CORNERED – PART 1
My mouth ran dry as I continued taking long strides running through crowds of people. I could not see clearly where I was heading, but my internal vision had it all planned out.
“Ouch!” someone shouted as I bumped into them and I quickly turned to them and apologized
“Sorry mam” I said, without looking at the face of the one I ruined steps for, I raised my head and focused on my run. It was getting clear ahead of me, as I came out of the busy town area, panic held my heart as I imagined how exposed I will be. Probably there was someone ahead awaiting sight of me and I knew if that happened I will be gunned down without mercy. I knew the kind of terror which was ahead and behind me as I ran past a small shop that provided me with a big of cover and from there on, it would be a clear area. 500 meters away from the train tracks and the train wagons I planned to hide in.
“How do I get there?” I stopped for a minute to think.
“He is there!” I heard a loud voice scream behind me
“I see him, come let’s get him!” the voice of another cop responded and I could feel the command in his voice and the anger too. I knew it was more personal for him than any other officer pursuing me. He wanted me dead and he was not going to hesitate an inch. Panic started building up in me and I exhaled twice to get rid of the adrenaline in my blood, it proved hard to do but I gave it no choice. In less than 2 seconds, I sprang up and started running across the clearing with all that I had left in me. My legs barely touched the ground as I ran and I knew that was my best when it came to sports. I was a runner and James knew that very well, his men could run after me but he knew they all didn’t stand a chance.
“Fire!” I could hear another loud shout but I didn’t give my mind some time to process it so it came stop me, so I run amidst the gun shots firing from all directions. In less than a minute I was at the rail tracks and heading to the wagons and shut my ears from hearing anything else. I focused my eyes and legs on getting myself to safety and run around for a while as I tried to lose the police guys.
I stopped panting, so hard my t-shirt was wet with sweat and it had mixed with the mud I was already covered in. I looked around and found a spot at the corner of one of the wagons and hide behind it, searching the area for any signs of the cops. I could see a pair of legs walking forward some 2meters away and I looked the way other way, it was clear.
“I know you James, you think am hiding in these.. Good boy, keep looking” I smiled in my head as I started walking slowly away making sure I made no sound at all. Heading back to the busy town area, I joined the tarmac adjacent to the big supermarket and into some boutique at the end of some stationery shops.
“Excuse me, can I help you?” one of the sales persons asked with a shocked face, I was sure she was wondering whether I was wet and muddy from playing in mad or I was just a man with mental problems.
“Yes please” I composed myself and spoke my best accent to get her attention. I saw her face relax a bit I could swear she breathed in heavily.
“I need a change of clothes” I said without wasting any more time.
“What? “she asked still standing in one position am sure now she was thinking I was there to rib her.
“How much for those shoes, that pair of trousers and that shirt?” I asked pointing at each item one by one.
“That will be 650 kwacha” she said with a tone of sarcasm and fear.
“Can I have them please and show me the fitting room” I spoke politely pulling some money from my pockets and handing it to her. I knew it was more than she had requested but I had something else in mind so I didn’t worry as I walked to change the clothes she just handed me.
In the fitting room I stood there looking at my new image. I looked like those movies star with a pair of jeans and plain v necked tshirt that gave away my hard earned figure. I wiped my face getting rid of the dry mud on my side and placed my hand in my hair , I had to get rid of it, it made me look older than I was.
“What is wrong with you? I don’t love you. yes, I crossed you, I needed to, cause you irritated me all the time Joe. I love him so go to hell if you wish to!” her loud voice echoed in my head I had to shut my ears. It was not the pain of the head that got to me, but the pain in my heart, she was the love of my life, I gave up myself for her. I could be far away, I could have found myself and become a better man but she just messed all my plans up and made a big fool out of me.
“I love you, please hear me out. I have no one in my heart, no one in my life that I would give anything for, you are the one for me, please don’t do this to me. I love you Alisha, you are my life” like an idiot I went down on my knees pleading and begging for the love that I had just lost.
“No, stop making things harder for yourself Joe, I don’t love you. I have told you the truth and it is better you back off and leave me alone now’ She responded with a cold stare that gave me shivers I felt myself being drawn to the ground I panted and cried like a child.
She looked at me like I was the worst piece of shit and walked away leaving me hopeless. I never used to believe the saying
love hurts I always thought it was a saying for losers who had nothing to do in their lives. Now it got to me, love was the most precious thing you can find in someone at the same time, it was the worst nightmare. I was left lying down like a dog and my mind could not process anything more. After what seemed like forever I stood up, told myself I was a man and started heading out of her house.
