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Princess Amarachi - Chapter Seventeen


Princess Amarachi - Chapter Seventeen

Theme: And Her Journey to Destiny-Discovery

By Erasmus Ugochukwu Okafor

Copyright ©:
No unauthorized reproduction, reprinting, 
plagiarising, commercialization, or rewording of 
this fictional work is allowed.

As they entered the road to head to the hospital, Chisimdi suddenly changed her mind and said: “Let’s go home, the coast is not yet clear,”
That language confused everyone except Akilika who kept pondering the statement in his heart without saying anything. Looking up and seeing the birds, he said: “The king will live. You all should go home; the music will come again soon,”
It was surprising that the entire birds disappeared in a wink exhibiting some flamboyant and showy aerobics and acrobatics in the air as they dispersed in groups according to their species.
Amarachi was so unnerved by the statement because she was so eager to see the face of her dad even if he wasn’t waking up so soon. She just wanted to know him, embrace him or even touch him to feel the warmth of his hands in that sleeping state.
“But why can’t we go and see him; someone we’ve been longing to see for long, including you?” Amarachi complained pouting with uneasiness and sadness.
“I talk according to the revelation I get, and it’s not coming from the human part of me,” Chisimdi said with vehemence and smiled, “Have you gone to Ose Okwo Odu for helping people take their loads home? Have you met the man of God to appease God?”
After asking the question, Chisimdi didn’t say any other thing to Amarachi because she already knew that her sister has the tongue she’d use to count her teeth. She went to the old man and took him to her car together with Ogbuoja so that they’d all start going home.
“I think you’re right,” Amarachi murmured and began to walk home carrying some of the utensils since the home was a stone’s throw away from the akara junction while Chisimdi drove slowly as she followed her home.
Getting to the house, Amy opened the gate and Chisimdi drove in and left it open; without locking it.
Many of the neighbours were eager to see Amarachi; to exchange pleasantries and congratulate her on her newly completed apartment but Amy wasn’t in such mood except for her mind locked on the target being the remaining assignment that was left for her to do in a bid to ensure that when Chisimdi uses the Isioma flower on the king, it would be effective.
Amarachi simply opened the entire room for her visitors to be comfortable, went into her car and began to drive off to the market without uttering a word but the old man in a bid to catch up, came out as quickly as his trembling legs could carry him and waved her to stop.
Amarachi alighted and went to him to know why he stopped her from leaving forthwith.
Anyamuo held Amy’s hand, made her open it, and then dropped two balls of Akara in her palm. “You may need it,” he said and went back with the help of the flutist that took him back to the lounge where he rested at the deckchair.
Amarachi was left in confusion but didn’t have to doubt the old man. Even though she didn’t know what the akara would be used for since Oji isi ebu mgbo and Obinna wouldn’t be at the market, she simply entered her car, opened the glove compartment and brought out a paper bag that she used to wrap the akara, and then drove off to Ose Okwo odu Market Park.
Amy didn’t bother to call Obinna or Oji Isi anymore but left straight to the market while Chisimdi watched her leave; with tears in the eyes of the young diviner because she felt that the burden may be much on her twin sister.
Getting to the market, Amarachi was surprised to see Obinna and Oji Isi ebu mgbo already waiting for her. She couldn’t wrap her head around it because she never called them on the phone and never expected to see them there.
Many people gathered to welcome Amy thinking that the rumour about her new status as the princess of Ubulu would make her come with royal apparel but were surprised that the cloth she wore wasn’t what they expected. Amy was too casual as if she was just coming from farm work. The dress was too local compared to the exotic car she came with.
Oji isi ebu mgbo tried to disperse the crowd so that he could talk to Amarachi in-camera but they were still much and mobbing her until the market authorities intervened; using the market vigilantes to reduce the crowd.
Amarachi was caught up between sadness for not seeing her dad as quickly as she expected and happiness for reconnecting with her old friends at the park.
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After observing Amarachi for a while, Oji isi said: “Utuocha chocolate, why are you not here with a truck but with the eVogue that Bro Dave bought for you?”
Forcing a smile, she knocked Oji isi on the head as usual and then asked: “How did you guys know that I’d be coming here by this time of the day?”
