Fiction: Tribute to Yaweh

January 26, 2016 Fiction , POETRY / FICTION

 

By

Celestine Chimummunefenwuanya

 

 

Yaweh, you went missing three days ago.

 

Yaweh, the last time we met was in Tete stone mine. Yaweh, we sat shoulder to shoulder in the sun, our sweats touching on a coquina plain boulder with jagged edges. Yaweh, you spoke a lot until your lips squeaked, until I lacked the enthusiasm to listen more, until they were several squelches tantamount to steps in mud stretching endlessly in endless potholes. Yaweh, you spoke about what I knew with the alacrity that made me doubt ever knowing them. Yaweh, you spoke so fast that I felt you were running, and I’d run if I listened with more eagerness. Your tongue shook like heels in a hurdle race. Salty, grey sweat beaded down from imperceptible pores on brittle skin to the point I thought they would turn to startling red blood, creating wavy channels to my nervous eyes and making my skin turgid as a drowned leviathan, a cavado lifted from the sea that drowned it and stirring my pores to sprout blood.

 

Yaweh, sun burned in the sky, scorching the earth but you endlessly spoke like you were cedar planted by the bank of the river. Yaweh, you quaked your neck so thin, so carelessly that I feared your large head sitting on it was an overripe pawpaw likely to fall very soon. Yaweh, like you never told me before, you said, scratching your cornrow plaits briskly with withering fingers like you were running mad or like a blind inebriate, you once had a good father ruined by unchecked words of a sharp-mouthed mother.

 

Yaweh, because your father Belekwa was a straight-laced lay priest in a strict Pentecostal church that disciplines any steward reported smacking a woman, your mother Enebeli took advantage of this to run her mouth like a wheel and vomit disgusting, repulsive words that only God could manageably bear until that sunny afternoon when Belekwa could not stand it any more and slapped Enebeli down from the puce balcony of the family two-storey building overlooking Flamingo island.

 

Yaweh, Belekwa stuffed your bagpack with assorted sachets of sweet cookies, chocolate and banana wafers when you were set for school. Yaweh, you told me, although I’ve heard it before, you attended a large huge school, a St. Patrick Academy with a large bristling field passing for a soccer spot for the school soccer clubs, with a large refectory arranging annually a memorable high-class buffet party for the students as many as stars in the sky. You relished science and it was because you shared immutable affinities with nature and discovery. You were Enebeli’s pet but her loquacious and unbilated knack for paralyzing lugubriousness made her your arch-enemy.

 

Enebeli was a banker with a degree from London and well-paid in a Nigerian bank and Belekwa was a lay priest without a degree, with ‘o’ level alone, an ‘o’ level with E3 English. ‘And she’d rule the house afterall she bought it’ you whined mockingly picking up a tanned shard of stone tob beside a few lumps of obsidian and dolosotones to pop a pus-tipped pimple tacked on your brow by strained adolescence.

 

Yaweh, to calm your tongue from running, I interrupted you and asked you, just to cut the long story short, to go straight to the point, why did your father finally slap your mother down the balcony. Yaweh, I remember you never went straight to the point you screamed with such emotion that cast me straight in a fathomless catharsis that numbed and turned me quadriplegic. ‘ Oh how my mother’s skull jogged about and stopped very quickly in scattered lumps of blood-grooved thick white, Belekwa genuflected on the railing and down he tumbled after his wife’.

 

Yaweh, You were composing a Christmas song for your school choir in your lavender wall room glowing in the lights of a Japanese carmine-ivory chandelier of multiple globes. Yaweh, you heard the caustic and scathing sharp peal of Enebeli but a verse you composed came with a chill that sterilized the heart from living yet living. Belekwa’s incessant grunts and brawls returned your heart to the realm of living, you coughed and darted to the balcony. You saw nobody when you got to the balcony, you saw your fathers brogue shoes and your mother’s pendant necklace scattering in endless beads on the mable floor. You never yelled  because your instinct wasn’t leading you to any conclusion. You flung your pen and song book to an edge of the balcony and tip-toed to the railing hoping the balcony would cave in. Yaweh, you giraffed into the sunrays blanketing the jet verandah with infinite peach. Yaweh, Yaweh, Yaweh, am sorry, you beheld fat Belekwa sleeping on a pool of blood beside your fat mother, hands touching.

 

Yaweh, from up the silver balustrade you saw polarized walls ultimately coming together to venerate the ruined and degraded spirit of connubial camaraderie. You visualized Belekwa clutching tenderly the thin arms of Enebeli up heaven’s gate and toward God for downright forgiveness for having not agreed, religiously, with themselves for once.

