THE PROMISE - Episode 12

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Nigeria's leading fictional story blog - our lad has the DNA profile, woman, lab, police, cigarette, YouTube, a living saint like him, hospital, Jackson Triggs ice wine.

“All we have right now is the shell casing of the bullet that hit your wife and prints of the boots worn by the shooter. Our crime lab is currently working hard to identify the make of that boot. Once we have the make, we will cross match it with all the purchases of that particular brand across London over the past few months. In the meantime, we are talking to the general public for information. A woman who lives near your apartment said she had spotted a man smoking cigarette under a tree that morning while she was walking her dog. Interestingly, we have picked up cigarette butts from the spot the woman described and our lad has the DNA profile of the smoker, but we have not been able to run it through our database for a possible suspect. We hope to have that done in the next few days. It will take time, but we can assure you, we will find the shooter eventually. By the way, how is she doing?” The police constable had been briefing Everest on their investigation into the shooting of Shomaila. “She is still in coma,” Everest answered dejectedly.

“Our thoughts and prayers are with you and your family,” the policeman offered. “Thank you. I really appreciate that.” Everest left the police office and headed back to the hospital. Hannah was at the hospital when he got there. “Any news?” Hannah asked him. “Nothing new. There is no answer as to whether she will ever come out of coma. I am really worried,” he answered. “I am sorry to hear that, Everest. I am worried too, but somehow, she will pull through.  Shomaila is a real fighter. She’ll not die,” Hannah encouraged him. “How is the little guy?” “He is growing rapidly. They hope to have him out of the incubator in a week, so I am practicing my baby-carrying skills as well as learning how to make baby food.” “Aww!!! I am not good myself, but I can come around and offer any help I can. Thank God we have YouTube today. I am sure there are lots of videos on YouTube we can watch to figure out how to make baby food.” “I am sure there is. That is a very good suggestion. I will definitely plug into YouTube to get some tips. It would be nice to have you around. Thanks for the help Hannah.” “You are welcome. YouTube is the ultimate place to start a search today. We should definitely look into it.”

“I can’t do it Lydia! In fact, I am not going to break his heart. I can’t go through with the plan,” Raleen said. She was somewhat agitated. “What do you mean you can’t do it, Raleen? You gave me your word.” “I have changed my mind.” “You led me to believe you were cold and insensitive… have you forgotten when you told me that you hate guys? That you like to make them pay for their selfishness, lust and untrustworthiness?” “That has all changed now, Lydia.” “Are you in love with him? What is wrong with you? The guy is a fat slob…how could you possibly feel anything for him?” Raleen stared piercingly at her for a moment. “Lydia, you are looking on the outside alone. Deep within, he is one of the purest souls alive. He does not deserve what you and I planned to inflict on him. Like you, I used to look on the outside alone, but getting to know him, I am convinced that he is a gentle, loving and kind human being. I cannot go ahead and hurt a living saint like him.”

“I can’t believe my ears. Is this still you? You told me how you slept with close friends and even brothers, leading each of them to believe you loved them before pitting them against each other before walking out on both of them. You were lying, just to look tough to me, weren’t you?” “What I told you was the truth and I did not even tell you half my story, Lydia. That was the old me though. Today, I am a new and different person…well, I am becoming new I should say. I no longer want to be that person.” “You are lying. Liar!!!” Lydia yelled at her. “It is his money. You have gotten a taste of his money…the jewelry, the posh restaurants, the car and the exotic trips abroad. Why don’t you go ahead and tell me the truth?” “The fact that you lied to me that he was the one that hurt you was…wasn’t it?” “He hurt me of course. He threw me out in the dead of the winter.” “For what Lydia?” Lydia kept quiet for a moment. She stared at Raleen for a few seconds, rose to her feet and left.

Everest held his son, Kingsley while Hannah warmed water for making baby food. They had taken Kingsley from the hospital two days earlier. Hannah had come over every day to give him a hand. Kingsley cried like a mosquito hovering over one’s ears with intransigent determination, whining and whistling annoyingly as it seeks a patch of exposed skin from which to suck precious blood. “Here you go!” Hannah said offering Everest a bottle of baby food. He placed it over Kingsley’s mouth and like an eagle grabbing fish from water, his mouth took hold of the bottle with vigor. He sucked persistently, kicking his legs happily as he filled his stomach. “Gbam! Gbam! Gbam!” A knock came on the door. “I will get it,” Hannah offered. Kingsley looked up for a moment as though he was asking why anyone would want to disturb his precious meal. He kept sucking while looking at Hannah who was headed for the door.

