My village prince and I
Victor was already dressed for work, he was arranging some files in his brief case was I walked in.
AFAMEFUNA: Good morning
VICTOR: Good morning to you.
He locked the case and faced me, I knew he was trying to pretend everything was okay but I have grown to understand him, when he is trying to put on a smiling face in times like this then nothing is right.
AFAMEFUNA: let’s talk about yesterday
VICTOR: what about yesterday
AFAMEFUNA: you know what I am talking about.
VICTOR: I thought you made it clear that you don’t care.
AFAMEFUNA: I do men but how do you expect me to just forget everything they did.
VICTOR: do you realize that it is not left for you to decide.
AFAMEFUNA: I know but they hurt her and that also means hurting me too.
VICTOR: for crying out loud Afam, the people that are suffering now are not the ones that hurt Amarachi or killed her mother, it’s like you didn’t hear me clearly yesterday, I said my father called me to inform me that the ghost of Amarachi mother is terrorizing the village and the church priest said it is only Amarachi that can help, that if they can find you they can find her, now they are looking for you and you and I know you both of you are with me, do you have any idea what that means for me hiding such a big secret that can save a full village and you just want me to pretend nothing is happening.
AFAMEFUNA: I didn’t say that, I just need time to process everything.
VICTOR: there is no time, there is none, don’t you get it.
I went silent, I knew Victor was right but still I just don’t want to accept it.
AFAMEFUNA: look for now I don’t want Amarachi to know what Is happening.
VICTOR: now I ask why, give me one reason why you won’t want her to know.
AFAMEFUNA: how on earth do you want me to explain that her once sweet and caring mother is now a crazy evil ghost hurting everyone around her.
VICTOR: you need to understand that she is a ghost seeking for vengeance and she will do as it pleases her.
AFAMEFUNA: oh you know that and you want me to allow Amarachi to be at the front line.
VICTOR: she alone can stop her ghost.
AFAMEFUNA: and how sure are you about that.
VICTOR: look I don’t know what you are trying to protect but seriously it not Amarachi.
He took his case in anger and walked pass me only to the door.
VICTOR: don’t allow yourself to get in the way of her decision.
He was right I was letting my hurt get in the way, I was angry with my parents for the things they did to Amarachi and I but mostly Amarachi, I don’t know but I just can’t seem to forgive them well maybe because they are my parents so it should hurt more, Victor opened the door only to see Amarachi on at the door, we both froze in seeing her, she wasn’t looking happy and I could tell she might have overheard us because our voices were a little loud.
AMARACHI: I came to tell you breakfast is ready.
With this she walked away more like ran away, with the tone of her voice I knew she was trying to hold back the tear, Victor looked at me then I knew I was in for it.
I wouldn’t believed what I heard, how was that even possible, how can my mother’s ghost be disturbing the whole village, I have gone to Victor’s room to inform him that his breakfast was ready because I knew by that time he will be getting ready for work only to hear the voices of Afamefuna and him, their voices were loud enough for me to hear all what they were talking about even with the door closed, I was dumbfounded and confused didn’t know what to do that minute, Afamefuna was hiding it from me but why, I was still there lost in thought when the door was opened, they were both surprised to see me, I rushed to my room won’t want to break down in front of them, I still can’t believe the village that want me dead are not looking for me to save them after what they caused, they killed my mother now she is taking revenge on them, i entered my room and Afamefuna did too, I didn’t know he was following me, as he stood there quietly I didn’t bother to look at him as I turned my back on him, I didn’t know if I should be angry with him for lying to me and keeping such information from me, he might have a reason but still he should have told me when I asked.
AFAMEFUNA: my queen.
AMARACHI: why didn’t you tell me.
I was crying by now, I couldn’t hold the tear from falling.
AFAMEFUNA: I was trying to prevent this, I didn’t want you to get hurt.
AMARACHI: even at that I deserved to know.
AFAMEFUNA: my queen, am sorry, I thought I was doing the right thing, though I would have told you but didn’t think it was the right time to say it.
I could feel him close to me now, I should be angry with him but I just couldn’t, I knew he was trying to to protect my feelings, I felt his arms wrapped around me.
AFAMEFUNA: am sorry, am so sorry.
AMARACHI: I want to know everything.
He took me to my bed and we both sat down as he began to tell me everything that he was told by Victor.
Victor later came back that evening from work to explain to me better, I won’t say I was happy with the turn of events because many innocent people were still among the villagers, Victor say he was told that sickness has claim some children but none has died yet, their crops were dying because there were no rain even in the raining season, that those that have businesses, their businesses are not going well either, and those that has relatives outside the village, immediately the relatives try to help things turn bad for the relatives and at night the cry of my mother is heard all through the village that made people sleepless, there is no peace in the village anymore, they invited the church priest to pray for the village because the chief priest said the gods was silent but the church priest said God revealed many things to him and told him to tell them that there was nothing that can be done until the evil doers confess and ask for forgiveness from the daughter which is me before everything will go back to normal telling them that I was still alive and will find me were the Prince is but the elders and the king didn’t believe him until they went to another village to consult a powerful chief priest but still that one saw nothing, so this made them to go back to the church priest for help since he is the only one that said something concerning the problem of the villages, it was at that time Nnamdi confess that I was really alive and was in lagos and also gave them the address that Victor father recognize as his son place, that was how he was called, he told them that Afamefuna was no longer with him but he will try and get to him and they have been disturbing him with calls but he was still giving them excuses.
I didn’t know what to say or do, Afamefuna was not in support of me going back to the village, he wasn’t convince that all that was said were true but to me I believed Victor but now to make a decision was now my problem, I thought to forgive someone that hurts you was easy but this was harder than I have heard, this are the people that hurt and rejected me from the day I was born, they took everything from me and almost ended my life, they were the reason I passed through pain and heartbreak, now those people are now seeking for my help, the problem they caused for themselves, if they haven’t treated me wrongly, if they haven’t killed my mother and almost killed me maybe my mother will be in peace now but no, my mother heard the cry of the daughter and want revenge for want was done to me and her and they want to be free from it no, the saying that goes what a man sow that he will reap, let them reap what they have sowed.