“Hey are you done?” the sales lady
s voice called out pulling me back to the moment I wiped my face and grabbed my dirty clothes and walked out with a smile that am sure knocked the woman off her feet as she smiled back at me with admiration. Well, they say you can cover the dollar in mud but it still remains valuable, I could feel myself gaining points from that stranger and I held her hand with pride. “Now can you please me get me a nice cap to match my outfit and a small phone if you don’t mind” I smiled looking at a glass table with Phones under it. “Of course, I was wondering why you gave me a lot of money” she responded with a chuckled and went on to get what I asked. In a couple of minutes I had all I wanted and I walked out of the shop a different person. I could see a mobile provider shop ahead of me so I headed there and got two sim cards, got it registered within 5 minutes and walked out making the first call that I had to. “Hello” a worried voice of my mother responded from the other side “Mom” I talked back relived she was still there and alive “Joe, where are you my son. I heard what happened, what is going on Joe, the police where here and asking questions about you” she responded I could hear her cry “Am okay mom, please be safe, how is dad?” I asked out of curiosity not that I care about that bastard who had no regard for me. “He is very upset with you, you know him, but this time he has the right to Joe you went too far my son” Mom cried “Where the hell are you? You deranged son! I raised you better! How dare you!” my father screamed in the mouth piece I could picture his angry face as he spoke I could bet he was walking about in anger “If I didn’t know better dad, I could have thought you are mad at me for what have done, but no, I know you very well father, you are always mad” I said as a matter of fact “You son of a bi..” he stopped himself from cursing am sure my mothers stare of her shaking the head made him stop
“Where are you?” my father tried to sound calm I was sure it was killing him
“No one will know for now, not even you dad. Am okay, take care of mom” I said before he could burst out in anger. I removed the sim and threw it away. Knowing my father, he would probably run to the police and tell them I called, I replaced the sim with a second one and kept walking normally across the streets keeping an eye to spot any signs of police officers following me. There was no one and everyone around me went on their business.
I got to a taxi rank and a guy raised a hand at me showing me his taxi.
“Please can we start moving” I said the moment I got in and he asked where I was going
“I don’t know yet, I have to think” I told him looking at his face in the mirror as he eyed me.
“That will cost you” he smiled and I nodded my head.
“just give me the bill at the end” I smiled assuring him and he increased speed going away from the town Centre.
“Turn left and keeping going, take any next turn and go as far as you can Until I tell you to stop” I ordered and he did as I said. My head was still feeling hot from the afternoon
s activities and I could not think clearly. “You are a failure, a common thief! I never loved you! I love him.. Joe, you son of a goat! How dare you! Can you use your head once! Come on you stupid boy, pull up that tree, you cannot cut a tree like you are cutting a piece of meat! you are nothing but a piece of shit! Nothing!” are the loud voices I could hear in my heard, from my now ex fiancé, my father and my best friend. I tried to shut my eyes for all these voices to go away but they kept coming and coming and making my mind hotter I could feel myself drowning in my own head. “Shut up!” I screamed and the taxi driver lost control the vehicle swayed out of the way almost hitting the wall fence and the tires screeching loudly before coming to a complete halt. There was silence for a minute, am sure the driver was trying to find his senses. I was completely awake and not really shocked at what just happened. I opened the car and walked out, first to check if anything was damaged. I noticed a small dent near the headlights, nothing a small panel beating can fail. “Am sorry” I walked to the driver who was now getting out of the car and looking at me like I was some kind of demon out to get him “What is wrong with you? You just yell out of the blues, you could have gotten us both killed, do you have any idea how far was I running? I was at 120 you moron and you could have gotten us killed” he screamed his anger out and I allowed him just for minute. The next time he wanted to open his mouth and shout at me. I help my hand up and shushed him. “Enough man.. You don’t have to nagg about it like woman, let it go” I shrugged looking about. It was getting dark and I could not see exactly where I was. I just realized I was taken so much by the noise in my head I didn’t even know how far we had driven of where we were. I could see some lights some 1 km ahead, it seemed the fence we almost hit had some buildings up ahead. I turned about and noticed the circle made on the tarmac. The car must have turned around before stopping and the scent of burnt tires came to my nose making me realize why the driver was so fired up. “Give me my money will you?” he asked calmly “Oh, yeah I will, how much?” I asked “K600” he sighed taking down his anger. “Well, this journey still goes on, but yeah, I will give you this first then we can…” I could not finish talking and he snapped the money from my hands, got into his car and started the ignition. In a bit he drove away leaving me in awe. “What the f**” I cursed angrily kicking the small stones on the ground. The bastard just left me in the middle of the road and it was getting dark. “Well, another vehicle will come” I comforted myself and started taking small steps following the lights ahead and the wall fence. Well, I was wrong to think I will hick another vehicle. I looked at the watch on my hand lighting the small touch from the phone and I noticed it was 20 minutes paste 19 pm. I walked on until I came in front of a wide black gate. It was shining with lights around the front and some coming in from the building inside. My first instinct was to knock and seek for either refuge or ask about where I was and if there was a way to get a vehicle around the area. I got a stone and started hitting the gate, first slowly and sparingly, then I increased the hits hoping someone could hear me from inside. “Hey! Stop!” male voice called out from inside I threw down the stone satisfied I got what I