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[STORY] MORENIKEJI (Episode 17)

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MORENIKEJI

Episode 17.

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It took me two days before I was able to resume back to work.
I lied that I wasn’t feeling well.

The whole thing that happened was like a bad night mare.
Everyday I wake up I still wonder if is real or a prank.

Could it be a test, a prank or some expensive joke?
the more I try to make excuses for the whole ordeal the more reality sets in.

Bayo was gone, not only gone he went with all my money
My sweat and toil, all my hard earned money went along with him.

Who do I even blame now?
God, for not revealing it to me.

Me, for refusing to see all the signs but continued wallowing in self pity. age was against me, time too and I spent all my resources in the relationship already. Leaving wasn’t even an option for me because of everything I put into the relationship.

Should I blame Bayo, for deceiving me? leading me on when he was a married man.

Philip, for contributing to all of this. He has a hand in everything that happened. He never reciprocate my love or warned me off Bayo.
He tries to warn me quiet alright but he didn’t put seriousness to it.
I hate him.

I hate everyone, I even hate myself right now.

I feel like a failure, a big time cursed human.

Why do bad things keep happening to me?
When I was living my life the way I please in the past, I don’t care about anybody’s opinion. I was very fine back then.
I changed men as I please and was very selective too.
A man that is not good looking, both physically and pocket wise can’t smell close to me.
I was unruly and wayward but all of this is just to make ends meet. To belong among the Abuja big chics.
Abuja big girls was a big name to reckon with. that was why I engaged in different paparazzi.

But after meeting Philip both my mindsets and behaviour began to change for good.
I clocked thirty and decided to drop all of this big girl nonsense thingy and get serious with my life.
God being so kind, I got a job, paid my dues and took a u-turn to become dependent.
A total different route.

I was happy and fulfilled, I dropped pride or whatever that will be a hindrance to my self acclaimed changed being.

I was very serious with my work and never joke with it.
My love for Philip was neither cold nor hotter than usual.

I still tried to be noticed but he had his class, league and calibre of ladies he mingles with.
I wasn’t in line, definitely not a staff in his house.

I decided to forget Philip by getting to know Kunle, but Kunle is a proud womanizer, he will push me back to my old lifestyle that I have already trashed.

That’s not the kind of man I want, I didn’t even want to have anything to do with him and his money.

I left and Bayo was another option.
He was funny, and quiet entertaining.
He didn’t seem like he can hurt a fly. He makes me feel special and Pampers me like a baby.

He was not just from my tribe he was my kinda man with everything he portrayed.

I didn’t believe he can do any wrong which was why I shun Philip for trying to talk me out of my relationship with Bayo.

Which was why I refused to see the clear handwriting on the wall.
Or how Avala’s story was related to mine.
Mr Kanu must have been led by God to give me that empty Promises by Amah’s Heart.

It was as if he saw it coming and also tries to warn me.

God must have warned me through the book but I didn’t see how my life tale was related to Ava in any way.
It was after the whole incident that it started playing out in my head.

All along, the warning was clear but I was the one that refused to adhere to it.

I feel so stupid. Bayo took my money. Over three hundred thousand that could have been very useful to me.
The money Dammi gave me also went down with it.
How can I be this foolish. I’m a smart, Loving intelligent lady.
How did I fall victim to Bayo without applying the caution button

How! How! Just how?

Tears clouded my eyes as I began cutting the carrots with so much vexation.

We will be having fried rice with garnished turkey for dinner.
Stella said I will make the fried rice while Ijeoma will make the garnished turkey.

I have cut and washed every thing that will be used
It remains only the cutting of carrots.

I just can’t think straight or understand why Bayo will dupe me like this.

Since I was the only one in the kitchen, I began talking outlould to myself as I pause from cutting the carrots.

“A whole me was scammed by a Yoruba demon. Aaaah! Bayo my God will judge you. What do I tell everyone now after broadcasting that I was getting married. I even wore a ring to make it all seem official…aaah Bayo!. Wha…

“Oke abala na onya” (the rat has entered trap)

Somebody spoke behind me. I quickly wiped tears from my eyes before turning.
lo and behold Ijeoma grinning from ear to ear as if she just won a jackpot.
She said something in Igbo of which I don’t understand.

