Biola Kila (Episode 4): Beautiful Mary

“Do you have anyone to call back home… family or friend?” Mary said to Biola from across the sitting room. Biola looked up at her for a few seconds and shook her head then went back to fondling with the small bottle Madame Deloris gave to her.

“Didn’t you have any friends before you came here?” Mary inquired further.

Biola kept on as if she didn’t hear Mary’s question “what’s that?” Mary asked gently taking the bottle out of Biola’s hand in order to gain her attention

“It’s a potion a woman gave me; she said it would make me beautiful”

“Do you think it would work?” Mary tried to mask her confusion

“I don’t know maybe if it doesn’t … at least I tried” Biola looked like a living corpse, her face was very pale and her lips were dry, she had no form of expression as she spoke as if her facial muscles were all dead.

Read also: Biola Kila (Episode 3): Beautiful Deloris

“It looks like water, should we open it?” Mary was surprised at how well she could stop herself from making judgmental comments but she felt terrible sympathy for Biola every time she looked at her and she didn’t know why she felt this way for a stranger

“No…not yet” Biola shook her head as if it was heavy, so Mary put the bottle on the table and looked at Biola, her eyes still asking the question she asked earlier only silently this time

“Why are you asking me about friends?” Biola asked

“Because I want to know that when you get back home tomorrow there will be somebody to take care of you, you can’t be on your own right now it’s dangerous”

“It is?” Biola blurted, “May I ask why?” a little bit irritated

Mary was afraid to continue the conversation, she didn’t want Biola to get upset and run away so she decided to say something else

“I meant that you need someone to pick you up from the airport and take you home, you need pampering after all the stress you have been through here and all”

“Oh… I think I can get myself home from the airport, you don’t need to worry about that I will be fine, you have already done enough… thanks” she took the bottle and went back to fondling it as if indirectly telling Mary that the conversation was over and Mary got the message “I want to go get something from the store, do you want anything?”

“Sweets will be fine. Thank you” that was the only thing Biola ate in the past few days.

Mary stopped halfway towards the door and turned to Biola “Biola, if you ask me, I think you are a very beautiful girl with a fabulous smile… you don’t need any voodoo drink” Biola gave her a weak smile and she left.

It was when Mary left the house that it actually dawned on her that she was leaving the next day and she had no money to hire a cab home. Mary had done enough for her and she was not going to take her money. She thought of different ways to get home without money but none seemed like a good idea. She decided to call Doshima, it was a long shot considering the way Doshima behaved the last time that they spoke. She dialed Doshima’s number several times but she did not pick her phone, she started getting emotional wondering why Doshima was treating her this way at this time of her life but she stopped herself from getting upset

She began to consider asking Mary for the money and suddenly she thought of Efe Johnson the clerk in her office, she hesitated before calling her but decided to do it anyway after all her best friend had rejected her, it couldn’t get worse than that. She dialed and at first ring, Efe answered the call

“Hello Biola”

“Hi Efe, how did you know it was me?” Biola was very surprised

“Oh… sorry … I collected your number from Doshima, I was going to call you to know how you were doing”

“You were?” Biola could feel the tears dripping down her chin, the fact that someone thought about her and cared for her in the slightest manner made her terribly emotional.

It was hard for her to speak through the tears and Efe was very confused

“Biola, what’s the matter?”

“Absolutely nothing I am just happy to hear from you”

“Are you sure that’s all? You sound pretty upset”

“Its fine Efe. I wanted to ask for your help” she talked through the tears and it really bothered Efe

“I am coming back tomorrow and I have no money to go home from the airport, can you pick me up?”

“Yes, just send me your flight details”

“You will?” Biola’s tears intensified further, borderline wailing

“Biola, please can you just tell me what the matter is? Please!” Biola tried her best to convince Efe that she was fine, Efe didn’t believe but she just decided to let Biola be and ended their phone call.

Efe called three more times that day “I will be fine… really” she tried to sound as strong as she could but all Efe heard over the phone was the sound of a broken girl. Biola wondered if her crying at random was going to keep happening, she pondered on how she was going to go to work and live through the days to come

“It’s okay if you don’t want to talk about it but if you need my help I am here for you” Efe sincerely offered.

