Kuman-Po-Guru is paining on…
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The clothes Aba Bartels had given him fitted like a dream.
Ledi Pedi used her phone to call a friend who was a Chief Inspector at the police station.
An alert had been put out for the arrest of Ledi over the strange death of the woman he had been with in the hotel room.
With his clothes, fingerprints and fluids all over the room and the woman, he was the prime suspect.
His friend asked Ledi to report at the Police Headquarters, and Ledi arrived with Aba Bartels. He insisted on being questioned in the presence of Aba because he could not see any force-field anywhere, not even on his friend whom he once knew was a staunch Christian.
Ledi stuck to his story: the woman had been a friend, and they shared intimacy once in a while. He was with the woman when she began to choke, and he had panicked. Yes, he had fled because he didn’t know what to do since he was once a powerful pastor, and being found with a naked dead woman was going to be a great scandal.
He told them he didn’t know why his car had exploded, maybe there had been a fault with it.
Eventually, since the police doctor established the cause of death as a cardiac arrest, Ledi was cleared to leave but to remain in touch.
Ledi was relieved. The alert for his arrest had been flagged down, and now he could leave.
They gave him his clothes and items found inside them.
Outside the police station, Aba looked coldly at him.
“What now, Mr. Pedi?” she asked calmly, and he looked at her with some surprise. Her voice was cold, and had lost several decibels of warmth.
“What did I do now?” he asked with his eyebrows raised.
“That demon, Kuman or whatever its name is, killed that poor woman because she was with you!” she said, obviously agitated. “If you hadn’t been so selfish about your self-destruct agenda, you would have had protection, and she wouldn’t have died!”
He looked at her without blinking.
“We work out our salvations individually, Aba,” he said calmly. “Even Jesus didn’t come to save the whole world. To those that believed, redemption was given. She charted her own course, and blaming me for her death is a cruel thing to do.”
She looked at him, and it was evident that his words, instead of assuaging her dislike, had rather fanned it into fierce anger.
“So why don’t you go and work out your own salvation and leave me alone then, Mr. Pedi?” she shot fiercely at him.
“Aba, I beg of you, don’t fight me, please,” he said calmly and put a hand on her shoulder.
She brushed his hand off and didn’t speak again.
He had summoned an Uber ride, and it arrived presently.
They sat in, and it brought them to Ledi’s estate.
Araba’s jaw dropped when she saw his incredibly gigantic and beautiful home.
“You live here all alone?” she whispered with shock.
“Yep,” Ledi replied as he led her into the luxurious interior. “Used to be here with my wife and two kids. Now I share it with my pets, prostitutes, women I sleep with, ghosts and demons. Welcome to my life.”
She looked at him then, noting the sad note in his voice, and her anger dissipated and was replaced with pity for this big man who had been blessed so much by God, and who was now suffering such inner distress.
Ledi took her to his study, and soon he was speaking to the hospital authorities where her father was on admission.
Thirty minutes later he transferred the money into the account of the hospital, and was assured that her father’s treatment profile was now active again.
She stood in front of him, and her relief was profound. She put her hands on his shoulders and tears of gratitude fell down her face.
“Thank you, Ledi,” she whispered. “Thank you so much. I’m indebted to you. I don’t know how to thank you.”
He smiled at her cheekily.
“We can start by going to the bedroom,” he said, and she smiled and shook her head, stepping back from him.
“That, I can’t do,” she said, and as she turned and wiped her face with a hankie, his breath suddenly stopped, for he saw her as she really was at that moment. A kind-hearted, religious lady, full of life and love, with a clean, good heart.
He looked away suddenly and stood up with a curse!
This was the very first time since the death of his wife that he had looked at a woman and imagined her in his home!
This was dangerous!
Aba Bartels was dangerous, and he needed to get away from her. As soon as they got to Reverend Yoofi Dudu’s place he would let her go.
