One night, as I guided the goats to the shed, I looked up and realized that it was going to rain. I knew that Zainab had no shelter. I glanced back at my door and knew that my parents were already in bed. Immediately, I raced down the street to find Zainab.
I found her lying at the root of a tree, trying in vain to cover herself with pieces of black nylon bags she had tied together but the strong breeze kept blowing it away and this frustrated her. She smiled when she saw me then sat up.
“Obim, you are here… Did you bring wrapper for me? I’m very cold.” She asked. “Get up, I can’t let you sleep in the rain tonight. Follow me home.”
“Home?” Her eyes widened then she patted the ground and said, “this place is home.”
“No.” I refused and pulled her to her feet. At first, she was reluctant but I managed to convince her. By the the time we got home, it had already started pouring.
I snuck her into the living room and asked her to lie at the back of the couch and I quickly snuck into my room to bring my wrapper. I locked the doors, lay down beside her and cuddled her then fell asleep hoping to wake up early and sneak her out.
But the cuddling was so sweet that I was still snoring when my mother’s loud voice made me jump up, wondering who had set the house on fire!
“Ewoooo!!!! Umunna eh! Umunna, come and see what Chike has brought into my house o!”
Zainab woke up just then, rubbing her eyes with her fists. Realizing that I had been caught, I began to frown and grumble.
Soon, my father and my sister emerged from their rooms. “Nnai!” My mother said to my father, “You see what I’ve been telling you? He even has the guts to bring her into our house, Nnai! We must go to father Thomas immediately, our son is gradually going mad.”
To be continued…
© Angela Okoduwa