“I caught Mariwa cheating!” a fat woman blurted. Her abada was lapping loosely on her waist as she vibrated like an automated machine. She was still in shock of what Mariwa had done and had just delivered the news to Mama Osonwa, a neighbour in the same yard. The itch of the news in her mouth had left her restless from afternoon when she caught Mariwa in the act. The itch continued until that evening when she told Mama Osonwa and Mariwa’s husband what happened in their absence. This itch equally disappeared the moment she mentioned it to them. More like the lifting of loads off a weary shoulder.
“Arụ!” came Mama Osonwa, “education has ruined our women. Imagine her guts!” The middle aged woman said irritably, inverting her lips to portray her outburst. Mama Osonwa is not as robust as Mama Okere who had given her the gist but her lips were distinctly big. Quite willowy for a mother of five. People often wondered if she doesn’t feed well or her husband doesn’t give her marital diets. The exceptional diets that made Mama Okere as big as she was. Such were the kind of talks in their neighbourhood; women discussing women and their bodies. And women snooping one another’s whereabouts. The kind of move that Mariwa had just taken.
Mariwa is a beautiful woman. Not very tall like a typical Edo woman but prettier than the Fulanis. She has such wide hips with normal belly size. The kind of flatness that most women wish to maintain even after two wraps of fufu at midnight. Mariwa had these and everyone admired. People often termed her husband lucky to have a goddess for a wife but some men believed he was at risk for rivals. Why your wife come too fine, e no good sha, Obika had told him once. Everyone in the area knew he was loose at talking so his heeds are hardly ever taken too serious.
The two women were standing in front of their bungalow, waiting for after-drama by the couple. The husband later came out alone, breathing heavily. He was bare chested and so lean too that one could count the ribs of his sides following their outlines. He was panting like one who was pursued by a leopard in the dream. He stared at the women before him, their ears resting outstretched by their heads and waiting to be fed with news. He had just finished confronting Mariwa to say the truth about some news he heard about her. He claimed that Mama Osonwa and Mama Okere overheard her in conversation with an unknown person, over the phone. This was expectedly startling to the young woman who maintained that she has been home alone all day. Her claims seemed ridiculous to her husband. He made Mama Okere swear about what her ears had picked. She clearly heard Mariwa say words about not surviving without some person on the end, words about loving and touching this person. Those were things an infidel could say. Mama Okere knew so.
Ahanna stood and continued to breathe heavily until he deemed it fit to calm their curiosities.
“Mama Osonwa, Mama Okere. Thank you for looking out for me. My wife was just bored. The things you heard are one of her YouTube videos that supports women under oppressions.” He stuttered as he pronounced oppressions as he isn’t used to big words as such.
Without saying anything else, the both women left his presence. Whatever he meant by women under oppressions, they had no idea.