A SIMPLE PENDULUM LIFE (EPISODE 11 – 20)

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A SIMPLE PENDULUM LIFE
(Episode 11)
Eka was animated with a sewing machine in the house.
She took the measurement of herself and cut the right
size of cloth from the cloth Dr. Gerry gave her. She was
sure she had seen loads of magazines in the wardrobe
in her room. She could not tell if she would find what
she wanted in them but she had to try. When she
opened the wardrobe and saw the magazines on the
base of the wardrobe, she exhaled with relief. She
packed all of them and sat down on her bed and began
to page through them in search of clothe designs she
might want to copy. Much of the magazines had
nothing about fashion. Finally she found one, Islander
Show ; it had loads of fashionable clothe designs.
Though it was a bit old, the designs in it were lovely;
she didn’t bother to return the other magazines to the
wardrobe, she was excited and ran back to the dining
where her sewing machine was. Slowly she paged
through the magazine trying to pick the particular
design to sew. She was spoilt with choice. When she
eventually made her choice she went back into the
room to bring the big mirror which she used and stood
it on the wall. She held the piece of cloth she had cut
against her body for a moment and studied the look of
it in the mirror. Ideas quickly formed in her head. She
dropped the cloth and studied the design she wanted to
sew. A warm smile broke out on her face. She
whispered to herself, “I going to make my own style.”
With feverish passion and uncanny precision, she began
to cut the piece of cloth. While she cut the cloth, her
smile grew wider. Her heart rang with joy.
After a little over an hour, she was done with cutting
the cloth. She measured her cuts over and over again;
satisfied with her work, she began to sort through the
sewing threads Dr. Gerry’s sister gave her. With her
choice of the threads to use made, she folded the
pieces of cloth she had cut and put them in a bag. She
took the two thousand Naira Dr. Gerry gave along with
the two hundred Naira Simbi gave her and leftD to go
have the pieces of cloth woven for her. When she got to
the gate she turned back to go drop the two hundred
Naira Simbi gave her. She had an attachment to that
two hundred Naira. It reminded her a lot of things. She
could not get herself to part with it. She had no clue
where she could find someone to weave the cloth for
her, but she was determined to find one. On the street
she did not know which direction to go. She saw a
cluster of boys and a few girls on the street and she
went their way to ask them to direct her to where she
could find what she wanted. Just like the first time they
saw her, her presence worked magic on them. The
boys looked at her hungrily and the girls stared at her
with envy. As though she was far younger than all of
them she greeted them with humility and then asked, “I
am new in this neighbourhood, please where can I find
someone to weave my clothe?”
The boys and girls jostled amongst themselves to
provide her with the answer she sought. One of the girls
took her by the hand and said, “Come with me, my
seamstress has a weaving machine. I will take you to
her.” One of the boys came in-between Eka and the girl
who offered to help her and announced, “I take you to
my brother he is a tailor and can weave your clothes for
you.” The girl pushed him away and yelled, “I offered to
help her first! Your brother is a bad tailor and steals
people’s clothes!” Eka did not like the sound of that so
she opted to follow the girl. The group of young people
were so impressed with her look that they all offered to
accompany her and their friend to where Eka’s clothe
would be woven for her. On the way, they plied her with
all sorts of questions about her skin, her hair, her eyes
and her overall beauty. The boys wanted to know if she
had younger sisters like her. It had been long since she
spent time with anybody except Dr. Gerry. The group
reminded her of her street and almost made her cry.
She told them that she could make clothes for both
male and female. The boys were the first to offer to
bring her clothes to make for them, while two of the
girls promised to give her clothes to make school
uniform for them. Their major interest was just to get
close to Eka. She knew it and didn’t mind so long as
they would keep giving her clothes to make for them.
Back at work Dr. Gerry was in confusion. Since he left
Ekaette, all sorts of thoughts were going through his
mind. It was clear to him that he liked Eka a lot, but she
was only a girl. On his fingers Dr. Gerry counted how
many years it would take for Eka to turn eighteen years.
He said to himself, “Four years! But she looks like she
was already nineteen and talks like an adult.” Still
talking to himself, he said, “I would like to wait for
Ekaette, but it is going to be quite a long wait. But what
if she sees someone else and falls in love with him
while I am waiting for her?” Dr. Gerry’s face furrowed
with anxiety. He didn’t like the thought of that. “But it is
too early to talk to her about my feelings for her. I think
if I don’t let her know my feelings, her heart might be
swayed by another,” Dr. Gerry thought. He scratched
his head in confusion, stood to his feet and slammed
his hand on his table and said to himself, “I want to be
a good man to this girl and do the right things around
her. However I don’t want to lose her!” He sat back on
his seat and thought hard and long about Ekaette.
Finally he decided to call his sister and ask her to come
see Eka that evening.
“Hello! Christy I am in a fix right now, I need your help,”
Dr. Gerry announced to his sister over the phone.
“What is it Gerald? Are you okay?” “I am okay. But I am
not very okay Christy.” “You don’t make sense Gerald.
What is going on over there?” “Christy, can you come to
my house this evening? Please don’t say no. I need you
to see Eka.” “Has the girl began to give you troubles?”
“No… I… I…like the girl, but she is only a girl. The only
way I can love and marry her is to wait for her. But
waiting for her is going to be quite a long wait.” “Oh! I
see. Love has turned your head upside down. Now you
can see what I have been telling you all these years. If
you had listened to me and got a girlfriend all this while,
even if you were not going to marry her, by now you
would have known what to do. Imagine, a fourteen year
old girl has turned your head. What exactly do you
want me to come over to your house for?” “I want you
to see her and tell me if it is wrong, I mean very wrong
to be in love with her now. My head tells me it is wrong.
But my heart wants to start a relationship with her
now.” “Of course it is wrong! She is only fourteen for
Christ sake! I don’t care about her height and size. If
you truly love her, you must wait for her!”
“It is hard! And what if I lose her while waiting for her?”
“Gerald, you are in a fix. I agree with you. I will come
over this evening to see her. Maybe after that we will
decide what to do. But whatever you do, please don’t
tell her you love her, she is only a child.” “Okay, I won’t
do that, but I bet you will change your opinion when you
see her.” “I think you should rather concern yourself
with whether she is a good person and can make a
good wife. Also you should know that once teenagers
grow older, they change a lot. Their views about love
and life shift massively. I can bet you that whatever she
is now will change in the next five years. She will either
get better or worse. So, you see, you must wait for
her.” “Christy I know you are a good woman and you
fancy yourself so. But I bet you, Eka is light years
ahead of you in this regard.” “I am glad to hear that my
brother is not getting hooked up with a little witch. I will
see you two this evening, save your credit Gerald.”
“Thank you Christy.” The word ‘witch’ stabbed Dr.
Gerry to the heart and left a heavy impression on his
mind. He thought, “Should Christy have used that
word?”
Watch out for next episode.


A SIMPLE PENDULUM LIFE
(Episode 12)
The group of young people led Eka to a tailor shop
where she would have her clothe woven. The samples
of work done in the shop pleased her and so she was
glad to give them her clothe. Due to the volume of work
they had to do in the shop, Ekaete could not pick up her
clothe that day. She was told to come back the next day
by twelve noon. Eka left with her bevy of new
acquaintances and headed home. At the gate they all
exchanged greetings and Eka went in to go cook up the
storm Dr. Gerry requested. For a moment she stood in
the kitchen and wondered what to cook. She felt going
native would be just fine, so she settled to make a pot
of Egusi soup. Everything she needed was in the house,
except for vegetables. On her way to go have her clothe
woven, she had seen a miniature market on a street
typical of most West African streets.
She walked down to the market to buy the vegetables
she needed. Eka intended not to waste time in the
market. She was minded to make a quick work of her
cooking so she could devote her time to planning her
new sewing business. When she made her way into the
section of the market where soup condiments were
sold, all the women began to call at her at the same
time, “ Oyinbo pickin (foreign child) come and buy from
me!” “Sunshine I have what you want. Come and buy
Okporoko (stockfish) from me. I have some as beautiful
as you are!” “Come and buy red oil (palm oil) from me!
Ada (young maiden), I have a son as good looking as
you are. In fact the two of you are to-match.” The
barrage of requests to buy from them and the words
the women used to describe her got Eka overwhelmed.
She turned and bumped into the shop in front of her and
began to make her buys.
“Madam, how much is that ugu (pumpkin leaf?)” Eka
asked. “My daughter it is fifty Naira only. How many
should I cut for you?” “I don’t want it cut, give me two.
How do you sell your uzuza (local spicy vegetable)?” “It
is up to you. If you want to buy a quantity as low as
thirty Naira I can sell to you.” “Can I see the quantity
for fifty Naira?” The petty trader raised a tuft of uziza
leaves and shook them in the air and said, “This much
is for fifty Naira.” “That is just the much I want. I will
take.” Eka took it from the woman and put it into the
nylon bag where she had put the ugu leaves. While she
bought the things she needed from the trader, the
women in that section continued to talk about her
beauty and to call her to buy from them. “Mama
Jeremiah, when she is done buying from you please
send her this way. My red oil is just what she needs for
her hair to keep shining,” said one of the traders. “Baby
oku (hot baby), I have sweet fufu, please buy from me, I
have not sold anything today!” “Mama Silas you dey lie
(you are lying!) I saw you sell a black nylon full of fufu!
Allow the girl to buy from me biko (please!) Eka was
done buying, but the women were calling her to buy
several stuffs from them. She asked the woman who
sold the vegetable how much her money was, so she
could pay and dash out of the market.
“Sorry sisi (young lady), your money has been paid.”
Eka was shocked and so asked the woman, “Who paid
for what I bought?” “The man behind your back.” Eka
turned and saw a tall, fair skinned man, grinning from
ear to ear at her. “Who are you? And why did you pay
for what I bought?” “Don’t be offended beautiful, how
do you expect me to allow a wonder woman like you to
pay for the things you bought when I am around? The
angels of God would be unhappy with me, because you
are one of them.” Eka ignored him and his lines; she
turned to the petty trader and asked, “Please madam,
how much is your money, I want to pay?” The petty
trader leaned forward and whispered to Eka, “Aunty,
please let him pay, I will get more money from him.”
Eka turned and stormed away from the woman’s table.
She walked very fast to make sure the man couldn’t
catch up with her. But she was wrong, the man ran
after her and pleaded, “Please don’t treat me like this.
All I want is to know your name and number. Believe
me, I saw you in my dream last night.” Eka yelled at
him like a rabid dog, “Can’t you see I am only a
child?!!!” The man was frozen and could not say
another word. After Eka had put some distance
between him and the man, the man whispered to
himself, “I have made an angel of God angry.”
When Eka got home, she painstakingly prepared the
soup, so as to impress Dr. Gerry. She had no idea
Christy, Dr. Gerry’s sister, was coming to visit them
that evening. When Eka was done cooking, she
memorized what happened in the market that day; she
intended to narrate it, with some drama, to Dr. Gerry.
About 5:00 pm Dr. Gerry returned with his sister in his
company. When Eka heard a knock at the door she ran
happily to go get the door and start her narrative of that
what happened in the market and the man she met.
When she opened the door, her mouth froze and her
heart skipped several beats. Christy could not move
either, she wanted to but her feet chose not to comply.
Eka and Christy stared at each other for what seemed
eternity. Dr. Gerry had to ask them, “Do you two know
each other?” Christy found her voice first, “Gerald, you
only told me half the truth! She is beautiful beyond
words.” Succinctly, Dr. Gerry responded, “Perhaps that
was why I could not describe her aptly to you.” With
her heart still pounding away against her ribcage, Eka
asked Dr. Gerry with a stuttering speech, “Dr. Gerry,
is… she… is she your girlfriend we have been waiting
for?”
