Previously on Almost A Bride.
“Please don’t break my door biko! Handle my door with care.” she shouted as Lala resorted to opening the door with the spare key Ihuoma had given her in case of any emergency. They rang the doorbell for thirty minutes with no response, and they were certain Ihuoma was indoor. Lala opened the door and walked in slowly as Anini and Dona followed after her. Ihuoma ignored them and continued mixing the flour in the bowl. Ihuoma has refused every advice to go into professional catering because she could be the best baker in the world after a heartbreak. She bakes only to take her attention away from the pain her heart felt after an heartbreak or to relieve stress.
The three friends were clueless as to what to do next since Ihuoma, the noise maker had gone cold on them. They hated to be in this awkward situation. They tried to assure their friend everything would be fine at the end, that, if it wasn’t fine, it was not the end.
“…there is light at the end of the tunnel, everything will be fine Oma.” Lala concluded.
It was as if Lala opened Ihuoma’s talk tank as words gushed out of her mouth nonstop, the three friends looked on in surprise as Ihuoma recounted her experience with Chinedu amidst tears flowing from her eyes. They gathered round her and hugged her warmly.
“We’re always here for you Oma. You will be fine.” Anini whispered.
It was only after they broke the ice that Dona had a chance to admire Ihuoma’s apartment being her first visit. The sitting room was painted yellow and pastel green. Dona picked two throw pillows to provide space for her to settle into the orange leather sofa which had side tables. The white and yellow floral patterned curtains that adorned the window stretched full length and they slowly swayed and caressed the floor as the breeze came in. It helped to relieve the once tense air in the moderately spacious living room. After Dona had settled in, she realized Django Unchained was playing on the flat screen TV. Her eyes drifted to the bookshelf with medical books, novels, magazines and DVDs well arranged in different sections.
“This is a beautiful apartment. Ihuoma’s face hasn’t really changed, she still has her pointed nose.” Dona told Anini as she admired Ihuoma’s induction and NYSC pictures that hung on her wall. Her love for the arts was obvious with the oil painting abstract art that hung on her wall amongst other art pieces.
“The cookies are ready,” Ihuoma called out to Lala.
“Please get the Chamdor in my fridge, the wine glass is inside the cupboard where I keep the breakables.” Lala got it from the kitchen and headed back to the living room as they all settled in and started gisting.
“… my dear, I’m tired of this country. No
light, no good roads, nothing! Everything that can possibly go wrong is happening here” , Ihuoma lamented.
“It is only God that can deliver us in this country. If it gets worse than it is, my dear, I’m porting to greener pastures. Corruption has so eaten into the fabric of our nation, the annoying thing is people are quick to judge our President, they forget to remove the speck in their own eyes before pointing fingers. Even the basic social unit we call the family has failed! I believe for us to move forward we need a re-orientation jare.” Dona added.
“True talk!” Anini and Lala echoed.
“Let’s leave this naija talk for another day because if we start, we wouldn’t finish.” Ihuoma said as she sipped her wine.
“How are you ladies coping with this Ebola news, attending to patients and all?” Dona asked.
“Sister, extra extra precaution o, hmm, every fever is not Ebola but we’ve been very cautious in handling our clients than ever before. Educating the masses through social and mass media has been very effective in curtailing it. Thanks to that Ebola alert group, Nigerians are also taking responsibility for their health” Anini responded.
“This work ehn, it’s God that protects us, how has work been for you too Dona?” Ihuoma asked.
“You know how the corporate world is, work has been alright though, except for this silly dude in my office, he wants to marry wife.” Dona replied.
“Tell us more” they added as Dona gave the uninterested look.
“Dona you better stop joking around, you’re not getting any younger o, if the guy is godly, focused and loves you what next? Lest I forget, you all, Omotola is getting married next month and her aso-ebi is twenty thousand naira.” Lala said.
“We’ll discuss that later, besides, you’re in charge of all our aso-ebi matters, you that ditched medicine for fashion, just remind us. It’s getting really late, you ladies should be on your way, thanks for dropping by, thanks for the listening ears and the support, guys will not break your heart like mine o, regards to Fikunmi; and Ani what’s that your boo’s name again”
“His name is Nonso, you always forget.” Anini responded rolling her eyes at her.
“Sorry na, regards to him too.” Ihuoma said as she walked the ladies to their cars.
“Goodnight” they said and hugged her one after the other.
Ihuoma shut the door after her and sank into the sofa in the parlour. She was grateful for her friends, they always made themselves available whenever she needed them. Their visit that day helped to clear her head from the emotional drama she had been dealing with. She had been too busy thinking about relationships without focusing on her forthcoming exams.
