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AGONY OF THE DEAF – Episode 20

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The sun began to set the next day. Ogechi had addressed her workers across African on a meeting. She could be seen walking towards Nnanna in the meeting hall where everybody hung around, discussing one thing or the other. Nnanna was surprised when she called him.

“Good day, ma’am.” he greeted politely.

“You’re the one in charge at our branch in Ghana, right? I mean after someone called Ike left.” Ogechi asked him.

“Yes, ma’am.”

“I’ve viewed your reports and transactions. You’re doing well.”

“Thank you.”

Both smiled, yet none left the arena. Just before Nnanna could say something, Ogachi asked him.”Do you in any way know where he is?”

“You mean Ike? No, I don’t.” He replied.

“Okay,” she walked out from the premises followed by her bodyguards. When they entered into a car, she instructed them and said, “Monitor him.”

When darkness covered the sky, Nnanna took a cab to Claude’s house without knowing that he was being followed by Ogachi and her men. Through the glass of their car, they saw Nnanna knocking at Claude’s door. When it opens, she saw Claude himself then turned to her men.

“Take this” she handed a syringe to one of them. “Make no mistake.” she instructed again.

“Yes, ma’am.” Two men left the car with hidden guns. She watched them break into the house followed by shout and gunshots. Quickly, they ran out of the house…
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Same night, Guillaume arrived to the residence of Ayomide with a small bottle in his hand. Ayomide opened when he knocked and was surprised to see him. She also glanced at a wall clock to be sure of the ungodly hour: 12:50pm.

“What are you…?”

“It doesn’t matter.” Guillaume interrupted her. He really seemed terrified. On his hands and clothes were stains of blood on them. “I believe your daughter is asleep. Show me her room.” he walked in.

“Why?” Ayomide spread her hands.

“Charlotte wants the best for her son as you want the best for your daughter.” he replied.

Ayomide understood and opened Eniola’s room for him. Guillaume quickly uncovered the bottle and applied a black mixture of liquid on her lips and ears before they stepped out to the living room. Guillaume brought out a paper and handed it to Ayomide. “Give it to your daughter when she wakes up. It’s a message to her from our king mother from whom the blood was extracted with her vital organ. With this, no condition is attached to the healing of your daughter.”

“What?!” Ayomide exclaimed. “Is she okay?”

“We hope so.” Guillaume left while Ayomide gazed at the paper.
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The next morning, Nnanna and a doctor could be found in a hospital ward where Claude laid flat on a sick bed.

“Doctor, you said there’s nothing wrong with him?” Nnanna asked.

“Yes, he’s medically okay.” The doctor replied.

“Everything happened so fast. They fired guns at the wall, knocked me out, only for me to wake up and saw my friend unconscious. What kind of thieves don’t steal anything or kill anybody? What then did they do?” Nnanna narrated. Just then, Claude woke up, feeling a bit dizzy. The doctor and Nnanna rushed him…
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Meanwhile, the Hugos gathered around to mourn the departure of Charlotte who laid dead in a room in the royal house. They all had the knowledge of what killed her. Some hated Claude relationship with the deaf because of it while some didn’t care but was sad because their king mother put her life in the process. Already, Claude had been contacted and arrived with Nnanna. Both of them could be seen sitting on a round table with Guillaume, Gbenga, Isiala, and other village elders. However, Claude had not been told the cause of his mother’s death. Though he never stopped shedding tears.

Gbenga cleared his throat. “Pull yourself together, son.” he began. “Death does not knock on the door. One way or the other it must come. If you do not sleep because you do not want to die, you will die because you do not sleep. We know it’s a tragedy what has happened to you as a young man. You do not use because of it and lay down on the ground without picking yourself up. An ant on its feet can do more than an elephant lying down.”

“Exactly!” Isiala supported by hitting his staff on the floor.

Gbenga continued. “No person is born great – great people become great when others are sleeping. Claude, you’ve been a great man. Endure your pains as a great man.” he concluded.

“He who swallows a complete coconut has absolute trust in his anus.” Isiala began. “Your mother took a bold step for the one she loves.”

Hearing that, Claude looked up at him as he continued.. “Charlotte knew the consequences of her action. We do not blame her, she did it for your own happiness. The wise man never takes a step too long for his legs. She has made the road straight for you now, so remember even at your old age. Where you sit when you are old shows where you stood in your youth.”

“What are you talking about?” Claude interfered. “Did my mother kill herself for me? Why?” he asked curiously.

“You all sound weird, how can his mother take her own life for the sake of her son’s happiness?” Nnanna chipped in too.

“Young Man, watch your tongue here” Gbenga rebuked him. “Who told you to speak? A man who drives his father’s car is not entitled to speak in a council of men who own bicycles.”

Angrily, Claude stood up. “Can somebody answer my question!!?” he shrieked, breathing hastily.

“You’re mother performed what is called Agirita.” Guillaume began. “She saw how you love Eniola and never wanted you to end up with her as a deaf and dumb woman, so agreed to perform Agirita; using her blood and kidney to heal the love of your life without any condition attach to it. All for you to have a happy home.” he explained.

“What are you people talking about? Who is Eniola?” Claude asked. The question shocked everybody in the room.

“No, maybe it’s a slip of tongue.” Gbenga broke the tension.

“A slip of the tongue is worse than a slip of the feet.” Isiala whispered to him.

Just then, Eniola arrived at the door. All looked at her even Claude. She seemed harmless, innocent and beautiful, though sad because she had a knowledge of what was going on. “Claude?” she called sadly.

“Claude, that’s Eniola, the reason for all this tragedy. Though it’s not her fault. It’s for the deep and great love both of you share together.” Guillaume clarified.

Claude stared at her. He looked from his friend to the elders and said, “You people have to explained to me why and how my mother died because I do not know who this stupid girl is!”

“Alapa!!!” Gbenga exclaimed.

None of them knew what was going on anymore. Already, Eniola had started shedding tears at the door. Was it the tears of Claude’s sudden action or the death of his mother for her to speak and hear again or the tears of seeing herself as the cause of everything? She didn’t know, but was seriously shedding tears and speechless. Oh, how one wishes sometimes to escape from the meaningless and dullness of human eloquence, from all those sublime phrases, to take refuge in nature, apparently so inarticulate, or in the wordlessness of long, grinding labor, of sound sleep, of true music, or of a human understanding rendered speechless by emotion!

Eniola ran to Claude with that tears saying, “Claude, what are you saying. It’s me!” she tried to hold him but was pushed down by him which caused a roaring soliloquy in the room. Eniola ran out of the house. Suicide was the next thing in her mind.

“What is going on?” Isiala whispered to Gbenga.

“Who knows how water entered into the stalk of the pumpkin?” he replied in proverbs.

“The chicken frowns at the cooking pot, ignoring the knife that killed it. That’s what’s happening now.”

“Something is wrong somewhere. The ocean never swallows a person with whose leg it does not come in contact.” Gbenga ran out of the house too…
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TO BE CONTINUED

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