Funke wakes up early the next morning, she had slept very little all through the night and she couldn’t wait for the marriage ceremony to be performed so that she can join her man in the city.
Funke: “Why did I even allow an elaborate ceremony, I should have just done everything quietly with just few family members around, afterall I am pregnant already, who am I doing all these for?”, she thought to herself while she was tossing on the bed over the night. On her way to the bathroom to freshen up, she remembers the dream she had that frightened her over the night. She dreamt that she was in a garden with Kenny, as they were playing, a man appeared from nowhere and started chasing them, he caught up with Kenny and stabbed him several times on his chest, he ran away before she could look at his face. “God, please keep Kenny safe for me, for the sake of this innocent child in me”, she prays silently. Her mother has also kept to her promise of staying away from the marriage preparations after Funke failed to persuade Wahidi to say that he is no longer interested. Funke hopes that her mother will have a change of heart today and participate in the activities of the day.
After bathing, she goes to her parents’ bedroom and kneels before her mother.
Funke: “Mama, please forgive me for everything I have done to hurt you. I am getting married today and I don’t want to go to my husband’s house without your blessings. Please, I want you be around, don’t make me motherless on this very important day of my life.”
Mama Funke: “I will not attend your marriage and you will not have my blessings. Shebi you and your father don arrange with my people that’s why them dey support you, your father tell me say my elder sister go give motherly blessing instead of me. No wahala, na my shop I dey go so, your tears no fit stop me”, she walks away.
Wahidi is in his house drinking, smoking and pondering on what to do to get back at Funke for refusing to allow him touch her one more time. He knows that today is the marriage ceremony and if he doesn’t act fast, he may never see her again. A part of him keeps telling him to let go for the sake of the good times they had but he keeps shutting the voice out of his head.
He hears a knock on his door, he ignores and his friend and partner in crime walks in.
Segun: “Ah-ah, Wahidi, shey you still dey here? I been think say you don dey their Funke house by now as per shareholder, now.”
Wahidi: “Wetin I wan go do there?”
Segun: “To eat and drink now, kilo she e. No be everytime this kind wedding dey happen for our village o. At least, you go there, eat enough and drink enough then carry enough come back, that way you go don recover the money wey you spend on the babe when unadey together.”
Wahidi: “Guy, commot from my house, abeg. Which kind mumu talk be this? Na awoof go kill you.”
Segun: “Okay o, if hungry hammer you, you go find that place come. I no say as you dey so, nothing dey this house. I don dey go there be that, I no fit miss out.”
Kenny and his people arrived almost late for the ceremony and Funke was worried to death that something may have happened to him. She had insisted that they arrive and spend the night the previous day to avoid him travelling on the marriage day but he had declined saying there was no good hotel for him and his people to lodge in the village.
Ghen! Ghen!! After the traditional marriage rites, having being blessed by their parents and elders, there comes a moment of silence as the crowd is distracted by the arrival of an old man in white; he waves his staff in the air, looks straight to the direction he is walking and points the staff at the direction of a man putting on Blue Agbada, Mr Ayangbure, that is Funke’s uncle, Kate’s father sitting
Old Man: “The time has come, we have cut off your wings, the battle is now over…You think the Lord will sit and watch you destroy an innocent soul?” What offence has she committed? He moves closer to Funke’s uncle “Confess! Confess you wicked soul!” he commands,
Ayangbure is hit by something strange but quickly brings out a little object and licks it,
Kate’s Father (Ayangbure): What? I don’t seem to understand what you’re talking about. I have always been loving Funke and my Brother Aderibigbe. We are more like snail and shell. That’s why I’m here today celebrating funke’s success. Please respect yourself Old man or whatever you call yourself.” He scolds.
Funke: “Uncle, what’s going on here? Who is this old man in white garment?” she looks at the Old Man closely then says, “Baba, don’t I know you?” The Old man ignores Funke’s question and faces the Uncle!
Old Man: “Young man, I am not here because of snails and shells. The spirit of God has revealed that the Sponge you used to bathe Olufunke Aderibigbe at birth has brought problems into her life. It is in your custody. So, bring it out!”
Ayangbure laughs sarcastically,
Ayangbure: “Sponge?” turns to the person around him laughs again then to his brother “ Aderibigbe my brother, did you hear what this disillusioned old man just said?“Kate’s father asked
Funke’s Father: “Please my Brother, You know old age has a way of rubbing of one’s senses ,please, forgive …” Ayangbure cuts in..
