‘Mrs Katherine, we sincerely appreciate you
and your husband for the invitation and
reception in your home.’ Tobi acknowledged on
‘Please sit Tobi.’ Katherine was dressed simply
and sitted beside her husband on a three-sitter
They had made their familiar strangers
comfortable in one of the sitting rooms in the
mansion and they served them with freshly
made juice, home made cookies and water.
Kelvin had insisted they all tasted something
before any conversation.
‘You all had to fly over mountains, hills,
valleys, nations and so on to be here,
considering the faces before me, I’m
inquisitive.’ She pursed her lips momentarily. ‘I
am inquisitive to know what the family of the
man who killed my brother and indirectly
killed my father and rendered me without a
family leaving me with hell as a major option
is willing to say to me.’
The Yerimas lowered their gaze and the women
She narrowed her brows and glanced in the
direction of her uncles and their wives. ‘I am
also inquisitive to know what some so called
uncles has to say when could have prevented
the death of their nephew and their elder half
brother who gave them love, education and a
better life. ‘ She grimaced. ‘You did killed them
before they died in reality. And then you
placed your niece in hell.’
Tears dropped down Ezinne’s eyes and she
hastily wiped them off.
Ngozi had not being married when Katherine
was sent out of her father’s property but she
seen enough photographs and stories but she
had only shrugged them all away.
She knew her husband built an admirable
mansion in which they lived where her late
brother-in-law and family used to live.
She hadn’t bother to ask about the girl.
If her husband wasn’t bothered who was she
‘Since your offences are equal on my scale, so
any side can go first.’ She raised an index
finger thoughtfully. ‘What’s the name of the
monster that killed my brother?’ Her eyes were
fixed on Aishat.
‘Moshud Yekini.’ The weight of the reality of
the penalty of what her family, generation and
generations to come will face had taken its toll
on the once outspoken, tall, plumb,
fairskinned and beautiful Aisha. The very one
who had being the envy of most women
because she had being the best jewelries seller
in the country in so much that the creme de la
creme in the country had patronized her when
she was in business.
There she sat void of make up and jeweleries
which she couldn’t do without afore time.
‘Say that again.’
‘Moshud Yekini.’ She repeated slowly and flatly.
‘Go ahead.’ Katherine sat back.
Kelvin studied all of their faces and the tension
‘At first, we thought it was ordinary,’ Yerima
began, ‘a dark cloud that was soon to give way
for dawn. ‘We were a bonded family and
cherished every fellowship we had.
One of such occurred many years back and we
were there to grace the birthday party of the
son of my eldest sister, Shakirat. He was hale
and healthy but a week later, he went to take
his bath. He had just stepped into the bath tub
and had not turned on the shower. In fact, he
still had his towel around him.’
‘Suddenly, I heard a shriek, worst than
anything I’ve ever heard in my entire life.’
Tobi, the husband to Shakirat continued. ‘By
the time I got to the bathroom from my
sturdy, Prince’s body was motionless and
without a trace of injury or blood oozing from
any part. I rushed him to the hospital but it
was more like an effort to prove him clinically
dead.’ He swallowed.
Shakirat eyes were filled with tears. ‘I couldn’t
believe it…I just couldn’t comprehend while
death would snuff life out of my son, a ten
years old.’ Though it’s been close to a couple
of decade, the pain was still evident in her
voice. ‘I just couldn’t believe he was gone.’
‘It was like a mirage to me because I spoke to
him the night before.’ Yerima shrugged. ‘The
announcement of his death by the doctor gave
my father a daze he never recovered from.’
Katherine sat up and exchanged glance with
‘Are you trying to tell my wife and I that
Moshud is dead?’
‘Yes sir.’ Yerima replied.
Katherine almost laughed but it didn’t surface.
‘You’ve got to be kidding me.’ She raised a
palm and dropped it. ‘That’s not possible!’
They all stared at her bewildered.
‘Dear darl, you don’t believe them, do you?’
She gave a short laugh and a quick a look at
Kelvin knew it was a rhetorical question so he
‘Come on you all!’ She beamed as she adjusted
to the edge of the sofa. ‘Don’t tell me he’s
somewhere six feet below. That’s ridiculous!’
She opened a palm and bobbed her head from
side to side with her eyes gleaming. ‘If this is
information is some kind of strategy, you all
have to go back to the drawing board.’ She
furrowed her brows.
