THE SACRIFICE | Episode 5


Continues from where the immediate previous post, THE SACRIFICE | Episode 4  (in Category >Drama and Sub >>The Sacrifice) stops.

ACT TWO | Scene 4

 

[Day II: Night]

 

In the palace of the King of Adáiyélabálà. Prince Aderopo’s room. He is lying on the bed restless. On the floor is an earthen bowl of food, but covered. He gets up and sits at the edge of the bed.

 

ADEROPO:

Hmm, I can’t imagine it! This is saddening! Too saddening! But I thought… I thought she was Baba Balogun’s sister-in-law. Ah! Eniafe!

Or what is happening to me, have I suddenly become weak—so obsessed with the thought of just a girl, an ordinary girl for that matter. But I swear it by the gods, I feel only so tender when I’m with her!

 

[A female servant calls from backstage…]

 

ONABUNMI:

Your Royal Highness!

ADEROPO:

Uh? Who is that?

ONABUNMI:

It’s me Onabunmi.

ADEROPO:

Oh, servant! Uh-huh, what do you want?

ONABUNMI:

May I bring in your dinner, Your Highness?

ADEROPO:

Dinner? [Looks at the food covered and placed on the floor.] Erm, take it away! [Sighs, and then pauses a bit.] Eniafe! So she is one of our captives—those that Balogun and the host brought home from Ijaiye! So it is to a captive—and worst of all, an Ijaiye captive girl—that I, prince of Adáiyelabálà, lose my heart! Ah! How terrible; how debasing! But I have so lost my heart to her I find it practically impossible to get it back. I have so loved her with the whole of my heart—nay, with my whole being, that it seems impossible for me to take the thought of her off my heart; for the more I try to forget about her, the more I see our lovely contact at dawn yesterday and again sense the preciousness of the love that was born in me that delightful moment I sighted this arẹwa! Ah! I’ve never been so drawn, so much attracted to a beautiful girl than I have with this sweet maiden! What a worrisome bliss this is!

EFUNSETAN:

[calls from the backstage.] Arẹmọ! Arẹmọ!

ADEROPO:

Yes, Mother? Come inside.

 

[Enter EFUNSETAN.]

 

EFUNSETAN:

Arẹmọ Aderopo! What is the matter? Look, you have not taken your lunch. [Points to it on the floor.] Why? What is the problem? Tell me.

ADEROPO:

Mother, do not worry your heart. Just do not worry.

EFUNSETAN:

And why?

ADEROPO:

There is nothing to worry about, period!

EFUNSETAN:

And you think as your mother I shall fold my hands with that and go to bed? It is just not possible, my son. The mother hen does not sleep in the basket cage if a chick cries at the backyard. Tell me what the matter is. Pray, my son, what is the problem?

ADEROPO:

Mother, you do not worry!! Howu! I am a man—cannot I deal with my problems all alone, woman? Always leave me to myself, Mother!

EFUNSETAN:

I know you are a man—a great man of valour, achieving virile feats—I know that, son. However, a child may have as many attire as an elder, but he or she cannot have as many rags, son. [ADEROPO sighs, thoughtfully.] I, Efunsetan—I still am your mother and as elderly to be in a position to give sage counsel regarding whatever is troubling your mind, uh? So, pray, what is the problem? Tell me. [Sits down beside him.]

ADEROPO:

Mother, I hate to talk on this, really… but… [He keeps silent for about ten seconds, while EFUNSETAN only waits on him, still looking at him attentively, in a way that shows she knows how to diplomatically get him to talk. Finally he speaks again after a sigh.] It is what I discover this afternoon.

EFUNSETAN:

Hmm, what is that?

ADEROPO:

Do you know that the young maiden I fell in love with at dawn yesterday—her name is Eniafe—do you know that she is… that she is one of our captive slaves that the host and the rest of Ibadan allies brought home with Baalẹ Ogunmola’s Ibadan warriors from the Ijaiye invasion? She’s our captive slave—I mean our captive slave! And from the much-loathed Ijaiye—on top of everything!

EFUNSETAN:

Ah! What a pity! I’m sorry to hear this.

ADEROPO:

And I have so loved her with my whole heart that I find it difficult to take her love away from my heart! Ah! Would that Eniafe were not a captive slave! Ah, ah, I would to the gods that she is not from Ijaiye!! But she is—and now I’m a sad, sad man! [He buries his face heavily in his palms.]

