Literature · Mystery · writing

The Footpath (4)

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*            *           *     

“Mother doesn’t like to be kept waiting!”
Wana called out arrogantly from outside.
“I’m on my way” Nneka shouted back as she got up to leave.
Sallie spoke again, her smiling face gone

  “One more thing Nneka… brace yourself up, the worst is yet to come…” then she turned and went further into the room.
*                *                *

   Nneka’s head was set in whirling motion as she walked out to join Wana, what was she to make out of Sallie’s words?
She prayed her mother would wake her up from this terrible nightmare but no such thing happened, she was in this for real.
“Hey, this way!” Wana called out at her, in her usual arrogant manner. She remembered Sallie’s words and decided to play it cool.
“If you can’t beat them, join them, learn their weaknesses, rebound and finish them off”
Nneka thought in her head, this was a survival tactics that circumstances had created. She had to trust her good instincts on this and act like she had given in.

As they walked through the hallway to the stairs, Wana spoke up. “Rule number one, never keep me waiting whenever I’m asked to fetch you or you’d regret it.”
“Oh no, sorry! I’m so scared and shaking!” Nneka replied in a dramatic mock tone.
Wana looked at her, shocked. How did she suddenly have her morale boosted?
Nneka just looked on with a smile on her face and continued walking like nothing happened
She was surprised herself, she was already developing a tough skin and good dramatic skills; she knew she’d be needing more of that to live through this phase and they walked on in silence.

At the foot of the step, a young girl was already waiting and as soon as she sighted them, she smiled and led Nneka towards another wing of the building “Come this way please”.
Nneka nodded and followed her.
They approached a door and the girl pushed a door open, Nneka recognized the room; the one mother said was going to be hers, this thought brought a fleeting smile on her face.
As they stepped into the room, the girl asked “How do you feel now? ”
A surprised Nneka opened her eyes widely, “you know I saw the doctor?”
The girl laughed, “Who doesn’t?” “You’re the chosen one…” 
Nneka wanted to ask her what she meant but she bite her lower lip and kept quiet instead. Looked like everyone knew why she was here except herself.
“You go in and take your bath, there’s a towel on the rail behind the bathroom door and clothes in wardrobe” the girl’s voice brought her back to the present.
“Thank you Empress…” Nneka dragged waiting to know her name.
“Martha” the girl replied, “When you’re done, use the intercom and speed dial number one. I’d be here to lead you to the dining room”
“Try not to waste time, mother should be at the dining hall in 20minutes” she concluded and walked out the door.

“Phew” Nneka sighed, this was the first quality time she was having alone and now she had to rush through it.
“I should have a thorough bath; wash myself off the filth I’ve experienced today”
Nneka thought to herself as she filled the bath tub with water and bathing lotion.
Humming Adele’s Rolling in the deep song, she peeled off her clothes, climbed in and laid in the tub with her eyes closed.
Prisoner or not, she was going to enjoy every moment she had alone.
The warmth the water provided was just what she needed, it gave her a soothing kind of feeling that spread all the way to her soul. In this state, she couldn’t ask for more, the sweet fragrance oozing out of the soaped up water reminded her of home. How was her mother going to feel? Her father? Her siblings? They would think it was another of her usual escapades that lasted for days and sometimes weeks,  they were already tired of talking and shouting at her, now how would they know she was genuinely kidnapped? They had seen how recalcitrant she had become and decided to leave her to her guardian angel.
She remembered the way Pastor Onwuka’s wife used to talk about everyone having a guardian angel that saved them from evil, maybe hers wasn’t on duty tonight, maybe.
She thought again of how she had become a victim of her quest for freedom, would Sope and the ‘big girls’ know her whereabouts? Probably not.
She felt a twinge of self pity and regret creeping in and snapped out of her thoughts. She knew she needed a clear head to stay around here. This was no time for regrets. She had many questions only Mother could answer.

Nneka hurriedly took her bath and stepped out with a white large beach towel draped around her medium sized bosoms. She needed to pick something to wear.
Standing in front of the wardrobe, she skimped through the many clothes all hung in an apple pie order. Then she realised something, the clothes all looked brand new, how come? How?
There was no time to dwell on this, so she just waved it off.
Her search continued until she found a blue loose silk dress, “This would do”. Then she looked around for a nice under wear and slipped them on.

“Hello Martha,  I’m done” she spoke into the mouthpiece of the intercom as she wore a loafed up feathery slippers kept beside the bedstand.
“Alright, I’d be there in a minute” the voice at the other end said then the line went dead.

  As they stepped into the dining hall, Nneka had another ‘wow’ moment. The dining table could take up to fifty guests, it was something like the type she’d seen in Roman movies, the ones specially used for banquets. The hall had three entrances: a north, south and west door all guarded by uniformed women. She noticed they had come in through the western door.
As she walked further into the hall she saw a familiar figure..mother.
How could she possibly miss such beauty?
Mother had her head down as she ate her meal.
Nneka took the opportunity to study her
God must have created her on a sunday.
Nneka thought to herself. From the crown of her head to the sole of her feet, everything was perfect.

“You look good” Mother said without raising her head up.
“Uhmm,thanks ” Nneka replied keeping a straight face.
“Sit and eat” Mother spoke again.

“I need to ask you some questions about…”Nneka started before Mother cut her off.
“Shush it and eat” Mother said again, clearly irritated.
“I shall do no such thing!” Nneka flared up, raising her voice.
“What!!!” Mother looked up, startled.

   Oh dear, looks like it’s getting heated in here, Nneka’s gradually loosing it. I can’t wait to see what Mother does this time and I know you can’t too. Let me know your predictions in the comment box. Also, don’t forget to subscribe to my posts and have them at your finger tips.
:* :*
                               Charlene xoxo

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