|Join Nairaland / LOGIN! / Trending / Recent / New|
Stats: 1,976,302 members, 4,139,915 topics. Date: Sunday, 18 March 2018 at 12:59 AM
|Re: Divided Emotions by tijehi(f): 12:24pm On Nov 29, 2012|
Reminds me of Homeland Series
|Re: Divided Emotions by Omolola1(f): 6:09pm On Nov 29, 2012|
KENNETH loved the feel of the steering wheel in his hand. He loved the sensation of speed, and the power that came from being in control of his life again. To be able to go where he wanted, when he wanted, was something he'd never take for granted again.
"The car's a little beauty, Sonia." A gleaming white exterior of classic style and clean rounded lines, with an interior that, thanks to the sunroof, felt airy and unconfined. After being forced to live in darkness for so many years, he craved the light. "I like it. I like it a lot."
The choice of car was a reflection on Sonia herself. That thought put him in mind of the golden-haired, eighteen-year-old girl he'd made his wife fourteen years ago. Her lilting smile and extraordinary black eyes had worked their magic straight into his heart.
Where was that girl who'd sworn she'd wait for him till the end of time?
The composed elegant woman occupying the front passenger seat, gleaming hair caught in a large tortoise shell clip at the back of her head, was a far cry from his loving, passionate young wife. The day he'd left, Sonoia had clung to him at the base airport, refusing to let him get on that plane because they both knew it might be a year before they held each other again.
As it was, they'd made love all night long, not willing to waste a second of the precious time left to them, never dreaming it would last seven years.
There'd be no night like that tonight. Perhaps never again.
He'd known that much when he kissed her, trying to get something from her she couldn't give. Her mouth had always been like a spring of fresh water to him, but when he went to drink, he discovered that the source had stopped giving freely. He'd only caught a trickle.
After glimpsing his injured arm, she'd attempted to cover up her repulsion, but it didn't work. When her initial horror had fled, he saw only a sorrowing pity in her eyes, the one emotion he couldn't tolerate from her. Not his Sonnie.
. . .But she isn't your Sonnie anymore. . .
Who was the man? How much did he mean to her?
. . .She's taken off your rings, Brown. That's how much the guy means to her. . .
. . .How many times has he held you? Touched you? How long have you been going to bed with him, Sonia. . .
A cold sweat broke out on Kenneth's body. He knew he was going to be sick like M.T., so he took the Bountiful turnoff, searching frantically for the nearest gas station.
After pulling to a stop alongside a set of pumps, he got quickly out of the car. "I'll be right back."
He barely made it to the rest room in time to empty his stomach. While his hand still clutched the wall to support his weakened body, Divine walked in and shut the door.
"Dad? Mom was worried about you and sent me to see if you're okay. How come you're sick? Do you have one of those Gulf War diseases they talk about on Channel One?"
Before the war, if he'd been sick she would have followed him to find out for herself that he was all right.
As soon as the sickness passed, Kenneth rinsed his mouth, then turned to Divine, anxious to take away the panic.
His hand went to Divine's left shoulder. "What's Channel One?"
"It's a news channel we have to watch at school. They've had all these stories about vets from Desert Storm who have unexplained diseases. Even their wives and kids are getting them. Do you have one?" The tears trickled down his cheeks.
Kenneth sucked in his breath. "Have you ever thrown up just before a football game?" His son nodded.
"Well, getting bumped around in that transport and being reunited with my family after seven years kind of made me feel the same way I used to feel before a game against Manchester."
"Honest?" Divine's eyes were hopeful.
"I wouldn't lie to you, son. The fact that M.T and I were held in semi-isolation below the ground throughout our imprisonment probably protected us from a lot of things, including disease. Our unit had hardly arrived before M.T and I went out hunting for land mines and were captured."
At those words, relief broke out on Divine's face.
"There's nothing wrong with either of us that a weight gain of forty pounds won't fix. I dreamed about double-thick chocolate marshmallow malts the whole time I was captured, figured you and I would make a stop at Cremeville's our nightly ritual for a while. I'm craving one right now. What kind do you like?"
"Are you putting me on?"
"I've loved chocolate-chip since I was a kid. You're my son, all right."
Divine grinned. "What about M.T."
"He likes plantain chips. We'll pick one up for him, too."
"He doesn't look very good, Dad."
"That's because he hasn't been able to get in touch with his family yet. We'll let him hang around with us until he can find out what happened to his wife and aunt."
"Does he have kids?"
"No. But after six and a half years of hearing me talk about how terrific you are, he can't wait to have a Divine of his own."
"Dad. . ."
Pleased to see the light back in his son's eyes, Kenneth decided it was time to prepare him for certain new realities. "You'll probably hear me and M.T talking in our sleep," he began. "We might even scream and act strange. Don't let it scare you and don't be afraid to ask questions. It won't last forever. But it'll happen for a while because our minds will be working overtime, remembering things we don't want to remember. We're going to hate certain things now."
"Oh, going into the basement, being in a dark room, being enclosed in a crowded place where we can't get out."
"Will it bother you to be at a stadium."
He could see where his conversation was headed and ruffled Divine's hair. "No. That's different. That's outdoors in the fresh air and sunshine. Being confined so many years has taught me a lot of things about myself."
"I know I don't want to work behind my desk as a stockbroker anymore. If I had my way, I'd buy some property and do a little farming. Keep some horses. Grow a garden."
"Love the idea dad."
"Your mom's going to have something to say about it."
Now would be a perfect opportunity to ask Divine about the man in Sonia's life, but he couldn't do that. It had to come from Sonia.