wanted. “I need help!” I spoke seeing the person on the other side just opened the small peeping part and was looking up trying to see me “Who are you?” the man asked “My name is Joe, am lost and I was hoping in could find my way back “ “Where are you going and how did you find yourself here?” he asked again without opening the gate for me “Can I come in?” I asked feeling desperate “No, there are a lot of thieves roaming about and I cannot trust you. Very few people come around this area especially this time. I don’t trust you, it’s nothing personal, but sorry, you will have to walk to the main road and find your way back” the man responded and I could hear footsteps stepping away “Come on, if I was a thief you probably could have been dead, I could have entered already. I wouldn’t even knock, am all alone here, please help me” I begged moving closer to the gate. “Please, help me” I spoke loudly and the retreating steps sounded like they had stopped. I was so sure there was a lot of debate in the head of the man standing on the other side. After a minute the man opened the small entrance for me and I was surprised to see him dressed in priestly clothing. “Come in” he said looking at me and around the area to be sure I was alone. “I didn’t know you were a priest I thought. i..um..” I stopped not knowing if it was a good idea to find myself with men like him. The shame and guilty of who I was gave me the feeling I could not mix with him. “Of course, what do you think that sign means?” He asked pointing at the bill board outside. I had to turn back and look at it. It was the first time I was seeing it. It indicated, “Monastery of the holy Cross, St Andrews….” And went on giving other details that I could not finish reading “Damn!” I heard myself think loudly in my head “So you said you are lost?” The priest asked “Yes. How can I get to the main road?” I asked quickly wanting to get out “Well, its almost 20 hours and you are likely not able to get a vehicle in time. Besides you will have to walk about 5 Km to the road, that will take you another hour or so, vehicle are rare here. But,..” he looked at me and my dusty shoes “How did you find yourself here?” he asked. “Why are you here? “he asked again without waiting for me to find the answer to the first question. “I..I” I stammered, realizing even myself was not sure how I got there and why. I looked at him and something in me moved. I don’t know if I was moved by the gown on the man, I just spoke the very first thought that came to my mind that I had dared thought or nor spoke to anyone since it happened. “I killed someone father.. I killed someone and now i... I cant, she.. He.. I killed cause i…” I kept swallowing my words not sure what to say of where to start from, tears forming in my eyes. Instead of being scared of me or showing any signs of shock. The man held my hand and moved me away from the gate. He locked it and looked deep into my eyes
“I can see you are not a killer, you seem like a good man, so why don’t we sit inside and you will tell me everything, tell me what happened my son” he spoke gently and with care I could feel it in his hand holding and leading me to the building ahead.
I was following him without hesitation, like something was just pushing me ahead.
“What am I doing? This man can call the cops on me, why can’t I just leave” I asked myself as he opened wide the front door for me to get in.
She stood there her big round eyes deeply gazing at me. She showed no emotion at all, it was like she was piercing every part of my naked body. I stood there watching her in silence, her legs folded up and hiding her precious parts. I dared not touch her, not that I had enough of her but the fact that everything about her just got me amazed. Her dark smooth skin, I could almost hear the Zambian song about a woman who used to bath in milk. She didn’t move either and awkwardly for a good 5 minutes watched each other.
“You are…” we spoke at the same time and she chuckled nodding for me to go ahead
“Are beautiful, every time I look at you, I feel fulfilled, every part of your body juts gets my body on the edge and I don’t believe it’s me feeling this way..” I smiled still standing at the same point.
“Well, I was going to say you are huge” she let a laugh making me laugh so hard I had to fall on the bed near her. She was crazy like that, always found something fun to say and it got me all the time. I could not tell whether the joke was real or she was being truthful. My heart was racing so fast as I felt her heartbeat in my back. She wrapped her warm body around me and planted her lips in my shoulder blowing her warm air on the spot she just made wet and I could not contain myself. She was getting me hard and I knew any more minute around her would get me late for work
“I got to go” I sprang out of bed with a deep sigh. It was her turn to laugh. She took a few seconds laughing at how I was running away from her as I grabbed my towel to go and take a bath
“what?” I asked, bending and blushing my lips on hers.
“I love you” she said without hesitation
“Hmm really? How do you know that?” I asked standing straight she moved and knelt on the edge of the bed holding my waist
“Do you love me Joe?” she asked without answering my question
“Of course babe, why do you ask? “ I made a face. Well, call me a coward but that was the first year of our dating and I never in a day told Alisha I loved her direct of unless she told me first and I would simply say
I love you too. Little did I know it was a big deal for her. She wanted me to say it all the time, she wanted me to start the words and whisper to her, I loved her.
“why is it you never say it, unless I start?’ she asked and I had no proper answer. I loved the woman before me with every vein in me. She was everything but I thought I could do more by acting on it than saying it all the time. She was there with me and that is what mattered. She was the love of my life and I hoped she could see that from all my gestures both little and huge ones.
“Babe, it`s not important that I say the words all the time, I mean, you know I love you right?” I asked.
My phone rung at that point and she shook her head..
“Go and answer it Joe” she smiled her weak smile and went back in the sheets. I just got a call from my boss wanting me to go for work early. Apparently we had an early case to deal with. Being a Police officer was not always my plan growing up, but my father who had now retired from active service did all he could in his power to make sure I went for the same.
