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Sunday, August 27, 2017

Two Brides And A Ring (9)



"So cute! Mummy, he looks just like brother," said Onyi, Ebuka's younger sister as she stood over her mother who was carrying the sleeping, new born baby. Earlier that day, Ebuka had brought his baby and the new mother home from the hospital where she had delivered three days before.
"He has brother’s nose and mouth," Onyi added.

"I hope he doesn't take after his father in stubbornness. Ebuka never listens to anyone," said his mother.

"What has Ebuka done again?" They both turned towards the stairs, watching as he came down to join them in the living room.

He sat down on the couch by his sister who was now holding the baby.

"You know what you've done, bringing your mistress into your matrimonial home," his mother grumbled, giving him a side eye.

Ebuka, whose eyes were fixed on the sleeping baby grinned.

 "Mum, don't start. Let's not quarrel on a happy day like this."

"I hear you. When is her mother coming?" she demanded. "She should be here to help her daughter with the baby- it's her first child so she won't know much about caring for a new born."

"We are expecting her tomorrow, " Ebuka disclosed.

"Mummy, I'll stay and help Aunty Ama with the baby," Onyi chipped in.

"What do you know about babies? And what about school?" asked her mother.

"Have you forgotten, Mummy?  We are on vacation till next month!"

Her mother shrugged.

"Do whatever you like! You never listen to me, anyway," she said then turned towards Ebuka."What about the naming ceremony? Are the arrangements going well?"

"Everything is almost ready, Mum. Comfort has gone to see the caterer about the food and drinks for the day," he said.

"Hmm. Do you know how lucky you're to have an understanding wife like Comfort who overlooks your shortcomings? What girl in this day and age will tolerate what you are doing?" she said truculently.

"Comfort loves me very much, that's why."

His mother gave him a sour look and wagged a finger at him. "You had better don't take advantage of that and treat her badly. And another thing, tell that Ama or whatever you call her to behave herself in this house. I'm just tolerating her presence here because of this beautiful child she's given us. If I hear she's giving Comfort a hard time, I'll come over and kick her out! Is that clear?"

"I've heard you, Mum," he said drily.

His mother stretched out her hands towards Onyi.

"You've carried him enough. Bring him to me," she ordered.

Onyi rose and handed the baby to his grandmother. Her face softened and smiling broadly, she cooed over the baby.

"Look at his round cheeks. And he has so much hair!" she said admiringly.

"Isn't he handsome, Mum? He looks like me!" said Ebuka, beaming proudly at his son.

"He's better looking than you!" his mother retorted.

"Ah, Mum! You used to say I was the cutest baby you ever saw!" he protested.

His mother scoffed at him. "That was then. Then you grew up and turned into a stubborn goat who doesn't listen to anybody!"

Onyi burst out laughing, making Ebuka turn and raise his hand in a mock threatening manner.

"Are you laughing at me?" he asked sharply.

His sister jumped up to stand by her mother as if for protection, her slim body still shaking with laughter...

Eight months later

Ama drove through the gate and parked in her spot under the grey coloured carport at the side of the large compound.

She alighted, then picked up the many shopping bags at the back seat and walked towards the front door of the house.

She had spent the day with her friend Rosie at the Mall at the city centre, where she had done some serious shopping, had lunch snd even watched s movie.

All these had put Ama in a good mood. She whistled softly to herself as she knocked loudly on the door.

"Welcome Madam," said Ene, the new maid they had recently employed. She took the bags from Ama as she stepped into the parlour, looking around as if for something.

"Where's Nonso? " she asked after her baby.

"He's upstairs with Madam."

"What?" Ama said. "Are you telling me you left my baby alone with her?"

""Ma, I was busy in the kitchen and..."

"How dare you!" Ama screamed at her, followed by a slap that made the maid stagger backwards. "Is this how you do your job? I left my baby with you to look after and you left him with someone else? It's like you're tired of working in this house. You'd better take your job serious or I'll have you fired!"

"And why will you do that?" Comfort, who was coming down the stairs with Nonso in her arms, queried.

Ama, on seeing her baby rushed towards her and snatched him away. Perhaps, it was the forceful way she did it for he began to cry and flail in her arms.

"Shush!! Don't cry my darling! Mummy's here now!" she said soothingly. After he had quietened down a bit, she turned to Comfort.

"When she doesn't do her job properly, she deserves to be sacked."

"Ene didn't do anything wrong, " Comfort said patiently. "She was cooking in the kitchen and I took care of the baby while she was busy. What's wrong in that?"

"Well, if you need a baby to care for so bad, then go have your own!"

"What?" said Comfort, a shocked expression on her face. "How dare you say that to me? Am I God who gives babies?"

"I don't know about that. All I want is for you not to touch my baby especially in my absence. What if something happens to him?" Ama said.

"What are you insinuating, Ama? That I could harm the baby? A child that I love like my own?"she said in a hurt tone of voice.

Ama looked warily at her for a moment. "Whatever," she said in a dismissive manner. Then, she turned and made for the stairs, crooning to her baby all the way.

"How's my sweet baby today? You miss me? Hmm? Smile for Mummy. My darling Nonso! Nonso baby, fine baby! Sweet boy..."

Comfort stood at the foot of the stairs watching her leave, an expression of pain and sorrow on her face.

 To be continued

   ***

 Preview of Next Episode

  ***
Ama stood with her hands on her hips, her eyes shooting sparks.

"Why are you always taking sides with her anytime we have issues?" she demanded.

" I'm not taking sides with anyone. I don't just like the way you treat her afterall she's done fou you, for us. It's not right," Ebuka said firmly. "You need to change your attitude, so we can have peace in this house."

"Alright, I've heard you."

He turned as if to leave the room and she held his hand to stop him.

"Are you just going to leave? I thought you were spending the night with me."

He gazed at her without speaking.

"It's been long since you visited me in my room. Is it that you no longer find me attractive?" she said. With her fingers, she slipped the straps of her nightie off her shoulders. It fell at her feet, leaving her naked except for her panties.

He stared transfixed at her body, at her rounded boobs that had grown fuller with nursing the baby.
He stretched his right hand and...



















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