The wait was finally over; Kunle and Toni were on their way to Ijebu-Oru to seal their bond. They have been together for over three years now, and it has not been easy. They have had their differences, and in most cases it looked like they were not meant to be together, but they always found their way back into each other’s arms. They had trust issues, yet they never fell out of love with one another. In fact, no one thought they would last for that long, there were times when Kunle had gotten so angry to the point of hitting and beating Toni up, they end up breaking up for a couple of days, but then he would always come back on his knees begging for forgiveness. The last straw that broke the camel’s back was when Kunle battered her face publicly at a dinner they attended together just because she reacted to his admiration of another lady. Toni is from a wealthy home; she’s an example of what every man wants in a lady. She’s beautiful; fair in complexion, she’s about six feet tall, she has a dimple that compliments her gap tooth, the shape of a goddess, and in fact when it comes to the mental beauty, she’s intelligent, supportive, and respectful, she also possess a smile that will melt away the pain of the world’s most troubled man. Chinwe would always say to Toni, “what’s so special about this guy? Babe you deserve better, not someone that treats you like a piece of thrash.” None of those words meant anything to her, in fact the only reason why she listens to Chinwe is because they have been best friends since they were kids, they grew up together. It took Kunle eight months to convince Toni he was the right guy for her, everything about him just did’t match her standard; he was rough, rugged, nonchalant, and was also a member of the Black Eagles con-fraternity, which of course he kept as a secret from her. Before her, he was with so many girls, and while they were together, things didn’t get any better. Things went on that way for years, Kunle kept misbehaving while Toni kept enduring the pain, until she decided things had to change, and so she picked her phone, called him up, and told him they needed to talk.
The journey to Ijebu-Oru was the baby their talk gave birth to. She needed leverage, she needed protection, she needed an assurance that Kunle was there to stay and stay with her alone, she was practically in love with him and didn’t want to lose him to any other girl. They were on their way to see Baba Ago, a renowned black magic herbalist; he was particularly recognized for his specialization in the metaphysical level of spell casting and bonding by oath taking. On getting to Ijebu-Oru, they asked for Baba Ago from one of the villagers who directed them to the river banks where they would have to board a canoe to the forest where he lived, another thirty minute journey. While they were on the canoe, the man paddling them became curious and so he asked “what do you want with Baba Ago?” Toni was quick to reply him, “we are going to see him”, Kunle on the contrary snapped at him and warned him to mind his own business. They arrived at the forest safely, and while they requested the transporter to show them the way, he made a final statement, “if it won’t be worth the pain, don’t pay the price”, he pointed Baba Ago’s hut to them and headed back to his canoe where he awaited their return.
Baba Ago’s hut is a perfect definition of spirituality, it defiled the law of gravity. It had a skull that balanced in space without support, a boiling water inside a calabash that had no fire underneath, and a live Python that guarded the hut. At the sight of the python, Toni and Kunle almost changed their mind, but the voice of Baba Ago gave them the courage to stay. “My children, the moment you stepped inside, there was no turning back, come inside?” They explained their reason for the long and adventurous trip; to have a blood oath. Baba Ago smiled mischievously and asked them, “are you sure you want this?” they looked at each other and nodded in the affirmative. Baba stood up, brought out a blade and told them to cut their thumb for blood, they did so. He then instructed them to lick each other’s blood, which they also didn’t refuse. He chanted some incantations and told them they had to make love right there in the hut. That was the equilibrium point, up till that moment Toni was a virgin, therefore she was quick to react and asked if there was an alternative. Baba Ago answered her, “there is my dear, I’m sure that neither of you will want to sleep in a coffin for three days, can you?” she wanted the oath, so she had no other choice, but definitely not a coffin, so she approved of the initial option. They made love, and that only made the bond stronger, it was sealed with Toni’s blood as she lost her dignity. It was now time for Baba to tell them what rules are not to be broken, fortunately, there was only one. He said “it’s till death do you part, neither of you can be with any other person; you have become one”, but unfortunately, there were many side effects attached to that one rule if broken, “not death, but limitless misfortune”, Baba Ago said. After the deed had been done, he took time to explain to them the consequences of that which they had done, and wished them a safe trip as they traveled back to their destination.
