Honour thy father and mother: that thy days may be long upon the land which the Lord thy God giveth thee. – Exodus 20:12 (KJV)
Mariah inhaled deeply the cold air as she jogged along the street where she lived. She particularly loved the smell of rain and earth and it had just rained some hours ago.
Every day at dawn, she observed this morning ritual because running had a way of helping her clear her head and leaving her feeling energized for the day. In addition, this ritual was what she believed had helped her stay in shape for years.
She was forty years old but looked ten years younger.
She packed her long hair into a bun high on her head and picked up her speed. She hadn’t gone far when she had a feeling that she was being watched. She looked around but saw no one….
The street was very quiet as it was just 4am.
She told herself to relax.
She continued running.
Minutes later, the feeling was back. This time strongly.
“My instincts never fail me” she said to herself as she slowed down and looked all around her nervously.
There was no one.
She suddenly heard soft footsteps behind her and turned sharply.
What she saw put her on edge.
Several feet from her…
A tall person in baggy clothes and a cap stood afar off watching her.
She naturally guessed it was a man.
The man pretended to concentrate on his phone as she looked at him,
But as she took a step
He pocketed his phone and followed her.
Her instincts told her one clear word
A surge of adrenaline shot through her and she broke into a run scared for her life.
She didn’t have to look to know he was following her, running too fast and closing in on her.
She willed her feet to run faster,
But her assailant was too fast.
She could already smell him.
He smelled of alcohol.
“I’ll never make it” she said to herself as hot tears fell down her cheeks.
“No one would hear me”
“I’m going to die”
A bead of sweat trickled from her forehead into her eyes momentarily blocking her vision…unfortunately, her leg caught on a branch and she fell forward . Pain blossomed in her legs and arms and as she looked back, she confirmed her worst nightmare.
He was upon her.
“Please, please, don’t kill me” she begged.
Slowly, the assailant brought out a gun and pointed it at her.
His other hand removed the cap and hood covering his head and soft black hair like hers flowed down
Mariah froze in shock as she stared at her daughter.
Mariah woke with a start and sat up in bed wondering about the nightmare she just had.
She was still shaking visibly as it took her a while to convince herself she was in her room.
Suddenly , she smelled something something familiar.
She jumped out of her bed frightened and turned on the lights in her room .
Ashley was bent in her wardrobe carting away her gold and stuffing it into the bag she carried.
OWOEYE Jesuloba Grace