Wednesday, 27 December 2017

Tangle Episode 10

They both left her to sleep again.
Malik sat on the chair in the sitting room while Jeffery went out. He switched on the television and started watching a programme. Helen who they thought should be asleep came into the sitting room.
'Helen, aren't you sleeping anymore or did you remember anything again?' Malik asked surprisingly.
'I tried to sleep but I couldn't, that is why I came to the sitting room, let’s watch a movie' she said.
'Okay let’s tune to the movie channel' Malik did and they both started enjoying the film.
'Oh my God' Helen said suddenly.
'What?' Malik asked.
'I remember this place, it’s my neighbourhood' she said referring to a riverine location on the television.
'You can't be serious'
'I remember falling into that river when I was little, I was on a canoe with my father' she said.
'Maybe you are making a mistake' Malik said.
'No, I definitely recall it, that is how I got the scar here' she showed Malik a scar near her ankle. He became convinced by the scar.
'Please help me Malik, I want to see my parent again' she begged.
'Okay, we will go there tomorrow and see if anyone recognize you' he promised.
The second day, Malik and Helen took off to the riverine area they saw on the movie. Helen couldn't remember anything again till the morning despite how hard she tried. She was so eager to have all her memories back. As Malik drove the car she kept thinking how happy her parent would be when they see her. Malik on the other hand isn't happy; he never wanted her to regain her memory. He want things to continue the way they were, he feared she might abandon them once she found her family.
As soon as the car was brought to an halt, Helen couldn't wait as she jumped out and started checking the whole place out. She went to some fishermen by the river bank asking if any of them recognize her but none of them did. She asked everyone but no one gave her a positive answer. After a few minutes she saw a canoe and she remembered a name. She ran
back to the fishermen.
'Please sir, where is Rafiu Agbeja?' she asked them.
'Rafiu agbeja has been dead almost fifteen years ago, he died saving his only daughter who fell into the river' an elderly man answered.
Helen's expression changed as soon as she heard the news.
'That was my father, I can now remember the whole incident clearly. It’s the truth, he died saving me' she said to Malik.
Malik felt deep sympathy for Helen, she who wanted to dig up her past memory and get back to her old life now just unveiled a past sorrow which she never thought exit. But the questions in his heart were; did Helen need to dig further? What if inside the dark box of her memory lies a more traumatic experience that should better be forgotten? What would he do if Helen insists on leaving them after finding her family? He couldn't bring himself to answer the last question, all he prayed was that the opening lead of her old memory be sealed off completely for good and he would find a way to convince Helen to stop searching.
Helen looked completely dedicated to the task at hand which is finding her family. She assumed to be desperately looking forward to see her mother who she only had a glimpse of from the short memory leaked she had.
'Please do you know the residence of his family?' Helen asked the fisher men with pleading eyes.
The fisher men looked curiously at the lady before them. Why is she being encompassed over such an old incident? What's her relationship with the family?
'Since the death of her husband, life was difficult for Sarah, she moved out of the apartment her husband rented and had been moving around with her daughter' one of the fisher men said.
She asked if they knew precisely where she was presently but they told her they didn't. She decided to look around if she would remember anything else but she didn't.
After a few moments Malik convinced her they should start heading home and continue their search the next day. As they were about to get to where they parked their car, Helen saw an old woman running from afar shouting 'Aderonke! Aderonke! Aderonke!’ Helen stopped and looked at the woman but found no familiarity. She continued going her way until suddenly the woman grabbed her shoulder.
'You this stupid girl, where have you been all this while' the woman yelled.
She turned to the woman and asked 'Please do you know me?'
'I can't believe you just asked me such a nasty question? So you are this heartless? You ran away from home and denied your background' the woman talked furiously.
'Madam, please are you her mother?' Malik asked.
'Me? I pray before a child like this grow in my womb, she should be washed away as my monthly period' she cursed.
'Where is my mother?' she begged somberly.
