Rains made sure to visit at least twice in a week. The weather was fair, with the sun having a great understanding with rains, causing the air to be what the people of Apemso loved. In a world where war and conquering gave more power than anything else; the conquered bringing food stuffs to the winning palace every season, paying in gold, sharing their game, providing soldiers and slaves when need be, the Ahantas made it clear they’d fight tooth and nails to maintain their freedom. With a vast and fertile land, strong warriors and an ambitious king, their war with Apemso was a must and both kings knew it. The Ahantas had tried ambushing Apemso but failed miserably due to a tip off from Ohene Asaa’s spies planted in their kingdom. It was becoming dangerous, so the king told Kumnipa to help train the warriors to prepare for war.
Kumnipa arranged the training with Kwabena Okore and Ama. At first, some of the warriors protested. “How can we be trained by a mere woman? Why degrade us so?” Kumnipa told them to fight to justify their sentiments. The first warrior could not last thirty seconds before falling under Ama’s sword, the second just lifted his sword and fell out of fear when he felt the tip of her sword by his throat, the rest just agreed to be trained by her. Her brother was super proud of her. Kwabena Okore, who was the head of the warriors, watched as his sister, Ama Adjeibea Okore trained other warriors. She was named “Goddess of the Sword” by all the warriors. Kumnipa could not take his eyes off her, as he sat supervising the training and all the warriors noticed. Over three thousand warriors were trained.
Nyamekye could barely see Kumnipa and Ama. All she heard was, they were spotted here laughing or playing heartily, or they adorably competed on the field of training. She felt sad thinking they were more suited for each other but broke her own heart knowing the feelings growing for the one person she rejected even before he fought for her hand. The secret feelings ate away the fabrics of her peace and made her unhealthy.
Ohemaa Abrampah looked at the fine clothes woven for the birth of her grandchild in happiness. Suddenly, a thought came to her. What if Ama conceived the children of the crown prince? Won’t he find ways of making them compete with Nyamekye’s children for the throne? She rushed to her husband’s chambers and voiced her opinion. Ohene Asaa listened as she suggested medicine to destroy the womb of the Goddess of the Sword. He got angry and forbade her from harming a hair on her head. According to Ohene Asaa, even if she did conceive, everyone would know she was the illegitimate wife of Kumnipa, why will they ever consider children like that? But Ohemaa felt uneasy because Ama had become one revered even more than the king.
Kwabena Okore led the warriors to war and took Ama with him. Kumnipa protested but Ohemaa Abrampah convinced Ohene Asaa to allow it. They were gone for over one moon and Kumnipa missed her so much. He had attempted to sneak to their settlement but was stopped by his special guard given by the queen. Nyamekye lighted up anytime Kumnipa went to visit her but felt sad seeing the far look in his eyes. It did not take long to make her see that only a body visited her without a soul and spirit. She sunk into depression.
Ohene Asaa thought about the report of the royal doctors an concluded it was because she missed her man. He called Boadu’s mother for a confidential meeting.
“Madam, I called you here to tell you it is dangerous for a child to play with fire. It is also dangerous for the King’s eyes to notice one’s flaws. It is bad for the earth to compare itself to the sky when its eyes always look up to it for the retention of its living things. One who keeps well the treasure of a superior, stands to gain, vice versa is a death trap. Your son has mistakenly pinched my heart and caused me to see blood in my loving mirror. The only reason he still breathes, is my daughter who loves him endlessly. I will let somebody take you to where he is. Be sure to speak to his senses before I give him that second chance with her. Know that the scrotum of the wise will never suffer, sɛbi sɛbi, a foolish man’s mischievous feet twice. You may leave.”
Auntie Mansa whose head was bowed in shame all through thanked him and apologized for the behaviour of her wayward son and left. She cried till she reached her son’s destination. She refused food. Her bloodshot eyes made Boadu worried.
“It is a bad son who will do deeds that would wipe his family off the face of the earth. Who at all bites the fingers that feed him? If one is lucky like you are, he needs to always worship the feet of the gods, be righteous and stay loyal and faithful to the very object of his blessings. Kwabena Boadu, you have disgraced me! As I knelt in front of the king, all I could do was apologize to your dead father in the land of the dead. Of what use is an ego when it can buy no bread? Of what use is a man’s honour, when all it can do is produce slaving children? Haven’t you heard about forefathers sacrificing to make their future generations live comfortably? Isn’t it even an honour for someone like you to be Her Majesty’s guard talk less of her man?”
Mother and son cried, the former in admonishment, the latter in remorse. The spy’s account of the encounter between mother and son satisfied the king. He brought a changed Boadu to the palace.
Nyamekye merely smiled upon seeing him. A tired and weary smile. There was no enthusiasm, no happiness. Kwabena Boadu woke up at dawn, knelt to apologize to her. She did accept the apology but was still distant. Boadu felt it could be because of the discomfort with the pregnancy. He resolved to treat her better in order to gain her love once more. When both men met, Boadu apologized to Kumnipa, who surprisingly held no grudge against him. He rather felt happy that he made him discover his true love. He couldn’t wait for the estimated moon to end to get to meet his heartbeat. Fantasies drove on fantasies as to how he’d welcome her. And the thought of her presence brought him warmth. He went to the shrine each dawn to pray for her safety. On one of such visits, he heard “Odiahenkan! Odiahenkan! Her Majesty has collapsed again!”
Amoafowaa Sefa Cecilia © September 2018
Photo Credit: Google Pics