FINAL EPISODE (22)
Written by author Nath
All invited guest to the party at the den of cleverness waited outside the door. They were mostly students from Ghene High School who were excited to be there. Some could be seen taking a selfie with Ikuku who stood by the door with his staff.
“Alright Kinds!” The old man began talking to the students like Moses talking to the people of Israel. “Whoever isn’t clever cannot enter here for the party. In essence, you have ten seconds to answer a riddle that will open the door for you to enter otherwise go home or remain outside.” he saw the students smiling and giggling excitedly. “You first!” he pointed at a girl. “What’s your name?”
“Amelia, sir” the girl stepped forward.
Ikuku read the riddle encrypted on the door saying, “What is it that is given one, you’ll either have two or none?”
Hearing the riddle, the giggling tone among the students gradually died down and those who were smiling with all their thirty-two open, closed them instantly. All watched Amelia staring at the riddle and twisting her fingers. She suddenly hit her legs on the ground like one about to cry.
“It’s hard!” She complained.
“Alright, next person!” Ikuku ordered.
“Wait!” Amelia interrupted. “The answer is a double plates of food.”
Ikuku laughed in a loud voice, pushed the young girl aside with his staff like one that woefully failed in a race competition. Amelia frowned. A boy raised up his hand and answered the riddle saying, “A choice!” Immediately the door opened and the boy ran inside.
The interior den was decorated with a D.J who was getting his hit tracks ready. The boy who just entered saw Jade drinking alone at a corner then boldly walked up to her saying, “You look bad. Can I have what you’re drinking?” he sat opposite her like a man on a date.
Jade smiled after giving him a bottle of soft drink. “You must be clever enough to be the first.” She opened the drink for him. “Did you by any way see Jimmy outside?” she asked.
The boy shook his head. “No.”
Back outside, many students battled with riddles but only few were clever. A short boy stepped out as Ikuku read his own riddle saying, “What English word retains the same pronunciation, even after you take away four of its five letters?”
“Please, let me answer it!” Amelia cried out.
Ikuku exhaled. “Alright, your last chance” he permitted.
“The answer is Queen”
Ikuku shook his head amusingly. His expression alone saddened Amelia who began to shed tears.
“The answer is Queue.” The short boy replied. “When ‘u’ and ‘e’ are taken away, the letter ‘Q’ still sounds like the word ‘Queue'” he explained as he was entering……
However, Jimmy could hear splash of water from his bathroom while he was dressing his own bed by changing the bedsheet that got stained by blood. Sooner did Rachael come out from the bathroom with Jimmy’s own towel tied from the thorax and flopped half away her thighs. She stopped at the sight of the dressed bed without seeing the dresser. On top of the bed was a small box wrapped attractively. Rachael found herself smiling at the romantic move by Jimmy as she opened the box to see a sparkling necklace. She couldn’t believe it!
“Happy birthday, Rachael” a voice came from the door. She turned to see Jimmy standing there.
“But it’s not my birthday, Jimmy?” she said.
Jimmy began to walk to her. “I know. Though you never invited me but it’s really from my heart to you.” he picked the necklace, gently buckled it around her neck then whispered into her ears saying, “Let it be an assurance that I’ll never let anything happen to you. You’re my destiny, you’re my love. I love you so much.”
Rachael turned and kissed him. “I love you too, my destiny.” Both smiled…
Antonia and Festus approached the door to the den hand-in-hand as the only remaining students including Amelia who had been shedding tears by the side. She was as dumb as a goat, misusing every opportunity Ikuku had been mercifully giving to her. Although, he was enjoying her hilarious answers.
“Master Ikuku.” Festus began, holding Antonia like a groom to his bride. “We are two in one, so we gonna be answering one riddle.”
“As you wish” Ikuku pointed his magical staff on the door which made the riddle more lengthy and difficult.
“Oh my God!” Antonia shouted with a hand covering her mouth.
Ikuku read the riddle saying, “I can’t be seen, can’t be felt, can’t be heard, and i can’t be smelt. I lie behind stars and under hills. And empty holes i fill. I come first and follow after, ends life and kill laughter. What am I?”
After reading and hearing the riddle, Festus changed his mind saying, “I think we’re no more two in one. As a matter of fact, we’re officially divorced” he wanted to withdraw from Antonia but the young girl held him back tightly.
“Hell no! This union is for better for worst, for cleverness for dullness. You’re going nowhere!” she objected.
“Okay, if I answer it, I’ll kiss you. Deal?” Festus looked at her.
“Deal. But if i answer it first, no kiss” Antonia smiled. Though she was beginning to fall for him.
Both suddenly became quiet looking at the riddle and exercising their cleverness. Ikuku allowed them do that even though their time had expired. But they were entities of entertainment to Amelia.
“I’ve gotten the answer!” Both shouted at the same time then looked at each other.
“Go first” Antonia said.
“No, you first” Festus objected.
“Alright,” she swallowed hard as she stared at the door. “You’re shadow!” she shouted but nothing happened. “Holy crap!” she became disappointed.
