AMARACHI THE BEAUTIFUL POOR CHILD Episode 19 By Erasmus Ugochukwu Okafor

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AMARACHI THE BEAUTIFUL POOR CHILD By Erasmus Ugochukwu Okafor

AMARACHI THE BEAUTIFUL POOR CHILD Episode 19 By Erasmus Ugochukwu Okafor

Waking up to the reality of the situation, Ozo Odenjinji saw the real situation glaring as he couldn’t disentangle himself from the security net. He wasn’t tortured but was compelled to provide a list of the cartel members, leading to massive arrest that surprised the entire nation because the membership of the cartel cut across many states.
Ozo Odenjinji was just the head of the SE region.

Before the trial and having suffered much emotionally, Ozo Odenjinji began to feel so bad about himself, especially the way he treated his daughter, Uremma. He begged the DSS fervently to link him up with his daughter, even if it meant having a brief conversation with her before he’s jailed. He already knew that he wasn’t going to get out of the situation but needs to reveal some things to his daughter.
After some weeks in custody, Ozo Odenjinji was due for an appearance in court, with other ninety-two people he mentioned.


It was surprising that he didn’t disclose Professor Nwoko’s name; someone that was meant to be his worst nightmare in the cartel.


After a long plea, Ozo’s request was heeded to, leading to sending an invitation to Uremma to come to Abuja to meet her dad.
Uremma never trusted her dad because she knew that he could have waggled his way out of the security net; therefore, trying to find a way to lure her back to him. Due to this uncertainty, she informed Amarachi about this.
Amy didn’t even need to be convinced because it was an opportunity she was seriously trying to get, even imploring Dave to make contacts and help her have a meet with Ozo Odenjinji.


That early Wednesday morning meant to be Professor Nwoko’s quiz in class, Amy and Uremma left for Abuja with the next available flight at Enugu International airport.


Getting to Abuja, Amy was excited beholding the beauty of the capital city since it was her first time.
As the Uber driver navigated through the streets and roads en route to the DSS office, Amy wished she’d be given the chance to live in that city for even one week.
Uremma promised her that in the next school vacation, they’d come to Abuja together as sisters and no more as friends. They already knew they were to be blood sisters but just waiting for the truth from Ozo Odenjinji.
Even though they weren’t certain about their visit to Uremma’s dad, the two girls were excited about one thing; the truth must be revealed.


The cab driver took them to Asokoro at the DSS HQ. They waited by the gate and had a series of questions answered to be assured of their visit.
After the usual bureaucracy, they were allowed in.
Getting to the cell where Ozo was kept, they met him sitting and relaxing. He wasn’t tortured but well fed and taken care of, but that never stopped the judgement that he’d face soon.

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Ozo Odenjinji was a very handsome and cute man, stout and ebony, full of life and dignity but his kind of lifestyle made his endowment and qualities suppressed in its totality.
Seeing his daughter Ozo wanted to rush to her and embrace her but Uremma never wanted that, so she pushed him away.
“I’m here because I want to know who my biological Dad is, and not to listen to your…”
“I’m your Dad,” Ozo said and still tried to touch her but Uremma refuted that.


“Do you think the secret isn’t out already?” Uremma fired the question to him, getting him perplexed.
“You guys don’t need to make noise here!” One of the DSS guys warned, “Sit, talk but do not disturb the decorum. Meanwhile, no one enters here with the phone for security reasons,”
“Oh, sorry, sir,” Amarachi said and smiled to the unsmiling man, “we’ve submitted our phones at the gate already,”
“Thank you,” he replied and touched his rifle to make them know that they were at a highly secure office. He left immediately but stood by the threshold of the door to ensure that the discussion wasn’t going to be a breach in security.


Amarachi and Uremma sat on one side of the table while Ozo sat at the opposite side smiling and observing his daughter in a way that even got Uremma confused.
“And who is the pretty girl beside you?” he asked and thrust his hand for a handshake but Amarachi rejected that.
“If not for the kind of secure environment we are,” Amy said looking directly into his eyes to assure him that she wasn’t afraid of him even in a split of seconds, “I’m the one who’s meant to send you six feet below but you should be glad that you’re in a safer net because mine could have been…”


“What’s she talking about?” Ozo asked her daughter, “and why did you bring her here?”
“Old man, I had to because you may have offended her more than you offended me,” Uremma answered with much disrespect in her voice, “she is the same girl you used your men to send her a message by impersonating me just to have her arrested at Kwata flyover,”
Ozo took time looking at Amarachi to know if he’d met her before. At a point when he traced her resemblance to Mkpulumma, he shouted, even to the point of making the DSS guy by the door threaten to throw them all into the cell for noise making.


