Home STORY STORY STORY STORY: FIRST OF APRIL – EPISODE 5

STORY STORY: FIRST OF APRIL – EPISODE 5

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Guwasen was seated atop a stool doing nothing but dangle his legs. He seemed aloof. He looked Greg straight in the eye.

“They are never coming back, I’m not afraid.” He said quietly. And with that he got up and stretched his arm towards Greg. Greg almost flinched. He looked at the outstretched arm and saw the paper. He punched himself hard to be sure he was not dreaming and reeled back from the punch. They are never coming back. They are never coming back. They are never coming back. Never coming back. Coming back. Back. Back. Helen. Sercivir. Helen. Hel!  S.M, Back. Come. Coming. Never.Never.Never?

The splash of water on his face was the only force that brought him back to reality. The lad stared at Greg incredulously. He didn’t know grown men fainted too. He sat up slowly and read the bloody note.

” I’m your heart, listen to me”. He refused to believe that was all the note said. He turned it this way and that; nothing. The lad gave him yet another paper. But this one was in a glass. Greg almost slapped the poor boy.

” If you know what’s good for you, just give me all the papers this second.” Greg said vehemently. Scared now,  the lad handed him one more paper. Two in one actually. They were stapled together. But what’s with the letters?  Was this pre-planned?

” That’s all, I swear”. The lad whispered. Greg did not take it. He looked at the note in the triangle shaped glass and died inside. He did not need to read it. He made the glass for her and he knew the words by heart.

Never searching

Never finding

Only one soulmate a life time

When he appears, I will know for my heart will speak and I will listen.

The very words, written at the poem club in school. She had written the exact words and he had done same but his words, though different, conveyed same message. These words had brought them together a few years ago. Greg squeezed hard till he began to bleed. He had forgotten about the lad and the last paper in his hand. Somehow, Greg felt that that last paper was not important.

****                ****               ****         ****       ****

Greg sat up, collected the last paper and tried to read. He could not. He was crying and shaking. Guwasen came close and stood in front of Greg. He did not know how to comfort this adult. And then the wall clock outside dropped suddenly, shattering into several pieces.

Greg and Guwasen looked in the direction of the door in shock. I could have sworn that clock was glued to the house. He thought. The sound seemed to echo his fears. She’s really gone isn’t she? It betoned his situation thereby making his pain more acute. Greg finally found strength to get up, put the paper in his pocket and look around. He saw different pictures of the family on the wall. He looked from one to the other. There was a cartoonish picture of Mr. Begha. In it, he looked like a large black drum with limbs,  the kind people from the eastern part of Nigeria call “Udu”. Why in the world would he collect this? But whoever painted this must have stamina. Greg wondered.

Greg touched some of Helen’s pictures and fresh tears streamed down his cheeks. He had seen the family pictures before but the faces now looked like the faces of strangers. Did I , do I really know these people? What kind of family Is this, really? Where are you Hel? Is that your blood on the door? Are you and our baby hurt?  He moved to touch another picture of Helen and his eyes welled with more tears again. He let them fall freely.

” Let’s leave now uncle Meyan. The lad tugged at Greg’s hand. But he wasn’t looking at Greg. He seemed to be looking at something beyond the door adjacent the living room. He had started to shiver. Greg did not even spare the lad a glance. The strange picture enthralled him.  He took it down and realised it was quite heavy. What’s in…why is it so heavy? I’ll ask Guwasen, he should know who this woman is. Greg mused.

The lad whimpered and Greg looked at him.

” Let’s leave this place,  it’s getting too cold.” Greg agreed finally and headed for the exit. But the lad did not move. He was transfixed. Greg followed his gaze and saw the thing behind the door which was ajar. Greg was speechless.

It looks like the taller version of Mr.  Begha in that portrait. Greg shook off the feeling and boldly went to the door. The lad held on tightly to Greg.

Greg pushed the door wide open with his leg only to see a tall standing fan. Someone had forgotten to put it off. Greg and Guwasen hissed. But in that same moment, the door which was swinging loosely crashed to the floor as did one of the bulbs in the living room.

The boy screamed and ran outside. Greg followed suit but kept tripping on things. But he found his way outside. He did not stop running till he got to the spot where he parked his car.

Greg almost laughed in spite of himself when he saw Guwasen already in his car trying to start the ignition. Was he trying to drive off? Without me? Can he drive? One look at the poor lad and Greg knew in this situation even the impossible was possible. He hopped in beside the lad and sped off like an untamed beast out of hell. He did not look back; neither did the lad. Greg drove for nearly an hour before he slowed down. He had missed the bend to his house. But he did not care. He and the lad were safe now.

