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#Humanity and #Hope

Updated: Jan 3

Episode - 1 * 26.06.2021*

Simon , of wavy curly hair neatly trimmed in a ,hair-cut that looked youthful and boyish , towered at 6 ft wearing dessert brown combat trousers , white , V-neck, t-shirt ,cascaded in an athletic frame , his ensemble looked complete with timberland moccasins of dessert brown, while the brightness of sunny spells gleamed on his milk chocolate skin , his hazel brown eyes offered a sensual male gaze, it was his day off work and he was just preparing to shop for the dinner he was making for his belle. Samantha of creamy olive skin and a moderate petite stature waved off a lady bird, tickling at the side of her sandy brown hair held in a bun, Samantha looked like the charm of summer in a yellow dress dotted with peach patterns as she beamed, her kind ice- blue eyes held a longing that said ‘see you later’ as her moderate fingers waved goodbye to Simon after finishing her shift at the Leeds General Infirmary.

1


 


Episode - 1 *26.06.2021*

Samantha had her navy blue scrubs in her bag and sighed, relief after another day’s work was over . She was looking forward to catching up on her favourite soaps and dinner.

How was your day?

‘Well , I had a long day at work’ Samantha said with a sigh.

How come? , 'Simon shot back with a look of interest'.

‘We’ve been swamped with so many patients and we are understaffed as usual.’

Anyway ,I thought medical school was hard.

‘I bet slugging it out in the real world appears much more of a nightmare than I anticipated’. 'Samantha said with a groan'.

'Sometimes, I wish I never ever bothered to become a medic'.

'People think because one is a medical doctor, one cures every disease common to man and knows everything like google does. I guess people believe we carry a magic wand that cures everyone who happens to be unwell'.

'One of our patients passed away today and I cried my eyes out.

Unfortunately, there was nothing we could do to block his inevitable exit from this wicked world .

 

2.

Episode - 1 *26.06.2021*

Mr Sable came to our ward with a high fever and complained of severe breathing problems and was coughing for most of the time he was with us. He was accompanied to the hospital by his beautiful wife of smooth milk chocolate skin, in fact Mr Sables wife was pretty much lithe with a very petite stature, she had a lovely pair of brown eyes, Mr Sable also had two adorable children who would melt your heart with delight. Late Mr Sable's twins were absolutely gorgeous of bright caramel smooth skin and bright hazel eyes, neat curly hair wearing yellow and orange pedal pushers and dessert brown sandals.

At one point we just about managed to stabilise Mr Sable's critical condition. We were beginning to feel that there were promising signs of his recovery only to find out that he took a turn for the worse as his heart weakened and his breathing became seriously laboured. We moved him to the intensive care unit and monitored his vital signs very closely for these four weeks until it was painfully obvious that letting him go peacefully had to become a tear-jerking reality we came to terms with.

3.


 

#Episode - 1 *26.06.2021*

Simon held out his arms and Samantha blushed adoringly into Simon’s loving embrace for a hug inhaling his aftershave mixed with sweat. Samantha cried briefly as Simon cuddled his ‘belle’ with tenderness so affectionate in their magnolia furnished sitting room.

‘Darling’

What’s for dinner?

‘I made grilled Salmon in a ginger glace , herb infused new potatoes , sautéed asparagus with a white wine sauce.’

Oh dear ! Thanks, I’m starving.

Simon and Samantha settled at the dinning table and tucked into dinner and wolfed down the sumptuous meal with relish. Simon later on served home made Vanilla ice-cream for dessert afterwards. Samantha sprawled on the settee to watch ‘Emmerdale’ and cuddled up to a medium sized - beige teddy bear .

‘Honey’, By the way,

How was your day?

Stressful, as always

‘A young woman gave birth. We almost lost the baby and the mother in the process.

4.


 

#Episode - 1 *26.06.2021*

We were pretty much fortunate that we stopped the mothers bleeding and undid the umbilical cord wrapped around the baby’s neck very carefully. Thanks to our quick-thinking nurses and colleagues; otherwise only God knows what we would have told the woman’s frantic husband if the situation went otherwise.

Samantha , Are you ready?

'Ready for what?'

I guess know what I mean.

'Oh! yesterday was my time off and I promised you today'.

I've been looking forward to this all day.

ha ha ha , you are always looking forward it .

‘I’ll be ready in a bit.’

Samantha and Simon had a shower in the bathroom and cuddled up to each other afterwards. Samantha unwrapped her night-gown while Simon massaged Samantha's full breasts gently, it was not long before they began to explore each other’s bodies as sodium skies emerged with a constellation of shiny white stars dotted around a crescent shaped moon , they were sated and catching their breadth by time both of them came to a climax. Samantha squealed with delight and caught her breadth as she came. Samantha whispered in a silky voice, ‘I love you’, Darling, I love you too. Both husband and wife held tight for a snoggle and snored the night away.

5.


 

#Episode - 1 * 26.06.2021*

Simon and Samantha said a prayer after they awakened to the brightness of a cool and crispy morning that was perfumed with the of fragrance fresh flowers and grass .

The intercom bleeped just as Simon and Samantha were about to head for the door.

Simon picked the intercom and uttered the words

'Hello' ,

'who's this ?’

'How can I help you?'

Right, I'm your neighbour, ‘Fisher’; please can you come to our place quickly.

‘What’s up?’

I need your help.

‘What Happened?’

My wife doesn't look right .

‘Okay, I’ll be at yours in a bit , I won't be long , matey’.

Sorry to bother you, Carlie’s been poorly since last night, I thought she had the 'FLU' but when we woke up this morning , she was literally boiling with a temperature that read 41*C . I actually did a thermometer check on her , she also complained that she has pains all over her chest and could hardly breath .

Oh my word! , what a pity , poor 'Carlie'

6.


 

#Episode - 1 * 26.06.2021 *


'Fisher' , I am on my way to work .I can give 'Carlie' a lift to the hospital .I'm going to St- James to pick up a few things before I head off to the Leeds General Infirmary.

Carlie's Husband , Fisher was a burly man , creamy skin , salt and pepper hair , a ring fence of bald , he wore a sky-blue hooded top with a pair of faded blue jeans and black suede loafers. Mr. Fisher ran his own private courier business and travelled across the UK and had known Simon and Samantha for five years. Fisher choked on a sob as he muttered the words ‘thank –you’ profoundly and wiped tear drops streaming down his cheeks as he held his palms together and prayed from the depth of his soul desperately ,hoping his wife of thirty years would pull through her precarious ordeal.

Simon got 'Carlie' to the St James , Hospital and placed her in a wheelchair so that she could lean back slightly upright whilst she seen by a nurse and doctor immediately.

Dr Gilad, a respiratory disease consultant of Jewish heritage wearing light - blue scrubs with a thick moustache , sharp brown eyes and light honey skin took vital information from Carlie and spoke with a distinct cockney twang .

Shortly after seeing Dr Gilad, Carlie was subsequently placed on a mobile bed and wheeled to a specialist ward for patients suffering from respiratory related illnesses pending the outcome of the various tests she had undergone after blood samples and saliva swabs were taken from her by one the Nurses assigned to her .

7.


 

#Characters Journey - 11.08.2021

Clusters of Dark clouds in patches of grey mingled with sprinkles of a blue skyline appeared as billows of gale force winds whistled ferociously . An angry fall of tropical rain flogged its way with the help of easterly winds that continued to roar through the luscious green forest 5kilometres from the border between Liberia and Sierra lone . Troops dressed in green camouflage , red berets and black boots matched in unison and gathered like a row of checker squares. Troops were armed to the teeth as they held their AK-47 assault rifles across their arms chanting songs of war . Moral appeared to be high as the Warlord ,Charles Taylor of fair chocolate skin , hazel sharp eyes, curly dark brown hair looking the part a rebel leader dressed in a military camouflage t- shirt and dessert brown combats, Charles gave his day customary briefing with fervour and enthusiasm as sodium skies revealed the onset of dusk and the beginning of night fall .

Cecil , of creamy brown mulato skin, long dark curly hair made in plaits under a green beret , a moderate athletic build wearing combat camouflage as per trousers , long -sleeve shirt , beamed through sharp hazel brown eyes , as she cleaned up her rifle and magazine and made sure she had enough bullets in her cartridge. Sheldon of milk chocolate skin , bright brown eyes, small moustache tightly curly short- hair , medium athletic build , wore a leafy green camouflage shirt and combat looked totally lost in the task at hand as he carefully checked his weapon to make sure his ammunition was ready for action when duty called.

Cecil , What the hell are doing here?

'Excuse me!'

'What are you doing here?'

Cecil shot back.

Your guess is as good as mine. Sheldon said with a smirk on his face.

