BY DOROTHY BUDU-ARTHUR
“2 rams?” Kuuku repeated as he wondered at who was willing to offer that for Sama. Livestock were very expensive in the vicinity, the reason why Kuuku, as well as all the people who had gathered at the market square were surprised.
“2 rams?” Kuuku said again in bewildment as a good looking young man came forward.
“Yes! I will give you 2 fattened sheep to have this girl for one night.”
“Bring the rams!” Kuuku said. And the young man brought forward 2 fattened sheep to Kuuku.
“Ohh! What I like! Well-fattened! Very well! 2 sheep for one night! Take her with you!” Kuuku said to this young man whose name he didn’t even know.
He then left with the two sheep feeling like he had just won a jackpot, as the rest of the men dispersed. They definitely could not have challenged the young man’s offer in the bargain!
Kuuku however thought of selling off one at an expensive amount in the next village so he can get some money from that.
This stranger who happened to be shepherd however had been in the village for barely a month, and he lived at the outskirts of the town. As such, most of the villagers didn’t know him.
Sama did not say a word, but just followed this stranger as they walked to where he lived. She was afraid, but again she would not lift up her head to even look at his face. She realized that she had no savior. She probably was just worthless, as Kuuku would always say. And no one would bother reaching out to her, she thought. She only imagined how horrific and demeaning it was going to be for her to be used as a sex slave for that night.
The sun had just gone down when they got to his hut. He beckoned on her to enter the hut, which she did without compliant. The young man realized that she had not lifted up her head still. She stood far off in the hut not making eye contact with him still.
He offered her a seat to sit on, but she refused.
“I know you haven’t had anything to eat. You must be hungry… Here… Wash your hands please, and eat something.” He said to her, but again Sama’s body language informed him that she would not. She just stared at the floor and acted as though she was deaf and dumb.
It started getting cold. The stranger then lit some fire with wood in a small fire place. Afterwards, he prepared water for her to have her bath.
“Here’s water, soap, a cloth, sponge and a towel. You look worn out. Just have a good bath! The bath room is just behind my hut. I am the only person living her at the outskirts of the town. So nobody will see you. There is balm and shea butter for you to use afterwards.”
Sama was getting confused. She didn’t understand why this stranger was doing all that. Was that his way of preparing her for whatever that awaited her that night?
©Dorothy Budu-Arthur, 2017