After searching for months to recover her body, Elizabeth’s parents had decided to bury her.
“Yes, I think that is a good idea. We should bury her so that her spirit can finally rest in peace.” The mother accepted for her daughter to be buried without her body and they started making preparations for the burial.
Stanley had reached the exit of the church, his mind came racing on why the old man rejected the 500naira he gave him.
“I really can’t understand why this old man rejected the money I gave him, he said he was not a beggar and truly, he does not look like one. I should have gave him a listening ear….Stan paused for a minute and said “Let me go back”
He revised and approached the man.
“Papa, papa?” Stanley called as he walked towards him.
“I am sorry for the way I embarrassed you, it wasn’t what I meant. Biko gbaharam (forgive me)” Stanley pleaded
The old man looked at him, smiled weakly and shook his head.
“I don’t understand how youths of this days think sometimes, somebody you don’t know approached you, instead of you to listen first, to know what he had to say, you start bringing out money, do you think everything in this life is all about money?” The old man asked.
“That was why I returned to ask for for your forgiveness, please.” Stanley pleaded
“It’s OK” the old man replied.
After maintaining silence for five minutes as they walked together, Stan asked
“Papa, you were saying something about a sketch……”
“Yes” the old man interrupted.
“There is this young lady they found at the border that connected my village, Umuawulu and Umueme. She was just at the point of dying when she was found by some young men who brought her to my parish where I worked as a catechist. She was treated but only to found out she was struck by a severe amnesia.”The Catechist narrated.
“Are you serious, so she does not remember anything relating to her past at all?” Stan asked
“She has this memory of a man she says attacks her memory all the time.
According to her, sometimes, the man’s picture will come flashing at her face. When the thing became more disturbing for her, the parish priest asked her if she could draw the face, and she said she can try. She was taught on how to live with the face, to accept it as one of the faces she cherished before her accident. And that was how she kept on drawing the face, over and over again. One thing with amnesiac patients is that, they keep in close connection with people or things they love most before the incident occurred. Some believe the person she was drawing meant a lot to her. So the church is really taking good care of her, waiting on the day her memory will be restored so that she can reunite with her family.” He continued
“We wanted to broadcast her face on national television to know if her family could come forward to claim her, but the doctor suggested we wait a little longer to know if she could reconnect with her lost memory because we don’t know if her enemies are still out there to finish the job the already started on her. That’s why we feared making her open like that….and according to the doctors, her memory might be restored when it gets shocked by a strong event that happened in her past. But we should be careful on how it happen, or else it will lead to permanent loss of her memory” Catechist explained.
“You mean her past memories will be wiped out?” Interested Stan asked.
“That was how the doctors explained it”
“Please Catechist, I would love to see her, who knows I might know her family or anybody that related to her”
“Hmm, that is nice of you but, I came for my daughter’s child dedication. They are marrying her in this village.
So I won’t be leaving till the ceremony is over, and now we are to converge in their residence.”
“But you will still return to your hometown today?” Stan asked
“Yes, I will be leaving by 3:30pm.
“OK, that is good. I’m not busy at the moment, I can as well join in the celebration, here is my village.” Stan said
“Alright, if you say so”
About 3:58, they left for Umuawulu, Stanley only followed the man just for goodness sake, it did not strike his mind that it could be Lizzy. When they reached the compound, he was asked to wait in the car so that he can talk to the priest first before meeting the lady.
When priest was contacted, the cathecist told him to come and meet a man he saw that resembled the face in Amarachukwu’s(the name they gave Lizzy) sketch.
When he saw him, he was astonished.
“What a striking resemblance” the priest said.
But as they were still talking, Lizzy was already having a feeling that somebody she knew was near by. Although she couldn’t interpret it exactly, the feelings even made her uncomfortable, so she decided to step outside to receive some fresh air.
While sitting in his car, watching the drawings, Stanley was dumbfounded at the sketch of someone who looked just like him.
When the priest wanted to tell Stanley the implications that might surface if he was actually the one on her mind, trying to adopt a measure to avoid a hot flash, Lizzy stepped out of the parsonage.
Shocked Stanley looked at the woman he believed was Lizzy. He recognized his Lizzy.
“This is Lizzy, this is my Lizzy..” He said opening his car door.
“Young man wait…..wait…..” The Priest urged but it was already late, Lizzy had seen him.
Stanley rushed towards to embrace his long lost love, unfortunately, before he could get close to Lizzy, she collapsed and struck her head on a wooden chair.
Stanley’s face developed missed feelings for her, it triggered off his worst fears.
“You see what you have caused now, I tried to warn you, but you wouldn’t listen” The Priest said as they rushed to lift Lizzy.
The Catechist started sprinkling her some water to know if she could regain consciousness.
“There is no time for that, let’s take her to the hospital right away” the Priest demanded.
But as Stanley was about to lift her, she coughed. They all stood in anticipation to know what her reaction would be.
She opened her eyes, watching the three men who were all gazing at her as if she was alien who just fell from the sky.
And she called “Stan”?
Stanley quickly knelt beside her and asked ” “Baby, can you recognise me?” He asked hoping to receive a positive answer.
“Yes, off course, Stanley”
“Oh thank God” the Priest praised.
Stanley couldn’t contain his happiness, joy, excitement, after seeing the woman he had been searching for 2 years, he planted a deep kiss on her.
He kissed her passionately as they sat on the cemented floor. As the kiss was going on, Lizzy remembered everything, and how Ajebo gave her a substance that faked her death for 45minutes.
But when she remembered that Ohadike was Stanley’s father, her brain couldn’t interpret the event exactly, she then pushed him away…..looking so terrified,….and ran away from him, telling the Priest that Stanley was the one who wanted her dead.
To be continued…..
Do you think Lizzy would still accept to marry Stanley after knowing that he was Ohadike’s son?
Pure Love of Lizzy was written by Ngozi Lovelyn O.
To be continued