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Thursday, November 09, 2017

Chapter 1 of 'THE FAMILY IN BETWEEN A STORM'




CHAPTER 1
Early in the morning at seven am on a blustery Tuesday morning, Adedamola Adedeji Williams, a lanky man in his early sixties had just finished eating his breakfast he quietly ate alone on the dining table. After the consumption of the food, he called his cook, Mary and she came out from the kitchen's entrance to take the dishes off the table.   
        
"Mary," he said with a feeble smile on his lips. "Thank you for the wonderful meal, I enjoyed it."                                                                                                                                              
"We thank God sir." She replied. Mary was a chubby woman and a bit younger than her employer. She cleared the plates. "Sir, do you need anything else?"    
         
He looked at her and smiled brightly. "Yes. All my children should be on their way. I want you to make sure they feel at home. I want everywhere neat and I believe you won’t disappoint me."

“I will not disappoint you, sir." She left him behind.       
                                                          
Adedamola stayed back at the dinning, he was thinking about his beautiful late wife. He was preparing for a get-together between his family and friends in three days’ time before the funeral. He remembered his wife, Margaret Onyinye Adedeji Williams who died of lung cancer two weeks ago. She died leaving behind her husband, children and a grandchild she met once.

On her sick bed at the hospital, she told her husband to promise her that her children would attend her funeral. Adedamola whose eyes were flooded with tears did not want to let go of his wife, the woman he had always loved.       
                                            
"You won't die, you can't leave me Liz," he said with tears dripping down his eyes. Margaret closed her eyes in pain, fighting back the tears. She didn't want to cry, there was no need because she was going to die and won't see her children again and beg for forgiveness.                                                 
                                                               
"Damola." she called his shortened name faintly. "I know I've done a lot of things that I am ashamed of to say, please, promise me my children will attend my funeral, I need them to be there, promise me." The tears she fought back began to stream down her face.                                                                                
                                                               
"I promise." he said holding her hand lightly. "I will do whatever you say."   
                      
“I am sorry for everything. I wish I can turn back the hands of time.”                               

He caressed her hair. “I forgive you. Don’t apologize, my love.”         
                       
She swallowed and spoke, "There's one more important thing you need to do."   
            
"What is it?" He asked.      
                                                                                                
"I need you to make sure they are back together as one, as a family. I hope you understand me?"                
                                                                                                  
Adedamola wiped the tears from his weary eyes. "I understand my beloved, I promise to do the right thing, don’t worry Margaret, I will call our children and try to persuade them to come and see you. You should let them know how sorry you are. No matter what, you will always be their mother."             
                                                                  
When his wife uttered no word, he gazed in fright at her and perceived she wasn't moving or even making any sound. He became very anxious and called out her name thrice, but there was no response. He could not stand up to check her properly. Adedamola was a man on a wheelchair. He began to shout, trying to get the attention of the nurses and doctors at the hospital. He wheeled to the side of her legs to touch one of her feet, and it was as cold as ice. Adedamola began to tremble in shock. Margaret, his wife of thirty-five years of marriage was long gone to meet her ancestors.
***
Before she got married, people knew her as Margaret Onyinye Nze. She grew up in abject poverty and in the hands of an abusive father and a weak and submissive mother. She also had a younger brother named Sam. Any time her father, Mr. Nze, a bus driver had no money he would put all his frustration on all of them, by cursing and nagging until he fell asleep. The four of them all lived in a very small room in a building with many co-tenants. Inside their room, there was only a medium sized mattress shared by her parents, kitchen utensils stayed at the right corner of the room, and they stored their clothes inside a big Ghana must go bag. There was nothing like a ceiling or standing fan or even electronic equipment’s. When it was time to sleep, Margaret and her only sibling slept on the cement floor.      
                                                                                       
On every occasion her father made money, he would come home drunk, oozing of alcohol and boast to his wife of how many women he had spent his money on and had sex with. Mrs. Nze wasn't bold enough to challenge him because if she did, he would use her as a punching bag. Margaret always wondered why her mother was still married to such a man who lacked respect for her. She pitied her mom.      
                   
