“they are beautiful”
Elizabeth looked down at the babies that lay on a single crib and sobbed. With a big smile plastered on her face, she sat up, Doctor Nkama placed two pillows behind her and she rested her back on them “they are so adorable” her eyes still on the babies, she wiped tears from her face.
One of the babies opened a tiny pink mouth in a yawn and stretched a little cute body, he woke the other in the process. Elizabeth made an emotional chuckle and brought her two fingers down to tickle the babies on their cheeks.
“you would want to carry them now” Doctor Nkama carefully carried the babies and lay them on both arms of the new mother.
Elizabeth allowed the tears to flow, as she looked at the two adorable babies “A boy and a girl?” she asked amidst tears
“A boy and a girl” Doctor Nkama agreed. Seeing the woman and the babies, he felt so emotional and his heart was swollen with joy for the new mother and pride that he was there with her. He didn’t know why he would feel this way for a woman he shouldn’t feel anything for. His heart went for the babies like they were his. He stood there and watched the new mom talk gibberish to the babies that were not listening to her, so many thoughts ran through his mind, one of them was “I wish she was my wife, and I would have been the man who would have been by her side and share this moment”
The impatient knock on the door brought him back “Your family is here” he said with a smile
“Can we come in now?” Amaka said from the door
Both the doctor and Elizabeth chuckled. Amaka pushed the door open and the rest of the family came in.
“let me leave you people to celebrate” Nobody noticed when he left with a sad smile on his face, he closed the door behind him.
“Mummy!” Omalicha screamed with joy and jumped on top of the bed to have a clear view of the babies.
Amaka took one of the babies from her, she smiled down at the baby girl “Aren’t you a little cutie baby” she tickled the baby’s jaw and the baby whimpered
“Ara gi ogbaba go? (has your breast milk started running?)” Her mother asked as she took the baby boy from her as well
“Amarom (I don’t know)” Elizabeth answered
“Ngwa tinye ha onu na ara (Place their mouth on your nipples)” her mother instructed and handed the babies to her and supported her arms with their hand bags.
Elizabeth felt awkward, she didn’t know what it feels like to breast feed a baby not to talk of two
“Lizzy feed these babies now, or are you shy? Please bring those watermelons and allow these babies suckle”
Elizabeth did as she was told, they all observed in silence for a while, before Elizabeth’s mother broke the silence
“the girl looks like you” she said
“No mom, she looks like her father”
“but she has your mouth” they chuckled
“Mummy do they look like me?” Omalicha asked to the amusement of all
“Yes darling, they both look like you”
“So babe” Amaka started, as brought out the provisions and the food flask they came with “you wanted to play ‘wonder woman’ abi”
Elizabeth understood what she was talking about, she looked at the children on her arms that were already asleep. Her mother took them from her and lay the crib. Amaka took the food flask, and placed it on Elizabeth’s open arms
“Eat fast, you have two hungry mouths to feed” Amaka opened the flask and the steam from the hot pepper soup warmed Elizabeth’s face while the aroma romanced her nostrils. She scooped some of the soup inside her mouth and savored the taste.
“You almost gave birth right there in your farm” Amaka said
“Or died” Elizabeth added
“Thank God you didn’t, how did you get that Soldier man to come?”
Elizabeth told her story, the much she could remember before the pains started and she almost lost her mind with everything she was thought in Antenatal
“Before we got to the farm, you are already on the ground screaming your lungs out. One of the baby’s head was already visible, the poor soldier didn’t know what to do with a screaming woman” they all laughed
“So how did you know I was in labor?” Lizzy asked
“The soldier called me!” Elizabeth’s mother answered
“Chike was lying like a goat tied up for Christmas”
“So that idiot is the Chike you told me about?” Elizabeth’s mother asked, she didn’t wait to be replied “He deserved to be roasted alive”
They would be going home the next day, to bring Mrs Ojokwu her grandchildren.
“Wait” Abdulkareem said coldly in Somali
Sagal dropped the food on the kitchen and recoiled herself at one corner of the kitchen. She watched Abdulkareem fetched a small bottle from hid robe, he shook it and sprinkled the substance on the food “General want you to take the food to the soldier” he said as he threw the bottle away and wiped his hands
“what did you put in there?” Sagal summoned courage to ask him in Somali
“It looks like your UN lover has a date with death” he closed the gap between him and the girl, took her jaw roughly and turned her face towards him “I will be watching you, if you every disobey the General, you know what it means” his eyes were dark and terrifying
“Please, don’t do this to him, he has done nothing” Sagal pleaded amidst sob
“I am not the one that want his life, The General wants his life for fucking his woman” he laughed
“But he didn’t sleep with anyone…”
“I know that, but he will soon Bleep you if you keep throwing yourself at him like the cheap LovePeddler you are”
Sagal wiggled her face away from his hold “you…you lied to the general? Why?”