It was surprising to Uremma that her dad whose tears she’d never seen broke into tears crying like a baby, even to an embarrassing stage.
Even though Uremma didn’t care, she had to offer her handkerchief to help him dry her eyes and start talking.
After a while, the strong heart of a man returned to Ozo Odenjinji, so he cleared his throat and said: “Mkpulumma, I don’t know where to start apologising because I’d gone far in making your mom’s life a mystery and a misery,”
“Why did you kill my mom?” Amy asked with tears blurring her eyes, “What has a madwoman done to you to deserve such?”


It seemed that the truth was being too hard and painful for Ozo Odenjinji but he was ready to let all out.
“You have to brace yourself, Amy,” Uremma urged her, “we have a limited time and we need to get as many information from him as we can before he finally rots in jail,” turning to his dad, she said: “old man, I’m done being afraid of you as you can see from the way I talk right now. So you need to be fast because, first, you have to tell me why you invited me all the way from Anambra to Abuja. Secondly, you have to explain things to Amarachi;

especially concerning me and her being blood sisters. The question is; who is our dad and …?”
“I have lots of words written all over my lips,” Ozo said, not knowing how to start, but he had to start somewhere. “I used to think that you weren’t my daughter that was why I was being ruthless in using you to my wealth advantage,” he continued, making them be shocked knowing that Uremma could still be his biological daughter, “Mkpulumma wasn’t a madwoman but I induced it just to force her away from my elder brother, His Royal Highness, Eze Omekannaya 1 in Ubulu clan, Imo state,”


Amarachi was shocked with this just as Uremma was too. They had lots of questions but may need to listen first to get the information they came for before leaving.
“Please, am I a princess, sir,” Amarachi asked with so much respect this time just to get the entire truth extracted from him.
Ozo Odenjinji nodded, making the two girls wowed.
Amarachi’s heart throbbed faster as she shivered with fear and joy, at least she just realised that she has a dad with royalty and nobility, and not the drunkard and street loafer as she used to believe.


“But wait,” Uremma said with confusion, “I’m confused here, please,” she voiced and held her dad’s hand and caressed it gently just to get him talking, “If you claim to be a brother to the king of Ubulu town in Imo state, how comes you’re not from there but Agulu in Anambra state. I grew up to be from Nne Ogidi Village in Agulu?”
“That’s an intelligent question, Ure,” Amarachi said and nodded proudly for that question.

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“I was never from Agulu,” Ozo replied sending down shocks down Uremma’s spines. “Since I committed the atrocity, I changed my identity and came to Agulu and settled,” he explained, “my political status made me impervious to forces that could bring me down. To get my way, I became a fulltime philanthropist in Agulu that the Igwe couldn’t push me away from the village because I’d built schools, police stations, and roads for them. Many children are being taken care of in my Odenjinji Foundation where I take care of the poor and the needy.

The truth is that I even lied to the Igwe that I was a native of Okwudor in Imo state so that no investigation could be traced to my real identity. In my hometown (Ubulu), I was known as Ichie Omenka, but coming to Anambra, I change to Ozo Odenjinji just to remain hidden from my sins,”
The two girls couldn’t believe what they heard from the man sitting next to them. They were greatly shocked to the point that they shivered because the story sounded fabricated and incredible but Ozo had no reason to lie, especially where he was having a near-jail experience.


“Continue, sir,” Amarachi said thinking through the entire story and imagining how her mom must have migrated from Ubulu to Onitsha just because she was unfortunate to experience such felon.


“The love I shared with my elder brother when we were growing up was so much that we had to marry twin sisters,” he revealed bringing another shock to the table, “I was the one that went to Okija shrine to make some consultations before the wedding because, according to the prophecy of old, I wouldn’t end my life well if I ever marry someone that could bring me down.

