As he walked back to the school, he felt angry at the world, he felt angry with himself. Why exactly did everyone have to hate him so much? Why did they have to treat him in a way that questioned his humanity even though he could hardly hurt a fly? All he wanted was to live and yet he isn’t even being allowed to do that. What was he going to do with no one to call family?
His feet squashed the dry leaves laying recklessly on his path without him even noticing or hearing any sounds at all. Crickets chirped in the distance, mosquitoes buzzed around his ears, bats cried in the distance but all he was aware of was his conflicting emotions, the hatred and loathing he was feeling inside
“Should I just kill myself? What if I leave this world? Will it bring peace to their hearts? Will it bring peace to the world? Will it make the world less evil? Am I the worst human on earth?” he soliloquized sadly.
Obumneke on hearing that Mazi Nnamdi’s son was alive started devising ways to steer up the people yet again. He gathered some errant youths and reminded them of the incidence of twenty six years ago and how it had been the boy’s fault. They took it up from there and started agitating for the punishment of his parents who had lied to the people. Even those among them who didn’t know about the incidence were so irked and loud about it all.
The king could no longer ignore the cries of the people. All he wanted was for peace to reign and for the fact that Obumneke had stirred up strife among the chiefs too made matters worse as half of them sought for a solution to be procured about the abominable child still roaming the street freely.
Mazi Nnamdi one day was sent for by the king…
Mazi Nnamdi: “Igweee” he knelt in greeting to the king who was surrounded by his palace guards and chiefs who were probably there for the same purpose since that day was not their meeting day.
King: “I will not beat around the bush Nnamdi. We have decided that you and your wife should leave this town before the next market day. We are tired of the calamities you bring upon this town and we won’t have any of it anymore” he said looking him squarely in the face while his chiefs shook their heads in agreement.
Mazi Nnamdi: “But Igwe, where will two old couples go with no child to lead them by the hand? Please my people, do not send us away from our land just because of the ranting of the Eze mmuo”
King: “so you see the Eze Mmuo as someone who rants? Is that why you have decided not to heed to any of his words? Is that why you decided to disobey the oracles twenty six years ago when you were asked to kill your son for the good of mankind?” his chiefs began to murmur angrily among themselves.
Mazi Nnamdi: “That is not what I am saying. We drowned him but somehow he survived. I will find him and bring him back to this village so you can do to him whatever pleases you. I promise to bring him back” he fell to his face on the floor with his hands clasped together.
1st Chief: “We trusted you back then too but you stabbed us in the back by conniving with your wife to hide him somewhere safe. There is no more chance for you” he said disdainfully and spat in the air.
2nd Chief: “I think we should give him the chance he wants. Don’t forget it is not easy to deliver your own child to be killed after so many years of childlessness. Let’s be merciful on the old man at least and for the fact that he was once a chief too”
1st Chief: “Didn’t you hear what Obumneke had told us some time ago? I will suggest we just send them away from here so we can have peace. Very soon, our children might start dying, we all know how the wrath of the gods work”
2nd Chief: “I thought you are now a Christian?” he asked sarcastically.
1st Chief: “I practise both. I cannot ignore the power of the other” he returned defiantly.
King: “Enough now! I think I will do as he has asked for old time’s sake. I will give you five months to bring him back here and if you fail to, you and your wife will be sent into the forest to die there in place of your son. Do you agree?”
Mazi Nnamdi: “You are merciful your highness” he said and sprang up to his feet. “I shall bring him back, I will not return until I have found him” he said sadly and turned back to leave.
She refused to talk to her husband since the day he threw Sukanmi out. She refused to cook or eat anything. With time, her health began to deteriorate and she had to be admitted in the hospital. The doctor later diagnosed her with cancer which was still in its first stage and therefore was still treatable. He sat by her bedside holding her hand and watching her grim face as she slept.
Abodunrin: “You have to fight this disease honey. The doctor said it is left to your will to live, how strongly you want to remain alive so please, don’t give up on me” he said as tears streamed down his face. Her eyelids flustered and she opened her eyes slowly.
Kemi: “I lost the will to fight the day you sent my son away from his home. the day you sent him into the street naked, vulnerable and with no one to hold his hands to tell him it was going to be okay. I don’t want to live. This illness is a blessing to me until you bring my son back to me. Then I will get up from this bed and do everything in my power to survive” she said weakly without trying to take her hand away from his.
Abodunrin: “You know sometimes I wonder if he is the one you are married to and not me. You neglect me and give him all the attention despite the way he is. How can you love so recklessly?”
Kemi: “You know I love you more than words can describe. I became like that when you began to be hostile towards him, I had to find a way not to make him notice your attitude towards him. My attitude towards you is dependent on yours towards him. Once you change yours then mine will change too and we will become one happy family again. Please bring him back to me”
She said and turned her face to the other side of the bed.
He began to look for excuses to spend every free time they had with her, read with her and have small talks with her. She became his only friend on campus although he still had no romantic feelings towards her at all. They sat at Fanta centre, a popular restaurant where the students go to eat, relax and play all sorts of games during their free times.
Suzan: “How was today’s paper?” she asked with eyes blazing hot love for him. She couldn’t understand why he hadn’t said anything about her proposal since that noon under the mango tree.
Sukanmi: “It was as simple as ABC. How was it for you too? I saw you eating the butt of your pen several times” he said jokingly.
Suzan: “No jor. You are lying, I did not do that” She threw him a playful punch across the chest. “There is something I need to ask you please?” she became serious suddenly.
Sukanmi: “Please ask away”
Suzan: “How about my proposal? I’ve been waiting for your reply”
He looked at her and began to feel sorry towards her. He thought of telling her the truth since they had become that close.
Sukanmi: “I have a confession to make. I don’t know how you will see it, I don’t know how you will start seeing me afterwards but I feel you deserve to know since we have come a long way”
Suzan: “Okay?” her heart began to thump in her throat. Was he going to reject her? Was he going to tell her she was not the kind of woman he wanted? Her mind was in turmoil.
Question: Was Kemi right in punishing her husband like that? Will he confess to being gay to Suzan?
To be continued…
Names have been changed to protect the identity of the narrator and other individuals in the story. If you know anyone that was raped, molested before in respective of his gender please encourage them to share their stories with us.
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