She woke up to a very perculiar sound, it made the fine hairs on her nape bristle and her fists unconsciously clenched. That's when she saw it, his fat hairy stomach which was rising and falling with unfailing regularity. Her gaze travelled upwards and took in his open mouth from which the most obscene snores were released to the world, the little white patch of dried saliva at the corner of his mouth and to his balding head. Nausea was her body's response.
She walked into the compound she lived in with only one thought on her mind- cleansing herself.
"Martina, Iroko has fallen, American Iroko" it was Fidel her neighbour's houseboy.
She looked at him askance, of all the times for Fidelis to want to waste her time with irrelevant talk, it had to be this morning.
"Please don't waste my time this morning, I want to have my bath immediately" she spat out tersely.
The young man was slightly confused at her curtness, she had never been this rude to him before, he quickly told himself she must have had a terrible night at the hospital where she worked as an orderly/cleaner.
"That musician wey you dey always play im cassette don die, that Marvin man"
She ran to him and held his neck in a chokehold. Her eyes seemed to burn with an unnatural fever.
"Na post-April fool you want to do me abi? where you hear am? Her voice had fallen to a flat monotone
"I hear am for Voice Of America" he choked. She had a strong grip, she must have gotten it from all the lifting and carrying she did at work. He made a mental note never to offend her for any reason.
She noticed the radio that had fallen from his hand when she grabbed him, she released him and calmly asked him to tell her what he knew. He told her that the report was still sketchy but he had been killed by his father, his own father. Hot tears stung her eyes as she made her way to her room at the back of the house.
Three months later, her period still hadn't made an appearance and she could no longer tell herself she'd miscalculated her last period date. In a few months she'd have a baby whether she was ready to or not. The terrible part was that one drunken night with a driver she'd never see again had given her something that three years with Samson her 'husband' hadn't given her. It occurred to her that he probably wasn't capable of making a woman pregnant as the two women who'd jointly replaced her were yet to get pregnant.
She begun to make plans with feverish speed, she wasn't going to keep the child with her. She'd give the child to the church just like Samuel was given to the temple. Her stomach was still as flat as it had always been and by her estimation she'd start showing by when the pregnancy was in its sixth month, she'd leave town then and come back after having the baby
Her labour was uneventful and her daughter was born after a few hours later. The people in the small village five hundred miles away from her home all thought that her husband was in the army and would be joining her soon.
She'd meticulously organised the basket in which she planed to leave her daughter in and wrote a short note telling them that her daughter's name was Marvinque because she was conceived on the day Marvin Gaye died.
On Sunday morning Martina carried her baby and went to church, she gave the baby to the catechist's wife and told her to watch her while she went to the bush to relieve herself. The woman gladly accepted to watch her but soon grew impatient as she waited and waited for the mother to come and take her baby.
She walked away slowly, saying a prayer for the innocent child she'd been unworthy to receive. The girl would lead a better life away from her and perhaps she'd become a famous singer one day like Marvin. It was a pity that she wouldn't be there to ensure that her daughter's name would always be Marvinique