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Story Title – Life’s Mystries

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LIFE’S MYSTERIES

From a very rich family, yet very stubborn. Always bringing loads of trouble and problems to his parents in very different ways. Indulged in examination malpractice right from the early stage of junior secondary two. Never for once had he opened his books to read, though he was very intelligent, and that, always resulted a dependence of paying his teachers to pass him.

He had tons of girlfriends, a range of different skin colours, heights and weights, name them? Even the male friends he had, all played a negative role in his life.
He moved from one sort of corrupt act to the other. Indeed, friends can either make or mar a person. Bribery and corruption have been a cankerworm, eating deep into the fabric of our great nation, and Kelly was not exempted from it, he collects money from his parents as fee claims, yet lavishes them on his women, turning a drunk and still pressing on with his bribery acts, so his teachers could grade his passes.

Not just enough, he eventually resorted to robbery at the long run, as introduced to him by his friends, a result of not being able to get money anymore, because his father stopped giving it to him, with complaints that his demands were more than he can do with, and was apparently over the top.

So, without option, he gave into joining his friends in a robbery. They go after fellow students, emptying their pockets, and taking things not belonging to them forcefully. Cultism, the worst society ever in a university world, was the very last idea Kelly and his friends had resorted to, and eventually formed, named the big axe confranity.

A means where they went about raping and impregnating innocent young girls, and yet he found no satisfaction at all. His life grew more shallow by the day. His parents had disowned him, with wishes to rather stay childless than have him as one. The owner of the school tried so many times, to expel them but it was all to no avail because their cult group had powerful backing.

The constitution is that whoever kills must be killed, but he’d never been killed, for all the murders he’d committed. Then, on that fateful day, Kelly mistakenly killed one student of a prominent family background. It led to the arrest he’d always escaped from, and this time he was hooked to five years imprisonment from where his judgement to be killed was passed.

While in the prison he turned into a changed human being after hearing the good news of salvation, he began reading his bible on a daily and also said his rosary.
There was a general decision made for just one convict in each prison cell to be released. There, luck kissed Kelly, and he was being released amongst others in his prison cell. From thence, his life was saved. Stepping out of the prison was a totally different Kelly, who was apparently going into the once free world, where he used to be, to live the best of this next phase of life, he was opportune to have again.

ALSO, READ Story Title: REUNION

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Five Minutes Before Thirty-three-Part 2

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“Do you so delight in killing me?” Rhonda spat in bated breath, her hands placed on her throbbing chest, as her face turned to meet, none other but Gladys and her sarcastic chuckle, so very annoying.

  “Jeeezzz… If only you know how obvious your face shows it.” Gladys retorted, “but girl, I just wonder who it is, and I hope — in fact, just forget it.” She flagged a hand immediately, her eyes blinking away from the gift, rested on Rhonda’s face.

    Thanks to her bronze skin, her flush wasn’t so obvious. Rhonda sighed, “anyways, you’re highly welcomed to the board of wonder, and that of hope, may be.” She said, picking up her gift.

    “Gosh, I’m so damn late. Just can’t wait to catch a glimpse of Mr. knight, or is he inside already?” She brushed past Rhonda in haste, into the house with expectancy.

   Sighing bitterly. “He’s inside my cupboard – check it out yourself.” Rhonda uttered in mock grin, trailing behind Gladys, her left hand, banging the door close.

     “None – sense!” Gladys tossed her shoulder bag on the couch, walking up to the wall hanging mini bar.

    “FYI, I’m outta wines – outta champagnes, just to save you the stress, I’m out of anything you can imagine of, on that bar.” Rhonda said in a sing-song manner.

    “What would you ever have?” Gladys fumed. “Biko, go dress up make we waka.” She walked again into the kitchen.

    “I never shower oh,”

    “E get anytime, wen I go come see you ever get ready? I don’t just know, that day ehnnn…” She wriggled her head.

    “Spare me two minutes, and I’ll be done.” Rhonda interrupted.

    “Take ten in short, if it isn’t still okay, take the whole night, I’ll be here waiting. We can always party here, you know.” Gladys opened up the fridge, deliberating on which drink to take.

     “Thank God it’s week…” Gladys’ ears could still hear Rhonda’s receding sing-song voice, before rushing water from the shower overwhelmed it. She walked out of the kitchen with a tray of two glasses and a carton of Hollandia yoghurt eventually.

