AGONY OF THE DEAF
By Author Nath
They cut deep into his flesh through which blood from his vein pumped out from his two arms which were tied up and stretched in form of V-shape while his legs had a triangular shape. Shamefully, he was totally naked except a tight male pant that held his dick at a spot. Blood dripped from his hands and legs into a bucket below his two legs. He seemed exhausted or rather lifeless, judging from the position of his head which was bent down on one side like Jesus on the cross of calvary. Obviously, he had lost a lot of blood. A red blindfold never departed from his eyes, therefore he couldn’t make use of them. At this point too, his ears could only hear faint voices but he couldn’t tell which was male or female’s. Conclusively, he was at the point life and death.
The sound of an Italian shoe distantly echoed as they hit the floor of the warehouse. It followed by a male voice that said, “Mother, I learnt that Abosede is dead.”
“Really? He would have been pleased to meet a Hugo.” The mother’s shoes joined the echo as both of them were approaching Claude. Raphael observed the manner in which the boy was tied and drilled out of his own blood. He placed a hand on his pockets, staring at him, while the mother did the same with a smile on her face.
“With this blood we can cure every disease, do signs and wonders.” she said.
“You know that anyone cured by his blood has a condition attached to it. How would the Hugo know any of these people to be able to maintain the condition and eventually abstain from the consequences which we do not even know”? Raphael reminded her.
The mother hesitated to reply that question. She carried one of the buckets of blood, like a consecrated holy wine. “Le Hugo ne vivra pas pour remplir les conditions” she finally replied with a smile which means, “The Hugo will not live to fulfil whatever conditions that must be attached.”
“Instead of killing him, Enfermons-le. Nous pourrions encore avoir besoin de lui” Raphael suggested they lock him up.
The mother looked at him. “I think is a good idea.” she concurred.
However, Eniola had snuck into the building, passing several guards. She could be seen hiding behind a pillar in her black leggings. She peeked through a corner to see Claude being loosened from the rope and carried away. She monitored and tiptoe towards the guards that carried him. She followed them through a passage silently. There were several doors at both side of the passage which she didn’t think Claude would be inside any of them because she could hear the voices of the guards that at a distant. Suddenly, she saw them coming out from a particular door then she entered into the nearest door beside her where she waited until they passed. Anxiously, she ran out from her hiding place to the room where they dumped Claude. Luckily, it wasn’t locked, so she gently opened it to see Claude lying half naked on the floor without a blindfold but his eyes were closed.
“Claude?” She called on him…..
On the other hand, Gbenga and Ayomide had returned home to break the news of who Claude is and the very possible reasons why she must never see him again. Gbenga sat down on one of the cushions, placed his staff in between his legs and removed his cap. He exhaled for what his ears had heard was bigger than his mouth. Just as he contemplated on how he will convince Eniola, the mother came out from her daughter’s room with hands spread in the air like a panhandler.
“Eniola isn’t at home.” She said.
Gbenga widened his eyes. “Oluwa mi o!” He exclaimed which means, “Oh, my God!” He adjusted on his seat as his eyes and that of Ayomide never averted. “Where has she gone to? Ko yẹ ki o jẹ ohun ti emi nro.” he added.
To be sure, Ayomide entered into her room, she opened her bag to see her money gone even her ATM card. “Aah! Oluwa mi o!” her voice was like pin set on Gbenga’s buttocks, so he rushed up on his feet, letting his cap and staff fall on the floor without minding. Ayomide also rushed out from her room saying in conjunction of what Gbenga said in Yoruba language. “It’s definitely what you’re thinking oh! Eniola must have gone with that stranger!” she lamented.
“Aaah! Children of nowadays have no fear in them oh.” he bent down slowly to pick his walking stick and his cap. Unfortunately, he lost his balance and hit his buttocks back on the cushion. “Ahh, how can we be talking about Eniola’s disappearance and old age will be dealing with me at the same time?” he hilariously picked the cap, placed it on his head before his staff which he hit on floor as an aid to stand on his feet again. He adjusted his agbada.
“Eniola!” Ayomide ran out of the house, shouting her daughter’s name, street by street.
Gbenga tried to make use of the exit in the same manner, but his cap fell of again. Meanwhile, one of his legs had crossed the door already while another was still inside. Therefore he didn’t know whether to go back and pick the cap or not. “Shey you want an old man like me to disgrace my ancestors by falling down while picking you. If they sent you, go back and tell them you never saw me.” he left a message for the cap and zoomed off.
Back to the warehouse, Eniola carried Claude on her thighs like a mother trying to breastfeed her baby. She couldn’t behold his wounded body and the pains the young boy was passing through. Her tears kept dropping on Claude’s body as she cried bitterly, “Claude, please wake up. I’m here now. I told them, but they wouldn’t believe me.” she cried.
