Story: My Village Prince and I

Written by Joy Osamudiamen

    Summary

    The circumstances surrounding her birth made everyone call her an abomination, life face with hate and pain was what was made prepare for her by her creator so she thoughts, rejected by many she was a curse to the world, a plague that befell the land of Amucha is what she is called, loneliness was the only friend she know, but what happen when she finds favor in the eyes of the handsome prince of same village that condemn her, will the royal family agree to welcome a girl that they call a curse. This is the story of Amarachi the curse child.

    Prologue

    I was not a child born with luck, good things was never meant for me, maybe my creator brought me to this world so I can pay for the sins I had committed in my previous life, my mother died after given birth to me so i was told by Nneka and Uzochi, they are the couples that took me in and called me their own even when I was rejected from birth.
    My mother that I never got the chance to know because she was taken away from me by the cold hands of death was banished from her village because she was accused of killing my father her husband, she was already pregnant with me at that time, with no place to go she wander the forest for five days without food or water, after five days in the forest she fell into Labour her scream got the attention of Uzochi who is an hunter and had gone to check his traps, he helped my mother to deliver a little baby girl (that’s me) right there in the forest as there was no time to take her to the village midwives, there she told Uzochi everything that had happened to her before giving up the ghost, she was buried there in the forest by Uzochi which I sometimes go to when I feel like to talk to her, Uzochi took me home and showed me to his wife Nneka, they both agreed to take me in because they were in great need of a child at that time after many years of marriage with no child to call their own, to them I was a blessing.
    The villagers wasn’t pleased with their decision because of the circumstances surrounding my birth, it has never been heard that a child was deliver in a forest in the land of Amucha, so because of this they called me unclean, it was reported to the king but seeing that Uzochi and Nneka has been longing to have a child for many years he decided to allow them keep me as a way to show appreciation for the good deeds they have been doing for the people of Amucha, yes Uzochi and Nneka are both good heartened people, they both became the parents I never had.
    My bestfriend name is chiamaka as she was the only one that her parents allowed to play with me because Nneka was a close friend to her mother, life went on like that until one faithful day that Uzochi my father went to the forest but didn’t return alive, I was 15years old at that time, he was attacked by a wild animals, other said it was a lion while other said otherwise but either way we (Nbeka and I) had lost someone dearest to us, things never remained the same after that, we mourn him even up still now, things became worst for me after the death of Uzochi because I was blame for his death, I try to ignore them because I had mama (Nneka) and thinking with time they will let it rest but it was like the more time flies the more frustrated they made me feel, My name is Amarachi and this is my story.

    Sequence 1

    I opened my eyes to behold a new day, the sun has not yet raised so it was easy to tell that it was still very early in the morning, I looked out of the window that was just opposite my bed without moving, wasn’t ready to get up just yet, well that has been my routine for the pass four years that my father died, ever since I was a child I would wake up so early just to go with him to check his traps sometimes he took me along when ever the place is close by while other times he refuse saying he was going deep down into the forest, even after he was gone I still find myself waking up early at each passing day because waking up early was already used to me.
    The sky was becoming clearer that also brighten up my room giving way to see how tidy my room is which consists of a mattress that is lay on the floor facing the window which is covered with a curtain and the door by my head side also covered with a curtain, my bags which we normally call Ghana must go four of them place at the ending of the bed very close to the window, a ceiling fan and a blue carpet which goes with the wall, it’s a small room but comfortable for me.
    I was still waiting for the sun to fully rise while my mind went to the activities I had to take care of that morning trying to arrange the chores in my head because today being Saturday I have a lot to take care of , I rose up immediately as soon as the sun had fully risen putting on my clothes I left my room, I passed my mother’s room which was just close to my room heading to the backyard, I didn’t want to disturb my mother because I knew she will still be sleeping, I don’t need to described my house because it’s just a commonly villages house that has four rooms, a sitting room, a kitchen that is built at the backyard, then at the left side is the bathroom, there was enough space in the compound so most of the empty space we turned it into a farm.
    I took some water with a small bowl from one of the water drum that was placed just close to the kitchen, using the water to wash my face, hands and feet, there wasn’t need to take my bath that morning as I had lot of house chores that needed to be done, I gently place the bowl back at it spot and I picked up my bucket and my wrapper that was hanging on the rope and headed to the public borehole.
    Amucha is recognized as one of the peaceful community in Imo state, with good roads, standard education, steady lights and water and Of course good security, enriched with a lot of natural resources and cultural heritage, for this purpose both the rich and the poor acknowledge Amucha as a home to stay or visit making my village one of the richest in all of igbo land that you will mistake it for a little city, with constant borehole you don’t have to worry about having clean water.
    I met Chiamaka few meters away from my house waiting for me, she was also holding a bucket and a small cloth, she looks beautiful in her blue dress, Chiamaka is what they call your black is so beautiful, she was not too tall but okey for a girl her age. Chiamaka and i are age mates, she is dark in complexion while am very fair in complexion, she is taller then I am because an average in height, but we both have same shape in fact we are both beautiful, as I approach her she let out a warm smile.
    CHIAMAKA: Good morning Amarachi.
    AMARACHI: Good morning, how was your night.
    CHIAMAKA: my night was not bad, I won’t bother to ask about yours because I know it was good.
    Both of us laugh it off.
    AMARACHI: let’s us be going, you know I want us to quickly get there on time so we could also leave there on time before Ada and her bodyguards comes ohhh.
    When I said bodyguards I meant her two serpents that are with her as a form of friends Oluchi and Ugoma.
    CHIAMAKA: you are right, you know that girl is trouble.
    We quickly set on our way not wanting to waste another time standing there, I was really avoiding Ada because she was trouble to me, Ada was a girl around my age I guess, she was one of the people that makes my life miserable in Amucha village, she is the only daughter of a very powerful chief and I heard that he is also good friend to the king (i don’t know his name) so that always gives her the power to do what she want, well to me obviously, I wasn’t scared of her but I was just trying to stay out of trouble since she is classed as one.
    We arrived at the borehole on time thanks to God there was less people there, it got to our turn and we quickly fetch our water, helping each other we put the bucket on our heads and headed on our way, I thanked God that I passed this morning without facing Ada but my appreciation didn’t have the time to get to heaven because Ada decided to show her face, she and her two devils Oluchi and Ugoma walk majestically directly to us, I guess they have already seen us.
    CHIAMAKA: ( in a whisper) talk of the she devil and her serpents.
    I let out a loud sigh I already knew today is going to be another episode of war.

    Sequence 2

    Just as I thought, the moment they came close to us they blocked our path, I and chiamaka glare at each other giving ourselves knowing looks, we tried to move to the other open space but yet again we were blocked by them, chiamaka was the first to voice out as I had nothing to say.
    CHIAMAKA: what is all this, what do you want from us this time.
    They stared at themselves and just as I expected they burst into laughter, I and chiamaka just looked at them waiting for them to finish with what ever that is amusing them.
    ADA : oh please please please, what could we need from people like you, please give us some credit.
    CHIAMAKA : if you need nothing from us then why are you blocking our path.
    OLUCHI : who is blocking your path, oh you want us to give way for you when you should be the one that should run into the bush and hide your face when you see us passing.
    UGOMA : tell them, maybe they don’t know that dogs and kings don’t eat in the same table.
    CHIAMAKA: oh we should run into the bush for you as what.
    We were still carrying our bucket of water and it was already telling on me, if not for the bucket of water I wouldn’t have said a word to them.
    AMARACHI: Ada please I don’t have time for your trouble today, we can do this some other day but not today, as you can see there are heavy bucket of water on our heads, so please let us pass next time we will run into the bush when we see you.
    I said as calmly as I can but instead I got another round of laughter, this was becoming frustrating.
    ADA : oh the bucket is heavy and it’s on her head let us help her with that.
    She said in a mockery sound talking to Oluchi and Ugoma, before I could put out of what she meant by that she pushed the bucket from my head and it fell causing some water to pour and me, and immediately they burst into another round of laughter, I couldn’t tell what I felt that minutes because I so wanted to strangle her to death, I looked at chiamaka who was looking so surprise.
    CHIAMAKA: (shouting) why will you do that.
    ADA: you better watch that tongue of yours before I also help you with your bucket.
    AMARACHI: Ada, Ada, Ada how many times did I call you, Ada don’t push me, don’t push me.
    ADA: and if I do what will you do, obviously nothing, the list you can do is to go running to your stupid mother.
    I was shocked and angry at the same time, how dare she talk to my mother like that.
    AMARACHI: my mother.
    I looked at chiamaka who had already dropped her bucket of water, the anger that I was trying to control gave way, I send a resounding slap on her face, she looked shocked holding her cheek in which the slap has landed.
    ADA: you slapped me.
    AMARACHI: that is what you get for opening that your gutter mouth to talk to my mother like that.
    Oluchi raised her hand to slap me but I saw that coming as I moved back dodging the slap, almost immediately Ada rushed into me and we started another episode of war.
    I was a good fighter, not even four girls can withstand me, some say I fight with evil powers as I had the strength of a man yet I wonder why will anyone wants to cross my path knowing fully well that thay will be defeated. As always I and chiamaka sent them running promising hell as they use to, I and chiamaka was breathing heavily challenging them to come for more, our clothes were a little bit stained but can’t say the same for them as we used the wet sand my water has fallen upon to paint them, we looked for our slippers, I would have loved to go back to the borehole to fetch another bucket of water but the force in which the bucket fell broke caused it to break, nevertheless I still picked it up, I helped chiamaka with hers and we went our way raining curses on them.
    My mother was in the kitchen when I walked in, I greeted her placing the bucket angrily on the ground, she got up from the stool she was sitting on looking worried.
    NNEKA : Amarachi, what is it, you didn’t fetch the water again.
    AMARACHI: is it not Ada and her gangs.
    NNEKA : Don’t tell you you got into another fight.
    AMARACHI: it was them na, look ( picking the broken bucket from the ground and showing it to her) at what they did to my bucket, they broke it.
    NNEKA: what is all this, why won’t this people let I and my daughter live in peace.( sign heavily) it’s okay don’t worry.
    AMARACHI: I want to go inside and change so I can take another bucket to go and fetch water.
    NNEKA : no no don’t worry, just go change and come to do other things, you will fetch water tomorrow, there is enough for us today.
    AMARACHI : ok mama.
    NNEKA: give me that (taking the bucket from my hand) go inside.
    I smile at her and she did same, my mother always find a way to calm my anger well that’s why she is called my mother.
    The day went by very fast and before we could know it evening came, we had just finished eating our dinner, I was in my room reading an interested story called The Abominable Act written by Joy Osamudiamen when I heard my mother voice calling my name, I quickly placed the book on my bed and rush out to answer her, she was in the sitting room with a bible on her hands which shows she has been going through the word of God like she always does, don’t get me wrong I am a strong believer but not just like my mother.
    AMARACHI: mama you called me.
    NNEKA: yes I did, please sit down.
    I sat down opposite her, I knew I was in for her lectures but don’t really know what this is all about, I watched her as she placed her bible on top of the center table, she clear her throat before opening her mouth to speak.
    NNEKA: do you know the meaning of your name.
    AMARACHI: yes mama
    NNEKA: good now if you know the meaning of your name you will not be concerned over what people do or say to you, do you know that.
    AMARACHI: I think I do.
    I was trying hard to understand where she was heading to but just couldn’t, for all I know I wasn’t bother about what others do or say to me well I do feel bad most times but today was not part of those days not even what happened today killed my happiness.
    AMARACHI: mama, I don’t understand, do I look sad or hurt to you.
    NNEKA : I know you don’t, Amarachi I will not ask you to explain to me what happened this morning because I already knows who is at fault.
    AMARACHI : mama I know that you are not happy about the fight that happened between I and Ada this morning but you know me mama, if not for the fact that she disrespected you I would have held my peace, but I just needed to teach her a lesson not to involve my mother in any of our misunderstanding ever again.
    This made my mother laugh, I didn’t think it was funny any way I joined her.
    NNEKA: right from the first day I set my eyes on you I knew you were a strong warrior, if you weren’t you couldn’t have survived in your mother’s womb for five whole days without nothing, but still I want you to always learn how to tolerate okey, no matter what the case may be, now promise me that you will not involve yourself in fighting again.
    I looked at my mother uncertain of what to say, how could she tell me to promise her, she knows I don’t break my promises.
    NNEKA: Amarachi, promise me.
    AMARACHI: okey, I promise.

    Sequence 3

    AFAMEFUNA POV
    My name is Afamefuna, Afam as my friends always calls me, I am the only child of Eze Edoziem the mighty king of Amucha village and Eze Nwanyi the beautiful Lolo Agbonma of Amucha village, but I never got the chance to enjoy my cultural heritage as I was sent to the US (United States of America) to complete my education as an engineer, I was only four year old when I was taken from my family that I miss so much, I would have love to visit but I was forbidden by my father saying I needed to finish my education and come out with a flying colors because I had so much to offer to my community, it’s been 17 whole years and I have been able to graduate from the university with a first class result and have completed my masters degree now planning for my PhD, I could have loved to go for my PhD in Nigeria where I can be close to my family.
    I am what you call the ladies man, with a good height, and a body well built, red lips and of course fine face, I am handsome and I don’t need you to tell me that, in as much as ladies find me attractive I just can’t say same for me, yes I have been with a couple of women but I just can’t be committed to one lady as there was always something missing when ever I am with them, I had everything working out for me, I am rice in other word money is never my problem, I know you guys are confused now wondering how can a prince talk about riches this much well yes my father is the king but he also has companies scattered all over the world, my father was already a rice man before ascending the throne which I intend to do before ascending the throne from him, now back to where I stopped. Now with my face fine, and am educated, you could say I had everything but to me I had nothing because my heart was missing something and I can’t tell what it is.
    I woke up to the ringing of my phone, who the hell will be calling at this hour of the day, I curse under my breath, I didn’t look at the time but I knew it was pass midnight, I stretch my hand and grab the phone that was still ringing loudly, without looking at the caller I press the answer button.
    AFAMEFUNA : hello
    VOICE : hello Afamefuna how are you.
    Hearing the voice from the other end i quickly got up from my bed and sleep totally left my eyes.
    AFAMEFUNA: father.
    EZE NWANYI: my son, how are doing.
    AFAMEFUNA: am doing fine father, what about you and mother, hope everyone are doing fine
    EZE NWANYI: yes of course everyone is doing perfectly okey, from your voice I could tell you must have been sleeping.
    AFAMEFUNA: yes I was but am awake now, hearing your voice have brought me up to my feet.
    I knew this will make him to laugh and as I expected he did and I also joined him, I wasn’t still sure why my father could call me knowing fully well that it was already night fall in US, he normally calls earlier then this.
    AFAMEFUNA: father, I hope there is no problem.
    EZE NWANYI: no there is not, or is it wrong now to call my son.
    AFAMEFUNA: of course not but you never call at this hour, you know it passed midnight here.
    EZE NWANYI : yes you are right, I called because of something, you are truly your father’s son.
    This brought smile on my face, I always love it when he acknowledge me that way.
    EZE NWANYI : Afamefuna.
    AFAMEFUNA: yes father.
    EZE NWANYI: it has been a long time you left to study in the US, and from all indications you have gotten what ever that made you went there.
    I wanted to correct him because my PhD is all I needed so I can leave this place, but you know better than interrupting the king when he hasn’t end his speech.
    EZE NWANYI : so I wanted to ask, when are you coming back.
    His last sentence took me by surprise, for real, like this man was reading my mind, obviously I should be the one asking him the question but it’s like God answered my prayer but I still have to keep my cool.
    AFAMEFUNA : father I would have love to come back home but my PhD is what is holding me, once I am done I will be home.
    He was silent for some time maybe thinking about what I said.
    EZE NWANYI: can’t you do your PhD some other time, you can come home now and learn a lot about your culture then you can go back to complete your PhD.
    I was a little disappointed, thought he could suggest I do my PhD in Nigeria but hey I will go for this one.
    AFAMEFUNA: sure it is fine by me.
    EZE NWANYI: Good.
    AFAMEFUNA: so are you telling me to come home.
    EZE NWANYI: yes Afamefuna, your mother really misses you.
    I couldn’t hold my joy that was inside of me this has been the greatest news I have heard for a long time.
    AFAMEFUNA: I miss you all too, am really happy that am coming home I have always dreamt of this day, father I will love to come back home by next weekend, is that okey by you.
    EZE NWANYI : when ever you are ready just let me know, that will be all, you go back to sleep now.
    AFAMEFUNA: sure father, I will be looking forward to seeing you.
    The line went dead, I started jumping on my bed happily, this is a good news for me.Through out that night I couldn’t sleep as I waited patiently for morning to come, I had to start making preparation.
    The following days was tough on me as I started making my clearance and other things to get me prepared for my tourney, I broke the news to my friends some were happy for me while others were sad either way they were all going to miss me, my mother call also to share her excitement with me, well why won’t she. After I was done will all preparation I call my father informing him on the date I have decided to come home.
    ********************
    AMARACHI POV
    the days has been going on smoothly I had not seen Ada and her serpents after that day, it been a week now and I thank God for putting them behind me at least I enjoyed the few days without their faces.
    I and chiamaka were coming from the farm, we have gone early in the morning to get some firewood, yes we do all our chores early hours of the day, we don’t go to school anymore, we have wrote our jamb so since our parents could not afford the university we decided to relax for the time been well I won’t say same for Ada she failed her jamb and looking forward to rewrite it again, dull brain. The Town Crier sound brought me out of my thought.
    AMARACHI : what news has he brought from the palace again.
    CHIAMAKA: no one knows, let’s hear what he has to say.
    We stood where we were so we could hear the news he brought from the palace.
    TOWN CRIER : Great people of Amucha I greet you all.
    He started, shouting at the top of his voice.
    TOWN CRIER: I am here to announce the coming arrival of our crowd prince, heir to the great throne of Amucha kingdom, crown Prince Afamefuna that went to the United States to study, he has decided to come home to his father’s land four days from now, the General republic both citizens and non citizens of Amucha kingdom are highly invited as there will enough to eat and drink, I have pass the messages it is left for you to keep the letter.
    He concluded his speech and went on his way, immediately many passerby started jubilating.
    AMARACHI: I never knew this village had a prince.
    CHIAMAKA: am shocked as you are, any way which one is our own, we will go there is eat and get to see the beauty of the palace.
    AMARACHI: that is if I have nothing to do at home, biko (please) let us be going.
    We both continue our journey home, I didn’t know what I felt in me by the sound of the prince coming back to Amucha village, it was weird to me so I decided to keep it to myself, what ever it is I pray it doesn’t come with danger.

    Sequence 4

    AFAMEFUNA POV
    I can’t believe finally I am in Nigeria, I felt the hot wind as it hits my face, wow never knew Nigeria was an oven well maybe because I have never experience the weather here but am here now, how was I going to find my way around here, well my father have told me there will be someone to pick me up but I can’t find anyone holding a paper with my name on it well I guess I have to figure it out myself, I proceed to the front door.
    Murtala Muhammad International Airport was fill with people from all works of life, both Britishs, Americans, Africans and more, it was big and beautiful I must confess, I was still admiring the place when I felt the present of someone immediately I turned to see a young man probably my age mate smiling at me, I was a bit confused until he spoke.
    MAN : you must be prince Afamefuna from Amucha kingdom.
    AFAMEFUNA: yes I am and you are.
    Almost immediately he bow his head down, this made me a little embarrassed as I start looking left and right.
    MAN: my name is victor Enyinnaya, am a son of the soil, I was asked by the king to pick you up.
    AFAMEFUNA: okey can you rise up now you are already causing a scene.
    He did as I said and lead me to his car that was parked just few walk away from me, he took my two luggage’s from me, as soon as we got to his car he opened the back sit for me, like seriously.
    AFAMEFUNA:
    That you so much but I will love to sit at the front.
    He looked confused but I had not time to say another word to him I moved to the front door, I gently opened it and went in, he stoop there for some time before putting my luggage’s in the car and took his position at the driver sit, he starts the car and we went on our way, we drove in silent as I envy the beauty of Lagos.
    VICTOR : my prince.
    I turned to face him.
    AFAMEFUNA : yes
    VICTOR: you will be lodging in an hotel for today, tomorrow your flight will be leaving for Imo state.
    AFAMEFUNA: I thought we were heading to Amucha right now.
    VICTOR: no we are not, it far from here so you will be taking a flight, you could have moved today but your flight was cancelled dew to some problem, your tickets has already been taken care of.
    AFAMEFUNA : wow, ok no problem, thank you.
    VICTOR: thank you my prince.
    We continue our journey in silence, not long we drove into a massive building, after parking we both came down, almost immediately a man dress in a working uniform came to us, he greeted us warmly and took the luggage from victor, I was impressed with the services they offer here, well they have shown first impression.
    We followed the man and got to the receptionist, she also with her beautiful face and chocolate skin welcomed us with a warm smile which we did same.
    RECEPTIONIST : welcome to Grands hotel and suite, how may we be of help.
    VICTOR: a reservation was made for prince Afamefuna Nwanyi.
    RECEPTIONIST : oh of course, you are welcome, please one minute let me put a call through to the manager.
    I was surprised at her response, do I need a manager just because I have a reservation here or is it how they welcome everyone with a reservation. Not long a man I think in his late 60s walked to us, he welcome us, mostly me warmly leading us to my room, the hotel matches with its name, Grand Hotel and suite, we took the elevator and in no time we were at my room, it was beautiful I most say, it was a suite with everything screaming wealth, if this is how the rest of the rooms are then this hotel needs to come out first in the Guinness book of records, the manager left after he showed and told me things I needed to know.
    AFAMEFUNA : wow, like seriously what with all the formality.
    VICTOR: you don’t know
    That sound confusing.
    AFAMEFUNA : know what.
    VICTOR: your father is the owning of this hotel.
    My mouth almost drop to the ground, whatttt, you must be kidding me, yes I knew my father had a lot of businesses but never knew hotel was included and one as big and luxury as this, now you can imagine my surprise.
    VICTOR: I will leave you know so you can rest, I will be here tomorrow morning by 10am to take you to the airport.
    I couldn’t respond because I was still lost in the surprise message I just got that I didn’t know when he left, it was the sound of the close door that brought me out of my thought.
    I was indoor for the rest of the day, I wouldn’t want another episode of what happened hours ago to repeat itself, I easily feel embarrassed in things like that. Night gone and morning came, I checked the time and it says 8:39 am, I woke up so I could get prepare before victor comes, there was something different about this morning and I love the feeling, I just can’t wait to see my parents, I called room service for breakfast which arrived 10minutes after, I had already brushed my teeth, after eating my breakfast I had my bath and got dress, just as I locked my luggage the door bell rang, I went to opened the door and saw Victor standing with the manager, we exchanged pleasantries and in no time I was in the car with victor on my way to the airport.
    VICTOR: you are humble for a prince.
    I was taken back by his statement.
    AFAMEFUNA: excuse me
    VICTOR : most prince lack manners but you my prince don’t.
    I didn’t know when I start laughing.
    AFAMEFUNA: seriously, come on am only human.
    VICTOR: that’s because you are saying that, most feel like a god, am proud to call you my prince.
    AFAMEFUNA : you are not bad yourself, and please just call me Afam, it more better.
    VICTOR: you see what I am saying.
    And we both went into another round of laughter.
    AFAMEFUNA:
    It’s nice meeting you.
    VICTOR: I should be the one saying that.
    We continue our discussion and said our goodbyes but not without him exchanging his phone numbers to me, I had no Nigeria line for now, in no time I was in the plane heading to my home town, judging from the first day in Nigeria I knew the rest of my stay will be memorable.

    Sequence 5

    Continues from Afamefuna pov
    I arrived at Sam Mbakwe Airport, I was welcome with the shock of my life as I came out of the front door, I stood at my track not knowing what was going on, there were up to four cars all parked waiting for me, four maids dressed in yellow long gown and three others in a purple long gown and their hair all wrap in a ponytail type, two of the guards wore a yellow wrapper round their waist and a black multi patterned on top and five more guards wore purple wrapper and same black multi patterned, all the guards were putting on black caps on their heads, there on the floor was a long red rug that leads right directly to a car that is already open for me, before I could say a word the two guards putting on yellow wrapper came and collected my bags from me, they both greeted me in reunion and left, almost immediately the maids putting on the yellow gown stood at both sides of the rug, two at each side holding a little basket of roses, when I thought all was over the worst happened.
    MAN: welcome home crown prince Afamefuna, heir to the throne of the great Amucha kingdom, son the the great Eze Nwanyi 1 of Amucha, the lion that is fearless……
    Shouted the man wearing a white chief attire with red beads and a red cap, there were two of them, well I could tell they were chief because of the red cap on their heads, when the man was done they both walk to me bowing to greet me.
    1 MAN: I am Mazi Okafor and this is Mazi Enyinnaya we are from the cabinet meeting, we are sent by the people of Amucha to welcome their prince home.
    I was already feeling embarrassed as I was seeing people already taking photos or videoing, God I hate this.
    AFAMEFUNA: thank you very much, so can we go now.
    MAZI OKAFOR : of course after you my prince.
    I quickly walked to the car while the four maiden were throwing flowers at my feet, the more I move fast the more the increase theirs.
    If I said I wasn’t amazed then I am lying, it was few hours ride from the airport to my village, sited at the back sit I gaze out of the car window admiring the beauty of Imo state, I was lost in my own thoughts, thinking about the whole drama that have taken place some hours ago at the airport, I thought that was only done in the movies but here I am experience it at first class, I knew it will be hard to believe if I told my friends back in the states because all seem like a fairy tale.
    GUARD : my prince.
    Coming out of my thought I looked at the guard that had just called me, he was sited at the front sit while the other drove.
    AFAMEFUNA : yes
    GUARD: I want to inform you that we are about to enter Amucha kingdom.
    Just as he said it, the guard driving turn the car to the another road following the car in front of us, there was a big pillar that the inscription WELCOME TO AMUCHA KINGDOM, THE HOME OF PEACE was boldly written on it. Just then I hear a sound like a trumpet, wondering where it was coming from, the guard told me it was to announce my arrival to the villagers, just as he finished his sentence I saw people going out of stores, houses and others places, many started jubilating while others just watch, the children even made it more fun running along side the cars, young boy followed suit as we drove deeper into the kingdom, that minutes I felt at home, never would I have imagined that the people of Amucha will welcome me this way, even if they don’t know me that didn’t stop them not to acknowledge and welcome me, I roll down the car window so I could see more clearly.
    In no time we arrived at the palace, there were alot of people both outside and inside the palace, the car parked in front of the front door, there stood my father, my mother and some chiefs they were all putting on same attire that the two chiefs that came to pick me at the airport wore with red cap and beads, the maids from the airport came down from their cars immediately it stopped and stood at mine, positioning the way they did before, the door was opened and I ran into the arms of my mother, she was more beautiful than her photos and the video call we always have, I was so lost in her tight embrace that I forgot we were outside, she disengage from the embrace bringing back to reality, I did same to my dad and greeted the elders, I was them lead inside, my mother ordered the maids to take me to my room so I could take my bath and dress into something else, I did as I was told, my room was wide and was divided in two parts, it has a little sitting area with leather sofa all neatly arranged, on the wall was a plasma tv and a DvD to go with it, then at the right side lays a king size bed, there is a balcony at the other side with sets of two chairs and a table, at the other end of the room is the bathroom that is wide enough to contain two king size beds, the wall was painted white so is the curtain that has blue flowers drawing on it, the room was magnificent, but there was no wardrobe that I wondered when the clothes stays, on my bed lays an outfit, it was the same outfit as their but was more expensive, with my attire you don’t need anyone to tell you who I am, even I couldn’t recognize myself in the mirror, at first I had rejected the clothes but one of the men servants begged me to try it on and if I don’t love it then I can take it off but to my greatest surprise I loved it, i was helped by two male servant that in no time I was outside with the rest of my family, it was a day of merriment that I was happy I came back home.
    **************************
    AMARACHI POV.
    I was washing my clothes at the backyard, my mother has left some hours ago to welcome the prince home, I couldn’t go because I had a lot to do and I can’t skip it for just any prince, chiamaka came to call me earlier but I told her I was busy so she left without me, what will I be doing there anyway when almost all my enemies will be there, well I managed to see the cars that drove him into the kingdom, was coming from the farm where I went to get firewood, I could see how people were very happy to see him, that’s for them, the voice of my mother brought me out of my thought.
    AMARACHI: mama you are back welcome.
    NNEKA: yes am back.
    AMARACHI: how was it.
    NNEKA: it was wonderful, everyone was there, there were lot of food to eat and drink.
    I sighted the black bag in her hand.
    AMARACHI: and I see you dealt with the food.
    She followed my eyes that landed at the bag, this cause her to laugh.
    NNEKA : I couldn’t finish everything there, and besides they also gave us to take home, so I used that opportunity to also bring yours since you refused to come with me.
    AMARACHI: ah mama if I had gone with you who would have done the cleaning, the fetching of firewood and who could have cooked now am washing the clothes.
    NNEKA : I know it’s okey, you have really tried today, don’t worry finished with what you are doing so you can come and eat what I brought for you.
    AMARACHI: okey mama I will soon be done.
    With this my mother went inside, I quickly stood up to hang the clothes, anyway I was happy I didn’t go because it gave me enough time for me to fetch water without any disturbance from Ada and gangs.

