Emeka saw the knife over his head, and he saw the look on his father’s face, this man wanted him dead… this man would kill him.
It took a second for Emeka to decide..
Kill him first …
Or save himself.
Emeka bends, placing his hands over his head, then he kicks forward hitting his father’s legs from under him… which causes his father to fall backwards with the cutlass, once he hits the ground he holds his head.
His mother was screaming, she rushes to her husband, the cutlass had fallen away. Emeka steps on it.
KILL HIM OR NOT TO KILL HIM?
Emeka stands over him, his mother was searching if his father was injured, he wasn’t. He was squirming in pain as the girls rush to him pushing his mother away to attend to him.
Emeka picks up the cutlass, and pulls his mother up entering back into the house..
“Emeka your father, he is injured,let me help him” she cried
“No Mama, his sluts will help him, you come, you are not well”
“Emeka you shouldn’t have challenged your father, you shouldn’t have”
“So I let him do what? hurt you continuously, make you suffer always, should I have walked away seeing you in that state? Ah it’s enough! if I had been challenging him right from time he would have mellowed down but every time I come home to see you cry you beg me not to go to him and I listen but within I was breaking, I was dying everyday seeing you like this. No mama, enough is enough, no more. He touches you I fight him, he hurts you, I fight him, he starves you, I fight him. This house, this wealth is because of you, he has no right to the way he does, none. It’s enough” he says taking her into her room , he looks at her body, he frowns when he notices bruises, he goes into the toilet, grabs the first aid kit and begin to clean her up
“He is angry, but he wouldn’t be for long, go and apologize to him Emeka please, for my sake I beg you” she cries
“Never, he wanted to kill me mama, he wanted to kill his son, your son. That man and me have nothing anymore, other than the blood that flows through my veins mama, he is not my father,never again”
“Stop it Emeka!”
‘‘No, no I won’t… look at you, look at your body” he lets his tears flow
“oh my baby”she leans cradling him to her
“I can’t watch this go on like this anymore mama, one day….one of us would really die one day”
‘’ You can’t say that”
“mama I can and I will”
Mercy coughs hard, Emeka pulls away touching her neck “Your fever is still there, come mama, let me take you to the hospital” he says pulling her up
“There is no money for that, give me that bitter-leaf drink, it would help” she points to an Eva bottle with green liquid contents
“No mama, I sold my car, I will take you to the hospital“
“You did what?’
“Mama, don’t ask me too many questions,lets go” he says taking her by the arm and leaving, they didn’t meet anyone at the gate, and didn’t see any sign of his father.
“Are you feeling better now mama, the injections wasn’t too painful was it?”
“I am better thank God, but my son how will you cope?”
“Don’t worry mama, he under prized that car but it doesn’t matter, you are the one who matters to me, with the change remaining we can go on for a few days, I would look for another job again. We just have to assume that even the little privileges we used to get at home won’t be there anymore… so that means…we are on our own’’ he had said turning away from her, closing his eyes, he sees Diana’s face.
He couldn’t believe he wouldn’t be able to talk to her, to tell her how much he loves her, to kiss her and hold her at night. To tell her she was beautiful, to help her when she couldn’t understand her assignment.
To drive her to and back home from school, to tell her jokes and watch her throw her head back in laughter, to watch her sleep and wish he could give her the world.
He couldn’t believe the girl, the first girl he had given his heart, body and all to suddenly broke up with him just because everything was going bad for him, and he thought when she said she loved him she meant it.. so it was all a lie? She liked him because of his name and his father’s wealth, now that he was getting nothing she couldn’t handle it.
“Dear lord why does it hurt so much, this pain in my chest, this pain” he says letting another tear fall from his eyes rubbing his chest
“Emeka, all will be well, God will not abandon us” she says squeezing his arm, she wipes his tears away “God will not abandon us” she repeats
“But he did mama, he did” he says
“And he took my heart away” he adds
“What do you mean Emeka, what is wrong with your heart?”
“Diana mama, she …she doesn’t want to be friends anymore” he says,
“She would come around”
He shakes his head “No mama, this time she wouldn’t, we have had fights, we’ve had quarrels, but this time we didn’t fight, this time she… she just didn’t want to be in my life and it hurts mama, it does, all that pain, all with what I see coming home, she was my safe heaven, my escape, my peace, now all I feel is pain and emptiness and loneliness and-” he trails off, “You won’t understand mama, you won’t” he cleans his eyes
“I am sorry” she says to him
“She left me Mama, she said she didn’t, I…. I love her mama” Emeka says
Mercy stares at her son, her heart breaking for him, he was twenty –three years old, what did he know about love? She didn’t even know anything about love, and she was already a full blown adult, and had lived half her life already.
