Hours had passed since Makayla and Natasha had walked out of the portal. They walked until they came to a humble, old, white house, sitting in a clearing surrounded by tall, slim trees. Makayla's heart quickened as she spotted life around the house.
"Oh, thank God! I'm so tired of carrying this kid!" Natasha expressed.
Makayla paused and looked at her. "Give me my son!" she demanded.
"Makayla, I'm sorry. It's just hard to..."
"Yeah, I know. Put him down; he can walk," Makayla insisted.
"Fine," Natasha groaned as she placed Solomon on the ground.
She quickly remembered the poison she had prepared for Solomon, checking a small pouch tied to a belt on her waist, she smiled inwardly, eager for the opportunity to slip the poison into Makayla’s son.
Solomon walked over to his mother, she stooped down to hug and kiss him. "Hey, prince, are you okay?" Makayla asked. "I almost lost you."
"Where's daddy?" he asked.
"Daddy will be here very soon. We just need to give him some time," Makayla answered her son the best way she could. "Can you take my hand baby?" she asked, standing up holding Enoch on her hip and putting her hand out for Solomon to take.
"Makayla, please let me help you," Natasha pleaded, feeling a little remorseful.
"Look, Natasha...I-I feel for you. I do. But, if you don't wake up and see for yourself that Tamarius has moved on, how are you going to..."
"He loves me! I know he does. Okay, he married you, but he loves me,” she interrupted.
"Why would he marry me if he is still in love with you?" Makayla asked calmly.
"Because he thought I was gone forever."
Makayla shook her head while walking away. She grumbled, scolding herself for arguing with a crazy person. They walked to the house and knocked on the door. An elderly, fair-skinned woman, wearing a black dress, smiled at her. The old woman's loving green eyes held Makayla's attention as she stood in the doorway. Makayla instantly thought of her cousin and how much she missed her.
"Hello," she greeted. "My name is Makayla, and this is Natasha," she introduced, pointing behind her.
The old woman smiled and looked at her children. "Come, come," she coaxed, taking Solomon's hand and leading him into the home.
"Thank you," Makayla said stepping inside.
"Are you hungry?" the old woman asked in a heavy accent.
"Yes,” both Makayla and Natasha answered.
"Come, I just finished cooking a meal. My name is Maria."
"Thank you so much for inviting us in," Makayla smiled, as she was led to a dining table. "Where is this?" Makayla questioned, taking a seat by a window hoping to see her husband appear soon.
"Cape Verde," the old woman replied baffled. "Child, how did you get here? Where did you come from?"
"It's—a long story," Makayla replied, not wanting to explain their mysterious means of travel.
"Sit, young lady. You both look tired and these poor children," Maria said, gently gesturing for Natasha to have a seat at the dinner table while pulling Enoch out of Makayla's arms.
Enoch began to cry but was quickly soothed by the old woman's loving and gentle words.
Makayla smiled as her nerves relaxed, knowing she was in a safe place. Maria handed Enoch back to his mother, now gnawing on a fresh mango seed.
"Mmm, mango; we haven't had that in a while," Makayla said helping her son to hold the slippery seed.
"Where is Cape Verde?" Natasha questioned.
"Cape Verde is a group of ten islands just off the coast of West Africa. The island we are on is called Brava. The town we are in is called Faja D' Aqua," she informed while filling a bowl with stew.
"West Africa?" Natasha mumbled.
"Your home is beautiful," Makayla smiled looking around.
"It's so quiet now; very hard to get used to. My husband died almost a year ago,"
"I'm so sorry to hear that," Makayla said, easily relating to her mourning.
"You must have really loved him to mourn him still," Natasha added, observing her black dress.
"Yes, I did. He was a loving man—too loving. He had many women," Maria laughed.