On a particular day, her father pounced on his wife with hard blows on her body, which resulted to a broken hand, bruised legs and a big scar on her forehead. Margaret could not take it anymore, she went to her mother and suggested that they should run away with Sam but that was the biggest mistake of her life! Her mother foolishly informed her hubby what their daughter alluded. Margaret at that time was only fifteen years old.                                                
                                                                                         
Mr. Nze took her outside their compound, in front of their neighbors, her street friends; he stripped her to nothing and flogged her black and blue with a barbwire. Nobody were bold enough to stop him, people knew him to be a scallywag and would fight anyone that interfered in his family matter. Ever since that day, her father brought shame into her life, Margaret prayed to God to take her parents’ lives, she didn't care anymore about them except her brother. Her wretched parents had nothing to offer her. During that period, she stopped going to school due to lack of funds for school fees, it was time for her to go search for a rich husband, according to her father.                                           

On a fateful Saturday morning, Mr. Nze called Margaret to inform her about his plan.

"Onyinye." he called her by her native name and cleared his throat he flourished with dry gin.         
                                                                                                                           
"Papa." she said and stood in front of him.       
                                                                         
"You know say you be fine girl,” he spoke in Pidgin English smiling. “My friend way travel go Cameroon don come back, he tell me say he wan marry you oh. No forget say he get plenty money."          
                                                                                                          
Margaret acted surprised, but did not bother to argue with him because he would hit her repeatedly until her nose bled.         
                                                                                    
"Okay papa." she said to him.          
                                                                                 
"I wan go out now, when I come back we go go he house, you hear?"          
                     
"I hear papa.'' she replied and eyed him as he left the room. He jogged into his yellow bus, and turned on his ignition. She hissed as she heard the sound of his van. His sight and the way he talked disgusted her. Her father drove away in speed.          
              
"What an illiterate." She mumbled. Margaret began to think of a way out from her family muddle, she was so deep in her thoughts and didn't realized when her mother entered the room.                                         
                                                                                
''Margaret, Margaret." Her mother called her name twice. There was no response. She tapped her on the shoulder to get her attention and it startled her.        
                
“Mama!”                   
                                                                                                              
“Wetin you dey think?"        
                                                                                              
"Nothing ma." She replied quickly.                     
                                                             
"Your papa say one of he friend wan marry you, you don agree?"      
                     
She looked at her mum and noticed the sadness in her eyes but the sympathy she had for her vanished. She didn't care anymore, she had a new agenda.   
                            
"Yes, I have accepted to marry papa's friend ma." she lied.      
                                  
"English mistress." she teased her. "Na you and your papa know oh, my hand no dey. Biko, look after your brother, he dey play outside because I wan go market."

"Okay ma."               
                                                                                                            
Her mother carried a tray filled with crayfish from the floor and left her daughter alone in the room. Margaret went back, thinking of the place to run to with her brother. Although, sometimes Sam was very rude to her but she still cared for him deeply. Even if she ran away with him, how would they survive because she had no money? Her brother was only nine years old. After becoming tired, she decided to take a short nap when someone banged heavily on the door, calling out her name.                                                       

Margaret grumbled and rose from the bed. "Who wants to break my father's door?" She asked in a loud voice.                            
                                                                                 
"Na me Chinedu ooo,” A young man answered her.” Abeg, come out, something don happen!”                                                  
                                                                                
She opened the door to see one of her neighbors sweating like a Christmas goat. She assumed he must have raced like Usain Bolt to meet her.

"Wetin happen?" She asked eagerly and placed her right hand on her hip.                               
"Your papa don get accident oh! Dem don rush am go hospital," he said in a tensed tone.                                             
                                                                                   
Margaret never flinched or showed any sign of concern. She asked him of the name and address of the hospital, he gave her. She begged him to help look after her younger brother until she returned, and he agreed.                                                                                  
As soon as she arrived at the hospital, she sighted her mother weeping so hard, by her left and right side, two women she recognized as her mother’s friends, were consoling her. She motioned forward to meet them and one of the sympathizers informed her, her father died. Margaret didn't utter a single word, but turned her back on them and walked away with a wicked smile on her lips, with the sudden news, she was heavily delighted.                                                  
                                                                                 
During the burial of her father, Margaret shed crocodile tears, she knew if she showed no signal of emotion, people would talk or call her a witch, but deep in her heart, it was the happiest day of her life. Her younger brother cried for some minutes, he was just a little boy but her mother whimpered and fainted twice during the ceremony.                     
Even after a year, Mrs. Nze was a shadow of herself; she would cry her eyes out until she forced herself to fall asleep. Margaret had no pity for her. She felt she deserved it. When she became sixteen years old, she followed her mother to the market to sell crayfish for her. Both of them made sure Sam went to a good private school despite they struggled to pay his school fees.        

