Ogechi and I EPISODE: 13 & 14
Like I said, she drew nearer and nearer stylishly until she got
to the edge of the bed I lay on, knelt on it and then like a tree
that had been cut down from the root, she fell on the bed and
became motionless. I thought it was part of the process of
whatever she was doing, so I said or did nothing until my
heartbeat which had increased as though I just finished a
100 meter race reduced. Then I called to her and got no
response. I tapped her, still no response. It was when I
turned her face towards mine to find out what happened that
I perceived the smell of alcohol, and then I knew she had
been acting under the influence of alcohol. Or was she? Time
I woke up early enough the next morning to discover that
Cynthia wasn’t there. She had woken up and left the room
while I was still sleeping.
Three days passed and Cynthia and I were ready to leave for
America but Chang urged us to stay. I knew why, but Cynthia
didn’t. It appeared that Cynthia told Lin about me not
knowing that Lin went ahead to tell her father, which made
him admire and want me as a husband to her daughter. So
Chang’s plan was to get rid of Cynthia while I stay back with
Lin. Cynthia was really kept in the dark by Lin and her father,
and now, they wanted to make me a part of it. Cynthia
innocently agreed to spend a few more days in China because
she couldn’t say no to a man like Chang. Chang and I had
another conversation and I asked what Lin had to say about
the arrangement. Chang told me his daughter will always do
what he asks her to do because she’s young, vulnerable and
unable to make the right choices. I made up a lot of excuses
in order to escape but Chang always found ways to
bastardize my excuses. When Chang saw that I wasn’t giving
in easily, he admired me all the more.
One day he arranged for Lin and Cynthia to be taken
sightseeing so that he could have enough time alone with me
since Cynthia was almost always sticking to me like glue.
Chang then told me he was going to take me somewhere to
meet with the men who ran China and other countries of the
world. I went with him. He and I entered into his snow white
limousine and the driver took off. It took three hours to get to
our destination, where we had to pass through eight gates
before reaching the main building. The building was nothing
like any buildings I had ever seen, even in the movies. At all
the gates were men dressed in black suits. And before we
could gain entrance into any gate a password had to be given
verbally by Chang. None of the men in black said a word to
us. They only stood there to make sure that nothing went
wrong. Chang gave eight different passwords in Chinese
language before we got to the building. Fear had already
consumed me when he gave the third password, but by then I
couldn’t go back, I could only go forward. As we reached the
building, some other men, also dressed in black suit opened
the door to the car for us and we came down. No one said a
word of greeting to anybody, everyone there concentrated on
their duties and minded their own businesses. There were no
ladies there. We passed through three doors before getting to
the sitting room of the house, which was as bigger than
usual. Everyone there was in uniform and surrounded
someone that couldn’t be seen. As soon as Chang and I
stepped in, a voice from the midst of them, probable that of
the unseen man echoed angrily,
‘You’re late Chang’.
‘I will make sure to pay the required fine’ replied Chang.
The unseen man echoed again, ‘Don’t be deluded by your
wealth. It can be taken just as it was given’.
‘Forgive me’ said Chang meekly.
Next thing the unseen man said was ‘FI-FA-FO-FIM! I hear
the smell of a little boy. Be he dead or be he alive, I must eat
his body with my bread. FI-FA-FO-FIM!’ Chai!!! I don die!!!
Wetin bring me come this place ooo I started panicking
but Chang asked me to keep my calm. I couldn’t. How was I
to keep calm after everything I had just seen and heard? I
started begging Chang to forgive my errors. I said so many
things to Chang and even promised to marry Lin if he let me
live. I was convinced that Chang was going to do something
bad to me there and then. So anything I could do to get
myself out of that situation was done without hesitation. But
then, all I could do was plead and make promises. My
whispers were regarded as noise because the place was as
silent as a grave yard even with the number of people in it.
The meeting didn’t continue further because of me, and
Chang was blamed for it. When the meeting ended, everyone
took off their uniforms and then I discovered that some of
those in uniform were ladies. Apparently, there were also
Though they took off their uniforms, their faces were
masked. Two masks were also brought for Chang and me.
They all left the sitting room to unknown destinations in
pairs just like in the case of Noah’s ark. While I was still
trying to study what was really happening, two ladies walked
up to Chang and me, held us by the hand and led us away
from each other to different destinations. I wanted to object
because I didn’t want Chang out of my sight, and I couldn’t
wait to leave that place. There was so much horror there. But
change said to me, ‘Don’t worry. Go with her. I’ll see you at
the end of Pleasure Street’. After saying that, he left with one
of the ladies. I turned to the one that held my hand, tried to
recognize her but it was needless. We both had our masks
on. So I followed her to quiet and secluded area of the house
where everything in sight was made of pure gold. We sat on a
couch and started discussing.
