SIXTEEN

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Hester rolled into bouts of laughter. ‘I’m trying
so hard for my intestines not….not to
disconnect. ‘
‘I’ll bring them back together with superglue,
you shouldn’t bother about that.’ He smiled.
She supported her abdomen with her palm as
she rolled into yet another bout of laughter.
‘When the day of birthday came, our friends
attended and variety of female attended, you
know what I mean? ‘
Hester nodded.
‘The celebration progressed smoothly until two
ladies started arguing about which was Osagie
girlfriend. In no time, they were the centre of
all attraction. ‘
‘What did Osaz do? ‘ Hester sipped her fruit
wine.
Ethel shook his head in remembrance with a
smile. ‘He set the video of his phone to work.
A couple of minutes later, he wanted to get his
video device inside the house and asked that i
continued to cover the happenings. I thought
he was crazy and I told him so, knowing how
wild ladies fight can get especially when the
reason is a man.’
‘Especially when the guy has the brains,
popularity, wealth and even good looks.’
Hester added.
‘That’s right. ‘ He acknowledged. ‘He ran into
the house and came out with a video recorder.
Nobody attempted to separate them since it
was a reality show with no fee attached. They
pushed each other, hurled insults, exchanged a
couple of slaps, one poured a glass of wine on
the other, the other retaliated with a bowl of
salad.
Then, they sighted that the reason for their
fight and their temper got to it’s peak and they
both advanced towards him. With a straight
face, he shunned them before going to the
platform and gave a three minutes talk on
public comportment . At the end he was
applauded.
‘And the girls felt like the greatest fool in the
planet.’ Hester chirped in.
‘I believe they will take a break from parties
for two months. ‘
Hester chuckled. ‘That’s if they are wise.’
He picked the fork and ate from his
plate.’Listen to the best part. ‘ He drank water.
‘Later in the day, Osaz made a confession -the
don, when those ladies de approach me
shuuuu… ,na by God’s grace that video no fall
from my hand. I bi wan ran outside. In fact ,I
don die go sef , na scope I just use.’ He tried
mimicking Osagie
Thankfully there was nothing in her mouth, if
not, she would have choked as she laughed
heartily.
++++
****
Hester crossed her leg and looked intently at
the large plasma screen TV in the sitting room.
‘That lady acts so well and she is very
beautiful. ‘ She pointed. ‘Ethel what is her
name? ‘
Ethel glared at her momentarily. ‘You don’t
know her?’ He was sitting across her seeing the
same nollywood movie.
‘You sound like the world knows her save me.’
‘She has won the award for the best actress in
Nigeria for three years back to back. She has
been the exclusive face of nollywood. She has
even won a grammy. She is Africa finest and
rep even international.’
‘How cute! what is her name?’
‘Natasha Williams. ‘ He studied her expression.
She shook her head, the name not ringing a
bell in her head.
He helped her. ‘ She was Oladimeji lover for a
year and half, they were even engaged to be
married. They were seen together in almost
every occasion until Oladimeji publicly
announced their disengagement without
preinforming Nat.
Hester bit her lower lips to prevent herself
from cursing him. ‘Good grief.’ She frowned.
‘He is ruthless Hess. She was so heartbroken that she  suspended work for a couple
of months. Afterwards, she announced publicly that she
would have no intimate
relationship with any guy. It was going to be her
profession and nothing more.’ He grinned and
then chuckled.
Hester eyed him. ‘You are not about to burst
into fits of laughter when there is nothing
funny.’
‘I remember a story linking Osaz to our
discussion. ‘ He flashed his white set of teeth.
Hester looked away, exhaled and then
chuckled.
‘A couple of weeks later, Osaz and I got a guest
invite to PROJECT FAME. We got to the car park
after the show, Osaz sighted a pink sleek ride
in which the plate reads -NATWILLS. ‘
”Who is NATWILLS? ” Osaz inquired.
“That should belong to Natasha Williams. ”
“Natty …Natty …that means should be in there.
” He smiled mischievously.
‘What’s up Gem? ‘
‘I will go in there and come out with Natasha,
if in five minutes am not out, you can leave
with the car.”
