• 19 Aug - 25 Aug, 2023
  • Mag The Weekly
  • Fiction

“We’re glad that you showed up here,” Lindsay said to my mother.

“I’m here forever,” my mother replied. “This is our family now.”

“No,” I added. “This is not it. We cannot be torn apart like this forever. We need to work things out. This family needs to get back together. And I’m going to make sure that happens.”

“Yes, I want that too,” Lindsay responded.

“Your father and Gabriel…” my mother spoke, “they need to gain a little perspective here. Wandering in the past and becoming too narrow minded is not going to get them anywhere.”

This conversation lasted for a few more minutes until we had our dinner.


Days later, my brother Gabriel was at arms shop. He was looking at some hand gun in his hand and the dealer said to him:

“I’m sorry sir I just can’t hand over the weapon to someone who is unauthorised. You need to get your license first in order to have a weapon.”

My brother took out five hundred bucks and showed them to the dealer. The dealer replied uneasily:

“Look sir, I’m going to be in trouble if I hand over this weapon to you.”

“So create a story. Tell them that the customer broke in and snatched it away.”

“They’re going to demand a video evidence for this. Since there are plenty of cameras here.”

Gabriel looked around at the cameras and spoke:

“I need a gun… real bad. I think I know what to do now.”

That moment at my house, I was seated and was looking at my laptop. My mind was still occupied with the Octaland story. How much of it was true and how much was an exaggeration, I had to find out.

However, I got an interesting idea regarding Dr. Joshua’s speech and I spelled it out:


Within the next two hours I made a questionnaire that had not more than five questions. My plan was to meet my relatives who were educated and who’d probably had read books on Octaland incident.

The questionnaire that I had designed had following questions:

1- Do you agree with Dr. Joshua’s beliefs regarding Octaland incident?

2- Are those books authentic and reliable, the ones Dr. Joshua refers to regarding Octaland incident?

3- What do you think is missing from Dr. Joshua’s knowledge regarding Octaland incident?

4- Which book would you recommend for researching on Octaland tragedy?

5- Where do you think the truth regarding Octaland story can be found?

These were open ended questions where the respondent was free to write whatever he liked.

In a number of days, I made thirty copies of this and made a list of fifty relatives whom I assumed would be interested in answering. I also expected that they would answer honestly and logically, but that wasn’t supposed to happen of course.

It took me a whole week. I took a seven day off from work and got the questioners filled. Some of the relatives simply refused to answer so I had overall twenty four questionnaires filled out. To be honest it cost me my self-respect because there was a lot of pleading to do and a lot of scolding which I don’t think I deserve.

Some of those painfully harsh words are still in my head:

“You should be ashamed of questioning this stuff!”

“Tribianis don’t question their elders. Shame on you!”

“Get away, don’t involve me into this.”

“You are very disgraceful!”

And worst of all:

“I think you are one of the Tribianis…”

I however, had to clean my mind out of this and focus on my objective. On the eighth day, after having breakfast, I read out all the questionnaires and the answers were surprisingly satisfying.

Let me read out the questions and summarize their answers before you:

1- Do you agree with Dr. Joshua’s beliefs regarding Octaland incident?

The answer to this question was mostly ‘yes’.

2- Are those books authentic and reliable, the ones Dr. Joshua refers to regarding Octaland incident?

Majority of the respondents answered ‘don’t know’. The remaining answered ‘yes’.

3- What do you think is missing from Dr. Joshua’s knowledge regarding Octaland incident?

This question received multiple answers but the three answers that I highlighted were:

i- Hector’s cruelty of killing poor families’ men and leaving their women alive.

ii- Hector’s contagious disease.

iii- The character and role of Zion Cesar in Octaland incident.

The first answer that I highlighted, actually answered the question in my mind about what Dr. Joshua was hiding in his speech. But at the same time, the door of another mystery opened since I had never heard about any of Hector’s diseases. And now I had to find this out. I ignored Zion Cesar for the moment as a pending mystery to be solved later.

4- Which book would you recommend for researching on Octaland tragedy?

There were names of plenty of books but only one book’s name repeated in multiple answers and that was ‘The Prince and Rebel of Octaland by Richard Tribiani.’

5- Where do you think the truth regarding Octaland story can be found?

Now this was the question where everyone’s answer was same. It was like a consensus of all Tribianis.

The thought bending answer to this question was ‘At Octaland’s library hall’.

I have to admit it. It was this answer that convinced me in the first place that in order to find the truth about Octaland, I must proceed to the Octaland Island. The land where the incident took place is the only place that knows the truth.

My conclusion from this entire research was the same as before except that I had found out about what Hector was planning to do with the poor families. But surprisingly there was a very basic piece of information that I was completely unaware about and the sole reason behind that was that our family had kept it secret.

Let me tell you how I found it out.

That night I decided to find Richard Tribiani’s book ‘Prince and Rebel of Octaland’ in my collection of electronic books. I was looking out for that book and in the process I came across some book called ‘The Two Brothers’. I clicked on that book and an abstract appeared before me. I read the entire abstract of not more than two hundred words and guess what I found that left me completely shocked.

