The Omuha Fraternity

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Mrs Obaniko detested her husband.
Senator Afiang Obaniko held her husband of over thirty years in very low esteem.

He had given up on life. Gone were the days of vibrance. He had lost his edge. He seemed content to sleep and then awaken. Eat, drink and work out. In between, read a book or two and then some news.

He, in her opinion, was a shadow of his potential.
He seemed to have embraced a stunning depth of lack of ambition. He seemed to be content with bare minimum.

Unfortunately, Dr. Ochiwar Obaniko did not care about her opinions. Or anyone else’s for that matter.

Consequently the relationship was precariously perched at the edge of a sheer cliff. It was a matter of time.

So when Java did not come home the night before, another decrepit pillar of their relationship was on the verge of collapse.

He was late… As usual.

He could perceive her signature fragrance from inside the elevator of the police force headquarters. She was the only woman he knew with a penchant for male perfumes.

Her aides, assistants and security respectfully stood and bowed as he sauntered into the office of the Inspector General of Police.

Her voice was elevated.
She was stressed and afraid. It was understandable, Java, their daughter was an only child. She was not just the apple of their eyes, she was Ochiwar’s life.¬† She had been missing for a little over twenty four hours.

The perpetrators had called the house. The Butler said they wanted a ransom of one million dollars. In small unmarked bills of course.

His wife was livid and incensed. The money was not the issue, somehow though it was his fault.
Java was twenty years old. In the country on holiday. She was busy in the Senate ironing out national policies, where was he when this happened?

Her sour disposition did not help the situation. The I. G of police was already beleaguered by a myriad of official problems. He did not need a senator of the federal republic complicating his already complicated life. And so when Dr. Ochiwar walked in, he naturally preferred the man’s mild – mannered disposition.

His wife’s brothers and sisters were unfortunately present too. The cacophonous racket they were raising was as useful as Jack Daniels to a newborn baby.

Everyone was stymied. The situation was hopeless. A notorious gang of kidnappers had been terrorising the town for about a year now. The victims were usually killed anyway. Ransom paid or not. Java was as good as dead. The time line for the cash drop expired in three hours.

Senator Afiang increasingly grew incensed as she observed her husband marooned on his phone. Seemingly less than a hundred percent present.

“who the hell are you talking to at this time? What could be more important than your missing child? Your only daughter?! Can’t your whores wait?” Her flawless diction and accent-less phonetics empowered her words not only to hurt, but also to emasculate.

As if to further provoke her, his rather immature ringtone shattered the dead silence her cruel words had created.

Dr. Obaniko calmly picked up the phone,

“Do you know who I am?” He almost whispered into his mobile phone.

“I am reborn” He continued with his eyes closed.

“I will pay the ultimate price. My rights will not be usurped.”

The room was silent as he nodded intermittently listening to the voice on the other end. As he listened, tears escaped his closed eyes and trickled down his roguishly handsome face.
Everyone present knew that the call had to do with Java. No one interrupted. They hung on every word propagated by his strained, cultured voice.

He ended the call and slowly extracted an excessively white handkerchief which he proceeded to use to wipe his tears and noiselessly blow his nose.

He arose slowly and approached the I.G’s desk, he leaned over and rhetorically said,

“Do you know who I am? I am War!”

Then he proceeded to tell a suddenly very suspiciously docile  I. G of police the precise location where his daughter was being held.
He disclosed the number of people within a twenty meter radius of his daughter and the sort of weapons they were carrying.

As soon as he was done talking, the I. G barked some orders into an intercom.
He jumped up and left his own office running, screaming instructions as sirens instantly
began wailing outside in the car park.

Dr. Obaniko left the office and his wife behind without a backward glance. She called out after him gently. He paid no heed to her or anyone else. His personal assistant rushed towards him offered her shoulders as support. He was suddenly limping, sniveling and profusely weeping.

Senator Afiang and her entourage got to their fifteen bedroom mansion an hour later. Her sirens afforded her preferential treatment on the roads.

Java ran out of the door into the arms of her mother and extended family.

Inexplicably, she was set free. Her kidnappers suddenly began to disagree. Fatally so. Ultimately her captors fell upon each other with knives, furniture and theirs truly in paranoia and rage. The last one alive had hoarsely told her to go home. She had driven back in her own hitherto carjacked Nissan 370z.

Dr. Obaniko arrived an hour later. Father and daughter clung to each other and wept.

Less than a month later, Java returned back to Cyprus to continue her second degree.

Dr. Obaniko was suddenly appointed as the minister of petroleum by the president.

The governor of his state reached out in fellowship and within twenty-four hours, their newly incorporated company was awarded an oil block, complete with licenses and perpetual tenuity.

Chevron and Shell simultaneously conferred on him the title of “Goodwill Ambassador”. Each multinational paid him an annual honorarium of half a million dollars each.

He accepted every offer with humility, grace and charisma.

