Palingenesis – Episode 9

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By Akpede Isaac Olutosin
“That was a very delicious meal, I never imagined you being a very good cook” Said Ben
“Really so you thought I was just like those crazy girls with zero wife material yeah” said Anne as she made to pack the plates to the kitchen.
Ben resumed back to what he was doing before the meal was served. Ever since he got into the house, he has been staring all around, he was really wowed about how majestic the House is, the house will easily pass for the House of the Vice Chancellor himself. Though it was a bungalow but it has everything that is needed in a house, very beautiful set of furnitures, a gigantic plasma TV, well tiled, everything in the house is beautiful especially with the blue setting.
‘This house is beautiful’ Ben said to Anne who just got back from the kitchen.
“That’s the umpteenth time you are telling me that in a space of an hour, if you really like it then come and buy it” she replied him jokingly and then moved closer to where he was sitting
Before Ben could spell jack, their lips were already intertwined, her lips were so cold and soft, he felt the taste of the juice they just had on her lips and it enabled him to suckle the lips really hard which made her moan so loud.
The kiss continued and became more passionate.
All of a sudden Ben began seeing flashes and after that a vision appeared, a boy and a girl also kissing each other passionately, they were so engrossed in it and looked like they were enjoying it with their eyes closed and when the girl opened her eyes, she saw that the guy had turned to a skeleton, she untangled from him and screamed.
Immediately Ben snapped out of the vision too and freed himself from Anne who fell to the ground screaming, they were both afraid.
“Did you see it too” she asked with her heart pounding …….
++++
*Unknown time**
Babatunji has now grown into a man, he is just a replica of his father Ajadi, Adisa fulfilled his promise to his father, he raised him to be a warrior like him and his late father, even better.
He took care of him and his mother Omolabake very well, he is indeed a true friend.
Labake who was strucked with madness when Ajadi died was well taken care of by the chief priest who tried all his ability to heal her but wasn’t able to do so.
Her madness was believed to be a rare one because unlike every other mad people, she always keep quiet, she only talks to her son and to Ajadi’s ghost that she keeps seeing even after all these years, sometimes she also speaks to Adisa.
Some people believed that she isn’t mad, that it was the true love that they had for each other that has refused to let her live a normal life after Ajadi’s death.
Tunji who has grown to take all of his father’s inheritance passed down to him by his grandfather Balogun was cultivating one of his farmlands when his lover Abeni joined him.
Abeni has always been his closest friend before they decided to take their relationship to the next level.
According to both of them and some villagers, their love was ordained from heaven because they were born on the same day and at the same time and also in the same place which happened to be at the Chief priest’s shrine.
Their relationship was the envy of the whole village, they practically act like they are married even though they were still staying with their parents.
Abeni brought food and water for him and watched him as he devoured the food like an hungry lion, she watched him with love, she was really very happy to have him in her life.
After he ate and drank some water, he decided to walk her down to the stream to fetch water.
On their way to the stream they heard someone shouting their names, Tunji recognised the voice to be Ashake’s voice.
Ashake is the only child of Ajadi, her mother died while giving birth to her. Adisa raised both Ashake and Tunji as his children. They were really very fond of each other, they really love each other and will do anything for each other.
‘Brother Tunji, Father is dying, he asked me to come and get you’ Ashake said panting heavily
Tunji didn’t probe further because he knew that Adisa has been sick for a while now, He ran home leaving Ashake and Abeni behind and they also kept running to catch up with him.
He got home and was surprised to see his mother who hardly leaves her hut where she stays behind the house, she was trying to give Adisa who was coughing profusely his medicine. He rushed to where they were and knelt infront of his Adisa.
“Babatunji Omo Ajadi Igo, abi o ri iya ree ni (look at your mum),she is administering my medications to me, she is even begging me not to die” Adisa said smiling.
Tunji turned back to look at his mother and just smiled and faced him back.
“After all these years that I have been begging her to live a normal life, she didn’t hearken to me and now she wants me to listen to her plea that I shouldn’t die” he said jokingly and as he was about to laugh, he began to cough again.
The girls have now arrived and Ashake was also kneeling infront of her father.
“Babatunji, take good care of your mother and your sister Ashake, Take good care of them, make me and your father proud” he struggled to say and then he gave up the ghost.
The whole house went up into flames of cries, Ashake’s crying uncontrollably and Abeni who tried holding her back was also crying out bitterly.
Even Omolabake was also crying, Tunji couldn’t hold back the tears also but instead of crying he just walked out of the house.
“Why am I so unlucky, why do the gods hate me these much. My father died even before I was born and now the man have always looked up to now is also dead” Tunji was speaking to himself, he was now crying too but kept walking.
He was really hurt by Adisa’s death because Adisa really took care of him but he wasn’t able to do anything to help him while he was dying. He was so angry about it that he thought.
+++
Present day**
The following weeks at school felt so awkward for the guys, Isaac and Clarieta could barely look each other in the eyes after what happened the other day. Ben who’s also feeling guilty for cheating on Ejiro kept his distance from her and also tried acting normal whenever he is around Anne in order not to arouse suspicions.
Ben has practically devoted all of his time to Anne, they seem to be lovers but none of them asked each other out so they just take everything as it comes. Ejiro caught them winking and making advances at each other a couple of times during lectures but she decided to stay mute, she still had some positive thought that Ben will come back to her and their love story will continue but when she realised their relationship has gone down the drain, she decided to confront him.