I don’t know how long she has been in the kitchen and listening to me.

She started singing in Igbo as she went about her assigned business.

She probably didn’t hear anything I said which will be great.
I can’t stand the shame that will come thereafter if people finds out what happened.

She started defrosting the turkey that she removed from the deep freezer.
she did not stop singing.

I went back to cutting the carrots and paid her no heed.

“Ndi heartbreaker una Weldon, una do well. Chim gozie unu oo(heartbreakers well done, my God will bless you all)

She was singing it as song and dancing along.

Could it be she heard something from me?

“…ha merre ya wayo…agbogo nsi na o ma ihe, mana omaghi ihe obula…(they have deceived her o. A young lady that said she knows something but she knows nothing)

She continued to sing in her local dialect but I didn’t understand anything.

I ignored.
She came to stand beside me as she continued singing.
She placed her tray and other items beside mine. She looked at me and laughed.
I turned to her and said

“Ijeoma, why are you putting hands in my mouth to check if I have teeth? Is this the only table in this kitchen? Take your stuffs and move to the table that you were before. Or is there something you want to tell me then say it like you usually do and leave me alone. I’m not in the mood for your nonsense…

“Why are you cutting carrot like a child? Look at carrot everywhere in this kitchen… you don’t know how to do anything. Even to keep one small relationship like that you still fail. Was it the carrots that break your heart…? Carry your ugly self and frustrations to your fellow onye ofe mmanu. Leave those innocent carrots alone oo.

Obviously she overheard me earlier.

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“You with your tone, song and dialect sounds stupid. Get out of my sight.

I said angrily, she retorted back.

“Listen to this Igbo adage “agwa bu mma” your attitude is your beauty. Your beauty shouldn’t be centered on physically body. You don’t have attitude or even know how to keep a man. You have failed as a woman. You bought a ring and engage yourself? Haa! Shame on you Keji… Shame..shame o. Wait till everyone hears that your over hyped wedding crashed into pieces without any trace and the worst part is that your fellow tribal man, your so called husband to be deceived you so easily because you are gullible, very easy to manipulate and he even took your money and disappear along with him. I wish I know how much was involved so that I will know how to package the gossip. Biko nnem, (please my lady) how much did you give to this your criminal of a husband?

I turned to her angrily and put a middle finger to her face before returning to what I was doing.

“Wait oo. The middle finger that you showed me does that mean 1million? Oh, he collected one whole million from you with the pretense that he will marry you? Haaa! Keji you are too desperate… Why na? Why are you desperate like this eeh. You are a desparado…nawa oo. I thought you have brain in that your coconut head? I thought with the way you run your mouth and behave that you will be smart…but the real fact is that you are a real mugu. Foolish girl… you don’t have sense. No Igbo girl will do this kind thing. Chukwu aju (God forbid) the guy just press your mumu button small you fell facedown…haaa! You are an embarrassment to womanhood. You are a big disgrace to…

Before she could complete her sentence I gave her a heavy slap right on her wide mouth.

She was shocked but without wasting time she retaliated and slapped me back.

She took the tray of carrots and poured on me.
I was trying to control my temper I could have used the knife that was on the table and stab her.
The idea came heavily but I was struggling not to consider.
I took a ceramic deep plate, something i laid my hands on and break it on her head.
She screamed in anguish and grabbed the knife lying carelessly on the table

I started moving back but she was coming at me with force.

Stella rushed inside followed by others.

They asked Ijeoma to dropped the knife but she refused.

She threaten anybody that comes close.

She threw the Sharp knife at me, I used my hand to dodge it but it sliced through my arm.
I began to bleed.
Ijeoma touched her swollen head where I hit her the ceramic plate and noticed small blood.
The evil lady grabbed a local pestle to hit me but the security came in on time to collect it from her hand.

