(STEPPING INTO MAGGIE’S SHOE)
© Opeyemi Ojerinde Akintunde
I walked back towards my new home with a beautiful smile. I didn’t have money on me to buy the rat poison, so I planned on getting home and asking Julius for some money in a very calm way.
To my utmost surprise, I met my mother at my home already. She was sitting and shaking her legs in anxiety, while Julius and his sisters were seated too, waiting for me to return.
I must have walked for 2 hours. Julius and his sisters were not aware I had been at the house earlier so I didn’t want to give myself away so easily. I gave a generous smile to everyone in the room…
“I know that smile, it is very fake” she said as she pulled me out of the house.
“What smile? I am happy to see you, is that bad?” I said to my mother…
“You can pretend to everyone else, but not to me, we are going to see your doctor, before you do what you will regret…” she said pulling me to her car.
Julius stepped out to join us.
“Mum, what is wrong? You came here asking of her frantically, now you can see she is fine… I hope…”
“She is not fine, she needs medical attention urgently…”
“What’s wrong?” Julius asked.
“Nothing is wrong, Mum is just over reacting over a joke I made” I said trying to shut my mother up…
“You call killing someone a joke?”
“She is planning to kill someone? Who?”
“I don’t know!”
“Happy, what is going on? What is happening? Did someone hurt you? Tell me who the person is and I will fight that person” Julius said.
I felt like slapping him…
“Julius, seriously it was a joke, Mum… I can’t kill anyone…” I said laughing.
Mum left much later.
I noticed Julius and his sisters were a bit edgy and they were talking in low tones.
My therapist eventually called me with another number three days later and begged to see me.
For those three days I maintained my cool, I had a plan…
“Happy, do you know greed is a form a madness or insanity…? When we desire something and we go all out to get it, it pushes us to do things we ordinarily would not want to do… Tell me, what have you done?” My therapist asked me.
I broke into tears, knowing the other part of me that was ruled by greed had done so much, the real me was trying to run from the greedy me.
“I know, I allowed greed to push me to this point, I am not insane I am just greedy… I have a confession …..”
“I am with you.”
“I… I… was the one who hired the man who Pastor Maggie dated… I wanted her out of the way, my plan was to make the man deceive her into divorcing the Apostle, but the man had other plans; he swindled her and another woman instead. The good part of me was happy that the greedy part of me didn’t have her way, since Pastor Maggie did not get out of her marriage but little did I know my mum was also up to something, which eventually led to her committing suicide….”
“When did this greed start?”
“As far back as I can remember… You know as an only child I always got whatever I asked for, but on getting to secondary school, I was faced with the harsh reality of not getting everything you desire. That was when I started stealing and craving other people’s things…
“This same greed made me pour acid on Christabel.”
“But since you did all these to marry the Apostle, why did you run away from marrying him when you got the opportunity?”
“I have two parts to myself, there is the greedy Happiness that is insane and there is the good Happiness that wants to do what is right, and the good Happiness doesn’t want to marry the Apostle so that the greedy part of me doesn’t feel that she has won” I said crying in total honesty.
“Everyone has two parts to themselves, but what proves our sanity is when we choose to listen to the good voice, so far, you have been listening the wrong side of you.”
I wept uncontrollably as the reality hit me, the reality that “Anyone who lets greed of any kind control them is actually MAD.”
I ended my session with the therapist with a resolution that I was going to confess to the Apostle and make my marriage with Julius work.
However, I got back home to meet an empty house with a note on the floor…
“It may have worked out between us if you had been patient enough for me to get the money to pay your dowry. As it is, I am however grateful that I didn’t get the money to pay for your dowry because that would have had me tied to a psychiatric patient forever. You and I are not married, as you paid your dowry by yourself. I never paid, so please feel free to go marry the Apostle if he is still available… My regards to your mother for hinting me on your plan to kill someone, I know without an Iota of doubt, that person is me. Do have a great life, I plan on relocating to Ghana, so don’t bother looking for me, Julius.”
I wanted to grab something, but there was nothing to grab, instead I screamed so loud I knew everyone in our noisy compound would hear me.
My greed had taken everything from me, my wish and action to be in another woman’s shoe had landed me in shame.
I thought this was the end but….
To be continued