    Picking up the remote, she increased the volume of the blues playing softly from the speaker, singing along with it. She then unscrewed the drink and poured it into one of the glasses.

    In the middle of downing the contents in one blow, the door cracked open. “Would you take it easy, girl? No matter what, It still won’t quench your parched throat, cos no be water oh. It’s a drink, a drink that needs to be enjoyed.”

     The fruity voice was very familiar, “aproco!” She spat in a break. Then went ahead to gulp down the remaining contents of the glass.

     In a mock shock, “Chei! That’s called drink assault.” Gladys turned to dewy oval face, the glass making a loud thud on the table as she dropped it. The lady with a skin like weak tea with milk, took a seat next to her.

     “Drink assault, ehn?” Gladys’ brow arched, as they bursted into a fit of hysteric laughter. “Girl, how do you come up with such weird words?”

     Sticking her tongue out, the lady wriggled her head, flipping her long braids backward. “Where this madam na?”

 

*****

 

     “And to think, you just arrived ohhh.” Rhonda uttered, approaching the sitting room.

     “Wow!” Both immediately gasped unanimously, mouths agape, as Rhonda stood in front of them.

     “This is…” Funmi shook her head in amazement, thinking of a perfect word, “mhen, this is… glamourama!” She snapped her fingers.

     “Abeghi. Like, who needs those anyways?” Rhonda hasted to the center table, taking her share of the drink.

    “But it’s an English word na, haba.” Funmi said in her best thin voice, sounding like a toddler.

 “We know, English teacher.” Gladys retorted. “Can you just spin around.” She turned to Rhonda, rotating her index finger.

     Her bronze skin was a compliment of the bright gold dress. It was just a perfect dress, like one made specifically for her own hourglass shape. With slant neck and puff sleeves, glittering from the reflection of light, as she gyrated her body. The gown ran straight to the hip area, and flayed down below her ankles in pleats, the back of it, tail-like.

    Her curly braids were tied forward and allowed to dangle by the left side of her face.

    “Mhen, dude just knows your exact size,” Gladys bit her lips.

    “That alone thrills me, I can’t just wait to unravel this puzzle,” Rhonda sipped from her glass, excited, and just in seconds, she turned all serious. “Besides, what makes you think the gift is from a dude?” She asked, Funmi staring at them like a stray cat.

    “Oh, may be you’re into oldies now, right? Or-” Gladys’ forehead creased in worry, “don’t tell me you do girls now?!” She said in mock shock.

    “Pttftt…” If only she hadn’t swallowed her mouthful last sip of yoghurt, it would have ended up a spittle drench on her friends.  “How absurd?!” Rhonda shrieked.

     “I noh even understand una oh, bring me to lime light jhoor.” Funmi just couldn’t hold back her perplexity.

     “Tell her, to tell you,” Rhonda managed to toss the ball to Gladys, throwing herself on the couch. Gladys rolled her eyes.

    “Oh really – Please, how do I get to tell someone else’s story? Abeghi, it’s only you who’s to tell us how you found your knight, ehn?” Gladys glared, tossing back the ball to Rhonda.

     “That’s goodnews, then.” Funmi understood eventually, with a hint of excitement.

     “How you manage to come up with this dude thing, just amazes me. Don’t you think, it could be a fan, a friend, a family member, just anyone, you see.” Rhonda hissed, “just stop drawing those conclusions, abeg.” She dropped the glass into the tray.

     “Oh well, who knows?” Gladys reasoned, while Funmi nodded, “but I still have this strong hunch it’s a dude.” Gladys swallowed her last sip from the glass. Rhonda just sighed, and bent slightly forward to release the stuck edge of her gown from the pressure of her feet.

     Funmi snatched the carton of yoghurt from Gladys who wanted to turn it into her glass again, “she don even finish am sef,” drinking from the carton instead.

     “I thought you didn’t mind na.” Gladys pouted,

     “Can we just get going already.” Rhonda stood, and dashed again into her room.

    “Let’s go, and she’s back into her room. Jeez!” Funmi sighed. Throwing her head in amazement, Gladys just stood to her feet, picked up the tray, and made her way to the kitchen to drop it.

    “Take the carton na.” Funmi hollered, dragging the remaining content with her breath, as the empty carton squeezed.

    Gladys sighed, “You noh get leg?” She hasted towards the kitchen.

