‘No, I saved your life for free. I need to go now’ he bowed before her and disappeared.
Queen of Queens – Episode 4
‘We have to head back to the palace, Obot’ Afiama said to the princess but Obot was too lost in thought as she stared after the man that had saved her life.
‘He is so handsome’ the princess smiled as she watched his back. His legs were firm and hairy and she yearned to have a feel of them.
‘Princess, we have to go now’ Afiama repeated.
‘I am truly sorry for what happened, I put us in danger by leaving the palace without my guards’ Obot apologized to her friend.
‘You don’t need to, we have to report this incident to your father, the men must be found and brought to book’ Afiama suggested.
Obot agreed with her friend but there was something odd about the men, their Annang dialect was different from that of the Kingdom of Ajop.
‘I agree with you friend, but I don’t think those men are from our Kingdom’ the princess replied.
‘What took you so long my love’? Mma had grown a little worried but she had not taken his advice, she decided to wait for him.
‘It’s a long story, we must hurry now, before the rain traps us in the forest’ Ono quickly gathered the wrapper and the calabashes into his raffia bag.
‘I really enjoyed your soup, thank you very much’ she smiled and touched his shoulder.
‘I am glad you liked it, now hurry, we must go’ he pressed her cheeks with his hands.
He decided in his heart to tell her about the event with the Princess and her attackers when next they met; he didn’t want to terrify her by telling her he hd killed a man.
Once they reached the entrance of the forest, they kissed each other and decided to part ways.
‘When shall I see you again my love’? She smiled at him.
‘When the moon shines on the morrow, I would come and take you away’ Ono returned her smile.
They gazed at each other, reluctant to part ways, but they needed to.
‘I’ll miss you’ she gave his hands a squeeze.
You’re reading: Queen of Queens – Episode 4
‘I love you my darling’ he kissed her hand and walked away abruptly.
All the pain that her step mother had inflicted on her returned as she neared home; now Ono, the light in her dark world had left her, she was left again with the pain of reality.
She engaged herself in a song he had thought her, a song he told her to sing whenever she felt sad.
As she neared her father’s compound, she noticed a lot of people were gathered, her heart raced, had something bad happened to her father? Had something happened to her step siblings?
She quickened her pace till she reached the large compound.
Immediately she stepped into the compound, all the people that gathered turned on her, she could see hate and grave judgment in their eyes, what was happening?
‘There she is! There is the shame, you call daughter’ her step mother jumped to her feet and pointed an accusing finger at her.
Mma’s heart raced, had they discovered her relationship with Ono? What was really happening?
Her eyes strayed to her step siblings, Eka and Ekpo, but they avoided her gaze.
‘Good evening father’ she bent her knee.
Her father ignored her and snapped his hands at a little boy ‘come forward Unwana’.
‘Is this the maiden that stole from you’? Her father asked the boy.
‘Yes. On my way to the market, she beat me up and seized the cowries that I was given by my mother’ the little boy replied.
‘I said it! I knew she was a thief, but not this big a thief’ her step mother hissed angrily and dropped a clay pot she had found in Mma’s room, filled with cowries.
‘You are such a disgrace Mma, from this moment, you cease to be my daughter’ her father released a myriad of curses upon her.
‘No! Father please, hear me out, I am innocent, I can explain where the cowries came from’ she sobbed and rolled on the ground.
‘Explain? Oh, you cannot even deny it’ her step mother drew nearer to her and launched her, a resounding slap.
Mma quickly jumped to her feet, dazed by the pain that stung her cheeks, even more confused by the accusation; how could they accuse her of theft?
‘Unwana, please tell them the truth, I did not steal from you, why are you lying’? Tears streamed down her cheeks as she stared at the little boy.
‘Shut up! You cursed child, you stole from my son, now I must have my cowries back’ the boy’s mother came to his defense.
How could she explain to them that the cowries belonged to Ono? He had dropped every penny he had saved for their marriage with her and she had kept it in her little hut?
She scanned the faces of the men and women that had gathered and she saw that none was willing to vindicate her; she had no one to speak for her.
She wished Ono was here, maybe he could say something to absolve her of this accusation.
You’re reading: Queen of Queens – Episode 4
Fear gripped her as she stared at her father’s merciless eyes, she knew the punishment for theft; thieves were always buried alive or left in the evil forest to die off.
If her own father could abandon her, then there wasn’t any hope for her.
‘If you are not a thief, where did you get the cowries from’? Her step mother asked.
She couldn’t tell them, they wouldn’t believe her; her response was silent groaning and a river of tears that splashed down her cheeks.
“She is guilty and must be reported to the King for judgment”! One of the men cried in an angry voice.
“Yes! All thieves must be brought to book, last night, my farmland was raided and all the tubers of yam were uprooted, no thief should be shown mercy” another added.
‘Very well then, take her to the King’s palace, I renounce her as my blood, you’re free to do to her whatsoever that you please’ her father rose to his feet and retreated into his hut.
‘Father please! I am innocent! Please have mercy’ Mma cried but it was too late, the people dragged her and attached leaves to her wrapper.
‘Please’! Tears poured down her face as she stared at her step mother and siblings.
“Thief! Thief’! The people chanted and dragged her towards the king’s palace.
‘Mother, are you sure we are doing the right thing’? Eka moved closer to her mother.
‘Yes. Now she is out of the way, you both can inherit all your father’s vast lands and properties’ a mischievous smile crept on her lips.
‘And the boy? How sure are you that he wouldn’t spill our secret’? Eka asked.
‘I’ll take care of him’ Ekpo struggled to his feet.
‘You seem hurt, are you okay’? His mother noticed her son was limping.
‘No, I hurt myself while working on the farm, I really have to sleep now’ Ekpo yawned and left for his hut.
To be continued….
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