Divine hadn't said a word. Neither had Kenneth's parents. Either everyone was keeping quiet to protect Kenneth from being hurt or none of them knew how deeply Sonia was involved with the other man. But that didn't seem possible, not when she wasn't wearing Kenneth's rings.
No. The family was guarding the big secret. In any event, it didn't matter. Kenneth would confront his wife before the day was over.
|Re: Divided Emotions by Omolola1(f): 6:37pm On Nov 29, 2012|
DAvIt0: Really cool and great mehn #following
|Re: Divided Emotions by Omolola1(f): 9:14am On Nov 30, 2012|
"Mom won't mind. She could drive to the university every day. Everyone commutes."
Kenneth blinked. "Is she still in school?"
"No. She's a teacher on the faculty."
Stunned by the news, Kenneth opened the rest-room door and headed for the counter to buy some gum. She'd once talked about getting her elementary-teaching certificate. . .
He offered Divine a piece before they went out to the car. "What does she teach?"
"Chemistry. She got her doctorate last year." Kenneth heard the love and pride in his voice. "Mom has her own office. Her students call her Dr. Brown. Isn't that neat?"
Chemistry? Dr. Brown? Kenneth remembered what a whiz she was at chemistry and physics in secondary school. All the kids used to ask her for help. Certainly, teaching at the university would pay fairly well and promise her a challenging career.
Was that where she'd met the new man in her life? Was he a professor, too?
As Kenneth got back in the driver's seat, he studied his wife's features. Her anxious face might have given him a glimmer of hope that she wasn't indifferent to him, if it hadn't been for the pitying look in her eyes.
Their black colour hadn't changed.
Everything else had.
"You're so pale, Kenneth. Are you feeling ill?" She whispered. "Please stay here for a while if you need to."
"I'm fine. We're just hungry for some ice cream, aren't we Divine?"
"If its all right with you, Sonia, we're going to stop at Cremeville's on the way home."
"Of course it's all right." Her voice actually shook.
She sounded hurt. He hadn't meant anything by the comment. He was just trying to be polite. Hell.
While they got back on the freeway, his thoughts digested the new information about his wife.
He had to admit she looked the epitome of the successful career woman. Earlier he hadn't quite known how to describe her to himself, how to describe the difference in her. Now everything made perfect sense.
"Kenneth, I've been thinking about the sleeping arrangements for M.T. Since your parents always stay in the guest room upstairs, he could sleep in the spare room down in the base. . ."
"I want him to sleep with me, Mom," Divine broke in before Kenneth could suggest the living-room couch.
. . .Divine, Divine. You're not only wonderful, you're a quick study. . .
"My room has two beds. It'll be cool to talk to him about stuff."
Kenneth felt Sonia stir restlessly. Her gaze kept swerving to his hand on the wheel; she was obviously still in shock that he was minus the other. "He might not like to be questioned, Divine."
"He'll love it," Kenneth intervened. "Once you get him going, he won't know when to stop. The biggest mistake a person can make with a vet, particularly a POW, is to clam up on him. He needs to talk everything out, to validate what happened to him."
. . .Do you hear what I'm saying, Sonia?. . .
|Re: Divided Emotions by Omolola1(f): 9:14am On Nov 30, 2012|
|Re: Divided Emotions by Omolola1(f): 9:17am On Nov 30, 2012|
|Re: Divided Emotions by Oluwafunmilayo95(f): 10:45am On Nov 30, 2012|
|Re: Divided Emotions by Ice4jez(m): 3:14pm On Nov 30, 2012|
Nice one jare.u no dey dull boy.oya take biro make u continue
|Re: Divided Emotions by Omolola1(f): 9:20pm On Nov 30, 2012|
"W-WERE YOU AND M.T put in the same cell?" She asked quietly, breaking the tension-filled silence.
. . .There's a start, Sonia. . .
"No. Sometimes we were on the other side of the same wall. Other times we were separated by several walls. When the guards were lax, we could talk out loud. Otherwise we spoke to each other in Morse Code by tapping on the wall."
"Some parts of the military do. But M.T taught it to me in prison. It's a good communication system if all else fails."
"Neat! Do you think M.T would teach me?"
"Of course. In fact, we'll demonstrate as soon as we get home. You can teach your friends. It's easy. I wish your mom and I had known how to use it in high school. We wouldn't have gotten into so much trouble passing notes in class."
That comment brought a bark of laughter from Divine. More importantly, Sonia's lips softened into a smile reminiscent of the old happy Sonia.
"What do you mean notes?" She challenged. "I hate to admit it, but we were terrible, Divine. We had three classes together our senior year, and I didn't learn a single thing in any of them because your father wrote me these long letters I had to return."
"Yours were longer, and nobody forced you to do it, sweetheart."
Suddenly Sonia went silent and turned her head away.
For a moment they'd met on equal ground, enjoying a memory together.
Until the endearment had slipped out, triggering something so distressing his own wife couldn't face him.
Did the new man in her life call her "sweetheart" too? Was that the reason for her reaction?
"Tell me about your friends, Dee. I want to know their names and hear about the things you guys do when you mess around."
As he'd hoped, Divine kept up a running commentary until they reached Cremeville's, in the heart of town. Kenneth learned that Jeff Patricks was his best friend and that you didn't say "mess around" anymore. You were supposed to say "hang out together."
"I guess you and M.T know a lot about that, huh, Dad?"
Kenneth chuckled, in spite of his pain over Sonia's silence. "Yup, and you know what? We're still not sick of each other."
