Captain Nwanze , Maku and Maigari arrived the farmland in a car with no plate number. When they got down Maigari looked around to see where the buyer was but didn’t see any soul.
Maigari: “where is the buyer?”
He asked as they matched into the bush.
Captain Nwanze: “they are coming!” Maku was walking behind them.
Maigari: “I can’t wait to believe I am going to be a millionaire today. I’ll show those useless people of Diko who hardly gives me respect that I am not their king and I deserve to be treated like one!” he giggled as he turned to Captain Nwanze he saw a gun been pointed at him, he was shivering, “Captain, what are you doing?”
Captain Nwanze: “So it is me you want to challenge?” he said as his hands rested on the trigger.
Maigari: “I’m so sorry! Please!”
Captain Nwanze: “After showing you the way you had the guts to threaten me,eh? You bloody civilian!” he shot at his leg,
Maigari: “Ah!” he burst into tears as he held his legs; Captain Nwanze shot the other legs, “Ah! Mi la fyi! Ah!Ah!!!Please!” he was twitching in pains on the ground.
Captain Nwanze: “Bastard!” he shot him twice on the chest, “No one plays with viper and go scot free!”
He signaled Maku and the rest to dispose off the body.
There was dancing and celebration in the house of Shedrach’s. Clement very excited as he sat with his friends narrating the experience to them of how he almost fainted when Patience was in labour,
Clement: “My friends’ women are trying!” he said as he drank of a bottle of beer, “when you go home you need to not only respect your wife but pay homage to them. They are demi gods. Respect them, please, “he was a little tipsy, “let me tell you something when my Patience was in there and screaming I was almost passed out!” they all laughed,” it wasn’t as funny as it sounds now ooo!” he joined in the laughter.
One of them said, “does that mean you joined in the labour too?”
It evoked laughter.
Clement: “Exactly! It was awful, my friend. There was a time she let out a shrill I just started crying I didn’t know what to do, “he demonstrated, “ I placed my hands on the head and started crying, I cried and cried and cried until I got tired!”
They were laughing,
Another chimed, “But it’s embarrassing for a man to cry!”
Clement gaped at him, Kuzo was his name,
Clement: “Kuzo, what do you know? With this your head that is like that of a truck,” everyone laughed, “ when people who have had the experience of giving birth are talking you’re opening your mouth!” Everyone laughed.
Clement had plans of getting married to Patience once she has fully recovered,
“I can’t wait to get married to her!”
Kyauta was rushed into her room by Bala and her father, who was just coming back from the farm,
Kyauta’s Father: “What happened?” he asked as they lay her on the bed.
Bala: “I really can’t say. She collapsed immediately she saw me!” he said very worried.
Kyauta’ s Father: “Hmm, maybe it’s too much excitement that made her collapse. You know nobody expected that you’d be free. We had all given up that you were going to die!”
Bala: “I thought so too!”
Bala had given up on being free. There was no hope whatsoever but after the military government and the elder statesmen had come to an agreement and political parties were formed. It was agreed that there should be pardon for all those jailed even those that were sentenced to death. That how was how Bala became free.
Tears gathered in Kyauta father’s eyes as he heard Bala’s narration,
Bala: “So I decided to come around first to see Kyauta!”
Kyauta’ s Father: “You did well! Go and freshen up you can check back later!”
Bala looked unkempt he had the stench from the prison all over his body. The beards he had on was scary- he had the look of a hundred years mad man. Untidy and sickly.
As he went home, he had a cap on as a disguise so nobody would recognize him; his plan was to clean up, shave, have a well cooked meal and maybe rest for a day or two before he stepped out.
Bala: “why did Kyauta faint?” he asked himself as he walked down the road. The way he walk was like one who had no stamina at all. Of a truth, he had no stamina at all.
Before entering the compound,he peered into it,he saw Kauna peeling yams outside, he hid as tears filled his eyes. He had missed his kid sister so much. How were they faring in his absence? His father’s health had improved greatly. The White medical team who had come for voluntary service all the way from Denmark had taken very good care of him. He missed his father too. In his hideout, he kept checking on Kauna when he noticed she had entered the kitchen. He ran to his room- it was opened half way . Diana was still in the house. That spoilt his mood, he paused before entering. After few seconds, he pushed the door gently and entered,
Diana who was lying down jerked up,
Diana: “who is that?”
