Story By Michael Victor

I was once told that the ones we love and trust don’t deserve it most times but I never for once took these words seriously. I also strongly believed that love doesn’t deserve to be hidden regardless of the situation. However, as I breathe my last, I think love doesn’t deserve to be expressed instead it should be portrayed ironically to what it is meant to be because life care less.

I am a 31-year-old young man living with his mother. My mother was always a motivation to me and inspire me never to give up because better days are ahead. Yet, every single day, I never experienced any proof of the better days ahead.

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My mother works as a washerwoman and moves from house to house to wash people’s clothes so, we can have something on the table. It hasn’t been easy for us since my father died of a stroke. We could not afford the funds to take care of the ailment and that made things very worst for him until he gave up the ghost.

I finished schooling and served in 2018. Since then, I have been in search of work without no results. I began to work in a pure water factory; employed to arrange and keep records of bags of pure water brought from the factory. The job was so stressful and I soon fell sick. When my illness worsen, I was given some time to rest at home then resumed only to find out another person has taken my place. This means only one thing; I have been fired automatically. I had no choice but to go back home and prepare for another adventure of job hunting.

Richard happens to be my only friend, though he is two years older than me and more financially stable. He never for once told me his source of income although I always disturb him to teach me how to fish and not feeding me with fish all the time. I decided to talk to Richard about employing me in his company if he has any. However, Richard laughed at me and told me to come back the next day.

I went home to inform my mom about the discussion I had with Richard but met her vomiting outside. I rushed towards her and gave her some water to wash her mouth from the cup of water beside her then I sprinkled some on her face. Mom’s temperature was very high and I could feel the heat from her body. I took her inside and laid her on the bed. She started smiling at me but I knew the smile was just to make me feel less worried. Instead, I was feeling scared and worried seeing that smile.

“You this boy, you worry and get scared a lot. Can’t you be like your mother”. She said this and giggled. “My next world I want to come to this world as a man so I would be your father and teach you more about strength and tolerance”. She said this again with a smile but deep down me I know this woman is dying slowly.

“Mommy, I swear I will ensure that you are healed. I will make sure that I make enough money to take care of you beyond your expectations” I said almost with teary eyes.

“I trust you my boy and God will help you, my dear”. She said this too almost shedding tears.

“Mommy, I have gone to meet Richard and he asked me to come tomorrow, I know definitely by tomorrow I would have gotten a good job from him and trust me I would never leave you to suffer,” I said with a smile then the stored tears started rolling down.

My mother saw this and burst into laughter. I was surprised to see her laughing.

“Is it because of me you are crying? I have told you to be strong and tolerant. Come on, wipe off the tears dear”, she said this and laughed a little then I did as she said. “Just make sure you don’t do what will make God annoyed and may God make it successful”, She said this then I said Amen.

Shortly a young boy entered came in with some drugs. I figured she has sent him the drugs before my arrival.

The next day I went to meet Richard at his house and he asked me to follow him to his company. When we got to a bungalow not well painted, he stopped the car and I started wondering if he has come to visit someone or if he wants me to manage the house. I decided to remain quiet and not to be too inquisitive. I followed him into the house but was shocked by what I saw.

The room was designed with black and red clothes which extended to the table, chairs, and walls of the four corners of the room, cowries were over the clothes and the shell of a tortoise on the table. I couldn’t keep shut anymore and finally talked.

“Richard don’t tell me what I am thinking is what is happening. Where are we and what are we doing in this place that looks like a shrine?”

“Guy, keep quiet jare. Do you like the fact that you are suffering and always begging me for money? Aren’t you tired of this wretched life? Oga, wise up oo”

Those words struck my mind badly and as I was about to reply to him, a man with grey hair and beards wearing an Ankara crossed with a red cloth came out with an object that looks like a stick wrapped with cowries in his hand.

“Why are you both exchanging words in the oracle’s house? This place is no place for commotion or conflicts. You just have to calm down and wait for the divination of the oracle” the man said in a calm and slow manner.

“Good morning sir, I don’t know what I am doing here. All I know is that my friend here brought me here without any explanation” I said this in annoyance

“Agbidiri” Richard called the name of the man as if he was calling his younger brother. “I don’t like the fact that this my ungrateful and poor friend here is suffering so, for his wretched life to have a turnaround, I decided to bring him here. I want you to make him rich just as you have done for me then he started misbehaving” he said this in a very calm manner that one would think he is so innocent and really wanted to help me.

“You have done well my son but it’s normal for one to feel curious when you didn’t give any explanation before coming here,” The grey-bearded man said this and looked at me then consulted his so-called oracle, rendering his incantations.
“My son, what’s your name?” He asked me pointing at me and going down lowly.

“Sir, say what you want to say and let me take my leave, in fact, I don’t even know why I want to listen”.

As I was about to stand up to take my leave the grey-bearded man said something that drew my attention back to him.

“Congratulations my son, the oracles are ready to help you out with an option that is very easy”. I sat down and said nothing after hearing this. “You will become rich even richer than your friend here if only you can get your mother’s left hand and left leg,” he said smiling like someone that has won a Visa lottery.

“God Punish you and your oracles,” I said leaving the room with an angry face and slamming the door so hard.

I woke up around 10 am only to find my sick mother shaking viciously. I jumped up and try to examine her.

“Mommy, what’s wrong,” I asked worryingly and adjusted her body to my side but she said nothing. I was so scared and confused about what to do. I had no funds with me. “Should I go to Richard, what will he do if he sees me again?” I said this within me. “Ahh, my mother must not die, I have no choice but to meet him,” I concluded. I decided to get her food to eat then I got her drugs. She slept while I set off to see Richard.

I got to Richard’s house and met him sitting in his compound.

“Victor, I was about to call you to apologize for yesterday sef…”

“Brother, please forget about that one because I have forgiven you. I love you and trust you beyond what happened yesterday. Brother please I need your help my mother is…”, I cut in

He also cut in before I continued “Victor, please give me some moments” He went inside and came back after one hour. I was so worried because my mom was alone at home and anything could have happened to her because she is sick and can’t walk. Richard came out with an envelope and presented it to me.

“Victor, I am very sorry I took your time. I was talking to someone about a business overseas. The envelope contains 200 000 naira. Start up something with it then maybe later we will discuss how to develop you in your business”.

I was so happy that I almost prostrated before him.

I went home very happy as I can make my mother better again and I will have a way to earn more money.
I got to the house and went inside but met my mother in a pool of blood. My mother’s left hand and leg have been amputated. The other part of her body was badly injured as she might have tried to defend herself from the predators. Mom could not say anything, her eyes were wide open and she was breathing so fast. My legs became so weak that my eyes were overfilled with tears immediately.

“Ahhhhhhhhhhh!!!” I shouted with tears rolling from my eyes. I ran immediately to her only for me to see tears rolling from her eyes and her body shaking aggressively. “Mommy, who did this to you” I was so confused that couldn’t know what to do next. My mom couldn’t say anything then she gave up the ghost with her hand becoming heavy.

“No!!!!” I shouted so hard that my voice was already fading. My eyes were filled with tears. My promises were automatically aborted.

That same day, my mother was taken to the mortuary. I took alongside me the police to go the grey-bearded man’s house because I knew only Richard was aware of the left and right hands of my mom’s issue. When we got to the grey-bearded man’s house, he was interrogated and he said “Richard has not been here since we left.

I never believed this, we however decided to go to Richard’s house with the grey-bearded man but met his gate locked with padlock.

“My life! I am finished!!” I said this with tears rolling from my eyes.


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