Dear reader, this is the last episode of Shadows.
As you may have figured out, I wrote this series to show that we all have something we’re not proud of, something that’s our greatest fear, something that we may have overcome or presently struggle with. So before we are quick to judge others, we must not forget that we also have a history.
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When Rotimi got home, Kayinsola was packing her bags.
“Kayin, what are you doing?”
Kayinsola didn’t reply, she just kept tossing her clothes into her box. Rotimi held her arm.
“Don’t you dare touch me!”
“Kayinsola! Please don’t do this. I made a mistake.”
“And I didn’t? You had the audacity to judge me for what you were guilty of.”
“Excuse me? Are you comparing us? I didn’t deliberately kill my father? It was a mistake! I was angry…”
“And I was afraid of losing you! Although now I wonder what I was afraid of, you’re a terrible human being. I knew T.J was crazy but I didn’t know that you’re a wanted man. You are both the same, oppressive in different ways!”
“How dare you compare me to a mad man?” He approached her menacingly.
“Do you want to kill me too?”
Rotimi stopped and stared at her. Where was the Kayinsola he had loved passionately? Where was the woman he swore to do anything for? Who was this bitter and vindictive woman standing in front of him?
“You can leave if you want to, but leave my son.”
“God forbid! I can’t leave him with a murderer.”
“You’re the one who specializes in killing children.”
“Whatever, I’m not leaving my son with you.”
“We shall see.”
When she was done packing their things into the car, she went to the sitting room and picked up her sleeping son. Rotimi was right behind her.
“Put him down.”
She scoffed. “You must be joking!”
“Kayinsola I said put him down.”
“I will not! I’m taking my child with me.”
“Kayinsola I’m saying it just one more time. Put my son down.”
Rotimi grabbed Damola by the waist and started to pull him. Kayinsola held on to him and started screaming.
“Help, help! He wants to kill my son!”
“Kayinsola let him go!”
“No!” she began to scream again. “Help! Help!”
By now Damola was crying and calling out for his mother. “Mummy! Mummy!”
“He’s not your son!” Kayinsola suddenly said and Rotimi stopped.
“You must be joking. The boy is my carbon copy.” He said seriously.
“You only see what you want to see. He’s not your son. Excuse us.”
As she turned to leave Rotimi held her by the arm.
“So whose son is he?”
“That’s none of your business.” She snatched her arm and walked out of the house.
“So you’re not getting any compensation at all?”
“No.” Jeffrey said to his wife.
Augusta shook her head sadly. “I just knew there was something not right about that money.”
Jeffery stilled, waiting for her to say she told him so.
“Anyway, what has happened has happened. Let’s make the most of what we have now.”
“That’s all you’re going to say?” Jeffery was surprised.
“Ehn ehn now! What else do you want me to say? Will it change anything?”
Jeffrey bowed his head. “I should have listened to you.”
Augusta shrugged. She was very unhappy about what Jeffery told her but she decided not to let her emotions get the best of her. The man was already down, no need to stamp his face in the ground.
“I need you at the boutique.” He realized that his wife made better business decisions.
“I can’t quit my job.”
I’m not asking you to. Just be more involved, share your ideas, help me to make better decisions, deal with the customers….”
At that they laughed.
“But Augusta you embarrassed Elder Mba today.”
“Please! He started it.”
“So basically I’m spending the rest of my life working off my debt with your Dad.”
“He didn’t say that…”
“But that’s what it means isn’t it? He pays off the rest of my debt and I work for him.”
“He didn’t give a time frame, you can work for him and then leave after a while…”
“And when will that be?”
Titi huffed. “You are so ungrateful! I’ve been out there trying to get you out of the mess you put yourself in when I could have divorced your sorry self and there you are complaining about the solution I’ve found. Do you know how hard it was for me to convince my Dad to give up millions of his hard earned money? To tell him that you were worth saving? How dare you sit there and complain?”
“No, no, no you don’t have to take my help. You can be here for as long as the judge says.”
Titi packed her things and made to leave. Leke held her hand. “I’m sorry. It’s just… I’m sorry.”
She sat back down. “I know this is going to be hard. No man wants to owe his father-in-law but we don’t have a choice. It is either you agree to his terms or you stay here.”
Leke exhaled. “I agree.”
So you killed your own father.
You killed your own father.
I can’t imagine anyone who killed his father having peace.
Better pray your children don’t kill him. You know what they say about sowing what you reap.
You killed your own father.
You know what they say about sowing what you reap
These thoughts plagued Rotimi as he drove to work the next morning. There was a curse on his head, his own child would kill him. What kind of death would it be? Would it be as violent as the one that had happened to his own father?
Rotimi could hear his father’s voice in his head.
Your mother has always been a wretched human being
I have no money to give a street urchin.
He felt the rage of that night all over again. His father definitely got what he deserved. He was a heartless man who took advantage of a naïve, poor girl. He punched the steering wheel, trying to control his fury.
He’s not your son! He heard Kayinsola’s voice again.
He didn’t see that the traffic light had stopped him or the truck that rammed into his vehicle seconds later.
When Kayinsola heard about the accident she blamed herself. If she hadn’t taken Damola and said what she had said, he probably wouldn’t have had the accident.
“Please let him live” she prayed.
She had to let him know that Damola was his son. She had only spoken out of spite and the need to escape.
Rotimi was in a coma. The doctors had operated on him and hoped that he would come out of the coma and make a full recovery. Kayinsola wept quietly as she sat by his side, blaming herself. How had they come to this? Why hadn’t they resolved their problems on time instead of allowing it to degenerate? Why had she insisted on marrying him?
Rotimi was a good man, the side of him that she had seen in the past few months was only a shadow that threatened to overtake his real self.
“Damola is your son Rotimi, blink if you can hear me.”
Rotimi’s eyes remained closed and she wept bitterly. In spite of all that had happened, she really loved him. How could she live without him? Both of them had spent so much time hiding secrets and bickering over something they were both guilty of.
Kayinsola touched his hand again.
“Damola is your son. I love you… so much. And I’m sorry for everything. Blink if you can hear me.”
Rotimi didn’t blink, or did he? She wasn’t sure, she could only hope.
Lord please help us. She prayed earnestly, her head bowed.
Rotimi’s eyelids flickered.