve warned you alright? Do whatever you want but please be careful, become a prayer warrior from now henceforth because this kind of problem can only be conquered with prayers.”
    Tunde: “Trust me, I am Baba God’s first son anyway. Abeg lets go and sleep, I am extremely tired.” He said and followed Stanley who led the way.
    The bed jiggled as they made love amidst moans. With only a self-gratifying feeling involved, it was like when animals in the wild made out. She clawed at his back with her long nails as she reached orgasm while he almost squeezed the life out of her. They were still breathless from the effect of their orgasms when they heard the door of the sitting room squeal open and quick footsteps approaching the bedroom. Ikenna hurriedly hid under the bed while Nkechi feigned sleep.
    Pamela: “What is that stench? I can bet a thousand dollars I heard moaning coming from this room. Nkechi, wake up now and explain why you are sleeping by this time.”
    Nkechi: “Em… em you are back? Welcome.” She pretended not to have heard her.
    Pamela: “I asked you why you are sleeping by this time and why does this room stink like this? Were you in here with a guy? Stand up” she said when she realized Nkechi was trying so hard to cover her body even though the weather was hot.
    Nkechi: “I have prepared dinner so go and have your bathe ma, will serve you when you are done.” She tried changing the topic but Pamela walked furiously to her and dragged the blanket off her body. Not only was she naked, she had sperm all over her stomach and the blanket only succeeded in making it look messier.
    Pamela: “What is this lady? Have you been bringing men to make love to you on my bed while I’m away? Now where did you hid the man?” she asked and started searching frantically for the man. She searched the bathroom, then the closets and then walked over to…
    Question: Do you think she would find Nkechi’s secret lover? What do you think her reaction would be when she finds him? What do you suggest she do?

    Episode 16

    He shifted away from her so as not to touch her.
    Tunde: “What are you trying to do? You are really tempting me but I refuse to fall for this. Please get a hold of yourself so we can avoid the avoidable.”
    Pamela: “You are not about to reject me now are you?” she said teary eyed.
    Tunde: “I am not rejecting you but just trying to protect you. Don’t allow what your husband did to you to blur your judgement, have you thought about the repercussions of what you are asking us to do?”
    Pamela: “What repercussions are you talking about? If that is the price I have to pay for feeling like a woman once, then I am ready to face it all. I want to do this, stop talking like I am out of my mind, I’m not!” she blurted and sat down on the bed.
    Tunde: “Sweetheart, I want to do this as much as you do but I can’t bear to see your image being tarnished. From what you told me, Ndishi is not something to tamper with. So let’s get our acts straight already.” As much as he wanted to fold her in his arms and be a comfort to her, he knew even one touch would ignite a fire none of them would be able to quench. So he kept his distance.
    Pamela: “No one loves me, not my husband, not you. I’m just left all alone in this world. Fate is cruel, life is unfair, and this world is bullshit I shouldn’t be here.”  She said and rested her forehead on her palms. For the first time, he noticed the scars lining her arms and was drawn to trace them with his fingers but she jerked her hands off realizing her scars were open to his scrutiny. “What do you think you are doing touching me like that?” she yelled.
    Tunde: “What are those scars on your arms? Did your husband do those to you?” he asked with blazing eyes.
    Pamela: “No I did them myself! Cutting myself made me feel a tad better whenever I’m really down like I am now.”
    Tunde: “My goodness! What made you think hurting yourself would make you feel better?” He said taking some steps towards her.
    Pamela: “The Voice did, it does work…” she said and started looking frantically around.
    Tunde: “Are you looking for something?” he asked confused.
    Pamela: “Yes! I need something sharp, just a little blood on my body will make me feel better. He tried calming her down without success then he hugged her. She struggled in his arms for a while and relaxed.  He knew there were warnings to heed to, questions to be answered but all sense was lost as he reveled in holding her. Releasing her from his tight embrace, he bent to kiss the tender flesh beneath her ear as his fingertips strayed over her throat and down.
    Tunde: “Are you sure you want to do this Pamela?” he asked as she shivered under his touch.
    Pamela: “I have never being this sure in my life” she replied with a voice husky with desire. There was so much more he wanted to say but he couldn’t be wise or pragmatic. He could only love her.

    He laid her gently on the bed and made love to her. She felt on top of the world for no one has ever been that gentle with her before. Her husband was her first and the only thing he did was mount her savagely not minding if she was ready or not. Tunde showed her what it really felt like to be loved sexually. She heaved a sigh of relief as he rocked her to sleep in his arms.

    At exactly 3a.m, she heard a very cool voice right beside her on the bed and she knew for sure whose voice it was…
    Pamela: “What do you want?” she sleep talked.
    The Voice: “Why did you do that? Why did you let another man touch you?” she could sense it was trying to control its anger.
    Pamela: “Why can’t another man touch me? I love him and I think it’s time I let you go.” She said defensively.
    The Voice: “And you dare talk back at me?”
    Pamela: “Oh please! I have found a man I love at last and there’s nothing you or anyone can do about it. I let you do whatever you wanted with me before because of my miserly husband, now that will change.”
    The Voice: “You think you have any say in this? You’ve been sold to me so you are definitely mine whether you like it or not and I will do with you whatever I dim fit.”
    Pamela: “You cannot dare it you scumbag” she cursed and struggled in her sleep. Tunde knowing what might be going on held her really tight and muttered words of prayer to God for protection.
    The Voice: “I cannot dare it? I have been your only friend all these while and now you talk to me this way? Is this how you will pay me back for loving you? Accepting you as mine?” It raged.
    Pamela: “And now I am freeing you, look for another victim to prey on. Just look at me, I am a wrecked because of you, sometimes I feel like I am deranged because of you  and here you are telling me it was for my good?” her rage matched his.
    The Voice: “There is one thing I know, no one is taking you from me before its time. No one takes what’s mine instead I take” it roared in derision.
    Pamela: “You are delusional, you are formless and you think you can own a whole human like me?  Please get out of my sight, out of my head now” she made to stand up but realized she could not move. In reality, she struggled even more while Tunde held on to her tighter.
    The Voice: “Now we are going to do something for me. Something that would bring me great pleasure. We are going to kill your abominable lover now.” He said mockingly, laughed ominously and teleported into her. She woke up with a jerk, eyes brimming with darkness. She looked menacingly at Tunde who was sitting up trying to collect his thoughts. She ignored him, ran out of the room and straight to where cutlery were kept in the kitchen as if she had lived in that house all her life. She grabbed hold of a long sharp knife and sprinted back to the bedroom.
    Tunde stood dazed, he knew something was absolutely wrong judging from how she looked at him with an inexplicable hatred which was unlike her. He saw her dash back to the room with a glowing knife smiling menacingly at him. Before he could collect his thoughts, she was already on him trying so hard to plunge the knife into his heart while he held her hands. He was strong but she was stronger, they rolled on the bed. The more they struggled, the more powerful she became while he started giving up hope of surviving the attack until a thought struck him…
    Tunde: “Pamela, I know you are somewhere in there… please don’t do this, think of all the love we share. You can fight this, don’t allow this thing to use you like this. Please you can do this.” He pleaded breathlessly.
    Pamela: “Ahahahahahahahahhah… I warned you to stay away from her but instead what did you do? Now she no longer wants me. When you are dead, she will come seeking for me again…ahahahahaha…die you bastard. I told you I am your worst nightmare, you won’t escape this” she laughed wickedly. He saw an opportunity to push her off while she talked because she had loosened her hold on him a bit while talking. He pushed her off with all the strength he could mutter and bolted for the door…
    QUESTION: Do you think Tunde will survive this attack?  Find out in the next episode.

