Aneke stood at the door post that leads to the verandah staring at his sister Akunnayia who was seated on her curdling chair, staring intensively at the dark cloud; as if she could read some words from the lid of the cloudy sky. He had been transfixed there for a while, when his wife came embracing him from behind to drift his attention away from her.
“Don’t worry she will be alright,” she whispered into his ear, “All you have to do is to stay strong for her.” She reassured her husband. He sighed heavily without turning to face his wife.
“Just look at her. The once beautiful, smart and intelligent Akunna, she has now become a vegetable. A ghost of her owns self,” He said with much acridity. “I wish I had done more to restrain her from the path she was trending. You just can’t compete with a system, a system that has been in existence before you were born, but she just wouldn’t listen to anyone.” He sighed heavily, as he turns to follow his wife inside the living room.
“don’t worry Akunna will definitely be alright, I know her to be a strong woman, an Amazon of repute and admiration, all she needs from you right now is your strength to keep her strong.” Aneke’s wife cajoles him.
Ever since Akunnayia was released from prison and fell sick, Aneke couldn’t help blaming himself for not standing up to protect her as the elder brother he was. Although, right from when they were young Aneke has been seen as a sissy, a mama’s boy, despite being the eldest child and only son. Akunnayia at the other hand was the opposite of her elder brother. According to their father, she was a replica of their late grandfather who was known to be an introvert.
Akunnayia had love the activities and company of male folks from her childhood, she was the type that you could hardly compete with in any debate and come out victorious, or change her attitude towards anything she was bent on achieving; to the chide of her mother who constantly reminded her of her femininity, in contrast to her masculine attribute. However, she will always beat her mother to it with reference to the weak and inert nature of females.
Akunnayia grew up with such idiosyncrasy of a strong willed lady that hardly accept any defeat, and was prepared to go the extra mile to drive home her point, and ideology. She decided to study law in the university.
There was a turn of event in her family that goaded her towards her desire to study law in the university; it was the death of her dearest father. They were on their way to the village when they were accosted by some police officers who where suppose to be on a stop and check duty. Nevertheless, they weren’t actually carrying out their assigned duty, but were busy extorting money from commuters before they could be allowed to pass through; while those that refused to play along were delayed unnecessary, despite the authenticity of their particulars, her father fell a victim. And he never compromises, neither those he encourages bribery and corruption. Her father became furious when he was asked to park, and was delayed unnecessary after his particulars had been cross checked by the officers; they had no reason to delay him any further, but due to his refusal to grease their palm with some naira note, they seized his particulars and left him stranded.
“Dear, please give them something so that we can leave this place,” his wife besought him.
“Are you advising me to compromise what I kick against, don’t the government pay them? They are being paid with tax payers’ money, and I also pay my tax, so I wonder why it’s a most I tip them something before I can go. ” He said to his wife ruffled over her suggestion.
“You can see that other drivers are also tipping them so that they can pass. If we don’t they will end up delaying us here for long o.”
“Because others are doing that, those that mean I sound follow suit? That’s why this country can’t move forward, we embrace anything given to us without a fight. At most I will leave the particulars with them, and will write to the IG of police. This day light robbery calls for attention, it’s getting out of hand.” He said, piqued over the police forceful extortion.
“Daddy, please tip them let’s leave here, nothing works anymore in this our society. Writing to the IG will not change anything; you know that it’s the same umbrella that is covering them all.” Aneke said to his father.
“Give them what! Did they keep any money with father? That is the problem with everyone in this country; we easily succumb to threat and bully, even when we are on our right. If others bribe them must we follow suit? This country has to change, and it has to begin with each and every one of us.” Akunnayia kicked against his mother and brother’s appeal to their father to compromise his stand and tip the police officers so that they can let them go. Her mother gave her a contemptuous look. Nevertheless, her father extolled her for her shrewd suggestion, as he started the ignition to leave.
“Stop there! I say stop there!” one of the officers’ bawled on him to stop, but he refused.
“Officer stops that man!” He alerted the other officer to clog him.
The officer raised his gun in attempt to crack it, what they heard next was an explosion, then a blackout.
All attempt to get justice for the murder of their father proved abortive, as the officers claimed that what happened was an accidental discharge; after all they were at their duty post trying to protect lives and properties. The case was poorly handled, while the officers were discharged and acquitted from the charges leveled against them, with compensation to the family. That did not go down well with Akunnayia, and due to that motive she had chosen to study law in the university to tackle prejudice and injustice, and bring about change in the system in her society. She forgot that in a society whereby there are supernatural forces preventing the rain from falling, all attempt to attract and cajole the rain will only be a chase after rainbows.
“Junior, go and ask you mom if she wants anything.” Aneke’s wife instructed Akunna’s only surviving child, to check how his mom was fairing in the verandah. Junior went to check on his mother, and what they heard next was junior’s scream; they both ran to the verandah to see what was happening, they saw junior clinging to his mother and crying, Aneke’s wife rushed to see what had happened, she saw foams coming out of Akunnayia’s mouth which was an indication that she was dead. She couldn’t hold back her tears. Aneke saw and picked a little bottle on the floor close to the curdling chair; he read through it and found out that his sister had committed suicide, by drinking rat poison.
Definitely, it has been a chase after rainbows after all in Akunnayia’s entire attempt to bring about change in a deteriorating society. A society that sees every attempt to fight corruption and politicking in the part of leaders that sees themselves greater than the society, an alien to the fetid way of life they are already manipulated to. Aneke shook his head in consternation on the path his country was trending, into self destruction. He once more looked behind him as he boarded a flight at the tarmac of the Muritala Mohammed airport which flew him, his wife, and Junior his nephew back to England; he vowed never to return back to the country, not until a revolution has taken place.