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THE HOUSEWIVES’ TALE (Episode 9)

Today is Ijeoma’s antenatal clinic appointment. She is registered at 82 Division Hospital, courtesy of her husband’s National Health Insurance Scheme (NHIS). We have made a habit of hanging out on her antenatal days, sometimes, in my house, sometimes, we go shopping. But no matter what we do, we always go first to Kumac for shawarma and ice cream (her pregnancy craving). I enjoy hanging out with Ijeoma because she has a really dry sense of humor, even though she can be caustic sometimes.

For today’s schedule, we agreed that I will come out and meet her at the hospital after her appointment, so that we will go to Kumac, and then, back to my house, where she will stay till close of work, when her husband will come around and pick her. Our earlier arrangement was baby shopping, but we won’t be going after all, as her eldest brother, who is based in the UK promised to send her baby stuff. We are waiting to see what he will send so that we will know the remaining things to buy.

I pick her up at the gate of 82 Division Complex, and we gist as I drive down towards Ogui Junction, on our way to College Road, where Kumac is located. My husband has often wondered out loud why we have to go all the way to Kumac, driving past bigger and better fast foods where shawarma is sold. But he will not understand the cravings of a pregnant woman, so, I don’t bother explaining. It’s not like he’s complaining.

“Munwa bu Ijeoma? Them no born am well!”

I laugh out loud, at Ijeoma’s theatrics, while she tells me stories of how her antenatal went today. Right now, she is telling me about the lady that wanted to chance her.

“What if she was actually in a hurry?” I ask.

“See wahala o! If you’re in a hurry, you try and come on time, so that you will take an earlier number now! So, me, I’ll wake up by 6am, and prepare to be at the hospital to get number, then, she’ll be having a nice time with her early morning beauty sleep, only for her to realize that ‘she’s in a hurry’ when it’s time to see the doctor? Mba nu! ‘My husband na officer’ no reach for this one o!”

“Oh! She’s an officer’s wife?”

“I know, right? She’s meant to be disciplined and all…”

“Well, you’re lucky she did not pull her ‘officer’s wife strings’,” I say. “I have heard stories of how officers and their family members are given preferential treatment in that hospital.”

“Ah… it is not Ijeoma Ada Adindu they will do that one for o!”

“Tah! You’re married joor!” I chide her playfully. Adindu is her maiden name.

“So, I should say ‘Ijeoma nwunye Geoffrey’, abi?” She laughs. “It is not sweet to the ears joor!”

We both laugh uproariously.

“That una antenatal is full of drama, I swear,” I chuckle.

“Eheehn! That’s why it’s interesting now. Unlike some people’s own.” She flashes her teeth.

“I don’t blame you,” I retort, rolling my eyes. “Drama queen! Na the kain thing wey you dey like.”

In some minutes, we get to college road, and then Kumac. We agree to eat there before going back to my house. I have come to like – almost crave – Kumac’s ukwa (bread fruit) with full dried fish. I order those, and we sit as we wait for Ijeoma’s shawarma to be ready.

“You know ukwa is a good source of protein, which is good for your baby, abi?” I ask around a spoonful of food in my mouth.

“Eh-eh-eh! Spare me those health lectures of yours, abeg! Everything is acceptable when one is pregnant biko.” She clicks her tongue.

“Well, I have said my own,” I say, smiling and spooning some more ukwa into my mouth.

“What about you that was eating all those diabetic sugary cakes as if there was no tomorrow, and drinking two 1-litre pack of Chi Exotic every day?” She glares at me. She appears to be getting pissed for no apparent reason.

“I’m the one that went from a size 8 to size 12. I’m sure you don’t want that,” I explain as gently as I can.

“Eehn… it is my body. Let me be, biko.” Just then, her shawarma is set on our table. She immediately unwraps it, and bites into it reverently, moaning as she does so.

I double over in serious laughter. She laughs too.

“Chai! This pikin like good thing o,” she gushes.

“Which pikin?” I ask absent-mindedly, as I dissect the fish in my meal.

“My pikin now! See as she dey dance.” She rubs her distended midriff.

