THE VILLAGE GARDENER
AT HOME.i gave my grand mother what she sent me to buy.and i gave her the remaining balance.she thank me and asked me to make small soup for us.(i don’t have any sister nor brother to help me.i was living alone with my grand mother.so what did you expect.)i checked the time and it was 3pm already.(i still have three hours left.i said to myself)i went to the kitchen.and before i could spell my name.the ukazi soup was done.i am a very good cook of course.so don’t try me.i made some eba.i and my grand mother ate together.after eaten i check the time.and it was 5pm already.(it’s almost time)i took my bath.wore my best jean trouser and a T shrt.it was 5.30 already.then i made to go.when my old woman called me back.i went to answer her.
G.MAMA.tobem.this one you dress like this.were are you going na.am sure you havn’t travled to the city before.so were are you going?.(see insult.i don’t have anybody that will take me to the city.that why i havn’t been there.)
ME.i am not going any were.i just want to see my friend uche.am coming.
G.MAMA.i want us to discuse something important.
ME.(not now.this woman should pack well first).Mama ukwuu.if i come back we will discuse the matter na.
G.MAMA.please my son.i might die before you come back.it won’t waste much of your time.inugo nwam.
ME.(i sat close to her with a straight face.you want to spoil my date with my Tochi this evening.it won’t work for you.mitchew)okay.go ahead mama.
G.MAMA.my son.you know am geting older each passing day.your parent died and left nothing for me except you.we have been together for the pass 15 years since you lost your parents in motor accident.
ME.mama.i know that i lost my parents 15 years ago.but i don’t understand why you are bringing the topic now.
G.MAMA.my son.what i am trying to say is.you are 25 years old now.why don’t you get married and give me grand children before i will join my ancestors.eeeh.nwam biko.we have many beautiful girls in this our village that will like to settle down with you.if you want.i can even bring one for you.
ME.mama.you have spoken well and i have heard you.don’t worry.very soon i will get married.and you are not going to die yet.you known.you are the only one i have now.you will soon carry your grand children.ooh.
G.MAMA.okay.if you say so. i even have one girl for you.
ME.(suprised)who is that mama.
G.MAMA.(smiling)uzoma.the daughter of mazi okoro.
ME.(God forbid.that village parrot.that don’t even know how to speak english.not me.)haah.mama no o.i disagree with you.i can’t marry that girl na.
G.MAMA.uzoma is a very good girl.and again she is hard working.am sure she will make a very good wife for you.
ME.mama see.i know that uzoma is a good girl.but i can’t marry her.
G.MAMA.hmmm.okay o.i won’t force you to marry who your heart don’t accept.but did you have anybody in mine?.
G.MAMA.who is she.my son.
ME.(my tochi)don’t worry mama.you will soon know her.
G.MAMA.okay.all i know is.you should marry an give me grand children.
ME.ok mama. Check the time.and it was already 6.15pm.chai!am late o.with full speed i left my grand mother.to ukwu mango.tochi must be waiting for me by now.from our house to ukwu mango is just 20minutes journey.i got to the venue panting.i looked around and saw Tochi siting alone backing me.i went closer to were she was sitting and held her left hand from behinde.she shouted in fear and wanted to run away.but i held her hand very tight.she turn around forcefuly.and faced me.
ME.tochi.is me tobe.don’t be afraid.
TOCHI.so you want me to get H.B.P.abi.(she hit me at my chest playful).
ME.no na.my baby can’t get h.b.p..
TOCHI.am not your baby o.i am 23 years now.so am not tataa(baby)again.i don dey wait for you since morning here.and you just dey come now.
ME.(since morning kwa)sorry dear.i was helping my grand mother in the kitchen thats why.
TOCHI.so you fit cook.
ME.yes na.more than you self.
TOCHI.na lie.you no fit cook pass me.can you cook ofe uziza and ugbogoro.
ME.i can cook uziza.but ugbogoro is very hard.i can’t cook that one.
TOCHI.i can cook uziza.ugbogoro.ugu.egusi.ukazi.all of them.
ME.wow.you are trying o.that means if i marry you.you will be cooking them for me.(i said smiling).
TOCHI.hmmm.ibia kwa.(you have come again).
ME.so tobaby.what do you have to say on what i told you.
TOCHI.okay.i don hear.i go be your girlfriend.(she said shyly.)i was very happy to hear that from her.very soon i will get marry to her i move closer to her and hugged her.
ME.my tobaby.am very happy to hear that.you won’t regret it okay.
ME.very soon.i will get marry to you.then we will leave together as husband and wife.
TOCHI.you want to marry me.(she said in a suprise tone).
ME.yes na.i will marry you.are you not happy.
TOCHI.i happy o.you go first come see my papa and mama na.
ME.yes.i will work harder.so that i will get the money to pay your bride prize.
ME.don’t worry.just watch and see.you hear.
TOCHI.i don hear.i fit help you.if you want.