“Take this red balloon, let me have this yellow balloon,” Mary said standing on very high hill with Owen..
Owen blinked and smiled.
“I’d prefer this yellow balloon instead,” Owen said and tried to collect the yellow balloon in Mary’s hand.
Mary giggled and threw the red balloon at Owen playfully, Owen guided it with his hands.
Mary juggled away as she kept laughing faintly
“Oh! You really think you can run, isn’t it?” Owen said and Mary pushed her tongue outside with a mocking expression.
Owen shook his head and bit his lips, he started running after Mary.
Mary jugged with her tiny leg around a well designed garden on the hill.
There were beautiful flowers in the garden, the petals were wet and the floor were made of clay. Mary ran into the garden and used a tall flower as shield.
Owen entered the garden and he could not find Mary.
“Where are you?” Owen called but he got no response.
Owen started searching every nook and cranny of the garden. While he bent slightly, looking behind a tall flower to see if there is anyone there, a soft arm came wrapping around his eyes. He stood still out of surprise. Owen touched the hand, he felt it and knew instantly that it was the hand of Mary.
He smiled faintly and turned gently to Mary. Mary blushed and lowered her head
“You really think you can hide, huh? Oh my! why does your face look so beautiful, why is it like that of a goddess? Why is your cheek perfect and smooth? And your lips as pink as blossoming petals?” Owen said and looked at Mary warmly.
Mary couldn’t raise her head, she was flattered by Owen’s words. His words were like a beam of light in her. An immense joy filled her soul and she smiled like a princess filled with joy.
With her head lowered, she moved closer to Owen and rested her right arm on Owen’s chest. Owen used his left hand to draw her closer and hugged her. Mary rested her head on Owen’s chest and felt relaxed and calm. Mary felt like being kissed and she rubbed her lips her finger, then she raised her head gently and looked at Owen’s face.
Owen noticed that and he lowered his head in such a way that his head was directly opposite to Mary’s face.
Their lips were not far from each other.
Owen’s head stood still, Mary made the first move and pushed her lips further.
“What are you trying to do?” a female voice said from behind.
Mary who was almost kissing Owen looked back shockingly at the person who spoke.
“Don’t be surprised, why must you eat on the table I set?” the lady said as she moved closer to where Mary and Owen was
“Owen, did you really want Mary to kiss you?” she said and Owen tried to disengage himself gently from Mary.
What is happening here, who is this lady? Mary thought.
“Are you not aware that he was dumb? Where were you when I gave him his first kiss so that he can speak? I was the one that kissed Owen before he can speak. Don’t just think you can come from nowhere and start to love him,” the strange lady said.
And Mary looked at Owen and remembered that Owen was really dumb before, she never thought of it all this while they were together.
Oh! It’s this strange girl that gave Owen his first kiss before he can speak, Mary thought and disengaged totally from Owen.
“Mary, Owen is mine, do not try to snatch him away from him. I made him speak, therefore, I deserve Owen.”
The strange lady moved closer to Owen, took Owen by his arms and led him out of the garden.
Mary watched as Owen left with the strange lady
Mary woke up from the long sleep and rubbed her face. She remembered the dream she had from the beginning to the end.
Who is this strange girl? Mary thought as she sat upright on the bed and rested her head on the bed wall.
Mary, Seven, her father and Owen had gone to the temple yesterday. They entered the temple and walked straight to the pulpit
“What did you want my children?” the priest said.
The priest was covered from head to toe in a priestly regalia, his head was covered with a thin towel, only his eyes were left out.
“Please, just tell me, are you Lennox?” Mary’s father asked the priest.
“Lennox! Who bears Lennox?” the priest asked calmly and surprisingly
“I know you understand what I meant,” Seven said and grabbed the man’s right hand suddenly, he checked the back of his palm, but he could not see the the word ‘LENNOX’ again on the man’s hand.
Did this man know that we are coming? Did he clean the words that were written in his hand? I remember that I saw the word boldly written at the back of his palm some years ago, Seven thought in confusion.
“Young man, did you come to molest me or you come to seek me for help? You grab my hand all of a sudden and started twisting my hand,” the man said with a serious tone facing Seven.
“I’m sorry, I’m just a bit curious,” Seven said calmly.
“Better be,” the priest said.
“Erm… Do you know Lennox?” Seven asked.
“You keep mentioning Lennox, who the hell is Lennox?” the priest said out loud.
“Keep calm sir, I do not mean to make you angry. I came here with my girlfriend some years ago and I met a priest who made a covenant for the two of us. I do not know if you are the one or not,” Seven said.
“I attend to hundreds of clients everyday, how am I supposed to recognize your face? Get this straight, Mister, I am not Lennox, I am a priest. If you need any help, tell me, and if not, please leave,” the priest said.
Seven sighed while Mary and Owen kept exchanging glances with Seven and the priest.
“Well, I need your help with this boy here,” Seven said, gesturing to Owen.
The priest looked towards the direction of Owen. “What about him?” the priest asked.
“He is dumb, can you help him speak?” Seven requested
The priest stared at Owen and shook his head. “I’m sorry, I can’t,” the priest said as he turned his head towards Seven.
“Why?” Seven requested.
“I just said I can’t. Alright, gentlemen, I’ve had enough, you may now take your leave,” the priest said and Mary’s dad clenched his fist, sweat streamed out from his face.
He was in pain, he wished he could have noticed some other things in the priest when he came here some years ago.
“Let’s move,” Seven said and they all walked away
The voice of the priest that spoke to me some years ago is different from that of this priest, but why didn’t he help us? Seven thought, asking himself so many questions as they escorted Owen back to the hospital and they went home.
