Heading: Covetous Awareness.
The whining of the rabbits, chirping of the crickets and other creepy animals from the forest at the love garden could not be heard again by teacher Nwachukwu and Murphy because of their presence inside the bedroom. Only a running sound of a drink from a bottle to a glass cup filled theirs ears.
Teacher Nwachukwu kept smiling, staring at Murphy as he was slowly pouring the drink inside the glass cup until he returned the bottle to the bar-shelf, ossibly sipping from the glass as if it was the blood of Jesus Christ consecrated into wine.
“Murphy.” Teacher called him.
The boy didn’t reply rather copiously sipped another wine from the glass cup and began to lick his lips like a flicking prong of a snake through the vomeronasal organ, staring at his teacher to continue.
Nwachukwu smiled again. “What you’re doing, Murphy, is called covetous awareness.” he stepped inside the control room.
“Covetous awareness?” Murphy repeated, taking a step forward from the bar. “Can you elaborate on that, please?” he pleaded.
Teacher ignored him from the control room where he rattled a drawer. Murphy kept stretching his neck to know what he was doing until the old man came out with a pendant. Murphy watched him, carefully dusting dirt out of it as if it was an egg.
“Are you going to elaborate on convetous awareness or tell me what’s in your hand?” He calmly asked his teacher.
“Okay.” Nwachukwu began without looking at him as he occasionally blew out dust from the pendant. “A mother of a baby first gets a food. Secondly, she makes the baby sees her with the food. And thirdly she eats the food, chewing her mouth like it’s the sweetest food on earth. What do you think the baby will do?”
“He will crave for the same food to know how sweet it is too.” Murphy replied.
“That act from the mother is called covetous awareness, and that’s what you did to me with the drink in your hand.” he blew out the last dust from the pendant then looked up at his boy. “Covetous awareness is the act of drawing attention to yourself and making someone desire what you have. It is mostly done by people who want others to either partake on what they’re doing or make them feel jealous.”
“Wow!” Murphy exclaimed. “You’re really a teacher, teacher.”
Nwachukwu remained quiet, courteously opened the pendant with a sad expression. Murphy dropped the drink on a stool beside a bed and followed his teacher to watch the content of the pendant. He saw a picture of a beautiful woman in it.
“Who is she? Is she your wife?” Murphy whispered.
“Was” Nwachukwu replied.
“I’m sorry, teacher” Murphy sadly consoled.
“We never had a child when she died. Years later, i met another lady. That was a year after I brought all of you as babies and began to train you.”
“Where is the another lady now?”
“I don’t know. She suddenly vanished from the face of the earth. I believe her parents are responsible for that coz they never wanted her around me.” Nwachukwu closed the pendant and handed it over to Murphy. “You can have it. But i want you to promise me one thing.”
Murphy looked up at him. “What?”
“Strive to find all of your biological parents except Obi.”
“Why except him?”
“Like I said before, you all origin is in the secret diary. You’ll find the answer there.” Teacher concluded…..
On the rectangular table occupied by teacher Murphy and his carbinate members, is a sealed poison in a bottle water for him to drink and die. The masterminder of the plan is unknown not only to the maid who served the water, but also to others who made sure it gets to the white house. The only person that knows the planner is the one that added the poison at the factory.
Nevertheless, Murphy saw his carbinate members opening their water one by one to drink at the same time. Only then did he remember he was thirsty too, therefore he learned forward and grabbed his own water too. He opened it and poured it into a glass cup then raised it up to drink. Just at his lips, he paused, wondering why everybody started drinking at the same time. To complicate issues, he noticed that it was from their own act that gave him the desire to drink from his own bottle. Therefore he dropped back the cup of water on the table, leaned back on his seat, watching them devoure the water like Carmels.
Bolaji glanced at his bottle like a drunkard. “Water is life!” he complimented joyfully, glanced at teacher Murphy then began to drink again.
“Who poisoned my drink?” Murphy’s voice sounded like a provoking early morning alarm.
“Jesus!” Vivian, who overheard it, rushed out to the meeting ground.
Bolaji forcefully and hilariously spat out the water in his mouth with a continuous cough, not because he thought it was poisoned too but was surprise how Murphy noticed that the drink was poisoned. “What?!” he exclaimed.
Meanwhile, others like Amandi had been murmuring in surprise.
Bolaji widened his eyes at the president. “Teacher evil…sorry…Mu-evil.. sorry again.. i mean Murphy, I thought everybody’s water was sealed.”
