Odibo was excited when he laid out the whole situation to him the next day,
“This is Epic mehn, you need to check that old dude out..” Odibo responded excitedly,
“Guy are you actually buying into all this stuff." Nnamdi chastised, "i mean seriously it sounds like a childish bedtime story to me.”
“Look Nnamdi what do you have to lose? We are already here and who knows what we will find out, I think its exciting and no matter how modernized we are this is Africa, and you have to admit your family history is extremely strange, just hear the guy out.” Odibo rationalized,
If only his friend had an idea of the kind of dreams he had been having recently, strange was an understatement.
Last night he had dreamt of a woman, a beautiful seductive woman with long flowing hair , red lips and dark eyes calling out his name, he was beginning to think the whole situation was beginning to affect his psyche.
If this old man didn’t have answers he just may join his sister and serve in the church, because he was getting tired of the whole situation.
They both set off to Agwu’s cave later that day, it was located on the outskirts of his village just by the river side, rumor has it that strange things happen there just after seven p.m so as they walked briskly towards the riverside , young maidens were hurrying back from the stream. It didn’t help that Odibo could not take his eyes off these young girls or that the girls kept making annoying comments as they passed them by the roadside.
”that’s one of them..” he heard one say, “ the only one left.”
“wow so handsome and I hear he has a lot of money in the city”
“yes after all the rituals they do in that family how will they not be rich.”\
if this clueless little girls knew that he couldn’t care less about the so called riches, his company was doing very well and he was comfortable but since he lost his brother none of that mattered anymore.
Their guide stopped suddenly at a clearing by the river side . ”this na where I go wait for una oga, I no dey go pass here?” the teenage boy spoke in pidgin fear clearly in his voice. Nnamdi looked on ahead and understood why the young villager was apprehensive, he saw red cloths tied to the trees as if to direct a stranger to a ritual site, charms and amulets hung haphazardly on each branch of the trees, the pathway appeared to be rarely used, this was evident by the bushes and wild weeds all over the place.
“Odibo you better wait here too” Nnamdi muttered under his breath, deciding he would not come this far to quit now, but Odibo's response was quick and not surprising.
“No mehn we ride together” Nnamdi shrugged and continued, following the path of the red cloths hanging on each tree as a map, they stopped suddenly as the pathway ended ,slight panic began to creep in,just when they thought they were completely lost in the middle of this forsaken forest ,they saw a little boy washing plates by the corner, breathing a sigh of relief they moved closer to ask for directions , to their amazement they discovered it was actually a dwarf not a little boy..
'can you lead us to Agwu’s cave?” Odibo asked ,the dwarf without even looking up pointed to the left , they shared a look of disbelief ,as they made to continue on the journey as directed, the dwarf pointed straight at Odibo and shook his head. Nnamdi at first thought the dwarf may be dumb, he looked him straight in the eye and questioned him, the Dwarf simply pointed to him and nodded, it was clear Odibo had to turn back, Nnamdi had to go on this journey alone.
Hours later Nnamdi was still deep in thought, Odibo was prancing up and down the tiny guest room in their uncle’s house like an agitated tiger, “ND three hours, three hours I waited for you and you come back looking as if you have seen a ghost, you wont even say a word, mehn I don’t get you o”.
Nnamdi ignored him, he did not even know where to begin he kept on wondering how the old man had known about his dreams.
“two reincarnations at the same time in the same place that is the answer” the Old man's words kept ringing in his ears, it did not make a lick of sense. according to Agwu, the curse on his family came from the actions of his ancestor, the story was that his great great grandfather and his best friend who had been hunters had one day gone into the forest to hunt and came back with gold, how they got the gold no one could explain.
They both became rich and influential in the village, his ancestor had married ten wives but his best friend had refused to settle down, one fateful day , his ancestor's best friend went hunting and came back with this beautiful woman , according to the old man that was when the rift started between friends ,.
His ancestor had become obsessed with his best friends wife , His ten wives could not satisfy him anymore, he yearned to be with his friend's wife. On a day when he knew his friend had gone hunting , his ancestor went to his best friend’s house and raped his wife severally, the woman filled with shame and embarrassment left the village never to return. When his best friend returned from his hunting trip, he heard what happened and fought his great great grandfather till they both lay bleeding on the floor, rumor has it that it was his best friend that cursed his ancestor , telling him that him and his descendants would never know peace whilst some people say that it was the woman who cursed his ancestor that misery and grief would never leave his family, whichever way it went , all that was happening today is because of the greed of his ancestor and men in his clan would not stop dying until the wrong is corrected.
“how do I correct the wrong Agwu?” he remembered asking the old man in his dark cave filled with half eaten spoilt meat and bones of dead animals, “how do I correct a wrong that was done a hundred years ago?” Nnamdi pleaded but the man just stared at him chewing his stick, Agwu kept on staring at him silent for several minutes as if he was in a trance, exasperated he had stood up to leave when the old man suddenly whispered so faintly he almost did not hear him, “how is your best friend Odibo?” Nnamdi remembered being stunned into immobility “how..” he began to ask but the old man cut him off continuing “will he forgive you anything your best friend, your brother hmnn..will he let the past be in the past?”
“your great grandfather had a nickname ‘Onye Akpiri’ because of his greed for everything, is that in your blood Nnamdi? , do you lust for her like your brother and everyone else who died did?”
“lust for who Agwu?” Nnamdi whispered, goosebumps taking over his skin in fear, “lust for who?”
"his pet " Agwu responded, " his wife their messenger, death never walks alone you see, he walks with his friends Grief and pestilence and they have a messenger who can take on any form…look to your dreams they have all the answers and look to your friend because they will find him”
he remembers an eerie feeling coming over him as the old man’s eyes began to shine in the darkness “look for your great grandfather’s store room he took something that does not belong to him, him and his best friend, return it and grief will leave you alone but as for death and pestilence…..they are already attracted to your blood, you will have to find a way to chase them away yourself.” And with that the old man retreated into the darkness , Nnamdi was left alone.
Sitting down and reminiscing on the old man’s words it was clear what had just happened, he remembered the two men in his dreams just as they had entered the village for the first time days ago, those men were clearly his great grandfather and Odibo’s great grandfather, what was it the old man said “two reincarnations at the same time in the same place that is the answer”.