This story is a fictional work. All characters in this story have no existence outside the imagination of the author and have no relation or whatsoever to any one bearing the same name or names. They are not even distantly inspired by any individual known or unknown to the writer, and all incidents are pure invention or coincidental. But may be happening somewhere in this vast world.
©Certified Author Afolabi 2018. All right reserved
It was always a long journey from school to home. On that beautiful and lovely Tuesday afternoon, I was very tired and thirsty, so I sat down under a bamboo tree to rest a little. “What a beautiful and lovely day!” I exclaimed. The nature is dearly beautiful. The sun was so bright, shinning and sparkling. The breeze was so cool to the extent of defeating the sparkling sun. The leaves were dancing melodiously to the beats from the breeze. The ants were working happily on their anthills, same to the bees. The birds or the likes were chirping and singing beautifully. I prolonged my imagination by imagining how beautiful the word and its creatures are. “Life they say is touch and go”…………I remember my lovely grandmother who always narrates fairly tales and dawn stories to me. She once told me that ”Life they say is touch and go, some people you know may only be there for some time. Some may go away, but people who find you special will always find a way to stay”. That was one of her quote that stick to my brain before she became a ghost. “So my grandmother had a touch of life and passed on too, what a life of vanity”. I voiced out as I struggled to get back on my feet… “I pray my parent don’t go now” I conclude as I begin the second season of my journey home.
(Few minute later)
I got to my compound; I saw many strange and known faces. All faces were averting with teary eyes. I couldn’t fathom what had happened “What could have happened? Why all this strange faces with teary eyes in this compound” I thought, totally baffled. I mustered courage as I reluctantly barged into the house. I noticed my mother who was crying and weeping unceasingly, many sympathizers were with her, they were trying to console her “God knows why this had happened” my mother immediate sister said as she was trying to console her. “What may have happened here?” I thought, I still couldn’t fathom what was happening. “Please why is everyone crying and weeping?” I asked one of those sympathizers who was also sobbing.
“Your father was bitten by a snake in his farm and this result to his death because it was too late before he was taken to the native doctor”. The sympathizer replied as she burst into tears.
I couldn’t believe my ears, “What did you just say?” I asked the sympathizer again in disbelief. She narrates exactly what she just told me.“I can’t believe this” I said in a veragain tone. Father! I screamed. I was now the cynosure of all eyes in our compound. I slumped but graciously, some sympathizers were able to get hold of me. I was rushed to the village native doctor by some sympathizers. “The shock was too much for her age” the native doctor told the sympathizers that brought me to his house
Four hours later. The day is now eclipsing to dawn. I regain consciousness. I was convey back home by the male sympathizers, as the females sympathizers who escorted me to the doctor house head for their respective house, so as to be able to cook the dinners on time.
(Few minutes later)
I got into the house. All thanks to those people that convoy me, I meet my mother still weeping on the mystery death of my father. My grandmother once told me that “Snakes doesn’t fight or bite without the conscious of those evils one”. “Does that mean that someone deliberately sent a snake to kill my father, God but what must my father have done to that person that such person cannot forgive him or give my father minor punishment than the punishment of death”. I thought as tears flow freely from my eyes without any obstructions through my cheeks as my mother also pave way for more tears from her eyes, when she sight that I was also crying.
The highly respected Chief Obiano Emeka Paul was my father; he was a highly respected chief in my village. During his life time he was loved by the children, youths and adults. He was a friend to everybody, he loved to crack jokes. He was very hard-working and never condones laziness. Despite the fact that he is a chief, he does work on his farm every weekday. My father is my best friend, he meant everything to me and my mother, he loved and care for me a lot, he equally loved my mother so dearly and he was financially okay, he vowed to send me to any level of education I wished to aim for, which is now at stake. My mother who should help now that my father is no more in financing my education is a full house wife and she doesn’t have any work she is doing. My father’s death caused the deepest wound in me.
The head of the family with some members of my father’s family came into our house. My mother welcomes them earnestly. My mother who was in black (widow clothes) offered a glass of water to each of the visitors, they drank the water as they began their conversation.
“One month is enough for you to mourn my late brother’s death”. The head of the family said as he looked in another direction. My mother’s mouth went wide in disbelieve. I wasn’t invited to the discussion, so I peeped through a hole from my room door.
“What do y…you… mea……n? Your words seem to be a parable”. My mother replied stammering and confused.
