Episode 3

©Miriam Edem

"Beatrice I am talking to you, Dr Godswill said when I was not saying anything but kept looking at the envelope.

"Please I can't accept this, I and my family can manage on our own, I replied giving back the envelope.

"What are you saying? Am I doing anything wrong? He asked.

"No please but we can't return this favour, this is too much, I replied.

"Beatrice stop this, I do this with many people often without asking anything in return. I told you already that I find pleasure in helping out people so stop thinking that way please, I can never come back to ask of anything in return whether you support me or not, He said shifting the envelope back to me. 

'And again I understand your mother because I saw what my mother went through, don't be scared, he added when I was still feeling uncomfortable.

"Are you sure about this? I asked and he smiled and stood up. 

'Tell your mother i came okay, see ya, he said touching my cheek and left and I quickly entered my brother room and he woke up almost immediately and saw when I brought out the money from the envelope.

"Chai Betty did you rob a bank? He asked.

"Ssshhhhh keep your voice low, I replied and went close to him.

"That politician of yesterday just left and told me to keep this for mama. What did mommy say to that man sef? I asked.

"As if you don't know that your mother is a drama queen, so her charms worked? Wow! He shouted and slowly sat up to take the envelope from me. 

"Will it reach a million naira? I asked him and he laughed.

"Ahhhh Betty a million naira in an envelope huh? He asked back. 

"Simple yes or no you cannot say, besides have you seen a million naira before? I asked back and he was quiet to count the money but I took it away from him.

"Its not yours, let mommy come back before she'll cut our heads off if she finds out we tempered with it, I said to him.

"I only wanted to count, he said.

"Hmm and then what? We all know you love taking mommy money a lot, I said and left the bed with the envelope.

"See Betty that's an insult, and what will mommy do with such huge amount of money? At least a little change from there will cover my loss, he said and I looked at him.

"You know with this money she can easily give you back what you lost in the accident, you don't have to steal, I replied keeping the money in a safe place while my brother angrily looked at me. 

 Minutes later my mother returned and I immediately congratulated her,

"What for? She confusedly asked. 

"Your drama paid off. Your politician friend came around, I replied and her eyes lit up. 

"Hey! Why didn't you run to the house and call me? She shouted.

"Ahhhhh! My brother shouted in bed.

"What is Ahhhh? Did he drop anything behind? She asked.

"Yes his greetings, I replied and she angrily hissed.

"I don't like this o, why should he come when I was not around na? She murmured and I shook my head and brought out the envelope.

"He also said I should give this to you, I said and she began to laugh.

"I knew it, he can't just come here and leave without dropping something behind na. Hey God see money! She shouted raising the envelope up.

"Mama you know my business money is there, I have to cover up my loss, Luke said in bed.

"Yen yen yen... When I was speaking the English and shed tears how much did you contribute? She asked him.

"But it was my condition that connected you to him don't forget that, he replied. 

"Whatever! Betty look at money na, My mother said hitting my shoulders while I just looked away and went to her bag to see what she brought back for us...........

My brother condition kind of made me missed church activities but Maxwell kept coming around the hospital to check on me with the rest of the brethren. 

One afternoon I was sitting with Maxwell outside and my mother returned to the hospital and saw us. Maxwell respectfully stood up to greet her but she placed one of her hand on her waist and screened Maxwell from head to toe and shook her head. 

"What's wrong ma? Maxwell asked and that question infuriated her the more. 

"Are you asking me that? Wait o, what are you doing here? She asked.

"Mama he came to see me na what else? I asked.

"Like this? Were you carrying cement for the tower of Babel? My mother asked and Maxwell slowly looked at himself and I cleaned my face. 

"Mommy please in the name of God don't do this, you're embarrassing my friend, I said.

"And that's the problem. Didnt they say "show me your friend and I'll tell you what you are?" How can such a person be your friend? Look at his legs like caterpillar with shoes that looks like the one the children of Isreal trekked with, my mother said.

"I don't seem to understand what I've done to you and why the sudden change about me. Is it because I'm interested in your daughter? Maxwell asked. 

"Exactly! Chai you get sense, now leave my daughter alone! My mother replied and a tear fell from my eyes. He bowed his head and looked at me ,

"I'll go now, he calmly said and left and I could not say a word. I looked at my mother and saw her face so stern, then I went into my brother room which she followed me behind immediately and closed the door behind herself. 

"You're crying? So you want to marry that boy? She asked me. 

