Edidiong and Sheila walked into Chan Lang Chinese restaurant. They found an empty table and made their orders.
“I have been here once with my parents.”
“Yes. Their food is great.”
“Boma has been here with some of his friends. He told me about this place.”
“Boma and food.”
“Don’t mind my brother.”
A waiter brought their meal and drinks.
“It smells so good.”
“Yes, it does.”
Sheila bowed her head and said a quick prayer before digging into her meal. Edidiong watched her and swallowed the food in her mouth and mumbled a prayer too. When was the last time she prayed before eating? Her parents would be ashamed of her if they found out that she had stopped praying before eating. She had been taught that it was good to thank God for providing the food. It guaranteed abundant provision from God.
“This is delicious,” Sheila smiled at her. Edidiong nodded and smiled back. She would like to bring some of her friends here. She might also bring her dates, the restaurant was a good place to dine and have fun. When they were through with their meal, they decided to freshen up in the restroom before leaving.
“I must come back here.”
“Don’t spend all your allowance on Chinese food o!”
“Abi o… ” They bursted out laughing.
Zidani and her friends walked in. They recognized Sheila the moment they saw her.
“Talk of the devil!”
“It is the big mouthed Adams girl.”
Sheila and Edidiong noticed them.
“Hello, remember me?” Zidani stepped forward.
“Do you know them?”
Sheila nodded. The lazy spoilt rich girls are back.
“How are you doing, Zidani, Cecilia and Nkiruka?” She stretched out a hand, but they ignored it.
“Wonderful, you remember our names,” Zidani hissed.
“Very smart,” Cecilia snarled.
She was in no mood to exchange words with them. Zidani and her friends were trouble makers with a capital ‘T’, “I wish you ladies a lovely evening,” she took her cousin’s hand and pulled her towards the doorway. Zidani and her friends blocked their way.
“Not so fast.”
“What is the meaning of this?” Edidiong demanded. The young women were beginning to irritate her.
“Please shut up!” Nkiruka addressed her.
“Are you out of your mind? Do you realize who you are talking to?” Edidiong lost her temper. Sheila patted her on the shoulder.
“Relax, I will handle them.”
Zidani and her friends started laughing.
“Who is your friend?”
“She has a big mouth too.”
“Come to think of it Zidani, she looks like your former wedding planner, Dorcas.”
Zidani met Edidiong’s glare, “You are right. She is the carbon copy of Dorcas.”
“What do you want Zidani?” Sheila crossed her arms against her bossom.
“What do I want?” She looked at her friends and they giggled.
“We heard that you had an accident a little over a month ago.”
“Please accept our condolences,” Nkiru made a comical face.
“We heard that you went loco for a while,” Cecilia derided.
“She didn’t go crazy. She had amnesia,” she defended her cousin. What was wrong with Sheila? Why was she allowing them to insult and make fun of her? The Sheila she knew would have finished them off in a matter of minutes.
“Amnesia is a milder way of classifying a lunatic,” Zidani eyed her. Edidiong felt like smacking her mouth. That would keep her quiet for a while.
Sheila felt her anger brewing. She took a deep breath and exhaled slowly. She would respond to them in love. She has to respond in love. She needed to respond in love. It doesn’t matter what they say or do, she would do the right thing. That was the best thing to do. That was the only way no one would get hurt.
“Hope your wedding plans are moving on smoothly, I wish you goodluck,” she pulled her cousin’s hand and led her out of the restroom.
Zidani and her friends watched them go.
“Whatever happened to that girl during the accident, it definitely messed her up.”
“You are right.”
“The last time we saw her, she insulted us without giving a hoot. But this time around, she decided not to.”
“She masked her offence with a cordial attitude.”
“Is she all right?”
Cecilia and Nkiru shook their heads.
“I thought so too. Talking about my wedding plans, I think I need to call Dorcas, I prefer her to the quacks my mum shoved in my face.”
“I concur,” her friends choroused.
Edidiong and Sheila got into the car.
“Is this how you will continue to allow people to walk all over you?”
Sheila smiled, “I will choose my battles wisely.”
She eyed her, “Really?”
“Yes, and for the record, Zidani and her friends do not worth a drop my spittle.”
“What would Jesus have done? I have decided to follow his example.”
“Hmmm… ” She nodded and started the car, she backed out of the parking area and headed back to the campus. She was glad her cousin had truely changed. One can respond to insultive people in different ways. Sheila choosed to ignore their insults and walked the path of peace. That was something she needed to learn.
The door bell rang. Eureka groaned. Who could that be? It was seven in the morning. Don’t people sleep anymore? Her husband turned on his side and faced her. His eyes were still closed.
“I am not leaving this bed. Whoever is at the door should go and sleep?”
John chuckled and opened his eyes, “You are wicked.”
“Whatever… ” She turned away and pulled the heavy brown blanket over her head.
The door bell rang again.
“Honey… ” He shook her lightly but she refused to respond.
Sheila opened her eyes, yawned, stretched her hands and legs and pulled the blanket over her head. The door bell had woken her. She wondered who was at the door. Who could be visiting her parents at this hour on a Saturday? She heard the door bell again. Why was no one answering it? She groaned and hurled herself off the bed. Why did she bother to come home? She could have remained in the hostel and no one would have disturbed her sleep with door bells. She scratched her hand and neck and staggered out of her bedroom in her pyjamas.
The bell rang again. She hissed and quickened her step. She yawned again and stretched her hands. Her eyes felt watery a bit. All she wanted to do was sleep. Who was at the door? She unlocked the front door and opened it. She narrowed her eyes due to the rays of sun streaming into the house. She adjusted her gaze and noticed a couple standing three feet away.
“Good morning Sheila.”
Sheila frozed when she saw her aunt, Martha and her husband.
“Are your parents in?”
She tried to speak, but her throat felt parched all of a sudden. She moved away from the doorway, giving them room to walk into the house. She closed the door and watched them heading for the sitting room. Why were they here? What do they want? She had not seen them since she was discharged from the hospital. A thousand thoughts ran through her mind, but none could decify her aunt and her husband’s visit.
Sheila left for the master bedroom. She knocked and walked in.
“Mum… Dad… Aunt Martha and her husband are here.”
No response. Where they still sleeping? She approached the bed.
“Mum… Dad… You have… We have visitors.”
No response. She frowned and moved closer, “Mum! Dad!”
“We heard you young woman,” her father sat up.
“For the love of God can’t someone sleep anymore in this house!” Her mother got down from the bed and marched out of the room in her nightwear. She watched her leave and turned to look at her father.
“Mrs. Cranky slept late. She will be fine once she gets enough rest as soon as possible.”
She bit her lower lip, “Why is Aunt Martha and her husband here?”
John smiled, “Let us go and find out.”
They both left the room and headed for the sitting room.