    Episode 15

    While Ikenna hid under the bed, he remembered the conversation he had with the old man Obinna took him to see the afternoon he made a distress call to him…
    Old Man: “So what did you say the problem is? He asked with a shaky voice after he had offered them a seat in his shabby looking room.
    Obinna: “Baba, this man here is in a deep shit and we need your help”
    Old Man: “Let him talk for himself or doesn’t he have mouth? Are you probably dumb now Young man?” he asked looking squarely at Ikenna.
    Ikenna: “Baba help me. What you warned me about has come to pass and I don’t know what to do.”
    Old Man: “I warned you about many things of which you’ve already broken one in the past, which one did you break this time?’
    Ikenna: “I got a girl pregnant” he revealed shamefacedly.
    Old Man: “Eeeeeewo! You did what? After all my stern warnings? Now you will made to dance to the tune of the music your own music.”
    Obinna: “Please help us Baba” he pleaded kneeling down while Ikenna followed suit.
    Old Man: “What would you have me do now?”
    Ikenna: “Please help us terminate the pregnancy diabolically.”
    Old Man: “Ahahahahahahahahhah….” He laughed uncontrollably. “You this young generation think you can eat your cake and still have it. I’ve helped you all I can, one thing I know is, if you break your pact with Iboriodo then the grim reaper will be here to harvest you with immediate effect. And don’t forget what I told you, if she breaks it, you will be the one to still bear its grave consequences. So mind how you thread from now on. I know the reason I asked you not to get any girl pregnant. You can leave now.” He said and left them where they sat glued wide eyed on their seats. He was jerked back to reality when he heard…
    Pamela: “And why do you look so pale madam? I know the man is still in this room, where is he? Mr. Man… in case you don’t know, I’m calling the police on you now on the allegation of forced entry and rape. So if you like yourself come out from your hideout now!” she ordered. As she was about to take a step to the side of the bed where Ikenna laid crouched on the floor, Nkechi ran with speed to the toilet and retched into the zinc. She left what she was about doing and went to stand by her with hands akimbo. She looked into the mirror in front of her and saw a man crawling out from under the bed.
    Pamela: “Hey you stop there now!” she turned and ran to where he crouched face down. “Why am I having a feeling that I know you? Wait! Ikenna?” she went over to him and lifted his face up. “Oh no!” she took three steps back and looked at him, he was stark naked.
    Ikenna: “It’s not what you think honey, please calm down” he moved closer to her and made to touch her and stopped midway.
    Pamela: “Now you think I am a fool? Look at her sperm filled body and look at yours, what other evidence do I need you son of a bitch?” she snapped at him.
    Ikenna: “See stop that! Whose fault is all these? You’ve denied me sex for more than a year now and you have the guts to complain about me doing it with someone who made herself available for me? How can you be so callous?” he snapped back.
    Pamela: “So this is it at the end right? But why under my roof and with Nkechi? Why on my bed?”
    Ikenna: “It’s my bed as well so I can still do whatever I want on it. Besides why are you feeling so hurt? Have you ever loved me? All I have ever gotten from you is cold shoulders whenever I demand for my right as your husband. Do you think I am a log of wood with no needs?”
    Nkechi: “Did I hear someone mention my name? You mean I’m not human enough for him to want to do it with me you bitch?”
    Pamela: “How dare you talk to me like that?” she fumed, went closer to her and slapped her on the right cheek. Nkechi did not delay in returning it in two folds.
    Nkechi: “You must be crazy to think less of me. You must be mad to have raised your hand at me”
    Pamela: “I have nothing to say to you but this one who even accused me of infidelity some time back, bloody hypocrite!” she said facing her husband with eyes blazing like furnace.
    Nkechi: No you should face me and talk to me, let’s do it woman to woman…”
    Pamela: “You woman? Ahahahahaha… you call yourself a woman? You are just a girl with a displaced priority” she said letting out a wry laugh.
    Nkechi: “Displace priority? Oh good! At least I am carrying a child and that makes me a woman. What do we say about those who can’t even menstruate at their old age let alone having a baby? You are useless, useless, wasted, you have no reason to call yourself a wife!”
    Ikenna: “Nkechi that is enough!” he barked at her.
    Nkechi: “Take a Look at me very well, you asked why I looked pale right? It’s because I’m pregnant for him, for your husband. I’m not like some bitches who deny their husbands sex.” She said folding her arms across her abdomen stubbornly ignoring Ikenna.
    Pamela: “What? Is that true?” she asked facing Ikenna
    Ikenna: “I don’t know what you are talking about but yeah she seems to be pregnant.”  He replied looking away so as not to see the hurt in her eyes. “Now I am doomed…” he thought.
    Pamela: “Good! Very good!” she said backing away.
    She uttered no word any further but just took her handbag and left the house furiously for them. She boarded a taxi and gave the taxi man Tunde’s address at Victoria Island. It was 12a.m before she finally got there with all the Lagos traffic jam. Tunde opened the door for her after the third ring of the doorbell.
    Tunde was taken aback when he saw her teary eyed in his home. He bolted to her and held her at arm’s length even though he felt like hugging her real tight just to make her feel safe.

    Tunde: “What’s wrong baby? Did something happen at home?” he asked her with great concern and she burst out into fresh tears. “Damn Ndishi, damn!” he muttered under his breath. He led her to a seat and sat watching her closely.
    Pamela: “Stop looking at me like that. It feels so awkward” she said trying to force herself into smiling.
    Tunde: “Just tell me what happened dear, did anyone touch you? Why are you out this late?” he asked
    Pamela: “I caught my husband and Nkechi making love on my bed and to crown it all, she’s pregnant for him.” She said looking at her hands which were soaked with sweat and tears.
    Tunde: “Pregnant? That asshole!” he cursed.
    Pamela: “Did you know about this? Did you by any chance have an inkling this was going on?”
    Tunde: “Yes I did and I am very sorry I didn’t tell you. Couldn’t muster up the courage to do so. And I didn’t want you to feel like I was trying to break your home apart” he said apologetically.
    Pamela: “You should have told me but it’s okay, I wouldn’t have believed you anyway”
    Tunde: “Thanks for understanding and don’t worry, it’s going to be fine okay? He was able to calm her down and led her to the guest room. “Freshen up and go to bed dear, tomorrow we will know what to do about this mess on ground.” He said and turned to leave but she stopped him.
    Pamela: “Please done leave yet, stay here with me while I freshen up. You can leave when I’m done if you want to.” She said, went into the bathroom and locked the door.
    Few minutes later, she came out stark naked. He took one look at her and knew
    That he was in trouble. He swallowed hard when his eyes roamed to her firm oval shaped breast and the little nipples adorning them. Her wet hair lusciously invited him to rake his fingers through the strands. He looked to her shapely long legs and swallowed hard as his manhood began to throb expectantly under his pajamas. She moved towards him seductively and said…
    Pamela: Make love to me please…” she said moving even closer to him.

    Episode 17

    Like a professional swordsman, she flung the knife at him and collapsed on the floor. He had tried looking back to see how close she had caught up to him, so the knife instead of his upper back burrowed deep into his right upper arm. He flinched with pain and slumped down. When he saw her on the floor, not minding the searing pain in his arm, he managed to crawl to where she laid and cradled her head on his laps.
    Tunde: “Sweetheart… wake up. Everything is alright now. Please wake up” he pleaded weakly, weeping softly not for the pain in his arm but for the woman lying motionless on his laps. Her eyelids fluttered open and she quickly sat up, flushed until she saw the blood oozing from the place the knife was still burrowed in.
    Pamela: “Oh my God! You are bleeding, what on earth happened to you?” she asked ignorantly
    Tunde: “I guess this is the price I have to pay for loving you” he said and blacked out.
    Pamela: “Tunde! Tunde! Can you hear me?” she said shaking him vigorously but careful enough not to make the knife burrow deeper. When she realized he had passed out and was losing too much blood, she quickly dressed up and called Stanley who arrived a short while later and the two of them rushed him to the hospital. Thanks to the hospital being Stanley’s, none of his staff asked any questions, they didn’t need to fill forms before he was attended to. Stanley attended to him personally and at daybreak, the knife had been removed surgically and he was transferred to recovery room to recuperate fully before getting discharged.

    Pamela, still confused as to what had happened that night, the only thing she could remember was talking to The Voice unconsciously and after that, waking up on Tunde’s laps. She tended to him with sadness and quilt while he studied her carefully. She cleaned his body with the neat hand towel the nurse had provided her with and later fed him pap. Tunde knew she had questions but wasn’t sure he was ready to answer them. He didn’t want to hurt her any more than she already was.
    Tunde: “Are you okay dear? Why do you look so downcast?”
    Pamela: “I should ask you that…what happened last night. What did I do to you?” she queried squeezing the water from the towel into the bowl.
    Tunde: “I don’t want to talk about last night sweetheart.”
    Pamela: “But I have the right to know since I was in the house with you. I have a feeling that this was my doing. Please?”
    Tunde: “Okay” he said throwing his good arm to the air. ‘’I think you got possessed by that devilish thing you keep talking to from your sleep.”
    Pamela: “Oh My God! Then I really did this to you?” she lamented bursting into fresh sobs.
    Tunde: “You see why I didn’t want to tell you? It was not your fault sweetheart, you were not acting under your will. Besides, the way you struggled in your sleep, I deduced you tried fighting him off for my sake. Thanks dear, for standing up for me with something that evil” he said using his left hand to draw her closer to himself.
    Pamela: “See where that has gotten us… I am really sorry for making you go through this. Like I said, you still have the chance to back out now, I feel the fight is not over. I mean it’s just starting.”
    Tunde: “And why is everyone giving me this advice if I may ask? Is it that no one understands my heart? Not even you?” he said feeling disappointed.

    Pamela: “We are only concerned about your safety. At least when I’m done with this battle, we can get back together. Please you should understand me now.”
    Tunde: “So you are asking me to break up with you because of this? What do you take me for? A coward who runs away when things are not so good and comes running back when everything is settled and rosy? Is that what you want to turn me into? You, my friends and family, none of you can give me a word of encouragement? Tell me I’m doing the right thing for once?”
    Pamela: “I understand how you feel dear…”
    Tunde: “You don’t understand, do you think I don’t have my own doubts too? Now I’m fighting my doubts and at the same time you guys’. How long do you think I can last before I get broken? Do you think I feel good knowing the woman I fell in love with is married and is battling with unseen forces? Baby I need your understanding, I need you to let me fight this with you. Only then will I be sure of victory. Can we do that?” he asked looking up into her tear-filled eyes.
    Pamela: “But…”
    Tunde: “Shhhhh… no buts. Just tell we can”
    Pamela: “Okay then. We can do that… we really can” she said cradling his head in her bosom.
    Tunde: “You don’t know how blissful it feels being able to hold you like this, being able to touch you. I feel like the world belongs to just the two of us”
    Pamela: “I feel the same way too. I feel so blessed having you here”
    Tunde: “You are blessed of course and don’t worry, this will be over soon” he reassured her.
    Pamela: “How is your hand now? Hope it’s not hurting too much?”
    Tunde: “It’s not as long as you are here my love” he said winking at her.

    Stanley and Kolapo stood outside listening to them, they both had tears in their eyes at the end.
    Kolapo: “Mehn! Our guy is truly in love at last. See him with one hand and yet clinging to her.”
    Stanley: “See I have decided to just let the two of them be. He should do whatever he wants as long as he won’t get killed.”
    Kolapo: “Can’t you see he almost got killed this time? He is alive by sheer luck. I hope they both survive this. Love is a bitch.”
    Stanley: “I’m telling you. When you notice I am falling in love with an Eve, please and please, use hammer to get me back to my senses. Love makes a man into a foolish homo sapien. I refuse to be Love’s foolish vagabond”
    Kolapo: “Love’s foolish vagabond? Now where did you hear that one from? “He said grimacing.
    Stanley: “I saw it in a poem by Kukogho Iruesiri Samson titled Diamonds and Pebbles. You should really learn to read books”
    Kolapo: “I have heard you doctor. What is the title of the collection? I am sure that Diamonds and Pebbles is just one poem is a collection, right?
    Stanley: “You are current buddy. The title of the book itself is ‘I Said These Words’.
    Kolapo: “Okay now. Now what about Tunde’s parents? I don’t think they will ever agree for him to date this lady let alone marry her. She is married for Chrissake”
    Stanley: “That is why I did not bother telling them about him being admitted in the hospital right now. They shouldn’t know all the details, they are okay with just knowing she is married and nothing else. We can still help him talk to them. They will probably listen to me since I’m their family doctor and they’ve never had any cause to doubt me before. We can make this happen for our buddy mate.” He finished optimistically.
    Kolapo: “Okay then, I guess I have no option but share in your optimism. I have to leave now, you know I am a businessman”
    Stanley: “Okay businessman, see ya some other time” They shook hands and went about their different businesses.
    Ikenna sat in his sitting room musing over the disappearance of his wife. Her phone had been off and he didn’t know any of her friends in the office apart from the mystery guy who went calling that day. He was still thinking about where to go looking for her when he thought he saw a shadow move swiftly across the room.
    Ikenna:  “Who is there? Nkechi?” but he thought it couldn’t be Nkechi since she just left for the market. He relaxed but the shadow moved again, slower this time for him to catch a proper glimpse. “Please stop playing pranks on me and come out from the shadows now…”
    QUESTION: Do you think someone is really playing pranks on Ikenna? If not, what do you think he is seeing?

