Smiles of the Heart

Smiles of the Heart – Episode 35

(Obianuju II) Stuck

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Smiles of the heart (Obianuju II)

Written by Princess Juliet

Episode 35

Stuck

OBIANUJU.

 

Time slowed down, and it was as if everything was in a slow motion.

There was no explanation for what had just happened, and I couldn’t bring myself to believe it.

Dave shot at his own brother, unbelievable!!!

I sat still on the bed, blinking at the ridiculous sight before me in utter disbelief.

Is he dead? I felt as if I had turned to a stone. I could barely breathe. My body felt heavy and I wanted to scream, but no sound came out.

I was so damn scared!!

“Come on, let’s get the hell out of here.” Dave’s voice sounded like a buzz in my ear.

I wasn’t myself at all, I couldn’t even think straight.

I got out of the bed, like a woman in a trance and walked slowly with heavy feet to Landon sprawled out body.

His eyes were closed and his body motionless. He already seemed dead.

“Oh God.”I gasped and dropped to my knees beside him, feeling extremely guilty, knowing that  I was the cause of everything.

I exhaled, a wave of sadness and regret washing over me. If only I had just stayed back in the hostel, then none of this would have happened.

My throat felt dry and my eyes moistened as a tear jerk itself out. “I am so sorry Landon.” I reached out to touch his face and only then did I notice his shallow breathing.

“He is alive.” I almost cried out in relief.

“What did you say?” Dave asked, his voice sounded faint and faraway.

“Your brother is alive.”I looked up at him in undisguised disgust. Gosh! he is indeed a monster. “We need to take him to the hospital asap.” I implored him.

“I have already called an ambulance.” he retorted nonchalantly. “We really need to get out of here.”

Like seriously! I stared at him with a new found hatred. He seemed to feel no remorse at all.

At that moment, I didn’t want to think of what might happen or might not happen.

“You are insane.”I glared at him, daring him to do his worst.

For a moment he seemed bewildered, and then he began laughing

Did I say something funny? I stared on in silent wonder.

“Oh my God! Uju, you are so funny.” he tucked his gun into the right side of his waist band and began walking toward me. “Do you think you can hurt me with such mere words?”

Hurt! I huffed at him. Hello! I don’t even give a d**n about you.My subconscious mind screamed at him.

He squatted in front me and lifted my chin, forcing me to look into his eyes. He gazed at me, emotionless and I so badly wanted to look away. “You should thank your lucky stars that I love you else I wouldn’t hesitate to drill a hole in your head.” his threat sent a shiver down my spine.

“I …just…want …Landon…to be alright.”I croaked in a panic whisper. “he…can’t…just…die ….like this.” my lips, my eyes were pleading with him.

“He will be fine.” he brushed my words aside with a light laugh and jumped to his feet. “I didn’t shoot near his vital organs.”he assured me.

Good gracious! I stared down at Landon and watched his chest rise and fall weakly.

His breathing was getting worse, his face much paler than normal, and much thinner, as if most of his face- muscles has melted away. His own clothing was soaked with his own blood.

“This doesn’t look good at all.”my heart was again filled with fear.

“We need to leave this place now.” Dave who was now standing at the entrance repeated for the third time.

I nodded wordlessly and started to get up when I felt a cold hand grazed my skin.

Startled, I looked back at Landon and saw his eyes were slightly open.

“Landon.”I gasped in surprise. He is alive, Landon is alive, he is really alive!Thanks heavens!!

“Move…. closer.”he spoke slowly and with some hesitation and difficulty.

I slowly lowered my head, wondering what he wanted to say to me. Is he about to tell me a family secret? I was so curious.

“Do…. you…. have …. a …. pocket?”his voice was so unclear that I almost didn’t understand him.

“Yes.” I nodded my head slowly. “Why did you ask?”

 

He merely grunted his response and the hem of my gown began to shake. What the hell is he doing? I remained silent watching him. I could see from his face that he was in serious pain.

D*mn his crazy and cold- hearted brother!!!

“C-Call…… Family….house.”he stuttered his words.  I hesitated, then placed my head on his chest so I could hear him clearly. “What did you say?” I whispered.

“F-Family…. house…… Awa……..Call.”

 

“What are you doing?”Dave’s abrupt voice made my heart skipped a beat.

“Nothing.” I looked nervously at him. “I am only trying to …… erm……. only trying to………….I glanced down at Landon and noticed that his eyes were closed.

It was then the realisation dawned on me. He was helping me despite his worsened condition, how thoughtful of him!!!!

Tears involuntarily wetted my cheeks.I shook myself, tried to restrain them and wiped them unperceived, but others rose and ran down my face.

“You crazy wench.” Dave slapped me hard across the face. I heard my self gasp and cry out. “Are you trying to stall me by pretending to be foolish?” he snarled savagely at me.