EFUNSETAN:

What a pity! [Sighs and pauses.] But my son, I would give you this unexpected yet sincere piece of counsel. Arẹmọ Aderopo, if you really love her, and very strongly and genuinely too, why not go on? I always know love transcends war, and hate, and politics! Love closes its eyes on the beloved’s inadequacies too. So my son, why not dote upon her since you love her. I swear by the gods I will support you on it. I do know that you are born to be a saviour to her the moment I saw her. And come to think of it, if you marry her, you will be saving her from captivity!

ADEROPO:

Ah, I love her! I deeply, deeply love Eniafe! How I wish she is not an Ijaiye girl! How I wish she is not a captive too! [Soberly.] However, I shall love her all the same! Though it demands that I condescend to giving my heart to a captive slave, when I am an honoured prince; yet I shall love her all the same! Though it demands that I humble myself so as to be a partner to her rather than a domineering lord, yet I shall love her all the same! And though it may appear I have obviously gone mad in love to fall in love with a girl from Ijaiye, that loathed kingdom our host got allied with Ibadan to burn completely and sacked entirely—yet I think I shall dare to love Eniafe all the same! Who knows, things might just work out well! [Springs up.] Mother, I’ve got to go the captives’ prison house now, to see my Eniafe!

EFUNSETAN:

Ah! It’s night already! Why not go tomorrow morning, early in the morning?

ADEROPO:

[moves to go.] No, Mother.

EFUNSETAN:

All right, take your dinner before you go, son.

ADEROPO:

No, Mother. I can’t wait to see her face! My love is refuelled to blaze ever! I shall eat when I come back. [Exit.]

EFUNSETAN:

[claps hands thrice to show surprise, and breathes a sigh.]

Hmm, ọrọ ifẹ, bii adanwo ni…

Everything regarding love

is as overwhelming as temptation!

 

[LIGHT FADES.]

 

 

ACT TWO | Scene 5

 

[Day II: Night]

 

The vicinity of the captive slaves’ prison house ADEROPO is standing centre stage and waiting. Soon ENIAFE enters, brought in by the females’ slave master. Getting to ADEROPO, the slave master bows and exits.

 

ENIAFE:

[bowing.] Your Royal Highness! [But her look is rather unwelcoming.]

ADEROPO:

Eniafe! Good evening. How are you? I am pleased to see you; but I suppose there are some things I have to explain to you. I see your look is not so welcoming—why? Or is anything the matter?

ENIAFE:

[sharply.] Nothing!

ADEROPO:

[chuckles.] Nothing, you say? [Smiles.] All right, my dear, pray tell me whatever is on your mind, I beg you.

ENIAFE:

All right, Your Highness. I just think it’s high time we got some things clear and settled, Your Highness. You brought me captive to this land; you allied with Ibadan of that dreadful Baṣọrun Ogunmola to invade Ijaiye, my town; burnt and sacked the whole of the Ijaiye Township that not a palm tree is standing there—and now you say you love me; I’m sorry, but what kind of love is that?! Do you really love me? Why, if you love me would you have carried me captive in the first place?! Would you? What type of love are you talking about, Your Highness? Isn’t it said: “to greet is to greet; to betray someone is to betray someone: but what manner of salutation is ‘Hello, Ijaiye man!’ in the frontage of Ogunmola?” I am very sorry to say, Your Royal Highness, I very much doubt and I am really suspicious of the love you say you have for me in the first place! I really doubt it—and I hate it!

ADEROPO:

Are the allegations all finished, my dear?

ENIAFE:

I think so.

ADEROPO:

Can I explain myself now?

ENIAFE:

All right, Your Highness.

ADEROPO:

My dear Eniafe, what you don’t know is that I was not there among the warriors who went for the war with Ibadan against Ijaiye, burnt the whole town down and brought some of you captive just recently; even though I still am a warrior till death, and therefore bound to fight and support the kingdom’s cause.

ENIAFE:

You mean you did not go to war with them, or what?

ADEROPO:

Yes, my dear; I did not go. I was on the King’s errand to another place during that period. But you see, my Eniafe, even if it had happened that I went for the war (because a warrior is a warrior and obeys orders; please understand!)—so if it had happened I went with the army to the war and carried the people captive—I am telling you, if I saw you Eniafe I would rather marry you than carry you captive, I swear it by my life! Believe me, Eniafe! I have never loved a woman the way I have loved you! I would never have touched you or let anybody touch you, I swear to the gods!

ENIAFE:

I believe you, Your Highness. I believe you didn’t go then.

ADEROPO:

Oh thank you.

ENIAFE:

But then, I still doubt your love, and will not give my heart to you. I don’t believe you truly love me; I don’t.

