Curse of the Rose (Episode 8)


When Nnadi unlocked the front door and walked in, the house was dead and cold. Somebody had left the windows in the sitting room open, so he shut it close and lay on the couch. His heart was still beating fast in his chest. He got up and went to the TV and switched it on, then he reduced the volume till it was two bars from its lowest. He was flipping the channels when his phone vibrated in his pocket. He raised himself as he tried to reach for the phone. It was a text.

“Are you home?”
“Just got home. Hope you’re comfortable?”
“I’ve been in better hotels”
“Sorry we couldn’t find a better place”
“It’s ok. It was late anyway, finding a free room in a better hotel would have meant driving all night”
“Yeah…”
“Besides it’s just for the night, tomorrow I’ll go and face my demons”

Nnadi stared at the last text for too long, thinking of the appropriate thing to say.

Nkoli stared at her last text, then she typed.

Nnadi’s phone vibrated.

“Thanks for listening to me blab and for driving me around”

Nnadi began to type, ‘No, you didn’t blab…’, he deleted it and typed again ‘It was my pleasure…’ he deleted it and typed again,

“You’re welcome. Get a good sleep.”

 He sent it and waited. Nothing. He waited again. Then he typed

“Do you need me to come and pick you in the morning?”
“No, it’s ok. I’ll just call a cab”

Nnadi typed, ‘are you sure that’s safe?’ then he wiped it, ‘I wouldn’t mind…’, he wiped it and typed another.

“Ok. Let me know if you need any help”

“Goodnight”

“Goodnight”

Nkoli dropped her phone on the dresser and put on the light. She stared at the brown ceiling that looked like wood boards. She counted them until they flowed into each other and she lost count. She sat up and walked over to the bathroom, wincing at the cold tiled floor. She turned on the shower until the cold water became hot, then she began to take of her clothes. Her phone rang and she jumped. She had forgotten to turn her phone back off. It would be Salam or Kayode or her parents. She tiptoed for no apparent reason and went to the phone. It was Ginika! She snatched up the phone and picked it.

  • -          Don’t you sleep you this girl?
  • -          Hmmm… sleep ke? I’m just getting home from work!
  • -          What? We need to find you a better job o! This bank work is not it at all.
  • -          My sister, have I not been telling you to teach me how to write, so I can sleep all day and spend my nights typing on a computer and making all the money in the world
  • -          Yeah right. If it were that easy.

They both laugh.

  • -          So what’s this I hear about you missing?
  • -          Missing?
  • -          Nkoli don’t act like you don’t know what I’m saying. Your Salam called me till my phone almost died. Not to talk of Mummy that was virtually crying on the phone. Daddy was so livid I could hear him barking in the background. Ogini? What happened?
  • -          My dear…
  • -          And you even switched off your phone. Did you want to give Mummy a heart attack? You know how the woman panics.
  • -          But why were they calling you?
  • -          Because they thought you would have called me or something. Infact, your Salam was certain you would call. You told her about out reunion yea?
  • -          Yeah I did
  • -          She didn’t sound too happy about that, but that’s by the way. What happened? Why did you run away from your engagement party?
  • -          Engagement party that I didn’t know about
  • -          Is that not how these things are done, eh? They hide in the corner and jump on you, ‘surprise!’ waving the diamond ring in your face.

They laugh, Nkoli so hard she lowered herself into the bed.
  • -          Giniki isi adiro gi mma.
  • -          But joke apart what happened?
  • -          Remember I told you during my visit that I wasn’t sure I liked the guy. Infact I went on that date with him because I was going to break up and then next thing he shoves a ring in my finger. I felt choked biko, I just had to get out of there.
  • -          Why didn’t you just say no? Instead of allowing him slip the ring in your finger and then running off.
  • -          How could I? When Mummy and Daddy and everybody was there telling the guy congratulations. I couldn’t humiliate him like that.
  • -          Ha! But you gave him the worst humiliation by running away.
  • -          I know! It was either that or I would have stabbed somebody there.
  • -          Ah! Ah! Not that bad.
  • -          You have no idea. Meanwhile, I’m even angry with you. You knew Mummy and Daddy were coming for this thing and you didn’t alert me.
  • -          So that I’ll be the bad one that ruined everything again? No! They said it was a surprise, I didn’t want to meddle.

***
Nnadi didn’t know he had slept off until his girlfriend tapped his feet. He opened his eyes and saw her silhouetted against the light from the TV. He wasn’t ready to deal with her, so he murmured as though he was talking in his sleep and turned the other way but she tapped him again and he had to open his eyes.

  • -          Hi
  • -          Why are you sleeping here?
  • -          You were sleeping and I didn’t want to wake you.
  • -          Where did you go to?
  • -          What’s the time?
  • -          2am
  • -          Then go to bed. We’ll talk in the morning.
  • -          Are you not coming inside?
  • -          I’m coming. Go in, I’m behind you.

She remained there staring at him.

  • -          I said I’m coming
  • -          Are you cheating on me?

He shut his eyes and took a deep breath.

  • -          Why do you think I’m cheating on you?
  • -          You’ve been acting funny.
  • -          We’ll talk about it in the morning
  • -          Jesus! You couldn’t even deny it!
  • -          You’re raising your voice. You’d wake my mum. Go to bed.


She sat on the floor and began to cry. He sprang up from the couch and went into the bedroom, he banged the door so hard his mum shouted 'Onye?' from the guest room.

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Story written by +Nnedinma Jane Kalu 
Nnedinma studied Biology but works as a freelance scriptwriter. She lives in Enugu from where she sees the world in the pages of books. She is a co-writer at the Radio drama series Purple Tinz produced by Flint Productions. She participated in the Writivism writing program 2014 and is an Alumini of the Farafina Creative Writing Workshop.


Kanayo Aniegboka

Kani is a Nigerian born and based minister, public speaker, entrepreneur and life coach. His keen and unique perspective to life issues makes him a refreshing voice to listen to. He currently serves as the Executive Coordinator of House on the Rock - Word House and sits on the board of a number of companies.

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