Sunday, 30 June 2013

Scandal! (A story)








“This is your food my husband.” Eunice said as she dropped her husband’s food before him under the tree where he took in fresh air after returning from hours of training for the battle ahead.
“I hope you are bringing my friend’s food too?” Arnon said to his wife.

“Don’t worry about me. I would be fine.” Captain Simeon said to his friend.
They were both members of the Morokian Army.
“Are you sure? After such hectic training?” Captain Arnon said.
“Ok then, please can I have some water.” Captain Simeon said.
“I will return shortly.” Eunice returned to their shed to get some water.
“You wouldn’t believe it.” Arnon started the discussion.
“What is that?”
“I heard that King Chuba is not likely to go with us to battle.” Captain Arnon said.
“You don’t mean it. That’s just a rumor.” Simeon said.
“I am very serious here. I overheard the news today when the commander was speaking with Major Ithmah.” He responded.
“Thank you our wife.” Simeon interrupted the conversation with Eunice’s presence, as he received the bowl of water from her.
He drank some of it and returned to their discussion, while Eunice walked away.
“But why would King Chuba do such a thing, when he knows his presence means more than enough in any battle we go?”
“Exactly why I am bothered! This particular war is an unusual one, and the King should understand that, and the people of Moro Kingdom are very set for it; the King shouldn’t dampen their morale with this. If you ask me the King is making a foolish choice here.” Captain Arnon said.
“Anyway the Lord will go before us; I don’t want us to be caught in the web of gossip. You know we are not only enlisted in King David’s Army but also God’s army? So let us drop this discussion.” Captain Simeon said.
“Alright then, if you say so.”
………………………………………………..




It was in the spring of the year, this happened at a time Kings go out to battle. His Royal Highness, King David Chuba was the traditional ruler of Moro kingdom.
This was a time when traditional rulers were more reckoned with than Presidents and Head of States. Moro had only a traditional ruler as big as it was.
King David managed the Kingdom well; he earned the respect of all and sundry. The people of Moro regarded their leader highly esteemed as much as possible, because the Lord did help him to win battles most of the time. Both young and old gave reverence to their ruler. King David Chuba was a very handsome man. He was an Adonis when he was younger and old age had not really dealt with his beauty, this made him more pleasant to the eyes.
The Kingdom of Moro moved forward in his time, they had suffered in the hands of ungodly Kings in the past. As much as the people of Moro regarded their leader, King David, he also had a friend he was responsible and accountable to; his Seer, Prophet Nathaniel.
At other times King David Chuba would go to battle with his army. General Joab Tharah was the leader of his Army. He and the King were quite close not only because of the relationship between the Commandant and the Grand Commander, but because General Joab was the King’s nephew. This was typical of the Middle East where nepotism played a stronger role than meritocracy. They were usually on the war front together. Each time there was victory; they celebrated, poured wine and had dinner together, and at other times they consoled themselves.

The Kingdom of Moro was supposed to go out to battle at this particular time of the year. David Chuba had told Joab and the rest of the Army to go get prepared. The whole Army expected their Grand Commander to come along, as it was the custom.

Eventually King Chuba did not go with his army to the war front. He stayed back in his palace.  He could still have decided to join them in the battle field wherever they camped, since such battle lasted for months.
Homes didn’t have showers in those days; instead there were public bath houses. For privacy, the bath houses had high walls surrounding them; however this bath houses had no roof.
Natasha just recovered from her menstrual cycle, the blood cleaning, the changing of tampons, the stomach aches, and the touchy attitude. Colonel Uriel, her husband was not at home at this period, to give her a little consolation. He was off to war as that was his duty post. He was one of the top 30 men in King Chuba’s cabinet. That faithful evening she wanted to have her bath, she wanted to ease herself from the day’s stress as she wouldn’t expect any preying eyes to be watching. Perhaps because most men were on the battle field at that time or because this was not the first time a lady would be bathing in the public bath house.
King Chuba didn’t have so much to do at home; his Major General, Lieutenants, Captains, and Colonels have been on the battle field for months. He only sent few other servants on errands.
King Chuba’s palace was near the women’s bath house; his palace was quite high, higher than the bath house close by. He knew before hand that he could see whatever was happening in the bath house if he stood on the roof of his house. He strolled on the roof of his palace that particular evening, then he sighted what he knew was most likely to be happening A woman bathing, not just any woman, a beautiful one at that, which naked woman was not beautiful to a man.
It was Natasha, King Chuba fed his eyes some more, her curves were still intact although she has been married for years now. He assessed her nakedness some more. He was moved by what he saw, although he had seen several naked women in his life. He still wanted to explore this strange woman. And since he had the power, whether veto or otherwise, he went further.
………………………………………………………
“I thought the King was supposed to be in the battle field, how could he possibly request for my presence?” Natasha said to the King’s servant that had come to fetch her.

