The drive down home to Abalaka was a long one, he looked to his side at Odibo and could not express how grateful he was to have a friend like him. They had met six years earlier in university and had been inseparable ever since, Odibo had lost his parents in a car accident back in high school and so like him had been brought up by a foster parent, they had the same build ,though Odibo was slightly taller, the same complexion and the same tastes in women. For odibo to take time off work to be with him was unbelievable, with his sister Mary in the convent ,Odibo was the closest thing to family he had left and he loved him like a brother. ”men this your village far o..” Odibo muttered “and na so so forest since, you sure say you remember road sef?” Odibo continued in pidgin Nnamdi smiled and closed his eyes to sleep more..”Guy you dey sleep abi, look fine bush meat better dey your village o, and no be meat I dey talk na bush meat to massage my body I mean, all my joints don break” Nnamdi gave him the thumbs up sign and drifted into sleep.
He woke up to a conversation going on between two men , they seemed to be plotting something. He looked around, he seemed to be deep in the forest, two thatched hut stood in a compound covered with all sorts of ornaments , a cooking pot was steaming at the centre. He could not find Odibo anywhere but something held him back from shouting, curiosity getting the better of him he inched closer to the men.
One of them seemed to be cajoling the other one. ”look the boy does not know what to with all that gold, we will wait till early in the morning when he takes his pet for a walk then steal the egg” “but Emeka your ‘Akpiri’ is too long o” this is a boy who saved us in the forest, fed us and kept us warm for close to a week, even gave us some cowries to take home with us, now you want us to steal from him” the other man said, “cowries??” Nnamdi thought to himself “where am i?”
“look we are grateful for that, but whatsoever laid that golden egg will lay more for him, we need that gold, do you want to be poor all your life?? Your father lies dying in the medicine man’s house because you could not provide a spotless ram for a sacrifice and my five children are starving and I need money to marry chidiebere you know she is already pregnant with my child”
“why don’t you ever stay with one woman, how many wives do you want to marry??” the other man chastised. “look Odibo that is besides the point?” “Odibo?!” Nnamdi shouted but they did not seem to hear him. “Odibo!” suddenly the car screeched to a halt. “ND whats your problem?” Nnamdi jerked up straight almost sending the car out of control , he suddenly realized he had been dreaming.
“Nnayi sorry” Odibo continued, in all the confusion they had almost hit an old man trying to cross the street. The old man stood there peering at them, “ol boy Nnamdi go and apologize before that old man curses us, me I don’t want trouble” Nnamdi rushed out of the car, ‘Dede I am sorry “ the old man stared at him speechless for a minute. “give him some money maybe he is in shock” Odibo yelled from the car as Nnamdi reached into his pocket to look for some notes the old man spoke in perfect English, “young man you are home” ‘erm yes sir I am...” “I know who you are” the old man replied cutting him off, coming closer to him and peering eeringly into his eyes. ‘ who would have thought that you would come back, that you two would come back” “erm my friend is not from here..”
“Nde Akpiri…always the last to know things, pay me a visit before you go, greet your uncle Mo for me, tell him his daughter will give birth before the week runs out so all hope is not lost” before Nnamdi could respond the old man turned his back and kept on walking, Nnamdi stood confused for a moment before Odibo horned for him to get into the car so they could continue.
Nnamdi stared speechless at his uncle , for the past thirty minutes he had sat and listened to the most ludicrous tale he had ever heard,
”Uncle if I am to understand you correctly, many many years ago my great great grandfather did something to anger the gods and that is why they cursed us with death??”
“yes my son, you see until the wrong is made right no male child will remain in your clan”
“ hmnn so what is the wrong that is to be made right? Nnamdi asked ,suddenly upset that he had come all the way here for nothing. “we do not know, they never told us”
Nnamdi had heard enough, he began to suspect that the same mental ailment that plagued his mother had begin to plague her brother in his old age.
Nnamdi not wanting to be rude muttered something like we will try and got up to leave before he suddenly remembered the old man.
‘yes uncle I met an old man on the road down here, he said I should tell you that your daughter will give birth before the end of the week” his uncle’s eyes suddenly lit up with fear “Agwu?? You saw Agwu”
“I did not catch his name but he had a weird necklace on his neck” “was he wearing a necklace with a python’s fangs on it? “ his uncle asked. “I don’t know if that was python fangs but he just looked weird and he called me ‘Nde Akpiri’” “hmnn what else did the old man say” “that I should see him before I leave” his uncle laid back and lit his pipe, “then I suggest you better see him, Agwu does not come out of his cave so for him to come out and ask to see you, he has a message for you.”
Nnamdi rolled his eyes and went off to sleep, no wonder his mum ran away from this place, superstitious people.
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