    Sequence 6

    AFAMEFUNA POV
    I was woken up by the sound of a male voice singing praises to me, I cursed under my breath, who was this moron that is disturbing my sleep, I opened my eyes slowly to see a male figure standing close to me bed, he was putting on the guards attire but the wrapper was white.
    AFAMEFUNA: who the hell are you.
    GUARD: Good morning my prince, I hope you slept well being last night was the first night you have spent in the palace.
    AFAMEFUNA: are you deaf, I asked you a simple question, who the hell are you.
    GUARD: forgive me my prince, I am Nnamdi, your personal men servant, your father assign me to you even before your arrival.
    AFAMEFUNA: okey, so what are you doing here.
    NNAMDI : I came to wake you up my prince so you can dress on time to meet up with the royal breakfast.
    (Pause)
    Is this guy being serious, he disturbed my sleep because of some stupid breakfast, I just stared at him not knowing what to say to him, I was really upset that if I had my way I would have slapped the foolishness out of him, wait, let me rephrase that statement of course I have my way but hey am not a rude prince, hahahahahahah, where were we, oh okey
    (Start)
    AFAMEFUNA : I am going to tell you my rules if you are going to be on the same page with me as my personal servant, rules number one, never ever ever in your life wake me up when ever am sleeping, do we have an agreement.
    I could see the confusion in his eyes, and I know he was trying to sink in what I just told him.
    NNAMDI : I will try my prince.
    AFAMEFUNA: Good, now you can now go while I continue with my sleep.
    I turned to the other side of the bed backing him, I was hoping to hear his footsteps fading away but I waited but still didn’t hear anything, I turned back and to my surprise i behold him still standing there unmoved.
    AFAMEFUNA : didn’t you hear my last statement.
    NNAMDI : Am sorry my prince but it is a tradition that all royal families are to meet at the royal dinner table for their breakfast.
    AFAMEFUNA : Really.
    NNAMDI: yes my prince.
    Wow, I was so surprise in hearing this, well in as much as I love my sleep I won’t want to start breaking rules on my first morning in the palace.
    AFAMEFUNA: okey, lets do it this way, I am going to sleep for let me say thirty minutes and then you can come back to wake me up.
    NNAMDI: my prince, you should be ready by forty five minutes, if you use thirty minutes to sleep can you use fifteen minutes to get ready.
    It was more like a question. Well he was right anyway there was no way I can get ready in fifteen minutes.
    AFAMEFUNA: fine, you win.
    I sluggishly got up from the bed, he clapped his hands twice and the door was open and three men servant dress same way as Nnamdi the only difference is that Nnamdi black cap has a white cloth round it, they were all holding different things in their hand, clothes, beads, shoes and some I couldn’t see clearly.
    NNAMDI : those are your clothes, my prince, when you are done with your bath they will help you with dress up.
    I nodded in agreement and headed to the bathroom.
    *****************************
    AMARACHI POV
    I and chiamaka went to fetch water as usual, there were alot of people there because most of them didn’t come yesterday because of the arrival of the prince, I did fetch a lot of water yesterday but I only came to replaced the ones I used in washing my clothes, we waited for almost an hour before it got to our turn, I thanked my God when we succeeded in fetching our water and headed on our way, Ada and her serpents didn’t come today well my luck, wasn’t ready to see her again not after the promise I made to my mum.
    CHIAMAKA : you really missed a lot yesterday at the palace.
    Chiamaka brought me out of my thought, she sounded happy saying it.
    AMARACHI: Really, what did I miss, is it the ugly faces of my enemies.
    CHIAMAKA: ah ah, no na, thank God you said their ugly faces at least you know they are not beautiful so why will you even look at them.
    We both burst into laughter, truly that was funny.
    CHIAMAKA : well that isn’t the fun part, there were lot of food to eat and drinks to drink, music, in short it was a great day to remember.
    AMARACHI: yeah I know, I saw what my mother came home with yesterday.
    CHIAMAKA: and the fun part of it was the prince, you needed to see him, God that guy is handsome.
    I was surprised seeing my friend talk about a guy so excitedly, I wasn’t interested in the discussion but I had to pretend I was interested not to hurt her feeling.
    AMARACHI: is that so.
    CHIAMAKA: God, and his smile makes me want to fly.
    AMARACHI: aaaah, Chiamaka.
    CHIAMAKA: what
    AMARACHI : don’t tell me you are falling for the prince.
    CHIAMAKA : nke a (see this one) she said I am falling, I have already fell.
    AMARACHI: please don’t go and put your hope up ooo, but anyway sha, God knows it all, just remember me when you become the queen.
    I watched as her expression changed to a sad one.
    CHIAMAKA: biko (please) let’s leave that one, what will a prince finds in me anyway, when there are princesses lining up for him, I know by now the king must have even found a beautiful princess for him.
    AMARACHI: oh you know, and you are here day dreaming.
    CHIAMAKA: it’s not bad to dream sometimes, do you know what it will means if one of us becomes the queen, Ada and her friends won’t dare to try us again.
    In as much as it hard to believe she is right, I have never thought of what it will means to me if I becomes the queen, I won’t have to walk in the village with my head low anymore, or let me say if Chiamaka becomes the queen I know she will protect me, but who am I deceiving that kind of a prayers are not meant to be answered.
    *******************************
    AFAMEFUNA POV
    The breakfast was delicious, as I ate as much as I could that morning, I came down at the dinner on time as the men servants helped me with my clothes, it was the same attire like the ones I wore on the day of my arrival, I think will be my dressing code in all of my stay here, my mother and my father were already at the dining when I got there, I must say my mother was truly a queen to behold with her queens attire, I would have married her if she wasn’t my mother, my father too wasn’t looking bad.
    After having my breakfast I went back to my room to rest, I was still very tired after yesterday merriment, I woke up later in the afternoon, the room was becoming boring for me so I decided to go out, I saw Nnamdi standing at my door, don’t this guys rest, I didn’t have time to question him after all he is only doing his job, I asked after my mum and he took me to her, I used that opportunity to admire the palace, so all this will become mine someday, I saw my mother sitting down at the garden, six maids all dress in white gown was with her, some were massaging her shoulder while some her legs, and some fanning her, they were all singing a beautiful igbo song and I know it pleases my mother because she was enjoying it, I walk up to her smiling, immediately the maids saw me they stopped what they were doing and bow on their knees to greet me, I responded to their greeting.
    LOLO AGBONMA: you finally came out of your room.
    AFAMEFUNA : I was bored.
    LOLO AGBONMA: I know, sit.
    I sat just close to her, there was a jug and glass of juice on the stool in her left side.
    LOLO AGBONMA: leave us.
    And immediately they all left leaving just me and my mother.
    AFAMEFUNA: mum I’ve been wondering, what is it with the different colors of attires with the servants, it’s getting confusing, what’s with the white, purple and yellow dresses.
    LOLO AGBONMA : you are not the first person to be confused over this, but you see the different colors of attire are to differentiate the role they are playing in the palace.
    AFAMEFUNA: I still don’t get.
    LOLO AGBONMA: now listen, the ones putting on yellow attires are the ones in charge of the outer palace, the surroundings, making sure everything is in place, and then the one wearing purple attires are the ones in charge of the inner palace, they also help the chef in preparing the meals, then the one on white attire, those are the personal servants, they takes care of the royal families needs, they alone have the right to serve the food like you saw earlier, they alone have access to the inner chambers.
    I was really amazed with the way everything was organized in the palace.
    AFAMEFUNA: wow.
    LOLO AGBONMA: and the last one the ones on black attires.
    I was surprised to hear this because I haven’t seen any servant with black attire.
    LOLO AGBONMA : don’t tell me you haven’t seen they.
    AFAMEFUNA : no, I haven’t.
    LOLO AGBONMA: there were among those that came to pick you at the airport.
    I tried to recall if I saw them then I remembered something.
    AFAMEFUNA: I think I have, the guard that was sitting in front of the passers seat on my way to the palace, I didn’t see clearly but I think he was putting on black.
    LOLO AGBONMA: exactly.
    AFAMEFUNA : ohhh, what are their duties.
    LOLO AGBONMA: they are the securities, they are the only ones allowed to hold weapons in the palace, they safeguard the royal families, always remember to take two of them with you where ever you are going okey.
    AFAMEFUNA: of course.
    LOLO AGBONMA: Good, and each of this groups has a leader, Nnamdi is the leader of the personal men servants your father assigned to you.
    AFAMEFUNA: oh I see, that’s why his cap is different.
    LOLO AGBONMA: yes
    AFAMEFUNA: wow, interesting, I…….
    I was yet to complete my sentence when I heard a female voice throwing greetings to my mother.

    Sequence 7

    Continues from Afamefuna pov
    I turned to see a light chocolate girl standing with a smiling face, she had a light makeup on, her gown resting a little above her knees, she had a good body structure I must confess.
    GIRL : Good afternoon my prince.
    AFAMEFUNA : Good afternoon to you too.
    She was all smiling and starring at me, well I know that look, my good look always attract ladies to me and this one just seems to fall for my charms.
    LOLO AGBONMA: Ada what are you doing in the palace today, did you come with your father.
    ADA : No my queen, my mother sent me to you.
    LOLO AGBONMA: hope all is well.
    ADA : yes my queen, she asked me to bring this for you.
    She brought a small black bag.
    ADA : she said its the jewel she promised to buy for you.
    LOLO AGBONMA: oh, that’s very sweet of her, I really appreciate this.
    My mother signal to one of her personal maid that came running, the maid took the bag from the girl and left, even as she was talking to my mother her eyes were still all over me.
    LOLO AGBONMA: tell her that I will come visiting soon, I have something important to discuss with her.
    ADA: okey my queen, I will deliver the message.
    LOLO AGBONMA : thank you, and before I forget, Afam.
    I raised up my head to look at my mother.
    AFAMEFUNA: yes mum.
    LOLO AGBONMA: this is Ada, the only daughter of Mazi Amadi, he is one of the chiefs and your father child hood friend, isn’t she beautiful.
    AFAMEFUNA: of course she is, nice meeting you.
    She laughed shyly.
    ADA: thank you my prince, I will take my leave now my queen.
    LOLO AGBONMA: no problem you take care of yourself.
    ADA: I will my queen.
    She looked at me one more time and walked away, I bet she was trying to get my attention with the way she walks.
    AFAMEFUNA : mother, why do I have this feeling that you are trying to hook me up with that girl.
    LOLO AGBONMA: oh come off it, why will you say that, you are the future king of Amucha kingdom, you are free to choose any woman you want, so why will I hook you up with anyone.
    She said taking a zip from her drink. In as much as she was hiding her intention from me I knew it was a matter of time before she let it out, and I will laugh at her face when she finally does.
    ******************************
    AMARACHI POV
    It was a hot afternoon, my mother was not at home because she had gone to the women’s meeting, so I was home alone, I was sitting outside because inside was very hot so having fresh air outside wasn’t a bad idea for me, I was reading my bible, just felt like to go into the word of God, I heard someone called my name from afar, I raised my head to see Chiamaka runing to me, I too got up in shock as she approached me.
    AMARACHI: Chiamaka, who is chasing you.
    She was breathing heavily.
    AMARACHI: you are getting me scared.
    She caught her breath starring at me like I have lost my mind, she burst into an uncontrollable laughter, this got me annoyed.
    AMARACHI: Chiamaka, what is all this, do you know you almost got me an heart attack.
    CHIAMAKA: sorry but you needed to see your face.
    She continue laughing, I sat down ignoring her.
    CHIAMAKA: sorry ooo, didn’t mean to scare you.
    She said taking another chair and sat down.
    AMARACHI: I wonder what made you ran into my house like that.
    I was still angry with her and she knows this.
    CHIAMAKA: am sorry na, haven’t I apologize I promise not to do it again, so am I forgiven.
    AMARACHI: fine, I have heard you.
    CHIAMAKA: mama must have gone to the women’s meeting abi.
    AMARACHI: yes
    CHIAMAKA: even my mother, so ask me why I was running.
    AMARACHI: okay, why were you running.
    CHIAMAKA: you are not even interested in the gist I brought to you.
    AMARACHI: Chiamaka, I am interested please tell me na.
    CHIAMAKA: I was coming from my house and I came across Chi Chi.
    AMARACHI: Chi Chi, the village gossiper.
    CHIAMAKA: yes she was talking with so group of girls so I decided to join their discussion at least to hear the latest news, guess what I heard.
    AMARACHI: what.
    CHIAMAKA : I heard that Ada is going to be the future queen of this land.
    AMARACHI: Chiamaka, chiamaka, and you believed such lies
    CHIAMAKA: this is no lie ooo, you know that it very difficult for ChiChi information to turn into lie or just gossip.
    I was downcast, Chiamaka is right about that, ChiChi is known for breaking the latest news in Amucha village, what will i do if that comes to pass, what will become of me, i jerk out of my thought at the touch of Chiamaka.
    CHIAMAKA: are you okay.
    AMARACHI: you know am not, what if its true.
    CHIAMAKA: it might not be, I mean who will want to marry such an arrogant brat.
    I know she was trying to cheer me up seeing that I was scared, but it wasn’t working. She held my hands looking into my eyes.
    CHIAMAKA: don’t worry we will undertake three days fasting and prayers okey.
    She said with a smile which I returned, I pray in my mind this news is false and all this was just some gossip talk.
    ******************************
    AFAMEFUNA POV
    it has been five days that I have been in Amucha village and I haven’t done anything fun and this was becoming boring to me, I was in my room playing games as usual but I wasn’t enjoying it, I needed something more fun to do, what if I take a stroll round the village that won’t be bad, I called Nnamdi who I know will be at my door and just as I expected he immediately came inside my room.
    NNAMDI: my prince you called me.
    AFAMEFUNA: yes I did.
    NNAMDI: what do you need my prince.
    AFAMEFUNA: I feel bore, I have been in this palace for like five days without doing nothing, I need something entertaining, do you have somewhere you can take me to.
    NNAMDI: my prince there are lots of entertaining places but not befitting for you my prince.
    AFAMEFUNA: oh, is that also another tradition, okey what about strolling.
    NNAMDI: that will be better my prince.
    AFAMEFUNA : then strolling it is.
    I said getting up.
    NNAMDI: let me call the men servants to come dress you up.
    AFAMEFUNA: oh ok.
    He called the men servants, they came in after a few minutes with another set of clothes and they did their job, I wasn’t allowed to go without the guards and some men servants, I gave up after trying to convince my dad to see reasons with me.
    The Village wasn’t that bad, each place we pass Nnamdi was there to explain some things consigning it, Nnamdi was sitting at the front passenger seat and Ofcourse the driver, there was another car at our back which the guards were, I was enjoying myself at least it better then staying in the palace, all of a sudden I feel pressed, I tried to hold it but it won’t just agree to my terms.
    AFAMEFUNA: Nnamdi.
    NNAMDI: yes my prince.
    AFAMEFUNA: I need to use the bathroom.
    I could see the confusion in his face.
    NNAMDI: but my prince we are in the middle of the road and there is no bathroom here.
    He was right, we were still driving but I just can’t hold it any longer, I looked at my side and saw that we were in a bushy area that will do.
    AFAMEFUNA: stop the car.
    NNAMDI: my prince.
    AFAMEFUNA: I said stop the car, I want to use the bush or is it also forbidden.
    NNAMDI: no my prince, but…
    AFAMEFUNA: just stop the goddamn car.
    I was becoming inpatient, the driver stopped the car and I came down not minding Nnamdi, I walk towards the bush and Nnamdi followed me.
    AFAMEFUNA: what are you doing, don’t tell me you are coming with me, do I look like I need a babysitter.
    NNAMDI: but my prince this is a lonely place, it might be dangerous for you.
    AFAMEFUNA: were you with me back in the US.
    NNAMDI: no butt..
    AFAMEFUNA: then not a word from you, wait me here.
    I said and walked inside the bush so I could look for a suitable place to do my business, I was done playing nice, that Nnamdi won’t just let me, he will be following around as if our lives are bond together, I saw a suitable place away from people eyes and I did my business there, I just finished with what ever I came to do, as I turn to leave I heard a beautiful voice singing an Igbo song, the voice got my attention that as I listen to it my heart found peace, I might not know the full meaning of the song but I could tell it was a sorrowful song, I must know who have this melody that is able to calm the trouble heart, just then I began to trace where the song was coming from.

    Sequence 8

    AMARACHI POV
    Ever since Chiamaka gave me that news my heart has been heavy, I found myself thinking about it too much, so today I decided to do something that will take my mind of it, I decided to go to bushes around the village to set traps, I had learnt from my father how to set traps, I just finished setting the last one when I decided to sit down to rest, that was when all the memories of my father came rushing down, I couldn’t hold my tear as I allowed it flow, I began to sang a song that will help my heavy heart.
    *****************************
    AFAMEFUNA POV
    I followed the voice deep into the bush, just when I had given up hope of finding the singer that’s when I saw her, she was sitting down on the ground, her skin shining like the morning sun, I couldn’t see her face but I knew she must be a beauty, my curiosity took the better part of me and I moved closer so I could see her face, just like she knew I was there she got up immediately facing me with the those beautiful eyes, I was stun to say a word, I love it better just starring at her.
    Reality drew on me that I have been starring for too long without saying a word, I wanted to opened my mouth but no words came out, there were tear in her eyes which meant only one thing and that minute I so wanted to take her into my arms and console her.
    AFAMEFUNA: why are you crying.
    She starred at me without saying anything, I tried to move closer to her but she moved backward, it was hard to tell if she was scared because her face was emotionless.
    AFAMEFUNA: am a friend, you don’t have to be afraid of me.
    AMARACHI: what makes you think I am afraid of you.
    Her outburst got me surprise, this sure is one hell of a brave girl and I like brave.
    AFAMEFUNA: so why the silence.
    AMARACHI: I am only wondering what a stranger will be doing inside the bush all alone.
    AFAMEFUNA : why do you think I am a stranger.
    AMARACHI: isn’t it obvious, your skin seem soft even from afar, your clothes looks expensive, and your ascent doesn’t show you are from this village, are you a visitor here.
    I was just starring at her because she will be the first person that didn’t recognize who I am and I love it because I got to have a real conversation without any formality to it, I had to come out with a smooth lie.
    AFAMEFUNA: yes, you are correct I am a visitor in Amucha village.
    AMARACHI: and it’s really rear to see a visitor in a royal attire.
    I knew I was in for it but I wasn’t ready to give up I needed to think first before she seen through my lies.
    AMARACHI: or are you from the royal family.
    AFAMEFUNA: yes, no, I mean not really.
    I hate myself now, can’t believe I am stammering.
    AMARACHI: which please.
    AFAMEFUNA: I am a servants to the royal family, am the personal servants to the prince.
    I could see the surprise in her face and I knew she was buying my story.
    AFAMEFUNA: about my ascent it because I was with him when he was in the US.
    AMARACHI: I have to go now.
    I was surprised, why will she want to leave, she meant to turn but I quickly stood in front of her blocking her path.
    AFAMEFUNA: come on, I just told you who I am and you are leaving, did I say something wrong, am sorry if I did.
    AMARACHI: why will you apologize to me when you have done nothing wrong.
    AFAMEFUNA : I don’t know.
    All of a sudden she gave a light laugh, she looks more beautiful when she laughed, I smile at my thought.
    AMARACHI: well you didn’t offend me, I just needed to go that all.
    AFAMEFUNA : okey can you at least tell me your name, my name is Nnamdi and you are.
    I said stretching out my hand for an handshake, she looked confused for sometime then she took my hand for an handshake, the electricity I felt that moment was something I can’t explain and I knew she felt same way, she quickly redraw her hand.
    AMARACHI: I really need to get going.
    She walked pass me.
    AFAMEFUNA: can you at least tell me your name.
    She stopped not looking at me.
    AMARACHI : Amarachi, the unclean one.
    Saying this she took to her heels.
    AFAMEFUNA: wait, what do you mean by that.
    I was actually talking to myself because she was already gone.
    *******************************
    AMARACHI POV
    I got home and slept off because I was very tired, when I woke up it was already evening so I got up to make dinner, mama was already in the kitchen as I joined her, she was preparing groundnut soup as I took the vegetable leaves and started to punk them one at a time.
    My mind went to the event that had happened some hours ago at the bush when I went to set my trap, I was crying thinking about my father when I felt the present of someone close to me, I quickly got up out of fear that died immediately I saw the stranger face, I don’t know but I felt this peace of mind around him which was rear, his eyes were compared to nothing I have ever seen, even his voice, God the way he talk was something else, he told me his name was Nnamdi, I so wish I could see him again, I felt the warm hand of my mother on my hands, this brought me out of my thought, there was a smile on her face.
    NNEKA : what is making you smile this way or should I say who.
    AMARACHI: mama am not smiling, you are the one smiling not me.
    NNEKA: I have been watching you for some minutes now and all you have been doing was looking into space and smiling, is there something you want to tell me.
    I shyly looked down, I knew I can’t lie to her and can’t tell her the truth either.
    NNEKA: tell me is he handsome.
    AMARACHI: mama
    She laughed so hard, I was surprised how she could tell .
    NNEKA : this was just the way I felt the first day I met my husband your father, blushing.
    AMARACHI: mama am not blushing.
    I said with a frown
    NNEKA: of course you are, look at your cheeks
    I used my hands to cover my face as I felt embarrass.
    NNEKA: it alright to feel this way, you are no longer a kid, some day a man will come and take you away from this house but it should be a good man and that is my greatest prayer for you, I won’t ask you anything for now but just know that when ever you are ready to talk am always here.
    I nodded in agreement.
    NNEKA: now finish that quickly the soup is almost done.
    I immediately continue with what I was doing with the vegetable leaves.

    Sequence 9

    AFAMEFUNA POV
    Ada has left after about two hours of talking with me, I must confess she is fun to be with and won’t mind keeping are close as a friend, I later woke up after having a nap, Ada has joined me in eating breakfast in the morning before she left so I rested my head a little, I decided to go to the place I met Amarachi hoping I could meet her there, I called Nnamdi who came rushing into my room.
    NNAMDI: yes my prince.
    AFAMEFUNA: get ready we are going out.
    I said getting up from my bed.
    NNAMDI: let me call the men servants.
    AFAMEFUNA: no, am going on a simple wear today and you too.
    He seems surprised but I had no time to explain myself, I got ready putting on a blue jeans with a white t-shirt, a white Gucci sneakers, and a leather wristwatch, I wanted to look simple, didn’t want to draw attention to me since I didn’t have the mind of using the car or the guards, I came out of my room to see Nnamdi dressed in a black trouser, a blue t-shirt and a black sneakers.
    AFAMEFUNA: not looking bad.
    He cross check himself and a smile appeared on his face.
    AFAMEFUNA : now listen, we are not taking the car okey.
    I said in more as a whispered.
    AFAMEFUNA: we are going on foot.
    NNAMDI: but where are we going to.
    AFAMEFUNA: that left for you to find out.
    We walked out of the building heading to the gate, it wasn’t easy to convince the security to let us pass but not wanting to lose their job for disobeying the crown Prince, they allowed us pass.
    The walk from the palace to the place I met Amarachi was more like a forty minutes walk, and believe me I enjoyed it, Nnamdi didn’t bother to ask me any more question and I appreciated it.
    NNAMDI : I knew you were coming here.
    He voiced out as soon as we got there.
    AFAMEFUNA: Good, now since you knew, you will just follow me without another word and one more thing, my name is Nnamdi not my prince.
    I saw his jaw drop.
    NNAMDI: but that is my name.
    AFAMEFUNA: and now it’s my own name, so you better start looking for another.
    NNAMDI: what are you up to my prince.
    AFAMEFUNA: Nnamdi is my name, okey at least it’s not that hard for you to pronounce your own name.
    I said going into the bush, he kept quiet and followed me, I just needed to arranged things just in case I meet her there and as I had thought I did, my joy knew no bounce when I saw her sleeping so calmly in same spot, Nnamdi gave me a questioning look which I ignored, I signed for him to keep shut won’t want to wake her up in a wrong manner, I slowly walked up to her without making any noise, I bent down stared at her beautiful face, if only she knew what she was doing to me, I touched her cheek and with this she slowly woke up.
    AFAMEFUNA: hello sunshine.
    *******************************
    AMARACHI POV
    I was shocked and same time happy to see him but I wasn’t going to let him know that, he was all smiling like a child who just found his lost teddy bear, I got on my feet dusting away the dirt on my blouse and skirt, he too stood up as I did.
    AFAMEFUNA: sorry for disturbing your beautiful sleep.
    Why does he like apologizing this much over nothing.
    AMARACHI: what are you doing here.
    AFAMEFUNA: well I came to see you.
    I was surprised at his responses
    AMARACHI : you came to see me, does here look like my home.
    AFAMEFUNA: well since I don’t know where you stay I came to the only place I knew I might find you and guess what, I was right.
    AMARACHI : you are something else.
    AFAMEFUNA: so are you going to offer me a sit or you prefer to keep me standing.
    He was very funny and free will no doubt, and his words brought smile to my face, I looked around and saw a branch connected from a tree.
    AMARACHI: we can sat down there.
    I said pointing at the branch, we both walk there and sat down that was when i saw that he wasn’t alone.
    AMARACHI : won’t your friend join us.
    He turned at the side his friend was standing and gesture him to come which he did.
    AFAMEFUNA: Emeka is his name, and he is my very good friend in the palace, Emeka meet Amarachi.
    I saw the shock in his eyes but quickly dismissed it, saying a hi to me, I knew he wasn’t pleased with my presence and this brought sadness to me.
    NNAMDI : my… I mean Nnamdi, I will be waiting for you there.
    He said this and left.
    AFAMEFUNA: what is it.
    I quickly force out a warm smile.
    AMARACHI: nothing, am fine.
    AFAMEFUNA: no you are not, so tell me or is it because of my friend.
    AMARACHI: no am fine.
    AFAMEFUNA: Amarachi, I know you are hiding something and you don’t want to tell me, I know I am a stranger to you but I want to be a friend.
    AMARACHI: you can’t be my friend, you won’t want to be my friend if you know my story.
    I said bowing my head I just couldn’t look at him in the eyes, I was trying hard to fight the tear from coming out.
    AFAMEFUNA: then tell me, I want to know.
    There were a lot of things going through my head, didn’t know if I was ready to loose a friend I just made.
    ****************************
    AFAMEFUNA POV
    I looked at her expecting her to say something, her head was still bow down refusing to look at me, I needed to know why are name was rejected in the lips of many if not everyone, what crime has a beautiful damsel done that has made everyone hates even her name.
    AMARACHI: I am not really from this village.
    She started her story.
    AFAMEFUNA: go on, am listening.
    I said encouraging her to continue.
    AMARACHI: my mother was banished from her village because she was accused of killing my father, she had no where to go so she wandered the forest but fell into Labour on the firth day, an hunter that was passing by heard her scream so he helped her put to birth right there in the forest, the hunter and his wife were the ones that took me in.
    I knew she was crying, I wanted to console her but kicked against it, it is good to cry once in a while to ease your pain, but I was confused, what was the crime in her story.
    AFAMEFUNA: then why are people afraid of you.
    AMARACHI: because they said I was given birth to in the forest and it has never happened before, so they said I am an abomination.
    With this her crying increased i immediately took her into my arm and let her soaked my shoulder with her tear.
    AFAMEFUNA: it’s okey, it’s alright, all will be fine.
    She stopped crying few minutes later, she sat up while I took her hands.
    AFAMEFUNA: Amarachi, look at me.
    She didn’t lift up her head.
    AFAMEFUNA: look at me.
    I said more calmly, and she did.
    AFAMEFUNA: you are nothing like a curse, a curse is an ugly creation with big horns and sharp teeth, but you are nothing like that, you are a beautiful creation that I have ever came across in my entire life, you have the heart of gold, and a brave one, so even the people that has condemned you are so blind, there is nothing wrong with you, do you hear me, and I am glad to meet someone so special, you came into this world for a reason and a time will come those who mocked you will bow at your feet and this I promise you.
    *******************
    I later went home after having the best evening with Amarachi, she lightened up after listening to everything I told her, she doubted me at first but when she saw the sincerity in me she gave in, I told her about myself but leaving the part that I was the prince, I needed to keep that away from her for now, didn’t know why but I want to.
    I entered the palace with Nnamdi and headed to my room but was met with one of my father personal men servants at my door, he looks like he has been waiting for me for a long time, he bow to acknowledge my presence.
    MEN SERVANT: The king request your presence at the throne room.
    AFAMEFUNA: I will be right there.
    He left after delivering the message.
    AFAMEFUNA: call the men servants I need to change.
    I said entering my room, the men servants came almost immediately and in not time I was prepared, I sent Nnamdi away so he too can go change to his attire and I headed to the throne room.
    The guard as usual opened the door granting me passage to the throne room, I entered and saw five chiefs sited, I greeted my father then the chiefs which they reciprocated.
    EZE NWANYI: son, where have you been, I sent for you but was told you went out.
    AFAMEFUNA: so sorry father, I needed to see the four corners of the community, sorry I didn’t inform you about it.
    EZE NWANYI: no problem, I sent for you because the chiefs had something important to discuss with you, they have told me but it will be better if you heard from them personally.
    AFAMEFUNA: my elders I am so sorry you keeping you all waiting.
    They all accepted my apologize.
    AFAMEFUNA: my elders you have something important to tell me, it must be so important if not you wouldn’t have left your comfortable homes to the palace to see me, hope its nothing serious.
    MAZI AMADI : our people say if you see a rat running in the afternoon you will know either it’s chasing something or something is chasing it, but in this case something is chasing it, is it not so.
    MAZI OKAFOR: you are right.
    The rest of the chiefs agreed with him, I knew that intact there was something wrong and I was eager to know the reason for their visit.
    MAZI AMADI: we came here to see you today because of a very important issue, you see we the elders were very happy the day you came back without bringing any white woman with you, and we have asked the king and his answer was something we can hope for, at least you are not like some princes that goes to another man’s land and marry their daughters but instead you came back so you can choose a wife from your father’s land.
    They all started talking at the same time acknowledging my wish decision, but honestly I didn’t came back to Nigeria to settle down, I looked at my dad and he just smile at me, what has this old man been telling them.
    AFAMEFUNA: my elders indeed you have said the right thing and I appreciate that you all sees the good part in me and my good interest in the culture of the great kingdom of Amucha.
    MAZI ENYINNAYA : and that is why you are the true son of your father, a lion cannot begot a sheep.
    They all agreed again to his words, I already knew the purpose of their coming, so I have to choose my word wisely.
    MAZI AZUBUIKE : your father the king told us that you have been going round the village in search of a bride, you know if you are having difficulties in selecting we could help you with that.
    They all burst into laughter. Are they for real, was this the reason why my father asked me to come back home.
    AFAMEFUNA: I appreciate your concern but I am still looking but I will need more time to do that.
    MAZI OKAFOR: you have the time to search for your bride but remember you have to produce a heir before your father the king joins his ancestors.
    What is this one saying, those my father look like someone that will die soon, I didn’t want to say much I assured them that good news was on the way, they later left giving my father and I the privacy I have been waiting for.
    AFAMEFUNA: father, I need some explanation.
    EZE NWANYI: what explanation.
    AFAMEFUNA: father don’t play dumb with me, what is all this about me getting married, have you forgotten that I still have my PhD to do, did both of us even discuss anything about marriage.
    EZE NWANYI: son, you know the costume and traditions of our land, before a prince is crown as the next king he must produce an heir to the throne and that heir must be bless by the former king, your son must be bless by me before you can be the next king, do you know that.
    AFAMEFUNA: I do, but why now, even at that, must I marry now, father do you know how old am I.
    EZE NWANYI: you are old enough to pregnant a woman.
    AFAMEFUNA: oh God, is this the reason why you asked me to come home, it wasn’t because you missed me.
    EZE NWANYI : Afamefuna, I am dying.
    *******************************
    AMARACHI POV
    It has been three weeks now and things has been going well between I am Nnamdi, the other day he has given me hope with his words, I thought he could run away from me after hearing my story but instead he embraced my past and my future, and since that time I have vow not to do anything that will make me loss his friendship.
    I told chiamaka about Nnamdi and she was so eager to meet him, and Emeka too has come to accept me too all thanks to Nnamdi but still I have this fear in me that this friendship will not last.
    *******************************
    AFAMEFUNA POV
    It has been three weeks since I and Amarachi has been friends, for her I am just her friend but for me she was more than that, I didn’t know what was happening to me, the thought of her brings smile to my face and joy to my heart.