” Hope you’re okay now Guwa? Don’t worry I’ll just look for the short court around here and take us home so we can rest. Afterwards you’ll tell me about that woman in the picture on..” Greg went on. For all he knew he could have been talking to the wind.

The lad had passed out. Greg looked at him, saw the blood and panicked. The lad had forgotten to use the seat belt. Oh God! Greg took his eyes off the road for a second as he tried to shake the lad with one arm and swerved into a tree.

The thud brought him back to reality.

*****        *****            *****              *****              *****

Greg shuddered and realised he was still on his bed which was ‘sweat wet’ now. He looked at the food Anne put beside him, tried to sit up properly and winced. His whole body was on ‘pain fire’. Why am I remembering this now?. He picked his phone and tried to call Helen. It rang before he changed his mind but no one picked. He tried again, same. He deleted the number from his call log, shook off the feeling of fear and picked his spoon. The moment he opened the plate and tried to eat, he puked all over the place.

****          ****          ****         ****        ****

Anne tried to concentrate at work but couldn’t. Quite alright, she was unsettled Greg had come down with something but she was even more unsettled about what happened the night before. She called her twin and they had made arrangements to meet. Other than the thoughts that played ‘ten- ten’ in her head – wild thoughts of Greg sleeping with another woman, she really had a swell day. She had been promoted after all.

At exactly 4:30pm Anne picked her bag and rushed out of the office. She knew Cassandra would not wait a minute after 5pm for her. She was like their dad when it came to keeping to time. Let your ten ‘o clock be as you have said except someone died and it’s your fault. And even at that, you should call to say blah blah… Anne parked in front of the restaurant and was about to go in when her phone rang. It was her maid telling her Greg had been hospitalized.

Thrice, the doctor assured Anne her husband was okay. But she worried, still. Her fear had resurfaced. Bruises aside, something had upset him terribly, the doctor had said.  But what was it? I’m sure it has everything to do with where he went last night. Now more than ever,  I must hear the truth whether or not you’re sick. Anne quietly opened the door and sat on the bed beside Greg. He looked wounded and frail. She did not have the heart to interrogate him in such state. She kissed him lightly on the forehead and got up to leave. She had texted Cassandra en route to the hospital. But the urge to call her was stronger now.

” Don’t leave.” Greg whispered weakly. Anne came back, sat beside him and caressed his face.

” Oh baby,  if that’s what you want, it’s okay. I’ll stay.” Anne cooed.

” Okay, but I also need you to listen and not interrupt me, okay love? ” Greg said as he tried to sit up.

” Okay, but take it easy will you? ” Anne pleaded. She was on the brink of tears.

” Yes, I ran into Helen last night where I planned to lodge after I was attacked. I was shocked. I thought she was…I… I don’t know. I had a lot of questions but she seemed to have few answers. The short of it is that she wanted me out of her sight. I…I… felt sad for her an..and…” Greg shifted and winced.

” Sshh Sshh, it’s alright baby. I’m just happy you knew I was bothered about this and wanted it over with even in your state. That’s love and understanding baby. It’s okay. Look, no one is gonna bring this up again. The past is past, it’s lifeless right?” Anne asked.

” Yea, it..it…” Greg winced again. Anne leaned and tried to rub the pain away.

” If you ask me, I think she wanted you out of her sight cause she couldn’t stand that you’ve moved on. You know how women get when they are way over thirty or close to forty and still single and childless. They become mean and desperate and… ” Anne went on seriously.

” Stop it Anne ! I…I mean erm… can you please call the doctor now? I just felt a strange, sharp pain in my breast bone. Greg said. He did not know he was holding his breath. Did I just scold her? What in the world is wrong with me?. Off, Anne ran to get the doctor.

****       ****         ****        ****        ****

Days later,  Greg was up and about. He had spent more days than necessary at home with his family. A few friends came to see him and some of his colleagues called and sent text messages. It felt good. He missed all of them. He was ready to resume at the office.

But only for a few days; for the call he had been waiting for had finally come.

*****          *****           *****            ******

Greg got the offer to be the Chief Operating Officer at Iykes&Iykes International. It was a dream come true. He had been waiting for Chimezie to call him. But the will his late father wrote had been tampered with and proving it in court was a long process. Eventually, all ended in his favor. He was now a millionaire and  as the first and only son of his late father,  the confirmed owner of properties and firms globally. And he wanted Greg to head one of the firms in Nigeria. He trusted him.

