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Lost in a Shadow - Episode 17



Lost in a Shadow - Episode 17

Written by Chidiogor D-f Nwafor

Amanda tried to stand up, but just as if all her strengths had been sapped away, she fell back to the ground. She whimpered as she stared at Paul.
"Are you in pain?" Paul mocked. "Do you want me to help you up? That's just a glimpse of what you did to me."
"You slapped me. Paul?"
"I'll do it again if I had the chance."
"You have no right." Amanda stood up. "You have no right to slap me. I came here to see my son, not you."
"Your son? What son? Did you keep any son with me?"

Amanda ignored him, instead she walked slowly to Dave and held his hands. She asked him to forgive her. She stared into his tortured eyes as tears glistened in them. She reached out to wipe it away but Dave shove her hands away. 
"You say I'm important to you, but you would never leave someone important to you. You'd never abandon them. I yearned for you. I missed you so much. I needed you. I prayed for you to return but you didn't. It's been so long that I don't even remember how it feels to have a mother. I have forgotten what  importance the mother brings to the house. You were not around, you were never around and you don't even know me."

Amanda tried to speak but Dave shut her up. "Please go and never return. Don't ruin my life any further. If you care for me as you claim, then you'd leave me. You mean nothing to me. You're only but the woman I knocked down in the street." Dave told her as he walked away. Amanda tried to run after him but he slammed the door at her."

"Dave! Dave!!" She cried, knocking and banging at the door. "I'm sorry. Please, forgive me. It wasn't my intention."
"I can remember years back." Paul began, breaking through the cries. "I asked if that man was the reason you left me but instead of answering, you  denied me. This is ridiculous. Dave was happy but your entire presence had ruined everything. Leave him alone, this is my last warning to you. You're breaking him. Stop troubling him."
"Stop saying all these to me. He's my son too and I love him. I don't mean any harm, neither do I want to hurt him. I just want to explain things to him and clear all the evil you've filled his head  with against me."
"Go away Amanda. I told Dave nothing but the truth which is you abandoned him."
"I didn't!"
"You did! Leave my house now Amanda. Dave doesn't want to see you. Get out!"
"Don't do this Paul."
"Leave before I do something you wouldn't like." 

Amanda gasped as she took one more glance at Paul. Shaking her head, she trudged out of the house.
★ ★ ★

Stella sat with her hands folded and her legs crossed as she sat in the boutique. It had been a very busy day and patronizers trooped in and out of the boutique. Her madam had left leaving everything in her hands. She had earlier been so excited about being the second in charge but now, she wished someone else could take the position. She had only spent four weeks in the boutique and it was strange how the boss took a special liking to her. There were four other workers she had met there and who had worked in the boutique for so long. Her friend, Peace was one of the workers and it had been through Peace, she had been able to get the Job. She wished to work there till her NYSC posting came out. Peace had been her childhood friend. They were conceived on the same day. Peace's  mother, Mma, had been a friend to Stella's mother, Efosa.

Stella and Peace had attended the same high school. They had both been part of the teen's choir in their church. They had been friends long before Tobiah joined the cycle. 

Unfortunately, Peace couldn't  further her education into the university because of the hardship that befell them. Her mother had seriously been sick and so Peace had to postpone her going to the university because she had to work in order to treat her mother.    When Mma, her mother recovered, everyone thought Peace would begin preparations to go to the university but it had been the other way round. Peace had decided to work fully with the excuse of not wanting to stress her poor mother anymore. Mma had cried that day, lamenting that it was all her fault that she couldn't train her only child.

Mma had lost her husband in a fatal accident when Peace was just three. Seeing  Peace grow without a father had always melted Stella's heart. She was thankful that her parents were still alive and were there for her though they were not financially buoyant. Being with one's parents was actually a blessed feeling and this was one thing that made her feel sorry for both Peace and Dave.

Stella and her family had not always been financially down. In fact, her father had been a bumbling trader who sold various type of clothings as far as in nearby countries such as Togo, Cotonou and Benin republic. He had been a well known trader and he dealt in both male and female wears. He sold shoes, caps and accessories. Due to Mr Effiong's wealth, Efosa his wife became a full house wife and all she did was take care of the family. 

Her parents had given birth to four children with which she had been the first. Cassandra, her younger sister and the second child of the family was a jovial and loquacious young lady. She was Stella's favourite sister and they shared various secrets together including issues about their love life. They were literally best friends but as every best friends do, they fought a lot.

Clara, the third child was extremely quiet but dangerous. She was a phlegmatic teenager who was very revengeful and who never spared anyone that provoked her. Being skinny, weak and tall; too tall for her age, made her devise wicked plans to punish her offenders. Mrs Efosa Effiong often called her a gentle face with a reckless mind. This name came to be when she had kept a dead lizard on Cassandra's pillow, next to her face because Cassandra had beaten her for breaking a plate. Cassandra had screamed in abject horror when she had woken up.

Joe, the last and only boy was cherished and pampered by both parents. This excess love had made him rude and disrespectful. He had once told Stella that he was the saviour of the house for he had restored happiness and respect to the family. Stella had been taken aback and had asked him why he said that. 
"Don't you know that mum and dad would have been a laughing stock if they hadn't bore a male child?"
"You're a foolish boy." Stella had screamed and had chased him away with a stick.

Joe had also called Cassandra a blabbermouth simply because she had reported him for misplacing his food flask. 

Despite these flaws, the Effiong family had continued to wax strong until one day, when something tragic happened...
★ ★ ★

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