Snatched 8

Episode 8

Mrs Onoriode stole a glance at him. She wasn’t surprised he immediately searched for her, she knew he would but didn’t think he would succeed. She couldn’t continue to turn a blind eye to the things that had happened around her. The reality was a simple one she accepted already, which was Fegor wasn’t going to get better. There wasn’t any hope for her. Tejiri was already waiting on his mother to gain consciousness, how could she tell him bout his wife? How would he cope with her?

It was okay to hope if there was something worth hoping for. Her daughter just wasn’t a hope she wanted Tejiri to have. It wasn’t a life she wanted for him. Fegor felt frightened and pushed Mrs Jite, she ended up in the hospital. She could do anything next especially if someone wasn’t around. She thought the best thing for him would be to help him get rid of the problem. She couldn’t look him in the eye. She felt sorry for him.
Mrs Onoriode lifted her eyes to look at him through the rearview mirror only to find him staring back at her. She quickly looked away. He would always remind her of how selfish she was and her decision to desert him. A mother shouldn’t be so heartless she would leave her child but she did, he had pointed it out to her. There was strength in numbers and he needed her to pull through. At the end of the day, she couldn’t say he had a wife but he could say he had another mother.

‘Aren’t you going to answer your call?’ Ruks asked without looking at him. ‘It has been ringing for a while now. It could be important’
Tejiri kept staring at his wife’s mother. She wasn’t comfortable. His eyes showed so much love and affection, she wished her daughter could give him all of them. Maybe it was her mind playing tricks on her. She turned her gaze to her quiet daughter beside her who had a distant look.
Fegor is better off without you. I hope you realize it and move on. Mrs Onoriode said inwardly, patting her daughter’s arm affectionately, before bringing her knuckles to her lips for a kiss.

‘You will be fine’ she whispered, though she knew it was a lie. Was she a bad mother for giving up on her daughter? Or was she being realistic? Fegor felt comfort in presence of a nurse not her mother which she couldn’t recognise. She made the right decision and didn’t regret it. When Tejiri’s mother is better, he wouldn’t have need for her to stay. She prayed it happened sooner.
Mrs Onoriode wipe a tear from the corner of her eye. She exhale silently and stared out the window. The nurse beside Fegor couldn’t help but notice her tear and how the man in front kept staring at her.
‘Please go to the hospital’ Tejiri requested looking behind to his wife.

‘Why?’ Ruks questioned.
‘She has to start treatment immediately’ T.J replied.
‘Alzheimer has no treatment or cure’ Mrs Onoriode replied sadly.
‘Al…alzhe…’ Ruks stuttered.
‘Fegor is sick like real sick. So you can drop us at the hospital. Thank you’ his voice cold stopped his struggle to comprehend the word.
Ruks turned sharply to him. What did he do now? The drive to the hospital was quiet.

****
Erica wasn’t able to get through to Tejiri after he left the hospital in a rush. She didn’t know where he went off but she guessed it was to find his wife. She sat on the cold ground. She dragged her feet until her knees reached her chest, wrapping her arms around it. She glanced around her studio, her eyes spot a picture frame. It was meant to be her gift for Ruks. She didn’t see any opportunity to give him before he abruptly cancelled their wedding.

She missed him. She still didn’t know why he cancelled their wedding. He hadn’t made any effort to reach out to her, it was just pure silence from him. If she could stop caring bout….
‘Have you seen my brother?’ A female voice jerked out of thoughts. Her face looked familiar.
‘I am Tejiri younger sister. Is he here? There is an emergency at the hospital’
Erica was instantly alarmed. ‘Is your mom okay? I haven’t been able to get through to him since I left the hospital hours ago’

‘If you get through to him, please tell him to come to the hospital’ She said before turning around and walked out. He wasn’t in his office. Mine had thought she would meet him at the studio he had been hanging out since Ruks wedding preparation started. She tried his calling him again but he didn’t answer. He
Mine growled in frustration. Where are you? She regretted not having his best friend’s contact. How does she contact him? He could be with him.

***
Tejiri sat on a bench in the corridor. His head in his hands. He hadn’t had a moment alone to process anything, he simply acted on impulse. His phone was rang, he reach it from his pants, it was Mine. He didn’t know why they had been calling him, he had no idea his mother’s condition was critical and he was needed. He simply assumed he would be nagged again.

He sighed tiredly, dropping it beside him. He didn’t want to hear rants bout his lack of concern for his mother or being blamed for her condition. He didn’t notice his friend beside him.
‘T.J?’
‘Not now please’ Tejiri pleaded.
Ruks was at lost. First he wanted to talk to him, now he didn’t want him speaking. He had informed him bout his mother in law leaving, the least he could…he abruptly stood up and walked away.

‘Ruks’ Tejiri called after him. He shouldn’t have spoken to him in that tone. Ruks ignored him. He clasped his face. He was tired. He needed to stay put till the doctor spoke to him bout his wife. He leaned back on his seat and dozed off almost immediately.
Mrs Onoriode watched him from a distance. He must be tired. She thought to herself. Juggling work and two hospitals. She sighed. She wanted to reduce his burden but he didn’t seem to notice it. She walked back to her seat beside Fegor’s nurse.

