The first time I laid eyes on her, I didn’t want to take them off..the only things I wanted to take off were the overalls she wore to hide her body… But still I could tell she had a beautiful body.
The way she walked.. Shoulders slumped… Head down… Hands folded yo her chest.. But still her hips managed to get attention every time.. The way they swayed side to side.. Any human would take a second look.. Her long legs… They took their time to pace a place event though we knew they were built for haste…
Her skin… O so yellow…
When I finally got a chance to look at her eyes… They were magnetic.. Her lips… Looked soft… And when she managed a smile.. The world around her lit..
But Nnena didn’t know she was beautiful..
See Nnena was a scared young woman..
Two sons with no father… And another on the way.. Her mother passed on when Nnena was born… Leaving her father to care for her.
We all knew Nnena was the beautiful one… I mean everyone in the street knew that.. Hell every one in the town knew that.
When she went to the market, we all wanted her to buy from our shops… But she only came to my mothers shop… With a few words she bought and left..
I found myself giving her one cup more… Garri, beans, rice… And on many occasions… Isi okporoko with the small dry fish she always came for..
My mothers store was not big but our big heart got us many loyal customers…
Many mothers wanted their daughters away from Nnena… Fathers would not have her in their compounds.. They were certain she will bewitch their sins into taking her in with her unnecessary baggage.. Her boys and a half..
Chinese whispers of how she got pregnant… For the boys.. And the one on the way..
She slept with her teacher in school..
She slept with the former landlord…
She let a boy slept with her and abandoned her
She was manner less… She was shameless… She had no home training.. On many occasions, the whisper was.. She killed her mother..
The last time I saw Nnena was on the first Friday in April, last year..
The rain had decided to grace us with her presence…. And she made quite a show..
The sound of the rain and it repeatedly kissed our zinc roof was so loud you could barely hear a thing from outside…
I had been lying in my room thinking of what school I would finally put on my jamb form. The droplets of water falling into the bowl by my bed side from the leaking roof was too distracting… It wasn’t like I was concentrating anyway..
I decided to focus my attention on other things.. Like the compound.. I hadn’t stared more than a minute through my window into the street when I saw her running…
We had no surrounding wall or gate in our compound, my father said it made him feel imprisoned..
I looked closer and I saw her clearly… She had a knife in her right hand.. Bloody hands.. Bloody clothes…
It was obvious she had been crying… Just behind her… Her father followed..
I wanted to leave my room and come outside but my mother wouldn’t let me so I decided to stay and watch from my bedroom window.. The privilege of being an only child.. You get a room to yourself.
I opened my window a little to make out the conversation…. My parents had gone outside to intervene obviously..
She kept screaming.. ‘I won’t let him touch me again..’
Over and over and over again..
Her father had been cut on his arm..
I don’t know the end of the story.. But my mother called me and sent me to the kitchen.. By the time I got out…
She was sitting in our living room..
And her father had left..
That night as we sat in the parlor to say our night prayers.. I couldn’t stop staring…
The devotion was quiet… Unusually so, being that my mother was a chorus leader in church..
I slept in the parlor while Nnena took my room..
By the time I got up in the morning… She was gone… And so were the answers to all my questions…
WRITTEN BY: SONIA NWOSU (The Scribbler)