Chuckling as he stroked his head feeling the sharp excruciation of the knock on his head, he said: “My brother told us that you’d be coming here for the truck job but never explained anything to us except issuing instructions that we must abide by the rules. What choices do we have?”
“But how did he know about all these?” Amy asked trying to figure a lot out, “even though he knew about the prophecy, how did he know that I’d be coming here today because I never told him that I’d be coming today?”
“Nkata ezinulo (family discussion)” Oji isi replied smilingly and shifted back to avoid the second knock on his bald head.
“But Aunty, where is the akara you used to give us whenever you come?” Obinna asked looking into the car searchingly, “I can’t find it ooo,”
“Aunty Utuocha doest sell akara anymore, Olodo (dunce)” Oji isi jeered at Obinna.
“Don’t be too sure because I live close to the akara spot and I saw the crowd this morning, though I couldn’t stop to help out because I was rushing after Ijeoma...”
“One day that girl will kill you and still not give you want you’re coming for,” Oji Isi mocked him back, “better leave her ooo,”
“I have tried, but,” Obinna said and looked at Amy who was smilingly listening to their chitchat, “But aunty, does it mean there is no akara for us today?”
“Ravenous eaters are liable to die young,” Amy jested and went to the car, opened the glove compartment and handed the akara to him and then the second to Harry (Oji isi). “The gods are wise,” she muttered to herself remembering the words of Anyamuo when he handed over the akara to her.
“Let the work begin then,” Amy said and went to the people in charge. “Give me a number let me wait for my turn,”
The people were surprised, especially Idiga, the head of the loaders’ association because he thought that Amarachi just came for a visit and not to seek for a job.
“Amarachi nwanyi oma (pretty woman),” he called looking around to see the car she’d use for the job, “where is your truck? You came with Okwu oto ekene eze (luxurious SUV) but we can’t see your truck, so how are you going to do it?”
“I will use the Okwu Oto for the job,” Amy replied unequivocally, “am I getting a number and waiting for my turn or not?” she added chewing candy nastily as the mood demanded.
“Asa (pretty woman) you have come again with your confusion,” Okoro said and smiled sheepishly, “soon now you will deny giving me your number,”
Amarachi was more amused than she was angry watching the tout start making advances like he used to do in the past.
“But it’s true,” Akwara entered, “your shakara (show-off) is too much abeg (please),”
Looking disdainful at the riffraff, Amarachi smiled and faced Idiga who she came to see; acting as if no one talked. “Can I have my turn please?” she said to Idiga thrusting her hand for the card.
Idiga was so happy with Amy’s maturity so he smiled and said: “You’re a woman with a difference. I could remember when Akwara almost beat Oji Isi because Oji Isi demanded he gives him back your phone number that he gave to him. You never acted as if this loafer was there, even to Okoro that has lost touch with wisdom. You need not worry about the duo; any other derogatory statement or comment from them will attract a sanction from this park,”
Okoro and Akwara suddenly left the scene knowing full well that they’d attracted the wrath of the market authorities though their leader, so they had to shift aside before they’re banned from doing the porter’s job they do at the park.
Without hesitation, even though with some cold feet developed because of the exoticness of the car being used for the job, Amarachi got the ‘No 5’ card and waited patiently until it was her turn.
When it was Amy’s turn to load, it was to her greatest surprise that it was Mr. Okoyeocha, Dave’s driver that she was to work for just like she did the first time she started the business.
Seeing Amarachi with the eVogue waiting for her turn got Okoyeocha confused. He already knew that Amy would soon be his employer once she weds Dave, so it was anomalous having his would-be boss doing the job for him. He was just uncomfortable with the arrangement but Amarachi insisted that the job must be done.
The man went to the corner and sat; thinking of how to avoid Amy but Amarachi came to him and said: “Sir, I guess this is just like old times. I have to work for you, and it’s time for the monthly foodstuff shopping at Dave’s house, hence your coming to the market for shopping,”
Feeling uneasy with goosebumps all over him, he smiled and said: “Isn’t this unorthodox for you to do this kind of job for me considering that I’m meant to do the porter’s work for you instead and not...”
“It’s okay to say that but there is a reason why I’m serving you again by this time and at this hour,” Amarachi explained, “why must it be my turn when you need your loads to be taken home? Even though I came late today for this job, you came late too to the market because you’re always early to market but for today, you came late too just as predestination predicted,”
“Do you believe in predestination?” he asked feeling unsure if he does.
