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Free At Last: The Concluding Part

Free At Last: The Concluding Part
December 19, 2013 STER

We started this series and this is the concluding part of her story. For those who missed the first part, read it HERE. We hope you enjoy how the story ended.

After the well wishers had all gone and left us to enjoy our wedding evening, I slipped into the balcony with a bottle of wine, I didn’t even bother with a glass. Settled on the chair at the corner, gazing at the birds, flying home as the stars began to make their appearance.

Life must be so easy for them, I thought as I sipped the wine absent-mindedly. Never having to worry about complicated relationships, love, hatred, fear, insecurity! Never having to wake up at night, screaming from a nightmare, almost every night. Never having the man they hate most for a father-in-law! I wished I was a bird, flying high, without a care in the world. As free as a bird. I felt the tear flow down my cheek.

I jerked as I felt a hand on my shoulder. I turned around in shock only to look in the eyes of my least favorite person. What was the mans problem? Could he not just stay away? Or better still, trip on the Ikeja express and be crushed to death by speeding cars? God help me but my life would be so much easier if he decided to just kicked the bucket! I’ll even buy him the best coffin!

He drew a chair to sit by me. Too close. I laughed nervously. That must be the wine, I thought. I already had too much.

‘What are you doing here, with leaking eyelids when you are supposed to be with your husband?’

Act normal, I told myself. ‘Nothing, just star-gazing.’ When did it get so dark? I checked my wristwatch.

‘Oh! Fifteen past eight! I better head inside.’ I stood.

‘Oh! Already? Why dont you stay with me. I promise not to bore you.’ He smiled with a wink.

Why didn’t I trust him? The answer was simple! ‘Cause the stupid bastard raped me 16 years ago! But, whether I like it or not, he remains my father-in-law! Against my better judgment, I sat down.

‘I guess I can still stay a bit longer.’ I sat, reaching for the almost empty bottle, needing every last drop of its contents to deal with him.

‘So tell me about your self. Where you lived as a child, where you schooled, everything.’ He asked.

‘Well, I was born in Mushin, before we moved to Yaba. From Yaba to Ikeja, where my family still stays.’

‘Wow, you were quite normadic. You said nothing about your schools. I want to know all about you.’

Why was he asking? Well, he asked for it and I’m gonna give it to him. I laughed. ‘Well, I attended a primary school in yaba, from there to a boarding secondary school in Ondo…’

‘Hold on.’ He interrupted, ‘Which boarding school? Because I worked in a boarding school in Ondo too.’

Every nerve in my body screamed FORBIDDEN TERRITORY!!!! ‘Errrr… that’s not important. Can we talk about something else.’

‘Yes, I agree. I’ll rather talk about something else.’ He said as he ran a rough finger down my bare arm. I shivered and shifted away. ‘You know, there is something about your eyes that captivates me each time I look at you, I feel butterflies in my belly.’

‘Ahem, I am your sons wife, and its utterly inappropriate to talk to me like that.’ I said,walking away from him.

‘Oh! Don’t be a prude. I must say, watching you act so prim and proper has a similar effect as an aphrodisiac on me.’ He said, moving closer to me, forcing me to move further away my back was pressed hard against the railing. Still, he came forward. ‘Another thing about your eyes, they never lie. I love seeing the fear in them. The same fear I saw in them that night 16 years ago.’ He laughed a deep and throaty laugh.

I was shocked. ‘You remember!’

‘Yes. It took a while but i finally placed d innocent eyes and defiant chin. Although I often wondered why you didn’t kill me back then in the hospital, I am quite grateful you didn’t.’ He touched my face. I shivered. ‘I’ll never be able to do this if you had. Poor, sweet, kind, not so pure Precious. Couldn’t kill the man who gave her a treat of a lifetime.’

‘I didn’t kill you because I valued life too much.’

‘Oh! Well you’re gonna value me even more.’ He grabbed me with those heavy hands and sucked on my earlobes.

God, please, not again. This cant happen again. Even in my fear, all I could think about was Sam. I did not even realise I said his name out.

‘You’re still thinking about Sam? Don’t worry, he won’t hear your moans, I drugged him.’

I could hear my world crashing! This man was going to use me while Sam slept! My whimpering escalated to high pitched screams as I called my husband’s name.

‘No,’ Kolawole said, covering my mouth and muffling my screams. ‘I’ll make sure it’s my name you scream.’

He pushed to the floor and I pushed back with every ounce of strength in me. I kicked him in the groin as he let out a guttural wail. I seized the opportunity and ran but he recovered too quickly and grabbed me, too roughly. He pinned me to the ground.

‘You are gonna pay for that!’ He said as I struggled to get out of his grip.

‘Please, ‘ I begged, ‘Don’t do this.’

