Love In Times Like This (Episode 43-44)

“Over my dead body! You can never marry a man who is a divorcee!” Enomfon’s mother screamed as she angrily whisked the egg the more. She could not control her anger when Enomfon told her of Harry’s visitation with his uncle.

“Mom, First you called him a married man. And now a divorcee…”
“You do not have a clue of what you’re going into. You don’t even know what you’re saying. Didi will grow up and want her mother. Harry will never forget his wife.”
Tears clouded Enomfon’s eyes.

“He loves only me Mom!” She yelled as she wiped her face. “I have never felt this loved since I was born, from someone who isn’t my blood. He loves me with his life. 

I can feel it within my body and my soul! he will never ever go back to a woman who left him when he had nothing, eloped with another man to London and left her two months old baby with her poor mother inlaw who couldn’t even afford a two square meal for herself. 

She died mom, she died because Harry couldn’t afford common inhaler for her…She died! Harry couldn’t even afford money to bury her…” She sobbed softly.
“This man has suffered enough. I love him perfectly, and I am happy that I am that woman who put sunshine and light back to his life.” Her heart ached at the echo of her voice.

“He doesn’t have a friend, I am his only friend and family, myself and Didi. He loves just the two of us and nothing can come between us.”

For a few moments, her mother listened to her talk passionately about Harry.
She threw the whisker on the table and held Enomfon’s hands.

“Go ahead…follow your heart. As far as you’re happy. I will give you my blessing. call your brother and let him know of their visitation.” Her mother said softly. Enomfon hugged her tight to herself and kissed her cheeks.

“Thank you, mommy.” She whispered softly.
Two lawyers sat in front of a Mercedes-Benz, while Linda sat behind. They handed papers to her and a pen.
“Let her sign that. We are waiting to get it back. Tomorrow we will be using it in court.” One of the lawyers said.

Linda stepped out of the car and appeared in the bedroom, she found Atimma deeply asleep on the bed.
“Atim! Atim!” She called her name.

Atimma turned her body and yawned.

“You have to sign these papers now. They lawyers are waiting outside.”
Atimma got up from the bed immediately and took the papers from her. Linda got the papers back and folded it.

“Sign this place. Don’t read, it will take time.” She said boldly.
Atimma’s hands shook as she signed the five pages of papers and handed to Linda. She hugged Linda unexpectedly.

“I know you don’t want my messy body to touch you, but I am grateful. You’re the best friend anyone could ever have. Thank you for taking me back to my family.” She whispered softly.

Looking at the clock, Linda hurried out of bed.
“The lawyers are waiting, tomorrow, you will be meeting your Harry and your daughter. I am so happy for you.” She said convincingly.

Tears streamed out of Atimma’s eyes as Linda walked out hastily from the house. She heard the door slam, she overheard the car starting, she felt in her heart a deep joy that she had never felt before.

The next morning, Atimma woke up early, had her bath and attempted painting her bruised filled face. But she couldn’t. She washed her face off with water and started folding her clothes into a bag. She held the toy she had bought for Didi from London and stared at it for a while. 

She had imagined how she was going to hand it to her, sleep on her bed. She had imagined making love to Harry and telling him how sorry she was for breaking his heart.

She groaned as her body reacted to her thought. She squeezed her eyes shut and took a long breath.

There was a knock on the door, She reluctantly got up to see who it was, her heart trembled at a woman corporately dressed in black and white polka dotted gown.
“Barrister Judith from the customary court. 

Your friend Miss Linda stood in for you in court today. Please, this is the letter given to you by the court.”

Atimma collected it with a confused look on her face.

“I am sorry for your hand. The wound is still fresh, you should see a doctor.” Judith said as she couldn’t take her eyes off Atimma’s cut hands.

Atimma ignored her and said, “Linda didn’t tell me they were meeting in court today.” She opened the letter reluctantly, it occurred to her at that moment, that there was a danger that was part of her, and fear streaked to her like lightening.
Atimma gulped down the first bottle of dark rum.
She tried to thrash the weakness in her body; gasped and coughed, straining for air. 

