THE PROMISE - Episode 11

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Nigeria's leading fictional story blog - theater, doctors, Thames, engine, my mother, father, London, love, lost my emotions and feelings, shattered my heart, I should forgive him now.

“Shomaila!!!” Everest shouted as he entered the apartment. She was lying numb on the floor with blood gushing out of her neck and the side of her abdomen. He quickly called for an ambulance as he attempted to lift her body off the ground. His heart was pounding Paramedics came flying into the apartment. “Please don’t die, Shom!!!” He prayed as they lifted her onto the waiting ambulance. He took a taxi to the hospital. Shomaila was already in the theater when he arrived. He sat in the lobby waiting and praying as tears rained down his face like a monsoon. Each time the door to the theater opened, he jumped to his feet hoping to get a feedback from the doctors. They worked hurriedly, ignoring him. New doctors and nurses joined the team in the theater and some left every now and again. The wait was excruciating!

Abhimanyu and Raleen descended the stairs onto a boat on River Thames. They had decided to do something fun. There was a boat party on the Thames this evening, which someone had brought to Abi’s attention. He convinced Raleen to come with him. Once on the deck of the boat, they each got a drink and leaned on the railings as they sipped their drinks. The London skyline glittered like liquid gold around them. Soon, the boat was full. The crew raised the anchor and turned the engine to life. The big, old engine screamed to life and began to careen along the Thames with a husky sound that suggested the engine was not pleased to make the journey yet again.

Abi and Raleen kissed relentlessly. He took every opportunity he got when no one was looking to dig under her clothes and grab her beautiful luscious body. He was excited…very excited. “Please, tell me you will never leave me,” he said, almost pleadingly to Raleen. Music filled the air as the boat coasted along the river. London skyline revealed itself as the boat moved from one end of town to another. “I will never leave you,” Raleen said with a smile. “Are you being honest?” “Yes Abi, I say that with my whole heart.” “You see, I am not the best looking guy on earth. I am overweight, somewhat awkward at times and I am not skilled in handling women. I wish I had all those qualities Raleen, and I am working hard to improve. What I do have though, is a large and loving heart. Look at our world today; people seek love in all forms of places and in different fashions and manner. People are heartbroken in their number and it is hard to find someone you can truly trust. In me…clumsy, not-good-looking me, you have someone you can fall back on. When I say that I love someone, I do love them with all my heart and soul. I will never leave you as far as you don’t leave me. I will bend until I break in my attempt to love you, provide for you and be there for you. In me is a slow-moving abyss of love and affection you can always count on, Raleen. I am getting better at other things, but deep within, my love for you is never-ending!”

He stared her straight in the eye as he spoke. His right hand rested on his chest as he spoke from his heart. Not even the cold and emotionless Raleen could be blind to his sincerity. She wanted to say something but her throat was dry…She was truly moved by his speech. “I…I…” She stuttered. She was not even sure how to answer him. For the first time, she caught glimpse of the depth of his love. Fear had quickly crept into her. Will he survive it if I leave him? She thought. “I will not leave you, Abi,” she answered as she pondered his words. “Why do you choose to love with all your heart in a world where many want to use and dump others?” She asked him. “Raleen, when I was a boy, my father treated my mother terribly. He’d drink come home and pound her like a punching bag. She was deeply scarred by my father’s physical and emotional abuse. He called her names in my face. One night, I was in the room next to theirs and he wanted to make love with my mom. He was drunk of course and mom was not in the mood for it. The walls were thin, so I could hear my father snarling at my mother.

“You stupid woman, come here and do as I say!!! He yelled at her. She tried to resist and he pulled her by the hair and yanked her to himself. He slapped her while he raped her. Well, they were married but as far as I am concerned, that was not lovemaking. He punched her while the whole thing was going one. The next morning, my mother had bruises on her head. I could see that her scalp had been badly injured by the pulling and she had a black eye. A few times I tried to protect my mother and father pounded me like there was no tomorrow. He beat me so badly once that I fainted. I woke up in hospital. It is a long story, but the important thing is that I am here today and mom is fine too. After all that, I swore to love and protect any woman in my life. I swore that I would not live to see another woman suffer before me. I promised myself that I would be the opposite of my father. I don’t care what the world thinks and I know that some people might take advantage of me, but I am not willing to change. I’d rather be heartbroken than put another woman through what my mother went through.”

