THE LAST COMPETITION … (18+) … Part 17



Citizens began to gather around the fly-over. The siren of fire extinguishers came from a distance too, running not only to quench the exploded trailer but also to recure lives. One could see Mr Nnanna’s car folded like a paper and the fallen trailer producing fire like a burning bush. Ken saw how people rushed into the fly-over and carried the driver of the trailer out. He was already dead. Seeing that, he blamed himself for not saving his life too. But what could he do? Only those he sees with the magical eyeglasses he could save. Meanwhile Mercy and her father had not taken their eyes off him in curiosity.
“Ken?” Mercy wanted to be inquisitive, but Ken didn’t answer her, rather ran out of the place to avoid their interrogations.
Mr Nnanna looked at his daughter. “What do you know about that boy?”
“Dad, as you can see he’s putting on the same school uniform like mine. He’s my classmate and…” she swallowed hard.
“Well, he is something else. Only a powerful being can tell what happens tomorrow. I’ll like to see him personally”
Mercy directed his eyes to the fly-over still wondering how she would have died if not Ken. “Dad, I need to go home” she began to walk out of the place.
One could see Ken walking along a long passage found in Roland hospital. He met Jade and Ikuku standing beside Wisdom’s sick bed. They stared at the wounded body and bandages on his arms and head. Before they could break the silence, a breaking news came from a television that hung opposite the sick bed. All watched and listened as the news broadcasted thus: “A drastic accident just happened at Ure fly-over where a trailer crushed another vehicle. Unfortunately, no one was in the car. The owner of the car, Mr Nnanna, said God used a boy to save his life and that of his daughter…”
Ikuku and Ken looked at each other, while Jade folded her hands still watching the news. Obviously, Ken knew people will come for him for questioning.
“I need to have a word with you before I go” Ikuku told Ken.
He met his eyes. “Go?”
“Yes” he began to leave after smiling at Jade once more, while Ken followed him to the entrance of the hospital where they stood, watching vehicles sped on the main road before them. They could also see some cabs dropped people who began to walk towards the hospital. A gentle morning wind blew Ikuku’s long beards sideways as ken waited him to state his purpose of summoning him privately. “Lad?” he began without looking at him. He directed his eyes to a crying baby on his mother’s thighs who sat under a tree found in front of the hospital.
Ken didn’t respond, rather placed his two hands inside his two pockets also, directing his eyes to the crying baby.
“They say what an elder sees while sitting down, even if a child climbs the highest mountains, he will not see it”
Ken glanced at him. “What do you see?”
“I see a city that is against you. I see blood shed and I see death”
Ken kept quiet.
“I also see tears like that of the crying baby”
Ken remained silence but concentrated more on the crying baby whose mother tried her possible best to make him stop crying.
Ikuku looked him. “You have a great responsibility, lad, yet you…”
“I got it. Yes, I know I fucked up by saving Mercy’s life” Ken interrupted. “I couldn’t let her die.”
Both remained quiet for a while.
“I’ll travel to the den of cleverness myself to seek for more answers to all your questions about the magical eyeglasses” he stared at him. “You must keep it secret as possible as you could. You must”
Ken met his eyes. “How long am i to wait?”
“I do not know” he began to walk away to the sight of the young boy. Ken stared at him until he vanished. He turned to a voice that called him from behind to see Jade standing in a jean trouser and light top. After analysing her dressing, he said, “Why are you not on school uniform?”
“I called Wisdom on the phone when I was preparing. That’s how I got to know that he had been attacked. So…” she paused. Meanwhile, Ken didn’t say anything again rather directed his eyes back to the crying baby thereby looking more worried and suspicious in the eyes of the young girl who took a step forward in a way she stood by his side, also staring at the crying baby. “Can you come around to our house after school?” she requested.
Ken looked at her. “Why?”
She met his eyes too. “Do you need a reason? After all, we gonna be siblings soon” she smiled.
Ken returned the smile. “Your father hasn’t proposed to my mother yet”
“He will”
Both remained quiet as Jade folded her arms, feeling the morning wind. “I’ll be expecting you, Ken” she began to walk out, while Ken stared at her too until she vanished just like Ikuku did. He quickly walked up to the tree where the crying baby was. He stood before the mother.
