Veins strung out on the forehead of Israel, sweat like beads stood on the veins,
Israel: “what are you do…?”
Sarah who was standing in between them chimed in,
Sarah: “…Israel, give her a chance to explain, please!”
Lizzy had called and explained everything to Sarah; the truth had been revealed to her. Coincidentally she had called Comfort when she was on her way to Sarah’s,
Sarah: “Commy!” that was what she called her,
Comfort: “Yes,ma!” she increased the volume of her phone,
Sarah: “Can you come to my place after work?”
Comfort: “Okay ma. I’m on my way to your place, ma.”
Sarah: “Okay, good.”
Comfort: “Is Israel at home?”
Sarah: “Yes, still sleeping. Till you come!”
Israel paced around in anger,
Israel: “Explain? Sister did you say, explain?”
Comfort who was behind Sarah was pleading,
Comfort: “Baby, please, lemme explain!”
Israel made for the room, Comfort ran after him, Sarah held her,
Sarah: “Lemme talk to him!”Comfort stayed back, “Israel! Israel!!!” she entered the room with teary eyes he looked at her, “What’s wrong you? What kind of spirit do you have eh? Why are you treating this girl this way?”
Israel: “Sister, she lied to me!”
Sarah: “and so? Who doesn’t make mistakes?”
He gave her a surprised look, sighed,
Israel: “And I caught her red handed cheating on me!”
Sarah: “On the bed I suppose!”
Israel: “Eh, not really!” he swallowed spit and added, “But eventually, it was going to get there!”
Sarah who was standing with folded arms, unfolded the arms, and sat,
Sarah: “Come and sit here,” she pointed at the spot close to her, he sat, “I know you’re hurt and you have every reasons to be mad at the poor girl but she did what she did ‘cos of the pressure from work. Love shouldn’t just be professed when things are all sweet and golden but love should speak more in times like this when things are going off the hill.”
They spoke for about thirty minutes; Comfort from where she was at the corridor could hear them, with folded arms on the wall she pinned a part of her body. Sarah came out and beckoned on her.
As the door creaked, Israel was standing with opened arms,
Israel: “It’s okay? You don’t have to say a thing,” they hugged each other.
Jake entered his parents’ room. School was on midterm break. Felix wasn’t home; he had left the house very early,
Jake: “Good morning, mum!” he hugged Jane, who was tossing on the bed,
Jane: “Good morning, baby!” she yawned.
Jake feigned an angry face,
Jake: “would you quit calling me baby or do you see me with diapers!”
She laughed with her breathe hitting his nose, stroked his cheek and drew him closer,
Jane: “Little man! You’d always be my baby!” she kissed him as he held his nose,
Jane: “What’s it, baby?”
Jake: “Go and brush, please!” she giggled getting his message, released her breath close to his nose, held him down as he attempted to run and tickled him. Jake was laughing and throwing his legs and hands in the air. The play rumpled his dark curly hair. She felt very alive again.
Jane: “Go bring my Bible please!” Jake jumped down and opened a bag brought out a big Bible with a brown cover. Jake sat close to his mother as they ran their eyes through Bible passages, after reading; she explained the read passages to the kid, who seemed to be listening attentively, in thirty minutes they were done, “Jake, pray for us!”
Jake: “In Jesus name, Lord thank you for shelter, for food, for my mummy,” Jane kept saying “amen” as he was praying, “for my friends. Lord, give mummy money so she would buy plenty things for me and herself. And help daddy to stop being a monster,” Jane paused and whispered an amen.
Her mind was dwelling on the pregnancy incidence; she wanted to believe Felix with the whole of the heart but his behaviour prior to her ill health was questionable. After prayers, they both went to make breakfast of eggs and chips,
Jane: “Jake, pass me the spoon, please!” he climbed a chair and dug out the needed spoon from where it was kept.
Jake: “mum!” handed it to her,
Jane: “Yes, baby!”