Christy stretched forth her hand toward Eka; languidly
Eka shook her hand, still waiting for an answer to her
question. Finally she was put out of her misery,
“Ekaette, I have heard so much about you; and frankly
nothing I was told comes close to what my eyes can
see now. I am Christy, Dr. Gerry’s sister.” Eka took a
loud sigh of relief and a smile crossed her face. “Aunty
Christy you are welcome,” Eka said at last. As the three
of them entered the flat with Eka in front, Christy
reached out and felt the texture of Ekaette’s hair. “What
is this thing Ekaette? Is it hair?” Eka turned and asked,
“What?” “The stuff on your head is it hair?” “Yes it is
my natural hair.” “Natural!!!” repeated Christy loudly.
“Are one of your parents from abroad?” “Hahaha!
Aunty, stop teasing me. None of my parents have been
to Lagos before much less being from outside the
country. I was born this way.” Christ grabbed Eka and
held her head under the light and rummaged to get to
her scalp. She was shocked to see it was real and then
her eyes fell on her skin. She ran her hand about three
times on Eka’s skin and asked, “What cream and soap
do you make use of? They must cost a fortune.” “I use
the same soap as Dr. Gerry. I think it is Lifebouy. I
don’t know the name of the cream I use; I found it in my
room when I came here.”
“Christy give Eka some breathing space. Eka I am
famished did you cook anything.” Dr. Gerry really
wasn’t that hungry, he wanted Christy to see how good
a cook Eka was. Eka, slowly returning to her usual
funny self said to Dr. Gerry, “Breathe the air and you
will get a whiff of the meal I made.” Dr. Gerry inhaled
the air and said, “You prepared soup, didn’t you?” Eka
started laughing. While they played, Christ keenly
observed the two of them. She could see the
friendliness and the spark between them. But Eka was
young, too young for her brother. When Eka left for the
kitchen Dr. Gerry went after her and whispered, “She is
the one who gave you the sewing machine. Forgive me;
I should have mentioned it earlier.” Eka returned and
knelt on the floor to thank Christy. Christ was tall,
shapely and strong; with two hands she pulled Eka from
the floor and said,” Don’t do that, you will stain
yourself, when you want to thank God, you can roll on
the floor. I don’t deserve it. I know you want to thank
me for the sewing machine, it is nothing. Go serve the
food. You and I have got to chat.” Christy was also
keen to taste
In silence Christy and Dr. Gerry devoured the food
which Eka served. Dr. Gerry was careful not to praise
Eka’s cooking. He keenly watched Christy to see how
much she was impressed. Christy’s thoughts were far
gone. The little she had seen of Eka impressed her; she
carried herself with the air of a woman far older than
her age. But something gave her a little concern; Eka’s
seeming surreal beauty and the allegations against her.
That witch label didn’t sit comfortably with Christy. As
she ate, she thought, could there be any truth to it? As
if realizing that Dr. Gerry was with her for the first time,
Christy observed, “I can’t believe a fourteen year old
girl cooked this food. I must admit, my cooking wasn’t
this good when I was her age. Her mother must have
done an amazing work of training her in domestic
matters.” “Eka has been true hell. You won’t believe
half the things she has been through. Perhaps her
experiences have afforded her maturity beyond her
age.” “Have you given thought to the witch claims
against her?” “That is the most stupid thing I have
heard about this girl. I have lived with Eka for some
time now; I can tell you the claims are all baseless. I
am yet to see the vaguest suggestion that she is a
witch, or could even muster the guts to kill her
siblings.” “I am just wondering why anyone in his right
senses would drive away a girl as responsible as this,”
Christy wondered aloud.
“At first that gave me some concern, especially when
you factor in her beauty; but having spent some time
with her, I can’t stop laughing at that grotesque
suggestion.” Christy turned her attention back to her
food; she was a meticulous woman who hated waste.
She made sure that she wiped her plates clean of the
food which came in them. Dr. Gerry observed his sister
and shook his head, “Christy, you haven’t changed a
bit, have you?” “What are you referring to?” “You
haven’t changed your eating habit. You still wipe your
plate clean.” “Why should I change? At least I haven’t
heard my husband complain yet. I think he has even
taken after me.” “You know I can’t take you out
because of this habit.” “That is your business; Am I
begging you to take me out? My husband takes me out
regularly and I eat this way each time. Don’t make me
feel bad about myself Gerald.” “Sorry I didn’t mean to.”
Having given them time to enjoy her cooking, Eka came
out from her room to clear the table. “Eka I enjoyed
your food. I think I would like to take some of the soup
home.” Eka blushed and said, “Thank you aunty
Christy. I am glad you enjoyed the food. I will scoop
some out for you to take home.” “Thank you Eka.” Eka
began to clear the table, and Christy joined her. “No
Aunty, don’t do that! Let me take care of all the plates.”
“Eka who do you think does it for me at home? I do it
myself. Let’s go clean the plates.” Eka had a quick
mind; she could tell she was being assessed by Christy.
She had nothing to hide or fear, so she let her have her
way.
As Eka packed some of the plates, she wondered why
Dr. Gerry had not said a word about her cooking. He
was usually effusive with appreciation whenever he ate
her food. To get his attention, she deliberately brushed
herself against him and stepped on his toes. Dr. Gerry
knew exactly what Eka was doing and began to laugh.
Eka frowned and went to the kitchen. Christy did not
see the body language between them, but wondered
why her brother was laughing. She could tell Eka and
Dr. Gerry talked in a manner she could not understand;
after all she did that too with her husband.” In the
kitchen Christy suggested they wash the few plates
with division of labour, “Eka you will wash the plates
and I will rinse them.” Eka began to laugh and asked,
“Aunty Christy, why don’t you let me do this?” Ignoring
her, Christy asked, “I have heard of the things you have
been through, how do you handle all that bad treatment
and pains with a smile?” “I don’t always wear a smile.
Sometimes I am overwhelmed with bitterness. It hurts
deeply to be thrown away by one’s parents on
allegations which are unfounded.” “Has anyone from
your family tried to reach out to you?” “I wouldn’t know,
but my friend Simbi told me that my parents came to
ask her if she had heard from me.” “When was that?”
“Two days ago.” “So finally they have had a change of
heart?” “I still do not trust them; they only came to ask
Simbi about me all because more children are dying in
the street and much more are sick. I am no longer
around to be blamed and labeled a witch who was
eating the children. Slowly they are beginning to realize
I was innocent…” Eka paused and the sound in her
voice changed. Christy could tell it. She looked into her
eyes and saw tears.
Eka knew she was on trial and Christy the judge, so she
held her nerves and continued “…Simbi told me that now
my street dwellers have invited government health
workers to investigate what could be killing the
children. For my sake, I hope they find it quickly so that
I could have my name cleared.” By now tears flowed
freely from Eka’s eyes. Christy’s heart was broken; she
held Eka and wished she had not brought up the
subject. She could see Eka went through much torture
being judged as a witch. Eka buried her face into
Christy’s chest and sobbed bitterly, “I am not a witch.
God knows I am not a witch. I have no clue what killed
those children, I would give everything I own to find out
what killed them. I fear that the witch label will stick to
me till I die.” Dr. Gerry could hear Eka’s tender sobs
and plea of innocence, but he waited for his sister to
see for herself that Eka’s heart was pure. Christy did
not know she too was crying until she felt her tears
drop on her hand which she wrapped around Ekaette.
At the dining, Dr. Gerry’s phone began to ring; he picked
it only to hear a hysterical voice asking to speak to
Ekaette, “Hello! Hello! Please! Please! Can I speak with
Ekaette?” Dr. Gerry was scared and wondered what
might have happened and whom he was speaking with,
“Who are you? What is it? How did you get my
number?” By now Eka and Christy were listening to Dr.
Gerry and the strange caller. “Sorry sir, this is Simbi,
Ekaette’s friend, can I speak with her please! It is very
important.” “Hold on for her, Simbi.”
When Ekaette heard the name Simbi she ran from the
kitchen to come take the call. Before Dr. Gerry could
finish saying, “Eka you have a call.” Ekaette was
already in the dining reaching out to take the phone
from him. “Simbi what is it?” “Ekaette! God has begun
to vindicate you! The government health workers have
found what has been killing the children.” “Are serious
Simbi?” Eka’s voice was further broken. “Eka this is not
time to cry, it is time to celebrate!” “Tell me please;
what did they say killed the children?” “The water in
their school is poisoned. They said the poison in their
reservoir can kill a whole community. All the children
and teachers in St. Gregory Primary School have been
rushed down to the hospital for immediate check-up.”
“So I am not a witch, Simbi?” “Eka, the witch story is in
the past now. Your father’s house is full of people who
have come to apologize to him for claiming you were a
witch. Even my father has gone to apologize to your
parents.” Eka sat on the floor and sobbed deeply. It
was as if her heart was going to implode. Christy sat
beside her and held her as warmly as she could. Dr.
Gerry could hear Simbi yelling over the phone, “Eka!
Eka! Eka!”
Dr. Gerry picked up the phone which was on the floor
and informed Simbi, “Hello Simbi. Your friend is crying,
she can’t talk now, you will have to call her back or
when she recovers from the news you just gave her,
she will call you back. But please I want to know, what
did they say killed the children? I am a medical doctor.”
“Oga, they said it is something mercury, I don’t know
the full name. They have taken all the children in the
school and their teachers to go and test them at the
hospital. They said there is no cure for the poison.”
“Thank you Simbi.” “You are welcome sir.
Watch out for next episode.


A SIMPLE PENDULUM LIFE
(Episode 13)

As Ekaette sobbed her body trembled. She still could
not believe it that she had been absolved from all
claims that she killed those children. She recalled her
plea of innocence when her parents beat her with
machete and tore her flesh open before throwing her
out of the house, “Aunty Christy I swore to my father
that I had nothing to do with the deaths of my siblings
or with the children of our street, yet he did not believe
me. He threatened to kill me with his machete and beat
me like an animal. You should have seen my skin when
I was brought to the hospital where Dr. Gerry works.
My mother… the very woman who bore me for nine
months and gave me suckling, tore off my clothes and
dragged like a dead beast into the street stark naked.
Yet all this while I pleaded I was innocent…” Eka
paused, and began to cough terribly. She had choked
on her words. Christy yelled Dr. Gerry’s name, “Gerald!
Gerald!” Dr. Gerry who had gone into his room to
research what sort of poison was possibly killing the
children in Eka’s street, dashed out and saw Eka
choking in a terrifying manner, he laid her face-down
on the floor and raised her trunk toward her head. Eka
puked and took a deep breath, “Go get some water!”
yelled Dr. Gerry to Christy. In a jiffy Christy was back
with a can of water and a cup. She poured out some
and gave it to Dr. Gerry who served it to Eka to make
sure she gulped it slowly.
Seeing she had calmed down a bit, Dr. Gerry sat her up
and had her rest her back on the wall. Christy and Dr.
Gerry watched her silently. Unknown to them, Eka was
more aware of what happened the day her parents beat
her and threw her out of the house than she was aware
of them. The poor girl was relieving the experience all
over again. She could feel the pain of her father’s
machete being slammed on her raw skin, she felt her
mother’s teeth sunk into her skin and she relived the
shame of being thrown out naked into the street. The
shame of that event came over her like showers of rain,
she yelled in pain and sprang to her feet and made for
her room. Eka was clearly beside herself. The thought
that she suffered all that while she was innocent, tore
her heart to shreds. The more she thought about her
pain, the more she acted insanely. Truthfully Dr. Gerry
and his sister were scared. In Eka’s room, they sat
beside her on the left and on the right and sandwiched
her in the middle. They didn’t want her to do anything
stupid. Eka recreated scenarios that had plagued her
thoughts. She recalled how she was beginning to
believe she was perhaps a witch indeed.
“They made me believe I was a witch. Many times I
thought of killing myself so that I won’t have to eat
children any more …” her broken voice filled the quiet
room. “Ekaette, I feel your pains. I am glad you have
been vindicated. I wish I had the right words to say now
to make you feel differently from…” “I do.” Dr. Gerry
interjected, stopping Christy from finishing her words.
