Hidden From The Wise And Prudent
Like it was bound to be, Tatu and Nnedi of the golden voices got engaged in the next festival season after they had advertised their infatuation for each other in the marketplace. After falling in love nowhere else but on the stage they cherish, they had soon become occupied with other responsibilities. As such they were busy on end seeing to the happiness of their townsfolk as opposed to their own. This had served to defer the honeymoon that would have followed had they legitimized the relationship immediately.
In what now amounted to a protracted courtship, they cavorted from stage to stage as if oblivious of the sanctity of their union. So much was this that the more prudent of their townsmen wondered out loud when they would make their first baby that was customary not to be deferred past the first market week lest misfortune supervened.
Luckily for them though, that year that they ended up consummating the marriage, the harvest was plentiful beyond compare. The locusts that used to come from Abame to eat up the foliage of their crops had not come for two seasons now. This had every one harvesting more than they had bargained for. Therefore, virtually every household could afford one fest or the other that harvest season.
As they sang compound in, compound out, the they took it as if it was not a chore. They had, indeed, perfected their act much following that fateful day that they saw love in each other’s eyes mid act. But unknown to them, the wedge of love lodged between their recent performances had each successive act sapping them; so much, that after each show they were hardly awake till two nights later.
This trend continued for a while; in fact, till one day it became clear to all that Nnedi was singing out of sync to her more usual character. Before then, none had ever had as much as a thing to complain about concerning her act ever.
“Why is she sounding so off key,” an aficionado of hers who only missed out on proposing to her because of the sudden engagement to sing at Okwuchukwu’s son’s marriage party many moons back.
“Perhaps she is tired,” a companion tried to explain.
“I have never heard her sing so bad-”
While he was still complaining Nnedi hit another bad key in a effort to camouflage the first. Flustered, he stopped singing mid song for a while before picking herself and voice up once more.
“This is serious,” the youth ever hopeful of fulfilling his heart’s wish continued. “She is sounding so flat; as if it’s not her but some nincompoop from the backwoods.”
“Won’t you let her be?” the companion counselled. “Are you sure what you actually have in mind is not blinding your judgement?”
That was the night she left the stage mid song, rushing backstage to throw her innards up. When she could not return for the continuation of the night’s revelry even the babes and suckling in the audience exchanged knowing glances. As if with their eyes, they put two and two together and got five instead of four.