The motorcycle stand hit the red sand harshly causing a cloud of dust to rise. He came down and packed the ewedu leaves and basket of tomatoes he had bought. As he struggled to carry it, he nearly tripped.
“Olokpa Chapman, Olokpa Chapman!” He heard children shout his name.
“Let me help you”, the first child said with a smile and distributed the rest of the goods to the others to carry. A little child ran to him and tugged at his trousers, his eyes were red due to conjunctivitis but that didn’t hide his innocence.
“Aunty Dabeyon has heard you are in the village, she wants to see you.” The little boy delivered his message with a smile. Olokpa Chapman smiled and bent to hold the boys dirty cheeks. “Tell her I would soon be with her but I have to greet Baba Mide first. Run so she won’t wait too much.” He replied still smiling.
The small boy took to his heels and soon disappeared. He sighed, he knew his Dabeyon would be longing to see and be with him again even though she was playing the hard-to-get game. He thanked the children and started off into his friend’s house. He wondered how Baba Mide would react when he sees him again.
“What do you mean by that?” the Englishman shouted silencing Mide midway in his sentence. Mama Mide looked at him and her eyes started getting moist. She quickly averted her gaze, she tried hard not to let her tears spill.
“Baba is no longer here,” Mide said again still leaving Olokpa Chapman’s question unanswered.
“Boy, you have not given me an answer to the question I asked. What do you mean by ‘he is no longer here’?”
“I mean he is…..” Mide left the sentence hanging, trying to give the Englishman time to figure his next words. Honestly, Mide was too afraid to say it. He was too afraid to admit it.
“Is he?” Olokpa Chapman was also afraid to think about it let alone say it.
“Someone should say something.” He said with his voice now gentle and sounded like he was pleading.
Mama Mide looked at him, she knew the relationship this foreign man shared with her husband. She knew it would hurt a lot to say it.
“He left and n-n-ever…came back again. Few days later his d-d-ead body was found.” She stuttered.
Olokpa Chapman’s eyes widened in shock like saucers and there was silence, a pregnant silence. The woman wiped her face with her wrapper while Mide sat looking at the ground.
“Not at all.” Mide replied.
Olokpa Chapman stood to his feet and started towards the door but stopped abruptly and turned to face the widow and her now fatherless child.
“I will avenge Baba Mide’s death with everything I have.”
He swore and with that he left the house.
End of Part Two