Jake: “last night, I overheard daddy whispering on the phone and he said, “he tried to thicken the voice, mimicking his dad, “just shut up and do as I’ve said!” Jane who was turning the frying eggs, paused,
Jane:”Really?” he nodded.
At ten that morning Felix, Angela and his friend, Bode were walking down the street of an unkempt area,
Felix: “You say the man good?” he whispered.
Bode: “Of course!”
Angela walked behind, visibly shaken, Felix turned back,
Felix: “We really do not have all the time in the world. Walk faster!”
After walking for ten more minutes, they got to a house. It was a shack. Felix stopped and looked at Bode who was about entering the house, noticing his friend’s reaction, he stopped too.
Bode: “what is it?”
Felix: “Man, is this the place?”
Bode: “of course!”
Felix: “Urrgh, na shack bi dis na? It’s more of a refuse dump than a place for humans,” exactly that was Angela’s thought too. The look of the place fueled the flames of the fear burning in her. Profusely, she was now sweating.
Bode: “Have you forgotten that this kinda thing is illegal? Do you expect the owner to do in such a way to draw attention?” hissed, “I think we should go back!” he turned,
Felix: “Please, let’s go in!” he held him.
They entered; Angela was the last to enter. A young girl welcomed them in but the interior of the house was quite impressive. It was deliberate that the owner left the outside of the building unkempt so as not to draw attention to her business,
Young girl: “Madam said you should go in!” Bode and Felix entered the woman’s office.
Angela sat down like one who was cold,
Angela: “What if I die in the process? Or should I run?” tears gathered in her eyes. The young girl was friendly; she introduced herself as Naomi, “Benedicta!” Angela lied; Felix had told her to go with a pseudonym.
Naomi: “Don’t be scared you’d be fine! About fifteen to twenty girls come here in a week and they all go back fine!” Angela felt calm a bit.
Bode and Felix came out; he beckoned on her,
Felix: “You’ll go in and get this done with, you hear?”With his arms around her, he said, “don’t be afraid,” she had started shaking as her eyes darted to the theatre, “Relax! You’ll be fine!”
Angela broke into that smile that he had seen when they first met,
Angela: “I love you, Fel!” she hugged him as tears ran down her eyes. His pupil danced in tears too but fought them back.
Felix: “I love you too,” the words seemed like a burden he didn’t know how they flew out. For a second, he thought of changing his mind but it was too late. What mattered to him most was Jane and Jake losing them wasn’t an option on his plate, “You have to go!” he let go and she went in sobbing, looked at him before she finally entered. A tear ran down but he quickly cut its life short with the hand.
Angela was in pains as a tool was dug into her private part. She moaned and groaned. It felt like an object had pierced her heart. Felix and Bode exchanged glances. The cry was agonizing. Felix was shaking he could see fear in Bode’s eyes too,
Felix: “Are you sure she is go..go..going to be fine?”he stuttered, Bode nodded.
Unconsciously he rejected Jane’s call but at that moment nothing else matter to him except the survival of that girl. His little Angela; he remembered how they had met in church. When he saw on the spot he fell for her. She was dark but very beautiful. Ebony that was how he described her. The set of teeth was white that she could pass for a tooth paste model. The way she spoke, soft and mild, her voice was like a bubble that could burst at anytime but musical too. He stole her innocence but before their meeting she was a very good girl.
The woman came out sweating. She still had her uniforms on. Before she came out, the cry of Angela had stopped in an abrupt manner. Felix with a stomach full of impatience, he ran to her as she came out with churlish face,
Felix: “Where is Angela?” his voice was shaky. Fear had pounced on him. She shook her head; he turned to Bode, “Guy, tell this woman to talk na!”
Woman: “she couldn’t make it!”
Felix: “what!?” he let out a deafening scream, Bode walked towards him.
What is Felix going to do? Do you think Angela’s parents might find out?
…. SEE EPISODE 9 Below (You don’t wanna miss this!)
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