For episode 5
Mama burst into uncontrollable tears… “Is this how you want to pay me back Omotade! I am now a witch that I had to be away from your wife for her to be well!” She muttered in between sob. She began walking up and down the siting room in no particular cycle.
“Mama, calm down! I’m not asking you to go back, neither am I asking you not to take care of your granddaughter. Nobody is calling you a witch and in fact science does not believe in witchcraft and voodoo. So please listen to me. You know you and Nkechi do not get along well from the onset, what the Doc, I mean the specialist said was that anything that can aggravate or tilt the balance should be avoided for now.” Tade appealed.
“Moreover the condition is temporary. She will soon get over it mama.” He added
“Mo gbo o Tade. Mo ti gbo.” Mama replied in Yoruba.
“What about the arrangement for the naming? Mama asked Tade. Um, the names are ready except yours.”
“Okay, the name I’m giving my first grandchild is Morenikeji.”
“Okay mama” Tade replied.
“The names of the child is Chibuchi, Morenikeji, Favour the daughter of Mr and Mrs Omotade Ajayi. May she live to bear the names in Jesus name” and everyone present at the naming inside the hospital ward chorused “amen!”
Two weeks passed and there seemed to be no improvement in Nkechi’s situation and it began to tell on the health and purse of Mr. Tade. He now wears the perpetual mask of crestfallen demeanour as if the weight of the world is upon his shoulder which literarily was.
He began, gradually, to marry the booze even if the repercussion were all too obvious. Every now and then, the promise he made to God that he would serve him if only God would save his wife during childbirth and the baby keep tugging at his heart every time he kissed the bottle.
“I just have to leave these bottles if my medical predicament will not relapse. I am to remain alive if I have to weather this stormy season of my life.” Tade said to himself with conviction.
“I will take charge! I will not chicken out on my loved ones by being irresponsible! Chichi and Nkechi needs me.” Tade made a resolution to stay strong for his family and damn all consequences..
Mama appeared beside Nkechi’s bedside, in a red skirt and black top with several fetish images attached. The cowry shell littering her regalia was unique and mama’s face seemed to oscillate between that of a lion to leopard to jackal! Mama bares her teeth, at a moment revealing long claws of a wild beast – literarily speaking. Saliva drooling from a side of her mouth and mama beginning to speak in unknown language but her body language was louder, with more than a glimpse of what she was doing! She invoked the god of her father to strike Nkechi.
The more Nkechi tries to run for her dear life, the more her muscles failed her. The more she tries to open her mouth to shout for help, the harder it was for her to talk.
In her ordeal, she remembered a line dropped by a preacher a while ago: “whosoever calls on the name of the Lord shall be saved.”
Who was she going to call on? The last time she practised any form of religion was in her primary school days over two decades ago.
As she struggled with her self-guilt and retrospection of the life she had lived … She blurted “help me Lord” and mama faded immediately into the wall beside her bed! She came out of the dream sweating profusely and wondering if her mother in-law was really a witch….
To be continued next week
I’m @newnaija on twitter