God is our Help

Psalm 46:1 God [is] our refuge and strength, a very present help in trouble.

http://goo.\ngl/Q7hrP

Hey guys… Just thought about sharing this uplifting scripture.. In this time of crisis, let’s all put our hopes on Jesus.. Cause he got the power to make all things beautiful.. He’s still doing Good and he’s the only one who can help us out of this pandemic.. And he is gonna do just that cause he loves us all…

Please do take out time to read Psalm 46.. It will really bless you..

Do have a lovely day..

Crazy Family Secrets

Today started off when I was basically grounded by my mom for staying out late the previous night.. I mean is that such a big deal?…. Anyways, at least I don’t have to worry about babysitting my baby sister, Abby. My mom never trusts me with her… Well that’s a good thing.. Don’t judge me Cause I can’t deal with her tears.. It’s debilitating. I mean there are some days that I just wanna put her in an oven.

So my mom drives out and didn’t as much as wave at me. She’s hell mad but why should she be? I’m 18 years old, an adult.

I moved away from the window and sat down on the couch in our living room. I couldn’t believe that I would be grounded for a week; no going out, no phone; my mom will literally start picking my calls and I know that it wont be long before my friends stop calling cause my mom would always yell at them, telling them to get off the line and do something reasonable with their time.. She would call my male friends predators and Locals and keep threatening them with the cops if they don’t leave me alone.

I could remember countless times hearing her yelling on the phone. She began yelling too often ever since she and my dad got divorced. I would hide and stare as she kept yelling, sometimes I wonder if really someone was on the phone; I’d thought my mom was crazy and sometimes I would try to talk my eldest sister, Marcy to talk my mom into seeing a psychiatrist, but she was always damn too busy checking her phone or going out. I rarely ever saw my elder brother, Memo. He rarely ever came home. He was able to convince my mom about trying a scholarship into Stanford and he needed to stay at his friend’s place to be able to read up for the exam.

I rarely ever stayed home, none of us really did.. My mom was busy with her career and her new crush.. His name is Jonas.. A basketball player.

Marcy always went out.. She always had somewhere to crash… Sometimes I thought she was tired of my mom, trying of being the target of my mom’s constant nagging… Well we didn’t talk much, you know as girls..

My parents destroyed the sibling bond between me, Memo and Marcy. We didn’t get to do things that other brother and sister did.. My dad, from the time I could remember, never allowed Memo into my room. He never let us share anything. Not even a plate of ice cream. Everyone had to have theirs.

Again, We didn’t go to the same school. My parents never took us shopping.. Everyone had to go fend for themselves. My dad only managed to pay our fees in school but never showed up for bring your father to class day, and rarely picked me and dropped me off to school..

When I was still little, my mom would give me to Aunt Patti, a former neighbor of ours to pick me and drop me off at school. She didn’t have any kids of her own, so she obliged to it. She loved it. Once I asked her why my mom won’t hang out with me and then she replied slowly and quietly as though fearing that someone might hear and said;

” people don’t know what they have until they loose it. “ and then kissed me on the head.

****

So after my mom drove out, I sat down and stared at the TV. My mom’d unplug the TV socket so I don’t watch TV and so I was pretty much screwed. I tried not to think of Misty and Travis, her bf. Misty was my best friend. She’d live in Becker street which was a different side of the tracks for me as I lived in Amber street with my mom and siblings.

I starred around. It was as though I was playing chase hunt. I noticed the silver plastering in the living room. My mom didn’t change that. I’d remember her saying she wouldn’t leave a trace of my dad’s memory. My dad loved silver color. Almost everything in the house was silverware; our TV was silverware, the couch was silverware, the cars, garage, cutleries, bathroom, even the painting in the house. I’d never noticed this until I moved around the house. The front door was opened with a little gate which I could easily jump over was standing in front of me. Sometimes I wonder how really was I grounded. I could easily escape but then I didn’t want to try my mom’s crazy. I mean I’ve seen her ram a dog with her car.. Some how I’d figure that she would find out if I should escape, so I didn’t and we were on summer break so no school officially for me.

I moved towards the garage and saw the silver color used and as I turned around, I saw my neighbor playing fetch with another dog. He frowned at seeing me. He was the neighbor whose previous dog my mom rammed. I started walking slowly. I didn’t want any mean remark from him and sure enough, he didn’t call me back.

I entered inside and locked the door. I was so terrified but I couldn’t tell what I was afraid of.

A whisper sound made me jump and run into my mom’s room. I didn’t stop running till I slammed into her wardrobe. It was pretty weird. The room was wide enough, the ground slippery, pieces of furniture on the floor and yet none of it slipped me.

Immediately I landed with my head on the wardrobe, a heavy book fell on me and I was thrown down and then I jerked up, shook my head a little and then looked into my mom’s room.

I couldn’t hide my startle on seeing my mom’s bedroom. I’d never come in here before; the lights, the purple curtain used, the flowery scent, the A.C, the roses spread on the bathtub, the nice smaller wooden cupboard, with a mirror built on it and then when I opened the drawer, I saw a phone placed on a picture. I took the phone away and saw the picture. It was my dad and his new side chick.

The phone chimed and I swiped it open as it didn’t have a password and then I saw half written letters composed by my mom to my dad. I didn’t know she missed him that much.

Dearest Nick, missing you so much. I would like to kill that bitch who stole you away from me.. Hahahaha.”

Added to the letter was a picture of my Dad and my dad’s new girlfriend, Becky.

My dad was a musician and I noticed that my mom kept watching all his live feed as well as old music sung by him. It was hard for her to watch, especially walking with her on the red carpet at an award festival.

My mom had a screenshot of my dad and Becky walking on a red carpet to receive a VMA award and had commented

” She’s a real bitch!” On YouTube.

I looked over at her WhatsApp messages and I saw a message sent by Jonas.

Hey beautiful, thinking of you all night long.

Somehow, I knew he was a dirty flirt. I decided to reply.

He was online the minute I started chatting and then I texted.

“Hi, it’s me Anabel.”

Am Frank.” He said ..

What a liar? Using fake names, oooh shit! Is Jonas actually his real name?” I thought. But I played along.

Wow, that’s nice, saw your picture on Facebook and well I must say you’re damn handsome… So I thought I’d take your number..” I said

Wow that’s nice. ” he replied.

Alright, so what do you do?”

” Am a doctor. ”

I almost wanted to ask;

A what?”

But I knew he’d catch me so i didn’t. My mom told me that this Jonas guy was a basketball player. Well a guy who could give a false name , every statement he makes are just horse apples.

OK that’s cute. But can you give me an address of your house, I’d love to talk to you in person. ” He said.

I couldn’t believe it.. He couldn’t wait for the first day to end.. I wondered if he was some dubious serial killer, or just some stupid phony.

No can do. At work.” I replied.

So tell me something, how old are you?”

Since I had no display picture, I decided to download a grown up lady picture. I didn’t use a celebrity. I wanted to use Marcy picture as my dp but I’d figure that this guy was trouble so i didn’t.

Wow nice pics.” he replied, ten minutes after I uploaded it.

Thanks.”

Nice hair and boobs and nice bra.” He said.

I stuck a laughing emoji.

You’re damn hot.. Well from the look of this picture, am guessing you’re in your twenties.”

I didn’t know why I couldn’t just tell him I was 18.

But I didn’t need to.

” Wait, isn’t this Grace’s ( my mom’s) phone.”

” It sure is and am her friend Anabel, wait till I tell her that her wonderful bf is cheating on her. Can’t wait to see the look on her face when I tell her that her bf is a liar, that Jonas ain’t even his real name.”

Please don’t do that.. I know how crazy Grace gets when she’s angry. I will stay away from her. In fact I will cancel the hotel date I planned with her..

No you won’t.. You must go on that date with her.

You will be her boyfriend for another 2 months and then you disappear from her life. When I mean disappear, you will leave this city. And in case you don’t know, my husband is a highly ranked officer, so if you don’t do what I say, you have your ass locked up in jail, especially when i tell him that you tried to lure me. I can cook up evidence that can send you to jail for a long time. You will be all over the news and be tagged the cyber predator and I promise you it won’t be funny. You will be in a jail for a long time and you will have a hard time clearing your name. So are we on the same page?”

I couldn’t believe how easily the lies flew out. I had to hold myself from laughing.

Promise me you won’t tell her about our encounter.” He said.

” Of course not. Am her friend. I want to protect her.”

” Ok. Bye.”

And the chat ended.

I looked away from the phone and my gaze trolled towards a door near my mum’s bedroom. I’d never noticed this door. After living in this house almost my entire life. I stood before the door. It was like any door, metal cushioned silverware with brown knobs. Every door in the house looked the same. I remember countless times i mistook my room for Marcy’s.

I pushed the door open and moved inside. Everything about this room smelt of history. 2 trunks lay on the floor and a picture album lay on the floor so like the one I saw in my mum’s room.

Then I saw lots of lost items in the closet. I didn’t know my mom kept Marcy’s bags and shoes. Red bags and red shoes. It was imported by her bf ‘s dad from London. She clearly didn’t like them, at least that’s what she obviously said, but Marcy wore them. In fact one time Marcy wore it , a flowery red gown , and the red bag and red shoe, my mom told her to drop the bag and shoe and Marcy in her recalcitrant manner refused and my mom told her she either does that or she won’t go on the date with her bf. And her bf was waiting for her in his ford ranger car parked on the road.

The heated argument between Marcy and my mom lasted for 20 minutes with lots of swearing and shouting and then I heard the shattering of a glass cup. I knew it was Marcy. She always does that in the fit of rage. I heard the door open and saw her bf entering inside just before Marcy called my mom crazy to her face .

Her bf wore a slim fit suit and tuxedo inside and a tight pant. There was a judgmental look he gave when he entered inside. His eyes almost closing, the deep furrow on his forehead, the way he bent his lips sent a message that was unsaid. He looked at Marcy with that stare and she told him to get the fuck out of her house. He turned around, walked out the door and drove off. I thought Marcy would call him back but she didn’t. She silently cleaned up the broken glass.

The next thing I saw made me almost cry. I saw my graduation picture frame. I and Misty with Travis standing in the middle, his hands spread across our shoulders. I couldn’t believe that my mom came. I could remember Travis mom hugging him when his name was called and a folded rolled white paper was put into his hands after being shaken by our principal. He was nominated for best science student of the year.

As I stood in line, I saw Misty mom taking pictures . Not only her, but literally everyone was taking pictures and shouting.

I could remember how free my spirit was for the first time when we threw our berets. There was so much joy and laughter. It was so contagious that i couldn’t question it. I didn’t have anyone show up at my graduation. My dad and mum had already divorced then, Marcy went on a date and Memo was graduating in his own school , so literally no one was planning on coming. Well finding out that my mom did come didn’t give me any satisfaction.

I remember Misty mom giving the final shot just soon a guy bumped into her and yelled;

” Move away lady.”

Just before we threw away our beret and yelled excitedly.

As I moved down with Misty, I saw her dad running and hugging her.

Here’s to your big day.” He said, handling a car key in her hands and pointed a black Honda Accord car parked two miles from where we were standing.

I could see the radiating excitement on her face. She dragged me by the hand and we got to the car. She entered inside the car, turning the steering wheel and laughing.

I watched her as she hugged him and then saw that something was tossed into her hands and when she opened it, it was her drivers licence . She was so excited.

Daddy, I love you.” She said over and over again.

OK honey, need to get back to work. Don’t worry the fun isn’t over yet.” Her dad said to her before pushing backward and kissed Misty’s mum and kept pushing back and smiling before i saw him enter a Ford jeep and it drove out immediately.

As I stood staring, I heard Misty’s mum voice;

Places people”

I turned around and moved towards the car. Misty and Travis were already standing and smiling for a pose. Their eyes on each other. His hand cuddling her and she smiling. And then I went to the end, near Misty, grabbing her hands which was left flaggy on the air. She didn’t seem to notice but then I saw her mum pulling Travis who stood at Misty’s right and drop him in the middle. I was caught staring and their eyes still met each other and the only thing I heard was a finger snap.

Misty’s mom had taken the shot of us staring. I looked like someone who had Amnesia. I couldn’t help but stare at Misty and Travis getting lost in each other.

Misty’s mom took the next shot . This time we stood near Rosa park’s statue which was in the middle of the school. Travis stood in the middle, his hands spread across our backs. I’d see lots of parents and children and two guys , one holding a bass drum with a rope tied on her neck. The other guy had a snare drum which had a rope , tied on his neck. They were playing. It was so amazing. Everyone kept cheering them on as they played.

Most of my course mates were taking beautiful shots at a red carpet stand. I saw Chad and Kia and Paul and Ruth. They were taking picture at the red carpet stand. Ruth and Kia took first. Chad and Paul took next. Chad and Kia took next and Paul and Ruth took final shot before they all gathered together and took final picture. I kept blinking my eyes because of the continuous camera flash.

I wanted to remember more things but then seeing a video camera took my interest. On the camera was written;

January 16th 2007″

I didn’t know what it was but I knew it held something memorable and sure it did. It was the day Abby was born. At first I wasn’t sure what it was. I felt I was gonna find a secret, like a video of a killing spree or robbery, not sure what it was, I opened it.

It was the video of my mom being stretchered hurriedly into the labour room. It was as though her eyes were fading.

Breathe honey, we are almost there.” My dad voiced.

I could hear loud noise accompanied with camera flashes. I could hear a lady voice;

Please sign your autograph.”

And a nurse shouting;

Back off people.”

I didn’t know paparazzi followed celebrities to the hospital. They were everywhere, always taking photos and videos.

It was part of why we didn’t hang out together as a family. Marcy didn’t like the fame, although she liked being rich. I remember one time my dad came to pick her from school in his Black Ford car. He just stepped out of the car and immediately everyone on the road started shouting. News reporters came from where ever they were, trying to ask him few questions. Parents kept asking him to sign his autographs on their papers, some even on their foreheads.

Marcy had just finished her final exams that day and was walking outside the building with her friend, Katie when she saw dad’s car parked opposite the school. Everyone was cheering his name;

Nick! Nick!!.”

Katie ran forward and started shouting. She didn’t know about him being Marcy’s dad. She didn’t know about Me or Memo, or my mom. I still don’t get why she had to be ashamed of her family. Everyone else would have been bragging.

Katie stood with my dad, taking pictures and laughing.

And then Marcy was walking down, ear plugged, moving slowly towards a bus when my dad called out;

Honey, over here.”

Marcy kept on walking as though she didn’t hear him or know him and so he shouted;

Hey everyone, that’s my daughter, Marcy”

Marcy then looked up as half her school cheered for her. She was so red faced by the shouting and stares that she said;

“Am ok Nick, I think I should use the bus.”

Are you sure?.”

Yeah.”

Marcy started walking towards the bus when Katie screamed;

” I can’t believe Nick’s your dad.”

And Marcy sharply and coldly replied;

He ain’t my dad.”

Marcy statement caught headline and it was captioned;

Popular Musician, Nick Howard’s daughter, denies her father at school.”

And the short video of Katie saying;

” I can’t believe Nick’s your dad.”

And she replying;

He ain’t my dad.”

Was on screen for a week.

That evening, Marcy was very angry with my dad. I could remember that evening. I, Memo and Marcy sat beside each other. Memo sat in the middle of the both of us. Mum sat opposite me and dad was next to me. At the right end of the dinning table. He usually sat there whenever we had lunch or dinner and no one ever took that spot. It was an unspoken rule.

We each had a plate of chicken cacciatore and a glass of wine. My dad said grace and we dug in.

There was a strain silence at dinner that hushed us all as the reporter on CNN kept talking about the event that transpired at Marcy’s school. No one said anything. I kept looking at My dad’s eyes as he stared at Marcy a I watched Marcy as she poked the Chicken hard with the fork. I kept looking at my dad, begging him with my eyes to say something to lighten the tensed mood but he didn’t. And being that we ain’t a close family, no one would talk about his/ her day or what’s going on in his/her life. The only time we ever talked was when my dad says something funny about how women kept pushing one another for him to sign on their face. How rip each other hair, talking crazy;

Hey am here first.” A lady will say.

Bitch, shut up.” Another will reply

Fuck you ugly chipmunk..”

And then dad will say;

Ladies calm down.”

Tell her ugly face to leave. She ain’t worth your saliva.”

Oh yeah, at least my child doesn’t smoke crack like yours does, neither does my husband sleep around like a whore in bikinis.”

And they keep on thrash talking each other until one of them looses it and slap the other and the other pulls at her hair and they start fighting.

My dad loves the action flick. He enjoys being flattered by women so much that he doesn’t let my mom follow him to big events so that people don’t easily remember that they’re married. It is so weird and so was the silence at dinner.

The only thing that broke the silence was when Marcy got up, picked up her glass cup and smashed it on the TV.

I couldn’t help but look at her. The way she got up. There was everything wrong about her posture when she got up. She didn’t seem angry, hardly got up to push Memo’s hand gently so she would get a room. She was relaxed and a faded smile crept on her face. Then she took the glass cup as though to raise it into her mouth as there was still wine in the glass cup.

I didn’t know what took my attention off her but while I looked at my plate, I heard a shatter. I looked up as my dad jerked his shoulder as though dodging the already shattered glass. I looked at everyone. They all kept eating as though nothing happened. Marcy took her plates, pushed back her chair and walked straight into the kitchen.

The only thing I heard was her footstep and the scraping of fork and knives. The moment she stepped outside the dinning door, the place returned to it’s wonted quiet.

I remembered how quickly we looked at my dad and how quickly our eyes got back to our plates. I wondered why Marcy didn’t say a word at all to dad but then I understood that she didn’t have to, her action said a whole lot.

So, I pushed back my hair and continue looking at the video of my mum being led by the team of nurses , a doctor, and my dad, into the labour room and when they entered inside the room and shut the door, the clip ended.

I pressed ‘ NEXT’ on the video recorder and I saw my mum holding my little sister in her hands. She looked scaled on the video. Her eyes were closed and her head bald. I couldn’t believe that this hunker – do- di was my sister.

I could hear voices in the room. I saw my aunt Clara and uncle John and some other people , and of course the baby’s loud whimper.

I kept hearing;

” God, the baby’s so cute”

” Awww.. Look how pretty she is”

” Baby, make a fist. Make a fist for Uncle John”

” Beautiful baby with the prettiest smile.”

Just then I heard noise at the door. I knew it was those Paparazzi. My dad quickly opened the door for them. I knew my mom didn’t want the press on her at that moment but she would do anything to please my dad.

I had earlier saw how cold my dad was to the baby. He wasn’t excited. No kiss or hugs from him. He behaved as though the baby wasn’t his. As though mom got pregnant out of wedlock and he just had to put up as the good guy. Was that why he left ?As though the baby was an extra burden that he didn’t and couldn’t carry.

I’d notice how he made series of phone calls out the window. He kept saying one minute but the call didn’t stop. No. Not until the paparazzi walked in.

I then noticed the full attention he started giving my mum and little baby sister. He kissed mum on her cheek and told the press about how excited he was about having to look out for the baby. How he was now Dad 3. How he forgot how sweet it was watching a baby grow, teaching a baby how to walk, talk, feed herself and ride a bicycle He wasn’t gonna be relieved of this moment easily.

“It’s great being a dad.”

I watched him kiss mom who tired to create a happy face. But the facade was glaring. They kept smiling. And then the screen went blank.

I looked at the video recorder as it slid from my hands and fell inside the trunk. I looked up and then my nose sniffed irritably at the dust in the room. It was though no one had steeped in this room for months. The floor was dusty, so were my hands and face.

I looked into the trunk again and noticed a phone. It looked new even though it was dusty as everything else in the trunk.

I picked the phone and tapped on it and it opened. That was weird, No password.

As soon as the phone opened, I saw a live feed of a street. I knew the phone was used as a tracking device. I could see the hand of whoever was wearing the tracking chip but I couldn’t see his face. Mum must have pinned the chip on his/ her arm.

I heard an old crappy voice;

Memo!”

” Yeah man, what’s up?”

” Cool, you got my dope?”

” Yeah, he got your dope.” Another guy responded.

I could see his face clearly when Memo stretched out his hands to shake him. His name was Rick. He lived with his mum in Bluebonnet lane. I only saw him once, two weeks ago. He came over to help Memo pack some of his stuff to his house. They were high school buddies.

Memo had begged mom that evening to let him stay over at his place so that he could prepare for his Standford scholarship exam. I could remember the suspicious look I gave him. The queasy in my guts told me he was lying and I guess mom could feel it too.

I felt suspicious because he never asked mom’s permission to go over to his friend’s house; we all never did. Mom’s only law was that we come home that same day otherwise we are grounded. It was a law my dad made and it still stood.

Mom didn’t say anything. She was watching TV and I sat arm length from her.

When were you planning on telling me? You just walk in and start packing stuff.”

” My stuff.” Memo said.

Mum looked at them and then walked into her room and within seconds she came out with a wrist watch and some cash.

” Thanks mum.” Memo smiled gleefully as he took it. And with that he walked out of the house.

I’d figure then that mom let him off because she knew Rick’s dad or something. I couldn’t believe she was spying on him.

I watched as Memo took two red bags and handed it to the old guy. Memo was standing by the car waiting for a tip but what he got was a pistol shoved in his face.

” Hands in the air you cunt. NYPD, you’re under arrest.” He said, using his gun to knock him out. I knew the tracking was strapped to his wrist watch. So it was difficult watching the view from the ground level but I didn’t see Rick and my gut told me that Rick had tipped the officer. He was his secret informer who tipped him off about drug dealers.

Memo was raised from the ground and put inside the car and just before I knew it, the phone screen went black.

I put down the phone only to hear my mom’s car tyre screech into the garage. I knew she would take forever before entering inside so that gave me plenty of time to arrange the trunk , cover it, enter her room and put the family album back on top of the wardrobe, delete my chat with Jonas, her boyfriend and shut the door. My mom won’t find out if anything went amiss in the room. She’d think she did it. Sure my mom had a lot of explaining to do, but if she found me digging through her stuff, the only explanation am gonna get is triple grounding.

I sat in the living room, legs crossed, hands on my legs with a nervous look as though I was hiding something, when mom walked in with Abby.

” Hey mum.”

” Hi!” She replied in her low tune voice.

There was a face she made at me when she walked in as though i did something wrong. Perhaps she hid camera in her room and watched me search her room or the room next to her’s which I call the secret room.

I watched her storm into her room in anger and then she came out with her phone. She was on a call. I could hear her shouting and angry. I was so scared. I moved towards where she was and she looked at me. I could hear Abby’s baby voice from her room. I couldn’t help myself from not looking. And when I put my face inside mom’s room, I could see little Abby playing in her little bed. It didn’t take seconds for mom to come to her room, with a phone stuck in her ears and cursing loudly.

There was a dead silence when she saw me standing by her door. I didn’t get it. Or maybe I did.

I could remember how my dad never liked the idea of Abby sleeping in the same room as them. He didn’t like his sleep being disturbed. He was a superstar who didn’t want to go through parenting a child phase again. He was way past it. He was already tired of having to lookout for Marcy, Memo and I. He was tired of seeing our faces. He wanted us to go to college and move out of his house for good. He’d complain of how he spent more paying the bills whenever we were around. He would talk about how he could turn part of the house to a studio. It was as though were one bane in his life, mum included.

Every night, my patents fought about Abby staying in the room, especially at midnight. I would hear them from my room and later I would see my parents door open and he going to the living room.

My dad clearly stopped coming home. We didn’t see him that often. He couldn’t stand the little “mutt”. And he couldn’t stand mom.

Mom’s voice tossed me out from my thought.

Jonas called. He’s taking me out for dinner. And am freaking out cause Nick is coming and so is that whore of his.

Actually it’s a party at a hotel, and Nick is the guest artist. I mean I don’t really know what to do. I need to look hot. I need Jonas to be all over me. I want him to see just how fine I’ve been without him. I want him to be jealous and I want to throw that his girlfriend off stage. I wanna be so good that it will cut him down at his throat. I want him notice just how fit and perfectly slender I have become. I want him to chase me and I will sniff at him like he were some dog. I will love to watch him roll in dirt and plead for me to come back to him and I will mock him and kiss Jonas in his presence. I wanna watch him bleed, wanna watch him crawl on the ground like I did when he left me, wanna read his text messages and see his calls which I will reply with a picture of me and Jonas and he will go crazy and rip that bitch in half.

Mum suddenly realized herself and looked at me and said;

” Go get the groceries from the car.”

The Good, The Bad and The Ugly

“They say there’s one thing that’s greater than the pen and it’s called a fucking handgun….” He said to the cop and pauses.

The cop pauses and looks as the man suddenly sat still, his hands chained to each other with cuffs and his legs too cuffed together.

The man looked on stubbornly at him but the cop knew that he would confess anyway. It didn’t make sense to keep hiding and the cop knew that their bargain to reduce his sentence if he should tell the truth was mendacious and the cop could see that ‘I’m not stupid’ smile he wore when he said it but then the cop wasn’t impressed, neither would any of the police who watched the interview outside.

The silence persisted. The man saw that the cop wasn’t intimidated by him but had put on the face of a friend, someone who just wanted to talk. He even went as far as turning off the camera and then sat still and offered the man a smoke. The cop took his Cigarette and lighted it. And the man suddenly felt at ease with the cop. The cop didn’t put on his uniform, he just looked casual. He didn’t even take his badge and had shaved.

Nothing was said. But the silence started breaking as both men smiled dubiously and it could be read on both faces;

“I would love to get the hell out of this shithole. ”

They both laughed and stopped and then he started talking.

“Man, it all started on a quiet Wednesday in Alameda street in California.”

He paused and looked at the cop who sat still without moving a flinch and then he smiled and said;

” By the way, am Larid. ”

The cop didn’t say anything. He still remained in the same pose posture; He sat still, leg crossed over, eyes fixed on the criminal, those confident eyes. Larid thought.

Then Larid said;

” what’s your name officer.? ”

No answer.

” Hey officer! ”

” Well I didn’t give it, did I?. ” The officer responded.

What a show off. Larid thought. Then he looked at his badge and caught his name ” Brian ” written on it.

” No you didn’t, officer Brian. ”

Larid could see the offset in Brian’s face. His shock, the anger and the silence could make up for his ego.

What a sulky bastard? Laird thought.

Then the door opened and the chief of police walked in and yelled;

” Brian what’s going on? I sent you in here to get him to talk, not to stare at him.” and then walked out.

Brian could see the smirk in laird face and he damn hell wanted to punch him. Why was he acting so special? What did he know that the police didn’t? The police knew about his brother, Eddie, kidnapping 3 people from a bank; The security guard, a lady and the owner of the bank, Mr Lonnie.

Eddie was masked alongside two other guys who carried out the operation. At the bank, they made away with 10 million. Too low for a heist, especially something calculative like this one and then again, why still kidnap those people? Was there a connection among the victims? It didn’t make sense to Brian or any cop? If they wanted more money, they could have taken a lot more from the bank or was Eddie and his gong using them as hostage?

The door snapped open and another cop entered inside and Brian came back to himself and looked at Laird whose face was devoid of emotion. Brian turned around and saw detective jean enter.

” Time up.” he said and Brian looked at the window and saw inspector Jean disapproving eyes and then he got up and walked out of the interrogation room.

Inspector Jean sat and gave a hard look at laird. Brian knew that there was no wasting time with this detective.

Brian had barely made it out of the interrogation room when he heard the sound of a table crashing down and he turned around and saw detective jean and laird staring face at each other. The table in between them had fallen on the floor and inspector Jean was pointing a gun at laird. He even shot laird on the leg and he wilted in pain. Brian scoffed in disgust. Inspector Jean had just shot Laird and no one did anything. If it were to be him, he would have been suspended.

He could remember how Inspector Jean and he had headed an operation in Garden Grove in LA. 4 robbers, multiple killings and collection of purses and phones from each of the victim. Each victim had a bullet in the head. And they were lying on different side of the road. Their identity were discovered after they were taken to the lab. Their families wailed after they got the news and months after, the fingerprints on the victims faces and throats, even the footprints were taken.

The victims were 4 women, young, mid twenties. The autopsy report proved that the women were raped and strangled and that each of the women had a different male fingerprint on their face and throats. semen were seen on the women.

Brian knew that this women were dumped on the road. He guessed in his head that the killers must have raped them and then strangled them and for no reason, shoot them.

The killers were four males; John , Masc , Jedi and Dogg . An anonymous call came to the police stating what happened to the victims. The caller didn’t give his name or whereabouts. He called Brian, told his story and ended the call.

According to the caller, he had gone to buy fuel at a Gas Station. He was still filing his car when a pick up truck moved in and parked close by near a fuel pump machine. A dude came out of the vehicle to fill the tank. Then the caller saw 4 women at the back seat of the car. They were in a sit up position but they looked drugged and unconscious.

When Brian asked for the plate number of the truck, the caller who had snapped it, called it out for Brian, and then hung up before Brian went to meet his boss.

Thomas, the chief of police, on hearing the recorded call, called in inspector Jean and Dawn, Brian’s partner and together, they listened to the recorded call.

“Looks like we got ourselves a case here. ” Thomas said.

Dawn and Thomas with the help of Nancy, a lady who worked in , Star Ford Lincoln , South Gate , LA, were able to track the owner of the pick up truck . His name was Dogg Peterson.

According to the caller, it was a white pick up truck. Brian and Dawn were able to confirm this. They went to the Gas Station to look at their security cameras and everything was as the caller said. Although the caller didn’t follow them to the place, he gave them the address and later they saw the supposed caller and they identified him as Mr Patrick who lived in Torrance, divorced, with a 16 year old daughter who was with her mom in Boston. He had been divorced for 9 years. After they divorced, his wife, Angela, decided to move over to Boston with her ex boyfriend and her daughter.

The man at the front seat of the vehicle was seen on camera and was identified as John vemi . The man who came out to fill the tank was identified as Dogg Peterson .

Thomas asked Brian and inspector Jean to check it out. Dawn had objected to be on this case and Thomas sided him.

Brian and inspector Jean decided to visit Mr Patrick before looking over for Dogg.

Mr Patrick was already moving into his house when the police came over. He didn’t want them in his house.

” Hey good morning sir. ” Brian said

“what the hell is the goddam police doing in my house? Whatever is it you want, you ain’t seeing it here. Just go on before I make you leave. ” Mr Patrick said.

Inspector Jean came forward and spoke..

” where you the person who called the cops ?”

“I didn’t do anything wrong by being a good citizen, whatever you find incriminating about the facts I gave it wasn’t intentional and please don’t take my name on the news. I wanna remain anonymous.. It took serious guts and balls to call you guys.. I believe I did good, at least to the cops? ”

” We don’t want no trouble. We just want to know our mystery caller. ” Brian said.

” Guess I will be leaving LA this week . Maybe move over to London. ” Mr Patrick said. But that didn’t scare inspector Jean.

” You may go to shitburg for all I care but when we catch this guys, you make sure you bring your ass to court, at least so we won’t look like fools before the judge… We need a witness and we have a good shot at you, so if you make us look stupid, just know that it’s all over for you cause your ass will always be on the run and finally in jail. ”

The next day, Brian and inspector Jean set off to Dogg’s house. He was just coming out, about to enter his car when Brian and inspector Jean showed up. They were in suit.

” Hey, can I help you? ” Dogg said.

” I’m officer Brian, and this is officer jean… ”

” Inspector Jean ” Inspector Jean said, and then waved a hand at Brian and continued speaking;

” we came out here so you could help us with these murder cases. ” he said, showing him the pictures of the 4 ladies and then Dogg started digging his hands into his jacket and before he could bring it out, inspector Jean shot him twice in the chest and Dogg feel down and a barrel gun rolled out from his jacket.

Just before Brian could recover from the shooting, 3 other guys came out with guns and inspector Jean, not waiting for them to walk out the front door, shot them many times and their bodies lay on the floor, their double barrel guns were on the floor too.

Brian kept staring at what had happened. The quickness of the whole thing scared him.

The police were quickly called in and the 4 men were taken to the hospital and that’s when their identity were revealed; Jedi, masc, John and Dogg.

They took DNA samples from this men to test with the 4 women who were killed and it matched. The truck which was seen on camera was found in the garage and was taken for searching and blood sparkles were seen at the edge of the back doors and on the seat and it matched the victims. It was then discovered that these men had no connection with this women.They were just random killers, they didn’t have any personal relationship with the victims. The victims were just in the wrong place at the wrong time.

Laird’s scream brought Brian back to himself. And now that he had time to think things through, he felt grateful that Inspector Jean had did what he did. It saved them both and above all, those women killers have finally been brought to justice, and above all, he won’t have to prove no damn thing to the judge, neither will those men.They won’t have a chance of getting a good lawyer to free them. They would never be able to do what they did to another person but Brian couldn’t be more grateful that he was alive.

And then inspector Jean voice boomed out;

” Looks like he’s ready to talk. ”

” Quick and easy. ” yelled Dawn

***

Laird sat chained on the hands. Brian took the wheels while Dawn sat at the front seat.. He was directing them to where Eddie and the victims were. Larid’s voice kept saying, ‘go this way’ or ‘ go that way ‘ , or ‘ stop’, ‘ enter. ‘

Brian kept moving, listening to every single word laird spoke. Dawn said nothing. The only time Dawn spoke was when he spoke on his transmitter;

” I think this guy’s playing us. ”

” well if he is, I’m gonna beat him to a pup. ” inspector Jean said. And Dawn looked back at laird and saw how frightened he suddenly became and this made Dawn smile.

Brian moved from the road and headed into Gospel swamp. Laird took them to particular spots where different dead bodies were found. It shocked him. He could remember countless times people were reported missing. The sight of the corpse puked Brian. He really needed a transfer. He couldn’t keep up with the numerous murder cases that he solves. The crime here is too much. Garden Grove is regarded as a very unsafe city in the USA.

” We’ve reached the place and it’s pilled up with dead bodies, 12 dead bodies and they are all covered in swamp mud. Looks like this Eddie dude is a serial killer , and a dumb one.. Why kill his victims and dump them in a swamp where they could be washed out?.” Dawn spoke on his transmitter.

” We are sending a team right in your location. ” Thomas said.

Few hours later, the police arrived and all the bodies at the swamp were taken. They were long dead and their bodies looked decayed. They were taken into the lab but the police couldn’t find the bank victims .

” Do you have any clue where your brother could be? Time is running out, we got to save those hostages! And stop him. ” Dawn said to laird.

Laird laughed and smiled..

“Hostages…. What makes you so sure that they aren’t dead.”

He was still laughing when a heavy punch on his face took the smirk away. He turned and saw inspector Jean.

Brian could see the fear in laird eyes. The blow had knocked out larid tooth.

” Where is Eddie.? ” Inspector Jean yelled..

” I don’t know. ” laird said.

” Don’t lie to me, man. ”

” He was supposed to be here. ” laird said.

Brian phone rang. It was Thomas. He clicked.

” They got nothing. ” Thomas said.

” Hello chief. ” Brian said, thinking Thomas was talking to another person .

No answer.

” Chief!”

” They’ve got nothing man. This dead guys you found are campers, probably bitten by snakes or pythons. Venoms were found inside their bodies. Looks like they were strangled hard by the snakes but somehow were able to take them all out, you know what I mean, not get swallow up. ”

Brian hung up the phone and turned around just in time for inspector Jean and two officers came forward.

” Thomas just texted me, looks like we’ve been pranked and we found 2 tents erected downhills and camp fire in the middle of the tents and a long range gun was found in the water.. Well you could imagine. ”

” Fuck! ” Dawn yelled

At the same time, inspector Jean turned around and gave laird a heavy blow on the side of his head.

” You motherfucker! where is larid? ” he said, holding him by the collar.

” I don’t know, I swear to God. ”

” You fuckin piece of shit! ” inspector Jean punched his face twice before Dawn pulled him away. laird spat out blood.

Just then, Jordan, a 911 dispatcher called Brian. He picked it and thenher voice rang out;

” There’s someone on the line calling, it’s an emergency. She said 2 masked guys brought in 3 hostages and had everyone in the hospital hostage. She said she worked a the food service worker in the hospital. When I asked her who was in the hospital, she told me everyone was at the hospital. Patients and workers. She said the guys brought in a very sick man and just before I knew it, I heard a bang and the line went dead. ”

” Looks like we got our man. ” Brian said, turning over and saw Dawn. Soon, inspector Jean came over and said;

” There’s been a hostage situation at a hospital, let’s move. ”

****

Eddie looked at his little brother, Stan . The more he saw his brother pained, the more angrier he became. He couldn’t watch him die. He could remember the doctor telling his mum that Stan had congenital heart disease. He could remember how stiffly his mum was. it was as though everything in her was freezed. She couldn’t believe it. The doctor held her cold hands and told her that everything was gonna be alright. His brother stayed in the hospital for 3 months and he and his mum always went to see him and everything time he saw Stan deteriorating, he got more angrier. And worse still, his step father, Lonnie, and his bimbo of a girlfriend, kept moving on with their lives as though nothing happened.

Lonnie owned a bank and he and Rachel, Eddie’s mum, had married after he became rich. Rachel was previously married to Kingsley, a finical secretary of a huge store, with whom she had Eddie and Stan before she divorced him after she met Lonnie.

The first time they met was at his bank, Grigetton bank. She had newly started working there. Kingsley, her husband, got laid off from work as a finical secretary of a kidies store. It was a very big store with a net worth of over 400 million dollars.

Kingsley and the two guys decided to rob the store on a Christmas evening. It was a big heist that they were planning. They wanted to steal 1 billion from the store . Chess, a bartender who worked at a bar close to the store had come up with the idea. Kingsley had come to have a drink on that evening when he heard chesss talking about it with another guy, Leo.

Kingsley didn’t know why, but he decided to help them. He introduced himself and grabbed a seat close to Leo. There was a suspicious way Leo looked at him, as though he was gay and so Kingsley held up his wedding ring.

” You’re married? ” Leo asked.

Kingsley didn’t reply but brought out his phone and showed them Rachel picture and his two sons.

“wow that’s great, you’re a father too. Nice! ”

And so the two guys allowed him in their company and they got along very quickly and they knew they could really use him, especially being that he worked at the store.

Kingsley had snuck into the store at midnight and was able to shut out the cameras. The security guards was drugged by chess and so it was an easy task.

By morning, Kingsley set up a smoke in the building which triggered the fire alarm and everyone headed for the exit of the building while chess and Leo hid in the ceiling.

When everyone was out, the three guys went to a computer. Chess and Kingsely had earlier shut out the cameras and so he went to work. He hacked into the accounts of the store. The store had over 30 accounts in 6 countries. He sent a virus into 3 banks in LA so their computers stopped. And he kept transferring money from these accounts to an account that Chess opened in London . He opened it in the name of one Friman Johnson. He had stolen the man’s ID at an airport and had even been using his credit card , piling up lots of debts for him. He had sent Friman Johnson ID to the bank and they immediately opened it in his name.

Friman Johnson was arrested after the police traced the accounts.

But a receptionist of a hotel where Chess had lodged called the cops, reporting the credit card stolen. And then she sent the video of chess using the credit card and the police tracked him down and arrested him.

While at the station, the receptionist of the London bank where he opened the account called Chess and Brian picked.

” Hey there, I’m just checking in. I would love to have an interview with you, not that am suspecting you, cause you’re a good man with an impeccable Character but protocols must be followed. And I would love to see you, Friman Johnson.”And immediately the line went dead.

Chess, immediately he was taken into prison, exposed everything that went down. He was a coward.

The police immediately released Friman Johnson and 2 days later, arrested Leo and Kingsley.

Kingsley was at work when he saw the cops entering the building. it was 3 months since the heist and he had a feeling of ease although somehow he knew he would be caught and that’s why he didn’t dry playing the chase game with the police. When, he wasn’t certain but he off course knew.

He was watching some stuff on his computer when the police, with his boss leading the way, entered his office. It still didn’t click. Until one of the cops came behind him and said;

“you’re under arrest.. You’ve been caught. ” before mirandizing him.

He got up and walked out of the store with the police behind.

Few months after he was imprisoned, Rachel served him the divorce papers and he signed it.

****

Lonnie and Rachel got married a year after Kingsley was imprisoned and neither Eddie or Stan saw their father again.

2 years after she got married to Lonnie, she discovered that he was cheating on her with Sarah, his secretary. She found both of them in Lonnie house, having sex on their bed and she was shocked like really shocked. it was so much to take. She couldn’t believe Lonnie would do that to her. I mean she praised him and loved him and adored him. She knew she couldn’t stay. And a week later, she decided to file for divorce. Since they signed a prenuptial agreement before they got married, Lonnie got to keep all his wealth and she was left with nothing. He didn’t as much as continue paying for Stan’s treatment. He wasn’t his kid anyway. And the hospital decided to get rid of Stan and give him back to his mum.

3 months after the divorce, Eddie with his friends decided to rob Griggtonn’s bank, owned by Lonnie. They took 10 million out of the bank, and still kidnapped Lonnie, his wife and the security guard, Mr Thompson.

Lonnie, too, had gone ahead to marry Sarah.

Even now as Eddie stared at Lonnie and his wife, he couldn’t help but hate them. They were gagged and tied up.

One of Eddie’s men, four, dragged an unconscious lady into the surgery room and held her phone screen on Eddie’s face and said;

” She called the cops. ”

” Fuck! ” Eddie yelled and turned around and looked at the scared doctor and said;

” Just so we are clear, if Stan dies, you too will join him, and I will come after your family.. This is not Rachel Evans, this is her son and that’s my brother over there. So make it good. ”

” But he needs a new heart. ”

“Not a problem. ” Eddie said, shooting Lonnie on the head twice and his body throbbed and fell. And with the shooting, Sarah screamed. Eddie pointed his gun at her and said;

” Bitch! shut the fuck up. I will be with you in a minute. ”

Lonnie’s heart was removed from his chest. it was a gruesome and bloody mes. The surgery lasted for hours.

****

Brian and Dawn and the rest of the police team, arrived at the hospital. It’s been 40 minutes since the PR called. The phone dispatcher had said that she heard a bang and the line went dead. Brian prayed she wasn’t dead.

As soon as Eddie saw the police cars, he went outside with one of the hostages with a gun in his hand;

” I’ve got plenty hostages, you back off or I shoot. ” he said.

Brian watched Eddie go back inside with the hostage. He imagined what was going through the mind of the hostages.

As he stood, a police car drove in and the driver door opened and inspector Jean came out.

” Hey officer Brian, what do we got on the hostage situation?”

” Nothing! We don’t know how many hostages are in there but looks like they’re lots of hostages. PR, when she called, said everyone was still in the building, workers and patients. ”

” Have you tried talking to Eddie, like get him to talk.? ”

” He just drove me on.”

” what about his brother, laird? I don’t think he knows we got him. We can use him to make a trade with the hostages. We got a leverage. ”

Few minutes later, laird was brought out of the van, cuffed on the hands and feet. They went to the security camera and made him stand in the middle.

Eddie was still watching the doctor as he cut his brother open and began to remove his bad heart. Some many equipments were on the table. Then, four, his friend entered, painting.

” They got larid. The cops got larid! ”

Eddie went and called Brian.

” Hey dear fella ” he said, immediately Brian answered.

” whose this? ” Brian asked.

” So you got larid. ”

” Hey asshole, we fuckin got your brother, release the hostages or watch him die slowly. ” Brian said.

” You can’t do that cause you’re fuckin weak. I, on the other hand has killed Lonnie, my fuckin step dad and his bitch wife is here too and I plan on killing her. And I wish you guys would have seen his heart taken out. ”

“You Bastard!” inspector Jean yelled. And he came over with a gun and pointed it at Laird’s head as they headed for the main entrance to the building.

” You release those goddam hostages or I burst his caps. ” he said.

” you can’t do that you’re a cop and cops don’t have balls. ” Eddie said, and immediately, a bullet flew out of the window and hit laird on the head and he fell dead.

Inspector Jean was taken aback by fear. He ran off whimpering.

” See what I mean, you got no balls and larid isn’t my brother. He was just a distraction. I shot him on the leg at the bank on purpose so you guys would find him.. See the way he led you on. It was great watching you guys fool yourselves .. lol.”

Inspector Jean was still out of breath. He couldn’t believe what just happened.

Brian got a call from Jordan. He wanted to cut it but he took the call.

“Hello. ” he said.

“Brian! ” Jordan replied.

” Now’s not a good time…. ”

” She didn’t let him finish before saying;

” I looked at Eddie’s profile and I found out that he has a mum, Rachel Evans and a brother , stan and his father, Kingsley Evans is imprisoned for arm robbery. I looked up Rachel Evans and I found her home address, maybe you could bring her and Eddie would give up. ” Jordan said.

” Just so am cleared, he has no brother by the name laird? ”

” Nope. Laird and his parents live in 6209 Ludlow are, Garden Grove, while Eddie, Stan, and his mum live in 6187 Ludlow Are, garden grove. ”

Jordan hung up immediately and inspector Jean came by him and said;

” We can go get his mum. I’ve sent a cop already to get her. We’ve tracked her location already. She’s at Westminister museum .”

Brian and he smiled and turned around to keep watching.

An hour later, Rachel Evans was brought to the scene. The cops had pulled her out of the car and brought her before Brian. And then inspector Jean showed up. Dawn too came by.

****

Eddie looked over at his brother and then turned around to look at four. He could tell that he was nervous. He knew he wasn’t supposed to kill laird but he badly wanted to get back at the police. Now he wondered if it was a bright idea.

He looked at Sarah with a hate glare. He wasn’t gonna let her go. She had to die.

The doctor finished stiching Stan up and looked over at Eddie and said;

” He’s okay.. He needs to rest. ”

Eddie smiled thankfully. He was so happy that he was ready to release everyone, except from Sarah, off course. He told four to release everyone, while he grabbed the screaming Sarah, while he gagged her.

” Bitch’s screaming so loud. ”

Four released everyone.

Brian and Dawn looked over at the hospital and saw everyone running out of the building.

” Asshole just released victims. ” Dawn spoke in his transmitter.

Brian and Inspector Jean, rounded up everyone and discovered that Sarah was still missing.

” We need to get in there. Dawn, watch out in case he tries to make a run. ”

Brian called Eddie.

” Hello buddy. ” Eddie’s voice rung out, melodious .

” We got your mum and we wanna make a trade, her for Sarah. ”

” That’s good Brian, but I ain’t buying it. ”

” Check the security camera. ”

Eddie went out and checked and he saw his mum with the cops. He was outraged and then shouted at Brian;

” You watch me kill her, and am coming for you and your family. ”

Eddie looked over at Sarah and pointed the gun in her direction. He laughed and growled at the excitement of watching her die. He was ready to loose his mum.

“Brian, you got 5 seconds to catch me before I make the kill…… 5, 4, 3, 2…”

Brian ran into the building.

“1…”

And then the bullet went off. Brian stopped and started crying.

Dawn and the police went to the last floor and saw Eddie lying dead and saw a guy in hoodies pointing a gun in Eddie’s direction while Sarah had passed out on the floor. The reality of death crumbled her.

Dawn cuffed the guy and called an ambulance went in to pick Sarah.

Brian too had ran up, just in time for her to get conscious. And he ran to hug her really tight. Inspector Jean had to break off the hug. They took her inside the ambulance and it drove off.

The ambulance too had spotted Stan and took him into the van, driving him to a hospital.

As Brian sat in the back seat of the car with the cuffed guy, he looked over and asked him his name. Dawn was looking at him through the driver mirror. While Inspector Jean looked through the side mirror.

” four… My name is Four. ” The guy said.

” Thanks for saving Sarah. ” Brian said.

” I didn’t save her. I just got back at the motherfucker who killed my brother, laird. ” he said, sending a wave of shock to them all.

Morning Torture

Dickson towed the car forward as he moved towards the building. He could feel the excitement running through his veins. His buddies Mike and Tyson were already ready. It was an all night party at Thomas house.

Music was already turned on and flicker green light shone as people came out of the building in a shinning green dress that glowed. Green lights flickered from their dress.

Mike voice rang out;

” Can’t believe we actually snuck out for the party… I mean my dad is really dumb, like I do really get away with serious shit at home….

Mike voice was drowned in the drunken voices of people and the music playing. A Guy and lady were seen standing near the door smoking. They often giggled and laughed. The girl looked often at the people who moved in and out of the building but the guy will nudge her and she peer into his phone and they both laughed heartily.

Mike turned his eyes and looked at a lady running after a guy, and another guy pleading walking in front of him, using his hands to slow the pace of his movement;

” You fuckin piece of shit” The guy said, turning around to the girl…

“Robert calm down. ” The other guy pleaded, still pushing him backward.

Robert eased his way from his hold.

“That bastard fucked my sister and you let it happen! Didn’t I tell you that she ain’t up to 18yrs? Am shutting down this stupid party. ”

Robert pushed him away, only to be gunned down by a bleeding dude who came out. Mike could tell that Robert had seriously beaten up this huge dude.

The girl was crying and screaming;

“Jason, call the police. ”

Jason stood motionlessly. He couldn’t call the police.

The huge guy came over where the girl was and gave her a drink in a small glass cup. She knew he was gonna do whatever the hell he wanted, and she didn’t want to be sane when he does that and so she drank it, it was just one gulp, yeah, just one gulp and her life would never the same again.

Mike looked over at Tyson and Dickson and noticed that they both saw what just happened but their face didn’t hold any fear. He knew that they were going to enter the party and nothing was gonna change that. It was just 2 psychos….. I mean isn’t it said that death is part of life?

Dickson was the first to jump out of the car and Tyson and Mike came down together, slamming the door and soon the huge guy and the lady zoomed off in a car pass them.

Mike knew everyone at the party was boozed up. No one had run on hearing the loud gun bang. The gun had fired loudly and no one did anything or said anything.

Mike saw Jason calling another guy and they put Robert in a car boot and rode off to go dispose off Robert’s body.

Dickson saw Mike’s gnawing stare on him. He looked away and saw 3 women approaching their direction. They smiled and they moved away from each other and each went to grab Dickson and the other two guys.

Dickson looked at the lady that stood before him. The lady smiled and he too smiled.

” Am Carley ” She said.

” Am Dickson. ”

” Wow, your name is funny.. It’s a short form for Dick. You sound like my brother when you pronounce your name. He always says ;

” Look at my dick ”

” You know am growing large balls and dick. ”

And he always calls every girl he likes his second dick. Off course no girl will like to be called such and so they ditch him before he dates them. ”

Dickson didn’t respond. He just smiled.

” Have you ever been out late before?”

Dickson knew from the way she smiled at him that she was assessing him, using her brother as a standard rule for him. He could tell that she often do that with different guys. Telling her that he snuck out from the house would make a good joke but it would cause her to disparage him and so he said;

“Yeah… Am a night crawler…. ”

” Am a drug dealer. ” he whispered into her ears.

Dickson looked at Carley and she smiled at him. She always smiled but then he wondered if she would be impressed. Perhaps she wouldn’t still think of him as anything close to her brother.

Dickson noticed her gaze looking above him and then an admiring smile crept into her face. Dickson looked backward and saw a guy looking at Carley and smiling. It was few seconds flirting before he joined a small crowd into the house.

Carley looked at Dickson and he could hint the smile of disappointment and then she said;

“you ain’t nothing like my brother. ”

Dickson knew that she expected him to punch the flirting guy in the face for flirting with his woman. That is what her brother would have done.

Carley moved pass him and he turned around and saw Mike and Tyson with the other two ladies.

Both ladies shook hands with Dickson.

” Am Donna. ”

” Am Lizzy. ”

Donna wore a short bun and a mini top and a tight grey pant.

Lizzy wore braids and a mini black top that exposed her nipples and a mini black skirt.

Carley wore a short Jean jacket and wore a white dress inside and wore a jean tight pant and she had her hair done in layers.

Dickson looked behind Carley and saw guys and girls holding hands going inside the house. He came back to himself on hearing Tyson’s voice and then he saw him shaking Thomas and giving him power hug.

Thomas came outside. He was with a lady, his hand wrapped around her shoulders. She smiled often.

Dickson kept staring at her makeup. It was crazy . She looked like a Halloween clown in a custom. The make up was too much on her face. He would like to snap it and show it to his sister.

” Hey you guys, so glad you could make it. ” He said, shaking the guys hands and giving the ladies a peck on the cheek. There was something romantic in the way he pecked the ladies. He was acting like a Spanish rich mafian. The way he kissed the ladies on their fingers which he held close , going on one knee and said;

” Hey senorita. ”

He then got up. The lady beside him smiled, and playfully jabbed Thomas on the shoulder.

” Hey guys, this is my lady, Linda. Standford, free med.”

” Wow, congrats. ” Carley said

Linda went into the embrace of all of them except Thomas.

” so we…. ” Thomas voice was cut short by her coughing.

” Thought we came here for a party and am sure you guys haven’t gone inside yet. ” Linda said, cutting in.

” Yeah, sure. Everyone this way. ” Thomas said almost immediately and they all went in one file with Carley and Linda leading the way.

Thomas and Dickson both could see the tension for control between the ladies but they kept quiet and went into the house. A small crowd of people had followed too, some shouting Thomas name and saying all manner of shitty things.

” Yo! This party is sick. ” yelled a guy.

” We are all fucking crushing motherfuckers. ”

” Eat my titty. ” A lady with a bare chest yelled. She ripped off her bra.

” Now this shit is awesome. ”

Dickson kept smiling and laughing and shaking and hugging and giving small talks and then Carley opened the door and they all entered..

****

It was a hell of a night filled with music, screams, ladies, drugs, and shouts and the DJ was on a frantic mode. A bottle of champagne was popped open and everyone kept yelling.

Mike had brought a bottle of wine that he popped open with a pill that would remove sleep from the eyes. The ladies had their own drinks and glass cups with pills too. Thomas took them to a table and brought marijuana for them in grinded form and each of them snuff in a large amount after they took the pills and gulped down the drink and then their brains were fried.

Carley took to where people were dancing and jumped on a guy, pouring champagne from the bottle on both herself and him. They both were screaming and he took a selfie of both he and she.

Dickson ran straight to the guy and pushed him away from Carley. Even his intoxicated state couldn’t keep her away from his eyes. He wanted her.

Dickson was a wimp in the real sense of it and he would never fight huge muscular tall guys but now he was wild in his thoughts.

The guy came over. Carley had fallen down and hurt her waist when Dickson pushed the guy.

Dickson ran forward but the guy gave him a knock out punch that left him on the floor for hours.

Donna and Tyson had jumped on tables stark naked and screaming. Donna was screaming;

“Eat my titty bitches.” and was pouring cheap whisky on her body.

Tyson grabbed her and kept nuzzling her breast, wringling his dick.

Mike jumped from the roof of the house in his drugged state and feet landed hard on a jeep and everyone outside was yelling. And he jumped down from the top of the jeep and ran inside screaming loudly and jumping into the crowd.

Lizzy was dancing wildly with a guy, screaming and laughing and jumping.

Dickson was woken up from being knocked out but the drugs didn’t leave him. He went over the guy who was with Carley, who had passed out and began punching him on the face. No one stopped him, no one noticed it. Everyone’s crazy was lit.

Dickson even broke a bottle and pierced the guys face and then he used it on his face and then fell face down, laughing. Everyone was screaming and laughing and dancing and the DJ beat out of control. It was an all night party that lasted until 5am the next day.

****

Dickson woke up on a seat face down. A bottle lay before him. The bottle was corked open and sprawled face down and drops of liquid wine leaking from the table. A small pool of wine was formed near the bottle.

Dickson noticed bottles and drugs and cigarettes on the floor. He saw a needle on the floor and without being told, he knew someone was injecting himself with heroin. Broken pieces of bottles and glasses cups. The music set was still there. Plastic cups and bags were lying on the floor.

Someone underwear was hung on the fan blade which spun slowly. Then Thomas came out from his room jumping over guys and ladies that were sleeping all over the floor and couches. The 2 Djs were passed out drunk with a passed out naked lady on top of one of them.

” God, you’re awake… The 4th guy to get up. You have sleeping problems? You barely passed out for 30 minutes and now you’re awake.”

Dickson didn’t respond. He just turned back on hearing someone trying to rouse himself up and he could hear groans and a loud fart.

” oh men! ” A voice rang out.

Dickson knew it was Tyson and then quietly moved over to where he was being laid on by a heavy lady. She farted again and then there was silence. He knew she was passed out.

” Come, Thomas, help me out. ” Dickson said.

Thomas and Dickson rolled the lady away from Tyson and she was pushed to a table and it shook and a bottle feel and broke on her. Dickson and Thomas averted their gaze to the bottle and looked back at Tyson. Dickson pulled him up and Tyson looked around.

“Wow, looks like we really partied hard.. I feel so sick.. I really wanna go home. ” Tyson said.

Thomas and Dickson stared at Tyson’s naked body. It was shocking, yet not sinful. They stared at him as he grabbed his underwear from the fan blade and his clothes which were on the floor near the DJ stand. They didn’t take their eyes off him but watched him as he put his underwear and clothes on.

Dickson knew that he danced all night stark naked. The reality of this crippled his stare at him. Thomas looked away. Dickson suddenly jerked back and asked;

“where’s Mike? ”

“Yo! He’s at the kitchen counter. ” Thomas said.

And the three of them walked quietly and slowly to the counter. So many passed out people lying on the stairs and floors and near the doors. A guy had his face in a toilet and tissue paper rolled in a straight line on the floor. Another guy was passed out in the bathtub , wearing only his underwear.

Mike was in the kitchen. A knife was near him which was bloodied and a bloodied finger was near the knife. He jerked up and turned around. He was barely awake. Dickson could see a bloody cloth wrapped around his right hand and then he knew that Mike had slashed his finger.

Tyson looked back at Thomas and asked him if he had seen Donna and Carley and Lizzy.

Thomas stammered a little bit before talking in whispers;

” Their brother took them away. He looked really pissed but I had to pacify him. No one noticed anything as all of you guys were oblivious. He came with some guys. He wanted to kill everyone. He punched a drunk guy who barfed on him to a pup. When I brought out his passed out sisters, one of them was stark naked. He kept on asking for their boyfriends and I told him that they didn’t come with any. I bet he would have killed you guys if I rattled you out so I didn’t. After starring in fury, one of his men spoke to him and he got into his car and left. He kept on shouting until he drove off with his sisters at the back seat. ”

” WTF? Those ladies are sisters… They don’t look like each other. ” Tyson said.

Nobody replied. The three guys jacked Mike and put him in Mike’s dad car and they dropped off each at his own house. No talking during the drive. Everyone was damn tired.

*****

Dickson walked on the road. He had just entered Broadway Street and his family house was on the first block. He looked at his phone and realized that he didn’t get a missed call from his parents or his sister. The last call he got was from Mike when they came to pick him up from his house. They parked at Tyson’s house and made the call so that Dickson’s parents or sister won’t be alert. It was 10:30pm when they came.

Dickson parents were asleep and so was his sister. So he climbed out from his window and climb down the roof and landed on his mum’s flower. He quickly jumped out through the small gate and smiled, before putting on his helmet and gliding his skateboard over to Tyson’s house.

Dickson moved so slowly as he dragged his feet and dozed off in his standing position, ready to fall but stilling himself. He couldn’t wait to enter his room. He wanted to sleep, badly needed to sleep.

He got to the door of his house and rung the bell and then dropped off on the welcome rug and it was few minutes before a gourd of water was poured on his face and he jumped up. He figured it would be his sister but it was his dad.

” So you snuck out of the house, ain’t that right smart guy? You won. Me and your mum are douche bags… We are so dumb. We can’t catch you… You snuck out again like you always do… Bravo! ” His said.

Dickson rubbed his eyes and then yawned;

” Dad, am so sorry.. Okay you caught me this time.. I own up to my bullshit.. I wanted to go out, in fact it was my idea in the first place.. I take responsibility for my actions and you can ground me for as long as you want to.. ”

It was the same line he always used for his parents whenever he snuck out to go to any party and then they will ground him and he will be of good behavior for a week, and then ask them if they needed any favors or help and they always did. They appreciated this gesture, especially his mum because she always did everything and never gave her kids any chores to do because she feared that they would do more damage in the process so she always do everything in the house and go to her job.

And most times whenever he helped her with anything, she would complain but she wouldn’t do anything about it.. Like a week ago when he helped his almost exhausted mum on his second day of being grounded to go buy groceries, he told her to lift his being grounded for going to a night party prior and she nagged about him not coming home on time, him not knowing what to buy, him forgetting an item even if she wrote the list of items for him, but she still gave him money and lifted his ban. He prepared dinner that evening and burnt it and was grounded again and his mum started nagging but they ate the burnt roasted chicken and Taco salad for dinner.

Dickson looked at his dad and was still shocked at the response he got when he uttered his fake apology;

” No problem son, go get dress for school.. it’s almost 8 am. ”

” What? Aren’t you gonna ground me?. ”

His dad busted into a chuckle;

“Nah… Son, me and your mom are tired of going through the same thing with you over and over again.. We ground you and you sneak out, so we’ve decided not to ground you, go in and get ready for school and sorry about the water I poured on you, thought you was dead. ”

Dickson laughed at his dad joke. His mum came outside in a red gown and had her face made up.

” morning mom. ”

” Morning son, how did your party go?. ” she said moving into her car and then turned around and kissed her husband and then gave Dickson 20 dollars.

” mum? ”

” You want it or not, I bet Kim would need it. ” her dad yelled his sister’s name.

Dickson tightened his grip on his money and then went inside. He moved slowly and then his eyelids started dropping. He needed some damn sleep and he crashed himself on the couch. It wasn’t long before Kim snuck up on him and zapped him with a stun gun and Dickson jumped up and feel to the floor.

” Dad said I should make sure that you’re ready for school. ” Kim said in between her laughter.