She didn’t want to tell Efe anything because she was ashamed that her beloved boyfriend whom she loved with her entire being had left her for another woman, but Efe was a nice girl who was willing to hear her cries. So she told her everything that was going on, every single detail. It was relieving in some way and she was glad that she told her everything. They talked for over an hour.

“You need to eat and get enough rest before your trip tomorrow and don’t forget to return that potion on your way to the airport” Efe was like an elder sister at that point

The next day Biola and Mary went back to Madame Deloris to return the potion on their way to the airport but to their greatest surprise the store was not there anymore; they looked around in confusion to make sure that they were on the right street. Biola knew they were on the right street but Madame Deloris was nowhere in sight after walking on a couple of streets looking for Madame Deloris; they asked some store owners and residents in the area

“There is no store like that here, I have lived here for twenty years and nothing like that has ever popped up” a man assured them.

“Biola, are you sure we are in the right place?” Mary was puzzled a part of her felt like Biola made up the story about a woman giving her the potion but she went along with it just not to upset her. They gave up on the search and proceeded to the airport taking the potion with them.

“You can just throw away the bottle since you don’t want it anymore” Mary suggested but Biola refused

“I‘ll keep it as a souvenir for my experience here” Biola laughed

“What’s funny?” Mary asked

“It’s just funny how I hate this city so much and I don’t even know what it really looks like, I haven’t seen any of its famous sites”

“That’s why you hate it because you haven’t seen it” Mary responded with a glad smile

“I guess” for the first time Mary saw Biola smile for a full 15 seconds and it gave her hope that Biola was going to be okay eventually even though the smile was a sarcastic one.

Biola cried at the airport when she was saying goodbye to Mary, all of a sudden she realized that she was going to face her life and she didn’t know if she could do it.

“Look at me Biola, you are going to be fine I promise. You are a strong girl. I could never be as strong as you are, call me whenever you feel like it okay”

Biola nodded and hugged Mary very tight; it was heart-breaking for Mary to watch Biola at that moment, her tears dropped silently on Biola’s shoulders as they held each other.

“I will never forget you” was all that Biola could say

“Stay strong my darling” Mary responded and let her go.

She stood and watched Biola till she was past security and about to head to the waiting lounge. Biola turned back and waved at Mary for the last time, Mary blew her a kiss and they both turned, facing the direction of their separate journeys back home.

When Biola arrived at Nnamdi Azikiwe International Airport Abuja, Efe was there to pick her up; Efe drove her home and made her dinner before leaving

“See you tomorrow at work” Efe picked her handbag to leave

“I am not coming tomorrow. I have three days left on my leave”

“So, you’ll be here for those days? Alone?”

“Yes and yes” Biola was lying down “is there any problem?”

Efe looked a little troubled “no… no problem, can I visit you?”

“Yes you can but not tomorrow, I am going to visit someone tomorrow” Biola responded, her eyes closed as if she was feeling sleepy. Efe was scared of leaving Biola alone but she did not want to intrude in her space by trying to stay over and Biola did not want to be alone that night but she didn’t want to inconvenience her by asking her to stay. Efe prayed with her and left hoping she was going to be fine on her own.

“At least I made it home safe” Biola said to herself, it was a couple of minutes after 1:00 am and she stood outside in front of her front door her mind going over the past week over and over again. She wasn’t conscious of any dangerous thing that could occur as she stood alone on a lonely street.

She couldn’t sleep and it felt like her room was closing in on her and sucking all the oxygen out of her body; she thought about going back to work and acting like a normal person and the thought was a great bother to her soul but she knew she had to go because not going would make her insanity last longer and who knows what it could make her do, take her life perhaps and taking her life would mean that Greg had won completely.

She stood there till it was almost 5:00 am, hawkers and street preachers, were coming out for the days business so she went back in; opened her fridge for something to chew but nothing seemed appetizing then she checked her luggage for the key to her wardrobe so she could get change to go buy sweets from her neighbor who had a small shop down the road.

As she searched her hand felt a bag that was like a big bag of chips; when she brought it out and undid it. It was a bag full of sweets with a note inside. MAY YOUR LIFE BE AS SWEET AS SWEETS, LOVE MARY. It was very touching what Mary did and it gave her hope that they were still good people left in this world.

The noise from the cars of commuters, hawkers and street preachers which was usually a disturbance was very soothing to her as she laid down chewing her sweets and thinking about the journey she was to make the next day to see a significant person in her life.