Episode 6
          Preparing meals wasn't something anyone did anymore, there were designated places where meals were given. Hence, she was a quite taken aback when he offered to cook. More so when she consented and even offered to go get groceries. She wasn't sure why she trusted him, or why she had even saved him in in the first place. But for some reason, she was glad she did. It wasn't easy though. Her medical training from the revolution period was something she'd never felt she would need anymore.
          A few days had gone by and he was better, but still he had said nothing. Damn shamans and their secrets. She could see the worry in his eyes, and the fear each time there was a sound but still, he said nothing.
          She too had her own to worry about. She had avoided Central District like the plague for the past few days, but she wasn't sure how much longer she could keep it up. She still had no clues as to what was going on. More people were missing and there was still no decisive decision from the Council. Whatever was going on, she could bet a lot that the shamans were involved and that Emeka here knew something.
          It was the loveliest thing she'd ever tasted. He was one hell of a cook. Another strange quality he possessed. Vaguely she wondered what else he could do, why was he so worried and what was it like in the east?
          "This is amazing " she said, midway through her meal.
          "I just wanted to say thank you for saving my life, and more so for trusting me. I know it's been hard."
          She watched warily, so much she wanted to ask but she didn't know how to start. "What happened? Who stabbed you? ". Direct is the best approach, she concluded.
          "A shaman. There's something going on among the Shamans and I hope to find out what. "
          Slowly, she saw his face turn from worry to a grimace. He was in serious pain. She held his hand and it seemed to wane. She wasn't sure what had just happened, but she decided that was enough questioning for now.
          They both moved silently to the couch, and he spoke first.
          "You tell me. What's going on? I see you always fondling with your protection charm and I really don't believe you stayed home these past days just to babysit me."
          She sighed. He was right. She'd lived the past few days in total fear. Of the present and of the future. "Something had also been happening in the High Council. On the day I found you, we had an assembly, and it was all very odd. First off, the were shamans present. "
          "In a High Council meeting?"
          "Yes. And worse still, they seemed to be the very ones in charge. The issue of the missing people came up and they decided to do nothing. A unanimous decision to let the shamans handle it." She watched as the creases on his forehead deepened as he drunk in each word she spoke.
          "Hmm, What else was off?
          "Well, I was quite late to the meeting, no thanks to you, but I did notice some strange necklaces". On hearing this, he seemed to start.
          "Made from cowries? "
          "Yes, how did you—"
          "They're used during shaman initiations to prevent the initiates from remembering the process, should it fail. It's some ancient form of mind control ". With his saying this, the grimace returned to his face and it seemed like he would explode.
          "what's happening? What's wrong?" she couldn't hide the worry in her voice.
          "The oath. It causes me great pain each time I reveal some shaman secret."
          "Oh." She said, as she put a hand to feel his skin.
          "You're burning up, let me get a wet towel", she hurriedly started to get up, but she felt her hands being held back by Emeka.
          "You worry too much, Rose". His eyes were intense as he stared into hers, she felt vulnerable at that moment and if you asked her now, she wouldn't be able to tell you who moved in for that first kiss.

Victory Okoyomoh, pen name - Victory Wrights is an Optometry Student at the University of Benin. A writer,  both prose and poetry, his works have been published in some anthologies and other websites.  He also run an instagram poetry account - @victory_wrights

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