NINETEEN

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He gave her yet another slap. ‘I told you I will
kill you.’
She staggered back strength completely
drained from her, she coughed, blood was
dripping from her elbow.
It had been a long day and a long fight.
Oladimeji had way laid them on their way back
from church. Thankfully, Mummy J travelled to
see her family in Ghana.
Oladimeji advanced towards her and grabbed
her bleeding arm.
The sweat that had beaded her forehead had
found a meeting point and channeled to her
eyes. She reached out blindly and to touch his
collar. She clinged to it as though it was her
lifeline, and pushed him with all her might,
choking him in the process .
A stone was before her, Oladimeji missed it
but it became a stumbling stone to her. She
fell but was quick to reach for the knife in the
belt strapped around her waist.
Oladimeji advanced towards her with a smirk.
Wale grabbed him from behind and sent a
blow to his jaw. He held his jaw and staggered
back loosing his vision temporarily.
Wale covered the distance between them,
grabbed him by the head and hurled him
towards a Huge heap of gravel.
Oladimeji passed out.
Kalu Jumped down from the first floor of the
storey building and ran to help her. He was
intercepted by a couple of opponents.
He began fighting.
She rolled over until she was close and slashed
one of the guys on the leg with her knife.
IN THE BUILDING,
Ethel delivered a couple of slaps with the back
of his palm to the opponent chest.
He groaned and slumped to his knees .
He saw the guy who was down before struggle
to his feet and begin to head for a plank.
Ethel did a gymnast somersault and jumped
high up to grip the rod above. He used both
legs to grab his neck.
His white shirt was now brown and partly
stained with blood.
Hester wondered where Ethel was. Since they
parted, she had not set eyes on him.
She groaned in pains and spat blood.
She knew Kalu was weak and needed help.She
took deep breaths, struggled to her feet and
head towards a stick that was lying on the
ground.
Suddenly five gunshots rented the air.
She dived for the corridor, before she could
make out what had acted on the pile of planks
that propelled it to come tumbling down. She
rolled away as fast as she could but her back
hit a wall faster than she anticipated.
Trapped, she protected her head with her
arms.
‘Jesus Christ! ‘ Wale stood from the floor
Where he had laid at the gun shots. He ran
toward the scattered planks. ‘Kalu! Dominic!
Help. ‘
They set to work hastily.
‘Oh my God! ‘ Kalu exclaimed dismayed as he
removed the plank that had laid on her neck.
Dominic lifted her to his arms. ‘I’m taking to
the hospital. ‘
‘But …’ Wale began.
‘There is no time for buts, can’t you see …Kalu
help me with the car door. ‘ Dominic returned
firmly.
**
Traumatized, they had were all standing having
overpowered their opponents.
‘Where is she? ‘ His eyes darted around.
‘In the hospital. ‘
‘What! How come! ‘
‘Those planks …’ He pointed.
‘No Wale …don’t tell me …no… not again! ‘
Tears welled in his eyes. ‘Get into the cars
everybody! ‘ He began running and they
followed suit.
++++
***
Precious hugged her. ‘Thanks our lady for yet
saving my life again. I wish you the best in
South Africa. ‘
‘Thank you.’
Take care our lady.’ Dominic gave her a hug
but stepped away before the tears came rolling
down his face.
‘Thanks Dominic. ‘ She smiled, having seen the
tears.
They had become life savers and beloved
brothers to her. She felt a vacuum, they were
family, her fighting back family. She heaved as
Wale hugged her.
‘We will miss you our lady. God protect you.’
‘God keep you all. ‘ She took in their faces and
smiled. ‘I love you all, Thank you and God
bless you.’
They gave a low bow.
‘Take charge guys. Will give you a call when
we’ve arrived. ‘ Ethel told them before helping
Hester up the stairs of the private airplane. ‘
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****
‘Hmmmm …’ Hester savored her meal and
glanced at her companion.
