Muna hurried along the bushy pathway home. She had woken up early to go to the stream and she couldn't think as to why her mother would be calling her home so soon. She stopped for a few seconds to steady the calabash filled with water on her head and continued to hurry home. Being in this village was beginning to wear her down.
Did the fact that she was African mean she would be destined to remain a no body? She wanted to go to the city and make something of herself. She knew her mother wanted her to get married and produce children but Muna had aspirations for herself. She wanted to get work and meet a nice man.
She rounded the bend to her home and spotted her friend from school. "Chidera!" she screamed for her friend to hear.Her scream startled the palm wine tapper not far off. He fell to the ground and Muna quickly dropped her calabash in an effort to help out. The palm wine tapper sharply picked himself up and his face was twisted into rage. "You stupid girl! Do you not know not to disturb us when we are working?" Muna apologized profusely and walked off, not walking with her head down like she was expected to but she walked with her pride intact. She finally approached her home and walked in. "Mama! I'm back!". She dropped the pot and walked towards the small living room they had.
Her home was small and not exactly a very elegant one but she didn't mind. It was neat and comfortable and there was food on the table every day so she was happy. She walked quietly into the living room and stopped short when she saw her sister Zimife, her mum and an unfamiliar person. "Muna nwam. Bia!" (Muna my child, come.)
Muna sashayed into the room and sat down taking in the stranger's looks. "Muna this are a man from the city. He wanting to take you to..beautiful.." Her mum's English was not good and Muna knew her mum was doing this to impress the guest. It was part of the reason why she wanted to make something of herself. Her mum never went to school and all they had was from her father's left over money and the little her mother earned from trading. No matter how much she loved her mum, she did not want to her life to be like that.
"My name is Mr.Ikechukwu, I am the director of the Island's minor beauty pageant. I have been looking for new girls to complete the list of twenty and I think you are just what we are looking for. Of course I understand if you would want to decline but I do think this would be a great opportunity for you. Take my card. If you are interested, give me a call." Muna eyed this man and frowned. She spoke through gritted teeth. "Sir, I am not interested thank-" before she could finish, her mum landed a hot slap on her cheek stunning Muna and the guest. "I bu onyara? Gwaya si I cho ya kita" (Are you mad? Tell him you want this now) Muna's eyes filled with tears. "Sorry mama but I have goals for my life and this is just not one of them". Excusing herself, she got up and ran down to the only comfort zone she knew.
She met her best friend Emeka down at the local shack where he met for drinks with friends and did a bit of betting. She walked down to where he was telling a joke and called his attention. He turned around and upon seeing her, without words he knew she was hurting and pulled her into a hug. "I heard. Zimife was quite excited and told me when I came by your house this morning." Muna weeped into his shoulder and he held her there. No words were needed. Right now, he knew his friend was hurt and he was going to comfort her with every bit of his being.