"Yeah, that's how it is with Jeff. We like the same things, and we never fight about anything. Did you have a best friend growing up, Dad?"
"Not the same way you do, Divine. I had a bunch of guys I spent most of my time with. I liked all of them for different reasons. But it was your mom who became my best friend."
That brought Sonia's head around. Kenneth could feel her eyes on him.
"You were my best friend, too." She whispered.
. . .But no longer, Sonia. . .
"That's why we married out of secondary school, Divine. It's not for everybody, but it was for us. I was making my investment in the stock market, so we struggled to make ends meet. Still, it was fun. I joined the army reserve to pay for college. Your mom worked part time, and took night classes at the university. Then we found out you were on the way. That was one pretty terrific day."
"For me too," Divine said.
Kenneth laughed again and was pleased to see the faint smile back on Sonia's face.
"I'll run in." Divine offered as they pulled to a stop in one of the parking spaces.
Sonia started to reach for her purse. It shouldn't have upset Kenneth, but it did. He forestalled her by taking out his wallet. Again he felt her eyeing him as he laid it across his thigh and propped it open with his bandaged arm, while he extracted some bills with his right hand. Then she hastily looked away.
. . .was the sight so abhorrent to her. . .?
"Is there anything you'd like, Sonia?"
She shook her head nervously. "But maybe you should buy some nuts for your grandparents, Divine."
"Okay. I'll hurry."
He was out of the car like a shot, leaving Kenneth alone with his wife for the first time since the plane had landed.
|Re: Divided Emotions by Omolola1(f): 9:51pm On Nov 30, 2012|
Because he didn't know when they'd have this opportunity again before bedtime, he decided to face his worst nightmare right now.
"I've had years to think about what our reunion would be like, Sonia. How much would be the same. How much would be different. Seven years is too long to ask of any man or wom. . ."
"Let me finish this, Sonia. I don't need details. To be honest, I don't think I could handle them right now. What I need is the simple truth."
A long silence.
"I - I thought your parents or D-Divine would have told you by now."
. . .So, there really is someone else in your life. Like a fool, I've been praying. I was wrong. . .
"They didn't breathe a word about it, and our son has told me nothing, hasn't so much as hinted," Kenneth muttered, exhaling a painful breath. "You've raised a terrific boy who's sensitive enough, and intelligent enough, to leave that up to the mother he adores."
"He adores you, Kenneth." Her voice was full of tears.
His hand had been tapping Morse code on the steering wheel, but he hadn't even noticed until he saw her watching him. She could have no idea he'd been rapping out the same words over and over again, like a litany - "is there a way out? Are the guards looking?" Old habits died hard. He stopped tapping.
. . .Who is he, Sonia? What is his name. . .?
Her body was trembling. Despite the distance separating them, he could feel it.
"He moved here from Lagos two years ago."
. . .Two years? They'd known each other that long. . .?
"His name is James Okoye."
"Are you in love with him?"
She buried her face in her hands. "Please don't ask me that question."
Oh, Lord. He'd thought he could deal with this but he was wrong.
"When I tried to reach you, Mom and Dad said you were on a trip back from a cruise with Divine. Was James with you?"
"Yes," came the muffled answer.
His teeth ground together. "If you've known each other two years, I'm surprised you're not married by now."
Slowly she lifted her head, but she wouldn't look at him. "W-we got engaged on the cruise. Not even your parents know about it yet."
His eyes closed tightly. "When were you planning to be married?"
. . .You wanted the truth, Brown. Well, you just got it. . .
"Is Divine crazy about him, too?"
"No." Her voice shook with conviction.
"He didn't want another father if he couldn't have you. Your parents haven't been happy about it, either. They never believed you'd died in that explosion with the others," she explained in an emotional outburst, talking faster and faster, more like the old Sonia.
"I didn't want to believe it, either, but after this many years without mention of one POW still being held, I decided I couldn't live with false hope any longer."
. . .So everyone remained loyal but you. . .
"Is Divine the reason you haven't married before now?"
She didn't say anything.
"Sonia?" He wanted the whole truth now, so there'd be no more shocks.
"He's...part of it."
"And the other part?"
"I couldn't let you go."
. . .That's something anyway. . .
"When did you change your mind?" He persisted, needing to hear it all.
She sucked in her breath. "Even though Divine couldn't accept James, I-I had a wonderful time on the trip. I never dreamed it would be possible to love anyone again after you, Ken." Her voice cracked. "But it happened, and I told him I'd marry him."
Kenneth felt the way he did after the first week of his captivity, when a select group of Saddam's henchmen took turns roughing him up every two hours for seven consecutive days because he refused to give them any information.
"I'll sleep on the couch tonight." He didn't want to think about tomorrow night.
|Re: Divided Emotions by kilokeys(m): 10:20pm On Nov 30, 2012|
Why am i addicted to this thread o... Heeeeeelllp.. She has bewitched me .. I check for updates every hour
|Re: Divided Emotions by Ice4jez(m): 1:28am On Dec 01, 2012|
kilokeys: Why am i addicted to this thread o... Heeeeeelllp.. She has bewitched me .. I check for updates every hourcos the writer is got brains
|Re: Divided Emotions by Omolola1(f): 7:26am On Dec 01, 2012|
kilokeys: Why am i addicted to this thread o... Heeeeeelllp.. She has bewitched me .. I check for updates every hour
|Re: Divided Emotions by Omolola1(f): 7:28am On Dec 01, 2012|
Ice4jez: cos the writer is got brains
|Re: Divided Emotions by 53cur3m0d3(m): 7:51am On Dec 01, 2012|
kilokeys: Why am i addicted to this thread o... Heeeeeelllp.. She has bewitched me .. I check for updates every hourSee U!U just start, U go soon dey pay her for exclusive posts
|Re: Divided Emotions by Omolola1(f): 4:35pm On Dec 02, 2012|
"No!" She cried. "You can't, Kenneth. You deserve to sleep in your own bed. As if I'd let you sleep anywhere else!" Her cheeks had gone a fiery red.
