By Marymartin Okoabu:
Aunt Efua’s call came 7:00pm when I was in my room trying to keep my battling mind at rest. I stood and went to a place I could have privacy.
“Benny where did you go? I have been waiting for you,” she sounded concerned and I swallowed my guilt and told her what happened with her friend, leaving the part of the money.
There was silence for a while and I tried to read meaning to it, but all I heard was her soft breathing and more silence. Finally she said.
“I can’t believe this, you mean Ekaete would do this?”
So that was her name, I thought she would have a more sweet name. “Aunt Efua, it was bad o, she almost raped me sef.”
“My God, I’m really sorry my dear, I shouldn’t have left you with a total stranger in the house.”
“It’s okay aunt Efua,” I felt myself relax a little knowing aunt Efua was innocent of everything.
“I will warn her seriously not to try that on you again. Just come to the house let’s talk, you still have tomorrow and Sunday, you can’t just leave me all by myself.”
That sent panic through me. Somehow she had managed to raise doubts again, and they were flying at every corner of my mind. Why would she ask me to come back to the house? Well if I trusted her, then I can’t run away from her house. But, my breathing became laboured and I tried to calm down. This did not sit well with me. The request was innocent but aunt Efua no longer feel innocent to me.
“Are you there Benny?”
“Yes, I can’t…”
“You can come tomorrow not this night, it’s quite late already.”
“Actually aunt Efua.”
I stopped remembering how nice she had been to me. She couldn’t possibly have been pretending since. “I will try and come on Sunday,” I said the exact opposite of what I had planned to say.
“Not try dear, make sure you come. Maybe we can try transcorp hotel so you get to try those continental dishes we have talked about.”
Was that supposed to convince me? “Okay aunt,”
We ended the conversation but my doubts still hung like a cloud over my head. By Sunday, after Church service, I had finally succeeded in convincing myself that aunt Efua was really a nice person and was not like her friend Ekaete. Maybe it had to do with all the gifts of cash and kinds I have been getting from her, but I didn’t allow myself to dwell on those thoughts. I am definitely not greedy. I just like giving people the benefit of the doubt. If something managed to happen, I could scream, the neighbors would be around, today is Sunday.
I arrived her house and she hugged me warmly. I had settled on the couch when Ekaete her friend magically appeared from the bedroom into the parlour. To say I was surprised was an understatement. I was shocked to my bones, down to my nerves, that I was completely paralysed. I managed to stand but definitely it was not me that could have propelled myself up, it was a spell, yes the spell that had made aunt Efua’s friend appear from nowhere.
“Hey baby,” she smiled mischievously. I could see it, the glint in her eyes, it shown brightly and my mind somehow worked, telling me to scream. But my larynx refused to work, the muscles definitely too was affected.
She came towards me and caressed my breasts. And that suddenly brought me back, destroying the effect of the spell on me. I moved back and landed on the chair. Oh mehn! I turned to aunt Efua, but she seemed to be smiling too. Ah Benny! Your own don done. I suddenly stood up with my purse in hand and tried to push my way through Ekaete, but today she was strong and not horny. What should I do? Should I try to seduce her? But I haven’t learnt the arts of seduction. I turned to aunt Efua again, pleading with my eyes.
“Benny you no try, na me you wan dupe?” Ekaete looked at me deeply.
My mind controlled me again, I didn’t know whose voice was that, but it definitely was a wicked one. It told me not to be quiet and speak for myself since aunt Efua was not on my side. “See Ekaete I did not dupe you, I no beg you for your money.”
A slap suddenly landed on my face and I saw myself back on the chair. “Look at this babe o, na Calabar girls you wan try? Who you dey call Ekaete?”
“Babe calm down,” I manged to hear aunt Efua’s voice, amidst the confusion in my head.
“Just transfer the money back,” aunt Efua continued, talking to me.
“And you go give me wetin I want, we are going to that room after you transfer my money.”
Eh!! I hear that one wella. I stood up again and cleared my head by shaking it. “I will give you your money, but I’m not following you to the room,” I manged to make my voice strong.
“My dear you will do what I want. Next time you go look well before before you try nonsense for this Calabar.
I began thinking fast. Trying to be strong head will earn me a beating, and I will still transfer the money. But this girl will not touch me. Maybe I should beg. Ah no! I need to leave with some of my pride. A thought then came to me, ah! You no go try Benin girl too na.
And then I was falling on the ground in a fainting spree. Omo see panicking!!