    Episode 18

    Yet he heard nothing from whoever it was. This continued for another twenty minutes and then out of fear, he decided to leave the house. He almost collided with Pamela on his way out…
    Ikenna: “You scared the shit out of me woman. Have you been the one hiding in the shadows trying to play cheap pranks on me?” he asked following her into the house. She uttered no word to him and just went straight to her closet, took the spacious handbag she hung on the wall and started packing some of her cloths. “What are you doing? Are you going somewhere? Aren’t you the one I am talking to?” he yelled when he realized she was purposely ignoring him.
    Pamela: “Why on earth are you making noise? And where is your new wife?” she asked sarcastically without even looking up from what she was doing.
    Ikenna: “What new wife?”
    Pamela: “You know who I am talking about so stop feigning ignorance”
    Ikenna: “Where are you going?” he repeated.
    Pamela: “It’s none of your business, just stay away from me. You have a real wife now so what I do or where I go is no longer your business.” She retorted.
    Ikenna: “As long as you are still my wife, I still have every say in your goings and doings. Besides, where did you crash last night? I was expecting you to come back last night so I could apologize but you never showed up.”
    Pamela: “Oh really! Yesterday was the only day you could tender an apology I guess?”
    Ikenna: “I did not say that”
    Pamela: “I don’t even need your apology, it’s pointless and will not be of use. So keep it for someone else. I am done here.”  She carried her bag and made to walk away from him but he pulled her back.
    Ikenna: “Where did you sleep last night and where are you going to now with your clothes?” he was becoming aggressive and desperate.
    Pamela: “I don’t want to fight sir so please just let go of me”
    Ikenna: “I should let go of you so you can disappear from my life?”
    Pamela: “Who made that call? Am I disappearing because I want to? Remember this is a house I paid for with my sweat?”
    Ikenna: “Go on and remind me how incapable I am”
    Pamela: “I am not leaving forever. I am only going away to clear my head, come to terms with what you did and maybe decide what to do with your whore”
    Ikenna: “Don’t call her that” he warned
    Pamela: “I smell love in the air. Now will you unhand me? And if you try anything funny, I’d call the police on you. You cannot eat your cake and have it. I will be back but probably not in a good way.”
    Ikenna: “You cannot leave me, no you can’t. I will not let you leave me, without you I am nothing. So just stay with me and forget the past, I will send Nkechi away so it can remain just us, we can be husband and wife again just give me another chance. It’s remaining a little time for you to be fully mine so I can’t let you leave.” He said shaking his head frantically looking like a hopeless teenager.

    Pamela: “When you knew you didn’t want to lose me, why did you do what you did? Please let me go!” she snapped snatching her hand forcefully from his tight grip and walked quickly out of the door.
    He stood hopelessly watching her go. He knew he was in a great trouble. Then all of sudden he remembered the silhouette of a man he kept seeing that noon and seemed to understand what it entailed.
    Pamela: “You were right… the shameless thing did not want me to leave. He was just speaking gibberish.” She said as soon as she stepped into Tunde’s ward.
    Tunde: “Well it’s understandable, no man would want to lose an amazing woman like you.” He said winking seductively at her.
    Pamela: “Very funny. That reminds me- he said something that was kind of suspicious but I did not give any thought to it till now.”
    Tunde: “What was it?” he asked sitting up curiously.
    Pamela: “He said I should give him another chance that it’s remaining a little while and I’d fully become his. Don’t you think that utterance is somewhat suspicious?”
    Tunde: “I don’t see anything suspicious about it, it’s just the ranting of a desperate man. Discard it.” He said in a matter- of- fact way.
    Pamela: “Are you sure? My gut tells me something is up with that man”
    Tunde: “Of course something is up with him- his fuckup is being treated and he seems to be losing his wife. So yeah, he will do or say anything to make you stay”
    Pamela: “Okay then. So you are getting discharged tomorrow?”
    Tunde: “That’s what Stanley said. I’d be coming around for dressing every two days.”
    Pamela: “Good one. So I guess I’d be going home tomorrow then?” she asked trying so hard to hide her disappointment.
    Tunde: “No way! You are not leaving me just yet. Don’t forget I am still a patient, I need someone to be taking care of me and you are my best candidate for that”
    Pamela: “Seriously? I have to go back home dear. You can ask your houseboy to stay with you for some time rather than coming from home.”
    Tunde: “No! It’s you I want. You are the only one I want to be seeing and that will make my healing speedier. Can you do that for this unwell me?” he asked feigning innocence.
    Pamela: “Okay I have heard you, stop pretending to be so sick when you are not. Shameless guy.” She said, threw a pillow at him jokingly and strutted out into the corridor apparently to go see Stanley.
    Tunde: “What’s with you and Stanley these days madam? The two of you are always whispering behind my back, are you two dating or what?” he shouted after her.
    Pamela: “Oh yes! He is my newest concubine in town. You are outdated already.” She shouted back.
    Tunde: “Omoge mi ati padi mi, won ti se mi nkan ti o da…” He sang to himself and smiled broadly. “I don’t think I have ever been this happy before in my entire life yet here I am, on a hospital bed. God! Am I probably going crazy?”  he thought and chuckled puerilely.
    On her way back from the market, she overheard the woman selling provisions in front of their compound and her friend talking. She slowed down a bit just to know what they were really talking about in such hushed tones and looking towards her direction awkwardly.
    First Woman: “Hmmmmmm! My dear sister, I feel sorry for that poor wife of his, I heard this one sent her out of the house. It’s terrible.” She said shaking her head.
    Second Woman: “She is an ingrate. A nonentity, she is not even aware that the man she is clamoring so much for is nothing but a pauper. We know how they were before Pamela got this job she is doing now.  She will soon be sent back to the slum. Shameless girl.” She said looking towards her disgustingly.
    First Woman: “Look at her, she seems to be pregnant o.”
    Second Woman: “She will be pregnant na. Do you know how much she makes sleep elude us in the house with her disgusting moaning all day long? She is carrying a bastard of course. Who knows if the man is even the owner of the pregnancy? I hate women who try reaping where they did not sow. Women who want nothing but someone else’s husband. These bunch of women are nothing but a disgrace to us. And the men who patronize them are the worst. These men won’t ever know what they have until they’ve lost it. It’s a shame.” She lowered her voice as Nkechi approached them slowly.
    Second Woman: “It’s okay o, I don’t want her trouble. She’s quite the troublemaker.” She said as Nkechi made to walk pass them but turned back.
    Nkechi: “What did you people say?”
    First Woman: “We said nothing and even if we did it’s none of your business.
    Nkechi: “Is that so?” she said dropping the foodstuffs she had in her hand.
    Second Woman: “Please just go inside, we don’t want any trouble.
    Nkechi: “You are mad for saying you don’t want any trouble after asking me to brew some for you. How dare you call my husband a pauper? How dare you say my child is a bastard? You this jobless gossip mongers with no iota of shame in you. Its your sons that will be paupers for the rest of their lives and your daughters will bear only bastards even in their husbands houses” she raved pointing menacingly the shop owner who when she could not stand it anymore pushed her roughly. Nkechi staggered to the back and landed on her buttocks with a thud. She rolled her eyes and fell back unmoving.
    Question: Do you think it is okay for Pamela to stay with Tunde while he recovers or should she go back to her husband’s house? What do you think Ikenna meant when he said it’s remaining just a little while then she’d become his?

