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THE CROSS I CARRY (EPISODE 9)

Thursday, 5 April 2018



Episode 9


One day Naomi went out as usual and she didn’t return on the next day. Her roommates believed she had gone home on her way. They tried her three numbers, but none of them responded. On the third day a shocking news spread through the campus that Naomi’s corpse was sighted by the bush around Idumota. Report came that all her private parts were gone… And funny enough, it was that same day Harrison received a phone-call that her Dad had received a billion naira contract. Harrison’s parents therefore became richer than ever before.

The man I’m seeing on this paper would have killed and sold her private parts the day she caught him. Has she not learnt enough from the true life story she told?
According to my late grandfather, “Learning is solely meant for those whose minds and ears have not been padlocked by the doom-seller.” Grandpa would always call Devil the doom-seller who sells his goods to the adamant; especially those who are not governed by the words in the holy books.

“Dele, tell me what is it? Why are you shedding tears?” Remilekun’s voice rings out again.
Slowly I shake my head and heave a distressful sigh. “Now I believe that not all preachers are ruled by what they preach.” I say, almost to myself.
“I can’t understand you.” Remilekun’s brows wrinkle with confusion.
I showed Titi’s image to Remilekun amongst the culprits on the news page. She had once seen the picture we both snapped together in my photo album; so she quickly recognizes her. Then I narrate what I read to her. She gently collects the newspaper from me and read through with a rapt attention.

I later relate the story Titi had once told me to Remilekun. She shakes her head with surprise. Then I see a mixed expression on Remilekun’s face – a sorry look beside a faint smile. I try to read her thought. She might be thinking that if Titi had not gone astray how would she have come across me.
“They said the culprits are going to be fired on the 23rd of this month.” Remilekun says while she uses her finger to trace the date on the paper.
“Really?” I hold the paper at the edge to verify it, “That is five days’ time … So, what am I going to do with the date?”
“I suggest we go there to witness the trial.” Remilekun says thoughtfully.
“Why do I need to witness that? I don’t think it’s necessary.”
Remilekun drops a kiss on my forehead. She insists that we should go together.
“Alright, we shall do just that.” I smile, kissing her lips softly.

On the trial day Omolara is also with us in the court to witness the sentence. After long arguments and appeals by the competent lawyers, those men are eventually sentenced to die from firearms. Before the Judge can pass his sentence on Titilayo he allows a dead silence to pervade through the court. He shakes his head and sighs heavily – the same way I did when I saw the shocking news.
The Judge then starts with a parable: “This would be a lesson to every woman like you outside there who are desperate for a pot full of cold water… and most of you do not care about the origin of such water… I am not saying that women shouldn’t marry rich personalities.…of course, apart from intercourse, money is the only means through which we can maintain our women and also take care of our children… But be wise in selecting the right rich men. Try to consult the right pastor or Imam – because we have fakes of them. Ask them to pray over it if the person is the right person for you or not. The desperate ones will never do that – nowadays, hardly can we find a woman who wants to strive with a man – maybe thirty percent out of hundred.”
Having said that, the Judge adjusts his broad-framed spectacles and points directly at Titi’s husband whose face had been brutally bruised by whatever whip they have used on him.

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