“Watch mine.” Festus began. “You’re darkness!” Slowly, the door opened. One could see him rejoicing like a lottery winner.
“It’s a lie! Shadow is also darkness!” Antonia agitated.
“But you can see Shadow.” Festus challenged.
“This riddle is pointless and…” She was interrupted by Festus’ lips on hers, kissing her gently to the sight of everyone inside the den who began to clap and shout. Amelia used that opportunity of distraction to sneak inside after Jade came out.
“Wanna go bring Jimmy” she told Ikuku, entered her bike and rode off.
After Festus and Antonia ended the overwhelming kiss, they found the door closed again. “Aaaaaahhhh!” they exclaimed at once. Antonia reached her phone and dialed Rachael’s number……
Inside Jimmy’s sittingroom, he watched as Rachael came out from his own room well dressed. The necklace sparkled on her neck just like the smile on her face.
“You look exceptional” Jimmy complimented. “Let me go get my bike from the backyard.” He left. Just then, Rachael’s phone began to ring. She picked it after seeing Antonia as the caller.
“Rachael, where are you? Hurry! Come and see mind-blowing riddles!”
“Really?” Rachael approached the door. “We’re coming now.” She opened the door to see Kris pointing a gun at her from outside. “Kris?” she slowly lowered the phone, still on call…
Hearing the name ‘Kris’ from the den of cleverness, Antonia changed position as Festus and Ikuku suspected danger from the phone call. “Hello… Rachael, what’s Kris doing there? Hello.. Hello…” She kept quiet when she began to hear Kris’ distant voice from the phone.
“You gonna pay for killing my Dad! You’re a freak, Amaya! You killed my Dad and now you must die too!”
“No, no, no, no…” Antonia was shouting until she heard a gunshot then screamed loudly and flung away her phone.
“Antonia, what’s it?!” Festus held her as Ikuku also approached. Already, she had started shedding tears.
“Kris… Kris.. Rachael… I heard a gunshot!!” She began to run away followed by Festus, while Ikuku spaced out to the sky, shaking his head sadly.
A FEW MINUTES EARLIER
Kris was in tears when he aimed the gun at Rachael who also began to shed tears terrifyingly. However, Jimmy sighted them from a corner with his bike, running to meet them.
“You gonna pay for killing my Dad!” Kris began. “You’re a freak, Amaya! You killed my Dad and now you must die too!” he pulled the trigger twice, but found it killing Jimmy instead coz he was fast enough to take the bullets for Rachael whose phone fell down when she saw Jimmy lying dead on her feet.
Surprisingly, Kris dropped the gun on the floor, gradually stepping backward. Unluckingly, Jade struck him dead from behind with her magical stick coz she saw everything that happened from afar. She also staggered to Jimmy in tears. “What happened for goodness sake!!” she shrieked bitterly.
Rachael carried dead Jimmy on her thighs like a mother. Her lips quivered while her eyes ran down uncontrollable tears. “Jimmy… Jimmy.. please don’t leave me. Remember you promised never to let me out of your sight… Jimmy! No!” She shouted painfully, shaking his body vigorously.
Jade fell on the ground speechlessly then began to cry too.
Immediately Antonia sighted the boys on the floor, she ran to them along with Festus then bursted into a thunderous cry. As Rachael cried, she began to remember Jimmy’s endless effort and love for her:
“….Rachael Mr Kim wants to see you… I just want to say I’m sorry for everything….. Calm down, Rachael…. We only step off on the wrong foot. And I’m sorry about that. I want you to forgive me. In fact, I want to be your friend starting from today……. That, Rachael, is a very good question…But it’s very sad that I do not know the charm you used on me…. I want you to love me……. Come to the dining. I guess the hot coffee will be good for your body due to the cold weather…. Because of you Mr Kim died, because of you my life has been in terror and confusion, because of you Kris was attacked by a horrible shadow. What’s your destiny among us the humans, Amaya………. Officer, she even lost consciousness as a result of the accident. I was the one that saved her……. It’s just rats, Rachael…. I don’t mind sleeping on the cushion while you use the bed. Please, come back…… Don’t be afraid. We’re in this together…. I see you as a girl that needs my help and… and… a girl I love….. Just don’t hurt Rachael. What you’re subjecting her to will take her life, please…… Hang on, Rachael. You’re in my hands now……….. Is all over and behind us now…… Though you never invited me but it’s really from my heart to you… Let it be an assurance that I’ll never let anything happen to you. You’re my destiny, you’re my love. I love you so much….”
Remembering all that, Rachael looked at dead Jimmy again, hoping he wakes up. “Jimmy, wake up! Wake up!! Jimmy!!!!” She cried, stood up and rushed the gun on the floor. She pick it, aimed it below her jaw and pulled the trigger. Fortunately, there was no bullets in it again. She fell down crying as police siren paved from afar.
Antonia saved Rachael from several suicide attempt. But when she discovered she was pregnant for Jimmy, she discarded the idea.