THE BEAUTIFUL GIFT OF A BROKEN HEART. 1-10
DOPERCH: *_THE BEAUTIFUL GIFT OF A BROKEN HEART_*
James E. Umukoro did not like his stomach. The thing had grown a mind of its own overtime and was now drooping over his belt, depressed.
He eyed the offending body part in irritation as he stood in front of the mirror adjusting his tie. Too much of his wife, Rita’s good food and all those beers before bed have led to a stomach that hid his belt. He shook his head in irritation.
He turned and picked his suit from the chair and wore it. He certainly looked the part of the Udu branch manager of one of the more successful banks in Nigeria, which he was, thanks to hard work, doggedness and smart thinking.
Yes, smartness always won over brawns anytime, any day. He smiled at himself, picked his suitcase and walked out of the room.
Rita E. Umukoro was getting their son and pride, Ovie, ready for school when he came down from the bedroom.
He admired her beauty and smiled to himself. He had scored big on this one. He knew that his money was a key factor for her accepting his hand in marriage but he didn’t care.
Who would not want such a pretty woman as wife, no matter what? She was slim and really tall; got legs for days. Her ebony skin was smooth and soft to touch. She had really long hair too and dark eyelashes.
Because of the darkness of her skin, the brightness of her eyes and the whiteness of her teeth was enhanced. Her lips were full and deep pink. She rarely used makeup but she was stunning to look at. She had really big breasts, a flat stomach and well-rounded bum; one could not tell that she had given birth.
Basically she didn’t look like she could be the girlfriend of the son of Umukoro, the palm-wine tapper, talk less of being his wife. He smiled as these thoughts went through his brain.
James walked to the dining table, where Rita was making Ovie eat his breakfast. He pecked her on her face and she murmured distractedly, her hands on her hip, staring sternly at Ovie who had wanted to get out of his chair on seeing his father.
Ovie humbly rested his back on his chair when he saw that his mother was not joking. James sat on his chair and sighed as he began to eat.
Rita: “Honey I need some money.” She said watching Ovie reluctantly put a spoon of cereal into his mouth.
James: “How much?”
Rita: “about 250k.”
James raised his head from his food and looked at her. She wasn’t even looking at him.
James: “I don’t have cash on me here. When you bring my lunch, I will have it for you.”
Rita: “I won’t be able to bring your lunch over. I have to be at my Club meeting today. I told you about it.”
James: “Ooo, that’s true. I will bring it in the evening then.” He replied sadly. No good food this afternoon, he thought to himself.
Rita got up, picked up Junior’s plate and took it to the sink. James’ eye followed her as she walked to the sink. What a woman! He thought.
Rukevwe Badmus loved to party. She discovered this on her 17th birthday, when her dad, Pastor Josiah Badmus let her host her friends in the house. They had traveled, her father and mother, Esther Badmus, to Dubai for a quick visit and would be back that weekend. Her elder brother, Karo, had disappeared as soon as the smoke from the exhaust of her father’s Range Rover Sport disappeared from human sight.
She had thrown a great party that her friends won’t forget in a hurry. In that party, she had realized three things; she loved alcohol, she loved to dance and she loved Samson Effiong.
Samson was the only child of an oil magnate, Prince Etim Effiong, who was a member of her father’s church. The boy was handsome. His skin was fair and he had dreamy eyes. His fingers were slim and long and his voice, Oooo… his voice. The vibration when he spoke always sent tingles through her spine.
She didn’t care that he was seven years older than her or that he was known for his strings of girlfriends. She just wanted to hold that sculpted body to herself and possibly ease the ache between her legs.
A car horned, followed by several choice curses from the irritated driver as he flew past. Rukevwe had sidestepped on hearing the horn. She realized that she had almost entered the road, deep in thought as she was. She stopped walking and stopped a bike. She gave the bike man directions and they zoomed off.
Samson was expecting her when she arrived at the gate. He quickly took her in and guarded her to a flat at the back of the house. She looked at the main house as she passed,
Rukevwe: “why are we not going into your house?” she asked curiously.
Samson: “Oh! I have misplaced the key. The gate man has gone to get something to break open the door. Let’s stay here first.” He said as he opened the door to the flat.
The room smelled like it had not been opened in years. Samson quickly turned on the fan. He walked into the kitchen came out with a bowl of water then walked into the bedroom.
Rukevwe looked for a clean chair to seat but found none, so she was standing when Samson came out some minutes later. He invited her into the room. Rukevwe saw that the bed was made, two chairs cleaned and the air-conditioning unit was on. Hmmm…nice. She smiled at him and sat down.
Samson; “do you want anything to drink?”
Rukevwe: “no… don’t worry. I don’t want to stress you. Besides how will you get the drinks with you locked out of your house.”
Samson: “don’t worry? Come on. I want to give you a treat. I have my ways, never mind. So what will you take?” he replied, smiling.
Rukevwe: “Okay, a bottle of red wine will be fine.” She said, smiling back at him. He is so beautiful when he smiles, she thought to herself as her cheeks grew flushed with heat.
Samson nodded and abruptly left the room. Some few minutes later, he was back. Rukevwe looked at him in surprise. He had a chilled bottle of red wine and two wine glasses.
He set them down on a table, then brought out a corkscrew from his pocket and proceeded to open the bottle of wine. He poured into the two glasses then held one out to Rukevwe who nodded her thanks.
She drank her cup empty immediately and giggling, stretched out her cup for a refill. Samson smiled and poured out another. They got talking.
An empty bottle later, Rukevwe was on the bed with Samson still talking. She watched him watch her lips as she spoke. She stopped talking abruptly and looked at his lips.
Samson: “what happened?” he asked, surprised at the sudden stop.
Rukevwe: “Kiss me.” She whispered, her eyes on his lips.
Samson smiled and bent to kiss her. They kissed for a while; tongues jabbing each other, teeth clashing, saliva exchanged with eyes closed. He licked her lips as she moaned. Gawd…the guy could kiss. He sucked her lips in and gave it a tiny bite, she nearly died.
She sucked his lips back and they both giggled. Soon his hands slipped under her top and moved to her bra. She opened her eyes as if waking up from a long sleep and stared at him quietly. He looked at her silently while his hands moved to her back and skillfully unhooked it.
He moved her top upwards and grabbed her hardened nipple with his lips. He licked one and moved to the next. He suckled both breasts and left trails of saliva on them. She gasped in ecstasy as she watched him work. She never knew her nipples could grow that big.
She felt like she was in a dream and she didn’t want the dream to end. He removed his lips from her breasts and started moving away. She quickly held his head and tried to bring it back to her breasts. He chuckled
Samson: “relax. I am not going anywhere. There’s more to come.” He whispered.
Rukevwe sighed and let go of his head. This is what heaven must feel like, she thought. Samson kissed down her flat stomach, all the way to her navel. He licked her navel, then he tickled the hairs that trickled down from under her navel to her pubic region.
She giggled and Samson smiled, watching her face. He got to her skirt and he stopped again. He went down to her knees, then placing his hands on her laps, he slowly moved the skirt upwards until her pantie was visible.
Rukevwe covered her face in shyness. She had spent close to an hour picking the right pant and bra to wear for this occasion. Her father could control what she wore outside but not her underwear.
Samson showed no surprise at the tiny slip of pantie that barely covered Rukevwe’s vagina and most definitely did nothing for her buttocks. He smiled as he parted the lacy pant and flicked his tongue over her clitoris. Rukevwe screamed in shock, jumping from Samson’s grasp. Samson stood up in surprise.
Rukevwe: “I am sorry. I have never experienced that before. Please do it again.”
Samson smiled and went back to work, giving her so much pleasure, she almost fainted. She came twice in a row just from the boy’s tongue.
Gawd, I will marry him, I swear! She thought to herself as she watched him take his shorts off. She started to take her clothes off.
Samson: “don’t worry about that. Don’t want you rushing out of here without your clothes. “
Rukevwe stopped and let him remove her pant then he removed his boxer shorts. She gasped in shock.
Rukevwe: “that will not enter me o! You’re huge! Jesus!”
Samson: “relax and let me take care of you. I guess you have had sex before?”
Rukevwe: “no o. this is my first time. I always wanted to do it with the love of my life. I love you Samson.”
Samson nodded his head and clambered on top of Rukevwe. She placed her hands on his chest as he moved to penetrate her.
Rukevwe: “are you not going to use condom?”
Samson: “sure.” He replied. He dipped his hand under the pillow and came up with a pack. He opened it and went on to insert it before her eyes then he went on to deflower her.
James stepped out of the car, leaving his driver to properly park the car. He walked in through the staff entrance and headed straight for his office. They had not yet opened for business but the banking floor was busy as staff arranged their tables and sorted out the day’s activities.
He observed one or two of his staff members looking at him from the corner of their eyes. He slowed down and looked around. There is tension in the office, he suddenly noticed. He opened his door and entered. His secretary was standing quietly beside a stranger who sat at his table.
James: “what is going on here? Cordelia how can you allow a customer into my office when am absent? Is this what you do?” James flew into a rage..
The stranger turned at his voice and smiled. He stood up and extended his hands in greeting.
Mr. Kayode Akinwunmi: My name is Kayode Akinwunmi. Please do not be offended. I asked her to open the door.”
