Emeka locked the sleeping elder in his room and he tiptoed out. He maneuvered his way among the crowd who were mostly youths drinking themselves to stupor. The villagers were known to always seize opportunities such as this to eat and drink as much as they could, they called it eating ahead of the hungry days since it was not always that they had such opportunities to eat and drink as much as they wanted. Emeka had made sure that everyone had more than enough to eat and drink, he had provided a cow that had been killed earlier in the day, pepper soup was available to be taken with the several cartons of beer that he had provided.
When he was sure that no one is watching, he made his way to where the room was located. When he got to the door, he brought out the key and tried to insert it into the key hole but he felt his hands shaking and the keys fell off to the ground. He got down to pick but he couldn’t find it for the place was dark and he didn’t want to attract anyone’s attention by putting on the flash light of his phone. When he found the key, he got up and felt a cold air around him, he turned around abruptly and didn’t see anyone, he felt something touched him slightly on the ear and he jumped with fight, it was a mosquito. He felt goose pimples all over his skin and he felt the hair on his skin stand up. Something in him told him to turn away from the dangerous mission he was embarking on but his wickedness urged him on. He tried to open the door and he felt a hand lift him up from the ground, the mysterious hand suspended him in the air for some minutes before throwing him to the ground where he came crashing with a heavy thud. He hit his head on the wall and blood came dribbling down his face. Quickly he got up not to attract anyone’s attention rubbed his head and ran back to his room abandoning the mission he had set out for. He cleaned his head and went to sleep deeply afraid.
The next morning when the elder in charge of the key dipped his hands into his pocket to bring out the key, it was nowhere to be found. Emeka could not say anything, he knew he had the key in his hands when he felt himself lifted up the ground by the mysterious hand, after he got up, he had forgotten all about the key and ran for dear life.
Elder 1: “Check your pocket very well, the key should be there”.
Elder 2: “I have checked everywhere for it but I still can’t find it”.
Elder 1: “Are you sure that you didn’t keep it elsewhere?”
Elder 2: “Yes, I am very sure. It was in my pocket before I fell asleep”.
Elder 1: “Maybe it fell off in the room then, maybe you left it there or if fell off while you were asleep”.
Elder 2: “We have checked everywhere in the room and it is not there. Emeka, is that not so?”
Emeka barely nodded his head, he was trying to think over the event of the night in his head but he could not comprehend what happened. It was like a dream, a mirage, a figment of his imagination. “Maybe the key fell off when you went to ease yourself “ He managed to say. He saw them looking at the injury on his head and he knew that they were wondering what had happened to him over the night. He couldn’t wait for his nephew to be buried so he could go back to the city away from the village where mysterious hands lifted people and dashed them on the ground.
Elder 2: “In that case, we have to break the padlock since we can’t find the key. Call the youths and let them do that while we watch”
The youths got hold of a hammer and brought it on the padlock which gave way. The elders pushed the door back and entered followed by Emeka and the others. They saw Mama Ada lying still with her hands on her husband’s body, she was so still that it appeared like she had died.
Emeka: “See, I told you. She is dead. She had gone to touch our brother’s corpse with her adulterous hands and the spirit had struck her dead”. He was talking excitedly.
Elder: “We have to call the Chief priest because none of us here can touch her cursed body until some sacrifices are performed. I and some elders will go and brief the chief priest”. He turned to leave the room where someone drew his attention. “Look at her very well, she is breathing”, “She is breathing!” was the chorus that was taken up by everyone in the room.
Mama Ada stepped out of the room to the surprise of all who had gathered when the padlock was being broken. All she knew was that she had woken up to a chorus of ‘she is breathing ‘ on the lips of everyone around. All she could remember was that after her outburst to her husband the previous night, she had gone up to his corpse, thrown her arms round him and sat on the floor waiting for death to take her along with her husband. There she had fallen into a sound sleep and had only woken up when she heard people shouting ‘she is breathing’, she was surprised to see that it was already morning. A night that was supposed to be turbulent by the standard of men turned out to be the most peaceful night of her life!
