Remember me (XV)- Short story

The story nears its end 

Chapter 15

Her father

That evening Christiana was convinced that she had to end it all. She had been walking for three hours non-stop through the busy highway and the arterial roads within the Lagos mainland. Her destination was unknown.

Her legs kept asking her to rest, to find somewhere warm and cozy, to simply enjoy the sunshine and stay right there. But her mind was hell-bent on wandering to distant lands where all her worries would no longer matter and tomorrow not guaranteed.

She looked forlorn, emotionless and lost as she sauntered past the market women at the popular Oyingbo market interchange. One would have thought she was a perfect example of the walking dead, a zombie.

The distance she covered on foot through pothole riddled paved road and sidewalks littered with human waste, dried urine and the residue from weed wraps, was starting to tell on her health.

The air smelled of plastic shrink-wrapped forest burned with gasoline as it swirled in the dry air and made its way into everyone’s lungs.

Nothing was pleasing enough to discourage her from her suicide mission.

She could feel the bile rise in her throat as nausea threatened her pernicious journey. Lagos was easily the filth-capital of Nigeria.

Esther didn’t help much. Despite the sad reunion, she was unforgiving.

“I can’t help you, Christiana. I can not ask you to remove the baby. It is God’s gift, yet I can not ask that you keep the baby, it is an abomination. The decision is yours to make not mine.”

Christina’s eyes pleaded for help as she shook her head in disbelief.

“I want you to stay away from my family. As far away as your legs can take you and as far away as your eyes can see. Stay away from Ann and the house. You have no place there. Do not bring a curse upon our family. This cross is yours alone to bear.”

With that said, she left her rooted on the same spot as she walked away without saying goodbye.

Ann turned back to look at her favorite Aunt with sad eyes as she was pulled along by her mother.

She took Esther’s advice and there she was taking the long walk to perdition.

She didn’t hear the car honk until a strong arm grabbed and pulled her off the road. Lost in thoughts, she had drifted away from the sidewalk into the tarred road without realizing.

A small crowd of onlookers gathered around her whilst market women huddled in small groups staring curiously and intently.

“What happened to her?” one concerned voice queried.

“Is she well?” another asked.

The last she remembered was seeing the worried face of a soldier as he pulled her fainting body into his arms.

******

She didn’t get to meet the Soldier who helped her until two years later, but he allowed her to stay at his house with his younger sister and a teenager who handled menial jobs around the house.

He had been redeployed from his assigned duty station at the Dodan barracks in Victoria Island to support an ongoing mission off the coast of Cote d’ivoire when he managed to rescue the young woman who had strayed into the slow-moving vehicular traffic at the market. He lived only a few meters away with his sister who was a practicing nurse.

When he managed to revive her, after half a dozen sachets of water had been emptied on her face and body, she looked exhausted and in need of medical attention.

“Where are you headed young lady?”

“Home.”

“Where is home?”

She shrugged and volunteered no further information.

He started to help her up on her feet when she mentioned faintly that she was pregnant.

The short walk to his home was slow and labored as he paced his steps to match the recovering woman. He was already late to the military camp for call up that evening, but he couldn’t bear to leave the woman to the mercies of the market women who seemed more interested in gossips and chatter than helping a troubled woman.

Christiana endured a difficult pregnancy because although a healthy child was growing inside her, she did not desire to have the child. It was as though a daily battle raged between her mind and the physical nature and wonder of having a new child. It was challenging on an emotional level, and she suffered discomfort and pain each day that her pregnancy progressed.

The soldier’s sister nursed her pregnancy to term, enduring the hysteria, indifference, and the barrage of invectives that the strange woman that her brother brought into their home dished out at every instant.

A healthy baby girl was born seven months later, and they called her Taraoluwa because the soldier insisted that the baby be named after his mother.

*****

Tara had no memory of her mother because she passed when she was only four years old, two years after she married her father. It is believed that she committed suicide, but that much was never disclosed to the sweet and gentle little Tara.

Her father was inconsolable and bitter but he gave whatever love he had for Christiana to her only daughter.

Love knows no boundaries.

Now to the final Chapter and the concluding episode

 

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7 thoughts on “Remember me (XV)- Short story”

  1. This paragraph “Ann turned back to look at her favorite Aunt with sad eyes as she was pulled along by her mother.” almost broke me, had to come to terms that this is a fiction story. Good job and wonderful structure. Well done brother

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