    Sequence 10

    AFAMEFUNA POV
    Ada has left after about two hours of talking with me, I must confess she is fun to be with and won’t mind keeping are close as a friend, I later woke up after having a nap, Ada has joined me in eating breakfast in the morning before she left so I rested my head a little, I decided to go to the place I met Amarachi hoping I could meet her there, I called Nnamdi who came rushing into my room.
    NNAMDI: yes my prince.
    AFAMEFUNA: get ready we are going out.
    I said getting up from my bed.
    NNAMDI: let me call the men servants.
    AFAMEFUNA: no, am going on a simple wear today and you too.
    He seems surprised but I had no time to explain myself, I got ready putting on a blue jeans with a white t-shirt, a white Gucci sneakers, and a leather wristwatch, I wanted to look simple, didn’t want to draw attention to me since I didn’t have the mind of using the car or the guards, I came out of my room to see Nnamdi dressed in a black trouser, a blue t-shirt and a black sneakers.
    AFAMEFUNA: not looking bad.
    He cross check himself and a smile appeared on his face.
    AFAMEFUNA : now listen, we are not taking the car okey.
    I said in more as a whispered.
    AFAMEFUNA: we are going on foot.
    NNAMDI: but where are we going to.
    AFAMEFUNA: that left for you to find out.
    We walked out of the building heading to the gate, it wasn’t easy to convince the security to let us pass but not wanting to lose their job for disobeying the crown Prince, they allowed us pass.
    The walk from the palace to the place I met Amarachi was more like a forty minutes walk, and believe me I enjoyed it, Nnamdi didn’t bother to ask me any more question and I appreciated it.
    NNAMDI : I knew you were coming here.
    He voiced out as soon as we got there.
    AFAMEFUNA: Good, now since you knew, you will just follow me without another word and one more thing, my name is Nnamdi not my prince.
    I saw his jaw drop.
    NNAMDI: but that is my name.
    AFAMEFUNA: and now it’s my own name, so you better start looking for another.
    NNAMDI: what are you up to my prince.
    AFAMEFUNA: Nnamdi is my name, okey at least it’s not that hard for you to pronounce your own name.
    I said going into the bush, he kept quiet and followed me, I just needed to arranged things just in case I meet her there and as I had thought I did, my joy knew no bounce when I saw her sleeping so calmly in same spot, Nnamdi gave me a questioning look which I ignored, I signed for him to keep shut won’t want to wake her up in a wrong manner, I slowly walked up to her without making any noise, I bent down stared at her beautiful face, if only she knew what she was doing to me, I touched her cheek and with this she slowly woke up.
    AFAMEFUNA: hello sunshine.
    *******************************
    AMARACHI POV
    I was shocked and same time happy to see him but I wasn’t going to let him know that, he was all smiling like a child who just found his lost teddy bear, I got on my feet dusting away the dirt on my blouse and skirt, he too stood up as I did.
    AFAMEFUNA: sorry for disturbing your beautiful sleep.
    Why does he like apologizing this much over nothing.
    AMARACHI: what are you doing here.
    AFAMEFUNA: well I came to see you.
    I was surprised at his responses
    AMARACHI : you came to see me, does here look like my home.
    AFAMEFUNA: well since I don’t know where you stay I came to the only place I knew I might find you and guess what, I was right.
    AMARACHI : you are something else.
    AFAMEFUNA: so are you going to offer me a sit or you prefer to keep me standing.
    He was very funny and free will no doubt, and his words brought smile to my face, I looked around and saw a branch connected from a tree.
    AMARACHI: we can sat down there.
    I said pointing at the branch, we both walk there and sat down that was when i saw that he wasn’t alone.
    AMARACHI : won’t your friend join us.
    He turned at the side his friend was standing and gesture him to come which he did.
    AFAMEFUNA: Emeka is his name, and he is my very good friend in the palace, Emeka meet Amarachi.
    I saw the shock in his eyes but quickly dismissed it, saying a hi to me, I knew he wasn’t pleased with my presence and this brought sadness to me.
    NNAMDI : my… I mean Nnamdi, I will be waiting for you there.
    He said this and left.
    AFAMEFUNA: what is it.
    I quickly force out a warm smile.
    AMARACHI: nothing, am fine.
    AFAMEFUNA: no you are not, so tell me or is it because of my friend.
    AMARACHI: no am fine.
    AFAMEFUNA: Amarachi, I know you are hiding something and you don’t want to tell me, I know I am a stranger to you but I want to be a friend.
    AMARACHI: you can’t be my friend, you won’t want to be my friend if you know my story.
    I said bowing my head I just couldn’t look at him in the eyes, I was trying hard to fight the tear from coming out.
    AFAMEFUNA: then tell me, I want to know.
    There were a lot of things going through my head, didn’t know if I was ready to loose a friend I just made.
    ****************************
    AFAMEFUNA POV
    I looked at her expecting her to say something, her head was still bow down refusing to look at me, I needed to know why are name was rejected in the lips of many if not everyone, what crime has a beautiful damsel done that has made everyone hates even her name.
    AMARACHI: I am not really from this village.
    She started her story.
    AFAMEFUNA: go on, am listening.
    I said encouraging her to continue.
    AMARACHI: my mother was banished from her village because she was accused of killing my father, she had no where to go so she wandered the forest but fell into Labour on the firth day, an hunter that was passing by heard her scream so he helped her put to birth right there in the forest, the hunter and his wife were the ones that took me in.
    I knew she was crying, I wanted to console her but kicked against it, it is good to cry once in a while to ease your pain, but I was confused, what was the crime in her story.
    AFAMEFUNA: then why are people afraid of you.
    AMARACHI: because they said I was given birth to in the forest and it has never happened before, so they said I am an abomination.
    With this her crying increased i immediately took her into my arm and let her soaked my shoulder with her tear.
    AFAMEFUNA: it’s okey, it’s alright, all will be fine.
    She stopped crying few minutes later, she sat up while I took her hands.
    AFAMEFUNA: Amarachi, look at me.
    She didn’t lift up her head.
    AFAMEFUNA: look at me.
    I said more calmly, and she did.
    AFAMEFUNA: you are nothing like a curse, a curse is an ugly creation with big horns and sharp teeth, but you are nothing like that, you are a beautiful creation that I have ever came across in my entire life, you have the heart of gold, and a brave one, so even the people that has condemned you are so blind, there is nothing wrong with you, do you hear me, and I am glad to meet someone so special, you came into this world for a reason and a time will come those who mocked you will bow at your feet and this I promise you.
    *******************
    I later went home after having the best evening with Amarachi, she lightened up after listening to everything I told her, she doubted me at first but when she saw the sincerity in me she gave in, I told her about myself but leaving the part that I was the prince, I needed to keep that away from her for now, didn’t know why but I want to.
    I entered the palace with Nnamdi and headed to my room but was met with one of my father personal men servants at my door, he looks like he has been waiting for me for a long time, he bow to acknowledge my presence.
    MEN SERVANT: The king request your presence at the throne room.
    AFAMEFUNA: I will be right there.
    He left after delivering the message.
    AFAMEFUNA: call the men servants I need to change.
    I said entering my room, the men servants came almost immediately and in not time I was prepared, I sent Nnamdi away so he too can go change to his attire and I headed to the throne room.
    The guard as usual opened the door granting me passage to the throne room, I entered and saw five chiefs sited, I greeted my father then the chiefs which they reciprocated.
    EZE NWANYI: son, where have you been, I sent for you but was told you went out.
    AFAMEFUNA: so sorry father, I needed to see the four corners of the community, sorry I didn’t inform you about it.
    EZE NWANYI: no problem, I sent for you because the chiefs had something important to discuss with you, they have told me but it will be better if you heard from them personally.
    AFAMEFUNA: my elders I am so sorry you keeping you all waiting.
    They all accepted my apologize.
    AFAMEFUNA: my elders you have something important to tell me, it must be so important if not you wouldn’t have left your comfortable homes to the palace to see me, hope its nothing serious.
    MAZI AMADI : our people say if you see a rat running in the afternoon you will know either it’s chasing something or something is chasing it, but in this case something is chasing it, is it not so.
    MAZI OKAFOR: you are right.
    The rest of the chiefs agreed with him, I knew that intact there was something wrong and I was eager to know the reason for their visit.
    MAZI AMADI: we came here to see you today because of a very important issue, you see we the elders were very happy the day you came back without bringing any white woman with you, and we have asked the king and his answer was something we can hope for, at least you are not like some princes that goes to another man’s land and marry their daughters but instead you came back so you can choose a wife from your father’s land.
    They all started talking at the same time acknowledging my wish decision, but honestly I didn’t came back to Nigeria to settle down, I looked at my dad and he just smile at me, what has this old man been telling them.
    AFAMEFUNA: my elders indeed you have said the right thing and I appreciate that you all sees the good part in me and my good interest in the culture of the great kingdom of Amucha.
    MAZI ENYINNAYA : and that is why you are the true son of your father, a lion cannot begot a sheep.
    They all agreed again to his words, I already knew the purpose of their coming, so I have to choose my word wisely.
    MAZI AZUBUIKE : your father the king told us that you have been going round the village in search of a bride, you know if you are having difficulties in selecting we could help you with that.
    They all burst into laughter. Are they for real, was this the reason why my father asked me to come back home.
    AFAMEFUNA: I appreciate your concern but I am still looking but I will need more time to do that.
    MAZI OKAFOR: you have the time to search for your bride but remember you have to produce a heir before your father the king joins his ancestors.
    What is this one saying, those my father look like someone that will die soon, I didn’t want to say much I assured them that good news was on the way, they later left giving my father and I the privacy I have been waiting for.
    AFAMEFUNA: father, I need some explanation.
    EZE NWANYI: what explanation.
    AFAMEFUNA: father don’t play dumb with me, what is all this about me getting married, have you forgotten that I still have my PhD to do, did both of us even discuss anything about marriage.
    EZE NWANYI: son, you know the costume and traditions of our land, before a prince is crown as the next king he must produce an heir to the throne and that heir must be bless by the former king, your son must be bless by me before you can be the next king, do you know that.
    AFAMEFUNA: I do, but why now, even at that, must I marry now, father do you know how old am I.
    EZE NWANYI: you are old enough to pregnant a woman.
    AFAMEFUNA: oh God, is this the reason why you asked me to come home, it wasn’t because you missed me.
    EZE NWANYI : Afamefuna, I am dying.
    *******************************
    AMARACHI POV
    It has been three weeks now and things has been going well between I am Nnamdi, the other day he has given me hope with his words, I thought he could run away from me after hearing my story but instead he embraced my past and my future, and since that time I have vow not to do anything that will make me loss his friendship.
    I told chiamaka about Nnamdi and she was so eager to meet him, and Emeka too has come to accept me too all thanks to Nnamdi but still I have this fear in me that this friendship will not last.
    *******************************
    AFAMEFUNA POV
    It has been three weeks since I and Amarachi has been friends, for her I am just her friend but for me she was more than that, I didn’t know what was happening to me, the thought of her brings smile to my face and joy to my heart.

    Sequence 11

    Continues from Afamefuna pov
    The words of my father from the other day in the throne room kept echoing in my head.
    EZE NWANYI: Afamefuna, I am dying.
    My mouth was opened but no words came out.
    EZE NWANYI : yes, I have cancer of the lungs.
    AFAMEFUNA: whatttttt…, since when, how, I don’t understand, are you joking right now.
    EZE NWANYI: no am not son.
    AFAMEFUNA: then you should be flew to the best country in the world for treatment.
    EZE NWANYI: son it has eaten into me too deep, I didn’t know on time.
    I saw the truth in his eyes, this got me so restless but I had to be a man and not a boy.
    AFAMEFUNA : for how long.
    EZE NWANYI : six months now.
    AFAMEFUNA: and you are just telling me now.
    I couldn’t believe this was happening
    AFAMEFUNA: who else knows.
    EZE NWANYI: just you and my doctor, and it should remain that way.
    AFAMEFUNA: what about mother, she has the right to know.
    EZE NWANYI: and risk spoiling the remaining days she should be happy with me to be in tear.
    My father was right, my mother won’t have stopped herself from crying knowing she could loose her husband soon.
    AFAMEFUNA: how long do you have left.
    EZE NWANYI : more than a year but might not be two years,
    My mouth drop to the ground as I gaze at him in shock.
    EZE NWANYI :now you see the reason why I want you to get married so as to have an heir.
    So after the conversation I decided to do as my father says but will get married to someone I love and Amarachi is the only woman my heart beat for. Ada always comes to visit and we have been really close but still I don’t feel anything for her and I know I will never feel something more than friendship for her, I than made up my mind to tell my father that I have found the right one.
    I walked to the throne room, as I entered I saw Mazi Amadi, Ada’s father getting up, I greeted him wish he responded, he excused himself and left, I sit down excitingly to tell my father the good new.
    EZE NWANYI: what is making my son so happy today.
    AFAMEFUNA: father I have a special news for you.
    EZE NWANYI: really I too have a wonderful news for you also.
    I was confused.
    AFAMEFUNA: news ok father you go first, mind will come later.
    EZE NWANYI: guess what.
    AFAMEFUNA : what.
    EZE NWANYI: I have found a suitable bride for you.
    I was shocked in hearing that but still remained calm.
    AFAMEFUNA: and who might she be.
    EZE NWANYI : I know you will ask, it Ada, Mazi Amadi daughter.
    I gaze at my father speechless.
    Was my ears deceiving me or maybe I was hearing wrongly, I looked at my father smiling face just wondering what to say to him.
    EZE NWANYI: are you not happy.
    AFAMEFUNA: what makes you think I will be happy.
    EZE NWANYI: you should be, Ada is a fine choice for you and she will make a good queen.
    AFAMEFUNA: and will she make a good wife for me, father I thought I was the one making the choice not you.
    EZE NWANYI: I am your father and I have the right to choose who will be the future queen of my kingdom.
    AFAMEFUNA: are you being serious, wait is what both of you were discussing, father please don’t make me laugh.
    EZE NWANYI: and do you think I am good with jokes.
    He said angrily.
    AFAMEFUNA: father with all dew respect, I am not going to marry Ada, it either you call Mr Amadi and tell him that you made a mistake in choosing his daughter or you are just in for a big disappointment.
    EZE NWANYI: how dare you.
    He got up and I could see him burning in rage, I too got up I really don’t like surprises.
    EZE NWANYI: how dare you threaten I the great king of Amucha.
    AFAMEFUNA : to the people you are the king but to me you are my father and I will tell you what’s hurts me.
    My voice was now high but I didn’t care less, I was getting angry and I really didn’t know how to stop myself.
    AFAMEFUNA: you have no right to discuss marriage at my back, no right to tell me when to marry and no f-----g right to tell me who to marry and that you should know.
    I said walking out angrily.
    EZE NWANYI: Afamefuna, you dare walk out on me.
    I couldn’t care less, I roughly opened the door ignoring the call of my father, I walked passed my mother, she was surprised to see me angry and hearing my father’s voice that high, she tried to require from me what was happening but I totally ignored her and went to my room, I locked myself indoor burning in rage, well I have what they call bad temper I guess it runs in royal bloods, and when am angry if I am not careful I end up hurting others or myself, the thought of my father choosing a wife for me and ordering me to agree to it hurts me, does he see me as one of his servants, I am his son, only son and heir to the throne, no one orders me around without my approval, no one not even my father.
    *********************
    I opened my eyes to hear the voice of my mother calling me from my door, I must have fallen asleep, the event that happened earlier today came back to be, I looked out the window seeing it was already dark, I got up from the couch I have fallen asleep on to open the door, I walked back to the couch without looking at my mother, she sat down beside me.
    LOLO AGBONMA: Afamefuna, you got me worried, I have been knocking on your door for some time now, why would you look yourself indoor and even refused to eat dinner.
    AFAMEFUNA: isn’t it obvious that I don’t want to see your husband.
    LOLO AGBONMA: your father.
    AFAMEFUNA: whatever.
    LOLO AGBONMA: Afamefuna, you know he wants the best for you.
    AFAMEFUNA: seriously, if he really wants the best for me why will he then do this to me.
    LOLO AGBONMA: what he is doing is for your own good, Ada is from a good home.
    AFAMEFUNA: and so, does that guarantee that I must marry her.
    LOLO AGBONMA: but I thought you liked her, she is always seen with you in the palace.
    AFAMEFUNA: mother Ada is my friend yes, but her to be my wife I don’t even think about it, mother I want someone like you, beautiful, patient, loveable, caring, gives listening ears, elegant, every thing you can think of.
    LOLO AGBONMA: and Ada is not.
    AFAMEFUNA: she is not even close, she is arrogant, she doesn’t care about others, rude, you need to see the way she talks to the maids sometimes, she carries herself like a god when she is nothing, she will turn this palace into a war zone if she enters it and I don’t want that for my future.
    LOLO AGBONMA: then if it not Ada who, because I don’t see any other person that matches up to her.
    AFAMEFUNA: mother there is.
    LOLO AGBONMA: then who, or do you have anyone in mind.
    AFAMEFUNA: yes mother and she is perfect for me.
    LOLO AGBONMA: who is she, what is her name.
    I didn’t know if I should tell her about Amarachi knowing how people react hearing her name.
    LOLO AGBONMA: Afamefuna, what is her name.
    AFAMEFUNA: her name is Amarachi.
    LOLO AGBONMA: Amarachi, is she from this village.
    AFAMEFUNA : yes and no but she grow up here so yes she is from this village.
    LOLO AGBONMA: what is her father’s name.
    I hesitated, I already knew what her reaction will be but I was ready for it.
    AFAMEFUNA : Amarachi Uzochi.
    LOLO AGBONMA: are you talking about Uzochi and Nneka adopted daughter.
    AFAMEFUNA: yes
    She scream in shock, well yeah I expected that.
    AFAMEFUNA: mother there is nothing wrong with her, why do you people hate her so much.
    LOLO AGBONMA: shut up, shut up just shut up, this boy has kill me, hope you haven’t lay with her, tell me.
    AFAMEFUNA: no mother.
    LOLO AGBONMA: better for you, do you have any idea…..
    She was now raising her voice.
    AFAMEFUNA: mother yes I know everything about her and seriously I don’t see anything wrong with her.
    LOLO AGBONMA: then you must be blind, that girl is a curse, a disappointment, an outcast, and it is an abomination to bring her into the royal family, never.
    I just stare at my mother not knowing what to say to her, why is this happening, why does my heart choose someone rejected by everyone, she went on and on about how deadly it is that I am seen with her not to talk of marrying her.
    AFAMEFUNA: fine, okey just fine, since no body cares about me or my happiness I accept it, there is no problem at all, everything is just perfect.
    LOLO AGBONMA: Afamefuna
    AFAMEFUNA: please mother, I have had enough from you this evening, I need to calm my head down and think.
    LOLO AGBONMA:: you really need it, you need to think and make sure you think very well.
    She said this and left, I was confused, do I really know what I am doing, even as my head tried to process the fact that they might be right yet my heart tell me otherwise.
    **********************************
    AMARACHI POV
    I woke up a little bit late this morning, I couldn’t sleep last night because of a terrible nightmare I had, I just pray it don’t come to pass, I decided not to go to fetch water today, I will be meeting with Nnamdi today and the thought of it send joy to my heart, I longed to see him, I was falling for him deeply but didn’t know if he felt same way for me.
    I took the broom and began to sweep the backyard when I heard someone at the front door, I was surprised because hardly for someone to visit us and not at that hour of the day, my mother was already in the sitting room when I got there, she opened the door and I could hear a male voice asking my mother about me, she was asking what I did wrong and I could tell from her voice she was scared and worried, the voice answered her harshly, I couldn’t hear what he was saying clearly but I heard them mentioned palace, I was sacred now, hope nothing has happened to Nnamdi, they open the door forcefully pushing my mother out of the way, one of them grabbed me by my hand, then I saw their attire and knew they were guards from the palace.
    GUARD : your presence is needed at the palace.
    AMARACHI: what did i do, please….
    But before I could finish they dragged me along with them, I saw my mother fell on the ground crying, my fear increase as I fear for the unknown, I tried to free my self but I couldn’t, they dragged me into the car and drove off, I couldn’t stop my tear from falling, please God don’t let anything happened to me, I prayed in my mind.
    I didn’t know how long we drove but we got to the palace very fast, I was pulled out of the car and was taken inside, I fell on my feet as I came in contact with the king and the queen, i haven’t met them before but I can tell from the crowns on their heads.
    GUARD : here she is my king.
    EZE NWANYI : so you are the little brat of a curse that has the guts to come close to my son.
    I wasn’t looking at him but I knew he was angry but I had not idea what he was talking about, I was shaking with fear all over me, I bow my head down as tear fall freely from my eyes.
    EZE NWANYI: answer me.
    AMARACHI: I…..I…your….maj…. es….ty I don’t…know…what is my offence.
    I said stammering, I felt a sharp pain on my face, I cried out as I held my cheek, the queen has slapped me without me expecting it.
    LOLO AGBONMA: how dare you lie to the king you pig.
    I seriously had no idea what was happening, I wanted to say something when I heard a familiar voice called out father, I wasn’t mistaken, that was the voice or Nnamdi.
    *********************************
    AFAMEFUNA POV
    The men servants just finished dressing me up, I had refused breakfast that morning and choose to stay indoor, the event of yesterday was still fresh to me, I and Amarachi was seeing today at least her presence will calm my soul, Nnamdi rushed into my rooms without knocking and that was unlike him, I looked at him as I saw fear in his eyes.
    AFAMEFUNA: what is it.
    NNAMDI: my prince, it Amarachi.
    My heart bounce at the sound of Amarachi.
    AFAMEFUNA: yes what is it.
    NNAMDI: she is in the palace.
    I panicked
    NNAMDI: with your father, in the public sitting room.
    I didn’t wait for him to finish as I rush out of my room, I didn’t know what I felt that minutes but I was going to do something stupid if they hurt her.

    Sequence 12

    Continues from Afamefuna pov
     I entered to see my mother sending a slap to her face.
    AFAMEFUNA: father, mother
    I walked in angrily.
    AFAMEFUNA: what is the meaning of this father.
    EZE NWANYI-: now you listen what ever your name is, look at my son very well.
    My father said to Amarachi ignoring me.
    EZE NWANYI: look at him.
    He shouted and she immediately looked at me, our eyes met and I could see pain, hurt and betrayal in the midst of her tear, I felt weak that intact.
    EZE NWANYI: if I ever in your miserable self  close to him again ever one inched, I will feed your body to the bogs and have your mother’s head.
    AFAMEFUNA:  father.
    EZE NWANYI: do I make myself clear.
    I could feel my anger boiling inside of me.
    EZE NWANYI: I said do I make myself clear.
    He shouted and this mede Amarachi responded in fear, she couldn’t just look up.
    EZE NWANYI: now get out of my sights.
    Amarachi quickly got up and took to her heels.
    AFAMEFUNA: Amarachi
    I chase after her but I was blocked at the door by the guards on my father’s order.
    AFAMEFUNA: let me pass.
    I angrily punch one of the guards but yet he didn’t move, I angrily walk up to my parents.
    AFAMEFUNA: if you guys make me to loose her I swear with my life, I will never ever forgive both of you not in this life or the next.
    I said this running to my room, I could hear my mother calling out to me and my father calling me names, I got to my room shutting the door I fell on the floor, her face filled with pain haunted me, it hurt so much, why will something so sweet hurt so much, I couldn’t hold back my tear it fell freely rolling down my cheek.
    **********************************
    AMARACHI POV
    I ran as my legs could carry me, I ran into the arms of my mother who was sitting at the veranda waiting for me, she took me into her arms as I pour out my heart out in tear, how should I have know he was the Prince, why will he lie to me, why will he do this to me, and why does this hurt so much, it was like I have been stab in the chest, not like I have been stab and by no other person than he that the same heart fell for.
    *******************
    It been two days and I found myself dying slowly, I locked myself indoor refusing to go out, the pain i felt was like the first day or ever more, I couldn’t eat or sleep, my mother has tried everything possible to cheer me up so I could eat but yet it wasn’t working, sometimes I felt for her, she was doing her best and I wasn’t helping at all but what was I to do when my heart was broken, even chiamaka came to bring me out of my room but nothing worked, she was surprised to hear what happened obviously not from me, the news has gone round the village that I was trying to seduce the prince, I wonder how people believe everything they are told.
    I was in my room what I started hearing my name from outside, I knew who they were, they are no other person than Ada and are serpent, I tried to ignore them, my mother was not around, I pretended not to hear them hoping they will leave but intend I started hearing noises of broken things, fear that they might have broken something, maybe the window or something I rush out to them, as I have thought, they had used a big stone to break my mother’s window.
    ADA : here comes the s--t, look at her she thinks she can take my prince from me, you have fail, you want to go and pollute the palace with your curse self.
    OLUCHI : don’t mind her, she thinks the prince is her type, look at you na, shameless fool.
    UGOMA : aaaa, you should go and hide your face oooo, your evil plan has failed.
    It kept on like that saying all sort of things and calling me name, in a normal day I could have retaliated but today I felt weak not because I haven’t eaten for two day now but because the hurt in my heart was very much heavy for me to carry and it was weary me down.
    AMARACHI: are you people done, if you are done can you kindly leave.
    ADA : so you still have the mouth to talk, you are very lucky this gate is locked if not I would have come there and beat all your words out of your mouth witch, you thought your charm will work on him, but did it no…
    I couldn’t believe I was with the Prince and I didn’t know, was I that dumb, the attire he putted on the firth day we met should have sold him out and his ascent but I bought his lies, how foolish of me, if I have known I wouldn’t have  spent one seconds with him maybe just maybe all this wouldn’t have been happening.
    *****************************
    AFAMEFUNA POV
    AFAMEFUNA: father father.
    I called out angrily at him as I walk to the private sitting room where he sat down comfortably drinking  red wine, he have locked me up in the palace refusing me to go out, I so wanted to see Amarachi to explain to her, I knew she will hate me now mostly since I haven’t come to apologize or check up on her after that incident, I have made attempt to go out again but was disappointed again.
    AFAMEFUNA: father am I now a prisoner in this palace.
    He pretended I wasn’t talking to him as he continue drinking his wine
    AFAMEFUNA: father am talking to you.
    EZE NWANYI : ohhh Afamefuna, why are you disturbing my rest.
    AFAMEFUNA: father you have kept me in this palace for good two days now, I want to f-----g go out.
    EZE NWANYI: you will be in this palace still you know your place in this kingdom, I thought you think you are higher than me.
    AFAMEFUNA: why are you doing this to me, why, what have I done to deserve this, is it a crime to love tell me.
    EZE NWANYI: it is mostly when you are in love with the wrong person.
    AFAMEFUNA: father please stop doing this to me, I can’t take it.
    EZE NWANYI: then free yourself and marry Ada.
    AFAMEFUNA: I can’t marry her, I don’t want to marry her, father please.
    EZE NWANYI : until you realize that Ada is the best for you till then you are going to remain in this palace.
    What was I to do, this man that calls himself my father just won’t bend, I angrily or should I say sadly went to my room, I sat on the bed and just allowed the tear to flow again, that has been my daily routine for two days now.
    NNAMDI: my prince
    AFAMEFUNA: please just go away, I want to be left alone.
    NNAMDI : my prince, I can take you to Amarachi if you want.
    I looked up at him in shock.
    AFAMEFUNA: are you serious, and how.
    NNAMDI: though the king owns the palace we the servants controls it, I can sneak you out and in without your father and mother even the servants that are not supposed to know finds out.
    I looked at him not knowing what to say.
    AFAMEFUNA: why will you want to help me.
    NNAMDI: I know I have never been in love but my prince seeing you go through all this just to be with someone you love made me want to help.
    I was speechless, I just stare at him.
    NNAMDI: but it will be in the night, so I will come and call you when all coast is clear, I will leave now
    He turned to leave
    AFAMEFUNA: Nnamdi
    He turned back to me.
    NNAMDI: yes my prince
    AFAMEFUNA: thank you.
    He smile and left, I was overwhelmed with joy, at last I get to make my love Amarachi I just pray nothing goes wrong, I sat down as I waited patiently for night fall.

