Jesus strides down the stairs of the two-storey, taking two at a time when Peter comes:
“Oga Jay you seem to be in a hurry, is anything wrong? Could it be that woman again? I thought her issue ended when she almost made you naked in public by dragging your garment, what does she want again? Women and their wahala”
Without any reply, he walks passed Peter who is standing with his mouth open like a fish out of oxygen at the foot of the stairs. He turns facing Jesus as he makes his way to open the double French door at the entrance.
“Oga Jay wetin happen na, this one wey you wan run leave your legs worisit?”
“Nothing to worry about Cephas, and it’s not the woman either. I will be back by noon. Check the moi moi on fire and make sure it does not burn. Make Akamu too but let it not be watery as you did the other time o. Else na you go finish am, I don talk my own”
He exits the building, leaving Peter standing there, with his mouth opening and closing like a fish on land.
“But he did not tell me where he’s going again. What if those ‘woke’ Pharisees get hold of him now, wetin I go tell Mama Mary? Oga Jay sef, me I know dey understand am sometimes o”
He humms and walks away to the kitchen, where a pot of bean dough erupting hot bubbles, sat boiling on a lit bunsen burner.
“What happened ? Why hasn’t he come yet? It’s been three days Martha, three good days yet you still have hope? Let us do the needful and move on” Mary tells her sister Martha, who is sitted on their eight spring mattress supported by bamboo sticks as a bunk.
Martha’s chin is rested on her right hand which rests on her thigh, while she’s using the other to trace the parterns of her fabric.
“But he promised to come, he has never promised and failed, he’ll surely come. Sister please let’s exercise some patience” She pleads with her sister.
“Eziokwu! Come indeed. See better give up hope o” Mar said.
After much arguments between the two sisters, Martha being the younger one, give in to Mary’s suggestion.
“He is here, he is finally here”
Someone from the crowd of mourners and well wishers shouts excitedly.
“Who is here?” Another asks.
“Ahn ahn, na now you waka come? Didn’t you hear of the prophet who was supposed to come?” Another says.
“Nawa o to you o bros, you no fit talk am politely ni? World people”. The second party who had asked the question replies
Mary walks to the crowd, adjusting her veil which was trying to slip away from her head, for her hair was silky and smooth.
“Calm down guys, this is a foreigner. We have to show him the better part of us. Stop arguing biko”
She returns back to their room to fetch her younger sister who had refused eating throughout the day since the funeral was over.
“He is here, Ichie Elias saw him from the distance. Let us go and welcome him.”
Martha jumps out of bed, quickly trying to put on her flip-flops and wiping away any traces of tears from her eyes.
“Shey i told you, he does not promise and fail”
They both laugh and head out.
After hours of traveling, Jesus finally arrives his destination. From what he’d heard, the place somewhat seems overhyped. There are scanty houses with hungry looking people.
He sights the house, a group of people gather around, some men with a certain attire, a red cap and walking stick, turning their heads towards his direction, looking wide-eyed like they’d seen a ghost.
Jesus snickers “They never chinchuntin”
He sees his bestie Martha Ndukwe, same who had used her hair to mop his feet at Simon’s house- running with arms opened towards him.
Another lady, petite yet older, follows behind, grinning from ear to ear; she must be the sister Martha told him about.
“Bestie, you’re finally here. Thank you so much for not disappointing me” she bends and kisses his feet.
“It has been a while Martha. And I’m sorry for taking much time…” he pats her back and continues as she rises back to her feet, making way for her sister to revere him too.
“…but you see, patience and endurance are one of the gifts of the holy spirit as i once told you, so it was good that you waited” He continued
“Take me to the tomb” He urges.
They maneuver their way through the crowd that stood looking at them, weaving their way between bodies.
“Who is he? Is he our new in-law ?” A woman among the crowd asks.
“Jamb question! ” another retorts.
“Nawa o to you o. In-law keh out-law ni. World people will never finish from this world. Tufia!”
They all follow after the trio to the tomb.
After saying some prayers, raising his hands to the heavens and more prayers, he orders two hefty men: “Roll away that tomb stone”
They both try to no avail, attracting chuckles from the crowd.
“So all this una body na big for nothing? And I bin dey fear?” Someone laughs out loudly.
“No mind them. All their gyming na for dem slay queens dem”. They all laugh in unison
A man from the crowd, not too far from the ground, about 4ft 6 moves to the tombstone and rolls it away, which attracts cheers and an applause from the crowd, followed by: “don’t mind the body but the engine”.
Jesus orders another confident looking man: “Oga go in and lead him out”
“Who? Me? Even if na my village people send you, oga, tell them you no see me o. Ekwensu is a liar” with that, he moves to stand at the far back.
Exasperated, Jesus decides to walk in by himself. He leads Lazarus who is walking on his own feet out.
After unwrapping the linen he was wrapped in, he looks at the crowd confusedly.
“What happened. Why are there so many people? ”
He calls after his sisters: “M—Mart—-Martha, bia eba nne come quickry, where Maly?”
“She’s here too” Martha replies.
“I’m here too brother Lazarus ” Mary makes her way to where her brother stood.
Lazarus turns back to them “So if you’re here and she’s here too, who dey shop?”
“But brother you were dead, we were mourning…” Mary tries to explain when he cuts her off
“Taa! Mechonu gi there. Is my death more than the money?. Aru! Aru ! Arueme eh! Chineke gba haram, if there is anything I’ve done prease forgive me o, before this two gehs kill me one day. So you people crose shop because of dead body? How much is dead body that you gehs will crose shop kwanu?. Ngwanu osiso, si eba puo, reave here immediatery before I forget my hand on ya face. Bia come, before you go, what of Mazi Alphonsus? I hope he is still arive because he hasn’t paid me my money for the goods I derivered o, about fifty tazan naila. No body should pray with me o; I will kill person “.
He hurriedly takes the linen off his feet like they’re fire: “In fact, I’ll go there myself. I don’t trust this girls”.
He turns to Jesus who seems to be in his way and probably speechless: “Oga, allow God use you and move out of my way before i send thunder”.
Without hesistation, Jesus steps aside, watching after Lazarus as he makes his way out of the crowd heading for his debtors.