POSTED 04/17/2018 14:08:33
"Maamaa! Mamaa! Guess what mama... Guess guess guess!" Oluchi was brimming with excitement and it was spilling out in droves.
Her usually stern mother took one look at her daughter's face and turned on the wooden stool. You could taste the gossip that was about to be shared in the air. Just ripe for plucking this period that there were no festivals.
"What has happened Ada'm? Quickly, spill the beans!" Oluchi finally remembered that her pot of water was still placed on her temple so she motioned for her mother to assist in putting it down.
Oriaku held on to the pot and hefted it down even as she kept asking her daughter to hurry up with the juicy reveal. Oluchi dragged a second stool and sat near her mother so they could continue with cooking and still talk.
"Mama you won't believe what is happening at all! The whole village is shaking nne!"
"Enough with the theatrics and tell me what is going on Oluchi! Do you want me to hit your head with this ladle?"
"Sorry na nne. It's just that it's really good news! When I got to the river ehn, I met my friends talking about Ebere mama! Mama... Ebere is pregnant!" Oluchi was practically dancing with glee when she completed her little tale.
Her mother on the other hand, was trying not to cackle and had to bend her head for a while before giving up.
"It's a lie! Tell me it's a lie! That posturing and pandering peacock?"
"Mama it is very true! Her cousin confirmed it. She is pregnant!"
"Eeeei! So even the great Ebere can actually spread her legs for a man? Who is responsible sef?"
"Mama that is the sweetest part chai! The one who got her pregnant is Emeka!"
"Palm wine tapper!" The last sentence was jointly said by the two women in a half shout.
Two women, old and young, one married and living for her family. The other itching to get married and control her own house too, it was a wonder how they kept their relationship peaceful and happy.
"Do you know what this means mama? It means that Ikemefuna will now have eyes for only me!"
"My daughter you're right! No time to waste time oh. Chai... How the mighty have fallen. The great Ebere has fallen!"
The scene which held two women gloating at the sudden change in the female community's equilibrium gradually began to fade. The shrill hoots of owls and the crickets going about their business added to the beautiful and surreal sounds of nature. Surely this was a beautiful night. But not for Ebere.
A figure sat outside a hut, a little distance away from the other persons gathered in a little huddle. She had blazing fair skin that shined beautifully even when caressed by the waning moon. Her hair was a brown hue that was unique among the maidens of the village. Tonight it shone black as it was flayed all over her face.
Her eyes that normally twinkled mischievously were even glistening more than usual this night. She was crying. She was obviously Ebere. Just in case our readers were getting confused.
Ebere's heart was in deep turmoil. Her anguished sniffling was made more embarrassing by the fact that beads of sweat were coating her forehead. Right now, she couldn't give a hoot if Ikemefuna was to appear in her front. Who was she kidding? Not now that she had made the greatest mistake of her life in allowing Emeka persuade her to do it.
"He told me that if we did it then he would not bother me again. But why am I deceiving myself? I obviously did it because I love the bastard even though father does not approve."
Lost in the past and the sobs receding, Ebere's lips began to curve upwards as a ghost of a smile emerged upon her face. She was thinking about the handsome dark-skinned rogue who had stolen her heart. How he was always cocky and assured.
How he had come to the compound today to "confirm" that he was the one responsible. How he had refused to run when papa had threatened to cut his head off with his machete, instead he had walked out peacefully saying he would be back with his people.
As Ebere wondered at his confidence, she began to wonder if she had really lost anything here. Sure, he might have been a lowly palm wine tapper but he had land that he was too busy to farm. With him working the trees and she controlling the farms, maybe she was actually lucky.
As for the villagers, the memories would always fade away for a while. No one remembered Chief Ugonna had been caught copulating with a goat anymore.
Okay, maybe almost no one. Heart became resolved as she decided to pressure mama into convincing her father to let her and her love be together. With him, even hell itself was the pinnacle.
"Ebere might have fallen, but I will rise for sure." Her hand crept downwards to cup her slightly distended stomach and she smiled.
In that instance, Ebere looked more beautiful than ever.
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