My village prince and I
It has been two days since Amarachi found out about the events going on in the village and the house has become more like a war zone with Victor bringing up the topic at any giving opportunity, he was trying so hard to convince both I and Amarachi to forget the past and go to the village, I knew I and Amarachi has two different reasons for not going back to the village but all the same we were agreeing not to go, Amarachi wasn’t talking much about this issue but get even more angry when the topic is raised, I was already afraid of losing the good side of Amarachi, thought she will feel a little broken but she was not showing any remorse about anything and this scared me.
I rushed to my phone that was ringing on my bed, I was in the bathroom, just finished having my bath when I heard my phone ringing, I picked it up and saw Victor name on my phone screen.
AFAMEFUNA: Hello man.
VICTOR: where are you.
AFAMEFUNA: am home
VICTOR: please can you and Amarachi come to meet me at my office now.
AFAMEFUNA: any problems.
VICTOR: not at all, please.
AFAMEFUNA: Amarachi is not around, she went to the market.
VICTOR: okay you come alone.
AFAMEFUNA: okey will be on my way.
He ended the call, I was confused about this urgent call, I wondered what was happening but still got nothing, I quickly dressed up and went on my way to Victor’s office
I got to his working place and went to his office, it wasn’t my first time here so I knew my way around, I greeted the secretary who was smiling, well she is always smiling when ever she sees me, on many occasions she has tried to get my attention but I really didn’t have her time since Amarachi was all I think of, she told me Victor was already waiting for me so I made my way to his office, I opened up and went inside to meet him and two other people sited comfortably on chairs, Victor was the first to see me as he was facing opposite the door, he immediately got up when he saw me.
VICTOR: My prince welcome.
That was strange, I can’t remember when last he called me that name, I was looking at Victor with a confused face, the two men also raised up facing me and greeting me in the process, that was when I saw their faces, I couldn’t forget it, they are chief Okafor and chief Enyinnaya Victor’s father, did Victor invite me here to meet them, I looked at Victor now angry, he had this pleading eyes.
CHIEF OKAFOR : my prince, please don’t me angry with us that we came unannounced but we really wanted to see you, it is very important.
CHIEF ENYINNAYA: I know you won’t want to see us but please we won’t take much of your time.
VICTOR: please just listen to them.
In as much as I was angry with Victor I still had to calm down to listen to them if not for any one but for Victor’s father, won’t want to disrespect him in present of my friend, there was already another empty chair at the other side of the office.
AFAMEFUNA: let’s sit.
VICTOR: thank you.
We all sat down, I already knew what the meeting was all about so I just hope it ends early.
CHIEF OKAFOR: my prince, how have you been doing.
I was keeping a straight face, I really don’t know why the question but anyway if I want this to end quickly then I have to just pretend I was following.
CHIEF OKAFOR: we are very happy to hear that and we thank the gods for that, we don’t need to introduce ourselves as you already know who we are and the reason we are here, i know Victor have told you everything that is going on now in the village and we have been waiting for your reply but got none.
CHIEF ENYINNAYA : My prince, the people of Amucha village are suffering, some of us have started praying for death to come, please we need your help.
AFAMEFUNA: and what makes you think I care.
They were shocked and it was written on their faces.
CHIEF OKAFOR: why won’t you care, it is your village and you are our future king.
AFAMEFUNA: you are just realizing that because few months ago you didn’t when you tried to destroy my future and my happiness.
CHIEF OKAFOR: we know we made a mistake.
AFAMEFUNA: you don’t because if you did you will know.
CHIEF ENYINNAYA: my prince I know that there is no amount of begging that will make you forgive us for what we did to Amarachi but please innocent people are suffering for our mistake, please you have to help us.
AFAMEFUNA: I don’t even understand this, do I look like Amarachi to you.
CHIEF OKAFOR: no but you are the only one that can help us get through to her.
AFAMEFUNA: this is unbelievable, I want to ask one question, if you people had succeeded in killing her will you be here right now begging for her presence to save yourself.
They were silent, I knew they wouldn’t answer that, I looked at them with hatred.
AFAMEFUNA: I thought as much.
I got up to leave, I couldn’t stand them anymore.
VICTOR: Afamefuna, what is wrong with you.
AFAMEFUNA: no what is wrong with you, how many times did I tell you that I and Amarachi going back to that village is not what we are going to do, you think bringing them here to talk to me will make things better, never call me for this kind of meeting again.
By this time both chiefs has already got up.
CHIEF OKAFOR: my prince.
AFAMEFUNA: and you listen to me, this will be the last time I want to see your face, don’t make me see them again.
CHIEF ENYINNAYA: my prince punish us all you want but not the innocent ones, my wife did nothing so as my daughter, don’t let them pay for sins they didn’t commit.
I was confused now, didn’t understand what he was talking about.
AFAMEFUNA: what are you talking about.
CHIEF OKAFOR: late Nneka ghost is not taking revenge on those that hurt her directly, she is hurting those around us, Mazi Enyinnaya wife and daughter has been sick for weeks now and others too, we fear they might died if nothing is done.
I was taken back now, if Mazi Enyinnaya is Victor’s father then his wife and daughter are Victor’s mother and sister, I looked at Victor who was looking directly to me.
AFAMEFUNA: your mother and your sister are involve.
VICTOR: please Afamefuna, I don’t want to lose them, they are all I have.
I felt so weak instantly, all my anger was gone, I sat down confused, Victor has been good to me and Amarachi, he doesn’t deserve to be punish for his good.
CHIEF OKAFOR: please help us.
AFAMEFUNA: what do have me do.
VICTOR: you alone can convince Amarachi, please talk to her, she will listen to you.
It was hard to agree but there was nothing I could do at this point, my friend family was now involved so I had to do something, he will never forgive me if anything happens to his mother and sister.
AFAMEFUNA: I am doing this for you Victor, because you have been a good friend to me, I will talk to Amarachi but I am not promising anything, we will get back to you through Victor.
They all thanked me before I left Victor’s office.
