If You Can't Help, Don't Hurt. Episode-2

If You Can't Help, Don't Hurt. Episode-2

A Story by Homason
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A Nigerian-african tale of the prowess of Amaka, a young school leaver.

"
- If You Can't Help, Don't Hurt! Episode-2.
Written by: Homason.

Story:
In a short while, the news of Amaka mother's death swept through the community even before she left the hospital. On arrival to her house, in a perplexed mood, her uncle and relations waited already for her. "Ami" "Ama" "Maka-nwa" they welcomed her. As Amaka took a sit, her uncle continued: "We have heard of what happened and that's why we are here. Your mother, our sister, was a very good woman to all of us, in fact, she deserves no delay to be buried. In case you'll need anything, please, call me." "Funny, call you?" This must have been Amaka's mind. The author wishes to remind you that this uncle and others present were some of those Amaka ran into for help but received no support from anyone of them when her mother was still sickly-alive. But Amaka sat silent still looking at the ground and shaking her legs as they took their leave one after the other. "This life is really amazing; why would people wait for the worst to happen before they can really help with their best? I guess this was the interpretation of Amaka's look on her face.
That night, the house felt so empty and lonely for Amaka, there was no one to talk her to bed anymore. She wasn't, either, by the road side frying or roasting their usuals. Oh, what a pity, her best friend was lost. What was heard was a deafening silence, and distant insects sharing goodnight kiss in broken songs.
At dawn, before the night said goodbye to light, Amaka heard a voice in the compound saying: "here, here and hear, in fact all here and there..." the voice continued." Quickly, she got up from bed and traced the voice, she could see the same uncle in company of some unknown men. "Good morning uncle, please what's going on?" she asked, but silence gave heed to her. She inquired again but she appeared invincible to them. However, it was later revealed to her that her uncle intends to sell the piece of land and the entire house therein, which were hers to inherit, for her mother's burial. In sunken thoughts, Amaka ran unto other relations and family chiefs to disclose such wicked intention and sought their help. But to no avail, they had already been bought over by the influential uncle, instead they counted it as taboo for a female child to inherit anything of her parents, and a double consequence of such taboo for her to summon the elders and chiefs of the clan. Hurt, so hurt again was Amaka; "where on earth does such culture exist?" She wondered.
These were the men that assured to help her earlier but now their help was hurt.
Reluctantly, Amaka walked back home disappointed. On reaching the entrance door, a mighty and ugly looking padlock gave her an incredible stare. 'What?' Amaka shouted. She has been restricted from entering the house further as transactions for its sale were already in progress. In anger, she took a rod and disfigured the ugly looking padlock the more, and got in. She went straight to her late mother's box of wrappers, shocked: all the new and unused wrappers were gone. Only a few old ones were left. "Oh no, no-no! Who could have done this, who has done this to me?" She said to herself. Tears, taking no chances, each trying to overtake the other, soon began to flow. In a rush, she packed up the ones left. Her head was burning with furious thoughts, her chest was hot like a hot coal and she supported her breathing with her mouth open. Like an unleashed masquerade she fiercely opened the door and in a haste set out; but to no where. Devastated, she left the house, tying only one wrapper over her breast - going almost half naked. Most of the people who saw her thought she was mad, some guessed it just started newly while others wondered at such a beautiful mad-girl. But Amaka paid no concern at all, she walked so fast and almost carelessly. She was hardly recognised by everyone who knew her.
She was obstructed by a furious call from her aunty who grabbed and took her to her house. There, Amaka explained all that was happening. "This people are very wicked! Don't worry, my husband is a lawyer, I'll let him know this tonight when he returns from work. However, you may stay here with us until things get better" Her aunty said.
Amaka's uncle held several meetings with the local council of chiefs among other relations for the burial of their sister (Amaka's mother) but they never invited her or hinted her of the outcome. Her 'sovereign' uncle had proposed to sell both the house and land for eighteen million Naira, he claimed it was in order to give their sister a befitting burial. 18M.? Just for burial? You can imagine Amaka's thoughts. The worst is that the eighteen million Naira included no plans for Amaka, not even considering a place for her stay. Amaka suspected something fishing but don't know how to catch the fish. This was actually the beginning of restlessness for her.
At last, the burial date was fixed, posters went out, but Amaka stayed in without any money for the ceremony. The shops and rooms that gave them rent had been withdrawn from her and the tenants were strictly cautioned by the "dreaded" uncle not to pay any Kobo to her again. Again, she was deprived of another inheritance from her late father of which she and her late mother took custodianship after his demise.
Amaka, being a hard working girl, could not fold her arms and sit back, instead she went to one of their farms which grew cassava and harvested almost five bags. This land was unknown to the uncles and the documents were in her possession. Few of her friends assisted her through the cassava processing and six basins of 'Garri' were processed. Amaka sold four basins of the 'Garri' and kept the rest for the burial.
About a week to the burial, that her aunty had to travel for work, as she was a politician, leaving the house for her husband and Amaka. "Hm-hmm!" you may exclaim, but we, definitely, don't have the same thoughts about this. Well, the lawyer called Amaka one morning and they talked over the case again. He obliged to be her defending lawyer and Amaka was very grateful at this. With much enthusiasm, she got up very early everyday to tidy the house, make breakfast and heat bathing water for lawyer and herself, she also went late to bed every night. This got the lawyer impressed and he always appreciated her.
About three days to the burial, Amaka sensed a strange attitude from the lawyer: he would barge into her room whenever she was to get dressed, he would call at her to get him his towel or boxers from the bedroom and bring them in the bathroom, he would also insist they eat together else he wouldn't eat at all, and many more unmentioned. This really got Amaka confused and she couldn't guess what he was up to, (Well, even if she did, where else can she get help? You may say).
One night the lawyer entered Amaka's room uninvited and advanced sexually towards her. Amaka refuted and reminded him of his wife, her mother's burial at hand and even told him she was a Virgin but the man pressed on, instead, he reminded her that he has enough money and can marry as many wives as he would want, he praised her beauty and assured her of his support to defend her in court free of charge if only she submitted willfully to his desire. Amaka couldn't believe what she heard. She felt like screaming at him"Shut your shameless dirty mouth. If only what? Like seriously? Just like that? If you really have the money why not help without hurting? Indeed, Chinua Achebe was right about 'Things Fall Apart,' but why would you need to take advantage of the less privileged, the weaker vessels because they come to you for help? Seriously, if you can't Help just, just walk away" she thought. Teardrops revealing the way she was feeling. In terror, Amaka struggled with the beast.