***
‘Where are you?’

‘Hello there. I am fine, thanks for asking’
‘I don’t have time for this, it’s an emergency. Is T.J with you? Do you know where he is?’ Erica questioned over the phone.
‘He is at the hospital.’
‘With Fegor?’ She paused briefly. Was he able to get through to her? ‘His sister came by my studio earlier, very worried. She couldn’t get hold of him’ she explained.
‘I will send you the address’

‘Thank you Rukevwe’ Erica said and hang up. He stared at his phone. He hadn’t seen her since she visited his office and his name….the only person beside his parents who called full name. He missed her. He miss talking to her, her smile, her company. The way her eyes lit up when she’s painting.
He entered his car. He didn’t feel like leaving. Erica would come by to see Tejiri, he would see her even from a distance. He wouldn’t be so far away if he had married her like he intended.

He sent her the address and waited. He was certain of her arrival. He could have told T.J the message but he wasn’t exactly talking to him. She had bounded with his best friend over the past weeks, it almost feel like she replaced him in his life. Ten minutes later, Erica hurriedly entered the hospital. He easily spotted his ex-fiancĂ©.

‘Why did I cancel the wedding?’ Ruks muttered.

***
‘Why didn’t you take my call? There is an emergency at the hospital. We have to go now’ Erica said in a breath waking up Tejiri. He blinked blankly at her.

‘T.J! Emergency at the hospital’ all traces of sleep quickly disappeared. He became alarmed.
‘Mine came by my studio. No one knows where you are and you are not answering your phone.’ She explained.
Tejiri was bout to go find Mrs Onoriode when she appeared before him. ‘Go with her, I will update you’
She watched them ran out of the hospital.

***
Tejiri got to the hospital as quickly as he could. The atmosphere seemed heavy, his steps slowed as he got closer. He could sense something wrong. His family would sit beside the door of their mother’s ward but instead he found only Mine. His heart skipped a beat.

‘Where have you been?’ Mine asked angrily without lifting her head as she heard footsteps approach.
‘Where is dad-‘
‘Where…the hell….have you been?’ She groaned. ‘I…I searched for you. What’s in a call?’ She lifted her head to glare at him. He saw her tear steaked face. ‘A…a call Tejiri…a call…you should have…’ She stood up. ‘Where have you been?’

‘Is mom okay?’ Tejiri couldn’t help have feel scared. Why was she looking for him?
Mine continued to glare angrily at him. If she could choose, she would choose Tejiri to go in place of their mother. A son who wasn’t present when he’s mother needed him was of no use to her.
‘If you cared enough you would have been here’ she yelled at him.

‘Please calm down. This-‘.
A hot slap silenced her. Mine hit her right across her face. Erica smooth her cheek glaring back at her.
‘If it was your mother that was asking for her son over and over again, you wouldn’t open the trash to ask me to calm down’
‘You didn’t have to hit her. I am here now. If mom is asking for me, why de-‘

Tejiri was quick to see her hand advancing dangerously at his face. He grabbed her arm mid air. ‘What is your problem? You can’t just go bout slapping others’
Mine was furious. She yanked her hand from his grip.
‘Calm down please’ Erica pleaded. ‘I told him your message as quickly as I could’

‘You want a thank you?’ She questioned sarcastically. She turned to her brother. Tears gushing out, her heart in a throes of pain, her whole being shaken to the core. She muttered courage to answer his question because she knew it would be the last time she would ever speak to him. ‘Mom woke up.’ Her voice soften. ‘She asked for you. Where is T.J she asked in a weak voice. She asked us over and over….until she couldn’t wait for you any longer’

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Love

‘You kept your end of the bargain we never had’ the man growled.
‘You’re welcome’ she said with a smile. ‘I will take my leave now’
‘Why did you do it?’
‘How did you know who we are?’
‘How did you get your hands on it?’
‘Is this some set up?’
‘He sent you after us?’
‘What the hell do you want from us?’

Love was bombarded with questions. She felt a headache coming. She didn’t want to be here, why wouldn’t they understand it? She stood there quiet, which irked them. She had given them dirty secrets against their boss, it was enough for her. Why the sudden peck of curiosity?
She maintained a calm demeanor. She forced a smile. She watched them for a while, bickering and somewhat nervous. She glanced at her wrist, she was running late for her shift at work.

‘If we never meet again, hopefully we don’t ever meet, be good.’ Love said over her shoulder walking away. ‘In the future’
The couple stared at her leaving. She didn’t bother providing an answer. It added to their creep, she was zoned off as weird and crazy seeking money except she didn’t ask nor collect any money. Was she after something else?
They would simply have to ignore her. They shouldn’t have indulge her, it would result in trouble. They should have known better than to listen to an insane human being. The couple turned around and left.

‘You are a strange being’ a voice blasted into her ear piece. ‘You should at least give a reason for helping them. You gave them solid evidence to blackmail their bosses and buy their lives if the need arises. You go to great length to help those who work for bad guys without a penny. Do you intend to live a broke life forever? How will you continue to save the future?’
‘Are you done talking?’
A girlish giggle resounded. Love ignored it. She increased her paced. She glanced at her watch again, she just might make it late enough to retain her job. Her face was stoic and void of emotions but it was a mask to cover up. She was angry her numerous efforts was wasted. She could rid the couple of the doom that hovered over them. Who worked for bad guy and not become endangered?

‘Take the left route’
‘I am late for my shift. I don’t have time for a quick stop Mofe’
‘You say the same thing everyday. Do you lack in your vocabulary? I will gladly help you’
‘Give it up. You won’t suck your way up to me. I-‘
‘I affect you more than you realize. When will you stop denying it? You are so big in talks, acting big, risking it all but underneath all that you are scared’ Mofe wouldn’t stop his lecture. Her head began to hurt.

