Anita got back to the hospital to find the ward in an uproar. The ward grew quiet immediately she stepped in. A nurse came away from the crowd gathered around Brume’s bed to meet Anita
Nurse: “where have you been?” she asked in an irritated tone.
Anita: “what is the problem? Is my husband okay?” she replied with a question of her own. Her anxiety was obvious on her face.
Nurse: “He has been crying that you have left him. He wanted to leave his bed to come and look for you.” she replied abruptly.
Anita smiled and walked to the bed. The nurses gathered around Brume parted and she saw him. Immediately he saw her, he burst into fresh tears. Anita went to him and held him close. He sobbed into her blouse. She soothed him.
Anita: “It’s okay. I am here now and I am not going anywhere. We will make this journey together. Just be strong.”
Brume: “I am sorry…I am very sorry…” he muttered into her breasts.
Anita: “It is okay. There’s always room for a fresh start as long as there’s life.” She whispered over his head.
Brume sobbed on while Anita stared at the rising moon clashing with the setting sun in the evening sky.
Anita: “Femi has been arrested. He is definitely going to prison. Let’s pray that Sabine’s rape never comes up in court or that Sabine decides to sue.” She said her gaze faraway.
Anita: “If she does though, we will fight the battle together.” She continued and she kissed Brume’s forehead. “For better, for worse my dear, is what I signed up for. God, please give us the strength to overcome.” She thought calmly.
Before Femi was taken away into a cell, Sabine asked to speak with him one last time. He was on the ground with his legs shackled to that of his accomplices. Sabine looked at him for a while,
Sabine: “for a long time, I cursed you and held you responsible for destroying my life. I had vowed that if I had the opportunity, I will not hesitate to pay you back in your own coin. I nursed my anger for five years, only to come to Nigeria and find out that everyone had moved on. In my blindness, I thought I could redress the unfairness of it all. Brume is happily married to a wonderful woman who loves him with all his faults and mistakes. In my mind, he doesn’t deserve such a woman, neither does Jessica deserve a man like Jude but life is what happens while you are making plans. What I am saying is, I let my mother die and my son almost got kidnapped because I had revenge in my heart. Without my help, the law of Karma came fast for you…” she paused.
Femi had turned from her and was staring strangely at Jude, who was been rolled forward by Samuel, Jessica by his side. He looked at the man then he turned to Sabine and stared at her curiously.
Femi: “Hello Castro, been searching for you all over but you were right under my nose.” He said smiling.
Jude: “Femo! You are the Femi causing so much havoc since. Obviously prison didn’t change you.” he replied surprise on his face.
Jessica and Sabine looked at the two men curiously. Femi turned to Sabine and burst into laughter.
Femi: “it is indeed a small world. Here you were talking about revenge and the uselessness of it. Let’s see if you can forgive this one.” He said pointing to Jude.
Sabine: “what do you mean?” she asked, fear gripping her heart.
Femi: “Like me, Castro here used to hustle in the street. He was a junkie then, high on anything and down for anything. Well one day I gave him a job, sleep with a girl and get paid…” he paused as Sabine screamed out loud and fainted.
Jessica stepped back from Jude’s wheelchair, staring at him in shock. Jude’s face was a stiff mask.
Jude: “Samuel, let’s go home.” He muttered.
Samuel looked at the women and turned his boss’ wheelchair.
Femi: “Castro, you are a father! Congratulations!” he shouted after him.
Jude stiffened then he slumped on his chair as Samuel rolled him back to the car, Femi’s laughter floating after them.
A policeman came and slapped Femi silent. He was hoisted up with the others and taken in. Pa Okolie was comatose by then; he had to be carried into the cell.
A police woman came and poured water on Sabine, to revive her. She staggered around dazed. Jessica walked up to her and hugged her and both women cried. For the first time, they cried together. Tears for the innocence lost, for the experience and knowledge gained; for the pain and for the opportunity to heal.
Sabine looked at Jessica, and then she placed her hands on her face
Sabine: “do not let Femi’s malice spoil a good thing for you. Whoever Castro is, the person is dead and gone. This Jude is a better person. Do not let darkness of the past blind you to a bright future. This is what I have learnt. Take that with you and don’t let that lonely man go out of your life. You might end up regretting it.” She said then she hugged Jessica tightly and pushed her away.
Jessica looked at the car already driving towards the station gate. She smiled and started towards the gate.
Samuel saw her through the rearview and slowed down.
Jude: “why did you slow down? Hurry up; I have things to do at the office. That project…” he said coldly.
Samuel: “She is waving for us to stop” he said quietly, interrupting Jude.
Jude sat straight in the car and watched silently as Jessica got to the door. Samuel wound his window down.
Jessica: “can you drop me off at any hotel in town. Meanwhile there’s this fool who thinks he can abandon a lady and disappear, that I need to shout on.” She said, looking at Jude through the window.
The door clicked open and Jessica entered and sat down beside Jude.
Jude: “I am sorry.” He said quietly.
Jessica: “you owe me no apology but you owe my sister and her son one each. So you better start rehearsing. Samuel let’s go joor.” She replied
The car drove off in a swirl of dust.
Femi was sent to 25 years in prison for attempted kidnapping, extortion, illegal use of arms and possession of illegal substances.
Pa Okolie got life imprisonment for being an accomplice in the kidnapping of Mrs Ogbonna. His son, Onyedikachi, got the death penalty but the sentence was commuted to life imprisonment, for kidnapping and for being an accessory to the murder of Mrs Ogbonna as well as robbing her of over 4 million naira. Mama Onyedikachi goes to visit them every visiting day.
Jessica married Jude and Tochukwu was the ring bearer at their wedding. They have since adopted two children; a boy and a girl. Jude restructured his will after his marriage. He gifted a portion of his wealth to Tochukwu despite Sabine’s disinclination. Sabina’s Love is still a moving concern with Sabine now a part owner of the company.
Sabine presently lives in Lagos with her son. When she is not at Sabina’s Love, she can be found helping single mothers, teenage mothers, victims of rape and orphans in the country through her foundation, Ogbonna’s Heart of Gold Foundation.
Brume never got his job back at the law firm. He is presently lecturing law at University in Lagos. He and Anita opted for adoption. They presently have a beautiful daughter whom they named Ezinne.
Revenge, they say, is a dish best served cold. We forget that forgiveness is not meant for just the offender but also for the victim. You need to forgive the person who offended you as well as yourself. We blind ourselves to the beauty of today and the possibilities of tomorrow because we have built our homes in the ashes of yesterday. Do not let revenge get a hold of you; it tends to leave a sour aftertaste. It might take time and it might come in a guise you least expect but vengeance will come. Focus on making your life beautiful despite any pain and let God take charge. Vengeance is mine says the Lord.
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