This is a work of fiction. Names, characters, business, places, events and incidents are either the products of the writer’s imagination or used in a fictitious manner. Any resemblance as to actual persons, living or dead, or events is purely coincidental. This story is an intellectual property which belongs to Precious Pen. Therefore, extraction, copying and pasting any part of this work either by publishing or any other means including social media without prior consent expressly given by Precious Pen is strictly PROHIBITED and violation of same is ACTIONABLE.
Sit Back, Relax and Enjoy.
The atmosphere was filled with the humming of Udoka as she failed to observe the warm strokes of the sun that elated her ebony skin as her broom caressed the sand in her compound.
“Ah-ah mama! ” she exclaimed as she briskly walked towards a veined granite-grey woman who was about to take her food from the mud-like kitchen.
“Udoka, I am hungry. Is it wrong for me to take food from the kitchen? ” the gruffly toned voice asked.
“Mama, I will give you food when I am ready, i am still cleaning the house. So you had better wait” she replied as she snatched the wooden spoon and plate from her.
“Udoka, why do you treat me with so much disgust? Why? ” she asked.
Udoka giggled and answered ” I am glad you know that I am disgusted by just looking at you and I’ m tired of you in this house. Until I feel like giving you food, do not step into my kitchen.”
The old woman sighed and floundered towards her room.
Nightfall had come. The chirping sounds of crickets filled the night.
Ibe sat on the bench and stretched his thick hairy limbs to enjoy the cool breeze that waved at his firm face.
“My son” said the old woman.
“Mama. You’re here” he replied.
Her legs reached for the bench as she sat down. “How was your day my son?” she asked.
“It was fine mama. The crops are growing fast” he answered.
She gave a tender smile and said ” There is something I wish to discuss with you.”
“What is it mama? I have been wanting to ask you. Your face seems so troubled.” He replied.
She coughed ” It’s about Udoka. The way she treats me is not fair. Each time you leave the house, she acts so differently.”
“Mama, I find it hard to comprehend. My wife loves you very much and I see the way she treats you with so much love. I believe with time, both of you will get along pretty fine and you know she’s going through some set backs” he replied.
She tried to persuade her son into believing her but ended in futility. She sighed and walked into the night.
Days and nights passed, the drift between Udoka and her mother-in-law grew colder.
“Mama has complained severally to me how you treat her. What is it? What is happening? ” asked Ibe whose chest began to pant heavily.
“I don’t know what you are saying. I love your mother but she doesn’t feel same for me. You see the way I treat her with so much care. I am so surprised you are asking such a question.” Udoka replied as tears began to roll from her eyes.
Moved by the sight of her tears, he moves towards her and wipes her tears away.
“I am sorry. I know how much you’ve been through since misfortune befell us” he said.
Udoka briskly approached her mother in law who was sitting, reminiscing about life.
“You this old hag. You think you can cause trouble between my husband and I? You think your pitiful look and talk will make him change his love into hatred for me? You should be grateful I haven’t talked my husband into sending you out of this house” said Udoka as her face curled into fire.
“Listen to yourself, Udoka. Aren’t you ashamed that I reported you to your husband? When he is at home you act like an angel but the moment he leaves you become a demon that is set loose to devour a soul. Have you ever wondered why you still haven’t gotten a child? ” replied her mother-in-law.
Her brownish eyes turned into rubies set ablaze ” How dare you? You this old witch. You are the cause of all my miscarriages. Ever since you stepped your feet into this house, I haven’t been able to birth a child.” Udoka said as she briskly walked to the backyard, carried a bucket of water and emptied its entire content on her mother-in-law.
“Ha! ” her mother-in-law exclaimed.
“Udoka, you have brought me too much grief. This is too much” she continued as tears began to flow and she walked into her room mournfully.
“Nonsense. I knew it. You witch.” she screamed as she began to breath heavily.
The presence of Udoka is welcomed by Ifesinachi, a slim, ebony-skinned woman who gives Udoka a warm embrace.
“My friend, how are you? ” asked Ifesinachi.
” All is not well at all” answered Udoka.”
as her tender brows began to sail in weariness.
“What is the matter? “Ifesinachi asked.
“It’s my mother-in-law. I get irritated by the mere sight of her. I can’t stand her presence and I have a strong feeling she is behind my constant miscarriages” she answered as she swings her limbs with so much tension.
“You need to calm down. Your Mother-in-law doesn’t look like a bad woman. I have witnessed how she has repeatedly consoled and encouraged you during your challenges. She cares about you. Maybe you should open up a bit and show love to her.” she replied.
Udoka chuckled ” Love her kwa? That woman must leave the house otherwise there won’t be peace. ”
” So how do you intend to push her out of the house when your husband hasn’t done so? She asked.
“I will find a way to make sure he sends her away” she answered.
“Udoka, take it easy. This woman hasn’t done anything. You shouldn’t allow your hatred towards her make you commit a mistake you would live to regret. She is already old. Be patient. Calm down and let love reign” Ifesinachi added.
” Anyway, thank you for your advice. I have heard you” said Udoka as she takes her leave after they bid themselves good bye.
Udoka kept reminiscing on the discussion as she walks along the pathway to her house.
“I have to do something. I can’t stay in that house with that old witch. Nobody seems to believe me that she is responsible for all my miscarriages and inability to conceive again.
The croaking noise of frogs punctured the silence of the night as Udoka’s tossing eyes couldn’t embrace the warm closure of sleep.
“What is it my wife? Ibe asked.
” My husband, I am troubled. This may sound ridiculous but have you not noticed that since your mother’s inception to this house, I have had three miscarriages and I haven’t been able to conceive since the last one. ” she answered.
“I noticed it but that is not enough reason to say my mother is responsible. She is a woman who did all she could to see me become the man I am now. She has sacrificed so much for me. She is a good woman.” he said.
“My husband, I know all these things but one can’t be so sure. I know she is your beloved mother but I think we should find another place for her to live in. I can’t live with her anymore.” she replied bitterly.
“Udoka! I can never do that. Not my mother. Let’s end this discussion at once!” he said as he layed down and turned his back against her.
Udoka is entrapped by the sight of her mother-in-law who unsheathe’s the melon seeds awaiting breaking.
“Mama, you don’t need to help me to break them. I can take care of it.” Udoka hissed.
She responded ” Udoka my daughter, there is no much time left for me in this world. What exactly have I done to deserve all this treatment?
” You think you can fool everybody. My instincts are never wrong. You are not a good woman. You are evil. No matter what it takes, I will ensure you leave this house. You may have bewitched my husband but you can’t bewitch me.” She replied as she snatched the tray of melon from her.
“Udoka, I regret the day I allowed my son to marry you. You barren woman. You dare blame me for your misfortune? You will remain barren at this rate.” she said in the heat of pains.
“You witch!” exclaimed Udoka.
A furious fisticuff between Udoka and her mother in law ensued thereafter. Udoka pushed her in the heat of anger. Her mother-in-law’s head gave a heavy nod to the ground and she began to bleed.
” No!!! Mama!!! Mama!!! Mama!!! What have I done? Udoka panicked as the gravity of what she did began to dawn on her.
To be continued…