23/11/2018

Maintaning Healthy Daily Leaving

I feel a bit relieved when I learn that Toyosi herself
isn’t going to be staying with us. Only her son will be
staying.
Toyosi has just met with a man she will marry but she
isn’t going to let that man know that she has a child,
that is why she wants to return Bode to his father.
With the knowledge I have, my father begs her that
she should stay with him. Mother says she eavesdrops
on them and hear them speak.
My father kneels down before her, begging her to be
his wife; he is even ready to throw my mother and I out
for her sake.
“Toyosi, please come home. This place is a hell to me.
Please stay with me, Toyosi,” John laments.
“You have a wife already,” says Toyosi. “I can’t be a
second wife; I mean it’s too early for me to get into
rivalry with another wife. Please let me just leave Bode
here. Joseph is my husband. He loves me a lot,” Toyosi
says.
“Listen Toyosi, I quite understand you, okay. If you
don’t want to be a second wife, that’s right. I can drive
Hannah and her useless good-for-nothing child out of
the house immediately…”
Good-for-nothing! If only my mum tells me that
immediately my dad says it, I would have taken it hard
with him. Maybe God doesn’t want me to go wild, that’s
why. I only hear that few days back after my mother
has recovered. She says she eavedrops to hear that.
Well, ‘Good-for-nothing’ is what I am afterall. Dad hasn’t
told any lie. When Bode comes to the house and
discovers I am deaf mute and my mother is on a wheel
chair, the boy runs back and holds his mother tight,
saying, “Is this where you want me to stay, aunty? I
can’t stay in the house where everybody is disabled.”
“Ssh! Bode, shut up! At least your daddy is not disabled,”
Toyosi says and blinks her eyes.
“But aunty, why can’t you be staying here with us? So
that that woman on wheelchair will not ill-treat me.”
“She dare not,” says Toyosi to my mother’s face. “If
she will do that to you my son, then it had been better
for her not to be able to get up from that wheelchair
forever.”
When mother shares the experience with me, I wept
sore and began to hate little Bode and his mother. How
could they say such a thing? I will teach him a lesson of
his life. Bode must be mute like myself too, I think.
I put a knife on fire and pour some red oil. I will put that
knife down his throat. He will lose his voice.
Bode has finished eating. He is fond of making fun of
me. He has even plucked a leaf and put it inside his
mouth to mock me. Then he writes something down in
a paper and tucks it inside my hand. I read:
You are as deaf as a goat
Am I the one this small boy is calling a herbivore? I
think. The boy laughs and runs about when I wanted to
catch him to deal with him. I wonder who teaches this
boy to be so heartless. Despite how my mother cares
for him, he still does this to me. Why?
Bode soon return when his eyes are heavy with sleep.
He falls on the bed and off he goes. I make sure he is
fast asleep and ties him firmly to the bed. Then I put a
knife on fire and pour red oil on the hot knife.
I will teach Bode what it means to be permanently
speechless in life. Perhaps he doesn’t know that the
most painful thing in life is the inability to express
yourself as you wish. That is why people always
complain that the deaf and dumb people are the most
rebellious, because we get angry when we are very
much pushed to the wall because of our inability to
speak out our mind.
I am going to teach Bode that I am even more terrible
than a stammerer. How can anybody encroach on our
right and go scot-free? I should have done this thing
earlier. Why did I delay up to this time? This is not the
first time Bode will be ridiculing me by putting a leaf in
his mouth. I have signalled to him several times to
stop that but he won’t. Now he will have to bid his
vocal cord a goodbye.
I sit at the edge of the bed and then stretches my body
towards Bode who is fast asleep. I wouldn’t know if he
is snoring because I can’t hear a thing. I hold the hot
knife close to his face. Nothing is going to stop me
from dipping it inside his throat.
I can’t do it. I begin to weep. No! This is not happening.
This is not me. How dare me? My hand shakes. I begin
to retreat.
Bode’s eyes flashed open. He was terrified. I see the
movement of his mouth. He must have shouted,
“Murderer!”
Bode shakes the bed vigorously. I cut the rope with the
hot knife and the boy flees in horror. He didn’t return
until father arrives.
My father becomes enraged. He beat me black and blue.
I’m done for it.
Father locks me out of the home. Mother herself isn’t
allowed to come inside. He accuses my mum of
bringing a b-----d to his home and calling her a child.
That is me daddy is calling a b-----d.
That day we have to pull over in Mrs. Oyin’s house. The
woman becomes disappointed in me.
“Rose, how many times have I warned you to always
behave gentle? You are mature for christ sake! Take a
look at your bre*ast, Rose. You are a big girl.”
I couldn’t say anything. I just keep weeping. I know my
mother doesn’t deserve to be locked outside her
matrimonial home. I feel very guilty.
“Rose, why did you want to kill your brother? He is your
brother, no matter what? And you raised a knife to his
neck to cut off his neck? Rose, Haba!” Mrs Oyin speaks
on. I have no strength to raise a finger, let alone my
two hands to speak. I am not in the mood to say a
word.
“Do you remember what happened to Cain when he
killed Abel his brother in the bible? Rose, don’t you ever
be pushed by anger to do evil in life, because the result
of such doing will remain a stigma forever in your
life…”
That is all my eyes could grab and send to my brain for
interpretation: don’t you ever be pushed by anger to do
evil in life, because the result of such doing will remain
a stigma forever in your life.
I resolve to be calm, no matter the situation. I didn’t
gesture it out for them to see, but in my mind I have
made the decision not to bother myself over offenders.
I will never raise my little fingers, let alone my hands,
to fight back anymore. I will be calm like a peaceful
river.
“Mrs John, we shall return to beg her father to take you
back very early tomorrow morning,” says my
classteacher.
“Thanks so much Mrs Oyin. We are grateful,” my
mother says. I wonder why she doesn’t blame me for
whatever happens. Is she a caring mother or she is just
in the process of spoiling me?
