Written By: Lizzy Oyebola Yakubu
As I wiped my shoes against the foot mat, the atmosphere smelt really different.
“What’s that? Is something burning?” I thought as I turned the door knob and entered.
The sitting room was dark so I groped at the walls to find the switch. I flipped the switch and the lights came on. There was no one in the sitting room.
I looked up at the wall clock.
“Oh my! I am so late today!” I exclaimed as I dumped my handbag and my lunch box on the dining table and rushed to the kitchen to see what was smelling.
The kitchen was very tidy and there was nothing on the gas cooker. I checked the microwave, there was nothing inside. The oven was also empty.
I stood transfixed for a while as the smell I had perceived from outside grew stronger.
“What is that smell, oh Lord?” I asked, very dejected. I was very tired from the day’s work that all I had planned to do was bath, have my husband massage my shoulders and then sleep. I felt so troubled that all wasn’t going as I had planned.
I took off my blazer and hung it on the door. Then, I started the inspection of the whole kitchen. I couldn’t actually place what the smell was but it was sure offensive.
When I checked the freezer and the fridge and the gas cylinder and couldn’t detect what the problem was, I gave up the search.
“My home is covered with the blood of Jesus! Lord, I give my house and my family over to You anew. Keep us from all harms. Thank You Lord” I prayed shortly.
I sprayed some citrus air cooler and started walking to my children’s room. I opened the door and the smell greeted me there again!
“The Blood of Jesus!” I exclaimed. My eyes widened the more as I realized that it was only one child that was on the bed.
I walked to the bed as fast as my leg could carry me, checked the face of the child on the bed and my heart dropped.
“Where is Jemmy?” I asked aloud but Jeddy, her twin sister was sleeping too deeply to give me an answer.
I flew out of their room to start the search for Jeddy.
My first port of call was our room. There, was my husband on the bed, snoring so loudly. I scanned the room and realized that Jeddy was not with him.
I checked every single place in the house and even outside yet I couldn’t find my daughter. Tears was already gathering in my eyes. I didn’t know if I should be scared or not. I swallowed hard as I muttered some words of prayers.
‘The second sitting room!’ A thought came to my mind and I hesitated.
“What would Jeddy be doing in our private sitting room all alone?” I frowned slightly. Only Bode, my husband and I relaxed there to enjoy the oceanic view at times. We met there also to pray every weekend when we hold our couple’s fasting and prayer programme.
We often forbid our twins from entering the sitting room because it was our sacred room of prayer, love and power.
On a second thought, I turned the knob on the door and it was dark.
“Of course she can’t be here. What was I thinking?” I said and was about closing the door when the strong smell I had perceived at the door wafted to my nose. I flipped the switch on very fast and there on the couch lay a woman and my Jeddy coiled like a newborn around her chest.
“Who is that?” I asked myself as I walked briskly towards them. I wasn’t expecting any visitor. My mum and my mother-in-law had not told me they would be visiting.
The woman looked very elderly and familiar but I couldn’t place it. The more I went close to her, the more the offensive smell increased.
I gently pulled off my daughter from her chest, pleading the Blood of Jesus. She stirred but resumed her silent snores.
I reversed quietly and shut the door.
I took Jeddy to her room, tucked her in her bed and hung their mosquito nets. I walked to and fro their room, prayerfully before exiting and moving to my own room.
Fuming as I entered the bathroom to shower, I was more furious that Bode wouldn’t even stir at my entrance.
No matter how much I had tried to wake him up, he had been muttering ‘Don’t disturb me, I am tired’ and that was not usual. No matter how tired my husband was, he would usually wait for me before retiring to bed.
I changed into my nightie and adjusted the satin bonnet on my head. The sleep that had gathered in my eyes had disappeared. I picked up my Bible and climbed up into the bed.
My heart was very heavy. Though the smell had subsided, I was not clear what it was and why it grew stronger when I approached the elderly woman!
