“Where is that foolish thing, called Vianana?”, Aunt Amaka barked. The fact that she got no reply, made her sick with rage.
“Vianana! Vianana!”, she yelled. It wasas if the sound of the name gave her a bitter taste in her mouth, because of the way she pronounced it. Yet all she got was silence. She went in search of her in the gargantuan abode.
For a moment it appeared as if her search was going to be futile, untill the heard the sound of someone snoring, from the guest apartment. And the snoring had a rhythm to it She didn’t have to second guess to know that it was Vianana. She didn’t go in immediately, instead she went away to get a cane.
Cane in hand she went in to deal with her prey. She tip toed, not wanting to wake her quarry up. Aunty Amaka stopped as Vianana made a sound like that of a pig, at the same time, changing her sleeping position. Enough proof that Vianana was far gone in her slumber.
Aunty Amaka got to her and hovered over her for some seconds, to acertain that she had not woken her up.
“Ta, ta, ta, ta,”, the cane came down in quick successions.
“Ye! ye! ye! ye!”, Vianana woke up yelling. Aunty Amaka kept raining it down on her as though, Vianana’s life depended on it.
“You useless brat of a child”, she kept saying as she became so relentless in her flogging her. Vianana found it hard to escape because her attacker was blocking the exit with her imposing frame. Vianana thought today will be the end of her but Aunty Amaka got distracted by a knock on the door. That was the opening Vianana needed to escape the assault of her sinister aunt.
That was one among many of the ill treatment that Vianana received from her aunt; someone who was suppose to be family.
Aunty Amaka was pretty. She spotted a low hair cut along with a good set of white dentition. She was of medium height. She had an ebony complexioned skin and most of all she was wealthy, courtesy of her husband, Mr. Wilson, a Mechanical Engineer. But one thing plagued the family; lack of children.
Last week she thought that she was pregnant when she didn’t see her menses, for almost two weeks. She was filled with glee at the thought of finally carrying a child in her wonb. A womb that had been barren for the last eight years. But her hopes came crashing down like a plane that has lost its wings as the doctor told her it was false. The doctor told her that it was anxiety and expectation that put the thought in her head that she had finally conceived a child. “Its all in your mind Mrs. Dafe”, the doctor said.
And as regards her menses, she saw it the next day.
In her situation you would have expected her to be more accommodating and kindhearted, so that atleast God can open up her womb, instead she became so inventive and creative in cruelty and strife.
Living with her aunt was hell for Vianana and she never envisaged that it would be this bad. Now, she wished Laura would appear from nowhere and take her away from this prison that she now finds herself. Her life was at a standstill. There was no inkling to the fact that, she might get a chance to further her education. Her aunt along with her husband weren’t interested, because the period that UTME form was out, Vivi asked her aunt if she would purchase it for her. Aunt Amaka looked hard at her and said
“Go to the grave and ask your dad”.
The words pierced Amaka’s soul and she bled emotionally. That was after spending two weeks with her aunt.
Vianana never ate a proper meal. She was only entitled to left overs. She had no new clothes. The had outgrown the ones that she had but she had no choice but to wear them. Her sleeping apartment was a store where all the wedding gifts of the Dafe’s were kept. It was after four months that she was given a proper room to sleep in and that was at the prompting of her mother-In-law who noticed it during the ocassions that she visited.
The worst part of it all was that Mr. Dafe pretended not to notice the misdemeanour of his wife towards her niece. Misdemeanour was putting it mildly. Aunty Amaka was not like the Devil, she was ‘The Devil’. It was as though she blamed Vianana for her barreness.
When she got married some years back it was a general consensus that she would be pregnant within the next few months but six years on and there is no sign of a crawling child in the house.
Then, it was two and a half years into the marriage, when her mother-In-law started to ask questions,
“When will you give me a grandchild, Will?”, she asked him one afternoon while he was in his study.
He didn’t respond.
She sighed. “Am going to get you a girl who has a fertile womb”, she said again believing that, that statement would get his attention. He didn’t twitch as he continued what he was doing.
“Isn’t it obvious that your wife is barren?”, she said. “Won’t you do something about it?”, she asked.
“Mama, please drop this, pleaseeeee”, Will said.
She didn’t retreat. “I won’t standby and watch the world mock you, because you……….”,
“Mama it’s enough, enough”, Amaka burst out with rage from the kitchen”.
