“I don’t want to see you” I said to him, turning my back against him.
“I’ll die if I don’t see you” he replied in tears. “These few days have been hell without you” he held my hand and I withdrew it.
“David you don’t understand what’s going on and you never will”
“Baby I do. That’s why I haven’t been around to see you . I’ve been ashame”
“Of what?” I ask, this time looking at him.
“What my father and my family did to you” he cried and i shut my eyes in tears. “You’ve been talking to my Aunty”
“I didn’t need to, that day after you left the house, mom recognized you. I don’t know how she managed to but she did. She requested to know your full name and that was it. I never thought for once that this will ever happen”
“Against all odds baby, I love you and I’m ready when you are”
“Ready for what David?” I shot at him, “I can’t get married to you again. You’re my son’s step brother and my children will be his nephew or niece. It’s crazy… I can’t”
“It’s like not we’re committing incest…”
“It’s worse David. Your father r*ped me and you helped testify against me.”
“I was fifteen years old, I had to do it but there was no day I didn’t have nightmares over it.
I went crazy over it. I had to go through therapy to get rid of every guilt I felt”
“I won’t stop until I see your family pay for what happened to me. You’ll all pay” I shouted. “Leave me alone!” I screamed, “Please baby” David begged still in tears but I paid deaf ears to his cry.
I threw the pillows on the floor then scattered the whole room throwing things on the wall. A nurse walked in shortly and rushed out. I knew I had to leave before she comes back with doctors who would only give me sleepy inject shot. I walked out quickly carefully watching to avoid meeting persons who may recognize me.
After avoiding several nurses, I finally got out. After several minutes of begging, I finally found a driver who agreed to stop me at my bus-stop for free.
When I got home, I hopefully wished to still find my spare key where I usually kept it. I checked in the flower pot close to the door and there it was.
I opened the door, then I took a step in. “Home sweet home” I sighed in relief. “There’s no place like home” I whispered turning on the light. My mind wandered back to the clinic. They obviously must be looking for me right now.
I found my bag in the room, containing my ATM card. Immediately I changed up, I was out of the house. I had no destination, anywhere was better than spending another night in that mad house.
I found myself in front of David’s family house, I was aimless. I knocked at the gate and the security opened the door for me. “Good afternoon Ma” he greeted me with a smile. “Small Oga no dey o and the family don go work”
“Oh” I paused, “but you can go in Ma, I’ll let Madam know you’re here” he suggested, “What if they complain?” I asked. “Why would they? You’re small Oga’s fiance” “What can I call you?” I asked, “Danladi”.
Danladi escorted me into the house where he introduced me to the maid and also ordered her to make me feel comfortable. I sat on the couch then looked at the wall seeing the happy picture of the Coker’s. Everyone of them with smiles on their faces. I stood up then took a tour around the house. I pushed a door open; it was a room filled with books. It was definitely Mr. Titus or Mrs Coker’s studyroom. The first thing I saw was a lighter on the table. Someone was definitely a smoker.
When I opened a drawer, I saw something of interest; a gun. That can actually serve a purpose, I whispered and then the maid walked in. “Ma you’re not supposed to be here” she said to me as I turned to her. I had a blank expression on my face. “I didn’t know”
“Mr Cooker doesn’t let strangers into his study. I know you’re Mr. David’s fiance,”
“It’s okay” I interrupted, “I was admiring the study” I lied then she left.
I went back to the sitting room where I waited for the whole family to come, especially Mr Titus. I had no game plan. All I had on my mind was blowing Mr. Titus’ brains off. Though I wasn’t sure I could bring myself down to do it.
David’s sister was the first to come in, the one with the kid. “Hey” she waved at me. “Good afternoon” she greeted looking at me strangely.
I waved back, mumbling a reply.
“Does David know you’re here?” She asked, “I’m pretty sure the security must have informed him.” I replied and she sat opposite me. “My name is Helen. You ran the other day, why?” She threw in and I rolled my eyes. “Can you spare me the chit-chat?” I snapped rather rudely. She was beginning to get under my skin with the questions. “I’m really not in the mood”
Mr. Titus walked in with the youngest daughter. “Just the man I was looking for.” I said rising up from where I sat, my hands in the pocket of my hoodie. “Good afternoon Mr. Titus” I greeted and he quietly stared at me. “Awwn so you’re not going to respond to my greeting?” I asked pouting my lips. “Didn’t anyone tell you it’s rude to ignore people’s greeting?”
“What are you doing here?”
“Didn’t your security let you know?” I asked and his phone rang. “Hey honey” he paused, “Are aware David’s fiance is here?” He asked, from his facial expression, I knew her answer was definitely yes. “Please do” he added then hung up.