Daddy didn’t pay attention to us for one week. Mrs. Oyin
accommodates us throughout those times. Every
evening we will go to our house to beg him, but he is
adamant.
However, he allowed me to enter the house and pick
all my clothes, including my school uniform. Bode sticks
out his tongue at me, mocking me.
We left the house again on the seventh day, but only
Mrs Oyin returned to speak to him. He agrees to take us
in.
— — — — — — —
Bode didn’t stop to offend me. But I did all I can do to
avoid having trouble with him. At an instance, Bode
slaps me. It is a big shock for me. Nobody has ever
slapped me and go scot free before. Even Bose, the big
girl everybody fears in school, is not up to my standard.
I can remember the day I beat her and poured sand in
her mouth.
Bode is four years younger than me, yet he will not
respect his senior. He is becoming very pompous,
maybe because Daddy is overprotecting him.
Bode is too dull for my liking. His exercise books are
painted all over with zeros. Maybe he is having that
dullness in common with his mother, because as for
me, I am not dull in school, meaning that my parents
are not dull too. But if it works that way, why then am I
deaf and dumb when both of my parents are normal?
That is a question for my science teacher.
It has been better if Bode’s pomposity is all the pain my
mother has to cope with. Toyosi his mother always
come to check on him every weekend. Bode will tell
lies to her about me and the woman will begin to blab
and threaten me. She says that if anything bad happens
to her son, then I should count myself dead.
It’s like daddy still likes Toyosi a lot. Anytime she
comes around, daddy will take her to his room and lock
the door. Then they will send my mummy out of the
room. They must have been having extramarital affair.
One day I ask my mummy to divorce daddy, but she
refused.
“Rose, I can’t do that,” she says. “God doesn’t like
divorce.”
“If God doesn’t like divorce then why can’t he also
prevent things that can lead to divorce?” I grumble
over my nose.
“Don’t say so, Rose!” mummy shuns me. My eyes are
wet already. I am going to shed tears. She comes
around me and put her arms around my neck. Her long
hair falls on my nape. She doesn’t like seeing me in
tears. “Rose, in the end we shall overcome,” she says
eventually.
I advise my mummy to trace Toyosi to her husband’s
house and reveal the secret once and for all, but she
waves away the idea. Instead, she picks up that boring
song again ‘We Shall Overcome’.
My Common Entrance Examination will soon be here,
but daddy refuses to get past questions and answers
series for me. Mummy tries her best and gets them for
me.
My school is Ejigbo Standard School. It is both for the
normal people and the special ones. Since the day I
make that resolution that I will be calm, I haven’t
fought anybody. I didn’t even talk to anyone let alone
quarrelling with them and this again becomes my
classteacher’s headache. She will call me into her
office and ask me why my name doesn’t make the
name of noisemaker list anymore.
“But you have told me to cease from making noise
many times, and now I’m doing that, what again?” I say.
Mrs Oyin keeps quiet. She doesn’t know what to say
any more.
… … … … … … …
One day, I iron my white cloth as I get prepared for
school. That particular morning, I wake up happy. I don’t
know why. Mother notices it before she leaves for
work. Now I go to school myself because I am twelve.
I am the one to take Bode to school as usual. His own
school is just a stone throw from our house, but I have
been mandated to take him there before going to my
own school.
Bode has been yawning since the time mummy wakes
him up to take his bath. The last time I check on him, he
just got into the bathroom. I didn’t want to be late
because I am the Time Keeper of my school.
Sometimes whenever I ring the bell it looks funny to
me because I can’t hear the sound of what I am ringing.
But I have come to learn something: the blind cannot
become a time keeper because they don’t have eyes to
check the time. Yet, they are always the first set of
people to come out of their classes at the sound of the
bell, touching the walls for guidance and support. It’s
like the walls themselves are useful. Nothing in the
world is a waste Mrs Oyin will tell us many times, just
to make us know that WE ARE ABLE.
As a Time Keeper, I am supposed to be in school early,
but this morning I haven’t seen the possiblity; not when
Bode hasn’t taken his bath not to talk of eating his food,
yet it is 7:24am already. It is obvious I will be late to
school this time around. I can’t really remember the last
time I go late to school.
I leave my cloth to check on Bode if he has finished
taken his bath, to my surprise he is not in the bathroom.
I check the toilet to see if he is there. No, he is not
there. I resign and return to the table where I am
ironing my cloth, to my surprise, the cloth has been
soaked up with red oil.
I raise the cloth up. Tears flow down my cheek when I
see that my cloth has been burnt up with iron. I did put
off the pressing iron when I went to look for Bode, so
how come my cloth is now burnt up?
Bode crawls out from under the table, laughing. He
gives me a note and runs away. I read it:
I don’t want to go to school today
I become mad. Is it because he didn’t want me to take
him to school that he has to burn and stain my cloth? I
am enraged within me. I sit quietly and fold my hands.
Bode comes and sticks his tongue at me as usual. He is
taking my silence for cowardice. He should have gone
to my school a year ago to ask them my name: Rose
The Tiger. Even Bose the Big Boss cannot face me let
alone this small Bode.
Bode spreads his ten fingers at me. I hardly joke with
my mother. How can he be cursing my mother? Okay,
what has my mummy got to do in this matter? The tiger
in me begins to form when I see those dirty fingers.
His cup is full. It is time to teach him a lesson.
No, I think. I have resolved in my mind that I will be
gentle a year back and I have endured for that long, so
let me not fight back.
Bode seems to be in the mood today. He wants to get
me angry by all means. He comes behind me and taps
my nape. Kpash! It sounds like thunderbolt. I become
mad at him.
I raise Bode high up by the neck. The rest is a story. He
falls down. Dead? Still alive? I can’t tell.
“Ah!” my brain speaks. “I have killed somebody.”
My class teacher rushes in. It is 9am already. She was
very shocked when she saw Bode lying on the floor.
