THE MAN FOR THE SWORD
written by Nnenne uju Izuanagbara.
OSCAR SLAMMED THE DOOR WHEN HE SAW OBI.
-Nwanne Please open. I’m sorry about how i sounded yesterday. I never meant any of them. Please open let’s talk. Please.
OSCAR OPENED THE DOOR.
-Thank you. obi replied as he sat.
-so what brings you?
-Nwanne, i am very much interested in that deal.
-haaaaaa, ezedinobi, are you ok? were you not the one running your mouth yesterday, calling me names?
-i didn’t mean them eziokwu. I didn’t. It’s because of my younger brother NNADOZIE. How can i agree to such in his presense. I don’t want such for my brother. let me do the deal. Oscar we have suffered. our family have suffered. We are the poorest in umuedi. I will do anything that does not involve shedding blood. Even if it is yahoo yahoo, i am ready. Since this week we haven’t fed well. NNADOZIE and I are saving money to go back to the city we left CHUKWUDI and CHINONSO behind. We don’t even know how they are fairing. There are no phones to communicate. Please nwannem connect me.
-hmmmm, it’s ok. I will help you. Please excuse me.
OSCAR WENT IN AND CAME OUT WITH A FORM.
-This is our form, you will fill it.
-ok, replied obi as he collected. can i fill it here?
-sure, why not?
-please help me with pen.
OBI WAS FILLING THE FORM WHEN SOMEONE KNOCKED AT THE DOOR.
-who’s there? oscar asked.
-oscar it’s me ooo,Nnadozie.
OBI WAS SHOCKED. HE GOT UP.
-chim ooo. what’s this boy doing here? please i don’t want him to know i am here. please.
-ha, ok, go inside. go with your form.
OSCAR OPENED THE DOOR.
-good afternoon, Nnadozie greeted.
-good afternoon Nnadozie, what are you doing here?
NNADOZIE WENT ON HIS KNEES.
-please, i want to join.
-your connect group please. (he started crying) we are suffering in my family. poverty has finished me and my brothers. We have done everything, nothing is moving. please help me. Even if it’s feeding money. I don’t know when last we ate three square meals. please help me.
-hmmm, Nna, get up . sit down.
-The way your brother spoke to me, i’m not sure……
-oscar forget my brother. I know he is trying to be good. He doesn’t want to disappoint papa. I want to take the risk. I want to stick out my head. This poverty must end in my family. It must stop. Please help me.
-ok, emmm, come back tomorrow. I will help you out.
-Thank you so much. Thank you. please don’t tell my brother. please.
HE LEFT. OBI CAME OUT OF HIS HIDDING PLACE.
-Oscar, please don’t mind him o. Don’t register him.
-Bros to me, there is nothing there o. He wants to….
-OSCAR!!! Obi shouted. don’t register Nnadozie. I swear by dubem’s grave, if you register him, i will kill you.
-it’s ok bro. haba, calm down. Nawa o. oya fill your form fast. Tomorrow, i will take you to our club in owerri. please be here by 5pm .
THE NEXT DAY , IN THE AFTERNOON, NNADOZIE SURFACED.
-i said i can’t help you. your brother will kill me. I don’t want trouble please.
NNADOZIE WENT ON HIS KNEES AGAIN.
-oscar, oscar biko nu. how will he know? i won’t tell him and you won’t tell him either. please help me. Have mercy on me and my family. please. (he cried)
-ok. hmmmm, stand up. you will fill a form. come Tomorrow. The form is not here with me.
-ok. please oscar, don’t disappoint me this time. please.
OBI FOLLOWED OSCAR TO HIS CLUB. THE PLACE LOOKS LIKE HEAVEN ON EARTH. THE COMPOUND IS LARGE. EXOTIC CARS PARKED EVERYWHERE. OBI COULD NOT HELP BUT LOOK AROUND. HE WAS WOWED WITH WHAT HE SAW. OBI IS A HANDSOME , LIGHT SKINNED GUY. ALL EYES ON HIM. PEOPLE HAILED OSCAR AS HE WALKED INTO THE CLUB. HE TOOK OBI TO THEIR “GOVERNOR”.
-what’s your name? the GOVERNOR asked.
-my name.is ezedinobi but friends call me obi.
-ok. i will call you Eze. you are now a king. you are the kind of. brand we want. you have the looks, the height, your body is just it. where is your form?
OBI HANDED OVER THE FORM.
-Are you ready? because you will be tested.
-yes sir, i’m ready.
-ok. go this way…knock on room 32. your first ASSIGNMENT is waiting for you. Deliver well, she is giving 50,000 for each round. Goodluck.
OBI’S MIND WAS SWOLLEN WITH SO MUCH JOY….
-haaaaa, 50k for one round. hahahahahahaha,five will now be 250,000. chai..see cool money.
HE GOT TO THE DOOR AND KNOCKED. THE WOMAN BECKONED ON HIM TO COME IN. OBI OPENED THE DOOR. WHO HE SAW SHOCKED HIM. A WOMAN OLD ENOUGH TO BE HIS MOTHER.
-come in handsome she said smiling.
OBI STOOD SPEECHLESS.
A JOURNEY HAS JUST BEGUN.
MAN FOR THE SWORD.
