Speak up, speak out and be free

#SILENCE
#PROLOGUE
TWENTY YEARS BACK

Born and bred in Matero compound, Larna Chishala was the envy of her friends. At fourteen she had almost everything her friends didn’t have, her father was the most known man in the compound being the only one that had pushed himself further in education to get his license as a medical practitioner. He worked as a clinic officer for Matero clinic whilst his wife was a trader. He had tried on many occasions to make her return to school but she said she was better with practical work hence she chose to run small businesses that provided for little things around the house.
Larna had just knocked off from school when she rushed to her mother’s stand in City market, it was a busy place and despite her mother doing her business from there; she never wanted her child to visit her.
‘What are you doing here?’ her mother asked her with a straight face
‘I am fine mother how are you?’ Larna responded with her sweet face
‘Larna you haven’t answered my question.’ Her mother said hands akimbo
‘Well I thought that maybe I should come and help out since I have knocked off early from school.’ ‘I have told you times without number that this place is not for you, no wonder I and your father work extra hard so that we can give you the best education; the education I didn’t have.’ She said attending to a customer
The other traders shot daggers at Larna’s mother, they hated the guts that she had. All their children would come to help out at the market when they were done with school but for her she treated Larna like a little girl.
‘Mum but all your friends are helped by their children and some are even younger than I am.’ She complained
Her mother stared at her for a minute as if calculating what to say next.
‘My child don’t be moved by the wind, when you are older you will understand why I treat you like I do. For now go home and do your homework.’ She said dismissively
Larna carried her books without protesting, she knew this was the end of the discussion and anything else she said would be used against her during dinner.
‘Larna.’ Her mother called
She turned around lazily and looked at her mother
‘Thank you for passing through, your face is that breath of fresh air.’ She said with a smile Larna ran to where her mother was and hugged her, she could be a tough woman but she loved her immensely and she knew whatever her parents did; they did because they loved her. The bus ride was something she always looked forward to, she could never get used to the noise that was always made. The drunk young and old men that engaged in random meaningless conversations or the women who were from buying merchandise from the market, this had been her life the past twelve years and even though her parents always said it wouldn’t always be like this; she knew she would miss it if at all they moved.
She disembarked from the bus at her usual station, whilst hitting small stones on the ground; she continued to walk slowly until she got home.
Her house was not a palace but her parents had out done themselves looking at the area they were living in. the house was a two bedroomed self-contained house, with tiles, a study for herself and her father plus a pantry where her mother kept most of her merchandise.
She grabbed the keys from where they were and unlocked the door, she was always the first one to get home and the only thing she had to do was wash her uniforms, bath, do her homework then wait for her parents to get back. Her mother always did the chores before leaving for town because she didn’t want Larna to have an excuse for failing her exams if she ever did.
After taking her bath, she decided to take a nap because power had cut and she couldn’t watch her cartoons.
Mr. Chishala had just finished his rounds at the Clinic, he was exhausted and all he wanted was to take a cold bath and sleep. But he knew that wasn’t possible as things between him and his wife had not been okay and the only reason they stayed together was because they didn’t want to hurt Larna who believed that her parents were the best couple in the universe.
He walked into the dark house and smelt the camphor cream from Larna’s room, she had been using it from the time she was a baby. He smiled knowing how blessed he was to have her. He was having his bath when he heard a light tap at the door, quickly wiping his face he grabbed a clean towel from the hanger went to check who it was.
‘Sydney.’ The lady at the door said holding some bags
‘Sasha what are you doing here and what is that you are carrying?’ Mr. Chishala who looked puzzled asked her
 ..
SILENCE
_01_
TWENTY YEARS LATER

She looked on as the coffin was laid six feet into the ground, memories of a painful past hitting her like a rushing wind and yet she felt numb to everything that was going on.
The stares from the familiar faces making her irritated, she was the only child of her parents and as such they expected her to be wailing like her mother but then she just couldn’t cry.
Her favorite cousin was looking at her from the back of the crowd, she knew what she was feeling and somehow she wished that she could feel something. Hurt or anger or pain or anything but Larna just looked on without a word.
When the funeral procession was over and now they were on the vehicle leading them to the funeral home, she looked back at that one night that had changed her life forever with a sigh. The cars had come to a stop at the funeral house in Chelstone, her father had bought this house as a present to her mother after retiring. Larna breathed in when she walked out of the vehicle, she had wanted to drive herself but her husband Elisha had insisted that she used the family vehicle that had been provided by the ministry of health.
She walked into the house and headed to her old bedroom, the cries were no more but people still had gloomy faces and that alone wanted to make her puke.
Being bembas, there is a common practice or tradition called insambo lymfya; this is done just after the burial of the deceased. Here clothes of the deceased are shared amongst the bereaving family and speeches are made.
One of her uncles stood up.
‘I know this is a very sad moment for all of us but this has to be done.’ He said after clearing his throat
Her mother just looked down without a word, she was aging and often times Larna wondered what would now become of her life.
‘Bana Larna, as we are aware that your husband, my brother didn’t leave any sons behind; we are going to take all of his clothes and share amongst ourselves unless his daughter wants some for her husband.’
Attention shifted to Larna who was absent minded.
‘Bana Mpundu.’ Someone said bringing Larna back to life
‘Oh no thank you.’ She said without looking at her uncle who had been speaking all along Her husband was watching from a distance as all this was happening, no doubt he loved his wife; more than anything that life could have given him but often times he wondered what had made her like this.
‘Okay since our daughter here wants nothing, we have to go to the properties. We have no right to take anything from our sister in law here because she is alive and breathing and it is up to her to pick an administrator.’ He said
Larna’s mother sighed her chinky eyes getting even smaller.
‘I don’t have much to live for now that my husband is gone but I know my daughter here has a life ahead of her, I say we make her administrator.’ She said
Larna rolled her eyes, she had expected all this to happen and that was put of the reason she had not want to come for the funeral.
‘My child you have heard what your mother has said.’ Her uncle said
‘Yes my elders I have, but I want us to look at it from a different angle. I am married and my husband and I are able to provide for everything that I and the kids need whilst dad had a young sister who is barely surviving; why not make her the administrator?’
To the world Larna was a good person who had thought of her aunt but her mother knew better, from a certain age she had refused everything her father wanted to give her. She didn’t want anything to do with him and that had left a lot of questions but no one had answered her.
‘That is very thoughtful my child, so we are going to make your aunty here; your father’s youngest sister as administrator.’
‘Since that has been settled, I wanted to find out from my in-law here if shw will be able to live on her own or maybe she might want us to assign someone to come and live with her?’ another of her late husband’s brother asked her
Larna’s mother shook her head, she was getting old but not disabled and if there was a person
she would have loved to live with; it was probably her child but she knew that it was a farfetched dream.
‘I lived with my husband in peace and we never asked for anything from anyone, I can take care of myself.’ She responded
‘Mulamu it is not about being taken care of here.’ He paused
‘Uncle the woman has said that she will be fine, give her a break.’ Larna cut in
Her husband gave her a deadly stare and her mother just stared down
‘Larna is right.’ Her mother finally said
Her uncles looked at her without saying much they had never understood this family; in normal circumstances she was supposed to be the child that took care of her parents in old age but the distance amongst them kept growing.
The rest of the meeting was spent talking about how the family was supposed to be stronger now that Larna’s mother was a widow. Her uncle talked about how funerals shouldn’t be the only time they gathered as a family but she knew better because she wasn’t willing to let down her guide. By evening that day, much to her mother’s disapproval; Larna and her husband were on the road driving back to their home in makeni Bonaventure. They got home at exactly 10 in the evening and both Larna and Elisha retired to bed because it had been a long a tiresome day.
The next morning, as usual Larna was the first to get up because she had to be in the gym before preparing the kids for school. She stood just by the big mirror in their gym and thoughts of the previous day hit her, if it were up to her she wouldn’t have done the body previewing but because of the number of people that were there; she decided it was best to do so.
 ..

SILENCE
_02_

Elisha woke up without his wife in bed, he figured she was probably in the gym and so decided to wake up.
He went to the bathroom and looked at his mirror, it was full of notes. His wife loved to keep things in order, she loved to be organized and that was something she was passing on to their children. A smile enveloped his face when he thought about their kids, he had never met a woman that was in a rush to have kids like his wife. According to her she wanted them as soon as possible so that she could be on track with her life. True to her word, ten years later she was not even thinking of more children.
Elisha had met Larna when she was twenty two, out of his will he had made a bet to get her to bed with his friends not knowing that she too had made the same bet with her friends. The two got talking and even though it was all fun at first, Larna discovered that she liked Elisha as a person and he possessed every quality she might have needed for her children to possess. Growing up alone with hate for her parents she wanted to have something to call her own, she didn’t like that no matter what happened her parents always had a claim on her as their child so she figured having her own child would mean less ownership on her.
She got pregnant five months after they met and she had told him instantly that she didn’t want his support because she could take care of the child on her own; but Elisha was from a humble background and his single mother couldn’t allow her grandchild to be born out of wedlock. Her mother on the other hand was devastated, she knew Larna had done it on purpose. She pleaded with her child to get rid of the pregnancy but Larna wasn’t having it. So after a month they went to civic center to have their marriage officiated and had later gone for dinner at her new mother in-law’s apartment.
Months later she gave birth to their twins, Sandra and Saidi. The girl was so much of Larna, she had her mother’s beauty but was cold hearted; something that neither of her parents possessed. Saidi on the other hand was the brains, he took after his mother’s working spirit but he had his father’s good looks. The two put together were a ball of fire and they were loved so much by their parents.
 They fell madly in love after the babies were born, they couldn’t believe that they had been capable of bringing such beauty into the world. Never once arguing or raising a voice at each other.
Larna opened her own bakery immediately the twins turned two, hired a nanny for them and she had never rested a day since.
 She was the kind of wife that any man could ask for, she was a good mother; hard working and very organized. Anyone that knew them, wanted to be them or just tap a bit of their happiness but Elisha worried about his wife. Larna was too perfect, not that he was complaining but every person has flaws and his wife never showed any of that.
 She was the kind of the mother that never raised her voice at the kids, she never got to the point of arguing but was always the understanding wife and it bothered him that her point of break down would be the death of them.
 He on the other hand was the sweetest man that earth had nurtured, his only mistake which turned out to be his life’s greatest gain was the bet he had taken.
 He was an architecture by profession, working for himself had never been anything he wanted to do but his wife being her own boss had triggered him to venture into setting up his own company. The first few years of his life he had worked for people, at first he thought Larna was just being unreasonable or lazy by not working for someone but he admired how much free time she had on her hands; time she spent with the kids and how she was just her own boss.
 So after much thought he too started his company, despite the ladder not being easy; he managed because any successful man has a woman beside him and his wife was more. She was the very reason he woke up, she pushed him to greater heights until she was satisfied that he would stand on his own and for that he was more than grateful.
 ‘Hey you.’ Her sweet voice echoed in his ears as he felt her warm hands wrap around his waist
 He turned around and his eyes met with hers.
 ‘Sorry I am sweaty.’ She said
 ‘Keeping fit right?’
 ‘Yes babe, you should join me one day.’ She told him as she played with his chest
 ‘Are you saying that I am gaining weight?’
 ‘Please.’ She responded rolling her eyes as she reached for her tooth brush
 ‘What?’
 ‘Elisha I would die to have a body like yours, you can eat anything in this world and still wouldn’t put on weight but for me to try that.’
 He chuckled afterwards
 ‘And that is my tooth brush by the way.’ He said just after she had placed it in her mouth
 ‘Babe really do you have to do that every day?’
 ‘What exactly?’ telling me only after it’s in my mouth?’
 ‘I insisted we get different colors but guess who wanted a green tooth brush as well?’ he asked now picking the other tooth brush
 ‘But how do you know which one is yours?’
 ‘I don’t.’ he said walking out of the bathroom
 She ran after him but he was too quick for her
 ‘Elisha pray I don’t get you.’ She screamed trying to catch her breath
 ‘Bring it on sweetheart.’
 They had just gone through the back door when Sandra and Saidi looked at each other.
 ‘Do you want to have something like that when you grow up?’ Sandra’s friend asked who always came to pick up the two
 ‘Nope.’ The twins responded at the same time
 ‘The two of you disagree on many things except this.’
 .

SILENCE
_03_
 Larna couldn’t hold her breath any longer so she just stood by the lawn and watched her husband make funny faces just besides the pool.
 ‘And you go to the gym everyday right?’ he teased
 She shot him an evil stare then settled on the lawn
 ‘We need to see the kids off.’ Elisha told her as he walked towards where she was seated
 ‘You could have thought of that before making me chase you around.’ She said trying to catch her breath
 He looked at her before shaking his head vigorously.
 She got on her feet reluctantly and walked back into the house with her husband, Sandra and Saidi were just about to walk out when the two appeared.
 ‘See you later!’ they exclaimed at the same time
 Larna smiled as she watched her kids run off, she couldn’t believe that she was capable of bringing such beauty into the universe.
 ‘You know they are yours right?’ her husband asked
 ‘Yes they are ours.’ She said moving closer to where he stood
 ‘You know how this ends.’ he said staring deep into her eyes.
 *
 Mrs. Chishala watched as the last relatives left, the funeral had finished the previous night and because they couldn’t travel; they had to wait for morning.
 She looked on as the car left, her mind taking her back to the night that her husband had died.
 He had not been sick a day but it looked like something was troubling him, he kept telling her about how he felt like death was about to come his way and that he needed to work things out with his daughter.
 She had been against this because she knew the kind of person Larna was but he insisted, so after arguing about it; they finally called her over. Now you see Larna is not the kind of child that will jump at her parents’ words, they didn’t know why she even hated them and by the time she was showing up he was gone.
 Not once had she shed a tear and despite people talking, it didn’t shock Mrs. Chishala, she had hoped that maybe she would be remorseful but she had dragged her husband out of the place in the night. It was like she was trying so hard to get away from their lives as soon as possible.
 She settled into an armchair and just allowed the tears to fall, she just couldn’t understand why her husband would leave her alone in a cruel world with no one to call family.
 Grabbing her phone, she called the only person she thought of.
 ‘Hello.’ Larna responded trying to catch her breath
 With two kids their marriage was still a ball of fire and they still managed to go to heights they never thought they would.
 ‘I need to see you.’ Mrs. Chishala said between sobs
 Larna got up from the bed living her husband wondering and rushed into the bathroom.
 ‘Why do you want to see me when I was with you yesterday?’ she asked coldly
 ‘Larna don’t you have a heart?’
 ‘I have a family, you should know that I have one otherwise how would I have been living under the same roof with them?’
 ‘Girl I am your mother!’
 ‘I am not disputing that fact, I am just stating the obvious.’ She yelled back
 There was silence between them.
 ‘Why do you hate me so much?’
 She couldn’t help but laugh, after so many years she was finally asking that question.
 ‘I don’t hate you neither did I hate your husband.’
 ‘Larna he was your father.’
 ‘Then he should have acted like one!’ she screamed memories of the past hitting her hard
 ‘He is dead, whatever he did to you; you should let it go.’ She pleaded
 ‘Let it go huh, let it go you say? You think him dying will just make everything okay?’
 ‘If only you could tell me what he did, if only you could just open up. Maybe I would know how to help.’
 ‘I don’t need your help.’
 Just then Elisha walked in and grabbed the phone from her
 ‘Mother.’ He said with a smile
 ‘My son.’
 ‘How are you holding up?’
 The conversation went on and on until he dropped the line before promising that he would go over there with the kids to visit her.
 Then he turned to look at his wife who had an angry look on her face.
 ‘Were you eavesdropping on me?’
 ‘Why do you hate your parents so much?’ he asked avoiding her question
 ‘We have been through this a number of times, I don’t hate them. I just never liked them much whilst growing up.’ She said taking off the towel she had wrapped round before stepping into the shower
 ‘And you always do that right?’
 Larna opened the tap and whatever Elisha said fell on deaf ears. He walked out of the room and went to the guest wing where he took his bath from.
 He just couldn’t understand why she hated her parents so much, when he had met her; he thought it would change but it never did.
 After bathing, she changed into a pair of slacks and a vest then headed to the kitchen. She needed to start her daily routine which was baking whatever orders she had and the funeral had been a draw back for her because now she had pending work.
 She looked at all her notes and got busy, by the time she was resting it was already lunch hour and the kids would be back soon so she quickly fixed some pasta with meat balls.
 Elisha on the other hand was working on a new design for a hotel which was supposed to be put up in the months to come. This was the most challenging design for him to come up with but he trusted himself to bring it to life.
 The sound of his phone brought him back to life, it was his private investigator Ben; after the incident in the morning, he had asked him to do a search on his wife.
 ‘Anything for me?’ he asked
 ‘Nothing Sir, I couldn’t get into her past and I should mention that they are no records of your wife anywhere. It’s like she doesn’t even exist.’ He told him
 ‘How is that even possible?’
 ‘It could also be that someone in high authorities is protecting her Sir.’
 Elisha dropped his phone when he heard that, what was his wife hiding that she had to be unknown to the world?’
 .