They collected every weapon lying carelessly around

Philip rushed down with his mother.
His Dad was not home

” Are you ladies insane. What is the meaning of all this?

Philip shouted angrily.

“Ijeoma, Keji do you both want to kill yourselves?
Mrs Kanu asked surprised.

“What led to all this…? Stella asked as she picked up tray from the ground.

” Whatever happened can wait, they need to get cleaned up. I’m calling Doc right away so that their injuries can be attended to.

Phil’s Mum said as she began dialing number.

” I’m sorry Madam, I’m sorry boss. Keji attacked me first just because i questioned her on why she was throwing the carrots everywhere. Her fake husband to be scammed her off her money… she gave him a million naira so that he can marry her but he disappeared with the money. She even bought ring to engage herself. Which explained why she did not resume work for two days. Keji finally resumed today only to start throwing carrots everywhere. I peacefully asked her not to do that and she raised hand and slapped me…

The people that where gathered began to murmur among themselves.

“You are a fool Ijeoma, a senseless fool. I said angrily not minding who was there.

Philip stepped closer and pointed a finger to my face.

“You dare not insult anyone in front of my Mum. Learn some upbringing and apologies for your wrong doing…

“Let her be Philip. The doctor will be here soon. . His mother said.

“Violence such as fight, exchange of words and insult of any sort is not tolerated here. Theirs a consequence for every action. You can do that outside this compound but ones you set your foot here learn to comport yourselves. Stop acting like a Nigerian untrained tout in this place. We all are like family and if you no longer want to be part of us then leave. Go to somewhere else and display your madness but not here.

Phil said as he looked at everyone eyeball to eyeball but mostly on me and Ijeoma.

…”everyone should return to his or her duty post. I don’t want to hear anybody talking or gossiping over whatever just happened here today. Am I understood?

They all chorused

“Yes boss”. Before leaving one after the other.

Only him with his Mom, Stella, Ijeoma and I were left.

“Keji, I don’t really care about whatever happened or how it happened but learn to manage your anger and mind your use of words. Am I clear?

I took off my apron and cap dump it on the table and said.

“To hell with you Philip…

He stared at me in shock.
Everyone present was surprised.
I continued.

“…You said we are one family here but you scolded me more than Ijeoma because she’s Igbo right? You took her side without hearing me out. Family shebi? but you knew from onset that Bayo was married with kids yet you didn’t warn me like you will do to your sisters. Yes you will say you tried warning me but I refused to listen. If I was your sister or someone very close to your family you will spill it all out whether I want to hear it or not. Phil I know for sure that you will go extra mile to prevent the person from such scandalous relationship. But in my own case you did nothing. You left me to my fate and gradually waited to hear the results just like it was declared now. Congratulations, you won. I will take my leave…I don’t need any doctor. I can treat myself…

I started walking away.
Mrs Kanu stopped me by the door.

“Is been a year already that you have been with us Keji. You are like a daughter to me. I took likeness the first day I saw you. In this place, there’s no discrimination. Like you already know, we have almost all the tribe here. We have Dauda by the gate, he’s hausa. We have Mensa the pool boy, he’s a Ghanian. We have Upendo, he’s a gardner from Cameroon. Bassey is from Calabar, he’s one of the guards working with Dauda. we have Ola, she’s a housekeeper, a beautiful Yoruba lady. She was single when she started working here five years ago, Adeola is married with a son. And so many others. We’re all one. Others can attest to that. My son, Philip didn’t do well like he should have. Pardon him for that….

Philip interrupted.

“Mum…I wa…

The mother stopped him from speaking by raising a hand in the air.

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“… I’m not finished. I apologise for everyone misbehaviour towards you Keji. Also sorry for whatever trauma you are presently going through. You are a strong woman and I know you will be alright. If you need to take time off work, then do so. Resume whenever you are fit and ready. Take two weeks off, it won’t affect your normal pay in anyway. Your wages remains intact.

She said the last part smiling. Her demeanor calmed my raging heart down.

