We Are Not Cursed #10

PART TEN

 Edited by: Darlene Jones

 

 

Wide-eyed, Okuoba took in Ibeabuchi’s alarming new face that screamed of something unusual.

“Someone? You mean someone like a gossipmonger?” She lifted her hands up a bit, exposing both palms. “I—I don’t understand.”

Ibeabuchi said in a low desperate tone, “Now is not the time for questions. We have to move away from here.”

Her hands hopelessly dropped to her sides. It was indeed strange for Ibeabuchi to talk this way. Why would he refuse to hold further discussion with her in the midst of her father’s servants? Was he trying to give her a word of warning? Perhaps, pull her away from imminent danger? Or was this entirely about something else; something urgent, but in need of a discreet approach?

Taking a quick look at the servants on the field, Ibeabuchi made a gesture with his head. “Look at them; do you really think they can be trusted?”

Surprise, like a torrent, hit Okuoba. With it came an instant feeling of dreadful uncertainty, which prompted her to look at the servants and back at him again. Never before had she a reason to evaluate the trust she had in her father’s servants as she did now, considering that her family was very much on a murder hunt for whoever had a hand in her brother’s death.

Leaning in close beside her ear, Ibeabuchi said, “It’s your right to decide whether you want to listen to my story or not. But I sincerely hope that as I walk away, you will follow me for what I have to say is real. Remember, it’s for your own good.”

Watching her childhood friend leave forced Okuoba to reflect deeply on the time ahead, the possibility of danger still lying in wait. Ibeabuchi’s talk, though inconclusive, had reeked of something else. Something sinister. It brought the uncomfortable feeling of danger even closer. She could feel her hands tremble, sweat gathering in her palms. Slowly, she turned her attention to the servants on her father’s largest farm.  For the first time in many seasons, she had cause to look at them in a different way—like a woman trying to separate chaff from breadfruit seeds. But then, who among them stood out as the oddity, the one brimming with malicious intent?

She watched as Dubem abandoned his work, scooped one of the female servants up in his arms, and together they spun around playfully. This drew the attention of the other servants, who broke into laughter. As if they all were craving for more of the drama, they dropped their farm tools and began clapping their hands, stamping their feet at intervals on the ground and chanting “Odimnobi.” When Dubem met Okuoba’s eyes, he immediately put his fellow servant down on her feet again. The excitement and laughing vanished like a swift wind, each servant quickly embracing the work abandoned a little while ago.

But Dubem didn’t move. He seemed transfixed, his eyes unblinking.

Okuoba couldn’t understand why she was still gazing at him. This, of course, was not the first time their eyes were locked in a way she found rather fascinating.

Shaking herself free from the trancelike stance, she headed quickly for the footpath that cut across the farmlands in the vicinity.

She was more than eager now to meet up with Ibeabuchi.

A life of fear was worse than death itself.

***

“Wait!” Okuoba shouted. Her heart was pounding into her chest as she ran toward Ibeabuchi. “Wait … please!”

The second call got his attention and he turned around. When she was within spitting distance, he said, “I’m so happy you heeded to my words.”

“Yes, I want to…” Okuoba continued to pant. “I want to hear what you have to say.”

Ibeabuchi ruffled his beard. He scanned the surrounding bushes with jumpy eyes as if he was anticipating an attack. But nothing happened. Just the fluttering of birds among the nearby trees, crickets chirping, and a few grasses rustling in the passing air—such a peculiar melody to a fallow place. With his fingers spread, he swiped both palms on his chest and on the sides of his loincloth. “It’s been a restless period for me lately. But I think the time is right to let you know…”

Okuoba waited for him to continue, but he didn’t. His face was twitching and he repeated chewed on his lower lip as if that would steady him. When she wanted speak up, he interrupted. “You … it’s all about you.”

“Me? What are you talking about?”

“Can’t you see it? Everyone wants you. Your brother’s killers … they want you.” Ibeabuchi came closer and managed to speak softly, “But I … I want to protect you.”

He took her by the hand and grinned. His eyes left her face, down to her beaded necklace and then on her wrapper-covered bosom. Without a shadow of doubt Okuoba could feel the lusting now; he wanted to strip her with his eyes, he wanted to strip her wrapper right off her and see what she was like in the nude. And this made her uneasy. So uneasy she broke away from his hold.

“What has come over you?”

Ibeabuchi wetted his lower lip with the tip of his tongue. “Just you, asa m.”

Taking a few backward steps, Okuoba said, “I shouldn’t have listened to you in the first place. I shouldn’t ha—”

“Why go against your heart’s wish? It’s reaching out to me. We should be together. Forever.”

“You’re insane!”

Ibeabuchi frowned. With quick springy steps, he approached Okuoba and seized her despite her very vocal resistance.

Lifting her off the ground, he spat out,  “You’re coming with me!”

Part Nine||Part Ten

____________________________

Translations:

Odimnobi — The one after my heart

Asa m — My beautiful one

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34 thoughts on “We Are Not Cursed #10

  1. Yeah, I know! That stupid good for nothing Ibeabuchi had nothing good up his sleeves… or was he just in love? You’ve satiated my appetite but I still want more… I know…. I know… till next week!!! Good job brother, I love it!! 🙂 🙂

    1. LOL!! I think he was infatuated with her 😀 😀 Poor guy couldn’t help it — his emotions were doing the thinking for him.

      Yes, till next week.

      Thanks for the visit. Much appreciated.

    1. You’re spot on with your comment. It’s a dicey situation which can send the whole investigation down a precarious road. I like your analysis, Allyson.

