To Find Grace – Episode 7

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TO FIND GRACE Episode 7

IN LUSAKA…

She walked out of bed and went outside as the heavy rains poured. Without shoes on her feet she moved about following a voice calling out to her.

“Mommy! Mommy!” Jena panted as she recognized the familiarity of the voice calling her from the back of the small tree in the yard.

“Grace!” she whispered trying to get a glimpse of the blurred image of a child standing in the rains her dress so wet she was shivering with the cold.

“Mommy help me. Mommy am here please help!” the girl cried raising her hand as she started sinking in the water. Jena rushed to hold her, her heart racing with fear of losing the child.

“Grace hold on to my hand my baby, am here to help you. It’s going to be alright” she tried to pull the girl.

“My love! My love!” Ben shook her from her sleep making Jena sit up panting heavily.

“What is it? My love, you were screaming in your sleep” Ben asked holding her close as Jena shivered her heart filled with fear.

“I… I saw her Ben, she was calling for my help and I tried to help her from drowning in the water. She was there my love, our girl was there calling out to me” she cried shaking as she felt the impact of the dream so real inside her.

“Who is that Jena? Whom did you see?” Ben asked confused.

“Grace. I know this sounds off Ben but it was so real like she is there somewhere calling out to me. I cannot help feel like my baby is alive” Jena stated seriously looking at Ben who had turned on the side lamp.

“Oh Baby, come on, I know this has not been easy over the yea….”

“Don’t even go there Ben, I know what you are about to say. But I still feel Grace is out there. Who knows the Mwape`s could have kidnaped her again and faked an accident” she pointed out

“Okey, okey. Listen to me. We both know that is not true Jena. We saw them here during the funeral they were equally devastated about our loss. So it’s high time you stopped living under this dream that Grace is alive my love please. The more you hold on, the painful it shall remain the rest of your life” Ben tried to speak sense to his wife who shook her head recalling what happened years back.

She had gone to the mall and left Grace in the car.

“I will find you here my baby, don’t move an inch alright? I just want to get a pack of cereals for you and I will be back” she had leaned back to speak to the baby Grace who was playing with her toys in the back seat.

Walking into the mall, she could not find the cereal she was looking for in Shoprite so she walked further in food lovers. She had started walking back seeing the vehicle a few meters away from her when, suddenly, there was a loud bang followed by a big flame of fire it blinded her sight for a minute, when her mind came to terms with what was going on, she run to the car screaming on top of her voice for her baby.

“Nooo! Grace! Grace! “She yelled, throwing the cereals’ away and running at full speed one wouldn’t tell she was heavily pregnant. The people watching the scene rushed and held her back just before she could get to the now burning vehicle the heat reaching her face.

“My baby is there! Please let me help her” she cried out but the two men holding her comforted her telling her it was too late.

“The fire is too much, she cannot survive all this fire” one of the men holding her spoke calmly and Jena slapped him across his face without thinking twice about it.

“don’t you dare say my daughter is dead” she yelled making the man leave her hand and she proceeded to the car, just them the remaining pieces blew up sending her right back she blacked out. The next time she woke up she was in the hospital Ben seated next to her.

“Ben how is our girl. Tell me she is in the hospital being attended to” she looked at Ben the moment she recognized where she was.

“My love am sorry, um, I “

“What? Don’t…” she paused raising her hand and standing from the bed to walk away.

“Calm down Jena, it’s too late, we cannot do anything for our baby, she is gone” Ben cried and Jena sat back defeated tears rushing off her eyes.

“No, it can’t be. Tell me this is not true” she gulped the pain in her heart and head making her so weak she could not move an inch.

“The fire people came but everything was just ashes. They suspect some overheat in the engine that caused the fire. I don’t understand too. Oh God, please help us. “Ben stood up crying too.

“Let me go and check for myself Ben. That car was perfect this morning. You just took it for servicing last week, how can that happen” Jena shook her head now wailing loudly.

“I don’t know my love. Am sorry. But you we have to be strong. Look at you, you are pregnant and I want you to be okey” he whispered holding his wife close

“be alright? Are you even real? My baby is gone and you want me to be okey. What kind of man are you?” she screamed forgetting even her husband was also in pain as much as she was.

“It was my fault, I should have gone with her. I knew I would only take a minutes. What kind of mother am I that leaves her baby behind in a car? Am so stupid” Jena scolded herself laying down in tears.

“Do not out this on yourself Jena, it was an accident. Please stop is now” Ben tried to comfort her.

The days of the funeral were worse for Jena. She would walk in her baby`s room touch her clothes and cry out. Her mother and all the family members had to keep her away from the burial. Jena was told the Mwape`s had come for the funeral but she was in too much pain to even realise they were around.

“My child. You are not the first person to experience this pain. I understand what you are going through but stay story and make sure the baby inside you is okey” Jena`s mother had told her a month later.

‘Mother, I know my girl is still alive. I feel pain that she is not here with me but deep inside I feel she is out there and that one day she will come back” Jena told her mother instead with a smile.

“Well I don’t blame you Jena. I felt the same way when your father died. It was like he had gone away somewhere and would return, but with time it gets better I swear” her mother calmed her.

“I know mom, I was a bit old when dad died, I remember how I felt and for some reason that is not how I feel now. It’s different, I don’t know how to explain it but the past week I have been having dreams of Grace being somewhere. She calls out to me and every time I try to help her I wake up” Jena had shrugged sadly.

Ben was watching his wife as she sat on the bed lost in thoughts. In his mind he was telling himself she just had a dream not knowing the kind of conviction Jena had inside her heart.

“Come to bed now Jena, tomorrow is Monday and remember we have a long week ahead of us, we need to get enough rest” He spoke softly but Jena looked at him.

“Am sorry, I don’t feel like sleeping anymore. Am just going to watch something on TV, will join you later” she sighed deeply and grabbed the gown wrapping it around herself.

Making a cup of tea, she sat in a couch her legs folded as she went through what she was just dreaming about.

“Ben is right. I cannot live in my dreams and believe the impossible. But I cannot help it” she spoke to herself the flashes from the TV getting to her face as she sat in the dark.

Story continues…

©Tisa Phiri

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