17 FREELY – Appalling!

“We should plan to leave tomorrow morning. I am not comfortable again, honestly.” Pastor Anietie Etim clasped her hands over her chest. “Something bad will happen!”

Freke gasped. “Ah, Mummy don’t say that.”

Edidiong snickered. “From your mouth to God’s ears.”

Eno hissed. “Why do you always like to say terrible things?”

“Look at it, now. The woman we saw that night has still not showed up.” Annie took her husband’s hand. “No communication at all.”

It had been a week, and the family seemed to be on a vacation. Annie had cause to be concerned.

“Schools will soon re-open. Won’t these children go back to school?”

Kent cleared his throat. “There are schools on the premises of the mission camp. I saw a primary, and a secondary.”

“You assume we will go and live there!” Annie exclaimed. “Our lives have no direction.”

She looked at the children. Everyone had somehow pretended living in this house with a full pantry, and a doting receptionist was normal. With the family relaxed after dinner, she had summoned the courage to address the mighty “white elephant” seated in their midst.

“What do you suggest we do?” Kent frowned. “I don’t have the woman’s name or contact.”

“Then let’s make a plan and leave. Go back to Uyo as we planned earlier.”

Chioma sat forward. “Huh, Daddy, please, can we call that receptionist lady and tell her we want to see the owner of this place?”

Annie clapped. “Good idea. At least, let us know what is going on.”

It was easier than they envisaged. Ajua provided a number and Pastor Kent called it.

“Hello.” He avoided the anxious gazes of his family members. “This is Pastor Kent.”

He waited while the person on the other end spoke. “Yes.” Whatever the person said seemed prolonged and was important. “Okay. That’s fine.” Kent hung up and stared at his phone.

The anticipation in the air could melt the north pole.

“That was Pastor Favour.” Kent scoffed. “How the journey ends for us at last. He has given us till tomorrow morning to leave his house.”

The shock of the revelation subdued everyone for at least a minute.

“I think I want to swim one more time before we check out,” Edidiong said, and got a chorus of rebuke.

Eno cried. “Why can’t you just be serious for once in your life!”

Kent broke into a potential brawl. “Let’s pack up. I will call the J5 driver. I hope he will be available.”

“I thank God for the few days of peace.” Annie waved her hands above her head. “At least, we have direction.”

It wasn’t the news they wanted to hear and everyone walked quietly into their rooms.

Annie and Kent moved about the master bedroom for a few minutes and then he chuckled.

Annie arched an eyebrow. “Share the joke.”

“The first thing he said when I introduced myself was, who gave you the keys to my house? My wife?”

Annie breathed in. “Hmm.”

“How did you know she was his wife?”

She shook her head. “I don’t.”

He sat on the edge of the bed. “You said something when we arrived. That husband said go, and wife said stay.”

She shrugged. “I can’t remember.”

“That’s interesting.” He sighed. “We won’t leave tomorrow. He can come here to throw us out.”

Annie opened her mouth to protest, but instead a soft plea escaped. “Remember your children, darling. They have suffered enough.”

The following morning, the family was packed. They waited in the parlour as early as five o’clock, for the arrival of the driver. Chioma and Annie had woken much earlier and prepared two meals for breakfast and lunch ahead of the journey. If nothing else, Ajua had kept the fridge and pantry well-stocked and Annie had her to thank.

There was a soft knock on the door, and it opened. Before anyone saw the visitor, Annie gasped. Ajua was supposed to alert them of the arrival of the driver. Or perhaps she hadn’t yet resumed. But in the past week, she’d been there day and night.

Pastor Favour walked in.

“Good morning, Pastor Favour.” Kent stood. “We’re ready to leave. Just waiting for our driver to arrive.”

A woman barged in before Favour could respond.

“They are not going anywhere.” She stood up to him with eyes as wild as that of a bush rat. “Are you not tired of all this mess and your hypocrisy?”

No one saw it coming. Not even the woman. Favour raised his hand and dealt her a heavy blow to her face. She fell flat on her back. Kent and Annie jumped in between the couple simultaneously. The children screamed and moved back.

Kent pushed Favour. “Are you out of your mind?” He looked at the children. “Go into your rooms. Take the suitcases.” They obeyed like zombies.

Favour shouted. “This is my house!”

“And you have no right to hit your wife. This is her house too.” Kent took calming breaths. “Now, I will advise you to leave now. If you must go and wait at the reception, I don’t care.”

