I joined them to the village to see Ugonna. I went with Emeka and Obinna while the rest went with their mother. On the way there, I was worried. What could have happened to Ugonna? I hoped she did not suffer the same fate. I was sad. I didn’t need to get involved in their situation but if I could play my part and leave, I was ready to.
When we got to the village, I saw Ugonna in the compound. She looked normal. There didn’t seem to be anything wrong with her. I came down and she greeted me. I was surprised; Ugonna greeted me. This was a change. We all went into the sitting room. Emeka’s father was on his seat. He welcomed us and offered us seats. After we had settled down, the woman stood up and said to me,
“Ugonna has a confession to make and she has to do it in your presence. Then and only then would she have her deliverance”
We all turned to Ugonna. She stood up and went on her knees. She said to me, “I am sorry for all I did to you. I planned your exit from this family with Jacinta, she was the mastermind. I don’t know why she disliked you but she said you were showing off by bringing foodstuff and provisions to her house from your rich auntie. She found out about your relationship with Amaechi and asked me to blackmail you with it. When it didn’t work, she devised another plan. Immediately we were able to convince Emeka to allow me to live with you, we hatched the plan. She got a sim card and I saved the number under her husband’s name on your phone. Anytime you were in the room asleep, I exchanged chats with Jacinta to build up the evidence until we were ready to use it”
This revelation was very shocking to me. I looked at her astounded at the extent they went to falsify and plant evidence against me. Even Obinna was short of words. I had heard and the family too had heard. What was needed from me?
The woman spoke, “Nwunye anyi, you have heard what your sister-in-law said. She has committed a grave sin against you. There is more but this information according to Emeka is the most important information you need. Ugonna has been rejected by three suitors. The first one was on her wedding day, the second one was a few days to the wedding and the third one knew about this and was ready to go ahead with the wedding but his sisters stood against him marrying her when they
hear. We want to appeal to you to forgive her for everything she has done and please stop informing her suitors about her mistake, she has learnt her lesson”
I was astonished at the woman’s words. It was like they were accusing me of informing her suitors. I had to defend myself. “I am sorry all these things happened to Ugonna but I never informed her suitors of their misdeeds to me. I didn’t know any of them so how could I have told them anything? Also, did she mention to you, ma, that she and Jacinta dragged a pregnant me down the stairs and I lost my baby? Did she tell you she and her cohorts never apologized to me? I told them they would suffer, who is suffering now?”
Ugonna came closer to me still on her knees and said, “I was misled. I beg for your forgiveness for everything. Please, forgive me. I have grown in these past years and realised my stupidity. Please, find it in your heart to forgive me”
“As I said before, I forgave you a long time ago. I handed you and Jacinta’s matter over to God to get me justice. All I can do now is pray for you and ask God to have mercy on you. Anything more will be beyond me”
The woman said, “You have spoken well my daughter. I think it is time for you to pray for her. Then we will go back to the hospital and sort out Jacinta before we talk again. Please pray for her from the bottom of your heart”
I prayed for her. I asked God to show his mercy upon her as he had done for me. I prayed she would be granted her heart desire as her repentance is complete. I prayed for Jacinta to seek God’s face and forgiveness from everyone she had hurt. I made my prayer simple and short and then ended it with may God’s will be done.
After the prayers, I asked if Dr Maduka had been contacted about this confession and apologized to. My father-in-law spoke for the first time saying he has to go to his family with his daughters’ confession and ask for forgiveness. The situation with Dr Maduka was worse because Jacinta was pregnant while still legally married to him. They were not divorced yet.
We all went back to the hospital. On the way, I asked Emeka what really happened with Jacinta. I didn’t have the full details and I was interested in knowing what was going on.