Eka turned and looked at Dr. Gerry with her eyes filled
with tears. “I don’t understand you; you even look more
beautiful when you cry. It would be the happiest day of
my life, and I believe that of any man whom you would
allow to share your beautiful heart for the rest of your
life. Not even the things you have gone through could
dent your sublime beauty…” Eka’s heart froze for a
moment; the words had the effect Dr. Gerry intended.
Eka switched from the unhappy thoughts which ran
amok in her mind to the pleasant dreams she nursed
almost every night about she and Dr. Gerry spending
their lives together as husband and wife. Christy was
surprised by Dr. Gerry’s words. She wondered to
herself, what is Gerald doing? Dr. Gerry wasn’t done
yet, he reached for his phone and took a picture of Eka
and Christy and showed it to Christy and asked, “Please
tell me sister, isn’t she far more beautiful when she
cries than when she does not?” Christy still wondering
what her brother was up to, nodded her head and said,
“She is beautiful, even more than the sun.”
In spite of herself Eka wiped her tears away with the
back of her hands. Dr. Gerry shouted, “Don’t do that! I
was going to take more shots of you with those tears in
your eyes. Now you have to cry again for me to take
the shot I need.” Eka buried her face into Christy’s
chest. She could not keep her gaze on Dr. Gerry. That
look in his face which easily disarmed her was back
again. While Eka buried her face in Eka’s chest, Christy
winked to her brother as if to say, “What are you
doing?” Dr. Gerry winked back at Christy, miming the
words, “It is working!” Eka removed her face from
Christy’s chest and asked shyly, “Can I see the picture
Dr. Gerry?” Dr. Gerry showed her the image on his
phone. “Hmmm!” whispered Eka, she had seen photos
of herself but not one that looked as good as that one.
The strands of her hair seemed to take on life of their
own. Her eyes glowed and her skin had radiant feel.
Seeing she was impressed with the picture, Christy
said, “Eka it doesn’t matter what you have been
through, what matters is that you can look this great
even when you have been through your worst
moments. I may not have known you for long, but I
believe in you. Dr. Gerry believes also in you. In this
world, it matters a lot to have people believe in you and
to have a wonderful smile as you do. Take your eyes
off your past; your life is ahead of you. I didn’t know
much about you when I gave you one of my sewing
machines, and I am glad to do more for you now that I
have come to know you much better.
“Have you thought of it? If your parents had not ill-
treated you and thrown you out, you would not have
met Dr. Gerry and you would not have met me. Maybe
by now you would still be hawking oranges and being
branded a witch in the street. Eka, I don’t know about
you, but I believe there is a purpose to your pains. I
don’t remember the last time I met someone I barely
knew and believed this much in her. Don’t let bitterness
stain your heart, I have seen it and it is pure. Keep it
that way.” Eka wiped again the tears dropping from her
eyes and took a few rounds of deep breath. Eka opened
her mouth to thank them but, nothing came out, instead
much more tears flowed from her eyes. She breathed a
few more times and said, “I am very glad I met you
people. I am still crying not because of the beatings and
rejection, but because of God’s love. I can see how he
kept me from destruction through my trying times.
Thank you Aunty Christy and thank you very much Dr.
Gerry.” Eka smiled at Dr. Gerry and said, “I think I have
more tears in my eyes now, you can take more pictures
if you want to.” “Yes!!” yelled Dr. Gerry as he began to
take snapshots of Eka. When Dr. Gerry was done, he
gave his phone to Christy, sat beside Eka, (the first time
he would do that since he came to know her), put his
hands around her and said jokingly, “Snap us quickly
Christy, the tears are drying up!” They all began to
laugh.
While they snapped pictures with each other in Eka’s
room, a knock was heard on the door. They broke from
their quasi photo session and went to see who was at
the door. A boy was standing by the door holding a
nylon bag and grinning from ear to ear. “Good evening,
sir,” the boy greeted Dr. Gerry who was standing in
front of the others. “Good evening. Who are you looking
for?” asked Dr. Gerry. “I am looking for the beautiful
girl. I told her I will bring some cloth for her to sew a
school uniform for me.” Dr. Gerry stepped aside,
pointing at Eka who stood behind him, he asked, “Do
you mean her?” The boy said, “Yes!” with glee in his
voice. “Eka, here is your first customer. Come in,” said
Dr. Gerry. The boy followed them into the dining and
sat down on a couch. “You are welcome. I did not
know you were serious when you said you would bring
some material for me to make a school uniform for
you. Please remind me your name, I am Ekaette.” “My
name is Kingsley.” “Kingsley you are welcome once
again.” Christy and Dr. Gerry were going to his room to
discuss some of the things he said while he was trying
to comfort Eka, when they heard voices outside in front
of their flat. Dr. Gerry and Christy went outside and saw
a mother and a teenage girl. “Good evening sir. Good
evening ma.” The woman and her daughter greeted Dr.
Gerry and Christy.” “You are welcome ma.” Dr. Gerry
and Christy responded. “My daughter here has been
disturbing me since I came back from work. She says
she has a new tailor and has gone to take the materials
I gave our tailor and insists her new tailor will sew them
for her. I don’t know this new tailor or how good she is.
Just to get my daughter off my back, I decided to
follow her to see the new tailor. Madam, are you the
tailor?” “No, I am not,” replied Christy.
Keeps your comments coming!
Watch out for next episode.


A SIMPLE PENDULUM LIFE
(Episode 14)
Eka having heard them came out to the balcony and the
girl said to her mother, “This is her! Mommy this is my
new tailor!” The girl was excited to see Eka. The
woman’s jaw dropped at the sight of Eka. She looked at
her from head to toes back and forth. While the woman
remained amazed by Ekaette’s beauty, Kingsley came
out from the dining and said to the woman’s daughter,
“Mary I beat you to it, I am the first she will make
clothes for.” “Oh! Kingsley! You are here too,” observed
the woman. “Yes ma, Ekaette is making clothes for
me.” The woman cleared her throat and asked, “Okay,
please can I see what you have done before?” Eka
stuttered; Christy stepped forward and said, “We don’t
have them in the house, they are at the shop. By
tomorrow evening we will get some for you to see.”
“It’s okay. Mary, give her those materials and let her
take your measurement.” “Madam, you can come in
with your daughter,” said Christy. Mary excitedly
followed her mother into the flat. When they were
seated, Eka painstakingly took Kingsley’s measurement
and wrote them down on Dr. Gerry note pad on the
dining table. Kingsley didn’t want to leave immediately
he wanted to hang around a while and bask in the
euphoria of being close to Eka. Christy wanted to make
sure everything worked well, so she stood by and
watched Eka.
She was surprised to see the questions Ekaette asked
Mary about the fashion she wanted and how she
wanted her clothes made. Even Mary’s mother was
pleased. There was nothing to show she taught herself
the art of sewing. When Eka was done, Mary’s mother
observed, “It is hard to see nowadays girls of your age
who have your figure and beauty being serious in such
ventures. It is either they are chasing men or men are
chasing them. I am really impressed, young girl. What
is your name?” “Ekaette Efiong.” “You are very pretty;
no wonder Mary wouldn’t let me rest. I can’t wait to see
the dress you have made for someone else.” “I have
some in my phone ma,” Christy said. “Please let me
see,” Mary’s mother requested. “These are some of the
designs she is capable of. You have no need to doubt
her.” “Oh my God! Do you mean that she made these
designs?” “Madam, you have seen nothing yet, wait till
she gets into her groove, she is only just starting.”
“Where is your shop please?” “You don’t need to come
to the shop, Ekaette has finished her apprenticeship,
and will be working from home now.” “I have really
been enticed with what you have shown me. If Mary’s
dresses come out this good, you will have won me
over.” “Don’t worry ma, they will come out just right,”
Ekaette assured her. “So how much is your money?”
“Just two thousand five hundred Naira per dress,”
replied Christy.
“Ah ah! I was expecting an amount less than that. So
how much are you going to charge Kingsley for his
school uniform, if you are charging Mary this much?”
“Kingsley’s money is just one thousand Naira.” “That
was the much I expected you to charge my daughter,
she is just a teenage girl!” “Madam, if Mary brings a
material for her school uniform, we will charge her one
thousand Naira. The clothes she wants to make are not
school uniform,” Eka explained further. “I will decide
whether to pay the money or not when I see the
samples you will bring for me by tomorrow. Your prices
are on the high side, Mary’s tailor charges us between
one thousand eight hundred Naira and two thousand
Naira.” “Okay ma, we will get you the dresses by
tomorrow evening.” “Don’t worry Eka, my mum will pay
the money,” said Mary. “Shut up Mary! Are you the one
to give me the money? Don’t mind her Eka, I can get
home now and change my mind.” They all cackled and
Mary and her mother left. Kingsley gave Eka one
thousand Naira and ran off to meet up with Mary and
her mother.
“Thanks a lot Aunty Christy for helping me. You know I
would have either overcharged them or undercharged
them. You made me look good before Mary and her
mother.” “It is nothing Eka. The good thing is that your
business has started. I am thrilled for you.” “Christy
will you sew the clothes by yourself?” asked Dr. Gerry.
“No way! Eka will sew all of them. The only exception is
that she will make the clothes in my shop. Just so if
she needs help in some way, we will help her. If we
impress this woman and her daughter, they will bring
Eka lots of customers… Eka, did you dish the soup for
me? I want to be on my way home now.” “Yes I did, let
me go package it for you. Eka dashed into the kitchen.
Christy dragged Dr. Gerry into his bedroom and asked,
“What were you thinking when you said to Eka you
would be glad if she lets you share her heart with her
for the rest of her life?” “I had to say something real
and meaningful to her. If she decides to hold me by my
words, I will be most glad to fulfill them.” “Gerald,
please be reasonable, she is only a child.” “Oh come on
Christy, I am not going to propose to her.” “You already
have! She is a teenager and will remember what you
said for a long time to come. She believed you when
you said those words.”
“Don’t worry Christy, I will take care of that, I promise.”
“Whatever you do, please make sure you don’t hurt her.
You have seen what she has gone through.” “It is okay
Christy, stop acting like mama. Eka is in good hands!”
The two of them went back to the living room and met
Ekaette already hard at work on Kingsley’s school
uniform. “Aunty Christy, there is the soup; I have
packaged it for you.” “Don’t forget you will come to my
shop by tomorrow, there are a few things I will like to
teach you about sewing.” “Okay, I guess Dr. Gerry will
bring me over to your shop.” “Yes he will. See you
tomorrow.” “Good bye Aunty.” Dr. Gerry accompanied
Christy to the bus top, while Eka went back to cutting
Kingsley’s school uniform. Dr. Gerry did not take up to
ten minutes before he returned, but those ten minutes
seemed like eternity to Eka. She probably stepped out
of the dining about three times to check if he was
coming. Her heart beat fast, the words Dr. Gerry said to
her when she was crying in her room had grown in
meaning and size and was drumming away at her
heart. She could not wait to hear him clarify his
meaning a bit. If Eka had a mobile phone she would
have buzzed Dr. Gerry severally to come back. Then
she heard his footsteps at the balcony, they were
unmistakable and heart sunk into her stomach. To think
that the man she had dreamt of as her own, has even
thought of making a wife out of her, made her heart
palpitate with a sweet rhythm.
“Eka have you seen how one’s life can change in a
moment? A few minutes before your customers came,
you were in tears. Now look at the perspective,
possibilities, their coming has created.” Eka was less
interested in what Dr. Gerry had to say. Her eyes were
fixed on his eyes, searching and probing those eyes to
know what was in his heart. “Can I ask you a question
sir?” “Go ahead Eka.” Eka stood up and took his hands.
She stood so close to him that Dr. Gerry could feel her
breath and sense her heart beat. That moment Dr.
Gerry knew he was in some trouble for what he might
have said. “You said some things to me back then in
my room, did you mean them?” Before Eka could finish
asking her question, Dr. Gerry was already thinking of a
way to wriggle out of his fix. “Eka I meant what I said.
You are a wonderful girl, but my only challenge is that
you are still a child. It will take quite some time for me
to act on those words of mine.” “It will take four years.”