He looked at her with disgust “he is not one of us, he doesn’t belong here…he took everything that was mine, with his deceiving innocent face, he is against everything this group stands for…” he looked at the girl like a predator would look at a pray “…and don’t think I have not noticed you going and coming out of his room you shameless prostitute”
“What has an innocent man done to you? why are you so evil?”
“I owe you no explanation” he took the plate of food and gave it to her “Just do what you are asked to do, and I will plead with General to spare your life”
Sagal wiped tears from her face, she looked from the plate to the man “I will not do it” she insisted
“Oh you will my dear…” he kept the food down and pinned her on the wall with his weight “Or I will tell the general more awful things about you…” he traced his fingers from her neck to her left breast, he gave it a squeeze “I will not want to miss the little secret fun I derive from you, but if you push me” he stepped away from her “I wouldn’t mind to see you die and buried…the General will always believe me”
“I will tell him the truth, I will tell the general about us! About you!”
He shut her up with a slap “the little bird has gotten some nerves” he said “Now get up and take this food to the soldier, I will be watching you.
Her legs where too heavy as she made her way to his room, she looked behind her and Abdulkareem still followed. He wasn’t in his room when she entered, but as she set the plate down, he walked in, covered with sweat. Her heart skipped, her hands trembled terribly and she knocked the cup of water from the wooden table. She quickly picked a rag and cleaned the spill haphazardly.
Ebube noticed the uneasiness on the girl, he would have asked her if she was okay, but he didn’t know what to say to her, she would not understand him.
He sat on the old mattress and took the cup of water that has been refilled. He gulped the water and demanded for more. He was not in a hurry to eat and the girl was not in a hurry to leave.
When he finally picked the plate, he smiled at the girl but she didn’t smile back, she wished he could reject the food, she wished he could throw the food away, she wished he could understand the signs she was giving out.
She shut her eyes as he brought the first scoop to his mouth and chew, by the time he ate about five scoops, she knew it was over;
“The poison doesn’t take up to thirty minutes before is starts working” Abdulkareem has said to her
When she saw his face changed, she let out an agonizing moan and ran out of the room.
He was a bitter man that had a terrible past. Life was unfair to him and had denied him everything others had. He had struggled all his life yet there was nothing to show for it. to him, life is hard and to get one’s desire, one needs to be harder.
Abdulkareem saw everything, he smiled in satisfaction as he saw the plate fall from the soldier’s hands and the remaining content splattered on the floor.
He had hated the soldier the very first time he was brought in, and when Adsame started giving him preferential treatments more than himself, his bitterness towards Ebube grew.
He waited for Sagal’s footsteps to get faint before he came out from where he was and stood over the dying Soldier
“I want to look you in the face and see how you die”
Words were too heavy for the soldier, his mouth was filled with his own blood
“You are bleeding from inside, soon you will die like a dog that you are”
Ebube looked at the man that stood over him, he had the question “Why?” in his mind, but couldn’t say it without spitting out more blood, he staggered to his feet, his blood trailed his movement, he was dying and needed help.
“Did Adsame know about this?”
“What of Sagal? Was that why she was acting strange?” he thought
He held the door but couldn’t move, his knees where getting weaker and he felt his heart beat decreasing, he gasped for air, his felt as if his lungs were being tightened, with the little strength he had, he pushed the door and staggered out of the room, the wicked laughter od Abdulkareem echoed behind him.
“He is innocent!”
Her claim earned her a hot slap from the General, he was furious “You Bleep my Enemy?” he pulled her by the hair and pushed her towards the table, she came crashing with the table, he wasn’t done with her yet.
He picked her up, her face was bruised “How does it feel to Bleep him hmm?” he hit her again and she screamed “how does he do it to make you want him every night!” he hit her
That was not the first time he had hit her, she had gotten used to his periodic beatings, but that day was different, Adsame was out to kill her
“Adsame shares no pu*sy with another man!” he kicked her and she crouched in pain “You dare come to plead on his behalf…”
“He didn’t do it! Abdulkareem did!” Sagal shouted
But the General was too angry to hear her at first, he kicked her again
“Abdulkareem…” she started in pains “He is the evil one…he has been the one sharing me with you not the soldier”
“I am not lying; I swear by Allah”
He didn’t know what to believe any more, Abdulkareem was his right hand man, he couldn’t have done the said evil against his own General, not after what both of them have been through. He went to the girl who lay on the ground and held her by the neck “Tell me the truth or I will strangle you! tell me what you are saying about Abdul is not true”
“I am saying the truth, he did it, he forced me…”
The General dropped the girl and she fell like a sack on the floor. He roared like a wounded beast, slapped his head, punched the wall three times and stormed out of his room.
His vision was blur as he staggered out in the hot sun, women and children ran away as he staggered to nowhere, blood oozed from his mouth. He stumbled on a stone and fell, he tried to get up, but his legs where already numb and he felt life going out of him. He heard voices; he didn’t know whether they were from the darkness that had already taking over him or somewhere else.
Then he saw faces, and heard his name before he gave up completely
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