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(The Living Goddess)
Written by Nathaniel Anuma
Fernando brought down his hand after leaving it hanging by Chiquitita. He placed it back into the pocket of his black jacket, then cleared his throat for an explanation of how and where he met Chiquitita. But he was surprise that Chiquitita couldn’t remember their encounter at the hospital the previous night. Nevertheless, he said, “I met you at the hospital last night where you told me that you brought your twin sister who was shot. Later on, I saw you speaking with nobody by the pool which you confirmed was nobody. Early in the morning while leaving with your parent, we agreed to meet later on before the car exploded. I personally carried you into the emergency room”
“All this happened?” Chiquitita glanced at her sister. “We had an appointment to meet?” She added.
Fernando looked at Isabella. “What’s wrong with her?” he asked.
“The doctor said she lost part of her memory” she replied. “Who are you and how do you know we are being attacked?”
“I’m Fernando. It doesn’t matter how i know. What matters now are your lives especially hers” he looked at Chiquitita. “Come on, you need to follow me” he led the way but Isabella insisted to follow suite.
“We can’t follow you!” She hesitated.
Fernando turned with all seriousness. “Listen to me whatever you are called..”
“It’s Isabella” she interrupted with a smolder.
“Now listen, Bella. I have a mother who needs an urgent surgery, lying there in the hospital. So I’m not stupid to be here to save your asses. Those men won’t hesitate to castrate your sister if you dare stay back at your home. Follow me now” he turned again, leaving the twins behind and believing that they would follow him. Out of fear, they followed him. As they walked briskly on the lonely street where a few cabs run, Fernando turned to the girls saying, “Have any cash with you?”
“No” Isabella replied. “The last time I checked, you told us to come straight to Thriller Pillers. Not to a bank or at least to our home” she added.
“Where are you even taking us to? I want to be with my parents” Chiquitita found her voice rather than her memory.
“If there is any money at home, let’s go get it. I need to take you far away from here” Fernando placed a hand on Chiquitita’s shoulder. “Your parents will be fine, so will both of you. Now, is there any money at home?”
The twins glanced at each other in agreement, so they all went to their house. Immediately they entered, Chiquitita saw a blood stain on the floor as a result of the bullet that killed odd Cynthia. Fernando pretended never to be there before or even know the twins.
“Where is this blood from?” Chiquitita asked.
“From a bullet that should have killed you” Isabella replied without much concern as she rushed into her parents room for the money, got some before they left to a place called Delber. The time of the night was 12:34am when they arrived to a local wooden building which seemed to be the only residence around the neighborhood. It had no electricity, but one could see a lamp light from one of the windows. There was also a wooden staircase that leads to the first entrance. As they were climbing, Chiquitita whispered. “Where is this place?”
Nobody answered, rather the sound of Fernando’s hand, knocking on the door became the next anticipated response. The door opened with a lamp as the first thing that came out. Its ray of light didn’t allow the twins to see the hand that held it.
“Fernando?” the voice of an old woman came through the burning lamp.
“Hi, granny” Fernando had to enter followed by the speechless twins. The interior part of the house was quite illuminated but looked odd. Isabella anticipated to see something like a television but saw a small alter which had the exact setting of a Catholic alter; the presence of crucifix with a rosary hanging on it. At both side were burning candles. There were also seats made in form of a cushion in the room. Fernando didn’t need to wa-ist time. It could be detected from his actions.
“Fernando, who are these?” The grandmother positioned the lamp at the twins. “I heard about your mother’s illness then anticipated to come see her today actually”
“She will be fine” Fernando began. “These are Isabella and.. uhm.. Chiqui…”
“Just call me Tita” Chiquitita helped.
“They will be staying here for a while…” His ringing cell phone interrupted him. He glanced at the caller then ignored it. “Granny, no time to explain” he looked at the twins. “She gonna take care of you. I’ll be back later in the day, okay” he proceeded to the door.
“Nado?” the voice of the granny interrupted him, so he gradually turned. “Psalm 23”
“Yes, I know granny. The Lord is my shepherd”
“And 91 verse 5 to 6 says, “Thou shalt not be afraid for the terror by the night, nor the arrow that fliet by day. Nor for the pestilence that walketh in darkness, nor for the destruction that wasteth at noon day..”
“I know all that, granny” Fernando interrupted, thought for a while then proceeded out into the darkness.
The sky brightened, daily activities began as usual. Fernando could hærdly be with his colleagues again. Either you see him in the hospital or nowhere. That morning, he met Mr and Mrs Clifford at the hospital, requesting for their children after they had woken up. Mrs Rose herself was on tears. The doctors explained how they left and how gun men invaded into the hospital probably because of her children. Just in the process, Fernando arrived.
“Your children are save, ma’am. You just have to get better”
“Who are you?” the woman asked.
“I’m Fernando” he turned to leave to his mother’s ward, but saw Juel and Joan at the entrance. Their presence shocked him because he never wanted them to suspect his actions. Therefore he had to suspend going to his mother then went to them. They dressed in black attire with Timberland boots in their feet. They were like brothers even from their names but never related.
“Guys, what are you doing here?” Fernando sniffed by supporting his nose with the back of his palms.
“What a f-ck are you doing with the twins mother?” Joan returned the question.
“Was trying to get the information of the way about of their children” Fernando lied. “Unfortunately, they are also looking for them” all looked at one another before Fernando went to his mother’s ward.
Seeing that, Joan tapped his friend. “Dude, I’m suspecting Nado’s movement. Last night, he was nowhere to be found only to come back to say that he visited his grandmother. Dude, we are running out of time and this boy is not showing concern”
“I’ve thought of that” Juel began. “How can Fernando tell us he saw the living goddess here in the hospital but couldn’t find her when we came?” He rubbed his beards. “I guess he has a skeleton in his cupboard”
“C’mon, we need to check the twins at his grandmother’s” Joan suggested.
“Good idea” they concluded.
Mrs Kate, Fernando’s mother had woken up too. She grabbed the son’s hand while lying on the sick bed. How would she know the problem the son put himself into? Even Fernando didn’t know how to explain to her the situation he was into. All he did was to give her hope. He sat on a chair just beside the sick bed, feeling the mother’s warm palm.
“Mother, you will be fine. The doctor said I have to deposit half a million to carry out the thyroid surgery..”
“And where do you plan to get such amount of money?”
The question got the young man thinking. Nothing came into his head except the castration of the living goddess whom he had also fell in love with. Who would he kill for the other to live? That was the most complicated decision he would have to make. Nevertheless, he gently squeezed the mother’s palm with a hopeful smile on his face and said, “You have always told me that God maketh a way where there is no way”
The mother smiled too. “And the bible also said in Hebrew 13 verse 5; Keep your lives free from the love of money and be content with what you have, because God has said, “Never will I leave you; never will I forsake you.””
That statement touched Fernando so deeply that he had to remain quiet with his head bent downward. Truly, the word of God they said is sharper than two edges of swards because that particular verse of the bible seems like it was meant for him and people like him.
“Nado?” the mother noticed his mood. “What troubles you my son?” she asked by touching his head.
Fernando sniffed again. “Nothing, mother” he replied.
“Listen, you don’t have to bother much about me, okay?”
Fernando had a factitious smile knowing very well that a lot of things troubled him such as dying in the next few days to come if they don’t kill the living goddess whom had become the next butterfly in his stomach. He stood up to meet his partners in crime after encouraging the mother. Surprisingly, Joan and Juel were no way to be found again. “Where have they gone to?” he muttered…..
TO BE CONTINUED
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