SILENCE
_04_

‘Sasha what are you doing here?’
 ‘I am tired of all this, I just can’t do it any longer!’ she yelled
 He grabbed her by the hand and dragged her inside.
 ‘You are hurting me.’ She begged
 ‘I will do worse if you don’t get the hell out of here in peace, we had a deal and I met my end of it.’ He said pacing about the room
 ‘I can’t keep it any longer and I am not going anywhere.’ She said hands akimbo
 .
 ‘Larna!’ Elisha said with fear registered in his voice
 ‘Larna!’ he yelled again this time shaking her body
 ‘Oh my word.’ She said tears glistering in her eyes as she sweated, the bed sheet underneath her wet
 ‘Hush my baby, it was just a bad dream.’ He said holding her
 ‘Don’t ever leave me Eli, don’t.’ she told him
 He went to grab a wet towel and cleaned her face with it.
 ‘Let me make you some strong black tea, it will calm your nerves.’
 He walked to the kitchen to make the tea but by the time he was back, she was already sleeping.
He walked back with it then later joined her in bed.
 Larna felt her husband’s warm presence just beside her, she was pretending to be sleeping because she didn’t want him asking questions. Her past was her past and she promised herself that she was never going to talk about it no matter the circumstances. Everything was still as clear as day, she remembered that day as if it were yesterday and even though she had tried her best to forget about it, she just couldn’t.
 In no time she was asleep and by the time she was opening her eyes again, her kids were quietly laying on one side of the bed with her.
 ‘Good morning sleeping beauty.’ Sai (Saidi) greeted
 ‘Hey my Prince.’ She responded kissing his cheek.
 ‘I am not a child anymore and you need to brush your teeth woman!’
 That sent her into laughter.
 ‘To think that it was just yesterday when I held you in my arms and you cried your first.’ She said with a smile
 ‘Gross mum, we are grown.’ Sarah told her making a face
 ‘But you will always be my babies.’
Just then Elisha walked in carrying a tray of food
 ‘Good morning babe.’
 ‘Good morning.’ She said with a smile
He placed the tray nicely on her side of the head board and kissed her forehead.
‘I think we all need to get sick more often, breakfast in bed is just totally amazing. I need to tweet this.’ Sarah said grabbing her phone
‘Excuse me what just happened?’ Larna asked
‘Oh mum, tweeter is an application on the phone.’
‘And I thought I said you can only use your phones on the weekend.’
‘Mum its Saturday dah.’ Sarah responded again
‘Hey, talk to her nicely.’ Sai cut in
‘Oh look at you being all protective.’ She told him rolling her eyes
Larna and Elisha looked at each other before laughing
‘You can leave us alone now, go and do your chaos.’ Elisha told them
‘Are you sure you will be fine?’ Sai asked looking at his mother
His thoughtfulness melted her heart.
‘Yes my baby I will be fine, in fact I am fine. Now come here and give mummy a kiss.’
The twins did just that and walked out of the room leaving their parents alone
‘Will you tell me what dream made you like that last night?’
‘Babe I can’t remember.’ Larna said getting hold of the cup of tea
‘Lord this is perfect.’ She said avoiding his gaze
‘Larna.’ He began
‘It’s always serious when you call me by my first name.’ she said
‘Babe I don’t want to argue with you.’
‘Why should we argue over things that I don’t know? I have already told you that I can’t remember what the dream was about.’
‘Larna this is the millionth time you are waking up in the middle of night after a night mare and according to research it should be something from your past that is getting you like this.’
‘According to research? You have been doing a research on my nightmares?
‘Right, out of everything I just said that is the only thing that you heard huh?’
‘Babe can we just forget about all this already? I have already told you that I can’t remember.’
‘You need to see a doctor.’ He said before turning on his feet
‘And where are you going?’ To make sure that the kids are dressed up.’
‘Are you guys going somewhere?’
‘We are all going to see your mother, eat up so that you don’t make us late.’
She was about to protest but she knew better than to do so because he was already out of the room.
She took a deep sigh as she recalled events of the dream, it was a lie that she couldn’t remember a thing because each one of these dreams came like memories. She had done some research on the internet and it all kept telling her the same thing; that she was supposed to revisit her past and only then would she be healed.
By this time she had lost her appetite but she knew her couldn’t let husband’s efforts go to waste.
Afterwards she removed the dishes and took a bath.
The drive to chelstone was long as there was congestion and the kids kept talking about how excited they were to be going to see their grandmother seen they were not allowed to go to the funeral.
‘Mum.’ Sarah began
‘Yes baby.’
‘Imagine my babies treating you the same way you treat grandma.’ She said looking out of the window
‘Sarah!’ her father yelled
‘What dad, I am just reading a couple of what ifs on Facebook.’
‘Young lady you will not use your phone for the rest of the term.’ He said grabbing it from her
‘But that is not fair dad, besides mum has a normal relationship with grandma I don’t see why you are worked up.’
‘You will not argue with me when I speak and this should be the last time you use that tone on me again. The both of you! Are we clear?’ he asked pulling over into the yard
‘Yes Daddy.’ Both of them responded at the same time
..

SILENCE
_05_

‘Grandma.’ The kids screamed running towards Mrs. Chishala who was seated on a garden chair on her nicely done lawn
She stood up to receive them, for the first time she was genuinely happy ever since her husband died.
‘My babies.’ She said opening her arms
If Larna had her way she could have stopped them from running towards her but she didn’t want them thinking otherwise, so with much discomfort she just watched on.
Elisha always noticed the change in attitude of her wife whenever she was around her mother. ‘Mother.’ He said hugging her after what seemed like forever because the twins didn’t want to let her go
‘Thank you for bringing them child.’ She said after they embraced
‘Hai.’ Larna greeted coldly
‘How are you Larna?’
‘I have been better than you.’ She told her walking towards the empty chairs
Elisha engaged in conversation right there and then, if someone didn’t know any better they would actually think Larna was the daughter in law and he was the son. ‘Let me make myself busy in the kitchen.’ Larna said standing up
‘Thank you for coming.’ Her mother told her genuinely
She just smiled then walked away
Immediately she disappeared into the house, Elisha turned to his mother in law.
‘Mum it is getting worse.’ He began
‘The night mares?’
‘Yes, this is the third time in a week and it is getting stronger.’ She kept quiet for a while.
‘I have no idea what exactly happened to Larna, if I knew I would have told you and I have tried to beat my head trying to think about the possible thing that could have happened but nothing comes to mind.’ She said thoughtfully
‘I am sorry to ask this question ma, but do you think dad could have something to do with this? Do you think he?’
She didn’t allow him to finish the sentence
‘God forbid Elisha, my husband was a lot of things and he loved Larna immensely; he could never have done that to her.’ She said
‘I am sorry.’
‘Don’t be, it is only normal for you to ask with the way she behaved towards him. I too thought of that possibility but he assured me on his life that he could never have hurt her.’ She said
‘Mum honestly I am trying to help her, I really am but how can I help someone who constantly tells you that she has no problem even when you can see right through her.’
‘Did you ever suggest therapy? Whilst she was young?’ he asked again
‘Elisah stop it, what you don’t know won’t kill you. If she doesn’t want to talk about her life or her past, don’t push it. Just be thankful that she doesn’t show that side of her to the kids.’ There was silence between them again, each one lost in their own thoughts.
‘There is more.’
She turned to look at him, she often felt sorry for Elisha. He was a good man and even though Larna was her daughter she knew he didn’t deserve what whatever she was making him go through
‘Larna is not on any government record.’
‘Child you know I am old and don’t understand that kind of language.’
‘Well what I mean is that she is not in any government system, as far as we are concerned she does not exist.’ He said
‘Oh.’ She responded
‘Mother is there something you are not telling me?’
‘Elisha forget it, Larna is a good wife and a good mother. Thank heavens for that.’ She said getting up
She walked into the house using the back door, the kids were already in the pool and from the scent coming from the house; she knew that her child had gotten busy in the kitchen.
She walked in on her and saw her busy with something on the cooker.
‘How are you?’ she asked looking at her
Larna turned to face her for a second then went back to the cooking.
‘The kids are doing okay, Elisha is fine. Life is perfect.’ She responded
‘Larna I am still your mother and I can see through you, how are you really?’ she asked She looked at her another second then the same way went back to her cooking.
‘I have never been better mother.’ She said with a hint of sarcasm in her voice
‘I am sorry about your husband by the way, sad he went to the grave without repenting.’ ‘Larna your father gave his life to Christ before he died, if only you had been present in his last days maybe then you would have known all this.’
She laughed
‘Wait are you trying to make me feel bad right now?’ she asked holding her mouth ‘Larna.’
‘Oh trust me I don’t feel a thing, he is gone and life has to move on.’ She said
‘I hope you don’t regret all this, I hope it won’t be too late when you realize your faults.’ Her mother said walking out of the kitchen
‘And whatever he did to you, he doesn’t deserve this kind of treatment. We all don’t deserve it.’ She said half way out
Larna placed the knife deep into the onion she was holding, if not for Elisha that had showed up; she would have dug into her skin.
‘Careful with that.’ He said
‘I will be babe.’ She told him with a smile
One minute she was angry the next he was warming her heart and she was grateful for the family that she had, this is all she had, all she knew and she vowed she would protect each one of them with her life.
 ..

SILENCE
_06_
Elisha left his wife’s presence but instead of going back to sit with his mother in law, he decided to go to Larna’s old room. He knew what he was doing was not right at all, if his wife didn’t want to talk about her past then he was supposed to let it be but as they say curiosity doesn’t let anyone rest.
He opened the door and the room looked perfect, it was covered in white beddings; it’s as if she was still sleeping in it. There was no speck of dust and all her old toys were in the same place. He moved closer holding each of them one by one and putting them down, it looked like she had a perfect childhood but what he couldn’t figure out was at what point did it all go wrong.
He went through some childhood photos and he laughed to himself, she looked happy with her parents by her side, one could tell that they were one big happy family. When he couldn’t find anything suspicious; he decided to leave the room but something caught his attention.
Just in the corner of the room was a big trunk that looked old and deserted, he moved closer and tried to open it but it was locked. Now he was more curious as to what was in there. So he went to the dressing mirror and started to look through her jewelry box and there he found a key and he figured it was for the trunk.
Opening it gently, he was met with a rusty scent; it probably had not been opened in a long time. Checking the corridor for someone coming his way, he opened it when he was satisfied that no one was coming.
They were old books that belonged to his wife, nothing was suspicious and he was now convinced that Larna was probably one of those children that just didn’t want to have anything to do with her parents after growing up.
So going through them one last time, he came across a newspaper that was from years back. He didn’t want to touch it but the photo that was there caught his attention.
‘Matero clinic morgue attendant Ms. Sasha Mvula found dead.’ The headline read
For some reason he felt a wave of fear run through him, he had never heard of this woman but something just told him that there was probably a story to what had caused her death.
He packed it the same way he had found it and went outside to meet his mother in law as if nothing had happened.
‘There you are.’ She said when she saw him
‘I was just checking on Larna, you know how she keeps herself busy every time we are here.’ She smiled, she knew her daughter was only like that because she didn’t want to be found in the presence of her mother.
‘Mother can I ask you something?’
‘Sure go ahead.’ Mrs. Chishala told him
‘I was just going through some old files some days back and I found a story about one Ms. Sasha
Mvula.’ He paused to stare at the twins who were busy chasing each other around
‘Sasha, poor girl. Committed suicide a few months before her wedding.’
‘What?’ he asked surprised
‘Yes, I had never met her but was a friend of my husband. Her fiancé was devastated, we heard he took his life too months after she was buried.’
‘Now that is depressing.’
‘It is.’ Mrs. Chishala said shaking her head
‘But if she was a morgue attendant, how did she know your husband? Dad I mean.’
‘Well my son, Matero clinic was small at the time and almost all the staff workers knew each other so I am guessing that was how, though we heard her family refused to do a postmortem or any further investigation concerning her death. They just wanted to mourn her in peace.’
‘That is a sad story.’
‘Really sad, we felt bad too despite not knowing her but you know we were like a big family in matero before all this development happened and everyone started to mind their business.’ She said now standing up
‘Let me get some rest child, old age is slowly catching up with me.’ She added holding the arm of the chair for support
 ‘You age like fine wine.’ He complimented and she smiled at him
 ‘Sarah, come help gogo here.’ He screamed
 The twins came rushing and they escorted their grannie inside.
 Elisha picked up his phone and called his private investigator Ben again.
 ‘What do I have to do for you boss?’ he asked on the other end of the line
 ‘So I can’t just call to greet you?’
 ‘Well sir you don’t pay me for pleasantries.’ He responded seriously
 ‘I am glad you take your job seriously.’
 There was silence
 ‘I need you to do something for me, use everything in you and find out about a Ms. Sasha Mvula. She was a morgue attendant for matero clinic some ten to fourteen years ago. It is believed that she committed suicide then her fiancé later took his life as well.’
 ‘And I am guessing you don’t believe that she took his life right?’
 ‘Ben I don’t pay you to ask questions, get the job done. I need answers by the end of twenty four hours.’ He said dropping the line.
 Larna watched from the kitchen window as Elisha paced up and down, he smiled when he noticed her watching. She knew something was wrong and it was only a matter of time before she found out.
 ‘I don’t know what you want to know dearest husband but what you don’t know won’t kill you.’ She muttered under her breath as she dished the food nicely on a plate
 She put just enough vegetables and a piece of meat with some savory rice, then in a glass she squeezed some fresh pomegranate juice; nicely putting it on a tray she carried it to her mother’s bedroom.
 ‘Come in.’ Mrs. Chishala responded hearing the knock
 ‘I brought your food.’ Larna said putting it on the table
 She was already on her feet when her mother spoke.
 ‘Elisha was asking about Sasha, soon enough he will start digging. Whatever you know its best you start talking before he finds out.’
 ‘I don’t know who Sasha is and I would appreciate you stay out of my marriage.’
 She went outside and got the car key before calling the kids.
 ‘Yes mother.’ Sai responded
 ‘Get your things we are leaving.’ She said walking towards the vehicle
 .

SILENCE
_07_
 ‘Leaving?’ Sarah asked
 ‘Yes I said leaving.’ She yelled startling them
 Elisha moved closer and grabbed her hand
 ‘You will not yell at the kids.’
 ‘They are mine too, or have you forgotten?’ she asked with anger registered in her eyes
 ‘I don’t know what the hell is wrong with you but I will not allow you to drive in this state.’
 ‘What are you going to do about it huh?’ she asked
 He stepped back trying to process what had just happened to have her change like this, Larna was never this hush. She was the calm type and never had she ever yelled at the kids.
 He grabbed the car keys from her and started the car immediately the kids got in.
 ‘Drive us home.’ She said looking out the window
 The rest of the journey was quiet with none of them saying a word to each other.
 The sound of his phone startled everyone in the car, it’s like the twins had noticed the tension too.
 He looked at the caller ID and saw Ben’s number; it was a private number.
 ‘Won’t you pick up?’ Larna asked looking at him
 ‘I am driving.’ He responded fully aware that Ben was about to blow it up for him
 ‘You always put it on speaker when you are driving.’ She said suspiciously
 ‘I will call them back.’
 ‘How when it is a private number.’
 ‘They will call back.’ He said as it cut and he couldn’t help but thank his lucky stars but not for too long because it began to ring again
 This time Larna picked up and put it on speaker.
 ‘Sir I am afraid you won’t like what I have to tell you.’ A nervous Ben said on the other end of the line but Elisha was silent
 ‘Sir are you there?’
 He looked at Larna who gave him an evil stare.
He cleared his throat.
‘Yes Ben I am here.’ He said
‘Okay so I found out that Sasha did not commit suicide, the hospital did a postmortem and found a slow killing drug in her system.’
Larna looked at Elisha disappointment registered on her face.
‘Thank you Ben.’
‘There is more sir.’
‘Okay.’ He responded trying to cut the conversation short but Ben wasn’t reading between the lines
‘Her fiancée before dying left a note which she had written and has been in the hands of the police, it was never to be released but I have a friend at central police who owes me a favor so he sent me a copy of the letter.’
There was silence in the vehicle.
‘Sasha confessed that she could feel her death coming, that if anything happened to her it was because of one Mr. Chishala who I believe was your father in law.’
By this time Larna had tears rolling down her cheeks.
‘He was necrophilic Sir.’ He said
There was a barren silence in the vehicle, Elisha couldn’t just believe what he had heard. How was it possible that his father in law was attracted to dead bodies? Necrophilia is a pathological fascination with dead bodies, which often takes form of a desire to engage with sexual activities, such as intercourse.
‘Oh and Sir, I still can’t find out why your wife is not on any government record.’ Ben added before the line went dead
Larna just couldn’t believe what she had just heard, it was like adding salt to a wound that was raw. How could Elisha be so insensitive? How could he dig into her past and bring out things that she was trying so hard to forget. And as if that wasn’t enough, the inquisitive Sarah spoke.
‘Daddy what is necrophilic?’ Elisha almost hit into the vehicle that was in front of them.
‘That is something not for you to worry about princess.’
‘Well mummy is crying daddy.’
‘Answer her damn it!’ Larna screamed
‘They are just kids Larna!’
‘Oh so now you are recognizing that they are kids right? Now you want to act like you care so much about them right?’
‘I will not allow you to take out your anger on the kids, if there is someone you need to crucify here; it is I.’ he said foot down
‘No Elisha, you have no idea what you have just done. I know my kids because I carried them for nine months in my womb and I have watched them grow, they won’t stop asking. You think I was a bad child because I didn’t get along with my parents?’
Elisha was focusing on the road
‘I did everything I did because I was ashamed of the man that had given me life, imagine how disgusting that is. After all those acts he still went back to his wife to lay with her, I was only fourteen when I learnt all that and do you think I had a normal childhood afterwards?’
‘Just stop it, we will talk about this when we get home.’
‘No, you wanted to find out the truth. Well here it is, Sarah sweetheart well guess what; your grandfather was an animal. He had sex with dead people. He enjoyed having sex with dead people!’ She yelled again
 ‘And oh, you want to know why my name is not on any government record? I tried to re-open the case when I couldn’t take it anymore. But my father knew about it and he threatened to come to the open; he poisoned my mind saying if my mother got a heart attack it would be on me. I was just a child, he had my records removed so that if I tried anything I would be questioned about my nationality. So there you have it dearest husband, this is a past I was trying so hard to forget!’ she paused now facing him her seat belt out
 ‘Larna wear your seat belt.’

‘I was only trying to be normal, I created this piece of heaven in hopes that I would find peace but you had to dig the wounds. You had to uncover buried graves.’

‘Larna wear your seat belt please.’

‘I will never forgive you Elisha for doing this to me, it wasn’t your business in the first place. You were not supposed to meddle, I have been nothing but a good wife and mother; my past never once defined me!’ she yelled

He tried to fix her seat getting his eyes off the road
‘Daddy watch out!’ the kids screamed at the same time

The last thing they all heard was a banging sound and bodies flying out of the vehicle.
 ..

SILENCE
_08_

‘Dr. Muhongo!’ The nurse screams

‘I don’t have time, we have an emergency that we need to attend to right now.’ The lady doctor screams back

‘Doctor, there is a woman in theatre five who is about to give birth but she has some complications.’ The nurse said holding her breath

‘I will not repeat myself, a family of four has just been brought in and we need to do something before we lose them.’ The lady doctor said rushing to theatre seven

She got into the theatre and had her hands sterilized before going to where the bodies were laid.

