“Oloshi! Oloriburuku! Thunder fire you!” yelled the motorcyclist who had almost hit Emeka who had been lost in thought as he trudged home that evening. He turned to the motorcyclist who was still raining curses on him, an apologetic look on his face as he watched him speed away. “It could have been better if he had knocked me out of this useless life” he thought, and went on. Two other motorcyclists had almost run into him before he finally got home.
By the time he got home, Cynthia was busy with goat meat pepper soup in the kitchen. Tears instantly welled up in his eyes at the sight of her. He quietly soaked up the tears with his handkerchief to avoid being noticed. He then cleared his throat.
“Hello dear, how was today’s work?” She smiled
“Work was great. And this is too much for a dinner for two people. What’s up?”
“You mean you can’t guess? It’s your birthday tomorrow. You always forget”
He became more broken. She loved him so much, and he loved his wife even more. The tears he had been holding forced their way out and she could see them.
“What’s wrong honey?”
“Everything” he blurted out, walking into her and hugging her tight, as the tears raced out of his eyes.
“Everything? Tell me about it”
“Yes, I will…” he sniffed, “…but I have to take care of something urgent right now, I’ll be back in an hour” he kissed her forehead and walked out. Cynthia’s eyes escorted him until he was out of sight, her mouth hanging open, and the expression of confusion on her face.
It was barely thirty minutes later when Cynthia’s cellphone rang out. She had been relaxing in the bedroom, awaiting Emeka’s return, and wondering what could possibly drag out a tear from her husband’s eyes. She looked at the screen of the cellphone and saw that it was he on the line, she quickly tapped the receiver.
“Honey where are-”
“Listen carefully to what I’m going to tell you now” he cut her short, and then he began his story.
Emeka’s face was drenched in a tears-and-sweat mixture and he was quivering like he had caught a cold by the time he was done talking. Cynthia, on the other end, had remained silent throughout the confession, overtaken by the shock of her life.
Nine cockroaches! Nine cockroaches would be visitingf the house between the hours of twelve and one. Nine cockroaches determined to claim her life through deadly bites. Nine human-transformed cockroaches all of which she must kill to stay alive. Nine cockroaches, the ninth of which was he, the deadliest and most die-hard of all, the one behind the strange bites that had killed his mother and her mother, the very one behind her six miscarriages, and the one behind their incomprehensible wealth.
“I know u must be filled with so much rage right now, Cynthy. I know u must be really disappointed. I did not know when I joined the brotherhood, Noble, my friend, never told me that it was an occult, and I had no other choice than to play along even after the discovery. They threatened to kill me. But then, you must do what you must. I’m so sorry, and I love you”
And with that, he dropped the call, leaving his beloved wife to her sobs.
Cynthia gazed blankly at the dead nine cockroaches lying by her broom, as she sat on the floor of the bedroom, relaxing on its wall. It was the fourth hour of the morning. Bags had formed under her eyes from lack of sleep, plus, she had been crying. She looked at the ninth cockroach which had taken her almost an hour to kill, an awkwardly big black horrifying cockroach with a very hard body, exactly as mama had described before she had passed on, it could have bitten her had she not had wrapped herself from head to toe from the beginning. Tears ran down her cheeks. Her phone soon rang out, it was a call from an unknown number. A wry smile escaped her lips, it was a call she had been expecting. She tapped on the receiver and answered. It was the long awaited news.
Emeka had died in his sleep in a hotel downtown.d