"It doesn't matter where I sleep. I just don't feel like getting into the same bed you've shared with James."
"I've never been to bed with him."
Kenneth's head flew back in shock. "What did you just say?"
"After I'd been seeing James for a time, I made the decision that I wouldn't sleep with him, because I didn't want sex to complicate my feelings for him whatever they were."
"And he's loved you enough to wait?"
She nodded. "Yes. H-he's a wonderful man."
Kenneth had been prepared to hate his guts. But he found out during the war that it wasn't possible to hate an honorable man.
Sonia might be in love with him, but she hadn't slept with him yet. There might still be a slim chance of winning her back. He'd have to start from the scratch. James Okoye had two years' head start on him - and he'd won Sonia's love without Divine's cooperation which meant he was the worthiest of adversaries.
Kenneth reminded himself that he had another advantage. He'd learned patience.
"Hi!" Divine climbed into the back seat and shut the door. "Sorry it took so long, but there was a group of tourists from that bus over there up ahead of me. Here's your chocolate, Dad."
He reached for it, no longer worried he'd have to throw it out when Divine wasn't watching because he was too sick to eat.
"Does it look good?"
Kenneth took several large spoonfuls, then couldn't stop. It was sheer ambrosia. "What I'd have given for one of these. . ."
While his wife and child looked on in wonder, he devoured the whole thing in a matter of seconds.
Kenneth flashed Divine a smile. "Does that answer your question?"
"I'd get a brain freeze if I ate mine that fast!"
"The trick is to eat it superfast so your brain doesn't have time to get frozen." He deposited his cup in the sack Sonia held open for him.
"Kenneth, don't tell Divine that!" She chastised. "In high school you used to pull that stunt on people all the time, and they'd imitate you - to their peril."
Sonia was pretending to be disgusted, but he saw that she was struggling not to laugh. Another tiny moment to cherish.
"Dad? You're awesome. I can't wait for my friends to meet you."
"I love you, too Divine. Let's go home, shall we? M.T's been dying for one of these. It would be a sin to let it melt."
He backed the car out of the parking space, then merged with the traffic going east. Within minutes they'd reached Abaji, which ran past the zoo.
"You'll have to direct me now."
"Turn right on Twenty-second," Sonia murmured. "We're the fourth house on the left."
"This is a nice neighborhood."
. . .Close to the university, close to James?. . .
"There's Grandpa's car."
The brownbrick home with white trim was a moderate-size, one-story rambler with a well-groomed yard and several large shade trees.
Out of nowhere came a deep fierce pride in his wife for making a solid life for herself and Divine. Though Kenneth knew his parents had lent Sonia their support, she'd had to live through these difficult years alone.
She'd been the one responsible for all the decisions, all the choices that had brought her and Divine to this point.
She'd been the one raising their son, making sacrifices to give him the best life possible. Kenneth felt profoundly grateful that such a woman was their son's mother. The next time he got Sonia alone, he'd tell her as much.
"Come on, Dad! Let's find M.T. I want to show you the house and the backyard."
Kenneth got out of the car and went around to help Sonia, but she'd already alighted from the passenger side and had gone to the trunk to get his duffel bag. Was it because she felt sorry for him? Or because she'd grown accustomed to doing everything herself. To Kenneth's mind, she'd become more independent. Though it was a great reminder of how much time they'd lost together, he admired this new facet of her personality. He was also frightened of it.
"I'll take that." He pulled out his bag before she could, then shut the trunk.
Once again he faced the sophisticated-looking woman he couldn't quite reconcile with the wife he'd left behind seven years ago. Their gazes locked. She was getting better at masking her pity. Now he saw a hint of pleading in those eyes.
"Divine and I just got back from our trip last night, and there's literally no food in the refrigerator. Since we have a full house, I'd better run to the store and get some groceries. I'll only buy what we need to get us through to tomorrow. What do you think M.T would like for snacks? For dinner? What would you like?"
Her errand was a legitimate one, yet he could sense her eagerness to get away. She was going to call James, maybe even meet him, and there wasn't one damn thing Kenneth could do about it.
"Orange juice, milk - gallons of it. Eggs, fruits, corn, potato chips, jam, bread, vegetables, wheat. A big Hernessey. Any or all of the above will do for starters."
With every item he mentioned, her eyes filled a little more until the tears overflowed and ran down her cheeks.
On a half sob she cried, "What did they do to you there?"
The old Sonia had come out of hiding for a minute. If he could just find a way to keep her there long enough to make a real connection.
"I want to tell you. I need to tell you, but only when you're ready to hear it."
Her eyes closed tightly. "I'd be a liar if I said I wanted to hear what your life's been like for the last seven years. Ever since I heard the news that you'd been held prisoner all this time, I haven't allowed myself to think about the horror of it. But that's the coward in me talking. No one ever had a greater right to be listened to than you."
. . .That's not the answer I want, Sonia. We're not talking about rights here! This is about love between a husband and wife. How far you've gone away from me, sweetheart. . .
