The second installment in the Single Story Series is coming up pretty soon. Click The Single Story: My Name is Asad to read the first one and The Single Story (Intro) to read the introduction of the series.
The story below is not a true story but it is based on a true story.
I would say enjoy but…
Memory verses really stick. Sometimes you don’t even know they are there and then all of a sudden, they just pop out from nowhere.
I should have gone. I should have obeyed Mum when she asked to me to go get her credit from Aunty Ify down the road. But no. I had to form busy. I had to resent her sending me instead of Ebuka even though he was older than i am. And so she sent Chigo instead.
Children Obey Your Parents In The Lord For This Is Right…
The night they came i was in my room.
“Emeka please help me get credit from the back.”
I heard her but i pretended like i didn’t. It was easy because i had my earphones plugged in. I wasn’t listening to anything yet though; i was still trying to decide between my Melancholy or Contemporary playlists.
She should send Chigo jor. He’s younger.
“Mschew. Chigo please come and help me get credit.”
Honour Your Father And Mother…
Chigo did not lock the door. I do not know if they were waiting for someone to come out. Or if they just saw him go out. I do not know. I do not even know how they entered; did they barge in or did they just open the door and walk in? I had settled on my Melancholy playlist.
Ebuka saw them first. I saw them through Ebuka’s eyes. They brought us out into the living room, took all our phones first and then pushed us on the floor. Then, with mummy and daddy, they went through the three bedrooms, spending extra time in my parents bedroom. They took their time these ones, they were in no hurry.
There were five of them inside plus the one just outside the door, making six. Or maybe there were some downstairs i dont know.
They came back with cash, mum’s jewelry, dad’s laptop and my laptop too that i had just inherited form Ebuka because it was my turn to write my project. They pushed mum and dad on the floor too and we all crouched behind Dad. He was visibly trembling but he was trying to act brave. Me? I had already peed. Mummy was praying. She wasn’t saying the words but i could sense it. I inched closer to her.
“Stand up! Move to that corner” The one that had the stained teeth said to Dad. He stood up shakily.
“Please”, mum pleaded, “You’ve taken everything. O zu go. Its enough.”
“Enough?” Still the one with the stained teeth. He seemed to be their leader. His eyes seemed so small and dark. “I just started.”
And he shot dad in the thigh. Just like that.
We all screamed and the rest pointed their guns and shouted that we should be quiet. Mum was shaking. I was shaking. Ebuka was shaking. Dad’s blood was dark red.
Stained teeth then sat down. He studied us for what seemed like hours. Or maybe it was seconds. I don’t know, i was trying to remember The Lord’s Prayer. And then he pointed at Ebuka.
“You. What is your name?”
Ebuka could not reply. One of the others hit the side of his head with the butt of his gun.
“Take it easy. I have an assignment for him. What is your name?”
“Ebuka. My name is Ebuka.”
“Good. Stand up.”
There was something about the way he spoke. He didn’t shout. But you obeyed him. Ebuka stood. Mum held his hand. Stained pointed at mum. “You too stand up. Both of you, move to the right.”
Dad was still bleeding and making muffled sounds. I was alone on my side now. I hadn’t gone past Our Father who art in heaven.
“Now make love to your mother.”
There was an eerie silence. And then Dad uttered a guttural scream. He got another bullet in his other thigh.
Mum fell to her knees in front of Stained, crying and pleading with him. But his eyes were not on her; they were fixed on Ebuka’s face. “I said make love to your mother. Now.”
Ebuka hardened his face and set his lips. I remember thinking that he looked like Emeka Ike does in the movies when he wants to form bad guy. Not a very flattering look. “No.”
“No. I won’t do it.”
Stained shot him in the head.
For This Is The First Commandment With A Promise…
And then he turned to me. I reeked. Of sweat, urine and tears. And fear.
“You. What’s your name?”
“E–me–my name is Emeka.”
That It May Be Well With You…
“Emeka. Stand up. Go to your mother.”
My head started shaking from side to side of its own volition. Daddy had passed out. Mum looked up from where she was crouched over Ebuka’s body. She started begging me to come.
“Emeka. Do it now.” Stained smiled with his lips. His eyes did not.
“Emeka! Biko nu. I cannot lose another son. Please my son.” Mum pleaded with me through her tears.
My legs stood up. They started moving towards her. I did not want to die. But how could i do it?
“Take off her clothes.”
Maybe he’s just testing us. He won’t make us go through with it. He’s just testing our obedience. Surely.
“Take off your own clothes too. Completely”
I stood stark naked before my stark naked mother.
“Good. Now begin.”
Immediately after they left mum started screaming and the neighbors rushed in.
That was four days ago. I cannot go back. Everytime i close my eyes i see the look in my mother’s eyes. I tried not to look at her when i was doing it but then i heard Stained’s cold voice: “Look at her. Look at each other. Very good.”
I should not have done it. I should have refused like Ebuka. But she said she couldn’t lose another son. What was i to do? This is worse than death. I cannot go back. I cannot go back. I don’t even know if dad survived. Or what happened to Chigo. I need to get far away. I cannot go back. I can never go back.
For some reason, through the act something kept ringing in my head.
I should have just gone out to get the airtime.