“Akwaugo, Jacinta is evil. Till this day, I have no idea what I did to her to deserve what she did to me. But what she did to Adanne is the height of it all. Adanne doesn’t even know when the affair started. Jacinta lived with her for two years. She opened a Maternity and baby items shop. Two months after opening it, she moved to her own accommodation which surprised Adanne especially since everything she was doing was riddled in secrecy. Immediately she moved out, she stopped visiting Adanne. She got pregnant, she sold off her shop and planned on relocating abroad with the child until she fell terribly ill. She went to all the hospitals in Lagos, one of them advised her to go native as she wasn’t getting any better. She was the one that contacted the woman helping us resolve this issue. She asked me to come home immediately. Jacinta stayed in her church until she got better and received a revelation. The day Jacinta was told the revelation was the day she went into labour. The woman brought her here. Strange things have been happening. She has offended you, Adanne and her husband. The case is more serious. She has tarnished our image completely”
“How did you know it was Adanne’s husband that got her pregnant?”
“When the pain was unbearable, they asked for the father of the child to see if he can help. She refused to say. Adanne took her phone to check who she had been conversing with so she could find the father and contact him. She saw a number stored as ‘My love’. Immediately, she took the number and called him on her phone only to see she was calling her husband. She called him on Jacinta’s phone and he picked up asking her how she was doing and if she had given birth yet. Adanne attacked him and wanted to attack Jacinta but we stopped her because of her condition. Adanne is heartbroken. She has refused to talk to anyone. Since she found out yesterday, she has not been herself”
“This is heart-wrenching. Did Jacinta say why she did?”
“She has refused to say anything”
By the time we got to the hospital, the woman went in alone to see Jacinta. She was there for over an hour before she called just me into the room. Jacinta was standing and she said to me, “I had said it will be over my dead body I will apologise to you that is I am finding it difficult to render an apology. Please
forgive me all I did against you. Forgive me for the loss of your child; I can feel the anxiety you felt. I am apologizing”
“Why Jacinta? Why did you hate me so much?”
“I have apologized. That’s the best I can do. To explain will never happen as there is no tangible reason why except that I didn’t like you and I didn’t want Emeka to be happy. Emeka is only book smart he is not wise at all. That’s all I can say”
Her response made me believe she just wanted to apologise and then move on. I looked at her and said only two lines of prayers. “Father in your finite mercy forgive your daughter. Tamper justice with your mercy”
I stood up and left the room. I met Emeka and told him I wanted to leave for Enugu and then Abuja. He begged me to stay the night and leave in the morning as they would still need me for the family liberation. I laughed. I told him I was not going to be a part of that. All those that offended me, I had forgiven. I wasn’t going to stay for his family again; they should liberate themselves.
I went to the village with Obinna. I told my family what happened. It was shocking to them. Even more was Jacinta betraying her sister like that. To that, I said, “when she asked for forgiveness, she was not remorseful. She wants to have that child to secure her place in the man’s life. If it required been friends with the enemy, she was willing to do it. I could see it in her eyes. Silently, I prayed that God shows her his power. His mighty power. Ugonna has repented and it is genuine. It is due to what she has been through but at least she now realizes her mistakes. Jacinta has a long way to go to repentance”
The next morning, I went to Enugu and flew to Abuja without telling Emeka. He called me in the afternoon and asked where I was. When I told Abuja, he was sad.
“You should have waited. We as a family needed to apologise to you and we pray for each other. Anyway, I will fly back through Abuja so we can talk some more. By the way, Jacinta had a son last night via normal delivery but the boy didn’t make it. He died a few hours after birth. Jacinta is beside herself. I feel for her but I think it was God’s will like father said. Adanne’s husband has been summoned to pick up his son’s body for burial. He will not show up because Adanne knows
about the affair. He has been begging her since she confronted him. Jacinta should have known immediately Adanne discovers her husband’s affair; the affair has ended. He loves Adanne and would do anything for her. He is a flirt and chronic womanizer but, Adanne comes first. Don’t you see how she treats him? That’s why he can never stay out unless he travels. She takes very good care of him and he reciprocates with love. Jacinta that couldn’t take care of her husband wants to take care of Chief? Not possible”
Listening to him tell this story made me realise how God delivered me from such a family. I escaped. Jacinta would never change and now she had lost the child, she would be eviler than before. The difference would be she won’t have accomplices.
