Featherlight Heart – Chapter Twenty-Three

Click to read: Featherlight Heart -Chapter OneFeatherlight Heart -Chapter TwoFeatherlight Heart – Chapter ThreeFeatherlight Heart -Chapter FourFeatherlight Heart -Chapter FiveFeatherlight Heart -Chapter SixFeatherlight Heart -Chapter SevenFeatherlight Heart – Chapter EightFeatherlight Heart – Chapter NineFeatherlight Heart  -Chapter Ten, Featherlight Heart  -Chapter ElevenFeatherlight Heart – Chapter TwelveFeatherlight Heart – Chapter ThirteenFeatherlight Heart – Chapter FourteenFeatherlight Heart – Chapter  FifteenFeatherlight Heart -Chp SixteenFeatherlight Heart – Chapter SeventeenFeatherlight Heart -Chapter Eighteen, Featherlight Heart -Chapter NineteenFeatherlight Heart – Chapter TwentyFeatherlight Heart – Twenty One Featherlight Heart – Chapter Twenty-Two

CHAPTER TWENTY-THREE

*****

”Wake up sunshine, today is your engagement day proper stroke court wedding, wake up” Grace voice was too loud for her ears, she grimaces

”Grace, its 7am” Diana yawns turning, Emeka wasn’t on the bed beside her, she had left her room open hoping he would come as he had been doing every night, hoping she could sleep in his arms as she had done every night, in peace, in love, oh… She couldn’t wait to be his forever, by today they would be legally married by court, the white wedding is just a ceremony, oh she wished her parents were here to share in this joy with her… God rest their souls.

”Doesn’t matter Dee, you are getting officially engaged today, legally married and oh, get up, I am on my way to help you prepare, dropping Jnr off at my mothers”

Diana laughs ”okay!!” she cuts the call getting off the bed, leaving the room

”Mama Tito, good morning, has my fiancé woken up?”

”Yes!!”

As Diana made her way upstairs she stops her

”But he is already out Miss Diana”‘

”This early?” Diana frowns

”It is past nine already!!!” Mama Tito says to her

”Nine?”

”Yes”

“But.. Oh crap, my watch must have stopped during the night, it was saying seven, I over slept! Okay thank you, but..” she frowns, ”If he isn’t here how am i supposed to go about the arrangements with today? Or let me get mama!!!”

”She isn’t around too, they went out together”

”Really? Without informing me, do you know where they went?”

She shakes her head

”Okay, but what do I do?” she pouts

”Mr Odinaka already gave me instructions, he said you should be well assisted for today, look beautiful, that everything would be prepared for you, you shouldn’t worry” she says stiffly

Diana looks at her ”I know you don’t like me Mama Tito, and I am sorry for ever speaking cruelly to you please forgive me, please I am so nervous and there is no one here to calm my nerves and I am at a lost of what to do, I wish Mama was here, she would have helped… I have no idea what to expect and-“‘

Diana was rambling ”Please, forgive me, I need to do something, anything to calm my beating heart, I am so… ohhh excited and nervous at the same time” Diana says hugging herself

Mama Tito eyes her, not that she cares but Emeka has given her instructions ”Fine, there is a few things I am doing in the kitchen, you can help till when you need to go prepare, it would calm your nerves . They are decorating the house”

”Oh great, yes I better help!!”

 

*****

”Where are we going to Emeka!!?” Mercy turns to her son

”We are almost there Mama, almost there.” He taps her hands

When he reaches, he parks a little distance, ”I need you to trust me okay, I need you to close your eyes really tight, don’t open till I tell you to!!”

”Emeka why don’t you tell me?”

”I will, I just want you to close your eyes mama!”

She does so reluctantly, he drives further and enters the compound, helps her out of the car, then he takes a deep breath as they stand infront of the door..

”You can open them Mama!!”

”Okay!” she does so, her brows knits together she takes in the place..

”Remember Mama?”

”Where is this?”

”Mama, remember this place?”

She steps back, steps way back. Then she looks at the gate, and then back at the house, then again, she steps back, turns around, then looks back at him

Emeka is smiling and nodding

”Emeka! Is this what I think it is, is this house that I think it is?”

