I trailed them to the village square
wearing black all through and covering
myself with a black cloak.
I stood under a big tree a little distance
from the village square. I saw aunt Chime
sit together with some women and they
were discussing. Papa went to some men
and while papa tried to put up a hardened
look, their faces were filled with sympathy.
What was going on?
A trumpet was heard as our great igwe,
Igwe Okala alighted from the big elephant
he rode on. A black sleek hummer jeep
drove into the village square and Henna’s
father, Ifeanyi, Kainene and Henna’s
mother, madam Grace, the sauciest
woman in the village…her mouth was like
a razor and everyone who had an
encounter with her actually had an
experience to share about how they spent
most of the night weeping and thinking of
Henna’s father – Chief Ekwueme sat beside
the igwe as the onowu – next in
command while madam Grace sat beside
the lolo (Igwe’s wife) who sat under
another canopy where the other women
sat, including aunt Chime.
Not too long after, some men dressed in
black with leaves between their lips
trooped into the square.
Then i sighted mama….oh mama..being
dragged like a thief..she was naked from
head to toe with her hair scraped.
My hands flew to my mouth as my heart
pounded furiously against my chest…no!
No! Mama hadnt committed adultery…she
would never do that. This was all a setup…
I remembered Mama telling us that
women who were caught committing
adultery were usually stripped naked and
dragged to the village square after some
days when the council finally decides on
She lowered her face in shame as women
started shouting…throwing insults on her.
I saw aunt Chime stand up from her chair
and spat on her face.
Mama just lowered her head so i couldnt
tell her facial expression….i looked at
Henna’s mother and her face was frowned
in disgust as she stood up clapping her
hands, i heard her screaming ‘akuna kuna
ten naira…ashawo hundred kobo…money
for hand back for ground…ikpu kobo!’ She
clapped in mockery.
Tears ran down my cheeks…mama had
really disappointed me…how and why
would she commit adultery? My own
mama…the woman whom i looked up to
in every aspect of my life…my role model…
No wonder papa took me away from her, i
should have thought…in Umueke,
whenever a woman is caught committing
adultery, her children are immediately
taken faraway from her as it is believed
that the women possessed their children -
especially their daughters with the spirit of
adultery and they become prostitutes
before and after they get married.
I wondered who the man she committed
adultery with was…but my question was
soon ordered when uncle Ejike was
dragged to the market square.
My hands flew to my mouth…uncle Ejike
was papa’s best friend, infact he was the
only friend papa ever had. They usually
spent ours at the backyard of our house,
smoking pipe, drinking palmwine and
talking about politics both in the village
and in the country as a whole.
Yes…i always noticed the lustful look uncle
Ejike always gave mama whenever he was
around and mama would always smile at
him. How long had their relationship been
going on? I wondered.
By this time, the Igwe had ordered for
silence and everywhere was silence, the
onowu, Henna’s father called papa out and
was saying something to papa…i did not
hear so i went closer to the market square
and mixed with the crowd.
ONOWU – Elder George Maduemezie, look
at your wife…
Papa looked at mama as ordered.
ONOWU – Do you think you can ever
forgive her for the crime she has
Papa shook his head ‘never!’
The crowd roared and the Onowu had to
call for silence again.
ONOWU – You can never forget the evil she
has committed and take her back as your
wife and mother of your kids? This is your
last chance to save her.
PAPA – I will not and can never forgive an
adulterous woman like her.
GBAM – The crowd chorused.
It was like everyone was against my
mother…no one was trying to support and
understand her predicament at all.
ONOWU – You have one last thing to say to
her before we carry on with the ritual?
PAPA – Yes (he faced mama) Woman, you
are a disgrace and you’ve brought shame
into my household…marrying is something
i will live to regret for as long as we live. I
married you a nonvirgin…but yet i
The crowd roared in surprise again…even
i was surprised.
PAPA – After the nite of our wedding,
when i discovered you were not a fresh
blood, i killed a coat and sprinkled it on the
white cloth given to me by adas of our
land…just so you will be saved the shame
and humiliation……Chimezie warned me
not to marry you but because i truly loved
you with all my heart…i didnt listen to
her…now see the shame and disgrace
you’ve brought upon yourself…despite
having covered up your uncleaness and
shame…you exposed yourself again by
sleeping with my best friend on our
matrimonial bed..and i wonder how long
this has been going on…on my
matrimonial bed! With my own friend…
you’re a disgrace to womanhood and
you’re very lucky your children arent here
to see the kind of woman they have for a
The crowd roared again.