“Do you believe in reincarnation?” Amarachi answered him with another complicating question, making the man give up by raising his two hands in the air.
“Fine, ma,” he said with chuckles, “if my boss Harry is here again doing the work as Oji isi ebu mgbo, with Obinna too, why won’t I accept that this is staged for a reason...”
“It’s not staged,” Amarachi entered sounding more serious, “this is more than the eyes could see. Everything is real and not faked, Mr. Okoyeocha. Sir, are we doing the job for you or not?”
Seeing the doggedness and determination exhibited by Amarachi, Mr. Okoyeocha simply accepted, even the question he wanted to ask about why it must be the eVogue that’d be used for the job got swallowed up in speechlessness and obedience.
“Let’s load the truck,” Mr. Okoyecoha said and raised the sleeve of his shirt to join them but Amarachi stopped him.
“Leave the job for the porters to do, sir,” Amy said and joined Obinna and Oji isi ebu mgbo to load the trunk of the eVogue, even pulling down the rear seat for it to be able to accommodate the entire goods.
People watched with keen interest as the loading took place but Amarachi didn’t care but focused her entire energy on obeying the gods. She wasn’t just doing it because she wanted her dad to live but doing the job because of her passion for it. Innermost joy overtook her as the work went on until she was through with the loading, paid Obinna and Oji Isi, and started driving the goods to Dave’s house.
As the navigation along the streets progressed, it was surprising to Amy that the usual noise that her old truck used to make suddenly took over the exotic car, making it sound as if she was in the old truck. She was so jittered by this because her car never for once developed any major fault aside from routine servicing by the automobile mechanics.
It was obvious to Amarachi that the gods exist, and were in support of what she was doing at the moment.
Getting to Dave’s compound, people were so surprised seeing Amarachi but she didn’t care except being friendly to the entire man and maidservants in the house just as she used to be to them. After offloading the goods, Amarachi got paid, and then went back to the market, did the work for one more turn before heading home, by then the strange noise in the car suddenly stopped.
On her way home, it was as if a flash of light just visited her, making her remember that there was only one man of God that he had had an encounter with, and that was Fr. Augustine of the Basilica of the Holy Trinity, Onitsha, so she changed her direction and began to drive to the church.
Getting to the Roman Catholic Church, she collected the parking card at the gate, drove straight to the parking lot and parked her car. The car was already looking bedraggled with mud and dirt from the truck hiring business.
Without hesitation, she rushed into the church and saw some people queued up for confession but she didn’t know the priest that was in the confessional so she just waited in line and prepared for confession silently in her heart. As she did that, she wasn’t even sure of her crime against the priest but she was ready to have a dialogue with him and even ask for forgiveness for what she knew nothing about.
After waiting for almost an hour, it was Amy’s turn, so she went straight and knelt at the confession. She tried hard to know if she’d know the priest in the confessional but she couldn’t, so she went on: “Father, I have sinned and come for a confession, but please, are you Fr. Augustine?”
She wasn’t sure if the question was in order but being that she already let the words out, she didn’t have to take them back but wait for the effect of her mistakes.
“Why are you bent on confessing to God through Fr. Augustine?” The voice of the priest asked but didn’t get a reply from the muted confessor, so he added: “All priests are equal in the sight of God and the power to hear the confession is for all priests, not minding if one is more endowed spiritually than the other...”
“Reverend, far from it,” Amarachi retorted politely, “I need to see Fr. Augustine because I offended him, hence the need to be here...”
“Oh, Fr. Augustine is no more working with us, but why do you want to see him, or can you share the wrong you did to him? After all, this is already a confession time if you’re ready,”
Hearing that part got Amarachi so discouraged and dispirited because she knew that she may have a long way to go considering the time needed for the king to wake up from the coma.
“Where is he, please?” she asked panting heavily.
“He travelled out of the country but I can still connect you to him either through the phone or....”
“I need to see him physically,” Amarachi interjected with tears in her eyes reflecting in the soberness of her tone.
Seeing that the girl was gravely disturbed and determined on seeing Fr. Augustine, the priest said: “I am Fr. Augustine but...”
