Getting close, the figure became clearer; it was a female. The beam of moon light shone through the branches and pointed directly on parts of her face, shoulder and breasts.
She smiled, moving her left palm up and down the Ukim, rubbing it as if romancing a man. A strange cold breeze enveloped me, and my temperature rose as my heart pounced faster.
Ekaette was about the most beautiful young girl in our village. We grew up in the same neighbourhood, though she was far younger than me. My grandmother referred to her as anwaan anyin (daughter in-law) right from birth, with future intention. Her grandmother too was a party to the ‘future conspiracy’ and would always send Ekaette on errands to our house. It was a plan to get us acquainted, and ready for the future.
Countless times, I’d helped rebuild her grandmother’s hut, fetched firewood for her mother and helped them in the farm. I did all of these to impress Ekaette. We both lost our fathers to communal war between our village and Ubium, over the burial of an Obongawan (Queen) in our community who was married from Ubium. They insisted that the Obongawan be interred in ther land while our Edidem forbade such.
War ensued and ended with our community having to pay heavily to Ubium, before taking the corpse for burial. We were told our fathers were overpowered and beheaded, after the duo killed the then Ubium’s only prince and Obong Ekpo (leader or chief of Ekpo cult).
Here at the foot of the great Ukim stood the previously young naive daughter of the late warrior and slayer of Ubium’s prince. Now, she was a full-grown woman with smooth skin, slightly fair with cat eyes that spoke of humility, innocence and pure beauty. Her eyes could melt the heart and hand of a warrior and get him to beg for a touch.
Her lips naturally red and inviting, especially while smiling, plus she had dimples to cap her facial beauty. A little below her neck (upper chest) was a tattooed insignia of nsibidi Ekpe (the secret/coded writing of Ekpe cult), which reminded her and her family that she was born on the night her father was initiated; hers was an insignia of love.
Her breasts stood pointy as she was young and fertile, having a slightly reddish nipples which was rare among young girls. She had beads on her waist and a piece of animal skin wrapped to cover her big rounded buttocks and private part, exposing her large hips down to her legs.
If Atakpo (our deity) was watching us at the foot of this Ukim, he’d better close his eyes and give us privacy, I foolishly thought to myself. Ekaette’s soft grip felt like a sharp stroke running through my spine to my feet. Her breasts pressed on my bare chest as she placed her head on my shoulder, rubbing one hand on my hairy chest. Even the gods could feel the gravity of ‘highness’ I was on that sacred ground.
…and not even the mosquitoes biting me there could have stopped me at that moment. I was determined…
To be continued…