Twerking Cruxes and a Cloaked Visage2

This is where we met.

This is where are hearts became one.

They may never let us be together but we’ll always live together here.

This is where we’ll be and this is where we’ll rest.

Carlton Benedict Bernwick & Idongesit Ekpeyong

1953

“Who do you think they are?” Ambrose asked.

“That is a stupid question I don’t even think my mother was born by then.”

They laughed.

“Just be ready, because Livinus will get us into trouble again. I still feel the pain from the last one.” Ambrose said, wincing as he rubbed his upper arms.

“Don’t think like that now!” Matthew pleaded.

“Why shouldn’t I eh? You see…you believe anything he tells you, he is only interested in himself and the only reason he comes back to us is because you will tag along and I’ll have to follow you and also because – .”

“But –“

“But he can do it and get away with it after all his father will make sure that anyone who touches him will leave this village before night fall. No oh! Instead he will come and drag us into it.”

“Why?” Matthew asked throwing pebbles into the water and counting the ripples.

“Because he enjoys watching us suffer.”

Ambrose joined him after tying the remaining fruits in his t-shirt. They were still counting ripples when they heard the rustling of leaves. It stopped and they returned to ripple counting. They scrambled to their feet when they heard stumping on the ground and Livinus shouting, “Run!”

“Told you!” Ambrose said.

“Not again!” Matthew cried out sounding scared.

Ambrose was afraid that they may not get out in time so soon after he tied the t-shirt around his belt he dragged his friend with one hand and the free hand he used to cover the slab they sat on with sand, leaves and twigs.

“We have to hide!” he whispered.

While they lay on the grass hiding Livinus ran to the spot they had just covered. When he didn’t see them he remained standing waiting for his chasers to catch up with him. They all looked at him and around then they went away except for a very fair woman who was as round as the kettle drum in church, she slapped him and pulled him by the ear and wouldn’t let go until the people who all had mixed feelings about her action insisted that she let him go. Soon after that they left the same way they came.

“Let’s go now before the night catches up with us.” Ambrose said.

Ambrose and Matthew laughed all the way home as they recounted the event, then they branched off to their houses and in the excitement Matthew told Matty everything and she laughed too.

“You’re lucky, you had Ambrose with you. When will he learn? School tomorrow; bed now.”

“But Mummy!”

“Bed now!”

“Yes mummy…” he rose from the cane chair that was once his father’s reluctantly, “…good night!”

“Hmn goodnight!” she replied and watched her son exit the sitting room but got distracted by the knock on her door. There was a disheveled young lady with tear stricken face at the door.

“Udeme? Come in! Come in!”

They barely sat down before Udeme burst into tears. Matty came, sat beside her and rocked her.

“What happened?”

“It’s him o! And she has taken his side again…. She even went as far as saying that I can divorce him if I don’t like him…. I want to get married and stay married that is why I must marry someone I can manage with you know…. Why can’t she understand that? Eh?”

Matty sighed and then she got up abruptly startling Matty.

“Aunty good night!”

“You just got here.”

“Yes. But I’m going, I just got this marvelous idea and I’ll tell you of the outcome.”

“Just make sure you don’t do anything stupid.”

“I wouldn’t. Aunty I promise I won’t.”

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