Joanna is a talented Igbo writer that just reminds us of Chimamanda Adichie. She’s fearless, and you’ll be hearing from her more often.
Mother Superior snatched her underskirt from the table. I sat naked, transfixed on the couch. I watched her dress up. She had just worn her nun’s habit and was now fastening her woollen belt when she turned a half-circle to look at me. ‘You Jezebel! Cover up right this moment!’
I hurriedly threw on my habit then groped around the corners of the couch to pick my veil. My fingers fumbled to wrap it around my head. I waited to hear what Mother Superior or Judith as she insisted I call her whenever we engaged in the unholy act would say next. She didn’t disappoint.
‘You daughter of Belial! How dare you seduce me and drag me to sin?’ she slapped me heavily across the cheek. I wiped the tears that rolled down. ‘Mother…’ I began.
‘Call me Judith. Please’, she sat beside me. ‘You know I love you, right?’ her eyes became softer. I looked away. ‘Look at me, Rosemary’, she coaxed. I stared at the painting of Our Lady over on the other side of the office. Grabbing my chin, she pulled my gaze to hers, ‘Rosemary, I do love you.’ Her eyes begged me to listen. I searched deep. She was a torn soul. Like two persons struggling to rise to the surface. Everyone knew she was Reverend Mother Martha Leeds. And she knew my name was Judith, not Rosemary.
‘I’m Judith, Mother. Not Rosemary’, I whispered searching her eyes deeply. I watched those eyes gradually switch from Judith’s to Mother Superior’s…filled with hate and fire. She rose. ‘Get out! Get out!!’ she snarled, walking over to her desk to grab her rosary.
Judith loved me. Reverend Mother Martha Leeds despised me.
I rose, glancing at the wall clock.
It was almost time for my confession.