James: “young man, I do not care who you are. Get out of my office and take her with you. She is your new secretary.”
Mr. Kayode Akinwunmi: “Sir I was sent from Lagos to do an audit of your branch’s finances.
My colleagues are with your accountant presently going through your books. I, on the other hand, would like to be enlightened on a 10 million naira loan given last year November that has not being serviced at all. A loan given without collateral.” The man said, smiling shyly.
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DOPERCH: *_THE BEAUTIFUL GIFT OF A BROKEN HEART_*
Rukevwe adjusted her clothes after wearing her pant and hooking her bra back on. She felt pain between her legs. Samson had given her some drugs to take. She sat still, trying to remember how sweet the sex had been but the pain would not let her. She had a really bad headache too and the fact that she was bleeding was no help.
Samson entered the room, looked at her speculatively for a moment.
Samson: “can you walk?”
Rukevwe: “I told you your dick is too big.” She complained, her lips in a pout.
Samson: “get up let’s go. My dad is on his way. I don’t want him to see you here.”
Rukevwe got and staggered as the pain hit her. She grabbed blindly at Samson’s shirt. He held her and helped her stand straight.
Samson: “walking will help. When you get home, buy those drugs I wrote on the paper for you ok?” he said as he led her out of the room.
Rukevwe nodded her head. The sun was high in the sky and hot. She was sweating profusely but she felt cold inside her. She tried to look at Samson but the sun was in her eyes.
He led her to the gate and opened it. They stepped out and he stopped a bike. He gave her some money and promised to call her. She sat on the bike on her way home. She hurt between her legs but her heart was singing. She was dating Samson Effiong! Gawd, Ese and Anne will die of envy, she thought to herself as the bike sped her home.
James looked at the smiling face of the auditor. He was in trouble, he knew. That 10 million naira had been used to build a plaza along Orhuwhorun road for Rita. She had refused a shop, saying she deserved better. She does deserve better, he had thought then.
The Plaza was almost complete. Why now? Why now? He placed his suitcase on his table and went to his seat and sat down, moving his chair backwards to create room for his bulging stomach.
James: “Mr. Kayode, sorry for my earlier outburst. Cordelia please leave us. Do you care for anything Kayode? I can call you Kayode, right?”
Mr. Kayode Akinwunmi: “Of course. No, I have had breakfast. Thank you. Now to business, I would like to see your financial records. I mean your personal one. I don’t mean the records with this bank. I mean your other banking records as well as your wife’s.”
James mind pondered different thoughts. He barely heard the man speak. What am I to do now?
I am finished. He looks young, he will be hungry for wealth.
James: “Kayode, erm, let’s forget that. Are you been paid well in this auditing job that you are doing?”
Mr. Kayode Akinwunmi smiled.
Mr. Kayode Akinwunmi: “not much I must confess but I enjoy my job.”
James: “what is there to enjoy when your pocket is flat? Come on, you are man. You must have needs.
Are you married?”
Mr. Kayode Akinwunmi: “Not yet. Hopefully soon.”
James: “good. Very good. You really need financial upgrade, Kayode. You know what, am going to do something for you.”
Mr. Kayode Akinwunmi: “what might that be?”
James: “I am going to give you 2 million naira to help you set up a solid financial base, so that when you marry, your wife will not leave you for another man.”
Mr. Kayode Akinwunmi: “Money answereth all things sir. You are very correct.” He said, smiling.
James nodded his head and got up. He walked to a shelf, he pushed some books aside revealing a safe behind the books. He turned to Mr. Kayode and smiled. The man smiled back and looked about guiltily. I have to hurry up so I can get back to work, James thought to himself as he quickly typed the combination for the safe and it clicked open. The safe was filled with cash in different denominations and some documents.
He picked a stack of dollars and turned to find Mr. Kayode standing with his phone in his hand. He was recording everything. James felt the ground open.
James: “we had an agreement. I thought you a man of your word.”
Mr. Kayode Akinwunmi: “I am indeed a man of my word but my first loyalty is to my clients not thieves like you. I advise you to quietly leave. The bank does not want any scandal, you understand. That is what is saving you from going to jail. Get out now!” the smile had slipped away from Mr. Kayode’s face like the sun hidden behind a cloud.
James looked at the man, then at the open safe with all that money. He looked at the clip of money in his hands. He felt tears of shame spill out of his eyes down his shin. He turned and quietly walked out of the office. He dropped the dollars in a trash bin on his way out. On his way out, he dialed his wife’s line but she was not picking. He came out of the bank with the realization that he had no official car, so he had to use transport. Why is this woman not picking? God! How can such a good day go bad so fast?
James entered his house depressed. He could not think straight. He went to his bar and poured himself a glass of Martini. He drank it all in one gulp and poured another. What am I going to do now? I am in trouble. What if they change their mind and decide to prosecute me?
Gawd, I have messed up. I need to make some transfers o before my accounts are blocked. I have not given Rita, the 250k she asked for this morning. Why is this woman not picking her calls? As he brought out his phone from his pocket, it rang in his hands. It was a strange number
“Hello, who is this?”
Voice: “am I on to Mr. James Umokoro, father to Ovie?”
James: “Yes, you are. Any problem?” he asked, instantly alert.
Voice: “this is Mrs. Antoinette Nwosu speaking. I am his class teacher. Your son had an accident and has been admitted at Royal Clinic. They are asking for his parents”
James was already on the move as soon as he heard admitted. He picked the car keys to an Infiniti jeep. He rushed out to the car.
James: “what about my wife, is she there?”
Mrs. Antoinette: “she has not picked our calls. That was why we called you instead.”
James: “okay madam, I am on my way.” He ended the call and drove out of the house.
Royal Clinic is a private clinic that attended to the wealthy in the community. Their bills were exorbitant but they had good doctors and nurses on their staff. It also doubled as King’s Nursery and primary school, Ovie’s school clinic. It was located in a quiet street inside Kotokoto area off Orhuwhorun road.
James arrived there in no time and rushed quickly to the reception. He explained to the nurse on duty and he was directed to the doctor. He met the doctor in his office. The office was well furnished with an air-conditioning unit to keep the office area quite cool.
James: “Doctor good afternoon. I am the father to Ovie Umukoro.”
Doctor: “Oh! Welcome sir.” He stood up and they both shook hands.
Doctor: “I guess you have been told that your son had an accident in school?” He continued as James sat down.
James: “yes. How did that happen?” James replied in surprise.
Doctor: “I didn’t get the details but he cut an artery. He went into shock before it was stitched. He is going to need red blood cell transfusion.”
James: “You can use my blood. Jesus! What sort of temptation is this? Where is Rita?” He murmured under his breath.
Doctor: “You have to make a deposit of 100k before we commence the blood transfusion and give him the necessary drugs. You have to be fast before damage is done to his organs”
James: “treat the boy please. Money is no problem. I need to get to an ATM.” He said, his hand on his head.
He brought out his phone and tried to call his wife but she was not picking. He got up and rushed out of the doctor’s office. He got into his car and drove out, looking for an ATM machine to use.
He spotted one at Orhuwhorun junction. He parked his car and hurriedly got down. He got to the queue of people already waiting to withdraw. He started pleading with them to help him that his son was in the hospital and needed to make a withdrawal but no one answered him.
He pleaded and they ignored him. He tried another ATM along Udu road but face the same situation.
He drove down to a branch of his former bank at Odibo roundabout but it was still crowded too and only one pay point was paying.
He entered the bank itself and went into the bank hall. He asked for the manager’s office. I will know him or he will know me; either way, it will be easier to withdraw with his help. He got to the manager’s office and on seeing him, he knew the man knew him or knew of him.
The look of disgust that passed his face said it all. They have all heard. He ignored the feeling of depression that tried to overwhelm him.
James: “Good afternoon sir. I believe you know me or know of me. I am here to beg you to please help me. My son had an accident in school today and presently needs a transfusion. I need to make a withdrawal, please can you help me?”
The bank manager looked at his sweaty face and rumpled shirt. He shook his head sadly.
He opened his drawer and gave him a withdrawal slip. James promptly filled the slip and gave it back to him. He took it and stepped out of the office. James stood up, pacing all over the office. The air-conditioning unit wasn’t helping. He was sweating profusely. He tried his wife’s number and she picked.
James: “what is wrong with you? Why have you not been picking your calls?” he shouted into his phone.
Rita: “I put my phone on silence. Why are you shouting? We are having lunch now. We will soon resume proceedings. You will have to go pick Ovie.”
James: “I will speak however I want. Look at this foolish woman! Ovie had an accident and he is presently at Royal Clinic. You’d better get your fat ass there this instant or you and I will have issues.”
Rita: “Jesus! Am on my way.”
James: “you better be. Please withdraw 200k from your account on your way down.”
Rita: “I don’t have money ooo, were you not the one I asked for money today?” she ended the call abruptly.
James looked at the phone in surprise. The bank manager came back into the room, looking sadly at him. He looked at the man expectantly.
Bank Manager: “I am sorry, your account has been blocked. “
James felt like he had been punched in his stomach, he staggered back. His phone started ringing, he looked at it. It was a strange number. He picked it
Doctor: “where are you sir? You need to hurry up, your son had an internal injury that we didn’t notice. He is presently unconscious.”
