In Umeuke village, virgin maidens who clock 18 are taken to the shrine of Ohamiri the river goddess, and the priestess choose a girl from among them, to be consecrated to Ohamiri, she lives for the goddess, and cannot be married, or defiled by any man. When it was time for the festival where the maidens would be presented to the goddess, all the maidens decorated their bodies, their families were proud to have daughters involved in the festival, and if their daughter was chosen to be consecrated to the goddess they jubilated for days to come, everybody but Obianuju’s mother, Aneke.
Obianuju was the most beautiful girl in Umueke, when she was born, many families wanted her to be betrothed to their sons, but the mother refused, she wanted her only child to marry who she loved. Where ever Obianuju went, people complimented her beauty; her caramel skin shone like molten gold, her black hair was always in artistic braids, and her small waist supported ample buttocks carried by long, shapely legs. When she smiled she dazzled people with her small gap teeth. Aneke dreaded the day her daughter would be eighteen and be presented, before the village to the river goddess, Obianuju was her only daughter, her pride and joy, a life of servitude to the goddess was not what she envisioned for her daughter. So when the day of the festival arrived, she decorated Obianuju’s body with fear in her heart.
Obianuju: “nne’m, why are you wearing that face” Obianuju asked
Aneke: “Achalugo’m, my pride, I have plans for you, and being a slave to ohamiri is not one of them” her mother replied
Obianuju: “Mother, do you know the blessings that will follow our family if I am chosen?”
Aneke: “Shut up your mouth, you don’t know what you are saying”
Obianuju: “Mother …..” Obianuju began to say
Aneke: “If I hear pim” her mother interrupted her, her face contorted in anger. “You do not know what you say” Aneke whispered, to herself.
This was days before she had been chosen as Ohamiri servant; she remembered this with a broken heart. Her family was devastated, her mother had left the village and yet Obianuju could not question the gods, she had been taught from the cradle that the gods were always right, and their will must prevail.
Nwokoye, Obianuju’s father soon found a new wife in the next village. One day, he was sitting outside his house eating Onugbu, which his wife had prepared, when Emeka came to see him.
Emeka: “Mazi Nwokoye, Nde wo” he greeted
Nwokoye: “Emeka, I heard you came back from overseas, welcome”
Emeka: “Thank you Sir”
Nwokoye: “Obiagelli, bring me some fresh palm wine”
He shouted to his wife, then turned to Emeka, and asked.
Nwokoye: “What brings you to my house, did your father send you?”
Emeka: “No, I came on my own. It is about your daughter”
Nwokoye: “I am afraid my wife has not conceived yet, I have no daughter”
Emeka was taken aback by his reply, he began to stutter.
“Young man, what is your problem, stop stuttering and tell me your mission in my house”
Emeka: “Obianuju is the reason i have come, I want to marry her”
Nwokoye burst into a fit of laughter, which turned hysterical, and soon he was crying. Emeka had not seen a man break down so shamelessly, he was confused on how to proceed.
Nwokoye: “My son, Obianuju is no longer mine, she belongs to Ohamiri now. If only you had come sooner, but now, it cannot be done” Nwokoye said soberly
Emeka:“I want to marry her, and if she agrees, I will. I could not care less, about Ohamiri”
Nwokoye: “why do you want to bring calamity to your family and our land. Now, leave my house, my hands are off, I will not be involved in this sacrilege” Nwokoye said and left the food he was eating, into his house. The next day, Emeka drove his father to their plantation, there, he saw Obianuju by the bank of the river, washing clothes, and she brightened, when she saw him.
Obianuju: ”Mazi udo, Nde Wo” she greeted
Emeka’s Father: “Obianuju, Nwanyi Oma, is the goddess happy today?”
Obianuju: “Yes she is”
Emeka: “Father, Obainuju is the girl I want to marry; I will like the marriage rites to be performed as soon as possible”.
Emeka’s Father: “Tufiakwa, arueme! “his father screamed, he looked from Obianuju to his son, and left the place in a hurry, shouting and agitating as he went.
“Emeka, what is this thing you say. Do not let it come out of your mouth again” Obianuju said, with fear in her eyes
Emeka: “Obianuju, you are my destiny, I have been searching for a woman my heart will recognize, and you are that woman”
Obianuju: “How can I be your destiny, then destiny has gone mad. The servant of Ohamiri cannot marry”!
Emeka: “Let me take you out of this village, this backward habitat, you are a very intelligent girl, you can be so much more. You were born for a purpose.” Emeka said earnestly.
Obianuju: “You sound just like my mother, can you not see that my purpose is to serve Ohamiri? The gods do not lie. They are not blind”.
Emeka: “Do you love me?” Emeka asked, his eyes were fierce, he sounded like his life depended on that question. Obianuju was surprised that Emeka would ask that, their friendship was platonic, but she could not deny the fact that, the friendship had grown beyond platonic. Emeka was the foremost thought on her mind from sunrise to sunset. Many times she had envisioned her life, with Emeka in it, far away from this village and Ohamiri. But she thought to herself, that this was a dream that would never come through.
Obianuju: “Emeka, I love you, but my feelings are not important. We cannot dare the goddess, calamity will befall us”
Emeka: “I can make our dreams come true, trust me” Emeka said and held her in a warm embrace.
Maiden Udoka: “Arueme”! a voice shouted. The couple pushed themselves apart and turned to see a maiden, with a water pot in hand.
“Obianuju, do you want to bring calamity to our land?”
Obianuju: “Udoka, it is not what you think” Obianuju said
Maiden Udoka: “I know what I saw, instead of you to leave this handsome Emeka to us, who have no responsibilities to the gods, you are chasing him. The village must hear this”
Emeka: “Young lady, you should not go poking your nose into other people’s business. As much as I do not care if you talk, I care about Obianuju and until she gives her consent, I want this under wraps. How much is your silence?”Emeka asked colly.
Udoka: “I cannot be bought” Udoka replied eyeing them both.
Emeka: “Few humans can really boast of that, we all have a price. How much?”
Udoka: “Marry me, and no one will know about this” Udoka said emphatically.
Emeka: “I will not”! Emeka exclaimed and took Obianuju’s hand.
Udoka: “Then the both of you will be destroyed, a waste if you ask me”
Obianuju: “He will marry you” Obianuju said, unshed tears clouded her vision, her heart constricted with pain, but she knew, it was the right thing to do.
“Emeka, these past weeks have been the best days of my whole existence. But we are not meant for each other. if you love me as I love you, you will marry Udoka and save us the shame. I am afraid, instead of carrying Ohamiri in my heart, I will carry you in my heart , till the day I die” Obianuju said, and ran, as the tears began to fall. She ran all the way to the shrine, her tears falling like rain. A strange thing happened though, the sky suddenly turned dark, it was darkness at noon time, and rain began to fall, as much as Obianuju cried, so the sky cried. The villagers scurried into their houses, leaving their wares at the market unattended.
Question: Will Emeka agree to marry Udoka? Have they committed a taboo by professing their love for each other? What will be their fate?
…. SEE Episode 3 Below (You don’t want to miss this!)
SEE Episode 13
EXCLUSIVELY from ADELOVE.COM
(All Rights Reserved… Copyright!)