“Welcome aunty, how was work today?” asked Ada as a petite lady stepped into the compound. Miss Thelma looked up and smiled at Ada. “Fine dear, it was boring as usual”
Miss Thelma was a youth corper posted from Lagos to serve in the country’s compulsory national youth service. She had studied law at the university and had gotten a posting to the local government secretariat. She lived at the boys’ quarter apartment in the compound where aunt Mabel lives.
She had taken a liking to Ada because of her smartness. Ada acted beyond her age and it amazes Miss Thelma. Ada loves to spend most of her evenings with her listening to different stories of Miss Thelma’s university days and how much fun she had had.
Ada followed her into her room and wanted to discuss her fears about uncle Uche with her but she didn’t know how to start the conversation and not long afterwards, she heard her aunt Mabel’s voice calling out her name. She knew it was time to prepare dinner so she ran out of Miss Mabel’s apartment.
Dinner was delicious. Ada noticed uncle Uche avoided her eyes all through the meal and it made her uneasy. She silently prayed that whatever demon possessed her uncle few nights ago would have left him so she could enjoy a blissful night’s sleep.
No sooner had she and Ike lay down to sleep that she felt his hand on her bosom. She cringed at the touch and sat up straight. She wanted to call out to Ike but her uncle immediately clasped his hand over her mouth, stifling her cries. She struggled to set herself free but he was too strong for her to overpower. She groped in the darkness for her pillow and reached under it. She brought out her only weapon of defense and down went uncle Uche with a yell. He slumped clutching his chest; Ada had stabbed him with a broken glass she had kept under her pillow.
Ike woke up; startled by the noise and aunty Mabel also rushed into the living room. She put on the light and was shocked to see her husband in a pool of blood. She screamed and rushed to him asking what happened but when she saw him going pale, she rushed out to the street for help. She was able to get a cab man just closing for the day and with Ike’s help, rushed him to the hospital.
All through the journey to the hospital, aunt Mabel kept wondering how her husband could have gotten stabbed right in the house and from the look on Ada’s face, she must have been the culprit. Had an evil spirit suddenly taken Ada hostage? She thought.
When everyone had left, Ada just sat down and wept. For once, the thought that uncle Uche might die hit her. She didn’t mean for him to be stabbed; she had put the glass there to scare him away. She regretted her actions and muttered a prayer that uncle Uche shouldn’t die. Tobe slept through all the commotion and only got to know the fate that befell his father when he woke up the next morning.
The next morning, Aunt Mabel came back with Ike and called Ada to question her about the incident that led to her husband being at the hospital . Ada didn’t want to tell her aunt so that she wouldn’t destroy her marriage but she also realized that the truth would set her free. She finally, reluctantly told her aunt how the whole saga started.
“Is that all? Is it because my husband touched you that you want to kill him?” aunt Mabel retorted. “Why didn’t you tell me earlier or even just allow him? I know how to deal with him…but you just had to stab him. Why Ada? Why? You want to make me a widow so soon?”
Aunt Mabel concluded that Ada had seducing spirit and wanted to use it to scatter her home. Tobe also hated Ada for being the reason his father was at the brink of death. It was as if the whole world had turned their backs on her. Then she remembered the one who loved her regardless; miss Thelma.
She went and explained all that transpired to Miss Thelma who was furious at the fact that her guardian could do that to her. She encouraged her to stay strong and not let anyone threaten her. Her father was sent for and he had clearly become a drunk. He could barely stand straight; he was always reeking of alcohol. He went back two days after but didn’t mince words when he told Ada not to think there was still a home to come back to. He had sold it and moved on. She had better pray her uncle comes out of the hospital alive.
The police also had to wade in and interviewed Ada on all that transpired. They eventually ruled out that she struck her uncle through self-defense. She was told not to worry as the case, if any, would be in her favor. Miss Thelma had also told her she would help her get some child right’s lawyer if the need arose.
Exactly seven days after the incident, uncle Uche passed on from an infection from the stab. It was a trying moment for Ada as everyone now saw her as the reason for the death of her benefactor. Miss Thelma had to take in Ada and Ike for some days so that Tobe and his mother wouldn’t think of hurting them in anyway. One can only hope that aunt Mabel finds a place in her heart to forgive her niece.
How does one explain the whole scenario? Uncle Uche lost his life because of his lust and foolishness. Do we call him a pedophile? Was it right for aunty Mabel to ignore facts and blame an innocent girl who was only trying to protect herself from a predator?
Could Ada have found a better way to handle the situation? Maybe she could have confided in someone like Miss Thelma, and on time, instead of taking laws into her own hands?
Be the judge!!