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Beacon by Oladejo Victor



Right from the moment his wife died of cancer, Fawemi was given to an unearthly fear. He became hysterical like a pilgrim lost in dystopia. He became frantic about the safety of his only daughter and during those moments of fear he built a cloister and hid his daughter within its walls. He adorned her like a rare gem, guided jealously from the world’s gaze, protected and provided with everything she needed and not a scintilla of her needs were left unattended to. He decided not to get involved in another marital affair in order to remain the only source of love and guidance to her.

Growing up, Motunrayo revolved around her father like the heavenly bodies around the sun. She was always around him. He decided on the school not too far from home she attended, the parties she went to and the selected friends that kept her company. The bond of love between her and the father was so strong that it could not be severed by anyone. She confided in him her secrets, and love entanglement, in return he guided her through them from her teenage years into adulthood.

When Fawemi died in a car accident while he and his daughter were on a business trip to a nearby town, Motunrayo felt the world had come to an end. The memories haunted her even after the funeral. The sombre reminisce of the incident, the long shriek of the car, the stentorian reverberating sound of the car against the truck, the flames, the smell and the sibilant sound of burning flesh and the raven colour of the smokes tinged with burning fabrics, and the rescue.

It all happened in a synchronized manner that she remained in awe, even when she breathed fresh air. When the road safety personnel arrived a moment after the accident, they brought her father’s mangled corpse, his left hand was gone and his ribs were exposed at his side, the fingers on his right hand were twisted and bent like a ballerina pirouetting on a wooden stage. She was pierced by an instant grief and began to ululate fiercely. The more she tried to efface the memory or hide in mild introspection, the more the memories haunted her; taking her from a facet of the incident to another, it drove her slowly to the fjord of the abysm and pushing her into it, she fell into the Cimmerian dark beneath upon placid dark water. Her being on a watercraft wandered on the surface of the water flowing from the aqueduct of the outré incident.

For many weeks she wandered between the Gehenna abysm and the solitude of life with a brief visit from her friends trying to bring her out of it. Their words didn’t tinge her mood with happiness, nor the will filled with a catalogue of her inheritance. Her being lived within her solitude and constant voyage within the abysm. She became abstemious in order to pull herself from the realm, the memories began to build a fortress within her, her being nestled on the watercraft and waiting for the light.

After a few months though the memories kept coming she decided to return to her place of work. Back at her place of work she became paranoid among the members of the firm except for the few friends in her coterie. She received tenderness from them and companionship though most she turned down, she was drawn particularly to Edward, a married man who showed her affection and companionship the most. He visited her almost all the time and provided words like a panacea to her wounds. She began to see him as a beacon scintillating light on the dark water of her abysm, she began to see her way through the dark and collect her thoughts and heal. After a while, the companionship turned into a form of an affair.

Edward spent most of his time with her, staying away from his family. Motunrayo knew that what was on between them was wrong but she needed it; the long lingering in the abysm left her with a defiant spirit that she could not see that the entanglement between her and Edward was a hoax. It was an illusion of a rescue from her past which she believed was fading into oblivion. It was a beacon leading her to a more severe part of her abysm where sorrow and darkness her locked in a strange harmony. Despite the warning from her friends about Edward as a faux man, she treated the advice as calumnies and continued the affair.

The unholy affair continued for months, Edward kept making requests for money which she kept giving him, the sweetness lasted for a whole year and they became inseparable halves before she discovered to her astonishment that almost all her inheritance was gone. The proposed projects Edward told her he was building in their name were a sham. When she received the news that Edward left the country with his family she returned to her abysm. The scar of the new memory on her remained, though she gathered her shattered piece, she decided within her to remain on her watercraft and await the dawn, ethereal and not rooted in the false illusion of a saving beacon but guidance through her life’s dark waters.

About the Writer
Oladejo Victor Olayemi is a budding artist and a secondary school
graduate. He lives in Ore, Odigbo, Ondo state and wrote in via victoroladejo95@gmail.com
Featured image by Uzo Egonu, from Tate. 
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