    “Mean girl!” She got up, and trailed behind Gladys, to discard the carton.

    “Yippee… and I got ya!” Rhonda screamed in a delightful sing-song manner some seconds later, in so much that her friends stared at themselves both in amazement and quest, while walking back to the sitting room.

*****

(To be continued)

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Five Minutes Before Thirty-three -Part 1

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STORY TITLE: Five Minutes Before Thirty-three -Part 1

   Rummaging both bedside drawers for the umpteenth time, Rhonda couldn’t see a trace of her dairy. Trying to recall for the last time, where she’d either seen or dropped it.

   She’d ended up squealing, “Ouch…!” after unconsciously biting hard her forefinger that was inside her mouth. Flinging it to sooth the hurt, her eyes darted to the wall clock.

    She’d been too anxious within the day, and a sting of that still lurked around this early hours of the night. It was only half an hour to 7:00p.m.

    “What the heck?!” She gnarled. It’s  been almost twenty-five minutes of dairy hunting, already. She wiped off the beads of sweat on her forehead.

    Wasn’t it supposed to be breezing cold, why was it now a contrary ooze of heat? She walked up to the air condition’s switch, apprehensively turning it off.

    “You’re of no use, jeez!” She scowled at the inanimate object as if it could understand her.

     Where could it be? That shaggy cover, silvery edge, pink color notepad was of utmost importance to her. By the way, what’s with pink and girls? She was already gliding off that pinky phase stuff, thanks to maturity, and besides, white had become her most endearing, and was going to be for the rest of her life. Being the realist she was, she’d rather stay in tune with this founded neutral attraction of hers with no alternative, because life itself is. Taking this dairy thing off her mind was becoming non-negotiable with her head, and allowing anxiety obstruct her fun night? Not at all. She was certainly going to find it somehow, period.

    The image of it, and where she’d seen it that morning before leaving for work, kept coming to her mind. That moment you can’t find something you’d seen a while ago, is just irking.

    It was one of her best gift, received eight years ago. Worth thousands of magic leaves in different colours had already housed so much pleasant, awkward, bad memories, ideas, name it; but above all, had contributed massively to her growth.

    Just left with two leaves upon which she wanted to nibble down those wishes before thirty-three, and now, it was more like the hardest puzzle to solve.

  Could anything be more worse? She ran her fingers through the tail of her braids. Her butts barely kissing the bed, came the doorbell ringing.

*****

   “Damn!” She had the inkling about who it was, but she hadn’t even started preparing yet. Putting her bathrobe on, she waltzed her way to the sitting room, tightening the ropes.

   She glanced through the door’s peephole instead, to confirm, but those beady azure eyes of hers didn’t catch a glimpse of anyone, as expected. She hesitated for a few more seconds, if the doorbell would come ringing again, but it didn’t, and there wasn’t a trace of anyone, still.

    At thirty-two, just few hours to clock thirty-three. She’d grown into a beautiful multi-talented lady.  As a communication manager, she earned the privilege, working for a renowned telecommunication company. Aside that, she was also one of Mainframe’s production editor. Rhonda was accomplished, but particularly, one thing hadn’t balanced all up.

    She’d been through her share of life’s misery. A female turns twenty-five, she’s seen as already old. Questions like, when are you getting married? Where’s your husband? Do you think you still have all the time in the world? All that jazz, and the pressures it comes with, was all she’d experienced, but then, she’d eventually braced through.

   It was much worse two years ago, when she turned thirty, and had ended it all with the so called “perfect one”. As if her life depended on it, her mum’s display of all hope was lost for her daughter, after the shocking confirmation that fateful evening, manages to tickle her in some way, anytime she recalled.

    “You’re now thirty, you should have a kid or two by now.” Her Uncle’s statement. “I’m getting old, I need to drink wine on your head, oh.”

   She’d sighed bitterly, he was only concerned about giving her out in marriage, yet never bothered or supportive of the fact she was eager to further her education. She wouldn’t blame him, because he’d refused to grow with time, else he won’t always have to remind her how a woman’s achievement only ends in the kitchen. How could one she’s supposed to look up to, possess such fogyish mindset, in today’s world?

*****

  Rounding up her Master’s degree had landed her this current dream job, and also served as a refuge that kept her soaring beyond all those pressures that made it seem as if singleness was a stigma or crime.