“Are you sure you are ready to lose half of
your head? ”
“My Don, to every stubborn lady, there is
stubborner man. ” He laughed and walked
away gallantly.
Hester rolled her eyes.
‘In three minutes, he came out hand in hand
with her with his smile reaching his ears not in
anyway handicapped. ‘
Hester smiled.
‘We chatted and he invited her for a drink, she
agreed and for fortyfive minutes, we were
together. Subsequently, Osaz went out with
her a couple of more times. The
tabloids glared with photographs, headlines
and captivating story. Osagie could be very
dramatic. They became good friends.’
‘Osaz was a goal getter. ‘ She commented
calmly.
‘While I was away in South Africa, Natasha met
me and told me she found out I could lead her
to where you are. Said she wanted to relate
with you.’
Hester uncrossed her legs and said nothing.
‘I did everything to dissuade her yet she was
bent on meeting with you. I think she has not
gotten over Oladimeji and wants to see for
herself what Oladimeji is so crazy about in
you.’ Ethel stated before glancing at the
screen.
‘Hmmmm …’ Hester resolved thoughtfully.
‘Oladimeji is still available for her, I won’t see
her. The last thing I will not do is to fight
another lady for a man.’
‘Not even for love …?’ He raised his brows.
‘Love worketh no ill to his neighbor! therefore
love is the fulfilling of the law. Fighting is a show of undiscipline.’ She stood.
‘Goodnight Ethel, it’s time for me to sleep. ‘
It was pass noon.
‘Wait Hess, remind me of the Bible passage.’
‘Romans thirteen verse ten, cheerio. ‘ She head
to her bedroom.
He sat back and his brows narrowed
thoughtfully.
++++
****
‘Though we may not see every time we call his
name, He will be there for us.’ They all sang.
They were having a vigil to conclude the seven
days of fasting the entire household had
embarked on. They had converged in the
sitting room.
‘Oh Let’s sing it. ‘ Ethel compelled with closed
eyes.
‘Though we may not see every time we call his
name he will be there for us. It is well …it is
well …it is well in the name of Jesus, it is well
with our soul today. It is well …it is well …it is
well in the name of Jesus …it is well with our
soul today. ‘ Their hands were joined as they
sang.
‘With Nigeria …’ He said.
‘It is well …it is well … it is well in the name of
Jesus …it is well with Ni-ge-ria today. It is well
…it is well with Ni-ge-ria… ‘
‘Do something new Lord in our lives make a
start, do something new Lord, do something
new.’
With raised voice they sang the new song.
Ethel knelt in their midst as the Mummy J took
over the prayers.
++++
++++
‘… there was a scheme that was organised at
that time and since I was a citizen by birth, I
applied and it was approved. I was in the U.S
ARMY for a couple of years.’
‘Seriously? With the law and criminal justice
you did in SA. ‘ SHE was flabbergasted.
‘There so many of my photographs and portrait
you’re yet to see. Probably I’ll take you for an
excursion in my bedroom. ‘ He winked at her.
Hester smiled but retained the serious
expression on her face. ‘ There are sometimes
when our physical and mental abilities help us
a great deal and sometimes it doesn’t mean a
thing, it doesn’t hold water. ‘ Her brows
creased. ‘ By all standard, I think you’re
qualified to be a presidential candidate. From
the day I met you, something told me you
might be the savior and deliverer Nigerians
have been longing and praying for.’ She smiled.
‘I have always prayed for my country, for the
well being of her but you made my prayers
became focused and direct. Lord let him be
your vessel of honor, let me be the one you
will use to bring smiles on our faces, the very
one you will use to draw those who have
strayed due to what they are passing through
back to You.’
He listened raptly.
‘I love Nigeria with everything in me and every
time I hear news that suggest we are going
down, I’m broken. ‘ Tears formed in her eyes.
‘I know how many people would have willingly
given so much for me to stay back in
Hollywood. The hospital reviewed my contract
and wanted to almost double my pay when I
wrote that I was leaving. ‘ She paused
momentarily.