” Stupid ass bitch.” Dickson muttered and then got up

” I ain’t going to school today!” he yelled as he moved towards his room bumping into several things and opened his room door, barely moving and then lay in a kneeling position, face down on the edge of his bed.

Kim entered his room on hearing the thud in Dickson room and the silence and then saw him, kneeling down and sleeping. She came over with a headset and put it in his ears and then turned on a loud music on a stereo which she plugged the headset to and immediately, Dickson jumped up. He removed the headset in anger and yelled Kim’s name in frustration and then his dad emerged in his room.

” What the hell?” he cursed.

” Dad ” Dickson said weakly.

” So you’re not ready for school?. ”

” Dad am damn tired, I need to sleep. ”

” Nah… You’re not gonna stay home today. You’re going to school. ”

” No way! ” Dickson yelled

” How about I get another water, am sure you want that. ”

Dickson didn’t respond. He was half asleep.

Dickson dad on noticing that his son was sleeping, entered the bathroom and came out with two bucket of water and an electric wire which he rapped around Dickson and plugged the end to a socket near the bed, lightening it and then he poured the two buckets of water and the wire electrocuted him and then he jumped up, this time the sleep cleared up from his eyes and he went to prepare for school.

Dickson stayed at the front seat while Kin stayed at the back.

” No sleeping son otherwise I would have to spank you. ” His dad said as he turned on the engine .

The drive to school was a short one but it felt like hell cause Dickson had to control himself from falling asleep. He had been spanked 6 times on the face for dropping his eyelids. And so he decided to join in their conversation.

” Dad, I was checking some beautiful clothes for ladies online in the Walmart app; out wears, Active wears, in wears, designer shoes and bags and all clothes deals, it’s really… ”

” Yeah dad, I love Christmas and money.. Give me Christmas and Easter and Good Friday .” Dickson said cutting in.

Both Kim and their dad looked at him in confusion and then he yanked himself on his seat and gave a sleepy stare and before he could get comfy, his dad slapped him again and this time he glared up at kin and his dad and ordered his dad to stop the car. Kin laughed, his dad laughed too and Dickson got so mad that he jumped on his dad in a bid to stop the car and as they both struggled on the driver seat, the car suddenly started moving in an incoherent manner, moving in the left right axis. Dickson steered the car left while his dad steered right and the car was on a very high speed as Dickson dad had marched the accelerator very hard in trying to get rid of his son.

Suddenly, Kin started screaming and both Dickson and he looked up and saw an oncoming truck and Dickson swerved left and the truck was able to duck away from them in a slim. But then, the car was heading for the railings and it started breaking. Under the railings was a river. Dickson was pushed by his dad immediately they ducked from the truck and so he was able to push the car backward and still it. Kin kept yelling as the railing kept breaking as her dad tried to pull away.

Everyone sat still for few minutes, their sigh of relief and tension brooding between them and then Dickson pushed the front door and was yanked by his dad..

” You walk out that door, you walk out of my house. ” his dad said.

” I don’t give a damn you sick bastard. ” Dickson cursed, plopping himself from his dad grip.

” Am serious son. You walk out and you don’t ever come back. ”

” Fuck you dad! Yeah at least I would find a place to sleep. ” Dickson said, smirking his lips a little harder before adding;

” I could call the cops for your black ass. ”

” And you leave.. You think you’re so stubborn. I told you not to go for that party and you went, while I may not give a fuck about you, I do about my house, I don’t want you sleeping and someone break in. Just so we are clear, you ain’t sleeping till midnight, I ain’t gonna let that happen and if after school you don’t come home , don’t even think about coming home again… While you may choose to live your life the way you want it, just remember that I pay the bills of the house and as such I make the rules, and if you can’t understand that, get the fuck out of my house.”

Their was heavy silence after their dad spoke and it continued until he dropped them off at school.

Dickson mind relayed the truck incident and noticed how the truck ran off as though the driver didn’t know that it almost collided with their car and he could remember how cars were scattered in different angles in an attempt to avoid any collision with theirs. People coming out to ask if they were okay after his dad was able to pull away from the railings, the way his dad drove off till they got to a backyard and then he sat still before everyone started giving sighs of relief before he tried to get out from the car and then his dad then gave him a piece of advise and the tension followed suit.

****

Dickson, Tyson and Mike sat together during lunch hours in detention. School was horrible for them. Neither of them could sleep at home and so they had to sleep in class only to get pranked by other kids in the class.

First time, they were sleeping, someone put an ice cube in their ears and they started barfing everywhere till they were woken up and then they noticed that their pants were wet and their hands soaked in a bowl of warm water. Everyone kept laughing and yelling at them. A guy came over with a pen and wanted to continue his drawing on Tyson’s face but was pulled away by Tyson who had suddenly come back conscious, and when the dude made another attempt, Tyson knocked him out with a punch.

At the same time, Dickson had gone into a fight with another boy who was laughing and jeering at him. He wasn’t the only one laughing and pointing fingers, but the boy had called his mum a whore and a fuckin pussy and that really pissed him off.

Mike didn’t really do anything. But he went to detention with his friends. They were kept in an isolated classroom with a scary male teacher and a janitor through out lunch period. No talking. Everyone just kept looking at each other. They could only pick books on the table and read.

Dickson noticed the bandage in the middle spot of Mike’s right hand and remembered that he lashed his finger and then tore a paper and wrote;

” How’s the hand?. ” and then passed it to Mike who was a seat before him and then Mike turned back and waved his right hand and mouthed back;

” How did it happen? Do you know where my finger is?. ”

Before Dickson could reply with a negative affirmation, the teacher turned and stared at both of them and Mike paced forward as if trying to rearrange himself.

Dickson sat there thinking. Their teacher didn’t give them any chance to explain. She just came in the ears of those white kids and took them to detention. Didn’t she see the drawings on their faces? Or the remains of pie on their faces?

Now that Dickson had time to think through, he looked over at his pants. He couldn’t believe that he had wet his pants, a habit he stopped at 5 years old. Even though he knew that soaking hands in warm water in one’s sleep could lead to peeing on himself in his sleep, it wouldn’t save him or his friends from embarrassment at school. He needed a break from school. He looked up and noticed Mike nodding at him as though agreeing with his thoughts.

Dickson eyes finally started dropping. Sleep came back again but the sleep vanished on hearing his teacher stony voice;

” You three, to the principal office. ” She said opening the door of the classroom.

Dickson looked at her. The deplore on her face was petty. She was racist and Anti Semite. She would gladly expel them from school if she had the power to do so. They were black and she was white.

The principal gave them suspension for 3 weeks and then sent them home. Their parents were called to the school. It was only their dads that came. It was a long talk most of which Dickson heard nothing. The sleep in his eyes were gnawing on him. The sleep would disappear from his eyes whenever his stare met with his dad’s.

Finally it was all over. The three of them walked uniformly, humoring their dads who walked ahead of them. The men kept laughing and talking to each other. Even when they got out of the building, they kept talking .

Dickson and his friends each went to their dads car. Dickson sat down and looked at the side mirror to see his dad. He didn’t want to sleep now. He didn’t want his dad to smack him. He knew his dad wouldn’t give a shit about his detention but his mum would and she would scold him and that’s it.

Mike ‘s dad would ban him from T. v and from going out. He didn’t have a mum. His parents got divorced. His dad had a reputation for being a pastor at a local church and hearing what his son did would make him really mad. Not only will he ground him for the detention stuff but also for sneaking out of the house to go partying.

Tyson’s dad won’t give a fuck. just like Dickson’s dad wouldn’t , neither will his mum but he would have to put up with his annoying little brother, same as Dickson who would have to put up with Kin and when Dickson remembers this, it would make him mad.

But for all the best things, he finally closed his eyes to sleep. He finally gave in to nature. He didn’t try to fight. He longed to surrender and that’s what he did. It felt like hours or days or months. Maybe staying at home won’t really be a bad idea. Kin would go to school, unlike Tyson’s brother and he would have the T. v. to himself too.

He smiled in his sleep only to be woken up by a water splash on his face. it was Kin. Dickson was still lying down in the back seat of the car. He knew that he was at home. His dad finally let him sleep.

Dickson looked up at his laughing sister and for the first time he laughed at her prank and finally knew as she smiled that it was her way of getting along.

Fathom part 13

Emma sat down in the wardrobe. Her dulling eyes and mind gave in easily to her environment. She didn’t know why she felt such shivering fear. She didn’t know why she felt wetness all over her. She didn’t know why she was inside the wardrobe or why her body throbbed with fear. It didn’t make sense. Nothing made sense. Then suddenly a noise pushed her back to Memory Lane. Her jottering started off from there. The memories rushed up in her head at the same time. She wasn’t given time to breathe, to shake it off a little.

Her memories started off at dakikoya restaurant, then when she jumped towards a moving car to save a little girl, then Kain. His name rang memories in her head. Where was he? She stretched out a little, pushing the wardrobe open but it didn’t. It was locked. She kept pushing it a little harder and then she heard the noise again, this time it was louder and closer. She heard the rattling of the Wardrobe lock. It was as though someone was breaking a safe. It came fast and slow at the same time. The noise drenched the shit out of her, so much that she passed out before the wardrobe door opened.

Emma weary eyes and brain synced open at the same time but together, they were dull and unreponsive. Emma picked up lots of sounds and blurred images but couldn’t make out neither. It was like pouring water in a drive. She noticed a man sitting on the wheels with Japanese inscriptions tattooed at the back of his bald head. The writing was so small and Hindi.

The driver looked at her through the wind screen and saw how terrifed she was. He sighed remembering how his cousin, Kain had called him over to pick her up and take her to their family house. He could remember how docile he was. He’d ask questions, like when Kain told him that she was locked up in a wardrobe, he asked him what she was doing inside there, of course, Kain danced round the question and skipped it but he didn’t sound jovial. Kain didn’t sound like something was wrong . He rushed the conversation, saying what was necessary then quickly hung up. And now he got to the house through the address that Kain sent and he couldn’t find Kain. He could have also not have been able to find Emma, hadn’t it been that Kain had told him where she was.

Now he looked at her as she leaned haphazardly on the door.. What had fhe gotten himself into. He should have asked Kain why she was locked up in the wardrobe.

Emma sat up on the bed. She could tell that she wasn’t at Marcus apartment. The bed sheet on the bed was reddish blood color. The floor had the color of a brown wood that was used in making beds. A huge frame was hung on the wall. A plate of chicken noodle soup was kept by the bedside and above it was a wall clock.

Emma was slowly emerging from the bed when she saw an old lady. She wore a slim tight dress and a rumpled brown skirt. She was so slimb and bone dry. Emma could see her bones sticking out from her neck. There was something irking about her, in fact, there was everything irking about her. She frowned at Emma. A frown that sent a jolt to Emma’s spine. Emma was scared as the old lady stared at her. The old lady was holding a small knife which she glared at Emma before going out of the room..

****

Emma heard loud voices as she sat on the bed. She heard a guy speaking a Japanese tone English, while the voice of the old woman in pure Japanese language was heard.

” I didn’t find Kain there, although I found this lady locked up in a wardrobe…. And I can’t reach Kain either, I’m trying Akihisa number to see what he can find. I bet he’s coming over here too… ”

Emma could feel the old lady impatience and fury rising. She was shouting in Japanese language.

” Don’t worry mama, Kain would be fine. ” But that didn’t do any better.

****

“I can’t believe you shot that dumb fuck… You’ve deprived me of the satisfaction of torturing him… He slept with my wife and no one does that to me and gets to leave normally.. Now you’re gonna go in his place. ” Nashua said before shooting the guy in the head twice. He gave a signal and two guys took the dead guy away.

Nashua leaned back on the couch as he watched the news. The guy’s death gave him no satisfaction.. Kain was still out there.. The dumb fucker had shot Kain thrice but didn’t kill him. Kain was at Temple Medical Center hospital. It was easy to kill him there. Dr. Lawrence was there. In fact, Dr Lawrence was the one who told Nashua that the ambulance had brought in Kain before he saw it on the news. He sighed as he called Dr. Lawrence.

Dr. Lawrence sounded shaky on the phone and so Nashua asked him what was wrong…

” Everything! Every fucking thing! ” Dr Lawrence yelled.

” What happened? ” Nashua asked calmly.

” It’s about your son Caleb.”

” What about him? Thought you told me he was dead. ”

Dr. Lawrence swallowed hard. He didn’t know what to say. The last thing Nashua could stand was lies. He could remember when Nashua men abducted both him and Riley on the orders of Nashua. And for no reason whatsoever, Nashua had asked his men to return Riley back to Emma and have Caleb killed. Nashua had told Dr. Lawrence to inject Caleb with lethal injection drugs but there was a mix up in the drugs. Dr Lawrence forgot to inject Caleb with potassium chloride which would stop his heart. He was only able to sedate him and before he could give the final kill, some team of nurses were seen rushing to where he was. He was being called for an emergency surgery. Another doctor had to look out for Caleb. Luckily for Dr Lawrence, the telephone operator had given him a 5 minutes heads up on their coming so he was able to hide the injections.

The surgery lasted for hours. It was a heart transplant surgery. A woman was being rushed into the surgery room for it. So many doctors were in there. A Japanese doctor was the one who led the operation. It grazed Dr Lawrence as he watched them open the woman up to remove her bad heart. It was the first surgery that Dr Lawrence had ever witnessed. Everyone in the surgery room wore hand gloves and covered their nose and mouth leaving their eyes.

Finally the surgery was completed. The woman was stitched up back and lay unconscious. It was a 3 hours surgery, after whichu Dr Lawrence hurriedly took off the gloves and the surgery coat and ran straight to Dr Sota office, where Caleb was transferred to and when he got there, he was told by Dr Sota that a woman came with the police, claiming that Caleb was her son. Actually, he thought this to be joke, till he heard some clamouring coming from the hallway and he walked there and saw two police officers and the woman. Caleb too was with them and he seemed off the grid.

The woman was so convinced that Caleb was her son and there was no need trying to prove otherwise. She called him by the name koki and hugged him.

Dr Lawrence wondered if this was some foul play.. Was this Emma getting her son back? He thought. He wanted to tell Nashua but he knew better and so he didn’t. Nashua watched the lady shout and hove out in the hospital. The police told her to go and come back the next day and Dr Lawrence was exhaling in relief. He had the next 12 hours to kill Caleb but the next day, Caleb had gone missing from the hospital. While Dr Lawrence was still meddling in shock, the phone dispatcher called him aside and told him that a nurse had discovered a lethal injection in his office and she wanted to call the police and turn it over to them but the phone dispatcher, a Japanese lady who was having an obvious crush on Dr Lawrence, had stolen the injection from her. She handed the lethal injection over to him and told him to get rid of it while smiling mischievously. Dr Lawrence shook greatly before going to dispose it.

Later that day when he would be composed and his mind will go back to that day, he will be sure glad that he didn’t have to kill anyone to cover his tracks.

The woman who claimed that Caleb was her son, wasn’t seen or heard from for a long time. Then all of a sudden, after almost a year, Caleb was reported on ABC7 news to be found in N. Alameda street.

The woman who had earlier claimed Caleb to be her long lost son was arrested alongside two men. It was discovered by the police that the woman had no child . She the police and told them that her son was missing. The woman was a child trafficker who trafficked children in exchange for drugs. She usually steals children, even babies, from hospitals. The police were able to track her to a house in N. Alameda. The house was like any other house and one won’t think that children were stacked in there, drugged. The police entered inside and saw that the house was empty. They heard lurching sounds from the basement and the cops followed the noise and found the children there all tied up with chains and drugged. The woman didn’t try to run when the police got hold on her, neither did the two men who were with her. They were arrested. The people who sold drugs to them in exchange for children were Mexicans.

The woman name was revealed on the news. Her name is Ami. The two men were unidentified.

Pictures of abducted children were shown on the news but Dr Lawrence didn’t see Caleb picture on the news. Perhaps they killed him. It would be a good riddance if they did but he couldn’t take any chances.

Nashua’s voice rang again on the phone. Dr Lawrence quickly realized how lost he was. He stammered quietly on the phone. Nashua said something that he didn’t get. He said something about Kain. He heard this very statement….

” Don’t make the kill on Kain yet. I want to have the pleasure of killing the bastard. I have Caleb all covered. ”

That was the only statements he heard. How couldn’t Nashua tell that he wasn’t paying attention?

The call ended and Nashua turned around in time to see a nurse coming to his direction.

*****

Emma sat still at the library looking at a Japanese book. Their was something shoving about the house. It had Japanese inscriptions and pictures all over the walls. It looked like a shrine tainted with ancient history. She kept peering into the book, trying hard to make out the meaning of the Japanese inscriptions used in the book.

” Still no word from him mother but I think saw him on the news. He was taken into a hospital, can’t remember the name. ” The man’s voice rang out in the house.

Emma saw him moving towards her direction as he kept talking, as if running from the old lady. He placed a phone in her hand

“Is for you. ” The guy who drove her over said. His name is Rui. He heard the old lady calling him that. The soggy looking old lady with her cramped figure. she thought.

Emma put the phone in her ear as a new kind of fear throttled her. She knew it had something to do with her kids or Marcus. Maybe either was found dead. She held her breath, preparing for the worst, yet she couldn’t stop the shivering fear. The voice rang out;

” Hello, are you there? is this Emma?.”

It sounded like an alarm….

“Yes! Am here. ” she replied screaming too.

The male voice on the phone paused and took a deep breath before saying;

“I have your son, Caleb!. ”

****

Emma was stunned in silence when she heard her son’s name. She wanted to ask him his name, but he told her to come over and get her son. He added too that if they were to contact each other again, it must be by texting . No phone calls and no police. But even the caller knew she would still call the police.

Emma jumped out from the seat and made a run for the car. Rui saw her running and tried to still her but couldn’t. The old lady was saying something in Japanese language about him wanting to leave her all by herself. But Rui replied back in Japanese that he just want to know what was wrong. But Emma didn’t say a word before storming out and Rui couldn’t help but follow her. He led her into the car and turned on the engine.

****

Nashua sat in the car and watched out. He never showed up with his men for any operation yet he couldn’t resist coming. He wanted to shoot Caleb. He wanted to see Emma grieve. He wanted her to watch him ride off with Riley. He smiled with an evil grin as he remembered Mei eyes when she died.

Riley woke up 2 nights ago and approached Mei with a gun. One of Nashua guys had broken into her house and injected Riley and placed a gun by her bedside and got out through the window without being spotted.

Riley was in a total black out as she got up with the gun. She kept following the voices in her head. The guy had turned on the micro chip planted in her ears a long time by Dr. Lawrence and kept speaking through it and she kept moving iftn its direction. She was very unconscious. In fact, her moving was not willed by her.

Mei woke up on hearing the door of her bedroom pushed open. She turned just in time to see Riley pointing a gun to her face. A voice spoke out from nowhere, loud and clear the voice rang;

“Give up Riley or die! Give up Riley or die!!. ”

Before Mei could say anymore, a bullet hit her on the forehead from the window. Riley was still unconscious with the gun pointed at Mei. A man, using a rope, broke the window open and took Riley away.

Nashua smiled at himself. He knew the murder would be on the news. A mystified kill. Although he knew that there was no perfect crime, yet the thought that soon, the police would gain on him and finally he would gain recognition for his crimes spur him. He had to finish up Kain, Caleb and Marcus before turning himself over to the police. He ain’t got time to keep running from the police. Most of all, he wanted to watch Emma welt in pain. He wanted her to suffer. He wanted to watch life gorge her out. That was his life spring. That was the whole essence of all his crimes. Since she had the balls to leave him for other men, he would teach her and her lovers. But he didn’t want her killed immediately. He wanted her death to be slow. nothing would make him anymore happier. He wanted her to suffer all through life.

He jumped out of his thoughts on hearing a car pull over. It was a cop. One of his dirty cops who strolled out of the car with Caleb. He pulled him by the shirt and took him to Nashua car.

” Did you make the call? ”

” Yeah!” the cop said, pausing before he continued;

“Almost forgot…. I didn’t give her a location ” and then he typed;

forgot to mention am at N. Alameda… At a Chevron Gas Station 901 Almeda st” He hit the send button.

Emma phone beeped almost immediately. She saw the message and showed Rui who scoffed;

” Shit we’ve passed it ” before making a turn.

Emma called the police officer on the wheels and told him about the message and he too scoffed before making a turn.

Emma drove slowly on reaching the Gas Station. She muttered a prayer under her breathe. Emma could see a jeep parked at a building close to the Gas Station and she saw a dim image of a man holding a boy. The man held the boy on the right hand and a gun on his left.

Emma knew from a distance that the boy was Caleb

Rui drove quickly being fired up by her screaming. it was as though the faster they drove, the less chance of Caleb death.

Emma didn’t take a quick glance at the Gas Station, all that rang in her head was screams; hers, Riley and Caleb.

The two police officers followed her at a distance. Emma heart skipped faster than ever. Emma wanted to tell Rui to run the man over with the car but she wouldn’t risk her son’s life.

Almost immediately Rui stepped out from the driver door, the jeep opened and Emma smiled at who she saw coming out of the jeep. It was Marcus. He smiled at her but she could tell that even as they stood, starring at each other, that something was different about him. The hairs on his body and face stood, rather than curl. He was more robust than usual. He smiled falsely. Emma could see the false smile and he was a more shorter than she remembered. All this described one person; Nashua. Maybe it was her worry alarm ringing in her head. The alarm that never allowed her enjoy anything.

Emma knew better than to trust her guts so she went over to him and grabbed his collar and kissed him. He did same too only that he grabbed her thigh.

Nashua loved the scent of her. He couldn’t believe what was happening. she didn’t notice by a hint. She couldn’t feel his heart throbbing in anxiety and ecstasy. He ripped her open with his eyes. How could he forget her plummy, dry rigid body. There was nothing sexy about her. Not in looks or moves or sound.

A police officer stepped forward and so did the man who held Caleb.

” Haru. ” The man said, introducing himself to the police officer.

Emma watched the men shake hands and pull off. She noticed also that Caleb was unconscious. His eyes didn’t lit up. He did a little gesture with his hand and then dropped it as if he noticed something.

” Your boy really went through a lot. Nashua is a damn beast.” Nashua smiled. He loved it, the damn beast. But no he wasn’t a beast. He was a tactical motherfucker. A beast wouldn’t go as far as he went. A beast would go after his prey without a rethink. But not Nashua. He would plan, strategies, before making a tactical kill. He hardly ever missed his target.

Nashua smiled at his thoughts and then continued.

“Nashua strapped your son to a chair and kicked a wooden door and rats came gnawing on Caleb. I could see the pleasure in his eyes as the rats climbed Caleb and chewed on him before throwing him inside a cell where he is beaten and locked up. ”

There was fury in Emma’s eyes when Nashua finished talking and nothing made him more happier than seeing this but still he wanted more. He wanted to rip Caleb like a sack bag.

The drive continued in silence. Emma sat still. Marcus was carrying her to the police station and when she asked why, he told her about Mei.

” Mei was killed last night and Riley was seen at gunpoint with the lady shot dead. No one can say what really happened. looks like an accident and I don’t think that Riley knew what she was doing but the police ain’t gonna believe her. They took her in their car but me and my men snuck her out and she’s safe. That’s where we are heading.

Emma smiled on hearing this. it was all she ever wanted. She wanted to ask Marcus why he didn’t bring Riley along and wanted to know in details what Nashua had done to Riley and Caleb. The more she knew the more angrier she would become. she wanted to smash Nashua head. She wanted to cut him in half. Nashua smiled in satisfaction.

The car drove on an empty road. No cars, just Metro Stations and gas stations and the crunchy sound made by the asphalts.

The silence in the car was revered. Emma turned silently to Caleb who was still slightly conscious. His eyes lit up a little, pointing up and then he crashed out. Emma looked back at Marcus, wondering why there was no snuggling or kissing or chatting. Had the events drifted them off? Had it changed them in an unrecognizable manner? was there still a remnant of the old?

Emma couldn’t answer the question and didn’t want to. she leaned over and kissed him.

Nashua wanted to pull her away but he didn’t. He still needed her so he played along and kissed. A deceitful kiss, yet it felt like passionate. With Emma it was passionate and that made Nashua hate her the most. She always wanted to be sincere, always open, always true.

The kiss lasted for a while before Emma looked at the driver seat and saw a message in his eyes that she couldn’t interpret. A man too was sitting at the front too. He didn’t look back, didn’t as much as peek.

Just as they were about to pull out from each other, thecar jolted, sending both Nashua and Emma to the side doors of the car. The driver tried to still the car, clutching the wheels. Then a shot came again and this time the car jerked in a somersault and crashed on the road. There was growling and man at the driver seat pulled out from the car just in time to get shot in the head. The other man at the front seat was already dead. He caught a bullet in his chest during the chase.

Nashua crawled out from the car with cuts and bruises on his face. He kept a staggering face and was still blurred out by the crash when a kick landed at the side of his head and he feel. He looked up and saw his own reflection starring at him. At first he thought it was a dream or vision but then as the view came down on his face, he knew at that moment that it was Marcus. He remembered the surgery.

Marcus came forward, pointing the gun on Nashua face, eyes fixed on him. Marcus touched the trigger, aiming for the forehead and then the glass shattering and Emma moans made Marcus turn and then Nashua jabbed him on the knee. Marcus turns and kick Nashua in the skull and Nashua kicks him again, this time, pointing the gun more fiercely at him and then a gun rattled behind him. He could hear bullets and then Emma’s voice rang out

” Turn around. ”

Marcus paused and stood still. He heard so much noise in that moment but he couldn’t make out what the voices said and who owned the voices. It was as though he was in a place that was blown up. screams. shootings.. and then Emma’s voice stood out among the voices and in rang again. He turned, smiling and she didn’t wait to pump the bullets in his chest. It was three hard shots, Landing on his bullet proof vest and slowly he fell.

****

Emma pointed the gun at Marcus. He reminded her of everything she hated. She looked up and saw Nashua coming forward, smiling and pointing a gun at her. She was numbed.. What is going on? she thought. Emma kept on calling Marcus name as she looked at him. This time. she heard him scoff at her and she heard the word;

” Bitch!!” from his mouth, then he shot her on the leg and she fell.

It hit her again, her vision at the dakikoya restaurant.

Nashua walked slowly. he couldn’t wait to rip off Marcus face that he carried. His initial plan was to wear Marcus face and sleep with Emma and maybe run away with Riley while he killed her and Caleb but the thought of her mouth coming in contact with his nauseated him. He wondered what Marcus sees in her.

Emma was still pointing the gun in Nashua face when two men strolled out from behind her and went towards Nashua turned around, facing him, now pointing the gun in her face.

Marcus stirred as he lay on the floor. He could feel the bullets shove up his assistant. He looked at his bullet proof vest and saw the holes that the bullet made. He jacked up a little harder for Nashua to notice.

” Hey bitch! ”

On hearing Nashua voice, he mellowed down

” So you’re awake… I know you didn’t die though. You’re not an actor, neither am I though. I wanted you to watch this moment as I pull a bullet in her head. ” he said, holding Emma and pointed a gun in her head before thundering;

” Back off. ”

Nashua saw the confusing look on Marcus face as he saw two of his men standing for Nashua. Nashua smiled on seeing his face;

“See one thing God has blessed me with is that I have loyal friends, people who are willing to loose themselves for me and the thing is am not even a loyal friend all the time.. This are my men whom I sent to the police force. You thought you was gonna shoot me but here is how it’s gonna be played… ”

A bullet sent Nashua landing on his belly.

Nashua looked up and saw one of his men pointing a gun at him.

” YOLO! ” Nashua called out.

He ordered his second man to shoot Yolo but he didn’t move a muscle.

” You couldn’t wait to let him have it.” Marcus voice rang out in laughter.

Now it was Nashua turn to be confused.

” But you captured the perfect moment ” Marcus said before looking in Nashua face and said;

” Good to be played ain’t it? You think you can just kill someone and get away with it?”

Nashua was still confused and then Marcus spilled it out;

” Mei, you remember? This men where her brothers and you killed her. ”

Marcus wanted to capture this look this frantic stare in Nashua eyes but before Nashua could say anything else, both men pumped 24 bullets into his ass.

Marcus walked towards Emma and smiled. She was still shivering but he gave her a cozy hug.

They broke off and looked into each other eyes. Emma knew he was Marcus. She never saw this brave side of him before but she knew he was the one behind Nashua face. She wanted to hug him but not with Nashua face.

” holding up on a brother? ” Marcus asked and she pointed at his face.

Yolo coughed and both Emma, Marcus looked at him.

Then Marcus smiled.

” We’ve got something for you. ” He said.

Emma saw him dash towards a car miles away and she followed. They got to the car and there Riley was. Emma was stunned. Nashua had told her that Riley was at his house but then it occurred to her that Yolo and his brother must have snuck her out. She heard Marcus say;

” We didn’t sneak her out. Yolo was the one who told Nashua that I was bringing the cops over to the warehouse and that he should put Riley in a separate car and after he must have killed you and Caleb, he would snuck her out to Mexico.”

But Emma wasn’t listening. But she waited for Marcus to finish talking before going to the car, pulling out her daughter and hugging her. Riley cried on her mother. They both looked at each other after Emma pulled her gently away and then they went back to hugging.

Emma looked back after pulling away from Riley finally and saw Nashua holding a detonator. She didn’t need to be told that Marcus wanted to blow up the warehouse. He smiled at her and she came forward and they both kissed and then he pressed the detonator. After which they headed back to the jeep to get Caleb.

****

The police officers were already at the jeep when Emma and Marcus arrived. They pulled Caleb out of the jeep and one of the officers made a call and ambulance arrived in no time. Caleb and Riley were taken into the ambulance. Emma joined them.

It was 2 days at the hospital. Two days watching her kids. 2 days crying at what they went through. 2 days starring at Nashua images in her head. He was gone but his memory wasn’t. On the news, his death was announced and it sent a shocking wave.. On the news, it was tagged

“Killer finally got served. ”

Dr Lawrence too was arrested too. Marcus had exposed him. Kain was recuperating and was later arrested when he recovered. Dr Lawrence exposed him. Emma never saw him again.

Later Marcus arrived at the hospital. Emma was in Caleb room kissing him and he smiled. Caleb wound up and his eyes opened.

Emma smiled and left the room and went to where Riley was. She didn’t care about what had happened to her daughter. she had her and that was all that mattered. she hugged her and kissed her. Riley too cried on her mother she too had missed her and this warmed Emma heart.

The story of the explosion warehouse at San Pedro was all over the news. Emma saw piles of burnt stuffs there.. Police had arrived at the scene and recovered over 40 dead burnt bodies.

” Wow that’s cute. ” Marcus said

Mei picture was shown on the news. The police had recovered 3 children and had identified a missing girl too among them. Riley picture was shown on the news.. it was gonna be a long damn explaining to the cops.

Emma chided herself for not grieving for mei. she wanted to grieve but she was damn too happy to grieve and this saddened her

The end

Crazy moments…

Evans drove his van steadily on the road. He couldn’t be more stunned and disgusted at how rich people flaunt their wealth. What did he expect? This was rodeo drive street in belvery hills, a place not meant for the poor, or the average. Celebrities lived here. Although he loved the sites in rodeo drive, he knew that it wasn’t as dashing as buildings in mulholland drive or as gorgeous as sunset boulveward. He looked over at the rear mirror to take a glance at the house where he had just delivered a mail in a mailbox. He wanted to stay and observe but he knew he couldn’t be caught unless he would be suspected to be an arm robber. The way the rich protected themselves here was so alarming. He wouldn’t blame them though. One could ehttp://asily become a victim of violent crimes here and also one could be a victim of property crimes like burglary, car theft and the likes. It was no surprising that people called the cops when they suspected someone.

Evans looked over at the previous house where he just delivered their mail, and smiled. He wished he could just buy the house from the owners. It was a white slivered house with lights on it. The lights shone brightly at night, making the building a full crystal ray of brightness. That building looked like a Royal Palace. He moved over to the next house, a few blocks away from this house. It was a normal house, nothing really fancy save that the tiles in the compound gleamed and the buildings were built in a straight role. The garage included. Luckily the compound wasn’t big. One didn’t have to walk miles to reach the house. The walkway was a x shape with Lawns at different angles.

Evans parked his van by the gate and came out. He looked out for a mailbox but it wasn’t there. He looked at the compound and decided to climb over the little gate. Immediately his legs entered the compound, he could hear the growls of dog barks. He took two more steps and he saw vicious dogs. They were rottweilers. 3 in number. They looked at him all Salivating. He went backwards and the dogs came forward, all growling slowly, then immediately, he turned and ran. He didn’t know what he did next. Adrenaline did the rest. He just jumped through the gate. The dogs jumped too and chased him. One of the dogs bit him on the butt but he couldn’t get a complete mouth grip on him.

Evans ran very quickly. The rottweilers chased him with full speed then stopped after some distance but Evans didn’t stop running. He ran until he entered a mall. The name of the mall is Rodeo collection. It was a big plaza.

Evans stood by the door, realizing that it all over. He was amazed at the distance he covered as he ran. He knew that the dogs had long stopped chasing him but he couldn’t stop running. He didn’t look back. He didn’t want to look at their horrific eyes. Then it occurred to him that he had dropped the keys and he didn’t know what had happened to the mails of the residents of that house where he had just been chased by dogs. He feared that the residents would call his office and have him fired. He had other mails that was yet to be delivered. He touched his back pocket and felt the emptiness. His phone was gone. Someone must have swiped it from his pocket or maybe it fell off on the road or it was in his van. But he couldn’t care the least.

Evans gasped a little as he looked at the glass of a boutique shop in the mall. He saw a woman and her white puppy dog. She held on to the puppy as she spoke to the woman. She had a pearl of diamond necklace hung on her neck with a diamond ring on her finger. She was flustered as the sales woman in the boutique was talking. Evans loved her pink lacy gown and red jacket. It had flowers all over it. She looked like a celebrity in the shinning red lipstick she wore.

Evans kept peering, watching the woman try to keep her jumpy dog still. Evans didn’t know what made him look away before hearing a scream. He looked at the door and saw two men with 2 bags running out of the mall. A diamond ring fell out of one of the bag. One of the men looked at Evans and screamed;

” Run! Run!!. ”

Before throwing one of the bags to him.

Evans looked stunned at the bag before looking at a cop who looked back at him as if daring him to run and he did run. He didn’t ditch the bag. He ran into a car which was turned on. A guy was leaning on the bonnet of the car, smiling and looking at a lady’s behind, when Evans drove speedily and he fell down, lucky to roll out of the way of an incoming Police car. They were actually 2 police cars.

Evans drove speedily, honking at incoming cars. Twice he left his lane and almost got hit by an incoming car. Evans swayed away into the pavement. The police were behind him. One of the police cars had made a detour. The other car was still behind him. Cars were swaying from their direction.

Evans couldn’t tell what direction he was going to. He didn’t turn left or right. He just kept moving, knowing he was heading for a dead end with the other Police car gaining on him. He looked ahead in time to see the other cop car which had earlier made a detour, making a one way drive towards him. Evans tired marching the brakes but it gave no response. Evans eyes shone red in devastation, his hands shaky on the wheels and then he heard a tire bang. He didn’t need to be told that it was his tire that was shot at. He freely let go as his car ran into a neatly parked car.

****

Evans sat still handcuffed in a police car with another police car behind. He looked over at the road and saw the wreckage that was caused due to the hot chase. Cars had crashed into each other in a bid to avoid the crazy drivers, ambulance were seen at various ends of the road. Evans heard the voice on the walky talky;

” we have those assholes, have you got the accomplice?. ”

” Yeah. ” one of the cops answered, turning around and looking at him before turning forward.

As soon as Evans heard the word “accomplice ” his heart skipped a beat. What had he gotten himself into?

” Hope his not bugged?. ” The voice came again.

” Don’t think so. ” The cop answered.

” You didn’t check him out did you. ?”

No answer.

” Remember what happened the last time. The criminal who hid a pin in his clothes, who jammed the lock of the handcuff and shot all the cops, jumping out the window and was never seen again, while our beloved cops died and their car exploded in contact with a truck? ”

Their was silence and then the cop driver pulled over while the cop at the front came out and dragged Evans and gave a thorough search which involved pulling down his pants before putting him inside. Evans tried pleading his innocence but was told twice to shut the fuck up.

Then the drive continued, with the cop driver looking at him through the rear mirror.

****

Evans sat in an empty room. A cop entered inside and sat at a swat opposite him. A table separated them. Evans could see the other cops watching through the window, cameras were on the walls and he knew that the cops could hear everything.

The cop wasted no time asking him questions.

What’s your name?

Where do you come from?

Did you know this guys?

How were you involved with them?

Did you act alone or was their an inside guy?

What other crimes are you people planing?

Where are you planning on carrying out the crime?

At first Evans tried playing it cool, telling them that he didn’t know what they were talking about, telling them about the dog chase in a funny tune that made one think he was joking. But then the smile on his face faded when the cop threatened to lock him up in prison. Evans became mad, telling them that he was only a mail man who had a terrible day and didn’t deserve this kind of treatment. But the cop had walked out of the room, giving him time to confess to a crime that he knows nothing about.

Hours later, the cop enters back. Evans is now calmly seated but scared and angry. The cop tells him that they believe that he’s lying. He brought out a file and read out the previous crimes committed by this group of criminals. It was then that Evans would get to know their names;

Brian, Foster, Michael, John and Dike.

Evans thought they were only two but he didn’t know about the other three. He had earlier seen Brian and Dike at the mall. He recognized them but he wouldn’t tell that to the cop as it would fuel the suspicion of his involvement.

The cop read out the other suspected crimes;

Heist in banks and jewelry stores, Arson.

They robbed two banks; Bank of America and well Fargo bank.

They robbed a jewelry store and burnt it in the process. police couldn’t pin them on either crimes because they knew how to slip away from them.

Evans read the files

Brian was born on October 16th 1980 in Kansas

Foster was born on 30th September 1984 from Michigan.

Michael was born on 11th June 1978, from Massachusetts.

John was born on 19th April 1985, from Massachusetts.

Dike was born on 20th July 1986 from belvery hills.

All of them were Americans. They all went to the same college. He didn’t really read into their details.

Evans finally looked up at the cop and told him soberly that he didn’t know who these guys were. Then the cop brought a video where Evans was caught on the outside camera looking suspiciously through the window and then bending low and few minutes later, Brian and Dike were seen running out the door of the mall with 2 bags. A diamond ring fell out one of the bags. Brian threw the bag to Evans and Evans started running. Brian and Dike were seen on camera entering a red car and the screeched away. 2 security guards had dashed out from the mall at the same time the red Car screeched off.

Evans couldn’t say anymore. He immediately requested his lawyer. The cop smiled telling him that it wasn’t gonna do him any good before leaving the room.

His lawyer, Mr Bryce was immediately contacted. It was his cousin. He lived with him here and took a job as a mail man. Evans was working to save up for college and also to help pay the bills of his cousin’s house.

Mr Bryce came in. He told the cops that he knows that his cousin is no crook. The cops tells him that it wasn’t gonna prove anything and so Bryce went to work. The police finally charged them all to court. The criminals pleaded guilty expect Evans who on the advice of Bryce pleaded not guilty and so they continued to prosecute him. The other criminals on the light of the current crime and the former crimes which the prosecution was able to prove, they were sentenced to 30 years in prison.

Evans hated the court room, hated those lawyers and judges who wore sadistic looks, hated and terrriffed at being told to stand in a box and asked hard questions by the prosecutor in a pertrifed manner. Even when Bryce came up to question him, something they did practice, he still was petrified. Sometimes he had a brain lock down and he would go on stammering for hours.

But finally Bryce was able to prove his cousin’s innocence. He showed the court evidence of the previous gang crimes which Evans didn’t participate, he showed them pictures which Dike, Michael and Foster took on a train with Brian at the back, his head raised between Dike and foster and he giving a fuck you sign, pictures of Dike and his girlfriend Dallas in a boat, Brian and his girlfriend at a restaurant. Brian was putting on a baseball cap and wearing sunglasses while Jane, his girlfriend wore a red jacket covering whatever she wore inside and a white print pant. It was a tight one.

Bryce told the court that this pictures were taking long before this guys went into crime. The prosecutor objected. The judge told the prosecution lawyer to hold on and let Bryce finish. Evans looked often at the prosecution Lawyer who gave him a hateful glance.

Bryce touched his tie, looked over at his cousin before turning over to the jury and that indeed the pictures were taken a great deal back but then it could prove that his cousin didn’t have any history whatsoever with either Dike, foster, John and Brian. He also added that this crooks did start their robbery adventure two years back, so one can consider the time frame and observe that my client had limited time to merge up with this guys. Bryce told the jury that his cousin was his client and the way one of the jury looked proved that they knew. He remembered using client and cousin interchangeably.

Bryce proved further by telling the jury that Evans started living with him 3 months back. He moved over from New York to come over to belvery hills . He proved this by showing the court evidence of the plane ticket that Evans had and also pictures of Evans in the plane. The jury saw the tickets and nodded.

The prosecutor tried to hang on to the picture of Brian throwing the diamond ring bags to Evans at the mall. They showed images of Evans running away in a car with 2 cop cars behind his trail.

The prosecutor posed a question to the jury that if indeed Evans wasn’t part of them, at least an accomplice, why was he standing at the window of the boutique shop in a suspicious manner? The prosecutor showed images of Evans outside the mall standing and stopping suspiciously, and of course the question as of why Brian had thrown the diamond bag to him. If he were no accomplice, he wouldn’t have started running immediately. The prosecutor deposed that Evans if he were no accomplice would have been shocked or at most afraid and dropped off the bag but he didn’t as much as ditch the bag. The act of running immediately showed that he wasn’t surprised by the action of Brian and his gangs. He must have known of their plans at most even if he didn’t join them in carrying it out.

Bryce finally stood up and called witnesses, one was a recorded statement from Brian who expressly spoke that he never knew who Evans was. He didn’t know he was standing there. And that he throwing the diamond bag to Evans was out of desperation.

Even the police records that Bryce brought as evidence was able to prove that Evans had no criminal history whatsoever both here and in New York.

Bryce brought family and friends from New York and Evans’ work place who spoke good about Evans. Even Evans boss at work testified in court. Evans was particularly described as a calm, shy, intelligent and loving human being.

Things were starting to turn good. Evans was happy. The prosecution couldn’t call any witnesses. Brian recorded testimony really turned things around. The prosecution told the jury that the Record was fabricated and so Brian decided to appear in person when the court sat again. He told the court exactly what he recorded. The prosecutor asked him if Bryce had in any way deceived him into thinking that he would gain freedom or that his sentence was gonna be reduced? Brian laughed and told the jury that he merely was doing what he thinks is right. He tells the court that he is now a changed man. The prosecutor laughed and told him that he really isn’t a smart liar. He hasn’t spent a month in jail and he is now changed. Did Jesus appear to you last night in your dream? The prosecutor asked mockingly and everyone laughed briefly and kept quiet. But Brian didn’t answer, instead he smiled.

The prosecutor objected, telling the court that Brian’s testimony was false. They told the jury that Brian was trying to protect Evans. They posed that gang members often did that. They often would rather die than sell out their brother in the supposed sense.

But Bryce able to show all the numbers that Brian, and the other gang members called before and after their robbery spree started. Their text messages were also shown as evidence in the court. Bank transactions of the gang members were administered as evidence in the court and all these evidence proved that the gang members had never communicated to Evans by any means.

” Guess it’s a rap up prosecutor. ” The judge said. There was a masked tense silence before the prosecutor finally said

” That’s it your honor .”as Brian moved over to his seat.

Then The prosecutor spoke up and finally told the court that indeed they were wrong to have prosecuted Evans but there was one problem. Evans had stolen a car and had damaged it and it turned out that the car he stole to use and escape from the cops was a cop car. it was used as new evidence and it’s images were shown in the court. Evans smiling face of victory turned sour on seeing this. The prosecuting lawyer gave a fleet smile, an in your face smile at Bryce then turned over continued speaking to the jury that Evans had indeed caused a great deal of accidents on the road, damaging both the police car and other individuals cars that had tried to duck from him. He also injured people who walked on the sidewalks. Images of the damages were shown to the jury.

The jury finally gave it’s judgment on the next date. Bryce was indeed acquited on the charge of being accomplice with Foster, Brian, Dike and Michael but was sentenced to 5 years in prison for damaging a police car and also for damaging people and road property . He was further asked to pay the sum of five hundred thousand dollars as payment for all the damages he caused. However Bryce would be able to bail Evans two years after.

***

Bob walked out of the court room quite pleased with himself. He didn’t loose. it was a winning streak of his that no lawyer, not even the famous Bryce could break. But Bryce really did put him on a shoving edge. He smiled as he looked over and saw Bryce coming forward. He shoved him aside and said;

” how does it feel to loose?. ”

Bryce smiled and walked out. What was he smiling about?. Bob checked his pocket to see if anything was missing but nothing was lost. He just scoffed and entered his car. It was then that his phone beeped. It was an email. He opened it and screamed. it was images of his previous night at the hotel. He was seen having sex with three women. He was drunk holding a popped up bottle. There were images of when he stuck his hands in the bare ass of one of the ladies. There was another picture of the the two ladies stark naked kissing him on the bed.

With it was a little message underneath;

How about I show your wife this images I’m sure she would be thrilled to see it and I also tell the world of your corrupt practices behind and put your ass in prison? Can’t believe you could go through such diabolical means just to send people to jail… I’m still stunned as I read your files… Trust me I wanna make your life a living hell but on a second thought, how about you give me 30 million to put my scandal away. if I were you, I’d work fast, am doing your ass a big favor.

Bob starred at the images. God was he dumb. Really what goes around comes around. He jerked and his phone fell off.

Fathom part 12

Emma sat still and looked on the road while the cab driver drove. She’s been giving a black out stare ever since they came out of Dakikoya restaurant. Kain tried not to look at her. He wondered if she caught Nashua’s gaze in the dim of the night. He knew she saw the shadow. Nashua stood long enough for her to catch his gait, though he knew she wouldn’t know who the figure was. But would she suspect that he was there too as he had earlier gone out to make a phone call… That was planned too. Soon, Nashua or Dr Lawrence would soon call him for a new assignment. He scoffed.

E

Emma sniffed absent minded and was about taking her pills when she smiled frantically at Kain as she popped in the pills. Something broke inside him as he watched her take in those pills. He wanted to stop her but he couldn’t bring himself to it, at least not yet. Cool breeze snuck into the cab as the driver took on a high speed. The multi color lights from other buildings glowed, making it feel like Halloween. Most shops and malls and apartments, all had Japanese inscriptions above them.

Kain and Emma finally reached the apartment. Kain literally had to help her walk. The drugs made her dizzy. Kain knew she was hallucinating again and this time, it was Riley she was seeing. There was a frantic smile on her face and at the same time, a sorrowful grim on her face. She was laughing and crying at the same time, while making gibberish sounds but at least she walked straight. Then it was as if some other stuff broke up in her. She pulled herself from Kain and ran in between a car on seeing a little girl crossing the road, about to be hit by the car. Emma screamed Riley’s name as she shoved the girl away and together, they were flinged to the pavement. The already crying girl choked as Emma covered her in her embrace. She cried on the girl. It didn’t take long before a Japanese woman pulled Emma away and grabbed the little girl. Kain knew that she was the mother of the girl, and that she didn’t know what had happened. Kain had seen the woman come out from a mall and he figured there that she smoked crack. Emma had saved her daughter’s life and what did she get in return?, shrill abuses.

***

Marcus looked up drowsily. All the images in his face was blurred. He was tired and his whole body system was in a shut down.

The man poked Marcus in the face before putting back the shadddy glasses which have fallen up from Marcus face. Cars drove ahead while he slowed down to send a text to Dr. Lawrence, when he got a quick message that threw him out of balance,

We can see you… Meet us at point fermin park. “

The man shook in fear. Dr. Lawrence had earlier told him to come to temple medical centre and now this? He suspected a foul play. Who were this guys?.

He could remember how thrilled and frightened he was when Dr. Lawrence called him by his name; Akira a week ago and offered him the job. He didn’t know how Dr. Lawrence got to know his name. He didn’t even know who the caller was until Dr. Lawrence introduced himself to him before ending the call on him, and at that moment, he knew he had to do the job. Firstly, Dr. Lawrence had saved his mum, who was diagnosed with a hole in the heart. He performed the surgery on her and she made it. Secondly, the reward of the job was huge; $700 million dollars, an amount he knew he can’t earn in the next 5 years due to his low pay job that earns him 50 dollars a month. He wonders if Dr. Lawrence knew that he owed him a favor, or if he’s name was just a random guess. Then he didn’t care, he was gonna be rich but now maybe he did a little. When he asked Dr Lawrence to show him the money before he did anything, Dr. Lawrence merely scoffed before he said;

” it’s either you’re in, or you back the hell out. ”

Those words told him that Dr. Lawrence wasn’t fucking with him. Akira knew he had no option and so he joined. It was a one man operation. It was an easy one. He was given directives of Marcus whereabouts and the rest was history.

Now, as he drove to the park with Marcus who was barely awake, he wondered if he was going to make it from this, I mean, he had remembered when he earlier threatended to expose them to the cops if they didn’t have his money. He didn’t want them to think that they could just mess with him.

None of the men where there when Akira got there. Nothing out of the ordinary had happened. The sun was still shining, people were having fun in the river. Akira loved the white turf buildings around that area. Akira had pushed back his car seat and took in a deep breath. Everything was perfect before his head got blown by 2 bullets. He didn’t turn around before getting shot. The bullets had pinned him face down to the steering wheel. Before he finally died, he coughed out blood.

The two men came out from their car and went over quickly at where Marcus sat and pulled him out into their car and drove of. Marcus was still unconscious. One of the men sent a text to Nashua;

” The deed is done. ”

****

Riley sat still as Mei, her foster mum, came out from a detective office and she was signaled to come in. She sat still, not making any move, till, her foster brother, Yiki, pushed and pointed her to his mum direction before she got up and entered the office. The office felt sulky and so did she. She felt in her brain thousands of people playing soccer in her head. Words were flowing in and out of her head. Words didn’t get to settle in her head before popping out. She tried hard to get a grip of the thoughts in her own head, when finally she heard Mei speaking;

” He’s been sending me this message for almost a month now. I don’t know who he is but I have a feeling that it’s a guy and no offence, you know also that most guys are criminals.” it was a joke but it had no warmth in it.

Riley saw the threat text and it read;

” Give up Riley or die!! ”

She inhaled deeply and tried to swallow too but something like a log was formed at her throat, making her choke a little before she looked up and gave a thumbs up in the air, signifying that she was okay. She didn’t want Mei to get alarmed as Mei was an awfully nice person and that made Riley hate her.

” I’d bet that maybe this message is a prank. ” The officer said..

” That’s what they all say.. But I don’t think so. I mean this message has consistently been sent to me for a month now and with terrifying bloodshot images.”

Mei opened her phone to show him the images and indeed they were terrifying. Women stabbed beyond recognition in a face up position, A dismembered skeletal frame scattered around by a graveyard, headless bodies of men and women on the road with their heads placed beside their necks. It creepy. Even the police officer had to gasp a little before he regained himself.

” Call it. Let’s see if we can trace it.” he finally said.

“No you call him, he won’t pick my call if I do call him. ”

The police officer finally exhaled and looked invariably at Riley and wondered what was going through her mind.

Just as everyone were reclining in their thoughts, Mei phone rang and instinctively, she picked it.

” Hey asshole!” The voice rang out,

” You hand over Riley or you’re dead. ” Call ended.

Mei looked at the cop and he could see the question lit in her eyes;

” Did you trace it?”

He inhaled slowly and she knew it was a no.

The cop bent down, dropping his clenched fist on the table. He looked over at the table for too long that Mei began thinking that the table had vaticinating powers, or maybe he was seeking counsels from a God with potent power. Finally he looked over at Mei and asked;

” Are you her foster mum. ” his eyes peering in Riley’s direction.

Mei nodded explicitly before adding;

” I went to the Foster home months back to look for kids I can help since I never got a kid of my own. My other kids were taken also from Foster care. Both of them have same story. Their dad died, their mum started taking cracks and dumped them at some shitty place then child services finds them. But Riley was different. I actually saw her at some restaurant with her mum. Her mum’s is a psycho. You needed to see how she charged at me when I came and took her daughter. They had to use during tape and Chain to restrain her. Later, I saw her mum on the news jumping from one table to another, people running, so they don’t get their food dumped on them. It was highly hysterical. But then I fear for Riley. She hasn’t said a word since I took her in. She’s always starring, as though a part of her is somewhere else, perhaps with her crazy mum. It’s been 2 weeks since I took her in and I have taken her to hospitals and I was told that she’s perfectly fine. Finally it dawned on me that it was a mental situation, so I took her to 2 different psychologists but she won’t open up to them. She didn’t as much as say a word through out the session with them. Then it dawned on me that she didn’t want to talk to anyone. ”

The cop looked over at Riley, who was scanning the room with her eyes before their eyes met and then he said;

“whose your dad?. ”

It didn’t take minutes or seconds for Riley to respond

” Nashua. ”

The cop eye balls popped out on his face. He damn well knew the psychopath. It was the monster that killed that judge few years back. But there was no proof that he did it but everyone knew it was him.

The cop knew he couldn’t just jump into conclusion that Nashua was the one sending those letters and making those calls. it could be anyone but he wasn’t so sure.

Mei looked at him closely, wondering what was wrong but she didn’t ask. He just told her to go home and take extra precautions. Be very cautious. Put alarms on your door and if possible, get a dog. Always take extra care when you’re driving or at any place. He told her to install cameras in her house. He told her to call the cops if anything out of the ordinary is noticed. He gave her his number to call him if there was trouble. With that, he sent her away.

****

Kain took Emma inside and placed her on the sofa. He looked at her. Anger and guilt lurched her. She had lost her two kids and he played a role in it. He wondered what she would do if she found out?

Kain’s phone rang again. it was Dr. Lawrence calling. He had sent him a message to give her flunitrazepam. so as to knock her out and they can take her to the streets and she can go crazy and get locked up behind bars. It wasn’t enough that they mixed up her meds which makes her see people who aren’t really there. It was what made her go crazy at the restaurant and in the bus. He could still feel the shiver as he watched her break through the window in the bus on purportedly seeing her son. He could remember watching her jump on tables in other to catch her imaginary Nashua at the restaurant. It felt so good. Even Nashua who never smiled, laughed when he saw this.

Kain heard the sound of footsteps coming from the living room. He knew it was Emma but he wasn’t sure why and when she got up. He saw Marcus portrait hung on the wall in Marcus bedroom. He looked at the bed, imagining Emma and Marcus snuggling sex, he, all over her and she all over him. He imagined she stark naked, on top of him, Kissing his nipples and he being lit up and burnt by her touch and body. It made him frisky and so he turned around and went to the living room, in time to see Emma popping a tablet of the flunitrazepam drug and drinking water to swallow it. He stared in shock at her and she too gave him a surprised look and smiled and then her eyes shut down and she was knocked out. Kain looked at the door and could see shadows standing and could hear voices in very low tune and then he heard bullets fired at the door, making a small hole in the door.

Kain was still trying to recover from his shrilled madness when the door was pushed. Kain could see the door knob jerking. Someone was kicking the door. Kain quickly grabbed Emma who was knocked out and hid her in a wardrobe, locking the door. He used a chair to break the window and throw her foot wears outside just in time for two of Nashua’s gongs to come in. One of the men didn’t waste time shot Kain on the leg.

” where’s she. ” he yelled

” She jumped down. I gave her those drugs that makes her go crazy, and before then, we got into a fight. I confessed. I told her that I worked with Nashua. ”

He didn’t waste time in shooting him thrice in the chest before he pushed back the other man who was with him and then turned on his transmitter to talk to the other men and Dr. Lawrence about his information. There was a heavy silence before another guy spoke up that Marcus had escaped. The two men who had pulled him out from Akira’s car were found dead at point ferrin park. No sign of Marcus. There was a heavy silence, and then Dr Lawrence voice rang out on the transmitter;

” Don’t worry, we will get him. ” and then he broke connection and so did the others.

Tag a title for me…

Me, die, hate them,

See cause die havoc,

Die, death hate in every way,

Heat kills,

Winter burns,

Dry season,

Lips cracking,

Throat drought,

Die! Die!! Die!!!

Sand leaping,

Shovel digging,

People crying,

Rain showers,

Brain tumor,

Umbrellas flicking,

Blood dripping,

Sweat beading,

Tears trickling,

Hate! Hate!! Hate!!!

Ding dong,

Ding dong,

The world sings.

We know them,

We see them,

The raving birds,

Swooping a thousand feet above us.

Fire! Fire!!

Rolling Stone,

Grave silence,

Subtle steaming,

Wind blowing,

Justice denied.

Rampage! Rampage!! Rampage!!!

Snow burns,

Fire freeze,

Earth laughs,

Children growl,

World spinning,

Cars hooting,

fire crackers,

Stars dancing,

Petals booming,

Fish grills,

Human astonished…

Fathom part 11

Emma stirred up at the abrupt knock on the door. She got up, half asleep, and made it to the door. She knew it was Kain. He was coming to check up on her. She opened the door and the brightness of the sun took away the sleep.

” How you doing?. ” Kain asked, standing by 2 men in white shirt and dark blue pant and a bullet proof with a dark blue square sized cap. They stood with an uneasy gait. She didn’t need to be told that they were cops. God, little Tokyo is a funny place, she thought.

Then realizing that she starred too long, she moved away from the door and said;

“Am good Kain.. Thanks for asking, and gentlemen, forgive my manners. I’ve been sleeping a good while and I’m still not fully awake… ” Emma said, extending her hands to the men but neither shook her.

Emma looked up and caught Kain’s eyes peering into the room. She tried to avert his gaze but she couldn’t. She needed him to chip in something to make the tension go away.

Finally, Kain walked in and the cops followed suit.

” Am so sorry in here is such a mess. ” She said to Kain, who smiled and it faded on noticing one of the cops staring at him.

Emma wanted to ask them if they had any news on Marcus whereabouts, but she didn’t, because it seemed to her the reason for their coming. And perhaps news on Caleb, perhaps he was dead and was cremated. She held herself, ready for the worse. One of the cops, by the name Aimi , spoke up..

” We came here to ask you about what happened weeks back, when you jumped through the window of the bus. We can’t make out anything of that message that was sent to you. ” he looked over at Kain before continuing,

” We tried to trace the number but it was a dead number. The number doesn’t exist. We searched through our database but no one has that number.”

Emma didn’t respond. She knew what they wanted her to say, that she sees imaginery people, that she’s crazy. They know about that. She told them when they took her to the hospital, and she had been given drugs to take which she had been taking, so why bring it up?

” Is that it? ” Emma asked, ready to tell them to leave, when Aimi spoke again;

” Do you know any guy by the name Nashua? ”

At the mention of his name, Emma heart skipped a beat. She was jumpy. She couldn’t hide it. His name reminded her of things she did want to forget; his existence, Caleb, and mostly, herself. She finally admitted it to herself : The main reason she loathe Nashua so much is because he reminded her of how gullible she is.

Aimi’s small sniffling brought her back to the apartment.

” So you know him? You guys got a messy divorce or what?. ”

” We ain’t never married. ” Emma replied cheesed off.

” Don’t sell me that bullshit… I know all about you. You had two kids for him, Riley and Caleb. And you all lived in South Park before you moved over with your kids here, away from him. ” Aimi said.

” Now that you know it. I will tell you one thing Nashua is a devil. He’s a psychopath. Nothing like the man I knew before I married him. I just… ” she paused and then Aimi spoke;

” We got a report a week ago in 243 spring street about a burning car. When we came to the scene, we discovered 3 persons burnt beyond recognition. By the time the story was put on the news, a man by the name Dr. Lawerence called us and told us about a man who was in the car by the name Nashua, whom he claimed to be in the vehicle but when we showed him pictures of the burnt bodies, he couldn’t identify him among them but he was certain that he was in there. ”

” well that’s crazy. ” Emma said and a heavy silence broke followed suit.

After few minutes, the 2 cops walked out. Emma could hear them murmur something quickly to each other before Kain shut the door. He moved over to where Emma stood and whispered in her ears;

” it’s not Nashua, it’s Marcus. ”

Emma looked at him as his shoulders brushed hers and he entered the room where Marcus and her slept in and lay on the bed.

Emma starred at him and the words echoed in her brain;

it’s not Nashua, it’s Marcus. “

Something gave way in her on hearing this; At this reality.

**

Marcus jerked up on hearing noises like the swarm of bees. The light flickered in his face and so he blinked a little and then opened his eyes to see a little boy running out of the room. He looked around, knowing definitely that this was not his apartment. Then he felt a sharp pain at his head region. He could feel the marks of cuts on his face, like it was ripped off and then stitched back again. The heavy sun rays shone all over the room. He used his hands to shield his face.

Marcus looked at the mirror that was hung opposite the bed where he laid and saw Nashua’s reflection. He sprang up and looked at the mirror to confirm that his mind wasn’t playing games on him, and when he looked at himself in the mirror, Nashua’s face appeared. He got so mad that he uses his fist to punch through the mirror with every rage in him. The shattering of the glass and the blood trickling down his fist and the small pool of blood formed around his feet savoured his rage. Then before he could think, something was banged on his head. He turned around and saw a Japanese old lady with the boy he saw earlier running out of the room.

Marcus looked at the broken mirror and in that spilt second, an image of a surgery room popped up I’m his face. He could hear whirling of machines. Then it dawned on him.

Marcus could hear how swiftly the old lady spoke Japanese to the boy who ran out and came back with first aid kits which was kept on the bed. The boy went out and returned with a standing broom and something to pack the gathered glasses. He went out and did come back later

Marcus watched as the lady swept the broken pieces, her hands limping upward and downward on the stick. No word was said as she swept. Not by Marcus, nor by the boy who came back with his Japanese family.

