By 4:14pm the next day, i honoured the invitation of my town people and joined them in the meeting.
I was the youngest in their midst, almost all the twenty three men present were married, apart from Tony and I.
They were already seated and waiting when i arrived. I greeted everyone, murmured a quick apology before dropping a bottle of wine and whisky before them.
“we are here to discuss your issues with Tony. This really is a special case and the first time we are treating something like this. We are all brothers from different families but the same clan. We are brothers, hope i’m speaking well” the union chairman addressed us while everyone chorused “Yes”
“now Emeka, tell us why you did something so horrible to your brother?. Why must you take away his fiancee?” he asked seriously. I stood up, breathed deeply and told them my own version of the story, hitting on the point that i only went after Jenifer after she broke up with Tony. Something that made my friend jump up with anger. “lies” he screamed. I shook my head and stared at him.
“what’s your own?, didn’t you tell me you are now marrying Irene. I don’t understand you” i fired at him, but my words only provoked other members who all stood up and shouted at me.
Some called me a goat, others insulted my late parents which equally provoked me.
“i now see the reason behind this gathering. This is just a ploy to pour your life frustrations on me. I’m leaving” i shouted angrily, while Chief Manuel drew forward and grabbed my shirt.
“who do you think you are insulting??. You are a little boy who deserves to be taught some lessons. You will soon squander everything your dad left for you” he barked, raising up his hand as if he was about slapping me, but luckily two men held him.
“you dared to insult us?, Chai this is incredible. I will deal with this boy if he doesn’t apologize right now” he threatened while i scoffed. Chief Manuel was nothing but a rich spare parts dealer, with shops in almost all the major Cities. He was very rich and influencial but that doesn’t stop him from displaying his illiteracy in public. He always behaved like a tout, even though he was above fifty years old.
“i’m leaving. This meeting has turned into another thing” i hissed and tried to leave but the same Chief Manuel tried blocking me again.
“i will deal with you” he threatened.
“not if i deal with you first” i fired back and stormed out of the building with anger.
I was still very shaken and nervous when i got home twenty minutes later that I was even unable to hide my feelings from Jenifer who welcomed me with lively eyes.
“it didn’t end well right?” she asked as we hugged.
“i knew it won’t end well” she breathed sadly.
To be continued.