A story written by Olanshile (Whatsapp: 08139039727)… If you missed Part Twenty Four, read it HERE!!!
The whole arena really signified that a important personality is definitely visiting the prison today as fierce looking men of the Nigeria mobile police were patrolling up and down the place, some in thieir van while some are on power bike,the whole prison yard had been allocated to different cells who in turn cleaned it, even the always dirty cells are also cleaned, the bushes in the open field in the compound was thoroughly cut, all because the new elected governor who is on his familiarization tour has choose to visit the prison.
The roaring sound of the helicopters approaching the open field made all my cellmate to stand up rushing to the door all peeping outside shouting loudly. The prison officer moved briskly toward the landed chopper in their well starched uniform,after a brief introduction there,the all crowd went to the hall where refreshment was made available followed by the governor’s tour around the cells,he reached our cells and talked for a little bit amidst the loud hailings of the inmates,I just sat In a corner with the elderly politician in our cell refusing to join the fanfare maybe its because of cynthia’s issue am thinking about. The governor finally departed from the prison at around 5:00pm that day.
Throughout the week the issue of the governor’s visit was the matter revolving in the cells,the prison officials assembled us and told us that the governor has decided to free 50 inmates due to overcrowding,he disperse us telling us that the lucky ones will be contact asap. The issue was well received among the inmates as they gave the governor a round of applause.
We are taking turn to play ludo around 9:00pm the next day when a warder shouted my name and that of the cell president from outside, fear got the better part of me as different evil thought begin to form in my head while the cell president was non-charlant about the whole thing as he followed the warder,I saw a lot of inmates in the large all having the askance look on their face,
‘is this all of them’ the prison director asked in his deep voice
‘yes sir,they are fifty sir’ the warder replied in his military-like way,as he mentioned fifty, my mind raced back to the earlier announcement on the assembly, I hold my heart which is already beating furiously and prayed it’s what am thinking.
‘alright,” the director cleared his voice and continued, “ the fact that you’re among the lucky fifty inmate to be released doesn’t …………,”. And that was all the boys need to hear as tears of joy started to fall from my eyes,I pinched my self severally to make sure I was’nt dreaming and indeed its not a dream,its really happening. It took the involvement of brutal handling before the noise was finally stopped by the boys.After admonitions from the prison’s chaplain and imam on how we are to behave on getting outside and prayers, we are declared freed and refreshment followed till early morning. Immediately the time signified 5:00am,guys started trooping back to the cells to bade their friends farewell,I went back there and gave out all my loads there out to uche and co who wept and embraced me closely for a long time.
With my bushy hair and unkempt beards, I went out of the prison and looked back at the gate and the walking stick in my hand and a drop of hot tears escaped from my eyes, I was at lost as where to go to as mum had told me that dad said he has disowned me after the incident though he visited me twice in the prison albeit sluggishly,I thought of going to femi my friend but the thought of seeing cynthia there discouraged me from doing so,I remembered all this pain I’ve caused my family through my insensitiveness and burst into tear, I was still walking aimlessly around when I noticed a black car reversing towards me, I stopped and waited for the occupant came out and it was my former lecturer Mr kelvin,a member of our parish
‘micheal,is this you’ he said rushing closer to me and held me in a tight embrace,he motioned me to enter the car, I met her daughter Mercy,my former girlfriend inside the car,she greeted me and I murmured my reply,her father told me that he’s coming from the airport where he had gone to pick her on her return from canada after her masters degree.
I was lost in thought on what to do after a thorough cleaning in the room given to me by my host when mr. kelvin entered the room in company of Mercy,he sat down on the foot of the mahogany bed and admonished me to forget about the past and forge ahead to redeem those wasted years,he counted me lucky among all my friends who died while some are still behind the bar.He promised to talk to appeal to my dad and make sure he accepted me again. His word lifted mood an I thanked him for all his effort, he asked me if I will like to go back to school, I answered positively and he promised me to fix me into a university in the neighbouring state,he said and leave the room but his daughter still remain perched on her seat,I was timid and tongue tied but she cleared the silence and started throwing questions at me,she wanted to know how I joined the cult group,how I was sent to prison and all others,infact she wanted to know about everything,I was emotionally strucked during the course of the narration and she brought out an handkerchief and used it to clean my face and said some soothing words to me. Some minutes later, she suggested that I should go to the saloon to have a cut and shavem, I gladly obliged and entered the car with her on the wheel, she drove me there waiting outside, I checked my new impressive look after the bush was cleared off my head and went outside to meet her, she commended on my look and I smiled wryly.
******************************************************************************* I dressed in one of the new clothes purchased for me by Mercy,we are going to church today and my father’s church to be precise, I was jittery and had declined when Mr. kelvin first suggested it, but after delivering his long epistle of advice urging me to be strong and not allowed the thought of embarrassment from the church members to discouraged me. I sat in the backseat and regurgitate on the issue of Mercy,the girl I’ve dropped and forgot about who has now turn to be my succour………
‘get down now’ I heard Mercy’s voice. I looked around and saw that we are already in the church premises, I also noticed a lot of changes that have occurred in the church. Peoples especially blessing’s friend are rushing out to greet her but they all stopped abruptly on sighting me, I thought it was a sort of stigmatization but they all shouted my name rushing to greeted me, the noise had attracted the attention of the people inside the church as they rushed outside to see what’s going on only to be surprised on seeing me, My siblings jumped on me happily even my brother james felicitated with me, my mother hold on to me sobbing quietly while father stood at the church entrance looking sadly,I trudged slowly leaving the crowd and walked up to my father and throw myself silently at his feet weeping oceans,he looked at me for a long time trying to hold back his tears,I know deep inside me that I’ve wronged him greatly. At last he raised me up and told me how disappointed he was and how embarrassed he was but he had decided to let it go meaning that I’ve been forgiven, I hugged him tightly and cried a lot on his shoulder.He asked the assistant pastors to carry on with the service as he’s emotionally unfit to do so,we spent a lot of time talking about how I got out of the prison and all others.
Mr. kelvin came to our house that day to tell me that I’ve been offered to study guidance and counsellor in a prestigious university in another state which is coincidentally my junior brother’s school,I received a great support from my parent as I did the processing in a lightening speed.
I spent my four years in the school and manage to solidfy my relationship with mercy,I also visited uche and others in the prison,uche is getting leaner each day, I bought them things and bribed the warders to take him to the clinic for treatment,I passed out with first class and posted for my NYSC program in the same state and same school, after the one year program,I was recruited by the school.A party was organised for me by my siblings and mr. kelvin family to marked the good turning out of things, I proposed openly to mercy that night to which she accepted in an elated way. Some days later, I received a call from someone in the prison telling me about uche’s death,I cried for the man and promised to campaign frantically against the dream-killer called cultism. I set up a guidance and counselling organisation which is organising seminars,syposium and offered counselling service to student,indeed cultism is a dream killer but am happy I had the second chance and I came, saw and conquered.
To Be Continued…