Three Generations

Three generations episode 67

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TITLE: THREE GENERATIONS

WRITTEN BY: OGECHI ALABI

CHAPTER 67

Nwakaego was th£ one that put th£ call across to Chidi h£rself. $h£ sounded quite ch£erful. $h£ th£n told h¡m $h£ would like to see h¡m !n h£r village that weekend as $h£ wanted to discuss someth!ng with h¡m. h£ agreed to come.

Chidi had cold chills after th£ call. h£r granddaughter comes to see h¡m and now $h£ was wanted to see h¡m. h£ was worried. h£ hoped it wasn’t what h£ thought.

Chidi came !nto th£ compound and !nto Nwakaego’s house. h£ was surprised to see everyone th£re. h£ didn’t need to be told, h¡s worst nightmare had become a reality. h¡s m!nd had told h¡m cont!nuously, Nwadiuto’s visit was not a co!ncidence, but h£ always shoved it aside.

“From th£ look on your face, you already know why you are h£re” Obi announced.

“Nwanneka, I asked you if $h£ was m!ne but you denied it. I suspected. I know why I am h£re. Nwadiuto is my daughter. Th£ moment I saw h£r, I felt it.”

“We wouldn’t go [email protected]¢k to th£ past. $h£ has found you and wants to be a$$ociated with you. We need to right th¡s wrong. Th£ land has to be cleansed. It was partial cleans!ng that was done years ago. We will go to see th£ k!ng of your village who is th£ custodian of your traditions and th£n h£ will refer us to th£ chief priest”

“Talk!ng to th£ k!ng, wouldn’t it expose us?” Chidi asked.

“h£ won’t expose us. h£ will also be sworn to secrecy. We have to act f*st and get th¡s over and done with.” Uncle Obi replied.

Th£y went to meet th£ k!ng who welcomed th£m well. h£ asked every oth£r person to leave h¡s pres£nce as h£ had been briefed that it was a s£nsitive matter.

“Th¡s is a dicey situation. Th£ child has survived until now?”

“Yes, $h£ has”

“Usually if th£ cleans!ng was not accepted. Th£ child will be dead after ten days which proves $h£ was born ©vt of !ncest. Are you sure h£ was th£ only man that had carnal knowledge of you?” h£ asked Nwanneka.

“I am very sure sir. I was a v!rg!n and we did it once and that was it” Nwanneka replied.

“Let th£ chief priest tell us what to do. Let me ask h¡m to come and consult h£re for us”

Th£ chief priest arrived half an hour later. h£ took a close look at Nwanneka before h£ saw Nwakaego.

“Eh£n. I remember th¡s case. Nwakaego, if you remember, you asked us to cleanse th£ land with©vt th£m walk!ng @r0vnd th£ village [email protected]£d and spr!nkl!ng th£ cleans!ng water. I did that but now, for th¡s girl to f!nd peace !n h£r life, th£y need to do th£ ritual”

“How can we avoid do!ng it?” Nwakaego asked.

“You can’t avoid it. Th¡s child will have so many misfortunes immediately $h£ clocks 25. $h£ is do!ng very well now; am I correct?” th£y all nodded. “$h£ will face terrible woes if it isn’t done and done quickly. Any man $h£ marries will die. $h£ will never have children as th£y would die before th£y are five years old. Sickness wouldn’t leave h£r b©dy. Every money $h£ makes will be squandered. If you had confessed to me th£n, I would have told you th£ implications of your decision. Now, it is !nevitable from what I am see!ng”

“So, it is still th£ same remedy? What is th£ implication to Nwanneka and Chidi?”

“No implication. Noth!ng will happen to th£m. Th£ girl is th£ one that has a lot to lose”

“How would I allow my daughter to walk [email protected]£d @r0vnd th£ village !n th£ afternoon for people to see h£r?” cried Nwakaego, “h£r life will be destroyed. Hasn’t $h£ suffered enough?”

Th£ k!ng stepped !n at th¡s po!nt and said, “Emotions are high. Go and th!nk ab©vt it and come [email protected]¢k !n two days, your lives will never be ru!ned as long as I am alive”

That night, while th£ elders h£ld th£ir meet!ng, Nwadiuto spoke with Josh. $h£ told h¡m all that happened. h£ was very attentive like always but unusually quiet. $h£ h£ard someone !n th£ [email protected]¢kground, it was a female voice. h£ responded to th£ person by say!ng, “Can I have thirty m!nutes of privacy please. Thank you”. Th£n h£ said

“h£llo? Are you still th£re?”

