Mama Why? Episode 35 by Ngozi Lovelyn O.

"Lord, please let me get rid of these things before the owner catches me. Let it happen like it did with the fishes." Ogechi prayed, remembering how she got rid of those fishes before the market women closed in on her.
She was on her way returning home, battling with the urge, praying for it to go away. Immediately she felt herself again, she entered the bush and hid it behind a tree.

"See how I wasted these women's goods. Hmm, I am sorry Lord, you know that it's not my fault. I didn't steal them intentionally. This is not me, I know that something is wrong somewhere, but I'm promising to make it up to those women. When next I return to this village, I will go to their shops and pay them extra money for these items I took from them. I will make it look as if I'm dashing them money." She said and hurriedly left before the urge return again.

After she finished reminiscing how her encounter with her previous stealing went, she hoped that things will turn out for her the way it did before, but little did she knew that village setting was far different from city life.
As she was about to leave, she got blocked from making exit.

"Hello Madam, can you come with us please" the security guards said

"Come with you, but I didn't buy anything, there is nothing to pay for" she said, shivering.

"Please, come with us, we don't want to use force on you" one of the security guards said

And Ogechi followed them and began wondering why those men were been so mean to her.

"Could it be they saw me? No, I don't think so. I made sure that nobody saw me. Maybe, they want to ask me something" she quickly thought and then heeded to their demand

She was taking to a stand where she was asked to bring out all she had stolen. The security guards were still taking it easy on her before the owner of the massive super market arrived.

"What is going on here?" She asked and the guards explained what was happening.

"What? And you are still taking it easy on her?" The woman raged and then dragged Ogechi and began pulling down her skirt.

And on seeing what was happening, Ogechi pleaded with her to stop, that she will bring them out herself.

"You think I'm here to play? Thieves like you does not deserve any mercy"

"Please Ma, can we go inside so that this people here won't see what is happening, please I am begging you in the name of God" Ogechi who was already crying, calmly requested.

"Ooh, you are ashamed? They say everyday is for the thief, but one day is for the owner. Your God has exposed you today. You are not going anywhere, you will bring them out in the presence of everybody here to see." The woman rudely replied.

And Ogechi turned and saw how everybody was watching what was happening, with some taking pictures, while some were hurling insults at her.
She then dipped her hand in her private part and began bringing out the things she had stolen.

"Shameless girl! I will show that no one messes with me and go scot free" the owner taunted.

While Ogechi was bringing out the things she had stolen, one of the customers spoke from behind: "Don't tell me you will keep those things back to the counter, they are already contaminated. If you are going to return them for sales, then I'm sorry, I won't be coming here to buy things again, knowing that I'm consuming infection infested things"

On hearing that, another customer supported her idea.

"You hear that, I'm not going to return them for sales, that means you will have to pay for them."

"OK how much? Tell me, I will pay" Ogechi asked, thinking that it will be normal prices of the biscuits she knew.

But when she was given the price to be N3900, she got shocked.

"N3900? But why? They are just biscuits and sweets" she said, looking surprised

"They are not just ordinary biscuits, didn't you see the price tags on them" one of the security guards asked, thinking that Ogechi knew about those things.

"I don't think we will be getting any money from her, the best thing is to collect her phone from her" the supermarket owner said

"Don't take my phone please, I will pay you your money. Just give me next tomorrow to pay your money. This is not my way of life, I don't know what pushed me into coming here. This is not me, I promise, I am saying the truth. I was just coming out from the church were I went to discuss with Father to help me understand what is happening to me. If you check my phone, you will see that I just made a call to him and he asked to me to wait for him before the urge came again. See the things I have stolen, they are irrelevant to me, I'm not a fan of biscuits or sweets, I don't know why I found myself stealing things that are of no use to me" Ogechi sincerely apologized, trying to make the woman understand her situation.

But her explanations fell on deaf ears. The supermarket owner collected her phone from her and then asked her to go and bring the money before she could release it to her.

"But I'm new here, I don't know my way in the city. I need the phone to call my husband to pick me from church."

"Then you should call him now and tell him where you are"

"No Ma, please don't tell him because it will mean the end of my marriage. My enemies will finally rejoice over my downfall. Please help me Ma, I promise to give you your money" Ogechi sincerely pleaded, but the woman did not buy her tears, she mistook her actions to one of the tricks thieves use to save themselves when they are caught in such situations.

"That's one thing with all these thieves, when they are caught, they will start looking for who to blame. They will say it's the handiwork of devil. Today, I will show you that you chose the wrong supermarket to display your talent. Criminal like you.... Shameless thief" The woman cursed.

Ogechi's mother was heartbroken when she heard what happened.
Her husband called and informed her what was happening in the market.

"What is really happening? I don't understand anything again. I just met similar scenario when I went to my in-laws house. Okwuchi was accusing Ogechi that she had stolen her money while the money was just there in her room, and now the market women? If not for early intervention of Ndubuisi, my daughter would have been in a terrible state before they finally realised that she was innocent. I don't understand anything again Papa Ogechi"

"Were you not the one who told me that Ogechi wanted to stay in our place, that she was scared of staying at her husband's house?" Papa Ogechi asked

"Yes, and I'm beginning to understand her reasons. My daughter is too young for all these harsh treatments. I'm beginning to feel that Okwuchi doesn't like her. You needed to see the way she was looking at her, with rage flashing all over her eyes. To tell you the truth, I'm no longer happy she got married to that family." Ogechi's mother said

"Anyway, you don't have to worry about anything, because her husband loves her so much. My head swelled with pride when I heard how he intervened and got all the women arrested."

"He got the women arrested?" Ogechi's mother asked, sounding shocked

"Yes, he did and I like what he did."
"But don't you think the women will hate her for this? That her husband disrespected the women and got them arrested"

"Hate you say? Who cares what they will say? All I know is that they are paying for what they did to my daughter."

"Papa Ogechi, to tell you the truth, I don't like the outcome of this. Seriously, I don't." Mama Ogechi said, without knowing that their daughter was facing another similar situation which was about to taste the fate of her marriage.

To be continued..

Mama Why? By Ngozi Lovelyn O.

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