‘What do we have here?’ she asked the nurse who was busy giving her tools

‘We have managed to stabilize the man, not much damage has been done to him but it will take a while before he regains consciousness.’

‘And the woman?’ no internal injuries but a leg has been severely damaged

‘The kids?’

‘Dr. Hamoonga is operating on them in theatre one.’

‘Okay we can start from here.’

Dr. Muhongo was a well-trained Doctor from South Africa, born and bred there. She had gone to further her studies in India where she was transferred to work for the University Teaching Hospital in Zambia upon completion.
The surgery took about ten hours, she had studied a lot concerning such cases and now they were only two options left. If the family had enough money they could be transferred to the Italian hospital where they would join her remaining bones with a metal but if they didn’t; they would have to amputate her leg.

‘I need you to get in touch with her family so that we know the way forward.’

‘Doctor we didn’t find any IDs on the scene of the accident, there was nothing that could have led us to her family.

‘We need to wait to see if someone will show up.’

‘Doctor the wound will catch an infection and to make matters worse there is no circulation of blood and if nothing is done in the next twenty minutes,  the affected tissue will begin to die and an infection might set in.’ The nurse in charge said

The doctor shook her head, she was aware of all this but a part of her really wanted to do something about her patient but what could she do when there was no trace of her family.

‘Lord we need help here.’ She said silently looking at a badly injured Larna

‘Let’s do it.’ She said with a lump on her throat

There was nothing much that could be done, an amputation usually requires a hospital stay of five to fourteen days or more depending on the surgery and complications.

Since Larna was already unconscious, there was no need for an anesthesia to be done to her.

The crushed bones were removed and the blood vessels and nerves were sealed.

When they were done, they cleaned her up and put her in the intensive care unit where she would be monitored, the doctor was really hoping for her to be out of the coma quick so that the healing could be quicker but what worried her more was whether she would come to terms with the fact that she would have to use clutches or a wheel chair for the rest of her life.

She went into Elisha’s room and checked on his progress as well before going to theatre one where the kids to the couple had been taken.

She stood by the door watching through the glass opening what was happening inside, she saw the doctor struggling with the defibrulator on one twin; the other was not being attended to. After a few minutes, he put the tools down then headed towards the door his face looking gloomy.
He pushed the door open and found Dr. Muhongo outside.

‘How did it go?’ she asked

‘We lost them.’ He responded walking past her

He couldn’t help but feel pain, this was the first time he was losing a patient and the fact that they were twins is what killed him the most. What were the parents going to do after this? Would they have normal lives or maybe their marriage would be a wreck after all this.

He was the doctor in charge and he knew he had to prepare himself to tell the parents once they were awake, this is the part of his job that he didn’t like.

Without wasting much time, he grabbed his car keys and walked out of his office. He needed to be home, he wanted to rest and prepare his mind for what the following days held. They would be hard for him.

‘Dr. Hamoonga.’ Dr. Muhongo called

He liked working with her because she was a good doctor but his wife had hinted that she had a soft spot for him which he was beginning to notice.

‘Yes Doctor.’ He responded turning to face her

‘I just wanted to make sure that you are okay after you know.’ She said moving closer as she played with the coat he was holding

He moved his eyes from her face to the coat where her fingers were.

‘I am fine and I will see you tomorrow, make sure the patients are checked on from time and again and I will be the one to tell them about the kids.’ He said moving away

‘Do you need someone to talk to maybe?’ she asked

‘I am fine, but thanks for offering.’ He said

The drive back home was quiet, he kept seeing the twins in his head. He and his wife had been trying to have kids for two years now but all in vain. Everything was okay with the both of them but still there was nothing and here he was given the chance to save a life and he just couldn’t. He got out of the vehicle and went inside, he could smell his wife’s cooking in the kitchen. She was a full time counselor and she worked only from nine in the morning to three in the afternoon.
‘Hey babe.’ He greeted standing by the door

‘Good evening Doc.’ She responded moving where he was

He kissed her forehead lightly.

‘You don’t look fine.’ She said

‘I lost twins.’

‘Oh my God babe I am so sorry.’ She said getting into his arms

‘Let me take a bath.’

He left her in the kitchen and went to the bedroom, putting his things neatly in place then headed to the shower. As the water hit his skin he felt his tears fall. He was a man and he couldn’t allow himself to get weak but how could he not when he had been crying for a child all along and here was a couple that had lost two at a goal.
He finished taking his bath and went to put on some clothes.

‘What is wrong exactly babe, I know it is more than the death of the children.’

There was silence.

‘Babe I just don’t understand how life can be this cruel, we have been praying for a child and look at how easily these two have slipped out of my hands.’

‘Stop it babe, we will have babies when it’s God’s appointed time.’ she told him smoothing his back

‘What can I do without you?’ he asked

‘A lot babe, but you do it better with me around.’ She said sitting on his laps

‘I love you wife of my youth.’

‘And I love you husband of my youth.’ She said
 ..

SILENCE
_09_

He woke up with a pounding headache, it had been three days and the man had not woken up from the coma. The woman had to be kept sedated because each time she woke up the pain kept getting worse. Looking at the two, it was hard to imagine how life was going to turn out for them. It was three in the morning and even though he had gone to bed at one he knew he couldn’t sleep any no longer. He slowly got up from the bed and went to the bathroom, splashing some water on his face, he headed to the study and switched on the lights. This was the life he chose and it looked like insomnia was part of the package.

He switched on his laptop and started watching Kidnap, for some unknown reason he had kept the movie for a long time hoping that someday he would have the free time to watch it.

He was half way into the movie when his wife walked in, she was wearing his t-shirt and a pair of socks.

‘Hey you.’ She said moving to where he was

‘Hey baby.’

She moved closer and sat on his laps.

‘What is wrong with you now?’ she asked running her hand in his hair

‘I just can’t sleep babe, I think I will have to get some pills to help me sleep.’

‘That is not happening Doctor, you are way too young to be taking pills that will aid you to sleep.’ She said now giving him a serious look

He smiled before gently rubbing her thighs

‘You are getting cold, you need to get back to the bedroom.

‘Not without you babe and I won’t allow you to change the topic.’

‘You know me better right?’ he asked

She kept quiet for a while as if thinking of something.

‘I have a preposition to make.’ She began now on her feet

He looked at her with a blank stare

‘Which is?’

‘I feel the only reason you have been like this is because you don’t know how to tell the couple about their kids.’

‘Yes?’

‘I am a counselor babe.’

‘No no, I am not making you go through this babe.’ He said cutting her short

‘Babe I chose this profession, this is who I am.’ She said serious

‘No I am not making you go through this.’ He said now walking away

She followed him as he headed for the bedroom

‘Babe sleep over it, this is a very delicate case. Yes I know you doctors have an obligation to tell your patients about their loved ones and all but if I were in her shoes I wouldn’t want someone who has never been in the same situation telling me such news.’

He looked at her, calculating everything that she had said.

‘So babe what you are saying is that you would rather a counsellor talks to her and not just an ordinary doctor?’

‘My point exactly, I was trained for this babe. Yes I might not walk around in white coats and all but I work well with minds, with emotions, with feelings. I was trained to help a person heal, well not physically.’

‘I am tempted to make this happen babe, but you know I can’t just make those decisions on my own. I need to talk to the other doctors.’

‘You don’t have to, I work for an organization and I will draft something tomorrow; let’s just say it will be some sort of donation to the government.’ She smiled

‘Every day you give me more reason to fall deeply in love with you.’ He said kissing her lightly

They both went to bed and were up at six, he was the first to get out of the house because doctor Muhongo had called him for an emergency.

‘Dr. you called for me?’ he asked rushing to where she was

‘Good morning to you to.’ She responded with a smile

‘Sorry, good morning. What’s the emergency?’

‘The man is conscious and has been asking about his family, we told him they were being attended to.’ She said looking at his face but he didn’t show any emotion

‘Okay let me see him.’

‘Joshua.’ She called

‘Yes Doctor?’

‘Please put yourself in his shoes.’ She said

‘Thank you and it is Doctor Hamoonga by the way.’ He said rushing into Elisha’s ward

Since no one had come to claim the family or pay any bills, he had been put in the G side ward, he was the only one there because he had been unconscious for a while.

Doctor Hamoonga looked through the glass opening on the door and saw how pale he looked, he must have been nervous. He breathed in and opened the door before letting himself in.

‘Good morning Sir.’ He began

‘Where is my wife and my kids?’ he asked trying to get up but he was too weak

‘Sir I need you to calm down and answer a few questions.’ Joshua said removing his reading glasses

Elisha looked at him for a while before focusing his eyes to the ceiling

‘Tell me your names.’

‘Elisha, Elisha Mwaba.’

‘And your wife’s name?’

‘Larna Chishala Mwaba, the kids are Saidi and Sarah.’

‘Both ten, turning eleven in a few months.’ He added a glimpse of light appearing on his face

‘How did you get here, do you remember what happened before the accident?’

‘Why are you asking me all these questions? I need to see my wife and kids.’ He yelled startling Joshua

‘Sir this is just normal hospital procedure, I will need to contact your family before I tell you anything about your family.’

‘Damn it! Normal hospital procedure? Contact what family when my only family is in here!’

‘Sir I need you to keep your voice down.’ Joshua said

By this time he was already sweating and didn’t know if he could proceed. Just then the door opened and someone walked in.

‘Thank you Dr. Hamoonga but I will take it from here.’ She said with a smile

‘Good morning Sir, I am the only person you will talk to from today onwards. The doctors and the nurses will only come to give you your medication.’

‘And who are you?’ he asked

‘Wangu-Endike Sir.’

‘Your family counsellor.’ She added with a smile
 ..

SILENCE
_10_

Dr. Hamoonga looked at his wife with shock registered on his face, he had never worked with her and he had always prayed that he never finds himself in such a situation but now there was no turning back.

As the door shut, Wangu took a deep breath and smiled at Elisha, she knew that he had questions and she had to handle the situation as mature and professional as possible.

‘Ms. I don’t know who you are or who sent you but I need you to tell me where my wife and kids are.’ He demanded

She went over the window and giving him her back, she looked through it for a while before turning around to face him again.

‘Your wife is not in a very stable condition right now and I will need you to be strong for her now more than ever.’ She said

She asked him if he was able to walk on his own and he said he could though he was feeling a little weak so she got a wheel chair and with the help of a nurse; they put him there.

She wheeled him past most of the wards and they got to a place separate from the wards, Wangu took a deep breath before asking the person they found at the door to open.

Elisha was busy looking around not aware of the place they had gone to, it was one big cold room with shelves on the sides and after a while did he realize that it was the morgue.

‘Ms. what are we doing here?’ he asked tears glistering in his eyes

‘Sir I need you to be strong now more than ever.’ She said her own voice almost breaking

This place reminded her of her own child she had lost two years back.

The morgue attendant opened two shelves and left them open, Wangu wheeled Elisha forward. He couldn’t speak as he looked at his babies, their faces looking as beautiful as they had always been.

As a man he was expected to be strong, he was expected to have it all together but how could he possibly have it under control when he had caused all this?

‘My babies.’ He finally managed to say in a trembling voice

Wangu looked away her own tears betraying her, this was as hard as it could get.

Elisha slowly stood up from the wheel chair and moved closer to the shelves.

He took a deep breath and looked up, as if willing the tears back, but they fell instead. He struggled with the wheelchair as he tried to move forward, besieged by death. The death of his two children. Using both hands he touched their faces, they were as cold as ice but he didn’t mind. Death is cold, cruel, it’s inhuman. Death has no life. It is death. How was he going to tell his wife? Then it hit him, Larna probably didn’t know about the kids and he was the one to break the news to her. He bent over and held them tightly as he broke down, he cried so hard he was surprised that one could have that much amount of grief in them. It came flooding out, choking him, and squashing his heart. He cried like Sarah had cried the first time she fell down; like Saidi had cried the first time he was bullied in school, in that wheelchair he was nothing but a bereaved father who had just lost his bundle of joy, a father who had just lost his kids and with each tear drop one could tell just how much he had loved them.

When he couldn’t cry anymore and his own body was getting cold, Wangu helped him back to the wheel chair. After wheeling him out of the morgue, she stopped half way and knelt before him.

‘If I say I know how you are feeling I would be lying, but I have lost a child before so maybe I know an inch of what you must be going through.’ She paused, her own tears falling.

‘But all I will ask from you is to be strong now, your wife needs you.’

‘Larna will never forgive me for this.’

Wangu looked at him trying to figure out what he meant.

‘I should have never asked someone to look into her past, I should have asked her to drive, I shouldn’t have looked away from the road.’ He said now crying some more

Wangu just looked at him without a word, this was a very tough situation and whatever she was going to say would leave an everlasting impact on him and she didn’t want to leave one that would break him even more.

‘Would you like to see her today or maybe I give you time to put yourself together?’

‘Take me back to the ward.’ He managed to say
She wheeled him back and helped him back to the bed.

‘Can you leave me alone?’

‘I am sorry but I can’t, just pretend I am not here.’ She said seating just a distance away from where the bed was.

She picked up a novel and focused her eyes on it even though she wasn’t even reading it.
Thoughts ran through his mind about the many ways in which he could have prevented the accident, he couldn’t help but feel that it was all his fault. He had killed his children and that was the one thing that was eating him up.

‘You know.’ He began but paused

Wangu put her book down and faced him.

‘Sarah and Saidi, those were their names.’

‘I still remember the day they were born, my wife had loved the babies more than anything in the world even before they were born. I remember how she turned the biggest room in the house into a nursery, I had plans for that room. I was super upset but I had to get over it at the end of the day.’

He paused as if remembering something

‘They were the most jovial and hyper kids I had ever known.’

Tears began to fall again

‘Does this mean I have to talk about them in the past tense now?’ he asked now turning to face her

She got a tissue and handed it to him

‘Thank you.’

She smiled politely

‘What will happen to my wife and me now? I have read of couples who just lose themselves in the process after a bereavement. These kids gave us life and now I feel like they have just taken a huge part of me with them.’

‘This is where I come in Sir, we will get through this together.’ She assured him now moving closer

‘How will that even happen? How will you help us when you don’t even know us?’ he asked

‘Allow me to worry about that, for now just mourn your children.’
 ..

SILENCE
_11_

“At times life will hit you so hard to the point of wishing death upon yourself; but even death will not want you.”

Larna woke up to an excreting pain in the leg, the pain she was feeling was unbearable to the point where she couldn’t lift her body up. Looking around the room she was able to tell that she was in a hospital bed.

After turning her head to the side, she noticed a button which she pressed and soon enough a nurse came rushing to her side.

‘You are awake.’ She said looking at her

‘Who are you? And where am I?’ she asked looking frightened

‘Ma’am stay with me, a doctor will be with you in a moment.’ She said rushing out

The nurse ran into Dr. Hamoonga in the corridor and told him about the latest development, he was just glad that she was out of danger and now all he needed to worry about was her healing process.

When he walked into the ward, he found her starring at the ceiling.

‘Mrs. Mwaba.’ He called but she didn’t look at him

‘Mrs. Mwaba!’ he called again but still there was no response from her

‘Larna.’

Still nothing

‘Lord I hope it is not what I am thinking.’ He said fear creeping in

He moved closer and shook her body.

‘I heard you the first time.’ she said looking at him then back at the ceiling
Joshua moved backwards trying to process what had just happened

‘I need you to tell me your name.’ he said

‘Larna.’ She responded not once looking at him

‘Ma’am your full cooperation is what will help with your healing process, I need you to tell me everything about you so that I am able to help.’ He said picking up his reading glasses

‘Who am I?’ she asked with blood shot eyes

‘Excuse me?’

‘You called me Larna right? But who exactly am I?’

‘You are telling me that you don’t know who you are?’ he asked now putting his glasses down

‘Dr.?’ she paused trying to read his name tag

‘Dr. Hamoonga.’ He said quickly

‘Yes, you called me Larna and that is how I know my name. But I don’t know anything else about myself.’

Joshua moved backwards and tried to process what was going on, this was bigger than he thought it would be.

He got his pager and paged Dr. Muhongo who came in minutes later.

‘We have a problem.’ He began

‘What type of problem?’

‘Amnesia’

‘Oh no; but how bad is it?’

‘We need to find out but she looks angry, very angry.’

He moved closer to her and sighed before he began talking.

‘What do you know about yourself?’

‘What sort of stupid question is that?’ she asked looking at him

‘Ma’am you don’t need to be vulgar.’ Dr. Muhongo said

‘And who are you? His mistress?’

She clicked her tongue after saying that.

The two doctors walked out of the room and went to Joshua’s office.

‘Dr. what do you think is the problem?’ she asked him

‘I am thinking amnesia but we still need to know which type it is.’

‘Her anger, are you thinking what I am thinking?’ she asked him

‘We can’t be so sure, but we will need her husband to see her. Only then can we know the way forward.’ He said

‘Okay, I think it is high time the two met.’ She said now on her feet

Joshua shook his head before going to Elisha’s ward, he called his wife outside when he got there.

‘Hey.’

‘Hai.’ She responded

‘You don’t look fine.’

‘It was hard seeing those kids, beautiful children.’

‘I understand but don’t get too attached.’ He warned

‘It is my job to get attached babe, my job deals with emotions remember?’

He kept quiet when some nurses walked past them

‘I think they like you.’ She teased trying to lighten the situation

‘Like me? Why would someone like this ugly looking monster?’
‘Boy please.’ She said laughing

‘You make me look good babe, honestly you do.’

She smiled shyly and he loved that about her. The city had not changed her one bit but everything she had touched, she had turned into gold.

‘Do you think we can borrow him for a few minutes?’

‘Why?’ she asked worriedly

‘It looks like his wife has lost her memory.’

‘Oh my word, did this woman wrong anyone in her past?’

‘Meaning?’

‘Babe she just lost her children, a leg and now her memory.’

‘That is not the worst part.’

‘There is more?’

‘Yes, she is angry. Very angry.’

The two kept quiet as they thought of how cruel things could just go for people.

‘But why do you want him?’

‘We want to see if she is going to recognize him, maybe we can rule out the kind of amnesia she has after that.’

‘Okay sure.’ She responded

She walked into the ward and explained that he had to go and see his wife, he tried so hard to put up a face but was taken back when he saw her. 
She was nicely covered in beddings and had her eyes fixed on the ceiling. Elisha stood before her with Wangu and Joshua behind.