Because of this, I lived in fear and carefulness to avoid attracting the prophecy to myself. The search I went for revealed that Mkpuluchi (the seed of God) was meant to be my wife while Mkpulumma was supposed to be the wife of my elder brother,”


He paused for a while and looked up, with his eyes closed. He was meditative and shaking his head. Tears rained down his cheek and bedraggled his shirt.
The two girls were filled with a mix of hatred for the wicked man and pity for the tears from a full-fledged man.
“Go on, please,” Uremma said to ensure more was revealed because, checking her time, she discovered that they had just ten minutes left.


“Please, you should be fast, Sir,” Amy urged and tapped her fingers on the table monotonously as she was too eager to get more from him. “Is my dad alive, please?” she asked feeling too eager to have at least one of her parents alive.
“He isn’t just alive but healthy,” he replied.
“Oh God!” Amy shouted and knelt, “I thank you for this,” tears of joy filled her eyes.

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Even the DSS officer there who listened to their conversation had a drop of tear in his eye but he cleaned that furtively so that no one would notice that such manly operative could be moved to tears. He simply howled, “hey, madam! Here isn’t a weeping floor,” He just had to remain undaunted in a bid to remain strong.


“There is another thing you need to know,” Ozo Odenjinji added, making Amy to dry her tears fast and went back to her sitting position.
“Please, tell us,” Uremma said and patted Amy’s back, even though she was eager to know about her identity too.
“Mkpulumma is alive. She never died but I made it seem so,” Ozo said, making Amy seek for who to express her untold joy to.
Amy embraced Uremma, rushed to Ozo and embraced him too, even to the DSS officer who couldn’t resist that free embrace from such a beautiful girl. Though he pushed her out when he sighted his boss but he enjoyed the warm embrace while it lasted.


Amarachi came back to the seat and said with glee: “Sir, is she still mad and where is she now?”
“As I said before,” Ozo iterated his speech, “Mkpulumma was never mad, so the answer is ‘No’, she isn’t mad but okay,”
“Please, where is she now?” Amy asked with utmost eagerness, jumping up and dancing.
“Babe, I think you should know that we have limited time,” Uremma cautioned, “and it’s just 2 minutes left,” she added and checked on her wristwatch.


“It remains twenty minutes,” The DSS man said and smiled, adding more 18 minutes to their time.
“Thanks so much, sir,” Amy said and searched her purse for money but the man waved at her to put it back because it would seem like bride and he wasn’t ready for such. “It’s just an appreciation, sir,” she added and still brought out about five thousand Nigerian Naira and handed over to him, “thank you, sir,” she appreciated and went back to the seat. “Continue, uncle,” she said.
Ozo Odenjinji was so happy hearing his supposed enemy address him as an uncle.


“The chief priest of Okija shrine lied to me,” Ozo continued, “he discovered that I was being greedy, that was why he made me marry the same woman that would lead me to this end that I’m facing now. I thought I could outsmart the gods but at the end, after my arrest, I realised that I just fulfilled the sordid prophecy about my existence,” he became teary once more; feeling bad and dejected,

“After the wedding that my brother and me had the same day, Mkpulumma conceived, as well as Mkpuluchi,” he proceeded, “I discovered that things suddenly became hard for me, so I went for the second consultation and discovered that the chief priest was late, for he was an old man when I met him.

The son who took over from him revealed the truth to me but told me it was late, that there was nothing he could do. That was the reason why I eloped, taking with me, the twin sisters who wear pregnant already,”
Serenity thrived, noises from people in the cell heard from a distance while the girls kept listening.
Checking the time, they noticed that ten minutes remained. “Go on, Dad,” Uremma said, “I thought I’m not your daughter but probably Mkpulumma’s daughter, and Amarachi’s sister,”


“I caused a grave pain to people of Ubulu but I didn’t care because I was determined to marry Mkpulumma, so that luck would shine on me according to the prophecy,” he said and held the hands of the two girls before him, “the twin sisters gave birth the same day. Mkpulumma gave birth to twins while Mkpuluchi gave birth to one child.

