Weekend Special

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    MOTHERLY LOVE story by Ahworegba Ewoma Patience (ewomazeal) “Camilla,” Vanessa cautioned in a soft voice laden with anger. “Why don’t you want to listen to me? Its the best decision for you.” “Best?” Camilla retorted, gazing deep into her mother’s eyes. “This isn’t about me. Its for your selfish reasons.” Vanessa’s eyes darkened. “You will show me some respect young woman!” The tension between them heightened. They stared at eachother. There was an uneasy silence between them. Vanessa looked away, turned her back on her daughter and resumed slicing the tomato she had abandoned to talk with her daughter. This was not going to be the end of their conversation. It was only the begining. Camilla was bent on having her mother take her side. She needed her support. She was the only family she knew. Her mom was acting bizzare. She’d never denied her anything before. Vanessa will always do whatever she wished for just fr her to be happy. What was wrong with this decision she had made? Why won’t her mom just see things the way she did? Camilla knew there was no way she’d ever be hapy without her mother’s blessings. Being rude would get her nowhere. She had to be mild. She had to convince her mother, to persuade her that she was in the right. She took a deep breath. The sound of knife chopping the tomato filed the kitchen. There was an awkward silence. “Mother,” Camilla called, “Have I wronged y-u in anyway? If I have, please forgive me.” Vanessa frowned. “You have not,” she replied bluntly withut turning to face Camilla. “Then. . .Why do you not want me to be happy?” she aked. A soft laugh escaped Vanessa’s lips. “Its your happiness I’ve lived for ever since you were born.”

    “Make me happy this last time.” Camilla softened. “Give me your blesings mother. Take Michael as your son-in-law. Love him like you loved me, accept-” “Enough, Camilla!” Vanessa turned to her. “Michael is not the man I want for you. I cannot accept him. My decision stands.” She had this urge to flare up and yell at her mim. Yet she had to keep her cool. “I told you about him. You enjoyed hearing me talk about him. You loved him without meeting him. You already blessed us in his absence. You were glad I finally found love, real love, mother. I don’t have a clue why all that changed after you saw him for the first time. You never gave him a chance. Not a benefit of doubt. I love him so much mother. Why do you have to do this to me? I’d die without him. He means the world to me.” Camilla’s eyes did not leave her mother’s. She stared at her with water in them. Vanessa looked away as she saw the tears threatening to fall off her daughter’s eyes. She was deeply moved, really touched. Her daughter’s love was pure and innocent, but was Michael’s? She had every reason to give her daughter away and be by her side although she was not willing to. Something stopped her from doing so. She was protecting her daughter from hurt even if Camilla never knew. She did not want her to suffer. As these thoughts crossed her mind, she battled within herself either to tell her daughter the truth or keep denying her what she badly wanted. After much thinking, her eyes found its way to Camilla’s. She was already sobbing. Vanessa knew this was going to be cruel but it seemed she had no other option. “Go out there, bring another man home,” her voice was without emotion. “I will wholeheartedly accept him but not Michael. Not how, not ever.”

    Camilla’s hope was dashed. She knew her mother so well. It was a promise and she never went back on her words. Vanessa had just shattered her soul. Breaking into pieces her very will to live. “Mother,” she choked, “Don’t do this to me. You’re hurting me.” Vanessa was hurt more. She was saddened by everything happening. She was trying to be brave but she was not. Although Camilla loved Michael so much she had to stop their relationship. It was for the best. She wished, only if she…….. She did not want to think about it. Unable to hold it in anymore, she hurried out of te kitchen, leaving Camilla behind. She got to her room and cried. ****************************** Camila stood in front of her mother. She looked pale and sick. Her eyes were red and swollen. She held a letter in her hands. Vanessa scanned her daughter. What could be wrong? She hoped her rejection of Michael had not caused camilla to do somethng stupid. She got off the couch she was resting on. “Baby, are you okay?” she asked, holding Camilla. She began crying again, her lips quivering. Vanessa was confused. She pulled her daughter to a hug, patting her back and stroking her beautiful hair. “Sweetheart.” “Its…… Its……. Michael,” Camilla stuttered, biting her fingers as she rested on her mum’s shoulder. This was going to be bad. “What about Michael?” Camila cried the more. “He…he….was found….dead this morning.” She paused, recalling how she saw him that morning. “He commited suicide. He left me alone in this world:” She clung to her mother.

