BOND IV It's an honour to walk with Helen the following morning. I had heroic feeling. She's going to meet some hunter who sells his game fresh as he returns from the bush. I loved this family for their freshness- fresh foods: fresh vegetables, fresh fish, fresh fruits, fresh rodents- fresh skin, fresh clothes, fresh flesh even of themselves and each other. Lucky couple! She asked me to walk with her after I told them I'd be going upward to Bejide village. I wondered if it'd rain that day before I reach Bejide. Rain usually herald the coming or arrival of a grand Bejide child. I told her I'd love to walk uphill their house first. I have to see what house now stand where our house had stayed for ages. But I felt the woman and I'd be friends. She's very open and caring though too curious. She wanted to know everything about me. I told her things before I thought it's wise to guard my mind and mouth. Now she knew that I ran from home, that my father's paralysed, I have twins- both sexes, my mother's blind, my lover's grandmother's now paralysed and that I had some moments of Matinees and Saturnalia. I almost told her the worst about me except that I hated myself as I remember what abominable deeds I had done. She seemed to be a Khalan. I felt a confessor's command rather than curiosity for I talked beyond the tongue of my mind. As she moved down to the road, I watched her- blessed were the men that had her- blessed were the eyes that beheld her. Well given! She turned left and moved away. Then I moved to the house on the hill. I cannot imagine a wall around a house in Aramade community. Did their new Baale rebel against the authority of their father, Abejide of Bejide? I remember after my father's fall, a new Baale's chosen but not a child of Bejide. The two-storey building that stayed on our land seemed to have been built by Hades. The fence's too tall that I cannot see anything but the roof. I knew whoever built such house must be up to something. May be he's into gun manufacturing or drug or human slaughter or cannibalism. I'd love to meet any resident but the two foxy dogs carved on the walls and on the gates scared me. Then I remember our fathers words that someone who won't die cannot take up his father's title so, I knocked on the gate. A dog gnarled before a soldier peeped through and asked me questions. "Yes, what do you want" I struggled before I could tell him I'd come to ask for Baba. "Which Baba? You look like lost. You'd disappear before I open this gate?" It's a high-ranked soldier's house. I was certain. But how did he get the land. I couldn't even see through the gate. That land used to be my father's father's father's fatherland. They needed a child to inherit them- what inheritance for me and my siblings? Gone? Aramade, Aramoni and Arawunmi and other Aragbayi all form Bejide. Now, how could Aramade eject my father and seize his land? Was there a war? I remembered I fell. That's all. By the time I opened my eyes, a table's set before me. Eba and Vegetable. Oh it's efo igbo with much iru. I wasn't in Bejide. When I remembered I'd told a Khalan my favourite food I knew I was back in that room. In Bejide, it's bad to eat, especially efo in a dream but whether a dream or not, I'd love to eat. After I'd finished, the woman came and clear the stuff. A virtuous woman! We're taught virtue in Bejide! If not, I'd have made her husband resigned on her. I was no more in a cosmopolis. Her husband came and told me that he carried me home. "You've been weak as if you're pregrnant, what exactly worries you?" This time it's not the confessor that questioned me. I didn't trust the man or I just became alive after eating what I had missed for two years- eba and efo with ewuju. My uncle's a great hunter, my daddy a great farmer. I must go. But since they've been genial, I promised I'd visit them soon. "The hunter", she said, "had too many kinds and I bought much because I thought you'd stay a day more" "What a host you're! I told you I'd leave before you return. Aren't you afraid? I might die and put you in trouble!" "Trouble?" The man asked. "Oh trouble is interesting." "I must go. I'd come back tomorrow to see you... Well that's not a promise." Then the man moved to me and hugged me dangerously. And the wife hugged me with intense danger. "Be happy" I said and left. The journey's not going to be easy. The nimbus was so known that animals ran pell-mell to their homes. The gust almost break the trees and people ran into their shelter. If they're not foolish, they'd know houses can collapse. If they're foolish they remain in danger of the storm. I moved on. I knew the rain'd not harm me. The storm's a welcome beat from my ancestors. It's surely good I'm home. Afterall, my arrival still moved the gods of the land. A renegade repents, fathers forgive and gods glorify. With pride and confidence of acceptance I marched through the storm, raving, as the thunder and lightning marks my steps into the gloryland. Before, people will wave hands and invite a person to their houses in such a case but something had happened to us all. The plague of I, me and myself has stung us all. Now we say kolori dori e mu. Eni aa mori o baaku, o n pe. Ha fellows without their feeling! I was soaked with god's delight. The words of blessing from my ancestors dropped as rain in the thunderous power of Olodumare. Rain on me more. Open the head gate, am coming home! My sins are washed in the tears of love and blood of passion with divine cleansing waters. Home sweet home! Here I come!