I used a spell on the women to remain with me so that they would think I was the good man and the king the bad. The chief priest of the shrine was helpful, unlike his dad that was incorruptible,”
‘Serves you right’ Amy thought.
“And how did I end up not being Amy’s twin sister,” Uremma asked and wished she had her phone to record everything. “Oh, I wish I have my phone with me here, to record all these,”


“The nurse made a switch,” Ozo said, getting them confused once more but they listened on, “It wasn’t an intentional switch but I never knew that there was an enemy who had been stalking me because he knew about my treachery but never told anyone, even the king he wanted to protect,”
“How?” Uremma asked feeling too curious to hear about her parentage.
“The aforementioned young man paid the nurse,” he started narratively, “he paid her to take Chisimdi to Mkpuluchi, while you were taken to Mkpulumma,”


“Please, I’m sorry to interrupt at this point,” Amarachi said, “so Chisimdi; Uremma’s elder sister is my twin sister?”
“The answer is glaring and bare,” Uremma said and embraced Amy, “I wish you’re my twin sister, but I’m okay with being a cousin to you,”
They both wept in each other’s arms as Ozo watched with admiration and regrets of his actions in the past.
“If that is the case,” how did Chisimdi come back to you?” Amy asked prudently.


“Let’s just say that God kept protecting Amarachi from the day she was born; away from my grip,” Ozo said, “When I discovered that my wife (Mkpuluchi) died shortly after child bearing, I was sad but not heartbroken because in my heart, I felt that the right one meant for death should be gone than be alive and be an ill luck to me,”
“So my mom died after giving birth to me?” Uremma asked with a broken heart and dispiritedness.


“Yes, she did,” Ozo Odenjinji replied without mincing words, “I decided to take the three kids as my own, even though I marked them all. I thought that Chisimdi was my daughter, so I decided to add Uremma to make mine two, without knowing that Uremma was my biological daughter switched by the nurse. When I wanted to make a switch, I took her back thinking that she was a piece of luck from the woman who was meant to be a blessing to my future, without knowing that she was still a product of Mkpuluchi,”
“OMG, so I was born by a cursed woman?” Uremma said with sorrow while Amy comforted her.


“Mkpuluchi was never a curse,” Ozo explained, to make them get the picture clearer, “She was simply destined to be my downfall and not that she is cursed,” he held Uremma’s hand firmly and said, “You’re a super blessing. Do you know why?”
“Please, tell me,” Uremma replied with rapt attention.
“I thought it was only Mkpulumma’s children that would bring me luck as a cultist but since I initiated you into the sisterhood, you became a piece of big luck too, getting me convinced that you were truly the daughter of Mkpulumma that I thought you were. If you were cursed or your mother cursed, would you have been an ocean of wealth for me? Think about it,”


Uremma became happy once again, even though she was sad for the way her mom died. She felt as if she was the cause of her death because she died giving birth to her.
“So how did my mom end up in an old truck?” Amy asked, believing that he’d have a clue to that too.
“You have a sharp brain, my daughter,” Ozo said observantly.
“She’s the most intelligent girl in the Economics department currently,” Uremma said vauntingly making Amy feel so elated and proud.


Amy’s elation was made evident by the smiles that overtook her disguised glee. “Please, stop,” Amy said bashfully and flapped her palm in the wind, “it’s just God all the way, and I thank him,”
“Onatarachi (gift from God) should be your name,” Ozo hinted, “because you’re a destined child from birth.

No wonder I couldn’t lay my malicious hands on your life or destiny till you grew to this perky and beautiful young woman. I was even surprised when you disappeared mysteriously from the truck after I made it seem like your mom was dead,” he said, making their heart and mind filled with a fresh question, “I know you’d ask how I did that,” he said and continued to stifle their questions because they had exceeded the additional 18 minutes given to them. Even the security operative was restive but didn’t say anything yet.


“Yes, please,” Uremma said, “be fast about it,”
“My charms that made Mkpulumma think that I was the good guy later failed, making her confront me and threatening to go back to the king. The queen mother’s agitation made me get a stronger potion that made her go insane completely so that she’d forget anything about her origin. The magic was that when she finally recovers from her insanity, she must have forgotten everything about her past and would believe whatever I make her believe,”


“Wicked man,” Amy muttered angrily but still had to be happy that two of her parents were still alive. She couldn’t just wait to break the news to Ego Oyibo.
“I am not just wicked but salacious, ignoble, nefarious, and even a sadist,” he added assuredly, making them calm and listening, “I got that old truck and made it be a shelter for Mkpulumma. That truck belonged to the king of Ubulu, my elder brother. When the truck was new, her wife was so fond of it.