    Episode 19

    First Woman: “Nkechi… Nkechi…” she called her tapping her roughly on the shoulder.
    Second Woman: “Wahala dey o, she seems to have passed out. What do we do?” she asked bewildered as her friend started using the edge of her wide skirt to fan her.
    First Woman: “Go and bring water fast fast. I cannot allow this girl to die like this, bring plenty water” she kept fanning her and looking around to make sure no one has noticed the scenario.
    Second woman: “Here is the water…” but before she could get the water close to Nkechi, she sprang to her feet.
    Nkechi: “If they born you well, let even a tiny drop touch me, I will show you what I am made of” she threatened.
    Second Woman: “So you’ve been pretending all these while? Na wa oo” she said a little relieved.
    First Woman: “I did feel she was pretending, that was the reason I asked you to bring plenty water, wanted to know how long she’d hold” she said looking at her friend ignoring Nkechi.
    Nkechi: “Well this is just a tip of the iceberg. Look at me very well, I am an ogbanje and I am the queen of my coven, the next time you as much as lay one finger on me or talk ill of my family, I will die in your hands and be reborn to another parent while you dine with maggots in your grave. So be careful from now henceforth” she threatened and walked away feeling herself.
    First Woman: “She is a mad woman true true. Who will live with this one as a husband? I feel sorry for the man” she said shaking her head.
    She woke up sweating like a lamb being led to the slaughter house. Tunde on whose arms she had slept had her sweat all over him too. He had felt her struggling in her sleep just like she did the night she attacked him, he was quite scared that the same would happen again but she woke up calm though frightened out of her wits.
    Tunde: “That must have been a terrible nightmare. Look at the way you are sweating under air conditioner.” He said worriedly, reaching out to dab the sweat streaming down her face.
    Pamela: “It was more than a terrible nightmare dear. I am so scared” she said holding on to him even tighter.
    Tunde: “Care to share?”
    Pamela: “I saw a terribly looking snake pursuing me. I woke up and went back to sleep like three times and the same snake appeared those three times.  I have never seen snakes in dreams before. I am really scared”
    Tunde: “Don’t be scared dear, I am here for you. Nothing will happen to you while I am here and it is just a nightmare.”
    Pamela: “I guess it’s time for me to go back home. It’s been two weeks already and you seem to have fully recovered. I need to go take up my duty as a wife again. Hope you understand me?”
    Tunde: “Yeah yeah. You should go back but if anything happens, don’t hesitate to beep me please. Let me know everything going on with you in that house, do you understand?” he asked emphatically.
    Pamela: “Sure, I understand. You are my guardian angel anyway and I love you very very much”
    Tunde: “Someone is head over heels in love with this nigga at last” he said jokingly. “I love you too, much more than you can ever imagine” he said and lowered his head to place a light kiss on her forehead.
    She kept having nightmares about snakes and masquerades chasing her. It kept getting worst until she could no longer go to work because of how terrible she looked due to her lack of sleep.
    That afternoon as she sat at the corridor just watching the passersby, she felt a sharp pang of pain on her head. At first she thought it would pass but it didn’t. She quickly ran inside and started pouring water on head but the more water that touched her head the worst the pain grew. She took her phone and called Tunde who arrived there an hour later and found her sprawled on the floor with her hands on her head, crying.
    Pamela: “I think I am going to die, I can’t take this anymore. I just don’t know what’s happening to me. Oh my head! “She cried holding her head tightly.
    Tunde: “Hang on dear, I will have to take you to the hospital right away.” He scooped her up and carried her out into his car. People around looked at them and shook their heads, “what a messed up family” some of them said.
    As soon as they stepped into Stan’s Memorial Hospital, she became frantic and jumped down from his arms.

    Pamela: “What do you think you are doing carrying me like that? Do I look like a baby to you? Oh my heaaaad!” she wailed clutching her head again. People stared at them. A nurse ran towards them…
    Nurse: “Please is anything wrong madam? This is a hospital and noise is not allowed here” she said and made to lead her to a seat but she jumped out of her reach.
    Pamela: “You all are crazy in this market place. I need to find a place to nurse my baby. Oh my head!” she held her head and started running round the reception.
    Tunde: “Please help me call Stanley immediately” he said to the nurse.
    Pamela: “Oh yes! I will confess, I had sex with him, yes I did have sex with him. Yeees! I will confess ooooo please leave me alone, leave me alone” she said trying to remove her gown but Tunde quickly grabbed her tightly. Stanley arrived with some nurses who pinned her down as one of them sedated her. She fell into Tunde’s arms weakly and slept off.
    Tunde: “I have to take her back home, this is not a hospital case” he said sadly to Stanley after they had transferred her to the same bed he had used some weeks ago.
    Stanley: “What was she ranting about man? That was true madness she was displaying in there. What is happening?” he was oblivious of what was happening so Tunde told him everything about the Curse. “Oh! This is outrageous, you mean something this barbaric still exists in this evolved world?”
    Tunde: “Even did not believe it, I guess until now”
    Stanley: “But since you knew this was the case, why did you have to sleep with her? Are you really that daft? This can claim this lady’s life.”
    Tunde: “I think I was crazy. This is not the time to apportion blame anyway. Once she wakes up, we have to take her home so she can confess to her husband otherwise, she might die. Oh God! This is my fault, I shouldn’t have done it no matter what.”
    Stanley: “I guess this really isn’t the time to apportion blame so let’s hope for the best. I guess she’s awake now”. They walked over to her and noticed she was herself again. “How are you feeling now?” he asked looking down at her as she laid still on the bed.
    Pamela: “I feel better now, I am no longer having headache. I need to go home. I have to go home” she said sitting up weakly.
    Tunde: “Yes you have to and I will take you home now” he said and scooped her up from the bed again. He could not imagine how much weight she had lost in just two weeks. She wrapped her arms tightly around his neck and rested her head on his chest.
    Pamela: “I am sorry for putting you through all these mess. I feel so ashamed of myself” she whispered weakly.
    Tunde: “You don’t have to be sorry, don’t forget we are in this together. Your problem is my problem, your tears is my tears, your curse is my curse and your joy is my joy. So let’s stick together and overcome this hurdle.”
    Pamela: “Oh Tunde! What will I ever do without you? Right now you are the reason I am still alive, I might have committed suicide a long time ago. My life is a train of wreck right now”.
    Tunde: No don’t talk like that. I hate hearing anything about death, you are doing just fine. You are so brave my dear” he said patting her head fondly.
    Pamela: “Brave?” she scoffed weakly.
    Tunde: “Yes brave, not everybody can fight the battles you are fighting now and still remain sane”
    Pamela: “I just wish everything was better for us, I wish I had met you first, I wish I didn’t have to get married when I did. I feel so unworthy of your love” she said dejectedly.
    Tunde: “Stop talking like that now. You were young and naïve, stop beating yourself up over what you cannot change, just move on, live. Who knows someday there will be light at the end of the tunnel? I think you need to see a psychologist”

    Pamela: “Why? You think I am going out of my wits? Have you started seeing me as someone who is emotionally unstable?” she asked with disappointment written all over her face.
    Tunde: “Of course not, okay then let’s forget about that and just thread carefully from now on” he said maneuvering his car through the mainland traffic jam. He had tears in his eyes as they drove towards Orile. She closed her eyes all through.
    She was extremely taken aback when she met her mother in law in the house when they arrived at last. She closed her eyes with regret and wondered why her mother in law should be there only at that point in time. She thought of how she was going to confess to such a thing with her being around.
    QUESTION: Will she go ahead with the confession? What do you think happened to her at Stan’s Hospital?

    Episode 20

    Mama Ikenna: “Where are you coming from madam the madam? Where have you been for the past three days I’ve been here? Is this how your useless mother brought you up? Is this how you were taught to act as a married woman? She raved accusingly immediately she sighted Pamela.
    Pamela: “Welcome mama, I did not know you were around” she replied wearily.
    Mama Ikenna: “How will you know? When you are busy jumping from one bed to the other. I said it, you are a prostitute sent to disgrace my son. Ikenna do you see it now?” she turned to Ikenna. “And who is this? “She asked when she noticed Tunde for the first time.
    Tunde: “I am her friend, good evening” he replied with the same vigor she had used in talking to Pamela.
    Mama Ikenna: “I see! So you brought one of your customers home? No wonder you are looking so pitiful. Shame on you” she spat on her.
    Ikenna: ‘Mama what is wrong with you now? Can’t you see there is a visitor in this house?”
    Mama Ikenna: “What visitor? You mean her customer? So you are also an accomplice uhn? You did not tell me you now use this house as a brothel” she continued stubbornly while Pamela stood there still wondering what to do about her confession.
    Pamela: “I will just drop my bag inside and come back mama” she said and made to walk away but she drew her back forcefully.
    Mama Ikenna: “Where do you think you are going to? You no longer belong here so get out of this house this moment or else I will call amadioha to descend on you.”
    Tunde: “Madam why don’t you take it easy?” he said going to stand by Pamela.
    Mama Ikenna: “Look at her, barren good for nothing asewo” she said with disdain.
    Ikenna: “Mama that is enough, please go inside now!” he ordered pointing at the door leading to the room.
    Mama Ikenna: “I cannot stay in the same house with this girl, its either she leaves or I do”
    Pamela: “Really? Leave my house? My own house?” she asked incredulously.
    Mama Ikenna: “Your own house? Look at this senseless girl. This house belongs to my son, what do you know about making money?”
    Ikenna: “You should leave Pamela, go back to where you are coming from so peace can reign in this house. Come back when mama leaves” he quickly said afraid that she’d tell his mum she had been the one paying the rent and all.
    Pamela: “Wow! Wow!”
    Tunde: “Come let’s go. I think you’ve had enough for today” he said drawing her forcefully out of the house.
    Mama Ikenna: “Don’t ever come back to this house again, do you understand?” she shouted after them. “Good riddance to bad rubbish. Now my son can have peace” she muttered under her breath. “Where is Nkechi? Nkechi…” she called.
    Nkechi: “Mama I am coming, she answered from the room where she had been all along and ran into the sitting room nervously.
    Mama Ikenna: “Have your seat and stop shivering as if I want to reprimand you for doing something wrong. Did you do anything wrong?”
    Nkechi: “No ma”
    Mama Ikenna: “So relax… I know you are pregnant, who is it for?”
    Nkechi: “It’s for… for…?”
    Mama Nkechi: “Talk now, I told you I am not reprimanding you, I just want to know who is responsible for it. Besides being pregnant is a good thing, a great news so hurry and tell me now”
    Nkechi: “It’s for Ikenna” she said looking down
    Mama Ikenna: “Which Ikenna? My son?” she asked excitedly.
    Nkechi: “Yes ma”
    Mama Nkechi: “Wow that is great! So eventually I am going to become a grandmother? Hai, Chineke nna ndeewo, Chineke nna ndeewo imela…” she stood up singing and dancing retying her wrapper endlessly. Nkechi looked at her and started giggling and grinning from ears to ears.
    Mama Nkechi: “My daughter thank you, thank you very much. You have just saved this family from disgrace. Some people in the village have started insinuating that my son is impotent but you have just proved them wrong. When I get back home, I will go and arrange for your bride price to be paid with immediate effect”
    Nkechi: “Mama isn’t that too soon? I cannot stay in this house with my madam. What if she kills my child?” she said pretending to be really worried.
    Mama Nkechi: “Tufia! She is not coming back to this house again. Look at this house my dear, it’s now yours. I trust my son, he will take proper care of you” she said assuring her newly found daughter in law.
    Ikenna stood unnoticed at one corner watching the two of them– “This ones do not know anything yet, not until it has dawned on them. Now that she has sent my wife away, what do I do? I know she is going to come back, she always comes back” he thought.
    As soon as they stepped into Tunde’s house, she became still and fell on the ground with her whole body quaking violently. Her normally pink lips became so black and her eyes rotated in their sockets. Tunde was left confused as he tried calming her down. He remembered he could not do it on his own and started praying immediately. His houseboy Tope ran into the sitting room and was transfixed on the spot at what he saw.
    Tope: “Oga this na epilepsy o no touch am, she go transfer am to you” he warned still keeping his distance.
    Tunde: “It’s not Epilepsy, please go into that Foursquare Church nearby and call anyone you see there, even if it’s just one person. Hurry up!” he ordered and Tope ran out with speed. He carried her gently to the bedroom as the quaking reduced a little. Tope returned with two men trailing after him.
    Tunde: “You are welcome, please we need prayers. Help me pray for her so she wouldn’t die please” he pleaded. The one who was with anointing oil introduced himself as Pastor Jim and his second as his PA. He uncorked the anointing oil and poured it directly into her mouth praying silently. The quaking suddenly stopped and she sat up immediately, quivering.
    Pamela: “Yes I will confess, I will confess just stop tormenting me please”

