Thursday, 3 May 2018

AFFLICTED Episode 11-12

The reverend then gives her a lot of cheques and an A4 sheet with his bank details on it.
REV. OBUOBI
My dear, kindly deposit these cheques in my account for me tomorrow, okay? When the pressure comes down a bit I’ll go to the bank and open a joint bank account with you. You’ll be a signatory too, and can take any amount you want!
Kesewaa’s face beams with pleasure!
It is getting better and better!
She is going to enjoy life!
KESEWAA
Yes, Apostle, I’ll do that!
She puts the cheques in her bag and waits with the other elders and pastors for the new Apostle to finish eating, and then she cleans up after him.
Happy and elated, they all head for the entrance, planning to go home and prepare for the evening’s ordination.
When they arrive inside the church auditorium, they see Amina coming towards them.
Kesewaa quickly puts her basket down on a bench and rushes forward to meet Amina.
KESEWAA
(excited)
Ami! What’s going on? What’re you doing here?
Amina looks at her best friend and shakes her head sadly.
AMINA
Where’s Akoto, Kes?
A sudden look of guilt crosses Kesewaa’s face and she looks away quickly.
KESEWAA
(defensively)
You know what he wanted to do to me, Ami!
AMINA
That’s not what I asked! We haven’t found him in more than a week! He’s here, isn’t he? What have you people done to him?
Kesewaa looks over her shoulders with sudden worry, her face concerned.
KESEWAA
(anxiously)
Shh, shh, shush, Ami! Please keep your voice down!
Irritated and angry, Amina brushes past Kesewaa and walks towards the group of powerful men of the church.
Kesewaa, frightened, tries to hold her back, but Amina shrugs free.
She stands in front of the pastors, elders and the powerful Apostle Ebow Obuobi.
She glares without fear at the man of God, and her beautiful face is flushed with anger.
AMINA
I know Akoto Nyameboame is here. Please, where is he, and how is he? You must release him to me immediately, otherwise when I come back I’ll be with the police!
The other men look at the Apostle.
It is evident that they are very uneasy.
Kesewaa has now reached her friend’s side and she takes her arm angrily.
KESEWAA
(furious)
What the hell is the meaning of this, Ami? You’re embarrassing us!
Amina whirls on Kesewaa and speaks with all the venom she feels.
AMINA
(acidly)
Shame on you, Kes! Shame on you! How can you betray Akoto’s love like this? Let me tell you something you don’t know, friend! I introduced Akoto to you, remember? I told you I met a man I loved very much, a man I wanted to marry! Of course Akoto’s mother didn’t want him to marry a Northerner, although Akoto had by then encouraged me to embrace Christianity!
Her face was passionately frantic now.
AMINA
I introduced you to him, in the University, and the next thing I knew, he fell in love with you! But I wanted him to be happy, because I loved him so much, and his happiness was more important to me than mine! I never dated again, because he was the only man I knew I was going to love! And so I supported you, as a friend, and kept all the pain inside, refusing to be jealous! I sacrificed my love for your happiness, and yet you stood aside and let this happen to him? Akoto told me this man of God wants you and that is why he said all those terrible thing about your fiancé. Is it true?
Kesewaa sighs with discomfiture and looks guiltily at her friend.
KESEWAA
Yes, Ami. I won’t lie to you. Akoto uses demonic powers, and it has made him very sick! I’m sorry about that, but the Apostle is going to cure him. But yes, we’re going to get married, the Apostle and me.
AMINA
(disgusted)
Jesus! You’re such a fool, Kes! You throw Akoto away for this filthy man?
REV. OBUOBI
(furiously)
Hey, better watch your arrogant mouth, and the way you speak to a man of God otherwise I’ll let the most hideous of diseases befall you right now!
That one gets to Amina.
She spins, and with a stiff forefinger she jabs the chest of the man of God as she speaks angrily.
AMINA
(wrathfully)
Go ahead and do it, I dare you! You can’t do me foko! Do you hear me? You can’t do me foko! I come from the North! My father, my grandfather, my brothers and my uncles are all Mallams, do you hear me? Only I became a Christian, through Akoto, and my family disowned me!
She takes a step closer, and her fury is sizzling and absolutely volcanic.
AMINA
These powers you’re exhibiting to impress these people doesn’t tickle me one bit! Do you know why? It’s because I grew up in the midst of gods who give eye-boggling demonic powers to my family, and so I’ve seen them a million times! My father can hammer a fresh egg with a cement block and it will never crack! My grandfather can make a person break down with leprosy and cripple a human being with just a flick of his hand!
She laughed then – a sharp vicious explosion of sound – but it did not soften her eyes.
AMINA
My brother can hang in the air for an hour and make the ground open up and swallow up a cow! And my cousin sleeps in a room full of poisonous Mamba snakes, and they all slither away from him with fear! My brother can stand a hundred metres away, raise his hand in the air, and a man will be lifted into the air and slammed on the ground with such force that he would lose all his teeth!
She drew nearer still to the man of God, her face filled with passion.
AMINA
If you’re a man, touch me! Just touch me right now, and all the evil and demonic powers of hundreds of Mallams from my village will visit you this evening and there you will witness the amegah of all evil forces! Now where the hell is Akoto?
She has spoken with such zeal, such fury, with such power, that the people around her are suddenly filled with more than unease.

