SORENESS IN HER SCAR
Awa is now happily married to Alumun. It is her first marriage after her marriage to Iorliam which was indeed a turbulent union. She had believed that she had now found her true missing rib. She had left Iorliam believing that they were not meant to be together since they couldn't make a perfect pair.
Mama Ashiwuese and her husband had asked her to 'sit down' and rest since she was still too young to chase after a man that cared little or not at all about her wellbeing. They concluded that it was unfair for their daughter to be treated like a dog in the hands of a careless man while they were still breathing. Aside from that, Iorliam was such a man who couldn't afford a 'shishi' to pay her bride price.
Awa had fallen for Iorliam just because of his skillful dancing steps. The day after Christmas brought Iorliam and his troupe to Awa's father's compound. He was a 'mami water dancer'. His dancing prowess was unequalled by all the dancers of his time. Many contests were organized to get him defeated but never had he kissed failure concerning dancing issues. These skills made Awa go 'gagaga' and had concluded within herself that she was going to marry Iorliam or no other person.
That same evening, Awa eloped sneakily like a prisoner in the hands of a warden to marry Iorliam. Many people who saw her on her way would stop her with heaps of pleas but she would always turn them a deaf ear, for her mind was already made up and no one could change it, not even her parents.
* * * *
"Alumun is an ideal husband," Awa confided to her bosom friend, Patience. Patience was glad that her friend had finally made the right choice this time that suited her soul. Indeed, Alumun was a God-fearing man. All women want these days is to marry God-fearing men so they can express their freedom to the fullest. Alumun had promised to do all that was right before God and to make his wife wear a smiling face always.
Out of Awa's husband's sanctity, the church suggested that he attend a seminary. To them, such humbled people like Alumun deserved to work in God's vineyard. At first, Alumun had wanted to resist this call, but too much pressure and persuasion from the Elders of his church and relatives defeated him and he succumbed to their will. The next day his form was brought to him to fill.
After a few years of religious studies, Alumun had completed his years of study. What was left for him was ordination. The NKST doctrines specified that one must be ordained before they be addressed as 'Rev.' Alumun, though a graduate now had to await his ordination to be officially brought into the Lord's presence as a minister of his words.
While he was still waiting to be ordained, the church saw the honesty in him and decided to honour him as the treasurer of the entire NKST Ikpaka. "He is a true vessel in the hands of the Lord." The communicants confessed.
Alumun had bound himself before the eyes of God and before the congregation in the house of God that he would not divorce and bring in another woman as his wife while Awa was still alive. Because Awa was his lawful wedded wife in all circumstances and doing otherwise was against the will of God Almighty.
* * * *
The wedding was such a festive gathering. There was a lot of food and drinks. Many people who came empty-handed left with polythene bags full of remnants. "The wedding was such a flamboyant one!" The people remarked.
It was barely a month after Alumun and Awa had said a public 'yes, I do' and the news traveled so fast to reach the ears of Iorliam, Awa's former husband. Iorliam became jealous when he got the news. One would agree that truly 'war ka a uma kpa yande na been ga.' He had planned to spoil matters for Awa and destroy her marriage. "I must set them apart." He vowed.
Both Awa and her husband were still swimming in the euphoria of their recent wedding and normalcy was obvious in all that they did. Indeed, marrying your choice is a key to building a happy home. "When you marry the right person you enjoy the dividends that come with marriage," Awa said silently to herself. Day and night, Awa used to pray fervently that her husband should remain the good man he was. According to her Alumun was the 'last good man on Earth.'
The day Iorliam stormed the couple's compound, his hands were armed with heavy weapons. He was on a mission to kill or be killed. Anyone who saw him coming would either run for their life or stand to fight a courageous fight. He was looking fiercer as if he had just descended from Mount Karagbe. Iorliam was used to living a wayward life since he was a drunkard and didn't really know shame.
Awa had divorced him with no regrets. But his presence in her faithful home reminded her of the mistake she had made while growing up. She had realized she didn't pray to God for a husband and that was why she went astray. It was as if there was a fresh wound in her old scar. "One's today has a strong affluence on one's tomorrow," she lamented in anguish. Today, the soreness in her scar had begun to hurt and harmed her peaceful marriage. It looked like some scars of 'yester-wounds' still in pain like fresh sores of today.
"In my next world, I will make no such mistakes again," she promised.
1. Shishi: The smallest amount of money.
2. Mami water dancer: A cultural dancer.
3. Gagaga: To go wild with sweet words of persuasion.
4. NKST: The dominant church in Tiv land.
5. War ka u a uma kpa yande na been ga: A Tiv saying that insists lovers forever remain lovers.
6. Karagbe: A mountain of evil in Tiv land.
dear death...i killed your shadow
i dreamt about death in my dreams/while on a quest to a far land/an adventure full of flammable fires & swallowing wind/to uncover the myth & mystery of death/to make known what shall kill death/when its mission expires/then i met an old man/who took my sight to an abode of skinless skulls/then i killed his soul sparing his life/i killed him with my clawsy fingers/yes i did/because he looked more deadly dangerous/than the DEATH my eyes haven't met before.
Kwaghkule Aondonengen Jacob, popularly known by his pen name "Mr Kvip," is a poet and a short story writer. His poems have appeared or are forthcoming in Praxis Magazine, The Best of Africa Magazine, Poemify Magazine, Sub-Saharan Magazine, Active Muse, Nantygreens, many local and international anthologies, and elsewhere. He is currently a student of English and Literary Studies at Federal University, Wukari, Taraba State, Nigeria.