"Take all the time you need, Sonia. Don't worry about me - I'll be here. With Divine."
|Re: Divided Emotions by Splendblex(f): 9:49pm On Dec 02, 2012|
Welldone babe,dis is really interesting....
|Re: Divided Emotions by Omolola1(f): 9:52pm On Dec 02, 2012|
Splendblex: Welldone babe,dis is really interesting....
|Re: Divided Emotions by Omolola1(f): 9:55pm On Dec 02, 2012|
KENNETH'S WORDS still reverberated in her head. He'd alwaysw had an uncanny ability to read her thoughts. If anything, his incarceration had sharpened his instincts.
A few minutes after leaving him, she sat numbly in her car, which she'd parked under the terrace opposite the supermarket. Kenneth had let her know that he was ready to share his story whenever she could handle it. But he'd said a lot more than that.
He knew she needed her privacy to make contact with James. In his own way, he'd given his permission.
It's not fair, her heart groaned. For years Kenneth had been locked in prison, and now that he was released, she'd locked him out. Unintentionally, inadvertently, but nonetheless she'd locked him out. There'd been too much change. And there was another man. . .
As for James, she could just imagine his pain. With one phone call, his happiness had been wiped away as if it had never been. She wanted desperately to talk to him, but she needed to call Linda Bright.
There was a phone booth outside the store. Sonia looked up the number and punched it in. The base receptionist said that Linda wouldn't be in her office until the next day.
Trying to recover from her disappointment, Sonia explained her emergency. The receptionist commiserated with her situation and set up an appointment with Linda at the nine the next morning.
Of necessity, Sonia realized she'd have to ask Rita to teach her classes again and decided to make the call now before she forgot.
Finally she was able to call James office, but to her consternation, his secretary said he'd asked her to cancel all his appointments, that he wouldn't be in until the next day.
Sonia's hand shook as she placed a call to his apartment, all she got was the answering machine.
"James darling? It's one-fifteen. I'm shopping for groceries at First-Logic's in Gwagwalada. If you're home or if you get home in time to get this message, come and find me. I'll be here a half hour, no more. I've parked the car in my usual spot. I don't want you calling the house. If we miss each other, I'll phone you later."
Once inside the store, Sonia lost track of time as she went up and down the aisles in search of the items Kenneth had mentioned, plus a few of the items he hadn't.
He needed good food and lots of it. She would make certain he put on the weight he had lost.
One of the friendly baggers, a young man named Dennis, teased her all the way to her car because he'd never seen her buy so many different kinds of groceries. She told him she had company.
If she'd confided that her husband had returned from Desert Storm, she would have been detained by dozens of questions. Not only couldn't she take the time, she felt a strange reluctance to let the world in on her secret - that Kenneth was alive and home again. Once people found out, their house would be deluged with visitors and phone calls.
Kenneth was the kind of man who had so many friends and contacts, you couldn't count them all. Everyone would besiege him. He wouldn't have a quiet moment to himself. This was his first day back. He'd want to spend with family, no one else.
After stashing all the bags in her trunk, Dennis shook his head. "That must be some company. You practically bought out the whole store!"
It did look that way. Maybe she'd gone overboard, but she wanted Kenneth to eat to his heart's desire. Anything that appealed to him, she wanted him to have.
As she was opening the door to the car, she felt a pair of strong male arms slip around her waist from behind. James. She'd been so preoccupied, she'd forgotten he might have heard her message and come to find her.
In automatic response, she turned in his arms, seeking his comfortable, solid frame. But she'd just come from Kenneth's arms and would never forget how thin he'd felt beneath his uniform jacket. As for M.T ...
"I don't know about you, but I need this. . ." Suddenly James mouth was on hers, claiming hers without hesitation because she'd given him that right when she accepted his ring.
But everything had changed, just as James had prophesied hours earlier.
No matter how hard she tried, she couldn't erase the memory of the experience in Kenneth's arms this morning. Worse, even though they were in a protected area of the parking lot, there were people around...maybe even friends...who would know soon enough that Kenneth was back and be shocked by her behavior with James.
Why on earth had she asked him to meet her here? Her husband was at home, waiting for her!
Fighting another spasm of guilt, she tore her lips from James, but he refused to relinquish his hold on her shoulders. She knew what was coming next, and she couldn't look at him.
"Does he know about us yet?"
"Yes." She nodded. Kenneth knows. He'd known the truth when he'd conducted a search of her soul and found the one thing she'd been dreading he'd discover.
"Sonia?" James gave her a gentle shake.
She could hear the questions he hadn't voiced, questions to which there were no answers yet, certainly not the answers he needed to hear.
His fingers kneaded her shoulders with more insistence. "I know you love him, darling, but you're in love with me!"
"I realize that."
"No. I don't think you do." She stared up at him dry-eyed. "Kenneth lost his left hand in the war, James. The buddy he brought home with him is blind in the eye from the same explosion. When they got off that transport plane, there was no family to greet M.T., so he's going to stay with us for a time. The two of them together would make little more than one of you."
In the next instant, James arms provided the refuge she craved. A torrent of fresh pain over what Kenneth had suffered ripped through her body.
"We have to talk, sweetheart," he whispered into her hair, "but obviously it can't be here. Tell me what you want me to do. I'll meet you anytime, anywhere. Just don't leave me hanging. I couldn't stand that."
She didn't feel she could stand this untenable situation, either, but neither her pain nor James could compare to Kenneth's and M.T.'s. "I'll call you."
"When I can!" She cried. "Please let me go, darling. I should have been home ten minutes ago."
