TIMI SANGANA - Episode 9

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Nigeria's leading fictional story blog - the prison, your wedding day, wedding, town, wedding gown, church, the church auditorium, make-up badly marred, the prison guards, prison, covering his skeleton.

“Sorry Sir, I didn’t get what you said. Do you mind repeating yourself Sir?” Esther asked, sounding befuddled. “I said Timi Sanagana is out of the prison. He wants to see you. But I can see today is your wedding day. I will go back and explain to him you are very busy and won’t be able to see him right away,” replied the priest. “Today is my wedding day. For years I have been waiting for Timi to be released and he was not. Why today? Look at me Mr. Priest, if you are trying to pull a prank on me on my wedding day, I promise you, I will kill you,” Esther said, looking starry-eyed. The priest could tell the young woman in front of him was fighting to keep her emotions in check, so he explained a bit more, “I am not playing with you, I am Timi’s father. My name is Mr. Kelvin Onaga. I am the man who adopted him years ago from the orphanage. Believe me; he is out from the prison. But he is not yet safe, neither me nor anyone who is connected to him. Timi and I need to leave East Town by night fall.”

“Okay then if he truly is out of the prison, let’s go see him right away,”, Esther said with tears in her eyes. “No. You just can’t go and see him. You have to go finish your wedding first and maybe when he gets back to town you will see him.” “I am sorry Sir; I insist I want to see him now. Let’s go,” she demanded. Knowing it was no use arguing with a lady who was ready to put her wedding on hold just to see her former lover, Mr. Kelvin decided to give in to her demand.

“Good day Sir. This is Efiong Uwem, I want to inform you that the young man you asked us to keep an eye on has been released from the prison. He left the prison today about 6:45 am.” “By whose authority was he released?” asked Mr. Igiebor. “The order came from Lagos sir,” replied Efiong Uwem. “Thank you Efiong.” At Ashekelon Resorts, Esther could not believe that the gawky figure in front of her was Timi Sangana. Timi was so impressed with Esther’s wedding gown that he had to commented about it, “You look great in that gown. Your beauty hasn’t faded one bit all these years Esther.” “I was wondering when you would ask me why I am dressed for a wedding.” “Oh. I thought you dressed this way to elude the people after us. Mr. Kelvin is dressed like a priest and he is not one,” Timi said.

Esther knelt down before Timi who was seating in an armchair, and taking his hands in hers, she said, “Timi I was going to get married to a friend this morning before your father came and informed me of your release from prison.” “God! Then what are you doing here? You have to go finish with the wedding!” exclaimed Timi. “No, I don’t have to. You are here now and that’s all that matters to me.” “You are not going to keep your husband-to-be and guests waiting are you? Please go, I won’t hold this against you. You have proven your love to me, I will forever remember it.” Mr. Kelvin added his voice and persuaded Esther to go honour her word to the man waiting for her at the church. 

Timi could tell that what he was asking Esther to do was too difficult for her, she wanted to be with him, but Timi had to explain to her that if he was Osas, he wouldn’t like to be stood up before his guests on his wedding day, waiting for his bride only for her not to turn up. Esther was shocked by Timi’s resolve to send her back to Osas. She could see that the prison experience had toughened him up. However, she was determined to abandon the church wedding.  It was quite with a lot of persuasion that Timi and Mr. Kelvin were able to get Esther to go back the church and honour her promise to marry Osas. Mr. Kelvin offered to drive her back to the church. On the way back to the church, all Esther did was cry. Mr. Kelvin was so moved by her cry that at some point he had a few tears in his eyes. By the time they got to the church, the church service was in a higgledy piggledy; people were wondering if something bad had happened to Esther. She entered the church auditorium with her make-up badly marred by her tears. Her sisters did the much they could to patch up the traces of tears on her face before the priest would invite her and the bridegroom to the altar. While her sisters worked on her face she asked to speak with the priest, her father and Osas.

All four of them converged in a room at the back of the altar; while guests and members of the two families waited anxiously for the wedding proceedings to begin. “I hate to be put in the situation that I am right now. Maybe Osas will never forgive me for what I am about to do, I will like to announce to Osas that in the light of what happened earlier today, I wish no longer to go ahead with this wedding,” said Esther. Osas knew something was wrong, but not to the degree that would warrant Esther to cancel their wedding right inside the church. “Esther you know you can’t do this. No. You can’t do this to me. Whatever the problem is we can work it out together,” Osas pleaded. “Why do you want to cancel your wedding this late?” asked Esther’s father. Without waiting for Esther’s reply, Osas added, “Yes, that’s a good question. It is too late to cancel our wedding now. Esther please, don’t do this to me.”

“Marriage is a sacred union. We can’t force people or coax them into it. If this young woman has reasons strong enough to call off her own wedding, I think we should honour it. Esther are you sure you want to do this and why?” asked the priest. “Osas if I go ahead and marry you today, I assure you, I will never be a happy woman in your house and most of all, I will not be faithful to you. I have never allowed you to touch me, and that is because I took a vow to keep myself for a man. That man is around now and I want to go back to him. Please don’t deny me this,” Esther said tearfully. “Timi Sangana is out of prison, is he not?” Osas asked. “Yes he is. He was released this morning,” Esther replied.

“You know Sir, I will never able to find another woman who can love me as much as Esther did. I still can’t believe she was willing to put off her wedding because of me,” Timi said. “I almost drove her back here. She was so broken, she cried all the way to the church,” said Mr. Kelvin. “She will forever live in my heart. I pray to God I will be able to love again. Maybe I should have let her stay,” Timi said regrettably with moist eyes. “Don’t regret it son, you did the right thing. I doubt I would have been as brave as you were. You can take solace in the fact that it ended well between you two.” “But it was not meant to end this way. We had dreams to live together, make the finest babies in the world, travel the globe together and die old. My pains know no end. I have lost a part of me today,” Timi lamented.

Mr. Kelvin drew close and held Timi’s frail body in his arms and tried to comfort him. A gentle knock was heard on the door and both men paused to listen. The knock was heard a second time and Mr. Kelvin went to see who it might be. When he opened the door, Esther was standing outside still garbed in her wedding gown. She pushed the door wide opened, rushed into the room, grabbed Timi and planted a kiss on his lips, hugging him very intimately. “I couldn’t do it. I couldn’t go on with the wedding. I want to be where you are Timi,” Esther said crying. “I thought I had lost you forever. I am glad you came back. It must be very difficult for your man right?” Timi observed. “I have no other man but you. I am glad I did not make this mistake. Thank God I am with you now!” Esther said happily.

 Esther took her time to look Timi over and could not figure out what exactly had gone wrong at the prison. It was only five months ago that for some unexplained reasons she was stopped from seeing Timi. Timi had shed weight down to his bones, all he had covering his skeleton was just a tenuous layer of skin that looked like it would fall off him at any time. When he looked at Esther it seemed as though the pair of eyes in his head were not his, it was as if someone else was in his head staring at Esther from in there. Esther’s heart exploded with pain, her painful groans were so deep and soulful that even Timi cried. Mr. Kelvin this time made no effort to comfort them, he too needed comforting, all day he had tried to hide his feeling about Timi’s horror looking appearance. Timi explained that after Esther was stopped from coming to see him, he was moved to solitary confinement where he was for the most part denied food and medical care when he took ill. He said the prison guards had thought he was dead and came to move away his body when they found out he was still breathing. The prison chief warder, had cried when he saw him in that condition and ordered that he be given medical treatment. That small gesture of compassion was what saved his life in the prison.


Written by:
Uzoma Ujor

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Moofyme.com: An African Literary Blog: TIMI SANGANA - Episode 9
TIMI SANGANA - Episode 9
Nigeria's leading fictional story blog - the prison, your wedding day, wedding, town, wedding gown, church, the church auditorium, make-up badly marred, the prison guards, prison, covering his skeleton.
Moofyme.com: An African Literary Blog
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