Story: Living in Fear

    Episode 1

    :Written by #Bright_Daniel
    The roof of a bungalow set before the eyes of Ohaji, an old man, was older than him. The colour of the zinc had changed from white to brown thus indicating how rusty it was. Some parts of the roof licked water whenever rain falls while the walls of the house remained unpainted. There were only two minor stairs at the entrance, yet, none was in a good condition: they had cracked open both at the centre and by the side. The windows were made of wood but had also rusted giving out dust.
    Ohaji shook his head sorrowfully and began to walk into the house making sure he was careful at the stairs not to completely break them off. He wore a white senator with black shiny shoes. Immediately he entered, he saw Denis, the owner of the house, not only sitting in the living room but was also lost in thought. He knocked at the door which was already opened thereby bringing his senses back to the world of reality.
    "Denis," Ohaji stepped inside and sat down on a wooden chair opposite him while Denis hissed as he straightened. "what is really the problem? You summoned me here strangely and only for me to come and see you wallowing in ominous thought. Tell me my good friend, what is happening?"
    Denis exhaled. "Something bigger than the cricket has entered the Cricket hole" he adjusted his wrapper which he tied over a singlet. "I called you to tell you about my only daughter, Favour. She has been living in fear of what i don't know"
    "I don't understand"
    "She's always afraid of something!"
    "I don't know!" Denis shrieked hitting his hand on a table before him, thus, generating absolute tranquility in the room because his expression did not only get Ohaji surprise but also speechless. He brought down his voice and continued. "I have taken her to a man of God after which he prayed for her but it doesn't seem to stop"
    "I guess as time goes on, she'll grow over it" Ohaji suggested.
    "Grow over what? A girl of 21? Is she still a child?"
    Just as they deliberated, favour rushed inside the house breathing hastily. She stood beside her father who had already rushed up seeing the force she came in with. Even Ohaji sat up staring at them in anticipation of was happening.
    "Favour, what is it again?!" Denis asked as his daughter held his arm almost trying to untie his wrapper but he adjusted it upward with a hand to avoid another story of a daughter tripping her father naked.
    "Father, I'm afraid" Favour replied fearfully staring at the door.
    "Afraid of what?"
    "I don't know"
    Hearing that, Denis looked at his friend, Ohaji, in a way that shows: HAVE YOU SEEN WHAT I WAS TELLING YOU?
    Ohaji cleared his throat looking at Favour who wore a voluminous gown without footwears. She weaved her hair locally but only a man with inner eyes will know how extremely beautiful she was or would be if properly taken care of.
    "Favour," Ohaji called. "can you specifically tell us what chased you from wherever you were to this place panting like a mating dog?"
    "I can't tell. As i was in my room, everywhere became scary" replied Favour.
    "There is nothing to be scared of. It's just your imagination! It has to do with your mind. So, I'll advice you to free your mind and go back to your room"
    Both watched Favour reluctantly walking out of the living room. She occasionally looked back in fear and biting her fingernail until she went out of sight. The father exhaled sitting down again while Ohaji leaned forward.
    "Denis, there are two things you need to do. Take your daughter to a psychologist for counseling and engage her on one thing or the other. Or you send her to the main road for her to sell something like others. From there, she won't live in fear again"
    Denis thought of what he said but didn't say anything about it coz he believe that won't solve the problem.
    Cars sped on the road but many slowed down to buy things from hawkers. A boy and a girl could be seen rushing to a car with a carton of Gala in their hands. One at the front door while another at the back door struggling to make a sale. Without much sale, Nath, the boy, went out to sit under an empty shade. He was a bit fair in complexion with fairy beard sprouting out from his jaw. Suddenly, the girl, Jesse, joined
    him. She kept her goods and sat beside him. She was fairer than him wearing a black leggings trouser and a shirt she tied its base round her stomach thus exposing her navel.
    "Hey, Nath, xup? Are you tired"
    "Yes, really tired"
    "Such is life"
    "But not for some people"
    "What do you mean?" Jesse looked at him sweating on her face.
    "Life is also dust and gold" Nath replied without returning the look.
    "I still don't get you"
    He then looked at her seriously and said, "We are the dust while the children of rich men are the gold, so life can also be called dust and gold"
    Jesse remained speechless still sweating and looking at him..

    Episode 2

    Jesse averted her eyes from Nath, yet, didn't say anything regarding his last statement. She dried her wet face with her cloth and stood up. Nath watched as she dusted her groovy buttocks with two hands making them to vibrate attractively added to the black leggings that made it more big and tempting. She turned to him.
    "Get up"
    "I said stand on your feet!" she held him by the hand dragging him up forcefully until both faced each other. "Yes, i agree with you. Life is Dust and Gold but it's left for you to decide whether to remain as a dust or become a gold. And if you want to become a gold, you have to stand on your feet, carry your goods and work for it" she carried her carton of Gala and left both him and the
    Nath became surprise at her words staring as she ran towards a moving vehicle to make a sale. Therefore he reluctantly carried his goods too. Both lived in the same locality including Favour but their residence were farther apart.
    After making a sale that day, they began to go home following the same route. The sky become dark, shorter roads inside the locality became lonely too and crickets could be heard at every angle as Nath and Jesse walked slowly with their empty cartons. Suddenly, Favour passed them which attracted Nath's attention, he stopped and stared at her.
    "Hey" Jesse called him in a low tone. "Why are you staring at her?"
    "Who's she?" Nath queried still looking at Favour.
    "Who doesn't know her? Her name is Favour. People believe that she's possess"
    "Because she behaves like one. Always shout and ran away from nothing visible"
    Nath directed his eyes back to Jesse after Favour went out of sight. He didn't know what to do or say but knew how he felt immediately she passed. Therefore he said, "I guess she's not in any kind of insanity"
    "Why do you care?"
    "What do you mean?"
    "Why did you ask?"
    "Because of how i feel"
    "How do you feel?"
    Nath remained quiet then began to walk again without replying her question. Jesse followed her silently until they departed.
    Nath entered into his local compound. He was living with only her mother whose body wasn't strong enough. She had always admired the strength of her son for taking care of her with the little sales he makes each day. Just as she sat in the living room, Nath entered, flung the carton on the floor, placed his money on the table before him and sat down angrily. The mother knew something was wrong coz he had never behaved in such a way. There was a hurricane lamp on the floor that illuminated the room.
    "My son, what's your problem?"
    "Tiredness is my problem"
    "Then go take a warm bath and rest"
    "No, mother, you don't get it!" Nath sat up and his angry shadow reflected from the lamp. "I'm tired of poverty! I quit school, i don't eat three square meals in a day not to talk of eating a balance diet. While they are people who.."
    "I forbid you to start talking like this at this age!" the mother rebuked by interrupting him.
    "Are you saying I'm not old enough to think of a better life?"
    "Your words seem more like a greedy boy which can lead you to do something diabolical or illegal to get money"
    The room became quiet. Nath stood up angrily to leave but a voice from outside interrupted him. He glanced at his mother listening very attentively, so he wanted to rush out but the mother said, "Don't go out there"
    "Why?" Nath held the doorknob.
    "Who do you think would be shouting except the daughter of Denis?"
    "Who are you talking about?"
    "Her name is Favour"
    Hearing the name, Nath clutched the doorknob instantly because he remembered Jesse telling him about her.
    However, Favour saw a dark scary looking woman who approached her, so she sat down by the wall of a building with her legs folded along with her head.
    Nath arrived to see her in such situated and position, then gradually tapped her on the arms and she screamed.
    "Hey, is okay, it's me" he said.
    Favour raised her head. She didn't see anybody anymore but the handsome boy standing before her whose hand was stretched for
    her to grab. She stood up holding the hand, yet looking at every angle.
    "I saw her"
    "You saw who?"
    "She normally scares me"
    "Who is she?"
    "I don't know"
    Both became quiet while Nath gradually released her hand, turned to leave but she said, "I know you think I'm insane but I'm
    not. I know what i see and.. and.." she paused watching as Nath stood still listening to her. Though it was night but from her voice he could tell how beautiful she was added to what he felt inside.
    "I know you are not insane" he replied without looking back.
    "Then why do you turn your back on me?"
    "Coz i want to go"
    "Can you take me home, please?"
    Nath turned and stretched his hand again. "Let me take you home" he said then Favour gently
    held the hand feeling a strange connection between them plus increase in heartbeat..