James: “treat him please, I will get the money please. Treat him please.” He replied, crying into the phone.
The bank manager opened his drawer and brought out a clip of money and gave it to James. James looked at it and looked at the manager. He turned and started running out of the bank. The manager sighed and shook his head. He sat down, picked up his phone and called his family.
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[4/7, 11:33 AM] DOPERCH: *_THE BEAUTIFUL GIFT OF A BROKEN HEART_*
Pastor Josiah Badmus was on fire on the pulpit on Sunday. The service was full and everybody was in the spirit. Rukevwe was on fire but hers was a different one. Hers was not the fire of the Holy Spirit that stood on the head of the apostles, no sir. Her fire was down below, between her laps. It was not caused by God’s presence in the church but the presence of Samson, looking resplendent in his starched long sleeved shirt, tucked into a gray chinos trouser and black leather shoe. He looked so handsome she felt blinded by his face. A girl, she had never seen before, sat beside him. Who is that? A cousin, maybe?
She waited for him to notice her but he never did. She sat in the choir stand and watched him and the girl talk and laugh. She looked hungrily at the girl’s hand around his arm when service ended. She rushed out of the church without waiting for choristers meeting that was usually held after service. She rushed to where Samson had parked his car. The girl was already seated, and he was about to close the door on his side when she got there.
Rukevwe: “Hello Samson, how are you?” she asked, excitedly.
Samson: “Hey Rukevwe, am fine. What’s up?” he replied coolly.
Rukevwe: “are we quarreling? I have not heard from you since that day?”
Samson: “I have been busy. See I will call you later, okay?” he said, quickly closing his car door.
Rukevwe stood hurt, watching him drive off. She turned and walked back into the church for choir meeting. The church was dark and dreary for the rest of the time she stayed there.
Professor Mrs. Amaka Emenike stood before her desk, watching a video. She was a short woman, fair with facial hair that made it seem like she had a beard. She wore a whole lot of gold on her neck and wrists. She stank of wealth and affluence. She zoomed on a scene in the video and frowned. She turned to her intercom and buzzed her personal assistant, Omo Okeke. Omo walked into the office quickly.
Omo: “you sent for me ma.”
Prof. Amaka: “take a look at this video and tell me what you noticed.”
Omo looked closely at the video for several minutes. She looked up to her boss.
Omo: “Ma, some of our regular patrons were not at the meeting ma.”
Prof. Amaka: “good, very good. You see this NGO is for the benefit of womanhood all over the country. I cannot do the work alone. I have been blessed with wealth but it is not enough to solve all that ails women of this nation. Besides money is not always the solution to their problems. We need patrons who can provide us with contacts, knowledge, skill, resources. I want you to compile a list of men and women who have made a name for themselves in this state. We need to do a recruitment drive. Do you understand me?”
Omo: “yes ma.”
Prof. Amaka: “Good. I would also like to speak with our orphanage home partners. Arrange a meeting for each of them in one hour interval, next week, okay?”
Omo: “Okay ma.”
Prof. Amaka: “that will be all. I want that list first thing on Monday morning.”
Omo, already walking out of the office, paused and nodded her head. Prof. Amaka was not looking at her. Her eyes were back on the video.
James sat quietly watching visitors come and go. He had not spoken a word to anyone since Ovie’s death. He looked at his wife, Rita. She had not taken Ovie’s death well. She cried continually and had stopped eating. He was too tired to console or comfort her. His friend, Barrister Benjamin Edafe known as Benji by his friends, was with her, trying to console her. He was just tired.
The whole thing was still a shock to him. He had returned to the hospital to find his son dead.
According to the doctor, the boy had internal bleeding. The school claimed that he had been hit by a passing bike man, who had sped off immediately. How had he gotten out of the school premises? He climbed a fence to pick football. God! Climb a fence? A boy of 7, left to climb a fence! I am going to sue that school, let them wait. I am going to sue that school and that fucking hospital. He thought angrily to himself.
Someone came to stand by him. He looked up, it was his friend Benji.
Benji: “my guy take am easy o. the lord giveth the lord taketh away.”
James: “Benji you are not married neither do you have children, so you do not understand. Just leave me alone.” He replied angrily.
Benji raised his hands and walked away. He spoke quietly to Rita and walked out of the house. James looked at him with anger in his eyes. The anger fled when his eyes met his wife’s. She was in pain, much more than he was. He wished he had it in him to hold her but he had lost the will to do anything. He just wanted to be alone with his thoughts. He got up and went to his bar. He picked a bottle of Black Label and climbed the stairs to his room. He entered and shut the door and proceeded to get himself drunk.
TWO WEEKS LATER
Rukevwe was worried. Her monthly flow was supposed to have started last week but it hadn’t. She had collected sanitary pad from the stock in the house just to avoid suspicion from her mother but she had not seen a single drop of blood. She was scared. She had gone to visit her friend Ann the day before and on her way back she had gone to a chemist to buy a pregnancy test kit. She stood now in the bathroom looking at the kit. She was afraid of what she would find. She dipped the kit into her first urine of the day then brought it out.
The strip had two red lines. It was positive, she was pregnant. She screamed in shock. God I am dead! I am dead o. she burst into tears and sobbed, sitting on the toilet seat. Samson will know what to do. She quickly disposed of the urine and test kit, had her bath, got dressed and boarded a bike to Samson’s place.
The gate man let her in as she was a friend of the family. She went to the door and knocked. Samson opened the door, after some minutes, wearing just a boxer short. He was struggling to hide an erection when he opened the door. She ignored that.
Rukevwe: “We need to talk.”
Samson: “What are you doing here? Are you mad? I said if I want to see you, I will call you.”
Rukevwe: “I am pregnant Samson.” She whispered in anger.
Samson paused and stared at her.
Samson: “you need money to remove it? I have got some cash inside, hold on.’ He turned to go.
Rukevwe; “I will not undergo an abortion o. what do you take me for? Why don’t you come and meet my dad and do the right thing?” she said, holding Samson’s arm.
Samson; “are you mad? My fiancée is in town. You want to destroy my life abi? Is it a crime to know you? That they when we were fucking, were you not enjoying it as much as I was? Were you not the one that said don’t stop.”
Rukevwe: “I told you to use a condom but you tore the condom, didn’t you?” Rukevwe shouted in anger
Samson: “lower your voice. I don’t use condoms joor. Sex is not sweet like that. See we can remove this pregnancy and no one needs to know.” He replied looking at the gate man who was looking at the both of them curiously.
Samson left her at the door, then returned in a few minutes with some money.
Samson: “this is 50k. Take it, if you know what is good for you, get rid of that pregnancy.” He said giving her the money. She took it in a daze and watched as he walked back into the house and closed the door.
Rukevwe walked to the gate, the money in her hand, tears streaming down her face. I am dead. This boy has killed me. What will I tell my father? He will kill me. God! She slowly walked passed the curious gate man without a word and stood before the gate in silent grief.
James stood with his hands on his waist, his forehead creased in worry. He could not find his documents on two plots of land he had at Agbarho. He stood before the empty safe in his home. This really worried him because the documents for the plaza under construction was there as well as jewelry he had bought for Rita. I don’t understand.
What has this woman gone to do? Hope she has not gone to sell those lands o. he worried because he had bought the lands in her name to avoid scrutiny. What do I do now? I need information. He rushed out of the room, hurried downstairs and out of the house.
He stopped a bike and hopped on it. He had sold his and Rita’s cars earlier on when things became a bit difficult. He had not been able to access his bank accounts and he could not complain. Rita had been furious about the whole lack of money issue.
The bike took him to Udu road, where Benji had his chambers. On entering the office, he was informed that Benji had stepped out about an hour ago. He tried his number but no one picked. He boarded another bike and rode to Benji’s house at Kotokoto.
He knocked on the gate but the gate was already open. There was no one manning the gate. He saw Benji’s Mercedes Benz parked inside so he knew he was in. He climbed up to Benji’s flat. He knocked but got no answer. He knocked again but got no answer. He turned the handle and the door opened.
He entered the sitting room and on the center table, he saw Benji’s phone and car keys plus a lady’s purse. He shook his head. Benji and women. He heard giggling inside the room and sighed. He walked to Benji’s bar and got a bottle of Red Label and poured into a glass. He entered his kitchen to get ice. He came out and froze.
Right in front of him stood Benji and his wife, Rita, stark naked, kissing. Benji’s fingers were doing something between her legs. The glass of liquor fell off his hands and crashed on the floor. The two lovers jumped apart in shock.
DOPERCH: *_THE BEAUTIFUL GIFT OF A BROKEN HEART_*
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Rukevwe sat in her room, weeping. I have made a mess of my life. Oh, Samson! You played me. God! What am I to do? She thought to herself with tears streaming down her face
. She heard footsteps coming towards her room, she quickly wiped her eyes and laid on her bed facing the wall. Her mother opened the door and entered. She called her name twice, when she gave no reply, she left, closing the door softly behind her.
Mrs. Esther Badmus was a soft spoken woman who had grown up in affluence. She was fragile and easily fell sick. Due to her disposition, Pastor Josiah, her husband, ruled over her with all authority. She has never,
in all of the 31 years that they have been married, raised her voice at his commands or objected to his demands and the fiery Pastor Josiah loved it that way.
