Continuation from the last episode:
Cheta: Please my statue I beg you in the name of the gods, do not hurt my father.
Ikenga: Did you not see the marks he place on you in the name of beating you?
Cheta: That is his way of showing that I’ve done wrong, please I have forgiven him already.
Ikenga: (Grabbing hold of her both hands and stared deeply at her as if he could see her inner soul) Close your eyes my beautiful one. (Cheta did as told)
Cheta: (Still closing her eyes) My eyes are now closed now what?
Ikenga: (Smiling and the cuts and blood in Cheta’s body was gone.) Open your eyes now Cheta.
Cheta: (Opening her eyes and stared around them, nothing appeared out of the ordinary.) Why did you ask me to close my eyes?
Ikenga: (Releasing his hold on her and pointed at her body putting some space between them) To heal your cuts my beautiful one.
Taking a quick glance of her body Cheta’s eyes were filled with shock as she couldn’t see any trace
of cuts or blood in her body again, she stared at Ikenga.
Cheta: (In a shock voice) Who are you? And how were you able to heal my wounds?
Ikenga: My name is Ikenga and you freed me. And as for how I was able to heal your wounds, well you can say I have a special gift of healing.
Cheta: (Surprised) You have a special gift of healing? How? I mean how were you able to have such kind of gift?
Ikenga: To be truthful, I am not a mere mortal, I am one of the gods. I am the god of war, ikenga himself.
Cheta: (She burst out laughing) Just because your name is Ikenga you want to take the glory of a god? You don’t have to lie to me if you don’t want to tell me how you came to have your gift. I will understand.
Ikenga: (Smiling) You think I made it up? I did not, my beautiful one. Tell me how did I know you will be here or how did I know you are the one who had freed me?
Cheta: (She gave his words a thought) Okay, I have heard you and I believe your words. I have a question to ask if you don’t mind me asking.
Ikenga: Of course you can ask any question my beautiful one.
Cheta: How did you end up becoming a statue?
Ikenga: (Laughed and clapped his hands twice and two stool appeared out of nowhere in front of them. He offered Cheta one and sat on the other one.
Cheta sat down on the stool, she trusted him and knows he wouldn’t hurt or harm her.) I had a misunderstanding with one of my brothers and out of anger I went and took what belongs to him. My father on hearing it decided to teach me a lesson and sent me to the mortal world in that statue form you picked and cleaned. I can only be free by someone who has a genuine heart, which is you. That’s my story Cheta.
Cheta: So what did you steal from your brother that would make your father send you to the mortal world?
Ikenga: I took his thunder bow and arrow and hide it. Though I must admit, I was the first person who had caused the misunderstanding.
Cheta: Then why were you brought here?
Ikenga: I don’t know Cheta but I am going to find out soon. I feel my brothers are behind my coming here.
Cheta: So once you find out the reason why you are here, you will go back to your world?
Ikenga: Yes, but I won’t leave here alone, you will be coming with me.
Cheta: (Smiling) And if I don’t want to come with you?
Ikenga: (Smiling back) Well I will put you to sleep and take you with me, you can call it kidnapping but I don’t care.
Cheta: (Laughing hearty, this was the first time she was laughing so freely. A thought came to her and she voice it out) If you can be able to heal my wounds and you truly are a god as you said, can you heal my elder brother for me?
Ikenga: Your elder brother? You have an elder brother?
Cheta: Yes, some years ago when I was a little girl, he ate the food I prepared and he suddenly became an imbecile. He was the only apart from my mother who was good to me regardless of my
condition. My mother was taken away to be killed but was saved by some birds who took her away and I have never got to see her again. It was during that time Adapuruche started talking to me. I don’t know if you can heal Jidenna please, he means the whole world to me Ikenga.
Ikenga: I will, but first of all I need to see him and then check if I can heal him or not. If I can’t heal him then I will call on one of my brothers to do the healing.
Cheta: Thank you so much Ikenga. Though I still have a question to ask you.
Ikenga: Alright, I am all ears my beautiful one.
Cheta: Why did you come to the Palace?
Ikenga: Simple, I went there to see you.
Cheta: Have you seen me before?
Ikenga: I haven’t seen you, but the stories you normally told me makes me memorize your voice. When I was freed, I had to look for the maiden whose voice has sent me free. On my way searching for you, I met an old Hunter who took me in and I now live with him, I am also a Hunter like him. I became a Hunter so that I can look for you. My plan was to bring the animals which I caught to
all the huts in Ogidi village and no matter how stressful it is, I will find you in one of the huts. But then my plan changed when I smell your scent and followed you then I met Adapuruche. I have to leave her and her maids and followed the scent which leads me straight to the palace. I then knew that you are from the palace.
Cheta: But why me, why not my elder sister Adapuruche. She is very beautiful, nice, every villager love her and she has their support. She is the true princess of Ogidi village. I, on the other hand is Ugly, no one wants to be my friend or come near me. The villagers hate my very sight, they won’t even like to see you with me. I was born Ugly, it can’t change overnight. As you can see I am more treated like a maid in my own father’s house than a princess.
Ikenga: You’ve let the talk of your people to get into your head and let it eaten deep into you that it makes you believe you are truly Ugly. Cheta I need you to know that, Beautiful is he who recognizes what is truly beautiful even if the surface is ugly. Truthful is he who says what is true even if the truth is ugly. Ugly is he who measures beauty by its exterior without first weighing the interior. And ugly is the man who judges harshly what he sees looking out without first judging what he sees through his mind. You are not Ugly and even if you were born Ugly, I will still love you the way you are.
Like I told your stepmother, ChukwuOkike doesn’t make one Ugly, he makes everything beautiful. (He stood up from the stool and close the gap between them, kneeling in front of Cheta and touched Cheta’s face tenderly. He removed his hands from her face immediately and observe her face carefully.)
Cheta: Why are you staring at me like that?
Ikenga: I am 100% sure you were not born Ugly Cheta.
Cheta: (Touching her face) I wasn’t born Ugly? How do you mean?
Ikenga: (Touching her face once again) Someone with powerful magic made you Ugly. I sense a stronger enchantment on your face Cheta.
To Be Continued…
C.H.E.T.A ( I Am Not Ugly)