Dawn to Dusk: 24 hours on crossroads – Episode 20

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This entry is part 21 of 24 in the series Dawn to Dusk

When his arranged marriage went haywire, James has to juggle from being a father to his eleven months old son, keeping his job, finding love in the strangest place, maintaining a balance and peace between his family and that of his in-laws, who are lost in the battle of power and authority.

EPISODE XX

The face of the earth was already wrapped with a thick black cloth. It was a moonless night and Queen still sat on the pavement, lost and confused on what her next action would be. The touch of the little boy and the motherly affection that ensued between him and the mother created in her a strange and concerned thought about her son, and how he must be needing her cuddles and not getting them. She thought also about what Helen said concerning who a child’s mother really is. She solemnly admitted never being a mother to her son, having left him for six months, denying him motherly love and nourishment by way of breast milk. So if he didn’t recognize her as his mother, she wouldn’t blame him.

She sighed remorsefully as a battle erupted in her mind on how to apologise to James, get back to her son and build her family into a home. She has already lost everything; that she accepted, and the only hope she could see clearly lying in front of her was apologising; forgiving herself and seeking for forgiveness too. It was a hard decision for her, because she would have to part with her pride before she could apologise to James, not necessarily to be taken back as his wife, but just to be forgiven. She would need to apologise to her father, her younger sister and Smith. She must do all these if she wanted a rest of mind. That was the best she could give herself. She wanted a new life – a life free of her past and away from the damaging attributes that messed her up. She could only get that from forgiveness and maybe, her father would repent and still process her visa. She inhaled softly, normalizing her breathing. Then she wriggled up, and walked on the pedestrian path, waiting for the right cab to pull over so she could head to the hospital and make the first step towards the actualization of her new life.

****

Helen placed her head on James’ chest with a smile. They both panted like sprinters after a marathon race; which they actually did, only that they did not leave the bedroom. He glanced at her and saw her lifted mood, then placed a warm kiss on her forehead; tasting her sweats, which was a big turn on for him.

“Thank you for making the memory indelible,” she said.

“I love you and I want everything to be perfect,” he kissed her.

She held onto it, not wanting to let go, so he gave in wholeheartedly. She pulled off and smiled; she was in control and he saw no issues with that. He chuckled and made to relax his head, and then his eyes caught the wall clock hanging on the wall; it was past seven p.m.

“Oh God! Junior!” he screamed and sprang up.

Helen startled as she looked at the clock. She was shocked, unable to believe they have spent more than an hour when it all felt like five minutes. They both dressed up in haste. She made her way to the dining room while wearing her blouse. She picked the basket which was packed in the morning.

“Let’s go!” she announced as she returned to the room. James picked Queen’s phone and they hurriedly left the house.

 

As he zoomed into the street on high speed, all he could think of was his son and how hungry he must be. He looked at Helen, remembering all that happened. Then he got distracted from his son’s welfare; again, with a larger percentage of his thoughts on her and the sweet time they just had together. He couldn’t shake it off even if he tried; it was still fresh, replaying in his head like a movie scene. She was more alive and participatory although not more than Queen. But he loved her more still. Everything about her just seemed perfect.

“You need to slow down,” she cautioned as she searched for her seat belt and hooked it up. “It’s dark you know.”

“Don’t be scared,” he giggled. “I ply this road every day. So I know it like the back of my palm.”

“That is not a guarantee, please just concentrate and be careful.”

James looked at her, she smiled and looked away, but she could tell his gaze was still on her. She was getting worried about the speed and the distraction.

“Watch out!” she yelled.

James suddenly marched the brake, screeching. He looked up through the windshield, terrified.

“You just hit someone,” she slurred, terrified and alarmed.

“What?!” he was more alarmed as goose bumps covered his body, sending hot sweat down his spine. His lips shivered and his hands trembled. He never encountered any accident let alone hit someone in all his twenty-five years of driving. He was confused about the best way to handle the situation, so he sat glued to the seat, with his heart beating faster than normal, and his brain slow in doing its work. Helen opened the door gently and made to step out. He drew her back.

“Where are you going to?” his voice and hands shivered.

She felt his quivering hand on her, looked at it and then his face. “I am going down,” she replied. “The woman might still be alive.”

“No. You can’t just go down like that. What if the person is dead?” he objected, sweating profusely.

“But we can’t just watch without doing anything,” she said softly. “We hit someone; it’s only wise we check on the person, if the person is dead, which I hope not, we would then report to the police.”

A ball of sweat rolled off James’ face down her hand, it was hot. She looked at it, sighed and grabbed him with her other hand.

“You need to calm down and get yourself together. It’s only an accident; you didn’t hit the person on purpose,” she said, releasing him. Slowly she pushed off his hand and stepped out of the car.

James looked ardently from the windshield and saw the gathering crowd. His fear grew worse as he saw ugly expressions and sober faces, chattering indistinctively. He had heard of cases where drivers were mobbed in similar circumstances, and the stories were never appealing; hence his terror. He did the sign of the cross, muttered an ejaculatory prayer for the survival of the victim, and for Helen to get back into the car so he could do the only thing his brain finally thought of; report to the police. He searched for her but couldn’t locate her amongst the growing crowd. Suddenly, Helen raised her head from the ground and placed her hands on her mouth; terrified. That got him even more frightened. Before he could turn around in his seat, she was at his door knocking for him to roll the window down, which he quickly did.

“Get in let’s report to the police,” his voice shook.

“Queen!” she said in trepidation.

“What has Queen got to do with this? Please I am serious, get in,” he pleaded.

“It was Queen; she is the woman we hit,” she whined in fear.

Read Dawn to Dusk every Tuesdays on Memorila.com!

Series Navigation<< Dawn to Dusk: 24 hours on crossroads – Episode 19Dawn to Dusk: 24 hours on crossroads – Episode 22 >>

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E.C Micheals

E.C Michael, a graduate of Theater Arts, is a passionate writer who believes that stories should blend with education so as to help correct social vices in the world. His watchword is edutainment. He writes screenplays, novels, short stories and essays. When not writing, he is blogging or watching Game of Thrones and Designated Survivor.

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