Guilt wrapped Macaulay’s heart, he couldn’t eat , sleep or think straight for three straight days , he would be pacing the room all day and night , he took his and dialed Lora’s number, but before she would pick he cut it off. Lara was scared he would leave her .
“Macaulay what are you thinking about ? Why are you pacing up and down as if a war is to break today.”
Macaulay ignored her .
“Macaulay you have not taken your bath nor eaten any solid food for three days , do you think alcohol can take away your problems?”
Macaulay didn’t want to let the monster gnawing at his soul out , because it would be catastrophic.
“Macaulay I’m talking to you! The soup I ordered for us is getting cold you have to eat.”
Macaulay had have enough of Lara’s nagging.
“Can you shut up and let me think ? Are you a human at all? Are you sure you’re not deprived? How could you act as if all is well? You have no conscience? I am terrified by your outright coldness as if there’s no humanity left in you .”
He squeezed his fore head to see if the migraine headache chewing at his brain could disappear, but Lara’s rumbling mad him need the peace and tranquility of a mental asylum .
“You were mine to begin with! She stole you from me…”
Macaulay wouldn’t allow another madness from Lara.
“You heartless witch be quiet! You never had me ! I told you from the beginning! I never loved any woman until I met Lora.”
Lara went bizarre, she picked up the bottle of rum, that Macaulay had doused himself in and smashed him on the head. Macaulay tumbled head first , his head slammed against the glass table and bounced to the ground .
“Macaulay! Macaulay! Oh my God! What have I done ? ”
She felt for his pulse , it was so weak, Lara ran into the street screaming.
“Somebody help! Somebody help me! My husband is dying! ”
Most gatemen at the neighbouring compound went into their compounds unwilling to help her, she had at one belittled them or beat her domestic staff who were their friends , some strangers followed her in .
The blood oozing from Macaulay’s head streamed like a spring water coming from the soil .
“Madam na you nak am bottle for head!” (Madam you’re the one who hit him with a bottle on his head)
Lara denied to eternity .
“He was drinking, and pacing , he suddenly fell and hit his head on the glass table ?”
Some of the men were struggling to move Macaulay’s limp body to the car ,he’s a giant of a man, five point eight feet tall , and was well built, Macaulay lay still , like man sleeping in a casket .
“Madam if you no nack am bottle for head why blood rub the bottle ? Another said.
“Make we carry this man go hospital before he die here! We no sure say he still the breath.”
They dragged him into the one of the SUV in the compound, Lara ran upstairs to go and fetch the keys to the car, she carried the bottle to the waste bin, and concealed it under piles of refuse . Before she brought the key , and Macaulay was driven to Federal Teaching hospital. Macaulay was admitted to the ICU , and he was put on Oxygen. Lara was pacing up and down up and down.
Bidemi was called by a Doctor at ICU , she told him that her friend Lora’s husband was brought into the ICU, she informed Lora who ran like a deer to the emergency ward, she was allowed to go in to see Macaulay, whereas Lara was stopped outside, most of the doctors were confused to see two identical women struggling to take care of one unconscious man .
“Where do you think you’re going to Lora? That’s my man in there! He rejected you when he was healthy and alive, now that he’s unconscious and half death he still rejects you.”
Lora eyes became red like coals of fire.
“Lara will you get out of my way? I don’t want to go mad on you here right now! I won’t hesitate to unleash all the anger I’ve bottled up for thirty two years! ”
Lara felt threatened, she had never seen Lora angry like that before, so she stepped out of the way. Lara got into the private room, were he was hooked up to many machines .
Macaulay was in coma , he was breathing through tubes connected to his nose and mouth , Lora kept crying night and day for three days, praying for God to heal Macaulay , she would pray sometimes and cry the other times. She called the Reverend who prayed for Macaulay on the phone.
“Macaulay you cannot die now! Please you must be there for your kids , I can’t do this alone, I don’t want to be a single mum like my mum, I want them to enjoy the loe of a father , please Macaulay don’t die on me ”
Lora cried begging him night and day , Macaulay’s parents were moved to tears when they came to visit At night and saw Lora sleeping on a chair while resting head on Macaulay’s pillow, she wanted to hear him breath . They wondered why their son would hurt such a nice lady .
Lara left the hospital and went back home, since the nurses and doctors were angry at her , when some of the men who came with her to the hospital told them, it was Lara who had hit Macaulay with a bottle of gin , plus the fact she snatched her twin sister’s husband. The doctors and nurses ganged against her, the place became too hot for her, so she ran home .
The next day she drove the to Ketu, a suburb area of Lagos , she had to packed her Mercedes Benz GLE ,and trekked a long distance through the muddy roads , were people live neighbors to the gutters, were flies buzz and kids wizz all about, a woman was frying Akara very close one of the ocean of stagnant water , the environment almost made Lara puke.
At last she made her way into the compound of Baba Ijebu, an octogenarian , who lived in an old house , with leaky corrugated zinc sheets.
” Omo mi you’re welcome.”
Lara was not in the cheery mood.
“Baba you told me she would never get pregnant? How come you didn’t know when she got pregnant?”