********************** I got home and found Amarachi in the sitting room, she was watching a movie that got her attention so she didn’t hear when I got In, I looked at her as she laughed at any funny act by the actors in the movie, all the events that happened at Victor’s office came playing in my head, I was not happy with the turn of event but I won’t want that from stopping me to help my friend, if Amarachi is the only one that will make her mother’s spirit to stop disturbing the village and the innocent ones then she haves to go and help them, I was brought out of my thought when I heard Amarachi calling my name.
AMARACHI: what is wrong with you, are you okay.
AFAMEFUNA: yeah I am.
I walked to where she was sitting and sat with her.
AMARACHI: I have been calling you but you were lost in your own thought.
AFAMEFUNA: yea sorry about that.
AMARACHI: sorry for what, sorry for thinking or sorry for not answering my calls.
AMARACHI: I came home but you were not around.
AFAMEFUNA : yea went to Victor’s office.
AMARACHI: oh okay, you must be hungry, let me serve you your food then you will tell me what you were thinking about.
She was about to get up but I held her back.
AFAMEFUNA: am not hungry.
AFAMEFUNA: there is something I want us to talk about.
She was worried that I knew.
AMARACHI: is everything okey.
AFAMEFUNA: not really.
AMARACHI: is it about my late mother ghost disturbing the villagers.
I took her hands, she needs all the claiming down because I knew convincing her won’t be easy.
AFAMEFUNA: I got a call from victor this morning telling me to come to his office, I got here and met Mazi Okafor and Victor’s father there.
AFAMEFUNA: we talked and they begged.
AFAMEFUNA: My queen, don’t you think we should reconsider their pleading.
She immediately removed her hands from mine.
AMARACHI: what do you mean.
AFAMEFUNA: listen I know okey that we agreed not to go to Amucha village again but don’t you think we should at least go just once.
AMARACHI: are you listening to yourself.
AFAMEFUNA: I am
She got up.
AMARACHI: no you are not, those people, you of all people should know what pain they caused me.
AFAMEFUNA: yes I know but can’t you just let it go.
AMARACHI: let it go
She was now rising her voice.
AMARACHI: you want me to let it go after everything they did, they killed my mother and framed me for killing my own mother, they tried to kill me if not for Nnamdi……
I got up immediately interrupting her
AFAMEFUNA: that is it, if not for Nnamdi, if not for chiamaka, if not for some good people that are still been punished for helping you.
AMARACHI: they did me no wrong to me or my mother so I know she won’t harm them.
AFAMEFUNA: of course she won’t but what about those around them, Victor’s mother and sister are both caught in this, they are both sick, Victor father is among the elders that agreed to your death I don’t know about your mother’s death, Victor has done nothing to us, he has been a shoulder to cry on ever since we knew him, it was through him I was able to see you again, you could have still be on the street if not for him, he doesn’t have to pay for being good to us.
She was silent now and I knew I was getting to her, I took her hands again, she looked at me.
AFAMEFUNA: don’t you see what this is even doing to you, it changing you, you are more better than this and forgiving them is going to make you better than them and stronger than them.
She started crying, I didn’t stop her from crying, she needed it.
AMARACHI: I want to make them suffer, I want them to feel the pain I felt.
AFAMEFUNA: I know but it will just make you be like them and you are not like them, you are Amarachi, the young and innocent girl I felt in love with, the queen to my heart and my kingdom, you are above them and you are going to prove to them that you are their queen.
She ran into my arms as she cried her heart out, it was hard for her I knew but she had to let go, I let her cry without stopping her because she really needed to bring out the pain she was feeling, I only gave her my shoulder to cry on.
To be continued..
December 26, 2018 at 11:32 pm #1281108
“Posts & Comments”14603
My village prince and I
After said and done I agreed to go to the village with Afamefuna and Victor, it wasn’t an easy decision for me but it was the best decision, I knew my forgiveness will not bring my mother back to life or change any time that has been done to me in the past but still it will save the lives of everyone that are innocent, we fixed the day that we will set out on our journey to Amucha village so Victor called his father to informed them so they were expecting us, Victor was happy who wouldn’t be when his mother and sister wete involved and they are the reason I am doing this.
The D-day came so quickly, I didn’t bother to park any clothes because I had no intention of spending a night there, I took my handbag and head out of my room, Victor and Afamefuna were already outside the compound waiting for me, we were leaving early in the morning so we will be able to get there on time because we were driving, Afamefuna took my hands leading me to the car, I knew him too was trying to hold himself not to change his mind because I too was, we got into the
car all three of us and set out on our journey.
The journey from Lagos to Imo state was a long one well to me, I slept in most of the journey, when ever I wake up I always see Afamefuna lost in his own thought, him and Victor was sitting at the front with Victor driving while I was at the back seat, we barely talk to each other except if we come across food and snacks sold on the street by traders well that was how it was suppose to be.
We go to Amucha village, as soon as we arrived at the front gate of the city all my past came rushing back to me, I held the tear that was threatening to fall, Afamefuna looked at me and gave me an encouraging smile which I reciprocated, I looked at the window and for first in a long time I missed here, the village gate was not that lively like it used to be, nothing has changed expect for the fact that it was a pit quiet, not much people were seen walking around or hawking products, it showed that the village was passing through a hard time.
AFAMEFUNA: are you ready for this.
Afamefuna words brought me out of my thoughts.
He smiled at me, we entered the village and was visited with silent, as early as 9 in the morning the village was quite, many stores were locked, children were not seen playing around the neighborhood anymore and the adults were few, I wondered what tragic would have happened to this once lively village.
The road from the village gate to the palace was not so pleasant, Victor lamented about the quietness while Afamefuna just responded to him, I just keep quiet didn’t actually know what to say since the problem was caused by my beloved mother, we got to the palace and victor horned, the guard came out to check who we were but immediately apologize telling the other guards to open the gate when he saw the prince, there was shock and surprise written on everyone’s face as we drove into the compound, at least there is something that hasn’t changed, I could see maids coming out from where ever they were before, I could see them whispering and some were murmuring but I care not, some were happy and they did nothing to hide it, the car came to a stop and we got down from the car that minute the queen ran out and rush to hug Afamefuna, I could understand, it was all a mothers love, she has missed him so much.
