Kentura sat and waited for the doctor to come, she had practically nothing with her in the hospital as Melvin had brought her in with only the clothes on her back. She looked at the time, it was some minutes past eight pm. She could remember Melvin’s mother’s words as she’d addressed her when she’d regained consciousness.

“You will not return to my house even if that’s the last thing I do. I will make sure your belongings are brought to you.” She’d said as she turned around to leave.

Just as her hand touched the door, she’d slowed down as pain had overwhelmed her.

“Are you okay ma?” Kentura had asked. She’d still been lying on the hospital bed.

“Don’t speak to me! You daughter of Jezebel!” Melvin’s mother hissed and left the room.

Now, as she sat and waited for the doctor, she couldn’t wait to leave but to where? Ijeoma was still not back to Lagos and she had no friends that she could stay with. She hoped that Melvin’s mother had asked someone to bring her bags from the house so that she could take her ATM card and withdraw money to stay in a hotel. Her phone was also at the house and she was sure that her boss at the office would have called several times.

The door opened and the doctor walked in with a nurse.

“Good evening doctor…am I free to go?” Kentura asked.

The doctor looked at her.

“I would like to have you institutionalised for a few days.”

Kentura looked at him not understanding what he was talking about.

“Institutionalised?” She asked.

“Yes, I want to place you in a psychiatric hospital and I have called Pastor Melvin who brought you in to inform him. He is on his way.”

Kentura stood up in surprise, she couldn’t believe what the doctor was saying to her.

“No doctor, not an institution for the mentally…”

“Kentura, you slashed your wrists! You have to admit that you are a danger to yourself.”

“I didn’t…I didn’t do it.” Kentura said with tears in her eyes as she held out her hands and stared at the bandages around her two hands.

“There’s no use denying it. If Pastor Melvin hadn’t found you on time, you would have bled to death.” He said.

“No…no…” She cried. “I couldn’t have done that…”

“What better explanation do you have as to what happened to you?” The doctor asked.

Kentura looked at him with tears in her eyes. She had no explanations whatsoever. For a long time now, she’d suspected that there was a part of her that she couldn’t control but she couldn’t place a finger on it. She’d wanted to confide in someone countless times but she was afraid to be labelled mad or insane.

“Please…you have to help yourself.” The doctor said.

Kentura shook her head vigorously.

“No doctor! I will never go to a mental institution. I’d rather die than go there…” She cried.

“Do not pay heed to what the society thinks as regards mental institutions. They are no different from hospitals and they are set in place to render assistance to people who need help.”

“No way! I won’t…I won’t…” She cried.

There was a knock at the door and Melvin walked in, followed closely by his father. Kentura stared at the two of them, she had never met Melvin’s father.

“Good evening sir.” The doctor greeted Melvin’s father.

“Doctor Femi, how are you?” Melvin’s father responded cheerfully.

“I am fine sir…I am honoured to have you here sir.” The doctor said.

“I came to see my son’s friend.” Melvin’s father said and cleared his throat. “I see that she’s better. How soon can she be discharged?”

“Well…that’s the reason I called your son. You see, she’s fine and she is free to go as long as she takes her meds but, it won’t be advisable to let her go like that.” The doctor said.

“Why is that?” Melvin’s father asked in concern.

“You see sir, she is suicidal and she needs to be watched closely. She slashed her wrists and that could have killed her.” The doctor said.

“I keep repeating myself. I didn’t slash my wrists, I have no idea how I got hurt.” Kentura protested.

“Kentura, I was there and I know what I saw.” Melvin said to her calmly.

“Why are you here?” Kentura asked. “Your mom warned me never to come in contact with you or go to your house ever again. I don’t want you to upset her or go against her because of me.”

“What? My mother said that?” Melvin asked in shock.

“Let’s get back to the topic at hand.” Melvin’s father said. “Doctor, do you think she could attempt suicide again?”

“Suicide can be really tempting and from what I understand, the person can never stop trying till he or she succeeds.” The doctor said.

“Look, I am fine. I swear that I know nothing of what you are talking about. I was asleep for a short while but I guess I overslept and then, I found myself here.” Kentura said.

“Does it mean you can’t remember what happened to you?” Melvin’s father asked in concern.

Kentura felt at ease with the man, she breathed in deeply and exhaled.

“I can’t remember…I honestly can’t remember.” She said with tears in her eyes.

“You can stay at the mental institution for just a couple of days….” The doctor persisted.

“I won’t! There’s nothing left of my family and it will be too appalling to hear that the only two surviving children of my family ended up in the psychiatric ward.” She blurted.

“Your family?” Melvin asked, surprised at Kentura’s mention of a family. He knew nothing about her.

