Freedom 20 (Demi- Semi Final)

Jennifer woke up from sleep heaving. The bed was sweat- soaked, the pillowcase had come off and there were tear tracks on her face.
The door was locked still. She had locked herself in all day. It was something she had begun to do lately. She picked up her bible and cried into the cover. All the sorrow, all the pain. She cried until mucus flowed freely, until she could feel the beginnings of a migraine, until her eyes were swollen. Then she opened the Bible.
She remembered studying the bible as a girl, feeling a deep connection to the words. It had brought her peace in those times and a deep rooted feeling of being loved.
These days, when her father never looked her in the eye, Johnson who had sent text messages on an hourly basis had practically petered out of her life, her sister had reverted back to the silent treatment and Uncle Monday got creepier and creepier every moment, she needed to feel that love again. A love independent of everything except her. A love that did not freak her out. A love that was irrespective of her gender and the nature of the part between her legs.
Swollen- eyed, she turned the page to 1st Corinthians 13 but before she could start reading, the page fell open to 2nd Corinthians. She attempted to change it but then her eyes were drawn to a passage- 2nd Corinthians 6:17- “Wherefore ye; come out from among them and be ye separate and touch not the unclean thing and I will  receive you“.
And for the first time in 6 months, she felt peace.
********************************************
Jessica was taking a walk. It was her favourite way to get to know a place. Or to clear her head. She wasn’t sure which this was, but she wasn’t seeing anything at all.
She’d enrolled in the university. Different from her sister’s.
Growing up, Jessica had been handpicked as the child who needed to receive the most love. Jennifer was extremely independent. Johnson also was quite independent. Jessica had alternated between the both of them, although she stuck very closely to Jennifer, a shadow of sorts. This new character surprised even her.
She remembered the conversations underneath the covers she had had with her twin. Her proficiency in Mathematics from following Johnson around all the time. It was hard to believe they were siblings now. She routinely refused Johnson’s calls and last year she would have laughed outright had anyone told her she would ignore her twin in a crisis situation. From what she had last heard, Jennifer had dropped so much weight her bones were sticking out . Still, she wasn’t moved. She wanted to be. She wanted to take hold of her sister and force feed her until her cheeks retained their round shape and the twinkle returned to her eyes. But she couldn’t. Time had passed. And the further the time passed, the angrier she got at Jennifer. The angrier she got, the less inclined she was to do anything for her.
She slowly walked to her room, unseeing.
When she got there, she met Jennifer sitting awkwardly on her bed while a roommate covertly scrutinised their faces to determine if there was as much resemblance at second glance as there was at first. There was.
She held out a gift. Wrapped in shiny red wrapping paper. Jessica saw that her bones indeed were sticking out. She laid it on the bed. Jessica’s 2 remaining roommates came into the room, all looking fascinated at their silent roommate’s thinner doppelganger.
They went out. Jennifer began to talk almost immediately, the words coming out in a rush,
“I don’t know why you and I no longer speak to each other. I genuinely don’t understand it. But you are my sister and I do love you, no matter whatever has happened before.
I left the house. I’m moving out. Daddy refused to pay for school” Jessica looked up, her face a medley of emotion ranging from shock to suspicion. She continued, “I’m not here to ask you for money. I’ve got some savings. I just came by to drop your gift and tell you to be very careful whenever you go home. There’s something very suspicious about Daddy these days and you already know how I feel about Uncle Monday.” She stopped abruptly. “Jessica Ngozi Anyaegbunam, I’m insanely in love with you and so is GOD.” Then she kissed her cheek and left without a backward glance.
And just like that, Jessica’s ambiguous feelings solidified. Into pure, unaduterated hatred.
*********************************************
Monday handed over the vial with shaky hands. As well as the keys. He had truly never believed this day would come. And now here it was.
Before him, his nephew or second cousin if you wanted to get technical, had laid reams of evidence before him. He had been given an option; surrender everything he had of the office in his possession and leave the company penniless or face charges of conspiracy to commit armed robbery (Joseph had installed that security camera after all), personal charges of fraud and embezzlement, sodomy and rape. He had tried to call his nephew’s bluff. Then he had pulled the winning card. If he didn’t leave, he would also be arrested on a double count charge of murder.