Who is that woman? Why didn’t Bode pray with the children and tuck them in bed before sleeping? Why didn’t he hang their mosquito nets? Why?
As I tried to calm myself, clinging to my big Bible, I felt so scared. I turned to look at Bode’s face but he was far away in the dreamland.
I jumped down the bed again and knelt down, leaning against the bed.
“God have mercy. I do not know why I am feeling this way but have mercy Lord. Have mercy Lord” I kept muttering till sleep wrapped its arms round me.
I woke up to someone fumbling with my nightie. I shuddered all of a sudden as if I had come in contact with naked electricity.
“Who is that?” I slapped off the hand and jumped up suddenly.
“What is wrong with you?” Bode asked loudly, his left hand rubbing the right hand that I had slapped.
“Oh, it’s you. I am so sorry. I thought it was someone else” I said and he frowned.
“Someone else? Who would have the audacity to fumble with your nightie like that?” He asked and when I saw that the waters of jealousy and suspicion were already gathering in his face, I smiled it off.
“I have been feeling somehow since I came in” I said and he nodded.
“Come and sit with me on the bed. You will be fine” He said and I shook my head.
“Bode, who is the woman in our house?” I asked and he frowned.
“That’s my aunt. What is the matter? She can’t come to my house?” He asked and I shook my head.
“But I thought it would have been better if you had told me we were having a visitor” I retorted.
“Why should I do that? Is this your house? Did you build it?” He asked, a strange look on his face.
“Honey, are you for real? Can I suddenly bring a visitor home this way?”
“Anyway, that is my mum’s cousin. Her daughter in the USA just gave birth and she needs to visit her. She is going to be here till the visa is ready” He said and I started feeling uneasy all of a sudden, slapping my thigh and shaking my head all at once.
“That is not nice at all.” I said and he looked at me defiantly. I had not seen such look on his face since meeting my husband. He fixed his eyes at me as if ready to argue.
“Honey” I said calmly, walking close to him. “I feel really troubled about her presence. You know I wouldn’t object to anyone visiting us but I feel somehow about her. Can we just pray about it?” I asked, holding his hand. He gave a long hiss and shook my hand off his.
“So, I should tell her to leave? C’mon woman, use your medulla oblongata. Use your brain! She is my family member. I have heard that generally, you women detest your husband’s family, so…”
“Bode? I detest my husband’s family? Really? Amongst the visitors we have had in this house, how many of them are my direct family members? I take care of your family as my own. This is a very different case, honey. I do not even know this person! I sudden feel bad at her presence. And as a wife, I am explaining my feelings to you. I am not even saying you should ask her to leave. How on earth would I say such? I am saying that I am not at peace with this visit and that you should let’s pay about it. Am I wrong?” I asked, my voice quaking. In our five years of staying together as a man and wife, my husband and I had never had a heated argument like that.
“You are o! You are wrong! And you know what, Lara?” He asked, jumping down the bed and picking his pillow. “You will eventually have to leave this house if you are uncomfortable with my aunt here!”
“What!!!” I exclaimed, very shocked.
“You are too spoilt! I have spoilt you! That is why you can actually sit down there and tell me shit!”
“Shit? Bode, shit?” I asked, my lips trembling.
As he was about moving out of the room, I ran after him.
“You can’t go out of the room, Bode. Why would you leave the room for me?” I asked and he shook his head.
“Just leave me please. Go away!” He pushed me off and shouted sternly. As I was regaining my stance, there was a knock at the door. I frowned slightly and looked at the clock.
“Can I come in?” The woman asked and I was shocked.
Into our bedroom?
“Come…” My husband was saying when I raised my hands in absolute disagreement. He eyed me as if I was an abominable person. “Come in” He eventually said and my mouth became suspended. I was too shocked beyond words.
What is happening?
Why is Bode behaving this way, Lord?
Am I overreacting Lord?
What is wrong with me?