Philip walked away.
Stella moved closer and threw her hands around me.

She straightened and said.

“Ijeoma gave you a tough time yet you tolerated all her trouble. For you to have reacted today only means she might have pushed you to the wall. Don’t mind her, she’s only jealous of you.

Ijeoma said something, probably in Igbo but I didn’t hear her and did not care.

Mrs Kanu asked Ijeoma to go and meet the doctor who just arrived so that her wound will be attended to.
As she left, Mrs Kanu followed her behind.
Stella whispered into my ear.

“…My cousin, Emeka is still available. He’s trusted and confirmed… No scam. He will spend on you not you spending on him. Let me know if you reconsidering the offer…

I smiled and replied.
“Is an interesting offer. I will think about it…
Stella laughed out happily. I couldn’t help but chuckle.

Since Mrs Kanu insisted that I take sometime off to get my sanity back I decided to do so.

I thanked her and apologies for my outburst of anger.

I went back to my house.
After two days at home I became bored and decided to visit Dammi.

They just returned from the hospital where they went to check the baby.

“She will be coming home by next weekend. I’m so excited Keji. I will finally have my baby fully to myself. I’m really excited… you need to see the nursery, her room is so…so girly. My husband and I named her Andrea, the brave one. She fought bravery to stay alive. Her Igbo name is Ada because she is the first daughter or Ugo which means eagle. She was in the incubator for four freaking months, just imagine the kind of money we poured in just to keep her breathing. Is not even about the money, I just thank God we have it to spend. I’m finally going to have my Ada Ada all to myself….oluwa ese oo (i thank God)

I was happy for her as she talked none stop about her daughter whom they named Ugo or Ada.

She asked about me and I didn’t want to spoil her excitement. I just told her that I’m home to rest for few days. I briefed her about the incident with Bayo and she felt sorry for me.

There was something in my heart that I have been wanting to tell her.
It doesn’t seem like a perfect time but I need to let her know never the less.

I could have waved it off since it happened in the past but I wanted to be free for conscience sake.

“I have two confession Dammi. One is that I have always been jealous of you…I mean you seem to have it all. A good, well to do man who loves you while me on the other hand suffers from one relationship to another. I wanted my own Chike too but I ended up with a fraudster like Bayo. But I have come to realize that God’s appropriate time is the best. Another one is that I was the thief that stole your new shoes that Chike sent from london… The..

Dammi interrupted.

“You don’t mean it. Did you know that initially i kind of suspected it but later waved it off. That means my instinct were right. As for that jealous part, is normal. I used to envy you greatly. I mean you are good at almost everything. Beautiful, elegant, accommodating, classic and many other unique qualities. While me on the other hand can’t do anything right. I was jealous of you too Keji. I Remember taunting you during my wedding but you took no offense, I remember few other occasions I said things just to get you angry but you never react. You condol my nonsense behavior and still refer to me as a friend. You hardly get pissed off. I’m more of a bad person than you are and I’m sorry Keji. So if you can forgive me then I will forgive you anything which includes future sin.

We both burst out laughing.

“… Keji take whatever that is mine, if you fancy it and will like to have it then go ahead. You accomodated me, took care of my feeding and excesses. It was through you I got to know Chike. You got me a job, it was while I was at the same job you got for me that I met Chike. You deserve everything good Keji. Believe me, true love will find you soon because you deserve to be loved and taken care off…am I communicating?

She asked while smiling and winking at me in a funny way.

I wiped a tear as Bayo’s incident came rushing back.
She draw me into a hug
The warm hug did the magic. I felt a bit relieved before going home.

I also visited Uzo and her family.
They were happy to see me just like I was also

After a week past, three more days for me to return back to work.
I was at home watching a television series when I heard a knock on my door.

I went to the door to open. My heart skipped multiple times when I saw Philip.

I stood at the door speechless.

“Chike’s wife gave me your address after I visited them. Can I come in? He asked

I nodded without a word as I leave the way for him to enter.

I was speechless as he walked past me into my small living room to sit down.

To Be Continued….. . . .


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