When Emeka came to Abuja before going back, he came to apologise to me for every trouble I encountered while married to him. He confessed he could see that it would be selfish of him to ask me to come back to the family. He asked me to forgive him for the part he played and the ones he was supposed to but he didn’t. He went further to tell me he has a son with a lady from Mauritius but none of his family members is aware and he is willing to keep it that way. He will have more children with her and then marry her if they are compatible. He pulled out a picture from his wallet and showed me his son and his mother. I was happy for him. I knew he didn’t want a repeat experience that was why he kept it silent. He said he wasn’t coming back to Nigeria for a long time; he was fed up with the messes his sister had created and needed to move on to greater things.
Uju called me with the story she had heard a week after I came back from the village. I pretended as though I didn’t know what happened.
“Adanne chased Jacinta out of the house her husband rented for her. She locked up the place. The shop and goods were sold before now. Adanne has sworn to make life unbearable for Jacinta. Jacinta is still in Lagos and I suspect Chief was not her sole lover; someone is footing her bills now. It is so unbelievable. Dr Maduka said she is a prostitute and can never get back together with her. He has remarried and has a son now”
I listened to the family’s tales of woe and I refused to say anything. Jacinta got exactly what she deserved. I wished her the best but the stigma of sleeping and getting pregnant for her sister’s husband will forever haunt her. Unfortunately, it
will also haunt Ugonna who hasn’t had the privilege of getting married yet. I didn’t want to hear anything about the family again and I let Uju know. Emeka and I had parted ways amicably and we still remained friends. That was all I needed. No one from that family mattered anymore.
Before I could close that chapter of my life for good, I got a call from Scholastica. I was happy to hear from her. The day I came to the house, we were in such haste I didn’t stop to see her or remember to call her. I was happy to hear from her.
“Auntie Akwaugo, everything I did was because of you. Losing that baby pained me o. I knew I had to do something so they would have no peace. I saw you forgive and pray for Ugonna that is why I have called you today. Have you forgiven her?”
“I have. Even Jacinta; I have forgiven her too”
“I was the one telling Ugonna suitors not to marry her because of her wickedness towards you. Now you have forgiven her, I will stop”
“You did what? Why? Why did you do that?”
“I did it because it seemed they got away with it. Ugonna needed to be taught a lesson and I am happy she has learnt. I knew Jacinta’s cup will get full someday and God gave her the best vengeance; she lost her child and her reputation. No family member wants her in their home. They are calling her a homewrecker”
‘I can’t believe you did that”
“You were good to us. Good, humble and very generous. Because of you, Emeka remembers to buy things for us whenever he comes home. I have finished my education and service now. I have left their employment. I have found a good teaching job. I can’t remain with them while working because of the distance. Emeka gave me money to rent an apartment so I can stay close to the school. Please help me thank him”
“I will. You never told me you were going to school”
“I went back to school. I am happy with all I have achieved and I have only you to thank. I am happy I was able to do the bit I could for you. God bless you, auntie Akwaugo. You will see, a good man will soon find you and give you all the luxuries you deserve”
“Amen. Thank you for all you did for me although I would rather say, there was no need for that. Vengeance is of the Lord. See the way he dealt with Jacinta. If all had gone smoothly, she would have been abroad with her child from her sister’s husband. Tufiakwa! She has no shame”
“None at all. Her father has told her not to come back to his house. He has disowned her. The situation is really critical for her. Ugonna has been humbled seeing how everything is playing out for Jacinta. I believe she has learnt her lesson”
“I believe so too”
My two brothers got married to their sweethearts in the same year. Obinna got married to Chika his heartthrob for many years. Chika was a graduate of Lab Science. Ikenna met Joy during one of the holidays two years ago and they hit it off. Joy was from an upper-class family but she believed so much in what Ikenna was doing. Ikenna had poultry, reared goats, grasscutters and snails. He had learnt a new form of farming without soil. He was able to cultivate tomatoes, pepper, bell red, green, yellow and orange peppers and the produce he sold to big supermarkets in Abakaliki and Enugu. Over the years, he had planted palm trees, plantain and banana all over father’s farmland. He had reached out to other relatives who had barren land not in use to plant and harvest on the land with a sharing formula. Each time they came home, they had palm oil or garri waiting for them. I sold the car Emeka gave me to lease land for his plantations hoping with time we would have enough money to buy them off. He also consulted for other farms at a cost and became an intermediary between buyers and sellers. He was doing very well. Joy was a graduate of Banking and finance. She lived in Abakaliki. Ikenna and Joy decided to remain in the village because of Ikenna’s business which was doing very well. Obinna and Chika stayed in Abakaliki. They were not rich but my two brothers were comfortable.
