Hands seized both girls and swung them on a rope across trees. Ama wanted to fight it off but a sixth sense asked her to wait for an outcome. Three minutes later, they were on a vast grassland with a visible settlement. Ama held Nyamekye, lowered her into the sharp grasses and with a sliding curve, swung her underneath. Nyamekye had never known fear that intense and could barely catch her breath from the experience. She stayed in Ama’s arms until she let go to find out about the arms. But she was not to search for long. “Come out girls, we need to get out of here as soon as possible. My house is close by. You’ll be safe there. Here in these grasses, snakes…” He didn’t finish before Nyamekye sprung out shouting on top of her voice. The voice laughed so hard, followed her voice and caught up with them. “Your Majes… I mean Nyamekye, remember you were fortified against snake bites so you have nothing to fear”. She stopped talking when she realized that the voice hosted a slim and tall man and that man was standing very close to them.
“Before any introductions, let’s get out of here into safety.” He had barely finished talking when he led the way. After walking for what looked like forty minutes, they reluctantly entered a small settlement with three mud houses. He took them to an empty room which had straw mats and few cover clothes with a lantern. There, they saw how handsome and young he was. Ama started questioning him as Nyamekye just starred. When she came into consciousness, she heard him talking. “I am a hunter who fixed ropes on trees to serve as an escape root in case I needed it. My father, who is now late taught me to do that. You were lucky I heard those hooligans chasing after you. They are brutes who could have killed you you know. How can girls like you walk unprotected in these dangerous slopes? Apremire is one of the dangerous villages in these parts. Weren’t you told?”
Nyamekye explained that they were definitely not told. We are wanderers, trying to know these plains. We are from Apemso. “Apemso. Our bosses. You know they own these lands? The very richest bosses in the whole of Akatamanso. Don’t worry. You’re now safe. My name is Kwabena Boadu and I live here with my mother and younger sister. They sleep in the room to your left. On your right, that small structure is the bathroom. The other one after is a place of convenience. The room after my family’s is mine. Knock on that door if you need something. Meanwhile, there are big pots outside with water in case you need it. For wanderers, you have very few things.” Ama thought for a while and realized it was true. Nyamekye had insisted on taking nothing besides few gold coins and few clothes with a cover cloth each. With it two manageable gourds filled with water. They were to feed on fruits in the wild and buy food if they were lucky to meet civilization. She only sneaked in a small foldable knife. Both girls got their sponges and had a bath before sleeping. All the while, Ama was on a lookout and very alert. Nyamekye kept assuring her that there was no cause for alarm. She kept watch as her princess slept. There was no order that could make her blink. She didn’t want to disappoint the king.
At cockcrow, she heard the sound of a sweeping broom, then a humming. She knew the sister of Boadu was the one sweeping. Nyamekye woke about an hour later and they both went out only to see calabashes of white porridge served on a waiting table. An elderly woman sat with an empty calabash in her hands. A young girl who could pass for their age mate greeted them with happy and dancing eyes and offered them saawe (sponge made out of chewing sticks) and a calabash each of water to wash their faces. “Your hot water is ready sisters and I sent them to the bathroom for you.” Both of them went to kneel in front of the woman of the house, Auntie Mansa, and greeted. She was happy to have them stay over and asked them to hurry so they could eat. They bathed, ate and the familiarity made Ama comfortable to the delight of Nyamekye. She excused herself to sleep as Boadu took Nyamekye around. She couldn’t stop staring. His skin was as black as ebony and shone above the morning sun, his height was above the normal range of most men his age, he was soft spoken and very hairy. So much so that the bente he wore with the cloth tied on part of his shoulder showed very beautiful and shiny hair on his chest, hands and legs. His facial hair looked soft and when he smiled, Nyamekye nearly fell. He was however swift to catch her, swinging her to face him as their eyes met blocking some rays of the rising sun. Nyamekye’s heart raced but she heard a louder heartbeat from the chest whose eyes had pinned her down. “I think I am, I am, I am…” She couldn’t bring herself to say it. “…in love? If that is what you meant to say then I am too” Kwabena Boadu said, his breath and grin making it barely audible as she nodded smiled like one who had stumbled on a treasure.
Amoafowaa Sefa Cecilia © July 2018
Photo Credit: Google Pics