A new season of A Small World is loading… Get ready to follow the characters of my first three books, The Church Girl, An Emotional Affair, and Broken, as they continue their adventures in A Small World. This season is LOADED! Here is a preview…
We’re almost at the cemetery when I get a call from my dad.
“Hi, Pops,” I say through the Bluetooth speakers.
“Do you know your brother has been arrested?”
“It’s in the news! Where are you?”
“We’re on our way to the cemetery.”
“I’m heading to Maiyegun Police Station now. Meet me.”
“Oh my God,” Fatima says as I look for an opportunity to make a U-turn. There’s a trail of cars behind me, and I wait for them to pass so I can manoeuvre easily. All the while, my heart is racing a mile a minute, and my mind is playing all sorts of scenarios.
As soon as I am able to turn fully, I drive at full speed towards the express, eager to get to the station and help my brother any way I can.
I don’t know how long I’ve been in here. There’s no window, and I can’t see the sun. I am in a small cell with six other men who look acquainted with suffering and violence. I try to keep a straight expression and show no emotion. They must not know the turmoil eating me up inside.
Flies buzz about the cell, making frequent visits to the metal toilet bowl in the corner, which reeks of faeces and urine. I’m sitting as far as I can from it, given my crowded accommodation.
I look at my bare wrists, remembering how they stripped me of my possessions when we got to the police station. Dressed in only my vest and boxers, I sit on the cold, bare ground, which has small crevices in it, my knees pulled up and my back against the wall. I notice the other inmates as they eye me and mutter between themselves, probably wondering why I have joined their ranks. One of them is large like my brother Jimmy. When he looks at me, I give him the same look I give my brother, “You may be bigger than me, but you don’t want to mess with this!”
I lie in bed as dawn breaks, golden rays seeping through the cracks of my curtain, forming lines on my bed. I breathe in deeply, enjoying the cool air from the air conditioner as I press my head on the fluffy pillows, cased in silk. After only one night in prison, I can’t get over how good it feels to be in a clean, comfortable bed, in a room, all to myself.
A tear rolls down my cheek and wets my pillow. I don’t know how I would cope if I have to go back to that horrible place. I saw young men like me, who had already spent years there, not convicted but awaiting their trials, and the fear that gripped me was paralysing. If not that my sister had married into a wealthy family, I would have been stuck in that crowded, smelly, unsanitary environment with the rest of them.
How could this be happening to me? How did I make such a foolish mistake?
I wish I was a better man. I wish I could have been faithful to my wife. I wish I could have saved my marriage. But I failed.
My wife is sleeping with another man. She’s in love with another man, and there’s nothing I can do about it. I tried to change. I actually decided to give my life to Christ. Hmm. I failed there too.
I don’t know how to lose. Actually, maybe the truth is, I don’t know how to fight. I want to fight for Temi, but every time I think of her with another man, I want to be sick. I lose the will to fight.
Maybe I had the right idea to begin with… Maybe I should just focus on what I can control, my happiness. I don’t need her.
“Hey, you coming to bed?”
I turn to see Yvonne, a sexy flight attendant I’ve been seeing for a while. She’s dressed in black lace lingerie, her left stiletto pressed against the door frame as she poses. Yvonne never makes me work for it like Temi does.
“I want to spend tonight with my kids… I…”
“It’s okay. I’ll give you some time to miss me.” Then he gives me his heart melting smile, and I feel like a lucky woman to have such a stud pining after me.
“I’ll call you tomorrow…”
He beams. “Alright, darling. Love you.”
“And you. Bye.”
I swallow as I cut the call. God, I’m gonna need Your help.
Just then, my phone rings again. I smile when I see that it’s my bestie, Lola.
“Hey, dear. What’s up?”
“Nothing much, hon. I was just calling to see if Oyinda is with you.”
“There was a plane crash… Abuja to Lagos… I know he travels a lot, and I just thought to check.”
My blood runs cold as she speaks. I have no clue where my husband is. He could very well have been on that flight.
“Which flight?” is all that I can say as I struggle to catch my breath.
When she names the airline, the possibility that my husband could have been on that flight increases, and fear grips me.
“I’ll call you back…” I say as I cut the call and call Oyinda’s flight agent. When he confirms that he booked Oyinda on that flight, I lose all feeling in my body.
I turn to look out of the window. I’m overcome with sadness as I think of Jamie and his family. And they have a little boy…
From nowhere, a cry breaks loose, and I begin to sob.
“Oh, Mary. Don’t cry… Everything will be fine. God knows what He is doing.”
I wipe my tears and pull myself together. Lord, I believe, but everything keeps falling apart. What’s Your will in all this?
As we turn into our estate, I turn the volume to the radio up to listen to the One O’clock news.
“News just in. A domestic airline carrying 120 passengers has crashed en route to Lagos from Abuja. The passenger plane blew up mid-air, in what looks like a terrorist attack. There are no survivors…”
“Jesus!” We both mutter as we turn to look at each other.
By the time we get home, we have learned the name of the airline carrier and flight number, and we are calling all our friends to be sure no one we know was on that flight. The full list of passengers and flight crew have not yet been released. But with this devastating news, I can barely stand.
I don’t even know how to ask God why anymore. I am absolutely speechless. How could this happen?
“My dad…” Ifeanyi says breathlessly, and I look at him in horror. No, Lord!
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