Saturday, July 2, 2016

A Second Chance - Chapter Thirty-Two

“For the worst has come…”

Ben woke up from a nightmare after only three hours of sleep, soaked in sweat and gasping for air. He remained frozen on his bed, breathing as if he was still being chased by them­­­­––the men who’d grabbed him from his bed one night four years ago. They’d locked him inside a room where rats and rotten bodies covered with flies were his only companion. Every night since then, whenever he closed his eyes to sleep he could still perceive the smell of decaying flesh. And he’d gone deaf more than once from the buzzing sound from the flies, all still ringing in his head.
They’d kept him there for five days with no food, no sun, no water, and soon, there was no him. After a week, they came, two masked men took the decomposing bodies away in a stretcher. Another two came in, one handed him a cup of water and the other proceeded to cleaning the spot the dead men had been before. The whole scene had provoked a terrifying thought, “I am next.”
          Ben’s chest continued to rise and fall but at a normal pace now. He attempted to sit up and failed, falling back on the bed. He took two heavy breathes and tried again, and failed, just like when they’d stolen him from his home and his attempt to fight back faltered. He sighed, one of defeat and allowed failure succeed yet again because waking up from nightmares was no longer new to him.
Lying lifeless and shirtless on the bed with eyes counting the ribbed designs that covered the ceiling above him, he thought of her. Ben was sure Bisola didn’t remember how their night had actually ended yesterday, the reason she hadn’t called or come banging on his door already. He much preferred it that way. Seeing her lying cold under the shower last night, he’d thought he’d caused her to take her own life. Ben had never been that afraid in his life since the day he thought his own life was going to be taken carelessly from him in a manner he had no control over. 

He’d picked her body up and placed her on her bed before going to search for something warm to wrap her in. He was no doctor but he was sure she was going to be fine. He stayed with her for an hour, watching her sleep; he’d never witness such a thing before; the restlessness in her as she writhed back and forth on the bed, the gentle raise and fall of her breast as she breathe, and the slight parting of her dried lips as she smiled in her dreams.
When Ben found himself wondering who it was that she saw in her dreams, how many men had kissed her lips, and how many men knew how restlessly she slept, he woke himself up from his day dream, reminding himself that he wasn’t supposed to be there, that he wasn’t supposed to be smiling watching her sleep and falling for her.
          Ben remembered warning Bisola about the different turn vengeance could take, he remembered the many times he’d tried to break her spirit because she’d once upon a time belonged to the man who broke him. He also remembered the night he came home bloodied and without a home, the night he swore he would not leave this world until he was sure Tunde was tucked away in hell. He knew from the day he met Bisola that night at the hotel, through Tunde’s last attempt to redeem himself that she was the only person who could bring back his many sleepless nights.

          Their next meeting at the bar had only succeeded in getting him fired up even more, so much that not a day passed that he didn’t think of her. And when she came to him, willingly and ready to be his scapegoat, all he could see was the end result he’d mapped out, he hadn’t cared about her reason for accepting to do something that would in return destroy her. And now, the fire that had first sparked in him was gradually burning out but she’d already lost too much of herself for his sake.
          He decided he would get his revenge but not through Bisola, he would do it by himself and if anyone was going to be broken he wanted it to be him not her. Redemption was what he needed now not revenge so he picked up his cellphone and dialed his sister’s number, needing to apologize and tell her he was ready to bring her home. After the third attempt without a response from her, his gut instinct told him something was wrong. This time when he tried to stand, an unmeasurable amount of strength filled his bones. He was out the door and to his car, heading to Margret’s in no time. He called Margret before heading over and it seemed she too had dropped out of the face of the earth. He continued dialing both numbers until he was standing in front of their door. He knocked a few times and no one answered and just when he was about ready to slam his body against the door, it slowly creaked open.
          Ooh Ben,” a worried Margret rushed to hug him. “I… I was just about to call you.” She said fearfully. “Your sister, she… she…”
          “She what?” Ben asked, peeling her body from him and barging into the room.
          “She shot…” Ben was trashing through the house before Margret could finish.
          “Where is she?!” he asked and Margret pointed to the one place he hadn’t checked––her bedroom. Ben opened the last door in the house and found his sister lying on the floor in the pool of her own blood. He crashed next to her dying body, horrified, and calling for her to wake up.
          “Wake up, Judith, I’m here, talk to me.” He whispered to the head on his right arm while putting pressure on her stomach where an incredible amount of blood gushed from.
          “How did this happen?” he asked Margret who was shaking fretfully behind him.
          “I…I…” she stuttered, “I found her like this Ben, one minute she was okay and the next, I heard a gunshot––she shot herself. Is she alive?” Margret added, coming around to face Ben and Judith’s bloodied body.
          “The door,” he said as he raised his sister’s body from the floor. “I think she’s still alive, we need to get her to a hospital before...” Before the worse, he thought. On their way to the hospital, Ben continued to plead with his sister not to die on him as Margret attended to her in the back sit. “Five more minutes, Judith, five more minutes and all this will be over.” He hoped.

1 comment:

  1. Not a chance, why would his sister shoot herself?


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