    Sequence 13

    AMARACHI POV
    I was in the room laying on my bed, I have tried to sleep but yet sleep has been an enemy to me for the pass two days, the event that happened this afternoon brought tear again to my eyes as I remembered the insults and all the harsh words that Ada and her friends told me, no one wants to hear the side of my story, I held my pillow closer to me as I cried, I heard a soft knock on my door, I knew it was my mother.
    AMARACHI: mama
    NNEKA: Amarachi, please come out, someone wants to see you.
    AMARACHI: who
    NNEKA: it a message from the Prince.
    I was shocked, a message from the Prince, so the only thing he would do after two days of silence was to send a massager, well since he sent a message I too have a message that should be delivered to him, I got up angrily and headed to the sitting room only to be met with no other person than the Prince himself.
    ******************************
    AFAMEFUNA POV
    Night fall came and as Nnamdi has promised, he came to my room to call me, he was putting on a simple wear of jeans and a t-shirt I too was putting on same, he took me quietly to a little corridor I never knew existed in the palace, not long we came out of a small door, he opened it and we were at the back of the palace, we met a guard there, he quickly opened the gate, I passed out and Nnamdi said something to him before coming out too, the gate was closed, we were at the back of the palace, the street was dark and lonely that I wonder how are we going to walk through in the night, he told me to follow him which I did, we walk for about five minutes without saying a word, just when I was feeling tired I saw a light ahead of us, I later found out it was a car light, we entered and the driver drove off, I was surprised with how Nnamdi arranged everything, really they controls the palace, I keep on wondering how Amarachi will react if she sees me, I just pray she gives me a listening ear.
    We got to a place and he told us to get down, and ordered the driver to wait, I followed him and in no time we got to a house I couldn’t tell how it looks like because it was dark.
    NNAMDI: this is where Amarachi lives.
    I could hear my heart beating fast as I knocked at the door, Nnamdi was watching out for me, I knocked some countless times before an elderly voice answered from inside.
    VOICE: who is that.
    AFAMEFUNA: my name is Afamefuna, I want to see Amarachi, please, tell her Nnamdi from the palace wants to talk to her.
    The door cracked open and I came face to face with an elderly woman, I think she is her mother, I eyes grew wide in shock when she saw me, guess she knows me.
    NNEKA: my prince what are you doing here.
    AFAMEFUNA: please can I come in.
    NNEKA: sure
    She opened the door wide for me to enter, the sitting room was small but nice.
    AFAMEFUNA: please,am very sorry to disturb your sleep but I really had to see Amarachi.
    NNEKA: it not a problem but it’s was risky you know.
    AFAMEFUNA: I know but I didn’t come alone.
    NNEKA: no problem, but I don’t think she will like to see you.
    AFAMEFUNA: just help me tell her that a messenger from the palace is here to see her.
    She nodded and went inside, I waited patiently for her, she came back few minutes later, not long Amarachi came out, I could see the shock in her eyes which seem she has been crying, we both stared at each other without saying a word.
    NNEKA: I will leave you two to talk.
    She walked out leaving both of us.
    AMARACHI: what are you doing here.
    Her voice was harsh but I can’t blame her.
    AFAMEFUNA: Amarachi, please am sorry.
    AMARACHI: did you come all the way from your palace to tell me that now after two days.
    AFAMEFUNA : you won’t understand, I really wanted to come see you but my father won’t let me out, it was with the help of Nnamdi that I was able to sneak out this night.
    AMARACHI: so Nnamdi was never your name.
    AFAMEFUNA: Amarachi, no, no
    AMARACHI: why did you have to lie.
    AFAMEFUNA: Amarachi, from the first day I saw you I was so attracted to me, and when you didn’t recognize me as the Prince I just thought I could make a friend without any formality you know. I never meant any harm.
    AMARACHI: you never did but yet harmful things has happened this pass days.
    AFAMEFUNA: am sorry, you have no idea how I have been this pass days I have been going crazy, a life without you is like nothing at all, I missed you Amarachi.
    I could see her calming down, I move closer to her taking her hands.
    AFAMEFUNA: I don’t know but with you I find rest, you are the only thing that matters to me, I will do anything to be with you, you don’t know how much you meant to me, I don’t care what people say about you, I don’t want to know, the most important thing is being with you.
    We were both crying now.
    AMARACHI: Nnamdi, my prince, its not easy as you say.
    AFAMEFUNA: then we will make it easy, lets try.
    She removed her hands from mind.
    AMARACHI: we can’t please.
    I tried to move forward to her but she stepped back.
    AMARACHI: my prince, we are from two different path, and nothing can bring us together.
    AFAMEFUNA: can we just try.
    AMARACHI: stop it, stop, go home and pretend you never met me.
    My heart broke in thousand pieces when she said that.
    AFAMEFUNA: Amarachi please.
    AMARACHI: forget about me and move on, forget about what we thought we had, it’s not going to work, I don’t want to see you again.
    She turned to leave.
    AFAMEFUNA: Amarachi I love you.
    She stopped.
    AFAMEFUNA: can’t you see you are my life, i love you Amarachi with everything, please don’t do this to me, to us.
    AMARACHI: there was nothing like us from the start.
    She said this and ran inside I so wanted to go after her but my leg just couldn’t move.
    AFAMEFUNA: Amarachi, Amarachi, I love you, please, shitttttt.
    Nneka came back in.
    NNEKA: give her time, she is hurt now, but she will come around.
    AFAMEFUNA: then I will wait ma’am, I will.
    I thanked her and headed my way, the words of Amarachi was like a gunshot to my heart, the pain I felt just increased to thousands, but I vow to fight for this feeling I have for her even if it means giving out my crown.
    ********************
    Morning came, I didn’t even know I was able to sleep after the visit at Amarachi house, I remembered her word again and the hurt I thought had gone resurface again, I was so confused and angry at my parents for putting me through this pain, I needed to stay away for some time so I will be able to give Amarachi some space just as her mother had advised but where will I go because I don’t know anywhere around Nigeria, just then I remembered Victor, the one that picked me up from the airport when I arrived Nigeria, he had given me his number and I have totally forgotten about him, I opened the shaff that is at the right side of the bed and started going through my files, I checked for almost five minutes before I found it, I gave out a sign of relief dialing the number I stood up, on the fourth ring he picked.
    VICTOR: Good morning, Victor on the line, who am I speaking with please.
    AFAMEFUNA: Good morning, you are speaking with prince Afamefuna from Amucha kingdom.
    VICTOR : Good morning my prince, wow, wasn’t expecting your call this morning.
    AFAMEFUNA: sorry about that, hope I am not disturbing.
    VICTOR: not at all, you called me, hope there is no problem.
    AFAMEFUNA: no there is not, Victor.
    VICTOR : yes my prince.
    AFAMEFUNA: I need your help please.
    ********************
    Nnamdi has helped me to arrange some clothes in a small bag, I have told him all of my plans, he refused at first but later agreed to help after much begging, yes I had to beg him, Victor had agreed for me to come spend some time at his place, I told him everything and he too was disappointed in my parents, he had help me to buy my ticket online and my flight was set to live in two hours time, I wrote a letter and dropped it at my bed before heading out, as usual I took the back door, though it was already 11 am, the street was still quite, I entered the taxi that drove us to Amarachi’s house yesterday night and he drove away.
    I look back at the palace and remembered what I have wrote to my parents.
    DEAR FATHER AND MOTHER.
    I HAVE THOUGHT COMING BACK HOME WILL BE A GOOD START TO BE CLOSE TO YOU BOTH BUT I WAS WRONG, NOW I WANT TO BE FAR AWAY FROM BOTH OF YOU AS YOU HAVE BOTH HURT ME IN MANY WAYS, SINCE WHEN I WAS A CHILD I HAVE AWAY DONE WHAT EVER YOU BOTH WANT AND FOR THE FIRST TIME IN MY LIFE I HAVE CHOOSE MY LIFE BUT YET WAS DISAPPOINTED BY YOU TWO. I HAVE GONE FAR AWAY, NEEDED TO BE AWAY FROM PEOPLE THAT DOESN’T CARE ABOUT MY FEELINGS, DON’T BE SURPRISED HOW I LEFT OR TRY TO FIND OUT HOW BECAUSE YOU WILL NEVER KNOW, AMARACHI WHO WAS THE ONLY REASON I WOULD WANT TO STAY HAVE TURNED HER BACK TOO BECAUSE YOU PEOPLE GAVE NO CHOICE, BUT I WILL BE BACK NOT FOR YOU BUT FOR HER, FATHER, MOTHER DON’T BOTHER TO LOOK FOR ME BECAUSE IF YOU DO I WILL BE FORCE TO LEAVE THE COUNTRY AND NEVER RETURN, IT IS BETTER THIS WAY BECAUSE I RATHER BE FAR FROM BOTH OF YOU THAN STAYING WITH BOTH OF YOU AND END UP HATING YOU TWO.
    I look out of the car window, I was going to miss Amarachi but I knew I will be back to take her with me, I pray they don’t hold Nnamdi for my disappearance.

    Sequence 14

    AMARACHI POV
    It has been a week and still no sign of Afamefuna the Prince, I heard he ran away from the palace after the night he came to my house, I felt a little guilty because I totally shut him out when you came to me, but what was I to do, I was confused and scared at that time even now I still feel that fear for the unknown, I missed him so much and it’s just draw on me now that I love him so much, I hope he is fine and doing well and I hope he comes back even if not to me but to his family who are so worried about him, they had sent some guards to my house when they discovered he was not in the palace, well they didn’t give us much trouble and I wonder why.
    I took my time to prepare lunch, I served my mother her part of the food, setting it in on the center table, she just came back from the women’s meeting and am so surprise she is asking for food when it is bearly 2pm.
    NNEKA: are you not eating with me.
    AMARACHI: no mama, it’s still early for me I will eat later.
    NNEKA: okey.
    I left her and went into my room, I laid on my bed going through a novel tittle Sins of my part by Osamudiamen joy when I heard the call of my mother, I quickly ran out because of the tone in which she called me, I came out to see my mother on her knees holding her stomach in pain, I rush to her side worried.
    AMARACHI: mama, mama what is it, mama.
    NNEKA: the food, the food is poisoned.
    AMARACHI: how can you say that mama, I prepared this food my self, okey let me taste it.
    I reached forward to touch the food but my mother grabbed my hand at same time fell to the floor, I was already crying now.
    NNEKA: no, don’t
    She said within her pain.
    AMARACHI: some body help
    I shouted trying to get the attention of any body.
    NNEKA: Amarachi,listen to me, you need to leave this village right now, please my daughter , you ……need …….go.
    AMARACHI: mama please
    NNEKA: Amarachi, I will always be with you and don’t forget to be strong ok.
    AMARACHI: mama stop saying this let me go and get help.
    I ran outside screaming for help, I even ran towards the street and luckily for me I saw three young boys older then me coming to my direction, i ran towards them taking one by the hand.
    AMARACHI: please come and help my mother, she is dying.
    FIRST BOY: where.
    AMARACHI: my house
    SECOND BOY: what are we waiting for, let’s go.
    We all ran to the house on getting there I saw my mother on the floor motionless and blood coming out from her mouth. I frown at my spot not knowing what to do, I feared for the worst, the second boy went over her to examine her, his face told me the answer I was not ready to hear, I fell on my mother lifeless body shouting and crying in pain, this cannot be happening to me, she can’t leave me like this not when I needed her now.
    THIRD BOY: she was poisoned, who prepared this food.
    I turned sharply at the boy.
    AMARACHI : I prepared the food ooo, I did ooo
    SECOND BOY: you killed her.
    I was taken back by his words, what was he saying.
    AMARACHI: nooooo, I didn’t, I prepared the food and she said she was hungry, I only served her oooo, how can you say I killed my own mother.
    FIRST BOY: shut up, you killed her and you must hang for this.
    I thought they were properly joking but from their faces I knew they were not, I tried to defend myself but got a slap that silent me.
    They called for the attention of the villagers, by this time I have been beaten up and made to sit on the ground outside my house surrounded by angry villagers, only few had pity on me as I saw it clearly on their faces, some elders was inside my house, I was weak from the beaten I had received from the youths, I didn’t know what will happen to me but I knew I was in for something I never bargained for, the elders came out with a sorrowful look followed by some youths carrying my mother’s corpse, I couldn’t stop the tear as I saw her that way, someone that was full of life few hours ago, who would have known that she will leave me so soon and I will be accused of killing her.
    I was dragged to the kings palace ordered that was made by the elders, I sat on the floor of the palace compound, some of the villagers mostly the youths were present at the palace, I was already losing a lot of strength as I was trying to stay awake, the elders had gone inside to meet the king, and I know it’s to discuss my fate, I didn’t care more if I die because there was obviously nothing I was living for.
    The king, the queen and the elders came out all looking emotionless.
    VILLAGERS: igwe
    They all greeted him which he reciprocated by waving his hand at them.
    EZE NWANYI: my people, I have heard from the chiefs what happened but I want to hear from the three witnesses.
    FIRST BOY : igwe may you live long, my name is Uche, and I am the youths leader, I was just made the youth leader three months ago, it was this evening I was walking with my friend here Ogorchukwu and Uzo.
    He said pointing at the boys standing at his right and left hand side.
    UCHE: when we heard a shout from her house we rush there only to see her carrying her bag properly trying to run away, she was scared when she saw us, and when we asked her if everything was okay she said yes.
    I couldn’t believe what my ears was hearing, this isn’t what happened and right there realization draw on me, I have been framed, now I know why my mother told me to leave the village, I shouted in horror not knowing what to say.
    MAZI AMADI: will you shut up and let them finish, witch.
    I was silent dying in my own pain.
    UCHE : out of curiosity Uzo went inside to check only to come out to tell us that there was a dead body in the sitting room, it was later we discovered that the woman was poisoned and by her.
    The villagers started wailing and throwing insults on me.
    EZE NWANYI: so you kill someone that took you in and treated you as her own daughter to gain what.
    AMARACHI: igwe I didn’t kill her.
    EZE NWANYI: shut up, right from the day you were born I knew you will bring nothing good with you only death, thank the gods your plans didn’t work towards my son, for this you have done this is my judgment, in Amucha kingdom we all known the laws, who ever that takes a life, his or her life will be taken so I here by condemn her to death this intact., guards take her away.
    At the mention of the King’s order, I could see many of the villagers jubilating while some wore a sorrowful look, I was taken by the guards deep down into the forest, the villagers followed us for a while singing jubilating in igbo song, the song was talking about evil doer meeting their end, they were sent back by the guards when they got to the entrance of the forest.
    I couldn’t say or explained what I felt that moment, why was life so unfair to me, all my life this people have hatred me for no reason, even when I have tried to be nice and try to stay away from trouble, oh my mother, they took my mother from me, my only strength, What will Afamefuna think of me when he hears I killed my mother, I wasn’t crying because I was going to die but to die in an horrible way for something i didn’t do was the painful part.
    When we ( the four guards and I) got to a big tree, one of the biggest tree I have ever seen that its branches spread all over the sky covering everywhere within it reach, red rope was tied surrounding it creating a bondage, the guards stopped taking green leave from one of the guards, they putted it on each of their mouths, I looked at the tree that was just few steps away from us, there was something strange about this place that was when I saw blood shattered all over the root of the tree, that was when I knew I had reach the place I will be kill.

    Sequence 15

    AMARACHI POV Continue
    How did my life turned out like this, I knew I never had a carefree life but it was better than this, with my mother gone and me at the mercy of death, I cursed my creator for bringing me into this word, I would have prefer to have died with my mother in the forest than the life I had to pass through, I have stopped crying sitting on the ground just staring at the big tree where my life will soon end as one of the guard which I think is their leader did some incantations, when he was done he ordered them to take me up as we get prepare to enter the sacred place, I knew this was it, in my mind I said goodbye to this world of pain and sorrow.
    Just as we were about to cross to the other side of the red rope, someone called out to one of the guard this brought all of us to an halt, I turned to see Nnamdi and one other guard running towards us, I didn’t know where it came from but I felt a little hope inside of me.
    GUARD LEADER: what news have you brought that you had to disturb the ritual, it better be good.
    He said a bit angry.
    NNAMDI: Am sorry if I disturbed it but I had to, please you really don’t want to kill her do you.
    GUARD LEADER: and whats your business with that, we are carrying the kings order and you have no right to stop it.
    NNAMDI: do you have any idea who this girl is.
    GUARD LEADER: and why do I care
    NNAMDI: you should because maybe just maybe by this time next year or the other your head and that of your family will join her.
    GUARD LEADER: what do you mean by that.
    NNAMDI: you all know that this girl here has found favour in the eyes of the prince, the king is king today but the prince will be tomorrow, what will happened to you when he later found out that you carry out the ritual after the king has pass the judgment.
    GUARD LEADER: are you telling me to defile the kings order.
    NNAMDI: am telling you to save your head and that of your families, not only you but also your men.
    GUARD LEADER: do you have any idea what the king will do to us if he finds out she is still alive.
    NNAMDI: not when she disappear from this land, please does she look like someone that could hurt a fly.
    They all looked at me, my heart was beating fast now as I pray God touch the guard leader heart so he will agree to let me go.
    GUARD LEADER: if I do this you are owning me big time.
    NNAMDI: I know.
    GUARD LEADER : this will be a secret to all of us, no one is to say a word to the king or anyone else, are we clear.
    The other guards agreed.
    NNAMDI: thank you very much, I will take it from here.
    The guard leader nodded and left with the rest guards, Nnamdi and the guard that came with him rush to my side to help me up, Immediately I let out the tear I have been holding inside, I couldn’t believe I was alive, I won’t die today.
    NNAMDI: stop crying, you are safe now, thank God I came here on time.
    AMARACHI: thank you so much, God will bless the both of you.
    NNAMDI: this is Ebube, he was the one that call me to give me the information because I was not in the palace, I was sent to carry out some errands for the palace, I had to leave what I was doing to rush down here, thank God I wasn’t that far if not I wouldn’t have made it.
    EBUBE: I thank God that you are safe now, Chiamaka is my cousin sister, she called me and told me that you are her friend and begged me to get in contact to the prince, I did the only thing that came to my mind by calling Nnamdi because he alone was closer to the prince.
    I was so surprise in hearing this, I didn’t see Chiamaka all through the event of the day thinking she was disappointed in me and have turned her back on me, little did I know she was fighting for my life behind my back.
    AMARACHI: help me to say thank you to her, I will forever be indebted to her.
    EBUBE: yes I will, she will be so happy to know you are alive.
    NNAMDI : but you cannot stay in this village, take this.
    He brought a small bag and gave it to me.
    NNAMDI : there are some food and money in there, and you will fine an envelope, it content the house address of the prince.
    My eyes grew in shock
    NNAMDI : yes I know where he is, he gave me the address before he left, I have send him a message through his email about your arrival I pray he receive it, but we can’t be waiting for that so you have to go to the city to look for him, I know you will be fine once you get to him.
    I nodded in agreement because I was speechless.
    NNAMDI: now change into this.
    He said giving me a small bag, I took the bag while they walk a little distance backing me, I quickly change to a jeans trouser and a blue top with a black shoe( sneakers), I took the scarf that was inside the bag too and called out to them.
    NNAMDI : like this people will not recognize you, use the scarfs to cover your head and face.
    I did as he said covering my head in a Muslims style.
    NNAMDI : you will come out with us, our car is parked outside the forest, we will take you out of the village, you will find your way from there, follow the discretion in the envelop okey.
    I nodded
    NNAMDI : Good now left go, you will be fine okey.
    We got outside, they check for passerby and found none so I quickly went into the car, they did same and drove off, through out the ride Nnamdi kept giving me more details about my journey, in not less then ten minutes we got to the entrance of the kingdom, he parked telling me he was dropping me here, I thanked both of them because I didn’t have much to say, they wished me good luck and I came down from the car which drove away back into the kingdom, I knew my way to the car park so getting a bus wasn’t a problem.
    I couldn’t believe I was heading to Lagos, a place I never dreamt I will go, I have heard a lot about the city of how big and dangerous she is from my mother, oh mother, as kind heartened she was yet they decided to kill her that way, they didn’t even give me the chance to pay my last respect to her, but I pray she rest in peace, yes in peace because she deserved it, I walk to the motor park as tear fall down from my eyes, Lagos here I come and I pray I find the prince.
    ***************************************
    AFAMEFUNA POV
    I don’t know but I saw myself taking the next flight to Imo state, I woke up that morning not feeling at ease, I just wanted to be in the village, even Victor was surprised of my sudden decision, talking about Victor, Victor has been a great host to me, he has been doing everything possible to make me comfortable in his house, he is an assistant manager in one of the big company in Lagos state Nigeria, he is single but has a fiancee who he is planning on getting married to very soon and am looking forward to it, I booked a flight from Lagos to Imo state and in no time I was in Imo state, I took a taxi headed straight to Amarachi house, I don’t know but I needed to see her first before seeing anyone just to know how she is fairing.
    This past days hasn’t been easy for me, I barely slept that I need some sleeping drugs to take me to the wonder land, Victor was also disappointed in my father when he heard what happened but there was nothing he could do, he wanted to call his father Chife Enyinnaya but I stopped him because doing that will be telling my father where I was and I didn’t want that, he told me that they were worried about me because he heard it from his father how the palace was taking my disappearance.
    I got to Amarachi house and came down asking the driver to wait, I knocked at the small gate several times but no one answered, maybe they were not around, I will definitely come back to check, I was about leaving when I sighted a young girl maybe below eighteen years coming towards my way, she immediately greeted me when she saw me, I doubt if she knew I was the prince.
    GIRL : Good afternoon sir.
    AFAMEFUNA: you too,
    Sorry but I wanted to ask, do you by any chance saw this woman and her daughter this morning, have been knocking but it seem they are not around.
    GIRL: is the woman related to you.
    AFAMEFUNA: no, the daughter is my friend.
    GIRL: ohhh so sorry but the woman died yesterday afternoon.
    AFAMEFUNA: whatttt
    I was shocked to my bone.
    AFAMEFUNA: what about the daughter.
    GIRL : from what I heard ooo, the daughter was the one that killed the mother.
    A cold wind suddenly pass through me, did I hear very well or what.
    AFAMEFUNA: please come again.
    GIRL: I said the girl killed her mother, is it not Amarachi you are talking about.
    I nodded, weak to speak.
    GIRL: yes na.
    AFAMEFUNA: and Amarachi, where is she.
    GIRL : I can see you are a stranger in this village, in this village who ever killed someone will also be killed, the judgment was passed by the igwe yesterday.

    Sequence 16

    AMARACHI POV
    I must confess Lagos is big and beautiful, even more than I have heard, it was a long night journey from my village to the city of Lagos, it wasn’t a comfortable journey as the bus was overloaded but who am I to complain, I finally got down from the bus as the driver announced our arrival, it was a big motor park with lot of people, some hawking all type of things to passersby, driver and conductors shouting from different angle to get passengers, there were stores where food and other things where sold, I was immediately hungry at the sight of food, I haven’t had anything to eat since yesterday event, even as I wasn’t to eat so badly I needed to focus on the most important thing, I took the small school bag from my back and began to search for the envelop Nnamdi talked about, after searching for a short time I found it, I opened it and saw an address written on it, after reading the content I decided to ask anyone for direction, after I succeeded in crossing to the other side of the road where buses are lined up, I asked a man after greeting him but he didn’t know the place, I decided to ask a bus driver.
    I was walking directly to a driver i spotted close to a bus when suddenly a bus drove roughly towards me, in fear I jumped trying to miss the bus so i wouldn’t be hit by it, I landed on a little pool of dirty water on the ground, using my two hands to warge myself from falling completely in the water.
    People rain insult at the driver as some young men helped me up, even the driver came to apologise, I cleaned myself up assuring them I was okey, just than I discovered the piece of paper that the address to Prince Afamefuna was no longer with me, I search my bag hoping to see it but I didn’t, that was when reality draw on me that I have misplaced the only hope I had.
    *******************************
    AFAMEFUNA POV
    I couldn’t tell how I felt, in as much as what the girl was saying sounds true yet I choose not to believe it maybe its just another rumour going round the village, I rush into the taxi telling him to head for the palace, this to me was a joke or a game, in as much as I try to warp my head on the fact that Amarachi and her mother was dead yet it doesn’t just add up, if she committed murder then she should be handed to the police, my father is a civilian man, he couldn’t do what the girl said he did.
    I got to the palace gate, after I paid the driver, I collected his number, well don’t really know why but I just felt I might need it, I took my small bag and headed for the gate and knock, the guard answered from the other side.
    GUARD: who is that.
    AFAMEFUNA: open the gate.
    GUARD: who.
    AFAMEFUNA: are you going to keep me here or you want my father to have your head.
    I was rude yes but I wasn’t myself that minutes as I was still reprocessing what the girl told me and I needed to find answers.
    The gate immediately opened revealing the guard, he was shocked to see me and immediately bow to greet him I walk pass him not responding to his greeting, one of the guard ran inside maybe to tell my father of my arrival, I could see confusion and shock all over their faces, Nnamdi run out to meet me.
    NNAMDI: my prince, my prince, you are here.
    AFAMEFUNA: Nnamdi not now.
    I walked pass him into the sitting room only to see my mother at the entrance, she was surprised and excited to see me as she hug me but I didn’t hug back.
    LOLO AGBONMA: my son, you are back ooo my son, where have you been.
    AFAMEFUNA: mother where is father.
    LOLO AGBONMA: are you alright, what is it.
    AFAMEFUNA: where is father.
    LOLO AGBONMA: in the throne room with the elders.
    I walked straight to the throne room with my mother tagging along asking questions I was ignoring, I didn’t have time for her this minutes, I got to the throne room and the guard opened the door for me, I entered interrupting my father speech, the whole chiefs was shocked to see me even my father who immediately stood up from his throne.
    EZE NWANYI: my son, you came back.
    AFAMEFUNA: father where is Amarachi.
    I could see the shock and disappointment in his eyes but I don’t care, as I stare face to face with him waiting for an answer.
    EZE NWANYI: are you out of your mind, is that how you greet your father and the elders.
    AFAMEFUNA: do you really think I f**king care about some stupid greeting right now, I asked where is Amarachi.
    This time I was shouting, I couldn’t just hold myself anymore as I was boiling in anger.
    MAZI AMADI : my prince why don’t you calm down.
    He said standing up.
    AFAMEFUNA : and who are you to interfere when am talking to my father, you stay out of this, this is between I and him.
    EZE NWANYI: Afamefuna.
    He shouted
    AFAMEFUNA: father, is what am hearing true, tell me.
    EZE NWANYI: what ever you heard about that witch is true, she committed an abomination.
    AFAMEFUNA: and you asked that she should be killed.
    EZE NWANYI: that is our tradition.
    AFAMEFUNA: she is dead?
    Everyone went silent.
    AFAMEFUNA: Answer me, is she dead.
    I prayed in my mind that they shouldn’t tell me yes, I was boiling in anger, I didn’t know what I will do if it’s true.
    EZE NWANYI: yes
    The world stopped, even my heart beat stopped, I went still, only my brain was working trying to process what I just heard, was I in shock yes, a big one, now it was all coming to me, Amarachi is dead, she is dead, dead and gone.
    LOLO AGBONMA: Afamefuna she broke the law and had to pay for it.
    I looked at my mother, trying to pick what she was saying, my body, my heart were all falling apart.
    AFAMEFUNA: Amarachi is dead.
    It was more like I was trying to force myself to believe that, that minutes I couldn’t breath anymore, it was more like all the air flew away from me, I tried to breath in air but no air came through.
    AFAMEFUNA: I ca…n’t breath.
    I managed to say, my mother rushed to my side but I fell down before she could get to me, I heard voices calling out to me as I went into darkness.

