THE FLOWER GIRL EPISODE 9
Chidimma had taken her First School Leaving Certificate Examination and she managed to come out with a pass grade. Well it is better than a total failure and even more honorable than to be engaged in exam malpractice which she had no inclination to. She had equally grown big at least bigger than to be called a flower girl again.
Chidimma’s beauty appeared to be adding as she grew. Her skin also appeared to be flesher as she put up with more years. Her hot legs, flat tummy and oval face gave her a slim-fitted figure. She was becoming lavishly beautiful.
On the very first year she graduated from primary school, nine suitors came to seek her hands in marriage. And all came with a lot of promises. Among them was Obinna who was the apple of Chidimma’s eye: Obele was also in a hurry to give out Chidimma in marriage especially to Nduka, the only son of igwe Odumesi, who resided in Germany.
Obele had thought of that for some time and believed that if he became Igwe’s in-law, all his problems in this world would be over.
Chidimma had just returned from Girls’ Brigade meeting and her father invited her for a-tete-a-tete.
“Chi-chi-ch-Chidimma, I am so proud of you because you have made me a very ha-ha-ha-ha…”
“Papa, I know that you are now a happy man. I am also proud of you too.”
“Your character is e-e-e-excellent and this makes your mother and I to-to-to-to walk tall anywhere we go. People even raise their necks to catch a glimpse of us whenever we are introduced as Mma’s parents. I have you as my only child but you have make me feel as someone who has many children…”
“But papa, I would have loved it if I had siblings to chat with. But nevertheless, I am happy.”
“Now, Mma, you can see that so many people are coming asking for your hands in marriage. What is your o-o-o-pi-pinion about it? Hope you want to get married now.”
“Yes, papa. I want to get married immediately.”
“Good! But whom among them du-du-do you prefer?”
“Papa, I prefer Obinna.”
Obele was kicked in the teeth by hearing Chidimma’s reply.
“Obinna! Obi gini? Which Obinna?” asked pretending not know whom Obinna was.
“I mean Obinna the Akpunku’s son.
“You are insane! But du-du-do you mean what you are saying?
“Yes Papa because I love him.”
“Mma. So you mean that with all your beauty and fame, you want to. get ma-ma-ma-married to that pauper? No, no. no, no, you won’t do that. But why do you love him.”
“Papa, Obinna is very intelligent. He is also a graduate. So I need him to help me excel in life. With the little time I have with him, he is even the one that helped me to pass my First School Leaving Certificate Examination.”
“Do you realize that that boy is roaming about the streets of Enugu searching for job that never exists? Her father Akpunku has been lying lazily at home with his sore foot begging for food from his wives. Where do you think they will get the money they will use in feeding you and maintaining this beauty of yours? Where will the money for your mahadum come f-f-f-from?”
“But papa, Obinna showed me his result and told me that he would soon get a job in Enugu.”
“So he to-to-to-told you lies and you be-be-be-believed him?”
“Papa, it’s not a lie. His story sounded perfectly plausible and since I know him, he has never lied to me.” Chidimma’s voice began to grow louder.
“Mma, take it easy. You are my daughter and I know what is good for you. Nduka is good for you. I want you to consider him. Don’t you imagine what it means to get married to igwe’s son. It means that you are a future lolo,” Obele trying to get Chidimma beguiled into marrying Nduka.
Chidimma gave a mild smile as she began to use her toe to draw curves on the ground.
“When you get married to Nduka, he will also take you overseas. I believe he will put you in a university overseas. I heard that that man is now a ‘bastard’ billionaire…”
“But papa, mama said that she doesn’t like Nduka because he is a ritualist!”
“Don’t mind her. That’s how women talk against people. Nduka used her for ogwu ego before? By the time she begins to go for omugwo overseas, she-she-She will no longer call him o-o-o-o-onye ogwu ego again. So, Mma, never you in your life mention Obinna to my hearing.
In fact, don’t have anything to do with him again. Anytime I see him around you, I will strangle him. Nduka is your man and your man forever.”
All to no avail were the efforts made by Ndudi to stop her husband from giving Chidimma out in marriage to Nduka even to Ejima whom she most preferred among Chidimma’s suitors. Ejima hailed from Ukoli and was said to have lived in the ‘South’ for good number of years where he had made a lot of money , Ndudi really wanted her daughter to marry a man who was in the gravy, but when her voice was not heard, she decided to throw in the towel and give her support for Nduka, her husband’s prime choice.
Chidimma had agreed that she would marry Nduka. Igwe and his family were also anxious to receive her as a member of their family.
the next day Obele went to Akpunku’s house and warned him seriously concerning the secret affair going on between their children. Obele told Akpunku that as a result of that, he had already gone to Nkwo Oseh and bought a very sharp machete.
“Look at this ma-ma-machete. I bought it specially for son Obinna, said Obele.
“What will you use it for?” asked Akpunku
Obele laughed and said, “You have asked a very gu-gu-gu-good kwe-kwe-question. I bought this long knife so that I can use it to amputate that Obinna’s tiny thing which always makes him uncomfortable any time he sees my daughter.”
“Then warn him! Akpunku, warn your son! I will definitely gi-gi-give him serious wound. Warn himoo! And I promise you that I will deal with him soonest. Where is he? I want to see him at least to warn myself because the way I see things, it appears that he has used charm on my daughter.”
“Charm! When has my son started visiting native doctors?”
“You had be-be-better asked him.”
“But he is not around now Akpunku lied.
“When he comes back. I will draw his ears very well.
When Obele left. Obinna came out from his hiding place.
“Obinna come here.” Akpunku called him.
Please for the sake of your life, and mine too. Leave Obele’s daughter alone because his palaver is too much. Chidimma is not the only girl on earth. Please put the issue about Chidimma behind you and concentrate on your career. Do you hear me?”
Obinna then forgot everything about Chidimma. So also was Chidimma who after that period did not know the where about of Obinna again. Obinna then left for Enugu where he later secured a very good job.
Arrangements Were in top gear and Chidimma had decided to visit her teacher to inform her that she was getting married. But on the contrary. her teacher thought otherwise after Chidimma had told her the whole story from soup to nuts. Her teacher was not happy about that and she warned her not to get married prematurely. She made her understand that it was not good for her to marry at the age of fourteen: rather she advised her to continue her education at least up to school certificate level.
“It is risky because conceiving and bearing children at this age will not go down well with your system. It is a difficult task which you are too premature to face. Again if you marry at this age, you May end your career in kitchen.”
Convincing Chidimma at that moment was not an easy task for her teacher but she persisted.
“I thank you for remembering that you have a teacher who can give you good advice. Please do not be bothered much about overseas guys. So many of them may still come. Something more than that may still come your way in future. What you need now is good education.
If you are patient enough to get your education now you can even on your own embark on a trip overseas one day.
Chidimma who was initially confused began to see reasons with her teacher.
“go home. I will come and see your parents and advice them on this issue. I will not allow them to mislead you.” concluded Madam Onyii. Chidimima’s teacher.