Ayangbure: “You See? People causing discord among relations. Hmm… bathing sponge at birth since all these years? I believe Funke should be 23years old now. Or is she 10 or 15 year old?”
The Old Man fixes his gaze on him,
Old Man: “Ayangbure, you must look for it. It is in your custody. Produce it now. Wherever you keep it, you must bring it out”
Ayangbure is angry,
Ayangbure: “Old man, please go! Do not spoil today’s happiness” he beats his chest, “my happiness.”
Old Man: “Young man, I won’t go. That sponge must be produced because is the service of the problems in her life. Bring it out in Jesus Name!!!”
Ayangbure staggers as thunder strikes twice at the sound of that name JESUS, he gathers himself back, stood up and replied:
Ayangbure: “Old man, you are making unnecessary poke-nosing. You might look old but you are too young for what you are asking for. Yes, too young! You are not up to the task. Haaa! The Load that weighed down the donkey, you sheep wants to try it? Are you equal to the task?”
Old Man: “True, I might be small up to the task but JESUS who is in me is greater than the whole world. Ayangbure ooo, you have to produce it! The Book of Deuteronomy 29:29, says “the secret things belong to God, those revealed to us belong to us and our Children. The spirit of God has revealed it to us. That’s why I’m requesting you to bring out the sponge. “
Ayangbure is standing with fire in his eyes,
Ayangbure: “Look, whatever you call yourself. What you are attempting will lead you to trouble. I can assure you that. No one can walk in the darkness of the night that does not begin with him.”
Old Man: “That is true. But the Bible says, the light so shines that darkness cannot comprehend it. I wasn’t there when you did it but my Bible makes me to understand the secret things belong to God, those revealed to us belong to us and our Children. Also the Bible says, fire goes before the Lord and consumes His enemies. I prophesy, the bathing sponge of Olufunke Aderibigbe at birth is with you. I command you in Jesus’ name, Bring It OUT!!! “
Ayangbure staggers again, falls flat on the ground, with his face,Funke’s father rushes to help his brother.
Funke’s father: My Brother, are you ok? Aderibigbe asked looking at his brother falling down helplessly
Ayangbure who is shaking like one with epilepsy kneels down, hit the ground 3 times with his palm there appeared a sponge, wet and still dripping water.
Funke’s father, stunned, moves away from his brother.
Funke’s father: “Egbon mi Ayangbure, having vouched for you?” His mouth was wide opened
Ayangbure looks at Funke as he is shaking…
Ayangbure: “Funke, if not for the potency of God’s word that compelled me to bring out the sponge, if you don’t find this sponge, it can’t be well with you in Life. You could be a 1st Class Graduate but your character will be that of 1st Class patient at Yaba LeftSide. People will be wondering if truly you are a learned person or not and that will not make your marriage work or stable.”
The people scream, most of them scampering closer to have a better view; it is show going to be the trendy gist in town and neighbouring villages.
Funke:” Haaaaaaaaaaaaaa!!!” Funke opened mouth agape. She was sweating and as well frightened
Kate’s father now turns to Funke
Ayangbure: “Funke, be grateful to this Old man. I am responsible for all the terrible ordeals in your life. I am the reason your trip to the US wasn’t successful, I am the reason” He falls on his knees, the crowd stands up in shock; some covering their mouth with their hands”
Funke discovered the sponge still dripping truly… she yelled, the guest yelled too!
Funke: “Baba,” to the Old Man, “Father, Everyone, the sponge is truly wet. It is still dripping water. Haaaaah!
Ayangbure: “It will remain wet, even if it lasts for 100 years.” He replied in shame
Funke: Haaah! Haaaa! Egba mi oooh!” Funke dashes to the ground clutching her fists to the sand.
Funke, shocked and heart-broken, tries to run to pour out her anger, but Kenny holds her by the arm to stop her. The guests stare in amazement
Old Man:”Tell them why you wanted to ruin her life” another thunder strikes, this time, making Funke’s uncle, Ayangbure half-paralysed
Questions: Is Funke now free? What about Wahidi? Is Ayangbure going to die? Will Kenny continue with the marriage?
…SEE Final Episode, 18 Below
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