“What happened, Rose?” she asks me.
“I–I have k–killed him,” I tell her.
“How? What did you do to him?”
“I held his neck tight,” I say.
I explain the whole thing to my teacher. She carried him
to the hospital immediately. I followed her there,
shaking like a leaf.
This Bode must be an ‘ogbanje’, I think. How can he die
because of that little squeezing of his neck? Have I not
done something similar to Bose a female counterpart
for that matter and she didn’t die?
I sit at the waiting room expecting to hear the doctor’s
verdict. If Bode is dead, then I’d rather die too, else my
daddy will kill me by himself. I have seen it in films
how people kill themselves. They call it suicide. Maybe
that is what I will also do, I ponder. God will
understand.
My teacher tells me that Bode has regained
consciousness. He has been diagnosed for asthma.
“Asthma?” I say. I become scared. “Did I cause it?”
“No you didn’t Rose,” she says. “You only triggered it
when you choked him; it is good this happened, else
the boy would keep living with it without knowing.”
I look at my teacher’s face on and on. How did she
know that something was happening in my home for
her to have rushed down there at the nick of time?
Maybe it’s because I didn’t ring the bell in school when I
should. I ask her, “Ma, why did you rush down to my
home like that?”
She smile and says, “God told me to do so. Actually, I
couldn’t rest in my spirit when I didn’t see you in school
on time, so I decided to check on you.”
“I thought as much,” I reply.
Daddy comes around after work. My teacher must have
explained what happened to him. The look on his face is
as if he should tear me apart for almost killing his son. I
fear what Toyosi will do if she learns about it.
My mother also calls at the hospital. This time, she
speaks harshly to me.
“Rose, do you want to kill somebody?”
“I am sorry mother,” I plead.
“Shut up!” she signalled harshly to me. I weep. This
time around she didn’t console me and I understand
why; I am a threat to her matrimonial home, I think.
When mummy and I returned home after Bode was
discharged, we met our loads outside the house. Daddy
is kicking us out again.
We have to put up in my aunty’s place for weeks.
Toyosi even came to the place to insult us. She hit my
mother on the face with the pointed part of her stiletto.
“You want to kill my child for me? I swear, what I will
do for you, you shall both regret it. I will blow whistle
with your nostrils, you wicked nuisance. Ah! In my life
shall I live to enjoy the fruit of my womb but I swear
that deaf mute idol you are calling your daughter will
die soon, as glory be to God! Call me b-----d if it
doesn’t happen!”
My aunty was angry. She rushes to confront her, but my
weeping mother didn’t allow her do that. The sight is
unbearable to me. I run down the staircase and roll
over accidentally.
The woman stands over me and claps her hands over
my head:
“Good! This is just the beginning for you. Call me
b-----d if I, Toyosi the daughter of Balogun, don’t ruin
your family!”
I didn’t have much injury when I fell. I get up and my
aunt comes around me to pick me up. She so much
loves me such that she has mastered the sign language
too. She is even the one who tells me everything
Bode’s mother was yelling about.
“Rose, just be who you are. Don’t fear, she can’t do
anything to hurt you,” my aunty assures me afterwards.
Mummy says it is time to divorce my daddy as I have
advised her earlier. It seems okay by me, at least it will
help me to steer clear of trouble every now and then.
Rachael my aunty is a widow. Her children are in
boarding school. She is a civil servant. She is a very
hardworking and religious type. She seems very godly
and I appreciate her lifestyle. I feel at home in her
house more than in my father’s house.
Racheal is about five feet seven inches tall. Her natural
hair is what she has on her head but it looks very long
such that it makes me doubt that it is natural. My
mother’s natural hair hasn’t been as long as half of hers.
They cut often.
Rachael is only two years younger than my mother, yet
she is already a widow. Her husband died in a plane
crash some years back. They are wealthy. She is lucky
however that her husband is distant from family
members while he was alive, else they would have
sent her packing.
Rachael doesn’t play with church issue. She will never
skip church activities for anything. Her faith seems to
be very strong. She believes in moving mountain with
prayers. She loves to fill my head up with challenging
testimonies from the Bible. I wonder why I haven’t
witnessed any such testimony in our real life today.
“It’s faith,” she says. “People in our contemporary
world don’t have faith anymore. They are more hasty
than God.”
In one way or the other, I used to believe in God
anytime I am with her. The love and care she shows,
the warm accommodation–even the devil himself will
tend to repent of his sins after spending a week or two
with her, I think.
My aunty suddenly comes up with an idea. She says that
she has a very strong faith that my deafness and
dumbness will end before the end of that month June. I
doubt it.
“Rose, my faith is lifted,” she says. “Only believe, you
will speak and hear this month,” she assures me. As
usual, she will always have testimonies to back up her
claims. She is better off being a motivational speaker. I
wonder what she is doing in the civil service.
Rachael tells us that there is a Crusade coming up and
their general pastor will be coming all the way from
Abuja their headquarters.
“Rachael, the lame have walked, the blind have seen,
the sick have been healed. I am strongly sure this is
your time, Rose. The pastor doesn’t need to lay hands
on you before you receive your healing.”
“Are you sure aunty?” I ask in doubt.
“Yes! Will I ever lie to you?” she reassures me. I take
her by her word.
It is a holiday period for me already because I have
finished my common entrance examination without my
daddy’s support. She(Rachael) is even the one who
takes up all the responsibilities then.
The crusade will be a five-day crusade. An open air
crusade it is called. No canopy at all–we have to chase
rain away with our prayers. The first night it rained
heavily. We become wet from head to toes.
My aunty calls it showers of blessing.
“When Elijah was about to do exploit, it began with
showers of rain. Rose, this is the assurance that you
will get your divine touch,” she says. I believe her.
The second, third and fourth days passed without any
thing. I begin to doubt what aunty says. However,
people come out each day to share their testimonies.
