As a dying man fighting for survival like one in a deep ocean, Peter delves his final blows, tearing down walls , bringing down statutes and making dust a name that was a whisper in everyone’s lips.
He didn’t just give documents, he gave names, he pointed them to the right directions and gave evidence.
One of those names he called out with pity in his eyes was “Krume Danielson, he was the one who introduced me” he had begun, doing into details; his journeys, his smuggling, his wealth. He spoke about the fraternity brothers club and what they never wanted to come to light. And though he was dying, he had a content smile on his face, the hanky he held was a dark red of blood and crawling things.
“Vanity upon vanity, all is vanity.” were his last words before the camera went off.
The news caster comes back on, a body had been found and he was identified as Senator Peter Nwambeze. Cause of death “suicide “
But was it too late for Amaka?
Speaking of Amaka, it was 10 pm, she hadn’t arrived still, Peter had used his phone to call her, it was switched off.
He looks at the letter Peter had given him to give to her and the documents he held in his hands.
He was tired of waiting, he had a family to go back to and he had to speak to Peter’s family abroad tomorrow on a conference call.
He pitied Peter’s wife, but he didn’t blame her for asking Peter for a divorce. Peter did what he thought was the right thing, he gave her all that he owned except some he left specifically; brought down the fraternity boys club, the Police and DSS and EFCC had been given orders and by the end of the day, the Fraternity of the Brothers would cease to exists and the people be put behind bars, And then he died, paying for his own recklessness.
Did he think Peter was too quick to take decision into his own hands? Yes! But how could he deny a dying man his last wish.
He only hoped Amaka finds that salvation and maybe her own case might be different .
If only ..
He checks his time again, past 10. He was tired of waiting, maybe tomorrow he would find a way to seek her out and if he doesn’t find her… Maybe death too have taken her and the letter here would never be read.
He looks around one more time, picks up his bag and leaves the building.
Emeka has been on his knees for hours, nothing had changed. The doctor had told them he would only keep her for the night because of their begging , and that it was late but by morning if they couldn’t complete the hospital bills, he would have to send them away …
She hadn’t moved a muscle, she laid there as though dead, the girl from Amaka’s school laid at the foot of the bed, she had fallen asleep holding onto her hands.
Emeka continued his prayers, for he was left with nothing else to do other than to pray. For when a man is without hope, prayer is all that he needs and even if she didn’t make it, he would be content to know that he was by her side.
Ngozi came back into the room to find Anita alone and Amaka just stepping out. She paced the length of the room counting backwards from one to hundred.
“Whats doing you now?” Anita had asked her, settling in on her bed .
A raised eyebrow Anita looks at her and asks”Why?
Ngozi isn’t smiling , She drops her phone as she is suddenly pressed “I am not in the mood for your questions tonight Anita. Who did they say is holding the toilet key??”
“The hostel warden”
“Okay, I won shit. I am going to collect the key, if they don’t give me na fight be that” she gets up and leaves the room.
“Abeg when you are done gimme key too, me I want to pee and I won’t return the key to them either. Them think say them get sense.”
Walking down the hall Ngozi comes across a fellow student who had just left the toilet and was locking the door.
“Can I have the key??” Ngozi demanded
“Sorry NG, you have to seek permission from the warden”
“You dey mad. Give me the key unless you want me to redesign your fine face” Ngozi threatens with closed fists
The girl weighs her options she knew how aggressive Ngozi was, she had heard her story. She never let’s people go unpunished for stepping on her toes
“Look when you are done just give it back to me so I can return it, I know you have heard about the worms and the —
“Whatever!! clear!!” Ngozi pushes her away and goes to the toilet
Anita was startled by Ngozi’s phone ringing, but she doesn’t pay attention to it.
But by the fifth ring she gets up, intending to tell the caller to call back later but the line cuts as soon as she picks up the phone. In the process of dropping it, the message that pops up in the screen made her frown
“I have your little friend, should I start the party without you or you are on your way already. The A of her name defines her ass well don’t you think. The goose is ready to be roasted, I hope you are ready to light the fire and send her to hell? ” – Andrew “
Not able to make out what the message meant she drops the phone, shrugs and goes back to her bed.
While Ngozi pulls down her trousers, she feels a sharp pain to her abdomen, she grabs the toilet seat as her bowels twisted she muffles a tiny scream threatening to escape from her mouth.
Tiny sweats breaks out from her forehead, the pain stretches to her thighs and pulls at her inner core. .
“Oh dear Lord what is happening” she cried, and in a rush, her anus opens and poo gushes out, she closes her eyes as it accompanies each drop with an excruciating pain leaving her breathless
It goes on for 10 minutes she bites her lower lips as her bowels empties out the toxic .
After a while the pain subsides, she reaches for the toilet paper and wipes her behind, she gets up and not bothering to look again she flushes
“What is wrong with you, are you okay?” Anita frowns seeing Ngozi as she staggers into the room.
“Just stomach ache, must have been something I ate” Ngozi says picking up her phone.
“Okay sorry. Same thing that happened to Amaka. You would be fine if you rest and take meds. By the way, your phone was ringing and –
“Anita you are giving me a headache” Ngozi cuts her as she goes through her phone
Ngozi quickly dresses in a completely black combo, takes her phone and was about to leave
“Where are you going to?”
“Anita, the sooner you learn to mind your business the better it would be for you” with that Ngozi leaves the room.
Ngozi just seems like a jealous girl Anita frowned and then wonders what that message meant that had Ngozi smiling and running out of the room.
While she laid on her bed, a thought comes to her head.
Amaka might have so much money that she won’t miss the one she has here in her box.
Quickly she gets up from her bed, and drags Amaka’s box from under the bed.
Fiddling with the lock she realized she couldn’t break it, going outside she gets a stone and works on the lock until she hears a crack. Smiling she begins to take out the cloths one by one until she felt the envelop at the bottom of the box.
She took the cash and closed back the box , on second’s thoughts she grabs the box and empties out the cloths on the bed and scatters it, does the same thing to the room, grabs her bag and leaves.
It was a weekend, most students would have gone for the weekend or travelled to the village to see their family. Everyone might just assume someone broke in and stole from them. She would spend the night at her boyfriend’s place today and come back and cry wolf by the end of the weekend.
She smiles as she patted her bag, she had 150k all to herself ; the 120k she took from the kitchen no one was looking and the 30k in Amaka’s bag. She should take her boyfriend clubbing and buy him an early birthday gift.
Amaka is slapped awake, the sting causing tears to rise up in her eyes,
“Hey wakeup, wakeup !!” He hits her across her face again. She moans turning away but he grabs her face looking down at her
“Nice for you to join us” he says, his breath smelt like a dead man’s corpse, she screws up her face trying to hold her breath, but her lungs hurt her. Whatever he had up against her nose burned her somewhat. She coughs, trying to turn but realised that she couldn’t
She was tied.
“What ..why am I tied. Who are you? Release me” Amaka demanded struggling .
“Nope” he said , moving away from her to sit on what looked like a broken chair.
Amaka tries to take in her environment, it was dark safe for a burning lamp at the corner, something like a thick book laid beside it. They were in an abandoned building with cob-webs and crawling lizards she could make from the stale smell of dampness.
“Where are we?” She asked him, able to move just her neck since the rest of her was tied up.
“Where are we? Let’s just say, your graveyard” he laughed a cold laugh, as he brings out and lite’s a cigarette, taking a long drag and making circles with the smoke.
She began to cry “please let me go please, do you want money? My boy- my boyfriend he would give you, he is a senator” she said
He laughs again “was a senator ” he corrected.
“No no, but he has money, a lot. I know you kidnapped me because you want him to give you money right? But don’t worry, he would give you a lot. Please just let me go please “
“Nope, I would love to but… only to have a little bit of fun you know, why don’t we start the party before she gets here shall we??”