As she pulled out of his arms and got in her car, she took in his chiseled features and windburned cheeks. It dawned on her that he'd been out riding his bike to deal with his grief. How much more agony would all of them be called upon to endure?
"I promise I'll phone you before I go to bed tonight." It was a rush promise, but she owed James that much. She loved James that much.
His pain-filled gaze searched hers for endless moments. He didn't ask her if she'd be sleeping alone. She didn't tell him her intentions.
How could she? She wasn't sure of them herself.
Now that her husband was back needing all kinds of physical and emotional help, she could only function from one moment to the next. The future was terrifying to her.
"I love you," he said in a fierce whisper, leaning inside to capture her mouth one more time before she drove away.
|Re: Divided Emotions by 53cur3m0d3(m): 1:02am On Dec 03, 2012|
|Re: Divided Emotions by IZUKWU(m): 3:10am On Dec 03, 2012|
|Re: Divided Emotions by DAvIt0(m): 7:31am On Dec 03, 2012|
|Re: Divided Emotions by Splendblex(f): 3:47pm On Dec 03, 2012|
53cur3m0d3: #CLASSICU knw better tin...
|Re: Divided Emotions by 53cur3m0d3(m): 9:08pm On Dec 03, 2012|
Viewing this topic: Omolola1 ( f )Sis, U no go wound Person for here o. Oya post our evening dosage make we for sleep peacefully tonyt. I See U oooo
|Re: Divided Emotions by Omolola1(f): 9:41pm On Dec 03, 2012|
|Re: Divided Emotions by Omolola1(f): 8:08pm On Dec 04, 2012|
KENNETH NOTICED that a lot of the furnishings in the traditionally styled house were new - but she hadn't gotten rid of their king-size bed.
Were the memories of the passion they'd shared there too precious for her to part with? Or had she be planning to sleep in it with James as soon as they were married. . .
Kenneth heard his son's voice in the hall and turned swiftly toward the bedroom door. His body had gone clammy from another cold sweat; it had broken out at the thought of Sonia loving another man.
"In here Divine, where is M.T.?"
"He's out in the yard with Grandma and Grandpa eating his chocolate."
"Mom let me keep your clothes in my closet. Here they are!"
Divine came into the room carrying Kenneth's black and gray parka, a half dozen of his old pullovers and crew-neck shirts, sweaters, khaki trousers and jeans, all of which would hang loosely on him for some time to come.
Unfortunately, in his naivete Divine had thought ofcourse his mom and dad would pick right up where they'd left off and begin sharing a room again. Sharing a bed. . . Before Kenneth could suggest that he leave everything as it was for the present, Divine had gone off again, coming back later with another armload of clothes.
"I kept all your T-shirts and shorts so I could wear them when I grow up."
Kenneth's throat swelled with love and gratitude for this son who filled so many of his needs right now.
"I bet you're tired of all that military stuff, Dad. Why don't you put on something else?"
If he'd thought his old clothes would fit, there was nothing Kenneth would have liked better. But Divine was so anxious to be of help, Kenneth couldn't disappoint him. He had no desire to see that eagerness disappear from his son's eyes. "Do you have a belt?"
"Sure. I'll get it."
Once more he raced out of the room, leaving Kenneth to deal with the thousand and one memories associated with these clothes - especially the thin T-shirts Sonia used to put on after a shower to entice him away from whatever he was doing in the middle of a Saturday lazy afternoon. . .
One look at her long slender legs, the way her damp curves transformed the shape of the material, and he forgot the world in the wonder of making love to his gorgeous, giving wife.
He'd experienced enough of life, had heard enough male talk among men in the reserve long before his capture, to know that his and Sonia's marriage had been exceptional.
It had taken Sonia until the cruise to get engaged again. That had to mean something, didn't it? Deep in thought, he removed his uniform and shrugged into a long-sleeved navy pullover the sleeve of which could hang down over his damaged arm if he wanted. A glance in the mirror above Sonia's dressing table told him he looked like hell. If anything, the folds of the material emphasized his thinness.
Divine came in as Kenneth zipped up the old jeans Sonia used to like so much. "Here you go, Dad." He offered him the belt when he could see that the jeans wouldn't stay up. It made Kenneth more determined than ever to get some flesh back on his bones.
Divine helped him fasten the buckle. "What do you think son?"
"You look good, Dad."
Kenneth flashed him a smile, then pulled Divine onto the bed to wrestle with him. "Liar."
When their wrestling eventually had them on the floor, Divine cried out, "You may be skinny, but you're strong! I quit, Dad."
"Yeah?" Kenneth sat up, grinning.
"Say it like you mean it."
After Kenneth released him, a broad smile lit Divine's face. "Your arms and legs are like steel bars."
"That's because M.T and I worked out on a regular basis."
A haunted look crept into Divine's expression. "I heard the Iraqi guards tortured prisoners for doing that."
. . .They did Divine, in ways you don't want to know about and will never hear from me. . .
"Yeah, well M.T and I were smart and did our exercising at night when they got lazy and couldn't see us very well." It was time to change the subject. "You know, you're pretty tough yourself."
"No, I'm not. But someday I'm going to be just like you."
Kenneth's emotions were spilling out all over the place. He stood up and grabbed his son in a bear hug, "I love you, Divine. I'm a lucky dad. From now on, we're going to spend a lot of time together." He paused. "For starters, I thought we'd join a gym and work out together in the evenings after you've finished your homework."
"Cool! And when holiday comes, we'll go on a whole bunch of trips."
"I'm planning on it. We'll take some of your pals and camp up by the lake."
"Jeff's dad loves to do stuff like that, too. You'll like him a lot. I can't wait for you to meet everybody."
