Sharon was having a
rough morning, her parents were screaming at each other and she was seated on
one of the worn cushions of the sitting room, waiting for them to stop fighting
so that she could ask them for pocket money for camp. The French camp starts
today and the pick-up point was school and while she didn’t want to be late, she
really needed pocket money to go.

“I will not let you
speak to me this way! I have been through a lot, for you and for your
godforsaken family! What else do you want from me? What else?” Sharon’s mother
screamed at her father.
“You are going to bathe
at that river whether you like it or not. My mother consulted the oracles and
they say that the fault is from you.” Her husband thundered.
“If the fault is from
me, why don’t you go ahead and get children elsewhere? I am tired of all this.
Do you think I’m not affected too? Just last week I had another miscarriage at
the middle of the night. Nine babies! Nine foetuses have graced this womb and
all of them slipped out just like that!” His wife cried.
“This is the last
option, our last chance…do not blow it because you refuse to bow to other
gods, since God is delaying answering our prayers, let’s take this route. I’ll
bathe too because of my financial struggles, we used to be well to do before. I
used to work with a good oil company while you used to work at the bank, all of
a sudden, twelve years ago, things took a bad turn and look at us. We are holed
up in a miserable house, we can barely feed not to talk of provide for the only
child God gave us. We need cleansing, spiritual cleaning and I want us to size
this chance to journey to Akwa-Ibom for this spiritual exercise as Sharon is
going away to camp.” Her father said to her mother.
“No…my spirit doesn’t
want it….I don’t want to be cleansed by any kind of water spirit.” Her mother
protested.
“Please, my love, for
me…I am begging you…let’s end this strife once and for all…” Her husband
said calmly.
Sharon’s mother looked
at her husband and after a while, she nodded.
“When do we leave?”
“Thank you…oh thank
you…we leave this morning….” He said.
“Let’s make it
tomorrow…I haven’t packed anything yet.” His wife said.
“Don’t bother…I’ll do
the packing.” Her husband reassured.
Sharon, who was still
seated, stood up and stretched out her hand before her parents to signify that
she needed money.
“Oh…I am sorry
dear…” Her father said checking his tattered shirt for some change in his
pocket, he brought out two hundred naira and handed it to her.
“It’s not going to be
enough dad…I’ll be there for thirty-five days.” She supplied.
“They are expected to
feed you aren’t they? You might end up not needing the money…” He said.
Her mother quickly
brought out her worn purse and handed her five hundred naira.
“Here’s a chunk of my
savings, have this just incase you need to get anything.” Her mother said.
“Thank you…” Sharon
said and picking up her bags, she left the house.
“Have fun at the camp
dear…” Her father said.
Sharon snorted in
response.
********
Amanda alighted from the
huge coaster bus that the tutors had been provided and stared at the place she
was going to stay for thirty-five days. She stood beside the bus and waited for
the driver’s assistant to bring down her bags from the bus. Once her bag was
handed over to her, she made her way down to the large building at the front
which had an inscription which read, entrance. The place they were to spend the
thirty five days was so beautiful and adorned with flowers.
She had just stepped her
feet into the entrance when someone knocked her over and she fell to the
ground, Amanda blinked as she tried to recollect herself.
“Oh my God, I am so
sorry…I was in a hurry…oh drat! I shouldn’t have jumped out the way I did.”
The man who had just knocked her down said.
Amanda started laughing,
she dusted her palms by clapping them together and tried standing up with the
man’s assistance.
“What’s funny?” He asked,
confused at her amusement.
“I…I’m sorry…I don’t
get knocked over easily…I was laughing because I…feel that I was knocked
over because my stomach is empty….hahahahahaha…” She laughed.
Ben smiled, he couldn’t
believe that he had just knocked over a pretty woman and instead of yell at
him, she was laughing at herself. He had arrived the camp two hours earlier and
had spent the whole time, taking care of the electrical works alongside
Ayomide’s crew. He had realized that his team had forgotten some documents in
the bus that had brought them, so he decided go to the bus to retrieve it when
he knocked down a lady who was entering the reception.
“I am really sorry…let
me help you get your bags.” He said as he carried her duffel bag.
“Thanks ….don’t worry
about that…you must really be in a hurry.” She said taking the bag from him
and smiling.
“My name is
Ben…Benjamin Okwo…” He said.
“I am Amanda
Ebiere….are you related to the basket ball player, Tessy?” She asked.
“Yes…she’s my little
sister.”
“Wow…I’m a big fan…I
never miss a game.” She said.
Ben smiled at her,
Amanda reminded him of a warm soul trapped in a beautiful body, she was really
cool.
“Could you wait for me