A small part of her was relaxed. She saw familiar places. Unconsciously, her pace was reduced. Why does he make her take same route every time?
‘Ma’am’
She turned to the direction of the voice. A man in gray suit came into view. She arched a brow. Did he really go all out again?
‘Your ride await you’

Love follow the direction of his hand to find a motorbike. He truly did spoil her to maximum. She couldn’t exactly refuse, she was late. She collected the helmet that appeared suddenly in front of her and headed to the motorbike. The man on gray suit smirked. Mofe really did have his way with her after all, maybe that’s how it is to love. But a smile was yet to appear on her face. One had to wonder what it would take to put a smile on her face. Love had a cold and distant expressionless face all the time expect when she was at work.

‘How bout a romantic song?’
Love ignored him. She needed to get to work quickly, or else her salary would be drastically cut in half. A song blasted in her ears. A romantic one true to his words. She didn’t know which was annoying, his incessant ranting or his impulsive moves.
Finally she arrived. She couldn’t be happier but it didn’t surface on her stoic expression. She removed her earpiece as she ran into the building, making sure to stop by the manager’s office.

‘Sorry am late. Deduct it from salary’ she didn’t wait for a response before leaving. She hurriedly changed into her uniform. She was fixing her name tag….
‘Love!’
‘Love!’
‘Love!
‘Don’t scream’ Love scowled at the impatient girl hopping around her.
‘You promised to give the introduction to the new waitress employed. You promised. You promised’
‘Am I your big sister? Stop bugging me.’ She scolded. ‘I am already late for my shift, I will-‘

‘Hi Love’
‘You gave her permission to enter my changing room?’ Love glared at her angrily. ‘Leave my room-‘ she took a step towards her to check her name tag. ‘KeeCee’
Love pulled both ladies out of her room. She released her grip on both ladies and walked ahead. She worked in a bar. On certain days, the bar would be so busy, she hated dealing with drunks.
‘Excuse me’
Love barely began serving people when her attention was drawn. She forced a smile. ‘What do I get you?’

‘Answers’
‘I am sorry we don’t have that here’
‘Who really is Love? A superhero or a lady seeking attention. Oh I know you are after money, so you sneak around getting yourself in trouble’
‘If you want to talk to me, wait till my shift is over’ Love tried not to sound rude. ‘Only if you have something sensible to say’
Love ignored his glinting eyes and continued working. The bar busted with customers and she worked herself to the bone. She was tired after her shift ended. She dragged her tired self to her room, her eyes sighted a bouquet of flowers.

She brought the flowers to her nose and inhaled it’s scent. She closed her eyes. A tear drop escaped from the corner of her eye. She wiped the tear away.
‘Don’t make it harder on me Mofe’ she muttered against the flowers.
A knocked disrupted her silent moment. She took a deep breathe and opened the door. Tega and few other ladies stood in front of her.

‘I am sorry for earlier’ Tega apologized.
‘The bar has simple rules. Don’t indulge in customers privacy. Don’t sell yourself to any customer and don’t accept any cash or any sort of gift. If our service is so good, it should be given to the manager of the bar’ Love spoke in a frigid voice.
The ladies looked at Love with mixed feeling. It seemed like she was dishing out scoops of order which the manager didn’t scoop. They were bout to leave when she stopped them.

‘One more thing. Under no circumstance should anyone collect anything on my behalf or indulge in any talk bout me. Stay away from me’
‘Love!’ Tega exclaimed. Turning to the ladies. ‘What she mean is don’t answer any question bout Love. She is pretty popular here but don’t say anything’
After the ladies left, Tega couldn’t hold back her excitement upon seeing the flowers. ‘If you love them so much then take it’

Love easily spotted the ‘man‘ who inquired bout her earlier. She took a seat in front of him. ‘Love is a bartender and she doesn’t stick her nose in other people’s business’
‘You have this crazy ideology that those who work bad guys are endangered species that end up dead in the nearest future’
‘Don’t they all?’
‘You could really get hurt. Stop meddling with bad people, they could really do hurt you’ he said confidently. Love stared at him closely.

His correct ideology of hers, his indirect threats, his precise location of hers, his instant recognition…
‘Let me offer you a job’ his voice pierce through her thoughts in confirmation. He was definitely a bad guy. Probably one of the guys she pissed off in securing the future of couples worked for them.
Love stood up immediately and left the bar. She tapped the ear piece on her ear and his voice came through. She could never get tired of his rants however annoying it sound.

‘You don’t have to walk home. You can take the motorbike or do you want a car?’
‘A lady once stood at a bridge with clear intention. End it all. She had her reasons and didn’t want to continue anymore. But she asked herself; what will I gain?’ Love paused.
‘Are you okay Love?’ She rarely spoke more than a few words or sentences.
‘Feeling conflicted, she struggled with herself. At that moment, it started pouring heavily. She retreated from the dangerous edge of the bridge, allowing the water to wash it all away when he just happen to pass by and he saw her, sitting there. He swore his heart skipped a beat. Just one look and he couldn’t not want to look. He approached her.’

‘They fall in love?’
‘They had their first dance that day on the bridge in the heavy rain. They built dreams together, they planned their lives around happiness. The thing is, in the real world you can hide and not be found. But in the underworld, there is no hiding or safe place. They rewrote their stars for a few moments of bliss and it was worth it.’
‘Are you the lady from the story? You lost everything in a snap of the finger?’