“What do you want to do. Before who gets here?” Amaka has tears in her eyes wishing she could get up and run. Who was he and why did he kidnap her, she had no money, it had to be because she is the girlfriend of a senator..but how did they know to kidnap her today, maybe someone had been following her. Oh God.. she thought to herself.
“Well the queen herself that’s who” he jokes
“Who, who is that.. what do you people want with me. Who is she..who is coming ??”
“Me” the voice that spoke behind him has Anthony turning but not out of fear but of silent agreement.
Amaka sees Ngozi come into the light, her eyes grows big and her words are difficult to form
“N..N..Ngozi?” She breathed
The girl wearing black leaves the shadows ” Yes in the flesh ” she smiles. .
“Nice for you to join us princess ” Anthony walks up to her and gives her a loud kiss
“Are you going to keep staring at me or you are going to be very obvious and ask me those random questions people in your situation ask?” Ngozi comes to bend down at her and sneers into her face
Once the shock leaves her body, Amaka gulps,
“You..and him? He is your lover. You kidnapped me..both of you. Why?” She blinks back tears
“Aha, why? I would tell you Why, its simple… I just don’t like you. Is that enough reason for you my dear Amaka Chinemerem? Oh and you stole what was mine ” Ngozi is smiling
Amaka sobs ” I… I don’t understand what you are saying Ngozi. Is this a joke, please tell him to untie me and let me go, Peter..Peter is waiting for me”!
Ngozi laughs, Andrew joins her “Aww poor poor you. You haven’t heard have you?” Ngozi brought out her phone and shows her the last recording done by Peter and then the news of him reportedly found dead
“Oh my God!!” Amaka gasps
“I know right. On my way down here I saw the news I couldn’t resist. You know I was shocked and disappointed in him for killing himself, but at least he delved a blow, something about bringing down the fraternity he was in. But anyways, you know I thought he was going to run away with you when he called you today and I didn’t want that to happen. I was angry and I didn’t want you both to have your happy ending so I had my sweet dude here take you around the time knowing you would first have to get to birabi streets before you cross to the other. So smart of us right??
but when I saw this on my way here I couldn’t be happier. He was a fxxking fraternity brother Amaka. Do you know what they do there. My God. You know, I wanted to just destroy his marriage but I didn’t know it would cause some ripple effects to this. But to think he got plenty skeletons to his closet. But I guess that’s how men like him are. I mean watching the video he kept coughing and coughing blood, they said he committed suicide. Couldn’t take the hit you know. But I am happy. . Happy because now, you are all alone. “
“No no no, my Peter can’t be dead he can’t. .he can’t no!!! ” Amaka sobs shaking her head
“Oh he is dead, you know I don’t know what he did to himself but news has it that maggots and all had already infested his body. He must have fallen into shit or gutter or something I don’t know or maybe the fraternity brothers killed him. Who cares, it was a gory sight. You want to see a picture …Yes? ?”
“No ” Amaka turns away not able to stop the tears. God why..why did you take away Peter away from me. What would I do. How do I cope..who would help me now. How do I finish school. She cried.
“You know for a smart girl you are quite stupid and dull. I mean, didn’t you find anything suspiciously familiar about his infidelity video ?” Ngozi is moving around in the dark parts of the condemned house,
Amaka eyes follow her, tears was a constant downpour soaking her shirt and the rope.
“No??” Ngozi asks
Andrew shakes his head “stupid and I thought you guys were like roommates for what, four years and you couldn’t tell? Stupid !!” He repeats
“What… what are you talking about?” Amaka is confused.
“The video stupid. The $3x video of Peter and some lady. Peter and some lady. ..durh! Hello!!” She points at herself
It takes another full minute for it to sink in.
“I.. it was you. You were the girl. You slut. You bitch you. .-” Amaka began
Ngozi closes the distance between them by pulling Amaka by her hair… Amaka groans in pain and she couldn’t use her hands to wade her off. She was tied. It was Ngozi who ruined Peter. It was because of her he died. How dare Ngozi take away her joy, her first love, her all and everything. .
“Me a bitch? This bitch would be the last face you see”
“Untie me and I would kill you. You killed him it’s you. You are evil. Wicked. . You are…
“Easy now little girl, I am the one in power here I could easily tell him to snap your neck or better still use that crowbar at the corner and make a dent to your skull. But I don’t want you to die an easy death. I want you embrace your isolation till the earth eats you up”
When Amaka realised what she said she begins to cry ” please Ngozi please let me go. “
“Too late for that. I only kidnapped you to keep you away from Peter but now that he is dead, I can’t let you go because you know… One, you would report me and I can’t have that. And two, well I have always wanted to leave someone here to die, its a fantasy of mine. At least I would be saving your mother the trouble of having a wicked daughter like you you know .
I heard she is in a coma and she may die.” Ngozi laughs “And I heard you didn’t give a shit. So I might as well rid the earth of your scum too don’t you think. You can meet your lover at the other side. And you both might continue. But you know the good thing…my life would go on and I may meet another person like Peter, richer and far better but at least I would be meeting him alone.” Ngozi says stepping away after letting go of her hair
“Please Ngozi , I .. I never did anything to hurt you” Amaka tried to make her see reason
“Oh you did plenty Amaka , you just have to be you. That was all. And because I was thoughtful I brought a bible..so you can say your last prayers you know.. you see I do have a heart. Kind of” she and Andrew laughs
“Oh my God, please help me. Safe me please ” Amaka cries out.
“God? God!!!? Did I just hear you call God? The same God you cursed.and told me doesn’t exist? Is it the same God you poured hot water on your mother for when she tried to advice you? You know you are a hypocrite and a delusional human being, now you call on him because all of a sudden you believe he exists ?” Ngozi throws back her head and laughs.
“You should have listened to your mother, maybe you would have left Peter and gone on to worship him this God you call now and then I may have taken your place and we may have remained friends.
So dear Amaka, I think you have a grasp of why this has to happen to you right? Maybe in your next life you may heed to the words of your mother and just maybe, you might take the bible seriously. Take me as your… messenger of disobedience” she winks
“Babe, you know what to do” Ngozi says turning to Andrew
“Please please Ngozi I beg of you in the name of GOD. Spare me. Spare me I promise I won’t ever do anything to annoy you again. Please oh, God help me..Ngozi Ngozi what will he do to me? Please sir please I beg you. Oh chineke mo!! Mama oh..eh My God. My God!” Amaka wails struggling. Praying the rope breaks by some sheer miracle and she runs out of here
“Oh shut up!! Babe shut her up. !!” Ngozi frowns, it was getting late. She needed to get back to the hostel. She was going to spend all night in tormenting Amaka but she was feeling sick all of a sudden, she wanted to lie down and close her eyes.
What the hell did she eat that was turning her tummy.
She staggers outside for a minute to get a bit of fresh air, she saw Andrew closing the distance between him and the screaming Amaka. She knew he would have his fun with her before he throws Amaka in the hole
She heard her screams, it gave her satisfaction, it gave her content.
She knews Andrew would be ruthless. she would have liked to watch but she was feeling woozy, a bit light headed. She crunches down holding her stomach as a pull brings her to her knees. she cries out in an excruciating pain, just as soon as the pain leaves it comes back in full force tearing her midriff and when it loosen she straightens up “What the hell!!” She exclaims
She could still hear Amaka scream and her painful cries , she heard Andrews faint continuous moans . She knew soon now he would roar out in excited release.
The pain grips her again and this time she coughs, the pain almost exploding in her head as the cough courses through her body leaving her weak, she spits as mucus gathers in her mouth. It’s dark so she cannot see, as she spits and cleans her mouth.