“The King is in the palace, and he requests your presence right away.” The King’s servant replied holding the staff which represented the King’s presence in his right hand.
“Anyway I will follow you at once.” Natasha said as she hurried for her veil. King Chuba had made enough enquiries about the strange woman, he found out she was the wife of one of the men in his cabinet, Colonel Uriel.
“You requested my presence, my Lord.” Natasha bowed before the King.

“Yes, come with me to my inner Chambers.” King Chuba said.

Natasha knew it was quite strange entering the King’s inner chambers, but the King’s command was final.

She sat in there with him, she felt this had to be a serious discussion, and at last it was a conclave, they had an intimate conversation, King Chuba had a sexual intercourse with her. She returned to her house that night, she was sad she had dishonoured her husband who was serving the country, but a woman’s voice wasn’t given so much reckoning those times. King Chuba seemed to have forgotten about it.

It’s been months, the people of Moro were still on the war front.

Natasha was getting ready to go to the market to buy herself some things she needed. It was in the morning, she started feeling nauseated again, before the twinkling of an eye, she was already vomiting, the morning sickness had become incessant for the past few days, eventually it was confirmed she was pregnant. The paternity of the child was King Chuba, and not her husband who has been on the war front for months.

Although she enjoyed the feeling of having to give birth to the prince, but the shame of adultery overshadowed this feeling. Her husband was going to be regarded as a cuckold, when anybody hears about it.

“How can she tell me she is pregnant, it was just once we had sex.” King Chuba thought to himself, when he received the news of Natasha’s pregnancy. “This is a thing of shame.” He thought.

Abortion was not a first option in those days unlike our generation, when it was the first to come to mind. King Chuba wasn’t going to dawdle concerning the situation. Something had to be done; he had to clean up his mess before he got to the ears of another. He weighed all other options available, he decided to go for the best option; the one he felt will not leave any traces of crime. The scandal was an emergency.

He sent a message to his nephew, General Joab demanding that Colonel Uriel returned home right away, on the pretext of debriefing him for military intelligence.

“Your Highness, you sent for me.” Colonel Uriel said as he bowed before the King on his arrival from the war front.

“Yes, please have your seat.”

Uriel found a comfortable place to sit in the King’s court.

“So how are my people doing on the war front?” King Chuba asked.

“Everyone is fine my Lord.”

“Hope the war is going in our favor?”

“Perfectly, we bless the Almighty God.” He replied.

“Alright then, go to your house this night and ease yourself of the stress of battle and tomorrow I will send you with the message I have for my people.” King Chuba said.

Colonel Uriel departed from the King’s presence. King Chuba had his strategy planned out, if Uriel spent a night with his wife, everyone would assume the baby was his, and David's crisis would be over. The whole issue would die quietly. But Uriel never went home. The soldiers who served under him were sleeping in tents or under the stars, living the Spartan lives of men at war, and Uriel thought it would be hypocritical of him to enjoy a pleasant evening with his wife while his men were in the fields. So he slept in the palace, in the servants' quarters. King Chuba who wanted to confirm if his mission was accomplished sent a gift of food to Uriel’s house, but he was found at the King’s door.

When the King heard of Uriel’s action, he was disturbed and hence summoned for his presence right away.

“My warrior you just returned from a journey, why didn’t you go up to your house to have some rest with your wife?”

He responded with a noble answer.

“I am sorry my Lord, I felt it was inappropriate.”

