Pa rozay urged her that they go to their parish to see the priest and if possible go for an impromptu confession for the protection of her husband, reminding her that been a young widow in this harsh economy is not a future he wishes for her, he helped her to her feet and walked her to the parish down the street.
“Today must be a very good day, I wonder what they want to keep me away from, probably I’m supposed to get a huge favour, nothing can keep me from getting to Lagos today”, Ade thought to himself. It was 6pm and the bus was filled after about one hour at the car park, passengers travelling to Lagos came out early today, “it means God is still on my side”, he said to himself. After a while of leaving the park he impusively brought out his rosary from his neck and began to pray the decades when he was interrupted by rants from an elderly man siting behind the driver complaining of his tight corner as a result of the driver’s seat moving backward at every application of the brake, Efe didn’t know why this particular scenario interested him but he kept staring as the driver repeatedly tried to adjust his seat without success and with the continous wailing from the elder behind was forced to use both hands to quickly adjust his seat and put things right, at this point Efe had something to say but his throat felt itchy and the words came out too late for the bus had already swerved off its track crashing into a car undergoing tire change by the side of the road.
“Place him gently besides the calabash”, was all Efe could hear, he felt he was been carried but didn’t have the strength to question the movement or even resist it, he was helpless, his eyes caught sight of mama Isoken and he drifted into painful slumber. When he was fully awake, he got he update on what had happened from his aunt, her number was seen among his last dialed numbers and she was called to attend to his emergency by road users who came to rescue the survivors of the crash. Efe was very sore from his injury and the narration of his second ordeal in a day didn’t make it any easier, his pain grew and Esosa the lady tending to his injuries rose to his call to ease his pain, “take it easy”, she said at every instance he tried to get up on reaching his pain threshold, Efe knew she didn’t understand the level of pain he was feeling at the moment, its easiest to talk when you’re not the one the shoe is pinching hard, he thought. Mama Isoken’s entrance into the room broke his mind from the thoughts about his nasty nurse, o boy was he glad to see her, he fixated his stare on her face, her countenance was down, in all the years he had known her she had never worn this kind of low countenance, it was obvious that something great troubled her. What is the matter aunty?, he asked.
It was the third day of Efe’s disappearance and it was the day Elizabeth will declare herself a widow as the custom of her husband’s people demanded. After three days of not knowing the whereabouts of her husband, it is expected that the wife declares herself a customary widow to everyone and report to the nearest elder to check with the spirits if her husband has become a resident in their world so as to know when to begin passive burial rites. Pa Rozay came to the house with his car to drive Elizabeth and her mother-in-law to Elder Apejuwe’s house, he was the closest elder to them and they were very fond of him.
The process didn’t take long at all as the messsge from the spirits was very clear, he delivered the gods message, “He is dead and alive, undead and dead, forgotten but not gone, his soul will we claim when the time is come”.
Mama Efe began to panic, out of fear for her son’s safety. She collapses and is rushed to the hospital.
Aunty what is the matter, Efe demanded to know. Your countenance is not ordinary, I know something is up, tell me what it is, I can handle it, he pressed further. “You should have listened to me when I said you shouldn’t retun to Lagos, I knew someting was not right and now I know what the problem is”, she said in reply. She spoke with such pain as was best suited for the mood. Efe had been laced with a curse, a death omen, that was the reason for the double accidents in a day. They had interrupted the triple cycle of the curse on the second count and had to keep a close eye on him. “The curse works in cycles of three deadly misfortunes with each surpassing its former, it is impossible for anyone to survive all three and now that we’ve interrupted the cycle we don’t know what to expect”, mama Isoken said. Her friend mama Omoye join came to join them. She was a herbal woman and brought herbs to help repel the dark forces surrounding Efe while they think of a permanent solution to the problem. Both women go outside the room to better discuss how to proceed and figure out a permanent solution. Esosa, the local nanny was left alone with Efe.
She tries to kill Efe with a charm she brought out from under her dress but suddenly drops dead.
A frightened Efe starts calling for his aunt to come in. She realises what just happened and tells Efe that his attackers are closer than they initially thought and immediately refused his clamour for a call to his wife and mother. “Your enemies are your close friends and can be anyone. I will not risk your life in any form until I use every power available to me as a white witch to discover who is doing this to you and why”, she said to him.
Elizabeth goes to the police station to report chief Obi as a possible kidnapper. “My husband went missing the day he was supposed to come back from that man’s house”. She was not paid any attention as chief Obi is well known for been a philantropist in that community. They called Pa Rozay to come take her away and he appears within the next 5 minutes.
He takes her away from the station and thanks the police for not locking her up. Outside the station he admonishes her for her reckless behaviour coming to accuse chief Obi of all people of kidnapping. “What in God’s name where you thinking? Do you want to add to the already growing pain of the family? Mama went into a coma today and you were no place to be found, instead of coming to the hospital, you were here causing problems”, he added.
Elizabeth began to weep