The Angel amongst us

7: Wait at dusk.

Tolu sat quietly in the bus, lost in her muse as they journey to osun state, she kept imagining how old her uncle would look now, even his son juwon would have had his own family by now and shes pretty sure they never left the state. Memories of the last time they spoke left her with teary eyes, Ifadahunsi was a good man in his own way, he took her like his own since the death of her parents, infact he was helping her get back on her feet until Eniola happen, and his daughter died, he dealt with his loss calmly at first, then suddenly, he started to transfer the aggression on her daughter, as if she was the cause of his daughters death. Him and his wife started saying hurtful words to both of them.

”After all Ive done for you and your child, under my roof. ” Ifadahunsis voice echoed in her head, she could remember the anger, the aggression, the hurtful words he said the day she told him they were going to Lagos, the way he furiously gave her the money she worked for. She had promised herself she was never going back there, but now, nothing else matters than Eniolas safety.

Niola tossed and turn all night, she tried not to sleep but unfortunately, her body couldn take it any longer, her nightmares were getting worse, and genuine dyed-in-the-wool. In the morning her bedclothes were tangled in a twisted jumble and half on the floor, her dreads and pajamas were soaked with sweat. She awakened with her fists clenching on the sheets her heart slamming against her chest and the sting of the burn on her arm.

Oddly enough, she couldn remember the content of that dream; but it felt like it was as terrifying as any other. She remember she lodged most of her time yesterday doing some research about the mass free-will slaughter in the eighteen hundreds in a small settlement that no longer exist, according to the blog, the village was dissolved and their priest was Said to be the first to be reborn, although it wasn really confirmed, it was just a rumor . She wanted to know more, cause it all felt connected to her visions and dreams. Her mom was on her way to oke-osa to do some findings, but she couldn just sit still and look pretty. Not with the strange burn on her arm, how crazy it is to get burnt in a dream and wake up to find the scarring.

Her phone chimes as she glanced at the burn on her arm, she took a glance at the phone ; it was Mr uzor, still on the discussion of his sons apprenticeship….

”Ill deal with that later if I have to, ” she muttered as she got into the shower. He doesn want to take no for an answer, well she isn the only artist around the state, they should try someone else, this was just not a good time to have some stranger around, before they think she was crazy . ”If I avoid him, maybe hell get the idea. ”

It was Saturday, but she had to get to the studio to finish up Mr uzors portrait, so she could frame it on Monday and he could pick it up on Monday evening. She added a few ointment and changed the bandage around her arm, the nurse had informed her to not put bandages over the burn, but she couldn let people see the hand scarring. It was weird.

A shadow roamed the room as she got dressed but she didn notice; it followed her as she went to fix herself a couple cups of strong coffee. If she needed further proof of having had her sleep disturbed by nightmares, her bodys lethargy confirmed it; she felt like a zombie.

She rubbed her neck and sat by the kitchen counter for a minute before leaving. Of course, shed first need to make a quick call to her mother whos on her way to oke-osa, with all this firmly in mind, she ordered an Uber online, Jerry was on able to bring her bike over yesterday, he has been busy at her mothers shop since hes the only sales-boy she had. The phone rung as she waited for the Uber, it was Chiamaka, she answered it and they had their little chitchat as usual, Chiamaka said something about starting a vlog on her YouTube channel and was hoping to give an insight on art and culture.

”Alright… alright, I hear you, you can come by the studio and shoot your video, just know Im taking twenty percent of the cut. ” Niola said sarcastically with a grin then hung up.

Then she called her Mom, unfortunately there was no answer, so she left her a message instead, perhaps she should have arrived there by now.

Soon her ride arrives and she went to her moms place first to get her bike, she paid the Uber and went to get the house key behind a flower pot from the backyard, her scooter-bike was parked out front but the key was in the house. she went in through the kitchen and it smells like baked pie; that was always the typical smell of her moms kitchen as long as she could remember. She strolled out the kitchen to the room where she remember the keys were suppose to be.


She heard the door from the next room open, she found her key on the dresser, then left the room. She closed the door behind her and saw the door to her moms room was opened, with a sigh, she went over to shut it then the other door opened again. With a concerning frown, she walked back slowly to the door and shut it again then waited a bit before going to the dining room. The house was awfully quiet and she could hear nothing but the pounding of her heart and squeaky sound from her leather boots against the tiled floor, she pulled a few mint sweets from the jar on the table and slid it in her pockets, then she felt a cold chill down her spine raising goose pimple on her skin. Something felt strange, she scanned across the living room only to find a thick smoky image of a man standing across the room, his eyes were burning red and part of his body vanish like a wild smoke coming from burning tyres.

”What the hell— ” she muttered almost fainting.

”Noli timere, auxilium volo! ” Its voice very deep and it stretched a hand

Niola stumbled back and ran out of the house and locked the door; whatever he was saying sounded more like ”Death be upon you ” or whatever that mean, she got on her bike and drove off.

