Hi dear! I’m glad you’re here and I believe you’ll have an impacting experience exploring with me. Will absolutely love your feedbacks.
Time stilled. The voices in her head waned as she glared at Etanomare, her one year old son. It was almost like she was seeing him for the first time, his bold eyes with pupils that danced with a longing for excitement. Tega saw sadness shadow his visage as he frowned, almost breaking into a cry. This sight, why was she just seeing it? She searched for the images of Peter she’d seen in him, but all she saw in the child was a boy like her. A boy that might chase after excitement and give in to his emotions, a boy that might believe in a perfect world and would sacrifice his knowledge of God to suit his present life. A helpless boy that needed someone to succour him.
His voice came out again crying out to her “ma..ma”
And she remembered what Chika had told her
“…But I know this Tega. That God loves you and he wants you to move on so you can be a succour to others”
Her heart began to beat out of love for her son. Then like a flash she remembered the rope on her neck, and time seemed to kick off from there as she felt the tightness on her neck. Tega tried to untie it but it was difficult. She glanced at Hanson as he crawled closer to the edge of the bed, one more step and he would be falling off the bed.
She pespired as she tried to calm herself.The stool shook. The stool she chose was one that would be easy to push away.In her mind’s eye she tried to imagine her son growing up without a mother and it was terrifying. Would her son ever forgive her for leaving him as an orphan? how selfish could she be. “Stop Nomare. Stop there please” she tried to curb the brokenness in her voice, but it made him cry anyway as he called out to her. What was she doing? Her son needed her. She groaned in pain.
“Jesus! Jesus!” She didn’t know when she cried out. “Save me Jesus. Bring me out from this pit of bitterness I have dragged myself and my son into. Please Jesus”
Never in her life had she prayed this desperately. Or felt she needed God so much.
“I’m tired of running away from you, Lord. I’m tired of holding on to my past” She glanced at her son again. He’d shifted a bit from the edge, but he still cried. She wondered if he was also praying to God.
She tried to steady her self a bit on the plastic stool again. She closed her eyes for a while and continued to pray as she still tried to untie the stubborn rope. How she wished there was someone else in the room to hand her a scissors.
It seemed like eternity passed before her and her her son before a voice broke through her confusion.
” Tega.” The voice was faint but familiar. She hoped she wasn’t hallucinating again.
“I’m here Chika..in my room” she shouted. Just in case.
In no time Chika was standing by the door .Tega turned gently on the stool and watched the bag dropped from Chika’s hand.
” Oh Jesus” Chika cried as she scurried into the room “Sweet Jesus. Thank you”
“A scissors” Tega begged “In my drawer”
Chika found the scissors and Tega was down in no time. Then she ran to the baby bed and carried her son up, silencing him.
“No wonder there was an haste in my spirit. I wanted to come later, but the Lord wouldn’t let me be.” Chika mummured walking towards them “I thought I was just coming to drop my gift for your baby, I didn’t know. Sweet Jesus…”
Tega sobbed. Tears of remorse this time mixed with gratitude and joy as she held her son tight. “I’m sorry Chika, I don’t know what came over me…I dont” she swallowed the lump that’d gathered in her throat “Everything just happened so fast. Hanson…”
Chika put her arm over her friend’s shoulder. “Hanson is a blessing to you. God told me that when I first saw him. He used him to teach you how to let go, he’ll use him to encourage you”
She carried him up and kissed him on his cheeks, fore head and eyes . One would think she was seeing him for the first time.
“Nomare” she said to him, her voice filled with emotions “Because of you God has spared my life. Because of you, I’ll let go of my guilt and misery. You may be Peter’s son but you’re my son too”
“Look at me, Tega” Dr. Albert Chika said, releasing her arm from Tega’s shoulder ” I need you to believe that the Lord has set you free from your past , from your guilt, from despair”
Tega smiled and glanced at Hanson, and for the first time she believed every bit of it that she was free. Free to live again without guilt or pangs of her past. Free to love her son like she should.
That was the beginning of her desire to move on and overcome her depression. There were days flash backs of Fola or Peter saddened her, but Tega held on to the love of God she felt everyday, from her parents, Chika, the new friends she made, but most of all, from her son who was growing up to be a charming lovable boy with a heart for God.
Okay guys we’ve come to the end of NOMARE. If there’s going to be a season two, I pray God inspires me on the steps to take concerning that. I’ll love us to share what we’ve learnt from the series. We can be a blessing to each other. Thanks!! Waiting for your comments.
I leave us with this scripture:
Praise be to the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, the Father of compassion and the God of all comfort, who comforts us in all our troubles, so that we can comfort those in any trouble with the comfort we ourselves receive from God.
(II Corinth: 3-4)
It started like a wild fire, consuming the green grass as it swept through the forest paths to the village square. It was a wonder why the fire was so well-patterned; a usual bushfire should have taken the whole forest in flames. This one was like a mighty being running down a path, leaving no footsteps behind. There was neither smoke nor stench in its path. All it did was to sweep path free from grass. The moment it got to the village square, it rested calmly like a king whose arrival was much expected. Even the people shouted for joy at it’s arrival.
Alipha was dazed. How and why was he here? The strange thing before him held him spell bound. He quickly sneaked behind a tree so he could have a better view of the people that had begun to dance near the fire. It seemed they were a part of it, like the fire burned in their hearts as it did in the village; vigorously, with life. It was a wonderful sight indeed and soon he was caught up in the moment, watching the people rejoice with abandon.
He didn’t know how much time had passed when he saw some men bolt in from different sides of the village with angry faces and wicked gestures. They walked menacingly towards the villagers, pushing them away from the fire as they began to empty the buckets of water they had brought along on the fire. More men walked in with more buckets of water, and with daggers and axes too, cutting the throats of the village people. It was an unbelievable sight. What was a joyful feast a second ago had quickly turned into a blood bath. Women screamed in fear while children ran around in confusion. Alipha bowed his head towards the tree, as he closed his eyes, distraught by the depressing sight with so much sorrow drowning the voice of joy in his heart. He then heard quickened footsteps approaching his direction with screams and shrieking cries fading into the background. Suddenly, there was dead silence!
On opening his eyes, they were welcomed with thick darkness. Slowly his eyes adjusted to the darkness and somehow he realised he could see better. He took few steps away from the tree, still wondering what the place was and how he got there. His heart broke for the people he saw lying dead on the floor and the ones that he saw alive running into hiding. Their eyes were cold with trepidation. A complete contrast to what was happening some minutes earlier.
A faint voice then called his name and to his own surprise, Alipha recognized that voice at once. Never would he have mistaken Fatima’s voice for another soul’s.
He turned around and he saw her, dressed in a blue kaftan with a black linen scarf over her hair, shivering in the cold.
He tried to comprehend this sight, Fatima was far away, how was it possible that she was with him.
“The Torch” she said, pointing to his right hand.
