Truth My Honour

Truth My Honour

Olusegun Joseph Odejobi (Author)



My story, titled Truth My Honour, explores the cruelty in an act of mischief that was unleashed to subvert the life of a man and throw him and his family into turmoil, endless suffering and frustration. A midnight infiltration of his home had ensured that a large sum of money that the protagonist had held in trust for a whole village was taken away to impose on him a huge, debilitating weight of indebtedness and subject his integrity and honour to aspersions. The first of forty chapters of the story opens with his only son weeping in agonized sorrow to mourn that loss and having his friend, who had come to urge him to get ready to depart for school in time , beside him to console and encourage him not to despair over their future, over the loss of a family trade, over their survival and the challenge of paying back monies that they did not consume to men and a village who had held his father in honour and who may not likely find the patience to think of him as being innocent and unfortunate, and forgo their hard-earned savings in unimaginable empathy. Clash of opinions took over discussion between sympathizers to set a didactic tone of social critique from the story as one of the characters spoke to douse tension and declare that societies and the world have a challenge for social and retributive justice.
Events progressed in the narration with a scene in the second chapter where the spouse who enjoys enviable love and marriage with the protagonist stooped to encourage her brooding husband to strive to put the past behind and think of what they could do to overcome their challenge and press forward in life. Just as when they had both agreed that it was the wise thing to do in a life that must continue, the villain arrived to halt their match into a new future and demand that it was urgent that they paid the debt they owed him and set the stage for the element of conflict in the story. The protagonist was to appear before the king and council of chiefs for a trial in which he successfully but curiously surprising demanded for their home which the protagonist had respectably inherited from his father to be forfeited to him in compensation. They lost the home and were to languish finding as good place to live in and depend on the magnanimity of friends who throughout the story stood in characterization contradiction as good, like and responsible men to the villain who embarked on intrigues to deny the protagonist needful help and have men abandon him to rot away, blackmail to win followers.
Dedicated, sincere friendship, in a literary lamentation over its rarity saved the protagonist from utter frustration to provide him with land to cultivate and farm, better shelter and financial support to relieve him of the burden of indebtedness and to save him from illness and untimely death, morale, and encouragement to tell a man may find refuge and protection from persecution and warn the world to worry at the rate at which men abandon scruples to join the multitude to do evil, even with such desperation for the blood of fellow men.
The plot provides the villain with a younger counterpart who is revealed to tell that capability for violence, for brigand lordship and its contempt for quiet decency and comportment has become a weapon of socio-economic warfare, protection from bullying and social coercion.
Both the protagonist and his son worked at the lowest and most laborious level of employment to encourage there is dignity in labour and that we are more fulfilled when we are dedicated and live by our toil.
The protagonist and his family struggled over the years to overcome vicissitudes, pay back their debts piecemeal until he lost a great friend who had supported immeasurably and was to depend on his wife for survival. She had hawked and was now compelled to embark on a long-distance city trade and travel with friends for whom nubile audacity and aggression had become a weapon that won socio-economic victory and protection until more pressure from home and increasing financial needs forced her into adultery and she copped trouble to lose her life and leave behind her only, gifted son whose success from school and employment would have consoled her for her sacrifices. She died under circumstances that warn men to be more careful than they are wont to be for the myriads of dangers that life could throw up.
Her mate in the adultery is a market leader and manager and behaved very strangely to lure her into the act finding support in feminine permissiveness and vulnerability. Their son’s worry over the cause of his father’s and mother’s illness found reassurance in mutual fidelity and dedication that it could not have been for HIV or any disease of the sort. The villain had extorted, cheated, and deceived not thinking anyone could catch him in his lies in self-mockery and misconception that saw him reveal all his intrigues and role in the midnight robbery in a soliloquy at a spot where only walls separated him from a friend of the protagonist who kept within earshot to hear his loud, angry cogitation over a rivalry with the protagonist for leadership of a traditional peer group.
He was tried before the king and the village and was expelled in a judgment that was not to be reversed to restore the home and honour of the protagonist, and leave him to pick up the pieces of his life and forge ahead with his only son who now emerges a man.


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