An awesome short story of two distant souls meeting at a point they never thought of.
There I was having fetched water from the stream, heading home wards, I could barely see through the woods, the closer I get the more darker it becomes. My senses has come to play, I'm in a poised moment very scared and feeling so strange in the middle of the famous forest that links two unlike streams, one from the direction of the sunrise from the east and the other from which I had fetched from, facing the direction of the sunset.
I've never been entrapped in my life as compared to this, to which my return home seems it all rests on the shoulders of fate, what more can I say as I struggle to find my way through the same route I've been born knowing all my life, in fate's hands I am on this day. The winds blew as heavily as they ever did, leaving leaves rustling and all at once fear gripped me with no respect for a courageous one.
From above you could hear the crackles of lightening and the rumblings of thunder...a flash of thoughts home... I've left grandma all to herself in her beautiful ancient hut...
How will she cope? Who is gonna help her out when she requests for or needed assistance.....? I'm so troubled. There's no stopping it. It's going to rain brimstone not with fire... I mean so heavily than ever was recorded....trees shifting and changing positions. The winds so heavy pushing me backwards, I'm trudging and pressing onwards with the water on my head...this is the water only needed for tonight's cooking... I had gone to fetch.
Grandma had said "son will you get me water from the stream?" the day was as clear as crystals. You could see thatched roof tops with clothes hung on all sides. From the distance, you can hear voices of market women and market goers haggling the prices of commodity, not too far from there is the playground picturing scenes of boys playing football, skipping with ropes, those running from one end to another playing "the catcher" and those who had gathered to watch the village famous traditional wresting.
"Yes, granny...I answered with the voice of one who has just swallowed something... "give me a minute, please?"
I had left without telling her... perhaps, she must have looked all around for me or perceived that I've gone to fetch the water or perhaps she is troubled as to the situation at hand, such were my thoughts as no other being is out here with me.
All I'm thinking of, is meeting her safe...
Help! Help! Ah! Ah! Please help! Anybody... anyone.... someone please help!!!
That must be someone's cry for help. I thought where that is coming from....?
Oh my! It's here..., there's no stopping it; the rain! It's pouring so incessantly like a forced burst opening of a dam. Everywhere has turned floody, the grounds barely walkable.... And that sound I heard, it must be a lady's.
Help! Help!! This time the voice seems tired....please help!! Anybo..dy, any..one.....some... then it faded.
its coming from my right direction.... what should I do?
"Grandma is home...." I'm finding my way out with no ease to see if granny is well...I'm drenched so badly like one thrown into a pool surprisingly with clothes on, you can see my bodily features from the soaked clothes on me, water dripping down my face from my hair.
In front me lies a trunk of tree broken from its root now blocking the pathway to the other side.... I'm lost in thoughts and options, this time I'm stranded...all I'm saying, with my heart beating like the pumping machine is, "granny please be strong, I'm coming...I'm going to scale through this to you" Will she hear me? I hoped so....
I almost missed my step, nearly my grandma's precious medium Ghanaian earthen pot would have fallen off me. Thanks to a tree by my left I had quickly held on to. I almost forgot the voice....!
Hello! Hello!! Anybody there? I yelled as the sound of the rain seems to overpower my voice. Luckily I heard a faint voice again...
"Please help..." I squeezed and thrust myself through to the direction of the voice as my senses could lead. "I'm coming...."
Still holding on to my water... I'm almost there I said...
O my God! Please don't move... I cautioned. There I found her, the one who had called.... such a beautiful damsel the eyes has ever behold. I'm either helping out or speechless about the exceptionalism in such a beauty I've set my eyes on...
"Help! Please I pray thee" I'm dying..." No you won't die! I said to her. She has been bitten by a snake perhaps trying to run home as fast as she could due to the weather and got bitten by a snake in the process....
She lay there, water already covering her with particles of mud, nearly she would have been smashed by a big branch of mahogany tree as it fell a little bit above her head. I let down my pot. I remembered the precautions and remedies grandma had taught me in cases of a snake incidence.
I did all the necessary, what we call "traditional medicine" she felt pained by all I did... she felt a bit relief but not completely. Then she said something..."you are..." then coughs...., I was wondering in thoughts what she wants to say.
"You are badly hurt by a cut around your waist..." I looked at where she pointed at, oh my...I'm really hurt. How come I didn't feel anything? How on earth did I get cut? Perhaps while I was.... I really couldn't tell How it happened... "I'm fine I said to her.... let's get you out of here and straight home"
Now, I'm puzzled as I lifted her up to my shoulder on the other side of my left where I wasn't with a wound. I had used a piece of cloth I had torn to hold my wounded part on the right.... I still can't believe that I feel no pains from the cut. How will I carry grandma's pot with water and this damsel, all alone in the bush, some miles away from home? All the thoughts of what to do lingered around my head but all at once I thought I will explain to grandma all that happened...