“Yes.” others supported in unison.
“So how come its poisoned?” Bolaji asked.
“Covetous awareness” Murphy began, standing up and placing his two hands behind him like a teacher.
Already, the heart of the maid who served the water had been beating like a village war-drum at a hidden corner.
“When you make one have the desire to partake on what you’re doing is called convetous awareness, and that’s what you all did with the water. So the question is; why were you eager to see me drink from my own water?” Murphy asked them.
Tension filled the room. Vivian watched the old men the same way Murphy watched them suspeciouly.
Amandi cleared his throat. “Teacher, we met this water here as you did. How could we possibly poison it?”
Murphy signalled his guard to bring the maid who served the water. The innocent lady who was in her early twenties shivered before everyone in the house when presented. She was neatly dressed like a waiter; black plain trouser, white longsleeve shirt and a black bowtie.
Murphy quietly handed the water to her. “Please, drink from it, madam.” he told her.
All stared at her. The young lady obviously saw her death from the cup of water, so her hand began to quiver as she took up to drink in tears. She couldn’t take it.
“Yes, is poisoned.” she confessed bitterly.
“Eewwuu!!” Bolaji exclaimed with two hands on his head.
“Who paid you to poison our teacher?!” Amandi asked the young lady.
“She can’t possibly know. The factory where this water came from must be thoroughly investigated.” Murphy signalled his guards again. “Hand her over to the police for investigation.” he instructed and sat back to his seat for the meeting to continue. Of course he knew the master planner must be from one of them there, but didn’t bother to dig further.
Vivian exhaled heavily…….
The Sun went down along with the water factory that was shutdown by the government as the investigation proceeded. The white house became calmed unlike before.
Once again, Murphy stared through the window of his room. However, his fame in the country and other neighboring countries greatly increased after the news of covetous awareness reached them. People thought Murphy isn’t a human, while some said he’s a magician. Others believed he is an angel sent from heaven.
Nonetheless, apparently, he knew the worst was yet to come in as much as the brighter sun was concerned. That occupied more of his mind than the outcome of the meeting he had with his carbinate members. Wallowing in that thought, the door of his room robustly opened. Yet, Murphy never averted his eyes from the window coz he knew no other person would enter into the room that way except Vivian.
The young girl stood at the door in her cooperate attire. “Murphy, I have to go home.” she said.
The boy turned to her. “Vivian, I’m worried.” he said.
The girl listened for him to proceed.
“The outcome of the meeting today is for me to get married.”
“What? Who do you want to marry? Sorry.. of course is good… I mean.. you know.. marriage is a good thing.” She fumbled, feeling her heartbeat, while Murphy gazed at her until she became mute. The girl lowered her head coz she couldn’t look at him again. Unfortunately, she heard his footsteps walking to her thereby increasing the beat of her heart. Surprisingly, Murphy passed her to properly close the door behind her. He returned.
“Vivian, are you okay?”
“Me?” the girl raised her head. “I’m fine.”
“I’m only seventeen. How can i possibly get married and to who? Is that not child abuse?” Murphy spread his hands. “Though will be eighteen in few months time.” he added confidentiality.
“That isn’t a problem coz if you look around you or go to the street, you’ll see so many young beautiful girls that will suit you as the president.” she hid her feelings with a smile.
“This gonna be tough.” he concluded.
“I have to go now, Murphy. Good night” she turned to leave.
“Summon everybody tomorrow at your place. I will be having a dinner with you all, and I have a surprise for someone.”
Vivian turned swiftly to see him smiling. It sounded like a marriage proposal surprise to her. So she smiled happily too, nodding her heard like an agama lizard.
On the other hand, one could see Judith in Dave’s arms as they laid naked in one bed about to go to sleep, she was staring at the ceiling, lost in a deep thought.
Dave engulfed her. “What are you thinking about?” he asked her.
Hearing the question, tears rolled down from her eyes.
“Hey, baby, what is it?” he sat up seriously.
“Teacher Nwachukwu promised to find my parents for me. Now he’s also dead.” She broke down in cry, embracing Dave. “I want to see my parents, Dave.” she cried on his shoulder.
The poor boy didn’t know what to say, rather cares her hair and back to console her.
“Stop crying, Judith. You have me.” he said. He wished he could get her parents for her but how could he do that when he was in her shoes too?