Favour smirked. “In my house. Who are you to command me?”

“He is your general overseer, you fool.” His wife sobbed. She had sat up, the left side of her fair and smooth face swollen and turning red. “You think all those Archbishop’s family care about you?”

“Shut up, idiot.” He bellowed. “How do you imagine your plan will ever work?”

“I don’t care what you say. You hit me, Favour, you hit me because of Archbishop!”

Favour’s voice softened but not his words. “And I will do it again if you don’t stop your stupid plans.”

She tried to rise and Annie assisted her. “My stupid plans will save your sorry — though you will never appreciate it.” She left the room.

Favour pointed his index finger at Kent. “Don’t think you won.” He stomped after his wife.

Annie slouched on her calves. “Ah dear Jehovah. Have mercy. Thank God for plan B. This driver should come quick, let’s just leave this place.”

Kent lowered himself to her and held her face. “I never called him to come.”

16 FREELY – Exciting!

Ajua called the apartment phone to ask how the night was. Eno picked the call because everyone else was still asleep.

“If you need anything, you can call me on 100.” Ajua sniffed noisily. “Anything at all.”

“Yes, ma. Thank you.”

“Don’t use ma for me. Ajua will do.”

Eno coughed. “Okay. Thanks.”

“Bye.”

Ajua hung up from the other end. Eno shook her head and walked into the kitchen. The cooked food they found the night before was all gone, but there was enough raw food to last days. She took a big tuber of yam and peeled it. She’d just put the yam on the fire to cook when Chioma walked in, yawning.

“Eno, good morning.”

She turned. “Good morning, Aunty. How was your night?”

“Ah, fantastic. I’ve never sleep on soft bed like that in my life.”

“Shey.” Eno laughed. “It was as if the mattress was massaging my body.”

“Ehn! You too felt so.”

The two young ladies laughed. Eno sighed. “I hope this will be the end of the confusion.”

“I hope so too. Mummy is so unhappy, and Daddy is just disorganized.”

Freke ran into the kitchen with Ima behind her. “We saw the swimming pool.”

“Good morning to you too,” Eno said.

“Sorry. Good morning. We saw the swimming pool. And it has this massaging waves,” Freke shrieked. “It’s sooo nice!”

Eno snickered. “You better not let Mummy hear you went downstairs.”

“It’s not downstairs.” Ima leaned against the marble-topped island. “We opened a door we thought was to the bathroom, and saw the swimming pool!”

“What? Swimming pool in an upstairs?” Chioma gasped. “Come and show me.”

All the children rushed out to the poolside where Edidiong and Idara played in the water, throwing catcher with a soccer ball.

Chioma’s jaws dropped. “Wonders shall never cease.”

The pool was shallow and didn’t have a deep end but it sufficed.

Eno screamed. “I’m going to get my towel.”

Chioma laughed. “What about the yam you’re cooking?”

Eno called over her shoulder. “Aunty Chioma please check it for me. Please.”

Chioma shook her head and left the children. She returned to the kitchen, and prepared egg sauce while the yam cooked. Then she went for her towel as well and joined the others to catch the kind of fun she had never experienced in her life.

For over an hour, they enjoyed their lives. They laughed over the ordeal of the last two days and how from potentially sleeping on the stiff benches of a J5 van they moved to this.

They later checked on their parents, and on discovering they were still asleep, went on to have breakfast without them.

Nothing could have prepared the children for such a world of luxury. They made jokes about refusing to leave if anyone came over to try and evict them. The house reminded them of tales of the hotel their parents stayed on the first visit.

After breakfast, Edidiong stood and threw his hands in the air. “This is the ly-feee.”

Eno exclaimed. “Will you stop shouting? Daddy and Mummy are still asleep!”

Ima laughed. “You fear sleep?”

Idara moaned. “Maybe we will have to leave this place today again.”

Edidiong growled. “Kill joy. Is that what you should say?”

“Because you were snoring like a pig.”

Edidiong closed in on his little brother. “Are you talking to me?”

Eno hissed. “Edidiong leave him alone. Are you stupid. Leave him!”

Edidiong slapped Idara on the side of his head, and the boy shouted.

Chioma pulled him behind her, and stood between the two boys. “Edidiong, go.”

Edidiong clucked his tongue. “And if I don’t?”

“Don’t be rude, Edidiong.”

Freke cried. “Don’t be rude!”

The children shouted at one another back and forth. At some point, they would think their parents will waken and scatter their rough chatter. It was close to noon.

