Son, I’m happy you’re finally awake,” the Queen said, with a smile all over her face. She sat beside Michael who lay on the hospital bed.
“Mum please call Miriam for me,” Michael said
“Son, just get well first,” Queen Jaja said. “Then when you go home you will see all the people you want to see, but for now, get well first.”
Michael looked over to Tony. “Tony, please can you tell mum that I want to see Miriam? I want her to know that I kept my promise. I lived and I’m healthy now. She doesn’t need to worry anymore.”
“I think your mum is right,” Tony said. “And besides, Miriam already knows that you’re healthy now, so don’t worry.”
Michael sighed and lay still on the bed. “Okay, fine. I have heard you guys.”
The day of the festival was here, and Nnenna had not stopped tormenting the village. Ezinne sat on her bed, deep in thoughts. Miriam had given herself up, and Ezinne would do the same.
She had already resolved in her heart and there was no going back.
The rumble of thunder stole her attention. She rose from the bed and advanced to the window, watching the sky darken as though nighttime had fallen.
“What is going on? I have to be at the festival now.” Without hesitation, she left for the festival.
Mike dashed toward the Queen’s chamber. Running into her in the passageway, he halted, breathing heavily.
“My Queen,” he said.
“What is it, Mike?” the Queen asked. “Didn’t I ask you to escort the Chief Priest to the festival?”
“Yes my Queen,” Mike said. “I went to the shrine and found the Chief Priest lying dead on the ground.”
The Queen panicked. “What do you mean you found him dead?”
Ezinne walked in to meet them. “Yes he is dead, and the same fate will befall us if we don’t complete this sacrifice.”
“Your highness, I’m sorry,” a palace guard said, panting. He’d dashed in after Ezinne. “I tried stopping her but she overpowered me.”
“Ezinne the great, is this really you?” the Queen asked.
“Miriam has paid the price for your son,” Ezinne said. “Now it’s time to complete the ritual. Let’s go to the festival.”
She walked away, leaving the Queen and the guards confused.
The Prince paced around his room, his heart littered with thoughts of Miriam. A knock on the door interrupted his thoughts.
“Come in,” he said.
Tony stepped into the room. “The festival will be starting soon. Why are you not yet ready?”
The Prince turned to face him, his face gloomy.
“Tony, what are you people hiding from me?”
Tony made to speak, but words escaped him. It took moments for him to find his voice. “I don’t know what you are talking about.”
The Prince noticed Tony avoiding his gaze. “Where is Miriam? And don’t give me that excuse about her travelling. I know that girl, she can’t leave me and travel just like that. Not when I was close to dying.”
“I think it’s time you read this,” Tony said, handing him an envelope. “Then maybe you will understand everything. Please, I know it’ll be hard for you, but know that whatever happened was not your fault. If you need someone to talk to, I’m here for you.”
Michael grabbed the envelope with shaky hands.
“Tony, you’re scaring me. What is it you’re not telling me?”
“Everything you need to know is in there,” Tony said, pointing at the envelope. “She said you would understand why she did it, and you’d be strong.”
Michael watched Tony leave. His hands still trembling, he tore open the envelope and fixated his eyes on the letter. He read:
‘My Prince, please just hang on for a while. I know it’s not easy, but please just stay strong for me and all will be well.
‘I love you so much that it hurts, and I know you love me too, even though I am just a nobody. Very soon, the surgery will be done, and all this pain will be over, my love. I’m grateful for all that you have done for me and I’m happy that I knew someone like you. Even though loving you will be the death of me, I have no regrets. Please, when you wake up, don’t be too hard on yourself. I made this decision myself, so please don’t blame yourself or anyone else. You were right the other day you said I was a mermaid. I’m sorry I never got to tell you the truth about my identity. I was scared you’d hate me. But now I know you wouldn’t have hated me. I’m so sorry for hiding it from you.
‘It pains me to say goodbye, but I just have to. I will always love you, even in death. I believe that you will find a better woman, but please don’t forget me completely. Even though I’m gone, I will always be here, and you will see me. More love from me to you. I miss you.’
Tears poured out of his eyes. “No. No, no, this can’t be happening. No, she can’t go just like that. No, I refuse to accept this. She is not allowed to leave me just yet. Not now, not ever.”
His body trembled beyond his control as he wept. “How can she do this to me? God, I love her. Why take her away from me? Why, why, why her?”
I couldn’t control my emotions when I was writing this particular episode
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