    Vanessa stiffened on hearing Camilla’s reason for crying. Could that be really badnews? She took her hands off her daughter. “Lets go seat.” Vanessa sat down. Camilla curled herself on her mother. Vanessa held her tight stroking her beautiful hair. “Why did he have to die?” Camilla lamented. “What made him take his life? I love him, love him so much that I wish to die with him. I just can’t live without him. Michael my-” she broke off as she burst into fresh tears. Tears rolled down Vanessa’s cheeks. “I’m sorry,” she muttered. “I’m so sorry.” This apology was not for Camilla. It was for Michael. If he could hear her wherever he was. She was sorry for his death. She was sorry for killing him. It was the only thing she could do to stop her daughter from getting married to him. Michael’s past life would hurt Camilla and she did not want that. Michael had been her lover a year before Camila introduced him to her. She’d broken off the relationship with him before he got to know Camilla. She did that because she did not want to tell lies to her daughter anymore. She did not want Camilla to hate her for engaging in practices she detested. Only three months had passed after their breakup that Camilla came home with him. She was crazed with anger. How could he sleep with mother and daughter? And she too loved him so much. She visited him and tried to ward him off her daughter. Michael was stubborn. She was left with no option than to kill him. While dying, Camilla’s name was the last word he mentioned. Maybe he did love her after all. She had made it seem like suicide. In that way Camilla will not nurse any idea of getting revenge. Vanessa knew camilla would hurt. But that will protect her from becoming emotionaly unstable when she learns that her mum and her and fiance had been involved with eachother. It was a good thing Michael took that secret with him to his grave.

    Her actions still hurt her. She loved him as much as her daughter did. “Mother,” Camilla said slowly. Vanessa was jolted back to reality. “I’m pregnant for him, you know.” She stared into empty space. “It hurts that he never knew. I’m gonna keep it. I’ll have his child.” Vanessa nodded slowly. She ws pregnant too, Michael’s baby. She did not care if her daughter kept the pregnancy or not. She had decided. She was going to flush it. Camilla must never know of her relationship with Michael. All she had done, she did out of love for her only child. It was her way of showing her love, that she really cared. Motherly love.

