Wednesday, October 26, 2016

A Second Chance - Chapter 40!

Bisola was done setting the table ten minutes before her guests where expected to ring her doorbell. She received a job well-done thumb up from Aisha who would be sitting next to her, completely unnoticed by their upcoming guests. Aisha had been the one who’d planned the whole meeting; she’d wanted to meet Ben’s younger sister, Judith ever since she’d told her one existed. Bisola couldn’t tell why Aisha so badly wanted to meet the sister of the man who had contributed largely in ruining her life, and she gave it up, coming up with a conclusion that made absolute sense on her own. Her only wish tonight was for things to not turn bloody in literal terms.

In order to avoid such, Bisola thought it would be better for everyone for ground rules to be laid out. So she told her as nicely and straight to the point as she could, “I got you your meeting and now I need you to do me a favor. No acting up, I’m sure you know what that means?” she told the pale figure of a beautiful woman who was positioned on one of the dinner chair, well behaved, legs crossed, and hands folded together to on her laps, nodding away her agreement.

“I got it.” 

“Good,” Bisola wasn’t sure if she one hundred percent believed those words so she continued to stare, hoping for a sign that would make her jump on her cellphone and dial up Ben and cancel their meeting. She recieved none, but still she continued to stare.

“The doorbell...”

“What about it?”

“It’s gone off twice now, are you going to get it or should I?” she laughed.

“Oh!” But before Bisola left to get the door she turned back and reminded Aisha of their agreement. Both girls nodded but as Bisola was about to touch the door knob, Aisha said,

“Stop,” A whisper that no one else would have heard however, Bisola did. She’d heard it clearly and loudly as if spoken with a microphone attached to a loud speaker. She heard the fear and resistance in the voice that had said it and stopped. They were connected in ways neither understood.

          “I…I… I don’t think I can go through with this. I’m sorry...” A now frantic Aisha got up. “Just send them back.” she said.

          “I can’t now, they’re already here, and you heard it first.”

          “I know, I know, but…”


          After allowed a second to think and piece herself back together she apologized for her sudden outburst and returned to her position on the table.

          Bisola took a deep breath before opening the door to their already impatient guest. But once they heard the door squeak open and Bisola’s face appeared, Ben and Judith greeted her with a warm smile and she did the same, sending her welcomed one forth as she gave way for the pair to enter.

          “I’m sorry for taking so long to answer. I was fixing things…”

          “It’s fine, Bisola. Thank you for inviting us.”

She escorted them down to their siting area, watched Ben draw out a chair for her—his sister, and knew he would have done the same for her if she wasn’t already sitting in front of him. When the uncomfortable stares began, Bisola was taken aback by his directedness. She watched him watch her ever movement as if he’d never seen her before. Careless eyes roamed from her forehead down to her exposed neck inside the blue gown she wore and back on her bare lips. He did it in a way that no one else in the room noticed; no one else but her.

“My brother said you were with me at the hospital for a while. I came tonight partially to say thank you.”

And just like that, the meandering spell of attraction was broken. Bisola’s eyes shot up as she took note of the young lady’s accent. “I’m just glad you’re doing well.” She said a moment later. Ben hadn’t told her anything about his sister at the hospital, not that she’d asked, however, she hadn’t expected the girl to sound like that, like she’d been brought up somewhere far away from Nigeria and it made her wonder about Ben.

“Ben didn’t tell me about you till tonight, it’s not like we talk about stuff like that anyway but then again, there’s Margret who…”

“Who’s Margret?” Bisola asked out of mere curiosity and because the name sounded familiar.

“One of my employee…”

“She has bigger plans than that Ben; she wants to be my sister in-law. And you know what that means,” she added teasingly, her eyes focused on Bisola.

Bisola managed a smile and continued eating. “I hope everything works out.”

“I hope it doesn’t. But seriously this tastes so good, I can’t remember the last time I had a good home cooked meal…” she said happily.

