Audrey rushed to her brother’s room when she heard him scream though what she heard was more of a loud gasp than a scream.
She froze at the sight of her brother lying on the floor soaked in blood. He was jerking violently then suddenly his body went limp and his eyes rolled at the back of his head.
‘Owen!’ she screamed but he didn’t respond, her heart pounded with fear, what if her brother was already dead.
She quickly grabbed his phone and called 911, Audrey paced back and forth as she waited for the ambulance that seemly took forever to arrive.
Finally an ambulance arrived Audrey watched as the attendants loaded Owen’s body onto a stretcher and hauled him away.
She prayed and hoped they would be able to save him.
Leila walked into the house feeling the weight of the world descending onto her shoulders. She looked miserable as hell, she had large tear stains on her cheeks and her eyes were so red & puffy.
‘Leila! You are back?’ Her mother asked
Leila answered her with silence, she was in no mood for any drama. She felt weak and so tired, she just wanted to sleep.
Her mother stood up from the couch, ‘Have you been crying? What’s wrong baby who hurt you?’
‘I am fine mum,’ she said in a low voice.
Her mother could tell something was wrong but she didn’t press her.
Leila hurriedly rushed to her room and shut the door behind her.
She threw herself onto her bed before she covered her face with her hands and wept. She didn’t know breakups could hurt this bad, this was her first heart break and she had no one to talk to about it. Her only friend Abigail was out of the country on a business trip and she didn’t want to disturb her with such news.
She cried for hours until she had no more tears to shed. Her eyes throbbed painfully with the headache she had developed she just didn’t know how she was going to cope without Owen.
Minutes later, her sister came bursting through her door.
‘Leila!’ She glanced at her.
‘Oh my God you look awful.’
‘Not now Jada please,’ she said in a low tone.
‘Talk to me,’ she sat next to her on the bed.
‘You won’t understand Jada just leave me alone.’
‘I know we are not close but you are my sister and I love you Leila, please talk to me. What’s going on?’
A stream of tears silently cascaded down Leila’s cheeks and her lip was quivering.
Jada had never seen her sister this distressed she pulled her into an embrace and held her tightly
‘It’s going to be okay,’ she told her.
‘My boyfriend broke up with me, he thinks am cheating.’
Jada’s eyes shot up, ‘Say what?’
She cleared her throat, ‘don’t act too surprised.’
‘I can’t believe this, you went ahead and had a boyfriend despite everything mum and dad said?’
‘Yes we have secretly been dating for the past six months and now he doesn’t want anything to do with me.’
‘OMG, I can’t believe this.’
‘That you finally managed to disobey our parents.’
‘You know what? I regret disobeying them maybe if I had not dated Owen I wouldn’t be this broken.’
‘Shut up, you are just saying that because you feel heartbroken.’
‘I miss him already I don’t know how I will survive without him.’
‘Time heals all wounds, you will be better as times goes by. Wipe those tears that jerk doesn’t deserve you.’
‘Thank you sis,’ she smiled.
‘You are welcome.’
‘And please keep this between us.’
‘My lips are sealed,’ she laughed
‘Girls it’s time to eat,’ their mother opened the door and paused in the door way.
‘I am not hungry,’ Leila responded
‘You father is already at the table, don’t keep him waiting,’ she walked out shutting the door behind her.
‘She is so bossy ahhh,’ Leila exclaimed
‘My, my, my I like the new Leila more,’ Jada let out a laugh.
‘I seriously don’t want to be around them today.’
‘Let’s just go before your father starts yelling,’ she stood up
‘Let me just wash my face I will join you in a bit.’
Leila lazily stood up and headed for the bathroom she washed her face with a damp rag and examined herself, then she walked back to her room then she changed into a T-shirt and a wrapper before heading to the dining room.
‘See who decided to join us,’ her father mocked when she got to the dining room.
‘Good evening dad,’ she greeted
‘What’s so good about the evening?’
Leila knew better than to respond, she slid into her chair and folded her arms on the table.
Leila and her father had no daughter/ father relationship, she knew her father preferred her elder brother Alfred and Jada to her, often times her father made her feel like an imposter.
‘I am starving, can we eat already?’ Jada said sensing the tension in the air.
‘Ya sure, her mother dished up for everyone and they started eating.
Leila wasn’t really interested in the food, there was a lot on her mind and food was the least of her worries, she had to find out who Chilufya was and why he had attacked Owen and claimed they were in a relationship.
‘Are you okay?’ Her mum pulled her out of her reverie.
She cleared her throat, ‘Yes.’
‘You haven’t touched your food.’
‘I am not hungry.’
‘You are not hungry?’ Her father asked. He was looking at her in a weird way which made her a little uncomfortable.
She nodded her head.
‘What is wrong with you? This food you are wasting here others don’t even have it,’ he asked, annoyance clear in his voice.
‘I said I am not hungry,’ she said a little louder than she had intended.
Her father laughed, ‘So it has come to this? Speaking to me in that stupid tone?’
‘Hun, just let it go,’ his wife pleaded
‘Your daughter is disrespecting me and you want me to let it go?’
‘I think I am done here,’ Leila stood up and tried to walk back to her room, her father caught up with her and grabbed her arm but Leila yanked away from her.
He looked at her with anger enraged eyes -ready to explode, this was the first time that Leila was standing up to him like this, he had managed to control her life for the past 24 years.
‘Leila what is wrong with you? Have you gone out of your mind? Her mother yelled
‘No I haven’t gone out of mind, I am very fine. I am just tired of you guys, you treat me like a child, you are always so controlling why can’t you let me be?
‘Calm down Leila,’ Jada tried to touch her
‘Just leave me alone, you don’t know how it feels to be me, you have all the freedom in the world to do as you please. You and Alfred you are the favored children, I am treated like a slave in this house,’ her voice trembled
Her father laughed out loud, ‘Oh so this is about a man?’
Leila shook her head, ‘Why am I not allowed to date? Jada here is four years younger than me and you are okay with her dating. You were never even this strict with Alfred before he moved out, why me?’
‘Alfred is a man, he can do as he pleases besides he is way older than you.’
‘You really want to know why you are not allowed to date.’
‘Yes. Make me understand why,’ she said in a low tone.
‘Leila I know your father and I have been strict with you but it’s for your own good,’ her mother said
‘My own good? What good?’
Nothing, absolutely nothing could have prepared Leila for what her father was about to tell her.
‘You are practically a married woman and as soon as you turn twenty five your husband will come and take you home,’ he said.
Her eyes grew wide, ‘Married?’
To be continued…