Maimuna opened the door and enfolded her in a hug that should made her flatter than an ATM card, Dr. Ibrahim was smiling as he walked past them into the house, his arms laden with the fruits he’d stopped to buy at the market. Maimuna guided her inside and settled her on her favourite armchair – the one Yohanna had called her throne.
“You have a beautiful house! Each time I visit here, I am struck anew by its beauty.” Dr. Ibrahim said.
When they had saved up enough money to build their own house, Yohanna had told her to let her creative expression run wild in the design and building of the house.
“Aside the value I get from getting a fabulously designed house by the best architect in the world at no cost to me. It would tremendously help your practice to build us an awesome home. When you have hesitant potential clients and invite them home for vegetable soup and tuwo dawa, they would be so blown away that they’d offer you twice your fee to build them something similarly spectacular.” He chuckled at this point, “just as long as they don’t think they would get tuwo and vegetable soup with the houses, that great meal stays in my home.”
She looked around and saw what Ibrahim was seeing, the beautiful interior done in warm gold tones, cream, pink and dashes of royal blue – obviously put together by a woman with an awesome eye for colour balance – Yohanna had liked to joke when they had first-time visitors to their home. It was just a house these days. Without Yohanna, it was just cement and sand and paint and curtains.
“Would you like something to drink?” Maimuna asked as she took the basket of fruits from Ibrahim to the fridge in the kitchen. Ibrahim asked for cold kunu while she shook her head.
“It’s a good thing I just made fresh orange juice, but there’s no kunu so you and Lantana. would have to drink orange juice.” Maimuna quipped
“I’m glad she finally agreed to go to the hospital, she was very sick. Plus, she looks as if the next stiff wind would blow her far away from here.” She continued.
“Would it blow me to where Yohanna is?”
“Your husband would have hated to see you like this and you know it.” Maimuna looked at her cousin and her heart ached for her, losing a good husband was beyond traumatic and Yohanna was premium quality.
“What food do you have in the house?” Ibrahim asked and Maimuna gratefully grabbed the change in subject and reeled out all the meals in the freezer. Ibrahim choose bean soup with stiff agidi, Maimuna hurried to thaw the food.
“I’m going to get a psychologist to see you, we need to make sure your mental health is near optimal especially because you are carrying new life within you. At least you’d do anything to preserve Yo’s child.”
She hugged herself and attempted a smile, for the first time it hit her that this child was a part of Yohanna left for her to love. Six years of trying for a child and finally the child was on its way. But where was Yohanna to share the joy with?
The doorbell rang and she trembled, there was still an errant hope in her heart that the person at the door would be Yohanna. That he would be there to tell her that the body in the grave she’d planted roses and sunflowers on, hadn’t been his. How could it be him? When he had promised to love her for ten lifetimes.
She smiled when Ibrahim went to the door, she had stopped going to get the door, she was tired of being disappointed to find anyone who wasn’t the one her heart sought for. Loud noises were coming from the door, she craned her neck to see what was happening. Could it finally be happening?
“You shameless Ashawo, my brother is barely cold in the ground and his body hasn’t even begun to rot and you bring this man – his killer, to warm your bed. Is that why you killed him? You should have just divorced him.” She screamed and pushed herself into the living room.
“My brother might have been broken but at least he’d still be alive, I would still have a brother. Ah death, you have been so unfair to me.” Sarah sat on the floor and began to wail.
To catch up on the rest of the series click on Lantana’s Odyssey