My mother was smiling at me, I didn’t know how to react because I was too surprised to say a word or move, I just stood there looking at her with my mouth opened, I cleaned my eyes to be sure if I was saying rightly.
AMARACHI: Mama but you are dead.
NNEKA GHOST: don’t worry you are not dead, I am.
AMARACHI: then were is this place, am I dreaming.
NNEKA GHOST: more like a dream but no you are not, this is the little home I created for myself.
AMARACHI: Mama, is this really you.
NNEKA GHOST: come into my arm my beautiful daughter.
I wasn’t thinking anymore as I ran into her arm, she was so cold but I cared not, being in her arm was something I longed for and no cold can stop that.
AMARACHI: I have missed you so much.
NNEKA GHOST: and I you.
I was sobbing now couldn’t hold it, she disengage the embrace.
AMARACHI: Mother, am so sorry it was my fault that you have to died, I shouldn’t have left the food outside, I would have took it in before anything else, you didn’t deserved this not after everything you have done for me.
NNEKA GHOST: shhhhh, don’t say that, you caused nothing, I am glad that I was able to take your place.
She touched my cheeks, oh how I missed this.
AMARACHI: Mama, but why were you punishing the innocent for crimes they didn’t commit.
NNEKA GHOST: I had it planned, I only did that to punish the guilty one, if all the elders were sick who will look for the answers, I had to push them so they would bring you home, your home, and it was only will that can I fully be at rest.
AMARACHI: the chief priest is dead, he has paid for his sins with his life, was there no other punishment.
NNEKA GHOST: my daughter always concern for others, you are but I didn’t kill him my daughter, you see the gods of the land have strong rules and they hate when it is broken, he violated those laws, after death his spirit will be caged my them not allowing him to pass to the realms to the unknown place above, he will be punished for eternity.
AMARACHI: I am confused mama, thought there are just hell and heaven.
NNEKA GHOST: yes so as they are dark forces, the gods refused to help the people of the land, they were only concern about their law that was broken but God so merciful showed his mercy to them by revealing everything to his servant.
AMARACHI: father James.
NNEKA GHOST: my daughter, the things that lay ahead of you are great and will be handled with wisdom, you will be queen of this great land but promise me that no matter the situation you find yourself always put God Almighty first, it is only then you will not stain your hands with blood.
AMARACHI: will i be queen.
NNEKA GHOST: a great one, you have been destined to be a queen even when some forces tried to stop it, you will be greater with God by your side.
AMARACHI: I promise mother.
NNEKA GHOST: no go and be a the great queen that you are.
AMARACHI: does this mean you have forgiven the people.
NNEKA GHOST: I forgave them the moment you did, I can now rest, my battle is over, they are well again.
AMARACHI: thank you mother, Afamefuna will be so grateful and happy when his father gets back on his feet again.
NNEKA GHOST: my daughter, I can’t tell you what to come will be pleasant but no matter always be there from Afamefuna, he will need you more than than he has needed you.
AMARACHI: I don’t understand.
NNEKA GHOST: come let me take you to your room.
In just a flash we were in my room, she sat on my bed.
NNEKA GHOST: come on lay down.
I did putting my head on her laps, she started singing me a beautiful Igbo song that I love listening to as I close my eyes, her voice was so sweet just like before but suddenly she stopped singing.
AMARACHI: Mother please don’t stop.
AFAMEFUNA: my queen, are you awake.
That was Afamefuna voice, I opened my eyes and saw Afamefuna beside my bed holding my hand, I looked around and found out that I was in his room on his bed.
AMARACHI: what happened.
AFAMEFUNA: you fainted, I guess you couldn’t bare the pain anymore but Mazi Amadi and his family are feeling same pain right now, am sorry, so sorry.
I smiled at him, didn’t know but I felt no anger or pain it was like all just went away.
AFAMEFUNA: are you alright.
AMARACHI: yes I am never been better.
I looked at her confused at her response, what was wrong with her, she didn’t hit her head if not I would have thought she was having metal disorder, this was someone that couldn’t get over the pains of her mother death is now here smiling, I love it but was just a little scared, too much of grief can cause a lot of things and I won’t want that for her but before I could open my mouth a knock was heard on my door.