Before he could assume office as the honourable minister of petroleum, he was forced to accept the position of senator representing his federal constituency.

It was only fair because the senator representing that constituency died suddenly. She was fatally stabbed and shot whilst on her way to a meeting within her constituency.
As her husband, the Senate, her constituency, her governor and the powers that be unanimously deemed it fair that he should complete her remaining seven years in office.

What Is Dead

I had to kill you
So you would not die
Now in your hereafter
I hope you found paradise.

Are you at peace?
Though what is dead cannot die
Your dying haunts my living
But that which lives ultimately dies.

Your cries for help sadden me
Not because you call from a grave;
Where you are is bleak and desolate
You should have called sooner.

I had to kill him
So you would not die
Now in our forever after
I know you have found paradise.

The Eleventh Commandment

I was standing upstairs on my balcony one hand on the steel railing. The other hand a scalding hot mug of herbal infusions.
The door of my neighbors balcony slid noisily open. 

Just then my totally impossible sibling joined me outside. 



She was wearing a kimono. No hijab this morning. Her beauty is exotic. Smiling she faced me squarely. Eyes locked. Then she curtsied and then bowed in greeting. I raised my hand in reply. She turned and sashayed back inside.

“Dude what the hell was that?!” I turned to smile at his handsome features.

As I opened my mouth to explain he quipped, 



“Nigga, I know you’ve heard of the eleventh commandment?”



I turned away. Yeah, yeah…

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I stay in the heart of town.

Four majestically built semi detached units of condominiums atop an exclusive piece of prime real estate.
The mini estate is surrounded by droves of pine trees planted as one would erect a fence.
Wind blowing through the pine tree leaves cause a soothing orchestra of whistles to continuously delight the senses. Hence the name ‘Whispering Droves’.

The horticulture is groomed from flower beds to an orchard to hanging gardens.
The constant release of oxygen by the plants leave residents euphoric and mellow if you sat outside, on your porch or balcony.

The overall effect is an impression of class, taste, opulence and affluence.

It is a very highbrow part of town. It is frightfully expensive leasing or owning a condominium here.
Naturally, we the residents, know that each of us (here living) is stupendously privileged.
Naturally, we the rich, then proceed to snob and ignore each other. We are isolated and private.

Apparently the condo to my left was not yet sold. When the fact got to my notice I immediately set to acquiring it. I lost the bid ultimately, someone richer (or more desperate) won.
I have nurtured a mild curiosity about the identity of the buyer.

Six months later a portly Muslim gentleman showed up with a lady covered head to toe in a hijab. The street was blocked off by cars, vans, trucks and a cargo container for about six hours. There were mobile policemen, police dogs, a few soldiers, a dozen aides and even a holy man…according to my CCTV.

My CCTV impartially revealed that my neighbor was the real deal. He did not disappoint.
The Whispering Droves was back to normal by the time I got back home.

The previously empty house now boasted of two G-Wagon Mercedes Benz’s. One white, the other black.
The motion-triggered security lights and the ominous non-blinking red-eye of motion – sensor CCTV were all the signs I needed to show me I had new neighbors.

I saw him on the playback of my security footage. I know him by reputation. He is high up in government. He is a big deal.

But I am bigger, richer too.

I have bribed him twice to win a contract or two. He could not afford to live here. The cost of the condominium was slightly lower than his net worth. It made no sense to me why he would use all his money to buy a condo.

Over the next few weeks I became better enlightened. Whilst on an official trip to Egypt with our president (yes he works with the President, blow me!), he met an oil tycoon and a lucrative business concept bloomed into a mutually beneficial concern. As a pious Muslim, entitled to four wives, the first daughter of the Egyptian was given to my neighbor as a wife.
The business concern was not yet profitable, but it was a certain cash cow. He wanted this wife away from the others. He was living above his means. He had married upwards into the upper echelon of society and was keeping up with the proverbial Joneses.

He was 69 years old at the time. She was 23. Thank God for the Internet.

Surely you know by now that I am the creepiest neighbour ever?

He developed a pattern; one week with his bride, one week off. These days, less than six months later his comings and goings were as predictable and as beneficial (to a roadside hawker) as global crude oil prices.

She hardly came out. She was depressed, repressed and bored shitless. Do not ask me how I know, but I am right.

She did patronize a skinny and unkempt ‘foreign’ tea vendor.
The unbelievably dirty, scruffily-turbaned and berobed ones that constantly hold blackened aluminum kettles with attached braziers that seem to contain tea or coffee. I know you know what I mean.