Marcus looked up at boy’s father. He knew it was his father. They both had striking resemblance and a little girl who was tad bit too grill, stood in their middle. Their was few minutes silence where both father, son and daughter starred at him, and their eyes still peered behind him, focusing on the old lady who was packing the debris.

The father then gave an eye signal and they all moved out of the room.

Marcus noticed how slowly everyone moved. Their footsteps were slow and quiet. it looked as though someone had died in there. Everyone moved as though they tiptoed. Marcus could see many shut doors as they moved in the long hallway. The rugs croaked as they moved on it. Nothing seemed alive in the house. The air was very cold and lifeless. The cushions were lifeless. The portraits were lifeless. The rooms were lifeless. The roof wanted to fall down. Their was so much quiet humming in the house. The fire place was dead ash too.

Everyone walked in a file; the father went ahead, followed by the little girl, then the little boy, then Marcus. Each went a step before the other.

The dining section had a long table with many chairs placed around it. cobwebs curled on the chairs. The floor was whiten with dust. Everyone sat on the chairs, distant apart, really distant apart. No one said a word and Marcus couldn’t take this anymore. He had lots of questions but it looked like they were all stuck up in grief. He got up and walked out.

Marcus entered a bus to go to San Pedro. It felt as though it would be a long journey when it was only miles apart. Everyone starred at him as he sat down. He could hear whispers behind him. The news of his fatal survival had escalated everywhere. Even in the bus, the news about a missing person in the accident on 243 spring street which occurred 3 days ago. Everyone in the bus bent down to call the cops.

Marcus saw a woman behind already contacting the police, and he ran madly to stop the call, the frightened woman, noticing his coming closer to her, she starts yelling and immediately a bullet on the leg, alongside a heavy blow on the back of his forehead which gave him blurred images as he fell on the floor.

Marcus heard loud screams in his head in that dim moment. He saw himself struggling with the steering wheel and the man at the front shot him with his gun and he flying and hitting his head on the road and as he looked on the car, while he lay as a bloody mess on the road, the car exploded, resulting in a huge fire. He closed his eyes to bring himself back to the bus. The noise in the bus began to grow faint. It was like it was coming from miles away. Something seemed to give way inside him. Everything in him dragged slowly as though shutting down.

The man took drowsy Marcus out of the car. He had faked a call to a girl and had jerked up, as though realizing he had forgotten something. Then he told the bus driver to stop, taking Marcus by the hand as they climbed out of the bus. He paid the driver, and then cheerfully apologized to everyone for Marcus behavior in the bus, adding that he was taking Marcus back to the cops.

He put Marcus in the front seat, put a shady glasses on his eyes before entering the driver seat. He had taken a great deal to make sure no one was watching or following them. As he sat in front, he sent a message;

” I got him. Injected him with alprazolam like you said. Am on my way to San Pedro.. Make sure I don’t have to call on your ass when I get there. I want it quick. Already the cops are looking for him. And make sure I have my money when I get there or else…..” He sighed heavily as he sent the message to Dr. Lawrence. Then he starts the engine and hits the road.

***

Emma, Kain and Riley, together, went to Dakikoya restaurant, 327E,1street. Kain called it a relief trip. Riley didn’t care. Emma was so devastated about the loss of Marcus. She’d never realized how much she cared about him until now. She couldn’t believe that he was dead. She took her medication that Kain recommended for her and then she looked up at the ceiling of the cab they sat in. There was no talking in the cab. The cab driver kept looking at Riley through the side mirror. Japanese songs were played on the radio.

They all came down after the short ride and Emma starts feeling a meltdown in her brain. She knew she had to stop thinking.

Dakikoya had it’s charms. One thing Emma loved about the restaurant was the flickering of lights and the touch of red that was used for the color of seats in the restaurant. The other was the tasty rice bowls and ramen noodles. It felt sloppy in her mouth. She looked over at Riley who averted her gaze. Kain answered a call. His phone rang twice but he didn’t pick it. It was when it rang the third time that he looked at her, as though waiting for her approval and she nodded and he got up and went outside. Riley followed him.

Emma looked about at the number of people that were in the building. She could remember the Japanese inscription on the building. She could remember seeing it and mistaking it for a mall because the door leading to the entrance, was fashioned in the like manner of that of a mall.

Emma couldn’t stand the chittering in the restaurant. it made her sick and just when she knew it she heard a voice. She recognized the voice, it was Marcus.

” Hey”

Emma was startled.

” over here stupid!. ”

She followed the sound and saw him sitting on the chair Riley and Kain were sitting.

” Marcus! ” She yelled, ” You’re alive. ”

Everyone in the restaurant stopped their conversation and turned towards her direction.

” You fool, not too long am gone and you’re sleeping with that guy. You’re a whore… Can’t believe I fell for you… You don’t love me, you never loved me. ”

” I love you… I really do.. I just did that because…. ”

” Because you’re a bitch…. Goodamit! ” Marcus echoed loudly.

” Fuck you! ” Emma said jerking up.

” You know what, you don’t have a clue on where Caleb is and you don’t care, you’re so stupid… You don’t give a fuck about his survival.. In fact, you’re glad that he’s dead. ”

Emma was stunned. Marcus never used contumelious words on her. He just called her a bitch and stupid. But that didn’t get to her. What got to her was his accusing her of not caring for Caleb…. Couldn’t he see the agony that logged in her soul because of Caleb? But somehow she knew he was right. And it made her mad…

” I love Caleb. I always will, and nothing you say or do can change that. ” She yelled.

Everyone in the restaurant was stationed in their stare at her.

” No you don’t, you know you don’t. ”

And their, Emma finally lost it. She kicked herself up in fury and flung the table near her on the floor shouting loudly;

” I do love Caleb.. ”

The plates were overturned and the rice bowl and ramen noodles poured on the floor, forming a marshy, oozing pastry.

Emma could see Marcus jumping on tables and jeering her. She immediately chased him and jumped tables after him. So many people in the restaurant had their food marched and dumped on them as she jumped on tables. People screamed and shoved away from the table.

Emma jumped at the counter, kicking bottles, chasing Marcus, who had turned to Nashua and jeered her more and said;

” I’m gonna fuck Riley, am gonna fuck her real good.” It made her spleen.

Emma jumped from the counter on seeing Nashua standing and hurled him down, ready to punch him for all eternity, when someone dealt her a blow on the side of the head and then her vision was clear, She had just hurled a cop. There was no Nashua or Marcus in sight. Then she passed out.

Emma got up just in time to see shadows walking. She opened her eyes and saw Riley going out of the restaurant In the middle of 2 cops, 2 women and a man. She didn’t need to be told that they were child protective services agents. She jerked and fought and ravished but it did no good as she was tied real hard. No escape for her. Emma was bitting the ropes, and stomped her feet violently, trying to shake off the chain that was used on her feet.

Emma saw them turn around and moved towards her. She charged insanely at them. Another woman followed from behind . When they got to where Emma was, the cops stood and so did Riley and the child protective services agents . They turned around, facing the woman, and one of the cops said;

” Hey Riley, meet your new foster mom. ”

The woman moved towards Riley and they both paused and starred and the woman took Riley into her embrace.

The Default Mode Of An Average Black Negro

America is known all over the world as the third largest country in the whole world with a population of 327 million, making them the third most populated country in the world. Their mass area, exceeding 3.6 million square miles, makes them, a little bit lower than the whole of Europe if clumped together. The exceeding diverse geography, climate and wide life there, makes it one of the world 17 megadiverse countries.

Hawaii is an archipelago in the mid Pacific Ocean. The U. S. territories are scattered about the Pacific Ocean and the Caribbean sea, stretching across nine official time zones.

Let me not bug you too much with what most of us are acquianted with.

America is known to have a homogeneous culture, being that everyone speaks one language which is English and they do not have different ethnic groups or different background cultural history like in Nigeria. But we all know that diversity of culture between the white and black is prominent in the USA. They may speak the same language but their beliefs, upbringing, and their totality is different. I would like pinpoint their differences..

Black Americans

Black Americans are comulation of American with total or partial ancestry of black racial groups of Africa. They are the descendants of enslaved black people who came to America during the sixties. They are known to be very protestant.

Some of the culture of a black American could be seen in their languages, names, religion, music and food.

Black Americans are known for speaking the African American language which is different from the standard English language.

Black Americans are often known for answering their traditional names which began in the late nineties. Although some of their names are referenced from the Bible. Some of which are David, Daniel and Joseph.

Also the culture of black Americans is mostly manifest in their music. Black Americans were known for their great vocal ability during the slavery era. Reggae beats are usually associated with black American music.

Black Americans dominate the music industry. Notable people like Nina Simone, Marvin Gaye, Whitney Houston, Aretha Franklin, and Michael Jackson.

Behavioral characteristics of a black American.

The behavioral characteristics of a black American reveal themselves in two forms and they are the the inborn and the inbred. The inborn characteristics are not just found in black Americans alone but in all the black race, that also includes African countries while the inbred characteristics are formed by the experiences of places they find themselves in. So the inbred characteristics of a black American are accredited to the America life alone.

Some of the inborn characteristics are;

  • Family : Blacks generally cherish family and brotherhood. A black family can have a fight with each other, up to the extent of getting into each other throats, but they can never let an outsider come in to scatter them. They fight together. Fighting a black most times could mean fighting communities of blacks. This oneness is unexplainable as most times, blacks drive each other crazy.

There is a particular slogan amongst blacks which is, “family comes first.”

  • Violence : Blacks are naturally violent. Sometimes I wonder if the fight against colonialism and slavery is a resultant factor in the streaks of violence amongst blacks. It is often said that in America, blacks are more likely to die in the hands of the cops than whites. Now, I do know that racism has a part to play here but when you look at how violently blacks die in the hands of each other, you won’t blame the police sometimes. The death of Tupac Shakur is an example of the violence of the black man.

There was a statistics raised between 2011-2013 and it was stated there that 38% of people arrested for murder, manslaughter, rape, arm robbery and aggreviated assault, were blacks. Now while it is often stated that this figure is problematic, it is also alarming.
But there are also certain manifestations, the result of training or neglect, which are not inborn. As they are inculcable, so they are eradicable; and it is only by a loose terminology that we apply the term characteristics to them without distinction between them and the inherent traits. In considering the characteristics of the Negro people, therefore, we must not confuse the constitutional with the removable. Studied with sympathy and at first hand, the black man of America will be seen to possess certain predominant idiosyncrasies of which the following form a fair catalogue:

  • Religion : Black Americans are known for their religious beliefs. Most black Americans are Christians. You would hardly find a Jewish or a Buddhist among blacks. Blacks do openly believe in a supernatural being. It was one of the beliefs that was fought against by their masters during the slavery era. They tried to put a stop to their church meetings and the influence it was gaining , as well as his attributing every event, good or bad, to be by the workings of the creator. At a time, the masters, even began to have faith in the black man’s religion, but than in theirs.
  • Imaginative: Blacks are very creative. This sounds fishy as we know that they don’t invent things like the whites and the Chinese but however, just listen to their music. The play on words. The words of a Negro is highly proverbial and their crudest speech protray visions of his mind, and indeed, the poetic quality of his mind is beyond education.
  • Forgiveness : Although blacks are known for violence, yet he is known not to hoard resentment for a long time. He doesn’t show more affection to his race and disregard other races. It’s often agreed that the Negro longs for the goodwill and respect of the white man and that the love that bind them during slavery still exists among them. Their are numerous instances of the black man extending forgiveness and love to their slaves masters. The story of the black bishop who returned to the state where he was held a slave to alleviate the plight of his former master. The story of Nelson Mandela is another example. Also the helpfulness of a Negro slave during the America civil war and his wife who nursed white children, while their masters were fighting to establish slavery. You may call the black man stupid, but he wasn’t, neither was he afraid. It was love and mercy that engendered his actions.
  • Physical strength : The Negro is known for his enormous physical strength . He is recorded as a laborer who kill tasks in most trying climate in America.
  • Courageous :. His page in the war record of this country is without blot or blemish. His commanders unite in pronouncing him admirable for courage in the field, commendable for obedience in camp. That he should exhibit such excellent fighting qualities as a soldier, and yet exercise the forbearance that characterizes him as a citizen, is remarkable.
  • Cheerful : Black Negros are known to be very cheerful. It’s why there’s no high rate of suicides among the blacks because they’ve learned not to allow situations get to them. Though the mudsill of the labor world, he whistles as he hoes, and no dark broodings or whispered conspirings mar the cheerful acceptance of the load he bears. Against the rubber bumper of his good cheer things that have crushed and maddened others rebound without damage. When one hears the quaint jubilee songs, set to minor cadence, he might suppose them the expressions of a melancholy people. They are not to be so interpreted. Rather are they the expression of an experience, not a nature. Like the subdued voice of a caged bird, these songs are the coinage of an occasion, and not the free note of nature. The slave sang of griefs he was not allowed to discuss, hence his songs. This cheerfulness has enabled the Negro to live and increase under circumstances which, in all other instances, have decimated, if not exterminated, inferior peoples.

The above traits are matching like, inborn traits among the black race, everywhere, both in Africa and the United States.
If, now, we turn to consider his inbred traits, those the result of experience, conditions and environments, we find that they exist mainly as deficiencies and deformities. These have been superimposed upon the native soul endowment. Slavery has been called the Negro’s great schoolmaster, because it took him a savage and released him civilized; took him a heathen and released him a Christian; took him an idler and released him a laborer. Undoubtedly it did these things superficially, but one great defect is to be charged against this school—it did not teach him the meaning of home, purity and providence. To do this is the burden of freedom.

Some of the inbred traits of a black American are;

  • Shiftleness: The Blacks are lacking in self reliance and leadership. It is one of the consequences of slavery and colonialism. Blacks always depend on the whites for almost everything. In Nigeria for example, most of the laws of the received English law is still used. A black man is still been ruled by the whites even after his fighting colonialism. Colonialism left a slavery mentality in blacks.
  • Incontinence : A black man is known for his lack of self control. This can be noticed in the slavery era where blacks are known for their uncontrollable procreation.

Among the igbo tribe, during colonial rule, and even among other African countries like Uganda, a black man could marry as many wives as he wanted, and give birth to many children, children he couldn’t take care of. Leaving them improvished.

The incontinence of a Negro is seen in his love for revenge and violence and power . A black Negro is known to go to any length to get back at anyone who got him even if it cost them their lives. Their love for violence is contagious. Especially among African countries where most of their head of states, who are power drunken, who can go to any length to get the power. They are ready to kill anyone who stands in their way.

  • Improvidence and extravagance : Blacks are very extravagant. Their extremism in women and money is astonishing. It’s only blacks that live in big houses that they can’t afford just to boost their egos. It’s only blacks that can buy a private jet when it’s just the last cash on them. A black man doesn’t know what it means to save. There is the proverb among Africans, about seeing a rich dead man, and considering him a fool for not spending all his money while alive. His fear of death is so paramount, and so he wants to enjoy himself fully while he’s alive. In doing so, he goes way out of control.
  • Dishonesty : This is the logic, if not the training, of slavery. It is easy for the unrequited toiler in another’s field to justify reprisal; hence there arose among the Negroes an amended Commandment which added to “Thou shalt not steal” the clause, “except thou be stolen from.” It was no great fault, then, according to this code, to purloin a pig, a sheep, a chicken, or a few potatoes from a master who took all from the slave.
  • Untruthfulness: A black man is known to lie. This was known from colonial period. A Negro can’t be trusted to do anything. He can tell you “yes” because it is more pleasant to say yes and stay away than say no. It reminds me of the story Jesus Christ told about 2 sons who were asked to work on the farm. The eldest son told his father that he would work on his farm but never did. The second one said he wouldn’t but later did. Blacks are like that. They are known to be very deceptive. A black man can tell you he is sorry but never means it. Falsehood is so associated with blacks, especially Africans where everything they do is savoured with corruption. From the government to the little toddlers. Everyone is thought to lie. You can’t do business with an African man without him trying to cheat you out of it. Every story A black man tells you is filled with a greater proportion of lies than truths.
  • Suspicion of his own race :

He was taught to watch other Negroes and tell all that they did. This was slavery’s native detective force to discover incipient insurrection. Each slave learned to distrust his fellow. And added to this is the knowledge one Negro has that no other has had half sufficient experience in business to be a wise counsellor, or a safe steward of another man’s funds. Almost all Negroes who have acquired wealth have entrusted its management to white men.

A historian once said;

To cure the evils entailed upon him by an unhappy past, he must be educated to work with skill, with self-direction, in combination and unremittingly. Industrial education with constant application, is the slogan of his rise from racial pauperism to productive manliness. Not that exceptional minds should not have exceptional opportunities (and they already exist); but that the great majority of awkward and unskilled ones, who must work somehow, somewhere, all the time, shall have their opportunities for training in industrial schools near them and with courses consonant with the lives they are to lead. Let the ninety and nine who must work, either with trained or fumbling hands, have a chance. Train the Negro to accept and carry responsibility by putting it upon him. Train him, more than any schools are now doing, in morals—to speak the truth, to keep a promise, to touch only his own property, to trust the trustworthy among his own race, to risk something in business, to strike out in new lines of endeavor, to buy houses and make homes, to regard beauty as well as utility, to save rather than display. In short, let us subordinate mere knowledge to the work of invigorating the will, energizing productive effort and clarifying moral vision. Let us make safe men rather than vociferous mountebanks; let us put deftness in daily labor above sleight-of-hand tricks, and common sense, well trained, above classical smatterings, which awe the multitude but butter no parsnips.

Deranged

” I’m not crazy. I saw what I saw.” Billy said.

” I never said you’re crazy. Am just saying that maybe you watch too much T. V and what you see on TV is what is replaying in your mind. ” The psychologist said.

” Now what are we gonna do about my son. He’s going nuts day by day. It’s crazy. He’s creeping everyone out. ” Nina, Billy’s mum asked.

” Let’s hear his dreams first. ” the psychologist said.

” I don’t need to hear another crazy fantasy of his. ”

The psychologist ignored her and turned to Billy and said;

” Please share your dream. I know how it feels to have nightmares, crazy nightmares. I’ve been there. Once I dreamt that my mom was bleeding profusely in our living room. Everyone thought I was crazy but then 2 weeks later, it happened during dinner and that’s how my mom passed away. I couldn’t bear to look at my dad and my siblings ever since then. So I know what it feels like. So would you like to share your dreams?. ” the psychologist asked.

Billy smiled at her. She understands me. He thought. He looked over at his mom and was heartbroken at the thought that she thought him crazy. Even if he really was crazy, the reality shouldn’t have come from her. His dad should be the one to bring him here. But unlike his mom, his dad believed that the insanity of his mum had passed on to her grandson. It was the only thing that made sense. His father didn’t believe that his madness could be cured and so he saw no use of trying to find a solution. Instead, he always laughed at Billy and called him all sorts of crazy names. His sister Mara and brother Cayle were just as annoying as his father. They always taunted him and called him names. No one believed him but how would they, his dreams were crazy just like the one he was about to share with the psychologist.

” This dream was a day ago;

I was in our basement with my sister getting something to drink suddenly my sister’s faces start to get weird. Her mouths and noses get really small and pretty much 90% of the face is her eyes. I start to run upstairs but a creature grabs my neck and pulls me up. The face was like a normal one but it had another skin above it. It started to scream like a demon and I just cant do anything else but screaming back.
My mother said in the first night I screamed three hours before I woke up.”

The psychologist face remained unchanged after hearing the dream. Billy could read her thoughts already as she wrote down in her notes; he’s crazy.

” Do you watch thriller movies, vampire movies?.” The psychologist asked.

Billy didn’t reply. He knew he had watched Vampire the night of his dream. He could remember how the next morning, he kept slapping his brother and sister face. When Cayle pushed him away, he dashed into his dad’s room, leaving his family who were nearby, trying to rouse him from his sleep. He could remember seeing Cayle’s smile immediately he opened his eyes. It was the devil’s smile. That was what made him to start hitting them in the first place.

Everyone, speechless, watched him as he ran out of the door. It took minutes or seconds, no one could tell. But right before everyone eyes, Billy entered into his room with a loaded gun. He aimed it and shot it twice at his siblings but he missed it. Cayle and Mara ran, pushing him and ran off into Mara’s room and locked the door. Billy who ran after them slipped off and fell, knocking himself out on the rails of the staircase. The next thing he saw himself on a chair, sitting before a white gray lady and a woman entering inside. He looked back after hearing the banging of the door and noticed that it was his mum.

” It has never been as bad as this. He’s been having weird dreams but it never got to the point of shooting people. He nearly killed my older son and daughter. His father has been asking me on countless occasions to take him to an asylum but I didn’t. Now I doubt my decision. ”

” I’ve not been having bad dreams, I’ve been seeing visions from God and it is going to happen. ” Billy’s voice rang out of the blues.

His mom started crying.

” No need trying to convince him otherwise. At least not for now. I hope he doesn’t turn out to be a serial killer cause that’s how they start. They imagine something… ”

” I’m not imagining anything. I saw it real in my dream. I’m not crazy.” Billy caught her short.

Billy’s nightmares started few months back. Nobody took him seriously. Even at school, complaint were made by his principal concerning it and threatened to involve child services if his parents didn’t do anything about it.

A week ago, Dan’s mum, a neighbor who lived a few blocks dropped in to say hi. It was Christmas morning and everyone save Billy was awake. Dan too had come also. He was helping Mara to decorate the Christmas tree. Her dad wanted the Christmas tree to be decorated on Christmas morning. Food were passed around. Snacks too passed around with Christmas songs playing from within and without. Everyone gathered around at the living room. No one noticed when Billy came down from the stairs. He must have stood there for God knows how long. But then, he saw Dan’s mum turn around and immediately, he started yelling. He grabbed a knife nearby and threw it and it missed Dan’s mum by a hair breadth but it left a small cut on Dan’s face who was sitting nearby. Billy stares at her and took another knife on the table and races at her direction. Immediately, his dad threw something at him and in the process of dodging it, he fell. Dan’s mum immediately carried her son and ran away from the house.

Cayle and Mara jumped on him. Billy struggled on the floor, shouting that Dan’s mum was evil. He had seen it in his dreams. As he kept struggling, his dad used a baseball bat and knocked him out. Later, when his mum comes into his room and asked him what he had seen in his dream, he begins to tell her;

” Last night, Dan’s mom came out and started yelling at me and Danfor drawing on the deck. But the weird thing was this lady wasn’t Dan’s mom. She was something evil and I could tell. It was like she was transforming into something dark and ugly in front of my eyes but Dan couldn’t see it. Long story short she finds out that I know she is evil and throws both of us off the cliff. I hit the bottom and open my eyes and see Dan with thorns sticking to her. Then the dream just ends.

” Jesus Christ!!!.” his mum yelled. Then, she regained her composure and sat up on his bed.

” So why did you want to kill her today?. ” his mom asked

” To stop her from killing Dan.” Billy said.

” But there was no proof that Dan’s mum was the monster and besides, Dan’s Mom would never hurt anyone. She’s so nice and sweet and everyone loves her including you. Have you forgotten the presents she bought you last Christmas?. ”

Billy deposition didn’t change. He said instead;

” We need to stop evil people before they carry out their evil plans. God revealed that to me. I heard his voice in my sleep. He told me to destroy her or else Dan’s blood will be on my head. ”

His mum was baffled and she jerked off his bed and starred at him as he looked back at the window before she left his room. As usual, his dad suggested that he’d been taken to an asylum but she opted against it and said he will be fine. Throughout that day and the next, his family sat in silence. Dan’s mom and Dan didn’t come to their house after that event, that didn’t matter. What did was that she didn’t call the cops on him.

In school, 2 weeks back, Billy was learning maths in his class when he slumbered. Few minutes later, he got up and went to the bathroom and comes in front of the class and start screaming;

“There’s gonna be a shooting here. Arm robbers are coming!! I saw them coming here. ”

His tone drove everyone at school to panic and immediately, the police were called in. Students and teachers hid in the school bunkers. A bang like bullet noise erupted in the surrounding and everyone yelled out in fear. After about few hours, it was discovered that there were no arm robbers in sight neither was there any gun shooting as people suspected. Some boys were shooting crackers at a near end.

The principal, who felt ashamed at his own fears that had almost made him jump off the window was furious when news reached him that it was a little dysfunctional boy who had started this false alarm and then the boy came into his office and his parents were told to come in too. 2 police men were sitting in his office, with Billy in their middle when his parents arrived and then when they told him why he made up such false alarm, he tells them that it was no false alarm, that he saw it in his sleep. That God had revealed it to him.

His statement resulted in an outburst of laughter by the police. The principal didn’t think it to be funny. Billy’s dad wanted to join in the laughing but Nina slapped his hands and instead he coughed.

The principal then told them that if they didn’t do something about their son, he would call child services for them. There was no response from his parents. The principal had expected a defense, an argument, a defiance but none of that happened. Instead his parents face remained expressionless. His mum felt grateful and vulnerable at the same time. The thought of her son taken away from her by child services scared her but she didn’t show it. Instead, like her husband, she kept her face expressionless and then her husband chipped in one or two words to the principal and the cops. It was an apology, she could tell. After which, they got up and left. Billy followed them home.

****

Billy looked up at his mom as they rode into their house after their visit from the psychologist. The psychologist had diagonaised him of borderline personality disorder. Their ride home was filled with a heavy silence which was interrupted on few occasions by the heavy sighs of Nina. His mum couldn’t understand this. He never had this issue growing up. He was a lovely sweet kid. Then all of a sudden, this. She couldn’t understand why it was happening now. if it had started in his very early years, she would have known what to do and it wouldn’t have turned out as bad as this. Her husband’s mum insanity was noticed very early and they were able to fight it to some point. She still was seen on few occasions talking and laughing to herself but she didn’t have no demons talking to her. It was too much for him to handle, especially at his young age of 16.

Nina sighs deeply at the thoughts swooping on the inside. She knew that Billy was showing symptoms but she decided to shut her eyes to it. She could remember few months back before his insanity took a whole new level, how he would tell them in the morning before going to school, about seeing a vampires and dragons in his sleep. He told them also that he usually hears voices in his head, they never bothered finding out what the voices were telling him, cause they always suspected that it was whatever he watched the previous night that was replaying in his head.

Cayle would joke about it, calling it a revelation from God and they will all laugh expect Billy, who would stare at them in anger. Or sometimes, he would join them in laughing, but his face would always smile, looking upward, and then he would yell and tell them that he saw a demon starring at them.

Cayle would yell again;

” God is speaking. ” in a mock tune, and he would start screaming and running all over the dinning room and stoop low behind where Billy was sitting, and he would scream so loudly from behind him, and Billy would yell in fear. It was so funny whenever Cayle did it. And then, Cayle would get up and go back to his seat.

Once during breakfast, Billy’s father was throwing a conversation with Nina, when Billy suddenly hushed them, with his finger on his lips. Mara was talking on the phone, when Billy knocked the table so loudly that she didn’t know when she ended the call. Billy was frozen, and so was everyone else for the moment. Billy sat still, taking deep breaths. He told them that the God was speaking. Cayle, suddenly jerked off as if reliazing himself, said mockingly;

” Tell us what he’s saying. ”

” He said I should take a knife and pierce it into your eyes. ” Billy said.

The sarcastic tune at which Billy said it, sent everyone to derision. It was funny. Even Billy would join in the laughter, so nobody took him seriously.

Nina should have noticed how suddenly he became withdrawn. She always heard him talking loudly in his room whenever he was alone. It was gibberish words. she thought he was talking to a friend on the phone. She didn’t mind that he stopped following them for outing. She didn’t mind that he never came out to watch T. v. with the family. He only watched the TV in his room. Cayle was glad about it cause nobody to struggle with him. Mara was always pressing her phone. She wasn’t a TV person. She only watched music channels. This was whenever Cayle wasn’t in the living room, which was rare.

Nina knew Billy watched Vampire movies but she didn’t stop him. She usually would enter his room to kiss him goodnight and the Tv in his room would be turned off, so was the light in his room. She would never see DvD packs on his DVD player, and so she would see no need to tell him to shut the TV. It never even crossed her mind. But then after she left, he would stay up all night, watching the Vampire movies. Those creatures on the screen scared him so much but instead of screaming outrightly, he would seat still, frozen. He watched vampires with eye sockets, covered in dark horror. The chill that those films gave him was beyond words.

Billy suddenly was seen sleeping in class and then those dark horror movies played on in his head but this time, he would see his brother or sister or father or mother… Just about anyone he knew was suddenly transformed into dark ugly, creatures with 3 eyes and 4 hands and multiple legs. Exactly as the creatures in his films. it was hideous. Then he will hear voices, telling him that what he saw was a revelation. It felt so true, at least to him. But to the rest of his family, especially to Cayle, it was a joke.

****

Billy entered inside with his mum. No word was said to him by his dad and his two older siblings. They were scared of him and at the same time, they had this feeling of disdain towards him. It was in the evening when they returned and so he entered his room and slept off.

In his dream, Billy saw his mum driving a car and someone coming from her left angle with his car, and pushed her off the cliff into the river. It was so real. He got up screaming and soon his mum rushed into his room and woke him up. When asked what was wrong, he told her nothing but another bad dream. He even started smiling so that she wouldn’t worry and then she kissed him and stood up to watch him. Tears were gleaming in her eyes. Finally she left.

Billy sat up. He knew it was another revelation. No one believed his revelation because no one was worthy enough to carry out his dreams. What if he carried it out? Everyone thought he was crazy, even his mum. He would teach them. He would show them that he’d been having encounters from God. He lay on his bed smiling.

The next morning, while everyone was in the living room, he came out and told them his dream of last night. He could see the hatred in the eyes of his brother and father as he relayed it .His father called him a crazy freak. It was only his mum who held him in sympathy.

Soon everyone went out, leaving him alone in the house. His dad went out to a Bar, his mom to a grocery shop, Cayle, to his friends’ place and Mara hung out with her boyfriend.

you’re the chosen one. ” The voice in his dreams spoke out.

Upon hearing that voice, he went and took his dad’s keys. His dad didn’t carry his car but his mom carried hers. Perfect. He thought. This was God speaking.

He called his mom. She picked instantly.

” Homey are you okay?. ”

” Yeah sure. ” Billy said.

” Are you sure?” heavy sighs following then she continues;

” look am so sorry about dad. I would talk to him. ”

” look I get it, he hates me, everyone in this house hates me. ”

” But I don’t hate u. Doesn’t that count?. ”

No answer.

” Mum have you reached the groceries?”

” yes Billy and am buying your favorite cereals and doing shopping for dad and Cayle and Mara and you. I will be home in 15 minutes. Am coming with a friend so I will reach a few blocks before coming home. Stay safe, love you ”

Billy ended the call before starting the car. He held a sigh of relief as he drove the car outside the garage.

Billy drove quickly to the road. His dad had thought him a year ago how to drive. He parked by the left flank of the cliff and was about to call his mom when she called him.

” mum where are you?” he asked.

” Am heading toward the Cliff. Am coming son. ” she said and he ended the call on her. She called back but he didn’t pick.

Soon, he saw his mom car heading towards him. it wasn’t on top speed and besides he heard the voice in his head say;

” She’s coming. ”

Billy immediately drove off immediately he saw her pass him. He hit her car twice. Since she wasn’t on a very full speed, Nina’s car swayed sideways. Nina looked through her window and saw the car as he drove from behind her and hit her again. This time, her car pushed the car and it swayed and the bonnet of the car was faced towards the driver door of her car. The car pushed her further near the cliffs. Whoever that was in there wanted to throw her off the cliff into the river.

Billy pressed further, pushing his mum against the railing of the cliffs. Then before he knew it, he saw his mum’s eyes on him in a wide shock and he froze and immediately, the voice in his head spoke out loudly and clear;

” You failed to show strength when you should. You’re weak, overcome by affection. You failed to met out justice against the evil ones. You failed to fulfill the prophecy and now you must pay with your life. ”

immediately, Billy was brought back to reality. His mum was screaming helplessly as the railings were breaking. Billy screamed too in despair and from nowhere, a truck with a failed break hit the car Billy was in and it jerked away from his mum’s car and tumbled about 4 times and crashed on the road and the car Immediately, burst into flames.

The truck’s break came alive again after the car started tumbling and it stopped immediately, same thing with Nina’s car which after it must have moved a little bit, it stopped.

Both Nina and the truck driver rushed to the burning car. Billy’s body was already chopped off by the fire. The car was a wreck. Nina could see the world swirling through her head. She couldn’t tell who she was or what was happening. The only thing she could hear was loud sirens and at that moment, she knew that his demons had caught up with him.

Spoiler alert

Gavin sat up and looked up at Charlotte as she moaned and pushed rather too slightly on the bed. This is it. He thought. He looked at his bedside clock. It was 6pm. The next day was her wedding with Kennedy and here she was drunk and in bed with a guy that she met few hours . He had few hours before stopping what he thought was the biggest mistake of all time.

Gavin pushed himself off the bed and sat up looking at her. Their clothes lay on the bed. It was then he realized that he was naked. He wore his boxer and headed for the door and removed the camera from behind it. He copied the video of what had happened between him and Charlotte and sent it to Alec, Kennedy’s brother.

Immediately Gavin sent that, someone called him. He wondered who that might be. It wasn’t Kennedy that’s for sure. Neither was it anyone he knew. His dad would be doing on online dating, chasing hot chicks. His mum had finally gotten her date and she will be all night with him in his apartment. Gavin knew the guy his mum was dating. They were good friends. They met at a bar. He fell out with the guy after he got into a relationship with his mom. Firstly he knew the guy sleeps with strippers. Secondly the guy was way younger for his mum. He couldn’t bear to see his mom heartbroken. But he knew that spilting both of them would leave his mom devastated so he didn’t. Instead he moved out of the house and found an apartment at Anaheim street. He had previously been in 3 relationships which didn’t ended well, and he and his half brother weren’t seeing eye to eye because Gavin slept with his girlfriend, it was the first girl Gavin ever dated and he could remember how she called him on phone to come pick her at her place, not knowing his brother was at her place too. He could remember walking into her apartment and she opening the door for him and immediately he saw his brother, Gerald looking at him.

“Hey boyfriend. ” She said, kissing him and immediately Gerald ran madly after his brother. He brought out his gun and shot Gavin who ran off immediately. He didn’t go after Gavin and never contacted or spoke to him again. Gavin, knowing that the worst thing to do to Gerald was to go begging. If he wants to let go, he must be the one to call. That he never did and so Gavin never him again, though he knew his brother had moved over to Colorado.

Gavin finally picked the call.

” Hello, am I speaking to Gavin?. ” The voice sounded like an auto machine.

” Yes… Sure…” Gavin said frozen. Who had pinned something on him? What was going on?

” OK. I’m Mr. Gerardo, Charlotte’s dad. I was told by my daughter that you lost your Student Loan and you can’t pay your last 2 semester fees. She tells me you’re super sweet and smart and she really wanna help you. She’s so sweet. I know that. I know I objected to it but I kinda agree cause I love helping people. You can call me a scholarship guy. ” he said with a chuckle before continuing;

” So I sent your fees few hours ago. I checked your school profile and I found out that you’re pretty smart, straight A’s….. That’s nice. Keep up the good work. ” He ended the call.

Gavin starred at his phone. Mr. Gerardo’s words played in his head. No way could he do this to Charlotte. He couldn’t believe that she went this far to help him. He had merely told her when the both of them sat together in a cab. He was heading towards his apartment while she was heading to church. They dropped at the same time yet he didn’t see that as a sign. His apartment was a few blocks from her church.

It still didn’t make sense to him even as he stood by in her apartment. She didn’t seem to care when he kept muttering his problems out loud. Even though she didn’t tell him to cut the bullshit like the man who sat on his right, even if she didn’t tell him to shut the fuck up like the cab driver, she remained silent, uninterested and didn’t seem apprehensive. He didn’t even know her from anywhere. How did Mr Gerardo know the college he attends? How did she know his name? He suddenly remembered that before they parted ways, she had asked him for his contact which he reluctantly gave her. She gave him hers which he couldn’t find no more. “Shit! I gotta end this” he said, before calling Alec, Kennedy’s brother.

****

Alec sat up at his computer and was surfing the internet. He was looking at Amazon sale products. He saw cool tuxedos, smart phones and what not. He wasn’t planning on buying anything. He was just checking prices. Some of their prices were way out of the universe. Most of the tuxedos online cost a $1,000. He was flirting with his phone when Kennedy sent him a photo of him and Charlotte with an inscription written below;

can’t believe my wedding is in 6 hours. “

” That’s if there’s ever gonna be any wedding. ” He muttered to himself as he looked at his phone.

what the hell bro, you’re still awake.” Alec typed to Kennedy.

Same as you bro. “

” You got 6 hours to your big day and now you don’t wanna get some rest. You wanna go to the altar looking like a perverted bus driver. You wanna go drooling on your wife on your big day.”

” She gotta accept me for whom I am.”

” That’s not funny Ken, you don’t have to go on the altar looking drowsy. Get some sleep man.. ”

Alec knew that Kennedy won’t reply immediately. He knew Kennedy was imagining himself, sleepy and falling on Charlotte and probably drunk.

After waiting for an hour, Alec sent Kennedy a message which he didn’t reply immediately and Alec was about to gasp happily when Kennedy sent him an emoji sticking it’s tongue out. It really made Alec so mad and so he sent him a quick message

” Good luck bro on your big day. ” And was about shutting down when he got a message from Gavin;

” I can’t do this anymore. ”

” what do you mean? ” Alec asked.

“The video.. You have gotta to delete it please… ”

” What do you mean by I’ve gotta delete it. Haven’t I paid you for your job?. ”

” Yeah sure…. But Charlotte’s dad is a renowned pastor in this little town of ours… What you are planning on doing would ruining him and have you thought about your brother what it could do to him…? ”

Alec laughed heartily on seeing the last part of the message.. Who is this dude talking? A neighbor at Charlotte’s apartment. He off course didn’t have a clue of who Kennedy was and why should he? Kennedy had sex with tons of girls. There They were only 2 girls with whom he was into serious relationship with. They were Ashley and Susan.

Ashley was from Kirkwood. She was Kennedy’s first. Alec had developed keen relationship with her because she loved behaving like a guy. She loved watching football and soccer and was a great fan of NBA sports.

At first the relationship resided between Kennedy and her. They went out on many dates, most of which was her idea. Kennedy was so quiet and most times he would just gloat at her while she talked or while she got up and danced to the beat of a music. The first time Kennedy was dragged to dance in the midst of a gloating crowd at a homecoming party organized by their high school, Kennedy only moved his body when her hands pushed it to. Twice when she left him and danced for few seconds, he fell face down. It was funny. He wasn’t used to this. He was used to silence. He was used to going to a library to read books. He was used to their silence sex where nothing was said save their heavy breathing. He was used to their watching TV in silence. He was used to their almost silent dinner where Ashley or he chipped in one or two words. The only thing she couldn’t tolerate about him was his reading and thinking and his love for it. Sometimes he could just be caught off in his thoughts and she would talk for hours and he wouldn’t hear her until when she called his name and shook him and he would respond, apologizing but by then, the ecstasy was gone.

Alec and Ashley started to hang up. The first time they spoke was at Kennedy’s family house. She had come to look for Kennedy but he wasn’t at home so she met his brother. Alec was the opposite of his brother. Alec loved the wild life. He is everything his brother isn’t. The only thing they shared in common was that they loved to fuck girls.

Girls weren’t really into Alec. He was more like the everyone ones guy. Girls didn’t really wanna have any intimate relationship with him because he never had a private moment. People were always in his room. He was always having sleep overs and Kennedy would look at them shyly and greet the people there and the girls would give seductive smiles and the next night, a girl would come over to Kennedy’s room for a sleepover and they will be all over each other, naked.

After Ashley hung out with Alec the first time, she began seeing him more often. Kennedy was grateful that his brother took Ashley’s mind off him. Ashley really loved Kennedy and he loved her too just that she couldn’t fit in his compressed silent world. They saw little of each other and spoke little to each other and Alec, without their will, spilt them apart. Ashley even stopped asking of Kennedy even when she saw him she said a little hello and moved over to Alec. Then one night, when Kennedy seemed in the mood to talk to her, he found her and his brother on his bed in his room, naked. That was it. He closed the door and she feeling guilty left and never spoke to either of them again.

Susan and Kennedy dated for weeks. They broke up after her boyfriend whom she earlier thought was dead, survived a plane crash. He didn’t board the plane. That was 2 years back . Photos on facebook were showing his Rip posters. No word was heard about him for months . He didn’t call her or send her texts. In her grief, she went to a bar and drank herself to stupor and Kennedy who was depressed that day was at that same bar. They sat opposite each other, brandy and beer and cigarettes fumes filled the air. When Kennedy looked up and saw her, he smiled. That thing that triggered him was in her eyes; silence. They were both drunk and they kissed each other in the bar. They were both tipsy and for the first time, Kennedy didn’t spend the night at home and also for the first time Kennedy had lay at a bar wasted. Yet it didn’t spark regrets in either of them. They went on dating for weeks. And then on the second time that he and she went out, her boyfriend suddenly showed up at the restaurant where they were and there eyes met and they hugged and kissed each other and she broke up with Kennedy at that very moment and he watched the two of them as they walked out of the restaurant.

****

Charlotte stir on the bed. She got up almost the same time Gavin jumps out the window. She shivered at the reality of what just happened. She knew he drugged her but that didn’t matter. She was deflowered. She was no better than all friends. She had tried all her life to marry as a virgin. She didn’t go partying like her friends did. She never stayed out late both at college and when she got out of college. She was churcheous and diligent too.

Charelote could remember the first time she saw Kennedy . It was at a library. She had come there to do some research work for her final project in school. It was her last project in school as she was soon graduating. She was fancied at the way he looked at the book he was reading with so much concentration. His voraciousness for knowledge was eminent in the way he looked at the book. He was so taken aback by it. She starred a little longer till Ashley, her friend showed up. Ashley had once dated Kennedy.

Charelote didn’t wait for her to ask her who she was staring at, she immediately pointed at a guy in red sweatshirt with short curly hair. Immediately Ashley saw Kennedy, she dragged Charelotte away and told her to keep away from that guy. She told her about his weird silent life style and his presumptuous brother Alec and how she knew that he had slept with many girls and could have contacted HIV and other sex related diseases but none of that mattered to Charlotte because she believed him to be the one.

Few hours later, Charlotte noticed him leaving, got up and ran after him and in the process bumped into him and a couple of paperwork that he had on him fell to the ground. She immediately bent down to pick it. By the time she got up, she noticed that he had his eyes scanning her curved body in those spilt seconds. Her hands were shaky and the paperwork fell to the ground. Kennedy picked them up this time.

Ashley had just reached her when Kennedy said hello to her which she didn’t respond.

Charlotte eyes sparked with innocence as she looked at him and her smile was gentle and her eyes held silence. Kennedy immediately gave her his card, containing his contact and she gave him hers as well.

That evening as Charlotte searched for his card, Ashley who was with her, snatched it from her stripe jacket pocket and cut it to shreds with a scissors. Charlotte starring in shock.

Later that night, Kennedy called her. She wasn’t used to night calls, neither was she used to strangers calling her at midnight. She finally picked the call after 5 missed call. She gave it to an older lady who was in her dorm and she yelled out crazily at him, telling him to stop calling or she would call the cops on him, calling him a predator, an evil monster. When Kennedy told the lady that Charllote had given him her contact, she called him a pathetic liar, a deleterious son of a bitch, a lying cheating butt hole and told him that may God save his soul before ending the call.

But the whole drama didn’t turn him off as later that night, he sent her a text and a voicemail, reminding her about the library catch up and she immediately called back and apologized. Charlotte told the lady that she knew the guy and she had made a bloody mistake. The lady disbelieving her, knew better than to interfere.

And from there, more hanging out, more calling and texting and they introduced each other to their families and friends.

Charllote could remember how Alec looked at her in a distasteful manner. He didn’t like her. It was clear. When Kennedy reveals to her that his parents are dead, she does go forward and hug him tightly. Alec was surprised at how easily Kennedy could tell her that. Kennedy tells her that he has no uncle or aunts or cousins as both his parents were the only child in their families. Kennedy then laughs and tell that it wasn’t true. Kennedy tells her the real truth… His parents families are big time rivals and so they hate each other.. He tells her that when his parents died in air crash, that increased the hatred the more as both families of his parents took their deceased family member to bury separately. No one gave a shit about Kennedy or his brother and so they were both left to figure out life for themselves. Fortunately, they had both finished college at that time.

Charllote didn’t tell Kennedy that Alec looked vile . She was sometimes scared that he could kill her or something but that never happened. He only looked at her like a barking dog. He was truly presumptuous.

When Kennedy visited her house, Mr Gerardo didn’t seem excited to see him. If he was at first, he wasn’t anymore because Kennedy had openly told him that he wasn’t a Christian. Kennedy was too open to her father. When her dad asked him if Charelotte was the only girl that he had ever dated, he said no and told him that he ‘d been into tons of relationships before ever being with his daughter. Mr. Gerardo felt this disdain for him and took Charlotte into the hallway to have a word with her. She knew what he wanted to tell her and so when he told her that he didn’t trust that guy and didn’t want her to marry him, she objected to it, telling him that she loved his honesty and the way he didn’t lie to get approved. When her dad pressed further, she told him to stop all this pretending. She reminded him of how he cheated on her mum who caught him naked with her best friend in her best friend’s house and she got so mad that she ran off and came back months later and they both had to go through a divorce, leaving Charlotte in her dad’s care.

Mr. Gerardo looked into his daughter’s eyes with a wide guilt and went back quietly to the dining room.

Charelotte memory was struck back by the loud knocking on the door. She was still naked.

” Honey are you okay. ” her father’s voice echoed through the door

“Sure dad. ” she said as she went to unlock the door.

Her dad was talking happily and couldn’t guess that anything wrong had happened. He talked about the dinner they had together with Gavin, her wedding dress, the wedding cake and people who were coming but she wasn’t paying attention. Gavin had played her. He had drugged her somehow and had snuck into her room at night to have sex with her. She enjoyed it, she could tell even though she knew it was the drugs at work.

Charelotte was very disappointed in herself. She had succeeded In convincing Kennedy not to have sex with her before marriage. He didn’t cheat on her even though it was obvious that he would and now she was the cheater..

Her dad left her after kissing her good night and told her that she would make a beautiful bride and she cried as she looked at her wedding gown which was hung on her wardrobe.

*****

The wedding day finally came. So many people trooped into the church. her dad who was a widely known pastor and was the senior pastor of the church saw so much crowd. The people from all over the streets and even from far and wide came. Her uncles, aunts and cousins came. Ashley had agreed to be her maid of honor. Her little cousin, Jenna, had agreed to be the little bride.

Kennedy’s brother, Alec, was the only person who showed up for Kennedy. His 3 friends had agreed to be groom men for him.

Alec looked at Charlotte with an evil smile. Kennedy had a few times bumped into him and said a quick hello and asked him to help him do his buttons right. His collars were done right too.

Charelotte sat sad in the maidens room. she smiled but deep down she was hell mad. she couldn’t show her through feelings and distance herself. Everyone would think it to be malevolence. No one would understand. Ashley and some of the maid kept running through her things and we’re admiring her gown. Her cousins, her male cousins, trooped in to say hi. Ashley helped Jenna to get her makeup done.

It was time for the wedding. Charelotte came out first. Jenna had gone before her as the flower girl and everyone starred admirably. Then Charelotte came out and looked ahead and saw Kennedy standing on the altar with her father. Alec was by his side, looking at her. Gavin was nowhere there but she could feel his presence. He was hiding somewhere.

As she mounted the podium, she had the urge to get out but didn’t. Her father read serval scriptures and spoke for 5 minutes before the exchange of rings and vows was about to commence. Just then, Alec gave a signal and immediately, the projector screen in the church started giving blurred images and just then, the video of Gavin and Charelotte kissing popped on the screen. It was hysterical, everyone gave a hideous glance and just then Kennedy eyes gave out. Charelotte noticed it first. She wanted to say something but before she could, Kennedy was hurled on the floor and snapped his neck hard in the process

Alec yelled immensely. paramedics were immediately rushed into the building. Before they could resuscitate him, he was gone…

Alec shook his brother with tears running all over his face. He was screaming outrightly. He had gotten more than he had bargained for. Kennedy was dead. He had lost his parents, now he had lost his brother as well. He wanted to prove that Charlotte was a whore and he had all but proved it but in the end, he was the biggest loser. Soon everyone was gonna forget that video but how could he ever forget Kennedy ?. He knew that Charlotte would move out to another state where no one would know her or what she did. Even if they know, it would be one or two and the only they could do was to gossip her to the neighbors or look at her disapprovingly. She wouldn’t die, neither would it cost her anything pricessless. But he lost his only family forever. The wound will never heal. He had won the battle but had lost the war.

Fathom part 10

Marcus woke up sheepishly on hearing the loud knock from the door. The incident of the previous night starred in his face. He quickly went to the kitchen and carried a knife. In his haste, he tramped Riley who lay on the floor. He was scared of going near her. She lay in the same posture, no stir.

The knock on the door came again, this time with more viciousness. The loudness of the knock, reminded Marcus of the thud with which Riley fell with her head slamming on the ground before the bright light enveloped Marcus in the dim of the night and the screaming of Nashua’s voice in that loud brittleness. He could remember being frozen, like a not fully formed human being and watch her in slow motion as she yanked to the floor. He tried to fight the thought of guilt which caught him on the throat to the point of unconsciousness. It broke him completely, the thought of Riley dying and he standing and frozen. It was only when he heard gasps of her breaths that he became conscious again.

The loud knock which came again broke him from his thoughts. He sprang up from the floor where he lay he tramped Riley. He took his knife and slowly headed for the floor. He thought of what to do when he opened the door. He would stab Nashua or whoever was at the door. He was still stewing in his thoughts when he looked behind him and noticed he was already at the door. He wanted to go back to the kitchen and walk at a slower pace when the knock came again.

” Shit! He knows that I’m here. ” he yelled.

He looked on to Riley who was still sleeping. His hands grabbed the knob of the door and before he could shift his gaze from Riley, the door opened and he was about yelling when his face caught Emma’s pale eyes.. He gave her a blank stare before pushing back and allowing her come in.

Emma walked absentmindedly into the room and sat on the couch. Her eyes floating in silent gaze round the living room yet, she could see or hear nothing. Her memory was clouded with Nashua’s images, at Caleb’s bloody image, at the Japanese men and women who starred occasionally at her at the hospital when she was carried by an ambulance on the road. She could recall how frightened she was when Nashua’s face popped out from the group of men who carried her as she lay on the stretcher. She recalled how something gave out in her when she slammed her head on the road. She recalled the Japanese man who was driving her before the incident, starring at her and looking back at the doctor and back at her.

” Hey! Hey!!. ” Marcus voice broke into her thoughts.

Emma turned and looked at him.

” Are you okay?. ” he asked, standing at a far end.

Emma shot a quick stare at Riley and asked;

” why’re you holding a knife?.”

” Something strange is happening. Riley’s becoming delusional. Don’t know what Dr. Lawrence did to her but looks like someone is hypnotizing her. Can’t really explain it but last night she was hypnotized. Someone bugged by cell phone and was screaming; give up Riley or… ” Marcus paused and noticed Emma smiling and laughing. Her gaze shot behind him. Marcus turned back and looked behind him but nothing was there. No one was standing behind him. No one had opened the door. Perhaps she saw a ghost. Perhaps her son’s ghost. A swirling feeling struck Marcus on the head. Had Nashua called her to tell her that Caleb was dead? has his death drove her insane?

Marcus broke off from his thoughts and went near her, cuddling her. He spoke softly in that tone used in pacifying insanity;

” Is okay. Caleb misses you too. Can’t believe he’s dead… ”

Emma suddenly screamed.

” Caleb’s dead! Caleb dead?. ”

She jerked him away and started screaming. Marcus dashed after her. Emma had ran into a Japanese woman who carried a basket filled with snakes. The woman cursed in Japanese. Marcus ran too and hit the woman who was about getting up. Emma ran into the last stairs of the building and wanted to jump off from such great height when Marcus came and pushed her back. She approached him and he punched her into unconsciousness.

****

Emma sat up in Marcus apartment. She was tied to the couch. Marcus duct taped her. She was still struggling to get free when Marcus walked in and she calmed down in a silent hate.

” Listen to me, Caleb’s not dead. I thought he was because I saw you talking to the air few minutes ago. I thought Nashua called you and told you that Caleb is dead. ”

” So Caleb’s not dead. This was just a bunch of speculation?.” Emma asked, adjusting herself on the couch.

” Yes!. ”

” I could kill you right now. ”

Marcus laughed.

” About Riley. What did you say happen to her?.”

” I can’t really say but all I do know is that someone’s messing with her head. Last night, a voice echoed through my phone and was shouting. The voice asked me if I wanted to see something hysterical and before I knew it, Riley came into the living room with a gun stuck to her head. I was screaming but she wasn’t there. She was hypnotized. She couldn’t see or hear me. She was some kind of puppet. It was crazy and thrilling too.” Marcus said.

” Same thing happened to me too. I was in a taxi and I saw Nashua in the car but then the cab driver who drove me said that nothing was in there. I was told that I slammed myself through the windshield screaming as though something was chasing me when in reality nothing was there but I really saw him there. And later that night, I saw someone walk into the room, injecting me with something. I can’t say what was it but I know that it’s bad. ” Emma said.

” God! By the way who were you talking to minutes ago?. ” Marcus asked

” My friend pep. ”

” whose pep?.”

” A dark skinny guy who appears to me. No one sees him but me. I had a long conversation with him on the way to your place this morning…. ”

Marcus exhaled in amazement;

Dear God! We really need to go see a doctor. ”

****

The next day, while Emma set out with Riley to see a psychologist outside the outskirts of little Tokyo, Marcus took a cab to temple medical centre. He called Emma on arrival but she didn’t pick. He could remember her words loud and clear when they came down from his apartment before they went their separate ways;

” Make sure you get that son of a bitch.”

Getting pass the security was an easy thing for him, as an electrician walked out the door to go get something from his car. Marcus sneaked behind him and knocked him out with a blow by the side of the head. He dragged him inside his car and saw a duct tape which he used to strap him on the front seat and gave him a further blow on his head again, this time on the forehead. He saw him stir a little.

Marcus had gotten out from the car when he heard a phone ringing. He knew it was the guy’s phone. It was, perhaps what he came out to collect. He jacked the phone instantly on seeing someone approaching his direction. It was an old crazy woman, in crutches supported by an angry looking nurse who couldn’t wait to get rid of her.

Marcus strolled back to the entrance of the hospital. He was immediately halted and was asked in Japanese what he was doing there. The phone in his hand was still ringing. The security guards furiously spoke Japanese as they stared at him. Finally one of them seeing the phone, asked him if he was the electrician cause he had after knocking the guy out, had put on his uniform. Marcus gave him the ” what do you think ” look and the guards finally let him in.

Marcus walked in looking back at the guards who had gone back on their chit chat.

Marcus looked at the electrician phone, it was unlocked. As soon as he scrolled it upwards, a map, showing segment of the building popped up on the screen. It was really easy to locate Dr. Lawrence office. But the problem was how to physically get there?

Marcus had just passed the telephone dispatcher office, walking slowly, when 2 men approached him. He felt uneasy as he looked at them.

“Show us your ID. ” the men said in Japanese.

Marcus froze on hearing that. He suddenly felt his fingers running around the right pocket of his trouser uniform. It was the trouser of the electrician he had earlier knocked out. Something was in his right pocket. There was a little solidness, he could feel it. He dipped into the pocket and brought out an ID and another Card which the hospital had given him for identification, in case he went out.

Marcus slowly handed the 2 ID’s to the men. After examining it, they spoke briefly to each other, before one of them asked him to go. He gasped in relief. Thank goodness, he had worn the electrician cap and sunglasses.

Marcus couldn’t help feeling watched as he moved round the building. He passed ward rooms and offices. Most offices had their doors locked. But the office holders had their names written on the doors. Like the medical administrative assistant, whose office was close to one of the ward rooms. He also passed the office of the patient care Technician, the office of the correspondence technician.

Marcus walked a wide length in the building with no one looking at him. He had looked at the phone to look at the map of the building. he was almost reaching Dr. Lawrence office. it was on the third floor. He took an elevator to the third floor. His door was on the left side. He used a pin to jam the lock of the door and was about opening the door when he felt a sharp piercing on his neck. He turned around and saw two men looking at him. He felt weaknesses all over his body as he slumped into unconsciousness.

Few minutes later, Marcus was woken. He was very weak and could hardly see, yet when Dr. Lawrence and Nashua walked into the office, he couldn’t help but know it was them. He even heard their voices;

” When I heard that someone was sneaking into my office, I didn’t know that it was this dip shit.” Dr. Lawrence said.

” Is it possible for you to carry out a face surgery on me and this guy. Let me have his face and let him have mine. ” Nashua said.

” I need to ask a quick question; what do you gain by torturing Emma and Riley. Cause I know you are doing it to hurt them?.”

” I don’t really know. I just like hurting Emma. I hate her but I love Riley. Am strangely obsessed by the little girl. ”

“Right.” Dr. Lawrence said before adding;

” But would you kill this guy?. ”

” Not yet but get him tied up in a hideout. Tie him up, face him to a dripping tap so that he would go insane. I really do want him to pay for getting into my business, for hooking himself with my wife. ” Nashua said.

Marcus was finally knocked out.

****

Emma sat with Riley and the psychologist in a taxi cab that took them to S. San Pedro street. Emma had called Marcus, hoping he’s gotten the bastard, but his line was switched off. Riley often looked at the psychologist, a white fair dude who lived outside the outskirts of little Tokyo. Riley could remember seeing his name on a newspaper and had heard some guys in the bus that drove her and Riley to Eagle Rock, Los Angeles. That was the location of the psychologist. Even then, she couldn’t help but feel that somehow this men were arranged by someone, perhaps the psychologist. She felt this way because immediately she ended the call with the psychologist ( She got his number from the newspaper), the men started talking. The suddeness exposed the charade. Perhaps this wasn’t so. Perhaps the men wanted to have a conversation and was looking for an opportunity to strike one. Emma listened with keen interest as the men spoke about him. Even though she said nothing, she was happy that someone had unknowingly confirmed good about where she was going. After a while, the men stopped talking.

Emma looked often at Riley who at different intervals, peered into the psychologist’s phone. Emma could remember how he introduced himself to her as Kain. She could remember how hypnotized she felt as she looked at him. She could recall how they stared at each other moments longer… She was the one starring. he was addressing Riley and before she knew it, she was outside of his office, sitting on a long chair. She couldn’t tell how long she was cut off. She could remember wanting to bang at the door of his office, scared cause she couldn’t hear or see Riley, scared cause she couldn’t tell who or where she was. She felt helpless and hopeless. She couldn’t get up. She found herself crying profusely, screaming inside but no word out. She wasn’t tied or anything relating to her. She could have easily gotten up and banged on Kain’s door and gotten out but she didn’t. She couldn’t.

Emma noticed how with disdain and contempt the secretary looked at her. Then Riley stepped out through the door. It was with great relief that Emma ran and hugged her daughter who suddenly felt strange to her.

Emma took her turn and sat looking at Kain. She told him about Nashua and about how she hallucinates. He looked at her as though she was keeping some secrets but then he began to cheer her up. He told her stories of when he first came to Little Tokyo to see his grandmother and she took him to kinokuniya, a large Japanese book store that had wide selection of Japanese language books,magazines, music CDs, manga, and anime, as well as a selection of English-language books on Japanese subjects and translated manga and anime.

Kain told her how weird he felt as people spoke and looked like Japanese . He told her how he picked some Japanese books to the counter so to pay for them. He laughed ,telling her how stunned the cashier was as he spoke that junk America language that was smeared with ” fuck!. ” and the confused lady was shouting in Japanese language, with her eyes bulged out. She screamed as though she was electrified. And he yelled back too in that junky America accent. Suddenly, people who stood behind him yelled too in Japanese language. It wasn’t security men started leveling out of the way, that he yelled out to his mum who came to his aid, spoke Japanese to the security men and the cashier and people everywhere started laughing.

” it was so hilarious, the whole drama. ” Kain finally said.

When Kain tells her that he’s from San Francisco, she couldn’t but see a connection between them. She too was from San Francisco and grew up there, like him.

Kain told her after their little chat that he needed to see his grandmother again whom he hadn’t seen in ages. she was happy and Riley too, was unusually happy. She never showed affection, never smiled but she did today and it warmed Emma’s heart even as the three of them sat in the bus.

Kain phone finally beeped. Riley had looked away outside. Emma who sat at the end was thinking deeply on Marcus. She had called him for almost the 15th time and he still didn’t pick his phone.

“Make her look backward . ”

The message came on Kain’s phone in capital letters.

” Look around Emma. ” Kain’s voice yelled out

Emma immediately turned backward and saw Caleb sitting on an empty chair in the bus. He was silent and looked often at her but with no lit in his eyes.

” Caleb! Caleb!! Am coming to get you baby. ” She yelled painfully and ran towards him. People starred at her and looked towards her direction. The car swayed, pushing her to the floor but she got up. She tripped on people’s legs occasionally as she approached where he sat. She tried to grab him but she couldn’t. She yelled his name but he didn’t respond. She saw him trying to jump through the window. She heard him say;

” mum, I love you. ” And he jumped.

She couldn’t contain it. She yelled and jumped too, Crashing through the window into the road. Cars swaying off her direction to avoid crushing her. Some Cars crashed into each other in an attempt to avoid hitting her. There was noise, shouting and yelling and as Emma lay on the road, She knew her imagination played her, or was it?