“Who was that?”

“A friend”

“Which friend? A girl is !n your house?”

“Is that strange? I’m not [email protected]

“I could have sworn you were”

“$h£ j√$t came !n from th£ US and is stay!ng with me dur!ng h£r visit”

“I never h£ard of h£r”

“Concentrate Nwadiuto, what if nob©dy is @r0vnd to witness th£ cleans!ng?”

“I don’t understand”

“I mean, what if th£ village is completely des**ted for th£ cleans!ng. Th£ villages can be enticed to leave th£ village with someth!ng th£y wouldn’t want to miss. Your people could 0rg*nize a bazaar or event that will attract th£ir attention. If th£y f!nd ©vt th£y will be go!ng [email protected]¢k home with gifts, th£y will gladly attend”

“Wait, let me take th¡s to my mum”. Nwadiuto jumped up and ru$h£d to wh£re th£ meet!ng was be!ng h£ld. $h£ announced to th£m, “My friend has a suggestion which I th!nk we can explore.” $h£ put th£ phone on speaker, Josh, please repeat what you said” h£ repeated it.

“Th¡s makes s£nse” uncle Onyedika replied. “I will take it up with th£ chief priest. We can even mount military police to stop anyone from com!ng !nto th£ village after th£y have all left. We can do th¡s !n conjunction with th£ k!ng. We have found a way @r0vnd th¡s. Thank you. Gentleman, what’s your name?”

“Joshua Osagogie sir”

“Joshua, I will like to meet you. You are a smart man. I was told you are a branch manager; you’ve j√$t earned yourself a customer. Take good ¢ar£ of my niece”

“Uncle, h£ is j√$t a friend” Nwadiuto !nsisted.

“If I believe that I will believe anyth!ng. You can leave us now”

Chidi asked, “Is h£ th£ same guy you came to Nsukka with?”

“$h£ came to Nsukka with h¡m? Th¡s is serious. Anyway, we will talk ab©vt that later. Nne, excuse us while we cont!nue deliberat!ng”

A date was fixed. Announcement mandat!ng everyone to be pres£nt at th£ function that day was made. Rem!nders were s£nt ©vt. !ncentives of free transportation were provided. It was arranged a month away. It was a very long month. Nwanneka and Chidi weren’t allowed to put th£ir money !nto th£ plan.

Th£ k!ng and th£ chief priest agreed to Josh’s idea. Nwakaego and uncle Onyedika 0rg*nised a funfair br!ng!ng !n bounc!ng castles, wh£els, tra!n rides, sw!ngs and oth£r gadgets for th£ir amusement. Th£re was also an array of different types of food. Raffle draws wh£re prizes such as motorcycles, [email protected] cookers, sew!ng mach!nes, and so on can be won. Th£re were also competitions b£tweeΠ th£ two villages. Everyone pres£nt went [email protected]¢k home with gifts. S!nce Nwakaego’s village was smaller, th£ competition was h£ld !n h£r husband’s village (that was how th£y sold th£ idea to th£ k!ng of Anozie’s village). Th£y both agreed on it.

Th£y were s¢ar£d; both Chidi and Nwanneka. Wh£n th£y had th£ opportunity to talk, Chidi apologized for what h£ did. h£ confessed to h£r h£ was !n love with h£r th£n and didn’t understand th£ implication until h£ h£ard ab©vt th£ cleans!ng and h£ suspected th£ child was h¡s. h¡s !nfatuation for h£r cleared th£ moment $h£ told h¡m th£ child wasn’t h¡s. h£ decided to get married as h¡s moth£r had been disturb!ng h¡m to give h£r grandchildren.

Nwanneka forgave h¡m. $h£ knew how love could consume you. $h£ saw it with Paul. h£ had refused to talk to h£r but s£nd h£r messages through h£r moth£r. h£r moth£r, surpris!ngly, liked Paul. h£ spent every Sunday !n h£r house hav!ng lunch with h£r. $h£ asked h£r moth£r to date Paul and $h£ called h£r terrible names which made h£r laugh. h£r moth£r wasn’t one to pry but $h£ knew $h£ was dropp!ng subtle h!nts.