‘Larna.’ He called and she turned around and smiled before looking the other side

‘Baby I am so sorry.’ He began but the look she gave him scared the wits out of him

‘And who do we have here?’ she asked sarcastically

‘Why do you keep bringing strange people in here?’ she added before rolling her eyes

‘Larna this is me, Elisha. Your husband.’

She laughed, so hard they all thought she was losing it.

‘Now I will ask you to get out of here before I chase you myself.’ She yelled startling him but he didn’t move

‘Oh so you are stubborn?’

She moved the blankets and tried to move but noticed her leg was cut.

‘My leg?’ she said

‘What?’ Elisha asked trying to move close

‘What did you evil people do to me? Who are you? Who sent you? Where is my family?’ she asked with fury

Joshua moved forward and sedated her before asking the two to follow him to his office.
No one wanted to say anything, they were both lost in their own worlds.

‘What happened to her leg?’ Elisha finally asked
‘It was badly damaged and we had no option but to amputate it.’

More silence followed.

‘And her memory?’ 

‘It seems your wife has retrograde amnesia.’ Joshua said

‘What?’

‘It is a loss of memory-access to events that occurred, or information that was learned, before an injury or the onset of a disease. It tends to negatively affect autobiographical, and declarative memory while usually keeping procedural memory intact with no difficulty for learning new knowledge.’
‘Dr. are you saying that my wife will never remember me or our kids or anything we ever shared?’

‘She may have lost memories closer to the traumatic incident than more remote memories. The type of information that is forgotten can be very specific, like a single event, or more general, resembling generic amnesia.’

‘So what do I do now?’

‘Now I will advise she goes through counselling, you will need to be strong for her and if she has any surviving relatives; I will ask they become more active in her life now for a quicker recovery.’ Elisha nodded his head.

‘Can you sign my discharge papers now, I need to prepare for the funeral.’

‘I will, sorry for your lose.’

‘Thank you Doctor.’

‘Ah sorry to ask Mr. Mwaba.’ Wangu began

He turned to face her

‘Your wife seems angry; is that how she was before the accident?’

‘Larna is the most calm person I know but.’ He paused

‘Never mind.’

‘Sir, whatever you have to say please say it if you want her to heal.’ Joshua added

‘I will be back, but she had a tough childhood.’ He said walking out
 ..

SILENCE
_12_

His discharge papers had been signed and somehow he had found his way home, there was nothing that could stop his heart from bleeding. He didn’t even know how he was going to start living again when he couldn’t even find a reason to live.

After taking a long hot bath, he called a cab to take him to his mother in law’s place. She didn’t know anything about the accident and she was the only person that he could tell about it.

He walked into the compound remembering the last time he had been there, he had no idea how much time had passed ever since.

She was in the garden tending to her flowers when he spotted.

‘My God I have been worried about all of you.’ She said dropping her tools

He looked at her frail skin and silver hair, she was aging beautifully.

‘How are you mother?’ he asked trying to be strong

‘Look at me and tell me.’ She responded

He gave her a weak smile, even though Larna denied it she got some of her characteristics from her mother.

‘You never called me after getting home, your phones have been off. What sort of children treat their aging mother like that? You almost gave me a heart attack.’ She said leading him to the house
He just walked behind her silently, he was trying to find the right words to say everything to her.

They got to the kitchen and she straight away made him a cup of tea.

‘How are the kids?’ she asked now settled opposite him

He swallowed hard.

‘My son are you okay?’ she asked

He was trying so hard to be strong.

‘Elisha how are my grandchildren?’ she asked again

‘Mum.’ He began

‘Yes?’

‘We never got home that day.’

‘What do you mean you never got home?’

‘We were involved in a terrible car accident.’ He managed to say in a whisper

Mrs. Chishala put down her cup.

‘Oh my God Elisha how are they?’

Silence.

‘They didn’t make it mum, my babies are gone.’ He said forcefully holding back the tears

For a moment they were both silent, none of them uttering a word to the other.

‘And Larna? How is my daughter? How is she holding up?’

‘She lost a leg.’

‘And her memory.’ He added

Mrs. Chishala got up from where she was and embraced him as they cried together, she knew this was a hard time for him and the only thing he needed was someone to just be there for him. The next few days, the funeral for the twins was held. Since Larna was still in hospital; they held it without her. They had told a few close friends about it and they decided to bury them at Mrs. Chishala’s place. It was hard for Elisha to accept that they were gone but he couldn’t do much about it.

The day Larna was to be discharged, Elisha wanted that she goes home with him but her mother decided against it. She was her mother after all and this would be a good time for them to bond. Wangu promised she would always come to check up on her because the counselling sessions would help her to heal despite Elisha believing that she might never heal; something that frightened him to the coil.

It had been a week from the time she had started living with her mother and had shown no sign of healing, it’s like she kept getting worse by the day. Larna was ever angry at her mother and life generally, she threw things around in her room and refused to eat anything that her mother prepared.

‘How is she doing?’ Wangu asked the day she had gone to visit

‘She is getting worse.’ Mrs. Chishala said who had lost a bit of weight from the last time they had met

‘And how are you doing yourself?’

‘As you can see I am losing it.’ She honestly said rubbing the invisible sweat off her face

‘You need to take care of yourself, stressing is not good for your age mum.’ She told her holding her hand

‘My child it is not easy, I only have Larna in this world and it breaks my heart that she still hates me up to now.’

‘What do you mean still hates you?’

Mrs. Chishala sighed before narrating how Larna had grown as a child, her mother described her as an intelligent child who wanted to impress her parents always but things changed as she grew. She became distant and was stopped talking to her parents as much. She also told her to say at first she thought her husband had abused her sexually but he denied and swore upon his life that he would never do anything like that to her.
All this while Wangu listened silently, she knew this would be tough to deal with. It seemed Larna’s anger was as a result of her childhood and for her to heal she had to relive her past.

‘Mum thank you so much for the information, can I see her though?’

‘Well you can but be assured that she is not in a good mood today.’ Mrs. Chishala responded weakly

‘I can deal with bad moods.’ She said jokingly causing her to smile.

She walked into Larna’s room and found her curled in one corner, one could tell that this room was cleaned everyday despite it looking like a mess. She walked over to where she was and sat next to her. Larna looked up and saw Wangu seated, she shot her an evil stare but Wangu did not move. After about twenty minutes she stood up and walked out of the room.

‘Are you okay?’ Mrs. Chishala asked

‘Did she hurt you?’ she added

‘I am okay.’

Mrs. Chishala looked at her with a blank stare
Just then the door to Larna’s room opened, something that had never happened from the time she came home.

‘You!’ she screamed rudely but Wangu didn’t turn

‘You!’ she called again but still Wangu didn’t turn
Larna was forced to move to where they were and tapped Wangu’s shoulder

‘Yes?’ Wangu responded

‘I have been calling you.’ She said almost yelling

‘Talk to me like the lady that you are and my name is Wangu Larna.’ She said with a smile

‘Whatever.’ Larna said walking back to her room and hitting the door behind her

‘How did you do that? She has never said a word to me?’

‘I was trained for this mum, your daughter will be fine.’ She told her before saying her goodbye.
 ..

SILENCE
_13_

Elisha sat quietly looking at his phone as he debated on whether to call Ben or not, he knew if his wife had to heal then he had to find out what exactly about her past that she was hiding. His heart broke into a million pieces when he thought of what he had found out already and what it would do to his mother in law. After much debate, he picked it up and called him.

He cleared his throat before speaking after Ben had picked up

‘Hey.’

‘I am sorry man, I heard about the accident.’

Elisha slightly moved his phone away from his ear, he knew this was bound to happen and he had told himself that he was prepared for all this but it looked like it would take a while before he did. ‘Can you do one last job for me?’

‘Sure man, what is it?’

‘I need more information on Sasha, from the letter she left behind it is obvious that she didn’t die a natural death; I want to know what killed her.’

‘Okay I can do that though it will take me a week or so.’

‘Make it three days.’

‘Okay.’ He responded before they both dropped the line

He was silent in the house again, his mother in-law had advised that he moves in with her but he had refused; being here no matter how much it hurt made him feel closer to home, to his kids despite them gone and never coming back.

The sound of the knock on his door brought him back to life, he didn’t even realize that he had been crying until then.

He wiped the tears quickly and walked over to the door where he found Wangu and another lady standing there.

‘Good morning.’ She said with a warm smile

For some reason Elisha never liked Wangu, he felt she was meddling and had no idea the pain they were going through. He looked at her as one of those ladies that have had it easy in life and now took everything on a silver platter.

‘What do you want here?’

She immediately knew that she wasn’t welcome but that was the least of her worries, Larna had to heal and she would do everything possible to make that happen.

‘Good morning to you to.’ She said walking past him

‘Start with the master bedroom, I don’t want to imagine the kind of mess it is in.’ Wangu said talking to the lady she had come with

‘Excuse me what is the meaning of this?’ he asked looking at the lady that was almost disappearing in the corridor

‘Don’t worry about her, I need to talk to you.’

‘Sorry what is your name again?’

‘Wangu Elisha.’

‘Don’t you dare call me by my first name; we are not acquainted like that. I don’t know the kind of spell you have on my mother in law but that won’t work on me.’

‘Okay.’ She said

‘Okay? Just that?’

‘Yes Elisha, okay.’ She repeated

‘You and I are not friends, I honestly appreciate that you were the one to tell me about the kids but
I don’t want you in our lives any longer. You have no business with us whatsoever!’

She stood still for a while taking in everything he had just said then moved closer just so her face was beneath his; for he was taller.

‘Now listen to me Mr. Mwaba or Elisha or whatever you want to call yourself. I am not here on a social visit because trust me they are a lot of places I would rather be. I am only here because I care about Larna and her wellbeing and that can only happen when you speak up because it seems they are a lot of things you are hiding from me.’ She said fiercely

‘Hiding from you? What makes you think that I am hiding things?

‘And you want to go back and forth with me like we are little girls right?’

Elisha sighed before moving away from where they were standing.

‘I just want my wife to be well again.’ He said after settling into his chair

‘I bet it is clear that between you and me they are no sentiments; so you might just do me a favor by coming with me. Its high time you faced her.’

The drive to Chelstone was quiet, Wangu had instructed the lady to clean the house whilst they were away. Sooner or later Larna had to go back home and she didn’t want her going to a place that looked like a rubbish pit.

They both sighed before getting out of the vehicle.

‘I would advise you switch off your phone.’

‘Who are you to tell me what to do?’

Wangu raised her hands in defeat

They moved to the front lawn where Mrs. Chishala was seated reading a book.

‘Good morning Mum.’ Wangu greeted cheerfully

‘Good morning child.’ She said smiling genuinely at her

‘Elisha, how are you child?’ she asked

She was worried about him, she could only imagine what he was going through

‘I am doing okay mum.’ He finally responded

‘You should come here more often, it gets lonely sometimes.’

He smiled at her realizing just how much he had been absorbed in self-pity that he had forgotten that they was someone in the world that loved and cared about him.

‘How is she today?’ Wangu asked breaking the silence

‘Same old Larna, she is with her doctor right now.’

‘Okay.’

Wangu walked her way around the house, she had gotten used to the environment and for some reason she could tell that so much was being hidden under the roof.

She knocked once on Larna’s door and let herself in, Joshua was having a hard time giving Larna her medicine.

‘You need to take this or else I will sedate you.’ He warned

‘Bla bla bla.’ She repeated before making a face

‘The two of you should get married you know, you are both persistent.’ She said throwing a paper at Wangu

Wangu bent over and picked it up.

‘He hurt me.’ She read

She looked at Larna who was busy making faces, beneath all the anger she could tell that she was hurting and now more than ever she was determined to help her.

‘Larna take your medicine.’ Wangu said

She reluctantly took the meds and gulped down some water.

‘This is bitter.’

‘As bitter as you.’ Joshua responded earning himself an evil stare from both Wangu and Larna.

‘The two of you could make a perfect match.’ He said kissing Wangu on the cheek before walking out

‘See how you are blushing, stay away from him, men are evil. They will claim to love you then hurt you when you least expect it.’

‘And you know this because?’

‘I just know it.’ She said

Just then the door opened and Elisha walked in

‘What is he doing here?’ Larna asked

She had learnt to move with her clutches and now she was walking towards Elisha

‘Larna I need you to come down.’ Wangu begged

‘Get him out of here!’

‘Larna.’ He begged

‘You hurt me.’ She screamed some more repeatedly until Wangu advised him to leave the room

‘Larna talk to me.’

‘He hurt me.’ She continued to say with tears falling
 ..

SILENCE
_14_
Wangu sat silently as she watched Larna cry her lungs out, she knew that this was good for the healing process but something in her also told her that maybe this might just cause her more pain.
When she was calm, Wangu moved closer to talk to her.

‘How do you feel?’

Larna rolled her eyes.

One minute she was in tears, the next she was a totally different person.

Wangu sighed

‘Larna do you want to get healed?’

‘How do you ask me that question when nothing is wrong with me?

‘Larna everything is wrong with you, you just lost children, your memory and a leg. Don’t you want to know what your life was like before this?’

Larna looked at her intently before struggling with her clutches. She slowly walked over to the window and breathed in the air before she began speaking

‘I know something is not right, I understand I had a life before this but have you people asked me if I want that life back?’

For a minute Wangu felt like she had heard the wrong thing, for a minute she thought Larna was joking but when she turned around to look at her she knew she was dead serious.

‘I usually have night mares about the accident, I remember getting into an argument with that man you say is my husband. I remember it was heated up and he lost control of the vehicle.’

‘Oh my word Larna but why haven’t you mentioned anything?’

‘To who? You? So that you can use me for your own benefit? So that I can be just another case that you have helped solve?’

There was silence between them.

‘So what are you saying?’

Larna turned to look at Wangu before she smiled

‘I can see that you are a good woman and very good at your job too but you missed one thing when it came to my case, you didn’t ask me if I wanted to be healed.’

Wangu tried to speak but Larna signaled her to be quiet because she wasn’t done.

‘That is what you medical practitioners miss, it’s not everyone that gets sick that wants to be cured, especially things to do with the brain.’

‘You lost me there.’

‘Wangu, that’s your name right?’

‘Yes.’

‘I have a strong feeling that my past is something that I am better off forgetting, I have a feeling that my past is something that will only bring me pain and so I would rather not go back to the same past.’

‘Larna but you are angry, not only at yourself but the people around you.’

‘I can learn to control that anger, I can be a calm person. Like I am right now.’

‘You can’t be serious Larna, have you seen how your mother suffers? Have you seen how your husband is battling at the loss of your two children?’

‘I have but all I can feel is sympathy, I have no connection whatsoever to them because I can’t remember how life was with them. I plan on moving on and without them, so I would advise you stop coming here.’ She said dismissively

Wangu wanted to say more but it looked like Larna had made up her mind and there was nothing more that could be done about it, now the only thing to do was to let her be.

She walked out of the room with the weight of the world on her shoulders, this was the first time a patient was telling her that she didn’t want to be healed. Wangu felt like she had failed as a counselor, she felt like she had just not done enough.

Joshua, Elisha and Mrs. Chishala were all busy chatting when Wangu walked into the living room.
They turned to face her when Elisha called out her name.

‘Babe are you okay?’ Joshua asked now on his feet

She didn’t say anything but just embraced him as she allowed her tears to fall.

‘Hush my baby.’ He said not knowing what had happened.

‘I have failed my baby, I have failed.’ She cried some more

‘Hush now.’

Mrs. Chishala got up and rushed to the kitchen where she made her some strong black tea.

‘Here, it will help calm your nerves.’

Wangu took it graciously and she was half way drinking it when she told the three Larna’s decision.

‘What do you mean she doesn’t want to be healed?’ Elisha asked

‘Yes she doesn’t want to be healed, she says she wants this life. In my own understanding I think all she is trying to do is run away from her past.’

Elisha excused himself and went to Larna’s room, he knocked once before allowing himself inside.

‘Hey.’ He said when she didn’t look at him

‘I thought Wangu has told all of you my decision, I think it’s high time you forget about me and everything we ever shared.’

He kept quiet before saying anything.

‘So you are saying that you want me to forget everything that we shared?’

She looked up then back to what she was doing.

‘That is exactly what I am saying.’

He sighed, got hold of the door, slightly opened it then closed it before locking it.

‘You know what Larna, I think you are the most selfish person that I have ever met.’ He began

‘I think you are talking to your formal wife and not me.’ She said

‘You are not even remorseful huh? We were married for over twelve years, made memories. Had a beautiful home together and even bore beautiful kids and all you can tell me is that you don’t want all that?’

‘Yes, that is what I am saying.’

‘God damn it Larna, you want me to pretend like we didn’t have a life together? You want me to start afresh on my own when I still have you in my life?’ he asked

By this time she was looking at him like he was insane.

‘Babe please don’t do this to us, I swear I will be a better husband. I won’t leave any clothes on the bathroom floor, I swear I won’t leave the toilet sit messed up. I will be a better man, I will even try to learn how to cook; just for you, for us.’ He said now holding her hands

‘Let me go! Leave me alone Elisha, I don’t want anything to do with you.’

He moved in and forcefully embraced her, as he took in her scent he remembered the old times and the urge to kiss her rose. He placed his lips on hers even as she struggled with him to let her go but he just couldn’t stop. He was hurting and hungry for her, as he intensified the kiss; he got her hands and placed them on her hard on. She had loved this whilst they were married and he was hoping it could ignite something in her until she froze and closed her lips.

Senses finally coming, he pulled back.

‘Oh my word Larna I am sorry.’ He said not looking at her

‘Were you going to force yourself on me? Like my father forced himself on dead people?’ she asked a certain part of her past coming back with fear and hurt written all over her face.

‘Babe you remembered?’ he asked now moving closer but the look on her face told him not to move any closer

‘My father was a monster, he slept with dead people.’ She said more to herself than to him

They were both quiet not knowing what to do or say until the knock on the door startled them both.

He slowly opened the door and let his mother in-law in.

‘I came to check on the both of you.’ She said sensing the emotions hanging in the room

‘You disgust me, how could you have stayed with such a man.’ Larna said looking at her

‘What do you mean?’