Nevertheless, the next day, Cynthia and Ada had arrived to Vivian and other’s residence waiting for Murphy to come for the dinner as planned. Vivian was the most excited. She never hesitated to tell Ada and Judith about how she believe that the surprise Murphy talked about was about proposing to her. She could be seen with the two on a bed in a room still talking about it. All were on bomshorts, looking fresh. Each held a pillow on her thighs.
“Vivian, don’t be too sure of what you’re saying oh.” Judith held one of her ears as a warning to avoid heartbreak.
“I know, but the way he sounded, the way he looked at me and the way he smiled explained it all.” she narrated again.
“Anyways, let’s hope it is the surprise. Murphy will be stupid if he doesn’t notice you.” Ada substantiated. Just then, they heard Murphy’s voice and rushed out immediately to see him at the door.
“Welcome, Mr president!!” Judith shouted happily with her hands spread in the air like a worship singer.
Murphy smiled. “It’s teacher, Judith.” he corrected.
“Whatever” she added then all chuckled. Her voice attracted Obi and Dave. They shook hands with him happily too.
“Welcome again” Obi said. “Everybody, over to the dinning table. I made the dinner myself!!” he added.
“You girls allowed Obi to cook?” Murphy giggled.
“Don’t mind him!” Ada objected.
Meanwhile, Cynthia and Daniella who were sitting together on a long cushion, maliciously watching television had not said anything neither did they behave as if Murphy had come. Others went to the dining, while they never cared.
Murphy walked to both of them slowly. Already, everywhere had become quiet except the sound of the television. Though he was standing before them but they never looked at him.
“Cynthia, how are you?” Murphy broke the silence.
“I’m fine, welcome.” she flung a remote on the cushion and stood up to the dining too without looking at Murphy for a second.
Daniella took the remote.
“Ella?” Murphy called her calmly but she paid him a deaf ear. “Ella, I’m sorry, I’ve come to spend time with all of you like in the days of teacher Nwachukwu because I don’t want you people to see me as a pompous boy. My seat requires strictness and cleverness, even excellency. You should understand that.”
Daniella said nothing rather changed another channel of the television with a frown.
“You know you look more beautiful when you frown.” Murphy jokingly told her. “What a beauty?! Like an olive, like the face of a girl eating suya with yoghurt”
Ella finally smiled. Murphy used that opportunity to carry her up from the chair, going to the dining room. “You’re as beautiful as a fried potato” he added on his way thereby causing more laughter among others even Cynthia smiled.
“Murphy, pull me down!” Ella amusingly shouted and hitting his back with the remote.
He hesitated until he sat her on a chair beside his own saying, “Behold my right hand man!” he announced. “Sorry… I mean woman” he corrected while everybody laughed.
Daniella smiled. “I’m not a woman oh. I’m a girl.” she said.
They began to eat happily like old days, also gisting at the same time. Their laughter occasionally echoed in the building.
“Murphy,” Ada called out while they listened to her.
“Yes?” Murphy replied.
“Do you remember that time you made us believe that teacher was a ghost?” she casted their minds back.
All began to laugh again.
“But I never believed ooh!” Ella shouted.
“Mhen, I was damn scared!” Cynthia confessed.
“But it sounded so real!!.” Dave also confessed.
Murphy did nothing but laughed his ribs out.
“Another one” Ada spoke up again. “Murphy, there’s a rumour that you have a surprise for us or one of us.”
Vivian eyed her.
“Yeah, that’s true.” Murphy began while everywhere went cold except the sound of ceramic plates that filled their ears. “They said I should get married oh. A young boy like me. Though it’s in the constitution.” he said.
Vivian’s heart began to beat joyfully coz he started with the marraige issue. It could be seen on her smiling face.
“But picking a wife is not the surprise” Murphy added.
Vivian’s smiling face gradually became dull.
“What’s the surprise?” Obi asked him.
Murphy flipped a finger for his guards. One of them went outside.
Everybody stopped eating, staring at the door to know what the guard will come back with. Confusingly, they saw him coming with a man and a woman.
Murphy stood up, everybody turned to him as he said, “I’m the president for a reason. Judith, behold your biological parents!”
“What!?” almost all of them shouted especially Judith who turned to the man and woman again.
She slowly began to stand up. “Is this for real?” she whispered.
“In flesh and blood, my dear, and highly authenticated.” Murphy concluded boldly…..
TO BE CONTINUED.
Heading: Covetous Awareness.