“So you have been counting?” “I have been counting
almost every night…” “Every night? Eka nodded and let
go of his hands and sat back on her sewing stool.
“What is it now?” “I am scared stiff that before I am
done growing up, you will find a woman that befits you,
I am only a child.” Dr. Gerry counted four years on his
fingers and for once they seemed like a few days to
him.
“Eka, you are not fourteen, you are actually in your
fifteenth year. When is your birthday?” “March 8th.”
“You see I don’t have to wait for you for four full years,
we are in October right now, by March next year you
will be fifteen!” Eka smiled, but nonetheless a wry
smile. She was afraid of what might happen before she
turned eighteen. All through that night Eka lay awake on
her bed, wondering if there was some way to make the
years run faster. Before he slept, Dr. Gerry promised
himself that he would wait for Eka even if it be for many
more years. He slept with a smile on his face. Just
when sleep had begun to exact itself on Eka’s eyes, she
caught a whiff of that same evil perfume. She startled
out of her half sleep and saw her grandmother standing
in the dark and extending to her an old, dirty necklace
made from native materials. Eka tried to shout the
name of Jesus, but her tongue seemed stuck to the roof
of her mouth; she could only pray in her heart, calling
to God for help. Her grandmother said to her, “It is your
turn now, embrace it.” The old woman took a step
toward her to put the necklace on her neck, and just
then, Eka’s tongue loosened and she yelled, “Jesus!!” .


A SIMPLE PENDULUM LIFE
(Episode 15)
The mention of that name, Jesus, unleashed a power
which t—-t her grandmother out of her room. It all
happened in a flash; it was as though the soul of her
grandmother was subjected to a torture beyond human
conception. The painful cry from the old woman rattled
Eka momentarily. She knew the spirit which came to
attack her had received a surprise beating and so she
hit the floor on her knees and began to pray with every
ounce of strength in her. Eka prayed for what seemed a
little over an hour and then climbed into her bed and
dozed off. In the morning she woke up with a spring in
her stride and a stream of joy in her heart. She
remembered how her grandmother fled from her room
in torture and fear and that made her very glad. “At
least whenever you think to attack me again, you will
remember I have someone who watches over me. I am
not alone,” she boasted to herself and laughed
maniacally. As had become her habit, she went into the
kitchen and prepared food for Dr. Gerry, scooped some
into a food flask, packaged it nicely and left it on the
dining table for him and went back into her room. She
was elated and thought she could pray more, the result
she saw encouraged her. But she had hardly started
praying when she dozed off. Having kept awake for
most of the night, her body craved sleep. When Dr.
Gerry was ready to leave for work, he went to check on
her to give her some money and the direction to
Christy’s shop.( However he found her asleep. He stood
by the door and watched her for some minutes. To him,
she seemed like a newborn baby sleeping peacefully in
the hands of its mother.
If not that he had to leave for work, he would have
stood there and watched her all day. Quietly he closed
the door and went to the dining to leave her a note and
some money on the table. He picked his food pack and
left for work. While Eka slept she dreamt of people
crying and calling for help in Faustina’s apartment. She
thought it was all just a dream, but when the shouting
and cry grew louder, she woke up and listened for a
while. It wasn’t a dream after all; something was going
on for real in her neighbours house. She wasn’t sure if
she should go and find out what it was. Faustina’s
attitude toward her, discourage her to go so she sat on
the bed and listened. For some reason she felt she was
not alone as she listened. Hastily she turned to look at
her window and saw a big black owl staring at her with
bulging eyes. She yelled, “Jesus!” and the bird flew
away. Eka sprang to her feet and ran outside to see if
she could get a good glimpse of the evil bird; but what
she saw left her confused all the more. She saw two
men exiting their compound through the gate; it seemed
they bore someone who was in a critical health
condition, she was certain she saw a flailing arm. She
ran to the gate to get a good view of what really was
happening, but somehow she was late. All she could
see was some Peugeot 306 driving away hurriedly. One
of the passengers at the back looked at her with his
eyes full of hate.
Eka scratched her head and went back to their flat
wondering what was happening. When she reached
Faustina’s apartment she paused and banged loudly on
the door, but there was no answer. She put her face on
the glass window and tried to see if she could make out
any human figures in the apartment, but there was
none. She went back into their apartment and planned
her day. She arranged her activities for the day in the
order that they should be attended to: she had to go
collect the cloth being woven for her at the tailor’s, go
to Christy’s shop, sew Kingsley’s school uniform and
later in the day show Mary’s mother sample of the
work she could do. Waiting to pick the cloth being
woven for her by 12 noon would mess up her plans, so
she decided to go earlier to plead with the tailor to
weave her clothe earlier than they told her they would,
so she could take it and leave for Christy’s shop. When
she got there she found that her clothe had been woven
for her. One of the boys at the tailor shop who took
interest in her the last time she came, had done it for
her to impress her. Eka thanked him generously, paid
and left with the clothe.
From the tailor’s shop she asked her way to Christy’s
shop. When she arrived Christy was in her office with
one of her major customers. So Eka had to wait for her.
Christy’s apprentices were struck dumb at Ekaette’s
presence. She wanted to ask them about some of the
designs she saw in the shop, but the apprentices
preferred to ogle at her like a film show. So Eka took a
pose on her seat and allowed them to have a good look
at her. At some point she changed her position and
shook her long silky hair and some of the girls almost
fell off their feet. Ekaette was beginning to grow
confident with the thought of Dr. Gerry willing to make
her his wife when she would be ready. After some time
Christy came out of her office with her customer, as
they bantered, the customer’s eyes fell on Ekaette and
in admiration of her beauty, she exclaimed, “Oh my
God! This is raw natural beauty…” Pulling Christy back
into her office, she asked, “Who is that girl? I know a
lawmaker is looking for a girl just like this to marry. If
we could introduce him to that girl, we would get more
than a million Naira right now!” “Sorry NK, she is for
my brother. You have to find your lawmaker friend
another girl to marry.” “Do you mean your doctor
brother?” “Of course, do I have another brother?” “You
have to be kidding me! Since when did your brother
who has no interest in women develop taste for such
beauties? Please Christy, give one of your girls to your
brother. I saw one who has a killer shape amongst
them. Let’s take this girl to my lawmaker friend and by
this evening, you and I will be millionaires.”
“NK, you are wasting your time. I have a lot to do. No
amount of money can make me do this, okay. In fact I
will let you introduce my girl who has a killer shape to
your lawmaker friend. Won’t he be happy to pay the
same amount of money for her?” “No, he won’t. The
girl’s face isn’t as fine as her shape.” “So you are
telling me my brother doesn’t deserve what is good,
right?” Christy left NK in her office and went to meet
with Eka. “Eka you are looking mmmaww ! How many
necks did you break on your way here?” “Seriously
Aunty Christy I lost count. Even the driver of the taxi I
boarded refused to collect money from me. He was
intent on getting my phone number. I sincerely told him
that I don’t have a phone but he wouldn’t believe me.”
Behind them, NK stood looking at Eka unbelievably.
“Aunty, look at this design, I want to make it for myself,
but I will display it to draw customers,” Eka said as she
removed the woven cloth design from her nylon bag.
Christy studied the design and asked, “Where did you
see this design?” “In an old magazine in Dr. Gerry’s
house.” Christy spread the design on a table and invited
her apprentices to come assess the style. She noticed
they were more interested in Eka than in the clothe
design she spread out on the table and she said to
them “Look at her as much as you can, because she is
a masquerade you get to see only once in a year.” Her
apprentices laughed and gathered around the table to
look at the design.
From behind Christy, NK let herself out of the shop
having contrived an insidious plan to get Eka for her
lawmaker friend. Christy knew her customer and was
prepared for what she was going to do. “Eka you are
going to sew this design here. I want to see how good
your finishing is.” Christy’s apprentices set up a sewing
machine for Eka and she went to work on the design.
Christy went into her office and called her sister, “Eno,
Ekaette is here now. You can come over and see her, or
should I bring her over?” “Don’t bother I am already on
my way to your shop. Gerald told me that she should be
in your shop by now.” “Do you know my customer NK?”
“The yellow lady that sows fifty clothes every month…”
“Yes, you know her! She wanted me to allow her
introduce Ekaette to her lawmaker friend for the reward
of one million and some fractions. Can you imagine
such impunity?” “So who Gerald go come marry nah (so
who will Gerald marry then?)” “ Aboki (uneducated,
uncivil Hausa girl)
A lot is yet to unfold.
The story just started.
What will happen next?
Watch out for next episode.


A SIMPLE PENDULUM LIFE
(Episode 16)
Determined to show she had come a long way in
sewing, Eka poured all her attention into the of making
the clothe. Christy’s apprentices stood by and watched
her labour on the clothe; Eka could hear them
wondering in whispers, “What is a girl as fine as she is,
wasting her time making clothes for?” Minutes dragged
into hours, and finally Eka stood up from the sewing
machine with her clothe design all sewn up. She asked
for Electric iron and straightened the clothe. Both
Christy and her apprentices were impressed with the
details of her sewing. Christy could see Eka’s taste for
expressing details in her work, she was meticulous and
it showed in her sewing. Christy taught her a few more
things she felt Eka should know and generously
commended her sewing skill, “Eka, I am really
impressed, if you stay this focused and willing to work
hard and improve yourself, soon I will not only send
you customers, but will do some projects together with
you.” “Thank you aunty!” “Ema! What happened, I hope
your baby is fine now?” Christy asked her sister, Ema,
who just arrived at her shop. “My baby was fine all
along. I wasted money going back to my house. Don’t
mind my husband, each time my baby cries, he
concludes that the baby is about to die.” “So it was
nothing?” “Christy, it was absolutely nothing. My baby
woke up and began to cry, that was all. This is Ekaette
right?” “D–n! The girl is fine!”
“Eka, this is my younger sister Ema,” said Christy.
“Aunty Ema you are welcome.” “Thank you Ekaette.
Girl, you are fine! Next time I get pregnant, you will
spend the whole nine months with me. I would like this
beauty to rob off on one of my children. Your
appearance makes it seem that the rest of were mass
produced while you got all the attention from God.” Eka
blushed and bowed her head in a subdued laugh at
what Ema said. Turning to her sister, Ema whispered,
“Gerald do win lottery o (Gerald has won a lottery).”
“That is what NK wants to take from us.” Dragging her
sister into her office, Ema asked, “So what is the plan
now? Is Gerald going to do anything about Eka
becoming part of the family?” “Come on Ema! That is
too early for now. Didn’t you see very well? Eka is still a
young girl!” “I know she is sixteen, but she…” “No Ema.
Eka is fourteen!” “Are you kidding me?! She doesn’t
look it! But if we keep waiting, won’t someone else take
her from us?” “That is why you and I need to deal with
NK. I know she would like to snatch Eka for her
lawmaker friend from behind our back.” “NK won’t be
our only problem; there will be many more like her. You
have to be ready to fight them off every week. Don’t
forget we are keeping an underage girl without her
parents’ consent. If people get wind of it, they will go
straight to her parents.
“If they threw her away based on spurious claims,
imagine what they would do if someone gave them a
little money to claim we abducted her.” “Her parents
threw her away! What exactly is your point?” “This is
my point Christy; and I feel you might not like it, but it is
my point nonetheless. We should take Eka to go see her
parents and let them know she is living with us, has
begun a business of her own, which we started for her
of course and is happy to live with us.” “What will that
achieve?” “It will achieve a lot. You said she is fourteen,
from my quick math; she won’t be ready for marriage
until the next four fears. That is a long time and let me
ask you, do you know what will happen in the next four
years? NK is already sniffing around and what other
people will do? We don’t know yet.” Christy pondered
Ema’s words and said, “I hate the idea of going to see
her parents now. They don’t deserve to see Eka for the
rest of their lives. I only want to see them when Gerald
is ready to pay her dowry. In fact I hate them! Can we
talk about this later? Right now I can’t hold the thought
of going to see Eka’s parents in my head. They are
evil!” “Christy you are not thinking along with me. You
just said her parents are evil. Let me ask you, do you
know what fifty thousand Naira can make them say in
a police station?” “Ema, if you want me to say yes to
going to see her parents, forget it! I am not for it right
now.” “If that’s how you want it, fine. But I hope we
won’t regret this decision someday.”
