Thursday, August 20, 2015

Till Lies Do Us Part - Chapter 12


After the wonderful meal Victor knew his sister expected him to start talking and he wasn’t going to give her a hard time either, he’d been wanting to spill out all his guts to someone he knew wouldn’t judge him.

“Joseph will be home soon.” said Esther, Joseph was her husband.

“And your kids?”

“Oh they are great! They’re in boarding school. You should see them; Tosin is now a big boy.” She finished enthusiastically. Victor nodded in agreement. The last he saw his Nephew he was nine years old.

“And dad?”

She sighed. “Victor it’s been a long time. So many things happened. Dad doesn’t
have a lot of time left.”

“What do you mean?”

“He suffered a heart attack last week. I tried looking for you but you cut all contacts with us after you got married. I know you did it all for love, but I wish...”

“Esther… I’ve been through hell and back.” Victor sobbed quietly into his palms. He’d finally come home to his father but at the wrong time when he had little air left in his lungs.

“I’ve been in jail for the past five years.”

“Jail!” she repeated. “How come? What about your wife? Is Cynthia okay?”

“It was Cynthia who put me in there. She framed me for a crime I knew nothing about.” Victor explained everything from the day he left home, going against his father’s instruction not to marry Cynthia to the day his world came crashing down. In between tears, she said, “May his soul rest in peace.” She pitied James!

“No, he’s going to rot in hell for what he did to me and I’ll see that Cynthia joins him some day.”

“My dear, be glad that you got out. Most important thing is that you had the opportunity to be a father to that poor little girl and wow, you have a son? I’m sure dad will be glad to hear that his junior has a child.”

Victor couldn’t wait any longer, he was anxious to see his father and the time was just one p.m., a hot Tuesday. Esther grabbed her car key and they set off for a reunion of the century.
****
Victor stared straight ahead, his eyes clouded with unshed tears that he hadn’t let free when he’d seen his father lying on the hospital bed.  It had been an emotional reunion but Victor held on tightly to his pride even still. To admit to his father that he’d been wrong and he’d been right instead was what he couldn’t do.

“Can we make one more stop?” He asked out of the blue.

“Where?” asked Esther, removing her eyes from the road for a quick moment. “I think it’ll be better if we just go home and you get some sleep; you’ve suffered enough…”

“To see my wife,” he quickly interrupted.

“Your what?” she stopped the car and looked back at him.

“Cynthia,”

“Look Victor, that girl has caused you enough pain.  I don’t think there is a need in going back there to see her… to open up old wounds.”

“But these wounds have not healed Esther. Don’t you see? Everything I try to do, she is always connected to it. She’s like a hook around my neck, and until I cut that thread, I won’t be free.”

She sighed thoughtfully, and rested her back into the car seat. “Do you still love her?” she had to ask. She didn’t know if her brother still loved Cynthia and the last thing she wanted was for Cynthia to hurt her brother for the second time.

“Just take me to her or I’ll do it myself.”

“God help me not to lose my temper when I see that little witch,” she hissed and started the car.

When their car pulled up in front of Victor’s old house, nothing felt familiar. He was a stranger in what was once his home. He looked over at his sister and then back at the gate before finding the courage to push it open. When they stepped in, there was a little girl dressed in a bright pink dress and pink sandals playing with her toys in the big compound. She saw them and smiled. She ran over to Victor and innocently asked, “Are you looking for my mummy?”

Victor knew he was staring into the eyes of the child he once thought was his. She was beautiful and she was the photocopy of her mother. She tugged on his shirt to get an answer to her question. Victor was dumbfounded; all the memories were rushing back in. The day Cynthia told him she was pregnant; the joy of that moment he doubted he would ever feel again.

The first time he’d held Iffy in his arms at the hospital, he believed he was her father and she was his daughter. But looking down at her now, Victor was just a mere stranger; one of mummy’s conquest.

Esther who was apparently more familiar with kids moved closer to the little girl and in a friendly voice asked, “Is your mummy home?”

Iffy nodded and her ribbons tighten hair bounced along. She pointed to the front door and with her in front, they all marched to the door.

Victor knocked. She opened. It almost felt like a flashback to the day she’d dared to come back into his life after faking being dead but this time, he was the one who was back from the dead and the moment their eyes met, hers widened in shock.

Her face lost all its color. It was as if Victor’s presence had sucked up all the makeup on her face. Her lips began to tremble. She held the door half way and refused to open it further or close it either.  Her daughter then made her presence known.

“Mommy,” she called gently but her mother remained quiet. She was too stunned to speak.

“Come on honey,” She tried to shut the door as soon as her daughter entered, but Victor’s reflexes were much sharper and quicker.

“Cynthia, at least welcome me into my home.” he stated casually, holding the door open. She heard his voice, the man she had lied to and claimed to have loved. She gave up, moving an inch away from the door and Victor slowly push it fully open.

The smell of cigarette and the smoke from a burning cigarette filled the air. The smell was so strong Esther began to cough.

“Victor,” Esther shook her head in disgust while she examined the condition of the living room. Cigarettes sticks were all over the floor, bottles of alcohol on the floor and even some which were half way through.

“This is not the place to do this. How can a mother place her child in this kind of environment?”

“I don’t need you to tell me how to raise my child.” Cynthia shot back with a loud smirk as she bent to pick the traces of her irresponsible lifestyle.

“Just… just look at this!” Esther continued,

“Sugar, what’s all this noiseeeee….” a male figure stumbled into the scene. When Victor saw him, he became infuriated.

“Who is he, who is he and what is he doing in my house!” he yelled.

“Look mehn, I think I should be the one asking you that question.” said the young man who was Cynthia’s new or rather only boyfriend. They’d been together since Cynthia was a teen and Victor’s home automatically became his because he had nowhere else to go.

“Oh Victor,” Cynthia sniffled as she approached him steadily.

“Don’t you dare touch me!”

But when he looked to his left and found Iffy sitting quietly in a couch with her head down, his temper cooled off. He couldn’t lose it here while she watched.

“Someone take that child out of here.”  He said and Esther quietly did just that.

“Stop shouting! What? What do you want from us?” Cynthia’s voice rose above Victor’s once her daughter was out of sight. She’d been keeping her cool because of her, but how dare Victor come back to this very house? She asked herself. Why did he have to come back?

“I came here because I needed to see you. I need you to let me go.”

Silence as Cynthia looked at him awkwardly, processing his last statement.

He began again. “I need you to go tell the police the truth.”

“What truth?”

“I need you to tell them that I didn’t kill James. I’ve been in prison for five years, five good years Cynthia, come on, you threw me in there without a second glance, you never once thought about what we had but hey, I don’t blame you because we had nothing… I just want my name clean, that’s all.”

“You guys are sick…” her boyfriend, Justin said as he fixed the upper button on his shirt and came to stand by his woman. “Look, I don’t know who you are or what you’re doing here but I don’t like you talking to my woman in such a manner, so please, I need you to leave my house.” He finished with his button and pushed Cynthia aside to stand boldly in front of Victor.

“Get out!” Justin repeated.

1 comment:

  1. I can't wait to get to the end of this story. What's up Peace?

    ReplyDelete

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