9JA Story: A MAN’S DESTINY [Episode 1] written by Temitope Daniel


​I’m spooked and afraid of this trial. It has gotten to this stage that I have to be prayerful and watchful. The end is near and might come in anytime. This is such an imperillous situation that makes me sad, even annoyed at times. Should I say my parents were benighted or what? This is hilarious! They were still unrepentant after Richie spoke with them, they weren’t impelled. It seems they did it on purpose.

    I’m now familiar with Doctor Kate, she’s my best friends after Stephanie. She always tell me to relax, all would be fine, they’ve been marvelous and interesting to be with. But, would all really be well?

    I can’t give any guy my heart because I might die, and wouldn’t want to cause him a broken or shattered heart. I hate seeing Stephanie up and doing just to keep me lively, I hate seeing tears in Richard’s eyes, I hate it when there’s no peace of mind just because of me, I also wish to be free like everyone! I wish to be free! I wish to be able to last for six months or beyond without being rushed to the hospital, I… I also.. want.. j… joy!

******

    “There’s no God!” Richard clouted the dressing mirror before him and kept his fist still on the shattered mirror that was left behind.

    He went down on his kneels and tears ran down his cheeks. Uche and Jay rushed into the room and met him on the floor. His left hand had started bleeding as he wept bitterly on his kneels. “This is too much for me to bear! It is!” He made a vehement outcry and laid on the floor.

    Uche and Jay stood close to each other and some steps away from Richard. The two gazed at each other continuously. They were becoming tired of Richard’s rambunctiousness, it seemed his emotion had taken over him finally. “I don’t like this, Richard. I don’t!” Uche scowled.

    Richard raised his head slowly and fixed his eyes on Uche, just like a collector fixes his insect with formalin. “I don’t like it likewise, I don’t want this to happen too. The more I remember God, I get mad!” He snorted.

    “What on earth makes you run mad whenever you remember God? Do you know you’re making me annoyed and even pissed off?” Jay spoke slowly.

    “Did I even mention God? Is there God at all? There’s definitely no God! None!” He tried to push himself up but his left hand couldn’t help. He fell back on the floor and swallowed. “God is wicked, that is if his existence is real.”

    “Just because of this trial?” Uche smiled faintly and took few steps to him up. He helped him up while Jay was fixed on the same spot and watched them.

    “You are wrong, Uche.” He said and struggled to gain a stand. He looked into his eyes for seconds and looked at his blood-stained hand then continued. “God is just partial.” He said softly and closed his eyes as tears fell.

    “Richard, watch your mouth!” Jay rebuffed.

    Richard looked at Jay with a grimace and went on his kneels again. “This is so unbearable, it is so sad. I wonder how she’s been managing, I fear death! She might die!” He burst into tears again.

    Jay then walked to Richard and ruffled his hair. “Stop this man, we have to get this wound treated now.” He told him.

    Richard gave a soft chuckle and looked at his hand. “Why should it be protected? Let me die!” He shrieked.

    Uche sniggered. “Is this how you wish to die? You couldn’t visit the kitchen to use a knife on yourself or even drink Dettol antiseptic, you should have perfected those ones before screaming.”

    Richard was breathing heavily. He stood up and bit his lower lip. “It’s time to ramble.” He said as he made the move to walk out.

    Uche drew him back and looked into his eyes. “Let’s get this laceration dressed and we then go to the club.”

    “Club? Bar section? You know I don’t follow you guys, you should know I hate drinking.” He scoffed.

    “Just to drink away your sorrows, if you don’t wish to drink, you should remain in the house. Don’t make an aimless ramble on a winding course!”

    “In this house, I might do what you suggested earlier on. I think you guys can go, lock me up in the house.” He smiled for some seconds and continued. “Don’t worry, I won’t die anyhow, I mean I won’t die in a rough way. You will meet a neat and well dressed corpse in the living room.”

    Jay laughed. “This guy still dey craze! E be like say you don dey drink the drink wey you talk say you no want?”

    Uche faced Jay. “Should we not go?”

    “Why won’t we go? I’ve been sleepless throughout the week because I’ve not been able to set my eyes on the beautiful lady for seven days now.”

    Richard hissed and walked into the bathroom to clean his hand and take a cold shower. Uche stood by the door, he wished he could monitor him more than that. He knew it had been tough on Richard, he had always felt for his sister who could die anytime.

    He took a deep breath and sat on Richard’s bed when he discovered that he had just entered into the bathroom to bath, not to follow his deadly suggestions. If he were in his shoes, he might have done what he suggested so as to terminate his life soon. Really, of what importance is life when it cannot be lived gleefully? Richard had mostly been boisterous, was he really to be blamed?

