Written by author Nath
Heading: Dead Hope.
Stephen did not only step into the classroom like a green horn but also like an amateur and a stranger he was in the love garden. All eyes went to him especially Ada who admired him. Stephen discovered that he was on the same dress with others in the classroom thereby recognizing his full acceptance in the secret family. But remembering that he won’t see his love ones again, was heart-breaking. What has he gotten himself into?
Nevertheless, teacher gestured at him to step forward which he gradually did, looking at all the orphans.
“His name is Stephen Yinka from the main city.” teacher introduced him.
“He has a last name?” Cynthia whispered rhetorically but Stephen heard her.
“Everybody has a last name, don’t you?” he spoke up boldly, while teacher stepped back when he saw that the young boy has taken the ground. So he monitored them
from a corner and touching his beards as a source of inspiration.
However, the class had become quiet after Stephen challenged which got him a bit worried. But he continued, “Nobody falls from the sky. We are all products of sperm and ovum. Hence we have fathers and mothers. So why do you seem surprised about me having a last name?”
The orphans stared at him. No single noise was heard. None of them made a sound too not even a cough. Meanwhile, teacher’s hand had not left his grey beards.
“Stephen.” he broke the silence. The boy looked back at the teacher. “They don’t have last names because they are orphans.” The man said.
Stephen looked back at the class who were still staring at him emotionally.
“I disagree with you, teacher.” Stephen continued. “They have last names, just that they don’t know their last names.” he paused. He was beginning to sound like teacher to his fellow kids which generated more tranquillity in the classroom. Even teacher Nwachukwu couldn’t believe it!
“I have this ideology that nobody is an orphan.” Stephen continued. “That you grew up not knowing your father and mother doesn’t make you an orphan coz they might be out there somewhere. Unless you’re certain that your parents are dead, that’s when you can call yourself an orphan. But if you grew up not knowing where they are, my dear, you’re not an orphan and you have a last name. It’s just a matter of time for you to discover it if you really want to.” he concluded.
Cynthia, the fragile one began to shed tears but didn’t let anymore know by resting her head on her locker.
Teacher stepped forward. “Well spoken, Stephen.” he looked at the class. “Stephen received our signal. That’s how he traced us and wants to join us.” he turned to the boy, pointing at a noticeboard that hung on the wall behind him. “Read that notice aloud” he instructed.
Stephen turned. He narrowed his vision. “I swore to follow all commands by the teacher.
I must show love to others and never to love.” he glanced at teacher after reading the second line.
“It simply means that you must show love to these people but must not have relationship with any.” Teacher explained.
Stephen continued. “I swore to save my brothers and sisters in times of trouble.
Lastly, I must
not kill.” he turned to the class again.
“Now, each of them will introduce themselves.” Teacher walked out, while the kids said their names one after the other.
The news of a missing boy went across Kali city on every media. Police was also up and doing. One could hear their siren all over the road.
Sadly, Stephanie took it upon herself to paste Stephen’s pictures on every street as he was tagged missing. She wore a fairy gown that danced along with the wind. She stopped at a tree beside a main road where she also pasted, admiring the picture herself, hoping to see her love again. She turned to a passer-by.
“Excuse me, have you seen this face anywhere?”
The lady shook her head and passed. Stephanie became disappointed. Not only did she love Stephan wholeheartedly, she was privileged to feel the reciprocation of the love regarding the boy’s wealthy family background compared to her lower class family.
On the other hand, Yinka could be found inside a building where he seated at a long table with people with the same prestige. At the end was the president. He has long white spotted beards with agbada and it’s cap likewise others. They were the government Nwachukwu was up against training his students for the mission.
“Mister president.” Yinka began through an executive microphone embedded round the table. “I guess Nwachukwu is still alive.”
Hearing that, others Murmured to one another as a sign that the name ‘Nwachukwu’ had triggered fear in them. Yinka continued.
“Why I said this is because my son is missing. His close school friend, Stephanie, has explained that he was enthusiastic to see a teacher whom he got his teaching signal about love in a different dimension. And we all know that Nwachukwu is the one with such ideology. So i believe he’s still alive and that’s where my son is. Though the police is working tirelessly to locate him.”
Another person spoke up. “What you have is not enough evidence that Nwachukwu is still alive coz anyone could have the same ideology.”
