CHAPTER TWELVE-JESSE FIRE PT1
Siri was up early that Monday morning and helped prepare Oyoma for school. She headed out of the house at same time as Oyoma, walking her to the bus stop, some kids waved to Oyoma as they walked by.
“You are already getting quite popular here” she said to the teenager who smiled coyly.
When she got to her work premises, the first encounter she got was with her boss, he cornered her to the side and asked her what was happening between her and Kate, which got Siri confused.
“I’m sorry, I don’t understand” Siri said to the man.
“She’s been sad since Saturday after she said she was going to your place to tell you about us” Mr. Anthony said walking closer to Siri who still has a perplexed look plastered over her face but not for long because Mr. Anthony soon gave her details about his relationship with Kate that he assumes she knows already.
“I really love her and I wish she would accept to marry me” was how he ended the narration that made Siri beyond queasy.
Her eyes were widen by the revelation, she looked at the man with dropped jaw as he professed his love for Kate in the mistaken impression that Siri has already been told.
“That’s nice” Siri managed to let out and then asked him if she could get a couple of hours off work to go see Kate and he didn’t deny her.
On reaching Kate’s, Siri banged on the door severely but there was no response, she was about to give up and leave when Kate sluggishly opened the door and let Siri in.
“Your uncle told me that he isn’t really your uncle” Siri said without blinking or smiling, walking behind Kate to go sit on the couch.
Kate’s expression immediately became identical with Siri’s when Mr. Anthony spilled the secret and then her shoulders shrugged. “I’m sorry I never told you” she said hiding her face away.
Siri was silent; she was soft pedaling trying not to in any way dissuade Kate from speaking the truth which she obviously has been battling with for so long.
“I told you how my parents died in a mass fire in Jesse town when I was still a child, they were never really rich but at least they didn’t ever have to beg for food. But after their death I was passed around a lot, it was never really my relative’s fault, as they were very poor. The last one was cruel; she made me beg on the streets, telling me to pretend I was blind. I would stay in the streets all day long and barely have food when I get home. On a faithful day, Mr. Anthony met me and took me to a shop where he bought me food.” Tears fell from her eyes as she spoke; Siri put her hands on hers, encouraging to continue.
“When he was about to leave, I begged him to take me with him, but he refused, he said my Aunt will look for me, which was doubtful because of how cruel she was to me, few days later he came back and bought me food again, he did that for a while, and soon I was beginning to add a little flesh on my scrawny body and it didn’t take long before my Aunt noticed. The day he took me to come live with him, I had been beaten by my Aunt, she drenched me with hot water and he took me to the hospital”
“That was how you got that scar on your thigh?” Siri asked, interrupting her.
“Yes, she thought I was stealing her money for food” Kate answered then took a deep breath and continued.
“Well, Anthony brought me here with him from the hospital. He has cared for me since then and I told everyone that he is my uncle because truly that was how I felt, till he told me he loves me” she sniffed as she told the details of her story.
“When did he tell you this?” Siri asked filled with curiosity.
“Last year when I graduated; the thing is that I don’t know if I like him that way, but I can’t turn him down, I did tell him I wanted time to think about it. But how can I tell him that I don’t love him after all he has done for me, I was fifteen when he took me in” Kate was shaking as she managed to finally share her secret with her best friend. She had always wanted to tell Siri, but Siri has always been logical, moral, principled and very much a devoted Christian and most probably wouldn’t understand.
Over the years, she had wanted to tell Siri but she just might not understand. When Kate was done with her story, she asked Siri to advise her on what to do because she was confused.
Siri too was filled with confusion; she was out of her depth, even as Kate’s blood relative it was incredibly generous of Anthony to have taken Kate in and now finding out about the true extent of his benevolence baffled Siri to the highest degree.
She never would have believed it if it wasn’t coming from Kate but one thing was certain, which was that even if Kate hasn’t realized it yet, she does have an atom of love for the man that goes beyond her gratitude.
When Siri got home she saw Oyoma playing with some kids that were a lot younger than she is, the song they were singing brought back memories of her own childhood.
Oyoma was asking them to repeat after her, she wanted to first teach them the song before showing them the game but when she saw Siri, she rushed to her.
When she got inside, Mudia was home already and he was with Michelle on the couch seeing a movie, she greeted them and asked how their meeting was with the doctor Jeff arranged.
Michelle told her that the doctor took their blood samples and ordered for some test, that they would be back the next day for the result. She seemed hopeful but then again, she is always returning hopeful anytime she sees a new doctor or a new pastor.
Siri left them alone to have their time together and then went inside to reply Jeff’s messages, they were supposed to get together that evening after work but she was too exhausted to hang out, perhaps she is still very much worn out from hearing Kate’s story…
What do you think about Kate’s story? Should she marry Mr. Anthony???