    Sequence 17

    AFAMEFUNA POV I saw her standing smiling at me, I tried to reach for her calling her name but the more I try to get to her the more far away she seems, slowly she began to fade away, I continue calling her name as I jerk up from sleep, I looked around and saw that I was in my room in the palace, so that was a dream, but just then everything that had happened came flashing back to me.
    AFAMEFUNA: Amarachi. My heart, my love, the only woman that has made me feel complete, the only woman I see in my dream, my heart couldn’t believe she was really dead, I gave out a scream in anguish as I broke down in tear, my heart has been ripped out of it spot.
    AFAMEFUNA: Amarachi, am sorry, am sorry. Yes it was my fault, I couldn’t have left, I could have stayed, just maybe this won’t have happened, I could imagine how she felt helpless on that day, i could have been there to protect her, that was what i promised her but i had let her down, had betrayed her all over again, can she ever forgive me, what am I to do, I couldn’t take the pain anymore, it was eating me up and that I lost her because of what, all this, I looked around my room and my hurt turned to anger and hate, I got up and started destroying everything in my room. One of the guards ran inside. GUARD: my prince are you okey.
    AFAMEFUNA: get out, get out I shouted at him and he immediately ran for his life seeing I have lost all my senses, and I continued from where I stopped destroying the plasma TV on the wall, the door swing open and my mother face came in view, as I saw her looking so worried my hatred for her increased.
    AFAMEFUNA: what do you want. I shouted at her sending her a dagger look. LOLO AGBONMA: my son, you have to calm down, you didn’t know what happened, that girl is evil and you are too blind to see this.
    AFAMEFUNA: no you all are the ones that are too blind to see how wonderful she was and I know it because I have interest in her that’s why you people decided to kill her. LOLO AGBONMA: Afamefuna, why will you say something like that, you know I and your father are not like that.
    AFAMEFUNA: believe me, I don’t think I know you guys, what am I even saying, of course I don’t know you guys, I don’t, but let me tell you this, you all will regret what you did to her, all of you, now leave my room, leave. LOLO AGBONMA: Afamefuna please.
    AFAMEFUNA: leave now, leave, I don’t want to see your face leave. My anger was taking control and her presence just made it worse, she ran out of my room in fear, I fall down on the floor as I broke down in tear, the pain was too much for me to bare, I have heard to fall in love was a wonderful thing but never knew it was also the most painful thing you can ever imagine. I heard the door opened, I thought I told them I didn’t want to see any of their faces, I turned round to face Nnamdi. NNAMDI: my prince.
    AFAMEFUNA: what are you doing here. NNAMDI: my prince, you have to calm down.
    AFAMEFUNA: are you out of your mind, I thought I made it clear that I don’t want to see anyone, now get out. NNAMDI: my prince.
    AFAMEFUNA: don’t you prince me, where you not there when they had her killed, you joined them right after all you never liked her, now she is dead, you all are happy now. NNAMDI: my prince, Amarachi is not dead. I looked at him, was he trying to make me free better or what.
    AFAMEFUNA: look am not in for your games. NNAMDI: I am not playing any games or am I joking with you, as I speak to you now Amarachi is in lagos. I got up immediately eager to know what he was talking about.
    AFAMEFUNA: you are getting me confuse. NNAMDI : I know you are but I don’t have all day to explain to you, but all I want to tell you is that I gave her the address you gave to me, I think she might be there now because she left same yesterday, I even sent you a massage to your email, that’s why I was surprise to see you today.
    AFAMEFUNA: massage, I didn’t see any massage. NNAMDI: God, I think she might be there now. I don’t know if I should be dancing or shouting but I was really happy to hear that Amarachi was alive and she is already on her way to meet me, I started looking for my phone so I can call Victor to give him the information. NNAMDI: what are you looking for.
    AFAMEFUNA: my phone, I need to call Victor so he will be aware just incase she comes. Nnamdi joined me in searching for my phone, in no time we found it and I quickly dialed Victor’s number but was disappointed as it was switch off.
    AFAMEFUNA: his phone is off. NNAMDI: then you should be on your way to lagos.
    AFAMEFUNA: call that your driver, am going by road. NNAMDI: ok and please no one should hear about this for now.
    AFAMEFUNA: am not stupid. Nnamdi left my room to do what I asked him to do, I didn’t know what I felt that moment, I was glad and at the same time worried, I just pray she is alright, Nnamdi came later to inform me that the driver was waiting for me, now the problem was how was I going to leave the palace since it was still in the afternoon which Is very risky to use the back door. 
    AMARACHI POV
     It has been four days that I have been in Lagos and I have misplaced the address of the prince given to me by Nnamdi, this four days has not been easy for me as I didn’t know where to go or know anyone here, the money that was given to me by Nnamdi was what had been sustaining me and I know in no time I will have no money left, at night I will find an empty store to sleep then woke up early in the morning before the owner comes, I must say lagos is always busy both at day and at night. I was walking round the market as usual when I sighted a sign board where Sale girl was wanted, it was a local restaurant, I knew I didn’t have any experience in this kind of work but I have now choice, I needed to look for something I can be doing so I can be able to feed myself, I walk inside the restaurant not sure of myself, what if they chase me away or even worse, I just pray I get the job.
    AFAMEFUNA POV
    it has been four days now since I came back to lagos to look for Amarachi, and this is getting me so worried, what if something bad has happened to her, lagos is a big and busy place also dangerous where it is very difficult to find someone that is missing. I remembered how I left the palace after hearing from Nnamdi that she was heading to Lagos, I thought about using the back door but later kicked against it as it was already noon, without no other way I made up my mind to use the front gate knowing fully well that my parents might try to stop me, just as I thought my mother got up as soon as I entered the sitting room. LOLO
    AGBONMA : Afamefuna I watched both of them for some time, I really wanted to say something to them but just couldn’t fine my voice, I head to the door only to be stopped by the guards.
    AFAMEFUNA: if you two don’t get out of my face this minutes, both of you will regret it. LOLO AGBONMA: Afamefuna, where are you going.
    AFAMEFUNA: that’s none of your business, I leaving this place since you both don’t want my happiness, I am going to look for one. I turned facing the people I called parents, just looking at them brought hatred to my heart. EZE NWANYI: what has come over you Afamefuna.
    AFAMEFUNA: you have come over me, all my life I always wish I could see my father because I so much thought he was a man of dignity and integrity but right now all I see is nothing. LOLO AGBONMA: Afamefuna, do you realize you are talking to your father.
    AFAMEFUNA: and do I look as if I care, he seize to be my father the day he sworn to destroy my joy. LOLO AGBONMA: Afamefuna.
    AFAMEFUNA: mark this day father because it will be the last time you will set eyes on me. I turned to the guards.
    AFAMEFUNA: now will you let me pass or you want to carry my corpse. They stood not moving, I face my parents again. EZE NWANYI: you are not leaving this palace ever again. He said this getting up, and yes he was angry which I care less. LOLO AGBONMA: Please my son, don’t do this, I know you are angry but if you just rest a little you will be fine.
    AFAMEFUNA: now tell me which do you prefer, you let me walk out of this palace or I go upstairs to my room and harm myself, after all I have nothing that am living for. EZE NWANYI: you will do no such thing.
    AFAMEFUNA: try me, I will do lot more, you will lose, because with me dead, this kingship will be taken from this family and I will not even be alive to regret it. My mother broke down in tear, in as much that I want to console her I held myself back, why should I care, my father and I stared at each other eye to eye, I knew he was trying to read me so I had to make a serious eye contact, I will lying anyway about killing myself, why will I when Amarachi is out there but I can’t let them see that can I. EZE NWANYI: let him pass LOLO AGBONMA: my king. EZE NWANYI: quiet woman, what good will he be for me if he is dead.
    AFAMEFUNA: I knew you were clever. I walked pass the guards and headed to the main gate, which was also opened for me, I sighted the driver that Nnamdi called waiting a little far from the palace gate, I got there and entered the car.
    AFAMEFUNA: am going to Lagos, hope you know the way. DRIVER: yes, Nnamdi already told me.
    AFAMEFUNA: good now drive. He brought the engine to life and drove off, my mind was set in Amarachi, I just hope she is okay, I redial Victor’s number but it was still switch off, I wondered where he will be, just hope he has seen Amarachi.

    Sequence 18

    AFAMEFUNA POV continue I got to lagos very late in the night and saw no sign of Amarachi or even Victor, I asked the gateman if anyone came by to look for me that day but he gave me a negative answer and this made me worried more, I wouldn’t sleep as I wait for Victor to come home since his number wasn’t connecting, I wasn’t worried about him because this wasn’t the first time his number won’t connect, it happens when ever he has a late meeting or work dinner, and I don’t have his business line. I opened my eyes to see Victor standing close to me, it was already morning, didn’t know when I slept off.
    VICTOR: Afam, this one you are sleeping on the sofa in the sitting room with your clothes still on, hope you are fine, did everything go well, I mean with Amarachi.
    AFAMEFUNA: that is the problem, she is not in the village, she is in lagos.
    VICTOR: wow, how come.
    AFAMEFUNA: it’s a long story. I told Victor parts of the story I know, he was shocked to hear it.
    VICTOR: Jesus, does that still happen in this century, what about the police.
    AFAMEFUNA: I should be the one asking you that.
    EMEKA: am so surprise.
    AFAMEFUNA: see, that is the least of my problem now, Amarachi is no where to be found, with all indications it shows you haven’t seen her.
    VICTOR: no I haven’t, have you asked Musa.
    AFAMEFUNA: I did, he too haven’t seen her, no one came to look for me or you yesterday.
    EMEKA: then where could she be.
    AFAMEFUNA: I don’t know, I don’t know, am losing it seriously.
    EMEKA: calm down ok, we are going to see her, why don’t we go and check the car parks around the city.
    AFAMEFUNA: yes, every car parks in lagos, she might have dropped in one of them.
    EMEKA: okey let’s go then. We left in search for her, we checked every car parks in lagos which we continue everyday but still no sign of her and this was getting me worried and scared, I was brought out of my thought when Victor called my name.
    VICTOR: Afam, you have to stop. He sat down opposite me.
    VICTOR : you haven’t had anything solid to eat from the pass two days now, do you want to kill yourself.
    AFAMEFUNA: am scared, what if she got into a wrong bus and…
    VICTOR: nothing has happened to her, she is fine, if you are thinking maybe she is dead, come on, think positive.
    AFAMEFUNA: I am, what do you have me do.
    VICTOR: lets go to the police station and file a missing person report.
    AFAMEFUNA: why didn’t we thought of this earlier, that will be better.
    EMEKA: ok, you have all her personal details.
    AFAMEFUNA: I know her name, her age, where she is from.
    EMEKA: and her photograph.
    AFAMEFUNA: about that, I have one. I brought out my phone and showed it to him, I remembered when I took this photo, she didn’t know, she was laughing so hard about a joke I said, I took that picture so I could always see her laugh, now I do realize I missed her so much and I will go mad if I don’t see her soon.
    EMEKA: this will do.
    AFAMEFUNA: ok, so can we go now.
    EMEKA: if you want, I will just go and drop my brief case.
    AFAMEFUNA: ok . I stood up why he left to drop his brief case, he came back few minutes later and we head out to the police station. 
    AMARACHI POV
    It has been days now since I started working in the restaurant, yes I got the job, the interview wasn’t that difficult because they were desperately in need of someone, and i happened to come just in time, the life in the city wasn’t that pleasant but still i thank God for providing for me, i so much missed my mother, and i pray she is happy where ever she is right now. Sometimes i wish i could go back in time to change everything but that was impossible, how i wish i had never meant the prince maybe things could have been more better than now, i know my life wasn’t a pleasant one but it was more better than this because no matter how hard i try to feel happy i still find myself feeling lonely, thought i will get use to it by now but that wasn’t happening.
    The restaurant wasn’t that big but was patronized by a lot of people because it’s in the center of the lagos market, we close very late in the night only on weekends but during the week we close very early, we were seven girls and three boys in number, and my boss name was called Big mama, she is marriage with no kids with her current husband, as i heard she had three children with her first husband, both of them are in their late 50s, Big mama is a very nice and easy going person and generous too, she was the one that helped me with accommodation when she heard my story, so i was living with them, but i can’t say same for her husdand uncle Joe as i normally call him, i don’t know much about him but i knew he was not a good news and i have observed the way he looks at me when ever he is around me so i always kept my distances, won’t want any trouble, i just needed a little time so i will be able to save enough money to rent my own accommodation. Samuel who is also a worker there was the only friend i had, though i do talk to the rest of my co-workers but Sameul was the only one that i was really close to and knows my story too, he is a gentle guy and hard working too, peole at the restaurant started having the thought that i and Samuel might be having something going but that didn’t affect our friendship, i had nothing to fear because Samuel already have a fiancee who he loves so much and won’t cheat on her, he was more like my big brother and many times has helped me from the men that tried to harass me sexually at the restaurant, evrerything was working well for me and i was happy but never knew my happiness will be cut short soon enough.
    AFAMEFUNA POV
    I was already going crazy looking for Amarachi, it has been a month now since I and Victor made a complain to the police but they haven’t called to give me any good news, I even promised any one who could find her whereabouts One million naira as Victor told me that the people will do anything for money but yet no news and I was growing impatient, Victor was not at home, he had gone out to see his Aunty from his mother’s side, she stays in another part of Lagos and owns a restaurant, she is married, he offered I came with him but I just couldn’t, I prefer to use my free time to look for Amarachi.

    Sequence 19

    VICTOR POV
    I hate seeing my friend Afamefuna in a bad state, since Afamefuna came to stay with me I have grown fond of him, he is like my brother now and he is a very humble guy judging from his background, he is always a cheerful guy but ever since the disappearance of Amarachi, a girl he saw and fall in love with he has not been himself, even without me knowing who she is i know she much be an angel to make Afamefuna a prince of a great kingdom fall in love and I pray she is alive somewhere and healthy, I am on my way to see my Aunty, haven’t seen her for a long time now, all her children are all living outside Lagos and being my favorite Aunt I always try to go see her mostly when she is married to that fool of an husband, well I hate the guy, he is rich but also stupid and an womanizer, I wonder what my aunty was doing with him, anyway it her choice and am going to stand by her.
    I told Afamefuna to go with me but he just couldn’t give himself a free time, I pray he finds peace.
    ********************************
    AMARACHI POV
    I quickly ran out to answer my boss calls, she was sitted outside the restaurant far from the costormers, she hates it when she calls you more than two times.
    AMARACHI: yes ma’am you called me.
    BIG MAMA: yes I did, I want you to take that meat.
    Pointing at a black bag that is placed on the floor.
    BIG MAMA: take it home and put it in the fridge, make sure you wash them before putting it in the fridge ok, and place some apart so i can use it to cook this evening when I get home.
    AMARACHI: ok ma’am.
    BIG MAMA: don’t go and sleep there ooo.
    AMARACHI: I won’t ma’am.
    BIG MAMA: ok be first.
    I took the bag and left immediately but not without taking the key of the house, Big Mama’s house was just some block away, so I didn’t need to take any transport, I opened the big black gate and entered the building, there was no gateman because the last one traveled to his village and didn’t return, no body heard from him again, the house was a two storey building, I walked inside the house and got busy, my boss husband wasn’t at home and I was happy about it, I started with my work that in less than few minutes I was done, I cleaned the kitchen and prepared to return to the restaurant.
    As soon as I went into the sitting room I saw my boss husband, uncle Joe entering too from the front door, he was just coming back from work I suppose.
    AMARACHI: Good evening sir.
    UNCLE JOE: Good evening, how are you.
    AMARACHI: fine sir.
    UNCLE JOE: you didn’t go to the store today.
    AMARACHI: I did, ma’am sent me to do something at home, but am done now so I want to go back to the restaurant, she will be waiting for me.
    UNCLE JOE: you mean my wife is not at home.
    AMARACHI: no sir, I will be leaving now.
    I wasn’t comfortable with the way he was looking at me, only God knows what was going on in his mind now, I was almost at the door when he called me.
    UNCLE JOE: before you go help me to take this brief case to the bedroom.
    AMARACHI: ok sir.
    I took the brief case from him and head to his room, I didn’t suspect anything as it wasn’t the first time I was taking his brief case from him or the first time of me entering their bedroom but that moved I made was a very wrong one, as I turned to see him at the bedroom door immediately I dropped the brief case, he closed the door, looking at me seductively.
    AMARACHI: sir, I have kept it, can I go now.
    UNCLE JOE: no, there is still one thing you have to do for me.
    *****************************
    VICTOR POV
    I arrived at my Aunty restaurant, I killed the car engine after parking my car in a space I saw just right in front of my the restaurant, she was sitting at the side of the restaurant, immediately she saw me she got up and we embrace.
    BIG MAMA: look at you, Victor, it is not fair ooo, even if your cousins don’t have time to come see me it very understandable but you that stays in the same city with me, tell me how can you say you are too busy to come visit me.
    VICTOR: Aunty B, it not like that, believe me this past months has been really busy for me with work and a friend of mine too that needs all the help he can get to deal with some issues that is going on with him now, but I am here now right.
    BIG MAMA: I heard you, I know you will always have an excuse, sit down.
    We both did.
    VICTOR: so how has business been going.
    BIG MAMA: well we thank God, with the way you have been too busy I know work is fine.
    VICTOR: as always.
    BIG MAMA: so what about our wife to be.
    VICTOR: she is fine.
    BIG MAMA: she better be fine, after all the only thing she is good at is spending your money, I wonder what you see in her.
    VICTOR: Aunty, please not today na.
    My aunty never for once likes my fiancee, I have tried to make it possible but yet it doesn’t work, Becky my fiancee is a young lady that loves shopping a lot but apart from that she is perfect, she was the only woman that stood by me when things was really bad for me and it was with her help I got the work that is putting money in my account now, so am not bother if she spends some of it, she is lawyer and a good one at that, so I know she will always have my back when thing fall out of place, she spends alot yes but save a lot too and that is the part my Aunty don’t see.
    BIG MAMA: what do you want to drink.
    VICTOR: I don’t want to drink, I want to eat, i am hungry.
    BIG MAMA: what would you love to eat then, let me tell one of my girls to bring it for you.
    VICTOR: anything but first I need to go to the house to drop my bag and take a shower then I will come back to eat.
    A bright smile appeared on her face.
    BIG MAMA: you are sleeping over.
    VICTOR: as much as I don’t want to see your husband’s face, yes I am spending the night here.
    BIG MAMA: na you sabi, I will give you the key then, that’s remain me, where is this girl, she is not yet back, just to wash meat is what is taking forever.
    VICTOR: which girl.
    BIG MAMA: oh, she is my new worker, you need to hear this girl story you will be shocked, I will tell you later ok.
    VICTOR: alright.
    BIG MAMA: so go home, she will be at home.
    VICTOR: ok, hope your husband is not home.
    BIG MAMA: no, he hasn’t come back from work.
    VICTOR: better, see you soon.
    BIG MAMA: ok sir.
    Both of us laugh as I walk to my car, I started the engine and drove off to my aunty’s house.

    Sequence 20

    AMARACHI POV
    I stared at Uncle Joe who has been talking non stop for the pass ten minutes trying to convince me to sleep with me, promising me almost everything thing he has but I am no fool, even if I was dying and starving I won’t dare to betray a woman that has been nice to me ever since i started working for her, I stared at him in disgust, how can a well behave and nice woman end up with this kind of a man.
    UNCLE JOE: see no one will find out I promise you, you will not be disappointed, don’t look at my age ooo, I can satisfy you in bed just as those small boys can.
    AMARACHI: please uncle Joe, let me pass, I don’t want any of those things, I just want to go back to the restaurant, Aunty will be waiting for me now and angry that I took so much time.
    UNCLE JOE: don’t worry about that, you can tell her that i asked you to do something for me.
    AMARACHI: still I want to go.
    UNCLE JOE: what is even wrong with you, I have been begging you to allow me just once but you are here claiming stubborn.
    AMARACHI: I am not claiming stubborn, what you are asking me to do is unspeakable.
    UNCLE JOE: there are girls out there that are doing it, what makes you different from them.
    AMARACHI: my conscience.
    UNCLE JOE: ohhh, I think you want it by force abi.
    He was getting angry and I could see it, he took a step towards me, his move didn’t scare me, I have fought with men before but though they are not his age group still I know he was no match for me, I don’t know where it came from but I was ready to fight him with my last strength.
    UNCLE JOE: when am done with you, you will come running back to me for more.
    AMARACHI: Uncle joe, you need to stop this, I am…
    But before I could finish my sentence he pounced on me, trying to fall me to the bed, I use my strength and pushed him back.
    AMARACHI: Uncle, am warning you ooo, leave me alone.
    He still pounced on me again, this time he succeeded in pushing me on the bed, but as he wanted to come on me I used my leg to push him backward, this caused him to fall to the floor, I quickly got up intending to run out of the room but he held my hand before I could get to the door, with all my strength I turned and pushed him away running out of the room but stopped just before the stair as I came face to face with a young man.
    **********************************
    VICTOR POV
    I arrived at my Aunty’s house, I came down from my car that I parked just in front of the gate, I rang the bell of the gate and even knocked on the gate but got no response, I putted my hand on the small hole made on the gate to see if the lock was locked and luckily for me it wasn’t, I opened it and went inside, after opening the big gate I drove in and locked it again, I saw my Aunt’s husband car parked, thought he hasn’t come back from work, what do I care, I walked into the house and was visited by silent, I already knew the way to the guest room so I carried my bag along with me headed to the guest room, I have got to the middle of the stair when I heard a scream, I quickly started to ascending the stair only to come face to face with a young beautiful girl, she also stopped as she saw me and I could see fear in her eyes as she was breathing so loudly.
    VICTOR: are you okay.
    AMARACHI: no…yes…I hmmmm.
    She was stammering and I wondered why.
    VICTOR: calm down.
    I dropped my bag, and walk close to her, that was when I remembered that I heard a scream and the voice wasn’t that of a lady and this made me suspicion.
    VICTOR : where is Joe, I saw his car outside so he is at home.
    AMARACHI: he is in hmmmm inside the room.
    There was something off with her but I don’t know what it is but she was not herself that I know.
    VICTOR: go show me.
    She quickly turned leading the way, I knew the way to the bedroom but I wanted her to show me, the door was opened and it was unlike Joe to leave the bedroom door open.
    AMARACHI: he is inside.
    VICTOR: okey, after you.
    She entered but immediately stopped, using her hand to cover her mouth, I walked passed her to see the reason why she stopped only to see Joe on the ground in the pool of his own blood coming from his head, he must have hit his head in the wooden part of the bed.
    VICTOR: Joe
    I quickly ran to his side checking his pulse.
    His pulse was still there so he was alive, I thanked God in my mind for this.
    AMARACHI: I …didn’t…no..
    She was stammering again but this time I ignored her, my first priority was to save his life then she will explain how this happened, I know I didn’t like him but that doesn’t mean he needed to die in this way.
    VICTOR: are you just going to stand there saying rubbish or you are going to help me take him to the hospital.
    She quickly moved to my side and together we took him to my car, she opened the gate as I drove out.
    VICTOR: you are coming with me to the hospital, so get in.
    She lock the gate and joined me in the car, I needed her close to me because she alone knows what happened to Joe, this is Lagos so I won’t want her out of my sights.

    Sequence 21

    AMARACHI POV
    I was shaking as i watched the young man drive in speed, he looks worried that I wonder who he is to uncle Joe, God save me I said to myself, I was so shocked to see uncle Joe on the floor with blood coming out from his head, he had hit his head on the wooden bed when I pushed him, I didn’t know what to do now, if anything happens to him how will I explain myself, who will even believe me that he tried to rape me, God what have I gotten myself into, I knew the young man was keeping me close to him when he told me to follow him to the hospital and I pray he hasn’t concluded any story in his mind.
    We got to the hospital and uncle Joe was immediately rushed into the hospital by the nurse and they commence treatment after the young man paid some deposit, I was waiting in the reception lost in my own thought, I knew I needed a miracle that minutes, I so prayed uncle Joe don’t die, the young man came out ending a phone call he was making, his face was emotionless making it hard to know what he might be thinking.
    VICTOR: I have just called my Aunty, wife to Joe and she is on her way here, so you better start talking before she gets here, what happened.
    I stared at him not knowing where to began.
    ********************************
    VICTOR POV
    Her face looked so familiar that I have been thinking where I have met her before right from when I met her in the house, but yet I can’t seen to place where I might have seen her, she looks confused and scared and I have been meaning to ask her what happened, I don’t know but I felt relax around her, I know nothing will happen to uncle Joe don’t know how but I knew he will be fine, I called my Aunty to tell her what happened and gave her the name of the hospital and I know by now she will be on her way, so I had to know what happened before she gets here because if Joe wakes up I know he will make a perfect story that will work for him, with the way she was running when I met her and her behavior I knew something was up and I wants to find out.
    VICTOR: you have to tell me.
    She was looking confused that I can tell, I sat down close to her so she can feel a little comfortable with me.
    VICTOR: my name is victor and am the nephew to your boss, I know you are scared but you don’t have to, I don’t like Joe he is only married to my Aunty, so I won’t react on any thing you tell me, I know something happened, I just want know what.
    AMARACHI: it …. was a mistake.
    With this she burst into tear, I think she has been holding it for a while.
    VICTOR: I know, I know, but you have to tell me.
    AMARACHI: he tried to rape me, I was only trying to defend myself, I pushed him but I didn’t know he hits his head, I swear I didn’t know, Big mama sent me to wash the meat she bought, after I finished I was about leaving when uncle Joe sent me to take his brief case to his room, I did but he came and close the door telling me to sleep with him, but I refused that when he tried to force himself on me, please I didn’t do anything, I swear.
    I don’t know but I believed her, maybe because of her innocent face or because her words were sincere but I just believed, who wouldn’t if they know the kind of person Joe is towards women, but if she is saying the truth then that means Joe will want to get back at her by telling a different story that will put her in trouble.
    VICTOR: it’s okey, I believe you.
    I could see the shock in her face.
    AMARACHI: you believe me?.
    VICTOR: yes I do, Joe can do unspeakable things and this might just be one of them.
    AMARACHI: will Big mama believe me.
    VICTOR: that is the problem, I don’t know, if Joe wakes up I think you are done for it.
    This increase her cry, I didn’t want to cause her more pain but she has to get prepare for what will happen.
    VICTOR: you need to stop crying, I will help you okey, so you need to stop.
    I so wish things don’t turn bad for her.
    VICTOR: what is your name.
    AMARACHI: my name us Amara.
    The name Amara rang a bell to me.
    VICTOR: just Amara.
    That was a stupid question but I just needed to be sure.
    AMARACHI: Amarachi
    VICTOR: Amarachi who.
    AMARACHI : Amarachi Uzochi
    Was my ear deceiving me, that is the same name of the girl Afamefuna has been looking for, yes it might be her, maybe that’s why she looked so familiar, was this really her or someone baring the same name.
    **********************
    It was late in the night now, my Aunty, Amarachi and I are in the sitting room, back in the hospital I was about to ask Amarachi more questions when my Aunty ran inside the reception, she was so worried and I feared she might break down if anything happens to Joe, yes my Aunty loves him so much, I succeeded in calming her down, she so wanted to know what happened but had to keep that part away from her first, the doctor later came out informing us that Joe was fine there was no major damage but he was resting now and won’t want disturbance and i thanked God for this because it will give me time to talk to my Aunty, we were allowed to see him, I and my Aunty went to his ward while Amarachi waited in the reception, he was sleeping when we saw him, my Aunty was about to start crying that she has been doing since she came to the hospital but I remained her of what the doctor said so she held herself back.
    Amarachi has told her everything that happened as soon as we got home, she was sitting directly opposite Amarachi who was sitting, while I was sitting at the other end close to the door.
    BIG MAMA: you mean my husband asked you to sleep with him and when you refused he tried to force you.
    AMARACHI: yes ma’am.
    I know Amarachi was scared that I understand but I don’t understand the behaviour of my Aunty, she was a bit calm in this kind of situation, I was expecting more from her, like apologizing to the young girl or something.
    BIG MAMA: Joe, Joe.
    I didn’t know what to tell her because I really don’t know what to say to her, she was emotionless , I looked at Amarachi and the thought of her being the girl Afamefuna was looking for came to my mind, if really she is which I think she is, Afamefuna will be so happy to see her, I turned my attention to my Aunty, she opened her bag and brought out some amount of money giving it to Amarachi who looked at the money in confusion.
    BIG MAMA: go on take it.
    Amarachi looked at me then back to the money, she later took it from my Aunty.
    BIG MAMA : Amarachi that is 30 thousand naira, you will use that money to take care of yourself, I believe everything you said that is why you cannot live with me again, so go upstairs to your room, pack all your belongings and leave my house.
    I was shocked to hear my Aunty say that, I stood up to see if that word came out from her mouth, immediately Amarachi broke down in tear going down on her knee.
    AMARACHI: Aunty please, please, I don’t have anywhere to go, please, I beg you.
    BIG MAMA: I know you don’t have any where to go that’s why I gave you that money so you can use it to set up yourself, Amarachi you are a good girl but you staying here is not a good idea, so you have to leave.
    VICTOR: Aunty, are you being serious.
    BIG MAMA: Victor, please stay out of this, Amarachi I want you to leave quietly or I will be force to call the police, telling them you tried to kill my husband and you know what that means.
    I was short of words, how can my Aunty say that, Amarachi was still begging but my Aunty mind was already made up and I know that once her mind was made up then nothing will chance it well except Joe.
    VICTOR: Amarachi, just do as she says, go pack your things, it better than staying in the police station.
    After some time, Amarachi got up and left to her room.
    VICTOR: are you sure this is the right thing to do, sending her out at this time of the night, it pass eight already, Aunty B I still don’t understand you, suffering a girl for the crime your husband did, he should be the one lock up right now for trying to rape someone and you are here putting the blame on her.
    BIG MAMA: and you think I don’t know that.
    She said standing up.
    BIG MAMA: I am trying to save my marriage.
    VICTOR: yea you are really doing a good job.
    BIG MAMA: look, Joe now has eye on her do you know what that means.
    VICTOR: sorry to say this but your husband is a bog, he will always have eyes for every lady that passes his way.
    BIG MAMA: at least it better then sleeping with my worker.
    Just than Amarachi came back with her bag on her hand still crying.
    AMARACHI: Aunty please.
    BIG MAMA: you take care of yourself.
    She said sitting down.
    VICTOR: come, I will see you off.
    Amarachi looked at me and for once I felt pity for her.

