Akunna sat on the cream leather sofa in her luxurious sitting room savouring the small bowl of ice cream she had in her hand. Her long legs were stretched before her in careless abandon. Two throw pillows supported her arms as she relished the vanilla flavor of the ice cream. She loved vanilla and chocolate ice cream but chocolate ice creams were always her fist choice unfortunately Hans and Rene didn’t have chocolate flavor at the time she went to purchase it and she couldn’t wait. Her brow went up quizzically. Where on earth does that happen? Seriously who says he doesn’t have chocolate ice cream? Geez! She needed the sugar rush after the fight with her boyfriend, something to stop herself from calling him to apologise. No way, she was going to enjoy her life and live it to the fullest, no more ‘manaches’ she smiled to herself as she thought over the word she had just formed. Yes it sounded cool, headaches and manaches, her tongue rolled over her upper lips following the trail of ice cream that had stained her make-up free lips.
She barely heard anything being said on the television, the Wendy Williams show was on and as usual the lady was going on and on about Kanye West on her hot topics discussion and for the umpteenth time Akunna wondered why people watched or were at all excited about the woman’s show. Anyway it was a gossip TV and being in the show business herself she understood how people longed to get into the lives of celebrities and know if they ate what they ate or whether slept the way they did or if their lives were as glamorous as it looked on the red carpet. She smacked her lips together, “come and talk about me woman. I have a life outside of the camera and I shit just like everybody else” she screamed then burst into laughter.
The key clicked and the entrance door swung open letting in Ezinne, her eyes was puffed and red, the tears stained every inch of her face or was that sweat?
Akunna dropped the ice cream cup like it was some shot-put ball on the glass centre table. “Nne what is it? Where is Zaram” it had been past an hour since Ezinne stepped out to pick her daughter from the new school they had just enrolled her in Obalende.
Obalende was Ezinne’s choice because as far as she was concerned the Ikoyi schools were damn too expensive to send a nursery school child to and so she preferred Obalende. If she had her way, Ketu or Ojota would have been the best place to send her ward, because as far as she was concerned many of the nursery schools taught the children nothing or next to nothing. They were mostly out to collect fees and dues like tax collectors, well at least her child got to meet and mix with children her age rather than tag along her mother all day.
“H..he too..took her. He took her. Oh God! What will I do now? Aku how will I get her back?” her voice quaked as she spoke. She was pacing, and using her fingers to disorganize her hair.
“What are you talking about? Who took Zaram?” There was only one answer to her own question and she knew the answer but couldn’t quite figure out why she asked. There was only one ‘He factor’ in Ezinne’s life who would have taken her child just to get back at her since his threat to disgrace her hadn’t grazed past her now thick skin.
“Ezinne!” Akunna yelled above Ezinne’s unceasing sobs “stop crying, crying won’t solve anything. Let us think instead and find a solution”
“Akuuuu” she emphasized the name as she sobbed and Akunna’s name found its way to blend into the rhythm of her sobbing. “How? He would never release her to me? The man has a vendetta against me and would kill me if he had the chance”
“Ezinne, would you rather he killed Zaram?”
“Jesus, Aku what are you saying? How would I want him to kill my child, the only blessing I have received in the past 5 years?”
Akunna breathed out heavily, maybe she was being too hard on her. “See that’s not what I mean. What I am saying is that we should think of something, some solution rather than lament over what seems impossible. And don’t say that, she isn’t the only blessing you have received. You have life, you escaped from your husband, and you have a job and don’t forget the artistic skills too”
Ezinne dabbed at her eyes “I haven’t escaped from that man. I haven’t, God I need a way out, I need a way out!”
“Did you see him take her?” Akunna asked as she lifted Ezinne up from the floor where she had flung her and led her to the sofa.
“Her teacher said he told him that I sent him to pick her and that Zaram identified him as her father so they let him take her.”
“We would get her back. I promise” Akunna held Ezinne’s hand, she didn’t have an idea how she would get Chizaram back but she made the promise to herself.
In her lifetime she had lost so many times, she had lost her father before she was born, had lost her marriage, lost her baby and she wasn’t losing no more.
“I have a plan,” she finally said after some moments of silence.