Claude recognized her voice, but to him, it was like a dream. “Eniola?” he managed to call her name without opening his eyes. He knew the consequences if he should set his eyes on her. Though that wasn’t his qualm, if he could opened his eyes then, he would have done it.
Hearing his voice and mostly especially, her name from his mouth, Eniola smiled happily and began to cares his cheek. “Yes, it me, Claude.” she sniffed in tears.
Unexpectedly, the door of the room opened. Eniola looked up to see Raphael. “You told me you never knew who Claude is! You lied to me! What have you people done to him!? Please, help me take him to the hospital. He has lost a lot of blood.” she pleaded.
The young man didn’t know what to say. He was still contemplating on how the girl located the place and why she referred to a Hugo as Claude. Before he could connect the dots, his mother arrived.
“Who’s this girl and what’s she doing with him!?” She shrieked.
“I don’t know, mother.” Raphael couldn’t avert his eyes from the poor girl. His mother called on the guards who ran to the room and pulled Eniola away from Claude. She screamed and flung her legs haphazardly.
“Make sure she doesn’t remember anything!” The woman instructed the guards who carried her through the long passage. Of course Raphael understood her mother’s instruction, so he said to her, “You don’t have to kill her, mother. She’s just a teenager!”
“The teenager knows something. La mort est le meilleur moyen de protéger un secret.” she concluded in French which means, “Death is the best way to protect a secret.”
Suddenly, gunshot escalated from outside to the long passage. The guards who carried Eniola dropped her on the floor when they saw a man at the end of the passage. Before they could pulled out their guns, a bullet of the unknown man did not only kill them but also hit the little girl. Raphael protected his mother thereby taking a bullet for her while the woman ran away. Unluckily, she met another man at the other end of the passage who said, “Chief sent his regards.”
“No, no, no!” The woman shouted but the man never hesitated to shoot her in the head. The two unknown gunmen entered into the room where Claude struggled between life and death. One of them carried him while the other followed them as they walked through the passage. Eniola, even with the bullet which only struck her shoulder, opened her eyes to see the blur image of the men, leaving with Claude. She could also hear their voices but didn’t understand what they were saying.
“Claude” she faintly called with blood gushing out from her mouth and her hand raised up like a surrendered wrestler, but nobody heard her or noticed her, so she totally collapsed.
In a hospital bed, a medical heart monitor which was connected to Eniola’s heart beeped at a corner. She had unconsciously been on a sick bed for days after she was found at the warehouse by the Nigerian police. Beside the bed was Ayomide, the mother and, of course, Gbenga who never seized to have his walking stick placed in between his legs. He was always on agbada. Suddenly, the little girl opened her eyes.
“Mama?” She called.
The mother raised her head when she heard her voice. “Eni! Oh my daughter, thank God you’re awake!” she began to cares her hair.
However, Gbenga had been soliloquizing, thanking God with hands raised above the ceiling of the hospital.
“Where am I, mama? What happened? Have you found Claude?” Eniola asked numerously. In stead of answering the question, Ayomide looked up at Gbenga because she didn’t know what to answer. Gbenga crossed the other side of the bed and said, “Ọmọbinrin mi, we’ve made inquiries about Claude.. and… and…” he glanced at Ayomide.
“And what?” Eniola asked.
“And we found out that he never existed.” the mother interfered.
“Yes,” Gbenga took over from her. “Claude was an angel sent to come and heal you. He accomplished his mission and went back to heaven.”
“But.. but I think I saw him in a warehouse.”
“You did?” The mother asked, glancing at Gbenga.
Eniola thought critically. “Yes, or was it a dream?” she queried again..
“Yes, my love. It must be a dream.” The mother supported the illusion. The poor girl remained silent. She didn’t know who to believe whether herself or the two old people acting weird beside her. She tried to sit up but felt her shoulder hurt.
“What happened to me?” She asked.
Ayomide and Gbengalooked at each other for the one million times. The mother swallowed hard and said, “We were attacked by arm robbers at home, so one of them.. you know, hurt you. I promise you my child, all this will pass away and you will live never to remember any of them. We are leaving the village to the city, or better still look for a way and send you out of this country then put you in a good school.”
They saw Eniola smiling happily which also had their cheeks drawing in broad smiles as the silence lingered in the hospital room thereby bringing the beeping sound of the monitor back to their ears.
“Mama?” Einola called. “I know you don’t have money. How do you plan to achieve all this?” She asked. The broad smiles on Gbenga and her mother’s face suddenly vanished……
TO BE CONTINUED.