”Yes mama, it is!” he is laughing

She covers her mouth in shock, shaking her head, her eyes pooling ”let’s go, let’s go, we can’t be here! “‘ she pulls him away in fear

”No Mama, no, we can actually, that key in your hands opens this house, I bought it for you Mama, I bought it for you, this house, the good memories we shared here with the Ibekwes I bought it for you Mama, happy birthday!!!” he says pulling her into his arms

She is crying, ”Emeka, Emeka!!” she sobs coming to him as he hugs her, she sobs, then she pushes him

”No, no, he used to live here, he used to be here, how come, how come you bought the house Emeka, is your father-”

”He isn’t my father Mama, and … it was in the marker for sale, I bought if off, no Ambross isn’t here. Don’t you love your present?”

”And Ambross, what happened to him?”

”Don’t ruin the surprise Mama, it’s your birthday, come on Mama, open it, I took the pleasure of repainting it just the way it was, got furniture just the way you remember it, I didn’t want to change anything so I just redid it the way it was, the way you remember it, with new furniture’s and fitting Mama, I placed their pictures back where it used to be, I know how much you loved that family”

”How much you loved them too, especially Jessica”

”Yes mama, come, inside, take a tour of your new house, you can do anything you want to it Mama, I bought it for you Mama, I promised you one day, that this house you were kicked out off, you will return to it, not like a woman powerless but one able, happy birthday my mama, do you love it, tell me mama!!”

She laughs crying , turning to hug him ”I love it so much!! I love it so much!!” she hugs him kissing his face ”You have made me happy in my sadness my son, you have”

He laughs hugging her ”Mama, I am glad you like it. Want to take a tour before we leave?”

”Yes yes please!!” he holds her hands and takes her on a tour of the house..

He knew what was going on in her mind about Ambross, well… he wasn’t going to answer that… yet, let her assume what she wants, that he was dead, gone, whatever! He knew Ambross would come seeking him out, he would tell him who is his, watch him burn in shame. Then he would kick him out… he would never let him hurt his mother again, he would be shamed, he would go on his knees in front of him and his mother and burn in shame…

This was the best revenge.

Karma wasn’t a bitch, karma was a man.

Emeka smiles.

 

*****

”I said I need to see Odinaka Uchendu!!” he screams at the gate, he has been doing it for a few hours, shouting, begging, throwing himself on the ground. He wasn’t leaving till he does. He wasn’t. He rather die here than on the streets.

”Sir, please can you leave the premises before we call securities, you are disturbing!!”

”I don’t care, let me see Odinaka Uchendu, I need to see him, and I am not leaving here until I do, I will make a scene until he answers me”‘

The more he makes a scene, the more customers stare, he was causing a nuisances…

Agnes had been trying to call him but his number wasn’t reachable till now.

”Sir, good morning am sorry to disturb you, but there is a man raging war at the gate sir, he says he wants to see you, he claims he is Mr Ambross Chikurdi and he is causing a lot of trouble for customers, I keep telling the securities to chase him out but he keeps coming back, now he is lying in front there, stopping people from coming in, what do I do?”

”Tell him if he wants to see me, he should come to my house, give him my address”‘

”Okay sir!!!”

”Emeka cuts the call and turns to his mother, shall we go?”

”Yes we shall, so today, you marry her legally by court?”‘

”Yes ma’ám!!” Today it ends, it all ends.

”Okay, I pray God bless you” She gives up.

 

*****

”How do I get there?” Ambross takes the card getting up, ”What if this isn’t his address?”

”It is, he said you should meet him there, he would not be coming in today, it’s weekend”‘

Ambross nods at her, then he pauses, thinking hard before he continued, shame washes over him

”Okay! but, I don’t have any means to, to erm… can you please help me, it is far” he scratches his head,

Agnes frowns at his blooded dirty cloths, his broken lip and black eye, he was unkempt. Was this not the same man that came here a few weeks ago looking for a partnership with Mr Odinaka to help his sinking company, wasn’t it the same man Mr Odinaka had helped, what happened to him?

”Erm… I am sorry Sir”

”Please, please!!!” he touches her hand, people are staring, she should get rid of him ”Okay, hold on” she dips her hands into her pocket and hands him a five hundred naira note

”Thank you!!” he says walking away, pulling up his trousers threatening to fall off his waist.

She watches him leave, then turns back entering the building.

 

*****

They were parked outside, the same place they have been for the past couple of days, watching him come and leave, tailing him, not too close not to draw attraction and when a security detail appears behind him they had pulled away… Every time, they go back to tell their Boss that they were unable to get him alone to pick him up.

