AGONY OF THE DEAF
Written by Author Nath
The emotion that can break your heart is sometimes the very one that heals it. It’s only traumatic when your emotions are the slaves to your thoughts, and you are the slave to your emotions. Traumatically, Claude didn’t know the path he belongs. Though, admirably, he wasn’t ashamed to weep on Chloe’s shoulder because it’s right to grieve. Tears are only water, and flowers, trees, and fruit cannot grow without water. But there must be sunlight also. A wounded heart will heal in time, and when it does, the memory and love of our lost ones is sealed inside to comfort us.
Chloe gently pulled him off her shoulder. She held his arms, looked directly into his eyes saying, “Decades ago, in the course of doing good, it backfired to us as bad; they came, crawling and begging to heal their only surviving prince, the heir to the throne. With our good and loving heart, we cut ourselves, used our blood to give their prince not minding the consequences. Unfortunately, death took the prince and they said we killed the only surviving heir to the throne of Kuma. They started killing us, destroying our kingdom. Now, they’ve come again in this generation, so it’s no more time to weep, it’s time to fight! Go out there and defend your people!”
Claude dried his tears. “Merci.” he appreciated.
Charlotte and Guillaume rushed in at the moment, seeming terrified. Claude turned to them saying, “Both of you should stay here. Do not leave, no matter what!” he turned to Chloe. “Protect them, please.” he told her.
“I will.” she replied.
“Son, be careful.” Charlotte hugged him. As the mother, she detected sadness from his eyes. “Have you been crying? What happened?” she asked him.
“Nothing, mother.” Claude matched towards the exit of the large tent. Just before he left, Chloe called him. He turned, waiting for her to state her purpose. The young girl didn’t say anything thereby propagating a bizarre tranquility. She hurried to him and mounted a kiss on his lips. “Répondez moi plus tard.” she whispered romantically which means, “Come back to me.”
He glanced at his mother before finally taken off to the battle field where all the men had taken their fighting positions. Some held a gun while some handled arrows and bowls. Some were trained to combat with their hands and legs. They were some young women too, strong and fierce. All had undergone a professional training. Only the the old were seen taken to the large tent for Chloe’s protection.
Nevertheless, Claude stood before his people not just like a king but also a warrior. He was beginning to forget his grief, the reason of the tears he shed on the shoulder of another woman. So he said, loud and bold, “No man has tasted the full flavor of life until he has known poverty, love, and war. For you see, the face of destiny or luck or god that gives us war also gives us other kinds of pain: the loss of health and youth; the loss of loved ones or of love; the fear that we will end our days alone. Some people suffer in peace the way others suffer in war. The special gift of that suffering I have learned; is how to be strong while we are weak, how to be brave when we are afraid, how to be wise in the midst of confusion, and how to let go of that which we can no longer hold. In this way, anger can teach us forgiveness, hate can teach us love, and war can teach us peace. Therefore, sometimes, there will be no peace without war. The Kumas are known to be swift and strong, but we shall give them those in double portion.”
“Yes!!!” the crowd chorused.
Claude drew out his sword, waiting for the Kumas to show up. Tension rose among them when everywhere seemed quiet like the presence of ghosts were observed. They narrowed their vision to see a car speedily approaching thereby rising some dust within its surrounding. It pulled over a few meters before Claude who was at the forefront. Chief came out from the car in his hugeness. His feet rattled on the dry ground of the arid land when he surged closer to Claude. He looked at his local subjects then laughed coyly.
“Time has come when I’ll watch all of you die like chicken.” His voice broke the silence.
“I should have known you’d be behind the appearance of kumas here.” Claude replied.
“You know what they say, the enemy of my enemy is my friend.”
“A friend of my enemy is my enemy.”