He stood by the door,
Bala: “It’s me!” immediately she saw that it was Bala, he looked sickly but it was him, her water just broke!
She started screaming,
Diana: “My water just broke!” it wasn’t her time of delivery,panic was responsible for the state she was in.
Bala looked confused as she kept crying blood was gushing down her thighs,
“My blood! Blood!” she yelled.
Kauna heardd the noise from the room at first she concluded that It was Diana seeking unnecessary attention but she listened closely and heard the voice of a man too as Diana was screaming “blood!”
Not know what to do following instincts she ran into the room and seeing that it was brother she yelled and collapsed. Bala was at a cross road should he look after his sister that just collapsed or Diana who was dying. At first, he would run to Diana then run to Kauna,
He was yelling,
Bala: “wake up,please,” then to Diana, “hold on for me please!”
He decided to look after Diana since his sister was still breathing. She had just fainted. Like a mad man, he took put on the shoulders and made for the hospital. No one would believe that it was that same man minutes ago that looked like he was dying.
It was quite a distance but it didn’t take him long before he got there. It was a very small clinc with just two rooms and four beds; two in each. Bala was surprised to see Europeans as doctors;he was in jail when they came to Diko. Two nurses rushed towards him and collected Diana placing on an empty bed. the doctor who was called Geofrey Friend asked him,
Friend: “what happened?”
Bala: “I came home and meet her bleeding her,” he lied there was no time for too many talk a life needed to be saved.
He was given a form to sign,
Friend: “sign here,” he spoke through the noise, “your wife?”
Bala nodded and signed.
They went in with her as Bala paced around. Diana was crying and cursing calling Timothy’s name. After Thirty minutes, Friend came out sweating with gloomy face, Bala rushed at him,
Bala:”where’s she? How is she? Is everything alright?” he asked the questions in a split.
Friend shook his head,
Friend: “the baby couldn’t make it.”
Bala: “Oh my God! The mother?”
Friend: “She wants to have a word with you!”
He rushed in and saw Diana looking very feeble,
Diana: “Bala!” she managed to say, he held her hands,
Bala: “How are you feeling?” she shook her head,
Diana: “I’m sorry!”Tears rolled down her eyes;he sat close to her holding the hands,
Bala: “No need for that! You’ll be fine!”
Diana: “Help me ask Kyauta to forgive me! And please forgive me for being the devil in your lives!”
Bala: “It’s okay!” tears gathered in his eyes,
Diana shook her head,
Diana: “forgive me please. The child isn’t yours but Timothy’s”
Bala heaved; it was a sigh of relief. That was her last words as she gave up the ghost. Bala cried inconsolable.
The news of the murder of Maigari was all over town but it was said that he was gunned then by herdsmen who were used to attacking people in their farms. His body was never found so it wasn’t. His death was treated with no seriousness.
For weeks, Kyauta had avoided Bala. He was confused as of why she avoided him. It was a mystery. He became very busy so it was easy for her to avoid him. The village elders and youths had all agreed for him to be the candidate for the new political party, United Democratic party(UDP). He was their candidate for the chairmanship position. During the meeting, One of the elders said, “there has been a consensus and we all have agreed that Bala should be the candidate to represent us.
He was left with no choice but to accept. His posters were all over town, “Bala for Chairman Gurara Local Government” appeared on most of them. It was no more a district but a local government.
Kyauta lay on her bed looking at his pictures as tears freely rolled down her eyes,
Kyauta: “Baby I’m sorry for disappointing you but I did it for you-for us!”
She didn’t know if or not to tell him of the pregnancy but he was sure going to find out.
Question: Why is it difficult for Kyauta telling Bala about the pregnancy? How would Bala react to the news?
To be continued…
Names have been changed to protect the identity of the narrator and other individuals in the story.
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