When King Chuba realized his first strategy was likely to fail, Uriel simply could not be corrupted, he went ahead to adjust the strategy. He demanded that Colonel Uriel tarry till the next day. He had him drunk the next evening because he thought this would affect his consciousness. But even in his inebriated condition, Uriel retained his sense of integrity. When Chuba sent him home to his wife, he again refused to do what the men under him were unable to do, and Uriah again slept in the servants' quarters.

King Chuba became frightened and at the same time angry, what was he going to do, now that his intended plan didn’t work out as expected. Something had to be done.

……………………………………………….

“Thank you for coming down, please give this letter to the commandant when you get to the war front.”

“Thank you for the feast your Highness.”

The other members of the army were glad to see him return, someone even tried to collect the letter from him as he approached the commandant, but he insisted that it was from the King to the commandant.

David decided that to prevent a scandal that might ruin him, he had to eliminate Uriel and marry Natasha. He wrote a message to general Joab telling him to place Uriel in a dangerous battle position and arrange for him to be killed by the enemy. He sealed the letter and placed it in Uriel's hand, knowing that he could be trusted to deliver it unmolested. He delivered the letter at once. As General Joab read the letter he looked up at Uriel’s face alternately, he knew something was fishy; he wasn’t going to ask him. General Joab knew this was another opportunity to have one of the King’s secrets in his hand, which he could always use against him.

Then it happened just like the King had demanded, Uriel was shot along some other warriors. A message was sent to the King of the latest development. King Chuba was angry when the news reached him, but his anger subsided when he had his target was shot in the battle, he calmed down and sent Joab a message of congratulations in spite of the disaster.

When Uriel's funeral was over and a proper time elapsed, David asked Nathasha to marry him, and she did. So when the baby was born, everyone assumed he was David's legitimate offspring — or so David thought.

King Chuba was a King who feared the Lord, but in the space of weeks it seemed his regard for God had suddenly jumped out of the window, from the day he saw Natasha’s nakedness. He carried out every step of this scandal like he served a blind and dumb God.

What he did displeased the Lord.

The Lord had to send someone to expose Chuba’s sin. God knew it will require a wise man to deliver such a message.

The Lord sent his friend and seer to him; Prophet Nathaniel. He approached him with all wisdom; to win Chuba’s sympathy and make his point, Nathaniel approached him with a story, which he presented as true. In our day, if someone wants to get justice, they hire a lawyer and file court papers according to the lawyer's advice. In those days, a citizen would appeal to the king for justice. If you didn't know the king, you might get someone who did to talk to the king for you. So as Chuba heard this story, he assumed this was a legal action being brought by a citizen in his kingdom.

Here is the Prophet’s story: There was a certain poor man who had very little, but his prize possession was a half acre plot of land, it was an inheritance he managed to get from his lineage, he cherished a lot, he wouldn’t let it become bushy before he called his nuclear family together to go and weed it, that was practically the only asset he had.

There was a rich man in town, which had large masses of land at different locations in the town. One day he wanted to be generous to the town and decided to build a public toilet for the community, but instead of the rich man using one acre plot of his mass of land, he took the poor man’s half acre plot of land. As King Chuba listened to the Prophet’s story, he was furious. How could anyone commit so callous an act? Chuba told the Prophet the man who did this deserved to die! But David didn’t order the death sentence.

At that Prophet Nathaniel announced, “You are the man.”

He recounted Chuba's sins of adultery and murder, a rich king with many wives preying on a common citizen; and he pronounced God's punishment: David's family would be full of violence, and one of David's sons would one day lie with David's wives in full public view.

It is at this critical and abysmal moment in the King's life where his integrity shines. David certainly had opportunity to deny the murder; after all, Uriel had died honorably in battle. And he could have blamed his deeds on someone or something else. But he didn't.

Instead, King David Chuba simply said, “I have sinned against the LORD.” He didn't excuse or justify his actions. He didn't pass the blame. In grief, he simply admitted the truth.

The moment he did, the Prophet Nathaniel gave the LORD's response: “The LORD has forgiven your sin.” The moment David Chuba confessed, God forgave.

Even so, the sin had its consequences. The baby died, to David Chuba's deep regret. King David's home was full of violence from then on.



NB: This is a story culled from the biblical story of King David and Bathsheba; I got a few lines from bible Commentators.