Days had passed without hearing from Benjamin. I kept walking to his room hoping to see him seated in the bed. The scent of his perfume from the bedings and clothes made me miss him more. I couldn’t get myself to forget him and I felt hurt he didn’t show up for days.
I had wished for him to atleast come back. The urge to go and see him was strong but every time I remembered the look on his wife’s face I felt terrified. There was something dark about her and her gaze scared me.
I had decided to see the priest and told him how I was feeling.
He smiled holding my hand.
” You are not crazy, you love him genuinely and it’s just normal that you miss him after staying with him for all the period. But I wouldn’t want you hurt. I know how you feel but it’s best you let go because he cannot leave his wife. Remember marriage is blessed and ordained by God and no man should come between such a sacred union” he explained
” I know father, but I can’t stop wishing he was mine. I loved him in his madness and I still love him now, it hurts to see him walk away after everything” I complained and he held my hand comforting me.
” Take heart my child, God has a way and purpose for everything. Just continue putting Benjamimn in your prayers. I still feel in my spirit his life is in danger. Stand in the gap for him. Remember when you help someone once, they become your responsibility” he told me. I trusted his words and even though it was hard to ignore my feelings, I tried to keep away.
” Hey!” Kegan calls out as he pushed the door open. He had called earlier to tell me he was coming and this time I agreed which made him sound surprised.
” Hey!” I sighed hugging him.
” What’s going on Jen? You have been crying ?” He asked sitting me down.
I couldn’t control myself now that he asked. He hugged me and let me cry on him.
” Tell me what happened my girl, am your friend and I don’t like seeing you sad.
I went on explaining the details to him and he stood looking at me like I was crazy.
” Are you nuts!, you telling me you have been hosting a mad man in this house all these weeks?” He scolded me
” I know it’s crazy and no one would probably understand me. But I fall in love with him and now that I had to go through all that to make sure he’s okey, it turns out he’s a married man” I said sadly.
Kegan went on telling me how I was so crazy. ” No wonder you were behaving off the past days. Here I was thinking you are upset with me for seeing me with the girl at the party. Little did I know something huge was taking place in your house here.” He shook his head.
I told him everything and how l was feeling.
” You can’t blame him. He’s a man and now he’s back with his wife. You used yourself for nothing” he spat
” Stop it now Kegan I won’t take this from you any longer. I told you I fall in love and call me mad I dont care. Now that I have thought about it, I have to go and see him” I told him standing up.
” Oh no you won’t, let that man if he’s a grateful man come over here and talk to you himself” he pushed me back.
” No I can’t. Something is up with him and I can’t sit here crying myself when he is in some kind of trouble. He needs me” l added
” Listen to your self Jen, he needs you? He’s a married man for God’s sake he no longer needs you now that he’s fine” Kegan insisted.
We argued for almost an hour and I convinced him I needed to see Benjamin.
” Be careful Jen. This won’t end well ” he warned and left as I told him to.
I went in my bed room and changed into a pencil skirt and sleeves top covering it with a small Jacket. I wore some heels and headed out making sure my hair was looking good in its kink state.
As I drove closer to Benjamin’s address I kept hearing Kegan’ s voice.” He’s a married man and doesn’t need you!”
” No, I feel it in me, he needs me” I sighed increasing the speed.
” ls Benjamin home?” I asked the same boy who opened the gate last time I took Benjamin. He was still answering my question when I saw him emerging from the stairs.
” Jennifer!” He called out looking glad that he was seeing me. More like he had been waiting for me to come see him.
” Benjamimn! How are you?” I walked to him
” Am glad you came. I have been wanting to see you since the last time you dropped me here.” He spoke as he pulled my hand outside the house. I looked at his face, something was totally not right.
” Let’s get out of here please!” He begged holding my two hands together.
” Okey” I sighed opening the door to the car.
I sat down in the driver’s seat and my eyes went back at the house. His wife stood by the window high up looking down on us. Her facial expression still displaying the same kind of weirdness.
” Let’s leave now” Benjamin whispered looking at me as I glanced at his wife.
” Yeah sure” l started the car engine and drove on.
” Where do you want to go?” I asked realising he was silent.
” To your house if you don’t mind” he responded almost in a whisper.
I kept my eyes on the road, this time I could feel his eyes on me. He kept looking at me and when I tuned to face him he smiled.
” Thank you” he said
” For what? Taking you out of your house which I realised you were so eager to leave?” I asked still looking at him when the road ahead cleared and straightened up after a curve.
” For everything!” He smiled again.
” You are welcome Benjamin. I felt you needed me, so after the past days of you not showing up to let me know you were alright I was prompted to come over. I hope there’s no problem at all” I told him as a matter of fact.
