Stupid characters series are unrelated stories that defile common sense in uncommon manners. The most read post in this blog ever is the very first set of stupid characters.
Innocent got married to Virginia in 2002. It wasn’t like normal marriages; there were no rites like knocking, engagement, wine carrying, wine tasting, wine hoarding, nothing. Innocent worked as a roadside motor mechanic in Kagoro Road while Virginia hawked banana. They met, seemed to like each other and became intimate, almost immediately. For, although he was Innocent and she Virginia, he wasn’t innocent and she wasn’t such a virgin, and it was not surprising that she couldn’t find her period two months into the friendship. Her aunty drove her out of the house to go search for it where she misplaced it. It was a tearful Virginia who came to Innocent’s room that fated drizzling Sunday night in July.
Innocent wasn’t living badly: his room was rugged, he had video CD player, a colour TV, a mini speaker, a large mattress and air freshener. Plus a handful of thousands in the bank. What else? He welcomed his woman and the marriage began. (He was thirty-one anyway (she a ripe twenty-two anyway)).
Innocent wouldn’t let his wife hawk, a whole Innocent! So Virginia stayed home to cook for him, wash his clothes and take care of the house, and, it must be added, gossip (she own a tongue for a purpose) or listen to gossips (for which God blessed her with two ears) (and in 2002, Kafanchan had the highest per capita gossips of all the towns on earth).
Three months into the marriage, in the first month of her second trimester, Virginia woke up one morning to feel her skirt heavy with blood. She shouted. Her husband woke up and with the help of neighbours rushed her to the General Hospital where her miscarriage was confirmed. The couple mourned bitterly. The baby had been the cause of their union and, even, its symbol. Now it was gone, taken away from them by evil people. Of course it wasn’t natural. Virginia wasn’t overworking and she was eating well, so there must be an evil deed done somewhere.
Few days after Virginia returned from the hospital a rumour emerged, from the gossip mill of the neighbourhood, that her baby was eaten by a wizard boy, Raba, from the neighbouring Angwan Bala. The boy, just six years old, it was generally accepted, had eaten many unborn babies and countless infants below the age of four in Angwan Bala and the surrounding streets. Virginia wept anew and demanded they pack out of the area; her husband, who wasn’t sure it was Raba but who was certain about some diabolical foul play began to look for a new apartment. They got a room and parlour in Angwan Rimi Road and moved there.
The doctor had advised they wait at least six months, but after a month and half Mr and Mrs Innocent resumed action. To make up for lost time, and lost child.
One year passed. Nothing. They became worried. Why the delay? What could be wrong? They intensified their effort. Meanwhile, Innocent became more successful. He bought a generator, a bigger TV set and a second hand motorcycle. He was even hinting at going to see her people and making things formal. But he and his wife looked forward to the cry of the baby to complete their happiness. They worked harder in bed and prayed harder.
After two years, nothing. Confusion set in. What could be the problem? His manhood still function well, he lasted for an average of twenty-five minutes and could go five rounds in a stretch. She had never been involved in an abortion, so must have no problem with her system. They had conceived before, although the baby didn’t stay but it was the clearest pointer that they were clean. It wasn’t medical, this one.
They went to a ministry. The minister said it was because they were not married before God and man in holy matrimony. Three months later, Innocent had a mass wedding with his wife in the Catholic St Peter’s Cathedral. One year later, nothing.
Innocent visited a mallam. The mallam said a spell had been cast on Virginia’s womb by ajenu, not from her family or friends or enemies, just some random demons fighting mankind. The mallam said he could bind the spirit. Innocent provided the materials for sacrifice and the ajenu were bound. Man and wife went to bed and worked hard. Nothing.
They went to a prophetess who worshipped in the bank of River Wonderful. Nothing.
They went to see a native doctor in Benue State, nothing.
In 2008, the German Reinhard Bonnke held a crusade in Kafanchan, man and wife set up tent and lived at the crusade ground, even making a quick one there once, to tap into the atmospheric anointing. Nothing. They went home and tried and prayed and hoped. One year passed, nothing.
They tried harder, prayed louder, fasted more and hoped fervently. Nothing.
In July 2010, during the World Cup, Innocent had gone to the viewing centre to watch Germany Argentina. He came home to find his wife dying. She had emptied two wraps of rat poison in her teacup. It was a frightened, weepy Innocent that carried his wife to his car (he now had a second-hand car) and sped to the nearby New Era Hospital.
Virginia didn’t die but she stayed in the hospital two weeks and came home hopeless. She asked him to take a second wife that would give him a child. He refused, it was an abomination, an iniquity, but he began to commit the lesser sin of sleeping around. He had as much as six girlfriends at a point. It was expensive and emotionally sapping but he kept it throughout 2010 and ate into 2011. Nothing, nothing. He stopped after he was nearly killed during the post election violence on his way from seeing a girlfriend.
Virginia began to try. She began to bring men home whenever her husband travelled and he travelled a lot these days. He must have guessed what his wife was doing and didn’t wish to stand on the way. 2012 caught them at the game, yet nothing.
Man and wife held an extraordinary meeting in February 2012 and decided it wasn’t working. They had prayed to God and god, played home and away, no success. If anything was wrong with them, what about those countless boyfriends/girlfriends? Perhaps they had not been destined to have children. Now, they were grateful not to have contracted any disease in their perilous quest. They would dedicate the rest of their lives to making the rest of their lives happy.
In March 2012 Mrs Innocent, tired of nursing a persistent fever decided to check with a nearby laboratory and fainted when the lab man told her she was pregnant.
That day, Innocent ran all the way from Kagoro Road to Angwan Rimi Road when his wife told him the news on phone. He had a car and two motorcycles but he used his legs, dressed in his oil stained work cloth, running and shouting and crying. It was a great news, too much news for him to carry so his inner mad man came out to carry the great burden, and what a mad man!
On the 5th of November, Virginia gave birth to a healthy beautiful baby boy. Innocent had three bank accounts, he emptied two of them in sponsoring a great naming ceremony, that had half of the town in attendance. They were drawn by the great story and also by the food and booze. And half of them were carried home dead drunk.
The boy, Miracle grew up a cheerful, little bag of awesomeness. He began school and would recite all night what he had learned in school all day. He was as sharp as razor, his father said. The little Prof, neighbours called him. Last April, Miracle became ill. One moment he was running around playing, the next moment his body was burning hot. That was the beginning of a struggle to save his life, from Kafanchan to Jos to Zaria in search of orthodox medication, to as far Ijebu in search of traditional, metaphysical option. In June, Miracle came back alive, all bones and ribs, but alive and on his way to recovery. But there was a revelation, the witch doctor in Ijebu had said that the boy was a spirit child and that his destiny lay outside of western education, if he continued schooling his spirit lords might kill him…
On the 1st of August 2016, while schoolchildren returned to school for the holiday lesson, young Miracle followed his father to the mechanic workshop in Kagoro Road where they say his future lie.
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