He turned to look at his hand. Unbeknownst to him, he was holding a flaming torch all along. He swallowed the hot saliva that hit his throat as he listened to Fatima.
“We need the fire, Alipha” she said as she fought back her tears with the same power with which she fought the harsh cold weather biting her tender skin.
Alipha, drowned in awe, could only mutter an incoherent reply “Seriously Fatima, I can’t believe its you”
She walked backwards her eyes pleading “Alipha, the fire, we are nothing without it”
He looked at his torch again; the lively flames pulling him into immense wonder. It was fierce yet beautiful, filling his heart with ecstasy. No wonder the people rejoiced around it, no wonder Fatima’s eyes glimmered with joy despite the terrible circumstances she seemed to be in.
“Come with me Alipha” She turned around and took two steps ahead before glancing back at Alipha. He smiled and walked forward to her side as they walked towards the village square together.
Alipha sat up on his bed startled.The strange dream replayed in his mind vividly like he was there again. He could still hear the screams and the deafening silence that followed; and then Fatima. How he wished he had touched her or said more to her than he did. It had been ten years since he last saw her but every time he thought of her, it seemed like yesterday. People say ‘beauty is in the eyes of he who beholds’. Fatima’s beauty was different. She was adorable even if beheld by a thousand different eyes from a thousand different perspectives. Melanin had been kind to her, giving her a dark skin that shone like cocoa butter. Her dove like eyes were the perfect fit to her oval face and her thick afro hair that canopied over her head like a crown, just above those naturally trimmed eyebrows and long lashes.
Fatima had somehow been captivated by a motherless boy like Alipha, disregarded by his father and spited by many villagers for his recklessness. More than ten years ago Fatima was his gold, and soon became the only reason he drew breath, the only reason his mind was set on going to Accra, a place where he had heard that the grasses were greener and honey dripped like rain. The love between the two was incomprehensible to those who knew them and soon some people misconstrued that Alipha had cast a spell on Fatima. She was willing to leave her rich father and journey with Alipha only on a promise that he would marry her. Alipha, flattered by her request gave her a silver ring to keep for the time that would be right. Everything was perfect. He and three of his friends almost gathered enough money that could take them to Lagos first then to Accra. But then, Danlandi happened!
He was a tall, slim man with rugged ways and a loud mouth. The first person Danladi was able to entice was Danjuma, Alipha’s father, and soon the village went agog with this man’s sermon of a saviour called Jesus. Alipha’s father called it a revival, he said a fire would burn through the city and men would be turned to Jesus. He would ask Alipha to attend the crusades that had soon become a daily routine in the village but the young man preferred to hang out with his friends or lay down under the sun in his verandah, dreaming of Accra and Fatima and his sons and daughters unborn. Whatever Danlandi said or the miracles he performed didn’t appeal to Alipha the way it did to more than half of the village. To him, the people were a bunch of hungry fools pursuing after a man filled with deceit and Indian magic.
As the time set for their journey drew near, Alipha became very busy with menial jobs having very little time for Fatima. Yet one night when he least expected it, she was standing before him in an unusual kaftan and a linen scarf over her head.
“Alipha” her voice was so calm, yet it disturbed him like a storm.
“Fatima” he said as he stood up and walked closer to her and drew her into his arms. How so much he missed her.
“I can’t go to Accra, Alipha” she said, almost in a whisper.
He let go of her and stared into those gentle eyes of hers hoping that she was joking. Then she continued speaking on how she had looked forward to it everyday from dawn to dusk and how her heart bled to disappointed him. Alipha just stood there spell bound, as her words tore him to shreds. Yet, not until she mentioned Danlandi and Jesus did his eyes darken with rage. In his mind’s eye, he saw the tall lanky man take everything he had and scorn him to his face.
“Jesus wants me here Alipha”. She must have seen the terror in his eyes because she did her best to avoid them. “Danlandi said so”
His head went hot with hatred for Danlandi as he pushed her aside, briskly walking out of the house, pretending not to hear Fatima’s voice as she called out to him. “Oh Fatima” he muttered under his breath “I will show that deceiver that he picked the wrong girl”
That night Alipha and his friends set the evangelist’s house on fire. They hoped Danlandi burnt to death in his sleep. At dawn they were on their way to southern Jos. Alipha couldn’t bear Fatima finding out he was responsible for the fire. He would rather she looked at him as her knight in shining amour than see the reckless, motherless soul she mistakenly fell in love with. And so his journey to Accra begun with a broken heart driven by anger to find something out of life that could take away his pain. His friends tried to motivate him, they would tell him that loosing Fatima wasn’t the end of the world. He knew they lied, or they didn’t realise that she was his world.
Years went by and life scorched them like the sun’s heat. The greener pastures they came looking for across the borders of Nigeria seemed beyond their reach. In no time they had squandered all their savings and spent most of their days roaming round the streets or the market places looking for jobs. Soon they went their separate ways a while after they lost one of them to typhoid fever. They planned to reunite with each other one day only if their hustle paid off. If not, each would keep searching until death steals them away. Alipha was homeless for a year after watching his friends leave Accra. He had decided to stay in Accra and somehow his decision led him to a small church close to Kantamanto market. The sun was hot over his head that day as he had sat by the church front staring at nothing in particular.
“Young man” said the voice behind him “I have been waiting in prayer for you”
He turned slowly as he stood up to see a short, plump man with a very broad smile plastered on his face.
After five years in Accra, Alipha met with the Lord in that small church and he was given a mini flat behind the church on a condition that he would clean the church daily and attend services. In his wornout and tired heart, he had found Jesus and immediately understood why Fatima would decide to pick a man like Danlandi over him. He saw the suffering he would have put her through if she came with with him and he shivered at the thought of her dying from typhoid fever or childbirth because he wouldn’t have been able to pay her hospital bills. And he loved God more for saving the woman he loved from him.
Now as he sat on his bed ten years gone, he stared out through his window to the market place. And his heart swelled with how accustomed he had become with the noise , as the women called out to each other anticipating a good market day and the Kayayo ( the load carriers) began bustling into the market like bees. His dream came back to him again and like lightening, it hit him what he must do. Alipha went on his knees, uttered a short prayer and ran out of the house to the church building. The pastor was sitting by the altar with his big bible spread out before him.
“I am going home sir” he said with an incomparable glow in his eyes.
The pastor stood up with his big tummy and hugged him tight “I know son. From the very first day I saw you, I knew this day would come”
With every step he took towards his village, his heart beat faster as his mind raced through different thoughts. He observed some changes along the way. The old muddy road was now halfway tarred and fine houses had taken the place of what was once a thick forest. He inhaled the scent of burning leaves and cattle dung and a rare joy shot through his heart like an hunter’s arrow. He would see his father again, he could imagine what his father would say when he told him he had met with the Jesus Danlandi spoke of. His steps slowed. Danlandi! What if after his death in the fire, the people had turned away from the Lord? Was that what his dreams were about? Regret encased his heart as he thought of what he did in the past. Maybe God brought him back to pay for his sins and die in a fire too. Discouragement set in with a subtle fear. Was he ready to die yet? He was convinced God had forgiven him but had the people forgiven him too? Would Fatima ever forgive him?.
