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Obiageri - Episode 19




Obiageri - Episode 19

By Amah's Heart


Ifeoma was already learning how to take a step, it was a happy moment for everyone as she was already standing by herself without the help of anyone and trying to take a step.

The growth was so fast, I watched her go through all the stages, from knowing how to sit on her own, then crawling on her knees, and standing while holding onto something, she later became totally dependent, she does not need anything to stand by herself.

I watched her try to take a step this past few days and it was something beautiful to behold.

She was so fast which made me wonder if she was in any competition with another baby, but she wasn’t. 

I remember father said I was also very fast growing up and while the other children of my age where learning how to crawl I was already standing and practicing how to walk and my daughter just took after me.

Today is another market day and we made enough cassava for garri, I also assisted Njideka and we both fried it.

Chioma was holding Ifeoma while Nnamdi was out in the farm the day me and Njideka processed the raw garri.

There was enough to eat in the house and we decided to sell some of the farm products, including banana and plantain which was crowded in Njideka’s backyard.

Nnamdi cut the fruits down, we took out some for eating and the remaining ones will be for sale.

Njideka wanted to go to the market to sell them but I insisted on going, Nnamdi volunteer to assist me and so he carried the garri in his bicycle to the market first and later return to carry the plantain and banana.

Ifeoma was already eating adult food, like soft yam and other solid food. I do not have to breast feed her all the time and for days now she was more into the general food which Njideka made sure is always available for her and she feeds Ifeoma to her satisfaction.

I know if I take her to the market, she will have to be strapped behind my back all through the day, while I attend to customer and Nnamdi is there to help me if I get tired but since Njideka and Chioma was home I left Ifeoma with them.

 They are always happy to hold her.

I gathered the remaining things into a basin bowl and left for the market.

Njideka asked me to buy some food stuffs after selling, and also to buy okro and smoke fish for Ifeoma who’s best soup is ogbono or okro soup.

Nnamdi was already arranging the whole thing when I arrived the market.

I joined in as we displayed our wares as other people were also displaying there’s

We asked other garri sellers how the market is going, how much is one cup of garri and they were kind enough to tell us that every market day is not the same, some days it goes up and the some it comes down below the cost price.

They said that two weeks ago they sold their garri at a normal rate but since last week it has been on the high side because is the season of cassava plantation, not for harvesting and it has not rain for some time which makes the ground hard and more strength is required in harvesting the cassava.

I thanked them and return back to our spot.

We were still arranging the place when people started coming to patronise us, the first thing we sold was plantain and it was remaining one and a full bunch of banana.

Nnamdi was with me, and he was very helpful.

The villagers who believed us to be husband and wife greeted us warmly, Nnamdi even calls me his wife in front of them and I responded.

I sometime laugh over it, especially with the way he will say “eziogbo nwunye m" (my good wife) whenever somebody is around.

Villagers even asked how our baby was doing and Nnamdi was glad to tell them that Ifeoma was fine.

When we go home we will end up laughing about it later.

The market day was going fine and the weather was very hot, Nnamdi left to go and buy something with the money we have gotten.

He asked me what I would like to eat and I told him to buy hot ukpa, wrapped in a leaf. Ukpa looks like moimoi but is not processed with beans.

Is so delicious when is eaten hot.

I was alone, the garri has gone half, and market was good today as we had lots of customers coming to patronise us.

I was there when I saw the old woman walk upto me.

I was happy to see her and asked her what she came to buy in the market, I can help her buy them.

Is being three weeks since I visited her last.

“mama…o bu gini ka I bira ezuta na ahia…(mama, what did you came to buy in the market)

She told me she was only in the market to look round because the house was too quiet.

I wanted to put enough garri for her but she said the last one I gave her was still at home, she has not eaten much out of it.

She has enough food stuff back home and do not need anything.

 then suddenly she said

“Nwa m, o bia ra ahia taa…o nokwa gi nso (my chid, he came to the market today and he is very close to you)

I turned as i saw Nnamdi coming and when i turned back to ask her who she was referring to I did not see her again.

I looked around wondering which side she entered because the market was a little crowded but I couldn’t see her.

I asked Nnamdi if she saw an elderly woman right now and Nnamdi said he didn’t see anybody as he brought out the hot ukpa and a delicious akara (bean cake) that he bought

We sat and began to eat and I concluded that she was probably referring to Nnamdi or maybe I did not hear exactly what she said clearly.

Her word echoes again to my ear and I have to look around to know if she was back to repeat it. 

I began to wonder within me what she meant by “O biara hia…o nokwa m nso (he came to the market and he is very close to me) onye kwanu ka o na ekwu…o bu Nnamdi ka onwere onye uzo (who is she referring to. Is it Nnamdi or is there another person)

I thought within me and quickly waved it off and went back eating and selling my market.

We drank all the water we came to market with, Nnamdi quickly left in his bicycle to get more from the house.