She paused momentarily. ‘I knew I will never
be fulfilled with the knowledge that the
country Where am giving my best is near
perfection and mine is …’ Hester shook her
head. ‘no where at all. That became the bond
between Victoria and I, choosing to suffer for
a while for our country to be better. ‘ She
paused momentarily. ‘There have been good
and bad leaders. Some actually had good and
positive intentions but lost it not willingly.
Considering this nation of ours alongside the
top position, there are lots of distraction,
corruption, challenges, responsibility, idols
and so on. Physical and mental abilities can’t
solve them all. You need something more …
something more than everything you will face.
You need the power that every gods, every
human, everything trembles before, a power
they all acknowledge.
‘Dear you need the Invincible ,the possessor of
the power that conquers all.’ She was
emphatic. ‘Let him saturate you, let him fill
your body, spirit and soul. Let him take charge
of your every abilities. ‘
Ethel exhaled and closed his eyes briefly.
‘Let’s share what the Holy book says in the
Proverbs eight. ‘ She used her phone Bible.
‘The fear of the Lord is to hate evil :pride and
arrogancy, and the evil way and the froward
mouth, do I hate. counsel is mine, and sound
wisdom! I am understanding! I have strength.
By me Kings reign and princes decree justice.
By me, princes rule, and nobles, even all the
judges of the earth.
I love them that love me and those that seek
me early shall find me.
Riches and honor are with me; yea, durable
riches and righteousness.
My fruit is better than gold, yea, than fine
gold; and my revenue than choice silver.
I lead in the way of righteousness, in the midst
of the path of judgment.
That I may cause those that love me to inherit
substance; and I will fill their treasures.
The Lord possessed me in the beginning of his
way, before his works of old.’
She took his hands in hers. ‘Let him possess
you in the beginning of your way. Seek him
early, see He can help with everything only if
you ask him.’ Hester stood. ‘Ask him now.’
He held her back.’ Let’s ask him together. ‘ He
eyes had become glassy with tears.
Hester got down on her knees.
++++
****
‘… I don’t hear you Oladimeji. I can’t continue
to hear the tales of your obsession and
madness. I don’t understand Why you chose to
exist in a reality that only happens in your
head! I am not married to you by any
standard. Please I beg of you in whatever you
believe in most, stop pestering me!’
‘Hester you are mine, nothing you …’
Hester tossed the phone to another sofa in the
balcony and started sobbing.
He had been behind all along and had listened
to her end of the conversation. He picked the
phone and walked away.
‘Hester …Hester hello? You had better not
hang up on me! You know what I can do to you
…you wouldn’t dare. Hello, are you there …?
‘What can you do Oladimeji, what do you
intend doing Mr Don’t Dare Me? ‘
‘Who am I speaking with!’
‘Take a wild guess Oladimeji. ‘ Ethel beamed.
‘Why did you collect the phone from her? ‘
‘I see no reason Why you should sweat
Oladimeji. It’s about time we both have a one
on one talk.’
‘I don’t have anything to say to you Ethelbert,
give the phone back to my Sweetheart. Give
the phone back to her now! ‘
‘Take it easy colleague, we can’t exchange
anything that can draw blood via the phone. ‘
‘I wonder who has been feeding you with
rubbish! I am not afraid of you Ethelbert! I do
have things to trash out with you. Hester
shouldn’t be under your roof, she is mine, my
property, she belongs to me! You had better
not touch me ,you had better not get
physically attached to her! ‘
‘Oh you’re still at her that?’ He chuckled. ‘I’ll
advise you come over and learn far more than
that. ‘
‘I am not joking Ethelbert! You had better not
fool around with me, it’s deadly …very deadly.

He chuckled. ‘Hester does not belong to you.
She made that fact clear before the world that
you’re not worthy of her. I am wondering
Adeniyi, when last were you examined by a
psychiatrist because you have lot of mental
issues that needed to be brought under control
before you need ropes. I can still send you that
tape. ‘
‘Shut up Ethelbert !Shut up! Just keep quiet! ‘
‘Sometimes I can’t help but be so sorry for
you. How can you be a president when you
can’t respect the simple request of a lady?