Two blind people also came out to say that they were
blind but now they see. Even a deaf boy shares his
testimony.
Before the dawn of the fifth day, my aunty prays for me
personally. She cast out the spirit of deafness and
dumbness but nothing happens. That spirit inside my
mouth and ears must be too stubborn for remaining
there, going by how my aunty was shouting vigorously
(I know she was shouting going by the look of her face
as she opened her mouth).
On the fifth day, the embarrassment becomes so
pronounced, not only on me but on my aunty too when
nothing happens to me. She weeps bitterly.
“Why? God why?” she weeps.
“God hates me,” I say.
“Don’t say so!”
“Or there is no God!”
“Hey! Rose, don’t go there!” my mother reprimands me
at once.
That night, I slept and had a nightmare…
My Nightmare
In my dream, I saw a woman sitting beside a native
doctor. They were speaking, but I didn’t hear what they
were saying since I was deaf and dumb. They were
looking inside a small calabash filled with water. I saw
my image in that calabash. They bent over the calabash
and going by the look of their mouths, they were
shouting something. They kept shouting and shouting
inside the water, but nothing happened.
I wake from sleep. I tremble. I tell my mummy and my
aunty what I see.
“Praise the Lord, Rose!” my aunty shouts. “That woman
you see in your dream is your enemy. She has taken
your name to the herbalist and they are calling your
name to death. But since you can’t hear them, you didn’t
respond. If you have responded, Rose, that is the end.”
“Ah!” my mummy shouts.
Now I thank my star that I haven’t received the miracle
of speaking and hearing. If I have, then I would have
heard and replied the wicked people calling my name
and then I would have died.
“Thank you Jesus,” I say
 “Darn it!” Jeremy raked a hand through his hair.
He just watched the pretty witch glare at him with killing eyes and took off into her car. How the hell was he supposed to know what to do? Her kind of women- he didn’t know how to handle, but he had kissed her. He shook his head.
He had just entered into a battle with the all cheeky Purity Theodore. How on earth was he gonna face her? How would he tell his father the date went? And the poor man was sick. S--t! He wasn’t gonna go home straight. He was going to drive around town to clear his head, then proceed to the hospital see how his father was doing.
Heaving a sigh, he climbed into his Volvo XC90. He put the key in the ignition hole and the engine flared to life. Silently, he cruise out of the premises of ‘Golden’. His cell buzzed in his pocket. He dug it out. Tricia was calling.
“Hey, babe.” he forced a smile as she answered.
“Jeremy darling, where are you?”
“What do you need my presence for?” he queried sarcastically.
He could hear her growl. He knew she was making a face. Probably sticking her tongue out. He laughed at the thought of that.
“What is funny?”
Her hands should be on her hips now. He cleared his throat. One hand on the wheel, the other on his left ear. “I asked a question.”
“Oh, I’m sorry. I am just missing you. I want you here.”
Jeremy scowled. He knew this was definitely going to happen. She’d come begging. Every woman who’d pissed him off was surely gonna do that. Was Purity too?
“I’m busy.” he replied flatly.
“Baby, please don’t be so hard on me.” Tricia pleaded.
“You broke up with me. We’re over.”
“Have you been listening to me? I said I want you back!”
“I’m not a child you can order around.” Smiling ruefully, it was time to spill the bean. “I have a fiancee. I’m engaged.”
He heard her gasping. Her mouth dropped. He smiled pleasingly, then disconnected the call.
*
*
*
“Father, how are you feeling now?” Jeremy touched Edwin Broderick’s fore head. He was burning up. Worry inched on his face. After he had plainly told Tricia the news of his engagement, he parked his vehicle. Took a stroll thinking about so many things. Tricia continued dialling his number, he had ignored her calls. Tricia Cayson, now his ex had been a great company and friend. They’d known each other for close to three years- been confidants and helpers. Tricia fell in love with him and had been making passes at him. Jeremy noticed and asked her out hoping to lovê and settle down with her.
As their relationship progressed, Jeremy got to know so much about her which he found irritating. She had the habit of complaining about almost everything he did, comparing him to her exes and ordering him. Jeremy despised such women. He’d ended their relationship so many times. But Tricia would always come back begging- to relive himself of her constant pleading, he’d say yes, kiss her and they’ll be back again. When he had the opportunity to travel out of town, different women spent the night in his bed. The way, he could forget about Tricia and her constant naggings.
Delighted he was when Tricia called it quits with him after she’d heard he was unfaithful. He rejoiced happily and wasn’t gonna continue dating that nagging batch. With Purity now in the picture, he’d clean up his old acts, have a responsible relationship and get married. What? Did he think of marriage to Purity? He never saw that coming. Phew!
Edwin Broderick smiled weakly. He was on drip. He reached for his son’s hands.
“Don’t worry about me, dear son. How was your date? Purity, I guess she looked so pretty.”
Jeremy raked his other hand through his hair. Seeing the sorry state his father was in, Jeremy couldn’t dare let him know that the date ended in disaster. It never even began, there was never a date between them. How was he even sure that woman was Purity? Her evil smile and tongue lashing words told him so. He beamed at Edwin.
“Um…it was quite a success.” Remembering that breathtaking kiss, he beamed even more. “At least, I enjoyed that.”
Struggling to sit up, Edwin questioned, “What?” his eyes twinkled with delight. He suddenly looked like a two year old. “Tell me son, what did you enjoy?” his grip tightened.
Aww. Jeremy was touched. This Purity got his father all excited and full of strength. What she had that made his father this way, he didn’t know. He was glad he was no more sad. If getting married to Purity would heal his father, then marry her, he would.
Jeremy grinned. “Ah, dad. Its a secret.”
Edwin shot up a brow. “Is it what I’m thinking?”
Jeremy flushed. “I don’t know what you’re thinking.” He released his hand from his father’s and looked away. He felt like a boy in his teens.
