The third room in the mansion after the kids’ room was made available. I intended leaving for class, but decided staying back.
“Are you sure missing class today is okay?” Amos asked me.
I nodded, and left for our bedroom upstairs, going in, only to find Gabrielle already there.
“My, you really are one Christian,” she had my bible in her hand.
“What are you doing here?”
“This is my room from now on.”
I wanted to smother her with a pillow. “Amos!” I called to my husband, and he was there in no time.
“Ooh, how cute.” Gabrielle rolled her eyes at us, getting up. “Babe, you’ve really lost your touch, I must say. A Christian?” she threw my bible back on the bed.
“How dare you…?”
Amos held me back. He made me face him, and looked into my eyes. “Hon, calm down,”
“I’ll talk to her,” he said, and led me outside.
I stood out the door, waiting patiently for them to finish. Amos hadn’t known I stayed and listened. He and Gabrielle ranted on, slowly coming to a stop: “Fine! Two days in a week. But a Christian?” it seemed Gabrielle wasn’t one.
“Hon?” I shifted from the door, as it pulled open. “Have you been standing here?”
I said no word but shrugged.
“Guess you heard everything then?”
“Amos, I don’t like that she’s here. She could ruin our lives.”
A frown begot his face. “Just be calm. I’ll try and convince her to go back to London…”
I asked, not letting him finish. “W-well, what if she takes the kids along? I love Jenna and Henry and have always treated them as mine.”
“She won’t take them from you, Habibat. No one’s taking them, I promise.” He came closer, and hugged me. “Now you have to go to class. Please.”
I pulled partly away. “I’m just not feeling like. Feel sick.” I lied.
Gabrielle came out, wearing no smile—she kept her face straight, aimed for the stairs, and walked down it, with shoulders raised.
“Can this family ever be peaceful?” I saw our family as one that was never going to be peaceful. Especially with the devil in our house.
Amos’ hands were on me all this time. He rubbed my shoulders and brought his hands down to caress my elbows. “Don’t worry. Everything’s going to be alright.” He said.
I hoped and prayed it was going to be, agreeing to the fact that Gabrielle was part of the family.
“So, kids… you can call me ‘Mommy‘. Or ‘Mama’. Whichever.” I heard Gabrielle as I approached the parlor. She was holding my kids, and the way she caressed their hands made me jealous.
“What are you doing?” I asked, infuriated.
“Talking to my stepsons?”
My anger got a bit of me. “Take your hands off them, will you?!”
She clasped them tighter, looking up at me with a smirk. “Have you tried looking at yourself in the mirror?” she asked. [b]“You… look… hideous!” [/b]
I tried to hold myself but went slapping her. “You’re the hideous one here!” I spat.
“Mommy!” Ayo and Kowe shouted at the top of their voices, as Amos rushed down the stairs.
“Baby, you see what your wife’s done,” Gabrielle played the victim, getting to her feet. She nursed the pain inflicted by the slap, which I doubted hurt so much, as Amos made toward us and, in no time got in front of me.
“You should ask your stupid wife, Amos,” I said, “she pushed me.”
Gabrielle countered. “She’s lying, Ami,” she began sobbing. “Baby, you know she’s lying, right?” crocodile tears, followed by a glare, got my eyes widened, as angry groans raced the air.
“Can you just stop?”
Gabrielle gaped. “But, baby…?”
I wore a grin. “Babe, she was the one who pushed me when I tried sending Ayo on an errand,” I said, not caring if I’d told a lie.
“But, mommy—” the kids made to speak.
“Shush!” I hushed, then said. “I almost fell on the glass table, if not Kowe caught me.”
Kowe stood up. “Daddy, it’s not true.” He said to my surprise, then moved to Amos’s side. “Daddy, it was Mommy that slapped Aunty when she did not do anything… Mommy, please stop lying.”
All eyes were on me. Amos scowled and looked with bulging eyes.
“Babe, can’t you see she’s trying to ruin us?” I quickly diverted.
“Who’s trying to ruin who here?”
I could see Gabrielle grinning. Amos scolded me, as he ordered the kids to go to their room. “Kowe, Ayo… go to your room!”