Alipha stopped just when he saw the old huts that welcomed him to his village. “God!” he prayed quietly “if this is what you want me to do, give me the strength to move forward”
And then like a flash, he heard Fatima’s voice again “Alipha, the fire. We are nothing without the fire”
That was enough to push him further. It was like the Lord walked with him, bringing to his memory the story of Paul. As he stepped on the soil of his village, his heart quaked with these words. “To live is Christ and to die is gain”.
The sight of his village was something he wasn’t prepared to meet. The houses looked deserted and the cattle that used to graze the field on the far-end were not there. Weeds grew widely on farmlands and the ground was soiled with dirt and broken parts from demolished houses. The first place he visited was the place his father lived but the silence in the surrounding filled him with dread. He walked closer to the door and was about knocking when he heard a child’s voice.
“Nobody in that house” the little girl said.
Alipha turned around and saw her, she smiled at him.
” you must be new here” she asked him with an unusual boldness for a girl her age. He nodded his head in approval saying “this used to be my father’s house”
Her mouth dropped open like she had seen a ghost “are you Pastor Danjuma’s son?”
Surprised at the ‘pastor’ that preceded his father’s name, he replied “Yes little girl. My name is Alipha”
“Come” she told him “my mother will explain everything to you”
The girl took him through a bush path that was non existent ten years ago.
“My name is Mariam” she said as she walked on “we had to relocate to this place because of da hallaka(the destroyers)”
Alipha swallowed hard as the girl told him of how this set of people had raided their village on many occasions but none was likened to the mass slaughter that took place a year ago.
They got to the front of a small hut. Mariam walked to the side and asked him to follow her. Then they stopped at the back of the hut where some people were seated on mats laid on the floor. Few men and children, but quite a number of women were there. A woman was speaking to them, her firm voice echoed in the air as she laid down instructions for them. She introduced another woman to the villagers and the from the midst of the people, the other woman stood up.
“That is my mother” Mariam said pointing to the plump woman that was walking to the front.
Soon their heads were bowed in prayers as this woman opened her lips to pray. That voice! It rang in Alipha’s ears. It was Fatima. It seemed his heart stopped for a while as he studied her. She had put on some weight in the ten years and though her voice was the same, she was not as geogeous as she had been. He looked to his side at Fatima’s daughter and almost lost his breath to the striking resemblance he had missed.
“And who is your father, Mariam?” He asked her.
“The evangelist, Danlandi Musa” she answered with a confused face that soon dissolved to sadness “da hallaka killed my father as well as yours last year, because they would not denounce Jesus”
Alipha shifted his gaze to Fatima and realised that she was staring at him. Her eyes were still gentle and her gait still bore its usual gracefulness as she half-walked and half-ran to him. By the time she was close enough, he was overwhelmed with grief.
“Alipha? Is this you Alipha?” She said in a broken voice.
And they were locked in an embrace that seemed like eternity. “I’m sorry about your husband Fatima” the words just came out like that. She released him from the embrace immediately.
He could see the sadness that had crept into her eyes. Fatima looked at Mariam and gave her that gaze that meant “leave”
“My daughter must have told you?” Fatima asked with a sigh “our village had never been the same since that day, everyone is scared. We do not know when next they will return and take everything we own or burn them to ashes. We are very few here that have not lost faith”. She looked away again “like a fire put out, our love and zeal for the Lord was extinguished by da hallaka”
His body shivered as the fear of the Lord filled his heart. She spoke the more on how some of the villagers had denounced Christ for fear of their lives and the ones that remained were hidden in this area of the village like scared rats trying to survive everyday.
“Kill the Shepherd, and the sheep will scatter” she said slowly.
When she was done speaking, Alipha was on the floor in tears. He now understood the dream perfectly. With his teary eyes, he scanned the backyard and saw the people, cold, needing the fire that had once burned in their village so fiercely.
Fatima bent low towards him “Alipha?”
“I met the Lord Fatima” he began “he instructed me to return”
Then he told her of his stay in Accra, the Pastor that had taken him in and loved him like a son and the dreams he had days ago. And while he discussed with her, he heard the Lord’s voice.
“Alipha, they are a sheep without a Shepherd. Why I chose you, you may never understand, because my ways are not your ways, nor my thoughts your thoughts. In your weaknesses I will be your strength”
Pray for the Christians threatened with persecutions that their faith is not extinguished.
Peter was close enough, he grabbed her. Her eyes were still closed when he kissed her. She tried to push away but he wouldn’t let go. She tried a little more till she gave up the fight.
“Remember me Tega. For the good times we had, the ways you quivered in my arms and loved me more than life” he whispered as he kissed her against her will.
She wept. Deeply, like she had never wept before.
” Jesus…Jesus” wasn’t she taught to pray when she was confused? How she wished she could fight with the guilt in her mind and just pray. Any kind of prayer at all. she wanted to be normal again, have friends, laugh easily and crave for moments with God. Tega didn’t need to wonder what went wrong. She’d seen the signal when her love for Peter had taken her far away from fellowship with God. She’d told herself after all Peter went to church. But now as her body melted in aggressive flames as he held her tight, she hoped God would have mercy on her.
He let her go, disgust written all over his face. Turning around immediately, he pulled out a bottle of whisky from the wine rack and bolted out from the house. That was the last she saw of him. Alive.
A month after Peter was killed in a fatal accident while he drunk and drove, she returned to Nigeria and confessed to the police that she knew how Fola died. She’d gone through Peter’s things and found a video footage he was hiding. At first she wondered why he hadn’t confiscated the evidence but Dr Albert Chika suggested that he might have intentionally kept it for her to find some day. Crazy? but that was exactly who Peter Morgan was. Completely crazy! It was almost like he had orchestrated his death. Peter was never a man to be tipsy whevever he wanted to drive.
A year and eight months later, here she was rushing out from the psychiatrist’s office, trying to avoid eye contacts with people around. These days it seemed even strangers accused her of a sin she was beginning to believe she committed. What then was the point of living in a world where she was condemned by voices only her could hear?
She flagged down a taxi.” Isheri?”
They bargained on the price for a while before she rushed in.
“Mama. Person dey pursue you?”
“Be going abeg” she replied annoyed. She could see her reflection from the rear-view-mirror. With her scarf tied roughly over her head and the sad deep lines that were plastered on her slim face; she could pass for a fourty-year-old woman at twenty five. She cleaned the tears from her eyes.
“Are you okay ma?”
She realised he’d seen her though the mirror.She hissed. Why couldnt lagosians mind their business? She searched her bag for a tissue and mopped her face with it. Then she took a deep breath. “My eyes are hurting”.
