I knooowwww it’s been a really long time since i posted anything on my book ‘FORGOTTEN’… I just needed the right dose of inspiration which came this evening… and viola!! a chapter is out. Thank you all for your support. remember you can read the book with its chapters undisturbed here on wattpadand here on public bookshelf. Read, like, share, and most of all, please tell me what you think in the comment boxes below. I’m always open to constructive criticism!!! Enjoy
Ever since the ‘little’ scene with Ben at the hospital, Sarah hadn’t really admitted to anyone but she really dreaded another meeting of that sort with him. Though deep down she knew that he wasn’t a bad person and that most of his statements that day were fueled by the pain of the loss of his only sister, it didn’t make the words hurt less. The dread that filled her heart wasn’t that of the possibility of Ben doing something crazy like hitting her or attempting to kill her; nothing of that sort. Instead she feared for the impact of the next hurtful accusatory words that would come out of his mouth that she was sure would pierce her heart. She didn’t think she could survive another murder accusation. Now standing before her was the same person she didn’t want an ‘encounter’ with, an unreadable expression on his face and she could feel herself trembling. She didn’t think the next accusation was going to come this early. Taking in a deep breath, she braced herself for the harsh words she was sure were coming and decided to speak up first, better to get it over with
“Hello Ben” she barely heard her own voice
“Hey….” He avoided eye contact with her, looking at every other place in the room “…how are you, how are you settling in?” he stuttered
Shocked, Sarah stared at him for a few seconds; this wasn’t was she was expecting when she saw him come in. she took a closer look at him and noticed the beads of sweat on his forehead, his hands alternating between loose and firm clenched fists, he was blinking fast and his eyes darting around the room but not resting on her; and she relaxed. At that point, she didn’t know why but he looked so young and unsure -like he was in for a job interview. She knew then that he wasn’t there to accuse her of anything.
“I’m settling in quite well. Thank you” she smiled a bit and after waiting for a few seconds watching him look like he was having an internal battle with himself, she took it as her cue to fill in the silence
“Uhmm, do you need me to do something for you?” she asked, tentatively. The fact that he appeared nervous and harmless didn’t mean that he still didn’t hate her
“No, not at all. Uhm, I came to tell you dinner was ready” he looked like he wanted to say more; Sarah was sure he didn’t come all the way just to tell her dinner was ready but she didn’t push further. She couldn’t risk another outburst.
“Oh. Thank you. I was already on my way. I’m done, I just need to wear my slippers, I’d be with you in a minute” she turned her back to him and walked towards her luggage, hoping he would leave before she turned back. The uneasy feeling was back.
“About the other day at the hospital…” Sarah froze. She didn’t want to talk about the encounter with him at the hospital, not now, not ever
“It’s fine, I understand” she quickly replied, trying to make him stop. It didn’t work
“No it’s not, and I apologize.” Sarah wasn’t sure she heard him right and turned to face him
“I apologize for the incident back at the hospital. I said some things I shouldn’t have. God always has a plan for everything and I know you are not responsible for her… death, I don’t blame you at all…” his voice trembled and Sarah knew he still felt so much pain from the loss. He looked at Debra’s picture on the wall, staring at it with a pained smile and it seemed like the tears took it as a sign to flow freely. Looking at him, Sarah felt tears beginning to form at the back of her own throat “…it’s just that, I miss her so so much. I still can’t believe she’s gone. Sometimes, I wish she’d just walk in through the door and stick her tongue out, laughing at how well she fooled all of us into believing she was gone.” He sniffed as the tears ran down his cheeks. Sarah couldn’t hold it anymore, she felt her heart tighten as she burst into tears, she didn’t know if she was crying because she mourned Debra or because she was sympathizing with Ben but she knew she needed the release
“I’m so sorry, I wish I could turn back the hands of time, it wouldn’t be this way. I’m sorry” she meant every word she said and hoped he would see the sincerity in her words. He turned his attention from the framed picture and looked at her, a sorry smile on his face as though she was the one in more pain
“Only God could ever do that. He’s the author of time. It’s fine, stop feeling guilty about it…” he wiped the tears from his face with his palm and sniffed again “…you know, I know you might not remember but we used to be really close, you were like my other big sister and you were always nice and available. You helped with homework and projects sometimes when Debs was out on dates with Daniel” he smiled with a sorrowful expression on his face and Sarah felt another feeling of loss of not remembering her relationship with this boy who took her as a big sister; she blinked slowly at the pain she felt gripping her chest, sighing softly.