    His enthusiasm had gone down the drain. He hardly smiled. A month wouldn’t end without rushing Christiana to the hospital. It was irksome! It was very revolting! Richard had a strong aversion for it. He did mostly stare at his sister in the hospital bed and both would be weeping. It was such a jeopardizing situation.

    “Guys, go and get ready. I think I should follow you today.” Richard said as he stepped out of the bathroom in towel.

    “You want to follow us?” Uche’s eyes widened.

    “Yes, go and get dressed.” He stared at him.

    Uche and Jay smiled. It was incredulous, wasn’t it? They never knew Richie would concur. It was at least better for him that way, rather than meandering. The two dashed out of the room, it seemed the Friday would be great.

———————-

    “Having two graduates is what I have always wanted, I thank God you guys  concluded everything well.” Davies smiled and sipped from the mist-covered glass of wine in his right hand.

    Pemisire plopped down the cushion and gave a long breath. “Dad! It wasn’t an easy thing, all the same, a man’s…”

    “-destiny.” Pemisayo concluded it for her. She grinned as she shook her head wondering the kind of twin sister she had. Everyone knew her with those words- a man’s destiny.

     Pemisayo rested her back on the chocolate-brown sofa with flared arms. Resting her back couldn’t make her legs touch the the white terracotta tile in the living room which tied the interior to the exterior, practical and easy-to-clean type. She had to place her legs on the black glassy stool which was dazzle lustre due to it’s reflectivity, caused by the eye-dimming illumination from the wall sconces whose sources were concealed.

    The living room was a big one with an orange curtain round the windows and a 49inch LCD TV mounted to the wall, about a foot below ceiling. It had two wall mounted shelves directly below the TV, two glass coffee tables with metal framing and two more lamps and leather recliner. As big as the house was, there was no derelict part in it.

    Pemisayo stared at her twin sister- Pemisire and beamed. She was clad in a black gown whose fabric was sequenced elegantly. She looked smart and beautiful in the dress. “Your nickname.” She smiled.

    “It’s the reality, if you guys don’t know.” She replied and licked her lower lip, she smiled and tweaked her nose. “A man’s destiny will surely get him what it has in stock, either good or bad. I think the prayer should be – God should help us change anything bad in our destinies to good one.” She added.

    “But in a man’s destiny, there are some things that might look somewhat bad but they just look that way just to get the man to his or her promise land, they are good qualities.” Davies chimed in as he dropped the wine glass on the stool before him and pressed his lips together.

    “Anyhow, I just know a man’s destiny can’t be changed.” Pemisire sprung to her feet. “I guess I have to ease myself.” She said as she dusted her skirt. As she stood, she was five feet, seven inches tall, dressed in a v-neck blouse with an oval button which had a design of love on it. She wore a white skirt designed with flowers, the skirt had blue ruffles at the end and the flowers are light pink with yellow pollen. She also had a white belt at the middle which looked like stripe.

    Pemisire was elegant and rich in glamour. If words could describe perfection, this would be it. She was not chunky, neither slim, ‘average’ could be the best word to use on her.

    “You and this english of yours, how do you guess you want to ease yourself?” Pemisayo chuckled.

    “I’ve been feeling ill at ease for a while, I think it’s high time I urinated.” She smiled and walked in.

    She walked slowly as she pressed buttons on her handheld until she flung the door open and yawned. It was late already, she was tired due to the stress she had that day. She had to dance with her friends at the get-together party for hours. After she had eased herself, she picked up her dairy and wrote something inside it.

    She sat on her Queen-sized soft-side bed and drooped the dairy on it. The room was a not too big, it had richly coloured tapestries on the wall, fuzzy black accent pillows with leopard and tiger rugs and a pink silk canopy. The room was painted pink, floor to ceiling with two shelves in it. One of the shelves had books of various types- novels, diaries and some other textbooks while the other was the home of DVDs. There were also one white acoustic guitar, a nylon guitar and an electric one that all inclined against the shelves.

    The room also had a flat panel  television with two black speakers at the front. The dresser held the personal undergarments and unmentionable. The room had a centered traditional chandelier with a trasitional close-to-ceiling fixture that produced the basic illumination and created a welcoming atmosphere. The air conditioner and the window was blacked out.

    She sprawled on the bed when the door to her room screeched open. She dropped her phone and sat up. “Dad.” She called and smiled chivalrously.

    Davies walked in with an attaché case which was a box-style case made of leather, scrunched over a hinged frame that opens into two compartments. “Daughter, I’ve come here because I think you can be trusted.” He said and sat beside her.

