PROLOGUE – ONE – TWO – THREE – FOUR – FIVE – SIX – SEVEN – EIGHT – NINE – TEN – ELEVEN – TWELVE – THIRTEEN – FOURTEEN – FIFTEEN – SIXTEEN – SEVENTEEN – EIGHTEEN – NINETEEN – TWENTY – TWENTY-ONE – TWENTY-TWO – TWENTY-THREE – TWENTY-FOUR – TWENTY-FIVE – TWENTY-SIX – TWENTY-SEVEN – TWENTY-EIGHT – TWENTY-NINE – THIRTY – EPILOGUE.
Copyright © 2014 by TM David-West (PrettySpicey)
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To God, The Father, The Son and The Holy Spirit… thank you for this talent.
And for the three most important people in my life…
For Michael… you will always be my partner in life
For Nnem… no mother equates you
For Paulette… you are my sister, my friend and my No1 fan
There are people who make the chore of staying awake to write a walk in the park, and that is you – my readers.
To all my followers here at alifediary and Nairaland, I say thank you. You give ink to my pen, your ardent support has made me a better writer.
A special acknowledgement to Jeffrey Jamez, you have been the best Lagos guide, researcher and friend, I am eternally grateful.
Also a special thanks to KelvinGraphics for the cover design, you do good work… thanks.
And to all who loves romance, may you find that sweet love that is enduring, faithful, trusting and unconditional… God bless you
TM David-West aka PrettySpicey.
IN ONE PART of the semi-detached house, right down the hall of the three-bedroom apartment, the small figure in peacock-blue pyjamas was curled on his left side in the middle of the six-inch wood-frame bed. The cotton coverlet was now lying just a little over his upper thighs. His sister was in the opposite bed, her head loosely supported by her right hand facing him as she made soft childlike snores in her sleep, but he wasn’t conscious of her presence… not anymore.
He was in a special world. A world that was bright and colourful. He could see all the rainbow colours there and they gave the spacious, gorgeous room a dazzling, lustrous appearance. The large room was packed full of assorted toys and play things and children of his age or younger were playing and having fun with them. It was a happy world and he felt especially happy to be a part of it.
He was playing with a bottle-green toy elephant when she swept past him. She seemed to be looking for something… or someone because her bright pretty eyes darted all over the room. She must have just come because he hadn’t noticed her before and she was the only big person in the room. With the elephant still in his hand, he got up and went after her, leaving behind the little sweet-smiling girl he’d been playing with.
Though he was walking as fast as his small legs could go, he couldn’t reach her. She seemed to be floating along with her sunny-yellow free-flowing maxi dress. A desperate need to catch up with her suddenly filled him. Something in him seemed to need her. He picked up his pace, moving his tiny white sneakers-covered feet until he was practically running after her long swaying frame.
His front leg caught on something… he wasn’t sure what, could have been a toy, there was a lot of them lying around on the floor. He tried to steady himself but couldn’t and fell down to the glass-marble tiled floor. A small cry escaped him as he felt the instant shooting pain on his right foot. All at once he grabbed it, his eyes still focused on the lady, she’d stopped almost at once at his cry. She turned and looked at him and her pretty eyes darkened with concern. She quickly made her way back towards him.
When she reached his side, she bent down and picked him up. He felt so secure and safe in her arms and his small mouth curved in a dazzling smile, dropping the green elephant, he curled his hands round her neck.
His lips moved as he adjusted his small body on the bed and turned to his right side.
In the room just across the semi-lit hallway, the lean-framed figure on the bed with a rich, brownish complexion tussled and turned, strangling noises slipping out through his slightly parted lips. The room was only partially dark as light from the fluorescent-lit side house crept in through the drawn curtains.
His eyes were tightly shut, even as his lashes flickered in rhythm with his head movements. He was lying on his back, legs flung apart on the now crumpled sheets covering the king-sized bed.
