Hey pearly peeps!! finally chapter three is out and I’m grateful to everyone who has been waiting for it. I love you all!! you are the reason i write. thank you. For new readers that don’t want to go through the stress of searching for the previous chapters on my blog, i also posted “Forgotten” on wattpad and publicbookshelf. you can check it out there also, plus its easier. click on the links and they would direct you there.“Forgotten” on wattpad and “Forgotten” on publicbookshelf . Read, enjoy and please tell me what you think.. love ya!!!
“You don’t have to go back to Nigeria with us if you don’t want to or if you feel like you’re not ready yet” her mum said, folding some of the clothes she wore during the duration of her stay in the hospital into the medium sized travel bag laying on the side of her bed. Sarah looked up at her mum with a smile on her face, and nodded slowly. Temi- her mum, had been pretty amazing this past week since her accident, comforting her, feeding her, keeping her company and surprisingly praying with her. She didn’t know how her relationship with God was before the accident but it looked like her mum had a very good relationship with God. Sarah knew the reason her mum made that statement now was because she’s been quiet all morning. Her mum probably thinks she’s quiet because she had an issue with going back to Nigeria with them but that wasn’t the reason. Yes, she was a bit nervous about going back to her “motherland” seeing she didn’t even remember the country as home, but that wasn’t the reason she’s had little to say all day. She was more worried about the week left to spend in SA with the Botha family before travelling to Nigeria. After Ben’s outburst the other day and her coming to the realization that his sister passed away in the accident she was also involved in, she didn’t think she was ready to face the family just yet, and she suspected the feeling was mutual. Left to her, she would rather stay in a hotel for the mean time till her departure date but Mr Botha came in to visit her yesterday –alone, and offered his home for her and the family till they travel back to Nigeria. He looked so sincere, it would have been mean to turn down his offer and so they agreed. Now she had to face what she’s been avoiding since the day of the outburst –meeting the rest of the family. She looked in the direction of her mother and noticed she was done packing her clothes and was now headed to the bathroom to get her toiletries she guessed
“Mum?” she called out
“Yes baby? You need something?” her mum stopped and turned with a questioning expression on her face
“Do you think the rest of the family hates me too? The Botha family I mean”
“Oh my God! Baby they don’t. Why would u even think that?” her mum’s eyes were as wide as saucepans now as she walked briskly over to where she was and wrapped her arms around her “they don’t hate you, they understand it was a mistake. The both of you were best friends, why would anybody ever think you would want to hurt her on purpose…?” her mum smoothed her hand over her hair and drew her closer “…that scene with Ben happened because he was in pain and still mourning his sister’s death. He doesn’t hate you, the family doesn’t hate you.” her mum finished with a slight pat on her shoulder
“Well, I hope you’re right. I really don’t want to go through what happened with Ben with the whole family. It hurt” her mum released her from the embrace and looked at her with warm, kind eyes
“If you want, we could check in to a hotel if it really bothers you” Sarah gave a small sigh and was about to reply when the door to the room opened and her father came in, walking behind him was her doctor and Mr Botha.
“Hello favorite” her doctor spoke first, flashing his pearly whites at her
“Hello doc” she returned the smile
“Hey princess, we just finished signing the discharge papers, hope you feel good”
“hmmmm, I guess” she smiled and looked at Mr Botha. She still felt agitated around him
“I appreciate your help sir” she hoped she sounded right
“It’s fine. It’s the least I –we can do. Besides I think Debby would want you to be comfortable and happy irrespective of the circumstance. You’re also like a daughter to us, I mean, you’ve been living with us for the last four years, you count as family” he gave her a warm smile that relieved her a bit
“Thank you” she said, smiling herself. She could tell that the aging man was still going through the pain of losing his daughter. She couldn’t imagine the pain of losing a child; only daughter. Debra must have been daddy’s little girl. She could see her father from the corner of her eyes motioning towards her mum
“Is everything set? Good to go?” Sarah looked towards her mum’s direction
“Almost done. I need to pick up her toiletries and we’re done” her mum walked towards the bathroom where she planned on going to before.
“Baby get up and wear your sandals please” her dad gave an encouraging smile.
She climbed down from the bed and started wearing her sandals
“I gave your father the contact of the therapist I’m referring you to in Nigeria. She’s one of the best I promise. I spoke with her yesterday and she would be pleased to have you around. She’s pretty excited to meet you.” her doctor said, walking over to her side and gave her a tight hug “also, remember to call me, whenever you feel the need to..” he pulled away from the hug and looked at her with kind eyes “.. and even when you don’t feel the need to.” He finished with a smile, his wrinkles becoming more obvious and went to stand next to Mr Botha.
Her mum walked out of the bathroom with a bag containing her toiletries in it and went to put it inside the bag containing her folded clothes.