Episode 12
The Stranger appears…things are going to heat up!
Read on…
They are a little scared, but Reverend Obuobi only laughs.
REV. OBUOBI
You have the impudence of an unbeliever, and of course I don’t want to taint the memory of my dead father with a show of vengeance, otherwise you would not have been able to walk out of here on your own two legs! The man you so obviously want to fornicate with is sick, very sick! I was trying to help him, to break the curse on him, but I lost my uncle, and in my grief I have not been able to pray for Akoto. You should leave him here so that we pray for him, or you can take him away. The choice is yours. But remember, if you take him away, he will remain the way he is now. He will never get well!! The ushers will show you where he is! Come, brothers, let’s go and plan!
The men file past Amina and head for the entrance.
An usher comes towards Amina, his face scared, and speaks to her.
USHER
Please, follow me! The cursed one is in the Miracle Room!
Amina follows the Usher to the Miracle Room.
The young man opens the door, and when Amina enters she stops suddenly and great sobs rack her body at what she sees!
Akoto is sitting on the floor with a leash around his neck like a dog, and the end of the leash is chained to a concrete pillar.
His lips are twisted savagely to the left, and his fingers are gnarled and curled and stumpy with leprosy.
His legs have shrunk like a cripple’s!
He stinks because evidently the room is not hygienic, and he has urinated on himself several times.
It seems he has been starved, and so he has not soiled himself with faeces, thankfully.
Amina is horrified!
She can barely see because her tears are falling hard.
Akoto sees her, and he tries to speak, but he is too weak, and tears flood his face as he makes weak gestures towards her with his leprous hands.
Kesewaa has followed Amina!
She has not seen Akoto again since the night he had been taken to the Miracle Room.
What Kesewaa sees shocks her so much that tears come into her eyes immediately!
KESEWAA
(stunned, aghast)
A. N.! Oh, dear Lord!
Amina can barely walk.
She stumbles forward and sits on the floor.
She gathers Akoto into her arms and holds him tightly.
AMINA
Oh, Akoto! My love! My only love! What have they done to you? Get the damn chains off him this instant!!
USHER
(rattled)
Yes, Miss!
He goes out and comes back a few minutes later with a bunch of keys and unlocks the leash around Akoto’s neck.
KESEWAA
(tremulously)
I didn’t know! Oh, Akoto! I didn’t know! I’m so sorry!
Amina looks at Kesewaa with acid in her eyes.
AMINA
Well done, Kesewaa. Go and marry that pastor, and I wish you all the luck. You know something? I’m going to care for this man, and I don’t care if he doesn’t get well. I’m going to stay with him, and love him, and make him happy so that he won’t even remember the nightmare you are!!
Akoto hears everything, even in the darkness of his afflicted soul, and he turns his face into Amina’s neck and begins to weep pitifully.
Kesewaa, shattered, cannot take it anymore.
With a sob she turns and flees from the room!
With the Usher’s help Amina takes Akoto to the washroom and cleans him up.
She also cleans the room, and they carry him to a bed in the Miracle Room.
Amina goes out and buys water and other milo and prepares his favourite drink for him: cold cocoa drink.
She feeds him, and he eats hungrily, and this makes Amina cry even more!
To see a rich boy who has everything at his beck and call reduced to such a shell really tears her heart apart.
She looks at him out of her loving eyes and kisses his cheeks.
AMINA
My love, I’m going for an ambulance to take you to hospital, okay? Don’t worry at all! I fasted and prayed for three days, and I had a recurring dream in which a tall stranger in a black suit kept telling me that everything is alright. I’m sure God has heard my prayers, and things will be alright. Don’t worry, love! I’ll be back soon.
Akoto smiles out of his twisted lips, and Amina leaves quickly.
She decides to go to the Eden Hospital, where Maame Akua is on admission, and arrange for an ambulance for Akoto.
She gets out of the taxi at the entrance of the huge hospital just as a huge, black, sleek Escalade with tint windows comes to a stop.
Amina pays the taxi driver and as she begins to walk towards the hospital she casts an admiring look at the Escalade again.
The driver’s door opens, and then he steps out!
Amina comes to a complete halt!
She is shivering as her mouth opens with a combination of shock and horror!
The man who has emerged from the luxurious car is tall and handsome.
He is wearing a black suit with a white shirt and a black tie!
A circle of hair around his lips formed a moustache and a beard, and he is wearing a hat.
He is also wearing dark shades!
He is the stranger!
The man in her dreams!
The one she sees in the maze in her dreams!
To be continued

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