Mary had being thinking meditatively about the dream she had. She stood up from the bed, bathed and got dressed. She informed her dad before she left for school, and him goodbye before driving to school.
Mary’s friends were already waiting for her in class when she arrived.
“Awww. Lovely,” Lydia said and hugged Mary as Mary stepped inside the class.
“Baby,” she replied and hugged Lydia.
They disengaged and she went ahead and hug Kitty who was smiling sheepishly.
“Gist us, what’s up with Owen?” Lydia asked and Kitty nodded her head, smiling and waiting for Mary to speak.
“Oh my! Long story, I’m gonna gist you guys later,” Mary said and the teacher for the first period came in.
The teacher taught and the teacher for the second period came to teach as well.
“I’m happy, it’s time for recess,” Lydia said as she watched the teacher for the second period leave.
“Lazy girl,” Mary said and looked at Lydia.
“Guys, are we just gonna stay in class, let’s just take a stroll,” Kitty suggested.
“A stroll to where?” Lydia asked.
“A stroll to the toilet,” Mary replied and they all laughed.
“No! We aren’t feeling like defecating, just tell us where to stroll to?” Lydia asked facing Kitty.
“Are you guys mocking me? I just made a suggestion,” Kitty said and squeezed her face.
Mary touched Kitty’s abdomen playfully and she giggled and laughed.
“Stop it,” she said playfully and laughed the more because Mary isn’t stopping.
Mary kept tweaking the side of Kitty’s abdomen.
“Guys,” Mary called all of a sudden.
Kitty and Lydia concentrated their attention on Lydia.
“Let us go to Owen’s class,” Mary suggested.
Kitty looked at Lydia and winked, Lydia coughed mockingly.
“What is that for?” Mary said suspiciously
“Nothing actually,” Lydia said and formed a fake smile on her face.
“Let’s go,” Kitty said and stood up.
“Really,” Mary said and quickly stood up, Lydia stood up and they all went to Owen’s class.
“Guys, we can’t enter, he may insult us by ignoring us,” Mary said.
“But you met him at the hospital yesterday, aren’t you guys supposed to be friends from there?” Kitty said and Lydia nodded.
“No, he’s always sober. I even met him sunk on his knees, crying, when I got to the hospital yesterday to check him,” Mary replied.
“Why was he crying?” Lydia asked.
“Some other time,” Mary said and went beside the door of Owen’s class, she peeped carefully and saw a lady sitting beside Owen.
They were both smiling as if they had known each other for a very long time.
Mary brought her head back and she closed her eyes tightly.
Owen… smiling … with another girl, Mary thought and looked at her friends who were watching her from behind wondering what she saw.
She peeped carefully to Owen’s class again and saw Owen talking in sign language with the girl.
Is this girl also dumb? Mary thought as she brought her head back from where she was peeping. Is Owen dating this girl already? Gosh! This girl is beautiful, so beautiful, she thought and slapped her palm on the wall.
Mary stood still, and while she was imaging who the lady was, Owen and the lady came out of the class.
Mary tried to hide but there was nowhere to hide. Owen and the girl kept communicating in sign language and smiling as they walked pass Mary.
Mary felt bad seeing that Owen totally ignored her.
Just when Owen and the lady moved pass Mary, the lady who was communicating with Owen through sign language looked at Mary and smiled. She turned her head and kept smiling and communicating with Owen
Oh! She looked at me, does she know me? Mary thought.
Owen, do you even know how much I love you? Yet you intentionally ignored me here, Mary thought, her heart ached and she buried her face in her palms.
Her friends noticed that Mary was not feeling cool, they rushed towards her and petted her first, they kept mute and helped her to the class before they asked Mary what happened.
Mary explained everything that happened, including all that happened when she went to the hospital to check up on Owen.
They received subsequent lectures and the school closed for the day.
“I must learn sign language,” Mary said as she walked towards her car with her friends.
“Yeah, I think Owen likes the new girl because she understands sign language and they can easily communicate,” Lydia said.
“Yeah, if you learn it, he will like you too,” Kitty added and Mary smiled.
“You guys are the best,” Mary said and clapped her hands cheerfully.
They went to their various homes.
Mary got home and told her dad all that happened in school. Her dad was always the person she shares all her life affairs with. Her dad promised her to get her a sign language teacher.
“Mary, I will be travelling for some time,” her father said in the middle of their conversation.
“Aw,” Mary said.
“Yeah. It’s an official assignment, I will be back in two months,” her dad said.
“Dad, I’m gonna follow you,” Mary said.
Seven smiled. “You can’t, it’s strictly official, but I’ve got a plan,” Seven said.
“Tell me about it Dad,” Mary requested.
“I’ve spoken to one of my friends, she is a friend and she is gonna take good care of you till I come back. Trust me,” Seven said.
“Dad, I trust you, no problem. Safe journey. I love you dad,” Mary said.
“I love you,” Seven replied.
Mary’s dad travelled and Seven’s friend sent a driver to come and pick Mary and her luggage at her house.
“I’m happy I’m gonna have to live with a woman who will treat me like a mother. I’ve always wanted a mother’s care too, but mum is gone since. I hope she likes me and I hope I like her too,” Mary said as she packed all her luggage inside the car sent to take her to where she will be living for the meantime.
She got to the car and the woman, Seven’s friend, who had being expecting Mary charged cheerfully at Mary and hugged her.
Mary felt a soft spot for the woman and hugged her too.
“You welcome my daughter,” she said smiling and told her little son to help Mary carry her luggage inside.
The woman held Mary by her arms, smiling and looking at Mary as if Mary were her lost daughter. They walked inside the room and Mary saw a somebody sitting in the living room with legs crossed watching the television.
“You. It’s you,” Mary said stretching her hand to the person looking at the person in shock.
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