Lost But Satisfied - Episode 18

Meeting Jessica

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Jerry rose gently from the bed. He had to be sneaky. Who knows, it might be a replica?

‘This is going to take a long time, Uncle Matthew, a very long time, and I don’t like the smell of things’, a lady said. The lady’s voice sounded familiar. It sounded like the last voice he heard before he became unconscious.

‘Don’t worry about tomorrow, Jessica. The trouble of today is sufficient for today’.

‘Uncle, don’t you see this is a fruitless effort . Why not tell people to leave town?’

‘And go where, dear?’

‘America, Ghana, anywhere’, the lady's voice said, frustrated, 'I want you to take him away from here. You know Chief is in Brown Valley. Why did you bring him here?’

 Jerry edged forward and was eager to know who this person was. Soft music from Pastor Matthew’s DVD player filtered into the air.

‘I wish I knew Chief was looking for him. I wish you had come to me on time to explain things'.

‘I couldn’t come to you. He was there and I was at home, pretending to be sick while I allowed Rachael and Martha watch over him’.

‘Then, you could have sent one of them to inform me. To let me know how to treat him, and where I should advise him to go and be because he looked up to me for advice on many issues especially love matters’.

‘What love matters? Are you saying- Do you mean?’

There was a pause for sometimes

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. Jerry pined to get more information.

‘Pastor, you can still leave Brown Valley now’.

‘And watch all these people die?’

‘They will die anyway’.

‘Says who? Who is man to say a thing when God has not said it’

‘Yes. They will die. If the water doesn't kill them, their disobedience will kill them. They are all strong and blockheads. If what you are saying is true, then you will see a representation of what was said in the Bible concerning the children of Israel in the days of Noah’.

‘You still remember your Bible lessons. Even when the fire is at its very worst, one must resort to it for cooking. At least, few people would be saved and would be prevented from missing heaven’.

‘Uncle Matthew, you can’t go on telling people about a God who is going to release rain to them. Which foolish God is that?’

‘Jessica, be careful of your words. They have effects here and in life to come’.

‘If God was not…’, she shouted and paused’, okay… Sorry about that. But why will God pour out another rain? Why didn’t he send you out of the country and why did he ask you to come to Brown Valley?'

Jerry entered the parlour and saw a tall slender lady, who had the body of an athlete. Her arms were strong and Jerry was sure she could fight four men at the same time with the way she was standing.

‘Now… You’ve brought him here. You’ve brought him here’.

‘Nothing will happen to him’.

‘How did you know?’

‘I know’

‘How? Maybe you didn’t hear of it but my father…’ She said and paused. Pastor Matthew was staring at Jerry who was coming from behind. She turned.

‘Continue… Who is your father? What did I do to him?’ Jerry said as he moved near her slowly.

‘Oh Bidemi’, she said and gasped. Her gaze was fixed on his face and she stood, looking like a statue, making him wonder if something was on his face. He touched his face and saw nothing of interest there.

‘What?’ Jerry asked. 'Tell me, what did your father do to me that made me forget everything that ever happened to me?'

‘Bidemi…’

‘Stop calling me Bidemi for God’s sake’, Jerry shouted, stomping his right leg on the floor. His hands, stiffened, moved up and down as he shouted, 'Stop. My name is Jerry… ah’.

‘Your name is not Jerry. Your name is Bidemi… Bidemi Adeoti’

‘My name is not Bidemi… It’s not Bidemi’.

‘Bro Jerry…’

‘Please, Pastor stay out of this. I’m not letting her go or say any other thing until I know what happened to me’.

 Then two things happened. His phone rang; Miss Rita Jacobs was calling. The day after he got to BrownValley, he got a bought a new sim for 100 naira and immediately registered it. He had tried calling Miss Jacobs but she didn’t pick his call, so he sent her a message, informing her that he was the caller. Now, she was calling in the middle of a very big revelation of his life.

Even if he had the mind of picking the call, he couldn’t because Jessica was the second thing that happened. She fell and began to vibrate on the floor as if there were electrical charges in her.

‘Bro. Jerry. Help… Get me water. Get spoon’.

Jerry ran to the kitchen and picked a bowl of water. God! Water was scarce. Will they waste this whole water on her? He picked a spoon and rushed to the parlour. She was convulsing. Foams poured out of her mouth. Jerry had never seen anything like that before.

‘Fan… Bro. Jerry, fan…You shall not die but live, Jessica. You shall not die but live. I relieve you in the name of Jesus’.

‘Oh! God, Pastor’, Jerry exclaimed, pointing at Jessica. She was unconscious. He himself vibrated internally. Jessica was dead. He rushed to her and placed his ear on her chest.

‘She is still alive’, he said as he expelled more breaths loudly.

