CHAPTER 1

***

“I’m so scared right now, what if…what if she doesn’t like me?”, Amanda Kalu panicked, she would give anything to take away the ambiance of nervousness she was feeling, what if everything goes wrong?

“Hey baby, relax okay, trust me she’s going to love you”, who wouldn’t? Ben Osita caressed her cheeks, seeing her so frightened was one thing he wasn’t used to. She was a tigress who always had control of everything. She had never been scared of anything, not even when she had lost her family 3years back. She was scared of losing him. He knew how badly she wanted to impress his family and how much she had sacrificed just to be with him. Everyone would love her, he was going to make sure of that. He brought her hands to his lips and kissed them, eyes locked in hers, he smiled.

“No one can ever resist your charms anyway, one glance at you and my entire family will fall in love with you”, he tittered, trying to ease the tension between them. 

Amy leaned back in her seat, and gazed out at the slow-moving traffic. She was finally back in Nigeria, which hadn’t changed much since the last 3years. Same bussle of desperate civilians, the dissonant grumbles from angry commuters, children running around in their panties, market women yelling at the top of their voices and the disgusting smell of organic waste. Well the roads got better, still she wanted to wish for something…safe, as the nostalgic feeling came rushing back. She missed her family, and most especially her twin sister who had been her world. Smothering pains stabbed through her each time she reminiscenced on the fire accident which claimed the life of everyone she had ever loved. She thought of her bigoted disciplinarian father who always condemned the yoruba culture, and how proud he would have been to have Ben as his son-in-law. He had loved him like his own. 

Ben had been a wonderful companion, her life saver. She remembered the day he had proposed to her… 

“Would you fly 6,164 miles across the world with this ugly, pot-bellyed, boring nurse who has no idea how he is going to survive the economic recession in his country and is practically a jerk for making you fall hard for him huh, what do you say?”, She looked into his eyes, she could see fear in them, he was madly in love with her and losing her would virtually kill him. It would kill her too. 

“No!”, she pouted. 

“No?”,

“No i won’t leave my $317,000 paying job with a pig-headed ugly, pot-bellyed, fuddy duddy like you to that God forsaken country where breathing is the only thing considered free, no i won’t. Instead, i will cross over a thousand countries or even more, with the man i cannot live without. The psycho best friend of mine, who is everything to me”.

“Is that a yes?”,

“Nigeria will be more than willing to offer a job to the best oncologist in China, i will work on my transfer immediately”, then she let him slip the rings into her finger. “Now you are tied to me forever, no regrets?”, she teased as she pulled him in for a kiss. He was everything she had ever wanted.

“No regrets”. He would cherish her forever, “I love you”.

“I love you too”.

***

“We are here baby, hey just relax okay, my mom is actually a very nice woman, she…”, Ben stopped in track, petrified as a wrinkled old woman emerged from the bungalow which laid situate at Enugu, Ben’s home town. 

“Obere mmụọ ọjọọ!”, she swore, chasing after the little chicks, like they were little kids who understood her every words. Then suddenly she stopped at the sight of Ben, then hissed, a long loud hiss. 

“I thought i would have to come all the way to obodo oyibo to drag you from the yansh  of that white lady who has been using your destiny like fufu to eat oha soup, thank God that ekwensu amoosu finally realized your uselessness and sent you back to to me in one piece, nzuzu nwa!”, The woman fired, causing Amy to shudder, her eyes would definitely shoot lasers if need be, her voice spoke terror and that smell…was that chicken feed? Yuck! 

“Yes, who are you?”, She asked, more like commamded. Amy froze, “o lord, save me from the claws of this contemptible old hag who screams danger”, she prayed. 

Suddenly she felt Ben’s hand wrapped around her,  his smile brightened as he moved them both closer to the woman on… barefoot? 

“Amy, meet my mom”.

*****
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