Sacrilege by Nissi Adeola. Episode 15

Tags

, , , ,

Episode 15

Laura woke up feeling refreshed in a way only a fellow married woman could understand. She pushed up gently, the duvet slipping away from her nude body. It was already late morning, she realized as she looked out the window. It was definitely a good thing both she and Deolu owned their own companies, if not, they would have either a query or a sack letter lying in wait for them. She glanced at Deolu sleeping peacefully beside her. She sensed he had also been skipping sleep for the past few days. His bare chest called to her the way it always had. She remembered herself talking to Deolu before she dozed off immediately after they made love. She told him about last night, told him about her new discoveries, and for the life of her, she had no idea of just how much she had told him. She swallowed, needing to get out. Careful not to awaken him – she got out of bed. Deolu was easily roused and if she was to leave, she needed him asleep not otherwise.

Promising to take a long bath at Tito’s place, she hastily dressed, picked her phone and with one long look at Deolu, exited the house. The thought of Tito made her heart ache. She had no idea how her cousin must be doing now. She really needed to have a long talk with the one person who to her remained her best friend. Come to think of it, last night’s revelation made Tito her sister and relegated her two sisters to the cousin position. Releasing an exhausted sigh, she moved to the road, flagging down the first Napep that pulled across. She got in and murmured her destination.

She powered her phone and as if on cue, the phone rang.

“Oh, thank God. I thought you had died without telling me first.”

Laura smiled. Trust Jane to bring a smile to your face. “That would be sacrilege”

“Of the worst kind” Jane seconded, a smile in her voice. Her voice softened as she asked. “How are you, sis?”

Laura gripped her phone tighter as the Napep fell into a pot-hole. “Still breathing” she murmured. “I have missed you baby, when are you paying me a visit?”

“When you return to your house”

Laura frowned. “Really Jane?”

“Really sis. Your place is so beautiful and really, I have missed that fantastic guests’ bathroom.” Laura sighed. “But really… the sight of you and Deolu together is what keeps the sky blue. You two are couple goals. Now, if you want to see me, go to your husband’s house”

If only she knew where Laura had just been minutes ago. “That’s emotional blackmail”

“That’s better. Email is so boring”

Laura chuckled. She truly had missed her baby sister.

“I am going to see Sis Maggy” she announced. “I’ve missed my niece”

Laura swallowed. The face of the precious little girl Margaret had brought to her office stabbed into her head. Whatever the differences she had with her immediate sister, she sure as hell wanted to get to know her niece. And then, as she thought of this, she remembered that Margaret wasn’t her sister afterall. How could she tell Jane that she wasn’t actually her sister but her cousin? She shook her head and sighed into the phone. “Give her a kiss for me”

“Come and do it yourself” Jane retorted. “Honestly, you people say I’m the kid, yet I am not the one keeping malice for years and behaving like a bunch of primary 5 pupils. You guys need to sort out your differences, and sis…” she paused slightly and Laura could almost see her grinning. “I have an excellent news for you”

Laura pushed away three quarter of what she said and held the last statement. “Finally! Heaven knows I could use some good news in my life. What is it?”

“Not so fast sis, it’s not something we can discuss on phone. Get back with prince charming and then I can tell you”

Laura groaned. She could understand why Jane was talking so slightly, she was still too young to understand the enormity of what happened to Laura. “It is not as easy as that”

“it is as easy as you make it to be. Life is a four letter word, it is not further maths” Laura rolled her eyes. “Okay, got to go, big sis. Love you… muah” Jane blew Laura a kiss and hung up.

Laura took her dead phone from her ear and sighed into the keke napep. Jane sounded so free and happy. It was a relief to know that someone she cared about was as happy as she should. With Jane’s words swimming around her head, she waited to arrive at her destination.

*****
Frank returned his plates to the kitchen sink and walked back to the sitting room, sipping a glass of fruit juice. He occasionally picked his teeth removing the meat residues stuck between his teeth. Gloria hadn’t even spoken a word to him before leaving the house. She had slept and apparently woke up in anger as she went around the house, tight lipped. He wasn’t so happy that he had upset her with the entire situation but he knew she would come off it sooner or later. She had bathed, dressed and prepared his breakfast in stoned silence before storming out of the house – she never could leave without preparing his meals no matter how angry she was. It was a trait that never ceased to amaze him. Knowing her, he hadn’t forced any conversation but his curiosity was pricked. He had the weirdest thought that she wasn’t going to her shop. Following their intense argument the previous night, he doubted Gloria would be able to sit calm, comfortable in her state of sheer ignorance.

Discarding the thought, he smiled to himself. He had no doubt that things would have gone sour for his dearest twin brother last night. It was all he had been waiting for for almost all his life. Just a few years short of three decades, yet, he still felt his brother’s savage betrayal in his bones. He had sworn to destroy Mark’s happiness as surely as he had destroyed his and now, he was having exactly what he had always craved. Revenge could be better served cold but it is definitely best served hot. Though this in no way changed the past, being able to inflict pain on Mark was more than enough for Frank.

Mark had destroyed his life in a way he couldn’t forgive, or worse, forget. He had loved Sandra so much, in a way he had never ever loved anyone. She was the light in his life. The very essense of his existence. Frank had never known he was capable of so much emotional attachment till he met Sandra. The very sight of her made everything alright with his world, and then Mark came in and the very sight of her turned him from a prince to a beast. Mark had shattered his very essence and though he knew Sandra was in no way at fault, nothing remained the same again. How could he sleep on the same bed with her on the same bed knowing she had been deflowered by his own twin brother? It was more than his ego could carry. He couldn’t stop himself from venting his anger and bitterness on her. All he had ever wanted was to love her and make her happy but what he had ended up doing was making her completely miserable. Then she lost her spark. The free spirit Frank had loved about her faded away, leaving a blank woman who despite all tried to show him love. But Frank had no love for her. Without the attributes he loved about her, there was nothing left to love. The woman he loved was suddenly nowhere to be found and all that was left was a complete stranger.