ADEROPO:

But why, Eniafe? Are you kidding with me, or something?

How else do you want me to prove to you that I really love you? Give me a chance to prove my love for you, will you? I really love you. I wish you would see this! Just give me a chance with you!

Already, you should know I could’ve been authoritative with you and rather than ask for your hand, to simply demand it. I am a warrior and a prince, whatever I command anybody in this land they do. But I don’t know what I’ve happened to me since I met you. I can hardly command that for you. I think I love you so much I don’t want to see you hurting. If you can see this! If you can understand all I’m being for you or letting go! If you can, and give me a chance with you.

ENIAFE:

[bows in respect.] Your Highness! [Pauses.] If really you love me, Your Highness, why not set me free! Let me return to my land! Let me seek to join the little remnant of my people scattered around the other townships. Of what value is the assurance of love when it winks at my captivity? If you really love me, take me back to my land and to my people!

ADEROPO:

Ah, Eniafe! You yourself know you ask me to do a very much difficult, if not impossible, task. How do you want me to go about that, my dear? I am not winking at your state, you should know. I am not winking at your captivity. But come to think of it, if you give your heart to me and you marry me, will you at all remain a captive? And will you not be free to do whatever you want to do and with my full backing? Uh? Answer me, Eniafe!

ENIAFE:

I will be free, Your Highness. But why not take me to my land? I’ll also be a freeman there, although living with some great insecurity and threat to living—but I will still struggle to survive, I know. Your Highness, liberate me, if you truly love me!

ADEROPO:

Eniafe, it is not as simple as you have painted it. Ijaiye is a heap of hot ashes and ruins now and still with Ibadan war boys lurking around and laying in wait as at now to seize any Ijaiye man or woman in hiding. The whole town is completely wiped out and I am afraid there might never be an Ijaiye Kingdom ever again even in the future history of Yoruba; it might only stay as a past history. Releasing you now is terribly unsafe for you, Eniafe; and at the same time it is never as easy for me to actualise as you think it is. But if you marry me, I swear with my life I will protect you! Adáiyélabálà will. The gods will keep you—till all of this has passed; till the mighty and dreadful Baṣọrun Ogunmola of Ibadan himself, has passed on.

But I can see your mind is made up. But you were tender at dawn yesterday and you did readily love me; yet I do not know what has changed so suddenly in you—or maybe I should say—what I have done to make you change.

ENIAFE:

[kneels.] Your Royal Highness, pray pardon me. I beg your indulgence. Pray do not mind my haughty disposition. I am really sorry.

ADEROPO:

Never mind. It is all right.

ENIAFE:

I pray you, Your Highness, help me work out my freedom from captivity; and then I can give my heart to you.

ADEROPO:

[sighs.] What you have asked for is very difficult, if not impossible; nevertheless, I shall work at it. Get up, dear. [Raises her up.] Come to the palace tomorrow at midday. I would have seen Kabiyesi—I shall purposely meet him tomorrow morning and bring this up with him. So, come to the palace to hear his response from me by noon-time. Ah, I just pray the gods will grant that he gives a positive response, for the subject itself is a taboo in the palace! So, you see what a terrible risk I am taking—simply because I love you, Eniafe! [ENIAFE bows.] Let me see your master to have him give you a leave and a tag to come to the palace tomorrow at midday. [Pauses.] What were you doing when I sent him to call you?

ENIAFE:

I was sleeping. It was our time for rest.

ADEROPO:

Aw, I disturbed your sleep. Oh, sorry. You have finished the day’s labour?

ENIAFE:

Yes—we finished rather too early today.

ADEROPO:

I hope it wasn’t much demanding and tiring.

ENIAFE:

It was, Your Highness! All my joints are aching. I had a headache in the afternoon but it has relieved me since I’d slept.

ADEROPO:

Oh sorry, dear! I wish I could be helping you with the labour, but you know, dear, that’s just not possible! [They laughed.] But I promise I shall table your request before Kabiyesi tomorrow morning. Are you happy?

ENIAFE:

Thank you, Your Highness. I’m happy. Thank you.

ADEROPO:

All right, let’s go to see your master, and then I can take my leave of you.

[Exeunt.]

 

 

[CURTAIN.]

Watch out for Episode 6 | Posting  Wed May 13…

Send private comments and enquiries to Kayode Taiwo Olla via kayodeolla@gmail.com, or simply text or put a call through him via the number +2347062280424.

[All Rights Reserved. Copyright owned by Kayode Taiwo Olla, 2014.]

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