*OMONIGHO*- part 1 series


In the stifling heat haze of the afternoon, a wizened old woman named Edith and her 14-year-old daughter Evelyn walk across the always busy Effurn market area. Her movement was hellishly slower than that of a poorly fed millipede but agility of youth marked the foot work of her daughter who looked like a hairless but beautiful monkey with a long narrow face, long chin and large eyes.
The septuagenarian and her teenage daughter whose giraffe-like neck was already bobbing and twisting around moved into the very big age-old ever busy noisy market.

Buyer: (talking to the owner of the store) Madam will it take you till the next world to package my stuff and give them to me?

Seller: (in a nice tone) Oga abeg no vex you know say customer boku well well today. E go reach you. 

2nd seller: (chanting repeatedly) buy your sweet paw- paw here!
Bus conductor: Agbaro! Agbaro! Agbaro!

Edith: (immediately sets out to work soliciting for alms from passers-by)  Oga, madam, brother, Sister, abeg make una give me money because of Almighty God wey dey for  heaven. 

Evelyn feels embarrassed and shy walking with her mother but she has no better choice since she's been catered for from the proceeds of her begging.

Ovo, who has come on a visit asks his friend Maro: " Maro, I feel so much pity on this poor stretched beggar and her daughter".

Maro : do you know that she and her daughter are the most dreaded, vilified and hated beggars in this our community? As a matter of fact, all sorts of unimaginable and unspeakable accusations are ascribed to her.

Ovo: (surprised) seriously? Why?

Maro: she was condemned to a life of destitution after being completely ostracized from her community. She is not unmindful of all the unspeakable remarks that are attributed to her but she bears her unintended misfortune with stoicism.

Ovo: hmm what a pity.

Maro: I learnt she was once happily married and enjoyed the bliss of matrimony until family squabbles destroyed her matrimonial home. She was once the wife of the last son of chief Onoriode until his sudden death which resulted in his family pointing accusing fingers on this poor and probably innocent woman.
She was taken to a famous witch doctor in the community and was compelled to take part in some prearranged rituals which according to them would cleanse the alleged evil spirit which they believed was in this her shriveled body.
She however, refused, knowing the ulterior motive her in-laws had. Then they said she was afraid of being caught and thus she was ostracized, along with her only daughter then only a few years old. She was drives away with nothing to her name.  this woman has really gone through a lot.

But wait, don't tell me we have been talking about this woman for the past half hour. You need to get a cab so you don't get home too late.

Ovo: so we have been gossiping like women instead of discussing business. Meanwhile, there's something about this woman and her daughter that strikes me. not to worry though, I'll come back tomorrow.

Maro: what for?

Ovo: (smiling his usual brief and queer smile) to continue from where we stopped of course.
Maro: about what?
Ovo: who else if not this woman.
Maro: (amazed) you mean the past half hour long gossip about this woman is still not enough?

Ovo: that woman's story touched my heart, I wish I could help her.

Maro: (in a sarcastic manner) good Samaritan! Well done Sir! Stop a cab and go home, your lovely wife must have her eyes on the road by now, you know you are not in the habit of keeping late nights.

Then they both have a warm handshake, after which Ovo takes a cab to the State owned park.

To be continued... 
marospen series 

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