Aunt Scholastica postponed her trip to Lagos to the next day because she was
hell-bent on seeing Madu’s paternal uncle who had ripped him off all his father
had left for him. Thankfully, as soon as she hung up the phone, Julius arrived
with an apologetic look on his face, he had been held on the way because a
trailer had fallen on the road. Scholastica asked him to take her to the next
village to her late sister’s husband’s place and he obliged. When she got there, she stared
once again at the mansion that Madu’s father had erected. She sighed and shaking her head, she walked over to the second house belonging to Ironsi and knocked. Julius promised to
wait for her and he parked his motor bike by the side of the gate. The gate was opened for her and she walked into the house with a firm determination on her face. A young man
answered the door.
“Good afternoon ma.” He greeted.

“I’m here to see Ironsi. Where is he?” She spat.
“Are you madam Scholastica?” He asked.
“In flesh and blood.” She answered.
“My name is Emenike and I’m the one who called you.” He said
opening the door wider for her.
“Where’s that thieving father of yours?” Scholastica
screamed.
Emenike was startled at the anger in her voice, he closed the
door behind them and led her upstairs and opened the door to a large room.
“He’s in there…” Emenike said.
Scholastica stared at the young man and peered into the room
he was leading her into and shook her head vehemently.
“The room is dark. I can’t go in there.” She said sounding a
little nervous.
“My father is in there, due to his health conditions, he
really doesn’t like a lot of light.” He said.
“Are you sure this is not a ploy?” She asked.
“A ploy?” He asked sounding puzzled.
“Scholastica…” A weak voice called her name.
She looked into the room and saw a figure lying on a massive
bed.
“Scholastica…it’s me Ironsi…please come…I want to talk
to you.” The frail voice said with so much difficulty.
Scholastica walked into the room and edged towards the huge
bed. What she saw threw her mouth open. Ironsi, her late sister’s brother
in-law was lying on the bed but his body was withered and it was as though
scales were falling from his skin.
“Ironsi! I don’t believe it!” Scholastica said in shock.
The man opened his eyes and looked at her, he wasn’t more
than seventy years of age but he looked well over one hundred and fifty.
“I can’t believe my eyes.” She asked. “What happened to you?
What kind of ailment is this? It’s like you’re decaying and you’re not even dead yet.”
“Hmmm….please sit down…” He said to her.
She didn’t protest but pulled up the chair beside the bed
closer to her and stared at him.
“Do you see that even with all the money in the world, no
one can really buy good health of mind and body?” He said with so much difficulty.
Scholastica wanted to feel pity for him but when she
remembered how he and his brothers had sent their brother’s only child out of
the house and seized his inheritance, leaving him to live in squalor, she
swallowed her pity.
“God never forgets.” Scholastica said to him.
He looked at her, his eyes were dark red and had blood
cloths around them and he nodded.
“Yes, God never forgets.” He echoed.
“What of your brothers, Luke and Ignatius?” She asked.
“They’re both dead.” He said.
Scholastica gasped in shock, she couldn’t believe her ears.
“Ewwwoooo!” She exclaimed.
“The reason I called you here.” He said and groaned aloud
painfully. “Is to tell you that I have wronged my brother’s son, Madu. My
brothers and I took everything his parents left behind and built our wealth on
it. Today, we are worth so much and all thanks to our brother’s business
which rightfully belongs to Madu. My two brothers suffered this same illness
that I’m suffering now, before they died and we’ve discovered that the illness
is not the ordinary type. We are getting justice for what was done to Madu more
than twenty years ago. This is karma.”
Scholastica stared at him, she was still startled at the
state he was in and she wondered at such pain he must be going through.
“I have been told by wise people, seers, prophets, and in fact, by my conscience that if I do not hand over what belongs to Madu to him, our
children will continue to die mysteriously by this illness till our whole
generation is wiped out. To prove it, Ignatius’s first son and daughter died
last year, two months apart. I feel bad that it had to get to this for me to
admit my mistakes and those of my brothers that’s why I have called you here to
please beg my son, Madu, for forgiveness. Tell him that we’re giving him back
his father’s lands, houses and the wine company too. Tell him that we’ll give
him everything he deserves and so much more if only he forgives us and accepts
our peace offering.”
Scholastica stared at Ironsi and shook her head.
“How selfish of you! How can you ask for pardon after many
years of suffering? Do you know how much Madu has suffered? Do you know that I
single handedly trained him in school? When your children were busy enjoying
the luxuries of life, he was suffering, when they were flying from country to country,
Madu was trekking to save cost of transportation. Mba! Forgiveness is out of
the question. Just give him all that’s rightfully his and let him be.”
“I am begging you…please…I have seen hell on this earth
and it’s terrible and I don’t want a repetition of that in the after-life.
Please…have mercy…please.”
Scholastica turned away from him and folded her arms under
her breasts. She was very upset and all she wanted to do was get up and leave