Life of a prisoner

Metropolitan Correctional Centre,

150 park row

Manhattan,

New York .

20th September, 2018

Dear Mary Jane,

How you doing? Hope you’re taking good care of yourself and Leno? By the way how’s the little guy doing? I wish I could just see him. It’s what now, 17 years since I’ve been in jail. I’m serving sentence of 120 years without parole. You know that already. I’m just feeling sorry for myself and I need your condolences too. That’s all I ask from you. But please don’t tell Leno about me. He doesn’t have to know that his dad was a killer, a crook, a drug addict, a man who beat up his wife and still cheat on her. He doesn’t have to live in my past. He doesn’t have to grow up, having that memory of me.

I heard you’re now married to a lawyer whose based in texas… I heard he’s from Singapore.. I heard he’s got a frog like furrowed face.. Okay that’s not funny…. Guess I’ve run out of good jokes. Congratulations to you!

Am writing this letter cause there are lots of stories to tell. Life in prison is hell and cool at the same time. I know you don’t care anyways but I have to share it with you cause it’s all I can do. I can’t stay silenced in prison. Someone gotta hear me out.

I didn’t come to accept my fate for a long time. It was as though none of it were real. It was a dream. I told myself.. But here I am locked behind bars.

When I came here in 2001, after my arrest for the bank robbery and killing of an old guy who I thought was bringing out a gun, I was surprised that my inmate in prison, turned out to be the son of that guy. It was hell the first night we stayed together. I had no idea that he was his son. I was half asleep and then I felt a heavy weight on me. I looked up and I saw a gun hoisted in my direction. I had just rolled out from the bed when bullets were shot at the spot where I laid. The bullets were scattered all over the bed. The room was dark. He didn’t turn on the light so I don’t wake up.

I lay on the floor trying to catch my breath when another round of shooting occurred. Someone was standing by the door in a sneaky position and he must have thought that it was me so he shot the person who turned out to be a cop. He must have frozen on seeing it. He shot the dead cop a couple more times before turning back, looking back in the direction of the bunker bed but soon the cops crowded our cell. The guy was shot on the legs and soon was transferred to solitary.

For the next few days after that event, I had fever and crouched with severe headaches.

I was transferred to another cell, this time with a bearded fat guy. He killed his dad, that was what got him to jail. His name’s Cretch. I heard him shouting aloud to himself that he didn’t mean to kill his dad. He had merely pushed his dad from the staircase and his dad was still struggling to get up. He came over to his father and held his neck to make his dad unconscious, instead, he snapped his dad’s neck and he died. He had broken into his dad’s house after his dad sent him away few months after his mum died. He was a drug addict and his dad didn’t want him into the house because of his way of living so he put him out for days and cretch, having no where else to go decided to come back and then it lead to everything He’s from L. A. He told me all of this after I asked him why he was talking to himself.

My daily routine in prison was the same as ever. We woke up at 6am and then clean up and have our morning exercise, and then we went out to work . We did jobs like raking the field. Everyone had a day scheduled for him to work outside. The period for working was also leisure for those who weren’t scheduled to work. Today’s my leisure day and that’s why I’m hunched in the common room, writing this letter to you.

Telephone calls were allowed for people who weren’t working. And the period for working lasted for thirty minutes.

Soon after this period, everyone goes to his cell where food is served. We have our breakfast in our cells… What a life?

Food here sucks but you learn to cope with it. It’s so bad that we usually eat tissue papers and toothpaste because the food wasn’t just ever enough. A guy in his sixities recently died in his cell because of the poor quality of food.

Food Menus here were Tacos, burger or pizza which was rotated every few weeks.

New prisoners, like, Bret, a dude from Lambertville, who was thrown into prison, a year ago, was seen continually eating toothpaste. He could get along with the spoilt, sour, small meals that was served in prison. Not really even that. Truth be told, he hardly ever ate a good meal due to the fights that always occurred whenever food was served.

15 minutes is allocated for answering telephone calls in the morning.

This just reminded me of our midnight chat when we were still courting, mostly when we got married. I really enjoyed it when we got married, how we stayed at different sections of the small apartment in Madison. You would sometimes sleep in the living room and yell as though you saw a mice, and I will run to get you, only for you to scare the living crap out of me when you put on a scary face and say in that monster voice :

” picka boo.”

And I would yell and run into the kitchen, clutching a knife, savaging in fear and you will laugh so hard when you decide to stop it and I will feign anger, but it was more of relief, a relief that the monster wasn’t real.

I miss our long conversation on phone in the night when we pass out in different sections of the small apartment. Now I get to call you for just 5 minutes, at most and I hate it when you tell me to cut it sly. I hate how brief and pertinent you sound on the phone as though we never shared anything.

Forget to mention about the morning roll calls every morning.

There’s this dude in cell 16, a huge dude who had tattoos all over his body even to his head. He was a bully, a big bully. Prisoners were often scared of him. He was brought into prison for numerous knife stabbings, possession of drugs and arm robbery. He got a life sentence, like me.

Remember, Bret, the new kid I told you about. Not too long ago Bret was close to killing the dude. This was how it happened. This dude sprang up on Bret and cut out the telephone wire when Bret was communicating with his mom, whereupon, Bret hit him hard on his face and the dude passed out. Everyone, including Bret was taken by fear. It was later we found out that the dude had cancer that was seriously eating him up and what he did to Bret and what he has being doing to us was suicidal. He wanted to use us to get himself killed.

I can still remember how we all started in amazement when we saw this dude hurled to the floor after just a punch. Everyone was at the common room, watching TV when it happened. Everyone gathered around, shouting,

” fight! Fight!!. ”

Bret spirit seemed to be filed by the chanting and he bent low, waiting for the dude to get up so he’d punch him again but the dude didn’t. It wasn’t until we saw medics coming in before we knew that the dude had passed out.

lunch time always snuck up on me. I was often going for an anger management program. I didn’t go to school because I ‘m gonna be stuck in prison till I die so what’s the point of going to read a course when I probably will never get to use it? As usual there was another roll call before lunch and lunch was as bad as breakfast with few brunches.

After lunch, each prisoner would go back to his assigned location where he’s either working in the kitchen or working in the garden or he’s in his program or school. In summary, we all go back to whatever the hell we were doing before we came for lunch.

Evenings is usually the best time in prison as we get to decide what to do with it. No white cop sending you out in the field. No cop looking at you though telling you that he got his eyes on you or reminding you that you were in prison.

The evenings were filled with music which came from other cells and loud voices as well. I couldn’t talk with my inmate cause he’s a psycho so I spend the evening in the common room and there I watch T. V. Or play cards with other dudes.

There is much talking and chatting in the common room. Men telling stories of how they shot their bitch wives or girlfriend in the head for cheating on them. Or how they killed guys in the name of revenge over the death or rape of a loved one, or how they sold drugs, or how they mastrubate in sandwiches and give others to eat. I felt grossed whenever I saw them do this in the common room. Sometimes they could put it in someone’s mouth when he’s sleeping and joke about it being a prank.

A guy, Fred, got the highest number of people who gathered round his table. He still sold drugs for inmates. Secretly of course. If the police found out, he will be in big trouble. He was very rich and had eyes in prison even in the police. I was told that he kills people outside prison.

I love whenever T. v. Was turned on in the common room. The arguments that burst out was fun especially during football matches. Comedy shows was watched with laughter. The cops never allowed us watch action movies because they were scared of us implementing some actions that will make us escape prison.

Not too long ago, 4 guys escaped prison. Am still stunned by how they made their way pass security. The prison was on lock down for days and everyone was locked in their cell. My inmate who never left his cell was banging at the door of the prison and shouting that someone is chasing him with a knife. No one took him seriously, not even me. It never occurred t to me that he could be dangerous but he wasn’t.

The prisoners who escaped never made it back. They were being pursued by the police who found them in Florida, months later and in their moment of escape, they crashed into a building and the car engulfed in flames and they all died. We watched it on T.v. it was after then that the police started to monitor our conversation on phone and in the common room and even in our cells.

Dinner are served in cells. I had brownies with chips for dinner.

The evenings is the time that I spend writing letters that I never finish, letters that I fold into crumbs and throw them in the trash. Believe me M. J. am changed. I know my changing or not changing doesn’t concern you but I just wanted to let that out. For me. I now go to church in prison and there’s this guy who comes every time to preach. I love his preaching. At first I was angry at his preaching about God’s love and hope.

If God loved me, why hasn’t he gotting me out of jail? I would ask before but later I came to understand and I hope you too would.

That’s all I can write for now. it’s almost 9pm and the cops are calling for lights out in the prison and am damn tired. Gotta go. How’s Charles my best friend in college? He hasn’t given me a call since I got into prison? How’s your brother, Evan. I could still remember the night I beat him up after he came to fight me after I beat you..

Hope you’re done with your P. H. D. Program? And please tell Leno not to do anything that would bring him here. I really wanna have the chance of talking to him in person. He has anger just like me. Tell him to walk away whenever he’s angry and not fight back. It might seem cowardly but it’s usually the right thing. Tell him never to join gangs or franternities. Tell him never to hit a lady, to be a gentleman. Raise him to be a man who is compassionate..

Life in prison is so bad. It’s all about survival of the fittest. We can’t have normal lives, be normal people. We are continually locked in this shit hole day in, day out. Some of us like Mosa, a dude in cell 5 who was locked in here after been framed for murder, he told me this months back after he was brought in here. He told me that his grandma had died of suffocation and he had his DNA samples all over her body. This was revealed after a lab autopsy was carried out on her. It took months and the cops took samples of he and his other family members who had come over to his grandmas house for Thanksgiving. He told me how his brother face lit with hate when the result came out. No one spoke as they handcuffed him. Mosa tells me how his mum died of heart attack after his arrest and he never got a chance to say goodbye.

Now I know that the greatest gift of man is not life, it’s freedom. Because death is better than confinement. I learn to thank God for all the years that I was a free man. I could go out on the street without seeing my name on posters with the word wanted. I miss the times when I could turn on the radio and TV and my name wasn’t mentioned as being extremely harm and dangerous and tagged wanted by the cops.. Nothing really is what trading your freedom for. I’ve come to learn that the hard way.

That’s all for now… would love to hear and if it’s possible, see you come visit me in jail. No one has ever visited me in prison. It’s as though I don’t have a family. I know I was bad back then but you don’t leave family to rot and die. Everyone, no matter how bad they are derserves love

Bye for now.. kisses and hugs to you and Leno….

love,

John

Pissed!!

Barry drove alongside his son Andrew who stared occasionally at him. Barry tried not to look too often at his son. After a long strain of silence, Andrew spoke up;

” Dad why did you put me off the police force.”

Barry didn’t respond. He kept on driving forward.

” Fuckin Answer me dad!.” He said slamming his fist hard on the dashboard.

Still no answer.

They drove in silence.

” Stop the car.” Andrew said.

Barry didn’t answer.

” I said stop the fuckin car.” Andrew said, tilting forward, struggling with the steering wheel with his dad.

Andrew heard his dad mumble ‘get off me’ but he couldn’t tell if he really said that. He didn’t want to believe it came from his dad’s mouth.

Barry often like pissing people off but never wanted to let what another person did get to him. His ego wouldn’t have it.

Andrew remembered how his mum tried often to piss him off. His mum and dad divorced 6 years ago when he turned 21. She went ahead to marry Philip, a business dealer, 3 months later after the divorce but that didn’t get to Barry. She spilt his money in half but that also didn’t get to him either. She put him out of the house too but that didn’t get to him too. Andrew knew his mum often wanted to see his dad broken, defeated. Andrew remembered how his mum slept with the chief of police in his dad’s work place and blackmailed him 2 weeks later him to get his dad fired unless she would tell his wife about her pregnancy and that she would release a statement on press he tried to rape her. Andrew remembered that night when his dad walked through the door of his mum’s house. Andrew remembered how triumphant his mum’s voice was as his dad walked into the house. Philip kissed her.

” Wow great news! Glad to hear your black ass got fired.” Andrew’s mum said.

” just when i was about getting promoted! Scoffs. Shit happens right?. And am sure you had a hand in it?.” Barry said.

” off course i did. I slept with your boss in other to get him to fire you, threatening to tell his wife about my made up pregnancy and telling the world that he tried to rape me. You should have seen the look on his face. He was stricken. The same look I longed to see on your face and by God you’re gonna get it.” Andrew’s mum said.

” Didn’t you learn anything from Kevin’s death?.” Barry asked.

Andrew looked up and saw Kevin picture hung on a frame. He could remember Kevin, his big old brother. Kevin worked with his dad as a cop. He died in an accident, at least that was what Andrew was told by his dad and mum.

Kevin’s death still shocked Andrew. It was something that wasn’t meant to happen. Kevin, the guy with all the big awards, the guy who got scholarship to 6 different universities and had the option of making a choice, the guy who was so good in sports. He was the fastest runner, the strongest guy in school, the greatest soccer player as well as football player. He was generally loved and stalked by the ladies. Guys were envious and secretly stalked him.

” Don’t you dear bring up Kevin. You didn’t shed a tear when he died. You didn’t Shed any at his funeral.” Andrew’s mum said.

Barry wanted to say something but he held himself. He never wanted to get emotional. He locked up himself like a code to crack open.

” Good night.” He said after much silence.

” Ass hoe! You deserve all the bad coming your way. You think you can just go one sleeping with those whores?.”

Barry got up and said;

” Looks like I got all the statement I need. Thanks for your corporation” he said holding a recorder and dashed out.

Andrew could see the hatred on his mum’s face.

” So the bastard won again.” He heard his mum say. ” Those whores.”

***

Barry screeched his car into a halt as Andrew yelled at him the second time. He parked by the side of the road, gasping and angry..

” Why? Why dad? Why do you love pissing everyone off? You think it’s a game? You pissed mum so much that she literally cries herself to sleep every night because of you. Now you’re destroying all my chances of me becoming a cop. You stupid ego always have to come first place.” Andrew said, opening the door when Barry yanked him down.

” You wanna talk? Okay let’s talk! How about you ask your mum why she divorced me and kicked me out of the house, and married Philip in less than 3 months after we got our divorce, sending me photographs of the both of them. She even went as far as sleeping with and blackmailing my boss to get me fired. She tries pissing me off and i do all i can to get back at her.”

” Dad, she did all this because she wants you to apologize to her. She longed to hear you say ‘am sorry!’ She’s tired of being the one who is always forgiven. She wants to be the one to forgive you.. Dad mum loves you so much. But your ego won’t let you see it.”

” Shut up!” Barry said, knocking on the engine.

” Dad, what happened to Kevin.?”

It took a second for it to click in Barry’s head who Andrew was referring to.

” I and your mum have told you thousands of time, he died in an accident.” Barry said as he buckled his seatbelt.

” well I don’t believe that..” Andrew said.

” Then go to hell.” Barry said, hitting the road.

” But dad so those ladies photos that you sent to mum after she kicked you out of the house were just to piss her off? You never did anything with them?.”

No answer.

Barry drove his son to a bar. He sat down on a seat at the bartender stand. Andrew followed suit, sitting on a seat, next to his dad.

” Give me a red wine please with 2 glass cups.” Barry said.

” No specifics?.” Bartender asked.

It took a second for Barry to understand what he was saying.

” Nah… No specifics.”

” Get me a shot of vodka.” A voice behind asked.

Barry turned around almost immediately.

” Hey Grieg.” Barry said.

” it’s detective Grieg.” He said in a serious chuckle that wanted Barry wanted to call his name by the name of detective. Barry did thus, and both men shook hands firmly, their shoulders knocking each other.

” So how’s my buddy doing?.” Grieg asked, pulling a chair close to Barry.

” Not bad. I’m hoping to become a bartender.” He said in a loud voice, as the bartender came back with the vodka.

The bartender didn’t smile, neither did he respond. He’d think that Barry was mocking him. Neither Barry nor Grieg noticed his outer appeal.

Barry watched Grieg gulp in the vodka in the tinted glass cup.

” great.” He said after dropping the glass cup. He wanted to ask for another shot of vodka but the bartender was standing at a far end.

” By the way, this is by son Andrew. Andrew , detective Grieg.” Barry said, shoving himself so Grieg could see Andrew.

” wow! He’s all grown up. So is he your new do-do partner like your other son, Kevin.?” Grieg said. It was a joke, but it erupted something bad in Barry. It was the demons of his past. Even Grieg realized this and hushed his voice too.

Barry sat in silence when someone kicked the door down. The guy had a gun too. He shot it in the air.

” Get down on the floor.” He roared, kicking men and women to the ground. Everyone stooped down expect from Barry. He got up looking at the guy.

” Get on your knees.” Roared the guy but Barry didn’t. He couldn’t not after what the man did to him the last time. He had to be brave.

” Get on the fuckin floor.” The guy said again. But Barry didn’t and so he kicked him to the floor.

” Dad! ” Yelled Andrew.

There was rumbling of voices in despair.

” Shut up!.” The guy said. And there was a great silence.

Then a phone rang. The guy turned around to see whose phone rang when Barry sprang up in attack. He jumped on the guy, not minding the gun pointed in his direction.

The guy who was trying to throw off Barry, mistakenly shot the gun. He throw Barry off on shooting the gun.

Andrew grabbed the gun that was flunged in his direction. He pointed it at the guy who looked back at him, smiling. He saw how Andrew shook with the gun in his hand.

” just like the last one.” The guy said, walking closer to Andrew’s direction.

” shoot him.” Barry voice came up in the air. His voice was full of grief.

“This was exactly how your former partner died.” The guy said, laughing and smacking his hands.

“Dad, what’s he talking about.?”

No answer.

“Answer me.” Andrew’s voice rumbled like thunder.

Andrew didn’t need to be told. Everything clicked. Kev. Was his dad’s partner. A new sadness dawned on him at what his guts were revealing. He couldn’t believe this yet he knew it was true. He looked over at his dad who looked up. His dad was broken. He never saw his dad this broken.

” Dad was Kevin your partner?” He asked, although he knew.

Kelvin always talked to him about how his dad and he would beat up some drug motherfuckers, or how his dad threatened teenagers who smoked on the street, and he would seize their weed and smoke it in their presence. Kevin also told him how dad insists in each mission they go for, that he wears the bullet proof. Kevin also showed him his police badge.

Andrew remembered how Kevin said that fear always gripped him whenever he went with dad on a mission. Andrew never believed him because Kevin was like his dad who never got scared looks, neither was he ever pissed outside, yet he harboured so much on the inside.

Andrew could remember Kevin telling him about an arm robbery case in a bank. He could remember Kevin telling him how he gripped in fear as he heard the arm robbers voice;

” we got hostages in the building, back off or we shoot them all.”

Kevin tells Andrew that soon after a cop replied with a megaphone;

” We ain’t backing off. That’s not an option. And no deal will be made for you sons of bitches. You have 2 rounds, you either release those hostages and do some time in jail or you die and rot in hell.”

” No way are we doing time in prison.” The voice replied, and immediately, javelins, bombs and bullets were shot at the cops.

Voices of ‘ incoming!” Rented the sky and in that sick moment, Barry who stood near his son, pushed him and himself under the patrol car. Kevin closed his whole being to what was going on as he hid with his dad.

Kevin tells Andrew about the huge fire that resulted via the shooting, bombing and blasting. Many Cops died. Police cars were engulfed in flames. Some of the dead Cops were covered in flames. In fact it was only Barry’s car that didn’t explode though it was engulfed in flames.

The bank building too had gone up in flames. It exploded too. The robbers who didn’t want to go to jail had exploded the building, killing themselves and hundreds of hostages in the building.

It was after this event that Kevin wasn’t allowed again go on a operation for a year or so.

***

Andrew looked with rage at his dad. He couldn’t believe that his dad lied about how Kevin died for all those years

Then a thought struck him: His mum too might have been an accomplice to his dad’s lies

A gunshot bang in the air accompanied by a kick on Andrew’s head sent both Barry and Andrew down on the floor.

****

Barry sat up and looked at the gunman as he pointed his new gun which he tucked out from his pocket at Andrew’s face. Everyone had lay on the floor lifeless. There was no sound, neither was their movement. Then Barry heard a gunshot. It stunned him. He didn’t want to look up at his son who was a few metres away from him. He heard Grieg voice for the first time since the gun drama started;

” Andrew’s not dead. He didn’t shoot him. It’s another guy whose phone beeped. That guy he shot was a Cop. It’s Tremaine, that dutch bag. He must have tried alerting the cops and was Caught.”

But Barry was listening to any of what Grieg was saying. The gunshot brought him back to memory lane of Kevin’s death. He could remember coming to the bar with Kevin. He could remember Kevin laughing and saying that he loved being a cop. He said this because of the way streets gongs scrambled in fear whenever he showed up with Barry on his police uniform. It was mainly teenagers in hoods who ran off in fear. Kevin felt like a superhero though he never showed it. He felt good because those teenagers were often molesting other teenagers who didn’t grow up in the streets like them.

The grown men never ran off. They often looked at Barry and Kevin with angry stares, holding a stick. Kevin enjoyed moving up to one of the grown men and yank his lit Cigarette from his lips, smoke it and puff the smoke on his face and laugh with derision as he watched the guy’s face lit in fury, the kind of fury that could make him wanna put a bullet in Kevin’s brain.

The men could do nothing but watch. They can’t put their hands on a cop otherwise they would be glad to give Cops like Kevin a good beating.

Barry thought what Kevin did funny although he knew he was taking it too far but after all Kevin was taking after him; he loved pissing people off and he wasn’t goddam sorry about it.

Barry could remember how he and his son, Kevin were drinking wine at the bar. Barry remembered his phone ringing and he going outside to make a call. He was almost done with the call when he heard a bang of gunshot. He turned off his phone just in time to see a guy in blonde running away with a bag hung across his shoulder.

” Stop that guy! Stop that guy!.” Yelled a Cop. But Barry didn’t. He wanted to piss the Cop. He loved seeing his scowling face and wanted him to yell;

” You let that guy escape! Asshole!.”

Then he would have let out a mocking face just to infiltrate him the more. But before all that could happen, he heard a loud gunshot near his patrol Car. He watched the guy jump into his car and drove off, having hit the wires.

As the car screeched off into the road, the cops shooting the car in vain to stop his escape, there lay Kevin near the Car with a bullet stuck to his forehead. He was dead. Barry knew before he came any closer that it was his son’s Corpse. Something broke inside him ever since that day. It was more of a rupture. That’s why he didn’t cry at Kevin’s funeral. He gave another scene of Kevin’s death to his wife. He didn’t do that because he was afraid of her, he did that to pacify his conscience. She had gone well with his lies that he was knocked down by a car, even though nothing like that made sense, at least not to Barry, perhaps it was because it was his own cooked up lie.

Barry hatted his wife for buying the lies, for letting him stay up in that house. He didn’t want to stay in that house again because everything in the house reminded him of Kevin. He couldn’t sleep at night as the scene of that day kept hunting him. That’s why he cheated on his wife and made a good laugh at it when she caught him naked with two ladies on the couch in the living room, calling her names. He wanted her to divorce him and put him away from that house that was presumed by him to be hunted with Kevin’s ghost. And he didn’t want her to know so his conscience doesn’t get to crucify him.

****

Barry watched as the guy with guns stacked up cash into his bag. The guy had signaled a black dude into the bar. The black dude too had guns. He shot it in the air and everyone on the floor gasped in fear.

The guy strapped the bag across his shoulder and was walking towards the door. He hoisted the gun upward and shot 2 bullets into the ceiling.

Barry suddenly sprang up in fury and jumped on the guy. There was no way he was letting him escape this time. He struggled the gun with the guy and pressed the trigger, killing the black dude who had in turn shot the guy twice in an attempt to shoot Barry. Barry got up and looked at the guy to make sure he was dead. There was no way he was letting the guy walk out of the bar alive…

Fathom part 9

Emma heard the beeping of machines. She couldn’t tell if she was dreaming or if it was real. She gasped, and immediately blurred images of people were starling in her face. She got up, raising herself in a sitting position. Everyone around her starred at her like she was a failed experiment. They starred as though they expected her to die or explode, something like that. Finally they stopped starring and everyone went about his duties, as though she never existed. Minutes ago, she was a big deal and seconds later, it was as if this big deal wasn’t a big deal after all.

Emma watched as everyone in the ward room worked and talked. None of them looked in her direction as though she had a contagious infection. Finally, a lady nurse walked up to her. The lady nurse was old, yet she had a smallish body. Her Japanese language swooped softly in the air. It was like the buzzing of bees.

The nurse held a liquid to Emma’s face, with swift Japanese language flowing from her. She spoke as though performing magic incantations, holding Emma’s face with her tiny hands.

Emma looked up above her and saw a guy walk in. He looked in her direction and frowned on seeing the nurse. He was Japanese too. He looked like a Monk. Most Japanese do look like Monks.

” Get away from her Shya, she doesn’t speak Japanese.” The guy said as he yanked the liquid from her.

Shya looked disappointed at Emma for not being Japanese. She liked her and wanted her as a friend but she couldn’t cause Emma was an American, not Japanese.

” Hey.” The guy said.

” God you speak English. You speak it so well. Am so thrilled. Thought you’re Japanese…

” Yeah! Sure.. My name’s Alvid. Am Japanese but i was born here, in little Tokyo. I grew up here and I’ve leaved here all my life expect when i was in college. I did my college in Florida that’s why my English is hot.. By the way, am the patient care technician.. By the way, our boss told us about you. He’s sickly in love with you.. It’s crazy. He told these nurses to make sure you get back conscious.. Are you his girlfriend or something.?” Alvid asked.

No answer.

” Here, Emma drink this.. It’s gonna make you a whole lot better.” He said giving her the liquid that Shya, the nurse was holding.

Emma took the small glass cup and looked at the slimy colour of the liquid before taking one gulp.

” You welcome. Our boss said to give it to you.” Alvd said on hearing Emma’s belch.

**

Emma got out of the clinic. She was carried on a wheel chair by Alvd even though she could walk perfectly. The bright lights that flickered in the building made her blink on serval occasion.

Emma saw many sickly old people in the hospital, she saw many with amputated leg or bandaged hands on stretchers. Sickly cries of infants rose up like wailings and horror.

The telephone dispatcher frowned on seeing Emma. Emma could remember the frowning. She recalled the day before when she came to see Dr. Lawrence.

Emma strolled out the building and waved at a security guard who waved back.

” Thanks.” Emma said getting out of the wheel chair.

” No probs. So catch you later. By the way, that liquid you were given, you must take a mouthful quantity. Don’t take a full gulp. ” Alvd said, flagging down a cab.

” Drop her off.” He said to the cab driver.

” Sure, get in.” The cab driver said.

” Bye.” Alvd said, walking back to the hospital.

Emma entered into the Cab.

” So where are we heading.” The cab driver asked in Japanese accent.

Emma looked at the cab driver. He was a sickly old man.

” S. San Pedro street.”

The cab driver looked at her, clenching his jaw like he had some evil intentions. His mouth was moving too. He turned on the car and screeched into the road.

Emma looked behind her and saw the magnificent temple medical centre building. The street was glowing yellow, dark yellow. Old Japanese men and little boys were playing on Accordions and Concertinas, singing in Japanese language. The old men sat in yoga style.

Emma saw men walking with sickly looking dogs. Emma noticed that most Japanese men were bald. Old buildings with cracks were seen in different areas.

Emma suddenly started feeling dizzy again. She closed her eyes and opened it and soon she saw Nashua in the front seat laughing. He was dressed up like the cab driver. He turned back and winked at her.

” Hey Emma, caught you..” He said laughing.

Emma could hear Caleb’s voice, screaming from a far end, calling onto her. Emma saw him through the wind screen of the car. He was screaming her name in desperation but someone had tied up his mouth. Nashua came over where he was and pointed a gun on his head, laughing. Emma dived ahead, breaking the wind screen and landed on the road, rolling twice.

The cab driver who had lost control of the brakes due to her screaming suddenly halts in front of her.

The cab driver left the engine running and came to check on her. He was speaking Japanese, jerking her.

Emma was moaning in pain. She turned leftward and saw Nashua starling at her with an evil sinister smile.

” Now I’ve caught you.” He roared.

Emma screamed and punched him. Suddenly she was jerked twice. She looked up and saw the cab driver and some other Japanese people starring at her. Ambulance and siren noise would fill her ears. She would see some men lifting her into a stretcher. Suddenly she would see Nashua among the men lifting her. She would point in his direction, trying to scream but can’t. Then she would hear him yell;

” you’re mine, all mine.” She would scream loudly, jerking off the stretcher and falling on the road and in the process gets unconscious.

***

Marcus sat up in the living room of his apartment, tapping his feet to the rhythm of worry. He was worried about Emma’s whereabouts. At first he was angry. He couldn’t but get over with the thought that Emma was fucking Dr. Lawrence. The thought of them together nauseated him. At first, he was like;

” what in the hell was wrong with Emma? How could she leave her sick daughter in the hands of a stranger and go about fucking a guy?.”

Marcus wanted to feign ” the good guy, the responsible guy.” But he knew beneath all that anger was jealousy. He was jealous that Emma was sleeping with a guy who wasn’t him. He tried using morality to defend his anger and jealousy.

Marcus finally got up that night and looked out the window. This was the 80th time he did that. Emma won’t be there, he knew. But he wanted to feel good about trying. This was his way of trying to look for her. He’d stay up all night, starring at the window, hearing swift Japanese language floating in the air. He even made noddle soup to stay awake. It’s been 18 hrs since Emma went dark.

Marcus heard his phone ringing. He heard the sigh of relief at the thought of Emma calling even though he knew she never called whenever she stayed out late. The number calling was visible on his phone. Marcus heart went to his chest as he starred at his phone. Had something happened to Emma? Was she dead?

The way the caller kept calling was confirming Marcus fears. Marcus finally picked up his phone;

” Hello.” He said.

” Give up Riley or die… Give up Riley or die..” The voice sounded like a telephone machine.

” Hello? Hello?.” Marcus kept saying.

” Give up Riley! Give up Riley!.”

Marcus quickly put the phone down. He was panting with a grave desperation.

” Give up Riley or die! Give up Riley or die.” The voice rang again. This time Marcus didn’t know if the voice was coming from his phone or it was just his imagination. He quickly smashed the phone on the wall.

” Give up Riley! Give up Riley..” The voice was coming closer.

Marcus turned back and saw Riley holding a gun, pointing it at his direction.

” Riley! Riley!!.” Marcus called out.

Riley starred helplessly at him. She was unconscious. He knew.

” Wanna see something hysterical?.” Nashua’s voice rang out in a chuckle.

And before Marcus could say anything, he saw Riley pointing the gun at the left side of her head.

” No! No!!.” Marcus yelled out

Marcus could hear Nashua’s roaring laughter. It was hideous.

” Die!.” Nashua yelled out. It echoed all over the place.

Marcus closed his eyes and also his ear in the process. The earsplitting sound that rang all over the room left him deaf. A shadow beclouded him and he couldn’t see. Everything was white and so he shut his eyes and ears for few seconds before opening them.

Marcus looked around. Everything was back to normal. He shook as his body touched his phone. Riley was unconscious on the floor. He feared that she was dead. He wanted her to show a sign that she wasn’t but she didn’t stir. He was petrified.

Later, he sprang up to where she lay and shook her. When he did that, he heard her breathing. He held a sigh of relief on hearing her deep breaths, on seeing her stir, on hearing the sounds of her deep snores as she was caught up in a deep sleep…

Shit still happens…

You climbed the lumpy couch, stretching further to where Curt was. You both sat on the long couch. He sat at the left end while you sat at the right end. You could tell something was wrong. Sure you and he were gonna share a drink, sure he kept himself distant apart like he always does before you both had sex, he always told you that distancing oneself helped to build up the emotions and energy and passion required for the sex. You never believed this until he slid into you. He felt heavy on you. Passion and virility starling up as he kissed you and shoved you and you moan and groan at increased tempo.

Curt got up after kissing you for the first time that evening. He was going to get a champagne. It was a tradition that you guys shared whenever it was new years eve

Curt always says;

let’s drink to that.”

And you guys never shared drinks in Curt’s apartment. It was always in a mall.

You remember when you guys had drinks in Santa’s pizza 3 years ago durning a new year eve in 2012. And then he told you that he’d been enrolled into college. He was smiling and you too were smiling and you both pressed your forehead against each other, and you both nudge the ridges of your nose and you both kissed just about the time fireworks were lit in the sky and shrewd screaming of;

Happy new year.”

And you both looked up and saw it boldly written in the sky as the fireworks rent the sky. It was amazing, you loved it even though it wasn’t your first time of seeing fireworks. You even shot one years back but stopped because Christmas was never a joyful time for you. You hatted Christmas cause it always brought bad luck.

Your hate for Christmas started in 2006 when your dad had stroke on Christmas morning and your brother, Neil drove you and your mother to the hospital. You sat in the front watching your mum rubbing your dad’s next slightly and shouting like she was holding something hot or perhaps, she’d have something hot in her mouth. She was screaming;

” Baby please wake up.” In that seductive manner that reminded you of sex. But your mum was crying literally.

Your dad was admitted into the hospital and everything went down drain. Holiday planes were cancelled, the big thanksgiving dinner that your family had with cousins, uncles and aunts and friends too were canceled. You didn’t get to see your high school sweetheart Jake, who lived in northern Carolina. You never told him that dinner was canceled, neither did you tell him about your dad cause you felt that as long as he didn’t know, miracle could happen and your dad could get healed and everything could turn back to normal but your mum told his mum that morning and 2 days later, your dad died. You were in the living room starring at the big decorated Christmas tree in your living room when the doctor came to your house to tell you all. You saw the stunned look on your mum’s face then you saw her tearing down the Christmas tree. You were angered by her. If only she hadn’t called Jake’s mum.

Neil came over and grabbed your mum while she cried on him and almost immediately you saw Jake standing by the door and you get mad. He comes towards you smiling, wanting to kiss you but you kick him on the gut and you slam your fist hard on his face many times as you kept breathing in the fury of his anger and Neil comes in and pulls you away from him and he walks out. He never called to break off from the relationship after that but you never saw him again. But you knew he moved on and so you did too.

The next Christmas, Neil got arrested. He was caught with cocaine. He had gone out in the morning to get the Christmas tree and lights while your mum and cousin, Paula prepared breakfast.

When Neil didn’t come back in the next 30 minutes, your mum starred with worry but you thought she should have known better, Neil could have stopped at a friends house or gone to buy something at a store.

Your cousin, Paula jokes about Neil being kidnapped, and you become infiltrated and walk slowly as though to get a pitcher from the kitchen as breakfast was ready and You all were setting the plates and cutleries in the dinning.

Breakfast was America fried rice with chicken bog and steaks with milk. Glass cups were arranged serially and bottles of milk were placed on the table.

2 hours, there was a knock on the door. It wasn’t the Neil’s kind of knock, yet you couldn’t resist believing that he was at the door. You opened it and saw the cops and when he asked for your mum and you asked what was the trouble, he eyed you and looked inside as he called out your mum and when she came out, he quickly broke the news to her of Neil’s arrest. You see the starling look in your mum’s eyes. Paula came over, holding your mum on the shoulder and looked at the cop as though flirting with him. The cop too, smiled at her.

You were mad at her when she exchanged number with the cop. She was supposed to hate him.

Christmas was ruined again and everyone ate breakfast in silence. You were stunned at how causal you and your mum and cousin were. The death of your father had taught you all to grief. It brought you and your mum to that state of hopelessness. Your brother called it strength; the ability not to show emotion when something bad happens. But you knew it was self deceit. You welded so much memory inside that if someone could dig deeper, he would see how vulnerable you are, that was your greatest fear so you let it stay there while being brave.

Christmas always brought bad luck to your family, more tragedy; your mum sold your family house so you people had to move over to leave with Jakes parent’s house in north Carolina. Paula lived there too. You refused to go over to leave with them so you moved out of the house and came to arrow highway in Los Angeles. Your mum didn’t try to stop you when you said you were leaving and you hate her for it. It was then you realized how little your presence meant to her. Or may it was because she wasn’t in her right spirit. Maybe it was because she was overcome by grief and she didn’t want you to hurt her by your leaving. Anyways you didn’t care.

****

When you came down from the cab that took you to Arrow highway, it was then the reality of what you did starred up in your face. It was then you realized that you were nothing but an eighteen year old kid who was too lazy to take care of herself. You were always told by your dad that the outside world is cruel, and that we only feel this cruelty when we face life alone. You didn’t get it when he said cause you had your dad providing, your mum providing and you needed to do nothing but be an obedient girl who does her chores but that too, you found hard.

Neil had dropped out from college to start rapping and dancing in the streets. He’d perform mostly in black neighborhood. You often watched him on T.V. feeling proud scared. You were proud of him winning the dance competition but you were scared that he would die. That some black negros will come after his car and shoot him. It was how most blacks died but Neil always rung the doorbell of your house.

Your dad and Neil stopped speaking to each other when he dropped out of college. Not until he died did Neil miss him. You know your dad is regretting too in the grave. Now you walk in the streets of arrow highway with tears in your eyes at your brother being jailed. Neil should have been smarter. He’s been doing drugs since he joined that dance crew and he wasn’t caught. Maybe someone rattled him out.

You keeping walking trying to dodge the unsteady people who crashed into you and muttered “sorry.” You remember how you lost your phone, perhaps in the cab or at home or it fell off on the road. You wanted to call your mum to come get you but when you felt your back pocket, the phone was gone, so was the cab when you turned around, so was the cash you managed to smuggle on your way…

” Great.!!!” You yelled.

You walked with your bag trailing behind. You walked a great mile and you were so exhausted that you crashed on your bag.

You woke up 3 hours and screamed as though it were a bad dream but it was real, everything was real so was the death of your father. You were kept on a chair, your bag was placed on a chair nearby. You knew you were in a restaurant. Immediately you got up, a man approached you. He was the owner of the restaurant. He was a short man with pot belly.

” Welcome to bell’s restaurant, my name’s Richard.” He said extending his hands.

You starred at him; at his oily stained apron, at his uncombed hair, at his untended bears. He looked like someone that got drunk too often, one of those who got frustrated with life, one of those who wanted to die but didn’t have the balls to carry it out so that he had no option but to live. You suddenly feel a strong connection and so you say;

” Am Jessie.”

He starred at you, wondering what was going on in your mind, wondering whether you knew him somehow and praying you did.

“Um… I saw you down the road. You were unconscious so i took you in. Hope you don’t mind.”

You didn’t respond.

” Anyways you’re a lucky girl. I know you’re Paula’s cousin. I lived near you in Anaheim street before i moved over here. So tell me something, you’ve finally moved out of your parents house. You’re now an adult right? Anyways i came here to offer you a job and also a place in the kitchen where you can stay after work. I could rent you an apartment but i need my eyes to be on you…”

When he says that with that smile on his face as though he had mastery over you, you shook inward. What will he ask you to do for him ? You thought. He could ask you to sleep with him and so you become his sex toy and his then he would be beating you and fucking you and you can do nothing about it. You wanted to ask him for a phone to call your mum but you’re scared of how she would feel about you so you didn’t.

You worked in his restaurant for 2 years as a waitress. You wondered if your boss fucked his other waitresses and scrambled 5 dollars in their hands in addition to their salary. Their were so excited about the job but you weren’t.

One of the waitress, Asha, caught your attention. She was striking ugly with zits all over face. Her fairness was tainted with a certain kind of blackness. She looked like someone darkened by soot.

Asha was the first person you knew, and perhaps every waitress knew because of her mumble smile. That kind of smile that showed feelings that was never uttered. You always had the feeling that she smiled so often because she was looking desperately for a husband. You noticed this because even though she smiled to everyone she met, you could tell the difference between a smile born out of courtesy and a smile born out of desperation. The courtesy like smile was her gesture smile which was radiated to women and some guys she thought too ugly, fat, broke and guys who were married. While the desperation smile was for men Asha thought hot and sexy and rich. No one gave in to her smile, at least not yet.

The first time you met Curt was at your work place. He had come to eat and thank goodness you were working shifts that day.

You can’t describe your liking Curt as love at first sight. In fact you hatted him when you first sighted him as Asha kept pointing at him in exhilaration.

” He gave me his number and collected mine.” She said excitedly.

You wanted to say something sarcastic, to mar him in front of her but you didn’t.

You moved over to where he sat, pretending not to be the strong one but in reality you knew you liked him. His demeanor appealed to you. You loved his standing ego. You loved the scent around him. He smelt of earth and you loved the smell of earth. And what you loved most about him was how clean shaven, well dressed he was with his complete strong white teeth. You saw him gulp in water and you wished you were the water going ripple down his throat.

what are you doing Jessie? He’s not your type. He got it all, you don’t.” Your mind screaming in ears.

“Sir what are your orders.?” You ask.

” Finally!.” He gasps.” That other waitress needs some talking to or get fired. She needs to know the difference between work and personal life. She shouldn’t carry her issues from her personal life into her business. It’s totally unprofessional. I could call her boss and get her sacked but…”

You feign anger at him.

” Sorry for talking like that. I need French fries and hamburger; 2 hamburger.” He says as you turn back to get it.

Later when you come back with his orders, he tells you;

” For next time please whenever you’re given an order, learn to ask how many of it they want to avoid having to go back again.”

You wanted to scream fuck you! But you didn’t.

” Girl, I like you. Hope your Asha friend won’t beat you up to it. She’s very desperate. Looks like some shit happened to her. You needed to see how much she pressed me to give her my phone number which i finally did…Smiles. I gave her my dad’s number. He would understand and wave her off. I like her. Girls like her will be loyal as a pet. But they will be so insecure that if they should hear or discover that their bf cheated, they are ready to hack both the guy and lady. Their emotions are way off the line. Their love burns, so does their hate and anger.

Anyways here’s my number.” He handed you a small paper containing his number.

” I don’t have a phone. Mine got stolen.” You said.

” Then find a way. Use a phone booth… Whatever. But just make sure you call me.. Right?.”

You nodded, smiling, watching him leave.

As you walk back to the counter, you saw Asha angry stare and if it were to be subtitled, it read;

” leave my man alone.”

You are terrified as you watch her. You know she had the guts to fight you in the restaurant and not feel shame cause she didn’t have one. You wonder if you should still call Curt but off course you did later after your shift.

When he didn’t pick the first 2 times, you panicked as you knew that when you call someone twice and they didn’t pick, it meant 2 things;

They didn’t see your call or they didn’t want to pick your call. The thought of the later scared her.

Curt didn’t call you back the whole day and so you gave up. The next day when he stopped by at the restaurant and walked up to you, he felt uneasy, you noticed.

” Hey, bastard! ” You said angrily.

He didn’t respond. He just turned and walked towards Asha who slapped him twice, hard thuds. She was enraged, you could tell.

Curt smiled at her.

” I was considering asking you out but…” Curt made eye contact with you as he lifted his face from Asha.

You saw the regret on Asha’s face. You knew then that Asha was very apologetic and you knew how much she hatted herself for being one. Yet every time she has a feud with someone, 98% percent of the time she was at fault.

Curt came by after work and picked you. His car smelt of him. It was the first time you would go to his apartment and also it was the first time you didn’t have to sleep in the kitchen of your restaurant with all those mice and cockroaches snooping around.

In the car, he introduced himself as Curt. No surnames. You told him your name is Jessie.

“It’s a lovely neighbourhood.” You said as he entered 660 w arrow highway.

You watched him nod slightly disapprovingly and you knew he just pinned you in your lies.

You crashed on the couch immediately you came into his apartment. You didn’t notice the disco light that gave out many colours. You will love it as it always fascinates you especially when you go to a ball.

You got so tired that you slept off on the couch. You didn’t remove your outing dress nor did you pull off your high heels.

You were awoken by the noise of crickets and also by the bright light in Curt’s room. The disco lights were turned off and a bright light was turn on.

” Hello sleepy head.” Curt says holding 2 white cereal bowls.

” Hey turn off the light, am trying to catch some sleep.” You said covering yourself with throw pillows. Before you looked at the wall clock and yelled in despair

” oh come on it’s still midnight.”

” Come on jess, you’ve slept for 6 fuckin hours already. Come on, try some mid night snack.” Curt says as he placed a cereal bowl before you. You got up.

” Yummy!” You said as you tasted icy frozen ice cream.

” it’s my tradition. I do mid night snack most often especially when i stay up late. I woke you up earlier to try my potato salad with marsh melons but you were damn too tired so i ate it all. No good wasting all that protein.”

” You’re a freak.” You said in a mimicked voice before adding;

” well, I love your mid night snacking so long i don’t get sick or woozy at work.”

Curt stared at you like he’d seen a ghost. Was it what you said? Didn’t he know how to take a joke?

Finally you smiled apologetically. He smiled too and said surprisingly;

” quit trying to make everything right. Some things are meant to be the way they are.”

You both spent the night getting to know each other. Curt tells you that he was born in Santa Montana but that both his mum and dad ran away from there after his dad was labeled wanted by the cops after hacking into the computer system of a bank and stealing money from the bank account, and sending them to an untraceable account of his which he created with the name of a person who never existed. Curt tells you that his parent moved over to North Carolina to start life anew but that his father’s sin hunted him like hell. He tells you how many times men in black often came to the house and break things in the house and sometimes shoot his mum on the leg in order to make his dad pay up what he owed yet he didn’t. He couldn’t part with his hard stolen money and he knew they wouldn’t kill her and he tells them that he has no money and shows them his real account and it was empty. He would never show them the anonymous account which is staked with millions and billions of dollars.

Curt further tells you about his parents divorce after they moved to los Angeles and finally were able to have normal lives without being pursued by the cops or by bad guys. He tells you that his mum divorced his dad after she found out about the anonymous account his dad had. He tells you that she wiped the account clean and ran off before she, through her lawyer , went to court asking for divorce. Curt tells you that his mum didn’t appear in court. It was only her lawyer who did. Curt tells you too that when his dad came to the court, he was recognized by the cops. Curt tells you with a spark of pride on his face how his dad took down the cops and was about run off when his mum shoots him on the leg and shoulder. Curt tells you how he watched in shock as his dad was taken away for life and he watched his mum leaving and he never saw neither of his parents again. Curt finally tells you how his dad secretly stashed 5 million dollars in his ( Curt’s) apartment. Curt adds too that he and his dad were leaving in this apartment after his mum ran away.

Curt tells you that his dad called from prison and told him about the cash and that’s how he’d been living on.

You looked at Curt , mouth opened.

” So shit does happen to you too.” You said before adding;

” Your dad must have been so bad a crook?.”

Curt laughs heartily on hearing you say that as though he expected that from you. He laughed like an adult who was amused by the stupidity of a kid.

” Nah… My dad was a very good man. He really wanted to make a difference and that he did.”

You wanted to ask;

” what good does a crook do apart from hurting others?.”But you didn’t. Instead you listened to Curt telling you how many kids your dad took off the street. Curt tells you that his dad didn’t believe in college but he supported some of the kids who wanted to go to college and then he organized the street dance and clubs for those who didn’t want to go.

Curt tells you also how his dad got millions of innocent people out of prison. Curt tells you how his dad did all those good things in his lawyer name so that he won’t be traced.

When later Curt calls his mum a bitch, you wanted to tell him that his dad was an asshole who would keep an account secret from his mum and would rather refuse giving up the money than keeping his mum alive.

You felt a chill run through your body as Curt calls his mum a bitch again adding also that his mum knew about his dad’s secret account. Curt even told you that his dad told him too about the account. Curt added too that when those men started attacking his family, that his dad opted to give out the money, it was his bitch mother who advised against it, adding that all those years of hard work would go futile. Curt angrily says that he didn’t know his bitch mother played on his dad.

You were so shocked that you slept off immediately he stopped talking. You got up an hour later and dressed up and went to work.

****

Life with Curt was like a roller coaster ride. It was blissful and you loved every moment spent with him. You stayed permanently in his apartment and enjoyed his ritual of mid night snack. You no longer slept in the restaurant where you work and your boss felt threatened. He kept asking you if you had found a place, and you would always say no that you were squatting with a friend which was indeed true but it felt more true to say you have found a place, to call Curt’s place your house.

You knew your boss felt he had an obligation to you. He didn’t just want to be your boss at the restaurant, he wanted to be your life boss. He wanted to own you. He wanted you to depend on him.

The day he called you to ask you who was curt and why you were crashing at a man’s place, whether you didn’t know that he can rape or even kill you, you got so mad that you almost wanted to curse him out but you didn’t because he was your boss.

****

One thing you liked about Curt was the way he stuck to tradition, his traditions and you loved it. One of such traditions was mid night snacking, the other was sharing a wine at new year eve. The other was going to see a movie every Saturday;he usually carry a guy along whenever he goes out to see a movie. Another was eating ham and egg and biscuits every easter and turkey with mashed potatoes and vegetables every thanksgiving dinner which he had alone with you.

You love mid night snacking ritual and the wine ritual and thanksgiving dinner ritual because durning those moments, he was all yours. Nobody shared him with you.

*****

Curt comes back with the wine glass and bottle. His hand quivered as he pours the wine into the glass. Something’s definitely wrong. You thought. It was easy for you to detect because you and he had dated for 2 years and he never distant himself like this whenever you were around. After pouring the wine with half of it spilling on the floor, he tells you there that he needed to break up with you. No explanation, no reason. You were scared as many thoughts rattled in your mind;

He never loved me. !

He used me!

He’s seeing someone!

Later when you asked him tearfully if he was seeing someone and he says no, you boil in anger.

” Then why?.” You asked shouting.

You looked at him. You couldn’t pinpoint when you both had a fight. It was only mild arguments that ended up in laughter. Maybe you might have said something or done something. Maybe it was Asha. You shook your head at the thought of Asha. She wasn’t a bad person. She was just naive.

Curt kissed you after gulping all his wine and lay on the couch, sleeping immediately.

You look at him , wondering why he slept so soundly near you after breaking your heart. He could have at least, slept in his room, locking the door like he always do on a normal day. Perhaps he knew you were weak. You didn’t have the balls to do it. You got mad at that thought

Finally you got drowsy and slept off and by the time you got up, curt was gone.

You checked the bathroom and the apartment to see if it was some dumb prank but it ain’t. Curt had packed his bags and clothes and shoes and walked out the front door. You called his line but the auto machine kept saying that the line doesn’t exist. You couldn’t help but know that this was real.. Well if it was some prank it was a damn good one but it wasn’t as weeks and months passed and Curt didn’t show up. He was indeed gone. You were furious. How could a man come and wreck a lady’s life ? Didn’t the moments you both shared together mean anything? Weren’t men capable of loving genuinely?

Things got worse for you, your boss laid you off because you didn’t let him play the big brother in your life. So here you are in Curt’s apartment, wounded and hopeless. It wasn’t losing your job that made you hopeless; Curt had more than enough cash for you to live on. It was Curt’s absence, leaving you with all that there is.

Your phone rings. It’s Paula. You both haven’t spoken in ages, yet she didn’t ask of your well being or your whereabouts. Her voice wasn’t melodious either. She just start relaying the news;

” Your mum’s battling with cancer, she’s been at the hospital for months. Your brother was just released from prison. A dude named curt got him out with other inmates.” She paused as though saving the worst for the last. She continued after taking a deep breath;

” And that good guy, Curt, whose dad was a crook, is dead. Suicide. He has sickle cell anemia. His dad too is dead after rotting in jail for all those years. They will both be buried in North Carolina.” She said hanging up. You know she hang up on you on purpose knowing you wanted to say something. She didn’t need your concern or sympathy. To her, you’re not family. You were never family since the day you left home.

You starred into nothingness after Paula broke the news of Curt’s death. You cried like a baby. You cried for hours till you fell asleep, and you woke up, greeting the world with your angry cry. You could hear angry shouts and knocks on your door by neighbors but you didn’t stop. You cried because of your harsh criticism. You judge him of sleeping with other ladies.

You cry, remembering how selfish you were. You wanted the relationship to revolve around you and thus it did. When Curt left you, the only reason you cried was because of the benefits you were gonna miss because of his absence; the comfort, the sex, the comedy, his apartment and money. You missed him, not because you loved him but because you needed him. And that’s why you didn’t cry for your mum who was battling with cancer because you always believed that she had nothing to offer.

****

2 weeks later, you travelled to North Carolina for the funeral. You had called Paula, using a husky voice to ask for the name and address of the place where the funeral was taking place. When you ask her if it is holding in a church, she replied angrily but politely;

” what do you think.” And then she hung up. She didn’t want the conversation. You looked at your phone screen, noticing that the call lasted for 10 seconds and 5 out of the 10 seconds was just grave silence.

You got to the church. The pews were covered with ageing and young people covered with black, only the priest wore white. You sat on one of the long seats. The priest had finished talking and Curt’s brother took the podium. He was nothing like Curt. No striking resemblance that connected him as Curt’s brother. He did have similar features in bits. He looked more like his father. His name was Dan. He said this as he emerged. He looked like someone who had crammed too much line and he just wanted to lay it all out.

Dan took off by talking about how good his dad was, the foundation his dad built, the kids he took off the street, his dad’s funny jokes and what not.

You sat still stunned. Curt never told you that he had a brother and you were still confused until Dan mentioned the pregnancy of his mum when she was 17yrs by Curt’s dad.

” This bastard got my mum pregnant and dumped her for years!.”” He suddenly flares up. ” This crook! This lying bastard! I can’t believe am doing this. I’m out.” Dan said slamming the mic before leaving, stunned faces starring at him.

You saw an old man in his late sixties come up to take the mic. He was Curt’s uncle. Before he started, he asked the people if they still have any other evil deed of his brother. There was grave silence before a guy got up;

” He’s a Big time crook” 1st guy said.

” But it’s the crook that sent your gooddam ass to college.” Curt’s uncle said, silencing him.

” I know me and my mum have enjoyed his benevolence but man, that doesn’t make him a saint… Gotta agree with the first dude. Giving doesn’t justify crime. Let’s learn to call bad what it is…”

2nd guy was interrupted by Curt’s uncle sudden shout;

” Shut up! Bastard! Ungrateful piece of shit! The guy you’re talking ill off paid for your mum’s cancer treatment. I pray she never makes it out from the hospital. He helped get your ass out of prison. It was his stolen money that freed your ungrateful ass.”

The second guy turned back and immediately there was tumult by the crowd. You look above the taunting crowd and you saw the guy, you knew the guy. It was your brother, Neil.

You immediately got up and left. You were angry, not at the crowd but at yourself. They were judgmental like you. They looked for faults like you. They were unthankful like you. It was as though your pessimistic spirit rubbed up on everybody. Perhaps if you hadn’t been there, none of this would have happened.

You struggle hard to fight the tears that welded in your eyes, not minding the eyes that starred at you as you walked out through the door.

The passerby

“Hey Shawn am almost at your place.”

” Really, man you came pretty late am at a grocery store.”

” No probs..”

Shawn looked at the window with his cell phone stuck in his ear. A guy walked out from the grocery store where he was about to enter. He wore a cap and had his head covered in hood. He was like any passerby standing on the pavement, waiting to flag down a cab yet Shawn stilled his car, watching him make phone calls, flagging down cars and talking to the guys in the car and then the car would ride off and he giving a ” fuck you sign.” as the car stirred ahead.

This went on for about 15 minutes, till a cab dropped by. The guy peered into the cab, longer than 5 minutes, but when he pulled his head upward, he got into the cab and it drove off.

***

Leave a message…. Hi darling, your friend Andrew dropped by to see you. I’ve been calling you but seems like you’re pretty busy. Andrew said he called you and you both were talking and suddenly you just stopped talking. He thought it was the line, but the call was still on and he was calling you and you weren’t responding so he hung up….”

Shawn turned off the phone.

” Damn phone.” He muttered.

The cab rode long distance. He made serval turns. Shawn followed the cab at a respectable distance. At first the cab drove on the street, heading to the road. Shawn saw white kids and buildings and people. This was where he belonged. But the cab was making a turn into an unfamiliar road. It wasn’t unfamiliar per se. Shawn knew this place. It was a place he dreaded all his life. It was the black neighborhood. At first he wanted to turn back but curiosity got the better hold of him.

Shawn saw the black neighborhood. It was often described as a junkyard. Piles of tyres were seen at one end of the road. Rock and row music were heard from a building. Black kids looked sinister as they roamed the streets in their skateboard or wearing hoods and flagging cars down to talk and after few minutes, the car would zoom off and the black kid would yell;

Yo! Asshole!!.”

” Tough love.” Shawn muttered as he drove on.

The cab kept moving and Shawn was terrified. He was scared of being killed. He was scared of what he would discover about these men. He was no cop. He had to turn backward yet he didn’t. They kept moving. Shawn did see a wary building, written on the building was;

Stop shooting us ” in a dense red colour.

He gasped on seeing that sign. The air around Shawn became stuffy. He could smell barbeque from a far end. The stale smell of cigarate mixed with dust and the smell of bullets churned him. He couldn’t breathe. He turned on the A.C. in his car and closed the windows.

Shawn knew that black neighborhood also had nice buildings and decent streets but blacks were characterised with drugs and violence. Shawn prayed that there wouldn’t be any shootout or knife stabbing.

Shawn watched the cab halt in an uncompleted building. The building was old. It was where black niggas did dance competition against each other. Thugs often came to the building.

Shawn watched as men on hoods came out of the cab. The lights on the car were still turn on.

The men were talking. Shawn wanted to make out what they were saying but he couldn’t as the voices were in low tunes. Even with the tranquility and serenity of the building, Shawn didn’t still hear a thing.

Shawn sat still. He had turned off the engine of his car but didn’t turn down the glass of his car for fear of being caught. The men were talking. Shawn saw the aggressive looks on their faces. He was damn wrong to have followed here. He called his wife but she didn’t pick. He called again and she answered.

” Hey, darling you’re running late again. Where the heck are you? I tried calling your office but they said you weren’t there. Even Andrew is worried sick about you…. ”

” Hello.. Hello!!.” His wife said on noticing the grave silence.

” Are you there honey?.”

Shawn sat still in shock. He was shocked about what was going to happen next. The reality of death left him traumatised.

” I love you honey..” Shawn said after hours of grave silence.

Shawn noticed his wife wasn’t responding. She finally understood. Shawn thought.

” Hey…” Shawn called out but then he noticed a guy from the cab approaching, accompanied by his movement were bangs of bullets on the tyres of the car.

” You goddam piece of shit!.” A guy shouted as he approached the car. ” What’re you doing? Spying on us?.”

” Oh hell no.” Shawn blurts out.

The guy approached Shawn’s car. The car Shawn saw earlier at the grocery store followed suit.

” Get the fuck off the car.” The guy who approached him said, pulling off his shady glasses and lo it was Tom, Shawn’s buddy from high school.

” Tom! Tom!!.” Shawn screamed in despair.

” You know this guy?.” The other guy said.

” Yeah Ed. Shawn’s my friend from high school.”

” So like you know this dude?.”

” Yeah asshole..”

” Don’t call me that shit face.”

Shawn was still on the floor.

” Guys look, i know you think i brought him here but i swear to God i didn’t. He’s always been the coolest son of a bitch in high school, always coming first places in class while scooping every other person. Everyone always called me his bitch in high school and now am gonna make him pay.” Tom said, rubbing his hands together.

” You’re not gonna shoot him are you?.” Another guy asked.

” Nah… But he got beautiful bitches at home; his wife and daughter. ”

” We’ve got some ladies to slick guys.” Ed said.

Shawn saw the men giving high five. He grabbed tom pocket and wanted to grab his gun but he was overpowered by the men and knocked out.

****

Shawn woke up in the trunk of a car. The car did halt immediately he became conscious. He was weak and faintly. The guys pulled him out of the trunk; legs tied and hands tied as they entered his house.

Shawn’s wife, June opened the door on hearing the doorbell and was shoved to the floor, gun pointing in her direction.

” Mum!!.” Jane ran out screaming.

” Stand back.” Ed said as he held her tightly while she struggled to break free.

” Shawn!!.” June screamed as she was literally dragged on the floor.

” No!!.” Shawn screamed as he watched the men going closer to his wife and kid. He scrambled on the floor moving closer to where his wife and kid were only to be shoved back by a gun which tom held.

Shawn closed his eyes. He couldn’t watch what was gonna happen next. He kept hearing screams all over the room.

” open your eyes! Open your fuckin eyes or am gonna kill you all.”

Shawn heard his wife and daughter screams yet he didn’t open his eyes. His eyes were shut tightly until he passed out.

***

Shawn was woken up by moaning and whispers. He was fully awake. He heard a voice;

” The dude’s finally awake.”

He didn’t want to open his eyes but on hearing his daughter’s voice, he opened it. He got up looking like someone waking up from a bad dream

” Hey!.” Tom said

Shawn sprang up to punch him when his wife and kid emerged from behind him, blocking him.

Shawn starred quietly at them. He was frozen. And a delirious chants of;

” Surprise!! Whoooo!! Happy birthday Shane.” Voiced out by a small crowd of friends and neighbours left him disenchanted.

Shane was stunned and confused. Their voices froze him the more.

” Happy birthday honey..” June said kissing him.

” Happy birthday dad.. We’re okay! None of what you saw earlier was real we just wanted to prank you.. ” jane said smiling

” That’s my line .” june said laughing.

Shawn starred in despair at ed and his men. Jane noticing this laughed.

” Not to worry dad, this all, apart from tom are my college friends.” She said.

They all took off their shady glasses and Shawn saw their real faces, smiling, stretching out their hands in friendship but Shane didn’t take it. He only starred at ed and tom.

Shawn was too stunned to understand. A birthday cake emerged by a neighbor and a bottle of champagne.

” Lol can’t believe you fell for all that.” Tom said.