That was an obvious lie but the driver knew better than to push it.
The drive was a silent one except from the voices that rallied in her head.
“Fola would be alive but for you!” It sounded so much like Fola’s sister’s.
“Oloriburuku!.” She shouted on a day she paid Tega a visit. “Go and meet your husband in hell!” If her mother wasn’t around to hold back the bereaved lady, she would have picked up a fight with Tega who was heavy with child- Peter’s Child.
The driver took an abrupt swerve past the major road, and uttered an apology. Tega wanted to shout at the driver, but did she really care? She could as well die in an accident like Peter had. She adjusted herself in her seat and drifted off to a journey of her past, the same way she did every other day in the past two years.
When she had found out she was two months pregnant, she wanted to abort the baby but her mother pleaded with her not to commit a sin against God. So she kept the child, hoping maybe, just maybe God would look at the child, and save her from her guilt and misery.
Then Tega had received a lot of sympathy and care from her mother’s church members and her Father, especially when they realised she was with child. The baby boy Hanson was born and was given the native name, ‘Etanomare’, ‘Nomare’ for short, meaning ‘ freed from despair or freed from guilt’ . Her mother hoped that having a child would make her joyful again. So did the other people that loved her. They all hoped and prayed she would be less reclined to herself and would spend more hours in the open than in her locked-up room, staring into emptiness.
They were wrong.
Hanson’s birth plunged her into depression. Every time he suckled at her breasts or cried, her eyes itched with tears. How so much she wanted to love her child, but it was difficult when each day he was looking more like his father, reminding her that though Peter was gone, she would endure a bit of him for as long as she lived.
It was then she met Dr Chika Albert, a plump dark skinned lady with an understanding that captivated Tega. She hadn’t just prescribed antidepressants, she’d prayed with her the first day they spoke, her kindness barely touching Tega before she knew she had found a friend in Chika.
“Why did Fola have to die?” Tega had asked Chika once. It seemed Chika had all the answers, and that question had been topmost on her mind. Rhetoric but disturbing.
“I don’t know” Chika had responded. “Sometimes in life, things happen that we can’t really explain. We might know why later, we might never. But I know this Tega. That God loves you and he wants you to move on so you can be a succour to others”
Tega came down from the taxi as she tried to direct her thoughts to what was ahead of her. She paid the driver and searched her bag for the keys to the gate. It was a year since Hanson was born, a year of daily anguish. She had woken up this morning from a serious nightmare; her one year old son was chasing after her on his tiny feet, with a knife clutched in his tiny hands .
Like father like son.
She pushed the gate opened and walked into the compound forgetting to lock the gate as well as the door when she stepped in to the house. Mary, the house keeper was sitting on a sofa in the sitting room.
“Thank God” Mary smiled after a quick glance at Tega. “I’m off. Mummy said I should tell you she’ll be back first thing tomorrow morning”
Tega nodded, the mix of Sadness and relief creaping into her heart. “Where is Hanson?”
“He is asleep” Mary stood up from the sofa “happy birthday to our cute baby, may he become the most handsome boy ever” she ended with a giggle.
“Thanks dear” Tega feigned a smiled and walked towards the stairs. “Just close the door after you, I’ll lock them in a bit” She walked slowly to her room. The silence screamed into her ears and her mind took its usual stroll to the past again, tauting her with all sorts of accusations against her.
Then she began to sink deep, very deep into the depression she was accustomed to. It was like a thick darkness clouded her mind encasing the good life Chika had been trying to make her see. All she heard in the silence were harsh whispers and blunt accusations.
You are no good!
Fola died because of you ,Peter too…and now Nomare is your cross to bare.
Through him, his father will oppress you!
then cynical laughter would follow sounding so much like Peter’s.
Baby, your wedding gift. Just so you know ,I’ll die giving you your heart desires
Tega stopped on the verandah and turned around. Covering her ears with both arms, she tried not to scream as the voices tumbled against each other. There was nothing else at that point that sounded more real than the voices.
She’d thrown her antidepressants away last night, and had only been able to sleep with a slow song playing on the background. Now she didn’t care anymore.
Go and meet your husband in hell !
Another voice screamed loud and clear, sounding momentarily like Fola’s sister
She scampered into her room and closed the door behind her. Hanson was sleeping soundly on his little bed. One look at him and the dream of him chasing her with a knife, eyes bloodshot, came back to play. Turning away in disgust, she wished she’d told Chika about the dream; she would have had the right words to say.
But she was tired. Everyone had tried so much for her, everyone had tried to make her see the beauty of having a child. If only they knew that everyday with her child made her remember Peter…everyday she looked at her self in the mirror and saw her beauty fade away. One day Hanson would grow and become like his father; handsome ,very charming but crazy enough to kill and commit suicide.
She was ready to end it. She pushed a high stool to the middle of the room under a hook which was meant for attaching a ceiling fan. They had made do with standing fans. She was glad they did. Better to die in her room than jump into a lagoon and leave her mother wondering if she ran away. She climbed the stool and passed the end of a rope through the hook. Her hands shook, her lips quivered but her mind was set. She dies today! She tried to be as calm as possible, so Hanson wouldn’t wake up.
Three minutes gone and the child turned on the bed and gave a soft cry,with his eyes still closed. Tega jumped down from the stool and sat on the bed. Though her hands shook, she managed to carry him up her thighs , close to her breasts and fed him milk, decking his face with her tears.Then she sang softly admist the noise in her head till he he was sound asleep again.
She climbed the stool again and strengthened the knot on the hook. She had began to make a loop with the other end when her mind screamed at her to hurry. Her hands shook all in the bid to hasten up. She glanced at her son again, he turned but made no sound. She sniffed, closing her eyes as she pushed the loop through her hair to her neck and tightened the knot in a way that she wouldn’t be able to untie it.
The voice came softly like a baby trying to speak for the first time.Tega stopped. This couldn’t be Hanson she just put to sleep. Where was the voice coming from?
“Ma..ma” it was like the voice called out to her. She turned around on the stool, slowly so she wouldn’t slip over. She looked at the little baby bed at the far end of the room and saw that Hanson was awake, crawled to the end of the bed. He was looking at her , his left hand stretched out towards her. The stool shook as death called out to her. Tega only needed to take a step forward or upward and hit the stool with her feet. After all, that was she wanted.
I hope you enjoyed reading. Watch out for the final episode!!
“My love” he started in a comical voice, like he tried to make light of the situation “I bring you your wedding gift. Just so you’ll know, I’ll die giving you your heart’s desire.” Then he sounded more serious” You wanted him to come to terms with reality that you’re mine and then phase out forever. I’m doing just that for you”
Tega tried to make sense of what she heard. Did Peter really take what she said this seriously? If this was a joke, it’d better be over. She found her voice; “What is Fola doing here? And why is he tied to a chair?”