They made their journey back home, at least now they had the assurance that nothing and no one could come between them, if not for any reason, at least the fear of limitless misfortune held them captive. Kunle and Toni kept their oath a secret from everyone and went about their normal business, but Toni had lost something, her virginity and she was soon to lose another. She kept having nightmares where Kunle would leave her stranded in the middle of nowhere, but she kept it to herself. The knowledge of the oath gave her the courage she needed. However, Chinwe never stopped asking her where she went on the night of the oath, but she never gave in, she would rather make up lies about how she went to see a friend and had to sleep when it got late.
Days went by, it was now ninety days since they took the oath, and they were doing fine, living in peace, while they had little or no differences. On this day, Kunle had called Toni earlier to inform her that he was traveling to Lagos to see his mother. It was a lie, as the anchor man of the Black Eagles operation, they were planning an attack on a rival cult, and he had been chosen to lead the operation, and like every other operation, it was supposed to be kept a secret; quick and clean, no footprints. They were attacking the Yellow Pythons, it was a revenge operation, and they wanted to fight back the death of a member that was killed by the Yellow Pythons. The initial plan had changed, they could no longer wait. Kunle was with Toni the night before and he never mention anything as regards the impromptu trip, rather, he talked about how he will be a good husband to her, and be a good father to their unborn children. What a dream soon to come true. Toni knew she was going to miss him, but she had no say since he was going to see his mum, and was set to return the next day even though she didn’t like the fact that she was finding out about the journey that late, not after they had spent the previous night together.
At exactly Nine O’clock that night, the Black Eagles led by Kunle set out on their mission, went in clean, attacked the armory of their rivals, and killed the post guard. The Yellow Pythons though not prepared didn’t give up without a fight; it became a battle of guns, machete, daggers, and charms. The Black Eagles however outnumbered them, and so they survived. They had killed all the members of the Yellow Pythons, but for one, he managed to hide after being struck by a machete on his skull. Kunle and the rest of the squad headed back to their escape transport, it was while they were about leaving that Kunle remembered his necklace had dropped while fighting, so he decided to go and look for it so as to tie up all loose ends, as leaving such loop holes behind will only cause unnecessary casualties which they were not prepared for anytime soon. He went back inside, found the necklace and made his way back to the car, but while he was yet at the door, he was shot from behind by the surviving member of the Yellow Python. He managed to walk out of the house wounded, but he certainly wasn’t in good shape as he was bleeding all over. They managed to pull an escape, but couldn’t take him to the hospital, a police report would be required for a bullet wound before treatment, and so they took him to a place they referred to as their safe house, where they gave him first aid treatments and had him examined by a doctor who worked for them. He told them he was in bad shape, and needed to undergo surgery if they wanted him to survive, “we need to get those bullets out of him as soon as possible, if not, I’m afraid we might lose him”, said the doctor. They all wore sad and angry looks as they searched for a quick and possible solution.
It was the third day and Toni hadn’t heard from Kunle, she kept on calling his cell phone, but it was switched off. Two days earlier, she had prepared for his return, cooked his best meal, and had also gotten him a gift as it was Kunle’s birthday eve, which she had hoped they will spend together. She kept his trying his number then she heard a knock on her door, “who’s there?” She asked, it was Tobi, Kunle’s friend who was also a member of the Black Eagle. She opened the door for him, and without wasting time, she asked him if he had seen or heard from Kunle. Tobi looked at her and said , “I need you to come with me, Kunle was involved in an accident and has requested to see you immediately”, she was shocked, she became totally confused and disorganized has she kept asking Tobi questions that he wouldn’t answer so has not to break the rules of the brotherhood. They got to the safe house where Kunle was being taken care of, all the members of the cult were gathered with their heads bowed down in pain and sorrow. When no one said anything, one of them stepped forward sluggishly and said to Tobi, “the big Log has fallen”. Kunle had died a few minutes before their arrival, and they didn’t know how to tell Toni. The moment she realized something wasn’t right, she requested to meet Kunle. Tobi led her inside, and pointed to the room where she found Kunle’s corpse. Her nightmare turned reality, but her mysteries are yet to begin…….
To be continued…. Follow me on twitter @fragiletimbz and tweet at me for a follow back with the hash tag #sideeffects.