Since I knew that she had an attachment for it, I hired a tow van that I used to steal it from the palace back to Onitsha. No one had ever seen me since I left Ubulu until I became as powerful as I am now, so they wouldn’t dare to challenge me. As an insane woman, she loved the truck and stayed there at the location I chose. Being that there was no way I could take care of the three children without her help, I took two of you (Amy and Ure) back to her, and then planted someone who always watches over them from distance.

He brings food to her and watched over her for me. Being that few of us in Ogbuo Okpoo (Kill and dry) fraternity that I belonged to knew that Mkpulumma was filled with luck, we started sleeping with her in turns to keep our wealth perpetuated. It was just four of us and we all grew so powerful more than others. The Ogbuo Okpoo fraternity later got affiliated to the wider body called the cartel, making me the head in the Eastern zone,”
The two girls were so perplexed; happiness returning in full to them since the reason they came for was being fruition. At this time, they were relaxed and listening.


“Go on dad,” Uremma said, feeling piteous for her dad as she imagined how he’d end in jail soon and she wouldn’t see anyone to call a dad. Even though he was a bad man, he was still her dad and that was a fact she couldn’t erase. Blood is thicker than water still.
“My informant hinted me that a woman comes to provide food for Mkpulumma, to the extent that they’d become friends,” he continued, making Amy think of Ego Oyibo.

“Due to this, I decided to make it seem like Mkpulumma died, using a potion that I got from the chief priest. Even though Mkpulumma was seen as a madwoman, she still attracted some much attention from people, but I tried as much as I could to keep her hidden so that the news of her existence in Onitsha wouldn’t filter into the ears of the Ubulu people, and finally to His Royal Highness who thought her wife was dead.

The HRH knew that I had a connection with the supposed death of his wife but no one saw me until I became powerful, and then challenged him because he had no evidence against me,”
“You’re negatively intelligent,” Uremma observed vocally.


“And you would have remained powerful even without being the bad man,” Amarachi said in support to Uremma’s input, “you chose the rough part of life because you were greedy,”
“When the potion began to work,” Ozo went on; attracting an absolute silence “I did my best to take the people’s attention from the beautiful madwoman. When the people I hired went to steal Mkpulumma, they discovered that one of her children was gone.

They suspected it was the woman that visits her but no one could locate her. We were surprised that Uremma, one of the babies tasted the portion too and went into the induced coma as the mom. They couldn’t explain how it happened, but it made it seem that she died too. Even the Datsun truck disappeared later and couldn’t be found,”
It was time for them to go, because the DSS agent came to them feeling so sad because he got a call from his superior threatening to issue a query to him for allowing Ozo Odenjinji longer time that given to him.


The DSS boss was even very angry with the officer placed to guard them, but when the man presented the recordings he made with his phone concerning the entire conversation, they applauded him. No one knew he hid the phone beneath the table. They needn’t evidence in court anymore because it already came from the right source.
Ozo Odenjinji wasn’t even bothered because he knew he’d end in jail, and he felt it was best, for him to atone for his numerous atrocities.


“Amarachi, before you go!” Ozo Odenjinji shouted as they dragged him back to the cell, “Ask Professor Nwoko about the location at Ogbunike cave where Mkpulumma is kept safe,”
Ozo’s last speech marked the end of the girls seeing him.


Amarachi was sharp enough to get the phone number of the DSS officer that she gave N5, 000.00, and then got the full confession transferred to her phone through Whatsapp social platform. Her reason for this was to save her strength when she finally gets to her dad or mom. The entire village must listen to it too; to believe their story.


It was surprising to Uremma that Amarachi had been a princess from a royal lineage suffering for many years because of Ozo Odenjinji’s villainy. She couldn’t wait to break the news and gossip to her friends, especially the fact that Amy was a cousin to her.
With happiness, the two girls went back to Onitsha and broke the news to everyone.
Ego Oyibo was so happy about this. She couldn’t wait to meet her and know how she’d be, especially after twenty years.


Dave, Harry, Obinna, Ujunwa and all in the house jubilated when the news got to them.
Life felt so complete for Amy who couldn’t sleep a wink because she was bent on seeing her parents that she never knew.

AMARACHI THE BEAUTIFUL POOR CHILD
#OpraDre

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