Please note that this series contains some sexually explicit content, violence and offensive language. It is not appropriate for children nor an immature and sensitive audience.
A SMALL WORLD - SEASON THREE
Copyright © Ufuomaee
Jamie could never forget the night that Adania came for Tommy. It was like the worst nightmare that he never could have imagined. Even with all the evil he had done to her, to her family, he never thought that she could be so cold to him. This was the woman who had donated two pints of her own blood to save him the first time he had been shot! There was nothing Adania wouldn’t have done for him.
But that was until he broke her. He showed her just how cruel he could be, disregarding her love and devotion and now…she didn’t love him anymore. He saw it in her eyes. Pure unadulterated hatred. If not for the witnesses she came with, she would probably have picked up a knife to stab him in the heart, as she’d sought to do, the day of her fall.
“I love him, Adania,” he’d protested feebly. “I love you… Please give us a chance!”
He could still hear her laughter in his ears at his profession of love and plea. He felt like a weak man. A defeated man. He’d wanted to fight it. Be cruel like he knew how to be. But he also wanted to try love…
He wanted to appeal to the love he had believed still existed between them. He’d been so convinced by the fantasy that she would wake up and accept his proposal for marriage, forgive him…and they would move on and live happily ever after. It was what had kept him going…
“I’m so sorry for everything I did to you… I’m so sorry. I’ve changed. I know you probably don’t believe me, but I’ll prove it to you…”
“Stay away from me!!!” had been her cold response.
The three soldiers, who had accompanied her and the late General’s widow, stepped forward at this point, to remind him of what they were capable of doing to him if he so much as tried to stop Adania from leaving with his child. Mrs Nkechi had smiled as he’d recoiled, and Adania removed Tommy from his stroller. The baby’s cries had torn at his heart. She didn’t even want to take any of his things with him. That was how much she hated him now.
“Adania, I’m begging you! Can’t we talk about this? I’ll do anything to make this right!” had been his final plea, before she’d remembered his ring and returned it to him, saying she wanted absolutely nothing from him.
He’d fight it. He knew he had to fight it. That boy, his son, deserved the best. And he knew, from the flash of hatred in Adania’s eyes, that she was in this for revenge. He had to fight for love!
The air was tense in the Range Rover jeep, as Ifeanyi drove his brothers-in-law back to their campus apartment, that Saturday afternoon. He had gone to the police station as soon as he’d received Samuel’s call in the morning about Samson being arrested and denied bail. He’d called his company’s lawyer to meet him at the station, and they’d had no choice but to release Samson on bail, when the lawyer had pointed out that the arrest was unlawful, considering that he was arrested under unproven allegations and not while committing any crime.
Still, Ifeanyi could barely believe the accusation that had been laid against one of his own. He hadn’t been able to mention to Mary where he was going or why, because he didn’t want to upset her needlessly. He was mad at the situation, mad at Samson for getting himself into this mess, and mad at the state of affairs in his country, which meant that the prosecution, and potentially the media, could do much to frustrate and embarrass his family if given the chance. He would have to find a way to mitigate these risks and resolve the case as quickly as possible.
“I’m sorry, Brother Ifeanyi,” Samson said again, apologetically.
“We’ll talk when we get home,” Ifeanyi replied coldly. Then he remembered that this could very well be an injustice against Samson, as he hadn’t been convicted of any crime. If anyone had to believe him and stand up for him, it was him. “It’s okay. We’ll get to the bottom of this,” he added, looking into the mirror to Samson in the backseat and trying on a smile. Samson returned a sad smile.
Ifeanyi’s frown returned as he faced the road. He so didn’t need this distraction right now.
Ijeoma was in her first month with the childminding business she had set up. It was a bit slow, but she was beginning to build clients and a good reputation in the neighbourhood. They had converted their bungalow in Gbagada to her office and day centre for the children, while Chuka had finally agreed to Ijeoma’s parents buying them a big house in Maryland, Ikeja. He’d refused any property on the Island, saying they had been generous enough.
Ijeoma absolutely loved their new house, even though she would have preferred a cosier neighbourhood. There was just too much traffic and sound pollution from generators, which made night time and relaxation time unrestful. She even preferred Gbagada in that sense, because the neighbourhood was quieter, and there was a park near their bungalow. The park now came in handy for when she wanted to take the kids in her care out for some fresh air.
She had two assistants and a full-time nanny, who she could trust to watch the kids, whenever she had to attend to some other business. Her assistants helped her with all sorts of small and big jobs and errands. The senior assistant provided accounting and administrative support, while the other ensured that the centre was clean and well-stocked, and was always on hand to watch the other children when the nanny was pre-occupied with one or two. In addition to these paid staff, volunteers often came to teach the children elementary skills, so Ijeoma wasn’t short of help.
