The night wind howled and I could hear a whisper of its movement, even from a mile away. It was those kind of nights in the harmattan when, people either committed suicide or they get killed by even fearless humans.The pattern was always the same- the strong preyed on the weak and the food chain never grew out of supply. I stood there at her doorway and my mind flew to different dimensions.
Why not end it here, and now? What’s holding you back? This lady had become a thorn in your flesh!!. I just couldn’t, I wasn’t a murderer, and I won’t become one.
” I knew you’d come back! ” Damilola said, she smiled and drank from her cup , crossed her legs and flickered the TV set with the control in her arm. ” Tell me Gabe” she continued and stood up, she came forward, ” Do you think am stupid? * maybe ! I thought and clutched my fist behind me, ready to land a punch into her pretty face when she was within range.
” Obviously you thought, I was mad. Fine, I had hallucinations and I saw — ” She paused and went back. Dammit !!! Just a few inches away, she was lucky, I loosened my fist. ” I forgot, Oh yes…I never told you this before. ” She poured another glass of red wine.” The man I saw was Tayo! ” She blurted out.
I froze internally and my blood rushed like a tap which has lost its handle and gone wild. The facts were all falling in place, every tiny piece started merging into a clearer picture. I wanted to grab her neck and break it into a thousand pieces. She could also have a hand in his ordeal, maybe she was right after all, but who made an attempt on my life?
” Why would you see him? What connections do you have with Tayo? He–” I said with hidden anger , when she interrupted .
” He was trying to warn me, Yes ” She said ” He tried to warn me about that Andy guy. Oh ! ” She paused ,noticed my reactions and smiled. ” I know he has been unto Kate for some time now, how cheap.I had him under surveillance. He tried to murder you, Gabe he is behind all this that is happening and he even plans to do away with—” I went foward and grabbed her on the neck, squeezed it tightly and I breamed with anger
” Why don’t I start by killing you first,then he comes next . The both of you have ruined my life… ”
” I’m not– uh, st–op, you are… ” She groaned with pain.
“Dami, I’m not here to listen to crap,.. Why did you freeze my account? Why the fvck are you toiling with me? She gasped for air, and hit me hard on the shoulders, the cup in her hand fell to the floor and shattered.
” Gabe, you are– uhuh – Hurt–ing me” She struggled to break free. Someone came running into the living room. It was her maid, Bisi and she screamed.
” Keep quiet” I barked still choking Dami ” Or else you’ll be next” Dami struggled and I felt life escape her. Suddenly, I let go and fell into the chair, I couldn’t do it, why couldn’t I? **” Was she worth it,? Huh? I bet her pus&y was a gold mine—
” Kate’s voice echoed into my head. ** Killing Dami won’t solve issues, it would complicate them.
On the floor, Dami gasped for air and her maid ran to her. both shuddering on the floor, as I scared them .
” I don’t care how you did it, but before the night is over. I want all my accounts reactivated …” She told me it wasnt possible, even in pain she still had pride, and gave me options, I had to take it or leave it.
” Marry you? ” I shook my head” You have really lost it, you are mad” I yelled out making sure my voice echoed deep into her ear ” You hear me, You are mad” She looked at me with a red eye, bloodshot and angry. I raised my arm up and threw a punch in mid air, but I paused and she hid her face in fear. Good , I scared the poo out of you. The thought was self rewarding. I bolted into the night with my car and drove all the way home.
The next morning, I was up and kicking even before the co£k crowed, I had seen it all and change was about to occur, I realised that wealth without the ones you loved and cared for, was hell on earth . I had to settle things with my wife, I went straight to her house .
” Mama , where is Kate? I asked Ma Nneka as I climbed out of the vehicle. She nearly took to her heels when she saw me ,she thought I wanted to harm her.
” Please , its important I find her. Her life might be– Mama please ,this is serious, I know I’m not the best son in law,but I’ve realised my mistakes. Trust me on this, I’ve changed” She stared blankly at me and sat down in the chair at their veranda. She heaved a sigh of relief.
” She just left now, ” Ma Nneka replied.
” Where? Please talk to me ” I was impatient.
” She went to pick up David from your sister’s house . Gabe , I hope nothing is wrong.why as you sweating like a sacrificial lamb? She asked ,noticing my energy. I couldn’t explain anything at the moment, I wanted to settle issues with Kate. I had to tackle the problems squarely this time and it felt like my only chance to redeem my sins. If only I had listened to Johnson , this wouldn’t have escalated to where it was.
I thanked Mama for her info and catapulted again out of the compound, raising dust in the air. Time flew, and I had to battle against it ,to the finish line.
I embraced her like it was my last. I wiped the tears off my eyes and she assured me that things would be okay, no mater how bad it had become, even the wrong decisions we had taken– Good will always prevail.
Gabe’s mum was such a kind hearted woman and I wondered if Gabe had been adopted , he was entirely different from this woman. Well, he was a man with choices. I regretted having pushed him away though, but it served as a lesson for men of his kind : value what you have , not until you loose it.