    Episode 3

    Nath led Favour home that night. Both could be seen standing in front of the house. They weren't holding each other's hands but their hearts seemed to be beating at the same rate. Nath's presence made Favour feel not only strong but complete without even remembering what happened that night which got her scared. To her, he was like an angel sent from above. Therefore she couldn't enter their house again even though she had reached safely, rather began to bite her fingernails.
    "You don't do that" Nath said bringing her hand down from her mouth thus making both to stare at each other. "I guess you are safe now. Go inside"
    Favour didn't say a word watching as Nath turned again to leave. As he moved further, the feelings of fear began to come back in her thus increasing her heartbeat. She couldn't bear it anymore, so she shouted, "Please, don't leave me!"
    Nath stopped and turned to see her gradually coming towards him with tears in her eyes. He couldn't explain what was happening between both of them coz the whole thing seemed like a dream.
    "Why do you cry?"
    "I know it might sound stupid but your presence makes me not only strong but less afraid"
    Nath reasoned what she said and how he felt too. Could it be that there was something mysterious about them? Something must be wrong or right somewhere.
    "Listen, Favour.." he wanted to say but was interrupted by her.
    "You know my name?" she smiled happily still with tears in her eyes.
    "Yes, just recently. My mother and my friend told me earlier ago" Nath held her shoulder. "I don't know what you want me to do but i want you to open your mind and your heart, even without me by your side, you'll see me through your mind and feel me in your heart. So go inside now, it's getting late"
    Favour grabbed his words, turned happily and entered into the house murmuring the words: open your mind and your heart..
    Jesse lived with her grandmother in a local house too. It was made with red mud but without being told, you won't notice it because the mud was covered with cement and the roof had a zinc.
    Jesse entered the house and stood at a spot because of what she saw: a candle light at the centre of the living room and another flame of candle from her granny's room. She could hear her saying something she understood very well, so she kept her empty carton silently moving towards the room. As she moved, she saw the grandmother's shadow on the wall looking scary until she finally saw her sitting beside the candle and covered with black robe. "Grandma?" she called.
    The granny looked at her. "Oh, you are back"
    "Yes, and.. and.."
    "And what?"
    "I heard you saying something"
    "Like what?"
    "You said something like "the boy interrupted me" Which boy are you talking about and how did he.."
    "Enough, my child. I'm meditating" the granny resumed her posture while Jesse felt strange about the whole thing. Nevertheless, she went out to take her bath.
    On the other hand, Nath returned home to see her mother sitting outside at the varander obviously waiting for him. Instead of going inside, he sat beside her with a worried face.
    "My son, don't tell me you have been with that witch all these while"
    "Mother, i don't think she's a witch. Something happened. She said my presence makes her strong and less afraid"
    "That's who you are"
    Nath looked at his mother for more explanation while she continued. "An evil spirit use to torment your father and i but from the day you were born, nothing on that nature happened again. So i guess your presence resist evil ones"
    "Nobody knows, that's why i said it is who you are"
    Nath thought for a while, stood up and began to enter into the house but her mother's voice interrupted her saying, "I hope you weren't carried away by what she said"
    Nath knew what she was talking about but didn't reply her. After a long stare, he walked inside.
    As Favour thought about Nath, so as Nath thought about her mother's words.
    On the other hand, Jesse thought about how Nath looked at Favour and also reasoned about what he said concerning dust and gold. She deviated from there to her grandmother. "She acted weird. Why?" she thought.
    Favour woke up, the only thing that came into her mind was the boy who brought her home. Therefore, she climbed down from her bed in hurry and with joy. "I didn't even ask him his name. How can i be so stupid?" she thought arranging her bed. Suddenly, the father knocked on her door and opened after few seconds.
    "Good morning, father" Favour greeted with a trace of smile on her face.
    "Are you o.."
    "I'm fine" she interrupted instantly which made her more suspicious in the eyes of her father.
    "You seem excited about something. Is there something you are not telling me?" the father walked inside the room full looking at his daughter..

    Episode 4

    "Nothing, Father" Favour replied her father in the room and resumed dressing the bed to avoid more interrogations from him. The father smiled happily and left the room thanking God for such moment when his daughter seemed normal and happy.
    On the other hands, Nath sat at the Varander wearing a short and a singlet. He leaned on the nearest wall with his hands folded. The thought of Favour and how he felt for her filled his mind. Suddenly, he stood up into the house in a hurry, dressed up and headed to the residence of Denis. Just reaching there, he met Denis himself coming from the opposite direction.
    "Good morning, Sir"
    "Morning, you are.." Denis looked at him thoughtfully. "I use to see you somewhere"
    "That must be on the road"
    "Exactly! Where you sell something"
    "Yes, sir"
    "So, what brought you here?"
    "Umm.. i actually brought Favour home last night after i rescued her from whatever she saw that scared her"
    Denis was pleased to hear that. He looked around, lowered his voice and told him to put her daughter along with the small work he does on the road and he agreed.
    Both departed while Nath moved towards the house. As he wanted to climb the broken stairs, he fell down thereby attracting Favour's attention who came out instantly to see him standing up. She couldn't move but stared at him until he also looked up to see her looking more beautiful than he thought regardless how local she appeared. He straightened up.
    "Hi, sorry for.. for falling"
    "It's okay" Nath dusted his buttocks, then both became mute for a while before Favour said, "What are doing here?"
    "I guess I'm stupid to be here" Nath replied.
    "No, that's not what i mean. I.. i mean good morning" she tried to climbed down the stairs to meet him but stumbled on it and fell down too, though, only to find out that she was in Nath's hands thus staring at him as she straightened up. When the stare lingered, they began to smile.
    "Thank you" Favour glanced at the broken stairs. "I guess one day we shall get a better house"
    "We?" Nath moop at her.
    "Um.. sorry, i mean 'we,' as in, my father and i. We can't forever be poor. We must be rich some day"
    Nath smiled. "I came to see if you are okay"
    "Yes, i am. Thank you for last night. May i know your name?"
    "I'm Nath"
    "Okay, please, come inside"
    "No, I'm going to work and I'll like you to join me. We buy in whole and sell to consumers on the road. It's actually fun and i know you'll make a good sale"
    "But i don't have money to start"
    "Don't worry, I'll start you up with a small amount. From there, you'll get more"
    Favour finally got what she wanted, that is, to become closer to her hero. Therefore she accepted the offer after Nath made it known to her that her father was aware of it too.
    Days and weeks passed, Favour got along with Nath and Jesse in a friendly way. They had been hard working and associating peacefully until Jesse noticed Nath gradually falling in love with Favour without giving her attention anymore. By the side of the road, she saw both of them laughing and eating gala which they occasionally fed themselves and hit each other's face with some pieces of it. Suddenly, Favour carried her goods running after a moving vehicle, an expensive and classic car which splashed her water from head to toe even her goods. So she became sad and returned to Nath as Jesse kept watching them from afar. Nath carried her goods, kept it on the ground, held her hand and said, "There is no reason to be sad. Such is life, dust and gold. But i want you to know something: without the soil that produces dust, gold wouldn't have been found. One day we shall ride on such expensive car too, okay"
    Favour nodded her head trying to clearn herself up after which Nath handed the goods back to her then courageously smiled at her too.
    Seeing all that, Jesse became extremely jealous and went home before them. She flung her unfinished goods on the ground and sat down angrily with her hands folded until her grandmother came in.
    "Jesse, what is your problem?" she asked supporting her weight with a staff but Jesse remained quiet. Therefore she sat beside her. "I guess your problem is Favour"
    Jesse looked at her wondering how she knew her name. "How do you know her?" she asked.
    The granny groaned. "What an elder sees sitting down even if a child climbs the mountains, he will not see it"
    "What do you see?" Jesse became not only curious but also enthusiastic..
    After Nath and Favour made all their sales, they began to go home. The day had become dark. They held each other's hands walking gradually with strong emotional feelings until they reached where to depart. None wanted to leave without the other but that was impossible coz they weren't married. Moreover, they had not officially profess their love to each other. Favour hoped he profess as both stood there speechlessly and looking at each other's eyes...

