I followed the maid in silent as I admired the beauty of the palace, the two times I have been here the circumstances surrounding those times didn’t allow me to have full view of the palace, I must confess the palace is one of a kind, with everything in order, beautiful and rich, we got to a door which she opened, stepping into the room I was lost in it magnificent.
MAID: this is the prince’s room, do you need any more thing.
AMARACHI: no thank you.
MAID: I will take my leave then.
She bowed and left, I walked room the room admiring every single things in the room, from the wall frame, to the painting on the wall, to the curtains, the electronics, to the wine bar, everything was speaking wealth and beautiful I wondered, if the prince lives in such comfort what about the king himself he must be living in paradise, I sat down on the sofa, thank God that Afamefuna told them to bring me here at least i felt more comfortable in the four corners of his room.
It has been up to an hour since Afamefuna went to see his father, I have been going through a book I brought along with me just to keep myself busy, I just hope everything is done fast so I could go back to lagos, my stay here is bringing bad memories to me and I don’t like that, the door opened and Afamefuna walked in, I smiled at him but my smile immediately vanished when I saw the expression on his face, I got up dropping the book I have been reading, he must have been crying judging from the wetness of his eyes, this got me so worried what must have gone wrong.
AMARACHI: my love, what is it.
AFAMEFUNA: my father.
AMARACHI: what about your father.
AFAMEFUNA: he is dying.
She walked to me and hugged me which I reciprocated, I really needed the hug and coming from her was even better, she didn’t say a word but allowed me stay in the embrace.
Why does it hurt so much, why do I feel this way was the question I was asking myself, I thought I hated my father but instead I was just hurt and now I know why I felt hurt when he turned his back on my happiness, it was because I love him so much and didn’t expect him to do what he did.
EZE NWANYI: Afamefuna, is that you, my son.
I held on to his hand not wanting to let go, who will believe this was once the strong king that can’t be brought down.
AFAMEFUNA: father, it is I, it is me your son.
EZE NWANYI: oh that voice, it is really you, never thought I will see this day.
AFAMEFUNA: father you will see more days to come, what happened.
EZE NWANYI: ohhh I am punished for what I committed.
He coughed, I quickly took the glass cup that was already fill with water, I took the cover away, I stood up and help him in rising his head while he drank from the water, I rested his head back once he was done and kept the glass cup back on the stool.
EZE NWANYI: the gods are angry with me for placing a judgment on a girl because of my selfish reason.
EZE NWANYI: after you left.
He was talking slowly counting each of his words.
EZE NWANYI: I was so angry but not with you, I was angry with the girl that was responsible for you disobeying me, I know you were stubborn just like me so I knew it will be hard for we to convince you otherwise since you have made your intentions about her known, I so wanted to hurt her in many ways but her mother was what held me back.
He coughed again and I rushed to get the water but he stopped me.
EZE NWANYI: her mother was a wonderful woman loved by many there was nothing I could do and hate feeling powerless, that day they brought her to the palace saying she killed her mother, some part of me knew she didn’t but the hatred I was having towards her blinded me and I passed my judgment without thinking and without waiting for the chief priest to make his appearance.
I was confused in that part.
AFAMEFUNA: I don’t understand.
EZE NWANYI: in this land before a king passes judgment on a person, the person must first take an oath defending himself on what he has been accused of, only then will the king pass his judgment, a judgment can be passed without the oath taking if the accused confess of his crimes without taking an oath then the chief priest will not be needed but in her case she didn’t agree to the accusation but still I passed my judgment.
I was silent, didn’t know what to say, all this revelation that has been revealed to me is still difficult for me to take all in at once.
EZE NWANYI: my son, I am sorry for not being a father.
AFAMEFUNA: you are the best father I could ever ask for.
EZE NWANYI: no, I neglected my responsibilities as a father.
AFAMEFUNA: you once told me that the crown comes with great responsibilities, it is difficult to be three things all at once, you are a father, a husband and a king, a whole kingdom rested on your shoulder, you are only a man but yet you still tried to fill that space between us, you are my father nothing can change that.
EZE NWANYI: you will be a great king, just as you have been a great son.
I smiled at him even though it came with pains.
AFAMEFUNA: you will be fine, I brought Amarachi with me, she will stop all this.
EZE NWANYI: oh Amarachi, she came.