‘Those who work for bad guys are eventually killed in a set up, indirect accident or stirred up conflicted feeling. They all die. No happiness in the underworld, those who think they can do all sorts of bad often never live happily. The emptiness is ever present’ Love managed a weak smile. ‘Yes, they fell in love but they didn’t live long. Their bosses who were bad guys felt insecure after provocations from bad influence and ordered their deaths’

Mofe was quiet. He had thought her dislike for bad guys and all things bad that they did was because it was against the law. It made sense why she went out of her way to collect dirt on bad guys with his help.

‘Wait, where you are? I am on my way’
Love smiled. Not a fake one she had while working but a real genuine smile.
‘You are better off in the shadow’ she whispered, afraid someone might hear her. ‘You’re of great help in the dark.’ She said and removed the earpiece.
Love continued her walk until she got a cloistered house. Finally she was home. She lit up candles all over the house before she showered. Too tired to enter the kitchen, she slumped into bed.

Thinking of Mofe’s kind gesture earlier, her heart twisted painfully. She would not reciprocate until…..

Love fell into a slumber while lost in thoughts but was awaken by heavy noises at her door. In that moment she knew they had finally found her, just like her parents were found and killed right before her eyes. She had no regret. Maybe she had one tiny bit of regret but it wasn’t important anymore.

Snatched 7

Episode 7

Couple of days turned into weeks, nothing seem to have changed. It was same routine for Tejiri. First he would see his mother at the hospital, went to work, visited his wife and returned home pretty late to repeat it all over again. He wasn’t in a good shape, he didn’t bother taking care of himself. He hadn’t expected the drastic change he experienced in his life. His supposed martial bliss was a nightmare, a single day turned his world upside down.

Tejiri never stopped blaming himself for his mother’s incident, his siblings Tega and Mine also blamed him. They didn’t allow any opportunity they got to utter discourteous comments slide. They asked severally why his wife and her family never visited. Truth was he didn’t allow Mrs Onoriode his wife’s mother to visit. She was also in a hospital, taking care of his wife and seeking answers to her lousy memory to prevent any future occurrences. She couldn’t forgive her daughter for the pain she caused him, he didn’t want to worsen it, if it wasn’t already at it’s peak.
Erica was the only person who he could rely on to calm Mrs Onoriode once she went nuts on her daughter’s weird behavior. He didn’t want to choose who he spent his time with but the scene created each time he wasn’t with his mother made the decision for him.

The Jite family couldn’t forgive his wife. Mrs Onoriode couldn’t forgive his wife. Ruks wasn’t in good terms with him. He was pretty much in a melancholic state.
‘T.J!’

Tejiri jolted out of thoughts and turned to the direction of the voice. It was Erica.
‘How you holding up?’ She asked. He shrugged his shoulders.
‘How is she? Anything new?’ She probed further.
‘We are all waiting for her to wake up’
Erica gestured him to walk along with her. She wished she didn’t add to his worries but he needed to know the update bout his wife. He had told her to report anything and everything especially the ugly ones.

‘Is it Fegor? She isn’t responding? She still doesn’t seem to want to continue living? Is her speech worse?’ Tejiri asked sensing her hesitation.
‘Those are not new. It’s your mother in law’ He arched a brow in curiosity.
‘She isn’t good. She didn’t want me to tell you but I know she needs you but can’t be selfish so she….she….’

‘What? She is what?’ Tejiri asked impatiently. The last thing he want is to have another person to worry bout.
‘When last did you go home?’

He frowned. ‘Why? She left the hospital to stay in my house?’
‘She isn’t at the hospital and isn’t at your house either’
‘What?!’ He exclaimed in shock. ‘Where is she?’
‘I remember asking her bout Fegor’s siblings she said something bout not being in good terms with them, so I don’t know where she went to’
‘And you are just telling me?’
‘Your mother is in the hospital because of Fegor, she is guilt ridden and can’t face you so I stayed with her but she sent me on an errand two days ago but I couldn’t find her when I returned’
Tejiri stared at her in bewilderment.

‘Mrs Onoriode knew you would choose her, so she left with her daughter’
‘Why?’
‘Fegor has Alzheimer’
‘Al…alzhe-‘
‘Alzheimer. A brain disease which affects memory and is a slowly killer. Her recent behavior was caused by it’

He was shocked to the core. His world collapsed. He couldn’t believe his ears. Fegor was fine when they returned from honeymoon but Sara complained of her increased incoherent speech, confusion, mood swing. She claimed it was sunday instead of monday, her forgetfulness…

****
Ruks took a deep breath. He wasn’t sure he wanted to be here but his friend had insisted they talked outside the office. He wasn’t at any sociable place, he might as well pay him a visit. He knocked. No one answered. It dawned on him that his friend’s car wasn’t parked in front of his house. He was bout to leave when a taxi arrived. He thought it was his friend but it wasn’t.
‘He isn’t home right?’ Mrs Onriode asked agitated looking around. She used the spared key Tejiri gave her to enter his house, she didn’t stay long. She was keeping something inside her bag when she emerged.
She packed Fegor’s clothes? Ruks was puzzled.
‘Give T.J this note’ she said pressing a piece of paper into his hand. ‘Personally please’ she added.

Ruks opened the paper out of curiosity. She was acting weird. Why couldn’t his mother in law give him personally?
‘Wait!’ He shouted running after her. He caught up with her at the taxi as she was bout to enter, causing her to accidentally dropping her bag. ‘You are leaving Tejiri? Why? What happened?’

‘Where have you been? He got married to Fegor to save your face from shame but today I wished he hadn’t. So much went wrong and you never once stood by him. So much for family is overrated don’t you think?’ Mrs Onoriode picked up her stuff as she spoke. She glared at him angrily before entering the taxi and sped off.