‘Larna don’t.’ Elisha begged but it fell on deaf ears Larna laughed an anguish laugh.

‘How could you lay with a man that was lying with dead people? At what point was I conceived? Whilst he was still an animal or before he became one?’

‘Elisha what is she talking about?’

‘Oh, so you have no idea that your husband was having sex with dead people whilst he was still alive?’

Mrs. Chishala looked at her daughter with disbelief as the blood on her face got drained.
 ..

SILENCE
_15_

Ever sat down and watched as your life crumbled into a million pieces? Maybe that is too much for you to comprehend, have you ever waken up only to be told that everything you have ever believed in is a lie? That what you thought was real was just a lie and you have been living with this lie all your life.

Mrs. Chishala wiped the tears that seemed not to stop falling for the millionth time, she had been locked up for two days not believing that this was what her daughter had been keeping all these years. How could someone harbor so much pain in their hearts without talking to anyone about it? Another part of her blamed herself, how could she not have seen it? Not once did she worry that her husband would cheat on her, things were not always rosy but she knew in her heart of hearts that he would never betray her with another woman.

She rushed to the bathroom for the fifth time that morning when she thought of him sleeping with the dead, just the thought of it made her want to puke.

Too many questions left unanswered and yet there was no one she could talk to. She slowly closed the blinds and got into her beddings, with the aid of sleeping pills she was already asleep but not for long because dreams about her late husband kept waking her up.

She felt like she was slowly losing her mind and if no one gave her any answers she would be just the same as Larna was.

The knock on her door made her look at her clock, it was three in the afternoon and was guessing it was Elisha.

When she opened the door it was indeed him but she didn’t have much to say to him.

‘Mum you can’t continue like this.’

She tried to close the door in his face but he held it.

‘What do you want Elisha?’   

‘Can we at least talk?’

‘Talk?’ she asked with a weak laugh

‘Yes mum talk, silence won’t do you any justice.’ He pleaded

‘Silence? My daughter has been silent for I don’t know how long and now I should listen to whatever explanation you have to give me huh?’

He kept quiet, he understood where she stood, he understood the pain she was feeling and if he were in her shoes he would have felt the same way as well.

‘Mum dad is not alive to save himself from all this but we have the chance of digging out information to find out what exactly was going on.’

She looked at him with a blank stare.

‘You have no idea what I feel do you?’ she asked wiping the tear that had dropped from the corner of her eye

‘I don’t get you.’

‘Elisha I was married to my husband for forty good years, in those years he never laid a finger on me. In those years he never came back home drunk or raised a finger to hit me.’

She paused to swallow

‘Do you honestly think that I want to remember him as the man or husband that was having sex with dead people?’ she asked almost choking on her words

Elisha looked at her for a minute before dropping his gaze.

‘Mum we need to find out the truth.’

She laughed much to his and her own surprise.

‘Have I told you that I want to find out the truth?’

‘But mother, what about Larna?’ he asked

‘Larna is my daughter and I love her very much but that doesn’t change the fact that she hurt me,
Larna was wrong. I am her mother and she was supposed to confide in me!’

‘The past can’t be undone but we can change the future.’

‘There is nothing that I didn’t do for that girl, I would have gone to the ends of the earth just for me to know what exactly was wrong with her. I even thought he was abusing her sexually but he swore.’ She paused allowing her tears to fall.

‘He swore on his life that he would never hurt his daughter Elisha.’ She said almost in a whisper as her tears continued to fall

‘Mum I am not saying that I support everything that she is doing but she is my wife and I have more reason to want her to be healed.’

She looked at him with disappointment written all over her face.

‘Larna is not a child, she is a grown up woman who allowed emotions to get the best of her.’

‘What are you talking about? Do you realize the amount of pain she must have gone through all those years?’

‘She is selfish, that is what she is. Her father my husband was one hell of a monster but had she confided in me all this wouldn’t have happened.’
She paused now out of the bedroom

‘Do you have any idea how many corpse he disrespected? Do you have any idea what it could have meant for her to just open up?’

‘I understand you are hurting but can you at least be empathetic? Think of everything she has been through?’

‘Empathy?’ she asked now moving to the kitchen
She got hold of a bottle of whiskey and poured herself some before she gulped it down, the liquid hurt her insides but she needed it if she had to continue having this conversation with him.

‘For fourteen years that child treated me like I was just a stranger in her life, she caused a drift between us. Every night I got on my knees to pray for her, I asked the good Lord to forgive me if at all I had hurt her but all for what?’ she asked drinking some more

‘Mum you need to slow down on that.’

‘Now Elisha listen to me and listen real well, I have nothing else to lose. I lost a husband and grandchildren, there is nothing in this forsaken world that I am living for. Larna is as selfish as you are and if she doesn’t want me in her life anymore then guess what, I too don’t want her.’

‘Mother you can’t do that.’

‘I want the both of you out of my house, I never want to set my eyes on you again.’

‘Mum!’

She looked at him once then headed for Larna’s room, she was laying on her bed when the two walked in.

‘You, I want you out of my house before the day breaks.’ She said

‘What?’ Larna asked

‘You heard me, you don’t want your past back, fine. You don’t want anything to do with me, fine. But all I want is never to set my eyes on you again, I don’t care where you will go as long as I don’t ever have to see you again.’ She said and walked out

Elisha stood still without knowing what to do, he couldn’t believe what had just happened. He leaned against the wall as he tried to process everything.

‘Well are we leaving or not?’ Larna asked struggling with her clutches without a care in the world
 ..

SILENCE
_16_

They got to the house just after eight in the evening, they had had a long day and all he wanted was to sleep.

‘Sorry but why are you helping me?’ she asked after directing her to the master bedroom where she would be sleeping

‘I have no choice Larna, in as much as you don’t want me I still hold on to the fact that we are married and that alone makes me want to hold on to what could possibly come after all this.

She looked at him as if he were some type of crazy before banging the door in his face.

He walked back to the living room and sat on the chair not believing that his life had taken such a twisted turn in the past few months. The knock from the door is what brought him back to life, he knew it was Ben because he had called him earlier to come home.

‘Hey man.’ He greeted looking around

The place was looking clean all thanks to the lady that Wangu had come with.

‘This place looks neat.’ He complimented settling into a chair

‘Thank you.’

‘Anything to drink?’

‘Castle lite will do.’
Elisha shook his head before moving to his mini bar and collected two bottles of castle lite, he opened one and handed the other one to Ben.

‘Thank you.’

Elisha switched on the television where the Zambian game was being repeated, he reduced the volume then turned to Ben.

‘What do you have for me?’

He sighed before taking another sip from his bottle.

‘How much do you know about your wife?’

‘What is that supposed to mean, she is my wife and whatever I know is enough don’t you think?’

Ben sighed a he removed his phone and handed it to Elisha

Elisha opened the phone and looked at the images that were on it.

‘What is the meaning of this?’ he asked

‘I had the same reaction but I need you to go on.’

On the images that Elisha was looking at was a young Larna bruised and badly beaten, she was tied to a chair and looked unconscious.

‘Where did you get all this?’

‘This puzzle keeps getting confusing and without her speaking I bet we will never know what exactly went wrong.’ Ben said

‘Larna lost her memory, I cannot get anything from her and now I am totally depending on you.’

There was silence

‘From the little information I gathered Sasha didn’t commit suicide, she was murdered but her death was made as secretive as possible because as I said so many pieces have been left hanging.’

‘You told me she was engaged to be married at the time of her death not so?’
‘Yes I did except the man also took his life months after she died.’

‘Do you have anything on the family?’

‘Uhm no I don’t.’

‘I think we have a starting point, we can start with them.’

The two men left the house in search of the man’s family, from the little information provided to them by the police they got the address and they were hoping the family had not moved because it had been over fourteen years.

They arrived in garden compound after asking for directions from the local people, the house was designated and looked like no one lived there but the little light that was coming from one of the rooms gave them a little bit of hope.

‘Do you really want to do this?’ Ben asked

‘I have no option.’

The two men got out of the vehicle and walked to the front door, it looked weak even in the dark and had a bit of holes such that one could see the inside.

Ben knocked once but no one was coming out, he knocked again and again but no one was coming out. And when all hope was lost, someone came to open. 

‘What do you want?’

The lady that was asking was really old, she looked scruffy but one could tell that she had once been a good looking woman but obviously the toils of life could have gotten her like that.

‘Ma’am we looking for one Mr. Banda.’ Ben said

The sound of that made her bang the door in their faces

‘That went well.’ Elisha said taking in the dust that hit their face

‘What next?’

‘We don’t leave, if we have to sleep here we will as long as we don’t information on Sasha we will be here.’
They walked back to the car and dropped their seats, it was nine in the evening and they planned on spending the night there.

The first rays of light hit Elisha first on the face, when he opened his eyes he almost freaked out as a little boy was starring through the window.

He shook Ben until he woke up.

‘What?’ he asked complaining

‘Wake up we have company.’

He lazily got up and starred at the boy that was looking at them.

‘How are you?’ Elisha asked when he rolled down his window

‘Grandma says she is ready to see you.’ The boy said before running off

‘She had to wait for us to sleep in the car, really?’ Ben whined

‘Stop behaving like a little boy.’ Elisha told him getting out of the vehicle

They noticed the surrounding to the house was worse than it looked in the night, it was filled with little and weeds. Anyone could have thought that maybe the owner was dead or something.

They got to the front door and the door opened even before they could knock, it led them into a passage which they walked through. At the far end was another door which was slightly open, when they walked in for a moment they thought they had gone into a different house. It was well decorated with expensive furniture, the place had a rusty and gold touch to it. On the walls were photos of a very beautiful woman with three young boys, on the other side was a huge television mounted to the wall. The room was extended with a dining area that had another set of expensive furniture. Both Ben and Elisha thought that maybe they were lost.

‘It’s either you seat and stop staring or go back using the door that led you here.’ They heard a voice say

They turned to face the old woman that had received them, she was very light one could have mistaken her for a yellow bone. She was clean and dressed in a long peach dress with white flip flops on her feet. In her head was a crown of black thick natural hair that was neatly tied in a bun.
She had a cup of tea in one hand and a white handkerchief in another.

‘You can make yourself comfortable.’ She said settling into one single chair

A white cat came running towards her and sat just next to her.

The two gentlemen sat down facing her.

Minutes later the boy who had come to wake them up brought a tray with two tea cups, some bacon, greens and boiled eggs.

‘We are eating clean.’ She said pointing at the food

They had just finished their food when Elisha started to speak.

‘Thank you so much for the food ma’am.’

‘You are welcome, what brings you here that made you sleep in the vehicle the whole night.’

‘Well, we wanted to talk to Mr. Banda, your second child.’

She sighed then put her cup down.

‘Fernando is no longer in the Country, he couldn’t continue living here after losing his brother. It was too much for all of us.’ She said

The men looked at each other

‘Maybe you could help us, it has to do with Sasha’s death.’

‘You mean Sasha’s murder?’ she asked shocking them.
 ..

SILENCE
_17_

The lady got up from her seat and walked to some drawers which were invisible to the two men before she walked over to them.
Turning back around and settling into her chair she gave them some documents that she had collected.
‘Ferbian was my youngest son, he was only twenty three when he first told me about Sasha.’ She paused a certain glow appearing in her eyes
‘My son had never been the one to bring girls over, he said he was only going to introduce me to the woman he was going to marry. The way he spoke about her, I knew that my place had been taken over in his heart.’ She smiled weakly
Elisha perused through the papers, seeing Sasha with a man that he guessed was Ferbian. ‘At first I hated her, I wasn’t always a nice person but losing my child taught me things that I never thought I would learn. He loved Sasha with everything in him, from the way he smiled at her, to the way he always locked fingers with hers each time they walked. He told me he knew I hated her but I would soon get over it and fall for her.’
She paused rubbing her forehead with the back of her hand.
‘I thought he was insane but truthfully speaking I was just jealous of how much attention he gave her. He brought her home one weekend and told me I had to spend the week with her because something had happened in her neighborhood and she was no longer safe. Bear with me this was at a time that he wasn’t going to be home and I thought it was just a plot to get me close to her.’
‘So you mean your son brought her here for some sort of protection?’ The lady sighed as if calculating her next words.
‘They had been together almost two years and I had never seen eye to eye with her, their wedding was scheduled for a month and my conclusion was that he wanted us to get along before that.’ ‘You mean your son dated his girlfriend for two years and you never got along with her in all those years, did you even try?’ Ben asked
‘When you have your own children especially girls that you will be willing to lay your life for before just maybe you will understand me.’
‘Ma’am judging you is the last thing we are here for.’ Elisha cut in giving Ben a hot look
She turned from him to Ben before continuing
‘She had bags in her hands and a mark on her neck, something that I am sure Ferbian didn’t notice. Men don’t easily notice things and that is one of the grave mistakes you make.’ She said strongly
‘So what happened?’ did you send her out?’ Elisha asked as Ben took down some notes ‘I couldn’t, I would never do that. Ferbian leaving her with me meant there was more to the story than what he already knew, the first few days I tried to treat her like trash but she didn’t bulge she continued to treat me with respect and kindness even though each day it was like she was losing a part of herself.’
She paused to drink some water
‘On the third day I heard her cry, it was an agonizing pain I felt my insides break. I rushed to her room and found her laying on the floor, I wanted to shake her but she was deep in sleep and it was like she was having night mares. She was naked.’
A tear dropped when she said that
‘She was naked and her body had bruises that I only guessed she was being abused. I wanted to reach out but I just didn’t know how to, I had never raised a female child and looking at Sasha scared me.’
The three kept quiet, there were too many emotions in the room and the gentlemen were scared of ruining the moment so they kept quiet.
‘The last days she was here I treated her like my own flesh and blood, it was beautiful to learn about everything she was passionate about. She was a free spirit and I regretted never getting close to her in the beginning. Somehow when Ferbian took her away it felt like it was the last I was seeing of her and true to my feelings the next time I laid my eyes on her she was in a casket.’ By this time the lady had broken down terribly who would think that even after ten years someone would still bottle up so much information and emotions in them? ‘What happened next ma’am?’ Ben asked with so much insensitivity
‘Ferbian never took it well, he believed Sasha was murdered and the fact that the hospital refused to do a postmortem left a lot of unanswered questions.’
‘Ma’am sorry to cut you short but we thought her family was the one against the postmortem.’
Elisha said
She let out a dry laugh
‘Sasha had no family, Ferbian was all she had. He wouldn’t let it rest but it was like there was a greater power that was pushing everything forward. My son never got over it, I knew my Ferbian too well and I also saw his death before it came. He was walking on dangerous grounds and even if I tried he wouldn’t listen to me, he was hell bound on making the perpetrator pay.’
‘Did you find the person behind everything?’
She stood up again and brought out more papers. On them were the ones they had seen much earlier of Larna being tied up in a designated ware house, these were clearer; as if they were the originals of the copies they had seen.
‘How did you get these?’ Elisha asked feeling a pain from within as he imagined what she had gone through
‘Ferbian got what he wanted, he found out that a Mr. Chishala had being paying Sasha who was a morgue attendant to cover her hours some times in the night. She had no problem with that, at first she thought he was just being generous plus making extra cash didn’t hurt until some families started complaining of how their relatives’ corpse looked tempered with. She was curious, as curious as he was and later found out what Mr. Chishala had been up to.’
The two men were on their edge of their seats now
‘He paid her lots of money for her silence, she was okay with it since those people were dead until she got engaged to Ferbian and he showed her a totally different world. She wanted out, the day she came with her bags here she had gone to see Mr. Chishala but it didn’t end well because he beat her up.’
She paused.
‘She never told us all this but Ferbian found out that Mr. Chishala lived for his daughter, his only female child. He and his elder brother Fernando kidnapped her. She was only fourteen, they beat her black and blue until she opened up, and apparently she had eavesdropped on her father and watched everything from the corridor.’ Elisha dropped his gaze.
‘They let her go and her father being so influential, he did all he could to remove her name from all police records so that she could never open her mouth again; but you know what certain information does to people. Ferbian couldn’t do anything about it, he couldn’t prove that Sasha was killed even when we knew that she was and so he took his life. My little boy took his life.’ She said crying
They waited for her to calm down.
‘And Fernando, what happened to him?’
‘He took off some months back, he says he did all he had to and now all he left me was his son who he named after Ferbian.’ She said pointing at the little boy who was in the dining area. The two men thanked the lady for the information and stood up to leave.
‘Elisha.’ She called before they drove off
‘Yes ma’am.’
‘I am sorry about your wife and kids.’ She said
Elisha stopped in his tracks and wondered how she knew about him when she hadn’t asked them who they were.
‘We always knew you would come here for help, we kept track of your lives. There is nothing we didn’t know about you and I guess we are even now, for Ferbian and Sasha.’
‘Meaning?’
‘That wasn’t a mere accident, Fernando planned it and now he is at peace knowing he made the
Chishalas pay for his brother and his fiancé.’ She said closing the door in their faces
 ..