She entered the sitting room to meet her husband watching TV with a glass of juice by his side.
Esther Badmus: “Oghenekaro is not in the house again. I had wanted him to drive to Prince Etim’s house to help me collect the material samples for Samson’s wedding from his wife.”
Pastor Josiah Badmus gave no reply. He just went on watching TV. Esther stood for some seconds, then she turned and walked out of the sitting room. He looked at her then, as she walked away. That boy is trying me in this house and it is as a result of spoiling him; giving him everything he wants.
Rukevwe is more balanced than that boy. He sighed angrily and bent to sip some juice.
Karo entered the house immediately, greeted his dad and walked passed to climb the stairs to his room.
Pastor Josiah: “young man where do you think you are going?” he asked, removing his glasses from his eyes.
Karo stopped and turned back to his father.
Karo: “to my room.” he replied, his face frowning in stubbornness.
Pastor Josiah: “you are talking to me like that? Me, your father? You think you are a grown man right? Your mother has spoilt you rotten, now you have no sense.”
Karo: “Please dad you don’t have to insult me o. you did not ask me where I was coming from.”
Pastor Josiah: “Oh, I am very sorry my lord. Where are you coming from?”
Karo strolled to a seat and sat down. Well somebody has to tell them before the idiot hurts herself.
Karo: “I was at a bar along the express…I went to see a friend and I didn’t drink alcohol or play with girls.” He said, as he noticed his father’s frown.
Karo: “I met Samson, Prince Effiong’s son at the bar with some of his friends.” He continued.
Esther Badmus: “oh! You met Samson. Did he give you material samples for his wedding?”
Josiah Badmus; “woman shut up! Shut up and sit down or go back into the kitchen. Continue with what you were saying.” He replied angrily.
Karo: “so it is true that Samson is getting married? Hmmm…, Rukevwe is a big fool.”
Esther Badmus halfway into the kitchen stopped and turned back. She moved to speak then saw her husband’s eyes on her. She shut her mouth and sat down.
Karo sighed. This is not good o. he went on to tell his parents that Rukevwe had been seen coming out of Samson’s place on days that she was supposed to be in church for rehearsals.
Today she had been seen leaving with tears in her eyes. Josiah Badmus had nearly burst a vein in anger. He told him to go call Rukevwe. He did.
Karo came down with Rukevwe after some few minutes. She stood near the stairs and didn’t come forward, while Karo walked back and took a seat.
Josiah Badmus: “Come here Oghenerukevwe.”
Rukevwe walked timidly closer to her father then stopped.
Josiah Badmus: “what do you have with Samson?”
Rukevwe burst into tears to the surprise of everyone in the sitting room
James stood looking at his friend from childhood fondling his wife of 14 years. He was shocked by the sight of their nudity. He looked from one startled face to the other.
Benji: “bro, it’s not what you think. Please be calm let me explain.” He said, moving away from Rita.
Rita walked nonchalantly back into the room.
James: “documents for two plot of lands which you advised me to buy in her name…I am looking for it.” He asked, his voice shaking.
Benji: “i…i…she has sold it bro. she said that you guys want to start a business. Let me get a short on.” He replied in stutters. It doesn’t look good for a lawyer to be discussing plots of land, while naked. No it doesn’t.
James looked at him and smiled.
James: “everything has been taken from me and my best friend, you’ve taken the one thing that I valued above my life. You have destroyed me. You have broken me, my friend.”
He turned and walked to the door and stood.
James: “tell her to take care. Tell that all I did was for her. Treat her right, man.” Without turning round, he walked out of the apartment.
Benji stood silently in the sitting room. Rita came out with a wrapper around her chest. She walked to Benji and touched his arm.
Rita: “come into the room. What’s done is done.”
Benji looked at her and walked like a zombie back into the room.
Rukevwe: “we were dating sir.” She replied in between tears.
Josiah Badmus looked at his daughter quietly while her mother gasped in shock. Karo only nodded his head, not in the least bit surprised.
Josiah Badmus: “I see. So why are you crying?” he asked after a brief moment.
Rukevwe: “I am pregnant for him sir but he has rejected it and asked me to go and remove it.” She replied, fear and terror spilling off her face.
Esther Badmus: “Jesus! This girl has killed me. Jesu! Jesu!”
Karo stood up, anger all over his face.
Karo: “the bastard! He is going to pay. Let me get him first.” He turned to work towards the door.
Josiah Badmus: “get out of my house. As of this moment, Oghenerukevwe you cease to be my daughter. I disown you in the sight of God and man.” he said quietly
Esther Badmus: “Josiah!!”
Karo stepped back to look at his father, his anger increasing.
Karo: “what do you think you are doing….sir?”
Josiah Badmus: “anyone who interacts with this girl here will cease to be a member of my family. This I swear before God and man.”
Esther Badmus: “Josiah Badmus what are you doing? What will the church think?” her voice pleading.
Josiah Badmus: “their thoughts are theirs, my dear. Leave now, Oghenerukevwe. I never want to see you again.”
Rukevwe stood there numb, the tears had ceased immediately her father had disowned her. She heard only her heart thumping in her chest. She looked at her mother, who was on her knees pleading with the father. Through suddenly wet eyes, she turned to her father.
He sat there, his face to the wall; his face set like stone. She numbly walked to the door. Karo grabbed her hand and mouthed ‘wait for me outside the gate.’ She looked at him, her eyes begging him to help her, then she walked silently out of her father’s house.
Karo looked at his father and pondered at the man for some seconds then he ran past his mother who was weeping, seated on the ground. Karo came out of the house and out of the gate in a run. He turned right and left. Then he saw her walking slowly towards God knows where. He quickly ran towards her and soon caught up with her. He held and turned her around.
Karo: “forget what papa said. I will not leave you wandering the streets alone and do nothing. We need to do something about this pregnancy. Come we are going to a friend’s place.”
[4/7, 2:27 PM] DOPERCH: *_THE *BEAUTIFUL* GIFT OF A BROKEN *HEART_**
ONE WEEK LATER
James watched an intending buyer of his house go in with the house agent into his house. He had decided to sell it because it had memories that he wanted to forget. Besides he needed the money. He had a box of clothes by his side. He brought a bottle of Dry Gin and took a long drink. He sat by the gate and waited. After an hour, or so, they came out, with the agent beaming.
Agent: “He will take it sir. He wants to do a transfer immediately.”
James, already drunk, nodded and gave him a slip of paper. The agent quickly rushed back to the buyer, who immediately did a transfer to James’ account.
Agent: “sir what about those pictures, children clothes and cooking utensils in there?”
James: “what he cannot use, let him burn.” He slurred, handing over the house papers to the agent.
A message tone rang out. James brought out his phone and looked at it. He had received a bank alert. He did a transfer into the agent’s account, picked his bag and staggered out without looking back.
Karo carried Rukevwe to his friend, Akpevwe’s place and begged him to accommodate his sister until he can get a better place for her. Akpevwe agreed and welcomed Rukevwe into the two bedroom flat.
Before Karo left, he sat with Rukevwe, who begged him not to go.
Rukevwe: “Please stay with me brother, I have no one else. Please.”
Karo: “I have to get to school. You know that I have been pursuing this admission for years. Don’t worry, Akpevwe is like a brother to me, he will treat you right.”
Rukevwe: “everybody has left me. Am I the first person to be pregnant outside wedlock? God, please forgive me and help me.”
Karo: “God has nothing to do with this, Rukky. This is the work of man.”
Rukevwe: “I loved him. I thought…I thought a lot of things. I was a fool.” She replied, sobbing.
Karo hugged her and held her clothes as her body shook with sobs.
Karo: “Popsy cannot be this harsh. Don’t worry, he will change his mind and call you home. As for Samson, that was no love”
Rukevwe pulled away from Karo.
Rukevwe: “He is not my father. Whatever we had between us, as father and daughter, ended when he threw me out of his house.”
Karo: “relax. You know how he is. You are speaking out of pain and anger now. He is still your father. He will come around. That is why I don’t want you to go far.”
Rukevwe wiped her face and stood up as Karo stood up to go. He gave her the phone, she had forgotten at home and they hugged one last time. Karo left and Rukevwe walked back into the strange house, entered the strange room, laid on the strange bed and wept.
Pastor Josiah stood in his office, thinking. My daughter with a child out of wedlock? So all the gospel that I have shared both at home and in church did not sink in? These children think they can disgrace me. No! I will not contain rubbish. No! Let her go and deal with that pregnancy. After everything I had done? What did she need a boyfriend for?
Someone knocked, opened the office door and walked in. it was Karo.
Karo: “I am leaving the country for school. I have found a place for Rukevwe to stay. If anything should happen to that girl while I am gone, it will be on your head.” He whirled about and walked out of the room
Josiah stared at the door for some minutes then went back to his seat. He opened the bible on his table and read.
Samson waited for the gate man to open the gate. As the gate opened, he drove only to stop on seeing a car blocking his way. He came out of his car in anger, walking briskly to the obstructing car. The occupant of the car opened the door and stepped out. In a rush, Karo, who had been in the car, tackled Samson to the ground and a fight began. They rolled from left to right and back, throwing punches and kicks; grunting and breathing hard. The gate man came and separated them.
