Story Lovers; Titled: My Dream, Vol 2, Chapter 16 (Concluding Chapter) by Fapohunda Bolanle.Click here to read the previous chapter
‘You have to bury him as quickly as possible, Your Majesty. You should hold a funeral in honor of his death, he deserves that’, Tony said as Grace somberly cuddled in his arms. She had not been much of living since Miracle’s death. Tony and Timi had tried all they could to bring her back to life, all to no avail. She only ate under compulsion and more of pampering from Tony. She only had appetite to cry – bad idea to Tony. “This is so not going to help you, but make you sick’, he had said for like a hundred times.
‘You can’t continue like this, Your Majesty’ Timi said, walking in with obvious frustration, she moved closer to Grace who was sitting on the floor in Tony’s arms as she had gotten herself used to recently. ‘You should at least brace yourself up and give Miracle a proper burial…and seize the opportunity to do the same for your parents too’, Timi said. Tony, releasing his arms from Grace’s locks, positioned himself in front of her as though he wanted to have a serious conversation.
‘You actually need to honor them; Miracle and your parents. Remember you had no chance to mourn their death nor bury them’, he said as Grace burst into tears. ‘Oh my God’ Tony said, in hands on his face, frustrated and disturbed of her tears.
He embraced her in consolation as Grace finally whispered through tears in agreement to their suggestions to hold a funeral for Miracle and her parents. They were both surmised and happy that she finally talked after a long time of silence and tears. They looked at each other and nodded, though Timi seemed to understand the deep meaning of the nod as she hurried out of the room.
Timi, running out of the room in happiness that her friend, the Queen had finally said something to them after the long time suspense, ran towards the court. Fortunately for her, some Ministers were present. She told them that Grace had ordered for the preparations towards the funeral for Miracle and her parents. Hearing that, the first order since Grace had been crowned, they immediately called a meeting to discuss and start their preparations. Servants were assembled in front of the court, priests were consulted. That evening, priests started their own assignment; purifying the palace, as they always did in preparation for the funeral of royalties, to ensure they consecrated the palace before the funeral proper.
Rigorous reparations started throughout the palace, servants were given different duties, Ministers were also given their own different duties. Even Grace started her own preparation in the Priestesses quarters. It was mandatory for her to visit the Priestesses quarters twice a day for purification before the funeral. They believed that they had to purify the palace and the Ruler towards the funeral in case of bad omen and most especially to make sure the soul of the departed encountered no evil on its way to the other world – best known to them.
She would be in a white overall and her hair tied in a ponytail with a white ribbon, her shoes white and no jewelry nor make up. She was okay with it all, she had to do everything to make sure Miracle and her parents were honorably sent off and without contradictions.
In the middle of the palace’s open field, funeral pyres were raised as it was also part of the job of the priests to purify them before the funeral.
Grace suggested a visit to Miracle’s family as Timi and Tony immediately agreed to go with her. Since they had to be in white mourning apparel till the whole funeral is finished, they went there in their white. On getting there, the whole house was mourning the loss of their only son.
The parents were sitting lifeless in the living room, servants had little or no strength to work properly as they were all quiet and idling around the house. The trio entered, with a number of palace attendants following behind them, the servants in the house immediately assembled as they recognized their Queen, they bowed to greet her.
They entered to meet the parents, though mourning, they had to show respect to the figure of the throne. They stood up, bowed to greet and Miracle’s father ushered them to sit. Grace could not talk for a while as many unspeakable things were going through her mind – much of, she would have come to them as a happy daughter in law and not a sad and grieving Queen and lover. She sighed continuously as Tony was covering u for her, talking and consoling the parents.
‘I warned him to return to the United States, that the palace was not a place for him…for the first time my son would disobey me, claiming he had very important things to do here and more importantly his heart was here…’ the father said. Grace got on her knees with her head bowed and said in a broken voice, ‘I’m sorry…please forgive me’. Seeing what Grace had done, everyone in the living room immediately went on their knees, including her comrades, it was an abomination to the throne for her to kneel in front of anyone.
Though, she knew quite well, but at this point, she did not care a bit about the conducts of throne. Tony moved closer to her and got her on her feet and they all did the same. She apologized to Miracle’s parents, claiming she was responsible for Miracle’s death, but they disagreed with her and claimed, ‘My son did what his heart wanted…for his first love’. Hearing that, Grace burst into tears, she remembered Miracle clearly now that the parents mentioned that she was his first love. Timi placed her hand on her back to console her, which seemed to work a bit. After a while, they departed for the palace.
Finally, the day of the funeral came. The funeral procession began with two priests who were systematically moving round the pyres, each with frankincense on one hand, and a tray of roses on the other. After the procession of the priests, three strong men brought in the corpse of Miracle, about four other young men brought came in with expensive royal apparels representing the bodies of Grace’s parents.
As soon as Grace saw the corpse of Miracle, she almost lost control of herself, thanks to Tony who, having already known what her reactions would be after seeing Miracle’s corpse, already held her down without her notice. They gently laid Miracle’s corpse on one the pyres and the royal apparels were also placed on the two other pyres.
Miracle’s parents were crying profusely, mourning the death of their son. Grace refused to stop wailing, Timi also crying her heart out. Tony, who was originally trying to man u his tears and pain, did not notice when tears began to gush down his face. The moment he wailed aloud was when he realized he himself already started crying, too late to control. The pyres were lit and the funeral continues which lasted for about three hours.
After a month of the funeral, things were gradually becoming normal in the palace, with exception to Grace who felt empty without Miracle. The emptiness gradually became frustration to her that she thought she could not cope within the walls of the palace. She then made a decision of traveling abroad to pursue her career, informing Tony and Timi that she would be pursuing her dream of becoming a Neurosurgeon – if that would be a helpful distraction to her.
They were shocked as to what decision she had made suddenly, they tried to convince her to rethink, all to no avail. ‘it is my dream to become a Neurosurgeon, not a queen. After my dream is fulfilled, every other thing can follow’ was her reply.
She called a court meeting where she informed the whole court of her decision to travel abroad to study. The Ministers were perplexed, no one understood why she would want to pursue something lower than her current position. She announced that Tony would manage the throne in her absence, with Timi beside him – the only people she could trust. Everyone, including the duo was surprised. She assured them that she would be returning after her program abroad.
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© Fapohunda Bolanle
About The Author
Fapohunda Bolanle Busola is a 400 level student of Classics department, University of Ibadan. She is a fine artist, footballer and a writer with particular interests in Prose and Drama.
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Story Lovers; Titled: My Dream, Vol 2, Chapter 16 by Fapohunda Bolanle