Deadly Choice || by Ify Omeni


JACKIE WATCHED JOSEPH, her face a wrinkled mess. She cursed under her breath, as lips could utter no sound. Her eyes were boiling pools of pain. Now the present melted into the sounds of yesterday, wrapping her in the feeling of loss, tossing her to drift downwards like an avalanche, as the pictures blurred her sight.


She wondered what judgement day would be like, as she sat there, in that court of justice, almost impatient to hear the verdict. Her eyes were fixed to a spot, ears strained to hear the sole sound from the solemn-looking judge. 

It was her judgement day.

Jackie listened as the words poured out of the judge's mouth, with the force of torrential rains. Her expression went blank, like a source disconnected from its server. When the words came, she thought it was a joke. A nightmare she would soon scream out of. But the faces of shock that faced hers told her it was not a judgment given in jest. They also heard the incredulous words.

"Jackie." The voice that uttered her name sounded afar off, like a voice from the past. She raised her eyes, now moist with tears, to face the person who spoke.

"Mum … I …" More words struggled to escape. That was all she remembered. When she opened her eyes, she was on a hospital bed. 

"Thank God you're awake. You scared all of us." Her mum's voice reached her, nearer than the last time.

"Where are they?" Jackie screamed, as the image drifted across her memory. The judgement …

"Mummy!" That single word that gave her an identity in the world of motherhood, pierced through the stillness of the room.

"Joseph, Louisa!" Her voice cracked and tears of joy mingled with the sadness of before, as she gathered them into her arms. Her mum watched the reunion, misty-eyed. Great they were together now. At least, for now.


She was alone now, seated in her apartment, legs apart, arms stuck over them, bearing her leaning weight. What could she do? It was a dilemma, already, but shouldn't there be a way? "Shouldn't there be a way?" 

Saying this aloud made it ring within her, like alarm bells gone awry. The clock was ticking towards the implementation of the verdict; it was about time she decided. A time she was not prepared for. A time that just had to rid her of something precious.

She ambled towards the window and gazed through the lucid panes. Both children sat outside beneath a gazebo, playing chess. The bond between those two made her heart sing for joy. She sighed. How great would it be to keep this joy intact! Only if—

The sound of her cell phone intruded into her traumatic thoughts. Her face lost colour when she saw the caller ID.

"Hello." Her voice was flat.

"It"s Justin. I called to remind you—"

"I don"t need any reminder," she snapped. "I heard the verdict."

"I expect to hear from you." His calm voice did not fool her. Deviousness baked his voice; she was sure. He had always been like that. A heavy sigh and she hung up.  Again, she stared at her kids, mind busy with thoughts.


Justin leaned against the car, flitting glances about like an impatient waiter. Louisa and Joseph clung to one another, not wanting to look at their dad. Jackie drooped her head in her mother's arms, tears dripping to dampen her blouse. 

The abrupt sound of a car horn softened the air already thick with gloom. Everyone looked in Justin's direction and Jackie sniffed a sob. Such a sly man! she cursed internally. 

Her gaze rested on her son, Joseph. She took him in her arms, then cupped his face in her palms. 

"This isn’t goodbye, Joseph. I'll visit regularly,"

"Okay, Mum." His eyes turned glassy too.

"Don't forget me, brother," Louisa said, wiping a tear.

"Never, Louisa. You'll always be my special sister."

"My dearest grandson … May God be with you." Jackie's mum lent her voice to the departing chorus. 

Together they ambled on, towards Justin, who said nothing but only opened the door to the passenger's seat. 

Everyone waved at Joseph, and he at them—the family he'd be missing from now on, the warmth he would grow to forego for a stay with his dad. They stared. They watched him leave, and remained wrapped in their many shades of sorrow.

Jackie held onto Louisa. She felt so fragile, not like a stronger Joseph. She could protect this one better; she could shield her from a devious father. Joseph had always been strong and independent. He would be able to cope with their dad. Or was she only reassuring herself? Was she—? 

Lips compressed to seal back her cries; she wrapped her arms tight around Louisa. Divorcing Justin might have been easy, but having to share one of her children with him was just crazy! She cursed internally again. She could do that all over. Curse the judge. Curse the prosecutor. Curse Justin; only that Joseph was now in his care. She could only focus on Louisa; help her lead a better life.


IFY OMENI is a graduate of English & Literature from the University of Benin, Benin City. She is a skilled creative writer, book editor, performance poet, speaker, English Grammar and Writing trainer and was the recipient of 17 academic awards from the Advertising Practitioners Council of Nigeria (APCON). 

She is a master’s graduate of the School of Media and Communication, Pan Atlantic University, Lagos and has written eight books - the motivational Pearls are not for Pigs and Footprints of Note, a collection of articles titled Spring of Life Book One, a memoir titled The Ship of Dreams, a collection of short stories titled Tales of Our Time Volume One and three novels, Letter to Thilda, Wind of Change and Song at Sunrise. 

She is the Chief Ideas Officer of Touch of Gold Media Limited, a communications development organization committed to Creative Writing, Book Editing and Training.

Ify is popularly known as the ACE PROFESSIONAL (Author, Communication Coach and Editor) and writes inspirational articles which she shares on her Facebook Timeline, Whatsapp platforms and her blog at

She is also called the Tale Weaver, because of her ability to spin tales that send her readers into a world of delight.

Post a Comment

Post a Comment (0)
Fiery Scribe Review