The acrid smell of the cigarette she held in her hands wasn’t good for her, but she kept inhaling it and exhaling through her nose.

She whimpered hoarsely and struggled weakly, fast running out of energy and will.
She gulped the second bottle of dark rum and coughed, then sucked air in through her mouth.

She felt terrified as if she was experiencing claustrophobia.

Her stomach had started paining her, but she was so drained in the alcohol that she was drunk and didn’t feel much of the pains.
“God go punish you!” She yelled. Dazed and nauseated, and choking from the acrid smell of the cigarette.

“I say my God go punish Una!” She coughed again uncontrollably.
“Harrison and her mother are fools! poor wretched fools….oh my Harrison. My Harrison…You hurt me!” She kept yelling, futile as it was.

Her chest was squeezing so tight that it hurt so bad.

Then she began to feel thrushes of blood running through her panties. She began to hum sorrowful songs to herself, mumbling senseless words.
The door suddenly clicked open, and all she heard was, “Why are you smoking in my house?”

Linda said with an angry stare. The whole house was stinking ethanol and mint cigarette.
All she could see was that the dullness in Atimma’s eyes was grieved, and that the slump In her shoulders was defeat, and that she had never seen her smoke before. She stared at her for a while.

It was just too much to take in, she thought of how much she must have hurt her friend.

“Atimma I don’t like this. Why are you smoking?” She asked again with a gruff voice. She got choked and started coughing.

“Is that you Linda Darling?” Atimma asked in a strange but weak tone. She was obviously drunk, but could not control it.
“It’s me.” Linda replied softly.

“A lawyer said you stood for me in court, thanks to you. You divorced my husband for me so that you can take him.”
Linda’s heart skipped.

“What are you talking about?”

“Do not say that crap! you’re a liar, you took away everything from me!” She screamed as she pulled out the gun from her pyjamas which had starting draining blood.

“Jesus!” Linda exclaimed at the sight of the gun. “Listen Atim, please do not pull the trigger. There are bullets in that gun.”
Atimma laughed strangely like she was possessed.

“Oh my best friend. You dealt with me. I was so foolish I would have known. From the day I met you, things started turning around negatively.
You know who you are? A killer! you have killed me! yes, you have. You have taken away my joy and everything.”

“That’s not true. Harry wanted to divorce you. He doesn’t want you anymore. He told me he loved me, and that he will marry me if I make you sign the divorce papers…” She said in a shaky tone.

“Liar! Harry will do no such thing. Even if he agreed to a divorce, he will never marry you. He never liked you being my friend. He hated your nose rings, he hated the color of your hair, he will never marry you! He just deceived you, but you will never live to realize….”

“Look Atim, you’re bleeding… please I need to take you to the hospital!”
“I will kill you right now…”

Remembering back, Linda was amazed at how callous Atimma had been. In reality, she is been numb, running on nervous energy and caffeine, desperate to be her friend and sister. And now, she was the embodiment of everything she had lost.

Short Gun

And then Atimma pulled the trigger. Linda fell on the floor, pain exploded in her brain after few moments. Something smelly and hot covered her legs. She couldn’t breathe. She couldn’t see. Her legs were kicked out from under her and she was dragged across the floor.

She tried to scream, but when she took a deep breath, all she got was a lungful of smokes. She coughed, choked and coughed again.
Then like a flash of lightning, she knew she was shot the third time on her laps. Adrenaline shot through her, and she forced air into her burning lungs and screamed.

Atimma whacked her upside the head with something heavy. She rolled and kicked, trying to get her feet under her, screaming at the top of her lungs.
She plastered a strip of tape across her mouth, cutting off any sound she might have made.

Then she heard the siren wailing in front of the house.
She squinted against the bright blue and red light that flashed from the siren. Her pale body thinning, her bloody look, her red teary eyes shinning brightly.

By Vicky Bon

Continue with the next episode 45-46, the last episode here or you can start from the first Episode one here.

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Love In Times Like This (Episode 43-44) Love In Times Like This (Episode 43-44) Reviewed by E.A Olatoye on January 16, 2023 Rating: 5

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