Cecil by the way , I see you in the house and that is annoying enough.

Hmm , look who’s talking .

Sheldon , just look at the kettle calling the pot black .

Cecil , guess what’s happening today ?

It's Simon's birthday .

Nope , Sheldon .

Guess again.

Our wedding anniversary .

Oh shoot ! I forgot!

Anyway ,Today marks ten year’s we’ve been married , silly.

“I’m so sorry , time flies”.

Ha! Ha! Ha !, Cecil , where's my kiss.

Sheldon , just go away , you’re driving me crazy.

8.


 

#Character Journey - 11.08.2021

Two hours after Cecil and Sheldon shared a quick kiss . Troops lay parallel in the trenches and made a spider web shaped ambush having heard shots fired 750metres north-east of from their current location .

Cecil back - off ! now !

May day! May day ! we’re under attack!

Frankie shouted and , Daley , field commander messaged the other troops .

Cecil fired a couple of shots as well as Sheldon . Heavy exchanges of deafening gun fire and artillery continued as the intensity of fierce fighting raged on relentlessly.

Gradual advances were made as Charles Taylors faction gained some ground but as time progressed casualties began to mount .

Frankie , I’ve been shot was all Cecil could say as her fellow trooper pulled her into a more secure location while she winced in pain in the thicket of the forest where enemy fire was close to non-existent. Cecil received first aid for her injuries and frantic attempts to curtail her bleeding made progress as tourniquets were applied , hoping her haemorrhage would subside.

Sheldon fought back with every ounce of strength as he fired volley after volley of artillery and struggled to curtail the insurgence of Government troops , within hours, he was hit below his left rib, waistline and back .

Sheldon grimaced in pain and was soaked in blood from his waistline as he managed to roll on his back to a trench , barely able speak after the heavy fighting subsided.

Cecil and Sheldon were driven to a medical centre by a British red cross ambulance who happened to be giving supplies to an orphanage in a town called Careysburg.

9.


 

#Characters Journey - 11.08.2021

Cecil asked for a pen despite her shaking hands as she lay in pain , Cecil had lost so much blood and the bullet wounds she sustained were around her right shoulder , lower rib cage and her waist , her camouflage shirt and trousers were soaked in blood.

Cecil was given a dose of morphine injection which made her feel woozy and slightly dizzy. Cecil managed to gather some courage to continue her fight to stay alive as her breathing appeared pretty much laboured.

I thought I asked for a pen , Cecil asked again with pleading eyes in a voice that sounded hoarse .Please it is important that I have something to write and a piece of paper ? Cecil appealed.

‘Why do you need a pen and paper when you are in so much pain , besides you can barely hold a pen steady?’ , One of the nurses attending to Cecil inquired .

Nurse, I need to send a message to ‘Simon’, my son ‘ he’s my only child’ . It is important I reach him quickly .

‘Okay , here you are , I’ve just about gotten a green pen and an A4 white paper and an envelope too. ‘

Thank you so much , you’re a star. Cecil replied to the Nurse.

“Simon, my prince and warrior , my one and only treasure beyond measure .You have always been a gift to motherhood . I am proud to be your mother any day any time , even though I went to hell and back to give birth to you , I would do it again if I had the chance. Ever since I nursed you with my breasts , you have been such a joy to behold and look after. I want to you to know that no matter what happens, my love for you is unconditional and priceless. Sammy boy , you will always have a special place in my soul. I don’t think I’m going to see you grow up to become a successful man because right now I am fading away gradually despite my valiant fight to live , my wounds have taken its toll on my body which is unfortunately in pieces , thanks to this horrible war we are fighting as per Samuel Doe’s evil government. However , I pray that all will be well with your soul no matter what life throws at you. I will be with you wherever you go , even though I am in the land beyond .I wish I can take you there with me but sadly that’s not going to be possible because my days on earth are over. Good night my dear, till we meet again”.

10.

 

#Characters #Journey - 11.08.2021

Sheldon , Cecil’s husband was still breathing faintly as he managed to hold on to life by a thread , Sheldon had sustained several bullet wounds to his backside including his waist and was grimacing through as much pain as he could endure . Medics gave him a dose of morphine to alleviate his suffering , Sheldon looked subdued as he asked for his brother Mr Sawyer to come and see him in the hospital at Careysburg , Liberia.

Mr Sawyer of short curly hair` , smooth honey skin , electric blue eyes stood tall in a slim frame , arrived at the hospital wearing a simple blue denim shirt and jeans with loafers . Mr Sawyer spoke in a distinct Americo -Liberian accent , a mixture of the language 'Creole' and 'American English'. Mr Sawyer began to weep once he saw the state Sheldon was in.

Mr Sawyer brought some rice and chicken stew for Sheldon who could barely eat the food but managed eat some of it.

Brother , I am sorry to bother you .

Sheldon don’t be daft .

I am here for you .

Sheldon “How are you feeling?”

'Pain' was all Sheldon could say in a hoarse voice.

11.


 

#Characters Journey - 11.08.2021

Sawyer , I am desperately fighting to stay alive for ‘Simon’ my prince of a son whom I love to bits , however , I don’t think I will make it till tomorrow no matter how much I struggle to pull through this ordeal. Right now , I feel grey . My hands are pale with a strange anaemic feel that makes me feel dizzy ; Uncle Sawyer , I am giving you these keys to go to my house and open the safe where I have £3000.00 stashed away. I guess you are the only man I can trust .

I request to have ‘Simon’ be given the amount of £3000.00 so that when he migrates to ‘England’ as an ‘Orphan’ ,Hopefully , he can escape this precarious war and start a new life. I hope one day that these 'bastards' , 'Samuel Doe' and his evil cohorts would pay for the destruction of our beloved country ,'Liberia' . Send my love to ‘Simon’ . I earnestly pray that 'Simon' becomes a medical doctor one day . Tell ‘Simon’ , I love him dearly. Uncle Sawyer please kindly do everything to show that Simon is valued and cherished as if he is your own son . Sheldon closed his eyes and looked peaceful as he gave one last jerk and final breath. Sawyer tried to choke back tears and failed as he wept like a baby . Now Sawyer was shouldered with the responsibility of conducting funerals for his sister-in-law ,Cecil and his brother ‘Sheldon’ in addition to planning and organizing ‘Simon’s’ journey to ‘England.

12.


 


#Characters Unfolding - 05.12.2021

Simon , smallish statue , hazel brown eyes , skinny athletic frame , milk chocolate baby skin, wearing dessert shorts , coffee brown t-shirt , 9-year-old ‘Simon’ looked mischievous as he revelled in the art of catching frogs at the back garden of a simply built village house with a thatched roof made of palm tree shavings.

Lizzie , a childhood friend of Simon , bright grey eyes , a lithe frame , honey brown skin , curly long brown hair done in plaits , wore a yellow dress with peach polka dots and a pocket on each side. Lizzie was building a sandcastle with her tiny hands and suddenly felt a moving lump on the side of her left pocket.

Lizzie put her hand in her left pocket to see what was moving.

Simon chuckled as Lizzie pulled out her hand very quickly and screamed .

Mary a close friend of Cecil who looked after Simon , was a tall fair skinned lady, bright brown eyes, rotund build wearing a sky-blue dress barged out of the house .

Lizzie, what is it ?

Someone put a frog in my pocket .

'Simon’ was it you ?'

No , I didn't do it .

'Then , who did it ?'

‘Simon , are you the cat who swallowed the canary?’

‘Seriously , I am not the one , Simon responded with a cheeky smirk’ .

Mary wasn't buying what Simon was saying to her.

I don't know. Simon responded ,looking blank.

'A frog can’t just find its way into Lizzie's pocket just like that'.

'Simon, tell me the truth, otherwise forget about dinner tonight.'

Okay , I was only playing a prank on Lizzie.

'Simon, how can you be lying ?'

'Did you think I was born yesterday?' Mary responded as her eye's bored into Simon’s.

'Say sorry to Lizzie and behave yourself.'

13.

=========================================================================

#Characters Unfolding - 05.12.2021

Knock , Knock

Mary asked , 'Who is it ?'

I am Mr Sawyer .

Can I come in?

Sure , come in , Mr Sawyer .

Mr Sawyer asked that Simon be excused.

Mary served Mr Sawyer some apple juice and both of them sat on the brown settee as they enjoyed small talk .

Mary , I have something to tell you .

Mr Sawyer , I'm listening .

What is it?

Mr Sawyer looked grey and his countenance ran cold for a moment.

Tell me what happened , Mary jerked Mr Sawyer by the palm of his hands.

Its Cecil and Sheldon , Mr Sawyer lowered the tone of his voice and looked sombre as his eyes met with Mary's.

Please don't tell me Cecil and Sheldon are gone , Mary asked Mr Sawyer with a look of desperation.

