Osas Idubor 2 years ago
@Theosasidubor 12 min read Write a comment #short-stories

Fighting The Unseen Enemy.

Zulu could never understand why a person could be so bitter and what was more irritating was the fact that her older sister, Bes, dragged her bitterness to the table where they were supposed to be having a cheerful dinner.

Zulu sat eyeing her food, not because Bes wouldn't stop talking but because she was still having the same biting pain in her stomach as with the day before and the day before that day. "We are living in a wicked world. Prayer is what has been keeping me going…." Bes cut herself short when she noticed Zulu was holding her stomach. "What is it? The same pain?" She asked, worried. Zulu could barely nod her head. She managed herself up and walked over to the living room. Dinner that day was like a small feast because Bes' daughter had just clocked a year. Bes was over in no seconds, and she squeezed Zulu's shoulder tenderly. "Koyór. I will advise you to visit the hospital; self-meds are not usually the best." She said.

Zulu turned and reached for the television control. Bes always made a big deal out of everything, and sometimes she couldn't just stand the things she said. "Mommy, why is daddy not home yet with the cake?" Little Abigail asked. Bes, instead of attending to her, the daughter took her seat just beside Zulu in the armchair. "You have been complaining about this stomach ache for as long as I can recall. Go to the hospital for a medical check-up; you never know; something might be building inside you." Zulu scoffed. "Something like what? I get that you can be overly worried and dramatic. But trust me, this is nothing, and it will pass. If you don't mind, my favorite show is on." She said. Bes started to her feet quietly and walked over to the dining. Zulu felt bad, but she didn't apologize. She wanted to, but she also knew it wasn't necessary. Ever since their mother died, Bes, though taking her under her wing, had been acting too overprotective of her. She enjoyed being pampered sometimes, especially with a feast like this one she sadly couldn't enjoy. But other times, she would rather be alone and not be disturbed or shown too much affection. Her phone beeped, and she reached for it and went over the text message that came in. She smiled after reading it and replaced the phone on the chrome and glass table. It was a message from Efosa; he was reminding her how much of a South African beauty she was.

She wasn't entirely South African, but her mother was, and by blood, she should be half South African, half Nigerian since her father was a Nigerian. Efosa was one of her colleagues at work and undeniably the most handsome male colleague. Everyone thought and was assured that they both were an item, but the truth was that they weren't, and although Efosa had been on her case for as far back as she could recall, she would rather keep saying no to him. He was a flirt, and although he kept preaching change, he could never qualify for her heart. She knew his kind. Femi promised her that he would change; she thought Daniel and Kingsley were any different. Uche was a lot more different, and she could vouch that she was the only girl he was dating at that time, but they didn't last a year together because of trust. She would rather take her time to heal before she dev right into another relationship. Although she couldn't deny the fact that her adrenaline pumped each time she saw and walked past Efosa. He was as tall as a basketball player; she was also a tall girl and had always had a thing for handsome, tall, and dark-skinned men.

Christmas party at work was two days away, and for some reason, she had worried herself over the killer outfit to wear. Others had talked about looking simple, but you never know, and she didn't want to be the least dressed. She stopped thinking abruptly and found herself asking what had come over her and when she had ever cared about those things. She enjoyed being socially awkward because of the peace it brought her. She had never looked forward to changing that part of her, except for now. Without any prompt notice, she concerned herself with the party at work. But she assured herself that it had to be because of nothing. "My goodness!" Efosa exclaimed as his hand found its way down her waist. "You look…" he paused for what seemed like a thousand years. "Absolutely stunning." He said, not taking his eyes off her. He pulled her slowly with him to the dance floor and forgot everything and everyone else, as did she. She couldn't explain the feeling of having him next to her; she couldn't understand why the others wouldn't stop looking at her; slowly, she began to feel somewhat, maybe she overdressed, maybe it was obvious she did everything for Efosa - there she just admitted it. As the music faded, Efosa pulled back slightly and lifted her chin slowly… her heart raced at the realization of what was about to happen, but everything went blank after that.