My hopes are... let me, met grandma well. I left the pot as I cleared the way with the stick I was holding.
She felt so calm and I was dangling in thoughts whether to say something or not, as we trudged on out of the clumps of bushes. "I'm thirsty" we had walked some meters away from where I found her, boycotted some sharp dangerous routes, almost found ourselves in a dug pit thanks to the stick pushing away the leaves covering the pit... she said. I replied "okay!"
"Let me go back and get water, I couldn't question her demand." I retraced the route to where I had left granny's pot. What the hell!!! My God!!! This must be the snake that has bitten the damsel right in front of me on a log of wood motioned to attack. It looks like the salamander in its head and had the skin like that of a chameleon. My heart ran as fast as an engine, then I said relax, it's gonna be fine. With ferocious looks on my face I shouted "you almost killed my pretty damsel!" " you aren't going to escape me... I stood my grounds as though I'm ready to pounce on it, it had no legs or hands how could I possibly fight it? Before I could think further it coiled and snapped into the air towards my face... did I hit it? Did I hit it? My heart raised so frightfully, I opened my eyes, saw it dangling and writhing so severely in pains on the raised ridge of sand to my left, I had smashed its head with the stick on my right hand, quickly I took a heavy stone I sighted around and smashed it the more to pieces. Pheww!!!....I sighed so heavily, "that was really close," I said.
I remembered immediately what brought me back, I found grandma's and carried it straight to where I had left the damsel to rest against a tree, some thousand metres or more by my calculations. I bent the pot, she drank merging her two hands as her mouth was open downwards from the end part of her palms around the wrist. After she had drank, she felt a relief more than she had before now. "Thank you...." is all she said with her head downwards in humility, was she shy looking at me? I asked unintentionally in my thoughts. She has had her face down as I helped her up to my shoulders.
Kelechi!!! That's grandma's voice from the direction of home. The sky had cleared, the rain and tumultuous wind have ceased, leaving traces of ruins. Flipped roof tops, cracked walls, damaged farmlands, scattered clothes of villagers... all around faces with sorrow as if they are all about to wage war against the rain and wind. My son?...Mama!! Where have u been? Mama, I went to fetch water. "I know you went to fetch water..." she smiled like I couldn't even guess. She then motioned.."water indeed" looking at the pretty damsel she called... Uchechi!!! I was shocked how on earth did grandma know her name?
My daughter is that you? She raised her head upwards and uttered..."Yes, Mama"
I'm dazed, confused and....
My son bring her in, I took her straight in and set her on the wooden bed. A part of the hut has been opened by the wind perhaps and grandma had fetched and filled three bigger pots with the help of the rain. Before she could asked me anything, I explained all that happened to me and how I met the damsel.
She said she knew all that was going to happen as she has seen the signs of the fierce wind and heavy rain and that's why she sent her to tell me not to bother about fetching the water. Grandma then said that the girl was my wife to be....
I was shocked! Granny what! "Yes. My son..." she is your wife to be. She is the only surviving child of her parents the rich family of The Oparas, her parents had left a huge riches for her and her husband to be... I had nurtured her as my child, a secret I kept from you my son.
"Now see...", She tried demonstrating.....if you hadn't helped her, she would have been dead by now in the forest, if you hadn't forsaken my precious pot for her, she wouldn't have subjected herself to you totally. Saving her life was a thing she can never forget and will owe you for, for the rest of her life but taking the risk of getting her water to quench her thirst was a prove that she will die for you.
Grandma's words got the whole of me and I stood staring more at the beautiful damsel. We had not introduced ourselves or known each other and I keep wondering why I never met her all my life or why grandma had hid her from me but the minutes we've shared meant more than a thousand years of love affair that is irrevocable. I untied the piece of cloth I used around my wound.
I told grandma of it and she said "it's her meeting with you, that has made you not feel pained, if you had felt the pains of a wounded one; she wouldn't have been strong to help you with your wound. At the moment of your meeting her soul is being healed by you as you had mended and tended to her pains, so is your wounded part being mended and tended to as well...."
Then I exclaimed rather excitedly... "Oh I see...!!! What would have happened if I had ignored the voice or forsaken the irresistible beautiful looking damsel? So I thought as I lean on one side of the bed close to her.
"Kelechi" she called with such a sweet melodious voice, "grandma has told me a lot about you, I was hoping to meet you someday, I'm so glad you are my true hero...I will live knowing I'm all yours evermore.....I've almost slipped away from your reach(she meant almost died before anyone could get to her, I presumed...), thanks for coming to my rescue...." before she could continue any further I held firmly to her hands and said to her, "get well dearest beauty". She smiled and asked me not move an inch till she tells me to, I nodded in response to yes, as I turned grandma was busy smiling, her face glittering with such excitement and satisfaction and I bet she had a great feeling of wishing it were a time in her youthfulness that she had hoped she experienced what was before her eyes, the tale of "two love birds."