‘What is this place’ was the first thing I asked.
‘If I were you I wouldn’t bother’ she replied.
‘I need to know because that man out there said he is going
to eat my body with his bread’ I insisted fearfully.
‘Oh that?’ she asked. ‘Have no fear of that. It’s just a phrase
used to announce the arrival of a new PRADA’
‘PRADA?’ I asked. ‘What does PRADA mean?’
‘Anyone who is a part of this organization is referred to as a
‘But I’m not a part of this organization. I came here with a
man named Chang, and he never said anything about any
organization to me’
‘It doesn’t matter if he said anything or not. Once you’re
here, you’re here. If not that you arrived late, your initiation
would have taken place today. But that will now be
postponed till next meeting’
‘When is the next meeting’ I asked with fright.
‘In three days’ she replied’
‘What about you miss? You’re a PRADA too?’
‘No. They don’t take women. We’re only here to give them a
good time, like I’m supposed to give to you now. We better
stop this talk and proceed to business’ she said with a grin.
‘What?’ I yelled. ‘My life is at stake and here you are talking
I got really pissed off by her and tried to take off her mask so
I that I could see her face very well while yelling but she
fought back with some of those tai chi stuff and got me off
her. Our little combat caused some noise that called to the
attention of two other masked girls who were passing by just
at that time and they turned in to find out what was
happening. ‘What going on here?’ they asked. I couldn’t say a
word; neither could the girl I that was with me. Instead she
left in anger. One of the two girls who came in went after her
while the other one stayed back to inquire of me what
happened. As was talked, her voice sounded familiar but I
couldn’t tell if I knew her or not. Of course I won’t know her
because I hadn’t made any acquaintances yet in China and
wasn’t going to make any because I was going to leave China
the very moment I met Cynthia. So I just concluded that she
was a strange girl with a familiar voice. Due to my encounter
with the previous girl I didn’t pay any attention to this very
girl at all, not until her phone rang and she picked and
started talking. ‘What?’ She was speaking Igbo with the
caller. Igbo girl in China and in a PRADA territory? She
noticed I was shocked at the dialect she spoke. When she
dropped the call she asked why I was shocked at her dialect.
She went ahead to make fun of Chinese language thinking I
was a Chinese guy.
‘Who are you?’ I asked.
‘Listen man, if you don’t like ladies tell me and I’ll just get
the hell out of here at ones. Stop making fun of me’ she
‘No miss, I don’t mean to insult you. I just want to know
‘Is that necessary?’ she asked. ‘We probably won’t see each
other again after today, so what’s the point?’
‘Okay, I agree with you’ but can you at least take off your
‘It’s a taboo here’
‘What do you know about PRADA?’ I asked.
‘Dude! What’s your problem?’ Why are you so inquisitive?
Even I, who’s just coming here for the first time haven’t
asked these much questions?’
‘This is your first time here?’ I asked.
‘Of course’ she replied. I came here with a friend of mine. I
don’t even know what this place is. She just told me it’s a
party, so I’m here to enjoy myself. I suggest you the same
and stop all acting weird’
‘Well this is my first time here too’ a man named Chang
brought me here to be initiated into the organization of the
PRADAS without my consent’
‘Did you say Chang?’ she asked curiously.
‘Yes Chang’ I replied. ‘Do you know him?’
‘Wait a minute’ she said. Are you…,, are you…, ‘Take off your
mask’ she said seriously
‘Why’ I asked. I demanded that first and you waved it away,
now you want me to take mine off?’ ‘No way! If you want to
see my face, I’ll have to see yours first’
She took off her mask; low and behold she was Cynthia.
‘What in the world are you doing here Cynthia?’ I screamed.
‘Is this what you do?’
‘Hey stop yelling’ she said. ‘How do you know my name? Who
are you? Tell me, who are you!’ I grew weary at discovering
that Cynthia, who was supposed to go site seeing ended up in
the PRADA territory, not as a member but as a pleasure tool.
I didn’t know whether or not to reveal myself to her but then,
she brought me to China, and I needed her to leave. So I
slowly took off my mask. She was so shocked on realizing it
was me that she almost fainted. But she got a hold of herself
and screamed; WHAT ARE YOU DOING HERE? Imagine
question oo? ‘What am I doing here?’ Wasn’t she supposed to
go sightseeing? Now she’s here, asking what I’m doing here.
See this girl oo!
‘Don’t even try to play dumb with me’ I retorted.
‘Play dumb?’ What do you mean? Who’s playing dumb here?
Weren’t you supposed to be out with Chang?’
‘Of course I was’ I retorted again. ‘And this is where he
brought me out to. And you? I heard that this place is an
organization for a group of people called PRADA. From what
I gathered, they don’t take in female members. The females’
only come here to satisfy the sexual appetites of the
PRADAS. Amazingly here you are’
‘What are you insinuating?’ she asked angrily.
