Orié stood there, giving all the rights he could own to the wind, letting its strong wafting force hit him from all sides of the cemetery. It was quiet, and the skies were cloudy.

Leaving for school tomorrow, there was no other time to visit the grave than today, so here he stood, staring at the headstone with her name boldly carved on it, with the last of his savings.

This was the least he could do for her, after all. Dying in such a gruesome manner, it otherwise, would be sad to not have something as fair as a befitting burial.

Who would believe it had been four days since her murder in his absence? He moaned through the thought’s pang of pain. He had always hated studying at Calabar, if for nothing else, for the fact that it kept him away from her so much.

They spoke every day, but it was not the same as being with her, in the same house, the same room, sharing the same kitchen, meals, creams, everything. Then holidays came and nothing could have been more gratifying.

Four days ago, to the very shock yet to shake itself off his body, he had returned home and found her in the pool of her blood. Cut open and her heart missing.

He knelt, letting his hands cover his face as he wept into them. When this cry had lingered and made a morph into short pants of lividity, he looked back at the grave, fists clenched on both sides and face crinkled. Whoever had done this, whatever their reasons were, they were going to pay.

“Ma, I swear it,” he grumbled, raising his hand over to the grave. “Whoever did this, I’ll find them and make them pay. I’ll kill all of them! I swear.”

The skies bore thrusts of lightning, warning of an incoming pour of rain. Orié looked up, seeing his cue to leave before it was too late. He sighed and made to stand, then winced as a sharp piece on the gravestone cut his finger. He stood, groaning as he suckled on the bleeding fingernail.

Orié heard no footsteps anywhere. The graveyard was silent and naked and frigid, yet a firm hand clasped to his shoulder from behind. It was warm as a palm hidden from the wind and firm as a dead man’s resolve. Orié froze, an irony to the warmth which soaked his shoulder on which the hand held.

He spun around to its pull, eyes wide open and mouth ajar as blood and rage stared back at him. It was impossible, he thought to who stood before him. Clothed in the same attire, eyes blinded by rage and tears, with teeth gritted, the young man snarled, raising his arm which held on it a knife, and attacked.

“I’ll kill you!” he yelled, lunging the knife straight for Orié’s neck, having him scream in sharp pain as the knife cut in deep through the flesh, having his blood spill into the air. “You killed my mother! You killed my mother!”

Reeling back from the force and the swift pull of the person before him, screaming, Orié hit the gravestone, his head splitting open as it made sharp contact with the stone.

The knife pulled off his neck, then slammed back in. Bereft of inexorability, the knife went for his eyes, then his face, then his chest, all in no specific pattern order than the sheer longing to end him.

“You killed my mother!” Crying, Orié kept stabbing, without stop, screaming the same words as the body quivered, gurgling in its own blood.

Once drained of every ounce of strength, gasping, covered in the blood of the dying body lying on the grave, he made to his feet, staring at him as his blood painted the grave red. He let the knife fall to the floor, turned and trudged away, eyes hazy and head throbbing from all the anger which had taken every resilience in him.

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