In Sunshine, In Rain (31)
Okay, so today we come to the final episode of #ISIR 🙂 (Do I hear a ‘awww…’?) Well, whatever has a beginning does have an end and I must confess it has been an amazing (yes, and stressful hehe) journey for me. Sometimes, I have had to write some episodes in the office with one hand while doing my work with another (my boss must not catch me, though). But in all, I really am grateful to God for making it a successful project. Special thanks to you and you and you for making it so pleasurable. Every writer’s dream is to have readers who are loyal and supportive and I have had the most amazing readers across the world. Thank you soooo much. 🙂 A lot of positive feedback has reached me concerning this story and I am glad God is blessing lives through this medium. Stay glued to REDigion as more series will unfold soon. Oya, enough tory… read on.
“So, where will you go from here?” Zaira raised her head from clothes she was folding into a neat pile. We were in her home and everything was starting to look normal again. After this morning’s wondrous victory, the women and children had returned from their hiding place, much to the delight of the men. The reunion had been cheery and everyone was relived at the turn of events. But what had set tongues waggling were the strange things that had been happening these past weeks. It had been miracles upon miracles and no one could deny that a Higher Power was at play. A Power that even the mighty Shugaba had crumbled under. Many people had approached me, desiring to know more about this Power and how they could have it too. Some of them I had to turn over to Musa, who was very ecstatic to answer all their questions.
“I don’t know. I have been thinking about it.” I answered. “I would have loved to go back to Gamburu, but I don’t know what awaits me there.”
“Then stay here with us.” Zaira urged. “You have a brother and his family who love you. You can build a new life here and who knows, even start a family when you are ready.”
I smiled. I had thought about that possibility too. I so much wanted to stay around my newly-found brother and learn so much about him and his family, but my heart yearned for more. These past events had made me realize what I really wanted to do with my life and how much I could achieve. I could not do that staying just in one place. I had my whole life in front of me and I wanted to use it to serve God, going from place to place and telling others about His love.
“So, you agree with my idea?” Zaira asked, hoping I would readily approve.
“I will think about it.”
“Even your brother will love that you stay.” Zaira folded the last piece of cloth. “He is all the family you have left. Your father has refused to be part of your life.”
“I know.” While I have tried to come to terms with my father’s rejection, the reminder still hurt more than I wanted. Still, it was better to be without a father than to be with one who would always blame me for reminding him of his late wife for the rest of my life.
“It’s his loss.” Zaira noticed the withdrawn look on my face. “When you get a man, which I believe God will give you soon, the man will also be to you an husband and a father. Trust me, you will not even miss your father.”
I smiled, knowing how hard she was trying to make me feel better. “I have to go and see what is happening in the palace, or what is left of it. I will be back.”
Zaira had a mischievous smile on her face. “Are you sure it is the palace you really are going to see?”
I stopped at the door. “Of course!”
She shrugged. “Okay. Extend my greetings to the Shugaba. I am sure he will be delighted to see you.” She tried to hide another smile.
As I walked out the door, my heart pumped heavily at her words. A lot of people would have thought exactly same too. The Shugaba and Amina, a match made in heaven. While I must confess there had been times such idea crossed my mind, I doubted if he shared the same sentiments. Which was another reason I needed to leave the settlement. As much as I hated to admit, it would hurt my feelings if he married another woman. Truth was I had been attracted to Gafar from the first day I met him and though he had made my life hell and had taken the things I loved from me, I found it hard to hate him. Now that he was a changed man and more interested in God, I was afraid I might fall head over heels in love with a man who did not love me back. I was sure he would find a worthy woman to spend the rest of his life with.
“Amina! Look at you!”
I turned to see Kudi running towards me with excitement. It had been long I had seen her so happy.
She flung her hands around me in a tight embrace. “I have been looking everywhere for you. Where have you been? I heard about your bravery and how you sent the army packing. Everyone is talking about you. I am so proud of you.”
“Kudi, it wasn’t just me. Everyone contributed to this victory, which would not have been possible if God had not allowed it.”
“Yes. It could only have been a miracle. Tell me, will you be going with the other girls back to Gamburu?”
“Some girls are planning to leave already?” I didn’t know such arrangement was already in place. “There’s nothing back home. I was there some days back.”