After some months, Margaret became tired of the poor trade. It was not the kind of life she dreamed of, she told her mother that she wanted to search for a maid job which her mom agreed. She could hardly control her daughter anymore, ever since her husband died. Margaret went from houses to houses for a month until she finally got a job from a very rich woman who had no husband or children. Her madam was in charge of her feeding and paid her ten thousand naira every month as her salary. She was very happy because the money was huge to her. She stayed with the woman in her large house during the week and went home for weekend to spend some time with her brother. Her boss increased her salary with five thousand naira after six months for doing a neat and nice work.                             
                                                                     
Luck ran out after three years and six months, Margaret had to leave the big house because her boss died of a plane crash and her relatives sold the place. She cried so hard, cried like a newborn baby, not because of the woman’s death, but the money she would not be earning anymore. She relocated back home and planned on how to spend her savings on herself and Sam. She excluded the woman that gave birth to her. She thought of the business to start and concluded to open a provision store of her own.
                                                                ***                                       
Adedamola stopped thinking when he heard a knock on the door. He was already in his study. Nkechi, the young housekeeper opened the door for him to come in. The family lawyer, Barrister Felix, a man in his late fifties arrived at the mansion of Adedamola. He followed her to the library to see his client. Adedamola was reading Sun newspaper with his medicated glasses erected under his nose. He stopped reading and they shook hands while Nkechi gave them some privacy.                                                          

"Barrister Felix, you are welcome.” He said and dropped the newspaper on a crystal stool. I wasn't expecting you today."                
                                                                 
"I wanted to make sure everything goes well because I know your children are coming home today. I will like to beg them not to stress you.”

"Oh, thank you," he said. "That is very thoughtful of you. You know they are very troublesome. I just hope they don't bring me any trouble this period. Please, feel at home."                                                                        
                                                                
"Thank you sir and how's your health?"                  
                                                                  
"Good." he replied. “I thank God.”                           
                                             
Adedamola had fever the last time they met.          
                                                       
"We thank God for everything." Felix said. "I should be in the living room."                       
"Okay. Please, visit the bar and take any liquor you like." He knew the bar was his favorite place in his house.                          
                                                                                 
He grinned. "Thank you sir."                                 
                                                           
"You are welcome barrister."            
                                                                                
Felix walked to the door, put his hand on the handle and glanced back at him. “Sir, do you think it is a good decision to bring them together under the same roof?” 

“Yes, it is. It was what my wife wanted. The blood that flows through my kids, binds them together. They have no choice than to unite during this period of mourning. I don’t care if they turn the house upside down, put the roof on their heads or try to ruin my plan, but all I know is, they must stay with me and learn to act as a family again. Whether they like it or not, my children have to settle their differences and unite.”

1 comment:

  1. Great one! Keep it coming
    #graced#

    ReplyDelete

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Series coming up on my blog later.....

**********

Blast from the past!

A couple still trying to conceive relocated back to their old neighborhood. They reconnected with relatives, friends and ex-lovers. Soon, one of them began to die one after the other. Who is killing them? Who will die next? Will anyone survive and can anybody catch the killer?

Redemption!

When Christopher Falana finds out that his father he never met might not have committed suicide but was likely murdered, he would do everything to find evidence and dig out things about him from the people he trusted. Christopher never knew he was dining with the enemy.

Illegitimate!

Her large heart was shattered! The people she adored betrayed her when she lost a loved one. Everything she owned was taken from her. She would have to pick out the pieces of her broken heart, place them together and lock it with a key. She was prepared to plot for vengeance, fight back and get what rightfully belongs to her. Revenge was her only mission. Would she be able to love a man?

Ultimate Betrayal!

Samantha will have to go back and reconcile with her family to save her new boyfriend from the hands of her powerful father and ambitious brothers. She had no idea she would have to save herself first.

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Stories on www.ckjacob.com are work of fiction. Names, characters and events described are the imagination of the writer. Resemblance to actual persons, alive or dead, is entirely coincidental.