Th£ entire village was des**ted and military police were stationed at strategic positions to ensure no one enters.

Th£ Chief priest expla!ned to th£m what to do. h£ told th£m to get [email protected]£d. Noth!ng artificial had to be on th£ir b©dy. Th£y were to carry th£ calabash and use th£ palm fronds to spr!nkle th£ water from th£ calabash @r0vnd th£ village. Th£y had a start!ng po!nt and end!ng po!nt. One of h¡s servants was to go with th£m; h£ had also been sworn to secrecy.

Nwanneka quickly took off h£r cloth£s. Chidi was shocked at how $h£ did it with such speed and no shame. $h£ told h¡m $h£ would have stripped !n th£ pres£nce of people j√$t to give h£r daughter a good life. Chidi looked at h£r. $h£ was !ndeed a good moth£r j√$t like h£r moth£r.

Th£y went @r0vnd th£ village stark [email protected]£d and spr!nkled th£ water as !nstructed. Th£ cleans!ng took m©r£ than an hour to conclude. Wh£re Nwanneka got th£ strength to conclude with©vt fa!nt!ng was surpris!ng to even h£r.

[email protected]¢k at th£ chief priest’s shr!ne, h£ collected th£ items used for th£ cleans!ng. h£ prayed for both of th£m. h£ asked th£m to wait so h£ would confirm if th£ sacrifice was acceptable and Nwadiuto was free. While h£ was away, Chidi and Nwanneka were separated from each oth£r. Taken to th£ stream to bath£ and dress up. Wh£n th£y came [email protected]¢k, th£ chief priest was smil!ng.

“Th£ coast is clear. Your daughter’s dest!ny has been fvlly restored”

Nwanneka broke d©wΠ cry!ng. Th£y were tears of joy. $h£ didn’t face disgrace to save h£r daughter.

“I have to tell you th¡s. I suggest you take it after your moth£r. You [email protected] come [email protected]¢k to your fath£r’s compound. Even if you don’t come, give food to th£ widows, tra!n th£ children whose families have none, h£lp people !n need. j√$t give your uncle or even your moth£r money for it every year. Let it be your money. You will be rich£r than your moth£r and misfortune will never come your way. Look at your moth£r, I took th¡s risk with our ancestors because of h£r. $h£ tra!ned two of my children many years ago and both of th£m are abroad now. I am sure $h£ doesn’t know what $h£ did for me years ago but $h£ is reap!ng th£ benefits. That’s what you need to do. Touch as many lives as possible. You will be very successful and happy. I see you will be very happy.”

Chidi asked th£ priest, “Can I call Nwadiuto my daughter now? Can I confess to my wife? I th!nk $h£ deserves to know as we don’t hide anyth!ng from each oth£r. I wouldn’t want h£r to f!nd ©vt any oth£r way. And $h£ already loves Nwadiuto as h£r own”

“$h£ is your daughter but $h£ can’t be called that !n ₱vblic. What both of you can do is rek!ndle your friendship such that if $h£ calls h¡m daddy, no eyebrow will be raised. Please, no s€×ual encounter, only friendship”

“We will never make such a mistake aga!n. Thank you. I will come [email protected]¢k to appreciate you” Chidi answered.

Nwanneka asked to speak with th£ chief priest alone. $h£ asked h¡m, “I have a lover, I hope th¡s will not affect h¡m”

“No, it will not. h£ will benefit from your good fortune if you do as I said”

Uncle Obi was wait!ng for h£r ©vtside th£ village. h£ asked h£r “Done?”

“Yes uncle, it is over”

“Thank God. I couldn’t bear to stay at home wait!ng while you were h£re. Onyedika and your moth£r had to be at th£ funfair. I will let th£m know you are [email protected]¢k. Come with me.”

How it worked ©vt so seamlessly was a wonder to all of th£m. Th£ villagers were very happy with what th£y got. Nwakaego, Nwanneka and Nwadiuto cried tears of joy and relief. Th£y hugged uncle Onyedika and uncle Obi. Nwakaego couldn’t believe Obi will do th¡s for h£r. h£ went ©vt of th£ way to make sure everyth!ng worked ©vt well traditionally. h£ never mentioned it to Ch!nyere. It was left for Nwakaego to tell h£r co-wives th£ truth.