    “Trust?” She repeated as she squinted her face. She wasn’t sure of what trust meant at that particular time. She knew Lawrence- his friend whom he trusted so much, she wondered if he had been sold down the river by his friend, to make him come to her. Wasn’t she to be trusted before? Since her mother died of cancer, Davies had no other person who he did confine in but Lawrence, was there any skirmish?

    “Yes.” He smiled and dropped the attaché case on the floor. “Mart said he’s going to die soon.” He stopped abruptly and swooshed out a long breath. “He called me today and gave me this.” He pointed his index finger at the attaché case on the floor and faced Pemisire. “Promise me you will keep this as a secret, even from your twin sister.” He dimmed his eyes and looked more serious.

    “I… do, Dad.” She drawled. Her father’s reaction was getting equivocal, what could be in the case that he kept from his friend and even Pemisayo? Though, Pemisire was an easy-going type, she did talk but wasn’t a largiloquent type like her sister. All she did do was to admonish people concerning life, she was a serious and Godly lady.

    “Good.” He smiled and continued as he picked up the case and placed it on his laps. “This attaché case contains Mart’s classic documents. He said he insisted that he must be flown back to Nigeria because he was sure to die any moment and wouldn’t want his business to collapse. This case contains everything that has to do with all he has all over the world.” He was silent for a while before he opened the attaché case.

    “According to him, anyone who had this case with him or her is already like him already, a multi-billionaire. He has no child, neither a wife, not even a person to be trusted but me. He told me what he had written in his will, that anyone with the classic documents is entitled to everything he has on earth.”

    Pemisire’s eyes widened. For Davies to have the classic documents, they’ve sure have caught a big fish. Who didn’t knowMart Foods all over Nigeria? It had various branches of the company in sixteen states in Nigeria and was a multi-billionaire. His real name was Michael Matthew and coined the name out of the latter. He had a food-processing companies, construction companies where various raw materials and finished products were been produced like- Mart noodles, Mart sugar, Mart rice and even Mart cement.

    “Dad.” She called him softly. She was awed by the explanations her father had made and kept breathing heavily. She stared at him without blinking, it was a vital thing that her father just got.

    “Now, I’m not sure about my safety.” He sniffled. “If anything happens to me, make sure you keep this case as a secret because I see danger on the way. Please Pemisire, know the kind of person you put your trust in, if possible don’t trust anyone. I just got to know I’ve been confining in someone who do not wish me well. From all indications, Lawrence may attack me.”

    “Dad, stop this joke! He’s your friend now.”

    “I got to know more about him today. He overheard everything Mart told me and when I left Mart’s place, he kept staring at this attaché case with me. He looked annoyed and was portend. In case anything happens, make away with this case with your twin sister and keep your identity unleaked because every man on earth, even his lawyer would want to have these documents.”

    It was eight years already that he had been working at the headquarters of Mart Foods with his best friend- Lawrence. He was a man in his late fifties and a cheerful type.

    Pemisire smiled. “Nothing can happen.”

    “I pray so.” He said and closed the attaché case. He handed it over to her and stood up. “I have to leave now so that  your sister won’t suspect anything.”

    “But dad, this looks partial. You should have called her along.” Pemisire stood carrying the case with her two hands.

    “It’s not that I’m being paranoid to your sister, the fact that she’s garrulous and I know you’re reticent.” He replied and walked out of the room.

————–

    Richard walked into the bar- a dusky and dank place filled with best friends, lovers or maybe ex-lovers. As he walked in, he amalgamated the smell of drinks and various sweats that outraged his nostrils as he inhaled deeply. As he motioned further, his eyes were already adjusting to the imminent darkness. He turned his head and looked round, he could see seats that had been filled up. He walked with his friends to the empty barstroll in a corner where there were bright spots on the wall, illuminating faces and people in there.

    He could then see that it wasn’t totally dark, it was his first time. “As usual.” Jay said as he smiled at the bartender and sat down.

    “As usual?” Richard muttered under his breath and took his seat. He placed his wounded hand on the table and continued looking around the bar, it seemed someone was smoking there. He finally found the lady and shook his head. “I think meandering is far better than all these things.” He tapped Uche as he spoke.

    “Abeg oh, Richard! Why would you meander? Let’s drink and return home, this is the only way you can forget things easily.”

    “Really? Drinking? All about forgetting all the bad things, right?” He smiled faintly.

    “Yes, it will wash down your worries.” Jay cooed.

