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Ujanga Maa (The Saviour) – Episode 3
Efie hurled the piece of meat far away from her, hearing it hit the wall with a thud. She felt like her heart was being squeezed with unrelenting force. She got up on her knees and lunged at the man, grabbing him by the scruff of his neck, shaking him for all she was worth.
“Where is he! Where! Tell me, you savage,WHERE! “She cried, pounding his massive chest at intervals.
Strong hands gripped hers, and easily pulled her off, holding her still. Efie looked for the first time into his eyes, and stopped struggling, for she saw that they were not eyes filled with hate or blood lust, but compassion, and – Love.
She blinked rather
foolishly, stunned by what she had just seen.
“Wh- who are you? “She whispered. “How do you know my name? And my brother-? Tell me! ”
The man let go of her hands, letting them fall, limp, and stood, turning away from her. With his hands crossed behind him, he walked to the wall where the piece of meat landed, picked it up, and began to clean the dirt off of it. Under his breath, he muttered,
“Not even one, will be lost.”
Efie’s quick ears picked these words, and she was confused all the more. She stood, and said, hands clasped in supplication, “Please, stranger. Tell me who you are. Why was I treated so unmercifully by you in the forest?” And taking a better look at her surroundings, she said,
“Where is this place? ”
“What is mercy?” the man asked, turning sharply to face her.
“I am Ujanga Maa, and how i know you, is not your concern. What should concern you now, is the acceptance of the fact that i will be around you for a while longer, until you are saved.”
This he said with puzzling casualness, lips curling into a smile, and eyes lighting up with warm laughter.
“I am not the one who needs saving,” Efie said, disturbed both by his sudden mood switch, and the fact that the feeling of impending doom that plagued her as she woke up, had diminished greatly.
“I do not understand any of this at all!”She cried in frustration.
Ujanga Maa sat down, crossed his legs, arranged his clothing, and muttered again under his breath, “God save me from this one.” Then out loud he said, “Because you are HUNGRY. Sit down, eat, and then i will tell you everything you want. Good?” Efie’s eyes glinted. “Tell me as i eat. Not after. Good?” She asked, sitting down and stretching her hand towards the rescued piece of meat he held.
“No, It is wrong for a person to talk as he is eating. And you will talk. You are stubborn,” He said, withholding the meat, goading her, wanting her to smile, desperately wanting to pull down the walls she had securely surrounded herself with. He watched as she struggled with indecision, as she wondered whether to trust the wild man with the soulful eyes. Quickly making a decision, she stretched her hand out again.
“Kah’ ne. Give it to me. I will eat, and then you will tell me.”
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Toyin Uzoma is a vocalist, writer, motivational speaker, editor, content writer and TV presenter. A student of Imo State University, studying English Education and Chinese Language.