Chief smiled then suddenly frowned. The Kumas appeared behind him and the war began. The gun men first released their bullets which killed some of the Kumas immediately on their way to attack. But many succeeded in getting closer, so it became a battle of swords and strength. Beside the car, chief watched how blood splashed into the air and some hugos going down by the sword which sound filled the air too. He lit a cigarette, crossed his legs then allowed the first smoke to puff through his nostrils……
Meanwhile, inside Chief’s residence,, Ogechi walked into the garage. It looked a bit nasty and unkempt. She wanted to drive out, but a sound from the corner of the garage drew her attention. Slowly, she walked up to the place to find the cause of the sound. Strangely, on the floor, she discovered a door that leads to a basement. She hit it with a leg to evaluate her hypothesis from the sound which came hallow in her ears. Quickly, she carried a tool and opened the pathway. Lo and behold a secret basement. She walked into it and closed the exit.
The basement was like a library filled with old books. It had a constant light because the mansion itself was powered by solar panels. “What are these books for?” she murmured, looking around. She saw a caption on the cover of one of the books when she brought it out from a shelve. It was written, “The History of the Hugos.” When she saw it, she remembered Claude’s statement which says, “My name is not Ike neither is it Lolade Olubukola. My name is Claude Pierre, I’m a Hugo which Chief wants to take advantage of by marrying his daughter to me…”
There was a table at the center of the basement where Ogechi placed the book then opened it. She also made herself comfortable with a seat beside the table as she acquire knowledge from the book…….
Back to the arid land, the hugos were close to victory. Only a few of the kumas left. Already, Charlotte and Chloe joined the war in the battle field. Many of them had been stained with the blood of the kumas. Seeing that the kumas had lost the battle, Chief opened his car to drive away, but men rushed him, pulled him out like a thief. By then, all the kumas were lying dead on the floor.
“Get your hands off me!!” Chief struggled in their hands. He could see Claude approaching angrily with his sword, gushing out blood. From his movement, Chief understood that the time of his death had clicked; his cup had been filled to the brim. So he fell on his knees. Meanwhile, Guillaume, Charlotte, Chloe and other surviving hugos watched from behind to see how it would end.
“Ike, do not kill me. I won’t bother you again. You can take the land!” Chief begged.
“I never wanted the land, chief. As a matter of fact we shall be leaving very soon.” Claude’s voice trailed with heavy breathing. “I only wanted to do to you what you did to me. Also to tell you that creator of monsters could one day be executed by the same monsters.” He raised his sword to cut him, chief fell face-up on the ground, yet Claude jumped on him, raised the sword again and pinned it on the ground, very close to Chief’s head. He stood up. “Let this be a warning chief and the disconnection of everything that has to do with us. I no longer serve you, I do not have your money or any of your properties again. We shall be leaving this land too. So go home and forget anything about me and the hugos.” He turned to his subjects. Of course he encourage them and lastly said, “I met a friend of mine who will give us a peaceful dwelling place.”
The flower fell off from his hand. Heartbroken, he began to walk out. At a distant, Gbenga saw him. He called on him and took him to his house. Claude sat opposite to the old man. He narrated his pains to him on how he came to let Eniola know that he was ready to be with her even as a deaf and dumb victim. But saw her with another man.
Gbenga exhaled. “My son, though Eniola and her mother believe you bring nothing to them but pains but I do not agree. I’m at your side! Eemm.. don’t you think, Eniola is just acting? I know she loves you.”
“No, not anymore. I saw it in her eyes, in her attitude and in her spirit.”
“Do not conclude, my son. If one catches a penis in a woman’s vagina she will argue that it is only corn-cob. Trust a woman to deny even the obvious.” He spoke wisely then allow it to sink into his heart. Claude tried to believe him but what he saw made him not to.
“I need a favor from you, papa” He changed the topic. “Can you talk to your village people to give us.. I mean we the hugos a piece of land for dwelling until we can go back to our home country?”
“Sure, I’ll talk to them.” Gbenga assured him….
Chief had sped off from the land, while Claude concluded saying, “So my people, get ready for we shall be leaving here soon. As for now, let us bury and mourn our love ones who died in the battle field.” He briskly began to walk into the large tent while Chloe ran after him……
TO BE CONTINUED