‘I’m insinuating the obvious’ I retorted the third time.
Before I could say another word, Cynthia landed a slap on my
face. The impact wasn’t that much anyway because her palm
was as soft as that of someone I know. But I got furious and
we started a quarrel. As we exchanged words, I got to know
that Lin, Chang’s daughter was the one who brought her there
without of her knowledge of what happened there, just like
Chang had done to me. I also narrated to her how I got there,
but I could sense doubt in her eyes. I didn’t have a problem
with that because I didn’t believe her either when she told me
Lin brought her there. I asked her to bring in Lin for
questioning and she did. Lin explained to us that her father
watches over her strictly to make sure she doesn’t indulge
herself in sexual activities until she was married. According
to her, her father had sent word to his friends and loyalists to
keep a close watch on her to keep her from trying to do it
secretly. So the only opportunity she had to do so was in the
PRADA meetings where everyone was masked and she
couldn’t be seen. She was 25 years of age and she confessed
she started going for the PRADA meetings secretly from the
age of 22. I asked how she managed to bypass the password
and she said she had a godmother who her father didn’t know
of. Her godmother was there for the same purpose as the
other females. She confessed a whole lot to us. Then Cynthia
busted out in anger. ‘Why didn’t you tell me all these before
bringing me here? Is this how you treat you friends?’ She
was asking so many questions at a time and almost called to
the attention of some people who could be hearing her voice
from a distance. I stepped in and separated them from each
other as Cynthia almost started a fight with Lin.
I took Lin away to another chamber and questioned her all
the more. I was more concerned about my initiation to the
PRADAS than anything else. I asked Lin if she was aware of
her father’s plan to get us married. She said she was but was
afraid of what might become of Cynthia if it pulled through.
Lin told me that Cynthia had always been referring to me as
her fiancé and had said a lot of good things about me. Since
all the men around her either came for the money or fame,
her father decided to secretly arrange for us to marry each
other without Cynthia’s knowledge, and this was supposed to
take place after my birthday. She explained everything to my
understanding except the part where Cynthia said I was her
fiancé. I inquired more about that and she kept talking. At a
point, she noticed the look on my face and suspected that
what Cynthia said about me being her fiancé may have been
a lie. She asked; why is your face like that? Isn’t she your
fiancée? If I said she wasn’t, Lin won’t see any wrong in
getting married to me. And if I got married to her, I would
certainly end up as a PRADA, which I didn’t want to be a part
of. Throughout school days, I never belonged to a common
campus cult, not to talk of full blown OCCULTISM. So I
answered immediately; she is! ‘We are set to marry next
summer’ I said. That’s why we need to leave immediately so
that we can begin preparations. As you know, summer is here
already. ‘Next summer? That’s just around the corner. How
come she never mentioned it to me?’ Lin asked. ‘I wouldn’t
know’ I replied innocently. The next thing she said was; ‘I
need to talk to that so called Cynthia’. I held her back as she
stood up from the couch we sat on. ‘You know you just had a
little fight with Cynthia. I bet she’s still upset with you for
bringing her here. Just give her some time to cool off, and
then you can go talk to her’. She saw reasons with me and
left to have the fun she came there for.
I went to Cynthia and briefed her on the situation of things.
Even Cynthia was afraid and couldn’t believe that Lin and
Chang could do that to her. From then, she lost trust for all
except me, and that was a problem. We planned to keep our
calm and act as though we knew nothing while arranging to
leave the next day without anyone’s knowledge. She and Lin
reconciled. Lin never knew I had told Cynthia everything and
because of that she doubled her regard for me.
The whole pleasure thing came to an end. Lin excitedly came
in to meet us. Apparently, she had taken a dose or two of
what she went there for.
‘Cynthia hurry! We have to leave before my father gets to
know we were here’ said Lin
‘Alright’ Cynthia replied and the left. I went to find Chang so
we could leave as well. I found Chang discussing with a
group of people on a round table. He quickly saw me and
signaled me with his hands to come join them. That caught
the attention of everyone on the table and they turned to see
who he was signaling. All eyes were on me. I put away all my
fears and joined them on the table.
‘This is my daughter’s husband to be’ Chang said.
‘Is he good enough for her?’ one of the men on the table
‘He couldn’t be any better?’
‘In that case he’s already one of us’ another man said. You’re
‘Thank you’ I replied.
It was all over and we left. On our way home I couldn’t think
of anything else than a means of escape from Chang. After a
long while of trying to figure out what to do and couldn’t
come up with something, I quit trying and slept off in the car.