14.

 

#Character unfolding - 05.12.2021

Unfortunately , I dread to say .

Cecil and Sheldon died today .

Oh my God !

Mary started sobbing uncontrollably and was in a flood of tears . Mary screamed and hugged Mr Sawyer tightly.

Mr Sawyer how did Cecil and Sheldon die ?

Gunshots wounded sustained from heavy fighting with forces loyal to Samuel Doe.

Simon , walked in and saw Mary crying as she sat beside Mr Sawyer.

Where’s mummy and Daddy ? Simon asked with curiosity written on his face.

'Mummy and Daddy have gone to heaven.' Mary responded .

Aunty Mary , What do you mean my mum and dad have gone to heaven ?

Mummy and Daddy died because they were killed by bad people during the war.

Mr Sawyer cried and held Simon close and for a long moment .

Both Simon , Sawyer and Mary held tightly to each other as they cried and prayed afterwards.

Simon , I want you to know that your mum and dad loved you to bits and really hoped to be alive for your sake but sadly they are gone. ‘Simon’ you have a letter from mum and dad .

Mr Sawyer partnered with friends and family and organized a befitting funeral for Cecil and Sheldon who had earlier requested that their remains be cremated, and their ashes were to be buried near their home. Guests were entertained very briefly despite the war and Simon relocated to live with Mr Sawyer .

40 days after Cecil's and Sheldon's death , Mr Sawyer liaised with some ECOMOG Generals who put Simon on a military aircraft heading for Lagos , Nigeria. Simon was later placed another plane to London after securing a visa and plane ticket .

Mr Sawyer partnered with friends and family and organized a befitting funeral for Cecil and Sheldon who had earlier requested that their remains be cremated, and their ashes were to be buried near their home. Guests were entertained very briefly despite the war and Simon relocated to live with Mr Sawyer .

40 days after Cecil's and Sheldon's death , Mr Sawyer liaised with some ECOMOG Generals who put Simon on a military aircraft heading for Lagos , Nigeria. Simon was later placed another plane to London after securing a visa and plane ticket .

15.

 

#Character #Journey - 06*03*2022

Calm Sunny spells littered a distinct skyline , a canvass of light blue smattered with flaky clusters of white , the air smelt of freshly trimmed grass and wildflowers , Roundhay park was basking in the glories of spring transitioning to summer . Butterflies were having a good time as they feasted on the pollens of florals of peach and purple.

Fred of dark brown curly hair , bright hazel eyes , milk chocolate skin , moderate build , and 10 years of age , wearing a navy-blue denim short and sky-blue t-shirt with matching blue canvas shoes , beamed as he caught a brown creature of a prickly presence . Fred smirked and the look of mischief coloured his countenance as he cheekily slipped the creature in Solomon’s bag.

Solomon , 10 years of age , bright grey eyes , chocolate fluffy curly hair , smooth caramel skin , and a slim athletic frame , wore a black pair of jeans shorts , and a yellow t-shirt got to where his bag was kept after arriving from the toilet. Solomon rummaged through his bag looking for the bird feed he saved for the Swans paddling along waterloo lake .

Ouch! Solomon yelled as he threw out the hedgehog .

Fred turned away from looking at Solomon and tried to suppress a chuckle but failed . A wicked bout of laughter got the better of Fred .

“Fred!”

“You’re an Idiot”

It’s not me , I swear!

“Liar”

“Then who”

16.

 

#Character #Journey 06*03*2022

#Solomon , I guess you found it funny when you slipped a frog in my bag the other day .

“Fred , “I’m gonna to get my own back. Trust me!”.

Really , maybe we can bet on who wins and who dishes out the most revenge .

“Fred , you must be having a laugh”.

“Seriously , Solomon , I take no prisoners”.

Solomon! Wait! , I can hear a strange noise ,

“Fred , I think the noise is right across the park . “

Solomon , I can see a brown basket wrapped across the handle with a pink cloth. Let’s go and check it out.

#Fred, the noise sounds like a puppy whining .

“Solomon , we can’t know unless we find out , guess work doesn’t make sense”.

A tiny vivacious presence of distinct blue eyes and creamy pink skin appeared , a tiny face moistened with tear drops .The infant appeared steady and was lying down and toggling tiny fingers and wearing a yellow one-see .

Fred ,it’s a baby not a puppy , silly.

“What are we going to do ?”

Seriously , Solomon , I don’t know .

“We can’t leave the poor thing on its own . “

“Fred , we must help this poor thing”.

Like what

17

 

Character Journey - 06*03*2022

“Scream help”

There’s nobody around to hear us.

“Solomon , do you have your mobile on you?”

Sure.

“ Let’s call an ambulance at once”.

You reckon it won’t take long .

“Hopefully , they’ll arrive in 5 to 15 minutes at most.”

Solomon , what if someone left the baby and they come looking for it.

What are we going to tell the owner ?

“Fred , we can’t take chances , besides if someone shows up , then we’re off the hook.”

Solomon , it looks like there’s something that resembles a pipe attached to the baby . It looks as if the baby was born recently.

An ambulance of yellow and green checkers was blaring from a distance and parked close to where the baby was stationed.

A tall man with a lanky build ,creamy smooth skin wearing a leaf green combat paramedic uniform alighted from the vehicle and looked serious with bright green eyes , Ian had a mane of salt pepper hair and spoke to Fred and Solomon in a distinct southern Irish drawl .

18.

 

#Character #Journey – 06 .03 .2022

Hello , I’m Ian , Lets see what we’ve got here.

Wow , it’s a baby .

Ian did his vital checks on the baby and nodded approval after he finished. Ian put the baby in the ambulance and drove to the Hospital after he said goodbye to Fred and Solomon.

At the hospital, the newly found baby was well looked after by the nurses . She was an easy baby to look after. A call was made to find out who the mother of the baby was . The Police made an appeal for the mother of the baby to come forward ,unfortunately nobody came forward . A news clip from the news at 10pm made an appeal asking for the mother of the baby to come forward, despite all efforts to reach the baby’s mother , nobody showed up . The nurses enjoyed looking after the baby and after 6 months nobody came forth to collect the baby. Names were placed in a hat to establish what name the baby would be called . Finally , the name “Samantha” was picked from the hat , and from that day onwards the baby was called “Samantha”.

19.

 


#Character #Journey - 20 - 06 - 2022

A forest of trees whistled from the cemetery a few blocks away from St James Hospital as westerly winds blew reaching the front. Within minutes clusters of white clouds turned grey and the heavens opened as rain drops in their thousands smacked the pavements ferociously followed by bolts of lightning and fiery thunder.

“How is our baby doing today?”

Dr Regina , inquired as she looked into the eyes of ‘Precious’ , one of the Paediatric Nurses.

Which baby are you referring to ? we have so many children here in the Paediatric ward .

“I mean the baby some boy’s found at Roundhay park some months ago.”

You mean , ‘Baby Samantha’.

“ Sure”

“How is she doing ?”

I believe she is doing okay , I just checked on her 6 hrs ago.

“Well in that case , 6hrs is quite a while , let’s go and see how “Baby Samantha” is doing right now.”

20.


 

#Character #Journey - 20 - 06 - 2022

Wait a minute , Precious .

I can hear some teeth gnashing .

Precious stopped in her tracks to listen to what Dr Regina was hearing.

“Oh, my word ! “

‘Baby Samantha’ is running a temperature and she is rolling her eyes.

I’ve never seen “Baby Samantha look this poorly” let alone behave like this.

Regina , Lets change Samantha’s pink and orange onesies for a lighter dress.

“Precious we need to act fast , please get me a teaspoon.”

Why don’t we give her a cool shower ?

No ! Baby Samantha is getting worse by the second !

Dr Regina , take it easy .

Sorry! I can’t !

by the way , “Samantha has started convulsing.

21.


 



#Character #Unravelling - 20 - 06 - 2022

“Please find me a teaspoon fast ! , Dr Regina blurted with a look of exasperation,”

Okay! , sure ! let me check the cupboard .

Great ! I found a teaspoon !

Oh, my goodness!! , place the spoon between “Samantha’s teeth fast !

Dr Regina managed to calm down after the drama and appeared sturdy in her petite frame as she reached for her handbag . Dr Regina took out a small sized dessert brown face towel and wiped beads of sweat dripping from her smooth skin of milk chocolate. Dr Regina also wiped a few tears drops from her sharp hazel eyes and pushed back her long curly hair as she navigated her way through the corridors of the Paediatric ward in her light blue scrubs , V-neck top , blue trousers, and shocking blue canvass shoes. Regina updated her case notes and shared a spirited conversation with Nurse Precious , an Irish woman with shiny grey eyes , a mane of red hair and a medium figure . Regina was Sudanese and was born in Leeds after her parents fled the regime of General Omar El-Bashir sometime in the late 80’s .