“No! Please! No.” I begged. I was totally frozen, scared of this  monster standing in front of me.

“I’ll teach you a lesson you will never forget.”he grabbed my hair from behind and pulled it with such force that I landed on the floor.

“Ademilade oooooooooo.” I let out a painful cry. It hurt like nothing I’d ever felt before and I was humiliated beyond belief.

“Ademilade!” he scoffed silently. “How dare you say that name  to my hearing!” he snatched me and half carried, half dragged me out of the room, through the long passage and outside to the compound.

The dawn was already breaking and it brought cool air and dense fog, making me shiver all over.

“Get into the d*mn car.”he virtually shoved me towards his car. I hastily climbed into the  passenger seat and closed the door, opting to hold off on my seat. No amount of logic could outwit my body’s fearful response.

He climbed into the seat beside me and without a word, started the car and drove out of the compound, speeding off to only God knows where.

*

 

After what seemed like forever, Dave pulled up in front of a duplex painted brown.

Oh God! Where is this place again? I groaned inwardly, but kept a calm look on my face.
I felt afraid of what would happen to me and still more afraid of showing my fear. Who knows what the beast will do to me this time around?

“Get down miss.”he grunted out his words.

I am not a miss! I opened my mouth to retort, but stopped at seeing his icy stares. My throat constricted and I swallowed hard.             Dang it, Uju! Would you just shut the f**k up already?

I opened the car door and climbed out slowly, fully aware of the stinging pain in my joint

“You are limping?”Dave observed, he was gazing down at me with a wary expression on his face.

What was going on in his crooked mind, I couldn’t  tell. He was as cold as stone, no true emotion lay behind his eyes.

“I am fine.” I tore my gaze from him and stared down at the floor, where a corner of one of the marbles had been chipped away.

“Alright.” he simply said and caught me by surprise when he swung me up in to his arms and started towards the building.

Oh no! not again!!! A sob caught in my throat, escaping in a strangled cry. “Why do I feel like you are intentionally trying to annoy me?” his question got me really confused.

“Annoy you!” I stared up at his face and met his gaze briefly. “Where…….when…. how……..”

“Shut the f**k up.” he stepped into a cozy looking sitting room and flung me harshly on the sofa. I landed on my back.

“Yeee mummy!” I caught my breathe in a startled gasp of pain. I hadn’t expected that. Why is he so mean to me? I held unto my waist and began to cry harder. The pain was just too much for me to bear.

“How dare you mock me.” With an animalistic growl, he pounced on top of me and started unbuckling his belt. “No! Please! stop.” I screamed out loud.

My hands all of a sudden got a little sweaty, and my heart began pounding faster and louder than usual.

“Chill babe.” he chuckled softly. “I am going to f*k you so good. I am going to f*k you and claim you and then possess you.” his hands gently pulled my head back and before I could comprehend his intent, he kissed my lips.

 

Anger curled hot and unstoppable in my gut, like a blazing inferno that wanted to burn me from inside out. What is he doing to me? I bit his lips so hard I almost drew blood.

“Arrrgh!”he grunted in pain and pulled his head free, then slapped me hard across the face with the back of his hand. A searing pain fanned out across my cheeks, but I was lest bothered. I sat there glaring at him, daring him to do his worst.

“You are one stubborn little girl, aren’t you?” his gaze narrowed on me.

“I want to go home.” I half shouted. “My unborn child doesn’t like it here. Neither do I.”I blurted out foolishly and immediately regretted it.

“Unborn child!” his eyes were emotionless, and although he looked straight at me I had the distinct impression that his thoughts were focused elsewhere.

“Erm….. I… meant to….say…”I scratched my hair, confused. Oh God! what have I done??

“You are pregnant?”his voice was so loud, so thunderous that I couldn’t concentrate on what he said. He became a different person.His eyes had warped into a miserable black. “Ademilade’s child! No way.” he grabbed my hair and pulled me out of the sofa. “Die, bas***d. Die.” he threw me to the ground, finally releasing my hair, and delivered a swift kick to my stomach, which sent me rolling on the floor.

“I will get rid of that thing in your womb myself.”Vein bulged out of his head. He balled his fingers to a fist and drove them through the wall, then stormed out of the room and slammed the door behind him.

I stared after him in mute horror. Get rid of my child! No! Never! I can’t let that happen. After a few minutes, I tried to stand up, but couldn’t—- I had bruises in my knee  and standing up, my knees couldn’t support my weight.

I felt so helpless and broke down and began to sob like a child. “Ademilade!” I struggled through an hiccup. “where are you?”

The shrill sound of a phone ringing in my pocket startled me. I quickly reached into my pocket and pulled it out.

