Ireti looked frail and pale.She was engrossed in deep thoughts when she heard the door open and thought it was her regular dinner which was eko.
She panted heavily when the guard threw him down next to her. She felt like she was dreaming, the moment the door was jammed against them, Ireti cried out loud.
“My heart..I warned you not to come..” She started in tears.
“These people are violent…” She lamented sadly.
After staring at her bruised body for minutes, Simon placed his cuffed hands around her neck,and his mouth claimed hers hungrily.
She looked ravishing to him and they both snivelled whilst their mouths worked passionately.
“Baby……Please don’t ever leave me.” Ireti pleaded sadly.
He could barely recognise her,her face was swollen and decorated with a black eye.
“I’m sorry for distrusting you..for abandoning you..and accusing you..Please forgive me!” He knelt before her with tears in his eyes.
“Please don’t ruin my excitement..you shouldn’t kneel for me…I’m the happiest woman on earth now that my heart is here.” she cried out.
Then the routine check began.
“What happened to you here?” She enquired about the plastered wounds on his left hand and used the flint she hid under her mat to cut off the twigs that bound him.
“I lost myself when you disappeared,” he clouted in tears.
“I don’t like how you look,” she responded.
Ireti groaned in pain when she attempted to bend.
“Just lie down.” He ordered as he placed her back on the mat gently.
He sobbed when he realized that she had bruises everywhere…the oversized gown exposed a bit of her bosom which had injuries.
“What happened to you here? He raped you?”
“Sims? No questions” He touched her body and realized that she was cold so he laid down beside her with his arms around her waist,he kissed every bruise he could find.
Her gown was too thin,it was almost like she was naked. Every contour of her body could be seen,he pulled off his t-shirt and wore it around her neck.
He kept examining her top half and when he was done,he went to the lower. “What happened to your thighs?” There were nail marks and bruises,Simon bowed his head in tears.
“The bruises don’t hurt me anymore..you’re here so they don’t hurt me anymore,” she replied with a weak smile. He laid side by side with her,and their lips convened for fifteen minutes.
He turned her face down and touched her back,the moment he did she squawked out in pain.
He tried massaging it gradually for her,and took her mind off the pain with good news.
“Our company has spread to five international countries”.
“I’m proud of you!” She whispered.
He laid hands on her back and spoke gently saying “Receive strength!”,she felt the impact immediately.
“I love your beards” She replied with a weak smile and proceeded to kiss him once more. The door opened up whilst they were at this.
“Is this a brothel?” Princess Lara yelled and called on the guards to separate them and bind his hands.
“I should have fun with you since orunmila has healed me and we’re here alone” she said to Sims with a salacious look in her eyes.
“Get out” she commanded the guards who obeyed immediately.
“Iyawo? I want you to watch this” Lara said to Ireti.
She kissed Sims’ face,when he stubbornly moved his head from her grip she moved to where Ireti lay and slapped her.
“If you disobey,she suffers!” Lara said coldly.
“Please..let her be…no more beatings..don’t hit her anymore..do whatever you want with me” Simon begged with teary eyes.
“This is what I want with you” Princess Lara replied as she grabbed his lips with hers and bent down to kiss his neck and chest.
Ireti fainted the instant she saw this. Sims fumed with anger,and Lara left fearfully.
“This is just what I wanted” he remarked as he walked over to where Ireti lay, after cutting himself loose with the flint she gave him. He kissed her face and sat still.
When the door knob twisted,Aderopo walked in gallantly with a guard.
“Husband and wife” he roared with a wicked smile on his face.
“So you’re the bastard who impregnated my wife…”
“She’s mine not yours.” Sims corrected and he got punched in the chest for being ‘disrespectful’.
“If she’s yours then you should know where Ayetoro’s crown is. I need it urgently so we can get married”
“I’m afraid I don’t know” Simon yelled rebarbatively.
“Then you’re worthless,maybe I should cut off these white legs of yours tomorrow” he said with a wide toothed grin.
“I would love to see you try” Sims replied and a guard hit him with a raw hide.
“If you truly love this primigravida you’ll ask her to think deeply about the whereabouts of Ayetoro’s crown…else….I’ll kill her in your presence” he kicked the bowl of drinking water that laid on the roughly cemented floor before leaving.
Sims prayed and sobbed aloud after slouching his back against the wall.
“I can’t do this in her presence. I must be a sinew for her,these people don’t know who they’re messing with,my only concern is about her safety” he said and checked her pulse frequently.
“Wake up my love,I need you to wake up!” He said quietly and she opened her eyes a few minutes after that order.
“I need you to be strong..he said as he traced his finger across her swollen lips…whatever they do/try to do to you shouldn’t scare you….” His words made her sob aloud,he patted her head gently and secured it on his chest.