while I bring in some documents my team forgot in the bus? I’d like to lead you
to your lodge myself, at least to say I’m sorry for knocking you down.”
“Well…if that would
make you feel better….okay…” She said.
“Would you like to
accompany me to the bus?” He asked.
“Sure…this place is so
beautiful and I love being outdoors.” She said she stepped into a stride with
him.
“What department are you
working under?” He asked.
“I am one of the
tutors…” She said.
“Wow! You speak French?
That’s nice! Very nice!” He said.
“Thank you…so what’s
your job here…”
“I’m actually
perching…my bosom friend’s company is taking care of operations and I’m
stepping in…” He said.
“Wow…very nice…” She
said as she admired the grounds. “Where is this place? I’ve never been
somewhere so beautiful in my life…” She said.
“This is actually a
resort, it was err…hired for this purpose…you haven’t even seen the waters
yet…it’s so beautiful.” He said.
“Really?” She said in awe.
“It has a beach just around the corner.”
“Wow…I’m so excited to
see it…” She said.
“Sure…I’ll take you
there sometime, it’s not hard to find…” He smiled.
They got to the bus, Ben
took the files he needed and they both walked back together. The buses with the
students quickly drove into the compound
“The students are here!”
Amanda said in so much excitement.
Ben looked at her and
smiled.
“Your facial expression
shows that you love what you do…” He said.
“I love children and
teenagers a lot, I can’t wait to bond with them…” She said excitedly.
“That’s nice…I look
forward to joining your French class too…I hope I’m invited.”
“Sure…you are…” She
laughed.
They both walked into
the reception together.
**********
It was night and Amanda
had been so excited about everything that she couldn’t sleep. Her eyes were as
bright as the moonlight as she quickly knelt before her bed and said a quick
prayer of thanks. Her phone rang and she quickly picked the call, it was her
pastor.
“Hello camper, enjoying
your first day at camp?” Her pastor asked.
“Pastor Shola, this
place is a dream come true…I am so blessed to be here…” Amanda said to her.
“I am glad that you did
the twenty one days fast with the church, when my father said we all should…”
She said to Amanda.
“Yes oooo…I keyed into
the blessings of the breakthrough night and here I am…” Amanda smiled.
“I’d like you to
remember that your presence at the camp is a divine calling, God wants you draw
souls for him and also touch people.”
“I am aware of that
pastor and I’ll do my best to make it happen…” Amanda said.
“I’ll leave you to sleep
now…goodnight dear.”
“Goodnight pastor Shola,
pray for me…” Amanda said and hung up.
She looked around at her
luxurious room and smiled again, then an idea occurred to her and she quickly
stood up from her bed and headed to the door, wearing her slippers she opened
her room, locked it from outside and hurried downstairs. She wanted to see the
beach that Ben had spoken about. She reached the reception and saw one of the
workers and asked.
“Hello dear, how can I
get to the beach?” She asked.
“Once you leave the
entrance, take your first turn to your left and walk straight ahead. Please don’t
go past the bolder because the waves get nastier at nights.” The worker said to
her.
“Sure…thank you.”
Amanda said and hurried off.
She followed the
directions of the worker and as she walked down the cobbled paths, she felt the
breeze get stronger, she wanted to go back and get her sweater but something
propelled her forward. Classes were beginning tomorrow and she didn’t want to
take that chance of going back to get her sweater and perhaps deciding not to
come back. She walked towards the beach and thought of her first lesson with
the kids tomorrow, ‘I’ll start by teaching them my favourite song in French’
she said to herself.
She walked out to a
large clearing and saw the beach ahead, smiling she saw the sign ‘Bolder’ at
the distance. As she walked further she looked up to see a male form take sure
strides towards the beach.
“Hey! We are not
supposed to cross the bolder!” She shouted out.
The man didn’t respond,
he was far from the bolder and heading towards the beach.
“Hello! Hey! The waves
could be dangerous!” Amanda called out.
The man didn’t stop, he
kept walking forward as though one in a trance, despite the warning that the
worker had given her, Amanda hurried past the bolder and even with her feet
sinking into the sand, she kept calling out to him and hurrying to meet him.
The man stopped very
close to the sea and kept looking at the waves, Amanda reached him and said.
“Sir…we are not supposed
to walk past the bolder…”
The man turned to look
at her briefly and Amanda froze, it was Ben.
“Ben? Ben! We are not
supposed to walk past the bolder…” She said.
Ben didn’t respond, he
moved his feet closer towards the water but stopped short and ignoring her
completely, he turned back and headed towards the lodge. Amanda was stunned at
his countenance, she shrugged her shoulders and followed him back to the lodge,
when they got back, he headed towards his room while she headed towards hers.

She couldn’t explain
what had just happened.

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