Saturday 20 May 2017

My Best Birthday (Short Story)

I rolled on my bamboo bed and closed my eyes, pretending I was asleep. It was my birthday and I felt very bad. I was still not chosen in the maiden dance which meant that I wouldn’t get married.
The maiden dance was used to seek husband. That was my sixth maiden dance and probably my last because I couldn’t afford to get disgraced again
“Remi, get up you lazy bones and fetch water”. My mother shouted from the living room.
“Mama, I’m having fever. I can’t go to the stream today”. It was a ploy to not go to the stream because the girls will use me as an object of ridicule.
“On your birthday? You have to manage so that I can prepare your favourite dish okay?”
“Oh…Mama…okay, I’m going”. I took the gourd and set to the stream. As I had imagined, the girls laughed immediately they saw me.
“Remi…Monster…the ugly girl who no man likes". They laughed and danced mockingly.
“Omowunmi the big teeth. I’m even better than you who is married to an epileptic husband. You better mind your business before I drag those big teeth of yours”.
“Eh! Are you talking to me?” She screamed and we started to fight as the girls cheered instead of separating us.
I tore her cloth and she broke my gourd.
“You broke my gourd? Ah! Mama will kill me”.
I forgot about the fight and left the stream in tears.
The village had decided to take me to the Coventry since I had no husband. I would be in another world, unable to see nature and the wonderful changes in the village.
I went into the woods just to get a last view of nature. I felt peaceful and still sober watching the green grasses and lovely trees dance in wonderful motion to the movement of the wind.
I cried till I could no more. It was getting dark and I didn’t notice the presence of a man watching me from behind.
“Are you done?” I heard the voice from behind and I was scared. I turned to see the presence of a very handsome man with very dark skin.
He was a member of the village and I recognized him well; a son to one of the chiefs and the one everyone adored and respected.
“You’re too beautiful to sit here and cry for a whole day. What’s wrong with you?” He walked toward me and sat, as I narrated my remorseful story to him.
He was deeply touched and I loved everything about him. He was the first person to tell me I was beautiful and who cared to listen to my funny story.
“Do you mind getting married this year?” he asked.
“That’s my biggest dream…but to whom?”
“To me”. He grinned and I gasped.
“I would love to”. I said happily.

Everything happened so sudden. My worst birthday turned out to be my best and I was going to the Coventry again. I was getting married to one of the most respected man in Ilu Elewe!


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