“What I mean is that you should gently pack your belongings out of this house, you yourself knew that your daughter is a bastard, so not even a tip of an iceberg of the chief properties will be in your possession……………….”. The head of the family said as he looked straight into my mother eyes. All the other members of the family nodded in approval.
I was shocked to hear what the head of the family said, I felt depressed but I continued peeping.
“…………. I beg your pardon, my husband has never caught me with a concubine, and he is the biological father of my daughter. I know what is coming on you, you want me to pack out of this house, you should just tell me gently instead of faking lies on me. I will leave if you want me to leave but I just want you to know that what goes around comes back backfired if mishandle and you (pointing to the other members of the family) you wish to eat my husband with mischievousness, I just want you to know that one day, you will get the repercussion. Sometimes tears mean unspoken happiness and smile mean silent pains” my mother said as she walked out from my father family’s midst.
“Go! we don’t want you and your bastard daughter here in this house or in our family”. Some members of the family groaned with some kind of husky voices in chorus.
“Who knows if she is not the one that killed my brother”. My father immediate brother voiced brusquely while trying to stress each word.
I was a bit relieved to hear my mother reply to the intrigue family members.
So this is what we call life! I exclaimed. During my father life time they are so caring and lovely, now that my father is gone. They now the wild fire, they are really hard to handle. “Why does my father have to go now?”my thoughts reacquainted. My grandmother once told me that “only I can change my life. No one can do it for me”. She is right. My father departs, his family members turned to something disgusting. Well we must let go of the life we have planned, so as to accept the one that is waiting for us. I was totally heartbroken; I don’t know what my fate is calling for now and that of my innocent mother. Well we must focus on today and make use of the day well, because tomorrow is not guaranteed.
“Am very sorry my sister, I can’t allow you to stay with me… You know I love my privacy a lot and I can’t afford to jeopardize my lovely and happy life because of a family member. And beside I can’t afford to be feeding you and your daughter, and also shoulder your needs. I have pledged to take care of only myself and no one else. So please my sister, maybe you should look for your shelter elsewhere”. My mother immediate sister counterblast my mother pleading to provide us shelter for some time.
My mother was shocked and embarrassed by her sister shocking reply, I was also dumbfounded.
I knew Aunty Nneka (my mother’s immediate sister) to be very wicked and inhumane, she loved her privacy as she had said earlier, she is single, financially okay and she is living in a three bed-room flat, she works as a fashion designer and many people do patronize her shop because of her effiency
My mother portage her Ghana-Must-Go bag on her head, she told me to follow her, and I did as instructed as we shamble to another village.
(30 minutes later)
We got to another village, we pleaded for shelter from the villagers, but it seems they all don’t want to help.
“That is how Nduke the palm wine tapper allows a stranger to dwell in his house; he was later bankrupted by that stranger”. One of the villager echoes.
“Maybe this is the advanced method of kidnapping, am sorry o, I can’t allow you to live here o”. Another villager ripostes my mother begging.
“We don’t know the agents of the devil, it’s not written on their faces but they always look rough like you look”. A male villager replied sassing my mother’s pleading for shelter.
“You and Baba Eze have planned Right? He told me before he left this house today that he will make me to see what I won’t expect, so he told you to come here with his daughter and wait for him right? E no go better for you. Not in this house, before I count three and you are still here, I swear I will make you regret the day you were born into this world”. – A callous provision seller rejoined brutally.
“My husband married me legally, so there is no need for second wife here”. Another woman replied.
“Wait, am coming, let me go and tell my husband about this”. The woman only went in to come backwith a pot full of pepper water, yahhhha, the eagerly running pepper water echo loudly as it landed on our body.
All the villagers we beg for help from gave us annoying, pesky, bothersome, galling, vexatious, nettlesome, vexing, pestiferous, irritating replies, some even extend in stoning us, but what can we do? That is what we call life. Human beings are the greatest evils as my grandmother do tell me, but they are not to be blame, it is just that the bad people has influenced the good one.
“After a lengthy and fruitless search for shelter , we sighted an uncompleted building; we decided to rest for the night inside the building, we were very tired and hungry, my mother was mewling, I tried to console her, she was so embarrassed that day, she has never been that embarrassed in her life. My father’s death has caused the greatest destruction, devastation, annihilation, Holocaust, disaster and ruin to our guiltless life. Imagine, just a month and we are suffering from one physical and emotional trauma to another. What a shame! See what death has caused. I didn’t know when I fell into a deep slumber because I was very tired and weak.
To be continued