Shawn felt angered. He realised finally as tom smiled that none of what he saw earlier was real.. He’d be pranked and in a slight rush of memory, he punched tom on the nose.

” Fuck!” Tom said, holding his nose and accompanied by it was a gentle roar of laughter..

Happy birthday Barack Obama

I cannot begin to say how much you’ve imparted my life. You’re a real hero, not just the world hero but my hero. I love you so much!! I still miss you at the white white. I look out for you whenever i turn on my T.v. I could still remember your recent visit to Kenya.. It was truly amazing.. Thanks for coming back to Africa and your sister is very lovely.. I do believe today because of you..
I could still remember your quote in 2009;
“Yes we can.” You said..
Happy birthday again sir. Ever young but still amazing. Your stand for love and unity and faith thrills me a lot. I could still remember your words when you said;
“People must learn to hate, and if they can learn to hate, they can be taught to love…”
Thank you so much for helping me find myself again. Thank you for teaching me hope and love. Mostly thanks for helping me find you..
#Happybirthday
Barack Obama
Cheers!!

The big liar!

Driving around the city of los Angeles, Donald severed right in on seeing an arrow like sign post on a stake. The arrows on the stake pointed at different directions. An arrow, pointing leftwards, at the top of the iron stake, had on it written Hollywood. While an arrow below it, pointing left too, it had on it written downtown. On the right of that arrow was another arrow written Malibu.

Below was another arrow, written on it was Santa Monica.

Donald drove into Santa Monica. A wave blew on the sign turning the signposts in different direction. This wave reminded him of the beach.

Donald loved the breeze. He’d been told about the Santa Monica beach. He jammed the accelerator cause he couldn’t wait to see his wife and kid. It’d been 3 days since he hadn’t seen them but it felt like weeks.

He slowed down on entering Main street, a city characterized by local surf vibe. His phone vibrated. He unlocked it and saw many notifications from his Facebook. It was then he remembered his wedding anniversary. He hadn’t called his wife, not once durning his travel, neither had he called his son. With him, work always got first place.

As usual, he thought of places to take his wife and kid to make it up to them. His wife, Margret never loved flowers. She would dump it on his face. Flower angered her, and at the same time it gave her a feeling of helplessness. She would love to go on a tour to Hollywood, or go bike hiking. Most of all she loved the beach. He wanted to stop by at Miju store and get his son, Michael, snickers but on a second thought, he didn’t.

Donald entered into Ocean park blvd, heading into the 2nd street. He drove slowly on approaching his house.

**

The house was empty when he entered inside. The doors were flung open. Everything in the house was thrown down, from the furniture, to the T.v. Papers were lying haphazardly on the floor. He felt enraged at his suspicion. He knew those papers were his research work on the sun. He was supposed to present them to his boss, who would then pass it on to scientist or Astronauts who needed it. Off course he would get a high pay but then his boss would get all the credit.

Donald starred at the papers. They were piled up and burnt. He could see a lighter nearby. But then he knew that this shouldn’t be a major concern. The whereabout of his wife and kid should be but then starring at his burnt work made him not to think clearly.

Few minutes later, he called his wife. Her phone ringing tune blared through the house. It was then he saw the phone stuffed in layers of pillows on the couch close to where he sat.

He picked up her phone and unlocked it. He saw a message she was trying to send but couldn’t because something bad was happening. The message was written thus;

Help! Help!!.”

She had sent the message to him earlier a day ago but he never read it. He’d see the message but he never opened it to check. He thought she was sending him an SMS to call her back or to ask how he’s holding. He always thought her calls and messages unnecessary. He was a full grown man and he didn’t need her calling to check up on him. He always saw spouses calling each other whenever they weren’t together as a waste of time. His wife, Margret, once told him that whenever a spouse called the other, it was a sign of total commitment. It made the other feel special.

Donald thought it stupid. He always believed that any spouse who needed to be reassured that the other spouse loves him was a whining baby, just looking for attention. It never occurred to him that something bad could happen to his wife. Their marriage was sugarcoated with trust. In their marriage, everyone just had to believe that the other loved and wasn’t cheating. Donald, for instance would never let Margret, his wife to read his private chats. He never let his wife take his call. Especially when it was his female friends calling. It was a sign of his distrust. He never let her in while he made any call. It made Margret suspicious and most times she would spy on him, search out his files or make calls but everything turned out fine, he wasn’t cheating. Not fine literally. Donald almost never came home. Work always got first place. Their sex was planned. It was something that he didn’t want her to get used to. They had sex 6 times a year. Most times, Margret had the urge to cheat but the thought that Donald didn’t made her not to.

***

Donald walked slowly around the house. He’d see blood pouring down the stairs. The walls was smeared with blood. There was a kitchen knife on the sink with snarks of blood all over it.

Donald got so frightened that he called the cops. He was terrified. It never occurred to him that something like this could ever happen. Every instinct in him told him that his wife and child were dead. The smeared kitchen knife and a small droplets of blood were taken for fingerprints.

****

Margret sat down on the couch watching the news. The news reported her and her son missing. Donald was seen from behind giving a shot at to the police.

Mum, why is daddy on the news?.” Her son, Michael asked.

Margret patted him on the head smiling.

Evans walked in with a pizza, along side Anabel, her best friend. She couldn’t be more grateful to her for giving her the idea, and aiding her in the execution of it.

” Hey Margret, having fears as you watch the news.?” Evans asked.

Margret gave an angry smile. The thought that he’d put her in a whole lot of trouble nauseated her.

” Don’t mind my brother, he can be a bit of an asshole sometimes.” Anabel said.

” Why is daddy looking for us and why are we here?.” Michael asked.

A wavering silence accompanied his question.

” Time for you to be in bed little fella.” Anabel said

” But Mum will i still be going to school.?” Michael asked.

” Go to bed young man.” His mum said.

Margret sat on the couch next to Anabel. Evans sat on a short sofa.

” So how long would you be doing this.?” Evans asked.

Margret wanted to ask ” doing what?” But she knew. How long was she gonna keep on hiding. Yeah it felt good to get back at Donald. It felt good getting all the attention. It felt good to be sought after. She wanted to keep it up.

Margret got up and went to grab her purse. The phone that Anabel gave her was in there. She unlocked the phone to watch Donald. She had planted cameras all over the house before leaving. She saw him sitting on the couch. He took a shot of the bottled brandy. His eyes were red. Guilt and worry was written all over him. She sniffed her nose irritably as she looked at him as though he stank. She saw him get up drunkenly, not able to hold himself. He, more than often, scrambled on the floor. Margret laughed.

Serves the motherfucker right.” Anabel voice rose up in the air

***

Donald sat on the couch. He’d be sitting in the same position whenever he came home for work. He couldn’t believe that he was moving on. But was he? He hardly ate save the few bites he grabbed at work place. Everything remained the same. The cops hadn’t given any new leads. The previous suspects 3 guys with previous records of raping and robbery were exonerated. No new leads. He woke every morning with guilt and anger.

He could have cared more, loved more. Work always came first for him while family always came last for him. He always thought that his family would be there forever. His son Michael never called him dad subconsciously. He had to be reminded to do so. He would remember how often every night Margret kept yelling and crying because she called him and he never returned his call. That was not the first time, neither was it the second nor the fifth time. It always happened.

The one that upsets her the most was the way he tossed in to bed after coming home very late for work. He always lay on his bed with his coat and inner white and his suit trouser still put on. It always rebuffed her whenever she saw him thrown haphazardly on the bed. If she tried kissing or touching him, he would push her away. If she persisted he would leave the room.

Margret knew he was damn tired but that’s no excuse. He’s her man. Most times she ate breakfast and dinner alone with Michael. Donald hardly ever came home to have breakfast or dinner with his family. His work was his wife. He had an extraordinary work ethic.

Donald remembered how Margret got upset with his travels because he never told her until the day she saw him parking his bags. He expected her to understand. He wanted her to feel his love from afar. He didn’t want her to get too familiar with his presence. All this for what? Respect? Donald sighed at his thought as he lit up his cigarettes.

Donald’s thoughts were suddenly interrupted by the noise that came from the door. He was looking gaunt. He wanted to go change but he knew that whoever was at the door would lit up the hope in him. He looked underneath the door and saw a female shadow. His nerve told him it was Margret but his brain was telling him something different.

****

Margret was sitting on the couch, turning on the news. She was thrilled at the speed at which life moved on. The news didn’t talk about her disappearance. She was once again just about any human being again who lived in the woods all by herself in the street of Montana avenue, Santa Monica with her best friend Anabel, her son, Michael and Anabel’s brother, Evans.

She was tired with all this hiding stuff. Soon a thought struck her. She could loose her marriage. She had to stop all this. It’s becoming nuts. Donald was finally moving on. She thought. He had stayed a month without seeing her or his kid. He was no more dead drunk. He still felt remorseful and sobbed a little and spoke aloud to himself, but it wasn’t as hurtful as before. Margret had been watching him from the cameras she snuck up at the house. She had to stop this. She would straightened things with Anabel when she returned. Margret thought.

Michael was asleep, so was Evans. So she thought.

Margret turned on her phone to watch Donald. She saw him starring at a lady. The lady’s face was hard to capture but when the lady looked up, she screamed profusely. She knew the lady. The lady was her childhood friend. The lady who gave her the idea on how to get Donald back. It was Anabel.

What was she doing here? Was this part of the plan? Was she trying to shake him and then reunite him with her( Margret) ?

” Hey.” Anabel said smiling. Margret saw the smirk of her lipstick. Her jacket was open, with an official white shirt worn inside it.

” Hey how can i help you?.” Donald asked.

” Oh nothing! Just heard about your family. I just wanted to know if i could be of any help.” Anabel said seductively, as she drove her hands through his bare chest. He wanted to push her hands away but he heard her say;

” You need it.” As she drew her face closer.

Margret watched Anabel smacked her lips as she unbuttoned her shirt, exposing her bra. Donald stood watching deliciously, smacking his lips as he looked at her. He wanted to jump on her. He wanted to kiss her senseless. He wanted to taste her but he didn’t. He just stood still watching, smiling and giggling.

Margret watched Anabel toll forward and kissed Donald. Immediately Donald was electrified and he speedily kissed her. The impact of his push threw them on the bed. They were kissing and touching, their naked bodies intertwined.

Margret couldn’t help it but stare. Her best friend was stealing her man. She couldn’t help it but scream. It had to be a mistake. There’s gotta be some explanation.

” Mum! Watch out!.” A loud voice shook her and Margret turned just in time to dodge a bullet flying in her direction.

Margret was stunned. She looked up just in time to watch Evans holding her son by the neck as he approached with a knife. Margret rolled under one of the couches. A pen knife was under the couch. Michael’s screams rang loud in her ears. Margret saw Evan’s legs near the couch and she quickly stabbed him.

Margret rolled out of the couch. Michael was trying to yank himself from Evan’s grip but he couldn’t. Margret saw Evans sneak out a gun, aiming at Michael. Margret didn’t know when she used the pen knife to stab Evans on the fore head. Michael had jumped out of the way as he saw his mum advancing.

Margret stood over Evans watching him wallow in pain. She looked side way as she saw him going for his gun which was nearby. She stomped on his hands and as he screamed loudly, she took his gun and shot him 4 times.

Margret looked over at her son. They stared at each other in a quiet silence which was interrupted by the noise of a phone. It was Evan’s phone. The noise was coming from his pocket. Margret quickly brought out the phone. It was Anabel calling. Margret took a deep breath before picking the call.

” Is Margret dead? Did you make it good?.” Anabel’s voice rang out quietly.

” Sure the deed is done.” Margret said and then Anabel hung up.

****

Donald woke up to see Anabel up. She was putting on her dress. He smiled as he watched her. He didn’t want her to know he was up. They had great sex last night. He hadn’t met her before yet it felt as though he knew her all his life. He couldn’t ever regret last night. He needed it. He watched her trouser stuck up on her leg. She bent down to tuck the edges of her trouser. He wished he could site her ass as she bent down but she stood in his front as he bent down.

Donald watched her get up and then she was thrown down by a bullet. The bullet came twice and she fell.

Donald saw a blurred vision. 2 people were standing afar. It was as though he could see something he hadn’t been able to see for a long time.

Margret and Michael ran towards Donald on a quick succession. They both ran to his shoulders, crying loudly. Donald was stunned as he watched them. He couldn’t recall who they were but later he would. For now, he held out to them in a warm hug.

Happy independence America

The 4th of july

America National Anthem

The Star Spangled Banner

Oh, say! can you see by the dawn’s early light
What so proudly we hailed at the twilight’s last gleaming;
Whose broad stripes and bright stars, through the perilous fight,
O’er the ramparts we watched were so gallantly streaming?
And the rocket’s red glare, the bombs bursting in air,
Gave proof through the night that our flag was still there:
Oh, say! does that star-spangled banner yet wave
O’er the land of the free and the home of the brave?
On the shore, dimly seen through the mists of the deep,
Where the foe’s haughty host in dread silence reposes,
What is that which the breeze, o’er the towering steep,
As it fitfully blows, half conceals, half discloses?
Now it catches the gleam of the morning’s first beam,
In fully glory reflected now shines in the stream:
‘Tis the star-spangled banner! Oh, long may it wave
O’er the land of the free and the home of the brave!
And where is that band who so vauntingly swore
That the havoc of war and the battle’s confusion
A home and a country should leave us no more?
Their blood has washed out their foul footsteps’ pollution!
No refuge could save the hireling and slave
From the terror of flight or the gloom of the grave:
And the star-spangled banner in triumph doth wave
O’er the land of the free and the home of the brave.
Oh, thus be it ever, when freemen shall stand
Between their loved home and the war’s desolation!
Blest with victory and peace, may the heav’n-rescued land
Praise the Power that hath made and preserved us a nation!
Then conquer we must, when our cause it is just,
And this be our motto: “In God is our trust”:
And the star-spangled banner in triumph shall wave
O’er the land of the free and the home of the brave.

Fathom part 8

Hey!.” She yelled as she called out to her mother.

Emma eyes shot at Riley as she sat back in the dinning in the exact position she was when Emma walked through the door.

” Caleb’s been taken right?.” Riley asked, starring at her before moving her gaze behind Emma.

Emma didn’t want to turn back. She was really frightened at the thought of what she was going to see, yet curiosity got the better hold of her and finally she looked back and saw Marcus, standing few metres from her, starring at Riley. Emma couldn’t forget the way he screamed ” Holy shit!.” Just few hours ago when they saw her on the floor near the door.

Emma freaked out. It was as though what happened few hours just before the shooting was being replayed. Riley was sitting in the exact position, on the dinning, with a plate of cereals before her, starring in the same direction when Emma walked in. Marcus too sat on the couch, giving Emma the same angry stare as he did when Emma walked in. The only difference was that Caleb was not there, and that his presence couldn’t be felt was a substantial fact. Emma was still standing at the door, in the same position when Marcus opened the door.

The world around them did freeze. Everyone stayed in his position for long without moving a muzzle. It meant something. It had to mean something

**

The sun stood in the sky in it’s stacked up enormousity as Emma rode in a Cab, crunching all the asphalts on the road. The driver kept starring at her through the front mirror. For the first time she noticed that even in his oversized sweatshirt, he was a non Japanese, at least he didn’t look like one. He was a middle aged America.

A lady in the Cab was smiling. Her dress suffocated her. She wore a blue jean like jacket with light blue jean pants, torn at the edges. Emma knew she dressed to impress. She must be going to some club.

The lady dropped at universal studious Hollywood.

Emma could hear a train like sound, and as if the cab driver read her thoughts, he said;

” People usually come here by subway. It’s a 55 minute drive.”

But Emma wasn’t listening, instead she starred at the gate of the universal studio Hollywood. The happy voices of children couldn’t but make her day.

The cab driver drove into the place through the gate to get something. He apologized to her and told her that he’d be back.

Emma gazed at the building, she wanted to capture the image of the building but she wouldn’t as the cab driver came back in a jiffy and drove off.

She got to temple medical centre and dropped down. She tried calming her nerves down as she entered the building. She for the first time noticed the magnificent color that was used on the building.

Emma thought of what she would do if she should see Dr. Lawrence. She knew that the best option was to calm down and play along. She groaned at the thought of she letting him touch her and kiss her. This repulsed her. She shouldn’t have come. She should have stayed at home and looked after Riley, while Marcus could have done this. Yet she knew that this was the only way.

****

Dr. Lawrence was reading a book when she walked in. Emma was angered at the way the telephone dispatcher looked at her when she came in. She didn’t as much as let Emma state why she was here. She knew already. Emma noticed the jealous look on her face as she directed Emma to his office.

Dr. Lawrence waved her in. She pulled a chair from underneath the table and sat down. They both had their quirt moment as they starred at each other.

The silence was revoked when Dr. Lawrence smiled at her.

“Hey what brings you to my office today?.” He asked.

” Nothing.” Emma replied devoid of emotions.

” Nah! Don’t believe you.. How’s Riley?.” He asked

Emma could notice the flirt in his face as he mentioned Riley.

” Looks like you’re doing a good job.” She replied with sarcasm.

” Okay, I should get going, make yourself comfortable. I will be back in 2 seconds. Start counting already.”

Emma laughed at that. She hadn’t wanted to laugh.

As Dr. Lawrence leaves the office, Emma begins to search the office, not knowing what she would fine. With a hazy look, she sweeps through every corner of the office yet she finds nothing. The files cabinets contained few irrelevant documents. The wide office gave into a more wider space.

Emma was hugging herself as she sat on the long sofa after her give up search. She could see shadows crawling out from the wall. She couldn’t tell how long she sat there but she jerked off quickly from the couch, and sat on the chair she’d been sitting earlier. She had just tilted the chair forward when an old Japanese lady walked in. The woman did wear dark shades and a red dress. She walked grouchily, stamping her foot readily as though she wanted to emphasize a point. Behind her was Dr. Lawrence. And next to his entry was the door slam which caused a jolt in Emma.

****

“Who’s she?.” The old lady asked

” She’s a friend.” Dr. Lawrence said.

The old lady’s face was lit up with query.

” Nah.. Mum we ain’t dating. She comes here all the time with her sick daughter and she has a husband, what’s his name again?.” Dr. Lawrence scoffed as he looked at Emma.

Emma did cough as she straightened her neck. She was angry at Dr. Lawrence for telling his mum that she was married. She couldn’t be more repulsed at this reality of her marriage to Nashua. She didn’t divorce him before leaving.

” Well….” Emma stuttered as she looked at the old lady. ” Divorced.”

” Divorced?.” The old lady shot back.

” Yes.. Divorced. And it wasn’t because of your son.. I left him cause he’s always hitting on me. Am already engaged to..

” Me.” Dr. Lawrence said..

Emma saw the grave look in the old lady’s eyes. Did Dr. Lawrence did that on purpose? Is this a trap or is he obsessed about her?

The old lady finally left the office.

” Good God!!.” Dr. Lawrence said, as he went over to the coffee machine with 2 cups. Before Emma could say jack, he returned with 2 cups of coffee.

” Just so you know, the coffee is bitter. I just wanted to let you know that i wouldn’t hold it against you if you should throw up in my office.” He said smiling.

Emma smiled teasingly, and slammed her cup hard on the table so that some of the coffee splashed everywhere. It even poured on Dr. Lawrence.

What are you doing? You’re falling for him!! This is a trap! This is a trap!!.” A voice in her head screamed out.

” No! Screw you.. Am not falling for him. He’s not Nashua! I’m only playing along.” She shot back.

” What’s that?.” Dr. Lawrence asked.

Emma knew he heard her. She knew he’d play subtle but how good was he at his game?

***

Marcus lay on the couch listening the Japanese and English language blending. Shadows were swift passing at their door. Nothing made Marcus more glad than hearing Riley snoring, yet it freaked him out.

The environment was silent again. Voices were heard as though it were coming from a mile away. Marcus knew that something was up. Shadows were descending at his door. Marcus hid downwards and looked through the window and saw a Japanese guy, moving slowly pass his door. It was the same Japanese guy he’d see starring the same way and moving in the same direction after the shooting which occurred few hours ago.

Marcus saw him walk pass. Minutes later, he heard footsteps close to his door. He looks up and sees the same guy coming towards his direction. This time he decides to catch him.

Marcus hid by the door, following the footsteps. As the footsteps approaches the door, he kicks the door, and the door glides open and hit the man on the floor.

Marcus jumps out and shut the door. Immediately, the man gets up and start running. At first, Marcus was stunned, but he picks up his pace and pursue too. They hadn’t gotten to a far point when Marcus had a loud outcry. He turns back, only to see someone pointing a gun in his direction, and soon, loud banging of bullets followed suit. Marcus ran and pushed his door open and shut it, locking it too. The shooting could be heard loudly like it was some warzone, yet he didn’t hear anyone in the apartment running or screaming it was still as silent as it always was. Marcus looked back only to find Riley sleeping peacefully and he held a sigh of relief.

****

Emma sat still as Dr. Lawrence kept on showing her images of people who had to undergo a surgery. She has sip her drink 6 times and that was it. She didn’t drink anymore. Those pictures churned her stomach. She’d see people who were torn open so that surgery could be procured, pictures of pregnant women whose stomach were torn open so that they could bring out a child.

He also showed her pictures of people rescued from an accident with broken bones and broken necks. Some of them had to get their legs amputated. Dr. Lawrence showed her photos of that too.

Emma found out too that she felt suddenly relaxed around him. Her bothering mind was suddenly calm. She knew as always that there was nothing to worry about.

” These pictures were ta…” Emma’s eyelids started dropping. She tried to force them open, yet they were dropping.

” Are you alright?.” A voice echoed in her ears. Accompanied by it was a sudden blackout.

The Digger

He walked in like a stranger to the funeral. He wore black like everyone else. He walked at a slow pace, keeping up with the little distance that separated him from the men and women who sat at a far end. Someone, perhaps the deceased father was giving a tearful speech. He stood from afar watching. A picture of the deceased spread wide apart on the podium. He could hear loud sobs, people where hugging each other, women, going into the embrace of men, some others going into each other embrace. Others leaning on the shoulders of others. He saw women holding up a handkerchief to their nose as they sniffed or cried.

The old man who spoke at the podium starred at the casket which laid in the middle, separating him from the crowd. He cried so much as he starred, he couldn’t hold himself any longer. Everyone joined in. The loud sobbing continued. It was as though everyone there needed this refreshing grief. Everyone there cried, save the tall shrewish stranger, dressed in black like everyone else.

**

He sat at the last row, looking at the garden like podium. It was the kind of podium that was used for a wedding. Lots of thoughts tore up in him as he looked at the deceased picture. He knew the deceased so well yet he didn’t fell any iota of commiseration for the deceased. He was filled with sadness, not the sympathy like sadness, it was the sadness that he wasn’t the one who killed the deceased. It was the sadness that the deceased won him forever and he just gonna leave with that. He envied the deceased. He wished he was the one who died triumphantly like the deceased and the deceased were him, alive. He would laugh at the deceased always but then he remembered that the deceased, if alive won’t be able to see him mocking. He wondered if the deceased would forgive him or even not remember that they had an issue. He wondered if the deceased would have been at his funeral and cry for him. Death was supposed to make the deceased missed, loved, forgiven, but it wasn’t so for him. He hatted the deceased even more than when the deceased was alive. He forever wished he was the one who killed the deceased and hated himself strangely for not being the one. He wouldn’t have minded if the cops caught him and threw him into prison and he was executed by the states. Nothing was compared to him watching Alex Delc splattered in his own pool of blood and he shooting him in the caps again and again. He fantasied about it always and it refueled his hate for Alex.

***

The funeral was finally over. He watched as the deceased casket was lay 6 feet. Everyone stood up, with umbrellas turned open, shielding them from the rays of the sun, as they watched the casket lay 6 feet. He didn’t get up.

He sat down watching people troll forward where he had been buried, dropping flowers and pictures of him. He sat still as he watched everyone leave. Alex Delc mother was really devastated. She was times without number pulled up from the ground where she crumbled unto at different intervals but was picked up. She looked all messed up when she turned to leave. He watched other grown ups, old men and women, teenager leave, even the priest left. Nobody came to ask him to leave. He didn’t leave. He couldn’t leave. He had one duty to perform to Alex Delc.

When everywhere was completely silent and empty, He went over to where Alex was buried. A shovel was by it’s side and so he grabs it and start digging. He doesn’t know how long he will keep digging but he keeps digging. At first his work looked futile as he scooped off handful of sand, yet he didn’t stop. Then there was a cloud burst. It happened suddenly, the heavy rain.

He kept digging. The rain blinded him, turning the earth around him to looked mangled. The rain kept pouring and yet he kept digging. He began levelling down into the grave as he used an axe to break the sticky earth around him and used the shovel to dig out the earth. When his shovel knocked hard against the casket, he looked surreal. He’d dig the last earth and walah, the casket.

He was standing on the brightly brown coloured casket. He went to the end of the casket and used his axe to break it open, hitting the casket with all his might. The part where he kept hitting broke open and in it, there lay Alex Delc, his nemesis. He smiled wickedly as he looked at the corpse. He wanted to throw the corpse upward but he didn’t want to waste time. He broke the cover of the casket completely, giving him enough room.

He looked at Alex delc. He dropped his axe and starts shoving the dead body. As he does this, Memories starts stacking up in his brain , earth sicking memories. With each memory came with a savage blow on the deceased.

He stared at Alex delc, remembering how Alex delc raped his sister, Mara, and he did nothing to save her. He and Mara were returning from a night party in his pick up truck when some gongs rode in front of them. He didn’t see them early so he crashed into them. He was so drunk that he couldn’t make out what was going on. Mara was smiling drunkenly too.

A guy came to the driver side and pulled him out through the door. He’d hear voices around him. A finger was pointed in his direction. He shoved the finger away. He could hear voices murmuring slowly but he couldn’t make out what they were saying.

Laughter rang out in his head. It was accompanied with shouting and moaning. He looked back and saw Mara yanked out from the car. He went over and punched the dude who held her for which he was shot and stabbed. He became unconscious.

By the time he got himself, he was still on the floor but this time he was tied. Something was stuffed in his mouth. Everything was clear. He saw Alex delc, the street crook. His shenanigans and escapades were all over town. His name was on every one lips. He always got in and out of prison. Whenever he did a crime, he always got away with it. Those who reported him to the cops always ended up dead. He always found out those who rattled him out to the cops. No one could pin him with any crime.

****

He lay there defenselessly all tied up as he watched Alex delc slid into his sister.

Her screams still rang in his ears even as he looked at the dead Alex delc. He was punching the deceased face with each pangs of screams that roared in his head. His mud smeared hands left some of the mud on the deceased face. He was chocking him, watching his head limp backward and forward like a leaf. He noticed how weightless the deceased was. Alex delc fine face had disappeared and what was left of it was bleakness.

****

He looked up as Alex delc got up from his sister, Mara. Alex delc motioned to the other gongs and they dragged her away. He squirmed as he watched her dragged on the floor lifeless. He was screaming but the clothes stuffed in his mouth made his voice incoherent. Alex delc came and stood over him smiling. Soon someone from his back knocked him out.

Few days later his parents and he were at the hospital. His parents had looked for him and found him there. He had just recuperated when the cops came over to the hospital and arrested him. He saw the death look his dad gave.

His parents came over to the police station with him dressed up in prison uniforms, handcuffed. He didn’t remember a thing that happened that night. The cops played a video that was sent to him from someone who preferred to remain anonymous. The person said that he heard some loud noise as he walked down the road. He followed the noise and he saw a girl held on by different guys. After saying this, they played the video.

He watched the video of the rape, only this time, he was the one who rapped his sister. He saw how his mum and dad starred into nothingness and he hatted himself for making them feel this way. He saw his father look at him as he was taking away by the cops after long series of conversation of which his parents said little. He was taken into prison and there he got mocking calls from Alex delc. He knew the line couldn’t be traced. He got to know the real truth from Alex delc and then his memory of that night returned. He never told anyone the real truth. Who would believe him? He didn’t even want to be set free. He had come to accept fate. But he was later exonerated. He didn’t know how, neither was he happy that he was cleared. He went into the streets after that. He didn’t report back to his parents. He knew they won’t want him back. They never called or visited him in prison. For them, he was the one who killed Mara. He took her to the party. He should have stayed with her, which he did. But still he shouldn’t be alive while she was dead. He had no right to. He could have killed himself and died in honor, that could’ve been better but he didn’t. He looked out for Alex delc but never found him again till the day the deceased died.

****

He smiled painfully as he looked at Alex delc. He had scattered Alex’s bone all over the casket. He felt victorious, happy, and sad too. Anger kept swirling through his nerve. It was a self righteous vindicative yet unfulfilled anger. He was angry that Alex didn’t get to see his bones smashed. He was angry that Alex got to die peacefully in his sleep while his sister got to die in a horrible manner. The custodians of fate were mean. Most of all he was angered because even though he smashed Alex delc bones and punched him serval times, he knew he hadn’t won, at least he felt that way. He kept starring as he heard a voice, a mocking voice. It was Alex’s voice. He starred at his broken mangled body. Loud and clear the voice rang out;

” You may have broken me in half, you may have punched me all you can. You may have won the battle little dude but you lost the war.”

He flared angrily but smiled, knowing that somehow, Alex delc felt all the blows and punches he threw at him

Fathom part 7

Emma lay on the couch waiting for Dr. Lawrence to return. Her mind reverberated back to the sensation she felt as he walked out the door. She cradled in fear as she saw shadows moving in front of the door. She tried calming her nerves down with the thought that the shadows were humans, not some creepy monsters. Japanese language hummed in her ears like the buzzing of bees.

Emma closed her eyes, wrapping herself with the throw pillows on the couch, when a voice echoed loudly in her ears. She jumped up, flung all the throw pillows in the process, trying to catch her breathe when the voice called out again, this time from outside the door. She wanted to scream;

” Go away you bloody bastard.”

But all she could feel were pangs of painful relief.

Emma lay on the couch again, leaving the pillows on the floor, smiling ludicrously as the loud noise from the door echoed in her ears, only this time, it was no noise but melody. A melody that made her fears subtle.

Emma woke up the next morning. Dr. Lawrence shadow stacked before her. He was just done with the last button when she got up.

” Had a good sleep.” Dr. Lawrence asked.

” Sure.” Emma said with a grin.

” I just saw an envelop with my mail inside. It lay on the rug.” Emma followed Dr. Lawrence gaze and saw the only small circled round rug which lay by the door.

” Looks like the mail man came with my mail and you were probably sleeping.” Dr. Lawrence said.

Emma nodded in freight. Her nodding made Dr. Lawrence stare at her, as though she needed some explaining to do.

The light above her flickered in its tentative brightness.

Dr. Lawrence soon began telling her about last night when he walked out the door. He told her about the swimming pool, about the great food he ate at spitz restaurant, about the cute Japanese women he hung out with.

The thought of Dr. Lawrence with another woman nauseated her but she kept her cool. She starred at him in clenched anger. How could he walk out the door with some other lady leaving her like some old sick fool ? She didn’t want to think about what Dr. Lawrence did with the other lady but her mind kept plunging on. She knew she had no right to be jealous, same way Marcus shouldn’t get jealous if she hung out with other guys. They weren’t married, neither was she and Dr. Lawrence.

Emma got up from the couch;

” I should get going. It was a lovely time spent with you. We should catch up sometime.” She said as she flung her hair backward.

Dr. Lawrence smiled back. Later he called a cab for her and as the cab drove, Emma could see Dr. Lawrence from the front mirror. She gazed at him until his image zoomed off.

**

Emma stopped at Marcus apartment. Thankfully it was by the road. The building was high walled, nothing compared to Hikaru apartment. She could smell the moist scent of Noddle soup. She couldn’t make out the smell; was it good or was it putrid? Well hell yeah it didn’t matter.

As Emma approached Marcus house, she turned round and saw the railing, the railing she almost threw herself from when Riley left.

Emma held a sigh of relief as she turned forward towards the door, about knocking when Marcus opened the door. He starred at her, few seconds before he pulled away from the door.

Emma strolled in subconsciously. She avoided Marcus gaze. Her children at the dinning, sitting apart, still hatting each other.

Marcus head boiled in anger. He wanted to snap her, throttle her. Emma noticed his furious eyes and then she got angry;

Who was he to correct her? Sure she had ran to him for help but that didn’t give him leverage over her. If he wanted her gone, then she will, taking her kids along.

Marcus couldn’t hold himself any longer and so he bursted out;

” What the hell where you doing out there with Dr. Lawrence. You fucked him didn’t you?.”

Marcus suddenly calmed down on the realization of what he had just done. Why did he just have to blow it all in her face in front of her kids.

Emma was stunned at what Marcus said. How did he know? Soon she became angry;

” So you’re spying on me ? ”

” I wasn’t spying, someone, perhaps him, sent a video of you two. You lay on the couch while he lay on you kissing you senseless.”

Emma didn’t believe him. He’d send someone who made this video all up. But why? She asked. She knew she and Dr. Lawrence didn’t have sex, at least he didn’t give her the chance to do so but why the lies?

Emma saw Riley eyes shot through her. It came with it a gripping fear that scorched Emma.

” Riley’s seizures sprung up again and i ran over to the hospital to get some drugs from Dr. Lawrence but he wasn’t around, guess you guys were ogling together.” He said sarcastically.

Emma sighed at the rapt smile on his face.

” His nurse gave me some drugs in a wrapped piece.”

Emma noticed Caleb presence for the first time. He was nodding to a beat. She wanted to yank his headset off his ears. He didn’t seem to notice what was going on.

” How long has he been playing on that?. ” Emma asked.

” All day I guess.” Marcus replied.

” Did you take Riley along when you went to the hospital ? ”

” When did I all of a sudden become your concern mum?.” Riley asked.

Both Marcus and Emma turned to stare at her, watching her stare into nothingness.

” Hey what’s trailing out from the bag ?.” Caleb called out.

” What do you mea…”

Marcus voice was interrupted by voices he heard coming downstairs.

” Wait! isn’t that marijuana?” Emma voice echoed loudly.

” Where did you get that from.?” She asked.

” From the hospital.”

” Which hos… ” Emma voice was silenced by Marcus’ look. Why was she asking a question with an obvious answer? Off course Marcus bought it from Temple medical center where Dr. Lawrence worked. Perhaps there was a mix up or someone in the hospital was trying to frame him up. Emma didn’t think Dr. Lawrence smart enough to pull this stunt on them.

” What are we going to do ?.” Marcus called.

“May…” Emma’s voice was cut off by the hurling of the door.

Emma threw herself on the floor on seeing a band of cops trooping in. They shone brightly in their blue uniform and black vest with the aid of the sun.

They spoke Japanese, loud earth sickening Japanese. Emma stayed, looking back, seeing Caleb and Riley hurled too on the floor. Emma turned forward, only to be pushed sideways by Marcus with loud gun shots accompanying it.

Emma looked up and saw Nashua walking in. He went forward to where Riley was. He wanted to grab her when Emma jumped on him, scratching his face with her fingers. He turned around and sent her landing on the floor. She wanted to get up but was stopped by a bullet which was at an inch distance from where she lay.

As Nashua proceeded further, Emma grabbed his ankle weakly, and he shook off her hands and stomped on them vehemently.

Nashua saw Riley cry as he approached her, making a face at Caleb like he caused it and he became angered by this and shot Caleb on the shoulder and came and to grabbed Riley who looked lost, only for him to be tripped down and as soon as he looked back, he saw a man running, holding Riley on his arm. The police began shooting but Nashua ordered them to stop.

***

It’s been 2 hours and everywhere was silent. Only the wheezing breath of Emma floated in the air.

Marcus lay underneath the cupboard with Riley. He looked at her often. She was pale. He saw blood stains all around her. He was sacred that she was shot but then he saw her coughing out blood, he knew it was her allergies.

Marcus lay low underneath the cupboard. He would see legs moving in all directions, swift Japanese languages rang in his ears. He would hear shattering and slamming of things.

Marcus heard Emma moans. He remembered her and Caleb. He knew he had to get them before things turn ugly. He looked up and saw Riley sleeping. He held a sigh of relief as he yanked out from his hiding spot.

***

Emma lay on the floor helplessly. Nashua was moving in the empty space that separated her from Caleb. Caleb lay on the floor, wallowing in his own blood. Emma wanted to get up but the gruesome pain she felt on her head didn’t let her.

Nashua kept walking in the middle of Emma and Caleb. He turned around and looked at his son, then turned and looked at Emma. He smiled mischievously on seeing her. He turned to the cops and nodded and immediately, two of the cops carried Caleb in an awkward position.

” You’ve got 3 minutes Marcus. Give up Riley and turn yourself in, or I’m gonna put a bullet in Emma’s brain.” Nashua said, signaling the cops who positioned at a spot waiting for Marcus to come out.

” You’ve got 2 minutes ! Give up Riley or y’all die.” Nashua roared, putting a gun on Caleb’s head.

Soon a siren was heard from outside. It was from one of the cops car.

Marcus came forward on hearing the siren. He saw Emma thrown haphazardly on the floor. Caleb was on the floor, at a far end from where Emma lay. A pool of blood was formed around him. The living room was empty. Marcus feared that it was some trap. As he went forward to grab Emma, Nashua appeared from no direction with 2 men with. He starred at Marcus laughing , then he shot Marcus something which made him unconscious.

Marcus woke up hours later, Emma was lying on the same spot. His head did swirl. He went underneath the cupboard where he kept Riley but she was gone. He went back to the living room it was empty expect Emma who lay unconscious on the floor. He came out to stand by the railings and looked outside, the cops cars were gone. Everyone in the apartment walked normally as though nothing happened but they knew damn well what went down. Nashua then scratched his head at the realization that Nashua was gone and so were Riley and Caleb.

****

3 hours later, someone knocked on the door, Emma, who was terrified after Marcus told her all that happened while she was unconscious, got up to open the door. Marcus had gone out to look for Riley and Caleb. Emma had refused joining him. She knew he wasn’t gonna find them. Nashua couldn’t be found expect he turned himself in.

Emma sighed at the thought of Marcus telling her that she was right that there was no use searching. She wished and prayed that she wasn’t right. She would smack Marcus on the face if he didn’t come back with her kids even though she didn’t expect to see him with them.

The knock on the door sounded again, Emma pushed back the bolts and opened the door. No one was there. She immediately pushed back in and shut the door at the thought of someone holding a sniper and targeting her. Emma bolted the door back, and used her body to wage the door. The silence outside terrified her. She stayed there until she heard Marcus yell;

” Holy shit.”

Emma quickly unbolted the door and opened it. She looked at him and saw him starring at something on the floor near her. She followed his gaze and saw Riley on the floor. Emma jerked and pushed her to make sure it was Riley and lo and it was really her. A note was pasted on her back and it was written thus;

” I’ve got your son, don’t call the police.”

Emma starred at Riley. It didn’t make sense to Emma.

Riley had woken up. She got up and starred at her mother.

So many thought rattled inside Emma’s mind;

Why did Nashua give Riley back, wasn’t she the one he always wanted?

Was this really Riley or was it someone else who had mask herself to look like her?

Was Riley an accomplice?

Emma freaked out on seeing Riley and she knew that Caleb was gone..

Life in Nigeria..

The first time Nicole came to Nigeria, he wasn’t happy. His dad had told him to go spend summer holidays with his uncle Cain in Nigeria. He had never seen his uncle Cain before neither had he seen his kids before. The only image he saw of his uncle was a portrait in a frame hung on the wall in the living room. It was the photo of his uncle Cain’s wedding. It was a church wedding in Abuja. The priest was about joining his uncle and his wife. Nicole’s dad stood by his uncle as the best man. Uncle Cain and Aunty Esther were holding hands, chin up as they starred at each other.

Nicole sometimes wondered if his dad and uncle Cain were not brothers cause that was the only photo that he ever saw of them. Maybe they were other pictures which his dad hide.

Uncle Cain spoke often and briefly with him whenever he called his dad. Often times, Nicole would be in his room and he would hear;

” Come greet uncle Cain. ”

Uncle Cain would sound brief, asking same questions; how he was holding on, how the weather was in Boston, would joke about storm or earthquake happening then he would give Nicole a piece of advice and then tell him to give the phone to his dad. He never asked Nicole of his mum because she was a white woman and he had this sick idea of white women overpowering their husbands and becoming undutiful. Nicole’s mum hated him too. She called him a psychotic mediocre.

Nicole wished his mum were here, she wouldn’t had let him go to Nigeria but she was in prison for possession of drugs after which she had to go through series of rehabilitation, so Nicole had to stay with his dad. His mum and dad were divorced. She got up one morning and left, no reason, no explanation, at least that’s what Nicole thought. Few months later she went to court asking for a divorce. It dragged on for a long time but finally it happened. Nicole was put in the custody of his Dad. His mum came visiting often. She loved the idea of him being in the custody of his father. Even when he had private conversation with his mum, she never asked him how his dad treated him. She didn’t care or perhaps it didn’t cross her mind to ask. Nicole did think that she was looking for something, anything to pin his dad’s ass down but later on, when she told him in their last conversation that she was getting married to Hart, he then understood that she wanted a new life, a life that neither he nor his dad were part off. 3 weeks after their conversation, she was imprisoned. Nicole watched it on the news with his dad. His dad phone rang as they watched the news and loud sobs was heard. His dad was acting so calm like nothing ever happened.

**

Nicole’s trip to Nigeria didn’t exhilarate him. Nothing of what his father said to him on their way to the airport could he recall, the only thing he could remember was a phrase that his father said repeatedly ;

When you get to Lagos, take another flight to Port- Harcourt. Uncle Cain is waiting for you at the Lagos airport, so once you land, look out for him.”

Everything about the journey irked Nicole. He had to deal with flight delays and all of the other hassles of summer travel. His dad didn’t seem to mind. He sat still talking with different white folks. He wouldn’t talk to a black flock. Nicole’s dad and this white folks talked about everything there is to talk about. They talked about politics, hair, marriage, feminism, job openings, Racism, Love stories, the weather and even about animated series..

One of the white flocks, Hank, a divorcee was sitting close by with his ex- wife. Nicole wondered why white Americans were so cold hearted. Nicole didn’t expect them to sit close by as he expected them to be emotionally frustrated, but they weren’t. Hank even said that they’ve agreed to keep up as best friends.

‘What a scratch coincidence lie?’

A white lady by the name Nora in a long blonde was smoking a pipe. Her eyes were burning red. She was a single mum before her children were taken to foster homes after a neighbor called the cops for her after her rattled her out. He came over to her house after she had gone out. He always heard loud sobs but didn’t know what was wrong. Finally when he came over, the children, after series of persuasion, opened up. He would numerous bruises and cuts on their bodies. Her oldest daughter, 11 yrs old, told the neighbor how their mum was a drug addict and how she beat them up for no reason and how she threw them ( her kids) downwards from the stair railings and how she put her younger brother in an oven, and how their mum beat them with a clog and how their mum poured boiling hot water on their feet.

The neighbor called the cops and after few examinations and questioning, they waited till Nora came home and then they took her children away and they arrested her, giving her 10 yes, after which she went for rehabilitation for 2 yrs before she was released. She was never the same after that and she never saw her kids again.

When Mr. Hank began to talk about high rates of suicide in America, she got up an left, as though she could sense malevolence and nobody there could sense her need and comfort her.

Finally it was time to journey back to Nigeria, goodbyes were hurriedly said as everyone began to head for the airplane.

Nicole’s dad waved to him as he entered the plane.

Nicole sat near a Nigerian who was being deported. The man smelt like weed. His eyes were red. He was one of those whose life was frustrated in America. He had just been released from prison and was deported immediately.

The Nigerian was talking with another Nigerian and Nicole listened keenly. He wondered if they were speaking Yoruba or Hausa but they weren’t. They spoke English but their English was unpalatable.

” Oga wetin you dey tell me. American no be place wey you go mumu your life. Abi I dey tell you but you no dey listen. See how your oyibo wife put you for trouble, Emeka!!.”

” Guy shut up. Me self better pass you! I no dey do drugs. You come go prison for drug issue nonsense. God don punish you. Ode!!.” Emeka said.

” Guy America be racist country oh. I no know.. You no say na police man over there wey I dey trade with before they catch me.” Tobi, Emeka’s friend said.

” Mumu na trap they set for you.. They know you’re a drug dealer but they just needed evidence against you when they charge you to court.” Emeka said

” But sha me and you no dey different. You wan do shabby marriage so you go be citizen of America. For your mind you sharp! See how your so called America wife put you for trouble.. I know say you pay her well for it but she just dey use you as mugu. She don arrange your arrest with the cops.” Tobi said.

” Seriously that girl plan me scatter.. I think say she be naive person. I know no say na me be the fool. That her useless brother, Mike, God go punish him. ” Emeka said

” Wetin her brother do you! ” Tobi asked.

” Na he make me not to escape. I for escape them. As I dey run, I saw the fool who told me to follow him. I did because he was fellow Nigerian. He led me back to the cops. As I turn to run after noticing the trap, he shot me on my leg. ”

” E be like that Mike was a cop too.” Tobi said.

Nicole sat down listening to the 2 Nigerians who sat by him, amused by their fanti language and their angry expressions.

” Na true.” Emeka spoke out.

” Yes! It was exactly what they did to my cousin. The police set him up. They set trap for him. One of the cops pretend like he be drug dealer too and that’s how my cousin was caught. He was given 15 yrs sentence under probation but he never made it out. He was killed by his inmate who’s a racist. The psychotic fellow was later transferred to solitary.. ” Tobi said sobbing a little.

” Guy na God’s hand we dey.” Another Nigerian who was deported said.

” Me self I just happy say I dey come back home. America no be place to live in.” Emeka repiled.

Nicole listened with keen interest as many deported Nigerians recounted their stay in America. He wished he too was a deported fellow too. He wanted to be part of them. He loved the way they could create happiness out of a hideous situation. Nicole laughed as they called Americans olodo, ode, white fools.

When an American hostess, a white lady in a blue jacket and a strapped trouser came over to say that they were at Lagos Nigeria, about landing the plane, sniffed her nose irritably like she couldn’t breathe and said that they all smelt like garbage, smiling as though she didn’t expect them to understand what garbage was, Emeka farted loudly. Everyone laughed as they covered their nose, as though it was the hostess who farted,

” This na American mess!!” Someone yelled from the back in between his laugh.

Others threw their food given to them on the plane at her. Nicole watched excitedly as the hostess kept raising her hands as if to block it. Her clothes were soiled so was her hair which was ruined. She ran away mortified and someone shouted ” America white fool, ode!!”
***

The landing of the plane frightened everyone. Nicole laughed when he saw some Nigerians confessing their sins to God, making the sign of the cross, some others raised native songs which everyone on the plane joined in. Nicole wanted to join them. He wanted to believe in God, in rapture but he wasn’t convinced that it was real. He grew up in a home where both his dad and mum were atheist. That was the only thing they ever agreed on, in the nonexistence of a supernatural being. His dad openly called it crap but his mum didn’t ever say a word when an argument about the existence of God was raised but he knew she agreed with dad.

Uncle Cain was standing close by the airplane as it landed. He wasn’t the only person there so many people were gathered there. Nicole didn’t see him but then he heard his name loudly called out as he came out from the plane. He turned back and saw a stranger in an oversized dress. Uncle Cain had to raise some of his dress which trailed on the ground and passed some of it under his right armpit.

Nicole could hardly recognise his uncle. He tried to picture this man standing with the man in the wedding picture that hung in the living room of his house.

Nicole watched his uncle run and hug him like he was missing or he had been kidnapped before. Nicole, in his uncle’s embrace watched as others who gathered around when the plane landed, running to hug their families who came out from the plane. Nicole looked out for Emeka and Tobi and other Nigerians whose face he’d capture but he wouldn’t see them.

Uncle Cain put his hands right across Nicole’s shoulder as they headed for another flight to Port- Harcourt.

Nicole didn’t see much of Lagos and for that he felt a dissatisfaction that came with a longing. He had been told by his dad, his friends and even by goggle that Lagos and Abuja were the best places in Nigeria. He’d long to see lekki and banana island and Victoria island in Lagos but he wouldn’t get to see them. He so wished he could disappear and join the likes of Emeka and Tobi.

” This flight is only for 45 minutes. Don’t worry we will soon land in Port Harcourt shortly. ” Uncle Cain said.

Nicole was angry at his statement. Didn’t he know that he didn’t want the flight to ever end? Nicole didn’t reply instead he asked ;

” How did you know that am gonna be on that plane cause I ain’t supposed to be on that plane. It’s for People who were deported and hell no was I deported. I just pray that it won’t in anyway hinder me when am gonna go back to America. ” Nicole asked.

” No it won’t. By the way it was God that made me see you when you came out from the plane. It was just God, just God.”

Nicole saw his uncle looking upward and waving his hands. Nicole wondered why he attributed everything to an invisible deity that he couldn’t see. Nicole believed it was luck and fate that made his uncle to see him. But somehow he knew that there was an invisible force and deity in whose power and will the earth and heaven are in place.

” Your cousins Can’t wait to see you oh. They want to see oyibo pepper. You’ve become a celebrity in my house. ” Uncle Cain as the plane finally landed.

***

The drive to Uncle Cain’s house was a bumpy ride. Uncle Cain’s Car was parked at the Port Harcourt airport So it was easy to go back home. Nicole sat still as he looked at the window trying to take in as much as he could. The road was tarred with bill boards erected at different Corners. Heaps of thrash were situated at different Corners. He would see hawkers on the road selling stuffs he didn’t know off. It got worse when a go slow had occurred in Rumibo, Nicole would see small children standing by the front seats of Car begging for money, mostly no one gave them. When one of them came by Uncle Cain’s Car, resting his hands on the Car Close by where Nicole sat, immediately he saw Nicole, he began chanting loudly;

” Oyibo pepper!! Oyibo has come to Nigeria!! ” flinging his hands upward as he tried to touch Nicole’s hair but Nicole pushed back and turned up the glass and soon the go slow ceased and Cars were moving again. Nicole felt relieved.

Nicole looked out the window and saw some cars following one way, he’d see some men unzipping their trouser and urinating at corners. In America, such persons would be arrested and fined.

Nicole looked up at so many buildings. The color of the buildings were wearing away. The buildings were old as though they were eaten by a moth.

As uncle Cain drove forward, he stopped at a police checkpoint. Immediately he saw the police man, he began speaking Igbo to the man, saying “abeg” to the man, and squeezing out a hundred naira note to the man who smiled mischievously at Nicole who didn’t look in his direction. After a short chatting he drove off.

” Didn’t you have your papers? ” Nicole asked

Uncle Cain was taken aback.

” Yes I did. ” uncle Cain managed to say, peering into Nicole’s eyes, afraid and feeling guilty.

” So why did you have to bribe that officer?”

Uncle Cain looked up at him, starring at him with that impulsiveness that made him look like he had an idea but in reality got nothing. Nicole knew he didn’t know what to say. He knew kids in his class with his uncle’s look, kids who raised their hands up high with shrilled excitement on their faces. Their excitement also showed in their waving, only to be picked up by the teacher to answer a question or solve an equation and then their reply was always;

I’m not sure.”

Nicole often wondered whenever this happened in class;

Did they really know the answer or had the answer drowned off in the heat of their excitement?

Uncle Cain looked up at Nicole wondering if he felt like he was in a hot seat right now. Off course Nicole wouldn’t share the same nervousness he had. Uncle Cain looked up wondering how he could explain to Nicole that it was the way things were done in Nigeria; bribing. Bribing was more like the actual currency in Nigeria and things like money, promotions, high offers were means and modes by which this currency was displayed.

How could Uncle Cain explain to Nicole that one had to bribe his way out of problems even when he didn’t deserve it and also one had to bribe his way into fortune even when he didn’t earn it? How could he explain that was how it worked in all sectors in Nigeria, from the political sector to the Academic sector, even in offices and companies. Nobody wants to know what you have in your head or they care about is how much of the bribe you’re ready to give. Money is the major measure source of bribing in Nigeria and perhaps all over the world.

Uncle Cain was sprung up to consciousness after someone came by his door window and was shouting loudly, urging him to drive faster. Uncle Cain was driving so slowly in his subconscious stare at Nicole. The highway was free. Uncle Cain soon speed up and drove. Nicole sat still wondering why the other man at his uncle’s back was shouting. The road was big enough for him to outrun his uncle.

” Nigeria too love trouble. ” was all uncle Cain said.

****

Uncle Cain’s house was at Rumudara in Artillery. His house was located in an estate. His house was a duplex. His gate was very big and gigantic with high walls. Nicole hadn’t ever seen a building with gates and high walls in America. Dog barks could be heard from inside the compound. The building was colored with shredded white and the louvres were darkened with dust. The building looked damp as though it rained on it. Nicole saw all these when they drive inside the compound. For now, Uncle Cain was horning loudly. Nicole wanted to tell him to stop but he didn’t. He wondered if the cops would come out and tell him to stop or give him a ticket for disturbing the peace of the environment but none of such happened. Nicole was breathing heavily. Uncle Cain and he stood outside for 10 minutes before his son came over to open the gate. His eyes were wet with tears. Uncle Cain drove impatiently into the compound.

A shrilled voice greeted Uncle Cain as he came out from the car. It was his wife;

” Oga welcome oh.” She said bowing a little while he patted her back. She stood up and then looked at her son and began raining abuses on him, calling him a fool, a goat, a dog, a brainless fool. The boy stood watching in regret, bowing his head down. His mum even spat on him.

Nicole watched still, looking at Ginka, uncle Cain’s son with a little bit of resentment. Why did he let his mum talk to him that way and even spit on him all because he didn’t open the gate on time? The abuse was bad enough but the spitting was way out of the line. He should have done something, perhaps talk back at her in defiance or better still, walk away. That’s what he or any of his mates would have done. Nicole too wondered too why Nigerian children called their parents mummy and daddy. Couldn’t they call them mum and Dad? It sounded more cool. He had heard someone from inside shouting;

” Mummy, tell Tayo to stop looking for my trouble.” A boy of about 11years old called out but his mum didn’t respond. She was too angry to respond.

” Get out fool! Let me see your hands on that your game if I don’t smash it this afternoon. Your father was outside blowing horn and you’re inside waiting for your ancestors to come and open gate for him.” She sighed as she snapped her fingers at him before holding it and entering inside.

” Daddy has come, daddy has come” The eleven year old girls chanted, pushing Nicole aside to welcome her father

” Omalachiwama ( beautiful) ” was what the father always used to describe her.

She fell in his embrace.

” NEPA has come. ” a boy called out loudly.

” Tayo come greet your old man and help Nicole carry his box.”

” Binka come and greet your cousin, uncle Nicole. His the white oyibo have been telling you about.” Uncle Cain said to the eleven year old girl.

Binka starred at Nicole, looking at how light skinned he was, with his light brown color, he didn’t squint his nose more often, neither did he breathe slowly, choosing what he should breathe and what not to breathe in. He seemed used to Nigeria air. He wasn’t inquisitive and seemed to be able to relate with everyone even though he would seem withdrawn at first, starring and observing to know how to relate with everyone. He didn’t carry the air of superiority around him. He didn’t look the type who said his mind often. Yes he was a black American, not the real white American.

Nicole loved how Binka observed so much but didn’t say anything. After much starring, they took his luggage’s to the visitor’s bedroom downstairs. Uncle Cain’s wife came out from the kitchen, wearing an apron, drenched in sweat, and smelt of spices blended with the smell of sweat. Nicole wanted to close his nose because of how bad the air was around her. He wanted to ask her why She stayed at home to Cook and didn’t have a real job but he didn’t. Nicole’s mum and most women he knew in America weren’t full time house wives. They left home at 6am in the morning and came home by 10pm like their male counterparts, leaving their kids to fend for themselves. Most women in America earn more than their husbands.

In fact in America, most women didn’t give birth to many kids because of their jobs. Most times they might just have just one kid, at most two, if by persuasion, the husband is able to convince her to have three kids, then it was fine. Some women tied up their tubes so they won’t be able to have kids again. Women in America owned their bodies and they decided when and when not to have sex.

As if Binka’s mum knew what Nicole was thinking, she immediately frowned at him. Nicole looked up in despair, trying not to look at her, but then he knew that the anger wasn’t meant for him. She complained of being left alone to do the whole work in the house while everyone else lingered lazily.

” Darling, you and everyone else knows that even we tried to help you, you would nudge us away because we can’t cook and clean like you. You do things wells” uncle Cain said, pecking her on her cheek and then she smiled. He turned over to his eleven year old daughter, Binka and said;

” Oya go and help your mother. Go! Go!!” He said.

Nicole’s room was near the laundry room where washing machine and ironing boards were kept.

A stale smell greeted Nicole as he entered the room. The bed was neatly made. The room was well arranged and neatly swept. The tiles were brightly yellow in color. His things were hurriedly kept by the cupboard and the door was shut leaving him alone in the room and he lay on the bed.

Nicole was awakened by a loud knocking on the door. He was drenched in his own sweat. saliva was on the pillow. He got up quickly and scrambled to the door, opening it with the agility of a superhero, perhaps Superman. Ginka was standing with angry impatience.

” Come and eat, food is ready.” He said running away quickly before Nicole could ask him what’s up for dinner. It was evening already.

Nicole wondered what was up for dinner. In his home in America, dinner was very light. More of snacks and light food was eaten. Things like roasted chicken, cheese jerky, Taco salad, meatloaf, and macaroni and cheese. He sat down remembering the wonderful smell of roasted chicken, the wonderful taste of cheese jerky. He sniffed his nose in the air, his mouth was watery as though he were an hungry dog.

An offensive smell from nowhere filled his nose. He thought he was imagining it, but when he opened his eyes, he noticed that it came from the living room of his uncle’s house. The smell churned his stomach, making him wanna puke. He had an immediate belly ache. He dashed to the living room where the smell persisted the most. The smell was like that of feces smell.

” Wow! Gross, what’s that smell?” He asked covering his nose.

” Americanah oyibo is not used to our foo- foo.” Tayo yelled out

Everyone starred at him and then went back to eating but his uncle’s wife starred angrily at him, watching him with contempt as he sat down on an empty seat. 2 covered round plates were before him. At first he thought it was an error but as he looked each, person had 2 uncovered plates before them.

Nicole took forever to uncover his plates. He observed, watching as people used hands to cut from their moulded foo- foo, dipping it in a soup, chunked with fishes and meats of different sizes. He starred at the moulded foo- foo. It was as thick as anything he could imagine. The smell of the foo- foo was nauseating, and he couldn’t pretend this time. He pushed the plate aside, pushed his seat backward and got up

” Thanks everyone for the meal but I’ve got to pass on this one. ” he hurriedly said, before turning to leave. Everyone turned, starring at him, looking at each other with their mouths opened in a big “O”.

Nicole entered his room, closing the door , trying to breathe away the smell but it followed him inside his room.

Nicole held his rumbling stomach. It was gonna be a hell of a night. How could he go to sleep on an empty stomach especially when he hadn’t eaten so well since morning. It’s been few hours since he landed in Nigeria and he had eaten nothing save the pina butter sandwiches, cut in triangular sizes. He had fixed breakfast himself this morning, before his dad took him to the airport. And worse still, his dad didn’t call to check up on him. He got no call from his dad on the plane, neither did his dad call when he landed. Perhaps his dad called uncle Cain secretly. But Nicole didn’t think so. He had been alone with his uncle all day, and his uncle’s phone beeped once. It was his wife who had sent him a text message. He knew because the sender’s name was saved as ” Baby.” And one didn’t just call any person “baby.” save the actual toddler.

The word ” Baby” was a pet name used by couples or people engaged. Nicole often wondered why people loved to be called baby. Did it make them remember their childhood? Did it bring out the kid in them? Why couldn’t they just stick with pet names like; Darling, honey, Sugar and the likes. What is so great about being called a baby?

Nicole rumbling stomach got him out of his thought. He had the urge to go back and eat the “Foo- foo.” but then the thought about his uncle’s wife thinking that he had come back to eat because of her, to please her, restrained him. He could now hear loud chatting from the dining.

Nicole opened the window for ventilation. There hadn’t been light. There was light when he arrived at his uncle’s house. He knew because he heard a loud happy chant of children from another compound shouting;

” NEPA has brought light. ”

He raised his eyebrow in query. ” Nepa.” He repeated outrightly, but not loudly. Why were people so excited about light? He asked himself. He had grown up in America where there was always light. Light there never went off expect when there was an earthquake, a flood or a tornado, or where the light was damaged and needed to be repaired.

Nicole sighed as he lay on the bed shirtless. He hadn’t been used to heat before. He tasted his own sweat as he lay on the bed, turning back and front.

Nicole lay helplessly on the bed when a mosquito flew pass his ear. He hit his ear, hoping that he killed it but more flying insects flew in from the window. Nicole had to wrap himself completely with the long blanket that lay on the bed. He covered himself, even to his head. Nicole lay in the blanket like a bag of rice. His sweat stank so badly because there was little or no air passing in and out from underneath the blanket.

Nicole thought about his life. He understood then that there was so much good things in his life that he took for granted. He always dreamed of a perfect life, with his mum in it. True he didn’t have that but he had his dad who was like a mum to him, his dad and himself were alive. He didn’t get to beg on the streets like some of the people in America, who he always sees begging. He would watch them from the side mirror of his dad’s car. He always grumbled whenever his dad dropped him and picked him up from school as this led him to being picked on by his principal. His dad always gave him a dollar whenever he came by to pick Nicole and he was in detention for little misbehaviors that was pardonable when others did it, but not when he did it. Nicole was forced to attend classes, something he disliked. His friends didn’t attend classes often. Some others were planning not to go to college. Kids in America managed to stick around high school, not college. Most of them instead of going to college, go into other things such as wrapping, Hollywood, singing, and most of the times, they end up doing drugs and finally they either end up in the prison or in the grave.