People give way as she walked out of the room. She was like an outcast, an osu that no one wanted to have any form of contact with.
Emeka: “She is a witch, she used her witchcraft to survive the night and even escape the oath she took. If not, which normal human being can have the mind to sleep all night being locked up with a corpse?”
Elders: “Hmm, you have a point but this is surely a battle for the gods. Let them fight it their own way”.
All through the funeral, Mama Ada cried her eyes out with her children. More than once, she caught Emeka casting hateful glances at her. As her husband body was lowered down, her heart broke for the umpteenth time. She ran to the grave to join him there for she didn’t how she would survive without him with so much hatred against her from his people. As heap after heap of sand was poured over his coffin, she felt something die in her, something was buried with him, something that would never resurrect again. That thing that died was love, the love for men, she hated men and marriage and there and then she made up her mind to live for her children. She was done with marriage and all that had to do with men. She was determined to live for her children as their only surviving parent. She didn’t want her children to grow up as orphans like she did, she felt that if her parents had been alive to stand by her when she was alone and to speak with her when she needed a voice, she wouldn’t have been this humiliated by her husband’s family.
3 Years later.
Mama Ada woke up that morning with a headache, she checked the calendar beside her rickety bed, it was her husband’s three years death memorial. Exactly this day three years ago, her husband had died while she was away looking for money for his treatment. Her eldest daughter who was waiting for her WAEC result came in and observed her mother and she didn’t need anyone to tell her that the woman was thinking of her late husband.
Ada: “Mama, it’s that time of the year again right? When will you ever get over papa’s death?”
Mama Ada: “My daughter, you are too young to understand the bond between husbands and wives”.
Ada: “But Mama, it’s been three years. I think it’s time to let go “.
Mama Ada: “I know, three years after and the wound has refused to heal. Time that say heals all wound, this one has refused to heal after three years. I still see his fragile face as he pleaded with me not to allow him die on that fateful day. I got the money but your father refused to wait for me, your father died just like that without saying goodbye”, she was shedding tears.
Ada: “It is well, Mama. I am sure Papa is resting wherever he is “.
Mama Ada: “As if the heart break and psychological trauma of losing my husband was not enough, his people laid all sort of allegations against me and humiliated me. Ever since your father died, none of his people have cared about us or how we survive. The past three years of my life have been hell, I have struggled to feed you and your siblings”.
Ada: “I am not a child anymore, I am 18 years old and I know all your struggle, I share your pain all the night you pretended not to be hungry so that we your children could have enough to eat, I know all the secret tears you have shed when you missed father. You are our hero and we would make you proud. Just stay strong and alive for us. You are all we’ve got, you are our father and our mother”. They drew near and hugged each other.
Ada was in the shop where her mother sold soft drinks and snacks when a big jeep pulled beside her. When the glass came down, it was Emeka her wicked uncle. The last time she saw him was when he had chased her and her mother out of his compound when they had gone to beg him for money for her to register for SSCE after her mother had tried to get the money all to no avail. If not for the intervention of her Church, she would have missed out in the exams after her rich uncle refused to help.
Emeka: “Can you not open your mouth and greet? I see you are learning a lot from your mother”.
Ada: “Good afternoon, sir “.
Emeka: “You are a grown up girl now and I must say that you possess some of your mother’s beauty. I hope you don’t possess some of her foolishness and stubbornness too. Where is your mother? “
Ada: “She went to the market to buy goods”.
Emeka: “I see. Anyway, I was passing bye and I thought of stopping when I saw that you are alone. Come to my house by 10am tomorrow, don’t tell your mother about my invitation. I want to tell you some things about your father’s death. Some things you need to know as a first child. Do not tell your mother I came here or about this, I am your father’s uncle and you are no longer a child”. He drove away leaving Ada confused.
Question : Should Ada go? Should she tell her mother? Is Emeka being sincere?
SEE Episode 15 Below (You don’t wanna miss this!)…AdeLove Stories…Premier Naija Inspirational Blog!
EXCLUSIVELY FROM ADELOVE.COM
All Rights Reserved