Karo: “You think you can impregnate my baby sister and walk away free, right? You want to get married while my sister has been thrown out of the house?”he said, panting, his face covered in dust.
Samson: “I did not impregnate your sister. If she said I did she is lying. She came to me for help and as a family friend I did.”He replied, grunting in pain. his jaws hurt.
Karo: “there is no problem. You can lie all you want but know this, one day the truth will be revealed. This I can guarantee you.” He dusted his shirt and trousers, got into his car and drove away.
Samson watched him drive away then turned angrily back into the house. He came out with a small valise and entered the car.
Samson: “If my mom asks after me, tell her I have gone to Lagos to sort some things out.” He told the gate man. Then he entered his car and drove away.
Rukevwe sat in her room. Karo had traveled to the United Kingdom three months earlier. She was alone in the world. I wish I cold just die and let this pain end. Her eyes were swollen from weeping. She looked at her surrounding and decided to do some cleaning to keep her mind off things. As she bent and swept the room, she cried until the floor became blurry in her eyes.
She was cleaning the parlour when Akpevwe came in. he looked at her round behind and smiled to himself. He walked quietly to the fridge, brought out water and drank. Rukevwe raised her head at the sound of the fridge closing. Akpevwe leaned on the fridge
Akpevwe: “do you have a boyfriend?”
Rukevwe: “No sir. I don’t.”
Akpevwe: “My name is Akpevwe dear. Don’t call me sir. Hmmm…that’s sad because you are real pretty.”
Rukevwe: “thank you sir.”
Akpevwe laughed and walked towards her. He acted like he was walking passed, then he turned and tickled her. Rukevwe jumped in alarm.
Akpevwe’s eyes widened at the way her breast had bounced. He smiled to himself, this bitch is asking for it. He rushed her and grabbed her. Rukevwe pleaded with him in tears, told him that she was a virgin, that she was pregnant, that she had AIDS.
Akpevwe: “Yo pastor pikin? Na…yo are ripe for the plucking.” He replied to her pleas as he tore her panties and went on to rape her.
] DOPERCH: *THE BEAUTIFULh GIFT OF A BROKEN HEART.*
The next morning while Akpevwe was not around, Rukevwe, sobbing quietly, packed her bag and left the house. She boarded a bus headed for Benin. Akpevwe had sex with her throughout the day before. He had kept saying that he loved her as he pumped up and down on top of her, his salty sweat mixing with bitter tears from her tightly shut eyes.
She alighted from the bus at Ring Road and stood unsure of what to do. She walked and walked, scared and tired. She saw a hairdressing salon advertising for help.
She entered and met a lady. She explained her plight to her. She was willing to work. She just needed a place to stay. Alero took pity on her and took her home. Rukevwe became a hairdresser while her stomach slowly grew with the baby. Karo, she could not reach as Akpevwe had seized her phone.
She lived with Alero, never complaining and always avoiding her boyfriend, Duke, who comes to visit often. In those nights, she slept in the shop and the mosquitoes did a number on her.
EIGHT AND HALF MONTHS LATER
James held the bottle of Lord’s Gin closely to himself as he staggered out of the party. He could not remember who hosted the party but it was a good party. There had been drinks and weed. Everything was awesome. Perfect party, he thought to himself as he staggered forward along the road. This was a good night to go. The river will be perfect; wash my sins away.
He stood before the shop, waiting. Then he walked to the river. He walked quickly until he got to the sandy pile that started the wood market that lined the River. The soil here was mixed with sawdust and wood shavings, so he walked carefully until he got close to the pillars that held the bridge.
He found a dry spot after wading a bit and sat down. He brought out a stick of weed and lit it with his lighter. He drew a lungful of weed smoke and let it entertain his heart. Let me smoke this last one and finish my drink, then we will say or goodbyes. He chuckled.
He was as high as a kite.
He felt like stretching his leg on his perch and got up to properly align himself for the feat then, he heard a sound. It was someone wading into the river close to where he was standing. He turned and watched until he saw, the person, a girl carrying a bundle in her arms.
He looked at the girl suspiciously and immediately started walking fast towards her. She did not seem to notice him. So he walked faster and was able to grab her hand before she could toss the bundle into the river. A cry pierced the night. It was a baby. James looked at the girl in shock then took the baby from her.
The girl immediately burst into tears and fell to her knees on the water
Girl: “I can’t, I can’t, God! I can’t go on like this. What did I do? Is it a crime to love? God! Why me…” she cried her pain out in the shallow part of the river as James held the baby and tried to calm it.
James looked at the girl. This is serious. He could not see her clearly; he looked at the bawling baby.
James: “erm, young lady am too high to be standing in the river right now. So am going to step back, slowly out of this river, okay?”
The girl looked at him and got up. She walked like someone, for who, all hope had disappeared.
Rukevwe watched the man silently. He was clearly drunk but he held the baby with tenderness. She looked down at her wet skirt and tried to press the water out of it.
James; “stop any Keke that you see empty. I can’t carrying this baby and stop Keke at the same time.”
Rukevwe looked at the man then turned to stop a Keke going their way. They soon boarded one, and James gave the driver his address. He lived in a one room apartment inside Ikpoba Slope. Rukevwe looked around the house as they entered. James staggered to the bed and dropped the baby. He was getting really high. That weed must have been the shit, he thought to himself as the bed wavered in front of him.
James: “there’s a kettle there somewhere you can boil water to bathe yourself and the baby.” He said as he laid down on the bed.
Rukevwe looked at him, then at the baby. Pain crossed her face. She got up and went looking for the kettle. She found it, put water into it then placed it on a kerosene stove. At that moment, BEDC took power and everywhere plunged into darkness. Rukevwe sat quietly in the dark and listened to James snore. She managed to bathe the baby and wash herself using a torch she found on a table. She placed the baby on the bed and laid beside it but did not sleep. James snored on.
Timothy looked at the gun. He took the cleaning rag and gave it a final wipe before placing it down. He picked his cigarette from the ashtray and took a drag. He sat back and watched the others as they cleaned their tools.
Timothy: “brodaly una know how dis mata dey play o. no dulling. Bandit you know where you go pack shey? No do like last time wey we come get to trek pass three compounds before we see you o. this level na very serious level o. where your babe? “He asked looking at one of the men.
The man, named Ballz turned to look around.
Ballz: “I no sure say she don come from market o.”
Timothy: “which kind market be dat? She no know say we get operation this night?”
Carlos: “wit dat kain yansh wey she carry how she go fit waka fast?”
Someone chuckled and Ballz turned around.
Ballz: “come make una no dey discuss my babe like dat. I no like am.”
The lady in question walked in at that moment. She looked at the guys in the sitting room and greeted them, then she entered the kitchen. Another girl, Betty, got up and joined her in the kitchen. Timothy closed his eyes and thought to the night’s operation.
They have been eyeing the duplex for weeks now. The owner was rarely around. According to the information given to him, the couple just got back from Dubai. Really wealthy young couple. There was money in that house and he, Timothy intended to get it. Tonight is going to be a good night, he thought.
James woke up to the sound of a baby crying. My neighbor has given birth already. So soon? He thought. But the sounds was closer than normal. Was the baby crying in his room? Then he jumped up; the girl and her baby.
He looked around but saw no one except the baby, bawling on the bed. Where is this girl? Hope she has not abandoned this child for me o? He got up and went to the baby.
He looked at the child. He swayed. He had a splitting headache. I need a drink. He picked the baby and patting the baby, he went to get his bottle of gin. He placed the bottle on the floor, placed his legs around it then opened. He took a big swallow and sighed. The baby was still crying. He looked at the baby and sighed again. He turned and placed the baby on the bed and saw a piece of paper. He picked it up and read it. After reading it, he crushed it in anger. What is this? Is she mad? What does she take me for? She wants to abandon this child. Women are wicked! He looked at the baby then went out.
James came back with his neighbor, an old widow. Mama, as she is called, was 75 years old, a grandmother and a retired midwife. She was still walking straight, hale and hearty. Mama entered the room and looked at the baby.
Mama: “she needs to be cleaned. Where did you say the mother went to?”
James: “she said she was going to bring her bag from where she left it.”
Mama nodded and picked the sweating, crying baby from the bed. She removed its clothes and undid the napkin. James turned away. The baby had pooped on its napkin. Mama instructed him on what to do and he went about making the baby neat.
Rukevwe walked quietly to where she kept her worldly possessions. Karo had tried for her but he had traveled to the States. Things were now different. She sighed and walked on. She soon saw a Keke and boarded it to the compound she had kept her bag. She had taken the money from the drunk man. I hope he doesn’t mind. She got to the compound and knocked on a door. A girl stepped out, yawning.
Alero: “Rukky, howfar na?”
Rukevwe: “good morning. Please I want to carry my bag.”
Alero: “okay. Come inside na.”
Rukevwe entered the room. Her bag was placed close to the bed. She picked it and turned to go.
Rukevwe: “thank you for your help.”
Alero: “no yawa. Abeg no vex o. i hope say you understand? Where your baby?”
Rukevwe: “She is with a friend. I am going to meet her now. Thank you. There is no problem. you have even tried.”
