The next morning, Leila woke up with a start at the rattling sound of her alarm clock she let out a yawn as she reached across her stand and turned off the alarm. Jada was still asleep but Leila knew she wouldn’t be for long.
Leila slipped out of bed careful not to wake Jada she went straight to the bathroom, brushed her teeth and slipped out of her night gown which she stuffed into her laundry basket then she sat on the toilet seat to relieve herself and that’s when she noticed something strange marks on her left thigh.
Leila took a closer look & she was stunned to see a symbol of a heart & the word ‘Mine’ inked on her inner thigh of her left leg. She froze and started breathing heavily, what was the meaning of all this? Who could have done this?
‘Whose am i?’ she asked no one in particular.
‘Mine,’ came a harsh whisper and then louder, ‘Mine’
‘Leave me alone, what the hell do you want from me?’ she yelled
She heard a chuckle followed by a louder, ‘Mine,’
Then a deep rumble of laugh echoed throughout the room.
‘No,’ her breath came in deep gulps.
He kept laughing and saying that she was his.
The laughter suffocated her she crumpled to the ground and curled into a ball while covering her ears with both hands to escape the noise.
Leila didn’t know how long she been in that position till she heard a voice, ‘Leila are you okay?’
It was Jada asking, Leila could tell from the tone in her voice that her sister had just woken up.
‘Yes,’ her voice trembled.
‘What’s the matter? I heard screaming.’
‘Um…,’ she was thinking weather to tell her or not about the strange things that had just happened to a few minutes ago.
‘Talk to me,’ her sister worriedly said
Leila stood up and opened the door for Jada, ‘Come in.’
‘What‘s the matter sis?’
Leila took a deep breath and let it go, ‘I had one of those strange encounters.’
‘Tell me about it.’
‘Look!’ Leila pointed towards the tattoos on her thigh
Jada’s mouth dropped wide open in disbelief, ‘Leila when did you do this?’
‘I don’t understand.’
‘I woke up today and found this on my thigh, Jada you have to believe me I didn’t do this, you know how much I hate tattoos.’
Jada glanced up at her sister, she could see in her eyes the same fear that she had seen the previous night, she had to find a way of helping her out or else these strange occurrences would drive her insane
‘You have to believe me?’ She desperately said.
‘I believe you Leila but all this has come to an end, we need to go out there and search for answers.’
‘What of that traditional healer you talked about?’
‘Can we go there now, please?’
’The woman in question is related to my friend Bertha I hear she is very powerful but we need to make an appointment before we go there.’
‘So how do we make an appointment and how long does it take for her to accept to see us.’
‘I will talk to my friend to make an appointment for us.’
‘Please do sis I am desperate, I will pay any amount of money.’
‘I will talk to Bertha once I get to school.’
‘Thank you for not doubting me Jada.’
‘I know you would do the same for me.’
She smiled, ‘I am lucky to have someone as kind as you for a sister.’
Jada laughed, ‘I am gonna grow wings.’
‘And I will cut them off.’
‘Dah, let me get myself ready for school.’
‘Sharp, I will take a quick bath too hope the strange man doesn’t come back.’
‘Hope so,’ she opened the door and closed it on her way out.
Once Leila was alone, she tried to examine the tattoos on her thigh she was scared to death with the strange happenings around her. She decided to take a bath and tried to wash off the tattoos but they wouldn’t come out.
Frustrated she stepped out of the shower and wrapped herself in a towel she walked back to her room and quickly got dressed then she walked out of her room to the dining room where she found everyone seated at the large table ready to have their breakfast.
She was almost going back when her mother called her, ‘Hey hun come and join us.’
Leila faked a smile, ‘Morning,’ she said
‘Morning,’ her father looked up at her, ‘Is that dress appropriate for work?’
She was wearing a white and gold summer short sleeved dress which was slightly below her knees.
‘I think its okay,’ her mother responded.
He cleared his throat, ‘I want to see you wearing longer clothes next time.’
‘But dad…’ Jada started but her father gave her the evil eye, she sneered at him but she shut up.
‘Jada, you must be more concerned with your school work, this being your final year I want to see you clear with flying colours.’
‘And you,’ he turned to Leila, ‘you need to start behaving like a married woman, take time to be in the kitchen, take part in all the house chores and please dress decently no married woman dresses seductively.
Leila gave her father a hurt look, for a minute there she wondered if he was really her biological father.
‘Honey let’s eat the food is going to be cold,’ his wife said
For a few minutes they ate in silence though Leila wasn’t paying any attention to her food because of the deep sense of dread bubbling in her stomach.
‘I have to go now,’ Daniel stood up. He planted a soft kiss on his wife’s forehead.
‘Take care of yourself love.’
Leila watched as her father walked out the door she was slowly starting to hate him, what sort of a father would marry off his child without her consent.
Jada stood up, ‘I have a test at 9 I need to get going. Do you need a lift?’
Leila managed a weak smile, ‘Nah I will walk.’
‘You are sure?’
‘Yes. A walk will do me good I have a lot on my mind that I need to clear off.’
‘Okay, I will see you then.’
‘Okay,’ she turned to leave.
‘And you won’t say bye to me?’ her mother asked.
‘Bye mum,’ she said, hurrying off before he mother could respond.
‘I think I should get going,’ Leila stood up too.
‘You can use my car.’
‘I will be fine mum.’
‘Leila um, I ….,’ she fumbled with the words
‘Just save it mum.’
She grabbed her hand bag and headed out the door.
Her place of work was thirty minutes away from her house. As a child Leila dreamt of becoming a nurse but her father would not hear of it instead he forced her into becoming a teacher & now she was working as a third grade teacher, she found this job really frustrating but she couldn’t quit because of her father would skin her alive.
To be continued…