How I met Banda.

Photo by Joy Deb from Pexels

The cool night whispered soft melodious tunes into our ears, shooting into our nerves doses of dopamine. Our bare skins were caressed by the soft palm of the evening breeze. Joy kissed my heart, causing an oscillation. My heart leaped in quick succession, like a child who had been handed his favourite toy.

I and other members of the Kpolam community weren't strangers to euphoria of this nature. The sight of the full moon in its full glory used to convey to us such an ecstatic emotion.

That was because the full moon afforded us the chance of fueling the spirit of brotherhood and igniting the spark of comradeship.

This time, the euphoria was even more euphoric, owing to the fact that we had to wait longer than we used to.

We've never waited this long for the arrival of the full moon.

The cloud had mourned, weeping bitter tears, and veiling itself with a thick dark garment, which hung loosely from its suspended body, threatening to fall on the dwellers of the earth. Its night's glory was concealed from the people; so was our joy concealed. we were turned to stargazers. Each night we'd looked the sky in the face pleadingly, if it would peradventure smile on us.

Our joy overflowed, when the cloudiness was lifted, causing the sky to beam at night again.

Kpolam, the community I grew up in, had a ritual, where each family was mandated to appear in the fraternal circle with all its households in the moonlight, when the moon was full. It used to be an atmosphere of bonding. Little wonder our community was reputed for togetherness. Our community was known by many as, 'a big family'.

We would gather around a gigantic iroko tree, which was situated in the centre of the village. Different games would be played, jokes would be shared, amidst chatterings, laughter would be the predominant sound. The rich would bring their food and it would be shared equally to everyone.

Before dashing back to our different huts, we would form a wide round chain, entangling our hands with one another around the tall tree. Each family head will take turns to introduce each member of his family. If a stranger was present, the stranger would also be introduced and made to feel like a kindred.

It was during the introduction I first knew her name, and the family she lived with. She'd come to pay a visit to Ette Poli, who was a man of no mean repute in the community. I had already known her, but not before that night. I knew her as a girl with the sword of beauty. Her beauty had sliced off my noisiness. I was ghost-quiet all through the night; the thunderous poundings of my heart was the only sound I made.

Banda's face was chiseled. You could trace your finger along her jawline, which stretched into a pointed chin. Her arms looked tender. The most gorgeous sight that night was watching her flap those tender arms in a playful motion. She had flesh, but only in the right places. Her thin waist amplified her curves.

Right there I built her a duplex in my head. I knew that I only needed her permission to make her a room in my heart.

Just before we disappeared into our tents, I'd rushed to her to whisper into her ears, "you're a fairy. Are you a celestial being? Anyway, even if you were, I wouldn't mind giving up my humanity to be with you".

I was only eighteen and she was seventeen. I had no idea of what I said. However, the words unzipped her thin lips, revealing her bewitching dimples. We'd soon begin to constantly exchange knowing smiles. I guess we smiled our way into each other's hearts.

"Jerry, you wanted to know how I met your mother. Right? Well that is it. My path was lighted by the light of the moon. It led me right into your mother's heart".

"Dad, why don't we hang out again in the moonlight?" My son, Jerry enquired. "Well civilization has changed many things, but you have nothing to worry about, we will do that soon. When the moonlight is bright, we'll sit outside, and I'll tell you more about the Kpolam community were your dad was raised".

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