Osas was bent over Tobi’s still body. Great droplets of sweat dropped down his strained face as he squeezed his eyes shut to connect with Tobi’s inner man and forge a link. He reached into his body to repair the broken bones and bleeding organs. It was soaking up all his energy as he could barely stand on his two feet, still he forged ahead.
* * * * *
Tobi was on a long straight road. Many walked with him on this road and they all bore the same vacant expression on their faces and all seemed determined to get to the light shining afar off. The light was alluring, Tobi couldn’t resist it. It called out to him in a language only him could understand; it filled his eyes so that it was all it could see, nothing was going to stop him from getting to that light.
“Tobi wake up,” a voice called. It sounded far away and faint in his ears.
“You have to wake up now!” it insisted with a sense of urgency, that did not deter him, he only swatted it away just as one would swat an annoying fly.
“Tobi, focus. Listen to me,” the voice intruded in his consciousness bringing with it a face. The face of the boy, Osas. But it was fading like a blurry image taken with a bad camera. One moment it was there, the next it wasn’t.
“You have to go back now!” the voice now with a face instructed. Tobi looked confused but then he saw the light again and forgot all, it was only that that mattered.
“Tobi help me!” an anguished voice cried out with so much pain that it tore his heart. Leah. He looked around blindly as he tried to locate where her cry was coming from. He couldn’t seem to pinpoint it. It was everywhere.
“Tobi you have to turn back. You have to wake up. I need you,” the voice called with an increased sense of urgency as it faded away. Tobi turned back from the enticing light with a firm resolve, he was going back home. Home to where Leah was.
* * * * * *
The boy released a huge sigh and gave quick thanks to Osanobua for answered prayers then settled on the floor as he waited for Tobi to come into consciousness. Tobi twitched his eyelids first then a finger moved followed soon after by three sneezes in quick succession. He opened his eyes in bewilderment as he took in his surroundings.
“Leah?” the first word to come out of his mouth. “Where’s Leah?” he asked on sighting the boy. “What am I doing here? Why am I feeling suddenly great?”
The boy calmed him down with a hand. “So many questions at once, which should I answer?”
“Where’s Leah?” Tobi repeated.
The boy gave a sad smile. “She’s been taken by our mutual enemy and I don’t know where because I was busy tending to you.”
Tobi let out a string of expletives at once. “That bastard, that morrafuc…..”
“I think that’s quite all right for one person,” the boy interrupted as Tobi released an harsh breath.
“I don’t understand, I just don’t understand. We were best friends! A little more than a blood brother to me. I loved him like he was my own blood. We ate from the same plate, lived together yet he turned out to be like this? Really, what went wrong?” Tobi thought angrily.
“He tripped off,”Osas replied him reading his thoughts.
“Zik had been a troubled child from his youth. When you both lost your parents at fifteen, remember you had Leah to help you through your loss? Zik had no one. That still was not a problem. You didn’t wonder why he ran away so soon after his mother was laid to rest only to resurface eight years later in your house?” the boy asked looking at Tobi.
“I wondered that but I never asked him hoping he would talk whenever he felt ready to,” Tobi muttered looking down.
“He was sexually abused as a child, Tobi.”
Tobi raised his head up abruptly as he turned to look at the boy with shocked disbelieving eyes. “Noooo,” he breathed
“He was sexually abused for nine years by his own Father!”
Tobi’s eyes refused to believe it as his head shouted that it was true. All the signs had always been there. Zik not having a girlfriend. Zik always speaking bad about the females they always met. Zik shying away from Leah’s accidental bump of his hand. The barely concealed emotion in his eyes whenever he looked at Leah which he thought was affection, unaware that it was hate. Zik was damaged goods and Tobi wept for his friend.
“Don’t blame him too much. Monsters aren’t born, they are made and one has been let loose in your city. He won’t rest till he’s got his revenge on the female gender. You have to stop him or Leah will die in severe torture and agony,” the boy pronounced ominously.
Tobi flinched as the words seared his heart. He couldn’t let Zik do what he planned, he had to stop him by all costs or by God they would all suffer his wrath in a terrible way.
“Go!” the boy said with a probing look, “he’s waiting for you.”
“Who are you?” Tobi asked inquisitively, “you talk like one who’s lived for centuries, yet you have the body of a fifteen year old. Who are you really?”
“The subject of who I am should be debated for another day. Right now your lady needs saving and it’s up to you to save her,” the boy said wise smile. “Do not let us down. Remember the fate of this city depends on what you do this night. Forgiveness or vengeance, it’s up to you to decide.”
Tobi nodded and hugged him on an impulse. “I know what I must do!” he said and walked out of the shelter. Osas settled in as he waited for their return.