But there was a ‘but’. Greg had to move to the address provided for him. It is reasonable to be close to work to monitor things but won’t Anne mind? Greg thought about his daughter and smiled. At three going on four, she was quite independent. He was happy she was closer to her mother. She won’t miss him much if he came home only once or twice a month. He would make Anne see reasons.

” Well, that’s some great news and you could do with a change of environment. “ Anne beamed. Anything to get you miles away from Helen. Oh! thank You Jesus! Aren’t You the lover of my soul? Anne had relaxed considerably when Greg narrated his ordeal at the hospital. But she still had questions. She could not help but feel he was hiding something. Some of his reactions had surprised her, even. What’s the matter with me now? He was sick, in pain and even delirious at some point. Hello? Did he not almost swear nothing happened or will ever happen between them again? Relax girl. yes, I’ll relax. I’m his present and future. I and my daughter, our daughter. There was peace again. Nothing would upset that. She even wished the company he was going to was in the North. But East was decent enough. She and her daughter would cope.  

She kissed her husband passionately, surprising him. Greg had never felt so great even though his mind was not settled. Or is it my heart ?. He had tried to reach Helen again all to no avail. He wished he had collected the girl’s number. He felt Helen didn’t want to have anything to do with him anymore. So what’s wrong with me? Does that not settle things? But what about the young girl? Is she my child? Are the kids in the picture mine? Were they in the house that night? Asleep maybe? Was she on drugs? What about the marks on her legs and all she told me happened? I need answers before I go nuts. If she did not want to see me again why still wear the ring I gave her years back? Nonsense!

And then he stilled as it dawned on him. She was still his wife in every way. Oh God in heaven!.

…To be continued in Episode 6

As Written by Kimberly Afolayanka

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16 Comments

  1. Ad

    October 23, 2019 at 1:37 pm

    Wow! This your link to past and present is something o. Not many writers can write like that and not mistake. But I don’t know why I feel so much pity for this Anne woman. She’s letting love for her husband blind her. That means it was her sister that saw Greg that night. Can’t I download PDF? The whole thing once?

    Reply

  2. Nwamy

    October 23, 2019 at 2:28 pm

    Great! Well done dear

    Reply

  3. JOHNPAUL IDEMUDIA OYAKHILOME

    October 23, 2019 at 7:08 pm

    wow nice. God bless you your efforts

    Reply

  4. Arogundade Kafayat

    October 23, 2019 at 7:14 pm

    Greg needs to get answers to all his questions before he will go crazy. Job well done dear.

    Reply

  5. Adeyanju Ogunlewe

    October 23, 2019 at 7:27 pm

    Greg’s wife is seeing the signs that her husband is not being totally sincere yet she’s ignoring. I have a feeling she will cry soon. I think her sister Cassandra will be an interesting character… Can’t wait to meet her, in fact, the others. Nice 1 Kimberly. Keep it up.

    Reply

  6. Afolayanka Richard

    October 23, 2019 at 9:07 pm

    Pleased to have known you all my life bone….so many Greg’s and Helens in our world…nice kimo

    Reply

    • MeekJane

      October 26, 2019 at 5:06 pm

      I’m telling you

      Reply

  7. Femi Adekoya

    October 23, 2019 at 10:50 pm

    Great work! God is ur backing. More flows

    Reply

  8. Oscar Emeka

    October 24, 2019 at 11:16 am

    I feel for all these characters so much. Greg is confused, Helen is in pain and Anne is insecure. Look how people’s words and actions somehow affect others. We all need to be very careful. I’m imagining this book as a cinema movie. I believe the writer can make this a reality. Next episode please.

    Reply

  9. Oluwole Johnson

    October 24, 2019 at 11:49 am

    Greg refused to come out fully, Anne is suspicious but decided to ignore while reassuring herself… I fold my arms patiently waiting to see how things pan out. Good work Kim

    Reply

  10. Zainab

    October 24, 2019 at 9:04 pm

    Hmmmm now this is getting more intense, Greg is such a character…

    Reply

  11. Aisha

    October 26, 2019 at 7:38 am

    The suspense is keeping me on edge..can’t wait for the next episode

    Reply

  12. MeekJane

    October 26, 2019 at 5:08 pm

    Suspense at its peak. So Anne isn’t nice afterall.

    Reply

  13. Psalm Oderinde

    October 26, 2019 at 9:31 pm

    This story is a well crafted one. I admire how the writer weavesthe thrills and high points.

    Reply

  14. King-ideas

    October 29, 2019 at 7:22 am

    In anticipation for the next episode
    But I wish Anne could really exist in this modern day world

    Reply

  15. Chris

    November 1, 2019 at 7:18 pm

    On point

    Reply

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