THE OLD WOMAN BECKONED ON OBI TO COME TO HER. HE WAS REALLY RELUCTANT BECAUSE WHAT HE SAW WASN’T APPEALING. SHE BROUGHT OUT NEW NOTES OF ONE THOUSAND NAIRA AND DROPPED ON THE BED. SIGHTING THE MONEY, OBI DIVED INTO ACTION.
OBI’S ESCAPADE RAN FOR FIVE HOURS. EVERY HOUR EQUALS ONE HUNDRED THOUSAND NAIRA. AFTER THE SHOW, THE WOMAN PAID HIM FIVE HUNDRED THOUSAND. OBI’S EXCITMENT KNEW NO BOUND. HE STEPPED OUT OF THE ROOM, BOUNCING LIKE A BIG MAN, WHEN TWO GUYS SURFACED.
-hey! one of them shouted. my friend, stop there.
-what is it? obi replied. can i help you?
-see this one o, my friend pay your dues. one of the men replied.
-which dues? obi asked. i don’t Understand what you mean by dues please.
-o’boy pay your dues if you don’t want to die here o.
OBI ALMOST PIED ON HIMSELF WHEN HE HEARD THE WORD “KILL”
-please, dues for what?
-for entrance replied one of the guys. is like you are freshie. Once you step out of your business, you pay entrance dues. Do quick..We no dey waste time here. We no dey waste time here.
-ok, so how much is it?
-FIFTY Thousand Naira.
-what??? for what?
– oga don’t joke with me us o. pay your dues.
-This is crazy.
THE MEN BROUGHT OUT DAGGER. OBI QUICKLY STARTED COUNTING OUT FIFTY THOUSAND NAIRA AND HANDED OVER TO THE MEN. THEY LEFT.
OBI GOT TO THE LOUNGE. CHAIRMAN STOPPED HIM.
-o boy, pay your dues.
-haaaa!!! obi shouted. which dues again. I have paid na.
-paid what? my friend drop chairman’s commission on this table if you don’t want to die.
OBI BECAME UNCOMFORTABLE.
-how much ? he stammered.
-two hundred thousand Naira.
-For what? no for what? this is wickedness. two hundred thousand for what? This is my five hours of intense labour. So you will now receive two hundred thousand for nothing. I will not. what kind of thing is this. I will not give you a dime.
HE HASN’T FINISHED TALKING WHEN BOYS GATHERED HIM. THEY GAVE HIM THE BEATING OF HIS LIFE. THEY MADE AWAY WITH THE WHOLE MONEY AND SENT HIM OUT OF THE BUILDING. OBI CRIED.
-hey chineke (hey God)my money. All my money. My money. what is this now ooooooo God. How do i go back to the village? what do i do? where is oscar? oscar where are you?
OSCAR DISAPPEARED INTO THIN AIR. OBI WAS STRANDED IN OWERRI. HE WALKED ALONG THE ROAD, NOT KNOWING THE NEXT STEP TO TAKE. HE CAN’T GO BACK TO THE VILLAGE BECAUSE HE HAD NO DIME ON HIM. HE HAS NOWHERE TO STAY IN OWERRI. HE APPROACHED A BEER PALOUR AND SAT DOWN THERE. HE REQUESTED FOR A BOTTLE OF BEER. HE INSTRUCTED THE WAITER NOT TO OPEN, HE WILL OPEN IT WHEN HE IS READY.
EVERYONE HAD GONE HOME. OBI SAT WITH HIS UNOPENED DRINK. THE WAITER APPROACHED HIM.
Shared on whatsapp by Martino .
-oga, you never dey go? you no even drink. which kain thing be this na. Abeg, you go pay o BECAUSE ah don serve you already o.
OBI WENT ON HIS KNEES.
-my sister please, i PURPOSELY did not open the drink BECAUSE i know i don’t have money to pay. I only need shelter over my head. I will be sleeping in the kitchen or anywhere. Please i dont have money to go back to the village.
-hmmm the lady sighed .go see my madam.
OBI WENT TO THE MADAM OF THE BAR. SHE ACCOMMODATED HIM. HIS DUTY IS THE MAN POWER WORK. HE HOPED TO SAVE MONEY AND BRING HIS BROTHERS TO OWERRI. TWO WERE LEFT BEHIND IN LAGOS, ONE IS IN THE VILLAGE. AFTER HIS WORK THAT NIGHT. MADAM CALLED HIM.
-madam, he answered.
-sit down. E get as my body dey do me since wey ah see you o.
-how ma? i don’t Understand.
SHE SMILED AT HIM.
-you sabi do? the woman asked
-do what madam?
-why you dey do like small pikinnaaaaaa. See, you no go suffer. You no go lack. I will give you anything you want. Me, i no get time for man. but as i see you, i just like you. Please be my lover.
OBI AND MADAM REDBULL STARTED DATING. MADAM REDBULL HELD OBI DOWN SO MUCH THAT HE FORGOT HOME. NNADOZIE AND HIS PARENTS KEPT LOOKING FOR EZEDINOBI. NO ONE KNEW HIS WERE ABOUT. THIS IS HAPPENING SIX MONTHS AFTER LOOSING DUBEM.
SUFFERING INCREASED. NNADOZIE JOINED THE BAD BOYS IN THE VILLAGE. HE BECAME AN ARMED ROBBER.
TO BE CONTINUED.