Another fifteen minutes Andrew comes out; a satisfied smile on his face as he zips up.
He frowns seeing her face..
“Feeling pity for her are we? “
“No. Just feeling sick and this place gives me the creeps. Done? You enjoyed yourself. ??”
“Immensely, I wouldn’t mind going again but… you look like shit. Are you sure you are okay babe?”
“I don’t know. Lets just go throw her in the hole and let’s go”
Amaka is curled up in the corner and in tears, her cloths torn and she naked by the wall. Her hands tied in front of her and her legs together, Andrew strolls back into the dark room.. Amaka who has been crying suddenly moves back immediately. .
“Please, please not again please..” the pain she feels between her legs are unbearable. Worse than the time when Peter forced her, but he, this stranger was an animal.
“I would love to but daddy gat to go but I would leave you with your friends the lamp and the bible and by the time anyone notices you are gone and missing you might be dead and rotten” he grabs the screaming Amaka , her struggling did nothing, to stop him
“Please please…Ngozi Ngozi !!!” Amaka screams ” please sir please ” she begged him “Oh Jesus !! My God help me oh God I don’t want to die help me help me ” she cries
He grabs her bridal style, lays her on the ground standing, making sure her ropes where tighter than usual, Amaka was shaking , begging him but he would not be deterred, he whistles and he kicks away a board covering a hole, then he lifts her up with a resounding kiss to her lips, he let’s her go as she sinks into the ground with a scream. Room spacious enough for a side to side movement and nothing else, creepy crawling things were at her feet crawling up and down the sand walls.
The ants and lizards already made a home in the hole, Amaka constant screaming was piercing his ear drums.
“No matter how loud you scream..no one would hear you. So keep at it.”
“A little word of prayer ??” She turns as Ngozi speaks, she was standing over her head.. she was holding the bible. .
“By the sweat of your face You will eat bread” Oh bla bla bla. That’s not what I want. Aha.. here it is, 19b
Till you return to the ground, Because from it you were taken; For you are dust, And to dust you shall return.”
And Job 30:19
“He has cast me into the mire and I have become like dust and ashes.”
Isn’t it ironic… Amaka, we have cast you back into the ground and we hope you return back to dust.” she smiles
“let’s go !!” She says turning away after laying the bible at Amaka’s face side, where she knows Amaka’s eyes can see ,
“Maybe in your alone time you can reflect on the bible you so dispise and find solace in your darkness because you are going to hell” Ngozi throws off her shoulders
As they leave they hear Amaka screaming and crying and calling out to them. But they don’t stop, they don’t even turn back.
It’s a slow drive back to the land of the living, Ngozi seems to be getting worse
“You want us to go to the hospital? ?” Andrew is worried.
She laughs mockingly ” by this time? No. I think it’s just something I ate, I may have to go to the toilet as soon as I get back to the hostel”
He nods and concerntrates on the road, once he gets to the hostel gate he stops and turns to her ,
“Ngozi, I want to ask you something “
“Go ahead ” she says ,feeling better
“Don’t you think that we just let her sweat it out for a day or two like we did with that clement client of yours and then we go back and get her ?”
“Are you out of your mind, ?” She frowns
“Look , I know I have no problems ending a life but do you know how to live with it??”
“Well there is a first time for everything. Besides, you think she won’t tell anyone what we did. At least I wanted her kidnapped but you were the one who raped her, do you know how long you can be out in jail for that??”
“My thoughts exactly. Just do what I intend to do… forget the girl. “
“Your friend, your business “
“Exactly. . See you around Andrew. Hopefully I would get a better mugu for us to drain properly not this chicken of a peter who choose to take his own life.”
“About those things about maggots they saw coming out of his body, how come??”
“They don’t know,”
“I mean a person has to be dead for a long time and days if not weeks for his body to decompose like that to start bringing out those kinda things don’t you think? “
Ngozi thinks for a second… “True but I don’t know the entire story other than what the news says, he committed suicide but the maggots were found crawling and coming out of his body. But what’s my own, I have other pressing issues like Another Peter to find. Goodnight Andrew” she leans in and gives him a kiss.
“Goodnight princess ” he smiles and drives off immediately..
Ngozi gets into her room, it is dark, she doesn’t bother putting on the light, the pain sweeps her again, grabbing her tummy she bends to her bed and collapses.
Emeka feels a movement, but as soon as he stopped praying and opens his eyes. Nothing
Maybe his mind was playing tricks on him. But it felt as though she moved her hands. He goes back to praying and then he falls asleep.
She was standing backing the window when he woke up,
“Mama? Mama you are awake…Oh thank you Jesus !!!” He jumps up running to her to hug her. But when he gets to her she is crying
“Mama, why are you crying . Mama what is it . Mama?” He turns her begging her to talk, his heart is pounding.
“Amaka..Amaka”!! Is all that she says, her tears increasing.. “Amaka!!” She repeats
He wakes up with a start , he is still kneeing beside her bed, she isn’t moving still. The room is dark and quiet safe for tiny moon light seeping into the room. He raises up to look at her, he saw a strand of tears leave her eyes. He cleans it, clasping her hands back with his and begins to pray for her again… and then for Amaka.
He doesn’t know what was wrong but he had a sudden conviction to pray for her safety .
It is morning, Amaka doesn’t know how long she had screamed for or cried for but all she feels is sand in her mouth, a parched face for tears and bulging circles underneath her eyes.
Things keep crawling up and down her body, unto her face and between her legs.
She was pressed and she had to pee, as the liquid trailed down her legs she felt something else was crawling out with them too. The pain between her isn’t dulling instead it seems as though her insides is eating up..
It is day now and yet she knows she is in the middle of nowhere, no one would know where she is or how to find her.
No one would miss her till she is dead and gone.
She remembers her mother and then her tears flowed like a mountain. .
“Mama..Oh mama.. forgive me. Forgive me” she cries. slowly the last couple of days begin to replay back in her mind.. how she had disrespected her mother, insulted her and cursed her.
And when she remembered how she had allowed that hot boiling water pour on her with her own hands she cried out again. ,
She had let her sadness of losing her father cloud her thinking and judgement. She had let her pain make her not see the pain of her mother. She had let her hatred cloud her reality and because of that she had purposely followed along paths that had brought her to this very end.
If only she had listened to her mother, just maybe just maybe this end facing her right now won’t have been her portion but there was no justification for her actions towards her mother. There was no silver lining of sense for what she did to her mother and for that she deserves to die and rot in this place. She deserved it.
But she didn’t want to die. Not like this. Alone, raped and abandoned like this. Pains all over. She coughs out blood and with it came out creepy little dark slithering worms dangling at the side of her mouth. Seeing the movement and with shock..she began to scream and scream and scream.
Had the creepy things of the earth already started crawling into her and coming out of her mouth. Then they must have entered into her from between her legs, she felt them last night.
“Oh God , forgive me please. Help me father. I don’t want to die. I am sorry for all my sins. Do not forsake me. Do not abandon me. I confess my sins. I ask for forgiveness. I know I have been wrong God, doing all manner of evil things. I know I have cursed you and felt like I was living high and nothing eLse matters. Lord I am sorry. Have mercy. Have mercy baba eh chineke mo have mercy. Oh God I don’t want to die. I confess my sins. I repent. I surrender my life. I ask for forgiveness. Oh God help me help me ” she cried with tears flowing, sniffing she cried and called out to the heavens.
But only silence answers her.
Amaka cries and cries and cries, for there was nothing else she could do.
Calling her mother to forgive her, hoping that wherever she was…in that coma she stays alive for her. Knowing she might never see her again she prays her mother finds it in her heart to forgive her if she makes it, if her mother makes it out of her coma.