      Many blessings to you 🙂

  2. Ibeabuchi – satan or saviour? Murderer or protector?

    One thing is for sure. I think less of a man who would give away food-meat that his family could use. Showeing Okuobo with gifts of meat that his own family might need —- this is not well done of a man, or a son. Mind you, it is different if Okuobo was betrothed to him – then, her family is also his family.

    Next week might be more revealing —

    1. I completely share the same view with you, Eric. And there is wisdom and good cognizance of cultural and marital issues in your comment. In the past (before the advent of the British), parents of a boy and girl must agree before a marriage/union is possible. In this case, Ibeabuchi, who decided to jump the gun, had just committed a crime punished by expulsion. But we will have to wait and see what happens next. Like you, I also think less of a man who will neglect family for his own (selfish) ambition.

  3. You are a master of suspense, Uzo. I guess we have to be patient and wait to find out whether Ibeabuchi’s actions are driven by lust alone or if there is more to him that glimpsed so far.

    1. Yes, Lena, only a mind with an ulterior motive will act like in the same way as Ibeabuchi had done. There are more twists and tension right after this.

      Thanks for visiting 🙂

  4. Kidnapping tinzz? 😦 I never liked Ibeabuchi. When Okuoba ran towards him, screaming his name, I was also screaming at her to stop and return to her father’s house. Well, I can’t blame her; with her brother’s death and every strange thing happening, she’s bound to be confused.

    This is really suspenseful, Uzo. 🙂 Good job! I can’t wait for next week!

    1. LOL. My brother dat kyn tin, o 😦 Ibeabuchi was supersaturated with the thoughts of Okuoba.

      I’m glad you reasoned along the same line with Okuoba. That’s the human instinct which isn’t always correct.

      As always, your comment is highly appreciated.

  5. The feeling here is I don’t think this is what in seems, I though I may of seen sign post alluding to something else revealed in part, but discarded as not being so.. Next week will tell, if the signposts were just a distraction, or if something is about to erupt unexpectedly as to what has been portrayed. You still have my attention either way, regardless. Incredible read to date.

    1. Wow! Wow! I can’t deny the allusion in here, Sean — you’re very correct to say so. I used this scene to spark off something else which will be revealed in the next installment.

      Till next week, then.

      Cheers!

  6. Very absorbing, Uzoma! I admire you for sustaining the suspenseful pitch and richly embroidered tale week after week! I don’t know if you have already discussed your process, or if you are willing to do so, but I have been wondering if you wrote this as a story and then have published here serially or if you are writing installments each week or so and publishing them as you go? Looking forward eagerly to more. Cheers!

    1. Um, before I started writing this story, I had imagined it all in my head. It has not been written down anywhere before. The writing is the difficult part because it challenges my creativity each week. To be frank, Sirena, your heartwarming comments and that of the others reading this story have been very rewarding. That’s the power behind each written episode.

  7. Every chapter is getting better and better! You write about people whose names I have never heard, they live places, I didn’t even know existed, their lifestyle is so different than mine. Yet, I can relate to the emotions that fill their hearts and minds, just as if they were my own. Beautifully done job of capturing the human spirit that exists within us all!

    1. Hehe. Don’t worry, Jodi, about the names. They are indigenous names in my tribe and I will explain what they all mean once I’m done with the story.

      As always, your comments are a big reward to me.

    1. Hehe 🙂 That’s optimism and positivity, Funmi. Yes, I also wish that’s what will happen in the next installment.

      I’m grateful for your comment.

  8. Oh dear, Ibeabuchi’s impetuosity does not make him a good candidate to be a husband within a tribal community. I was thinking today of someone whose pot was cracked in terms of their personality, and here you have a son of a potter who is a crackpot, lol!

    1. Lol @ the crackpot. Ibeabuchi is one helluva crackpot. He was way out of his mind. But then, that’s the balance of life — good and bad co-exist.

  9. I have read the story , all the comments that followed, and your responses… interesting. From the moment Ibeabuchi stormed out of his father’s workshop, I guessed he was up to no good… he seems to have confused love with lust… But he is human like us, I will not crucify him :). What I find fascinating is the Dubem-Okuoba connection. What a window of opportunity to take this rollercoster ride up a notch! Good work Uzoma.

    1. Wow, thank you! Your suspicion isn’t misguided in any way. Ibeabuchi had it all in his head — the thought that Okuoba would be his. Poor dude, I won’t crucify him either. Beauty can make one “speak in tongues” or do something out of the ordinary 🙂

      Again, I’m delighted by your line of thought. Now is really the time for that Dubem-Okuoba connection.

  10. Riveting and very real descriptions of the actions of the servants, the lust, the confusion in Okuoba’s mind. I loved this part.

  11. I think that Okuoba’s mind could easily be confused and she should be more cautious. Going off with any man, without an escort or chaperone, not a good idea, since she is attractive and young. I will always worry more about the young woman in your story, but am enchanted by the possibility of Dubem coming to her rescue. I also feel badly for Ibeabuchi, his youth allows some grace or forgiveness for his impetuousness. This is well written and intriguing as always. A cliff hanger!

    1. Robin, you speak with so much wisdom! I think that’s the downside of trust. The consequences can be so devastating. Okuoba is a victim of a bad circumstance, a pawn of a sort. Ibeabuchi’s character sure deserves pity and forgiveness because his youth and lack of proper counseling.

      The story continues later today as I was not able to post it yesterday 🙂

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