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AFTER THIRTEEN YEARS
Tall and devilish handsome. Wide and broad shoulders with blonde tuft of floppy hair on his head. Kissable pink lips that always curved out arrow-shaped on his mouth. His eyes, still maintained the bluish colour just like his father while his smile still possessed the potency to heal the broken hearted.
Jamal was more handsome–ten times handsome than his handsome father–Ryan Jericho after thirteen years. He had grown from the teenager he used to be to a very more mature adult.
At twenty-nine years of age, Jamal was now a medical doctor. He had finally achieved his long desire to be a medical doctor. Jamal through odds and help of his foster father was able to scale hurdles to clinch unto his ambition.
Jamal was indeed indebted to Rominick for fulfilling all the pledges he made to him when he saved him from guttersnipe and abducted him as his own son. Rominick pledged to use his wealth to make him achieve his dream and he conformed to it, and that act of benevolence had made Jamal swear to always remain to docile to him. Rominick wasn’t just a foster-father to him; he had proved to worth more than just a foster father to a biological one.
On a particular day, Jamal had walked up to the old man to make his appreciative speech to him. One of the hell grievous mistake he made. Mistakes that would later deteriorate his perfect life, his so fulgent career and his bumbling emotional life. Jamal, had subconsciously committed himself to oral perjury when blabbing the speech.
Jamal stood in front of Rominick, the man who had become old and crude due to aging. His once vibrant face had grown puckered and had conceived fresh-heavy wrinkles on it. Nevertheless, as old as Rominick was, he still carried his landmark of sternness and requital. He had not let go of his mission of retribution.
“For the past fifteen years that I’ve met you, you never for once treated me like an outsider..” Jamal started serenading his speech. “You loved me like your own son and spent fortune on me just to see me grow up to be utile both to myself and people around me. Father, when I lost my mom in the wood fifteen years ago and Meshach dumped me like a piece of rag after, I thought that was the end for me, for my dreams. I thought nobody was coming to rescue me. I was lost, lost in the world with no anchor to hold on to. But you found me, you saved me and restored me from the unavailingness beclouding my soul. You made me feel loved again and made me whole. Even when your son, Hilton tried to pelt me out from your abode, you looked out to search for me and brought me back. Dad, you fostered me up through my college and university where I acquired my dream of becoming a medical doctor. Father, that’s the highest petition I request from Meshach when he ditched me off like that. For these reason, I’m standing in front you today, not as that kid you rescued back then; but as a beneficiary of your benefaction to show my appreciation for your sacrifice over me by also making a pledge today to remain docile to your biddings, always ensuring to put you into consideration before anything.”
At this point, Jamal looked up to Rominick and with appreciation-filled eyes that was about to make that big-banging mistake.
“Father, is there anything you wish of me to do for you? I swear with everything you’ve given me to do it for you.”
Rominick smiled, and his wrinkled puckered face stretched forming a swine’s neb.
“You don’t mean what you just said son ?” He asked. Rominick was happy. He had waited enough to carry out his mission. He patiently waited and deliberately spent his fortunes on Jamal just to groom him up to be the perfect puppet for him. Of course, even Jamal himself had no iota knowledge of his supernatural abilities. But him, Rominick knew. He knew Jamal was a hybrid and a very powerful one to the core. Exacting the type he needed for his retribution. He knew Jamal imbibed all what he needed to carry out the mission but the poor man had no knowledge of it. But that was a minor case though, he was going to be there for him when his ability starts sprouting out to delude him to working for him.
“I do father. I swear to give you that thing you really want from me. Something I couldn’t afford to give you when I was still a kid.”
“Actually it is not something. They are somethings. I need just to two thing from you.”
“Tell me father, I will do them for you.”
“Are you sure ?”
“I swear with everything I have ever acquired through you.” Jamal held his two hands glued together below his jaw and winked his gorgeous eyelashes simultaneously to depict how solemn he was to his vow.
“Okay then, son. But before I ask you what I really desire from you can I ask of someone?”
“Who is the person, father?”
” Your friend, Adarian. How is she fairing?”
Jamal hoisted a wary look at his foster father before smiling mischievously.
“She is fine.” He replied.
Rominick’s mouth curved into a rasp chortle. Of course he knew she was fine. He knew the dame was still very much in love with Jamal. Rominick knew all these because he had stag her and watched her every moves. Adarian was part of the plan so he couldn’t afford to let her stray out of his view.
For thirteen years, Adarian had to stick with Jamal through thick and thin. Their closeness had caused alot of people to waffle their tongues on how the duo were in a relationship. And even though Adarian had enjoyed the scuttlebutts, Jamal had never for once pretended to like it.