Ruks could swore he saw a passport when her bag fell. Was she leaving? The note she left struck him as odd when he saw goodbye somewhere in the middle. What was she talking bout? What went wrong? Tejiri had apologized for leaving him to attend to the client alone but never told him the reason behind it. They hadn’t talked as he wasn’t always sticking around at work.
Ruks pulled out his phone and dialled. ‘Pick up’ he muttered under his breath. He didn’t answer. He dialled again.

‘Let me call-‘
‘Where are you?’ Ruks asked interrupting him. Without waiting for an answer, he continued. ‘Fegor’s mother came by your house to say goodbye’
‘Whaaattt?!’ Tejiri exclaimed in shock.
‘I think she is heading to the airport. I saw passports with her’
‘Don’t let her leave. Where are you?’
‘Your house but-‘ Ruks was cut off as the call ended. ‘She left already’ he mumbled.

****
Tejiri honked angrily at the car in his front. He was in a hurry to stop his mother in law from leaving. He couldn’t imagine what gave her the idea to run away like it would solve anything. He had alot to deal with and he didn’t expect her to act childish. Would taking away Fegor make his mother regain consciousness? Or remove the blood cloth from it’s dangerous spot in her brain?

He navigated swiftly in the traffic, his hands gripping the wheels tightly, his veins bulging out. Ruks who was seated in the passenger’s seat in front regretted allowing him drive. He wasn’t in control.

‘T.J’ Ruks called. He didn’t answer.
‘There are two airport in town. I don’t….’ He trailed off as Tejiri glared at him coldly.
‘You’re just-‘ his phone rang interrupting him. He glanced at the screen, it was Tega his brother. He probably wants to scolds him for leaving the hospital. He ignored the call.
‘You don’t know which airport they are?’ Tejiri asked irked. ‘How will I stop them when I don’t know where they are?’

Why didn’t he ask? He didn’t have the luxury to, he just needed to stop her from leaving at any cost.
‘Head towards the international airport. If she wants to really get away from you, she would first leave the country not relocate within’
Ruks words had a point but the way he said it almost sounded like he was an expert at getting away from people especially him. It earned him a sharp glare from Tejiri. He took the next turn heading to the international airport. He prayed deep down in his heart he wasn’t too late.

Did she decide to leave because Fegor is sick? Or am I over analyzing things? He shook his head discarding the thought. He concentrated on his driving.

Ruks stared at his friend. He was distressed. Some much did happen and he had no idea. He would love to help but he simply added to his worry and he had another issue to deal with. Why did he have to receive her letter? He didn’t want to be involved though he knew it was wrong. He ought to be with his best friend, supporting him but it seemed so….

‘Get out and help me find my mother in law!’ Tejiri roared at his friend who was lost in thoughts. Ruks jerked at his words. He quickly got out of the car, realizing they were at the airport.

‘Is that your phone? Answer it. It could be-‘ Ruks was abruptly cut off by his glare. Tejiri walked hurriedly into the airport, scanning every face, searching for wife and mother in law. He didn’t think the call was important. It could be his siblings calling to scold him for leaving their mother’s side.

Beautiful Memory

My mom called one afternoon to tell me we had relocated. As a ten years old, the first thing my mind registered was my friends I wouldn’t see and my clothes wouldn’t be parked, my books would be discarded etc. Several childish thoughts was in my mind for days. I wished I hadn’t gone for holidays at my aunt’s. Or maybe I was asked to leave on purpose so they could carry out their deed {relocating}.

I couldn’t wait to get to my new house. I prepared a long list of query. Things I would insist were only found in my old house. It was the only place I called home since I got the awareness of what a home entails. I wasn’t happy. My holiday spirit fell drastically. I couldn’t wait to get home, maybe I could put in a few words and reverse the damage.

The first time I stepped into my new neighborhood at night, I immediately knew I stepped into a different world. I told myself I shouldn’t be so quick to judge. The morning would do a better job of analysis of the new area I would call home. I couldn’t wait for the morning.
Finally it was morning, I scrutinized my surroundings. It was nothing like the place I once knew. I stayed indoors for days until school resumed. Stepping out of my new home was difficult, I got different types of gazes from people. I didn’t do well with people’s eyes on me. It made me upset. I felt being judged each time a pair of eyes stared at me.

My sister introduced me to a set of neighbours. It made living in a new area manageable. I got acquainted with them. They told me of their younger brother who was within my age group. Finally I would have my age mate for a friend in a vast midst of people who consider me and my family as intruders.
Days went by and the ‘younger brother‘ was no where to be seen. Whenever I got the chance to speak to my neighbour, I asked bout the supposed invisible brother. I was told he is around. Weeks turned to months and he was nowhere to be seen. At some point, I forgot the house next to mine had a human within my age group. I was occasionally reminded the few times it was mentioned by his sister or my sister.

I didn’t know how long after but I vividly recall the day I stepped out of my house, I felt a different type of gaze on me. It wasn’t the usual types I was used too. I felt I was being read. I shook it off, I was probably overacting to a new pair of eyes who saw me as another intruder. The next couple of days, the feeling intensified. I couldn’t shake it off. I simply had to find the pair of eyes.

I was glad I did. The curiosity of the new gaze on me lead me to find Him. He stared at me differently. His look didn’t judge or condemned me like the others. After staring at each other for days, I was accustomed to his eyes. We would stare for a long time at each other without speaking, few years later we spoke for the first time and became friends.