Edwin laughed. He choked a little. “I am feeling much better,” he expertly changed the topic, answering his son’s earlier question.
Glad that his father did, Jeremy turned to face him. “I’m happy about that. What did the doctor say is wrong with you?”
“Nothing yet.”
“I’ll see him later. Papa, have you eaten? I brought food.”
“My ever caring son. I have, but will eat what you brought for me.”
“Great!” Jeremy rushed to the chair where he’d dropped te lemon cake he’d bought on his way. “Here, father.”
He laid them on the bed. Helped his father to sit up straight.
“Yummy. This is delicious.” Edwin commended Jeremy.
“Here’s a cup of coffee too.”
“Thanks son. Here, come eat with me.” Edwin offered.
Knowing his father wouldn’t take no for an answer, Jeremy joined him on the bed and started eating.
“I’m a dying old man.”
Jeremy’s throat dried, he coughed. “What do you mean by that?”
“Marry Purity and I’ll live.”
“Let me in!” Jeremy found himself arguing with purity secretary on Monday morning. The woman wouldn’t let him see purity. How did he even get himself into this? It was Edwin Broderick – his father. The man had always dreamed of having a daughter in-law and now he chose Purity. If not for her, he’d die. Jeremy could not afford to lose his father. The mother had died of b----t cancer four years ago. He had managed to scale through the pains it caused him and now his father? No, at least not yet. He must give the man grand children. Purity must marry him- he hates her, but must love her for his father.
*
*
*
“NO! I can’t do that.” Heather protested.
Jeremy raked his hair with his left hand. “How could you not? Call her, let her know she has a visitor.”
Heather shook her head stubbornly. “You want to make me lose my job? I’ve called her and she says no. She doesn’t want to see anybody.” she stressed that last word.
“You didn’t tell her my name.” Jeremy was aware that he was the last person Purity would want to see. But if she heard his name, she might bounce out of her office to scold him. He had to risk that. “Tell her its Jeremy Broderick. I’m her fiance for goodness sake!”
“Fiance?” Heather stared at him, eyes with shock. “My boss has a fiance?” she ruffled her hair and laughed. “Are you sure you’re in the right room?”
Jeremy glowered at the secretary. “Do what I asked!” he commanded in a hostile voice.
Heather quickly dialed Purity’s office line again with shaky hands. She couldn’t look Jeremy in the eye, he frightened her.
*
*
*
Purity could hear the ugly conversation going on between her secretary- Heather and Jeremy. She was stunned when she first heard his voice. How could he show up here after what he’d done last night? She hadn’t forgiven him and had not mapped out what to do to him. And he show his sorry face at her company.
She had directed Heather not to let him in. She wasn’t going to see him. She’d frustrate him, deal with him. Let him know that no one takes advantage of her. When he was done making noise and disturbing, he’d quietly leave. She needed to think.
She smiled to herself with contentment.
Now, she had to think, think about how to handle this Jeremy and then her father. She sighed and rested on her swivel chair. She picked up a pen and notepad. She began writing down things. The inter com began ringing. She answered excitedly; hoping to get news that Jeremy Broderick was gone.
“Has he left?”
“No, ma’am.” Heather grudgingly replied. “Um..ma’am… He says he is Jeremy Broderick.”
She violently struck the pen on her desk. It broke.
“I know that! Tell him to get out!”
“Ma’am, not only that.” Heather’s voice was shaking.
Purity was shocked. What else? Last night, he had introduced himself as her fiance. Has he done the same again? S--t! Heather was known for her big mouth. The whole staff would have heard the latest by the next day. Jeremy! She hoped not.
“What else?” she asked, losing her patience.
“He says he’s your fiance.”
S--t! Purity slammed down the receiver. God! She got off her seat to the window. She stared down the busy streets of New York hoping that she’d be able to calm her nerves cause she wanted nothing than murder Jeremy Broderick. She folded her arms, trying to steady her breathing.
While looking down, she heard noises directly at the front of her door. She turned her head to the direction of the door and listened. The sound was becoming clearer and clearer. Sounds of shoes scrapping the floor.
Sounds like two people struggling. Oh, my goodness! I’d forgotten to lock the door.
Purity hurried to the door. As she got there, it swung open. Her eyes popped out. She could see Heather fiercely fighting with Jeremy, trying to prevent him from pulling down the door. He won- the man.
As they saw her, the struggle died down. They stood apart, conscious that someone else was watching them.
“I’m sorry. I tried to stop him, he didn’t listen.” Heather pointed an accusing finger at Jeremy. “He’s just too strong and so stubborn.” she wanted to cry. She feared she’d lose her job.
Purity scanned Jeremy. She noticed how handsome he looked as his hair was out of place. His suit, light blue shirt and black tie slightly rough. All that made him charming. Charming? That was supposed to be despicable. How…? She quickly composed herself.
To Heather, she said, “Its alright. I can handle this.” She glanced at her. Reading her eyes, she knew Heather was waiting for an answer regarding her job. She smirked. “Heather dear, you’ve still got your job as long as you don’t open your big mouth to tell any one what you heard this lunatic say about us.”
Heather felt slightly relieved. She was certain her smile didn’t come from her heart. “I promise.”
“You can leave now. Shut the door as you go. In fact, you have the day off.” Purity couldn’t risk Heather listening to the upcoming conversation she was going to have with Jeremy. Fiance indeed. “Don’t forget to shut your mouth.”
Heather nodded. She walked out and shut the door. Purity ran to lock it quickly. She turned to Jeremy and eyed him intently.
“What the hell are you doing here?”
“Purity, calm down. I need to talk to you.”
She laughed sardonically. She met his eyes. “I don’t even know you.”
He paced around for few seconds looking confused. “Gosh! I’m Jeremy Broderick. Your-”
“Would you stop that? I am not going to marry you. Where did you even get the guts from to introduce yourself as my husband-to-be?” she furiously questioned.
