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Priceless One - Last Episode

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 PRICELESS ONE
Priceless One - Episode 25


______________________________________

   
 

Mrs Bello called Chima’s mom on phone and she came to see her the next day.

Mrs Nwachukwu, stepped into the counsellors office. It was the first time she entered Hamsford college, because her husband handled most of her children’s school affairs.

“Good morning ma’am.” She greeted the counselor and introduced herself as Chima’s mom.

“ I’m so glad to meet you ma.” Mrs Bello expressed her pleasure.

“ Same here ma.” 

Mrs Nwachukwu was ushered into a seat.

“Chima is a wonderful and quite adventurous boy.” Mrs Bello said with a smile and relaxed a bit on her chair. “...But he is a troubled child.” She added.

Mrs Nwachukwu smiled faintly. “ My son is an inquisitive one, and may be spontaneous at times.” She said and looked up at Mrs Bello.

“...Is he in any kind of tr0uble?” Mrs Nwachukwu asked.

Mrs Bello chuckled. “ Oh no ma’am….not at all…… I just want to know how close are you with your son ma?..... I mean, does he confide in you at all?” Mrs Bello asked her briskly.

Mrs Nwachukwu hesitated a little. 
“ Sometimes.”

“ How often does he confide in you ma?”

Mrs Nwachukwu sighed. 
“ Chima is a complex child ma….. Did he tell you anything to discredit me?” Mrs Nwachukwu inquired again.

“ No ma.” Mrs Bello sighed softly.

“You see Mrs Nwachukwu,….. there are  two major factors that forms the personality of a child and that is the nature and nurture……” Mrs Bello paused briefly before she continued.

“ ...The nurture boils down to the environmental conditions that surrounds such a child, such as the family, the school, and other environmental conditions…..If the atmosphere within the family is not peaceful, it could have a psychological impact on such a child….”
She adjusted her glasses and continued.

“...like I said earlier ma, Chima is a tr0ubled child, who is tr0ubled by the affairs of his family….. especially you ma….. and this is having a negative impact on him, and if he doesn’t undergo therapy as soon as possible, his mental health might be negatively affected.” Mrs Bello explained.

Chima’s mom swallowed hard as panic overtook her.

“ Therapy!….. please ma….what happened to my son?” Chima’s mom asked frantically.

“ Relax ma’am….. I’m here to help….. but I need to ask you a question, before we continue with Chima’s struggles.” Mrs Bello sat up as she spoke, with her arm, resting on her office table.

Mrs Nwachukwunod her head. Bracing herself for what the therapist was about to ask.

“Why do you choose to stay in an abμsive marriage ma?..... A marriage where your husband bëåts you up to a pulp….even to the extent that your son has to pull out a kn¡fe?..... How did you let it get to this level….. where your children are exposed to such level of vi0lence that would stick to their memories forever?” Mrs Bello asked calmly.

Mrs Nwachukwu lowered her gaze in embarrassment.

“ This is a circumstance beyond my control ma.” She managed to say.

Mrs Bello's expression was serious.

“ We both know this situation can be controlled ma…. You have a choice to walk away…. But you chose to remain in an abμsive marriage…… if not for anything ma, do you not fëãr for your life?..... Do you not fëãr that one day, he’s going to bëåt you till you grasp your last breathe?..... What about your children?..... Do you know the impact this has on your children?”

Chima’s mom broke down in tears.

“ I have no source of livelihood…..” She said in somewhat like a whisper, then sniffed.

“...You see,….. I come from a broken family…. My mother was separated from my father because my father was a w0man¡zer, and highly irresponsible…. But my mom managed through, until he got her infected with HIV…. That was the last straw that broke my parents relationship.” She told Mrs Bello, and sniffed again.

“... I didn’t want to follow the same path…. I made up my mind to keep my marriage no matter the cost, so when my husband asked me to resign my job….. I did, so that peace would reign….. Chima’s father made me totally dependent on him financially…. With time, I got used to the bëåtings, to me it was better than starting over again and having people laugh at me and st¡gmat¡ze my children…..but I’m no longer afraid of what people would say anymore because I’m done with my marriage.” 

She sighed deeply.

“...I didn’t know how much impact it had on my children, until I saw Chima point a knife at his father…. That was the moment it hit me….. the worst nightmare that can ever happen to me is to watch my sons be like their father….. I’m done with my marriage and I planned to move out today, when your call came in….. I am not just leaving Chima’s father, but I plan to take him down and show the world what kind of man he is…..” She said and brought out her phone from her handbag, pointing it to Mrs Bello.