And his company wasn’t like Ambross’s, walking in there to ask for a man like Odinaka Uchendu would raise suspicion, they can’t pull that stunt like they pulled at the other company looking for that Tayo Adegunbe, there were too many securities, cameras and God knows what else, it was dicey, risky. So everyday they had waited, hoping that they can be able to get him alone, un-followed. If they could nap him, then he can take them to Ambross who seemed to be nowhere to be found. They can’t go back to Ambross’s company either, he told the securities not to let them enter, they didn’t want to cause a scene to alert the police, their business was illegal, they were better off under the radar.

If they knew where he stayed, where his new house was, it would have made their work easier..

They had contacted their friend in the police department, he was a level officer, and they told him to scout Odinaka, since he is a big shot, he should have some police security as well, the man says if he could get any information about him or anything he would let them know. For now, they continue to watch his company and look for an opportunity to nap him.

”Agade, look, see who just left the building” the bigger guy nudges his friend

”Who Don?”

”See the fool Ambross, looking like he was just dragged from the bin like a refugee”

”What the fxxk, what happened to him?” Agede throws the toothpick away from his mouth..

”Who cares, he eventually came out of hiding, let’s get him”‘

They put the car on drive and follow behind him slowly, waiting for the moment when he crosses the road, walking to the next exit to stop a car.

”Quick Don, quick!!!” Agede says

Don manoeuvres the car stopping in front of the taxi which pulled over for him, both of them jump down to the startled Ambross as he darted away, wondering what is happening..

”Don’t you know how to drive?” the driver winds down and screams from the car, he was ignored as Ambross backs away recognising the men

”Ambross, nice for you to show up, boss wants to see you!!” Don says smiling

He shakes his head raising up his hands in surrender ”Please, please, I have nothing , please”

”Yeah!! Tell that to Boss, come, let’s go for a ride!!!”

”No, no I will scream!!” Ambross says in fear

Don dips his hand into his lowered shorts as he covers it with his shirt after showing it to Ambross ”I think you might have to think again for that Ambross”

The taxi man who had been screaming at them suddenly grows quiet, he winds up, locks his doors, puts his car in reverse and screeches out of the place

Ambross turns to him leaving and back at the men, without thinking, he makes a run for it..

Agede catches him with quick strides and hits him at the back of his head with his gun he had pulled out, Ambross hits the floor passing out, looking around to make sure there were no witnesses, both him and Don lifts his body and throws it into the booth of the car.

They drive off.

 

*****

Mercy had been in her room, staring at the keys, thinking of the house, the present Emeka had gotten her, she wipes her tears.

She had lived in that house for years, before the Ibekwes died, after they died, she shared loving memories with the family, took their child Jessica as her own, Emeka’s bestfriend, his only then.

She had shared loving memories with her son, and maybe with her husband, before he became worse, soo much worse that she couldn’t bear yet she couldn’t leave.

God has given her hope, life another chance. Her son had given her hope, a new start, a chance to believe that miracles could happen, that same house Emeka had come to love and grow in, his best memory of Jessica and the Ibekwes where there. The Ibekwes had always said that the house brought them together in love and happiness; she had prayed that it would be the same for her family, but… it wasn’t because Ambross wasn’t a good person. He wasn’t, he hurt her, broke her, beat her, beat their son, kicked her out, kicked them out never cared if they lived nor died, shut the gate at her face, divorced her and beat their son almost to a pulp there outside the gate telling her that all he has is his and all she has is nothing. He told them that they meant nothing to him and that they remained on the ground, where they belong and beg him, they were meant to beg and he to not help.

Yes!! She had memories in that house, good, bad, bittersweet, but memories nevertheless.

After she and Emeka went to the house, she never ever thought she would set her eyes on their house ever again, much less the man.. after that night he beat her up again, even when she was too weak to stop him, he left her out bleeding when Emeka came and found her and wanted to kill him, she had told herself she was done, she would survive for her son, live for him, and she did, and now, that same house he held against her, kicked her out from.. that same house… was bought for her by her son.

She wipes the tears from her eyes.. her sad happy tears push out still.

Ambross, was he dead? After all this years was he dead? And why was it sold? Or did he move, relocate and sold the house, is he alive, well, lucid..?

