FRIENDLY ENEMIES (20)

Dozie got up from the visitor’s chair and followed the doctor.
When he opened the door of the ward, he bumped into mama Eno whom he had called when on their way to the hospital.

Mama Eno: “Where is my daughter and what did you say happened to her?”
Dozie: “She is sleeping in the ward. She had a miscarriage, she lost the pregnancy”.
Mama Eno: “Abasi o, my only child. So the pregnancy that was supposed to make me a grandmother is lost. And where are you going? Are you not supposed to be sitting close to your wife and consoling her? Do you know the psychological trauma a woman goes through after having a miscarriage?”
Dozie: “I am going to see the doctor, he said he wants to tell me something about Eno’s condition”.
Mama Eno: “Ehn, tell you what again? All these
doctors can put somebody in trouble”. She exclaimed.
Dozie: “What do you mean by trouble?”
Mama Eno: “Don’t mind me, you know that doctors have a way of making simple ailment appear serious with their big vocabularies. We are going to the doctor’s office together, you know that my daughter means the world to me”.
Dozie: “You just got here, you should go and stay with your daughter. I can handle the doctor’s call alone”.
Mama Eno: “Why would I go and stay with her? I thought you said she is sleeping? After all, I am her mother”.

Dozie reluctantly led the way to the doctor’s office.
Doctor: “Please, have a seat, I thought you won’t come anymore. And who is this woman beside you?”
Dozie: “She is my er … erm … I mean we are …”
Mama Eno: “I am his mother in-law, doctor. His wife who just had a miscarriage is my daughter”.
Doctor: “You sound so sure about the
miscarriage, madam. Tell me about it”.
Mama Eno: “Doctor, my daughter was with me during the first few weeks of her pregnancy and it was hell for her. This my son in-law who got her pregnant denied the pregnancy and my daughter almost killed herself …”

Dozie who was glancing at her lost his temper and got up from his seat.Do you really have to say this to the doctor? What kind of a mother are you? You know what doctor? I am no longer interested in whatever is the cause of the miscarriage that you wanted to tell me. You can go ahead and tell her everything; after all she is the mother of the patient”. He left the doctor’s office. Mama Eno was inwardly happy that her plans of getting rid of Dozie workes.

Mama Eno: “Doctor, what is it? Tell me”. She asked eagerly.
Doctor: “I am not supposed to say this to you, I ought to tell her husband alone but considering how very close you are to your daughter and the fact that her husband has given me the approval to talk to you, I will”.
Mama Eno: “I am all ears, doctor. Don’t mind my son in-law, he is always like that. I know how to table whatever you tell me before him”.
Doctor: “Very well then, if you say so. Your daughter didn’t have any miscarriage. In fact, to be blunt with you, she was never pregnant”.
Mama Eno: “Aluemea! What are you telling me doctor?” she feigned ignorance.
Doctor: “I have examined her and I am telling you what I discovered. I don’t know why she decided to lie to you all that she is pregnant and why she had to pretend to miscarry the child. I will advise that you watch her carefully, she may be up to something, that is what I wanted to tell her husband”.
Mama Eno: “Thank you very much doctor. I will watch over her carefully. You don’t have to tell her husband, this may break their marriage. I will put the matter across to him in a more palatable manner”.
Doctor: “If you insist, madam. I have to go and examine my patients in the other wards”.

Eno was discharged from the hospital the next day. On their way home, Dozie asked what it was that the doctor told her mother.

Dozie: “What was it that you discussed with the doctor about her?” He always referred to Eno by her name or simply ‘her’ because he could never bring himself to call her his wife.

Mama Eno: “Don’t mind the doctor. It was nothing serious. He said Eno needs to always stay around you and that she should avoid all sort of strenuous works. He also advised that you should try and get your wife pregnant as soon as possible”.

Dozie ignored her and continued driving. When they got home, her mother stayed with them for a while and then on her way out, she drew her daughter aside.

Mama Eno: “I am going now o. We have taken care of all your problems, which include Samantha and the fake pregnancy, now is the right time to win back your husband o. You have to do all it takes to get him to take you to bed. I am sure that the love will naturally grow after that. And don’t forget that you are to go back to that baba’s shrine on the seventh day for gratitude”.
Eno: “I haven’t forgotten but I am scared of going into that bush alone. I want you to go with me”.
Mama Eno: “I am not going anywhere with you. Have you forgotten that the baba said you must come back alone to thank the gods? Better get hold of yourself, forget that fear and go ahead with what you have to do”.
Eno: “Okay, mum”.

A week after the eye incidence, Samantha’s condition deteriorated and she was taken from the specialist hospital back home after they told her that there was no medical explanation for her condition. The eyes were swollen and filled with pus and she could not see. She got a sunshade to shield the eyes from sun rays and from those who kept staring at her eyes and asking endless questions. When they got to their compound, her mother led her by the hand into the room. Few minutes, a neighbour who heard what happened to Samantha came visiting.

Neighbour: “Eyah, sorry o. wetin come do the eyes like this now? How person go just go blind like that? Which kind wahala be that?”
Mama Samantha: “I don’t know, my sister. Who would want my daughter blind when we haven’t done anything to offend anyone?”
Neighbour: “Hmmn. I am sure that this is a spiritual case. I will take you to see a spiritualist tomorrow, I am sure that he has the solution to all your problems”.
Mama Samantha: “Okay. I will do anything to ensure that my daughter regains her sight once again”.
Neighbour: “Don’t worry, Samantha will see again”.

Eno took a cab to the area where the baba’s shrine was located. She got down, checked around to make sure that no one was watching her and went into the baba’s shrine.

Eno: “Good morning, baba. I am the lady who came with her mother the other day to …”
Spiritualist: “I know you. I saw you right from when you left your house and boarded a taxi. I know what you are here for and the gods have decided the kind of payment they want. Have you seen what you did to your friend?”
Eno: “No”.

The Baba poured water into a calabash and told Eno to peep in. When she did, she saw Eno’s face with her disfigured eyes and she screamed aloud. “Ewoooo!” she covered her face.

Spiritualist: “The gods have decided that you stay in this shrine until tomorrow and I as the messenger of the gods will make love to you on behalf of the gods after which you can leave tomorrow morning”.
Eno: “What? Are the gods out of their mind or something?” She realized the implication of what she said and swallowed her words. “I am sorry I said that but how can the gods ask for such a ridiculous thing?”
Spiritualist: “It is an order which you must obey or what happened to your friend will be transferred to you. She will regain her sight and you will go blind”. I will be right back. Let me get you a sacred wrapper to tie and sleep tonight. You must not wear any underwear tonight… 

What happens next? 

*This story’s author is unknown*

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