LOLO AGBONMA: oh my son, look at you, didn’t know I will see you again, I missed you so much, where have you been, hope you have been feeding well, you didn’t fall sick right.
AFAMEFUNA: mother, I am fine, glad to see you again.
She was crying now and this made me to miss my mother, if only she was here.
LOLO AGBONMA: Amarachi, thank you so much for coming, you have no idea what you are doing for us, not just the palace but the whole village.
I only smiled at her, seriously didn’t know if I was pretending the smile or if it was real, she also went ahead in welcoming Victor and ushered us in, she was holding Afamefuna hands won’t want to let go maybe she is afraid he might leave again, I held my breath, I was so nervous, I think Afamefuna knew this because he held my hand with the other of his free hand and we all went in.
I couldn’t believe I was back to the palace again, a place I never knew I will see again, my mother was so excited to see me well I won’t blame her, she only misses her son and seriously I missed her too, we all walked in as I held Amarachi hand, I knew she was nervous so I had to make her feel comfortable, won’t want her feet to fall her, we entered the sitting room and again memories of the events that happened here can flashing back.
LOLO AGBONMA: I have sent words already to the elders, we all thought you will be coming later in the day didn’t know it was going to be this early.
AFAMEFUNA: we decided it will be best to come early, where is father.
The impression on her face immediately changed to sadness but she tried to cover up.
LOLO AGBONMA: he is fine, he is just resting, didn’t sleep well last night.
I knew I haven’t lived with my mother for long but I have understood her and this time I know she was lying, sometimes was not right, my father barely stays in his room at this time no matter how weak he is.
AFAMEFUNA: Mother is something wrong.
LOLO AGBONMA: why don’t you rest then you will meet your father later.
AFAMEFUNA: no mother, I want to see him now.
I don’t know but I was scared, in as much that I an angry with the stubborn old man I still don’t want to lose him, he is very much my father and there is still a big part of my heart that love him so dearly, she turned to one of her maids.
LOLO AGBONMA: please take our guest to rest, I want to talk to my son.
AFAMEFUNA: no, take Amarachi to my room.
My mother was a little surprised but she quickly hide it.
LOLO AGBONMA: you heard him, Victor, since your father is on his way too you will have to wait.
VICTOR: no problem my queen.
I turned to Amarachi, needed to make her feel relax.
AFAMEFUNA: I won’t be gone for long, you will be fine okay.
Just then I remembered something.
AFAMEFUNA: where is Nnamdi.
LOLO AGBONMA: he is around but not in the palace, he went to deliver a message in the neighboring town.
I kissed Amarachi in the forehead, I care less who was watching.
AFAMEFUNA: you will be fine, will meet you soon.
She nodded in agreement and her and Victor was taken away by the maid.
LOLO AGBONMA: come son, your father will be waiting.
We walked together in silent and got to my father’s room, the guard standing at the door opened it after greeting both I and my mother, I followed my mother inside, there was a man servant in the sitting chamber, he immediately left at my mum weaved him to go.
LOLO AGBONMA: he is on the bed, you can go meet him.
I don’t know but I felt my heart beat increasing, I moved the curtain that was dividing the bed from the sitting chamber and went close to the bed, my father was lying down with his eyes closed, I held my breath finding it difficult to breathe, my father looks pale and sick, there was nothing I was seeing to indicate that he was my father, I didn’t know when I fell on my knees before his bed and held his hand.
AFAMEFUNA: father, father.
He slowly opened his eyes, he gave out a dry smile immediately he saw me.
EZE NWANYI: is this you Afamefuna.
His voice sounded nothing like his, I allowed the tear fall, there and then I knew my father was dying slowly.
My village prince and I
I followed the maid in silent as I admired the beauty of the palace, the two times I have been here the circumstances surrounding those times didn’t allow me to have full view of the palace, I must confess the palace is one of a kind, with everything in order, beautiful and rich, we got to a door which she opened, stepping into the room I was lost in it magnificent.
MAID: this is the prince’s room, do you need any more thing.
AMARACHI: no thank you.
MAID: I will take my leave then.
She bowed and left, I walked room the room admiring every single things in the room, from the wall frame, to the painting on the wall, to the curtains, the electronics, to the wine bar, everything was speaking wealth and beautiful I wondered, if the prince lives in such comfort what about the king himself he must be living in paradise, I sat down on the sofa, thank God that Afamefuna told them to bring me here at least i felt more comfortable in the four corners of his room.
It has been up to an hour since Afamefuna went to see his father, I have been going through a book I brought along with me just to keep myself busy, I just hope everything is done fast so I could go back to lagos, my stay here is bringing bad memories to me and I don’t like that, the door opened and Afamefuna walked in, I smiled at him but my smile immediately vanished when I saw the expression on his face, I got up dropping the book I have been reading, he must have been crying judging from the wetness of his eyes, this got me so worried what must have gone wrong.
AMARACHI: my love, what is it.
AFAMEFUNA: my father.
AMARACHI: what about your father.
AFAMEFUNA: he is dying.
She walked to me and hugged me which I reciprocated, I really needed the hug and coming from her was even better, she didn’t say a word but allowed me stay in the embrace.
Why does it hurt so much, why do I feel this way was the question I was asking myself, I thought I hated my father but instead I was just hurt and now I know why I felt hurt when he turned his back on my happiness, it was because I love him so much and didn’t expect him to do what he did.
EZE NWANYI: Afamefuna, is that you, my son.
I held on to his hand not wanting to let go, who will believe this was once the strong king that can’t be brought down.
AFAMEFUNA: father, it is I, it is me your son.
EZE NWANYI: oh that voice, it is really you, never thought I will see this day.
AFAMEFUNA: father you will see more days to come, what happened.
EZE NWANYI: ohhh I am punished for what I committed.
He coughed, I quickly took the glass cup that was already fill with water, I took the cover away, I stood up and help him in rising his head while he drank from the water, I rested his head back once he was done and kept the glass cup back on the stool.
