On The Other Side Of Love

#5DaysToVals - Write & Win (2)

#5DaysToVals Contest Entry – Submitted by Bisola Bankole Oluwatosin

The day had finally come for James to get the revenge he so wanted. Everything he had done in the past one year led to this very moment and absolutely nothing would stop him from avenging the unjust death of his father. Even if he had to die in the process of getting his revenge,so be it.

As he crouched hidden away in the shadows of the street that cold friday morning,he thought about how much his life had changed  in the past one year;exactly one year to that day. The day the little piece left of his and his father’s life got crushed under the military boot of sergeant Sanni.

 Prior to that day,their little family of two was barely getting by on the stipend he got from doing conductor work after school. His had never been an easy life,he had known hardship right from birth. His mother abandoned him with his father two years after giving birth to him to find greener pastures. She had claimed that James’ father was a low-life who infected everyone in his life with his bad luck and James was just the result of a bad decision on her part.

 He never felt her absence because his father did all he could to raise him on his own up until the moment he lost a leg while working in a lebanese factory. James was thirteen at  the time and he automatically took up the responsibility of caring for his father and himself . He never for once complained or let it show how much the weight was on his little shoulders. When he grew up,he would get a better job and take better care of his father and with this thought he would work harder at making extra cash.

  His world came crashing down four years later when he lost his father due to the cruelty of one particular police officer. His father had gotten ill with some kind of flu and they had decided to visit the nearby chemist before it got worse. The chemist shop was just across the road so they didn’t have to go far.

Just as they were crossing the road, his handicapped father lost grip on his crutches and fell. Unfortunately for them the governor was soon to pass through the same road so there were police officers everywhere.

           Sergeant Sanni was the closest police officer to where James was struggling to pull up his father while a small traffic was already building up behind them. James looked around frantically and was relieved to see Sergeant Sanni coming,he turned to pick the crutches with his other hand only to feel a heavy blow on his head.

       The next thing he heard was his father’s howl of pain and plea for sergeant Sanni to have mercy. It wasn’t long before a few other police officers came to drag ‘the nuisance delaying the governor’s convoy’ out of the way. James got away with a big lump on his head,but his father wasn’t so lucky. Sergeant Sanni had used his heavily clad foot to hit him in his side.

Nobody had suspected the damage done until a few days later when papa james started coughing blood,within a few hours he was dead.

Their neighbour,sisi nurse had speculated that it was probably due to internal bleeding caused by the kick to his already frail body. There was nobody to report the injustice to seeing that the case involved a poor boy and police officers, all James heard as those around him spoke was that Sanni lived not too far away.

        From that very moment James’ world became centered on one thing; to locate sergeant Sanni’s house and kill him. It was as simple as that,an eye for an eye. He would wait for a while,find out the best way to go about killing a police officer then strike.

Now exactly one year after that fateful day his father was assaulted,he was back to avenge him.

      He came back to the present as a rat ran over his leg where he was standing close to the trash behind the low fence that went round Sanni’s house. He looked over the fence to see if anyone was moving about and when he was sure the coast was clear,he scaled the fence without a scratch. He had prior information on which of the rooms belonged to Sanni,so he knew exactly where to enter.

      As he pushed the door open with the machete in his hand,the first thing he heard was the small voice of a child,he stepped into the one room apartment cautiously and saw a little boy of about three dressed for school and seated on the bed.

The child looked up at him with a smile and stretched out his hand with a biscuit in it. James was in a daze,he wasn’t counting on finding a little boy in Sanni’s room. He knew Sanni’s wife was no longer with him but never heard about the child.

        He turned around in time to see Sanni enter into the room oblivious to his presence,clad only in a towel around his waist. Apparently he just had a bathe and had no idea that death was waiting for him in his room. Maybe sensing he wasn’t alone with his child in the room anymore, Sanni turned towards the bed and froze.

James stood between father and son with fire in his eyes. His heart was in a turmoil,before him stood a man he hated with so much passion for taking his beloved father away from him and behind him was an innocent child calling to his father. He turned to look at the child again and knew he couldn’t do what he came there to do;looking at the child reminded him too much of himself and his father and everything they had endured. For the first time since his father’s death,he acknowledged the fact that his father would never have wanted him to take another’s life no matter the reason. He broke down in tears while a bewildered Sanni looked on;his father’s love had saved him from himself.

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