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Suddenly, I saw nothing, I was surrounded by darkness. I screamed but my screams were useless because I was alone. Immediately, I found myself in a room and there was a mat. At the end of the mat stood a woman, she smiled with delight. The woman looked so much like Tena “what a great day! Amei is now my vessel; he has paved the way for my children. My invaluable anjes.”
The tall man left the room, the lady was crying. I was trying to understand what happened but the lady’s screams distracted me. She started mumbling some words that were inaudible. Tena went near the lady and stabbed her.
“Amei your stupid brother would have to thank me for keeping his secret safe. No one will find out.”
Tena drained some blood from the lady into a bronze decanter. She looked at the bronze decanter and talked to it like it was a human being.
“You are the only remedy, the one thing that can save Amei’s descendants. Amei will help me defeat Ane.”
I froze! I hoped that Mason or Omo had not destroyed the bronze decanter. I was beginning to have second doubts about Aaro and so many thoughts crossed my mind what if Tena had used Aaro to get me distracted? I saw Aarun and Aaro, one of them took the bronze decanter from Tena. Tena addressed them “that bronze decanter is the only remedy. If the blood in the bronze decanter gets emptied into the waters of Amei the curse would be lifted and you won’t be able to live among the mortals. Tell no soul about this.”
One of the twins asked, “Why did you not discard the blood?”
“I hope to use it to bargain in the future. The day you tell a soul Aaro, you will die. I have a feeling that you will betray me.”
“No. My Queen, I am loyal to you.” Replied Aaro.
My face was drenched with water. I became aware of Mason and Omo’s presence “what happened?” I asked. One could detect the tone of irritation in my voice. Omo came near me and patted my back “We were starting to lose you Jessa, you were slipping away. We had to bring you back. What did you find?”
“Aaro betrayed me but I have forgiven him. The bronze decanter is very important, without it, the curse will never be broken. We have to leave for Amei immediately.”
When we got to Amei, Prince Ari received us warmly. He took us to a secluded place in the palace. I was amazed to see Mena by his side, I was still angry at Mena.
“Hello traitor.” I said.
“I won’t have you insult her.” replied Ari
“Ok whatever. We are here for something important. Gather the whole of Amei together.”
“How dare you command the prince of Amei?” Ari was very angry but Omo’s presence made him control his anger. He was a bit scared of her. I bowed in mock courtesy “I apologize.” Prince of the anjes”
“What is this meeting about?” He asked
“It’s about the curse.” replied Mason
Ari looked at Mason with disdain and told him to shut up. I walked towards Ari and slapped him, “Without this man, the remedy for the curse would not have been discovered. I choose right Ari.” Prince Ari spoke with Omo aside; I wondered what they were saying. Mena tried to start a conversation with me and I brushed her off. After a while I went to meet her.
“You should have told me. I trusted you, that attitude scared because you could have planned my death.”
“I am sorry for the uptenth time. Omo told me to do it. I love him Jessa.”
“I know, make him happy. I was incapable of making him glow with joy.”
Prince Ari gathered the whole of Amei. Omo was addressing the crowd; Ari came and sat beside me. Mason sat at the left side. Ari whispered to me saying, “It is so evident you love that pale skinned guy Jess and I am happy for you. Why can’t you be happy for me and Mena?”
“I will destroy you if your hurt Mena.” I replied.
Prince Ari smiled and walked away. I focused my attention on Omo to listen to what she was saying because I had been a very bad listener.
“Do you remember that female warrior from Ane?” Omo asked. She did not wait for any reply. She continued her speech “I am that warrior. I am Omo and Jessa the estranged wife of Prince Ari is my great granddaughter.”
Everyone except Mason, Ari, and Mena and of course myself started murmuring. One of the Chiefs stood up and shouted at the crowd to be quiet “Let us hear what she has to say my people.”
“Thank you.” said Omo to the chief “I killed so many anjes in time past. Everybody hated me for that sole reason. They had a reason because in the course of slaughtering them I killed innocent people. I left Ane because my life was in danger; aggrieved loved ones wanted my head. I was given a second chance to come right my wrong. Amei and Ane have a common enemy and the name of that enemy is Tena.”
Omo spoke at length, she told them of how their ancestor vitiated his sister “Amei vitiated his sister and that led to the anje curse. Tena was able to send her babies to come live with mortals. She was able to sow the seed of hatred between your ancestor Amei and his brother, Ane and until the curse is broken Amei will know no peace. I am here to help.”
The king was listening with rapt attention and the chief priest stood up and confirmed what Omo had said. The Queen was irritated she looked at Omo with tears in her eyes. Her vision was blurred “so my son had to die before you discovered all this? How can this curse be broken?” Omo gestured at me and I knew what she meant.
