“what did he say you should do exactly?. Okey asked. "He said to put water in a bucket and dip palm leaf into it, light a candle and recite the words in that sheet of paper” Mezie answered. “So, you cannot do all these in this your room?. Okey asked. “No, he said it must be in the graveyard, and I must fast between 12:00 noon to 6:00 in the morning". Mezie answered. “Are you sure that things will start flowing after all these?". Okey asked. “That is what he said.” Mezie assured. "I will go with you. I am tired of this pauper life”. Mezie assured. "what time will we be leaving?”. Mezie asked. “Around 12:00 in the night” Okey told him. “You need to go and buy all that is needed before the market closes”. Okey told him.
On the D-day 30th October, they got all the requirement ready waiting for the departure time. Their fasting had started even before 12:00 noon. They have eaten only in the morning. Their system was complaining badly out of lack of training. They are not religious type, even though out of poverty, their families has been doing forced fasting almost every week but he Mezie has always found a way to feed himself. In fact, last time, he did not eat three times a day, was about ten years ago. Now, he is being forced by circumstances to deny his body food and it is disturbing his concentration. He is not following anything well, not relating well, not concentrating and certainly drain of strength. That is the aspect he hates most. He trusts his muscles most. They never disappointed him. Now, he cannot even concentrate not to talk of defending himself if need arises. “When things began to flow, I am going to paint the town red and indulge my body to its heart content” He mulled. He was smiling to himself unknowingly, lost in reverie when he was jolted back to life. “Are you ok?, you have been talking to and smiling to yourself for about five minutes now”. Okey asked. I am ok. Am just dreaming of tomorrow”. He answered. “Yea, Okey said. I am going to visit that Nneka girl when things began flowing. She will know that I have arrived. I am going to raise her hope and after, dash it into pieces. I have not forgotten all she said about me” He added.
As the awaited hour arrived, they got ready and left to the graveyard not far from the church both attend every Sunday. The graveyard belongs to the church. They find their way through to the centre of the grave where Mezie had picked out two days ago. The place was extremely quiet. Both have been in the graveyard to attend burial before, but in day light. None has ever visited by night. The place was unsually quiet for comfort. As they trace their way to the centre, jumping at slightest sound, they placed their bucket of water with palm leaves inside, light their candles and was reciting the invocation on the sheet of paper over and over again. Okey was wondering when it will be 6am for them to get out of that place for he is becoming more and more afraid. They kept checking their time, and it seems that the time was dragging. I am not sure that my watch is OK”, Okey told him. "What time is it by your time”, Mezie asked. “25 passed 3". OKey answered. All these leaves.... light flooded all around them. “Put your hands on the air both of you” A voice said, about twenty faces eyeing them from all angle. They did as they were told. They were handcuffed and taking to the priest house first, and from there to the station. Around nine in the morning, the priest came again with about eight members of the church. “So, Okey you are the one disturbing the dead in the graveyard all these while?". The priest asked him. “Father, I am not disturbing anyone. We were just praying for the dead”. He answered. Really?, The priest asked I never knew you are all that compassionate,” The priest continued. "I am wondering how a compassionate young man like you will last only three months as a mass servant and now denied yourself sleep to sneak into graveyard to pray for the dead.” Okey kept mute. “As for your friend, I am not surprised that he is among them but you, I am disappointed.” The priest continued. Well, am happy that the wait and our prayers for passed one month are not in vain.” The priest said.
When the priest left, the officer that are in charge of them came and stood before them in interrogation room eyeing them without opening his mouth for about three minutes. Finally, he asked “I am waiting. When you have finished praying, let me know or do you want to continue the prayers at graveyard?, He asked them. Here, we have absolute regard for anything that concerns prayers. After all, not many people prays nowadays; to have denied yourself sleep to pray for people not related to you is highly commendable. What were you doing with all those holy water?, Blessing the dead too?. I will be damn if all of them has not cross over to heaven with all your prayers and two buckets full of holy water.” the officer said.
“Tell me, who asked you to pray and bless Mrs. Ajaraku that died in 1962 that you were standing in front of her tomb?, the officer asked. “Who is Mrs. Ajaraku?” They asked. “Eh!, you mean you don’t know who you were praying for?,” “We were doing general prayer” Mezie answered. officer turned to his colleague and eyed him. “Do you hear that?,” they were praying for more than two thousand soul in that graveyard. I told you that some people missed their calling in this world. Anyway, Considering your age, I believed it is not yet late to enter seminary school.” He said.
“Over here, we need prayers, too. When you finish praying, we will tell you if your prayers has effect or not. Never stop praying till your prayers are answered. Do I made myself clear?. He queried. They kept mute eyeing him. "You don’t want to talk? No problem, I will not waste your time". He turned and walked away.
Two days later, officer came to them again. “I am sorry i did not come two day ago you requested for me, some of the boys said that they still have problems they have been asking God to intervene. I guess your prayers have not been answered. Why do you want to see me?.
“Officer, we are hungry?. “Hungry or angry!?” He asked them. “Hungry” They answered. "I am confused, "I thought that God answer prayers very fast when one is on empty stomach?". He queried. “Officer, I will tell you the truth, but food first.” Okey begged. “Truth!” have you been lying?,even to the priest?. He asked them. “Yes!, and after food, you will not be lying anymore?.” He queried. You better started talking while food is on the way.”
“Officer, it was tension that sent us to perform ritual in that graveyard for money.” Mezie said. “Ritual!, you are ritualist?. Officer Tom are you recording all these very well?. “Yes sir” Officer Tom answered. “You two want to tell me that we have been following wrong leads all these months?, Do you mean we have ritualist roaming around freely in our midst all these years?. I thought they go for the living not buried?, The officer continued. Keep talking, I am listening." “Tension our classmate, told Mezie that if he fast from 12:00 noon to six am, recite the prayers on that sheet of paper from 12:30 to 6:00 am, that anything we asked for will be granted once we say the prayers well and bath with the water." Okey said. “How come this tension guy did not join you in this your ritual ceremony?" The officer asked. “He is living in the dormitory. he don’t have opportunity to come out?" They answered. “What is real name of this tension guy and from where?.” The officer asked. they told him.
It happend that two graves had been dug up and parts of the buried taken and the family of the violated has reported to the priest and police since two months; and they have been laying ambush since them for they believed it is those selling human parts to traditional medicine makers that were doing that. They were surprise to catch two teenagers without any digging implements but buckets full of water, candle and ritual prayers.
They went to the dormitory in search of this tension guy.