Freedom 7

JESSICA was blushing. She wondered why. She had not blushed since S.S2 when she’d been teased by her crush. Of course, those days were long behind her.
But now, looking at her sister, she was blushing all over again.
Then the pain hit and the redness of her cheeks was replaced by a writhing torment.
Her sister was holding her hand. She squeezed it so hard she felt the blood drain from it. Still, Jennifer held fast.
Spasm done, sweat cascading, she made to release Jennifer’s hand. Still, she held fast.
She kept her head down. Unwilling to look her sister in the eye while she delivered a long overdue apology, the problem was solved when the pain hit again, more ferocious this time.

Johnson never knew it, but he’d arrived just in time. He made straight for his father’s office, thanking GOD all the way. No thoughts lingered of past disagreements, nor of past hurts. All he remembered now was the urgency he’d felt, holding on to his mother while shivering with pneumonia, knowing that if someone would come quick, they would be able to wake his mother up. Knowing even then that she was not asleep.
He felt the same urgency now. The same need to get help before it was too late.
He reached his father’s office early enough. Some public holiday or the other had reformed Lagos traffic. He hurriedly overpaid the cab driver and rushed inside his father’s company, past the sleeping security guard and into his father’s office to meet him sitting peacefully, eyes open at his desk.
What had the urgency been about, he wondered, taking in his father’s serene expression. He moved into the room cautiously, his shadow alerting his father to his presence. Now he remembered all the fights, all the disagreements, the yelling and the crushing feeling of hopelessness. Of worthlessness. It took him exactly 12 seconds to move to grudgingly shake his father’s outstretched hand.
Then he smiled. He’d already forgiven this man.
Now for a civil conversation.


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