SILENCE
_18_

By the time they were getting home it was already afternoon, Ben knew that Elisha needed time to process everything that he had gone through so he didn’t even bother to go into the house with him.
When he walked inside he felt like the walls were closing up on him, it was just too much for him to bear and waste part was he had no one to talk to. As he walked from room to room he ended up going into the twin’s room. They had refused to sleep in separate rooms despite them being ten, he walked into the room and closed the door behind him. Everything was as it was when they had left for Chelstone that fateful morning, he felt like he was being beaten from every angle of his life by an unknown force. There was once a time when he was in control of his life, a time when he knew what was supposed to be done but now he had just lost touch of everything around him. He sat on the bed and inhaled the scent of the kids his heart breaking into a million tiny pieces, how was he supposed to move on like this? It would have been easier if his wife was in the right state and mind but she too had lost a great deal and now wanted nothing to do with him.
He was a man and society expected him to be strong but how could that happen when the pillar of his strength had been taken away from him?
He thought of his late father in law, he had loved the man like he was his own father. Growing up without a father figure in his life he had thanked God for Larna’s father but now the man was the reason why his family was broken and he wasn’t even alive to see the damage he had done. Elisha had cried enough and now he had no tears left, the only thing he felt was an emptiness which he believed could never be filled. His heart had a huge void and he wasn’t sure if anything or anyone could ever make it better.
When thoughts couldn’t make sense to him anymore, he lay on the bed and closed his eyes, sleep was the only thing that made him sane, the only thing that reminded him that he was human after all.
Larna got out of the bedroom slowly with the help of the clutches, she had been having night mares concerning her past and most of the things she was dreaming about were her childhood memories; not once about her present life.
The nightmares kept getting worse as she couldn’t understand anything that was happening and honestly she wished she could talk to someone about it but there was absolutely no one. So with the little strength in her she walked to the kitchen to check if there was anything to eat.
She had not eaten the past days and she was guessing that is why she was feeling weak. After getting to the kitchen, she saw how organized everything was. For some unknown reason she knew where everything was.
She got some bacon from the refrigerator and fried it in olive oil, placing cucumbers and onions on one side of the plate and an avocado on the other.
She was just pouring some apple cider vinegar in her glass of water when Elisha walked in.
‘Why didn’t you call me to help you?’ he asked yawning
‘I didn’t want to disturb you.’ She said moving to the sink where she washed her hands then sat on one of the kitchen chairs.
He stood just a distance from her and watched how she gracefully took in her food.
Before the accident Larna had been on a diet and looking at the food she was eating now, he was wondering whether she had regained her memory.
‘Why that choice of food?’
‘Well I don’t know, I just have the urge to eat this.’ She responded
‘I see.’ He said
‘Why? Is there a problem?’
‘No there isn’t.’ he smiled weakly as he walked over to the fridge
He got two slices of bread, spread margarine on them put them in the toaster then squeezed himself some fresh lemons which he mixed with water and a bit of sugar.
‘Tell me about us.’ Larna began causing him to choke on his food
‘Are you okay?’ she asked innocently
‘I am, I am just surprised that you have asked that question.’
‘Well we will be living under the same roof so I figured it is only mature that I learn about the life we shared before this whole accident.’
He looked at her and wondered about her change of heart, one minute she was ready to leave the next she wanted to try and make things work.
‘Well, where do I begin?’ he asked himself taking the last sip from his cup
‘Tell me about my friends, my passions, my hobbies. Tell me what made me laugh.’ She said a certain glow in her eyes appearing
‘You didn’t have much friends.’ He began and he noticed how her facial expression changed ‘I and the twins are all you had, you believed that the smaller the circle; the more loyal people around you would be. I guess it is because you grew up as an only child but that didn’t stop you from having the perfect family that you always dreamt of. We were happy together, the four of us.’ He said swallowing hard
‘You were passionate about baking, anything to do with flour you were good at. You could just get all that done without much effort and the good part about it is that you put your heart into it.’ He said
‘So did I have a job?’ she asked He laughed.
‘Nop, you always wanted to be your own boss so you made your own little bakery here. It is what kept you going and sane I guess because the kids could have driven you crazy, I was working for someone but you advised me to build my own thing and I listened to you.’ He said
There was silence between them and he realized that maybe he had told her more than enough since she wanted out.
‘I will be in my room when and if you need me.’ He said getting up.
 ..

SILENCE
_19_

Elisha woke up to a fresh scent of baked food in the house, for a moment he felt like his life was back to normal but looking at his environment he knew that he had lost and this was his life now. He lazily got up and went to take a shower, he didn’t care much for looking good so he settled for the same clothes he was wearing the previous day even though they smelt of sweat. Walking into the kitchen, he was shocked to find the table already set and Larna removing something from the oven.
‘Good morning.’ She said with a smile
‘What are you doing?’
‘Guess that means you are fine.’ She said putting the fresh bread on the table
‘Breakfast is served.’ She told him getting the coffee maker into position
He took a seat that was going to make him directly face her and sat there.
‘What is your plan? Because the last time I checked you didn’t want to have anything to do with me.’
She took in a deep breath before speaking
‘Elisha I don’t remember the kind of life I had before this but all I have now is you and no matter how much I try to run away from it, it will still bring me back to these walls.’ She told him ‘I know I was angry and I decided I didn’t want to know anything about my old life; that hasn’t changed. If at all I ever regain my memory let it happen at its own pace, as at now I just want to start a new life. As Larna, let me rediscover myself and all I am asking is that you help me with that journey.’ She added
Elisha looked at her before he began to speak. ‘You know I love you right? Or is it my wife that I love.’ He said looking at her but she didn’t respond
‘Which is more reason I am going to support you and whatever decision you make, I know it isn’t going to be easy on my part but whatever piece of you; you give I will take.’ He said holding out his hand
‘Friends?’ he asked
‘Friends.’ She responded shaking his hand
She had not let go of it when her head began to pound, she felt like her brains were going to explode and so she held her head tightly
‘Are you okay?’ he asked but the tears that were falling from her eyes scared him
‘Larna talk to me.’ He begged but she was still crying
He got up from where he was and grabbed a glass of water which he helped her with. After a few minutes she was back to her normal state.
‘Should I call the doctor?’ he asked concerned but it looked like she was gaining composure ‘I am okay, it has been happening the past few days but this time it got worse.’ She said drinking some water
‘But don’t you think you need to see a doctor?’
‘I am okay Elisha, my past is coming back to me except it is all about my childhood. Reliving it now
I guess I know why I shut my parents off.’ She said
He swallowed hard remembering everything the lady had told them the previous day and now he was battling between telling her that their accident was no accident at all or to be silent about it. Ben had just walked into his apartment when he found his cousin seated on the couch comfortably.
‘What the hell?’ he asked kicking off his boots from the glass table.’
‘Stop being so rigid, don’t you have maids to clean up?’
‘I have maids and I pay them with my money so if anything I should be the one putting my legs on the table.’ He said going to his mini bar
His cousin looked at him for a while before laughing
‘Spending time with that Elisha is making you a weakling.’
‘A weakling because I want to be clean huh?’ he asked
Ben shot him an evil stare
‘I give up.’ He said lifting his hands in surrender
‘Good.’ Ben responded throwing a chilled bottle of miller at him.
‘That wasn’t difficult.’
The two men sat down and chatted about random stuff as they watched a show on national geographic channel.
‘So how is it going with your friend and his wife?’ his cousin asked
‘Well they are broken, I doubt things will ever be the same for them again.’
‘You can repeat that dude, this is a cruel world but those two had it coming.’
‘And you saying that because?’
‘It is a cruel world man, those two were just perfect for each other. Both you and I knew that this would happen to them soon.’ He said with a grin
‘And I bet you are rejoicing right?’ Ben asked with an irritated look
‘Don’t look at me like that, you can’t tell me that you are falling for Elisha.’
‘Gross man, can’t you use another term other than falling for him?’
‘That was the best way to get at you.’ He said laughing Ben stood up and walked to the mini bar again.
‘There is a problem though.’ He said starring at his phone
‘What is it?’
‘Elisha just sent a text, seems Larna is regaining her memory because she can remember some of the things from her childhood.’
‘That is not good.’
Ben walked over to the living room again this time with a six pack of the same alcohol.
‘Now this is my cousin.’
They both laughed as they opened their second bottles
‘By the way, mum tells me you were home yesterday.’
‘Yes the second plan was executed, now we need to get into the third one.’
‘And he didn’t suspect anything?’
‘Who Elisha? Oh please, he is crowded by too many emotions to see what is happening around him.’
‘And mum didn’t sell you out right?’
‘That old hag? We are paying her a lot of money to go through with this, though she did cry genuinely when she talked about Sasha.’
‘Sasha and Ferbian are gone all because of Mr. Chishala, now his daughter will never know happiness.’
‘So are you ready for the next plan?’
‘What? Of course I am.’ Fernando responded with a smirk on his face
 ..

SILENCE
_20_
Ben looked at his cousin as he walked out of his house, he didn’t know any other family apart from him and his aunty. You see poverty is no justification mostly for how a person turns out because at some point in life everyone is accorded the same chance to either be good or bad; except with some it looks like a golden opportunity whilst others it looks like a mischief to move them from the only thing that they call home.
Ben had been born to his aunt’s young sister, she was wild and adventurous that by the time she was falling pregnant not only didn’t she know the man that had impregnated her but also didn’t want the pregnancy. Her elder sister had convinced her to keep it on condition that she would take the child from her once it was born; and true to her word the young lady disappeared immediately her child was born.
Ben was raised as an equal, he didn’t lack a thing and he refused to hear anything about his biological mother the same way she had refused to take him. His aunty was the only woman he considered his mother and even though his biological mother had tried to reach out when he was all grown he always shut her out.
 He was very close to Ferbian such that when he took his life; Ben felt like a part of him had left. That was years ago before finally deciding to be a private investigator and somehow ended up working for Elisha. The more he got information about him the more old wounds were opened.
So now here he was planning his next move with his cousin.
The plan was for Ben to introduce Fernando as a good friend to Elisha and then they would know how best to make the family pay for their brother’s death. It wasn’t enough that they had lost kids in the accident, it wasn’t enough that Larna had lost a leg and her memory, it’s like what they say that nothing can make you fully fulfilled on a quest for revenge. Both families had lost greatly and yet the latter couldn’t see that it was time to just put a stop to it, it was time to let it all go.
After Fernando was gone, Ben grabbed himself another bottle of beer and sat down to reminisce about how great life was when Ferbian was around. On one particular incident, they had both liked the same girl and it scared their brother because he wasn’t ready to see them apart. So what he did was to get close to the very girl and start a relationship with her, they were both upset with him for a while but eventually they got over it and all three hated the girl.
Fernando was the elder brother that anyone admired, he would go to the ends of the earth for them; he was all muscle without brains but his good looks complimented his flaws.
Ferbian on the other hand was the one with the heart. Good looking as well but with a tiny body, he was short with a face you can’t look at twice; he was no match for his elder brother. Ladies flaunted themselves to Fernando and when they got to learn how insensitive he was they always wanted to be with Ferbian but he was too scared and emotionally unattached to involve himself with them.
Whilst Ben was ruthless, he acted with his brains at all times. He was often made fun of for being the way he was but that was the least of his worries because he knew that the only people whose interests he had at heart were his cousins and his aunty.
The day Ferbian took his life, Fernando had spent the night in a night club dancing and drinking his soul out. He refused to believe that his brother was gone, he refused to believe that the same Ferbian who had been so kind to people could just be that inconsiderate. He knew that his brother was not selfish so he wouldn’t do such a thing without considering how his family would feel; that was more reason that he refused to believe the bereavement. But after getting sloshed he went back home and that was when it hit him that his brother was truly gone and never coming back. All through the funeral he never once shed a tear, he said crying was for the weak at heart and maybe that was the reason he harbored so much pain that most times he felt like he was going to explode.
Ben on the other hand had been the one to cry, he was the one that was with his aunty throughout this period despite him being a man. He told himself that now she was his responsibility and he would do everything possible just to make sure that she had everything she needed.
He threw the empty bottle of alcohol when the contents were done, he had to call it a night despite how he was still very sober; alcohol had become his good friend as it helped him sleep on nights like these.
The following morning he woke up quite early, it was a new day and new plans had to be put in place. He took a short cold bath before settling into a ruby red slim fit suit with black leather shoes.
He was so confident about the day ahead that he had to sync it with what he wore.
‘Good morning.’ Fernando greeted immediately he got out
Fernando was good looking, he was light skinned with a muscular body. He was wearing a navy blue suit with an expensive Rolex watch on. He had just done his hair and was looking like one of those models from magazines.
‘You don’t look bad.’ He said again with a grin He was handsome and he knew it.
The drive to Elisha’s place was characterized by the both of them being in their own worlds, they knew they were good people despite what they had done.
‘We are here.’ Ben announced when he pulled over
‘Are you sure about this?’ he asked again when Fernando didn’t say anything
‘For Ferbian.’ He said
‘For Ferbian.’
They both sighed as they got out of the vehicle, Ben led the way since he knew his way around the place.
‘Man I am outside.’ He said before dropping the line, he had called Elisha.
 ..

SILENCE
_21_

The two had been ushered into the house and now were comfortably seated in the living room waiting for Elisha to finish dressing up.
‘Good morning.’ Larna greeted when she walked in to the room but stopped in her tracks after coming face to face with Fernando
‘Are you okay?’ Ben asked
‘I am, something about him that looks familiar.’ She said thoughtfully
‘Well I doubt you have seen him before because he just flew in from Namibia where he grew up.’ ‘Oh okay, but do you have a brother maybe because honestly I feel like we have met.’
Fernando loosened his tie as he began to feel some pressure building up, she couldn’t possibly recognize him. She was only fourteen and was badly beaten to see his face clearly.
‘No I don’t have a brother.’ He said
‘I see, I guess this world has two people that look alike.’ She said helping herself to seat on the couch
They made small talk as Ben kept saying nice things about his friend, Larna could tell that he was probably trying to recommend him or something. ‘Who do we have here?’ Elisha asked when he walked in
He was wearing a ruby red suit as well, it was as if they had planned to dress like that but Fernando rocked in his compared to the two.
‘Remember my friend, I told you a lot about him.’
‘Oh yes I do, Fernando right?’
‘Yes him.’
‘That name brings a lot of memories though.’ Elisha said as he unfastened his buttons
‘Good memories I hope?’
‘I wish I could say that.’
They both laughed
‘Seems there is another Fernando out there that is a bad person.’
‘We need to get going.’ Ben said looking at his watch
‘Just a minute.’
Elisha called Larna to a separate room where he explained that he had to go back to work but Fernando was a friend who he had hired that would be helping her stretch her muscles and just be around for anything that she needed.
She had no problem with this because as long as he was friends with Elisha then she sure trusted him.
She stood by the door as she watched the vehicle drive out, she was beginning to feel good about herself and a part of her wanted to at least try and make things right with Elisha.
‘You have been standing there for a while now.’ Fernando said putting his jacket on the couch Larna stared at him, his muscular body quite visible in the shirt he was wearing.
She swallowed hard.
As if aware of the effect he had on her, he smiled mischievously.
‘Well he is all I have known after the accident, it just feels strange that he has gone for work today.’ She said looking outside again
‘I understand, you will probably get used to this in no time.’
She smiled weakly and walked to the kitchen where she placed a kettle on the cooker.   
‘Want some tea?’
‘That will be fine thank you.’ He responded
He had learnt along the way that the best way to attack his opponent was to know each and everything about them; he was aware of every tiny detail about Larna’s life but being there with her was different. He needed to know her reactions, how her emotions operated and all.
‘Black or green.’
‘Green please.’
‘Nice, I love green tea too.’ She said
She poured some for him whilst waiting for the bread to warm up in the oven.
They sat opposite each other and immediately engaged into conversation, for once since the accident Larna laughed genuinely.
*
Fernando was funny and she appreciated just how much he always tried to make her feel beautiful even though she was disabled. ‘I have an idea.’ He said one day
She looked up at him and wondered what it is he had up his sleeves this time
‘Don’t look at me like that Larna, come on it will be fun.’
‘What do you want Fernando?’ she asked still focusing on the magazines that were on the floor
‘I want us to go and see a movie.’
She almost choked on her saliva
‘You are joking right?’
‘Larna come on, it has been over five months since the accident. It is high time you go out there.’ ‘I was never the going out person in my childhood and I am pretty sure I was like that even in my marriage.’ 
‘Which is why I feel life has given you a different chance at life.’ She looked up to his face as if he had said something wrong.
‘Larna listen to me, I know you want to keep to yourself; I know you want to live in this house forever but you are still young and very beautiful.’
He paused when he said that searching for a reaction on her face
‘Yes you are beautiful and I am not saying it to make you feel good but because I mean it.’ After much thought she went to the bedroom where she settled for a long black dress with a gladiator sleeper on her right leg. Holding on to her clutches, she stared deeply into the mirror swallowing really hard because she was sure she wouldn’t survive a minute facing the world. ‘You look beautiful.’ He complimented
‘Thank you so much.’
He helped her into the car when they got outside and drove them to levy junction, all through the journey she was quiet and he figured she was probably nervous.
He turned to face her with a smile as he rubbed her hand, he would have locked his fingers with hers but he didn’t want her to get scared; he needed to earn her trust.
‘Do we really have to do this?’ she asked when he parked the vehicle
‘We have been through this Larna, you need to see the world. You need to face your fears if you have to live again.’
She sighed deeply and allowed him to lift her from the vehicle since she wasn’t yet strong to do it on her own.
As they walked into the mall, her heart kept pounding rapidly but with each smile he gave her she was comforted. Heads turned as they walked and soon enough she realized that it was Fernando the ladies were looking at all along.
They got to the cinema and Larna was so nervous that Fernando had to hold her waist from time
to time which made her even weaker.
He looked at his phone when it rang and excused himself.
‘Ben?’
‘How is it going?’
‘A step at a time cousin.’
‘Okay I trust you.’ Ben said dropping the line
He turned to look at a nervous Larna with a stare that could burn nations.
‘In due time little brother, I will avenge your death.’ He said walking back to where Larna was
 ..