“You didn’t mind the fact that you were four years older…” he continued “…I feel like I lost two sisters, instead of one. I miss you both and I can’t wait for you to regain your memories. At least then I’d know that I have a sister left.” Sarah nodded her head, promising silently that she was going to.
“We better get going or we’d be eating cold food this evening.” Ben playfully said, walking out of her room.
Aside from the clattering of cutleries on the ceramic bowls and occasional compliments made on Mrs Botha’s cooking skills evident in the food, Potjiekos- she had called it, dinner was somewhat quiet. Sarah appreciated the silence as she needed it to clear her head and arrange her thoughts. After her ‘moment’ with Ben in her room, all she could think about was Debra. How did she get to form a strong bond with her and her family? How did they meet? She looked up from her food at Mrs Botha and sensed she knew something about the meeting with Ben earlier because she kept on stealing glances at both her and Ben throughout the meal as though she were expecting a reaction from either one of them. Sarah really needed information but the only people she was sure would have correct info were the same family mourning the loss of their daughter. Her curiosity would have to wait till later when it didn’t hurt as much anymore. She looked at all the people seated round the table and she somehow knew it was never going to happen, it was never going to hurt less so she changed her mind to asking them whenever they looked ready to answer.
After dinner, as everyone was about to leave the table, Dova Botha spoke up
“We discussed with the church and funeral home and next week Monday has been chosen as the date for… for Debra’s funeral” the news was the final silencer as after that, not even a pin drop was heard in the house.
Later, in her room as she slipped under the blankets, Sarah thought about how her day went and she felt like talking to somebody about it, she remembered the therapist her doctor had mentioned earlier and hoped she was going to be a listening type. She thought about Ankia and her plans to call when she suddenly remembered she didn’t have a phone. Her phone must have been destroyed at the site of the accident. She would have to request for another from her parents soon. She reached under the pillow and pulled out the creamed leathered bible from underneath it and tried to remember the verse sighted as her favorite, something about the Lord having good plans for her. She opened the ownership page and read the passage out. It sounded so assuring it felt weird. How did the lord know her and decided he wanted to have good plans for her? She flipped through the pages searching for where the verse was picked from, she stopped flipping when she got to the book of Jeremiah and searched through till she found the chapter and verse. It didn’t make much sense reading it alone, so she decided to read the whole passage before going to bed; perhaps she might get some answers.
Twelve verses in and she was more confused than ever. The passage was obviously a letter addressed to the elders of Jerusalem exiles. What had it got to do with her? She was pretty sure she wasn’t from Jerusalem. Or was she? The other aspects of the letter could as well have been written in catonese because she couldn’t make sense of it. She closed the bible and slipped it back under the pillow. If ‘God’ had such great plans, why let them go into exile and suffer? Was losing her memory God’s way of sending her on her exile journey? Would she also have to wait seventy years? The thought of that was more disturbing than she would have wanted. She wasn’t going to think about it tonight. She was going to ask her mum later in the day tomorrow. She seemed to have a lot of answers to most of her ‘christian’ questions so far and clarifying issues concerning God’s plan for her life shouldn’t be much of an issue.
For the first time since she got up from bed that morning, Temi could lay comfortably and silently although the condition of the thoughts on her mind were the opposite. She snuggled closer to her husband who wrapped his arms closely around her and kissed her forehead. She heard him let out a long sigh, the sigh that signified that the conditions of their thoughts and emotions are akin.