Pastor Kentoro and his beautiful wife continued to enjoy the bliss and comfort the strange woman of the night before offered.

TUESDAY ROSE BUSHES – STALKER

What started as a silly bet turns to a race for survival.

Thanks for voting last week. 44% wants our Stalker to not come from Africa or Nigeria! Amazing. I have chosen two character profiles. Not easy job at all, so please do help me vote on these, and ask your friends and family to do so too. The votes last week were not enough.

Profiling

The character profile I have provided here is sketchy, to get us started. As we meet the other people in our stalker’s life, some parts of her life not stated here, will be exposed.

Meet the stalker.

Profile 1:

Name:              Anderson “Andy” Liver

Height:            Average (5ft 5 in)

Age:                24

Hair:                Brown

Eyes:               Brown

Skin:                Dark

Race:               Caucasian

Lives alone:     Center City, Philly

Work:              Legal Assistant with government

Hobby:            Stalking (lol), working out

Mobility:         Cherokee jeep

Photo credit: https://pixabay.com/en/caucasian-young-female-lady-woman-1230160/

 

Profile 2:

Name:              Anderson “Andy” Liver

Height:            Tall (5ft 9 in)

Age:                27

Hair:                Blond

Eyes:               Light blue/Gray

Skin:                Fair

Race:               Caucasian

Lives alone:     Center City, Philly

Work:              Realtor with a private firm

Hobby:            Stalking (lol), hiking

Mobility:         Ford Fiesta

Photo credit: https://pixabay.com/en/beautiful-blonde-woman-young-adult-1542025/

 

Please vote now.

Photo credit: https://pixabay.com/en/dolls-barbie-brunette-blonde-girls-1497759/

 

Next week, I will start writing the thriller. Don’t worry, voting will be reduced to a few times, especially when I get stuck. Lol.

Stay connected.

MONDAY CHOCOLATE MELTDOWN – #BASISFORLOVE

 My first “engaged” kiss was that night.

I changed into a simple dress as quietly as possible so as not to wake my sister, and tip-toed out of the room. It was close to midnight.

The street was quiet but not lonely. I’d hardly closed up on Aaron where he leaned on the driver’s side door, and fiddled with his phone, when he pulled me into a fierce hug, and kissed me on the mouth.

He growled when he came up for air. “You want to kill me.” Then bent his head and nibbled on my collarbone.

Flashes of electrical heat raced through my body. I had never felt anything like this before.

“Aaron.” I moaned. “Please.”

He came back up, and took my mouth with his again. There was no way to stop him. I could feel the slight tremor of his hands on my body, the shuddering of his chest, the restless way his mouth claimed, and searched.

I called his name over and over, unable to control the tempo of my voice. We were out on the street right in front of my house, but the only illumination we had was from a few houses along the street, otherwise, it was night-dark.

The environment set the limit for us, because I didn’t think Aaron had any control left.

He kept talking.

“I love you, Shirley…”

“I want you…”

“If you leave me I’ll die…”

“Don’t ever think I can do without you…”

“You’re the only woman for me…”

“I love you…”

“My baby…”

“I love you…”

“Sweetheart. Honey…”

“Honey girl…”

“I love you…”

“I love you…”

“I love you…”

Photo credit: https://pixabay.com/en/rose-flower-nature-floral-romance-402093/

Check out other titles in my #TrueDream novel series on amazon, okadabooks, iBooks, and smashwords.

                

I need your feedback too. Thank you!

15 FREELY – Depending!

Accommodation at the place on the card was on Banana Island! The family had never heard of it but the driver exclaimed and talked about it till they arrived at a huge fenced compound with two detached duplexes.

“Ah, una no no Banana Island? Pastor, ah. Na the richest people in the world live here o.” He went on. “So you get person wey fit lodge you for here? Banana Island? You sabi how much rent dey cost here?” He didn’t say though.

The name on the card was Ajua. Pastor Kent found her behind a reception island, and explained why he’d come.

Ajua had a flat face, and despite being neatly made-up, lacked beauty or enthusiasm. At least she didn’t put up an air.

She batted artificial eyelashes. “Welcome. Where’s your luggage?”

Pastor Kent told her and she instructed him to bring it in. With the J5 driver, the family took the suitcases and bags to a first-floor apartment. Ajua gave Kent a set of keys, and excused herself.

The driver slapped his head. “Kai! I don enter house for Banana Island.”

“This house is ny-ceee.” Edidiong looked around. “Wow.”

