THE TWO PATHS – 2

PART TWO


IN THE PHASE OF TWENTY YEARS


Uchenna lived lavishly among his debauched politician friends. He soon learned to climbed the political ladder whenever he danced to the tune of their godfather and the team. The regions of rule by the political party he belonged continued to suffer with continuous decline in the standard of living while the party members in government positions milk lean the public fund for themselves and for their members. Having pleased his party for over fifteen years, they decided to front him to become the next President of the country, banking on branding him as the youngest democratic candidate at the age of 45; this was because the country’s public had fallen for the international criticism of Africa’s old leaders, and so clamoured for a young President.


Meanwhile, his natal family would also not be part of his political life as his nuptial’s. His mother practically lived in the Church praying night and day for his salvation. It eventually became a routine for his siblings to come pick [and practically pull] their mother from the Church after she might have spent the whole day attending all the masses and kneeling at the rim of the altar crying as she prayed every day. Sometimes, the Priests and her children kept her company, pleading for her to have faith, or rest, and at most times, join her in prayer. But the woman was hardly conscious of any presence about her but always fixed her sad gaze on the Crucifix and Tabernacle of the Blessed Sacrament. With time, she weakened in health and eventually got hospitalized.
Sometimes, his siblings visited him to tell him of their mother’s efforts to bring him back to the virtuous life of faith in God and how they feared for her health. He was saddened each time but he thought his families never really knew him. Deep inside, even while he practiced the faith at the earlier stages of his life, he wanted more than the enclosure he felt with that life. His mind was not completely in it, and so, he was not able to appreciate the greater experience, the etherealness others felt in the faith.

Now, he did not understand why they could not appreciate his choice of career. Indeed, politics in their country was not a pure cause, but the families of his associates did not mind so long as they were not caught in the acts of their corruptions and injustices. They enjoyed the riches they acquired and still went to their churches to be hailed and revered by their pastors and fellow congregations. ‘Why is his’ different?’ He would not visit his mother because he knew it would come to naught for him. Perhaps, someday, they would be forced to share in the wealth he had accumulated up for his “hundredth” generation and stored up in different international banks.
At her sick bed, he was forced to visit her as a Presidential candidate of the political party he belonged. A journalist had dug into his life to reveal his estrangement from his families. But it was not for that reason he decided to visit her; he never stopped loving his mother and never physically spilled blood, mild or fatal, as she commanded him and his sibling from their childhood. However, it was for the reason that he invited the press to cover the visit.
Before the lenses, flashes, microphones and pens of the press, he knelt and cried at his mother’s sick bed, two of his closest political friends beside. ‘Mother, I am sorry.’ He said to her. But she responded with difficulty, ‘So am I’. Calm, but disconcerted within he asked, ‘Why so mother? It is I who offended you.’ His mother took time to respond, ‘You will never be a President.’
He did not care for the increased flickering, murmurs and rumbles around him at his mother’s declaration. Instead, he locked gaze at her sad eyes until they closed in death to the world. He leaned closer to her and wept. One of his siblings, who had perched aside with others, alerted the doctor and nurses. These hurried in to check on the invalid dismissing the press and all; his siblings pulled him away with much difficulty.

Continues in part 3 …

Written by IfeanyiChukwu Oluwafemi Chukwudi – 9/9/2017

Images by Pixabay

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