Austin arrived Osonye’s village. He used the direction Ifeoma gave him and located Osonye’s compound. He did not enter the house direct. He first looked for the people within the community to enquire some things from them.
He went to a local bar and met an old man who gave his name as Okoronta
“Good day sir, please can I steal a little of your time?”
“There is no problem my son, you can sit down and enjoy the drink with me.” Okoronta replied
“Thank you sir” Austin appreciated, sitting down.
“Sir, my name is Austin Ezeife, I just arrived this village and I don’t know anybody here” Austin introduced himself as he asked the bar man to get more palm wine for them. He also asked them to bring some dry meat for them so that they will use it to enjoy the drink.
The old man smiled as the bar man brought more bottles of palm wine with ten pieces of dry meat.
“Erm, you say your name is what again?” Okoronta asked
“Its Austin sir, Austin Ezeife”
“OK, Austin, just ask me whatever you want me to do for you and I will do it” Okoronta said
“Hmm, Dee Okoronta, it’s not a big deal, I came because of marriage stuff. I saw a girl who I want to marry and she is from this village. So I’m doing some inquiries to know if her family is the kind of people I can become in laws with”
“Austin, you really came to the right village. All our daughters are humble and well to do. They make wonderful homes for their husbands.” The man praised.
“So I heard” Austin said
“Now tell me the name, who is this girl you want to marry, which family is she from?” Okoronta asked
“She came from Obiozor’s family” Austin replied
“Obiozor? Which girl in particular and what is the name of her father because Obiozor is a very big family”
“Erm…I really don’t know the name of her father but the girl’s name is Osonye”
“Immediately he called Osonye, the old man spat out the drink he had in his mouth, and stared into Austin’s eyes and said: My son, ijikwe anya gi (are you with your rightful senses) Why Osonye?”
“Dee Okoronta, I don’t understand, I only came to enquire about her family background before going ahead with the marriage” Austin replied
“My son, please run for your dear life before it is too late. Obiozors are good people but this particular girl you mentioned is the only rotten egg in their family, she does not want to become responsible with her life” Okoronta said
“Dee! can you please, make me understand better?”
“Austin, if you go ahead with the marriage, you will be the 4th man to be marrying her”
“Holy Moses! Dee Okoronta! You don’t mean it?”
“When she was still in secondary school, she kept messing around with old men until one of them named Okonkwo, the palm wine taper got her pregnant. Her family forced her into marrying the man. The man who already had two wives accepted her into his family but she does not like him. She ordered him to send her back to her father’s house, but he refused, but when she started threatening him to send her back or she abort the baby, then Okonkwo decided to take her back but still her own family refused to accept her in, that they won’t allow her bring shame to them by having a bastard at home, so Okonkwo had no other option than to take his wife back. But this evil girl went to a native doctor who gave her a portion to terminate the pregnancy. She returned home and proudly told the first husband that she had aborted the baby and this angered Okonkwo bitterly and he chased her out of his house.
Then her Second husband, was a young man who just returned from abroad, he was captured by her beauty, he married her off immediately disregarding the warnings from villagers on the type of girl she was, but he ignored them all.
But as usual, he was disappointed. He caught the same Osonye with his own father pants down having ……you know what I mean by that?” Okoronta asked Austin who was listening so attentively.
And he nodded.
Then Okoronta continued: “So that was the end of her second marriage” He said reaching for his wine cup, filling it with more palmy.
Austin then asked the bar man to bring more bottles.
After the Bar Man served them more bottles, he requested for Okoronta to continue.
“Dee Okoronta please continue”
Okoronta then cleared his throat and continued: “After she lost her second marriage, the next thing we heard was that she was pregnant. And the funny part was that she does not know the name of the man who got her pregnant. But according to a boy who caught them on the day it happened, she made out with the man inside a bush and that was the last time she saw him.
She took all sort of herbal drinks for the pregnancy to be terminated, but the baby disappointed her.
And then her third marriage, that one was based on charm. She used charm on one of the wealthiest man in our village. When Chief Ugwueze who is already married with 6 children was paying her bride price, the whole village was shocked. Everybody believed Ugwueze to be a loving man who cares for his family, why marrying a second wife? And Osonye for that matter? And this made some of Ugwueze’s brothers to believe that something was wrong somewhere. Because his sudden decision to marry Osonye was suspicious. And then they waited for the arrival of Osonye into their family. On the day of her arrival, they sprinkled salt at the entrance of their compound, that if Osonye was truly using something on their brother, that the thing will no longer be effective after she must have crossed the gate.
And indeed, their plan worked. As she was crossing the gate, the charm became noneffective and their brother became free and was even ashamed he went to marry a lowlife girl like Osonye and that was the end of her third marriage.” Okoronta narrated
Austin knocked his palms in disgust.
“What kind of a woman is that? She is a shame to womanhood” Austin said and became so anxious to break the news to Kanayo
“What of that her second pregnancy, what later happened to it?” Austin asked
“Yes, she later gave birth to a girl, and the mother named her Chioma.” Okoronta answered and continued: “That Osonye made her mother became a laughing stock among her fellow women. Tufia! May none of my generation be given such a child, she is an abomination…
The next thing we heard was that she had left the village to the city, some even said she got an admission to one of the universities and probably working in one big company. The last time we saw her, she came with a ride and was hanging her hand around with pride all over her, but nobody is interested in anything that concerns her anymore because she is a disgrace to our community. So my son, run for your dear life if you want to enjoy your life, that girl is not a woman you should consider marriage with.” Okoronta suggested
Austin who couldn’t wait to break the news to Kanayo rose from his seat, greeted Okoronta for the things he revealed to him. He also gave him N1,000 and collected his number from him.
“E…..h……e! Osonye, is this how you are? Kanayo, I pity your life if you should go ahead with this marriage” Austin said to himself as he controlled the steering, returning to the city.
Osonye remembered her old time friend whom her mother stopped her from associating with.
“Hey, see how I forgot my very good friend Nonye, I seriously need a friend I can trust at this period of my life” she then decided to pay her a visit.
“Who am I seeing? Osonye?” Nonye asked in sheer surprise
“Nonye! Long time?” Osonye asked
“Here we are oo!” Nonye replied as they embraced.
“Osonye, see how you forgot me, your childhood friend?” Nonye asked
“My dear, please don’t mind me oo, you know my mother naa? She succeeded in getting into my head. She forced me into living a boring life like that, but I have finally realized that her way of life is not the type one needs to succeed in this life. Babe, you really need to hustle, fight and get what you want. You have to act smart and fight for your right”
“Yes babe, that is how it has always been, right from the beginning of time. Its all about survival of the fittest babe” Nonye said.
After sharing how much they have missed each other, the things they have encountered. Osonye then opened up on her worries. Nonye then assured her not to be worried, that they are wiser now.
“Babe, just that I don’t want this marriage to fail again. You know this will be making it the fourth time I will be getting married, I am tired, I don’t want a fifth marriage. I am ready to do anything within my power to make sure Kanayo becomes mine forever.”
“Osonye, you don’t need to worry yourself about anything, there is this woman I will introduce you to . She is very powerful, if you successfully do anything she asks you to do, then consider your problems solved”
The next day, Nonye took Osonye to the woman who advised her that the only thing she should be worrying about was the baby Ifeoma was carrying. That the child will take away everything from her. She advised them to kill the baby while he was still inside his mother’s womb because once he enters the world, he won’t be killed again because he was coming with a very strong spirit.
To be continued..
Just a Tear by Ngozi Lovelyn O.
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