I was wrong about entering Kelechi’s ward: I definitely felt better after I came out.
Honestly, I didn’t really want to leave him; I wanted to spend the night with him. But, he persuaded me to go back home. He didn’t want Feyisayo be alone with his family. He had no idea what things they would do to upset her and knowing her, I knew it wouldn’t be a sight to behold: she could become violent.
So I left – reluctantly. Nonetheless, you cannot imagine the kind of joy that was in my heart on my way home: I believe all my cells were having a party of their own because everything inside me jumped and danced with happiness – perhaps more than on the day I got married. It actually took me a really long while to calm myself down before getting to the wheel.
I was gay especially because Kelechi Ezekiel wasn’t dead after all. I was not actually a widow and no matter what his family would do or say to me would not matter because they were going to have their reward.
Soon enough, I got home – still with the evidence of my felicity on my face. I horned so Elijah would open the gate for me. It didn’t take long before he did so.
As I drove in, I saw Feyisayo seated at the stairway leading to the front door. My eyes furrowed at her making several kinds of movement with her body. She mayhap was rehearsing for a drama role at school.
Once I parked the car, there was a knock on my door. I glanced at it to see Feyisayo gesturing her hand to the door of the backseat. Knowing that she wanted to help with my bag, I unlocked the door from the central lock system at my door. She opened the door and removed my bag while I stepped out of the car.
“Good evening, Sister Fisayo.” She gave me a hug from the side.
I hugged her back. “Good evening.” We walked away from the car, heading to the front door.
“Why are you rehearsing outside?” I asked.
She stood in front of me, causing me to stop walking. “Aunty Nkechi told me not to enter the house unless you are back.”
I raised a brow. “What’s that supposed to mean?”
She shrugged. “I don’t know. She has some beef with you.”
She raised her idle hand up in surrender. “Those were her words.” She brought it down. “It seems there’s trouble.”
You think? I wanted to yell at her. I rather did that in my mind, not wanting to scare her.
Perchance it’s time for me to face the music. It really was good news that Kelechi wasn’t dead because right now, I’m sure I would have had another kind of reaction if he was really dead. I probably would have begun to sweat in so many places. Also, Feyisayo would have had to hold me, helping me to step into the house. But thanks to God, who knew I didn’t have anything to do with the drama last Saturday, I had enough confidence to face them.
Feyisayo placed her hand on my shoulder. “No matter what happens, I’ll be there for you, alright? I won’t let them hurt my sister and get away with it.”
I smiled at her. “Thanks, Feyisayo but you don’t need to get violent if things get out of hand.”
She shrugged and faintly smiled at me. “Okay, if it’s what you want.” She gestured to the door. “Let’s get inside.”
I nodded before we did so.
As we entered the house, my eyes settled on Nkechi with her hands crossed on her chest whilst tapping her foot.
“Finally, you’re here!” she said. “Follow me.” She turned away, heading in the direction of the guest rooms downstairs.
I glanced at Feyisayo, who glanced at me too. We both shrugged and followed her.
We followed Nkechi to one of the rooms and entered. As I did, my eyes settled on the disarranged room. The curtains were torn. Some of the furniture, like the bed and chair, was broken. White dust, probably from the paint of ceiling or wall, covered the maroon carpet. Red paint splattered all over the cream-coloured wall. And, on the door to the bathroom was written You’re Next in red.
I gasped. “What happened here?”
“You don’t know?” said two people, a female and a male, simultaneously.
I jumped a little and glanced at where the voices came from. It was then I saw my parents-in-law and Ebuka at the far end of the room. “Good evening,” I said, staring at my parents-in-law and curtsying. “I didn’t know you were in here.”
“You haven’t answered their question,” Nkechi said, her voice sounding bitter.
My brows knitted as I glanced at her. “Am I supposed to?”
“Yes, you are,” Nkechi said.
“Well, I don’t know what happened here.”
“Are you trying to say you didn’t attack Nkechi last night?” my father-in-law asked me.
In a bid to process what was going on, I shut my eyes and shook my head. “Okay, you just lost me now,” I said when I opened my eyes. “What do you mean I attacked Nkechi last night?”
“Don’t act innocent about it, Fisayo!” Nkechi screamed.
I looked her way. By just staring at her, I knew that if she could, she would strangle me.
I narrowed my eyes at her. Why the hell is she mad at me? What did I do this time?
“You came into my room,” she said, “after the power went out. You scattered things in here. And, you told me I was the next to be served to your witches’ coven. You also said Kelechi’s meat and blood was really good and you hope mine would be better because of the hatred you have towards me.”
