LIVING IN FEAR
(Dust to Gold)
Written by Nathaniel Anuma
Andra understood that the island was a mysterious one after hearing Nelly’s response. “How can anybody who comes to this island knows nothing about how he or she came?” he thought, then turned around as the woman and her daughter stared at him.
“Is there any way out?” Nelly asked him. He looked at her for a while but averted his eyes going to the nearest coconut tree without answering the question.
He sat at the base of the tree shedding tears. He looked at the ocean hopping to see his father and Nath.
As he wept, he saw Nelly and her daughter entering into the forest where there was a small hut. It was more local than the one built by Bernard and his son at the previous island.
A few hours later, the young teenage girl began to hit a coconut on a rock to break it open. There was a large wood used as a seat bedside the rock. When Nelly heard the sound, she came out from the hut.
“Elizabeth” she called and the daughter turned.
“What are you doing?”
“Breaking a coconut”
“I thought you have eaten”
“I.. i.. mum.. i want to give it to the stranger. It’s up to hours he had been under the tree at the seashore without eating anything, so.. so..”
Elizabeth paused hoping the mother understood the remaining part but she went back into the hut after a long gaze at her daughter. She never uttered a word.
Andra heard footsteps behind him. He turned to see Elizabeth coming with the coconut but concentrated on the ocean. She stood beside him and directed her eyes to the ocean too. “You will see them again, i men your family” she said.
Andra looked up at her as she sat beside him stretching the coconut to him which he collected. She continued, “I hope to see my friends again one day just as you look into the ocean hoping to see your father and your brother too”
“How did you come here?” Andra asked.
“We slept on our bed only to wake up here on this island months ago” Elizabeth folded her legs with her hands feeling cold.
“Were you attacked by something like a witch?”
“My mum believes so”
Andra averted his eyes from her. He looked at the ocean again thinking critically. “Does it mean this place doesn’t exist? Can it be just an illusion? No, everything seems so real and..”
“Hello” Elizabeth interrupted his thought. “You are not eating the coconut”
Andra glanced at the nut and looked at her. “Thank you.. umm..”
“It’s Elizabeth. Eliz for short”
“Thank you, Eliz”
“You’re welcome” she gave him a hopeful smile. She was really happy to see a teenager a bit older than her whom she would always interact with.
Due to sleepless night, Andra slept under the tree. When he woke up, he saw everywhere getting dark. Elizabeth wasn’t beside him anymore neither was her mother.
He stood up, directed his eyes to the ocean to see two people floating on woods. “Dad? Dad!” he ran towards the ocean happily where he had a clearer view. “Dad!”
“Andra!” came the voice of his father who jumped down from the woods swimming to meet up with him faster which he did and hugged his son tightly. “Thank goodness you’re okay.
I thought you were dead”
“Me too dad”
When Nath slowly drew near to them, Andra left his father taking a few steps forward to meet him. They stared at each other for a while before Andra jumped on him happily.
“I’m more than glad to see you again, Nath” he said on his shoulder.
“Me too, Andra” Nath replied patting his back gently and happily.
Bernard surveyed the environment with his eyes thinking it was their old island until he saw Nelly and Elizabeth standing from afar.
He turned to his son. “Who are they?”
Nath stepped forward looking surprise to see them too.
“They are people like us” Andra replied.
Bernard, Nath, Andra, Nelly and Elizabeth sat down in circle in the forest in front of the local hut. There was a fire burning at the centre. All could see their faces through the flame of the fire.
They have all told their stories on how they came to that island thus looking at one another for a way out.
“I believe this whole thing doesn’t exist. I believe it’s just an illusion” Andra broke the silence.
“No, i don’t think so” Nath objected. “I still suggeste we build something like a boat. I mean a raft”
“Never will i try that with you again!” Bernard objected angrily.
“Then what do you suggeste?!”
“Anything other than risking our lives in the middle of the ocean!”
“It’s better than to die here!”
Bernard stood up glaring at Nath. “If you dare build the raft again, you gonna sail on it all alone” he walked out.
THREE WEEKS LATER.
As Nath went on building another raft, so as Favour began to lose hope. The father was on her neck to the extent she decided to leave Omuchi to a bigger town far away from home…
To Be Continued