The cartel episode 47

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Written by Nitefury
fter spending a week at the hospital, Ima was finally
discharged and went home with her benefactress, Mrs

Margaret Etuk. She had gone to Ojo barracks to find
out if she could meet with the so called officer Jama,
but was disappointed. The reception she got at the
gate weren’t friendly because she couldn’t give a
proper identification nor the rank of the person she was
looking for. She relayed this information back to Ima
who spent that day crying.
Although she loved Emem like a mother would, the
death of her husband had made hin withdrawn from
her, keeping mostly to himself. Her relationship with
her Lover made it worse and he never failed to show
his disapproval. Getting admitted into the university
finally severed the tie between them as he rarely came
home other than for financial reasons. Her one week of
meeting Ima and the situation the girl was had given a
resurgence of a strong desire in her to be a mother
figure. Whereas Emem didn’t care about such, here
was a young girl needing motherly love and support.
She vowed to give the girl that love as could be noticed
in a special bond that now existed between both of
them.
Michael and Faith had called twice to see her at the
hospital. Although he hits her over petty issues
bothering mainly on his insecurities about her, he had
always been supportive and caring which was another
reason that made her stick with him. Faith
remembering aunty Ima (as she referred her) got along
pretty well with her when she visited. During both
visits, Faith and Ima had gotten along so well one
would think they’ve known each other since the latter’s
birth.
Following the rape incident and the realization that she
wouldn’t be with Jama anymore, Ima became easily
depressed when alone. She was a broken shell of the
once vibrant young girl she used to be. Although she
had overcome the shock that came with the realization
that she was gang raped, she still felt bruised, cut open
and used. Her physical injuries had healed, but her
mind hadn’t.
Showing symptoms of post-traumatic stress disorder
(PTSD), Mrs Margaret was advised to get her to visit a
counselor who is trained to assist rape victims. A
month after the assault, she had gradually returned to
her vibrant self and was cheerful around the house.
She shared a room with Uduak, one of Mrs Margaret’s
sales girls living with her in the three bedroom
apartment. While Faith shared the masters bedroom
with her mom, the other room was and remained
locked. She was told that was Emem’s room. He was in
the University of Lagos and came home occasionally.
The available pictures of him were those hanging as
frames in the living room. One as an infant, another as
a one year old, two as a preteen with his parents, and
the last one with his mother upon his graduation from
primary school.
They were no recent pictures of him as she was told he
wasn’t a fan of photography and all that. “A fine boy,
who looked like his dad” she told his mom when she
first saw the pictures.
***
On a Friday afternoon, about two months after the
incident, she had just gotten back home after picking
up Faith from school when she heard a knock on the
door. Mrs Margaret who was down with Malaria was
also at home. She laid on a couch as Ima came out of
the room to open the door.
“Who is there?” she called out exiting the room
Faith followed her out of the room to which she
instructed “Go back and remove your stockings Faith”.
She had already helped her out of her school uniform.
As she walked towards the door the repeating her
earlier question to know who the person knocking was,
the voice called out joyfully “Faith…..”
Faith who refused to take off her stockings but had
followed her into the living room screamed out
excitedly and unexpectedly to her as she ran past her
to the door trying to reach for the lock.
Obviously Faith knew the voice which kept on calling
her name with her responding by jumping excitedly
calling “boda boda boda”.
Even before Mrs Margaret called from her position on
the couch “It’s her brother”, she knew it had to be him
as she unlocked the door, while pushing the little girl
aside.
As soon as the door came open, the little girl jumped
into the hands of her elder brother who lifted her up. A
few seconds later he turned to face her and the smile
on her face vanished.
When she opened her eyes finally, she saw Mrs
Margaret pacing up and down the living room. She
realized her face was wet and she lay on the floor.
**EMEM
Friday, six days after his final initiation and
confirmation as a Night crawler, Emem had gone home
for the weekend. He didn’t meet his mother at home.
He called at her restaurant and was informed by the
sales girl living with them that she was at the hospital
with one of their towns girl who was assaulted when
she arrived Lagos the previous week.
“Thank goodness the useless boys did not kill her. She
was dumped at Jibowu that morning with people
gathering to see her. Fortunately mama on her way to
church, recognized her as the girl who sat next to her
in the bus the previous day from calabar and took her
to the hospital” Uduak, told him in Efik.
This information made the alarm bells in his head go
off as he became aware of what might become of him
if the girl recognizes him. There was no doubting the
said girl was he and his gang’s victim. Becoming a
nervous, he asked her “What about her own people?
Who was she coming to see in Lagos? Have they not
been contacted about the incident? Why is she still
visiting the girl?” he asked visibly shaken.
“I dunno o. But I think they’ve been contacted already
and I think she just went to check up on the girl” Uduak
replied noticing the sudden uncomfort in Emem.
Shrugging her shoulders, hissing and then changing
the topic, she asked excitedly “So are you home for the
weekend? I’ve missed you o”.
“No o, as a matter of fact I just came to get some food
items and money. I’m already on my way. Lots of
school work to be done?. Emem replied and went to
meet the restaurant’s manager to collect some amount
of money. He told the lady to tell his mom he couldn’t
wait. Uduak stared at him confusedly as he left. Both
of them have been having s-x right from when he
entered into the university. She had been with them
right from when he lost his dad and was the one who
took his virginity.
He quickly went back home to pick up a few food items
and the personal stuffs he came with for the weekend
and left for Jide’s residence. Not sure of what crazy
thing Jide would suggest next, he decided to go back to
his hostel while also keeping the discovery to himself.
When pressed about his depressed and worried mood
by Jide and Chucks the following week, he claimed he
quarreled with his mother and said some hurtful things
to her.
*****
As the weeks went by, Emem had began to regret
joining the confraternity which made him start keeping
Jide and Chucks at arms length. They had made him
do things he ordinarily wouldn’t do. He was gradually
becoming a brute and was beginning to skip lectures.
What he was expecting was different from what he got
becoming a member of a campus cult group.
Firstly when no one was talking about avenging his dad
or mentioned the group that murdered him, he came to
find out his dad was murdered by a member of his own
Night crawlers confraternity because his dad refused to
accept a bribe to clear the spill over courses some of
their members who where in his department had.
Secondly, upon the realization of who he was as the
late lecturer’s son, his friends Chucks and Jide were
mandated to make him their member to avoid a
situation where another confraternity would make him
their member and then he comes after them. Although
he knew they were lying, Jide and Chucks claimed not
to have known.
Then the fact that certain places, persons or colours
etc where forbidden or are to be avoided coupled with
constantly looking over your shoulder in fear of a
possible attack, paying due to superiors made him to
spite the whole cult business. He had started giving
them space and when he was confronted, he used the
approaching semester examination as excuse.
Friday afternoon, some two months after his initiation
and with the semester examinations over and the
hostel empty, Emem parked his bags and left for
home.
He got home and noticed the door was also bolted
from inside, hence his key wouldn’t open it. Knocking
on the door, he heard a new voice which he didn’t
recognize answering him while calling out his younger
sisters name.
Instead of answering the question seeking the identity
of the person by the door, he called out Faith’s name
knowing how she’ll react when she heard his voice. He
wasn’t disappointed.
When the door went open, she jumped on him joyfully.
Its been almost three months they last saw each other.
Then turning to see who had opened the door for him,
the smile he had on his face vanished when their eyes
met
TBC…

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