“Look at me! You won’t die and neither will I…they’re all toothless bull dogs… We’ll get out of this better and stronger. Be strong for God,these people can’t see Jesus and they doubt his existence but…we can make them believe through our faith and persistence” He added reassuringly with a weak smile on his face.
“I remember…you’ve trained me concerning this before…but I’m scared..my body hurts…I healed Princess Lara you know? And what did I get? Insults,pain and betrayal” he kissed her when she made this statement.
“I’m so proud of you…keep doing whatever God lays in your heart to do…and whenever you feel like giving up,just envision our future together as one big happy family..with a diamond rock on your finger,our kids,pets,a mansion..whatever pleases you..nothing can ever be too much for you to envision” She cried and kissed him gently.
“They want the crown,and I don’t have it..they wanted to circumcise me today…they’ve declared my mother wanted..Ayetoro’s chiefs are partners with them..they are siphoning funds and my people don’t know”
“Shhh…” He replied with a loud cackle.
“Circum what? It can never happen…just rest..and don’t think about the answers to their questions before hand…let the holy spirit guide you..don’t make hasty decisions because my life has been threatened by these brutes..just rest” He said tenderly and arranged her hair with his hands.
“I love you!” She confessed.
They yielded to the somnolent atmosphere and laid down side by side,with hands around each other’s waist before drifting off.
They were awakened by two heavily built guards who practically dragged them into the living room where King Aderopo sat with his mother,sister and chiefs.
Ireti still felt sleepy and yawned on the rugged floor where she sat,her eyelashes fluttered coyly, because she felt Sims staring at her the entire time. The two were practically acting out a love scene,they seemed oblivious to the fact that they were being watched.
“These two must be running mad or something.” The chiefs whispered amongst themselves.
King Aderopo shattered the silence. He was dressed in a blue aso oke with royal beads on his neck and hand and a white crown graced his rather large head. Two guards stood at his sides waving a huge fan which was utterly useless since the weather was cold.
“So..Ireti….can you now tell me where the crown is? How am I supposed to be the King of Ayetoro when we get married if I don’t have the crown?”
“I’ve told you several times,I don’t know where it is.” Ireti asserted boldly.
“You don’t know? You think you can fool me? Bring me the knife” he commanded his servant.
“Here it is my king” the guard replied a few minutes later. He held it against Simon’s pale throat.
“If you don’t give me a reasonable answer,I’ll slit his throat here and now!” He thundered mercilessly. Simon smiled briefly with a machismo Ireti had never seen him portray.
“Please don’t hurt him..I’ve been thinking…but I really don’t know”she replied in tears.
“I don’t want to soil my regalia with his foul blood. Take him to the gallows! Abenilori will take care of him” (Abenilori-headcutter. A term used to address a prison official who enforces the death penalty).
“Ahh!!! Please!!!!! Give me time to think..I really don’t know” Ireti cried out.
Simon spoke to her with his facial appearance of calmness and control but she still felt sad.
“Well..if you don’t know where the crown is, I have to enforce plan B.Since you’ve been circumcised,we might as well get on with our wedding arrangements.”
His mother had refused to inform him of the incidents that took place when they attempted to circumcise her,she was afraid that he would have her locked up for her ‘incompetence’.
Ireti prayed earnestly when she got to her cell.
“Please save him Lord” she pleaded on her knees,her prayers were interrupted by a guard who walked in with a singlet and pair of navy blue trousers-these were the pairs of clothing Sims had on before he was taken away.
“The deed has been done Princess,I was asked to come and show you the proof”
Ireti grabbed it from him and examined the outfits closely. There was no use sniffing them,she knew they belonged to Sims. The lanky guard collected the outfits from her and walked out,he nodded in his head remorsefully due to the pity he felt for her.
She laughed aloud saying “He has just killed the part of me that was my solace.”
She was awakened by a knock on the door.
“That’s rather weird..no one has knocked on this door since I got here.
“Come in” she answered.
A maid knelt before her with her head bowed down.
“I’m sorry for disturbing you Ma..I have a few questions for you” The lean lady said boldly. She was fair,young and beautiful although she stammered a lot.
“What is it?are you ill?”
“No Ma…its about this God of yours…I saw what you did to the Princess the other day…you touched her and she stopped coughing out blood immediately…did your God do that?” She implored as she scratched her head nervously.
Ireti expounded the word to the maid named Shola,and got her born again that very instant. She also laid hands on her for the witness of the holyspirit,it was after all these that Shola informed her of the revival John was stirring up in the prison.
According to her the prisoners,guards and villagers were gradually getting saved and this was greatly assisted by the secret networking of Bible supply sponsored by Ayetoro.
Many people got theirs secretly and they’ve been truthful,and upgraded thanks to the knowledge the Bible had armed them with.
Shola soon became an intermediary between Ireti and Ayetoro through letters hidden in a Bible until one fateful day when she got caught by a fellow guard.
