‘Married,’ a cold shiver ran down her spine.
‘Yes my daughter & you have less than 7 months before your marriage ceremony,’ her mother said
Then there was utter silence, in that brief moment Leila’s world seemed to stand still.
Her knees felt weak and she sank at once to the floor.
‘What do you mean she is married?’ Jada asked
‘It’s not something I want to get into right now but when the time is right and we have to present her to her future husband then all will be revealed,’ he responded.
‘When did this whole marriage thing happen?’
‘Jada this has nothing to do with you,’ her mother scolded
’This makes no sense at all, you at least owe her an explanation,’ Jada screamed
‘I will not have you talk to me like that Jada.’
‘You mean to tell me that you married me off without my consent?’ Leila finally managed to speak up though her voice was hollow.
‘I am your father and I did what’s best for this family and for you.’
Leila stood up, ‘you might be my father but that doesn’t give you the right to play God in my life, aren’t you even ashamed of yourself,’ her voice suddenly rose.
Scarcely had she uttered those words when her father slapped her face with a heavy blow that sent her reeling as she fell on her back with a thud.
Leila picked herself upright, ‘You slapped me?’
Leila’s mother saw the frantic look in her daughter’s face as she held her cheek. If she could only get her out of this situation she would but she knew she couldn’t fight destiny, her daughter’s marriage had been sealed even before she was born and getting her out of it now would have grave consequences.
‘Never again should you ever speak to me like that,’ he yelled at her
‘Hun please, calm down,’ his wife held back his hand.
Leila fought back tears as she tried to regain her senses, ‘And what if I say no to this stupid marriage of yours?’
Her father laughed aloud mockingly, ‘Then be prepared to die Leila.’
Jada gave her father a puzzled look, ‘Dad, you mean you are willing to kill your own daughter for refusing to marry a stranger?’
‘Yes, I am willing to kill her,’ he responded through clenched teeth.
‘I refuse to be forced into marriage, I would rather be dead first before I marry an unknown man.’
‘Then count yourself dead my dear Leila. RIP,’ He laughed ‘you know what? You might as well tell me what type of a coffin you want us to burry you in, should we do use a white or black casket or maybe….,’
‘Stop it Daniel, stop it!’ His wife yelled at him.
‘You better warn this daughter of yours to do the right thing. I will not allow her to bring destruction to this family.’
‘I will not get married you can’t do this to me.’
‘My word is final you will be getting married in the next seven months and I hope you are still a virgin or else all hell will break loose.’
‘I hate you, you are such a wicked man, I wish you can just drop dead and die.’
He groaned and slapped her again, harder this time.
‘Don’t you dare lay your finger on me again,’ she pushed him and quickly ran to her room.
He wanted to run after her but his wife held his hand, ‘Give her time, she will come around.’
‘Mxxxm,’ Jada clicked her tongue, ‘You guys are disgusting.’
‘Jada this is not your battle to fight so stay out of it,’ her mother warned.
‘Whatever,’ she said before walking away.
‘You need to talk to her, she has to understand how important her marriage is to this family,’ he said to his wife.
She took his hand and gently led him to him to a nearby chair, ‘I will talk to her please calm down.’
Danielwas angry Leila was going to be the death of him.
His wife stood behind him and slipped her hands under his T-shirt and began to massage his shoulders.
He closed his eyes and sucked in a breath of air.
‘Breath!’ she said her voice was in whispers.
‘Okay,’ he said exhaling the breath he had been holding.
Audrey sat on the floor, waiting for news on her brother, it had been hours since he had been brought in but no one had given her any information on how he was doing.
She was paralyzed with fear and despair, what if Owen was dead would she be able to live without him? He was the only family she had – since their parents died it had always been the two of them against the world. Yes they had a few aunties and cousins and cousins here and there but she didn’t count any of them as family.
She stood up instantly when the doctor walked out gently shutting the door behind her, she had a pained look on her face and somehow Audrey knew she had bad news for her.
‘Doctor! How is my brother doing?’ she asked her even though she wasn’t emotionally ready to hear her response.
‘Um…….,’ the doctor fumbled for words as she cleared her throat.
Audrey suddenly felt an awful feeling in the pit of her stomach.
‘I need to know how my brother is doing Doctor.’
The doctor looked up at her, the one thing she hated about her job was having to deliver bad news to the family of her patients, it made her feel like a failure.
Audrey felt her eyes become glossy, the doctor’s silence was driving her crazy.
‘What the fuck is going on?’ she yelled much to the surprise of her and the doctor.
The doctor raked her fingers through her hair, ‘Your brother has slipped into a coma, he is brain dead and he is likely to remain in a vegetative state for the rest of his life, ’she finally said
Audrey felt weak, she had to hold on to the chair next to her to keep from falling.
‘Nothing adds up, how does he go from being healthy to being in a coma? You mean the beating he received could have landed him in the Coma?’
‘Your brother’s situation is quiet complicated.’
‘What do you mean?’
‘I feel like I have failed you but I can’t honestly explain how he slipped into that Coma. We ran a few tests but it seems he is medically okay.’
‘Are you saying my brother is as good as dead?’
She took a deep breath ‘Yes.’
Audrey stared at the doctor as she shook her head, she was too shocked to react and too numb to cry.
To be continued…