    Pastor Jim: “What do you want to confess to?”
    Pamela: “I had intercourse with this man standing here” she said pointing at Tunde.
    Pastor Jim: “Then you should ask God for forgiveness”
    Pamela: “No, Ndishi will still kill me, its tormenting me so much. It wants me to confess to my husband, it will kill me. I will confess” she kept ranting. Tunde went close to draw her into his arms since that was all he knew he could do for her but she jerked back startling him. “Mad man, you want to touch me? I the queen of Ezike Oba? The only sweetheart of my heart? Wait… I will confess” she kept ranting. Tunde knew the momentary madness was back again and he paced around restlessly, Clueless and helpless.
    Pastor Jim: “What is she talking about? What is Ndishi?” he asked confused.
    Tunde: “It’s a god or should I say an idol which punishes any woman who engages in adultery in her hometown. Adultery is a taboo to their women”
    Pastor Jim: “Then you have to take the necessary steps tradition requires” he said after Tunde had narrated how it can be appeased to him and how that is the only way despite his arguments that Such curses have been wiped out by Christianity.
    She became herself again some hours later. She sat up feeling aches all over her body. Tunde was there by her side, holding a wet towel he was apparently using to keep her body temperature in check while she slept.
    Tunde: “How are you feeling now?’
    Pamela: “I feel terrible. Embarrassed is an understatement”
    Tunde: “Hey! You don’t have to feel embarrassed, it’s just me and don’t forget what I told you earlier. Your embarrassment is mine too. So let’s not feel embarrassed and find a way to end this”
    Pamela: “This will not end till I’m dead or confessed to the elders in the village and then do the necessary ritual cleansing”
    Tunde: “Then let’s do that! I will go to the village with you. I can’t let you bear the shame alone. I have to be there with you since we committed the act together”
    Pamela: “No you can’t go with me. It will make everything worst”
    Tunde: “You know you can’t dissuade me right?”
    Pamela: “Hmmmmmm! Okay I will give it a thought. But I still need to tell my husband about it first and I don’t know how to do that with his mother around” she felt like the weight of the whole world was strapped on her back.
    Tunde: “Then let’s call him over. Who knows? He might show up”
    Pamela: “I strongly doubt that. He is somehow egoistic too. But we can still try” she said trying to stand up from the bed.

    Episode 21

    Tunde: “Don’t stand up yet, you are still weak. I think I should get you to the hospital”
    Pamela: “No need for that dear, won’t do any good. Get me my phone please, so I can call my husband” he went swiftly to the sitting room to retrieve it from her bag. She could not help but notice he was a little worn out too. He looked tired and yet agile. Her heart reached out to this man who has become the pillar of her strength in a trying time. But she was scared for him. She knew The Voice still lurked around, waiting for an opportunity to strike again.
    He returned and handed her the phone, he watched as she dialed his number and frowned when the call was ignored.
    Tunde: “Call him again” he suggested. She tried two more times but the same thing happened. He offered her his own phone to call him with. She did and he picked it but as soon as he heard her voice, he hung up the call on her.
    Pamela: “What do I do?” she said worriedly looking up at him as he loomed over her.
    Tunde: “Even I am short of ideas on what to do. I guess we don’t have any other option than to go back to the house. Do we?”
    Pamela: “I don’t want to go back to that house with his mum around. You should have seen how she frustrated my life in the village. Now I have to go and tell her she is right in her opinion of me?”
    Tunde: “It’s all for good baby. Just close your eyes and do this for me. Please?” he pleaded.
    Pamela: “No! I am so scared, she will tear me to shreds” she said whimpering.
    Tunde: “Would you rather hide yourself here and die? Your mother in law will still know about it whether she is there while you confess to your husband or not so brazen up and do the needful when there’s still time. You just don’t know how scary it is when you start acting out like that. Baby please do this for me ehn? And I will go with you, it’s not like you will be alone by yourself”

    Pamela: “Okay I have heard you, but not today anymore?”
    Tunde: “Okay, fine by me, as long as we are going back. We need to know the next step forward after that. Or should we just go to the village without telling your husband anything yet? Maybe your mum will be the one to call to tell him. I am sure he will not ignore her call” he suggested.
    Pamela: “Well that is a good idea too and I seem to prefer it to confessing before his mum”
    Tunde: “That is good, I will book for a direct flight to Enugu State later today, and we will be going tomorrow morning or afternoon”
    Pamela: “Are you sure you want to do this with me? I mean I can always go alone, please reconsider your decision dear”
    Tunde: “No! I have made up my mind and there is no going back. Do you understand?”
    Pamela: “Okay then, if you insist but I cannot promise you things will be rosy for you over there”
    Tunde: “I am not expecting it to be, so don’t worry about me and just be fine and let’s not forget to put everything in God’s hands. I will go see Pastor Jim tomorrow so he can pray along with us. I know there is nothing God cannot do all we have to do is trust Him”
    Pamela: “Yes dear, you are right. I have no one I can run to now but him. I am tired of all these happenings in my life. It’s getting too much for me I can’t bear it all alone”
    Tunde: “Of course you can’t bear it all alone, that’s why God said in His Word that we should put all our trust in Him and lay our cares at His feet because He is the only one who can give us rest. That is exactly what we are going to do. Do you understand?”
    Pamela: “Of course I do. I will forever be grateful to Him if He rids me of all these plagues” she said and relaxed, she felt a form of peace come over her that she had never felt before. She looked up at Tunde and smiled broadly at him then mouthed “Thank You”.
    The next morning, Tunde woke her up to start preparing since he had booked the 9 a.m. flight.
    Tunde: “You really need to wake up now or we miss our flight” he said sliding the blanket off her body.
    Pamela: “Where did you say we are going to? Why didn’t you tell me before now?”
    Tunde: “But we both planned it all yesterday together” he said, grimacing.
    Pamela: “That is a lie, you did not tell me. So you want to go and dump me in Enugu after everything? After all your promises?”
    Tunde: “Pamela, why on earth are you doing this to me? Do you even have an inkling about what you are doing to me right now? How can you say stuffs like that after we both made plans?” he asked sitting down weakly on the bed not knowing what else to say or do.
    Pamela: “Just leave me alone, I have a feeling you no longer love me. Am I being a burden to you? Tell me now so I can find my way out of this house” she said inconsiderate of the affects her words were having on him.
    Tunde: “But you know that is not true, I still love you very much and that’s why I want us to get over this as fast as we can. I wish you can read what’s on my mind now so you can confirm for yourself that I am loving you even more but we really have to find solution to all these we are going through”
    Pamela: “I am so sorry Tunde, I didn’t know what came over me, I am just not in the right state of mind now. I am so sorry. But dear, I don’t want to go to the village anymore. I cannot face the humiliation that would bring to my family. I have decided to do something even better. I will pray really hard, I will fast for seven days, I will go to church every day to cry to God to save me but please don’t take me to the village. Please I beg you…” she clasped her hands together, looking up at him with such helplessness that made his heart bleed for her.
    Tunde: “Okay, let’s do that together then. We will pray and fast together”
    Pamela: “No you don’t have to do that, you need your strength because of your job. So I will do this okay? You can pray along but leave the fasting to me okay?”
    Tunde: “Are you sure about that?”
    Pamela: “Yes of course”
    Tunde: “Thanks my dear, may God answer our prayers”
    Pamela: “Amen!” she said cheerfully.
    She became very spiritual overnight that even Tunde marveled at her transformation. She prayed day and night while undergoing a seven days dry fasting. While Tunde slept at night, she’d be up praying. Sometimes Tunde would join her and sometimes he would be just too tired to even stir from his sleep. On the sixth day of her fasting and prayer, as she knelt down praying, she felt a familiar presence in the room.
    Pamela: “So you are here at last? I have been waiting for you to show up so I can personally deal with you”
    The Voice: “Deal with me? So you think that thing you have in your hand can stop me from killing you right now?” it said pointing at the bible in her hand. Tunde was fast asleep, it was like he was hypnotized into a deep slumber.
    Pamela: “So you don’t know you are powerless here? Look at me very well, I am standing upon the solid rock and nothing can in anyway move me. If you are not careful you will be torn to shreds by the Rock of Ages.
    The Voice: “Ahahahahaha… you are still naïve and foolish, who exactly is deceiving you into believing in such sham? Where was your Rock of Ages when I was mushing up your brain? When I was tearing you apart?”
    Pamela: “He was right here, waiting for me to call upon Him. Now that I have called upon Him, He has given His angels charge over me. They are here to fight this battle for me, so if you think you are really that powerful take even one step towards me” she dared it praying silently. The Voice became so furious at her audacity to challenge it and made to get closer to her but was flung back violently. It tried again but the same thing happened. “Ahahahahaha I told You, I told you I am not alone anymore” she said triumphantly.
    The Voice: “I own you, you are mine, you were sold to me” it roared
    Pamela: “No way! You don’t own me, Christ owns me because He has paid my price with His blood therefore I belong to Him and not you. Go back to whoever sold me to you and tell the person Christ has paid for me. Now go, get out of here In JESUS Name and never you bother me again” she ordered it out and like a whirlwind it whooshed away.
    Question: Do you think the battle is over? What’s next?