    #602221 Reply
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    An eight or Nine year old girl walked up to me on the street and asked me if I had seen her parents. I was a little taken by this; 1. I didn’t know her and 2. she was wearing a funny looking Barney suit with weird colours smeared on the front. She looked like she’d escaped from a childrens’ lets-see-how-much-paint-we-can-get-on-our-costumes birthday party. It was the middle of the day and the Port Harcourt sun was in a bad mood. The Barney costume must’ve been like a sauna in there; but the girl wasn’t sweating. I wiped my hand across my dmpp skin, there goes my brown powder!
    “Are you lost?” I enquired, crouching the way most adults do when talking to a child. She threw me a curious look and said: “No…are you?”
    Once again, I was taken aback. Spectrum Street wasn’t exactly a tourist location for kids; especially cocky ones. The usual hustle and bustle of bank employees, lawyers and business people returning from lunch breaks was all around us. I glanced at my watch; I had Five minutes left on my break.
    “Where are your parents?” I mean seriously, wasn’t that what concerned adults were supposed to ask?
    “Are you retarded?” She arched an eyebrow, “I just asked you that.” I was close to slapping her and by close, I mean as near as my thumb and index finger could get without touching each other; that close.
    “There’s no need to be rude.”
    “Well, I’m the one who doesn’t know how to talk to a clearly frustrated person” she ranted with her fists pressed against her hips.
    “You’re lost,” I said, standing up. ” I think we need to find a Police-man or something.” My eyes were searching the crowd. Where’s a cop when you need one? I didn’t have time for chit-chat; especially not with an eight or nine-year-old with a stick up her ass. There was no Policeman; not even a Traffic warden in sight.
    Sweaty faces threw me awkward looks as they hurried by. One particularly fast-walking chubby fellow in a suit slowed down and asked: “Is everything okay?”
    I like chubby guys; skinny guys just don’t do it for me. Maybe its the extra padding or whatever, but I just can’t seem to get enough of them. This guy was cute; in a well-fed-I’m-an-Aje sort of way – which I liked too.
    So, I threw him my best; please-feel-free-to-Chyke-me smile.
    “This little girl is lost” I couldn’t stop smiling.
    Listen, my nether parts hadn’t known any decent action in months. It was beginning to feel like an abandoned factory down there.
    Besides, how often do single cute guys smile at women these days – in this economy?
    “I can see that,” his gaze held mine. This definitely had potential.
    “Hey, I saw her first!” The little girl snapped at him.
    “She’s a handful,” he had a gentle voice; the kind you want to hear in bed – before, during and afterwards.
    “I wonder where her parents are,” I said staring at the frowning girl again.
    “You don’t know a lot about ghosts, do you?” She shook her head.
    It was my turn to arch an eyebrow.
    “You’re a ghost?”
    I exchanged curious looks with the cute chubby guy.
    I looked up to see a co-worker dribbling her way through the crowd towards me. Her name was Juliet, and she was a gossip. Enough said.
    “Oge!” She called out again as she drew closer.
    “Anyway,” Chubby-cute-guy hurriedly said: “It was nice meeting you, I have to run” he started walking again. Crap!
    “Em — I’m…..” I began.
    “Oge,…” He smiled, “Yeah, I heard. We’ll definitely meet again.” Then he was gone. I felt a small pang of anger at Juliet for ruining a potential: Hi-what’s-your-name-can-I-have-your-number? Moment. What were the odds of running into him again? It was just unfair!
    Cute-guys are like lottery tickets in this town; only four or five in a million are worth anything, and Mr Chubby looked promising. I sighed and stared at the little troll in front of me. She still had her hands on her hips with the same defiant expression on my face.
    Long pause.
    “What?” I asked, trying to keep the anger out of my voice.
    “You’re so desperate,” she shook her head. She seemed adult-like all of a sudden.
    “I’m not!”
    “Yeah right,” she sighed. “You might as well be carrying a: ‘Bobo-wanted-Apply-in-person placard around”
    “You can’t talk to me like that!”
    “Look lady,” she seemed bored. “The after-life is a b---h, and I have ghost-business to attend to. Are you going to help me find my parents or not?”
    “You’re not a ghost!”
    “No wonder you’re still single,” She shrugged.
    “You’re so dumb. But trust me, he’s not your type.”
    “Who do you think you – ?”
    “Oge, who are you talking?”
    I turned around to see Juliet with a funny expression on her face.
    “My dear, this little girl is –.” But she wasn’t there anymore. I looked around me frantically, but the little girl was gone. More people in suits scuttled past, the heat was still doing wonders to my make-up, but the foul-mouthed rodent was no where in sight.
    “Are you okay?” Juliet asked.
    I scanned through the crowd again; nothing.