Nwakaego cried furth£r that night. $h£ could see th£ seed $h£ had sown germ!nated and favoured h£r. Th£re was no scold!ng or sh©vt!ng rath£r th£y were all solutions driven. $h£ was also taken [email protected]¢k wh£n Nwanneka told h£r what th£ chief priest said ab©vt h£r. $h£ didn’t remember tra!n!ng h¡s two children !n school. No good deed goes unrecognized.

Nwadiuto was very happy. That night $h£ called Josh to share th£ good news.

“I hope you are at peace now. No m©r£ crazy ideas”

“Says who? I am still do!ng that th!ng s!nce I am now cured of whatever it was that was worry!ng me”

“Enjoy, you deserve it. Take ¢ar£ of yourself. I will be busy tonight”

“Hasn’t your friend left yet? $h£ has stayed for a month now”

“$h£ will be h£re for three. $h£ is acquir!ng experience from Nigeria to work with th£ World h£alth 0rg*nisation.”

“Really? $h£ has taken so much of your time; we don’t talk like we used to”

‘You ladies are so demand!ng.”

“You ladies? Are you categoriz!ng me now?”

“Am I h£ar!ng a tone of jealousy?”

“Call it what you want to call it but I am not !n th£ir category; I am special”

Josh laugh£d so loud it annoyed Nwadiuto. Now $h£ felt how h£ feels each time $h£ talked ab©vt Malik to h¡m. $h£ was angry with h¡m and didn’t call h¡m for two days. h£ allowed h£r to cool off before h£ called h£r and asked if $h£ was [email protected]¢k !n Lagos. $h£ said $h£ wasn’t; $h£ was go!ng to Nsukka to see h£r stepmoth£r.

“You didn’t share that with me. I thought we were !n th¡s togeth£r”

“Your girlfriend is too demand!ng; $h£ might not allow you to travel at th¡s time”

“My girlfriend? I never told you ab©vt a girlfriend. Wh£n you come to Lagos you will meet my friend. I haven’t asked h£r ©vt yet. You will tell me if I should”

“Is $h£ pretty?”

“Very. Like Naomi Campbell. $h£ has h£r facial look and a model’s figure”

“Your description of h£r is even !ntimidat!ng”

“Nob©dy !ntimidates you. Go and see your stepmoth£r. I have missed your jovial and bubbly self. Now th¡s is over; we can hang ©vt m©r£ often”

“I will come [email protected]¢k on Sunday; I want to spend th£ weekend th£re”

“We will see on Monday after work”

“That’s f!ne”

Nwanneka felt good. Everyth!ng was over now. $h£ needed to exhale and j√$t relax. $h£ decided, on th£ spot, to travel to Port-Harcourt and meet with Paul. $h£ wanted to have some tender lov!ng ¢ar£. Although th£y hadn’t spoken, $h£ was certa!n h£ would receive h£r once h£ sees h£r. Th¡s made h£r smile.

$h£ told h£r moth£r $h£ has taken a week off to j√$t relax. $h£ claimed $h£ was travell!ng to Abuja to chill.

Wh£n $h£ got to Port-Harcourt $h£ called Paul but h¡s phone wasn’t connect!ng. It had been act!ng th¡s way for some days now wh£n $h£ tried to call h¡m. $h£ decided to j√$t show up which $h£ knew was dangerous because h£ might have company but $h£ wanted to see h¡m before $h£ lost h£r nerve.

$h£ got to h¡s house and rang th£ bell from d©wΠstairs. Th£re was no response. $h£ rang it cont!nuously but still no reply. $h£ went [email protected]¢k to th£ security man. Th£y told h£r to wait for h¡m, h£ would soon be [email protected]¢k as h£ went ©vt wear!ng shorts. $h£ waited !n th£ car. $h£ was surprised wh£n th£ security knocked on h£r w!ndow to tell h£r h£ was [email protected]¢k. As $h£ entered th£ gate, Paul was at th£ entrance of h¡s stairway with a lady. h£ almost dropped what h£ was hold!ng.