Dr Regina and Nurse Precious cried as “Baby Samantha’s condition stabilized . After 3 frantic hours of intense fighting for Baby Samantha’s soul , a trail of snoring followed as “Baby Samantha” laid down and slept soundly,

22.

 


 

05 * 03 *2023

Character development

Sherry and Cage were totally unable to have children of their own despite several unsuccessful attempts to succeed via IVF . Mr Cage, a military officer and was happily married to Sherry for 20 years until he died after a road side bomb destroyed his convoy whilst serving in Basra , Iraq during course of the gulf war.

Sherry had soldered on and embraced the badge of widowhood for the past ten years .Sherry simply decided remarrying was not for her despite several blind dates set up for her by close friends . Sherry still acted as though she was very still married to Mr Cage till date . Sherry has over the years channelled her energy and passion to looking after terminally ill patients who suffered from various types of cancer until she retired after 40 years of service . Sherry partnered with her husband long before he died and fought tooth and nail to earn adoption rights for Samantha who was found by two boys abandoned in the field a few days after her birth .

23.

 

05 * 03 *2023

Character development

Simon , 6ft tall , athletic , tightly curled dark hair , smiled through hazel brown eyes wearing a white shirt , brown cardigan , navy blue trousers , let out a cheeky grin as he played a prank on Samantha , tall , sandy brown hair , ice blue eyes wearing a black cardigan , long sleeve white shirt . Samantha chuckled as she poked Simon with a tickle and Simon twitched slightly.

Sherry , Auburn hair , olive skin , green eyes , wearing a creamy and orange dress and matching shoes , parked her blue ford focus and called Samantha to a corner the moment she saw her with Simon having small talk at the entrance to her house.

Hi Mum , how is your day going?

‘Okay’ , Sherry replied curtly.

Mum , is something wrong?

“Everything is fine .”

‘Mum’ , you look upset ,

Why?

What’s up?

“Sam , how many times will I tell you?

about what ,

“Simon” .

“Yes ,it’s about Simon.”

‘Mum’ , what’s wrong with Simon , he’s my classmate and we are the same age?

“I’ve told you I don’t want to see you with Simon anymore, you won’t listen”.

“Why?” Samantha shot back and looked ‘daggers’ at ‘Sherry’.

24.

 

05 * 03 *2023

Character development

Mum , I borrowed ‘Simon’ some instruments for a knitting project and he’s come to return the instruments he borrowed from me.

“I just don’t feel you should be seeing Simon regardless.”

Mum , if Simon was white would you approve.

“Samantha , I want what’s best for you.”

Mum , ‘Simons’ my friend and classmate I am in love with ‘him’ , don’t you understand.

“Sam , I don’t get it. You are only 16.”

Mum , tell me you don’t approve of ‘Simon’ because he is ‘black’.

‘Simon’ greeted ‘Sherry’ who responded coolly.

‘Sam’ , I will see you in class tomorrow ,thanks a lot. ‘Simon’ confirmed to ‘Samantha’.

Samantha stormed off after her exchange with Sherry and slammed her bedroom door so loudly that the walls shook once she jumped into her bed. Samantha sent Simon a text and switched off her phone. Samantha cried briefly and slowly calmed down after taking a few deep breaths , ‘Samantha' dosed off after which she woke up later to do her homework from school .

25.

 

05 * 03 *2023

Character development

Sam , “I have not been feeling well for some time , my dear and eating normally has been difficult , maybe food does not like me”.

Mum , maybe you should go to the doctors and do some checks.

“Don’t say that” , Sherry muttered .

“I’m fine.”

Mum , you look poorly.

Oh! by the way , you think nurses don’t get sick .

They sure do .

“Sam , I’ll be okay .”

‘Mum’ , you have been saying “I’ll be okay” for the past three months.

‘Sam’ ! give me a break ! , you’re annoying me.

‘Mum’! calm down ! you don’t have to shout , I’m not deaf , I can hear you?

“’Sam’ ! behave!”

Sherry booked an appointment to see her GP and waited for 2 months before she was able to do further medical tests . Two weeks after the tests Sherry had a follow up appointment with her GP who gave nothing away as he gave her an update on the medical tests results.

26.

 

05 * 03 *2023

Character development

Sherry booked a taxi home and bumped into Samantha who sat on the kitchen table doing some knitting. Samantha welcomed Sherry with a hug and enjoyed small talk with Sherry as they caught up on the day’s diary of their individual lives as per gossip and random chats . Later on , Samantha and Sherry wolfed down homemade cottage pie followed by white chocolate cheesecake for dessert . Samantha cuddled up to Sherry on the sofa as they watched Emmerdale . Shortly after the soap opera , Sherry looked in Samantha’s eyes for a moment and their eyes met with a seriousness second to none.

“Samantha , I have something to tell you “.

Mum , what’s up, talk to me ?

“Sam , the results of the medical test are out”.

And

how did it go?

Sherry said nothing for a moment and gave “Samantha” a blank stare .

for a moment Samantha bored into Sherry’s eyes with looks that could kill .

‘Mum’ , why are you so quiet ?

Tell me something I don’t know.

“Sam , I have been diagnosed with breast cancer”.

27.

 

05 * 03 *2023

Character development

What?

I didn’t hear you .

Tell me it’s not true.

“’Sam’ , it’s the truth , I will fight . I won’t give up .”

Samantha looked sheet white and almost collapsed as she hugged Sherry tightly and fought back tears .

Sherry choked back on a few sobs as she managed to maintain her composure whilst she hugged Samantha.

“Samantha , Like I said , bravery is the name of the game , at least for your sake , remember Father Cage is looking down on us from heaven. Cage would surely be looking out for you and me , I have not lost the will to live neither have I given up the quest to conquer , yes , ‘cancer’ is deadly. However , I will face my battles knowing that seeing you every day gives me the hope of possible victory.

Sherry went for surgery the following month and had a follow up treatment which happened to be a rigorous regime of intense chemotherapy followed by radiotherapy. Sherry lost her hair and looked pretty much weak and sickly throughout the period of er radical treatment. A few months after Sherry had her mastectomy, Sherry opted for reconstructive surgery and was given a new left breast after fat from other parts of her body were grafted to create a natural piece of breast tissue.

28.

 

05 * 03 *2023

Character development

Sherry beamed and looked lively and in high spirits as she regained her creamy olive skin colour and hair growth. three months later . Sherry was given the “all clear” after she did a fresh mammogram 10 months after she finished her course of chemotherapy and radiotherapy.

Two years after Sherry celebrated having “remission from cancer” , Sherry complained of stomach pains and chest pains , None of the pain killers prescribed by her local Pharmacy relieved the pain.

The following week , results from a scan showed that Sherry’s ‘cancer’ came back with a vengeance , unfortunately her ‘cancer’ had “metastasized” very rapidly reaching Sherry’s liver and pancreas , Sherry was given 3 months to live .

Samantha , 18 , tall , sandy brown hair , wrapped in a bun tried to see through her moist eye lids as streams of tear drops trickled down her soft creamy cheeks.

Samantha was wearing a yellow pair of denim dungarees with a matching orange top as she walked gracefully to the reception of St Gemma’s Hospice holding a shopping bag. Samantha brought a few treats Sherry had requested from “Hotel du chocolate” , namely passion fruit and white chocolate slices , cherry and dark chocolate liqueur , milk chocolate bars .Samantha greeted Hospice staff and nurse “Jayne” , a petite lady with golden brown hair wearing a purple uniform .

29.

 

05 * 03 *2023

Character development

Jayne looked after Sherry round the clock and popped in to check on Sherry from time to time.

Sherry had been wriggling in pain as her stomach appeared swollen and “Sherry’s body was grappling with the aggressive progression of ‘cancer’, her body fighting for relieve , despite her anguish fuelled by pain , Sherry managed to stay courageous as Samantha held her hand whilst nurse ‘Jayne’ administered a dose of “morphine” injection . Sherry appeared sleepy as pangs of pain gradually subsided . Samantha gave Sherry a cuddle and served Sherry some of the chocolates which ‘Sherry’ enjoyed with relish . As pale blue skies turned to sodium skies , both Samantha and Sherry gazed into the stars as nightfall emerged. Samantha and Sherry shared cheeky jokes and laughed through bouts of humour as she looked in Samantha’s eyes adoringly.

30.

