LAGOS NIGERIA 11:08pm 15th May 2015
Yvette stared at the screen of the television, the network news was on but she neither saw nor heard a thing that was being said. A spider spun its web above her head, by the faint light provided by the onlybulb in the living room. The livin room was in disarray with toys scattered all over the place, a black currant juice box had been toppled, spilling its crimson contents on the beige rug. Breakfast that morning had been yam and stew, and it was evident as there were pieces of yam on the centre table. The baby lay on the floor bawling and the toddler had rolled herself into a ball and was asleep. The baby cried still.
“Charles! Charles!” Yvette screamed from the kitchen. There was no response. She walked into the children’s room and and the boy was on the floor, writing in a book. “Are you deaf? Haven’t you been hearing me call you?” she asked.
“My name is not Charles, my name is Oscar” he replied her sitting up.
“Since when did your name become Oscar? ehn Charles” sh asked him
“My mother said my name is Oscar” he replied
“Which mother? Do you have a mother? silly boy. you have started telling lies again. Follow me” she walked out of the room, with the boy behind her.
Ten minutes later, the boy’s buttocks were still aching from the spanking he hd received and his cries could not be heard because ye had been forbidden from crying. He was in a lot of pain. He couldnt even sit properly, so he knelt down while feeding the baby who wanted to play. He was not in the mood to play. Tears rolled down his eyes.
Calvin looked at his wife, wondering if he uad heard correctly… “He said what?” he asked
“Oscar, he said his name is Oscar” Yvette repeated. A chill ran down Calvin’s spine. “what is it? what’s wrong” Yvette asked her husband, who suddenly looked like he had seen a ghost.
“Oscar… His mother wanted to name him after Oscar Wilde, a famous writer.She chose that name for him” Cavlin said
“He said his mother told him that is his name… there must be an explanation, maybe he has hard you say it” Yvette replied
“No I have never mentioned it to anyone. She didn’t tell anyone either, not to my knowledge. When she died birthing him, she told me to take care of Oscar… That was the second time she mentioned that name to me” Calvin said
“Well I am sure there is a logical explanation. That child is getting on my nerves Cal, you better talk to him. I can’t stand it anymore” Yvette told her husband, who remained silent, deep in thought.
The next day, Charles stood in front of his father, wondering what he had done this time. It was always something bad, for his father to call him into the room. But hisfather didnt have his usual stern look. Charles could not recognise or understand the look on his father’s face.
“So who told you your name is Oscar?” Calvin asked his son
“Ehm… nobody” Charles responded, looking at the ground
” Be truthful to me boy, when you lie, you get me angry. Do you want me to be angry?” He sked him
“No…” Charles replied
“So, tell me the truth, who told you that your name is Oscar?” Calvin asked the obviously frighend child.
“My .. my mother”The child replied
“Who is your mother? where did you meet her?” Calvin asked with a slight tremor in his voice
“When i was going to school, she helped me cross the big road, and she told me that her name is Nancy and she is my mother, that my name is Oscar and that I should not be afraid” Charles replied, looking up at his father.
Calvin’s face had gone pale. His lips tembled, and he took a step away from the boy.
“What does she look like?” he asked his son
“She is the most beautiful woman I have seen, she has long hair and her mouth is small, her face is very smooth and yellow and she is not very tall….” the child went on and on..
Calvin could see her clearly, Nancy… the name that was always there to haunt him. He wondered if this was a trick, he wondered and wondered.
“She said I should tell you that those who are faithless know the pleasures of love; it is the faithful who know love’s tragedies ” Charles concluded.
Calvin came out of his reverie, hearing the last sentence of the boy. ” What did you just say?” he asked him
“I said that she told me to tell you that Those who are faithless know the pleasures of love; it is the faithful who know love’s tragedies.” the child repeated.
Calvin recognised her faourite quote from Oscar Wilde, her favourite author. He looked at his six years old son, and he knew that indeed Nancy had sent him that message. He walked out dazed, leaving Charles wondering what was wrong wit his father.
“What do you mean? She is dead and buried, six years has gone by.” Yvette said, looking at her husband.
“7yrs in three days time. 7years.” Calvin said
“So get over yourself. That child is obviously possessed by a familiar spirit from the pit of hell” Yvette responded, standing up from the bed. “I would beat that evil spirit out fron his body this night” she said banging the door.
Five minutes later, Charles could be heard screaming from the kivin room. Calvin closed his eyes, trying to block out the cries of his son like he always did, but all he saw was Nancy’s smiling face. He shut them even tighter.
