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This is your very first post. Click the Edit link to modify or delete it, or start a new post. If you like, use this post to tell readers why you started this blog and what you plan to do with it.
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. “
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;
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.
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
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
” 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??
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.
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..
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??
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.”