It became completely worse when she had given birth to Laura and all he could see in the innocent little girl was a combination of his wife and Mark. It had almost been more than he could bear. But he had always loved female children and small as she was, he just couldn’t transfer his aggression on her. But Mark had visited often, intent on seeing his daughter though her paternity was only known to the three of them. Laura had grown up, and each passing day made it obvious that she loved Mark more than she loved him. She sought his counsel on everything that that riled him more than anything. Sandra died and Frank hated Mark more than he ever had. No matter how much he tried to love Laura, Mark still remained the perfect twin in Laura’s eyes. Though she never said it verbally. He saw it in her eyes… in her every action. Frank blamed Mark for everything… everything that was wrong with his world. Mark had stolen Sandra from him and had gone ahead to steal Laura too, though she was technically his. Now, Frank smiled. Now, he would enjoy seeing Mark lose not only Laura’s love but also Tito’s love as well.

*****

Teju stared at the weird woman before her. Atinuke? She knew no one by that name, and it certainly was not one of her middle names. “Sorry, I am not Atin-”

She wasn’t given the grace to finish her statement when Gloria snatched her hand, bringing it up to her face. Teju’s heart skipped several beats as the woman gazed at her hand with an almost feverish look on her face. “It’s you… it’s really you” she raised her teary eyes to Teju, gazing at her with mystified wonder.

Teju swallowed. Who on earth was this woman? She definitely had to be mad, maybe escaped an asylum or a mental ward, she thought with a deep frown as she took one cautious step back. The only problem was that her weird guest didn’t look mad. A mad person would certainly not look so neat and pretty, but then, madness comes in all forms and shades.

“Sorry ma, I am Teju not Atinuke” Teju finally said at length but then, she doubted the woman actually heard her as she held her hand tightly. She had water in her eyes, staring at her like she had just come face to face with the living dead. Teju stared intently at the woman before her. She certainly couldn’t remember ever seeing such a woman, but there was this weird feeling she could not place. Definitely had to be baby jitters. “Can I have my hand back, please?”

Gloria shook her head with vigor as tears rolled down her cheeks. “I… I thought I… that I would never” she shook her head again, giving Teju a head to toe scrutiny. “You’ve grown so big and beautiful” she gasped out in awe, more to herself than to Teju.

Teju had never been more confused in her life and really, she couldn’t stand any more confusion. “I’m sorry, do I know you?”

Gloria gazed right back at her, seeing her through her tears. “You’ve known me all your life”

Teju chuckled without the trace of a smile. “Certainly haven’t”

“Oh, Atinuke…” she finally let go of Teju’s hand but took a step forward, cupping Teju’s face with her two hands. This had to be the most awkward encounter Teju has had in a while, she thought, gazing in confusion into the teary eyes of Gloria. “Oh, Atinuke, I am your-”

“Mother?”

Gloria and Teju turned sharply to see Laura standing just a few paces from them. Gloria pulled back instantly, as if she was caught in an abominable act. Laura’s eyes rotated from her step mother to Teju, her mind full of questions. Her step mother seemed too pale and Teju was a mirage of emotions. What on earth was her step mother doing in Teju’s place, holding her face so affectionately with tears in her eyes? Her life was fast becoming a soap opera; she was having trouble keeping up with the wind of change blowing from all angles. She was here to clear her head; she certainly didn’t need another complication.

Laura took a cautious step towards her stepmother and Teju, frowning at them. “What is going on here?”

*****

Gloria rubbing her hands on her face to dry her errant tears. She seemed nervous and shaken, almost like she was seeking a means of escape; from what, Laura could not tell and she was scared as hell, thinking of what it might be.

Teju looked from one woman to the other, her face showing utter confusion. “You know her?” she asked Laura.

Laura glanced at Teju briefly then returned her gaze back to Gloria. “She is my stepmother” she announced, staring oddly at Gloria.

“Oh” Teju gazed at Gloria, still looking puzzled.

“Yes, oh” Laura snapped taking several steps closer, frowning. “Now, the question is, ‘what are you both doing together?’” she placed her hands akimbo, raising a brow at Gloria.

Gloria shifted. “Laura…”

“I don’t actually know” Teju bottted in. “All I did was open to her knock and the next thing I knew, she started calling me Atinuke”

Laura’s head snapped to Teju instantly. She might have seemed surprised before but now, she was shocked. “What?” she paled slightly.

Teju looked at the two pale faces before her and she actually started getting scared. “Okay, you two are scaring the life out of me. Who is Atinuke?”

Ignoring her, Laura shot forward, seizing Teju’s left hand and raising it to her face for a thorough inspection. She gazed at the hand for a prolonged moment until Teju angrily snatched it away.

“The dot is not microscopic, it is a birth mark” she snapped. “Would you tell me what’s going on?”

