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
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.
By Stephanie Egberike
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