“We’re good to go now” she said with a smile, picking up the bag
The door to the room was pushed open and this time it was a petite ebony nurse with a look of disappointment on her face that walked in.
“Sarah I can’t believe you were going to leave without telling me” Ankia said sadly when she got close enough to her
“I was going to tell you on my way out, I’m sorry. Besides, I thought he would have told you” she motioned to the doctor standing next to Mr Botha.
“Well he didn’t. It’s okay though, I understand.” She gave a sigh and a sad smile. “I’m going to miss you a lot. Ugh, all the way to Nigeria, it’s so far, I can’t even pay you a random visit.” The corners of Ankia’s mouth turned down in a sad gesture
“We’d meet again, I’m sure of that.” Sarah smiled at how cute Ankia looked with that expression on her face
“I hope so. Do you need my help with something? Like, I could help take some stuff to your car” the ebony nurse asked with sincere expectation in her eyes. Sarah gave a low chuckle
“It’s fine really, I’m pretty sure your attention would be needed in another ward soon” as if on cue, a chubby light skinned nurse peeked in
“Sorry to disturb. Ankia your attention is needed in ward 16 immediately.” As soon as the nurse left, Sarah grinned at Ankia in a way that said ‘I told you so’.
“Run along dear, I’m okay, really.”
“Okay then, I’d get your number and give you a call. Take care of you” Ankia moved closer and gave her a peck on her cheek. “Goodbye everyone, see you later Doc” and with that she was out of the room
“I also have to go now. I have an appointment. Take care of yourselves” the doctor announced as he also left the room.
“We should leave too, people” Mr Botha said smiling as he made the first move towards the door and every other person followed.
The ride to the Botha home was very quiet save the soft music playing from the stereo in the car. It seemed like everyone had a lot on their mind as everyone was resigned to their thoughts. Sarah looked out the window and let the cold breeze wash through her features. She enjoyed watching the trees pass in a blur, as the sun was setting. She saw birds flying and playing above in the sky as though they had no care in the world but then she knew that was not true- every creature in the world was fighting for survival. She sighed and rested her head back on the chair in the back seat where she sat. At least they knew who they were, they recognized birds alike around them and were not accused of murder.
“Are you okay sweetheart?” her mum asked from where she sat beside her.
“I’m fine mum” she gave a small nod and turned her attention back outside the windows to the trees. Her mum kept on telling her everything happened for a reason and things work out well for those that love the lord and she tried to believe that but what about the group of people who didn’t even know if they loved the Lord- people like her? Were things not going to work out well for her seeing as she didn’t even remember loving the Lord? What happens if even after spending time with familiar people, she doesn’t regain her memories? She quickly let go of the thought. Doctor Robinson said she was going to recover and she was going to hold on to that. She might not know her stand with the Lord- God, but she knew and trusted her doctor and if he says she is going to recover, then she had no doubt about that.
She had to regain her memories, if not for anything, at least to be able to apologize sincerely to the Bothas, especially to Ben. She drew another long sigh, and feeling her eyes begin to get heavy, she closed them and succumbed to the warmth of sleep.
She was jerked awake by her mum and opened up her eyes to see that the car was parked already in the front of a house. She was confused momentarily before realizing that they were parked in front of where she assumed was the Botha’s home.
“We’re here. Sorry for disturbing…” Her mum said in a low whisper “…you have to come down now”
“Sorry to wake you beauty but we’re home dear…” Mr Botha said with a smile from outside the car holding her bag on his right hand and opening the passenger door on her side from outside with his other hand “… the boys are coming out already” she looked to the direction of the house and truly the boys were walking towards the car. She recognized them because she had met them before and she quickly averted her gaze to the floor and focused her attention on getting out of the car. She felt herself tense up at the memory of the last time she was in the same place with the boys. Her dad came around and wrapped his hands around her as though he felt her emotions and felt herself and relax a little.
“How is it going boys?” her dad greeted them
“Hello Sarah. Good evening Mr Johnson” the eldest of the boys greeted with kind eyes
“Hey…” she didn’t know his name but she still smiled and stole a glance at Ben and was surprised to see him look so calm, remorseful maybe. she mustered up courage and greeted him
“…hello Ben” she quickly averted her gave back to her sandals
“Hello Sarah, welcome Mr Johnson…” he sounded too calm to be true “…let me help with that” She raised her head up, trying to figure out what she needed help with that he was willing to assist her with when she realized he was talking to his father who handed the bag to him.
“Thanks” she spoke softly but he didn’t hear because he was already rushing back to the house like he was uncomfortable being next to her. He probably still hated her. Her shoulders slumped with a sigh. She should’ve chosen the hotel. Her mum came around and stood next to her father carrying her own bag with a smile at the eldest son.
“How are you Mike?”
