DORA

 DORA

All her kids were so scared of her. Even Jerry her husband was almost tired of her; her name was Dora. Mrs. Dora was a woman of principles and she liked keeping to time, but she was taking everything too extra. Being an impatient person, she was a NO-NONSENSE woman, and she wouldn’t let anyone who messed with her time go scot free.

​Dora was an assistant Director in one of the companies nearby, while Jerry was a lecturer in a Federal university. As much as Jerry tried to stomach her excesses, deep down; he felt like beating her up. One of such days, he was at home with her together with 5yr old Baby Chi; the lastborn of the house. The other children had gone on a holiday for about two weeks to see their cousins at Mide Town, a 2-hr drive from where they lived. That night, she had set the phone alarm to ring around 4:30am; she had planned to go to Mide Town early the next day to pick the kids up and come back as soon as possible. While she discussed with her husband, the little baby, unknown to the woman got hold of the phone, tapping uncontrollably on the screen. The baby had ignorantly put off the alarm and Mrs. Dora slept till 6:00am without any disturbance.

​When she awoke, she picked up her phone from where it lay, she scrolled through the applications angrily; she clicked on “Alarm”; she discovered that it was turned off and inactive. She tried to recall who touched her phone last which she couldn’t remember. She woke Jerry and Baby Chi up; she shouted and shouted, she cursed and cursed, she raked and raked. Out of rage, she slapped the small boy and went into the kitchen. “You’ll have to go pick them yourself” she angrily told her husband and she prepared and left for work.

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It was 6:00am. Bassey, Peter, Rose and Baby Chi were asleep when Mrs. Dora came into the room. They were back from the holidays and in some days time the schools would resume for the academic activities. She tapped rose; the young girl got up; she was the oldest child and the only girl; she was 11. They made their way to the kitchen to prepare breakfast for the family. “I’ll be travelling to Abdijan tomorrow to represent my company at a conference meeting” the woman said to her daughter, as she chopped the onions carefully; tears rolling down her eyes in response to the effect the vegetable was giving. “So you’ll take care of your dad and younger brothers” she continued. “Mum you will buy me something while coming and when will you be back?” the little girl asked childishly. “Oh yes, and I’ll give you a little present by evening when I’m done packing for tomorrow’s journey ok? I’ll be back in three days time” she replied. That evening, Mrs. Dora was already set to leave the next day; she sat on the couch, carrying baby chi with her left arm while she pressed her phone with the other hand. She stood up and went into the room. Few minutes later, she came out with two similar purses. She called her daughter; she gave one of the red purses to Rose. “I got this for you last week”. The little girl was overjoyed and she became so excited. She would go to school the next day with the purse. She would show it to her friends; she would walk confidently with it around the teacher’s table. To her, the purse was more like a new pet. She would take care of it and even feed it if possible. She kept prostrating and saying “thank you mum” till it started irritating the woman. “Rose, please you can go to your room now”

The next morning by 7:00am the driver came to pick up the kids and take them to school and just before Rose left the house; she quickly went to the dining table and picked up the red purse she had left there the previous night. She put it into her school bag and hurried out. Mrs. Dora’s flight was scheduled to take off by around 9:30am. The previous day when she had packed her clothes she also put some of her travelling documents in her box. She was someone who didn’t like carrying much load. She had also locked the box and dropped the key together with her international passport in her red purse. By some minutes after 8:00am, the driver was ready to take her to the airport; she picked up the red purse from the couch and left. It was a 30mins drive. While in the car, she was feeling uneasy, something wasn’t right, but she hushed it aside. She arrived the airport at around 9:10am; the driver helped her bring down the traveling box, she thanked him and he left. She decided to sit and wait till it was time to check in. she scrolled through her phone while waiting.  Ten minutes later, it was time to begin checking in. she brought out the purse containing the key to her box; she needed to bring out her traveling documents and evidence of payment. The purse was empty. She opened her eyes in disbelief; it was true, neither the key nor the passport was there. Instead she saw a small toy belonging to rose.

THE PREVIOUS NIGHT.

When Mrs. Dora sent rose back to her room for making too much noise, the girl left the red purse on the Dining table while the woman’s own was on the couch beside her where she sat with Baby chi. But Baby chi always being excited and curious had noticed the similarity in the two purses. He had taken mum’s purse and headed straight to the dining table. He must have felt the two purses were children just like him and needed to play too. He played and switched the purses without Mrs. Dora’s consent. “Baby chi please bring my purse” the woman said when she noticed it wasn’t there anymore; her eyes still fixed on her phone. The baby had returned with Rose’s own instead. 

THE PRESENT.

She screamed, Mrs. Dora didn’t know what to do. It was already five minutes to departure and the driver had already left for home. She wept; she composed herself and she called the manager of her company in tears and tried explaining what had happened. “What do you mean? So no one to represent us?!!” he shouted over the phone; he cut the call. She bit her lips in pain and dismay as she watched the plane take off. She called Jerry; she shouted and shouted; she raked and cursed. “Tell the driver to come now!!” she said, ending the call. She felt like smashing the phone on the floor. “Oh! Rose” she muttered, “I’ll finish you today”. She regretted giving her the red purse as a present then.

 

​Meanwhile during break time, the little girl in school had brought out the red purse from her school bag. She proudly showed her friends. She decided to open it and bring out her toy. Instead, she saw a key and a small green book (International passport) belonging to her mum. She became confused; she felt a bit scared, “when she’s back from Abdijan I’ll give it to her” she thought.

​When she arrived home, she saw her mum pacing uncontrollably around the sitting room. She wasn’t expecting to see her there; she sensed that doom awaited her.  She had seen mum pace many times like this whenever she was angry. The little girl had no time to run… Mrs. Dora pounced on her. “You purposely decided I won’t embark on this journey right?” she gave the innocent girl slaps, knocks and punches. It was Jerry who saved the unconscious girl from death. It was the highest he could tolerate. He slapped the woman.

 

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Rose opened her eyes to the beautiful morning. The atmosphere seemed relaxed. She smiled to herself; the fresh air was nice. But she became confused almost immediately, she didn’t know where she was; she looked around; she saw individuals wearing white or blue clothes; more like a uniform.

She suddenly remembered what happened the previous day: the purse; the key; the small green book; mum; the slaps; the punches; the darkness. She tried raising her head but she felt a severe pain on her neck. She screamed; the pains were increasing and unbearable. She wished for death at that instance; she had enough reason to doubt the fact that her mum loved her. If mum did; she wouldn’t have acted that way. Someone tapped her; she turned her neck in pains sideways; it was Dad; Mr. Jerry’s face looked pale and sad. “You’ll be fine okay?” he said. Rose sobbed, she looked around from where she lay; Mrs. Dora was sitting and weeping and sitting beside her were her brothers; Bassey, peter and Baby Chi. The woman stood up and made her way to the bed where her daughter lay. “Thank you for saving my life Rose” the woman began in tears. “Thank you for exchanging the purses” she continued. Rose was about to mutter “I didn’t do anything, I just went and picked it up where I left it last night” then the woman spoken again. “The plane crashed” she said sobbing the more. “I would have been dead by now” she wept the more. Mrs. Dora came close to her; she kissed the girl on the forehead. “Please forgive me baby”. Jerry came in shortly afterwards, “Baby chi is responsible for this not Rose. Here’s the coverage from the CCTV in the dining room.


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