I made up my mind to forget going back into the Army, it was not worth it, and the forces against me are enormous. I was beaten blue black and left to die in the ditch. I woke up later at night with my teeth gnashing uncontrollably in response to cold and fever, the Bike was on me and the ditch smelled of Petrol that had leaked from the Bike. Thank God a smoker had not walked by and decided to throw a glowing cigarette butt into the ditch.

I struggled to get up, painfully pushing the Bike off from my body, I scampered out of the ditch, I had to drag my right leg along as it had gone numb and my ankle was twice its natural size. My chest was burning inside and my head was pounding. I coughed and I tasted blood as I spat out mucus, I pulled myself till I got to the bar where people were drinking, the illumination from the bar made me to see that I was drenched in my own blood. I fell down tired, I saw people running towards me as I passed out again.

I woke up two days later in a private hospital, the owner of the bar had brought me there to avoid having a Corpse at his Bar, they saw my I.M.T identity card and they contacted my School, my Course rep and some friends I had made in School raised the money to pay as deposit for my treatment.

My head was bandaged and my right ankle was in P.O.P due to a fracture. My body was bruised and full of sores. I thanked the Doctor for his effort, and I explained what transpired between me and the C.O to him, I described the position of the ditch and I begged him to help retrieve my Bike. It was on that bed that I made up my mind to move on with my life and forget the Army.

I was discharged from the Hospital two weeks before the date for the J.A.M.B examination, so I wrote my exam and I was very optimistic of a good result.

Amaka came around for Easter break; I narrated my ordeal in the hands of the C.O to her and she cried bitterly. She saw the scars on my head and my body, the P.O.P was still on my ankle. She swore to sue the Army but I begged her to forget about the Army. I told her that if she does sue the Army, her father will be involved and there would be a scandal if the Father gets to know that we are lovers.
And who told you he does not know already? She asked with teary eyes.
I mean your father! I said; does he know about me?

Yes Ojo! I am just coming from Awka to discuss with my Father about you and I. I told him everything I know about you till date.
No! No! No! Amaka! You did not tell him I was in Prison! Tell me you did not! I begged.

I do not lie to my Parents Ojo! She explained; I told him the truth! The true circumstance that led you to prison and your eventual exoneration! He is in the system and he had seen more pathetic situations than yours!

At least you should have waited till I am something! Till I am worthy of being presentable as your husband, we need time! Remember you still want to go back to Liverpool for your masters! Before you are through with that, I would have made something out of life. I explained.
You think you are not presentable? She asked; and what do you need to become presentable as my husband when I am already carrying your baby!

Ba-what? Baby? I screamed and my head ached violently so I resorted to whispering; did you say my baby? I whispered
She nodded her head and she whispered; yes my love, I am eight weeks pregnant, you are going to be a Father soon Ojo. I had to go home and explain to my father before breaking the news to you. My Dad is a liberal man and does not discriminate, he said we should go ahead with our lives, he said you should come around with your family for introduction before the pregnancy becomes noticeable. He will handle all traditional requirement of our people, he owed me that much. On our own, we can go to the registry and legalize the union.

I was just staring at her and listening as she spoke, she had everything sorted out already and it sounded so easy to me.
Amaka! I called; do you know what you are doing? You mean you want to settle down with an Okada man?
She laughed, her laughed was infectious and I laughed too.

To everyone you may be an Okada man, but to me, you are my hero! You are everything I ever wanted in a Man. You are genuine, you are strong and you are filled with positive energy. I will love you till I die, she said.

I pulled her closer and hugged her without out saying a word, my hold on hear was to reassure her of my faithfulness and I resolved to stand by her and never to break her heart for her sacrifice through all my hard times.

To Be Continued


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