Ijeoma loved the work. It was fulfilling in a way she hadn’t expected it to be. She was basically being paid to do what she had come to love; looking after children. The only thing was that her children often grumbled, as they were not always happy to share their mother’s attention. It was especially hard not to show bias when they got into fights with other children. She always tried to treat all the children equally, as if they were all her offspring.
That was Ekene. Ijeoma wondered what could be the matter. Emeka was in nursery school now, so she knew Ekene was missing him. The boys had a special bond, considering that they did not have the same father. It said a lot about how good a father Chuka was. Ijeoma smiled.
“Mommy! Tell Bose to give me my toy!”
Ijeoma arose from her seat and stuck her head out of the office. Where was Ogo? The nanny soon came into view, and Ijeoma saw that the situation was already being resolved. It was just that her kids always wanted preferential treatment. She had a long way to go, she thought as she sighed and returned to her desk.
“You are everything, Temi. You deserve everything...”
Temi recalled Michael’s words to her, the night she gave herself to him. She bathed continually in the memory of their first time. She had done it, and though she thought she would be raked with guilt, all she’d felt was exhilaration.
Oyinda had been her first and only, and she’d never lacked satisfaction in his arms. Yet, being with Michael felt...amazing, in a whole new way. And she knew that her life would never be the same.
Her lips trembled now, as she thought of her husband. She hardly spared him a thought these days. Truly, she had wanted to get back at him, but now, she just wanted to be happy. And she sort of understood why he couldn’t stop running around and doing his dirt. He too just wanted to be happy. They were just two selfish people who didn’t belong to each other…anymore.
She looked at the drafted document in her hands, and tears streamed down her face. She’d tried. She’d been a good wife, and he hadn’t appreciated that. And now she’d become a bad wife, who no longer wanted anything he had to offer. Even his repentance.
There was a time she would have wished for it. For him to change his ways and start treating her as he did in the beginning. That was all she ever wanted. To live happily ever after. But after Michael, that dream no longer featured him in any way.
She knew that Michael was probably not the knight in shining armour she wished he was. But right now, he was the guard that set this prisoner free. And that was all she needed right now. To be free to discover herself and be happy.
“So, tell me. What happened?”
They were back on campus, and Ifeanyi had followed the twins up to their room. He sat on a chair, his corporate lawyer, that he’d called on urgently to assist, sat at the other desk, while Samson and Samuel sat on the bottom bunk.
“I already told you, Bro–”
“You said you didn’t do it… But I want to understand what it is. Did you sleep with Antonia?”
“Yes, we slept together.”
“At any point, did she say ‘no’?”
Samson hesitated. “Well…”
“Let me finish, alright? I know what rape is, and I didn’t rape her. I’ve never raped anyone. It was just the usual dance that girls like her do.”
“What do you mean by “girls like her”?”
“You know, the uptight Christian ones…”
Ifeanyi put a hand to cover his face. It was just getting worse.
“They say they don’t want to… They’re saving themselves… But then, it’s like they are begging you to. What they say with their mouth and their body disagree.”
Ifeanyi looked up at Samson, wondering if he had really done what he had been accused of.
“Okay, so, we were at this party…Seun’s birthday party. And we were making out. Everyone must have seen us. And I asked her to go upstairs with me. She did. I didn’t drag her or anything…” Samson looked from Ifeanyi to his brother. “So, we got upstairs and we got more heavy with it. And then she was like, she’s scared, ‘cos she’s a virgin and hadn’t done it before. And I knew that she was lying because Olaitan had told me that they’d done it at one party before. But I pretended to believe her and encouraged her that it wouldn’t hurt. And that was it…”
“So, she didn’t say ‘stop’?”
“I did not hear her say ‘stop’,” Samson said, looking square into Ifeanyi’s eyes. “I swear. It was consensual.”
“How old is she?” Ifeanyi had to check that bit too. Because even though he knew minors often consented to sex between themselves, the Child Rights Act 2003 says that under 18-year olds can’t consent to sex, and intercourse with such would be considered child abuse.
“Ummm… I don’t know. I think she’s like 18. She’s in 200 level.”
“Hmmm… We need to confirm that too.” Ifeanyi sighed. He looked at Samson and felt sorry. What would it take for him to change his ways…? “But please, stay away from her. And if possible, try to stay clear of any girl until this is over…and even beyond. I would hate to see you throw your future away.”
“I know and I will… I’m going to lay low. Again, I’m sorry for all this.”
“You know, I’m going to have to tell your sister eventually. You need to report yourself to the station every day until we get your court date, do you hear?” Samson nodded. “Samuel, look after your brother, alright?”
“Yes, Brother… Thanks.”
Ifeanyi rose up, feeling emotionally drained. What a year it was turning out to be.
To be continued...
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