“Hi Chibuzo, my name is Professor Aniekwena. I am Samuel’s grandfather and yours too” he waited for Chibuzo’s reaction.
“But how? I’ve not seen you before” Chibuzo asked intrigued.
“Well you haven’t, your mother and Samuel’s mother are twins. Your mother was stolen while still a baby” Chibuzo was dumbfounded. He looked at Samuel’s mother, and she nodded.
“But let me ask you one question,” the man said
“Ok” Chibuzo agreed.
“What is your mother’s name?” Immediately the question left his mouth, Chibuzo remembered that dream.
“Adaeze” he muttered as if on a trance. The man gasped and hugged him.
“You are indeed my grandchild,” and he started crying.
“She told me a man would ask me her name and I should tell him ‘adaeze.’ I saw her in a dream” he said relieving it all
“We will leave tomorrow my dear, try and rest,” his aunty said looking happy
“Ok ma,” he said and closed his eyes, but sleep wouldn’t come. He was so excited. He had a grandfather, a cousin and an aunty. He opened his eyes and saw that they were still looking at him. He smiled. He felt loved.
He heard a familiar voice and opened his eyes again. It was Madam Cecilia. He started crying again. He remembered everything she did to him and wept bitterly
“Am sorry Chibuzo,” she said approaching his bed. Chibuzo kept crying.
“Madam, did you come with the money? Hon. Igwe asked. She shook her head.
“Drop it and leave,” he told her. She dropped it and made to go.
“Give me my watch,” Chibuzo said.
“Hey wait!” Hon. Igwe told her.
“Where is the watch I gave him? You are so shameless taking a gift from a child. Where is it” he asked shouting. Chibuzo had been taken to a private ward, so his shouts were not disturbing other patients since no other patient was in that block.
“It’s with my son,” she said fearfully.
“Go to his school and collect it, just pray that it is not spoilt. If it has, don’t bother bringing it. Just buy a new one and mind you not a fake Rolex. I will know if it’s fake. Oya go” the woman left.
“She is going to get it, my boy. Don’t worry”He told Chibuzo who had stopped crying. He was feeling light-headed and fell into a disturbing sleep. He knew this sleep was different because he could feel himself slipping away. The voices were becoming distant.
He saw himself in the village walking about. How he got there, he didn’t know. He saw Ifechukwu’s sister and asked her where her brother was. She looked at him and pointed in a particular direction. He looked but couldn’t see him. He walked over to the place and saw him busy plowing the field. He had grown taller too. Not the little boy he used to know. He looked up when he saw a shadow darken in front of him. He smiled at his friend, and they embraced.
“You came to visit us?” Ifechukwu asked
“Yes, my friend but I don’t know how I ended up here. One minute I was lying down on a hospital bed, the next am here” Chibuzo said.
“I don’t know what you are talking about but am happy you are here,” Ifechukwu said smiling.
“When will you finish let’s go to your house?” Chibuzo asked his friend
“Soon just stay over there, so I don’t dirty you,” Ifechukwu told him. He shifted and watched his friend lift the naturally heavy hoe up and down. He smiled. He’s so strong. His sister joined them. She looked at him from the corner of her eye. He had grown taller and more handsome but thin. What happened to him? She wondered. She had always had a soft spot for him even as a child. Maybe it’s because of his suffering. She started helping her brother, and this gave Chibuzo the chance to look at her. She will grow up beautiful, he said to himself. She just needs to leave this village and see the world.
Back at the hospital, it was time for him to take his medicine but they couldn’t wake him up. They all started crying. How could he die just like that? The doctor hearing the commotion rushed in and examined him.
“He is not dead. He’s in a coma” he said matter of factly.
“What does that mean doctor?” Little Samuel asked. He had grown up within the last two days.
“It means that he is in a deep sleep. He might hear you if you talk to him or he might not, but he just can’t wake up. The boy is traumatized. I wonder what might have caused it. He was awake when I saw him last. Talk to him. He might come back. But it’s his decision. If where he is safe and holds good memories, am sorry but he won’t come back” He said with pity.
Samuel looked at Chibuzo for a while. He had a plan, but he will use it when nothing else worked. It was too risky. His life could also be endangered. His mother was suffering enough. He didn’t want to add to it. Chibuzo smiled, and they gathered beside him.
“Please wake up Chibu; I have a lot to talk to you about,” Samuel told him crying. “So you’ve been my brother all the while we’re together, and I didn’t know” the others left the two boys alone. They will have their turn later.
“I heard that I used to have a brother, but he died just after I was born. He didn’t even get to carry me. You look just like him. I love you Chibu. Come back please.”
Chibuzo heard his name being called, but he couldn’t see who it was that called. They had gone to Ifechukwu’s house, but since then, he had not set his eyes on his parents. Before he left, they were still alive. What happened to them? He asked himself. He was enjoying himself, so he didn’t bother to ask. He heard his name again, and his hand suddenly felt warm. Like someone was holding it. It was weird. He closed it and continued watching his friend make them dinner