DOZ Issue 40 February 2019 - Page 38

discovered. He was based in Ughelli, and so I agreed to go with her the following morning to see him and postpone my trip to school until afternoon. This spiritualist was a walking distance from our house and my mother led me through a bush path to get there. I was surprised to see that there were many young girls present and I was certain they were university undergraduates, and possibly from my school, although I didn’t recognise any of them. My mother must have read my thoughts for she proceeded to inform me that lots of girls in higher institutions visited the man for spiritual work, to enable them ‘tie down’ wealthy men so they could get what they wanted from them. She said she’d heard about the man just before our trip to Lagos and had visited him upon her return, and felt sure he would be able to help me further ‘tie’ Emeka. She added that although the ‘prayer’ of the spiritualist in Lagos was working, we could fortify it with more ‘prayers’ from this man. She concluded with a proverb that no one watches the dance of a masquerade standing in one position. I returned to school that afternoon and even before I settled down, I began to look forward to seeing Emeka again and taking him with me to Ughelli to meet my parents. I was really excited as I felt sure that once Emeka met my parents it wouldn’t be long before my bride price was paid. I wondered what would happen next, and if I would continue to live in Nigeria or if like his wife I would live in America. The thought of living in America, the thought of even visiting America, or any country for that matter, filled me with great anticipation, as I had never set foot outside Nigeria. DOZ Magazine | February 2019 I returned to school that afternoon and even before I settled down, I began to look forward to seeing Emeka again and taking him with me to Ughelli to meet my parents. I was really excited as I felt sure that once Emeka met my parents it wouldn’t be long before my bride price was paid The next two weeks were spent in a daydream of what my life would be like as Emeka’s wife, and I couldn’t wait for that life to materialise. The night before I was scheduled to travel to Lagos, I had an unexpected visitor. His name was Alan, and I had met him during his bachelor’s eve party which Emeka hosted over a year ago in Abraka; it was the same party Elsie had invited me to. Alan lived in Abraka although 38 he was always in Warri because he managed Emeka’s office there. I was a little surprised to see him, especially when he mentioned that Chris had sent him to me. I wondered what the issue was that couldn’t wait for me to get to Lagos. Only that morning I had spoken to Emeka and he hadn’t given any indication that he had changed his mind concerning my visit. Also, if he had, he knew how to reach me and didn’t need to get Chris and Alan involved. Alan wasted no time informing me of the reason for his visit. Emeka had been involved in a ghastly motor accident on the Third Mainland Bridge that morning, less than an hour after I spoke to him on the phone. He was killed instantly. As soon as the words left Alan’s mouth, I swooned and fell to the floor. Thankfully, he acted swiftly and caught me before my head hit the ground. I had been alone in my room when he arrived so there was no one to help him, but as he called out, the girls in the room next door came running in and helped revive me. As I came round, I tried to recollect what had happened and why my room was full of people. Before I could make any sense of it all, my eyes fell on Alan’s face, and then I had a recollection. Emeka was dead, I remembered that Alan had come from Warri that evening to break the tragic news to me, and I broke down and wept bitterly. Alan, and the girls who were present, tried to console me, but without luck. I became hysterical, screaming, shouting and throwing myself around. Eventually, with the help of a doctor, who was called in by one of the girls, I was sedated and fell into unconsciousness. ……to be continued in the next issue.