“ISHMAEL & ISAAC”
©️Opeyemi Ojerinde Akintunde
“We can’t let them go!” Fareed said to Farouq over the phone as he gulped down a glass of alcohol in his private quarters. An act that was hidden from most of the camp settlers.
“I thought your driver was supposed to drop them off at their home, Why the camp?” Farouq said
“Things are way complicated now. I am doing this to protect them.” Fareed said
“We were all masked including yourself, but your brother and sister in law were exposed. If they return to their homes, the authorities will go pick them up and label them as terrorist…”
“No, I don’t think that is the problem here, I believe you are afraid that if my brother is picked up he will compromise me and I will in turn compromise you as well…”
“Smart thinking… so if you were in my shoes, wouldn’t you do what I am doing at the moment?” Fareed asked
Farouq hung up angrily…
“Farouq, What is it?” Shuba asked her husband
“If only I didn’t go to the market for you that day, I wouldn’t have met this evil people….” Farouq said….
Farouq in regret narrated everything to Shuba…
“Auzubillah minashaitan nirajeem” (I seek refuge in Allah from the outcast Shaitan ( Satan) ”. Shuba screamed
“Shuba, I honestly did not know these people were evil!”
“So, where are they?”Shuba asked
“At the camp.”
“We need to go there now… We need to inform the Police. These are the evil people causing the religious fight… These are misguided Islamic people making people see us as the blood thirsty religion.”
“It’s not their fault, you know I was almost becoming a fanatic until I met you. The Christians are the ones who makes us act the way we do. They make us feel like our religion is not genuine. We tell them we serve the same God, but they tell us we serve a different evil god, that way a defense Instinct kicks up in us and in the bid of trying to defend our religion, we become aggressive. In today’s case, it was the fault of the Christian university, why expel a student because he is Muslim” Farouq said in defense
“Farouq, you said it yourself.., A Christian university! Your brother should have known better than enroll there.., Listen everyone has the right to decide who they associate with. If a man builds a school to push his Christian Values so be it. What we should aim for is peace between the two religions. Not comparison… My goodness. Religion is a choice… What matters is Do you believe in the One and Only True God and if I remember Clearly, the Islamic and Christian religion believe in the Almighty God. Then let Everyman follow the religion that suits him best..,” Shuba said in controlled frustration…
At Past 1am in the morning, Roseline sat glued to the T.V as she was watching out for any news on missing children. She had the strong faith and assurance in God that Isaac was safe. She looked at the poor boy sleeping on the sofa beside her peacefully, then to Peter who was watching the T. V with her. Roseline could tell, self-guilt was eating him up as he watched all the gory sights of dead people on the streets as broadcasted on T.V.
“God, look at the sincerity of my heart… I didn’t mean for this to happen… I suspected this man was actually from a terrorist Group and that’s exactly what has played out. Because his admission was revoked, look at the disaster that has been caused. I wonder what their real plan was. Maybe it was to burn down the entire school… God! Was there a way I could have handled this differently…” Peter said out loud…
“Prayer, If truly he was a terrorist instead of chasing him out of school like an outcast, we could have prayed about it asking for directions on the best way to approach the issue. God would have taught us a better way of resolving the matter without bloodshed. God doesn’t like bloodshed of humans, even when His own son‘s blood was to be shed for the remission of sin, God turned his back to Him… The blood of human beings are precious to God.” Roseline said
Silence followed but the T.V broke the silence….
“Good Day, Important information to the public, His Excellence, The governor of the State has given an official order that everyone in the state should remain indoors for the next 24 hours. No one is expected to step out except on extreme medical cases. Anyone with missing persons should please report to the necessary police stations via the police Toll free line. Thank you….” The newscaster was saying but Roseline was already dialing the number….
“Hello, Good morning… My name is Roseline and my husband….” Roseline was saying but she had a sudden change of words. She didn’t want them knowing she had anything to do with the university…
“Hello, are you still there?” Said the female officer
“Yes… Ma, When the riot broke out, I Lost my two year son and in the process of searching for my son, another boy was found instead. So I am looking for my son and another child is here … I believe his parents will be worried sick …”
“Ma’am, can you give me a description of your son?”
Roseline described Isaac and asked if she could scan his picture to her.
“That won’t be necessary madam, if we have news on anyone with that description we will get back to you. Can you describe the boy with you, so we have that recorded as well!”
“Well, he looks Arab…. but hold on… I thought you would send some officers to come over and pick up, so he can be your custody in case his parents call or show up…”
“Madam, for now, the authorities have given the order that everyone should stay indoors. Please care for the child while the city settles down. If anyone calls with the description that matches the boy in your custody, we will send some officers to your place to extract the child, but for now, keep him safe…God bless our country!” The officer said before hanging up…
For the first time, fear crept into Roseline…
“Will I ever see my son again?”
“ISHMAEL & ISAAC”
©️Opeyemi O. Akintunde
15 years later…
The Geography Class was ongoing, and Charity was looking out for Isaac, it was unlike him to be late for class…She raised up her right hand asking for permission to be excused.
