Mama Frank: “you people should wait first. What is going on here? Is it that I didn’t hear you well or what? Wise one, what did you say my son did?” she asked.
Dibia: “your son knows what I am talking about so you will do well to ask him. Sometime ago, he raped the same woman he married and took away her virginity. That lady has sworn that the man who raped her will never find peace and that he will not live to set eyes on his children” he explained in one breath.
Mama Frank: “somebody help me o. No, this is not true. Frank, tell me it is not true, there must be a mistake somewhere. Dibia, you need to consult with the gods again. My son has never raped any woman in his life” she defended him.
Dibia: “hahahahaha….the gods never lie. It is right here, I see how he organized with his friends and raped her and then kept it away from her” he said.
Mama Frank peeped into the calabash, with the hope that she could see what he was seeing.
Dibia: “you cannot see it with your physical eyes. To see things beyond the physical realm, you need to see with your spiritual eyes for where the eyes stop to see, the mind starts to see” he said to her.
Mama Frank: “my son, you didn’t do it right? Tell me it is not true” she said to Frank who was sitting with his head bowed low.
“Say something, when did you begin to stammer?” she interrupted him.
Frank: “it is true, the dibia is saying the truth”
Mama Frank: “yaay! I am finished. Where do I go from here? You are my only son, Frank. Why have you done this to me?” she asked him.
Mama Frank: “don’t mother me o, how can you even rape your own fiancée? Where is that done for Christ’s sake?”
Dibia: “ehn-ehn, hold it there woman. Don’t you ever call that name of the son of God in this shrine again” he asked, obviously terrified.
Mama Frank: “I am sorry, wise one. It was a slip of tongue, please pardon me”
Frank: “mother, when it happened, we were not even engaged yet. We were only dating” he said.
Mama Frank: “is that an excuse? How can you rape a girl you were dating?”
Frank: “my friends deceived me. They made me do it, I am sorry”
Mama Frank: “Frank, this is so unbelievable. And to think that I thought I know you as much as I know myself? How can you keep such a thing from your own mother who gave birth to you? Why didn’t you confide in me? How can you be this stupid as to marry a woman you raped and expect to live in peace with her afterwards?”
Frank: “I was afraid of what you will say. I just didn’t know what to do. After raping her, I fell helplessly in love with her and I couldn’t help until I had married her” he said.
Mama Frank: “wise one, you have to help me. This boy is my only child and I am a widow. If we allow him to die then I am doomed in this my old age. Please help us” she said squatting before the dibia.
Dibia: “woman, the solution lies in shedding the blood of his wife. That is the only way he can be free from the curse that she has placed on her assaulters”
Mama Frank: “please, there must be some other way. Help us plead with the gods”
Frank: “please old one, I don’t want to kill my wife. No matter what has happened, I still love her. please look for some other way”
Mama Frank: “will you shut up your filthy mouth there? We are talking about your life and you are here talking about love, which stupid love? Is love enough to keep you alive?” she asked rhetorically.
Dibia: “it is okay. Drop some money and let me plead with the gods on your behalf” he said interrupting them.
Frank quickly dipped his hand into his pocket and brought out a bundle of N1000 notes that his wife had given him and dropped it in the calabash without counting.
The dibia started another round of incantations and chants that took longer than the one that he had done the first time. At some point, his facial expressions changed and mother and son thought they could see that he was arguing with someone or something.
After he finished, he sighed.
Mama Frank: “is there another solution?” she asked anxiously.
Frank: “wise one, please talk to us, this suspense is killing me”
Dibia: “you are lucky my son, you have found favour with the gods. There is another way out”
Mama Frank: “the gods be praised” she said rubbing her palms together in supplication.
Frank: “what is the way out and how much will I cost me? I will provide all the money right away”
Dibia: “it is not about money. That is the problem with this generation. You people think that money can solve all problems and that is why most people go out of their way to make money. You have to do the second option yourself. Remember that you are the one who committed the crime so nobody will help you solve it” he said sternly.
Frank: “how? He said, his heart beating wildly.
Dibia: “you have to organize an elaborate reception where you will invite all the people that you invited when you wedded your wife. At that reception, you will kneel down before the presence of everyone and narrate to your wife how you organized with the help of your friends and raped her. Then you will ask her to forgive you and remove the curse she placed on the person who raped her. That is the only way you can be free” he said.
Frank: “what! This is ridiculous. How can the gods say a thing like that? Who does that? How can I even start telling Liz that I raped her in the presence of everyone? Do you want my marriage to crash? I can never do it”
Mama Frank: “ah, wise one. This is not as easy as it sounds. There is a penalty for rape and my son may even go to jail after confessing. Is there no other way round?”
Dibia: “there is no other way round. It is either he does it, or he kills her in a way that the gods will suggest else, be prepared to bury him soon” he said and disappeared, his voice still echoing in the shrine.
Liz tried to find out what had transpired between mother and son and dibia but they refused to tell her and assured her that all would be well soon. A glance at her husband’s face and she knew that all was not well.
“well, whatever it is,, I shall find out soon” she thought.
Declan was in his father’s office going through some papers when he heard a mysterious voice call his name. He looked around and was surprised to find out that he was alone in the office. He called his father’s secretary and she informed him that she had not called him. He dismissed her and as soon as he was back alone, he heard someone call his name and when he answered, a mysterious hand appeared from nowhere and slapped him.
Declan screamed and fell down on his face and went limb.
To be continued.