“Fine thank you ma’am…” he smiled and motioned to the bag on her hand “…I’d take that inside” she handed the bag to him and soon he was walking towards the house.
“We should go in now before we all catch a cold out here” Ben’s father said after locking the car. It was then that she felt the chill, it was a surprise she didn’t even feel it before. Her mum nudged her and they all walked behind Ben’s father who was already walking towards the house.
A nice aroma wafted through her nose immediately Ben’s father opened the door to the house.
“Welcome home Sarah” he said as soon as she stepped in.
“Thank you” she waited for a few seconds hoping to see or feel something that would trigger her memories but nothing happened. Her father was closing the door behind him and she took the time to really look around the room they were in, obviously the sitting room. The walls were painted cream and the curtains had flower prints on them in different shades of cream and brown. On the wall were framed work of abstract art except a particular one with a painting of a wooden cross and a group of people kneeling at the foot of it with their hands clasped and heads bowed. A total of six people, three men and three women. She could only see their backs but she could feel their emotions of total dependence in the way they were bowed. Nice painting. She turned her attention to the couches, there were three of them and a long sofa. The sofa and a couch were coffee brown in color and the other two couches, cream in color to match the theme of the wall and curtains
“Dova we’re home!” Ben’s father’s voice rang out, distracting her. He walked towards an open door that led to a passage of some sort and she let her eyes settle on a long wall mounted shelf just before the door he just walked through. It contained a few books and more framed images. From where she stood she noticed that the images framed there pictures of people and she squinted her eyes to see the pictures well. She made a move to go close to the shelf and take a better look at the pictures when a chubby dark skinned woman walked out of the door towards her and gave her a long warm hug
“Sarah sweetheart, welcome home dear…” she pulled out of the hug after a few seconds and looked deep into Sarah’s eyes, searching “…I’m sorry. I know you don’t remember me but it feels good to have one of my daughters back home at least.” Sarah assumed she was Debra’s mother seeing as her lips quivered and her eyes which by the way looked like they’ve not rested well in days, were forming tears.
“It’s fine, I’m.. I’m cool with it.” Sarah gave a sad smile. She watched as the woman changed her attention to her parents
“Welcome back…” she proceeded to hug her mum then her dad “…sorry dinner is almost ready. I just need to set the table for dinner. Could you lend me a hand Temi? If you don’t mind” she looked at Sarah
“Ben took your bag to your room, the one you shared with Debra. Do you want to take a shower before dinner?”
“I could use one. Thank you.” Sarah needed to wash away every reminder of the hospital. The woman smiled and nodded
“I understand dear. There’s a bathroom inside the room you’d be staying in. Go through that hallway…” she pointed at the hallway she just walked through “…it’s the third room to your left”. Sarah stood up and walked towards the hallway. She could hear the voices of her mum and Mrs Botha trailing behind her as she opened the door to the room she was directed to and walked inside. The lights were off and she felt for the wall close to the door till she touched the switches and turned in on. She then closed the door to the room as her eyes adjusted to the light. Her bags were placed close to the door. It seemed like Ben didn’t turn on the lights when he came to drop her bags. The walls were painted a warm lavender and it gave the room a homey look. She picked up her bags and placed them beside the wardrobe attached to the wall. The wardrobe was quite large and divided into four compartments, two painted pink and the other two, lilac. She noticed a door close to the wardrobe and assuming it was the bathroom, she opened it and looked inside, she was right, it was the bathroom. She closed the door, facing the room, the tried to take note of the room. There was a queen sized, well laid, bed at the center of the room. At the other side of the bed was a dressing table with a mirror attached to it. On the table were bottles containing lotions, perfumes, deodorants and a framed picture. She walked towards the dressing table and picked up the framed picture, blowing off the thin layer of dust that had formed on the picture and taking a closer look at it. There were two ladies in the picture, one who she recognized as herself giving a playful frown at the other lady who stuck out her tongue in a playful dare at her in the picture. She couldn’t help but laugh a little at the other lady she assumed was Debra judging by the resemblance she had with Mrs Botha. She had a round chubby face and with her tongue stuck out, she looked cute, like a child. Below the picture, on the frame was encrypted in fine calligraphy ‘Sarah & Debra’. She took a last glance at the picture and placed it back on the dressing table. Drawing a long sigh, she looked at the other areas in the room, on the wall were three framed pictures, one of herself, another of Debra, and the last, an artwork of a beautiful landscape showing sunrise. A shoe rack with different shoes was erected at another corner, and situated at the back of the bed was a chair and a desk. Placed on the desk was a computer and some books. She turned her attention back to the bed and smiled. The room was arranged in a funny but organized way. She thought back on the pictures and gave another sigh, she was never going to meet the original owner of this room again, she couldn’t even remember her. She sat down on the bed and reached for the books on the desk. The first book placed on top of the rest had a beautiful back cover. It was made of baby pink colored leather with a design of blossoming flowers and she opened to the first page. It had ‘THE HOLY BIBLE’ written boldly on the first page and below it immediately was written ‘The English Standard Version’. She flipped the next page and on it was an ownership form where the name ‘Debra A. Botha’ was filled in the gap provided for the owner of the bible. She skimmed down to the portion where the favorite passage was requested and on it was written in fine handwriting;