Alero: “Okay. Make una take care o.”
Rukevwe left her and walked to the road. Alero stood watching her as she walked on. She shook her head and turned to go inside then she heard a screech and a crash. She turned back immediately, she saw a white Hilux speeding away. It was still morning, not much people was up. She rushed to the road, screaming for help. She got there in time to meet Rukevwe jerk her last and give up the ghost. Alero screamed for help, watching the poor girl die. People soon started gathering in their numbers.
] DOPERCH: *THE BEAUTIFUL GIFT OF *A BROKEN HEART.*
Alero was questioned by the police. She didn’t know much about the girl. she knew her name was Rukky and she spoke only English.
She came to leave with her for some days after she told her that the man that was taking care of her had raped her while she was pregnant; again and again. She said Rukky had claimed that her brother will soon come and he will pay her for her help. But her boyfriend had not liked the idea of a pregnant girl staying in the house, so she had to ask her to go look for a house or somewhere to stay. Alero explained in tears. She blamed herself for the girl’s death. If she had helped the girl, she won’t be dead now.
The police asked her about the baby but Alero did not know. She had left *the day before with the baby* whom she had given birth to a week ago but had not returned with the baby when she came to carry her bag. She did not know the person that had helped Rukky, whom she had left the baby with. The girl was buried in the local cemetery and forgotten.
Pastor Josiah preached a great sermon that Sunday, filled with fire and brimstone, hell and damnation. Altar calls were made and people came out in droves to rededicate their lives to Jesus Christ. He prayed over them and the choir ministered a powerful number. Service was glorious. After service, he stood and greeted his church members. Esther on the other hand stood aside and watched Samson and his new bride greeted well-wishers.
They had done a thanksgiving for their wedding that occurred two weeks ago. The wedding had been a sumptuous affair. He had married a senator’s daughter. They had just returned from their honeymoon and were radiant with excitement and joy.
Esther watched him as he smiled and held his new wife close. Her heart constricted in pain as she thought of her daughter, pregnant and disowned. She thought of her son who had moved out of the house due to his father’s refusal to forgive Rukevwe and she laid all the blame at the boy’s feet. Samson, you better pray nothing happens to my daughter, you better pray.
Samson came with his new bride, Kelly to greet her, smiling. She looked at him as he spoke his thanks, she watched his face and observed how he held his wife close and smiled lovingly at her. She turned and walked away without a word. It’s best I leave before I commit murder. As she left she caught her husband looking at her, she looked at him full in the face and let him see her anger
. They were never great friends but she had loved him and always obeyed him but this was too much to bear. She walked into the pastor’s office and shut the door.
Kelly looked at Samson for an explanation of Mrs. Esther Badmus’ behaviour, Samson just shrugged and they moved on to greet other people.
James waited for the girl to return but she didn’t. Mama came to help him feed the baby and bathe her in the evening. After having his dinner, he stepped outside and sat down on his veranda. He lit a cigarette and smoked while he watched Mama play with the baby amidst other children in the compound.
What do I do? Where do I go with this? I can’t take care of this baby o. I will take it to the police station and leave her there. Or better still an orphanage home. That is the best thing to do. I will look for a good orphanage home close by and drop her off there. By God’s grace, she will get a home or something. I wonder what gave that girl the guts to run out on her child like this. Well she was throwing her into the river when I saw her so what do I expect?
James got up, brought out his bottle of gin and started drinking.
Lady Janice Akpomiemie sat before the prophetess. This prophetess has never failed her and she trusted her prophecies.
Prophetess: “Janice, Janice… you only remember me when you have needs o. you never come to say hi.”
Lady Janice: “noooo…it’s not like that now. You know with traveling and business, I am rarely in town.”
Prophetess; “yet I see you in newspapers and magazines o. from one party to the next.”
Lady Janice: “ahahahahaha…that is where I get my clients o.”
Prophetess; ‘ok o. so… back to business. What is the problem?”
Lady Janice: “Well business is really poor this period and I am tired of being alone in that big house. Chief is rarely home, I have no children to keep me company. I want to adopt a baby sha but I don’t want to adopt just any child. I don’t want anyone with bad head that will bring bad luck to me and my house. I want the one that will be a blessing to me and my family.”
Prophetess: “that one no be problem. From what I understand, you want to improve your business and have a child too. Well when you don ready, me and you will go to an orphanage home together.”
Lady Janice breathed a sigh of relief.
Prophetess: “Oya wetin you bring come?”
Lady Janice laughed and dipped her hand into her bag.
Karo entered Nigeria in a hurry. He drove straight from Osubi Airport to Akpevwe’s place. He had fucked up. How can I put my sister in a friend’s care And he is telling me she disappeared. What nonsense! He got down from the car and walked into the house. He barged in without knocking. Akpevwe was on his sofa with a girl.
Karo: “so my pregnant sister is missing and you are here chilling with your girlfriend, shey?” he said as he grabbed Akpevwe’s shirt and jerked him up.
The girl screamed in surprise. Akpevwe looked at Karo in fear.
Akpevwe; “boss no be so na. when you come? I be no dey expect you until two years time o. Your sister just get up one day say she dey go buy something and I no see am again. I look for her everywhere I no see am. When I see am, she no gree follow me come back, say she wan dey on her own. Make e show me where she dey stay, she no gree. Wetin I go do?”
Karo: “wetin you go do? Wetin you go do? Why you no call me? Why you no hold am? Why you no call police arrest am even? You be my guy but see as you do me. Person wey I put under your care.”
He pushed Akpevwe off and turned. As he walked past the girl, he stopped and turned back. He snatched the phone the girl held from her hands.
Karo: “wero, dis no be d phone wey I buy give my sister before I travel?”
Akpevwe: “erm…erm…The phone be get fault.”
Karo: “ehen? So your girlfriend dey repair phone shey? You carry my sister phone give your babe? Akpevwe pray make I see my sister. If I no see am, you go know me. I don tell you finish.”
He walked out of the house with the phone, anger boiling his blood. Dad, you caused this; you and that Samson. And I too, what did I do? I left her and traveled. Where could she be now? He sat inside his car, drained of the anger. He sat there depressed. After some time, he started the car and drove away.
James staggered in the night. He waved to the left then to the right, kicked a stone and fell. An incoming car swerved quickly to avoid crushing. The driver stopped the car and came out of his car in a rush.
Driver: “Are you mad? You want to die?” the man screamed at James.
James tried to stand up, ignoring the man totally. The man grew angrier and grabbed his shirt. He staggered forward and suddenly the man went still.
James looked at the man and tried to recognize the face but he was too drunk to see properly.
Benji: “Jesus, James. Look at you. Where have you been? I have been looking for you.”
James: “looking for me, what for? If it’s a debt, I don’t have money to pay. You will have to wait your turn like every other person.”
Benji: “James… Ha! James… it’s me, Benji.”
James burst into rage and pushed hard at Benji.
James: “stay away from me. Stay far away from me.” He turned and started staggering home.
Benji looked at him for some minutes and, then he got into his car and slowly followed James.
Timothy and his gang stormed the house. It was in Bendel Estate. They had entered during the day as workmen in different part of the estate. As evening came, they started moving slowly towards the target. One by one, they moved; one stopping at a bar, another at a barbing salon, another at a football viewing center. In such manner, they moved slowly towards their targeted house. By 10, they were in position and they were soon jumping into the compound one by one.
Carlos quickly knocked the gateman out and tied him up with ropes. He also gagged him with a cloth. Timothy set his skills to work on the windows and soon they were entering through an empty room. Everybody immediately spread to different parts of the house. He and Ballz went to the master bedroom and quietly opened the door.
Ballz pulled out a gun and was immediately by the side of the bed. He tapped the woman awake. She opened her eyes sleepily then it opened wider when she saw the gun pointed at her. She immediately sat up and got up from the bed as Ballz motioned her to get up.
Timothy went to the other side and tapped the man. The man opened his eyes and he frowned at the strange smiling face staring at him. Timothy gave him a slap and he got up angrily but stopped when he saw a gun pointed at him.
He raised his hands up. Timothy smiled.
Timothy: “Hi Mr. Samson Effiong. How was your trip to Dubai? Hoe you brought goodies. Myself, I have a craving for chocolates.”
DOPERCH: *THE BEAUTIFUL GIFT OF A BROKEN HEART.*
James staggered into his area, unaware that Benji was following him slowly in his car. He walked to his room and sat on the veranda. He stared drunkenly at the headlight of the car that drove slowly to the compound.
James:”Oga dim your light now, are you just learning how to drive?” he asked in a slurred voice.
Mama walked to where James was seated and looked at him. He is drunk again. She raised her head as a man stepped out of the car and walked towards them.
Benji: “Good evening ma.”
James, on hearing the voice, roused himself in anger. He rained curses on Benji and tried to get up to fight but he was too dizzy. He fell on his face and promptly passed out right there on the ground.
Benji turned back to the woman and greeted her again.
Mama: “good evening, ma pikin. How are you?”
Benji: “I am fine ma. I used to be a friend of James here.”
Mama: “James…so that is his name. We all just call him neighbour. What happened to him?”
Benji: “a series of incidents occurred in rapid succession. They cracked him then I delivered the last blow that shattered him. I slept with his wife.”
