The Good Ogbanje, chapter one ‘Ewo!’ Nne Owah exclaimed as she saw a shadow bearing a wood of fire towards the hut where she had lain on her daughter, naked. It will be a
‘Ewo!’ Nne Owah exclaimed as she saw a shadow bearing a wood of fire towards the hut where she had lain on her daughter, naked. It will be a taboo for another man to see her naked. She quickly stood and threw her wrapper around her.
‘Nne,’ called a voice.
It was her son-in-law. ‘Ah! Menum.’ She answered, still in shock. She wasn’t expecting anyone to come so late, the moon had already begun to die. Menum quenched his fire and dropped it to the side of the hut before walking in. Owah thought he was in tears, Ekwa had died 50 times in his home since he married her. Owah even thought that was few compared to when she was still with her. Menum must be a good husband, she had concluded.
Menum ran his eyes all over his wife who was still placed near a burning fire that had all sorts of leaves by it. The fire heats the leaves into producing different kind of smell now mixed together into an air no one would like to inhale inside the hut.
‘Alaka has done nothing today.’ Owah spoke from where she stood.
‘Give the spirits time to answer prayers Nne.’ Menum explained.
‘She is your first wife that is why I answer you and when shall you marry another? Oh my poor child.’ Owah began to weep.
Nne had just struck his head with a rock, Menum turned his head to Ekwa’s face. She was even darker than the cat-fish he killed in their rivers. He did not go that day, he went to Elinkwo to seek a herbalist. It was the same answer, she is an ogbanje and she must die soon to be with her other family in the land of the spirit. Something in Menum is even more surprised, ogbanje children do not even make it to the swearing in of age grades but Ekwa danced that day with her age mates with so much energy and joy and no matter how many times she had died, she still found favour in his sight, till the intercourse of their marriage night. Till she died again.
Menum knew in his heart that there are things that a man must not say but before he continues with further answers, he needed to tell Owah something,
‘I am just returning from Elinkwo, Nne Owah.’
‘Hmmm, I have been there before.’
‘Azoi the priest added that something is happening within her, has he told you that before?’
Nne Owah’s eyes widened, ‘something is happening, what could be happening?’
‘He did not say it. But you must know.’
‘Know what Menum, has anything happened to my child while in your compound?’ Owah was ebullient as she asked.
‘She is with a child!’
Owah thought she could not breathe. She flew to her daughter’s side. Her body was cold but still received breathing that could not be seen. She untied the wrapper that clung loosely to her skin.
She could not believe it. They could not believe it. Mother-in-law and son-in-law gaped in alarm at what they saw.
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