"I can't wait, either!"
"I guess we won't be able to do much in August because I have football practice. Will you come to my games?"
"I'll never miss another one."
"But, Dad, you're still in the reserve, aren't you?"
Kenneth shook his head. "No, Divine. I'm through with all that. I'm home forever."
"Yippee!" Divine burst out before hugging Kenneth again.
Catching sight of the messy bed, Kenneth let go of his son and suggested they clean things up before Sonia got home. "I'll hang what I can in the closet while you stack everything else over there in the corner. I'm sure your mom will have her own ideas about where my stuff's supposed to go."
"She's sure taking a long time." Divine grumbled.
"That's because I was so hungry, I gave her a huge list of groceries to buy."
"Dad?" He murmured tentatively.
. . .Here it comes. . .
Kenneth finished hanging his coat and parka in the closet next to Sonia's pink quilted robe, the one he'd bought her the last Christmas they were together. "Yes?" He answered without turning around, burying his face in the soft fabric. It smelled of the bath oil she always used and brought back a flood of intimate memories.
He heard Divine expel a troubled sigh. " I forgot, never mind."
"Divine?" Kenneth closed the closet doors and faced his son. "If you need to talk to me, then I want to hear it. I guess I hate secrets about as much as I hate anything."
"Me, too." Divine bowed his head. Kenneth realized he was trying hard to find the courage to broach the one subject guaranteed to exacerbate his father's pain. He needed help.
|Re: Divided Emotions by Omolola1(f): 9:02pm On Dec 04, 2012|
"I understand you just got back from a cruise with your mom and James Okoye."
At the mention of the other man's name, Divine's dark head reared back. His tanned face reflected astonishment. "You know about him?"
Kenneth nodded. "Your mom says they're engaged and planning to get married in June."
His son's eyes glittered with unshed tears. "But you're home now, so she can't marry him."
. . .My feelings exactly. . .
"I wish life was that simple, Divine, but it isn't."
"I hate war!" Divine shouted unexpectedly, pounding the wall with his fist. "I hate James. She's probably over at his house right now." He broke down trying to smother his sobs.
Kenneth had assumed as much, too, and the knowledge was killing him.
"If mom marries him, I'm never speaking to her again."
. . .It was starting. The thing he'd been dreading had started. . .
Right now, Divine's justifiable anger terrified him. He had to do something to alleviate his son's pain. "Do you have a bike? And did your mom keep my old one?"
Divine stared at him in bewilderment. "Yes." His shoulders were still heaving. "Both."
"We can't talk here. Let's take a ride down the Sunnyside Park."
With that suggestion, Divine wiped his eyes, which had begun to look a little less wild. "Okay. I'll get them out of the garage and meet you in front."
"Good. While you do that, I'll let your grandparents know where we're going so they won't worry." Divine dashed from the room. Kenneth followed at a lower pace only to discover Sonia in the kitchen, her arms loaded with groceries.
Their eyes met. She was the first to look away, guilt written all over her face as she started emptying the bags. He studied her mouth, wondering if James kiss had blotted out the memory of the one he'd given her at the base earlier in the day.
"Are there more of those?" He nodded to the bags she'd put on the counter.
"I'll get them."
In the space of a heartbeat, her glance flicked to his left arm, then she averted her eyes. "Kenneth...please...this is your first day home. Let me wait on you."
"I'm not an invalid, Sonia."
She wheeled around to face him, her cheeks on fire. "I know you're not."
"Then don't treat me like one. Where did you park the car?"
She moistened her lips nervously. "It's behind your parents' car."
He stole an apple from one of the sacks and bit into it. "I'll be right back." Finishing it in a few bites, he headed out the door. Divine was waiting in front of the house, straddling his bike. Kenneth's old bike lay on the lawn beside him.
Kenneth reached into the trunk of the car for the groceries. "I'm going to run these in to your mother, then we'll go."
"Okay," he answered quietly.
"Hey - catch!" He tossed a coupe of packages of sweets at his son, producing the smile he was looking for. "I'll hurry."
When he reentered the kitchen, Sonia was peeling potatoes. She murmured a cordial thank you, but her rigid back, the set of her beautiful golden head, betrayed the growing tension between them. He put the bags on the counter.
"Dee's going to take me on a little tour of the neighborhood. We'll be back before food's ready."
She turned to him, a hint of pleading in her shadowed eyes. "I - I think that's a good idea." Kenneth's chest constricted. "I thought it might be," he bit out, hurting like hell.
"Please don't be sarcastic, Kenneth. I didn't mean it that way. It's just that Divine has wanted his father for so long now. . ." Her voice trailed off.
"Shall I apologize now for granting him his wish?"
"What are you talking about?" He could see she was fighting tears, but he couldn't control his feelings any longer.
"I thought it was obvious. My unexpected return from the dead has destroyed your dreams."
She flinched as if he'd slapped her. "Kenneth!" Her face lost all its color, and he felt her pain, her confusion and guilt. But the white hot heat of his own pain had consumed him; he had to get out of there. He left the kitchen on a run, ignoring her pleas for him to come back.
If Divine was surprised at his quick return, he didn't say anything. Instead, he put a sweet in his father's mouth. "I bet you haven't had one of these in a long time."
After the gut-wrenching scene in the kitchen, Kenneth didn't think it would be possible for him to smile again, but he did. "I bet I haven't, either," he responded, his mouth full of cake and filling. The taste took him back to his childhood. "It's nice to know that some things never change." He managed another smile.
