In Ignorant Bliss

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Border Crossings

Time was when marriage from across the four corners of Hometown was unheard of in the land. Even to the most distant present, marriages between a man from Hometown and a foreign woman and vice versa could still be counted on the fingers of a hand. Then Nwankwo the hard-of-hearing perhaps because he had been rejected on end by the eligible spinsters of the soil ventured to Akankwu of all places. Since then the floodgates had been thrown open to damsels from sort of places; and with it the betrothal of their daughters to outsiders.

Initially, perhaps because of Nwankwo’s predicament, it had been a thing of ridicule. Like when a rather effervescent young man married a daughter of a distant land and she had arrived with their local goddess .

“Don’t you know that son of Okereke?”

“Which Okereke again?”

“Do we have two Okereke’s in this land?”

“In this Northern Kingdom of mine?”

“Where else do you suppose? The one living by the path leading to Nwakaibeya’s house; close to where Njokaiza and Mbakogu used to burn offerings to their foreign gods.”

“Damn me! That one that married that midget from Abanubi in spite of being one of the better built young men of the land?”

“I wonder whether you fell from the skies.”

“It’s just a case of knowing one and not knowing his name. What about him?”

“Haven’t you heard? His son has followed his father’s track.”

“Followed his father’s track how?”

“I heard the young man has found a wife from as far away as Igwenga.”

“Where no human foot has ever been emblazoned? That’s impossible.”

“But it is not about to happen; it has.”

“When did this come to pass?”

"Many moons past, I hear; but only I hear it is not well consummated yet."

"When is it due?"

“The moon after next.”

“Why so soon?”

“It is said that they do not have scruples, that marriage is concocted at sight. That once a man of the strongest birth crosses glances with a girl of whom it could be said that ‘she threw him hard on the bed’ in local parlance their marriage is as well as concluded.”

“So why the scheduling in this one?”

“The young man who you know is most apparently 'born hard' could not muster the brazenness. He wanted to come home with the announcement first. The time lapse is the time it will take him to and fro the place.”

"We shall see."

"What's my bother with porridge bereft of water. "

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