I resumed work the next day with that feeling you get when you just had a cool bath after a sunny day. My meeting with Ada the previous day was like a double-edged sword. It was healing to Ada on one hand, while on the other hand, a stark revelation of the high moral decadence prevalent amongst the youths in my church.
I made a resolution after that meeting to befriend as many youths in my church as possible. That way, they can confide on me on issues which they would probably be afraid to tell their parents.
‘Dabira, guess who is coming to town this weekend?’ Adaora, buzzed into my ears the moment I returned to the staff-room after close of work.
‘Your prince charming of course,’ I teased her.
‘No,’ she shook her head vehemently, ‘one more try?’
‘Look, Adaora, I’m not in a guessing mood,’ I acknowledged as I gathered my lesson notes into my bag.
‘You won’t believe that my ex is finally coming home after seven years of fruitless toiling in America!’
‘Wow, that’s unbelievable! But who told you?’
‘Who else, if not his lousy baby sister on Instagram…’
Aunty Dabira!’ one of the students intruded.
‘Nkoli, what is it? I turned in the direction of the girl, ‘why are you intruding?’
‘I’m sorry, aunty Dabira,’ she felt remorse, ‘my mummy says she would call you…’
My heart sank, and with it caved in the rest of the details from the girl.
‘Aunty Dabira, you’re not listening to me.’ Nkoli shook my arm, ‘
‘Okay, yes, you said your mother would call me…go on, I’m listening,’ I urged her.
‘Has she called you?’ Nkoli continued with an anxious look.
‘No,’ I replied and turned towards Adaora who seemed clueless to what was going on.
‘I hope there is no problem, Nkoli?’ I returned my attention back to the girl.
‘I don’t know, it’s just that my mum behaves funny sometimes…’ she hesitated.
‘Bye aunty Dabira,’ she waved and turned to leave.
‘Come back here, Nkoli! what is the matter?’
‘Nothing…aunty Dabira, please I have to go. My driver is waiting for me.’
As I watched Nkoli dashed out of the staff-room, I felt like going after her but Adaora’s presence restrained me.
‘Dabira, what’s with this insecure expression on your face?’ Adaora, held my arms, ‘is it something I should know?’
I felt a pang of guilt before Adaora. She was more than a colleague to me. Ever since Bimbo and her family relocated to their personal home at Mowe, Adaora had become my confidante. Ironically, I had never mentioned my encounter with Chief Mbadiwe to her. Then I narrated my ordeal with Chief Mbadiwe; beginning from our meeting at the school open day. I told Adaora everything she ought to know about the Chief and his budding interest in me.
‘To cut the long story short, after that first meeting, I ran into him last week at the mall…’ I gazed at Adaora, who was keenly following my story.
‘Chief Mbadiwe held me passionately as though we are a couple and then…somebody he knew saw us and assumed I was his mistress…’
‘Are you his mistress? The expression on Adaora’s face had a blend of friendliness and severity.
‘I’m not, Adaora. You know I can’t date a married man.’
‘Dabira, without any iota of doubt, I believe you are saying the truth, but I don’t understand why are you behaving so jittery? If Chief Mbadiwe’s wife wants to call you, let her go ahead; calls are meant to be answered.
‘You’re saying all these because you’re not in my shoes,’ I muttered.
‘Grow up Dabira and stop acting like a baby!’ Adaora pulled me along as we both left the staff room.
Adaora’s encouraging words strengthened me. There is absolutely nothing to be worried about.
I had barely finished watching a soap opera when my phone rang.
It must be from Adaora I surmised as she still had some gist to tell me about her ex…but oh, it was not her number!
‘Hello, I picked the call, ‘good evening. Please who am I speaking to?’
‘My name is Nana,’ a Ghanaian voice replied, ‘I am Nkoli’s mother.’
My heart began to tick like the clock.
‘I saw your picture on my husband’s phone…’ Nana continued.
The ticking of my heart graduated into the sound of the talking drum. My God, what is Chief Mbadiwe’s wife up to?
‘Hello…are you there?’ the caller continued.
My lips remained sealed.
TO BE CONTINUED…