Nicole was very tired from her trip to Benin. She did not plan to spend two days but she ended up spending it. What her mother told her about Itohan still worries her. She cannot afford to lose Nosa. She has tied him and he remains tied.
She wasn’t going to release Nosa to Itohan. She was ready to tie the knots with him. The earlier the better. Not even Itohan will stop the marriage.
“If Itohan tries nonsense, I will remove her from the surface of the earth” She told herself.
She wasn’t going to let Itohan or anyone be an obstacle to her joy. Nosa must not slip from her.
When she becomes pregnant again, she vowed to deliver abroad. She sat beside Nosa on the bed and held his hands.
“My mother sends her greetings” she said smiling sweetly at him.
“Oh! How is she?”
“Better” She said.
Nosa kept quiet as usual tapping his feet on the tiled floor.
“Are you happy darling?”
“Of course Nicole, I am”
Nicole smiled and kissed him. Then she took his hands and placed it on her thigh.
“I want you to see my parents. They need to know that you are interested in marrying me. We will do the traditional marriage and court marriage too. I want us to be officially one. There is no excuse. As you can see I am better. I have recuperated”
Nosa did not comment. He just smiled and nodded frantically.
“Are you listening to me. Look at me when I am talking to you. You are going to marry me. February 26 is the day”
Nicole kept talking and raising her voice and Nosa looked at her and smiled again.
“I like February 26. We will get married on that day”
She took his hands in hers and began to rub it.
“I love you Nosa. I will not settle for anyone except you. If you had married me, I would have been a better person. Forgive me for everything I have done. I did whatever I did because of love”
Nosa helped her stand , then he hugged her.
“It’s alright Nicole. I will see your parents, stop apologizing”
They stayed like that for a long time before going downstairs to watch television.
Osas kept looking at her wrist watch. Cindy’s mum called about 30minutes ago that she would soon be with her in their agreed spot. She had been waiting for her at an ice – cream Bar for over an hour and she has not seen anyone who looks like what she described.
Those who have entered the Bar were students like her. Since she entered her eyes have been glued to the entrance.
“Let me call her again” She murmured to herself.
Then she noticed that a woman and a man entered the Bar with four soldiers. Osas heart began beating fast. Fear gripped her. She was sure the woman was Cindy’s mum but the other man in polo shirt looked so much like Cindy.
Other students who noticed them began to leave their seats with their ice – cream, but the soldiers would not let anyone leave.
“Who is Osas?” One of the soldiers asked authoritatively in his baritone voice.
Students began to exchanged glances with fear written on their faces.
“Calm down all of you. No one is going to be hurt. Please who is Osas?”
Osadebamwen raised her shaky hand up. All eyes were focused on her.
She followed them into one of the cars and they drove off with her until they got to an eatery. She was surprised it was an eatery. She had started to cry blaming herself.
Cindy’s mother kept calming her, but the mean look of the soldiers frightened her. They entered the eatery and took their seats. Cindy’s mother sat beside her.
“I am sorry Osas”
“There was no need to…”
“Its alright. I am sorry.”
She brought out several pictures and threw it on the table.
“This is my daughter. You said you know her whereabout”
Osas picked one of the pictures, looked at it before dropping.
“I know where she is”
Osas began to narrate how they found Cindy. The woman and her husband sighed deeply. Osas dialled her mum’s phone. It rang for a time before she picked. They exchanged pleasantries before Osas told her the reason for calling.
She handed the phone to Cindy’s father and they spoke for a long time. Then the phone was handed back to Osas. Mr and Mrs Igiebor thanked Osas profusely.
“We need to see our daughter. We want you to take us to your mother”
“Alright! I will”
“We will lodge into an hotel and tomorrow we move.”
The dropped her in her house after promising to be ready before they come the following day. Mr and Mrs igiebor took turns to hug her and indeed Osas was happy and relieved.