Laura shook her head in wonder. Several years back, she had walked in on Gloria as she held a bottle of water with tears in her eyes. She had hastily tried to hide the bottle but then, Laura had already seen it. She had found it weird and almost thought the bottle held something diabolical. But, after much pressure, Gloria had finally confided in her, told her of the rigors of her past… told her of that little baby girl she had to let go of… and the mark in her left wrist… “It cant be” Laura gasped. Wow… Teju surely did know how to encroach into other people’s lives unannounced. She gazed at Teju like she was just seeing her for the first time. “She can’t be her”

Gloria took a step forward, touching Laura’s shoulder gently as she also gazed teary eyed at Teju. “I… I cant believe it myself”

“I can’t be who?” Teju almost screamed at the two pairs of eyes staring at her.

“Her daughter…” Laura announced. “My stepmother is your mother”

*****

Deolu woke to find the mattress empty. His body lay naked under the duvet, satiated and relaxed. Deolu pulled to a half sitting position, glancing around the room. He needed no one to tell him, he was sure Laura had left. He swallowed and ran his hand over his hair. His body reminded him of things he did with Laura but his brain was still stuck on the things he had heard from Laura’s mouth as she dozed off. When she had refused to confide in him, Deolu had known whatever it was must be pretty serious, and knew the one way of getting words out of her. Now that he had the words out of her, he didn’t know what to make of it.

How could Tito’s father be her father? How possible was that? She had mentioned something about a rape and then she had mentioned Teju but hadn’t finished it before she dozed off. He couldn’t get the puzzle out of his head. Who was raped? And by who?

Pushing out of bed, he marched to the bathroom. He needed answers and he wont be getting them in bed.

***** Teju stared at the women for a precious minute and bursted into laughter. “You both are hilarious” she turned, walking into the apartment.

Gloria followed. “it is the truth” Gloria said gently. “I am your birth mother”

Teju whirled round. “Of course, you are. Listen, I know my mother, okay? And she certainly doesn’t look like you”

“I understand you. But please, let me explain”

“There’s no need. I understand perfectly. Everything that’s happening is making us all crazy, I know. But don’t try to tell me that I don’t know my mother, okay? That’s the height of it”

“The mark…”

“There must be a thousand ladies with similar birth marks. I certainly am not your daughter, ma’am” Teju seemed horrified at the very thought of it.

Laura could only stare, perplexed, watching Gloria battle with her emotions as Teju pulled closer to anger.

“It is not a birthmark” Gloria’s voice was barely above a whisper.

The room fell a bit silent. “What is it then?”

Gloria blinked but as she opened her mouth to explain, her phone shattered the silence as it rang, making her jump. She took her phone out to hang up until she saw the caller. Margaret hadn’t called her in a very long time. It was odd that she would now. “Margaret?” she said as she picked, looking at Laura.

The voice she heard was not Margaret’s. “Mother?”

“Jane?” What’s going on? Where is Margaret?”

“Please, you have to come, right now. I am rushing Mag to the hospital”

“What? What happened?” Gloria yelled.

Sacrilege.

Advertisements

Sacrilege by Nissi Adeola. Episode 14

Tags

, , , ,

Hi everyone, sorry this is three hours late. Have a lovely weekend with this episode. Love you all.

Episode 14

It was several hours before Deolu woke up. It was a little before the crack of dawn and darkness still engulfed the room to a certain degree. It was the most bitter-sweet night he’s had in a long time. He must have been asleep for about four hours. He hadn’t slept so much nor felt so relaxed in a long time. He felt like a piece of hot iron thrown into a bowl of cold water. Sleep had relaxed his wound up nerves. He had gotten so used to sleeping with Laura by his side that he had almost forgotten the impact her presence had. It had taken the past days to show him just what he would be missing if he didn’t get Laura back. She was his anchor to sanity!

Deolu turned his head fractionally, staring at the woman beside him as a different kind of tension engulfed him. His eyes stared through the dark at the sleeping face of his wife. Laura lay still on her side, snuggled beside him. It was like she hadn’t moved from where she lay. Her full spongy hair made the most tantalizing disheveled pillow around her head and face. Gosh, how he missed this sight. Nothing kick started his day better than beholding Laura’s sleep swollen face.

He had kept his hands to himself all through the night, knowing he might not be able to control himself if he had her skin against his. Her scent engulfed his senses, making his hands twitch. It was agonizing enough to have bathed her while doing his best to keep his touch impersonal; to have his hands roam her nude body without doing anything about it. Though he had seen his wife’s nakedness more times than he could count, it had taken every ounce of self control to keep his hands on her without being on her. He knew if he had attempted to make love to her right there and then, he would have met no resistance. She wanted him to. He had seen her desire hanging to the lids of her tired eyes; pronounced in the frequency of her breathing. Her lips had parted slightly of their own volition everytime he came too close and it had taken divine strength to hold on to his resolve and not to kiss her. It was the most mind-numbing torture he’s faced in a while. The temptation was almost more than he could bear. But something held him back. As he bathed her, beyond his unabated desire, something made his heart ache heavily.

His eyes traced the length of Laura’s sleeping body, feeling a stab of guilt. Not only did his betrayal affect Laura emotionally, Deolu had seen and felt the effects last night. Laura had lost so much weight. He knew her body like the back of his hand, bathing her last night had sent alarm bells ringing in his head. Her sumptuously curvaceous body was heavily trimmed down, it was definitely the reason why she had little or no strength. Not only hadn’t she been sleeping, she hadn’t been eating as well, and it didn’t come as a surprise. She never could eat anything substantial whenever she wasn’t happy. He hated the fact that he did this to her; that she suffered on his account.

He raised his hand and caressed her hair gently. Giving her one last lingering look, Deolu shifted very gently and pushed out of bed.