About thirty minutes later Ema and Christy put Eka in a
taxi and sent her home. They did not see it, just after
Eka’s taxi took a left turn from the street on which
Christy’s shop was located, another taxi followed Eka.
In the taxi was NK. She wanted to know where Eka was
living and to make her an offer she hoped would turn
her head. When Eka got home she slowly passed
Faustina’s apartment, hoping to catch a glimpse of her
or her husband, but there was no one in the flat. She
gave herself to sewing Kingsley’s school uniform. By
evening, shortly after Dr. Gerry had returned from work,
Mary came to inform Ekaette that her mother would like
her to bring the samples of her work. On Eka’s request
Dr. Gerry accompanied her to see Mary’s mother. Eka
was very glad to have Dr. Gerry around her. She took a
hold of his hand and would not let go. Even while they
were in Mary’s house, she made sure she kept some
form of contact with Dr. Gerry. Once in a while she
would look into his eyes and smile. Mary’s mother was
impressed with the finishing of the clothes Eka brought
as samples. Eka had also thrown in the one she sewed
that day at Christy’s shop.
“Ekaette, your work is lovely. I like them, I must admit.
So how much have you decided to whittle off from the
price you quoted yesterday? I want you to sew Mary’s
clothes.” “I will chunk off two hundred naira from the
price I gave you for each clothe,” replied Eka. “That
means you are charging two thousand three hundred
Naira for one clothe.” “Yes ma.” “No, I will pay two
thousand two hundred Naira. That is a good bargain to
start our relationship on. In the future you can charge
me more.” “Madam, you can haggle price a lot! Okay,
for a start I will take that much.” Mary’s mother gave
her some money to start work on her daughter’s
clothes and assured her she would make more clothes
when she was done with making Mary’s clothes. When
they were back home, Eka fixed a dinner for the both of
them. Unlike other times, Eka ate with him at the dining
table and would not take her eyes off him. Dr. Gerry
was aware she was head-over-heels about him, but
was careful not to commit too much. He knew he had a
long time to wait. After their meal, they had a pulsating
conversation about every conceivable subject. Eka’s
voice would ring out with joyous laughter as Dr. Gerry
said something funny or demonstrated one to her. If
not that Dr. Gerry would go to work the next day, they
would have talked on till dawn. Even in their dreams
they carried on with their chat, saying to each other the
things they did not have the courage to say at the
dining table.
By early morning Eka was up, buoyed with the love in
her heart for Dr. Gerry, she entered the kitchen
determined to cook her best food for him. She whistled
tunes and hummed songs and in-between her cooking,
paused for a little jig. Once in a while she would hear
funny sounds form Faustina’s apartment and would
wish she could see through the wall to know what
actually went on in that flat. Just then a thought
occurred to her and she froze with fear. Dr. Gerry had
not for once spoken about the people who lived in the
next flat. She would usually leave Dr. Gerry’s food on
the dining table for him to take to work when he wakes
up in the morning. That morning she decided to leave a
note under Dr. Gerry’s food flask, asking him to wake
her up before leaving for work. When Dr. Gerry was
ready to leave for work and saw the note he was glad to
see her wake and flash her wonderful smile at him
before he would leave the house. Eka woke from sleep
looking a bit groggy. “You asked me to wake you
before leaving for work.” “Yes I did. I want to ask you a
question.” “Okay, go ahead.” “Who are the people living
next door? I have never heard you mention them.” Dr.
Gerry looked at Eka in a funny way and wondered if she
was fine. “You are not fully awake Eka, are you?” “I am
very much awake, why did you say that?” “The flat next
door is empty. There is no one living in there.” Eka’s
jaw dropped so low a train could fit into her mouth.
No Dr. Gerry! A woman is living there with her
husband! Her name is Faustina. We have spoken once
and she helped me dispose some of my unwanted
clothes.” Dr. Gerry sat down on the bed beside Eka and
explained, “There was a couple in that flat when I
parked into this place. That was three years ago. One
evening they came to me and complained of being
attacked in the flat and wanted to know if I went
through the same experience. I told them I had no such
experience. After some banter they returned to their
apartment. I don’t remember how long it took; probably
it was about a week’s time. One evening I was returning
from work when I noticed the flat was empty. The
couple had left. They perhaps could not take any more
of the attacks they mentioned. I remember having a
discussion about them with my landlord and he said the
couple had moved out. Since then that flat has been
empty. If someone has moved into it I am not aware of
that.” “You have been too busy to notice it. A man and
his wife are living in the flat. At least I have seen the
woman and her name is Faustina.” “So what made you
ask about them?” “The lady, Faustina, behaves
strangely. Sometimes she won’t talk to me when I greet
her. A group of men rushed someone out of the flat
yesterday. My suspicion is that the person was
Faustina.”
“Okay I will check on them when I get back from work
this evening.” “I don’t want you to do that. There is
more that I have not told you. I have been having
attacks for some time now. I have the feeling the
woman faustina is behind the attacks. Each time I pray
against the attacks, she would either not talk to me or
she would simply not be seen around the compound for
days. Yesterday there was serious wailing in their flat.
That was before I saw some men running out of the
compound with possibly a sick person. Since then I
have not heard Faustina’s voice or seen her. Before the
cries I heard in their flat, I had an attack and prayed
against it. My dead grandmother comes here…I don’t
know how that is possible.” “Your dead grandmother!!!”
“Yes. Stop yelling doctor.” “What does she want?” “I
don’t know.” She lied; she could not bring herself to tell
him that her grandmother has been trying to pass her
position as a witch to her. “We have to pray about this.
I don’t like the sound of it. You shouldn’t be having
visits from the dead. It portends evil. On the other
hand, I will call my landlord to know if some people are
living in the other flat now.” “Please do. I am scared
right now. If indeed there is no one in that flat, it means
that Faustina is a ghost. And possibly the people I saw
running out of her flat are ghosts too.”
Unconsciously her hands wrapped around Dr. Gerry’s
arm. She was afraid and Dr. Gerry could see it. “Are
you sure you can stay by yourself till I come back from
work?” “I am not sure, but I will try.” “You don’t have to
be here alone. You can go to my sister’s shop or you
can join me to work.” “I have clothes to sew, I just can’t
run. And again if I begin to run from this apartment my
fear of it will grow.” “You are right, but I don’t want you
to come to harm.” “I won’t. I know how to pray. If that
woman is a ghost or witch, I am going to make sure
she never comes back here.” “How are you going to do
that?” “Can I invite Simbi over? She will be here just a
night. I assure you we will pray till both Faustina and
my grandmother catch fire.” “If that will help, do it. I
hate to think that a dead woman visits you. Have you
been having visits from your dead grandmother?” “No.
It all started since I came here. There is something
wrong with the other flat. It is bewitched. I hear voices
in it every morning and the voices are not normal. They
sound creepy and make me have goose bumps.” “Invite
Simbi today. I will join you people in prayers. I have to
leave for work now. If anything happens don’t waste
time to let me know.” “Okay, I won’t.”
Eka accompanied Dr. Gerry to the balcony of the flat
and watched him leave for work. She could tell that Dr.
Gerry was troubled by the things she told him;
especially about her grandmother. And she could not
tell if the idea of her being a witch did not cross his
mind. That thought alone spoiled Eka’s day. She sat on
the floor and cried he heart out. Her thoughts were that
if Dr. Gerry comes to the conclusion that she was a
witch after all, he would kick her out of his house and
won’t certainly marry her. Dr. Gerry on his part was
scared stiff. He abhorred the idea of a dead woman
visiting Eka. He almost called Christy to tell her about it
but held his peace. He wouldn’t want to start what he
would regret later. But as hard as he wanted to not
think about it, the thought of Eka being a witch kept
assailing his mind. By the time he had reached office,
he had lost his peace and looked gloomy. Colleagues at
work could tell something was wrong with him.
When they came to check what food Eka prepared for
him, he had no sound of joy in his heart. He wanted to
talk to someone desperately but was careful not to hurt
Eka. He kept saying to himself, “Dead people don’t visit
the living often except there is a reason; especially
when they are very old dead people.” Dr. Gerry did not
remember to call his landlord until late afternoon. “Hello
Landlord! This is Dr. Gerald.” “Gerald, how are you? I
know it is you of course.” “I am fine sir. Please, I want
to know, are there people living in the flat next to mine.
It’s beginning to look like there are people in that flat.”
“I am really sorry Gerald. I should have told you earlier.
There is a couple there now, but they are not paying
any rents yet. They had problems in Cameroon and had
to return to Nigeria. From what I gathered they lost all
their children there. Things are really hard for them.
Please pardon my oversight; I will come this weekend
to introduce the two of you.” “Thanks a lot sir. I was
only wondering if I had a neighbour and did not know
it.”
Dr. Gerry took a sigh of relief over his landlord having
cleared the air about someone living next to him. That
did well to restore his confidence in Eka. It meant she
was right when she said someone was living next door.
Dr. Gerry thought that if Eka was right about that, then
she was telling the truth about her grandmother’s visit
having begun when she moved into his apartment. He
felt guilty for letting fear take over his mind and caused
him to think all sorts of dark thoughts about Eka. He
wanted to call her but remembered she had no phone.
He did not plan it, he dashed out of his office and went
to a shopping complex nearby and bought her a Tecno
P5 phone. He made some excuses and left his office.
He wanted to surprise Eka with the phone and reassure
her that she had nothing to fear about what she told
him and to break the news of what his landlord told
him. Unknown to Dr. Gerry the worst had begun to
happen at home. Eka cried herself to stupor on the
balcony. When she finally put herself together, she
went into the bathroom, had her bath and went to work
on the clothes she had to sew. She was too sad to eat
anything. About 2:00 pm she remembered she had not
called Simbi. So she went to a pay phone centre to dial
her up. Simbi was willing and eager to come see her
and Eka looked forward to it. By the time Eka returned
to Dr. Gerry’s flat, that evil perfume had filled the
apartment. Eka was shocked and began to pray from
the door. When she entered her room, she met a
strange sight. The mirror on the wall had broken into
two. The native necklace her grandmother tried to give
her the other day was lying on the floor along with the
very clothes she wore the last time she appeared to
her.
Eka could tell she was under attack and so began to
pray. But while she prayed thoughts about what Dr.
Gerry and his sisters would think of her when she told
them what happened, beset her mind. She did not want
to be branded a witch again. So she stopped praying
and began to pack her bag to run away….
What is her grandmother is up to?
Is she really a witch?
Why visiting Eka often and often with attack?
Will Eka turn to run away bride to be?
Watch out for next episode.


A SIMPLE PENDULUM LIFE
(Episode 17)
Eka packed her load feverishly amid intense sobs. She
had no bag to carry her stuffs and so had to break her
vow not to enter Dr. Gerry’s bedroom. Eka searched his
wardrobe and found a leather bag big enough to hold
her clothes and dashed out of the room with it. Hastily
she packed her stuff. She worked like an ant. She
spared no thought for her new business and customers,
or bothered about where she was running to. Her mind
was simply set on escaping the imaginary next round of
being brandished a witch. Having packed her bag, she
dragged it out of her room and to the balcony of the
flat. There she remembered she had left the pouch
which held her money and she ran back into her room
to go take. If one had seen Ekaette in that mood, one
would have concluded that she was under a spell. When
she returned to the balcony she locked the entrance
door to the flat, dropped the key on the floor where she
was sure Dr. Gerry would see it and began to drag her
bag toward the gate. When she got to the gate, she
opened it and lifted the bag unto the street. She lifted
her eyes to see if she could find a young man to help
her carry her bag to the bus stop, only for her to see
Dr. Gerry standing in front of her. Eka’s eyes were
soaked with tears and she breathed heavily.
