Everything was the same, nothing had changed. The girl in the corner, the boy on the bed and someone holding her hand tightly. In the dream she hadn’t seen Lydia, she had just felt the hand. Naa remained transfixed.
In the dream she had seen dark images around the sobbing girl and had had a flashback where the girl was in a compromising postion with the boy who was seated on the bed.
‘What is wrong Naa…you seem shocked. Lydia interrupted her thoughts with a question.
‘I … Don’t worry. What’s your daughter’s name again.’ Naa regained her composure.
‘Andrea.’ Lydia stated.
Naa slowly walked up to Andrea and squatted. She was secretly grateful she had opted to wear low sandals before leaving the house. She stretched out her hand and said a simple prayer.
‘Andrea, come let’s sit on the bed.’ Naa invited.
Andrea looked up with bloodshot eyes and croaked,
‘What is filthy?’ Naa asked.
‘The bed …the bed is…’ Andrea began and broke out into loud sobs again.
Naa went on her knees and hugged Andrea,
‘Stop crying, we will change the beddings so it’s neater for you.’
‘It’s filthy… It’s dirty…’ Andrea said and cried louder.
‘What is all this eh….one man…o God! Why did I marry this man…just look at all this nonsense!’ Lydia paced around the room.
‘Get up from the bed Nana…your sister says the beddings are dirty…let’s change it so she can come to bed.’
*** *** *** ***
Nana remained frozen. He didn’t like the way Andrea was speaking. What if she ended up saying the truth.
His heart beat faster, he felt he was in deep trouble now.
‘Nana!’ Lydia exclaimed startling Nana in the process.
‘Did you hear me at all?! This is not the time to remain frozen in time. Go and get new bedsheets! Your sister says her bed is filthy!’
‘Yes please.’ He replied rising up from the bed and heading towards the laundry room. They had a small cabinet there where they stored all the beddings.
*** *** *** ***
‘Lydia calm down please. You have been going back and forth for a while now.’ Naa coaxed from Lydia’s bed.
Nana and Lydia had changed the beedsheet and pillow cases and Nana had helped carry Andrea into bed. At first Andrea had been violent when Nana tried touching her but Naa had told her everything would be fine. Naa had prayed again for her and watched her fall asleep before leaving her side and ushering everyone out of the room.
‘You don’t understand Naa…you don’t… Andrea is acting up because her father just appeared out of nowhere.’ Lydia said in anguish.
Naa let out a loud sigh from her mouth and replied.
‘What if that isn’t the case Lydia…what if something else is causing her to act up?’
‘You think she is ill…like she has a fever…but she didn’t have a temperature.’
‘Calm down Lydia! Please! And come and sit down!’ Naa said in frustration, pulling Lydia to the bed in the process.
‘Just allow yourself to breathe.’ Naa encouraged her friend.
Lydia let out a deep breath and rubbed her nose.
‘I am so angry at him.’
‘I know you are Lydia, but you shouldn’t be…your anger towards him is wrongly channeled.’ Naa said.
‘Who should my anger be channeled at? My children?…I can’t…:
‘Lydia…calm down please….I think we need a change in scenery. I will call my meeting off so we can go to my house.’
Lydia forcefully got out of bed and angrily said,
‘Naa…you must be joking.. You can’t expect me to leave my daughter here like that… In her present state…I can’t…please no…’
‘We can take her along if…’ Naa began
‘No Naa…we are staying here…I can’t leave her like that… You yourself saw …’
‘I am sorry… But I will still call off my meeting. I want to spend the whole day with you and your family.’
‘Ok…’ Lydia replied and allowed herself to fall onto her bed again.
‘There is no food though or ingredients…so…’ Lydia continued.
‘I will go out and get some stuff so we cook..don’t worry.’ Naa assured Lydia.
After staring at the ceiling for a while, Lydia softly spoke.
‘Thank you Naa…’
*** *** ***
Nana stood in front of his hoisted LED TV and stared at the blank screen. His mind was hard at work. After a moment, he walked out of his room to Andrea’s ,leaned against the door post and looked at her as she slept on her bed
‘Don’t spill anything Andrea….we would stop…I promise…please just don’t tell mum or anyone all we have done. Dad knowing our secret is enough.’
To be continued…
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