It’s Thursday! We’re still on the BS&T series and we’re continuing with part 2 of ‘Blood‘. I had so many comments from last week (and threats too) but I promise that no one’s dying in this story lol. Today’s post is for my dad who gained an extra strand of gray hair earlier this week!
Have fun reading!
Jason felt useless. He yearned to sit up, to hug Estrella and tell her she was his daughter. He loved her as his own; she was his little girl. He watched her crawl back into her own universe; one of no tears, no sign of pain or any emotion. Her face stayed unreadable but her eyes yelled a single word to himself and Mabel; explain. Jason knew the story all too well, but a pleading gaze from Mabel was all he needed to allow her speak. Mabel’s tears were fresh with every memory that presented itself into her mind, escaping from her lips in whispers.
Mabel was betrothed at the age of 18 to a drunken 50 something year old man. According to her father, schooling for females ended at 18 otherwise they became ‘too smart for their own good’, causing migraines to their husbands. Besides, who needed a degree to cook and have babies? Against her mother’s wishes, Mabel was moved into her ‘husband’s’ house, where she felt her self-worth depreciate by the second. It was during her depressive states that Adam, her husband’s son came home for vacation. Adam was kind and attentive, much unlike his father. In time she felt happier, lighter and more positive about life, until the day he raped her. She never expected it, he was supposed to be her son! Adam apologised, blaming it on alcohol and a broken heart but Mabel felt broken too; broken and defiled. Adam denied responsibility and went back abroad, leaving Mabel to deal with the horror of letting her husband know. He was furious; his son would never do such a thing! Mabel pleaded and swore by everything she held dear. He took one look at her tear covered face and warned her, ‘if you want to keep that baby, it better be a boy. If not, I’ll have nothing to do with you or your family’. Mabel didn’t stay another day in her matrimonial home after that night.
Jason, Mabel’s boyfriend in secondary school who was still nursing his broken heart took her in and everything she’d returned with, pregnancy and all. He’d always loved her and no man’s baby could change that. Jason stayed with Mabel every day, even as she screamed and cursed in the labour ward. When the infant’s cry pierced through the air, Jason knew he would love her for eternity. Holding her, caressing her cheeks and looking into her half-open eyes he spoke his first word to her. It was clear; oddly simple, but it held every inch of his heart, ‘Estrella’.
Estrella didn’t know what to feel. It was torture trying to channel her thoughts towards any emotion. She couldn’t feel anger- none of them deserved it. She couldn’t feel pain- Jason was the one dying. She decided on showing an emotion she’d mastered all too well- nothing-. Estrella felt drained.
‘Where is he now?’
‘He came back to Ghana 5 years ago’
The clouds bore mixed hues of white and grey, taking up odd shapes and sizes as they moved in unison, hiding the sun and bringing it back in strong single rays of light.
Their table seemed to be the noisiest. Two young boys, twins, fought each other hard for the last slice of pizza. The eldest, about 18 or 19 sat across them, oblivious to their chatter, smiling animatedly at his phone’s screen, before the selfie mania began. He squinted and covered his mouth, shifting in his seat for the perfect angle and exceptional lighting. He was in a world of his own.
‘James!’ their mother looked exasperated. She walked around the pizzeria, searching frantically for this ‘James’. Estrella’s mind was so engulfed by the twins, she couldn’t feel her clothes being tugged at.
‘James!’ Estrella jumped. The woman was walking towards her now, her gaze lowered with a smile so wide it spelled the word ‘relief’. Estrella glanced down.
James had her chestnut eyes and pink lips. His eyes glistened with mischief as he chewed at the hem of her dress, his gaze never leaving hers. She smiled and lifted him. He giggled in delight, his thumb now making its way into his mouth. Mama Mabel told her she used to do that too. Estrella felt drawn to him instantly.
‘I’m so sorry my dear, that’s my son. He’s quite mischievous’. Estrella laughed and nodded.
Their mother was pretty. Young for a mother of four, her looks gave off her housewife status with a touch of additional pride- the pride of marrying an intellectual. Estrella said nothing as she handed James over; somehow to her, a smile was more than enough. As James left with his mother, his little fingers waving frantically at her, Estrella took a good look at the man who sat at their table.
He was working on something online, not once did he look up to talk to his children. He was engrossed in whatever it is he’d been doing that he never noticed James as he hung onto his leg. He was in his own world, as was everyone on that table.
At least the family has more than enough boys now.
Estrella took one last look at James and walked away, never glancing behind.
Hospitals; Jason hated hospitals.
Everything reeked of antiseptic, even their bottled water. The nurses walked in and out with plastered smiles, the kind they put on for those who wouldn’t make it out alive. He hated them all; he wanted to go home to Estrella, to laugh with her and allow her win at least one last game.
Acquah told him he’ll get better, the transplant had been a breeze- thank God for twin brothers who didn’t smoke-. Jason still felt weak but he also felt relieved- he wasn’t going yet. Not just yet. As he lay down, he thought of his little star. He wondered if she’d been able to speak to Adam. What did he tell her? What had she told him? Jason would’ve given anything to be with her just in case Adam’s words hurt Estrella.
‘Daddy?’ He chuckled. This sounded too foreign.
‘It’s not Jason anymore?’ Estrella looked tired, her eyes red from tears and worry. She looked lean already, her clavicle jutting out like a pair of coat hangers; he frowned at the sight. He started to reprimand her but she hugged him, a little too tight as he yelped in mock agony. She held on for what seemed like eternity before she started nudging him. Jason sighed and shifted, happy to have his little girl by his side.
She was shaking and sobbing. Jason hushed and cradled her. He looked down, taking in her chestnut eyes.
Estrella was five again, straddled on his lap with her toothbrush on one hand, her mouth and nose covered in toothpaste foam. ‘I love you daddy!’ she was grinning, a set of pearly whites clothed in toothpaste stared back at him.
‘And I you Estrella, and I, you’.
‘Blood‘ is done! Thanks for reading everyone, your messages and comments are always refreshing. Next week, we start with ‘Sweat‘. I can’t wait, can you?
Till the next one! And oh, don’t forget to share.💫