While Gbade struggled with the best course of action in his thoughts, the silent lips of the woman sitting beside him moved. “There are others”, she said a midst tears. He decided to give her time to unburden her heart, but her lips stopped moving again.
“You can trust me”, he encouraged her to go on. She shook her head and replied, “These people are dangerous”. Gbade’s mind told him trouble lay around the corner but his heart wanted to protect her. “We can go to the police”, Gbade said, offering her a ray of hope. She chuckled and in a pained voice said “You don’t know these people, they are everywhere”.Gbade pressed her to at least tell him her name. She turned to look at him for a while contemplating whether she could trust him. Then she found her voice and said, “Linda”. Gbade drove on in silence wondering whether that was her real name.
“Please take me with you”, Linda begged. “My house?”, asked Gbade. “Please” , she stammered pleading. “I don’t know you”, replied Gbade. She took a deep breath and tried to stifle the tears that where threatening to pour again. Linda began her story. She started from the very beginning when she had to stay with an uncle and his wife because she had no one.
Her mother had just left the country for greener pasture abroad and promised to come for her when she settled down in the country she was headed. Linda never knew who her father was. The day her mother left she was in tears hoping that it wouldn’t be long before she would join her mother in the land of promise. The first few months were filled with fun since for the first time she had her cousins to play with.
Six months passed without getting word from her mom. Every time she asked Uncle Mark whether her mother had called he would reply that he hadn’t heard from her. Meanwhile Uncle Mark started to buy her things and treated her nicely so much that his kids and wife became jealous. After a year with no word from her mother aunt Mary became cold towards Linda. She began to snap at her about almost everything. Linda continued to tolerate Aunt Mary’s onslaught on her. Things took a down ward turn when Uncle Mark began to touch her in a way that made her feel uncomfortable whenever they were alone in the house.
Excerpt from the short story: The Journey