She saw his agitation and felt his sudden animosity, but she did not ask questions. She waited for him patiently until they went out to one of his powerful cars, an Audi this time, and soon they were eating up the miles towards Awukugua.
Retired Reverend Yoofi Dudu lived in a secluded part of the town, his house hemmed in by plantain, coconut and palm farms which he undertook as a hobby.
He had a large house built purposely for his extended family members; his residence was a little way down the incline, away from the family house, which he had shared with his wife and children.
His lost his wife three years previously, and since his children were in the city working, he was mostly alone at his house. Cleaners and gardeners occupied a little Staff Quarters also on the premises, and came in every morning to set up his place.
Ledi parked in the huge forecourt, and got down with Aba.
Reverend Yoofi, tall and stooped, was waiting to welcome them.
Though aged, he still walked without a cane, and he embraced Ledi warmly.
“Ledped!” he said in his croaky voice. “Oh, Ledped! How long? You’ve refused to visit me, you refuse my requests to see you, and you wouldn’t even call me. This is bad, my son, very bad! You’ve made my final days on earth very sad indeed.”
Ledi held the frail body of his mentor in his arms, and he sighed heavily as memories came flooding back. Reverend Yoofi had found Ledi, and mentored him into the life of an Unblind.
Their zeal had been incomparable!
Their relentless battles with the vindictive powers of darkness, their victories, their weaknesses, their happy moments. Ledi had never really felt the love of a father, but this old man had given him love, and a sense of belonging.
He stepped aside and moved into the room, and he was agitated.
They retired to the porch after the reverend and Aba had embraced with happiness, delighted to see each other again, and as they took malt drinks, the old man looked at Ledi Pedi with the loving eyes of a father.
“So Kuman came back,” he stated calmly.
“Yep,” he said. “It possessed that politician, Ami Agorkorli.”
“Yes, disgraced her totally,” Reverend Dudu said. “Her political career is over. So very sad. Her husband is a splendid man of God, so hard-working in the Lord’s vineyard, but his wife…so fascinated with the ways of the world.”
“What happens now?” Ledi asked softly. “Kuman has the hots for me.”
Reverend Dudu looked at his protégé sadly.
“Oh, Ledped!” he said, and there was much pain in his heart. “Ledped, Ledped! You were destined for greatness, my son! God loved you, even loves you still! It pains my heart that a powerful man of God like you, one of the best Unblinds, is running away from Kuman-Po-Guru! We sent that vile demon packing from that little girl many years ago, remember?”
Ledi got to his feet and glared at his mentor.
“You see why I don’t come near you?” he asked bitterly. “I’m done, Father! What didn’t I do in the name of the Lord? What demons didn’t I chase? I fought for the church! I dedicated my life to Him, only Him! And what happened? My wife and my children got burnt in a car! Right in front of me! Damn it! He could have saved them! They were all I had!”
“Saved them?” Reverend asked as he got to his feet, and his face was also filled with sudden rage. “Godness me, Ledped! What are you talking about? You think you’re special because you’re an Unblind? Jesus Christ, God’s son, was tortured, spat on and bloody crucified! Apostles were stoned to death, and many were burnt at the stake! Some were fried in oil! Others were tortured, crucified upside down! And you think you have special orders for God!”
“They are all I had!” Ledi screamed, jabbing his forefinger into the older man’s chest. “Akua, Princess, Junior! I loved them! I didn’t ask for anything! Lord, I just needed them to keep moving! He had no right to take them in that way…no right at all!”
The old man knocked Ledi’s hand away and glared at him.
“Ledped, stop your blasphemy!” he shouted, and Aba got up with concern.
“Please, Daddy, stop it!” she said and took the old man’s arm. “Please, don’t get worked up, please. Ledi, I beg of you, please, be calm!”
“You’re a fool, Ledped!” the old man said, incensed. “You think you did God a favour? It is the other way round, son! You were favoured to be called to the life of an Unblind, and guaranteed that your soul got saved!”