“Babe, I got go, duty calls” I smiled at her and rushed in the bathroom taking a quick bath and heading out in a rush.
The priest looked at me as I wiped tears from my eyes, he had not said a word as I narrated my memory with Alisha. He just smiled and stood up with a sigh
“You realize you have not said anything else to me about what brought you here for the last couple of days apart from the love and times you had with this Alisha woman?” he asked pouring some wine in glass and handing me one. I looked at the bottle and got a little disappointed seeing it was alcohol free. He had made me drink that the days we spent together.
“Don`t you have mass or something?’ I asked to try cut him short. I didn’t want to get to the whole story yet less, he chased me out his monastery before I was ready to go out there and face what awaited me.
“Oh yeah, will you come with Me.?” He asked placing the wine on the table.
“No!” I sharply responded and he shrugged walking out. I stood by the window watching as other Priests, walked towards the chapel. But Father Tom drove out in his white Nissan Van I assumed he was the one conducting mas at a church about 3 km away from the monastery as he told me. I sighed and wiped my face allowing myself to calm down the emotions I was feeling from the story I as just telling him about Alisha.
I decided to switch on the TV and the news on it made me regret it. My picture was on the screen and a fee attached to it for anyone who will inform the police about my whereabouts, I was being called a dangerous armed murderer and caution was to be taken by anyone I would come across. I switched off the TV angrily and hit my palm and bit my lips making a painful dent in my lower lip I felt the impact as I let it go. Holding my lips, I touched the sore part and looked at my forefinger, there was blood.
“Am damned” I whispered to myself. From the day Father took me in, was confided to the room. He told me a few others were aware of my presence but he didn’t give details of what I had told him. I was sort of isolated from everyone so I could not get in their way. I was okay the past couple of days but now with everything on the news about me, I started doubting how long I had before any of the Monks sold me off to the cops, not sure they were interested in the money but I was sure the thing of righteousness and justice really was important.
I started feeling myself panic at such thoughts. In an instant I started looking for my clothes. I had to get out. I found my clothes well ironed and placed in one of the wardrobes and I got my shoes too. I was about to walk to the door when I realized my wallet was missing. I looked for it all round but nothing, then it downed, “The Priest has taken it away.” I sat down defeated.
Well it was a very good way of keeping me around., but I vowed not to stay any longer, I was given shelter and food, even clothing’s but I felt I had to leave, the more I stayed within town, the more danger I was going to be in. I had to find a way and hide from my past and try find purpose elsewhere.
“Hi man” I made a call to the only person I felt I could trust.
“Hey, who is this? “I heard Charles respond. I could hear back ground noise, I knew he was at work.
“Joe here” I responded
“What the Hell! … Joe man do you have any idea what you have done? The cops are all over looking for you, what were you thinking?” he asked me in whisper I could bet they were people near him he didn’t want them to know it was me calling him.
“I know I messed up man, but it was self-defense I swear, the fool was abusing her. She called for my help and “the line went dead and I removed the phone to check if I was still connected.
“Dammit!’ I screamed angrily. I tried to dial the line again but nothing, I could not go through. I had no idea what went on the other side. I had to wait for another time.
‘Probably his battery is dead” I told myself sitting down and looking about nervously.
I shut my eyes and tried to pull back the memories that soothed my painful heart.
I returned from work one day and she was standing by the door way waiting for me.
‘Hey babe!’ I got out of my car and walked to her. She opened her arms to receive me her gorgeous smile ever wide for me.
‘I missed you” she said allowing me to catch her as she threw herself at me before I could get any closer
“Well, who knew angels exist, I was just thinking about you on my way back and here you are” I smiled holding her face and planting a deep kiss on her mouth.
“Is that..?” I stopped loving the freshness of her mouth.
“Yes your favorite gum,” she brew in my face.
