She stood beside a beach with hands folded. Nothing came to her sight except the blue sea. Her hair wavered backward according to the movement of each tide made by the sea that got her feet wet and sandy. Her gown moved in the same manner like an Indian woman at lovely mood. Behind her was a wooden building with a thatched roof, while the rest of the vicinity was populated by shrubs and trees. It was a typical view of an island.
She had a brown skin, pointed nose and undeniable attraction of dimples. Her posture was like a passenger waiting for a bus. The colour of her eyeballs sparkles white like a possessed marine goddess, but unfortunately and sadly, she was using them to shed tears. Suddenly, a hand dragged her gown from behind. She didn’t turn immediately coz she knew it must be her teenage daughter whom she wouldn’t like to see her tears. Therefore she began to dry them with her palms as she turned to her.
“Erika, you shouldn’t be here. It’s cold!” She held her by the hand.
“Why are you crying, mother?” Erika’s voice always shows confidence and intelligence.
“No, no, baby girl. I’m not crying; the wind has a direct contact to my eyes. That’s why?” Monica, the mother, smiled unintended.
Erika stared at the sea too as the wind dances her own gown around also. “You’re crying because of my father, Nwachukwu, whom you told me about, isn’t it?” she looked up at her. “Why can’t we go see him. I wanna see him!”
“No, Erika.” the mother sniffed in emotionally.
Ferociously, Erika withdrew her hand from hers. “Mother, I wanna leave this place! We’ve been living here for years!”
“Erika..” the mother tried to hold her again but she stepped away from her.
“I want to go!!” she shouted, running towards the sea.
Already, Monica couldn’t hide the tears anymore as she ran after her daughter. “Erika, no! You won’t understand! Come back! You gonna drown!” she kept shrieking.
Truly the young girl was about to drown, carried by the tides of the sea, but the mother rescured her and both became wet.
The interior of the thatch house had a living room with chairs and a table. However, Monica had changed up likewise her daughter whom she sat down to clarify. She walked around before her with few fingers covering her mouth. Erika patiently waited for her to say something.
“Erika,” she began by taking a seat before her daughter. “I heard your father is turning Kali city around. He’s turning the whole country upside down, causing pandemonium with a device he stole from the government house. I can’t allow you go there.” She explained hoping it sounded convincing.
Erika stared at her. The look from her face could tell the mother that she hadn’t said what the girl wanted to hear. So she bent her head down with a heavy exhalation.
“Mother, why are we all alone in an island?” the young girl asked again.
The mother neither raised her head up nor replied.
“You’re telling me that it’s a dangerous time to see my father. What about the past peaceful years?” Erika added.
Monica raised her head up with dimming tears of the eyes. “I can’t be with him, Erika. I can’t be with any man!”
“I don’t understand.”
Monica stood up, turning her back on her. “I was cursed by my own father, Erika. I must not be with a man otherwise die.” She waited for the daughter’s response, but heard her cracking chair which means she had surprisingly stood up.
“Your father laid such a curse on you? Why?!”
“It was an ugly and embarrassing experience; my father was a titled man and secrede to traditional activities. One night, I came back home drunk to stupor and found him sleeping half naked.. and.. and…” She swallowed hard. “I was later banished after the curse.”
Erika became speechless. She gradually sat back to her chair. “You can’t be with a man. Then how did you give birth to me? Or did I fall from the sky?”
Monica turned to her. “That’s not the point. My days with your father could be numbered. He didn’t know when I left and I never told him why till date. He doesn’t even know where I am neither does he know that he has a child.” She concluded.
“That’s wickedness, mother. Let me go see him!”
“We both will see him when the revolution ends, please, Erika.” she pleaded as both stared at each other.
Months later, Erika and her mother set to travel out of the island to Kali city to see teacher Nwachukwu. It was the happiest day in the life of the young girl. Already, there was a mini-ship at the shore waiting for them. The sailor was a family friend called Idika.
Erika stood on the ship-top to see Idika and her mother through a window discussing something she couldn’t hear while she waited for them.
Monica handed a paper to Idika. “Give it to Erika to give Nwachukwu when you get to Kali” she said.
“Why?” the young man asked. “I thought we all are going together.”
“I won’t cross the sea.” She walked to the window where her eyes caught with her daughter’s who waved at her. She waved back with a smile then turned to Idika. “I’m not living life to the fullness. So why am I alive? Nwachukwu will take care of Erika.” She elaborated a bit.
Idika understood that she was talking about suicide by jumping inside the sea. “Ma’am, your daughter needs you. Don’t do this to her.”
“She needs her father, freedom and a normal life the more.” The woman concluded.
Nevertheless, they sailed out from the island to the middle of the sea where Monica stood on the roof of the ship about to jump, but Erika came out, standing at a distance.
“Mother, what are you doing there? Come down, it’s dangerous!” she yelled.
The mother turned to her with tears. “I’m so sorry, Erika. I love you so much.” She bitterly said.