She cried for herself. For there was no hope for her. No hope .
She choose to follow bad friends when her mother had spoken to her constantly as the bible had said “bad company corrupts good manners “
She choose on her own to indulge in drinking, smoking and clubbing, $3x and other evil social vices that did more to harm her than to elevate her. What use was that lifestyle. . What use?
“Do not defile the temple of God ” her mother had said. But she had, with her body she had pulled and defiled herself. With her thoughts she had thought of things and done them and with her actions she had acted on it.
She choose rather to follow a married man knowing he had a family, she choose to stay and want something which wasn’t hers, what did she hear about coveting what isn’t theirs. She had constantly basked in the ambiance of sin feeling ontop of the world because she thought she was leaving the life, but this was where it ended her in… in a hole where a girl she considered her best friend desires to let her die. Alone and Abandoned.
The breezes comes out of nowhere.. as it blew, moving things around and disturbing the sand blowing it into her eyes, it touches on the bible and moved its leafs over it each other, letting pages after pages open up to her face..
Amaka turns as her gaze rests on the bible..
She was going to die here, she needed to accept her fate.
But at least, for once in her life she would believe in that God her mother had so talked about and her father had held onto till he breathed his last. She would let all go, every thought and mistakes go and she would pray like she has never prayed before.
And maybe this bible might be the last thing her eyes may see and scan through. .
But atleast she would die with hope.
“Mama, forgive me. I love you” she breathed.
Her eyes turns to the bible again as the breeze keeps blowing pages open .
“Dear father, I don’t know if you can hear me. I know I don’t deserve to be forgiven. I know I have my doubts. And I know I deserve what I am receiving. So I am a person without hope at the moment but I rather put my hopes in you. And if by sheer miracle I live, I know its because of you if but I perish, may I perish believing in you still.
So this is my prayer of surrender. I surrender my life to you. I ask for your mercy. I know you are God and I know you are supreme. I give you my life even at this moment. And even if I die for I know there is no saving me. Let me die believing in your existence and sovereigns. And heal my mother.. let her heart forgive and love me still. Amen”
The breeze blows more pages open again..
Her eyes rests on Psalm 51 and then she began to read it…
Mr Jacob stops at the community university asking of Amaka. A few persons were named Amaka and thus it was difficult to find her. He didn’t know her last name and Peter didn’t tell him either.
This morning he had spoken to his wife, he knew she was fighting her emotions and trying not to cry but he knew that expression well, he knew that composure when someone didn’t want to break in front of family and friends. It had been a conference call, Peter’s late wife and their twins were present along side a few family relatives.
He had read the will to them, covering the entirety of Peter’s properties he had acquired in his career and his period of being a senator. Peter did well for himself , at least he left something for his family to fall back on.
He had told them how he would carry out the transfer of wealth from Peter’s name to that of his wife and his two children, and other account details. They were eager to sever all ties and round up the meeting. He couldn’t blame them, no one would. They wanted to put everything behind them and move on. He left them no choice.
It took an hour before someone directed him to their hostel. It was still early in the day, he knew. He had a 9am flight to catch and he wanted to be done with this as soon as possible. Sometimes life never gives second chances, he didn’t want to take a chance with his own wife either. He had some apologies to make to her for being inconsiderate at times.
He met a girl at the front of the girl’s hostel. .
“Excuse me, I am looking for Amaka, fair light skin girl, very pretty. She is friends with Senator Peter Nwambeze? ” he said, the girl turns and looks at him.
“Amaka isn’t around oh, she traveled ” she said
“Traveled to where?”
“To Amambra, her brother is getting married”!! The girl replied, a darker girl is coming behind her
“Tochi what’s up na, who is he, your new catch ?” The dark girl winks at the other girl who shakes her head
“I wish, he is looking for Amaka, I told him she traveled. Shei she said her brother is getting married ” ?
“Yes” the darker girl says
Mr Jacob is shaking his head ” the Amaka I know she is an only child, her mother is alive. She is friends with Senator Peter Nwambeze ” he repeats
“Oh, okay it’s that Amaka that stays in wing B. That one that poured her mother hot water, I told you na. ?”
“What??” Mr Jacob frowns
“Oh that one. Okay sir, that one na whosky girl oh! !” They both laugh
“Look I don’t understand what you mean, can you direct me to her please. It’s very important. “
Suddenly a third girl is coming into the hostel, her face a angry mask, she is sighing and talking to herself.
“Heyssssss Anita, where your friend Amaka, person dey find am” the dark girl calls at the taller girl who had just walked towards them after crossing the streets
Anita stops for a minute and looks at them ” Do I look like her mother “?
“Sometimes !!” The light skin girl says “oga see her friend here she might be able to tell you about her” they leave them alone
Both of them leave him with Anita and walk away.
Anita who is in no mood to talk is walking away
“Excuse me please, where is Amaka!?” He stops her
“Look sir I don’t know, you have her number call her. She might be with her boyfriend because that’s where she said she was going to last night except she has come back. As you can see I am just returning and I am not in the mood.”
“Boyfriend. ..you mean Senator Peter Nwambeze? ?”
“That can’t be. He died last night and Amaka didn’t show up!!”
“What do you mean he died last night and Amaka didn’t show up? “
“That is why I am here. I have something for her from him. He said I should give this letter to her and only to her”
Anita frowns, Peter Nwambeze dead? How.. what come. Who killed him and if Amaka didn’t see him last night then where did she go to and who called her
“But, he had called her..
“Yes with my phone but she didn’t show up”
“Hain!! Come inside let me check if she is inside please.”..
Mr Jacob follows her inside the hostel, down the hall and into the room .
The place was in disarray and an awful smell seem to be coming from the room, Anita frowns and turns up her nose..
Ngozi was asleep on the bed, she touches her awake..
“Ngozi ..Ngozi??” She moans out in pains turning
“Ngozi wake up..wake up” Anita touches her again, weakly Ngozi manages to open up her eyes, seeing shadows before her vision adjusts to see Anita looking down at her. She felt like shit, literally.
She remembered coming back home and lying on the bed and that was it.
What was wrong with her.
“Are you okay, you are burning up??” Anita touches Ngozi’s body and frowns
“I think I have malaria I don’t know. My tummy; my head, even cough and purging. .I don’t know what’s wrong with me”
Ngozi looks around her to see the man standing behind Anita ” who is that, and what happened in the room??” She looks around, Anita follows her eyes
“I wanted to ask you the same thing. I left as you left last night now I am just coming in. Did you have a party in here?”
“Are you trying to be funny? ?” Ngozi coughs
Anita shakes her head, then remembering “Have you seen Amaka ??”
“No!” Ngozi answered, she answered too quickly “I mean no, why??”
“Because I think she is missing ?”
“Why do you think so, she is a big girl, “
“Because she didn’t meet up with her boyfriend last night because… because he is dead. And I think something has happened to Amaka,,”
“Who dead.. Peter . Senator Peter ?” She feigns surprise, Anita nods
Anita turns to the man behind her..
“The world thinks it’s suicide but that’s not the entire truth.” He tells them
“What do you mean?” Both of them look up at him curiously, he wonders if he should tell them. But she was their friend, if Peter’s death was somewhat as a result of it, then there is a likely possibility Amaka would be dying slowly soon and whoever Peter had been with at close proximity or intimately..
“My name is Mr Jacob Churchil, lawyer to the late Senator Peter Nwambeze. You see, yes peter killed himself but it was because he was already dying. “
“Dying of what?”
“Deadly worms!!”.. he replies.
Anita and Ngozi look at him in shock..
“What, what do you mean ??”
