Start from Chapter 1: December

Francis’s family house rested on two plots of land with a low fence secured with a wrought metal see-through gate.  It was a stand-alone square house with off-white coating, grey roofing, a front porch and a lawn sliced through by a paved pathway that ran from the gate to the house.

It had a stand-alone car garage by the right like ours. Low creeping plants well tendered and pots of flowers line the yard.

On the porch, a swing hangs to the right and a resting couch with almond wooden table stood to the left. Evergreen trees nestled against the house from behind protectively.

I parked on the street and walked into the compound, the gate was unlocked, another charm in Owele.

I walked down the path admiring the beautiful plants wishing ours was half as healthy as these.

Francis’s mum was good with plants as was my dad. She kept the house clean and well tendered. I would not be surprised if she watered the plants to keep them blooming all season.

There was Christmas décor hanging here and there, a fancy wreath made from metals and plastic flowers hung on the front door.

I knocked, waiting for Mrs Ibeanago to show up. There was no sound, I decided to turn the doorknob which freely gave way almost jerking me inside.

I steadied myself and walked in. The living room was breath-taking. It was short of a fairy tale. Mrs Ibeanago was good with this sort of things;  she had won different competitions over the years for having good eyes for home designs.

The Christmas tree was smaller compared to ours,  but it was electrifying with ornaments, tiny bells and miniature carvings.

I walked down the hall towards  Francis’s room,  all the time wondering where everyone was.

I increased my pace, butterflies settling in my stomach and because I was so excited, I didn’t knock when I got to his door. It swung open before I could think.

There he was before my eyes frolicking with something. No, someone. He was on top of her—she cried as he moved back and forth over her.

The box of cookies slipped from my hand onto the tiled floor. It scattered below me. In that instant, I knew it was over before it even started.

I ran out, knocking over a flowerpot, my legs hurting but I didn’t stop. By then he was running after me, calling my name but my breath was frantic and stopping meant annihilating anything in my path. I didn’t want that. The Lord didn’t plan for this to be.

So, I ran until I was outside the  Ibeanagos’ compound. Then I inhaled the dusty air of harmattan mixed with tears. I walked to my car and fumbled for the keys in the back pocket of my navy-blue denim.

When settled in, I gaped at the compound and when I finally calmed down, I  zoomed away. This was never meant to be, Francis and I were two paths that should never have crossed.

Enjoyed Chapter 3? Continue the story in Chapter 4: Friends


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  • December 22, 2021