“No buts,” Amarachi said sobbingly but happily, “You just lied, even though you’re in a confessional. Who then are you to ask for forgiveness? The bishop or the pope?”
With a slight smile, the priest said: “The country is bad and we’re all precautious even as clergies. Ananias lied in the bible and died, but we’re human and can lie to protect someone,”
“Hmm, so who’re you protecting now?” Amy asked and smiled secretly.
Taking a deep breath, the priest said: “If a mad man with a jackknife comes after your younger brother to stab him to death, and the brother of yours suddenly ran into your house and hid under the bed. If he mad man meets you after a few seconds and asked if you saw a little boy who he suspected could be hiding in your room, will you accept that he is inside your room to avoid lies? That means that you’d simply expose your brother to death if you say the truth,”
Amarachi saw lots of shrewdness and wisdom in the analogy, so she cleared her throat and said: “But this is confusing,”
“In the bible,” the priest continued, “Rebecca conspired with her son, Jacob, and lied to Isaac, making the old man give the entire blessings to Jacob instead of Esau. God already created everything and knows how we are all going to end, so he made the cheat possible just for the bible to be fulfilled. Jacob lied, even though he asked for forgiveness but that never denied him of the blessings. I don’t want to call it a Holy lie to avoid misleading the faithful but the truth is that if your life is in danger and it only a lie that can save you, then you may have no choice. But don’t forget to ask God for forgiveness because a lie is a lie. This is private teaching because I can’t just come to the pulpit and tell the congregation that some lies are to be accepted. Liars are liable to go to hellfire, so I’ll still ask God for forgiveness that I lied to you even though I did it to protect myself. I am human too aside from the fact that I have been ordained by God as his priest and...”
“Say no more, Fr,” Amy said with smiles, “You’re a good man and I admire your explanation. You just thought me a lesson; not how to lie but how to be a true Christian. Thank you,”
“So why did you come to see me?” The priest asked listening attentively while other confessors sat and waited knowing full well that Amarachi was in a serious discussion with the priest.
“I was the lady the hid in the confessional when a lady came to confess her sins, and later discovered that it wasn’t a priest that was in there but....”
“I knew it was you,” The priest entered, “Not before the lie to protect myself but when I took time to observe your voice,” he explained, “well, the macho guys injured me; I mean the second one that came after you left with the first guy. I have been on crutches since then until now but I’m healing. I wanted to rescue you when I saw the first guy taking you out of the church but he attacked me and injured my leg, making my bone break. Since then until now, I have been using crutches to walk, but thanks to God that I have dropped one of the crutches and now using one. Before the next thirty days, I’ll drop the second one too,”
“Oh, God! But he assured me that he didn’t do anything wrong to you,” Amarachi said with tears in her eyes, “I never meant to hurt you because I was also running away from them that made me rush into the confessional,” she explained, “please forgive me...”
“You did nothing to me because you weren’t the one that hurt me...”
“I did,” she cut in, “if I didn’t take refuge in the church, they wouldn’t have met you to hurt you,”
“Everybody takes refuge in the church because that’s the only place soothing and comforting,” The priest explained, “people come to the church to cry when they’re overloaded by worries and troubles, so you didn’t do any wrong or offend me, but if you insist on making it a confession...”
“I insist, reverend,” Amarachi said with insistence; with her mind locked on the thoughts of her dad lying lifeless in the hospital bed.
“Okay, may God forgive you just as I have forgiven you,” the priest mumbled, “even the man the hurt me, I laid no curse on him but asked God to forgive him. Go in peace and try to make your paths of life straight if there is anything wrong that you’ve been doing. James 5:16 says ‘therefore, confess your sins to each other and pray for each other so that you may be healed. The prayer of the righteous is powerful and effective. So as I lied to you and asked you to forgive me just as you came confessing that you offended me, we’ve forgiven each other, and God will forgive us all. Go in peace and try to remain in the path of righteousness all the time,”
“Thanks, Reverend,” Amarachi said feeling light and happy.
“But whenever you sin, ask God for forgiveness,” the priest concluded and blessed her: “May God bless you (+) in the name of the Father, and the Son, and the Holy Spirit,”
“Amen, thanks, Reverend,” Amarachi said and smiled, and then stood up to go, “One more thing, father Augustine,” she added when she remembered, “help me to pray for my dad who is sick in the hospital; for him to be well again,”
“Your dad will be well by God’s grace, but you still have to look inwards to ensure that you offended no anointed man of God,” he concluded and blessed Amarachi the second time.
