Akwaugo: Episode 1 - 70 : TOPSTER STORIES

Akwaugo – Episode 50

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I had suitors. Emeka and Dubie were child’s play compared to Abuja men. I met the rich, the wannabes, the smart and scammers. I was glad I resolved to guard my heart. I was not ready for any type of relationship. Every morning, I attended morning mass. I even became a lay reader at the parish. I dragged Chiamaka to church with me. Amanze has never been a church person so it was no use dragging him.


Chiamaka fell in love with church along the line. Her love for it was on another dimension; fashion. The ladies in my church were dressers. They never repeated an outfit or shoes or headtie/hat/fascinator. I refused to be drawn into that lifestyle; I was focused. I dressed well and very decently but I refused to be fashion conscious while going to church.


I got a side hustle too. I did make for people. Uju gifted me some of her numerous makeup items while I bought some others from her. I practiced regularly on



Chiamaka’s face and I got customers from there. I went to a makeup school in my spare time to improve my skills and I became a professional. I did makeup session for weddings, birthdays, child dedications and other functions that required my services.


Amanze was impressed with my hardwork and dedication that he gifted me a small car for logistics. I was grateful. I was able to travel longer distances to work. A simple skill I acquired was helping me make money for myself. I was self sufficient and also enjoying my work in the hospital.


One man came after me from the church for a long time. He was known to Chiamaka and would come to the house under the guise of visiting to see me. Amanze didn’t like him one bit.

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‘He has shifty eyes; I suspect he is married” Amanze pronounced


“Why would you say so? Jude is well known to us. He is wooing Akwaugo. I know Akwaugo is not interested but then it is not enough for us to claim he is deceiving her. He is not married”


“I can bet my last dime, he is married. He looks it. I know what I see. Abuja men are players. He can see Akwaugo is comfortable that’s why he is posing as a suitor for her. Ask him if he is married. He will say no but look out for certain things. If he stops talking to you during a period or he claims to have travelled, go and check him at home. You will see for yourself’


We didn’t take his words seriously until it happened. He claimed to have travelled when we came to his compound for visitation. There was a woman in his flat which was strange to me. On our way out, I greeted her and asked if Jude was at home. She said he went out. I asked whom she was and she told me his wife. I greeted her very well and told her we were from the church.


I came back home and told Amanze and Chiamaka. Chiamaka didn’t believe it. “A good church brother?” she exclaimed, “It is not possible”


Jude called on Monday. He claimed he just came back from his trip. I invited him to the house later that evening. We left him for Amanze to tackle.



“Brother Jude, welcome. I don’t want to believe you come to my house because of my wife so I asked my cousin what your intentions are towards her and she told me to ask you. So, brother Jude, what’s your intention?”


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“I want to marry sister Akwaugo. That’s my intention”


“Those are good intentions but I wonder where you will keep your wife who spent the last weekend with you. What will become of her?”


Jude was shocked at the Amanze’s question. He realized he had been caught. The way Amanze presented the matter made it obvious he knew everything. He couldn’t reply.


“Since your intention for her was deception, I don’t want to see you anywhere near her again. I have written to the parish priest about your evil deeds and asked him to announce to the church your marital status before another girl falls prey”


We didn’t see Jude in the parish again. What was his plan? I knew his house because our fellow lay reader sister lives in the same compound and we had seen him there before. I never asked her anything. I hadn’t ever visited him even though he was pushing for it but I declined because I wasn’t interested in him.


Just before I passed out for my youth service, I had a visitor very late one evening. I had gone to bed when Chiamaka called out. I came out to see Emeka. Emeka was in Abuja. He hadn’t called me to tell me he was in Nigeria so it was surprising to me; to all of us.


“Please Akwaugo, can we talk?”


“What are you doing here so late?”


“It’s important I talk to you”


“Is there a problem? Tell me. Did something happen?”



Amanze interrupted by saying, “Take him into your room, it might be personal and important”


I led him into my room. I checked the time on my phone and it was past 10pm.


What will make Emeka visit by this time must be very important.


“Akwaugo, our family is in disarray. Many things have gone wrong. We were told we had lost the glory of the family and God was taking out his vengeance on your behalf”


“What are you talking about? How am I involved in the family’s problems?”


“You are very involved. We are being punished because of you. Atrocities and abominations are happening because of you. God is fighting for you. All we need from you is your forgiveness and prayer; once that is done, we will all be free”


“I don’t understand. Honestly, I don’t get what you are saying. Are you accusing me of something?”


“Accusing you? I am not. I am appealing for your forgiveness and help”


“What is going on?”