    Episode 5

    A gentle wind blew across the legs of Nath and Favour, grasses rattled at a nearer distant, the sky exposed the brightness of stars thus giving out a magnificent night. As Favour anticipated to hear from him, so as Nath looked up in the sky as if to count the stars. "Come with me" he said holding Favour by the hand and running towards a mountain that could be found behind all buildings in the locality. There were rocks, few grasses and the sky well exposed.
    "Why did you bring me here?"
    "I want to show you something"
    "Close your eyes"
    "No, I'm scared" Favour chuckled.
    "Trust me" Nath persuaded before she closed her eyes anticipating to know what next. Before she knew it, Nath kissed her thus making her to open her eyes. She couldn't believe it, she became speechless until he grabbed her hand saying, "That's the way i feel about you. I feel like I'm betrothed to you. Your presence makes me feel complete. To be honest, I'm in love with you, Favour"
    Favour embraced him tightly as an afterthought without releasing him. "You bring joy to my heart and restored courage to my heart. Please, promise never to be separated from me" she said on his shoulder.
    "I promise never to be apart from you" Nath replied.
    They had to spend more time there sitting on rocks and staring into the sky. For the time they had been together, she noticed that Nath was always enthusiastic about getting money which she saw in his mood presently. She never wanted him to worry about it, so she said, "Look at the sky. Look at how small the stars are, yet, they are beautiful and give light" she directed her eyes to him. "No matter how little one has, he should shine like the stars. You must not be up in the sky before you become a star."
    "But some people are up in the sky and also stars" Nath began. "I want to make my mother proud, i want to give you a better life, i want to.."
    "Sssshhhh" Favour interrupted him by placing a finger across his lips. "It's enough. I believe one day, we shall rise from dust to gold"
    They became quiet then Nath changed the topic.
    "Did Jesse tell you when she went home?"
    "No, did she?"
    "No, i wonder what her problem is" Nath thought for a while. He stood up, took Favour's hand and they began to go out.
    Jesse sat silently in front of their house. She became aware that her grandmother was a witch after she told her how and why she knew Favour and tormented her. She could remember her words vividly: Favour's mother challenged me as a witch before she died and i must torment her daughter.. If she's getting on your way, there is always a solution to it..
    "What solution was grandma talking about?" Jesse thought. She was gradually influenced by her grandmother thus taking her steps and having the same mindset. "What does Nath see in Favour anyways? I stayed with him and he never noticed me for once" she thought again and angrily went into the house.
    Mrs. Ola, Nath's mother woke up. She went to Nath's room but didn't see him, then believed he had gone to his normal work.
    On the other hand, Jesse woke up to see her grandmother lying dead in her room. "Granny? Granny!" she pushed her ferociously but there was no sigh of life in her. She began to cry.
    However, Favour had gone to make a sale as usual but after a long time without seeing Jesse or Nath, she became worried and went back home to Nath's residence only to meet his mother in front of the house knitting a clothe.
    "Good day, ma" she prostrated slightly bending her knees.
    Mrs Ola suspended what she was doing and looked at her from head to toe. She saw her carrying her carton of gala looking worried. "Good day. Any problem?"
    "Ma, i came to check on Nath to know why he didn't come to work"
    "I haven't seen my son since morning. I thought he had gone to work"
    "No, ma, he's not there"
    "Ewoh!" Mrs Ola stood up to go check again in the house but Jesse barged in. Favour directed her eyes to her instantly but saw her with a disdainful look which indicated that she wasn't happy with her. Nevertheless, she said, "Jesse, have you seen.."
    "Ehen, nwam," Mrs Ola interrupted her moving closer to Jesse. She held her hand seriously. "Is my son with you?"
    Jesse became confuse. "No, he's the one i came to see"
    "Chim oh!" Mrs Ola exclaimed. "He's not at home since morning!" she began to shout running inside the house.
    Favour and Jesse looked at each other silently. Already, Favour's heart had began to beat faster coz she had a strange feeling about everything. After the long look, she began to go out occasionally looking back and hoping to see Nath. "What's happening? Where is he?" she thought.
    Jesse had an idea of what that must have happened since her grandmother died the same night Nath got missing, so she hurried back home and began to cry remembering her granny's words...

    Episode 6

    Favour went home, entered into her room, flung the carton of Gala on the floor and sat on the edge of her local bed which cracked with a rusty sound and slightly making harmonic motion. She wore a short skirt and a white loose top that she occasionally pulled the collar up to prevent the exposure of her bra. Her weaved hair scattered but didn't mind because all she could think of was the way about of Nath. "Where could he be?" she thought.
    Favour stayed indoors until the sun set thereby giving way for darkness to take over the atmosphere. Suddenly, Denis, the father, walked in. He had a staff in his hand and a hat on his head. On his body was Isi Agu clothing.
    "Favour, what have you been doing indoors?"
    "I'm afraid, father"
    "Afraid again?"
    "No, not that" Favour stood up taken a step towards her father. "I'm afraid because something must have happened to Nath. The mother woke up this morning but to see him gone and nobody knows his way about"
    Denis thought for a while. "No, i think i have to go and know what's happening by myself" he walked out followed by Favour. They went straight to the residence of Mrs Ola to see people already gathered around. Ohaji was also there. Favour could see how her father whispered to him in the crowd. Also, seeing how Mrs Ola cried, she began to shed tears too. Suddenly, a traditionalist whom they had summoned to explain the strange phenomenon came in. He wore a red robe with a staff in his hand. His eyes were painted white and on his feet were no footwear. He stood before all the people in the compound, looked up in the sky and said, "It is the woman whose child has been eaten by a witch who best knows the evil of witchcraft"
    "You speak in parables" Ohaji began. "Tell us the cause of this strange thing of a child disappearing from sleep"
    Before the traditionalist began to explain, Jesse entered standing alone. She never expected to see the crowd thus making her uncomfortable.
    "Woman," the traditionalist pointed at Mrs Ola. "Your son was attacked by a witch who wanted to kill him but due to how strong his spirit was, instead of to die, he disappeared"
    "Heeyy" people shouted.
    "Chim oh!" Mrs Ola cried.
    Already, Jesse's heart had skipped because she knew the witch the man talked about was her grandmother.
    "Please, wise one, where can we find the boy and how can we bring him back?" Denis asked.
    "Only the gods knows where he is but i can tell you that wherever he is, he's alive. Only the witch can bring her back" he looked at Jesse pointing his staff at her. "Young girl, your grandmother is the witch. Where is she?"
    Everywhere became silent. They all directed their eyes to Jesse to see her quivering in fear.
    "She's dead" Jesse replied shedding tears immediately. A thunderous noise commenced at once until the traditionalist continued still pointing at Jesse.
    "Your grandmother wanted to kill the boy by separating him from this young girl" he pointed at Favour. "She was the one tormenting and scaring her because of the issue she had with her late mother who was also a witch, but since the day the boy came into her life, the grandmother never had access to do that again due to how strong the boy's spirit influenced her which is one of the reasons she wanted him dead" he looked at Mrs Ola. "Woman, only pray to see your son again" he turned and worked out instantly.
    Hearing that, Favour fell on the floor and began to cry aloud. Men caught Jesse and dragged her out of the compound to go show them their house. They treated her like a common thief.
    "Please, don't harm me, i know nothing about my grandmother's deeds" Jesse cried as they pushed her. When they got to their residence, the granny's body wasn't there and Jesse watched them set the house on fire. She cried.
    Favour couldn't sleep the previous night. She kept weeping in her room without coming out. It was as if her hope, strength and joy were taken away from her. As she wept on the floor, the father entered.
    "Favour, do you want to kill yourself because of that boy?"
    "Father, you won't understand" Favour sat up looking at him with eyes full of tears. "Nath changed my life, he brought joy to my heart and restored strength to my bornes. I will forever live in fear if i don't see him again"
    Denis felt her daughter's pains and
    remained quiet.
    Nath found himself lying in a forest. He stood up, looked around to see tall trees. He listened very well to hear nothing but singing birds and wave of ocean. He looked at himself to see boxers and a singlet. "Where am i?" he asked. "Somebody help me!" he shouted running out without hearing or seeing any sign of a human being. When he ran out of the bush to an open area, he saw a mighty ocean before him without a trace of any residence. "Oh, my God!" he murmured..