    Richard smiled faintly. “Red wine.” He told Jay. “And, what’s your usual?” He asked.

    Jay grinned. “You know say you be small boy, I take gin and tonic.”

    “He’s new in the game..” Uche chimed in, smiling.

    “Anyhow.” He hissed faintly and smiled.

    As he smiled, he looked down and started thinking again. He was muttering in a way no one would hear him, wondering if God really existed. If he did, why would he give some people long life and even prosperity and on the other hand, give some people a short time to live on earth. It was pestiferous! Some people would be filled with mirth, while other people lachyrmose.

    He was in a flurry state. He was melancholic. It was usually a thing of great fear whenever he remembered his sister- Christina as an anemic patient. He had heard many people who did eventually die after all the struggles and pains.

    He had always asked himself if Christiana wouldn’t end hers in the grave. He had head of testimonies likewise, he had heard people who scraped through and made it, but they’ve just been ten out of a thousand! Would Christiana be part of those that would scrape through it?

    He didn’t know he had started crying again until he was tapped by Uche. He then raised his head and wiped his tears. He had been served the wine then and his friends had started drinking.

    “A skunk can’t bite and give off it’s scent at a time! Either you drink or be depressed! For God’s sake your sister is still alive, she’s not dead. You should be happy concerning that, if she sees you like this do you expect her to be happy? You’ll even make her sadder because all she’s going to be thinking of would be death! Man, be serious!”

    Richard sighed. “I believe all is well.” He said and started drinking.

    They were the three young guys that worked with Maverick Company and had been friends since their tertiary education. The three were employed into the big company and decided to live together.

    “So how’s Debbie?” Uche asked Richard.

    Richard stroked his beard. “We broke up.” He hissed and picked up his drink again.

    “You broke up?” Uche asked again, this time surprised. He kept his eyes on the overwhelmed Richard and shook his head continuously. “This will be the third lady… I don’t even know, I think fourth.” He tried to remember as he closed his eyes. “Yeah.. four of them.” He clinched.

    Richard chuckled softly. “They’ve been frustrating.” He said as he stared at Jay who discussed with the female bartender.

    “I don’t think you still follow your popular heuristic rule, this is annoying! When will you settle down? Guy, don’t let your sister’s health turn you to something else!”

    “I don’t think they have true love for me.” He smiled faintly and drank from the cup.

    “Is it that they don’t have true love for you or that you an unrequited love for them? Guy, wake up!”

    “I love them, they’ve always tried to be rivals between my sister and I.”

    “You should be optimistic concerning your sister, don’t think otherwise. Try to calm yourself down, life is not a bed of roses, I have my own problem too.” Uche said passionately.

    “Yes, you do! You’re even wrong, you were meant to say that you have your problems too, oral diarrhea that won’t make you keep shut!” He hissed.

    Uche was tight-lipped for a moment as he stared at him. “You still have a lot to work on, your sense of humor is really.. I don’t know!”

    Richard laughed. “You won’t know. I love my sister, I love Christie, she’s my life.”

    “It’s not your fault.” Uche started drinking.

    Richard swallowed. “It’s my parents’ fault! If the didn’t marry each other, would they put my sister in such a menacing situation? I wonder what brought them together, I wonder why they deliberately married just to make themselves happy and make us unhappy. It’s sad.” He placed his head on his hands as he started weeping again.

    Christina was all he had. To him, she was the best sister in the world. She had a bad state of health because she was anemic, hardly would there be a month that she wouldn’t be rushed to the hospital. He had fought his parents because they got married to ruin their joy, he had been an unhappy guy since his sister’s sickness got worse. He wasn’t chirpy any longer, he had developed hatred for ladies because they always caution him to take things easy. He’d say- they don’t have true love, if they did, they would cater for his sister.

    “Guy! We aren’t at home oh, we are in the public.” Uche said softly as he tapped him.

    Richard wiped his tears and raised head again. “One thing about me is that I can’t keep my characters for a lady. I love my sister, fine! If she loves me, she’s going to stay and if she doesn’t, let her go!”

   “Alright, that is if you’ve not been bad to these ladies.”

    “If they see it as a bad thing, fine! I’ve always tried to clear my conscience, you know I’m guileless.” He said and continued drinking.

    “Alright… alright.” Uche gave an awkward grin and squinted his face.

    Richard and Christina were like two peas in a pod.

*******

    As Pemisire kept the attaché case under her soft-side bed, she rushed because her sister might walk in. After getting it done, she smiled and sat again.

    She picked up her diary and wrote inside, perhaps she might have written what just happened inside it. After she did that, she discovered she just made a big mistake. What if her diary was found? She nodded continuously,  “I have to be very watchful.”

