Lost But Satisfied - Episode 17

The Son of His Father

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On the 28th of December, the noise of banger should be disturbing the peace of the area but the house they were staying was deep in the bush.

Jerry was tired of the house, so he decided to sightsee the area. To go out, one must go through a small hole Pastor Matthew called the entrance. There was a big gate at the main entrance, but he preferred to leave it locked and covered in bushes. Doing that gave him an unusual assurance.

Jerry trekked deep into the forest, appreciating the scope of it . The place was filled with very tall trees; making Jerry wonder how Pastor Matthew even got the place they were hiding in.

 He was about to return to the house when he noticed that a small path led into the forest. Perhaps, he would meet a lady and they would fall in love and get married in the forest like some romance movies portray. He was still amusing himself with this thought when he saw a very tall thick wall ahead.

That was surprising. There wasn't any reason for putting up a wall in such place except there was something fishy happening there. What even made the wall look anomalous was that it was in the forest. As much as he knew it wasn't his business, he couldn't let such revelation slip by.

Without wasting any time, he climbed a tree. Thrice, he slipped, breaking fragile limbs but he kept climbing and was sure that he would see something amazing

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. When he got to the top and looked at the left, he saw that the wall stopped at a point that showed it was still in construction. He looked at the right and discovered the wall was coming from a very far place.

But how come people haven’t seen the wall?

 He would have regarded the place as a base for training or something near that, but the wall caved out and caved in for those on the side Jerry stood. Also, the wall was made in two ways- a little part of the wall was covering a river that was at the back of the wall, while the other part looked as if it would be used to surround the whole city.

 Jerry decided to go to the left side of the wall for him to see the other side of the wall. So, he began to navigate through the forest and missed road twice; yet, his curiosity got the best of him.

However, when the road kept spiralling into new ones, he became frustrated and decided to turn back. That was when he heard the quivering voice of an old man.

‘Chief', the voice said and went off for a long pause. Then, it resumed again. 'I don’t know where the boy is but the Oracle will know’.

‘Then, you need not give me too much talk. Consult, the oracle again. It said the boy would return to Brown Valley three days ago. Yet, there's been no news of him. Even if he was as small as a needle, my boys would find him. F.A.LT would definitely find him'.

 Jerry was surprised that he was near a herbalist’s house but he decided to return to their hiding place. One was better without some knowledge than to be swallowed in the maze of trouble. Then, he decided to give himself another landmark; he would get to the end of the herbalist's house and see where the wall led to. So, he moved nearer to the house and saw that just by the side of the herbalist's house, there was a small door frame that led out of the wall.

Jerry peeped through the door and was astounded by the sight of water. Seeing the purity of the water alone warmed his heart. At a closer look, he discovered machines pumping water into the river.

'Madness', he muttered.

The next thing to do there was to make landmarks and find the herbalist's house again because he and Pastor Matthew had had to manage the little water they got at a very expensive rate. There was a scarcity of water. To worsen their case, when they tried to get bags of sachet water, it was sold at the price of 500 naira per bag and the content of the sachet water tasted as if they weren't purified.

 Jerry turned towards the house and tiptoed to get a clearer view, to stick it to his memory.

‘The oracle said… Impossible’.

‘What's that, Baba?’ A husky voice asked.

‘Oracle said that the boy is at the back of my house. Impossible’.

‘Which house’, the man with the husky voice said.

Jerry looked at the house. Chairs screeched within the house

‘Wait….’ Jerry said as he looked about him.’ I’m at the back of the house’.

 He was the only person at the back of the house. Jerry decided to leave the place before their oracle picked him as someone else. Feet scuffled towards the door. He ran away. Suddenly, the door opened as if men crashed into it.

A fat man who was putting on a grey Agbada rushed out of the house and was followed by a young fair lady, a hefty guy, and an old man, who kept chewing something, whose face exuded joy.

‘Baba, the oracle is not lying’, the lady said in disbelieve, turning to the old man coming out.

'How will my oracle lie?' He said and gnashed his teeth. By this time, Jerry knew he had to increase his pace.

            ***

When she got to a good spot to hide, Jessica hid well. Her father had been taking his foolish secretary, Chioma, everywhere he went as if she was his daughter, neglecting her ever since he heard the news about Bidemi. She also, the foolish secretary, wouldn’t stop hanging around her father like a chain and this made Jessica feel like maiming her.