Nicole’s reputation at school faded rapidly and he was always called a tone deaf twin. Whenever he came to school, he was always pranked hideously, and if he should report, he would be put in detention.

Nicole sighed as he remembered those days but he knew the good outweighed the bad. His dad could pay the bills, and his dad had finally changed his school after much confrontations. Beside he had a dad. He could wake up everyday knowing he had a real dad, not some foster parents who could dump him or maltreat him. Nicole smiled as he slept off.

****

Nicole was woken by an abrupt knock on the door. He jumped up, shoving off the blanket he had used to cover himself. He scratched his thigh. He stretched himself, arms wide apart. He yawned profusely. His stomach growled in hunger. He stank in his sweat which had dried up on him. He wondered how he made it through the night. The knock on the door continued and Nicole had to grab his shirt and trouser, wearing them before opening the door. It was Tayo.

” Father said I should wake you up so you can come join us for prayers. ” Tayo said, before leaving.

Nicole didn’t believe in God but he just had to join, just to please his uncle.

The living room was filled with loud clapping and songs sung in native dialects. He starred, watching as they sang and dance. He was furious. Why did they have to act as though they have no problems? Why did they choose to live in delusion? He wanted to storm away in anger, but on seeing his uncle’s wife scolding face, he sat on the long couch close to Binka and Tayo.

The song finished and then prayers were made. Everyone, excluding Nicole took turns to pray. Nicole held a great sigh as he wasn’t called out to pray. And it wasn’t just because he didn’t know how to pray, it was mainly because he was a shy person. He was intimidated by their boldness. Little Binka’s boldness terrified him the most. The way she was binding the devil, wriggling her fingers as she called forth the thunder of God to strike the devil. Nicole watched his uncle’s wife, the way she shook her head, shouting Amen as though she was chanting an incantation freaked him out. Soon everyone began screaming ;

” Die by fire” accompanied with speaking in tongues. Nicole wondered if a spirit or a demon was lurking around nearby. He wanted to take cover.

Prayers ended soon and everyone became normal again. It was on a Saturday morning, so the house was hurriedly clean. Binka swept the floor with a broom. Nicole noticed how she bent down, kneeling down in the process. Nicole was terrified for the happy girl who swept, humming to a song. When Binka got to the center table, she swept off the dust from the dining then proceeded to sweep the rug, on which the center table was placed. Nicole was stunned at the numerous dust which was raised in the air. Binka rubbed her nose irritably as she swept. She was sweating big time. Her mum came to the living room, nodding her head in approval, saying;

” God bless you my daughter. You try you hear.. Oya hurry up.” Then her mother went from the living room, calling Tayo who was playing game on his phone. She seized the game, calling him olodo, comparing him with all his classmates, especially their neighbor son who took first position in his class. Tayo attended same school and was in the same class but was coming last in his class.

” But mummy, I’ve been telling you and Daddy from my Jss 1 that I don’t want to go to school. Me, I want to be a footballer like Messi..”

His mother gave him a thud on his face. It was so sudden.

Nicole watched them from a distance.

” This boy has killed me o! My good God! You want to end up like all those riff raff’s out there?. Chimo! The devil is a liar.” She said, tugging at his ear.

” Wait! What is it?” Uncle Cain called out. He was clean shaved. He wore shorts and was bare chested.

” Tell your son. Your son wants to kill me! ”

” Calm down!” Uncle Cain yelled out in authority.

Nicole watched his uncle’s wife stop shouting. She instead gave out silent sobs, watching her son with great perturbation.

” Tayo what did you say to your mother?. Uncle Cain asked with a silent dread.

” I told mother that I don’t want to go to school anymore. I want to become a footballer.”

” Ha ha ha” Uncle Cain laughed, watching Tayo, looking out, as though to check if the person standing nearby was his son, or his look like.

” Look son, you have to go to school. It’s no more like the days of bill gates. Even he had to go back to college after dropping out. Look at me, I love you my son and I want the best for you. I know what’s best for you. If education wasn’t the best thing for you, I won’t give it to you to you. See here, let’s make a deal if you finish your secondary school and finish your university, I will let you become a footballer. In fact, what am I saying? By then you must have grown into a big man, I can’t tell you what to do at then.” Uncle Cain tugged at the cheek of Tayo who frowned.

” What’s wrong, tell me?. ” uncle Cain asked

Tayo looked downwards at his palms. Urging words heaped in his throats, but the bubbles in his throats was able to hold them.

” What is it ?” Uncle Cain asked again. This time it more like a command.

Tayo looked up at his father. He was so irritated by his smile, the smile that always reminded Tayo that his dad was the adult here and he was just a kid and he just had to be naive. He couldn’t be defiant. He just had to accept the norm that his dad was always right and he was just a silly kid in his care. He flared up when he saw his dad sniff his nose. It meant something. It had to mean something.

” You lie daddy, you lie. You just using me to accomplish the goals and dreams you couldn’t accomplish. I’m just a fool in your eyes that you can easily lie to. You just want me to give up on my dreams so you can achieve yours.”

Nicole how paused everyone was. It has never happened before, this defiance. Nicole closed his eyes to avoid his uncle wife’s gaze. And as he opened his eyes, a hand swopped up in the air, and before he could say, ” jack”, the hand, accompanied with a earsplitting sound descended. By the time Nicole looked up, Tayo’s eyes were gleaming with tears, but he still stood up in defiance, whereupon his uncle’s wife dragged him into a room. Tayo was crying loudly.

Nicole heard the shredding of things. Tayo was shouting loudly. Nicole was stunned. He had never been beaten like that before, not in America although he’d hear that some blacks do beat up their kids in a basement.

Ginka came over where Nicole stood. He wore his shorts and singlet. His white was stained. His arms were lean like a shrub. He was really thin. His cheekbone and neck bone started out.

” I know in America, people don’t beat their kids so that they don’t call the police for them.” He said smiling broadly. Nicole couldn’t see his dimples and there was no flesh in his cheek. He looked sick, like one suffering from malnutrition. Nicole didn’t respond, instead he smiled.

Later, Uncle Cain’s wife came out from the room. Her hair was all messed up. She went straight to the kitchen.

” Binka ! Binka!!.” Uncle Cain called out. Binka came out from her room. She was exhausted from the sweeping.

” Go and help mother prepare breakfast. ” Uncle Cain.

Binka nudged her head grudgingly as she walked slowly to the kitchen.

” Go and help your mother and sister. ” uncle Cain said.

” Daddy, am a guy and guys don’t cook.”

“Not in today’s world.” Uncle Cain said

” Men don’t cook, cooking is for ladies. Guys like me wash cars, split fire woods, weed the compound, take out the trash, and drive their dad’s car, not cook.”

Uncle Cain wanted to say something but kept quiet. Nicole looked up at Ginka. His eyes brightened at the thought that he was being a man, that he was performing manly duties. Nicole wondered why duties where shared in Nigeria. Men in America did cook. His dad was a great cook, so were the dads of other of his friends. Even women in America worked in an office or at a construction site. Nicole for the first time noticed how blackened, Ginka’s lip were. He wondered if he smoked, or if rubbed charcoal on his lips. He wanted to ask but he didn’t. He swallowed the thought.

As Nicole shifted himself in an odd position, he heard someone grunt. It was Ginka. Ginka looked at him in curiosity and despair.

” Did you rub lipstick?. ” he asked. Nicole wanted to ask him if he was alright but he didn’t. The next question made him understand why Ginka asked the previous question.

” why are your lips glowing red.” Nicole didn’t respond. Instead he laughed, watching the suspicion that grew in Ginka’s eyes. How could he explain to Ginka that his reddish lips were natural, and he and other Americans, especially the whites did grow up having red lips, and that neither he nor some of them were gays as Ginka earlier suspected?

****

Breakfast was finally ready. The great smell oozing out of the kitchen reminded Nicole that he was hungry. His stomach rumbled. Breakfast was the usual tea and bread with fried eggs.

Uncle Cain’s wife came out from the kitchen with a saucer on which a cup was placed on with 2 slice of bread sandwiched with slices of cucumber, onions, tomatoes, greens and carrots.

As soon as the children spotted her, they all ran madly Into the kitchen, sliding on the marble floor which made a gnashing noise, causing Nicole to gnash his teeth. Nicole got up on seeing his uncle’s wife angry glance, , , he went to the kitchen and carried his bland tea. It was lipton with no milk or sugar. There were slices of bread on his plate. He starred at how fumbled the bread was. It was too soft, as though air entered it. It looked nothing like the garnished bread he ate back he at home with pina butter. He quickly carried his food back to the dinning on hearing his uncle wife’s voice;

” Go and call that useless tayo to come out and carry his food before i give him a dirty slap.”

Nicole came out, just in time for Binka to gently brush pass him.

Nicole sat on the dining chair , placing the saucer gently on the table. Laughter rang out and died down almost immediately. Arguments rose up and died down in quick succession. Arguments on Nigerian Politics lasted the longest. Uncle Cain chipped in the arguments and nobody ever supported him on many occasions. It was as though he willingly supported views that everyone else opposed sub consciously. Like when he said that Abacha was the best president Nigeria in a mocking tune that reverberated irony

” Yeba” was what Ginka Shouted immediately his dad said that.

Uncle Cain kept raising arguments, supporting military rule, saying that military dictatorship is what Nigeria needed since the citizens in the country behaved like qualified goats. Ginka laughed at that. But uncle Cain kept a serious face which hushed Ginka’s laughter.

Uncle Cain vehemently spoke about how Nigerians needed policeman to carry sticks in their hands to control traffic as Nigerians refused to obey traffic lights. He spoke of how Nigerians do urinate on private properties even if they were to see the sign on the wall which says;

” Don’t urinate here.”

” The only thing Nigerians ever and will ever adhere to is cohesion. We lack common sense in this country.” Uncle Cain sipping his tea.

Tayo appearance was followed by a hushed silence. It was humored. He held on to his saucer like it was some trophy. His eyes were bulging and red. He starred before taking a seat at the dining. Binka followed suit. She too carried her saucer.

” Mummy this food is very sweet.” Ginka said

” Glutton! I know if you want more, you will say yes.” Uncle Cain’s wife said, savouring the compliment.

” Mummy , me, am a bread eater o. Today you gave me only 8 slices. The last time you gave me the whole loaf of bread and i ate 14 slices with the bottled coke you bought for me. ”

Nicole starred at Ginka , controlling himself not to open his mouth. He never ate so much like that. No matter how hungry he was, if he munched 4 slices of pina butter sandwiched bread, he would be filled. He understood then that in Nigeria, being fat was a good thing, especially among the women. In America, fat was a bad word. It is a bad thing. Everyone over there want to look lean or thin.

Nicole sighed loudly as he took a bite from his bread. He didn’t know why and when he sighed. Everyone turned to look at him. Uncle Cain’s wife turned to look at him . She starred furiously remembering the previous night.

” Nkem that’s enough.” He said to his wife. It was the first time in a long while since he called her by her real name.

Turning over to Nicole, he asked him if the food was nice. Nicole looked over at Mrs. Nkem face. He knew he had to say something nice about the food just to please her and avoid himself getting into trouble.

Nicole knew that it was the way things worked in Nigeria Everyone needed to be sycophants . No one wants to hear the truth. Speaking the truth made one a threat to those who are superior to him and thus he had to be eliminated or removed from such positions. Nicole had overhead uncle Cain over the phone telling his dad about how unbearable things are in Nigeria. He overhead his uncle on the phone recounting how he had to call his boss daddy so he don’t get fired. He also recounts how his boss slept with all his male employees wives in order to promote them. Uncle Cain also recounts how delegiwa, a man who had on serval occasions rightly criticised the Nigeria government.

” He was the only Nigerian who publicly voiced out the truth without fear durning the Abacha regime even after serval threats made by the then Nigerian government. He was often put away in prison but was always released afterward, yet that didn’t stop him from voicing out the truth and so the government decided that he was a threat and decided to eliminate him. They killed him by a letter bomb. His daughter who was there miraculously survived and didn’t die. I know i feel that Delegiwa guy was stupid but if we all stoop low in cowardice who will speak up for justice.” Uncle Cain said on the phone.

” Lol a letter bomb. Didn’t know Nigeria was that sophisticated.” Nicole’s dad said with a chuckle.

The scrapping of plates brought Nicole back to himself. His bread was finished. He drank the lipton tea and belched loudly, covering his mouth and saying excuse me.

Breakfast was finally over. Tayo cleared the place while Binka washed the dishes and cleaned the kitchen.

Nicole went into the visitor’s bathroom to brush his teeth before bathing when the room door opened wide ajar. It was Ginka.

” So Americans don’t brush before eating.”

Nicole smiled mischievously. How could he tell Ginka that in America they brush their teeth before and after eating or that they bathe twice a day?

After bathing, Nicole followed Uncle Cain out to go and fetch water and buy bread. They stopped at a filing station to buy fuel for the generator and to refuel the car.

” You just have to shine your eyes well unless these people are going to cheat you.” Uncle Cain said as they drove into a line. They were at the back of a jeep waiting for their turn.

Soon the man paid the lady who filled up his car. He entered the driver seat and turned on the ignition, only to turn off his car to start yelling. It was so sudden. He grabbed the lady by the collar, calling her names, screaming in her face. The lady closed her eyes as though the man’s saliva was dropping on her face. The man pushed her away trying to snatch the money which she hid in her bra. He grabbed her dress, whereupon she screamed, and another guy came over and punched the man severally, pushing him on the floor. Soon another came from nowhere and punched this other guy who had punched the old man , pushing him on the ground . The lady who had been shoved by the old man earlier , had ran to a corner, gossiping with serval ladies in excitement.

Uncle Cain came out from his car to settle the argument involving the old man and the two men. The argument was heated with abuses. Uncle Cain kept standing in the middle of the old man and the other guy, perhaps his brother, who defended him earlier with the other man who had punched the old man earlier standing the other side. Uncle Cain kept using his hands to withhold the three men from fighting. After a long while, another man comes in and begs the old man who threatens to report all that happened, claiming to be the brother of the owner of the filling station. Soon the man who punched the old man on hearing this, growled in cowardice. The way he changed his disposition was so pathetic. Nicole watched as he begged the old man on his kneels, tugging the ends of his dress. He told the old man about his sick mother whom he had to cater for through this job, his blind father who was a very poor farmer who resided in the village and lived in a thatch house, his siblings who hawked pure water on the street to make ends meet. Everyone around including the man who defended the old man earlier, begged the old man to forgive.

Nicole sat in his car watching. He didn’t feel sympathy for the guy who punched the old man. He knew the guy was apologizing because of the stake of his job.

After all said and done, the old man’s car was refueled and he drove off with the guy who had punished him earlier waving, shouting at the top of his voice;

” Oga thank you, Oga God bless you.”

Later, uncle Cain came to the car. He turned on the car and went forward to buy fuel. Ginka stood outside with Nicole while the car was refilled.

Nicole had earlier tried refueling the car himself. He had grabbed the fuel nozzle to put it into the car tank. When a voice yelled out;

” Ole ( thief. ”

Nicole was frightened by the man’s appearance. It was the same man who was pleading with the old man minutes ago. Soon uncle Cain came out. Nicole was shoved into the car by his uncle. The man was shouting. Uncle Cain kept telling him to calm down, using his hands to gesture to him to calm down but the man was a hot head. He pushed uncle Cain away and opened the front door of the car to drag Nicole out whereupon uncle Cain dragged him away and he fell down. The man got angry and punched uncle Cain on his face twice whereupon Ginka punched the man serval times, angry severe punches, pushing him on the floor, kicking and punching.

Later another man comes and break up the fight. Ginka looked on his unconscious victim. He got up and entered the car. Uncle Cain too entered the car and drove away without buying the fuel.

Heavy silence enveloped the Car as they drove. Nicole looked up at his Uncle and Cousin’s face, it was crisped with anger. Nicole could hear Ginka’s loud panting.

Soon, uncle Cain’s laughter rang out like an alarm. Both Nicole and Ginka starred at their uncle.

Uncle Cain to stifled his laughter and mumbled something in igbo language. Ginka spoke back in igbo mumbling his laughter in a strenuous voice. Soon both of them started laughing. It was so much that Uncle Cain had to park by the roadside. The laughter continued with Uncle Cain hitting the steering wheel as he laughed and Ginka hitting the back seat of the Car.

Uncle Cain observing Nicole’s Confused face, spoke in English why they were laughing.

Nicole joined the laughter, slowly, then fully.

They laughed recalling the fight at the filing station, at the way the man was begging when the old man revealed that he was the brother of the owner of the filing station.

” Mumu man he for fight na. He too de ginger for fight.” Ginka said pausing, before continuing in a more serious tone;

” Nigeria won’t treat you well expect you have connection and backing. The corruption in Nigeria is too glaring and that’s why people think that countries like the USA are not corrupt, because theirs is coded.”

Nicole knew that connection was needed in the US, as for the corruption aspect, he was unsure.

The thought that the old man was Lying when he said he was the brother to the owner of the filing station, floated in his head and he couldn’t get the thought out of his mind. He laughed the most, imagining the guy who was begging finding out that he was lying to him. He couldn’t but fathom his face expression.

Nicole laughed so loudly at this thought. He laughed so much that both his uncle and Ginka stared. They’ve never heard him laugh this much.

” He’s becoming a Nigerian by the minute.” Ginka said with glaring concern.

Later, as Uncle Cain hit the road again, he received an SMS from his dad writing;

” How’s life in Nigeria like?. ”

Nicole starred at the message. He couldn’t believe that his dad texted him. He could imagine his dad sitting in his study or in his office, placing both legs on the table, sitting in an comfy arm chair that could swing in all directions, pushing his eye glasses to the ridges of his nose as he texted him. Nicole wondered what made his dad remember him. Perhaps he had seen a dad and son together in a bus or cab, having the time of their lives and he felt guilty. Nicole envied the relationship that his uncle had with his children. His dad and he never had it. He never thought dads should have time to lay around and play with the kids. He was too damn busy working his ass day and night. His mum who would have built that relationship with him was in prison and she didn’t have much chances of coming out any time soon. Nicole always felt his dad was not trying hard to get his mum out of prison , perhaps he was right about that or maybe he was wrong. Nicole never held it against his dad for not building that relationship. He excused his dad with the thought that his dad did too much.

Nicole stared at his phone. He didn’t know how to reply his dads text. He heard Ginka talking about people who were lynched by an angry mob because they were believed to have stolen something. It was too brutal in his ears. He heard that such people where burnt with tyre after they’ve been stripped naked. He heard uncle Cain say something but he couldn’t make out what he said.

Nicole was so terrified by the news that he saw himself replying his dad thus;

” life in Nigeria is hideous, brutal, dreadful, sickening, obnoxious, nasty, and ugly.”

He saw his fingers press send. He shook and looked up at his phone screen there was nothing there save the SMS sent by his dad. He shook in fear at the thought of doing the obvious. He had no right to infer that about Nigeria. He had been in Nigeria for just 2 days and didn’t get a chance to explore , save today.

Nicole shut his phone off, leaving his dad’s text unattended to and looked ahead as his uncle drove down the lane.

Baby Mama

Kelly sat up in the living room in their home in Manhattan. She lived at 66th street. She looked out the window and saw the great views of skyscrapers and big buildings. It surprised her as always, the massiveness of the buildings.

Kelly heard her baby squint. She held onto her tightly. She carried the baby, walking towards every corner of the house.

Kelly walked towards the kitchen, placing the baby on the brightly silver coloured dining table. She bent down leaning on the table, holding the blue eye yellow baby.

She carried the baby from the dining and moved over to the living room. She sat on a couch nearby, surprising looking at a shelve nearby, stacked with piles of books.

Kelly wondered why she didn’t feel excited about her newly born baby. She could remember 3 days ago how she was rushed into Lenox hill hospital after she went into labour. She could recall being carried into a room on a stretcher bed. Her eyes were blurred, screams everywhere. She constantly felt strange delicate pangs of pain as the baby was trying to come out. She was told to push serval times. The pain was severe, gruesome. She didn’t know why she felt such pain. She was already a mother of a youngster in college, in New York University.

Kelly looked up at her baby. His head was bald and he was crying severely. She brought out the feeding bottle which contained breast milk. She tilted the baby in a relaxing position and put the end of the bottle into the baby’s mouth, watching the baby suck the milk.

As she held on to the baby, she looked  up at the family portraits that hung on the walls at different positions.

She looked up at her 20 year old Seth in one of the pictures. His image appeared in all the portraits both family portraits and personal portraits, but this image caught her attention. He took a picture with his girlfriend, Nelly.

Kelly couldn’t help herself from being jealous. She was jealous of the keen affection that enveloped between the both of them. It was a small jealousy, perhaps minuend. But it was still there. It laid deeply underneath her; something she alone could feel.

Kelly looked up studying Nelly. She looked flawlessly perfect in the portrait. 

Nelly and Seth both attended school of arts and science in New York university. They were at a high school reunion party in Midtown Gastro when they took that picture together, and still it didn’t occur to Kelly at then that Nelly was stealing her boy away.

Kelly looked downwards on hearing the baby crying. She didn’t feel any sympathy for the baby, all she could feel were pangs of resentment which scrouched her. She flared at the crying baby who stopped crying and looked at her as if telling her to do her worst. She felt this resentment at the baby because she’s always gonna be hunted by the fear of him growing up, becoming different, stop giving her first place for other ladies. She practically knew that it was selfish for her to think that way. She was all grown up, started hanging out with guys, smoking, staying out late, yelling at her parents, especially her mum for being too pushy, often told her parents off whenever her friends were at their house; using similar phrases like Seth;

Mum you’re embarrassing me!”

” Mum you’re so unbelievable, can’t believe you could be so stupid. “

And when her mum gave her house chores to do, or when she was asked to babysit her younger brother Dike, it was then that she remembered that she had a homework to do, an experiment to carry out, a friend she needed to visit to help her on a project, to walk molly the dog, and other stuffs. Her mum being more persuasive because she was 18…. Yeah it was a big deal that she was 18…. 

Kelly often dreamed to turn 18.. It was her dream. She could remember once when she felt a smoke of ragging fury puffing out from her head. It was a hexed cloud, like the one formed in animated series. It was on her 17th birthday. She had a dream when she was 18, and could get whatever she wished for. In one of her wishes, Tyler the richest, coolest dude in her high school was riding with her in a G- wagon. Shawn and Kim the 2 bullys were in the car too, giving her real cool expensive dresses, which she kept trying on, making funny faces as if to turn down the dress offers soon she saw a trunk filled with clothes. Starred at them only for her to find herself in Queen Elizabeth’s palace. It was so weird how she got there, but she saw Oprah Winfrey, Beyonce, smiling at her while she sat on a throne with a specter in her hands. She was the Queen of England. Beyonce performed live for her. Oprah Winfrey showed up along side important personalities waiting for her. They all escorted her outside.

Tyler was waiting outside, riding the G- wagon and soon he changed suddenly to Zac Efron. She always had a devastating crush on Zac Efron. She never saw him live before in reality but after seeing his movies, she feel in love with him.. It was weird. She often pics mixed his pictures with hers whenever she wanted to post on Facebook or Snapchat. She often updated her Facebook with his dp. It was a strange love which she felt always. Perhaps she liked the idea of loving from a far wide distance. Not seeing him in reality expect on T.v. shows gave her soul a longing desire. She wouldn’t cheat even though he obviously was in a relationship. She hoped he didn’t cheat. She hoped he did spot her out one day.

As she faced him, wanting to kiss him, and he wanting to kiss back, Kelly was woken up by a loud;

surprise!!!.”

” Happy birthday Kelly. ” her mum said.

Her dad took a photograph of her right on the bed. Kelly wouldn’t have noticed it hadn’t it not been for the flash lights of the camera. When her dad showed her the picture, she couldn’t help but yell. Her hair was ruined, her eyes were sleepy, saliva was seen drooling off her mouth, and her eyes were red.

Her dad had video her the first time. She was asleep, hugging a baby bear as though she was scared. She farted serval times in her sleep. Her fart were loud, not the silent ones and her mum was videoed covering her nose.

Kelly was shocked when her dad told her that he uploaded the video on his Facebook timeline and her tagged her in the post. She was doomed as half of her classmates including Shawn and Kim the bullies in her class followed her on Facebook. She was doomed. 

Dad how can you be this stupid was what she heard herself. She couldn’t tell whether she outrightly said it or she thought it. Her parents expression were always the same; smiling. It never changed. They often never scolded her. Her dad never did but her mum did on rare occasions. Her mum and dad were divorced and each of them wanted to take custody of her. Her dad lived in 57th street in Manhattan while she lived with her mum in maiden lane.

When she asked how old she was and she was told She was 17, she got so hazed. She broke the camera, smashing it on the floor. She also threw the birthday cake that mum made on her ( her mum). Her dad’s eyes were peering as if half smiling. He gave her the ” I told you so look. ” 

And as if she noticed it, she turned on her dad, ordering him to delete the post on his Facebook. Her dad’s expression changed. He was sad. He was super excited about his daughters’ Birthday. None of what he did was intended to harm her but he did. He did see it clearly through her eyes, through her rage. He quickly deleted the post. He gave out a sad face, looking up to see if she would stop being angry but she was hell mad. She was mad because she wasn’t 18. Her mum didn’t care, didn’t apologize. Her dad took her to his place the next day and they drove her to Tiffany and Co. an American luxury jewelry and speciality retailer headquartered in New York.She would see glistering coloured silver tea pot,white house China, Diamond necklace which her dad bought her as a birthday gift. She loved that about him, he always remembered her birthday.. Her mum often forgot her birthday, even Dike’s own, even hers. Her mum was always busy with work..

When she got pregnant in college, she ran away from school and went over to leave with her boyfriend, Dave. He wanted her to keep the baby. She did stay away from school all through that period.

When she finally gathered up courage to call her mum after 3 weeks of silence, her mum sounded shaky on the phone. She didn’t care no more. Her mum gave her the piece of her mind. She gathered up every anger welded up in her and exploded herself like a bomb on Kelly. After that day, Kelly moved her things over to her dad’s place, only for him to be killed that night. He died of drug overdose. She came over back to her mum’s house and begged her. Dike was already 13 years old as at then. Her mum found great solace in her suffering, in her begging, in her dad’s death. She would finally help her through college. Dave and her separated. He gave her the child and left.

When later Dave came back durning her final year in college, her mum told her to make him suffer before she forgave him, but she wouldn’t. He was a rare gold and he proved thus. He didn’t cry when he apologized. He stood there like a man. Kelly knew that he was deeply remorseful. She could sense her mum’s resentment waving at her. Her mum was standing behind, really angry. Dike wasn’t around when this happened. She wondered what he would make of this. Would he think her stupid? Did he believe in true love? Did he ever think? She couldn’t guess cause Dike rarely ever talked. He was a listener, an observer. Sometimes she thought him a mad genius other times she felt he was over hyped cause he didn’t do so well in his grades. He didn’t fail but neither did he pass so well. He was somewhere in the middle. He was an average kid. Yet he seemed kicked up by hope. He looked really smart, perhaps like they say, looks don’t matter.

When Dave brought out his engagement ring, Kelly hurriedly told him that she wanted to marry him. It was weird, the desperation. Finally they got married after she graduated from college. She named her kid Seth. Her mum later died. Kelly could feel some form of happiness in her death. She always feared that mum would intrigue in the whole thing and spoil it all for her. Her mum was very good in getting her way even from her hard tough dad.. Seth was 2 years old when they got married. They moved over to 66th street in Manhattan. Sometimes she wondered if some forces were holding her in Manhattan. She was born in Manhattan, did her education in Manhattan, and now married a Manhattan guy and still married in Manhattan and lived in Manhattan. Kelly could never forget how shocked she was when she found out that Dave was from Manhattan.

  • *

Kelly looked up at Nelly’s photograph. She could remember once when Seth brought her to the house. She tried so hard with the fake accent. Kelly could tell. But it wasn’t enough reason to resent her and Kelly didn’t really notice it until now.  But Nelly wasn’t just faking accent, she was white and he was black. She was sad because she knew that Nelly would befriend him for the time being and dump him. Seth wouldn’t turn out a billionaire. He didn’t want to be a billionaire. And most white girls married blacks for their money. Their money covered their weakness. It was their weapon and Seth didn’t have so much of it neither was he trying to have so much of it. She wondered why her mind went to this. Perhaps it was jealously. It had to be jealously.. And Kelly didn’t want to admit it;  she could see good in Nelly.. Perhaps Nelly wouldn’t leave Seth. She hated thinking that anything good could come out of their relationship. She wanted them to spilt up.. She wanted to have Seth only to herself but she knew it ain’t  gonna happen.

Kelly kept grieving as she held on to the baby. She grieved because her baby would turn out to be same monster that Seth is; he was soon gonna be a strong willed macho man and whatever she told him was gonna be persuasive, he would grow up making all kinds of friends and sometimes they would come to her house and throw a wild party inviting and having sex with all manner of girls, he was gonna learn ponography  and masturbation from his dad, Dave and from his brother, Seth.

Kelly grieved mostly because sooner she’s gonna just turn into his maid and he would always make fuses about her food, saying that it smells rancid, calling it stale, nasty, sour, bland and acrid. Off course he would openly say this whenever his friends would be at the house. He would often compare her food with their mum’s food saying that their mum’s food was splendid and hers tasted like garb.. Off course she would smile, she gonna have to smile. It was the way he was gonna develop into manhood. Seth did her same, perhaps her new born baby was gonna do her worse. Her baby was gonna grow up like Seth who believed that the world owed him something. Her baby was gonna grow up fighting on the streets or in school and always coming home with a black eye. She would always be called to school by his principal for one complaint or the other. Dave too would be called also, and his response to the principal would always be;

Kids are kids. You just gonna let them explore the world.”

And later in the car, Dave would give him a knuckle chukio and later stop by a joint and buy him an ice- cream. He would take him at 16 to the gym and he would become a monster with large abs and muscles. He would learn how to fuck girls. Seth learnt all that from his dad.. His baby brother was gonna go on that ride. He would grow up littering his things all over the house and she would be the one to clean it up. He would never clean up, not even when she demanded that he did so. And if Dave should hear her yelling, he would come out, calling her a nag and saying that all women were nags and too predictable and too decent. Men weren’t meant to be like that. 

“If they didn’t learn to scatter and litter when will they do it?” He would always ask her. Her baby would just turn out irresponsible as his brother, Seth. He would get up late  every saturday morning all dressed up. He would mumble ” Hey mum.” Wearing his helmet and holding his scooter or skate board. She didn’t know the name. He would run to Dave and give him a handshake and say ” Hey dad.” And they would make a fist with their hands and give each other knuckle chuckio, behaving like young dudes and And when Kelly would ask him if he is not eating breakfast, he would say no, and if she ask him about his whereabouts, he would say ” it’s none of your business mum” and while she would mumble complaints about his staying out late or not coming home till the next day, he would just zoom off and while Kelly would stare in shock as if she couldn’t just believe her eyes,Dave would say;

Ain’t you just gonna love teenagers.” And she would stare at him and he would tell her that she’s behaving like a parent from the late nineties and he would climb the stairs laughing. 

Kelly remembers countless number of times this had happened; Seth  staying out late. On most nights, he never came home till the next day and Kelly would stay up all night worried and Dave would tell her that he’s fine. Sometimes Kelly would call Seth in the middle of the night, sounding worried. Seth would sound tired, indifferent and sometimes he would end the call on her without any warning. Sometimes he would sleep off and the call would continue and Kelly wouldn’t notice it as every time they had a conversation, she did the talking while he listened, bored and whenever she stopped talking, he would ask her if she was done and she would nod approvingly and get up and leave. Kelly knew her baby would do same to her.. She wondered if the baby will do well in his grades like Seth or if he would just be like her brother, Dike..

The baby would grow up resentful of her and any adult that reasoned like her. He would love adults that were like his dad just like Seth. 

But still whenever the baby would become sick, he would become her child again. He would need her, depend on her, and she would lovingly attend to him. She could remember once when Seth had fever, he was permanently at home through out that period. Dave worked so he always came home late. His friends would often visit but sometimes she would turn them away lying that he went to the hospital, saying it slowly and in a low key so that Seth wouldn’t hear it from upstairs. She wondered what his friends might think of her if they found out that she lied to them about his whereabouts. After all it was her house. She knew they never called him to ask if he were at home otherwise Seth would have really gone mad at her and ruin her in front of his friends. 
Kelly wished then that Seth was forever sick but not dead. She wouldn’t have minded a potion or anything. She wished too Dave didn’t come home too often. She wished he slept around with other ladies or something close to that but she didn’t want a divorce. She wished also that she didn’t wish what she wished.

As the baby began crying loudly, Kelly went by the window, opened the louvers, holding the baby out the window, wishing she could just throw the baby downward. She wasn’t prepared to go through what she went with Seth. She knew she wasn’t gonna do it. She didn’t abort the baby when he was in her womb, she joyfully carried him for 9 months. Perhaps it was because it never dawned on her then  She always wished for company since Seth went to college. 

The door bell rang. Kelly moved distractedly, holding the baby in one hand. She knew it was Dave yet she wished that he or someone else had seen her and had known what felt like doing and had called the cops for her and she was forever locked up in jail for ever thinking of throwing her baby out the window..

 

Bible study

Bible study time out with Kaycee

Friends, I decided to go on studying the scriptures… Don’t get me wrong, am not a  ‘ religious freak.’
I just thought this would be a great blessing to you so I decided to share it with you..

Do have fun studying and be blessed..

So let’s enjoy Jesus together,  shall we

Love;

Kaycee!!!

Romans 8:1 There is therefore now no condemnation to them which are in Christ Jesus, who walk not after the flesh, but after the Spirit. 8:2 For the law of the Spirit of life in Christ Jesus hath made me free from the law of sin and death. 8:3 For what the law could not do, in that it was weak through the flesh, God sending his own Son in the likeness of sinful flesh, and for sin, condemned sin in the flesh: 8:4 That the righteousness of the law might be fulfilled in us, who walk not after the flesh, but after the Spirit. 8:5 For they that are after the flesh do mind the things of the flesh; but they that are after the Spirit the things of the Spirit. 8:6 For to be carnally minded is death; but to be spiritually minded is life and peace. 8:7 Because the carnal mind is enmity against God: for it is not subject to the law of God, neither indeed can be. 8:8 So then they that are in the flesh cannot please God. 8:9 But ye are not in the flesh, but in the Spirit, if so be that the Spirit of God dwell in you. Now if any man have not the Spirit of Christ, he is none of his. 8:10 And if Christ be in you, the body is dead because of sin; but the Spirit is life because of righteousness. 8:11 But if the Spirit of him that raised up Jesus from the dead dwell in you, he that raised up Christ from the dead shall also quicken your mortal bodies by his Spirit that dwelleth in you. 8:12 Therefore, brethren, we are debtors, not to the flesh, to live after the flesh. 8:13 For if ye live after the flesh, ye shall die: but if ye through the Spirit do mortify the deeds of the body, ye shall live. 8:14 For as many as are led by the Spirit of God, they are the sons of God. 8:15 For ye have not received the spirit of bondage again to fear; but ye have received the Spirit of adoption, whereby we cry, Abba, Father. 8:16 The Spirit itself beareth witness with our spirit, that we are the children of God: 8:17 And if children, then heirs; heirs of God, and joint-heirs with Christ; if so be that we suffer with him, that we may be also glorified together. 8:18 For I reckon that the sufferings of this present time are not worthy to be compared with the glory which shall be revealed in us. 8:19 For the earnest expectation of the creature waiteth for the manifestation of the sons of God. 8:20 For the creature was made subject to vanity, not willingly, but by reason of him who hath subjected the same in hope, 8:21 Because the creature itself also shall be delivered from the bondage of corruption into the glorious liberty of the children of God. 8:22 For we know that the whole creation groaneth and travaileth in pain together until now. 8:23 And not only they, but ourselves also, which have the firstfruits of the Spirit, even we ourselves groan within ourselves, waiting for the adoption, to wit, the redemption of our body. 8:24 For we are saved by hope: but hope that is seen is not hope: for what a man seeth, why doth he yet hope for? 8:25 But if we hope for that we see not, then do we with patience wait for it. 8:26 Likewise the Spirit also helpeth our infirmities: for we know not what we should pray for as we ought: but the Spirit itself maketh intercession for us with groanings which cannot be uttered. 8:27 And he that searcheth the hearts knoweth what is the mind of the Spirit, because he maketh intercession for the saints according to the will of God. 8:28 And we know that all things work together for good to them that love God, to them who are the called according to his purpose. 8:29 For whom he did foreknow, he also did predestinate to be conformed to the image of his Son, that he might be the firstborn among many brethren. 8:30 Moreover whom he did predestinate, them he also called: and whom he called, them he also justified: and whom he justified, them he also glorified. 8:31 What shall we then say to these things? If God be for us, who can be against us? 8:32 He that spared not his own Son, but delivered him up for us all, how shall he not with him also freely give us all things? 8:33 Who shall lay any thing to the charge of God’s elect? It is God that justifieth. 8:34 Who is he that condemneth? It is Christ that died, yea rather, that is risen again, who is even at the right hand of God, who also maketh intercession for us. 8:35 Who shall separate us from the love of Christ? shall tribulation, or distress, or persecution, or famine, or nakedness, or peril, or sword? 8:36 As it is written, For thy sake we are killed all the day long; we are accounted as sheep for the slaughter. 8:37 Nay, in all these things we are more than conquerors through him that loved us. 8:38 For I am persuaded, that neither death, nor life, nor angels, nor principalities, nor powers, nor things present, nor things to come, 8:39 Nor height, nor depth, nor any other creature, shall be able to separate us from the love of God, which is in Christ Jesus our Lord.

Shared via Bible KJV http://play.google.com/store/apps/details?id=com.gyc.ace.kjv

Fathom part 6

Emma rode with Dr. Lawrence in his car. The solemn silence was enchanting. She took a look at the small black case containing the different varieties of wagashi.

She looked at them with admiration. Each of those wagashi reminded her of something. She picked one. It looked like a small round moulded snowball. It reminded her of winter. She wondered if snow ever fell in Little Tokyo. Because it looked different, wholly absorbed in it’s search for hope.

” It’s dafiku.”

” What? ” Emma asked, taking aback in surprise. The voice floated in her head, like a knock for a loop.

Dafikumochi consists of small round mouchi and stuffed with red bean paste. “

” Wow it’s beautiful. ” Emma said.

” It looks like a small white pebble. ” Dr. Lawrence said, as he rubbed his little finger on it.

To Emma it was more than a white little pebble. It reminded her of something so pure, something untainted, something she could never have, yet she longed for with a strange desperation. A fidelity she shared with Nashua.

I love dafiku. ” Dr. Lawrence said.

Emma on hearing him say it looked at him. She saw herself kissing him but she didn’t let herself kiss him. Her lips were folded in crisps as she closed her eyes.

Dr. Lawrence drove her to his apartment in Hikari as she flung the seat backward in a relaxing position. It was terrifying even to her aftward, the way she easily trusted him.

Hikari apartment looked like a parking lot to her. She even thought that Dr. Lawrence would drive in there, but he would drive into an underground parking garage, beyond the apartment.

Emma would sit feeling this child like excitement. She was really thrilled by the garage. It was as though she was taking a ride in a roller coaster. Though it was nothing like a roller coaster ride.

After parking, they came out, and together they moved towards the apartment.

As he and her walked through the freeway into the hikari apartment, she looked at him, the way he smiled eagerly as though he was about to be rich, making quick phone calls, nodding in desperation and uneasiness, she imagined that perhaps he came to see his aunt or uncle, or perhaps he came to make a business deal, and so she asked;

” You have an aunt or uncle that lives around? ”

” What?” Dr. Lawrence replied, at first smiling, then the reality of what she said, how she said it; her tune mixed with every bit of sacarsm with something Cajoling in her eyes, he became very furious, not at her but at himself, because she did think that he could live in such a crackerjack environment. And so while they got pass the freeway into the building, he began to have doubts if where he was living was his. It was obvious that Emma’s opinion didn’t matter, but it had to. It was a strong connection, a weird companionship that fell between 2 strangers.

They entered into the building. Emma looked upwards in amazement at how big the building was. She was ready to mount the stairs. She wanted to see everything. She wanted to know all the opulent people living in this building. Off course everyone living in hiraku apartment must be goddam rich. She didn’t for a moment exclude Dr. Lawrence and so while they trooped the stairs, she said unto him;

” Hey, you must be a slick- stocker.”

Dr. Lawrence paused for a moment and looked at her. It made him believe that he truly owned an apartment here. His self confidence was immutable at that point, yet just her disbelieving him would crumble everything.

They were standing in front of a door Dr. Lawrence eyes were filled with sparkles. He looked at her, his face beaming.

Emma knocked on the door, forgetting that Dr. Lawrence owned a building here, and he felt stricken. His pride was wounded. He quickly brought out a key to open the door as if to prove a point to himself, when suddenly the door opened, and an American woman in her bra and pant, holding a cigarette in one hand, and a bottle of gourmet wine and a glass cup filled with the liquor.

Dr. Lawrence was dazzled and he starred. Emma saw him walk in through the door through the dim lights. Emma stood aside watching them stare at each other till a loud voice broke off the silence;

Am ready honey.”

Emma, Dr. Lawrence and the American lady turned together towards the direction of the voice and lo, it was a Japanese man, stack naked. It seemed so weird even to the American lady.

“Koka put your clothes on.” The American lady said devoid of emotions, as though he bored her.

” I should have known that you were chasing after other men.” Koka, the Japanese man said, holding his pants.

Emma looked at the Japanese man delusively. He had the grin expression of a frog. Most Japanese people she met in little Tokyo all looked like frogs but Japanese people were better looking than Asians

” Sorry for ruining your special night. ” Dr. Lawrence said, then looking up at Koka’s angry expression, he wished he hadn’t said it.

Emma turned to leave, so did Dr. Lawrence. When the American lady waved at Dr. Lawrence, Emma would see the rousing flare in koka’s face. This expression on Koka’s face reminded her of an animated series she onced watched in San Fransisco with her brother Collins. The name of the cartoon is

Angry birds.”

At first the name of the cartoon didn’t click, but then as Koka kept on flaring, She remembered Red, the leader of the Angry birds. He frowned the most amongst all the birds. She wanted to laugh but her lips wouldn’t let her. Finally they left.

Dr. Lawrence walked alongside Emma, pacing his feet fastly on the ground as though his 2 feet were trying to escape from his hold.

Emma saw different people flung up the stairs, some in a long robe, others holding a bottle of wine, some others, mostly couples kissing. She looked out if she would see any gay couples, off course she wouldn’t. Little Tokyo was totally different from America. Here were people filled with a great, self absorbed, annoying sense of modesty. Even the way the buildings in little Tokyo were structured said it all.

Finally they moved slowly, ignoring the sonorous Japanese language that filled the air.

Emma and Dr. Lawrence came, standing in front of a door. A family standing in the next door looked at her very weirdly, especially the smallest boy who held on to a dead frog. He kept on pointing behind her. A young woman, probably their mother who was turning the knob as she unlocked the door, looked at her, and at the same time looked at the door as she pushed back the door. Emma was terrified when she saw something that looked like an eye on the woman’s forehead. It was weirdly in shape. She wanted to scream, yet no sound came out. Her shock had overpowered her, incapacitated her. Perhaps it wasn’t her shock, perhaps it was the woman. She looked mysterious. Finally the woman and her children entered inside and as soon as the woman shut the door behind her, Emma was thrown back to the world of reality. It took seconds probably minutes before Emma recoiled.

Emma saw herself thrown haphazardly on the couch. She didn’t like the position She was placed in and she immediately threw up herself in a sitting position immediately she heard footsteps and Dr. Lawrence came out of the inner room almost the same time she was trying to arrange herself;

“Hey.” Emma said.

” Hey!” Dr. Lawrence replied.

” How long was I out? ”

” Probably an hour that’s if am correct. ”

” Probably more than an hour. Guess I starred too much. ”

” Yeah you’d stare too much.” Dr. Lawrence said reclining on the white couch.

Emma got up, did away with the white throw pillow that she placed on her laps and got up, plucked a small leave from a flower plant that was planted in a small cookie jar. She got up and headed towards a small white table surrounded with small chairs. She sat on one of the chairs, reclining the chair on a white silver Cabinet.

Emma got elated at seeing the bright lights that shone distinctively. The lights did sparkle. It reminded her of a shooting star, though it didn’t look anything like it.

She loved the luminosity of the light. It’s brightness was pure and golden. She loved it.

” Looks like the lady you starred at hypnotized you pretty…. ”

” Bad?” Emma asked gallantly, but putting up a worried look .

” Now try me baby.” Dr. Lawrence said, rolling out from the couch and moved closer to where she sat, pulling a small seat from under the small round white table.

Emma chuckled as Dr. Lawrence sat down on the small chair. There was nothing funny in the way he sat down. She was imagining something. She imagined the chair yanked off under him and he falling on the ground. She imagined the small chair breaking under him. It was what was supposed to happen. It was what she wanted to happen. Dr. Lawrence looked like a giant sitting on a tiny chair. She imagined him as a giant in a world where everything was small. His walking alone would shake the world. Soon he would be tied up by the dwarfs and his falling down caused a great rumbling and broke many houses in that world. Even the king’s castle was destroyed completely.

Everyone in that world would come out armed to the teeth and look upon the sleeping giant who was snoring and stirring at the same time. When a dwarf Pierce him with his spear, he could jump up, break up their chains, in the process stand up and fall down again, crushing some of the dwarfs and others running while he helplessly stretched out his hands for help.

” Are you alright ” Dr. Lawrence voice rang up in Emma’s ears and she became conscious again.

“Did you fall.” Emma asked

” Huh?”

” Dick head you didn’t fall. You never always fall.” Emma looked up with every dint of disappointment on her face.

” Are you Okay?”

” Don’t ask me that dumb question again you schmuck!” Emma spat out.

Dr. Lawrence looked at her, giving her that puppy face look, pushing sideways in a funny manner to fall but he didn’t. Emma laughed watching Dr. Lawrence shove sideways in a chair that was so small, so thight. His ass wasn’t’ fitted on the chair. His wasit barely made way into the chair, yet the chair still carried his weight. It didn’t fall or break and this fascinated her.

Dr. Lawrence kissed her. It was an unprepared, unprecedented kiss yet it was special because he kissed her. His mouth didn’t leave salavia bulbs on her face. His lips formed a perfect circle on her face.

Emma closed her eyes waiting for him to kiss her again, this time folding her lips like small balls..

As she closed her eyes, she imagining both of them at a tea party. He was the teddy bear and she was the doll and also the toddler who placed 2 small tea cups on 2 saucers in front of them in a small round table and small size chairs, exactly like the one she was sitting on. A tiny tea pot filled with imaginary tea was nearby. Emma saw herself, the toddler get up, lavishly tilting the small tea pot into the small teacups,smiling teasingly, hopping as she took turns pouring the imaginary tea into the teacups.

Emma as the doll was dressed up in little red riding hood. It freaked her in reality. Soon the toddler held on to both the doll and the teddy, squeezing them in a warm bear hug. Emma could see Dr. Lawrence face popping out from the Teddy bear. His eyes squinting in an uncomfortable manner, gasping for life as though the toddler wanted to suck the life out of him. Emma the doll was on the other hand comfortable. Her looks didn’t come out from the doll.

A kiss planted on her cheeks woke Emma out of her reverie. Emma looked up and saw Dr. Lawrence walking out the front door. She badly needed the kiss. This time she would be prepared, ready, all set. She didn’t call him back, and when she finally did he slammed the door in her face…



	

Look at me….

Look at me,

Tell me what you see

I know am worth nothing to you, cause if I did, you’d be standing with me right now, and we’d be starring at the world together.

Thank God, at least you looked at me. You didn’t roll your eyes at me. 

You looked at me, long enough to catch a glimpse of me, even though it was just for 5 minutes before you looked away.

You don’t have to talk to me, I could fantasies about that; sure I would.

I once imagined a world where you and I only existed. What am I thinking?, I have no right to equate the both of us together.

I’m so sure you would feel desecrated right now if you found out that am falling in love with you. 

I mean I would if I were you.

You’re too pretty, too famous. You’re the ” every guy’s favorite girl.” You’re a geek.

While me, I’m just a Coke out Attorney Market.

I’m not worth you. I’m not worth the guys you hangout with, so please don’t fall in love with me cause I can’t bear to see you humiliated and laughed at because of me.

Why am I giving myself so much hope? You could never fall in love with me. 

You looked in my direction because you saw Deji, the coolest guy in  school standing nearby..

Perhaps you never caught a glimpse of me cause having me in your memory would soil you, mar you.

When they call you every guy’s favorite girl, I know am not included, cause I’m not among the cool guys; I have no right to be among those cool guys.

I have no right to chase after you; 
 I have no right to think about loving you,

I have no right to love you…    

Ralph’s message

I sat on my couch with my buddy watching the speeches given by the survivors of the world deadliest school shooting which occurred in Marjory Stoneman Douglas High school in Parkland, Florida, killing 17 people and injuring 14 others. The survivors gave out tearful speeches, urging government to do something.

The shooting seemed to spring forth a new vibe in Americans, as the cops began responding to threats calls. I was even told by my buddy, Ralph, that a boy was arrested again later by the authorities after he made a threat to open fire in his school, although the boy claimed to be jooking.

The president sent prayers and he and his wife made it to the hospital to visit the victims who were hospitalized.

Ralph kept laughing as the students of the school kept on agitating for change and kept on saying that they weren’t gonna wait for the government to bring the change. Ralph said;

Lessons not learned and blood are soon forgotten.”

I didn’t get what he meant by that, but then as I watched the news, looking from the T.v. to Ralph, then looking back the T.v., wondering if Ralph too was planning an attack, as a sinister smile hovered on his face, it then occurred to me that this wasn’t the first shootout to occur in America, sadly it won’t be the last of it’s kind.

So many had occurred, from the Las Vagas attack to the Texas shootout which occurred in a church, killing 26 people, to the California attack. This ones occurred now in Donald trump’s administration. I can’t even go on with the ones that occurred durning Barack Obama’s era, and others. America has suffered so much casualties yet the country isn’t ready to learn from her mistakes, instead they’re giving excuses in defense for what they know is the cause of these casualties; gun violence. They know their problem and the solution to their problem yet they’ve refused to do no goddam thing about it. It’s like someone taking in poison and expects the next person to swallow it…. It’s the citizens that I feel deeply sorry for. Right now in America no place is safe; not school, nor church, nor public places like cinemas, nor even your goddam house… It’s as if there’s war going on in America. America has become a war zone… Parents often shake in fear when they drop their children off in school, children are taught how to hide under a bunker in case of a shootout; I’m talking about children in creche and in grades classes. Spouses often shake in fear when their other spouse don’t return on time; there’s always this feeling that something’s wrong… Parent are taught to hug their children so tight as though it would be their last time of seeing them again; same goes for spouses….

2 days ago I watched a live broadcast of the meeting Donald trump had with the parents of the victims of the Florida attack, and they’ll kept urging the president to do something about the gun violence instead of sending prayers and condolences. One of the victims parents, a man stood up angrily and said;

How many schools…. How many children are gonna get shot? If it were to be the first school shooting, we would have fixed it, and am angry that it was my that daughter and am not gonna see her again.. Am only going see her at king David cemetery.”

When Donald trump proffered a suggestion of arming school teachers with guns, I couldn’t help but ask; 

What the fuck?”

President Donald trump really want to eradicate Americans. I mean couldn’t it be more glaring that America problem was gun. I mean what does he expect those armed with guns to do?  Does he expect them to hide it in their backpack and not use it especially with the high rate of insanity in America?, isn’t gun meant for aiming and killing?

It was then that Ralph’s saying really made sense to me;

” Lessons not learned and blood are soon forgotten.”

Yeah people die everyday so what, life gonna move on.” Others would say

In fact on CNN, a broadcaster whom Richard Quest was interviewing openly said that guns have save lives more than it has destroyed. I’m not disputing the fact that it has save lives but think of how many lives has been wasted, how many families have to go through long series of depression which most of them never recover from, how many children with promising destinies of becoming world powerful leaders, presidents, etc, who never manifest because of gun violence. And by the way, the lives that were saved by guns were most times nearly destroyed by the same gun in the hands of another, or sometimes in their own hands.. Afterall the main purpose of guns is to take down… So really does having gun do any good? Guns in most cases solves the problem that it creates, what I mean is that perhaps if the cops were around or if the students and teachers were armed with guns durning the Florida shooting, they could have easily taken down the gunman and more lives wouldn’t have been lost… But wouldn’t it be better if neither of them had guns that way, no one would get hurt…

 And yeah, you may tell me that death is part of life but then again I ask you how many more senseless massacres are we gonna have as a county?, how many more families are gonna be ripped apart?

America needs to get up and fight. Don’t let this recent Florida attack just become another happenstance that we are used to. Don’t let this attack leave you without you making a life standing decision that’s gonna change the course of our great nation, America. Let everyone stand up as one powerful nation and put an end to this shit…Cause Yes We Can….

I didn’t come out here to give inspirational speech. I feel this deep pathetic sense of resentment and anger at America.

Ever since I was little, I always loved and admired America and I loved all the past presidents of America especially Barack Obama. I always had this deep sense of patriotism for America, and I still do. But today, America has began disappointing me. She now pursues shadow. Even though she still remains the greatest and most admired county in the world.

Every time I come online and all I see is senseless killings in the name of insanity and racism, I begin to wonder if this is what the founding fathers of America wanted, off course not.. America was built on an idea that was humane and just.

I wonder what all the patriots like Abraham Lincoln would be saying now. We’ve seem to have forgotten all the blood and sweat that our past heroes put in to make America a nation. Most of them lost their lives in the process.

Ralph message still and always still keep me thinking

” Lessons not learned and blood are soon forgotten.”

I hope Americans won’t forget it’s past heroes and all their sacrifices. I pray they won’t forget the ideas on which America was and still is built on today; mostly, I pray America would go back to being the nation I always loved and admired.

Say no to gun violence today..

Fathom part 5

As soon as Marcus parked the car in the garage of his apartment, Emma pushed back the door of his car, as though fearing that something bad might happen. She quickly got out from the car and headed straight up into the apartment.

Caleb was lying on the couch playing on his headset. Riley and Marcus walked in together, pacing one foot after another, walking slowly as though they were being watched somehow. Caleb saw them as they entered into the room. He couldn’t help holding a sigh of relief at the thought that Riley wasn’t gonna sleep in the living room with him, but few hours later, she came out from the room and lay on the couch in the living room, while Caleb hurdled himself to the floor on seeing her advancing to the couch.
Emma shook sideways as she lay on the bed in Marcus bedroom. She screamed so loudly. The darkness of the night got to her and for some few seconds, she saw Riley ripped in half by Nashua. He stuffed the first half of Riley into his mouth, his hands were covered in blood. He let out a stubby laughter as he stuffed the ripped halves of Riley into his mouth.

Emma screamed so loudly on feeling an arm covering her. She screamed loudly on hearing a voice, then she stopped screaming having been pushed slightly. She turned back and saw Marcus looking at her. At first she wanted to scream on seeing him as he looked like the monster Nashua she saw moments ago in her lurid vision. She stomped out from the room on noticing the half amusement formed on Marcus face. She imagined it. She walked quickly, wondering if Marcus would call her back, but he didn’t. She went to the living room and lay on the couch alongside Riley.

The next morning, Emma hurriedly got up, took her bathe quickly, wore her clothes, took her bag and left for Temple medical center. She called Dr. Lawrence office, warming her breath to listen to the voice of one of his secretary telling her to hold on and shouting across the hallway to whomever that someone’s on the line for Dr. Lawrence. He never picked his call durning office hours yet she kept hoping he would.

So when Emma called, she shouted in the exact manner across the hallway. Emma heard her saying something on the phone that she didn’t hear. She held the phone tight against her ear, trying to slow down the secretary’s pace as she talked but she took no heed, perhaps she wasn’t talking to Emma.

As Emma tugged the phone on her ear, shouting hello serval times, she heard a loud bang, as though she had hit someone’s car. She didn’t come out from the car but merely watched a Japanese guy coming out from his car and shouting. He kept on using the word ” fuck..”

“Are you fuckin kidding me? Oh look just what you’ve done to my fuckin car.. Oh where are the fuckin cops?”

And when a police officer arrived at the scene, he shouted rapidly;

oh for fuck sakes, can’t you move any faster, you silly pig.”

Emma looked at the cop. He had put on so much weight, he was really very fat. He reminded her of those fat Japanese people that do martial art. The cop reminded her of those fat men she’d see on her brother’s mortal combat game, a game she never played, but merely watched as he and his goffy friends in base ball caps, wearing jeans torn at the edges with fly out T- shirts, tugging their hands in their pockets and sometimes wearing earrings, play. Collins, her brother would be so over thrilled by the ladies that his friends brought to the house. Emma never liked the ladies and it wasn’t because the ladies smoked, or that they dressed and behaved like old dudes, it was because they were ladies. It was so normal, girls, disliking each other at first site. Emma loved girls who behaved and dressed like a guy even though most girls she knew gossiped them. Behaving like a guy made other girls to fear the girl as she could punch the living hell out of any girl and even some guys. The only thing Emma hatted about ladies who believed like guys was that they hardly are ever in a relationship with any guy since they behave like them. The guy may just befriend her and she may befriend the guy friends and then they may invite her to a bar and there she gets herself drunk and scream outrightly in the bar. She may even start lifting weights and start going to the gym but she may never be dated by any guy. Most guys will avoid her and only few men with abs like her that would approach her. Not for marriage though and then she would be hurt inside because beyond all her hard outlook, she’s just as vulnerable and fragile as any lady.

Emma watched the cop, he looked bloated like so much air was pumped into him. He looked like he swallowed a parachute which had been turned on in his stomach. He looked like a round ball, the kind of ball she’d see in American football.

She didn’t come out from the vehicle. Cars behind her where were horning for her. Voices shouting “get the fuck off the road.” were music to her ears. Finally the cop typed down something in short note pad, then he wrote down something on a piece of paper and gave it to her. He didn’t as much as ask her for her drivers licences, and thankfully he didn’t as she didn’t have any drivers licences. Her old drivers licences was in south park, in Nashua’s house. She didn’t as much as collect it before moving to little Tokyo.

The cop soon left. He didn’t as much as tell anything. He didn’t look at her or at the car. He didn’t look at her suspiciously as though she was a crook or something. He just turned and left.

The Japanese guy kept fussing on the road. Cars behind passed him. Emma looked through the rear mirror, watching standing in the middle of the road, shouting, raising his hands high, kicking the car and shouting ” fuck. ” as cars passed by his left and right.

Emma drove by, looking at the road ahead. She saw something that looked like a glass case, as though built on the road.

Rectangular lanes were drawn on the road, with something that looked like a butterfly drawn on them. These lines were drawn at each sections of the road.

Emma drove quickly, humming a song to herself. Her phone beeped. She looked at the caller’s name, it was Dr. Lawrence. Fear gripped her immediately. Her mind flew back to Riley. She must be very sick she thought worriedly, looking through the side mirror. She didn’t pick his call. When Marcus called later, she didn’t pick either. Marcus didn’t call back and this frightened her. He usually calls back when she doesn’t,first time he called expect when there was an emergency. He would send her message later, telling her the situation but he didn’t send her any message and this frightened her the more, was Riley finally dead?

Emma drove quickly without knowing what she was doing. She thought she was driving slowly but then her driving so fast was infuriated by her worrying over Riley. She couldn’t tell how she got to Temple medical center, but she did.

When she got there, she lay her head on the wheels for what seemed like eternity. She couldn’t tell how long she stayed in that spot till she heard a voice coming from her left flank of her window.

Hey lady, lady are you alright. “

Emma sat up and looked by her left and suddenly screamed. She didn’t scream at them, she screamed at something behind them. They all starred at her. Dr Lawrence emerged from nowhere and opened the door for her, shouting “I got this” to the cops, and they all left quickly.

How’s Riley doing?” Emma asked.

Riley?” Dr Lawrence asked, smiling along in a way as though to relay a bad news. Then Emma grabbed him forcefully by his collar, looking fiercely at him. He gave another smile, that Marcus kind of smile, that smile that told her that her anger didn’t matter.

” She’s fine..”

Emma wondered what he meant by “she’s fine.” Was he playing faith like Marcus? Did he know anything? Although she knew that his statement meant Riley didn’t show up sick in the hospital, yet she shook inwards.

She went to Dr Lawrence office at they talked for what seemed like hours. She noticed how arched his eyebrows were like he shaved them. He looked steadily into her eyes as he spoke. He looked like he was doing an interview, his gaze fixed directly at her.

When he tells her that he’s Japanese American, she looked doubtly at him. His from Osaka Ōsaka in Japan, she’s taking aback. She couldn’t believe that this tall, fair yellow man who spoke through his nose like all White Americans, who smiled always even when it was totally inappropriate, who always looked at black patients that came to see him, like they were filth, who often responded to every greeting and gestures with a nod, who never looked up whenever he spoke to any of his patients nor when they walked into his office. He only said ” Have a seat.”to them while still looking downward at a book or something. And if any of his patients were to disagree with him on any prescription, he would say ” Have it your way then. ” as though offering them a choice. His patients would look at him with disapproval, some using their eyes to size him and scoff, but still they still took the drugs or did other things prescribed by him.

