Wednesday, 19 February 2014
I am shocked by the latest developments regarding the strange gold ring. Just when I thought life would return to normal, something really fremd just occured.
See, my husband left for work in the morning as usual, and I guessed he took along with him his mysterious ring, ’cause it was nowhere to be found in his coats’ pockets or trousers or anywhere in the house.
At lunchtime, however, while lower primary school kids returned home from school, my Harriet came back with something in her palm. She found me seated at the porch reading newspaper.
“Mama, know what I have found?” she shouted happily and playfully.
“What is it, my baby?” I asked.
“Promise you won’t snatch it away from me,” she demanded.
“Um… Well, I promise. What is it?” I replied with a full deck of curiosity.
“A gold ring!” she exclaimed, stretching out her right palm in front of me.
“Oh! Wh… where have you… . Did your father give you that to bring to me?” I asked.
“No. You know I haven’t seen him today.”
“Then who gave it to you. The gatekeeper?”
“No! I picked it at the gate. The gatekeeper said I should bring it to you, but I’m not giving it to you, Mama.” She held back the ring firmly in her palm.
“Here. Give it to me, baby. It belongs to your father; he must have dropped it.”
“It belongs to father! Where’s yours? I saw it on Tv during a wedding show, except they were two. I saw a man place one on a woman’s finger and the woman place another on the man’s finger. So, where’s yours, Mama?”
“Oh no, mine’s in my wardrobe, baby,” I lied.
“Why don’t you put it on?”
“Because… I do washing and cooking most of the time. Now, give me your father’s ring. I’ll give it to him when he returns.”
“I will give it to him myself.”
“No, baby. Your father returns home very late. Besides, it’s… it’s not good for a child to hold her parent’s wedding ring.” She looked at me scornfully. “What?” I asked.
“Mama, you’re lying to me like that and you expect me to believe.”
“Mnh! Give me that ring quickly before I hit you up, you naughty kid.” I changed my tone and looks. That was the only antidote to her peskiness. She placed the ring into my palm and walked into the house heartbroken.
I stared at the ring in my palm for a moment. It was exactly the same size and had the same features as Georgie’s gold ring. For a while, I felt acrimonious with Georgie for hiding all the vital information concerning the ring from me. How could I be certain that he was not seeing another woman? How could I? I felt my tears hanging loose, but I held them back and walked into the house. I placed the ring in my wardrobe and went to the kitchen to prepare lunch.
By the way, I haven’t told you: my husband has always wanted to employ a maid to help me around the house but I declined. I told him the garden boys were enough to keep the compound tidy and that I was all he needed for the house. I surmised it would make me lazy. Besides, I have heard tales of men falling in love with their maids and would not let that happen in my family.
After taking lunch, I took an afternoon shower and went to our bedroom. When I opened my wardrobe to retrieve a simple dress for the afternoon, I was startled. The ring was missing! I checked every nook and crany of my wide wardrobe, but it was nowhere. I checked the floor, the bed, everywhere in the room, just in case I had dropped it off by chance, but there was no sign of it.
“Harriet!” I called out, still wearing my bath towel and dismayed by the ring’s disappearance.
“Come here. At once.”
She rushed in. “What, Mama?” she asked. “You sound scared.”
“Harriet, have you been to my room since you came back?”
“No, Mama. I was with you in the kitchen.”
“Oh, I remember. Not in a blink did you come here?”
“No, Mama. What is it?”
“The ring… . It’s missing. I placed it in my wardrobe. Haven’t you taken it?”
“No, I already told you I didn’t come in here.”
“Yes, of course you told me.”
“Maybe you dropped it somewhere in the room.”
“I’ve checked all about.”
“Let’s check again. I told you to let it stay with me; it’d be safe.” She helped me check the room once more.
“Perhaps I miscarried it to the kitchen. Let’s go check,” I suggested when we did not find it in the bedroom. I threw myself into a dress and we moved to the kitchen to check. We looked in the shelves, cabinets and sinks in vain. We even checked the kitchenware we had used but found nothing. We then went to the living room and also checked everywhere to no avail.
When Georgie came back in the evening, I felt scared but was, nonetheless, eager to know whether he had the ring or not. So I asked him while he took his tea, “Do you have the ring?”
“Yes, why do you ask?”
“Am I not supposed to know, my lord? It’s been a bother to me.”
He dug into his pocket and brought out the ring. “Here it is. Does it scare you?” He placed it on the table. I shoved back in fear and astonishment.
“Of course it does and I can see. Well, the nurses told me a fine story,” he began.
“What did they tell you?”
“They told me that you told them you saw an old black woman standing next to me in church last Sunday. How was that even possible in the face of such an enormous congregation?”
“Yes, I did. And not only that, she smirked at me knavishly.”
“Those are premonitions. And look, if you care about people, just stop talking to them about this ring.” He stood up and placed the ring into his pocket.
“What are you talking about, my lord?” I asked, still not understanding his message.
“You will be responsible for the final fate of so many people. Learn to keep your mouth shut, whatever you see or perceive.” He took his coat and staff and walked away, leaving me in awe and suspense.
And so, I cannot fairly sleep tonight, dear sister; I am trying so hard to make meaning out of my husbands proverbial utterances.