“Temi I’m tired and weak. I still find it hard to come to terms with what happened” her husband’s voice conveyed every sentence he made perfectly
“Hmmmm… I chose to believe God has better plans for us and though we might not see it now, there surely is a light at the end of this tunnel. We’d be fine” those were the only words she could bring her mouth to say. She wasn’t going to start rattling on about her own fears and worries.
“I trust him too. Sometimes though, I wish He could let us in on some of His plans so we’d know for sure that things are going to be better.”
“Where then is our test of faith in that? Situations like this come up to strengthen our faith in God. Well that’s what I always tell myself anyway…” she smiled as she snuggled closer.”…honestly, every time I look at Sarah, I feel like I’m facing my greatest fears. First, the broken relationship with her sister that we’ve been praying about and now this. Sometimes I wonder if things would ever be right with her” she let out the sigh this time around
A vibration rippled through the bed and Temi freed herself from her husband’s embrace to search for the vibrating phone
“I think it’s yours” Temi said, not bothering to move an inch from his laying position
“I think so too… it’s Jen” Temi said as soon as she looked at the screen of the smartphone. Her husband raised a surprised brow, unconsciously checking the time on his wristwatch. Sliding her thumb across the screen, she raised the phone to her right ear
“Jennifer how are you?” she wasn’t expecting a call this late at night besides, Jen never calls because of the expensive rates. Her sixth sense told her something was wrong
“Hey mum. I’m fine. How are you guys over there?” the voice over the phone sounded on edge and nervous
“We’re fine… is everything alright? You never call this late. Is everything okay at home?” Temi sat upright and rested on the backrest of the bed.
“Well, everything is relatively fine. Don’t worry mum, the house is not on fire. I just miss you, that’s all. How’s the sick sister? Is she recovering well?” Jen was trying to hide something and Temi could sense it.
“Sarah is fine. Almost all better. What about you? Is everything okay at school?”
“Mum I’m fine. When would you be back?”
“We booked our flights for next week Tuesday. Debra’s funeral is on Monday. What’s happening?” Temi knew for sure something was not right. Jen loved her privacy and freedom and was content with their absence even though she wouldn’t admit it. Jen asking when they would be back meant something was amiss.
“Did you mention it to Kenny that you were coming back with Sarah?”
“I spoke with her last night and I told her about it. Is anything wrong with Kenny? Is she fine?” Temi felt anxiety creeping in. She strongly hopes Kenny hasn’t acted irrationally.
“You shouldn’t have told her mum, you know how she is when it comes to matters concerning Sarah”
“Jennifer what did Kenny do?” there was a command Temi couldn’t hide in her tone
“Well she came in earlier this evening with one of her friend’s car, packed up most of her stuff and moved out of the house.”
“What?!!!” Temi screamed and began to shake from the piled up emotions in her threatening to burst out and soon tears were streaming down her face
“Temi what is wrong? What did Kenny do?” Tade’s voice, deeper and more authoritative, demanded as he reached for the phone from his wife
“Jen what did Kenny do?”
“Good evening dad. She came in earlier this evening, packed up most of her stuff into her friend’s car and said she was moving out. She kept on saying something about how she never wanted to see Sarah ever again… I guess she’s still not over the betrayal.” Jen said hurriedly
“What? Why- why didn’t you stop her?” Tade was furious and at a loss of words
“uhnnn, because She’s older and she threatened to beat me if I tried?…” Jen sounded baffled over the phone. “I have two older sisters and most times I wish I was the only one you had. My credit is gone dad, call me back”
“Okay. But we need to call Kenny first. Would talk to you tomorrow. Goodnight” Tade hung up and turned to see his wife sobbing quietly on the bed with a lost gaze.
“Temi crying would not resolve the issue we have on ground… please don’t.” he pulled her closer and patted her softly “…first we need to call Kenny” he reached for his phone in his pocket and dialed Kenny’s number repeatedly a couple of times; after not picking up after about five times, Tade knew she was ignoring his calls on purpose and that just fueled his anger but he tried to remain calm for his wife’s sake.