I took my hand bag from the veranda rail, I kissed my son’s forehead and smiled at Yvonne who was under Maxwell arm as they stood at the porch — they looked so lovely together. Even without children of their own.
” Honey ” I turned to Dave ” I’ll be back soon OK. Be good to Grandma”
” Cant I come too? ” He asked squeezing his mouth
” Don’t be naughty OK, I will buy you sweets and toys ”
” Deal? He asked and raised his five palms . I smiled and brushed his hair gently.
” Go to your aunt, Yvonne.” I pushed him to move. I turned but my heart wanted otherwise, it felt like that would be the last time I’d see him. I couldn’t let go of the feeling . why did I feel that way? ” Dave ,” I called him and ran back to the Porch , climbed and hugged him warmly , his head rested on my abdomen. Tears trickled down my cheeks. I couldn’t understand why men were so wicked and heartless , I gave my life to my husband , I gave him a happy home, but in return he gave me sadness and pain. That’s life for you Kate. An inner voice said. Mama interfered
“That’s OK, before you both make me cry ” she hugged us and unexpectedly, tears ran down her cheek, every drop was heartfelt and emotional. Gabriel had really messed up, he messed up in the sight of man and God. Only a miracle would save him now.
I left reluctantly, and walked towards the bustop, I would be very busy at the market and Maxwell won’t have the patience to wait for me,he had other things to do. I advised him to stay with his family. The cloud started to get dark and wind gushed from different angles , I wasnt generally afraid, so I quickened my steps to a nearby corner, to evade the dust haze that swam behind ,towards me. Zincs that were loose started rattlng- louder with every clank. I fidgetted , but I was now left alone in the bare street, everyone had ducked from the unfavourable whether. It was a harsh harmattan morning as the dust was incredible ” really strange and scary ”
I tried to get my mind off it. I clutched my jacket and touched my abdomen, I was afraid for my baby. I took a few steps and tried to forget my fear. Then came a loud whisper of wind , it sent debris into the air and blindfolded the clouds. Across the street, on the other side of the dusty road, something came running towards me. I quickened my steps , but it was faster. What could it be? Suddenly it stopped in its tracks, my heart pounded in fear, I said a silent prayer as I feared it might be someone. I was already sure, there was somebody with me , but I could not see who it was
. ” who ‘ s there? I asked as the dark alley stared back at me, it was in between two tall buildings which outdid the rays of sun . I took a deep breathe ” Who is there? ” Run… Run… Kate run ” An inner voice commanded. I took off my shoes and bolted ,but it was fast , whatever it was , it came running towards me, the ground shook under my feet, a rumble like something had fallen to the floor. All of a sudden it yanked itself into the air, right above my head. It was a cat, which had probably been scared as the wind summer slammed into its hideout creating that rumbling sound ,of a trashcan falling to the ground.
” blasted cat!! ” I screamed out. ” Jesus !!! I sighed a relief and put my shoes back on. My heart pounded and I regained my breathe ” That was close ” . I took a turn to the left. Suddenly, a strong arm covered my mouth, “”” mmmmm” I groaned out and struggled , I twisted and tried to break free.. My captors were three , all masked ,the first one brought out a phone
” Hello, Andy … Yes we have her, no problem boss” He told his subordinates what the procedure was and I wept bitterly as no one was in sight to help me. They tied my mouth. Slowly and painfully, they hit my head with a baton , and then again, and again, till my forehead broke and blood covered my face. My brain and memory lost communication with each other, numbers became words and words turned into Roman figures .
” mmm– huhuhhhhhargghhhh” I groaned in pain as they threw punches to my jaw, the first and the second, then two more after those. The man that made the call, looked me into the eye, I was too weak to even look back.
” This will hurt” he touched my abdomen, and I jerked
” No please don’t, please* I was too weak to beg as my mind pleaded . ” Boom ” came a punch to my belly . Everything else paused …… It reprogramed my internals and I coughed blood.
” Hit her again ” another man said . I saw my great grandparents as my life flashed through my eyes. I saw my entire family, and I saw Gabe. They left me on the floor , as I squirrelled holding on to life. A kick came to my face as a boot rammed onto my cheek, then another and another, and another. My nose bled, and my waist became numb. Everything was blured , and they left me there in a pool of blood, hot tears escaped my eyes and I struggled , I was just a kick away from giving up the ghost. I pulled my body on the floor and watched as they left in a car. Blood trailed my path, drenched my gown and my legs were recouloured red, my womb had been punctured and my baby was either gone, or almost….. I gasped for air, and my head was heavy, I prayed for my son and committed my spirit into God’s hand.
A car stopped right at my finger tips and my blood which had trickeled down the road, splashed as the car screeched.
” Kate… Kate … ” A voice screamed out , it was familiar and I was happy. ” At least I could see his face once more ” I thought and gasped for air, and then…..