Zulu ran her palm across her forehead as she tried to sit up in bed; she couldn't quite believe she was at the hospital and wasn't about to ask, "What happened?" as with most characters in typical Nigerian movies, the scene was however like one outta a soap opera. The door opened shortly, and Efosa entered, looking pale, and his sleeves rolled up at both arms. "Why didn't you tell me?" He asked. Zulu wasn't sure how to answer the question. Was she pregnant? No, it couldn't be; as much as she wanted to stare at his face and dwell there, she looked away. "Tell you what?" "That you were suffering from food poisoning. How long has it been? You have to take things like this seriously, or else something might go bad… I can't lose you." He said in a faint whisper. Zulu could feel a twinge of pain; she turned slowly to look at him. She could see that he meant what he had said; she could see that he was disappointed in her, like her sister Bes had always been. "I don't eat out." She managed to say. "I don't know how it came about; it comes and goes." "And you would rather do nothing about it? I have seen people die of food poisoning. You passed out Zulu; who knows what it might be tomorrow." He said angrily.

Zulu turned her head to face the curtains. He was right, and she knew after this time, she would not want to fold her arms and do nothing. Without warning, Efosa bent over, turned her face, and kissed her as passionately as he could. She was shaken; she least expected to be kissed by him and for the kiss to be that good. She closed her eyes and inhaled his cologne which was making her feel weak at her knees. She wanted more, but he pulled up gently, her cheeks flushed with embarrassment. "I'll be back. The doctor advised I see him shortly." "I thought you were just there?" she asked, not hiding her disappointment that the kiss was short. Efosa chuckled. "No, I was in the restroom." He pecked her on the cheek and, before stepping out of the hospital room, turned to look at her once more.

Zulu could feel the entire zoo fluttering in her stomach. She kept asking herself if the kiss had really happened, and she couldn't quite believe that she had been denying herself the feelings that had been kicking at her heart. The door opened again shortly, and she turned around at once but was rather disappointed that Efosa wasn't the one. "Hi," Miriam said as she walked slowly to the bed. "Hi." Zulu greeted. Miriam was a colleague at work, and they hardly ever talked; and she was rather surprised that she came visiting but thought to herself that she might have created a big and worrisome scene when she passed out. "Is Eff here?" Miriam asked, almost stuttering. Eff was the nickname everybody went by for Efosa. Zulu shook her head. "Okay. I've… I've… I'm sorry, Zulu." She broke down in tears, and Zulu was rather disturbed. And wondered if she was about to tell her that she was dating Efosa because she wouldn't be any surprised. "I am sorry for everything. I know we don't talk at all and that I wasn't even supposed to act the way I did, but you see, jealousy won't let me be great… I have always wanted Efosa; all the rumors that sprung from him being a flirt were created by me. He has always had his eyes for you… just you." She said.

Zulu drew a breath and couldn't help but feel a bit relieved and happy at the time. Her Efosa wasn't a flirt; now, that was a start. For a moment, she got lost and hadn't quite captured Miriam's last statement. "Excuse me?" she asked, unsure of what she heard. Her heart raced fast against her chest as she looked surprisingly at Miriam. "I am responsible for your frequent stomach unrest. I always add some substance to your food while you are not around. Please, I'm sorry, and please, Efosa or anyone else can't learn about this, or I'll forever be doomed. I'm so sorry…" she picked up her bag hastily and walked out of the room, almost bumping into Efosa on the way. Zulu was too speechless for words. She couldn't believe her ears; she had never been the type to blame anyone for anything going on with her and couldn't quite believe all that Miriam had told her. This was the second but devious shock she was getting in a day. She kept thanking God for sparing her life, something she hadn't quite done in ages. She prayed shortly. Something Bes had always advised her to do, something she knew she would be doing from henceforth.

"Zulu," Bes called as she stepped into the hospital room with Efosa. "What happened?" Zulu couldn't look away this time, as with the other times she had felt her sister's questions bugging her but didn't quite know where to start from. Whist fighting the unseen enemy, we use our strongest weapon; prayer. 

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