“Ewo oh! Willy”, she called out.
“Hear your wife. How dare you watch her speak to me like that and not do anything?”, she said. Astonishment inscribed all over her face.
“You dare talk to me like that, Amaka?”, she asked?
“Yes!”, Amaka replied.
“Chai! Amaka!” , she exclaimed.
She looked at her son for intervention but Ben just dug his face into the newspaper, pretending not to notice the insolence that his wife was dishing out to her.
“Ben! Ben! Ben!”, she called out to him. Ben stood up and relief washed over her face, thinking that he was going to do something about his insultive and disregarding wife. Instead, he went upstairs straight to his room.
She was shocked. “Jehovah! I am dead”, she exclaimed.
“I can see that she has given you something to eat”, she said.
She stood facing Amaka. Amaka did not flinch.
“Listen Amaka, my God shall expose your evil plans. He surely will”, she said and walked out of the sitting room.
A smirk was plastered over her face, marking that moment as victory for Amaka. That moment also marked the exit of her mother-in-law from her abode because the next day Ben’s mother left with the hope of never returning.
Aunty Amaka had a strong hold on her husband. She always had her way with him. Vianana was in the kitchen working when she heard her aunt yeling. She thought it was an argument between husband and wife but it wasn’t because she was hearing just one voice and it was that of her aunt.
“Are you done making the eba?”, she asked.
Vianana was startled by her voice because she didn’t hear her come into the kitchen.
Vianana was about to answer, when it hit her face.
“Tah! Tah! Tah!”, her aunt’s palm graced Vianana’s face.
“I-I-I………was-was.. trying to.-to”, she stuttered.
“You still wan talk?”, her aunt spoke in pidgin.
She thought she was satisfied with the apology she gave her aunt. She continued with what she was doing.
Unknown to her, her aunt had other ideas. Aunty Amaka went for the electric jug with the boiled water in it and swiftly swung it at Vianana. Vianana saw it in time and if not for her swiftness her face would have been scalded, beauty would have been turned to ashes. She found her feets out of the kitchen.
Aunty Amaka always flew into a mad rage anytime she just finished arguing with her husband; oh! sorry, I meant to say shout at her husband. She was the man of the house. She obviously had a hold over him.
Inspite of her machoness, she had a predicament. She was barren. She cried each time she realized that she won’t be able to bear children, though it was by her doing.
Aunty Amaka was dominant over her husband because of the portion that was made for her by a very potent herbalist. One of the items that was used to make the portion was the blood from her menses. And the repercussion was that she wasn’t going to be able to bear children. Each time she went out and saw her friends with their children she suddenly felt melancholic and sober. But it was a choice that she made and that she had to live with.
Few days later she was paid a visit by her friend Ejiro who just arrived from over seas. Ejiro was her childhood friend and every of her problems Amaka told her and Ejiro always had a solution to every problem. She was the one who introduced her to the herbalist who made the portion for her. As they both went into her room Amaka broke down into tears and Ejiro knew why she was crying because they had conversed via the phone a day before. Besides it was all they talked about when ever they chatted.
Don’t worry we will always find a way around this. Amaka sniffed. Ejiro wiped her friend’s face with her hankerchief.
“Don’t worry I have your back”, Ejiro comforted her. Amaka just nodded her head. At that point a knock was heard on the door.
“Who is that”,Ejiro asked
“Its Vianana”, she replied
“Fool! What is it?”, Amaka asked in her usual manner.
“I came for the errand that you wanted me to carry out”, Vianana replied.
“Oh! Come in”, Aunty Amaka ordered. Ejiro kept staring at Vianana as she moved about the room.
“Who is that?”, Ejiro asked after Vianana left.
“Its my useless brother’s, useless daughter.
Ejiro smiled. Inspite of her poor condition of living and the tattered way that Vianana appeared, she was still pretty. She had full breast and massive hips. Something that every husbands would want their wives to have.
“She is sure very pretty and endowed”, Ejiro said.
Amaka glared at her friend and said? “Which kind statement be that?”.
Ejiro kept beaming with smiles.
“Your niece is the answer to your problem”, Ejiro said.
“How! how?”, Amaka asked anxiously.
Ejiro said nothing but kept on smiling. The scheme was already in motion right there in her mind and Vianana had no idea of the role that she was going to play in the plot and how it was going to shape her life.