“Huh, thank you so much.” Kent looked at the driver.

With the new development, he couldn’t send the man away empty. He rolled the bills he’d originally thought he’d give for the trip to Uyo, and handed them to him. The man paused his amazement at the beautiful parlour, and gasped.

“Pastor! Thank you.” He grinned. “Let me come and go.” He pushed the money into his pocket and went off humming.

“That man got his reward right away,” Annie said. She sighed heavily. “What now?”

Her question got everyone’s attention. Kent looked at each person before he spoke. “We’ll sleep tonight, and pray. Let’s see if the woman who sent us here will show. If she doesn’t, I’ll call the driver to pick us the day after tomorrow.” He shrugged. “We’ll have to go back to original plan.”

Eno burst into tears, shocking all. Annie glared at her. “What’s the matter?”

“I’m tired.” She stomped her feet. “I’m just tired.”

Chioma dropped into a soft leather seat and moaned. “At least we have beds for one more night, thank you God.”

“As in.” Ima chuckled. “I was just thinking of how I will sleep inside that horrible bus.”

Edidiong clapped. “Well, let’s find the beds.”

He walked toward a door, and disappeared inside. The other children followed. Chioma took Eno’s shoulder and patted it as they trailed the younger ones.

Their parents heard a lot of “oohs” and “aahs” but couldn’t rejoice. Annie looked around the perfect finish of the décor, the beautiful marble walls and floor. Asian rug, and marching blinds. The leather upholstery which matched the glass dining set at one side of the room.

“I think they are playing with us. The man says go, the wife says don’t go.”

Kent scratched his neck. “You don’t know if that woman is the wife.”

Freke ran into the parlour. “Mummy, come. Come. This house is very nice. They have water bed.” She pulled Annie’s hand. “There are four rooms and all are very big.”

Edidiong strolled in. “I’m taking a room to myself.”

Freke gasped. “What of Idara?”

Edidiong laughed. “I don’t know. He’ll sleep with you girls.”

“Take the bags inside,” Kent said. “Freke, call the others.”

“Yes, Daddy.”

Annie shuddered. “Let me find the kitchen. Hopefully they have a kettle or something.”

She opened a door close to the dining, and indeed it was the kitchen. For a moment, she stood rooted to the floor, stupefied by how big and modern it was. She walked slowly to a 2-door French-door refrigerator, and opened it. There was water, soft drinks, and some fruits, butter, and jam.

“Lord Jesus!”

She clasped her hand over her mouth to curb her vocal explosion, and inspected the cabinets, and a small pantry she discovered by the corner.

When she returned to the parlour, no one was there. On legs as weak as cooked noodles, she found her family in one of the big rooms, chattering excitedly.

“There is plenty of food and water.” Tears gathered in her eyes. “I’m—oh thank you God.” The children shouted with joy.

Kent waved. “Go and eat. Chioma, coordinate them.” He walked to his wife, and pulled her into a hug.

“Why are you crying? Everything will be alright.”

Annie gripped his shirt front. “Ah Kentoro, what are we doing here? What have we gotten ourselves into?” She shook him. “Let’s go back while we still can.”

He cupped her face. “God is a great storyteller, and I think he’s telling one great story right now.” He kissed her nose. “I won’t want to leave the scene when the suspense is so high.”

“This suspense is too much. Who was that woman? And why would she send us here?”

“I don’t know, and I don’t care. Tonight, I want to enjoy my wife.”

She shoved him. “Enjoy under high tension like this.”

“Food is served,” Eno said and left before her parents could turn to her.

Annie pushed out of Kent’s embrace. “I’m hungry, please. The food I saw looks too good.”

She left the room, and Kent smiled. “After you eat, then what?” He followed her out.

Ife is officially an adult!

Ah, I’m overwhelmed today. My baby is now officially an adult. So babes Ifeoluwa, now you can vote, drink (lol), marry (someone we know, lol) and just continue to be the awesome young woman you are.

 

 

 

God bless your new age and multiply you on every side. You will be celebrated by many nations and generations. Your dreams will all come true, and your family will rejoice with you in them. I love you, babes. Make it always count.

14 FREELY – Defeating!

The family had an impromptu night vigil and slept in the early hours of the morning. Those who could, at least.

At about eight, Kent woke. It was clear news had reached their “friends” they had the wrong successor because no one showed up.

He tapped Annie awake. “I have to get to town and find a driver willing to come and pick us from here.”