One look at the bag and Eka Dr. Gerry figured out what
was happening. “Where are you going to Eka?” Eka tried
to speak but instead began to cry. Her sob was soulful,
deep and shook her. Dr. Gerry put his hands around her
and led her back into the compound. “I am sorry I
doubted you in the morning. The thought of a dead old
woman visiting you scared the living day out of me. If I
were in your shoes I just might give running away a
thought, especially after all you have gone through.
Please forgive me. Don’t go anywhere please, I want
you to stay.” Eka shook her head, making the ‘no’ sign,
and pointing toward his flat she said, “She…she… she
came…” Dr. Gerry could not wait to hear the rest of her
words, he was getting a different meaning, he sprang
toward his flat, he thought another woman had visited
him and asked Eka out of his flat. Eka had not seen him
angry before. In fact Dr. Gerry’s anger made Eka’s
tears to dry up quick. Dr. Gerry stopped near his flat
and ran back to Eka; he didn’t want her to leave before
he would come back. He took her hand and led her mid-
way to his flat and stopped once more. He had
remembered Eka’s bag was still on the sidewalk on the
street. Holding her hand, he led her to the gate, opened
it and dragged her bag back into the compound. In one
hand he held Ekaette and in the other he dragged her
bag.
All this while Eka observed him in silence; she could
see Dr. Gerry had a place for her in his heart. For a
moment she thought Dr. Gerry was going to invoke her
grandmother for a fight, she did not know he thought
some woman was in his house. When they got to the
balcony, Eka stooped and picked up the key to open the
door and then Dr. Gerry wondered aloud, “Ah ah! You
locked her inside!” Eka was at loss as to his meaning
and explained, “She came when I went to call Simbi to
request she come over for a prayer session. I didn’t see
her, but her evil perfume was all over the house and
when I entered my room I saw the necklace she tried to
put on me the other morning and her clothes on the
floor. The mirror was also broken in two. I tried praying
but gave up. How would I explain all these to you when
you already had begun to think I might after all be a
witch?” Tears circled her eyes once more. “Oh God! So
the ‘she’ you meant was your grandmother? Hahaha!
Your broken words and demonstrations had me riled up.
Really I thought some woman visited me and drove you
out of my house. I was poised to have you throw her
out the same way she threw you out.” “But I won’t let
any woman throw me out of your house. I will never let
that happen. I meant my grandmother, she came
back.”
Dr. Gerry took a sigh of relief and said calmly, “Eka, I
believe everything you told me in the morning, open the
door, I have some things to tell you. I spoke with my
landlord; you were right when you said some people are
living in the next flat.” “Are you serious?!” For once that
afternoon, Eka flashed her lovely smile. She opened the
door and dragged her bag straight into her room. Dr.
Gerry followed behind her, he wanted to see the broken
mirror, the necklace and the clothes Eka’s grandmother
left behind. He stared at them for a while and said,
“You won’t sleep in this room tonight. Whatever this is
meant to do to you, we won’t let it happen. I can’t wait
for your friend to get here; should I call my pastor? This
has to stop!” “Don’t bother. When Simbi gets here, you
will witness another realm of praying and you will see
me differently.” “Are you now boasting? A while ago
you were on the run because of your grandmother.” “I
wasn’t on the run because of her. I was on the run
because of what you might say when you see these
things. Believe me I am not a witch, someone is trying
to destroy me and I don’t know why.” Dr. Gerry took her
in his hands and said as tenderly as he could, “I know
you are not a witch. You don’t have to try to convince
me about that again. And let me say this now, even if
you were one, I will become your wizard so you won’t
have to run away from me.”
Actually Eka thought she did not hear him well. Her
heart raced fast and she embraced him like she
embraced her father back when he was a good man to
her. Eka wanted to hear those words again and so she
asked, “Would you seriously become a wizard for my
sake?” “If you think I am joking, then try to become a
witch and you will see what I will do.” “God forbid! I will
never be a witch!” “Eka, I said that to mean you should
stop running from what people might say. Embrace
who you are and dare people. They will always say
what they want to say. You can’t stop them and you
don’t have to please them.” Eka was happy that in
subtle ways Dr. Gerry confessed his love for her, all
she had to do was grow up to become his wife.
“Thanks for your words doctor. You said you had
something to tell me.” “Yes! Let’s go to the living
room.” As Dr. Gerry turned to leave for the living room,
Eka jumped on his back and pretended to bite him on
the neck. Dr. Gerry pushed her away and shouted, “Ah
ah! I thought you said you were not a witch? You just
s—-d my blood!” Eka barred her teeth as though they
were fangs and came after him. Dr. Gerry made a dash
into the living room; picking a TV remote control and a
pen, he formed a makeshift cross. Eka looked at the
cross and dropped to the floor as though the power
from the cross knocked her silly. Dr. Gerry still laughing
and wondering how Eka could shift from one emotion to
another said, “You know I still don’t understand you.
One moment ago you were crying and willing to run
away and now you are playing with me like you were
another person entirely. Tell me how do you do it?”
“I may have still be crying by now if you had not said
the right words. Words fitly spoken make me tick; and
you know how to say loads of them. The best words I
have heard since my parents drove me out came today
and they came from your lips. You said I can still be a
witch and accept who I am. Please I am not saying that
I am a witch, and I will never be a witch in Jesus name!”
Dr. Gerry responded, “Amen!” “You don’t know what
you have done doctor. I feel like a ton of weight has
been borne away from my shoulders. I feel free and
reborn!” “I am glad you feel that way. I like it when you
are happy. Don’t forget I said I have something to tell
you, and I have to go back to work.” “No way! You are
not going back! Tell them you broke a leg,” Eka
protested and sat next to him. “My ears are yours now.
What do you have to tell me?” she asked drawing both
her ears. “Like I said earlier, I spoke with my landlord
and he confirmed that a couple is living in the next flat.
He is helping them out with the flat. They just returned
from Cameroon where they lost all their children. The
loss of their children may be the reason the woman you
spoke of acts strangely and not necessarily because
your prayers disturb her. This weekend we will get to
know them. The landlord said he will come over to do a
formal introduction so we can get to know them, and
they us.”
“If Faustina is not the source of my attacks, who then
is?” “Don’t let that worry you Eka. Our prayers will
reveal the source and bring them to shame.” “But Dr.
Gerry, the attacks started since I came here.” Dr. Gerry
could tell she was beginning to worry again about the
possibility of being a witch. He reached for his purse
which was slung across his shoulder and removed the
Tecno P5 he bought for her and announced, “I got this
for you. Now you have a phone. We can talk wherever I
am and whenever.” “Thanks a lot Dr. Gerry. Simbi
won’t believe it when she sees my phone.” Dr. Gerry
could see right through her pretense, she was still
worried about the attacks…..
What is really causing the attacks?
Watch out for next episode.


A SIMPLE PENDULUM LIFE
(Episode 18)
“We are not going to leave your room the way it is, are
we? We should clear those things your grandmother left
in there.” “You are right doctor. We should clean the
room of those things, but not without praying first.” Eka
went into the kitchen and brought some vegetable oil.
With it, the two of them prayed and anointed the broken
mirror, the necklace and the filthy garments which
Eka’s grandmother left on the floor. Though their
prayer was brief, it was intense. About half an hour
after their prayers, some unusual thing happened. Dr.
Gerry was in the living room doing his best to convince
Eka that he had to go back to work, at least to bring his
food flask back and to write a report on a certain case
he was assigned to. While they laughed and argued
why Dr. Gerry should or should not go back to work, a
voice was heard outside shouting, “Gerald! Gerald!!
Gerald!!!” The voice was monstrous and cold. Not in all
his life had Dr. Gerry experienced anything as horrifying
as LIFE. The mere hearing of his name shouted by what
was no doubt a demonic voice left all the hairs on his
body standing erect. He would have loved to go out to
see who it was shouted his name, but he lacked the
courage. Within minutes, Dr. Gerry who was full of life
and energy began to cough and perspire terribly. Soon
he became so weak that he could not stand on his feet.
Eka thought the worst had happened when Dr. Gerry
spread himself out on the floor because of how weak
he had become.
Eka knelt beside him and began to pray. The two of
them were up against a formidable work of darkness
but were too ignorant to understand what was going.
However the events of that day would bring them to the
point where they would confront it headlong. Eka did
not know how long she prayed. She squeezed her eyes
shut and prayed like a machine, shooting scriptures in
the name of Jesus and making decrees over the work of
darkness that had invaded their lives. Dr. Gerry was not
the religious type, but the event of that day made a
fanatical believer out of him. Eka prayed until Dr. Gerry
regained his strength and joined him in the prayer.
Their prayer lasted till they heard a gentle knock on the
door. Faith had sprung up in Eka, she was ready to
confront whatever the devil brought her way that
evening. Boldly she went to meet whoever or whatever
was knocking on their door. She was also ready for a
duel if a little of that would do. It was Simbi, she had
arrived. “Simbi! How did you find here?” Eka was happy
to see her friend; she leapt on her almost knocking her
to the ground. “I told you to call the number I gave you
when you get to the bus stop, why didn’t you call?”
“There was no need to do that. I saw you buying water
at the shop beside the bus stop just before I alighted
from the bus. As soon as I got off the bus, I ran after
you. When I turned into your street I could not see you
again. I described your beauty to people and they
pointed me to his house. I knocked on the other flat and
no one answered me and I decided to knock on this
one.”
Eka could not believe her ears. She stood speechlessly
as her friend narrated how she found their flat. Even Dr.
Gerry who stood behind Eka with the machete he had
fetched from is room was dumbfounded. He had been
with Eka in the living room praying. So whoever Simbi
saw was not Ekaette. “Won’t you let me in? I saw you;
you were dressed just like this. Don’t tell me it wasn’t
you.” “Oh I am sorry Simbi. Come right in.” As Eka and
Dr. Gerry led Simbi into their flat, they exchanged a
curious look wondering what was going on that
evening. Simbi had hardly passed the dining table when
she observed, “Jesus! This house is haunted! Eka how
do you sleep in this house? There is something evil
lurking around here.” “Simbi, have a seat. I have so
much to tell you. You said you saw me in the street, it
wasn’t me, I have not been to the bus stop all day.”
After Simbi had taken her seat and was served a cup of
cold water, Eka and Dr. Gerry narrated to her all that
had happened. “You know what?” asked Simbi, “When I
knocked on the other flat, I felt strong evil vibes coming
out of it. There is something evil in there.” “Simbi, I feel
the same way too. I don’t want to brand that woman,
Faustina, a witch much the same way I was branded a
witch, but mark my words, all is not well with her.”
“Well, I don’t know what is in that flat, but whatever it
is; we are going to sack it from this compound. Do you
have some anointing oil Eka?” “No I don’t, I make use
of vegetable oil.” “That is okay, I use it sometimes.”
“We don’t have to use that. I can buy one in the street,”
said Dr. Gerry as he dashed out to go buy one in the
street.
While Dr. Gerry was away, Eka took Simbi to her room
and showed her the evil necklace, the filthy clothes and
the broken mirror. “Eka, I am sorry to spoil your mood.
What you are going through in this house is the work of
witchcraft.” “For heaven’s sake where is this coming
from? No one knows me in this area.” “Don’t worry
about it Eka, God will answer our prayers tonight and
not tomorrow. Don’t forget the things God did back in
the church in our street. He will do the same here.” “I
can’t wait. I want the word ‘witch’ removed far from my
life. While they talked in her room, Dr. Gerry returned
and they went to meet him in the living room. “Our
neighbours are back. I saw some people in the next flat
now,” announced Dr. Gerry. “Good that they are
around. If this attack is from them, you will see what
will happen to them,” said Simbi. They declared fasting
from that evening till 6am the next morning. After they
had their baths, Eka and Simbi went to her room to have
their girly chat; while Dr. Gerry watched television in the
living room. About ten pm in the night, Simbi informed
them that it was good time to start praying. They sang
loud like those in a church and clapped their hands.