“Hello,” Hannah said to a lady who smiled at the door. “Hi, please I am looking for Everest Amadi,” the lady said. “May I know who is looking for him?” “Tell him it is Uremma Umunna.” Hannah returned inside and informed Everest. “Wow! I have not seen her in ages. We grew up together at home. You mind helping me with Kingsley, so I can attend to her?” “Sure,” Hannah replied. He handed her Kingsley who continued to devour the baby food with gusto. “Uremma!” Everest said as he flung the door open. “Look at you! You have grown so big. I remember what you looked like the last time I saw you.” “And you too, I remember how tender you were then.” After exchanging pleasantries and reminiscing on old times, he invited her in. “Hannah, this is my childhood friend and a family friend too. Her father is my father’s best friend.” “Pleased to meet you,” Hannah said. “Same here. Aww! He looks so cute. I heard what happened, Everest. My father told me.” “I guess my father told him.” “Yes.”

“I am really sorry about everything I said the other day,” Lydia apologized to Raleen. He had called her over the phone to apologize earlier and to invite her over to her new apartment. “It is okay,” Raleen replied. “You were right. I should let things go. I cheated on the guy a lot after all. If you truly love him, I wish you two all the best. I blew my chances, so I should not be bitter about him.” “I am glad you said that. I really needed to hear that because I…I am falling in love for the first time in my life and it is with him,” Raleen said fighting back tears. “I thought I was tough, but I was an angry, empty and broken person. Abi is a true saint. He has changed my perspective on life.” “I am really happy for you. Now let’s drink and toast to this,” Lydia offered. She dashed to the kitchen to fix a glass for wine for herself and for Raleen. “Let me help you,” Raleen offered. “Oh, not to worry. Just sit back and relax. I will be back in a moment,” Lydia insisted.

Raleen sat back on the couch and turned on the TV. “I like your new couch. It is very comfy!” She yelled to Lydia. “Thanks!” She yelled back from the kitchen. She opened a bottle of Jackson Triggs ice wine, Raleen favorite and poured it in two wine glasses. In one, she carefully and quickly poured a powdery material in a paper, the same chemical she had added to Abhimanyu’s food several months earlier. She washed her hands and dried them before returning to the living room with the glasses. She made sure to hand Raleen the glass in her left hand. “Your favorite, Jackson Triggs ice wine from Canada!” She announced feigning excitement. “Aww!! Very kind of you Lyd!” Raleen replied. “To new beginnings!” Lydia said as they toasted. “To new beginnings!” Raleen replied.

“So, what brings you here?” Everest asked Uremma. He was sitting outside on the porch with her. Hannah had left while Kingsley was napping. “I heard what happened to your wife, so I decided to come and offer my help. I live in Tottenham, so it is not that difficult for me to get on Victoria Line to King’s Cross St. Pancras and then change to any of Circle or Jubilee lines to Baker Street to come here. You need help, and I’d love to help you the best I can.” “That is very kind of you Ure. I really appreciate it. I am not sure you need to go through all the hassle.” “It is not a hassle at all. I am very happy to help. I don’t work weekends and on Wednesdays, I only work half day, so I can give you a hand. I know Hannah comes around…from what I have seen, but your son will be a handful before you know it.” “I guess so. If you insist, although I think I can handle it. I will be dropping him off at a government day care around from next week when I return to work.” “But you will be exhausted after work…that is when you need someone to help you with one or two things here and there.” “Okay, whenever you can stop by.” “Great. Don’t be a tough guy. It is okay to ask for help. So, any news as to when your wife might be out of coma?” Everest shook his head somberly.
Story continues...

Written by:
Victor Chinoo

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THE PROMISE - Episode 12
Nigeria's leading fictional story blog - our lad has the DNA profile, woman, lab, police, cigarette, YouTube, a living saint like him, hospital, Jackson Triggs ice wine. An African Literary Blog
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