“It’s high time I start preparing for my primaries, I need to get busy”, she said to herself as she cleared the table.
Ihuoma was starting her night shift the next day. She called her mother to tell her she would come and visit in the afternoon; she needed to get away from all the men trouble she was in.
Mrs. Nwabuogaranya was excited and prepared her daughter’s favourite dish, Ogbono and yellow eba without letting the house help partake in the activities. “Adanma, I am happy to see you, how’s work, hope this Ebola did not reach your side? biko, egovim, be careful oh.”
She didn’t know which question to answer first, “Mum, I’m fine, I’m also taking necessary precautions, besides, they’re making progress with finding a cure to the virus, hope you also wash your hands often mum?”
“I do. Ihuoma, my beautiful daughter, hope you’re enjoying the meal?”
“Yes mum, thank you.”
“Hmm, Ihuoma, my daughter, you know you’re my first daughter. I love you very much. You know, you’re now a full-grown woman, I just wanted to know. Hope you’re fine. I’m your mother and you should be able to talk to me anytime, I was very happy when you said you were coming.”
“Mum, go straight to the point, what is the problem?”
“Hmm…you’ve never brought or talked about any man you like, you know you can talk to me anytime. Time is going, you know you’re a woman, at your age, I had married your father, in fact, I had been delivered of you. What is the problem nne’m?”
“Mum, I came here to relax not to listen to sermon about how my biological clock is ticking, please cut me some slack here. In fact, where is dad?” Ihuoma snapped at her mother as she carried the dish to the kitchen.
“He went to see Engr. Akpabio; he will be back at night” Her mother replied looking sober.
Ihuoma ignored her and changed the topic, “How is Somtochukwu doing, have they finally started their Junior WAEC?”
“Yes, he has a paper today, he should be back soon. Akachukwu came home over the weekend, she is adjusting to the university environment well and being in the same school with Uchenna is an added advantage.”
“Yes, besides, Unilag is not far, she could come home if she has any problem. Uchenna wouldn’t stop disturbing me with calls, as if he is the first person to carry out a project in that his architecture department.”
“That is exactly the same way he disturbs me and your father. He loves money.”
They talked about her mother’s pharmacy growth, plans for the forthcoming christmas holidays and all other things that were of no importance to Ihuoma. She only listened to please her mother.
On Sunday, Ihuoma dressed her best; she wore a white chiffon dress with her black pump heels and carried the Chanel bag Femi Roberts bought for her. She let her sleek hair flow and put on her red lipstick. She woke up happy that morning and decided to remain so regardless of the troubles she was having. The Redeemed Christian Church of God, Liberty Court was a walking distance from her apartment and she was determined to attend the New Year thanksgiving service.
The service was awesome, it was as if the pastor knew exactly what Ihuoma was going through regardless of the palpable high spirit that could be felt in the atmosphere. The sermon was titled Letting Go of the Hurt in Our Past.
The closing words of the pastor were “It’s a new year, let go of all that tried to weigh you down in the previous year. Deal with every hurt before it makes you a bitter person. Be thankful and prepared for all God has in store for you. Happy New Year!”
She was greatly blessed. Throughout the service, she could feel the darting eyes of her neighbor on her and their eyes met a few times. This made her uncomfortable for a while but she forgot about it.
It was the close of service and the minister that took the closing prayer asked everyone to hold hands, Ihuoma felt striped, this staring dude will have the chance to hold her hands. The choir started the song “ I need you, you need me…” They held hands without Ihuoma looking at him. As they got to the last line of the song “I love you, I need you to survive” the pastor said, “Look at your neighbor eyeball to eyeball and sing….” This made Ihuoma furious, but then his gentle smile washed away all the anger…
To be continued…
A sweet savoured magical-mythical potion ELIXIR…a gift for the people, an elite few. The thirst for creativity, drives our minds to see far beyond the eye. The stars gaze at us, willing us to see the mountain that hides far across the sea. So this gift we bring from the west to the east, converge the path we tread. On horses fast upon time’s course. Music, poetry and wordplay the wise men, witness the birth of an era, be part of positive creativity MEDILAG’s about to be the kings dome, long live this kingdom. This will be a dawn of an evening, be saved from fun gone cliché this is the face of a new phase. ELIXIR births the new way, MEDILAG are u ready???
October 1st 2014 by 7pm at Penguin Hall, LUTH.
You don’t want to miss it!