So many thoughts runs through her mind, for a few years, she had prayed for him, in anger in pains and then just so she can forgive him and then she stopped, because whenever Emeka found her on her knees praying to God about Ambross he was angry, ”Why do you pray for a man who almost killed you, why? Do not soil God’s ears with such slime Mama, don’t! Pray for you, pray for me, pray for the homeless and the have-not, don’t pray for he who have taken the food from our mouth, roof over our head and peace from our hearts, don’t mama, don’t pray for Ambross, pray instead that he is dead, because if he is alive and I ever see him, I will make sure he feels all this he has done and much more Mama, I will, I promise you.”

And because she hated seeing that hate in Emeka’s eyes, she stopped… and eventually as the years went by, she lived for she and her son, prayed for them both and forgot all about Ambross, the husband who never loved her, whose fists was his constant touch, and whose smile at her never lasts a second, whose touch to her only when he wants her and whose anger rises immediately he rolls off her body, and eventually, her bed became cold, her smiles faded, her body filled with bruises, her mouth with lies to her son that she fell not beaten and then her soul uneasy..

She had never been truly happy with Ambross, the only light and happiness she got was when she was with her son, with the Ibekwes… at peace.

Ten years later, that same house she was thrown out from is hers, hers, and the man who stood like a guard dog is nowhere to be found, she sobs..

Is he okay?’

No, she mustn’t think about him, not now, not ever!!!

There was a knock on the door, she wipes her eyes ”Come in”‘

Diana walks in, dressed in a beautiful silver dress with shimmering glitters, she looked beautiful, radiant, happy, even her eyes glowed. ”Mama!! Can I seat?”

”You are already in the room!!” Mercy sniffs

”Where you crying mama?” a worried frown crosses Diana’s face

”What do you want Diana?”‘

Diana watches her face for a few minutes, deciding not to push ”To thank you for allowing me marry your son, I will be honest with you mama, maybe you will understand better, I… I never had good intent for your son Mama, not from the first time we met, not even when we dated, not now!!”‘

Mercy’s eyebrow rises

”No, please listen to me mama, I need to say this. You know, as a girl growing up, all I wanted was the finest things of life, and I got everything I always wanted, everything until my parents had nothing else to give because they died in an accident, my aunt raised me, she passed on five years ago. But, growing up in that home where No was never a word, I couldn’t be able to relate with it outside my home, we weren’t rich, we were okay, but what that life does to you is that you keep wanting things and not having them when you want was a problem. Then I met Emeka, he was great and sweet and amazing and he was rich and all I could think about was all I could get being his girlfriend and when he asked me out I jumped at it. And when I entered, I realized that all that glisters isn’t gold, that his father was just a show off and he didn’t care about him nor you, but you see, I didn’t understand, I did not want to, I didn’t listen to him, the pain and torment in his heart, I knew he was beaten sometimes, I knew he had barely nothing to hold on to and I gave him some certain peace, an escape to his chaos but I didn’t care, all I wanted was to be taken care of, spent on, and when I realized I couldn’t get anything more from him and that he was on a sinking ship especially when his father cut you both off.. I did the needful. I broke up with him, telling him the truth, I had other guys, men who were begging I say to yes to them, and I did, not one, not two, not three. I did date them while I and Emeka dated, and as we broke up I continued in that lifestyle. And for years I became better at pretending to love and care, just to be able to get things I wanted and it gave me all I wanted, the money, the attention, the life, the men, the material things… and I enjoyed them all, all of it, but you see… like smoke it came and like air it went and soon I am back searching scouting . it became my life Mama”

”Why are you telling me this Diana, I already sensed that, I only prayed Emeka sees right through you before marrying you!!”

Diana is shaking her head ”You are not listening to me Mama, I used to be this person who didn’t care who I hurt, when I was done achieving what I wanted from them, I moved on, I didn’t care, I was like a butterfly perching and nipping and sucking the nectar from a flower and I was great and happy and I moved from one person to the other and place to place, man to man for years, I thought I was living the life, I was basking in the material things I had but like vapor it fades away and I am left with nothing and I go out searching and I always find, that gullible man who would want me, like me, and like they said… scratch my back and I scratch yours… they wanted me, fine, I wanted what they held in their hands and I took it, no remorse, no regret, no care… and this had been my life for the past ten years mama, and no one, not one loved me the way Emeka loved me then nor love me now, not one stick-ed it out, as soon as they found out about my life they left, or as soon as I was done with them , bored, I left, I was never bothered, never broken. I never loved; I never did, until today!!