    She knew exactly what and where she was headed in life, and wasn’t letting nothing pull her down. The job came with its juices, aside others, like the company’s A-class Mercedes, a well furnished flat situated in Alaka way, Lekki Phase 1, where she lived away from her widowed mum, outdated uncle, and the knacks, at least. Also, being and editor came with its privileges.

   It was an all occupied four flat block, and her neighbors were just the best she could ask for, having stayed in the environ for about three years now. Life was quite fair, and her hard, smart work paid off than expected.

   Standing by the door, she felt more perturbed, staring through the peephole, yet seeing no one at the door, still.

    Okay, her nerves were cladding dramatically, so she heaved deeply, an attempt to release the negative energy building up within. It was now dark outside, so she switched the verandah’s light on. It was a weekend, and all three neighbors were out to catch fun as usual. She was no homebody at all, in fact she was preparing to leave too, and would prolly have been ready by now, had it not been the dairy hunt.

    She’d even returned to see Felix, her next door neighbor driving out. But then, who would have rung her doorbell? Turning breezily back to the room, she halted in her tracks, unable to resist the perturbing urge to go back and open up the door.

    Walking up to it, she swinged it open in full force, her eyes darting to her doorstep. There, laid a large white carton box, wrapped in red ribbon. She heaved, a bit relieved, nervously picking up the little card placed on it. Carefully, her eyes made out the contents written on it, which got her lips curving into a smile.

    “Just want to be the very first to gift you. Sorry for the inconveniences this has and will still cause you. I just hope you won’t mind doing me the delight of putting this on for the night? You remain that perfect queen I always adore.

Happy birthday in advance, my dearest, much love):

    Rhonda stood frozen on the spot, totally numb to the surrounding, yet fully aware of the warmth spreading within her. Fresh energy coursed through her, flutters of hope swirling in her heart. The impact from the card, was just too overwhelming, and it’s been so long she felt this way. Oh gosh, just a mere card with so much effect? She sighed.

   It was difficult connecting the dots, it could be anyone and not what her mind was suggesting, right? Like, it’s already been three and a half years, since she dissolved the only serious and promising relationship. Everyone’s green light about it was like the confirmation she couldn’t object, but it just wasn’t it for her. Yes, it was better than the rest, and was very difficult breaking out too, but she had to, and it was so worth it for he was no match for her at all.

  She had no time to entertain or open up scars anymore. The key to such memories and its negative energy was thrown far behind her now. Although, she’d been in a set of three or so, sort of, and she’s been so better off since, walking away with the lessons, each came with.

    Who exactly is this, getting her all perked up through a piece of note?

    And to think, this gift pattern was similar, sort of, her mind immediately toured down memory lane, trying to figure it out. But then, her reverie got interrupted, a welcome back startle to reality, the worse she’d prolly ever gotten.

    “Jesus!”

*****

(To be continued).

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Story Title: REUNION

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Story Title: REUNION

REUNION

    The black-coloured Porsche Macan pulled over, just a meter away from the local clinic’s porch, the engine turning off. It was unwonted, for a clinic like that, has never for once had any record of one from high class.

    The security man hadn’t even hesitated in unlocking the rusted cream color and practically worn-out gate, after the car’s horn.

   With so much agitation and without second thoughts, he dialed the chief’s number on entering his snug of an office, more like a rat’s hole.

    While on the call, and as expected from him, and from other few people resting under the shade of the willow oak tree at the center of the not so wide field just some meters beside the clinic, a posho was taking a grand moment alighting from the passenger’s angle of the car.

    Eventually landing on the not so pleasant sight of an interlock stone, was the strappy nude stilettos sandals protruding out, complimenting the espresso leg it was worn on.

    Stepping out in full, for the keen viewers, was a lady in her late twenties or peradventure early thirties. On a navy blue turtled-neck long sleeve, tucked into a pleated A-line nude color skirt, good inches below her knee, sealed with a lean yet fluffy belt that dangled down to her knee area.

    An angel in broadway light you could say, but angels only dwell in heaven and hardly come by. Her kinky-coily hair was styled into a perfect high puff, her bow-shaped lips were peachy keen, and her nose very pointy. Although her eyes couldn’t be seen, being masked by huge round dark sunglasses, sparkling its silvery tints from the sun’s reflection. One could still see through that delicate smooth espresso skin, how much of a beauty there is, leaning against the car’s door that was ajar.