She? Did you do the scan today?” She has my attention now.

She just smiles and winks mischievously.

“Awwwh! Nwunye nwa m o!” I crow, my face lighting up. “My daughter-in-law!”

“Join the queue jaré!” Ijeoma laughs.

“You wouldn’t dare!” I say in mock anger. We both laugh again.

“Ehen… what’s up with that your Facebook post on Sunday?” she asks, changing the topic.

I know what she is referring to, because I hardly make posts on Facebook. “My dear, my uncle’s daughter came for a one-week stay in my house o! She came in on Saturday, and she gave Gabby cake to eat in the night. Guess which cake? The portion of my birthday cake I wrapped and kept for Mercy, which she hasn’t been able to come and collect–”

“Your birthday was like two months ago now!” Ijeoma interrupts my story to ask.

“No, it was three weeks ago,” I correct before continuing, “So, she – my uncle’s daughter – was hungry in the night–”

“Why was she hungry? Did you not give her dinner?” Ijeoma interrupts again.

“I gave her dinner!” I reply a bit forcefully. I am getting tired of her interruptions. “So now, she went to the fridge and took the cake–”

“But what was that cake still doing in your fridge after four weeks?” she cuts in, yet again.

“It is three weeks! And I told you I kept it for Mercy–”

“You were going to give Mercy spoilt cake?” she asks, wide eyed now.

“No! I kept it for her, and forgot all about it. You know she travelled for field work, and there is no network where she is–”

“So, you should have thrown it out now! Don’t you clean out your fridge every weekend?”

“No, I don’t. I clean it when it is dirty.” I am getting really pissed by now. “Do you want to hear this testimony, or should I shut up?”

“Oya talk. I am listening,” she says offhandedly, as she finishes off her shawarma and faces the ice cream squarely.

I have lost interest in my story already, but I continue grudgingly, “Anyway, she took the cake, ate out of it, and gave Gabby some. He woke up, purging. Thank God for his miraculous healing after we got to church,” I end the story summarily.

“Ok, so, can I say something now?” she asks after some moments.

“Yes.” Big mistake! I should have said ‘No.’

“Number one, you should have thrown out that cake. Number two, how on earth can you not clean out your fridge every weekend? Number three, for that girl to be hungry in the night, it means you did not feed her well. You should have at least asked her if she was okay before you congratulate yourself that you have fed somebody’s child. Number four, you are just a careless mother…”

I am super pissed right now. How dare she call me careless? See this woman that does not know the first thing about being a mother! I sit there woodenly, trying to decide if I should show my anger or excuse her based on pregnancy hormones. The little angel and the little devil came and perched on my shoulder.

Angel: Relax, she is your friend, and if you check what she said, she is right…

Devil: Right ke? There is no justification for that verbal attack! She called you careless!

Angel: But you know how pregnancy hormones can be, don’t you? You were pregnant once, you should understand…

Devil: She called you a careless mother! Meaning, you are not fit to be a mother…

Angel: What would Nkaiso do in this situation?

Devil: She called you incompetent!

I look at Ijeoma, eating her ice cream with alacrity, obviously not realizing the import of what she said to me. The little devil won this time.

“Look here, Mrs sabi-sabi, you had no right to call me incompetent! None at all!”

“Incompetent? When did I call you–”

“Shut up and listen to me!” I snap. “When we were roommates, how many times did you pick up a broom to sweep the room? You have the silly guts to ask me why I don’t clean my fridge every weekend. I hate to imagine the nyama-nyama I will find in your fridge if I were to go to your house right now. As for motherhood, why not talk to me when you are an actual mother, huh?”

I grab my phone and wallet as I say this last bit, abandoning my fish and her, and I storm out of the eatery.

Written by Adaku J.

About shakespeareanwalter

Walt Shakes(@Walt_Shakes) is an award-winning Nigerian writer, poet and veteran blogger. He is a lover of the written word. the faint whiff of nature, the flashing vista of movies, the warmth of companionship and the happy sound of laughter.

