They both turned and saw Chioma looking at them, they went further apart.
Chike: “Chioma, why didn’t you come together with Adaku?” he asked nervously. But Chioma did not reply, she just walked past them to the stream and dipped her water pot in it. Adaku didn’t know what to say, what was Chioma thinking? When Chioma made to go after fetching water in her pot, Adaku went after her, without saying a word to Chike.
On their way home, Chioma walked as if Adaku irritated her by walking beside her, she kept her face straight forward, without a sideways glance. They walked in silence for a while before Adaku broke the silence.
Adaku: “Chioma, it is not what you think, I know you like Chike” she said, and that seemed to open the gates of hell. Chioma turned with fury on her father’s little wife.
Chioma: “Really, so now you are doing me a service? You who is no more than a slave? Well look here, Chike may like you, but that doesn’t matter because, you are already married, you will watch me get married to him, that is if my father doesn’t kill you before then, barren woman” she mouthed off and walked away.
Adaku watched her walk away, instead of being pained, she was angry. Anger boiled inside of her, she was tired of people treating her like she didn’t matter. Were they her chi to determine what happened to her? She decided she would keep Chike for herself, she did not mistake the looks in his eyes, he wanted her, and perhaps the gods were giving her a second chance at life. She would run away to Lagos, with Chike. In that city that a woman could tell her husband to wait before she started producing children, she would have a chance with Chike. She decided she would bear everything till she was able to run away with Chike.
Adaku: “I am sorry Chioma, this one is mine” she said with determination.
Chioma who had become a friend, in Adaku’s trying times, fast turned to her worst enemy, so much that when the biggest trial of Adaku’s life came, Chioma made things worse for Adaku. So it happened that, Adaku began to wet her bed. She woke up one day, and saw that her bed was drenched.
Adaku: “My chi, what is this now. Even when I was younger, I did not urinate in my bed, why now” she cried as she squeezed her bedclothes. She dried her clothes and wore another. But with subsequent bedwetting, her room began to reek of urine. So, when Ejike came on his rampaging, he found the room revolting.
Ejike: “What is going on here?” he asked, while shielding his nose with the hem of the shirt he was wearing. Adaku looked at him fearfully, as she shifted away from him.
Ejike: “When Azagba told me that he was bringing a princess to me, I thought my house was going to be filled with strong male children. But all you have brought with you is misery”
Adaku: “Is it my fault, is that how your mother was raped before she conceived you?” she didn’t know when the words tumbled out of her mouth. The last thing she remembered was Ejike coming towards her. When she woke up, her left eye was half closed, and she tried to stand up but, felt a sharp pain in her left side. Also she noticed that the medicine man was in her room, with his son Chike.
Medicine Man: “I do not know why a man will treat his wife like an animal. She should come for massages every day, I hope her ribs have not be broken” he said as he applied a paste made from grinding different herbs together. Adaku looked at Chike’s clenched fist, and in spite of the pains she was feeling she smiled.
When the medicine man and his son had gone, the senior wife sat Adaku down, and asks her about the bedwetting.
Senior wife: “Our husband says you have been wetting your bed” she said. Adaku’s heart flew into her mouth; she had thought she could hide this disease. The senior wife kept trying to find out if it was a disease known in their family, or if it was because she drank too much water before bed. But Adaku didn’t know either; she just knew that whenever she woke up, her bed was wet.
Soon, the whole village knew she wet her bed, Chioma made sure she told anyone who wanted to listen that Adaku wets her bed. After a while she didn’t need to tell them because, Adaku began to smell. Her condition had gotten worse; it wasn’t just when she slept, but also when she was awake.
One day, she sitting with the other wives, Chioma and her friends sat a little bit apart, and they took momentary glances at Adaku. Then Adaku felt pressed, but before she could rush to the backyard, the urine flowed down her legs. Chioma and her friends jumped away from where they were sitting.
Chioma: “Cursed girl, you should have just done it on my body. As old as you are, you cannot reach the toilet before doing it on yourself” she yelled angrily and left the place, with her mother shouting after her.
Senior wife: “Don’t mind her, you hear> Just go and change your clothes” she said and pushed Adaku softly towards her hut.
After the death of the Chief Priest, Azagba appointed one of his supporters to the office of Ezemmuo, and then he went to Ezidemili to be the chief Priest, but the latter turned him down.
Ezidemili: “Who will look after Ezidemili when I am performing chief priest duties? Besides, I do not want to be caught in the cross fire when the gods decide to punish you because, you Azagba, is doomed” he replied Azagba’s request.
Azagba: “I am your friend, and you said I deserved to be king”
Ezidemili: “That was before I knew what extent you could go to in your search for power”
Azagba: “Fine, it is about time that Igbundu take their own destiny in their hands, instead of waiting for the gods who cannot take care of themselves, except Ezidemili is there.” He said and left the shrine angrily.
So Azagba was crowned the king of Igbundu, the people gathered to celebrate their new king, they did not ask their new king who would be the chief priest. They accepted it when he told them that the necessary sacrifices were not needed.
The day he moved into the palace, he went to see his brother, Emelu.
Azagba: “Finally, I got my birthright which you stole from me. You think the gods do not support me, why then did they make sure you didn’t have a heir. I am sorry it has to be this way, really sorry” he said.
Emelu just stared at a point on the wall, though he had lost his mind, it was not the greatest thing he had lost. He had lost his first wife, and his daughter. It was when things had gone out of hand that he began to understand that he had destroyed himself in his quest for a male child. Now all his regrets were a jumble of thoughts in his crazy mind.
During the time that Adaku began to go to Chike’s house for massages, she met with Chike frequently. They developed a bond, such that she was not afraid to tell him about her problem of bed wetting. He asked his father what could be the solution, his father as usual, mixed herbs for Adaku to take, but the condition persisted. Chioma would taunt Chike, asking him if he preferred a smelly girl who wet her bed to her a bonafide daughter of Ogwashi-Uku.
Chike: “Whatever she is, she is still better than you. No matter what she goes through, she still has hope in her eyes and she loves so purely. But you, you were only good to her when she was just your father’s battered wife. But now that she is the object of someone’s attraction, you hate her” he retorted.
Chioma: “I wonder what my father would do to you when he finds out that you have been seeing his wife. Shameless man, you have no other girl to mess around with, but somebody’s wife” she said and walked away quickly, so that Chike would not see the tears in her eyes. As she walked home, she allowed the tears fall freely, she was hurt. She had thought Chike liked her, and she had already told her father that he was the one she would marry, but now she had lost him.
When she reached her father’s compound, her father was sitting in front, filling his nostrils with snuff from his snuff box. He looked up and saw her, with her face stained with tears and snot on her nose.
Ejike: “Chioma, why are you crying? Who beat you?” he asked dropping his snuff box abruptly. His first daughter was the apple of his eyes, and he was ready to kill anyone who hurt her.
Question: Will Chioma tell her father about Adaku and Chike? Also, what condition is Adaku suffering from?
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