‘How does it feel? To know that I will know you before your husband ever does. Ironic huh?’ He raised my skirt to reveal my underwear. I shut my eyes as memories of that horrible night found their way home.As he fumbled with my skirt, I felt a rage, like never before, take over me as I let out a guttural sound. My eyes darted round, in search of any weapon, anything at all. The bottle was too far away!

What was I going to do? The human brain is the most intelligent computer. It not only calculates numbers but also the difference between life and death, safety and danger. Coupled with the effect of adrenaline, its unbeatable! I quickly scanned her options and came to the conclusion that my chances of escaping this beast was quite slim.

Hair pin! I suddenly remembered the hair pin that had been used to decorate my hair for the wedding. I had complained it was too big but Aunty Sade, my hairdresser said it was just fine. I stealthily pulled it out of my hair and stabbed him hard in the shoulder with it. He cried out in pain and sprang off me.

I seized that opportunity and tried to run but he grabbed me again.

‘Oh! You want it rough? Huh! That makes it even more interesting. I can do rough.’

He slapped me hard across the face. The force of the slap pushed me as I fell. I crawled to the railing to support me while I struggled to get myself on my feet. Kolawole walked to me, unbuckling his belt and working his zipper as he came. I was not going to let this deranged old man have his way.

‘Beat me all you can,’ I said, ‘but I’ll never let you have your way. Over my dead body.’

‘Oooh! Feisty?! I looove my women feisty. Makes the whole experience fun and worthwhile.’ He smiled slyly as he came forward and dragged me to my feet. ‘I am going to enjoy this.’

Oh! I don’t think I had ever been or ever will be this angry. In my anger, I fought and struggled but he simply laughed and held me close to his sweat reeking body as he leaned on the railing.

‘There is no use fighting. I thought you knew that. You didn’t fight back then, don’t start now.’ That only infuriated me the more. In anger, I shoved him away, forgetting he was resting on the railing. He let go of me in shock and fell over. I stretched out my hand in a bid to catch him from falling down th three-storey building. I heard a loud thud.

I ran up to the bedroom and met Sam out cold on the bed. I saw the cup of drugged wine that was still half full. I shook him violently but he did not wake. I slapped him hard, still, no result. I looked around in confusion. I needed Sam to help me get his father to the hospital.

My eyes fell on something shiny. The bottle of insecticide Sam bought the other day. I had complained it was too heavy the minute I lifted it. I’d never have imagined it to be of any importance to me. I picked it up and hit Sam hard on the head. I hoped I didn’t harm him.

Sam woke up with a loud cry. ‘Ouch! What was that for?’

In my panic I tried to rush over everything that had happened but only few words made their way out. ‘Your… dad… hospital… drugged…’ I gasped hard.

Sam sat up straight. ‘Wait, you are not making any sense. What happened? What is wrong with my dad?’

‘We need to get him to a hospital!’ Wow! Was that a coherent sentence? A miracle. I quickly dragged Sam out of the room down to where Kolawole had fallen.

The next hour was totally fuzzy. Next thing I knew, I was in the hospital narrating everything that happened to Sam amidst sobs and sniffs. Sam simply stared at me with a look of utter bewilderment. Or was it disbelief? When I was done, he just kept quiet, making me tense.

‘Sam, please say something. I am sooooo confused scared and worried and you keeping quiet is not helping. Say something.’ I begged as a fresh supply of tears flowed freely. Sam gathered me in his arms, rubbed my hair and back as I rested my head on his shoulder, and whispered softly in my ear.

‘Baby, its okay. You’re fine now. This is totally unbelievable but I’d be dammed if I let anyone harm a hair on your head.’ Emotion moved me to cry even more. ‘Sshhh! Baby don’t cry, I’m here now. You’re safe. At least that explains why I suddenly fell asleep while drinking the wine dad poured for me. Oh! I cannot imagine what you’ve been through and I’m sorry for not being there. I really am.’

Just then, the doctor came out to meet us. ‘What is your relationship with Mr. Kolawole?,’ the doctor asked. ‘He’s… em… my… father. Sam answered. ‘What is the problem? Is he okay?’ ‘Can I see you in my office?’ As we stood, the doctor looked at me and said ‘Not you, madam. Just him.’ I sank back into the chair.

‘Dont worry babe, we wont be long.’ Sam said as he planted a kiss on my forehead before leaving with the doctor. About 10 minutes later, Sam came out with a strange look on his face. I had only seen that look on Sam once and that was the day he heard his uncle died. Every muscle in my body stiffened as the hair at the back of my neck straightened. Sam sat beside me and buried his head in his palms.

‘Honey, what did the doctor say? Is he ….?’ I asked wrapping him in my arms.

‘No baby, he’s not dead.’ I heaved a sigh of relief. ‘He severed his spinal chord.’ My hands flew to my mouth in shock.’ He also said he hit his head hard when he landed and…’ Sam’s voice wavered.