When they were done with singing, they began to pray.
Dr. Gerry was stunned by the way Simbi prayed. She
was much more than Eka had told him. She was a
tigress in praying.
Their prayers dragged on till 1:00 am in the morning, by
this time, Simbi was high. She took the anointing oil and
after praying over it. She poured it on the materials Eka
had found in her room and cursed the source from
which it came. She bolted out of their flat with Eka and
Dr. Gerry following in her trail. She anointed the
compound including the entrance to their neighbours
flat and they went back inside. Shortly after they went
inside there was a knock on their door, a man shouted
desperately, “Neighbour! Neighbour! Please stop
praying! Stop praying! My wife is ready to confess! My
wife will confess!!” Dr. Gerry wanted to go speak with
the man, but Simbi and Eka stopped him. They had only
begun to pray. They stepped up their praying,
unleashing all sorts of spiritual weapons their pastor
taught them. Minutes later, the knock and the shout
became louder and frantic. Yet Eka and her friend
persisted in praying. Dr. Gerry could not take it
anymore. The sound of a fellow man calling out for
mercy outside broke his heart. He ran to go hear the
man out, but Eka and Simbi withstood him. He
demanded to know why they would not hear the man
out, and Eka answered him, “The Bible says suffer not
the witch to live! We will keep praying until dawn when
people will gather to hear the confessions the man’s
wife, whoever she is, wants to make. Let her suffer a
while. Have I not suffered enough? Have you forgotten?
You almost died yesterday evening!” Dr. Gerry saw
reason with her and went back to praying with them.
About 4:00 in the morning, the gate to their compound
was opened and another person joined the man to
knock on their door, demanding that they stop praying.
Ekaette and Simbi were lost groaning in prayers; they
did not see him sneak out. But this time he did not go
to open the door to hear the men out. He went to his
room and picked his machete again. There was
something about the voice of the second man knocking
on his door. He wasn’t pleading for them to stop
praying, he was demanding it as if it was his right. Dr.
Gerry did not like that at all. He gently opened the door
and charged at the two men, swinging his machete. His
machete carved into one of them and he yelled in pain.
Eka and Simbi hear the shout and ran out only to see
Dr. Gerry chasing two men with a machete. He locked
the gate behind the two men and asked Eka and Simbi
to continue praying. He was too angry to utter a word in
prayer.
A lot to revealed!!
What is really happening?
Watch out for next episode.


A SIMPLE PENDULUM LIFE
(Episode 19)
Dr Gerry had cooled off, he joined Eka and Simbi in the prayer;
and that was when he really prayed out his heart. Eka
and Simbi were surprised by the way he prayed. Dr.
Gerry had thought he could not pray the way he did, but
the attitude of the two men who knocked on his door,
made him very angry. His prayer was for the witch who
had chosen to attack them to die. While they prayed,
they had no clue what was happening outside their
gate. The two men had gathered the people on the
street to come plead with Dr. Gerry and the two girls
who prayed with him. A boy had to climb the fence into
their compound to open the gate for the crowd which
had assembled in from of the gate to come in. Simbi
had hardly rounded off their prayer when they heard the
increasing voice of a crowd of people and a gentle
knock on the door. At the sound of the knock, Dr. Gerry
looked for his machete; Eka knew what he was looking
for and pretended she didn’t take notice. She had
pushed the machet under her bed while they prayed.
Dr. Gerry had to go open the door to know who was
knocking, and when he did, he saw a swarm of street
dwellers snaking from the front of his apartment to the
gate of the compound. He asked the man who seemed
to lead them, “Good morning sir. What do you want
from my apartment?”
“Good morning sir. I am Mr. Paul Eze, two men came
to us this morning, one had a gash on his back, he has
been taken to a drug store to be patched up. They told
us that one of their wives did something very wrong to
you and you and your sisters were determined to kill
her. Please we beg of you, do not shed blood. Allow the
street people to settle you people. We don’t even want
the matter to get to a police station; we have all left our
personal businesses this early morning to come
mediate between the two of you.” The street people
joined the man and began to plead with Dr. Gerry. Dr.
Gerry turned and looked at Simbi and Eka, who were as
much as he was, surprised at what the man said. Dr.
Gerry wondered aloud, “What is this man saying? Sir I
do not have any misunderstanding with anyone. All I
can tell you is that very early this morning; two men
were determined to bang down my door, shouting that
we should stop praying. We were not even praying loud
and we prayed in our own flat. I did not like that, clearly
they were trespassing, and so I came out and chased
the two of them away with a machete. I think one of
them took a blow from my machete. That is all I can
tell you. I don’t know a thing about one of their wives
having done anything wrong to me or about my trying
to kill anyone.” The street people who had heard Dr.
Gerry explain what he knew, called one of the men,
“Hey, oga (sir) come here. You need to hear what this
man has said; it is different from what you told us.”
A man whom neither Dr. Gerry nor Eka had seen before
came forward cautiously, obviously wary of Dr. Gerry.
“You said this man and his sisters were going to kill
your wife for what she did to them, but this man has
denied that. Tell us what is going on here!” A man
barked from the crowd. Before the man could say a
word, Dr. Gerry said as loud as he could, “I don’t even
know this man nor have I seen him before. Oga who
are you?” The crowd was shocked at Dr. Gerry’s words
and looked at the man with distrust on their faces. “I
am… I am your… I am Mr. Ekhiosu… I… I live…” “Be bold
and speak up! Were you not the one shouting on the
street that some people were about to kill your wife?!
Look I don’t have the time! This is early morning,”
barked Mr. Paul. Mr. Ekhiosu spoke up, “I am his
neighbour! I live here,” he pointed at his flat. “Where is
your wife whom they were going to kill?” Mr. Paul asked
angrily. “She is inside the house, I don’t even know if
she is still alive. I begged them to stop praying but they
wouldn’t stop.” “Wait! Wait! Mr. Ekhi… what… Do you
mean to tell us that prayer is harmful to your wife?
What sort of woman is she?” a man asked from the
crowd. “ Na witch! Na witch she be! We go kill am
today with prayer! She never see anything. When I
begin pray well well, she go burn like food wey dem
forget for fire! (A witch! She is a witch! We will kill her
today with prayer! She has seen nothing yet! When I
really begin to pray, we will burn like food forgotten on
the cooking stove!) Eka! Let’s go back and pray! Simbi
shouted and stormed back into the flat. Behind her Eka
followed. Mr. Ekhiosu went on his knees and began to
beg them, “Please don’t pray anymore! She is ready to
confess. Please I am begging you!
A hot slap crashed into Mr. Ehkiosu’s face from behind
him. A young man was standing above him looking
menacing. The young man kicked and threw a few
punches at him, and then barked, “So na you and your
wife they chop us witch for this area? (“So you and your
wife are the witch and wizard terrorizing us in this
neighbouhood?”) The young men in the crowd went
berserk and surged forward. Mr. Paul was certain that
they were going to kill Mr. Ekhiosu and his wife before
anyone got the chance to hear them out. So he used his
body to shield him and begged the young men to calm
down. Other elderly men in the crowd surrounded Mr.
Ekhiosu and led him into his flat. Outside the young men
chanted angrily and stumped the ground. Fortunately
for Mr. Ekhiosu, Mr. Paul rang his friends at the nearby
police station. Inside Dr. Gerry’s flat, Simbi hit the floor
and prayed crazily. Eka could not pray, her heart was
broken; the whole scene outside reminded her when
she was branded a witch, beaten up by her parents and
driven out of their house. She went to Dr. Gerry, who
was making several calls to some people he knew in
the police force and to his sisters; and said, “Take me
into Faustina’s flat, I want to hear what she wants to
confess to.” Dr. Gerry had to drop his call and said,
“You don’t need to hear anything she has to say. Has
husband has confessed to her crimes. That woman
almost killed me yesterday and brought me to the point
where I would have walked away from you. I have
called the landlord, he will be here today. That woman
and her husband must leave this compound!”
“Fine! I also want her to leave, but I want to hear what
she has to confess to. Please take me there.”
Reluctantly Dr. Gerry led her outside and they made
their way through the crowd and stood by Faustina’s
window and made signs to Mr. Paul. He drew closer to
the window and Dr. Gerry made signs to him to open
the door for them. The man was afraid to do so fearing
that the young men would push their way into the flat.
Fortunately, a police van arrived outside and the
policemen pushed their way into the compound. The
young men refused to leave and stood their ground
chanting war songs. The police knocked on the flat,
when Mr. Paul saw them; he opened the door to them.
Dr. Gerry and Eka went in along with the police. Inside
the flat, Mr. Ekhiosu was on the floor wailing heartily.
While Mr. Paul explained to the police what was going
on, one of the men inside the flat led Dr. Gerry and Eka
into the Ekhiosu’s bedroom where they met Faustina
lying on the bare floor, swinging her head from left to
right with her eyes shut. Intermittently she would yell as
though someone or something was squeezing the life
out of her.
The man who led Eka and Dr. Gerry into the bedroom
narrated to them, “This woman is evil, she confessed
to have eaten all her children in Cameroon; that is the
reason her husband is crying.” At that Dr. Gerry
stepped a bit away from her. “Did she really say that or
is it just hear say sir?” asked Eka. “What do you take
me for young girl? I’m too old for petty lies! Just wait a
while; you will hear her confess again. Or you can go
check their other room; she has turned it into a shrine,”
said the man as he rebuked Eka. Eka and Dr. Gerry
went to see what the other room looked like; when they
peeped in their heads to have a look at the room, Eka
was stunned to see her picture hanging on a mirror in
the room. “Jesus! Dr. Gerry! That is my picture! How
did she get it? I took that picture when I was with my
parents! Oh no! Oh no! I am going to get Simbi in here!”
Eka shouted and bolted off….
What is connection between Faustina and Eka? How are they related?
Why Eka’s picture is hanging?
Who is the real culprit?
Watch out for next episode.
#SKIPPO_OF_LIFE


A SIMPLE PENDULUM LIFE
(Episode 20)
The policemen and the elderly men in Ekhiosu’s flat
were busy deliberating what to do when Eka dashed
into the living room and made for the door. As she tried
to open the door, Mr. Paul stopped her, asking, “What
are you doing, If you open that door those boys will
come in?!” “I need to get my friend in here, that woman
has my picture in her bedroom, and how she got my
picture is a mystery to me. I just have to bring in my
friend here!” Eka’s voice was loud as she explained to
Mr. Paul what she was up to. The policemen and the
elderly men in the flat had to stop their deliberations
and gave Eka attention. When they demanded what the
matter was, Eka breathlessly explained to them and
insisted she must bring Simbi into the flat. “But what
will your friend do? We don’t want this case to
escalate,” asked Mr. Paul. “We need to prayerfully
remove my picture from the evil mirror in that room.”
One of the policemen who could not take his eyes off
Eka volunteered to go bring Simbi into the flat. “What is
your friend’s name and where is she?” asked the
policeman. “Her name is Simbi and she is in the other
flat.” The policemen crowded the door as their
colleague opened it and went outside. The crowd
outside had increased; both young men and women
were outside singing, while some women and men
craved to set their eyes on the witch who was
terrorizing their neighbourhood. Already many had
begun to claim that Faustina was responsible for the
strange deaths which occurred in the neighbourhood.
At Dr. Gerry’s flat, the policeman knocked and shouted
Simbi’s name. Immediately Simbi came out, her eyes
darting about. “Your friend wants me to bring you to the
other flat. Let’s go.” “What is happening there? Is the
witch dead?” The policeman was surprised by Simbi’s
question. “Young girl, I have not even seen the witch, so
I cannot tell if she is dead or not.” “Give me a
moment,” Simbi said and ran back into the flat. In a
moment she came back with a bottle of anointing oil;
she locked Dr. Gerry’s flat and left with the policeman.
