Nyamekye felt strange looking at the lively Kumnipa and happy Ama by her bedside. Boadu sadly looked on not knowing what to do. Nyamekye intentionally closed her eyes and feigned sleep, they had no option, they had to leave. Boadu could not hold it any longer.
“Nyamekye, I know you’re not sleeping. Tell me what is going on. Are you now in love with Daakyehene Kumnipa?” She opened her eyes and looked at him surprised she had been caught. “I am your husband, secretly, but still your husband. I am the one who knows you even from within. You think I wouldn’t notice? From lighting up to sadness when he comes and leaves to acting funny when Ama comes with him. Listen, I know your parents do everything you ask of them but this is not right. You set the parameters. You chose me and forced Ama on Kumnipa. Imagine tearing into pieces three hearts to fix back the tantrums of one. Are you more human than us? If it is royalty, know Kumnipa too is a royal, if it is talent, know Ama is more talented than you. If you see me as no human being, I respect that, because I gave you grounds to shift your love from me but my half is breathing in you right now. Please don’t do this. Try, try looking at me. Haven’t I changed? Please give me another chance and let us fix this.”
Nyamekye broke down and cried.
“Boadu, do you think I love feeling this way? Can’t you see the effort I am making in not being caught with my true feelings on the seams of my clothes? Can’t you see I hate myself for the feelings that drive my being? Can’t you see I am tearing apart? I am not a spoilt brat to let it out and destroy another couple. I am not an unfilial daughter to disappoint my parents who went to lengths to fix what my heart desired. Believe me, I will never tell them anything but do not push me in feelings I have no control over, do not taunt me and leave me be. Don’t push yourself on me. Can’t you see your presence repulses me?”
Boadu, with eyes full of tears, for the first time knelt and bowed to Nyamekye in chambers. He cried out loud and left her presence. He asked her best maiden to always be by her side and resolved to sleep in the hall. He too had his ego to protect, for what has a pauper if you take away his ego?
The Ekom Festival was underway. For a week, the people of Apemso rejoiced in their ability to beat hunger since days their ancestors suffered near death at the hands of famine. They pounded lots of fufu with cassava and plantain, prepared soup with bush meat, different fishes and goat meat with chicken or duck meat. It was always a marvellous week. The palace overflowed with food during the Ekom Festival. Volunteers went there to help in the preparation of food and every person from Apemso was entitled to their privilege to go and eat there. The herbal doctors rushed to Nyamekye’s chambers. She was in labour and it wasn’t an ordinary labour as she was bleeding profusely. The king got the message at the main durbar, spoke quickly about the need for togetherness, communal labour and abstaining from taboos. He felt sad mentioning the last one and refrained from throwing more light on it. He asked permission from his elders and together with his queen, left to wait with Boadu, Nyamekye and Ama at Nyamekye’s hall. Boadu was more anxious than everyone there. Ohemaa Abrampah showed signs of dislike for Ama, and everyone there noticed. She refused to bless her after greetings, refused to join in when her husband made conversations with her and refused to look at her. Kumnipa felt sad but just looked at Ama, pleading with his eyes for her peace of mind.
The doctors finally finished their work, came out, knelt before the king and announced the death of the baby boy even before it landed on earth. Luckily, Nyamekye was fine and responding to 1treatment. Boadu sunk to the ground wailing. Everyone tried to make him stop. “Don’t you know it is a taboo to cry when you lose your first born? People without proper upbringing will never know this.” Ohemaa Abrampah wailed. Everyone turned to look at her. “I am not in tears because of the death but because of how the princess will suffer at the loss”. Everyone bowed and took their eyes off her. Ohene Asaa just simply consoled her, they went to look at the sleeping princess and left. Ohene Asaa watched as people worked hard at cooking. “No fufu will be pounded today. Who eats their delicacies when death visits their home?” That said, he left the people in sadness as he led his wife, following his entourage to their chambers. The people didn’t know whether to cry or not, they didn’t know if Nyamekye was dead or her child. Many sent messages out that the princess was dead until the announcers announced the death of the first child of the royal successors.
Boadu could not be consoled. He knew the death of his child would definitely shake his stay in the palace. Since he had lost the love of Nyamekye, it would mean he’d have to live on needles until the end. He was full of fear in tears. “Daakyehene, who patronizes the grounds on which a potable river once stood for water? Who recognizes the importance of a huge stump of a once shading big tree in the hot sun? What does a broken bowl do after serving royals and thrown on the rubbish heap? God must be a royal! God must definitely favour royals.”
Ama left them as she tried to think through her fault with the queen, the meaning of Boadu’s similar proverbs in succession. She felt odd too because she remembered the distance in Nyamekye’s relation to her. Something was not right, something, was definitely not right.
Amoafowaa Sefa Cecilia © September 2018
Photo Credit: Google Pics