Nori walked towards the man, his thought blackened with rage and in a swift swipe, the man fell without as much as a whimper that surprised even Nori. He had expected a yell and maybe a struggle, he watched him collapse to the grass, but quickly picked the child before he dropped her off his weak hands.
Nori carried the child peeping into the radiant face that giggled back at him in infant smile. He picked up the twig when he heard the other abductor’s footsteps and ducked behind the thick stems of wild cocoyams. Before the other one could uncover the scene, Nori sent him down too, both lying side by side.
He took off with the child before they regained consciousness.
With the child in his hands, he journeyed quick and hoped to have gone far before the duo recovered from his assault.
When they did, it was the sun smiling dryly at them as darkness covered the forest. They wandered around wondering if the ship that was to intercept them ever arrived or they were rather beaten to hear its sound. Their night was miserable, and like the three wise men, they knew better not to return back to prophet Jehu. The man was a brute without a sting of mercy, loosing the child meant he would have to impregnate another maiden because they overhead his spiritual father telling him the omen in not having a successor before he was forty, and what was more miserable was that his successor must be of his bloodline and a girl too.
The dread of his rage made them shiver all through the night as they hatched plans to flee to Niger or a faraway town.
Nori rested while the sun set, the child’s incessant cry for food left him disheveled. He had never handled an infant even though he once nursed the idea of having one, not until Sarai his former girlfriend was murdered. Calling her his former girlfriend was strange but he felt at peace for once starring at the child’s face. As if reading his thoughts, she drew a smile innocently making him relax, ‘this night will pass too and tomorrow you will meet your mama,’ he whispered playfully touching her tiny fingers.
They spent the night in quiet, the child laying on his chest while he rested on the stump of a wild tropical tree.
The next morning, before the first touch of dawn, Nori was few miles away from the forbidden island. By noon he emerged at the entrance awash with perspiration.
His mother was the first to set eyeson him and roused the rest as she ran down the steps to take the child from him. Staring at the babe, she couldn’t hold the sweet tears that escaped her eyes, the child twisted, her face caressed by the sun, Marachi turned her face away from the ray.
Just then Nimisola and her husband walked into them. Nimisola stretched shaky hands at the child beginning to tear up too. Marachi steadied her until she was calmed, then she tucked the child into her hands.
Nori’s father walked to him, both exchanging their signature greeting. He brought out an envelope and handed to Nori, his eyes trailed the white sealed paper.
“They came by the wayfarers yesterday noon,” he said firmly. Nori tore it quickly and scanned for any urgency from the sender, he sighed, “I have to return next week, we have an assignment in Qatar and need to prepare ahead,” he said half to himself. His father nodded knowingly and patted him before walking away to take the child from Nimisola. He stretched his left hand for Marachi and they walked away with the child nestled on his shoulder.
Nimisola and Nori continued to stare till they were out of sight. Nimi was the first to cut the long gaze, she was starting to stammer when Nori took her hands, “you’ll be fine.” She nodded and felt unease settling in her abdomen, “so, what will you call her?” his question kicked her back to reality, “eem, I haven’t thought about that but maybe she’ll answer after mother – Nneoma.”
Nori smiled but it quickly became a frown, “is everything okay?” he nodded, “only that I will be leaving for work in a few days.” Nimi’s face blackened but he quickly consoled her, “come, I need a souvenir to last me for the time I will be gone,” he smiled down at her, she returned it, “what kind of souvenir?” she asked chuckling.
He left her standing and bewildered by his playfulness but returned before she could think about a thing and his first click made her smile turn to childish shyness. He took more pictures of her before coming round to show her the clips. Her face glistened as he brought his hands over her shoulders. She covered her mouth and smiled more, “I never knew I could smile this much, Nori thank you for everything you have done…” she was still saying when he held her close and hugged her till she sobbed. When he let go, her face was moist but happy.
It was his turn to smile, now, he had something to bring him back to the island and maybe someday not so far, he would build his home there. And though he wasn’t aware yet, his heart pumped, he had found a dash of happiness in a forbidden island far from civilization and he knew she was home.
Thanks for staying in touch with me on this story. I must confess, this is the first unplanned story I have ever written and without proper editing and rewrites. But I just had to do it, I had to keep writing just to get Nimisola where she wanted to go and you my friends made me strive to do it.
Thank you so much, and I would appreciate your feedback on this story so I can do some adjustments before putting it up as eBook and trust me, it’s going to be free.
What would you love to add to the plot, what about the setting, characters? I want to hear all of it, remember it was an experimental story, so there’s pretty room for additions and subtractions. Let me hear from you in the comment section and if you don’t like to do it publicly, use our contact page for feedback.
I feel so relieved and can’t wait to hear from you. Imeka!