“So tell me, how was your day?” she asked as we sat down in the living room
“Your brother made my day hell, that man is a workaholic, my God he never gets tired” I laughed leaning back and she lay her head on my chest
“Tell me about it” she laughed too
“We should get him a girl, what do you think?” I teased
“He has a girl Babe.. My brother has always been like that, I guess he takes it from my father, always working we barely saw him home. But don’t worry, he is a good man”
“A sadist, that is what your brother is babe, everyone at work knows that.. I don
t know why he allowed me to date you. I swear every time I would come to your house, I could almost die wanting to just have chat with you, I was so scared of that man” “You got me lover boy, here I am” she smiled “Hmm, I got you, and I don’t care what he is, my boss or friend, I will blow off his head off he messes with you” I laughed and she shook her head picking the remote control for the TV. “So am here to stay with you” she announced unexpectedly “What?” I asked sitting up “What? You don’t want me here?” she asked her facial expression going down “No, babe, you know I would give anything to be with you, but.. Your school, and your brother? Your parents and all.. I don’t think it’s a good idea.” I told her as a matter of fact. “I know, but I can’t stay with James anymore, he is too controlling babe, my parents have come up with this outrageous plan about me when I complete my university studies and I dont think I want that, I want to choose my own life babe and I will not be forced to do things in don’t want” she shrugged sadly
“Alisha, what is going on? What did you parents say?’ I asked worried at the look on her face
“You don’t want to know, don’t worry though, am not going to do it” she tried to smile to assure me
“Tell me what they said, am a big boy I can handle it’ I tried to persuade her but she wouldn’t say a word to me. All she said was everything was going to be okay, she would fight for our love and make sure her parent
s plans would not turn out as hers. I wanted to know what it was but I could not get it out of her so I let it go. I asked her the following morning not to stay with me though “Babe, you can’t stay here” I sat up looking at her as she was half asleep “Hmm I am babe” she muttered without opening her eyes to face me “No you cant” I said again this time making her open her eyes
“What now?’ she looked upset
“To start with, your brother will know you are here if you are trying to move out of his house. Secondly, I need to know what is going that got you move out of your brother
s house and that which your parents want you to do., so yeah, you cannot stay here” “Joe, don’t tell me you cannot handle James.. He is an idiot, a controlling bastard but you can handle him” she responded with an angry face “He is your brother and he is a senior officer babe, I work under his command and I cannot afford to start a war with him.. Please understand, I want you here but not like this” I told her holding her hands together and looking her into her eyes. “Well, I will leave, but am not going back to his house, neither am In going to my parents” she shrugged
“But bab…” I could not state my next words and she threw me down the bed and started caressing my torso I felt sharp desires shoot in my body. She knew she got me and I become like a lap dog following her orders. She made everything worthwhile and I even forgot what our argument was about.
“Go for work, am staying here this weekend until I figure out where to go” she smiled leaving me watching her in bed like an idiot. There was nothing in my head to think one day I would end up in a monastery because of the love of a woman.
At the time, everything was so heavenly I would not in a second think of any pain to come out of our love story. I sighed looking at the wall clock, it was a few minutes past 17 and I was sure Father Tom would be back from his mass. I stood by the window waiting to see him drive in but minutes then hours passed he did not show up. I started wondering where he was, he didn’t tell me he will be gone that long. He mentioned mass would end after an hour but now it was 3 hours later, he was nowhere to be seen. I had to find out where the hell he was, he was holding my passport out of the place, all my money and cards were in the wallet and I was crippled without it.
The April weather felt chilled on my skin as I walked about the buildings trying to find where I could find someone to ask about Father Tom. It was silent all around I wondered how the Monks lived in such a silent place, in a couple of days it was already getting my head crazy. The silence was too much for me to handle and now that I can to find someone to talk to. Forgetting all the rules of Father Tom to keep inside for the time being
I opened the door to a room I could hear small voices and I stopped in shock. I was standing in a wide room filled with Monks dressed in their gray and brown gowns. They all turned at once to face the intruder as the door banged open. I could see one of them in the front I had no idea what they were doing. I felt my legs go weak. The men`s eyes in that room looked at me with blank stares I had no idea what they were thinking about me. A 6 feet tall man dressed in black jeans and a green t-shirt finished off with black loafers with gray shoes laces on my feet, I could practically see them studying me like I was some kind of teaching aid.
‘Hi everyone!’ I heard my wimp come out of my mouth I had to clear my throat a couple of times.
“Hi” they all responded like they were in some kind of choir.
“Um, am.. Sorry for disturbing.. I …. Sorry, I was looking for Father Tom” I managed to say at last as they all looked at me without a word.
“Is he …? Um..” I stammered getting a numb feeling in my hands I have never been so ashamed in my life.
“He is not yet back.. And who are you?” the man standing in front asked, he was a white man standing firmly in his brown robes.
‘Um, okay, I will just wait for him. Again, sorry for disturbing, I will leave now” I stammered raising my hand and walking out faster than in came in without telling him who I was. I walked past the small office and headed to my room in long strands and my heart on heat. Leaning on the back of the door closed my eyes and sighed deeply
“Thank God I was not in hell being judged for me sins” I spoke loudly my eyes still closed.
‘Oh maybe you were” the voice came from the dark room making me jump in fright. The owner of the voice burst out laughing I had to hold myself to make sure it was a human being.
‘Father Tom!’’ I sighed when the lights flipped on and exposed the figure of the man I was looking for.
“You came back?” I said more of a statement than a question
“They.. I was.. They were looking at me like.. I “ I failed to say what I was thinking as I sat down next to the priest
‘I told you not to go out, now I have no option but to tell everyone who you are. Well, that is after you tell me why you are here” he shrugged casually
“What?” I asked sitting up, knowing now I was in danger.
“Yeah Joseph, I think its high time you told me what on earth you are running away from and whom you killed and why.. it’s been two days and I cannot wait to hear it
“I can’t” I responded without thinking through it
“Why not?” he asked curious at my change of heart
“The cops have put a price on my head for anyone who will tell them about my whereabouts and now that those guys in there know am here, the cops will probably be here soon and I can’t go to jail” I responded
“I need my wallet Father, I got to go, thank you for what you have done for me but I got to go” I added seriously he shook his head.
