The year 5863 OI (Odunti Ikpe)
Nyoki bubbled up from the floor of the tabernacle, the broken walls being reduced to nothing short of rubble. Ink-black clouds covered what would have been the sky, but even the very fabric of the realms was torn apart. Snaking through thick, oily Nyoki, were streams of glowing Iyùn, the Sẹda looking like liquid lava running through the tar of Nyoki.
I splashed through, going closer to the corner.
Right there, heaped in a slump was a charcoal body, shriveled up, worse than the corpse of a dead sanya. The air around smelled like burning flesh amid sulfuric acid that threatened to burn through everything it touched. The body only lay slump against the stones that were once a tabernacle, majestic and enthralling. And, I knew who he was.
The many times Iram warned me, I failed to listen. The many times He warned me, I failed to listen. But, even through all of this, I knew deep down, it didn’t really matter what I did, this day would come. It was bound to happen.
It was written in the stars, like it was written in His energy. Legends were told, prophets foretold, and the Adēhi warned. Dark Ages weren’t just restricted to one cycle. Over the course of life, Iyùn was bound to become everything He never wanted to be.
And right now, the energy that fueled life itself, became the very thing to create death. And the only ones who could survive this, were the only ones who’d been gifted the ability to hold Nyoki in their hands.
Tears ran down my cheek; the hollow wind blew. The wind that once carried with it the rich scent of copper and vanilla and life, now carried anything but.
Fear constricted me; my heart began to palpitate. What was I supposed to do now? Plodding through the energy would do nothing for me. Nothing for Him. He’d only stay there, unable to conjure up the energy to save Himself. And He’d stay like this until eons past and He created at least enough Iyùn to bring Himself back. But these realms, they were already torn apart like paper. And there was nothing I could do to save it.
I shuffled towards the body slumped in the corner. It wasn’t the God I knew. This wasn’t how He looked. This body was charred and frail. Unlike the antique brass pillars of confidence, which always saturated any room He stepped in. This body was weak and fighting for life. With loose skin clinging to bones, holding on to the little strings of energy that reverberated underneath flesh. A hollow face. A dying child.
What else could I do to possibly fix this?
I exhaled. The air from my breath condensing into a cold cloud that only added to the frigid atmosphere. I placed my hand on the ice-cold male. Nothing pulsed under His skin. Not even His core responded to my touch. It was unusual.
I was used to hot energy radiating from Him. I was used to His embers rushing to the area where I placed my hand. I was used to Life. And it was then when I realized two things. I realized I had to ability to make Him powerful again. And two. I had the ability to still love Him.
Even when He was at His lowest, in the darkest place. Even when His Iyùn turned into Nyoki and shredded these realms apart. Even when the deep-seated evil, the negative energy, came to the surface and threatened to kill everything that once flourished underneath Him. I still loved Him. And maybe it was that love which would ease the pain.
I ran my hand across His body, still confused by how the most powerful Adēhi in existence could be reduced to nothing but the frailty of the male who barely flinched at my touch. I inhaled, felt Him subtly twitch underneath my hand.
And I broke.
My entire world was beneath my hand, barely responding to anything. I shuddered, choking back the tears that came no matter how hard I tried to stop them.
I pushed a white stranded loc away from His face. Even His hair was thin and brittle, but the more I touched Him, the more He responded. I stooped closer to Him, pulling Him in my lap. What could I do?
My tears came heavier, each drop falling on His skin, on His face. A whimper escaped His breath, and He attempted to turn to see me. But failed.
He was too weak to move.
And then I completely broke down. An Adēhi whose Sẹdawas so vast, just a pin-head’s size of His power could shatter these realms, was too weak to even turn to look at me. This was what His own brothers did to Him. They reduced Him to nothing.
They paid the price.
They were somewhere out there, struggling to keep their life, fighting for each breath as Nyoki threatened to snatch it away. But here, among this rubble, the Adēhi who created it all struggled to even look at me.
Outside this rubble, the realms were breaking apart because inside this rubble, my world was breaking apart. The person who I loved was withering away like dandelions in the wind. And the more I tried to fix it, the more broken I became.
Another whimper escaped His breath. At least, He was gaining enough strength to make sounds. It was the only sort of hope I could hold onto. He always told me the song of an Adēhi was powerful enough to summon the energy they needed to create life. If He was making sound, as terrifying and distraught as it was, maybe, He could gather all of that energy and try His best to somehow…
…Bring everything back.
But I doubted it.
I stroked His hair, and watched as He tried, as painful as it was, to raise His head up. To look at me. And when He saw who I was, when He saw me, the black hollow of His eyes suddenly became golden and filled with hope.