Mazi Nnamdi: “I know how you guys feel please believe me”
Youths’ Spokesperson: “You don’t know how we feel at all at all” he paused and turned to his age group “Or does he?”
Youths: “Nooooooooo” they all said in unison and went frantic with agitation again.
Obianuju: “Please you guys should spare my son. What do you want? We will give you anything you want but please spare my innocent son’s life” she pleaded
Youths’ Spokesperson: “Who told you your son is innocent? Who has caused the failure of our crops? Who is the one the dibia said will bring calamity to us in this community? Who is the one he said is an abomination and a great menace to mankind? You still call him innocent? Why are you women so ignorant? What amuses me is that the highly respected Mazi Nnamdi is also living in denial of the true facts. Please madam hand him over” he took giant strides towards her but her husband stood in between the two of them.
Mazi Nnamdi: “Chike please calm down. Come let’s talk as man to man. I promise you will like what I have to tell you” he said, held him by the hand and started leading him away from the rest of the group while he reluctantly followed him.
After they had spoken silently for some time, they returned to the rest of the group. He beckoned to them to follow him that it had been settled, some of them grumbled, requesting to know what they talked about immediately while some just followed him without asking any questions.
After they had all disappeared from sight, she walked up to her husband on trembling feet…
Obianuju: “What did you two talk about?” she asked, eyeing him suspiciously. Her mind already told her he wasn’t going to tell her.
Mazi Nnamdi: “Nothing for you to worry about. Let’s go inside” he said and walked in with drooping shoulders.
Obianuju: “Hope you didn’t promise them something silly? I will never allow you touch my son from now on” she shouted after him, clutching her son protectively against her breasts.
That night, knowing fully well that her husband was up to some mischief judging from how restless he seemed, she sneaked out from the back door after a thorough search for the key. She strapped her baby to her back and clutched a basket she had purposely made for what she was up to in her right hand.
“I am not going to stand by and watch them murder my son” she mumbled to herself as she walked through the narrow dark road at the back of their house which led to the oganja river. On reaching there, she looked quietly around to be sure no one was around, unstrapped her baby, held him tightly against her bosom and wept quietly.
“Baby, don’t forget we love you very much. Please survive and find your way back to this place to prove these riff-raffs wrong. Please survive” she said to the baby who cooed sleepily in her hands. She bent down, kissed him lightly on the cheek and placed him gently inside the basket which she had made in such a way that water would not be able to penetrate into it. She wrapped him warmly with three of her best wrappers, closed the basket and pushed it into the waves which began to sail it away.
She slumped heavily on the ground weeping profusely and praying silently for God to keep her son safe.
He hid himself in the shadows watching her with heaviness in his heart. He knew what she was up to the moment she sneaked out of the house and had followed behind her noiselessly to make sure she was safe. They both stayed there until the first cock crow when he decided to go back before she realised he had watched her all through the night.
Twenty-Six years later…
She skipped along jovially ignoring the glares, flirty hooting and calls coming from the boys’ hostel. She was a spirited girl who took life just the way it presented itself without any biases. She saw the good in almost everyone no matter how bad they seemed to be, she forgave people too easily and most times, this has been her undoing. She tried as much as possible to learn how not to trust too easily but even that was a mission impossible.
Suzan was not the typical dimpled, figure eight or very beautiful lady we normally see in movies, cover magazines or read about in novels but she was beautiful inside and this beauty reflected in her outside appearance making her almost magnetic to females and males alike. The fact that her eyes were crystal clear added to her look of innocence which made her so adorable that people would just want to draw her cheek and kiss her on the forehead.
She looked towards his hostel Block C to see if he was in sight but was disappointed when she didn’t see him at all. She noticed he was unlike any other guy. Where most of the guys were hooting and grimacing annoyingly anytime she passed by, he never even seemed to notice or get a whiff of her. She always felt disappointed anytime that happened as he was the only one she ever wanted to be noticed by.
“I just wish some miracle will happen which would bring us together some day. I just can’t get myself to talk to him first, he doesn’t even seem to notice me at all. How can a man be that way? How can he be so rigid and unfeeling at all? Whichever way, I know someday, he will be at my beck and call” she mused as she climbed the stairs leading to her room.
He went home every weekend from school. He was studying Pharmacy at the University of Lagos but was an adept writer. He wrote both articles and poems and was on the verge of publishing a novel. The few people he used to talk to usually teased him on what he was doing in the science world rather than pursuing his God-given talent in the world of the artists. He would have made it in Hollywood with his features. He was handsome to the core; 6ft 7” tall with long muscular legs and high cheekbones. The hairs were judiciously distributed to his arms, legs and head with dark curly strands even though he was quite fair. A not so wide gap in between his front teeth adorned his looks anytime he smiled. He was the dream man of most of the cheeky ladies in the campus.
He always hated the attentions the ladies gave him and tried as much as possible to ignore as many of them as possible. He had few female friends but hardly mingled with the guys. He seemed to avoid them like plague.
As he was about to open the door to the three rooms apartment he and his parents lived in at Odaliki street, Oyingbo in Lagos State, he heard them arguing and his name kept popping up. He waited to listen…
Abodunrin: “What do you mean by he is our son? I warned you that day didn’t I? Now see the kind of disgrace we will have to start bearing. I cannot do this anymore Kemi” he let out a hiss of annoyance.
Kemi: “There is nothing wrong with that boy and if you insist on what you are saying then you are on your own. I don’t have time for this childishness you have decided to start displaying all of a sudden. Leave my son out of your crazy imagination okay? Just let him be” She said without giving a tiny hint of consideration to what he was saying.
Abodunrin: “Kemi he is not your son. When will you wake up from your stupid denial?”
That outburst hit him so hard in the chest he didn’t know when he walked in on them, his shoulder drooped so badly his mum was afraid he would collapse any time soon when she sighted him.
Kemi: “Hey! Sunkanmi my son you are back? Welcome” she ran to him and tried straightening up his shoulder and to make him look in her eyes but that proved abortive. She dotted on him so much her husband kept heaping accusations on her that he was the reason they were still unable to have more kids and it was her fault.
Sunkanmi: “Whose son am I mum? And what did dad warn you of? What are you guys talking about?” he asked without looking at any of them. He was afraid of what they would say, he had never felt that unwanted in his life before.
Question: What is Abodunrin talking about when he talked about disgrace? And whose son is he really?
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