“Jacinta is pregnant and cannot have the baby. She has been in labour for three days now and still she can’t push out the baby. Each time they want to operate on her, they would the electricity would go off and they switch to an alternative. their generating set won’t come on. If it is during the day, one thing or the other would happen. She is weak and we were warned not to operate on her but rather ask for forgiveness from those she offended otherwise we will lose her”


“This is serious. Why would her doctor allow her to in labour for three days? He should have referred her instead. Which hospital is she using in Lagos?”


“That doesn’t matter; it’s your forgiveness that does”


“Emeka, I forgave her and Ugonna many years ago and I have moved on. I didn’t even know she remarried. Has Ugonna married too?”



“She is pregnant for Adanne’s husband. That is how grievous the situation is. Adanne just found out and is livid with anger against Jacinta. Jacinta was to travel out two weeks again but she had a strange illness. Now, she is in labour and can’t have the baby”


“Ask Adanne what she did against her sis”


“I am telling you Adanne found out today before I left for the airport. Come with me and pray for us so we can forge ahead with our lives. The mistakes both of them have made are the brains behind everyone’s predicament. I want them to apologise to you”


“You didn’t need to come here for that. I would have accepted their apology and prayed for the family over the phone. I have no ill feelings towards”


“You won’t understand. Please come with me to Abakaliki tomorrow morning. You will understand better”


“I am on duty tomorrow and I also have my CDS. Please, let it be done over the phone”


“You are holding the ace right now. I beg you in the name of God, come with me tomorrow, play your part and I will bring you back”


“Let me think over it tonight and approach God concerning your request. Whatever I decide will let you know in the morning”


Emeka was set to leave for the hotel but it was too late. Amanze offered him the guest room for the night and some food. Emeka took it. I tidied up the room for him while Chiamaka made the food for him. I observed Emeka, he looked stressed. I had many questions which the answers will give me better clarity but I could see, now wasn’t the time.


I went to Amanze and Chiamaka’s room to tell them what Emeka and I discussed. They advised me to talk to my parents before making any move. That had to be in the morning as it was too late to rouse them up.



Early the next morning, I discussed with my parents. My father asked me to come to Abakaliki but not with Emeka alone. I could ask Emeka to leave and I join him in the hospital or Amanze comes with us to be on the safe side.


Emeka was ready in the sitting room by 7am. He called my number. I came to meet him and explained to him I couldn’t go with him that morning but I would be in Abakaliki before evening. Emeka said he would wait until then. I refused. I asked him to leave.


“If you don’t want to do this, just say so and I will let you go. Don’t toss me around; this is a matter of life and death”


“I am not doing what you accused me of. I need to be at CDS today and I can’t miss it. Please understand this was sudden and unplanned. I can’t just up and go. I will meet you there”


“We will go together”


“Why? Why do I have to go with you? Just tell me the hospital and I will be there”


“Now I get it. You don’t trust me. It is so sad. I could never believe a day will come when you wouldn’t trust me”


“It’s not that”


“We will go together and if anything happens to you, put the blame on me. I will talk your father. Let us take permission from CDS so we can go”


Emeka was able to get me to do his bidding. I called Obinna, my eldest brother, to meet us at airport. When we arrived Enugu airport, we left together with Obinna for the hospital.


I saw Jacinta whining in pain. She looked so different, she was fairer and looked more beautiful even in her pain. She didn’t acknowledge us and I didn’t know what else to do in the room and so I waited outside with Obinna.


Emeka returned with a woman and his mother. I greeted them.


The woman asked, “has she asked for forgiveness?”


“Not yet. Maybe you should talk to her again” Emeka replied.


I had to tell them, “I do not need her apology to forgive her; I forgave her years ago. I will just pray for her and leave”


“Leave? You are not leaving soon; the work to be done is much”


“I can’t be held here please. I am resuming work tomorrow and I have a makeup job the following day. I must leave this evening or first flight tomorrow morning”


“The situation on ground is between life and death. Your chi is angry with them and has decided to disgrace and destroy them. Jacinta, if operated, will die. All she needs to do is apologise and the baby will come forth”


“Then let is do it quickly”


We got back into the room. Jacinta was still in severe pains. The woman asked if she was ready to ask for forgiveness and be free. Jacinta didn’t respond.


“We are trying to save your life and you need to do this quickly so the baby will come out”


Still she refused to respond. I was running out of patience. How can a human being be this stubborn? She was wriggling in bed but wouldn’t do what will help save her. I waited another ten minutes without a response from her and I asked.


“Can I just forgive her, pray for her and leave?”


“That is a further curse on her head. She will beg for forgiveness when she stares death in the eye. In the meantime, lets go and see Ugonna”



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