Ola was good company. She avoided discussing Edu and my marriage. She infused hope in people effortlessly. It was her stock in trade. Watching her answer her emails and return calls in between our gist reminded me that I needed a job. I did not linger on that thought for long. It was not the time nor place. Ola’s job afforded her the freedom to work anywhere and at anytime. She worked freelance as an Advertising agent. Maybe, I will ask her to hook me up on a job later. For the moment, I enjoyed myself.
“Babe, all this makeup na to just go drop me abi?”, I asked her as she touched up her face in the mirror. Her face beamed as she smiled.
“One can never be too careful, Nne” she said as he ran her hand through her hair. With a dab of perfume here and there, she grabbed her car keys and stood up.
“Ready to roll”, she said as we walked out of her bedroom. We heard the commotion as we stepped out. The hum of the Air conditioner in her room and the closed-door had shut the noise away.
“What’s that noise?”, we asked in unison. It increased as we opened the door leading to her balcony. We couldn’t wait to go downstairs to see what was happening. The noise was coming from the compound opposite hers.
The compound was filled with spectators. The noise must have attracted them too. Most of them formed a circle round someone. We couldn’t make out if it was male or female. A handful of others gathered beside three women. Two of them were holding a woman by her hands. She was struggling to free herself but the women holding her on both sides held on tight. One could see that she was beautiful, though her hair was disheveled and her shirt was unbuttoned revealing the inner cotton top she was wearing.Her jeans trouser was dirty. She was barefooted. Her Ghana-weaving was tied in a piggy style. I fixed my eyes on her face and couldn’t look away immediately. Her mascara was running. She must have been crying. Her lips kept moving. I couldn’t see it well from the distance but her face had the look. The distant look of a mad woman. The different voices of people talking at once came back to me. Ola was pointing and saying something too. I followed her finger and saw what she was saying. The person sitting on the floor was naked. She was wearing a bra but it was not saving much to anyone’s imagination. Someone pulled her up and nudged her towards the gate. Another hand hit her almost bare bottom. Her G-String was like the ones most of the dancers on Timaya’s songs wore. She tried to hit back at the hand but the crowd was much.
“Ashawo, Husband Snatcher, Onye ori, Thief, Animal’, trailed her as a man dragged her by the hand. Someone brought a shirt to cover her. Another person snatched it away. “She doesn’t deserve it” voices from the crowd shouted. “Wetin she wan hide, shameless idiot”, an elderly woman said from the sides.When she got nearer, the tall woman made a go at her but the women holding her were prepared for that and held her back. She shook her head in anguish as the women led her inside. We made our way downstairs to find out what caused the fight.
The crowd had cleared a little by the time we got downstairs. Ola’s teenage cousin was outside. She ran to us as we came outside.
“Aunty Ola, you missed the fight. Tega’s mummy is a strong woman o. You should have seen how she dragged that girl by her hair and pulled her to the ground”. She was talking excitedly.
“What caused the fight?, I interjected.
“you know that girl that lives in that room downstairs? She was caught with papa Tega in her room. Mama Tega was going home and saw her husband’s car in front of the building. She stopped and entered the compound. She looked around the compound but did not know where her husband entered. She was almost out of the gate when she heard her husband’s voice. She went back and waited patiently by the door. She heard their noises and stayed there. When the girl opened the door some minutes later, she jumped on her. The girl had no time to run for her life. Papa Tega ran out when he saw his wife. It was the noise that brought people out”.
“Haba Abigail, were you there? See as the story dey sweet for your mouth”, her aunty Ola said.
‘Aunty, it is true o. Ask anybody”
“Oh, I have heard. Please go in and look up. I have my key”
As we drove off, I couldn’t shake my mind off the scene we had witnessed. Now, I know what I saw on the woman’s face. Rage, pure rage.
“That woman get mind shaa. Why did she torture herself by standing at that door? She should have knocked immediately or walked away”, Ola said.
“My thoughts too. Maybe she needed proof. The man could have been denying the accusations before”,
“But that papa Tega sef, the lady on your street! Why did he not go elsewhere?”
“I blame the girl. She should not have accepted to have an affair with him knowing his wife was nearby”
Ola scoffed. “Girls of nowadays no get shame again o. She got what she deserved. We don see wetin she dey hide”. We laughed as we remembered girl’s naked body .
“Wonders shall never end”, I sighed as I rested my head on the car seat. It was going to be a long drive home, thanks to the Sapele road traffic.