The woman was reluctant to give information about the whereabouts of her mother, she was enraged that Aderonke had abandoned her mother but after much pleading and persuasion she agreed to take them to where her mother was staying.
Soon they were in a canoe, moved by two human propellers, one at the front and the other at the back. Malik can't help but stared at some old dilapidated houses which seem before his eyes as having just a few days left before they sink into the river they were built upon. Their canoe stopped at the doorstep of such a house, the woman who had brought them disembarked from the canoe and walked on some over-expired wooden planks, which served as doorstep of the so-called house. The two followed in her footsteps as she mounted her agile feet on the pieces of termites left over wood, made as the stair case to the house.
Inside the house, they found a figure lying calmly on the wooden bed. The room was dark and gloomy, the air inside was polluted by all sort of odour. Malik wished he could run out to catch a few breath of the fresh air again. As if reading his thought, the woman who had brought them went to the window and pulled them open. Immediately, there was a coup, daylight overcame darkness and fresh air started pouring in.
'Sarah, I have brought you some visitors' the woman announced.
A little bit blindfolded by the light, the figure on the bed sat upright. Her face was lean and pale, all the flesh in her cheek had flattened to the bone, only a soft skin covered her skull.
'Welcome Sikira, who are they?' the figure spoke in a barely audible tone.
'Maamaa, maamaaa' Helen screamed as she got the first glance at the figure.
'Aderonke, my daughter' the figure shouted back in a deep voice. Helen rushed to the woman and wrapped her arm round her.
Malik stood watching the emotional moment between mother and child and he started feeling guilty for forbidden the reunion.
Contrary to Malik's thought, Helen's mom never asks her daughter what happened to her or the reason she left her all alone. She was more than satisfied that she could set her eyes on her daughter again. Helen nevertheless explained everything to her mom. Since she saw her, all her lost memory came back fully. They both shared old times memory with abundant joy as they sat down eating the ill nutritious food the woman, Sikira, prepared.
Malik who had excused himself from eating, watched and was amazed by the kind of joy they had, the type he had never seen before in his life. How can someone live in such a slum like this and still be that happy?' He thought.
He can't imagine Helen growing up in such a dirty area.
He checked his time and realized that it’s early evening already. He told them it’s time they get going but Helen declined, she insisted on staying with her newly found mom for the night and returning to their house the following day.
Malik bade them farewell and took his leave.
He got home to find his friend pacing all around the house.
'Hello Jeff' Malik greeted as he slumped to the chair tiredly.
'Where the hell have you been? I was worried sick about you' Jeff asked anxiously.
'I went to help Helen find her family'
'What? So you went ahead and helped her? Where is she now?' Jeff questioned.
'She is with her mother; she insisted she would sleep with her tonight and come back tomorrow'
Jeffery sighed; he wanted to say something but stopped.
'The Chairman called me, he said he was trying your number but it didn't get through. He seems pissed off by that' Jeff said.
‘It must be owing to the poor network around that place, I will call him back to apologies'
'He said a new deal is coming up in the next five days, the biggest we have ever dealt with. He said we should be prepared and that you should send the bio data of the new employee' Jeff said.
'Did he give you the detail about the job?' Malik asked.
'No, he said he would brief us both together. Are you going to tell him about Helen?'
'No I can't now, let’s wait until tomorrow and hear if Helen will still work with us or not' Malik answered.
All through the night, Malik couldn't sleep; his thought kept going to Helen. What would be her decision tomorrow? Is she going to leave them? A mind suggested the girl isn't going to stay anymore. The moment she set her eyes on her mother, it seems she just got all she wanted on earth. She can't forsake her again and come live with them. The bond between her and her mother is strong.
Another part of his mind argued that she would come back when her eyes got opened and she realized the big difference between poverty and wealth. The little time she had spent with them, they had given her the very taste of wealth. No one in his or her right sense would cling on to poverty when he or she knew an affluence life await him or her somewhere.


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