‘Give me some water, Bro.’

Jerry took the basin of water to the pastor and watched her lie there as Pastor Matthew brought out a handkerchief. Pastor Matthew cleaned up the mess while Jerry was trying to regulate his breath.

‘Who is she?’ Jerry asked when the tension had reduced.

‘She is my niece. Her father is the Chief that you must have seen. He is fat’.

 Jerry remembered the fat man he saw coming out of the house. So, that was the man that made him forget everything he had ever done.

‘Why is she helping me?’

‘You know’, Pastor Matthew said, shrugged and stared at the table that contained his constructions and everything he needed to plan for the oncoming rain.

‘She loves me?’

 Pastor Matthew hissed tiredly. Jerry frowned, wondering if he was the promiscuous type. How many women did he fall in love with before his memory loss?

‘How did she know this place?’

‘Her mother… She owns this place and she allowed her to know all about this place'.

‘Her mother… Your sister?’

‘Sister-in-law or late sister-in-law’.

‘Wait! Are you saying that her father, the one that had been trying to kill me is your brother?’

 Pastor Matthew nodded and sighed.

‘Children of the same parents?’

‘Yes…’

Jerry scowled as he watched Pastor Matthew rubbing his head. Pastor Matthew rose from his seat.

‘We have big plans in our family. Trust me, we do. Our plan is to be the first to discover something, to dominate. And that’s my brother’s biggest problem. I’m sure whatever he’s planning, we are in for big trouble and that’s why I must continue what I’m doing before the time comes. He always thinks he is doing the right thing. And I think that's true but he goes about it the wrong way’.

  Pastor Matthew left him and faced the construction he was making. Soft music flowed into the house as Jerry wondered what he should. Should he find his way to Brown Valley and find a way of contacting the beautiful night thief whom he believed would help him. If it were possible he could find the policeman that was investigating the death of the first person that tried to kill him. Then, his phone rang again.

‘Hello, Jerry. Where are you?’ Rita asked the moment he picked his call. Jerry looked up at Pastor Matthew, remembered how they suffered to get here.

‘I’m sorry, something came up and I had to rush down to BrownValley’.

‘What happened? I had been trying to locate you for days and I had been going mad when I thought you left me’.

‘I wouldn’t do such’, Jerry said as Jessica began to rise from her unconsciousness.

 Jerry rushed to her when she tried to rise but fall. He had to remove the phone from his ear and used the other hand to lift her up as she moaned.

‘Did you hear me?’ Rita asked when he replaced the receiver on his ear.

‘No. You were saying?’

‘I said I’m coming to Brown Valley’.

‘For?’ Jerry asked hurriedly. His heart skipped beats as he imagined what would happen to him if she ever died if any of the people following him tried to kill her. ‘Erm… Are you sure that’s a good idea?’

‘Of course. I’m coming to celebrate the new year with my father’.

‘Good’.

‘And he wants to meet you…’

‘What!’ Jerry exclaimed. Jessica stood and began to move all around the room like a zombie.

Jerry frowned at Pastor Matthew, who had turned from his work. He mouthed ‘she is okay’ and returned to what he was doing.

‘What’s that?’

‘Nothing’, Jerry said and sipped air. He wasn't ready to play to chance again. He didn’t know if, in his previous days, he would have loved to meet her parents but after coming close to death for the third time in six months, he knew it was time to lay low. Yet, he didn’t want to miss the opportunity of meeting the parent of the damsel, the one nearest his heart. The one he had always wished to marry.

‘So, are you coming?'

‘Ehn…' He said, scratching his head. Pastor Matthew looked back, and stood still, watching him.

Read " Don't! Look Closer " by the same author ( Akíntayo Akinjide )

. He put the call on speakerphone.

‘Jerry, please… I already told him about you and he is eager to meet you…’

‘No…’

Pastor Matthew nodded. Jerry shook his head. His eyes widened in disbelief and he raised his brow as Jessica kept walking all about the room.

‘Jerry, please’.

 Pastor Matthew nodded to tell him it was okay to go. Jerry held his breath and turned to Jessica for advice but she was still engrossed in walking about in the room.

‘Okay… I’ll be there’.

‘Oh, Jerry! I love you. I love you', she shouted and kissed the air.

‘I love you too’, he replied and caught Jessica giving him a cold glare.

‘What if those men see me? I’m not ready to die’.

‘The lord is saying…'

‘The Lord himself knows that I’m not ready to die… Why did I even call Rita?’

Jessica sat straight. Jerry watched her in awe and glanced at Pastor Matthew. She caught his reaction and smile. 'You need not worry. After my fit of epilepsy, I am always disoriented for a while. I'm okay. Now I think it is time to tell somebody the story of his life’.

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