Hmmm, “and why is that?” Bisola asked, there were so much to learn about Ben and his family and surprisingly she wanted to know them all. How he’d managed to hide a sister and most importantly, did Tunde know of her existence? 

Ben who’d been awfully too quiet having only spoken a sentence or two since they were welcomed into Bisola’s home found his voice again.

“Judith, I think you’ve said a lot already, let’s just finish our dinner.”

“But you’re going to tell me this though, how did you meet Bisola?”

After a pause, after a stolen glare, Ben answered. “She works for me.”

“Actually, I don’t.” Bisola thought it was best to set the records straight. I don’t work for your brother, we’re business partners.” She stated and watched Ben shift uncomfortably in chair.

“Ooh… makes more sense. I’ve been thinking about staying in Nigeria, and yes Ben, I know I haven’t spoken to you about that… but maybe I can work for you sometime in the future Bisola, what do you do?”

Bisola was about to begin when Ben interrupted her saying to his sister, “It’s past time for you to take your meds. Can we get another glass of water please?” he asked their host.

“Oh, I wouldn’t want to forget those… you see, I’ve been taking anti-depressants, and I’ve also been seeing a psychologist, she thinks she can help me remember what happened to me on the day I was shot. Still no luck, and honestly, I don’t want to remember. Too much bad memories, who would want to relive that?”

Once Bisola was out of sight, Ben turned to his sister. “I need you to shut up or we’ll go home.” he whispered but unknowingly to him there was another pair of ears less than ten feet away from him.

“But why?” she sounded distressed and hurt. Judith was enjoying herself, she liked Bisola from the moment she opened the door and gave them that sincere smile. She felt comfortable around her, comfortable enough to talk for the first time in months.

“You’ve been acting like a child. Asking questions, answering questions, and asking some more all at the same time. I just need you to be quiet.” He added snappishly.

She scoffed, “Okay dad.” She knew that would do more damage to him than any other words she could say tonight.

“Don’t do that.” Ben looked disgusted.

“Do what? Call you dad? Why not? Since that’s all you want me to do, be quiet, and stop living.”

“You know what, I am sick and tired of you young lady. Why do I even have to deal with you as if I dont have enough shit to deal with already?!”

“Sick of me?” she laughed. “I’ve been sick of you since I came here!” she yelled back just in time for Bisola who’d been bargaining with her legs on if and when to crash into the scene finally found some strength in her bones to walk.

“I ran to you hoping you would protect me from them but all you’ve done is try to shut me up, try to hide me away and you won’t give me a reason. You brought me here tonight and I’m enjoying myself, making a connection with your friend and you won’t even let me have that? What kind of a person are you?”

And it escalated right in front of them, reaching a point of no return. They spilled out all their anger, betrayal, secrets, and regrets and neither held back. Something about that house unraveled them until they were bare.

“Stay out of it Bisola…” Ben said to her attempt to calm the pair down. 

Judith, Aisha whispered and kept that name along with her new found secrets within her and continued to watch the live show in front of her. She didn’t like the Ms. Judith. The young girl was too chatty, too witty, and too damn happy! Too clueless, too shielded, too sheltered, too pretty and too full of life. She ended her long listing of the characteristics of Judith that she once had, has lost, and some she never had with a desperate need to start all over.

She refused to understand Judith’s claim of unhappiness, she rejected her claims of having felt pain more severe than from a gunshot wound. The more she watched the fight between them the angrier she became. Something changed in Aisha when Judith blurted out that she’d rather be dead. It permitted her own demons to rise; her own fight began within her.

Biola saw the fire before it spread but she was too late to stop it from burning the house down. She tried to tell them to stop, she tried to warn them but that fueled their argument even more. She began backing away from what was left of Aisha after her anger, pain, and hate took over. The dark eyes like night that looked upon her were out for blood. Something had taken over Aisha and it was not life. No one would be spared, Bisola thought, no one, not even Aisha.

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