LIVING IN FEAR
(Dust to Gold)
Written by Nathaniel Anuma
Andra ran after Nath into the forest. Hearing their voices and footsteps, Bernard came out from the hut.
“What’s the noise for?”
“I have actually found a way out of here!” Nath replied happily while Andra observed him from a distance to know his father’s reaction.
“I’m listening” Bernard said looking at Nath.
“We gonna build a raft which will take us across the ocean” he explained hopping it sounded convincing.
“The ocean” Nath gradually became calm wondering while he asked such question. “I hope we only need something like a canoe to take us across the sea.
We might get to somewhere where people are living instead of to rot on this island” he added.
“Listen, Nath, or whatever you call yourself, there is nothing like across the ocean. When you think you have crossed the ocean, look ahead of you, i mean the last place where your eyes can see, then you’ll see nothing but ocean too.
So i ask you again; across where?”
Nath became speechless. He glanced at Andra and sat on a rock beside him.
“Dad, you just discouraged him” Andra began.
“You should allow us try his idea. If we go across the ocean and see nothing but the ocean, we’ll come back”
The father ignored them, went into the hut, took his fishing spare made of stick and went out for fishing.
Andra met Nath.
“Hey, let’s start”
“I don’t think i can do it anymore”
“I guess you want another man for Favour and never to see your mother again coz if you don’t, you’ll start working according to your idea”
Nath looked at him. “Don’t you have anybody to worry about?”
“Yes, only my father and i. My mother is late”
“What of sisters or brothers?”
“Negative” Andra stood up facing him. “Oh, i have only a brother now” he added.
“Who?” Nath queried.
“You” he replied dragging him up.
They began building the raft by first going insearch of woods. As they moved, Andra shouted, “Look at Favour!”
“Where?” Nath turned instantly.
“Kidding!” Andra laughed.
“You don’t joke with such thing” Nath began to walk again.
“You really love this girl, don’t you? I wonder how she’ll feel when she sees you again”
“I guess you don’t know how it feels to be inlove because you are just a teenager”
“Says who?” they stopped at a spot to carry a big wood. “I ones fell in love with the head-girl of my school.
Her back is as big as this wood while her front is nothing to write home about”
Nath left the wood they wanted to carry and looked at him.
Though he wasn’t surprise a boy as young as Andra could fall inlove but was surprise of how he described the head-girl. Therefore he said,
“You were only lust after the girl’s body. When you are inlove, your eyes isn’t the one to tell you but your heart is. When you are inlove, you listen to your heart not your mind or your eyes” he bent down.
“Wow!” Andra also bent to help him carry the wood out. “I must say that you’re a love therapist” he confessed in conclusion.
A MONTH LATER.
At Omuchi, Mrs Ola was gradually getting strong with the help of Favour who took care of her, bought drugs for her and helped her with some domestic works.
But one thing never departed from her mind: Nath. “Will i ever see my son again?” she thought as she sat on the edge of her bed while Favour stood before her.
“Ma, i need to go. Someone just informed me that my father needs me at home. I want you to be strong,
Nath must surely come back”
“You have done well my daughter. God bless you”
Favour reluctantly left the room to outside where she looked back at the entrance hoping to see Nath but nothing happened. Tears dropped from her eyes but she cleaned it off instantly and hurried home.
Before she climbed the broken stairs of their house, she heard people laughing with her father inside the sitting room. When she entered, the father called her.
“Come come come my daughter”
Favour slowly entered the room to see a hot wine and palm wine on the table. She also saw a man and another young and handsome boy beside him. So she stood beside her father.
“My daughter, this is my childhood friend and his son who is doing very well. Umm.. they have come to ask your hand in marriage” Denis explained happily. From his voice and expression, he wanted his daughter’s response to be yes.
Favour’s face changed. She looked at the young man from head to toe and said, “Father, I’m not ready for marriage now”
Denis’ amusing face changed to an angry one glaring at his daughter.
“Are you okay? This man will send you to school which i was unable to complete, he will take care of you and give you everything you want and you are here singing Blues”
“I said I’m not ready to marry na.
He should go and look for another woman” Favour adjusted away from him and eventually walked into her room, locked it, stood at the window and looked through it. “Nath, please, where are you?” was her last statement..