The venom with which papa spoke
exposed so many emotions and feelings
he would have tried to hide. He loved
mama, yes, it was evident in his voice…but
he never showed it to her. He never
treated her with love and he seized every
opportunity he could to remind her of the
favour he did for her by marrying her to
save her dying mother and ended up
giving her series of beatings sometimes,
locking her up in a room.
He never treated mama with love and
respect so i actually dont blame her…she
was a woman and she had feelings and
desires to be loved and cherished for and
maybe uncle Ejike was the only one who
provided her that love
Mama surprised everyone when she raised
up her head…her face soaked in tears as
she faced papa. She spat on his face.
‘yes i cheated on you! I slept with your
best friend on your matrimonial bed! But i
didnt start it…you started it! I knew about
your escapades with Grace, the onowu’s
wife…i saw you so many times going to
Omego Inn and not too long after, she
goes in too..i’ve overgeard the both of you
speaking so many times over the phone
and the money you used in running the
home was given to u by Grace. I have
ample evidence to prove to everyone here
that you and Grace were having an affair.
And moreover you never showered me
with love and care like a husband should…
how many times did you bruise my body?
How many times did you rape me telling
me that you owned my? How many times
did….did you call i and my mother a witch?
How many times did you embarass me in
front of people….yes, i didnt marry you a
virgin…thats because i was constantly
raped my maternal uncle and i told you
this..and i’m very grateful to you that you
chose to marry me despite everything but
dont you stand there and told me that you
loved me! Because you never did…you
treated me with disrespect like i was the
cause of all my misfortunes in life…
whenever you lost a gambling bet, you
always took it our on me and called me
badluck..how many times George..how
many times? I slept with Ejike not because
i wanted to..but i wanted to spite you…
show you how it hurts for someone to
cheat on you…the reason i remained
married to you was for my children….for
Ivyy because i knew divorce had greater
effects on females more than in males….i
constantly took all your beatings and
insults waiting patiently till d day you die…
yes, i hoped and prayed everyday for your
death because you were nothing but a
heartless man! You and your wicked sister
who constantly did everything she could
to make my marriage a living hell….and
even as she tried everything she could to
destroy my marriage, God punished her by
not giving her a husband and a family and
i’m eternally grateful for that….yes, i should
never have committed adultery…but i dont
regret it…the only thing i regret today is
leaving my wonderful children behind to
the mercies of you two! My Ivyy…my
Danke…i’m going to miss them….’ she
broke down in tears.
The crowd was silent…i looked up and
saw Grace boiling in her seat…almost
everyone was emotional…perhaps they
understood mama now.
Then the Lolo stood up all of a sudden and
faced Grace ‘so even you…’ she looked at
Grace in disdain ‘could stoop so low to
sleep with a man like George…i knew it!
Igwe, didnt i tell you that this woman here
could be having affair with other men of
lower status in this village? What did you
tell me? Ngozi, mind you business…and i
did…now look! Shame! Disgrace! Guards!’
The royal guards stood in front of her.
‘drag this woman here to join her partner
in crime…strip her naked for her case
deserves no judgement…as an onowu’s
wife, she deserves to serve as an example
to others, not treading the wrong path!’
The guards advanced towards her
‘leave me alone, you smelly dirty
chipmunks….!’ Grace struggled ‘Onowu,
Igwe…please do something, tell thsi
golddigging fools to leave me alone!’
The onowu and Igwe didnt say anything. I
didnt see anything like disgrace and
suprise on the Onowu’s face…it was like
he knew about everything all this while.
Grace was immediately stripped naked
and so was papa…i saw aunt Chime
weeping where she was.
Grace was weeping too ‘i didnt do it, i
swear i didnt do it ooo’
‘shut up!’ a woman screamed from the
crowd ‘finally you’ve been caught! You
nearly ruined my marriage by constantly
seducing my husband…thank God he didnt
fall for your tricks! You had to bribe us so
we dont expose you but now you’ve finally
been caught…no matter how bright the
sun is…it would surely leave the sky and
give the moon a chance to reign, you
deserve to die, shameless woman!!!!’
The onowu cleared his throat ‘let the ritual
And then everyone picked up stones and
threw it towards them.
I suddenly screamed and everyone
stopped and turned to my direction.
I threw the cloak away and ran to mama.
She was surprised to see me.
I hugged her and we cried together.
‘Ivyy…i’m so sorry…i’m so sorry my child…’ June Bridals hippe styled items to wear if in a wedding
I couldnt talk…the pains in my heart
weighed me down. I was allowed to
remain like that with my mother before
guards dragged me away from her.
I cried and screamed, laying curses on
papa…i tried running back to mama but i
was held by them.