After youth service, I relocated to Enugu against Amanze and Chiamaka’s advice. Amanze wanted to use his connections to keep in Abuja to work with a big private hospital but I did not like life in Abuja. I preferred my calm city of Enugu. I missed auntie Nneoma who had been alone for a while running two businesses and needed help.
She was happy to have me back in Enugu. I got a job in a Catholic hospital. The salary wasn’t much but I was content. It was a big hospital; I could learn and gather experience there while I decide on what to specialize in and further my studies. I continued my side hustle to contribute my quota to the family. I also helped auntie Nneoma when I could. I could see running the two businesses was putting a strain on her. Uncle Emma couldn’t come back yet; he couldn’t be far away from his doctors and I couldn’t ask why.
Suitors became regular visitors to auntie Nneoma. I was twenty-seven and over-ripe for marriage. I met illiterates and literates. I met those residing in Nigeria and those abroad. I had no singular interest in any of them. Life had taught me a lesson so I waited for God to send my husband to me. Auntie Nneoma advised me to date so I would know if I liked the guys I met or not. I explained to her without much success I was not interested in any of them. None of them caught my fancy.
I travelled to Lagos to shop for makeup products as I had added sales to my business. I used auntie Nneoma’s salon for my make-up studio and for the sales. I put someone in charge. I use quality products and Uju taught me how to source them for sale from Lagos. She gave me her contacts so I travel down to Lagos to buy.
I came to visit a colleague in a hospital on the Island who had requested for products. As I waited for her at the lobby, I saw Dubie’s mother come out of the consulting room with a lady. My plan was to ignore them as they walked past but I didn’t. The home training in me made me stop and greet her. I saw the lady she was with. It was Isioma. She looked different. It was then I observed Dubie’s mother was carrying a baby in her hands. I smiled. No wonder Dubie stopped harassing me. I felt he got the message but in truth, he had been busy. The baby looked about six months old.
“Congratulations,” I said to Isioma. She muttered a response. She took the baby and walked ahead of us. I could see Dubie’s mother wanted to chitchat but I didn’t want anything that will bring us close. Dubie was an experience I didn’t want twice.
“My daughter, have you gotten married now?”
“No ma. And I am not searching” I added so she doesn’t have ideas.
“I think you should consider doing that. I expected you to ask about Dubie but you didn’t”
“I’m sorry ma. I believe he is fine”
“He is. Isioma made him a father against his wish and he is insisting, he doesn’t want to marry her. I wish you can help me talk to him so he will have a change of heart”
“Dubie and I are no longer friends. If you want him to settle down with Isioma, tell her to seduce him again as she did to get pregnant. A second child would be a wakeup call”
“Isioma stays with me, he has refused to see her and the baby since they came back from America. I will tell Isioma to get back into shape quickly and get her man. Are you through at the hospital? Did you come with a car? I could drop you off”
“I just got here and I will be here for a while. Thank you so much ma”
“You are welcome, my daughter. I wish you had forgiven Dubie and given him another chance. He liked you so much” I just smiled without making a comment. I saw my friend and she signalled to me. I excused myself from Dubie’s mother to attend to her.
