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The Footpath (2)
* * *
“Please, don’t kill me!” Nneka begged, visibly shaken.
“Be quiet, or I’d have to silence you myself” Thandiwe replied brandishing a pair of long fangs.
“Oh My God…!” Nneka gaped and fainted.
* * *
When she woke, she found herself in a room with three other women. Her vision was blurry but she could hear their conversation well.
“Is she still unconscious?” One asked
“I think so, but she should come around very soon” another replied
“Okay Dr Sallie, just do anything to make her regain consciousness. ” Recognizing the voice as Thandiwe’s, Nneka gasped and recoiled on the bed where she lay, she hadn’t forgotten that horrible sight. “My God, what have I gotten myself into?” Nneka thought to herself.
“Look! Dr Sallie, she’s awake!” The third lady who had the uniform of a nurse cried.
“Aha, finally!” Dr Sallie said as she and Thandiwe walked up to her bed”
“How do you feel?” Dr Sallie asked checking her pulse and examining her eyeballs.
“I’m tired and my head feels like it’s spinning in random motions.” Nneka said as her stomach rumbled loudly.
“When last did you eat? ” Dr Sallie asked raising an eyebrow.
“Well, If I remember vividly… must have been 3 hours before my abduction” Nneka replied eyeing Thandiwe
“Oh… I see” Dr Sallie said casting a knowing glance in Thandiwe’s direction and continued. “She needs to eat and regain strength before I can prescribe any more drugs, let Mother know”
“Alright…” Thandiwe sighed and left the room.
“Nurse Sofiat, please replace the unused drips in the store upstairs, I won’t be needing them” Dr Sallie said again pointing at the drips on the large steel tray.
“Okay Doctor” Sofiat replied and walked out, shutting the door behind her.
For a moment, there was an awkward silence in the room as both ladies sat and observed each other keenly.
Until Sallie finally spoke, clearing her voice “Don’t be scared Nneka, you’d feel better after your meal.”
“Thank you, Dr. Sallie” Nneka said with a faint smile.
“My pleasure” Sallie said again smiling, revealing a gap tooth and beautiful dimples.
She seems nice, Nneka thought within herself and decided to start a conversation.
“Errm. How long have you been here?”
“Well… about five years”
Nneka sat up and screamed
“Shhhh, keep your voice down” Sallie whispered, looking at the door.
“Haven’t you thought of escaping or something?” Nneka asked after recovering from the shock, her face; the expression of a teacher scolding her student.
“Hahaha, I came here willingly… not like I was kidnapped or under duress” Sallie laughed and then became serious again.
Nneka looked more confused now. “I don’t get it… you’re saying you chose to stay here over your freedom”
“With all this madness?” Nneka said, doing the quote and unquote hand gesture.
“Yes” Sallie replied again.
“Hmmph, if you weren’t a doctor, I’d have asked you to go for a mental check up… you know, see if everything’s psychologically in perfect condition up there” Nneka said again pointing at Sallie’s head.
“You’re such a sweet clown” Sallie replied giggling.
“Gee, thanks” Nneka smiled and continued “if I were to decide, there’s no way I’d chose here over my freedom”
“Well… let me ask you, what exactly is freedom?” Sallie asked with a thoughtful look
Nneka started “For me freedom is….”
Sallie cut her short. “You see Nneka, there comes a time when everyone goes on this timeless quest for freedom and in times like this, we have to make very crucial decisions that would make or mar us.”
“Hmmph” Nneka nodded as Sallie continued
“But one thing we tend to forget is that the consequences of our actions can be fatal or be the very end of us.”
“Look at you Nneka… the freedom you sought is what made you vulnerable and now you’re being held captive; that’s a consequence of your action”
Nneka nodded again… reality was beginning to set in.
“But why did you chose this life?” She asked Sallie
“Yes Nneka… in my past life before I joined the Empresses Of The Nightingale I-”
Nneka gawked “Empresses Of The Nightingale? Is that what you girls are called????”
“Yes” Sallie replied sharply not wanting to be interrupted and continued. “- lived a pathetic life of dejection and unhappiness, I felt I wasn’t accepted by people because most were intimidated by my exceptional prowess in various things, I felt like an outcast, a shrieking nerd girl who was too good but couldn’t draw or derive love from the faintest of hearts. Maybe I could have found happiness within me if I saw the light early enough, but I didn’t. Lonesomeness and dejection was the theme of my life until I met Mother, she showered love on me like no other and all she asked for was my freedom and soul, nothing else.”
Nneka looked dumbfounded but Sallie didn’t stop
” I didn’t hesitate of course, no one wanted me anyway and Mother’s was the only place I felt wanted. I wanted my life to have a meaning, I wanted to be loved desperately, I wanted solace and comfort, a place where I was accepted for being me. I couldn’t find it out there.
You know…Its a really cold world, where only the strong can survive but I was too frail to swim against the tide so I chose to stay here and…”
Someone’s knock at the door rattled them as Sallie jerked up and Nneka laid back on her bed in swift motion.
“Come in” Sallie called out.
“Hello Dr. Sallie” Wana said as she stepped in.
“Hello Empress Wana” Sallie replied with a grin.
“Its time for her to eat and freshen up Mother would see her shortly” Wanna said with a smirk, as she looked at Nneka and walked out.
“B*tch” Nneka cursed under her breath.” I guess that means goodbye for us, Dr Sallie” Nneka said feeling sad.
This was the nicest person she had met in this ghoulish castle.
” Yes dear, but let me warn you…when you’re with mother play your cards right if you want to get out alive, that’s if its ever going to be possible. And don’t forget, whatever happens…be calmer than a cucumber.” Sallie concluded with a smile.
“Noted boss!” Nneka said with a mock salute as both ladies giggled.
“Mother doesn’t like to be kept waiting!”
Wana called out arrogantly from outside.
“I’m on my way” Nneka shouted back as she got up to leave.
Sallie spoke again, her smiling face gone
“One more thing Nneka… brace yourself up, the worst is yet to come…” then she turned and went further into the room.
Oh my! Goose pimples seem to be crawling all over my skin. I can’t wait to see what happens next.
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