Dawn to Dusk: 24 hours on crossroads – Episode 21

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This entry is part 23 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 XXI

James yanked the door open that Helen almost fell down. He rushed into the crowd to behold Queen lying unconsciously on the ground, stained by her own blood. He gaped, and quickly lifted her up. Her head was bruised and her left hand fractured. He felt her pulse: it was weak. He looked around to behold the crowd who gawked at him with different expressions and actions. Some were taking pictures and videos, probably to upload on their social media platforms, and ask their fans to type ‘Amen’ and ‘like’, to save her life, while they did nothing to assist at the scene of the accident. Others stood shaking their heads, like it was disconnected from its vertebrae. While yet others made phone calls, telling the story to whomever they called.

He was baffled at how no one made any attempt to help. His fear turned into fury. The society he grew up in was not the same society before him. He recalled how in the past, people would first save a life before even telling a story about the accident, but it seemed the existence of social media and smart phones robbed humanity of compassion; and sadly replaced it with praise-mongering and vanity, making people to exhibit fake lives on social media. People are now more concerned about the number of likes, comments or shares they could harness on social media than the physical appreciation of actually saving a dying soul. He could not help but see humans as internet-enabled mobile applications; a generation so dumb, yet in use of Smart phones. He sighed and shook his head as he lifted Queen straight to the car.

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“Please open the door,” he told Helen who was standing by the door, devastated.

She hastily opened the door, entered the car, and holding Queen by her legs which were scantily stained with blood, they both laid her down on the back seat.

“What are we going to do?” she asked, looking straight into James’ eyes. She could tell from his expression that he was as confused as she was; maybe even more. “I think we should take her to the hospital,” she suggested, seeing that he was lacking in ideas.

“Aren’t they going to ask for a police report?” he asked. He still could not come to terms with the fact that he hit someone, let alone Queen, his prospective ex-wife. “I think we should go to the police first.”

“And allow her bleed to death?” Helen jumped down from the car and shut the door. Then moved to the front seat, on the passenger’s side where James stood in shock. “Let’s get her treated first. Let’s save her life before anything else, unless you want to be like that crowd,” she said, holding his hand while pointing at the crowd who were murmuring incoherently as they gradually dispersed, like a disturbed colony of ants.

James looked at them in fury and would have vented his fury, making a scapegoat of anyone who approached him, but luckily for them, no one did. So they both entered the car and drove off.

Helen kept her eyes on Queen, monitoring her condition as the car raced on the tarred road. “You need to focus on the driving,” she said, as James tried to also watch her. “I wouldn’t want us to run into another trouble.”

James looked at her and felt a bit calmed. He found in her not just a lover but a friend and companion. He cast his mind back to the time of the incident. She has been saying ‘we’ instead of ‘you’, and he valued that more than anything, though it might have been involuntary, but that told him she was willing to stand by him through good and bad times, and he loved her more for it. Then he remembered who was lying at the back seat; Queen, his estranged and soon to be ex-wife, lying unconsciously at the backseat of his car the second time in one day. He still couldn’t figure out what happened. Despite the fact that he was admiring Helen, his eyes were on the road and he could swear nobody was crossing. Who in the right frame of mind would even dare cross such a busy road without using the pedestrian bridge? For a second, he doubted Queen’s sanity, but dismissed it as he would not wish her crazy despite everything.

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Queen, however, had choked on an overdose of her gloom when she considered the possibility of James not listening to her due to the passionate romance between him and the nanny. Her head felt heavy and her vision blurred out again. Her heartbeat halted for a ‘devil’s dance,’ which took her to the same road where she escaped being hit earlier; a very busy road. She veered slowly into the expressway like she was in her bedroom, while James was speeding along with his gaze on his new ‘moon’, who has sworn to be with him when the sun was down and everything turned dark.

And the moon in reality did go down and everything turned dark; he hit her.

 

James saw the blood on Queen’s face once more. Fear gripped him; what would he tell her family? How would he handle the crisis and scandal if Queen eventually did not make it? He shook his head, shutting the scary thoughts off his head.

“Concentrate, my love, everything will be fine,” Helen assured him on noticing his troubled state. He looked at her and quickly concentrated on the wheels. “By the way, we just passed a hospital,” she quickly added.

“I am taking her to Bright Stone.”

“Why? I know that is your hospital, but we can get her a first aid anywhere before taking her there, look at the traffic.”

“You are right, but this is an accident case and Bright Stone is the only hospital she can get full treatment without an ardent request for a police report,” he glanced back at Queen. “I am just scared if she would make it.”

“She will,” she said calmly. “She is a strong woman, a fighter. Just concentrate and get us all there safe. I bet Junior would be very hungry by now.”

He looked at her with a grin.

“Do not push it. It will come when it will,” she said, rubbing his shoulder mildly.

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James smiled, less heartily. The ringing of a phone startled them.

“Is that yours?” she asked looking at him.

“It’s Queen’s,” he replied as he searched his pocket and brought out the phone. He looked at it; it was Nnadi. “It’s her father,” he added.

“Are you going to pick it?”

“No!” he objected instantly. “What would I tell him? That I hit his daughter? You know I still do not know how to present this case to them, even my parents.”

“First things first, my love,” she advised. “Let’s get her treated first; other things will take care of themselves.”

James glanced at her with a thought. She was amazingly perfect. She knew how to calm him down and that, to him, was a big feat, because Queen never cared about his emotions, or maybe she stopped caring.

“Where were you when I was looking for a wife?” he suddenly blurted.

Helen wasn’t surprised. With James nothing was programmed. His habit of pumping up emotional questions when she least expected them was thrilling to her.

“Well I was not available. And even if I were, you still wouldn’t have picked me, considering the parental clutches that held you. Moreover, there was another then.”

“Maybe with you I would have fought harder. You have a big heart and no sane man would let go of you in spite of any obstacles.”

“Perhaps many were blind to that big heart that they tried several times to crush it, while the owner shielded it with iron and not glass, or perhaps the heart was messy, playing with blood, then it got upset and stopped pumping through it. You just can’t tell.” She replied, allowing some regretful memories to flash into her head.

“Give me a name from the former and I would shatter him just as he intended for such a precious creature.”

“Past,” she said. “Past is the name, and this creature would rather enjoy the present than bother her peace with the fruitless and regretful memories of the past.”

“Regretful?” James scoffed. “You did something regretful?”

“Past, James,” she said. “Past.”

James smiled, touching her hair. She indirectly told him about her past and also stamped it in his head that she wouldn’t want to discuss it again. He understood and promised himself not to ask her unless she freely brought it up.

“Thank you for being at the right place and at the right time. I appreciate,” he said.

“You’re welcome,” she replied. Her voice was lost in her mind-blowing smile.

Continue reading here>>

Series Navigation<< Dawn to Dusk: 24 hours on crossroads – Episode 22Dawn to Dusk: 24 hours on crossroads – Episode 23 >>

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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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