    Question: Do you think prayer can avert Pamela’s challenge without going to the village for confession? Should she confess regardless of her mother in law’s presence?

    Episode 22

    Pamela was hit by something strange despite her fasting and prayers, she laughed hysterically and dropped on the floor. Tunde suddenly woke up with a jerk and saw her on the floor. He rushed to her and saw that her eyes were dilated and staring into thin air. He shook her vigorously calling her name repeatedly but she did not bulge. He quickly went to where he kept the anointing oil Pastor Jim had given him and did the same thing the pastor did the last time he was there. He poured the anointing oil in her mouth and after some time, she opened her eyes weakly and started crying.
    Pamela: “I think I am really going to die Tunde, please take me home to my mum, if I have to die let me die in my father’s house so you won’t have to go through the trouble of transporting my body home. The Lord might not be happy with me. I’m still married to Ikenna, yet staying in another man’s house. The book of 1st John 1 vs 9 says ‘if we confess our sins, He is faithful and just and will forgive us our sins and purify us from all unrighteousness. Sin is Sin, no matter how little it may look.  Oh pleaaase! I will confess, I will go and confess tomorrow so just pardon me for today” she said looking at an empty space as if someone dangerous was standing there.
    Tunde fixed his gaze at the empty space, staggered as if he was struck by a thunder force
    Tunde: “What are you looking at? You are really scaring me right now, I will take you home but please stop talking this way
    A formless voice cut in..
    Voice: ‘young man, you are making unnecessary poke-nosing. You are just too young handling this case’ Anyone from Pamela’s village town has signed blood covenant with me’ they are going no-where. You are too young for this, you are not up to the task
    Tunde: I don’t know who you are but listen to me and listen good. It’s not the load that breaks you down, it’s the way you carry it. I have JESUS in me, He’s ALL. Who are you by the way? Tunde asked fearlessly
    Pamela: “Its Ndishi, it will kill me, oh my God! My God! Please save me…” she answered while Tunde started pleading the blood of Jesus over her using the anointing oil to rob her all over the body. “Tunde please you have to stop, I am still married, the more you touch my body the angrier it becomes. Look at it standing over there” she pointed at the direction she was looking at wearily.
    The formless voice disappeared into thin air as Pamela pointed at the direction.
    Tunde jerked up, left her alone to stand at the far corner of the room, praying endlessly for Gods intervention all the time not taking his eyes off her. He began to nurse fear this is beyond him.
    Ikenna sat in the sitting room watching TV when he heard a knock on the door. Who can it be this early in the morning? He thought. He opened the door and was surprised to see Pamela and Tunde at the door. He stepped aside for them to enter inside.
    Ikenna: “To what do I owe the pleasure of such an early morning visit? He said without looking at his wife who looked like hell itself.
    Tunde: “Pamela has something she needs to tell you” as soon as he said that, Mama Ikenna came in and sat down menacingly beside her son.
    Pamela: “I came to confess to Ikenna, to tell him what I did wrong. She said weakly.
    Mama Ikenna: “We are all ears, hurry up and say what you have to say before your ill luck glues to this house”
    Pamela: “I committed adultery with this man sitting beside me here and now Ndishi is after me” she said with no iota of regret.
    Mama Ikenna: “Heeeeeei… aru emeeela eee, abomination! Ikenna hurry up and say Ndishi nso to show you were not privy to what she did. Ngwa say it osiiso (meaning ‘say it fast fast’)”
    Ikenna: “Ndishi nso” he said absent-mindedly.
    Mama Ikenna: “Please hurry up and take her away from here, she has become an abomination to my son, and he must not even have body contact with her otherwise he’d die. I said take the whore away from here” she screamed at Tunde. Tunde stood up dejectedly and led her away from the house.
    “I warned you this boy but you wouldn’t listen to me, just see the mess this girl has put you into.  Hurry up and prepare, we are going to the village today. Better call that man to take her to the village too” she raged. Ikenna sat unmoving, staring into thin air confused as to what to do next. He knew he was in a deep shit, there was no running or hiding.
    Ikenna: “Okay everybody should prepare, we are going to the village right away…who knows? I might be able to escape the wrath of Iboriodo there, I must live, I cannot die just because of one simple mistake I did”
    Mama Ikenna: “Hope you are okay my son? Don’t think about that useless wife of yours ehn? Let’s go to the village, do the ritual cleansing to appease Ndishi and then she’d stay at her father’s house because I will never accept her as a daughter in law again”
    Ikenna: “Has there really been a time you accepted her as your daughter in law? Nothing she did ever satisfied you, you were always looking for faults even when there was none. Who knows? Maybe it was after you threw her out of the house that she committed that sin” he blamed his mother.
    Mama Ikenna: “So you are saying it’s my fault just because I wanted you to have a child of your own? Just because I am trying to be a good mother?” she started weeping.
    Ikenna: “Weeping will not solve anything now, let’s find a way to go home. The funniest part is I don’t even have money for transport fare for myself alone let alone for the two of us”
    Mama Ikenna: ‘What do you mean by you don’t have money for transport fare? And to think of it, ever since I came here, we’ve been feeding from hand to mouth, are you probably having issues with your business?”
    Ikenna: “What business are you talking about? I am a load carrier at a park, I don’t have any business to run”
    Mama Ikenna: “Eeewooo! Load ginni? But you told us you are into car spare part business Ikenna… so how were you able to afford this house?”
    Ikenna: “All these is Pamela’s doing. I only have few things in this house, she paid for everything. She even feeds me without complaining but you came here and chased her out, you sent her out of her own house”
    Mama Ikenna: “This is even more of an abomination than what she did. You mean your wife feeds you? Ikenna you are a disgrace to men, you are a disgrace to our family, who will I tell this to? Who? I am doomed” she lamented. Nkechi sprang out from the room on hearing the part where it was said that Ikenna was not the one paying for the house.
    Nkechi: “What did I hear you say now? Please repeat it to my hearing”
    Mama Ikenna: “Go and prepare, we are going to the village right away”
    Nkechi: “No way! I am not going back to that village, you’d have to tie me up before I will set my feet there. Ikenna so you deceived me you moron?” she lunged at Ikenna tearing his flesh with her fingernails. He pushed her off, stood up and left the two of them in the sitting room without uttering a word. Nkechi and her beloved mother in law wept their eyes out as they packed their things.
    Pamela’s mum looked out the window and saw a very young handsome man alighting from a bike. She panicked when she saw her daughter alighting from another bike looking so pale and lean, she was the shadow of her normal vibrant self. She ran to them and embraced her daughter.
    Pamela’s Mum: “you are welcome my daughter, you are welcome” she said repeatedly not knowing what else to say.
    Pamela: “Thank you mama, where is Amaka?”
    Pamela’s Mum: “That playful girl is never at home, I don’t even see anyone to help me run errands anymore. It’s been so lonely without you and Odinaka around” she complained.
    Pamela: “But Odinaka do come home sometimes right?”
    Pamela’s Mum: “Yeah, but hardly, even when she manages to come, she does not stay for more than three days, always complaining about her course being demanding and all”
    Tunde; “Hm hm…” he cleared his throat just to remind them he was there.
    Pamela: “Oh! I am so sorry, mum this is my friend and his name is Tunde, he is that my boss I told you about the last time I came home”
    Pamela’s Mum: “My son welcome ehn, God bless you for everything you are doing for my daughter. I didn’t know Yoruba people are this kind. Thank you my dear” she smiled broadly at him.
    Tunde: “You are welcome ma, it was all a pleasure” he said coyly. He could not help but notice the striking resemblance between mother and daughter.
    Pamela’s Mum: “How is your husband? Hope all is well? This one you just dropped out of the blues looking so pale and lean, are you probably sick?” she asked concern written all over her facial expression.
    Pamela: “I am fine mama, but I need to tell you something, the reason I came home is because…” she was interrupted by the voice of a woman calling her mum from outside, it turned out to be aunty Martha, the lady that introduced Ikenna to Pamela’s family.
    Pamela’s Mum: “Martha welcome, it’s been such a long time?” she greeted expecting a reply.
    Aunty Martha: “Pam Pam so you are around? She said ignoring her mother.
    Pamela: “Yes I am around” she replied rudely. “How did you even know?” she asked suspiciously.
    Question: “How do you think aunty Martha got wind of Pamela’s arrival so fast? Why is Ikenna in a deep shalanga, I mean deep shit?