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Freedom 19 (hemi- demi- semi Final)

They rushed her to the hospital. After a thorough examination and a barrage of tests, it was determined that apart from the bruises and lacerations on her body, nothing else had been done to Jennifer. They also did a test, personally requested for, on her and trace results of narcotics were found in her blood stream. After giving her some antibiotics, wrapping her wounds and a lot of pitying glances, she was sent home.
From that day onwards, she became paranoid. No one was allowed to touch her food and she personally installed new locks and sliders on her bedroom door. Her hands shook consistently. The simplest noise could make her jump.
After a brief period of remorse and concern from Jessica, her major emotion toward her became disgust and irritation. Her father did not look her in the eye again, that is, until the day she came to him and asked him to evict Uncle Monday.
***************************************
The plan was set in full. Monday had advised that Joseph run away while he, Monday, was at the farm with his parents, leaving only a note (Joseph had insisted), to reassure them that he was well and had not been kidnapped. This was the last supper. The last night.
All through, Joseph was discomfited by the glint he saw in his cousin’s smile. It did not augur well for him, he knew.
After the good nights and well wishes that usually take place before bedtime; Monday had insisted that nothing be done out of the ordinary, Joseph went to his bed. In the middle of the night, he was awoken by a violent shaking and woke up to see Monday holding a knife.
One express covenant signed with blood later, Joseph was sleepless. His thumb throbbed and he wasn’t sure of the implications for him but he knew that he would most likely regret this later.

Spreading Light.

So I saw this. Thought it was a beautiful expression of kindness.
Check it out!

Miniscule Diary

Shine

Today, something very rare and overwhelmingly pleasant happened in the bus I entered and it touched my heart. I had initially hopped into the half full Ojuelegba bus at Ikeja under- bridge, but decided to disembark from it seeing as the driver promised I would be paying 200naira for only a short distance that wasn’t anywhere close to their final bustop. I moved a little further and approached a Yaba bus, hoping the fare will be lighter, but it was all same, and shame wouldn’t let me return to the Ojuelegba bus even though the bus was barely full and I was already running late on my appointment. Thinking back now, I think God thought I deserved to witness what ‘m about to tell you so he made me board that bus…

Halfway into the journey, some guy sitting beside me made a call through to someone (a friend, I…

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Freedom 18

To understand the antipathy that existed between Jennifer and Uncle Monday, you would have to go to the genesis.

6 years ago
It soon became obvious that Jessica was angry with her. What no one knew was why. It spilled over into everything she did. She no longer joked with her, cooked with her or teased her. One memorable moment was the time Jennifer had attempted to help her cook and she had walked out, leaving the fish on the fire and the plantain burning. They had planned to attend the same school- University of Ibadan. She later found out that Jessica had changed hers to OAU. To no avail, she kept trying to find out the cause of the abrupt change.
Most surprising, however was the call she had received from Alex. Jessica had broken up with him. Through a text message. He tried to find out why. She wouldn’t see him,  refused to pick his calls or reply his messages. He asked Jennifer to help. This too, met with nothing but stony silence. She enlisted the help of her father and brother as to the cause of the silent treatment. Stony silence still. She decided to leave her be, assuming she would come around soon.

Later that week, Jessica noticed that Jennifer was carrying on as she had before. Smiling. Laughing. One would think nothing had ever happened. Then the thought came into her mind. When she returned from lunch, she noticed her bag was oddly placed and Jessica was not on her desk. She resisted the urge to right it, a delayed self- conscious response to years of being teased continuously about having undiagnosed OCD. That was her first mistake. The second, she had always thought, was forgetting to lock her door as she always did whenever Uncle Monday came visiting. She paid for both.
By the end of the day, she had been fired and it wasn’t only Jessica giving her the silent treatment. They got home to meet Uncle Monday, ingratiating smile and all. He kept smiling at Jennifer. It freaked her out and she resolved to double lock her door that night.

No one knew exactly what happened that night. It was as though they were all drugged. Jessica went to her room first, followed by Jennifer, with a final sad glance at her father. Johnson exhaled deeply, resolved to try to fix everyone’s issues tomorrow, thanked God he would be returning to school soon and went to the room he’d share with his uncle. Later that night, everyone was woken up by a piercing scream. When they rushed to Jennifer’s room, her bed was soaked with blood and there were lacerations on her arms and legs.
*********************************************
Finally, the day had come when Joseph was to run away. Monday had timed it perfectly. In addition to agreeing to take care of his uncle and aunt, he gave his cousin some of the money he had received from his father. Joseph took it with mixed feelings. On the one hand, he was grateful for his now supplemented savings. On the other, he knew this was not being done out of charity and he wasn’t sure he could pay the price he was sure Monday would ask.