They left. Gabrielle and I were left to stand. “Babe—” I stopped on seeing Amos’s face.
“I’ll only let this pass because of your condition.” Amos said, as I sat on the sofa.
The day after that was a Sunday. . .And the kids and I prepared to go to church.
“Oh, please don’t tell me you’ve been taking my peas to church—” Gabrielle’s voice made me stop.
“Oh, don’t fret, mother,” Jenna said in a gentle tone. “ ‘The Lord is all we need’… says our Sunday school teacher. We’ve learned quite a lot.”
Gabrielle frowned the more. “I can’t believe you’ve been taking my kids to where they’ve been fed with more lies—”
I ignored, tying Henry’s shoes.
“Does Amos know?” she asked.
“You’re the one sleeping in his room. Go ask.” I said, not giving her an eye, getting up to go prepare.
“The kids are going nowhere—”
I felt Gabrielle’s hand on mine.
“I said they’re going nowhere,” she repeated. “I can’t have you taking them to that awful place, where nothing but filthy bags of buns lie and dwell with empty heads.”
I lost it at that instant. “You know, you can do as you please and I won’t talk… but don’t you dare insult the church. My people. Or else…”
“Or else what?!”
“Gabrielle!” Amos called from the stairs, and we pulled away. Gabrielle wore an ‘innocent’ look and played the victim again.
“Don’t you dare cause problems this morning!” I gripped her arm fiercely.
“Ouch, my arm. My right arm.” She cried in falsely pain. “Baby… ouch. Ouch… ouch.”
I quickly removed my hand, scared I was hurting her.
“Gabrielle, what is it?”
Sunday morning… another problem, I thought with a frustrated sigh. “Babe, she’s faking it,” I spoke out of anger. “Mo bura, o jẹ.”… I swear, she is.
Amos sighed. “Is there ever a day you two won’t quarrel?”
Gabrielle replied, “You’re the one letting her take my kids. Our babies. To that awful place…”
I cut in. “The church is no awful place, Gabrielle. Quit talking now or I’ll rain curses on…”
Amos thundered. “Enough!”
[i]We both stopped.
Your days are numbered in this house, Gabrielle, I thought, fed up with the ‘whole’ drama. Asking Jenna to take the kids to the car, I turned to Gabrielle, and got ready for whatever thing she had in wait.
“Jenna, come back!”
“No, Jenna, go!” I said, urging Jenna on.
“I said Jenna come back! Amos, now you warn your wife or I’ll shred her to dust.”
Amos gave a sigh and walked to me. “Hon, you have to take it easy…”
“Take it easy… after yelling at me?!” I spoke in anger.
“Jenna, I said take the kids to the car. We’re going to church!” I barked furiously.
“Don’t ‘hon’ me. You don’t act like a man at all.” I said to Amos, not giving a thought.
“You see what I’ve been telling you? Your wife’s possessed.” Gabrielle spoke.
“Your condition… remember?” Amos reminded.
“Amos, what… is…. Wrong with you? You don’t act like yourself!”
Gabrielle added with a grin. “That’s because he’s not himself anymore,”
I arched my brows in confusion. “Gabrielle, what did you do?”
“What did you do?”
Gabrielle cackled like a demoness, and twirled around Amos. “Let’s just say the trillions of hot sex we had rebooted his brain.”
My lips quivered, and my throat went dry. Gabrielle and Amos…?I was heartbroken to know Gabrielle and my husband had sex in our bedroom.
I was lost for words, having no idea what to say. Then—“You husband snatcher! How dare you sleep with my husband!” I roared madly, making towards her.
“Hahaha. Take it all out on me, you frustrated worm. The deed’s already done. I’m the first wife and there’s nothing you can do!”
I said, crying. “Amos, how dare you do this to me? I’m your wife!”
Amos said no word but turned to leave, then I gripped him. “Take your hands off me, woman! “He barked, showing he wasn’t himself.
“Amos?” I gasped with mouth wide open.
“Baby, tell them that they can’t go to church. Go on. Tell them.” Gabrielle led him on.
“I’m sorry, Habibat,” He said, “but no more church on Sundays. And that’s final.”
My heart sunk.