Those words seemed to be coming to her from the wild and the wind. She looked to the left and to the right of the footpath she was walking on. There was no one in sight, she was totally alone. The thought of those words brought smiles to her lips, and her steps took on a new spring, like the bitingly sharp cold of new harmattan.
Beautiful one….She loved the sound of that. Those words had a nice ring to them, and she relished being called that. There was only one person who called her that, and he was far away from her.
As she walked slowly with a smile, she began to reminisce on the man who called her that. She thought of how tall and masculine he was. His strong biceps with which he would lift her in the air and the muscles that stood out on his arms when he did that. She thought of his baritone voice which had a resounding effect to it. His voice automatically commanded authority, even without his trying. He stood at a height of 5ft8 inches, and he tended to intimidate most people he knew, including her. His face was the kindest male face she had ever seen, especially when he was fussing over her.
“Beautiful one, you need to stop being all stubborn. If you continue this way, you will end up hurt and you know it would break my heart to see you hurt.”
It seemed just like yesterday when she had heard him say that. But it wasn’t. It was almost a decade ago. The thoughts of his words, and all he was helped her memories of him fresh.
She felt a sharp pain on her big toe and she cried out. She realized she hadn’t been paying attention as she walked. She was caught up in thought as she bent down to examine her big toe. A small bruise had formed and little trickles of blood, was oozing out, out and out and out. This was what her people called a bad omen.
Bad Omen indeed. There could be nothing worse coming.
She tried to stand up, and it hurt too much to make that much effort. She stayed in that position for a few minutes and tried again. This time, she stood up but fell to the ground almost immediately.
“Ehimma” She heard someone call out from the distance as she hit the ground.
Hours later, she lay on a bamboo bed in one of the many closely built huts. She had being unconscious for hours and in that time the people who surrounded her had been busy making incantations and supplications to their gods. They were finally worn-out with all that activity, such that when she came to, they were sitting outside, to get some fresh air.
“She is awake.” Ame said when she peered into the hut and saw movement.
One of the women carried a palm oil lamp into the room the girl lay in. They found the girl looking around the room, dazed. Her eyes shone brightly, and she as white as a sheet. She passed out again the next minute, as they spoke many things that sounded like gibberish to her.
“This poor Child.” Said one of the women.