POSTED 01/06/2018 07:49:48
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...I jumped out of the mat in fear. I think that frightened him as he began crying aloud like I had hit him. It took some time for me to muster enough courage to return back to the bed”.
"That must be scary and cold" Ego said eyes goggled with surprise and fear.
"Since we are talking about reincarnation, let me tell you a story".
Ego kept mute but nodded signaling a go ahead.
"When Amuwa my cousin was born, the chief priest was invited by the child's father to come identify who reincarnated as their son. The Dibia after laying out all the objects needed for the consultation asked Azuka the child's mother to sit and carry her baby on her laps; while a raw egg was placed on the child's right palm. The dibia went ahead and said some uncommon incarnations before commencing to ask the child who he returned as?
"E wu Okoro?" the dibia asked. Nothing happened.
"E wu Okonkwo?" he inquired again and yet nothing happened. He went on asking as the parents provided names of late family members; yet nothing happened. Then the grandmother suggested a name and immediately the dibia inquired from the child whether he came back ask the mentioned name, the egg shattered violent as the child began crying and did not stop till consoled by the grandmother.
When Amuwa was four years of age, grandmother came visiting. Immediately Amuwa saw her, he ran over to welcome her shouting on top his voice "Mma! Mma! Mma!" These were his first words. She carried him up and he whispered something into her ears. These words brought tears to her old eyes. When asked later on why she shed tears when Amuwa came to welcome her, she decided for the first time to share with us the story of the strange man who our cousin came back as.
"Long time ago, when our grandmother Nnenne was still young, wild and beautiful. One beautiful day, she was returning from the stream, when suddenly a stranger jumped out from the bush and startled her; her clay pot fell and broke. Nnenne quick to anger didn't wait to hear from the innocent man, she landed him a dirty slap. Which she quickly regretted because you can't slap a man for any reason and walk away without him returning the favor to avoid being a laughing stock to his age mates. The young man with his palm gently romancing the affected cheek, forced the most beautiful smile Nnenne said she had seen and apologized for his wrong; promising to follow her home and explained what transpired between them to her parents.
True to his words, the stranger did exactly as he said though the journey home was a quiet and eerie one. When they got to her father's house, he apologized and was forgiven by her parents and left after bidding her goodbye. Once he was gone, her father warmed her never to go near him again as he was an Osu.
That night as Nnenne lay on her mat, she thought of all that has happened that evening and was filled with regret and remorse. Why did she slap him? He didn't deserve that slap, why was she always quick to anger. Osus are usually not kind to Dialas, why didn't he return the slap? Why was he kind to me? She wondered before making up her mind to ask for his forgiveness next she sees him.
Eight days after, Nnenne was returning from the stream when she saw him approaching from a far, holding hand with another girl about her own age. Immediately he saw her, he excused the maiden and slowly walked over wearing a beautiful smile. Nnenne said the smile made her heart skip a beat. She wasted no time in apologizing for her wrong the last time they met. He introduced himself as Nwosu and the girl as Ogadimma, his younger sister. Adding that she was the one he wanted to startle as she claimed not to be afraid of anything.
They spent so much time getting to know each other as every other thing faded in the background, their social classes disappeared into tiny air; it didn't matter whether they were from different worlds, everything seem to be perfect. After all, true love doesn't care about Osu and Diala. That was how Nnenne and Nwosu love story began; they began seeing each other in odd places at odd times, hiding from the rest of the world. They were not really good at hiding it because soon it was no longer news that they were seeing each other.
Her father kept warning her to stay away from Nwosu; that he was bad news and nothing more; that their love will bring nothing but calamity upon their noble family. He even went a step further to threaten that he would disown her if she continued seeing that osu; all of these fell on ears covered with the beautiful music of love. Nwosu's parents were no different; they too wanted nothing to do with dialas to avoid the wrath of the gods upon their household. They also warned their son asking him to abandon Nnenne and look for an Osu like himself and get married to but as expected he didn't listen.
About twenty Igbo weeks after, these two have become inseparable with thoughts that they are invisible to the rest of the world, it became clear they were not when Nnenne's father went to attack Nwosu's family in search of him with a machete. The lovers met in their secret hide out the next day and decided to make love for the first time to further prove to the world and the gods that nothing is going to come in between them. After the gratifying action, they agreed to elope to another far away village with no diala and osu, where everyone is free to get married to whoever they love. There they agreed to meet at the same spot the next morning before the sun rises, from where they will begin their journey to the promise land.
Nnenne left him that evening after a heartfelt goodbye, all smiles and extremely excited. Her dreams were about to become a reality. She has been suggesting they run away but he refused saying he doesn't want to leave Ogadimma behind as she declined running with them. But that attack on his family changed everything. He had just made her the happiest woman in the world.
She got home that evening and quickly did everything that was expected of her. While in her room, she hurriedly packed all her belongings and lay on her mat forcing herself to sleep. After the second cock crow, she sneaked from home not minding the danger that could lie ahead as it was not yet dawn to their hideout, waiting for her lover to show up but he never did.