Queen Ucheoma 1 year ago


Olaedo's beauty shone. She was ebony in complexion and had a pointed nose and a smallish pink coloured pair of lips. She had big eyeballs with lashes naturally long and beautiful. She was slender and tall, she was a beauty queen.

She had won the annual Miss Awkunanaw contest for three years in a row. And much more than that, she had won the hearts of men who mattered in society. The prince of the community, Prince Obinna Egbo had a huge crush on her even though she was from a very poor home; her father was an irresponsible drunkard while her mother sold okpa to train her and her three younger brothers.  

Olaedo's beauty was her family's saving grace. It was from the money she won in the contests that her brothers schooled. It was her fame that made her poor mother worthy of recognition in the community. It was her beauty that made men buy her father more bottles of beer to drink himself to a stupor. It was her beauty that made a handsome prince with a Masters's degree stoop so low as to abandon his car on the roadside and follow her home on foot to get her attention.

Yes, prince Obinna did that, and more yet, Olaedo barely noticed him. She was in love with a poor ugly freckled albino. His name was Uzochukwu, and he lived close to her parents' house. Their friendship began when he rescued her from a group of boys who waylaid her with the intention of stealing or doing worse things to her. He caught them just in time and shouted at them to lay off or risk being reported to the king. They walked away in disappointment, and he walked her home. She was so grateful, the next day she brought cooked food to him in his house. He was so funny and interesting that she fell head over heels for him.

Every night they sat on the pavement in the compound and talked about everything. She told him about her aspirations to become an international model, and he encouraged her. He held her face lovingly and said to her, "Ola, I may not have money to support you now, but I promise you, one day you will become famous and wealthy, and I will be your husband." Those words were her motivation. One night she visited him with a faraway look in her eyes. They sat together outside and talked as usual, but she was moody. He tried to find out, but all to no avail. Suddenly, she put her head on his shoulder and asked in a whisper, "Are your parents in?" "No," he replied.

"Let's go inside. It's cold out here", she suggested. He stood up and helped her up; then, they went into the one-bedroom apartment he shared with his parents. He was an only child. She sat down on his bed and drew him close; "Uzo," she called. "My love" "I want to be with you forever. I don't ever want to be with another man. All these men want me because of my beauty, but your love for me is unconditional. You've never asked me for anything; instead, you've been giving me anything I ask for, despite the fact that you have very little. You are a good man, and you deserve everything." With these words, she began to take off her dress. "What are you doing?" he asked in alarm. "Shhh," she hushed him. She flung the dress into a corner and stood up. She held him and took off his T-shirt."Do we really have to do this now?. We should wait until we marry", he protested. "You cannot tell what tomorrow holds. Even if we never see each other again, hold on to this and always remember me" she kissed his lips passionately. He succumbed.

Much later that night, he escorted her home. His heart was filled with so much happiness that he whistled merrily on the way. She laughed. "I am the happiest man on the earth. You have made me a hero. So I am the first man to taste your sweet apple?" he could hardly believe himself. "You deserve it. I'll rather you have it than any other man", she replied. "My love, let me promise you one thing. I will withdraw all the money I have been saving; I'll come and see your people tomorrow. I want to make you my wife", he said. Suddenly she grew moody again. "What is it, my love? "he asked, wondering if he had said anything wrong. She suddenly halted and turned to face him. She held his hands. "Uzo. You know I love you" "Yes, I know" "You know I'll rather spend the rest of my life with you than with any other man" "Yes, I know."

"But fate is against us. My father has developed a liver challenges, and we need money to take him to a good hospital. The prince offers to pay the bills if I marry him, and my mother insists that I do. I don't want my father to die; my mother will never forgive me if that happens. Please forgive me, my love. I allowed you to pluck my flower tonight because you deserve it. I want you to always cherish that moment we shared. I will never stop loving you, Uzo. Please move on with your life; he is coming with his people tomorrow for the introduction ceremony", she explained. 

Uzochukwu felt his head grow lighter and then expand all in one minute. His heart jumped into his stomach. He was dumbfounded. He began to cry and beg her not to leave him. He held her hands, but she shrugged him off.

"Uzo, please understand me. I love you, but I cannot let my father die", she said. She, too, was sobbing softly. "If you leave me, I will die," he swore. "Be reasonable," she cautioned. With that, she pulled away from him and walked away, leaving him standing there alone. He felt his head expand, and he staggered. "Olaedo... Olaedo", he shouted, but there was no reply. "I can't possibly live without her," he said to himself. "It's better I die," he murmured. He turned around and hurried home. He would rather go home and stab himself than live to bear the pain of watching another man take away his pearl because of money. 

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