*****

Deolu whistled gently as he went around the kitchen. It had been a while since he did that, definitely been a while since he was happy enough to go around the kitchen with an apron wrapped around him. Anything that had to do with kitchen always needed a bit of motivation for him, the kitchen was not his favorite place to be but Laura was always his motivation. He moved with enthusiasm towards the frying pan on the gas cooker and turned the plantain over, watching the bubbles of the vegetable oil with delight. He stared with satisfaction at the fried eggs already dished in two plates. With fresh pepper, tomatoes, onions and a bit of mushroom, the eggs looked like something made by a pro.

This was one thing he would always be grateful to Chris for. Of the two male friends, Chris was the cook. He could conveniently prepare any kind of meal. Deolu had no knowledge of cooking whatsoever, his mother never bothered to give him proper education in that aspect because she always maintained that cooking and domestic works were made for women. But before getting married, Deolu was not comfy with the thought of Laura doing everything in the house. It had been easy to get around house chores without any problem, but cooking, it was more challenging than he had thought. He fancied the idea of serving Laura breakfast in bed once in a while, but how was he going to achieve that if he didn’t have the slightest knowledge about kitchen stuffs?

The thought of asking Teju to teach him had crossed his mind but pride wouldn’t let him, so, he had gone to Chris. All he wanted to know was how to prepare Laura’s favourite meals. He had no desire to be a world class chef, he only wanted to be able to do something unexpected for Laura once in a while.

Chris had been reluctant, tried to dodge it giving different excuses but he eventually gave in and did a good job of showing Deolu the way. Even now, Deolu could still remember the look on Laura’s face the first time he made her dinner. She had goaded him over and over again, trying to make him confess to ordering the food, Deolu remembered, smiling to himself. He had never been more proud of himself. The look in her eyes made him feel ten feet tall, and damn, breakfast in bed did have mindblowing rewards. Since then, he had tried to improve on his cooking skills, wanting to constantly surprise Laura.

Now however, the aim was not to surprise Laura. It was to get as much food as needed into her system. She hadn’t been eating and it was all his fault. It was his duty to make it right. Deolu took out all the brown plantain slices from the pan and filled up Laura’s plate. Anything with plantain was Laura’s favorite. Lifting two mugs, he went to fill them with hot water from the dispenser; even as he did, he cast a glance towards the door, hoping Laura was still asleep in the bedroom.

*****

Laura turned over, her hand stretching to where she knew Deolu lay. The bed was empty. Her sleepy eyes pushed open lazily, staring at the empty bed. She felt well rested even though her eyes screamed to go back to sleep. She had deprived herself of sleep for so long and her eyes wanted to make up for lost time. Though, she was tempted to oblige, she kept her eyes open staring at the room bathed in the gentle morning light. It felt weird being here again. It was like she had been away for ages. This room and mattress had way too many memories, most of them pleasant, remembering them brought both smiles and tears to her eyes but she definitely didn’t have the strength to cry now.

Her marriage started off on a shaky ground. She wasn’t her mother-in-law’s favorite, neither was Deolu her father’s favorite. Even after their wedding, Deolu tried everything in his power to reconcile her back to her father. He went to her father’s place on countless occasions, trying to gain his forgiveness even when Laura asked him not to. He felt responsible for the rift between her and her father, he couldn’t accept that the rift had always been there. They never saw eye to eye. So, when he refused to give his blessings, rejecting her desire to marry Deolu just because of tribal differences, Laura couldn’t care less. To her, having her uncle – Tito’s father – was more than enough. Oh, she had been wrong… she had been so wrong.

Laura shifted on the bed, remembering all that happened the previous day. everything she heard… It still seemed like a mirage. It was just so hard to accept that she had been wrong all along. Wrong about everything and everyone. She had treated Frank Johnson with so much disdain and disregard. She had been so narrowminded that she did not see past his charade of coldness into the sad and hurt man within. She had judged him based on face value, hated what the world had shaped him into. How couldn’t she have tried to understand him? To show him the love that was snatched from him… but more to the point… how could she have loved the very person she should have despised?

Laura shook her head. Her uncle had been the epitome of perfection. Till now, she couldn’t believe he actually did all he claimed to have done. As he talked last night, it ws like he was talking about a totally different person. The Mark Johnson she knew was the exact opposite of the one she saw last night. The man she saw last night was a monster and it was like she was always doomed to be fathered by the bad man. When she thought Frank Johnson was her father, he was the monster. Now that she knew he was the good man, she realized he wasn’t her father afterall. Laura swallowed. There were so many unanswered questions floating around her head, and the top of them all would be, ‘Who is responsible for Teju’s pregnancy?’ If Deolu feels responsible for Teju’s pregnancy, he definitely must have slept with her, Laura thought painfully. But when did that happen? Was that before or after the rape?

Laura shook her head as she pushed to a sitting position. She was tired of thinking too much. Everything was becoming too much for her brain to assimilate. Casting a look round the room, she wondered where Deolu was. She had been awake for minutes but there was no sign of him anywhere. She knew she ought to leave now that he was nowhere to be seen. She knew she couldn’t afford to complicate things any further but she seemed to remember that she didn’t mind the complication last night; would have welcomed it with open arms last night. Her heart raced remembering last night even as her disappointment mounted. Tired as she was, having Deolu strip her naked was torture, but having him bathe her was another thing entirely. At that moment, she could not remember exactly what caused the rift between them. All that she knew was that she wanted Deolu, the way any wife would want her husband. She wanted him to do more than bathe her… she wanted his knowing hands on her without the sponge acting as an intermediary. But surely, he had nothing of such in mind. He had seemed so calm and collected through it all, like he was bathing a small baby. He had kissed her on the forehead, not even on the cheek and had headed out of the room. Even when she had begged him to stay, he didn’t touch her all night, Laura thought painfully. And to think he was now nowhere to be found? Sleeping beside her must be such a chore. Had she become that unappealing that Deolu found it so easy to ignore her even when she was naked before him? Maybe that was what pushed him into Teju’s arms… she had probably lost her appeal, Laura thought.