“You are a betrayer! I will take your life for this” Aderopo thundered after beating Ireti tirelessly with a raw hide.
He took them both into the cell and Shola begged him in tears.
“Pleeasseee Sirrrrrrr” She stammered weakly.
Aderopo brought out his sword and thrusted it deeply into Shola’s chest.
Ireti had never seen such before,she vociferated a loud whimper and shuddered.
“Eat her body,you just killed her!” Aderopo commanded and he left the lifeless body in her cell.
After hours of weeping,Ireti received direction and she breathed into the dead girl’s mouth.
Miraculously, Shola was resurrected hours later. She coughed out loud,and Ireti celebrated quietly for she didn’t want to be discovered yet.
“I was dead?I felt like I was asleep” Shola commented truthfully.
After hours of seeking direction,Ireti sent her out of the palace in the middle of the night.
“Go! Get out of here,find a job,get married and tell everyone of what God has done for you. Don’t worry,you’ll be invisible to everyone in this palace. Just go!” Ireti ordered in joyful tears,the young lady who stammered no more knelt and bowed to Ireti.
“I will come back and get you out of here” she assured in tears.
“Thanks dear..you’re a living testimony” Ireti confessed with a big grin.
“We have to sneak into Ayetoro, I’m sure we would find the crown there. The Princess has to come along with us,news has reached me that Ayetoro wants to war against us. We must make a peaceful resolution with them” Aderopo’s mother spoke to him wisely.
“No mama! We have allies remember? The Federal government is with us” he replied and sauntered around nervously.
“Hmm..which government? They scheme with you secretly and when the truth comes out,they exterminate you like a fly trapped in the net” She added.
“No resolution,we will take her along with us but there would be no peaceful resolution! I am not a coward! His Lordship is with us remember? Goodnight!” And off he went to sleep.
“Kaabiyesiii! We have good news. Olori Ayoka was apprehended this morning on a cocoa farm where she has been hiding.” A guard narrated few minutes later.
“Here in Amofin?” He enquired with a loud hoot .
“Bring her in then!”
Olori Ayoka had lost weight,she looked emaciated and ill.
“Bring out her daughter also” he commanded fiercely.
Ireti cried out when she saw her mother,the elderly woman kissed her daughter’s forehead and wrapped her with the head tie that was used to blind fold her.
“What are you doing? Don’t be stupid!” He said with a kick to her back. Olori Ayoka cried out in pain when she was hit.
“Leave my mother!” Ireti cried out.
“Where is the crown? If you don’t answer,I’ll kill her in your presence”
“Ahhh! Please!! Kill me instead!!! Its with my stepson at Ayetoro…that’s where it is” she answered fearfully.
“Take her back,but I would love to be with my Queen,bring her here” The king ordered.
He kissed her forcefully and bit her lips when she struggled with him,his hands went downwards to cup her bosom and kiss them.
“There’s only so much I can do with this gown you have on,maybe I should strip you” he commented with a smirk on his face.
Ireti’s mother fell to the floor in tears when she saw this,she was dragged up and forced into the cell by two guards.
“My baby! Is this how he has been molesting you? I’m sorry for abandoning you! God and these two bosoms you suckled will punish these people” She lamented and massaged her daughter’s body.
“Why didn’t you travel out as planned?” Ireti asked her mother as she groaned out in pain.
“Travel kini? To where? I was just 30 minutes away from the palace, I couldn’t stand being away from you”
” They’ve killed my heart mama! I’m half dead” Ireti blubbered to her mother who embraced her tightly.
“So he came here? Omo oyinbo yen ma nife oh!(that white boy really loves you oh) eeyahh…”
Her mother joined in her weeping and they both prayed for a better tomorrow.
The impoverished royal family was driven to Ayetoro in a rickety bus which was all they could afford. Ireti and her mother were bound and dropped at the back seat with three guards seating in front of them.
One of the guards suffered from constipation and constantly farted,when his Royal Majesty got sick of the foul smell, he threw him into a thick forest and they kept moving.
Everyone in the bus was surprised,but no one said a thing. Unknown to them,Ayetoro’s soldiers had been informed of their visit and they were walking into a trap.
When their bus was sighted by the soldiers,numerous shots were fired. A guard was killed,and Princess Lara’s arm was hit by a bullet. The soldiers chased them but the bus was too fast for them to catch.
“Bastards! I’m sure there are many more of them out there,we need a distraction!” King Aderopo strategised out loud.
“When we get to that slope,throw their bloody princess down!” He commanded his bodyguard who bluntly refused.
“Its too risky Sir! The road is filled with sharp stones,even if she isn’t killed by the fall,her body will be ripped apart. There’s an excavation site there, remember?”
“Cowards” Aderopo vociferated and fired a shot into the young man’s heart.
“If you can’t do it, I can”