EZE NWANYI: the gods are angry with me for placing a judgment on a girl because of my selfish reason.
EZE NWANYI: after you left.
He was talking slowly counting each of his words.
EZE NWANYI: I was so angry but not with you, I was angry with the girl that was responsible for you disobeying me, I know you were stubborn just like me so I knew it will be hard for we to convince you otherwise since you have made your intentions about her known, I so wanted to hurt her in many ways but her mother was what held me back.
He coughed again and I rushed to get the water but he stopped me.
EZE NWANYI: her mother was a wonderful woman loved by many there was nothing I could do and hate feeling powerless, that day they brought her to the palace saying she killed her mother, some part of me knew she didn’t but the hatred I was having towards her blinded me and I passed my judgment without thinking and without waiting for the chief priest to make his appearance.
I was confused in that part.
AFAMEFUNA: I don’t understand.
EZE NWANYI: in this land before a king passes judgment on a person, the person must first take an oath defending himself on what he has been accused of, only then will the king pass his judgment, a judgment can be passed without the oath taking if the accused confess of his crimes without taking an oath then the chief priest will not be needed but in her case she didn’t agree to the accusation but still I passed my judgment.
I was silent, didn’t know what to say, all this revelation that has been revealed to me is still difficult for me to take all in at once.
EZE NWANYI: my son, I am sorry for not being a father.
AFAMEFUNA: you are the best father I could ever ask for.
EZE NWANYI: no, I neglected my responsibilities as a father.
AFAMEFUNA: you once told me that the crown comes with great responsibilities, it is difficult to be three things all at once, you are a father, a husband and a king, a whole kingdom rested on your shoulder, you are only a man but yet you still tried to fill that space between us, you are my father nothing can change that.
EZE NWANYI: you will be a great king, just as you have been a great son.
I smiled at him even though it came with pains.
AFAMEFUNA: you will be fine, I brought Amarachi with me, she will stop all this.
EZE NWANYI: oh Amarachi, she came.
AFAMEFUNA: yes she did, mother have sent for the elders, once they are here everything will be fine.
He nodded in agreement.
AFAMEFUNA: you should rest now.
I kissed his forehead as he closed his eyes and went back to sleep, I came out of the room, my mother was there waiting, immediately I saw her I embraced her.
AFAMEFUNA: am sorry mother for allowing you to pass through this alone.
LOLO AGBONMA: that’s enough, you have nothing to be sorry about, it is I that should be apologizing.
We disengage the embrace, she was already crying now.
AFAMEFUNA: I love you mother.
LOLO AGBONMA: I love you too son, now go see your guest she is waiting for you.
I nodded and left not without giving her a warm smile.
AMARACHI: your father will not die okey, he will be fine.
Amarachi words brought me out of my thought.
AFAMEFUNA: I know.
Just then we heard a knock on the door.
AFAMEFUNA: yes come in.
The door opened and a man servant walked in bowing to us.
MAN SERVANT: the queen your mother sent me to inform you that the elders and the church priest are here, they are in the throne room.
AFAMEFUNA: no problem, tell them we will be there shortly.
The man servant left closing the door behind him.
AFAMEFUNA: so are you ready.
AMARACHI: yes I am, I want to end this once and for all.
AFAMEFUNA: I love you.
AMARACHI: I love you more.
I held her hands and we both walk out the room heading to the throne room.
As soon as we entered the throne room they all got up greeting the prince who responded, his hand was still twisted in mind and I knew he won’t let go, he smiled at me gesturing me to sit down in one of the seat close to the queen, they were all sited by now, most of their faces was familiar while some were new to me, two men was dress in a father priest wear, Victor was there also, I tried not to be nervous after all the prince was close by and he will always protect me.
MAZI OKAFOR: I greet you my queen, my prince, father James and father frank, our guests and the elders for all finding out time to be here today to see how we could stop the disaster that has befallen our land, the king would have been here today with us but we all know he is not strong enough to be sited with us today but never the less the queen and prince present are here to bless this meeting, I want to personally thank Amarachi, late Uzochi and Nneka daughter for finding out time to be here with us even with everything that has happened she still decided to show up to help us, for this we are highly grateful.
I released the breath I didn’t know I was holding, this wasn’t going to be easy but I was going to make it easy any way.
MAZI OKAFOR: I want to invite the priest father James because him only knows what we are here to do.
With this he sat down, one of the father maybe in his late 50s got up, this must be the father that saw the revelation from God.
FATHER JAMES: I great you all that are sited here today, Mr Okafor has said most of the things I could have say so I will just focus on the important ones, my first speech goes to Amarachi. Everyone has a story that is a discomforting one, a story where pain is but the story of this young girl has got my attention more then any one I have heard, she was accused right from birth for offenses she never committed, rejected because of the circumstances surrounding her birth, treated like a lesser human, casted away to the face of death but in all this she still prevailed, didn’t this tell you something, no one is better than the other in the face of God, it doesn’t matter where or how the person came about, not everyone will be here today sitting among us because of the wrong we did, but she proved to us that she has a heart of gold better than any of us sitting down here, Amarachi I will add myself to this so I will say we all are deeply sorry for everything that we have caused you.
All the time he was giving his speech I was trying so hard to hold back my tear but his last statement just brought all my tear out in a single blow.
FATHER JAMES: you have passed through a lot not even compared to the ones we have passed in this few months, we have hurt you without measures, we are sorry for taking everything from you, do find it in your heart to forgive us.
He said this going on his knees, the other father followed, before I could get out of my thoughts the whole elders joined them, I immediately got up in shock looking at everyone, unable to speak.
LOLO AGBONMA: please my daughter, forgive our wrongs.
She also got on her knees.
FATHER JAMES: all the things we are going to do here today will not work until you have really forgiven us from the debt of your heart, you have to forgive genuinely.
