As I sat across the counter in my brother’s prison cell, I held his hands tightly within mine. And he spoke to me in a teary voice – shaking and broken.
“Promise me you’d be good and you’d keep our secret.”
I looked into his eyes, his face just like mine, except for the bruises and injuries he had sustained in the course of his time there.
“It was a death-sentence and there’s nothing we can do now” My brother said. “Promise me brother! Just promise me” He added.
My mouth felt heavy, my chest ached in pain and tears streamed down my cheeks. I managed to utter two words…“I promise” And I broke down and cried.
Peter and Paul, that’s what we were called. He was Peter and I was Paul. But in my unbridled exuberance, I had rapped a colonel’s daughter. She was asthmatic and she had an attack while struggling to free herself. She died in the cause of my callousness. And evidence from the investigation led the trail to me or my brother as the culprit.
Peter took the fall for me and insisted that he did it. He could never do such a thing – He was the epitome virtue, and I vices. But he took my place, he took my name. On the day of his execution, mother and father went in tears to watch their son die. I did not go – I could not, for it was me who was to be killed.
It’s been many years now, and no one, not even mother or father knows that I have been living my brother’s life and bearing my brother’s name.
(c) Peter Akhere.