“Why are all these happening to us now, all at the same time? God what’s going on with my babies?” Temi sobbed in his arms out of frustration.
“It’s going to be alright. God has great plans, He knows the end from the beginning. Let’s pray about it… God, we know you have all our lives in your hands and have great plans for us. We thank you oh Lord for that. We ask that you direct our path on the next steps to take and that you grant us clarity and peace. We also pray for all our daughters that you please keep them in your will and help them to know and love You more. That you will direct their lives in the way that pleases You and at the end of the day, Your will be done and all glory be returned to you. Amen.
Barbara averted her gaze from the cuddling couple she recognized from her neighborhood sitting at the farthest corner of the plaza’s cafeteria back to her meal of spaghetti and fish sauce. It wasn’t her favourite meal but she didn’t have a choice, it was the best they got and frankly the best she could afford at this crucial period of her life, plus her office was just a floor above which made it easier and cheaper. She let her gaze stray back to the couple she noticed earlier and allowed herself a smile. That was the initial stage of marriage before the dose of reality. She thought back on her own crumbling marriage. They had started sweet too and wouldn’t leave each other’s sight for the first few weeks of marriage then the real issues came in and they were fighting every second. Soon they moved from being best friends and lovers to being roommates as they were just co habiting. She shook her head wistfully at the thought of her marriage and the future of the couple seated across the hall.
“Wait till you see that marriage is a trap, then you would flee just like I plan to” she muttered under her breath as she pushed the almost empty plate of spaghetti to the edge of the table. She reached into her bag and pulled out the envelope containing the documents that held the key to her freedom. She was going to get a divorce. She was going to be a free woman again. She brought out the content of the envelope and read through again to be sure there were no mistakes. She had an appointment with her lawyer the following week and he was going to give it the final proofread. She slid the envelope back into her bag and stood up, smoothening out the wrinkles on her skirt as she headed towards the door, to the flight of stairs that led her to her one-room office of two of the three years that she had been married. Her profession had been one of the problems they had in their marriage. Edward never respected her profession and always looked down his nose at it. “Why become a therapist in a country like Nigeria where the citizens either believed all psychological disorders were caused by lack of money and could only be cured by the abundance of money or that there was no use in seeing a therapist when there were churches and mosques and shrines to bind and cast and wash off through sacrifices, the source of your problems?” he would always say. But this was what gave her pleasure. She didn’t bag degrees both home and abroad to let it go to waste just because of the situation of the country. True she was not making as much as she would have loved to, and things are pretty tough now, but she still loved her job. Most of her clients have healed and recovered well and she was beginning to get referrals from outside Nigeria. She was good at her job and she knew it. She was pretty good at everything- everything except being married and she knew that was not her fault. She tried her best, he didn’t. Simple.
Her phone rang and as soon as she saw the caller ID, she put the phone in meeting mode, then flight mode. It was her long time friend Bisi. Probably trying again to get her to come to some bible study meeting or the other. She smirked at the thought of it. She didn’t understand why some people couldn’t just accept that religion wasn’t for everyone. It’s called Tolerance. Not that she didn’t go to church herself, she went every other Sunday but the whole holy gholistic spirikoko life wasn’t just her thing and she doubted it ever was going to be. She climbed the flight of stairs to her floor and got into her office. She sat at her desk and went through the folders of her scheduled clients for the week. Three people in total. She picked up her phone and was going through her mail when a message came in from Dr Robinson. He was one of the few people who believed in her abilities as a good therapist. She opened the mail and it was the information on the newest client that had been referred to her from South Africa. She skimmed through her profile and smiled. Nigerian, twenty two years old, graduate, amnesia caused from an accident…this was going to be an exciting journey for her. She wondered though why the client hadn’t called yet. She remembered Dr Robinson claiming to have giving the client her number. Just as she decided to call the client with the contact information provided in the folder, her table top telephone rang.
“Good afternoon, this is Barbara, how may I be of help?…”