    Episode 7

    After seeing the ocean, the forest behind and the sandy soil within the seashore, Nath realized that he was on island. "Somebody help me!" he shouted for the second time moving towards the ocean. He entered inside it trying to swim across if he would see a boat or a house but only to realize that the dept of the ocean was as deep as one hundred fit long, thus, making him to drown inside the water. "Oh.. Oh.. my.. my God. Help me! Help me!" A great wave from the water blew him thereby drowning him completely into the water where he flung his legs hazardily until he was unable to breathe.
    Few minutes later, he woke up by the seashore gradually opening his eyes to see a man fishing beside the sea. He sat up, looked around again wondering how he came out from the water. When the man turned to see him awake, he walked to him with his fishing spare and two fish. He had no cloth on nether did he have a footwear. He was only on short nicker. His beard and hair looked unkept thereby making Nath wonder if there was no babar around. He also had a slim body typology caused by hunger. Nath observed all that as he finally came closer.
    "Who are you?"
    "I should be asking you that" the man stood at a spot looking down at him like a total stranger he was still with his fish and fishing spare. "Anyways, i found you by the seashore. The water waves must have brought you out. So, i ask again, who are you and how did you come here?"
    Nath stood up instantly. "My name is Nath. The only thing i can remember is sleeping on my bed and boom, i found myself here"
    The man stared at him for a long time. How could what he said be possible? After the long stare, he began to walk out without a single word.
    "Hey, talk to me!" Nath followed him. "Who are you and where is this place? I have a mother that needs me now. So tell me how i got here and how to go back to her.." he kept lamenting and following the man into the forest without a single reply from him until they got to a place where there was a small hut. Nath stopped while the man kept moving towards the hut. He saw a sixteen year old boy who came out to welcome the man. He directed his eyes to other part of the area to see a long seat made from sticks and a burning fire at another angle. Everything seemed to him like a dream, so he closed his eyes wishing to wake up but nothing happened. He gradually took a step moving towards the house. The sixteen year old boy who then had the fish in his hand looked at him strangely as he moved further. Before he could say anything, the man came out from the hut and said looking at Nath, "Sit over there" he pointed at the sticks chair.
    The boy looked up at him. "Who is he, dad?"
    "I don't know. I found him by the seashore. Go prepar the fish" he concluded and walked to Nath who had already seated on the chair feeling uncomfortable on it. The man didn't sit beside him rather stood before him looking at him. Nath also looked up at him...
    Nath's home town was called Omuchi where he actually disappeared from over night. Mrs Ola, his mother became devastated sitting in from of her house with tears in her eyes. She never blink her eyes for a sleep throughout the previous night waiting and hoping to see Nath. No one was there to console her until she sighted Jesse coming. She wore a trouser that always fitted her more than any other clothe. She twisted her hand walking slowly because she knew the impression Mrs Ola had about her. Therefore before she could got close to her, she stood up like an angry lion.
    "What are you doing here, grandchild of a witch?"
    Hearing that, Jesse began to shed tears. "Ma, i have come to console you. I never knew about my grandmother's deed. Please, you need to believe me"
    "Just leave my compound. I don't want to see you!" Mrs Ola began to push her out. In the process, Favour also walk in but she pushed her along. "You people should leave my house!" she cried returning back.
    Favour and Jesse stared at each other with tears in their eyes.
    "I'm sorry for what my grandmother did to you too" Jesse said waiting for Favour to say something but she never did, therefore, she left the place drying her tear. From that day, nobody ever saw her within the area again.
    Back to the island, the man standing before Nath said, "Where do you come from?"
    "Omuchi" Nath replied.
    "Nigeria" they became quiet before Nath added. "Where is this place and who are you?"
    The man remained mute, sat down beside him. He glanced at him and said, "My name is Bernard and that's my son, Andra" he pointed at the sixteen year old boy who was roasting the fish. "We are from Ndiokpo, Nigeria and we have been stucked here for over a year"
    Hearing that, Nath became shocked and adjusted away from him with a surprise look..

    Episode 8

    Nath became shocked and adjusted away from Bernard with a surprised face. "You have been here over a year? How? I mean why? Um.. Sorry, how did you come here?"
    Bernard remained silent staring at his son who cared less of their conversation but heard everything they were saying. He looked at Nath again. "One day, i and my son were coming back from night hunting. The road was lonely and scary. It was also when the evil ones manipulate. There was nobody on the road. Before we knew it, a witch attacked us and boom, we found ourselves here. We don't know where this place is; whether is in Nigeria or not, but we've been surviving"
    After the explanation, Nath remembered what happened the night he disappeared, so he looked at Bernard. "I guess that's what happened to me coz as i was sleeping i felt like i was battling with a witch, only to wake up here after then" he stood up. "There must be a way out of here"
    Bernard also stood up. "We've tried every means possible, no way out. This is an island. We are surrounded by water"
    "No, this can't be" Nath ran out to the seashore again waving his hands and shouting, "Help! Somebody help us!" he ran from one end of the sea to another shouting but didn't hear any reply. Only Bernard and his son heard his voice as they consumed the roasted fish.
    After shouting and crying at the seashore, everything became real to Nath. He was seen sitting alone on the chair made of stick. All he could think of were his mother, Favour and how he was gonna spend the rest of his life there. There was a burning fire at the centre of the area and nobody was seen outside except him but Andra suddenly came out with a fish in his hand. He wore a trouser and a brown T-shirt without footwear. He sat down beside him. "Hi, I'm Andra"
    Nath glanced at him then concentrated on the burning fire while Andra continued, "This is your new life now, so you need to adjust and adapt to it" he stretched the fish to him which Nath collected reluctantly because his stomach was singing a different song but he never uttered a word. "We feed from fish, animals like snakes and coconuts. That has been our food more than a year now" Andra paused looking as Nath stared at the fire without eating the fish. "Who are you thinking about?" he asked.
    "My mother and Favour" Nath finally replied and began to eat the fish.
    "I guess Favour must be your sister"
    "No, she's my girlfriend. I wonder what she'll do now that I'm gone. We promised never to separate from each other coz we were source of our own happiness, joy and strength. I promised her that we gonna be like the stars in the sky one day.." Nath paused and bit a quantity of the fish.
    "And what did she say about the last promised you made to her? I mean the star of a thing" Andra was still inquisitive.
    "She looked into my eyes and said that one must not be in the sky to be a star. He can be anywhere and shines even brighter than the stars" Nath replied.
    There was a minute of silent after reply because Andra understood that those were great words that can change someone's life. As a wise boy, he retained it in his memory and left the place to Nath's amazement who began to wonder why he suddenly left.
    On the other hand, Favour sat outside in the darkness looking at the stars in the sky. "You can become a star even if you are not in the sky" she murmured and tears dropped from her eyes. The father came out from the house, stood at the corridor and staring at his daughter but he shook his head sorrowfully and went back inside the house.
    On the next day, Favour went back to Mrs Ola to see her lying on the varander quivering as if her body was extremely cold. "Ma, what is the problem? Oh my God!" she began to pull her up. "Please, stand up let's go inside, your body is cold" they staggered inside and Favour laid her on the bed then covered her up. She could hear her murmuring something she barely heard.
    "What are you saying, ma?"
    "Ma-ma-ma-my-my-son" Mrs Ola stammered.
    "Nath will come back. Believe me. Nothing will happen to him" Favour encouraged her even when she wasn't so sure of herself but for the sake of the woman's health because she was as worried as she was. "Let me warm you up then give you something to eat" she concluded entering into the kitchen.
    Back to the island, Nath sat by the seashore with Andra. He threw pieces of dried stick into the sea occasionally and allowed them float on the water. Seeing that, Andra joined him.
    "I guess your girlfriend will get another man and eventually marry him"
    "Before that happens, i must be out of here"
    "But how? We have tried all possible means!"
    Nath stopped throwing the sticks. He stared at the ones floating on the water which gave him an idea. "Yes!" he exclaimed standing up. "I guess i know how we gonna get out of here. We have to build a raft with dried woods!" he began to run into the forest...

    Episode 9

    Andra ran after Nath into the forest. Hearing their voices and footsteps, Bernard came out from the hut. "What's the noise for?"
    "I have actually found a way out of here!" Nath replied happily while Andra observed him from a distance to know his father's reaction.
    "I'm listening" Bernard said looking at Nath.
    "We gonna build a raft which will take us across the ocean" he explained hopping it sounded convincing.
    "Across where?"
    "The ocean" Nath gradually became calm wondering while he asked such question. "I hope we only need something like a canoe to take us across the sea. We might get to somewhere where people are living instead of to rot on this island" he added.
    "Listen, Nath, or whatever you call yourself, there is nothing like across the ocean. When you think you have crossed the ocean, look ahead of you, i mean the last place where your eyes can see, then you'll see nothing but ocean too. So i ask you again; across where?"
    Nath became speechless. He glanced at Andra and sat on a rock beside him.
    "Dad, you just discouraged him" Andra began. "You should allow us try his idea. If we go across the ocean and see nothing but the ocean, we'll come back"
    The father ignored them, went into the hut, took his fishing spare made of stick and went out for fishing.
    Andra met Nath.
    "Hey, let's start"
    "I don't think i can do it anymore"
    "I guess you want another man for Favour and never to see your mother again coz if you don't, you'll start working according to your idea"
    Nath looked at him. "Don't you have anybody to worry about?"
    "Yes, only my father and i. My mother is late"
    "What of sisters or brothers?"
    "Negative" Andra stood up facing him. "Oh, i have only a brother now" he added.
    "Who?" Nath queried.
    "You" he replied dragging him up.
    They began building the raft by first going insearch of woods. As they moved, Andra shouted, "Look at Favour!"
    "Where?" Nath turned instantly.
    "Kidding!" Andra laughed.
    "You don't joke with such thing" Nath began to walk again.
    "You really love this girl, don't you? I wonder how she'll feel when she sees you again"
    "I guess you don't know how it feels to be inlove because you are just a teenager"
    "Says who?" they stopped at a spot to carry a big wood. "I ones fell in love with the head-girl of our school. Her back is as big as this wood while her front is nothing to write home about"
    Nath left the wood they wanted to carry and looked at him. Though he wasn't surprise a boy as young as Andra could fall inlove but was surprise how he described the head-girl. Therefore he said, "You were only lust after the girl's body. When you are inlove, your eyes isn't the one to tell you but your heart is. When you are inlove, you listen to your heart not your mind or your eyes" he bent down.
    "Wow!" Andra also bent to help him carry the wood out. "I must say that you're a love therapist" he confessed in conclusion.
    At Omuchi, Mrs Ola was gradually getting strong with the help of Favour who took care of her, bought drugs for her and helped her with some domestic works. But one thing never departed from her mind: Nath. "Will i ever see my son again?" she thought as she sat on the edge of her bed while Favour stood before her.
    "Ma, i need to go. Someone just informed me that my father needs me at home. I want you to be strong, Nath must surely come back"
    "You have done well my daughter. God bless you"
    Favour reluctantly left the room to outside where she looked back at the entrance hoping to see Nath but nothing happened. Tears dropped from her eyes but she cleaned it off instantly and hurried home.
    Before she climbed the broken stairs of their house, she heard people laughing with her father inside the sitting room. When she entered, the father called her.
    "Come come come my daughter"
    Favour slowly entered the room to see a hot wine and palm wine on the table. She also saw a man and another young and handsome boy beside him. So she stood beside her father.
    "My daughter, this is my childhood friend and his son who is doing very well. Umm.. they have come to ask your hand in marriage" Denis explained happily. From his voice and expression, he wanted his daughter's response to be yes.
    Favour's face changed. She looked at the young man from head to toe and said, "Father, I'm not ready for marriage now"
    Denis' amusing face changed to an angry one glaring at his daughter. "Are you okay? This man will send you to school which i was unable to complete, he will take care of you and give you everything you want and you are here singing Blues"
    "I said I'm not ready to marry na. He should go and look for another woman" Favour adjusted away from him and eventually walked into her room, locked it, stood at the window and looked through it. "Nath, please, where are you?" was her last statement..

