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(Episode 16) The Trials of A Man… A Story of Love and War - Romance - ECHOnigeria

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(Episode 16) The Trials of A Man… A Story of Love and War by (: 7:30 pm On Aug 23

Wale watched Omonigho as they walked back to their hideout. Omonigho said nothing all through the walk. When they got back to the landfill site, where they were camped, Omonigho sat down near a tree and stared into the night. Wale watched him for a while then he fell asleep and dreamt. He dreamt of the hand touching his head. He looked at the hand and raised his head and this time he saw a face. She was the most beautiful woman he had ever seen and she was smiling at him. She touched his nose –

Woman: “Olawale don’t fear for me. I am fine where I am. I miss you and love you very much. I am always here with you” she said, placing her hands on his chest. “You have to be a man now. The world is filled with dangers. You have to be strong.” She added then Wale woke up.

Wale looked around then touched his face – he had been crying. He cleaned his face and looked to where Omonigho was seated. He was still there, staring at something in his hands. He got up and went to join him. Omonigho did not turn when he sat down beside him. He saw that he was looking at a picture of his family.

Wale: “were you a good father to your children?” he asked softly.

Omonigho did not reply for some minutes then he sighed.

Omonigho: “no I wasn’t. I was not a good husband either.” He replied, rubbing his thumb over the picture.

Wale: “will your family welcome you back after so long?” he asked.

Omonigho: “I don’t know. I don’t know if they are still alive. i don’t know if they are still mourning me or if they have moved on with their lives. I just want to see them and ask them to forgive me for the man I was.” he replied softly.

Wale gazed at the moon in silence. Omonigho placed the picture back into the case and placed it back in his pocket.

Wale: “seeking for forgiveness is a good thing, I think. You will be good to them this time, wont you?” he asked, his eyes still focused on the moon.

Omonigho: “if I am given the second opportunity, I will be everything good they never expected me to be.” He replied, solemnly.

Wale: “good.” He replied then he got up and went back to lie down. Omonigho stared at the moon for a while then he too went to sleep.

====

When Omonigho woke up the next morning, Wale was gone. He panicked – he called the boy’s name but got no reply. He thought of the possible places he could be but none came to mind as a definite answer. He sat down worried. He went to the scavengers, who had already started picking through the landfill and asked them if they had seen a little boy but no one had seen Wale. He could move faster without the boy but it was not right to leave the boy behind. He had promised to help the boy. He had given him hope. He should at least look for him. “It is quite possible that Mama Africa has him. She is the one who said she wanted him in exchange for assisting me. I will start there.” He thought to himself.

He traced the path they had taken the night before and finally got to the shack they had come the night before. he went to the door and knocked but no one answered. He went to the back to see if the woman as there but he found no one. He could not think of any other place Wale could have gone to. He sighed and stood staring at the ground.

A sound startled him from his deep thoughts. He raised his head up and stared about but saw no one. He decided to leave and go into town and carefully search everywhere for Wale. As he came out of a path, he saw a young girl walking towards him. He stopped and stared at her carefully – It was Uju. He turned around searching for an attack from anywhere. He was sure that he had been caught and Don Papi was somewhere around. He could find no one. He squared his shoulder and turned to face the girl. When Uju got close, she looked him over and smiled.

Uju: “see as you be.” She said.

Omonigho looked at himself. He had not considered how he looked for a long while now but he knows he looked dirty. He looked back at her and frowned.

Omonigho: “do you have the boy?” he asked.

Uju: “which boy?” she asked.

Omonigho: “Wale! Where is Wale?” he shouted.

Uju: “I no know who you dey talk about o. Mama Africa no dey?” she asked, staring at him curiously.

Omonigho: “if anything happens to that boy, none of you will like me o.” he replied.

Uju: “Oga abeg calm down. I no know about any boy.” She replied.

Omonigho: “then where did the little fool go to? God…” he said, holding his head with his hands, his eyes closed.

Uju: “if na Mama Africa na take am, I know where she go carry am go.” She said, looking at him.

Omonigho: “you know? Please can you take me there?” he asked.

Uju: “Yes but no be now. She dey sell d children them. She go dey her warehouse for evening. we go meet am for there by that time.” She replied.

Omonigho: “what will I be doing with myself until evening.” he asked.

Uju: “I fit keep you busy now. You don touch woman since you comot prison?” she asked, drawing close to him and placing her hands on his chest. Omonigho pushed her away.

Omonigho: “I am a married man. I cannot do what you ask especially at a time like this.” He replied.

Uju:”that na my price.” She said softly.

Omonigho: “please don’t do this. This is a small boy, please.” He pleaded.

Uju: “you like the boy well well?” she asked. Omonigho nodded. “oya come show me how much you like am.” She added, turning to leave.

Omonigho stared after her then he walked slowly after her, his shoulders bent like a man going to the gallows.

====

Uju led Omonigho to an empty building close to a rusty old water tank. She pushed aside a wooden frame t reveal a hole. She then kneels and crawls through the hole. Omonigho stared at the hole worriedly. He could hear her moving about then he hears match stick striking and a light flared up inside. Omonigho peered inside the hole and saw Uju’s face smiling at him. She beckoned to him and he entered the room. The room had just a torn mattress and beside it was a candle

Uju: “na here I dey come, if I wan dey alone.” She said.

She walked further in and came back with a dusty bottle of dry gin. She opened it and took a sig. she grimaced as the harsh liquor hit her throat.

Uju: “I dey save this one for one special day. Today special reach.” She said smiling. She handed the bottle to Omonigho.

Omonigho took the bottle and took a swig. He took another then he sat on the bed. Uju came to join him there and placed her hands around her knees and stared at the candle.

Uju: “my brothers die during the war. I being think say I go get revenge but now I just wan see tomorrow. I don tire for death. I fit follow you go where you dey go? I sabi cook, I sabi clean.” She asked, tears in her eyes

Omonigho: “I too want to see tomorrow. I can’t guarantee you anything. I hope I meet my family but I don’t expect to meet them. We all only have today to be happy, to smile, to make love, to find love.” He replied.

Uju fell into his arms, weeping silently. Omonigho raised her head and wiped her eyes then he kissed her. She kissed him back and the kiss deepened. Both of them fell to the bed and tried to discover pleasure out of pain. The candle flickered in the gloom of the room, throwing shadows on the wall as grunts, moans and cries filled the room.

Question: where did Wale go to? If you were Omonigho will you do what he did, considering that he is married?

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