    “Didn’t you see the little girl in a stained Barney costume?”
    “— No,” She replied, staring at me like I’d just won the bronze medal in the Crazy Olympics.
    “She was standing right here,” I said desperately. “We were — talking and — .”
    “The heat is affecting your brain cells,” she said taking my arm. ” let’s get back to the office.”
    “But — she was just there —- ”
    ” Na you sabi,” Juliet shrugged.
    Hours later, guess what Juliet was gossipping about?
    ” —- talking to herself on the road oh! Like a madwoman,” she was whispering to Rabi and Jasmine in the ladies’ room. They didn’t realise I was in one of the cubicles. It was almost closing time, and my lunch seemed to be wrestling with my insides.
    I heard Rabi giggle; an annoying giggle. It was on the list of things I believed nature created just to piss me off.
    “Oge just needs to get laid,” Rabbi’s voice said. “She’s just lonely. How long has it been since Timothy?”
    Long silence.
    The combination of their perfumes and my own farts upset my stomach even more.
    “A year?” Jasmine’s voice said. “Maybe more.”
    “A whole year of Conji?” Juliet’s voice exclaimed. “No wonder she’s seeing things.”
    They laughed together.
    “I feel sorry for her,” Jasmine added.
    Long silence.
    I was almost tempted to burst out of the cubicle and shove her face into one of the sinks. But I held my peace; I needed my job.
    After another twenty minutes or so of mindless chatter, they left. I stayed back for a few minutes to ensure I didn’t have any stomach surprises on the way home, then I left.
    I got home about thirty minutes later; traffic was a b---h. Enough said.
    I stepped into my one bedroom apartment; got undressed, took a cold shower and threw myself on my couch. I thought of Mr Chubby; wondering what he was doing, whether he was still awake. Crap! I didn’t even know his name.
    “It’s Steve by the way!” The little girl’s voice said behind me. I more or less jumped off my couch in fright. There was no way anyone could be inside my apartment me; it wasn’t Fortknox, but I was sure I’d locked the door.
    The little girl was standing there behind my couch with the same bored expression on her face. My heart was racing; should I call the police? And what exactly should I tell them? “hello, is this the police? There’s an eight or nine-year-old girl in my apartment wearing a stained Barney costume — she claims she’s a ghost—-!”
    “H –how are you here—?”
    “Seriously?” She frowned, ” A ghost pops-up in your house and that’s the question you want to lead with?” She shrugged and slowly came round the couch towards me — she was very casual about it, too. I backed away. It dawned on me that I was naked — I live alone, what do you expect?
    “Don’t come any closer!” I waved at her with one hand whilst the other covered my body as best it could.
    “You’re really new at this aren’t you?” She paused her advance.
    “What do —- want?”
    “I told you,” she sounded exasperated. “I want to see my parents!”
    “I — I don’t know where they are — please leave” I wondered if anyone would hear me scream. My neighbour-hood was a mind-your-own-business sort of neighbourhood. My next-door-neighbour wouldn’t budge even if I fired off a bazooka in my apartment. In a word, I was f----d.
    “—please,” Now am not entirely certain I whimpered, but I was close. “—- just leave me alone.”
    “I can’t do that!” Her voice boomed inside my apartment. The sound jolted me. But I was too scared to move.
    Long silence.
    She composed herself and spoke in a lower tone:
    “I’m not here to harm you, but this is how it works,” she sat on my couch and threw her hands up in a gesture of surrender.
    “I’m a ghost,” she continued. ” and you’re a medium. People like you help entities like me move on to the after life. Why? I have no f-----g clue! But it’s your job to help me —- that’s all I know”
    “I — don’t know what you’re talking about.” I was pretty sure I was inching closer towards the Gold medal of the Crazy Olympics.
    “Somehow, I think you know that’s bullshit!” She said simply. “Somehow, you know I’m telling you the truth.”
    Long pause.
    In a weird way, She was right. My grand mother used to see ghosts; people from far and wide used to come see her to speak to the dead. Maybe I had it too. But then again, maybe I was losing my mind.
    I closed my eyes and started muttering: “You’re not here! You’re not here! You’re not here!”
    “Really?” I heard her say.
    “You’re not here! You’re not here!” I kept on muttering. How long I did this, I have no clue but by the time I opened my eyes, she was gone. I stared at my empty couch for almost a minute. What’s happening to me? I felt a light chill run through me. I was alone again.
    Or so I thought.
    “Fooled yah!!” Came her loud voice from behind me. I made a mad dash for the bathroom door; it wasn’t much but it was a start. Whatever was happening to me, I knew I didn’t want to be in the same time-zone with that —- thing. I scrambled inside and slammed the door behind me; splintered a d--n nail in the process.