    Obviously, she could see through the dark glasses, the extent of inquisitive stares made at her. Hold on a second, did she just appear from the moon or something? She wagged her head, partly in disbelief, or maybe amazement.

    Flinging the chain strap of her sliver box bag over her left shoulder, she could feel the piercing stare knife through her skin, but a dexter smile rather played out on her cheeks, then she waved a hello across. Few or maybe none reciprocated, because the stunning faces rather stole all of her attention.

    Well, maybe friendly gestures hardly come from people like her. To her, she had come to learn courteousness and it had soon become her special garment. It isn’t so harmful, or is it? She wondered, as their puzzled stares kept slicing her skin through.

    Not trying to think too much of what surprises awaits her inside the building, she banged the door close. Her three inches stilettos got her straight svelte leg catwalking into the clinic’s lobby, while her driver just waited in the car.

     “I don’t think she means harm, chief. Maybe she’s just here to see a patient.” The security was saying over the phone, just as the lady strode in.

    “Let me know just in time, if any case of insurgence arises, okay?”

     “Sure chief.” Hanging up the worn-out black telephone atop a counter close to the window, the security let out a heave, he only realized he’d been holding the entire time of the call.

    Obviously, he’d assumed the clinic was in danger at the arrival of an unexpected high-class visitor, but after seeing the lady’s warm disposition, he’d just realized his overact. Anyways, it still wasn’t a bad idea, alerting the owner of the clinic, just in case anything happens, right?

     Tugging the telephone back, he waltzed out of his snug, taking a seat on his favorite plastic chair close to the entrance, his eyes carefully sizing and admiring every inch of the black car that was parked  close to the clinic’s porch.

    Walking inside the clinic, and towards the front desk, she was welcomed by another round of fixated stares, exactly what cannot be avoided. A brief talk with the receptionist after the introduction of what consisted only her first name and who she was there to visit, the description on how to locate the ward of the person she’d come to see was given to  her. Just after her signature of approval, she mouthed her thanks and lunged further in, following up the description given to her.

*****

    Just after two raps on the wooden door, she cracked it open by the handle, without waiting for a reply from within.

     “Good day ma.” A young lad with bulgy eyes greeted, as she lunged in. The obvious smell of medicine oozing from every corner of the clinic became very intense, wafting hard into her nose, on entering the room, causing her tummy to roil in disgust.

     “Who’s in charge of her care?” She asked in bated breath, without replying to the lad’s greeting. Taking the sunglasses off her eyes, she rather perched it on her head. Her head snapping off the lad, it landed on that pale figure lying on the clinic’s bed.

     “I’m right here, ma’am.” A silvery voice came from behind, her head tilting towards her back to the svelte figure who entered into the ward and banged the door close.

     “You’re so lucky this afternoon. I thought you left the door ajar again, after warning you not to.” Chewing out on the lad whose face turned anxious. The young girl’s angry look dissipated into a warm smile.

     Turning to the glamorous one before her, “you’re welcome ma’am.” Eyes wrinkling from her grin. “How may I help you please?”

    With dreaded face, “help?” She shrugged. “Of course not, I’m only here to see the patient.” She mirrored a fake version of the girl’s grin.

     “Oh, okay. Then you should sit.” The girl scampered to a corner where a wooden stool was, carrying it to where their guest was.

     “Not to worry, I don’t think I’ll be staying too long.” She was saying when the sick woman grumbled awake.

     “Mum!” She closed her eyes tightly, her teeth gritting. The words she needed to be careful of uttering while in the clinic, had forced it way out of her mouth sooner than she had imagined, just at the sight of the woman awoken. It must have been the result from missing her mother so much, and now it was already too late, to take it back.

     Turning to meet the furrowed brows beside her, she bit her under lip, her face immediately mirroring their frowns.

    “I’m sorry anyway, but it’s still a good thing you both know now.” She blatted, “Erm mum, I don’t think this place is good enough.” Her eyes scanning the cozy room with a scowl. Virtually, everything in the clinic, from the wooden ceiling, to the window and door frames, the sky-blue painted walls, even to the bed which her mum was lying on, had all worn out.