The first set of questions I threw at him was why he stared at me everyday? Why he didn’t speak to me for years? Why he always reciprocated my smile?
He never gave me a serious answer. His only question however was unexpected. He had asked why I stopped smiling?
I was in a really bad place and smiling just didn’t seem right. It was too luxurious to afford with everything I had going on then. In that moment, I looked at him, I felt safe, I saw trust, I sensed a friend I could rely on was staring back at me. That began a forever bond as I called it.

I think back to the beautiful memories I have and smile because my beautiful memories started with Him. I realized our eyes are the best cameras and have captured more beautiful moments than an actual camera ever will….

Snatched 6

Episode 6

‘Where is she?’ Mrs Jite asked immediately she arrived with her husband. Tejiri ushered them in. He filled them in on the events of the previous day, confirming what Mrs Onoriode had told them over the phone and came rushing over.
‘In the room’
‘Let me go check on her’ his mother offered.
‘Why didn’t you tell me?’ Mr Jite asked when they were alone.

‘We got back from honeymoon and I don’t know what went wrong. Ruks is alone right now on a business trip, he will kill me when he gets back. How do I explain? I just don’t know what went wrong. I stayed up all night thinking….I got nothing dad’ he paused. He clasped his face. ‘I…I…don’t know what to do. I…..I’m scared’
‘It’s a good thing your wife’s mother informed us, you wouldn’t have to-‘

Mr Jite was interrupted by a shrill scream a crashing sound. Father and son darted gaze before rushing to the scene. They were shell shocked. The glass shelf of the television was shattered with Mrs Jite in the midst of it.
Mr Jite rushed to her, calling out her name. He carefully picked up his wife and walked out of the room. Tejiri couldn’t digest the horrific scene he just saw. His mother laid on a pile of shattered glasses bleeding, barely conscious. He slowly lifted his eyes and saw his wife terrified, hiding in a corner.

He stood transfixed on his spot. He didn’t know how long he stared at the scene until he heard his name being called.
‘Tejiri, where are you?’
Mrs Onriode wandered why he left the door open as she searched for her children. Horror filled her when she arrived at their bedroom.
‘Oh my God! Are….are you okay?’ She asked pulling him away from the glass shattered all over the ground. She didn’t see her daughter hiding in a corner. She inspected him all over for any cut in the living room. ‘What happened? How did it happen? Thank God you are not injured but there was….blood’

Tejiri looked at her sadly. His look terrified her. ‘Fegor?!’ She blurted out.
He didn’t know what to say. He couldn’t believe his wife made his mother laid in shattered glasses. But what further explanation was there? She had gone to talk to her, the next thing they heard was a scream and a crashing sound. They arrived only to find….
‘Where is she? Tejiri!’
‘My mother is in the hospital’
‘I called her-‘
‘She came over this morning with dad, I don’t know what happened’
‘Why are you here? Go immediately.’
‘The look Fegor gave me….’

Mrs Onoriode panicked. She wasn’t going to let it slide. She had to do something before it get out of hand but it was already out of hand.
‘I will take care of it.’ She said pulling him in for a hug.

***
Mrs Onoriode watched him left before searching for her daughter. She still didn’t know what happened but it wasn’t hard to guess. She couldn’t sit idle, she went to find her daughter. One way or another, they had to meet somewhere. She was lost in thoughts when she heard footsteps, she thought Tejiri fought his car keys.

‘Fe….’ She was stunned to see her feet bleeding as she walked past her. ‘Fegor!’
Fegor walked out of the house. She didn’t know where she was but she didn’t feel safe. A man had barged into the room terrifying her more after the woman before him. She had not recognised her and was uncomfortable with her invading presence. She roughly pushed her away to break free from her arms when she fell on the television shelf made of glass. The loud sound added to her fear. She waited for a clear coast before she walked out.
‘Where are you going?’ She asked following her.
Fegor didn’t know where she was headed but she had to get away.

***
Tejiri had no idea which hospital his mother was taken to. He called his father but he didn’t answer his calls. He didn’t blame him, given the circumstances he wouldn’t be in a right frame of mind to be answering a phone call. He was worried. He prayed she was alright and not in danger. He flashed back to the scene in his bedroom.

Did she push mom or mom slip and fell?
He sent a message to his father requesting for the hospital his mother was in. He barely dropped his phone when another call came in.
‘Hello mom’
‘Fegor was hit by a car. I was behind her pleading she should return to the house that you weren’t mad at her but she kept crying insisting I let her go. In a struggle to get away from me….’ Mrs Onoriode said in a breath.
‘Where are you?’

‘On my way to the hospital. I will send you the address’
Tejiri stared at the phone in his hand. He had no idea what was going on. First his mother, now his wife. What exactly was happening?
‘When I asked yesterday if it could get any worse, it wasn’t a challenge’ he muttered sadly.

***
Mr Jite ignored his phone, he was more worried bout his wife. He paced the corridor, glancing at the double door leading to the room his wife was being attended to. He prayed silently that she was alright. He didn’t know what he would do if she ended up in coma. He shook his head. It couldn’t be.
He had to remain positive. He simply had to, for his wife, his children and himself. He walked to a nearby chair and sat. He buried his face in his hands.

***
Mrs Onoriode was crying her eyes out when Tejiri arrived. She told him bout her weird behavior and her injuries feet. She had thought not being recognized was a prank to get back at her, then it happened again. Her daughter didn’t know who she was nor knew her own name. He comforted her the best he could while waiting.
‘We shouldn’t ignore her behavior’ Fegor’s mother said after a while. ‘It could be something serious’
‘Okay.’
‘Your mother….how is she?’ She asked as she recalled the incident earlier.
‘I don’t know which hospital she is and dad isn’t taking my call’

She burst out crying.
‘I’m sure he will tell me where she is, it is just the heat of the moment. He is too worried to take calls’
‘More reason why you should be with him. Did Fegor push her because she couldn’t recognize her? She pushed me away too. Fegor did this to you’
Her assumption was accurate. Mrs Jite fell awkwardly and landed on the television shelf, smashing it to pieces. They were quiet as they waited. They didn’t wait long before the doctor came out.

