AGONY OF THE DEAF
Written by Author Nath
When one is in love, a mountain top becomes a flat field. Love is a set of emotions and behaviors characterized by intimacy, passion, and commitment. It involves care, closeness, protectiveness, attraction, affection, and trust. Love can vary in intensity and can change over time. It is associated with a range of positive emotions, including happiness, excitement, life satisfaction, and euphoria, but it can also result in negative emotions such as jealousy and stress. Yes, Eniola felt the excitement and satisfaction in the arms of the man she never wanted to let go. She gripped him like rhizoids grip on rocks.
However, the hugos had clustered, including Chloe, Charlotte and Guillaume. All watched steadily to understand the drama that was displaying. Just then, Gbenga arrived, looking so exhausted, panting from the run Eniola put him through. Just before he caught his breath, Ayomide, Pual and some Villagers who were present for the wedding ceremony arrived.
“What is going on here?” Paul asked, seeing as his wife to be wrapped herself on the body of another man.
“Aaah, Eniola has killed me!” Ayomide woozily lamented.
“I ask again; what’s going on here?!” Paul shouted for the second time. He wore the same color and traditional material with Eniola.
“Hummm..” Gbenga began by swallowing hard. “Nobody knows what’s going on here but.. there has been a rumour that the fruit you were about to harvest was nurtured by another man whom the fruit so much desire to be harvested by.”
“That’s nonsense! After all I have spent?!”
“I will pay you back!” Claude interfered like a man without letting go of Eniola. His statement did not only draw more attention to them, it also calmed everyone down especially Ayomide as he continued. “Eniola and I love each other. The love isn’t ordinary, it’s pure and true. We’re like bread and butter, the bee and the flower, the spider crab and the algae, some bacteria and the human. Please, no one should separate us. We’ve come a long way.”
More silence stretched around the vicinity. Everything was happening so fast that none of the hugos could say a word. The lingering of the tranquility brought into their ears the chirping sound of nearby birds in the bushes. Probably they were singing a love song because the silence harnessed an atmosphere of love. Even the breeze seemed to dance along with the content of the atmosphere, circulating it for everyone to perceive it through their nostrils. Suddenly, Paul angrily left the place.
“Give me my daughter!” Ayomide angrily matched forward to drag her daughter away from Claude, but Gbenga pulled her back.
“If you want your daughter’s happiness, let her be for now.” he told her and continued. “Don’t try to make someone hate the person he loves, for he will go on loving but he will hate you. Just look at them! It’s obvious they are meant to be. Love cannot be hidden. Moreover, lovers do not hide their nakedness! When deed speaks, words are nothing. Your daughter made a bold step towards her happiness. It is a lion-like character. It is better to live as a lion for one day rather than 100 years as a sheep.”
“But she played along all this while to marry Paul.” Ayomide said.
“Just because the lizard nods his head doesn’t mean he’s in agreement. A day disappointment is better than unhappiness that last forever. If you close your eyes to facts, you will learn through accidents. Even though I go to hell, dine with baba devil and come back, if you ask me, I’ll say your daughter made a wise choice. A wise choice in the sense that she chose peace of mind over anything or anybody. One day in the life of a wise man is worth a fool’s entire life.” Gbenga concluded.
Ayomide exhaled, she retraced her steps and walked home. She really didn’t have a choice. When she left, others followed her while the hugos began to disperse. Meanwhile, Eniola had not disengaged herself from Claude. So the young man tapped her and led her into his house where he untied her mountain of head-tie, loosened her ear-rings and hand beads before laying her on the bed. He sat beside her in the room and staring at her happily. Just then, the mother entered.
“Come here, Claude.” she called him.
The boy walked outside where he met the mother and Guillaume. They saw Chloe, leaving the land well dressed in her combat black elastic dress. That drew their attention, so Charlotte called her, “Chloe! Chloe!!” The girl didn’t respond until she vanished out of sight. Nobody knew where she was heading to.
Charlotte turned to her son. “Just look at the scene you’ve created! You can’t marry that girl!” she warned.
“Mother, that girl lying inside there is my life. She’s the one after my heart.” Claude pointed at the door of the house.
“You’re not bringing that girl into your house, period!” she left angrily followed by Guillaume.
Meanwhile, Gbenga was still around. Claude ushered him into the house where they sat opposite each other. At a corner was Eniola, resting and putting her mind together.
“I really want to thank you papa Gbenga for your support and everything.” Claude broke the silence.
“No problem my son.” Gbenga began. “But remember it’s not morally advisable for a young girl to leave her parents house to stay with a man without proper payment of her bride price. So have it in mind that her mother will come for her later.”
“I know.” Claude bent his head sadly as if he had something to say but couldn’t say it. Gbenga read his mind, so he said to him, “I know you have something to say. Don’t be afraid. A fool has to say something, while a wise person has something to say.”
Claude raised his head. “It’s just that I don’t want to let her out of my sight anymore. If her mother can give me a little time. I’ve contacted my friend Nnanna who is in Ghana, he has rented an apartment for me in Lagos already. It’s just to have something doing which won’t be a problem in no time.”
“Very good! You’re a man. But till you settle, Eniola will be with her mother. That’s the right way!” Gbenga insisted and continued. “Both of you will make a good couple and I know you’ll take good care of her. Listen my son..” he adjusted forward from his seat. “A woman is a flower in a garden; her husband is the fence around it. A home without a woman is like a barn without cattle. If you educate a man, you educate one person. If you educate a woman, you educate a whole family. A family tie is like a tree, it can bend but it cannot break.”
Claude kept smiling at his proverbs.
“Eniola is very beautiful” Gbenga continued. “Every man desires to marry a beautiful woman, but have it at the back of your mind that one who plants grapes by the roadside, and one who marries a pretty woman, share the same problem.”
Hearing that, Claude laughed out loud.
“Don’t worry, I’m just giving you a tip of an iceberg what marriage is all about. Get married first then I’ll rain wisdom on you.” Gbenga stood up to go. Claude swiftly stood up too and hugged him, smiling happily.
“Thank you, papa Gbenga.” He said on his shoulder.
“You are welcome.” Gbenga looked at him and placed a hand on his shoulder. “My son, I actually like the way you’re taking things easily. A man who uses force is afraid of reasoning. May God bless you.” He finally left.
On the other hand, Guillaume and Charlotte could be found at a secret place in a house. The windows were closed but rays of light found their way into the room. Both were standing and arguing silently.
“If you really want your son’s happiness, you allow him marry who his heart so desires.” Guillaume urged Charlotte.
“But she’s deaf and dumb.” she retorted.
“You and I know that there’s a way to make her speak and hear again without contradicting our culture. But the question is; are you ready to make the sacrifice.” Guillaume whispered, while Charlotte glared at him with eyes widely opened…
Back to the room, Eniola sat up from the bed beside Claude. She seemed tired but was completely okay where she was and whom she was with. Claude began to caress her cheeks and smiling at her.
“Thank you for coming back to me.” he told her which she read correctly from his lips. She requested for a pen and paper which Claude gave to her. He watched her write something after which she raised it up for him to read. Claude smiled as he read thus: “I promise to be on your team. I promise to be faithful. I promise to be quick to forgive. I promise to always surprise you. I promise to stand by you. I promise to trust you, respect you, follow you, honor you and support you. I promise to love you, always.”
Claude hugged her. “I promise to love you too, always.” he said sliding down her hair…….
TO BE CONTINUED