“What are you say…” the girl saw her mother jumped into the sea. “Mother!!” she ran after her but the woman was long drown. Idika came out and held Erika down on the ship as she cried. The young man felt her pains. In addition to the pains, the night they got to Kali city, was the night Nwachukwu died according to the news they heard from a hotel room. Erika cried like a child throughout the night in the arms of Idika.
The following morning, Idika woke up to see her making a drawing on a large paper as if sketching a building plan like an architecture.
“What are you doing, Erika?” he asked her.
The girl kept quiet.
“I think we should look for a way to explain to president Murphy, one of your father’s orphan students.” he added.
Erika looked up at him from the edge of the bed. “I have no explanation to anybody. The orphans have my father’s properties, and I must take them one after the other, starting with the presidential seat.” she seriously said.
“But I heard the president is very smart. How can you do this?”
“You gonna see.” She concluded.
Idika exhaled, stretching a paper to her. “Your mother wanted you to give this to your father.”
Erika collected it……
Now, in the present, Erika wanted to execute her plans. How possible can she bring down Murphy from the presidential seat? Someone who everybody ardours and worships like a god. That would be an embarrassing slap to teacher Murphy.
Meanwhile, in the white house, by the sound of the closed door through which Vivian ran out, Murphy turned from the window with tears in his eyes, but didn’t know why. He was so deep in thought that he didn’t even hear Vivian’s resignation statement or noticed that she saw his secret diary. Therefore, he wondered why the girl had to run out that way. Though he didn’t care. All he cared about that moment was how to figure out the plans of the brightest star, Erika’s plans, and become, at least, half a step ahead of her. Slowly, he pulled off his shirt, trouser and shoes which he carelessly flung on the floor like a child. He was left with just a singlet of a pant. He locked the door, brought down the projector containing the drawing of the stars, he put on a television beside it, set a table and a chair at the centre of the room, placed a large carboard paper on it with his diary then walked to a telephone. One could see him speaking fervently through it. At the drop of the phone, all the exit in the white house was shut down.
Murphy sat down on the chair before the table and grabbed a pencil.
“Monica knows the blind sense game.” was the first thing he murmured then began to draw his plans too like an architecture.
On the other hand, Vivian rushed into their house, crying. She passed Dave and Obi who were in the living room. She did not greet them neither did she look at them. The two boys glanced at each other, wondering what came over her.
“Vivian!” They went after her to her room but found the door locked.
“Vivian, open the door! What’s going on?!” They banged on it.
“We need to call Murphy now!” Obi left to the sitting room where he dialed his number but surprisingly brought down his phone.
“What?” Dave sread his hands.
“Switched off.” he replied.
Daniella walked in that moment with a bag of food stuffs to see them looking woozy. “What? Why are both of you like this?” she showed concerned.
“Vivian cried home without speaking to us and Murphy’s number is off.” Dave explained.
Ella hurriedly dropped the bag on a dining table, walking to Vivians room instantly. Seeing her, the boys followed her…
However, Judith happily stared through the glass of a taxi that was taking her to her biological mother’s house. Her attitude could be compared to that of a kid. Though the taxi was in motion but it seemed to her the buildings along the road were the things moving as she kept smiling through the glass, staring at them like a kid. Suddenly, the car stopped. She looked at the driver.
“Is this the place?”
“According to the address, madam.” the young driver replied.
“Please, hold your ‘madam’ to yourself. Take your money.” She rushed out from the car happily with one handed luggage, while the driver drove off smiling.
Judith wore a black leggings trouser with canvas. Her shirt was tied at her abdomen in a way part of her stomach became visible. She stood by the main road, staring at a bungalow opposite her.
“Home, sweet home. Thank you Murphy.” She began to walk towards the door through which the mother welcome her with a hug.
The living room was locally furnished but Judith didn’t care. She saw four more children sitting in the living room who greeted her too. The eldest of them was a boy of twelve years old. The last born who is a girl was six.
“Are these my siblings?” she asked the mother.
Before Judith knew what was happening, the last born had hugged her. “Aaawww, my darling!” she carried her up while others kept giggling, exposing their thirty two, if at all it has reached. “What is your name, baby girl?” Judith asked her.
“U-go-chi” the girl stressed it.
“Awww, beautiful!” she looked at others. “What are your names? In fact, forget about the names for now. You, the big one” she pointed at the eldest. “Bring my bag. I have a lot of package for all of you.”
“Hope you like the house.” Mrs Jacob, the mother, asked.
“Oh yes! I can even see the main road from here.” She carried Ugochi to the window. “What about father?” she turned.
“Uhmm.. he has his own family. I didn’t end up with…”
“Is okay, whatever, I understand.” Judith interrupted her then to her siblings. “Hey, children, to the room now. I have a big package for you!” she led the way, a wrong way.
“That’s the way to the toilet!” Amaka, the eight years old girl told her with a chuckle.