I sold the banana and it was just remaining one plantain

As I was attending to a customer, measuring garri for the person I noticed a man standing in front of my market and because I did not want to make a mistake with the counts, I was measuring with a cup which was generally used in the market to measure garri.

I did not bother to look up at the person as I remain focus. I only said to him while my eyes was still in the measurement.

“ewela iwe dee, anam abia iza gi, kam ma nye chara onyea garri (please, don’t be angry sir, I’m coming to answer you, let me just finish measuring garri for this customer)

The man did not say anything as he remained standing and calm, I quickly rounded up with the customer and after she paid and left I focus on the man with a full smile, I was happy that the market was moving so well and I have almost sold all the things I came with, it was just remaining one bunch of plantain and half bag of garri.

I breathed down as I stood and face the man

And for that second which turns into minutes we just stare at each other.

He did not say anything, I was speechless too and the only thing we did is just stare each other.

It was Ukadike, yes, Ukadike was right in front of me. 

I was breathless.

He didn’t move he was just standing there with a plain face and I can’t read anything from his facial expression

I managed to say his name and went quiet again


He did not respond and was breathing so hard and I couldn’t control my own heartbeat.

We were like that when Nnamdi came with the water and saw us staring at each other, I try to look away but I still return my eye to him

“o gini ka ochoro izu ezigbo nwayim. e wetara gi mmri…(what did he want to buy my good wife…I brought water for you)

Ukadike on hearing Nnamdi call me his wife his facial expression changed, he moved a muscle in his face before looking back at Nnamdi and suddenly said

“Ego ole ka i na ere nka (how much are you selling this one)

Did I hear him well, he was asking how much we are selling the plantain. I couldn’t even talk Nnamdi answered him.

He quickly paid and all this while I couldn’t take my eyes off him which made Nnmadi to ask

“Nwunye m, ogini mere gi, udo a dikwa (my wife, what happened to you…is everything alright)

I nodded and looked away.

Nnamdi was used to calling me his wife in public and I never noticed anything wrong with it until now that I can see how uncomfortable Ukadike seem every time he calls me that.

He lifted the plantain, pause for some time, he looked at me before walking away.

Nnamdi was so interested in the stranger and why we were looking at ourselves.

“ima nwoke ahu…I ma onye obu…ogini mere o ji na ele gi any uto ahu…gini mere…onye ka obu (did you know that man, did you know who he is, why is he looking at you like that, what happened …who is he?)

I waved off the question, I said something else to cover up.

That evening after we were done with the market Nnamdi carried the empty bowls and some other thing in his bicycle home. 

I gathered the remaining things and as I was about going I sighted Ukadike among the market people who were preparing to go home.

He was looking at me from where he stood.

Our eyes glued for some time before I carried my bow and walked away.

On my way home I met the old woman and I quickly remembered her word to me earlier, which means she knows that I and Ukadike will meet our selves today.

I was quick to tell her that I saw Ukadike, “he even bought a full bunch of plantain from us, we did not say anything, I was speechless and I guess he was also”….

The elderly woman who seem to be going home smile.

Passer-by walked pass and looked at me as if I was talking to myself.

They have that awful look as if I was crazy, I greeted them and they responded but they did not greet the elderly woman and that was very rude, the villagers are nice people but I don’t understand why they didn’t greet the elderly woman, she is old enough to be their mother or even grandmother.

The elderly woman later said to me

“I know where he lives and if you want to know I can show you the road that lead to his hut which is not far from my hut..."

"...he doesn’t live among the villagers, he live a little far all by himself….when you are ready to go visit him then I will show you…and as for the people who did not greet me…don’t bother about that…I guess they did not see me…"

“Why won’t they see you when I can see you?

" .. whenever I’m seen talking with you, people looks at me as if I’m crazy and they never greet you…that is not right, even if they don’t know you or like you they should just greet and be on their way. you are not invisible so I wonder why they will ignore you…"

“You are a special child and your vision is far beyond a normal human but don’t be troubled because of that. Ukadike will not be leaving the village soon…now that he has seen you…he will search wherever you live…it won’t be difficult for him to ask around and get full information about you…. He will get to know where you stay… and he will be told that you are married to Njideka’s only son and blessed with a daughter. Ukadike will be heart broken and will look for a way to kidnap you and take you away with your child but you can pay him a visit and talk things through. he has a lot more to tell you and you also have stories to tell him so think and get ready…"

"...you know that he is a strong willed man and he will do whatever he has to do to have what he has always wanted. His hut is not too far from me…whenever you care to know I will be willing to show you…."

On the third day, I got ready to pay Ukadike a visit, I can’t run forever just as the elderly woman has said. All I think of these days is him, he consumes my every thought and I wish to see him again, run into his arm and allow him to hold me because I have truly missed him.

It is time for him to also meet his daughter, Ifeoma.

(Do not take credit or Plagiarize AMAH'S HEART stories)

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