The Runner

Chinwe loved people and was equally loved. Her dark skin, delicate features, bright eyes and keen intelligence made her a composite of beauty. Her modest fifteen-year old world was picture perfect until that night when the news came that her father had been killed by a hit-and-run driver. It was barely two weeks to her sixteenth birthday.

Her mother was inconsolable.  Struck with stroke within six months of her husband’s death, she wilted and died.  Overnight, Chinwe grew past her teenage years. She fled the pain that the little village of Ekwe now represented and headed for the big city to get lost in its bigness.

She did get lost. Her meager resources fetched a miserable abode in a dirty, rundown neighbourhood. She worked two odd jobs as a cleaner and a serving hand in an eatery frequented by a rabble of lay workers. Yet her dual income was a pittance. Chinwe sank into a pit of depression. There, sleazy girls courted her. They clucked empathy at her situation, shook their heads at her being so put out, showed tainted generosity in little monetary helps and then offered her a better job mixed with independence and fun.

It wasn’t long before Chinwe was walking the streets and contributing to the daily drop-off of the prostitution ring that got its takings from their makings. Her sparkle and natural gaiety died to dark and vacant moods, and distant brooding.

………………………………………………………………………………………………………

It had been ten years of struggle for Charles, Christian youth leader and evangelist. The inner battle pulled at him, cloying his peace. Six years ago when he turned his life to God in that simple fellowship gathering, crying out to Jesus to save him, desperate and broken, life took on a new turn. Yet there was that unattended matter which the still, small voice continually reminded him of and which he had proven slow in obeying. How was he to return to Ekwe village, the source of his life’s misery? Yet he knew it was time to stop running.

Finally, he yielded and in that instant, he’d experienced the reward of his decision in a downing of peace. Thus, his presence in this dingy motel room was transitory. At the crack of dawn he would board a vehicle headed to Ekwe and, hopefully, get a chance to fix what he’d broken. Even though had not even the slightest clue of how he was to accomplish such a feat.

The evening was warm. He sighed and on impulse, decided to stroll out.

It was an aimless walk. The curious forms of women leaning on walls, flaunting their wares identified them for what they were. He hasted past the house and at the same moment she emerged. He sighted her and involuntarily did a double take. She saw him, noticed his reaction and interpreted it to mean interest. Shrugging, she made her way to him.

They sat apart, face to face. It had taken some persuasion for her to understand that he just wanted to talk. He had stuffed her hand with most of the fare for his intended trip, to placate her and compensate for what she termed ‘this waste of time’. God had brought to him Chinwe, the purpose of his trip to Ekwe – and he wasn’t about to let cowardice force him to run away…again.

It was a difficult confession: nineteen and drunk, he ran into the man and panicked, fled the scene but never could flee his sin.

She sat stiffly, listening, eyes glistening. It was too much to take in. Seated before her, her parents’ murderer, her own life stealer? How did he expect her to deal with this? Suddenly, in a violent spate of anger she grabbed a stout plank by the foot of the bed and leapt up, ramming him with it, again and again. He managed to seize her by the wrist, thereby stopping further onslaught.

‘I deserve to be killed, i’m fully aware Chinwe.’ The pain that she’d bottled up for way too long sprinkled on his face as she struggled to free herself. ‘But you don’t want to take my former place and be tormented – you don’t!’ he pleaded.

Eventually, she crumbled into the seat; recoiled in pain as she sobbed out her grief.

……………………………………………………………………………………………………

They stepped out of the brothel together. Chinwe handed over to the collector her day’s contribution, knowing in her heart it would be the last time she did that. The other girls winked and teased her on the ‘big fish’ she had caught. They did not know she had been caught––by the Fisher.

Both had fled Ekwe and its pain.

She had refused to acknowledge the bitterness lodged within; he had tried to deny the peace he lived without

Both had now found peace in God.



15 thoughts on “The Runner” by Kwiksie (@kwiksie)

  1. You can write. But the story is a bit confusing. How is Chinwe the reason for charles return to Ekwe when he never got there? How did he happen to know that Chinwe was the daughter of the man he ran over.

    The story is too…Nollywoody, which is ok, if you like Nollywood.

    1. No @kaycee…i actually don’t.
      Yeah, Charles didn’t have to get to Ekwe because he ran into Chinwe ‘in transit’. The town/city he paused at, on his way to Ekwe, just so happened to be the one in which Chinwe’s brothel was located.
      On your second question, I do think i should have taken more time to elaborate on this sha ‘cus IN MY MIND yeah, i figured: Folks knew Chinwe. She was ‘loved by all’ and all that so naturally they’d know Chinwe’s dad (village setting, everyone in everyone’s business kinda thing). The news was brought to her and her mum….so people knew who’d been killed that night and since Charles wasn’t a visitor, the ‘gist’ would eventually reach him (probably that very night sef) that so and so’s papa had been killed. Then he picked race.

      I guess it would have been a whole lot easier if i had assumed less and just grafted all this in the story somehow. #sigh, well at least now you get.
      Thanks for reading and commenting though. :)

  2. The concept of the story is nice…two people finding peace…and God. But I agree with @kaycee there was a bit of confusion in there. It was rushed. If you had taken your time to write it, it’d have turned out really good.

    But no, I haven’t changed my mind. It’s still nice :)

    1. @Rachel_Williams, you are absolutely right…and i know it. :)
      I did write it some time back and what i wrote it for…had a word limit. But Lord knows these are all excuses; will take my time on the next one. Promise. :)
      Thanks so much for reading and commenting though.

  3. As they’ve said. Good concept, not so much in the execution. While you don’t want to insult readers by being too plain, don’t equally assume we are ghosts who walk through the minds of writers, in search of the recycle bin :)

    1. I know, my bad. :( Sorry.
      Still, thanks for reading and commenting. Correction noted. @Myne

  4. While the subject matter of the story is very deep, strong and didactic in a way, you don’t seem to have done enough justice to it . I hope it wasn’t rushed.

    The story ended abruptly without showing us how they eventually arrived at the decision to leave the town together…how she was convinced to leave it all behind. This created a bit of confusion…

    1. Oh…i see. I was avoiding going into too much detail and making the story too lengthy.
      I now went and messed it up by rushing. -_- #smh
      Will probably re-write the whole thing…someday. ;) Thanks so much for reading and commenting though. @Afronuts

  5. Alls been said, deep story.

    1. @funpen, thanks so much. Glad you could still ‘feel’ it…
      :)

  6. @Kwiksie you have a good story here.
    The only problem is that you were already licking your fingers before we could get to taste the soup.
    Please take note of all said above.
    The are little details that cannot be done without.
    Please sit down and write…you seemed to be standing.
    You’ve a way with words notwithstanding.

    1. Hehe, @Chu’diebereAjala , licking my fingers eh?
      #sigh, i apologize yet again. Starting and ending my tale at the prologue was not the intention…at all.
      Maybe i’ll redo the whole thing at a later date; your corrections however, are duly noted.
      Thanks for taking the time to read through. :)

  7. @kwiksie
    wondering where I had been all the while……… NICE!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!1

    1. What matters is you’re here now. *smiles
      Thanks for reading and commenting @innoalifa

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