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‘Is this the least they can do? Look at what the paper said today, mum,’ Nancy called her mother.

They were living in a three-bedroom flat in a very decent but not extravagant neighbourhood. Nancy loved it that way and she was sure her mother would come to love the place the way she did. She did not like anything too flashy.

‘Look at what they have on the paper today,’ her mother, Ozioma, said, going into the living room with a copy of WHAT NOW newspaper. ‘It sounds very interesting. I feel like I missed out on so many things, but I don’t know what.’

She did not look stressed or thin from the whole encounter, but then she had no idea what had hit her.

Senator found with other Nigerian citizens in a desert. Another headline read, Ten ministers imprisoned for murder and embezzlement. Yet another topic treated: Five ambassadors called back for embezzlement and obstruction of justice.

Twenty terrorists captured and ten killed on the spot by SARS.

The list was endless of justice finally taking place in Nigeria. Nancy was particularly interested in the news that involved the senator. The Nigerian senator resigns for personal reason. He was called ‘Nigeria’s youngest senator in power.’ There was no mention of the name of the desert. The story went on to say that they were found in a very good state as the kidnappers were afraid to hit them or starve them since they planned to get a ransom. The news had it that some imaginary kidnappers bombed the houses so that people would not look for those they kidnapped until they were ready to obtain the ransom for them.

Nancy shook her head. The story had too much opening that it was threatening to be a basket. What if people questioned the validity of that story? What would they say happened to a house that collapsed from bombing but which did not make any noise to show that it was bombed? She shook her head again and just dropped the whole thing all together.

She was happy that her life was back to a semblance of normality. Her parents were back and she had apologized to Aunty Mariah for making trouble for her. Her aunty was every ready to make peace with her. But something was still nagging her. Vera had told her that there was no way she could exorcise the spirit of Gea from her body. She did not like the idea that something was in her body and there was nothing she could do about it. That was downright creepy.

Since she could not do anything about it, she had learnt not to even think about it. That was just asking for trouble.

‘I am really glad that they found those people,’ her mother said happily.

‘Me, too.’

Ironically, none of her parents remembered anything about what happened to them, neither had she told her parents anything. She did not want to have to lie to them or to build a story that she would not be able to keep straight.

Chike had informed MaryJohn who in turn told Sam, from whom Nancy heard that the government was doing a major cleanup. Sam gathered from MaryJohn that Chike assured them that the next president after the previous month’s election was a good man, who could dismiss people for taking as little as fifty naira from where it should not be taken. The government was now very alert. She liked it that way. She also heard from the news that so many people had resigned from the government for no good reason. It all ended well even for her.

She would be going to Yale University, while her brother would head to Eton next year, for their higher studies. The government was doing as they promised. If they had not, she would have made it very difficult for them all. They had all met the president and he had thanked and compensated them all for their hard work.

She was still thrilled that she had met the President of Nigeria and that he shook her hand.

Mrs. Ani believed anything with God in it. It was no wonder that she just nodded as Nancy gave the answer to the world secret and went into the kitchen to continue with her chores.

Nancy smiled. She loved her mother even if she had a lot of short comings, but then, wasn’t the world filled with failings and imperfections?

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