    She picked up her mobile phone and called her best friend- Helen. She felt it was a while she heard her voice. After the call, she picked up her acoustic guitar and sat again.

    She was a music composer and had a lot of songs composed. She loved playing guitar anytime, it looked as if it did wash her worries down. Sometimes she remembered her mother, the guitar would be her best friend, to keep her lively. As she played, she moved her head slowly with the rhythm of the song she sang along. She was filled with mirth. Her soul was lifted as she sang with passion. It was her life, as her twin sister liked to write stories. Both were extremely blessed with talents.

    After she played for some minutes, she dropped it back and darted out of the room. She went to the kitchen to prepare herself something. She couldn’t eat at the get-together party like her sister did and was famished already.

    She was in the kitchen when the doorbell chimed. “Who’s this person? This night?” She asked herself calmly as she leaned against the refinished oak cabinet.

    The kitchen was a big one with a ceramic tiles, it had an open plan with a refinished oak cabinet and pane style cabinet doors. Stainless steel cookers which had at least five tops,  a black dishwasher, a microwave which was near the white deep fryer plugged to the wall and sink which had a window over it, covered with a floral curtain. It had a rack for the utensils and brushed stainless appliances.

    She tried to peep and saw two guys that walked in. “Who are these ones?” She asked herself as she gazed at them. The guys sat down freely, smiling as they admired the house.

    “I think trouble is brewing.” She said as she took in a long breath and exhaled deeply.

    Pemisayo locked up the door and decided to leave the living room for the visitors when she was called back by the guys, to have her seat. One of them started the discussion with a buirdly voice. “I learnt you are three inside this house, where’s the last lady?”

    Davies was getting terrified as he stared at them. To him, they didn’t look armed but if they weren’t, they wouldn’t come in just like that. The approach looked affrightening.

    There was silence for a while. Pemisire had stopped peeking, her heartbeat had increased as she left the place she stood. Her father had said it, it seemed they came for the classic documents already. What would she do? Run away? She wasn’t certain, she wasn’t sure of what to be done. She could maneuver her way into the room, but if she ran away, what of her father and her twin sister? She was now ill at ease properly, thinking on what to do. She had left her phone inside the room, and did that even matter then? What mattered was the safety of the three and the classic documents! She thought and peeped again.

    The earlier, the better. She walked stealthily across the dinning room. It was Pemisayo that saw her as she tiptoed inside the house, the guys sat backing the dining room where Pemisire walked through. She had to do everything with ease, it looked as if they were desperate to get her.

   She opened the door to her room gently and got hold of the attaché case when she heard the roaring voices of the guys from where she was. She looked around the room to reach her phone but couldn’t find it. She must have left it in the kitchen, thinking she left the room without it earlier.

    She had started panicking as she held on to the case firmly. What would she do? She summoned courage and walked out of the room quietly so she could hear what the discussion was all about. “Get me the last lady!” She heard vividly.

    She was in the bigger sitting room that was upstairs then. Should she descend the stairs? She was antsy and confused already. Or has it been known that she was with the classic documents already? The documents every man would want to have.

    She heard the shout of her twin sister and the attaché case fell from her hands due to the fear. “Someone is still in this house, go and get her.” One of the guys addressed the other as they heard the hollow thud made by the case. She picked up the case quickly. She had known that would stir up their zeal to get her. She ran through the stairs behind the house to the backyard. How could she tell if there was one of those guys at the gate? Her big brown eyes started squeezing out tears.

******

    “Another.. shot!” Richard hit the glass cup on the table. He was drunk already and needed more of the wine.

    This time, Jay had returned back to his seat to start drinking. He stared at Richard and shook his head. “How many glasses has he taken?”

    “I don’t know.. he’s just been drinking.” Uche replied as he yawned.

    “I don’t think he should take anything any longer. Though, I think this is better than wandering around.” Jay said.

    “A lot better! If he had been wandering around the whole place, he might be robbed or might have done something bad to himself. All the same, he shouldn’t get drunk to this state.”

    “If she dies, I die!” Richard said and started mumbling some incoherent words too. He had lost all coordination.

    “It seems this guy is going to cause a scene.” Jay said as he dropped his drink and looked around if there was no one watching them. “Richard, stop this.” He winced.

    Uche nudged him but he just laughed. “Christina is my life! She must not die oh! If she dies, everyone is going to die.” He continued babbling until his friends helped him up.

     It seemed they overstayed already, they should get going.

————-

To be continued…………..

NEXT ON EPISODE 02

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