They rushed to him. ‘How is she?’
‘You can see her now. The injury on her feet isn’t very deep and the car’s damage doesn’t require a surgery but it is quite serious. I suggest best rest and-‘
‘She has a lousy memory and didn’t recognise us.’ Mrs Onoriode cut him off. It was a good thing she wasn’t in a critical condition so she moved to the most pressing matter at hand. ‘I am her mother and he is her husband’ she pointed to Tejiri standing besides her. She continued. ‘Please run series of test to find out the course’

He hesitated.
‘She ran out of my arms into the road and was hit by a car.’
‘Alright.’ the doctor replied and left.
Mrs Onoriode returned to her seat. She was quite nervous. She hadn’t taken her daughter’s lousy memory serious, after not being recongised, she feared the worse. What if it was a big deal after all?
‘She will be fine’ Tejiri said sitting next to her. ‘She is Fegor, our Fegor wired differently and amazing’

‘She gave you the same look she gave me, we can’t over look it. We should pre….’ She trailed off. She tilted her head to him. ‘Go find your father. I don’t care how you do it but go find him. You should be with him, he needs you more’
‘Call me immediately anything comes up.’ He said after he thought bout her words. He headed for Fegor’s ward.
‘T.J?’

He turned to her.
‘I want to see her before I leave’
Mrs Onoriode couldn’t possibly stop a husband from seeing his wife, but she was involved in an incident and his mother was in the hospital. Before she finished her thought process, he was inside her ward.

***
Erica went to check to Tejiri’s house, it was locked. She wandered where he went to. His wife didn’t look too good and on a second thought, maybe it was her imagination. The look he had yesterday wasn’t her imagination, he had a spent look. She thought of going to his office but discarded the thought. She didn’t want to risk bumping into a certain someone. She decided to check on him later in the evening.

***
Finally his father sent him the address of the hospital. Tejiri rushed over as fast as he could. He stopped briefly to ask for directions immediately he entered the hospital. He sprinted to his mother’s ward in minutes, all the while afraid to face his father but he couldn’t have it any other way.
‘Dad!’ He called out to his father who was leaning beside the door. ‘How is mom? Where is she?’

‘What happened at your house? What did your wife really do? How did your mother end up on a pile of broken glasses?’ His father questioned him, not once did his gaze drift from him.

Tejiri felt very uncomfortable under his gaze. Maybe if he had told him he would handle his martial problem alone, maybe his mother wouldn’t be lying in the hospital. It was somewhat his fault.

‘I was asked to wait for few days but it doesn’t look good.’ With that he stepped into his wife’s ward.

Snatched 5

Episode 5

Tejiri was lost in thoughts on what to do. He couldn’t afford not to be recognized, he didn’t know how he would take it. He was scared but he had to make a move. He stared obliquely at her, she looked distressed. What could be bothering her? She hadn’t seem quite herself since she woke up.

He stood a few meters away from her. She could be overjoyed to see me. What if she is frightened? A malicious voice within challenged. The taxi driver approached him, worry etched all over his face.
‘May I have a word with you?’
Tejiri nodded. He continued.
‘You are her husband right? Go talk to her but gently and less rushed, so she isn’t startled. You can figure out what went wrong later’
He merely looked on.
He was scared of not being recognised but also had a belief his wife would recognise her husband. Why wouldn’t she? But who forgets their own mother?
‘I appreciate your time, thank you. Can I ask you few questions?’
‘Of course’
‘She simply couldn’t give her address?’
He nodded in confirmation. Tejiri continued. ‘Did she say anything at all?’
He shook his head. ‘I want to talk to her, it is a long shot and the only thing I can think bout’

***
Erica still hadn’t heard from Tejiri. Her concern grew. Maybe she shouldn’t have acted on impulse, he should have been here already. Quite some time had gone but he hadn’t returned her call. She recalled Ruks asking if it was bout Fegor, could she be in trouble? Femi had returned with the people she requested for, she was perplexed.

She couldn’t just break into his home, though there was a slight chance of Fegor being locked inside but it was absurd. She couldn’t stay idle, she decided to dial again. The call connected immediately.

‘T.J?’ She said in a breath.
‘Erica are you okay?’
‘Where are you?’
Before he could reply, she continued. ‘Is Fegor with you? I can’t reach her. Ruks-‘
‘She is with me’

Eric sighed in relief. ‘Did you leave the water running in your house? Water is-‘
‘Please handle it for me. Thank you’ Tejiri hanged up.
‘Is he okay?’ She mumbled to herself.
‘Is that T.J? Did he allow you to break into his home?’ Femi probed.

Where did he show up from? I didn’t see him a while ago. ‘He is busy, he asked me to take care of it. He will be back soon’
‘He has a best friend, your-‘ he stopped abruptly.
‘My ex-fiancè. Can we work on the water before it floods the house?’ Erica questioned.
She instructed the power flow to be cut off before breaking the door. The water flow was traced to the guest room. It had drenched everything in it’s path. She swung into actions, rescuing the items that wasn’t rendered useless by the water flood.