“Whether he’s still alive or not, we must find the teacher who captured Yinka son’s mind. Hence, kidnapped him.” the presidents concluded.
However, Margaret, a.k.a Magi, a sheriff of the country, with her men found Stephen’s bike inside a forest. She was black and average like a woman in her late forties. She spoke through her communicator on her shoulders.
“All unit heads up. We’ve found the boy’s motorcycle. I repeat, heads up!”
“Cupied, Sheriff” a voice replied.
The woman gestured at her men to soar every nook and cranny of the forest which they began professionally with guns and military uniform, tracing a vivid pathway which Stephen followed.
On the other hand, at the love garden, some of the kids were playing hand ball as usually except Stephen and Murphy who converse beside the basketball court. Ada wasn’t playing or outside. She could be seen at a window still admiring Stephen.
“So the purpose of this lesson about love is to invade a government house to bring something believed to be sensitive to violence?” Stephen asked Murphy.
“Yes” he replied.
“That’s going against the government. It’s not gonna be easy especially without weapons.”
“We trust our teacher.”
“Going against the government is like going against yourself. It’s suicide!”
Murphy kept quiet likewise the boy. They could hear the bouncing ball and shout of their fellow kids on the court. Stephen became sad when he remembered Stephenie. Murphy read his mood.
“What’s it?” he asked him.
“Her name is Stephanie. I love her so much. I believe she’s not at rest anywhere she is now, knowing that I’m missing.”
“She will soon believe that you’re dead.” a voice came from behind. Both turned to see teacher standing behind them, wondering how he got there. Yet, others at the court never stopped playing the ball…
Meanwhile, the police were approaching very fast. Their footsteps even seem to be heard by the resident of the love garden.
“What do you mean, teacher?” Stephen asked him.
“Sometimes the best way to stop your enemies from monitoring you is by making them think you’re dead.” he replied, while the two boys wondered what he was saying..
However, the police had approached to the building, a local bungalow precisely. They barged in to see nobody there. The sheriff noticed spills of blood on the ground. At another corner, she saw Stephen’s clothes which she slowly picked up. She became disappointed, looking at her men.
“I think the boy is dead.” She said. “These are his clothes” she turned to a table to see an empty plate of food and cup.
“Let’s take these plates and cup even a
sample of this blood. We shall run a finger print to know who was here with him. Also to know if the blood is his.” one of the men suggested.
At the love garden, teacher walked to the front of the boys to avoid stressing their necks just to see him. From the window, Ada couldn’t help but to wonder what teacher was telling them.
“Stephen, are you aware we took one paint of your blood and served you a plate of food?” he asked then continued. “We made you touch the plate and the cup after my men discovered your bike before our territory. When you changed, we also took your clothes. They took the bike to another far distance, spilled the blood in a local house there and dropped other things. I believe the police will find them and take all those things for verifications. They’ll see that, those things are yours and conclude that you’ve been killed.”
Stephen stood up angrily with his eyes circulated with tears. “Tell me you’re kidding” the tears finally fell down. “Tell me you’re kidding, you freak!!” his voice attracted others from the court. They stopped playing while Ada ran out too. All watched as Stephen was hitting teacher, shouting and shedding tears until guards came and pulled him away.
Teacher adjusted his clothes, looked at his students who were already staring at him suspiciously, wondering what he did to the boy. Nevertheless, he began to walk inside.
“Your teacher is evil!” Stephen struggled in the hands of the guards. “He’s evil and wicked!” he added.
“Hey!” Murphy called on him. “Our teacher is not evil or wicked. He’s only smart.” he said to the hearing of everybody who concured with him immediately.
The police had run the test and fingerprint with the evidence of the clothes, they noticed it was for Stephen Yinka. Sheriff stood before the parents in their sitting room. In her hands were the boy’s clothes. The mother was already on tears when she saw the clothes.
“Sheriff, are you saying my son is dead?” Mr Yinka asked.
“Not certain but nobody can survive the quantity loss of blood we discovered there. Though, we won’t relent until we see an evidence of his death like his coupes.” The woman replied pitifully.
“Hey!!” Mrs Yinka exclaimed and collapsed on the cushion.
Stephanie locked herself inside her room when she heard the news, crying bitterly.
“Who killed my Stephen?” She laid on the floor, crying uncontrollably. The hope she had on seeing him died instantly….
TO BE CONTINUED.