***WRETCHEDLY RICH***AN AFRICAN STORY ∆ JESSICA DURU>>>THE WAKE-UP CALL

By Jessica-Ken:

  I’m fully aware of the mistakes. Of course! I read my stories over and over again when I’m bored. Shocked, right? I’ll edit them all once I’m done writing. For now… let’s go 😙😙

*****

  Adaeze was soon buried, but the mystery surrounding her death still remained something no one could explain. There wasn’t a stone in sight or any object lying around. What then could have caused the terrible fall? Everyone we beyond shaken. School still went on, regardless. Adaeze was gone. There was nothing anyone could do to bring her back.

°°°Obiajulum°°°

  It wasn’t still clear to me how Adaeze could have died so soon. She was fine one minute, and the other… she was gone.
  I sobbed vehemently in my heart, feeling sore and short of words. I sat with my mind completely blank, staring into space, completely unaware of the people around me.
  “Obi,” A soft touch on my shoulder made me aware again and I snapped out, being drawn back to reality, as a man I couldn’t recognize, stood behind me with face lifted.
  “Who are you?” I asked, looking around to see if everyone present were seeing him just like I was.
  “Do you not know me anymore?”
  I searched my mind, trying to recall. “Old man?” I finally recognized, scared to think I was dead. “Old man, how are you…”
  He said before I could finish; “Do not be afraid,” he calmed. “I am not here to harm you.”
  “Am I dead?” I asked, speechless. “Have you come to take me, too?” I asked, scared. What wrong have I done? I thought inside of me, shifting back in fear.
“You’re afraid,” he saw. “Don’t be.” he said.
  I gulped, feeling uncomfortable with the way he talked, as a cold swoosh of air kissed my face, sending chills up my spine. “What do you want from me?”
  “Listen, for I am here to pass a message.” He came closer and said, “The time has come. The ritual needs to be performed.”
  I gathered courage to ask. “What ritual, and what need do you have of me?”
  “The ritual must be done. IT MUST BE DONE!” His words echoed as I shivered.
  “Can you be more clear, old man? I do not understand the things you say.”
  The old man laughed to my surprise. “Soon—”
  “What’s soon?” I looked around as I saw no one again. Could I be dreaming? Could my mind be playing tricks on me? I sunk in thought, getting saved by the bell almost immediately.
  Left with no option but to walk back to class, I forgot about the old man’s words, clinging to the dreadful incidence and memories of Adaeze, as I moved to where my desk was situated, taking my seat with head getting placed on my desk; as I dozed off before anyone could say jeez Louise!
  The sleep didn’t last long, anyways, as I was being jerked up, drenched in sweat. “Wha-what happened?!” I yelled, seeing everyone looking at me.
  “You were talking so loud. What did you see?” Adanne asked with a worried look.
  I couldn’t remember what exactly; all I could remember was a voice telling me to run. “I-I have to go,” I stood up, excused myself and left the class.

°°°°Adanne°°°°

  I was really getting worried about him. These days he’d distance himself and not talk to anyone unless being called. I wished to know what was it that was bothering him—if only he didn’t push me away.

°°°°Obiajulum°°°°

  I wasn’t myself anymore. I had countless dreams; horrible nightmares; each having something attached. I wanted them all to stop… to be me again, and not have to act all strange and make everyone not want to be with me.

*******

  The chief priest and the many with heart as cold as ice wanted Obiajulum for themselves. They didn’t want him dead just yet. By all means, they wanted to have every drop of blood that flowed through his veins sucked until there was not a single one left.
  “The boy still lives.” Ahugwanle appeared in the form of a child.
  “He lives!” the chief priest and all who were present, bowed to honour their master.
  “Why are you yet to kill him? Do you not know that he is the key to my destruction?”
“Master—” the chief priest made to speak, as the god in human form stopped him from saying any further words. “You have until the fourth market day,” He said, “Or heads will roll!”

*******
  Obiajulum was soon to leave the four walls of secondary school; he was getting ready for the exams that were fast approaching, when he fell ill and was admitted to the hospital.

****Weeks Before****

  Adanne visited Obiajulum in his home. That fateful morn, she broke the news to him, about returning to America. “I am to leave for America very soon. My dad insists.”
  Obiajulum was sad and torn. He didn’t know if to tell her to stay or to make known how he really felt. “Adanne, I love you.” he chose the latter.
  Adanne looked at him, heart beating—and with a sigh escaping her lips, stood up and said, “You cannot be in love with me, Obiajulum. It is not right.”
  Obiajulum stood up to look right into her eyes. “Adanne, tell me you love me too. Tell me you love me so my lips would sing praises and my heart would be merry.”
  Adanne’s heart raced as she feared making eye contact with him. “I can’t.”
  Obiajulum asked, “But why? Am I not fit for her Highness?”
  Adanne opposed. “I am no princess!” she made to walk out on him as Obiajulum called, “Adanne—” he stopped, feeling something cut across his chest like an arrow tip. “Argh!” he cried, falling to the ground as Adanne screamed, alerting neighbours and all who were nearby.

“””Obiajulum”””

  It happened again. I was drawn into my subconscious, with darkness and emptiness becoming the ruler of me, as I laid bare, clamped to the ground.
  I tried to move; I did everything so I could stand and be free again—but with every push came a strong force that held me down, trying to engulf me—to have me ripped from the inside out.
  I was slowly giving up; wanting no more to be the martyr but to be up again, safe and sound. It seemed as though my death was near—or it was—so it seemed.
  I was awaken by a light; one so bright and could light up even the darkest path.
  Amidst the light came a hand, pulling me against my will and sending me to a place I wasn’t expecting to be. “Why am I here? What has brought me to this place?”
  A voice came from whence I knew not. “You are to go back… and fulfill your destiny—” I got flung by an invisible force, awakening to a whole new battle.

↑↑↑↑↑↑↑↓↓↓←PRESENT DAY

  Obiajulum was struck with a terrible fever. All drugs administered gave no positive result.
“My husband,” Ocheole called as they were seated by his side.
Ocheole had insisted that they gave him bed. She didn’t want what happened last time to happen again.
“My husband, are you listening?” she made sure he was before she continued. “I am tired of everything.”
Ozoemena looked at her. “Tired ke?” he sat upright and rubbed his neck. “How can you be tired when you are his mother? Are you not the one who brought him into this world?”
Ocheole sighed. “I am the one, my husband.”
“Then you don’t have to be tired.” Ozoemena told her. “Let’s just hope our son gets better, and the gods preserve him.”
Ocheole nodded and went praying in her heart.
 

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Jessica-Ken
A student of the popular Nnamdi Azikiwe university. A Human Anatomy stud—and a passionate writer, with the hope of one day making the world a better place. ~Authoress Ciara
Articles: 151

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