By Amie Sillah
She stooped before Umpa and begged him on her knees in the name of God.
“You are part of my story when I was brought into this hell of a mansion sold into slavery to a beast of no conscience and you’ve also see the kind of maltreatment he meted out to me; I am tired do you want him to kill me the millionth time? If you don’t let me out I’ll drink poison here and now and die in front of you and my blood will be on your hands.”
“No! No! No! Are you framing me up? You know my situation now, where will I find another job if I lose this one? I am married with three kids I have to drop out of school before completion and it was only by God grace that I was able to secure this security job from a security firm hired by your husband if I disobey him he’ll ensure my joblessness for life and how will I cope with my family at this hard, difficult times?”
“Are you not a man? Don’t you want to be free from the shackles of your conscience? Leave now as there is time; free yourself from this beast because when there is life there is hope!”
Umpa listened, reflected then took a deep breath;
“Madam go! Damn it I’ll face the consequences.”
Jonsi wept bitterly, hugged him, prayed for him and left with her children with a heavy heart looking back with nostalgic feeling about the mansion and its chief occupant.
He did the sign of the cross went into his room packed his luggage and be on the alert to wait for his fate when his employer realizes his blunder of letting his family out of the compound into the wild but before she left he asked her to reassure himself;
“Madam! Where is your destination?”
“We are going to his village until he becomes sensible before we come back.”
“Do you know his village? Or are you expediting?”
“Yes I do he used to describe it to me when we were newly married and I noted it and moreover our country is great unlike other places people help you find places when you are lost.”
“Good luck and good bye.”
Trip to the Village
It was a long trip but through questions people help them locate the village deep into the interior of URR. Villagers took them to the home of Antu’s parents.
He was relaxing at his veranda dosing when the party arrived at his home.
Jonsi stooped down and introduced herself.
Alhajj welcomed them and called Mama Hadja Rugi.
“Mama Hadja come and meet your beautiful daughter in law and her lovely five kids, our grandchildren.”
She hurriedly rushed out to meet them and was overwhelmed.
“What are you saying that this beautiful young woman is our only son’s wife and the five beautiful kids are our grandchildren? Allah is praised! I never heard of any marriage not to talk of having five children! My heart told me it will happen in my life time; that Antu will return in another form, now that his children are here he will soon come for them; he went to the city and abandon us here yes he sends our allowance but does not visit us especially when we arranged a wife for him whom he rejected as well as us his parents. Come here my daughter you are young and beautiful and our grandchildren I have husbands and co-wives among them.”
Mama Hadja is a kind, generous and compassionate grandma love and respected throughout the village. She is a ‘yaradal’ (loses children) and Antu is the only surviving child after 6 loses. He became a spoilt child as all hope was bestowed on him but Alhajj never spared him the rod when he was naughty but Mama Hadja would not hear of it.
“Take it easy with the boy he is only but a child.” She would be heard arguing with Alhajj as he tried to discipline the young ‘Yadicone’ (the one who keeps coming back) which is Antu’s house name as he is mystically thought to be coming back to his parents after they lost a child.
The training his mother gave him makes him arrogant and naughty.
“Are you not the one who has trained him to be arrogant and selfish? You have made your bed so lie onto it.” Alhajj posited.
Antu returned home and found everything quiet and he became very surprised and asked himself as he drove into the compound.
“What is happening? My compound is dead quiet; where is my family? Jonsi did not tell me she is going anywhere or what about my children? They don’t go out of the compound; it is their friends who come to play with them not the other way round.” Then he went into the house it was empty and something told him everything was wrong then he shouted Umpa’s name and asked him about his family.
“Umpa! Where is my family? Can you explain why everything is dead quiet? Or has my enemies wipe out my whole family? Please answer my pertinent questions and be quick about it.”
He gave a long eulogy;
“Boss I was helpless your wife begged me and I cannot say no to her request she stooped before my humble self and asked me to open gate for her and the kids and I was obliged.”
Before he finished his sentence he interrupted him.
“What are you telling me moron that you have let my wife and children into the wild to where? Where could my wife go to in this wild suburb? Just imagine what I’ll do to you and wait for me there I am coming for you.”
“Boss you can kill me but I do not regret what I did for the love of humanity I’ll not let madam kill herself in front of me and her blood be on my hands; she went to your village and said you should check out for her if you become sensible.”
He rushed out with his licensed gun but Umpa was ‘on his mark ready for get set go!’ As soon as Antu came out brandishing his weapon Umpa was already out of sight he went out to search for him but he was gone.
“Thank your stars but am I not the king of this jungle? I’ll get you or your family.”
To be Cont.