“...I have the video records of how he bëåts me….. I had initially wanted to leave quietly, but not anymore….. it’s time to fight for my sanity and gain back my freedom from the féar and trμama he has caused me.” She ended.

Mrs Bello sighed again.

“ I’m glad you have finally made a decision to be separated from your husband….. because the protection of your mental health and that of your children is very vital…. Children needs a safe environment and hence they need to find solace in their families because the family is the smallest unit of the society, and it is the values children gets from the family, that they deliver to the society….. if you need some assistance ma, I know some human rights agencies that can back you up….. I’m just a call away ma if you need any help from my end.” Mrs Bello assured her and adjusted her glasses again.

“...in addition to what I’ve said ma…..” Mrs Bello continued.

“...Chima has an habit that needs to be corrected….. he is addicted to c¡garettes and cannot do without sm0king a pack per day…..he needs to go for therapy….I know a good therapist I could recommend for him.” Mrs Bello added.

Mrs Nwachukwu nodded her head.

“ He told me about his add¡ction yesterday…. And I really need your recommendation for a good therapist.” She told Mrs Bello.

“ I will be glad to be of help ma….. like I said earlier ma’am….. I’m just a call away if you need my help.”

“ Thanks so much ma….. you are far too kind…. I’ll sure call you for a helping hand.” 

The two women shook hands and Chima’s
 mom left.

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

“ You are under arrest sir for the s£xμal defilement of your daughter….. anything you do or say would be used against you in the court of law!!” The police said to Sandra’s fàther the next morning, and placed his hands on handcuffs.

Mr Nwafor was surprised to see the police at his doorstep so early in the morning. He was still dressed in his pyjamas and was not expecting any guest, not until the gateman ushered in the police men.

He turned to Sandra who was standing on the stairway, with his mother by her side, and flashed her a questioning look.

“ What the hell is happening here Sandra?” he asked Sandra.
Sandra’s gaze fell.

“ I’m sorry Dad…. My counselor said this is the right thing for me to do…..” She sighed softly. 

“...I’m afraid to have an ab0rt¡on dad!!..... So I want to keep our baby.” Sandra ended subtly.

“ What!!!” Mr Nwafor's mother wore a look of confusion, looking from her son to her grand daughter with a deep frown on her face.

“....What are you talking about Sandra?..... Can someone tell me what’s going on here?” Sandra’s grandma threw the  question frantically.

Sandra swallowed hard and ran her fingers on her head, facing her grandmother.

“ Dad and I have been having an affåir since I was ten….. and I’m currently pregnant for him now, but he wants me to do an ab0rtion for the sixth time….. and I’m so afråid that I won’t survive it….. so I had to confide in my school counselor about it.” Sandra explained hastily, with her gaze on the floor.

Her grandma almost fainted in sh0ck.
She laughed out loud as if she was about to run måd.

“Somebody tell me this is a dream!!!.... Oh I must be dreaming she shouted in agitation and turned to her son, who was totally flushed in embarrassment.

“...Is that true?..... Have you been sleeping with your own daughter?” She asked him emotionally.
He avoided her piercing gaze.

“I don’t….I don’t know what Sandra is talking about and what stunt she’s pulling this time….” Mr Nwafor stuttered and turned to Sandra.

“...How can you do this to your father?” he asked her in desperation as the police ushered him out of the house.

Sandra broke into sobs.

“ I’m sorry Dad…. I love you but this is the only way we can stop this affair.” Sandra said amidst tears.

Mr Nwafor shook his head sadly.

“ Sandra why? ….. why Sandra?” he kept saying as the police men took him away in the police van.

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

Three weeks later.

Sandra sat in Mrs Bello's office, fumbling with her fingers.

Mrs Bello sat up on her chair and wore a smile as she looked at Sandra.

“ How are you holding up dear?” Her counselor asked her.

Sandra swallowed hard.

The past three weeks had been so challenging for her.

First of all, she had to deal with her father’s absence from her life this past weeks. She really missed him so much and what’s worse, the police had refused to grant him bail. 

Secondly, she was still trying to adjust to the complexity of the pregnancy and it’s changes in her body. She was however allowed to write the exams for the term, after which, she would move in permanently to her Aunty’s house to live with her family. Her mother’s younger sister had been immediately contacted after her father was arrested and informed of everything that happened to her. So her aunt came all the way to Lagos to stay with Sandra for the period of her examination, after which, she would travel back with her to the east.