After Jessica had returned from her little sickness, her father had stopped seeking her advice on things; rather, he listened more to this foolish girl and would even choose the secretary’s advice over hers whenever he ventured to ask her for advice.

Jessica longed for an opportunity to get hold of the foolish girl’s neck to wriggle and squeezed the life out it, to make her know one doesn't distance fathers from their daughters.

When they got to the forest, she had to stop her car somewhere her father and his secretary wouldn’t see her, and followed their car on feet, running when necessary. Luckily for her, the road was rough and rickety. It gave her the chance to catch up with them easily.

 When she got to the back of the house, she saw someone, looking at something so she ran back. She had seen this figure before. He must be one of the assassins her father was training.

Jessica bit her lower lip. Why had she suddenly become forgetful after the event of fainting because of Bidemi’s death?

 She tried to go out to peep again, her hand clutching her equipment bag. Rachael had trained them to never leave their equipment bag in the car or in the house for any reason; in fact, she killed one of the assassins to prove this point when he forgot his equipment bag in his car.

The man that was looking at the wall turned. And the door opened. She clutched her mouth to prevent herself from screaming. Her fingernails dug into the walls as she saw who the person was. What was he doing there? How did he get to the back of whatever house it was that her father was in? How did Bidemi get here? Oh, God!

 Then that foolish secretary said something but Jessica wasn't in the mood to hear what the foolish girl would say.

Bidemi suddenly turned as if he was controlled by remote control and ran wildly into the forest, making her hold her breath until she was sure anybody that followed him wouldn’t easily catch up with him.

               ***

 Chioma, the secretary, felt like running to Bidemi to hug him there and kiss him, stare at him for a while and kiss him again and again. That moment, memories of their first meeting flooded back.

Those times, she allowed her pride to overrule her desire. She refused to talk to him. However, when she began to talk to him, she pushed him so hard for a relationship, which he declined saying he was married and had a kid.

She later forced herself on him; she drugged his drink on a get-together and almost had her way with him but he was able to escape her s*duction. He disappeared the next day. For two weeks, she had to use make-up to camouflage her swollen face because she couldn’t stop crying, especially when she heard that he died the next day.

‘Follow him’, Chief shouted and hit the only bodyguard he took with him to the herbalist house. Chioma was happy. Chief didn’t take many bodyguards. How would she have endured them catching him and torturing him?

 Chief with his Agbada began to run into the forest. Chief stopped and pulled off his Agbada to aid his race.

‘Chief, come back…’ She said. Her brain became void of ideas. Chief didn’t stop; instead, he kept on running on.

‘Chief, we need back up’, she shouted.

‘Ah…. It will be well with you’, Chief said and ran back towards her. 'Pe won…call them’.

 She dialled the wrong number thrice before finally calling the right home address, and by the time someone would pick it, she was sure Bidemi would have gone very far- far from the reach of whosoever that wanted to catch him.

***

Jerry knew he had to keep running, no matter the case.

Read " Purified Tomorrow: The Mad Awakening " by the same author ( Akíntayo Akinjide )

. He dared not look back. With long strides, he ran onward, his mind and body calculating the right place for him to put his feet. He ran on, not stopping to catch a single breath. He ran like a maniac and kept running.

However, just as he got to the bend, which he could use to deceive his pursuer before entering the secret compound, he fell heavily. He didn’t see a stalk partially buried in the ground. The pain should have held him to the ground but the fear of being caught strengthened him. He began to get up but his pursuer was on him before he himself realized it.

‘Stand up’, the person said, pointing a pistol to his chest, ’slowly’.

 Suddenly, a noise erupted from another side of the forest. His pursuer shouted with agony and fell. Blood was oozing out of his head, Jerry hurriedly stood, and decided that running was his best option.

‘Stay back there and don’t turn back’, a lady’s voice said, moving nearer. He didn’t know his legs were shaking until they buckled and he fell.

The lady covered his nose with a white handkerchief and drained his lungs of all the functional air in it. And he became unconscious

 Jerry couldn’t say what the time was or how long he had been unconscious but he woke up with a start and was rising to run away when he discovered that he was in their secret house, the one pastor took him to.

‘Was I dreaming?’ he asked himself.

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