‘Make me to know your ways, O Lord; teach me your paths. Lead me in your truth and teach me, for you are the God of my salvation; for you I wait all the day long. (Psalm 25:4-5)’
She closed the bible and placed it on her bed picking up another book, a notebook this time around. She flipped through the pages and realized it was a jotting note and in it were a lot of bible passages and writings about them. She dropped it and flipped through the other books which contained the same thing as the notebook. She returned the books back to the desk and wondered what kind of person Debra was; the little she knew suggested she was a Christian, an interesting one. She wasn’t expecting a Christian when she envisioned Debra. She didn’t know how she felt about that, did that make her a Christian too? It would make sense since they were supposed to be best friends and all. She looked at the room leading to the bathroom. She had completely forgotten that the main reason she came in here was to take a shower. Getting up from the bed, she went to where her bags were and after taking out her toiletries bag, towel, and a change of clothes, she went into the bathroom. Her shower was quick and hot and in no time she was back into the room with a pair of new clothes. She thought about brushing her teeth but dismissed it when she remembered she had to eat dinner. She was beginning to feel cold and decided to wear a cardigan before going outside. She squatted next to her bags to search for her jacket, but after checking for a few seconds and realizing it was folded underneath the other clothes, she pulled the bag to the side of the bed and proceeded to bring the clothes out of the bag, placing them on the bed as she looked for her cream cardigan and after a couple of seconds, she spotted it. She brought it out and wore it. She reached for the clothes on the bed and started arranging them back into her bag when she heard a knock on the door
“Come in…” she spoke loud enough for the person to hear and the door opened with Mrs Botha poking in her head with a smile on her face
“Are you done dear? Dinner is almost served”
“Almost done. Just arranging some clothes” she replied, turning her attention to the person at the door
“Alright then, just come out to the sitting room when you’re ready” she said, pulling out from the room, closing the door behind her, the smile never leaving her face for a minute
“Okay” Sarah said more to herself than the woman with a smile on her face too. Her stay was going better than she thought; no harsh or mean attitudes so far. That was a good sign. She picked up the last piece of cloth, folded it and placed it in the bag. She zipped up the bag and returned it back to the side of the wardrobe next to the others. She returned to the bed to straighten it when something under the pillow caught her eye. The reached under the pillow and pulled it out. It was exactly like Debra’s bible except this was made of cream leather. How many bibles did Debra have? Did she like the bible so much that she had to get it in two different colors? She opened to the first page and was not surprised when she saw ‘THE HOLY BIBLE’ written just like it was in the first bible but instead of ‘The English Standard Version’ written, ‘New International Version’ was written instead. Debra must have enjoyed reading both versions, she thought to herself and flipped to the next page and was surprised when she glanced through the Ownership form page. Instead of Debra’s name, she saw, scrawled in the same handwriting ‘Sarah T. Johnson’. She looked at the next column where the name of the person giving it as a gift was required and on it was written; ‘Debra A. Botha’. In the column of date; ‘march 25th 2014… your birthday’ She quickly skimmed through the other columns till her eyes rested on the column for favorite passage and this was where there was a change of handwriting she concluded was hers
‘“For I know the plans I have for you,” declares the LORD, “plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you a hope and a future.” (Jeremiah 29:11)
Her hands were shaking as she placed the bible back on the bed. The verse she wrote as her favorite struck her in a strange way. Why would the LORD have good plans for her? May be Debra picked out the verse for her. That thought didn’t sit well with her. If the bible belonged to her, then she probably wrote down that verse herself. Turns out she was like Debra in a lot of ways. They must have been so close for Debra to even get them identical bibles, on her birthday. Now she was dead, because of her. She could still hear Ben’s voice in that room, blaming her for the death of his sister and she fought back the tears that were prickling her eyes.
“It’s not your fault, it was a mistake” she whispered to herself, still trying to fight back the tears when another knock was heard on the door. She quickly wiped her eyes and cleared her throat
“I’m done, would be down in a minute!” she shouted, thinking it was Mrs Botha coming to call her down for dinner again. The door opened and it wasn’t Mrs Botha at the door. Sarah was shocked and couldn’t move when she saw who it was. Her heartbeat picked up and began to race as beads of sweat started forming on her forehead, she felt her mouth go dry and open on their own accord as though she was about to say something but she couldn’t find her voice.
“Hey” his voice was calm as he gave her an expressionless look
“Ben…” she finally found her voice.