Emma came to herself after Dr. Lawrence called her back. She sat down placing both hands on his desk. Dr. Lawrence asks her if she’s fine, and she said ” totally. ” Then he asks her if she would like a cup of coffee, she agrees and he brings it. She sees him placing 2 cups on the mouth of a coffee machine, and slowly it pours out coffee into the cup. He brings it and gives her one, holding the other cup in his hand. He tells her how he loves the way she doesn’t pretend. Emma is taken aback in surprise, then he tells her that he loves the way she didn’t say ” No, thank you I’m just coming out from a bar and I had to drink myself to stupor. It was just fuckin crazy. I drank so much that I threw up on a lady and you need to see the way she screamed, as though she just looked at herself in the mirror and found out that she got pink eye or she had a bad hair day….. And blah, blah,blah… Bullshit! Why can’t they just say ” No thank you ” why must they try to cover up everything just to make what they’re saying not too bad, as though saying no is impolite..When you wrong them, they can’t just openly confront you, they bottle it up and you keep doing them that wrong thing unknowingly and then they get so angry one day and do something dispicable to the person. Why can’t we all be real for once? Why must we cover up? We let it stay in there and one day we get so provoked and kill others or get ourselves killed. ”

Emma looked lost starring at Dr. Lawrence. She wondered why he spoke provocatively, as though nursing his anger over the years and then finding someone like her with whom he could pour out every gourd of anger in him.

He soon changed the topic, noticing that she wasn’t paying attention and tapped her like he was lecturing her. He wanted her to pay attention, he wanted her to see his talking to her as a great privilege. Emma was finally paying attention when he began telling her of his childhood, how his dad died of cancer when he was just 17yrs, and his mum had to send him to leave with his aunt in Pennsylvania, with her drunk bf who constantly beat him in a basement, and sometimes locking him up in a bathroom and pushing his head in a bathtub filled with water, as though to drown him. He would scream for her but she stood far by watching the scene and saying nothing. He was always locked up in the basement, once his aunt bf was around. His aunt locked him there in fear of her bf and he would always beat him for no damn reason. No one knew what was going on cause his aunt bf never left a scar on his face, he was skillful at beating people, and so even if he wanted to report to the cops, he had no proof.

Then one day, he was beating Dr. Lawrence as usual in the basement, and this time, he screamed so loudly and soon, the cops came over and arrested His aunt bf, and took him away to leave with foster parents, who moved over with him to Little Tokyo. He later got scholarship to go and study in Standford, which required him to go to Standford, California. He tells her how lonely he felt cause he knew no one there. He told her how his foster parents didn’t accompany him on the day he went to Standford, at least to know his school. He went by train. He struggled in his first 2 years in college, first of all he needed to get a job which wasn’t easy finding but still he survived and finished and got his PhD degree before coming back to Little Tokyo to see his foster parents whom h hadn’t seen for 4 years only to find out that they died the previous year before his graduation.

Emma could hear what she thought were loud sobs and soon she joined too, crying loudly. Dr. Lawrence gave her a handkerchief to blow her nose. His receptionist walked in,about speaking when he waved a hand and she walked away.

Later, he took Emma in his car, and drove her to Mikawaya, an American confectionery.

When they got there, Dr. Lawrence tells that the mikaway is an American confectionery that was founded in 1910. He goes ahead to tell her that this restaurant was founded before the second world war began as though she didn’t know when the war began.

Soon they got down from the car and headed straight up to the building. Emma could see a Japanese inscription above the building. Light valves hung on the walls gave out different colors of light. It was dark already when they got to the restaurant so she could see the effects of the lights. Japanese inscriptions were on the light valves as well. The restaurant looked like a shrine where gods were kept. It also looked like a mosque. Emma was so fascinated. For a moment she forgot that she was in America, cause little Tokyo seemed to be different from the real America. For a moment, she felt as though she was experiencing Japan in America.

When they got inside, Emma couldn’t believe how big inside the building was. Although outside of the building was high, yet she couldn’t help herself from being marveled. The restaurant had different counters where different things were sold.

When they got to one of the counters, Emma looked up at the chef, he was a Japanese man, his colour dinted even though he was fair. She looked sideway and saw what she thought was a menu completely written in Japanese language. She looked up and saw a frame hung on a wall with Japanese inscription written on it. Dr. Lawrence spoke Japanese to the chefs and they nodded, continuing what they were doing. Soon one of the men went in and came back with 2 plates. Both plates contained a red meat stuck on a stick, and a big steamed meat, as well stuck on a stick and and an egg was placed on both plates. The eggs weren’t peeled. Emma almost puked on looking at the sick steamed meat, and so Dr. Lawrence nodded negative to the men and spoke Japanese to the chefs, and they both looked at her with great disapproval.

They moved over to another counter where pastries and snacks and confectioneries were sold. Emma could see mikaway written in green designed letters with Japanese inscription drawn by the side. It was hung above.

Dr. Lawrence ordered for daifuku, mochi, dango and yokan. ” These are Japanese pastries and different varieties of wagashi.” He whispered in to her, as though she would understand. Emma wanted to ask him what wagashi were, and he told her that wagashi are Japanese confectioneries.

Emma was totally confused. She couldn’t remember what confectioneries were at the moment. Everything and everyone in the restaurant stunned her. She couldn’t recollect her thoughts.

When the person who sold the confectioneries returned with what looked like a case, a small black case, more like what was used to cover a wedding ring, and said in English;

” Here’s your wagashi. ” Emma starred at the small black case which Dr. Lawrence opened up right there and she saw different varieties of small like candies kept in different layers in the small case, she marveled. It reminded her of a shoe rack and a library.

Finally they left the building and got to a section outside the building where Dr. Lawrence bought 2cones of mochi ice- cream which Emma threw away on purpose, although she made it look like a mistake.

When they got to his car, Emma sobbed a little on seeing a little boy sitting by the side of the road begging. He was covered in sores and was Japanese. He had a bowl in front of him in which people threw in dollars. He was playing on a violin. He played it so well that everyone who came out from the mikawaya restaurant threw in a dollar. Emma was marvelled at the way people here loved music, how each passersby threw in a dollar, as though it was something that flowed outrightly from them, as though giving was an inherent value in them. In san Francisco, people threw in dollars in beggars bowl, most of them did it mockingly and laughed whenever they threw in a dollar and it missed a beggar bowl, the way the other beggars would scramble for a dollar, tearing each other apart to get a dollar was so alarming and some of this passerby in San Fransisco did it purposely, just to make sure the dollar didn’t enter the intended bowl, watching the other beggars yanking each other just to get the dollar was so hilarious. Emma’s brother, Collins, and his friends often did that on purpose. He often made a good laugh out of it. Although she didn’t follow them in their mean act, yet she joined them in laughing at the beggars. She often covered her face with her palms as she laughed, as though that exonerated her from the act. But as she sat here watching that Japanese beggar in Dr. Lawrence car, all she did was sob. She cried too for Dr. Lawrence, remembering his story, even though his story and this Japanese boy’s situation was different, and so later as Dr. Lawrence drove the car, she tells him about Nashua and Riley and Caleb. She didn’t want to tell him about her lovely childhood as she felt guilty for having such good childhood and he having such horrible one. When he asks her why she’s telling him this, she tells him that it’s because of how sorry she felt about his past, and how she wished he didn’t have to go through such rough path.

When Dr. Lawrence heard it, he laughed outrightly, and said,

” Can’t believe you fell for my old joke. ” and then he held himself as if realizing himself.

Emma sat still, trying to figure out what he meant by old joke, on seeing his smiling face, she realized later that everything he told her was a lie. She sat still, shocked at her own finding, shocked that he could lie like this and put on a very sad look as though he was really sad, shocked that he could lie so well and didn’t feel any uneasiness. It felt so normal to him to just cook up a lie, perhaps he had even convinced himself with his own lies, perhaps something similar had happened to him and what he told her was the best way he could describe it.Yet what shocked her the most was when he said, ” old joke ”

She sat still, trying to recall where she heard that word ” old joke ” , trying so hard to recall what she knew, or perhaps she didn’t…

Fathom part 4

Emma looked at the scattered place. Everything for her was in a standstill. She stood still, trying to grasp her memory back. Nothing seemed to make sense. It was as though she was seeing the blurred pictures of her childhood, a childhood she never had. Her parents were sweet parents, and her brother, Collins was just the best. Yet as she stood, looking at everything in the living room, she imagined her childhood falling apart. 
Marcus called her name twice, pushing and shoving her, yet she didn’t respond. Emma looked like she was dead. Not dead literally, but she looked like a computer whose memory has been wiped clean. The scattered living room gave rise to a feeling of helpless. For once, she pitied the living room. It looked helpless and sure it was, helplessly scattered. Then the thought that the living room wasn’t helpless, that it had people who would clean up it’s mess, sprang up in her head. She got so mad, really mad. She took up the flower vase from the top of the center table in the living room and smashed it hard on the wall. Everything occurred at a slow pace. Emma dived towards the broken pieces of the flower vase as if to save it. The broken pieces injured her no doubt, yet she felt a deep satisfaction in her for saving the flower vase. As she sat on the broken pieces, Riley’s name rang in her head, she jerked  like an animal who had sniffed death in the air. She sprang up and dashed outside, whereupon, Marcus pulled her back inside, and together, they both fell on the floor. Emma stood up, kicking Marcus on the side, and proceeded to jump from the railings in the high apartment, whereupon, Marcus dragged her and together they fell face down on the floor.

Emma sat still on the floor. Marcus got up, dusted himself and proceeded to get his phone which was ringing. He prayed in his heart that it had something to do with Emma, not bad off course, but that she was found. Caleb sat still, watching Marcus go get his phone in the living room. He thought about how disappointed Marcus must have felt about him. Although he never’d care about anyone’s feeling. And it wasn’t because  Marcus was any different from his dad or anyone else, neither was it because he felt guilty for losing his sister out of his sight, it was because he wanted to feign soberness, to lie to his goddam self. He didn’t want to feel the obvious.

” Hello.” Marcus asked, holding his phone with his neck while he adjusted his collar.

” Hey bro” The voice rang out.

” Hey Philip! ” Marcus exclaimed, as though it’s been a while since they talked.

” Hey, I’ve got some news for you.Riley came over to buy tickets at the subway station. I was so shocked when I saw her, before I could bounce back to myself, an old white dude behind her spotted her and called the cops. She ran quickly towards the train .The cops arrived at the subway in less than 2 minutes and now they’re taking her in holding. Thanks to me, I told the cops that I could get her parents for her. She almost made it to the train, if not for me who ran quickly to make sure she didn’t enter. I told the security men who searched passengers boarding the train that she did have no ticket and that she ran away from home. Off course there wasn’t any need…”.Philip voice was cut off by Marcus’ Voice,

” Damn it am on my way… Fuck!!” Marcus exclaimed before getting off the phone.

Marcus drove quickly to the subway. Emma sat still in the car. She wore an I’ll fitting gown which was all covered in dust. The air around her smelt terrible. She had refused to change her dress. Off course it didn’t matter to her. Nothing mattered to her at the moment than Riley. 

Marcus kept answering series of calls, looking back at Emma, breathing in the fury of her anger. Marcus wondered what was going on in Emma’s mind; Did she want to strangle him? Or was she thinking of doing something crazy like going through the wind shield or throwing herself from the window. The air whistled in her ear as Marcus drove to little Tokyo district subway.

Marcus pushed back his side door as if stung by a bug. Philip ran out of the subway station to the garage, holding a phone in his hand and kept on saying loudly;

” Oh fuckin shit!! Marcus where are you?” Relying his back on the door of his car. He called Marcus line, Marcus picked immediately;

” Am here buddy.”

Philip heard a voice behind him. He turned back just in time to see Marcus with a phone stuck in his ear. Emma was right behind him.

” Hey man, where the fuck have you been? I’ve been covering your ass for you.” Philip said in a serious tone, but smiling at the same time.

” So where’s Emma?” Philip asked.

Emma came out from behind Marcus. She hit Marcus head with her purse. Marcus screamed outrightly, rubbing the back of his head.

Philip was laughing at Marcus, when he looked up just in time to catch Emma’s angry gaze. He suddenly forgot himself. He stared helplessly. Then, a car screeched into the garage, the blaring horn sound from the car, the loud ” Get the fuck off the road dumbass” from the man in the car who gave them all a “Fuck you sign.” Sticking out his middle finger, brought Philip back to himself. His stuck his finger out the window of his car.

Emma gave him the “fuck you sign” back and muttered ” asshole” to the man as the car screeched toward. He crashed into a nearby garbage can which struck a pillar. He came out from the car, shouting.”goddamit”  As he slammed the door, kicking the tyre,and assessing his car although no actual damage had been done to the car.

As they stood still, a cop came by, holding a gun and a Wallky talky in both hands, walking with eloquence, like all those film actors when they blow up a building.

” Hey where the hell have you been, we’ve been looking hell yeah for you ” he said, at the same time, turning on his wallky talky and spoke into it;

” I’ve found him, the dude who called us for a missing girl, he’s in the garage, looks like he was about leaving. ” 

A voice replied back; ” Okay. ”

The cop looked at Philip;

” About time right? ”

” Yeah bro. Look it’s not what you think, I just came out to call this dude” deferring to Marcus, and this lady over there, referring to Emma. They’re her parents. 

” Marcus. ” Marcus said, shaking hands with the cop.

” Officer Blair ” The cop said, undignified like he hated the name.

” You mean bear.” People often said, whenever he introduced himself. At first he tried explaining to people that it was Blair not bear. But since he understood that people often said his name wrongly just to either annoy him or just to make fun,  he decided that he would stop correcting people. Once his boss in the police officer said;

” Nice work bear. Nice work! Looks like you throw good jumps every morning! You really let those motherfuckers have it. You did real good out there in the field bear, congrats!! You’ve been promoted to sergeant. You deserve it. I’ll see to that. The sergeant badge will seem perfectly great on you…. “

His boss stopped speaking on noticing that Blair wasn’t paying attention. He was lost.

His boss was complementing him about his heroic action in the robbery attack in Union bank in little Tokyo. The arm robbers held the people in the bank hostage. He was able to Savage everything. He killed one of the robbers single handedly. He was able to turn on the explosives he had on his vest. The robber was close to a wall, so when the robber exploded, the wall collapsed as well, and the cops trooped in and killed all the robbers in a single flash. The bangs of bullet brought with it pangs of death. The hostages kept screaming, some of them lay on the floor as though the bullets were raining in the sky.
When Blair left his boss office, he could see the smirk on his boss face.  He feared that he must have starred angrily at his boss, or have said something crazy, but his boss called him a few days later and gave him the promotion letter. He was publicly sworn in as a sergeant. He smiled as he saluted as the sergeant badge was hung carefully on his breast pocket. He looked at his badge and thought he saw bear, but when he looked closely, it was Blair.

  • *

“wow, nice name. ” said the guy whose car slammed to a garbage. Blair turned back and starred at the dude angrily. ” Fuck you! ” was what Blair said finally, before turning right and entering the subway station. Philip walked slowly behind him, Emma walked slowly scared that what awaits her wasn’t something good. Marcus walked behind her.

When they got to the subway, people were lined up waiting for the train to come by, others were standing in a line, waiting to be searched by the security men, others were standing in line where the tickets were sold, waiting for whoever who sold the tickets to come by. Philip wasn’t there, so no one sold.

” Hey! Where the hell have you been? ” A cop asked

” Thought I told you I went to look for this merc.” He turned and looked at Marcus, who brought out his hands to shake the cop. The cop starred at him, and turned around, walking towards where the  were tickets were sold They all followed suit

“Riley’s taking into holding.” Blair said reassuring for the first time.

Cops were gathered at a near end, close to where people were lined up, waiting to be screened by the security men. Blair saw them as he walked.

Blair noticed that the cop was walking to a wrong direction, called out,

” Danny, the cops aren’t there, you’re going the wrong direction. ” but the cop kept walking. Blair smiled, as though he remembered something.

” Yo! Where’ve you been? ” A cop asked as they approached them.

” Curt,I went to look for this dude. ”

” Where’s Riley?” Marcus asked.

Riley emerged from nowhere. She was scared. Emma sprang up and went to hug her, burying her daughter’s head in her chest. Riley didn’t hug her mum back, she didn’t cry. She wanted to back off and when her mum pulled herself away, she held a sigh of relief, but feign tears immediately she noticed her mum pulling away from her.

” Oh Riley where have you been? ”

Riley didn’t respond. She stood in silence for a long time before responding,

” I hate you mother, I do really hate you. You left me over with Caleb, my brother who doesn’t love me. You left me with my brother who did nothing when I nearly died. He wanted me to die. He watched me throw up through the night and did nothing about it. He nearly shot me in the head in the living room. You hate me mother. You left me with that monster of a brother, and worse still you choose Marcus over me. He told you to leave me with Caleb that we’d be fine when it was obvious that we won’t get along. You choose Marcus over your conscience, you choose Marcus over me.” 

” I’m sorry Riley. Am really sorry. ” Emma said tearfully.

” Hello dear. ” Nashua’s voice echoed in Emma’s ear. It thundered in her head. At first she thought she imagined it, but as she turned around, he was standing right behind her. 

Philip and Marcus turned back just in time to see Nashua. They pushed backwards, bumping into Emma.

Emma stood still in shock on seeing him. She never thought she’d see him again. She saw a team of people, she was convinced that they were child protective service people. A lady in blonde in a tight jacket stood in the middle. Nashua came foward.

” We’ve heard about all the physical and sociological abuse and neglect that Riley have suffered in the hands of her brother, most especially in your hands as you did nothing to prevent him from hurting her. And now we’ve decided that since her staying with you is seriously endangering her life, we’ve decided to take her..” The woman at the middle said.

” And give her to who?.. Answer me! ” she roared, The woman and her team didn’t respond.

After a long silence, the woman spoke;

” We’ve decided to hand her over to her a foster parent.. ”

“Nashua! That’s whom you’re handing my baby over to. No way! Never. You’re handing over Riley to a man who rapped her, a guy who shouldn’t be seen anywhere close to a child.. Oh my God.”

” Emma let it go, it’s been 2 years now since I’ve been in the rehab and I can tell you, am clean.” Nashua said.

” No you’re not, and if I ever see you anywhere close to Riley again, I will run you over to the cop, you murder. By the way, your ass belongs in jail. How  can you let a man like him who killed those judge kids go free. He deserves the death penalty, he deserves to be in jail. ” Emma said.

” Don’t always believe everything you watch on the news. There’s no evidence to proof that I did anything ” Nashua said, smiling, ” and beside that shit is 2 years old.  Move on, don’t keep relaying on the past. ”

” Fuck you!!. ” Emma said.

The woman at the middle soon approached to take Riley when Emma punched her on the face thrice and she fell down, her nose burst open, she was bleeding.

” Don’t come any closer, bitch.” Emma said.

” Now you just got on my nerves.” Said one of the cops, who approached her with a gun. Emma stood still, not scared. The cop pointed the gun on her forehead. Emma stood still, filled with so much fear and rage.

” Let her go.” Nashua said. Everyone in the subway seemed to be in a standstill. Time moved slowly, the train sound couldn’t be heard.

” I said let her go. She can take home Riley.” 

Emma looked up and saw the woman at the middle, whom she punched servally, turning to look at him. She saw her lips moving, and from the onset, it read;

” Everything’s going as planned. “

Dog night

Today started off bad, then turned out  good, then ended up frightening. I went to class quite late, thankfully my lecturer didn’t come. But I was sort of sad cause I wasted my white shirt. .. Sometimes I do wonder if am still in high school cause the course am studying at college requires us to wear a white shirt, dark  trouser, black tie, a black shoe and a white stockings… Rules! Rules!! Rules!!! Gosh I hate rules… Moving on.

Everything turned out the same, I got up to read,not for long though, thanks to my running nose, my stupid phone which turned off, my annoying roommate and most of all me.. 

I went to class, and did the things  I’d normally do daily. My day was about to end the same way as usual, but my evening held something different.

My roommate and I wanted to cook but we ran out of gas, my roommate being quite lazy; (please roomy am so sorry)  went and soaked garri in water, adding milk and sugar. Since I couldn’t do that, I, being the good one as always, volunteered to go fill the gas. Don’t mind me, I just did that just to get my roommate to cook the jollof rice. 

I looked at my roommate, couldn’t help but be surprised that he wanted to cook. I thought he was joking. I couldn’t be more shocked, my roommate getting really hungry and wanting to cook. I’d always beg him to cook but he always give me the same annoying answer;

Am tired.”  

Yet he’s never tired to dig in when am done cooking.. Lol…

So I set out to fill the gas. It was already dark. Luckily I got a cab easily ( Thank goodness) . The driver was just ….( Kaycee breathe, Kaycee breathe don’t use curse words.) I’m just trying to calm my nerve down. As am typing into this  ‘too bright screen of my phone’, all I feel like doing is biting off his ear lobes.

The driver kept stopping at short distances to find change for passengers who wanted to drop, having reached their destination, like who does that? He spent up to 15 minutes before coming back each time he left to go to a shop nearby.. Guess my clock in my head ran so fast..I even asked the lady beside me if she knew where the driver was, and she shrugged me off. Great.

The driver would come back and mutter ” Sorry. ” and just move the car. He dropped everyone before me.

When I got out of the car, I quickly dashed to the place where gas are sold and behold the man’s  shop was locked up for the night. The shop owner’s name is Kanna. I stood still, the look of confusion all over my face. A shop owner nearby told me that he just left 2 minutes before I came… Great. I told him to call the guy but he kept on laughing telling me to come by tomorrow. 

Everywhere was pretty dark as I strolled helplessly, looking out for any other place where gas were being sold but all shops were closed. In fact a guy told me that most places weren’t selling that it was only kanna’s shop that was selling. Others kept pointing me to other directions where I could see gas to buy, but as the night turned out so dark, I decided to enter a bus that dropped me at my junction.

I felt so disappointed and very hungry too. I had to buy a wrap of suya cause the restaurant close by was locked up for the night as well. My seemingly bad luck kept increasing. Worse still, the dogs at my lodge were turned loose for the night. Those scary looking creatures. Actually they weren’t scary to my roommate and my other lodge mates. In fact those dogs didn’t trouble anyone else in my lodge apart from me. Once I came back from visiting my friend at night, as I was about entering my lodge, I heard the dog barking, I ran away, the dog pursued me. Sometimes I wonder how I outran the dog… Thanks to adrenaline. I kept running downwards into an uncompleted buildings. I kicked off my slippers and the head of my charger fell off in the process.

By the time I could turn back, I saw the dog at a far end still barking. My screaming alerted a security man of another lodge. He came out, asking me why I was screaming out loud. I told him what happened. A lady also came out of the same lodge, and she said;

” why did you run? Whenever a dog is barking at you, never run, cause the dog will run after you. ”

I heard that numerous times, but still whenever I heard a dog barking, I still ran.

Another time, I came from a friend house late at night, I begged my friend to command the dogs to leave their position. He prayed, though laughing at me. He finally entered his lodge which was before mine. I walked on the lonely path, quoting all the scriptures I could, mustering every boldness in me. I called my roommate, he told me to follow the front, the usual position where the dogs were kept. He told me that no dogs where there. In my foolishness and stubbornness, I followed the back gate which was locked up for the night. As I walked back to follow the front, I saw one of the dogs lying on the floor, he turned back to look at me. I squirmed in fear and ran, as usual it chased me, luckily I ran again into a building site. I lost my charger in my haste, and kicked off my slippers, walking bare footed. Luckily, I didn’t loose my phone. I called my roommate, he laughed at me senseless.

  • *

I followed the back gate again, praying that it was opened, frustrated cause God didn’t answer my prayer of killing those dogs, or taking them oout, neither did he answer my prayer of not letting Kanna to close his shop. Not knowing that God allowing Kanna to lock his shop, allowing the restaurant to be closed too was his way of saving me from disaster. Since they closed, I came back,  just in time to meet the gate open. It was closed though, but not locked. My heart shook in fear of seeing the gate closed. When I pushed hard, the gate opened. I entered inside, holding the wrapped suya in one hand and the gas cylinder in the other hand, slamming the gate on hearing the bark of a dog. I walked, fearing that the other dog was following me. As I walked, about to open the inner gate of my lodge, I saw a dog shadow, crawling out from one of the short trees, I screamed so loudly. The shadow approached me, I kicked off my slippers, about to run, when my roommate, came out and opened the inner gate, looking worried, holding a torch light. He asked me what happened, at first I lied, telling me that I saw dogs outside. But then I told him the truth. As it turned out, those shadows that I saw were the figment of my imagination. They weren’t real. The dogs were not there, in fact they never there. They never entered inside the gate, they were only kept outside to watch out.

I couldn’t help but hold out a sigh of relief and at the same time feel so stupid. My roommate friend, Marcel kept laughing when I relayed the story at first. My slippers were later found by a corner and we all entered the  compound. I could remember my roommate telling me that my problem wasn’t the dog, it was my fear. I didn’t believe him but now I do.

But best thing about that night was that even though I kicked off my slippers, even though I ran in mortified, I didn’t loose one thing; my goddam suya…And my roommate was so glad about that cause he ate free suya..
This story might seem so funny but I bet if you were there, you would’ve been mortified… Damn mortified.

Fathom part 3

Emma lay back on the bed in Marcus house in little Tokyo, shifted leftwards so she could press herself against his warm back.Emma folded herself on the bed as she lay down, even though there was so much space on the bed. She kept pressing herself on Marcus back, loving this intimacy, when she heard his  alarm buzz. She wanted to throw the alarm clock away, yet she didn’t. She turned on the light and checked the time, it was 6:30am.

Emma heard Marcus loud snoring. She couldn’t believe how easily she eased into the bedroom, into Marcus loud snoring, it was as though she had been in the bedroom all her life, but it’d been 2 years ago since  Marcus allowed her sleep with him in his bed, in his bedroom.

Marcus kept snoring, he tilted, face down on his pillow, as if to spit out something. Emma could remember how she got back Riley from the hospital, how she told the cops about Caleb, about him almost killing his sister, Riley, as though it explained why Nashua stabbed Riley. She’d remember the way Caleb looked at her after he came out from the room where he was being questioned by the cops, that angry glare. He didn’t say a word to her for 2 weeks. Then one morning, he got up from bed and went to Marcus’ room and greeted his mum with a warm assuring smile.

Emma could remember all that happened in the los Angeles superior court where her husband, Nashua was tried. She looked at him, sitting with ease. He, with his lawyer, and some other lawyers were sitting at the front row, same as her, and her lawyer provided by the state.Serval witnesses were called out, mostly the neighbors living next- door in Nashua’s house. They were called out in the court room. The judge kept adjourning their case, till Nashua, when he was prosecuted, openly told the court that he stabbed Riley  cause the previous night, he dreamt that he was stuffed inside a toilet and a lady kept screaming, ” flush! Flush!! ” as she flushed him away. He woke up screaming only to see someone  standing close by his bed. He couldn’t tell whom the person was. But his lurid version could tell that the person was a lady. Nashua tells the court how he saw her coming closer, and a voice shouting ” flush! Flush!! “ in the manner of his dreams. He soon pushed her on the floor, and took the pocket knife that was nearby to defend himself. He heard a loud scream and saw her sink to the floor. He saw the knife fall to the ground after Riley landed on the floor. He couldn’t tell what happened next cause by the time he was awake, he was at the hospital.

I really love Riley so much, could never hurt her. I didn’t mean to hurt her your honor..” He told the prosecutor.

Caleb when he was called upon, told the court about his Dad sleeping with Riley. Emma saw the look of confusion on Nashua’s lawyer face as he stared at his client’s face. Caleb further showed the numerous scars that his Dad gave him. He showed him a scar that his dad gave him with a dagger.

Emma saw Nashua whispering to his lawyer and was scared that he would tell the judge about Caleb’s incident with Riley. As Nashua stood up after Caleb stopped speaking, Emma sat still looking at Caleb, wondering if he knew was coming. Nashua stood up and said;

” Your honor, I’m a law abiding citizen. I’m not a killer nor a flight risk. I love Riley so much. I didn’t mean any harm to her, didn’t mean to hurt her, or sleep with her. I don’t hate her, neither do I hate my son. I could never wish to hurt them. I’ve been having spells of darkness. I don’t think  clearly. The doctor has prescribed some drugs and I have a medical report to prove it.”

Emma sat still, wondering what a pathetic liar Nashua was, perhaps he needed lying lessons. At least that’s what she thought, till she saw Nashua’s lawyer holding a paper. Emma at first sighted something that looked like a picture. She tried looking at the paper, but she couldn’t tell cause the paper was in black and white color.Emma could see a hand on the picture. She began second guessing that it was a photograph. She couldn’t accept that Nashua was insane. She began to tell herself that Nashua wouldn’t hide it from her if he was really insane, even though she knew quite well that Nashua wasn’t an open book. He wouldn’t lie, but neither will anyone about himself. He wasn’t like her who would spill out everything. Emma was known from childhood to be a loud mouth, nothing stayed secret with her. Most times if she’d really wanna keep a secret, she would tell her imaginary friends. 

Once, durning her parents anniversary, which was also her mum’s birthday,her dad went out to a mall and bought her mum an expensive Sam song galaxy iPhone, with a birthday cake written

” Happy birthday baby boo.”

Her dad and her brother, Collins, came from the car, holding the presents. Her dad took the iPhone, while Collins carried the square shaped cake. They weren’t good at pretending. From their movement alone, one could suspect that something was up. Their waist was bent a little, so was their feet. It was as though they were squatting and moving at the same time. Emma heard Collins say;

” Dad, mum’s sure taking her nap, let’s take the presents to the dinning then wait for her to come out. ” Just immediately, he turned and saw Emma standing. The cake almost slipped off his hands at the shock of seeing her standing there. He was able to hold the cake firmly.

Emma stared at her brother and her dad. For a moment, she forgot herself. Everything  seemed strange. Her head was whirling around. She still searching for herself. It was as though she was searching for something that was locked up in her. Then her brain snapped and all her memories rushed in her head at the same time. It was exciting and terrifying, then she screamed so loudly;

” Mum, dad and Collins bought you presents for your anniversary. “

She covered her mouth as if trying to retake back the word. When Emma’s mum didn’t respond at first, Emma could feel the sigh of reliefs held by her brother and her dad. Then her mum’s responded, with it came a sudden tension.

” Hey… Honey this is lovely, really gergous.. Love it..” Emma could see the broad smile creeping on her dad’s face, then when she said, 

” But I would have loved it more if it were a surprise.” 

The smile on his face faded. Emma looked up at her brother and dad, trying to see if they saw how sorry she was, wondering if they saw the great displeasure she felt to herself for spoiling such a wonderful moment. True her mum felt so happy for the gift, yet Emma knew her mum would have kissed her dad so passionately, then her dad would carry her up and together they would enter their bedroom and her dad would kick the door shut, then they would do their special thing in there. Emma knew their special thing was having sex, yet whenever she put her head on her parents bedroom door to hear the loud moaning, she imagined it was more than that. Her parents shared something sweet together. It wasn’t something that could be done by another person. 

That she had spoilt when she loudly told her mum about the gift. She would see her dad’s pleading eyes, waiting to get a kiss from her mum, but her mum didn’t kiss him. Emma knew she wouldn’t. Her mum went on and on about how exquisite the gift was, but with no spark in her eyes. Her brother Collins was so mad at her for days, but thankfully, her dad still talked to her.

  • *

Emma saw Caleb get up from the witness box where he was being asked questions by her lawyer, at the same time, seeing Nashua’s lawyer come to him with the paper. ” Here’s the evidence, your honor. ” 

Emma saw the way the judge looked at the paper, first with little or no concern, then great fear emerged on the judge’s face, it was so obvious. The judge looked at the paper and then peered at the crowd. This lasted for more than 5 minutes. Someone came forward to whisper something in the judge’s ear, and this agitated her fear.

Soon the judge knocked the gavel hard on the table to restore order in the court room and soon gave judgment, attesting to Nashua’s plea of insanity, she didn’t let Emma’s lawyer go on with the prosecution. She didn’t give judgment against Nashua for having sex with 9yrs old Riley. Huge questions rose up in the courtroom concerning the judgment. Emma could see the look of confusion and disappointment on her lawyer’s face as he went over to shake Nashua’s lawyer. Marcus was equally confused as well, and kept talking about how he felt suspicious concerning the judgment of the judge when they got into a cab, along with Caleb and Riley, but Emma kissed him, telling him that the point was that they still got what they came for, they got back Riley. Emma looked so happy even as they entered the subway and the train took them back to little Tokyo.

The first thing Emma did when they got into Marcus apartment was to kiss him. It was an unveiling kiss, a kiss of victory.

  • *

Emma lay back in bed smiling as she remembered all those events. She couldn’t believe that all those events happended 2 years ago. It was still fresh in her mind.

The alarm in Marcus room rang out again. Emma turned back towards it, and saw Marcus slam the alarm clock on the floor.

” Right on time baby.” Emma said, and he  kissed her on her forehead. It was as though his lips glued to her forehead.

Just as Marcus rolled out from the bed, he head to the bathroom, Riley’s groaning was heard from the living room where she slept with Caleb, her brother. It was as though she was throwing up. In between her groanings, She was saying something that was drowned up in the vomiting. Emma suddenly jumped up from bed and went to the living room. Caleb stuck his hear with his headset, nodding to a beat of a song. He climbed up to a couch to avoid the vomit touching him.

Emma saw Riley on the floor, covered in blood. She looked like a corpse already. She dashed inside the room, panting really hard as though this was the first time of seeing Riley fall sick, really sick, almost to the point of death, and then, bouncing back to life. Although Riley has fallen ill numerous times since she began living in little Tokyo, yet Emma couldn’t get used to seeing her daughter fall sick. She still panicked like always whenever Riley got really sick.
She called Dr. Lawrence, a Japanese doctor and told him all that happened. Marcus was dressed, about to leave for work, when he saw Riley on the floor, covered in blood.

” Emma! Emma!! ” he called out loudly as though she was in a distant place.

” I’ve called Dr. Lawrence, he’s at the hospital, we gonna get moving.” Emma said.

Marcus carried Riley up, standing his white- blue shirt. He drove with Emma and Riley to temple medical center. Emma looked back at her daughter, watching her from the rear window, wondering if she could see any sign of hope in her. Riley sat up straight with  with the specks of blood everywhere. She smelt of vomit.

Emma gave her a handkerchief so she could wipe her face with. The silence in the car was a grave on. Emma looked on at her daughter wondering why she didn’t faint, wasn’t screaming, wasn’t throwing up. The way Riley sat up strongly didn’t feel right with Emma.

” Hey what’s it.?” Marcus asked.

” Um…. Nothing…. Sorry I was just wondering why Riley isn’t showing any sign of sickness. She seems perfectly fine…” Emma said.

” About that? ” Marcus asked.

“Don’t you feel weird. I mean I think something’s wrong. Normally she’d be really sick, showing no sign of life, freaking us out, then she get’s perfectly fine. ”

” I think she got some magical powers. ” Marcus said teasingly, looking at Riley through the side mirror.

” It’s not funny Marcus.. This could be bad…” Emma said.

” Could you please be optimistic for once. Jeez!!” Marcus said.

Emma lay back as Marcus kept driving.

They got to the hospital. Dr. Lawrence was outside the hospital, close to an ambulance with a team of nurses.

Emma came out from the car, along with Marcus who came out and opened the back door for Riley who sat at the back, gazing at the hospital building. Her mum blocked her view.

” Hey doc… Hope you ain’t busy.. Cause Riley here is…”

” Perfectly fine… ” Marcus said, cutting Emma off. Emma looked at him as though she couldn’t believe  he just did that.

” I’m pretty busy right now.. But let me take a look at her.” Dr Lawrence said.

” Oh my God.. She semms perfectly fine. Wow no worse for the wear.” He said, feeling her forehead, and then wondering why his hands felt so heavy as though his hands were wrapped in something. Off course he was putting on hand gloves. He tugged at the hand gloves, laughing at how pudgy his fingers felt as he put on the gloves. The glove fingers were sticking out as they covered his whole fingers, having no other space to cover, they stuck out on his fingers.

Emma noticed how plain the white gloves where. She laughed slowly noticing how  transparent the hand gloves were. It made her consider the pudgy hand gloves rather slender.

Emma looked back at Riley, watching her eyes, noticing her eyelids dropping. She called Dr. Lawrence attention.

” Hey don’t start Okay? See, Riley is perfectly fine.. Don’t start panicking please. ” Marcus said in a firm but assuring tone.

” Right dear.” Emma said reassured.

 As Dr. Lawrence went towards the hospital building, Marcus followed suit. Emma shifted, motioning to her daughter to follow her. Riley sat still. Emma began to worry, then Riley gave out a warm smile. It was the first time in 2 years since Emma saw her smile. Emma held her chest, touched by Riley’s smile.

Dr. Lawrence hadn’t given them a great distance, neither did Marcus who came behind.

Riley came out of the car after her mum gave her a hand. The smeared handkerchief fell on the floor. Riley looked at it as though to pick it but she didn’t.

Emma held her hand. Riley looked up at her mum. Emma noticed for the first time how much of Nashua’s features she had. And seeing that, a certain form of dislike formed in her heart. It  didn’t last though, cause Riley wasn’t Nashua.

Emma looked back, seeing Marcus and Dr. Lawrence standing, waiting for them to come close. Emma and Riley walked at the same pace, shoving each other with their behind. Emma smiled at a nurse who smiled back. She clasped her hands in Riley’s as she walked, then she noticed that Riley’s hand was no longer in hers. She turned back just in time to see Riley sprawled on the floor. She turned back and all she could do was scream. It was so quick. Riley falling to the ground, Emma screaming, a team of nurses coming with a stretcher  which they placed Riley on. Emma ran along side the stretcher as it entered the hospital building. A team of nurses pushed the stretcher. Dr. Lawrence and marcus ran along side the stretcher. Emma followed it but a nurse told her to wait in the hallway. Marcus yanked Emma away and they both sat on a long chair.

Emma and Marcus sat quietly. Emma panicked so bad. She should have trusted her instincts. She really wanted to kill Marcus and the doctor. She shouldn’t have taken any chances.

They sat on the long chair. Marcus watching a T.v. that was hung on the wall above the counter. A middle age woman in her nurse uniform was writing something, maybe she was signing a receipt.

Later the doctor comes out and calls them to his office. He tells them that it was just her usual fainting spells

” It was just.. Right? U useless piece of shit. My daughter almost died because of your silly ass.. I told you guys that something was wrong but you guys just took it that I was just so worried.. ” Emma said taking her things and left the hospital.

Marcus came back the next day with Riley. Emma was on the couch when he came in that Saturday morning. She didn’t as much as call him the previous night when he didn’t come back. Caleb opened the door for him to come in. He looked at Riley with that hateful eyes cause she looked at him the same way his dad always looked at him; with contempt.

” Doctor said she’s all good now.’ Marcus said as he entered inside.

Emma didn’t answer him, instead she went over and kissed Riley on the forehead

” Are you okay honey? ”

Caleb looked at Riley angrily. He was so engrossed in the headset that was plugged in his ear. He didn’t as much as look up at them.

Emma sat still as she listened to the headlines news on CNN. The judge who preceded over her case against Nashua 2 years ago  had already died a long time due to depression after losing her  2 kids in a vicious bombing explosion. Her ex-husband was on the T.v. giving condolences speech in remembrance of her. He cried mostly blaming himself for what happened. He told everyone how his wife, Katie came home 2 years back and told him about a sociopath who was charged for attempted murder of his his 9 year old daughter. ” This dude’s lawyer came foward  with a paper as though to bring forth an evidence. My wife being a Judge as at then, preceded over their case. When my wife saw the paper, she froze with fear, it was picture showing our two college kids tied up. She had to rule in the favor of this man and granted his plea of insanity.

Later she went out to get our kids. She told me not to call the cops but I did and in the end, one those evil dude’s men who held our kids, blew up himself and our kids. Katie broke up with me on finding out that I called the cops. Because of me, our marriage is ruined, because of me, Katie is dead, because of me, our kids are dead.. Am so horrible. ” Clem,Katie ex- husband said tearfully and soon sprang up in tears. He wiped himself with a handkerchief as he cried. Emma could notice the theatrical way he’d cry as though it was something he was meant to do.

” Oh my God. Nashua killed that judge kids.. Boy was I right. I’d tell you guys that something was up..” Marcus said with little excitement.

Emma looked back at him. The thought of him being right about something so bad like this nauseated her. He was so wrong for being right. She knew that he’d say that just to establish something positive out of the negative news. He’d love seeing the light. He loved seeing the good in the bad and this made her angry. Couldn’t he just see things for what they were. It was his optimism that nearly cost Riley her life. She, for few seconds, found Marcus irritating to look upon. She sighed at him and looked toward.

After few minutes of silence, Marcus asked Emma to come with him for a ride.

” Where we going? ” Emma asked.

” To a gas station and just to see some great views. ” Marcus said.

” I’m gonna come only if Riley comes along. ” Emma said.

” No way. Caleb can take care of her.. ”

Emma wondered if he was clearly blind or stupid or just playing positive.

” No way. Riley nearly died this morning. She bled out throughout the night and Caleb was right here and did nothing about it.” Emma said.

Marcus looked up at Caleb who sat still focusing on his phone. He looked up , showing no remorse for not watching out for his sister. He clearly didn’t care.

” They will both be fine.” Marcus said.

” No way. It’s either Riley comes with us or you’re on your own.I’m not willingly to take any chances, not with my daughter. ” Emma said.

Marcus came towards Emma and stretched out his hands. Emma looked at him and smiled. She grabbed his hands and pulled herself up. She didn’t known why she believed that Riley was gonna be just fine.

They went to the gas station. Emma sat still in the car. She called Caleb’s line but he cut her off. She sat still, pretty scared. She didn’t know when Marcus entered the car after filling the tank. He bought her a cone of ice- cream and some apples. She took a bite from her Apple as Marcus drove off..

Emma licked all her ice cream. The cold ice cream made her grate her teeth. She then told Marcus that Caleb hated Riley cause she reminds him of Nashua. “You know she looks so much like him. Nashua is pretty obsessed with her. Nashua never’d show Caleb love. And above all, Caleb has been abused times without number because of Riley. He hates Caleb for everything.

I forgot to tell you that Caleb nearly killed Rliley with a gun as she slept on the couch. He aimed the gun at her, pulled the trigger, but didn’t kill her cause there weren’t any bullet inside the gun. Close call.” Emma said.

“It’s gonna be fine.” Marcus said fearfully. She noticed the fear in his voice, and that sprang up the fear in her.

When they got home, Caleb was lying straight up on the couch, his headset in his ears. Emma called out his name, he didn’t respond, whereupon she yanked the phone and in the process the headset got off his ear.

” Where’s Riley? ”

Emma asked. Caleb didn’t respond, whereupon she slapped him real hard on his face. Caleb sat up, holding his face. Emma’s fingers were shown on his face. His face had turned red.

” She’s gone. She told me nothing before leaving. ”

It took Emma to see that the scattered room, the front door wide opened ajar, the pink traveling bag which wasn’t there, Caleb’s light mood, all proved that Riley was really gone

Fathom part 2

Emma sat still as the police officer called her in for questioning. She was at the Newton community police station. She tried not to blink her eyes too often so the cops don’t think she’s lying. She looked down at the hot cup of coffee that lay on the table opposite her. Sometimes she wondered whether this was real or some sort of silly interview. She sat still, remembering how she dashed out of suehiro cafe, screaming loudly. Marcus tried holding her but she would have it no other way. Marcus drove her back to his house, took some things and drove off again to Little Tokyo district subway. They got easy tickets as the person who sold the tickets was an old friend of Marcus, and also had a crush on Emma durning high school days, although he never openly told her. He was a secret admirer. He always knew that Emma could never be his, neither could Marcus have her. They weren’t a good mix. He often teased Marcus with the ” Told you so” slogan  ever since Emma broke up with Marcus.  The tickets were finished. As a matter of fact, Philip, the ticket seller, gave out the last 4 tickets to a family of 4 by the time they arrived.

” Tickets sold out.. ” was what Philip said so loudly to avoid Marcus making him do something illegal in the name of friendship, thereby costing him his job. He didn’t as much as look Marcus in the eyes when he said it, although he didn’t hide his surprise at seeing Marcus and Emma together. He could remember way back in college how Marcus nearly killed himself with arsenic which he put in his brandy served to him at a bar.Phillip didn’t see him, he was so engrossed in laughing at Marcus, saying ” told you so..”  Thinking it would Cheer him up. Marcus kept calling Emma a staunch hearted bitch, an evil demonic bat, a useless vagabond. Marcus kept laughing. He didn’t want to sympathies with Marcus so as not to keep him in self pity. He didn’t want him to keep being depressed, so he thought a better way was to make Marcus pour out every gourd of anger in him, and truly he did, up to the point of smashing Philip’s phone after Philip showed him a picture of he and Emma sitting by the pool, kissing, Marcus held up a cigarette in between his fingers. Emma’s eyes peeped towards the phone camera. Philip didn’t care, he could always get a new phone.

Marcus poisoned his drink when he saw Philip turn sideways, laughing. Philip saw him pour the brandy into a tinted like glass cup.Marcus was about drinking it when an old bully came by, along with some guys. His gait was uneasy. He called philip who quickly emptied his wallet and gave out all the cash he had. The bully counted the money with one eye, then starring at Philip with the other eye as if suspecting a foul play. After counting the money, he smiled, 50 dollars and 5 cents. He crumbled the money and tucked it in his back pocket. Marcus sat still, looking the bully in the eye as if daring the bully.

The bully knowing Marcus was in no damn mood, knowing that something came loose in his head, decided to call Marcus, who sat still, looking with defiance. Everybody around began looking at Marcus with pleading eyes, but Marcus was paying no attention to them. 

Soon, The bully walked up to Marcus and spat on him, whereupon Marcus threw his drink on the tinted glass cup, on the bully’s face, and made a face at him, whereupon the bully snatched the bottle of brandy, and drank from it, before he shoved Marcus on the floor and poured some of the drink on him, pinned him on the floor with his boot on his chest. Marcus shook as if trying to get up, whereupon this angered the bully. It was unheard off. Marcus wanted to die. He purposely wanted to anger the bully so he’d kill him. Philip sat back, not begging the bully for his friend. He was fully disgusted at Marcus. Everyone might consider Marcus a hero, but not Philip, perhaps it was because of the motive behind his heroic action. Marcus never felt like a hero, he only wanted to die, and he was willingly to get his wish by any means.

The bully got so upset, he marched Marcus chest servally with his boot, as he popped in the brandy from the bottle. No one tried stopping him, it was only shouts of plea from a respectable distance. The guys by him hailed him as he kept stamping on Marcus. 

Soon the old bully got dizzy, everything and everyone around him blurred in his face. His quick, hard feet slowed down as he hurled to the ground. He fell on Marcus. The guys he brought along didn’t notice what was happening on time, neither did the crowd. The medic was called upon and the old bully along Marcus was hurled into an ambulance. Later the old bully was confirmed dead. He didn’t make it to the hospital. Marcus recovered a few weeks later. The bully was said to have died from arsenic poisoning. 

Marcus was later taken into custody, which took a lot of time to clear his name, but he was later transferred to rehab when he told the cops that he wanted to kill himself, that the poisoned drink was for himself. Witness from the school where there confirmed that the bully attacked Marcus viciously, and that he snatched the bottle of brandy from Marcus. 

Marcus later came back 2 years to start college again from the beginning, from there he moved over to little Tokyo, where he started working at the Japanese American museum.

Philip looked at the old man whom he was attending to, watching him tapping both the front and back pocket of his trouser.

” Honey what’s that? Are we forgetting anything? Oh my Gosh kinda knew we were forgetting something. ” His wife said.

” Off course Nora, we didn’t forget anything, we never forget anything.”The man said panting real hard as he searched his pocket. Nora gave him that look, that look that made him know that she wished his lies about them not forgetting something were true. She smiled remembering countless times how they’ve been thrown out from a plane cause they forgot their passport or something.

Philip watched the old man search his pocket as if trying to play faith that he’d get something that wasn’t there, just like when the lord, Jesus told peter to catch a fish from the sea, and open it, that he would see coins in there, and it was so.

After vain searching, Nora asked her husband what was going on. He didn’t say anything, just kept searching his pockets. She shouted the question more louder, and the man finally told her that his wallet was missing and that in it, contained the money for the ticket and the children ID cards.

” Oh dear..” Nora said, putting her fingers on her lips, as if realizing suddenly that something terrible just happened…

” Gosh!! So what’re we gonna do, there’s no way am missing Andre birthday party…”

” Guess we just have to come by tomorrow. ” The man said, looking closely at Philip’s eyes as he saw him starring at something behind them. He turned back and saw a guy with a lady and a teenage boy, probably around 18yrs. The lady looked confused and startled like she lost someone or something precious. Marcus was light hearted and so when the man shook hands with him, Marcus introduced himself and the others.

” Oh her name’s Emma, wow that’s lovely.. ” he said smiling at her. Caleb hands was tucked into his sides when the man let out his hands for a shake. His eyes were all glaring and furious.

” Hey buddy hope you’re good. ” The man said before introducing himself as Naman and his wife as Nora.

Marcus looking at Naman’s face, wondering whether he noticed Caleb’s aggressive look. Off course he noticed, perhaps he, stretching out his hands for a handshake and smiling broadly was contemptuous. He must have done it sarcastically, just to make them all look stupid. But as Marcus looked at him, he’d discover that the man was a happy man. He shook hands with the ladies that passed by, tugging at the toddlers that were walking on the floor, or being carried in the arms of the ladies. He kept on saying ” Go with God.” To everyone that passed by. Looking at Naman, one would think he just won a huge promotion or something close to that. His happiness shielded him from the anger he would have felt from not being able to make the trip. Marcus saw for the first time a crufix which he hung on his neck. 

Marcus looked back at Philip, watching him put his hands on his mouth as if whispering. Marcus watched the movement of his mouth, and then took up courage to ask him if he could give them their tickets, he told them about Riley, lying about she being his niece, telling them that she was stabbed at her dad’s place where she went to spend the summer since her mum and dad separated. He told them that he was Emma’s brother. Philip smirked his lips, shocked at how easily the lie came out from Marcus mouth. Philip could see the spark in his eyes as he spoke. It was as though he believed his own lies. A lie which he fantasies about. A lie which held some truth for him, a lie he wished was true.

” Was she the girl that was covered in blood, that was said to have being stabbed by Nashua.” Naman asked

” What the fuck….” Marcus voice was cut off by Emma’s loud scream

“Ahhhhh… Nashua..”

” No way how could he have stabbed her.. I mean he was stabbed alongside with her ..” Marcus said, almost screaming.

” Can’t say. Can’t believe you guys haven’t been following the news. But the police have identified finger prints on the knife and foot prints in the house, and everything is pointing at Nashua. ” Naman said.

” There’s no way… “Marcus voice was cut off by Emma’s continious loud screaming.

Marcus, Emma and Caleb finally were given the tickets by Naman. Marcus was given the 3 tickets.

Emma screamed Nashua’s name so many times as they got to the train. She shoved herself back and front, hitting Marcus who sat by her right, and Caleb who sat by her left. At times she got so quiet and slept off, then suddenly she’d begin to scream as if she was aroused from a bad dream. Everything crept her out.

Some whites who sat behind her shouted to shut the fuck up, calling her a psychotic asshole. A lady at their back kept shouting ” Shut up already “, holding a baby wrapped in a cloth who shoved away the bottle with which he was being fed, shoving sideways as he let out a blazing cry. He was sound asleep, then Emma’s voice woke him. She screamed for some time, then stopped abruptly, on their arrival to south park. They all dashed to the hospital, when some of the cops saw her, afterwards, she identified herself as Emma’s mum and then they took them all for questioning at the Newton community police station.

  • *  

Emma sat back, trying hard to feel normal. She tried looking into the cops eyes, then she looked at the hot cup of coffee. When the cops tells her that Nashua was the one who stabbed Riley, she screamed loudly, as though it was the first time she heard it.

After the cops were able to calm her down, one of the cops, the one that frightened her the most said;

” We’ve confirmed that Nashua stabbed your daughter, but we also got to know that Nashua didn’t stab himself as we suspected. He bled out on his own accord. We can’t really explain what happened to him. We didn’t see any cuts on his body, perhaps the person who stabbed him did a pretty job, or perhaps he bled out profusely on his own accord.  ” The cops and Emma believed their first suspicion. It was what seemed to make sense, although they tried considering their second guess which didn’t really add up.

Emma couldn’t wait to thank whomever saved Riley from her husband. A question hung in the room where she was being questioned..

” If Nashua actually  didn’t stab himself, who did?, and why was he afraid to turn himself in?? Or most importantly, was Nashua framed up for murder, if yes, why??

Fathom 

The present

Emma drove slowly through South park in downtown L. A.. Her hands vibrated as she touched the steerings. Car horns reared up behind her with voices screaming

“Move the fuckin car.”

Emma docked as she drove pass big buildings.Some of them were so high, they looked like a tower. Other buildings looked like a garage park. Sometimes she wished that South park was a big city like New York. It always still baffled her that south park was a district in downtown, L. A.

South park had always been her favorite place in downtown, followed by Broadway theatre and commercial district. Emma was always eager, looking around, whenever she took a drive round south park, looking at things she’d see a thousand times, yet imagining that she saw something new. But today, as she drove, she dreaded everything about south park. 

Emma looked by the front seat of her car, looking at her phone which was beeping. It was her ex, Nashua.

Nashua’s voice was hoarse on the phone when Emma picked. His laughter was cranky on the phone.  Then he spoke;

” Hey pumpkin. “

” Hey Nash.. How you doing? ” Emma asked, trying so hard not to sound frightful..

” Hey, hope you’re alright? ” 

” Sure why wouldn’t I be?.” Emma tugged at her lips. She hated herself suddenly for being such a bad liar..

” You’re such a terrible liar. Is so funny how I always get you when you’re lying, but you can’t catch me when I throw an old joke..”

Old joke’  was often what he called his lies. Nashua was right, Emma was such a terrible liar.

” So where you pumpkin? ” 

” Am at Broadway theatre and commercial district. “

” Really? So what’s that red Chevrolet covertt doing right in front of me? “

“What the….” She paused, turning back to look at the red porchse carrea that followed her at a respected distance. “

Emma looked surprised at seeing the car. Sure it’s been hell 2years since he and her got divorced,but she couldn’t hide her surprise at seeing the porchse carrea. She looked at the tinted front glass. She couldn’t see the driver.

“Hey you still there?” Nashua voice sounded like her Echo.

Emma took a deep breath before cursing out loud;

” Hey mother fucker, hope you ain’t no where near my daughter, cause if you’re, you no good piece of shit…”

” You’re so fuckin stupid. Can’t believe you fell for my old joke. So you’re coming to take back Riley? Just pray real hard. Cause when I tell the cops that you kicked out a 9 year old girl from the house, forcing her to come all the way to South park to stay with her dad.”

” I never kicked her out of the house. Stop putting words in Riley’s mouth. “

” Tell that to the judge. I’ve seen bruises and welts all over her face. I’m sure you have such wonderful explanation for those bruises and welts. Perhaps you didn’t beat her, but maybe someone else did, and you’re to fuckin careless to notice. “

Emma felt so angry, although she didn’t know why. A mixture of guilt, hatred and anger mixed together in her soul. Guilt cause she couldn’t look out for Riley. Anger, cause she knew that everything was framed up. Hatred, cause she hated herself for loving Riley. 

You will never get away with this was all she could say, before putting down the phone.

The past

Emma reclined on the driver seat, recalling seeing Nashua and Riley together on the same bed,  kissing each other. They didn’t fret on seeing her, in fact they didn’t care that she caught them. It was supposed to be something done secretly, something that they both wouldn’t want her to find out. Perhaps Nashua knew she’d get over it, or maybe he didn’t care. Emma could never forget that morning. It was the morning when she took her kids to school. Caleb, Riley’s brother was scoping in Rice krispies and liquid milk on a curve glass plate. Next to him was an empty chair with unfinished cereals. Nashua was staring at a sealed package which he got from the mailman. Emma was happy that she didn’t have to go open the door. Her breathe was terrible, like someone who just got out of bed. Nashua was teasing the mailman, about him looking like a penguin. He kissed Riley on the forehead, mumbled Good morning in reply of Caleb’s greeting and hurried upstairs, nodding at Riley as he climbed the stairs.

Emma teased her children school principal, saying that she looked like a fat pant.Caleb did never laugh at his mum’s poor joke, perhaps he was too sad to. It was only Riley’s laughter that filled the air. Riley laughed like her dad; cranky and loud, devoid of emotions. Caleb never did laugh, but if he ever did, it will be so real, like his mum.

Emma drove her kids to school. On that day she saw her husband and daughter on the same bed,she had just sighed and walked away from the room like nothing happened. She got to the car and sat still waiting for her kids to come out. One would never believe that her kids were really siblings. For starters, they didn’t look alike, not for one bit. Secondly they repulsed each other. Thirdly, they avoided each other like plague. It always saddened her to see her two kids knowing what it means to hate. But who could blame them ?

 Caleb carried a black eye around, the stitches on his face, the continuous trauma and rejection he faced at the hands of his Dad. It  was always because of Riley.  His Dad just hatted him cause he was nothing like Riley. He was always abusing Caleb, telling him that his birth was a mistake. That he came out as a result of the numerous affairs his mum, Emma had during her proustite days. Off course he said it in Emma’s face, no hiding. No Euphemism. Off course what he told Caleb were all lies, but he wished it was true. But somehow it became true cause Caleb’s dad, Nashua believed it, so did Emma and Caleb too.  

After Emma dropped her kids at school, trying so hard not to look at her daughter, she blew a kiss towards Caleb’s direction, saying love you dear, and watched them both walk into the school. 

Emma was filled with so much resentment towards Riley. She knew she shouldn’t blame her, after all Riley was merely 9years. 

Emma after dropping her kids, drove off to her Ex- boyfriend, Marcus’ place. He lived at little Tokyo, working in Japanese American Museum. Emma could remember her history teacher, back in high school telling her that little Tokyo in downtown L.A. was  had the highest Japanese American population in North America. He normally calls little Tokyo an ethnically Japanese American district.

Marcus was at the little Tokyo/Art District station soon before the train arrived. Emma had earlier parked her car at her best friend, jenny’s place, although she didn’t tell her where she was going to, neither was jenny interested in knowing.

The drive from the station was a silent one. Marcus turned on the radio so loud to keep Emma from talking. He vowed never to speak to her again after she dumped him for that psychotic dumbass, Nashua. But here they are. Perhaps she was running away from him too.

Emma starred, looking out the window. Soon she felt Marcus arm brush hers lightly. She turned back just to catch his glance on her. He quickly averted his gaze from her, but it was too late. Emma knew he still loved her.

She looked at him, watching him nod his head to an afro beat, blarring from the radio. She took a deep breath before she spoke;

” So how’ve you been holding up?”

Marcus turned and looked at her. She understood that look. That ” Are you for real?” glance. There was so much emotions hiding in Marcus face. Emma could tell from the few seconds he turned to look at her. Hatred was the most obvious. He turned back to look ahead as he drove.. 

They drove to his house. It was evening when they arrived.  Marcus was carefully avoiding Emma. He didn’t make any gestures to her. Whenever she asked for something, he would say, ” on my way “, then go and get whatever she asked for. He didn’t spend less than 3 seconds with her. He never stayed enough to hear her say thank you. He locked his room door so she wouldn’t enter. He couldn’t fall victim again.

3 weeks passed, and Emma did get a call from no one. They all knew she was missing but didn’t care. Then one morning, when Marcus sneaked out and in from the house through the back door to go out like he always does  to avoid her seeing him, although she always sees him, but wanted to play along too, she heard a car tyre screech near the apartment. By the time she looked out the window, the car disappeared.

Emma cursed underneath her breath, as she sat on the couch. Sooner she heard a loud banging at the door. It was desperate. Emma looked through the hole and saw a boy standing outside. She sighed, unbolting the door, and what she saw next shook her. She saw her son Caleb, standing outside with a hobo bag hung across his neck. Was this some kind of joke?. He stood still looking at his mum, long enough for her to see the trickle of blood on his stained white. A deep cut smeared with blood was on his face.

Emma starred at Caleb for some seconds before letting him in.

Caleb sat still on the couch the living room with his hands clasped.Emma could see a line which ran all over his neck. Emma was eager to hear what happened but her son wasn’t in the right spirit. He wasn’t the type that opened up too easily. Emma finally got up to get him a cup of water, when he said;

” He touched her mum. He fucking touched her.”

” what do you mean he touched her? Touched who?” Emma asked.

” Rill…ey..” Caleb stuttered the name with full blown anger… 

The look of confusion was all over Emma’s face. ” Who touched Her? Whose Riley? ” She kept starring at him in confusion, till everything began to click..

” Oh my God Riley! We’ve got to save her..” Emma cried out, forgetting to ask her son how he got here.

“Nah! I hate Riley… I wish she died a long time ago.. She’s a spoilt brat.. I could never forgive her. I pray dad kills her.” Caleb said.

Emma was stunned at her son’s statement but one couldn’t blame him, maybe sure they could.

Caleb then narrated to his mum how he saw Riley and his Dad kissing. He even brought out his phone to show her pictures and videos which he was able to capture.

Emma sat still, as if shocked by Nashua’s behavior. She tried to lie to herself that what happened between Nashua and her daughter was a one time thing. Emma loved lying to herself, not wanting to go on with reality. Emma closed her eyes to the fact that Nashua and her stopped having sex for years now, she always wanted to believe that he must have have had steroids and didn’t want to pass it to her. Emma also closed her eyes to Nashua’s violence. She always wanted to believe that he didn’t know what he was doing. 

Emma helped clean Caleb up. His whole face was bruised and bloodied. His body was no different. Huge bloodied lines ran across his body in a circular motion. His hobo bag contained a gun. Emma discovered this as her son went to use the bathroom. Off course she knew he wanted to use it on Nashua, or perhaps it was for protection as he ran away. The thought of Caleb becoming a murderer nauseated her. She knew she couldn’t talk to him about it, at least not yet. 