And so i watched in tears and pains as
they were all stoned to death…
Including my mother.
It took me three weeks to recover from
the shock…after i had witnessed mama
and papa’s death at the village square, i
had collapsed there and i woke up two
days after incident with a very terrible
fever that caused me to be in bed for a
Sometimes i woke up in the middle of the
night and when i remembered mama, i
always ended up crying. I missed papa too
because no matter what he did, he was
still my father.
I resumed school a week after i was
discharged. Henna and the girls had come
to visit me when i was sick and when i
asked Henna how she was taking her
mother’s death, she shrugged it off saying
Grace had never been a mother to all of
them so her death didnt really pain her
Ifeanyi visited me periodically and told me
he had seen me at the village square
immediately he came down from the car.
He had purposedly looked around
knowing i’d be there.
I also asked him if he missed his mother
and he said he wasnt…she had not really
cared for all her children…all she cared
about was money, fame and luxury.
When Mrs Asemota stepped into the class
and saw me, she smiled and told me to see
her after the class.
‘you must have gone through alot dear
Ivyy….’ she said as she sat on her chair in
the staff room. She drew another chair
close to her and told me to sit.
‘you see my dear, i went through the exact
thing you are passing through now. My
parents were killed in front of me and i did
nothing to help them. I was just 13 then.
Armed robbers had attacked our house,
raped me in front of my parents who were
held at gunpoint and after raping me, they
shot both of them…’ she paused and
looked at me.
‘you must have gone through alot Mrs
‘yes i did…because i had nowhere to go.
We were in a foreign village as at that time
and i never knew any of my relative…both
from my mother’s side and from my
father’s side…but i knew i came from
Umueke. The villagers of Uzoi brought me
back here together with my parents’
corpse and they were buried. The then
Igwe handed me to a childless woman as
at that time who promised to take care of
me…but unfortunately, the woman
maltreated me an sometimes made me
wish that i died together with my
parents…things actually became worse
when i discovered i was pregnant from
the rape incident…the woman decided
there and then to make me suffer. I gave
birth to the child…and i abandoned it with
her and ran away to Amakpe…where i was
taken in by a kind reverend sister who
sent me to school and made sure i was
well educated..and when i was done with
my education, i came back for my child
and i got a job here almost immediately
and today, i can afford a luxurious
apartment, a good car, my daughter is a
happily married woman with kids, what
more can i ask for? Yes, i wasnt able to get
married…i couldnt get a husband because
no man in Umueke wanted to marry a
nonvirgin and a woman with a child as at
that time’ She held my chin.
‘this is why you must keep yourself my
child…i heard about the rumours about
you and that riff-raff, Ralph and i was very
disappointed…i was like, what does that
boy have to offer you…forget about his
parents’ status…dont let him fool you with
his parents’ money…he’s still under their
roof and he has a very long way to go
before he can be actually be called a man.
Se.x is something that the generation of
nowadays hunger for like there is no
tomorrow. I will not lie to you…i had se.x
with some men in Amakpe in my school…
and yes i enjoyed it but what did i gain?
And i found myself praying and hoping for
my period to come every end of the
month. Sometimes, i leave the classroom
just to check if my panties were stained
and whenever my period came, despite
the cramps, it became the happiest day of
my life. The men i all had se.x with told me
that they were going to marry them
afterall so we should just start having se.x
now, that it doesnt matter since we were
still going to get married. Maybe they did
have intentions to marry me but when
they found out i was a nonvirgin, they only
had their taste and abandoned me to
nurse my heartbreak alone…i sold myself
cheaply to many men in Amakpe…yes,
maybe it was not my fault that i was
raped…but maybe, if i had kept myself
after then, i would have found a man who
would understand me, but i didnt, i made
a mistake…you see, i derive pleasure
advicing young girls like you and telling
them my story, because the wise ones
would learn from it. You are the brightest
student in this school my dear and you
have a bright future and as your
educational mother, i wont let you ruin it
with your hands, maybe ur mother is not
here to advice you anymore, maybe your
mother is nt here for you to turn to
anymore…but just know dat i’ll always be
there for you…and feel free to open up to
me anytime anyday’
She drew me close to her and hugged me.
I wept on her bossom. I missed my
Aunt Chime called me after a silent dinner
night. Yes, after the death of mama and
papa, i had continued living in their house,
i had nowhere to go. She had been very
nice to me taking care of my medical bills
and school-related fees…she was a very
nice woman..but i hated her and barely
greeted most times when our paths
I preferred eating in my room than in the
sitting room but that particular night, she
had insisted i ate with her and i had
After clearing the table, i was about
heading to my room when she called me
and asked me to sit.