‘And what, Sam? …’

‘It affected his brain. Oh! Baby, dad had a severe brain injury. Blood splashed in his brain.’

‘I’m so sorry.’ I said, patting his back.

‘Oh! Don’t be. I don’t know if I should be happy that the bastard who molested you all those years ago has finally gotten his due or to be sad that my father is going to be sick all the days of his life. I just don’t know what to do.’

‘Its gonna be okay. We’ll make it through.’

‘I know we will.’ He smiled. ‘Lets go and see him. Doctor said he is open to visits.’

‘Em… I’m not sure I can. I don’t want to. I’m still…’

‘Sshhh…’ Sam interrupted softly. ‘You can. I’m here for you. You can do it.’

I agreed to see Kolawole even though I still had doubts. We entered the ward hand in hand, Sam’s hand squeezing mine, giving me strength. Kolawole looked so helpless on the bed. I couldn’t help pitying him. Sam walked up to his bed and tapped him.

‘Dad! Its me, Sam.’ ‘What are you doing?’ I asked

‘Just wanna have a friendly chat with my father.’ Why did I not believe Sam? Friendly? Friendl sounded most unfriendly, but I had to give Sam the benefit of the doubt. Even though Kolawole was a vile beast, he was still his father.

Kolawole turned to Sam. ‘I know its you, Sam.’ He smiled. ‘Sorry I had to disturb your honeymoon.’

Sam’s face was so rigid I began to get scared. ‘What happened last night?’ Sam asked calmly. Too calmly. I felt disappointed. So Sam didn’t believe me! He made a total fool of me! Well, I don’t blame him. How was he supposed to believe a girl who had always felt uncomfortable around his father to be telling the gospel truth when she says his father raped her and wanted a rematch on her wedding night.

‘I fell from the stairs. That’s all.” Kolawole said. My eyes widened.

‘I know you fell, dad. My question is how you fell.’

‘Erm.. last night, em… I got very drunk. I went to the balcony to
 watch the sunset. I was…. em… leaning on the railings when I heard a deep scary voice and I dunno. I fell over.’ My eyes widened even more as my jaw became slack. Oh’boy, this man dey lie o! Infact, he is a biiiig lie-on! I looked at Sam in alarm, trying to read his expression but his face was blank. Woul he believe me or his dad?

Sam smiled and walked gently to the door. He locked the door and drew the curtains. My heart thundered in my chest. Kolawole’s heart monitor beeping faster. So he too was scared, huh? I tried to speak, to ask what he was doing but my tongue failed me. Sam walked back to the bed, put off the heart monitor, sat beside his father and asked again. ‘Dad, how did you fall,’

‘I… I… al… already told you Sam, I was drunk and…’

‘Don’t lie to me!’ Sam shouted, shutting his father up. ‘What HAPPENED???!!?’ My eyes flew from father to son. What was next?

I moved to Sam. ‘Baby take it easy, he’s just…’ Sam raised his hand to silence me without even looking at me.

‘Precious, please. Let me handle this!’ I stopped in my tracks. ‘Dad, answer me.’

‘I am not lying. I said…” The next thing I saw was a fist flying in the air and landing on Kolawole’s stomach!

‘Sam!!!’ I shouted as I rushed to his side. ‘Baby please’ I begged.

‘Precious, don’t beg me. This man is a beast and needs to suffer.’ I looked at Kolawole. He was bent, clutching his stomach like someone suffering from diarrhea. He deserves worse, I said to myself.

‘You, the man I call father, after abandoning me and my mother, came back to ask for forgiveness, only to attempt to rape my wife on MY WEDDING NIGHT!’ Another punch, this time, on the face. ‘What kind of beast are you?’ No response. Sam raised his hand and said, ‘I want to hit you, punch you, remodel your face till you look like you just returned from world war 3, but see this hand, I won’t waste it on a good-for-nothing animal like you.’ He smiled,

‘I’m just gonna leave you here to rot with no one, no penny, no friend. You’re gonna grow old a miserable man who will wish for death every day of his life, but will not get it. You will suffer in pain until it becomes a way of life for you. Do not, I repeat, do not, ever come near my wife or any member of my family again.’

All I could think at this point was WOW! Simply Wow!!! I was totally speechless. I would never trade the look of fear I saw on Kolawole’s face for millions! Sam took my hand, opened the door and led me out of the ward.

As we walked into the reception, we met the doctor.

‘Mr Sam, we have to discuss arrangements for your father to…’

‘I’m sorry, doctor, that man is not my father. My father is dead!’ We walked hand-in-hand out of the hospital. Suddenly Sam grabbed me by the waist, hugged me tight and kissed my hair. ‘Baby, I’m sorry I was not there for you last night, but I’d rather die than let anyone harm you again.’

‘I know. I love you, Sam’

‘I love you more.’ I chuckled. We walked to the car, laughing. For the first time in a long time, I truly laughed.

Freedom at last!

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