Wednesday, December 14, 2016

QUEEN OMOTOLA! Episode 8.



To read the previous episode, click here
*********
The priestess gave Omotola a calabash filled with water and ordered her to sprinkle little quantity on the path she followed back to the palace and the moment she reached, she should pour the remaining on her doorstep. She did as the priestess instructed her. After she was through, the children began to lift up on their feet looking agile, the sore disappeared from the men and the women appeared to be in good physical shape. The people rejoiced and hailed her. Omotola, her sons, Osato and Imafidon ran to check up on Morenike. They found her seated on the bed, and singing a song with tears in her eyes. 

She saw her mother and quickly stood on her feet to hug her.

“I thought I was never going to see you again.” Morenike whispered.

“The gods are watching over us.” Omotola said. “I will not bury any of my children.”

Owokan hugged Morenike tightly. It was glaring how happy he was to see her better and alive. He thanked his mother for finding solution to the calamity.

“I am meant to protect every one of you in this Kingdom.” She said and sighed tiredly.

“Mother, he said. “I think you should rest.”

“I will do that after Morenike takes her bath and sleep for a while.” She pointed at Odion. “I want you to make sure the people are settled. Inform the chiefs and elders to assemble tomorrow morning for a meeting.” She turned to the direction of Imafidon. “You and the warriors should keep the horses in a safe place. Appoint some wardens to feed them daily and if they need anything, they should contact your mother.” Omotola looked at Osato. “If any of them come with a problem that you can’t fix, let me know.”

“Okay my queen.” 

Queen went to sit beside Morenike and rubbed her back. As Imafidon and Odion wanted to step out, Owokan faced his mother.

“What about me?” He asked her.

“What do you mean what about you?”

“Don’t I have anything to do for you or the kingdom? Have I become irrelevant?!”

“Do not scream at mother.” Odion said angrily.

“Or you will do what?”

“Odion and Imafidon, please leave.” Omotola said and they left. She glanced at Owokan straight-faced. “It was not intentional. I did not bother to involve you in anything because I thought you would be tired and needed an alone time.”

“What about the message you sent to the warriors through Imafidon? Are they not tired too? You don’t ever want to involve me with your activities in the palace. You prefer I stay indoor and keep quiet. I do not know what you think of me but I know whenever you see me, something in your face change.”

Omotola felt quite guilty and wore a sad face. “You’re my son and I love you.” 
“How can I know you love me equally with my siblings? You made a flimsy excuse about me being tired. Why did you allocate jobs for the same warriors we travelled together if not that you value them more than me!”

She quickly stood on her feet. “Don’t you dare talk as if you know me!”

“I know you.” He said and moved very close to her. “You are my mother!!”

“Owokan,” Morenike said with tears already dripping down her face. “Please stop.”

He stormed out of the room without waiting to hear what was about to come out from her mouth. He went to the backward and screamed at the guards. He told them to leave his presence.

Omotola dumped herself on the bed and burst into silent sobs. “I love my son. I love my children equally.” Whether she lied to herself or not, she knew some of the things that came out from Owokan’s lips were true. Not only did her face normally change when she saw him, she was scared of what he might do in the future. She believed he was the child that was going to fight her. She searched her mind for a way to avoid it. Nothing came up.

Osato excused herself and rushed to check on Owokan. A guard informed her where he was and she went there, stopped at the doorpost and peeped outside. She saw him seated on a small stool with his head facing the ground.

“My prince, can I come?” She asked gently.

He raised his head, stared at her and smiled lightly. “You can.”

She sauntered to meet him and rested her back on the wall. “Whatever I want to say now might not mean anything to you but I think it’s important you know. It was a very difficult decision for your mother to give you and your brother to my late husband and me many years ago. She cried that night and I sensed the grief in her voice and eyes. When we ran away and watched you and Odion grow, you were always smiling, happy and playing with other children around you. When you turned three, Osaigbovo told me you were different, in a good way. He said he knew you were going to turn out to be a great man but you changed after you were becoming a man. You don’t smile or interact with people. You prefer to be alone and I think that's what makes your mother’s face change anytime she sees you.”

“Don’t try to cover up for her.” He glared into eyes. “You and I know what I told her was the truth.”

“Why did you change?”

“What difference will it take if I smile more, laugh with people and even play with children. The same people of Izieole will still look at me the same way.”

“What are you talking about?”

“You think I don’t know what they say behind my back. They already judge me because I look like my villain late uncle! I did not create myself and no one knows what I feel or think! Whether I keep to myself or act friendly, it does not change anything about how they see me or how I feel about the people and Izieole Kingdom.”

“What do you feel?” Osato asked to acquire information from him. 

“Love,” Owokan said and stood up. “I love the people, Kingdom, my family, you and your son.” He shut his eyes tightly and when he opened them, tears came out. 

Osato was shocked. “Owokan.” she called his name in a surprised and concerned tone. She motioned towards him to console him.

He rapidly wiped his face and directed his hands at her. “Stay away from me. I know my mother would ask what we discussed about, just tell her that she hurts me most times but I always forgive her.”
Owokan turned his back and walked away from her. Osato went to Morenike’s room and found her with the queen on the bed. Omotola arms wrapped her daughter as they slept. Osato decided to leave the room and prepared water to have their baths when two of them wake up.

