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Monday, October 24, 2016

CINDERELLA
Episode 4
FINAL EPISODE.
I thought that I had seen all the evil modes of Agbana, but when they got home from the royal dance, I saw the mother of all evil. Agbana was super furious. I had ruined the only chance her daughters had to be useful in life. Etewe and Eketu cried their hearts out. Something inside of me felt sorry, but what the heck! I was really a bad ass at the royal dance. It was my moment of glory.
“What were you doing at the dance?” Agbana screamed while I was on my knees “I mean…that dress was hideous and you ruined everything! You broke protocols”
Eketu sniffed and said “mother… that dress was beautiful and she danced like she was born for the stage. I…was truly touched. Etewe pinched her
“ouch!”“Are you stupid? She just ruined our chances of being part of the royal family! She robbed us in front of the whole village. Born to dance! Rubbish!” Etewe said in the midst of tears.
“Shut up! You two should just keep quiet! You don’t know how I feel…I will kill this girl” Agbana shouted “what happened to the parcel and whose money did you steal to get that horrible costume” the more she said awful things about the dress, the more I knew that the dress was fabulous! I told her how my father’s business partner had showed up in front of the house. “Oh! He got beautiful Ama the hideous costume!” She said.
“Mother you are wasting precious time. The prince is probably looking for this thing!” Etewe said.
“How do you mean?’ Eketu asked “he is looking for her. He got her bracelet and will be visiting every house in the village in search of her. Any girl whose wrist fits the bracelet will be taken to the palace”
“Who told you this?” Agbana asked
“The pronouncement was made after you left the palace with Etewe” Eketu replied.
“She has small wrists…no girl in the village is as tiny as Ama” Etewe said.
“Lock her up in the old goats’ shed. She must not be found” Eketu said, her evil genes at work. Agbana loved the idea as there was a sparkle in her eyes when Eketu made the suggestion.
They grabbed me but I did not resist. The old goats’ shed was dark, cold and smelt terribly. I was locked to feel remorseful, but I didn’t, neither did I cry for help.
The prince and his entourage of royal guards stormed the houses of the maidens that partook in the dance and those that did not. In fact, they really searched for those that were not billed to dance at the palace.
Egodi had told the prince that I was not at the rehearsals and that she did not know me. On the third day of the search, after they had searched the village centre, the search was taken to the outskirts. The prince came knocking at my father’s house and he was welcomed by Agbana. Etewe and Eketu looked their best, but the prince had no time to waste. He knew that they did not look like the girl at the dance. They were chubby, but for formalities, his guards let them try the bracelets. It was too small for their wrists. Agbana tried to smooth talk the prince on his way out.
“My prince, everyone saw how well my daughters danced before the distraction. They were the lead chanters and Egodi can testify to their amazing talent. If this girl is not found, I think you should consider my girls”
Prince Ume shook his head “no…I don’t think that is possible…I mean your girls were good at the dance, but my bracelet girl was better…and apart from the dance itself…she was charming…very attractive and I felt a connection”. This was a big blow that made Agbana stagger a little. It was too bitter to swallow. “I should be on my way now” he said finally.
“Yes…you should” Agbana echoed.
The prince was about to leave when he stopped and said “your neighbors said you had three daughters but you showed me two”
Agbana laughed “three daughters? No, I have just two beautiful daughters. The third one must be my niece who visits whenever I send for her. Her mother is late and I do all I can to support her, you know, I am a good person. I hate seeing people suffer. She is not even an indigene of Aloka-uto”
“Was she at the dance?” the prince asked.
“No!”
“Okay. Thanks” the prince smiled and left with his entourage. Outside, my father was approaching the house. He was dazed at the sight of the royal entourage emerging from his house and thought that I had probably won the prince’s heart. His face glowed as he greeted the prince.
“My prince! May your path be eternally fruitful“ And yours too!” the prince replied.
“I’m so glad you made the right choice. Ama is a nice girl. Her figure? Thin right? She got it from her mother” my father said, he was never tired of talking about how lovely I looked and how I looked so much like my mother. He truly loved my mother even if he tried to deny it in font of Agbana.
The prince was taken aback. “I’m confused sir. Is this your house?” he asked.
“Yes my prince”
“You have a wife…and two…chubby daughters” the prince said.
“No. a wife and three daughters”
The prince looked at his guards. They turned around and made for the front door again. “What is going on?” my confused father asked. No one answered him, and then the guards banged the door hard.
“Who wants to break the door that his father cannot buy in a million years?” Agbana shouted from inside. She opened the door and froze instantly. “Sorry…my prince…I thought…Orji my husband…”
The prince told my father what Agbana had said when he asked if she had a third daughter. My father fumed and almost pounced on Agbana.
“Where is Ama?” he shouted. Etewe and Eketu who were behind Agbana, shivered for their mother.
“She is in the shed…” Eketu answered.
“What shed?”
“Follow me!” Eketu said and gestured to lead them to where I had been held captive.
“Seize her!’ the prince ordered his guards to arrest Agbana while he followed my father as Eketu led the way. Etewe took to her heels. I was released. I did not know which felt good. Being released, seeing my father or meeting prince Ume again? My father hugged me tight and I went into the bathroom to wash up. I cleaned up and ate a decent meal while the prince, my father as well as the guards waited in the parlor. I was ready for the final phase. As I stood in the middle of the parlor, prince Ume walked up to me. He brought out my beautiful bracelet and held my hand.
The bracelet was placed on my wrist and it fit at the first attempt. The prince went down on both knees and said “Ama…marry me”.
I looked at everyone gathered in my father’s house. My father was in a corner and he had a wide smile. I saw happiness in his eyes. Agbana’s hands were bound and she wept bitterly. Eketu smiled and clapped. I still don’t understand that girl. She whispered “say yes”.
I looked into the prince’s eyes. My prince. It was just like the first time, everything around us disappeared. My hand in his hands, I felt that warm sensation again. It was perfect.
I smiled and said “yes”.
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