Caught in the middle 6: Life’s unpredictable twists
Even though Uloma cried and begged Odogwu not to abandon her in the village, he did just that.
He left her in her uncle’s house and didn’t look back. When Uloma inquired about Nnenna and who would care for her when she ran after Odogwu, “She has Ifeyinwa and me, he barked.”
With tears streaming down her face, Uloma said a quick prayer for her beloved daughter. She knew her life was in a mess but she wanted to be close to her daughter. She felt like she had lost everything.
When Uloma walked back into her uncle’s house, she met his wife by the door. She reminded her that this is her own husband’s house and she shouldn’t be too comfortable.
“I don’t know why you think you can come back here after you were warned not to destroy your marriage, she told Uloma.”
Taken aback by her cruel words and still wiping tears from her eyes, Uloma reminded her that she didn’t destroy her marriage.
“Aunty, why would you say such a thing to me in my condition, how did I destroy my marriage, did I kill my son, she asked?”
Shut up, insolent girl, her uncle’s wife, roared.”
“That is how you killed your parents and your children, now you want to come into my family to kill us too, witch.”
Uloma left her there and ran into the room, crying. It dawned on her that she won’t have it easy in her uncle’s house either because he had warned her that he won’t take her in if Odogwu returns her.
That evening, Uloma’s uncle summoned her. He asked her what she wanted to do with her life now that Odogwu has made good his threat of returning her back home.
“I want to settle down and give birth to my child first, after that, I will start a business so that I can make money to take care of myself and the baby, Uloma responded.”
Her Uncle looked at her as if she was crazy and replied, “instead of you to talk about how to go and beg your husband to take you back, you are talking about making money. Who told you it is a woman’s place to make money, he asked.”
Uloma kept silent. She begged her uncle not to be angry with her. She promised to do whatever he wanted as long as it would make him happy.
Uloma cried all the time. She didn’t know why she her life was so hard. But her uncle and his wife didn’t care about her. It looked like they loved to see her cry.
Weeks after, her uncle informed her that Odogwu refused to take her back and he wanted them to return the bride price he paid on Uloma’s head. She was heartbroken. Her hopes of getting back together with her husband had been dashed.
Unknown to her, her uncle and his wife were doing just the opposite of trying to reconcile her with Odogwu. They would call Odogwu and feed him with bad stories about Uloma.
Uloma’s stay in her uncle’s house was a terrible experience. They subjected her to more suffering in her condition. She cried all the time at home because of the way they treated her.
They didn’t mind she was pregnant. She would go to the farm and work till evening. When she gets home, there will be no food for her to eat. They would tell her to go back to her husband’s house whenever she objected to their ill treatment.
Uloma started losing weight and people around worried for her. Her uncle’s neighbour Matthew and his wife Adaeze began to care for Uloma behind her uncle’s back because they didn’t like the way she cried all the time.
They would bring food and drugs for her in her uncle’s absence. They advised her to run away if she wanted to live long enough to give birth to her baby. Uloma thanked them and promised to look into what they told her.
In desperation, Uloma reached out to her friends Bisi and Ijeoma in Lagos. She narrated everything happening to her to them and begged them to help her. But their response was not what she expected from the two women she loved and regarded as family.
The told her that they can’t help her because their husbands knew about her many affairs with different men in the village as Odogwu narrated them.
“But it’s all a lie, Uloma cried.”
“We don’t want to have anything to do with you, we don’t want to have problems with our husbands.”
Bisi said, “Please stop calling me Uloma, I don’t want my husband to think I am cheating on him like you.”
“But why are you women abandoning me now that I need you both the most?” Asked Uloma.
“Ijeoma, you told me this would happen and now you are leaving me alone knowing I am pregnant.”
“Uloma please stop calling me, goodbye and may God be with you.” Ijeoma said and she hung up.”
Devastated, Uloma buried herself in church activities. She was always in church praying for herself and Nnenna. She calls Ifeyinwa anytime she wants to talk to Nnenna.
“Nne, Ifeyinwa maltreats me.” Nnenna told her mom one day.
“Don’t worry nwa m, God will take care of you. You should be careful with Ifeyinwa, pray well before you eat anything she gives you.” Uloma told her daughter.
“Daalu nne. May God be with you. You will have another son and his name shall be called Ikechukwu.” Nnenna told her mom.
“How do you know that?” Uloma asked her daughter.
“I had a dream about it and you will understand it when it happens.” Nnenna told her mom emphatically.
“Daalu nwa m, stay well nne.” Uloma told her daughter.
“Stay well nne.” Nnenna told her mom.
Uloma was grateful to God that she was able to hear her daughter’s voice even though she cried afterwards.
She thanked her stars that she still had something to be alive for even though her present circumstances was uncomfortable.
After deciding to move on with her life, Uloma approached the parish priest, Father Obinna in the church and begged him to help her get shelter somewhere because she could no longer stay with her uncle and his wife.
“Father, help me. I need to leave my uncle’s house.” Uloma begged.
“What do you want from me, my child?” Father Obinna asked.
“I want to know if I can be sleeping in church and sell things close to the church to keep body and soul together.” Uloma begged.
“Of course you can, my child, Father Obinna said.”
“I will inform your uncle and his wife and you can come to the church, he added.”
Uloma left her uncle’s house the next day and moved into the church. The priest informed her uncle and his wife about Uloma’s decision.
They objected to it but Father Obinna insisted. He warned them not to interfere with his decision to help Uloma since they have been maltreating her.
“I am disappointed in you both. How can you be maltreating a pregnant woman who is also a family member?” He asked in anger.
“Uloma is coming with me. and that is final, Father Obinna said.”
They allowed Uloma go with the priest. But they did that because they had other plans to make her suffer. They didn’t want her to have rest in life.
Uloma was handed over to the welfare department of the church and was taken care of by a very warm woman named Gloria. She was a widow with three children. When her husband died, her in-laws took everything from her and chased her and her children out her home.
Gloria ran to the only place she knew, the church. And she was accepted by Father Obinna and his team. They took her and her children in and saw to their needs. In gratitude, sister Gloria keeps the church clean.
Sis. Gloria made sure Uloma was well taken care of. She prayed with her too asking God for a safe delivery on Uloma’s behalf. She had been hell herself so she understood what Uloma was going through.
Uloma got respite from the wonderful people around her in church especially from Father Obinna. He was like the father she lost. But Uloma’s ordeal was far from over.
Watch out for part 7