    Sequence 22

    AMARACHI POV
    As I step out of Big mama’s house the cold blew of the night blew passed my face, this sent some cold into me, I am still in shock of what just happened, how can she drive me out of her house, even with my pleading she didn’t even got moved by it, what was I to do, how was I to face the world again, where will I go from here, just when I thought things was working well for me that’s when life decided to show her other self to me, if only I knew where Samuel reside I could have gone there and I know he will help me out even for a night but now I have to spent the night outside this cold, God do save me from this please and just like God answered my prayer Victor, Big mama aunty nephew called me, I got to know his name when him and Big mama were having a conversation, I was already close to the gate when he called me, the time he followed me outside as he said he wants to see me off, I walked ahead of him lost in my own thought until he called my name from behind and I turned to see him close to his car, I knew it was his because it was the same car we rushed Uncle Joe with.
    VICTOR: you should get into the car.
    I looked at him surprised at what he said.
    VICTOR: do you really think I will allow a young girl like you walk in this dark all by yourself, so get into the car let me look for somewhere you can spend the night.
    I wanted to shout for joy but held myself, was he being serious, he will offer me where to sleep but yet I was still standing looking at him not sure if I was ready to follow a male stranger to only God knows where.
    VICTOR: do you prefer sleeping out on the streets, if not you should get in.
    He said this and entered the car, I immediately saw myself moving closer to the car, I opened the door and went in, I just hope and pray I am not making another mistake again.
    **********************
    We drove in silent for almost ten minutes, sometimes he could glazed at me from the corner of his eyes but I pretended not to notice, we got into a big gate that was opened and parked, I started wondering where we were because the place was fill with cars and a few people, the building was big and beautiful with decorated light all over, even the environment was neat that everywhere speaks class.
    We came out of the car, that’s when I saw the name ROYAL HOTEL was written boldly on the building, just then I knew we were in an hotel and my fear aroused, I knew hotel is a place were a man and a woman meet, so why will he bring me here, I knew I shouldn’t have followed his, he seem to have seen my discomfort as I stood refusing to take another step.
    VICTOR: what is it.
    AMARACHI: this is an hotel.
    VICTOR: yes, do you have a problem with that.
    I looked at him with eyes wide open in confusion, I think he realize something as he dropped my bag he has been holding on the ground.
    VICTOR: no no, it not what you are thinking, I brought you here because my house is not close by and there was no where else to take you or do you have a bad impression about hotels.
    AMARACHI: hotels are for men and women that wants to make out.
    He immediately burst into laughter, and I wondered what was funny.
    VICTOR: and who told you that.
    AMARACHI: I heard.
    VICTOR: okey let me correct that, hotels are not just made for lovers or the opposite sex to make out, it also a place you rest away from your home, everyone can come here and spent even more than a week depending on how long you are staying in the city, so you better stop thinking that way.
    I looked like a fool for not knowing these things, now he will look at me as a dull girl, he took my bag again and lead the way to the reception.
    The receptionist attended to us and did the check in, in no time we were inside a small but comfortable room in the hotel.
    VICTOR: okey there you go, this is where you will sleep this night, by tomorrow I will come by and if you need anything you should call the reception, that’s the telephone and that list there are all the name of the services in this hotel.
    He said pointing at the bed side where a home telephone was placed and a paper was close to it.
    VICTOR: do you know how to use it.
    AMARACHI: no
    I felt embarrassed as I lower my head to the floor.
    VICTOR: let me show you.
    He showed me how the telephone function and how to use it to make any calls but it can’t be use to call any number outside the hotel and also the list too that contains all type of food prepared in the hotel.
    VICTOR: so if you are hungry do call okey and it will be delivered to you.
    AMARACHI: alright.
    VICTOR: I will be leaving now so you can rest.
    AMARACHI: thank you.
    VICTOR: you are welcome
    He said this and turned to leave but stopped as he got to the door, he turned back at me starring into my eyes.
    VICTOR: I want to ask, what village are you from.
    I was surprise at the question, I don’t know why he asked but I was scared to tell him, I looked away no knowing what to do.
    VICTOR: if you don’t want to tell me it’s alright.
    I looked back at him, there were nothing dangerous about him, he had helped me without knowing me, so what make me think he will hurt me.
    VICTOR: good night.
    He said and opened the door.
    AMARACHI: Amucha village, I am from Amucha village.
    He turned facing me again this time with a warm smile on his face.
    VICTOR: goodnight
    He said and walked out of the room closing the door behind him.
    I didn’t know why he asked but I was glad i made him smile before leaving, i quickly went inside the bathroom and had my shower i so much needed it, i rest on the bed thinking about the event of that day, where will I have been now if not for this young man Victor, now tomorrow was all I can worry about, I pray tomorrow favor me.
    ***************************
    VICTOR POV
    I just can’t stop smiling on my way home, I knew I have found Amarachi the lost love of Afamefuna and I wondered how he will react when he get this news, i tried calling Afamefuna but his number wasn’t going through so I decided to call him in the morning, just wanted to find more information about Amarachi from him and if he could send me the picture of Amarachi again just to be sure but in my heart I already knew I have found her.
    **************************
    AMARACHI POV
    Morning came and then afternoon but yet Victor hasn’t come by, he did promise to come by, I was a little scared already, what if he has changed his mind about helping me what then will I do, I have eaten but my stomach still feels empty because of my worried mind, countless times I could look at the window to see if I could see his car but yet nothing, slowly the time got to five pm yet no sign of him I was growing impatient, what if the hotel management comes and throw me out that my payment has expired, what then will I do, I pray it just don’t come to that.
    I felt a hand on my hand, I opened my eyes to see Victor smiling at me, I must have slept off, I looked at the time it was seven pm already, I didn’t bother to ask how he got inside because he had the key and left it at the reception before leaving yesterday, I quickly sat up.
    VICTOR: you must have been waiting for me so sorry, I had to stay with Aunty B, Joe is fine now will be discharged tomorrow, he lied though that he fall on his own, that man.
    AMARACHI: oh, thank God he is fine.
    VICTOR: yea, so we will be leaving here now.
    AMARACHI: to where.
    VICTOR: I told I would help you, so that is what I am doing, so get dressed.
    There was no reason for me to dress up again as I was already dressed, I took my bag and we left the hotel heading to somewhere I have no idea about.
    We drove for about an hour, we talk a lot as he kept asking questions about myself, I told him everything that happened to me not leaving any stone unturned, he wasn’t surprised or shocked, he was so calm listening to my story, I don’t know but I felt save with him, same feeling I had with Prince Afamefuna.
    We got to a black gate and the gate was opened by a man I later knew as Musa the gate man, he drove inside the compound, coming down from the car he helped me with my bag.
    VICTOR: welcome home Amarachi.
    I didn’t read any meaning to what he said, I followed him inside the sitting room, it was a well decorate place, neat and everything was in place.
    VICTOR: don’t be scared okey, you just stay here I will be right back.
    There was this excitement in his voice and I wondered why, he ran off inside the house, I started looking around amazed by the decorations in the wall.
    ****************************
    VICTOR POV
    I ran to Afamefuna room knowing he was there, I had called him that morning and he told me everything I needed to know even sending me the picture and luckily it was the same girl, I was so happy but decided not to let him know, I made him promise not to stay out last in the night as he normally does sometimes, I further asked Amarachi some more questions and everything added up, this no doubt is the lost love of Afamefuna and I knew I had made my friend smile again.
    I opened his door without knocking, I composed myself won’t want to give myself out, he was on his bed reading a magazine.
    VICTOR: hey man, whats up.
    He dropped the magazine and sat up.
    AFAMEFUNA: am cool, how was your journey.
    VICTOR: it was prefect, though a little set back but it was fine.
    AFAMEFUNA: good, you call asking for Amarachi photograph that you want to use it to look for her there, any progress.
    VICTOR: no for now but i left it with my Aunty, she will let me know when she finds her.
    I could see the disappointed in his face but not for long.
    VICTOR: but I want you to meet someone.
    AFAMEFUNA: please, am not in the mood.
    VICTOR: this one you have to and I wont take no for an answer.
    *****************************
    AFAMEFUNA POV
    Victor had call me that morning to ask for Amarachi photograph and also some details I have told him before about her, something seems off but I didn’t think about it too much and now coming back he was behaving some how and I really don’t know the reason why, I didn’t want to fight with him so I followed him to meet his guest, he was a little excited today or was it Becky, I haven’t seen Becky his fiancee since I came to live with him, he told me she traveled to London for a law firm course maybe she is back and he is all excited about it, well let me meet the almighty Becky but as I got to the sitting room I felt a cold wind and weakness all over me as I stared into the eyes of someone I never thought I will see again, I wouldn’t get my eyes of her or even move, she looked at me too and there was confusion in those her beautiful eyes, we were unable to move as we stare at each other.

    Sequence 23

    AFAMEFUNA POV
    I stood face to face with the only woman that has been able to give me sleepless nights, I still believe I was dreaming and I really don’t want to wake up from this dream, I looked at Victor who was just standing there smiling.
    VICTOR: I will leave you two to mingle.
    He said this and went inside the house leaving us alone, we both stood there not knowing who to make the first move.
    *******************************
    AMARACHI POV
    I can’t believe I am seeing Afamefuna after so many weeks, I just stood there looking at him not really knowing what to do, I so wanted to hold him and tell him how much I have missed him but yet the hurt and hatred I felt won’t give that part of my heart to win, if only it has been some weeks ago, if only, but now I don’t really know what I felt, after everything I finally met the man that made me set foot on Lagos soil, I just stared at him with many thoughts in my head, I can’t help but noticed how pale he has become, was he sick, that was the only question that needed answer that minutes.
    He started moving towards me, oh how my heart bounce as he got closer to me, I can now feel his breath, I lower my eyes away from his because I might lose myself if I look any longer but the next thing that follows melted my soul, he hugged me, I felt his warmness all over my body, I wanted to reciprocate the hug but I stopped myself.
    AFAMEFUNA: I missed you, I missed you so much.
    His voice was just like before, this brought smile to my face but i won’t want him to see this, i didn’t know what was going on in his mind right now, we were like that in silent for a long time and I knew if we don’t disengage I might loose myself.
    ********************************
    AFAMEFUNA POV
    I should be happy and excited that I have found Amarachi but yet I don’t feel complete, sometimes was wrong with this feeling and I don’t know why, I thought our coming together will be sometime out of the blues but when I hugged her and she didn’t reciprocate I knew things were different, even when I told her I missed her hoping to get same reply but silent was what followed, the only thing she said that minutes was that she needed to sleep, she couldn’t even look me in the eyes, was she angry with me or has she found someone else, those were the question I have been asking myself ever since she left the sitting room, I had to call Victor so he can fit up somewhere she can stay, I went to the wine bar and poured myself a glass of whiskey, I really needed it so badly, she didn’t even turned to look at me when she was leaving with Victor, I just felt I have lost her.
    VICTOR: whoa, whiskey?.
    Victor came and joined me in the wine bar.
    VICTOR: she settling in.
    AFAMEFUNA: yea, that’s good.
    I took a zip from my drink.
    AFAMEFUNA: how did you fined her.
    Victor told me everything that happened and I was seriously surprised in the turn of events, she was just under our nose all this while and we never knew, such is life, what you are looking for is always closer to you than you thought.
    AFAMEFUNA: thanks men for everything.
    VICTOR: you will do same for me but I don’t understand this, Amarachi is back you should be happy but here you are doing this.
    AFAMEFUNA: you are right I should be happy but guess what am not.
    VICTOR: but why.
    AFAMEFUNA: when I saw her believe me I was the happiest man on earth but when I hugged her and she didn’t respond I don’t know.
    VICTOR: maybe she is just tired.
    AFAMEFUNA: yea I am trying so hard to believe that myself, what if she has grown to hate me.
    VICTOR: why will you think that.
    AFAMEFUNA: with everything that has happened to her since she met me, who wouldn’t hate me, she has passed through a lot because of me, she was almost killed by my father.
    I don’t know but I just couldn’t hold back my tear.
    VICTOR: yet it’s still because of you she is alive, Nnamdi saved her because of you, I helped her because of you, she has passed through a lot so as you, you gave everything to look for her that is how much you love her and now she is right there, you just need to get your love back.
    AFAMEFUNA: I can’t, I can’t force her to love me, she is not happy to see me, she didn’t even wish to see me, its all written in her eyes, I shouldn’t have left her, I shouldn’t have left her.
    VICTOR: Afamefuna
    AFAMEFUNA: you don’t understand.
    I shouted throwing the glass cup on the wall that broke to pieces.
    AFAMEFUNA: my father has messed everything up for me and for her, I have messed everything for her, I thought if I found her everything will go back to normal, but how can it be normal when she has lost her mother for this cause, when she was almost raped for this cause, she could have become a murderer for this cause, when she will never return to her village or even to see her mother’s grave for this same cause, all because I was a coward, running away when I was supposed to be there, to fight for her, to be there for her but no I was running and it caused her everything.
    VICTOR: Afam.
    AFAMEFUNA: please Victor, I want to be left alone.
    I took the bottle of whiskey and walked away heading to my room, my blood was boiling and I was dying of regret, if only I could turn back the hands of time but it’s too late and if Amarachi refused to be mine I will let her go, she didn’t deserve someone like me.
    ****************************
    VICTOR POV
    This wasn’t happening, after everything that I have went through to get them together this is what I get, I hate seeing my friend this way, he has passed through a lot since Amarachi went missing and finding Amarachi became his only reason for living, he refused to return to the state or to the village without finding Amarachi but now things didn’t go the way I planned, I just want my friend to be happy because he deserves it and since Amarachi was his happiness then Amarachi he will get.

    Sequence 24

    Continues from Victor pov
    I matched to the room I gave to Amarachi I needed to talk to her, she might be angry with Afamefuna as he had said, maybe for the things she has gone through but even at that she should understand that both of them were in the same pain, I gently knocked on the door, she ushered me in, I took a deep breath and opened the door.
    AMARACHI: please come in.
    VICTOR: Thanks.
    I entered and close the door behind me, she was sitting on the bed, she has changed her clothes that showed maybe she took her bath.
    VICTOR: sorry for disturbing you.
    AMARACHI: no you are not, I have not have the time to thank you for everything you did and still doing for me.
    VICTOR: you don’t need to mention, I can do a lot of things for my friend Afamefuna.
    She lower her head, I have noticed she is fond of doing that, I took few step close to her.
    VICTOR: you know when I saw you I knew I have met you somewhere, it took me some time to remember exactly the place, do you know where.
    She looked up at me.
    VICTOR: in a photograph.
    I sat on her side, on the bed.
    VICTOR: Afamefuna was going crazy after coming back from the village and was told you were almost killed if not for Nnamdi that rescued you and sent you here to Lagos, we had search for you in every motor park we could think of around Lagos but yet nothing, then I haven’t met you or seen you just the wonderful words told by Afamefuna about you and I concluded you were someone to waste my time in searching for.
    I looked at her, she was listening.
    VICTOR: we had looked for you for almost two days until we decided to use the police, that was when I saw this pic.
    I opened my phone and gave it to her, she took it from me looking at the picture before her, a smile appeared on her face.
    VICTOR: that was the only pic he has of you and he cherish it with his life, look I know you been through a lot for this passed weeks and you have lost somuch too but believe me, Afamefuna has not felt better knowing you were out there all by yourself, he punished himself day and night blaming himself for everything you went through.
    I saw tear in her eyes.
    VICTOR: Afamefuna loves you, he can go any length to make you happy, I know that he can’t bring your mother back but he doesn’t deserve this, he is a victim just like you, after everything both of you have passed through you both are finally here will you allow your past to judge your future, he is your future and you are his, after everything there is no doubt both of you are met to be, I know you are angry with him but will you throw away this feeling because of some anger you are feeling towards him, do you want to let those people that put both of you in this path win.
    AMARACHI: it hurts, my mother was all I had.
    VICTOR: now he is all you have.
    I took her hands.
    VICTOR: he is heart broken just like you, and two broken are just the right ones to make a perfect heart, he is probably drinking himself to stupor as we speak.
    AMARACHI: but that bad for his health, he is pale.
    VICTOR: oh you observed, now you know I am not lying when I said he is also suffering.
    AMARACHI: what should I do.
    VICTOR: go to him, both of you need each other.
    She nodded in agreement, I was so happy I was able to get through to her, after about two minutes of silent she got up.
    AMARACHI: can you show me where he is.
    VICTOR: with pleasure.
    I got up and together we headed to Afamefuna room.
    VICTOR: I have to leave now, you got this.
    AMARACHI: thank you.
    I smiled at her and walked away, I pray this work.
    *******************************
    AMARACHI POV
    I was standing in front of Afamefuna door, Victor words really got to me, I had just realized I had been selfish thinking I was the only one suffering, I now felt guilty for behaving so self centered, hearing he has been searching for me non stop was unbelievable, never knew he cared for me that much, who could have thought he had a picture of me that alone was sweet, I knocked at the door twice and got no response, I was now scared hope he hasn’t harm himself.
    AMARACHI: my prince, it’s me Amarachi.
    I said giving out a loud breath, just like magic the door opened and Afamefuna face came to view, his eyes were reddish indicating a lot of crying had been done.
    AMARACHI: can I come in.
    He didn’t say a word but opened the door widely for me to enter which I did, the smell of alcohol got my breath, Victor was so right, the room was a little dark because it was dark already and the light in the room was coming from the bathroom light because the door was not locked.
    AMARACHI: hey
    I said immediately I turned to face him, I really don’t know what to say as my mouth was not able to open to say anything.
    AFAMEFUNA: Am sorry.
    He beat me to it.
    AFAMEFUNA: Am sorry for becoming your friend even when Nnamdi, my mother, all told me to stay away from you.
    I knew he was finding it hard to say those words to me, using all his strength to say it.
    AFAMEFUNA: I should have listen to you too when you told me we were not supposed to be friends, am really sorry for being stubborn and selfish, and I am really really really really sorry for leaving you after putting you in a mess, am sorry for betraying you, for the lies.
    We both were crying now, my heart was beginning to bleed.
    AFAMEFUNA: and I am really sorry for not being there when you needed me, am sorry for your mother’s death, I should have been around, I should been there and am so sorry.
    I places my hand on his lip shutting him up because I couldn’t take it any longer.
    AMARACHI: it’s all my fault, I was the one that pushed you always when you came by to tell me how much you cared, I was the one that wasn’t there, you accepted me for who I was not minding what others said but yet I was thinking you didn’t deserved me where as I was the one that didn’t deserved you, you are perfect but I am nothing.
    He removed my hand from his mouth.
    AFAMEFUNA: you can never be nothing to me, you are everything I had hoped for and loving you will always be what I want to do.
    He touched my cheek, I felt something I haven’t felt before I don’t know how I would describe it but it was pure.
    AMARACHI : kiss me.
    I could see the confusion in his eyes, yes he should me even I was confused of what i said, didn’t know when it came out, he stared into my eyes that I was so lost in them.
    AFAMEFUNA: should I
    Seriously I was not in control of my self anymore, I was still lost in his eyes when he bent his head and placed his lip on mind, it was heaven on earth, it was gentle and good, as it was my first kiss I was happy it was magical, he disengage from the kiss when I didn’t want him to stopped.
    AFAMEFUNA: this is your first.
    How on earth did he know, was I that bad that he observe it, I shyly looked away from him, didn’t know where all my boldness ran to, he lift my face to his again.
    AFAMEFUNA: I love it.
    This brought smile to my face, at least he loved it not just like, he kissed me again and this time better and longer than before, and more gentle than the first, he disengage from the kiss and hugged me so tight that I could hear his heartbeat.
    AFAMEFUNA : my queen, you will never leave my sight again, ever again.
    I felt relax and for once in a long time I felt protected and loved.

    Sequence 25

    AFAMEFUNA POV
    It has been two months since I and Amarachi found each other and I must say things has been going on well for the both of us, I wanted to get ourselves a new apartment to stay but Victor and Amarachi convinced me otherwise telling me to go complete my education that I planned all along but that was my old plans and I don’t need that plan anymore because I got a new one which is to get a solid job here in the city, get married to Amarachi and start my own family, well about staying in Lagos that will be if we decide to live in Nigeria, I have already given up my crown as the Prince, I will rather be just a nobody than be with someone that I won’t find the happiness I want which I have found in Amarachi, I haven’t heard from my parents ever since I came to lagos, I knew they have been trying to look for me in their own way because I think they know better than to force me to return, since I have found my love back I prefer to keep them away from my life, yes that was how much I was angry with them and don’t think I would forgive them that easily.
    Amarachi has been coping well with the new changes between us, she seem fine to me and I knew she loves me just the way I do, okey maybe I love her more than the way she does but the most important thing was that we were working on ourselves trying to understand more about us and we were doing great with it, Amarachi was one in a million, she is a good cook, neat and tidy, hardworking and intelligent, I planned on enrolling her into any university of her choice.
    Everything was going well until one afternoon when Victor came back from work looking all worried, I was in the sitting room watching a movie The flash season 4 episode 5 that film I love so much, Amarachi was in the kitchen preparing lunch, I was alerted immediately he walked into the sitting.
    AFAMEFUNA: hey men, what’s up with you, you are home early.
    VICTOR: Afamefuna there is a problem.
    ******************************
    AMARACHI POV
    I have never in my life felt more peaceful, ever since I met Afamefuna it has been joy and happiness for me, he has done nothing but shower me with love and affection and I wouldn’t ask for more, things has been going well as we have been making plans for our future which Afamefuna thought his parents won’t be in it, though I am not happy with it but what can I do, they rather have my head then let me be with Afamefuna but since both of us has come this long way even I losing my mother at the process I was ready to do anything that I will to stay by his side, call me stupid but it was the truth that is how much I love him, Afamefuna is sweet, gentle and lovely and I am ready to fight for what we share as long as he is beside me.
    I was in the kitchen preparing lunch murmuring on a gospel song when I started hearing voices from the sitting room, first I thought it was the movie Afamefuna was watching but the voices was just too familiar, listening closer I recognize the voices and its belongs to Victor and Afamefuna, I wasn’t hearing what they were saying so I decided to go to the sitting room but the moment I entered the sitting room just like they were expecting me both stopped talking, this surprised me a lot as I look from Afamefuna to Victor, both were keeping a straight face not even a smile and I knew the conversation they were having wasn’t a good one.
    AMARACHI: is anything the matter.
    VICTOR: you need to think about it and she needs to know too.
    With this he walked away heading to his room, I stared at Afamefuna still confused.
    ******************************
    VICTOR POV
    I know Afamefuna has always been this stubborn, how can he be like this after hearing what I told him, after my father gave me that call that morning I couldn’t be myself, so I did the only thing that was best to do by comforting Afamefuna only to be disappointed by his response and asking me to keep it away from Amarachi and pretend I heard nothing was something I couldn’t do, Amarachi has came out to see us arguing, don’t know if she heard our conversation but doubt that because with the way confusion was written all over her face shows other wise but I knew the little message I dropped before I leave will make her to understand or want to understand but it was not in my shoe to say anything so Afamefuna needs to do his job, I opened the door to my room and fell on the bed, needed to rest my troubled heart, didn’t want to visit the hospital soon.
    ********************************
    AMARACHI POV
    it was now in the night, victor later went out that evening so he didn’t join us for dinner, Afamefuna has been acting weird since the discussion with Victor, I haven’t asked him yet hoping he will tell me but he hasn’t said anything yet, we finished having our dinner and retired to our room, I and Afamefuna don’t share same room but sometimes sleep in each other room, I either come in his room or he will come to mine when ever we want to be in each other arms at night, we have no sexual relationship as we have agreed we will wait still we marry that I don’t even know when it will be, the thought of marriage sometime get me scared as I have heard about a lot of marriage that ended roughly but I knew I wanted to spend the rest of my life with Afamefuna so I had to put my fears aside.
    I rested my head at Afamefuna chest as we rest on the bed as he caresses my hair, I always love it when he does that, we have been talking about different things that has been sending us laughing, the event of that day between Victor and him came to my mind so I decided to ask him since he was in a good mood.
    AMARACHI: I wanted to ask you something.
    AFAMEFUNA: what my queen.
    AMARACHI: its about today afternoon between you and Victor, what was that all about.
    He went silent, I waited for an answer but got nothing, I raised my head from his cheat and turned to look at him.
    AMARACHI: I thought you could want to share with me but you have been silent about it, is there a problem.
    AFAMEFUNA: no my queen
    He said forcing out a smile which I immediately knew he was trying to hide something.
    AFAMEFUNA: it just some guys talk.
    AMARACHI: why don’t I believed you.
    AFAMEFUNA: my queen, you have to okey, it’s nothing important so now why don’t we sleep.
    I hate forcing people to share something they don’t want to, I knew something wasn’t right but I just had to let it go for now, I agreed and rested my head again on his chest this time he has rested comfortably on the bed.
    ***************************
    AFAMEFUNA POV
    I hate lying to Amarachi but yet I just couldn’t tell her what was going on, when victor came to share the news to me I was not happy with the turn of events but this was Amarachi we were talking about, how on earth was I going to share it with her without hurting her.
    ***************
    I opened my eyes the next morning and Amarachi was not in my arms, she must be in the kitchen, I got up immediately and went to Victor’s room to check up on him, I needed to make him understand because he was angry with me and I don’t blame him for that if only he understands, I got to his door and knocked gently, he answered from inside ushering me in, I opened the door and went in.