She pushed her legs around and was about getting out of the bed when suddenly, the door of the room opened. Laura froze as Deolu walked in carrying a large tray. Their eyes met and his eyes held hers as he pushed the door back against its hinges. His eyes gave her body a brief scrutiny and a mischievous smile tugged at the corner of his mouth. Laura became self conscious. This particular nightie was translucent and Laura could bet he saw the naked body beneath the gown. The short loose nightie she had on was riding high on her left thigh as her other leg dangled above the ground. Try as she may, she couldn’t hide the blush that stained her cheeks. The cynical man! Of all the nighties he could pick out, it had to be this one.

“Good morning, Love” Deolu’s baritone voice held a smile as he moved closer. The scent of fried eggs assaulted her senses before she even saw the content of the tray.

“Good morning” she responded, as she stared at the tray. How was it that Deolu could hurt her so much but she still seemed to love him more? It was probably because of times like these… He had a way of doing the sweetest things. Having a man that knew how to cook was amazing, but the sheer fact that he had learnt how to cook just for her was the most romantic thing ever.

“I made you breakfast” Deolu lowered the tray onto the bed. Something flickered in Laura’s eyes as she stared at the tray filled with the most enticing meal. Anything that has Plantain with it was always a win win for her but the fried eggs caught her attention. It had to be the most enticing she had ever seen. Her stomach grumbled and her mouth watered. Who wouldn’t love plantain, fried eggs fully garnished with vegetables, bread and a mug of steaming chocolate tea?

“This looks really good” She confessed, unable to hide her appreciation.

Deolu smiled. “You should taste it, it might not taste as good as it looks”

Laura seriously doubted that. Just how long had she stayed without food? It was like she hadn’t eaten for ages. She lifted the tray unto her lap and glanced at Deolu. “Nothing’s changed” she murmured. Surely, he didnt think all he had to do was make her breakfast and she would forget he actually slept with another woman.

Deolu nodded. “I know. Eat up”

Laura took a bite of the eggs and almost let out a pleasurable sigh. The taste was so glorious. When did Deolu turn into such a wonderful cook? Without waiting a second longer, she dug into her meal. Satisfied, Deolu left the room.

*****

He returned several minutes later and by then, the eggs and several slices of bread had already gone down her throat, she had some plantains left which she chewed lazily. She was totally filled up. “Feel better?” he asked as he sat on the bed. He was beyond pleased to know she had eaten.

“Yes, thank you”

He smiled. His penetrating gaze made her feel naked but his eyes were not on her body but on her face. She saw the question in his eyes before he even voiced it. “What happened last night?”

Laura gazed at him for a while, then looked away. “You don’t want to know”

“I do” he said firmly. “If there is something that kept you out so late at night, I want to know what it is.”

Laura’s smile didn’t reach her eyes. Where could she start from. Should she tell him that his best friend had been raped? Or should she tell him that the child he was expecting was most likely not his? Or better still, she could just tell him that the wife he got married to is a product of deception. Shaking her head, she stood. “I don’t want to talk about it” she said.

Deolu followed her with his eyes, her body forming a perfect distraction. She might have shed some weight but Laura could never be any less enticing. “You would feel better if you did”

”I doubt it…” she blinked back tears. “Nothing could make me better right now”

Deolu stood from the bed, walking towards her and standing in front of Laura. He could see pain in her eyes as she blinked back tears. He lifted his hand and cradled her cheek gently. ”I think something can make you feel better” he whispered as his thumb brushed against her lower lip, making her breath catch. He moved her into his arms gently, feeling the temperature of her skin heighten beneath the hand on her waist. His gaze lingered on her lips for a moment before they shifted to her eyes. His eyes were heavy with desire. ”Let me make you feel better”

Slowly, he lowered his head, covering her mouth with his. It was just like old times, but then, it wasn’t. There was something different. Laura responded like she had been waiting for that moment a long time as she stood on tip toes, gluing her body to his as her hand travelling up Deolu’s chest to curl around his neck. Deolu buried his hand into her hair as his mouth became more fervent and demanding. Every ounce of control he had exercised since last night was lost as he lifted the gown as slowly as he could manage, breaking of the kiss long enough to yank the cloth over Laura’s head.

Lifting her off the floor and into his arms, he marched purposefully towards their matrimonial bed.

*****

There’s no greater detective that could rival a questing wife. It took just a few hours to get all the info she needed and to get her on her way. Glancing at the address in the piece of paper she was holding, and confirming it with the one on the black gate of a house, Gloria marched into the compound. She met a young lady in the compound, on her way out and stopped her with a skilr.

”Hello miss, please, could you direct me towards Teju’s flat?”

The lady pointed towards the back, indicating the boys quarters and told her to go upstairs. She smiled at the lady and walked towards the boys quarters.

On getting to the door, she knocked gently. There was this weird feeling she couldn’t shake off as she stood there. She wondered if it was still her anxieties at work. She knocked again and the door eased open.