Charity stepped out rushing off to her locker. She picked up her phone and texted Isaac…
“What’s up? Where are you?” Charity texted
Meanwhile, Isaac was seated with his father in the car, a big truck was obstructing their way. He heard the beep of his phone…His heart melted when he saw who was chatting him up. It was his long best friend and secret crush, Charity…
“Stuck in traffic caused by one of these Muslim losers!” Isaac replied
“Ok, but can we edit the part of you calling the Muslims LOSERS?” Charity chatted back
“Ok, ma’am… I withdraw the last part…” Isaac replied with a smiley emoji.
“First part you mean… Gush, the only subject you are so good at is Mathematics…Lol…anyways I hope you get here on time because Geo class is almost over…” Charity replied
“Why do I feel partially relieved that I am missing Geography class😀?” Isaac texted back
“Naughty boy, get your naughty self down here…” Charity chatted back…
“These Muslims are just fools!” Peter said as he saw the way the Muslim driver was trying so hard to maneuver the truck away from the road…
“My father just called the Muslim driver a fool because of the way he is driving, can you see that I am not the only one on this page… Even my father thinks Muslims are losers…” Isaac chatted back with a smiley
“Charity! Is there something you are looking for..?” The Principal said from across the hall way…
“Em… Nothing sir… I am on my way back to class…” Charity put back the phone inside her locker and dashed off to class…
On the other hand, Isaac thought Charity was still with her phone and was deliberately not answering his chats again because he had said something offensive about the Muslims…
“Hello…Hey…Ignoring my chats???”
“Is Something Wrong?” Peter asked Isaac ( Formerly Ishmael) who had grown in a fine young man. After the 24 hours curfew 15 years ago, the government had increased it to 48 hours and later to 72 hours.
After about a week, Roseline went to the Police Station and unfortunately they were told no one had reported seeing a child, like their son, Isaac. Roseline asked if they could drop Ishmael but the Officer told her to still hold on to the child since no one had reported looking for a child, like Ishmael. Their information had been taken down, in case anyone was looking for a child, like Ishmael.
Roseline and Peter decided to take up raising Ishmael as their son while they never lost hope of finding Isaac someday. Roseline insisted they call him Isaac. That was how, Ishmael; the son of Amid and Rokibah became Isaac. Whenever Peter and Roseline went out, they always got the looks from people because of the weird look of their family. Peter was Black, Roseline was British, while Isaac was Arab.
Isaac had asked his father once why he looked like an Arab…
Peter had to tell him the full story in a way that Favoured him…
“Is it possible my father was Muslim?” Peter had asked when he was 10 years old…
“Most likely, but that is not who you are. You have been trained in the True way of God, their religion is a questionable blood sucking religion…” Peter had said in defense
“Really?” Isaac had said “If truly I was one of them, then thank God I am saved.”
Peter had made Him understand that years back, and as the years passed by, Ishmael (Now Isaac) grew to hate the Muslims, although Roseline was not happy with it.
“Is Something Wrong?” Peter asked again in the present
“Charity seem to be angry at me, she can’t stand me insulting Muslims…”
“Hmmm… maybe that’s because she has never met anyone of them. You should be grateful that you both are attending the best Christian School in town… I pray you never have that experience that will scare you from them forever….” Peter said…
Despite Roseline’s constant disapproval of Peter’s criticism of Muslims, Peter found a way of making sure Isaac (Formerly Ishmael) hated the guts of Muslims.
Rokibah came out of her mini flat which she shared with Amid and Isaac who they had given Ishmael’s name…
Rokibah had accepted Isaac as her son after a while, when it finally dawned on her, there was no escaping out of Fareed’s camp. At first they had stayed differently for three months and only shared the same room twice a month. At that time, there was only five buildings in the camp. One building belonged to Fareed and his three wives while the second building was the accommodation for the brothers. The third building was the accommodation for the sisters. The fourth building was the Mosque, while the fifth building was just a small one room apartment. The One room apartment was the place the couple were allowed to practice their conjugal duties twice a month. Fareed was the one who made the monthly roster. At the time 15 years earlier, they only had 12 families, so each family got two days on a monthly basis.
Fareed however proposed an offer to Amid, that if he could train all the children in the camp to be academically excellent students, he would build a separate apartment for him and Rokibah. Fareed’s plan was simple… Raise an army of intelligence Muslim soldiers. It was a 15 years plan.
It was the 15th year already and by the calendar, Ishmael was meant to be in final year in high school Fareed had called Amid into his office…
“Brother, like you know, we are gradually getting close to actualizing our dream… I want Ishmael to be enrolled in a normal school so he can write the National exam for the University” Fareed said
Amid was excited, he was happy his son was going to get his freedom soon…
“I am sure you know why? You have trained Ishmael to be intellectually and religiously sound. Therefore he will be able to stand firm even in the midst of Christians…”
“Christians?” Amid asked
“Yes, I want him to be enrolled at Saint Matthews College”
“Why do you want to do that?”
“We need to make him understand and see how they reason. So that when the time comes to convert people by force, we can explain the loopholes their religions have.”
“That can be dangerous, you have taught him to hate the Christians, so when he gets there, this hatred will be obvious, which can bring harm to him.” Amid said as he remembered this was his own downfall too
“I know what I am doing… He will lie to them that he is just a new convert, and you know how gullible Christians can be when they hear a person just converted to Christianity…” Fareed said smiling sheepishly…
Amid shook his head. He just wished Allah would fling open the gate of the place and let him out. Fareed was a devil’s incarnate….
Published By: Ifeoluwa ORISAKAHUNSI