“Yeah. You are right. I’m not supposed to say that but that’s what’s bringing us together.”
She marched to her desk and sat on it. He followed her but kept standing.
“I don’t understand.”
“My father talked to me about marrying you.”
“And you agreed.” she rolled her eyes.
He took his hands in his pockets. “For a reason.”
She scoffed. “No one does anything without a reason.” She smiled mockingly.
He drew closer to her. “Don’t you want to know that reason?” He could perceive her feminine scent.
She shook her head i oppose- left and right. “I don’t want to know. Simple.”
“Miss. You have to know it this time.”
What is wrong with this guy? How many times do I have to tell him ‘no’? Purity was in no mood for such argument. She decided to shut up her mouth and just nod sideways.
“I’m d--n serious!”Jeremy was beginning to get impatient.
I am too, she wanted to say but she just shook her head left and right.
This was it! He couldn’t take it any longer. “Will you stop being a b---h! Stop acting like you’re miss world or the queen of everyone. Act like a human for once and listen to me!”
A b---h? Miss world? Queen of everyone? Act like a human? Jeremy’s words registered on her head gradually. Of course she was miss world and a princess- soon to be a queen. If she wasn’t acting like a human, then how was she acting? Like an insane one or animalistically? Then this idiot called her a b---h! Who dares call her names? No one. Except her dad- he was an exception cause he was her dad. D--n! Jeremy was crossing his limits. From crushing her cell, to unexpectedly kissing her-no, she hadn’t forgotten it-to carrying her, introducing himself as her God d--n fiance, to calling her names! For God’s sake she was tired of this nonsense and she’d bruised her lip cause of him. She was still trying to get over it.
“Excuse me? Did you just call me a b---h?” She jumped down from her desk.
Jeremy moved backwards.
“Listen to me-”
“I’m not going to listen to you unless you listen to me.”
“Oh, shut up! I am not going to listen to the rubbish you want to tell me. Its about the all-mighty reason why you want me to marry you.” She raised her hands in disgust. Then dropped them.
You’re an imbecile to think I’d agree. As a pretty princess that I am, you are not up to my level and not even my class. I wouldn’t stoop so low to get married to you! You disgust me! I hate you! You did so many unreasonable things to me last night. You’re the devil! An incarnate! Get the hell out of my office! Tell your father that I kicked you out. I don’t want to marry you. I, Purity Theodore said so.”
She was breathing heavily by the time she was done. Perspiration formed on her fore head. She had looked Jeremy in the eye, she saw flashes of anger in them. He stared murderously at her. Her hear skipped a beat. Oops! She had gone too far. No, no she hadn’t. Its him who crossed the boundaries. She wasn’t scared. She took a deep breath.
Jeremy moved towards her. When he got to where her two legs were planted on the floor, he didn’t stop.
Purity was about to fall. She didn’t know what had gotten into him. Why wouldn’t he stop walking. And the way he looked at her, very dangerous, deadly. God! had she said too much? Should she apologise? A million thoughts ran on her mind. She was alone with this man. Heather must have left. She had never been a alone with a man before, what was going to happen? Was he going to hurt her? Shouting for help was the last thing on her mind. She wasn’t going to appear so vulnerable to the people who worked under her. She’d deal with this devil on her own. But how?
In the twinkle of an eye, Purity moved back. She continued till she was trapped between her desk and Jeremy. She sniffed his cologne and was starting to feel dizzy. This man had lots of effects on her. Gazing at his lips, she wanted to taste them again. Purity!
“W-What is wrong with you?” she asked in a hoarse voice.
He smiled evily. The last thing on his mind was to battle words with this pretty witch. He had a more better way to deal with her. He drew his head towards hers. Their faces were inches apart. He could hear the thumping of her heart.
“What do you think?” he drawled.
Purity didn’t want to think. She had lots of things on her mind. She prayed she was wrong. She just had no strength to fight this man. He made her feel weak.
“You want to kiss me like you did last night? Please don’t.” She wasn’t sure if she just did that? Purity was pleading?
He grinned. “Like you didn’t enjoy it. Oh, my. Purity, please stop acting all innocent like you are pure- just as your name says, Purity. I know you are not.”
Of course, I’m pure! That’s why I was given that name. I am pure! She tried defending herself, he didn’t give her the chance.
“Uh-uh. Its my turn to speak. Please listen.” He drew closer to her.
Purity placed her hands on his chest and pushed him. “Go back. Give me a breathing space. You are too close.”
He obeyed. “You must listen to me.”
“I promise.”
The tension between them was reduced a bit. Jeremy also felt relieved. Being so close, he had withheld himself from tearing her clothes and taking her. She made him go crazy with desire. What other woman had gotten him this way? Her lethal mouth and eyes set him ablaze. He enjoyed watching her.
“Sit.”
“Nope. I’ll stand.”
“Let me get straight to the point. I really don’t want a wedding with you.”
That hurt. Why would that hurt her? She didn’t want to wed him either. But it hurt. The reason, she didn’t know.
She forced a smile. “That’s a relief. So, why are you here?” she s----d in a breath.
“My father reminded me of you. Two days ago, he brought up this idea that I marry you. I felt he was joking, but he meant it. You know I was late for our first date. It was because my father had a heart attack the very minute I was about to escape from the house. He pleaded with me to meet with you. I did so. Last night, after you left me, I went to the hospital to see my father, he wants the marriage. If it doesn’t happen, he’ll die. Please help me.”
She stood akimbo. “Wait. I don’t get it. Your father is sick? And his getting better depends on us getting married?”
Things really have happened to me. Things beyond ordinary. Things so deadly to imagine. Things so cold and horrible.
My name is Jude. This is my story. Or should i call it a confessional story.
MARCH, 2009
7:49pm
I brushed my teeth for the third time, ran out of the bathroom and grabbed my phone. Slowly i scrolled down to a name saved with “NMEKA 2go” and dialled the number with a happy smile on my face.