‘There is another way” he stood up his hands in the pockets. I looked at him, he was a shoulder shorter than me so I had to bend my head a bit since he came so close
‘What?’ I asked
“Tell me what you did in confession, I have sworn to never reveal anything said in confession so the cops will never find out, at least not from me.” He smiled
“I can’t, the others have seen me and …’ I shook my head
“Let me worry about others, I know if you had somewhere to go you could have gone already. Let me help you find your way. please stay, at least until the end of the week and try to put your life right with God, he brought you here for a purpose and I feel it in me, you need this” he spoke I could feel his tenderness and love as he spoke. I sat down defeated, he was right I had nowhere else planned to go, I could use a week to figure that out.
“Am not promising to become a Monk like all of you Priests, I love women” I let a laugh
‘I know” he shrugged and walked out leaving me to my thoughts…
– Part* 3
The deem lights eliminating from a florescent tube up in the ceiling came direct into my eyes as I lay down the small bed trying to put small pieces of information in order so I can get meaning of what was going on. It all happened so fast I had no time to process everything. Mostly my mind was clouded with fear and need to survive, I had not really allowed myself to go through everything that had happened in the last year to the point of the murder.
The sounds of soothing Music coming down from the next building really touched my heart I had no idea I was crying until I felt the water get into my ears. Slowly I placed my thumb and removed the water. I sat down sighing deeply. The priests were having their morning devotion and the sound of their voices just got me into my deepest thoughts.
“Am sorry God” I found myself saying amid my tears. I moved from my bed and covered my face kneeling down the floor. I could not pray as such, but I just said the words
Sorry God over and over again, for long as the Monks sung. I knelt down and felt my tears run down my face. I could not realize they were done as the echo of their voices kept ringing in my head. I sat down feeling my knees weak and wiped my face. In so many years, I had not cried so much.
The soft knock from the door made me come out of the mood I was in and I started heading to the door to get it. I was so sure it was Father Tom at the door, but to my surprise a different priest was standing there wearing a gentle smile
“Hello good morning” he greeted me looking about. I noticed he was younger than me, way younger, I could sense he was slightly above 20 years old. That was 11 years younger than I was.
“Good morning father” I greeted him back
“Am just a deacon, not yet ordained priest” he corrected me.
“Oh, I thought you are all.”
“No, we are still training, you can call it that, there are only a few of us here but yeah, still new, less than 3 years here” he smiled anxiously rubbing his hands.
“Oh I see, well, great to meet you.. Um…” I paused realizing I had no idea what his name was
“Call me Geoffrey” he smiled
“Thank you Geoffrey, can I help you with anything?’ I asked after a bit of silence from him
“Yeah, I was sent to come call you by Father Tom, he said he will meet you in the adoration room.” he announced.
“Oh, I will be there” I smiled at him
“Yeah, you know where the adoration room is?” he asked politely, I was sure he knew I had no idea where that was. It was my 4th day in the monastery and the second day after I embarrassed myself in front of them all and I had not moved out of my room. Father Tom told me to take my time and think through things. He told me I had to take all the time I needed before confessing so that when I did, I can finally find peace. He was right, staying in silence for days really got me searching through my life and tried to see through everything with a different perspective. I tried to reason with myself and see where I got it all wrong, where all the anger and the impulsive acts came from, and to a great extent it all pointed back to my Family and later to my relationship with Alisha, it was all around that.
“Can I take you now?” Geoffrey asked seeing I was lost in my own thoughts.
“Oh yeah, sure please” I nodded and walked with him to where the adoration room was. I was ushered into a very serene room, it was very deem and all the walls were covered in some maroon carpet from floor to the ceiling. There was a statue of Jesus with a bright light in the front and a bible placed on a small table. Looked about and every other space was empty. I didn’t know what to do, I just stood there and did nothing. There was this strong feeling someone was there with me, I looked about thinking it was Father Tom, but I guessed he could not be hiding from me. I slowly turned around and took every detail of the room. Something just told me to kneel down and pray.
“I don’t know why am here, if you are there, I don’t even know what am saying right now, are you God in here with me? Or is it Jesus, please if it is you, get me out of this mess, I killed someone, I have done wrong things but I just feel like you have left me alone. In fact I feel like I don’t know who you are… yeah” I stopped chuckling.
“I guess that is why you took away the only woman I loved, you punished me as I grew up using my father. Well, I had to find a way to defend myself and here I am, stuck with some Monk, some priests who sing to you and make me feel so pathetic and unworthy. So yeah, I don’t know if am praying or just ranting, but you know what, I think this is not worthy it cause I know you hate me probably for a lot of wrong things I did.. “
I Stopped and looked about again, wiping my tears. The deep silence continued and I sat down doing nothing more. My heart was feeling better I could feel a bit of peace but my head kept reminding me of my past and what I was.