‘Ivyy, i made a mistake…’ she began ‘i
should never have tried to destroy your
parents’ marriage..not that i’m more like
an enemy of progress but i had a
particular revelation years ago before you
father married your father that your
mother would be the cause of you father’s
death…and so i only tried protecting my
brother but he never listened to me…’ she
paused and wiped her eyes with the edge
of her wrapper.
‘i agree that we all made mistakes, your
mother shouldnt have cheated on your
father but your father shouldnt have
equally cheated on her in the first
place..and i should have also encouraged
him to forgive your mother instead of
reporting her to the council but i insisted
he did the later because i felt she was ill-
luck and she was going to corrupt your
future. Ivyy, i’ve always loved you since you
were a child and i always wished you the
best..you might not be my child biologically
but i just want you to know that i love you
as a mother will love her child. I’m only
human and i’m liable to make
mistakes..and i’m sorry that your mother
had to die because of my mistakes. I dont
know if you will ever forgive me, but
nwam biko, meremu ebere (have mercy on
me), forgive me, lets go back to the way
we used to be before all this problems
started. I promise to take care of you the
best way i can, even more than your
parents took care of you when they were
alive. This silence btw us is killing me, you
dont know how it feels!’
Ifeanyi and i strolled to the garden that
particular evening…i had so many
thoughts on my mind, though i tried my
best to get rid of them so i could savor the
presence of my Ifeanyi, he was going back
to the city soon.
We sat on the bank of the stream which
was unusually empty. I snuggled closer to
him and rested my head on his shoulder.
Ifeanyi was a wonderful guy…few months
of dating and he was yet to pester me for
s-x or even a kiss..just brief casual hugs
between us and he was okay with it.
I was determined to heed to Mrs..no, miss
Asemota’s advice…but wait a minute, why
was that woman bearing Mrs instead of
Miss when she wasnt married. I laughed
when i remembered that every teacher in
that school had a Mr and Mrs attached to
their names, so probably not to feel
inferior, she added hers too, lollz.
‘why are you laughing?’ Ifeanyi asked
carressing my hair.
‘nothing. Just remembered something that
happened in school’
‘tell me about it’
‘because you are nothing but a curious
cat. And have you ever heard that
curiousity killed the cat?’
‘no, i’ve not heard…tell me, how did
curiousity kill the cat?’
I laughed ‘you are not serious’
He placed his hand under my chin and
looked at me ‘have you ever been kissed
I shook under his stare. In my heart, i
knew it was YES…i thought of Ralph, that
But my head was screaming NO NO NO! I
had no other choice.
‘no’ i replied curtly and shyly.
‘permit me. Should i?’ he angled his head
closer but paused looking at my eyes for
I just closed my eyes and drew closer to
His soft cold lips touched mine…his felt
different from Ralph’s. Ralph’s had been
hard and rough but his were soft and
gentle like a perfect gentleman that he
The intrusion of his tongue brought out a
soft moan from me..this was it. This was
true love. Our tongues battled for intimacy
as he s—-d on my lower lip. This was it…i
didnt care if Ralph had kissed me before
or not…this was my first kiss as far as i
‘i love you Ivyy’
‘i love you too’
I was rushing to the library with my books
in my hands when a junior student
approached me and said senior Henna
was calling me. He led me to an empty and
deserted classroom and ran away.
I peeped inside ‘Henna?’ It was somewhat
dark, what was Henna doing here?
Immediately i stepped inside, the door
was shut hard.
I turned and i saw Ralph…though it was
dark, i saw the hungry look in his eyes and
‘Ralph…what the fuc.k….’
He attacked me with his lips…rough and
gentle at the same time.
I protested with my hands but he held my
hands tightly to my back.
I became weak under the hardness of his
lips. And slowly, i gave in, returning his
kiss slowly at first but soon, we were
practically tugging at each other’s kiss.
It was so intense that i had loosed my
hands from the back and had drew him
closer to me. His hands tugged at my shirt
Unbottoning my blouse quickly. His hot
hands covered my bre.asts quickly and i
moaned. What was it about Ralph that
drove me crazy? That gave me the inability
to resist him.
He laid me on the ground, and unbuckled
his belt bringing out his hard member.
He raised my skirt high above my waist
and took off my panties. He went down on
me, kissing, sucking, biting everywhere he
Then he came up on me and kissed me
again, his member positioned at my
He tried enter but it was difficult for him. I
wasnt in control of my senses anymore
and i urged him to try harder.
Well, he finally did and plunged into me.
I winced in pain.