Cindy and Efosa were not home when Itohan received the call. She had asked both of them to run an errand for her. Itohan had just finished feeding her baby when both of them entered and greeted. Cindy’s face was flooded with tears.
“Wetin happen Cindy” She asked.
“She can now remember everything ” Efosa announced.
Itohan laid the baby on the bed then went to Cindy.
“Na good news sey you remember everything na”
While they were talking, Iya Folake knocked and was told to come in. She saw Cindy’s face wet with tears.
“Why are you crying my child?”
“I can now remember everything” Cindy said sniffing back tears.
“But this shouldn’t make you cry, you should be happy”
“I tire oo. You suppose to dey dance sef” Itohan chided.
“I am a wicked child to my parents”
“Aaah” They all shouted.
“Yes! I am the only child of my parents. It took years to have a child and when they did, they had me. I have never given them peace. My parents are christians. They provide me with everything because they are wealthy, yet I lived a reckless and wayward life” She began to cry “I know Jesus will not forgive me my sin”
“There is no sin Jesus cannot forgive as long as you repent genuinely” iya Folake told her.
“No! I know he won’t even if he wants to. I am just 22 years but I have aborted many times”
Itohan left her and sat on the bed.
“I slept with different men. I followed one of the men known as KC to an eatery and we were eating when I became pressed. I excused myself to use the restroom.
When I returned, I quickly finished my food and drink. Then I felt a kind of heaviness and strangeness. I told KC but he said I should relax. He helped me to the car when it was obvious I could not stand on my own. Instead of dropping me in my house, he drove past my house. I didn’t know what happened again until I woke up in a shrine”
“Jesus!” Iya Folake shouted”
“How you take escape?” Itohan asked with shock on her face.
“I screamed when I found myself in a shrine. I was not the only one. Several girls were there too. They were all naked and tied. I was shivering because I have heard horrible stories. The place stinked of death and littered with decayed human parts.
A man walked up to me and presented a smelly bowl of black substance. He asked me to drink but, I refused and he landed me a terrible slap. I drank it and I became weak. I could only observe what was going on but could not move my body.
Three girls were dragged like goats and butchered before my very eyes. My heart pounded and tears gushed out of my eyes. I began to regret my waywardness. I failed to listen to my parents. I didn’t know how many days I spent there until it was my turn to be killed. They dragged me to where the ritual was to take place. KC told the ritualist to be fast about it. The ritualist started making incantation. He gave me a concoction to drink but I refused and he slapped me again. He asked me my name and I refused to say anything. KC told him my name. The ritualist then told him that my star is very bright and it will give him great wealth. KC was very happy. He told the ritualist, he took his time to check me out
:”Be fast about it, I have suffered”
:”Your suffering is about to end” the ritualist told him.
KC was instructed to get the knife in the calabash, but he couldn’t. Something he couldn’t see kept hitting his hand.
:”This has never happened before” the ritualist told him.
The ritualist faced his altar and started speaking in strange language. He turned to KC and said
:”The parents of this girl are on their knees calling fire, but I am not afraid”
Iya Folake dabbed the sweat from her face and smiled encouraging Cindy.
“The ritualist tried to carried the knife but saw fire engulf the knife. No one knew where fire came from, but suddenly fire was everywhere and I was afraid it will consume me. I could not shout or say anything. The ritualist kept screaming.
:”Where did you get this girl from” He kept screaming.
The whole building was burning. Both of them tried to escape but the door was locked. The window was a no go area and I began to remember how my parents encouraged me and I began to cry. I knew there was no escape.
Then suddenly, I noticed a man by my side. He carried me on his back. I can’t say how he took me out of that horrible place. I only remembered that he dropped me in an open place and told me to go, that he was assigned to rescue me.
I don’t know how long I have been walking. I could also remember that I stood in front of this house, tired and hungry. I didn’t hear a car coming. It hit me and ran away.”
To Be Continued… . . .
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