Peter took a good look at her, observing the perfect mix of fear and confusion on her face. He frowned “So now you’re bothered about Fola hurting right? You still care about him”
Tega was shocked to her bones. What was happening on her wedding night? .She could not dispel the sterness that had crept to his eyes or the fact that he was bluntly accusing her. He took few steps away from her, rubbing his forehead with the palm of his right hand.
“Answer me!” He shouted turning back to her. His eyes had darkened and his clenched fists tightened. “You think I don’t know? You talked about him a lot… You said he was part of your life, that you loved him because he was good. And then he came back…”
She couldn’t believe her ears. Where was all that coming from? “I didn’t mention Fola’s name more than twice, Peter.” She walked closer to him, her right hand shaking as she tried to hold up her wedding gown. “Please let him go and let’s sort this out amicably”
Tears had begun to form in her eyes, and rage in his.
“You care about him, that’s why you don’t want him hurt.” He muttered. Briskly walking towards Fola. He hit him hard across his face. Fola groaned in pain. Tega screamed.
Peter cursed under his breath.
“Why are you doing this?” She ran towards him, almost stumbling over her gown.
“Because I can’t bear to see my wife love someone else” Peter mused. He was standing in front of Fola.
Tega reached out to touch her husband’s arm but he pulled away. “I don’t love him anymore. I love you Peter”
He sneered at her and hit Fola again.
She cried out, watching Fola suffer. She didn’t want to believe it was really happening. Peter wasn’t like this; he was the gentle fun loving guy that wouldn’t hurt a fly. Surely her enemies must have done this. Her village people maybe. And her husband was just a vessel. The more she begged, the more he slapped Fola, until Tega had realised that the only way to prevent Fola from getting hurt the more was to play along.
“He’s going to watch me make you mine and I promise you, I’ll send him away forever” he finally turned to her and pulled her to himself by her shoulder.The hollow In his eyes was completely new..like he was under a spell, a spell he could control.
This wasn’t the way Tega envisioned her wedding night to be, her mind was supposed to be in one piece.She was supposed to be excited, enthralled by husband. She wasn’t suppose to think of Fola or glance at him to make sure he was still breathing. She wasn’t supposed to cry and try to push her husband away when they were on the bed. The closer his breath was to her skin, the louder his laughter was to her ears , the more she groaned in pain and the more merciless he became with her.
“You’re my wife” he raggedly said under his breath “I’ve waited patiently for this day, loved you too much to show the whole world how much you belong to me. And who is the whole world, but the man who thinks he loves you more than I?”
A while later, he let go of her and pushed himself up from the bed.
“Now it’s time for him to be gone forever” he said.
Gone forever? Her mind raced as it tried to comprehend that statement. Surely, Peter wouldn’t…
She saw him pull out a knife from beneath the bed after he had worn gloves on both hands. It was obvious this plan had been properly constructed, no wonder he chose the private suit in the hotel, far away from anyone that could possibly hear a human scream . She tried to ignore the pains she felt as she crawled to the edge of the bed.
“Please Peter” she begged .She glanced at Fola. His head had fallen as blood poured from his chin to the floor, she wondered what went through his mind.
Before she could say any more or struggle to stand, he had shoved the knife into Fola’s heart. Stabbing him continuously on his chest and laughing hysterically. Peter searched his pocket for his phone and dialed a number. “You can come clean up now, he’s dead”
Tega couldn’t believe her ears, she tried to stand but her head had gotten lighter from so much emotions. She collapsed to the floor, her mind still processing it. Peter killed Fola, because he loved her too much. No this wasn’t love, it was obsession. He was crazy!
The next morning she had walked like a zombie to the car as they drove to the airport. Peter chatted away like his normal self, like nothing happened a night ago and she was too scared to bring it up. When she had tried to talk about it that morning, he had warned her never to speak of it or he’d kill her. So she nodded when he wanted her to say yes and mopped her face when a tear drop strayed down her chin. Its amazing how you could be in heaven a day before and find yourself in hell the next. That was exactly how Tega felt.
Honeymoon in Bahamas? It was worse than a cellroom. It was then Tega noticed the pills he took every morning. It was then she heard him talk to his mother over the phone that he was tired of the drugs and it wasn’t easy for him to be faithful with them these days. Her husband was a maniac and she’d no hint of it while they courted. No wonder he was careful about her meeting his family members till it was time for introduction. No wonder he kept traveling to Abuja every other week. He had said distance had its advantages; keeping a secret was one. There were tears in his mother’s eyes when she hugged her and asked her if she really loved her son. Tega had replied that he loved him more than life, if only she knew she was been handed a heavy burden. No wonder his sister kept asking to see her. That was the only thing that frightened Peter, he gave Tega a thousand and one reasons why she shouldn’t see his sister, not until they were wedded. His sister was a pastor’s wife but she was wicked, he had said. If only she hadn’t listened. Tega’d seen absolute honesty in his sister’s approach to her, why would such a woman hate her?. She hadn’t given it much thought but later she wished she did.
A month later and they were on their way to South Africa. They had planned to settle in Cape town for a year or two and work on a contract Peter’s dad had arranged for them. Months before her wedding she’d been excited about it. Now she just wanted to return home. Many nights she woke up after a night mare of Fola on his kneels asking for her forgiveness , begging her to be patient with him. Then Peter would appear by him and rip his heart from his chest with a knife.
Tega changed a lot, she’d rather spend her days indoors working and cleaning till she was worn out or stare blankly and imagine what it’d be like to be free, than manage a short conversion with anybody . She lost weight to too much thinking and Peter’s pretence that everything was fine. Yet she played along well except the horror she felt when he came close to her some nights and practically raped her. She would see Fola in pains staring at her and she would cry and beg Peter to leave her alone. He never did, until he was done with her.
Everyday came with the painful reminder that she was married to a murderer and his constant proclamation of love to her made it worse. He’d return from work each day and try to start a conversation with her. For fear of Peter and for peace’s sake , she’d pretend to be interested. A sensitive husband would know she wasn’t happy but Peter Morgan acted like everything was normal. As long as she was always around and she belonged to him, he was fine with it. He didn’t care how she felt. He never asked. They lived together like lord and maid.
Once she strolled with him to the mall, and saw how the ladies stared at him and how he pulled her close to make a statement maybe. While they were dating, her heart would have swelled with pride that such an idol belonged to her and he was proud of her. But that day she felt completely hopeless. If there was a way she could wake up from the nightmare of been Peter’s wife and find her self in Nigeria again, she would.
Six months into their wedding, on a Monday morning, her mother called her.
“Fola was found dead in his house” her mother’s voice was broken “The police has been doing all they can to trace the assasinators. It’s been months now, didn’t just want to tell you earlier”
Tega cried out. Of course she knew how he died, she knew who killed him. The phone shook in her hands but Peter had walked in that instant and collected the phone from her. He had continued the conversation with feigned sorrow. He didn’t know Fola much but Tega had said he was a good man and the world was a cruel place to be. She couldn’t bear to watch her husband put up that charade. Tega ran away from the bedroom to the living room,she sat on the floor hidden by book shelf. Peter came after her when he’d ended the phone call.