Love? There was no such thing like love.
Did she love her husband? She didn’t know because she had no clue what love was supposed to feel like. But she knew she never wants harm to come to him, she knew she would go to the ends of the earth to make sure he is safe, she knew that she could give her arm if he asks her to. Maybe that’s why no matter what he did to her she forgave him, even in her pains she forgave him, in her tears she forgave him when all he did was cause her pain and misery and try to break her spirit, she forgave him.
Maybe that was love not judging him for his wrongs, accepting his flaws and mistakes, looking past his imperfections, accepting his scars and default… forgiving him constantly and submitting to him always even if it broke her.
Maybe that was love, she didn’t know but she had a child with this man she had called husband from day one, she had cared, she submitted and God knows she would continue to.
Yes, he wasn’t the man she saw long ago in her Uncle’s palour, warm and sweet. He was different but she had also come to realize something…despite it all, she would never live him hanging, stranded or dying and walk away, No!
Maybe that was what she understood as what love meant, and if this was love why did it hurt so much. why?
She cleans the tears from her hers, looking at Emeka silently nursing his pain, he says he loves this Diana girl, she had seen her a couple of times, sweet, sometimes and a bit pushy other times, they were friends, Emeka had said, but she knew her son, the closest friend he had and cared so much for was Jessica,they were inseparable until her death. He had cried, the way he was doing now… it broke him.
Maybe Emeka loved that girl in his own way, but for this her, this pain was different, it was suffocating, it was… deep.
Yes, Mercy didn’t know what love was or what it meant or how it felt like but she felt pain for whatever her husband did to her and still care for him… and here her son felt broken over a girl.
Then maybe they were unfortunate beings to care for people who hurt them, but the strangest thing was that they cared still, they cared still.
“I am here Emeka, I will never leave you my son, never” she says taking his hands to her cheeks and kisses it
Emeka turns to her, a sad smile on his face, a strand of tear trekking down his left eyes “I know mama, and that is why I’ll never leave you and never let any harm come to you, never again” he says, this time he pulls her to him, hugging her tight as they cried in each other’s arms.
They came home to find their things outside, the gate locked
“What in the world? Adamu, open the gate!” he orders the security man
“Bros Emeka, oga says make I no let you inside if not him go fire me, and I get wife and pikin for house, abeg make una go, abeg him don go bring big boys, them be go eat, na them bring una things come outside, him say him go go police station sef go report say you use cutlass mark am for body”
“I did no such thing, he is lucky. Adamu, open the gate my friend!” Emeka shook the gate
“Bross abeg na God I take beg you” Adam pleads “Oga go kill me, kill you, kill madam join” he begs
“Who be that! who you be?” three men asks walking towards them, that minute his father drives in, a man in the front seat, a police man at the back with him
“Yes officer see him here, this boy tried to kill me” His father jumps out of the car, “And his mother sent him” he says pointing to her
“I didn’t, he was the first person to attack my mother, I tried to stop him and we got into a fight, he used the cutlass to attack me but I stopped him. I took it away and left with my mother to the hospital, you should be arresting him for treating his wife and son like this, isn’t there a law against domestic violence against spouses and children?”
The men had alighted from the car, he recognized one as his father’s lawyer
“Look Emeka, your father had filed a report against you, and shown us the injuries he sustained’’
“What injuries? He didn’t sustain nothing“
His father unbuttons his shirt to show bandage around his body..
“He wasn’t injured, he is lying” Emeka shakes his head, really, his father went that low as to lie and inflict these on
The lawyer steps forward to show him pictures of a man without his face showing, that looks like his father ‘s with cutlass marks on it, he looks at his father and some red patches on the white bandage
“I didn’t do this, if I did you would have been dead for all that you did to my mother” Emeka says. His mother is crying
“My husband please please.. okay we are sorry, forgive your son, please this is a house matter don’t let people laugh at us” she goes on her knees
“House matter you say madam? And you sent your son to beat up your husband, to get him injured? You should be arrested, both of you”
“Don’t touch my mother” Emeka pulls his mother away as the police reaches for her hand “Don’t you dare. I know what you are doing Father, playing politics with your money, it won’t work. How much did he pay you to lie eh Mr lawyer? Don’t you have a family, aren’t you ashamed to be bribed? And you thugs …is that how money sways you all? And you police man, you have pledged to honour and protect lives and properties and here you all are dancing to the drum Mr Ambross Chikurdi is playing because he threw a few nairas on your faces and put some in your bank account is that it eh? You all know all he is saying is a lie, I only punched his face that is all”
“Yes we have pictures of that too” The lawyer says
Emeka laughs “You all are pitiful, get out of my way, my mother needs rest, she is sick”
“You and that witch are no longer welcome in my house, never!”