I was lost between time and space, forgiven them was another thing and letting go was something else, how can I forgive then genuinely without holding anything back, I was still hurt even if I was pretending that all was fine, they were all talking at the same time asking for my forgiveness, I would easily say I have forgiven them but I will be lying to myself and if I don’t let everything go nothing might work, I was weak, my heart was pounding so fast and I feared if I stayed any more minute here I might lose it, I ran out of the throne room with them calling my name.
To be continued..
My village prince and I
I watched the drama as the elders got on their knees, I was surprised and dumbfounded seeing them that way, even my mother did the same, I looked at Victor, it was only I and Victor that was sitting, I knew Amarachi was trying hard not to break down and I felt for her been put at the center that way, but something got my attention, Mazi Amadi, that is Ada’s father, he was kneeling without saying a word, there was hatred in his eyes and I could bet he was not happy kneeling down and them apologizing to Amarachi, the shout from the elders got my attention, I turned and saw Amarachi running out of the throne room.
I got up to go after her but the voice of mazi Amadi stopped me.
MAZI AMADI: what an insult, how dare she just ran out that way making us look like fools, this is so humiliating, I have never been embarrass in my life like this before.
I turned to look at him, he was already standing.
AFAMEFUNA: what did you just say, you have no idea what humiliation is because if you do you will go back down and stay on your knees still she comes back.
MAZI AMADI: what.
AFAMEFUNA: I will not ask again because If I do you will feel the touch of been humiliated.
He immediately went back on his knees.
MAZI ENYINNAYA: please my prince forgive Mazi Amadi, please.
AFAMEFUNA: Mazi Amadi, if you have any idea of what you and your household have done to her believe me you will start learning the words you will use to apologize to your future queen.
He looked up at me and there was a little fear in him and I can see that in his eyes, I love it that way, much better, I walked out of the throne room in search for Amarachi, the guards kept directing me to the direction that she went, I saw her at the balcony, how she got there was still something I didn’t know, she was crying bitterly with everything in her, I wrapped my hands around her causing her to turn to me.
AMARACHI: I can’t do this, I thought I could be I can’t.
AFAMEFUNA: yes you can.
AMARACHI: it so difficult, it’s hard.
AFAMEFUNA: I know, I never for once said it will be easy but you have to try and seriously let go, just like father James said you have a heart of gold and that heart of yours is strong enough to do this.
AMARACHI: how can you be so calm.
AFAMEFUNA: because I have you by my side.
I hugged her so tight not wanting to tell her go.
AFAMEFUNA: you will be fine.
She disengaged from me looking into my eyes.
AMARACHI: I believe you.
We walked back to the throne room where the elders were waiting for us, they were already sitting when we walked in, they immediately got up with expectations in their eyes, I looked at Amarachi who in return gave me a smile.
AMARACHI: I know that words can not take back everything that has happened in the past or change anything, it can’t bring my mother back or take away all my pains but yet I am here today standing before everyone that has done me wrong in one way or the other to say all this words, life itself is a lesson and a teacher and I have learnt the little bitter part of that life, for the sake of the innocent ones and the people that has shown be nothing but kindness in all my life I sincerely from the debt of my heart without holding back any grudges and letting go all that has been done to me, both young and old I Amarachi Uzochi forgive Amucha kingdom and I pray the peace that was once here return back to everyone’s homes.
They were screams of jubilation, the queen ran and hugged me and for the first time I felt peace of mind, it was like an heavy burden was taking off my shoulder, it was nice to be free again, Afamefuna took me into his arms.
FATHER JAMES: now everyone.
Father James brought everyone’s attention again.
FATHER JAMES: now that the first step is done the second step will follow.
AFAMEFUNA: and what will that be.
FATHER JAMES: knowing the truth.
Just then a guard ran inside getting everyone’s attention.
GUARD: my queen, my prince, my elders.
LOLO AGBONMA: what is it.
GUARD: its the chief priest, he is outside but there is something wrong with him.
We all was surprised and confused.
MAZI OKAFOR: something wrong with him, what.
GUARD: I think it will be better if you see by yourself.
I looked at Afamefuna, I knew something was off, I pray this doesn’t cause any more trouble for me, we all went outside, Afamefuna held my hand, with him by my side I knew no harm can come to me.
Holding Amarachi hand we all walked outside to see the chief priest but was visited with a site I won’t forget in a hurry, half of the chief priest body or should I say what was left of the chief priest body was burnt from his shoulder to his toe, we all gaze at the horrible site before us, he was sited on the ground shouting for help, there were a lot of murmuring coming from both the chiefs and the servants that were present, amidst the cry of help he was saying something that only him could hear.
MAZI OKAFOR: what is this, chief priest what is this.
MAZI AZUBUIKE: did someone attack the shrine, talk to us we are losing our patients.
CHIEF PRIEST: ohhhh, it is painful ooo, please forgive me ooo, forgive ooo.
He was talking to only God knows who.
MAZI ENYINNAYA: speak to us, who should forgive you.
CHIEF PRIEST: tell Nneka to forgive me ooo, it wasn’t intentional.
I was shocked to hear the name of Amarachi mother on his lip, I looked around and saw everyone was as confused as i, I turned looking at Amarachi, I knew many things was going on in her head right now.
CHIEF PRIEST: Amarachi please ooo forgive me ooo, please tell her to stop, tell her to stop ooo, it is painful, ahhhhhh, I am finished oooo.
FATHER JAMES: confess what you did and the pain will stop.
CHIEF PRIEST: I will confess, I will confess oooo.
AFAMEFUNA: we are listening.
CHIEF PRIEST: it all began few months ago, I was in my shrine when Mazi Amadi came to meet me.
With surprise we all turned to look at Mazi Amadi.
MAZI AMADI: me, not me, what are you saying, when did I, don’t dare add me to your downfall.
AFAMEFUNA: will you keep quiet or you want the guards to do that for you.
He immediately went silent, I never liked this man anyway.
CHIEF PRIEST: he said he wants me to do something for him that he will give me a plot of land as a gift, I asked him what that might be, he said he wants the prince to marry his daughter.
There where loud whispers among the elders and the servants.