Yerima spirit sank.
‘I remembered a crowd gathered and begged, I
remembered my brother prostrating on a dirty
and dusty road, I was on my knees too, all
pleading with this one man to no avail.’ She
paused and glared at them. ‘So, I drew my
conclusion, who wouldn’t anyway. ‘ She
Her uncles panicked at her choice of humor. It
was going to be difficult, very difficult.
Suddenly, Katherine shook her head and her
brows darkened. ‘You can’t come along and tell
me he is prone and subjected to the
inevitable of all humans because at sixteen it
was clear, it was succinct, I saw a monster, a
supposedly super man…a god.’ She had
gesticulated with her palm.
Katherine waited as though thoughtful before
giving them a scrutinizing glance, ‘No…no, are
you sure you did not bury him alive? ‘
She looked so doubtful that the Yekinis
couldn’t help but nod.
She clapped her hands and chuckled. ‘Wonders
shall never really cease from under the sun.
Come to think of it…how could I have
forgotten, ha!’ Katherine had a convinced
expression. ‘I get it! He did not get back up
from the police, airforce and family and most
importantly, his gun wasn’t with him that’s
why death took him.’
They stared stunned.
‘Talk to me,’ Her voice had raised slightly. ‘I
really want to know.’
‘We don’t know.’ Basirat blurted.
‘Oh! They – don’t – know, can you hear that
‘Yeah.’ He said calmly.
‘How did he die?’ She sat back and entwined
‘He fell off the stairs and became unconscious
after receiving the news.’ Aisha began. ‘He was
in intensive care afterwards but his condition
deteriorated and kept getting worst that he had
to depend on some medical devices to carry
out metabolic activities. Three days later, ‘ She
paused momentarily, ‘he died.’
They had expected Katherine to react but she
just looked on blankly.
‘We mourned the dead and took it with a -God
gives and God takes kind of attitude. A year
later, just a week to the birthday party of my
niece, the daughter of my sister Basirat. Binta
was her name,’ Yerima sighed and rubbed his
palms together as if drawing strength from the
act. ‘She became unusually quiet.’
‘From the time she became six, her count
down to her birthday party was a month
before. She practically planned her parties-
how she wanted it, who would be invited and
all. ‘ Her eyes gleamed as a smile formed on
‘She was an orderly child. Just like Yerima was
saying, when no interest was forth coming
about her birthday, I had to go remind her and
she told me she wasn’t interested in
celebrating and wouldn’t like to hear talks
about it.’ Basirat exhaled.
‘I thought she was joking, which child doesn’t
like to celebrate his or her birthday, so I tried
convincing her to no avail. I was shocked but
my husband and I went ahead with plans for
the celebration hoping She would change her
A week to her birthday, She became unusual
quiet and withdrawn.’ Her eyes got clouded. ‘I
should have know… I should have know, what
was the big deal about celebrating birthday
anyways.’ She lamented and shook her head.
‘On the D day, my husband and I came to her
room to wish her a happy birthday… ‘ She
sighed once more and her tears flowed.
Habeeb Adams, her husband bowed his head
as he tried unsuccessfully to fight back tears as
the memories of her face padded with a red
‘She loved to draw and make paper
decorations. That morning, she was standing
on a high stool and hanging some decorations.’
Basirat bit her lower lips momentarily and
swallowed hard. ‘Out of excitement after we
gave the announcement, Binta jumped straight
up to the mercy of the blades of the ceiling
Ngozi gasped and the rest of the Ezeugos went
Katherine squinted her eyes.
‘She landed with blood oozing from various
part of her head, it was so bloody and gory
nothing could be done to save her, her body
jerked for a couple of minutes before it
became still.’ Basirat shook her head sobbed as
quietly as She could afraid to offend their host
Habeeb told them about the triplets and the
lost of his wife’s womb. He narrated how the
triplets had been sickly, so bad that three of
them had being admitted on several occasions
despite all of them having the genotype AA.
They all listened with rapt attention.
‘Three dead loved ones, it was hard to recover
and then I receive my share, though not
death.’ Yerima went ahead to narrate ordeal of
his fiancee who left, returned his engagement
ring and claimed she would have died if she
had married him.
