My alarm woke me up and I reached for it in the blinding darkness. The curtains were shut tight; my room was almost as dark as a tomb… knocked my car keys off the bedside table in the process as well as the wine glass that still had a little red wine; I cursed while the wine seeped into the expensive Persian carpet. I finally found the pesky clock, I located the necessary button and switched it off before it could do any more damage. I closed my eyes with the smell of the luxurious wine hovering in the air, trying to remember why I set it in the first place…ah yes Adiva’s naming ceremony…
Then I remembered last night’s dream. Darn! I didn’t see his face again! The voice sounded more familiar every-time i heard it like I knew him… thoughts of him made my stomach quake…
Six months after my escape and I am still scared, I know he is out there, watching, waiting for the minute I would let my guards down. I sighed heavily as I rolled out of the double bed, scratched my head and then I stretched in the same minute, standing on the tips of my toes, four inches above my 5’5. I walked to the bathroom while I still yawned and switched on the bathroom light…the white florescent light blinked for a second, almost blinding me. I was rubbing my eyes against the glare when I saw him skulking in the corner beside my bathtub wearing that stupid face-cap, under the shadow of the cap I saw his lips transform to a sarcastic grin… and I screamed….
I had dozed off on the couch while the kids watched re-runs of Ben10 on cartoon network, Ayo was breast-feeding Adiva on the sofa opposite my feet, she was the one who shhhhed me. She stood up to put the baby in her crib. She beckoned to me to come out to the back where the giant swimming pool lay basking in the warmth undisturbed, we sat down side by side on two pool chairs. One of her maids, she was new because I had never seen her before, curtsied quickly and asked what she would like to drink.
“Bring that bottle of wine that Oga brought back the last time he travelled” the girl curtsied and walked away quickly
“She is going to bring the wrong one, I can bet you, she didn’t even ask which one? Or where it is? Is it me or are they getting dumber and dumber?”she said shaking her head
“I…I …h…h…had that dream again” I stammered hating the fact that i was still shaken
“The one where he kidnaps you?” she asked, as she waved away a housefly that flew too close to her, it was a regular topic these days
“Yesss…” I said looking at my hands
“Did you see his face this time?” she asks this question every-time I tell her about the dream,
“No…I never see his face, I hear his damn voice but I never see his face!!!” I looked up, I was starting to sound agitated and I knew it.
“You have to try harder love, the detective Daddy hired can’t do much with the information you gave, if not for the fact that you came back with that…she said pointing to my belly, we won’t have believed you” she says it like it is easy…
“There is more…”I said wondering if I should tell her,
“The dream of the kidnap was in a dream, I woke up…on the day of Adiva’s naming ceremony and he was there in my bathroom waiting for me”
“Now that doesn’t make sense dear. With all these security people around, you still don’t feel safe? Haba! No one knew…”
Ayo was interrupted by the maid, she brought the wrong bottle of wine as she predicted, I smiled as she chided the maid gently. Ayo had always been like that, always calm compared to my very violent nature. The old me would have flown into a fit of rage and taken it out physically on them, but now I was somewhat tame.
When I got away from my abductor, I had to spend some weeks in the hospital because of the stab wound he gave me, as a going away present. I touched the scar on my stomach absentmindedly. It had healed very nicely considering…
After my stint at the hospital, I thought of the place I felt most safe… Ayo’s house. I moved in and started staying here, I only ever went back to my big apartment to get my clothes. One of her maids, Adura, had taken exceptional care of me, nurtured me back to health, she held me in her arms when I screamed at night, traumatized and petrified that he would come back…or when I had dreadful the dreams…
The maid walked away again, this time armed with the appropriate information.
“I hope she gets it right this time”
“Back to your dream jare”
“As I was saying no one knew you were missing, we didn’t receive any ransom note from anyone, he certainly lied about that. I was in Aspen for my wedding anniversary, Daddy was globetrotting as usual, and Demola was probably screwing some exotic slut somewhere. I really wish we had known”
“I guess its better you didn’t know you were carrying Adiva at that time God knows what would have happened”
I looked her face exactly like mine, minus the haunted look I now sported. She is my lifeline, this radiant beauty that is my sister, my friend, my twin, the one person that really did understand. Tears welled up behind my eyes threatening to spill…
“I…feeel…soo..handicapped…so…scared all the time, when will it stop?”
Ayo was beside me in a second, she held me as my racking sobs enveloped my body…
“They will find him Aanu, you know daddy, and he would not rest until the bastard has been caught…please stop crying”
“Why are you crying? Is it because of the bad man?” I looked up guiltily and brushed my tears away quickly, Tomide stood in front of us at the edge of the pool looking worried. He had left the twins watching T-V.
“Nothing sweets, its grown up talk, that’s all” she said with a smile,
He didn’t look convinced, but wise eight year old that he was, he let the matter drop.
“Can I go for a swim?”
“You know the magic words Akintomide” she said
“Pretty please with cherry on top!” he said smiling, two dimples on each cheek and his very cute dentition with one missing incisor.
“Alright, but only at the shallow end!”
I know why she says this, she can’t swim, and neither can I, a result of our mother’s watery death. Tomide jumped into the shallow end and started splashing about happily.
I noticed the deaf gardener tending to the weeds at the other side of the pool. He worked meticulously, pulling out each overzealous weed with venom.
“Your gardener seems to be angry oh, maybe his wife didn’t give him some” Ayo took her eyes from her son and looked at the gardener as well, she gave a little laugh.
“Hmmmn… he doesn’t have a wife oh! His love is gardening. He says the garden and flowers are his first loves! He is so good with them, hiring him was one of the best decisions I had ever made” she said,
The maid was back with the right bottle of wine this time, we waited while she tried to uncork the bottle. We laughed with mirth as she struggled with it, Ayo had to take over eventually. When it was open she poured a glass for me, practically shoving it in my face. I shook my head and took a sip…
“Mummy!” the splashing had increased in volume
I think we both looked at the pool at the same instant; Tomide was struggling to stay afloat at the deep end of the pool. How did he get there so quickly? Ayo stood up hastily, her wine glass fell on the paved concrete floor breaking into a million pieces and screamed…we both screamed in paralyzed with terror as the splashing stopped while Tomide, Ayo’s first son, sank like a ton of bricks…