Roses And Thorns
Captain Joel could feel his heart beat loudly against his chest. He smiled again for the umpteenth time since that morning, he was going to see mercy his fiance after 3 years of been in Somalia on a peace keeping mission.
He wanted to surprise Mercy the reason for his arrival so early in the morning and also the reason for not calling her on phone to go pick him up from the airport.
“Oga soldier, we don arrive ooo” the driver said interrupting his thoughts. He smiled, he had intentionally worn his camouflage as he believed it wasn’t easy to be a soldier.
“Oga soldier, see your load for ground, i don dey go ooo” the driver interrupted his thoughts yet again.
“Oh yeah, thanks for the ride, you drove responsibly” captain Joel said with a smile while waving at the driver as he drove away. He dragged his box and made towards the gate with his heart still beating fast.
By Jennifer Godwin
Captain Joel knocked swiftly on the gate, he let out a full breath trying to steady his beating heart. He didn’t get any response, he knocked again but louder this time and waited for few minutes but he still got no reply, he gave the gate a gentle push and it gave way, he stepped into the compound closing the gate behind.
He dragged his box to the main door of the building and knocked, he placed his ear against the door to know if he would make out a sound from the building but he got none. He turned the door knob and the door gave way which increased his heart beat, he dropped his box in the sitting room and went towards his fiance’s bedroom, he called out her name while going to her bedroom but the whole building was as calm as the morning dews.
“She must still be asleep” he thought as he checked his wrist watch “7:45 am, aah aah na it is not that too early” he said and finally gave the door a push and stepped in to the bedroom.
His stomach turned and churned at what he saw, he stood rooted to the ground and felt his head spin, he became dizzy and goose bumps appeared all over his body.
“Jesus Christ!!! mercy?” he shouted after finally finding his voice. His legs became so heavy to carry the weight of his body, he staggered out of the room, out of the house and out of the compound jumping in the available taxi he saw.
“Where are you going to sir?” The cab man asked.
“Just take me to the pharm estate, house number 11” he said slowly that the cab man had to strain his ears to hear him correctly.
Melody woke up with a yawn, not the normal yawn people experience in the morning but the yawn of hunger. She had slept on an empty stomach the previous night. She checked the time and it said 7:50 am.
“Oh my God, i am supposed to be in Mama chidera’s house as early as 7:am or else she would get another person to do the job for her” she exclaimed loudly getting up from her bed or rather her mat like foam. She removed her clothes and covered herself with a big towel, she grabbed her bucket and rushed towards the public tap to fetch water.
She successfully fetched the water and on getting to the bathroom which everyone in the face me i face you batcher building shared, her heart flew to her stomach, the crowd of people waiting outside just to have their bath reminded her of the crowd she saw at the bank the day she went to get her B.V.N. she shook her head and carried the water back to her room.
“I will bathe when i come back from Mama Chidera’s place” she said wearing her cloth.
The cab driver dropped Joel at his destination, took his money and left. Joel staggered to the door of the house and knocked fearfully, his friend (Ebube) opened the door and smiled.
“Aaahh, Mr lover lover, what are you doing here na? you should be with your fiance right now in her house, with the way you were talking about her a day to our departure? hehehehehe, am sure you have already gone for one round.” he said all at once without noticing the moody Joel.
“Ebube, please can i come in?” he asked swiftly. his body shook and the goose bumps had still not left his body.
“yea, sure bro, come in. I was too excited that i forgot to invite you in.” Ebube replied leaving the door way for him.
Joel went inside the house and collapsed heavily on the sofa, he sniffed which caught Ebube’s attention.
“what the Bleep bro, did you just sniff? can you kindly tell me what the problem is? is it about your fiance?” he asked going to sit beside Joel.
“Am just coming back from her house, infact i can not even explain what i saw there” he replied helplessly.
“Oh no don’t tell me you caught her with another man? because i wouldn’t mind beating her senses back into her head. The reason I hate women and love.” he sneered angrily.
“It would have been better if i had caught her with another man Ebube” Joel replied still staring into space.
“Wait a minute, you caught her with her fellow woman? mercy is a lesbian?” he asked in shock.
“It would have also been better if i had caught her with her fellow woman, at least there would have still been hope for us” he said yet again.
“So can you tell me what you saw already because am dying to know” Ebube asked anxiously.
“Mercy is dead bro, i saw her in her bedroom hanging freely from her ceiling fan, i think she committed suicide.” Joel finally said letting out a heart wrenching sob.
“Jesu christi !!! are you sure you know what you saw? how can she be dead na? you spoke with her on phone yesterday when we were still in Somalia”. Ebube said in shock.
“Am as shocked as you are, i don’t know why she would kill herself, she should have talked to me if she had any problem.” He replied amidst sobs.
“I think we need to go back to her house and check very well, you know people that commit suicide normally leave a note behind, don’t you think so?” Ebube asked in wonder.
“Yea, we should go back there because i left my box in her sitting room.” Joel replied sadly.
Melody walked down the area greeting as many people as she met on the way. That area was the poorest and dirtiest place in the city of Asaba, only the poorest of the poor lived in that dirty environment.
“Aunty Melody good morning” a little kid greeted.
“Morning Kola, how are you doing?” Melody asked.
“Am fine Aunty Melody” the boy replied all smiles.
“That’s my boy” Melody replied taking the next turn to her left.
She finally left the ghetto and trekked all the way down to Mama chidera’s house. she saw her outside probably waiting for her. Mama chidera’s house was fine and she lived in the next street which was finer than her (Melody’s) stinking area. she was saving up so that she could move to a better place.
“Melody what kept you na? i wanted to go and call another person to do the job for me”. The woman exclaimed.
“Abeg no vex Mama chidera, i been wake up very late and you know as that my side dey be now, but no worry i go do the job sharpally for you” Melody replied dropping her bag on the floor.
“I have told you not to be speaking that half baked English Language when ever you are with me, that you are living in a ghetto doesn’t mean you will speak like them.” she hissed.
“Mama Chidera, you know na, when you go to Rome you behave like a roman” she smiled.
“Okay, the clothes are at the backyard, after washing them, you arrange the house and then do the dishes then later in the day you will go to the market and get me somethings that i will cook soup with” The woman enormously explained.
“No problem ma, i will finish on time, just go about your business” Melody said going towards the back of the house.
That was her job, what she does for a living, she does domestic house chores for people to make ends meet. what was she going to do? what options did she have?