this house.
“Well…I am not the one to forgive but Madu and he’s not in
village.” She said.
“I have not much time left…can you tell him to come?” He pleaded.
“Ha! I was even on my way to Lagos when you called me but I
had to change plans because of the urgency of your son’s voice. “Well, I don’t
think he’d like to come and even if I beg him to.” She said.
The old man looked as though he was on the verge of tears so
she quickly said.
“I’ll call him right away and place the call on speaker
phone so that I can ask him.” She said.
******************
Stella listened to her sister, chit chat about Rhoda’s place
and smiled, she was happy that her sister was happy and that most of all, she
didn’t realise that something was wrong with her life.
“This house is really large….” Her sister noticed, staring
at the house Stella shared with Duncan.
“Yes it is…” Stella said.
“Whose house is it and how come I only get to see you here?
Why can’t you come to Rhoda’s place and what of your husband and my niece?”
“You ask so many questions.” Stella said sipping her glass
of juice. “Well, like I said to you earlier on the phone…I am on a long and
intensive training and we’re not allowed to go home at all for any reason
because it’s a rigorous training. This is the place
that I stay when I’m out of training for a few days.”
Her sister nodded in understanding.
“But it doesn’t make sense…since you’re a married woman
and you have a family at home.”
“Don’t worry about that. Madu also travelled and
errm…Kamsi went with him.” Stella lied.
Her sister nodded as she tried to understand her but she couldn’t
understand all Stella’s explanations. She stood up instead and said.
“Since this is the house your office provided for your stay
during training intervals, I can as well explore.” Her sister said as she
walked towards the dinning area.
Stella raced after her like a nervous catfish.
“Do you know that aunt Rhoda has this cool boyfriend? As in,
the guy buys her the latest gadgets and stuff.” Her sister said.
Stella was surprised, Rhoda hadn’t told her about any man in
her life.
“Really?”
“Didn’t she tell you?” Her sister asked .
“Yes she did…” Stella lied quickly.
Her sister walked up to the large painting of Duncan at the
wall and gasped.
“Is this man in your company too?” She asked. “Is that why his portrait is on the wall?”
“Yes, he is…he’s actually our GM.” Stella said.
“Wooow…aunt Rhoda has good taste…”
Stella was taken aback by her sister’s response.
“What do you mean? Why do you say that?” Stella asked.
“That’s aunt Rhoda’s boyfriend, the one that I told you that
buys her a lot of stuff.” Her sister supplied.
The weight of her sister’s words fell on Stella’s shoulders
and spun her around and she fell to the ground in a heap.
“Sister!”
Her sister rushed to her and began fanning her back to
consciousness and after a short while, her eyes opened.
“Sister, are you alright?” Stella’s sister asked.
“Can you please go?” Stella said struggling to sit up.
“What…why?” Her sister asked innocently.
“Please go back to Rhoda’s place…and please don’t mention
anything to her about this.” She said.
“Did I say anything wrong?” Stella’s sister asked with tears
in her eyes.
“No, you didn’t…but please go…I promise I’ll call you
soon and get you another place to stay…”
“But I like aunt Rhoda’s place…she lets me have as many
goodies from her fridge as I want.”
“Listen to me!” Stella said quite stiffly. “Go back to Rhoda’s
and do not repeat a word of what happened here or what you said to me.”
Stella’s sister nodded and got up to go. As soon as her
sister left, Stella let out heart retching sobs.
“Rhoda! How…come? Rhoda…you betrayed me…you stabbed me at
the back…Rhoda…” She cried.
***************
Cherry walked out of her room beautifully dressed that no
one would imagine that she’d just lost her fiancé.
“Where are you off to?” Her mother asked, looking up at her.
“Is everything alright?”
“I’m fine mom…I just need to patch things up with an old
friend.” She said with a smile.
Her brother looked at her as though she had gone crazy.
“Darling, I know that with everything happening right now,
you are heartbroken, torn and distressed and it’s okay to feel like that.” Her
mother said soothingly.
“No mom, I’m fine…I’ve never felt better.” Cherry said.
“Are you sure?” Her mother asked again.
“Yes I am mom…I’ll be right back.” Cherry said as she left
the house and shut the door behind her.
Cherry’s mother exchanged looks with her son.
“Do you think she’s gone…” She started.
“Mad?” Her son finished her sentence. “Yea…I think some
screws came undone because no one in their right mind dresses up gorgeously barely
twenty four hours after loosing a fiancé and leaves the house in a bid to patch
up things with old friends.”
Cherry’s mother placed her face into her palms and sighed.
****************
Madu was almost loosing it, he was still pacing his room and
thinking of a solution and of ways to get his daughter back when his phone
rang. It was his aunt Scholastica.
“Not now auntie!” He said through grit teeth. “Not now!”
The phone rang continuously but he didn’t pick, he mind was
centred on his daughter.
To be continued next week….
Did you miss the last episodes, catch up
here>>>

4 COMMENTS

  1. Ada I can't get tired of telling you how awesome you are at writing.
    But please let nothing happen to Kamsi or Madu, they are so innocent in all this. If not for Stella's greed, they were happy. Stella can eat shit for all I care.

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