"Let's take off. Divine. I think I can still remember how to drive one of these contraptions." Lowering himself onto the seat, he grasped hold of the handlebars, almost forgetting that his bad arm wouldn't be of any use on the hand brake.
"You may have to help me when we need to stop."
Once again Kenneth found himself thanking God for his son. The bond between them was growing stronger with every passing second.
Side by side, they pedaled to the corner and headed down Sunnyside Avenue, picking up speed. After several blocks they had to stop at a semaphore. On cue, Divine's left hand reached out to Kenneth's brake. While they waited for the light to change, he asked, "Was it okay with Mom?"
After a slight hesitation, Kenneth answered. "Sure. She and Grandma won't have our meal ready for an hour at least."
There was that tone in his son's voice again. Kenneth took a deep breath. "Yes?"
"Are you and Mom going to get a divorce?"
|Re: Divided Emotions by Nobody: 10:54pm On Dec 04, 2012|
Good job Lola!
|Re: Divided Emotions by Omolola1(f): 10:57pm On Dec 04, 2012|
sixteen: Good job Lola!
Thanks sixteen dearie
|Re: Divided Emotions by Splendblex(f): 12:48am On Dec 05, 2012|
Kudos! Lola darlin...
|Re: Divided Emotions by Omolola1(f): 5:36pm On Dec 05, 2012|
"MRS. BROWN? Can I be of any help? Peeling vegetables was my strong suit during KP duty."
Sonia took a shuddering breath. She hadn't heard M.T come in the back door and prayed he couldn't tell she'd been crying. "Thank you, M.T. I've already put the potatoes in the oven. But if you'd like to finish the carrots, I'm going to put on some jeans and a T-shirt. I'll just be a few minutes."
"There's no hurry."
She had a feeling he wasn't talking about her change of outfit. Everyone had given her and Kenneth a wide berth, including his parents. Through the window over the sink she could see them on the porch swing, their heads close together in avid conversation.
. . .They hate me. They hate what I've done to their son. . .
Who could blame them?
. . .I hate myself. . .
At the door to the hall, Sonia paused and said, "Please. Consider our house your home. Help yourself to anything that looks good. Day or night."
"I'm glad you said that. I've been thinking about a toast bread for hours now."
"They're both in the right-hand cupboard, and the bread is in the fridge. I bought you your own gallon of milk."
"I'm your slave for life, Mrs. Brown." He opened the cupboard and took out the two jars.
"Call me Sonia."
After another pause, she murmured, "M.T.? H-how long were you married?"
He'd already made his toast bread and was in the process of mixing his tea.
"A year. I could be wrong, but I'm pretty sure Hauwa's remarried by now and probably has a couple of kids. Even if I could've reached her by phone, I didn't really think she'd be there to meet me. We didn't have that long a history together, not like you and the sar..." He stopped for a second, then amended, "Not like some married couples."
Sonia's eyes closed tightly. M.T and Kenneth were as close, emotionally, as two people could be. There were no secrets between them.
"I-I've hurt Kenneth," she confessed on a half sob.
"What am I going to do?" She whispered in agony.
"What do you want to do?"
"I want to set the clock back seven years."
He made a sound of exasperation and shook his head.
"Sonia, you don't get it. You're the only reason he's alive! The only reason he stayed alive! Because of him, I'm still alive. Talk to him, dammit! After six and half years rotting in an Iraqi hell hole, he needs to talk about it. He needs to talk his head off about everything that happened to him. He deserves that much from you. .from all of you...but he can't do it with everyone tiptoeing around him, treating him like he's a piece of glass that's going to shatter.
"Good Lord, he was a superman out there! Anyone else would have left me for dead, but not the sarge. Without me, he could have gotten away and been picked up by our own soldiers.
"Instead, he dragged me from the explosion site and carried me through the rest of that minefield. He didn't even know how bad his injury was. His hand was blown off." M.T swallowed several times, convulsively.
"No one expected the reserve units to see action. None of us was adequately prepared to be so rapidly activated and torn from our families. Yet the way your husband stood up to the torture and never broke, you'd have thought he'd been trained for the military all his life." M.T.'s face screwed up as tears fell unashamedly down his pale cheeks. "I wouldn't have made it without him. He's the best of the best.
"Don't you see it's no good wishing to put back the clock? He's done his time, Sonia. If nothing else, he's earned the right to a full hearing from the woman who sent him off to war a whole ma..."
"Dear God, M.T..."
"Hey." He pressed his forehead against the cupboard. "I'm sorry for going off like that."
"You had every right!" She cried, ashamed of her inability to understand. His words had given her a glimpse into the living nightmare of their past. Selfishly, she didn't want to see anyone. What kind of monster was she?
"No. You're as much a victim of the war as we are. You might as well know now. I was the one driving the truck when we hit that mine. If it hadn't been for me, and if your husband hadn't stayed with me, hadn't saved my life, he would have returned home to you with the guys who survived the explosion."
"Don't talk about blame, M.T. All I hope is that you don't hate me too much."
He shook his head again. "I've stricken that word from my vocabulary."
"Then you're a far better person than I am. Excuse me," she whispered.
|Re: Divided Emotions by Splendblex(f): 6:07pm On Dec 05, 2012|
Welldone Lola,MORE! Pls...
|Sections: politics (1) business autos (1) jobs (1) career education (1) romance computers phones travel sports fashion health |
religion celebs tv-movies music-radio literature webmasters programming techmarket
Nairaland - Copyright © 2005 - 2018 Oluwaseun Osewa. All rights reserved. See How To Advertise. 453