He could not have known. How could he? No one had told him that they would prepare a feast for him at the village square. Or that masquerades and flat tummied maidens would dance their sparkly bodies in the heat of the sun till night for him. He could not have anticipated the sounds of the canons fired in the distance. That the Amara kingdom would be celebrating him. The Prince. The young Nigerian boy out of the moonlight tales who aspired beyond his father’s legacies to own his name.
Then again even if he saw all that in a dream a night before, he still could not catch up with his racing heart when Oma latched onto his torso.
‘I have been waiting for you.’ Oma said
‘And you grew more ravishing in the process.’ returning her touch, caressing her face
‘Come with me’ she said snatching him from the crowd.
‘Where are we going?’
‘Don’t worry. You’ll see.’
Now she sat beside him in her room. Her face struck part black part gold with the beam of the flames from the kerosene lamp and the shadows thereby. They were breathing each other’s air.
‘He waited for you too.’ She said.
|Photo taken from a scene in 'Rags' the movie.|
‘There was not one day he didn’t think of you.’
‘I thought of him too.’ He eyes flashed here a piercing stare. Flaring like lightening. ‘Take it off.’
They had searched for Nnaji all night and were returning with the sad news when they bumped into him and Omalinze with yellow cans headed for the stream.
‘Thank the gods. We searched for you all night.’ Said Itche Anayo who was leading the search party
‘I’m sorry my fathers. I had to pay my respect to my old friend,’
‘It’s difficult to see friends like you both these days.’ He said heaving a sigh of relief. ‘You still remember him even after all your years in the white man’s land.’
‘I never forgot.’