“Saved from what?” Ledi shouted, tears stinging his eyes. “From this torture? The torture of seeing their burning faces in my sleep? The torture of seeing their horror? Now I live like a bloody sinner, woman after woman after woman! You call that being saved? I just want my wife and my kids back!”
“They were not your kids!” Reverend Yoofi shouted, explosively.
It was cataclysmic!
There was absolute silence, absolute shock, total shattering and sobering disaster!
Ledi could barely breathe as he stared at the old man with shock, his whole body going weak as he took a step backward as if his legs could no longer support him.
Aba felt his pain and his horror, and her heart raced with sudden pain for him.
She took faltering steps toward him.
“Ledi, please, take it easy?” she whispered.
Tears were streaming down Ledi’s face as he looked at the old man he had always considered a father.
“What?” Ledi whispered, shaking his head as if warding off invisible blows.
“Oh, hell!” Reverend Dudu said painfully, weakly, as he raised a hand to his forehead in misery. “Oh, son, look what you made me do! I’m sorry, son, I’m so sorry?”
“Wh-what?” Ledi asked, his voice so tiny that they could barely hear him, and he was still shaking his head. “What did you say, Father? Wh-what do you mean they weren’t my kids? Father? FATHER!!”
The scream jarred all of them.
The old man took fumbling steps forward and suddenly gripped Ledi’s arm.
“Maybe you need to know, son, but I’m so sorry I let my anger take control of me!” he whispered desperately. “Akua was never a Christian, boy, and you knew it. You took her from her life as a model, and forcibly tried to make her the pious Christian wife of an Unblind! She couldn’t understand your calling, she was sad and scared over your wars with demons…it was driving her crazy, my son!”
“What do you mean they were not my children, Father?” Ledi screamed shrilly, and at that moment the senior man of God knew that there was only one way to go.
This was the crossroads, and there was the chance that this man he loved so much more than a son, would be destroyed if the right thing wasn’t done.
“Akua came to me, Ledped, that mornning before the accident,” Reverend Dudu said sadly. “She was overcome with guilt, and didn’t know how to deal with it. She couldn’t live the life of an Unblind’s wife. I’m sorry, but she was cheating on you, Ledi. With one of her former managers whom she was already having an affair with before she married you.
She was pregnant before you made love to her on your wedding night! That was your daughter. She wasn’t sure if Junior was yours, or her lovers. I prayed for her, my son, and asked her to make a full confession to you. She was so filled with guilt. When she got home, before she could confess, Kuman-Po-Guru fired the car, mad that we exorcised it out of that girl. The children didn’t suffer, Ledped. The Lord took them!”
“No, no, no, no!” Ledi whispered in agony, moving backward as pain buffeted him, his face torn to shreds, his whole body sagging.
Aba shot a disapproving look at Reverend Dudu as she moved toward Ledi. She had never seen such raw pain and agony on any human face than what she saw on Ledi’s face, and she wished the man of God had handled this terrible news differently.
“Ledi, oh Ledi!” Aba whispered, reaching out for him.
But Ledi spun away from her, blindly, drunkenly, in massive pain, unable to control himself!
He was running and screaming, blindly, his tears drowning him.
Aba tried to hold him, but he pushed her aside, and then he was outside!
Reverend Dudu was screaming!
Aba was screaming!
Ledi Pedi opened the door of the car, jumped in, and started up!
He executed a dangerous reverse, almost knocking Aba down, and then he was driving fast into the darkness…
He was weeping behind the wheel, his heart torn and bleeding!
Reverend Dudu came to the doorway at last and saw Ledi’s car shooting away…
And, outlined in the sky, Reverend Dudu saw the long, white, ghostly and terrible sight of Kuman-Po-Guru slamming towards Ledi’s car, the demon’s malevolent hands reaching downward for the car…
“Oh, dear Lord, what have I done?” Reverend Dudu whispered with horror!
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