”I met Emeka and I was glad and happy after ten years, because he wasn’t the pauper I expected him to remain, he was better, he was rich, every girl’s dreams so I lied again, pretended I care, I wanted to get back into his world, his arms, so yes Mama, you were right, you were right, I wanted his money not the man, but as the days went by… meeting you mama, you pricking my conscience, causing me to feel, to regret, to feel shame, I cried realizing my mistake..

I have done Emeka wrong mama and I intend to correct it. I don’t want to hurt the man, I don’t want to cause him pain, I didn’t want to take and take and ruin… for the first time my heart catches in my chest when I see Emeka, my lips curls up on its own, my nights are warm with him on my bed not as my lover but my protector… and I realized that Emeka didn’t deserve me, he deserves a woman who loved him, loves him so much it hurts to see another woman with him, that was why I hated Olive, but… mama, at a point I didn’t care if she was there in his room because I was so sure I knew Emeka wasn’t like the others, he was better. Mama, I fell in love with your Emeka, I have changed, I have changed from the girl who walked into that door a few weeks ago. I am different, I want to love him and take all his pains away, make amends, I want to let go of self and be all that he wants and if he happens to lose it all today, Mama I will stick it out… today I will marry your son legally before you, before the lawyers, friends and loved ones, before God, and I want to tell you, that I love your son, I am in love with your son and I will never hurt him, not today, not ever, not again. Forget his money, I rather have the man… this man that had swept me off my feet when I couldn’t be swept, treated me like a queen, loved me in my lows, this man is your son Emeka, and he is who he is because of you, so thank you Mama, for the words you spoke, for protecting him, for standing before him, for hating me, because if you hadn’t lashed out… I wouldn’t have changed, realized… known nothing, I wouldn’t have allowed myself to love him. So thank you Mama for changing me, thank you! I pray and hope that, that one day we can be able to be daughter and mother, and you can scold me and treat me like your own… I will wait Mama, I will wait for you, but until then, thank you for letting me marry your son, my love, my king!!” she says going on her knees

”I am sorry Mama, I am truly truly sorry!!” Diana says, the tears came, genuine tears, for the first time Mercy was truly speechless.

There was a knock on the door as Mercy stares at her hard and long, trying to understand how and when it happened.. Diana quickly wipes her eyes as Mama Tito walks in

”Mama, there are about to begin, Miss Diana, your friend is looking for you, she said its time “Mama Tito says leaving the room

Diana stares at her, she wipes the tears that had fallen again, she smiles getting up ”I am going mama, please, when you come, bless me too!” she leaves

Mercy stares at the closed door for long time..

A single tear falls from her eyes, she wipes it, surely there is a God somewhere.

She leaves her room.

 

*****

Ambross wakes up with splash of water on his face, his vision is blurred, a sharp pain at back of his head as he touches it..

He sees them; he is in a room, his leg chained to a rail…

”Please!!” he says getting on his knees as his eyes clears ”Please, I have no money, I have no money, I would have paid you if I could, but now… I have no money please!!” he cries

They don’t say anything, Agede and Don, they stand over him, the other dropping the bucket on the ground.

The door opens to usher in another man, he was taller, grey hair at his temple, a pipe to his mouth, he is wearing all white, a walking stick he held , but he walked perfectly.

Don pulls out a chair for him to seat which he does crossing his legs, an ash tray is placed on the table beside him, he unbuttons his suit and then drops his hat on the table, then he stares at Ambross.

”Mr Ambross, the last time you were here, you preached heaven and earth, crying on your knees just like this, begging me to help you.. that you had nothing, you will die if you weren’t helped, and against my better judgement I did help you, I did. That was over 18 months ago, you promised to pay in a year!! But you failed on your promise. How do you plead?”

”Sir please I beg you, I have no money!!” Ambross says crawling to him as far as he could reach which was to his feet as he bends in a prayer mode,

The walking stick the man held , he raises it up and with a reflex quick for a man his age he jabs it to Ambross shoulders as he gets to him, the jab pushes him back and he winces in pain, the spot suddenly began to bleed red as he pulls the stick away from his shoulders, the blade goes back in as he pulls a string,

Ambross holds on to his shoulders, screaming in pain as the blood makes map on his already bloodied-dirtied shirt.

”Wrong answer Ambross, how do you plead?” he asks again

*****

TO BE CONT.

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