 

08 * 04 *2023

Character development

Easterly winds trailed boisterously as the Beige and olive “Hercules” touched down at the domestic wing of the Murtala Mohammed Airport, Ikeja, Lagos. “Flying-Eagle” as the plane was fondly called landed with a loud thud and what followed touch down of “Flying Eagle” were gusts of wind whistling as the massive “king of the skies” raced through the tarmac to its final stop . “Flying-Eagle”, a massive machine dwarfing its “aviator” counterparts was a relentless workhorse serving military missions. “Flying Eagle” had seen its fair share of global action for years and years. Now, “Flying Eagle” was on a mercy mission carrying a load of supplies for “ECOMOG” serving peacekeeping operations in Liberia. “Flying eagle” had picked some supplies from “Ghana” and was picking additional supplies in “Lagos” , a much needed “God send” for the people of Liberia who were hoping in earnest for succour amid the carnage of “civil war” . “Flying Eagle” was a symbol of hope for the people of Liberia and was a reminder that even in the darkest of times, there was always a reason to be hopeful.

The humidity in the air was thick and oppressive, and Simon could feel beads of sweat paint his creamy chocolate skin as he used a face towel to wipe sweat dripping down the sides of his face. Simon walked briskly as he carried his navy blue travelling bag through the arrival lounge . Simon walked up a few blocks and arrived at the air-force barracks a few miles from the airport and was tired from the long flight . Simon looked like someone who had been walking for miles as fatigue caught up with him , all ‘Simon’ wanted to do was take a shower and go to bed.

31.

 

08 * 04 *2023

Character development

As ‘Simon’ walked, he noticed a young man standing along the pedestrian pavement . ‘Swagger’ , an air-force rifleman , tall and skinny, hazel brown eyes, olive-brown skin, and curly hair, wearing khaki-brown shorts and a yellow t-shirt, brown socks , brown canvas shoes. Simon got closer, and saw that ‘Swagger’ was letting out puffs of silvery white smoke whilst he held a brown and white stub , the size of a finger . Simon stopped in his tracks looking startled and bored into ‘Swaggers’ eyes giving ‘Swagger’ a fiery stare .

Simon held his gaze at the man and pointed out the “No smoking” sign on the wall to ‘Swagger’.

"Akata"

“Who the hell are you ?”

I am Simon .

“How dare you talk to me like that?”

Oh! Dear! , I was just pointing out the ‘sign’ on the wall.

“I am smoking a cigarette , and so what?”

But the sign on the wall says, “No Smoking”.

“I don’t give a f#*?”.

I thought you would at least smoke somewhere else.

“Are going to report me?”

‘Swagger’ , I just thought you would be reasonable.

“Reasonable my foot”.

‘Swagger’ , you don’t have to lose your temper.

“Of course, I will flip”.

By the way , what does “Akata” mean?" Simon asked “Swagger” with interest.

"It means 'black American'."

‘Swagger’ , Why are you calling me “Akata”?

“Because it is a term used for black American ‘Assh?%#*s’ like you.”

‘Swagger’ , how rude of you .

“Simon, you are an “Assh?*#* because you never mind your ‘f#*&?%+$’ business”.

‘Swagger’ , how would you feel if a stranger called your children names?

Simon took a deep breath and Swagger blurted the words , "I'm sorry," I didn't mean to hurt your feelings .

Simon turned and walked away, feeling shaken. He had never expected to be called a derogatory name in Nigeria.

32

 

08 * 04 *2023

Character development

Simon took staggered strides and let out a yawn as he arrived a block of red brick flats furnished in brown and grey interiors , ‘Simon’ buzzed the intercom and found a petite lady sitting on a mahogany furnished desk with the inscription in black laminated letters captioned “receptionist” ‘Sandra’ a smallish lady with bright brown eyes wearing a yellow dress smiled sheepishly and enjoyed small talk with 'Simon' and took “Simons” details made a copy of his Liberian passport . Simon pressed the lift button and arrived three floors up ,making his way to “room 202” , a brown wooden door having a laminated inscription , “202” in grey .

Simon set his black suitcase and let himself in the bathroom where he turned on the shower and heaved a sigh of relief as jets of warm water oozed from the metallic shower head , ‘Simon’ rubbed soapy massages and gradually lathered soap washing through his sticky creamy chocolate body , lean and toned. Simon tried to calm down but was pretty much unnerved by the minor confrontation he had with ‘Swagger’ who called him “Akata”.

Simon struggled to relax properly and could hardly dose off . Simon kept thinking about what could have happened if he ended up having an altercation with Mr Swagger.

Simon began to wonder whether every other Nigerian was unfriendly and felt he would probably have to be careful in Nigeria. He didn't want to get into any more trouble.

The next morning, Simon woke up early and went for a run. He wanted to clear his head and figure out what he was going to do.

As he ran, he thought about what the young man had said. He knew that Mr Swagger was right. He was Americo - Liberian. And he was in a country where not everybody people were nice to ‘Liberians’ even though most Nigerian he met were kind and friendly.

Simon decided that he was going to have to be careful. He was going to have to watch what he said and did. He was also going to have to be prepared for anything.

But he also decided that he wasn't going to let the situation get to him. He wasn't going to let anyone make him feel ashamed of who he was. He was going to be proud of his heritage. He was going to be proud of being a Liberian. And he was going to prove to everyone that he was just as good as anyone else.

33.


 

08 * 04 *2023

Character development

Simon was standing in line at the post office, wearing a turquoise denim shirt and jeans. He was waiting to buy stamps to send a parcel to his uncle in Ghana. Suddenly, a man, salt and pepper hair , moderate build , grey eyes , chocolate skin wearing blue jeans came in through the entrance and jumped the queue. Simon was furious. He glared at the man and calmly asked him to join the queue. The man refused to listen and called Simon an "idiot."

Simon was taken aback by the man's rudeness. He didn't know what to do. He thought about confronting the man, but he didn't want to make a scene. He also thought about just letting it go, but he didn't want the man to think he could get away with it.

In the end, Simon decided to confront the man. He stepped in front of him and said, "I'm sorry, but you can't just jump the queue. You need to wait for your turn."

Coker looked at Simon with a sneer and said, "Who are you going to do about it, 'tough guy'?"

Another man from the queue responded to man who jumped the queue in “Pidgin English”.

“Ogah! Sir!” which one you dey!”

“We nobi mumu nah !”

“Ogah! ,Nah turn by turn we dey do for line”.

Simon took a deep breath and said, "I'm going to ask you to join the queue. , or I'm going to call the police."

“Young man , calm down , the other man on the queue tried to intervene.

Coker laughed and said, "Go ahead and call the police. They're not going to do anything to me."

Simon took out his phone and started to dial 911. Coker saw what he was doing and said, "Fine, I'll join the queue. But you're still an idiot."

Coker got in line behind Simon and the two of them waited in silence. After a few minutes, Simon turned to the man and said, "I'm sorry if I was rude to you earlier. I was just frustrated."

Coker looked at Simon and said, "It's okay. I was just in a hurry."

The two of them shook hands and then Simon went to the counter to buy his stamps.

34.

 

08 * 04 *2023

Character development

Simon was walking down the road after he finished from the post office and suddenly, the sound of #crying caught his attention. He stopped short in his tracks and could not ignore cries that sounded like a child in distress. 'Lo and behold' , Simon saw a boy , lying under a tree . Simon tried to talk to the boy, but the boy could hardly speak. The child was literally bleeding profusely from his left thigh while he clutched to his leather brown school bag. The injury looked like a stab wound. It was 2pm in the afternoon and there were bright sunny spells as the smell of ocean water and aquatic life perfumed the air.

Simon knew that he had to act quickly to stop the bleeding and help the boy. He found a clean cloth and applied pressure to the wound. Simon found a nurse wearing her sky-blue nursing uniform , ‘Charity , a fair skinned lady who spoke with a distinct Ibo accent , seemed to be having her lunch a couple of 200 meters from the scene , Simon ran up to her and beaconed her attention , ‘Charity’ responded very quickly calling the hospital she worked and told the resident doctor on duty what had happened. A yellow and green ambulance arrived a few minutes later and the paramedics took over. They bandaged the boy's wound and took him to the hospital.

The boy was lucky to be alive. He had lost a lot of blood, but he was going to be okay. Simon was relieved that the boy was going to be okay and that he had been able to help. He knew that he had done the right thing by stopping to help the boy.

The next day, Simon went to the hospital to visit the boy. The boy was awake, and he was able to talk to Simon. He told Simon that he had been walking home from school when he was attacked. He said that he didn't know who attacked him or why. The boy was still shaken up from the attack, but he was grateful to Simon for helping him.

Simon was glad that he had been able to help the boy. He knew that he had done the right thing by stopping to help. He also knew that he would never forget the boy's cries for help.

35.

