“Amy? My mom?”, Ben’s voice jolted her back to planet earth.
“Your mom!”, Amy’s inner self screamed! If ever she had thought Ben’s mom was going to be the exact replica of the evil witch “Bellatrix” in Harryporter, she would have killed the thought the instant it got up her nerves. She wanted to turn around and run for her dear life, but instead, she wrapped her arms around Mama and hugged her.
“Ekele nne”, she managed to say, holding her breath as that awful smell of chicken feeds mixed with igurube agwa (locust beans) struck her nose. Suicide!
“If your definition of “surprise” is bringing this ozodimgba (gorrilla) to squash me to death, enweghị ekele nwa! I must say am impressed”, Mama gnawed at Amy, viciously pushing her off herself.
Amy felt embarrassed, she had never seen a woman so bloodcurdling and menacing in her life, she was done for!
She looked at ben and smiled, assuring him that she was fine even though her heart screamed otherwise.
“Mama, aren’t you going to invite us in atleast, is this how much you missed your son, maybe i should just go back to…”, Ben paused as mama attempted to hit him with the stick she was holding in her hand.
“Jọ nwa (evil child)”, but instead of answering, Ben took Amy’s hand and led her into the house, “home sweet home”, he sang. If only he knew…
“I see, those acha ọcha mini-skirt ladies you’ve been chasing about had been feeding you with pizza for breakfast”, Mama chided at Ben who was busy digging into her delicacy of fufu and oha soup, his favourite.
“Mama, you know no one beats your wonderful delicacies, one of the reasons am back in Nigeria”, Ben teased, making Mama blush. Amy was surprised at mama’s reaction, “so the witch knows how to blush too”, she thought.
“Humph!”, Mama picked up the crystal figurine at the table and cleaned it…again. It reminded Ben of his father, it was a gift from mama to him on his 60th birthday. They had been one happy family, even though mama was always tough and aggressive. He scanned the living room which was still the same as before, being old-fashioned sure runs in the blood.
“So how’s work over there? Do you even have a job sef?”, Mama asked.
“Haba Mama, your son is a very hardworking nurse, he’s…”, Amy stuttered as she remembered Ben telling her not to bring up the issue of his profession in front of mama, but it was already too late.
“Wait ooo…nurse ke?? Árú! You quited law school, to become a…nurse?! M Chi agbanwewo megide m (my chi has turned against me)!”, Mama wailed.
“Mama, stop overreacting okay, it’s a decent job, and whereas i love what am doing”, Ben defended, he wasn’t going to give her a chance to treat him like a child, atleast not in Amy’s presence.
“If i didn’t hear you well, you love what you are doing?! ahhh! It shall not be well with those people supporting you”, Amy went cold at once, “The thunder that will fire all of you, ibonke ọ bụla Chọpụta (without leaving any trace) is still doing press-up! My enemies has finally succeeded in turning me into a laughing stock”, Mama lamented.
“Am going to wash the dishes”, Amy offered, but was stopped by mama impertinently.
“…bia, didn’t your mother teach you that when you go into a strangers house, you don’t go playing with their dogs. I’ld prefer you don’t circulate your “cele” perfume all over my kitchen!”, Mama fired, as she stared dead at her, stood up and stormed into the kitchen.
Amy retreated back to her seat, feeling despondent, it was obvious mama didn’t like her. But why so much venom for her?!
Ben pulled her into a bear hug and cuddled her immediately mama was out of sight, “she will come around, she definitely will”.
Amy stayed with a distant cousin of hers, who had an apartment in Enugu, two streets away from Ben’s home. It was an arrangement they had to come up with at the very last minute. She couldn’t stay under the same roof with mama, that would be committing suicide. He promised to visit her later in the evening after discussing his intentions with mama.
“Aren’t you going to ask about your wife and child?”, Mama asked, grateful that the “ekwensu” had finally left.
“Mama, Chiwendu isn’t my wife, we aren’t legally married”, Ben flared, Chiwendu was his past, a mistake! Why can’t mama understand that?
“Atleast you are not denying the child, that’s a good sign”, Mama scoffed.
“Mama, Amy is the lady i want to get married to, she is everything i want in a woman”.
“Didn’t you use same words for Chichi when you were planting your seeds in her kwö?”, Mama laughed frantically, raised brows, arms at akimbo, she waited for him to defend himself, just like he had always done.
Ben was speechless, he was about to face his worst nightmare.
“You know her people will not spare you if you go ahead and marry another girl, you know this very well! It’s been 6years already biko, it’s time to take up your responsibilities m ọla”, Mama pleaded, more like requested.
“I can’t marry Chiwendu mama, it’s more complicated than you think”.
“Yes! I have only one child Ben Osita, but don’t forget that your father was my fourth husband, my fourth! How complicated is it that this old woman cannot understand kwö?”.
“Mama, its Amy…”
“Yes what about that alambalagada (lady with the saggy boobs)”.
Ben signed “She’s pregnant mama, she’s carrying my child”.