    Episode 10

    It took a month for Nath and Andra to build the raft. They carried it to the seashore ready to sail across the ocean. They stood before the raft looking at it and occasionally glancing at each other for a work well done.
    Bernard stood behind them to see how they gonna sail out. Nath's hair had grown without a single comb on it. He was still in his boxers and singlet without footwear. He tried to push the raft into the water but Andra shouted, "Wait!"
    "Any problem?" Nath held back.
    "We have not done 'check'"
    "What do you mean by that?"
    "'Check' like what they do whenever something is newly produced. Checking the break, the fuel tank, the not, etc.."
    Nath smiled. "Andra, there is nothing to check here. This is just a raft not some kind of vehicle"
    "Of course i know. Was just kidding" Andra pushed the raft into the water and climbed on it. He wasn't surprise that it carried him floating on the water.
    "You are not sailing on that raft Andra?" Bernard warned.
    "What?" the son moop at him.
    "You heard me right so come down from that thing!"
    "Dad, you must be kidding me. How can you.."
    "Is okay" Nath interrupted him and turned old Bernard. "You can't stop your son. You need to follow us too. If you don't make an attempt or take a risk, you won't achieve anything and you'll remain here forever. We need to find a way out of this place!"
    Bernard stared at him without saying a word. He turned back going to the forest while Nath followed him to see him sitting on the stick chair weeping. He sat down beside him.
    "Why the tears?"
    "Andra is all i have left in this world. I don't want anything to happen to him. That's my fear, not that i don't want to get out of here" Bernard explained in tears.
    "Listen," Nath placed a hand on his shoulder. "I am the only son of my mother just like Andra to you. Nothing gonna happen to us" he was able to convinced him thereby making all to sail on the raft carrying all their valuable materials especially foods like fish and coconuts even cutlass and a gun which they were hunting with before they disappeared to the island.
    They were all on the large raft which had a long stick standing at the centre. On top of it was Bernard's cloth hanging like a flag but served as a wind-vain. All seated quietly. Only Nath and Bernard paddled the raft. After moving to a far distance, they looked back to see their island looking smaller. Other sides of the ocean were nothing but water even at the point where their eyes could reach. That reminded Nath what Bernard told him. Suddenly, he quit paddling and deep his hand inside the water but brought it out.
    "Why did you do that?" Andra asked him.
    "To check the temperate of the water"
    "When the current is warm, it indicates that we are going the right direction. It becomes the opposite if it is cold"
    "Wow!" Andra also touched the water. "It's warm!" exclaimed while Nath smiled at him. He looked at Bernard to see him seriously staring at the water but averted his eyes from him...
    Back home, Favour remained inside the room without coming out. Suddenly, she heard her father making a phone call. The conversation was more like it concerned her, so she went closer to the door and placed her ear on it. "..she rejects her suitors and doesn't want to do anything. Pause. What do you mean? Pause. Taking her abroad? Pause. Oh, thank you so much! Pause. When? Pause. I'm so grateful. Bye"
    Favour left the door after the call. Within few seconds, the father knocked on her door and she opened it instantly having an idea what he wanted to tell her. Therefore, even before the father could say anything, she said, "I'm not going to any abroad"
    "Chineke!" the father opened his mouth surprisingly. "Are you a witch? Though I'm not surprise coz your mother was"
    "I'm not a witch. I overheard you on the phone"
    "It's one of my extended family member that wants to take you out to UK"
    "I don't want to go"
    "Are you crazy! What has come over you?"
    "Father, I'm going nowhere until i see Nath"
    "Nath? Someone you don't even know if you'll see again? You are leaving my house whether you like it or not!" the father left the room angrily while Favour turned to the window again with tears.
    "Please, come back to me, Nath" she murmured.
    At this time, Nath and co were still in the middle of the ocean. Everywhere had become dark. They looked as far as their eyes could reach, both front and back but to see nothing but the ocean. They weren't paddling the raft anymore hoping to spend the night there.
    "This journey has became something else" Bernard began. "How can we spend the night in the middle of an ocean?"
    Without replying, all heard a mighty wave of water coming with force. They looked at it knowing very well they wouldn't survive it.
    "Oh, my God!" Nath exclaimed..

    Episode 11

    In the middle of the sea where Nath and co
    were looking at the mighty wave coming
    like a high mountain, the cloth set high at
    the middle of the raft as a wind-vane began
    to fly opposite the direction of the wave
    which was coming beside them. Though it
    was dark but they could see everything
    "I guess this is how we gonna perish"
    Bernard said then turned to his son. "Be
    strong, Andra" he concluded.
    Instantly, the wave hit on them thus making
    them to fall from the raft into the dark ocean
    except Andra who held the stick at the
    middle of the raft strongly thereby floating
    along with the mighty wave. "Dad! Dad!" he
    shouted. Some parts of the raft had loosen
    and broke apart.
    "Andra!" came the voice of his father from a
    far distance but another wave stronger than
    initial pushed him into the ocean and drove
    Andra to a more far distance.
    However, Nath, who wanted to get drowned
    came out to the top of the water and
    shouted, "Andra!" He didn't hear a reply but
    after another shout of the name, Bernard's
    voice came from another distance. Already,
    the ocean had become calmed
    "Nath!" Bernard shouted
    "Bernard!" Nath returned it, both swam to
    the direction of their voices until they met
    each other not only in the darkness but also
    in the middle of the ocean.
    "Where is my son?"
    "I don't know!"
    "Oh, God" Bernard looked around. "Andra!
    Andra!" he shouted severally but didn't hear
    a voice even when Nath helped in shouting
    his name. He sighted three large woods
    floating on the water and swam towards
    them followed by Bernard until they got
    there. Luckily, broken ropes were at the end
    of each wood, so they tied them together
    and climbed on it. That saved them from
    being totally immersed in the ocean.
    Bernard glared. "You have seen what you
    caused! I told you never to build this raft!"
    "But we had to take the risk to be free" Nath
    "A risk that almost got us killed? A risk that
    has taken my son?!"
    "I believe Andra is not dead!"
    "Then provide him, you idiot!" Bernard
    shrieked panting bitterly while Nath
    remained calm breathing heavily. The echo
    of their voices circulated the ocean thus
    attracting sharks.
    Bernard glared at Nath again. "I swear, if
    anything happens to my son.."
    "Ssshh" Nath signaled him to be quiet coz he
    felt the presence of sharks coming. They
    looked at a distance to see the upper fin of
    one coming gradually thereby making them
    to be very quiet. Only the minor waves of the
    ocean were heard coming in contact with
    the woods until the shark passed. They
    heaved a sign of relieve.
    On the other hand, Andra had repaired the
    remaining parts of the raft standing on it.
    The distance between him and his father
    was farther apart to the extent none could
    hear each other. He wept bitterly after
    shouting their names and heard no
    response, then thought they were dead. He
    looked around the dark ocean to see
    nothing but the ocean. "It seems like the
    whole world has been covered with water"
    he thought but remembered his Geography
    teacher who once taught them that the
    seventy percent of the earth is made up of
    water. That gave him hope. Suddenly,
    thunder struck which was an indication of
    rainfall. Andra looked up. "Oh, not again"
    The rain began to fall thereby generating
    more powerful waves.
    The next morning, Andra found himself lying
    by the seashore. The wave must have
    carried him out of the ocean. But where
    exactly was he? He managed to open his
    eyes faintly seeing the morning sunlight. He
    rolled his eyes ball to see a coconut tree and
    small bush. "Am i back to the island where i
    came from? Where am i?" he thought
    standing up and having full view of the
    place only to realize that he was on another
    island of the ocean. Suddenly, a young
    beautiful black teenage girl almost his age
    came out from the forest. She wore a bogus
    yellow gown that flew towards the direction
    of the morning wind. As they stared at each
    other, another woman came standing
    beside the girl. She was old enough to be
    his mother having long natural hair. Andra
    pace to them looking wet and sandy. "Who
    are you and where am i?" he asked.
    "We should be asking you that" the woman
    Andra ignored them, turned his head to the
    ocean hoping to see his father and Nath but
    saw nobody. He turned to the women again.
    "I'm Andra Bernard. We left an island where
    we have spent months hoping to get out"
    "We?" the woman asked while the young
    teenage girl stared at him.
    "Yes, we, my father and.. and.. my brother,
    "Where are they?"
    "The wave took them last night"
    "You mean you spent the night in the middle
    of the ocean?" the young girl asked then
    Andra nodded his head looking at her
    without letting himself carried away by her
    "Who are you and how did you get here?"
    he asked.
    "I'm Nelly. I and my daughter have been
    here months too"
    "How did you get here?"
    "We don't know" Nelly replied while Andra
    became surprise..