 

08 * 04 *2023

Character development

Simon wearing Cherokee brown denim with suede brown shoes , stood at the departure desk of the Murtala Mohammed International Airport, Ikeja, Lagos. He had secured a visa to go to the United Kingdom to start a new life. He had spent nine months in Lagos, Nigeria, and had experienced the "mountain-tops" and "valleys" of Africa's most popular city. He had relished the savoury specials of jollof rice, pounded yam, and Suya, and had had a taste of Ikeja and Victoria Islands nightlife. He had experienced the painstaking patience of bumper-to-bumper traffic. He had dealt with the good, the bad, and the ugly amongst the people, including the energy and vibrance of a city that was one of a kind. Simon probably would not forget the good times and the not-so-good times in a hurry.

Simon finished checking his bags at the Virgin Atlantic check-in desk and breezed through security checks. He was on his way to boarding his flight to London Heathrow Airport.

As he walked to the gate, Simon thought about all the things he would miss about Lagos. He would miss the food, the music, the people, and the energy of the city. But he knew that it was time for him to move on to the next chapter in his life.

Simon boarded the plane and took his seat. He looked out the window as the plane taxied down the runway. He took a deep breath and smiled. He was ready for his new adventure.

36.

 

#21 * #10 *#2023

Samantha sighed as she left the hospice. It was always hard to say goodbye to her mother, Sherry. She knew that Sherry was getting worse, and it was only a matter of time before she passed away. But Samantha still couldn't help but feel sad and scared.

Sherry had been Samantha's whole world growing up. Sherry was a reliable and constant source of support and comfort for Samantha, regardless of the circumstances or challenges that Samantha may have faced. Sherry played a significant and central role in Samantha’s life during her formative years and despite their disagreements , Sherry and Samantha shared a very special emotional bond whose aura was second to none. Sherry was the one who had always been there for Samantha, no matter what. And now, Samantha was losing her.

With eyes glazed with tear drops holding still , a look of tenderness and intimacy passed between Samantha and Sherry ,and the words spilled out of Samantha’s mouth.

"I love you, Mama," she whispered. "I'll never forget you."

Samantha's steps were gentle as she entered the embrace of nightfall, the sodium lamps casting a warm, almost nostalgic glow on the world around her. The city's sounds began to mellow, and the streets took on an otherworldly charm.

She tilted her head back, her gaze drawn to the heavens. Above, the canvas of the sky was painted in rich shades of dark purple, like a velvety tapestry unfurled across the celestial dome. Samantha couldn't help but pause and savour the moment. The night was alive with twinkling stars, each one a brilliant diamond stud in the velvety expanse. The world below seemed to fade into the background as she lost herself in the quiet, shimmering beauty of the night sky.

Samantha took casual strides in her navy-blue coat, dark blue 501 jeans, dessert brown denim shirt, and a black backpack. She was wearing comfortable clothes that she could move around in easily. She didn't want to be weighed down by anything, as she was going for a walk in the park to clear her head.

37

 

#21 * #10 *#2023

As Samantha walked through the park, the crunch of fallen leaves beneath her feet provided a soothing rhythm. The park was mostly empty, with only a few scattered joggers and dog walkers, giving Samantha the solitude, she needed to reflect on her emotions.

The night air was chilly, but the gentle rustle of the wind through the trees and the distant hoot of an owl created a sense of tranquility. Samantha found a bench overlooking a small pond, its surface reflecting the pale moonlight. She sat down, feeling a mix of sadness and nostalgia wash over her.

Memories of her childhood with her mother flashed before her eyes. She remembered the warm summer days spent picnicking in this very park, Sherry's laughter filling the air as they played catch or fed the ducks. Tears welled up in Samantha's eyes as she thought about all the happy moments they had shared.

But now, those memories were tinged with the knowledge that her mother's time was running out. Samantha felt a deep ache in her chest, the weight of impending loss bearing down on her. She knew she had to be strong, not just for herself but for her mother too.

Samantha took out her phone and scrolled through her photos, finding a picture of her and Sherry huddled together during a winter holiday. She smiled through her tears, grateful for the precious moments they had shared and the love that had always been a constant in her life.

As Samantha sat there, gazing at the photo, she felt a sense of peace wash over her. She knew that even though her mother would soon be gone, the love they shared would always be a part of her. It was a love that would carry her through the difficult days ahead and help her find the strength to say her final goodbye when the time came.

38.

 

#21 * #10 *#2023

Samantha gasped as a spooky hand appeared from nowhere and grabbed her at the scruff of her collar.

Samantha's heart pounded as she gasped in terror. The unexpected appearance of the spooky hand sent shivers down her spine. She could feel its cold, bony fingers closing around the scruff of her collar, making it hard for her to breathe. Panic welled up inside her as she tried to pull away,

The sight of the spectral hand sent chills down Samantha's spine, but she knew she had to act quickly.

She tried to pull away, but the handheld Samantha tightly and . dragged her into the alleyway.

"What are you?" Samantha asked, her voice trembling.

The “stranger” didn't answer. He just stared at “Samantha” with mean , eyes.

Samantha dropped her knap sac noticed that her palms were moist with sweat but managed to hold a strong gaze at the unwelcome presence . Samantha’s heart was beating fast whilst her mind was moving in different directions trying to anticipate her next move .

Suddenly, the stranger , a tall man , moderate build , long mane of sandy brown hair , ice blue eyes and creamy skin wearing a black hoodie and tattered black jeans “smiled” through cruel eyes . It was a cruel smile, full of malice.

"You're no match for me," the man said. "I'm going to enjoy this.

39.


 

#21 * #10 *#2023

The stranger's chilling words hung in the air as his malevolent smile remained fixed in place. The atmosphere grew tense as the encounter unfolded, leaving an unsettling feeling in its wake.

Samantha pulled the man close and pretended to kiss him, but as she did, she deftly slid her left elbow and struck the attacker with such force that the tall man wearing the black hoodie and tattered black jeans was propelled into the wall. The impact was so powerful that he began to bleed from a fresh bruise sustained as his face scraped past the rough surface of the wall.

The man tried to grab Samantha by the wrist, but she bit deep into his wrist, drawing blood. The man yelped in pain and uttered a few expletives.

“Who the hell are you ?”

Salamander

“Sorry , you’ve come to the wrong place”.

You, of all people .

Samantha was in the heat of the moment, her adrenaline pumping as she faced her attacker. With steely determination, she clenched her fists, ready to defend herself. Her eyes blazed with a fierce resolve as she squared up to her adversary, moving gracefully with a smooth trail of footwork.

The man, his eyes locked onto Samantha, lunged forward with hostile intent. But Samantha was quick and precise. In a knee-jerk reaction, she delivered a powerful blow to the man's groin, causing him to grimace in intense pain. He couldn't help but utter a string of expletives as he doubled over in agony.

Despite the pain, the attacker attempted to regain his composure and swung a few punches at Samantha. However, she moved with remarkable precision, dodging his blows with ease. She deftly shifted left, then right, and back to the centre, effectively avoiding his attacks while maintaining her poised and determined stance.

40.

 

#21 * #10 *#2023

As jabs were exchanged , Sam poked her attacker with her fingers going to his eyes and gave the stranger a lower jab around his stomach. Within minutes, Samantha held the man in a very strong head lock between her thighs and dialled 999 with her left hand until the police came.

Samantha was shaken but unharmed. She thanked the police for their help and then ordered a taxi home to her apartment. She was grateful that she had been able to defend herself, but she was also shaken by the experience. She knew that she would never forget what had happened that night.

The next day, Samantha went to the police station to give a statement. She told the police everything that had happened, and they assured her that they would do everything to make sure the attacker faces the long arm of the law. Samantha was relieved to hear that the police were taking her case seriously.

A few weeks later, the police called Samantha to let her know what progress had been made as regards the attacker. The “police” said that her “attacker” had an extensive criminal record, and that he was now more likely to go to jail. Samantha was relieved to hear that the “attacker” would be held accountable for his actions . and she was appreciative to the police for their hard work.

Over time, Samantha's sense of security began to return, though she remained vigilant whenever she walked alone at night. She knew she had the strength and knowledge to defend herself if necessary, and she hoped she would never have to use those skills again.

The experience had been a #traumatic one, but Samantha had emerged from it stronger and more resilient. She was determined to live her life to the fullest and cherish the moments she had with her loved ones, especially her mother, whose love and support had helped shape her into the courageous person she had become.

41.