I sat down to think about it for hours. If I had given Dubie another chance and he came with the story of Isioma being pregnant for him, I would have killed myself. Why did he keep going back to Isioma? There must be something about her that made her irresistible to him. He didn’t want her for keeps but wanted her for the
sex. I knew I had to research why men were interested in being with women they didn’t want for keeps. Marrying Dubie would have been a big mistake. I was grateful I was delivered.
On one of my rounds, a call came in several times. After the rounds, I settled in my office and brought out the phone to return the call, the call came in again. I picked it up.
“Hello, who am I speaking with?”
“My name is Dubie”
I was silent. I didn’t expect him to contact me but he did. I didn’t know what to answer him now. Why would his mother tell him about seeing me? What was her plan?
“My mother told me about meeting you at the hospital the other. She told me about it today and I tried reaching you”
“On what? Please let’s just have a normal conversation. So, how are you? Where are you now? Lagos or Abuja?”
“I don’t think it is necessary for you to know. How are you too? A boy or a girl?”
“What are you talking about?”
“The baby, is it a boy or a girl?”
“I don’t have a child. Someone stole my sperm to impregnate herself so she can have my child. She succeeded. The child is mine but I didn’t have unprotected sex with her to have him; she stole my sperm. So, she can have as many children as she likes for me, she will never be my wife”
“Why would she do all this just to have a child?”
“I don’t know. Maybe she’s obsessed with me. She drags herself to where I am and wouldn’t want me to have any meaningful relationship. She is crazy. But she has gotten the message. I don’t want her”
“I’m just wondering how she stole your sperm. She had to be in close proximity with the sperm to steal it…..”
“I didn’t call you for that. I called you so I could see you and we could talk”
“Talk about what? You can’t be trying to get back together with me when you have a baby mama who stole your sperm without your knowledge to fertile her egg and have a child by you. Your plan is to kill me? You have a wife Dubie, she has given you a child. Have more children with her and marry her. She will be loyal to you because she genuinely loves you. She will also put up with your cheating”
“Is that what you are saying?”
“O yes. That’s what I am saying. I can’t marry someone that already has a child. Emeka has a son now and you also have a child. Both of you are no longer contenders in my hand in marriage matter”
“Akwaugo, you shouldn’t have left me. You should have forgiven me. You took a rash decision without considering the other party. I fell into depression when you left. I almost died thinking about the whole scenario. For almost a year, I was not myself..”
“Was that before or after you got Isioma pregnant?”
“You are not the Akwaugo I knew. This person I am speaking with is a cold-hearted bitch. Why bring up Isioma at every opportunity? What is wrong with you?”
“You made me what you are seeing now. Were you expecting a pity party with your half baked story? You are telling me a medical doctor about someone stealing
your sperm. From where to where? Please save your cock and bull story for naïve girls who are desperate. This babe is twenty-seven years old and has sense”
“Twenty-seven already? You are getting old; I hope you know that. I am not marrying Isioma. I want you. I miss our time together so much. You were a willing student in my hands and we made sweet sweet music together. I still hear you when I am in bed….”
“In bed with who? Isioma? Does she hear it too?”
“Fuck you! Where are you?”
“I am not telling you and if you do find me, I will not give you audience. I can never marry you”
“You don’t love me anymore?”
“It died the day I saw you dressing up and rushing out of Isioma’s house. Same
Isioma you have had a child me. Love died a very long time ago. Bye Dubie. Don’t
bother yourself; this ship sailed a long time ago” I ended the call and blocked the