How will you handle the request of the
Nigerian population? Listen …’
‘Don’t lecture me you jerk! We will see the
greatest when the time comes. Goodies like
you are good for nothing than to be munched.
‘I don’t waste my block heads like you.’
‘Are you crazy? Do you know who you’re
calling block head? ‘
Ethel laughed heartily knowing he had hit a
soft spot. ‘Hi baby baby, heard daddy has been
treating you good. He took you to the
amusement park the other day, were you able
to count the number of swings, I guess not. I
hope you didn’t poopoo on your body again.
‘He said with a voice laced with mockery and
amusement.
‘I’ll never forget who you are baby president. ‘
Ethel burst into laughter.
‘I don’t have time for …’
‘As a matter of fact Adeniyi, for your own
good, stay away from Hester because before
you lay a finger on her from now henceforth,
you will have me to contend with. Do I make
myself clear! ‘ His voice roared like that of a
soldier. Hester would have been startled if she
was close.
‘You can’t… ‘
Ethel ended the call and head for the sitting
room.
‘Oladimeji is taking advantage of your
emotions. He can only do that via calling. You
have to change your sim. ‘
Hester lifted her head and wipe her tears. She
shook her head.
‘I can get you another. ‘
‘No Ethel, the sim is inbuilt, all of friends near
and far can only contact via that. That phone
is multifunctional and has saved my life a
number of times . It is the last gift I received
from Victoria and I can’t part ways with it
because of that Oladimeji. ‘
Ethel looked down at the phone. ‘I understand.
There will be another way. ‘
++++
****
Hester exhaled and walked out to the balcony.
Ethel followed her and stood in front of her.
‘Oladimeji is a chameleon, I don’t believe he
just changed like that. ‘
‘I know Ethel.’ She looked up at him.’I’ll will
get ready for whatever might come up.’
‘Hester I am coming with you.’ He held her
gaze.
‘Ethelbert. ‘ Her voice had a plea, ‘we don’t
have to keep arguing about this. I don’t want
you to get involved. ‘
‘I’m afraid Hester, I will be involved come
Wednesday. ‘ He looked away from her to the
view of the spring out of the balcony.
‘I wish I could convince you otherwise but I
see your mind is made.’ Hester shrugged and
took his hand. ‘Let’s go eat lunch.’
++++
***
WEDNESDAY,
Hester took a bird view of what appears to be
a ground floor parking space . ‘This building
appears to be empty but it suit all description.

‘Let’s check up, if we get same there, we’ll
have to leave immediately. ‘ He took in the
environment before heading up the stairs.
They had been no sight of any vehicle as they
approached the building.
They had parked their car a couple of street
away and came via foot.
They got to the top of the two storey building.
They entered the first room, it was large and
empty like a warehouse.
Hester entered first and looked out of the only
window and inspect the environment.
Ethel was close when the iron door that served
as their entrance began closing as if on cue .
His gymnastics came to play as he swiftly
somersaulted twice. He fell short of calculation
and thinking because of the little space left for
the door to close. Without thinking, he placed
his right arm between as a wedge.
As the door pulled, the pain hit him, he
gnashed his teeth and groaned resisting.
She turned around on a heel and was shocked
at the sight before her. She ran to the door
and put her hands at the space between and
pulled with all her might.
He didn’t remove his arm.
‘Remove your arm, damn it! ‘ She screamed.
He removed his arm and fell. He held his arm
as the burning pain raked through his entire
being from the arm. He gnashed his teeth.
She removed her arms and the door slammed
shut.
‘Oh God! ‘ He exclaimed.
‘What in the world is wrong with you Ethelbert!
What is wrong with you!’ Her eyes shone in her
exasperation coupled with the fact that she felt
like beating with both fists until until she was
exhausted.
‘I was trying …to prevent the door from
closing.
‘From closing? ‘ She nearly shrieked. ‘If you
can’t feel the weight of the door, can’t you feel
it? ‘
He looked at her a bit taken aback by her
outburst, ‘That is the only way we can leave
here.’
Her chest rose and fell. ‘Says who? ‘
‘I just had to do it. Now we are trapped by
Oladimeji. ‘
‘Don’t ever do it again! Don’t ever sacrifice Any
part of your body like that irrationally!