I stood up and went to stand beside her “This bronze decanter contains the blood of that innocent lady, the sister to Amei and Ane. Tena preserved the blood and it is as good as new. Oh king of Amei, I hereby seek your permission to empty this into the waters of Amei.”
The king looked at his chief priest for confirmation, the chief priest nodded and the king gave me the go ahead. I walked towards the edge of the cliff and poured the blood into the water. Immediately I did, there was a cry. It was like that of a banshee, it was deafening. All the anjes present started bleeding through their ears and they fell. I thought I was going to be deaf but after a while calm returned.
“It’s done.” said the chief priest
Everyone started jubilating; I heard the sound of drums. I squinted my eyes and from the far end, I saw the palace drummers and singers. I went to Ari and yanked him away from Mena.
“You can have as much as 100 children now Ari. Give my anklet to Mena, it’s hers now. We never got to complete the marriage rites so you are free now.”
I hugged him and led him to Mena “he’s yours now. Give him all the love I couldn’t give.”
Omo quickly pulled me away, she looked sad. I saw a very tall man, he looked happy. He was standing beside Omo, another man walked in and stood near them. I recognized him immediately.
“Ane and Amei.” I muttered.
Omo told me that she had to go and I was lost “Omo go where? Back to your base? No let’s get to Lagos before you decide. You have to meet my family.”
“I am over due in this world Jess; I have lived till this moment to atone for my attrocities. I must leave now, the time I spent with you were the best months of my life. My lawyer will get in touch with you. I love you.”
Omo was crying! I wasn’t left out. Ane came forward and held Omo’s wrist. They both disappeared. Amei was still there, he stared at me for a while and said “Thanks for saving my descendants.” he also disappeared. I saw Ane again, he didn’t say a word. He stretched out his right hand and gave me a necklace with a pendant shaped like a decanter. The decanter looked like the little version of the actual bronze decanter.
“A gift from Omo, a reminder of the short time she spent with you, a symbol of liberation, a symbol of unity between my descendants and Amei’s descendants.”
I took it and wore it immediately. I cried harder “I want my great grandmother back.”
“That is impossible. Cherish the moments you spent with Omo.”
He disappeared again. Everyone around me was happy. I cried until Mason found me. He talked some sense into me.
“Some months ago, you loathed Omo, to you she was as evil as the word evil but today, and you have a wonderful impression about her. She proved her worth; she atoned for her attrocities Jess. Do not cry, she’ll be remembered in the history of Ane and Amei for good. All the horrible stories about her will be exterminated.”
He held me close and patted my back. I stopped crying and smiled “she gave me this Mason.” I said gesturing to the necklace. He bent a little and held the pendant “just like the bronze decanter.” I tip toed and kissed him, “these lips, I have missed them.” I said “this hair.” I said, ruffling his hair “I have also missed.”
He laughed and was about to say something when I interrupted “that laugh! Oh mine! Mason! I can’t live without you. You are inscribed on my soul”
“Are you still down for that trip to Greece?”
My world had been turned upside down for good. The trip to Ane, meeting my great grandmother whom I thought had died, experiencing the beautiful resort (Amei). Omo (Kenya Lake) left us her fashion empire; Jayde and I are now heiresses. My dear Jayde quit schooling in Nigeria and enrolled in New York Fashion School. I shuttle between Lagos and New York, it’s stressful at times but it’s fun.
My parents are so proud of me. The first thing dad did when I got home was carry me. He swirled me until we almost fell. He said, “I am sorry Jessa, sorry for being too difficult. The times you spent away made me realise how much you mean to me. I love you my princess.” and mom didn’t allow me leave the house for days. I confided in her, I told her about her grand mother, Omo and how brave and kind hearted she was. Mom fainted when she found out that the famous Kenya Lake was Omo! “I was a huge fan Jess! I was opportuned to meet her once.” She said. Mom cried so hard and I fought the urge to cry.
Prof Nanya relocated to France to be with her daughter, Solace. She got back together with her first love and father of her only surviving child Rene Jean-Michel. Dr Adigwe was caught in Benin Republic whilst trying to get a swiss visa. He died sometime last year during a jail break. I named a hand bag collection after Dubem. It was released exactly three years after my beloved friend kissed earth goodbye and it was a huge success. The proceeds from the bag were donated to a foundation in sub Saharan Africa. This foundation caters for sickle cell anaemia patients especially the less privileged ones.
They say the best is saved for the last, yeah it’s true. Mason and I are still together and we are rising in love. He proposed last year but I declined. Marriage is a serious thing and I am not ready. He already placed the ring on my finger before popping the question and something unusual happened, the diamond ring got stuck! I took that as a sign. A sign that Mason Nikos is my soul mate!