‘We moved on with our lives but peace eluded
us, the happiness, bond we used to share begin
to wane.’ Yerima cough to clear his voice and
reached out to sip water. ‘ Time passed to
become years and the turbulent water seemed
to be still. Then came the day for my younger
sister, Kafayat who is not present here today to
be married. She was to be married to the man
she loved and he, adored her. They had being
His family members were shaking their head
and Aisha was sobbing with no one attempting
to comfort her.
‘Her fiance’s father was a formal inspector
general of police and my dad’s bestie. It was
rather unfortunate, that on his way to the
church for the wedding ceremony, he was
involved in a road traffic accident that claimed
Katherine could have exclaimed but she
restrained herself and uncrossed her legs.
Something struck her at the information
Yerima provided about the deceased father.
‘When my baby sister heard the news she was
devastated. Even till today, she is on psychotic
drugs to keep her mentally balanced. The….’
‘Who did you say the guy’s father was? ‘
Katherine inquired calmly.
‘An ex I G of police in Nigeria.’
‘An IG during the period my brother was
murdered, when your father was at his peak in
the airforce. He helped in sending your father
into the thick cloud after his crime.’
Yerima couldn’t help but meet her gaze at her
bluntness. He nodded, there was no need to
Kelvin shook his head and tap his feet on the
rugged floor momentarily thoughtfully.
With eyes closed, Katherine listened to the rest
of the conversation.
‘Fear gripped our heart, we knew something
was wrong but we couldn’t fathom neither
could we place it.’ Aisha blew her nose into a
hanky. ‘I wept for my children and
grandchildren, the trauma and all. The heat
became so blazing hot that we had to search
for solution. ‘
‘I’ll like to hear from my familiar strangers
now.’ Katherine eyes were still closed.
‘Pardon me ma’am but I think we should …’
Shakirat began but stopped short when
Katherine opened her eyes and glared at her.
Her husband had pinched her in rebuke.
Half expecting an outburst, She decided to
apologise first. ‘I’m very sorry.’
‘It’s Okay.’ She wave a hand dismissively. ‘ We
will get back to you again.’ She smiled
reassuring at the older woman before she
looked in the direction of her uncles. ‘Tick
tock, tick tock …’ She drawled.
‘Katherine, I…I know sincerely that we don’t deserve this privilege because we’ve wronged you deeply and I honestly…’ Marcus began heartily palm in palm.
‘I have a mind set of you and you.’ She pointed at both uncles. ‘The only thing you can achieve with your coaxing is to aggravate me.’
Marcus shifted to the edge of the sofa deciding to cut to the chase. ‘I… I thought I was smart, I felt superior when I did what I did to you. I felt power and loved it.’ He shook his head slowly in sheer regret. ‘I didn’t care after all, I had I ever wanted and dreamt of, I had become the envy of my peers. Many years later, wealth bloomed but didn’t satisfy because …my wife and I have been unable to have a child.’
‘Huh?’ Katherine couldn’t mask her surprise. They had been married when she was still in high school.
Ezinne wept silently with her head bowed.
‘We waited for God’s time to no avail. She was never pregnant talk more of a miscarriage. Having done all we could medically, happiness went very far away from us. Fear and panicked set it as we felt unfortunate. We resolved to prayer houses and native doctors, we spent but all we got were complications. Medically, we were sound. It’s almost same problem with Azubuike.’ He glance at his brother afterwhich he buried his face in his palms.
‘For many years, Ngozi didn’t conceive and I was disappointed. Eventually she did, we had a daughter.’ He heaved and tears rolled down his face.
With both hands clasped over her mouth, Ngozi sobbed.
‘When She was two years plus, my wife and I went for an occasion only to return to find her in her room, lifeless, her gown stained with blood and the male house help nowhere to be found. She had being raped to death.’ He wiped his nose with a hanky and sniffed.
Aisha, Shakirat and Basirat were astonished.
Katherine shook her head while her husband sat back and shut his eyes.
‘We were… we were devastated and other attempt to have a child were fruitless. Marcus and I set out and began to look for solution, childlessness had never been in our linage and we were not about to let it start with us.
At first, we did everything we were asked to do but they all proved abortive. Then one day…’
‘I’ve heard enough Azubuike.’ Katherine stood with a bottled water in hand and went to stand behind cushion.
Kelvin began to pray for his wife in his mind. He knew she was healed but she need God’s wisdom to deal with all that had been laid on the table.
She gulped down water. ‘The Yerimas can go on now.’