“He had contact with a lady in one of their night parties and it seemed she had pin worms, ordinarily they shouldn’t be deadly but when not treated they tend to be deadly as for the case of Peter it made him sick. He began coughing and peeing out worms as they were eating up his insides and causing a decay, because he didn’t have proper information nor advice, he met up with someone who told him that a virgin would cure him which was all a fluke alas Peter became worse, he was having unprotected $3xual relationship with Amaka and so she may have been infected. Peter was a living corpses, it also means that Amaka would be suffering the same fate.
But in any case, Amaka isn’t aware of all this and I am hoping she finds help if there are any before its too late or put her house in order as Peter did. This letter is for her, he wanted me to give it to her but she didn’t show up ” he finished showing them the letter.
“Jesus “!! Anita exclaims covering her hands with her mouth
“That means all those times students were talking about worms this and that …it ..it was Amaka. Oh blood of God. JESUS!!!! so Amaka would die.? Jesus! !! I talk am. I talk am, I told her to always use protection she no hear she no hear she no dey hear, hey God” she held her head and danced on her feet pitifully
Ngozi is silent ..she began thinking… that night at the hostel when she and Peter had $3x…Did he..Did they..does she.
“No!!” She says getting up
“Oh father my God!! “Anita wails, worms! Deadly pin worms “Tufiakwa!!” She spat
“No!” Ngozi says again
“Please, do you think she is missing, is there anyone else she knows and must have gone to see?” Jacob is asking
“No oh. It’s only peter she started dating and staying with. Other times she hung with us. Do you think she is dead already. Should we report to the police. Lets call her number?” Anita is saying.
“Its switched off I tried the whole of yesterday and then today “
“Hey God!!” Anita exclaims
“No!” Ngozi is walking up and down the room , thinking and shaking her head.. calculating..thinking again. .
“No hey No!! It can’t be…it can’t be..it can’t have…No!!” She shakes her head again “Hmmm hmm hmm No no hey no” she raise her legs up, looks at her trousers and begins to unzip her trousers touching herself
“What is she doing?” Jacob is distracted looking at Ngozi
“What…??” Anita turns to her , “Ngozi what are you doing. .Ngozi??”
Ngozi takes off her trousers and peeps into her panties “heyyyyy it can’t be it can’t be oh ..it can’t be” she begins to wail
Suddenly people are at the door..
“Where is Ngozi. ..Ngozi??” They are carrying sticks
“What is the matter ?”Anita turns the same time Mr Jacob turns, did he just come in the middle of a girl’s fight and why was the Ngozi girl suddenly acting very strange taking off her trousers and peeping into her panties as though not realizing that he was a man standing there.
“Shei we said that if we find the culprint her case is sorry. Today we would deal with her ” they chanted
“I don’t understand what you mean” Anita is scared now
“Ngozi took the toilet key from me last night and didn’t return it, and today we just entered the toilet to see those black black worms on the ground and they are thicker and fatter crawling everywhere. It was Ngozi that used the toilet. It is her that had those things inside of her it is her that wants to kill us and use us for ritual but God pass Satan, we must show her that stick sef dey drive demon…bring her out “
“Jesus! !” Anita is shocked. .
“No no its Amaka..its Amaka !!” She tells them , ” tell them sir” she beckons to the stranger
But he is looking at Ngozi who is itching all too suddenly ., coughing profusely and shaking her head “No No no it can’t be it can’t be…no Me..no it can’t be .. Amaka; Peter. .Me ” ? She looks into her panties again shaking her head ” No hey it can’t be” at the same time she puts her hands into her panties and begins to scratch and as she brings it out to look, something falls off her hands, something slithering..something dark something that looks like worms.
“Holy mary mother of Jesus!!” He exclaimed as everything clicks. Peter had mentioned the girl who had blackmailed him, Amaka’s friend. An “Ngozi ” she had thought she was being smart, she didn’t realize she signed her own death sentence
“It was you…it was you in that $3x video wasn’t you ?” He pointed to Ngozi who is shocked at what is falling from her fingers as she scratches her anus and private part, tears falling out of her eyes..
“Hey God no it can’t be..it can’t be.. we just did it once.. no three times and hey ago no God . Will I die hey God. No No no no it can’t be” she is screaming
“it was you wasn’t it, the blackmailer, the one who leaked that video online. It was you wasn’t it. You are the girl in the video. You blackmailed him It is because of you everything blew in his face.” Mr Jacob thunders
“Oh God works in mysterious ways. You thought you were being smart. Now see yourself. You have been infected with deadly worms because of greed and jealousy and love of money all because you wanted what your friend had. If only you knew ” Jacob shakes his head.
Anita turns and looks at Jacob and then Ngozi, no it can’t be, it can’t be Ngozi. She was Amaka’s friend. She wouldn’t do that … but..
She looks at Ngozi again as she is crying , coughing. ..blood sprouting out of her mouth, worms in her hands. ..
“Oh Jesus !”” Anita backs away
“Help me..somebody help me” Ngozi’s cry increases ” I didn’t know I didn’t know” her pain begins again, she hold her stomach and cries out..
“Bring her out. Boyfriend snatcher. Home destroyer. Those who live by the sword would die by the sword ” a girl screams
“Bring her out. Devil’s spawn” another spat
“Before she kills all off us here “
Anita is shocked. She knew Ngozi was jealous of Amaka but she didn’t think she would go that low to steal her man.
Now Peter was dead. Amaka would die and then Ngozi would follow suit.
Anita begins to feel disgusted. ..she had been in the same room as them for a while now..
“Jesus !!” She grabs her cloths and begins to throw them into her box. .. “Ewoo! !”
Mr Jacob grabs his phone and calls the police. .
If this was the only thing he could do for Peter he would.. at least, there was a certain punishment for blackmailers
The students had come into the room and drags Ngozi away pulling her by her hair and shirt, using sticks and stones on her and pushing her outside..
“But…where is Amaka?” He again after dropping the call
“Abeg I no know oh I no know…God I am leaving here. Me I don’t want to die. Tufiakwa! !”
“Listen to me young girl, your friend didn’t turn up, she might be missing worse off dead somewhere. She might be alone and completely unaware of what is going on with her. Is there anything you can tell me about her that we can help to find her ??”
Anita is busying packing her things, students are dragging Ngozi outside and beating her, she is bloodied already. He grabs Anita by her hands and shakes her…” young lady I am talking to you …”
“I.. I don’t know I don’t know anything ” she says
He leaves her, turning away
And then something occurs to her
“If Ngozi did all this just to get to Peter, and he didn’t fall for her blackmail and she leaked the video to punish him. Then what would she have done to Amaka who she was jealous off??” She was speaking to her self
Mr Jacob turns and looks at her ..
“There was a message on her phone yesterday. Come to think of it as soon as Amaka got that call she became very very unsettled, angry even. And then she went outside and then came back as Amaka left. There was a message that came in , something about a goose and fire and let her rot in hell. Oh my my God do you think Ngozi had Amaka killed?” Anita covers her mouth..
“Who sent the message ?”
“One Andrew” she looks to the bed and sees Amaka’s bag, grabbing it she reaches for the phone. Locked.
“Open it ” he says
“I can’t. Only she can. But what if I am just exaggerating? ?”
“Its better we cover all angles. Better safe than sorry if she had anything to do with Amaka’s disappearance we have to find out. If she doesn’t then we would file a missing person’s report and hope she is okay and safe wherever she is or worst case scenario, the worms killed her first.”
Anita nods , Jacob grabs her hand
“Lets go outside before they kill her and we don’t get any info from her” Jacob says and both him and Anita rush outside to the crowd of student shaming and hitting her, she was curled up on the floor crying and pleading. . Wearing nothing , she had been stripped, you could see the worms crawling out of her as she had soiled herself.
“Wait!” Jacob screams raising up his hands ..”wait ” he says again breaking into their middle stopping them
The siren is heard faintly getting closer..