 

#03*#01 *#2024

Sykes towered  at  6” 4’   athletic build  , chiselled face rugged looks , sharp  brown eyes  , gave a wry smile  as  mild sunny spells shun through faded #skies .The air was fresh was gentle  and carried the fragrance  of #wildflowers . Sykes was munching his southern fried  chicken sandwich  whilst passing time on a park bench ,   an unwanted guest ,  a  lady  bird  caused Mr Sykes” to hiss  as he ticked off the annoying insect who seemed to bask   on  the smoothness of Sykes  velvety  shiny skin . Sykes  let off a loud yawn and stretched his long arms and legs like a cat as a brief episode of boredom  got the better of him . Sykes  took a stroll and found the  sound of an ice-cream van pretty much inviting , his inability to resist the temptation of indulging himself  caught his rapt attention and as a result he found himself joining the   long queue for “ice-cream”  but just as the queue was reducing in length , “Sykes”  felt his groin  ache slightly  and decided to answer the call of “#nature”. Sykes   assumed he would normally fall back in line  once  he finished his  visit to the “Gents”.

Who are you? ,

“I’m Simon.”

What is that supposed to mean ?

“Are you blind?”

No , I can see .

“Can’t you see that we are on a queue ?”

You cannot just barge in here and jump the queue , there are  people lining up.

 42.


 

#03*#01 *#2024

 “ And so, what “

The people queuing are not fools.

Are you mad?

“By the way , I was on the queue . I just went to the  toilet  ten minutes ago.”

We have been queuing since 3pm , I was one the first ten  to get here , how come I did not see you  when I first came here?

“What’s wrong with you ?”

I came through the  rear entrance of the park  and sat in one of the cubicles on the left-hand side. I presume you got here through the east gate.

Simon, after a heated exchange, found himself shouting at the  top of his voice  and eventually threw a punch, hitting the wall.

Simon woke up in his grey pyjamas, sweating profusely.

“Simon”  looked startled at the sudden  realization that  he  was having a  dream     so much so that  he was in a state of disbelief and  began to  question whether he was reliving an experience or simply having a vivid nightmare.

The vividness of  “Simon’s” dream   left him momentarily disoriented, grappling with the boundary between the dream world and reality.

43.


 

#03*#01 *#2024

Charles  , have you creamed the sugar and butter ?

“Yes , silly  , I have .”

How many eggs do we need ?

“I think  two will do.”

Make sure the eggs are   organic free-range.

“Sure ,  do you think I am daft?”

Let us see  your butter and sugar mix .

Charles , thanks but  ….

“But what ….”

You need to cream the fat and sugar for longer  .

“Says who …”

I found a few lumps of sugar in the butter  .

“Simon , What’s your problem?”

Nothing ,

“I just don’t want a disaster”.

Oh, please stop , I find you annoying sometimes.

 

 44.


 

#03*#01 *#2024

“ By the way , I am beating the eggs  to a stiff peak with a whisk .”

Charles , let me know when you have finished creaming the sugar and butter.

“Good , we need  some lemons for zest and juice ,”

Remember to ask  “John”  for the lemon essence ,  and baking tin.

“I will switch on the oven and set it   to 180 degrees  C ”.

Now that the  mix is ready for the oven , lets clean up .

“Simon , I can’t be bothered cleaning up”.

Charles do not be a lazy git .

“Simon , you’re an Idiot”.

“If Charles does not want to clean , I can help , “John” interjected. “

Guys , one more thing , I can hear the oven  bleeping, 30 minutes has just passed  , the  mix  can go in the oven .   

“ Clap ! Clap! Clap ! ,we are halfway ”.

Simon  was smiling with a big grin  as he smelt  the aroma in the kitchen of  freshly  baked  cake   . Simon placed the freshly baked confectionaries   on a  grey ceramic table in a confectionary  room to cool before  the  goods  were moved on to  a trolley and taken  to the foyer of the school . Freshly baked Lemon drizzle #cakes sold at £0.50 per slice , rich fruit cake  sold at a £1.00 per slice  . In total ,  a £1000.00 was realized  for  St Gemma’s Hospice.

The next day, “Simon” personally visited St Gemma's #Hospice to deliver the money raised. “Simon’s” heartfelt presentation of the funds to the Hospice's manager added a deeply emotional touch to the entire initiative.

45.


 

By the time Simon and his friends  finished  delivering the presentation everyone in the room was teary eyed , the donation was   not only a monetary contribution but also a genuine  demonstration of care and compassion from  Simon and his colleagues as regards  the hospice and its mission.

46.

 

Shortly after the presentation ,Simon heard a familiar voice speaking from a distance , for a few seconds  , “Simon” looked startled  .

Oh, my days !

Samantha what are you doing here ?

“None of your #business , Samantha shot back.”

Samantha , I am your friend , no need to get upset , talk to me.

“Okay , I have  some private business .”

Sam , you sound vague , tell me something .

 47.


 

My mother has been ill for some time, and I have  kept this secret for the past year , I dread to the think of my   “mum” passing away,  but I am not God , unfortunately my mother’s cancer has spread all over her body  and I would be lucky if she lasts the next couple of months.

Samantha broke down in tears and Simon put arm around her .

Samantha put her head  in between her laps as her emotional dam burst;   her face  produced   streams of sorrows  as tear drops washed down her cheeks  .  Simon  put his arms. around Samantha.

Sherry looked into “Samantha’s” eyes  and it was obvious that she looked a mess as her make up stained part of “Samantha’s” face   , Sherry was  also was aching and hurting , despite the sadness  Samantha was managing  ,   A look of tenderness passed between Samantha  and  “Sherry” , both of them  began to recite the “The Lord’s prayer” followed by a reading from “ the 23rd Psalm”.

Simon  came into the room where Sherry and Samantha were chatting wearing  blue jeans and yellow shirt  with a  bouquet of  peach and rose flowers . “Sherry” gave Simon a hug and cried .

Son, I was wrong about you . I thought my preconceived notions of you were going to be accurate .

48.


 

“Samantha” , I have something to tell you , hope you will not be annoyed .

Mum , its fine by me go ahead .

We both have the same colour of diary and our hand writings are pretty much similar , Hence I thought your diary was mine , as a result I stumbled into your diary the other day you came because  you  forgot your diary with me  , however I read the whole diary and discovered that “Simon” was a lot better than I thought , I cried when I saw the details of the things “Simon” does for you and how he treats you.

I wish everyone were like “Simon” , the world would be a better #place. I hope you and “Simon” can build something that would last the test of time.

"Sherry" looked very pale and appeared to have  transcended beyond the present, Simon looked  amused  as he held onto "Sherry's" left hand with a grip filled with both love and sorrow. On the other side, Samantha felt the tight embrace of "Sherry's" right hand in hers, a tangible connection.

In the hushed stillness of the room, the weight of the moment pressed upon them. Tears streamed down Simon's face as he struggled to find words, his throat tightening with emotion. "Sherry's" right hand in Samantha's grasp tightened, as if conveying a silent acknowledgment of an unusual bond.

The words spilled out, a mixture of love, loss, and the profound ache of  the unknown tomorrow . Simon, his voice quivering, whispered, "Thank you for being a part of our lives, Sherry. You'll always be in our hearts." Samantha, holding back tears, added, "May your journey beyond be as beautiful as the light you brought into our lives."

  A sombre mood subdued the air  , the room held the echoes of their sentiments, a tribute to a life that had touched theirs in meaningful ways.

The onset of  sodium-lit skies outside seemed to dim further, absorbing the potential “inevitable” as they said their goodbyes  that may be the last to "Sherry”.

49.


 

“So long my daughter , “

“Sherry”  whispered, the weight of the words echoing the depth of their connection.

The words hung in the air, a poignant farewell from Sherry to "Samantha." Her voice, laden with emotion, carried a mixture of affection , sadness, and a profound sense of letting go.

The memory of "Sherry" lingered in their hearts, a cherished presence even as she embarked on a journey beyond their reach.

“So long my son, Sherry mentioned”.

Love forever ,

“Take care of each other”.

Samantha nodded in acknowledgment, her gaze meeting Simon's with a shared understanding of the responsibility that lay ahead. The weight of the moment urged them to support one another.

As they stood together, hands still connected, the sentiment of taking care became a promise  a commitment to navigate the challenges of that lay ahead.

“ Always be open and honest with each other “.

Samantha nodded, absorbing the significance of “Sherry’s” advice. The commitment to openness and honesty became an essential pillar in their journey forward.

50.


 

“Samantha” , take this brown envelope and only open the contents when you get home , hopefully you will understand .

Samantha looked at the brown envelope handed to her by “Sherry”, a mix of curiosity and uncertainty cuddled her eyes. "What's inside?" she asked.

“Sherry” offered a reassuring smile. "It's something for you to read and understand in the comfort of your own space. Trust me, it'll make sense when you open it at home."

Samantha nodded and gave a wry smile , a sense of intrigue  cast a shadow on “Samantha” countenance  and “Sherry” put arm around “Samantha” and kissed her on the cheek .  Samantha’s response was "Alright, I'll wait until I get home to open it. Thank you,   mummy."