Mama stepped back and looked at Benji.
Mama: “So how did that go?”
Benji looked down at his feet.
Mama; “you people with women. You think that a woman is a prized possession like a car. That is why you do the things you do. See what you did to your own friend.”
Benji turned to look at James, who was snoring loudly on the ground. He moved to him and grabbed him by the arm. Mama went to open his room door and together they managed to carry him in. They were able to because he had lost a lot of weight. He had lost all the fat he had when the going was good. They placed him on a bed and came outside.
Benji: “I know he does not want to see me but maybe you can help me make his life better?” he asked, looking at Mama.
Mama: “are you still with his wife?”
Benji: “Rita? She disappeared some months back with money I kept in her account. I guess I fell for the same trick as James here.”
Mama: “because you men never learn to differentiate between a wife and an ashawo or a gold digger. Let me give you my number. You can call me from time to time.”
Benji: “Okay. I saw baby things inside just now. Has he remarried?”
Mama: “no o. He had visitors but they are gone.”
They exchanged numbers and Benji took his leave. Mama walked back to James’ room and watched the man sleep for a moment then she left back to her own rooms.
Samson looked at Timothy in fear. He turned to see his wife, standing on shaky legs beside another man holding a gun.
Samson: “Please don’t shoot. I will give you anything you want.”
Timothy: “good man. So how was your trip to Dubai?”
Samson: “it was fine.” He answered in surprise. How did these people know my movement? He thought.
Timothy: “good, very good. What did you bring for us?”
Samson: “eh…it was not a business trip sir. I went for my honeymoon.”
Ballz: “Oga abeg I no get time for this una talk o. you wan friend am? Guy where d raba dey?”
Ballz: “d bread, d kudi, d pepper, d dough…where e dey?”
Samson: “I don’t bake sir.”
Ballz: “Boss I go beat dis guy faint o. you know d character o.”
Timothy: “my guy here is hot blooded. We know you have a certain safe containing a certain amount of money. Please can I have it, I have pressing needs.”
Samson: “I don’t know what you are talking about sir. There’s no money in this house.”
Ballz gave Samson’s wife a hard slap. She screamed in pain and burst into tears.
Timothy: “I don’t like to see women hurt. It makes me sad, really. Do you want to see me sad, Samson?”
Samson: “No sir.” He said fearfully, looking at his weeping wife.
Timothy: “so where is the money?”
Samson: “there’s no…Jesus! Please stop!” He screamed as Ballz punched his wife in her stomach. The woman crumbled to the floor in a faint.
Timothy: “Now see what you have made him do? I am sorry about that. My colleague tends to be hasty and seems to love his job. Come, let’s go take a look at the safe that is not supposed to be here.” He said, motioning Samson forward with his gun.
Samson looked at his wife on the ground as he moved forward.
Timothy: “do not worry. She is fine.”
They walked out of the room quietly. Samson took him to his home office and opened a safe on the wall behind a portrait of his father, Prince Etim Effiong. In it was stacked bundles of money in different currency. Timothy smiled at him and ordered him to remove the money into a bag, he gave to him. Samson did as he was told. Pretty soon, all Timothy and his gang were out of the house and they disappeared quietly into the night.
James woke up suddenly in the night, in panic. The baby… the baby… where is the baby? He rushed out of bed. He looked about his room but saw nothing in the dark. He switched on his touch and staggered as hangover hit him hard. He shook his head to clear it and opened his door. He stepped out and rushed to Mama’s room and start knocking. He knocked until the old woman came and opened the door.
James: “where is the baby? Did you take the baby?” he asked, trying to poke his head into the old woman’s room.
Mama: “what is wrong with you? Do you know what time it is? You want to bring robbers down on us here, abi?”
James: “sorry but I woke up and can’t find the baby. What if the girl comes, what will I tell her?”
Mama: “which girl? That girl has dumped that child on you. I took the child to an orphanage home. You are clearly unfit to take care of a baby. Look at you! You left her here and went drinking!” Mama was shouting on James now.
James opened his mouth as he stared at her.
James: “You took her to an orphanage home without informing me? Was she put under your care?”
Mama: “before you can take care of someone, you need to be able to take care of yourself. If you care for the baby, clean yourself up, get a job and apply for adoption, I will help you get her. She is not your child of course, so what do you care?”
James stood, confused. His head pounding from the effort of trying to think. He looked around the compound. He turned and walked back to his room, entered and shut the door. where’s the fucking bottle? The child will soon be picked by the mother. I just have to wait for her to return. He laid back on his bed, his head filled with different thoughts.
Samson rushed back to his wife after the robbers left. She was struggling up from the ground. Her negligee was stained with blood. Samson rushed to her and held her. She held him close as she wept, her body shaking. He dialed the family doctor, who was in the house in no time. Before he did, she passed out again.
DOPERCH: *THE BEAUTIFUL GIFT OF A BROKEN HEART.*
At the hospital, Kelly, Samson’s wife was quickly checked by the doctor. He came back and informed the frantic Samson that she had a miscarriage. He sat down in shock when he heard that then he bent his head and wept.
Prof. Amaka was in good spirits. Her connection with the orphanage homes had yielded bigger dividends than expected. The NGO now had a section that catered to women seeking the fruit of the womb. They provided assistance through connections to reliable in-vitro fertilization clinics, orphanages and also the surrogate mother option. It was a cash cow. Money was pouring in like a dam that had broken its banks. She smiled as she went through the finances of the foundation for the month. She was excited. She sat back and smiled. A knock came on her door.
Prof. Amaka: “come in.”
Her assistant, Omo, entered the office.
Omo: “there is a man from Save A Child Orphanage. He says he has something to discuss with you.”
Prof. Amaka: “Oh, please do send him in.”
Omo nodded and stepped out again. A man came in some minutes later and greeted Prof. Amaka.
Prof. Amaka: “please do sit down. You said you had something to talk to me about?”
David Obatare: “yes ma. I am David Obatare, the director of Save A Child orphanage.”
Prof. Amaka: “yes…”
David Obatare: “I have a program in which persons interested in having children can have as much as they want.”
Prof. Amaka: “My dear man, I have access to this already. I am a very busy person; please do not waste my time.
David Obatare: “what if I can guarantee new born babies that have not experienced the rigors of an orphanage home?”
Prof. Amaka: “I am listening.” She said, smiling.
James walked into the office angrily. He had not been able to press his shirt and his tie had faded. He had not worn any of these clothes in months. He felt weird. The shirts didn’t fit him well. He had already lost the potbellied stomach that gave him the reason for wearing such sizes of shirt. He greeted the lady at the desk.
James: “good morning. “
Omo: “good morning sir. What can I do for you?”
James: “well I came to see if you had need for an accountant.”
Omo: “you are an accountant?” she asked, wrinkling her nose in distaste.
James: “with 20 years of experience.” He said, nodding his head.
Omo looked him up and down. 20 years? Well, let’s see.
Omo: “drop your CV. We will call you.”
James brought out the envelope containing his CV and his application letter and gave it to her. She took it and bid him goodbye. At that moment, Prof. Amaka opened her door and ushered her visitor out of the office and saw James.
Prof. Amaka: “James Umukoro! James E. Umukoro!”
James turned on hearing his name. He looked at her for a moment and he felt shame wrap him. He stood there as she walked towards him, smiling.
Prof. Amaka: “James…James, how are you? It’s been a while. I heard what happened. What have you been up to?”
James smiled looking at the painting of a young woman on the wall.
James: “Hi Prof. I am sorry that we meet in this unusual circumstances. You run this place?”
Prof. Amaka: “I do. come inside. Mr. David, I will get back to you, okay.” She spoke to her guest, who still stood waiting for her to be done with James.
David Obatare: “Okay ma. Expecting your call.” He replied and left the office.
James and Prof. Amaka walked back into her office.
Karo sat with his mom in his room. His father was at the church.
Karo: “it was my fault. I was too angry with you. I should have listen to your advice to take her to one of your sisters In Lagos. Besides will your sisters want a pregnant girl in their home? My annoyance now, is that someone I trusted to have my back can betray me like this.”
His mother, Mrs. Esther Badmus listened quietly as he spoke. Karo grumbled on and on until he observed that his mother had not commented once while he was talking, so he stopped.
Karo: “Mom, you have not said anything about what I have told you so far.”
Esther: “I didn’t speak when it was necessary for me to speak, why will I speak now. Who will hear my words? What changes will my words bring? It is rather late, don’t you think?” she asked.
She got up immediately and left Karo to his thoughts.
Lady Janice was tired. She has been to several orphanage homes with her Prophetess but was yet to see a child that had that good luck. She looked at the child seated before her and turned to Prophetess.
Lady Janice: “what do you think?”
The prophetess looked at the child and shook her head. Lady Janice sighed and handed the child back to the Director. The director gave it to a woman standing by her side. The woman left with the child. The Director walked back to her seat and sat down.
Director: “it seems we have not been able to satisfy your needs, madam?”
Lady Janice; “I am tired myself. I want to go, I have somethings I have left unattended.” She said, standing up.
Director: “wait madam, I have a suggestion to make. Am sorry erm…Prophetess can you please excuse us. This might not be comfortable for you to hear.”
