Saturday, January 16, 2016

A Second Chance - Chapter Twenty

Love is the only force capable of transforming
an enemy into friend.
––Martin Luther King, Jr.

It was a night filled with a million questions for Margaret. Ben hadn’t contacted her since he dumped his sister with her and neither had he even bothered to check up on them. She’d spent the night playing jeopardy in her head, sad part was she hadn’t won a dime. All questions had been left unanswered. Either call or come over! She almost slammed her frying pan on her stove. 

She swallowed her infuriating thoughts and focused back on the task at hand. Breakfast. Yes, she had to take good care of his sister while she was in her care. She called it earning some brownie points. If she could get the sister to like her, she was sure the brother would too. So Margaret wiped off the drowsiness from her eyes. It was six-thirty in the morning.

She’d woken up after only getting three hours of sleep in order to prepare breakfast­­­­––good house-wife material. Since she was also unemployed, she might as well enjoy being able to cook and eat breakfast in her own home unlike before when she was out of her house as early as five-thirty in order to beat traffic. Plus the extra position she’d taken up as Ben maid, breaking him breakfast every morning. It’d all added up to the reason why she had to get out of her bed extremely early––to please her boss.

But what difference had it made? How is any different from what she was doing now? Even though she wasn’t making him breakfast directly, she was doing it for someone he was related to. Baby sister for that matter... Margaret was caught up in a web of her own thoughts and hadn’t taken notice of the burning eggs in the pan until it the eggs were almost burnt black.

“Ugh!! Which kin wahala be this naaa.” She complained, quickly removing the pan from the stove and dumping it on the floor. When she heard footsteps, she immediately picked up the pan and threw it inside her garbage can. There should be no reason for her potential sister in law to see that she couldn’t fry common eggs. No excuse whatsoever. But the smell! The smell of burnt eggs, ratted her out. 

“Whoooo…what is that awful smell!?” Judith said, appearing in the living room.

“It’s nothing, go take your shower and I’ll have breakfast ready.” Margaret quickly said trying to rush Judith back into the room she’d slept in. “No thanks, I think I’ve lost my appetite. That smell!" She yelped again. “I’ll have Ben send someone to bring me breakfast. I only needed a place to sleep not someone to feed me.” She pointed out arrogantly. Margaret’s face constricted in anger. She told herself to keep calm. She’s too small for you to stress over. She told herself and let out a deep breath. “It’s okay. Do whatever you want. But...” She had no idea what pushed her to utter her next words. She’d suspected the pair since the night she first saw Judith. All she wanted to do was make sure she wasn’t the one being fooled here.

So she asked, “Are you sleeping with Ben?” Judith who had her cellphone out and about to call her brother like she’d said busted out into laughter. Now, that question hadn’t been unexpected. She’d only been waiting for when it would appear. She didn’t blame Margaret. If it were her, she would be marking her territory too. As a result, she gave her the simplest answer she could find. 

“No, I’m not sleeping with my brother. That would be called incest. And as messed up as our family is, we’re not that sick.” She shivered at the mere thought of it. She had to tell Ben about this one; he would have something to laugh about definitely.

“Oooh, I see. I’m sorry, I...I didn’t mean it like that...not that I don’t trust you o, just that...” Judith decided to save the poor girl. “I understand what you meant with your question.”

“But what’s your family like?” Margret asked nosily “...where, where do they reside? You don’t sound like you were born here.”

“Look, I’m not up for any petty talk, why don’t you call Ben and ask him yourself.” 

“Hmmm…well if you say so.” Margaret silently slipped away, leaving Judith alone to her brother. 

Judith didn’t get what she’d asked for. According to Ben, “I’m a busy man, that’s why I placed you under her care. Margaret can fix you up with breakfast.” And then he hung up. I guess that leaves me with no other choice. She tipped toed to Margret’s bed room door. She heard her on the phone. She was in a heated argument with the other person on the line. She waited until the smoke was clear before knocking.

“I…I was…umm, I was looking for your frying pan...”

“Check the...” Oh no! Margaret was with her within seconds. “What do you want, breakfast abi? I’ll make go do something else.” There was no way she was going to allow Judith find the burnt eggs.

In the next few minutes, breakfast was ready––finally! Both ladies sat far away from each other as they ate. Margaret just wouldn’t give it a rest. She tried all she could to get Judith to engage in a conversation that didn’t end with a one second yes or no. Just how would she get through to her?

“How old are you?” she asked.

Judith replied saying, “Twenty-one... Why are you asking?”

I’m six years older than you…but, “How about we go get our nails done after breakfast? How does that sound?”

As excited as Judith was, she didn’t want to sound overly excited, for all she knew, Margaret could charge the bills back to her brother. So she asked politely for the first time, “You’re paying, right?”

“Oh yes. I am.” Both ladies smiled.

Oh Lord, what have I done? Bisola asked herself, slowly dropping on a nearby couch.

“Did I hear you mention his name? Who were you talking to?” Aisha rushed to her, her panicky mood activated. Bisola sat her down. It was time she told her about her arrangements with Ben. She hoped it would help put her mind to rest and––maybe find some closure.

“Yes, it was Tunde, But! I have a plan.” She quickly added when she saw Aisha’s facial expression change.

“A plan, what plan? Stop whatever you’re doing. It’s not worth it, Bisola. Just stay far away from him. I thought we agreed on that last night?”

“I know, I know, but! I know someone who can help us...who can help you get some justice.” …And protect my sister. ”I met with him last night.”

“You what?! Are you crazy?”

“No, no, not Tunde, Ben, I met with him last night. He’s a friend of––”

“Ooh, I know who he is, and what he is not. Ben, the Ben that I know of is definitely like Tunde. He is the last person who can help you. Trust me, he is the devil…”


Thank you guys for always reading,