The Big Question is:
Will Amaka give in?
Watch out for episode-3.

Further thoughts:
There are a lot of persecutions, molestations, sufferings, brutalities, abuses, the list is unending, going on in our communities, even as you read this, in different & similar ways as portrayed in the story above. Yet, the need to curb or ameliorate this epidemic actions, who will set the pace, how can we differentiate between the wolves and sheep, and many more, are questionable even hitherto. And we wonder in pain & penury, giving up & holding on; where will our help come from?

Food for thought:
"Every struggle in life ends at death, until then we must continue the fight for dignity & sobriety even though it may cost the last of our breath" - Homason.
Watchout for episode-3.

© 2018 Homason


Author's Note

Homason
This story is a fiction. Any name, character or place cited here is purely fictional. Any resemblance is merely a coincidence.

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Added on June 22, 2018
Last Updated on June 25, 2018
Tags: Hate, love, lust, frustration, envy, fight, pain, fear, strife, tact, bravery, hope, courage, sorrow, strength, freedom, bondage, covertness, anger, silence, solitude, peace.

Author

Homason
Homason

Port Harcourt, Christianity, Nigeria



About
Humble and friendly. Writer and composer. Author of the book "Before You Quit: A Recipe for Success." Likes to play football and table tennis. Upholds the Golden Rule. more..

Writing
Time! Time!

A Story by Homason