As Caleb came out from the bathroom, tying a silk towel, Emma quickly put the gun into his bag and turned back to look at him. Caleb eyes were filled with guilt, perhaps he knew she saw the gun, or he wanted to open up to her.

” Hey son what is it?” Emma asked.

” Nothing mum, am fine..” Emma made a face at him, telling him she knew..

” OK mum, you got me. I stole a gun from dad’s shelve in his study and aimed it at Riley. I wanted to kill her. She was fast asleep on the couch in the living room. As I pointed the gun at her, placating my mind to kill her. I pressed the trigger, closing my eyes, at the same time stopping my ears from hearing. By the time I opened my eyes, Riley was still fast asleep. I then pressed it, realizing that there was no bullet in the gun. I stopped dead, at realizing that I almost killed my sister. I was so scared, yet I wished I did it. 

I went backward on hearing her loud screams, soon I heard my dad screaming too. I saw him running into the living room with a dagger in his hands, as if knowing what was going on. Before I could run, he beat me so bad. He used the dagger to give me a big cut on my neck. I was able to kick him on the floor. He got up and pushed me and I pushed  Riley who fainted. I turned back just in time to see my dad fall down unconscious on the floor. I just ran away after that. ”  Caleb said, standing on the same spot.

Emma was suddenly overcomes with rage. She went over and slapped Caleb viciously serval times. Caleb stood still.

Emma was watching a dog commercial show on T.v. when Marcus came in. It was 11pm. He must have thought she would be sleeping. He wanted to tiptoe into the room, when she said ” Hello “

” Hey! Bought you pizza thought you might be hungry.” He said dropping the pizza on the couch.

“Umm thanks…” Marcus dashed into the room before she could say, ” Don’t think I can finish this. “

Emma heard Caleb’s voice from the room. The voice was in a surprise tune. He saw Marcus come out from the room and lay on the couch in the living room. He didn’t respond to her sorry.

The next morning, Emma called Nashua but he didn’t pick. She called again and again but he didn’t still pick. That morning also, Marcus decided to drive her in his car. He told her to get dressed. Caleb wanted to come too but Emma declined, so it was only the two of them.

Emma saw Japanese men on the road. A particular Japanese man kept waving to her. He strolled on the road with a sickly dog, smiling. The grin expression on his face couldn’t be his. Dark spots were all over his tinted white face. He smiled, revealing a  mismatched set of teeth. The dog he was with was chained on the neck, squirming as if trying to be free.Emma wondered how she saw so much in such a short time. She could remember her history teacher talking about Japantown in America. “All of those towns are in California, ( the other two are japantown, San Fransisco, and  Japan town, San Joe)” he’d say.

Emma didn’t believe him. She had been to San Fransisco serval times, but she never saw any Japanese. Perhaps she never noticed them.

Marcus drove  to Suehiro Cafe, a Japanese restaurant. Emma was greatly surprised at seeing so many non Japanese there. She always thought that they too were racist. They had to be racist. It was what made sense to her. Her history teacher always told them that the world can’t do without racism. “It was part of life. One group dominating over the other, one group enjoying rights and privileges at the expense of another, the dominated group fighting hard to stop being dominated, but they aren’t regarded till they fight so hard. They loose everything in the fight. They give all in the fight, and most times they loose, at times they win. If they win, they live in constant fear of being dominated again.  They do all they can to do all they can to avoid being re-dominated, sometimes, they fight one another, and in the end, they are dominated again.”

Emma felt a slight push on her back and it brought her back to herself. Emma walked closely with Marcus. They pulled out chairs from a table and sat opposite each other. The yellow light in the cafe made the tables and chairs to have milky color.  Emma noticed for the first time that the table she sat on had just two seats. The table next to her had 8 chairs. 

Marcus went to  get what they’d eat. He came back, accompanied by a waitress. The waitress had in a tray 2 plates containing soba and udon.

” They’re Japanese Noddles. They’re lovely, want you to try it.” Marcus said jovially. The waitress smiled. She was Japanese too.

Emma’s face was lit up at hearing Marcus talk to her. A bottle of wine with two glass cups were on the tray. As she was smiling tastefully, She turned sideways turned her phone on on getting a Facebook notification. She opened her Facebook and saw on CNN a little girl and a man on the floor both covered in blood with the heading;

” Girl, identified as Riley was stabbed along side father identified as Nashua.” 

Emma screamed. She didn’t noticed when Marcus who was flirting with the waitress just to get back at her, turned to look at her. He must have been disappointed on seeing that she didn’t notice what he was doing.

Emma kept screaming as she kept reading the news on her Facebook. Pictures of Riley were on the post. Emma didn’t bother about the likes neither did she go to read the comments. She had always dreamed on being on CNN but not like this..







Power!!

I once stayed with this guy, it was my room but I had to accommodate him for a while before he moved over to the hostel. He was kinda family friend, although I never really knew him, but his parents and my parents are good friends. I never really meet his parents before, but my sister knew them. She always described his mum as a woman who gave birth to only boys.  Whenever she talked about them, and I told her that I didn’t know who they were, she would always make a face at me, a face that made me guilty. The boy’s name is Victor. Still is.

Victor began staying in my room weeks after my college resumed. I never knew what was like to have a roommate in my first year, so Victor was kinda my roommate. I did all I could to accommodate him because of my parents. I wanted to proof to them and myself that I’m accommodating.

You’d be surprise that I wanted to proof it to myself too. Here’s why??

Ever since I was little, everyone around me made me believe that something was wrong with me, but they never’d tell me. They call me nasty names like imbecile, mentally derailed and what not. They’d insult my left hand because it was bent, I’d kinda cause that, off course they mostly never told me this in my front, sometimes they’d insult my siblings because of me. My sister would come to my room gravely upset because of me.

Am a weirdo, and everyone around me made me believe that. At school, am almost always alone, expect few times when I mistakenly eavesdropped into a conversation, and then a guy walks comes from nowhere, and start shaking hands with others, most times, the guy won’t shake me, he may just nod at me and either moves away, looking at me strangely, or join in the conversation. Most times, I do never say a word in the conversation. I just stand there for a while, and when am bored, I go away. I’m known to always exaggerate when am arguing, and so people get bored with me, sometimes when I talk, no one responds, and I’d be stupid to go on talking, other times, while am still trying to get audience, another person will start talking, and others will follow suit, drowning my own voice. My ideas were never heard nor taken. I was mostly seen by everyone, including myself as delusional, insane, stupid, not fit. Am mostly drowned in self pity. Sometimes I do wonder why God kept me alive.

Everywhere I go to, there seemed to be this repulsion that followed suit. It was the same both in my church, in high school and now in college. Well it’s kinda better that am in college. Moving on..

Victor and I lived together, though it didn’t last long. He was a tyrant. He’d dominate me in my room.. Yes in my room. He’d call me nasty names like dog, fool (Don’t forget he was still staying in my room). He even went as far as telling my sister’s roommate that I behave like a robot that he could easily control

Once he threatened to lock me up in the room if I didn’t give him money.. MY OWN MONEY? Off course I didn’t, but my sister’s roommate took the money from my hand and gave it to Victor, and began appealing to pity, backing it up with the Bible, off course I knew she said it in fear of Victor beating me up. My ever judgemental conscience began pricking me, and so I left him with the money.

One Sunday morning, he did something bad, and I got fed up and shouted at him to leave my room. He punched the wall( I’d bled if I’d do that although I never try doing it.) My mind kept telling me to back off that he could beat me up, which was so true, but I didn’t listen, I was fed up of listening and so I screamed so badly, shouting at him to leave. I really made a scene that morning, people gathered. Victor left 2 days latter. He kept calling me lion in the sheep clothing, saying that after my mum would tell him that am very quiet… Lol

My point in telling this story is because I’ve come to realize that sometimes venting out power could be the right thing.

It’s so good to have power, but most times, in the name of humility, we allow things that we should dominate rule over us, and we stay quiet. It’s just like  a king in the Bible times being ruled by his subjects. I know, I know, it’s kinda bad, where a king could wake up and kill whomever he feels like killing, make whatever law he feels like making and just keeps acting like a demi-god.. Thank God for democracy… 

But just imagine a king in the Bible times being ruled by his subjects?? Sometimes we need to vent out our power, it could be the easiest way to gain respect. I still keep imagining if I’d for once set boundaries between myself and Victor, he wouldn’t have gone as far as having guts to want to beat me up. 

Sometimes I do wonder why I let Victor do what he did and I came to a conclusion;

” I always felt undeserving”

I always believed that I didn’t deserve the good I had. I always felt I deserved less. I didn’t feel good enough, smart enough or good looking enough to even be loved by anyone, not to talk of being given a room. I always felt my Dad did too much for a none good piece of shit like me.. Lol

Am not saying that we should take kind gestures done by anyone, starting from our parents for granted. No! We should learn to be thankful.

I’d always been told numerous times that people treat you the way you treat yourself.. I never believed it as I often wondered if one could read another’s thought but I figured out that they were right… Victor and my other course mate couldn’t have treated me the way they did If I’d treat myself right. 

But even though I was kind of sheepy with Victor, I do think that    having great powers and still keep cool is the highest form of humility. I mean look at our savior, Jesus Christ.. He had all the power to kill those soliders who crucified him, even before they ever began to in the first place, but he didn’t. Not when he died, nor when he rose from the dead… I mean Jesus Christ,  God himself.. So at times, it isn’t necessary nor right to vent out power, but God too at times do vent out his power…. 
So in summary, something could be right but done at the wrong time and could be wrong and done at the right time.. ( forgive my English)

It’s often said that power is like marijuana. It makes those with it not to think clearly. It makes one feel he owns the world. 

Power can turn someone into a monster. It brings out the ugliness in man. It makes those with it to turn their backs on friends, family and colleagues as they won’t want to mingle with their supposed low class.. Power brings certain Reformation in man.

It’s often said that the best way to know the true character of a man is by giving him money and power..

To get power, one must go to war. It’s the contention for power that has resulted in so many wars both civil and nationwide. Conquest for power is like getting a woman. It’s only the best man that wins. 

Power is like hard drugs. Those who get it can never be satisfied. The more power they have, the desire for more, and thus they do anything to get it. No matter how bad the means of getting it is.

 It’s so sad how the morals of the society has decayed because of quest for power. Innocent people die each day because of power. Children loose their parents, or parents loose their children .

Power knows all victims. Everyone is it’s victim. Both those who fought for it, and most especially, those who didn’t attempt to get it. The innocent mass suffer more than those who fought to get it. It’s really pathetic.. 

Power destroys it’s owners slowly. It saves them for the last…

Truly anyone in power who got it legitimately and still remains humble deserves an award, perhaps a standing ovation. I know it shouldn’t sound spectacular, but in these days, it is really hard to see someone who got into power, especially political power legitimately, then the hardest part, remaining humble, the most difficult. Power changes a man quickly. it’s only meant for the experienced, cause it will quickly destroy the inexperienced who can’t control the changes it brings.

Recently, I’ve begun making new year resolutions, though I know I won’t stick with them for long. When I mean for long, am talking about before 5th of January 2018.. I know it’s sounds crazy. 

I could get myself a goal, which is following my new year resolution till the 6th of January. I know it sounds ridiculous, probably it’s an easy pizzy for y’all, but not for me.. I pray I make it pass the cut this time. I would cut myself a slab of creamy cake if I do..

Speaking of creamy cake, there’s one in my mum’s refrigerator… 😏 

Bye guys I need to run and cut myself a piece before mum finds out.. Well we all know she would anyway and probably ground me for a month… But am still gonna do it anyways… I know, I know, am crazy right??

You came back….

She clasped her hand in Shawn’s as they walked in the silent darkness. Everything was so unusual about the night. It was Christmas, yet she couldn’t hear the frenzied voices of children, neither did she hear the Christmas carol song. As she held on to Shawn, she knew that he’d leave her again, maybe this time for good. She squeezed her hands in his, nudging his shoulders with hers. Everything about this strange night got to her. The chirping of crickets, their long shadows, the distilled air of the night, the falling of snows. She looked carefully at the foot prints they made along the lonely path.

Don’t you just love this night?” Shawn asked..

Is so quiet out here..” 

“Well that’s the point.. At least no one’s screaming teaker treats in my ears, no dumb song is being played about  Santa Claus, you know all this dumb fables we tell kids about Santa Claus climbing in silently through the roof to deliver presents, about how he places those wrapped presents on our Christmas tree, and then he leaves, riding on a flying cart…”

Shawn stopped speaking on noticing the face she made at him. Off course, she needed not to be told that Santa Claus wasn’t real. Perhaps that’s what saddened her, that he knew it wasn’t real and couldn’t act as though Santa Claus was real.

Shawn was talking like her mum right now. Her mum always had explanations for everything. She didn’t believe in anything she couldn’t explain. Her mum never believed in God because she couldn’t explain him. She always wanted to be the adult, always wanting to seem reasonable before everyone, and that’s exactly how Shawn was sounding like, the adult.

 Come on, am sorry. But I really started hating Christmas years back, when I was in the fifth grade. I used to be a huge fan of Santa Claus, always hoping to meet him in person. I wanted to tell him what I wanted as a Christmas gift, which was to make Nancy my girlfriend. I was in the fifth grade, so don’t blame me. I would stutter whenever I was around her, and stare at her, until she clapped her hands to bring me back. Off course I never asked her out, never asked her to be my girlfriend. I felt undeserving and stupid before her. Off course, she passed on before I could ever ask her out.. This happened when we were in the 9th grade. I never got to know what killed her.. 

So on that particular Christmas, I stayed up all night, hiding in the living room. The clock kept ticking, then it was 1am, on the early hours of Christmas morning. I was about giving up and going to my room, when I heard noises. I checked the fire place and looked upward, imagining the sounds coming from up there. I snuck behind a couch as I saw the Santa Claus, that everyone’d talk about. He came out from the fire place, and sneaked to where our Christmas tree was, holding a red bag behind him. He unloaded the presents from the bag. I wanted to go and meet him, but something seemed to glue me to where I was, perhaps I was so engrossed starring at him. Then I saw him remove his cap, and take out his moustache, turning backwards and lo and behold it was my grandfather.

I looked up in disappointment. Then he put back his moustache and cap, noticing my shadows but it was too late. I just got up from my hiding spot and entered my room. His eyes were on me till I disappeared from his sight. When dawn reached, he unraveled himself before everyone. I thought I would see the look of disbelief and shock on my parents, siblings and cousins face, but they smiled distinctively. I was angered at knowing that my family didn’t feel deceived. Later when I told my dad about seeing grandfather posing as Santa Claus, he laughed crankily, telling me that Santa Claus wasn’t real. I felt stabbed in the back. So I’ve been living in delusion. Santa Claus wasn’t ever real. He was just the figment of my imagination. My mum wasn’t happy that my dad told me this. I knew my dad was right. I knew the other of my family members knew. It wasn’t something that should be told. One just had to know somehow. But I didn’t, and ever since then, I hated Christmas, knowing that it’s just fed up lies..” Shawn said..

She heaved a silent sigh as she walked arm clasped with him. She saw him dig his hands into his pocket and passed some brownies to her. He had some in his hand which he threw into his mouth. She wondered if it was right, eating on the road. She didn’t mind again. She threw the brownies into her mouth. They both crunched loudly as they headed for Tiki- Ti bar. Shawn went on and on about how he would order for gumbo.

God! I could really use some gumbo. My feet are killing me in this wack ass shoe am wearing. This sucks.”  He said. She noticed the cold air that came out from his mouth as he spoke. She looked at her bogus sweatshirt. She suddenly felt an urge, she couldn’t explain it, but she kissed him. He didn’t kiss her back, looking all startled. 

They walked together approaching Tiki- Ti bar, when she got a glimpse of the cop she had kicked in the gutt earlier. He looked at her steadily. She made a worried look at Shawn who pretended not to notice.

As they walked, the cop pulled Shawn from behind and kicked him in on the gutts. He kept punching the defenless Shawn on the face. He broke Shawn’s nose. He finally got up.

She looked at the cop as he averted his gaze from Shawn to her.

 You think you can kick me in the gutts and get away with it. I know I can’t lay my goddam hands on no lady, but that doesn’t mean, I can’t beat up your man.. ” He turned back and looked at Shawn and spat on him.

That’s for kicking me in the gutts” The cop said as he walked away.

She grabbed him by the arm and took him up, putting her face underneath her arm as she signaled a cab which took them back home.

Shawn recovered 2 days later. She couldn’t be more glad that he was back to himself. She told him all that happened and he let out a sigh as though it didn’t matter but she knew it did. That cop broke down Shawn’s manly ego. 

Shawn later got dressed, refused breakfast, and planted a kiss on her forehead as he went out to fuel the car. She could sense fear and guilt in him. As he drove out, lots of thought swirled up in her head.

Was he going to fight the cop? Was he going to get killed? Was he gonna knock the cop down with his car? 

Hours later, and Shawn didn’t come back. She called him, it rang but he didn’t pick up. She called him 10 times, it rang like other times but he didn’t still pick. She was angry at herself for loving him, missing him. She was angry at the thought of knowing that her life was incomplete without him. Shawn was probably out there getting drunk, making out with other ladies who weren’t her.

As the night approached, she dashed out of her house. It was hell without him there. She was scared of everything around her. Was she going nuts? She ran out on the streets and dashed forward as if going to Tiki-Ti bar. People were standing around the corners, kissing. She didn’t see them. Perhaps it wasn’t that she didn’t notice, but didn’t want to notice. She didn’t give a fuck about anyone apart from Shawn. Everyone around was cut up in the moment; kissing in the cold, snowy weather. 

As she approached Tiki- Ti bar, she saw the cop that beat up Shawn, the one she kicked in the gut. He came forward, blocking her way. He smelt of drenched sweat and liquor. He smiled naively at her. She saw a man heading towards where she stood with the cop.

Hey John you finally found your lady… Merry Christmas bro..” 

She looked at the cop who blocked her. It was then she saw his name, “John” written on his badge. He spread his arms wide apart. The other cop who kept talking finally stopped talking on noticing that John wasn’t listening to him.

She stood still, knowing that he knew where Shawn was, perhaps they fought and he killed him. She was eager and was willingly to do anything to get him back. She finally pushed back the bubbles in her throat, and spoke;

Hey, it’s a cold night. Please remember the guy who you beat up yesterday, please am looking for him. He’s been out all morning and isn’t back. Am gravely worried about him. Please have you seen him around? His name is Shawn.”

John didn’t reply, he just starred at her. She wondered if John would remember Shawn. Off course she didn’t expect him to. He could have been drunk that night, and the streets lights weren’t so bright. Perhaps John had beaten up so many guys in his life, Shawn merely added to their number. They starred at each other, till John reached out, held her lips and kissed it. She didn’t stop him. When he was done, he spoke

 Shawn drove by. On seeing me standing by, he starred at me. I wonder if he wanted to be sure  it was me. I saw him look well before finally catching my gaze, he turned around and drove away. He didn’t pass Tiki- Ti bar. He must have been scared that I would beat him again or maybe was ashamed and scared of our last fight, but he’d drove away… ” She knew he was right. But if he turned around, what other route could he have used..

Maybe he drove through the woods”   John’s voice echoed in her ears. Then she screamed. John understood what he had just said. He got into a police car with her at the front and they drove to the woods. He stopped close by.

She came out shaking in fear. John brought out his torch and they made their way into the woods. She followed closely behind him. They walked through the steep slopes. Everything in the woods made her afraid.

As they walked together through the lonely path, she noticed a car buried in snow. She screamed and John went closer and Shoved out the snow with a nearby shovel. She knew Shawn was in there. 

The car was upside down. John broke out the front door, and a body rolled out. There and there, She saw Shawn frozen, covered in snow. She knew he was gone. John went back and called an ambulance.

  • *

Every time she stopped by at Shawn’s grave, she cries knowing it was her fault. She wished it wasn’t her fault. She didn’t want to take any blame, that way she wouldn’t feel guilty. 

John stuttered when he saw her at Shawn’s funeral.  He wondered what she would do if she met him. He normally came by Shawn’s grave to drop flowers feeling guilty. He thought Shawn would come by and have a rematch, and then they settle their differences like real men. He never knew some men could be scared and keep running away. John knew Shawn must have driven through the woods, and the car must have slipped off and crashed.

John came by Shawn’s grave, only to find her there. She was looking at an inscription. John stood still long enough for her to spot him. John heart stopped beating for some seconds on seeing her. Fear mixed with guilt logged in his heart. They kept starring at each other, then she motioned at him and he came forward. She turned her eyes towards Shawn’s grave. John clasped his hands in hers, following her gaze towards the inscription, then heard her say;

” You came back only to leave again.”

My hero 

I sat still at the hospital replaying all the events that occurred 2 days ago. I look around, watching as people are being carried on stretchers into the ward room. Everyone around me heaved a grave silence. Even the toddlers seemed to know. Every now and then, a doctor or a nurse would come out from a ward room, and a family member of one of the patients would shove up immediately. It was so sudden, like they’ve been bitten on the butt by an ant. They would hold the doctor or nurse, asking them about how their relative was holding up in the ward. The doctors would push them away gently, telling them that things are complicated, and just go about their business, leaving the family members with fear and guilt hung up on their faces. It seemed rude of them, but someone could be critical condition, requiring immediate attention, such that if that person isn’t attended to immediately, he could die. So yeah they had to keep moving. I know am saying this because no doctor came out from the ward room, where my husband, Han was. I would grab him by the throat if he dare walks out on me without giving me some explanation. Han’s mum, Jenny sat still, her hands tucked in at her sides. I wonder what was going on in her mind. Did she have the same fears too? Did anyone around me have a glimpse of hope of Han surviving? I mean anyone? Han badly needed our faith to make it through the operation.

I looked at uncle Joe, my favorite uncle. He held Mrs. Jenny’s hand loosely. His eyes shut. His mouth moving, but no word was uttered. Perhaps he was speaking outrightly and I couldn’t hear him because I was stuck up in my worry. 

Seeing uncle Joe, I knew Han was gonna make it. I couldn’t explain it, but I suddenly felt calm inside. I felt greatly assured.

My ears popped up by a loud cry. It was so loud. It was filled with grief, fear, anxiety, hatred. A doctor stood close to a man, smiling not too deep. The man pushed pass the doctor and entered into one of the ward room. I sat up wondering why he cried so deeply. Off course someone was dead, but I refused to believe so. Perhaps the person was almost at the point of death, not dead. The man’s cry might be a proof that we all might loose our love ones.

Another guy, sitting opposite me was aghast at the way the doctor relayed the message of his pregnant wife not making it, as though it was good news.

” If I were that guy I would have smashed that doctors’ nose with my fist. He’s a mother fucker.” No one responded. Everyone was caught up with his problems.

I saw the guy, whose pregnant wife didn’t make it being pushed out from the ward room with the help of security men. The guy threw himself on the floor, crying loudly. He tried to push pass the security men but he couldn’t. The security men kept pushing him. Then I saw uncle Joe get up to where the guy was. He signaled to the security men and they backed off. Then he went closer and gave him a huge. It was a cossy warm hug. Uncle Joe’s arm clasped around his neck while the man buried his head in uncle Joe’s body. I sat down, looking aghast, wondering what would be going through the mind of others who sat watching. They would ask themselves if they were gay. For the next 20 minutes, they kept on hugging. The man’s loud sobbing was the only thing that was heard. Everyone kept starring, even the women at the counter. Then uncle Joe pulled off, then the guy walked away with cloudy looks. I saw Mrs. Jenny mutter something as she looked at me.

For the next 3 hours, everyone sat still. I could see the look of contempt with which Han’s brother, Earl looked at me, as though I had caused the accident. Earl had travelled all the way from Huston to attend his brother’s wedding, now turned mourning. Mrs. Jenny’s knees knocked each other repeatedly. She couldn’t sit still. Earl was whispering something in her ear but she looked as though she wasn’t listening. Her mind was where her son lay in the surgery room. It was as though she could see what was going on in there. She screamed loudly more often, then she would hold her lips with her hand, her mouth come wide as if to let out a shout.

2 guys stood up praying, as a lady was carried on a stretcher into the ward room. At first they followed the stretcher till it disappeared in the hallway. Their voice were frenzied as they prayed. They were black dudes, holding a Bible, speaking in tongues as they prayed. They were told to be quiet and shut the fuck up, but they prayed the more, pacing about. Then Earl got up and punched one of them on the face. The black dudes who got punched in the face, lit up angrily. His friend stood in between him, telling him that it was the devil operating.

” Yeah, right. You black dudes are the devil agents. You both look like the devil, so yeah.. Fuck you both.”

The other black dude, continued praying, urging his friend who was damn furious looking at Earl. Soon security men came by and calmed everyone down. The black dude who got punched in the face kept looking at Earl, clenching his fist.The two black dudes didn’t talk to each other again. The other black dude who wasn’t punched was angry at his friend for disregarding God. He didn’t want to listen to any explanation from his friend.

Soon a doctor came out from the ward room and beckoned on us to follow him. Then what I saw next shocked me; my Mum and Dad ran into the hospital. They were all out of breath. Well my Dad coming here was weird cause he was a staunch drunkard. But my mum coming to check out for me was the weirdest. She hated me so much ever since I left her to go live with Dad after they both got divorced. It’s almost 10 years since I began living with my Dad, and ever since then, I never heard from her again. Sometimes,  I do think she’s dead. The only time I do remember she existed was when I watched her on T.V. performing s live in a concert at Tennessee, or at a country club. Once I saw my mum on T.V. delivering a speech at Standford college to all those who graduated from the school. She talked with so much eloquence and grace that for some few seconds I began to have doubts if she was my mum. Perhaps it was her look like. But her name did stack out on the screen..

“Emily Osborne” with an hash tag close by. She was with a man by her side. The man close by wore a black tuxedo with a dark shade and was constantly looking sideways running his finger as if to give a signal. She didn’t mention me or my drunk father in her speech. But thankfully, she didn’t marry either. I knew that. The guy close by was probably her bodyguard or something close to that.

My mum and Dad ran into the hospital. My mum ran towards my direction and hugged me. It wasn’t the normal brief hug. Her arms clasped around my neck. I wonder if my neck would snap.  Her constant are you okay baby? Where you hurt? Filled the air. My Dad stood by watching as if feeling guilty talking to me. He was never there, always at the bar. Cameras were all over the hospital. It was the first time of seeing my Dad sober. Both my parents didn’t hold hands like couples, nor did they look at each other. They both came for one thing: me. Mrs Jenny shook my mum’s hand weakly. She snorted again, rubbing her nose. Earl didn’t say a word to my parents.

The doctor cleared his throat and we all began walking, when I saw some other people walking anxiously. Some of them had grin expressions on their faces, some others more younger were strolling with little children, holding their hands as they walked. 3 of the little children pulled out from their holders grip and ran towards Mrs. Jenny. Mrs. Jenny smiled, hugging them. Then a little girl turned towards my direction and said hi, bringing out her hands to shake me when Mrs.Jenny yanked her hands away.

Earl went and hugged the older people. ” Hey uncle Jude, thought you said you couldn’t make it for the wedding. Aunt Clara you can stop crying, nobody died. We all made it.” He said making a face at me. I turned and looked at starred at uncle Joe’s face it was filled with uncertainty.

The doctor coughed again and we all turned, following him coherently. Nobody asked questions as to where we were going to or why we were moving. Perhaps it was because we all knew. I looked back, noticing Mrs. Jenny whispering in Mrs. Clara’s ear. Mrs Clara made a face at me and turned to look at the doctors with stethoscopes hung on their necks. They were like 6 to 7 doctors walking on a straight line. They weren’t chatting. Their faces reminded me of my very rumbled  Sunday dress that I ironed on a Saturday. It was so rumbled. I could imagine myself ironing their faces.

The doctor led us to the ward room. 2 to 3 patients were lying straight up on the bed. Their legs were bandaged and raised. Syringes were stuck on their bodies. Their hands were also bandaged, with syringes stuck in it. One of the patients, a lady, had her face bandaged. A curtain was used to separate each of the patients bed. 

When we got to where Han was, all I could remember was how he saved me. The memory of the explosion rang in my brain. I could remember how I and Han walked together side by side. We had just finished our wedding and we were all approaching the car. Uncle Joe, and the others were behind, while I and Han went foward. Something  of his fell on the floor. I couldn’t tell what it was, perhaps it was his phone. 

He stooped down to pick it up. I had gone near the car, standing close by, laughing at a joke he whispered in my ear, looking at him, when suddenly he looked up and screamed, then he dived and pushed me away. I was hurdled on the floor. For some second, everything was blurring on my face. Then I heard a loud scream and looked up only to see the huge fire. The three cars that we came with for the wedding, all exploded. The fire was huge. Then I saw Han lay by the fire. I screamed and cried. Some men flung me up, but I pushed myself on the floor. A man finally gave me a hand. From the outlook he looked like Han, not until I looked closer, and then I realized it wasn’t him. Soon an ambulance came by. I saw Han lifted up into the ambulance. I ran after it. They told me to stay back, but I pushed pass them and entered the ambulance. They looked at me and then the ambulance began moving. 

 We arrived at the hospital, uncle Joe and Earl dashed out of a car immediately the ambulance halted. then Han was carried on a stretcher into the ward room. We all followed at a close distance. I kissed him, begging him to wake up. He’d lit his left eye weakly and let out a smile which disappeared immediately. He was still the lion he always was. We were all told to have a sit ad they entered the ward room.

  • *

We all entered the ward room. The doctor in first then we followed suit. I led the way. Then we got to where Han lay. The doctors nodded and  the nurses left his bedside. 

I stood still, my heart beating steadily. I could hear Earl’s rapid breathing. He seemed to stop breathing and then start breathing. Mrs Jenny stood on my right. She used her hands to cover her mouth in shock. She stood still. I could feel anxiety and fear in the air. I could feel the childish excitement mixed with fear on the toddlers faces, same thing Earl had on his face.

The doctor went forward and said in a soft tune;

Hey wake up.. Can you hear me?”

It sounded as my mum exact tone, the tone of despair. I suddenly became furious. Han didn’t need petting, he was and has always been a beast, not a silly pussy. Han didn’t respond, and I was glad he didn’t. He called again but Han didn’t respond still.

I went closer to the bed, pushed pass the doctor, touching his hair, and I said, ” Fuckin wake up you son of a bitch.” I looked back and saw the angry stare everyone gave me. I looked at Han. He then squint his eyes. I wanted to say it but then I looked back and saw his eyes closing. I screamed in despair as I fell on him crying, rocking him violently. His heart stopped beating, he stopped breathing. Maybe it was what I imagined.

By the time I opened my eyes, everyone was starring at me. I stood up, turning to leave, when a hand yanked me down. I turned back just in time to catch a glimpse of his smile. I smiled, then I frowned on his smile. He didn’t give that evil sinister smile, instead his smile held innocence. I pulled back just in time to hear the sigh of reliefs held by everyone.

I turned back and saw Mrs. Jenny’s frown. She must have noticed my frown. She brushed pass me and went to check on Han.

” Hey Hanson.. Am here son.” 

Everyone pulled closer. They kept calling his name, but he didn’t answer. His eyes held pure innocence like that of a baby. Couldn’t they  have noticed that something was wrong?

Han didn’t respond. He just kept starring. It was then that Mrs. Jenny’s grief returned. She must have known too. She cried then looked up at the doctor as if to know what happened to her son. 

Panic soon filled the air. The toddlers began crying  as if they knew too. 

Earl rocked Han violently, in despair. I could see the look in Earl’s eyes like as if what happened to his brother was kind of his fault, but it wasn’t his intention to cause any of this to Han.

Mrs Jenny backed away. She knew. I too knew. Everyone apart from mrs. Jenny stayed near Han’s bed. 

When I called him, he replied

” Who are you? Where am I ?” I backed off, trying hard not to slap him. Was this some kind of a joke?

I heard Han’s name loudly in the air.

” Han! Han!! ” I heard myself screaming. 

 .” He suffered head injury and as a result he has Amnesia” The doctor words flung back at me although I knew. 

But even as I look at him, he’s still the lion he always has been, but most importantly, he was still my man. I pray he knows that…

The bereaved..

  Albert stood still, handcuffed, looking at Mr. Jason, turning back looking at 2 men on dark shades in tuxedos and black pants, looking upward. They were all at the dining section of the huge house.

Albert looked around, noticing how empty the house was. It looked as though no one had lived in there for years. The cobwebs curled round like an electric wire, the ceiling fan spun slowly, making the wa-wa-wa sound. The mansion smelt of death. Maybe it was the thought of dying that made Albert smell death. After 6 months, he was finally caught. 

Albert looked around. Every inch of the house held painful memories for Mr. Jason, but he wouldn’t pack up the family abulms, the portraits, the chairs, T.v., he wouldn’t clear his wife, Becky’s room, even his children’s room. He never wanted to forget that he ever once had a family, never wanted to forget that his family was gruesomely slaughtered in his face, never wanted to forget that it happened durning a family reunion night with his old pops, his  brother, John. He didn’t want to forget that he hadn’t done a thing to Albert the gunman, to warrant him killing his family.

The dining section held the most painful memory. It was where the attack begun. It was where Becky announced that she was pregnant with twins. The way John his brother gave out a stupid smile, and said a loud Amen, sipping his wine and telling Becky to go on believing. Becky smacked John on his shoulder and he poured cheap whisky on his bright white shirt. Jason was so happy. It was a way to end such a wonderful evening, when  bullets began flying through the window, shattering flower vases, windows, broke the glass cups. Becky was on the floor, her bright blue gown was stained with blood, which trailed around her. The endless shattering of bullets popped up in Jason’s brain. He didn’t notice that his wife was shot until he felt wetness on his legs, this was after the bullet firing ceased. Jason peeped before raising his head, slowly tilting it leftward. It was then he saw John lying face down, blood dripping from his face. Jason could see an evil sadistic eye, penetrating through the window. The darkness outside got sinister. For almost an hour or so, no voice was heard. He got a hold of his wife’s cellphone and dialed 911, exhaling greatly, remembering that his children went grocery shopping with a couple who lived few blocks away from where they lived. Jason shouted his dad’s name, but there wasn’t any response. He knew he was dead, but he decided to go check his study room, a place where his dad was fond of and he saw his dad lying dead, a hammer dug in the middle of his face, dividing his face into half. A book covered in blood lay on the floor, opened wide apart while the book was faced downwards. Jason stood still, starring at his dad’s mangled body. He would have kept starring hadn’t Becky’s hoarse voice shook him. He turned back just to get stabbed in the stomach. A man covered in mask dragged him to the dining section. He was knocked out.

Later, Jason would gasp for air as he’s been splashed water. He would see the man standing in his front, voices screaming from behind him. He would hear his wife’s voice as well as his children’s voice. He would think he’s dreaming. The voice would rise again. He couldn’t make out what the voices were saying. It was as though the owners mouths were tied with something to reduce the intensity of their noise and also to make their speech incoherent.

The gunman would finally shift away, and he would see his wife and children bound with heavy metal, with explosives in their mouth, covered with duct tape. The gunman would pause and look at Jason and then at his family.

I ain’t here for no money, I came here to take my revenge, you whites think you’re the only people that know how to kill blacks and get away with it. Your white cops killed my bro with the fuckin execuse that he tried running away when he was caught after robbing a bank. They shot him fifty times. It’s so unfortunate that you and your family are my first victims…. You can stay angry at those cops, at America, at your fuckin self for being a white dick head, but you have no right to stay mad at me, am merely taking my revenge.. You can’t fight fate bro.” He said, pressing a button which resulted in a huge explosion.

Jason watched his family explode. The cries of his wife and children made him more hardened. After the gunman pressed the button and the huge explosion which resulted, something seemed to give way in Jason like the snapping of a tightened bolt. His head did swirl. His eyes entered inside. He looked as though he was highly possessed. The gunman saw a glimpse of his face, and suddenly got frightened. The sinister smile which hovered on Jason’s face sent a message to the gunman who shot him twice on his stomach before running away through the back door. But even the gunman knew that Jason didn’t die..
6 months later, the gunman was caught after another attempt on a white man and his family. He didn’t kill them though. Someone had called the cops before he could.

Jason had seen the gunman in his mask on T.v. and so with the help of a lawyer, he was able to get the judge to grant the gunman bail after the gunman was arraigned in court.  The lawyer spoke in the gunman’s defense. The lawyer then called the gunman whom he got to know as Albert, to his car. As Albert sat at the front seat, a guy chocked him till he became unconscious. 


Albert stood still in his handcuffs which he shook wearily. His lawyer was no where to be found. The men who stood behind him came forward, each grabbing him by the arm. Jason nodded and they went backwards. Jason came forward. 

Albert could see the tears that logged in Jason’s eyes as he starred at him. Albert wondered if Jason would kill him. He had to. Albert knew he was gonna die either ways, either by execution by the states, or by Jason killing him. He wasn’t ready to spend any goddam time in prison before being executed. He wanted it quick, and so when Jason asked him why he killed his family, he spat on him, telling to go fuck himself with his wack ass family, before spitting on Jason’s family portrait that hung on the wall, whereupon, Jason punched him on the face.

come on tush bag, punch me in the face like a man. Take off this wack ass handcuffs and let’s see who the real man is.”

Jason wiped his face with the back of his right arm. An evil sadistic smile hovered on his face, more sinister than when Jason watched his family explode.

Jason came forward, and grabbed him by the arm. Albert tried moving his legs freely but couldn’t as his legs were handcuffed also. His cursed under his breath as he walked slowly.

The first place Jason went to, holding Albert by the arm, with his two men behind was the kitchen. It was opposite the dining. A strong stench filled Jason’s nose. It was as though it was the smell of a dead rat that have been left unattended for weeks now, probably months. Albert could see long knives hung on a shelve. 2 double edged swords were kept in the wall, covered by a glass. ” Things should get pretty interesting. ” Albert said, watching Jason break up the glass, taking the double edged swords, looking at both of them. He would bring it closer to Albert, viewing his face from both swords. He glare up, his face filled with fury. Albert would be happy. One cut and he was dead. Albert would start cursing Jason’s wife, Becky, saying loudly how he cut her stomach open, then he would laugh about it. Jason would get so enraged, then look at the swords, then look at Albert. He would come closer to him, and place the sword in the middle of Albert’s forehead, looking at him, then turning back, heading to a shelve and bring out a cup. He would pour a glass of wine in the cup, adding a white substance.

Albert would watch Jason come with the drink, an evil smile hovering on his face as he gives Albert to drink. Albert uses his face to hit the cup, and some of the drink splashed on Jason’s face. Jason nods, and his two men force Albert’s mouth open. Albert tries to free himself but to no avail. He Shook’s as Jason pours the drink into his mouth. He tries to spit out the drink, but he can’t as someone holds his nose, forcing him to swallow.

Albert coughs loudly as the men lay off him. He shook violently, watching Jason silent stare like he was experimenting something. Albert feels a sudden weakness in his body. His eyes closes slowly, though he tries serval times to keep them open. He starts staggering, not able to hold himself any longer, then he falls to the ground.

Jason nods again, and his men pours water on Albert who shook. He is pulled up. Jason comes forward, pulls at his cheeks, then squints a little. He turns back, takes a fry pan filled with red hot fried oil which he removes from fire and splash it on Albert. Albert screams were so sudden. It was expected, yet so sudden. The two men who tried holding Albert, where hurled to the ground. Albert screamed shouting his eyes, till Jason came over, smiling and pulled away Albert’s hands from his left eye. He tried to pacify Albert,saying it’s okay, as he rubbed Albert’s left eye with his very peppery hands. Immediately, Albert would jump up screaming, pushing Jason away, running back and front, but knowing no where to go. He would hit himself on something as he ran all over the place. Finally Jason would hold his grip tightly. Albert would try to break free only to be held again by Jason’s men.

Albert was literally dragged upstairs. He tried to break loose from their grip, but to no avail. He was behaving like someone whom a demon spirit was cast out from.

Jason would enter his wife’s bedroom, followed by his men, dragging Albert along. 

Albert couldn’t see a thing, neither could he make out what they were saying. He was so weak. He couldn’t stand on his 2 legs, he could do nothing. He just lay there, remembering the flashes of his smile as he exploded Jason’s family. Becky’s screams still rang in his ear.

Jason looked around Becky’s room, and began sobbing. It was so quiet, yet it held strong emotions. He looked around. Everything in here held something so strong. It was as though Becky’s spirit was out here somewhere.

He looked at the bed. It was still the same way it was 6 months ago. The pillows were on the floor. The bed cover was flunged sideways like someone just got out of bed. A old bottle of champagne was on top of a wooden shelve with an old glass cup by it’s side, having a little of the liquid in it. Jason remembered that night. The night before Becky was killed. The night he and her kissed each other drunkenly. She was on top of him. They lay on the bed, stack naked, their warm bodies touching each other. Becky poured the champagne in a glass cup, drank from it, before putting the cup on the shelve. Jason took the bottle of champagne, and poured it into Becky mouth, some of it landing on the bed. Before she yanked the bottle from him drunkenly and poured it straight into his mouth. Every desire in them came alive as they kissed each other drunkenly. 

Becky took another bottle of champagne and popped it into her, before pouring it into Jason’s mouth. Their bed was soaked. They began pouring the remains of the champagne on each other, screaming loudly, naked, forgetting whom they were or where they were.

Jason cleaned a tear that fell on his chin as he starred at the empty bed. Then he heard Albert moan. A furry rage weld up inside him. At that point he wanted to kill him. He ran and took the bottle of champagne that was on the shelve and broke it on Albert’s head. A liquid gushed out, accompanied by shattering of glasses. He used a piece of the shattered glasses to Pierce Albert’s face deeply. He ran the piece of glass round Albert’s face. He heard Albert excruciating screams.

Albert walked drunkenly and weak. His legs swept the ground. The pain on his face and head was gruesome. A brightly reddish stain kept pouring on his hand and on his bright white shirt. He couldn’t make out what was being said, all he could remember was how his brother, Andi was killed. He and Andi were coming from a bar in the night, when a black dude on hoods ran pass them. The cops ran, shouting ” He’s on the loose.” They shot at his direction immediately he ran pass Albert and Andi. Andi saw the cops approaching and shot at them, in defense of the black dude, whereupon the cops shot him many times. Albert stood, watching the numerous bullets flying on his brother’s fallen body. The main culprit was found dead by the side of the road. Andi was believed to be part of the gongs that robbed a bank. The sound of the bullets vibrated in Albert’s head. He screamed loudly as he heard those sounds. It was as though it was now he was seeing his brother’s death for the first time. As though what he saw in real life was an illusion.

Jason went to Dan, his son’s bedroom. It was left the way it was 6 months ago. His bug experiment was on a separate table, faraway from the bed. His lab coat was hung on the chair, facing the table. The smell of a dead animal filled the room. It was his dead frog. The frog’s body still looked fresh due to the chemical that preserved it.

A picture of LeBron James in a yellow Jessy and yellow shorts with a black leggings, wearing a black canvas and white stockings, holding a basketball was on the wall. He was Dan’s favorite basketball player. While cavaliers, the team Lebron James played in was Dan’s favorite team. Dan always wanted to be a basketball player. He wanted to play alongside LeBron James, but all those dreams and hopes were dashed away.

Jason could remember how often he and Dan practiced together. Upon how tall Jason was, Dan always knew how to collect the ball from him. Dan was a super fast runner. He could run a really long distance and wouldn’t gasp for air. Jason saw various trophies which was kept in a glass collection. They were 10 trophies altogether. He won 5 at midwood high school, while he won the other 5 at Xavier high school. He could remember once after Midwood high school beat Francis Lewis high school in the finals of a basketball championship match. The score line was 63- 61, how he came out with Becky to lift the cup with Dan. It was the first cup the school ever won prior to Dan’s coming. It was also the first trophy the school awarded him as the best basketball player in the match.

Jason and Becky were the first parents that came out to join Dan and his other classmates to snap with the trophy. By their example, other parents followed suit. Dan was also awarded a scholarship through college. His  father had filled in Standford college for him. 

The thought that Dan never lived to enjoy all of those things made Jason sad but it was the thought of how life moved on after his family’s death that made him very angry. Jason was angry with himself for moving on with life. A 2 days standstill wasn’t given for his family. Yeah it was true that family and friends joined him to grieve, but the next day it was, All ye Israelites to your tent.”

Jason called his wife’s siblings and most of them were sounding normal like nothing happened. In fact, one of them was taking his family to New York  for the summer break. He said it was to clear his head which was true to some point. Jason got so mad that he ended the call. Dan’s school still continued existing as though forgetting the boy who made their school famous. Although the principal of the school sent condolences to Jason, yet it wasn’t enough. They couldn’t just mar his memory just like that. It was just unforgivable.

Albert sneezed out loudly due to the numerous dust in the room, whereupon, Jason dragged him by the collar and smashed the glass collection with his body. Jason took all the trophies and broke them all on Albert. He poured an Acid on Albert’s face, making his face seem mangled. He broke the glass cup containing the acid on Albert. Then he took Dan’s nearby guitar and broke it on Albert. He further took a heavy padlock nearby and used it to smash Albert’s forehead. He poured the content of Dan’s frog experiment on Albert. 

Jason dragged Albert to one of the rails of the stairs. It was where he and Becky bent down to talk. He threw Albert from there. Albert screamed loudly as he landed on the center table. Jason would run down and grab Albert by the leg. His men would raise him up. Jason  dragged him to the bathroom, where he pulled off Albert’s shirt and flog him with a clog, using every rage and muscle in him. Albert would be bleeding on his back. A huge scar was left on his back as well. The scar was like a line that divides his back. He would pour water on him  through a bucket. Then he would electrocute him. Albert would scream loudly, vibrating. He would shake until Jason turned it off.

Albert coughed and gasped continuously. He could still feel the electric running through his body. He was dragged into a room. He was placed on a bed, his arms and legs tied differently. Jason looked at Albert and touched his hair. He nodded and his men went and brought a bolt cutter and a welding machine. Jason quickly took out Albert’s fingers with the bolt cutters, then cut off both legs with the welding machine. Jason also took out Albert’s toes with a ten- steps. The hammer with which Albert used in murdering Jason’s father, was used viciously on Albert’s fingers before they cut the fingers off. Albert kept screaming. It was the only thing he could do. Albert was dragged outside where he was buried alive by Jason’s men. He was cast in there like a trash, and buried alongside  Jason’s family portrait.

Albert was inside there till he died. He was never sought for again. There was no food nor water. He lay there 6 feet’s, buried under heavy stacks of sand, in pain, suffocating and being bitten viciously by termites and other insects, combined with the excruciating pain he felt. He will be sure glad to pass out. This was way worse than prison….


 


Just Lucky I guess….

George sat down, chewing a bubble gum. It was what he did all day at work, apart from cleaning the lobby at the water grills restaurant. The men bathroom was always neater than the ladies room, where one will see pads with period stains on the floor. George never got used to seeing the moulded feaces in the toilet. Some times, they stuck at the side of the toilet. George would poke at it, using a stick nearby. Sometimes bubble gums were stuck somewhere, and George would step on it and have his shoes all sticky or sometimes, he may stuck it in his fingers by mistake. 

Strong smell of urine mixed with a strong bad smell which came from the soak away always greeted George as he open the men’s toilet. It was as equally bad as the female toilet only that they weren’t wrinkled pads filled with period stains on the floor, and sometimes,  a guy might drop his wallet on the floor by mistake or a couple of folded Crumbled dollars might be on the floor as he or any other guy cleaned. The other guys called him lucky cause he was always the one finding stuffs. George had a friend Andrew, who always got free meals. He was pretty good at swapping food, or maybe he had someone, probably his gf, Katie who snuck in food for him. She was a slim, tall lady with huge zits all over her face. She didn’t slim down on purpose, she slimed down cause she had no other choice. George wonders how they pay all the bills and still live life. George was housed by an elderly couple, a devoted Christian. One of those who spoke to him about Jesus. He only agreed to be a Christian so he could live with them. They were Catholics. He followed them to Mass on Sundays and on other weekly days. The last Sunday was palm Sunday where they took the communion. He would see the priest in his over sized robe, wearing glasses, hung a crucifix on his neck, holding a crucifix in his hand which people went turn by turn to kiss. A towel was placed somewhere for people to use to wipe their mouth mark left on the cross. It was so sacred. It had to be sacred. He heard people sobbing, though not outrightly.

These old couple stayed at home all day expect when they go to church or when they go to a friend’s  place. The old man got pensions as a retired army man. Photos of him in his army uniform were on the walls. The house he lived in was built about 20 years ago by his son which they lost to an accident. He with his wife. His child was taken away to a welfare home. Martha, the old lady told him earlier. 

George’s life was no better. He was kicked out of the house by his mum for rapping his sister. He had become whom he hated the most, his Dad. He grew up seeing his dad always coming dead drunk from work, and beating his mum senseless. He hated his dad real bad that he always fantasies killing him. He grew up with that hate growing like a big lump in his heart. 

One night, he tied a rope to a knob in his dad’s bathtub and tied it to a radio which his dad placed on the shelve above. His mum had prepared his dad favorite foamy bath earlier making the bathtub all foamy. George  made the rope so loose so when his dad kick it, the radio will fall in the bathtub and electrocute his dad. It was a  successful trap. His dad was electrocuted to death. No one ever knew what had happen, cause as soon as his dad died, George cut off the rope. His mum never came to the bathroom whenever his dad was their. She was so scared of him that she tiptoed whenever she heard his car tyre screech in the garage. She would hide in the basement so that he wouldn’t see her. His Dad could never beat George or his sister, Lisa, cause they would hide in their neighbor’s house until he was fast asleep, after which he will be sober. He will then start looking for them, and soon George’s mum will appear first, taking sometime to talk to him, to certify that he was sane so she would call her Sherry, her next door neighbor, whom her kids stayed with few hours to when George’s Dad came home, while her husband had his evening bath.

George became a drunk after his Dad’s death. His hatred for his Dad consumed him so much that he began drinking to relieve himself off the pain. His mum began doing house cleaning work. She arrived home so late in the night, giving Lisa enough time to stay at Aunt Sherry’s house with her bf, James,  George would hangout in the bar for a while, before his friend, Andrew took him to his car, and drove him back to Sherry’s house. He would drop him by the door, bang the door, and run out just in time for Lisa to see him. Aunt Sherry and her would carry him inside, dropping him at the couch. None of them told George’s mum, who came back later in the night to pick her kids and thank Sherry.

One evening, George came home dead drunk. Aunt Sherry wasn’t at home, neither was James. They both went to Boston, so Lisa had to stay at home. George pulled her back as she opened the door, and tore her white silk pyjamas, with flowers drawn at the edges. He unbuckled his leather belt. She could have escaped, but she didn’t. He lay on top of her. She didn’t scream, couldn’t scream. Everything in her stood still. George couldn’t stop. It was as though he became whom he hated; his dad. He was pushed back by his mum who kicked him out of the house. She looked as though she stood still, watching as though it was her husband. She pushed him out of the house, threatening that if he ever’d come back, she will run him over to the cops. He knew she meant everything she said. At first, he sat near the house, watching his mum go out of the house without saying a word to him. When he tried knocking on the door, she called the cops for him. But he was able to escape. He lived on the streets, before the old couple took him in. He got his Janitor work at water grills through the help of a close friend of the old couple, there he meet Andrew and Katie, and others.

  • *

George stuck the bubble gum on his seat as he got up to go and clean the  male lobby. A man had just strolled in to use the lobby. He’d see Katie carrying a tray of pilled up dirty plates. He winked a smile at her. She winked back. 

George walked absent minded, focusing on Katie’s ass as she walked. He bumped into the guy who had come to ease himself. The man shoved George away, not responding to George’s mumbled sorry. George watched the guy walking briskly and slumpy at the same time. He looked like one who could easily be thrown off. But instead he threw people off. Having great stamina, he eased his way through the door.

George walked into the male lobby. The lobby didn’t smell so bad as it normally does. The floor was still clean, though he could see foot prints on them. The lights in the lobby seemed to flick. George moved closer till he got to the sink, with a large mirror built by it. The light in the lobby gave out a brightly brown color. George looked by the side of the sink and saw a phone lying there. He kept on starring at it. He knew the Christian thing to do was to leave it there, or hand it over to management for identification. But he always told himself that the Christian thing wasn’t always the right thing. One could loose a huge opportunity in the name of honesty. As he starred at the iPhone 7, wondering how to placate his mind into agreeing that finders are keepers. He knew his mind will give in. It was the same way his mind troubled him whenever he took a wallet from the lobby. His mind will keep troubling it till he loudly says shut the fuck up, or plays a music through his headphone, if neither works, he would try arguing with himself, giving himself serval reasons why taking something from the lobby wasn’t stealing. He could always return the missing items if sought for by the owner. Perhaps the person claiming to be the owner wasn’t the actual owner.

George finally took the IPhone 7. He tucked it in his back pocket, as headed outside, then shutting the door back on hearing the loud banging of gunshots. He’d see from the half opened door, a group of men masked. They banged things on the floor. They began heading towards the male lobby, once one of the guys said that he could feel a strong signal coming from the lobby. George climbed out through the window and ran till he got to the road. He entered a cab. He sat at the back seat. When the driver asked him where he was going, George replied; “Just drive the fuckin car.”

 The driver drove, looking at him through the front mirror. He drove slowly. George brought out the iPhone and swiped it open, surprisingly, there was no passwords. As he looked at the phone, he heard a big bang. He knew it was the tyre. The driver kept swaying till he drove into a neatly parked Jeep. George tried coming down from the car, but the door was stuck. His nose was bleeding as he hit the front seat as the cab crashed into the Jeep.

Soon 3 men heavily masked, broke the back door window and pulled him out of the cab. George couldn’t struggle. He was too weak to. He was too weak to grasp what was going on. He was thrown into the back seat of a trunk which drove away.

George was half woken up by the sound of a noise. It looked like the noise of a plane,swirling in the sky. He was finally slapped to consciousness. He rubbed his eyes as he woke up.

” Hey, Manny the dude is awake.” The man said.

“Jimmy, thought I told you not to wake the dude… Master won’t be too happy with you.” Manny said.

” Gosh you guys are ass holes… Who woke this dude? …(Hearing footsteps through the stairs).. Now he comes.” Kin said.

” Everyone hide…” Kin said. Instinctively, they all jumped to hide, but it was too late, master entered.

Nelson, the master is an old time drug dealer. He runs  casinos in Oklahoma, and in Puebla He runs another casino in Russia. Millions of dollars in huge heaps were stacked up in a big room in each of the casinos, closed up by a huge iron door. To open the door, one needed to type in the correct password, which were in binary digits.

Nelson came in, holding a gun. 2 men where behind him in black suits and black pants with a dark shade, each holding a gun and standing like statue. 

Manny came and slapped George on his face, shouting, ” Wake up asshole.”

Nelson fired a quick shot in the air and Manny backed off. He went closer towards George and slapped him again twice. He’d see scars on his face, like he was terribly beaten with clogs.

George saw him raise his face up.

” Listen Joe… Punk ass! Hope you know you’re gonna die?, I paid you 5 million dollars to deliver those tons of cocaine to those rich Russian dude. I took you in my fuckin car to  so you can help me deliver them. Gosh I thought they were gonna kill you once you hand over the drugs. But I didn’t know that you’ve been fuckin working undercover as a cop.. So you’ve been playing me all along, posing to be one of my men. I saw the cops shoot my clients as you handed those drugs, and you brought out your gun and shoot 2 of my men. You must have thought you shot me, but I escaped, and then I killed your whole family. Am sure you must have wondered how my men located where you and your family were. OK let me tell you Dumass. We tracked you through your IPhone… ” It all made sense to George now. George remembered seeing that man who ran in and ran out of the lobby. He could remember seeing the IPhone on the sink. The man must have dropped in their on purpose so that someone else will take it and Nelson and his gongs will go after the wrong guy.

George could hear Nelson’s cranky laughter. He stooped down, looking at George who was chained to a wall.

” Cut off his toes and fingers, make sure he never uses them again. Then lock him up in a cell, and starve him to death.” He said, standing up.

George screamed loudly and  Nelson turned back to look at him. It was then he discovered that the person wasn’t Joe. He ordered his men to stop and went closer to look at the guy. George looked up in fear. 

Manny shouted ” Hey, kill the punk ass! Why’re you all standing like…. His face turned red on seeing Master’s furious face.

” Now go ahead, complete the statement.. ” Manny felt his stomach at his throat. The men standing by Nelson brought out their gun to shoot, but Nelson stopped them. Manny exhaled with a deep breathe. He wondered how he didn’t say sorry. If he had, he would have been dead.

” You guys captured the wrong dude, and made me travel all the way from Russia to come here, and now this? What I should do is to kill you all right?” Nelson said.

” Sir, we’re sorry… We promise to make up for what we did. ” Kin said.

All the men stood still. ” You guys are sorry, right? ” Nelson asked.

” No sir we aren’t.. Sorry can do no fucking shit… We are all punk ass. ”  Jimmy said.

“Yeah sure y’all are..” Nelson said. His men pointing a gun in Jimmy’s direction. Jimmy stood still, mustering every courage he could gather. After some minutes, Nelson nodded, and soon, Kin was shot dead.

” Now  I’ve heard your sorry… Sorry punk ass. ” he said turning around towards George who sat still watching everything.

” I don’t know what to do with you Jackass. Maybe I should kill you. ”

” Maybe you should. But I sware to God if you release me, I won’t run you over to the cops. ” George said.

” Maybe you will..” Nelson said.

” Maybe I fuckin will..” George said. Nelson laughed heartily. Manny and Jimmy wondered why Nelson laughed. It was the first time he ever laughed genuinely. He pointed and nodded at his men, and they loosen George who got up.

” You my friend are a fuckin criminal.” Nelson said, shaking hands with George and they gave each other knuckle chuckio.

” Be careful of my friend here, he’s a criminal. ” Nelson said as he left, followed by his two men.

George looked at Manny who stared at him. ” Come let’s get you out of here.” He finally said.

” I need to urinate..” George said.

Manny finally took him to an old abandoned bathroom. The door were opened ajar, completely pulled from the hinges. The bathroom was slimy. The bathtub was really dirty, with a dead mice and serval cockroaches lying around it. The tiles were completely covered in black stains, so were the walls. The shower was pulled out, lying in the bathtub. George wondered what he would see inside the toilet. He closed his eyes as he urinated. It felt so good. He farted as he zipped up. He heard Manny saying something that he couldn’t make out.

Manny shoved him aside as he went to ease himself. George stood behind him. He saw Manny’s right pocket. He knew something was inside it. He quickly took it, and pushed back. He looked at the wallet in his hand, which he hid in his ass.

Jimmy finally took him to a sidewalk, dumped him there and zoomed away quickly.

George finally got up. He could feel the weight of the wallet in his ass, and so he dug in and brought it out. He looked at it and opened it and saw an ATM card. He looked at the bank. The name of the bank was well Fargo bank. He stopped a cab and asked him to take him there. The cab driver told him that it was at 333 s spring, L.A. George didn’t reply, he just entered and the driver took him to Well Fargo bank. He paid the driver and he drove off. George first went to check the ATM machine. He inputted the ATM card in the machine. He looked inside the wallet and saw a piece of crisped paper, containing the name of the account and the password. He typed in the password to checked how much was in there. The amount freaked him out. It was 4oo million dollars that was in there. He quickly went into the bank and after singing some papers and answering few questions about the account, he was finally given all the money. He held the cheque looking at the 400 million dollars written on it. He kept looking at the zeros. He finally dropped the wallet at a corner and left. He couldn’t be more happier with himself, knowing that his life had changed. He quickly went to an airport, beat up a guy who was about traveling, locked him up in one of the toilets in the lobby, pulling off his pants and sit him on the toilet so it’d be like he was using the toilet. He wore the man’s dress and shoes, shaddy glasses, and even took his ticket , and his phone which he switched off, throwing it in the trash can nearby. He finally went back and took a seat as a lady kept calling the names. George had no idea about the name of the guy whom he knocked out. So when the lady called Richard Spenser, George didn’t respond, until the lady told a guy nearby to quack him by the shoulder. George looked at him, and then the guy said; ” You’re up next.” 

George went in and looked at the lady who went on and on about how he kept disturbing her about when the plane will be ready to move, but now that his name was finally called, he didn’t still answer. He mumbled sorry and entered the plane.

Manny and Jimmy finally went to the airport. He checked the tracker that was placed on George. He knew he was there. He couldn’t believe that George had stolen the wallet, till Jimmy got a notification from the Well Fargo bank that someone had taken all the money from the account. At first, when he tracked the wallet, it led him a 16yr old boy who had picked it up. They tied up the boy’s mum and asked him to give them back the money, pointing a gun on his mum’s forehead. The boy, frightened, tells them that he picked the wallet at a corner on his way from school, and that it was empty. Manny then called the cashier asking her to describe the guy who had come to withdraw the money. Immediately, she sent a picture of George to him. Then they left the frightened boy and mother.

Manny had put a tracker on George when they first captured him, so they were able to track his location.

As they finally got to the airport, looking for George, they met the lady, and showed her a picture of George, but she denies seeing him, telling them that passengers had already boarded and where ready for take off. They pointed a gun at her, telling her that they tracked him here.

Jimmy finally looked sideway and sees the plane door shut. He asked her where the plane was landing and she tells them that it was gonna land in London. Manny tells her to call security services. Jimmy stood behind him.

Soon, Manny heard ” Drop your weapons or I shoot.” It was the cops. At the same time, he heard The flight attendant from the plane saying;

” All on board!! Passengers take your seats, we’re heading to London. ” As the plane began moving.