“You can talk to him more, he is listening” The voice from the door called out and I noticed Father Tom has just joined me
“No he can’t possibly be listening, I don’t know what is wrong with me Father this place just makes me think things and i…” I stopped
“Go on” he encouraged me
“I don’t know, I feel am not right to be here Father. I need to go out there, I don’t belong here” I told him standing up
“God does not want you out Joseph, he brought you here for a reason and you cannot leave unless he wants you to” he smiled as though he had my life planned out
“Am not comfortable here, can’t you see. This room, it feels like someone is watching me and all this guilty and shame I feel.. I .. just cant stay” I cried
“Look, tell me what really happened out there, when we are done, you can leave.” He responded calmly.
I took a deep breath.. “Where do I start from?” I shrugged
“The beginning” he shrugged sitting down next to me
‘I thought you said I have to say it in confession” I looked at him
“We are in confession” he smiled
“I attended church as a boy, my parents are catholic, I don’t think this is how confession starts” I smiled back at him
“Well, let’s see, do you remember how?” he chuckled
“No” I shook my head
“I have not stepped my foot in church since I was in grade 8 and I cannot remember being in confession since the one I did before we were baptized in grade 7” I explained as a matter of fact
“Well, no procedures, God is listening.. So am I” he nodded his head.
I looked at him and the statue of Jesus in front of us. I looked around once again, like to make sure it was only him and Jesus listening before I started.
I met a girl, very beautiful woman. Well, I was sent by my boss to take some things to his house. A young lady walked out the door wearing this smile that just took me off my feet. She spoke her first word to me
“Hi” and I felt a lump in my throat I had to swallow hard to get rid of it
“Hi’ I had responded.
Well, father, that was the starting point of our love story, I visited my boss and friend James often after that first day. All I wanted was to see her and be around her, until I gained courage to as her out, with the approval of her elder brother. He cautioned me to be careful with her and not do anything stupid. Well, I was and still is in love with her.
Months passed and all was well until one day she told me she was moving out of her brother
s house, she wanted to stay with me but I couldn’t allow her” “And why not?” “Well, I don’t know, I guess mostly it was because I was scared of her brother. You see, that was the mistake I made, now that I think of it, I could have pushed her to tell me what was going on with her family and probably stayed with her” “Cohabiting is not Christian like” The priest pointed out. He wanted me to see the wrong in that but I told him there was no such thing as thinking of sins in my world, I was not even considering the fact that I was sleeping with a woman I was not married to as sin. “Really,? You think cohabiting is a bigger sin that making love to a woman am not married to?” I asked him straight up. He shook his head. “Well, I should have allowed her to stay with me Father because I discovered a month later that her parents had plans to marry her off to a fellow rich guy, some manager at some huge organization who happened to be a family friend. My Alisha was told to ditch me and marry him instead. According to them, a junior officer like myself amounted to nothing. They wanted the best for her.” I paused recalling the events around the period. I was driving to her friends apartment where she was staying when I met this guy. Just one look at his car and manner of dress, I could tell I was up for some great competition. He stood outside the apartment the time I was driving in and Alisha was heading towards him. I parked my car a few meters away trying to see what was going on. I knew Alisha had seen me but I wanted to see her reaction when that man was there. It was weeks after we talked about everything and she assured me, she will never bow to her parent
s wishes. “Hey babe!” she waved her hands up high I knew she was calling me. I felt proud in that moment as I took long steps towards her and like always she threw her arms around me. “Wow” I staggered back trying to keep my balance. A wide smile on my face, I knew I had her, no matter what, I had faith she had chosen me. Well, I was wrong. “She changed her mind?’ Tom asked. “Not only did she change her mind about me Father, she spit in my face that she never loved me that all this while I disgusted her and she was not in love with me.” I paused as I took in the memory of Alisha shouting and telling me how she hated me, how I was a failure and many other words that I could not dare remember. It was too painful for me. “So you killed someone because your woman chose another man?” the priest asked. ‘No, that is not the reason father. There is more to it. You see, I could not understand why Alisha had a sudden change of mind. She loved me that I was sure of. So I followed her around. She had completed her studies and was still looking for a job, so she made little movements making it easier for me to track her. I did that for 3 months and most of the times I could find that other guys car parked at the new flat she was staying at.
One day I was there watching and waiting for them to come out and I saw them after an hour. She was dressed in a white dress that fall above her knees and moved about as she walked cause of the little winds blowing the air. Her face was sad and she continuously looked down. I sensed something was wrong. I waited till the guy had left before I got to her flat.
She had left her door open so I pushed it and entered without knocking. She was curled on the couch her face buried in her palms. I could hear small sobs from where I stood, she had not seen me yet.
“hey” I whispered and she quickly turned to look at me
“What is wrong babe, are you okay?” I asked without hesitation, she was still precious to me and seeing he cry made me want to avenge her pain.
“What are you doing here Joe?” she asked wiping her tears
“You have not answered my question Alisha? What is wrong?” I asked
“Please leave me alone Joe. You have no right to be here, it’s been 3 months and am sure you must have forgotten about me. Please leave before Chanda comes back” she looked away.
