“And what did you tell her eventually?” My mum asked that night after arriving from work and I relayed all that played out some hours before her arrival.
“I told her I was tired, plus I had chores and I had to finish them before you return…”
“And what did she say?” My mum asked impatiently, unable to hide her bemusement.
“She asked how many minutes it was going to take me to uproot them and I told her every minute counted.”
My mum kept quiet while she stirred the semovita to thicken and I checked if the ogbona soup had been evenly heated. We didn’t talk about Aunt Ebiere again while we cleaned up the kitchen and served dinner. It was however very shocking for me when my mum dropped a morsel she had rolled to dip into her plate of soup and banged on the table, almost turning her soup over.
“What is the problem with Ebiere? Why would she come to my house when she knew I wouldn’t be around? She came to my house, sitting at the corridor like I was owing her money and coming into my house to be giving orders to my daughter. Are you her maid? Is she nut? Why would she ask you to pluck her greys? What sort of rubbish is that…”
“Mum it’s al…”
“If she is planning any evil against my family, it would go back to her! If she wants to transfer the subtle madness running in her to my daughter, it will not work! It is her children that would fall victims! That’s if she has them!”
There was a huge silence as I couldn’t grow out of the shock my mum had given me by her impulsive action. My morsel couldn’t go down my gullet, so I kept chewing it quietly, so the most minute sound from my chewing doesn’t fuel my mum’s flaming temper she had been nursing for Aunt Ebiere and had finally let go. It was, however, quite unfortunate the target audience wasn’t there.
“She wants to be coming into my house, but wouldn’t let me know hers. I have pressed her so many times that I wanted to visit her, but she wouldn’t allow me. I had not seen just a picture of her children, but she could order mine around. If the husband is in the Force, does he not come home at all? Does he not have a picture? She thinks I’m a fool. Something is wrong with her and she’s keeping it to herself but wants to wallow in my own livelihood. No way!”
That night, we both lost our appetites. I finally settled for cereals before I went to bed and kept wondering if I had not been wrong in relaying the evening’s events to my mum. Apparently she had been mad at Aunt Ebiere but maybe if I had kept quiet, she would have given her more chances.
Till date I do not know what my mum told Aunt Ebiere, but she stopped “choking” her with her friendship and stopped coming to our house, then stopped coming to church.
Maybe I should have picked those greys and not tell my mum anything. But maybe by now I would have started repeating words and more words and more of it because Aunt Ebiere would still be coming to wait at our corridor and order me to pick her greys.
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