Nmeka was my 2go girlfriend. The first real friend i was making from 2go after months of endless chatting. She was paying me a visit that very day, something like a return visit because we first met two weeks ago at her school where we met each other for the first time. Of course the visit i paid her solidified our friendship thus making her take the risk of visiting me for a lovely weekend.
“hello Jude, the bus has dropped me at the park. You can now come and get me” Nmeka’s sweet voice announced as she answered my call. I jumped up with joy before rushing out to pick her up.
____
It wasn’t had locating her at the busy bus station. We hugged each other with joy, seriously the love was there.
“i’m so happy” i whispered to her. She blinked her eyes, saying nothing.
Minutes later we arrived at my lodge which impressed her a lot.
“hmmm your lodge is beautiful. It’s so big ooo. Hmmm you go fear three storey building. How much do you pay here?” she asked with admiration.
We had a wonderful night gisting, joking and playing before finally wrapping up the whole fun with a hot super se.x. She really was so good and sweet. Oh what a delicious girl she was.
“i hope you arn’t decieving me?” she asked with love in her eyes.
“of course not my dear” i answered innocently. She smiled and closed her eyes. We went straight to sleep moments after, Unfortunately i never knew a nightmare was coming.
I woke up at exactly 3:15am the next morning, to see my lovely visitor gasping for breathe.
Before i could understand what was happening, she collasped on the bed. I fearfully stared at my unconscious visitor. Confused, nauesous and lost.

“please don’t do this to me” i pleaded seriously. Tears fell from my eyes, my heart pounded furiously.
The poor girl breathed her last, a very heavy breathe it was before keeping still, leaving me all alone to my fate. All alone and hopeless.
I was left with the choice to tell the truth. A freaking truth which no one would buy.
“no no no” i cried with panick, jumped out of the bed and wore my trouser. My mind was set on going out to seek help. To scream, to cry out loud.
“Perhaps my neighbours could be of assistance” I reasoned with a cold shiver. But on second thought i played down my fears and decided not to seek external help. She wasn’t breathing, she already was freaking gone. I felt her pulse over and over again.
Desperately, i tried breathing into her mouth. I pressed on her chest a hundred times over, but nothing worked. I fell back with fear, while the consequencies of my predicament ran through my head. I was in deep s.hit.
I needed no one to tell me that I only had a little time to think out a good explanation or plan. Time was running out fast. Dawn was quickly approaching.
“d.amn” i exclaimed as my head played back our last moment together. I really was ruined, definitely f----d.
“D--n 2go” i hissed, wondering what must have happened to her.
“perhaps she’s asthmatic or something. Perhaps i woke up too late to save her. Jeez” i cursed, reached for her handbag and searched it for drugs or something similar but found nothing.
Slowly my clock struck 4:10am, i had little time left.
“I have to act fast. I have to move her body” i reasoned with a fearful courage.
“Where will i dump her?, how do i cover my tracks?, did anyone see us together the previous evening?” i wondered as i pulled her down from my bed.
I quickly pulled off her night wear and dressed her up with the clothes she wore from her place. A black jean trouser and a pink top. It truly was the most difficult and irritating task i have ever done in my life.
“what next?” i asked myself as i looked out of my room window. The hostel{lodge} gate was still locked. There wasn’t anyway i could carry her out of the lodge without waking the gateman or seen by early morning weed smokers, {Annoying students who were fond of smoking hemp in front of some hostels]. Moreover the hostel lights were equally on and glaring.
I rubbed my face in desperation. I was living at the top-most floor and so had little or nothing to hope on. It was a do or die affair.
I left my room and took a quiet tour round the lodge. Fortunately no one was outside, which really was a very big relief. I went round the lodge searching for a quiet hidden place i could dump Nmeka’s body. Of course i wasn’t thinking of dumping her outside the lodge because their wasn’t a way i could do it without being seen. I couldn’t ask the gateman to open the gate without arousing suspicion nor scale the fence with such a heavy load. I had to look for a spot within the lodge to dump the body.
Finally an idea quickly struck me. The was a staircase at the extreme end of wing c which was hardly used because the three stairs at the front and middle back of the big hostel was the most preferred by everyone. The staircase was exactly the kind of place i was badly searching for. There wasn’t any bulb underneath it like the other staircases {the bulbs were probably stolen} and so had poor visibilty even in the afternoon. My only fear was that the cleaners who swept the lodge every morning might discover her on time. Perhaps before i could be able to dispose her handbag and other belongings which i intend disposing at a place very far from the lodge later in the morning.
Seriously i never imagined my heart could be as dark as it was that fateful morning, but it got me to realise that the heart of man is very dangerous especially when faced with an unimaginable circumstance.
I quickly inspected the staircase, rushed to my room and carried the poor girl’s body. Discreetly i headed back to the staircase, my heart almost at breaking point.
I quietly carried her to the staircase, my heart beating wildly as i carried the heavy load.
I needed a whole lot of luck to avoid detection. Only a single mistake could destroy everything i had planned.
Luckily i got to my destination without being seen. I calmly dumped and pushed her well underneath the staircase {of the first floor}.
“if things go as planned perhaps it will take a day or two before she’s discovered” i reasoned before another idea came into my head.
I rushed up to my room, grabbed a bucket of water, came down and poured it all over her. I wasn’t a biologist but i felt it could destroy any evidence like my prints which were on her body. Yea it might sound silly but i felt a bit relieved after doing it even though the water quickly spilled out towards the exit door but it wasn’t enough to draw attention.
I grabbed the empty bucket and returned to my room. I knew nobody would investigate a spilled water in a lodge filled with students. Unless of course the cleaners.
As I got to my room, i quickly cleaned up everywhere, packing up all of Nmeka’s things in a big black sack bag including her phone which was the first in the list, but before doing it i first logged into her 2go account{luckily the appilication opened without asking for a password} and deleted everything about me, including my phone numbers and text messages we shared. I knew the police had the means to get me if they were serious but i did everything just as a precaution. I equally washed the bathroom, and changed my bedsheet, made sure everything was in order before sitting down to rest.
