Tickles followed giggles, smiles followed even the dumbest of jokes. Beautiful flowers were murdered through forceful plucking to be gifted for swoons. Edible ripe fruits fed Nyamekye and Boadu until the sky begun to frown, telling them there was a house and people they needed to go back to. Ama was worried and had combed the area severally with Akoto, Boadu’s sister, in search of her princess. But they were not seen until they wanted to be seen. And when the land of the house finally tasted their feet, all eyes could not help but notice the change in both of them. Ama wondered if she had been placed under a spell. Auntie Mansa and Akoto were shocked to see Boadu smiling from ear to ear anytime his eyes met that of Nyamekye. It was clear Cupid’s arrows had pieced those hearts together.
That night, Boadu caught the biggest and most beautiful antelope ever. He did that flawlessly too, making him think even nature supported his new found treasure. He worked on it in the bush, looked for palm leaves and made bɛdɛ (a kind of bag made out of palm leaves) and used it to carry the meat home. Nyamekye heard him return and went to welcome him. Although he chastised her a bit for not checking before coming out, it was all smiles and happiness throughout the fire lighting, roasting until dawn when they were told by Auntie Mansa to go to bed as Boadu needed to catch some sleep.
The girls stayed in Apremire for over a month, helping the family in their farming activities as Boadu fed them with all the delicious game he was lucky to have hunted. Sometimes, he took Nyamekye hunting to the displeasure of Ama. She was always baffled at how he knew exactly where he had laid his traps, when to shoot arrows, when to act dead to lure his game, when to hide for dangerous animals to pass and how he heard and distinguished between the various sounds of animals no matter how faint.
Ama had made her promise to leave exactly a month and three days and her pride would not let her have the shame of postponing it. She told Boadu, who was so sad and begged to go with them but she lovingly turned him down. Auntie Mansa, who had grown to love Nyamekye as a daughter in law, and Ama as family and her daughter, Akoto, were heartbroken. Nyamekye promised to be back for Boadu. She described Ama’s family as hers and went on to part ways, breaking her own heart. She always looked at the wooden bracelet Boadu gifted her anytime she missed him, but it didn’t help much.
The rest of the journey was not as fun for her as it was in the beginning. They went to Opim, Adabre, Emuanna, Baamukye and passed through Asewase through to Amasan and finally to Apemso, their homeland.
They spent close to four months on the journey. The royal family was thrown into merriment. The king was particularly happy just as the queen was. All were invited to eat and drink in thanks to Odomankomah for his protection. Ama was asked what she wanted for her good job. She asked for a chance to be added to the warriors of the land. Although her mother was against it, the king granted her her request.
A week after they returned, the king and queen woke Nyamekye up at dawn and told her about her man hunt. The fact that warriors from fifty empires had been invited to battle for her hand in marriage. She got up and burst into tears, asking why they did not consult her before sending those invitations out. It was the first time she had raised her voice at her parents. She apologized when she saw how shocked they were and explained she had someone she wanted to marry. She told them to their horror that he came from Apremire and was a local hunter and not a warrior. The King was horrified and retorted “Apremire? Do you know they are accursed slaves of Apemso?” And what is worse, you are a princess who will be the queen and needs to marry a warrior who will show above all else that he is mighty, strong and will be able to take care of this land.” Her mother calmed the king and reminded him through a whisper, about the promise they made for her birth and the repercussions if breached.
“Maame, do you want to be the queen of this land?” Nyamekye emphatically affirmed her interest saying “It is my destiny. I have to be queen of Apemso, to help the land prosper through any means. I want to make my people happy”. They asked if she could choose between the two and she refused, saying she needed both. The King and Queen were at a loss. On one hand, she wanted to be the queen and on the other hand, she wanted to have a tabooed relationship. Nana explained to her the situation in which she was placing them but she would have nothing of it and made them promise to make her marry the love of her life and also be a part of the ruling of the land.
That night, the king cried and the queen helplessly looked on trying to think through a way. After days of thinking, they agreed on a solution. A solution the gods of the land would definitely see and punish them for, but a solution they would nevertheless use as their hands were tied. They will make her marry both men. Boadu in secrecy and the victorious warrior publicly. Whereas she would share a bed with Boadu who would act as her bodyguard during the day, the warrior would just be her ceremonial husband.
Amoafowaa Sefa Cecilia © July 2018
Photo Credit: Google Pics