Chiamaka slammed down the clipboard with a frustrated growl. Beside her at the reading table, Danielle raised her head and frowned, as it was the third time she slammed the table distracting her concentration on the computer. ”What the hell Chiamaka! What do you want, Im trying to concentrate here! ”

”Sorry! ” Chiamaka reached out for the glass of juice and took a gulp. ”Can you just help me out? ”

”And thats what you should have just said, ” Danielle shook her head and collected the clipboard to take a glance, ”you really don need all this… seriously, just be you, all this script isn necessary. You are quite entertaining being yourself. ”

Chiamaka sighed and bit the cap of her pen, ”its just to give Niola a hint you know. ”

”Niola? ”

”Yeah, Im going to shoot at her studio after we leave the lekki conservation center. ”

”Ok. I can drop you off, you can take an Uber back home. ”

”seriously? ” Chiamaka gave a skeptic look.

”What, ” Danielle said getting up.

”what is what? You are coming with me, please, please please please please please, pretty please! You are good with all this video stuff. ”

Danielle gave a growl as she left the room.. ”Aargh! Fine! ”

Niola sat quietly in her office, staring at the computer screen, what shed seen earlier kept replaying in her mind, she could remember she saw something just like that when she was at Danielles house, it has always tried to make sure she noticed its present. But this time it said something to her, in some kind of language—it sounded Spanish or Latin, she shut her eyes and tried to remember, no…timer, auxi…something. It was hopeless, how possible would she remember that, as she was lost in thought, a shadow started roaming the room again and stood behind her with its eyes burn a soft red, it touched her temple.

Niola felt a sensation on her temple and she felt the urge to think deep about what that thing said earlier. She shut her eyes again and zap! She found herself back in that living room and everything went slowly.

”Noli… timere, auxilium…. Volo, ” memorizing every syllable, with her eyes shut; she type in every word on the computer and clicked on the enter key to search. The sensation faded away, the chilly feeling became warm tingles, then she slowly opened her eyes, her Iris glowed brighter blue, then it faded into the normal soft color it was. Then she concentrated back on the screen where the search results was ready. It translated Don be afraid, I want to help, from Latin.

”Help? ” Niola muttered under her breath… now this isn a vision, if she was correct, this is more like a communication with some kind of Spirit or whatever. And how on earth was it going to help her, or she could be going crazy, maybe all this is just in her head, shed heard madness starts in a similar way. Frowning at her own protest, she heard footsteps approach.

”Niola! ” Chiamaka yelled as she sauntered into the studio, the evening sun reflects through the wide ceiling-to-floor window and gave the hall a warm hue, ”Ni-o-la. ” Calling every syllable with a wide grin.

Niola approached her with a hug, she looked so small compared to Chiamakas large body, but the height was quite different, Chiamaka was obviously shorter. Danielle strolled in and their gaze met.

”Danielle, hey! ” Niola sneered as she walked towards them. She smiled back and they gave each other a brief hug.

”Seems nature is quite on your side Chiamaka, ” Danielle gestured towards the window. ” the lighting is impressive, and artistic. ”

Chiamaka made a twenty minutes video with Niola, Danielle helped with the shooting and editing While Niola finished up her painting.

”Niola, did I tell you I broke up with Charles? ” Chiamaka said playing with a brush bristle as Niola put her tools away.

”Nope you didn , like seriously? What the hell happened? Yall were kinda stupid in love I guess, the dude was a retard for you, ”

Danielle chuckled, Chiamaka pretend to toss a brush at her and she ducked for it. ”Our relationship ran out of gas, we decided to just stay friends, ”

”Good for you guys, ” Niola said dryly as she wash her brushes. ”Give me that, ” collecting the brush with Chiamaka.

”Theres this amazing jazzy, swing-y, 40s sort of band playing at Bonnys tonight I got invited, how about we all go, catch some fun and maybe you can rekindle some sparks with some fancy pants. ” Danielle leaned forward waiting for a response, ”Niola, you
e coming too. ”

”Sure! ” Chiamaka said quickly

”Nah, Ill pass this one, ” Niola replied

”Niola, are you joking? Its Saturday night. And its, like, two minutes after eight. Its not even dark outside yet. You know, Saturday night? Enjoying the weekend? Heard of those things? ”

She didn respond, Chiamaka is, technically, correct.

”Come on Niola, itll be fun, Ill drive, drinks on me, lets just enjoy the weekend. ” Danielle added.

They were totally right, she really could use something to take her mind off all the craziness right now. ”Well, alright. Do I need to put on something different? ”

”You look perfect, ” Danielle said and Chiamaka nodded. ”Guess we are all good to go–Ive posted the video, ” she added shutting down the laptop.

”yup! You
e the best, ” Chiamaka kissed her temple, then admired her skirt when she got up. ”wish I could wear that, its definitely gonna tear on me. ”

”Definitely! ” Niola chuckled admiring Danielles legs.

”Its great. Also, easy access if someone wants to get under the skirt! ”

”chiamaka! As if. Like Im gonna meet some guy and just… what… flip my skirt up? ”

”Why do you assume itd be a guy? ”

”Chiamaka! ”

Chiamaka smiled then glanced at Niola, then back at Danielle. ”Fine. God, such a prude. Lets go. ”

It was dark when tolu got to her uncles place, everywhere looked different, there were now tenants in the compound and when she asked of him, a teenage boy helped her with her bag and walked her inside. She sat in the living room looking around, while the boy went in to inform him he had a visitor; surprised on how nothing had changed inside the house, but noticed how awfully quiet it was. She heard them approach, then she got up from the couch preparing to go on her knees then she saw Ifadahunsi come out holding the boy and his walking cane. He was blind.

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