Sherry” patted “Samantha’s”  shoulder gently. "Take your time, “Samantha”. It is meant for you, and I believe it will provide some clarity. Remember, if you ever need to talk or if there's anything you don't understand,  call this number ."

With those words, Samantha tucked the brown envelope carefully into her bag, a tangible connection to a mystery waiting to be  revealed to “Samantha” once she returned to the sanctuary of her own space. The room, still holding the echoes of the unknown , became a backdrop to  “ new revelations” , one that would unfold as she opened the contents of the mysterious envelope at home.

51.


 

Samantha and Simon , thank you for coming to see me .

Samantha, standing beside Simon, felt the solemnity of the moment. The room, now filled with a quiet stillness, bore witness to the chance of a  bittersweet farewell on the horizon.

"So long," Samantha added softly, her voice joining Simon's in a harmonious tribute. In that shared moment of farewell, they acknowledged the inevitable cycle of life and the enduring impact "Sherry" had left on their souls. The room, the hands clasped in a farewell grip, and the fading light outside all contributed to the tableau of a goodbye that transcended the immediate and reached into the realms of memory and love.

 

I would have loved to see my grandchildren  but ….

Her words hung in the air;  a sense of unfulfilled longing captured Samantha’s attention.

Samantha and Simon exchanged sympathetic glances, understanding the weight of unspoken communication. Simon gently placed a hand on “Sherry’s” shoulder, offering silent support.

"Life takes unexpected turns, doesn't it? Sometimes, we find solace in the memories we create and the connections we forge along the way."

52.


 

Till we meet in heaven ,Sherry muttered.

“Nurse ! Nurse ! please help !!!!” ,Samantha screamed.

Samantha's scream cut through the air, filled with urgency and distress.

As far as “Sherry” was concerned , there was  a  quiet hope for a reunion beyond the complexities of earthly existence.

Moments later, a  petite lady ,   braided hair, fair complexioned , hazel bright eyes , in blue scrubs  hurriedly approached, and  looked serious , beads of  sweat dripped down  “Arvene’s”  left brow . In a distinct  Jamaican accent Nurse “Arvene” asked , 

"What's wrong?

What happened?"

she asked, moving quickly to Samantha's side.

Samantha, visibly shaken, pointed towards a “Sherry”. "It is my “mother” , we were with her  earlier. Something is not right. I hope you can save my mum, please, we need your  help."

Nurse “Arvene” nodded, her training kicking in. "I'll get assistance right away. Take me to where your mother is ."

Samantha led the nurse to the room where the distressing situation unfolded, the urgency of the moment appeared palpable. Together, they worked swiftly to address “Sherry’s” crisis, their focus on providing the necessary help and support in the face of an unexpected turn of events.

53.


 

The trio, connected by hands and a shared sense of solemnity, felt the weight of the passing moment. The pulse stopped, and the room fell into an eerie stillness as "Sherry's" breathing came to a standstill. The transition to stillness  met with a profound silence, marking the end of a life.

As the  clock struck 7 pm, marking a poignant moment in time. "Sherry" took a large, deep breath, her eyes closed in what seemed like a final surrender. The room held its breath as her skin changed shades from faded pink to sheet white, signalling the inevitable.

A buxom lady , caramel skin , bright  hazel eyes, clad in a purple scrub , placed an oxygen mask over "Sherry's" face, Samantha and Simon stood by, holding her two hands. The atmosphere was tense, and a sense of gravity filled the room as  faded blue skies outside transformed into a sodium hue.

In the next hour, the transition continued. "Sherry" transcended beyond the present, leaving behind the confines of mortal existence. The room, now draped in the muted glow of sodium-lit skies, bore witness to a departure, as "Sherry" embarked on a journey to meet her maker.

Samantha, Simon, and the buxom lady stood in a momentary pause, the weight of  a transcending passage hanging in the air. The room, once filled with life, now held the remnants of a profound departure, and the fading light outside mirrored the sombre mood within.

54.


 

Samantha was walking down the road , and suddenly  the sound of screaming pierced through her ears , within an instant she covered her two ears with the palm of her hands .

Startled by the sudden and piercing screams, Samantha instinctively covered her ears with the palms of her hands. The intensity of the sound made her heart ache, and she looked around, trying to identify the source of the distressing noise. The street, once quiet and uneventful, now seemed fraught with tension.

As Samantha scanned her surroundings, her eyes widened with concern. The source of the screams remained unclear, but it was evident that something alarming was happening nearby. She joined the handful of pedestrians on the street who had also reacted to the disturbing noise, their faces reflecting a mix of fear and confusion.

With her ears still covered, Samantha tried to assess the situation. The screams continued, echoing through the air, making it difficult for her to pinpoint the exact location. She felt a surge of adrenaline, uncertain of whether to stay put or move towards the source of the #commotion.

 

 55.


 

As the seconds ticked by, Samantha noticed others in the vicinity reacting similarly—some frozen in their tracks, others hurrying away from the direction of the screams. The urgency of the situation hung palpably in the air, and Samantha could not shake the feeling that she needed to find out what was happening.

Steely in her resolve, she uncovered her ears, took a deep breath, and began moving cautiously in the direction of the screams, determined to unravel the mystery and, if possible, offer help to whoever might be in distress.

 

The shrill sound of the strange voice stopped “Samantha” in her tracks  and got her feeling absolutely startled. “Samantha” walked   for a   kilometre , direction , north east from her current location and spotted a #woman of porcelain skin , bright green eyes , a  #dishevelled  mane of shiny #red hair   wearing a grey gown , #chocolate brown shoes  sitting on a park bench  with her legs spread apart rubbing her protruding belly  and yelling swear words  while she held the bench with her left  hand and rubbed her belly with her right hand .

56.


 

Samantha" hesitated for a moment, the unexpected scene unfolding before her eyes. The shrill voice had caught her off guard, and now this unusual sight added another layer of confusion. She cautiously approached the woman on the park bench, unsure of how to react.

"Um, excuse me?" "Samantha" ventured, trying to address the distressed woman. The woman's green eyes snapped towards her, revealing a mix of frustration and distress.

"Oh, great! Just what I needed," the woman exclaimed, her voice carrying a hint of irritation. "Can't you see I'm in the middle of something here?"

"Samantha" look surprised but tried to remain calm. "I heard the voice, and I wanted to make sure everything was okay. Is there anything I can do to #help?"

57.

 

 

The woman sighed, seeming to calm down slightly. "Help? Unless you have a magic wand," she said, gesturing to her stomach, "I doubt it. I am just dealing with some unexpected... let us call it 'changes.'"

"Samantha" glanced at the woman's protruding stomach, puzzled. "Changes? What do you mean?"

The woman rolled her eyes. "Long story short, I was having a perfectly normal day, and then suddenly, I find myself here, in this strange place, with this," she gestured again to her stomach,

"Samantha" was intrigued but uncertain about how to assist. "Do you need medical help? Should I call someone?"

The woman chuckled mirthlessly. "I've tried. I fell like nobody understands what I am going through . It's like I don't belong here."

As "Samantha" processed the surreal situation, she wondered how this mysterious woman had ended up in such a peculiar predicament and what it meant for her own journey.

58.


 

As “Samantha” tried to make conversation with the woman , she hugged “Samantha”  tightly and almost knocked her over .

Oh ! dear! Let us call an ambulance , “Samantha” offered but  the woman shook her head in disapproval.

I am fine . I can manage .

Samantha studied  the “woman’s” face for a moment before nodding understandingly. "If you say so. Just remember, it is okay not to be okay sometimes. You don't have to carry everything on your own."

"I appreciate that,"  the “woman” replied with a grateful smile. "

I guess I may be able to  count on you,  but I do not know you .

 “Why you are being so nice?”

For humanity’s sake , I guess.

“Are you sure ?”

Samantha reached out and gave  the “woman” a reassuring pat on the shoulder. "You are in “labour”.

59.


 

An ”Ambulance” came after “Samantha” called for one .

 “Samantha” held the “woman’s” hand and steadied her back on the bench and asked her to take deep breaths as she began to push . The “woman” continued her journey to motherhood as she held on to the capable hands of “Samantha”.

 “Samantha”  heard the siren of the “Ambulance”  thirty minutes after she phoned for one to come , two Paramedics arrived at the scene ,  a  man and a woman.

Thanks for coming , Samantha commented.

Just as the paramedics were on their way ,the “woman”  let out a blood curdling scream  as Samantha held her right hand .

“Sorry ,  we are short staffed , we should have been here earlier.”

Samantha caught the   baby  on arrival  with its umbilical cord and placenta , and the paramedics  put the woman in the ambulance as she smiled through tears holding her newborn baby girl.

The “woman” and her new baby were in good spirits was taken to the hospital by the Paramedics .

 60.


 


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