He sighed and this time he looked sad. ” Let’s get home and talk over this there” he responded and I smiled at the way he was calling my house, ‘home’.
” Give me some water please” he spoke when we entered the house. He made himself comfortable on the couch.
” Sure” I walked to the kitchen and brought him some water.
” So, how was I like?” He swallowed hard still holding a glass cup in his hands after drinking some of the water.
” I mean when I was ….”
” I know” I cut him short. ” Well, you were never violent, unless provoked out of your sleep you became a bit agitated . You were mostly quiet and spoke less, Ate lots of Nshima and oranges too. I had to bath you everyday, you loved water but didn’t just know how to get a bath rightly” I chuckled looking at his face.
He let a small laugh, ” I must have been lots of work huh?”
” Not really I enjoyed your company and I had so much hope of your recovery. Like l said last time I was getting you some drugs so that helped too especially when I was out for work before taking you to a priest.” I told him and l saw him hold his hands to his face crying softly.
I knew for a man to cry like that something big was going on. ” Oh no don’t please” I moved closer to him patting his back.
” I have the reasons to believe my wife was behind my illness Jennifer. How can she be so evil, she took away my companies. My house has been a playing ground for her and her numerous lovers. I tried to find my mother but all her lines are off. I can’t get to Mean Wood where I last left her at our family house because I have no money, my wife won’t leave even a coin in the house. My whole life is shuttered to pieces and I don’t know how I will survive this… I….. l….. l.” he cried burping as his chest lifted up and down. He leaned his head on me and I held him closer to my chest letting him cry his pain out.
” lt’s okey, God wouldn’t let you die in that condition because he has a whole life planned for you. Take heart and be strong all shall be well” I whispered rubbing his back
” I am not surprised about your wife, the priest mentioned something and I have had a bad feeling about her since I first met her. But not to worry God is in control” I wiped my own tears as he kept crying on me.
” Can I stay here today?” He asked sitting up. ” I can’t go back to that house. I can’t get myself to sleep at night and she’s always throwing insults at me. She wishes I was gone and forgotten, am afraid she might do something to me” he begged his tearly eyes set on mine.
” Of course, you can stay here as long as you want and today we must go and find your family and baby together ” l added assuring him as I held on to his soft long hands.
” You are heaven sent Jen, can I call you Jen?” He asked with a slight smile.
” Definitely, my friends call me Jen” l smiled. ” Let me just cook something we eat then we can go and see your family” I told him and he nodded his head.
” Nshima with Chicken?” I asked standing up and looking down at him, he wore a pair of black shorts displaying his hairy legs and a dark blue T-shirt, some moccasins on his feet I guessed they were his old clothes.
” I love chicken” he smiled
” I know!” I smiled back and walked to the kitchen.
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After serving us, I watched him eating and I smiled at the way he was taking time to mold the lamp of Nshima in his palm. Guessing it was his usual way of eating slow.
” I love the way you eat” I smiled biting a piece of chicken.
I saw his chest life up and down as he smiled.
” Yeah, my mother always said I eat like a woman” he smiled.
I couldn’t help but look forward to know the true Benjamin and as we ate, I couldn’t stop thinking about him even when he was there with me.
Getting to his family house as he directed me, we found the place, but unfortunately with different owners. ” Where could they be?” He asked sadly sitting back in the car seat.
” What did the woman say?” I asked him.
” She doesn’t know, she said my mother sold the house last year and all she knows is that she moved to Chainda. I can’t believe my mother would sell the house. Now I have no idea where to start looking for them in chainda” he complained.
” Am sure she sold it because she had no option Benjamin, don’t worry we will find them one day. You have to be patient” I encouraged him.
He was quiet all the way back home and I let him be. He was suffering inside and I was feeling myself drawn in his sadiness.
” Can I lay down and sleep for a while, I feel tired” he asked when we got home.
” Of course you can. The room there is still yours” I answered and walked him there.
” Am sorry, I got use to putting you to bed, so…” I shrugged when I realised he sat down looking at me as l stood in the door way.
” lt’s okey,” he smiled. ” lt’s evident you know me a whole lot. I mean you bathed me so what’s there to hide” he chuckled and I felt shy.
” l will leave you to sleep now” I turned to walk away.
” Jen!” He stopped me.
” mmmmhm” I murmered in response.
” Mind if you stay with me here. I have been scared of sleeping for days, just maybe I can rest well if you were close by”
” Oh, sure” I walked to him and lay besides him.
” Thank you again” he smiled looking at my face.” And you are so beautiful you know that?” He added.
” Thank you” was all I could say and I saw him close his eyes slowly falling asleep. I watched him as he slept breathing slowly, he looked peaceful.
” God take away his pain” I whispered a prayer and decided to sleep too.
To be continued…