Episode 40

Pascal felt bad watching Vivian and her child eat so hungrily as he sat by his daughter. It was such a pity that a woman as beautiful and well mannered as Vivian could end up in the hands of someone as contemptible as Jeremy, he thought.

He had lived in the compound for quite a while, and when Jeremy was brought into he compound by the agent in charge of the house, his wife had instantly disliked Jeremy.

According to her, there was an air of impunity around him. He vibed very bad aura, that gave her the chills when she looked at him. Pascal had waved it off as a ‘woman’s talk’, but with time, he began to understand why his wife wasn’t comfortable with Jeremy.

But even though no love was lost between him and Jeremy, Pascal did a good job at staying in his lane, ensuring he never interfered with anything that concerned him.

Jeremy on his part, never had the time to converse with any of the neighbours; he was either rushing out, smiling like a lunat!c to himself, or coming in so late at night, looking haggard and drunk.

There were nights they would stay awake because he’d be heard screaming at an imaginary woman he called mother. They often heard him shattering glasses and cursing at the woman, calling her unprintable names.

When Pascal’s wife passed on, giving birth to their daughter, Pascal was devastated and was so recluse that he didn’t even notice Jeremy had brought in a woman as wife.

He was too busy to join the neighbours who talked endlessly about how the woman was so unfortunate to have married someone as loathsome and sick as Jeremy.

He tried so hard to concentrate on his life and worry about the little girl he was raising alone, but some nights, he had problems sleeping or doing anything else, while he could hear the woman screaming for help.

He had actually lost count of the number of times he had had to go rescue the woman from the claws of the wife bêater, but on the last occasion, the woman had clearly asked him to leave, and in her words, stay out of people’s business.

So when he heard her screaming earlier that night, he did all he could to keep himself from running to their apartment. At some point, he even had to increase the volume of the music playing in his apartment, to block off the sounds of her cries
He was totally shocked to find her at his doorstep a very long while later. On the first impulse, he wanted to send her away, yes, that was the right thing to do, but when she explained her reason for sounding brash to him the other time, he couldn’t help but pity her the more.

She was indeed pitiful. Her face was swollen in see places,making it difficult to believe she was thesame pretty woman his wife had always admired. The way she was carrying her baby, he could tell she was going through excruciating pains.

He had intended to allow her tell him what she wanted before going back to attend to his daughter, but he heard the tr0ublesome Jeremy approaching, so he had to quickly pull her in, to avert a major catastrophe.

But as they sat and ate like refugees, he couldn’t help but get emotional. Pascal and Vivian were shocked that Jeremy didn’t go inside his apartment, he sat outside, making it impossible for Vivian to get out of Pascal’s house.

After the meal, Vivian had asked Pascal for some money to take her to her mother’s house, but with Jeremy sitting outside, the fear of what he could do to her and her little baby made her so shaky that Pascal felt a rage in him.

How could a woman be so afraid of a mam she calls husband? How could she be so frightened of a man that has an evidence in her hands that he has bedded her? How he manages to still get in bed besides her after bull!ng her so w!ckedly.

“Can you allow us pass the night here please? Can we stay and leave when he goes out tomorrow morning? I’m afraid for my child, with all these bruises and bI?ôd all over me, with all he’s done to me, I’ve reached the stage where I really don’t care what he does to me” Vivian paused, to wipe a tear that was at the verge of dropping off her eye.

“But with the way he had snatched my baby from my hands while he was beating me the way he threw her carelessly on the floor to continue what he had started, I can’t tell what he’s capable of doing to this innocent child” Vivian sobbed.

Pascal nodded I affirmation. It was all he could do, for words have failed to form in his mind. She was broken, and he could tell she needed help.

That night, he allowed Vivian and her daughter pass the night in the guest room and went back to his room to join his daughter who was already sleeping peacefully.





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