Ezinne hugged herself and prayed in her mind. In fact all of them did. Their being saved or doomed was dependent on that day.
‘We ran out of patience, we couldn’t deny the fact that something was badly wrong. Like we stated earlier we spent money going to various places seeking for solution until we met a man of God that said we had a bloody mark shadowing us as a result of the sin of our father and it cannot be erased nor wiped off until we find the surviving blood of the man who my father murdered and ask for forgiveness. We got detectives, consult media houses and it took two years to find you.’ He clasped his palms.
‘Katherine…we are here to ask the impossible, we desperately need you to forgive us.’ Yerima presented heartily.
‘We met a pastor who told us we have incurred curses for ourselves and the only solution was to seek your forgiveness. In the course of our search for you, we met the Yerima and we decided to come together.’ Azubuike said calmly and tears filled his eyes. ‘Katherine, we know we’ve wronged you so much and we don’t deserve to ask but please…do forgive us, please Adanne.’
Katherine placed a palm on her chest, ‘Oh God, I’m so touched…’ She sobbed. ‘The whole thing, It’s too much…’ Her eyes became filled with tears. ‘It’s just too much na, ha… ‘ She heaved and rounded the cushion to sit on the only empty sofa away from her husband. ‘How could this have gone so far ehen… ‘
The yerimas and Ezeugos exchanges glances ethusiastic.
Kelvin knew his wife was acting.
She sighed and then wiped her tears. Suddenly, she burst into bouts of laughter, it was hard and long.
If one didn’t know her so well, they would think she was manic.
All of those present save her husband had tears in their eyes, most were shivering because the thin rope of hope they had become shredded.
She was ventilating, expressing her gratitude to the Almighty with a joyful noise.
Kelvin got worried and went to perch on her seat. ‘Sweetie, are you all right?’
‘Yea baby, am fine.’ She cooed and laughed some more and then some more. ‘Oh God…’ She stood, shut her eyes and raise both hands.
‘I never knew you would fight my battle this way.’ She heaved. ‘I never knew you would honour the path I chose. Look what you’ve done…’ Tears flowed down her cheeks.
Kelvin nodded with a heart filled with gratitude to God.
‘You’ve me made me lie down in green pastures. You’ve made me an epitome of the Scriptures that says, rejoice not o my enemies, when I fall I shall rise again.’ She bobbed her head from side to side. ‘Who is like unto thee o Lord, my Father, my Creator? Hmmmm…’ She wiped her tears and then sat.
She leaned close and kissed her husband on the lips. ‘Thank you so much my love.’
Kelvin nodded overwhelmed with the happening of the day.
‘I am not won over, I ain’t touched, I don’t have the littlest pity and I’m not sorry for you but just for those children whose lives turned out to be recompense of the sin of their father and family members.’ Her look was blank even at the bewildered expression on their faces.
It was as though the earth beneath just rumbled.
‘Mothers, I don’t see why you should be all emotional when you contributed to terminating their destiny. Go ahead,’ She crossed her legs. ‘I can’t see it in your facial expression, feel free to ask me how, I love to inform and I’m not going to stop now.’
‘How?’ Tobi managed to find his voice.
‘Moshud did something only heartless people do. If he wasn’t used to being wicked, he wouldn’t have pulled a trigger so easily. He was a high ranked uniformed man, one who should abide by law and order hook, line and sinker but he publicly shot an undergraduate when his defense wasn’t even threatened.
I’m sure when the minister said you’re suffering for the sin of your father, nobody stammered.”what? What… what did he do?” Even while the nemesis was in progress, it might have crossed your minds.’ She beamed.
None dared to look at her.
‘You commiserated with him, you advised, you used your connection, money and everything in your power to throw weight around sending him to the cloud, probably prayed that the federal law agencies didn’t intervene.’ Katherine closed her palms before her and made to pray. ‘Dear God, please let this storm pass. We can’t be who we are in the society and achieve all we need to with our father in prison, for what? An okada man.’ She grimaced.
Her wisdom baffled him, always.
She opened her eyes and directed them to the Yekinis. ‘Very well, you must have watched my interview and read every newsprint that carried the story until the dust died, please do deny it.’ She implored.
They were hypnotized to silence by their conscience than her words.
‘Yerima, the guy that would have married your sister, why did he die?’ She waited.
TO BE CONTINUED.
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