By Ikenna Amadi
The atmosphere was tense, the sound of heart beat evident as silence erupted the court room. All eyes feasted on the judge as the moment everyone had waited for gradually creeped in. The judge shook his head, took a quick glance at the figure standing in the dock, evidently waiting for his judgment. This was the point of no return as everybody seated in the court room held their breath. Then suddenly, the bombshell was released.
“Mr. Samuel Okafor, having been found guilty of two charges of murder, you are hereby sentenced to life imprisonment” the judge declared.
The whole court room was shocked. One, two and three seconds, like a well rehearsed movie, evidently working with a good script, there were wailings, shouts, lamentations as all eyes feasted on an old woman. She flew her arms around, wailing, beckoning on death to kiss her.
Samuel looked at her, a glance midst with hate, bitterness and anguish. Every wailing from this woman bred enormous pain into his heart that he felt like loosening his handcuffs, leaving the dock and pouncing on her, giving her all the beatings and scoldings she denied him during his formative years. This was his mother, the woman he sucked her breast. Oh! How he wished it was another woman as this wouldn’t have happened as people around the court room fired attacking glances at him, blaming him for the situation, only if they knew.
His head banged, as reality began to dawn on him. His world gradually crept away as his heart beckoned for retribution. As the court room was filled with wailings, regrets and painful allusions, Samuel mind raced back to the premise of this disaster. Like a film well scripted, his consciousness began to fade away, dissolving into his ugly past, filled with regrets, disappointments, unrealized dreams and still… the unforgiveable mistake from his mother. He could recollect as every memory struck his five senses beckoning for a second chance which looked distant.
Samuel was born as the only child of his parents, after ten years of painstaking search for a child. His father, Mr. Donald was a business Mogul who had all wealth at his finger tips. Just like Donald, his supportive wife Ifeoma, was the ever buzzing and once in a life time wife material, whose love, care and understanding bred a happy home that lacked the cry of a child in the home. Wealth flowed around the family but lacked one of the holy seed in the whole world… a child.
This led into a lot of anguish, depression and sleepless nights from the couple especially Ifeoma who had to contain with the family members of Donald. Donald, being his ever supportive self, was always calming down her nerves with his ever soothing words.
“My dear, your womb will carry my child, someday” he would say.
Ifeoma’s desperacy in search of a child knew no bounds as she visited all and sundry to satisfy her cause. After incessant failed promises, luck finally shined on the couple as on the tenth year, she conceived. Amidst much fanfare, the nine months of her pregnancy was that likened to that of goddess treated with care to a fault by her overly excited husband.
Then came the moment of blessing as she was delivered of a bouncing baby boy on the ninth month, joy knew no bounds, smiles plastered on the faces of the couple, family, friends and well wishers. Extravagant parties were thrown for one week to mark the name of this jewel. His name was Samuel.
Samuel grew up having the world at his finger tips. He was loved adored and worshipped by his parents. His formative years were marked with moments of undying love from everyone who was connected to him. His fair complexioned skin toned with a curly hair and a lanky figure exuded the perfect child for the couple. He was always full of smiles as every of his needs were met by his ever ready parents especially his mother Ifeoma. He never shed a tear!
Samuel was treated like a demi god, every ground he walked on was worshipped much to the delight of his mother who couldn’t stand the sight of seeing her son pass through any slightest pain. He was her golden boy.
Then the early signs came, Donald knew it. He observed the incessant and undue care from them were becoming too much to handle and he sought for ways to curtail its much to the chagrin of Ifeoma. This led to a lot of arguments from the couple as they sought to have a stand point in the view. Donald controlled the urge to give little Samuel a spotless treatment as his dear wife clamoured for. He needed to act fast as little Samuel got every thing he needed, no scolding, no beatings and no admonishing from them especially his mother. He forsaw disaster, and he needed to act fast. Every action carried on by Donald to discipline Samuel seemed to have opened the gates of hell on him as Ifeoma was always nagging and shouting ready for a fight to protect her son. This continued for years as the heart of Donald gradually evolved into that of an hyperthensive one evidently waiting for the devil to kiss it goodbye.
Donald tried to caution Samuel as he grew up, but his wife continually gave him impetus to see life as a bed of rose and thus living life anyway he deemed fit. Samuel became arrogant, spoilt and difficult to manage, thus drawing his father close to his own grave.
Then, tragedy struck. Donald died as a result of hyperthesion. After a month of morning, due to his wealth, Ifeoma and Samuel hardly felt his absence. Samuel breathed sighs of relief as his father”s absence gave him clearer round to explore the world to the fullest. Amidst the unflinching support of his mother, Samuel gradually drifted away into moral decadence as he became a full blown criminal.
Samuel incessant usage of his father’s wealth extravagantly attracted him to bad eggs in the university. He lived a lavish life style, was the hottest guy on campus, as he changed girls at will, hosted the most expensive parties and limited people with his senseless charisma and arrogance.
Much ado about nothing, Ifeoma smiled at every action Samuel took, blinded with undying love for her only son, she nudged him to enjoy his life to the fullest. Soon, Samuel meddled with cult activities on campus as his flaunted wealth and arrogance attracted the bad guys. He blew everyone that stood on his path away with his gait. He was feared as he had everything in this world on his finger tips. Money, women and his mother’s” undying love”.
Then came disaster, Samuel had killed someone. This wasn’t his first murder, as he had instigated this same act in his third year on Campus, where he killed a guy who challenged him verbally after sleeping with his girl friend. He got into the hands of the police, but his mother’s influence bailed him out. And what did he get from his mother as reprisal of his action.
“Next time, control your temper” she advised.
As fate would have it, just like a predestined time bomb, he had taken the life of Mike, son of a Lagos politician, Mr. Adekunle Robinson. This blew wild dust into the eyes of the deceased family and due to their prominence, sought for justice. Samuel was haunted for days as his mother’s influential shell couldn’t shield him from the gripping hands of Karma. He was arrested in his final year and after much bribes to bury the case, the prominent hands of the deceased’s father dragged the case further. As these two prominent individuals sought to achieve two things; one from saving her spoilt son from facing the wrath of the law, the other sought justice for his deceased son. One definitely had to win, and fate swung in the way of the prominent politician, Mr. Adekunle Johnson at least for the sake of Karma. Justice was finally achieved and Samuel had to go for it.
The sharp pain of the head of a gun hitting him hard at the back took him off his reverie. The sound of a Siren of a Black Maria was within earshot as it reminded him of his eternal bondage under the confines of a cell which was long overdue. The wailings of his mother still singing provocatively to his ears as he was led to the waiting black Maria. Then suddenly his mother let lose of herself as he approached the entrance of the Black Maria, held him tight and wailed.
“Samuel… I am sorry. Please forgive me” she pleaded.
Forgiveness? This was the last thing he needed to hear as the waiting doors of the Black Maria waited patiently to confine him forever. If there was anyone who needed to be asked for forgiveness, surely it was his father, who had as a result of her carelessness died. Oh, how he wished the tide of time could change. He looked at her, eyes must with tears, he saw familiarity, he felt that code of trust shared between them gradually fading away, but he had one parting shot for her.
“Mama, pray Papa forgives us”. He stated.
He shrugged her off, amidst her wailings, entered into the black maria resigned to fate. As the black maria raced past the court premises, in the mist of the darkness overwhelming him, Samuel quickly leaned on the small steel that formed a little square window in the black maria, and took a quick stare at his wailing mother. And for the first time in his life, tears flowed from his eyes. Only if they had flown earlier.