A man servant walked in.
MAN SERVANT: your father request your present, both of you.
AFAMEFUNA: okey we are on our way.
He quickly left, I looked at Amarachi who seems surprised.
AMARACHI: hope he is fine.
AFAMEFUNA: that’s what we are going to find out, so lets hope it for the best.
Helping her up, we both went to my father’s chamber, the guard opened the door and we went in, three of the elders, Mazi Okafor, Mazi Enyinnaya, Mazi Azubuike and my mother were all inside already, i was surprise to see them there and the expression on their faces wasn’t good.
I walked to my mother who took my both hands, she must has been crying I could tell from the redness of her eyes.
MAZI OKAFOR: my king, the prince is here.
EZE NWANYI: Afamefuna.
AFAMEFUNA: am here father.
I walked to his bed side holding his hand.
AFAMEFUNA: father am here for you.
He took his other hands and placed it on my head.
EZE NWANYI: Afamefuna, you are the true son of your father, I bless you today, you will be a king greater than I was.
EZE NWANYI: no evil shall kill you.
EZE NWANYI: your life will be longer than mine.
As he pray they always responded with each prayer he makes, I knew what was happening, before a kings dies he must bless the the prince and his grandchild next crown Prince, only than can the prince ascend the throne, but I was confused here I don’t have a son yet not even married, i really am confused, after he finished his prayer he took his hand away from my head.
AFAMEFUNA: father you are scaring me, you are not going to die just yet why the prayers, I haven’t given you a grand son yet, father you have to bless him too right.
EZE NWANYI: you have got all the blessing you need that will also make your son the future crown Prince safe from all harm, you will be a great king and he will learn from you a great teacher, now call me Amarachi.
I was surprised at this, I looked at Amarachi who seems surprised too, I got up while she walked closer, she took my place by his side, he took her hands.
EZE NWANYI: Amarachi.
AMARACHI: yes my king.
EZE NWANYI: A queen with the heart of gold.
Did I just heard him correctly, he called her a queen, my father has finally accepted her.
EZE NWANYI: I bless you today Amarachi, you will be the light that will shine in the darkness.
ALL : ise.
As he continued his praying my mind went far as when my father couldn’t even come close to Amarachi but now he was holding her hands blessing her not just as anything but as the future queen, my queen.
EZE NWANYI: from today onward you such be called queen Amara nne nke ìhè (mother of light).
MAZI OKAFOR: may the king be praised.
EZE NWANYI: Afamefuna come.
I came to his side close to Amarachi, there were tear in her eyes and I knew it was tear of joy, my father took my hand joining it with Amarachi.
EZE NWANYI: I bless the reunion today, who so ever that tried to come between this two shall make their death.
EZE NWANYI: you will pass through tribulation but none shall destroy you both.
EZE NWANYI: your reunion will bring peace to this land.
ALL : ise.
EZE NWANYI: you will be fill with laughter and children will not be hidden from this reunion.
EZE NWANYI: as I have side it so shall it be.
His hand fell from I and Amarachi hands, I looked at my father who has gone still.
I looked at Amarachi then to the elders, Amarachi quickly got up while I went closer to my father trying to wake him up, he wasn’t responding and I feared for the worst.
This can’t be happening, I felt a hand on my shoulder.
MAZI OKAFOR: please let me.
I got up and he went closer to my father, my mother was already restless and I knew she will break down anytime from now, Amarachi was just quiet, too quiet, I got my attention back to Mazi Okafor, he looked at the rest chiefs and shakes his head negatively, then I knew it was finished.
Almost immediately my mother started wailing, Mazi Azubuike had to take her outside, Amarachi followed my mother maybe to console her, I just took there not knowing what to do, I walked up to where he was laying and fell on my knees, now that was when the pain started coming in.
I scream holding the clothes of my dead father, it hurts so much, now I know how Amarachi felt when she lost her mother, the chief all left the room one at a time leaving just I and my father.
To be continued..