Baba was confused. He brought out his bags were he had kept a figurine of Lora and had binded it with different colours of threads.
“Aha ah ti o loosen soke Yi”
He screamed in Yoruba dialect, he had safely tied the image with red and white threads so she could never conceive, but to his surprise the image was loosen, so were the other people he had tied down or locked with key , they were all freed .
” Baba my husband has now started loving my sister , I want you to kill her babies in her womb.”
Baba looked at Lara intensely, wondering if she was the devil or human .
“You want me to kill your sister babies ? ”
“I’m afraid of you oh, is there anything you can’t do ?
Lara was unmoved and unshaken.
“Baba I don’t care , all I want is Macaulay no one can stand in our way, I’ll kill whoever tries.”
Lara opened her handbag and dropped ten bundles of one thousand naira notes , with fifty thousand each.
Baba licked his lips, and proceeded to bring his bags of charms , Baba poured libations on the ground to the ancestors and made incantations to the gods .
He invoke Lora, he saw her praying by Macaulay’s side in the hospital bed, he asked Lara to look into the basket of water .
“Is that Lora your twin sister? ”
Lara nodded .
“Now take that pin, stab her stomach with it now.”
Lara collected and did as she was told immediately she saw Lora crumpled on the ground and held her stomach , writhing in pains.
“No blood! No blood! It didn’t work Lara, if she doesn’t bleed we’ve not won, give me that broom”
Baba began to stab the water the broom, the more he did the more Lora shouted, she was rushed to a separate room, and placed on drio as she slept.
Baba was repeating his incantations over and over, as he stamped his feet on a tied cockerel and it intestines gouged out .
Bidemi had gone to see the reverend on behalf of Lora who was stuck with her husband in the hospital. The reverend and prayer warriors were battling unseen forces.
“Lara I couldn’t do anything to your sister’s babies, the only option is the lock her womb so she dies.”
Lara wasn’t bothered.
“If you have to do that do it now.”
Baba began to make incantations to lock Lora stomach from delivering , she was rolling on the bed crying in pains, the pains were indescribable.
” Baba why is she still alive kill her ?”
Lara screamed at him.
“Taaaaarh you little brat I will turn you into a rat if you shout at me again.”
Baba returned to his incantations
“I’ve looked her womb! She cannot deliver that baby she’ll die on the day off delivery, take the pregnant figurine, put two needles into it’s stomach, she’ll never deliver.”
Lara wanted Lora to die at that moment, so she threw more money at baba .
“Baba I want It right now.”
Money moved Baba he invoked Lora again and was trying to stab her , when thunder from the sky tore through zinc and stroke Baba Ijebu, he was burnt One part from the head to toe, beyond recognition, many charms with padlocks that he had used to lock people’s lives immediately began to open, pictures of people with needles sticking into their body parts , were burnt, charms poured out of the house , Lara picked the figurine that represented Lora, carried her handbag,with all the money she had just giving him and fled the place to avoid people running in , as they heard baba’s scream see her . The crowd of people came into baba’s shrine, they were dumbstruck by the things they saw ,more than a hundred different kinds of charms,they found a pot ol of blood, with a human skull and bones , and babies bones.
She drove like a mad woman, beating all the traffic lights on her way home. She shaking and pacing in shock , awestruck and in disbelief, not knowing what had just happened.
She went to the wine bar and got a bottle of dry gin, she drank to stupor , she thought she saw a figure like Baba Ijebu stroll pass the sitting room .
“Lara go and confess.”
Lara took gulps of the hot gin, not minding her heavy pregnancy.
She used needlee to stab the the figurine hoping it would kill Lora.
Bidemi with the reverend and his people were praying heavily .
They asked God to glorify himself.
When Lora regained herself, she was surprised to see Mrs Adeola by her side , and Aunt Sharon , who had flown in from Abuja that morning.
“Lora baby , the devil is a liar! You’re going to give birth to that baby .”
When Macaulay came around one week later , he was asking after Lora.
“I kept seeing her crying for me as I wandered about in the dark ,I was going to cross the line to other side, she held me back, mum I don’t know what to say to her, I’m very sorry mum.”
Mrs Adeola listened to Macaulay in silence, she was mad at him, but as his mother , she couldn’t leave him by himself.
“She was here for the one week you were in Coma, she never left your side , we would go home and come back to meet her , sitting by your praying or dozing, you had a diamond ,but you threw it away for dirty a stone.”
Mrs Adeola said blandly.
“Where is my wife now ? ”
Macaulay asked his mother .
“Are you married , I thought you went against our instructions and divorced here ?”
Macaulay was in much pains his head was throbbing with pain
“I didn’t submit the application file to the magistrate, so we’re still married.”
Mrs Adeola hissed .
“She left the moment you came around , I think your sweetheart Lara should come and take care of you now.”
Mrs Adeola said .
“Where I Lara? Why is she not here ? ” He said probing around to see her.
“Stop searching, she dumped you in the hospital and went away !
She’s not returned here for two weeks.”
Macaulay Shuffled from one point of the bed to another, he couldn’t say anything.