SILENCE
_22_

Larna looked around the cinema as everything was new to her, she couldn’t help but stare at all the beautiful ladies that were walking on their two feet flaunting their heels. Her heart ached but she knew that she couldn’t do anything about it so she just had to accept her fate.
‘Have you decided on what movie to watch?’ Fernando asked after he got back
‘Well I wasn’t really paying attention to all that, I used the time to scan the place.’ she responded He sat down just next to her, thanks to Ster kinekor prestige for the lovely lounge.
‘I have an idea.’
‘You always have ideas Fernando.’ She said
‘Well let me just say what I want to.’
‘I am all ears.’
‘So you see that place right?’
He asked pointing at the fountain of water outside
‘Yes?’
‘Don’t you think it would make a nice place for a picnic?’
‘Ah ah, I am not getting into trouble with you.’
‘Larna stop being rigid, come on we could seat outside and just stare at the sky.’
It was already getting dark and the stars were quite visible
She looked at him hesitantly but something about the way he spoke assured her that she could trust him.
‘Wait for me here.’ He said
He walked away and was only back after twenty minutes waking her up from her wondering thoughts.
‘What do you have there?’
‘Let me treat you like a lady.’
She shifted uncomfortably
‘I didn’t mean it like that’
‘It’s okay, I guess this is just strange to me.’
They walked to the other side of the mall just near the fountain and he laid out a piece of material from one of the plastic bags. He helped her to seat then removed two glasses of wine with a nonalcoholic wine with some grilled chicken.
‘Wow.’
‘You like it?’
‘This is beautiful.’ ‘You mean the chicken?’
She laughed, he was funny.
‘I mean this, the gesture and just the setup, everything is just wonderful.’
‘Well it’s for you my lady.’
She smiled weakly as she lifted the glass signaling him to pour some wine for her
‘This is wonderful.’ She whispered licking her lower lip
Fernando stared at her as she did that and wished he could be the one to place his lips on hers, yes he had a job to do but a little fun with his victim wouldn’t hurt so much.
The rest of the time they talked about random stuff, Larna managed to tell him all the things she remembered about her life. Something she had not told Elisha because it seemed pretty easy to talk to Fernando unlike him.
Fernando too told her about his childhood and his growing up, he had created an avatar before all this. A creature that he would make people believe that was him.
‘Seems you had an interesting childhood.’ Larna said when he was done speaking as they stared at the sky
‘You can say that again.’
‘Sorry but why are you single?’ she asked
‘What makes you think that I am not seeing anyone?’
‘Well for starters you spend your days with me and not once have I heard you talking to anyone else apart from Ben and Elisha and what lady doesn’t throw tantrums knowing that her man is spending so much time with another lady?’
‘Well one who knows that she can’t be compared to the other lady.’
‘You are joking right?’
‘I could or not.’ He said making a face that sent them into laugher
She looked at her watch and noticed that it was 9pm and Elisha would be dead worried so she decided they had to call it a night.
‘Fernando it is late, we need to go.’
‘Yah I thought so as well, don’t want to be that boy who takes you out late after a date.’ She chuckled
He knew just what to say and when to say it.
‘We should do this more often.’ He said when they got to the car
‘Yah, I had a great time with you.’ She responded
He kissed her forehead lightly, something that he had not planned to do and was wondering if it was supposed to be a genuine kiss or that of Iscariot.   
*
He got home and it was pretty quiet, he went room by room checking for his wife but she wasn’t there. He got worried but remembered that he had left her with Fernando so he decided to call him.
‘Dude where are you?’ he asked
‘I am sorry I didn’t mention, I took Larna for a movie but we are just driving into the yard.’ He responded before dropping the line
Elisha paced about in the house and tried to process what he had just heard, how was it possible that he had not once thought of convincing her to go out and yet a total stranger had done so. He knew Fernando was good looking and spending time with Larna would just make him fall for her but he decided not to think of the worst of him because how then had he allowed him to keep her company each time she was around.
Now he was torn between thinking whether he was a bad husband or was just afraid that once she got to see the world again she might not like him as much.
He heard them walk in their voices filled with laughter, she sounded very happy and it was the first time in months.
‘Hey man.’ Fernando said
‘Hey, thanks for making her see the world.’ He smiled but Fernando could tell that jealousy was eating him up, the kind of reaction he wanted.
‘Larna, will see you tomorrow.’
‘See you tomorrow.’ She smiled as he walked out
She was still in a moment when Elisha cleared his throat
‘What was that about?’
‘What?’ she asked surprised
‘You left the house without telling me, you didn’t find it wise to call me huh?’
‘Wait Elisha are we arguing right now?’
‘No we are not, I am just stating my grievances. How could you just leave the house without mentioning a word to me?’
She looked at him at a loss of words
‘And when did you become close to Fernando?’
‘Elisha I spend all my time with him and you dare ask me that question?’
‘What are you insinuating?’
‘I am not insinuating anything, I just don’t want you two becoming close. Like how happy you sounded when you walked in; that doesn’t happen with me.’
‘Maybe if you concentrated on helping me recover than wanting me to be your wife I would be that happy.’ She said walking away angrily
 ..

SILENCE
_23_

Elisha sat in the living room unaware of what had just happened, he couldn’t believe that Larna was the one that was talking to him like that. One minute she wanted to try and make things right between them, the next she was acting up.
He sat in that position for a long time as he thought where he was going wrong as a man and a husband, maybe she was right after all; maybe he had been so consumed with the thoughts of her falling in love with him again when in actual sense the only thing that was supposed to happen was healing.
When his head hurt and his heart shattered even more, he got up from the living room and went to the bedroom where he shut himself and cried his eyeballs out.
He couldn’t remember the last time he had a good sleep, his mind was always clouded with thoughts of the twins and how he could have avoided the accident but nothing seemed to make sense anymore.
Most times he wished that he had a friend he could talk to, he appreciated Ben and all he had done but he couldn’t possibly start telling him every detail of his marriage.
So when he couldn’t think anymore, he got two sleeping pills from his little pill box and minutes later he was asleep.
The first rays of light hit Larna’s face and she sighed as she thought of the day ahead, it was a Saturday which meant that Fernando wasn’t coming. The thoughts of the previous night made her smile a little; she was completely growing fond of him and even though she didn’t want to feel that way she just couldn’t help it.
She heard footsteps and she pretended to be asleep, it was probably Elisha and for some unknown reason she didn’t want to spend time with him.
Someone knocked once then opened it.
‘Larna?’ she called
Larna removed the beddings from her head and smiled genuinely
‘Wangu.’ She screamed, if only she had legs; she would have jumped on her.
‘I missed you.’ Wangu said moving forward to embrace her
‘So did I, you just went quiet on me right?’ Wangu pulled a chair.
‘Well I thought why not give this lovely couple some time to cool off before coming back here?’ Wangu expected to hear something from Larna but she pretended as if she had not heard anything
‘So tell me, how have you been?’
‘Same old same old.’ She said shyly
‘Larna I can read through you, spill the beans.’
‘Well his name is Fernando, Wangu you need to meet him. His tall, muscular, his good looking and his sense of humor is amazing.’ She said her eyes glowing
‘Hold on Larna, who is this guy?’
‘Well Elisha’s friend Ben has a cousin and since Elisha has been going for work; he asked his friend to be watching over me.
‘He asked his male friend to be watching over you?’ Wangu asked surprised ‘Yes he did.’
‘Can you give me a moment Larna?’
‘Sure.’
Wangu walked out of the room and went straight to see Elisha who was in the kids’ bedroom. She banged the door behind her afraid that Larna might come through
‘Are you losing your mind?’ she asked almost yelling
‘I lost my mind the day I lost my family.’
‘Elisha come on you are not the man I met months back, even in your hospital bed you were still as strong as titanium!’ He chuckled.
‘What do I have to live for? I lost my kids and now my wife is gone. I have nothing in this world.’ Wangu’s heart shattered but she wasn’t going to allow that to crowd her judgment, her entire being went out to him but that was not the way to go about things.
‘Why did you ask another man to watch over your wife?’ she asked after much silence
Oh you mean Fernando, he is a friend.’
‘A friend? You mean you couldn’t hire a maid or someone?’
‘Lady cut me some slack, what are you insinuating?’
‘How does Larna go into the bathroom? Who lifts her up when she can’t manage to do something?
Have you seen how her eyes glow when she talks about this Fernando?’
‘Larna is my wife and I know her, she can never do anything to destroy the sacred union of our marriage.’
‘Elisha your wife died in that accident, Larna is a totally different person and if she doesn’t want to get better you can’t impose it on her.’
‘Shut up!’
‘No I won’t, you will have to listen to me. I have been married to my husband for a long time but before that we had our own battles and trust me those battles were strong enough to break us apart but we chose to fight for what we had.’
‘I am fighting Wangu, can’t you see it? I am fighting really hard for things to be okay between us.’ She shook her head as she paced about the room.
‘I love Larna and my life would be shattered without her, I am fighting for us to be like we were.’ ‘Elisha choose your battles well, how can you be fighting for someone that doesn’t want to be fought for?’ how can you possibly be putting all of your energies in a dead relationship?’
‘You are a counselor; you are supposed to help us get back on track!’
‘No Elisha, my job is to help your wife fight her emotional battles, my job is to help her make concrete decisions and somehow help her get her memory back. But Larna has refused, she wants nothing to do with the life she had with you and I guess this is the part where I say my goodbyes, you should consider that as well.’
‘Are you saying that this is it? That I have lost my wife just like that?’
She kept quiet calculating her next words
‘Elisha the signs have been there way too long, it is not up to me to decide what you want. You can choose to love her from afar or you can continue fighting a lost battle. That is all up to you. But one thing I am totally sure of is that Larna’s heart is not with you.’ She said now heading for the door
‘One last thing, just do some digging on this Fernando guy and see if he is as good a person as you consider him to be. And do it away from your friend Ben.’ She said before walking out Elisha slumped his shoulders as reality suddenly hit him; he couldn’t believe that this was it, that nothing could be done to try and make amends for the past.
He got his phone and went through Fernando’s Facebook account, everything he had said about himself was there and now he wondered why Wangu was skeptical about him.
He decided to go through Ben’s account and nothing interested him until he came across one photo that sent him into instant fear. ‘What have I done?’ he asked himself
 ..

SILENCE
_24_

He couldn’t miss what he was seeing, even a blind person could see the resemblance. On the photo was a little Fernando with Ferbian, on the comment section people were busy telling Ben to be strong for the loss of his brother.
He felt his whole body get extremely hot, he had been played by Ben and now they were after his family. How could he not have seen this before? How could he have been so stupid to allow such people into his life? Now curiosity was getting the better of him and he needed answers. He got out of the room and got his car keys.
‘I will be home soon.’ He screamed towards Larna’s room, he didn’t want to look her in the eye afraid that he might just break down realizing the doom he had brought upon himself.
He still remembered the directions to the old lady’s house and he was really hoping that this time around she would receive him better.
So what he did was to park his vehicle at the nearest filling station as not to raise any suspicions. He walked to the house as fast as he could and after knocking once, she opened the door but tried to close it when she saw him.
‘I am not leaving until you talk to me.’ He said putting his right foot in so that it couldn’t close
‘Young man, if you know what is good for you; you will leave this place.’ She said in a weak voice ‘I am not leaving.’ He said strongly
She opened the door and let him in before closing it, the place didn’t look the same as he had seen it last time. Things were turned up and down and one could tell the sadness in her eyes. ‘Why did you lie to me?’
‘Lie to you?’ she laughed
‘I don’t know what plans you and your sons have but I need to know the truth, how could you have put up such a show knowing fully well that Ben is your child?’
She looked him in the eyes before pulling a stool from one side of the corner.
‘I don’t owe you or anyone any explanation, I am a mother who has done her best to raise three good kids but how they turned out is none of my business.’
She paused
‘Those boys were good boys but the death of their brother turned them into monsters and there is nothing much I can do as a mother except watch them. I fear for the day when their downfall will come.’ She said a little tear escaping her eyes
‘I don’t believe you did enough, you had the chance to tell us the truth, I and my wife. But the day we were here you pretended, you could have saved us from all this.’ He said
‘You know nothing about Fernando and Ben, those two are vultures. They are like a raging storm that comes only to destroy everything it finds in its way. It took him befriending you to actually set up his plans, you think he has good intentions? Consider yourself dead because the end is almost near.’ She said dismissively
He felt a shiver run through him, how was he going to get away from them when he didn’t even know what their plans were?’
He rushed to the house but Lusaka traffic kept delaying, he had been calling Larna’s phone but it kept going unanswered and that got him more worried.
After about an hour, he was driving into his yard and he was already rushing into the house without locking the car doors.
‘Larna!’ he called but she did not respond
‘Larna!’ he called again this time entering her room but she was not there
After checking the other rooms he stumbled into a letter that said Fernando had come to pick her up and she would only be back in the evening.
‘Lord what have I done?’ he asked himself as tears rolled down his eyes
He had no idea where he would start from, he tried to call Ben’s line but it kept telling him that the number was not in existence. Now more than ever he regretted never going to his place, he had no idea where he lived and he didn’t even know where he would begin from looking.
Fernando’s line was giving him the same response.
*
‘Do you like this place?’ he asked making her comfortable
‘It’s deserted but as long as I am with you I don’t mind.’ She said shyly realizing she wasn’t supposed to say those words
‘Look at me.’
‘I can’t, I am afraid I might do something I might later regret.’ She responded her eyes fixed on her dress.
‘It doesn’t add purpose if you don’t look at it.’ He said lifting her chin
She looked into his eyes and in them she saw a man that made her heart skip a million beats, she was having mixed emotions but at this moment all she wanted was his lips on hers.
As if reading her mind, he gently caressed them with his index finger before finally placing his lips on hers.
She felt her body move, she wanted this and more and her emotions were all over the place as she held his waist.
‘Are you sure about this?’ he asked
She nodded her head afraid that words might betray her
He lifted her from the pool area and took her to the bedroom, he would take her to her highs first before finishing her off.
He took his time with her body, he knew she was insecure about her leg but that was the least of his worries. He just wanted to plunge into her like the monster that he was. After touching her in all the right places and he was sure she was ready, he entered her; making her dig her fingers into his flesh.
*
He was still pacing up and about when his phone vibrated with a notification, it was a live video and the images he saw made him sick.
His tears fell as he saw Larna’s face lost in passion, she was moaning beneath Fernando and when they finally climaxed; it went off.
‘Now she can die.’ The next message read
 ..

SILENCE
_25_

He watched her as she peacefully slept on his chest, she looked so comfortable and the amount of trust she had in him almost made him laugh.
‘Oh Larna.’ He thought to himself
The woman had dug her own grave and now she had to lay in it
‘Hey you.’ She greeted stroking his chest with her hand
‘Hey.’ He responded kissing her forehead
‘I feel guilty for what happened, how will I look at Elisha in the eye without feeling the need to tell him all this?’ she asked
‘Move in with me.’ He said bluntly
‘What?’
‘Larna there is nothing holding you back in that house, just move in with me.’ She looked him in the eye and could see the seriousness there.
‘Let me think about it.’
‘Well let us just enjoy this moment.’ He told her as he got up from the bed
She couldn’t help but bite her lower lip when he stood up, he was a good sight to look at.
He went out of the room and made a phone call to Ben telling him to start off and execute the next move. Dropping the line, he got a glass of juice and poured some medicine in it before going back. ‘I thought you might need this.’
‘Well aren’t you just romantic?’ she asked getting the glass from him She drunk from it then took another sip before putting it down.
‘So what plans do you have for the day?’
‘Well I was thinking that maybe we can spend the day together.’ She said He smiled.
‘Lord my head hurts.’ She said putting the glass down
He looked away
‘Fernando my head.’ She said again but now he was putting on his clothes
‘What have you done to me?’
He smiled mischievously as he watched her pass out.
‘That didn’t take long.’ He thought to himself
He went to one of the closets and got a white gown, he dressed her in it and carried her to the vehicle. The drive to the warehouse took him about thirty minutes; he was there the previous night in readiness for what he called ‘The ceremony.’ ‘I am here.’ He said into his phone before dropping it
He carried an unconscious Larna and tied her to the chair the same way he had done when she was just a little girl.
He got some knives, blades, injections filled with poisonous substances and guns then placed them on a table just near her.   
*
He paced about the room not sure of what to do, the message that he had received was still very loud and clear and he knew better than to involve the police as his wife’s life would be in danger. He almost jumped to his feet when his phone began to ring, it was a strange number and something in him told him that it was probably Ben.
‘Go outside your house, you will find a black vehicle waiting for you. Get into the backseat and drink the contents of the bottle that you will find on the chair, if you dare go against my words you will never see your wife again.’ The voice said before the line cut.
He locked up and went outside, true to the man’s words the vehicle was already waiting outside and it took about fifty seconds for him to pass out after drinking the contents. ‘Hey brother.’ Fernando said when Ben walked in dragging Elisha by the legs
‘Will you help me or not?’
‘Nop, you wanted the man; now deal with the man.’ He responded smoking on a cigarette
Ben frowned as he continued to push Elisha until he managed to tie him to a chair; making the two face each other
‘How long before they both wake up?’
‘She will be up in about 5 minutes and depending on how much liquid he consumed, maybe ten but not more than that.
Whilst waiting for Larna to wake up, they got old pictures from when they had kidnapped her back in the days and stuck them on the walls.
‘My head.’ She said in a whisper as she gained consciousness
‘My head.’ She said again
When she looked up it was like starring into hell once again
‘Fernando.’ She said
‘Yes sweetheart.’ He said with a smile as he blew smoke on her face
‘You are the monster that had kidnapped me years back.’ She said fear written all over her face
‘Has our little princess regained her memory?’ Ben asked sarcastically walking towards her ‘Ben’ she said with shock
‘The devil wears Prada.’ He said
‘Elisha trusted you!’
‘Trust is for the weak.’
‘You were not only a business associate but a friend and brother too. We allowed you into our lives.’ 
Both men laughed.
‘Oh Lord my babies, my babies.’ She cried holding her head
‘Did you have something to do with the accident?’
‘Take a wild guess sweetheart.’ Fernando said with a hint of sarcasm in his voice
‘You monster!’ she yelled shaking her body vigorously as she tried to set herself free
‘No matter how much you do that, you won’t go free.’ Ben said
‘Look at your poor husband, he couldn’t even satisfy you in bed. You were digging into my flesh and begging me to take you to heights that your husband has never taken you.’ Fernando said making fun of her
‘Shut up!’
‘Oh I just got started, who would have guessed that a lame girl can actually have such moves in bed?’
Both men laughed
Larna allowed the tears to fall as Elisha woke up.
‘Oh my God Larna how are you?’ he asked looking her in the eye
‘Babe I am sorry, I didn’t mean to hurt you. I didn’t mean to cheat on you.’
‘You have your memory back?’
She just nodded her head as tears fell.
‘Don’t worry, we will get through this together. Nothing in this world can break us apart.’ He said looking her in the eye
‘I am sorry for our babies, I am sorry babe.’ She cried
‘Well well well, the little reunion looks just perfect.’ Fernando said
‘Shut up!’ Larna screamed
‘I see you just grew some balls!’ he yelled after slapping her
‘Don’t you lay your filthy hands on her!’ Elisha screamed
‘Oh trust me I have laid more than my hands on and in her, I hope you enjoyed the video.’
‘What video?’ Larna asked
‘It’s fine baby, we will get through this together.’ Ben moved forward.
‘I always thought you were under some kind of spell but I see you are just stupid, you disgust me as a man!’ he said cutting out his pinky finger with a blade
‘Ah!!!!’ Elisha screamed
 ..

