She hugged his body close to hers, hoping that her warmth and tears would keep him alive. He could not go like this, he did not deserve to die like this. Tears streamed down her eyes, her wail as heavy as her heart. She could not let him go, not like this.
… Two days ago …
“Kola, how do I look?” Ebi asked.
She had on a simple yellow gown that brought out the brown of her eyes, her nappy hair was packed up in a bun, and she had on a simple but classy slippers.
“You look like wife material.” He answered.
“Are you sure? I’ve never met your mother, and I really want her to like me.”
“You look perfect Ebi. There is nothing not to like about you.” He wrapped his arms around her waist pulling her back to his chest then began to sniff her neck.
“Kola we are not having sex now.” She coyly pulled away. “By the way next week you have to meet my mother too. She said she is tired of only hearing your voice. That she also wants to see you.”
“Sure, I should be on leave next week. But are you sure your mother will like me?”
“You are Perfect Kola. What is there not to like about you?” She kissed him.
Her childhood was hell. Her mother had intentionally had an affair with a married man and birthed her. Then the man’s wife found out and made it her life’s mission to destroy them. She influenced her mother’s boss to sack her, influenced the land lord to issue her a quit notice, and sent robbers to rape and harass them. Her father tried to help. He got her mother a new job and a new place but his wife would always find out and find them. Then every time she was done she would appear before them to gloat and swear under the sun to break them. After she turned fifteen her mother finally gave in. Cut connections with her father and moved to a new state to start over.
‘Bad things don’t happen to good people more than once.’ Her mother had always told her. Even though she would not classify her mother as a good person for starting the troubles, she had kept that as her motto. No matter what she faced she would chant to herself “Bad things don’t happen to good people more than once.’ Then she would get back up and her luck would change.
Right now she was about to have her happiness with the man she loved. The door opened to let them in and they followed the maid into the grand sitting room.
“Woaw, your parents must be loaded.” She whispered.
“You have no idea.” Kola laughed.
“What if they think I’m a gold digger?”
“Stop worrying about unnecessary things.”
He pulled her close to himself as they sat on the settee.
“Sorry. For keeping you waiting. Your father is on his way down. It is so hard getting that man to wake up these days.” Kola’s mother walked down the stairs to greet them.
Ebi got up, knelt and greeted her with her head bowed. “Mummy good morning.”
Kola’s mother smiled at her son and hugged him. “Kola its been so long! You finally decided to come home! I’ve missed you so much?”
“E kaaro mummy. I missed you too. But my fiancée, you ignored her.”
“Will I not greet my son first?” She laughed then went to pull the girl up. “Welcome Omm…
The two women’s eyes met and they knew who the other was. The witch who hated her and the plague which refused to disappear. ” Ebi! Omo Comfort! You are my son’s fiancée. Ah! You and your mother have killed me! You and your mother this is your plan abi?” She cried. “You think because I left you alone you can now start doing any how? You think I did not know where you lived? Hey! Now you want my son! Over my dead body!”
Seeing the face of the woman who introduced her to pain, brought back long suppressed memories. She remembered how the thugs had raped her and he mother when she was fifteen and how the woman had shown up to brag about it. She shook with fear and hatred, not sure which was making her cry. She turned to her fiancé. He was the son of the witch, he was her half brother, but most of all, an offspring of the two people she hated most in the world. She grabbed her bag and made for the door. He stopped her but the look in her eyes, the hatred made him recoil.
Ebi filled up her bags as fast as she could, she needed to get away from Kola. After she leaves she would return home to her mother then they would run away again.
“So you are my half sister.” Kola said walking in.
She kept quite and continued filling up her box.
“So you are just going to throw away everything because of this! Nobody needs to know we are related Ebi!” His voice rose.
She zipped up her box and pulled it to the door. But he stood in her way.
“Kola the last thing I need to see right now is you. Leave! Kola leave me now!”
“You are not going anywhere.” He cried. As she watched him cry her hatred towards him began to melt and she cried too.
“Kola you don’t understand. I have to leave here before your mother kills me.”
“Please. I don’t understand anything. At least explain it to me. I want to understand.”
Everything she had ever wanted to say, everything that had weighed her heart down piled on he tongue, her legs became weak and she fell into Kola’s waiting arm. The tears never stopped falling from both their eyes as she told him everything His mother had done. Then they fell asleep.
“Kola. I don’t feel safe. I feel like my mother is in danger.” She said “I need to go home.”
Kola opened the curtains to let in the sunlight. He had spent the night comforting her. He could not believe that his mother was capable of such evil. But he could not doubt the love of his life. There had to be some other explanation. “Let’s go…
Ebi’s phone rang. She reluctantly picked it. “Hello?”
She put the phone on speaker.
“…Ebi, Ebi, did you miss us? You thought you could run away forever?” She recognized the voice. It was the man who took her virginity. “I’m on my way to you and your boyfriend’s house now. By the way. Your mother asked me not to hurt you before she died. Is it not funny? For an old woman she was still a good fuck. We are looking forward to having fun with you. Just like the old days.”
The couple remained frozen for a few more minutes after the call ended.
“My mother is dead.” Ebi began to cry. She got up and sprang for the door. But Kola stopped her. Then called the police. “They will be here soon. He assured her.”
The police were on their way yet she felt troubled. The police had never helped them. She knew she should run, but she wanted to trust Kola that everything would be okay.
“Ebi, are you in there?” She heard it. The voice of the man. Several gunshots followed his voice and the door opened.
“We meet again. Beautiful Ebi. I have missed you and your sweet pussy. This is the man you’ve been giving it to ehn?” He dragged her from Kola who put up a fight, but he was no match for the five men.
“The police are on their way! They should be here any second!” He shouted.
“I see. It’s a pity Ebi. We wanted to show you a good time before you joined your mother.” He pointed the gun at her and fired.
“O boy! Na him son you shoot.” One of the men shouted.
Kola had shielded her just in time. He had taken the bullet for her. The thugs, shocked, hauled ass but were stopped at the gate by the police.
The thugs wasted no time in snitching on Kola’s mother. At first she denied any involvement with them, but when the evidence stacked up against her she became defiant. Then the police told her that her son had been shot and that he was dead. Her nuts screwed loose, she went mad. She bragged about everything she had done and vowed to do more.
Six months Later in Abuja.
“Mummy. Here is your tea?” Ebi handed a mug of hot tea to her mother who was on a wheel chair. The thugs had raped her until she passed out. They thought she was dead so they left.
“Thank you. But I’m tired of always drinking tea and sitting at home. Let’s go out today.”
“You know we can’t go out like that. I’m eight months pregnant.”
Shout out to Mustapha Garba for giving me this title as a challenge. This is one of my favourite challenges