Behind the shut eyes, he saw himself behind the wheel of a dusky-grey Toyota Camry, chatting with the glowing chubby light-skinned lady in a knitted mint-green brocade dress. Her braided hair was bundled up in chignon style on top her head making her face more round than oval. Her mouth, lightly coated in matte pink colour was moving as she talked, her heavy-browed eyes crinkled in laughter.
He briefly took his eyes off the not-so-busy road to look at her. He couldn’t help it. He never could resist watching her when she talked so animatedly. He simply loved the way her slightly-wide lips curved and her nubian nose twitched with each laughing statement she made. Her voice was warm and almost girlish, the tickling sound of it had his lips widening in a smile.
Neither of them saw the left-sided dim-lit truck as it headed towards them. They only heard the panicked, repeated honking as the truck suddenly came upon them.
One minute they were laughing at something she’d said. The next, they were screaming and crying out, grabbing at just about anything they could reach as they twisted and tumbled along with the vehicle as the truck sent them off the road.
He held tightly to the wheel with one hand and tried to reach out the other to the screaming woman beside him. He twisted his neck just in time to see the jutted end of the fallen log pierce through the broken windscreen and ram right into her.
His ear-splitting scream merged with shrilling sound of the alarm clock. He swung out of the nightmare, his hand knocking down the clock on the side table as he bolted to sitting position, panting and heaving. Whooshing out ragged breaths, he swept shaky hands over his sweat-clad face, trying to steady himself… he hadn’t screamed aloud, thank God.
But once again he couldn’t stop the accident and he couldn’t keep her alive. A single tear slipped down his cheek.
Somewhere far away at the other end of the never-sleeping city, a flowery-yellowcotton dressed feminine figure was lying on her right side, her curved hand just under her chin. She had a faint smile on her sleep-parted lips.
In her dream world, she was in some kind of colourful, luminous toy factory. It had to be a toy factory since there were so many of them strewn all around the golden glass-marbled floor and there seemed a multitude of children everywhere. She was in fact the only adult in the spacious room where the only sounds were babbling noises from babies, gurgling laughter, sloshing feet and excited giggly screeches.
For some reason it was like all the children were her own… she could tell she hadn’t birthed them, yet deep in her heart she felt such affinity towards every one of them like they’d each come forth from her.
She picked up the army-green war truck with its pointy arsenal and studied it, absently wondering if such a toy was suitable for children. A gurgling sound from the other end of the room struck her… it seemed to call out to her. Her brown eyes scanned the room trying to make out which child had made the bubbling throaty sound. She let go off the war truck and sweeping up her sunny-yellow long dress turned in the direction it had come, allowing the sheer beauty of the toy paradise to fill her with joy and peace.
She walked a long distance not quite recognising which child that gurgling sound had come from… many of them were giggling and gurgling as they played with the toys either alone or in company. She was about giving up her search when a sharp cry of pain came behind her. It stirred something within her just as the gurgle had done, and she knew it came from the same child.
Swinging her head around, she spotted him, crumpled on the floor cradling his right foot, his small cherubic light-skinned face wrinkled with pain as he looked up at her. He needed her. She sensed it immediately and swiftly backtracked towards him. He had on a glowing blue pyjamas-like top and trousers and he looked so angelic.
She stooped over and scooped him up into her arms, cradling him against her chest. He gave her a dazzling smile as he slipped his small hands round her neck and cuddled there.
“Mummy.” He whispered making the gurgling sound again.
A stream of joy flowed into her at his words and she opened her mouth to respond but a foreign screeching sound that seemed to come afar stopped her and seemed to send her colourful toy paradise into a toppling, disappearing slide.
Struggling to hold onto it, she turned and twisted on the bed, her mouth moving in an indistinct moan as her netted-head swung from side to side.
The screeching sound refused to stop even as she willed it to and her beautiful paradise completely vanished. Her eyes flustered open and mumbling groggily she reached for the screeching handset beside her on the other pillow and pressed the red button, that instantly stopped the annoying screeches.
Lifting up the phone, she managed to focus her bleary eyes on its screen – 5:05 a.m.
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