    Episode 12

    Andra understood that the island was a mysterious one after hearing Nelly's response. "How can anybody who comes to this island knows nothing about how he or she came?" he thought, then turned around as the woman and her daughter stared at him.
    "Is there any way out?" Nelly asked him. He looked at her for a while but averted his eyes going to the nearest coconut tree without answering the question. He sat at the base of the tree shedding tears. He looked at the ocean hopping to see his father and Nath. As he wept, he saw Nelly and her daughter entering into the forest where there was a small hut. It was more local than the one built by Bernard and his son at the previous island.
    A few hours later, the young teenage girl began to hit a coconut on a rock to break it open. There was a large wood used as a seat bedside the rock. When Nelly heard the sound, she came out from the hut. "Elizabeth" she called and the daughter turned.
    "Yes, mum"
    "What are you doing?"
    "Breaking a coconut"
    "I thought you have eaten"
    "I.. i.. mum.. i want to give it to the stranger. It's up to hours he had been under the tree at the seashore without eating anything, so.. so.." Elizabeth paused hoping the mother understood the remaining part but she went back into the hut after a long gaze at her daughter. She never uttered a word.
    Andra heard footsteps behind him. He turned to see Elizabeth coming with the coconut but concentrated on the ocean. She stood beside him and directed her eyes to the ocean too. "You will see them again, i men your family" she said.
    Andra looked up at her as she sat beside him stretching the coconut to him which he collected. She continued, "I hope to see my friends again one day just as you look into the ocean hoping to see your father and your brother too"
    "How did you come here?" Andra asked.
    "We slept on our bed only to wake up here on this island months ago" Elizabeth folded her legs with her hands feeling cold.
    "Were you attacked by something like a witch?"
    "My mum believes so"
    "Which country?"
    Andra averted his eyes from her. He looked at the ocean again thinking critically. "Does it mean this place doesn't exist? Can it be just an illusion? No, everything seems so real and.."
    "Hello" Elizabeth interrupted his thought. "You are not eating the coconut"
    Andra glanced at the nut and looked at her. "Thank you.. umm.."
    "It's Elizabeth. Eliz for short"
    "Thank you, Eliz"
    "You're welcome" she gave him a hopeful smile. She was really happy to see a teenager a bit older than her whom she would always interact with.
    Due to sleepless night, Andra slept under the tree. When he woke up, he saw everywhere getting dark. Elizabeth wasn't beside him anymore neither was her mother. He stood up, directed his eyes to the ocean to see two people floating on woods. "Dad? Dad!" he ran towards the ocean happily where he had a clearer view. "Dad!"
    "Andra!" came the voice of his father who jumped down from the woods swimming to meet up with him faster which he did and hugged his son tightly. "Thank goodness you're okay. I thought you were dead"
    "Me too dad"
    When Nath slowly drew near to them, Andra left his father taking a few steps forward to meet him. They stared at each other for a while before Andra jumped on him happily. "I'm more than glad to see you again, Nath" he said on his shoulder.
    "Me too, Andra" Nath replied patting his back gently and happily.
    Bernard surveyed the environment with his eyes thinking it was their old island until he saw Nelly and Elizabeth standing from afar. He turned to his son. "Who are they?"
    Nath stepped forward looking surprise to see them too.
    "They are people like us" Andra replied.
    Bernard, Nath, Andra, Nelly and Elizabeth sat down in circle in the forest in front of the local hut. There was a fire burning at the centre. All could see their faces through the flame of the fire. They have all told their stories on how they came to that island thus looking at one another for a way out.
    "I believe this whole thing doesn't exist. I believe it's just an illusion" Andra broke the silence.
    "No, i don't think so" Nath objected. "I still suggeste we build something like a boat. I mean a raft"
    "Never will i try that with you again!" Bernard objected angrily.
    "Then what do you suggeste?!"
    "Anything other than risking our lives in the middle of the ocean!"
    "It's better than to die here!"
    Bernard stood up glaring at Nath. "If you dare build the raft again, you gonna sail on it all alone" he walked out.
    As Nath went on building another raft, so as Favour began to lose hope. The father was on her neck to the extent she decided to leave Omuchi to a bigger town far away from home...

    Episode 13

    Favour needed not to go to UK for her to be able to see Nath anytime he comes back. She wanted to leave Omuchi not because of her situation but because of her father's persuasion to leave the house due to she had rejected all the suitors that came to her and refused to travel abroad. That was a hard decision. She could be seen at the residence of Mrs Ola crying along with her coz none wanted to leave the other. She had been a source of help to her, cooking, and encouraging her not to worry about her son. Now, she's leaving to another town far away from Omuchi.
    She knelt before Mrs Ola in the sitting room holding her hands with tears in her eyes. "I will come back to you, so as your son. I want you to have faith on that. I know wherever Nath is, he's fighting so hard to come back for you. Don't worry so much about it, ma"
    "Which side are you going to my daughter?" Mrs Ola asked in tears.
    "May the good Lord guide and protect you"
    "Amen" Favour reluctantly left her hands, stood up with her bag and went out of the room. She was going to stay with her uncle in Calabar.
    The grasses seemed to be running as Favour looked out from the glass of the bus she was on. The breeze coming in through the glass reminded her the very moment she was with Nath at the mountain. She exhaled heavily. Her whole body needed nobody but Nath. "Will i see you again, Nath? I'm afraid not" she concluded in thought, closed the glass and closed her eyes.
    Back to the island, at another side of the seashore, Nath could be seen all alone building another raft. His sprouting beard had become growing beard thus changing his look, added to the bushy hair on his head.
    On another angle of the seashore were Andra and Elizabeth playing with the water. They laughed, ran and caught each other occasionally.
    Bernard stood at the entrance of the forest watching them.
    "I've never seen my daughter so happy like that" Nelly's voice came from behind. Before he could turn, she had stood beside him. "I guess she's getting along with your son" she added.
    "Obviously, yes" Bernard replied without looking at her.
    "My daughter had always wanted a brother. I guess she has found one"
    Bernard chuckled then looked at her. "Do you believe they can stay like brother and sister?"
    "Why not?" Nelly returned the look surprisingly. "Why do you think they can't stay?"
    "Just look at the gaze in their eyes, you'll believe me"
    Nelly did as he said then understood what he was trying to explain. She directed her eyes to Nath to see him working seriously on the raft without even a double thought or a change of mind. He worked as if his heart longs to see somebody or people so precious to him. He straightened up, glanced at Andra and Elizabeth and dried sweat from his face with his singlet, then resumed the work.
    "He put so much interest on what he's doing" Nelly told Bernard.
    "Who?" he asked.
    "I mean Nath"
    Bernard also directed his eyes to him. "He so much believe on himself"
    "I guess we should join him build the.."
    "Never!" Bernard interrupted. "Look at the ocean where you see nothing but the ocean. Which way do you thinking you gonna sail to? The wave out there comes like a falling mountain. If you must know, i fear to lose my son" he walked out into the forest while Nelly exhaled looking at her daughter who laughed excitedly.
    Darkness came upon the island except in front of the hut where a fire burnt continuously. Already, before the pass three weeks, Bernard and Nath had build another hut. Nobody was by the fire as they use to thus sitting in separate ways. Bernard and Nelly remained in their various huts while Nath and Andra sat alone on rocks a bit far from the fire. Only Elizabeth was by the fire.
    "Hey, brother" Andra began but Nath kept staring at the stars. "You know what, i believe in you and I'm gonna sail on that raft with you again" silence lingered. Andra followed his eyes to the stars. "I guess you miss Favour"
    "Yes, so much" Nath brought down his eyes.
    "What if she gets married before you see her again? You know, all women count their ages as they live their lives. You don't expect her to be waiting for you when she doesn't even know where you are"
    Nath looked at him reasoning his words. "I don't think Favour will forget me so easily like that. I can feel it in my heart. I listen to my heart not to anybody"
    "Just as i listen to mine too"
    "What do you mean?"
    "You once told me that my heart is the one to tell me when I'm in love not my eyes or mind, so i guess my heart is really talking to me about Eliz" Andra turned to see Elizabeth by the fire. Her beauty reflected on the flame. Nath also saw it and smiled.
    "It's a good thing my dear Andra, and if it is for real, it is the best feelings ever" he touched his head, stood up and went into the hut to meet Bernard.
    Andra turned to see Elizabeth already staring at him, then they smiled..