“Please sir please, I beg you in the name of GOD please” Emeka begged
“See I have kept your mother here all night, the money you raised cannot even cover for injections talk less of the night bills. Take your mother and leave “
“Chei God. Please I can work to pay off. I can. Just keep her here for another couple of days. I would work in the hospital please “
“We have no opening and nothing we have is fit for you. You are not a doctor nor a nurse. You cant work here. “
“I can clean toilets, I can clean and wash I beg you sir. If I take her I don’t know where to carry her to. She is in coma sir as you have told me. How would I care for her if not on the hospital. What would I do? Take her to the village sir. It’s the same as just leaving her to die sir. Please sir please “
“Look here –
“We would work…sir please ” the girl behind Emeka goes on her knees beside him .
“Look, I would keep her for another couple of hours and by then no payment; even then my hands are tied.” He leaves them in the room and walks away.
By the end of the day.. it doesn’t look as though the woman might make it.
If this was the only hope they had.. then he would give them the hope they needed.
“I pray the God you have been praying to answers you. It doesn’t look like he hears” He says over his shoulders.
“He does. He does” Emeka mutters as he takes the bowl of water and begins to wipe her hands , face and legs. The same way he did with his mother, weeks unending before she gave up the ghost.
“And just like her, I wont give up on you either” he adds. His eyes meets the girl’s eyes who hasn’t left his side. He had told her to go back to school but she had insisted on staying…saying she could afford to miss a few days.
He didn’t know why she stuck around but he was grateful for the support and company.. and for another person to join him in prayer.
But he also wished that, Amaka would walk through those doors. Maybe her mother just needs to hear her voice just maybe.
He believed in miracles and he hopes there would be one for her and even if she doesn’t make it. He would never stop believing that God has a reason for everything and he would never doubt him
“But God… let this cup pass over her head ” he prayed
Andrew had been feeling feverish all night, by morning his eyes were bloodshot and he was peeing blood.
“What the fxxk” he jumps into his car and drives to the clinic
“Doctor, I don’t know what’s wrong with me… I have been peeing blood all night with excruciating pain, and I feel as though things are crawling inside me. I threw up a couple of times at night. Thick cloated mucus accompanied it. But by this morning I could barely stand up straight. I don’t know what’s wrong. And the itching na die ” He lamented
A test was done..
“Mr Andrews, I am sorry to tell you..whatever you have inside of you is at its last stages. It’s an over sized deadly pinworm, that has the tendency of causing your intestines to be eaten up. I am afraid to say you are slowly decomposing “
“What do you mean doctor.”?
“You are dying and fast.” The doctor looks at him pitifully.
“But how..how come…how did this happen I have been okay. “
“You must have gotten them through contact with deadly worms, bad environments, food infested with the eggs, bodily and fluids contact. Lots of ways, but it’s already at the last stages and at this point in time they eat up their host and lay eggs and the process continues and because your insides are already rotting at a fast pace it shuts down your system until you literally just fall down and die, an excruciating death.”
“Jesus! !! I didn’t touch anything worm like. I am very careful and neat and don’t near anywhere.. I haven’t ..I haven’t. .. unless? ?” He began to stammer … he didn’t use a condom with the girl he threw in a hole last night. He had been too excited and the condom he had broke as soon as he slipped it in and she was struggling. In his excitement he had taken it off and rammed into her ravagely …
“Can it be gotten from unprotected $3x??”
“If the person has it. Yes . That is possibly..”
“Jesus !!! Ngozi has killed me. Doctor is there no cure? ?”
“I am sorry; it’s like cancer. At its last stages you can do nothing. Unless we flush out your entire system, do surgery to open you up and take out the worms and that’s dicey. It could be everywhere..your lungs and intestines by now. Your blood. Infested. I am sorry..
“Oludumare! !!Hey. Ngozi has killed me. That girl has killed me. They have cursed me oh” he wailed as he gets up kicking the chair away and begins to run to his car, he drove to the hostel
Without locking his car he jumps down crossing the streets to meet a crowd of people in front of the hostel, breaking through he is screaming and crying
“Ngozi oh Ngozi”!!” Trying to break through the crowd and get into the hostel
“Ngozi I am dying oh I am dying. .eh you have killed me. You have killed me eh. NGOZI “!!! he is itching , he coughs out blood. Looking at his hands he screams “HEY!!!! I DON DIE EH HELP ME HELP ME OH!!” Bolts of pain shoots him to the ground, he is rolling on the floor and screaming
“Ngozi hey Ngozi! !”
Students are turning to his wailing…
“See this one..weitin dey do am..blood of God is he coughing too.
Jesus!!! Worms oh..see him too.
“Jesus she has infected this one too” people are screaming
Jacob is bent over Ngozi who is shaking her head and crying refusing to talk lamenting for help saying she is dying .
Constantly repeating ” No no no. I don’t want to die. Peter . Amaka ..me. I don’t want to die. No no no…epp me. It hurts.”
“Do you know where Amaka is?” He kept asking but she is not saying anything.
Students are moving back; disgust on their faces, they don’t want to touch her or get close, they want her away.
The police have come, they are standing at a safe distance.. Anita is crying. .saying she wants to go to the hospital and check herself so she doesn’t die by contact too.
Everyone’s attention is drawn to the young man screaming, he had gotten up and broken into the circle they are in, seeing Ngozi on the floor he had ran to her dragging her..
“You have killed me oh. Ngozi oh see me…I am dying. Doctor said worms. Why did you tell me to rape her. Why did you do this to me…why..you have killed me…you would die to oh.!!” He wails grabbing her
“Andrew …Andrew! !” She is choking. . Everyone is watching..Anita is screaming, Mr Jacob is beckoning to the police. .
Using sticks they beat his hands away…
“Who did you rape. .who did you rape. ??”
“Its her oh..its her Amaka. She told me to rape her. See now..I am dying. She gave me worms. They said I am rotten . I would die. I must kill her” Andrew in tears is strangling the struggling Ngozi.
“Oh Jesus, the message Mr Jacob the message ” Anita screams
“Officers, officers… take them to the station. I think they both are behind the missing girl and she ..the lady is behind the video leaking and the blackmailing of late Senator Peter. ” he tells them
“They must know where the Amaka is..if they haven’t
Killed her already. Take them”
“They are living corpses already See what is coming out from them.. I won’t touch them, let us drill them here with irons and sticks until they talk” one of the officers says
The students are in agreement, the others agree. No one wants to be infected and neither do they want to Carry them in their cars.
Its 12 noon already… There was no time to waste..
“Carry on officers. ” Mr Jacob says.
“They need to pay for their crimes.” everyone shouts
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It is midnight, she sees shadows, She is weak and dizzy, she was tired of crying. She was tired of praying and reading as the pages kept turning.
The pain had weakened her, she had gotten used to the coughing bloods and the worms dancing in their numbers in the thick coated blood mixed with mucus as she coughs.She was in pains. She was in hell. Her hell .
She was dead . She knew it. Maybe the angel of death have come to take her.
She blinked again seeing flashes of light, hearing voices. She heard his voice, the stranger who had raped her. .his pitch higher. Then she heard Ngozi’s voice too. A mixed emotion. She saw more than one shadow but even her eyes couldn’t adjust to the movement. She closes and opens them… they are coming closer to her. Maybe they intend to finish her off. She hears more voices, the lights keeps going off and on. The lantern had long since died.
She is weak. She coughs again, the pain is searing, she cant hold herself, another pain makes her squeeze her eyes shut and bite her lips, she cries out.
And then she blackouts as the next pain knocks her off.
Not before she heard ..
“That’s where we threw her in”
Amaka wakes up to soft earth, she is in a room full of people, they have gloves on and something covering their faces.