 

They never agreed with themselves for once and it was why they must go to heaven for divine arbitration and absolution. It was what you told me Yaweh, Belekwa disliked the church Enebeli went to. It was never a crime to wear mascara, wear a tangerine satin gown that displays inner wares and curves. It wasn’t a malaise to wear earrings and gold necklace, nor was it an anomaly and abominable to gossip and exult one’s self publicly and because it wasn’t vile for a wife to talk when her husband talks in this church Belekwa insisted Enebeli must join him in his ministry. His was the best he claimed. A Christian woman with heaven’s dream should avoid make-up and in Belekwa’s new generation church women have been spiritually groomed to loathe make-up. But because Enebeli was that igbo girl born in Lagos and raised in Leki axis who can’t possibly manage a church proscribing make-up kits- even her red mascara, her lucent satin gowns from tangerines to blanch-almonds, even her v-neck shirts she insisted her church, the Roman catholic would be her church forever. And any other church should cleave and rip in hell and in the hottest element.

 

They turned polarized walls. Hearts against solidarity of belief and they disagreed with themselves. Belekwa said a woman who wears make-up would go to hell. Yaweh, often you said you agreed your father was right but the foolhardiness with which he emphasized the doctrinal dogmas nullified their worship. And Enebeli said ‘and the church and the preacher preaching against make-up would pong and whiff in the fire-brimmed arroyo’. A little raise of voice by Belekwa got drowned like a boulder in the lake of abuses and endless grouses.

 

That sunny afternoon when they went to heaven with crackled skulls they disagreed with themselves as usual. Belekwa said she should not show you the way to make-up kits in his own house at your tender age. Enebeli was ranting and panting as usual, making sure her fingers preened Belekwa’s bald head ‘she’s my mother, you devil, you poor man, you are in the holiest church yet you are the poorest, I feed you, clothe you, pay your child’s school fees…..Belekwa could not stand it. Uncontrollably, he swung  his palm around her head and she belched over the balustrade. And down she went where her skull would chink on thick hot blood.

 

Yaweh, when you saw the pool of blood, partial lunacy enchained the mind. You scurried out of the home. Yaweh, you never told me what part of Enugu you came to stay and work in Ebonyi Tete stone mine. All you said was you entered a bus in one of Enugu’s motor parks, dropped at Franco junction and a keke took you down here. You said you will stay here and suffer until the memories of dead parents fade to oblivion.

 

Yaweh, you cried. I cried. You nose ran as mine. When I stopped to cry you yet profusely  cried and I consoled you. I mopped your cheek with my dusty rag. Your eyes reddened  to the inside of watermelon.

 

We jumped down and stepped the perms and batters of the mine to our last two tobs  of granite lumps and coquina grits. After, Mr. Tete paid us our wages we walked home solemnly and lividly. We parted when we got to Peccuno interception. Before you stepped toward Evo woods for your shack, before you watched me headed down Milla woods for my shack you promised to come to the mine the next day with a keg of zobo juice just for me, for being a true friend, the comforter and the best of all consolers.

 

Yaweh, you weren’t in Tete stone mine the next day. I refused to work because your absence numbed my veins. I worried and worried more when you weren’t around five hours later. I scuttled down Evo woods for your shack. Your shack had your clothes in it, leftover of zobo leaves and empty pots littered the wooden floor, a hint you were yet to get composed. Your neighbors in Zilite Stone mine said you left for the mine very early. I was moved by instinct to Duru lake after two days intense search. It’s where you wash your feet and rinse your long unplait hair every morning. I got there before the sun rose and bloomed in the sky hoping to meet you washing your feet or hair but I saw first in a thin real, a keg of zobo on the water. My heart shook like coriander leaves, beside a large coquina boulder I saw a bloated entity. I watched closely and it was you who lay face down on the blue lake. I cried and cried until I was unable to.

 

An hour later an ambulance picked you up to Tima hospital and from there you were moved to the mortuary. Am sorry Yaweh, because you never told me I knew not your home, you were buried in Diko forest.

 

Yaweh, I relished  the brief moment we shared as wounded pals. A true friend you are . Your story sharpened and strengthened me. I will drink the zobo. I promise. I took the keg. Yaweh because you kept me company you will not sleep alone in that dense forest. I promise to keep you company all night. I’d do just that dear one. I promise. Goodnight. Adieu Yaweh.

 

This tribute, I wrote it on paper I’d stick it in your grave and I wish you’d care. But I hope my repetition of a dire story won’t rejuvenate grief in the soul of the injured.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Celestine Chimummunefenwuanya  

Celestine Chimummunefenwuanya Victorson is a Nigerian student in ICT and Photography. A hysterical lover of speculative and young adult fiction and desperate fan of Nnedo Okorafor, Oscar Wilde, Eric Walters, James Peterson, Babara Jefferies, Barbara Park, Chimamanda Ngozi Adiichie, Obinna Udenwe, Helon Habila and Mukoma Nwangugui. He is currently working on two novels.

0 Comments

No Comments Yet!

You can be first to comment this post!

Leave a Reply