Written by Amah
Immediately She sighted them coming she began to run as fast as her leg could carry her, far into the field.
Hadar called out while running after her.
Zoe was out of breath as she sat in between over grown plants panting so hard.
Hadar ran up to where Zoe was sitting and trying to catch her breath.
” You can’t run forever girl…is time and you must face it. Zoe the power to change any of this is not in our hands…
Zoe looked up at her personal maid, an older woman who has nursed and cared for her from when she was little until now.
It was her father that bought Hadar from a slave dealer and she became her personal maid from when she was born to the present moment.
tears clouded her eyes. She allowed the tears to flow freely down her face
” Hadar…I’m not afraid of getting married but I do not want to settle with him. Everyone knows how bad he is…even father who arranged all this knew that Lord Amos first son is not a good man. Beside I’m too young to get married, some of my friends are enjoying peace in their father’s house and nobody is rushing them up because their father want to hand them over to a good suitor but my own father is very strict, he is only doing this because Lord Amos is rich. He owns a larger castles range, houses, lands, camels and many servants who till his farmland and cultivate the soil for him. Many others pasture his sheep… the rest are household servants. Hadar, I wish father will stop looking at how rich the man is and think of my own well being…
Hadar bent down and wiped Zoe’s eyes.
” Maybe Kuwe will change after he marries you. He is actually a good looking young man, he will change with time. Don’t be afraid child. You will be fine…
” Hadar I want to derive strength from your words but I really don’t know if i will be fine. I don’t have much choice in all this…
” Your God will go before you and make way for you, he will change the heart of Kuwe and everyone in that household to your favor. Please get up let’s go your mother wants you to get ready before presenting you to the suitors… she is waiting for you.
Hadar helped Zoe to her feet and they started moving back to the house.
They met Zoe’s mother half way to the house
She angrily yanked Zoe’s hand from Hadar and push her forward making her to run back to the house.
Once she was inside, the woman pushed her to a seat
” What were you thinking Zoe running off into the field, your suitor is here with his father. A handsome Young man from a well to do family, they are very popular and respected in this wide district. You should be happy and stop acting like is a death sentence… Don’t provoke your father to anger, he will not spare you if his plans of securing a seat with Lord Amos fails.
She pushed Zoe up to her feet, pulling off her clothes in a haste.
” Mother, please let me be in this cloth. I don’t want to change to another beautiful cloth… I’m fine like this.
“Keep quiet and stop talking nonsense. this is your day Zoe and is my duty to make you beautiful. You can’t be smelling of field sweat and appear before your visitors. I asked Hadar to get you dressed and she allowed you to run off to the field… You have already wasted so much time.
Zoe’s two younger sister entered the room laughing loudly at Zoe.
She ignored them and try to stay focus as her mother wrapped a new dress around her, applied some powder on her face and sprayed perfume all over her.
” Mother, this is too much, I hate all this. Can you please plead to father to give me time… maybe a few month for me to fully get ready or he should change suitor for me. Kuwe is arrogant and disrespectful. mother, I know he is handsome and his father is wealthy but that do not change the fact that he is a young man with no human feeling. Mother I don’t want to marry him please…
The mother slapped her shoulder hard
” Do you want to be married off to those Mesikan travelers, who are ready to pay any amount for a fair maiden like you. They will marry you off and take you to a faraway land where you will never get to see your people again. Your father will be well settled. They will pay him well and off you will go to a strange land…is that what you want Zoe?
Zoe was quiet, Hadar who was fixing a bridal bead around Zoe’s hand spoke on her behalf.
” My lady. Please understand Zoe’s plight, she is not against getting married but not to somebody like Kuwe. Who does not have any regards for others. The Mesikan travelers are better off than Kuwe. They have human feeling and treat their wife well. The only bad thing about them is that they worship different gods and can even sacrifice their children to the god of the sun. Kuwe is not a nice young man but I don’t have much say in this.
” Hadar you are not helping the present situation. you don’t have a say in this neither do I. Zoe’s fate have being decided by her father and there’s nothing any of us can do about it. She will marry Kuwe and with time he will love her and the children Zoe will bear for him. Maybe with the right woman Kuwe will calm down. Zoe can make him change for better…
Zoe’s sisters started giggling again their mother asked them to leave.
As they were leaving Zoe’s father barged into the room angrily.
” How long will it take you all to get her dress. Yeni and Hadar, why is the dressing taking all day. Do you want to embarrass my guest. They have being out there waiting for their bride and you are all here talking nonsense when you should have prepared her and bring her out. If I return back here I will drag her like a goat to the guest. Don’t make me come back here…I repeat don’t allow me to come in here again because none of you will enjoy the scene.
He stormed out. Zoe quickly got up and her mother grabbed her veil and covered her face.
They were all hurrying up with the preparation after Zoe father’s threat.
They lead the bride outside. Zoe’s mother Yeni, guide her daughter to where her husband to be was.
Kuwe sat beside his father with a smile curved at the corner of his mouth as his bride was brought to him.
Zoe was his father’s choice. His father wanted him to get married so that he will become responsible.
” Let’s see how that works”.
Kuwe muttered silently to himself.
The marriage ceremony began and Lord Amos gave Zoe’s father, Lord Mukan all the whole gift they brought.
Lord Mukan was smiling from ear to ear.
Then the singing and dancing began.
Before food were passed round.
After the whole marriage festival was over Zoe was lead to the awaiting camel with her husband.
Hadar squeezed her hand reassuring her that everything will be fine.
” I will bring your clothes and other things by next week and will use that opportunity to know how you are faring in your new home. Lord Amos is a good man and I know his first son will act right with time. You don’t have to be afraid…
Hadar said to her in a whisper.
They waved goodbye as the well decorated camel carried Zoe and her husband away while Lord Amos and the rest of his people rode in another camel.
Zoe was quiet all through the journey so also is Kuwe who did not bother looking at her even when she began to cry silently.
Kuwe was good looking young man and the first son of Lord Amos.
Kuwe has other younger brothers
He was proud and boastful.
He hushed Zoe to be quiet.
” You are disturbing my peace with that cry of yours. What kind of childish behavior are you displaying now. You are married and you should be happy because you got married into a wealthy family. I am Kuwe, a direct hair to my father’s wealth, all he got will eventually be mine. My two brothers will get their little share but I have the largest part which is why I’m doing his bidding of getting married to immature maiden like you. Whimpering to my peaceful ears like a child. Most maiden will be happy to be in your position . So be quiet let’s enjoy this short journey in peace, one more whimper and I will fling you out of this camel…
Zoe became quiet as her new husband hushed her.
The rest of the journey was very quiet.
She sat with her head bent like a sheep to the slaughter wondering how possible she was supposed to change a hardened young man like Kuwe as her mother has told her
“Zoe, you can make him change to become a better man”
” Where do I even begin with that… How I’m I suppose to do it. God if you are real can you just make me disappear or turn me into a bird so i I will fly away and never return… please God. Just do it…or you can even kill me. It will be better than becoming the wife of Kuwe…
Zoe silently prayed within herself.
She waited for some sort of miracle but nothing happened.
Indeed her fate was already decided and she does not have a choice than to do everything that was required of her to do.
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