SILENCE
_26_

‘Stop whining like a little girl.’ Ben said as the blood continued to spill from where the finger had been
‘Please cover it up, he might die from excessive bleeding.’ Larna begged
Fernando and Ben looked at each other before they both laughed
‘This is just the beginning and the little finger is not what is going to kill him.’ The two men left the room as Elisha continued to groan in pain.
‘Baby I am really sorry.’
‘Larna it isn’t your fault, I guess we all played a role in all this but I am just glad that I have you back before I can finally die.’
‘Please don’t say that, none of us is dying today.’ She said her own words not even convincing her

‘Baby the mistake we have been making is not accepting what is, don’t you think it is high time we accepted that maybe this is how our ending was meant to be?’
‘Elisha I refuse to go down without a fight, I refuse to give them the last laugh.’ She said strongly ‘These monsters hurt me years back, punished me for something that I didn’t even do and now they have come into our lives to destroy what I built with my sweat and my blood?’ she asked
‘Baby look at where we are, there is nothing we can do about it.’
‘They killed my babies, they caused me to have my leg amputated. They enjoyed as our relationship fell apart, they came dressed as angels and destroyed us; if I have to die today I swear a part of them is dying too.’ She said Just then the door opened and Ben walked in.
‘How could you?’ Elisha asked
‘Well my man let me enlighten you, you see we have been working on this plan our entire lives.
Trust me don’t take this personal but it had to be done one way or the other.’
‘I trusted you, I opened my home to you,’
‘Boo-hoo! That is what you get for not digging into people’s backgrounds.’
‘Let me see, you are always going to be in Fernando’s back. He will never treat you as an equal and I bet by the time all this is over he will take you down as well.’ She told him ‘Oh shut up!’
‘He never got over his brother’s death and he has only been using you to fill that void.’ She added
‘What do you know about Fernando?’
Larna chuckled through the pain
‘Tell me something, were you always like this before Ferbian died?’
‘Of course we weren’t but that doesn’t mean that he didn’t love me.’
‘Yeah right.’ She said spitting in his face as he was close
‘Whatever you say won’t make me change my mind, the both of you are going to die!’
‘You think I care about staying alive? What will I live for if I survive?’ she asked catching him by surprise
‘Yes Ben I don’t want to live anymore, I want to be united with my babies and my father.’
He slapped her hard across the face
‘Physical pain doesn’t hurt me, and I will remember to greet Ferbian whilst in hell and will tell him about how his brother misses him. I bet he can’t even remember you in death!’
‘Shut up!’ he screamed
She knew it was working now she had to continue talking
‘So where did you come from? I bet your mother didn’t even want you. Are you some sort of bastard child? For a lack of a better term?’ He moved to the table and grabbed a knife.
‘Go ahead and do it you fool!’
He moved behind her, pulling her by the hair; he placed it on her neck
‘I never cared much about this your wife, in fact I wanted her dead the minute I saw her so this will be my pleasure.’ He said
He slowly started cutting through aiming for the throat but stopped when the door opened
‘What’s going on here?’ Fernando asked
‘You don’t do anything to her, she is mine!’ he screamed
Larna looked at the both of them as blood started running down her neck but she put up a strong face.
‘Let me tell you a little story.’ Fernando said looking at Elisha
‘I am sure you have the dots figured out but I want you to hear it from me.’
He paused
‘My little brother Ferbian was a good man, he loved Sasha with everything in him but somewhere along the way; her monstrous father came on board and destroyed everything I ever loved.’ ‘Mr. Chishala is dead, why didn’t you stop immediately after his death?’ Elisha asked ‘I couldn’t have, his entire generation had to go. You know what they say about generational curses? Yes I didn’t want that upon his children and grandchildren.’ 
‘But you kidnapped his daughter, you killed her spirit and everything she ever believed in. she had no relationship whatsoever with her parents, her only family was us.’ 
‘That was the mistake that she made, you see after what we did to her; we expected her to go into some sort of depression that would bring her to her death but no. she fought through it all and made something out of her life.’
He turned to look at Larna
‘You see we never had a normal life afterwards so what right did she have? Come on she was working from home; a job she loved with a wonderful family whilst we were still mourning over Ferbian’s death.’
‘So it wasn’t even about Ferbian anymore right?’ Larna asked with a weak smile
‘No it wasn’t, I fell in love with you Larna. I loved how you carried yourself, I loved how you tendered to the kids and that made me want you even more.’
‘You are sick and need serious help, that is not love; that is an obsession!’
‘Call it whatever you want but you will be mine in one way or the other!’
‘I will be dead first before you can make me yours.’ She said
‘Then say hello to death sweetheart.’ He said pointing a gun to her head
 ..

SILENCE
_27_

There was silence in the room as Fernando tried to think of what Larna had said, Elisha was looking at her with tears in his eyes.
He had grown up as a good person, he had never for once stolen or cheated or hurt anyone and now he just couldn’t understand how life could turn out like that for him.
‘Just as I thought, you are a coward and you can’t do anything about it!’ she spat in his face Ben moved from where he stood and moved closer to the three.
‘Fernando this is not part of the plan!’
‘Shut up you good for nothing son of a gun!’ he yelled
This should have scared Larna seeing how serious Fernando was but she found herself amused and laughing at them.
‘Stop laughing!’ both men said at the same time
‘Ben Ben Ben!’ she said trying so hard not to laugh
‘I told you, you were being played all along. You were just a pony on the chess board protecting the king, like the game itself you were meant to protect and sacrifice yourself for him; but look at you now. Your end is here and guess who is taking you down? The very person you trusted!’ she laughed some more
‘Stop talking or I swear I will kill you!’ Fernando screamed
‘Brother is this true? That all along you were using me?’
‘Don’t mind anything that she is saying.’
‘Look me in the eye Fernando and tell me that this witch is just bluffing!’
‘Tell me!’ he yelled again when he didn’t respond
Ben laughed an anguish laughter when there was silence.
He laughed again.
‘So this is how it has been right? You playing me for Larna, I thought this was about Ferbian. I thought this was about our brother!’
Fernando now looked at him
‘Can you repeat yourself; did you just say our brother? Ferbian was my brother, he was my blood and you were just some bastard that crawled your way into our home.’
‘Stop it right there! I didn’t choose to be born in the conditions that I was, in fact I didn’t ask your mother to take me in!’
‘Aren’t you too old to be crying victim? My mother’s love was supposed to be shared between the two of us but you came in and took part of it, I never loved you! I never did and I always secretly prayed that you could varnish the same way that you appeared. But no, my brother had to be the one to be taken away and trust me I couldn’t wait for the day when I could take you down myself.’
‘Fernando.’ Larna said reading between the lines
‘I played you Ben, I used you. Each and everything I ever did was because I wanted to see your downfall. Everything and I guess now you don’t have any use any more.’ He said lifting up his gun
Ben was just standing there in hurt and disappointment
‘Fernando I gave up my life to try and bring justice for our brother, I thought blood runs deeper than water.’
‘You were nothing to me and your death won’t even matter.’ He said
Ben was too weak to argue, he had been betrayed and the worst that could ever happen to a man is betrayal from people he considered family.
Fernando moved to where Elisha was and handed him a gun.
‘Here, shoot him or I kill her.’ He said pointing his to Larna’s head
‘What?’ Larna asked
‘Do it!’ he commanded
‘Babe you don’t have to do this, remember I brought this upon our lives and you don’t have to do anything.’ She begged
Elisha was torn between listening to his wife and Fernando, he loved Larna with everything in him and he couldn’t let her die because of his weakness; he wanted to protect her till the end.
He pulled the trigger and shot Ben in the leg causing him to fall on his knees.
‘That wasn’t hard.’ Fernando said as he finished off his cousin
‘You are a monster you know that!’ Larna yelled
‘Yes a beautiful monster! A monster that you fell in love with.  A monster whose name you uttered with each thrust, or have you forgotten too soon?’ he teased running his finger on her face as she tried to look away
‘Leave her alone!’ Elisha yelled
‘Well well well, see who just grew some balls? How about I show you something that will make you sick?’
Fernando connected his laptop to a projector and went to stand behind Elisha, he put the video on play and held Elisha by the head so that he couldn’t make any movement.’
‘Oh Fernando.’ Larna’s voice echoed through the sound system
‘Ah, ah ah..’ she continued to moan as he thrust deeper into her
The camera had been positioned in such a way that Larna’s face could be shown and without doubt her wildest desires had been fulfilled
‘Tell me if you still want to be with her after this.’ Fernando said when the two climaxed and the video finished playing
‘I made vows before God and my family, I will stand by her no matter what!’ he said strongly ‘Bullshit!’ Fernando yelled as he shot him on one leg
‘Oh my God you murderer!’ Larna screamed
Elisha continued to groan in pain as blood oozed from his leg
‘Why don’t you just kill me already? Why do you have to punish him?’ she yelled as tears ran down her cheeks.
‘Because guess what sweetheart, killing you won’t give me the satisfaction I need. You are already dead in the inside but I know torturing him slowly awakens emotions in you.’ He said shooting Elisha’s other leg
‘Fernando I am begging you, take me with you. Make me your slave, do anything but please don’t inflict any more pain on him.’ She begged
‘Yes Larna, seeing you beg turns me on. Do it again, make me yours once again.’ He said lifting up a knife
‘What are you doing?’ she asked with fear in her eyes
He moved to where Elisha was and grabbed the hand with the missing finger.
‘How about we make this hand uniform?’ he asked
‘Fernando.’ Larna begged as she shut her eyes
‘Ah!!!!!’ Elisha screamed
‘Look at him!’ he ordered her
Larna shook her head vigorously with eyes closed
‘I said look at him!’ he ordered
She slowly opened her eyes and seeing his fingers on the floor just made her break down.
‘Kill me already.’ She said in between sobs
‘With pleasure.’ He announced pointing the gun into Elisha’s head
The last thing she head was a banging sound
*
‘Babe!’ he yelled
‘Babe!’ he yelled again shaking her body
She opened her eyes and there he was, the kids too. ‘You were having a bad dream.’ He said as he held her She was still shaking as he held her tighter.
‘You are alive.’ She said allowing the tears to fall.
‘Mummy are you okay?’ both Saidi and Sarah asked at the same time
‘Mummy was having a bad dream. Please leave us alone.’ He said
‘No, don’t leave the room. All of you. Please stay.’ She begged as tears continued to roll down her eyes
‘Call mum and dad, I need to speak to them.’ She added as she remembered how real the dream felt.
 ..

SILENCE
FINAL

The nightmare she just had must have torn her apart because she was still shaking and looking like the weight of the world had come crumbling on her.

‘Do you want anything?’ he asked

‘Just call mum, tell her that I am going there.’ She said wipings wher tears

He looked at her one more time before going out of the room.

‘Hello.’ Elisha said

‘My son what a pleasant surprise.’ She responded on the other end of the line

‘How have you been?’

‘Well you know your father has been on and off drugs of late, but we are doing alright.’

‘That is great.’

‘So how is Larna and the kids?’

‘They are doing just alright mum.’ He said

‘Larna asked me to call you, she will be coming later.’ He added

There was silence

‘Is everything else okay?’ Mrs. Chishala asked

‘Yes mum, everything is okay.’

They chatted more for a while before he dropped the line, he too wanted to know why all of a sudden she wanted to see her parents but he had learnt that trust was the most important thing in any relationship and he had to trust her to make the right and concrete decisions.

Larna got up from bed and went to take a bath, as the water poured on her skin she couldn’t help but feel the reality of the dream. She had done well by burying her past but with the dream she knew it was time to face her father.

She allowed the tears to fall one more time before washing her face.

Once done, she settled for a white high waist pencil skirt with a yellow blouse. On her feet were gold stilettos matching her nails and she nicely pulled back her hair into a pony tail.

‘I am on my way now.’ She announced when she got into the kitchen

‘Mummy let me go with you.’ Saidi said

‘No baby, mummy has some important things to tell grandpa okay.’ She said bending over to kiss his cheek

‘Are sure you are okay?’ Elisha asked

She moved forward and hugged him real tight as tears fell.

‘I love you and I will never do anything to destroy what we have.’ She said between sobs.’

‘Baby is there something you are not telling me?’

She shook her head and signaled for the kids to come forward where they got into one big hug.

‘I love all of you.’ She said before walking out

The drive to Chelstone was quiet, Larna kept replaying the dream she had had; everything about it was so real. She could have sworn that if narrated to someone else they would think it had actually happened.

She drove into the compound and spotted her mother working in the garden; she had heard from Elisha that her father was not very fine and spent most days inside and so she was guessing he was on his own.

‘Larna.’ Her mother said trying to shield the shock written on face her face

‘Hello, mother.’ Larna responded clearing her throat

‘It’s good to see you.’

Larna just smiled

‘Is he home?’ she asked, the word dad a little too heavy for her and so she chose not to say it.
‘He will be glad to see you, he is in the bedroom.’

She walked away from her mother’s presence to the house, her heart was in so many places but she knew she had to do this now or never.

She knocked once on the door and his frail voice responded asking her to go in.

He was shocked as well to see her.

‘Child.’ He said extending his weak hand

Larna stood in one place not sure of what to do, she was in conflict with herself.

‘How have you been?’ she managed to say after clearing her throat

‘Come over here child, I guess my days are numbered because how possible is it that after years of not talking you decided to show up?’ he asked with a weak smile

‘I know what you are.’ She began

‘What are you talking about?’

‘I said I know what you are.’ She repeated a little louder this time

He moved himself steadily with so much effort and sat in a position where he was facing her.

‘What are you talking about?’

‘I was there the day Sasha came into the house and you beat her up.’

He flinched

‘Larna what else did you hear that day?’

‘Everything I needed to hate you, everything I needed not to believe in you anymore. Everything I needed never to trust you again.’ She said tears pouring out

‘Larna listen to me, whatever you heard that day is not as it is. Whatever you heard that day has a second story to it.’

‘Stop it! Just stop it! It has been more than fourteen years already. I have lived in pain and disappointment, don’t you think the least you can do is just being honest with me?’

Just then her mother walked in.

‘What is going on here? You know your father is sick and you are not supposed to be upsetting him.’ She rebuked

Larna stood there debating on what to do, she had the choice of telling her mother the kind of man she had been married to all these years but she chose not to.

‘If this is why you came, I suggest you should just leave.’ She said strongly

‘Please let her stay.’ Her father begged

‘You are in no condition to be upset, her presence seems to be doing otherwise.’

Larna turned to leave but stopped half way.

‘I forgive you.’ She said

‘What?’ her mother asked

‘Dad I forgive you for everything and I just hope that you have made peace within yourself because trust me this silence has eaten me up. This silence has been like a cancer, killing everything good in my life. I tried to create the best thing I could call my own but I guess running away didn’t solve anything and it took a nightmare that scared the life out of me to face you.’ She said more tears falling

‘Larna.’ He said also in tears

‘It’s fine dad, you are my father after all and we all have our skeletons and had I spoken out things would have been better. But trust me I have never been the same since that day. Take care of yourself.’ She said walking out of the room.

She closed the door behind her and leaned against it, she could hear her mother crying inside. He was probably confessing to her, obviously he had decided to go with the secret to the grave but Larna confronting him had brought out a new spirit in him.

After a while, her mother came out and her eyes were dry but you could see that she had sadness written all over.

‘I am sorry child, I should have protected you from all this.’ She said as they embraced
‘It is not your fault.’ Larna told her.

*

It had been three days since the bereavement and now they had to bury him, Larna looked at her mother who had not shed a single tear since the time of his death.

‘Mother you have to give a speech.’

‘A speech?’ she asked with a chuckle

‘Yes a speech, a tribute so to say.’

‘What do you want me to say Larna? That I was married to a man who enjoyed having sex with dead people and I only found out about it at the time of his death?’ she asked now tears spilling for the first time

‘Mother I know it is hard for you, it was hard for me as well but I want you to look at this in a different way. Yes he made a share of mistakes but he is the man you fell in love with, the man you tied the knot to, the man who made you a mother and has been your husband all through the years.’

‘Larna how can I look past all that?’

‘He is gone, he confessed.’

‘Only because you confronted him!’ she said almost yelling

‘Mother it is done, he is gone and there is nothing you or anyone can do about it.’ She said

The two women embraced as they walked to the backyard, they had decided to bury Mr. Chishala at his home since it was a farm house.

‘Today we put to rest my husband, the man that gave his entire life to me and my child. The man that never left my side in times of need and I hope to meet him again.’ She said when it was time for her to give the speech.

‘I am glad you made peace with him before he died.’ Elisha said holding her hand as they put flowers on his grave

‘I feel better and lighter.’ She said with a smile
‘I love you.’ She added

‘I will always do.’ She responded

THE END

EPILOGUE

Larna walked into the ward, she was coming from Garden house; the place she had dreamt of and she was shocked to learn that it didn’t exist.

Ferbian had been the only child and there was no one known as Ben or Fernando, it was all part of a dream.

Her mother had refused to speak to anyone after the funeral and after taking her to the hospital; the doctor had suggested that they see a counsellor, that maybe all she needed was to talk to someone.

‘Ma’am the counsellor is here but if you don’t like her, we can suggest someone else.’ The nurse told her

The lady walked in and Larna couldn’t believe her eyes

She was pregnant and her face as beautiful as it had been in the dream maybe even more beautiful.

‘Your face looks familiar.’ She said

‘So does yours.’ She responded with a smile

Heaven was probably playing tricks with her

‘I am Wangu-Endike.’ She told her

‘Larna Mwaba.’ She responded as they shook hands

Larna left the room with a huge smile, probably happy that heavens had sent her a friend.

‘If it isn’t you Lord?’ she said with a smile

WRITER’S NOTE
Solitude has saved me more than anything in the world but whilst one thing is good for me it might not be good for another.

Silence is like a killer that destroys so much in it’s way; at some point we have all been broken and hurt and we actually thought that keeping to ourselves was the best thing to do and maybe it was, but if you can’t take it anymore please talk to someone, anyone that might help.

Thank you so much for the support, it is never dull with you guys; while writing is my passion you are a part of that.
 ..

By penhouse

Jaja Godspower is a creative thinker and business strategist. He an award winning writer, blogger, author and a film maker from Nigeria. He is motivated with the desire to grow brands and businesses through adequate branding and visibility with his writing expertise. He is the founder of Penhouse Initiative, one of the largest growing writing hub in Africa.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *