Kejiro’s Demon – Episode 5

Kejiro's Demon - Final Episode

Kejiro put aside his duster and allowed his gaze to rest on the portrait of his benefactor. The five by seven photo sat majestically in the wooden frame that had become it home for a little over half a decade. She wore a smile that he had since forgotten. He picked up his duster and cleaned the top of the shelf then place the frame back in position.

Kejiro’s Demon – Episode 5

He took his mind back to a few days after he lost his uncle to the angry mob, Mrs Idiala drove into the village in her Mercedes Benz car. She wore the same endearing smile that she had in the photo.  She had come to make arrangement to purchase a large quantity of cassava. Kejiro was just days into his decision to be an upright person, a life that was strange to him.

He had however made up his mind that whether he turned out to be the hero, or whether the position was held by someone else, the pages of his life’s story must read that he honoured the memory of his uncle. He had turned a new leaf and felt it was time to go to the big city in search of an education and a new life.

He walked up to Mrs Idiala, not minding possible rejection from a woman he hardly knew. He greeted her warmly, offered her a smile and hoped that she would find him good-natured. He prayed under his breathe then made his petition known to her,

“Please take me to the big city with you”

Kejiro’s Demon – Episode 5

There was so much earnestness in his voice, he looked like a lost puppy

“I can cook and clean, and I will never make trouble. I promise you”

He insisted.

She smiled and patted him on the back,

“Young man, I am sure you are going to be a good boy. But, I might not be able to take you with me at this time. Perhaps some other time”

She watched as the young man’s countenance reached ground zero and her maternal instincts opened the door to emotions. It wasn’t a decision she would take without giving it some thought so she waved the Kejiro off with a reassuring smile.  He felt rejected but wasn’t willing to give up trying to leave the community.

Kejiro’s Demon – Episode 5

The following morning, Kejiro woke up before the sun and started to pray; something he rarely did. He said every prayer that he knew; which was undeniably very little. Then he started singing praise and worship songs. His surprised father passed by his room but didn’t say a word.

A few hours later, his father returned.

“Keji, Keji, come to the yard, somebody is here to see you” he declared enthusiastically.

Kejiro’s Demon – Episode 5

The young man got up and reluctantly dragged himself into the yard as requested by his father. To his amazement the sun was already seating on the roof. He pushed himself a little further from the yard and towards the visitor’s shed. He saw Mr Obi standing just at the entrance.

Mr Obi had his reservations about Kejiro but never imagined that the boy was responsible for the burning down of his cassava farm. The burnt farm was reported as a natural disaster and so he received compensation from the insurance company.  Case closed.

‘He has just been elected president of the cassava growers association. Is this why he is here?’

Kejiro asked himself rhetorically

Although he seemed to be out of muddy waters, his conscience was giving him a hard time. He greeted Mr Obi warmly and then entered the shed, which was when he met his saviour. She wore an angelic smile and spoke in polished accent. She laughed as Kejiro’s father joked about life in Anioma community. Kejiro entered the shed and the spotlight fell on him.

Kejiro’s Demon – Episode 5

‘Young man, looks like you wanted to stay in your room all day’ she began.

Without a word, Kejiro ran into her arms.

Tears of joy filled his eyes; neither Mr Obi nor Kejiro’s father could understand what was happening. Every child in the community would gladly jump at an opportunity of going to Abuja but Kejiro wasn’t the average child and so his show of emotions confused them.

Although Mr Obi had certain reservations about Kejiro, he decided to let sleeping dogs lie. He stood as referee for Mrs Idiala and explained to Kejiro’s father that he was certain that she would take good care of Kejiro. Mrs Idiala, unable to hold back her smile, explained that she would ensure that Kejiro went through secondary school and the university if he wanted to.

On hearing this, Kejiro’s became jubilant and his father became even more confused. The Kejiro he knew just a few days earlier would not even flirt with the idea of going to school; neither would he be caught praying or being so calm and humble. Something had changed about his son, he knew it had something to do with the death of Chike and he was convinced that going to Abuja would be good for the boy. He gave his approval and the following day, Kejiro prepared for his new life as ‘a city boy’.

 

***  To be continued ***

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