Mr Eze Ikedi Nnoli’s compand in the village kpom! Kpom! kpom! ” where is this girl, can’t you here that somebody is knocking come and open the door. Dinma from the back yard where she is cooking afternoon meal rushed in rubbing her wet hand at the back of her buttocks, apologising briskly and opening the door at the same time. Dede Kachi welcome, we have seat , thank you my daughter.” Go and get kola for my uncle,” you are welcome Dede. Dede has not reached his seat when he started talking as if so many words are fighting to come out from his mouth at the same time. He only managed to sit at the edge of the chair opposite Mr Nnoli ” is that our wife?”. Nnoli nodded with bride and just then Dinma came in with kola and presented it gracefully and left as if she was never there. After what looked like a moment of silence,
Dede cleared his throat and resumed the discussion. ” Nke a chapuru achapu, gba-agba na anya onwe ugo ka ibeya”.She is fair and elegant, some eagles are greater than their mates. He continued, ” but she is too young!, Did you kidnap her?”. Mr Nnoli laughed and called him Dede! Dede! I can see where your eyes are going to, if I catch you near her you will go blind. The both laughed blessed their kola and continued the merry discussion.
Meanwhile at the backyard Ijeoma the elder sister of Mr Nnoli is fuming with anger over the fact that her clothes are still unwashed since morning. If not that Mama came out with her walking stick, she would have torn Dinma alive. ” What is it Ijeoma?” Mama imagine! ” Nwatakari a just this small girl that Ikedi brought to this house is very lazy, she doesn’t know how to do anything, I don’t know if she has been sleeping all day and eating all day, look at the cloth I asked her to wash, they’re still where I left them, no home training, no respect for her senior, she should go home to her parents or I will take her back myself, so that she can learn simple home training. Mama kept shaking her head looking pitifully at Dinma who was pounding cassava now holding the pistle, clinging unto it as if it can save her. In her quite voice ” Ijeoma” why are you like this, are you talking about “Dinma” who had gone to farm this morning while it was raining, came back went to the stream in the next village came back and started preparing the meal you are about to eat, just take a this beautiful girl, she is well trained by her mother, very respectful, hardworking and neat. I don’t think she does half of what she does here in her father’s house.
Let me warn you, don’t send this good girl parking like your husband people sent you packing, meanwhile you are opposite of her that’s why you were sent packing “Mama! Mama! stop it o” I don’t like what you are saying, you know it’s not my fault, those people are miked.” My daughter the moment you start telling yourself the truth the better, please leave my Dinma alone. All these consolations did not even change Dinma decision her mind is made up.
The evening was cool because it was drizzling outside and Mazi Ode and his family where about to have dinner when there was a knock at the door. ” Who is there?” he managed to say before swallowing the ball of eba in his mouth. There was no reply. The wife washed her hand quickly and went to the door. ” Chimo! ” My God, Izu mu what is it. She quickly brought her in looking outside moving the lantern she was carrying left and right to see if there was anyone after her and closing the door almost immediately. Everyone was confused when Izu ignored all of them and straight to her mother’s food, barely did her hand touch the cloudy water the mother had used a while ego, she started eating larg balls of eba than her father’s.
To be continued?