Raleen wiped tears from her face. “It is okay…I did not mean to make you cry,” Abi said offering a hand with wiping her tears. “You have a beautiful heart Abhimanyu!” “You flatter me,” he replied. “Some people would have gone the opposite way, but you chose to repay evil with good…with love. You are a wonderful person.” “And so are you.” “So, where is your father now?” “He died some years back.” “I am sorry about that.” “Thank you. He apologized to my mother and I on his dying bed before he passed on, so I was able to make my peace with him before he died.” “That is very good…” “So, you have an idea where I am coming from. I want to you to know where I am coming from. My last girlfriend shattered my heart. She…” He paused to gather his thoughts and strength. Raleen rubbed his back gently. “I loved and provided for her for nearly seven years, yet she treated me like garbage. She cheated on me repeatedly and lied to me non-stop. I don’t think she ever loved me, but you know what? I will not be defined by her. I will not be changed by her behavior. I choose love over hate. I will not treat another woman terribly because of what she did to me.”

Raleen could no longer hold back her tears. She wrapped her arms around him and held him tightly. “I never cry, Abi. I can’t believe I am crying. I am moved by what you have been through and your resolve to make sure that those who cross path with you do not encounter such a traumatic experience. I did the opposite with my experience. My father was an angry man. He did not know how to show affection to anyone. I grew up seeking his approval and love and I never got it. I always wondered how my mother managed to tolerate him. He was demanding, unkind and distant…emotionally. Then, one day I stumbled upon him paging through a pornographic magazine.” She paused and wiped her tears. Abhimanyu held her to himself. After a brief moment, she continued.

“He was addicted to porn. I figured that was how he lost his human touch. He was immersed in the images he saw on the pages of those magazines, back in the day when the internet was not around. I wanted to walk out of the room, but before I could…” She paused again, sobbing as though her heart had been plucked out forcefully. “He grabbed me by the hand and….he…he raped me.” “Oh my God!!!” Abi said. He held her closely and whispered in her ears, “It is okay honey.” “I was only thirteen and he…almost destroyed my life. I felt dirty, used and dead afterwards. I did not know who to tell or how to. I had seen him beat my mother…he had a fierce temper and he warned me that if I said a word to anyone, he’d kill me. You are the only person I have ever mentioned this to. I grew up hating men. I broke so many hearts because I was trying to get back at my father by hurting every single man I came in contact with. I promised myself that as far as I lived, I would hurt every man that loved me. I lost my emotions and feelings that very day when he took my virginity away from me by force.”

While people danced on the floor, she and Abhimanyu sat on the deck and talked. They both had a few drinks, soaking in the beauty of London’s skyline. “I don’t know why I have shared all this with you…it is pretty spontaneous of me. I guess I was moved by the tenderness and beauty of your heart. I chose to hurt people with what happened to me, but you chose to help others with your sad and tough experience. I am sincerely moved. You have touched me in a very unique manner. I have not spoken to my father in years. He is old now and my mother is still with him. I guess I should forgive him now and carry on with my life.” “I think you should my dear.” “It is not very easy though.” “Who said it is going to be easy, but the freedom and relief you feel afterwards will empower you to live and love without inhibitions.” She raised her head and peered into his eyes. “Kiss me right now, Abi,” she said. He lowered his head and took her lips in his.

“Mr. Everest, one bullet went through your wife’s shoulder, narrowly missing his heart area…thankfully. The second one was not as merciful though. It tore through her abdominal area, thankfully it did not hit your baby, but it destroyed some visceral organs and tissues. We had to do an emergency C-section to remove your child prematurely else he would have died. He is now in an incubator while your wife is critical…she is in coma. She lost a lot of blood. We are doing all we can to save her, but we cannot guarantee anything,” the doctor explained. Everest sank into the chair behind him with his hands over his face. “Oh God why?” He asked rhetorically.  “Pull yourself together. We will do our best, but you need to focus on the positives right now,” the doctor suggested. “What is the positive doctor? I am dead without her. I cannot possibly live without her.” “But your son is alive. He needs you. We hope nothing happens to your wife, but in the event of that, your son will need a parent.”
Written by:
Victor Chinoo

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THE PROMISE - Episode 11
Nigeria's leading fictional story blog - theater, doctors, Thames, engine, my mother, father, London, love, lost my emotions and feelings, shattered my heart, I should forgive him now. An African Literary Blog
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