“You dare give them a hint and I’ll make your life miserable ” He threatened her. His eyes red with rage
She looked up at him, fearless” I hate you Peter.. I hate you…”
She had not finished talking before she felt his hand hit hard against her cheek. She groaned in pain, shifting back on the floor away from the devil before her.
He stood and watched her. Slowly his anger dissolved to remorse. He ran his hand through his hair.
“I’m sorry Tega.” Was it tears she saw in his eyes? Could he still cry? “I’m sorry…it’s just that I love you so much, I can’t stand another man sharing a part of your heart. I couldn’t stand Fola”
Peter took few steps to her, she shifted back the more like a frightened child.
“I swear, I’ll try to make things right again” Tears rolled down his cheeks. He turned to his side and sighed “I didn’t want our marriage to be this way”
His words incensed her “I wish you were dead, Peter! I wish…” She tried to stand but she had become too weak from crying.
He stopped. Shock expressed on his face. Her heart beat increased as dread filled her. Was he going to strike her again or curse her? Was he going to kill her and like he said once ‘send her to Fola’?. Finally she was able to stand, she took two steps backward until she could feel the wall against her back. He was still staring at her, a hard angry stare. The only person she’d seen him stare at that way was Fola. His breathing had increased and the tears freely flowed.
” I gave you everything Tega” he muttered. Clenching his fist.
Series of thoughts clouded her mind. How miserable her life had been from the day she said I do.; the many times they went out for an event or meetings with his contractors and she had to play the happy wife. The times she felt like ice when he touched her or tried to make out with her and she cried herself to sleep after that.
“I will pray for you” her mother had said to her. She desperately wished her mother was praying right now.
Peter was coming close to her this time. She shut her eyes, swallowing hard. Trembling, praying. When last did she pray? Will God have mercy on her and let her die?. Whatever it was, she was ready to face it.
Episode 4 coming up. It ain’t over yet! Watch out!
Fola got a promotion at work and was given an executive position in the church leaving him very occupied. Tega had sensed him subconsiously drifting away from her.She complained once that he didn’t have enough time for her anymore and they hadn’t discussed their future in a while. When Fola stated that he expected her to understand, she had been offended. If he couldn’t spare enough time for her while they were courting, how was she sure things would get better when they were married.
“I’m not in a hurry.” he was fond of saying “We’ll take one day at time”
At first she agreed to take one day at a time with him. She was twenty two and she had a number of things to achieve before she’d say I do. But as the days went by, she had begun to long for some sort of excitement. Something Fola couldn’t give. Her single friends seemed to be having much more fun than her. Fola was a good man, but maybe she needed to give him a little space for a while, maybe she just needed to know how it felt with someone else.
It was that period a friend introduced her to Peter Morgan.
“You need a bit of distraction from a fun guy like Morgan” Telema had advised “He is rich like crazy and he’s not stingy about it… Just because, he’s nice like that. No need to worry about Fola finding out ”
Wasn’t that just what she needed? A wealthy fun guy with no strings attached. Fola wouldnt be bothered if she made a new male friend, other things seemed more important to him than their relationship.
So her friend had linked them up and their chat history began. He had the right words, perfect emojis and expressions, he made her laugh silly and made many promises when they were just hours away from been strangers.
Peter kept one of his promises though. He was in her office two weeks later, and oh my! Peter Morgan was more stunning than his pictures. He looked like he just walked out from a foreign fashion magazine with his brown eyes, light skin and well trimmed facial hair.Quicker to smile than she expected, Tega hadn’t seen a more perfect gentleman. She had only asked for a wealthy interesting guy but she was getting much more than she expected; someone that listened to details like she was part of his every day. Unlike Fola, he remembered almost everything she told him.
That was the beginning of her numerous dates with Peter and to cover up, she learnt how to lie to Fola. Her confusion began when she started comparing Fola to Peter. In no time, her heart had begun to slip away from her fiancé, and one day she made up her mind to call it quits with him . Peter was ready to settle down, and she was the lucky girl he asked to marry him.
It was a Saturday evening she told Fola she was breaking up with him. They were seated in their usual restaurant; one of the best in the area. Fola was not the kind of man to try out new things or new restaurants. If he went somewhere and he liked the food. He’d rather starve than eat elsewhere.
“I’ll give you time to think about it” he had said gently, looking away from her .
She had thought it would shatter him or make him ask a lot of questions but he took it with a bit of shock, shrugging it off almost immediately. Like she was joking and would come to her senses later.
She lost interest in the food that instant. The restaurant annoyed her. Same food, same taste every Saturday. Same people . Same Fola. It was only natural that she’d get bored of the routine life she had with him. She couldn’t imagine how she’d coped for the two years they dated. She must have been in the dark. And Peter had come to pull her out of it.
She stood up and walked out, a part of her expecting him to come after her as guilt infested her mind. He had just sat there and watched her leave.
Her mother asked her if she had lost her mind. There was something wrong about Peter, but Tega wouldn’t hear of it.
” I was beginning to think you’d grown up, and given up your fantasies when you decided to marry Fola” her mother had said
“Fola was a mistake” Tega had muttered, impatience building up in her.
“And you think Peter won’t be?”
She was so sure Peter wouldn’t be. She poured out her heart to her mother. Peter loved her beyond words, he was never tired of saying it. Though he was always on a trip to Abuja every other week, he was to closer to her heart than Fola that she saw more often. Peter had said the distance had its advantages, it made them treasure each other’s company and he was right. ” I expect you to be happy for me mummy” she had said painfully.
Her mother was not. “I’ll pray for you Tega. I’ll pray God saves you from disaster before its too late”
Tega had walked out on her mother, rebellion darkening her eyes as her mother’s words disturbed her. When would her mother understand the perfection she saw in Peter? The way their dreams and goals matched? Or the fact that his love for her was like wine. It made her merry every hour, intoxicating her sometimes. She’d hardly spend a minute thinking about him before her phone would ring.
” Hi baby” his deep voice always sent her stomach fluttering with butterflies “I just thought about you and totally missed you” They were totally sync. The future was indeed so bright ,it blinded her. Her Mother thought he was obsessed with her and it had made her laugh.
“Forget mumsy abeg… When does loving too much and paying too much attention on your fiancée becomes obsession?” Telema had told her. “And so what if he calls you more than ten times a day or squanders his cash just to make you happy. Some girls die to have what you have. Better hold the nigger tight”
When she introduced Peter to her father, he had been pleased with him and accused her mother for not wanting her happiness. Peter was wealthy, handsome and had a very good background. What more could he want for his daughter, as long as they loved each other. He was bent on making it work out between them, against her mother’s dissaproval and he did. Their wedding date was fixed. And plans came rolling in. Tega was living her dreams in real life; A trip to Italy for her wedding shoppings and Dubai to spend a weekend. Peter called the ‘sugary moon’ . It was funny.