*******
The day of the coronation of Omorodion Osaze came and it turned out to be successful. It was obvious he was not in a happy mood. His mother cautioned him whenever she saw the gloomy look on his face. 

“You have to smile to the people.” She said to him.

“What if I am not in the mood for that?”

“You have to be in the mood. This is supposed to be the happiest day of your life.”

He shook his head and watched the dancers as they danced. 

Adesuwa quickly whispered to him the moment she saw two men approaching them. “You have to smile now. Those men coming are important people. They are from the west. We might need their help later.”

“For what?” He gazed at her irritably.

“There’s no time for that. Smile now!”

He forced a smile and shook the men’s hands.

“I am chief Bayo.” one of them said. “And this is chief Makun and we are from Oduwa’s Kingdom. King Lolade sent us to congratulate you and he is sorry he was not able to make it. He sent some gifts.”

“We understand and thank you.” Adesuwa replied cheerfully. She looked at chief Bayo. “I heard you are the King’s right hand man.”

He laughed. “Yes I am.” he replied and glanced at Omorodion. “Congratulations King Omorodion.”

“Thanks.” He said to him. “I have heard great stories about your Kingdom. I will visit one day.”

“You will be highly welcomed.” Chief Makun said.

King Lolade was a quiet and lovable King in his Kingdom. Even though he was old, his people were praying to the gods to save him from dying. He was known never to involve himself into politics. He always tried to work towards avoiding war or disputes. After losing his wife years ago, he refused to remarry and choose to look after his only child, the future king of Oduwa. Dayo was a replica of his father. He was a kind person.

*******
Imafidon returned home from the palace in the evening. His step dad was asleep and he met Osato waiting outside for him. She had set his food on the table.

“Mama,” he said after he opened his food. “You didn’t have to do this.” 

“You need to eat well my son,” she said smiling. “I know you’re always working.”

“I know. You really tried today. You actually prepared pounded yam, black soup and bush meat. May the gods be praised.”

She laughed hilariously. “You deserve the food. How was your day?”

“Fine.” he answered.   

She gave him a bowl of water to wash his hands; he did and started to eat. After eating half of the food, he took a bit from the meat and chewed. 

Osato spoke to him. “When will you get married?” 

He stopped eating and spat out the bush meat on the ground. He was angry and tried to hide it by looking at her. He faced the floor. “Is that why you prepared this for me?”

“No my son.”

He stood up. 

“It has not gotten up to that,” she said. “Please finish your food.”

Imafidon drank some water and gazed at her. “I no longer have appetite.”

“You don’t want to eat again because I asked you when will you marry? Did I say anything bad?”

“I have told you I am not ready to marry. It is a lot of responsibility to put a woman in the house. I don’t even have time for myself and you know it.”

“You can create time for your family my son. I am not getting younger and remember you are my only child.”

He hissed aloud. “You should have given birth to another child. No one stopped you from doing that.”

“I beg you in the name of the gods, do not bring back memories.”

“Goodnight mama.” Imafidon said walking away. “I need to sleep!”

*******
For over a week, Owokan stayed indoors and avoided his mother. Morenike and Odion were the only ones allowed to enter his room. 
Without informing anyone where he was going to, Odion travelled to Eroma Kingdom. When King Osamudiamen heard about his visitor, he was pleased to see him.

“I hope all is well?” He asked Odion as he sat down.

“All is well King of Eroma. I am here for myself.”

“Will you like to eat before we discuss?”

Odion smiled widely. “I am not here for merriment. I heard everything went well with your transactions in the north and I applaud you for showing my mother gratitude. My mother is unaware I came here and I want it that way.”

He placed his right hand under his chin. “Why are you really here? Can you go straight to the point?”

“What do you really feel for my mother?”

“Excuse me?”

“Do you want her to be your queen?”

Osamudiamen gave him a look. “She is the queen of Izieole Kingdom.”

“I know and I can take the throne anytime I like. She will willingly give me whenever I am ready?”

“When are you ready?”

He smiled again. “I don’t know yet unless you answer my question. Do you want her?”

This time, the king chuckled and shook his head. “If I want her as my queen and you convince her you are ready to take your throne. When she step down for you and I propose marriage to her, are you going to help me persuade her to be mine?”

“Exactly.”

“It means I owe you something when she becomes mine.”

“Yes King of Eroma Kingdom. We are also going to be close.”

“What will I owe you?” Osamudiamen asked.

“Your partnership.”

“But I already have that with your mother and it shall continue that way when you become King.”

“The queen of Izieole is my mother but we do not share the same ideas and ambition. We are two different people.”

“Then I am sorry to disappoint you, I am not interested in your proposal. I am contented with the friendship I have with your mother.”

Odion felt embarrassed and disrespected. He rose up.

“Are you leaving so soon?” the king asked.

“Yes.”

“Your Kingdom is far. You can’t go today.”

Odion gave a sarcastic grin. “I can take good care of myself. I am travelling to a kingdom not far from here. Good bye King Osamudiamen.”