She sees Anita, she looks around and sees strangers around her..
Its white .. she blinks again and opens her eyes..
Had she died and went to heaven?
She feels pain still, she coughs..blood still, worms still..everything still but no more darkness..
She turns to the faces..
“Where am I?” She asked
Anita comes forward, “safe. You are safe” but sadness is in her eyes. Yes they had found her but she was in the worse state. Even if they had managed to save her, she was dying. Amaka was dying… she was already smelling. She had worms coming out from her body. She was dying.
Anita wipes her eyes.. all because of follow follow. All because of love of money and greed and lust. All because of not listening.
She wasn’t a saint. She wasn’t. But..for some reason she was happy that her case didn’t get to this point. That she was spared. At least this has taught her a lesson, and she would learn from this Ngozi-Peter-Anthony-Amaka’s predicament and it all boils down to this..
“Vanity upon vanity. All is vanity and tlhe wages of sin is death.” and she had made up her mind to stop all the bad things that she does. Sleeping around. Indulging in evil vices. Lying and stealing, everything sin. And follow God. Everyone has to know that the material things of this world would only lead you to this very end… death and eternal death and continuous pain in hell. Yes, she had seen the bible close to Amaka, and while they drove down here she had broken down and cried for Amaka.. for herself and even for Ngozi.
They had left she and Anthony back in the Abandoned house.
“An eye for an eye” One of the officers had said.
“They are already dead anyways. Putting them in prison is no use. We don’t want them infecting other prisoners. Since they want to kill another person let them have a taste of their own medicine.” Another had said.
“They would die anyway in the prison. They might as well die here.” they agreed.
“But isn’t it against the law” Jacob had said asking them
“It is. But we won’t tell if you don’t. Besides…the doctor who came to check them said their case is gone. Nothing can be done for them. Let us leave them to their fate” he had replied Jacob.
As they dragged Amaka out of the hole, they had dug a space big enough for two and tied both of them together with the same rope they used on Amaka and threw them inside.
They left them screaming and begging.
It took a long time to get them to tell the police where Amaka was. It took torture because they didn’t want to talk blaming each other and seeking for help to treat themselves.
Finally they had worn overalls and gloves and covered their noses and carried them in a car, Jacob and Anita had followed ..
Taking them to a place they had drilled them until midnight, finally Ngozi and Andrew had told them where they kept her..
They had driven there, taking a while to find the place and the house. Finding Amaka in the hole, not breathing. She had fainted and they had rushed her to the hospital.
Amaka coughs again bolting her out of her thoughts
“Mama, I want to see my mother !”” She tries to sit up
“You have to rest here” Jacob comes closer
“No I have to see my mother. I have to apologize. “
“Do you know what is wrong with you do you know you are sick…do you know that…you ..are dying ??” Mr Jacob tells her
“Let me see my mother. Then I would die in peace ” Is all Amaka said
“Anita, please help me. Help me find Emeka. Help me find mama.” she begs, tears leaving her eyes..she coughs again, everyone shifts
It takes another couple of hours..
Anita goes back to her hostel trying to look for Amaka’s phone. She can’t find it. She leaves the hostel and checking nearby clinics . Nothing.
Coming back to the hostel she meets the girl who had come to call Amaka that her mother was looking at her, she bumps into her
“Sorry !!” Anita says to her and then stops grabbing her
“You..you..it was you that was with Emeka, that boy that was with Amaka’s mother. Please do you know which hospital she is in??”
The girl’s eyes are sad, she removes Anita’s hands away from her
“Leave me please Anita “
“Please tell me…please. Amaka ..Amaka wants to see her mother ”
“Too late ” the girl said
“What do you mean it’s too late “
“She died. She died two hours ago . Emeka has taken her to the village “
“No money to treat her and keep her in the hospital. They sent him away. She died . She never woke up from the coma. She died. Tell Amaka she killed her mother. I hope she has the peace of mind she desires.” with that said , with tears in her eyes she walks away..
Anita staggers backwards and slowly slums to the ground. .
She walkes slowly into the hospital and tells Jacob.
Amaka stares at their faces.. from one to the other..
“Where’s my mother. Is she okay. Anita where is my mother ??”
Anita is crying, Mr Jacob is shaking his head
“She is gone Amaka “.. Anita says crying. She is gone
It took a couple of people to hold Amaka down as she springs up from the bed wanting to run out.. she is crying …she is wailing. ..she wants to throw herself on the ground. .
“Death take me now” she wailed
“Death take me down”….
For with her hand she has destroyed herself and with both her mouth and hands she had killed her mother.
“There is power in the tongue life and death rests there ” her mother had told get once reading from the bible. “Be careful what you say”
And she remembered saying ” I pray you die mama and leave me alone “..
And it happened. .
“Mama ohhh ” she wailed .
“Take me to her …let me die beside my mother ” she begged
“Emeka had taken her to the village. “
Anita says. .
“Then I would go and meet her there. Let me die beside her. Let me at least be with her even in death”
Emeka lays her on her wooden small bed , a bible he kept on her body. She had no living relative that he knew about.
And God knows where Amaka is. But that wasn’t his concern. Amaka had laid her bed and he prays she is happy where ever she is. The church had come to pray over her and sent her to her rest .
People who had heard she is dead came to pay their last respect.
He was alone with her .
He would bury her here, in her small house
He had dug the grave beside her bed and by evening he would drop her in. Bury her, say words of prayer over her body and then he would take the night bus and leave for Lagos to meet his sister and his uncle.
When the doctor had the security take them out of the hospital he knew his pleading wouldn’t help anymore.
And he had sat down outside with her, praying her to wake. Crying and going on his knees …
It was as if she didn’t want to come out of it. It was as if she was giving up.
And even while he prayed he kept feeling her speak to him..”let me go Emeka. Let me go”
But he had held on praying. .
And at some point in time he didn’t feel any more pain in his chest, no anger or sadness… Instead he felt peace..like it washed over him.
And when he opened his eyes he felt her hands was cold.
And when he took his fingers to her nose he realized she wasn’t breathing but her face was a mask of peaceful rest.
She was dead. And she was at peace.
Then he thanked the girl who had stayed with him, shouldered her while she cried and asked for forgiveness saying it was her fault. But he told her it wasn’t.
He told her that her time had come and that maybe God didn’t want her to suffer anymore and took her. That she should look… Her face was indeed peaceful.
Gathering the little money he had left… he had taken her body and brought it back to the village, alerting the church.
Alone now.. he stares down at her..
“May you rest in the bosom of the Lord mama. ”
Holding unto her was about to lift her up and lay her into the ground when he heard voices and the door bursts open. .
Turning he sees Amaka, she runs into the room albeit slowly. And lays on her mother’s body and began to wail.
He looks behind her to see Anita, her friend and a stranger standing by the small door as the night breeze seeps in as well as a smell. They were wearing overalls and gloves and covered their nose’s. His attention is drawn back to Amaka..she smelt like death.
He staggers backwards. .
“What happened to you Amaka! !” He breathed, his chest constricts again
Amaka lays on her and cries and cries.
No one speaks. No one stops her.
“Forgive me mama. Forgive me. Forgive me” she breathed into her hair
Mr Jacob moves forward. He had missed his flight, he needs to go back into town and gets another flight. There was nothing he could do here anymore. He needed to do what he was meant and asked to do by Peter and then he leaves.
No matter how sad the situation is, he too had his life .
“Here Amaka, this is from Peter. And every detail you require is there and the necessary arrangements has been attended to. Documents etc.”
He looks at Emeka, “I am sorry for your losses” he says meaning the woman lying there and the one who might follow suite soon. Amaka.