His gaze met with hers just then and she
winked at him.
He shook his head and picked his game pad
grinning.
‘I didn’t know you’ve got such great companies
attributed to you. She stirred her food.
‘I established the first one we went to as a
small scale business in my first year in school.

‘Great.’ She scooped food into her. ‘Won’t you
have some?’
‘I’m filled to my brim Hess. Didn’t you eat at
the party? ‘
‘Nope but am glad am exhausted and hungry
now for real.’
Ethel had taken her to see his law firm, a
couple of his textile companies and some the
other property he had acquired in SA.
Afterwhich they attended his nephew birthday
party.
‘Auntie couldn’t express her gratitude enough
for you taking up the role the MC. You sure do
have your way with children. ‘
‘Yep. ‘ She sipped from her tumbler. ‘I noticed
you had so much fun meeting with old pals
and relatives .’
‘Yea I did.’
‘Nonetheless, you need to taste this. ‘ She
stoop in front of him and pose a spoon of her
meal in front of him. ‘I enjoy sharing great
meals. ‘ She smiled her charming smile.
He opened his mouth. ‘Mmmmh …’ He closed
his eyes afterwards.
‘I told ya.’ She sat beside him on the rug. ‘Can
I play too? ‘
‘Sure darling. ‘ He smacked his lips. ‘Can I have
the bowl? ‘
‘Not even in your most accommodating
imagination!’
Ethel burst into laughter.
+++
***
Ethel loaded the guns with bullets.
‘Please let me come, let me fight this last fight
with you.’ She was at the door.
‘Give Hester, there is nothing that you will say
that will make me change my mind. I won’t
allow you go through another trauma or crush
injury because you might not survive it.’ He
faced her. ‘You not fit to fight and it okay
because it is not about you anymore, it is all
about us. ‘
Despite the tears in her eyes, she saw the tears
in his. She trembled.
‘I love you Hester …’ Ethel looked in her eyes
as he touched her pale coloured cheek. ‘I can’t
love you the way I need to love you with you
looking at the side mirror always and behind
your shoulder. This is my fight …’ He
swallowed. ‘This is my fight for love and
happiness. ‘ Tears rolled down his cheek. ‘My
fight for my best friend …my fight for all the
wrong Oladimeji had done. ‘
She burst into tears and Ethel took her in her
arms. ‘Oh Ethel Please …only you can’t do this.
He is dubious, he is going to kill you. ‘
He rubbed his face against her cheek . ‘The
pact is signed and it’s about time, you have
your life.’
She sobbed. ‘Sweetheart Please …’
He knelt before her. ‘If I die, I die because
God need me. It means my destiny was to fight
for your freedom. I need you to be strong for
me. I need to take care of yourself …for me.
Promise me …’
She shook her head before heading out.
He closed his eyes and fresh set of tears came
rolling down. ‘Dear Lord Please help me …help
me. I can’t do it on my own.’ He bowed his
head.
Somewhere in the house, the radio was on,
coming from it was a hymn written by John
Fawcett.
BLEST BE THE TIE THAT BINDS
OUR HEARTS IN CHRISTIAN LOVE;
THE FELLOWSHIP OF KINDRED MINDS
IS LIKE TO THAT ABOVE.
Before our Father’s throne,
We pour our ardent prayers;
Our fears, our hopes, our aims are
one—
Our comforts and our cares.
We share our mutual woes;
Our mutual burdens bear;
And often for each other flows
The sympathizing tear.
When we asunder part,
It gives us inward pain;
But we shall still be joined in heart,
And hope to meet again.
From sorrow, toil, and pain,
And sin we shall be free;
And perfect love and oneness reign
Through all eternity.
Hester slid to the floor and placed both palms
beneath beneath her left bosom as if to
cushion her heart as if it wanted to rip apart.
Memories of Osagie lying cold came flashing.
‘Oh God …’ Her voice trailed off as she wept
sore.
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