When the policeman knocked on the door of Ekhiosu’s
flat, it took a while before someone came to open the
door for them; all the people inside the flat had gone
into the bedroom where Faustina was . Eka had gone
berserk and staged a violent prayer on Faustina,
invoking fire and brimstone in the name of the Lord
upon her. Her prayer threw Faustina into violent
demonstrations that even the policemen joined in the
prayer shouting, “Holy Ghost fire! Holy Ghost fire!”
Eventually Simbi and the policeman went into the flat
after the door was opened. The shouting of “Holy Ghost
fire! Holy Ghost fire!” inside the flat was too tempting
for those outside. They surged forward to make it into
the flat to see what was happening, but the policemen
resisted them.
As soon as Eka who was panting and sweating as a
result of how energetically she prayed, saw Simbi, she
went into overdrive in her praying. Seeing Eka was off,
Simbi asked Dr. Gerry, “Is this the witch?” “Yes! She
has confessed she is the one attacking us. But she is
yet to give us details of her attacks against us and how
she got Eka’s picture.” “What! She took Eka’s picture?”
“It is in the other room.” Like an arrow, Simbi shot
herself toward the direction of the other room. Dr.
Gerry followed her. As soon as Simbi stepped into that
room, she shouted, “Jesus! Jesus!” Dr. Gerry almost
ran back, thinking Simbi had run into the devil in the
room. He had to ask her, “Simbi what is it?” “That
woman is a high witch! She is a high witch! There are
too many demons in this room.” When Dr. Gerry and
the men in the other room heard the word ‘demons’,
they all took off to the living room in fear, leaving Eka
facing Faustina alone, while Simbi faced the demons
she claimed were in the other room. In a short while,
Simbi emerged from the other room with Eka’s picture
and then joined her in prayer. Soon both the policemen
and the others were on their heels back to the room
where Eka and Simbi prayed. Simbi had done the
impossible. She sat on Faustina and emptied some of
the anointing oil she had into her mouth and grabbed
her by the neck and began to pray. It was Faustina’s
heart-wrenching shout which drew the policemen and
the others back into the room.
Everyone was shocked when they saw Simbi sitting on
the feared witch and praying over her. Even Faustina’s
husband, who had fled from her when she confessed
she ate their children, ran back into his bedroom when
he heard the way Faustina screamed for mercy. The
policemen had to yank Simbi away from Faustina’s
body as she continued to plead for mercy declaring she
would confess all her wickedness. For a moment, the
men in that room did not know who to be afraid of,
whether Simbi or the woman who had confessed she
was a witch. “Leave me alone! Leave me! She will not
confess unless fire burns her very well,” Simbi fumed
when they pulled her away from Faustina. It took two
men to restrain Simbi. For some moments everyone
waited for Faustina to confess her wickedness, but she
would not. Eka was running out of patience, she could
not wait any longer to hear Faustina confess. So she
yelled, if I begin to pray again nobody should stop me
until this woman has died.” As though Faustina heard
her, she began to confess, the men in the room,
including her husband began to record her confession,
“I… huh… I… I ate my children in Cameroon…” “We have
heard that already! I want to know you were attacking
me, appearing to me like my grandmother?! How did
you get my picture?” There was no answer from
Faustina. They all waited for her to confess till they all
got angry. The officer in charge of the policemen said
to Simbi and Eka, “Young girls, this woman will not
confess, indeed she is a high witch. You have my
permission to pray her to death. She does not deserve
to live!” “Sir if this witch will not confess her sins, then
let’s hand her over to the young men outside, in just
five minutes she will be dead!”
Just them an idea occurred to Simbi and she ran back
to the other room. When she came out, she was
carrying a bag. As she made her way toward the exit
door, Faustina began to shout. That was when
everyone realized how powerful Faustina really was.
Even though she had been knocked silly by the power of
prayer, yet, she was still able to watch the events going
on in the flat with her eyes closed. The bag Simbi was
heading out with had Faustina’s items of witchcraft.
When everyone understood what was happening, they
ran into the room and began to carry to the living room
the items they considered to be for the purpose of
witchcraft. Eka was so angry she lifted the mirror on
which she saw her picture on and smashed it on the
floor and in that moment, Faustina had begun to bleed
from both eyes. Before they could come back to the
room, Faustina had bled a pool of blood from her eyes.
Mr. Paul and the policemen opened the door and invited
in some young men and instructed them to carry the
items outside and burn them. The young men were
happy to do so. As soon as they set the items ablaze
on the street, Faustina began to wail in the room, “Fire!
Fire! Fire o!” Having destroyed her items of witchcraft
they returned to the room only to see Faustina bleeding
from the eyes and the room filled with smoke.
If Eka and Simbi had not stood their ground, the men
would have ran away from the flat. At this point no one
needed to prod Faustina to speak, freely she yelled,
“They are leaving me! They are leaving! Eka! Eka eh!
Ekaette Efiong! It was not your grandmother. It was me
all along. I wanted to initiate you. I wanted you to join
us. I wanted to use you to take myself in our kingdom.
I visited your grandmother’s grave and saw your star. I
went to your father’s house and took your picture.
When I saw your star, I presented it in our coven and
they promised me that if I could bring you in, they
would let me give my husband children who would live
and not be eaten. It was me! Eka it was me! I bewitched
this house so that the landlord would not be able to give
it out. I didn’t want him to send us out of the house. I…
I… wanted to drive you away from the doctor, when I
could not, I tried to kill him. Your challenges are not
over, she is coming, she is coming with much troubles.
The materials you found in your room must be burnt
with fire.
“…I cursed your star so that the days of your life may be
filled with sorrows. But I can see clearly that the one
whom you call upon is mighty. He reversed my words
and brought me to this pitiable condition. If I had my
life to live again, I would follow the path on which you
walk now. Please Ekaette forgive me.” The words of
Faustina tingled the ears that heard them. Both the
policemen and the elderly men in the room were pissed
off by the wickedness which she confessed to.
“Wouldn’t it be better to put a bullet in this woman’s
head and end all this sordid drama? Please young girl,
what exactly did you do to this woman to warrant such
act of wickedness from her against you?” asked the
officer in charge of the police squad in the room. Eka
lifted her hands and said, “Sir, I have only met this
woman twice in all my life. The third time I saw her was
from a distance. I have done no wrong against her at
any time in my life. When I moved into this compound,
she was the first person I met and believe me; she was
very nice to me and even helped me to dispose of my
unwanted clothes. After that day, the next time I saw
her and greeted her, she did not answer me. Later I
figured out that my prayers were disturbing her. I did
not know that she had gone at length to destroy my
life.”
“Thank your God that you know how to prayer.
Everyday people die mysteriously; some of the deaths
are so shocking that no matter how apathetic you are
to spiritual things, you would know that some evil force
was behind them. If not for God, maybe your case
would have been like that,” said the police officer. “Oga
police, what do we do now? If we leave at this moment
the young men outside will pounce on this woman and
possibly even on her husband. You have to consider
taking her to the police,” said Mr. Paul Eze. “I have not
heard of the police arresting a witch before. I’m not
sure we want to take her to the station. It is better she
dies here.” “If you won’t take her to the station, then
you will have to wait till she dies. If the angry mob
outside break into the place to kill her, would that not
amount to a crime? I think it is best you take her to the
station or wait for her to die,” Dr. Gerry said while
glancing at the clock on the wall. He did not tell his
boss at work that he would not be at work that day; he
was itching to go get ready and leave for work. While
the policemen and the elderly men of the street
deliberated on what to do, Dr. Gerry led Eka and Simbi
back to his flat.
From what they had seen of Faustina they knew that
she was history, it would be only a matter of time
before the cold hands of death would snuff out the
breath in her lungs. Dr. Gerry dashed into the bathroom
for a quick bath while Eka went into the kitchen to
package the food he will take to work. Simbi feeling
tired from the exhaustion of long spell of prayers
dragged herself into Eka’s room to nap. Eka was in the
mood of celebration when she shouts began to ring out
from the Ehkiosu’s flat. Something was going on in
there. Having packed Dr. Gerry’s food, Eka, who was
thinking of going to nap along with Simbi, ran to
Faustina’s apartment. When the policemen saw her,
they opened the door to her. The sight Ekaette met in
the flat left her wishing she had not gone to see what
was happening in there. Faustina’s skin had suddenly
grown very dark as though she had been burnt by fire,
her eyes had for no obvious reason bulged out, while
her tongue pulled out of her mouth and dragged on the
floor as though a snake was slithering out of her mouth
as the throes of death took hold of her. Eka shut her
eyes and dashed toward the door. At the door she met
Simbi try to get the attention of those inside to open the
door for her. Eka opened the door and said to Simbi,
“Simbi, you don’t want to see what has become of
Faustina. The image will remain with you all your life.
Believe me you don’t want to see her.”
Simbi would have none of that. She ran into the flat to
see for herself what had happened to Faustina. When
she set her eyes on Faustina, she wished she had
listened to Eka. It was as though Faustina was
disintegrating on the floor. At this time the police did
not care if the angry mob outside came in or not. To
protect Mr. Ekhiosu, they took him to their van and left
him with two police officers. The others went back to
the flat to make sure that those who went in to see
what had become of the witch did not steal anything
from the flat. When Dr. Gerry was ready to leave for
work, Eka and Simbi warned him not to bother going to
see Faustina, but he was stubborn about that. “I won’t
miss for anything the chance to see the end of the
woman who gave us heat for days and kept us awake
since last night,” said Dr. Gerry as he went into the flat
to see what made people run out of the flat in a haste
spitting. Dr. Gerry being a medical doctor was not
moved as much as the other people were. He actually
took picture of the remains of Faustina and left for
work. He looked forward to show the image to Christy
and Ema and narrate to them how Eka and Simbi
prayed the witch to death.
While crowds gathered to feast their eyes on Fautina,
Eka and Simbi turned their attention to girly chats. One
enemy had been taken down; it was time to goof off
with gossip. “ Eheh! Simbi tell me, what is happening in
the street? Have my parents begun a widespread
search for me?” “Eka that is not what I want to talk
about now. Please tell me, this Dr. Gerry, how did you
find him? He is a nice man!” “Simbi God simply dropped
him from heaven to wipe my tears. Do you know that till
now he has not for once harassed me for sex? I feel so
comfortable around him as though I was his sister. In
fact there have been many times I felt like I was still on
the spot my mother left me after they had beaten me
up, and that soon I will wake up and realize that this
was all a dream.” “Eka, this is not a dream. I am in it
with you. May I ask please, does Dr. Gerry have a
younger brother? It will be nice to meet him.” “Hahaha!
I thought you spared not thoughts for love and men
Simbi?” “There are things that force you to think about
love and men, and what you have right now is certainly
one of them.” “Maybe you should start praying for the
right man; you know God will bring him.” “Eka, isn’t it
too early for that. Maybe I am sounding this way
because I am around you. I guess once I get home my
life will return to my regular routine, prayer, church
work, home chores and my academic aspirations.
There won’t be time for love and men.”
“Well Simbi, your case is different from mine. You have
parents who want you to go to school and have a life.
All I have now is God and Dr. Gerry. You know how
young I was when I began to hawk to support my
parents with taking care of our family. My life has been
very hard, but I thank God that in some corners of it
there are silver linings like Dr. Gerry. I think you should
perish thoughts about men and go for your career. You
know that if my life had taken the normal course, I
wouldn’t be living with a man right now.” “Eka my point
is this, I love what you have and I wish I was in your
shoes. Seriously I didn’t know that the breed of men like
Dr. Gerry still walked our earth.” Eka smiled at Simbi
and said, “Be careful what you wish for, what I have
right now may look lovely, but the path to it is full of
pains and sorrows. I doubt I will ever walk through our
street without being overwhelmed with shame. I still
remember being dragged out naked into the street by
my parents.” “Huh…your parents… please don’t bring
them up now…” “Tell me what is going on with them
now?” “They are looking for children. Your father wants
your mother to lay children like eggs for him. They ask
after you from anybody who passes in front of their
apartment. I feel for your mother, your father might
remarry to have children…”
What happen next?
Watch out for next episode.

CIA SUPPORT

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