The troubles i was encountering in Nigeria was becoming too much. It was almost as if i didn’t know how to live in my own country. I was being too careless with words that could put me in trouble. I was getting too involved with people who could harm me. I had managed to escape most of the troubles unharmed but i also knew that it was only a matter of time before i got into a trouble that could land me in serious harm. I tried to recall how i got myself into some of those things.
Almost all my troubles were avoidable at the initial stages.
I could have forgiven the Landlord’s wife after pouring water on me, perhaps i would have still lived in their house.
I could have forgiven the area boys after slapping me but i didn’t want such life, i never did. I had always believed that Africans would not abandon evil ways if nobody punished them for their sins.
I could have also ignored Clement and his threat but i had chosen to attack whether he meant it or not.
Everywhere i went, there was always someone to step on my toes. Was it that it was me who stepped on people’s toes? Or could it be that i didn’t know how to live in the World? Why did i always chose the revenge path anytime i felt that i had been offended?
It was clear to me that i had been able to win all my revenge fights because while my enemies rested, i planned on how to revenge.
I took them unawares. It was time to start behaving like millions of other inhabitants of planet Earth. It was time to abandon revenge and start turning the other cheek. Yes, it was time.
First things first, i called Clement.
”I called to apologize for my behaviour” i had said as soon as he answered the call.
” You silly boy, you have the gut to call me?” he shouted.
”I am serious Clement. I think what i did was bad and i am sorry for that” i said again.
He hung up the phone.
Damn! It was going to be too difficult to convince people that i had changed for good, that i had turned a new leaf.
I made a mental list of the people i had wronged. I needed to apologize to them one after the other.
First of all, i called Stella.
”What do you want” she had said.
”Stella, i want to apologize to your mother for what i did to her” i said.
”Has your new landlady asked you to leave like my mother did, you are not wanted in our house again” she said.
”Stella i am serious about this, i think what i did was very bad and i need to talk to her. Please send me her phone number” I said.
She suddenly hung up but a few minutes later, i got a text message with her mother’s number in it.
I called Stella back. She answered and reminded me that i also needed to apologize to her.
”I am really sorry sweetheart. I think some kind of revenge evil possessed me but i have changed now” i said.
She advised me to go and visit a certain Prophet T B Joshua for deliverance. According to her, the prophet would cast the revenge evil away in a few seconds and i would become a new leaf. I gave it some thought.
I had decided to visit the prophet really but i needed to apologize to people first.
I called Stella’s mother. She hung up when she found out it was me. I tried several times to call again but she never picked. However when my phone rang four hours later, it was her.
”Why were you calling me” she said.
I figured Stella had discussed with her about how i wanted to apologize.
”Aunty I am very sorry for pouring dirty water on your cloth. It was deliberate and i think it was wrong. Please forgive me” i said.
She was touched. I heard her said a few inaudible words to someone and when she talked to me again, she said she had forgiven me. However she wanted me to visit the same prophet her daughter had suggested.
The next on line was Maria. I called her and told her that i was coming to Surulere. She said she would be at home in an hour, therefore i used that opportunity to drive to Ago Palace way and picked up some money in the Diamond bank along the road.
I drove to a super market and bought a flower and a card. Inside the card was written in blocked letters ”I am very sorry”.
I took them to Surulere and waited inside the car in front of Maria’s house. She was on her way back.
She returned some minutes after i had come and packed her car behind mine. Maria tapped on my car to alert me that she had returned but i sat motionless, looking at the sky through my windscreen. The flower and the card were on the passenger seat. Tears were gathering around my eyes and i was struggling to keep them at the back of my head where they belonged; men don’t cry.
Then all of a sudden, i jumped out of the car and hugged Maria right there on the street. People were staring at us but i didn’t care. I had drifted away from humanity, love, care and forgiveness. If i was really going to return to all of the above, hugging and kissing in public shouldn’t matter.
I entangled myself from Maria and walked across the car to get the flower and card.
” Here is for you” i said as i handed her the items.
She looked up and down the street and finding out that people’s eyes were still on us, she held my left hand and dragged me inside her house.
”What is this all about” she said while looking in my eyes.
She must have thought that i was about to propose marriage to her.
”I did something to you out of anger and revenge. The items were to ask for your forgiveness” i said.
She tore the card and read it.
”What exactly did you do to me Austin” she asked.
”First of all, my name is not Austin. It is Azubuike. I lied to you about that. Secondly, i was the person who told the area boys to attack you at the Emmanuel bus stop” I said.
She kept her gaze on me for a long time and when the realities of what i had revealed to her sank down into her head, Maria began to cry. She didn’t ask why i did it. She only asked for her phone when she stopped crying.
I didn’t know how to tell her that i had sold her phone but i didn’t want to lie to her anymore.
”I sold it”
” There is no refuge from memory and
remorse in this world. The spirits of
our foolish deeds haunt us, with or