“It was her who hit you the bottle right? And when did you started taking alcohol?”
Macaulay ignored his mother, his head was pounding with pains .
“Mum I want to be left alone.”
He said and turned his face to the wall.
“For six years you had been married to Lora, not for once had you two been in a fight, not once have we been called to settle your fight, until Lara came in”
Macaulay grunted and shuffled around on the bed
“Doctor! Nurse please come and ask my mum to leave my room!”
A nurse came and escorted Mrs Adeola out of the room .
Aunt Sharon had retired from the federal civil service , and was all alone in Abuja, her husband had died from an accident a year back, all her kids moved away from the family house after school and got married , when Bidemi informed her of Lora’s condition, she flew to Lagos to take care of her .
The hospital granted Lora maternity leave before she was due for delivery, she kept falling sick, coming on and off admission . Macaulay was discharged from hospital two months after the incidence with Lara, he was scared of going home to her, she had an unpredictable anger, she had hit him twice before. When his mum drove with him to his compund , it looked like a refuse dump site , clothes strawed about like a Okrika clothes at Alaba market .
Mrs Adeola asked her driver to drive away .
Macaulay climbed the stairs with his hearts in his hands , he panted as he climbed the stairs , he saw Lara smoking weed .
“Baby you’re back?”
She rushed to him and kissed him, I missed you so much.
“You missed me , and you’re here taking drugs while you put me in the hospital?”
Lara scoffed maniacally.
“It was a mistake baby.”
Macaulay glared at Lara who was acting strange.
“I won’t loose her , no I won’t! I don’t care. I won’t loose .”
She was having a conversation with Baba’s spirit .
“You have to loose her, go and remove the needles , fire is surrounding her, remove the needles or else you’ll die!”
Macaulay couldn’t see him.
“Who are you talking to Lara?”
He was getting scared
“I won’t die ! I won’t loose her, I won’t loose the thread, ”
The spirit disappeared.
“Who are you talking to you?”
Lara smiled .
“I wasn’t talking to anyone, baby come and sit down let me serve you food.”
She brought rotten soup from the kitchen and staled eba.
“I can’t eat this! It’s bad! Lara you’re not Okay.”
They were sleeping in bed two weeks later when Lara’s screamed made Macaulay jump from bed with a migraine headache.
“I won’t confess! I won’t loose her!”
Lara screamed. Macaulay turned on the bedroom light and Saw Lora’s night gown Lara was wearing was soaked in blood, close to the pubic area . She wasn’t due for delivery till month later, Macaulay grabbed the car key and helped Lara downstairs.
She kept repeating same phrases.
“No I won’t loose her, I won’t confess.”
Macaulay drove her to a massive modern hospital, the bleeding was increasing, the doctors were battling to save Lara. She kept talking to invisible people.
“No! Never! I won’t release her! I won’t Baba Ijebu leave me alone! No way ! No way! She won’t win! My stomach my babies! Aaaaah!!! ”
Lara kept shouting, they sedate her, with an injection, slept and woke up with a shout by five A.M
Macaulay had called Mrs Sharon who promised to fly over to Lagos the next morning , on the first flight . Lara kept screaming and fighting the nurse’s while she continued to cry in pains .
Mrs Susan was led to Lara’s room.
She heard her daughter talking incoherently like a mad woman.
“No Baba Ijebu, I won’t let her go!”
Mrs Susan said for her daughter.
“Lara what won’t you let go ? ”
Macaulay speechlessly waited for a response.
“No mum, tell Baba Ijebu to leave me alone, he’s dead I’m alive, mum do the dead and living have anything to do together?”
Lara said as tears flowed down her face. She gawked at her mother.
“Mummy am sorry! Macaulay I’m sorry, you were mine, I loved you first, I felt empty , I wanted to be loved, mum’s love wasn’t enough, Lora stole … I tied … I tied.., mummy I am going to die! I’m in pains mum, my babies, Baba Ijebu I’ll confess.”
Mrs Susan lay Lara’s head on her laps , she cried as the doctors couldn’t help her daughters condition, she was bleeding excessively.
“Baby you will not die! You cannot die! Lara I cannot live without you, don’t do this to me.”
Mrs Susan felt her daughter’s life draining away, like water running away from a leaking pot.
“Mum I’m sorry, aaaah! It’s hot here mum, Baba I will go stop dragging me, let me carry my handbag, I want to see my twin sister, Lora please help me with my assignment, Lora please come and eat with me, Lora please don’t go away I’m scared of staying alone, ok Lora I’ll share the money equally, please I can’t love another man, Lora please don’t accept Macaulay… I tied … I tie.”
A hot stream of tears , flowed down her eyes, she kept staring blankly at the bright light on the ceiling. But her eyes were empty, the pregnant woman travelled in the hand of her mother.
“No!!! Lara! Wake up!! No Lara stop joking Baby wake up? Nonononoono! My baby”
Mrs Susan wept, the doctors couldn’t led her out, she was glued to her baby’s corpse
Macaulay sat on the bare floor he carried his both hands, on his head , mucus tears and saliva soaked his clothes like rain.
To Be Continued… . . .
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