THE SACRIFICE

She had everything now.
Money, fame, servants and even slaves if she wanted. He had thought of everything. He had promised her, that dark and wet night that everything she wanted would be hers. But at a price. She had to give up what she loved most in the world in 10 years or lose everything.
She had agreed eagerly because at that moment when he came to her, 10 years seemed so far away. And she would sacrifice anything for her baby. So, that dark, wet and desperate night, she sold her soul.

Oh God help me!” she screamed. People walked past her hurriedly. It was pouring heavily and no one even paid any attention to her. “My baby, he’s sick. Somebody please help…”
David’s face was turning blue…and his eyelids were fluttering weakly. Tayo had kicked her out a few days after she had given birth to him. All because he had Down’s syndrome. What kind of monster would tell a mother to get rid of her baby? When she refused, he threw her out and left her to fend for herself.
It was 8pm and she was weak and cold. And extremely exhausted. Was this how it was going to end? She was going to die her with her baby under the bridge beside the car park at Ojota. All because she loved her baby? “Oh God, help me…” she sobbed. “Help my baby, please.”
“He won’t answer you, shey you know?” a voice said to her. She opened her eyes and saw a man standing over her and staring at her. “There are other more important people than you who need him.”
“Please sir, help me.” She whispered shakily. “Please, don’t let my baby and I die here. I’ll do anything you say. Please.” She sat up weakly, and started to raise the hem of her dress.
“Please. I’m not interested in that.” The man snapped. “But I will help you. But you need to tell me what you want.”
“I don’t want to die.” She said. “I don’t want my baby to die.”
“Is that all?” he asked. “Don’t you want anything else? Let’s say revenge on your husband? Your in laws? Wealth? To be away from all this?”
“Yes, yes…But I don’t want my baby to die.” She said, picking up her son. His tiny body shivered weakly and he made a tiny mewling sound. “He’s all I have.”
“Bring him.” The man gestured towards David. “Let me help you…”
She held on to him for a few minutes. Who was this man? What if he was one of those ritualists? What if he had people waiting in the shadows? What if…?
“I’m waiting, Segi…” the man said impatiently. “I’m sure you don’t want to spend another night here, do you?”
“No, no sir.” She said. How did he know her name?
“I know a lot of things, child.” The man said. “Give me your child.”
She handed over her baby to the man. He looked at the child and said to her “Lets go. I do not want to stay here. Too many eyes.”
He started walking away with David in his arms. She stood up and stumbled after him. “Please sir, I want my baby. Please sir!”
“The love of a mother.” The man slowed down and held out his hands. “I am not going to harm your baby. You have my word.”
She held his hand and immediately she felt better. She walked with him to his car. It was huge. And shiny. The door opened. “Get in, dear.” He told her. She climbed into the car and he followed her in.
The lights in the car dimmed and the man handed David to her. Her son was sleeping peacefully. He was breathing properly and he looked healthy. “How…?”
“Do not ask questions you do not want answers to.” The man said. “I am your savior. Take it like that. I am going to take you away from all this squalor and shit. I will make your dreams, your wildest dreams and imaginations come true. But it’s not for free…”
“How…What…” she stammered. “I have nothing.”
The man smiled. “But you do.” He said. “But I don’t want it now.”
She suddenly became tired and weak. She felt like she was going to die. “What..what’s happening?”
“I want your word. That you will give me what I want when I am ready.” The man said. “And all your problems will end. I promise you.”
“Who are you?” she asked.
“Your word.” He said coldly. She felt her chest was on fire. And then David started to cry. She looked at him. His lips were turning blue. They were going to die.
“Please…I will do ask you ask.” She gasped. “I give you my word. I promise. I don’t want to die.”
As soon as she said it, the pain stopped and she found herself looking into the bewildered eyes of her son. “Excellent.” The man said. “Now shall we seal the deal?”
She stretched out her hand to shake him. He pulled her close and kissed her. In the first few seconds of that kiss, she felt herself change inside. As it had started, it was over.
“Welcome aboard my dear.” He said, with a smile.
She smiled back. And why wouldn’t she? She felt fantastic. Like she could do anything. The world was hers to conquer. “What do I have to give in return?”
“Your son.” He said simply. “But not now…”
He got down from the car and spoke to the driver. Then he turned to her. “Enjoy your time with your son. I’ll be back for him.”

She never saw him again.
That night, her life changed. Practically overnight she became famous. The Fabulous Segilola, the Club Queen.  She became the most popular woman in the country. She was powerful and for a few years she was at peace. David was fine. She was fine.
Tayo and his horrible family were taken care of. His silly new wife and his child, his normal child, lived in her house as her staff. She had nothing against the girl, it was just unfortunate she met Tayo.
It was the night of David’s birthday that he called. “Hello, Segi my dear…”
“Hello, sir…” she said, going outside. “it has been a long time.”
“Yes, it has.” He replied, with a chuckle. “You are doing well. I knew you would. I trust  you know why I am calling.”
She heart froze. “Yes. I do.”
“No need for all that.” He said. “Nothing bad will happen to him. You may see him again.  You can even have more children if you want.”
“But…he’s a little boy.” She said, shakily. “Can’t we…can’t we renegotiate? He is my life. Please.”
“Get him ready.” He said. “He’ll go with me.”

**********************************************************************************

“Momma, please.” Her baby cried., as the Devil took him away. He turned his tear stained face to her. “I’ll be a good boy, I promise.”
She stood on the foyer, her face turned away from her distressed son. It was better this way. She had made the final sacrifice. Her only reason for living…David…was gone.
“I’m sorry, baby.” She whispered to the empty room. “Mommy is so sorry.”

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