They sat under the Ukwa tree in the thickest part of the forest. They couldn’t risk any native eyes seeing them. Ubakala sat first, Ajaeze sat in-between his legs and rested on his chest. Ubakala’s arms where wrapped around Ajaeze from behind.
Traces of tears had spread under Ajaeze’s eyes, cleaning and mixing with the Nzu (calabash chalk) that was drawn to adorn her eyes.
Ubakala’s fleshy lips planted kisses on her bare back. He turned her over to see her face. “Ugo m,” he called, wiping off what was left of the cloudy liquid from her eyes.
“What are we going to do?” she sniffed. “I can’t do this. I can’t sleep with him. I can’t serve them.”
Ubakala sighed. As an Osu (prisoner of war), he was powerless and couldn’t help her in anyway. It made him red in the face. He was going to watch the woman he loves being claimed by another man.
It was prophesied that Ajaeze would become the next priestess of Agbara in their community. To complete the ritual, the eldest man in the community had to break her virginity, under the full moon, in the village square, at the watch of other personalities in the village. Another man who has her before then would die.
It had been the tradition for years. Every priestess of Amachara had turned out to be the most powerful across all kingdoms. With her, they went to war undefeated, harvested healthy agricultural produce and kept their women fertile.
The late priestess had named Ajaeze to take her place. Ubalaka’s mind went to the last time he had meet Ajaeze’s family for her hand in marriage. They had insulted and cursed the living hell out of him, even the shape of his head – like beans.
“Ugo m, I have a plan.”
Ajaeze turned her head swiftly towards him, desperation in her eyes. “What is it?”
“The only solution is to change you.”
“Change me? How?”
“I have to run an errand for my master now. Meet me here, same time tomorrow.” Ubakala kissed her forehead and disappeared into the distance before she could turn to have a clearer view of him.
Continue Reading: Ajaeze-2
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