Gloria stared at the young woman that stood behind the door with a puzzled look on her face. Her heart was racing wildly and she could not tell why.

”Yes?” Teju murmured when the woman who had interrupted her privacy wouldn’t talk.

Gloria could not explain what was going on with her. She felt momentarily paralysed as she stared at the lady. Why did it seem like she knew her somehow? She ran her eyes down Teju’s body, trying to remember where she had seen her. And then she saw it. “Oh no” she paled as her hand lifted shakily to her mouth. Her face registered horror as she stared at Teju, her gaze on the hand holding the door.

She surged forward, grabbing Teju’s hand as she lifted it to her face, staring closely at the black dot a little above her wrist.

“What is it?” Teju asked, frightened. She couldn’t seem to understand what was going on. Who was this woman?

Gloria stared at Teju’s face as tears came to her eyes. “Atinuke” she gasped.

Sacrilege by Nissi Adeola. Episode 13

Tags

, , , ,

It’s a beautiful Saturday guys, hope you’re doing good. Please read, comment and share. I look forward to reading your thoughts. Love. 😘 😘

Episode 13

“I always loved your mother” Mark Johnson said into the silent room. “Sandra had the most unusual brown eyes and a smile that always came straight from the heart. They were the first things I noticed about her when I first set my eyes on her” a painful smile touched Mark’s eyes. Laura felt glued as she stared, wide-eyed at the familiar stranger. “I had gone to pay Frank a visit, as I entered; she was the first thing I saw. Her large brown eyes lit up with a smile as she hurried to me with arms wide open. She obviously thought she knew me and at that moment, I instantly wanted to know everything about her. I felt transfixed as she enveloped me in a tight hug, grinning up at me like I was worth billions of dollars.” Mark seemed to remember it all like it all happened yesterday. “Then, I realized what just happened; she thought I was Frank” his amusement came out through his voice. “Then Frank came in, gosh, I would never forget the look on her face; she nearly passed out. She couldn’t tell who was who. Frank and I had fun at her expense that day, her confusion and innocence was so hilarious; she intrigued me the way no other woman ever had.” He swallowed, leaning against the wall like a heavy weight had just rested on his shoulders. “But that was the much that could be allowed because she was Frank’s intended.” He swallowed. Laura could only stare in stupefied wonder.

“I fell in love with her, I wasn’t trying to, and God knows I didn’t want that much complication in my life, I could not just stop thinking about her. But love is only sweet when it is reciprocated, when it is not, it is like a poison slowly moving you to your death. I got involved with other women but I couldn’t love them. I loved Sandra so much, it was such a pain to see her with someone who looked exactly like me but wasn’t me. Everyday made it more difficult but nothing could have prepared me for their wedding day. I couldn’t handle being the best man at a wedding which I so wanted to be the groom. It wasn’t enough that the groom was my exact copy, it ate me up like acid on skin.”

“So, you raped her?” Laura’s voice croaked out. “You raped the woman you claim to love?” Mark was becoming more animated by the minute, Laura couldn’t believe that 24 hours ago, she could have vouched she knew all there is to know about her uncle.

“I didn’t rape her…” he answered after a moment of silence. “I did something much worse” his voice was laced with pain as he spoke. “There was a night party after the wedding. It lasted late into the night. My pain made me drink so much, but I couldn’t get drunk; no quantity of alcohol could make me tipsy. That was when I saw her. Sandra looked tipsy and exhausted; I could see that she really needed to sleep. Frank was completely drunk, I didn’t think he could place one foot in front of the other without topping off. Then, I went and took Sandra, leading her to the bedroom” he swallowed, running his hand shakily over his head, his voice becoming more distant. “All I wanted was for her to get some sleep but…” he shook his head, gazing intently on the floor like he could see it all just as it happened. “She was too drunk to determine who was actually leading her in, she assumed I was Frank and was all over me. As we got to the room and I tried to make her lie on the bed, she… she wanted me on the bed with her. I know I should have told her I wasn’t Frank; maybe that would have penetrated her drunkenness and stopped her, maybe it wouldn’t, but I didn’t care. I could not stop myself, I took advantage of the situation” Mark wiped at the lone tear that slid down his face. “I didn’t think of the consequences of my actions, all I wanted was a taste of heaven. I was only thinking of myself… I was so stupid”

Laura’s legs had given way under her and she now sat in an undignified manner on the floor beside the door. Her mouth was agape as tears flowed down her face. “She slept with you, thinking you were her husband” it was the worst thing Laura had ever heard. She always thought nothing could be worse than rape, but now this?

“I made love to her with all the love in my heart” Mark continued. “I tickled her and she laughed, it was the most melodious sound I have ever heard”

“Please stop” Laura couldn’t take it anymore but Mark continued.

“I endured her whispers of Frank’s name, seeing her face flushed with happiness was a gold mine for me. It was the last time I ever saw her so happy… the last time I heard her laugh…” his eyes grew dark with self-loath.

Laura couldn’t bear the thought of this. She had the vague thought that her mother had never been truly happy. She rarely laughed, when she did, it didn’t seem real. She always had this sadness lurking in her eyes, but Laura figured that anyone married to her father would be in for a lifetime of sadness. If only she knew just what the woman had been subjected to.

