MY NAME IS AKA : EPISODES 1 – 10
BY AMAH’S HEART
My mother made me carry a load that’s more than my ability but I didn’t want to complain.
My head and neck hurt bâdly, I forged ahead untill I could no longer
I was too tired while coming back that I decided to take a rest beside the small bushy road.
My mother met me resting under a large palm plantation
“You’re resting here, when I thought you’re already at home, I hope you’re not lazy because your father and I are not lazy people. Your siblings are very strong and can even run down with their loads…”
“Mummy, I just want to rest a little. The distance is much and the bag of cassava is too much for me..”
“Shút up your mouth! come and assist me bring down my own load, so that I can rest too..”
I helped her carry hers down.
She sat heavily on the ground after spreading the small wrapper she used in carrying the big bag of cassava.
She heaved tiredly
“…Chinaza and Nneka, do you remember them? They are your mates, they used to carry double of this bag of cassava and once they enter road with their load well secured on their head, you won’t see their back, they will speed up until they get home. your brothers even Amara carry more than this, you’re here complaining. It seems that the city made you very lazy…”
My mother kept ranting, I was getting sick listening to her compare me to many others children that can do way better than me.
I told her that I was done resting, I stood and got ready to carry my bag and run away from her
She asked me to help her first, as we lifted her load to her head, just then another woman, who happens to be her friend, mama Ebere dropped the firewood she went to bring from her farm immediately she saw my mother.
They began to talk, doing their small gossip
Mother dropped back her own bag on the ground.
They talk and laugh out loud
I felt relieved that atleast mama Ebere will distract my mother from comparison talk.
I told her that I was going, she said I should run along, she wasn’t done resting and I can see she was talking with somebody.
With her assistant, I carried my heavy bag of cassava and Left her sitting there and talking with Mama Ebere.
Although the cassava was way too much for my tiny neck but I kept going
My legs were knocking on each other, my back aches, my neck has pressed down to my shoulder.
My entire body hurt bâdly, both of my hands were on the bag, I held onto it tight.
My eyes were clouding up, i was still few distance away before home.
I can no longer carry on
I’m going to faint if I don’t drop the heavy bag.
Without a care if the cassava will pieces or not, I threw it off my neck and fell on top of it trying to catch my breath and to gather the strength that have already gone out of me.
“Jesus Christ! I screamed silently
I lay there breathing hard.
“Nnem kedu..” (how’re you my lady?) someone greeted
I turned and saw that it was one of the village rich hunter, Uka with his friend, Mazi Dike
“O di mma” (I’m alright) Good evening sir..” I replied.
“You’re the daughter of Peter, the one that returned from the city? Mazi Dike asked
“Chineke! (God!) You’ve grown into womanhood. A small girl of yesterday..’
“Yes o Mazi Dike, she’s the same age with Chinwe my daughter…”
“Eeh! She’s tall, robust and round, towering Chinwe. Nawa oo, she’s a big girl now..”
“She have her father’s height and her mother’s endowment, her mother is well endowed, that must’ve been the reason Peter fell for her..”
They both began to laugh
I sat on my cassava bag with my hands resting on my jaw, staring seriously at the two adult humans who wants to use me and do analysis.
I can hear my mother’s voice coming with her friend from afar.
I don’t want her to meet me there
I quickly stood, folded the wrapper round and small before placing it on my head.
“She has her mother’s fine face and her father’s long legs…”
“Peter is equally fine, is just that he can use his little change to eat ngwogwo and drink Kai Kai..” Uka added
I stood, waiting for them to notice that I was still among them and quit talking about my family.
“Three weeks ago, we really enjoyed in his hand. Everyday he goes to Mama joints pepper soup shop, he will buy bush meat for everybody with cold Goldberg, just the way I like it..”
“Not just you, Nduka also told me he enjoyed from Peter’s giveaway. I was only opportuned once in the giveaway, I took the goat meat pepper soup and palm wine. I called him and ask him why he was spending too much money, carelessly, everyone kept hailing him and with the way they were hyping him, he’s pocket was going empty..”
“… did you know what he told me? he said I shouldn’t worry about his spending because there’s more from where the money came from. He said to me that his daughter came back with dollar. He changed the money and hide some money inside his old unused shoe so that no one will even suspect that money is there..” Uka said quietly to Mazi Dike who began to chuckle loudly..
“He’s such a foøl to disclose that, what if it gets into the wrong ear and he was robbed…
“…I hope is not stolen money. With all that you said about this Peter’s daughter, is possible she stole the dollar, I hope the owner wouldn’t come looking for it and Peter will have to vømit every dime he ate. I also hope he doesn’t come knocking on my door and asking me and everyone to pay for the drinks and meat he bought for us.
” I heard that the people that his daughter live with in the big city are very wealthy and they paid him huge amount of money when they brought her back..” Uka said
“Why did they brought her back..? Mazi Dike asked inquisitively.
“She was becoming stubborn. You know, when they ask her to do things she will rather go to meet with her friends. She almost kílled one of their rich family friend and even planned to run away after doing that but they found out and send her home..”
“That’s very bad. Children of nawadays, terrible. With this her innocent face, one wouldn’t know that she’s akpi (scørpion). How did you know all of this..?
“Whenever Peter is drunk, he talks too much. Both the reasonable and unreasonable ones…”
“…Ego and her husband really wanted to help her, they even sent her to a big man school, they use to send money to Peter every month end. did you know Ego is Peter’s distance cousin, I think from his mother’s side. Is unfortunate, now this one is back to the village to suffer…” Uka added.
“People use to say that “you don’t know what you’ve until you loose it”. She has lost paradise that many young girls are looking for because of stubbornness. I wish others will learn from her mistake…”.
I almost burst into tears but I kept swallowing hard as they finally helped me lift my cassava to my head.
I can hear my mother shouting at me and calling me lazy as she saw the men helping me with my load.
My mother began telling the men that I have already rested more than five times on the road
They all began to laugh.
That’s a big exaggeration because is only twice not upto five times.
It was very annoying
I pretend like I can’t hear her.
I have heard enough gossip from Uka and Mazi Dike, it will last me a life time.
They didn’t even pretend, mince words and consider the fact that I was standing right there and can hear them very clear.
I sobbed quietly as I walked home with my heavy load.
Right there and then I knew I can’t stay in that house or in that village for long.
I need to find my way out of this village, even if it means searching for the remaining money in my father’s old and worn out shoe as one of the men mentioned, I will have to steal some of the money and run away from this place
Everything and everyone is chóking me. I can’t breathe in here
I’m done pretending and hoping in vain.
READ ALSO : BLUE MAID
MY NAME IS AKA : EPISODES 1 – 10
TO BE CONTINUED
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