Mr. Akinwande left them to themselves, he wasn’t sure of what to expect but he trusted his wife to force words out of the mouth of Mrs Aku. She was good at human relations, that was one great thing he had learnt from her and she had helped him through his ministry with getting into the heads of people and somehow they spilled their deepest pain.
Titi sat still after her husband closed the door behind him, staring at the woman seated opposite her. Ezinne stared back, lowered her gaze, stared again, frowned, then lowered her gaze unto her fingers as they say gingerly on her laps. She was battling with the emotions surging up within her.
“What do you want?” she asked suddenly, her voice betrayed the tears beneath it.
“I was going to ask you the same question” came Titi’s calm response.
“What do you mean? You are in my house staring at me like I stole something from you” she sniffed.
Titi could see the struggle to suppress the tears which was already giving way, yet she maintained her resolved to act aloof until the woman was ready to lean on her. She had studied psychology in school but the condition of the country was what made her work in the bank. Situations like this made her long to return to her profession.
Another bout of silence passed between them. “Ma, I am sorry for speaking to you rudely. I have not always been like this. Life happened to me, I guess I am just jealous of you. What you share with your husband is beautiful and I don’t have that”
Titi crossed the space between them bridging the distance that seemed like a dividing gulf. She embraced her and allowed her weep to her heart’s content. There were no words of comfort to offer for she couldn’t comprehend the enormity of pain that tore at the woman’s heart. Something within her knew that she had just made a new friend. One that she was certain that she would nurture until she could stand on her own feet.
When her tears were spent, Ezinne looked up into the eyes of the woman who held her and gave her a shoulder to cry. “Thank you so much ma”
“Are you ready to talk to me now?” she asked calmly.
Ezinne swore that she heard the voice of Jesus in the woman’s voice but she didn’t tell her instead she replied like she was talking to Jesus. “I made a mistake and I messed up. I wanted to be like others and I failed to listen to the Holy Spirit”
Titi wiped the tears off Ezinne’s face with her palms and said a short prayer with her, there was no use elongating her guilt. She may be the pastor’s wife, yet she wasn’t the pastor and didn’t intend to step into those shoes.
“Let’s get you cleaned up” she got up and gently helped Ezinne up to. There was nothing as pleasant as feeling good by looking good and that was exactly what she intended to do with this young woman who was now looking as old as her mother. Ezinne allowed Titi to stir her to her room, she merely pointed the way knowing that the woman hadn’t been in her home before today.
It was a little difficult picking out any clothe for Ezinne to wear out; there were no simple yet classy dresses in her entire collection. Most of the clothes she had in her wardrobe were old and the ones she had packed into her box didn’t exactly fit. Eventually she picked a piece of faded blue jean trouser and a purple blouse. For her make-up she had to take her to her own house for she couldn’t find any in Ezinne’s house. Titi was satisfied just by the smiles she put on Ezinne’s face, and when she was done with the make-ups Ezinne was grinning from ear to ear.