“She was never the same after that night. Frank found out the next day after she talked about our night together. He knew he wasn’t the one. I had to confess to what I did. I have never felt so worthless. I could handle Frank’s anger and hatred but nothing prepared me for the hatred I saw in Sandra’s eyes. But that was not the worst part; Frank changed towards her… he changed completely. He couldn’t stomach the fact that another man – his twin brother – had slept with Sandra, even though it was without her conscious thought. He maltreated her and yelled at her. I had broken him, but worse, I broke her as well” He massaged a spot on his thigh, like he was trying to get a strain out. “It got worse when she found out she was pregnant and Frank knew it wasn’t his” Laura frowned. “Frank was furious. He never gave her the attention she needed. He turned cold and grew distant, only used her as a sex object; nothing was the same again.” Mark took a deep breath. “Sandra stopped laughing, her brown eyes were darkened with sadness; but she would not leave him. She was sure her love for him would make everything right again, she was wrong; my love for her had already made everything wrong” Mark shook his head, unable to stop the tears that trekked down his face. “I had killed her that night; all that was left was a walking corpse. I loathe myself every day, I hate myself for doing that to her”

Laura stared, wide-eyed at the man before her. It is unbelievable the havoc that a stupid act can wreck in people’s lives. Small as Laura had been, she couldn’t understand why her parents were married when her father clearly did not like her mother. She always thought her mother was stupid for enduring everything her father did to her and Laura tried her best to make her mother as happy as possible, but Laura’s love seemed not to be enough. She wanted the love of her husband, but sadly, she never got it. Many nights, Laura stayed awake, listening to the silent sobs of her mother. Her mother’s tears made her cry and every night built her disdain for her father. Her hatred for Frank grew when her mother died. Sandra died weeks after giving birth to Jane. Laura had been eight years old. Laura felt her mother had been depressed all her life but it got a lot worse after Jane’s birth. The depression was so severe that Sandra started talking to herself, talking to unseen people, taking excess care of the baby. She practically behaved like a mad woman. Doctors diagnosed her with PTSD, and said she was suffering from a rare kind of depression. Though, Frank changed towards her at that time and tried to take care of her, it was too late. Four weeks after Jane’s birth, Sandra was found dead on her bed, cause of death was unknown.

Laura had never forgiven her father. She had held the death against her father. She had thought he was the monster… the one who drained her mother’s love until she ended up six feet under. If only she had known that her father hadn’t always been like that… hadn’t always been so cold and heartless… if only she had known that the very person she admired and loved was the person who turned her father into a monster…

Laura blinked, sending tears down her cheeks as she pushed her numb legs up. Standing, she stared at her uncle for a prolonged moment, still unable to believe all she had heard. She shook her head. “And I thought my father was the monster… I thought he was the devil, but it has been you” her lips shook as her heart ached for the pain her mother had to endure. “How can you live with yourself?” she spat through clenched teeth. “You’ve been pretending to be a saint, but you are nothing but a snake… a filthy snake” she yelled in sobs. “So, what now? You are going to tell me you are my biological father now?” she yelled, her eyes sparking with fire. “You are going to tell me that I am the product of that shameful night?” Laura saw Mark’s face double over with pain as he gazed at her and got her answer. “Wow…”

Laura felt like she had just been given a blow in the gut. In the space of three weeks, her life had changed tremendously. It was from one revelation to another. Laura stared hard at Mark through her tears. People had always said she had the looks of her mother but had her father’s eye. Given the resemblance, how was she to know that the father in question was actually Mark? ‘Be careful what you wish for’ now held a new meaning to her.

All her life, she had envied Tito for having the perfect father. Mark had shown her so much love and affection that Laura had wished time and again that he was her father, instead of Frank. Laura had always known Frank to be a cold man, she knew he was cold to everyone but also knew that he was more so around her. She found no love and happiness in her house when she got too much of that at her ‘supposed’ uncle’s place. Laura had called Mark ‘father’, wishing it was real. She said he was her godfather – the father God had intentionally given her as a substitute, knowing she had a terrible one. She had thought Tito was the luckiest person alive to have gotten the better twin as her father… if only she had known that it was all a shell… if only she had known that the real person that lived beneath that amazing façade was a deadly viper.

“I am sorry, Laura”

Laura laughed, shaking her head. “Sorry!” she exclaimed in amazement. “After everything, that’s all they say; sorry” she snapped. “What exactly are you sorry for? You destroyed my mother’s life, destroyed my father’s life, destroyed Teju’s life, destroyed my life… and all you have is that you are sorry?” Mark looked away; he couldn’t bear the hatred in her eyes. “I can never see you as my father” she swore. “I would rather be a bastard than acknowledge a rapist as my father. I hate you. I hate you!” she yelled and yanked the door open.

She froze as she saw the person behind the door. Tito stood behind the door, her face filled with tears. One look at her and Laura knew she had heard everything. She couldn’t imagine what she must be feeling but at the moment, Laura didn’t care. She just wanted to get away. Moving past Tito, Laura ran out of the house into the darkness of the night.

*****

Deolu didn’t care that it was almost midnight; he just had to see Chris. He had to know exactly what was going on. He might have made his mistakes but he would be damned if he would sit back and have his best friend steal his wife’s heart away from him. In seconds, he was out of the house and in his car, honking at the gateman to open the gate.

His blood boiled as he zoomed out of the house, straight into the dark lonely road. It all made perfect sense now. Chris was always with him through thick and thin, even when they fought and had serious misunderstandings, it never lasted for more than a day. But now… gosh, how could he have been so brain-dead? Chris always voiced some things in jovial manners but he had never counted on them. The signs had been there all along, he had just been too dumb to notice. That is the thing with people who play too much; you can almost never tell when they are actually being serious. Deolu had suspected Chris had deep feelings for someone which was not reciprocated. He had thought it was probably reason why he never took the women in his life seriously, how was he to assume that Chris was actually in love with his wife?