   The poor woman just stared blankly, no one could tell how shock, excited, and at the same time how sad she was. Her daughter had a lot of explanations to do, and she was willing to wait patiently for that moment. After all, the thoughts of seeing her daughter again someday, kept her fighting against every urge to give up. Now that she’s here, all she needed to do was fight even more to become strong again.

    The lady in front of her now, looked really different from back then, when she was only in her mid-teen. How was it even possible? The worst was, trying to say a thing in her much weak state seemed futile because no one could even hear her.

     “Relax mum, I’m back now. Everything is going to be fine.” She held her mum’s left hand, holding back her triggering tears from falling, as her mum struggled, sobbing in pain. “First thing first, I’m moving you out of here as soon as possible, so you’d get better treatment, before any other thing.”

    Turning to the ones beside her, “my bad actually, for not introducing myself.” Placing a hand on her chest. “I’m Cindy, and…”

    “Sister Cindy!” The girl’s ringing voice interrupted, with hurried steps towards Cindy, she wrapped her up in a tight embrace. “Mum never fails to tell me about you, since I was only four when you got missing,” Cindy’s face wrinkling suddenly, showed how uncomfortable she was initially, but she tightened the hug, just hearing it was her kid sister.

    “I’m sorry I left that way,” Cindy said on refraining, giving her sister a peck on the forehead.

    With a lopsided grin, “I don’t mind, it’s just that… Hold on, is it really you sister, or perhaps it’s your ghost?” Dramatizing her fear, a fake fear that never aroused from within upon her trial, taking two steps backward, she gasped her best act of nervousness. “Mum was told by an onlooker that you wouldn’t make it alive after that fatal accident, but your body had not been found upon the search.”

    “Relax Kathryn, would you?” Cindy encouraged, getting close, she patted her sister lightly. Who wouldn’t believe she was dead anyway? Besides, being away for almost two decades was enough possibility of the belief, isn’t it?

    Bursting into a fit of loud laughter. “I got you there, my acting skill gets better.” She laughed again, as Cindy threw her head in amazement. “Mum and I had never for once loosed hope of your chances of survival since we didn’t find a prove of your dead corps,” Kathryn added, tightening the hug her sister gave and smiling widely.

     It wasn’t easy on the woman who laid on the bed helpless. She was writhing in pains, pains that no one could tell, even though heard from her sobs, yet she tried to maintain calmness from the hopes that her daughter had returned for good.

   “It’s really me, Cindy.” A faint smile showed on the sick woman’s lips, as she heard those words from her daughter.

   “Anyways, who’s he?” Cindy questioned, pointing to the lad sitting on the bed’s edge. The young girl belled out a good laugh again, from seeing the awkward contortion on her sister’s face, but it was abrupt. Must be Kathryn really loves laughing, Cindy tried to imagine. “Okay, this is Danny, our stepbrother.” she tussled the lad’s hair.

    “Oh.” Cindy nodded, “So, how about Mr. Jack, why isn’t he here with you all?” Her left brow arching.

    Kathryn’s face turning sullen at once, “he had never tried to spend the slightest of minutes here with us,” she scoffed, “he’s still our stepfather you know, but I hate him with everything in me.” Cindy knew just exactly what her sister meant because she’d been there before. The maltreatment from Mr. Jack was enough to hate the demon-like being. Kathryn balling her palms into a fist, continued after the eerie seconds of silence. “He’s prolly out there buying more of his drunkenness with all his dime, who knows? After all, that’s all he always does.” She sighed.

     “Okay, we’re leaving this place right now.” Cindy spat. “Mum, you’re going to be all fine again, okay? I’ll be back in a jiffy.” She said, unclutching her box bag, as she took out her smartphone. Scrolling through her phone, She sauntered out of the room, after opening the door.

    Kathryn couldn’t contain the joy flooding within her, the very reason she’s been laughing uncontrollably. Their life was no longer going to be the same. Their patience and faith had paid off eventually. Her mum was going to be up on her feet again, and her family was going to be complete.

     Little Danny of only seven years didn’t seem to understand a thing, he just kept staring at how excited his stepsister was while sitting on the stool. “That pretty aunty didn’t reply to my greetings, you know. Is she really big sister?” He pouted, folding his arms around his chest.

    “Yes, big boy. We’re finally going to be free from all of dad’s scheming wickedness and maltreatment. So you should be happy, okay?” Tussling the lad’s hair again.

     “Hmmmm,” he nodded, smiling unsatisfied.

