For every man is made and allowed to thrive for a purpose, it is why they are sons of the earth. It was a frustrating fate deemed for him. The festivities would begin but before that came the initiation rites. The passage into manhood. Obika could only watch from afar, looking at the hut and its dark insides as the men went inside. To stay for a full week being prepared for manhood. It was the norm of their society but he could not partake in it. Sitting in front of his hut, he could remember what the chief priest had said; he was cursed from birth to have a defect, a real man cannot have a stunted arm he said. So his fate had been decided from birth to be a farmer, planter of trees, to have no glory in war. He cannot claim to have killed any man and he could see the sneer on their faces whenever he passed them on the road to his farm. He was rich but there was just some things money cannot buy.
Ezinne was the wife who had been cursed by her whole community. Forgoing her community and its boundaries for the man she loved. She never liked the whole idea of war over pieces of land thought to have been handed down by ancestors of the community she never knew. She didn’t live there but with her mother in another village, it was custom the daughter to marry from her father’s village when she came of age. She could remember when she first saw him. She had gotten lost and had wandered beyond the border of their village. His farm was directly after it and he said he had been given that piece of land not because it was priceless or held anything spectacular but because he would be the first to be attacked if the other village came to raid them. She saw him working on his farm with his one hand and wondered how with just one hand he was able to grow so much crops. She admired that diligence in him and knew that if she loved him, he would love her with that diligence too. That was when he saw her and told her to run away telling her what direction to go. He could have ratted her out to the villagers and they would take her as a bounty of war. She would come countless times to see him work on his farm and from there they loved each other. Loving him took more than it gave but she had more than it would take. Her family objected to it and the village followed suit. Her father a prominent chief disowned her and her village cursed her.
The men had just come back from war and they came with slaves from the other village. In their celebratory mood one of the captured had gotten loose and he tried to escape from the village and the oncoming villagers who would not think twice about ending his life. Running to the only house in the village that he stood a chance of survival, he went to Obika’s house. The mob followed him there and asked that Obika and his wife bring out the prisoner of war in good faith. That night, their value for human life was tested as they were ordered to kill the prisoner in exchange for acceptance into society.
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