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The world tilted a bit for Isioma as
tears gathered in her eyes.
“My husband is dead.” She said in a choking voice.
“Oghene!” Omote exclaimed. “Who just called you?”
“I suspect it’s his mistress, the white girl.” She lowered her voice.
“What are you going to do now? You will inform his family?” Omote asked desperately.
Isioma became silent and turned away.
It hurt Omote deeply to see tears in her friend’s eyes. She had never seen Isioma that way since when they were kids. She must have loved this man, despite his flaws.
“I and his late brother were his only family Omote.” Omote shook her head and held Isioma’s hands tight.
“Take heart my friend.” Omote could tell from her tone that she wasn’t ready to talk more about her husband’s death. She sat gently on the rocker and watched Isioma weep softly for a while.
“I miss him already. He made me who I am today. He took me from the streets, not minding if I have been married before.” Isioma sobbed.
Omote didn’t know what to say anymore. ‘Sorry’ wasn’t going to bring her friend’s husband back. She had forgotten that she was menstruating. Time passed, and still Isioma was sobbing. She wiped her eyes with the back of hand, and took her phone gently.
“let me inform the lawyer.” Her voice quivered.
Omote’s eyes were filled with pity for her friend. She sat with her till she had made all the phone calls, informing people of her husband’s death.
Omote followed Isioma to her beautiful house for the first time. She could not let her drive home alone.
While she settled in the beautifully furnished executive sitting room, she overheard the cook scream in the kitchen “tufiakwa, oka nnofid die!” Isioma came out with a red swollen eye.
The cook had started crying aloud, causing a moody state in the house. Isioma’s phone rang countless times. She picked some calls and ignored some. Sympathizers started trooping in and out of the house that night.
Omote took her arm and escorted her upstairs, after the sympathizers left.
Omote got back home the next morning looking tired. She didn’t sleep all through the night. She had wondered why her sister Tega didn’t call to find out why she didn’t come back the previous night.
She opened the window and stood staring outside for a time before she started to undress.
“You are back.” Tega’s voice said from the bedroom.
“Isioma lost her husband.”
“Oghene!” Tega screamed from the room, running out with a Mint green color bridal gown in her hands.
“How? What killed him?” She asked in a shaky tone.
“We don’t know yet.” Omote noticed the gown in her sister’s hands. “What’s that for?” she said, navigating her eyes to the gown.
“oh okay. Chetachukwu and I are getting married in court today.”
Omote became amazed.
“What? Without even informing Mama or I.” Omote said angrily.
“It is just a court marriage. I will be meeting his family next month in Umuahia. I just told you now of our court wedding. Cheta informed me yesterday, he wanted to surprise me.” Tega said, releasing a soft smile.
Omote leaned against the casement, wondering what she should do to stop her sister from marrying Cheta.
“That guy is using local Umuahia charms on you Tega.” She said in a loud voice.
Tega watched her flinch at her angry words.
She pressed her hands over her ears, as she walked into her room excitedly.
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