    Sequence 26

    AFAMEFUNA POV
    Victor was already dressed for work, he was arranging some files in his brief case was I walked in.
    VICTOR: hey
    AFAMEFUNA: Good morning
    VICTOR: Good morning to you.
    He locked the case and faced me, I knew he was trying to pretend everything was okay but I have grown to understand him, when he is trying to put on a smiling face in times like this then nothing is right.
    AFAMEFUNA: let’s talk about yesterday
    VICTOR: what about yesterday
    AFAMEFUNA: you know what I am talking about.
    VICTOR: I thought you made it clear that you don’t care.
    AFAMEFUNA: I do men but how do you expect me to just forget everything they did.
    VICTOR: do you realize that it is not left for you to decide.
    AFAMEFUNA: I know but they hurt her and that also means hurting me too.
    VICTOR: for crying out loud Afam, the people that are suffering now are not the ones that hurt Amarachi or killed her mother, it’s like you didn’t hear me clearly yesterday, I said my father called me to inform me that the ghost of Amarachi mother is terrorizing the village and the church priest said it is only Amarachi that can help, that if they can find you they can find her, now they are looking for you and you and I know you both of you are with me, do you have any idea what that means for me hiding such a big secret that can save a full village and you just want me to pretend nothing is happening.
    AFAMEFUNA: I didn’t say that, I just need time to process everything.
    VICTOR: there is no time, there is none, don’t you get it.
    I went silent, I knew Victor was right but still I just don’t want to accept it.
    AFAMEFUNA: look for now I don’t want Amarachi to know what Is happening.
    VICTOR: now I ask why, give me one reason why you won’t want her to know.
    AFAMEFUNA: how on earth do you want me to explain that her once sweet and caring mother is now a crazy evil ghost hurting everyone around her.
    VICTOR: you need to understand that she is a ghost seeking for vengeance and she will do as it pleases her.
    AFAMEFUNA: oh you know that and you want me to allow Amarachi to be at the front line.
    VICTOR: she alone can stop her ghost.
    AFAMEFUNA: and how sure are you about that.
    VICTOR: look I don’t know what you are trying to protect but seriously it not Amarachi.
    He took his case in anger and walked pass me only to the door.
    VICTOR: don’t allow yourself to get in the way of her decision.
    He was right I was letting my hurt get in the way, I was angry with my parents for the things they did to Amarachi and I but mostly Amarachi, I don’t know but I just can’t seem to forgive them well maybe because they are my parents so it should hurt more, Victor opened the door only to see Amarachi on at the door, we both froze in seeing her, she wasn’t looking happy and I could tell she might have overheard us because our voices were a little loud.
    AMARACHI: I came to tell you breakfast is ready.
    With this she walked away more like ran away, with the tone of her voice I knew she was trying to hold back the tear, Victor looked at me then I knew I was in for it.
    ********************************
    AMARACHI POV
    I wouldn’t believed what I heard, how was that even possible, how can my mother’s ghost be disturbing the whole village, I have gone to Victor’s room to inform him that his breakfast was ready because I knew by that time he will be getting ready for work only to hear the voices of Afamefuna and him, their voices were loud enough for me to hear all what they were talking about even with the door closed, I was dumbfounded and confused didn’t know what to do that minute, Afamefuna was hiding it from me but why, I was still there lost in thought when the door was opened, they were both surprised to see me, I rushed to my room won’t want to break down in front of them, I still can’t believe the village that want me dead are not looking for me to save them after what they caused, they killed my mother now she is taking revenge on them, i entered my room and Afamefuna did too, I didn’t know he was following me, as he stood there quietly I didn’t bother to look at him as I turned my back on him, I didn’t know if I should be angry with him for lying to me and keeping such information from me, he might have a reason but still he should have told me when I asked.
    AFAMEFUNA: my queen.
    AMARACHI: why didn’t you tell me.
    I was crying by now, I couldn’t hold the tear from falling.
    AFAMEFUNA: I was trying to prevent this, I didn’t want you to get hurt.
    AMARACHI: even at that I deserved to know.
    AFAMEFUNA: my queen, am sorry, I thought I was doing the right thing, though I would have told you but didn’t think it was the right time to say it.
    I could feel him close to me now, I should be angry with him but I just couldn’t, I knew he was trying to to protect my feelings, I felt his arms wrapped around me.
    AFAMEFUNA: am sorry, am so sorry.
    AMARACHI: I want to know everything.
    AFAMEFUNA: sure
    He took me to my bed and we both sat down as he began to tell me everything that he was told by Victor.
    **********
    Victor later came back that evening from work to explain to me better, I won’t say I was happy with the turn of events because many innocent people were still among the villagers, Victor say he was told that sickness has claim some children but none has died yet, their crops were dying because there were no rain even in the raining season, that those that have businesses, their businesses are not going well either, and those that has relatives outside the village, immediately the relatives try to help things turn bad for the relatives and at night the cry of my mother is heard all through the village that made people sleepless, there is no peace in the village anymore, they invited the church priest to pray for the village because the chief priest said the gods was silent but the church priest said God revealed many things to him and told him to tell them that there was nothing that can be done until the evil doers confess and ask for forgiveness from the daughter which is me before everything will go back to normal telling them that I was still alive and will find me were the Prince is but the elders and the king didn’t believe him until they went to another village to consult a powerful chief priest but still that one saw nothing, so this made them to go back to the church priest for help since he is the only one that said something concerning the problem of the villages, it was at that time Nnamdi confess that I was really alive and was in lagos and also gave them the address that Victor father recognize as his son place, that was how he was called, he told them that Afamefuna was no longer with him but he will try and get to him and they have been disturbing him with calls but he was still giving them excuses.
    I didn’t know what to say or do, Afamefuna was not in support of me going back to the village, he wasn’t convince that all that was said were true but to me I believed Victor but now to make a decision was now my problem, I thought to forgive someone that hurts you was easy but this was harder than I have heard, this are the people that hurt and rejected me from the day I was born, they took everything from me and almost ended my life, they were the reason I passed through pain and heartbreak, now those people are now seeking for my help, the problem they caused for themselves, if they haven’t treated me wrongly, if they haven’t killed my mother and almost killed me maybe my mother will be in peace now but no, my mother heard the cry of the daughter and want revenge for want was done to me and her and they want to be free from it no, the saying that goes what a man sow that he will reap, let them reap what they have sowed.

    Sequence 26

    AFAMEFUNA POV
    Victor was already dressed for work, he was arranging some files in his brief case was I walked in.
    VICTOR: hey
    AFAMEFUNA: Good morning
    VICTOR: Good morning to you.
    He locked the case and faced me, I knew he was trying to pretend everything was okay but I have grown to understand him, when he is trying to put on a smiling face in times like this then nothing is right.
    AFAMEFUNA: let’s talk about yesterday
    VICTOR: what about yesterday
    AFAMEFUNA: you know what I am talking about.
    VICTOR: I thought you made it clear that you don’t care.
    AFAMEFUNA: I do men but how do you expect me to just forget everything they did.
    VICTOR: do you realize that it is not left for you to decide.
    AFAMEFUNA: I know but they hurt her and that also means hurting me too.
    VICTOR: for crying out loud Afam, the people that are suffering now are not the ones that hurt Amarachi or killed her mother, it’s like you didn’t hear me clearly yesterday, I said my father called me to inform me that the ghost of Amarachi mother is terrorizing the village and the church priest said it is only Amarachi that can help, that if they can find you they can find her, now they are looking for you and you and I know you both of you are with me, do you have any idea what that means for me hiding such a big secret that can save a full village and you just want me to pretend nothing is happening.
    AFAMEFUNA: I didn’t say that, I just need time to process everything.
    VICTOR: there is no time, there is none, don’t you get it.
    I went silent, I knew Victor was right but still I just don’t want to accept it.
    AFAMEFUNA: look for now I don’t want Amarachi to know what Is happening.
    VICTOR: now I ask why, give me one reason why you won’t want her to know.
    AFAMEFUNA: how on earth do you want me to explain that her once sweet and caring mother is now a crazy evil ghost hurting everyone around her.
    VICTOR: you need to understand that she is a ghost seeking for vengeance and she will do as it pleases her.
    AFAMEFUNA: oh you know that and you want me to allow Amarachi to be at the front line.
    VICTOR: she alone can stop her ghost.
    AFAMEFUNA: and how sure are you about that.
    VICTOR: look I don’t know what you are trying to protect but seriously it not Amarachi.
    He took his case in anger and walked pass me only to the door.
    VICTOR: don’t allow yourself to get in the way of her decision.
    He was right I was letting my hurt get in the way, I was angry with my parents for the things they did to Amarachi and I but mostly Amarachi, I don’t know but I just can’t seem to forgive them well maybe because they are my parents so it should hurt more, Victor opened the door only to see Amarachi on at the door, we both froze in seeing her, she wasn’t looking happy and I could tell she might have overheard us because our voices were a little loud.
    AMARACHI: I came to tell you breakfast is ready.
    With this she walked away more like ran away, with the tone of her voice I knew she was trying to hold back the tear, Victor looked at me then I knew I was in for it.
    ********************************
    AMARACHI POV
    I wouldn’t believed what I heard, how was that even possible, how can my mother’s ghost be disturbing the whole village, I have gone to Victor’s room to inform him that his breakfast was ready because I knew by that time he will be getting ready for work only to hear the voices of Afamefuna and him, their voices were loud enough for me to hear all what they were talking about even with the door closed, I was dumbfounded and confused didn’t know what to do that minute, Afamefuna was hiding it from me but why, I was still there lost in thought when the door was opened, they were both surprised to see me, I rushed to my room won’t want to break down in front of them, I still can’t believe the village that want me dead are not looking for me to save them after what they caused, they killed my mother now she is taking revenge on them, i entered my room and Afamefuna did too, I didn’t know he was following me, as he stood there quietly I didn’t bother to look at him as I turned my back on him, I didn’t know if I should be angry with him for lying to me and keeping such information from me, he might have a reason but still he should have told me when I asked.
    AFAMEFUNA: my queen.
    AMARACHI: why didn’t you tell me.
    I was crying by now, I couldn’t hold the tear from falling.
    AFAMEFUNA: I was trying to prevent this, I didn’t want you to get hurt.
    AMARACHI: even at that I deserved to know.
    AFAMEFUNA: my queen, am sorry, I thought I was doing the right thing, though I would have told you but didn’t think it was the right time to say it.
    I could feel him close to me now, I should be angry with him but I just couldn’t, I knew he was trying to to protect my feelings, I felt his arms wrapped around me.
    AFAMEFUNA: am sorry, am so sorry.
    AMARACHI: I want to know everything.
    AFAMEFUNA: sure
    He took me to my bed and we both sat down as he began to tell me everything that he was told by Victor.
    **********
    Victor later came back that evening from work to explain to me better, I won’t say I was happy with the turn of events because many innocent people were still among the villagers, Victor say he was told that sickness has claim some children but none has died yet, their crops were dying because there were no rain even in the raining season, that those that have businesses, their businesses are not going well either, and those that has relatives outside the village, immediately the relatives try to help things turn bad for the relatives and at night the cry of my mother is heard all through the village that made people sleepless, there is no peace in the village anymore, they invited the church priest to pray for the village because the chief priest said the gods was silent but the church priest said God revealed many things to him and told him to tell them that there was nothing that can be done until the evil doers confess and ask for forgiveness from the daughter which is me before everything will go back to normal telling them that I was still alive and will find me were the Prince is but the elders and the king didn’t believe him until they went to another village to consult a powerful chief priest but still that one saw nothing, so this made them to go back to the church priest for help since he is the only one that said something concerning the problem of the villages, it was at that time Nnamdi confess that I was really alive and was in lagos and also gave them the address that Victor father recognize as his son place, that was how he was called, he told them that Afamefuna was no longer with him but he will try and get to him and they have been disturbing him with calls but he was still giving them excuses.
    I didn’t know what to say or do, Afamefuna was not in support of me going back to the village, he wasn’t convince that all that was said were true but to me I believed Victor but now to make a decision was now my problem, I thought to forgive someone that hurts you was easy but this was harder than I have heard, this are the people that hurt and rejected me from the day I was born, they took everything from me and almost ended my life, they were the reason I passed through pain and heartbreak, now those people are now seeking for my help, the problem they caused for themselves, if they haven’t treated me wrongly, if they haven’t killed my mother and almost killed me maybe my mother will be in peace now but no, my mother heard the cry of the daughter and want revenge for want was done to me and her and they want to be free from it no, the saying that goes what a man sow that he will reap, let them reap what they have sowed.

    Sequence 27

    AFAMEFUNA POV
    It has been two days since Amarachi found out about the events going on in the village and the house has become more like a war zone with Victor bringing up the topic at any giving opportunity, he was trying so hard to convince both I and Amarachi to forget the past and go to the village, I knew I and Amarachi has two different reasons for not going back to the village but all the same we were agreeing not to go, Amarachi wasn’t talking much about this issue but get even more angry when the topic is raised, I was already afraid of losing the good side of Amarachi, thought she will feel a little broken but she was not showing any remorse about anything and this scared me.
    I rushed to my phone that was ringing on my bed, I was in the bathroom, just finished having my bath when I heard my phone ringing, I picked it up and saw Victor name on my phone screen.
    AFAMEFUNA: Hello man.
    VICTOR: where are you.
    AFAMEFUNA: am home
    VICTOR: please can you and Amarachi come to meet me at my office now.
    AFAMEFUNA: any problems.
    VICTOR: not at all, please.
    AFAMEFUNA: Amarachi is not around, she went to the market.
    VICTOR: okay you come alone.
    AFAMEFUNA: okey will be on my way.
    He ended the call, I was confused about this urgent call, I wondered what was happening but still got nothing, I quickly dressed up and went on my way to Victor’s office
    I got to his working place and went to his office, it wasn’t my first time here so I knew my way around, I greeted the secretary who was smiling, well she is always smiling when ever she sees me, on many occasions she has tried to get my attention but I really didn’t have her time since Amarachi was all I think of, she told me Victor was already waiting for me so I made my way to his office, I opened up and went inside to meet him and two other people sited comfortably on chairs, Victor was the first to see me as he was facing opposite the door, he immediately got up when he saw me.
    VICTOR: My prince welcome.
    That was strange, I can’t remember when last he called me that name, I was looking at Victor with a confused face, the two men also raised up facing me and greeting me in the process, that was when I saw their faces, I couldn’t forget it, they are chief Okafor and chief Enyinnaya Victor’s father, did Victor invite me here to meet them, I looked at Victor now angry, he had this pleading eyes.
    CHIEF OKAFOR : my prince, please don’t me angry with us that we came unannounced but we really wanted to see you, it is very important.
    CHIEF ENYINNAYA: I know you won’t want to see us but please we won’t take much of your time.
    VICTOR: please just listen to them.
    In as much as I was angry with Victor I still had to calm down to listen to them if not for any one but for Victor’s father, won’t want to disrespect him in present of my friend, there was already another empty chair at the other side of the office.
    AFAMEFUNA: let’s sit.
    VICTOR: thank you.
    We all sat down, I already knew what the meeting was all about so I just hope it ends early.
    CHIEF OKAFOR: my prince, how have you been doing.
    I was keeping a straight face, I really don’t know why the question but anyway if I want this to end quickly then I have to just pretend I was following.
    AFAMEFUNA: fine.
    CHIEF OKAFOR: we are very happy to hear that and we thank the gods for that, we don’t need to introduce ourselves as you already know who we are and the reason we are here, i know Victor have told you everything that is going on now in the village and we have been waiting for your reply but got none.
    CHIEF ENYINNAYA : My prince, the people of Amucha village are suffering, some of us have started praying for death to come, please we need your help.
    AFAMEFUNA: and what makes you think I care.
    They were shocked and it was written on their faces.
    CHIEF OKAFOR: why won’t you care, it is your village and you are our future king.
    AFAMEFUNA: you are just realizing that because few months ago you didn’t when you tried to destroy my future and my happiness.
    CHIEF OKAFOR: we know we made a mistake.
    AFAMEFUNA: you don’t because if you did you will know.
    CHIEF ENYINNAYA: my prince I know that there is no amount of begging that will make you forgive us for what we did to Amarachi but please innocent people are suffering for our mistake, please you have to help us.
    AFAMEFUNA: I don’t even understand this, do I look like Amarachi to you.
    CHIEF OKAFOR: no but you are the only one that can help us get through to her.
    AFAMEFUNA: this is unbelievable, I want to ask one question, if you people had succeeded in killing her will you be here right now begging for her presence to save yourself.
    They were silent, I knew they wouldn’t answer that, I looked at them with hatred.
    AFAMEFUNA: I thought as much.
    I got up to leave, I couldn’t stand them anymore.
    VICTOR: Afamefuna, what is wrong with you.
    AFAMEFUNA: no what is wrong with you, how many times did I tell you that I and Amarachi going back to that village is not what we are going to do, you think bringing them here to talk to me will make things better, never call me for this kind of meeting again.
    By this time both chiefs has already got up.
    CHIEF OKAFOR: my prince.
    AFAMEFUNA: and you listen to me, this will be the last time I want to see your face, don’t make me see them again.
    CHIEF ENYINNAYA: my prince punish us all you want but not the innocent ones, my wife did nothing so as my daughter, don’t let them pay for sins they didn’t commit.
    I was confused now, didn’t understand what he was talking about.
    AFAMEFUNA: what are you talking about.
    CHIEF OKAFOR: late Nneka ghost is not taking revenge on those that hurt her directly, she is hurting those around us, Mazi Enyinnaya wife and daughter has been sick for weeks now and others too, we fear they might died if nothing is done.
    I was taken back now, if Mazi Enyinnaya is Victor’s father then his wife and daughter are Victor’s mother and sister, I looked at Victor who was looking directly to me.
    AFAMEFUNA: your mother and your sister are involve.
    VICTOR: please Afamefuna, I don’t want to lose them, they are all I have.
    I felt so weak instantly, all my anger was gone, I sat down confused, Victor has been good to me and Amarachi, he doesn’t deserve to be punish for his good.
    CHIEF OKAFOR: please help us.
    AFAMEFUNA: what do have me do.
    VICTOR: you alone can convince Amarachi, please talk to her, she will listen to you.
    It was hard to agree but there was nothing I could do at this point, my friend family was now involved so I had to do something, he will never forgive me if anything happens to his mother and sister.
    AFAMEFUNA: I am doing this for you Victor, because you have been a good friend to me, I will talk to Amarachi but I am not promising anything, we will get back to you through Victor.
    They all thanked me before I left Victor’s office.
    ********************** I got home and found Amarachi in the sitting room, she was watching a movie that got her attention so she didn’t hear when I got In, I looked at her as she laughed at any funny act by the actors in the movie, all the events that happened at Victor’s office came playing in my head, I was not happy with the turn of event but I won’t want that from stopping me to help my friend, if Amarachi is the only one that will make her mother’s spirit to stop disturbing the village and the innocent ones then she haves to go and help them, I was brought out of my thought when I heard Amarachi calling my name.
    AMARACHI: what is wrong with you, are you okay.
    AFAMEFUNA: yeah I am.
    I walked to where she was sitting and sat with her.
    AMARACHI: I have been calling you but you were lost in your own thought.
    AFAMEFUNA: yea sorry about that.
    AMARACHI: sorry for what, sorry for thinking or sorry for not answering my calls.
    AFAMEFUNA: both.
    AMARACHI: I came home but you were not around.
    AFAMEFUNA : yea went to Victor’s office.
    AMARACHI: oh okay, you must be hungry, let me serve you your food then you will tell me what you were thinking about.
    She was about to get up but I held her back.
    AFAMEFUNA: am not hungry.
    AMARACHI: why.
    AFAMEFUNA: there is something I want us to talk about.
    She was worried that I knew.
    AMARACHI: is everything okey.
    AFAMEFUNA: not really.
    AMARACHI: is it about my late mother ghost disturbing the villagers.
    I took her hands, she needs all the claiming down because I knew convincing her won’t be easy.
    AFAMEFUNA: I got a call from victor this morning telling me to come to his office, I got here and met Mazi Okafor and Victor’s father there.
    AMARACHI: ohhh
    AFAMEFUNA: we talked and they begged.
    AMARACHI: so
    AFAMEFUNA: My queen, don’t you think we should reconsider their pleading.
    She immediately removed her hands from mine.
    AMARACHI: what do you mean.
    AFAMEFUNA: listen I know okey that we agreed not to go to Amucha village again but don’t you think we should at least go just once.
    AMARACHI: are you listening to yourself.
    AFAMEFUNA: I am
    She got up.
    AMARACHI: no you are not, those people, you of all people should know what pain they caused me.
    AFAMEFUNA: yes I know but can’t you just let it go.
    AMARACHI: let it go
    She was now rising her voice.
    AMARACHI: you want me to let it go after everything they did, they killed my mother and framed me for killing my own mother, they tried to kill me if not for Nnamdi……
    I got up immediately interrupting her
    AFAMEFUNA: that is it, if not for Nnamdi, if not for chiamaka, if not for some good people that are still been punished for helping you.
    AMARACHI: they did me no wrong to me or my mother so I know she won’t harm them.
    AFAMEFUNA: of course she won’t but what about those around them, Victor’s mother and sister are both caught in this, they are both sick, Victor father is among the elders that agreed to your death I don’t know about your mother’s death, Victor has done nothing to us, he has been a shoulder to cry on ever since we knew him, it was through him I was able to see you again, you could have still be on the street if not for him, he doesn’t have to pay for being good to us.
    She was silent now and I knew I was getting to her, I took her hands again, she looked at me.
    AFAMEFUNA: don’t you see what this is even doing to you, it changing you, you are more better than this and forgiving them is going to make you better than them and stronger than them.
    She started crying, I didn’t stop her from crying, she needed it.
    AMARACHI: I want to make them suffer, I want them to feel the pain I felt.
    AFAMEFUNA: I know but it will just make you be like them and you are not like them, you are Amarachi, the young and innocent girl I felt in love with, the queen to my heart and my kingdom, you are above them and you are going to prove to them that you are their queen.
    She ran into my arms as she cried her heart out, it was hard for her I knew but she had to let go, I let her cry without stopping her because she really needed to bring out the pain she was feeling, I only gave her my shoulder to cry on.

    Sequence 28

    AMARACHI POV
    After said and done I agreed to go to the village with Afamefuna and Victor, it wasn’t an easy decision for me but it was the best decision, I knew my forgiveness will not bring my mother back to life or change any time that has been done to me in the past but still it will save the lives of everyone that are innocent, we fixed the day that we will set out on our journey to Amucha village so Victor called his father to informed them so they were expecting us, Victor was happy who wouldn’t be when his mother and sister wete involved and they are the reason I am doing this.
    The D-day came so quickly, I didn’t bother to park any clothes because I had no intention of spending a night there, I took my handbag and head out of my room, Victor and Afamefuna were already outside the compound waiting for me, we were leaving early in the morning so we will be able to get there on time because we were driving, Afamefuna took my hands leading me to the car, I knew him too was trying to hold himself not to change his mind because I too was, we got into the
    car all three of us and set out on our journey.
    The journey from Lagos to Imo state was a long one well to me, I slept in most of the journey, when ever I wake up I always see Afamefuna lost in his own thought, him and Victor was sitting at the front with Victor driving while I was at the back seat, we barely talk to each other except if we come across food and snacks sold on the street by traders well that was how it was suppose to be.
    We go to Amucha village, as soon as we arrived at the front gate of the city all my past came rushing back to me, I held the tear that was threatening to fall, Afamefuna looked at me and gave me an encouraging smile which I reciprocated, I looked at the window and for first in a long time I missed here, the village gate was not that lively like it used to be, nothing has changed expect for the fact that it was a pit quiet, not much people were seen walking around or hawking products, it showed that the village was passing through a hard time.
    AFAMEFUNA: are you ready for this.
    Afamefuna words brought me out of my thoughts.
    AMARACHI: yes.
    He smiled at me, we entered the village and was visited with silent, as early as 9 in the morning the village was quite, many stores were locked, children were not seen playing around the neighborhood anymore and the adults were few, I wondered what tragic would have happened to this once lively village.
    The road from the village gate to the palace was not so pleasant, Victor lamented about the quietness while Afamefuna just responded to him, I just keep quiet didn’t actually know what to say since the problem was caused by my beloved mother, we got to the palace and victor horned, the guard came out to check who we were but immediately apologize telling the other guards to open the gate when he saw the prince, there was shock and surprise written on everyone’s face as we drove into the compound, at least there is something that hasn’t changed, I could see maids coming out from where ever they were before, I could see them whispering and some were murmuring but I care not, some were happy and they did nothing to hide it, the car came to a stop and we got down from the car that minute the queen ran out and rush to hug Afamefuna, I could understand, it was all a mothers love, she has missed him so much.
    LOLO AGBONMA: oh my son, look at you, didn’t know I will see you again, I missed you so much, where have you been, hope you have been feeding well, you didn’t fall sick right.
    AFAMEFUNA: mother, I am fine, glad to see you again.
    She was crying now and this made me to miss my mother, if only she was here.
    LOLO AGBONMA: Amarachi, thank you so much for coming, you have no idea what you are doing for us, not just the palace but the whole village.
    I only smiled at her, seriously didn’t know if I was pretending the smile or if it was real, she also went ahead in welcoming Victor and ushered us in, she was holding Afamefuna hands won’t want to let go maybe she is afraid he might leave again, I held my breath, I was so nervous, I think Afamefuna knew this because he held my hand with the other of his free hand and we all went in.
    **********************************
    AFAMEFUNA POV
    I couldn’t believe I was back to the palace again, a place I never knew I will see again, my mother was so excited to see me well I won’t blame her, she only misses her son and seriously I missed her too, we all walked in as I held Amarachi hand, I knew she was nervous so I had to make her feel comfortable, won’t want her feet to fall her, we entered the sitting room and again memories of the events that happened here can flashing back.
    LOLO AGBONMA: I have sent words already to the elders, we all thought you will be coming later in the day didn’t know it was going to be this early.
    AFAMEFUNA: we decided it will be best to come early, where is father.
    The impression on her face immediately changed to sadness but she tried to cover up.
    AFAMEFUNA: Mother.
    LOLO AGBONMA: he is fine, he is just resting, didn’t sleep well last night.
    I knew I haven’t lived with my mother for long but I have understood her and this time I know she was lying, sometimes was not right, my father barely stays in his room at this time no matter how weak he is.
    AFAMEFUNA: Mother is something wrong.
    LOLO AGBONMA: why don’t you rest then you will meet your father later.
    AFAMEFUNA: no mother, I want to see him now.
    I don’t know but I was scared, in as much that I an angry with the stubborn old man I still don’t want to lose him, he is very much my father and there is still a big part of my heart that love him so dearly, she turned to one of her maids.
    LOLO AGBONMA: please take our guest to rest, I want to talk to my son.
    AFAMEFUNA: no, take Amarachi to my room.
    My mother was a little surprised but she quickly hide it.
    LOLO AGBONMA: you heard him, Victor, since your father is on his way too you will have to wait.
    VICTOR: no problem my queen.
    I turned to Amarachi, needed to make her feel relax.
    AFAMEFUNA: I won’t be gone for long, you will be fine okay.
    Just then I remembered something.
    AFAMEFUNA: where is Nnamdi.
    LOLO AGBONMA: he is around but not in the palace, he went to deliver a message in the neighboring town.
    AFAMEFUNA: okey.
    I kissed Amarachi in the forehead, I care less who was watching.
    AFAMEFUNA: you will be fine, will meet you soon.
    She nodded in agreement and her and Victor was taken away by the maid.
    LOLO AGBONMA: come son, your father will be waiting.
    We walked together in silent and got to my father’s room, the guard standing at the door opened it after greeting both I and my mother, I followed my mother inside, there was a man servant in the sitting chamber, he immediately left at my mum weaved him to go.
    LOLO AGBONMA: he is on the bed, you can go meet him.
    I don’t know but I felt my heart beat increasing, I moved the curtain that was dividing the bed from the sitting chamber and went close to the bed, my father was lying down with his eyes closed, I held my breath finding it difficult to breathe, my father looks pale and sick, there was nothing I was seeing to indicate that he was my father, I didn’t know when I fell on my knees before his bed and held his hand.
    AFAMEFUNA: father, father.
    He slowly opened his eyes, he gave out a dry smile immediately he saw me.
    EZE NWANYI: is this you Afamefuna.
    His voice sounded nothing like his, I allowed the tear fall, there and then I knew my father was dying slowly.

