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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