“Chanda? Is that his name?”
“Joe please” she shook her head
“Just tell me why you hate me all of a sudden. We were …” I could not finish my words and she shook her head turning to look at me
“We were what Joes? You never told me you loved me in words Joe.. so.. “
“Is that your excuse? I never said the words regularly? You know I love you, I don’t need to sing it on top of the mountain Alisha, I have always loved you and you are doing this to punish me ? is that it? The hateful words and all just to make me pay for not saying the words?” I felt my eyes clouded with tears.
“Joe please..” she looked away avoiding my eyes
“No don’t do that, don’t look away and tell me the truth now, here you are looking like you have funeral, you look sad so am I. so tell me a good reason why you are doing this to us.. Tell me Alisha and I will leave you alone. Please. Don’t give me that bullshit you hate me just to get rid of me, you know that is not true, tell me the truth now” I begged kneeling down her and holding her hands she could not avoid my eyes anymore. She looked at me and burst out crying. She sobbed for a moment and I had no option but to hold her close. I felt it, she needed me as much I as I needed her, all she had to do was tell me the truth. So I sat down besides her holding her close.
She lifted her face to look at me and I smiled, I touched her lips and I saw her tremble, I knew it, she was in love with me, her eyes could not lie. I moved her closer and kissed her lips tenderly. Moved my head to look at her and there was no sign of resistance, so I went on kissing her with all my passion.
“I missed you so much babe, I missed you” I kept whispering to her teary face. She held on to me like she didn’t want me to let her go. I held her closer squeezing her small body in my embrace and allowing her to fell my strong heartbeat.
“You feel that?” I spoke in her neck
“My strong heartbeat for you Alisha, am not letting you go, I love you.. I love so much and I swear I will say it every day if I have to prove it to you. I have never loved someone so much in my life. Please don’t let me go, please” I could feel myself getting so emotional my eyes were filling up
t” she moved away sharply like she was scared holding on to me would be hard to let go “Why? Alisha why are you doing this?” I asked trying to hold her hands but she moved them away “My mother is dying Joe, she is dying and her wish is that I marry Chanda, his family has been there for us, we are where we are cause of them and the only way they can appreciate Chandas family is to give me to him as a wife, he loves me Joe and …” she paused
“I will learn to love him” she finished her sentence leaving me staring at her in shock
“You are choosing a man you don’t love because your family feel they have a debt to Chanda
s family? Are you serious? You have nothing to do with whatever they did to help your family Alisha, you are an independent person and can make your own decision, sorry to say this but your mother is being very selfish, she is dying and her only wish is to leave you suffering?” I scoffed my temper rising. “I think you have to go now Joe, I have made up my mind and I will not do otherwise, it’s my life after all, I can live it the way I want to” she stepped away from me “Yeah that’s right, like throwing away the love you have for me and choosing to live with that rich clown” “Joe, please you have to go. Right now” “Oh yeah, cause you know if I stay longer you might end up choosing me Alisha, the truth here is you love me and you are being a coward to fight for us” I shook my head feeling disappointed. “You can now leave Joe, you heard the lady she does not want you here” an irritating voice with a slang accent spoke from my back I turned to look at him “Get going Joe, Mr Police officer” he teased me looking at me from head to toe and sizing me up. I was in my uniform. “I am not yet done with her” I responded calmly ‘Oh yeah? She is mine now and I say you are done. So Sir, match out” he raised his hand showing me the door. I felt my temper rise, I knew I was not going to leave without a fight. I walked slowly towards him my eyes set on him, he was an inch shorter than me. “You don’t tell me shit! I will leave when am done talking to her. You better back off!” I snored angrily “No, you son of a bitch! I say the words and you bark, and right now the words are back off! Leave us alone and never come back here or else…” “Or else what? “ I pushed him to the wall and he was ready to stand up against me. He folded his fists and I was watching him closely ready to take him down. “Joe! Stop!” Alisha came to me pulling me away. “Please” she cried holding my hand firmly as Chanda kept standing ready to pounce on me. I felt bad I had to fight him another day, cause I surely could not do it with Alishas begging eyes.
“Its alright babe, I will leave” I held her hand and kissed her forehead making Chanda pissed he pushed me back.
“Get out!” he screamed and I let go of one punch in his face I could see blood coming out of his nose.
“Joe please!” Alisha screamed running to Chanda and I shook my head staring at him.
“Don’t ever touch me!” I gnarled and walked out my anger building up every minute I walked away from her.
“Well, I guess you cannot solve things with fists huh” Father Tom who had been listening chirped in. I shook my head.
‘No you can’t, because from that day, for some reason, Alisha could not see eye to eye with me. She was moved from the flat. My guess is the Chanda guy moved her.”
“Well, so what happened after that? Did you ever confront her brother James? Or her parents?” the priest asked. I stretched my legs on the warm carpet and moved my hand in my hair, took one more look at the statue of Jesus and at Father Tom, before I could continue…