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Nigeria's leading fictional story blog - daughter, pregnant, children, mother, love, beautiful, your painful cries shriveled a piece of me, I love you.

The bus pulled to a halt. She alighted cautiously and took a quick look around the area. “Wetin you dey look? Come carry your bags! (What are you looking at? Come and take your bags!)” the bus conductor hollered at her. She walked to the rear of the bus and began to take her bags. She clutched two backpacks on either side, dragged an old, shabby luggage behind her while carrying smaller bags in her left hand. She could smell the air – the dust in the air had a unique smell. She took a deep breath, inhaling a lungful of the smell. It had been long since the last time since she visited the street where she was born and raised. She walked down Ogui Road and then turned onto Owerri Road.

Some boys were playing football in the street. She recognized most of them. Suddenly, eyes turned in her direction. Everyone on the street knew she had run away to live with an older man in his forties. She kept a straight face, avoiding the myriad of staring eyes, who made little secret that they were staring at her. The football game stopped abruptly as more eyes turned in her direction. She wondered how her parents and siblings would respond to her return. “Welcome, Chinagorom,” said Izunna, an old friend. “Thank you, Izunna.” “Let me help you,” Izunna offered, walking up to her. He took the luggage and dragged it as he walked beside her.

“Do you think my parents would be happy to see me?” she asked. Her voice was filled with concern. It felt as though one hundred pounds of weight were tied to each of her legs. “Is she truly back?” She heard someone ask in one of the buildings nearby. “Any parents would be pleased to have their daughter back,” Izunna replied. “Don’t think too hard about it. Just walk in there and take it one minute at a time,” he added. “Thank you, Izunna. You never change.” “You are welcome.

They walked into the compound to a throng of children playing feistily at the center of the building. At first, they did not recognize her. Then, one of them recognized her. “Aunty Chinagorom!” she shouted. “Let me help you with that,” the little girl said taking one of her backpacks. “Aunty Chinagorom! Aunty Chinagorom welcome!” The other children shouted when they finally recognized that it was her. Her mother dashed out of their living room into the compound. Throwing her arms wide, she ran towards Chinagorom. “Chiichii my daughter!” she shouted. “I am sorry mama!” Chinagorom said. “I am really sorry, mama. Please forgive me!” “I am so glad to see you, my child,” her mother replied hugging her energetically.

“Is that my Chinagorom?” her father, Ekenna asked, joining the commotion outside. “Yes, it is, my husband,” Chinagorom’s mother, Ozioma replied.  He ran to Chinagorom and Ozioma and threw his arms around them. Minutes later, they were seated in their living room, chatting, laughing and hugging. Her siblings, Chiude, Chisara, and Kelechi sat all around her. “I am so glad to have you back,” said Chisara, her younger sister. “I am glad to see you too, Sara. I missed you very much!” Chinagorom replied. They talked into the night. Finally, they got tired and retired to bed. “Papa, I like to tell you something before you go to bed,” Chinagorom said to her father, who was the last to head to bed.

“What is it, my child?” “I am sorry for letting you down.” “That is all in the past now, my wonderful daughter. We are glad to have you back.” “There is more to that, daddy. I…I am pregnant, papa.” Again, she hung her head in shame, barely able to look him in the eye. “I know it feels terrible. I finally came back because I am pregnant. I…am sorry for letting you down.” “Chinagorom, I would always take you back whether you are pregnant or not. I just did not want you with that monster. It is not the way your mother and I would have liked it, but what matters is that you are here. Pregnant or not, you are still my daughter. Now, go and get some rest. I will talk to your mother and siblings in the morning okay?” “Thank you papa! I am so thankful. I could not thank you enough.” “You are welcome, my child.”

“I am very happy to see you, Chikere. How are you doing, my love?” “I am thrilled now that I have seen you,” Chikere answered, smiling. They were meeting for the first time since she left Dubem’s apartment. They sat on a ridge on a farm near the river at the boundary between Asata and New Haven. A gentle breeze careened past them, swaying trees and grass. A flock of birds chirped happily as they plucked seeds from grass. “It is beautiful here,” Chikere observed. “Yes, it is. I used to come here with my friends. We would sit here and soak in the natural beauty. It takes a whole new meaning with you here. Chikere!” “Yes, my love.” “You gave me the strength to return home. I can’t thank you enough. Thank you! I could not love you so much!”