***** 

   “You almost raped me that night remember, stepdad or need I say, Mr. Jack?” Cindy scoffed, with a face, plain as darkness. She sat upright with crossed legs on the couch she shared with her foster parents, very close to the armrest where she rested her left arm.

   The bisque painted room had opposite fluorescent bulbs illuminating light in the room, clearly showing everyone’s faces in it.

   It had been five months already, since Mr. Jack’s search for his wife proved futile, not until he eventually succumbed to Cindy’s terms and conditions left for him in the local clinic.

    “Interestingly, the woman here says she’s pregnant with your child. Is it, Mr. Jack?” She derided, showing off a photo on her phone’s screen.

    “A cat tied your tongue?” Cindy questioned with a fierce glare. “Say something.”

    This woman in front of him had become a terrific beauty, compared to the teenager who left a decade ago. One thing different was, she looked rather calm, that he couldn’t pick up her anger, though her voice sounded it. Everyone present in the room stared serious and speechless, his wife and Kathryn shooting daggers at him. Cindy’s fierceness was really heating him up like wildfire, even though her face was captivating to look on.

    Clearing his throat, he tried to regain his almost lost voice. “First of all, I’m truly sorry for…”

   “Oh spare me the sorry.” Cindy interrupted with a smirk, raising her left hand in a wriggle. “Fortunate enough to fall into the loving arms of a prestigious home I was, don’t you think?” She left his mouth hanging open, each moment he wanted to speak. Her icy gaze meeting his, “or rather, would you have earned a delight in ruining me?” She smirked, muttering in bated breath. “You know, it’s all good it happened and I’d forever remain grateful to God for that.” Heaving deeply to calm her brawling nerves down.

    “What if,” She wagged her head. “I died in that accident, escaping from you that night?” She swallowed the lump in her throat. “Or, what if the door was actually locked that night, and I couldn’t escape from your grasp?” She hissed, her head still wagging. “Six months, for six months Mr. Jack, I was in a coma. Thanks to the loving arms who didn’t abandon me in the hospital and never left me, even when I’d lost my memory after regaining consciousness.” She heaved, her hands clamped tightly on the armrest as an aid, to control herself from letting out the bottled up fiery fox that was craving a release. Her foster mum who was the closest to her on the seat rubbed her back lightly.

     After what felt like minutes of creepy silence, she was eventually calm and relaxed.

    “Just so you’ll know, I hold nothing against you Mr. Jack, I’d forgiven you a long time ago. It was only necessary you knew about the havoc you wreaked.” Biting her lower lips. “It’s now your score and that of mum to settle, but the woman whose pregnant with your kid?” She sighed, rising to her feet.

     “I’m not responsible for that pregnancy, the paternity test proves me innocent. I’ve never for once cheated on your mum, not even in my wildest imaginations.” Mr. Jack retorted, his eyes darting into his wife’s, but she blinked hers away.

     “I hope so.” Cindy heaved. “Mum, Dad. I’m okay now, I beg to excuse myself.” She said giving her foster parents a joint hug, as they sat together. “Mum, it’s your score to settle now, I’m done.” She said with raised hands. “Kathryn, Danny. Adults’ moment,” she added, pointing towards the door.

     “I’m very very sorry Cindy, I’d live in pangs of regret since that night. I couldn’t bring myself to tell your mum about it, the very reason I’d turned out a drunk.” Mr. Jack explained almost on his knees when Cindy held him up.

     “Please, you don’t have to do this. I’ve truly forgiven you Mr. Jack,” her siblings already behind her. “It’s mum you owe an apology now, and also to,” she snapped her head towards the direction of her siblings, who nodded. “At least for all the maltreatment.”Cindy opening the door before them.

     “I’m so very sorry for all I’ve caused you, my family. I admit I’ve been so irresponsible.” He said with a cracked voice, tears welling up in his eyes. “I don’t know how, but I’m very sorry from the depths of my heart.” With heavy feet, he strode towards his wife’s position and knelt before her in remorse.

     Cindy’s mum hesitated with eyes closed, her raised palms clenching in a fist, but his moistened face buried on her laps, made her hands drop weakly on his shoulders, as she patted him gently.

    Everyone’s cheek in the room wore a rueful smile. Love always conquers, Cindy walked out of the room, with her siblings trailing behind, and the door banged closed.

ALSO, READ Beyond the Will

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