If only she had listened to the warnings in her heart or she had seen the sign ahead of her that read ‘Despair ahead, slow down! ‘. No, she was like a speeding vehicle without break and Morgan was her blindfold.
The horror began few weeks to her wedding. It was like reality had dawned on her ex-fiancé that he was losing her to another man. He had the obscure thoughts that he could change things. He visited her twice and pleaded with her to give him another chance. She’d reflected on his reaction when she told him she wasn’t interested in the relationship anymore, she’d silently hoped he’d come after her and they’d discuss how he needed to change. But his pride had taken the better of him or should she say, his naivity. He must have been waiting for her to call him back and apologise while he took his ‘one day at a time’.
Since Tega had decided she would not keep anything from Peter, she told him about Fola’s disturbance and how she wished he could come to terms with reality and just go away. She’d thought Peter would be a bit annoyed but he smiled assuring her, Fola wasn’t an issue. That was a good relief, he trusted her enough that she could handle it.
And she did.
“We were having a good time Tega. We loved each other” Fola had said one of those days..his eyes clouded with tears ” I just thought you needed a break and we’d be back again… I was a fool. If I had known there was someone else; my spirit told me that…”
She cut in that moment ” You turned blind eyes and deaf ears to me Fola. You weren’t sensitive enough to know I wasn’t happy anymore. It dosent matter anyway, I’m getting married in a few weeks time ” she stared hard at him ” Fola marry your spirit you hear! Marry that spirit you made more important than me. Excuse me.” She hissed and walked away, part of her aching to see him torn apart. Fola was a good man that deserved a good woman. She was just glad she wasn’t that woman.
That night he had sent her a message;
I’m totally incomplete without you. But I love you enough to want your happiness. I hope you find that happiness in Peter.
There was tears in her eyes after reading the message. Some time ago she could never had imagined life without Fola. There was a time he was just enough for her, then Peter happened. Her phone rang, breaking through her thoughts. It was Peter. She sighed. Few words with him, and she forgot about Fola for good.
A week to her wedding her mother had called her. She just had a bad dream.
“It’s not too late to walk out of this relationship, Tega.” She had pleaded “I believe God has a better plan for you than Peter”
“It’ll be fine mum” she replied, perturbed “I don’t want anyone better; Peter is the best I can have
Her wedding day was enormous and would be the talk of her friends and family for years. Her totally astonishing wedding dress, the regal hall setting , the food , photography and highly distinguished guests were the highlights of the wedding. Everyone had something as sweet as honey to say of her handsome husband. She was a lucky woman; they said. If only she knew the number of ladies dying to be with him…but he had eyes for only her. She knew they were right. Peter was quick to flaunt her before his friends and co-workers. Her pictures were his wall papers, DPs and filled his instagram page.Her protrait adorned his sitting room in Lagos and Abuja. If he wasn’t busy at work, he was on a phone call with her or they chatted all day. With time she’d gotten used to the envious glare of his female colleagues. She could vouch for his loyalty as he could vouch for hers.
“Now to this special wedding gift I talked about,” Peter whispered to her ears when they were driving to his hotel after the wedding.
“Oh yes!” she smiled. What was more special than a honey moon in Bahamas and two years in South Africa later or the red Range Rover car keys he’d given her two days before. There was something about this gift that excited him. The smile that played on his lips had a different glow, and it was amusing to think it was tied to the gift he had for her. She leaned on him and he pulled her closer, as long as she had him, no gift was worth that. What was more beautiful than two people crazily in love with each other. Like Romeo and Juliet. The car drove into the Hotel’s garage. One of the hotels owned by his Father.
They walked into the hotel and he almost pulled her behind him as he took hasty steps to their room. With every step they took, her heart almost burst with excitement.
He unlocked the door of the room reserved for them and pushed it open. Pulling her into the room after him, he quickly locked the door. She’d closed her eyes on impulse when he pulled her into the room. Now that she was in, her eyes fluttered open and she stood there completely flustered. Tega tried to speak but her lips had somehow been sealed with shock.The sight before her was absolutely unbelievable. What was going on? Was this a joke or what?
Right across the room was Fola strapped to a chair. His eyes were red and puffy, blood driped from his right cheek and his mouth was closed with black tape. Blood stained the ropes at both wrist and ankles. He must have tried to no avail to set himself free. He must have cried so much that it wasn’t possible anymore.
She begun to shiver as she turned to her husband and saw that his smile had broadened.
” My love” Peter Morgan almost whispered to her, his eyes lit with amusement.
Episode 3 on the way…. Watch out!
“How are you Tega?”
Tega lifted her eyes. Coming from any other person, the question to her would be quite insensitive, one that required a terse reply. Something like ‘fine’ or ‘okay’ or ‘great’ and life goes on after that. But from Chika, she knew the question encased subquestions; if she had been brooding less about the past, taking her medications, spending more time with her family, eating properly and …Hanson. ” I’m trying ” she muttered in response.
She meant to say “I’m tired of trying”, but she was worn out with been a burden to people, especially Chika who had over time become more than her psychiatrist . The lady’s sincere desire to know how she was faring had made more like her best friend.
Chika leaned over the table towards her, a gesture that made Tega feel she was boring into her mind. The kindness that nested in her bold eyes were undeniable. It was obvious her concern had transcended beyond professional empathy, to a love for her.
“I really had a long reflection on my life, and I have decided to move on” Tega mummured, her eyes falling as she clenched her fists over her thighs. Could Chika also read between the lines that she was lying; that all she wanted was to stand up from the seat and walk out of the office before it became too late? The silence that followed gave way to more thoughts, more ideas on how to compose her self through this short session without spilling out what she intended to do. It had been difficult preparing for the appointment this morning. She had even almost called that she was having a terrible headache, and she might not make it till the next week, when her mother literally dragged her out from her room. They both knew how important this appointment on this particular day was.
Tega looked up and met Chika’s eyes again, and was relieved with the smile that had somewhat dissolved her inquisitive visage. Maybe Chika so easily believed her, or she got a wind of the turmoil in her heart on how she could easily lie, walk away and decided to play along.
“I’ve never heard you say that” Chika said relaxing on her chair. “That’s good ”
That statement eliminated the doubt Tega had. Chika wasn’t God, no matter how hard or kind her stares could be, no matter her expertise in making her bare her thoughts in one breath. The psychiatrist could still believe a lie.Tega nodded, a false smile playing on her lips as her heart hammered hard against her chest. “Things will have to change”
“Yes Tega. Never forget, you are not alone in this… Don’t ever feel alone” She continued talking of how her joy affected the people that loved her, and how encouraging it’d be to them if she decided each day to move on and be happy.