    Episode 14

    Same night on the island, As Andra and Elizabeth smiled at each other through the flame of the fire, the sound of an helicopter came from the sky thus making them to look up. Bernard and Nath rushed out of the hut including Nelly. They didn't get a clear view of it then all ran out to the seashore where they saw the helicopter flying and blinking red light. "Hey! Help us! Help us!" they shouted, jumped and waved their hands but it never stopped.
    Nath turned to others, "This is a good sign that we are almost at home"
    "Which home?" Nelly asked.
    "I don't know but wherever they are people and houses without the ocean surrounding them is a home"
    "That's not the definition of home as i was taught in school" Elizabeth inferred then Nath turned to her. "I know my dear, but in this case, it is the correct definition of home"
    They all remained quiet looking at one another. Yes, they might be close to wherever they called home but how would they get there? That was the reason of the tranquility.
    "So, what do we do now?" asked Bernard.
    "We have but only one option. I know you guys are against it but it worth leaving this place with" Nath replied.
    "What option?"
    Nath first looked at them all, sighed lightly, lowered his voice and said, "The raft"
    "Oh, no no.."
    "Wait, listen to me first!" he interrupted swiftly with an increase in voice. "We all saw the direction the helicopter took, we gonna follow the same direction. About strong waves, we only need to build the raft strong to withstand the waves. Most importantly, they have to be two rafts coz one can't carry us all. So please, you need to join me and let's get out of here as soon as possible" Nath paused breathing heavily and looking at them all.
    The night wind of the ocean blew the gown of the women as they stood quietly and thinking critically. The sound of waves of the ocean that splashed at the seashore became loud and clear in the tranquility too.
    Bernard walked to Nath, placed a hand on his shoulder and said, "I'm sorry for discouraging you before. I'm with you now"
    Nath couldn't explain the excitement he felt in his heart. Without a word, he embraced him while others smiled.
    "And we are with you too" they stepped forward joining hands together.
    "Together, we must leave this island" Nath said.
    "Yes!" they shouted at the same time and withdrew their hands instantly.
    All were up and doing on the island both male and female building the rafts. Andra and Elizabeth could be seen in the forest gathering big and light dried woods that can float on water. They walked simultaneously having almost the same height but Andra was a bit taller. He turned to see his eyes caught with hers.
    "What?" Elizabeth asked immediately.
    "What what?" Andra returned the question.
    "I don't like the way you look at me. It makes me uncomfortable" she looked away hiding her smiling face.
    "Do you listen to your heart sometimes?" Andra stopped at a wood he suspected to be useful.
    Elizabeth stopped too. "What can my heart tell me?"
    "Someone told me that the heart tells you when you are in love"
    Hearing that, Elizabeth became mute staring at him and feeling her heartbeat. She knew that she had been having feelings for him but never expected to hear what he said. Just as she stared, a grasshopper perched on her hair. With the fear, she began to shout trying to hit it off but couldn't.
    "Wait!" Andra rushed her. Before he got close to her, she had already fell down. Dramatically, he also stumbled and fell on her in a way their faces came in a very close range. Meanwhile, he grasshopper had flew away.
    The two lovers stared into each other's eyes feeling and hearing their heartbeat. Andra brought his face closer along with hers trying to kiss each other but Nelly who had been monitoring and hearing their conversation coughed thereby preventing them from kissing.
    Andra rushed up. "Umm.. good night, no, sorry, good morning. Umm.. Sorry, i mean good day, Mrs Nelly"
    Elizabeth also rushed up standing beside him. "Mum! I mean mum? Good afternoon" she looked at Andra whispering into his ear. "Is it afternoon already?"
    "How would i know? We don't have clock" he whispered back, then both waited for Nelly's response. She had a roll of grass rope in her hand which was her own work. She looked at the teenagers and said, "The heart doesn't have mouth, so i don't think it talks" she left the forest.
    Andra and Elizabeth became confused and glanced at each other.
    Nelly met Bernard under the coconut tree at the seashore and sat beside him.
    "Hi" Bernard glanced at her. "You look worried"
    "I caught our children, sorry, i mean your boy and my girl trying to kiss each other" Nelly replied while Bernard smiled to her surprise..

    Episode 15

    Under the tree at the seashore, Nelly and Bernard continued with the heart to heart conversation but Nelly was still surprise to see him smiling at what she told him. Therefore, she said, "What is so funny about what i said? Is it a good thing to see those children trying to kiss each other?"
    "Umm.. I wouldn't say it's a good thing but at the same time, it's not bad" Bernard looked at her. "They only tried to express their feelings"
    "What feelings?"
    "Feelings of love"
    Nelly remained quiet, stared into the ocean and thinking of what good it will do to the teenagers if actually they were in love. She turned to see Bernard staring at her. "What?" she asked with twisted face.
    "How did your husband die?" he asked her.
    Nelly looked away. "He died while driving"
    "He had accident?"
    "Yes" she turned to him again. "What of your wife?"
    "Death killed her" Bernard replied standing up instantly thus rendering Nelly speechless. He looked down at her and stretched his hand for her. She took the hand then stood up easily.
    "Thanks" she said.
    "Welcome" Bernard released her hand. "Let's have some sleep"
    "Okay" Nelly followed him after a heavy sigh with smile.
    Back to Calabar, Favour had resumed her work of selling on the road. She made more sale than before coz the population there was outrageous. She could be seen beside an infinity jeep trying to sell off her banana. She wore a black leggings with a bumshort on it. The top on her body stopped at her abdomen. "How much banana do you want sir?" she said giving the driver chance to come out when she noticed he wanted to.
    The driver came out wearing a brown senator with transparent eyeglasses. On his finger was a ring which indicated that he was married. He had a fair complexion. He was a man in his late 30s. He looked at Favour and the banana, then said, "Sorry dear, i don't want to buy one"
    "But sir, i will give you a discount" Favour persuaded but he ignored her walking to a near by boutique. She became disappointed, carried her banana and left the place.
    A few minutes later, she sighted the man from afar entering into his car. Unfortunately, a paper fell from his pocket before he entered and drove off. Favour hurried up to let him know about it but it was already too late. She bent down, picked the paper and scanned through it. She didn't understand anything from it but knew it must be very important..
    Two rafts were ready. They were stronger than the initial. Nath and co stared at them at the seashore. Everything was perfect until Andra spoke up saying, "I guess one thing is missing"
    "What?" the father asked then all looked at him.
    "I suggeste we tie the two rafts with a rope so that none will leave the other during strong wave"
    Nath smiled. "Excellent idea"
    "So, when are we sailing?" Nelly asked.
    "First thing tomorrow morning i guess" Bernard replied looking at Nath who nodded in agreement.
    "We shall get prepared tonight" he said.
    In a mansion, the man whom Favour picked his paper began scattering his bag and pockets looking for the paper. He wore only boxers and singlet. The wife came in to see the room scattered.
    "Honey what's it?"
    "An important document that was sent to me from South Africa Seaport regarding the seaport here in Calabar has gone missing!"
    "Calm down" the wife looked around.
    "As the manager of the seaport here, that document needs to be with me until it is needed otherwise I'm finished!" the man rubbed his hands on his head hazardously.
    On the other hand, Favour met his uncle in the sitting room and presented the paper to him. He scanned through it then looked up at Favour.
    "Where did you get this?"
    "It fell off from man that refused to buy my banana. Before i could get to him, he drove off"
    The uncle looked at the paper again. "This is very important. It's from South Africa Seaport"
    Favour peeped at the paper twisting her fingers. "I think there is a number to call there"
    "Yes, but not a Nigerian number" the uncle brought out his cell phone to call the line..
    On the island, all were prepared to leave the next morning. Andra and Elizabeth sat on one of the rafts which was at the seashore. Their eyes were fixt on the ocean.
    "I believe we will make it home tomorrow or next" Andra broke the silence.
    "Yes, but I'm scared" Elizabeth looked at him while he gently held her hands.
    "Nothing will happen to us. Trust me. If at all i see you drowning in the ocean, I'll talk to her to leave you and drown me"
    Elizabeth giggled. "But why would the ocean listen to you?"
    "Because she's a friend of mine" Andra chuckled along with her.
    "But why would you make such decision?" Elizabeth was still inquisitive.
    "Because you are precious to me" Andra placed her hand on his chest. "Because my heart beat for you, because i love you" he moved his head forward and kissed her which she reciprocated caressing his cheek..

