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Thursday, July 12, 2018

Love Episode 4

Love
Episode 4
Ekaette visibly calmed down and a sweet smile wrinkled
her pretty face. It had been an awfully long time since
someone had something good to say about her. From
outside Gerry’s office, a male voice called out, “Gerry!
Gerry! Hey!!” Gerry whispered to Eka, “Now listen to
what he will say about you.” Gerry swiftly made it out
of his office and stood by the door. “Gerry! O boy!
Who was that angel I saw you with at the canteen?
Heey! There are amazing things in this world o!” “She is
a friend.” “What sort of friend? I mean are you two so
close I can’t make a move on her? Please tell me the
truth.” Before Gerry could give his colleague a reply
another guy came over asking, “Gerry I heard an angel
came by. Is she your guardian angel or did God send
her to all of us?” “God sent her to me, and if she
bears any message that has any use to you, I will
gladly pass it to you.” Gerry replied laughing. Inside
Gerry’s office, Eka heard Gerry’s friends and giggled
happily. She was so happy she momentarily forgot all
her pains. Before long about six men clustered in front
of Gerry’s office describing Ekaette’s beauty with
different adjectives. One described her beauty as
‘heavenly’, while another called her ‘Angel Michael’s
younger sister’. After the cluster of men left one after
another, about three ladies came over to make their
own inquiries, “Gerry who was that girl I saw you with
at the canteen? Her hair is not of this world. We just
argued in Ubong’s office whether her hair was real or
fake. Is her hair real Gerry?” “I don’t know, but it
seems real to me. At least I know she wasn’t wearing it,
it grows from her scalp.” One of the ladies observed,
“Gerry someone said she has been in our hospital for
weeks now, is that true?” “Yes. She was treated here
for a minor accident wound.” “Are you serious? That
means you are too stingy Gerry. Why didn’t you let us
meet her?” “Don’t worry Ada, soon you will get tired of
seeing her around this place.”
After Ekaette’s male and female admirers had left,
Gerry went back into his office and met Ekaette in
joyful tears. Amid her tears she said to Gerry, “I heard
one of your female colleagues wondering aloud about
what makeup I wear. I don’t wear any and have never
worn one before. And your male colleagues, they are all
clowns. Did I hear one call me Angel Michael’s sister?”
“Eka, you have seen nothing yet. Wait till you start
working here; you will need a Doberman to keep them
off your back.” “Doctor Gerry, can we go eat now?”
“No Eka, I will go buy the food for you…” ‘No Doc. My
mother will be disappointed to hear I let an elderly
person go buy me food from a canteen. Let me go buy
the food.” “Eka, you are on your own now. Your mother
doesn’t give two hoots about you anymore. And if you
were to step out of this office again, then I won’t be
able to do anything to day; my colleagues will crowd
into this place and my bosses won’t like it. So I will go
get the food, okay.” Grudgingly Eka allowed Gerry to
go buy the food.
By the time Doctor Gerry returned with the food Eka’s
eyes had moistened with tears; and it wasn’t because
she was going to eat a sumptuous meal, but because she
could not believe it that someone could value her so
much as to do things for her. Like a maiden wife
serving her husband food the first time after their
wedding, Doctor Gerry took pains to set the food on a
small table for Eka to eat. Eka stared unbelievably at
Doctor Gerry hoping to unravel his intentions by the
look of his face. Eka stared harder at him, trying to
fathom what sort of thoughts played out in Gerry’s
head. She came up with nothing and so promised herself
that if by the time they get home and Doctor Gerry
doesn’t do anything stupid, then she might start to
believe that God had seen her plight and sent her help.
With her mind full of thoughts, Eka silently ate the
food. While Doctor Gerry worked on a stark of medical
files on his table, he keenly studied Ekaette’s sublime
beauty. Bewildered by her beauty, Doctor Gerry thought
to himself, “There has to be a reason someone could be
this beautiful. This beauty must have a purpose from
God.”
Minutes after Eka had finished eating her food, there
were still no words spoken between the two of them
except Eka’s tacit appreciation for the food to which
Doctor Gerry replied, “The pleasure is mine Eka.” The
two of them seemed lost in their private thoughts until
Doctor Gerry said, “Ekaette I think it is a good time
for me to take you home, I have a lot to do today at
work. I won’t like you to stay around till my close hour.”
As if she did not hear him, Ekaette asked, “Doctor
Gerry what is your full name?” “Oh! I shouldn’t have
let you ask, please forgive me the oversight. My name is
actually not Gerry. ‘Gerry’ is a nickname sub-classing
from Gerald. My real name is Gerald Chambers. I am
from Ikot Abasi. My grandfather served white men so
they gave him an English name.” “My name is Ekaette
Rita Efiong, I am from Eket. Is there something more
you have to tell me about yourself doctor? I am about
to move into your apartment, at least I should know
much more than your name and home town.” “I can see
that your beauty is not superficial, it reaches deep
within. Well I am the oldest of three children by my
parents. The other two are ladies and are married. My
parents are aged and live in Ikot Abasi.” Ekaette smiled
and said, “Good to know a bit more about you. Well as
for my siblings and parents, you know the gist already.
I think I am ready to move into your apartment now.”
Doctor Gerry picked up Ekaette’s bag and tried to
make his way out of his office; with a baby’s grip
Ekaette grabbed her bag saying, “Please it is my bag,
allow me to carry it. I wasn’t brought up to let elderly
people to things for me. See doctor, I can push a
barrow containing six twenty-five liter gallons of water
all by myself. Don’t pity me, the bag is not heavy.”
Doctor Gerry started laughing uncontrollably and
replied, “Eka, you are not in your father’s house. You
don’t have to work like a horse anymore. Like you said,
the bag is not heavy and that’s the more reason you
should let me carry it.” Eka tried to protest but no
words came out of her mouth. She was very
uncomfortable with letting doctor Gerry do things for
her and that made her uneasy. Doctor Gerry could see
her struggles, but he ignored her, pretending he did not
notice. To him Eka would be caught in cloud nine by the
time he would begin to treat her as precious as she
really was.
As they made their way out of the hospital, heads
turned in their direction staring at them. This time Eka
didn’t miss her step nor did she think they were looking
at them because she was a witch. For no reason she
could explain, she reached out and held Gerry’s hand
and walked beside him with an air of panache. For the
first time in her life Eka began to come to terms with
the fact that she was truly a pretty girl. Back in her
street, though she heard it often that she was very
beautiful, but people didn’t make her feel she was worth
much, rather they branded her a witch. In her new
environment she could tell from the little she had seen
that she would be adored for the same reason she was
branded a witch back home. She didn’t let go of Doctor
Gerry’s hand until they left the hospital premises.
Outside the hospital, just beside its gate, Gerry turned
and asked her, “Did you notice how people were looking
at us? I hope you know it wasn’t because they thought
you a witch.” “Yes, I am beginning to realize that now.
With time I will come to terms with the fact that
people look at me not because I am a witch…” She
paused, obviously thinking deep about something. Gerry
could tell thoughts were on something else and he
waited for her to volunteer them. “Doctor Gerry, how
beautiful am I?

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