“I love you too, Chiichii.” “Soon, my belly will bulge out, leaving me…let’s say less beautiful. I wonder if you’d still love me.” He smiled for a moment. “I will always love you, Chiichii. I wrote a poem for you. Let me read it for you.”

He produced a piece of paper from his pocket, unfolded it and began to read;

Like an outsider, I watched. I watched helplessly as you were battered and bruised.
Every blow that landed on your body, battered a slice of my soul.
I heard you cry for help from afar. I wished I could help from yonder.
The shrill of your painful cries shriveled a piece of me.
In tears, I lay helpless; mad at myself for my inability to help you.
Crushed in body, your spirit defied the powers that bruised you, brutally.

Quietly, I quivered in agony as I watched my love languish in anguish.
I dreamed of you – of the day I would look you in the eye and say those words, I love you.
Beaten and hurt, but your beauty blossomed bountifully amid untold physical battery.
Slapped around; verbally abused like a lonely orphan with no help, yet you blossomed.
Your light which glowed amid deep darkness lit a burning inferno in me.
It is a fire that frames my feelings for you.

Finally, I rose from my slumber and pain, because you glowed in a very dark place.
You handed me the light to illuminate my path – my path to your glowing heart.
Now, I sit beside you; your heavenly fragrance that once swirled to me from afar fills me.
This is where I belong, right beside you. Where you stand, there I will stand, staunchly.
Let your belly swell, let your body bulge; let the baby bounce into our world.
You will always find me beside you! Right here, deep in the corners of your beautiful heart.
“Thank. That is very beautiful! I am…I really am short of words, Chikere. Seriously, you are a blessing. How I wish I had met you long back!” “God’s time is the best. Perhaps, we would not have appreciated each other if we met sooner. Now, is the time for you and I to truly love and appreciate each other.” She leaned in and planted a kiss on her lips.

Dubem stood casually behind a pickup truck, scanning the street with relentless intensity. His eyes moved rapidly as he watched Chinagorom’s compound. Intermittently, he looked up and down the street hoping to see Chinagorom at some point. He peered at his watch and the time was 7:18. It was already dark. She will show up at some point. I am sure she will eventually show up, he encouraged himself. The popular suya (barbecue) spot on Owerri Road was buzzing with life. Customers queued behind the blazing fire around which sticks stacked with succulent meat stood invitingly, dripping with oil. Each stick dangled with every spray of spice-infused oil. The smell could be perceived from afar.

There she is! Dubem thought, sighting Chinagorom. She walked elegantly past the suya spot. She stopped momentarily to exchange pleasantries with some guy.  Harlot! I wonder if you are sleeping with that one. Is he the reason you left me? It is me or no one! I am taking you tonight…Dubem’s mind was running wild. Then, Chinagorom leaned to the right, making a final push towards their compound. Suddenly, Dubem darted out of the darkness behind the pickup truck. He placed his left hand over her mouth. She was stricken with fear, throwing an elbow at her assailant. She felt his breath at the back of her neck. She knew it was him - Dubem. “If you don’t keep quiet, I will stab you in the abdomen, cutting you and the baby open!” He said, whispering into her ear. He raised a sharp knife to her face, forcing her to stop fighting.

“Just walk with me. If you don’t I will stab you right in the belly before anyone comes to your rescue,” he warned. Shaking, she followed him, her heart smashing against her poor ribs. Walking side by side, he led her to an elementary school around the corner. The elementary school was deserted; quiet and devoid of human activity. “You thought you could just walk away from me like that?” he asked. “I miss you, Dubem. I have been thinking of you,” Chinagorom lied. “Stop lying to me! You think I believe you?” “You have to, Bem; I miss you so much. I…I thought I could…you know, get some time to myself, but I have been missing you since I returned.”

“Then, why didn’t you return my calls and text messages?” ‘I thought about it, but somehow, I wanted to just keep to myself, but you have been in my thought every day sweetheart.” He looked at her, breathing hard. “I mean every word I say darling. Trust me.” He pulled her to himself, putting his hand underneath her blouse as he caressed her voluptuous body. She was breathing hard, out of anxiety, while pleasure zipped through his eye and veins.



Written by:
Victor Chinoo

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Nigeria's leading fictional story blog - daughter, pregnant, children, mother, love, beautiful, your painful cries shriveled a piece of me, I love you.
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