“I thought so too.” Kudi looked around, grinning. “And there are some very fine men here. I told them we could all start afresh here, but some of them are confused. For me, I think I will stay here. Perhaps, I can get the Shugaba to notice me this time.” She winked. “Hopefully, one naughty lady will not stand in my way again.”
“Well, you don’t have to worry about me. I am not planning on staying. I am leaving.”
Kudi grabbed my arms. “To where? You just said there was no Gamburu again. Where do you want to start again? You have your family and friends here.”
“I don’t know yet. But I will keep travelling and telling others about Jesus and when I find the right place, I will settle there.”
“You mean when you find the right man…” She released my arms. “You look like you have made up your mind already. I wish you the best in your journey.”
“Thank you, Kudi. I hope you remember that God should be your number one priority, not the Shugaba.”
Kudi tapped my shoulder. “I know, Amina. But I also want the Shugaba also.”
“There you are, Amina!” Musa walked up to us, looking every bit a happy man. “I have been looking for you.”
Kudi whispered. “Everyone has been looking for you. I told you that you are a star.”
I ignored her and faced Musa. “I have been at your house. Is there a problem?”
“Problem? Not anymore. Well, the Shugaba needs to see you urgently and asked me to get you.”
“Really?” Kudi was not happy to hear that. “What does he want with her?”
Musa didn’t reply her. He grabbed my hand. “Let’s go.” He dragged me away, leaving an angry Kudi behind.
“You know I cannot stay here, Musa. I have to find my own course.” I spoke as we walked hand in hand to the direction of the makeshift palace.
Musa sighed. “I know and it is hard for me to accept that. When do you want to leave?”
“Yes, the earlier the better for me.”
“Okay. We’ll discuss this later.”
We reached where Gafar was lodging and I went in alone to meet him. When he saw me, he stood up and ordered the men with him to leave.
“You sent for me. Do you want me to do something for you?” I stared hard at the floor. I could not bear to look into his eyes.
He cleared his throat uncomfortably. “Well… I… um… I have not had the time to personally thank you for everything you have done for me. I did you so many wrongs, yet you didn’t take them out on me. Instead with every hate, you showed me love and made me realize the monster I had been. You never gave up on me and made me know the Man who had power to kill both body and soul and I am forever grateful to you.”
I didn’t know what to say, so I just nodded intermittently.
“The settlement is not what it used to be, but I am sure it can be built again.” He continued. “The people can live normal lives and be happy, just as they were supposed to be before I invaded their lives and they need a faithful and godly leader to lead them.”
Where was he heading to with this speech? I was getting confused.
“That is why I have handed over to your brother, Musa. He is the best man for the job.”
“What!” I was stunned. “You want Musa to take over from you? Why?”
“I am stepping down. I have caused too many atrocities and do not fit the seat anymore.”
“So what will you be doing?”
“Well, I am going on the next phase of my life. I think I will like to tell a lot of people about Jesus. I owe Him that much. Perhaps, if I do that, it will make up for all my wicked past.”
“But that is dangerous!” How could he think about that? I tried to dissuade him. “You are still in the black book of a lot of people and they will not hesitate to kill you.”
“I am determined to do this, Amina, and if this is how I will die, then it will be a worthy death for me.”
I paced around the room angrily. What kind of man was this? Instead of him to lay low and live the rest of his life in peace, he had decided to go into even more dangerous territory. “Then you need someone to go with you and watch your back.”
He stared blankly at me. “You mean?”
I stared at him with resolve. “I have decided not to stay here as well. And there’s no going back to Gamburu too. So, if you don’t mind a stubborn woman following you around, we can go on this journey. When people see me with you, they will think twice before they take a shot at you.”
“You are sure you want to spend some time with the man who killed your mother?” He was shocked.
“Well, that man died some days ago. This is a new man I am speaking with.”
He shook his head and smiled. “I knew you were trouble from the first day I laid my eyes on you. But then, your trouble brought me peace. Go and pack what you have. We move first thing tomorrow morning.”
I nodded at him, smiling, and walked out of the room. As I passed through the settlement back to Musa’s house, I saw as everyone tried to pick up their lives again. Soon, everything would be normal, just like it ought to be. For a sixteen year old, I had seen a lot of things. Both good and evil. But one thing I knew and without an iota of doubt, I would serve my God in both good and bad times. When I was up or down. Whether in sunshine or in rain.