CHIEF PRIEST: he said he wants the prince to fall in love with his daughter, I told him it was impossible because the prince was protected by the gods, who so ever tires to harm him will surely die, that was when he brought anything request that I should kill Amarachi the one that is making the prince not to look at his daughter.
I was growing in anger but I had to remained calm if I want to hear the end of this confession.
CHIEF PRIEST: he said he will add a million naira to the land he has promised if I succeed, the money was tempting so I agreed but killing her was now the problem as she doesn’t have any friends that I could use because she was always alone most of the time, so I had to do it myself, I went to her house in the intention to lie that I am doing house cleansing then I could use that opportunity to put a charm that will kill Amarachi anytime she come across it but fortunately for me I got there and saw no one at home, I called out still no one so I went to the back yard to see if I could see anyone of them that was when I came across the pot of soup on the floor in the kitchen, I think the pot was just brought down from the fire, so I knew it make be one of them that just finished cooking, without bothering if both of they dies I poisoned the food, when I heard she didn’t die but her mother did and she was taken to the king I knew I will be summoned, I was already planning to turn her oath against her in case she swears but was later told the king passed his judgment to have her executed without the oath taking, I thought everything was settled but the gods stopped communicating with me, that was why I couldn’t tell anyone anything when disaster starts happening.
There were shouts from the people around me.
MAZI OKAFOR: you, chief priest, you of all people, so the king was used without him even knowing, Abomination
AFAMEFUNA: if the food was poisoned how come Amarachi is still alive.
AMARACHI: because mother ate before me.
I looked at Amarachi, we all did, her cheek were already covered in tear, I rushed to her before she could meet the floor, I saw that one coming, I knew her legs will fail her, I held her close to be as she sobbed on my clothes, I was angry now, if I get that old fool I will kill him myself.
CHIEF PRIEST: please I have confess oooo, I have confess, please for give me oooo.
My mother came to me and took Amarachi into her arms just what I needed, I allowed my mother to console her while I go deal with those fools.
GUARDS: yes my prince.
AFAMEFUNA: arrest that old fool.
MAZI AMADI: my prince, I didn’t do anything please.
AFAMEFUNA: you will soon once I am done dealing with you, I will make you pay for everything you have done, you and your family.
He immediately went on his knees.
MAZI AMADI: please my family did nothing, it was I please spare them, please my friends help me to beg him.
MAZI OKAFOR: who is your friend, you are a disgrace to this community.
AFAMEFUNA: guard, go to his house pack any living things you see there and take them all to the community police, tell them no bail until I say so, Mazi Amadi, You will rot in jail, I will make sure of it, take him away.
The guards began to drag him out as he continued pleading for mercy.
AFAMEFUNA: and take that thing that is call a chief priest out of this palace, I don’t want to continue seeing his face.
The guards went to the chief priest that was laying on the ground, he has stopped shouting all of a sudden.
GUARD: my prince
GUARD: he is dead.
I opened my eyes and saw myself at my house, how did I get here, I called for the prince but no response, I called for Victor but still silent, I came down from my bed heading to the sitting room, everything was just the was it was before my mother died, that was when all the event that took place at the palace came to me, I broke down in tear again but this time with fear all over me, how I got to my house was a mystery to me, everywhere was so cold that I wondered if they connected a air conditioner to the house, so my mother was killed by no other person than Ada’s father and the chief priest, how cruel can the world get, now I am back at the same house it all happened, was this part of the step to free the people from my mother’s ghost but yet Afamefuna couldn’t have left me here all by myself, he said he will be with me always, but now where was he, there was no one in the sitting room as everywhere was dark and this increased my fear, with the light coming from the full moon I used it to find my way outside that was when I saw a figure standing close to what seem like a grave, I wasn’t seeing the figure clearly but I knew it was a person, I called out to him or her but the person refused to turned his face to me or even answer to my calls, I swollen hard and approached the person, as I came closer I knew it was a woman that was dressed in a white long dress.
AMARACHI: hello, please answer me, I just want to know how I got here.
UNKNOWN: because I brought you here.
The person turned and I almost lost my breath as I looked into the person eyes.
My village prince and I
Sequence 31(Semi Final).
My mother was smiling at me, I didn’t know how to react because I was too surprised to say a word or move, I just stood there looking at her with my mouth opened, I cleaned my eyes to be sure if I was saying rightly.
AMARACHI: Mama but you are dead.
NNEKA GHOST: don’t worry you are not dead, I am.
AMARACHI: then were is this place, am I dreaming.
NNEKA GHOST: more like a dream but no you are not, this is the little home I created for myself.
AMARACHI: Mama, is this really you.
NNEKA GHOST: come into my arm my beautiful daughter.
I wasn’t thinking anymore as I ran into her arm, she was so cold but I cared not, being in her arm was something I longed for and no cold can stop that.
AMARACHI: I have missed you so much.
NNEKA GHOST: and I you.
I was sobbing now couldn’t hold it, she disengage the embrace.
AMARACHI: Mother, am so sorry it was my fault that you have to died, I shouldn’t have left the food outside, I would have took it in before anything else, you didn’t deserved this not after everything you have done for me.
NNEKA GHOST: shhhhh, don’t say that, you caused nothing, I am glad that I was able to take your place.
She touched my cheeks, oh how I missed this.
AMARACHI: Mama, but why were you punishing the innocent for crimes they didn’t commit.
NNEKA GHOST: I had it planned, I only did that to punish the guilty one, if all the elders were sick who will look for the answers, I had to push them so they would bring you home, your home, and it was only will that can I fully be at rest.
AMARACHI: the chief priest is dead, he has paid for his sins with his life, was there no other punishment.
NNEKA GHOST: my daughter always concern for others, you are but I didn’t kill him my daughter, you see the gods of the land have strong rules and they hate when it is broken, he violated those laws, after death his spirit will be caged my them not allowing him to pass to the realms to the unknown place above, he will be punished for eternity.
AMARACHI: I am confused mama, thought there are just hell and heaven.
NNEKA GHOST: yes so as they are dark forces, the gods refused to help the people of the land, they were only concern about their law that was broken but God so merciful showed his mercy to them by revealing everything to his servant.