“I surprised you. I was !n town and wanted to see you. How are you do!ng?” Nwanneka asked h¡m smil!ng.

Th£ lady with h¡m looked at h£r from h£ad to toe and asked h¡m for th£ keys to th£ flat upstairs. h£ ignored h£r. h£ asked Nwanneka !nstead, “Wh£n did you come !nto town?”

“Ab©vt an hour ago. I’ve seen you and I am go!ng [email protected]¢k to…..”

Th£ lady !nterjected and said to Paul, “Give me th£ key let me go upstairs”

“Upstairs wh£re? Th¡s is my wife. Wh£re are you go!ng? Is it because $h£ is calm? Go [email protected]¢k to th£ car and wait for me.”

“Don’t both£r, I will stay !n th£ h°tel” Nwanneka replied.

“You are stay!ng with me.” h£ asked th£ driver to br!ng up h£r luggage while h£ went upstairs to open th£ door for h£r. h£ told h£r h£ wanted to put th£ lady !n a cab home and h£ would be [email protected]¢k shortly.

Immediately h£ dropped off th£ lady, h£ called Fidel excitedly. “$h£‘s !n my house. $h£ is currently !n my house”

“How come?”

“$h£ came on h£r own”

‘I told you it would work”

“Chic dey with me sha”

“But $h£ is !n your house now”

“Yes $h£ is”

“$h£ doesn’t ¢ar£. Treat h£r well. Give h£r a memorable time.”

[email protected]¢k !n th£ house, as h£ came !nto th£ sitt!ng room h£ went to h£r.

“How are you?”

“I am good”

h£ gath£red h£r !n h¡s arms and th£n h£ klzzed h£r pa$$ionately. It was !nevitable what was go!ng to happen. Th£re was no resistance from eith£r party. h£ took charge and made sure both of th£m were happy. h£ was obviously happy and couldn’t take h¡s eyes off h£r. h£ couldn’t believe $h£ was [email protected]!ng with h¡m !n h¡s b£d.

h£ was even m©r£ excited wh£n $h£ told h¡m $h£ was stay!ng for a week. h£ didn’t go anywh£re. h£ worked from home for th£ entire week $h£ stayed with h¡m. h£ tried to take ¢©Πtr0| of h¡s emotions and avoided tell!ng h£r h£ loved h£r. !nstead, h£ showed h£r how much !n th£ way h£ treated h£r both on and ©vt of th£ b£d. $h£ never mentioned th£ girl h£ was with; h£ also kept mute ab©vt h£r.

Wh£n $h£ was to leave, Paul didn’t want h£r to go. h£ had tried prepar!ng h¡mself for th£ moment but h£ wasn’t ready for it. h£ went !nto a sober mood and was unhappy. Nikky promised h¡m $h£ would visit aga!n soon.

“Wh£n will that be?”

“Next month for a weekend. Th£re should be a ₱vblic holiday so we can do four days”

“It’s so long”

“Th£n, come to Lagos. I can’t spend th£ night but I can see you”

“I will come if you can spend a fvll weekend with me. I have a friend who owns a resort. We can spend th£ weekend th£re”

“Wh£n?”

“Two weeks”

“I won’t come next month th£n”

“You will, we are spend!ng four days togeth£r th£n”

“If it is too close, wouldn’t it be suspicious?”

“Do you ¢ar£? Because I don’t”

“Nob©dy knows ab©vt us”

“I know. I want m©r£ but I am ready to wait for wh£n you are ready. By th£ way, your house is completed. I am work!ng on oth£r projects with your moth£r. $h£ is a delightful young lady”

“Young?”

“Th£ guys want!ng to date h£r are younger than h£r but $h£ has refused th£ir advances”

“I refused many. I couldn’t resist you. You make me do stupid th!ngs like show up at your doorsteps while you had a babe with you and still stay”

“I s£nt h£r away wh£n I saw you”

“I know”

“It will never happen aga!n. I promise”

“I am not say!ng you shouldn’t have your girls”

“I don’t need th£m if I can see you every fortnight. I want to be with you and only you”

Nwanneka smiled. $h£ knew h£ meant it. It has been a crazy week. $h£ wi$h£d th¡s could be forever but th£n.

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