    Sequence 29

    AMARACHI POV
    I followed the maid in silent as I admired the beauty of the palace, the two times I have been here the circumstances surrounding those times didn’t allow me to have full view of the palace, I must confess the palace is one of a kind, with everything in order, beautiful and rich, we got to a door which she opened, stepping into the room I was lost in it magnificent.
    MAID: this is the prince’s room, do you need any more thing.
    AMARACHI: no thank you.
    MAID: I will take my leave then.
    She bowed and left, I walked room the room admiring every single things in the room, from the wall frame, to the painting on the wall, to the curtains, the electronics, to the wine bar, everything was speaking wealth and beautiful I wondered, if the prince lives in such comfort what about the king himself he must be living in paradise, I sat down on the sofa, thank God that Afamefuna told them to bring me here at least i felt more comfortable in the four corners of his room.
    It has been up to an hour since Afamefuna went to see his father, I have been going through a book I brought along with me just to keep myself busy, I just hope everything is done fast so I could go back to lagos, my stay here is bringing bad memories to me and I don’t like that, the door opened and Afamefuna walked in, I smiled at him but my smile immediately vanished when I saw the expression on his face, I got up dropping the book I have been reading, he must have been crying judging from the wetness of his eyes, this got me so worried what must have gone wrong.
    AMARACHI: my love, what is it.
    AFAMEFUNA: my father.
    AMARACHI: what about your father.
    AFAMEFUNA: he is dying.
    ********************************
    AFAMEFUNA POV
    She walked to me and hugged me which I reciprocated, I really needed the hug and coming from her was even better, she didn’t say a word but allowed me stay in the embrace.
    Why does it hurt so much, why do I feel this way was the question I was asking myself, I thought I hated my father but instead I was just hurt and now I know why I felt hurt when he turned his back on my happiness, it was because I love him so much and didn’t expect him to do what he did.
    ************
    EZE NWANYI: Afamefuna, is that you, my son.
    I held on to his hand not wanting to let go, who will believe this was once the strong king that can’t be brought down.
    AFAMEFUNA: father, it is I, it is me your son.
    EZE NWANYI: oh that voice, it is really you, never thought I will see this day.
    AFAMEFUNA: father you will see more days to come, what happened.
    EZE NWANYI: ohhh I am punished for what I committed.
    He coughed, I quickly took the glass cup that was already fill with water, I took the cover away, I stood up and help him in rising his head while he drank from the water, I rested his head back once he was done and kept the glass cup back on the stool.
    EZE NWANYI: the gods are angry with me for placing a judgment on a girl because of my selfish reason.
    AFAMEFUNA: Amarachi.
    EZE NWANYI: after you left.
    He was talking slowly counting each of his words.
    EZE NWANYI: I was so angry but not with you, I was angry with the girl that was responsible for you disobeying me, I know you were stubborn just like me so I knew it will be hard for we to convince you otherwise since you have made your intentions about her known, I so wanted to hurt her in many ways but her mother was what held me back.
    He coughed again and I rushed to get the water but he stopped me.
    EZE NWANYI: her mother was a wonderful woman loved by many there was nothing I could do and hate feeling powerless, that day they brought her to the palace saying she killed her mother, some part of me knew she didn’t but the hatred I was having towards her blinded me and I passed my judgment without thinking and without waiting for the chief priest to make his appearance.
    I was confused in that part.
    AFAMEFUNA: I don’t understand.
    EZE NWANYI: in this land before a king passes judgment on a person, the person must first take an oath defending himself on what he has been accused of, only then will the king pass his judgment, a judgment can be passed without the oath taking if the accused confess of his crimes without taking an oath then the chief priest will not be needed but in her case she didn’t agree to the accusation but still I passed my judgment.
    I was silent, didn’t know what to say, all this revelation that has been revealed to me is still difficult for me to take all in at once.
    EZE NWANYI: my son, I am sorry for not being a father.
    AFAMEFUNA: you are the best father I could ever ask for.
    EZE NWANYI: no, I neglected my responsibilities as a father.
    AFAMEFUNA: you once told me that the crown comes with great responsibilities, it is difficult to be three things all at once, you are a father, a husband and a king, a whole kingdom rested on your shoulder, you are only a man but yet you still tried to fill that space between us, you are my father nothing can change that.
    EZE NWANYI: you will be a great king, just as you have been a great son.
    I smiled at him even though it came with pains.
    AFAMEFUNA: you will be fine, I brought Amarachi with me, she will stop all this.
    EZE NWANYI: oh Amarachi, she came.
    AFAMEFUNA: yes she did, mother have sent for the elders, once they are here everything will be fine.
    He nodded in agreement.
    AFAMEFUNA: you should rest now.
    I kissed his forehead as he closed his eyes and went back to sleep, I came out of the room, my mother was there waiting, immediately I saw her I embraced her.
    AFAMEFUNA: am sorry mother for allowing you to pass through this alone.
    LOLO AGBONMA: that’s enough, you have nothing to be sorry about, it is I that should be apologizing.
    We disengage the embrace, she was already crying now.
    AFAMEFUNA: I love you mother.
    LOLO AGBONMA: I love you too son, now go see your guest she is waiting for you.
    I nodded and left not without giving her a warm smile.
    ***************
    AMARACHI: your father will not die okey, he will be fine.
    Amarachi words brought me out of my thought.
    AFAMEFUNA: I know.
    Just then we heard a knock on the door.
    AFAMEFUNA: yes come in.
    The door opened and a man servant walked in bowing to us.
    MAN SERVANT: the queen your mother sent me to inform you that the elders and the church priest are here, they are in the throne room.
    AFAMEFUNA: no problem, tell them we will be there shortly.
    The man servant left closing the door behind him.
    AFAMEFUNA: so are you ready.
    AMARACHI: yes I am, I want to end this once and for all.
    AFAMEFUNA: I love you.
    AMARACHI: I love you more.
    I held her hands and we both walk out the room heading to the throne room.
    *******************************
    AMARACHI POV
    As soon as we entered the throne room they all got up greeting the prince who responded, his hand was still twisted in mind and I knew he won’t let go, he smiled at me gesturing me to sit down in one of the seat close to the queen, they were all sited by now, most of their faces was familiar while some were new to me, two men was dress in a father priest wear, Victor was there also, I tried not to be nervous after all the prince was close by and he will always protect me.
    MAZI OKAFOR: I greet you my queen, my prince, father James and father frank, our guests and the elders for all finding out time to be here today to see how we could stop the disaster that has befallen our land, the king would have been here today with us but we all know he is not strong enough to be sited with us today but never the less the queen and prince present are here to bless this meeting, I want to personally thank Amarachi, late Uzochi and Nneka daughter for finding out time to be here with us even with everything that has happened she still decided to show up to help us, for this we are highly grateful.
    I released the breath I didn’t know I was holding, this wasn’t going to be easy but I was going to make it easy any way.
    MAZI OKAFOR: I want to invite the priest father James because him only knows what we are here to do.
    With this he sat down, one of the father maybe in his late 50s got up, this must be the father that saw the revelation from God.
    FATHER JAMES: I great you all that are sited here today, Mr Okafor has said most of the things I could have say so I will just focus on the important ones, my first speech goes to Amarachi. Everyone has a story that is a discomforting one, a story where pain is but the story of this young girl has got my attention more then any one I have heard, she was accused right from birth for offenses she never committed, rejected because of the circumstances surrounding her birth, treated like a lesser human, casted away to the face of death but in all this she still prevailed, didn’t this tell you something, no one is better than the other in the face of God, it doesn’t matter where or how the person came about, not everyone will be here today sitting among us because of the wrong we did, but she proved to us that she has a heart of gold better than any of us sitting down here, Amarachi I will add myself to this so I will say we all are deeply sorry for everything that we have caused you.
    All the time he was giving his speech I was trying so hard to hold back my tear but his last statement just brought all my tear out in a single blow.
    FATHER JAMES: you have passed through a lot not even compared to the ones we have passed in this few months, we have hurt you without measures, we are sorry for taking everything from you, do find it in your heart to forgive us.
    He said this going on his knees, the other father followed, before I could get out of my thoughts the whole elders joined them, I immediately got up in shock looking at everyone, unable to speak.
    LOLO AGBONMA: please my daughter, forgive our wrongs.
    She also got on her knees.
    FATHER JAMES: all the things we are going to do here today will not work until you have really forgiven us from the debt of your heart, you have to forgive genuinely.
    I was lost between time and space, forgiven them was another thing and letting go was something else, how can I forgive then genuinely without holding anything back, I was still hurt even if I was pretending that all was fine, they were all talking at the same time asking for my forgiveness, I would easily say I have forgiven them but I will be lying to myself and if I don’t let everything go nothing might work, I was weak, my heart was pounding so fast and I feared if I stayed any more minute here I might lose it, I ran out of the throne room with them calling my name.

    Sequence 30

    AFAMEFUNA POV
    I watched the drama as the elders got on their knees, I was surprised and dumbfounded seeing them that way, even my mother did the same, I looked at Victor, it was only I and Victor that was sitting, I knew Amarachi was trying hard not to break down and I felt for her been put at the center that way, but something got my attention, Mazi Amadi, that is Ada’s father, he was kneeling without saying a word, there was hatred in his eyes and I could bet he was not happy kneeling down and them apologizing to Amarachi, the shout from the elders got my attention, I turned and saw Amarachi running out of the throne room.
    I got up to go after her but the voice of mazi Amadi stopped me.
    MAZI AMADI: what an insult, how dare she just ran out that way making us look like fools, this is so humiliating, I have never been embarrass in my life like this before.
    I turned to look at him, he was already standing.
    AFAMEFUNA: what did you just say, you have no idea what humiliation is because if you do you will go back down and stay on your knees still she comes back.
    MAZI AMADI: what.
    AFAMEFUNA: I will not ask again because If I do you will feel the touch of been humiliated.
    He immediately went back on his knees.
    MAZI ENYINNAYA: please my prince forgive Mazi Amadi, please.
    AFAMEFUNA: Mazi Amadi, if you have any idea of what you and your household have done to her believe me you will start learning the words you will use to apologize to your future queen.
    He looked up at me and there was a little fear in him and I can see that in his eyes, I love it that way, much better, I walked out of the throne room in search for Amarachi, the guards kept directing me to the direction that she went, I saw her at the balcony, how she got there was still something I didn’t know, she was crying bitterly with everything in her, I wrapped my hands around her causing her to turn to me.
    AMARACHI: I can’t do this, I thought I could be I can’t.
    AFAMEFUNA: yes you can.
    AMARACHI: it so difficult, it’s hard.
    AFAMEFUNA: I know, I never for once said it will be easy but you have to try and seriously let go, just like father James said you have a heart of gold and that heart of yours is strong enough to do this.
    AMARACHI: how can you be so calm.
    AFAMEFUNA: because I have you by my side.
    I hugged her so tight not wanting to tell her go.
    AFAMEFUNA: you will be fine.
    She disengaged from me looking into my eyes.
    AMARACHI: I believe you.
    We walked back to the throne room where the elders were waiting for us, they were already sitting when we walked in, they immediately got up with expectations in their eyes, I looked at Amarachi who in return gave me a smile.
    AMARACHI: I know that words can not take back everything that has happened in the past or change anything, it can’t bring my mother back or take away all my pains but yet I am here today standing before everyone that has done me wrong in one way or the other to say all this words, life itself is a lesson and a teacher and I have learnt the little bitter part of that life, for the sake of the innocent ones and the people that has shown be nothing but kindness in all my life I sincerely from the debt of my heart without holding back any grudges and letting go all that has been done to me, both young and old I Amarachi Uzochi forgive Amucha kingdom and I pray the peace that was once here return back to everyone’s homes.
    They were screams of jubilation, the queen ran and hugged me and for the first time I felt peace of mind, it was like an heavy burden was taking off my shoulder, it was nice to be free again, Afamefuna took me into his arms.
    FATHER JAMES: now everyone.
    Father James brought everyone’s attention again.
    FATHER JAMES: now that the first step is done the second step will follow.
    AFAMEFUNA: and what will that be.
    FATHER JAMES: knowing the truth.
    Just then a guard ran inside getting everyone’s attention.
    GUARD: my queen, my prince, my elders.
    LOLO AGBONMA: what is it.
    GUARD: its the chief priest, he is outside but there is something wrong with him.
    We all was surprised and confused.
    MAZI OKAFOR: something wrong with him, what.
    GUARD: I think it will be better if you see by yourself.
    I looked at Afamefuna, I knew something was off, I pray this doesn’t cause any more trouble for me, we all went outside, Afamefuna held my hand, with him by my side I knew no harm can come to me.
    ***********************************
    AFAMEFUNA POV
    Holding Amarachi hand we all walked outside to see the chief priest but was visited with a site I won’t forget in a hurry, half of the chief priest body or should I say what was left of the chief priest body was burnt from his shoulder to his toe, we all gaze at the horrible site before us, he was sited on the ground shouting for help, there were a lot of murmuring coming from both the chiefs and the servants that were present, amidst the cry of help he was saying something that only him could hear.
    MAZI OKAFOR: what is this, chief priest what is this.
    MAZI AZUBUIKE: did someone attack the shrine, talk to us we are losing our patients.
    CHIEF PRIEST: ohhhh, it is painful ooo, please forgive me ooo, forgive ooo.
    He was talking to only God knows who.
    MAZI ENYINNAYA: speak to us, who should forgive you.
    CHIEF PRIEST: tell Nneka to forgive me ooo, it wasn’t intentional.
    I was shocked to hear the name of Amarachi mother on his lip, I looked around and saw everyone was as confused as i, I turned looking at Amarachi, I knew many things was going on in her head right now.
    CHIEF PRIEST: Amarachi please ooo forgive me ooo, please tell her to stop, tell her to stop ooo, it is painful, ahhhhhh, I am finished oooo.
    FATHER JAMES: confess what you did and the pain will stop.
    CHIEF PRIEST: I will confess, I will confess oooo.
    AFAMEFUNA: we are listening.
    CHIEF PRIEST: it all began few months ago, I was in my shrine when Mazi Amadi came to meet me.
    With surprise we all turned to look at Mazi Amadi.
    MAZI AMADI: me, not me, what are you saying, when did I, don’t dare add me to your downfall.
    AFAMEFUNA: will you keep quiet or you want the guards to do that for you.
    He immediately went silent, I never liked this man anyway.
    CHIEF PRIEST: he said he wants me to do something for him that he will give me a plot of land as a gift, I asked him what that might be, he said he wants the prince to marry his daughter.
    There where loud whispers among the elders and the servants.
    CHIEF PRIEST: he said he wants the prince to fall in love with his daughter, I told him it was impossible because the prince was protected by the gods, who so ever tires to harm him will surely die, that was when he brought anything request that I should kill Amarachi the one that is making the prince not to look at his daughter.
    I was growing in anger but I had to remained calm if I want to hear the end of this confession.
    CHIEF PRIEST: he said he will add a million naira to the land he has promised if I succeed, the money was tempting so I agreed but killing her was now the problem as she doesn’t have any friends that I could use because she was always alone most of the time, so I had to do it myself, I went to her house in the intention to lie that I am doing house cleansing then I could use that opportunity to put a charm that will kill Amarachi anytime she come across it but fortunately for me I got there and saw no one at home, I called out still no one so I went to the back yard to see if I could see anyone of them that was when I came across the pot of soup on the floor in the kitchen, I think the pot was just brought down from the fire, so I knew it make be one of them that just finished cooking, without bothering if both of they dies I poisoned the food, when I heard she didn’t die but her mother did and she was taken to the king I knew I will be summoned, I was already planning to turn her oath against her in case she swears but was later told the king passed his judgment to have her executed without the oath taking, I thought everything was settled but the gods stopped communicating with me, that was why I couldn’t tell anyone anything when disaster starts happening.
    There were shouts from the people around me.
    MAZI OKAFOR: you, chief priest, you of all people, so the king was used without him even knowing, Abomination
    AFAMEFUNA: if the food was poisoned how come Amarachi is still alive.
    AMARACHI: because mother ate before me.
    I looked at Amarachi, we all did, her cheek were already covered in tear, I rushed to her before she could meet the floor, I saw that one coming, I knew her legs will fail her, I held her close to be as she sobbed on my clothes, I was angry now, if I get that old fool I will kill him myself.
    CHIEF PRIEST: please I have confess oooo, I have confess, please for give me oooo.
    My mother came to me and took Amarachi into her arms just what I needed, I allowed my mother to console her while I go deal with those fools.
    AFAMEFUNA: guards.
    GUARDS: yes my prince.
    AFAMEFUNA: arrest that old fool.
    MAZI AMADI: my prince, I didn’t do anything please.
    AFAMEFUNA: you will soon once I am done dealing with you, I will make you pay for everything you have done, you and your family.
    He immediately went on his knees.
    MAZI AMADI: please my family did nothing, it was I please spare them, please my friends help me to beg him.
    MAZI OKAFOR: who is your friend, you are a disgrace to this community.
    AFAMEFUNA: guard, go to his house pack any living things you see there and take them all to the community police, tell them no bail until I say so, Mazi Amadi, You will rot in jail, I will make sure of it, take him away.
    The guards began to drag him out as he continued pleading for mercy.
    AFAMEFUNA: and take that thing that is call a chief priest out of this palace, I don’t want to continue seeing his face.
    The guards went to the chief priest that was laying on the ground, he has stopped shouting all of a sudden.
    GUARD: my prince
    AFAMEFUNA: what
    GUARD: he is dead.
    *******************************
    AMARACHI POV
    I opened my eyes and saw myself at my house, how did I get here, I called for the prince but no response, I called for Victor but still silent, I came down from my bed heading to the sitting room, everything was just the was it was before my mother died, that was when all the event that took place at the palace came to me, I broke down in tear again but this time with fear all over me, how I got to my house was a mystery to me, everywhere was so cold that I wondered if they connected a air conditioner to the house, so my mother was killed by no other person than Ada’s father and the chief priest, how cruel can the world get, now I am back at the same house it all happened, was this part of the step to free the people from my mother’s ghost but yet Afamefuna couldn’t have left me here all by myself, he said he will be with me always, but now where was he, there was no one in the sitting room as everywhere was dark and this increased my fear, with the light coming from the full moon I used it to find my way outside that was when I saw a figure standing close to what seem like a grave, I wasn’t seeing the figure clearly but I knew it was a person, I called out to him or her but the person refused to turned his face to me or even answer to my calls, I swollen hard and approached the person, as I came closer I knew it was a woman that was dressed in a white long dress.
    AMARACHI: hello, please answer me, I just want to know how I got here.
    UNKNOWN: because I brought you here.
    The person turned and I almost lost my breath as I looked into the person eyes.

    Sequence 31

    AMARACHI POV
    My mother was smiling at me, I didn’t know how to react because I was too surprised to say a word or move, I just stood there looking at her with my mouth opened, I cleaned my eyes to be sure if I was saying rightly.
    AMARACHI: Mama but you are dead.
    NNEKA GHOST: don’t worry you are not dead, I am.
    AMARACHI: then were is this place, am I dreaming.
    NNEKA GHOST: more like a dream but no you are not, this is the little home I created for myself.
    AMARACHI: Mama, is this really you.
    NNEKA GHOST: come into my arm my beautiful daughter.
    I wasn’t thinking anymore as I ran into her arm, she was so cold but I cared not, being in her arm was something I longed for and no cold can stop that.
    AMARACHI: I have missed you so much.
    NNEKA GHOST: and I you.
    I was sobbing now couldn’t hold it, she disengage the embrace.
    AMARACHI: Mother, am so sorry it was my fault that you have to died, I shouldn’t have left the food outside, I would have took it in before anything else, you didn’t deserved this not after everything you have done for me.
    NNEKA GHOST: shhhhh, don’t say that, you caused nothing, I am glad that I was able to take your place.
    She touched my cheeks, oh how I missed this.
    AMARACHI: Mama, but why were you punishing the innocent for crimes they didn’t commit.
    NNEKA GHOST: I had it planned, I only did that to punish the guilty one, if all the elders were sick who will look for the answers, I had to push them so they would bring you home, your home, and it was only will that can I fully be at rest.
    AMARACHI: the chief priest is dead, he has paid for his sins with his life, was there no other punishment.
    NNEKA GHOST: my daughter always concern for others, you are but I didn’t kill him my daughter, you see the gods of the land have strong rules and they hate when it is broken, he violated those laws, after death his spirit will be caged my them not allowing him to pass to the realms to the unknown place above, he will be punished for eternity.
    AMARACHI: I am confused mama, thought there are just hell and heaven.
    NNEKA GHOST: yes so as they are dark forces, the gods refused to help the people of the land, they were only concern about their law that was broken but God so merciful showed his mercy to them by revealing everything to his servant.
    AMARACHI: father James.
    NNEKA GHOST: my daughter, the things that lay ahead of you are great and will be handled with wisdom, you will be queen of this great land but promise me that no matter the situation you find yourself always put God Almighty first, it is only then you will not stain your hands with blood.
    AMARACHI: will i be queen.
    NNEKA GHOST: a great one, you have been destined to be a queen even when some forces tried to stop it, you will be greater with God by your side.
    AMARACHI: I promise mother.
    NNEKA GHOST: no go and be a the great queen that you are.
    AMARACHI: does this mean you have forgiven the people.
    NNEKA GHOST: I forgave them the moment you did, I can now rest, my battle is over, they are well again.
    AMARACHI: thank you mother, Afamefuna will be so grateful and happy when his father gets back on his feet again.
    NNEKA GHOST: my daughter, I can’t tell you what to come will be pleasant but no matter always be there from Afamefuna, he will need you more than than he has needed you.
    AMARACHI: I don’t understand.
    NNEKA GHOST: come let me take you to your room.
    In just a flash we were in my room, she sat on my bed.
    NNEKA GHOST: come on lay down.
    I did putting my head on her laps, she started singing me a beautiful Igbo song that I love listening to as I close my eyes, her voice was so sweet just like before but suddenly she stopped singing.
    AMARACHI: Mother please don’t stop.
    AFAMEFUNA: my queen, are you awake.
    That was Afamefuna voice, I opened my eyes and saw Afamefuna beside my bed holding my hand, I looked around and found out that I was in his room on his bed.
    AMARACHI: what happened.
    AFAMEFUNA: you fainted, I guess you couldn’t bare the pain anymore but Mazi Amadi and his family are feeling same pain right now, am sorry, so sorry.
    I smiled at him, didn’t know but I felt no anger or pain it was like all just went away.
    AFAMEFUNA: are you alright.
    AMARACHI: yes I am never been better.
    ******************************
    AFAMEFUNA POV
    I looked at her confused at her response, what was wrong with her, she didn’t hit her head if not I would have thought she was having metal disorder, this was someone that couldn’t get over the pains of her mother death is now here smiling, I love it but was just a little scared, too much of grief can cause a lot of things and I won’t want that for her but before I could open my mouth a knock was heard on my door.
    AFAMEFUNA: yes.
    A man servant walked in.
    MAN SERVANT: your father request your present, both of you.
    AFAMEFUNA: okey we are on our way.
    He quickly left, I looked at Amarachi who seems surprised.
    AMARACHI: hope he is fine.
    AFAMEFUNA: that’s what we are going to find out, so lets hope it for the best.
    Helping her up, we both went to my father’s chamber, the guard opened the door and we went in, three of the elders, Mazi Okafor, Mazi Enyinnaya, Mazi Azubuike and my mother were all inside already, i was surprise to see them there and the expression on their faces wasn’t good.
    I walked to my mother who took my both hands, she must has been crying I could tell from the redness of her eyes.
    MAZI OKAFOR: my king, the prince is here.
    EZE NWANYI: Afamefuna.
    AFAMEFUNA: am here father.
    I walked to his bed side holding his hand.
    AFAMEFUNA: father am here for you.
    He took his other hands and placed it on my head.
    EZE NWANYI: Afamefuna, you are the true son of your father, I bless you today, you will be a king greater than I was.
    ALL: ise
    EZE NWANYI: no evil shall kill you.
    ALL: ise
    EZE NWANYI: your life will be longer than mine.
    As he pray they always responded with each prayer he makes, I knew what was happening, before a kings dies he must bless the the prince and his grandchild next crown Prince, only than can the prince ascend the throne, but I was confused here I don’t have a son yet not even married, i really am confused, after he finished his prayer he took his hand away from my head.
    AFAMEFUNA: father you are scaring me, you are not going to die just yet why the prayers, I haven’t given you a grand son yet, father you have to bless him too right.
    EZE NWANYI: you have got all the blessing you need that will also make your son the future crown Prince safe from all harm, you will be a great king and he will learn from you a great teacher, now call me Amarachi.
    I was surprised at this, I looked at Amarachi who seems surprised too, I got up while she walked closer, she took my place by his side, he took her hands.
    EZE NWANYI: Amarachi.
    AMARACHI: yes my king.
    EZE NWANYI: A queen with the heart of gold.
    Did I just heard him correctly, he called her a queen, my father has finally accepted her.
    EZE NWANYI: I bless you today Amarachi, you will be the light that will shine in the darkness.
    ALL : ise.
    As he continued his praying my mind went far as when my father couldn’t even come close to Amarachi but now he was holding her hands blessing her not just as anything but as the future queen, my queen.
    EZE NWANYI: from today onward you such be called queen Amara nne nke ìhè (mother of light).
    MAZI OKAFOR: may the king be praised.
    EZE NWANYI: Afamefuna come.
    I came to his side close to Amarachi, there were tear in her eyes and I knew it was tear of joy, my father took my hand joining it with Amarachi.
    EZE NWANYI: I bless the reunion today, who so ever that tried to come between this two shall make their death.
    ALL: ise
    EZE NWANYI: you will pass through tribulation but none shall destroy you both.
    All: ise
    EZE NWANYI: your reunion will bring peace to this land.
    ALL : ise.
    EZE NWANYI: you will be fill with laughter and children will not be hidden from this reunion.
    ALL: ise
    EZE NWANYI: as I have side it so shall it be.
    ALL: ise.
    His hand fell from I and Amarachi hands, I looked at my father who has gone still.
    AFAMEFUNA: father.
    I looked at Amarachi then to the elders, Amarachi quickly got up while I went closer to my father trying to wake him up, he wasn’t responding and I feared for the worst.
    AFAMEFUNA:father, father.
    This can’t be happening, I felt a hand on my shoulder.
    MAZI OKAFOR: please let me.
    I got up and he went closer to my father, my mother was already restless and I knew she will break down anytime from now, Amarachi was just quiet, too quiet, I got my attention back to Mazi Okafor, he looked at the rest chiefs and shakes his head negatively, then I knew it was finished.
    Almost immediately my mother started wailing, Mazi Azubuike had to take her outside, Amarachi followed my mother maybe to console her, I just took there not knowing what to do, I walked up to where he was laying and fell on my knees, now that was when the pain started coming in.
    AFAMEFUNA: ahhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhh
    I scream holding the clothes of my dead father, it hurts so much, now I know how Amarachi felt when she lost her mother, the chief all left the room one at a time leaving just I and my father.

    Sequence 32(Final)

    AFAMEFUNA POV
    It has been three months now and finally my father was put to rest, it was a three months burial rites that was tradition, these three months has not been easy for we the royal family, both friends, royal families from other kingdom came showing their condolences, the royal family both far and near came to give their uncle, brother and cousin their last respect.
    Sitting on his bed just lost in my own thought, I will be crowned next king of this kingdom in a week time, the chiefs said the minute my father fell ill he abolished the law that beam a prince to get married and produce an hair before a king will leave the world, so I didn’t need to produce an hair to prove anything and so as my generations to come and my father made this possible, he was a wonderful father and a king that all the kingdom mourned him, I missed him from the fighting to the laughing and the fun part, my mother hasn’t been taking her husband death easily, she barely eats, that I fear I might lose her too, Amarachi do spent most of her time with her just to keep her company as I was too busy with my father burial rites, Amarachi and I will be marry same day as my coronation, if only my father was here to see this.
    *****************************
    AMARACHI POV
    Seven months later.
    Things has been the way there were suppose to been, I am now the queen of Amucha kingdom, a village that once rejected me, they now treat me with love and respect acknowledging the name given to me by the late king, the kings death was a big blow to everyone, Afamefuna wasn’t himself for sometime but he later put himself together knowing he was the man of the house and his mother needed his strength, after the king died I remembered the words of my mother she couldn’t tell me that Afamefuna will lose his father but I later understood after Afamefuna told me what he was told by his father, the gods really don’t show mercy and I wondered what type of gods are they that has no forgiveness, I alo told Afamefuna the things my mother told me concerning the punishment that awaits those that break their law, the elders went into action doing sacrifice to appeals the gods which I wondered why when God is the only one that they need, then I understood it was beyond my mother, he has given the devil the chance to destroy his life which I won’t allow Afamefuna to do also, because I will be at his side always just as my mother told me to.
    I stood at the palace balcony welcoming the cool wind as it went passed me, the Village has now come back to the way it uses to be, filled with peace and prosperity, everyone that was once sick were back on their feets again.
    As for Ada and her family, Mazi Amadi later confess everything even the part where he bribed the three boys to stand as a false witness against me, Afamefuna made sure the boys were arrested and was sentences to 10years imprisonment for false accusation, Mazi Amadi was sentences to 50years imprisonment for different crimes with hard Labour, I knew Afamefuna had a hand in it but what can I do, I only managed to beg for the release of Ada and her mother and siblings, I heard they are now treated like an outcast with people not wanting to be close to them anymore, I just pray they finds peace.
    Victor’s wedding is coming up two months from now, his fiancee finished her program and came back to Nigeria, so without wasting time they decided to tie the knot, am happy for them.
    Big mama and uncle Joe later got separated, he didn’t deserve her anyway, she came to the village to ask for my forgiveness but the only problem was I held nothing against her, she was a helper to me and that I am grateful for.
    My mother was given a befitting burial, Afamefuna came up with the idea, to him my mother deserve everything.
    Nnamdi was relieved of his duties, he needed to find a good life other than a man servant, he deserves more than that for saving my life.
    Chiamaka well she is still my bestfriend up still date.
    The queen mother is back on her feet, she knew her son needed her help to rule the kingdom and her grand child too needed a grandmother, I forgot to mention, I am five months pregnant, I will soon become a mother to a beautiful prince or princess.
    Well if am not by my husband side or attending meetings I use my free time helping the kingdom, I have put all of my energy in the things of God helping the church any way I can.
    I felt a warm arm around my waist, I smiled already knew who it belongs to, he kissed my neck.
    AFAMEFUNA: what is my queen doing here all alone.
    AMARACHI: we just decided to take some fresh air.
    AFAMEFUNA: is my queen and my baby now ready to have their lunch.
    AMARACHI: you are over feeding me you know, I just ate like 45 minutes ago, I will become fat you know.
    AFAMEFUNA: and I will love you even better, no matter what happens love, you are always by my side.
    AMARACHI: after everything that has happened, can’t believe we are here.
    AFAMEFUNA: and we will always been here to love our children.
    AMARACHI: if only the king was here.
    AFAMEFUNA: and if only your mother was here.
    AMARACHI: thank you for not neglecting me when others did, what would I have done.
    AFAMEFUNA: I should be the one saying thank you, for being with me, helping me not to make mistakes, I can be stubborn or self determined sometimes but you alone knows how to break my walls, everything you have given to me and soon you will give me a wonderful prince or princess that I will love with all my heart, I love you Amarachi my queen, my life my world and you should always know that I am nothing without you.
    ****THE END.****
    Author’s Note..
    This story is hundred percent fiction but it could have been a story of a once great queen of a great kingdom or a great person, we all should know that in every great man or woman there is a story behind their greatness, things will come to view in your life but that doesn’t mean you should give up, in every darkness you should know there is a great light which is God and he is making ways for your destiny, and you can only get there if you believe and follow a good part.
    Amarachi has all the opportunities to pay evil with evil but she choose the better way which is forgiveness, Amarachi had many ways to make a living but yet choose they right way even with all her beauty, Afamefuna had all the opportunity to show weakness but he didn’t, he kept on fighting for what he believed in and got it at the end.
    There are many moral lessons from this story and I hope you came arcross one, even from Afamefuna or from Amarachi, even from victor the good friend try to be one of them but don’t try to be Mazi Amadi or the chief priest.
    Love you all.

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