“Oooh!” Judith made a U-turn. “Show me the way before I fall inside a toilet.” She added.
All laughed as they headed to the right way, closing the door behind them.
Mrs Jacob sat down with tears of joy, but began to smile at the voice of Ugochi which came from the room saying, “You can’t fall inside the toilet because you are big. Nobody will even flush you.”
Judith’s laughter echoed.
For the past seven days, nobody heard from Murphy neither did he come out from his room. Consequently, the country began to turn bad especially Kali city; people were robbed and some burnt alive. Even some building were set ablaze by unknown individuals, yet nobody heard from the president. This did not only bring suspicion but hatred to teacher Murphy. Therefore, a large number of them protested to the white house. One could see reporters and journalists taking the protest live to home televisions. One of them who was a female reported thus: “…unpon The killings and pandemonium in the city, the president known as teacher Murphy has been mute and locked up on the white house for seven days without letting anybody to see or hear from him. The reason remains unknown. But we can see angry protesters, protesting for that..” She handed the Mic to one of them to express himself.
“We’re in the government house, demanding for the president to come and address the country otherwise we won’t leave.” the angry protesters said.
On the other hand, Erika watched the news with a smile on her lips. Idika came out from the bathroom.
“This is what you wanted, right?” he asked her.
Erika glanced at him then picked up a cell phone. One could see her speaking through it.
On the same time, inside Murphy’s room, one could see him speaking through a cell phone too. Obviously, both were preparing for a battle. Who will win?
All the eight students of teacher Nwachukwu assembled in the living room, also watching the news. Only Ella was standing and boiling in anger.
“I don’t know why Vivian will know what’s happening but wouldn’t tell us!” she shrieked. “For seven days, look at what’s happening! Nobody knows whether Murphy is still alive or not!”
“Vivian, talk to us na!” Judith pookad her face.
“You people should let me be!” she sparked. “My discussion with Murphy cannot be disclosed. It’s confidential! Moreover, I don’t know about this his idea of staying indoors for seven days.”
“What happened the last time you were with him?” Obi asked her. “Why did you cry home?” he added.
Vivian rolled her eyes. “Fine, Murphy noticed a girl he wants to marry, I felt jealous and cried home. Are you guys okay now!!” she angrily stood up, walking away from them in a bomshort, but a breaking news from the television drew her attention back:
“Wow, the president is finally out to address the country.” the news said.
Vivian returned to her seat. Seeing Murphy again melted her heart. All watched and listened to Murphy who stood like a man of God with several microphones before him. Flash light from cameras never seized to change his complexion at every flash.
In front of the white house, Murphy began with his security behind him, “I apologize to the people for being selfish in the days i should’ve been needed the most.” he glanced at a paper before him as the flash light continues. “I pledge to make everything whole again. It’s not as if I don’t watch my television, it’s not as if someone doesn’t know what to do, but it takes time to know time.” he glanced at the paper again. “My teacher once told me that the only hidden camera I need to know what people do is my brain. Therefore, for the lost of lives and properties that have taken the best part of the city must be dealt with and whosoever responsible for them must be puni…” he paused when he saw sheriff matching forward with her men on uniform.
People wondered what was happening.
Sheriff approached closer to the president saying, “Excuse me, Mr president..”
“It’s teacher Murphy.”
“You’re under arrest for the murder of ten persons and the cause of lost of properties.”
People began to murmur surprisingly.
“Sheriff!” Murphy called out bitterly. “Are you out of your mind!”
“You have the right to remain silent or anything you say will be used against you in the court of law” the woman began to handcuff him after which she spoke through the Mics saying, “Teacher Murphy’s finger print was discovered at all the crime scene. He has been arrested and will be taken away for more investigation. Thank you.” She stepped out.
The country broke into two!!
At Vivians residence, all watched how Murphy was being taken away in a handcuff then speechlessly looked at one another. They were confused.
At the same time, Erika could be seen with the carbinate members in their usual location round a table. They had also watched what happened then marvled.
“How did you come up with this?” Amandi asked Erika.
“Simple, he came to my shop, I made him touch some things especially gas cylinders to get his finger print. He shook my glove where I duplicated more of them and sent them to the crime scenes.” She explained.
“That is to say that you killed those people.”
Erika kept quiet.
Bolaji cleared his throat. “How sure are you the boy doesn’t know about this coz he behaves like a wizard?! Don’t you think he was ahead of you in some ways?”
Erika smiled. “If he thinks he’s one step ahead of me, trust me, I’m two steps ahead. If he’s two steps ahead, I’m three steps over.” She also cleared her throat. “Now, let’s get down to deal”
“Deal?” they looked at one another.
“Yes, you must appoint me as the next president. I’ll use the power to regain my father’s property from them then leave the seat for you people.” She concluded.
However, when Murphy was put into a police vehicle, it became his own turn to smile for a reason best known to him…..
TO BE CONTINUED