‘Yerima, that guy that would have married your sister, why did he die?’ Katherine waited momentarily. ‘He was innocent, he might not have not being aware of what his dad did but he died simply because even if his father did not pull the trigger, he aided and abated the crime of murder, a bloody one, one in which the victim was a vibrant young man.’ She clasped her hands on her lap. ‘You joined hands to cover your father sin and by doing so, your hands got soiled in blood and your children paid and hence, everything you’ve lost.’
Aishat wiped her tears and another set fell off her eyes immediately.
‘So you were sent to ask for forgiveness from whom, who were you sent to?’
‘You…’ Shakirat said with a shaky voice, ‘Katherine Sylvester.’
‘Katherine Sylvester.’ She repeated strangely. ‘Hmmm…’ she muttered rather thoughtfully. ‘As far as I can recall, Katherine was pushed out to the street hopeless, homeless, familyless and penniless. I am not the one whom ye seek. The lady you’re looking for should be in Nigeria,’ She position a finger at a side of her face. ‘being a girl of sixteen who had been dealt a tragic blow, she should be somewhere training on how to launch a physical pay back or in a brothel having being emotional battered or under one of the many bridges in Nigeria or just maybe, she might have committed suicide or used for ritual. I’m sure with your wealth and connection, it won’t pose so much of a problem to find her. I wish you well.’ Katherine stood.
‘My daughter please… ‘ Aisha managed with a voice hoarse from emotions.
‘Hold it!’ She cautioned instantly with obvious irritation in her voice. ‘You’re not my mother and you can never be my mother. My mother was a mother, a virtuous woman and my father cannot do with your husband did.’ Her eyes flashed in anger. ‘Even if my father did, my mum would have seek for the bereaved family quietly and ask for ways to make amends. ‘
‘I’m so sorry… please. ‘ Aisha wailed with her head lowered with fresh of guilt now on her. She had been nonchalant and it turned out costly.
Kelvin exhaled and decided not to interfere.
‘Please ma’am, please, forgive us. ‘ Tobi pleaded with open palms.
Still on her feet, ‘I am Katherine – Sylvester – Sigismund.’ A smile tucked her lips and her facial expression relaxed. ‘I ain’t that sixteen year old anymore that your confessions and apologies would make a difference to and probably touch a soft spot. I have a mind of you, everything I’ve ever suffered is past and there is an irreconcilable gap between. I have a great husband and two adorable children. I have an awesome God in heaven.’
‘Please, I beg of you… please do have mercy.’ Sharikat eyes had become red from weeping.
‘Mercy?’ She squinted her eyes momentarily. ‘Which will you prefer, mercy for my brother’s death or mercy for my father’s death?’
Yerima exchanged quick glances with his sisters who equally looked perplexed. ‘We …we don’t understand.’
‘I’ll be taken aback if you did, my father died three months after my brother passed on. His demise killed my father.’
The new information left them sore.
‘Katherine please…please.’ Marcus looked at her.
‘The Ezeugos, ‘ She beamed as took two steps towards them. ‘I am not surprised with the way things turned out for you. You refused to identify with a family that embraced you both arms because of your status quo. Can you place your present level beside mine? ‘
That was a question that needed no answer. They themselves at first and were still awed of her present position.
‘Definitely not. I myself don’t want to identify with you because am ashame. I can never identify with men who want to have coitus with their niece. Those days, I couldn’t help but wonder if you really share same blood with my dad but if…’ she raised and index finger. ‘If that’s true that can only mean my dad was fed with breast milk while you two were warm water from that stream in the village alongside the end product of palm kernel!’
It dropped like a bomb and they all knew she was furious.
Ezinne and Ngozi sobbed.
Their husband shuddered.
‘How could you forget so soon how you were the very first day, you appeared at the door step of my father’s house. You marvel me a great deal even to my very marrow!’ She was exasperated. ‘Have you forgotten how the destitute would have been on same scale with you.’ She sat back. ‘It’s really amazing how people commit outrageous offences and expect that once they say the magic word-sorry. Have you thought for a moment the potential the world lost due to his death.
You abandoned your niece for how many years and if it wasn’t for the plague, you won’t have bothered. You didn’t care and you made it resounding.’
‘Kathy I…I asked of you.’ Ezinne said with eyes welled with tears.
‘I am in no mood for a dry joke, you that stopped visiting before your husband. For all I know, you could the brain behind husband action.’
‘Ha…Katherine please…’ Her lips trembled.
‘Abi what do you want me to say. Why would you be asking of me from another when you knew my address before your husband and his brother took possession of the house.’
Ezinne got down on her knees. ‘I’ve been so foolish Nne, biko, please…I’m a disappointment to womanhood. Your mother treated more like a sister, please find a place in your heart to forgive me.’ She burst into tears.
All went down on their knees and they had tears in their eyes.
‘We can never make our wrong right no matter what we do but our story can change generations to come. Please Katherine, forgive us, don’t send us out. Don’t send us away.’ Yerima sniffed and dabbed his eyes.
She glanced at her husband who nodded.
She went down on her knees before them and bow her head. ‘God, what will you have me do?’ She whispered.
The response was immediate in her head.
“Let them be confounded that persecute me, but let me not be confounded: Let them be dismayed but let me not be dismayed: bring upon them the day of evil, and destroy them with a double destruction.”
The destruction was more than double, it was from generation to generations. She answered in her mind.
“Hands joined in hands, the wicked shall not go unpunished.”
They didn’t go unpunished. She mused.
“Vengeance is belongeth into me, I will recompense.”
She heaved and shut her eyes. A great woman shows her greatness by the way she treat little men, forgive them my princess for it means more blessing for your generations.
For a moment, she felt the presence of her father and heard his unmistakable voice.
Her eyes fluttered opened. ‘Every one stand please.’
They obeyed and she stood likewise.
She beckoned to her husband who came to stand beside her.
‘I can forgive you but it will make no difference without surrendering your life to Christ.’
‘We surrender our lives until him, everything we are.’ With tears rolling down his face, Marcus raised his hands towards heaven.
‘We believe in him, the impartial God and surrender our lives to him.’ Habeeb declared.
They all nodded.
‘I forgive you for everything you’ve done with all my heart. Let’s join hands please to break generational chain.’
They formed a cycle holding hands.
With tears rolling down her face, Katherine prayed for them.
The introduction and embrace began.
Kelvin fetched two bottles of wine while Katherine brought tumblers and ordered for food to be delivered at their home.
Marcus handed over the documents of her father’s property to Katherine.
In the night of that same day, Katherine had her head rested on her husband chest.
‘Sweetie, what’s on your mind?’ She looked up at him.
‘Your story would be a good story for Marigold to write.’ He traced the frame of her face with a finger.
‘Yea,’ She beamed. ‘I agree with you love.’
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