“I wish you safe journey.”

******* 
Odion returned home three days later in the morning. Omotola was furious when she saw him and asked where he went. He told her he travelled to see a friend that was very sick.  Sota went to see Owokan to inform him of his brother’s return.

“Did he say where he went to?” Owokan asked him.

“Yes.” Sota said and told him.

“That’s a lie! I don’t believe him.”

“My prince, you think he is lying?”

Owokan looked at him. “I might be incorrect. Just do me a favor and keep an eye on him.”

“Okay my prince.” He said and left. 

Owokan thought of what Morenike told him about Odion leaving her in the night when they travelled. “Could it be that my brother is planning something?” he asked himself silently.

Later in the afternoon, Osato went to the Queen’s room to bid her goodbye after she served dinner. Omotola was grateful for the meal and requested she stay a little more time for them to chat. After few minutes, they heard voices of men shouting and crying. Both of them glanced at each other and marched out to see what was happening outside the palace.

They met Owokan addressing the crowd, Odion stood close to his brother, and watching them without saying a word. One of the old men saw the queen, and he swiftly moved towards her and fell on his knees. “I am finished!!” he wailed. 

His voice sounded familiar to her. She looked at Sota. “Is this not the same man that came here the other day when you told me your master was talking with him outside?”

“Yes my queen.”

“Owokan!!” she called him.

He turned his back, and walked up to her. “Yes mother.”

“I thought you said you have sorted things out with this man? How come they are five men crying in my palace?!”

“Take it easy mother,” he said calmly. “I will sort everything out.”

She ignored him and ordered the old man to stand. He stood and cleaned his tears. “What happened?”

“Mother,” Owokan said. “I can take care of things.”

“We can handle things.” Odion said to her. Owokan frowned at him. Morenike and Imafidon joined them outside.

“I don’t care if two of you can handle it. What is going on?”

She noticed the men were scared to talk. Omotola went inside and came back with her sharp sword. She pointed it at the old man. Talk or you will be punished!!”

“One of….” his voice broke. “One of your….”

“One of my what?”

“Your son took our only source of livelihood from us.”

“What!!”

“Our lands were forcefully taken from us. We came here to beg him to return the lands to us. Please help us beg prince….”

“I will not tolerate such in my kingdom!” Omotola said furiously. Her’s eyes had turned extremely red. She speedily rotated to Owokan and directed her sword to him. “You have brought out the wrath in me! How dare you! You have been hiding it from me and I have caught you now! I command you….”

“Won’t you allow me to talk?!!” Owokan yelled.

“Please take it easy.” Osato begged.

“How dare you talk back at me after what you have done?!” She raised the sword at him and set to strike him. Owokan did not flinch.

Morenike gasped. The men were speechless.

Odion moved fast and gripped his mother’s hand. “Do you want to behead your son?”

Omotola was breathing very fast. She threw the sword on the floor and looked at him. “I was not going to behead him. I only wanted to inflict a scar on his chest that whenever he takes a look at it, he will remember me!

Morenike ran to meet Owokan. Tears were dropping down his face. “Mother!”

She looked at him. “What?!”

“You hurt me over and over again but I always forgive you.” He said and walked inside the palace. Morenike followed him behind.

“He must return those lands!” She spat out.

“Mother.” Odion said. “He was not the one that took those lands. I did.”

She widened her eyes. “Are you trying to cover up for your brother?”

“No.”

Omotola looked at the men stunned. “Tell me who took your lands!”

“I was trying to tell you,” the older man said. “You did not allow me finish my statement. Prince Odion was the one that collected our lands and prince Owokan was trying to help us get it back.”

Her body began to shake as if she was catching cold. She burst into tears. Osato placed her hands on her chest and inhaled. She was fighting hard not to cry. She knew the queen had made a terrible mistake. 

Omotola gazed at Odion. “Was that why Owokan was arguing with you the other day?”

“Yes mother. He was trying to convince me to return their lands.”

Imafidon was dumbfounded and highly disappointed.

“May the gods forgive, may the gods forgive me.” Omotola said repeatedly.

Morenike rushed outside with tears all over her face. “Mother! Owokan has parked his things. He said he is leaving the Kingdom!!”

*********
To be continued……

14 comments:

  1. Oh gosh! Omotola is finally tearing her household apart with her own hands and whatever Odion is up to......hmmm only Carina knows.

    ReplyDelete
  2. oh wow. Lovely read.

    www.zinnyfactor.com

    ReplyDelete
  3. Now the plot thickens...hmmmm all I can remember is the prophesy.

    Thanks ck

    ReplyDelete
  4. Hei
    The prophesy ? ? ? !

    ReplyDelete
  5. Now I'm so curious how it will be continued ...
    xx from Bavaria/Germany, Rena
    www.dressedwithsoul.com

    ReplyDelete
  6. Odion will betray the mother and now owokan,will live the kingdom, seriously omotola is not helping matters at all she is getting week, no matter how hard it is, how can she give her son a scar...seriously I really feel for owokan....nice one ckj...

    ReplyDelete

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Series coming up on my blog later.....

**********

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