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
At the end of the family meeting, the atmosphere was so much lighter. Even though it had been a very serious discussion, it was a needed discussion to help the family to get things into perspective. No longer did they feel like they were defending a criminal, but that they were actually defending the rights of an injured, innocent man, as they were all convinced and encouraged to believe in Samson’s innocence.
Samson was actually sporting a smile, the first since his arrest last weekend. Ifeanyi had given him a really big hug after the meeting was over, which had done much to relieve the tension he was feeling. Though Mary’s eyes were still pensive as she beheld him, she’d also hugged and kissed him, as she’d done to Samuel. He knew that even though she believed he was innocent, she was still disappointed about his lifestyle. And he had been thinking of that too lately. He had really put his foot in this one, and invited trouble with his reckless actions.
“Well, I’m going to start heading…” Lanre said, gathering his files into his briefcase and standing to take his leave.
“Oh… Won’t you join us for lunch?” Mary asked, with a warm smile.
“If I won’t be imposing…” Lanre looked at Ifeanyi to gauge his feelings about Mary’s idea.
“What are you talking about, mehn? Of course you can stay. And should,” Ifeanyi responded, his expression genuine.
“Okay, cool. It shouldn’t be much longer…” Mary said, as she went into the kitchen to check on her beans. She brought out some plantains and began to slice them.
“Can I help?”
Mary looked up, surprised to see Samson in the kitchen offering his assistance. It was not unusual for Samuel to offer and even take over, but Samson…? She wanted to tell him she had it all sorted, but felt the Holy Spirit’s touch. She should encourage him.
She smiled as she replied. “Yes, thanks. Please put the oil on fire.”
Samson did as he was told. He then brought a bowl for Mary to put the sliced plantains. He watched as she salted them.
He looked about, wondering what else he could do. The kitchen was pretty tidy, except for a few plates and cutlery in the sink. He decided to wash them.
Mary sighed as she watched him. She sensed that he wanted to talk. She shut her eyes and offered up a prayer for wisdom, before deciding to say what was on her heart.
“How are you feeling?” She decided she would start with compassion.
Samson swallowed, as he rinsed a plate. “Better…” He turned to look at his sister.
“That’s good. I’m glad we had this meeting and I could hear from you what actually happened.”
The oil was sizzling, which indicated that it was time for the plantains to go in. Mary went over and poured them in, stirring with a spatula, so that all the plantain was covered with oil. She put down the utensil on a small plate and returned her attention to Samson.
“Thanks for believing me…” Samson said. He rinsed off the last spoon and switched off the tap. The plantain sizzled in the pot of oil.
Mary pressed her lips together. “What’s going on with you, Samson? I mean, you shouldn’t have been in that situation to begin with.”
“Please, let me finish. I know you don’t believe in God like I do, and don’t place any special value on sex… But I would have thought that, at the very least, you would only engage in it within the safety of a loving relationship…where an issue as basic as consent wouldn’t even be questioned. Are you a sex addict or something?”
Samson shook his head, feeling ashamed.
“So why? I mean, do you think so little of women? Of yourself?”
“I don’t know… I just… I don’t know.”
“No, go on…”
“I just never saw this coming. I was just having fun. But I’m going to be careful next time.”
“It’s not really just about being careful. Careful people still get pregnant, because accidents happen. You could have contracted a virus… I mean…” Mary sighed and shook her head. “I don’t even know what to say. I just wish you would stop acting like sex is going to go out of style. I wish you’d start thinking about your future and what’s important to you. This is your last year in Uni… Soon, you will be on your own, a man… Don’t throw your life away because of fun, I beg you!”
Samson nodded. “I know. And I get it. I’m sorry for disappointing you and bringing shame to our family…” He was getting teary.
Mary wanted to go to him, but the plantain slices were already done and darkening on the sides. She quickly scooped them out of the oil and turned off the fire. The beans were also done, so she switched the gas off, before turning back to Samson.
She went to him and hugged him again. “Samson, I believe in you. I know you are special, and if only you’d allow Wisdom, you would be so great. I just hope you will begin to see yourself the way God sees you…”
Samson let the few tears flow as he hugged his sister. He wiped them when they separated. “You mean, He doesn’t see me as a bad person…?”
Mary looked into his face and smiled. “He sees your soul, Samson. And it isn’t bad. It’s so good, He died for you and forgave you in advance. God really loves you…the only way someone can love someone who they really know. He knows you more than you may ever know yourself, so if you want to fall in love with yourself and respect yourself, you should start talking to Him and ask Him why He loves you so much. He will tell you or show you. I believe that.”
“And you know I’ll always love you too, right?” Mary added. “Don’t think you can never come to me because of something you did wrong. I’m always rooting for you, baby brother.”
“Thanks, Sis. That means a lot. Thank you.”
“This is delicious!” Lanre complimented the cook.
Mary beamed. “Thank you.”
Instead of dry fish and palm oil, she’d added king prawns and vegetable oil to her beans, and it was indeed worthy of the praise. The big pot of beans was almost completely consumed by the four men at the table, counting Samson and Samuel among.
“So, how long are you in Lagos for?” Ifeanyi asked.
“I’ll be around till the first hearing, so for a couple of weeks. Hopefully, we can get the case thrown out. I’m going to use next week to gather my evidence and prepare our defence.”