Nkechi shut her eyes tight and shuddered. There was no way you would stare at her face and not know she was terrified.
My mother-in-law went to her and hugged her from the side. She stroked Nkechi’s arms and murmured something to her.
Nkechi opened her eyes and looked at the floor with the terror still showing on her face. “It was horrible.” She glanced at me. “I can’t get your voice out of my head and that of evil laughter of yours too.”
When Kelechi told me his family believed I was a witch, I had questioned him about it because I never thought they could think like that of me. But seeing the act they put up now gave me no reason to doubt that they really believed I was one.
They were good I got to tell you – really good. They were so good I almost believed Nkechi was really attacked in this room and what happened to her was truly horrible.
But do you funny thing about this? I didn’t even know which rooms they occupied. So, how could I have ‘attacked’ Nkechi in this room? Yes, it was discourteous of me to not attend to them since the previous day, but I simply did so to avoid them, pending when I’d be ready to face them concerning Kelechi.
“Nkechi,” I stated matter-of-factly, “I have no idea what you are talking about.”
She narrowed her dark eyes at me. Right away, some veins in her neck popped out and her fair face gradually turned red. Then, she got out of her mother’s hold and furiously stepped in my direction.
In a matter of seconds, a stinging pain was on my cheek and my head snapped to my right.
I raised my hand to my cheek that was slapped. She dared not.
I looked at her in the same hateful manner she did to me. If it wasn’t that I told Kelechi I’d try to stay put if his family did anything to me, I know I wouldn’t have hesitated to do, mayhap, worse to Nkechi.
Then Feyisayo barked, “Hey! Don’t you dare lay your hands on my sister ever again!”
Feyisayo held my shoulders and lightly massaged them.
I shook my shoulders to get her hands off them. My intention was successful because she gave me a questioning look when I looked at her.
I gave her an apologetic look before looking at my parents-in-law. “Excuse me.”
I turned around and didn’t waste time in getting out of the room, which I guessed was the room Nkechi spent the previous night in.
I hurried up the stairs, wanting to get away from them as fast as possible.
A set of footsteps followed behind me. Once I was up the stairs, I turned around to glance behind me just for me to see Feyisayo jogging up the stairs with my handbag still in her hand.
She caught up to me and hugged me. “I’m so sorry about that, Sister Fisayo.” She released the hug and looked at me.
“There’s no need to be sorry, Feyisayo. It wasn’t your fault.”
“Fisayo,” a butch voice called.
I looked behind Feyisayo. There was Ebuka standing and looking apologetic like he did when he tried to get intimate with me on Saturday.
“What do you want now, Ebuka?” I asked.
Feyisayo turned to face him.
“Do you want to accuse me attacking you also?” I asked him.
He stepped closer to the stairs. “I know you didn’t do it.”
“Huh?” Feyisayo and I said in sync. I looked at her and she did likewise. We quizzically stared at each other, maybe wondering the same thing: what really had happened that changed him?
“I know,” he said, “you didn’t attack her, Fisayo. There’s no way you could.”
Okay, I have had enough. I couldn’t help but say, “No offence, Ebuka, but what happened to you? Why are you being nice to me?”
He climbed the stairs and stood in front of me. He lowered his gaze to meet mine because he was a little taller than I was. “Does the reason matter? It’s what you’ve always hoped for: to be in good terms with your husband’s family, isn’t it?”
I stepped back a little and rolled my eyes. “Considering what just happened in Nkechi’s room I know that’s not happening any time soon.”
He took my hand in his. “Well, you’ve got me on your side.”
I raised a brow. “So you believe me: is that what you’re saying?”
He chuckled and raised his idle hand to my face. He gently stroked my chin before gently griping my jaw. “I think I’ve made it really clear with my behaviour, Fisayo.”
I couldn’t believe Chukwuebuka was a changed man. Because I wasn’t used to him being this nice, I found it hard to see how fitting it was for him to be a gentleman.
“Thank you for believing me,” I said to him. At least, he could make the rest of his family members get to believe I didn’t attack Nkechi. Now, that was unless it wasn’t all an act.
He smiled. “You’re welcome.” He let go of my jaw and hand. “Get some rest, okay? I’ll handle my parents and Nkechi so don’t worry about them.” He turned around to go.
He faced me again when I called him by his full name: “Chukwuebuka?”
I heaved out a sigh. “Thank you, really.”
He had a broader smile. “Once again, you’re welcome.” He turned around and went down the stairs.
So, do you think Nkechi was telling the truth? Or, it was all an act to make Fisayo feel bad? Tell me what you think.