31ST May Episode 29

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It’s being a while the locust came, the locust that brings nothing but joy their staple crops , making farmers rejoice …Making barns filled ..
Yes the lucust came. ..and so did bad news, form one Okonkwo considered his friend..
“Ezuedu, what has brought you here my friend. ? please come and enjoy the locust gifts with me” Okonkwo drags a chair for him to sit down.
he sits but his look is sad “I have come with news, a sad news , or rather a message , a message that action must be taken”
‘speak my fiend. , what is troubling you..?”
he looks at Okonkwo ” It is time..time to give up Ikemefuna, the gods of the lands have ordered it,his sacrifice of blood is what is reguired.”
Okonkwo is quiet.
why has the gods decided to do this to him….Why did he let him hold on to the boy for this long only to take him away. .why??”
this would surely bring a sad gloom over his family. .especially Nwoye. .
“This is what is ordered? ” Okonkwo asks again
“Yes. but let me give you an advice.. the gods have ordered it, but do not be amongst the people who would bring him to his ruins. do not be amongst the men who would cut him down and make him bleed to the earth. Stay away from it if possible..do not go. the boy calls you father, do not let him remember you ..even in the land of the spirits, as he says..Father did this to me. I have come to deliver my message , I am going . but prepare the boy..he would be taken by the men who would commit this sacrifice ” he says getting up.. Okonkwo watches his friend leaves,

The next day, the elders of the land, they come in their numbers..they come to speak with Okonkwo concerning what have been told them.

it was settled. .. Ikemefuna’ must be killed. it is in the evening as Ikemefuna sat down with him that he tells him.

“I know you have missed your family and they have missed you too. we have decided that you would be sent home. so prepare yourself.”
“But father ?” Ikemefuna is broken…he had come to accept them as family…that meant he wouldn’t see them anymore. .even Nwoye..

he felt bad..
“You will be sent home Ikemefuna. .”

then he heard it.. the crying..

he turns to find his son Nwoye crying. .
“I heard it father I did, please…do not let this happened. .please. .” he wails.
“I have told you..men do not show weakness, men do not cry ” he gets up and beats his son , sending him away.
*

“Father, where are we going ?”

Ikemefuna asks his father , Okonkwo as they make their journey into the forests. with other men,who held matchets . when the men went into the forests, each carries his own matchet…Sometimes as a means of protection or means to farm..

So it didn’t seem uncomfortable for ikemefuna, but he was curious because his father hadn’t said anything to him since they began the journey and Nwoye , he had been sad..too sad…
“You will see ikemefuna, you will see. .” akonkwo says
Okonkwo is working behind him , he is deep in thoughts
“Do not partake in the death of the boy,he calls you father, even if the gods had asked for my own child, I would not refuse but I will not be the one who would end him..listen to me as a friend…he calls you father ” he remembers his friend’s words. …

Ikemefuna is walking ahead with the men…He is thinking of how strange it would be like to see his family again. .and then he is worried and excited and then he is sad…he was leaving his new family too..a family he had grown to love and accept like his own too..it’s a long journey and they keep walking and walking. ..

Then they stop., facing him
“We would do it here. ..here is fine” the first man says
The other men nods ‘Yes, we would do it here, his blood shall be the sacrifice. . let us do it here ” they reply..looking at Ikemefuna who had stopped, he was curious.
“Why have we stopped ?”

“this is as far as your journey is Ikemefuna. .this is where it ends”
“I do not understabd ?” he says staring at all of them who stood about him, their matchets tightly held..
“You don’t need to,” the man says, raising his hands he strikes him with it, the tear causing Ikemefuna to scream, as the pain tore through his body ..the other one raises his hands and strikes him as Ikemefuna turns his back..
And soon they are striking him…but he doesn’t fall and stay on the ground..he falls down,hitting them he runs to his father..he runs to Okonkwo. .

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*
Okonkwo had been deep in thoughts , suddenly raises up his head and he hears his scream.. he saw them strike Ikemefuna ,once ,twice, thrice and then again..
Okonkwo heard his shouts and he knew he was in pain.. but something more than pain propels Ikemefuna to run and run toward him.
it was as if he needed to be protected by the one whom he had called father. ..because fathers ..fathers protected their own and keeps them from harms…”
Okonkwo saw him coming …running to him..getting up and running as they continue to strike him behind. .
“Do not partake in his death. .” His friend says ” he calls your father ” the words come back into his head.

Ikemefuna is nearing him..
And then another thought comes in.. ..what if I don’t partake ? what if I look away. ..what if I let the matchet falls to the ground. .
they would call me weak,They would consider me not having the mind and strength to do what is required. ..
I ..I curse my son for his weakness, do I become that thing I hate the most. ..Weak?
No!!!
“I am Okonkwo, and I refuse to be weak….” he says and then as Ikemefuna comes close..
“Father father..help me..they have killed me” Ikemefuna reaches him…
Okonkwo would protect him…Okonkwo was his father for three years… he would protect him..

Father would protect him so he runs to him….
“I refuse to be weak!!” Okonkwo raises his hands and strikes him down with the matchet

Ikemefuna falls to the ground. ..

his eyes looking upwards. .staring at Okonkwo. .
“Father ” he breathed before he chokes to his death.

Miles away. .Nwoye becomes sad…

Just like years ago when he and his mother where close to the forest and they had heard a cry..cry of infants. .
they had said they were the two faced children. ..the twins left to die in the evil forests. He had felt sad that day …

And today he had felt that same sadness.

When Okonkwo came back…
He knew that Ikemefuna wasn’t ever coming back. not because he went home to his family. ..but because. ..He had been killed. Killed by the man he called father.

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THE END.