***
‘….you said if you were stuck in a bad dream and I had just one option, I should steak my claim on you.’

Fegor chuckled. It sounded like something she would say but didn’t know why.

‘I told you I would never allow you feel you have a life without me. You said it would make a good vow. I can’t live a day without you, cheesy I know but it’s true. The best dreams are the ones with your eyes opened but at times you have to close your eyes to dream and feel. The day I met you, you said some things shouldn’t remain a fantasy, I never understood why. After spending months with you, getting to know you, loving you, I finally understand why’
‘Why?’ She asked. She didn’t seem frightened as she was. Listening to him paint a beautiful picture with his words, she could see herself in the picture. However she was a bit frightened. She didn’t know if it was real or fantasy, if she would still be part of the beautiful picture if she opened her eyes. As a result, she wanted to live in the moment.

The taxi driver watched Tejiri recount their love, in a bid to not frighten her or risk not being recognised. So far he was doing a great job. She was relaxed. Maybe for whatever reason she couldn’t give her address, she certainly did recognise her husband. But what if she opened her eyes?
He had to remain positive. It was the least moral support he could give Tejiri as he wooed his wife all over again through a phone call. It was beautiful and it would be something more if she opened her eyes and wasn’t frightened.
‘Fantasies are good, they create a whole imaginary world with endless possibilities but reality is better. In reality, I get to have all those endless possibilities come true. You are my fantasy in the real world’
‘That is certainly not me’ she said with a smile.
‘Yea….sloppy right? But I get to see you smile’

She stiffen a bit. I get to see you smile… How did he know she just smiled? Is he around? Is he watching her? Who calls a person, a lady to be exact to paint a beautiful scenario when close by?
‘Calm down Fegor….don’t be alarmed, I am close by but what’s the fun in wooing you always in person when I can try new ways?’
Tejiri saw her tensed shoulder drop. He sighed silently. He took slow steps towards her. ‘When you open your eyes, who do you want to see?’
‘Hmmmm….’ She placed a finger on her temple feigning a thinking posture. ‘Is there anyone I should see? I don’t know any though’ the corner of her lips curled into a mischievous smile.
If only you knew you couldn’t recognise your own mother… He thought sadly.

‘I won’t show myself if-‘
‘Fine. I want to see you’ she cut him off.
Tejiri squatted in front of her, his phone still glued to his ear. She frowned.
‘Hello?’
‘Open your eyes’ he said softly.
Fegor took a deep breath and opened her eyes. She saw him. She reached out slowly and touched his face, it wasn’t a fantasy, it was real. He was real.

***
Ruks couldn’t resist any further, he reached for his phone and dialled. The call immediately showed call waiting. He waited a few minutes and tried again, same thing. Who is he talking to? He dropped his phone.
He still didn’t want to face the client alone but with T.J’s outburst, he couldn’t count on him. He even left too. What could it be bout? He resumed just after his honeymoon, what could have upset him so much?
Or was he simply worried bout his wife? He had not been so worried bout her, it could be serious. If it was, he couldn’t let his best friend deal with it alone but he let him leave. Maybe he was right after all. Did he really change?

He discarded the thoughts and swung into action preparing to face the client. He didn’t have Tejiri to depend on to handle angry client. Why did he have to leave? What could be so urgent?

***
Mrs Onoriode was worried. She knew she shouldn’t have left him but he insisted she leave. Her mind wasn’t settled, filling her with worst case scenario. She paced her room. She convinced herself to stay calm which was hard. She couldn’t possibly be calm when her daughter didn’t recognise her, she actually felt scared. The way she looked at her…..

‘Something is wrong with Fegor. He may not believe me but we can’t let this slide, we gat to get to the root of it. Who knows what would happen next?’
She dialled Tejiri as she spoke. He didn’t answer. He haven’t gotten through to her? She gasped. She suddenly lost strength to stay standing, she slowly sat on a nearby chair, tears streaming down her face.

The incident earlier was vivid in her mind. She couldn’t imagine Tejiri going through same horror. Even if she went to look for them, she wouldn’t be able to do anything. She cried at her helplessness, not being recognised by her daughter and the aftermath looming.

***
Tejiri couldn’t quite explain what had happened. One minute his mother in law insisted he returned urgently, next his wife all over him, now his house was semi flooded by water. He stared at his house in disbelief. He was exhausted. He had such a long day and he had to deal with this.

‘Who left the house last?’
He turned to look at his wife sleeping in the car. From the dawn of the day, it had been one drama or the other bout her. ‘Thank you so much Erica’
‘You okay?’ She probed as they stepped into the house.
‘Yea….’ He was barely audible.
Erica gave him an askance glare. He seemed distressed. She had emerged from the house when she heard him drive in. She filled him on everything she had done before he arrived. He was grateful she handled it before he arrived. He joined in cleaning the house.

‘T.J what’s wrong? You don’t look okay’ she asked when they were done.
‘I had a long day. I actually left Ruks alone to attend to a client, I am thinking of going back since….’ He trailed off. He closed his eyes as he remembered his mother in law distressed call.
‘Since what? I took care of it before you came’
‘Thank you’ he gave her a side hug. She waited till the door she broke earlier was fixed before she left.

Tejiri carried his wife gently into the house, careful not to wake her up. He watched her sleep a while before he stepped out. He called her mother to inform her they were home and that he was recognised, then he sent an apology text to Ruks.
The days event replayed in his head as he laid on the couch. She forgot it was monday, she forgot to turn off the tap, she forgot her address and couldn’t recognise her mother. He was lost in thoughts when he phone rang. He looked at the screen, it was his father.