Gabriel and Hector were brothers. They both were Tribianis. Yes, they were half-brothers. They shared the same father but had different mothers. After Hector’s mother died, his father married another woman who gave birth to Gabriel after two years. Now, how things evolved between them I seriously don’t know. But I had to find out.

With passage of time as I was learning more about my family history, more and more mysteries were appearing before me. One answer led to another question. For how long this was going to go, I had no idea back then.


Sometime later, my brother Gabriel was walking on some pedestrian bridge. He was holding a revolver in his right hand and three bullets in the other hand. What were his plans? What were his intentions? I don’t even want to talk about it. But things were about to get worse.

I was standing at the sea side. I was looking at the water and thinking about my life. I kept on asking myself:

Where has my life landed?

How did I end up here?

What led to what and how did my life turn to this spot?

All questions gave me only one answer but I wasn’t willing accept it.

My mind answered me:

Lindsay Martinez…Who is in fact not Martinez but Tribiani.

I was helpless here. She was my weak spot that I didn’t want to risk or lose.

My phone began to ring. It was a call from my friend Tom. I answered the call:

“Hi, what’s up?”

“Hey Aaron, where are you?”

“Uh…Well, I’m not at home at the momnet. Do you want to meet?”

“Actually yes, can we?”

“Okay, I’ll be back home, within two hours. We’ll meet then.”

“Okay, bye!”

I disconnected the call. I looked back at the sea. The waves of water resembled my life. They were floating back and forth. At times splashing each other.

Things couldn’t get worse. Or could they?

Hours later, I was with my friend Tom at some restaurant. I was having a soft drink as usual. He was talking to me but I wasn’t really listening. I was just nodding my head and smiling casually.

When he realised that I wasn’t in mood, he suggested:

“You know what you need to do. You need to spend some time with your wife.”

“I know!”

“And not in your house. But somewhere outside. You two need to go out for a walk. In a park or somewhere public.”

I surprisingly liked his idea and considered it. However, I didn’t agree with him in front of him. But I considered the idea, for the following day.

After a while when there was a silence between us, I spoke up:

“You know, Hector and Gabriel were brothers.”

“I know, you told me that before.”

“You know what I think now? I think that I must try and resolve this issue by explaining it to our elders.”

“Explain what?”

“That they were brothers. Regardless of the fact that they were not real brothers, they were a family. Gabriel’s and Hector’s father would have never wanted their generations to be rivals like this. As a matter of fact, his soul must be burning. He must be in a state of torment.”

“Okay, stop it here Aaron,” he stopped me. “You’re not making any sense here. Just go out with your wife or with your mother. And get some fresh air.”

Did I sound that pathetic? I don’t know. But when you’re being told that you need to get some fresh air then it’s definitely something pitiful about you.

v v v

Next day’s morning, guess what, I was getting fresh air. I was with my wife at some public park and we were really enjoying it. The park was surprisingly empty and we could hardly see any people around.

For a moment while we were talking I saw Lindsay’s attention diverting. She stared at someone for a while. I followed her sight and saw some man older than me standing. As a matter of fact, he was also constantly looking at her.

I asked her:

“Do you know him?”

She whispered something that I didn’t understand. I spoke:


“I’m saying he’s my cousin Jimmy. He’s my first cousin…”

“Oh!” I replied getting a bit surprised. “So should we say hello?”

“Okay,” she answered reluctantly.

Her cousin came closer and greeted her:

“Hey, how are you?”

“I’m good. I’m here with my husband.”

“Oh,” he replied offering his hand for a handshake. “Hi, how are you?”

“I’m good,” I greeted politely. “Nice to meet you.”

Someone had been following us. I had no idea that we were being followed. But someone was there. And he did not have good intentions. I was completely unaware of it. But more importantly, the worst part was that it was my brother Gabriel. Yes Gabriel had followed us all the way from our home holding a gun in his hand that had three bullets.

It’s been several days since the incident and I still don’t know either he wanted to shoot me or my wife. But the issue was the third person. If he weren’t standing among us that day, things probably would have been different.

My wife wasn’t feeling comfortable while talking to him. She wanted him to leave as quickly as possible. I noted the uneasiness in her eyes and thought of talking her out of it.

Meanwhile, Gabriel who had been following us hid behind some tree and aimed his gun towards us. He however stopped and paid attention to the third person. Unfortunately he recognised this person and spoke:

“Oh no, it’s the guy from Hector’s family.”

My brother knew him. He probably knew him because he had been to several debates against them. He must have seen him somewhere in those debates.

Jimmy said to me:

“So, do you want to come for a coffee?”

“No thanks, kind of you to ask though.”

In the meantime, Gabriel reloaded his hand gun and aimed it towards us. He placed his finger on the trigger and pressed it.

I got startled as I heard the sound of the gunshot.

to be continued...