Nancy walked towards her car, wondering where her husband was. She was excited to find out she was pregnant, but wondered why Calvin had not seemed to share her joy. He had walked out of the house minutes after she had told him the good news, saying he was going to hang out with the guys. She wondered what had happened to the loving man she had married. It was almost 11pm, and he wasnt back. She needed to look for him and bring him home. she didnt want him drunk and driving. As she opened the door to her car, a car honked outside the gate. He was home. She breathed a sigh of relief.
Calvin drove into the hotel premises, and Yvette was waiting for him by her car. She had a smile plastered on her face. She was obviously still reeling from the car he had just bought her. They had just driven to the hotel from the car mart. Calvin knew he was in for some good time. Their plans were going on perfectly, and she deserved the car for being so patient. His love for her blossomed.
Nancy felt bloated, the child had been really kicking restlessly these past days. She looked at the time, it was almost two am, and Calvin was not back. His new habit was staying out all night and coming back home to get ready for work. Her marriage was crumbling before her eyes. She touched her stomach, and knew all she had was her baby. Then she felt the sharp pain and screamed.
13th May 2015
Yvette raised her hand to strike the child again, and she felt a terrible pain in her side. It felt like she had been hit with a rod. She fell to the ground in pain. She screamed her husband’s name over and over again, while Charles who had been the one crying, watched her in shock, wondering what was wrong with her. Calvin came running from the room.
The house was quiet, as Nancy glided into the master’s bedroom. She looked at the sleeping forms, and shook her head. They had to pay for what they caused her. She stretched her hand, and Calvin began choking. Sye was tempted to end his life at that moment, but knew that would be too easy. too quick. She let go, and glided out of the room.
She sat by her son, and touched his face. She must protect her child, protect him from those that betrayed her. She soothed his brow, and rubbed her hands over his limbs, touching the areas that hurt from where Yvette had hit him. She took the pain away. He opened his eyes, and smioed at her. “Sleep” she said to him,and instantly he slept. She was going to give him the best 7th birthday present ever. She left him.
Calvin didnt sleep anymore that night. He had felt his life draining from his body. He had almost died, then the unseen hand released him. Nancy…… He knew it all pointed back to Nancy. He had a feeling she was around, and he was afraid of closing his eyes, lest that be the last time he closed them. He wondered why she had decided to torment him now, after seven years. He looked at Yvette as she slept, she had received a beating from Nancy also. She tossed and turned in her sleep, maybe Nancy tormented her even in her sleep. He hoped so, after all she was responsible for the mess they were in.
He remembered how he met Nancy, she had been a rich young girl, who had started from an early age to make money for herself. She didnt have a family, but had a profitable business. Yvette had pointed her out to him, and they decided to play a fast one on her. Nancy was not the usual bimbo or spoilt brat like all the others they had played. The only way he was sure of getting money from her, was as her husband. So wi permission from his partner Yvette, he had married her.
Then she had died during child birth, a child that had come even with all the precautions he took, unknown to her. saving him the stress of duping and divorcing her. Yvette had hated the Child from the onset, that had not been part of their plans. She had wanted to kill the child, but he had refused. He was his child also. Little did he know that Yvette had connived with a nurse, to kill Nancy. When he found out, the deed had been done, and it was all over. They were free…. Or so they thought.
15th May 2015 11:05am
Yvette wondered where Calvin was, she watched her children playing, as she watched the television. Then a wind blew into the living room, b the door was locked. Yvette looked around, as the wind upturned everything in the house. She tried to stand up, but she was stuck to the chair. Her children seemed oblivious to what was going on.
It took shape, and before her stood Nancy…… She tried to scream, but no sound wasmade. She pleaded with hr body to obey her, to move….. She looked up at Nancy, who had her usual smile.
“Seven marks for seven years” Nancy said in a whisper.
Immediately, Yvette could feel a burning heat in her head, as seven lines were drawn on her forehead. The pain was agonising. At the end of the seventh mark, Yvette’s eyes were unseeing. Nancy left her.
Then the children began crying, but their mother was gone from this world.
15th May 2015 1:30pm
Calvin walked into the toilet of his office, he had an insane urge in the pit of his stomach. He locked the door behind him. He turned around, and Nancy was there. He knew it was the end. He went on his knees, pleading for mercy.
“seven strokes for seven years”
He screamed out, as he felt the pain of one being scorged. His shirt fell apart, and seven scorge marks appeared at his back. By the seventh one, his mouth wasagape and his eyes unseeing.
Knocks on the door of the toilet, as his co-workers had heard his screams, went unheeded.
15th May 2015 6:00pm.
Oscar and his mother walked into their new home. The neighbours talked about the beautiful woman and her son that just moved in next to them.
“she has a wonderful smile, so beautiful” they all said
LIFE IS A CHOICE MY FRIENDS
SO CHOOSE WISELY
Ivy is a co-author of www.opustjkwrites.com