Pasty fingers drag the corpse across the lagging roads, followed by the army of men, marching to the daunting rhythm of Okonkwo’s body banging against the ground. The district commissioner carries the party, the efulefu behind him in the dust. The band of hunters lugs the dead animal behind them, satisfied with their catch.
With each step, they get closer to the center of the village. The marketplace begins to fill as soon as the marching becomes clearer. Everyone from the compound now looks upon the corpse that is filled with dirt and dark blood. This blood stains the land.
The commissioner starts to speak to the large crowd that has now formed a circle around them, “My men and I should be thanked for the work we are doing for him. He performed the weakest act he could, especially in your theology. Your people came to us with their heart filled and asked us to dispose of the carcass. With God leading our way, we voluntarily moved it here for all of you. How could a noble person hang himself? Your god. Your god did not die for your sins in order for you to live a happy life. Consumed by his sadness, he did this to himself. This was a cry for help, he wanted to be a Christian.”
Murmurs started to erupt after this statement. Confused looks ran over their faces, not believing what he was saying. All talking stopped when Nwoye entered the square wearing the same attire as the white men.
“He is right,” Nwoye starts. “ He put on this act for everyone to see. Wanting Unifoma to go to war, beating me endlessly..” He wore off after this with tears filling his eyes. “ I grew up with those sinful eyes judging me. I grew up with that haunting voice scolding me. And I grew up with those rough hands beating me.” His voice was now booming through the whole compound just like his father would have. “He loved a stranger greater than me, but through his weakness, he killed him. I saw him rear away from your Gods and take a closer look at mine. When I finally came out about my religion, he hated me. Not because of me but because of the weakness in himself. Of course, he had to put on a stronger front because he will never be viewed as weak! Never in his life has he stepped out of the box and decided to not care what people think and I did, thus hating me. All these feelings came out at once and were released upon our society and himself.” Finally, Nwoye stops, unable to continue.
Okonkwo’s other wives are children are nowhere in the crowd or in the village. People look for them for verification but, seeing that they were missing, they automatically believe Okonkwo’s son.
Nwoye walks back to the outside of the crowd and the direct commissioner starts speaking again, “ As you can see, we want to give everyone what they want. He went against your religion so we must convert him to ours like he always wanted.”
Four white men carry drums into the center of the circle. The unfamiliar hands bang the instruments, making unknown noises. The corpse still has eyes looking up at the bright sky while the circle grows larger around it. A young man, who looks like the rest and is wearing a white robe, slowly walks to the corpse with a white shell in his hand. The water in the shell ripples every time he takes a step closer to the body. He kneels near the corpses head and takes a deep breath.
“For by one Spirit are we all baptized into one body, whether we be Jews or Gentiles, whether we be bond or free; and have been all made to drink into one Spirit. Go therefore and make disciples of all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit.” He then sprinkles the water from the shell on the head of the corpse. Each drop rolls on the dark skin calmly. The water drips down through the gravel and mixes with the atrocious stain that will soon be forgotten in their memories. The ceremonial drums slow down to sound like a tap of the foot. The once corrosive beatings are now far-off like the birds in the sky. While humanity lies sleeping, a muffled version of the drums fades into silence. The pure eyes finally close upon the once colorful world.