Tainted Hearts

“Eh, Jacinta, let us talk about it.”

“There’s nothing to talk about.”

He knelt down and hugged her knee.

She made a fist and hit him limply. “Just leave me alone!”

Rogers held her even tighter and began to cry. She felt light and free. Now, he had lost everything. What was the point of the marriage when she hadn’t even saved enough to rescue her daughter from Bootlegger. He had been sacked the week before. It only became public that day.  He didn’t have any money saved; his concubines and mistresses had gotten wind of the news before it hit the tabloid; two of whom were vying to be his wife aborted their pregnancies.

She was well aware of that fact that he knew of the savings that she had managed to scrape together over the years and that he probably believed they could survive on that until he got another government employment or worse get a contract. Glad that he hadn’t discovered how much she had syphoned from their joint account before he restricted her use of it. She had rained praises on Elfreda for her advice which led her to stash the money into an account she had opened in Essex when she travelled with him for his younger brother’s graduation.

Although she was glad that her daughter had escaped Bootlegger’s claws but she wished she had been there for her daughter to find solace. She wished she hadn’t wasted time hoping to get enough money. It was all she wanted now. She didn’t need her mother’s help because she had already stashed away everything that was required to get her to England. She was going to spend the night in the hospital and then head to Victor’s school and pick him up from there.

She looked down at him with disgust as he grovelled; she hated nothing more than a man doing just that. She untangled herself from his grip. She still believed in the sanctity of matrimony but she needed him to realise that she needed space. The money she had saved was for one thing only; to find her daughter.

 

The sound of screeching brakes brought her back to reality as she instinctively slammed on hers too. She straightened her neck to see what could have caused it but there was a long cue of scattered cars and then she gulped; it was an upturned lorry. She did a sign of the cross and hoped people weren’t crushed underneath. She looked at the time on the dashboard before remembering that she hadn’t reset the time and date which still read January instead of July. Speaking of July, tomorrow is Jackie‘s open day at Aston University.

Fortunately, the lane she was on was unaffected and drivers started conforming to a straight line when the neon and foil jacket people appeared. Soon after she passed Junction 13 the traffic hold up became much less and she could now drive at seventy mph.

She sighed as she exited the roundabout onto Melton Road. Her journey from Edrick Road to Glebe Road Carlton wasn’t a total bust. She was going to use the money she had gotten from Ajebó to offset her utility bills then she remembered, they were out of milk. The closest grocery shop will be closed in less than an hour. She swerved the car in a clean U-turn and was impressed with herself. It was the first she had done it like a pro.

She accelerated and almost knocked down a woman in a bright coloured sash around her head like a loosely tied hijab. The shocked stare the sashed woman gave her made her freeze and the woman too. She was too embarrassed to apologize to the woman. The way the woman’s brows were knitted together, Jacinta half expected the woman to cuss but the woman shook her head and walked on briskly. She had seen the woman before she was sure with the way her brows clumped together.

Her hands were shaking so much she killed the engine and clung to the steering wheel. She huffed and puffed loudly until gradually she relaxed. She wanted to recline but didn’t have a chance to as the horn of a commercial truck blared. She turned on the ignition and drove slowly when he blared his horn the second time she turned toward the kerb to make way for the truck to pass. She saw the driver’s mouth moving but couldn’t hear what he was saying – her mind was back on the woman. She knew that face but where or who didn’t come to mind. Her concern was not recognising where their paths may have crossed but the anger she felt towards the woman when she was the one who nearly ran her over.

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