I once told Stephen Ekpete what I’m about to tell you now. Like everyone else I told, Stephen was holding his libs for pain from laughter, but he was also consumed with pity for me.
Sometime in the past I saw a pretty girl on Facebook. I chat her and said,
“See, girl, you’re pretty; forgive my being blunt but I love you.”
“Wow! I appreciate your directness, and something is telling me that you are a nice guy,” she responded.
Then she continued,
“Thanks for the compliment, anyways. I accept for us to be friend, but Jude, please don’t begin to get funny ideas into your head.”
I said I would behave myself, and we started. First, we began with very impersonal topics, then got closer and closer and closer. I actually lost the count of time but I seem to wake up one day and I was deeply in love with girl.
Chinelo is her name.
We’ve talked all we should talk about except that we never asked each other of our respective villages in Oduma.
Chinelo was crazy in love with me and she told me so, and would always proceed to demonstrate that in varieties of romantic both fancies and truth.
Then one early morning she called me. She didn’t sounded particularly excited, and she asked me pointedly,
“Sweetheart, which part of Oduma are you from.”
I tried making jokes. But Chinelo wasn’t in her usual mood of conviviality.
She wanted her question answered. Those who know me are all aware that I’m always doubly proud that I’m an Amagu-born.
So I told her!
Chinelo spat immediately I mentioned Amagu!
“Dear, I’m from Amagu,” I said with some air of pride. But I got a response that quickened my breathing.
“Jude, you’re son of the beasts!” She vented.
“You can’t be any different, can you?” Her voice was now some notes up and she was practically shouting at me over the phone. “I hate you! Jude Ogbonna, I hate you. Its over.”
And it was indeed over! I was going to messenger to tell her how stupid she was. But she had already blocked me!
Until now, I never was able to relate with this damsel.
Chinelo is from Ameke; I’m from Amagu. And her reason was that no matter how good any man from Amagu is, that man is all the same evil! I also know many men from Ameke who share similar prejudice.
In Amagu there are also many, both men and woman, who hate Ameke and all that’s associated with it!
And its here that I rest my case with this question: what exactly is the real story behind this age long hate?
Of course, everyone appears to have ‘absolute’ explanation. But listen carefully next time someone from Amagu or Ameke is telling this story. He’ll tell you that the story was passed on to him. It means that our stories have the possibility of being coloured with unhealthy sentiment.
And if that’s the case, why does everyone of us still maintain that his own story is absolute?