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30 comments

  1. 😮 😮

    Ehen Nne, gave it to her! Lubbish, nonsense and ingrejient!! Are she the first pregnant womans? /:) 😛 😛

  2. It’s a good thing u told her ur mind. Pregnancy hormones or not. I have observed that it is is mostly women who don’t have kids that r quick 2 call mothers careless. By the way who cleans their fridge every weekend (rolls eyes). Anywyas I hope u guys settle.

  3. This writer is good. The conversation just flow effortlessly. Good one as usual

  4. Choi! Adaku no try oh to abandon her friend like that,in this kind of situations I just sit down and wait only time will tell the kind of mother Ijeoma will end up being, somehow i don’t get disappointed!
    Biko this food inclusion will soon cause wahala

  5. Lol Good read. Women and their irrelevant ‘beef’. Btw my cousin kept her wedding cake till their first wedding anniversary! Well baked cakes don’t spoil that easily when properly refrigerated.

    • Lol. Emeka you’re now looking for Adaku’s trouble, ei? She’s a woman scorned o. 🙂

    • Wait first o. Why would your cousin keep her cake for a whole year?

    • Wedding cakes usually have more preservative that is why it can stay so long. @Walter some people don’t like their wedding cake to finish, its kind of like drawing out the wedding day, some want to eat it on their first anniversary. Mine lasted for some months, when we ate the last, I told my husband ‘honeymoon don finish’ lol.

  6. …and that was how she wasted the sharwarma!

    Mrs sabi-sabi the rabbi didn’t put it out quite well, but she actually ranted sense. Ma’ams should tryna stop blaming hormones and do what’s right even though it won’t be easy. Now it’s gon’ take hormones, pheromones and lots of more efforts to resolve the issue.

    Nice!

  7. Hahahahahahahahaha, wahala don tie wrapper

  8. Choi, she leave am? Ahhhh make she go back, make Ijeoma no lost o!

  9. Now I feel like eating shawarma…

  10. Chai! Adaku nwanne m. Forgive and forget. She never born so forget her indiscretion. And yes, the hormones are that terrible so some of us should be more compassionate. I once took out hubby’s head for no reason and even burst into hot tears on top of it. Thinking back now, such thing wouldn’t have happened before the pregnancy.
    As for the devil-angel convo, gwazikwaa ndi yard unu because it was hilarious, gaan. Nice write as usual, Adaku.

  11. Hahaha. Some frds ehn. So annoying.

  12. why is it so easy for the little devil to win most times…it makes me wonder why the little angel still bother to reason with us..
    nice episode

  13. Oh wow! A very typical scenario between friends! I can’t help but laugh though. I hope a reconciliation’s still in the cards. Ijeoma was wayy outta line! There are more than a million and one ways to get a message across without appearing to be unduly judgmental and downright self- righteous! But hey, we all have our individual flaws don’t we?! Kiss and make up already guys, falling out with a dear friend’s not exactly a walk in the park! It can get very depressing and you just become glum and a shadow of yourself! Thanks for sharing, loved every bit of this piece. Cheers!

    • shakespeareanwalter

      That Ijeoma deserved to be slapped abeg. If I was Adaku, the little devil perched on my shoulder will tell me to do exactly that. And I’d do it. lol

  14. married or unmarried, pregnant or unpregnant, who cleans their fridge every week? you clean the fridge when it is dirty na! abi? why clean it when it is not dirty?

  15. I am a regular reader of eze goes to school but haven’t really paid attention to anything else.I read housewives tales for the first time about 15mins ago, and I read from the first to the 9th episode in that short time. Wonderful write ups, can’t wait for the next episode. As for today’s episode, Ijeomas bad mouth just crossed the line. I think sometimes people use pregnancy as an excuse to be nasty. Isn’t it bad enough that the woman’s son was ill? Did She think all those thoughts didn’t cross Adaku’s mind during and after the incident? Just pouring salt inside a wound that is trying to heal! Mtcheeeew! But eh, what exactly was that girl looking for in that boy’s room @ that time of the night? Goodness, I’m watching you closely.

  16. I. Am. So. Angry. At. Ijeoma.
    Is it because of her “shawarma baby”? Mtcheeew.

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