Disbelief made me to look twice to ensure my eyes hadn’t gone crazy as my thoughts.

Landon’s phone! I stared hard at his image on the screen. How did it get into my pocket? I took a deep breathe. Well! It is all for the best.

I hastily punched in Ademilade’s number into the phone and dialled it.

I waited and listened. It rang over and over and over again, until his voicemail picked up. I dialled it again, but it was still the same.

“Ade, Please pick up my call.” I screamed out in frustration.

*

Ademilade.

The drive to Ago iwoye was a quick one as I broke the speed limit wasting no time getting there.

I pulled onto the main road and drove with barely contained patience down the street and got to Obianuju’s hostel just before four o’clock.

I parked out front and stepped out, slamming the door shut. I jumped over a small gutter lying in front and started towards the building when I saw Shakirat running towards me, clearly trying to attract my attention.

Oh right! I scoffed silently. My precious wife best friend!!

“Demi!” She called out my name softly and flung herself into my arm. “Juliet is missing.” She began to cry. “We…looked… for… her… everywhere, but….she ….was ….no ….where to be found.” she spoke through her tears.

I wanted so badly to push her away, but couldn’t bring myself to do it. She is my wife’s best friend, my best friend girlfriend. What a complicated relationship! I held her until she cried her self free of tears, and her body relaxed in my arms.

“But what really happened?” I wanted to know. “Dave didn’t come into the hostel to abduct her, did he?”

“No.”she pulled away from the hug and stared up at me. “It was all planned out from the beginning.”

“By Dave?” I narrowed my brow, confused.

“And Faith.”A feminine voice spoke behind me.

Startled, I turned around and saw Susanna was standing behind me a few steps away.

“What are you doing here?” I thought my head was going to explode with anger. I didn’t trust her before, and now I trust her even less.

“She is with me.”Shakirat came to her rescue.

Like seriously! I looked at Susanna and then back at Shakirat. They have got to be kidding me!!!

“I just reported the case to a police officer, but the idiot response was way out of line.”Susanna hissed loudly.

“What did he say?”Shakirat asked her.

“That we need to wait for twenty four hours before it can be termed as a kidnap.” She rolled  her eyes in irritation. “Can you imagine!!!”

I stepped away from them, shutting my ears to their noises as I tried to think. What should I do now? I was so lost and helpless. I racked my brain for a solution and came up with a decision to call my dad.

Reaching into my pocket, I pulled out my phone and noticed several missed calls and texts, all from an unknown number.

Who is this? I began to dial the number, but the line was interrupted when a call from the same number came in.

I received it right away.

 

“Thank goodness, you finally picked up.”A familiar voice rang out through

“Baby.” I nearly screamed into the phone out of excitement, relief, anticipation, anxiety, and every other unsure feeling. Where the hell are you?”

 

“I don’t know.” she replied in a soft and low voice. “The bas***d took me to one brown building like that.”

 

“Damn!” A boiling fury swelled inside of me and I clenched my fist so hard that my nails cut into my skin. “Look around you, did you notice anything familiar?” I knew it was a stupid question to ask, but I desperately needed to find her.

“No, I am stuck here in the sitting room, I can’t even move my legs.”she hissed loudly.’

“Did the idiot hurt you?” I could almost feel my blood boiling in my vein.

“Just come find me please.” she sounded very afraid. “The bas***d threatened to kill our……”she suddenly paused and her breathing increased.

Oh jeez! I hope she isn’t having an attack!

“Call…. Family house…. Awa.”she finally spoke.

“What is that?” I asked, confused by her words.

“Those are the words Landon told me……….”

Landon!!! I felt more confused that ever. Is he also involved in this?

“I don’t know what it means, but  I think it is a hint or there about.”she concluded.

“Is Landon family house around here?”I thought, but said aloud.

“Yes.”Susanna replied. “He uses the one  at Awa for his video shoot.”

Dang it! That is exactly what I wanted to know!!

“Why did you ask?”She stood looking at me with arms akimbo.

“Do you know the place?” I asked instead, ignoring her question and she nodded her head slowly.

“Good!” I ended the phone call sharply. I had no time to waste. “Get into the car.” I told her

“What about me nko?” Shakirat pouted her lips and frowned at me, clearly annoyed.

“You should get some sleep.” I simply replied her and jumped over the gutters.

“But I don’t want to sleep.”she protested

“Then you can stay up and pray.” I opened the car door, hesitated for a moment, then turned around and faced her. “Thanks for being a good friend to my wife.” I appreciated her.

Her face suddenly softened and tears came into her eyes. “You are one in a kind.” I nodded toward her and climbed into the driver seat beside Susanna, closing the door behind me.

“You are really a sweet talker, aren’t you?”she teased.

