Wherever plam nut falls, is considered its rotting place. Kumnipa was careful in the Apemso Palace. Everyone accorded him respect but he still felt like a stranger. Anytime he saw Boadu, a lump of hatred choked his neck veins. What was more annoying was the fact that he was everywhere the princess was. He tried avoiding her, but the cultural demands didn’t allow it. They were to greet the elders together each morning, eat together at least twice a day, go for occasions together almost every other day and pretend to be happy together always. He was dying from within and it told on his body.
Nyamekye called Ama for a game of draft. The latter, a complete draft ignoramus, started sharing her marbels around after the former gave her the guidelines. By the end of the first round, she had lost three of her holes to Nyamekye who used the opportunity to teach and advice her on the need to maintain stability and peace. “I could take over all your holes, imagine them as territories. It will mean you will have to serve me completely, but in this life, a woman must know how to play her cards, in order to win in the battle of peace. Where a side weighs more than the other, automatically, eyes turn to the side of activity. A beautiful woman like you lacks nothing I have. In fact, you have so many things I don’t have. Bravery, freedom to be you, instincts like no other, so let the sticks of thoughts drum your goodness in the ears that matter, so we can have a levelled field. Our destinies are yoked together and we must make the best of it my sister.”
Ama needed no interpreter to get the whole message. That night, it dawned on her she had contributed to the hushed hatred in the palace. She picked two swords and headed to the Prince’s palace. He was not there but the guard told her where he was. Under the huge tree in the raised bush getting to the evil forest. It is where he loved to be when he needed other air besides the palace’s.
His back was turned to her but he mentioned her name before she took her 10th step towards him.
“What is the bravest of flowers doing here at night? You shouldn’t flatter yourself by being by yourself through the brink of the night, you are a woman after all.”
Ama threw a sword at him and asked for a battle but he shook his head and laughed. “They should have told me you were also a comedian, I would have solicited your services to free my burdened mind.”
Ama laughed. “Today, I am a lover in the clothes of an enemy. You either pick the sword and fight or die by my sword and the sky is my witness, I am not joking.” She threw the sword and he dodged, at first shocked by the power in the hand of a woman. Then she followed him with multiple aims which he dodged until he managed to pick his sword. Swords met in the air, beneath their knees, sideways, on top of their heads, on their necks, behind them and they fought until Kumnipa, who forgot his opponent was a woman and fought fiercely, lost his sword. Ama held hers to his neck and he, in utter shock, instinctively raised his hands. He put his hands down after a while.
“Upon a second thought, kill me. I never thought a woman could battle me into a loss. What will others think if this leaks? It would be worse than death. So do it. Kill me.”
Ama put her sword away. “Don’t call for death in your egoistic stupor my Prince. You men delude yourselves with strength, bottling everything within. You refuse to cry when your hearts fill up, causing your flooding within to drown you into doing horrible things. You put on a front of super humanity even when you gnash your teeth in pain. Man up and open your eyes, it is a new dawn. In the morning, put your best men to the task of battling me and see how many will fall. Strength needs no tail of qualification. It is borne out of hard work and will. But I did not come here to lecture you on strength. I came to offer my ears on the seat of your thoughts.”
Kumnipa just watched Ama for a while. He had never been emasculated in his whole life. Maybe he had looked down on women as people needed for procreation and pleasure, weaker vessels who needed protection at all times. He had never thought any woman would dare challenge him by voice let alone in battle. “Maybe she is a he” he thought but she looked like a she, pretty as a flower, with full breasts. Instinctively, he held her, kissed her, touched her beneath in verification. A frozen Ama who did not know what was happening gained composure and pushed him off. Ashamed of his behaviour, he stood in silence for a while before opening up.
“I was trained not to discuss important issues with women but I can see you are no ordinary woman. You know pretty well what is happening in the palace. I feel choked watching the princess in the arms of that slave each night. But what do I do? Even the gods are quiet, no silent on the matter. Normally, some ailment would break, some curse will take place, some horrific thing would befall the land and force the custodians to look for the problem. But it has been four full moons. I even suspect she has taken seed but nothing. The gods don’t care.”
Ama wondered why a man like him would be so petty as to wish evil on a land he would inherit because of a woman he won’t get but she didn’t voice it out. “You could wish for the best for her and look for ways to be happy too.” She finally managed to say.
“You will never understand a man’s ego. Once bruised, it needs a conquer to heal. I wish you were a man, you would have understood this feeling that is eating away my heart, my soul and spirit.” Ama decided to change the topic to trivial things and brought in comical Ananse tales to ease his mind. While he listened and smiled, they sensed an ambush and both picked their swords.
Amoafowaa Sefa Cecilia © 2018
Photo Credit: Google Pics