DECEPTION IS WRITTEN BY ISAACOLA A.A.THE WRITER IS @newnaija ON TWITTER AND BLOGS AT http://www.isaacolanewnaija.com
Read Episode 5 on http://bit.ly/QtWyNC
The first test was passed. Shehu was all smiles as he moved from one person to the other, shaking their hands as they took turns to congratulate him on the successful breaking of the hymen. Some of these men were the Emir’s advisers and respected men in the town. After hailing the older men as the town’s tradition demanded, he went on to meet his age mates who were also waiting to felicitate with him.
“Here comes the groom; the one who has successfully opened the door of fruitfulness”. One of Shehu’s friends said as he walked into a more open part of the palace grounds. Others were hailing jocularly amidst back slapping while he moved from one to the other, thanking them for their presence at the wedding celebration.
Shehu’s worries were in the distant past and he felt light headed as he celebrated his ‘manliness’ and Safiyat’s ‘purity’ with those who mattered. His mind strayed to his wife at intervals but he could not leave the young men with whom he was celebrating his new status as a full man. He was expected to stay with them till the last one left as the town’s culture abhorred married men mingling with single men. Although that aspect of their tradition was becoming obsolete, being the crown Prince meant he had to be very sensitive to the minor details.
No matter how long it took, he still had to formally present the new woman to the Emir for his personal blessings for the two of them. As Shehu was to spend time with the men, Safiyat was to be formally welcomed into the midst of the palace women, with more respect for her as the wife of the crown Prince and the future Queen of the Emirate.
She was enjoying the jibes and bantering but was not very comfortable as her conscience pricked her. She waited to no end for her husband to come and appreciate the women and then take her to the Emir from there but it seemed that was not on the cards.
After what seemed like eternity, she saw his personal servant approach and was happy. She knew her freedom from the stories of lost virginities and broken hymens had come but she dreaded meeting the Emir.
“What if he detects? What if he knows? What would be my fate? I know these old men are good at reading expressions. Shame will become my second name huh?”.
Safiyat was engrossed in different thoughts as Shehu approached. The women all stood as he got into their midst and chorused “Ina wuni maigida. Long may you live Prince”.
“Sannun ku. I appreciate you all for your role in our wedding and for welcoming my beautiful wife into the midst of you beautiful women. Nagode sosai”, he said in appreciation. Taking his wife by the hand, he led her to the place she dreaded most on the Palace grounds, the Emir’s Quarters.
As the duo advanced, each was lost in different thoughts. Shehu’s fears and worries that had vanished came back in full force while Safiyat’s thoughts were straying to and fro. Conscience was dealing with them both but they had to meet the Emir for the needful to be done.It was tradition, and had to be done.
“Who do I disclose all these too? They are too weighty and are of dire consequences if it gets to the hearing of the wrong person. I can’t also keep it to myself. Hmmmm! I must speak it to someone”
That was one of the Palace guards who was privy to the discussions between Shehu and Safiyat the previous evening. Shehu’s personal guard and servant who were meant to be at the door were on other assignments. The servant was not actually needed but the guard had no reason to be away from his duty post.
Nature however called and he had to go obey the call. It was needed for him to put someone at the door post to relieve him while he went away quickly. He had overfed on the various delicacies that were served at the wedding gala and was having a running battle with diarrhea. Assuming there was no need for emergency, he stationed one of the junior guards while he stole away to do what was needed.
It was a privilege for guard to be at the door and his perverse mind was at alert. He tried peeping to no avail but put his ears on the ground for the moans and grunts that he expected to come from the couple. He however heard words and a bit of argument. That made him strain his ears a bit more and the important bits and pieces of the discussions got to his hearing. He was shell shocked at the revelation.
“So the Prince cannot perform despite his good looks ehn? And to think different beautiful girls in the Emirate are dying for his attention”.
Shehu’s sterility was of more importance to him than every other thing he heard. He could not piece whatever it was that he heard about virginity together. The impotence was of more importance to him.
“Chai! Safiyat is so unlucky. A beautiful girl like that having no choice but to live with something like that for the rest of her life ehn! So we will not actually see what their children will look like. What a wicked world. Royalty can’t even bail them out”.
He stood there in his thoughts till Shehu’s guard returned and he was dismissed.
As night fell and all guards who were not on the late shift retired, the Emir’s chief guard, his most trusted, saw two of the guards seated and discussing. A thorough bred, his father was one of the Emir’s most trusted before death came calling. One of his duties was to know every detail of happenings on the Palace grounds and he had his ‘ears’ planted among all the categories of people on the grounds from cleaner to cook, from the least ranking person to the blue bloods. So was his influence and the trust reposed in him.
The next morning, details of the two guards’ nocturnal discussion came to his notice and he knew he had to alert the Emir immediately.
“Long may you live Your Imperial Majesty. I have information of most classified nature to feed you with my lord”, he said as he stooped to show his total submission.
“Please speak Audu. I have a meeting with the new couple and some elders on the hour. I shall meet them to discuss matrimonial bliss after yesterday’s blessings. After that, the issue of the new school is to be discussed with the elders”, the Emir replied.
He was obviously in high spirits as a result of Shehu’s wedding and the general good way things were working in the Konduga Emirate and his personal life in the past few years. Audu saw the happiness on the Emir’s face and thought of how to break the news without the whole matter get him in trouble.
“My Lord, I’m afraid it is no pleasant news. I request that I be left alone with you as I discuss this”.
The Emir’s nose twitched, a reaction that had come to be associated with him when there is a swift change in his mood. Waving his hand, the lower ranking guards moved out of the private chamber of the Emir.
“Your Highness. I overheard two guards discussing something about the Prince last night”, Audu said without looking up.
The Emir readjusted his sitting posture and looked at his guard. Trying to be calm but obviously anxious, angry and a bit confused, he found his voice.
“Make sure no one is close by and speak this very minute”.
Audu looked at the outer part of the Emir’s part, instructed the guards to prevent anyone from coming in and broke the news of Audu’s suspected infertility to the Emir.
“That is what I heard my Lord. It requires your urgent action as you know what the young ones nowadays can do. You also know my Lord, that bringing a bastard into the Palace might be very disastrous. I am sorry to soil your good spirits Your Highness”.
“Nagode Audu. I shall swing into action to determine the truthfulness or otherwise of this claim. If found to be false and baseless, the two guards who were discussing shall die by the sword. I do not joke with matters concerning the Crown Prince”, the Emir said and walked out.