Thursday, June 10, 2010

The Inferno

June 2nd 1994
I listened to Nkem cry as I sat by the window reading Oliver Twist for the hundredth time. The sound of her voice made me really angry and I wanted to throw my book in her face. The only thing that stopped me from doing so was the fact that this book, along with the clothes on my back where all the memories I had left of my parents. The policemen said I was clutching onto the book even as I remained in a coma for weeks. They said there were times tear drops would fall from my eyes, but my condition didn’t seem to improve. A hiccup sounded right next to me, interrupting my thoughts and I turned to find that Nkem had moved closer to me. I gave her a hard look and almost spat at her when she began to weep again. Everyone else took pity on her every time she started wailing-everyone except me. It was true that she had lost both her parents, but hadn’t we all? Just when I was going to shut her up, the bell for evening prep rang out and we all scurried out. My name is Ifeoma Nwachukwu and I live in an orphanage.

January 6th 2010

The sound of my blackberry vibrating brought me back to reality. It’s my personal assistant and it turns out that I’m late for the meeting with our new clients. I’m a Lawyer working at Johnson and Johnson, one of the top law firms in Africa. I still cannot believe it has been eight years already and over twelve years since that fateful morning when I lost both my parents to a killer. At the time the detective in charge said my father had shot my mother first and then himself. What a load of bollocks. I wore my glasses, put on my Louboutin shoes and walked to the conference room. Mr Osagie raised an appreciative glance towards me as I entered and I couldn’t help but smile, I always have such effect on men. We shake hands and sit down to talk business. Halfway into the conversation my mind starts to drift again to the events that changed the course of my history forever.

September 1991

My parents had just returned from a dinner party and my mom was clearly upset. I remember my dad trying to console her in Ibo as she paced the length of the sitting room restlessly. I sat on the stairs and just watched her even though a part of me wanted to go and give her a hug. The last time I saw her sad was when she lost my baby brother in her womb. Finally, she let my dad take her upstairs to the room and as they passed by me, I thought I heard her chuckle. My dad bent to kiss the top of my head and said ‘’iffy, bia ka-anyi gbagote n’elu. (Iffy, lets go upstairs). So I followed them up and went to my room to sleep. The next morning my mom seemed happier. She sang in the kitchen as she made pancakes and was not even aware of my dad’s presence until he grabbed her waist. She sighed and leaned into him. I learned later that she had gotten into an argument with her siblings but when I asked my dad why, he told me it was a grown up issue.

I felt someone touch my arm, and looked up to find Mr Osagie waving his hands in front of my face. Everyone in the conference room had their eyes trained on me as I smiled and said I was alright. When they didn’t look convinced I reminded Mr Osagie of the last statement he made. Satisfied that I was still with them, he continued the discussion. I thought it would be best if I excused myself, so I feigned dizziness and stood up to get a bit of fresh air. I had just stepped into the elevator when this huge guy rushed in and bumped into me. He looked familiar and when he smiled I got a feeling of dejavu. He asked if I was okay and I replied in the affirmative. I kept stealing glances at him as the elevator rode down. Something wasn’t right.


When the lift got to the ground floor, I took a brisk walk outside as the man turned left.. The air smelled of dust which could only mean that it was about to rain. There was a time I used to love the rain-way back when I was a child. But twelve years ago on a rainy day, my parents were murdered in the early hours of the morning. Contrary to what the police report says, I knew it was murder. Earlier that day I heard my father arguing with someone over the phone and he was telling the person to go to hell.

“I would not allow you to threaten my family, so I have decided to go to the police and report your activities” said my dad. I walked to the door of the study and saw him gesticulating wildly. He continued “I dare you to do your worst; I am not a puppet’’…. Something must have caused him to look up then and when he saw me standing there, he smiled and shut the door in my face. I went into the kitchen to assist the cook by simple sitting on the table top. I didn’t think too much of the incident after that.

Later that night as I slept, I was awakened by my mother screaming and crept downstairs to find out what the problem was. I saw a man shoot my dad as I bent to look down and slap my mom when she screamed again and tried to go over to my dad. I recall her begging for mercy and promising not to tell a soul. Just then the man just smiled and it sent chills down my spine. “Do you play cards madam? He asked her’’ and when she remained mute he went on “Of all the characters, I like the joker best because no one takes him seriously and yet he’s the deadliest.’’ Just then my mom looked up and saw me crouching on the stairs and I felt an immediate psychic connection with her as her eyes pleaded for me to be quiet. That was one of the things I loved about her, with a look she could say a million words. I remained perfectly still and deadly silent even as I watched the man cork his gun aim for her head. The look of fear, surprise and maybe defeat are all i remember in her eyes as the bullet slammed home and brain tissues spilled all over the floor. It was hard to believe that my parents were both dead and a man was coming up the stairs possibly to search me out. I forced my feet to move and crept into my parent’s room to hide in their ward robe. I fell asleep, only to wake up in the hospital. It turned out i had been shot twice but had somehow survived.


When my head felt better, I went back to the office to finish up the meeting. The rain was coming down in a drizzle now and I could see people on the street moving around. I suspected everyone had their problems, but carried on as if it was the most natural thing in the world. I closed my eyes as a tear drop slipped from my face and quickly wiped it away.

To be continued.....

13 comments:

Xabi (in my mind this is my name) said...

Wow...you just have this effect though...wow

Lisa Nwanze said...

This is one of your best posts ever. I can categorically say that everyone who reads this post today will be eagerly anticipating the part 2 of this story. OMG!!!

Johnson again said...

Wow!!!!! Fucking BRAVO.

OmoIbadan Tuntun said...

Nice plot.....reminds me of reading pacesetters back in the day. I wonder how this is going to end, but in my head I can already imagine 3. Nice story telling ma'am..I shall be back to read the conclusion.

Optimus Prime said...

3? I have over six endings in my head. Hurry up and post the finish. :)

Tiny's World said...

You need to finish this.................I love already

pere said...

WOW!!

Anonymous said...

This is just... wow since i stumbled on our blog by 'accident', your style of writing has continued to remain fresh and very 'different', love the story, can't wait for the subsequent parts

gretel said...

Waoh you're back and reloaded,been so long and I missed you and this is so intriguing.
Just post the next series quickly.

Jaycee said...

Wowwwwwwwwwww....this has got to be the most captivating thing I've read all week. Such a sad ordeal that can never be forgotten.

Bosoye T said...

love this post!!!!

Third World Profashional said...

I love this! Amazeballs!

chiedu ifeozo said...

Wow,That was an amazing read, The story line really pulls you in. I'm moving on to the next entry :-)