AMARACHI: father James.
NNEKA GHOST: my daughter, the things that lay ahead of you are great and will be handled with wisdom, you will be queen of this great land but promise me that no matter the situation you find yourself always put God Almighty first, it is only then you will not stain your hands with blood.
AMARACHI: will i be queen.
NNEKA GHOST: a great one, you have been destined to be a queen even when some forces tried to stop it, you will be greater with God by your side.
AMARACHI: I promise mother.
NNEKA GHOST: no go and be a the great queen that you are.
AMARACHI: does this mean you have forgiven the people.
NNEKA GHOST: I forgave them the moment you did, I can now rest, my battle is over, they are well again.
AMARACHI: thank you mother, Afamefuna will be so grateful and happy when his father gets back on his feet again.
NNEKA GHOST: my daughter, I can’t tell you what to come will be pleasant but no matter always be there from Afamefuna, he will need you more than than he has needed you.
AMARACHI: I don’t understand.
NNEKA GHOST: come let me take you to your room.
In just a flash we were in my room, she sat on my bed.
NNEKA GHOST: come on lay down.
I did putting my head on her laps, she started singing me a beautiful Igbo song that I love listening to as I close my eyes, her voice was so sweet just like before but suddenly she stopped singing.
AMARACHI: Mother please don’t stop.
AFAMEFUNA: my queen, are you awake.
That was Afamefuna voice, I opened my eyes and saw Afamefuna beside my bed holding my hand, I looked around and found out that I was in his room on his bed.
AMARACHI: what happened.
AFAMEFUNA: you fainted, I guess you couldn’t bare the pain anymore but Mazi Amadi and his family are feeling same pain right now, am sorry, so sorry.
I smiled at him, didn’t know but I felt no anger or pain it was like all just went away.
AFAMEFUNA: are you alright.
AMARACHI: yes I am never been better.
I looked at her confused at her response, what was wrong with her, she didn’t hit her head if not I would have thought she was having metal disorder, this was someone that couldn’t get over the pains of her mother death is now here smiling, I love it but was just a little scared, too much of grief can cause a lot of things and I won’t want that for her but before I could open my mouth a knock was heard on my door.
A man servant walked in.
MAN SERVANT: your father request your present, both of you.
AFAMEFUNA: okey we are on our way.
He quickly left, I looked at Amarachi who seems surprised.
AMARACHI: hope he is fine.
AFAMEFUNA: that’s what we are going to find out, so lets hope it for the best.
Helping her up, we both went to my father’s chamber, the guard opened the door and we went in, three of the elders, Mazi Okafor, Mazi Enyinnaya, Mazi Azubuike and my mother were all inside already, i was surprise to see them there and the expression on their faces wasn’t good.
I walked to my mother who took my both hands, she must has been crying I could tell from the redness of her eyes.
MAZI OKAFOR: my king, the prince is here.
EZE NWANYI: Afamefuna.
AFAMEFUNA: am here father.
I walked to his bed side holding his hand.
AFAMEFUNA: father am here for you.
He took his other hands and placed it on my head.
EZE NWANYI: Afamefuna, you are the true son of your father, I bless you today, you will be a king greater than I was.
EZE NWANYI: no evil shall kill you.
EZE NWANYI: your life will be longer than mine.
As he pray they always responded with each prayer he makes, I knew what was happening, before a kings dies he must bless the the prince and his grandchild next crown Prince, only than can the prince ascend the throne, but I was confused here I don’t have a son yet not even married, i really am confused, after he finished his prayer he took his hand away from my head.
AFAMEFUNA: father you are scaring me, you are not going to die just yet why the prayers, I haven’t given you a grand son yet, father you have to bless him too right.
EZE NWANYI: you have got all the blessing you need that will also make your son the future crown Prince safe from all harm, you will be a great king and he will learn from you a great teacher, now call me Amarachi.
I was surprised at this, I looked at Amarachi who seems surprised too, I got up while she walked closer, she took my place by his side, he took her hands.
EZE NWANYI: Amarachi.
AMARACHI: yes my king.
EZE NWANYI: A queen with the heart of gold.
Did I just heard him correctly, he called her a queen, my father has finally accepted her.
EZE NWANYI: I bless you today Amarachi, you will be the light that will shine in the darkness.
ALL : ise.
As he continued his praying my mind went far as when my father couldn’t even come close to Amarachi but now he was holding her hands blessing her not just as anything but as the future queen, my queen.
EZE NWANYI: from today onward you such be called queen Amara nne nke ìhè (mother of light).
MAZI OKAFOR: may the king be praised.
EZE NWANYI: Afamefuna come.
I came to his side close to Amarachi, there were tear in her eyes and I knew it was tear of joy, my father took my hand joining it with Amarachi.
EZE NWANYI: I bless the reunion today, who so ever that tried to come between this two shall make their death.
EZE NWANYI: you will pass through tribulation but none shall destroy you both.
EZE NWANYI: your reunion will bring peace to this land.
ALL : ise.
EZE NWANYI: you will be fill with laughter and children will not be hidden from this reunion.
EZE NWANYI: as I have side it so shall it be.
His hand fell from I and Amarachi hands, I looked at my father who has gone still.
I looked at Amarachi then to the elders, Amarachi quickly got up while I went closer to my father trying to wake him up, he wasn’t responding and I feared for the worst.
This can’t be happening, I felt a hand on my shoulder.
MAZI OKAFOR: please let me.
I got up and he went closer to my father, my mother was already restless and I knew she will break down anytime from now, Amarachi was just quiet, too quiet, I got my attention back to Mazi Okafor, he looked at the rest chiefs and shakes his head negatively, then I knew it was finished.
Almost immediately my mother started wailing, Mazi Azubuike had to take her outside, Amarachi followed my mother maybe to console her, I just took there not knowing what to do, I walked up to where he was laying and fell on my knees, now that was when the pain started coming in.
I scream holding the clothes of my dead father, it hurts so much, now I know how Amarachi felt when she lost her mother, the chief all left the room one at a time leaving just I and my father.
To be continued..
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