Deolu pushed his leg against the accelerator as he sped off; light from his headlamp and street lights filled the road. His eyes caught someone running in the opposite direction, afar off. As he drew closer, he saw that it was a woman. How could a woman be out running, so late at night? He strained his eyes and slammed his leg on the brake as he saw who it was. His tired screeched to a halt in the middle of the road, as the image of the person running became clear to him. Thankfully, traffic was free. He was practically the only person on the road. “Laura?” he muttered in great surprise as he got out of the car, his initial destination was forgotten as he rushed to the other side of the road. “Laura” he yelled as Laura drew closer but she did not seem to hear him. Her face was filled with tears and his heart thumped, wondering what had happened to her. Where on earth was she coming from?

As she drew nearer, her hiccupped sobs rose to his ear and he rushed forward to grab her. “Laura” he whispered. She fought weakly, trying to break free, but she must have expended all her strength because she soon gave up the struggle, her breath coming out in short gasps as she cried.

She looked up into his worried eyes. “Deo…lu” she managed, on the verge of collapse.

Deolu pulled her into his arms. “Come here” he held her shaking form against his body and kissed her head. “Hush now” he whispered as she sobbed uncontrollably, gripping his shirt with her small hands. Right now, whatever could have happened didn’t matter to him, all that mattered was Laura. He lifted her carefully off the ground and walked back to the car, placing her gently on the seat. She looked so young, so innocent. Laura inhaled in quick successions, as her tears died down to hiccups.

Deolu got behind the wheels and spun the car around; Chris was completely forgotten as he drove straight home.

***** Teju lay curled up on the bed, the sheets drawn up to her chin. The lights were out and she stared into the darkness of her room, with no thought flowing through her brain. Exhaling, she closed her eyes, welcoming the darkness within. Even her closed lids could not hold back the tears that disappeared into the pillow. There was so much pain, and she was the pioneer of it all. Her heart ached just thinking of the pain she had caused everyone. There was so much pain and turmoil and she was the cause of everything. Her selfishness had led to this.

Tito might feel she had the whole truth and even think Teju was the victim, but Teju knew that was not the case. The diary was missing a few pages. There were some things she didn’t dare write in the diary because frankly, some words are too heavy to pass through the tip of a pen. The diary held only a fraction of what had truly happened. Swallowing, Teju placed her hand on her tummy, it was already growing. She had to endure… hold on for this little soul. She got little consolation from knowing that she could give life to another being. She felt a slight movement in her tummy, making her freeze. Tears filled her eyes as she held still, hoping to feel the movement again, but she didn’t. “My baby” she whispered in tears. Despite the odd circumstances, she loved the child. Loved the thought of holding a tiny baby boy or girl in her arms in a few months. But then, she knew… she knew she wouldn’t be holding her baby for as long as she wanted…

***** Deolu walked into the house with Laura in his arms, she was completely exhausted but though her eyes were closed, he knew she wasn’t asleep. His heart thudded in his chest. He felt complete and whole again. He couldn’t tell just how he felt at having his wife within the confines of their home again. It was like God had decided to step in and make all crooked paths straight.

He made straight for their bedroom, leaving the lights off as he went straight towards the bathroom and placed her gently on the ground. He bent and removed her shoes, giving her feet a brief massage and felt her stiffen as his hands went up to her skirt. He felt her eyes on him and looked up into her eyes. “I just want to undress you” he explained silently. “You need a bath”

She remained silent as he peeled away her skirt, leaving her in her panties. He straightened. “Raise your hands” he ordered softly and pulled off her top when she did. Laura watched him intently as he undressed her until she completely nude before him. She wasn’t running but she could feel her heart racing. Heavy silence filled the room, Laura knew Deolu had questions but also knew he wouldn’t ask them just yet. Deolu released the bond holding her natural hair together and Laura could almost hear the inaudible sigh as her spongy hair snapped free. Deolu opened the door of the bathroom and pulled her inside gently. “I can bath myself” Laura finally spoke.

He smiled. “I know that” Laura made no protest as Deolu ran the water, picked her sponge and helped her bath. He took a towel and mopped her dry. As they emerged from the bathroom, he instantly, made for the wardrobe and pulled out one of Laura’s night wears. One that fell loosely around her. He knew her enough to know she slept better without clingy clothes, and going by the dark circles around her eyes, he could tell she hadn’t been sleeping much. Laura wore the cloth wordlessly and moved to the bed. Sleep weighed heavily on her lids. Deolu pushed her to a lying position and pulled the duvet over her. He sat on the bed beside her for a brief moment, staring at her face. He caressed her cheek with his thumb as he leaned over to give her a lingering kiss on her head. “Go to sleep, love” he whispered.

Laura watched as Deolu stood and walked away from the bed, across the dark room towards the door. As he raised his hand to turn on the light for her, she realized he wasn’t going to stay in the room. “Don’t go”

Deolu turned, looking uncertain. “You should sleep”

“I sleep better with you” she answered. “Stay with me… please” she pleaded. Laura didn’t think she could stand being alone. And despite the dispute, she just wanted to forget about the pain and betrayal for tonight.

Deolu swallowed as he went back to the bed, getting in on the other side. Laura drew closer, cuddling against her husband. Deolu kissed her head again, he desperately wanted that kiss all over her body but he knew it was not the right time. Satisfied with the feel of her small form against him after so long a time, he whispered again. “Sleep now, love”

And she did.

Sacrilege.