Amarachi was filled with joy as she left for the parking lot. Her joy at the moment knew no bounds, so she entered her car and drove straight to Emejulu Street so that they’d all go to the hospital that evening to revive the king. On her way home, as she continued driving, she still kept pondering on what the priest said about ensuring she offended no anointed man of God just as her twin sister said. It was obvious to her that God just forgave her sins since she’d made peace with the priest and ready to revive her dad.
When Amarachi got home, she was disappointed when Chisimdi told her that she needed to do the work assigned to her by God for one week. It was discouraging but she had to spend one week doing it.
Amarachi within that one week indulged fully in the akara business, even without attending lectures to ensure that she completed the assignment. When one week of the divine assignment elapsed, she went home that evening feeling so impatient to start going to the hospital with her sister to bring back her dad to life.
Getting to her house, Amarachi saw Chisimdi smiling and waiting for her. They didn’t spend more than ten minutes at home before driving straight to the hospital to do the needful.
When they got to the hospital, the flutist and Akilika took them to the private ward where the king lay.
Seeing the cute king sleeping peacefully with a ruffled face, Amarachi and Chisimdi were filled with both happiness and pity made evident by their teary eyes. It was then obvious that Chisimdi took after her dad in appearance. Eze Omekannaya is a very handsome man but his face was looking sad and tilted in the hospital bed making tears of sympathy to fill the eyes of his children.
The twin sisters tried to embrace him but the nurses didn’t allow them because he wasn’t to be disturbed.
After a while of waiting and observing the sleeping man, Chisimdi said: “Dad, we’re here to complete the assignment. We’re your children and we’re here to tell you that we’re alive and are here to take you home,”
Without much rigmarole, the flutist started giving the sweet melody that did wonders instead of being noise to the people in the hospital. The sick that were in their different hospital beds started getting better, even women in labour began to deliver without stress. It was full divine intervention that got the entire Medical practitioners appalled.
When Chisimdi brought out Isioma flower and raised it, it was surprising to all that the thunder didn’t visit, therefore they all got confused.
From that evening until the next morning nothing happened and the king didn’t wake up; even though he still had pulses but in a coma.
Amarachi was confused because she couldn’t understand why other patients in the hospital would be healed but the king they came for remained lifeless in the hospital bed.
Chisimdi became tired and confused amid the fact that Oduenyi’s spirit was fully present with her but nothing happened to make the king get up from that sleeping state. The most surprising was that the Isioma flower didn’t even attract the lightning anymore, making it seem so dead in the hands of the handler. Akilika the chief flutists even became tired of using the flute.
At a point, after some meditation and unheard speeches in strange tongues, Chisimdi looked at Amarachi and said: “It wasn’t the priest you offended but Pastor Quintus. I think I can now see the full handwriting on the wall. Seek the pastor and seek his forgiveness.
Amarachi was so confused because she never met anyone named pastor Quintus.
“I don’t know anyone named Pastor Quintus,” Amarachi said looking so confused.
“Look beyond your imagination,” Chisimdi advised, “this pastor isn’t just to forgive what you did to him but he’s a descendant of Ajalindu who would revive the king. Remember that I told you that if you had died in the hands of the assassins, the Isioma wouldn’t have worked on you. The king is our blood, so it won’t work on him too. Seek the pastor and all these would be glorious and full of happiness. Seek him now,
“But how can I seek someone I never met or even...”
“You have just two days to do so,” Chisimdi uttered sternly, “because how further the king has gone, his ears can’t hear the melodious sounds of the flute anymore. He is far and it’s only Pastor Quintus that can bring him back. He is our only hope if the king must live,”
Filled disturbed in deep thoughts, Amarachi remembered vividly the words of Rev Fr. Augustine when he said that she should seek forgiveness from an anointed man of God. It was then obvious to her that the priest caught the glimpse of the vision and revealed such to her too just as her twin sister did. She thought it was the priest, but it was obvious that it wasn’t.
Amy became weak thinking about having just two days to find the so-called pastor Quintus that she never met in her life. In that state of bemusement, she fell on the floor and cried to God for help.

To be continued...

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