Story: A Girl Like Amanda.. Episode 1
NOTE: This is entirely a work of fiction, the place and people mentioned is purely coincidental.
Written By Jake Sam.
Chimamanda “Amanda” Uzoma, a native of Amanuke community in Anambra state, drove into a compound in her toyota fortuner, she parked the car at the middle of the compound seconds after she drove in. She came down and looked around the houses, this was her father’s compound which was left for her after his death, she knew no one would recognize her since it has been almost two decades she stepped foot in the village since her mother took her to the big city when she was five years old after her father died in an accident leaving only a farm land and the compound for her and her mother.
Now a twenty two years old city girl with high class in the society, she wanted to get away from the city at the moment, it was hard to trace back her father’s house but with the little details she remembered helped in tracking down the compound.
Looking now at the compound she noticed it was different unlike the way it was seventeen years ago.
But to her amazement, the compound was quiet, like there was no children or a soul in it, she took a glance at her wrist watch, it was some few minutes past twelve. She looked around once more and noticed there are five buildings in the compound.
Four building was unlocked as the hallway is clear, she saw some slippers in front of the rooms inside the hallway, the middle building however was locked, it’s a duplex which had old green paints and when she got closer, she noticed the padlock that was used to bolt the door was old and rusty.
She walked to the car, opened the driver’s door and honked the car. The noise blared round the compound seconds later, she waited for some one to show up but when no one did, she horned again this time a little bit longer.
“Bia, onye na-eme mkpotu Ali na-akpaghasi ogige adi juu? (Come, who is making that noise, disturbing this quiet compound?) An old woman voice is heard coming out from the previous hallway startling Amanda.
Though she wasn’t fluent in speaking her dialect but she hears it very much.
“Nne nne, am sorry for causing the noise.” She apologized immediately seeing the old woman.
“Onye ka ì bu? (Who are you?)” The old woman asked seeing the beautiful young lady in front of her. “Look mara onye ì ma. (You look familiar.)
“Mama, my name is Chimamanda Uzoma, the daughter of Ameachi Uzoma. I was taken away by my mother nineteen years ago after my father died.” She explained.
“Onyenwe m! O gaghi ekwe omume (Oh my lord! It can’t be)” The old woman shouted as she looked at Amanda doubting if she was saying the truth as she sat down on the bench that was outside the hallway.
“Come here my daughter, you know it has been long and it’s not like am trying to say you are lying but please tell me something that only my grand daughter would know.” The old woman said in English surprising Amanda but was more surprised when she asked the question.
Nevertheless she was going to prove herself. She kept quiet for a minute, trying to remember anything from her childhood memories, with the woman looking at her suspiciously.
Suddenly, a date cross her mind, the day she told herself when she was five years old that she was not going to forget.
Then she said “19th of September 1998, the day my father died. I was with my grandmother when some group of village boys came into the compound and informed us that my dad died in a drastic car accident, I remember crying at the top of my lungs when I heard the news but my grandmother held me to her bosom and said to me ‘Chimamanda, my precious jewel. I am here with you and I will always be here for you.’ there and then I looked at her face and saw she was weeping so I dried my tears with my cloth and hugged her.
When Amanda had narrated the event to the old woman, she noticed she was crying and when she squat down, the woman hugged her and said “Your back my granddaughter, I thought I won’t see you before I leave this evil world again but I am grateful to God in heaven in making me to be alive to see your beautiful face once more.
She disengaged from the hug and smile at Amanda, you look so much like your mother now.
At the mention of her mother, Amanda’s countenance changed, granny seeing it asked about her mother but Amanda was able to shift the topic.
“Mama, are you alone in this compound?.” She asked.
“No my jewel, all the kids are in school apart from Ositadinma and Soludo who are watching cartoon in the room,” mama said as she pointed to the room where a noise is heard.
She nodded and stood up, mama where’s my father’s house, am so tired I need to rest.
“Look at it there,” mama pointed to the house and Amanda seeing it was the one with a rusty padlock. “It hasn’t been swept for over a year now so my dear, you will have to stay with me me for the mean time, when the children are back from school later today, they will assist you in the room.
“Thank you very much mama.” She nodded happily. “But mama, my loads are still in the car, let me get them.
“No need for that my jewel, I told you before that my grand children are in, let me just call them for you. Osita! Soludo!” Mama shouted their names which amazed Amanda, she was close to her seventies yet she is able to shout like a little boy.
Two boys came out from the room and seeing Amanda, exchanged looks. Ositadinma was the older one, he was 15 years old while Soludo was 6 years old.
“Granny, i kpọrọ. (Granny, you called.)” Osita responded.
“Yes my son, this is your aunty, Chimamanda. She is from the city. Please assist her with her load to my room.” Mama said to both of them.
Soludo who was staring at her, ran to her immediately and hugged her.
She however was surprised at the soft touch of the little boy round her leg, she lifted him up.
“How old are you my little friend?”
“Am eight going to nine.” He responds smiling at her.
“Aunty, it’s a lie oo, he is just five.” Osita said and soludo frowned and looked at Osita angrily.
“Biko, ị bụ onye mụrụ m? Ma ọ bụ na ị chọrọ imenye m ihere n’ihu ọmarịcha ihe ịtụnanya. (Please, are you the one that gave birth to me? Or you just want to disgrace me in front of beautiful aunties.)” Soludo asked him and this made Amanda and granny to laugh.
Osita didn’t say anything else as he walked up to her. “Aunty where is your things.
“They are in the car,” she said as she pointed to the car.
Soludo hearing Osita asking about her things, came down from her and followed behind him.
She followed as well as the trio offload her stuff she came with.
Twenty minutes later, they were done.
She thanked them and brought four thousand naira notes and handed them to Osita, but he refused, seeing that Osita was hesitating took the money from her.
“Lee anya gị, na-ekwu na ị bụ nnukwu nwa nwoke ma ị ga-arịọrịrị m bisiki. (Look at you, claiming big boy but after you will beg me for my biscuits.) He said as he dashed into the house. Osita looking at him then nod his head.
“Osita, don’t mind his mouth you hear. Your a big boy.” She said trying to subdue her laugh.
She was obviously surprise that a five years old boy would talk too much.
Osita nodded and dashed into the room they came out from.
“Mama, thank you again.” She said to mama.
“My daughter, why are you thanking me? I am your father’s mother, your grandmother so don’t thank me.”
She nodded, went into the room she is temporary sharing with mama, then came out with a polythene bag, she squat down and gave them to mama.
Mama took it and looked at the content and saw a new wrapper inside.
“My jewel thank you again.” Mama said happily.
She soon stood up “am going inside to rest this my weak old bones,” she announced.
Amanda joined her as they both soon slept off.
Read Next: Story: A Girl Like Amanda.. Episode 2