“I sentence you to...”
Sammy did not hear the judge finish his statement. What did he care about anyway? Since the case began, Sammy knew it would end tragically for him. He began to laugh. That was the only thing he could do.
Sammy stopped for a moment to stare at the faces of those who came to the court to witness the case. His aunt was crying silently. It had been a gruesome week for her. He pitied her but wondered why she was bothered at all. He examined the faces of the Ajayis, from the youngest to the eldest. Pa Johnson was dysphoric with the judgment. Their eyes met for a moment, and Sammy could feel the venom as he stared at him. He glanced away.
He scanned the room until his eyes met hers. She sat without emotion, the same way she had sat throughout the sessions in court. Sammy wished he could shake her so she would show some emotion. He did not regret his actions; he only regretted the fact that he wouldn't be around to persuade her to love him.
She stared back at him without blinking an eyelid. He looked away. He had to. Sammy could not stand being in the same room with her and not being able to touch her or feel the smoothness of her skin. He screamed, but no sound escaped. He then remembered...
It was a cold Saturday morning when Mama said that her granddaughter would return from boarding school. Another member of the family? He had wondered how many more people lived in the big house. He had lost count. His job was to drive the family car and drive anyone who wanted to use the family car. He was thankful for the job, having job-hunted for four years since his graduation. The pay was also good.
He drove the car with Mama sitting behind him in the passenger seat, going through her tablet. Mama hardly ever talks to him. He had learnt his lesson; he had learnt to keep quiet and speak only when spoken to. When he first resumed work, he tried to engage Mama in chitchat the first time he drove her, but he received a curt lecture about minding his own business. He drove in silence till they were out of Lagos and headed for Ogun State. He kept his eyes on the road till he arrived at Blue Corner High School.
He drove to the parking space and stopped. Mama opened the door, said no word to him, and walked towards the classrooms. Sammy exchanged pleasantries with other drivers who were on the same mission as him. Sammy, when tired, rested? He must have dozed off, for when he opened his eyes, he beheld an angel in school uniform staring at him. He jumped up, being so conscious of his appearance.
“Hello!” he muttered. Maybe she did not hear him. She just stared at him for a second and then answered her phone, which buzzed at that moment. Sammy sat up, adjusted his shirt, and came down from the driver's seat when he saw the suitcase near the trunk of the car. He knew this was Desire, Mama's granddaughter. He put the box in the trunk of the car and closed the boot just as Mama arrived.
The girl entered the car while still talking on her phone. Sammy made sure his passengers were settled in before he started the car. The girl was still talking on the phone when he drove out of the compound. He wanted to look at her very closely. There was something about her. Something kept telling him not to dwell on this. If only he had listened.
By the time they were entering Lagos, her passengers were in deep sleep, or so he thought. He started stealing glances through the rearview mirror. He could not take his eyes off the girl. She had this enchanting and attractive face that beckoned to him. Her flawless caramel skin glowed. Her pink, full lips with dimples, which were prominent even without her smiling,
combined to make her alluring. Sammy tried to steal another glance, only to catch her staring back at him. Sammy froze. That stare gave him chills. He averted his eyes and concentrated on the road after checking to see if Mama caught him staring at her granddaughter.
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