“My wife is coming” he cleared his throat, “I… We..” he stammered looking at his youngest daughter. “Why are you here?” He asked again and I scoffed then I laughed hysterically.
“I came for a little introduction”
“David is not here”
“I didn’t come for David Sir. I came for you” I answered removing the revolver from my pocket pointing it at him.
“Jesus!” Helen yelled. “Shh!! This is not a robbery and I don’t want you making any noise to attract the security”
“Please” Helen begged, “Shut up” I pointed the gun at her. “Where did you get the gun from?” Mr. Titus asked and I told him where. “Drop your phones and get on your knees everyone” I ordered and they all did except Mr. Titus.
“Dad is it loaded?” Janet asked and Mr. Titus dropped his phone on the table then knelt down with no response. I demanded they all move to the left side of the room and they did. I felt in charge like one of those hostage movies.
“I don’t have anything against you ladies. It’s your father I need to settle some scores with” I began and David walked in with the mom. “What’s going on here?” She asked and I pointed the gun at them. “Great then, the family is complete”
David knelt down looking at his dad then he shook his head. “What?” Mr. Titus asked, “Your girlfriend is one holding a gun against us but yet I’m the one that gets to be the bad guy every time.”
“This is your fault”
“I’ve I ever denied it David? Have I?”
“You denied it in court” I replied sitting on the table, “You all denied what this criminal did to me”
“Aisha we’re sorry” Mr. Titus apologized and i scoffed laughing so hard that I almost choked on my own laughter. “You’re sorry? Sorry doesn’t cut”
“Baby, just drop the gun, we can talk over this” David begged, “You… You testified against me”
“Because he didn’t have a choice, we all didn’t. We had to protect our family”
“We weren’t protecting our family mom, it was dad’s reputation and your face” Helen argued and her mom shot a glare at her. “Shut up Helen!”
“If people found out about Daddy, his political reputation would have damaged your reputation”
“You still don’t understand that whatever we do is for your benefit”
“What benefit?” Janet asked, “We shamed an innocent girl in court while Dad went scot free when he could have paid for his crime” she added in tears. I didn’t understand what was going on, I didn’t understand why they were turning against themselves.
“I thought you’ve all let it go”
“Oh please Daddy! Just because we promised not to speak on it doesn’t mean we’ve forgotten about it” she snapped now looking at me.
“Aisha” Mrs Cooker called out, “Can we talk about this like civilized individuals?”
“In other words, I’m not civilized? Is that what you mean?” I asked walking towards her and she whimpered in fear. “No… Please don’t do this”
“What do you want?” David asked, “I want your father gone from existence. Pedophiles like him don’t deserve a place in the world” “If you pull that trigger, this place will get crowded with policemen is that what you want?” He asked and I thought deeply on it. “I don’t care”
“What would happen to us? Think of Hope and how sad it’ll make him” he added and this brought tears to my eyes. “I don’t want to see your dad live! It’s annoying! I would rather see him suffering!”
“And who says I’m not suffering?” He asked, “Ever since I did that sinful act, I’ve spent sixteen years suffering for my crime.”
“Lies” I snapped at him. “You haven’t even paid for what you did”
“You’re right I haven’t, but my family has” He paused in as I saw tears trickle down his eyes. “Our daughter was r*ped five years ago by three men” Mrs. Elizabeth confessed to my shock, “She got pregnant and we couldn’t abort it cause the baby was far gone by the time we realized it. Apparently Helen kept it away from us” she continued in tears.
“Helen was tested positive for HIV/AIDS and Janet here has cancer, we’re flying her out of the country for surgery and treatment. Fine, the sins of the father didn’t come on the father, but the children has suffered enough.” She sobbed.
“We’ve suffered enough too”
I just couldn’t believe my ears. Just when I thought the Coker’s were living comfortably, this shocking confession came in.
It killed every zeal I had to harm Mr. Titus.
He might have r*ped me but he gave the most wonderful present. A companion after I lost my parents.
“We came back looking for you years ago to take responsibility, but you were no longer in Kano.”
“Did you guys dig deeper? No!” I answered pointing the gun at them.
“Please drop the gun” David begged me then I heard police siren approaching the house. “Who called the cops?” David asked and they all looked at each other. I finally remembered the maid was still inside.
“I came here so I can have you killed” i pointed the gun at Mr. Titus, “I can’t live knowing you’re alive and I can’t kill you because…” I paused in thought.
I was not nervous with the siren getting louder. “It’s either you go” I pointed the gun at Mr. Titus, “Or I go” I said with the gun faced towards my head. “No!” David yelled rising up.
“On your knees!” I pointed at him but he rather played adamant. “Go back David, please” I begged. “I don’t want to hurt you”
“Aisha you need help, you need to snap out of it! You need help” David held the gun trying to drag it off my hands but I struggled to get it back.
A shot was fired.