    Episode 23

    Aunty Martha: “I was just passing by and saw two okada men leaving this place so I decided to check”
    Pamela: “I see!”
    Aunty Martha: “But Pamela you offended me o”
    Pamela: “And what can that offence of mine probably be?”
    Aunty Martha: “Who is this young man first? Come let’s go outside and talk about it” she said trying to stand up but Pamela stopped her.
    Pamela: there is no need to talk about anything in secret, everyone here is my family so you can say what it is. My woe started the first time I discussed with you in private anyway, you bloody liar” she thought within her.
    Pamela’s Mum: “Yes you can tell her here so I can reprimand her myself in your presence, if she really did something wrong”
    Aunty Martha: “Okay then. So I found a husband for your daughter, a man who resides in Lagos and because of me your daughter is living so well. And she never for once called to ask how I am or to even send me a token, is that good? Is that how people behave?”
    Tunde: “Somebody kill me, this is ridiculous. Wow!” he muttered under his breath.
    Pamela: “Seriously? Aunty Martha you found me a well to do husband Uhn? You bitch! You have the guts to tell me that after lying and pushing me into a hellhole?”
    Aunty Martha: “You dare talk to me like that? Now you won’t even respect me anymore? You are such an ingrate” she said without understanding what Pamela had said properly.
    Pamela’s Mum: “Pamela sit down there and keep your voice low, it’s your aunty you are talking to like that” she snapped.
    Tunde: “No mama, let her treat this lady’s fuck up, you don’t know how much your daughter has suffered in Lagos all in the name of the so-called Lagos marriage”
    Pamela: “Martha please get out of my father’s compound and don’t ever step your tiny legs into this house again” she stood up furiously, nudging her towards the exit door.
    Aunty Martha: “You are making a big mistake Pam and you will regret this” she bursted out
    Pamela: “I am already regretting ever having anything to do with you in the first place. I am paying dearly for that right now so go and do your worst, let me see how much you’d succeed. Now get out!” she ordered pointing at the door while her mother just looked on helplessly. She walked out on shaky legs and Tunde went after her.
    Tunde: “Hey lady!”
    Aunty Martha: “Yes? What is it?”
    Tunde: “I came to warn you, don’t go acting funny, if anything happens to Pamela, even a tiny scratch, I will come for you. So I’d advise you to thread carefully from now on” he threatened.
    Aunty Martha: “Why do I smell foul play here? Are you in love with an Enugu Ezike married woman? Eheheeheh! It’s you who needs to thread carefully young man, you might end up being her undoing” she said and walked out on him while he turned and went back inside without even giving her retreating figure a second glance.
    Pamela’s Mum: “So you were saying something earlier?”
    Pamela: “Yes I was. Uhmmmmmm… mama I have made a terrible mistake I am paying dearly for right now” she said trying to avoid her mum’s searing gaze.
    Pamela’s Mum: “What mistake are you talking about? Please hurry and spill it out so I’d know what to do”
    Pamela: “I committed adultery and now Ndishi is out to get me”
    Pamela’s Mum: “Eeeeeeeeewo! It’s a lie, just tell me you are pulling my legs and you will soon tell me it’s all a joke” she begged to be deceived
    Pamela: “It’s not a joke, do people joke with such?”
    Pamela’s Mum: “But why did you do a thing like that? Who do I run to?  Who do I tell something like this? Who is the man you committed this abominable act with?” she asked eyeing Tunde unbelievably.
    Pamela: “It’s him” she replied nodding towards him.
    Pamela’s Mum: “And you had the audacity to bring him home with you? How dare you? You are such a disgrace to this family, you have just tarnished our image. What will people say about him being here with you?” She berated her loudly.
    Pamela: “All you’ve ever cared about is your image anyway, my happiness and peace does not matter to you as long as your image is pure and untarnished. Are you really sure you are my mother?” she snapped back at her mum.
    Pamela’s Mum: “It’s all always my fault, everything comes back to me not being a good mother right?” she folded her arms around her midsection and wept.
    Pamela: “You don’t even know how much I have suffered in that house, you don’t know how I have lived or survived, I don’t regret doing what I did with this man, and if given another chance I will do it again and again because there’s no one in this world who deserves me like he does”
    Tunde: “Pamela it’s okay, stop talking back at your mum like that. We did wrong, we shouldn’t have done what we did…” he prostrated before her mum and urged her to kneel too, she did. “Mama we are sorry for putting you in a difficult situation, I am sorry for being so thoughtless but I didn’t mean any harm by coming here. I just didn’t want her to go through everything on her own even though we committed the sin together. I am here to bear it all with her, pay for our sin and move on. We are sorry ma”  he prostrated as tears trickled down his cheeks. Pamela was so emotional, she cried out as she couldn’t control her emotion any longer. It was traumatic for Pamela’s mum watching her daughter going through such shameful moments. She joined them having tears in her eyes but she fought them back. Tunde wished for a miracle. Pamela wished a miracle too in her heart.
    Pamela’s mom was moved to fresh tears by his humility and pure intention, she realized there was nothing she could do but welcome him into her home without any bias.
    After shedding tears together, Pamela’s mom wiped her eyes, it was glaring that her heart was heavy even with the pretentious smile she wore like a heavy makeup and spoke…
    Pamela’s Mum: “You should stand, I will have to go talk to her dad’s family, see who among them will go with me to see the elder in her husband’s house and know what next to do. I will also talk to Pastor Chuks to back us up in prayer. But you should know that for everything required, no one in this family or Ikenna’s family will provide for them, it is part of the taboo. Either my family will shoulder the monetary responsibility or an outsider does but I doubt anyone from my family will want to do that”
    Tunde: “Do not worry about that ma, I will shoulder it all, no matter how much it is”
    Pamela’s Mum: “Okay then, let me get going and it’s like Odinaka will be coming back today too” she announced to her daughter”
    Pamela: “Okay, good!” she replied nonchalantly as her mother went inside to fetch the other half of her wrapper and her scarf.
    Tunde: “Your village is not looking that bad actually and your house is impressive too” he said trying to lighten up the moment after her mum had left.
    Pamela: “Yeah sure, I can’t but thank God my dad built this house before he died. Look at his photo portrait on the wall over there” she said pointing out the portrait to him. He stood up to take a closer look at the picture and was impressed with her dad’s features.
    Tunde: “You sure share in the physical features of your mum and dad. No wonder you are exceptionally beautiful” he said still admiring the man in the picture.
    Pamela: “Thank you boss” she joked and they both laughed.
    Pamela’s Mum went straight to Pastor Chuks’ place and narrated everything to him. He being an Enugu Ezike man knew better than trying to find an easy way out of the situation.
    Pastor Chuks: “It is a serious issue but this will be her way out of all the calamity that has befallen her so far, she sinned but I feel God has already forgiven her, I can sense her spirit is stronger than the way it was back then when I prayed for your other daughter. Do not worry, there is light at the end of the tunnel” he assured her.
    Pamela’s Mum: “But do we really have to do all that ritual thing to appease the god? We are Christians now, should we be doing such?”
    Pastor Chuks: “There are somethings God do that we humans cannot comprehend. He said in His word that His ways are not our ways, the reason He let this particular practice go one despite Christianity, we still can’t understand but Jesus did say in  His time that we should give to Caesar what belongs to Caesar and give to God what belongs to God. In order for her to be totally free from this curse, let’s do what tradition requires, it does not mean we are worshipping the idol, we are only paying the price for going against a norm we knew existed. Afterall, where there’s no law and order, there’s no offence. Hope you get my point?”
    Pamela’s Mum: “Yes I do”
    Pastor Chuks: “Good! I will be here praying fervently for you so nothing will go wrong. Every power will be put in subjection to God’s Word and we will emerge triumphant”
    Pamela’s Mum: “Amen… Thank you very much pastor, now my mind is at rest” she said and stood up to leave.
    Later that night, Ikenna and his two women arrived the village. Immediately he set his feet in his father’s compound, he saw a shadow cross his path swiftly and he went into a trance, talking audibly to someone none of the two women could see. They nudged him to keep walking but he didn’t bulge, he kept ranting absent-mindedly with a distant look in his eyes. People started trouping around, listening to him even though they knew not who or what he was talking to.
    Question: Do you agree with Pastor’s advice to Pamela’s mom? Who or what is Ikenna talking to? Can you guess what his sin was? Find out the real truth in the final episode

    Episode 24 [Final]