She grunted. “Okay.”

When he was gone, and everyone finally woke up, they packed their bags, and waited for the outcome of Pastor Kent’s search. The sauce from the day before was finished but a loaf of bread remained. Annie and the kids shared it, and finished the water and drinks from the left over.

Meanwhile, Annie suggested they praised God in anticipation of a favourable result. The session went on for almost four hours. Pastor Kent met them and joined in briefly, and then rounded up with a prayer.

Everyone was eager.

“We got a bus. There’s good news and there’s bad.”

Annie heaved a heavy sigh. “Hmm.”

“The bad news first. We have to sleep in the bus tonight.” Everyone groaned. “The good news is, at least we got a bus, and a driver willing to come here to pick us. He will be here in another two hours.” Kent clapped as though to round them all up. “We will not face the embarrassment of being thrown out.”

Annie breathed in. “What if he doesn’t come?”

“He will.” He looked at the children. “Come on, go and pack up.” No one moved.

Annie clasped her hands across her chest. “We were trusting God they would come and tell us otherwise, that it was—a prank.”

“A prank? Annie, please.” He clapped again. “Go and pack.”

The children all moved together.

“I pray he will come. All this embarrassment.” Annie sighed. “What about payment? And are we going to Aba or Uyo?”

“The driver agreed to take half of the fares. We will pay the rest when we arrive.” Kent moaned. “Uyo. Nothing is left in Aba.”

“Did you call Senior Evangelist about it?”

“I will call him when we are well on the way tomorrow afternoon.” Kent moved toward the staircase. Annie’s voice stopped him.

“Ah, Kent. Don’t you think you should call now? What if we get to Uyo and there’s no accommodation anywhere for us? Where will we go, all of us?!”

Kent snapped an exclamation but controlled it. After all, she was right. If he’d gotten to hear from Pastor Favour before packing up and leaving Aba, none of this stress would have happened.

“No.” He closed his eyes. “I will call tomorrow afternoon. Uyo is home for us. We can never be stranded like this.”

He went up the stairs and his wife followed him. Grim, they packed and waited downstairs. The food had digested and stomachs churned. There was no energy left to pray or worship. Everyone sat in resignation.

Four hours on, the J5 van arrived. Annie exclaimed. They had to sleep in this? J5 vans didn’t have good seats. They’d have to squeeze in. She thought of the more than twelve-hour journey ahead.

“Lord, have mercy,” she breathed.

No one complained. They were first and foremost grateful the driver showed up. Barely five minutes after his arrival, a red GMC Yukon drove up and Pastor Favour came out of the flashy jeep with Victor in tow.

Kent and the bus driver were stacking the first of the suitcases into the J5. Pastor Favour walked past without answering any of their greetings, and went into the house. Annie, and the children greeted and he waved his hand at them. Victor shoved on dark glasses and didn’t say a word.

The two men walked up the stairs, and after a while, returned downstairs. He walked into the kitchen, and back outside, where he stood by his jeep till the family left.

“It is not easy to be a Christian,” Annie blew steam out of her mouth.

Eno asked. “Who is he?”

Edidiong snapped. “He’s the pastor who came to take Daddy and Mummy last time. Don’t you remember?”

Eno hissed. “If I remember will I be asking?”

Everyone went quiet afterwards.

Annie giggled. “When we get to the park, we will find something to eat. Everyone is hungry and a hungry man is an angry man.”

No one found her statement funny.

The driver approached the entrance of the camp, and nearly ran a woman down. She stepped in front of the van, close enough, and moved aside just in time. The skilled driver shouted. He looked at the mirror, cursing her. But when Kent turned, he realized she was waving frantically.

“Maybe she needs a ride.”

The driver sneered. “That’s why she wanted me to kill her?”

Kent shook his head. “Please stop. She’s still waving at us.”

Amidst grumbling, the driver stopped in the middle of the road, and only pulled over to the shoulder when Kent insisted.

The woman did not seem in a hurry as she approached the van. She walked over to Kent’s side in the front seat.

He arched an eyebrow. “You need a ride to Lagos?”

She blinked. Her face was wrapped in a shawl almost like a hijab, only the scarf nearly covered her eyes. She raised her hand and produced a business card.

“Go to the address. Ask for the name on the card. They will give you accommodation and food.” She stepped back. “Please. Sir.”

She crossed the road, and stupefied, Kent followed her with his gaze. She half-ran to a small car parked several feet away, and drove off.