Immediately I said that, the call was ended. I called again and my mother didn’t pick it. I later called after one hour and she picked it. When I was about to ask about the meaning of “Acampona”, someone opened the door and folded the arms. I froze immediately when I saw Claire blinking her eyes and smiling at me. I shrugged it off and wanted to continue when she beckoned to me to stop. How would an ordinary maid command me not to talk to my mother. Anyways, I ended the call.
“Who are you?” she asked me.
By now I had already dressed up waiting for Mrs Cole to take me to the embassy and here was a maid asking for my identity.
“Yes. Why are you asking me?” I challenged her.
“Ma, you don’t know your identity.” she said closing the door behind her.
I stood up to understand her statement. The sudden respect for me didn’t go well with me. Claire told me authoritatively that I had a mark on my back. I was shocked to hear that from a stranger what only my mother and I knew. She began to pace up and down in my room revealing her mission in that city and would be willing to wreak havoc in more families. I didn’t understand her but she kept talking as if we had known each other for a long time.
Then, she stopped and pointed to my phone on the bed,
“Your mother will call you now”
True to her prediction, my phone began to ring. My mother called to pray for me committing the interview into God’s hand. I didn’t bother to ask her about the dream again. Claire sat beside me on the bed to ask why I came to Lagos. I told her and she wondered why I wanted to travel out when there were a lot of godly families in our country.
“Godly families? Claire, I don’t understand you”
She turned to me and said,
“Mrs Cole is already trapped. Right now her husband is with a strange woman in Italy and her sons have stopped taking her calls.”
All her revelations were strange to me and I began to think if she were under a strange influence or drank alcohol early in the morning because there was a mini bar in their kitchen.
“Why did they stop taking her calls?” I asked with caution.
“My mission is to quench her fire and destroy her family and I have almost done that. We sent our own prophet to mislead them.”
“That their mother was the enemy behind their failures. Her worries, anger and lukewarmness will finalise the process” She said looking in the direction of the door.
I was already losing interest in her strange narration when she said Mrs Cole would knock the door.
“Good morning Rebecca. I’m set.” Mrs Cole gave a faint knock and left.
I quickly carried my bag and waited for her to take the lead but she asked me to open the door. We came out and Mrs Cole was already waiting for me by her car.
“Rebecca, we will continue our discussion later in the day.” Claire said as she waved at me.
Mrs Cole was silent almost through the way to the embassy. All what Claire revealed to me started making sense when I saw the sorrow written over her face. I tried to cheer her up,
“Ma, this is a beautiful city just like your house and car”
She looked at me briefly and continued driving. I thought of another way to cheer her up.
“Ma, my mother told me a lot about how both of you enjoyed life during your secondary school days. You must be close friends then.”
It was as if I had touched a sensitive part of her past memories when she took a deep breath and replied:
“Yes, we did. We loved going to parties until that unfortunate incident that changed our destinies.”
My tongue stuck momentarily when I wanted to ask for more details. I waited a bit to allow this revelation to sink in. My mother never told me anything about unfortunate incident except that she used to steal from her friends then.
“Yes, she told me about her stealing prowess. So sad!” I said that looking at her to be sure that was what she meant by the unfortunate incident.
It was like the beautiful weather propelled her to reveal more when she wind down the window,
“She aborted the pregnancy when Bello denied the allegation. It was a tough time for us but we overcame. I even lost my parents when they were on their way back from the village. That changed my perspective of life.”
Her own sad experience didn’t bother me but the new revelation I got about my mother saddened me. She never told me anything about abortion. On a second thought, maybe she was waiting for the right time to tell me. I remembered how she kicked against abortion when I told her about a friend who was impregnated by Mr Steve, our music teacher. The way she described the harrowing procedure really scared me and that was one of the reasons I stayed away from opposite sex.
She dropped me at the embassy and promised to pick me whenever I was through. The interview went well and I had to wait for Mrs Cole at the designated place. While waiting for her, two ladies greeted me cheerfully. Out of curiosity, I wanted to know where they first knew me. One of them introduced herself as Naomi. That name rang bell and I remembered the story of Ruth and Naomi Mama Bolanle shared with us about the importance of absolute consecration to God. I didn’t love this God but I liked listening to the beautiful stories from the Bible.
“We are here to share the gospel of Jesus Christ with you.” she said joyfully.
I didn’t respond as I thought of why this God was sending people to me to surrender to him. I haven’t tasted the world enough and I wanted to explore everything I could find. They were still talking about God’s love for me when Mrs Cole arrived. They quickly prayed for me and gave me a tract. On our way home, Mrs Cole asked about the interview and the ladies. When I told her about the mission of those ladies, she became sober. She told me about the two patients that died that very day and the thought of eternity put fear in her. I asked if she was a Christian like my mother, she was surprised to hear about her conversion.
“She is lucky” was her short reply.
We were already at the gate and Claire opened it. When I saw her, fear gripped my heart.
“When are you leaving tomorrow?” Mrs Cole asked me.
“in the morning ma!”
I quickly entered my room to avoid any eye contact with Claire. Her attitude and manner of talking was strange to me. I informed my mother about the interview and she prayed for me as usual.
After one hour, I heard someone knocking on the door and I knew it was time for dinner. I waited to be sure who was at the door until I heard the voice of man,
“Open the door!”
I wondered who could be when there was no man in the house. The voice came again,
“Open the door!”
I was almost shivering when I opened the door and I saw a huge…
To be continued in Episode 12.