Lady Janice; “speak joor.”
Director looked from the Prophetess to Lady Janice and nodded.
Director: this orphanage is presently running a program with the Emenike Foundation. Together we are trying to cater to the needs of women searching for babies all over the country. Emenike Foundation provides the option of in-vitro fertilization and surrogate mothers besides our orphanage. Youi could try either option if not satisfied.”
Lady Janice looked at the Prophetess, who looked at her without uttering a word.
Lady Janice: “I have to go. I will get back to you on that. Thank you.” she said, getting up again.
Lady Janice soon left the orphanage home with Prophetess.
James sat in Prof. Amaka’s office and they spoke of old times. He used to be her account officer before the promotions started coming. She has been a friend since then although they had lost contact when she relocated from Delta State. He then explained that he needed a job.
She smiled at him and told him to resume as the foundation’s accountant the next week. James was excited and thanked her profusely. She then gave him money for transport fare and James left.
He got home excitedly that day and quickly related to Mama what had transpired. She was happy for him. She then told him the name of the orphanage home, she had dropped the baby. He thanked and went into his room.
Esther Badmus entered the salon where she made her hair. She had been wearing cap to church for some days now in order to hide the fact that her hair was unmade. She needed a different hairstyle now. She was greeted familiarly by the girls in the salon and a chair was immediately provided for her to sit. She sat down quietly and picked a magazine. She observed a new face among the girls. She turned to the owner of the salon, Cynthia
Esther: “Cynthia you don get new girl?”
Cynthia: “No o, na my younger sister. She come visit me.”
The girl greeted Esther and Esther replied her and went back to reading the magazine. The girls soon got talking. They gossiped and laughed and made jokes. Esther always enjoyed coming here because she always heard things happening on the street and the jokes too. One of the girls, Onyinye, looked at Cynthia’s sister.
Onyinye: “Na wa o Alero, you sister tell us say dat girl wey dey stay wit you don die?”
Alero: “d matter tire me, I swear. As in ehn, I dey regret why I tell am make she leave my house. I dey feel like say na me cause her death. E join wetin carry me comot Benin o. I just need new place to calm my head.”
Esther: “don’t talk like that. Why did the girl not have a place to stay in the first place? She has no parents? No husband? No sibling?”
Alero: “madam according to am she say when she get belle, her papa disown am come drive her comot house. The person wey her brother put am wit before he travel abroad come begin dey sleep wit am. Dis one so she get belle o. na im she run comot d idiot place for Warri, come follow me stay o.”
Onyinye: “na you drive am?”
Cynthia: “I tire for am o.”
Alero: “Na because of dat stupid Duke na. He say she dey crowd d place and me, mumu agree wit am. E pain me for Rukevwe sha. Na really nice girl. I wonder how she do the….”
Esther had jumped up at the name and everyone was looking at her in surprise.
Cynthia: “Madam wetin happen?”
Esther: “what is the name you mentioned now?” she said, looking at Alero.
Alero: “Rukevwe. She say her name na Rukevwe.”
Esther: “can you describe her?”
Alero: “describe? I get her picture for my phone, make I show you.”
Alero went to her purse and brought out her phone. She opened it and scrolled to her pictures folder, she found the picture and walked back to where Esther stood, heart palpitating in fear. Esther screamed on seeing the picture and fainted. There was pandemonium in the salon.
DOPERCH: *THE BEAUTIFUL GIFT OF A BROKEN HEART.*
Pastor Josiah Badmus watched his wife, Esther, laid on the hospital bed, tears flowing down her face. He held her hand and sat on her bed. She had not spoken since he came. They were waiting for the doctor.
Pastor Josiah: “Dear, what is wrong? You have not said anything since you woke up. What happened?” he asked with concern in his voice.
Esther turned to look at him then, she burst into another bout of tears. Pastor Josiah was confused. The door opened and Karo entered in a rush. He looked at his father in anger but behind that anger was pain.
Karo: “are you happy now sir?”
Pastor Josiah: “happy about what and why are you talking to me like that?”
Karo: “I will talk to you anyhow I deem fit. You are not worthy to preach on an altar of God. You are not worthy to be a father…”
Pastor Josiah: “young man, are you mad? You see your mother lying here ill and you are here spewing rubbish out of your mouth. What is wrong with you? Is this how the children of nowadays tell their parents thank you? With disrespect?” he replied, angry veins coming out of his neck.
Karo: “why do you think she is on that bed in the first place? You sit there in the comfort of the knowledge that you are headed for heaven. If its people like you that are going to make heaven then I choose hell.”
Pastor Josiah: “you better stop this nonsense now before you make me utter words you will regret.”
Karo: “I already regret being your son. I regret not acting properly when I should have. I regret not being there.” He said then he burst into tears and fell to his knees.
Pastor Josiah looked with surprise at his son. What is going on? Yes we have had our differences but not to this extent. What has come over this boy?
Karo got up with tears in his eyes, looking at his father with hatred.
Karo: “pray she gets well. If anything should happen to her that day you will know the kind of child you brought into this world.” Karo said then turned to leave, hitting the doctor off the way as he blew past in rage.
Pastor Josiah looked at the doctor then turned to his wife. She had turned to the wall. What is going on here?
Pastor Josiah: “Esther! What is going on? Is there something I need to know? I cannot understand either you or Oghenekaro.” He asked in anger.
Esther turned back and looked at him through tear-filled eyes.
Esther: “Rukevwe, the daughter you disowned is dead. A child I carried for nine months, breastfed and watched grow is dead because of your ego, pride and your position in society. A pastor let his only daughter roam the streets because she became pregnant for a boy. Ha! Josiah, you are wicked. I hope you are happy now.
The shame has been washed from the family name. I hope you can sleep well at night. When you pray, tell your god that you have obeyed his word to the letter. I curse you Josiah Badmus. I curse the day I said I do.”
Pastor Josiah stepped back, shocked.
He grasped his chest and collapsed to the floor. The doctor rushed to him and called out to the nurses to come help him. Esther raised herself from the bed to stare at her husband on the floor.
Esther: “is he alright?”
Doctor: “please rest your head. He is in good hands.”
Esther hissed and rested her head back on the pillow.
James and Mama went to the Hope Orphanage home where the baby had been placed by Mama before. They met the director on seat but he had guests so they sat outside, waiting for them. Some minutes later, they came out and after pleasantries, the visitors left. The director invited James and Mama into his office.
Director: “welcome ma, welcome sir. You have come for the baby?”
Mama; “yes my son. We also brought gifts to show our appreciation for taking care of the baby while my son was recovering.”
Director: “there’s no problem. Let me send for her.” He picked up his phone and called one of the women who worked in the orphanage to come with the baby.
The woman soon came with the child. James was glad to see the baby. He took the baby from the woman and began to play with her. The door opened and the visitors entered.
Lady Janice; “sorry to return like this but my friend wanted to ask…ha! Director! What kind of person are you?”
Director; “madam what is the problem? You see, am with visitors.”
Lady Janice; “doctor, you didn’t show me this baby o. why will you do that now?” she asked angrily.
Prophetess came in at that moment and saw the baby. She stepped forward and looked closely at the baby then she turned to Lady Janice and nodded.
Lady Janice; “Please sir, am sorry o but I am a very desperate woman.
Please there are other children here, older ones too. Let me have this one, please.”
Director: “Madam I didn’t show you this one because she is a special case. She was dropped here because her guardian was sick. They have come to collect her back.”
James watched the woman with sad eyes. I wish I could help her but I owe that girl this. He turned to the director and thanked him then he got up and left the office with Mama. Before they got to the gate of the orphanage, a jeep screeched before them and stopped. The windows wound down. It was Lady Janice and Prophetess.
Lady Janice: “how much?’
James: “How much what?” he replied, looking at her suspiciously.
Lady Janice: “how much for the baby? You can’t take care of her like I will. I have everything and I can make you very rich too.”
James looked at Mama and both of them turned and walked away from the car.
Lady Janice watched them leave. A thought had just crossed her mind.
Samson was at his father’s place. He had come with his wife for a visit. Kelly was on the phone so he sat with his mom. Princess Imabong looked at her son. This young man is troubled, that reminds me
Princess Imabong: “did you hear that Rukevwe is dead?”
Samson turned in shock. I had forgotten about her.
Princess Imabong; “it seems she died giving birth or something like that. Pastor and his wife are presently in the hospital. It’s so sad. I feel for Karo, the pressure he must be going through. I didn’t know Rukevwe was pregnant o, did you?”
Samson: “No. I didn’t. “Jesus! She had done the abortion and died in the process. Jesus! He thought quietly as he digested the news.
Princess Imabong: “so how are you guys? I hope Kelly is recovering well from the robbery incident. This town is no longer safe.”
Samson: “yes. We are much better.” He raised his head to see Kelly looking at him. We are not fine. Not at all ma, he thought to himself as he saw the sadness in her eyes.
Lady Janice: “Hello”
Ballz: “Hey mama! Whats d level? You just forget omo boy for d street o. no b so o.”
Lady Janice: “I get job for you.”
Ballz: “ehen? You know say I dey game na. Wetin you want make I do for you?”
Lady Janice: “I want to steal a baby.”
Ballz: “you wan tiff pikin?”