I was so terrified and nervous. I needed all the goodluck in the world. I was scared of being caught. My future just stood before me, glaring at my face. I knew i did the worst atrocity by trying to hide the poor girl, but i had no choice than to do it. I wasn’t ready to hang for something i had no hand in.
Nervously i waited for the hostel gate to be opened, the success of my plans depended on it. I had to dispose Nmeka’s things in a place very far away. Precisely in a river.
I cracked my head searching for a good river but couldn’t remember any. In desperation i thought of other alternatives.
“A good bush will do” i concluded as i remembered a very large bush, four hostels behind mine. The bush really was at the end of the street. A yet to be developed plot.
But i was very unsure of the best time to head to the place. I knew there wasn’t a way i could go there without being seen by many students and my movement might draw suspicion due to the sack bag in my possession and if eventually Nmeka’s body is found, tongues may talk and i could be caught. I reasoned.
“The only solution was to head out of the school environs with my load perhaps towards the small mechanic village which was fifty naira bus drop away from my lodge, find a good refuse dump site and dispose everything” .
_____
Luckily her body wasn’t discovered that morning and so by 7:45am, i smashed her phone sim and memory card wrapped the debris in a small nylon before flinging it with the phone back into the sack bag. Soon after i left the lodge with my load and headed towards mechanic village, nervous, shaken but determined.
It was very easy to find a burning refuse dump site when i got there. I quickly disposed everything and headed back to my lodge a bit relieved.
All that was left was to sit and wait for the poor girl to be discovered.
I kept to myself, acting cool and trying hard not to behave in a way that could draw suspicion. It wasn’t easy, i couldn’t eat, sleep nor do anything. I was conscious of everything, plus i began seeing things. Strange weird things.
Perhaps it was my imagination, perhaps it was guilt and fear but i truly wasn’t myself anymore. I didn’t kill the girl but i wronged her spirit. I felt she was everywhere i went, staring at me with her dark eyes.
Then she was discovered…………………… An early monday cry from one of the cleaners ripped the whole lodge apart.
The sharp cry shook the entire lodge, frightening me tremendously. My heart furiously pounded. The day of reckoning finally has arrived.

I waited for few minutes in my room as i tried so hard to compose myself. Just like other students, i had to check out the cause of the cry and noise coming from downstairs. I wished i had travelled, but truly it was very bright of me to stay put in the lodge instead of travelling, because i had to be around in order to follow events and plan ahead. Moreover the hostel was a large one but it never stopped students who lived in it from knowing each other’s habit and as i hardly travelled. Who knows i could be suspected.
Yes i was so scared that i felt every step i took could lead anyone to suspect me even though i was far from being one of the hostel terrors nor cultists who could easily be suspected as the hand behind such a deadly act.
I drank a glass of water before heading out of my room. I slowly headed downstairs, towards where i dumped Nmeka’s body days ago. You can’t imagine how nervous and scared i was as i slowly made my way to that place.
Hundreds of students were already at the staircase when i got there. Students from the neighbouring hostels alike. I greeted some of my neighbours who told me of the terrific dicovery. I pretended to be shocked and forced my way to the front of the crowd.
After a little struggle, i succeeded in getting close to Nmeka’s body which was already pulled out from the staircase. The poor girl was now lying just some steps away from where she was originally dumped, looking pale as ever. I drew a bit close as if i was very concerned.
“do you know her?” a girl quickly asked me. I turned to see almost everyone staring curiously at me. I swallowed hard with tension. My guilty conscience shook me like an earthquake.
“what?” i stammered.
“do you know her?” the hostel president asked, before the girl could repeat her question.
“hell no. That’s exactly what i came to check” i managed to reply, dashing all their hopes.
“nobody knows her. She has no I.d or anything” the girl who asked the first question explained, while i shrugged, saying nothing.
The relief i felt as i heard the girl’s explanation was quite enormous. I really had feared the question was asked with suspicion.
However i still feared the worst was yet to come. I knew there must surely be a scapegoat. A sacrificial lamb who will be blamed for such a horrible crime.
Who will it be??.
The school SUG president soon showed up with the school authorities and the police, quickly dispersing everyone.
“you can now go on with your various activities, we are here to take charge of the situation. Be rest assured that the person behind this outrageous crime will be caught. If you have any information to share please don’t hesitate to bring it to our knowledge. Mind how you talk to the press or better still leave us to do the talking. You are warned” the Dean of students addressed us before we were dispersed.
I returned to my room extremely scared and afraid. I couldn’t imagine what the outcome of their investigation will be.
I didn’t leave my room all through the rest of that day. I simply stayed indoors with my conscience punishing me. I was ready to do anything for my fears to go away.
Nmeka’s body was taken away later in the afternoon. I couldn’t help but peep through my window as an ambulance carried the poor thing away. Yes the time was precisely 3:15pm. I really couldn’t imagine what caused the delay in moving a body discovered very early in the morning.
However some minutes after her body was taken away. A strange kind of dizziness took over my entire body. It was as if my room was spinning round with me in the center. I lost balance and collasped on my bed, breathing heavily while sweat drenched my body.
I couldn’t believe nor understand what was happening. I never experienced such a thing before, but luckily i regained myself some minutes after.
I tried hard to think what could have happened, but just couldn’t figure out anything. Not only was my eyes now seeing things that never was, the rest of my body has equally joined in the game.
Could Nmeka’s spirit be behind this?” i wondered Miserably.
“but i didn’t kill nobody. It was just an accident. I did what i had to do to save face” i kind of spoke aloud before realising myself.
A sharp knock of my door, quickly notified me of a visitor waiting outside.
“was i heard?. Is it the police?” i nervously asked myself as i slugglishly went to my door.

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