AFAMEFUNA: yes she did, mother have sent for the elders, once they are here everything will be fine.
He nodded in agreement.
AFAMEFUNA: you should rest now.
I kissed his forehead as he closed his eyes and went back to sleep, I came out of the room, my mother was there waiting, immediately I saw her I embraced her.
AFAMEFUNA: am sorry mother for allowing you to pass through this alone.
LOLO AGBONMA: that’s enough, you have nothing to be sorry about, it is I that should be apologizing.
We disengage the embrace, she was already crying now.
AFAMEFUNA: I love you mother.
LOLO AGBONMA: I love you too son, now go see your guest she is waiting for you.
I nodded and left not without giving her a warm smile.
AMARACHI: your father will not die okey, he will be fine.
Amarachi words brought me out of my thought.
AFAMEFUNA: I know.
Just then we heard a knock on the door.
AFAMEFUNA: yes come in.
The door opened and a man servant walked in bowing to us.
MAN SERVANT: the queen your mother sent me to inform you that the elders and the church priest are here, they are in the throne room.
AFAMEFUNA: no problem, tell them we will be there shortly.
The man servant left closing the door behind him.
AFAMEFUNA: so are you ready.
AMARACHI: yes I am, I want to end this once and for all.
AFAMEFUNA: I love you.
AMARACHI: I love you more.
I held her hands and we both walk out the room heading to the throne room.
As soon as we entered the throne room they all got up greeting the prince who responded, his hand was still twisted in mind and I knew he won’t let go, he smiled at me gesturing me to sit down in one of the seat close to the queen, they were all sited by now, most of their faces was familiar while some were new to me, two men was dress in a father priest wear, Victor was there also, I tried not to be nervous after all the prince was close by and he will always protect me.
MAZI OKAFOR: I greet you my queen, my prince, father James and father frank, our guests and the elders for all finding out time to be here today to see how we could stop the disaster that has befallen our land, the king would have been here today with us but we all know he is not strong enough to be sited with us today but never the less the queen and prince present are here to bless this meeting, I want to personally thank Amarachi, late Uzochi and Nneka daughter for finding out time to be here with us even with everything that has happened she still decided to show up to help us, for this we are highly grateful.
I released the breath I didn’t know I was holding, this wasn’t going to be easy but I was going to make it easy any way.
MAZI OKAFOR: I want to invite the priest father James because him only knows what we are here to do.
With this he sat down, one of the father maybe in his late 50s got up, this must be the father that saw the revelation from God.
FATHER JAMES: I great you all that are sited here today, Mr Okafor has said most of the things I could have say so I will just focus on the important ones, my first speech goes to Amarachi. Everyone has a story that is a discomforting one, a story where pain is but the story of this young girl has got my attention more then any one I have heard, she was accused right from birth for offenses she never committed, rejected because of the circumstances surrounding her birth, treated like a lesser human, casted away to the face of death but in all this she still prevailed, didn’t this tell you something, no one is better than the other in the face of God, it doesn’t matter where or how the person came about, not everyone will be here today sitting among us because of the wrong we did, but she proved to us that she has a heart of gold better than any of us sitting down here, Amarachi I will add myself to this so I will say we all are deeply sorry for everything that we have caused you.
All the time he was giving his speech I was trying so hard to hold back my tear but his last statement just brought all my tear out in a single blow.
FATHER JAMES: you have passed through a lot not even compared to the ones we have passed in this few months, we have hurt you without measures, we are sorry for taking everything from you, do find it in your heart to forgive us.
He said this going on his knees, the other father followed, before I could get out of my thoughts the whole elders joined them, I immediately got up in shock looking at everyone, unable to speak.
LOLO AGBONMA: please my daughter, forgive our wrongs.
She also got on her knees.
FATHER JAMES: all the things we are going to do here today will not work until you have really forgiven us from the debt of your heart, you have to forgive genuinely.
I was lost between time and space, forgiven them was another thing and letting go was something else, how can I forgive then genuinely without holding anything back, I was still hurt even if I was pretending that all was fine, they were all talking at the same time asking for my forgiveness, I would easily say I have forgiven them but I will be lying to myself and if I don’t let everything go nothing might work, I was weak, my heart was pounding so fast and I feared if I stayed any more minute here I might lose it, I ran out of the throne room with them calling my name.
To be continued..