In Search of the Father

by Uche Nzube Divine‎ 

Niklas was becoming uneasy as his rickety tricycle neared the Independence square. He was unwilling to meet him, but his mother has nagged him all week on the importance of meeting his father. A German shepherd barked at him from around the street corner, and he sneered in response.

“Cursed dogs running rampage all over our beautiful city,” he muttered under his breath as the spire of St. Thomas Aquinas came into view. It was always a sight to behold, one of the few beautiful things in the quite happy square. He pulled his tricycle into a small parking space right around the corner, next to a dimly lit antique shop. He made a mental note to come around and see if he could get his hands on some ancient rarity when his business with the man was done.

“Deng it.” He cursed silently. “ I knew he would be late. Mama and her anxiousness”

His hands instinctively reached for his pockets, he tried groping his cigarette pack but it wasn’t there, he had probably forgotten to get a new one. He was getting frustrated as his eyes furtively searched for the man across the vast square. The man had promised to be there before noon, yet the sun was at the west and he couldn’t find him anywhere. Crazy ass man comes up with a stupid story and momma believed him, he thought.

“Good evening all, it is time for the daily salutations. All rise in salute of the order” the voice of the fahari cut across the evening air. He quickly stood, raised his right leg and extended his left leg. He felt the posture was stupid but if he was caught ignoring the salute, he would definitely pay with his head. The salute lasted for three minutes, and it left a tingle in his hand and legs. He turned to leave, he had decided that he had waited enough. But as he turned, a man in a large dansaki caught his eyes. The man was smiling at him. He was carrying a rather large box and stood as if one leg was shorter than the other. Which? He couldn’t decide just yet.

The man nodded at him. He gravitated towards the man as if pulled towards him by some invisible force. When he got to the man, the man lifted the large box off the ground and placed it into his hands. He was confused as to what the man actions could mean; he earnestly wanted the man to say something, just anything. Instead the man turned and started walking away, his beige dansaki blending with the evening crowd.

“Wait!” He found his voice and shouted.

The man paused, turned around, and spoke in a big, gruffly voice. “Contained in that box are the ashes of your late father. Resurrect him and you will know what you are.”

“How?” He called after the man, but he was gone.

Niklas stood alone in the square, carrying a large box while people around him stared at him quizzically.

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