"Mommy is that necessary? How will I face him now? I asked.

"That is not your business, I had to show him where he belong, he can't be for you never! She shouted.

"Looks like you already know who is for me, I said looking at her. 

"I don't know, but I know something great awaits you. You are meant for big things and you should know that, she replied.

"Mommy how many times will I tell you that its not about the money for Christ sake! I shouted and she smirked and held me.

"Betty I understand you, in fact its like you inherited my foolishness but I want to cast it out from you. I was once like you, my parents warned me but I didn't listen, I chose to follow my heart without calculating or thought about my future. But life is not about today but tomorrow, think about your children and how you can secure their future also, do you think love can solve everything? Tell me Betty if your father was financially stable will you be here making people hair and collecting kobo? Won't you be schooling by now? I should have secured my future with my choice of partner but I was stupid, now where am I? I ended up being a poor widow and you think I will watch you go into poverty both in your father and husband house huh? She asked and I closed my eyes and took her hands from me. 

"I am not you mommy and it's not in my place to choose a partner, I said. 

"Whose place is it then? Girl open your eyes! She shouted and I left the room immediately because I was not in the mood to argue with someone who can win a court case with her level of smartness when arguing. (ads1)

I sat somewhere and was so confused. At that time of my life I felt prayers was not working and I didn't seem to understand why God has not showed me my partner yet in dreams like he used to. To me that was the only way to solve this confusion from my head, then I decided to call Maxwell and after three rings he switched off his phone. 

"Is he angry with me? I asked myself and decided to return back to the hospital. 

When I got there, I met them packing up and my mother totally ignored when I asked where they are going to,

"Mama wants me to be discharged immediately, Luke replied instead.

"What! I shouted looking at her. 

"I want to change your romantic spot okay, she replied.

"You're unbelievable, why drag the health of your son into this? I asked her. 

"And did Luke complained to you that he's not fine? Besides he is bored in this place and he is fine, period! She replied and Luke heaved looking at me. 

When we were about leaving the room, a knock came on the door and before we could say come in, Dr Godswill walked in and saw us with bags. 

"What's going on? He asked with that surprised look on his face and my mother just seeing him was so happy. (ads1)

"Ahhhh sir you came? Thank God o, i was even telling my children that its sad we will be leaving without seeing you for one last time at least to say thank you, my mother said. 

"Its nothing ma, is he okay? He asked referring to Luke. 

"Yes he is, and he's so bored here. He wants to resume his business, She replied and he looked at me but I could not hide my mood and I guess it was so obvious.

"What's wrong Betty? He asked.

'Please excuse me, I replied and left the room and I didn't know when I saw myself in the house. I realized that I was not with the key, so I sat down outside to wait for them. But to my surprise a jeep drove into the compound and my mother came out laughing her usual laugh with Luke. 

"Ah you could not disappear inside the house? She asked and Dr Godswill came out also. I rolled my eyes immediately i saw him and didn't move a leg where I sat and they approached the door with the bags from the hospital but I didn't care. 

"Okay I'll go now ma, Godswill said. 

"Ahhhh like that? No na take a cup of water and small swallow for the ride. You can't imagine the joy I have that a jeep is in front of my compound, and yes i cooked this morning as if I knew I will have a big visitor, she said and he smiled. 

"I'll love to but I have something to take Care of and my mother wants to see me. She won't be happy if I don't eat at her place, he said. 

"Oh too bad, but sorry to ask are you not married? My mother asked sheepishly smiling.

"Nope, but I was once married, he replied and I sat up a bit to know more even though I could not ask. 

"Why you divorced her? My mother pushed further.

"Not that, I lost her, he replied.

"Death? She asked and he nodded.

"Oh may her soul rest in peace, sorry about that, my mother said.

"Its fine, okay ma about the food that will be next time I promise, he said. 

'No problem and thank you. God bless you! My mother shouted.

"Thank you sir, Luke said but he only smiled then he looked at me and our eyes met. 

"Bye Betty, he said.


"Bye, I coldly said and went in immediately and they walked in after the jeep drove out and my mother anger rose up again. 

"What's the meaning of that? Must you have to be rude to him? Can't you hide your disgusting character in public! She shouted.

"Between the both of us who has the disgusting  character here? Looks like I also inherited that from you, I said and she slapped me hard. 

"I won't take your excesses anymore and let me warn you, if Maxwell comes here even in his dream he won't take what I will do to him! She shouted and attempted to hit my ears but Luke covered me instead as I cried on him.......



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