‘Why are you sounding like I did it because of
you. ‘ He sat and tried massaging his arm.
‘You did it because of me, you did it because
am the major one at stake. Oladimeji knows
better than to do anything silly to you. You
what? ‘ She paused momentarily, ‘That’s Why
am angry, It is not worth it! I don’t worth it
because I don’t appreciate it and please don’t
do it again. ‘
He opened his mouth to protest but couldn’t.
This was a version of her, he had never seen.
She took three steps forward and took deep
breaths. ‘Let me see your arm.’ She stoop.
‘No Hester. ‘ He stood. ‘I’m… I’m fine.
She stood and looked at him with raised brows
baffled at his response when his facial
expression and the way he held his arm said
otherwise.
‘Really am okay. ‘ He managed a smile.
She said nothing more as she walked back to
the large window and pointed. ‘This part has
no fence.’
He stood beside her.’ I have an idea, we will
climb over the window and escape through
that bush.’
She nodded as she had already thought of that.
‘Jump? ‘ He turned to her suddenly. ‘Hester
you don’t have to be afraid. I’m well aware of
the height but you’ve to jump. I’ll jump first
after which you, so I cushion you.’
‘Hmmmm …’ She could have smiled but she
maintained a calm face as said ‘okay. ‘
He climbed over the window and helped
through it so they could Stand at the little
platform it provided.
He jumped and rolled over over at landing. He
stood, wince and swing his inflamed arm
before beckoning to her with both legs apart.
She jumped and calculated somersaults, she
landed on her feet.
‘Whooah! ‘ He did not hide his shock at her
precision. ‘Hester how in the world …’
She pulled his okay arm. ‘Let’s get out of here
before they come after us.’ She glanced back
and saw a head peering at the window. ‘Ethel
we have to run.’
A gun shot rented the air.
They took to their heels.
‘Let me have the Jeep keys. ‘ She said in
between breaths.
Feeling the hotness of his arm and the
shakiness, he couldn’t object as he granted her
request.
FEW MINUTES LATER,
Sweating and panting, they got into the Jeep.
Hester buckled her seat belt and turned on the
ignition.
Ethel sat back and closed his eyes
She set the Jeep in motion. She glanced at him
with a knowledge of the possible damage and
pain he was going through. She was aware he
was trying hard to be brave.
‘Dearie am sorry about your arm but you have
to strap your seat belt. We have to race now
because we won’t be allowed time go without a
chase.’
‘That good for nothing …’ He sat up and jerked
his head back.
‘Strap your seat belt dear.’ She changed gears
waiting for him to be safe before executing her
plan.
He obeyed. ‘Hester are you sure you can …?’
‘Can you keep quiet for me dearie. ‘ She
interrupted calmly. ‘Four eyes are better than
two, you can watch the road with me. ‘She
took a turn. ‘Better still, say -go Hester! Go
Hester do your thing.
Ethel flashed her a smile displaying his perfect
dentition. How could anymore be so calm in
such a situation.
++
**
She knew one of the cars was vehicle distance
away, two were five cars away and was nine
vehicles distant .
She looked at the traffic light as it became red
and like a bolt from the blue an idea occurred
to her.
Who are you?
Hester Douglas Tobechukwu.
Who is beside you?
Ethelbert Franklin Onyemakazie.
You mean you two are …?'[i][/i]
Her thought trailed off as she left the one lane
drive swiftly and cautiously, thankfully she had
left a considerable space in front of her.
She sped up.
‘Hester, what are you …?’
‘Hold your breathe.’
At the round about, she accelerated and it
generated blurring dust . Before the road users
could digest the sight before them.
She had joined the moving lane and swerved
into a short cut.
‘I didn’t know a road was here.’ Ethel looked
out through the windscreen.
‘Bless Wale heart for giving me that book on
Nigeria roads and special thanks to the writer.

‘Mtcheew! They can’t follow us.’ He almost
sang
Hester smiled sweetly. ‘You can take a nap
now.’
Ethel sat back and exhaled. He closed his eyes
with a smile on his lips.
+++++

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XO

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