“You lie papa, you lie! this is as much my mother’s as it is yours and we will enter”
“You dare to stop me, not your bodyguards, not your lawyer, not your police dog, you father, stop me, then those fake pictures you have now I will show you what real cuts looks like Mr Ambross!” Emeka flares
“Emeka please” Mercy begs
“No mother, I am done, tired! he wants it, let him come stop me himself” he pulls his mother towards the gate and keeps kicking it, Adamu was pleading for them to go.
“Deal with him, have no mercy” His father orders
The guards pull Mercy away flinging her to the corner and descends on Emeka, beating him to a pulp as his mother screams and beg, she is held down by the police man
“Papa Emeka enough, AMBROSS ENOUGH!!!!’’ she screams “I will do anything you want, don’t kill my son, tell them to stop please, please!’’ she screams
“Give her the papers Lawyer, I need you to sign the divorce papers and the restriction orders, I need you to sign there and then I need you to take yourself and your son and I never want to see either of you ever again in my entire life, will you sign??’’
Ambross comes forward
“Yes, yes, just stop them” she screams as they kept beating Emeka, she saw blood leaving his mouth, she screams louder
“Sign it first”
Mercy without thinking signs it,
“Stop, let the boy go” he orders “Get out from my sight” he tells Mercy
Mercy runs to her son, crying, cradling him to herself…”GET OUT!!!!’’
Ambross screams “Throw them away from my gate now” He says to his boys who drags Mercy in one hand and then drags Emeka by his leg and push them to the road, dumping their cloths on the ground next to them and leaves.
“My son, my son” she cries “OH God!! Oh God why?” she bellows
“Mama, mama..” Emeka coughs
“Sshhh,it’s okay, it’s okay… you father will come around, we would wait and then we would go beg him”
Emeka shakes his head, he painfully stands up, wiping the blood from his mouth,one of his eyes was swollen and so was his lips “I would rather die than go back’’ he says taking her hand
“Were do we go, how do we survive, where….we are good as finished…my son, we can’t go anywhere else but home, how do we survive? we have nothing, nothing! You father had thrown us out, he has divorced me, he beat you, we have nothing… let us go and beg, accept the servants quarters… my son, your father isn’t in his right mind… God will change him. We can’t leave, what if he falls sick, what if… they ruin him..he needs me, he needs us. Where do we go if not home,we have nothing no money how do we survive how do we, how do we?” she begins to be hysterical
“Mama , mama’’ he holds her face in his hands, kissing her forehead, his blood smearing her “You have me and that is enough. I don’t care if I drop out of school, I don’t care if I need to push wheelbarrow or pack shit, I don’t care but mama, me Emeka Odinaka will be your blessing, your happiness and one day…all this pain would be a bad dream I promise you” he says holding her to him
He looks back to the house ..
And you father, one day… I will make you pay, I will make you beg and cry and then I would push the stool from under your leg and watch you fall..
One day papa, I will be in that position and power you wield I swear it and I will pay you back coin for coin, tit for tat, blood for blood, I promise you.
“Where to?” she says crying
“Anywhere the wind blows’’ he holds her hand, the other he carries what he could carry and they stagger down the road, walking into the night.
Ten Years Later
Emeka stands facing the window, watching the cars move below, watching the traffic light turn from yellow to green to red.
There was a knock on the door, he didn’t turn
“Sir, your 11’oclock is here“
‘‘Thank you Patricia “ he says over his shoulders ”usher in please”
He heard the door close, then someone knocks and walka in..
“Good Morning Mr Uchendu, MY name is Mr Ambross Chikurdi, my company had contacted you for some partnership and financial assistance, thank you for seeing me”
Emeka turns to look at him after hearing this name …
God works in mysterious ways ..
“What can I do for you Mr Ambross Chikurdi” he says taking a seat and crossing his legs
This man standing in front of him, he had hated for years and after ten years he didn’t know that his son was the one he called sir nor had the biggest company in the country with four other branches scattered within the country and out. And his company was taking other small company out of business.
Yes. God works in mysterious ways.
Now he would begin what he had prayed for years.. Revenge they say, was best served cold and karma was a bitch.
TO BE CONT.