“Good morning, ma’am..” he paused as the woman stared at him. “May I?” he stretched his finger which the child grabbed then stopped crying immediately. He smiled.
The residence of Mr Raymond, Jade’s father, though not a storey building but had a fence. It has a developing mango tree which could serve as a shelter. Under it were plastic chairs and a table. Suddenly, Jade ran out of the house wearing a bum-short with a crop top. She opened the small gate then smiled at Ken who walked in still on his school uniform. His bag rested on his back. They didn’t change words until they entered into the interior part of the house. There was a dining room immediately after the sitting room and a kitchen after the dining room. Everything was well organized. Jade began to walk to the kitchen.
“How was school?” her voice echoed.
“Normal” Ken sat down on one of the couches.
“I called your line but you didn’t pick up”
“I didn’t come out with my phone”
Within some minutes Jade served a stew rice on the dining table.”I made lunch” she announced.
Ken left his bag on the couch then sat with her on the dining table in a way both faced each other. They began to eat, maintaining a tranquillity. Only the sound of the spoon hitting the ceramic plates was heard. Jade occasionally glanced at him like a brother which she souly wanted. Suddenly, she broke the silence saying, “Ken”
Ken didn’t answer rather met her eyes.
“I know you are not the talking type, but I want you to talk to me like your brother which you will be soon” she smiled then continued. “I feel like something is wrong somewhere ever since Wisdom was attacked by the same men who ran after you in the forest. I still remember how these men came from nowhere and saved us from the hands of Otiotio’s soldiers, yet, we don’t know who they are. So tell me, what’s happening?”
“Uhm..” Ken swallowed hard. “Nothing is happening..”
“Is it that you don’t know what is happening or nothing is happening, coz something is happening?”
Ken took a spoonful rice. “I don’t know” he ate it then began to prepare for another one. Jade did the same but her brain worked faster. She knew Ken wasn’t telling the truth. Therefore she stopped eating and glared at him.
“Ken, I was in that vehicle when we were returning from rescuing our parents. Before you jumped out of the car, I heard exactly what you told Wisdom. You said, “I will meet you at Golf Equisite hotel near Enugu airport, room 22 precisely before six post meridian. Otiotio will die by your bullet. I have seen it all”” she paused still glaring at him. She could also see how frightened and scared ken was looking. “So tell me Ken, how did you see it all?” she concluded.
The young boy became speechless and suddenly lost his appetite. “Jade.. I.. uhm.. you see.. uhm..” he kept stammering, looking for a way to cover up. How would Jade know that he was only looking for a way to save her from trouble. Just before he continued, the sound of a vehicle that came into the compound distracted them. Jade moved to the window to see who it was; her father with Mrs Ukachi, Ken’s mother. She signaled Ken to come over with a smile. Both watched their will be parents from the window happily sat under the mango tree with bottles of wine on the table. To their very eyes, Mr Raymond knelt before Mrs Ukachi and placed a ring on her finger after proposing. They huged and began to kiss.
The teenagers smiled from the window.
Gradually, Mr Raymond carried Ukachi, running towards the house when the kiss became intense. The teenagers knew they were about to make love then Jade said to Ken, “Follow me!” Ken grabbed his bag while Jade carried out the plates of food then both headed to her room. Ken couldn’t believe he found himself in a feminine room. Therefore he dropped his bag on her bed, looking around the room, while Jade rested against the door smiling and breathing hastily like an escaped goat as she heard the door of her father’s room opened forcefully and closed.
“That was fast of them” she grinned.
Ken didn’t talk but smiled.
“Do you have a girlfriend?” she changed the topic.
“Uhm..” Ken smiled. Just then, a beeping sound came from his bag continuously.
“What’s that sound?” Jade frowned, stepping forward.
Ken rushed his bag, opened it to see the magical eyeglasses beeping with a red light. He had never experienced that, hence he didn’t know why and what it meant.
“What’s it?” Jade became curious.
Ken closed the bag. “It’s my phone”
“Phone? I thought you said..”
“Sorry, its my computer, sorry, laptop” Ken interrupted hastily.
“Let me see” Jade moved forward…..


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