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Kelechi arrived at the hospital a few minutes after leaving the police station. As he entered and heard cries from a room, his heart was in his mouth. But as soon as he saw Chibuike in the reception hall, he was relieved.

How is Nónso faring?”

He is okay. What happened to you at the station?”

Well, it’s a long story. Let’s just go see how he is doing.”

Nónso was no longer angry with Kelechi because Chibuike had told him how he had followed them but was apprehended by the police. When Kelechi came, Nónso accepted his apology and Kelechi accepted to pay the bill. But he wondered how he could pay the bill since his last cash was stolen by the police constable. Then a thought ran through his mind. He would lie to his aunt, so he could get money from her. It was already 8:45 am when he got home. Then he went straight to his aunt.

Good morning, Ma.”

Morning. Where have you been? I woke up this morning at about 6:30 am but did not know your whereabouts.”

I…..ehm…..there…..a friend of mine came in the morning at about 4:00 am and asked me to go with him to hunt for game. So I followed him and borrowed a gun from a man which I used. But while hunting, I spoilt the gun because I could not use it well. When I took it to the owner, he asked me to bring money for the repair. I went to my friends but they……”

Why did you not come to me instead? And by the way, why did you put on white clothes to hunt?”

No….. Nothing.”

Alright, no problem then, I will give you the money. Please hurry up and come back to prepare food for me because I am getting hungry.” She gave him the money he requested and he hurriedly took it to the hospital. When he saw a beautiful girl he knew in the neighbourhood, he began to sing resoundingly:

Nwanyi óma, nwanyi óma (Fine girl, fine girl)

Ichóró iga na uzó? (Do you want to go on the road?)

Nwanyi óma, nwanyi óma (Fine girl, fine girl)

Ichóró iga na uzó? (Do you want to go to road?)

Nwanyi óma, nwanyi óma (Fine girl, fine girl)

Mma gi ómara? (Does your mother know?)

Ina agbada na uzó (That you’re going down the road)

Ifu obere nwoke gi? (To see your little boyly yo?)

* * *

When he got to the hospital, he paid the money to the receptionist who issued him a receipt and Nónso was discharged. Kelechi thanked Chibuike for staying with Nónso in the hospital and they both accompanied him home. Previously, Ugochukwu had gone home at about 7:00 am. When they got to Nónso’s place, his mother immediately came out angrily since she was told what happened by some who ran away from the party.

Chineke m!” she exclaimed when she saw her son’s head. “Kelechi, you did this to my son? Ibú ajó mmadú!”

I….I am very sorry Ma, biko, it……it was not actually my fault. There was a little misunderstanding and he provoked me,” Kelechi stuttered in reply. Then Nónso told his mother to forget all that happened. He also told her that Kelechi paid the hospital bill and that was enough to pacify her. She thanked Kelechi for at least paying the bill. Then he and Chibuike left for their respective abodes.

The following day, about the breezy part of the evening, Nónso swiftly went to his girlfriend’s house and quarreled with her over what happened at the night party. Sopuruchi was very much angry with him. She abused him and even called him a moron. Nónso did not waste time, he slapped fire out of her face and she started crying but continued to insult him. In the blink of an eye, Sopuruchi’s father came in from work. He gripped Nónso’s shirt and demanded to know what happened and what he was doing in the house with his daughter. Nónso explained though out of fear, and was dismissed by Sopuruchi’s father. He immediately took to his heels thanking his God that the old man did not do anything to him, maybe he would have been in another old and rusted wheelbarrow headed for the hospital. Sopuruchi’s father pounced on her and beat her mercilessly.

I will disown you if you ever attend a night party again and if I ever see you with your unfortunate boyfriends. Are you a prostitute, answer me, are you? So you will sneak out of my house quietly and go to a night party. That was how you told me the other day that witches attacked you at night and gave you spiritual palm wine to drink, whereas you attended a night party and drank to stupor. You are warned! I repeat, you are warned! If you ever try it again, even the grave will reject you,” her father cautioned with great asperity.


The meanings of Igbo words and expressions as used in this story are given below.

Nna m, gini mere?  -----------------------My father, what happened?

Biko ----------------------------------Please

Egwu mmanowu -----------------------------Igbo masquerade dance

Na odika isi kwue! ---------------------------------------Amen! (so be it; surely)

Noro nwanyo!  --------------------------Keep quiet!

Nwoke m! --------------------------------------Young man!

O buru na nwata enpu isi oga ataa ahuhu --------------- If a child does not humble himself, he will                                                                      suffer adversity

Nwaanyi a!  ------------------------------This woman!

Nwanne, idi sharp! -------------------------------------Smart guy! (a hail word)

Ibu ajo mmadu! --------------------------- You are a bad person!

Chineke m! ------------------------------- God (as used- my God!)


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