Ben and Isaac were walking down from the cafeteria when she walked up to them.
“Hi guys, Isaac can you excuse us for a minute” she said with a very unfriendly look and tone
“It’s no problem ” Isaac said and walked down to sit under a tree while waiting for his friend. He hasn’t spoken a word to Clarieta for weeks, even though it’s hard to accept but deep inside him, he was missing her.
“Ben if you can remember vividly at the beginning, I warned you about not breaking my heart. You specifically gave me your word that you will never break my heart, what is all these rumours am hearing about you and Anne” Ejiro
‘What rumours might that be ‘Ben cuts in
‘Okay let me cut to the chase, are you or are you not dating Miss Anne’ she asked
Ben was still thinking about what to say when his phone rang… he excused himself to pick the call but Ejiro walked away in annoyance.
“Hello Anne” he spoke expecting her to respond but all he was hearing were sobs on the other end of the line
“What’s wrong with you Anne”…..
“They just called me from home, my father is dead”….. Anne spoke after crying for a while
“Where are you”… Ben
“Am at home”…. Anne
“Okay hold on, am on my way “…… Ben said, hung up and walked to meet Isaac under the tree.
“Guy that was Anne, she just lost her dad “he said
“Oopz that’s sad, you wanna go see her right now yeah ” Isaac asked
“Yeah “he replied and hastened away.
++++
**(Unknown time)**
It’s been days since Adisa has been buried but the mourning and sadness still lingers on. Tunji hasn’t gone to the farm ever since then, his mother Omolabake hasn’t said a word ever since Adisa’s death either. Most of the times she has been in her hut behind the house.
After a couple of days,  she summoned Tunji and Ashake to her hut. It really took them by surprise because never before has she ever done that kind of thing.
“Babatunji, it’s been a while that your father Adisa has died now. You have to step into his shoes now, you have to take care of yourself and your sister Ashake. I noticed you have not been going to the farm for a while but today you have to do so” Said Labake.
Old age has really done harm to her beauty but deep inside, you can still see the beauty of her glory days, even behind the wrinkled face, she is still beautiful.
‘And you Ashake ‘she continues. ‘You have to go and fetch firewood today because I see we are running out of firewood’.
The two of them both concurred without arguing or showing their surprises about how all of a sudden, she is interfering in the wellbeing of the house.
They both left the house almost immediately laughing and talking about how Mama has suddenly changed. They were both happy for the new development.
As soon as they left, Labake went back into her hut after talking to herself for a while.
Later in the day, Ashake came home with the firewood she was able to fetch. She was really exhausted and so she rested a little in the house before going to the back to check on Labake. After she was much rested, she proceeded to her room but she was amazed by what she saw.
Tunji really didn’t have much strength to cultivate the farm so he left for home after a little while at the farm. He was very tired and hungry so he walked as fast as he could, just as he was about to get home he began to hear a voice screaming. A voice he will recognise anytime, anyday.
“That’s Ashake screaming “he said to himself and immediately took to his heels to find out what was happening at home.
On getting home, he realised that the screams was coming from his mother’s hut, he thought about the worst, was his mother dead, he has to find out, he kept on running and tried to wave the evil thought of his mother dying.
He barged into the room and found his mother Omolabake lying down on the ground lifelessly.
**(Present day (Somewhere in Ondo state))**
“Ben I can’t thank you enough for all the things you have done for me, you have been with me from the first day I got the news about my father’s death and right now you are even here in the village with me for his burial, you are such a Blessing to me” said Anne.
“It’s no problem my baby, you know I will do anything for you, what I just don’t understand is how your family are trying to pull such a great party just a week after your Father’s death “Ben
“It was his last wish that we should bury him just a week after his death and it should be a mighty ceremony and moreover my people love parties like crazy “she replied smiling
They kept walking down the path that leads to her family house, holding hands together. Their relationship has really been catalysed by the recent events, their love has been waxing stronger day after day.
“Oh Ben lest I forget, I got a call from school autority today, I learnt they dropped a bus for whoever wants to come to my father’s burial and that they are already on their way. I have to go and Make provision for where they will pass the night ” Anne
“Really, that’s really a nice gesture by the school but you don’t really have friends, do you?” Ben asked
“No I don’t, that’s why am surprised about the people they were talking about but well we will find out in just few hours from now” she replied
They got home after a long walk that has now gotten Ben exhausted, as soon as they got home, Anne went on about looking for where her visitors will put up. Ben fell asleep in Anne’s car where he decided to stay and listen to some music. The village was so busy due to the event that is coming up in a few days time, you won’t need to be told that Anne’s father was a prominent person in the village.
He had slept for a while until he was disturbed by some sounds, he woke up and saw a white toyota coaster bus parked infront of him. He already knew it was the school bus even before reading the inscriptions ‘University of Abuja’ on it.
He gradually opened his sleepy eyes to see if their will be anyone he will be able to recognise, he was really bored and needed some company. He wasn’t impressed when he first saw two of their lecturers alighting from the bus, some 400l students who happened to be Anne’s coursemate, he felt excited when he saw his Class-rep and Zainab Lawal but then he got the shock of his life when he saw the next set of people that alighted from the bus. First of was Clarieta and then Ejiro and then his bosom friend Isaac.

… To be continued

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