He turns to Anita ” thank you. ” and then he leaves
“Amaka..?” Emeka calls her, Anita held his hands. She had told him what was wrong with Amaka. He was crying. . “Amaka ” he cries again. Not knowing what else to say
“Emeka, forgive me too. Forgive me too” she says to him.
Taking the key over her mother’s neck she staggers to the end of the small room where the box used to be and opens it at least she should give her mother a proper burial in her finest wears. Anita had told her she was the one that took the money from the kitchen and she had taken money too from her box from the hotel and it was all gone safe for a few changes. She told her to keep it. She was not angry.
When she heard what happened to Ngozi and Anthony. She told them they should release them and let them go. She didn’t hold grudges against them anymore.
But of course..no one listened to her.
“Let them die in their own hell hole ” the officer said. An eye for an eye and he walked away.
But what meets her eyes is an empty box.. what happened to the Jewels and bags and fine silks and George’s here she knew her mother kept under lock and key. The ones she hated her mother for for not selling to better their lives.
“I ..I don’t understand. Was mama robbed. .” She turns to Emeka. “was that why you didn’t have money to pay for the bills? “
He shakes his head
“She had been selling things from there for a while now. To pay for your fees. To buy you necessary things for school, books and cloths you needed. She had been selling all that she owned so you atleast had a semblance of normalcy even when you had nothing and you both had nothing. She sold everything to take care of you while she suffered here in silence ” Emeka replied cleaning his eyes
Amaka goes to her knees and her tears begins again…
“We need to bury her..help me” he told Anita, he comes to join in, Amaka shaking holds her mother’s hands..
“May God accept your spirit . Mama.. now I know why you warned me against recklessness. Now I know why you always prayed for me. I know why you taught me the right way. I am sorry for not listening to you mama. I am sorry. Oh God… why did you take her away from me. Let me die in her place God. Oh God forgive me… forgive me. I believe in you. I believe in your power I believe in your divine touch. Oh God…I am broken and contrite. Have mercy ..hey hey ehwoooo!!” She cried.
They laid her on the ground ..
“Dust to dust..ashes to ashes ” Emeka began, Amaka is weeping, Anita can’t hold her, nor comfort, she cries silently. .
Emeka prays over her again as he takes the first handful of sand and pours over her..
“If it’s your will …let the dry bones receive life and rise but it it’s not your will, accept her back to the soils of the earth as dust and may her soul rest in peace ” without thinking she spoke with much conviction, with faith and with a word of prayer.
Digging the sand over her he began to cover her up, Amaka crawls to her grave, Stretches out her hands she touches her mother’s hands. Wanting to touch her one last time before the earth swallows her up.
She coughs and then squeezes her hands. Then she coughs and coughs again..and coughs again
“Jesus! !” Anita and Emeka exclaims as he drops the shovel
And this scriptures comes to his mind ..
For He saith to Moses, I will have mercy on whom I will have mercy, and I will have compassion on whom I will have compassion.
1 Samuel 2: 6 (New Living translation )
“The LORD gives both death and life; he brings some down to the grave but raises others up”
“Oh dear Lord …” Amaka exclaims
Mother and daughter hug each other in tears, Mrs Ifeoma disregards the pleas of Emeka and Anita not to hold on to Amaka, she was diseased she was sick. She is dying.
“I slept and I woke up. God took my hands and brought me back. You think I would be scared of death. You think I won’t hold my daughter even if she is dying..No!!” She grabs her and rocks her, tears falling from her eyes.. “I heard you Amaka. I heard you. I forgive you Amaka I forgive you” she cried. Emeka and Anita are on their knees.. for this their eyes have never seen before. A dead woman alive again .. “You won’t die you won’t die. I won’t let you. God had given me another chance. He would give you another chance.” She kisses her face over and over again praying for her daughter. Praying for her soul.
“No mama..God heard me. He heard my prayers. God heard me ” she cried hugging her mother ..touching her face and kissing her back. “Now I can die in peace. I have made peace with my God mama. I have made peace with him” she cried.. “He heard me mama. GOD HEARD ME..GOD IS ALIVE. HE HEARS. HE LISTENS..HE KNOWS. .HE IS ALIFE AND HE HEARD ME..”!! She says, slowing coughing again
“Read the letter to me Anita..” she had pleaded.
Anita open the letter by tearing it and she read..
Peter was apologizing to Amaka for what he did to her and for bringing this upon her.. he asked her to forgive me. He asked her to not hold it against him. He had paid for his sins and he hopes she finds her own salvation for he had made peace with his demons and he had brought down the fraternity club. But that wasn’t what matters. What he wants is that she forgives him for luring her and making her a dead corpse walking like him. He knows money may mean nothing to her but at least she should go back to her mother and ask for forgiveness. She should make peace with God. For vanity is all that characterizes this world. One only needs God. He prays she finds him before its too late. He gave her his house and some of his properties in Lagos. He opened an account for her with a few millions of naira in her name. Maybe if she doesn’t leave to enjoy it… Maybe her mother might have a better life. Maybe she can donate it to charity. Whatever she wants but he doesn’t need money anymore. .for where he is going ..he won’t need it. He had told his wife. She didn’t forgive him but it’s okay. He had arranged his house. He had made sure his family is well taken care of even after he dies. At least ..she too should do something for her mother .
“Forgive me Amaka. .forgive me . Peter Nwambeze” Where his finale words
“Anita let the lawyer transfer all that to Mrs Ifeoma Nwambeze and that of Emeka here” Amaka coughs, each cough worse than before and each time more blood..more worms..more pain..even weaker
No no no.. Her mother cries holding unto her, Emeka’s chest is pounding his head is about to explode he holds on to her mother as she holds on to Amaka.. he is crying.
Anita nods folding the letter. If that was Amaka’s last wish. So be it.
“Mama..I love you ..” was the last thing Amaka managed to say before she squeezes her body in pain..and slowly life ebbs away from her.. Amaka closes her eyes and all she sees is nothingness.
She was dead.
The wailing of her mother was heard deep into the night..
*INDEED…THE WAGES OF SIN IS DEATH… VANITY UNPON VANITY. ..ALL IS VANITY!!
“Amaka!!!” Amaka…Amaka! !” Mrs Ifeoma shakes the sleeping form, carefully tapping her awake
Amaka wakes up with a start
“Get up Amaka.. you are going to miss the first bus back to school. Why are you still sleeping. Get up!! You said your friend Ngozi would meet you up in school park” Her mother nudges her awake
Amaka jumps up, running a hand over her body, her hands, between her legs everywhere. Nothing. No blood. No worms..no ..dying. she looks round the small room, no grave dug recently. She looks up and at the door..no Emeka . No Anita. Only mama and no letter.
She flings herself on her mother, throwing her around her and begins to sob..
“Mama..mama I am sorry I am sorry mama…I believe. I won’t disobey. I won’t. .I saw it. I saw it all..I don’t want to die. I don’t want to die. I am sorry mama. I love you forgive me…forgive. me.. God please.. help me ” she sobs
Till today her mother couldn’t explain what happened to her daughter nor what dream she had but from that day Amaka became a different person. .
She had found God.. she had found love. .and she had found peace and she never ever toiled down the wrong path.
She didn’t know what happened to her daughter..but whatever it was.. if it was God giving her daughter a vision.. or a warning about what would happen to her if she goes down the wrong path then she was happy.
At least only a few people could talk about receiving a flash or a vision from God into the future and maybe God had taken Amaka on a journey a journey she realized that it was not worth going through in reality. ..
But whatever it was she was glad that her daughter had seen the darkness and had chosen the light.
“Mama..let us pray ” Amaka’s words breaks into her thoughts..
She smiles , indeed. God walks in mysterious ways.
Story By Stephanie Egberike