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Every year on Ash Wednesday, I Caroline Egwu-ukwu gets dressed in my longest gown, tie a scarf, yes a scarf! Unbelievable right? I tie a scarf and march down to church to get ash on my forehead determined in my spirit,  soul and body that this time I shall overcome!

As I walk out the door, I hear Henry laughing at me. “My holy baby! My fasting baby!” I turn to look at him just in time to watch him lick all four fingers that had just been dipped into piping hot Edikaikong soup. My mouth waters, I try to hiss and fail making a slushy sound instead and Henry’s laughter more raucous, sounding more like a hyena than the man I love.

“After giving me a pot belly from all your cooking you want to go and loose weight so you can leave me in fat zone alone, never!” More laughter.

Rubbish! I will prove to him this time around that I can be disciplined and that I will loose this weight brought on by child bearing. Rolling my eyes at him in a last attempt at scorn since my mouth betrayed me when I tried to hiss, hopefully my eyes will help save face.

I leave the house marvelled at how my funky husband can be so local at times. Henry is laughing for two reasons, 1. That I wait till Lent to try to loose weight (he has a point there) 2. I always fail! Such a wicked man, he waits till Lent period to visit all the cool joints in Lagos.  Rather than insist I cook for him he simply goes all foodie on me, funny enough he insists he prefers my cooking and infact licks his plate and showers me with compliments no matter how tasteless we both know the food is. My wonderful husband and supporter but right now is being a clog in my wheel and I shall prove to him that I am a strong woman lol!

I come back from church with ash on my forehead and a large dose of determination having been charged up by the priests message. I entered the house with a pius look on my face, a halo on my head (ok, maybe imaginary but I could swear I had one) and a victorious song on my lips only to be greeted by a snoring Henry, content in his sleep on my favourite couch, I envied him.

Busy with the twins boarding house shopping the previous day, I didn’t have time to eat extra like I normally would a day before I fast. My ‘shock absorber meal reserve’ was empty, I was terribly hungry and couldn’t nap. Why did Henry’s one week leave have to fall on Ash Wednesday?  We both planned our leave to coincide with each others, while at the time it seemed like a good idea, I’m not so sure anymore.

If I can’t sleep, no one else will. So I entered the kitchen and started washing plates- sorry scratch that! I started banging all the pots and pans I didn’t mind chipping hoping it’ll wake Henry up, it didn’t,  I was furious. My house keeper rushed in from one of the rooms she had been cleaning “ah ah ah madam no vex, ah been pran to wash de prates dem wen I finissh de looms” the daggers I shot in her direction would have killed a Samurai. Confused, she backed out of the kitchen looking over her shoulders. Talk about unwanted attention.

Finally drained of my last energy in an attempt to wake my husband with no luck. Seriously, what’s the point of going up and down the house singing victorious songs if the person you are trying to scorn is oblivious of it?

Such an unjust world, where the scorned sleep and the scorner stays awake starving the whole time!


To be continued……