“No.” I grunted my response. “I only told her the truth.” I started the car and sped down the road.

*

I followed Susanna’s direction and parked out in front to an ancient looking building.

Is this the place? I looked out of the car window. There was an ambulance parked around the side of the house.

My heart skipped a beat. Could it be my wife that got hurt? I stepped out of the car and walked into the compound, my eyes wandering around.

 

“Are you related to Akorede Michaels?”

The sudden voice startled me a little. I looked in the direction and saw a fat man in white coat walking towards me.

“Akorede!” I raised a questioning eyebrow.

“Yes, Akorede the celebrity singer.”he spelt it out. “We got a call from a random person telling us to come over asap, only for us to get here and find the celebrity covered in his own blood.

 

My heart started hammering hard inside my chest. I was scared to the bone. “Did he say what happened to him?”

“No.”He shook his head slightly. “but he kept on mentioning a name—-Ademilade.”

“I am Ademilade.”I quickly introduced myself to him. “A medical trainee.” I added.

For a moment he looked confused, and then nodded slowly. “Come this way.” he led me to the ambulance where Landon sat sprawled on the seat.

His eyes were half closed, as if he was slumbering.

“Hey.” I took a quick look at the bandage wrapped around his stomach. What happened to him? I wondered.

His eyes blinked and opened, slowly focusing on my face. “A-Ademilade.” his face twisted in a grimace of pain. “Your…..wife ….is …in ….danger, Dave….is  a …” he breathe through his mouth, gasping for each breathe. “I-Is ….. a ….. monster.”

 

I tried to take a few deep breathes, but the air burned like a thousand tiny daggers. I couldn’t control my anger. I felt my throat tightening as my emotions tried to fight their way. “He was the one who shot at you, right?”I questioned him.

He didn’t respond. he merely smiled,  but the answer was in his eyes. Unbelievable!!!!!!
“Where is my wife?” I stared straight into his eyes.

He hesitated before answering. “There …. is … a. brown…duplex…. on ….the….outskirts of the town.”

“You mean the one at Igan road?” I wanted to be sure. “We partied there once or twice in the past.” I added , seeing his surprised look.

“Alright then! Be careful!”

“Thanks.” I turned around and bumped right into Susanna.

“I am sorry.” she quickly apologised.

“It is nothing.”  I placed my hands on her shoulders and stared intently at her. “You heard my conversation with Landon right?”

She nodded in response.

“Good! I want you to listen to me carefully.” I spoke softly and clearly. “Inform the police about this as soon as possible, do not delay.”

“I won’t.” she promised.

I gazed into her eyes, pleading for understanding. “Trust me Demi.” she patted me on the shoulder lightly and gave me a reassuring smile.

“Thanks.” I forced out a smile and walked past her to my car.

Opening the door, I slid into the driver seat and started the car, speeding down the road, heading to Dave’s hide out.

*

By the time I got there, the morning sun had risen brightly and its slanting rays struck straight into my face.

Phew! how time flies!!!

I alighted from the car and walked into the compound straight to the front porch.

The door was locked from outside, bottled shut, which meant only one thing. Dave wasn’t around.

I breathe a sigh of relief and began looking around the compound for stones, rock, hammer, something I can use in breaking the door lock when I noticed the open window.

Without thinking twice, I climbed through it into a modest looking sitting room and found my wife seated on floor, her back to the wall.

Finally, at last! I felt the most amazing sensation of peace washed over me and raced over to hug her.

 

*

OBIANUJU

I couldn’t believe my eyes. Ademilade is here for me, my husband traveled down here to rescue me.

I buried my face into his chest and sobbed uncontrollably. “I.. am….so…sorry … for.” my breathe caught in my throat and I had to start again. “I am so sorry for lying to you. I overlooked your happiness in an attempt to make me happy,only to realise that my happiness lies in yours. I am sorry, please forgive me. Pleeease.”I begged desperately and earnestly.

“I have already done that.”he pulled out of the hug and stared at me. His smile faded in an instant and his expression became ardent. “What happened to you?”he reached out and touched my face tenderly. I winced in the process. “Did the beast hurt you this bad?”he whispered, it was more like he was talking to himself.

 

“Well! I guess it is as a result of my stubbornness.”I joked, trying to ease the tension in the room, but it came out wrongly.

“No reason justifies a man beating up a woman.”he half shouted. “It is a form of domestic violence. I know I am guilty of it, and I deeply regret slapping……….”he paused and kissed me on the lips. “Let’s get out of here first.”

“I can’t walk.” I pursed my lips in a pout.

“I will carry you.”his voice was calm and soothing—- I could listen to him all night.

Without warning, he lifted me off the ground, carrying me bridal style and started towards the window when the knob twisted and the door flew open.

 

 

TBC

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