Tega’s eyes itched, but she had learnt in a hard to withold her emotions. Chika obviously had no idea how alone she had to be right now, how tired she was and how she wanted to just let go completely. Surely she cared, but she needn’t not care this much. She was going to set things straight, walk away from her life, and from life itself…
Chika’s voice cut through her thoughts.”How do you think your desire to move on will affect your daily life and that of Hanson?”
Tega sighed and began to speak, words that had been properly constructed before time, her eyes settling on her friend’s face as she spoke her lies and amused herself. Chika was no fool, Tega felt she was buying time for a while with her talk. The psychiatrist would ask to see her tomorrow or might pay a visit to her house in two days time. But this meeting was supposed to be short so there would be no time for scrutiny.
Soon they were both standing and Chika pulled her into an embrace.”Give this hug to Hanson. Happy birthday to him” she said softly.
Tega’s heart still hammered. She hoped Chika wouldn’t feel it. In less than thirty seconds they let loose of each other. “Good bye Chika” she turned to the door, intentionally trying to reduce the haste in her steps as her mind screamed “run”!
“See you tomorrow” Chika called after her.
The voice in Tega’s mind was quick to reply; there will be no tomorrow!
Just few years ago, Tega was a sweet jovial lady. The only child of her mother, she had been born just after her father walked out on her mum and married another woman that gave him three sons. Her story had begun like a number of love stories; sweet, bitter then sugary…just before it crashes in a lot of mess. Her mother would call her a harmless bug whose quest for excitement might lead her to the fangs of fiery flames. “God will give you a man to marry and not an idol to worship” her mother would tell her when she shared her dreamy ideas of how perfect looked like to her. Of course no man was perfect! But her definition of perfection had been flawed with what the society and the media had painted love to be- intoxicating passion giving space for few flaws.
So when she had agreed to date Fola Johnson, it was a bit of surprise to those who knew her. Fola had been a simple hard working church boy. He wasn’t much of a talker and he didnt open doors for her every time they were out together or slay her with his touch. He hadn’t smiled often either or go out of his way to make her laugh. He had been everything but her dream man. Yet they say, sometimes love comes when we least expect it, and she had somehow fallen in love with him. Maybe it had been the sincere fact that he loved her, or the way she freely conversed with him, maybe because he had been slow to anger or because her mother had loved him from the very first day she’d met him. And that dashing smile of his as well as his good looks were just right.
He had proposed her in a mall on her birthday. Not exactly the way she dreamt she’d be proposed to but she’d been overwhelmed. When her mum had heard it, she had danced and prayed for their marriage for over thirty minutes. For a while she’d believed Fola Johnson was all she needed. But a harmless bug that she was,hungry for adventure, time was only suitable to tell.
Watch out for the second episode of Nomare
The room was like a cell, though with walls made of iron and two windows carved out as small holes close to the unpainted ceiling. It was quite dark when I walked in but my eyes quickly adjusted to the dimness. I soon realised the room was almost empty with neither furniture nor books, or whatever was expected to be in a study room.
Wasn’t I supposed to be meditating here? Oh yes there was something in the room. The very ‘thing’ that was the object of my rage. I was angry…bitter , my eyes were strained from loss of tears. My heart pounded heavily against my chest as my fists tightened. I must have looked like hell with my unkempt hair, sulky cheeks and eyes almost bulging out from their sockets. That ‘thing’ was sitting on the floor, turned away from me,with her head bowed over her bent knees tightened with her arms. She was silent and her silence offended me more.
I took two steps to her just before I heard a voice from behind saying “She’ll have to face the consequences”.
I turned around, shocked to realise that someone had walked in with me. Did I leave the doors open? Was I being stalked? He was tall, very dark and had a wicked smile on his face as he handed me a whip.
“She needs to get better” he said “you need to show her she isn’t good enough”
I swallowed hard. I had never whipped anyone before, no matter how angry I was with that person but… I glanced at her.
Maybe he was right, she needed to learn. I couldn’t keep my rage in forever. I can’t. I collected the whip from him, walked a step closer to her, raised it above my head and down to her back..she shrieked a little , muttering nothing in particular.
“Whip her, Whip harder” he barked.
I raised it and let it fall on her back again, harder this time.
“She’s the reason things ain’t going on well for you” he said with more evil in his voice which only served to enrage me further.
I didn’t know who that man was and I didn’t care; every word he said made sense to me.
“She’s the reason you’re a failure..”
He was right! I whipped her again.
“Because of her, you’re here sulking away while your mates are setting the trend” he chuckled “looks like you’ll never be a leader, loser!”
That was the height! I continued to whip her, his words fueling my rage. She groaned in pains as the whip tore through her dress to her skin and she began to bleed. Holding her knees tighter and bending lower to the ground, not even daring to glance at me, she pleaded between winces.
I heard a cry from behind.it was quite distant but very familiar. Soon I watched someone run in between I and the girl.
” Don’t hurt her further”I couldn’t see his face properly, I was not sure I knew him.
I turned around to discover that the man behind me was gone. Where was he? I let my hand loose, the whip fell.
” I love her… she is not who you think she is”
My anger had dissolved to confusion and I began to chuckle. He absolutely had no idea what he was saying; did he know her more than I?
” I’m just giving her what she deserves”i said under my breath.
“No you’re not” he sounded too confident, he was just too sure.
I watched him turn to her and help her stand, I still couldn’t see her face while he mopped her tears with a clean handkerchief as she sobbed.
“Its alright Amy, I’m here”
I gave a cynical laugh, was this supposed to be a joke? Who was this guy and why was he calling her Amy.
He held her hand; they made to face me.
And I stood there….spell bound!!
My legs shivered, my palms began to sweat. It was totally unbelievable.
How was it possible ? She looked like me, same hair, same bulgy eyes, same trimmed lips, same everything. She was like my reflection. She was me!
My eyes itched with tears especially when I realised that the man beside her was my Lord, I must have been too drowned in pain to recognize him at first. He smiled at me, with an understanding visage on his face. He wasn’t condemning me, not the way I condemned myself.
I broke down in tears, now noticing the whip lashes on my skin too. She took few steps to me
” its okay Amy”
That was my voice too. It sounds crazy but she was me. I walked closer to her and she pulled me into her arms.
We stood there for God knows how long. I closed my eyes and sighed deeply.
My eyes fluttered opened. I found my self on my bed. My head on my pillow soaked with tears..it occurred to me then; I had cried my self to sleep.
Mum was sitting beside me, worry written over her face.
” Have you heard what happened?” I asked her
” I’m sorry for been a disappointment to you and dad”
“Its okay” she tried to smile ” God makes everything beautiful in his time. We have not lost faith in you”
I reflected on the dream I had and everything made perfect sence to me. For the first time in a while, I was ready to dream again and believe that things will get better. After all, for God to love a girl like me…then I need not hate myself.
This is is for the people who brood over their failures and think they’re so bad that they can never be good enough. For those who sink into depression every now and then.For those who are slowly killing themselves without knowing it. The Perfect God loves you and he’s ready to make you better if you let him.