My daughter was my greatest gift and she brings me great joy.
I wish father was here to meet his grand daughter.
I wish more Ukadike had witnessed the birth of his daughter, I wish for many things right now but all I can do is just to hope.
Hope does not disappoint.
They asked me what I will like to name my baby, I have not being able to come up with a baby's girl name, I didn't even know what the gender of the baby will be until the elderly woman told me so.
And even after then I have no idea what I will name my daughter
But looking at her now and smiling down at her as she feed in my arms, it makes me conclude that she is the best thing that have ever happened to me and with this realisation I decided to call her Ifeoma which means good thing, wonderful and amazing being.
That is what my daughter is to me and many other things I can't describe with word
Njideka was indeed a mother, she took care of me, massaged me with hot water. the yam pepper soup she prepares for me was always filled with dry fish.
She gave me the best omugwo that a caring mother will give to her daughter.
I wouldn't have gotten the best treat back home because there was no motherly figure.
My step mother wouldn't have even gotten close.
A hired mid wife would not have given me the treat that Njideka gave me.
I owe her everything, her kindness is so natural and exceptional.
Days turned into weeks then it becomes a month, and five months was gone.
Nnamdi traveled after I gave birth and later returned after five months.
He has a trade in the city which he manages but comes home to check on his mother and sibling.
Njideka backed Ifeoma and stroll out, it enables me to wash up the baby things and before they came back I was done making evening food which Njideka wanted to prepare by herself.
She doesn't allow me to do much work but I still force myself to do some of the things.
After feeding Ifeoma and putting her to sleep, I was preparing for the night when I heard a knock.
I asked the person to come inside the room. I thought is probably a visitor.
Nnamdi stepped in, he had something in his hand.
“Biko, ewela iwe na abiaram iye gi nsogbu (please, don't be angry that I came to disturb you) I know we have not being close or sit to talk and it was after you gave birth to Ifeoma I traveled back to avoid the villagers stopping me on the road and congratulating me for the birth of my daughter and all I have to do was to thank them, wear a fake smile and accept all the good greetings… pretending is not in my nature but yet I needed to do so for the sake of my mother who said I have to play along because it means everything to her… you really got my mother's love and I can't beat that… she is naturally a nice person and if she likes someone she goes out of her way to please the person…so I needed to do what i have to do for her sake, accepting you and pretending as if you and your daughter are mine…it wasn't doable for me in the beginning, I refused to accept it but I later did… and I'm sorry if I have treated you like a stranger all this while…my attitude was really unacceptable but you never acted indifference to me…I just have to accept the fact that you are part of the family now and treat you like you should be treated…I bought something for you and baby Ifeoma… she looks so much like you… here, take it and I hope you will like it…
I was filled with smile as I listened to him talk, I hugged him and muttered a silent thank you to him.
He nodded before walking over to the bed where Ifeoma was sleeping in.
He gently touched her tiny feet and while still staring down at the baby he said.
“I wish she is truly mine… and pretending to be a father to such a beautiful baby is a privilege, a blessing in disguise as I look forward to truly having my own family someday…
He walked back to me and said
“Obianauju, there will always be a home here for you… and we are blessed to call you a family… mother couldn't tell me much about Ifeoma's father… she said it was a complicated relationship and you had no choice than to run away from your village…can you tell me about the man who got you pregnant… feel free with me and if you don't want to talk about it then is alright…
I looked up at him and he stood head taller than me, his eyes shone so bright in the night and with the Oil lamp burning in one corner of the room.
“My baby's father is a good man with a kind heart, i loved him with my whole being but something happened and our relationship was complicated so I needed to run away because it was the best option at that moment…if I hadn't taking the decision to run things would have gotten out of hand… the kingdom would have being in disarray…is being over a year now since I left… I miss him greatly and my father who was all that I had back in the village…hmmm…it saddens me sometimes when I think of them but I have hope of seeing them again…but till then I Just have to keep thanking your mother for accepting me as her own…I don't know what I would have done without her… she is one of my biggest blessings… Thank you too Nnamdi for finally accepting me into the family… now I can smile deep within without any pang of fear…
“Fear, where you afraid of me…
“Yes, I was at a certain time I thought you dislike me and with the pressure your mother put you into to accept a total stranger in your home and also pretend to be a husband to her…hmmm…not many people will stand for that… many young men will bluntly refuse but you agreed to do your mother's bidding and I'm really grateful… thank you and also for the gifts, you have a kind heart like your mother.
He bid me good night and left.
I quickly check what he brought and it was some baby girl's wear with a hand weaved Shaw to back the baby and to cover her up when there's cold. Then there was two different star wrapper for me
I was over whelmed with joy.
I showed Njideka what Nnamdi got for me and Ifeoma and she said he showed her first before bringing it to me.
Nnamdi wanted his mother to bring the items to me but Njideka refused and urged him to do it by himself and that was how he brought it.
I allowed Njideka to hold the baby while I visited the old woman, whom I have not seen for a while.
She was sitting as if she has being expecting me
She was filled with smile as I stepped in and sat with her.
I told her the reason why I haven't come around for a very long time.
She said she knows and asked how the baby was doing and I told her everything including the things Nnamdi, Njideka's son bought for me.
I told her how much I missed home and she said time is ticking so fast and time will come when I will return to my people but she said is not so soon.
She said my first seed could have being a boy if Ukadike has paid my bride price.
And I shouldn't worry the land will fall into place for my good, I will return home to my people and become what I was destined to be.
I asked her if she cooked anything and she said no, she hardly cook
I asked her what she has being eating all this while and she replied that she eats anything eatable
But she is not really into food except I comes around to cook for her.
We talked a little longer before I decided to leave.
Before I walked out of her compound she said that within a little time Ukadike will see me.
He was in another village but will return soon because something bigger than him is drawing in back here.
An unseen force will bring him close to me and within that period I will run into him
But I shouldn't be afraid because I can't run away from my destiny.
whatever I'm destined to be that is what I will become, no man can stop or change it.
The eyes of the gods are watching over me at all times because I'm a special child and Ifeoma, my daughter takes after my strength and ability.
I returned home and Njideka was cooking.
I greeted her she asked me if i will like to eat oziza soup with fufu because that's what she was making or will I like to eat agidi (local beans)
I told her I will like oziza soup with fufu she began to laugh at the way I said it.
She was not with the baby so I asked her if Ifeoma was asleep or with Chioma and she said that Ifeoma was with Nnamdi who has being playing with her ever since she started cooking.
I thanked her and went to meet Nnamdi.
I can hear his voice singing to the baby and Ifeoma was sitting and giggling loudly.
I joined the fun and Nnamdi seen so happy to hold little Ifeoma.
I later left them to join Njideka in the kitchen as she asked me how the old woman I went to see was doing.
She wish to meet this nice elderly woman someday because she doesn't know who exactly she was or heard of her before.
After the night food, I cleaned Ifeoma who was already asleep in Nnamdi's arm.
I took her in and lay her to sleep.
Everyday I thank God for all his blessing.
I smile as I remember Nnamdi playing with Ifeoma
The smile on there faces was too beautiful to behold.
and as I lay in my bed that night, I begin to ponder over what the elderly woman said to me.
I did not know when i slept off with a smile on my face.