    He kept ranting on and on, sometimes audibly and sometimes inaudibly. His mum rushed to the house to call his dad who was called Onye Ishi which means eldest in the family.
    Mama Ikenna: “See your son nna anyin, see what his wife has done to him. This is the work of Ndishi, she confessed to him yesterday about committing adultery and now my son is suffering on her behalf” she lamented when they got to where Ikenna still stood muttering unintelligibly.
    Onye Ishi: “Nwam, what evil has befallen you like this? Who has done this to you?” he asked rhetorically with a shaky voice due to old age.
    Mama Ikenna: “Didn’t you hear what I said? I said it is Ndishi, we have to do something fast before it kills my son” she started weeping.
    Onye Ishi: “His wife? Hmmmmm wonders shall never end. Okay Ugochi and Ikechi, please help me carry him to the house. Take him to my obi now” he ordered two of the young men standing with them.
    Ikenna: “Yes and so? Who said you could take her, you are a spirit, and what do you need a lover for? Okay I’m sorry I broke our pact, please don’t kill me. Don’t kill me” he whimpered and struggled as the two men conveyed him to the house.
    Some of the onlookers started gossiping among themselves about the scenario they had just witnessed.
    Onlooker 1: “This is a real madness, what a shame” she shook her head.
    Onlooker 2: “His wife should be dealt with, all these spoilt girls who have no business getting married will only spoil the image of the Enugu Ezike women in their matrimonial homes. I can’t wait to see her naked before the shrine of atama” she said menacingly.
    Onlooker 3: “You people should better mind your businesses, no one know how they lived or what is actually wrong with this man. Ndishi does not arrest men this way especially when he has already come home to do the needful things. So if you don’t have anything to say just push your tongues into your dirty mouths and shut it” she said daring the other two to say anything again.
    Onlooker 1: “Na you sabi madam. Mtcheeeew…” she hissed at her and walked away with her friends.
    Onye Ishi: “Get me a cup of water Ugo” he said as soon as they had placed him on the long bench in the sitting room known as obi.
    Ugo: “Okay Onye Ishi” he said and ran out. When he brought the water, onye ishi sprinkled it on Ikenna’s face and immediately he became himself again.
    Ikenna: “I need to see my wife, I know she is already in the village, please take me there” he bursted out desperately.
    Mama Ikenna: “You must be out of your mind, after all she has done?”
    Onye Ishi: “Be patient, I have a feeling that they will be coming here first thing tomorrow morning. Don’t worry, she will be here” he assured him patiently.
    At exactly 5a.m. Pamela’s Mum and her brother went to Ikenna’s house to tell them everything that has happened and to know the steps to take to appealing the Ndishi diety. The previous day immediately she left Pastor Chuk’s place, she had gone to her husband’s family’s Onye Ishi to narrate everything to them and to ask that someone go with her to appeal the deity but they had all refused saying they were Christians and that Pamela did not act like one of them. And so she was left with no option but to seek the assistance of her younger brother Toochukwu.They were told the cleansing would last for three days and the first day, they were to bring Kolanut, Palmwine which they will give to Onye Ishi. The second day, they’d bring a black goat, kolanut and palmwine with three yards of different Ankara materials. Then the last day, she would submit the cloth she wore on the day she committed the act to Onye Ishi with a cock after which she’d be free from the deity.
    The third day of the cleansing, Pamela stood before the shrine of atama and renounced all of her immoral acts and promised never to commit any of such again. She was asked by the Onye Ishi to raise some sand from the ground and throw them into the air to signify she was done with all the necessary rituals and free to walk free again. People came from different homes to watch this happen, they all shook their head especially seeing that the man she committed the act with was there with her. She became the talk of the town. Many parents warned their children never to be like Pamela who had shamed her whole household. Some even said her younger siblings will never be able to get married because no one will want to marry into a family where they have a history of unfaithfulness.
    That day, she went home with her head in between her laps, all eyes were on her as she walked with Tunde, her mum and Toochi. She was most grateful that Tunde was there with her, seeing him gave her strength.
    Tunde: “Are you okay?” he asked when he noticed her countenance was dull.
    Pamela: “I am fine”
    Tunde: “Are you sure? You should be happy since it’s over. Now why are you looking so downcast?”
    Pamela: “Are you really sure it’s over? Yeah for the two of us it’s really is over” she said biting back tears
    Tunde: “What do you mean by its over for us?” he asked slowing down his pace so her uncle and mum could move farther out of earshot.
    Pamela: “Now I am married, you cannot touch me again, I will have to go back to his house, I know my mum will never let me leave my husband. Even if I leave him, there is no guarantee that Ndishi will let me be “She could no longer hold back her tears as they came cascading down her hollowed cheekbones.
    Tunde: “Please don’t talk like that and stop crying, the most important thing is that you have your health and sanity back. When it is time to cross that hurdle, we will cross it. I don’t mind waiting for you for the rest of my life” he said careful not to make body contact with her.
    Pamela: “Don’t say that, it is time you let me be. It is time you moved on because I am going to have to move on too. Find a very good girl and be happy for my sake”
    Tunde: “Don’t even go there. Do you really think I can ever be happy with another lady? I can’t, I am deeply and deeply into you I don’t know if I can ever get myself out again” he said biting back the tears that were threatening to shatter his world into pieces.
    Pamela: “You can if you want. You must and you will forget me…” she was interrupted by a shriek which emanated from her compound. The two of them ran as fast as their legs could carry them and met Ikenna rolling on the ground. Pamela rushed to him, people were already there like bees attracted to nectars.
    Pamela: “What is wrong with you? Odinaka, what happened to him? You’ve been around all these while” she asked her sister bewildered.
    Odinaka: “I don’t know o, he just ran into our compound with his mum on his tail, he said there was something he neededto tell you, so he’s been waiting for you to come back since then” she explained.
    Ikenna: “Pamela… Pamela my beautiful wife I am very sorry for everything I made you go through…”
    Mama Ikenna: “What are you talking about? Its she who made you go through hell by sleeping with another man. All these happening to you is because you are being punished for her sins. So just stand …”
    Ikenna: “Mama shut up there and let me talk! Why do you keep barging into issues that is none of your business?” he shut his mum down and continued “Pamela please find it in your heart to forgive me” he said shamefully.
    Pamela: “Okay I have heard you, just stand up from there and lets go inside, people are staring at you” she made to lift him up but he refused to stand up.
    Ikenna: “No leave me here, I am okay here” he said weakly.
    Pamela’s Mum: “Then tell us why you need her forgiveness”
    Ikenna: “I will, he said I must tell her…he is standing right over there” he said pointing at an empty space and continued “I used charm to marry her…”
    Pamela: “It’s not like I am surprised to hear that so stand up ehn?”
    Ikenna: “The first time I tried talking to her, she did not even grant me audience and I wanted to prove to my friends that I could have a beautiful woman as a wife too. I went back to Lagos and a friend took me to an herbalist, who consulted his oracle and told me that she was not meant to be my wife and having her as my wife was against normal order of nature. But I did not want to hear that so I told him to help me in any way possible…” he paused.
    Tunde: “Please go ahead, we are all listening.
    Ikenna: “He told me there was a way out but with great consequences but I told him to go ahead anyway. He told me that his deity called Iboriodo, the idol of forced marriage would have my wife for a period of two years after which she would fully become mine. The idea of her being my wife clouded my judgment and I agreed, it was until later when I could not stand not touching my wife that I went back to the herbalist, he told me if only I could procure an alternative in the place of my wife then I would be able to have an intercourse with her but she will never have a baby for me for that period of two years…”
    Mama Ikenna: “Heeeeei…Haiiiii…” she kept lamenting with her hands on her head.
    Ikenna: “So I gave him Odinaka but her spirit was too strong, she resisted Iboriodo till he was finally cast out. He came back and since then, my wife refused to let me touch her. Iboriodo would sleep with her in my presence but I’d pretend like I was asleep. She was basically going nuts…”
    Pamela bursted in tears uncontrollably…
    Pamela: “Oh God! Oh my God! You did that to me? It was you who did that to me?” the tears flowed freely down her face.
    Ikenna: “I was warned never to get another woman pregnant as that would make her want to retaliate and if another man should sleep with her, Iboriodo would come for me but I made a mistake of getting Nkechi pregnant. Pamela I am sorry, I did all these because of how much I loved you” he ended and coughed out blood.
    Pamela: “You ruined my life, you destroyed my life…how could you? How could you do that to me?” she wept profusely. Almost everyone there had tears in their eyes. “You sold me off to an idol and you want me to forgive you?”
    The Pastor in their midst cut in…
    Pastor Chuks: “Yes you have to forgive him, you are not doing it for him but for yourself so you can have peace afterall Christ forgave you too”
    Pamela’s mum cried bitterly and faced her daughter to plead for forgiveness
    Pamela’s Mum: “ I feel like this is my fault in a way. She said with tears flowing freely down her left eye. She continued … “you were right, I should have tied you down when you kept crying about wanting to go to your husband’s house. I am sorry my daughter”.
    As they all talked, someone noticed Ikenna was no longer breathing, Tunde went closer to check but realized he was indeed out cold.
    Tunde: “He is dead” he announced.
    Mama Ikenna: “My son cannot be dead, you are all mistaken…Ikenna stand up lets go home, she said she has forgiven you so let’s go” she said almost going out of her wits but her son did not reply or bulge from where he laid. “My son is dead ooo, God you have to take me too, I cannot live in this world without him, oh my son! My s-ooo-ooo-nnnn! Ikenna! Nnam! Please come back, wait for me lets go together” she said suddenly and ran out of the compound like an insane person while some of the young men ran after her.
    Later that day, Nkechi’s body was found inside her mother’s bedroom, she had slit her wrist just like Pamela used to do at the promptings of Iboriodo. Apparently, iboriodo’s vengeance did not end with Ikenna’s death, it went after the woman carrying his child just to make sure there was no sign of him again on earth. Nkechi’s mum was so grief stricken at that and ashamed that she packed her things and left the village with the remnant of her children. The news travelled far and wide of a covetous mother and daughter who were so treacherous that the daughter committed suicide while the mother ran away cowardly.
    Two days later, Pamela and Tunde were ready to go back to Lagos, he knew he had to make his intention known to her mum face to face.
    Tunde: “Mama, I know I am not worthy to ask this of you probably because I am not an igbo man but I want to ask anyway. Please can you grant me the permission to marry your daughter?”
    Tunde prostrated before Pamela’s mum…
    Pamela’s Mum: “Hmmmmm… I don’t have any objection to you marrying her, if she agrees, then who cares if you are Yoruba or not? We are one people. Besides you’ve proved yourself worthy enough. I sure would love having a son in law like you” she said smiling, “ I thought for a while that you were going to leave without asking me this, was already getting disappointed” she said giggling while her daughter also giggled along with her coyly.
    Tunde: “Now I am a fulfilled man, thank you very much my mother in law” he said and handed her a huge envelope.
    Pamela’s Mum: “No my dear, I cannot take that, just make sure you take care of my daughter. Besides I want us to return the bride price Ikenna paid on her to his family. I don’t want them to call my daughter their son’s widow”
    Tunde: “That is a great idea, I will send it to you or when I formally come with my family to do the necessary things, I will go return it personally”
    Pamela’s Mum: “Thank you my son, and don’t forget to always pray. It is God who fought this battle for you, make sure you always appreciate and worship Him. May we not witness any mishap in this family again?”
    Tunde and Pamela: “Amen!”
    Pamela: “Hope you two are done with your chit chat now? Amaka my dear, I love you very much and now you will know you really have a big sister. Odinaka, don’t make the same mistake I did, look before you leap and always be prayerful, I know you will make us proud” she addressed each of her sisters.

    Odinaka: “Safe journey sis, I am glad all is well now and uncle Tunde, take care of my sister o”
    Tunde: “Trust me on that little doctor. I will make you proud” he said patting her head and scooping Amaka up to plant a kiss on her cheek while she giggled happily.
    Six months later, Tunde and Pamela had an elaborate wedding at St. Paul Catholic church in Enugu state amidst fanfare and merriment. Their marriage was the talk of the town for a long time because of how elaborate and beautiful it was.
    Nine months after their Igba Nkwu Traditional wedding, Pamela gave birth to a bouncing baby girl, Tyana. Then 2 years later, she gave birth to a set of three Beautiful Boys (Triplets). 3 years later after the triplets, Pamela gave birth to another set of three beautiful girls (Triplets again). She and her husband lived their lives preaching the gospel even as her husband, Tunde continued to experience unprecedented favor in his business. The Lord is good! All Da Time!!!
    ***THE END***

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