I did not like the character of the man. He was a lech and had a very shifty mien. I naturally do not like many people (blow me!), but this man I particularly detested.
He was trouble loading… 78%…

The security outfit contracted by The Whispering Droves was robust. Hawking, soliciting and sightseeing were banned.
One of those security men was ‘foreign’ however, so I understood how this scallywag always gained entrance. In all fairness, the said scallywag always presented himself at her electronically controlled gate. He never buzzed, he would just stand by the gate and in less than ten seconds it would slide noiselessly open. In another fifteen seconds she would saunter out holding a mug which he would fill up. They would chat in Arabic for about thirty seconds and then she would go in to get some money. Come out and pay him and never collected change. He would get up and leave. One minute thirty seconds maximum. Every day.

He would ogle and drool whenever her back was turned to him.
Over time it seemed like she had taken to not wearing anything under her hijab. If my CCTV could pick up that detail, I am sure Mallam scallywag could too.

I work from home. I get to see a lot of my environment.
One day he actually stood up to push down, pat, and lasciviously stroke an obvious erection.

I know things. It has always been my strength. Give me variables and constants. I can give you permutations of possible outcomes with ninety-plus percentages of certainty.

The next day I was on the porch in my rocking chair hidden from view. Mallam scallywag presented himself as usual.
When she went inside to get money, he noiselessly followed her inside. Even though I anticipated his move I did not see or hear anything. It was her muffled yelp that galvanized me into action.

I was at her door in seconds. Luckily the door was slightly ajar. I walked in and saw that he had her facedown on a plush settee. His hand was pressing her face into the seat of the rich leather. He had simply flipped the hijab over her head. She was stark naked underneath. She was flailing ineffectively, he was fumbling with his robes trying to extract the cause and proof of his temporary insanity.

He freed his uncircumcised phallus. It was turgid and hideous to me. I waited until he bucked backwards to drive the devious tissue into her unwilling orifice, before I struck him on the temple with my baseball bat. He fell forward atop her.

Wheezing and suddenly able to lift her head she pulled free. His weight combined with the smoothness of her silk hijab and I’m sure, her smooth skin simply peeled the rest of the garment over her head.

She suddenly stood before me in her total glory. Her robust and gravity-defying bust heaving as she gasped for air into already tortured lungs. The result was a violent bout of coughing.

Her eyes were bloodshot. The cruelty had caused a capillary to burst in her left eye. That one was blood red. She was in a state of shock, she was retching and drooling, coughing and fainting…

Incredibly I sensed rather than saw her reaching out for me as she fell forward in a dead faint. Funny thing is that I broke her fall only by reacting from pure reflex. You see, seconds earlier I had turned my back to afford her some privacy. I caught her by the elbows and gently laid her on the pure white angora rug beneath a curiously low ornate center table.

She came to about thirty minutes later with a moan of sorrow. Her eyes instantly alert. She clutched her bosom and started to sit up, confusion etched upon her stunningly beautiful features as she found herself fully clothed.

“How are you feeling?” I gently probed.

She held her heart with one hand, the other a fistful of her hair and began gently swaying from side to side wailing softly in Arabic. It sounded like she was mourning. She was distraught.

“Tell me what happened luv.” I ventured again.

Slowly, she started to tell me what I already knew.
In truth, she was reporting herself. She recounted the scenario like she was the guilty one. She came off sounding like she was damaged goods.

I could empathize:-
1) Two men that were not her husband had seen her, a Muslim woman not only without her veil, but naked as well.
2) She was almost raped, though I suspect she was not quite sure at the moment if she had indeed been raped or not.
3)I would call security and her husband would be called in. The inevitable investigation by her husband, the police and estate security. The disgrace, the shame, the dishonour to her husband and family back home.

“Where is your attacker? ” I asked rudely.

She froze and frantically started to look around the opulent living room. She eyes came back to rest on mine. Confused.

“What did you say happened here?” I asked. This time I allowed ambiguity and neutrality creep into my voice.

She stammered and mumbled incoherently.

“Nothing happened luv. I am not even here.” I answered.

I watched her face entertain suspicion as she gauged me. It shone briefly as the plausibility of hope illuminated her grim reality. Then her face crumbled into grief, then tears as she gazed into my face.

“Help… Please…” she begged with a lilting, throaty whisper.

I stood up nonchalantly and made for her front door. I remember turning and telling her only those in trouble needed help. I told her I was never here. I told her she had had a bad dream. But that it was over. The situation was a figment of her imagination.

She held my gaze for a long time. She took her time processing the reality of what had happened versus the promise of what I was saying.

Her eyes took in my tattoos, my henna-tinged full afro of dread-locked hair, my earrings, the rings and bracelets I was wearing… And misjudged me to be someone, something I am not. She nodded in agreement and smiled for the first time.

“Thank you.” she said with a curtsy and then a bow.

“For what?” I replied with a wan smile and returned home.

This incident took place a year ago.

Since the incident, regardless of witnesses about, as soon as she sighted me she would stop. Turn to face me, curtsy… And then bow. No matter the distance, her eyes would be riveted to mine. As long as she saw me that ritual was inevitable. One year and counting.

Her husband passed away last week.

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