There was no electricity light in the village. The Power Authorities deemed it wise to bring light whenever they wanted, especially when they received bribes from the locals.
Since we returned very late in the night, there was no way to do anything except use Power Generators.
However, the big Generators had not been used since my brother got missing, he was the one who usually powered them.
The smaller generator my mother used, was wired directly to her quarters which was different from the main building where we were going to sleep. It meant we were going to sleep without electricity.
It wasn’t a big deal for me anyway because i grew up there without light.
I also hated the sounds of power generators, i preferred quiet environments at all times, it helped in concentration and critical thinking.
“You understand there is no light here” I said to Queen after cleaning the room.
“Yes, i am not blind or deaf” She replied.
My mother gave us a large Chinese Made torchlight which was capable of being on for hours.
We simply switched it on and left it at the foot of the bed.
There wasn’t much to discuss except the incident that happened some hours ago.
Queen wanted to know who they were and why they were after us.
I did a great job at convincing her that they might have misplaced us for some other people.
We slept peacefully and woke up around 8am.
The noises of people going to their business woke us up.
Village was a place where someone on the road would shout at the top of her voice just to ask if her friend or neighbour would be going to the market or farm.
It was also where food sellers would be shouting for people to buy one kind of food or the other.
My mother woke up before us and started preparing abacha (Tapioca). It was a special kind of welcoming food in our part of the world where it had to be served first before any other food.
I didn’t remember the last time i ate it but i knew i was going to like it that morning.
When we got out, we went to the car and brought out the emergency toothpaste and brush i permanently left there.
After cleaning and washing our faces, we walked to the quarters where mama Lived.
The Abacha was ready and so was Mama for her questions.
She was a teacher and said she was suspending classes that day on the ground that her son returned. Hahahahaha.
But she didn’t suspend the Questions and Answers session about who returned with me.
She started with Queen.
“How are you my daughter, are you from where?”.
For some reasons, i decided not to help Queen out. She was going to answer her own questions.
“I am Fine Mama. I am from London” She said.
I almost laughed because i thought Queen was going to say she came from Edo State. If she had said that, it would have triggered a different set of questions for me later.
A man from my compound, Mr. Alpho had gone to Edo State and married a woman there. It was said that the woman never returned to the village and spent all the Christmas In her own Village. She was the Mother of Uche and Ngozi who were eventually forced down to start schooling in Enugu.
My mother would have wanted to know why i went to pick someone up in Edo State after what happened to Alpho. But then Queen saved the day by saying she was from London.
“London, that is in Great Britain” Mama Said, standing up to check the large map that has hung on our outside wall for a decade.
Rather than continuing on the Geography questions, she turned to food and asked if Queen knew what Abacha was.
I had been keeping quiet listening to them but at the mention of abacha, i waded in.
I was sure i would make the food sound sweeter than mama was going to make it.
“I have missed this food for years. I am happy to eat it aging today” I said as i pointed to mama to go and get it.
The plate was brought to us with two spoons and the Ofia Spring water, the natural water that served every member of our village and some neighboring villages.
I wasn’t going to drink Refined water in the village, that one won’t kill me or anybody.
We started eating our food slowly and gradually until the whole thing finished. I had thought Queen wouldn’t like it but i believed she even ate more than i did.
After more questions from Mama, I gave her some money and announced we were returning to the city.
As we were about to enter the car, an old man entered our compound with his walking stick. His name was Jimmy, the oldest from our kindred.
He said he heard the sound of the car when we returned last night and had come to know who had returned.
It was easy to understand him, everyone in the kindred was on the look out for the missing guy.
“There is something we need to discuss” He had said to me.
“Jimmy, i am on my way to Enugu now, lets discuss it when i return by weekend” I said.
“No, no we will talk about it now. It is about your missing brother” He said.
He surely knew that as long as it was about the missing guy, i was going to suspend whatever i was doing and listen to him.
“I excused myself from Queen and took the man to the sitting room.
My mother was present as he started.
“There is a man who said that if we visited one native Doctor in Ezeagu, we will find out where your brother is kept” Jimmy said.
I wanted to ask him how the native Doctor was supposed to find out where he was kept but since he was an elderly man, i decided to dance to his tunes. There were surely some things he knew which i didn’t. He wasn’t an elder for nothing, age grew with experience.
Naturally, i never believed in native doctors, just the way i never believed in magic. But there was a trouble in the family and an Igbo adage said that “He who brought an ant infested firewood to his compound, has invited the lizards for a feast”.
“Jimmy, i will give you some money to go there tomorrow” I said.
He shook his head and said, “You are the next in line after your brother, you must come with us to see the Dibia”.
That was just the beginning.
Written For http://www.globalruns.com