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    Toke ran up to her and helped revive her with the help of the other widows. “Mama, she is my mother! My mother is back from the dead” she exclaimed when she saw the woman’s face.

    Toke took her mother into her room, gave her something to eat and drink. When her mother was stable, she dared to ask. “Did you resurrect from the land of the dead? You died long ago and they brought home a headless body and told me that it was you. I couldn’t even look at the body before it was buried because it was already decomposing and I was afraid of facing the reality that you were dead and gone. They said the human hunters had caught you where you went to hawk in the nieighboring village and had cut off your head and had used it to bury their king.

    Mama Toke: “hmmn, my dear, our God is wonderful. In fact I don’t even know how to start narrating the story”

    Toke: “how do you mean? Did you resurrect from the dead or something? I have touched you, you are flesh and blood and not a ghost so I am not seeing an apparition. What happened?”

    Mama Toke: “on that fateful day, I left our village very early so that I could make enough sales and then return and pay your examination fees. After the sales, I made enough profit and I went to the market to buy soup ingredients so that we could at least eat a decent meal that night. My friend who was a trader in the market tried to convince me against going because of the human hunters but I refused. It started raining heavily on my way back and I sort shelter under a tree. Then the human hunters struck me with their hatchet and when they thought I had died, they left me and the other dead bodies with one of the guards so they could go and hunt for more victims. Some rituals were to be performed on us before they could cut off our heads. I miraculously woke up some minutes later and even though I was in excruciating pain, I recognized the guard whom they had left to guard me and the other dead bodies as the son of my friend whom I had met in the market. I summoned courage and called him by the pet name his mother used to call him. He was just about 20 years old and after I told him that I was a widow like his mother who is my good friend and that I was risking my life because of my daughter who was about his age, he had pity on me and removed all my clothes. Then he wore it on the body of one of the dead women and gave me her own wrappers. Then he smuggled me out of the bush and showed me the way to his mother’s house. I went there and she helped to hide me in her house treat my injury but I had to lay low for fear of the elders finding out what her son had done.

    When the people from our village came in search of my body, they picked the decomposing body of one of the women who had been beheaded and took it home. I thought you will recognize the headless body as that of a stranger and come to the village afterwards and look for me”

    Toke: “somewhere within me, I never believed that you were dead and since I couldn’t look at the headless and decomposing body, I didn’t know that it was not you. And remember that I didn’t see you before you left that morning and so I didn’t know what wrapper you wore. Besides, the villagers didn’t even allow me come close to see your body, they said it was not a sight for a young girl as me, they had the headless body all wrapped up when they brought it and after they placed it in the grave, I poured sand on it and ran all the way back home to cry”

    Mama Toke: “it is okay, my dear. Anyway, after about six months, I disguised myself and went to the village in the middle of the night and I found out that you had moved to baba Gift’s house and that you had resumed schooling. I decided to let you finish your junior secondary school exams and start senior secondary school since I didn’t have the means to train you before I showed myself to you again. After a while, my friend told me that the elders were suspicious of my stay in the village and so I had to run away to save her and her children but before then, she made me to vow that I would not return to our village for fear of how her son had saved me leaking out. I came to Abuja and went to the Church and told them that I was a childless widow. They took me in and I in turn gave my life to Christ and stayed around the Church cleaning and praying for you.

    One day, I decided to go to the village and show myself to you and face whatever was the consequences because I had missed you terribly and I longed to know how you were faring. A kind neighbour told me as soon as I stepped my feet in the village that you had stabbed baba Gift and then ran away. I knew that they would hold me and make me pay for your crimes if they see me so I came back here. I have been living in the Church premises” she said with tears of joy flowing from her eyes uncontrollably.

    Toke: “oh God, you are a covenant keeping God. Mama, why did you decide to come to Abuja of all the cities in Nigeria?”

    Mama Toke: “I have always told you that Abuja is the land of opportunities. I came here because I remember how you used to tell me that when you become an engineer, you will build a big mansion for me in Abuja. When I heard that you had ran away from the village, I knew that you would come here and since then I have been praying to set my eyes on you even if it is just for a second before the good God calls me home”

    Toke: “mama, my dear mother who risked her life just to feed and send me to school. I thought I had lost you forever to the cold hands of death. A lot happened when I started living with baba Gift and I thought God was being wicked and unfair to me. I didn’t know that just as gold is being refined by fire, he was taking me through those challenges so that I can be qualified to occupy the greatness that he had set aside for me in due time” she said, hugging her mother and weeping too.

    Mama Toke: “my experience these past few years has taught me to hold on to God and to forgive and leave vengeance for God. I was so bitter with God because of the way things turned around after the death of your father and I used every opportunity I had to curse my tormentors but it pays to leave everything for God. In his own time, he will avenge. But wait, how did you come to acquire all these and even have enough to empower widows?”

    Toke: “mama, I am very rich now o. ehn, God has been more than faithful. Don’t give me that look; I am not into prostitution or any ungodly thing. This is how it all happened…” she narrated all that had happened after she ran away from the village and how she had come to inherit all of Lady B’s properties.

    To be continued after some comments.

    Next pls




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