A Story Written By Aartial D
I was sitting in my office typing something on my laptop when the door opened. I thought it was Cherpet, my secretary.
‘Cherie, anything?’ i asked without looking up from my laptop.
I froze when i heard ‘my princess’ from a very familiar voice. I raised my head ‘Chief!’ I blurted in surprise.
‘my princess, bawo ni?’ he asked holding his agbada. He sat on the chair opposite him.
I smiled ‘mo wa kpa sir. How was your day?’
He grinned at me ‘i’m very fine…i came by your house two days ago, i was told you were at work..actually i just stopped to say hi to your aunt’
‘thanks a lot Chief…’ i smiled not knowing what to say.
‘but today, i came here for my answer…my proposal…’ he winked.
Chief was a good looking man in his fifties. He had six wives and eighteen kids, his first son was an senior to me with over five years, how was i to marry a man like that?
‘erm…Chief, its…’ i played with my fingers nervously ‘i’m very grateful for your kindness towards me and my family these past few years…but…but…i…i just…i just cant…i dont know how to put it..’
‘put it anywhere dear…’
‘i cant marry you. I just cant marry you Chief, i’m sorry’ i sighed.
He regarded you for a while ‘what do you mean?’
‘i cant marry you…i’m refusing your proposal…’ i said as gently as i could.
He looked shocked.
‘i am ready to pay you back for everything you’ve done for me Chief, but please, not through marriage, i…’
‘will you shut up?’ he barked suddenly and i drew back in shock.
He stood up, an angry look on his face ‘you are nothing but an ingrate! After everything i did for you and your wretched aunt!’
I looked down not able to say anything.
‘i picked you up from the gutters and brushed you up! I sent you to school and took care of your child…provided a comfortable house for you too. And then i got you a job. You must be mad if you think i will let you go just like that!’
I stood up ‘but Chief, you really cant force me to marry you…’ i said gently as i placed my palms together ‘please forgive me Chief but i really cant marry you. I cant’
‘you are very stupid! Look…’ he said banging his fist on the table ‘you dont want to see me angry…i can ruin your life and all that you’ve worked for all these years..i can make you lose your job, i can chase you from dat house because i also own it. I can equally…look Ivyy, you better dont provoke me. I give you two day…two days to make up your mind else…you lose everything’ he said walking out in anger.
I fell back on my seat. I had a tough battle ahead of me, that i knew.
‘Ivyy, you just have to give into Chief’s proposal and you have to be fast about this!’ Aunt Chime said marching into my room holding her phone in her hand ‘Chief just called me now and you needed to hear how how angry he sounded. I’ve never heard me speak so angrily before and there’s no need telling whats going to happen if you dont marry Chief, Ivyy, do you want to lose everything overnight? What is all these nonsense?’ she barked angrily.
I sighed and rubbed my temples ‘but aunty, you know i dont love Chief, besides he’s far older than me, i cant marry him. I cant marry a man i dont love…’
Ifepams walked into the room at that moment yawning angrily.
Aunt Chime held her hands pointing at her ‘Ivyy, love…’ she pointed at Ifepams ‘love oo, love…’ i knew what she was implying at. The thing she didnt know was that i never loved Ralph ‘love is not everything…love can make someone make deadly mistakes sometimes. I just hope you know what you are doing…’ she walked out of the room dragging Ifepams along.
I fell on my bed and sighed. I was never going to marry Chief and nothing can stop me, no matter what anyone says. I wasnt going to lose anything but i wasnt going to marry Chief.
I knew he lusted for my body and maybe if he had it once, he could forget about the marriage stuff.
I walked to the window watching how the city bustled in activities.
I missed Umueke and i thought of visiting there very soon, except that i had no one to see there. Ifeanyi could have probable left the country and Henna would have probably left the country too as she had always said she was leaving the village immediately she finished secondary school there.
I let out air.
I missed them. I missed my past life. I wondered how Ije and Oma were faring. I wondered how the village reacted to Ralph’s death. Someone might be paying for my crimes now as they might have accused someone else and i wondered who.
Oh God…the mistakes i made in the past.
I just pray they dont come back to haunt me.