Next thing I heard were echoes of children’s voices. They
seemed so happy that I envied and wished to be a child
again. That way, I would be free from these troubles that
follow me everywhere, especially that of Chang and the
PRADAS. Since it was impossible for me to be a child again,
I decided to join them play for the last time before I
journeyed to the land of no return which Chang was taking me
to in three days. If Cynthia had not brought me to China, I
wouldn’t have met Chang. If I had stayed back with Ogechi at
the airport the day I traveled to America, I wouldn’t have met
Cynthia. If Ogechi hadn’t let the whole superstar come
between us, I wouldn’t have considered traveling. I was
pursuing happiness but there I was, ready to be initiated into
an organization I knew nothing about and marry a girl I
haven’t dated before. But fact remains that I would be very
wealthy. But what shall it profit a man if he gains the whole
world and loses his soul.
I was so happy playing with the kids, but a little distance
away I saw some rich kids mocking a poor kid because he
couldn’t afford candy but needed it. They would offer him
candy, but when he stretches out his hand to get it they
would draw back their hands and laugh at him. Then the poor
kid would weep and weep while the rich kids would just keep
laughing and having a good time. They loved to see the poor
The poor kid secluded himself to an area short of people but
could be seen by everyone. I watched carefully to observe the
poor kid because I had taken pity on him. I wanted to go and
console him and then buy him candy. Before I reached him I
saw an old man in rags approach him and whisper into his
ears. Whatever that old man said to that poor kid made him
brighten up like he hadn’t been sad in two years. I really
wished to know what that man told him so that I could tell it
to the children I and Lin would have whenever they got
Immediately the poor boy jumped up and went in again to the
rich kids. As soon as they saw him they offered him candy so
that they could withhold it from him when he tries to get it
like they had been doing. But amazingly, the poor kid wasn’t
interested in the candy anymore. They offered and offered but
the poor kid showed no interest in it. They thought maybe he
needed more than candy so they went and brought chocolate,
ice cream and all the things kids love, but the poor kid was
not interested in any of them. Instead, he was interested in
something as insignificant as doll.
The rich kids noticed that he was interested in their doll and
they withheld it from him and gave him the former instead.
When they had mocked him enough, they threw all their
chocolate, candy, biscuit, and the rest they had on him, and
then left the scene with their doll, just to let him have what
he didn’t want while they starved him of what he really
wanted. They were wrong! The kid only did what the old man
told him to do in order to get what he wanted. When they
were all gone, the poor kid found a large bag and packed all
they threw on him into that bag and left. He ended up having
more than he asked for. As he made away with the bag
rejoicing, he saw the old man and thanked him for helping
him acquire all those candy with his council. The old man
waved him goodbye and turned to leave to where he came
I wanted to meet the old man to see if he could proffer a
solution to my own problem, so I called out to him in a loud
voice as I ran towards him. He saw me running towards him
and also started running, thinking I wanted to harm him for
helping the poor kid out. Wait! Wait! I kept screaming but he
wouldn’t even look back. He kept running and I got so angry
and screamed again to the top of my voice; WAIT!! Then I
opened my eyes to see the driver struggling to keep the car
on the right lane to avoid accident as other cars were horning
ceaselessly while Chang was trying hard to hold onto
something to avoid hitting himself against the window glass
of the car.
‘What the hell is wrong with you?’ Chang asked furiously as
he looked at me as though he was going to unleash hell upon
me. ‘Why are you screaming?’ he continued. ‘You almost got
Then it dawned on me that I had been dreaming all along. We
were still on our way from the PRADA meeting. All that stuff
about the candy and the kids was just a dream. Oh poo! I
couldn’t say anything than sorry to Chang. He yelled at me
for about a minute of two before letting it go.
When calmness returned, I leaned back and started thinking
about the dream I just had. I couldn’t seem to find a suitable
meaning to it. But then, I meditated a little more on the
dream until I got an understanding of it, and then I smiled.
Chang noticed my smile and asked; ‘What are you smiling
about?’ I looked at him mischievously and said; I WANNA
MARRY LIN AS SOON AS POSSIBLE. Can you make that
Chang looked at me and tried to smile to what I said but
couldn’t. He asked why the suddenness on that matter. Of all
he said and asked, all replied him with was; I WANNA
MARRY LIN AS SOON AS POSSIBLE. Can you make that
happen? I had hoped that just like the rich kids in my dream,
Chang would keep what I wanted from me and present me
with what I didn’t want. He enquired again to know what
brought about this sudden eagerness to marry Lin. Seeing
that Chang was slowly falling for my antics, Intensified it by
saying; I want to marry Lin, I want to base in China, and I
want to join the PRADA. That was supposed to speed up the
rate at which Chang was falling until he fell and crashed but
immediately Chang heard the word PRADA, he leaped for so
much joy. He gave a horrible smile and said; Lin shall you
marry, China shall you base, and PRADA shall you join.
Surely, PRADA shall you join!
Oh! See me oo! Na who send me dream?…
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