    Episode 16

    The kiss lingered without the knowledge of the teenagers that Mrs Nelly was at the entrance of the forest looking at them. When they broke the kiss, she walked out.
    Elizabeth smiled looking at Andra who asked, "What?"
    "Actually this is my first kiss" she replied.
    "Me too" Andra stood up holding her hand. "Come on, let's go have some sleep for tomorrow's journey"
    Elizabeth stood up and they walked out holding hands together.
    As Nath and co set to sail out of the island, so as the manager of Calabar Seaport was on his wey to the residence of Chuks, Favour's uncle whom he called after receiving a call from South Africa telling him the document was with him. When he located the house, he sat in the living room with uncle Chuks. On another chair was Favour too.
    "Sorry, I'm Frank, the manager of Calabar Seaport. I thank God you found this paper. It's very important to me"
    "Well, my niece here found it on the road" uncle Chuks began. "She said after you refused to buy her banana, she sighted the paper falling from you from afar. Before she could get to you, it was already late. So i called a foreign number who then.."
    "Yes, he called me" Frank interrupted then turned to Favour. "Young girl, thank you very much. Please, I'm sorry for not buying your banana"
    Favour smiled along with her uncle. "No, no problem sir"
    Frank brought out a huge amount of money. He stretched it to her. "You can have this"
    Favour adjusted away from her seat looking at the money, she shook her head negatively. "No oh, it's too much. Moreover, i didn't do it for money"
    "It's just a token"
    "No oh"
    Frank turned to uncle Chuks who was already longing to have the money. "I guess, you can have it, sir" he said.
    Chuks wanted to lean forward but glanced at Favour who frowned at him thus making him to change his mind saying, "I can't take it since she couldn't"
    "Well, is okay" Frank put back the money into his suitcase. "What if i give her a job at the Seaport?"
    "You mean working in a ship?" Favour looked interested sitting up with open eyes.
    "Something like that" Frank replied standing up.
    "That will be lovely! Thank you sir" Favour knelt down but was pulled up by Frank who asked about her qualification before leaving the house.
    Back to the island, they had started their journey following the same direction the helicopter followed. Nelly, Elizabeth and Andra were on the raft behind while Nath and Bernard remaind on the front one paddling it gently. There was a rope that joined the first and second rafts together as Andra suggested.
    Hours later, they were still in the ocean without encountering any problem. Their island became invisible thus seeing nothing else but the ocean at all angles. Elizabeth became scared. The mother could see it on her face, so she said, "Be strong, Eliz"
    Hearing that, Andra turned from his own angle to see his eyes caught with Elizabeth's, then smiled.
    "What's funny" she asked aggressively.
    "Nothing, no offense" he replied.
    "Better" Elizabeth frowned only to see him still staring at her. "Stop it!"
    "Stop looking at me!"
    "How's that a crime?!"
    "Quiet both of you!" Mrs Nelly rebuked them then said to Andra, "Oya, turn to your right." Her daughter she said, "You, to your left"
    They both did as she said but Elizabeth began to shed tears to the hearing of her mother. "Mum, I'm scared!" she cried while Andra smiled.
    "Eliz, be strong. This is a raft you know i can't come to you otherwise we get drowned" the mother encouraged.
    Another hours past and the sun set thus giving room to evening wind which began to blow in the middle of the ocean. No island, mountains or houses were seen. The wind activated a wave which began to increase gradually.
    Bernard turned to see Nelly and others who had their hands tight on the raft and the wind trying to blow up their gowns. "Be strong all of you! Hold the raft tightly!" he shouted but nobody said anything. Already, Elizabeth's heart had flew out of her chest. Suddenly, a mighty wave came from behind hitting the raft forcefully to the extent it tumbled the back raft and shaking the front one seriously. Before they knew it, Elizabeth screamed in the ocean drowning, even Nelly screamed too. Already, the raft had left them behind.
    Seeing that, Nath jumped inside swimming back to help them while Bernard began to paddle the rafts back too.
    However, Andra had swam to save Elizabeth. He pulled her up to be able to breathe while Nath also saved Nelly.
    "Mum!" Elizabeth shouted.
    "Is okay!" Andra told her before she realized someone was holding her and looked at him. When Bernard arrived, they all climbed back to their various rafts and positions. Meanwhile the wave had become calmed.
    "Let's go" Nath told Bernard and they began to paddle again..

    Episode 17 (Final)

    They sail on the ocean day and night conquering every wave that strucked them before they saw a ship. "Heey! Help us!" they shouted waving their hands.
    The captain of the ship turned down the engine wondering who they were.
    After they entered into the ship, one of the captains interrogated them, then threw them into the bottom of the ship where they couldn't come out because he didn't trust them or their stories. Though he told them where they were sailing to which was Calabar.
    Under the ship, Nath and co didn't mind, they were happy to know that Nigeria was their next destination.
    "We made it!" Nath shouted quietly.
    "But these people might hand us over to the police" Nelly said.
    "Why?" asked Bernard.
    "Because they don't trust us"
    "I don't think.."
    "Sssshh" Nath gave them sign to be quiet when he noticed two young men on the next floor above them discussing and poisoning a drinking which would be given to a man on the ship. At the end of the discussion, they left with the drink while Nath stood up instantly.
    "Where do you think you are going?" Bernard asked him.
    "To save the man" he replied. "Didn't you hear they want to poison a man?"
    "Is none of your business"
    Nath began to look for a way out coz he didn't buy Bernard's idea. He broke out of the hiden place running to the passengers section. He sighted the young men placing the drink before the man then rushed there immediately. "Sir, you don't have to drink this" he said panting.
    The man looked at him. He was very wealthy. By mere looking at him one can testify how wealthy he was. He didn't know what Nath was saying. "Young man, what's your problem?" he asked.
    "The drink is poisoned"
    "I overheard them discussing and poisoning it" Nath pointed at the young men who were already looking suspicious. Just before the wealthy man could ask them, one of them ran away while another brought out a gun but Nath hit it off his hand and everybody began to shout. There was a serious fight on the ship but the young men were finally apprehended and locked up after confession.
    At Calabar Seaport, Frank brought Favour to introduce her to her new Job, and that was the same time Nath's ship arrived. After a horn blown by the ship, she turned looking at it. She saw people coming out but before Nath came out, Frank called her attention.
    "Favour, follow me inside"
    "Okay, sir" she entered with him.
    Meanwhile inside the ship, the wealthy man met Nath saying, "Young man, you saved my
    life and i owe you one" he brought out his card. "Have this, call and visit me to show you how grateful i am"
    Nath collected it happily. He also received money from him which he gave some to Bernard and Nelly for their trip back to their various hometown. But before then, they all looked at one another inside the ship.
    "I have to tell you something" Nath began. "We are special"
    Others became confuse wondering why he said so.
    "How?" Bernard asked.
    "We were born special. No evil spirit can kill us, that's why when they tried to, we ended up on the island. My mother told me that"
    They smiled.
    "I know that already" Nelly said. Just then Andra hugged him. "I'm gonna miss you, Nath"
    "I will visit you at Ndiokpo one day" Nath looked at others. "I will visit you all but now i have to go see my mother"
    "Farewell" they told him as he ran out of the ship. Before Favour came out, he had already left the Seaport taking the next available bus to his hometown, Omuchi.
    Favour went home happily to her uncle. She told him how the manager want to train her first before she start working in sailing ships. She also told him she wanted to visit Omuchi before the training which he permitted.
    As Nath was on his way home, so as Favour who began to miss him again inside the bus. "How i wish to see him at home" she thought.
    Nath rushed inside their local compound to see his mother coming out from the kitchen with a big spoon.
    "My son!" she flung away the spoon and embraced him praising God. "Where have you been?"
    "Is a long story, mother. How about Favour and Jesse?" Nath queried.
    Before the mother answered, Favour's voice came from behind.
    He gradually turned. "Favour"
    "Nath!" she ran and hugged him shedding tears of joy while Mrs Ola smiled. "I knew you'll come back to me" she added.
    "Yes, I'm back, and i miss you"
    "I miss you too" Favour embraced him again.
    Nath told his miraculous story. He went back to the wealthy man who employed him in his company. Favour also became successful on her job before they married. Jesse, whom they had forgiven before time, never missed the wedding even Nelly, Bernard, Elizabeth and Andra.

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