Happy Easter to everyone. I always love Easter because after all the 40 days of solemn preparation, I can shout again (and of course eat food :) ). The weather was beautiful today this week and I took this picture of the cherry blossoms in this post, My last Bella Naija published story can be found here if you missed it and some people were asking for my previously made video, you can also find that here. Today, I decided to write a story that I hope many can relate with, so enjoy:
“Ah-di-ah, Ada bekee!” Uche called out to Adaobi; She pretended not to hear him. “Ada-amaka; fine girl! Sweet baby, i di complete (you are complete)!” He was referring to the size of her bust and bottom. She placed her calabash, filled with water that she had just fetched from the stream, on her head and began to walk away from him as quickly as she could. But Uche continued to call out “I must marry you! 17, 18, 19, gbe-ge-dem!” he sang, according to the rhythm of her hips as she walked. She wished that he would stop as he was causing more unwanted attention towards her and the village boys passing by were smiling at her but she knew that he would not so she continued to ignore him and walked faster.
Ada, short for Adaobi, was one of the most desired women in the village; not only because of her looks but also because she was known to be a great dancer, very hardworking and her mother never failed to brag about her cooking skills to her friends. Therefore, Ada had many nicknames from the villagers such as nwa mpete (cute child), Ada asa (beautiful Ada), Ada ocha (clean Ada, because of her fair skin), including Ada ego (Ada of money) which her father called her because he hoped to make good money from her bride price someday. Every girl wanted to be like her and wished they would get half of the attention that Ada received from men. Unlike the arrogance that would have become of many if in her shoes, Ada remained a humble girl and was neither flattered nor welcomed any of the advances that she received. Many men - rich and poor, famous and of royal descent, had come to ask for her hand in marriage from villages nearby and afar but she turned down their proposals. She promised herself that she would marry a man whom she knew would love her completely regardless of beauty or cooking skills as she did not want to end up like her best friend Ezinne who had married a rich man but was never happy.
Just like the other young and even old men in her village, Uche who was a well-known hunter, wanted to marry Ada. The feeling was certainly not mutual; in Ada’s eyes, Uche came across as over-confident, loud and far-off from being a gentleman. That was apart from his regular annoying catcalls and names he gave her whenever they crossed each other’s paths. She had warned him many times to stop calling her names and had once poured water angrily at him but her anger and warnings were in vain. In fact, it seemed like her attitude towards Uche had fueled his desire even more and whenever he saw her, he would shout even louder and declare his love for her. She tried to avoid him as much as she could but he had discovered her schedule and so somehow, whenever she was farming, Uche was also farming on the land next to her family’s even though it did not belong to him; when she went to the stream to fetch water, he was there holding a calabash that she was sure he never used; and when she was at the market selling some of her mother’s vegetables, he came around buying them all such that her mother became fond of him as he was a very good “customer”. Therefore, when Uche came with his uncle to ask for Ada’s hand in marriage, it was not surprising that her mother gave her support. Ada tried to express her skepticism about Uche to her mother but she would not understand. There was nothing wrong with a man who cooked vegetable soup often, her mother said but Ada knew very well that Uche had never cooked a pot of soup in his life. Her explanations concerning her doubt fell on deaf ears and in the end, she was advised to pray and hope for a sign from God.
It happened that on a fateful day, Ada was walking back home from the farm when two young men tried to molest her on the way. She screamed for help and thankfully, Uche quickly ran to her rescue. He fought them bravely while Ada ran away but as they were two men against him, he was beaten up badly. However, he had saved Ada and she showed her gratitude the next day by visiting him with some of her specially prepared meal. He was badly bruised and she felt a little bit guilty. That was the first time she had ever been to his house and she found him to be quite different from what she had expected. He was calm, kind and made intelligent conversations; maybe those men had beaten some temporary sense into his brain, she thought to herself as she went home and she was sure that he would be back to his usual arrogant ways once he recovered. To her surprise, he did not and even though she still felt like he was stalking her, he only smiled at her and did not call her names anymore. Although she felt relieved, a little part of her missed that ‘bad’ attitude of his.
Some weeks later, she was almost attacked by a snake along the riverside and again, Uche killed it swiftly with his hunting weapons but not before it bit him. He might have died but luckily, Ada had some expertise in expelling snake venom. After that, Ada and Uche became friends and quickly got married as she had gotten all the signs that she had asked for from God. Uche proved to be a wonderful husband to her, a loving father to their 2 beautiful children which she bore eventually and a kind son-in-law to her parents. He called her Ah-di-ah, which she had come to cherish and their love for each other was strong. His hunting was also successful and their marriage became an example of a perfect one for the villagers. They grew old together happily until Uche took ill. His illness progressed and he knew that he was going away soon. As he lay on his death bed while she sat by his side crying, he wondered whether he should tell her the truth now – about how he had arranged for the men to pretend like they were going to molest her although he had not expected them to beat him up that much since they were his friends or how he had set the snake loose the other day although he had not anticipated the bite. Either way, he had genuinely loved her and he did not want her love for him to fade away, not even when he died. So, he decided that some secrets were best taken to the grave and instead of a confession, his last words were “Ah-di-ah, Ada bekee!”
*Ada – first daughter
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It was beautiful when God created man; it was even more beautiful when He re-created us by dying for our sins and rising ~ Unknown