Sandra sighed again, this time, her gaze was on the paper slip before her. It was her result for the term.

Today was the last day of the second term and the day of vacation where the students were to come and collect their results.

“ I am holding up fine ma.” Was her soft reply to Mrs Bello.

Mrs Bello adjusted her glasses and stood up from her seat, resting her back on her table as she closed up the space between her and Sandra. She gave Sandra a gentle squeeze on her shoulder.

“ You will be fine…. What you need to do is to take it one day at a time…… I am glad you’ve started your therapy, and since you would be living with your aunt in the East, you have been given a referral to a very good therapist in the East….. I believe you will have a better life there, and most importantly….. never give up….. because someday, the world will hear your story…… and if you feel the need to talk to anyone, you still have my number….. I’m just a call away.”

Sandra nodded her head.

“ Thanks so much ma…. For your kind words and support….. I know I would have to stop my education for a while, till I have my baby but I surely will never give up….. and I will always remember you ma.” Sandra said with a tear drop.

“ Oh come on…. Don’t cry.” Mrs Bello pulled her into a hug.

“ I’m so proud of you for having the boldness to speak out.”  Mrs Bello said and touched her cheeks tenderly.

Sandra smiled amidst the tears and glanced at her result. She had dropped to the third position. With Harriet coming first, and Shalewa second. But the one who seemed to surprise her the most was Chima. Chima was beginning to change gradually that it became really noticeable in the school. But it really shocked her when Chima took the fifth position. It was really a great wonder how he skyrocketed from the 14th position to the 5th position.

Wonder they say, never ends.

Earlier on today, when they had a discussion in the class, Chima had told her that he and his siblings, were no longer living with their father, instead, they were now living happily with their mother who got a good share from a family landed property that was sold in her family house. Chima also told her he was undergoing therapy to stop his add¡ction to sm0king and has began to let go of the habit gradually.

She also noticed Chima’s closeness with Harriet these past few weeks. It really seemed like whoever was close to Harriet were the ones who miraculously scored high marks.

If there was one thing she would miss the most, she would miss Hamsford College and all her colleagues. They had always been the world she knew. But life must continue.

The bell rang for closing time.

She hugged Mrs Bello once again and left her office, walking slowly towards the park where her aunt would pick her.

“ Sandra!!” A voice called her from behind and she turned.

It was Harriet who called her, Harriet was in the company of Shalewa.
Sandra paused in her strides as they approached her.

“ Chima told us you won't be resuming with us next term.” 
Harriet said innocently.

Sandra looked at the two girls who were once a v¡ctim of her bμlly. They were now close friends and had béäten her at the first and second position. 

This made her see life from a different perspective. There she was bμllying her peers, not realizing that she herself was also a v¡ctim of bμlly and manipulation from her father. She felt really remorseful at that moment at the bad things she had done, especially on how badly she had treated Shalewa.

She sighed and replied.

“ Yes….. I’m leaving Hamsford college and relocating with my family.” Sandra said.

They nodded and became serious.

“ We are really going to miss you.” It was Shalewa that spoke.

Sandra looked at her in amusement. She couldn’t imagine such words spewed out from Shalewa after everything she had done to her.

The part of her father’s abμse leading to her prégnåncy, was kept a secret by the school authorities and none of the students were privy to that information to avoid st¡gmatization. Some of them only knew she was leaving Hamsford college and that’s all.

Sandra scoffed.

“ Really….. are you really going to miss me after everything I did to you?” Sandra asked Shalewa.

Shalewa waved her hands in dismissal.

“ That’s all in the past now Sandra….. I have put the past behind and moved on.” Shalewa said.

Sandra smiled faintly and nodded her head.

“ I’m really sorry about how I treated you both.” She whispered softly.

“ It’s ok Sandra…..we do not hold it against you.” Harriet said and they all hugged.

“ I will miss you all too.” Sandra said and wiped a tear drop.

“ Come on don’t cry Sandra….we can still be in touch dear…. That’s what phones are for.” Shalewa said.

Sandra chuckled and nodded in agreement.
They all exchanged numbers.

“ My aunt is here…. It’s time for me to go now.” Sandra announced to them.

“ Alright, take care of yourself.” They told her and they waved at each other continuously, until Sandra entered the SUV and it drove off.

The End.

(Do not take credit or Plagiarize AMAH'S HEART stories)


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