[STORY] A Father’s Choice; Episode 1
“Adaobi!” shouted Mazi Okwu.
“Yes, father, I will be with you shortly, let pack these plates”. Adaobi answered from their backyard.
Adaobi was a girl of eighteen years. Her mother, Mrs Uloma got married to Adaobi’s father Okwudiri popularly called Okwu at the age of fifteen. Uloma had an oblong face with tiny breasts. Uloma had thin thighs, her waist was broad with attractive buttocks. she was always cheerful and very respectful. She was the star in the village and most villagers admired her. Most young men hustled for her because she was not only beautiful but also well-mannered.
Uloma had rejected many hand in marriage some of who were wealthy. When the villagers learnt that Okwu had asked her to marry him, they laughed and wondered
“How can Uloma accept to marry Okwu and his poverty?”
Mr. Okwudili was poor but he was handsome. Though his lips were thick and his face roundish, he had the most perfect set of teeth and he was very tall and humorous. It was his sense of humour that had attracted Uloma. When Adaobi was born, everybody agreed that she was a carbon copy of Uloma.
As Adaobi grew up, it became certain that she looked very much like her late mother even more, for she was neither slim nor fat. But well built with her broad waist and long legs. Her beauty and charm always struck men.
One day, while she was coming back from the stream as one of her routine duties, she met Ikenna. What attracted Ikenna, was the way she was carrying a bucket on her head and a small jerry can on one hand. She struck to him as an industrious girl.
Ikenna, the son of Ude and Egodiya was elegant and always clean shaven. He was also well dressed when he was not on farm. His shoes were always dazzling that it was believed that he spent hours polishing them. He was dark in complexion and he was always smiling. He had just graduated from Obafemi Awolowo University as an Agriculturist. Instead of wasting time looking for white collar job he had considered it wise to practise what he had learnt from the University in his fathers farms, so he had humbly returned to the village. Everybody noticed the difference between their farm and those of others for he farmed with a touch of expertise. Not long after, other farmers began to consult him and by giving them advice he also earned his money.
Ikenna and Adaobi had been on a relationship. Though he was not very rich yet he was not poor and he was respected and appreciated. For many people saw it as a thing of courage for young man who was also graduate to settle for farming when he could have as well done well in the city. Adaobi fell in love with him but her father did not like the idea of his daughter getting married to someone in the village. When Adaobi told him that Ikenna was a good man and educated, he was asked whether it was books and good looks that he would eat.
Adaobi and Ikenna decided to take it easy with Adaobi’s father. Even when Ikenna’s parents came to ask for Adaobi’s hand in marriage, he had turned them down. It was in the process of this long unapproved courtship that Adaobi got pregnant for Ikenna.
“Were you here when I came back?” Adaobi’s father asked her immediately she walked into the sitting room.
“Yes, father, I was here,” She answered.
“Well, I called you because I heard that Mazi Udokamma’s son is back.”
“Who among of his sons?” Adaobi asked.
“Does he have two sons? Edochie of course!
The one that stays in Lagos? The one who is wealthy and hard working. I want you to go and see him before he goes back to Lagos.
“See him? Why?” Adaobi queried her father.
“Adaobi”, her father began. What I will tell you now may sound strange to you. But what an elder sees sitting down, a younger person can never see it even while standing up. I want to help you to secure your future and that of your siblings. I know that you are aware that most of your age mates are now in their husbands houses or do you still consider yourself a child? That is by the way, I want you to visit Edochie and make him fall in love with you and marry you. If you get married to somebody rich as Edochie then you will save us a whole problems and your younger ones will be trained in school. That is all my daughter.” Mazi Okwu said as a matter-of-fact.
“Ah-ah- papa! Have you forgotten that I am in love with Ikenna? That notwithstanding, how could you, papa, force me to cheapen myself to a man who probably does not know that I exist? How could you father? And to think of that, I promise Ikenna marriage,” Adaobi said with tears in her eyes.
“Who is Ikenna?