“Never mind…forget that I said that.” Kentura said quickly.

“Listen, doctor, I trust her and I am sure that she won’t try to kill herself again.” Melvin’s father said.

Kentura looked at the elderly man in gratitude and mouthed a ‘thank you’.

“Okay then…if you say so, sir.” The doctor said, not sounding too happy.

“Is she free to come home with us?” Melvin’s father said.

Kentura looked at him in alarm.

“Oh no, sir, your wife doesn’t…” She started.

“You will stay at the house as a welcomed guest till you are able to sort yourself out. I won’t leave you out in the cold all because you’re a stranger.” Melvin’s father said.

Kentura almost hugged the man, now, she understood how he’d been able to hold a powerful and delicate position in the church for years. He was indeed a good man.

“Thank you sir…I promise you won’t regret it.” She sniffed.

“I’ll get the discharge form so that you all can be on your way.” The doctor said.

“Thank you doctor.” Melvin and his father said together.

The doctor and the nurse excused them and left the room.

*******************

Melvin’s mother sat in the bedroom she shared with her husband and walked up to the small cupboard where she kept some of her valuables and turned the lock. The cupboard opened and she took out some envelopes she’d stored within. She sighed as pictures spilt out of the envelope. The first picture was of her son at three weeks old.

“How time flies…” She reminisced.

She brought out another picture and she stared, it was a picture of her mother. She’d taken the picture with her when she left home almost forty years ago. She brought out another picture in black and white and stared, the beautiful face of an innocent girl stared back at her.

“Angelica….where are you? It’s been years…” She said as she wiped the stray tears with the back of her palm. “You should be a grown woman by now, you should have your own family but unfortunately, the bible says that we shouldn’t be unequally yoked and you have taken a vile path and no matter how much I love you…we can never be together. Oh, how I wish things were different? How I wish our mother hadn’t tried so hard to push us into accepting that devilish tradition. We would have been inseparable and our children would have been closer than ever. I am dying…Angel…I am dying and it breaks my heart to know that I’ll never ever see you again my dear sister. Oh, how it breaks my heart.” She cried.

She looked at the picture again and suddenly, it seemed as though her sister was in tears too as the formerly smiling face was replaced with some sort of sadness.

“What could this mean?” She wondered. “Does it mean that she’s trying to tell me something? But no, this picture was taken about forty years ago…it’s just a picture…”

She heard the sound of a car pulling into the driveway and she quickly pushed the pictures into the envelope and kept them back where she’d taken them. Her husband knew all about her life and childhood but he knew she hated to bring it up as she never liked to discuss her family. Melvin knew only that she had a mother and a sister and that she’d never known her father.

She made her way to the door and opened it. Soon, she was downstairs.

She had just reached the entrance door when it opened and Melvin stepped in with his father and suddenly, joy turned to grief and shock when she saw Kentura.

“How dare you bring the devil back into my home?” Melvin’s mother screamed.

Everyone stopped and stared at her.

*********************

Bianca sat at the center of the large circle of candles and waited. She was waiting for the strike of midnight so that the prophetess could send her on a spirit travel. She was scared. She had watched a very young man walk into the circle adjacent to hers and the prophetess had snapped her fingers over his head while making incantations. She had seen the man’s eyes close and his body stiffen as his spirit travelled. The young man had been immobile for one full hour and Bianca was afraid that the man’s spirit might not return. Her fears turned to relief when the man suddenly shouted.

“Faster…faster!”

Some church members rushed up to him and began making inaudible incantations while the man stopped shouting and began muttering under his breath. The prophetess walked up to him and looking him in the eye, she said in a loud voice.

“What did you see? Where you able to take back the ring you gave to her?” She’s asked.

“There…there were…dogs…big dogs…they…they ran after me…I ran…I ran…I ran…” He said heavily.

The prophetess nodded and said.

“Did they bite you?”

“No…I ran…I ran…I ran….” The man continued breathlessly.

“Did you get the ring?” She asked.

The man raised his right hand and opened his palm to reveal a sparkling ring. The prophetess took it and smiled.

“Well-done!” She said in triumph. “As long as you were able to take this ring, your former fiancée can never marry any man…”

“What of the man she dumped me for? I saw him…he was sleeping by her side…but I searched for the ring and found it in her drawer.” The man said.

“When he wakes up in the morning, she will be history. She dumped you and for the rest of her life, men will never stop dumping her.” The prophetess said with a hard voice.

Bianca looked at the prophetess who was standing over the man and audibly swallowed her saliva. She stared at her wrist watch again, it was still ten minutes past nine pm.

 

To be continued on Thursday….

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