    “I’m not leaving till you talk to me!!” Came her voice from the other side of the door. “Either talk to me, or I’ll sing ‘Koombaya’ till we talk!”
    And so it went.
    She must’ve sang that song over a thousand times that night. At the crack of dawn, I had a splitting headache and my eyes felt like they would fall out of my head.
    “Okay —okay—!” I exclaimed coming out of the restroom. I could still hear the song in my head like some crazy loop.
    She told me her name was Cindy, she’d been run over by a car a few days ago. Thing was, she knew where she lived, but just not how to get there. She told me being a ghost meant having a lot of memory gaps. She said a lot of ghosts have a hard time accepting what they were; let alone asking a medium for help. She told me she needed to see her parents one last time.
    She described her neighbourhood to me. I knew the area, so I took her. Now I what you’re thinking. Why the hell would I do that? Well — as I said before, a part of me believed her.
    Maybe it was because I wanted to feel special, or maybe it was because of my grandmother.
    Truth is, I kinda believed her.
    We got to the area a few hours after that. I’d taken the day off from work and didn’t care what Jules the gossip said or thought.
    We got to the house. I learnt ( after alot of difficulty) that the family had lost their Nine-Year-old daughter — Fifteen-years-Ago. Cindy had been dead for more than a decade. It was during her birthday party, she’d chased one of her friends into the street whilst playing Tag; Cindy had been wearing a Barney costume. I realised also that Cindy’s ghost only wanted to say good bye. Her spirit had been haunting the streets for years, with no memory of time. You see, spirits don’t view time the way humans do; a day, a century, or a millennium moves differently to ghosts. To Cindy, it had been a few days, but to the rest of us Fifteen years had gone by.
    She didn’t take it too well. She wailed for hours; especially when she discovered she had a baby brother.
    Long story short, she said her goodbyes to her parents; no one else could see or hear her.
    From a distance, We watched her mother and father laughing with their son in front of the house. We watched in silence for awhile.
    “Thank you, Oge” she said finally with a smile.
    Then she was gone. I never saw her again.
    I returned to the office the next day, thinking about all that had transpired. It seemed so surreal. Me? a Medium? Cindy had told me that more ghosts would come looking for me.
    She told me to be brave, and to stop fixating about finding love again.
    “What about Mr Chubby?” I’d asked her.
    “Steve?” She giggled. “If he’s your type, then Juliet’s your best friend. But hey, you guys can have fun, but it wont last.”
    This saddened me, but I was determined to prove her wrong.
    The next lunch break, I searched the crowd for Steve, but couldn’t find him. As the minutes rolled closer to the end of my break, it dawned on me why Cindy had said it wouldn’t last. It just hit me like a lightening bolt. It wasn’t that Steve was bad guy, it was just that I was desperate to be with someone. Trust me, there’s nothing wrong with being with someone, I just don’t think you should do it because you need the company. All my life I’d been filling up the ‘space’ of a boyfriend or lover not because I liked them, but because I couldn’t bear to be alone. That was why I kept on getting hurt. Love, like friendship grows.
    “We meet again,” Steve’s voice said behind me. I smiled and turned around.
    “Hello stranger,” I said.
    “Who are you talking to, Oge?” I had totally forgotten Juliet was standing next to me.
    I stared at Steve for a long time. He was dressed the same way. His smile was as charming as ever.
    “I’m sorry I misled you the other day,” he said. “All this must be very strange to you — I didn’t mean to scare you.”
    I didn’t say anything; I just smiled. Like Cindy, Steve had sort me out. He was a ghost too.
    “Okay, you’re beginning to scare me,” Jules said. “What are you staring at?”
    Steve wasn’t more than a few feet away from us.
    “So —–?,” he continued. “Can you help me? —– I need to say goodbye to someone”
    I nodded and turned around. Medium it is then. I thought as I took the confused Juliet’s arm and made for the office.

    #602226 Reply
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    hmmmn….Motherly love indeed.
    The truth will surely be out someday.

    #602228 Reply
    Etz Froshberry
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    Ride on nah….its dat the end

    #602250 Reply
    Etz Froshberry
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    #602251 Reply
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    ghost story.

    #602256 Reply
    Promzy (Miss Coolval)
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    interesting piece Ewoma

    still thinking about Cindy

    #602272 Reply
    Dee babs Alabi[@adura]
    • "Posts"2436
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    NICE pice

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