Adarian wasn’t suppose to go to medical school. She wasn’t supposed to stay that longer in the city–but had to change her career all because she never wanted to loose sight of him. She loved him. She so much loved him. What she felt towards Jamal thirteen years ago was still fresh and blazing. Not even ready to go rancid in many more years to come. After they finished college eight years ago, Adarian was meant to return to Laraba to assume her position as the last sentinel; but she refused bluntly to go back because she thought she was going to Jamal to varsity girls, so she decided to enroll at the same school.
While in school, Adarian had hounded countless of girls she caught trying to flirt with Jamal. She always made it obvious publicly that Jamal was never meant for any of them. While her antics had also been assisted with Jamal’s constant scowl on the flirt-gills being hauled at him. Whenever Jamal was being approached by any coquette or any of the female species, he had fostered a way to reverse the mousse smile he carried about into a vicious scowl; therein leaving such vamp no other choice but to avoid him. But just incase she was a stubborn type, then Adarian always came into play. Adarian had her way of imprinting austere warnings into such categories of girls. She could threaten the girl by flashing her, her wolfish greenish eyeballs. Such girls she threatened that always ended up scudding away from afar whenever she saw Adarian and Jamal coming.
Adarian would do anything not to share Jamal with anybody. Just the way she cozened Tamara into changing her name and also asked her to return to Laraba. But so unfortunate for Adarian that in spite all her radical attitudes in claiming Jamal to all herself, Jamal never for once nursed any coition or any relationship more than platonic friendship towards her. But Adarian never loosed hope even till now that she was grown-up into a full mature woman.
“Are you still together as friends?”
“Yes father.” Jamal replied again struggling to determine what could be going inside the old man’s small head.
“My son, before I ask you for the two favours I need from you, at least let me give you one last surprise.” Rominick said and waded himself inside his room and returned with a sealed parcel. He handed it over Jamal.
“What’s this father ?”
” Jamal, I think you will have to go back Laraba.”
“What?” Jamal’s eyeballs almost plopped out from their sockets. Laraba was a town he had vowed never to inhale the atmosphere therein not to talk of tread on her earth. The town was curse. The town pilfered everything important in his life–and that had made him decided not to return there.
But little did Jamal knew that his real biological father and the love of his life still dwelt in the town.
“Yes son. It’s very necessary you go back there. You can open what I gave to you.” Rominick said with a prideful gesture.
Confusion beset Jamal as he was tried to tear the parcel open. He tore it open and a bunch of keys fell from it. Jamal picked the dangling metals and looked more in utter confusion. What has a key got to do with him going back to the town he forbade never to return to ?
“That’s a key to you newly built hospital in Laraba.” Rominick dropped the bombshell and it was certain it did more impart on Jamal as he screamed, leapt, knelt, crept and wallowed in happiness.
Jamal was astonished at the surprise package Rominick gave to him. A newly built hospital for him ? Definitely Rominick was heaven sent to him. Perhaps he was some sort of replica of his biological father to shower him with this kind of luxuries. Nobody could have done this much for just a stranger they picked up the street. Nobody! Not even the tightwads that claimed they were philanthropist could render this kind of benefaction to a total stranger. This another single act of benevolence from Rominick had spurred Jamal to start rambling again. Begging his foster father to ask of him anything in the world, that he was willing to do it.
“Please father, how can I repay all these your good deeds towards me ? Please tell me, I will. I will do it. I swear with everything I have, please tell me.” Jamal swore pleadingly.
The more Jamal pled to Rominick, the more the older was happy he was garnering the upper hand he needed on the small man. Jamal had thought Rominick was being generous to have bequeathed him with everything he gave him but what he failed to realise was that how much has he done for his own biological son, Hilton.
Hilton was never a graduate and didn’t struggle to be one and neither had his father impelled him to be one. Hilton had resolved to be a full-time debauchee, stark drunkard and arrant gambler after his college. He swapped ladies everyday like King Solomon, drank wine to stupor everyday, the amount the biblical Jesus turned successfully turned from water and gambled everyday with everything he had, including his own head if possible. Hilton often times gambled with his girlfriend at hand whenever he ran out of pawns. Hilton was a waste and total hotspur to his father; yet his father didn’t even bother to spend dime on him to make him responsible someone. Unbeknownst to Jamal that Rominick specifically lavished his fortune on him just to prepare him for the task ahead of him. The task that would change him and bring out his destiny.
“Son, when the time comes, I will ask you what I need in return for all these I’m doing for you. But for now lets get prepared for Laraba.”