“I like how you say “our” defence,” Samuel said, noting how happy Samson was. Lanre clearly believed in him, and that had gone a long way to relieving the pain Samson was no doubt feeling from the accusation and the pending trial.
Everyone smiled. “Well, I feel very much invested.”
Ifeanyi noticed how Lanre’s eyes draped on Mary before returning to his plate. His jaw clenched as his earlier thoughts returned to him. Had he made a mistake by assigning Lanre to the case?
“Why don’t we change the topic a little?” Ifeanyi asked. He was ready for something more light-hearted. “So, are you seeing anyone?”
Lanre shook his head. “I actually just broke up with someone. So, still single and looking. You know anyone?”
Ifeanyi was pensive. “Hmmm… I might.”
“You?” Lanre asked Mary.
“Well, it depends. Are you saved?”
Lanre looked into Mary’s eyes as he nodded.
“Hmmm… Then, I might,” she smiled.
Ifeanyi looked between them and pursed his lips. “We can do a dinner date next Friday. What do you think?”
Lanre beamed at Ifeanyi. “Sounds like an awesome idea! Thanks.”
Amaka returned home from her afternoon at the hospital, where she still volunteered, to find Zainab at home, making out with her new lesbian lover. She drew in a deep breath and tried to get to her bedroom, without stirring them from their activity. This was just another reminder that she needed to get her own place – and quickly.
Zainab noticed Amaka sneaking by and broke off the kiss. She turned to greet her. “Hey you.”
Amaka paused and smiled at the women. “Hey…”
“How was the hospital?” Zainab asked.
Amaka nodded and answered, as she made her way to her bedroom. “Good, thanks.”
When she got in her room, she shut the door. She placed her handbag on her dressing table, and took one of the books she’d been reading from the shelf. Turning to the spot she’d bookmarked, she settled on her bed to continue reading.
It was a book by a young Nigerian author. She’d been grabbed by the title, when she’d seen it in the bookstore some weeks back, and the cover design was amazing. As she read, she frequently turned to admire it, while musing on the message. “Her First Husband” was written in fanciful letters over a white background, with a lady in a bridal gown holding a colourful bouquet. Amaka had been very surprised and pleased to discover that the author, Toyosi Onolaja, and the message were Christian.
She was learning a lot, and getting encouragement on how to live single and only enter a relationship purposefully, and with God’s direction. Her brief and traumatic relationship with David, who she had believed to be Christian, was a real wake-up call to her that she didn’t know what she was doing in the relationship department at all. She shuddered thinking she could have died…and for what?
After his attack on her life and his subsequent arrest, the story had been published in a few blogs and a couple of newspapers. No thanks to her high-profile relationship to and divorce from Jamie Solomon. Weeks later, the family of one Mary Edozien, who had been missing for three years, came out to speculate that David could be responsible. They said that the couple had been dating for about a year, before Mary suddenly went missing. Investigations were underway, while David remained behind bars. Amaka couldn’t help feeling sad for him, though. He was clearly a troubled man.
Amaka flipped the page on her book. Her phone began to ring. She lazily reached for it and answered without taking note of the caller. She was particularly surprised to hear her sister’s teary voice on the other end.
It had taken a lot for Adania to call Amaka. When she’d woken up from her coma and found no one around her, she’d naturally felt abandoned. And then angry, when she remembered why she was at the hospital. Her shame came later.
She felt shame at what she’d done to her sister and how she’d paid for it, in her horrible relationship with Jamie, which came to a near-fatal end. She shuddered thinking that she could have been the one to end his life, if she’d made it up the stairs.
Her mother had been the first to come to the hospital, upon hearing that she was awake. It was from her mother that she learnt that Jamie had been looking after her son, and with Amaka’s support. Her shame was quickly replaced with fury, when she thought the worst of her sister. Even when she was told that Amaka had been her most frequent visitor, she remained suspicious, wondering about what was really going on between Amaka and Jamie.
However, her primary thought was of getting her baby, and making sure that Jamie paid for what he did to her. When Amaka had visited her later that evening, upon hearing the news of her recovery, Adania had been cold stiff. She didn’t trust a word out of her sister’s mouth, especially when she was talking about knowing Jesus and how Jamie was also now saved. It was all just too convenient!
She’d said as much, as she’d asked her sister to leave her alone. “I don’t need your help,” Adania had said, bitterly.
“Amaka, I’m sorry!” she now cried into the phone. “I’m so sorry!”
Amaka swallowed, listening to her sister. She’d been so hurt by her rejection, even knowing how much she’d gone out of her way to be there for her. She put down her book. “It’s alright, Adania.”
“No, it’s not. It’s not alright. What I did to you was horrible. I don’t know how you can forgive me, but I need you to forgive me.”
“I told you that I already did…”
“I know… I guess I didn’t want to believe you… I was just so ashamed, and I didn’t know how to make things right. I hate what I did to you. I hate myself.”
“Adania, don’t. Please, that won’t help or change anything. I don’t hate you. I forgive you and I want you to move on and forgive Jamie and enjoy your life…”
Adania swallowed. “I don’t know how… I am so angry at him. I saw him today, and I just lost it.”
“Oh, I’m sorry, dear. Do you want me to come over, so we can talk?”
“Can you? Please?”
“I’ll be right there.”
To be continued...
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