Hi Everyone, this is could be read as a “stand alone story” but is also a continuation of The Postponed Wedding. If you can, read it here first. Thank you!
Obinna walked down the narrow path that led to Ichie Obika’s compound. It was the eve of his igba nkwu and he was going over to his future father-in-law’s house to make sure that everything was ready. Nnamdi his younger brother walked behind him carrying the keg of palm wine they planned to present to Ichie Obika. They both walked in silence, Obinna was deep in thought. He was happy to see that this day had finally come. He thought about the day he had come to Ichie Obika for the first time to ask for Ogechi’s hand in marriage, Ichie Obika was a proud man and he had feared that they would be turned away but was overjoyed when he and his father had been welcomed into his Obi to begin laying plans for the ceremony.
Nothing could have prepared him for the events that followed, his father had died mysteriously the day after the arrangements were struck and his mother and only sister Amaka had succumbed to kitipka in the years that followed. Okoro’s household once lively and bustling with activities had been reduced to graveyard and a place of mourning. After the death of their mother and sister, Obinna, blinded by his grief had gone to Ichie Obika to call off the planned marriage. He believed the evil that had befallen his father’s house was as a result of his planned union with Ichie Obika’s daughter. Ichie Obika had been very understanding of his circumstance and laughed it off even helping Obinna bury his dead.
“There is no one in your place that will not be driven to madness by the grief you have had to endure, for that reason I will disregard everything you have just said to me”
He ordered his laborers to go with Obinna and help prepare Mazi Okoro’s compound for the burial.
Obinna had not expected Ichie Obika to be so calm and tolerant, he was known for his pride. It immediately quenched the fire that raged inside him and prompted him to apologize to Ichie Obika.
Everything changed after that day, Obinna started to work toward completing the quest he had begun with his father, he started to see Ichie Obika as a father and would often come to him for help and for advice.
Nnamdi was not as tolerant but who could blame him? He had been the one to discover their father’s lifeless body on the farm. In her last days Amaka had called out to him severally but he couldn’t go to her because she had been marked for death by kitipka. She died calling out to Nnamdi, he was convinced that the evil that had befallen them was from Ichie Obika.
“This family has brought this upon us brother, I can not say how but I am certain that they are to blame”
Obinna had cautioned him repeatedly, he was not to say anything disrespectful to Ichie Obika but to express gratitude for his kindness and understanding.
Today as they walked to Ichie Obika’s compound Obinna couldn’t help but wonder if things might have turned out differently for him had he chosen another bride. He tried to focus his thoughts on the event at hand but found himself thinking about Nnamdi’s words.
His mind took him to the story of Ginika, everyone called her Ada mmili. She was a beautiful lady with eyes that shown like the rivers on a sunny day. The story goes that each time a suitor came close to becoming her husband he would mysteriously lose all he had or die. After about a dozen men had tried to no avail, her father sought help from the eze mmuo, it was revealed that she was to become the ezenwanyi of the river goddess ogbuide. She was to spend her days unmarried and living in the shrine of ogbuide.
“what if Nnamdi has been right all along, what if this is a curse? Maybe I will be the next one to die” Tufi akwa!
He had loved her deeply 10 years ago when he had first set out to marry her but with all that had happened over the years, he had not had a chance to think about love. She had waited for him, as beautiful as she is, she had decided to wait for him and that was all that mattered. The sound of the igba and the oja drifted towards them, they were now almost at Mazi Obika’s compound. Mazi Obika had once again gathered the umunna for a celebration. There was no turning back now, it had to be done. Obinna let out a long sigh as he walked into the compound.