I did not go AWOL o … all y’all silent readers. I was trying to move to a new platform. Okay, while we wait for that to come to fruition, please let us continue with our stories. Welcome back! I know many of you missed me. You just couldn’t find the words. Right? Errr..well..i missed you guys too. Please enjoy this new series.
Eniola leaned against the wall, arms akimbo staring through the window overlooking the lake a few meters behind her father’s house. Through the big branches and verdant leaves of the huge trees, she watched the reflection of the bright sun from the lake. She desired the warmth and light of the sun, as she considered Ezugo’s proposition. Five years back, Ezugo would have received a big slap from her, in addition to a kick in the groin for having the temerity to make such suggestion to her. Today, the twenty-eight year old lady standing at the window thinks time is ticking fast; about time to take her mother’s words seriously – a woman’s clock never stands still.
“Baby, you know this has nothing to do with love. It’s about the royal blood in me.” Ezugo’s voice seemed to create ripples on the surface of the water distorting the reflection of the sun. Eniola whisked her thin fingers through her braids in exasperation.
“We can wait, Ezugo. We can wait! I understand your plight, but you have to think about me as well.” Her thin voice bounced against the walls of the half-empty room that used to be her father’s visitors room when he was alive.
“If we could wait, I would not be so demanding. I have explained things to you. Why are you so selfish? If you cannot make this compromise for me after twelve months in this relationship, then what are we doing?” Ezugo raised his voice in anger.
“Compromise for you, and hurt my faith?” She turned back to look at Ezugo who was already tying his shoe laces.
“What? Are you leaving?”
“You leave me no choice. I cannot continue to waste my time.” He responded indignantly.
“And theeeeen…..?” She waved her hands in the air, and shook her head so her braids fell to the back.
Bending over to pick his laptop bag Ezugo shouted. “And then it’s over between us. We’ve been on this matter for too long. If we are going to be married, you must honour my request.”
“I have neither said yes nor no, Ezu”. Eniola tried to buy more time when she realized Ezugo was walking briskly towards the door.
“I have to go. Call me when you have an answer.” Watching Ezugo’s bulky frame disappear through the hallway with his feet thumping heavily on the wooden floor, Eniola lost the strength to enunciate the words in her heart Ezugo. Ezugo please don’t go. Please. I will bear you children when I become your wife. I am not growing younger. Please don’t go! Where do I start from? Ezugo, Ezugo….please.
She awoke from her sleep with a shudder. The dream seemed as real as when it happened in real life two months ago. It was an unusual dream, one that seemed like a boomerang. Eniola realized she still had tears in her eyes. She had cried before she slept, how come she woke up with the same tears in her eyes? Pushing the sheets aside, she rolled out of the bed; careful not to disturb her fiancé whose house was now her second home. She picked up her phone and a test strip from under the pillow and left for the bathroom.
Tearing the sheath of the test strip made her heart pound hard. What if it is negative again? She urinated into a bowl, and dipped in the strip with trembling fingers. After Five minutes of waiting with her eyes closed, she pulled out the strip and saw only one line.
Her mind was a convoluted maze of regret enhanced by spiders whirling webs of shame in concentric circles. She hated the day she succumbed to Ezugo to have sex with him, and get pregnant before their marriage. Talking to God had become herculean; every time she knelt down to pray, she ended up with tears and memories of the Eniola, who used to be a lover of God. Please send help my way, Lord.
She pushed the power button on her phone, and watched it come to life. Scrolling through the phone, she searched from alphabet to alphabet for a friend who would be up at 2.30 am waiting on the other end just to listen to the rhythm of her heart. She needed to exhale so she posted on her timeline Awake not love until it’s time. In the end, the best decision we can take is one that will align with God’s instructions and plan for our lives.
In a sudden switch of emotion, she decided to exchange the enviable warmth of two bodies in a sofa-promenade for a midnight of confrontation. She picked herself up and opened the door to the room, switched the light on immediately and walked over to the bed tapping him with more urgency than emotion.
“Ezu, get up….we need to talk.”
Ezugo managed to roll over on his back and look at her through a squint with his right eye.
“What is it? Can it wait till morning?” He mumbled.
“If it could wait till morning, I wouldn’t need to wake you up now.” Her voice was confrontational.
Ezugo propped his pillow against the bed to support his back and sat up, looking intently at his fiancé. His musings about the reason his sleep was cut short in the midnight was interrupted by her question.
“First question; when are we getting married?” Eniola raised her voice like one about to go into a state of hysteria.
“Excuse me? Why would you even ask me that kind of question?” Ezugo’s baritone was hoarse.
“Oh, so I am not entitled to ask the man who sleeps with me free of charge every night a straight forward question like when are we getting married?” She laughed out loud, not sure if it was laughter of pity for her situation or the kind that preceded a wicked act like an acid bath.
“We had an agreement!” Ezugo’s eyes brightened. “You were…”
“Spare me the details sir. You were meant to sleep with me, and I was meant to get pregnant, and then you would take me to your mother in the village to inform her that her lineage will forever be perpetuated on the throne.” Ezugo shifted further away from Eniola who exuded anger and frustration.
“Seeing that I am not pregnant, what happens next?” She held up the pregnancy test strip and pointed at the single line.
“Look between the lines because I just took a test for the umpteenth time, and think carefully before you open your mouth. I destroyed the most important relationship in my life for the promise of marriage. For that same promise I have given you my body almost every night for two good months. I would have sworn many months ago that my body was the temple of God”
“I never promised you marriage, Eniola. And I still maintain that we had an agreement.” Ezugo stood up to his feet.
“I don’t create babies.” He continued.
“May my God punish you for coming to a sudden realization of your limitations as a human being! When you convinced me to start sleeping with you, didn’t you know you were in no position to create life?” It was obvious to Eniola that she had traded her relationship with God for a phantom promise. Fighting back the tears in her eyes, she sat still on the bed for a moment, not knowing in which direction to drive the conversation. She opened the wardrobe and started picking her clothes one after the other in complete silence wondering. Some years back, she would have sworn to zero chances of giving up her body to a man she was not married to, talk of entering into a lousy agreement. At the back of her mind, she worried about her fertility. So what if I really cannot bear a child? What if the problem is with him? At that thought, the second question flashed through her mind.
“Who is Tracy?” She asked without looking back at him.
The question threw Ezugo aback for a few seconds.
“Another daft girl like Eniola. Tell me, is she pregnant for you?” She mocked him in her own pain.
“Tracy is my colleague.” Ezugo responded.
“When did you start telling such lies? You must think I am a fool not to know that the agreement can favour either of us. Whoever gets pregnant first takes the groom…is that not your plan?”
God, I will start all over again. You can pick me up from here, please. Eniola was lost in thoughts as she leaned on the wardrobe suddenly breaking down in tears. She felt the familiar hand on her waist.
“Ezu, you had a rare privilege. It’s over!”
Unfazed Ezugo slipped his hands from behind her to cup her breasts.
“It’s over Ezu. Cut the games!” With tears trickling down her face, Eniola turned around in a sudden burst of energy and pushed Ezugo violently against the wall.
“I said it is over!”