The lady breezed into the room quickly at mama’s heels as if pursued by a tornado. Laura stood up confused, staring at them both.
“Mama, what would you like to drink?” Laura asked putting on her best smile. “I just finished preparing food. Would you like to eat some?”
Mama sat on the sofa looking at her without speaking.
“What would you like to have?” Laura turned to mama’s strange friend.
“I would like some warm milk” the strange lady responded smiling sweetly.
Laura hurried into the kitchen to get the milk. She poured warm water from the flask and mixed milk into it and brought it quickly to the lady.
The lady sipped it a little then spat it out.
“omo mi(my child), what happened?” mama asked as she sprang up to her feet.
“No problem mama relax, I don’t just feel like taking milk again, can you get me fresh guava juice?” she asked, turning to Laura.
Confused, Laura collected the glass of milk from her and took it to the kitchen.
“My daughter take it easy, ehn. Whatever you need just tell Laura, she will prepare it. Calm down, pele, that’s how pregnancy is.” Mama replied fawning over her like she was a precious chick.
What was happening? Laura thought to herself as she removed seeds from the guava she had picked from the orchard.
“When is my son coming back” Mama asked as she entered the kitchen.
“He will soon be home mama” Laura answered. She was going to wait patiently for her husband to come and explain this strange things happening.
Laura poured the guava juice out of the juicer and gave the glass of juice to her visitor.
“This is fresh and organic, I’m sure you would like it.” She said smiling at her visitor. “Your face looks familiar, I’ve been trying to place it. Can you indulge me by introducing yourself to me? I am Laura Adams.”
“Well, I am Ju…..” the visitor was about saying when the door opened.
“David, welcome!” Mama exclaimed happily rushing to hug her son.
“Good evening maami” David prostrated to greet his mum.
“When did you get here?” He said as he untied his shoes. “You never told me you were coming.” He continued speaking when his gaze caught that of Julie.
“What are you doing here?” He asked fiercely. “Who gave you the audacity to come here? You are even sitting comfortably on my sofa.” He clapped his hands as he laughed.
“You even brought my mum?” You’re such a fierce woman.”
“Sweetheart welcome!” Laura said as she picked the briefcase he had dropped. “Do you know her?”
Fleeting emotions crossed David’s face immediately Laura asked the question. His face mirrored anger, pain then fury.
He swallowed as he squeezed his hands tightly. The hurt rose up fiercely in his chest as he puckered his dry lips.
Both women looked at him to hear what his response would be. Julie to know if he would deny her and Laura to know the identity of the strange woman relaxing on her sofa.
“This is Julie Andrews, the woman I told you about.” He said after several minutes of silence.
“What?” The word was a shriek, a cry that came from her hurt but healing heart. Laura had taken the news of pregnancy with grace but seeing the woman in her home was another thing entirely.
She stifled the sobs that threatened to rock her whole body and whispered a quick prayer to God.
“Father, help me to stay sane, give me grace, help me to love Julie like you would despite the hurt she’s caused me.” She prayed silently as she stared at the woman.
No wonder the face seemed a little bit familiar earlier. She had seen her picture in David’s university album. So this was the Julie that was carrying her husband’s child she thought.
“Lord help me to be nice” she muttered.
“Julie, how are you doing? How are you feeling?” Laura spoke fast, the words and her emotions incoherent and jumbled.
“My son, since we are all here now let’s talk.” Mama spoke. “I brought Julie here with her bags so that she can be taken care of properly.”
“No mama, she is not staying here!” David stated firmly. “Julie, you have your apartment already. I’m going to provide everything you need from the ante-natal classes to the delivery time. You don’t have to stay here.”
“Wait! What nonsense is coming out of your mouth” Mama blurted out, shaking vehemently already like a masquerade performing in the village square.
“You mean you’re going to allow this barren woman stay here while the one carrying your child suffers outside.” She continued shaking with her arms akimbo.
“Over my dead body for that to happen.” She spat. “You better send this barren, good for nothing woman parking out of this house before she ruins you.”
“Mama!” Laura cried out, visibly shaken by what mama was saying.
“Don’t call me your mother again, as far as I am concerned this is the only daughter-in-law I have.” She said pointing to Julie who was sited comfortably sipping juice and enjoying the whole drama playing out.
“Mama, I’m taking you back home now. Laura is going nowhere and Julie is going back right now too.” David said as he made his decision.
“You want to pursue me out of your house now, so the so called good wife as finally poisoned your mind against me ehnn! Don’t worry I’m going to leave but this girl, Julie goes no where. ” mama stated.
“Mama, please don’t be like this now, this is a simple matter. Julie doesn’t have to stay here.” David pleaded.
“It is like you people don’t understand me” mama started to cry as she ran to the kitchen. She came back with a knife pressed against her neck.
“You want to see me die David. You want to kill me, I fed you, made sure you didn’t suffer as I struggled to single handedly raise you and your sisters. Is this how you want to repay me?” she screamed hysterically.
“What is my crime? I’m doing this all for your sake, I want to have a grandchild from my only son.”
“Mama stop this!” David shouted.
“Please don’t do this mama” Laura said as she stood up, she was seriously alarmed.
“If you don’t want me to kill myself here right now in your house, Juliana must stay here.” Mama continued with her blackmail as tears streamed down from her eyes.
“Honey, please let Julie stay here” Laura pleaded with David as blood started trickling down mama’s neck from the point where she pressed the knife.
“Fine, you won.” David said, casting a piercing glance at Julie. “She is going to leave the moment she delivers the baby.”
“No problem David, I am going to leave this house the moment I deliver the baby” Julie spoke up looking at him with a smirk on her face.