WINDS OF CHANGE: CHAPTER FOURTEEN

By Okolo Chinua 6 months ago

CHAPTER 14

Okoro had turned back to behold the figure who had spoken to him.it was someone who he never wished to see on a night like that.it was no other person but his brother, Kosisochukwu. ”What are you doing here? And what do you mean by your statement?” Okoro asked in annoyance. “Mind your tone brother. I am still your elder. Seriously? A coup? Are you mad? Kosiso asked his brother. Okoro was shocked, “how do you know about the coup? No one should know about that” Okoro asked, puzzled. “No one? Listen Okoro, there are more people aware of this than you know. We are all aware….”he was speaking when Okoro interrupted, “how could that be…?””Shut up and listen. There is no time!” Kosiso shouted at his brother. Kosiso took his time to explain to his brother in details how he was fooled and betrayed by his so-called friend, Emeka. He saw the look of shock and pain on his brother’s face. Apparently it was a lot for him to take in. Dike too was taken aback when he heard of Emeka’s betrayal. Kosiso continued and told everything to both of them, “so you see Okoro, you are walking into a trap. I believe others have already walked into it but there is nothing I can do to save them. I can only save you from walking to your death.” he said. “But if this is true, why tell me? Why risk your life to save mine? Or are you trying to fool me too?” Okoro asked, swallowing the pain he now felt. Kosiso gave a short smile and answered, “Certainly, I made a lot of mistakes in the past which I cannot atone for, however, I have not become so shrewd and twisted as to kill my own blood brother. I do not hate you. Everything in life happens for a purpose, that is what I have learned in life. I realized my mistakes in no time but I chose to remain there for a purpose. I had to look and act like I hated you in order to protect you from those who actually hated you. What do you think would have happened if I was not there when they were plotting against you? Will you have come to know of this? I am and will not lie to you. Like I said, I cannot kill my own blood.” Okoro bent his head downwards, hiding his pain and giving what he just heard a long thought. He sighed and then spoke up, “I believe you my brother and I am indeed grateful, however, I cannot back down now. I will go as planned.” ”Are you mad? That would mean going to your death!” Kosiso exclaimed but Okoro gave a calm smile. “Do not worry brother. Please, I ask that you do not stop me. I sent those boys there. They risked their lives to help me so I should do the same. I cannot let them die while I run. I am no coward. I started this race and it is up to me to finish it” ”But if you go, you will…”Kosiso was saying but Okoro interrupted, “please say no more brother. I am Okoro, son of Igwenagu, son of Umuoba. I will not back down and neither will I run” he drew a deep breath and continued, “I love and trust you my brother, that is why I will trust you with this favour I am about to ask. Take my family to the village of Umuebido, the house of my wife’s parents. They will protect them since she is their daughter and my in-laws. Tell my wife that I love her. Tell the same to my children. Tell my wife all that has happened and will happen and keep her safe. They are not to return to this village until this fire has gone out. Tell Nwokoro to live up to my expectations and become the great man I know he will be. Tell them all how sorry I am not to be the one to tell them this, that I am sorry that I failed them. Once they cross the border, the troops will not be able to find them. Even if they try to, they will not be able to cross the border with arms as that calls for war which I know the white man would not want. Once they are safe in my wife’s place, return to your home as quick as you can and pretend like this never happened. I do not wish to lose you. Promise me!” he said firmly, holding his brother’s hand, his eyes trying to remain strong. By this time, Kosiso was already moved to tears, “I promise” he replied. Okoro smiled and hugged him tightly and whispered, “thank you brother. I will tell good of you when I join father”. He broke the hug and turned towards Dike, saying, ”you served me well, however I am the key factor of this coup so they probably won’t come for you, at least not like they would to me. Go home therefore to your family and pretend like this never happened, like you had no idea of this.” Dike looked at Okoro and replied, “When I agreed to this I knew the price. I cannot let my friends die in vain. I will follow you till the end, that was my promise.” Okoro tried to dissuade him but he refused to waver. ”very well, Dike, I am grateful. Let’s give our dear friends waiting for us our final gift before we depart” Okoro said. He explained his newly thought of plan to Dike. He was to head for Amadi’s place as earlier planned while dike was to take the explosives and head discreetly for the central building. Okoro’s job was to draw the attention of the troops like he was oblivious of the whole plot, buying dike time to sneak into the building. Once dike had succeeded in doing that, he was to blow the building together with the elders inside. Dike accepted the plan and nodded in approval. He took the explosives from Okoro, bowed and said, “Even in the next world, you will still be my master. I will forever respect you.” and then took off. Okoro watched him leave, he smiled to himself and thought, ‘tell me that over a jar of palm wine in the next world then’. He looked at his brother, nodded to him and then moved out too, prepared for what was to come. Kosiso had immediately rushed into the hut and awoken Chizitere and half explained the situation to her. Within two minutes, they had prepared hastily and were fleeing the village. She had woken her children up and without explaining things to them, had ordered that they pack all that they needed the most. They had done it in a haste without asking questions because of the weird serious look on their mother’s face. Everything had been placed in one big bag which Kosiso carried and led the way for them. They had jumped the fence because using the gate would have drawn the attention of the troops laying in wait.as at the time Okoro was being beat up, they were already halfway to Umuebido.

 

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