Soon, part of the crowd angrily dispersed with loud hissings and insults. Some thought that Nonye was a nut case and finally came to herself when she saw her sister. A part of the crowd who knew the Umekas so well felt pity for the two sisters and another part wanted Nonye to pay for the atrocities she and her gangsters had committed in the village. However, the part that wanted Nonye to pay for her crimes, soon came and dragged her to the Village Head.
Kamsy stood beside her sister with their hands clasped together so tightly as if by so doing, it would in any way prevent the Village Head from pronouncing judgement on her sister. The village head asked Nonye some questions concerning her father, mother and sister’s death which she answered in the affirmative. He equally confirmed from Kamsy if Nonye was her sister. Thereafter, he proceeded to condemn Nonye to death by hanging for the murder of her sister, slander and also for consuming tobacco and destroying public properties and breaking into stalls. Her gang members were banished out of the village after paying heavily. Nonye wasn’t surprised at the Village Head’s verdict. She knew she deserved more for she had killed so many in the process and had made homeless children to become nuisance to the village. Her only regret was that she could not spend more time with her dear sister. If only she knew that she would ever see her again, she wouldn’t have gotten herself into this mess.
Kamsy couldn’t be comforted by her sister. She wished she hadn’t followed her friend’s family to the city, she would have seen her sister, her only sister and spent more time with her.
The thugs that had brought her before the Village Head stepped forward to execute the Village Head’s command when another set of thugs ushered in a very beautiful woman and threw her at the feet of the Village Head. She was shouting on top of her voice and uprooting her hair with her long, painted nails. The blood from her hair was dropping on her expensive dress but she seemed not to care. Obviously, she was wealthy. The silky garment she wore was sodden with mud at the hem.
The Village Head was confused and was about to ask what her offense was when she pointed at Nonye as she was being led away with Kamsy at her heel, weeping uncontrollably. The Village Head ordered them to stop while he motioned with his hands for her to speak. Nonye turned around fearfully and tried to lay off the thought that the Village Head might also punish her sister. The woman suddenly bursted into an hysterical laughter and started to weep the next minute. The Village Head was confused as he stared at the beautiful woman in disbelief. He couldn’t fathom why a very beautiful woman as she should act weird. Nonye and Kamsy exchanrged glances in utter confusion.
Again, the woman bursted into tears looking disheartened and troubled this time, from deep within. Then in tears as watery mucus ran down her nostrils freely, she spoke out,
“I’m sorry Nonye, you are not to be blamed for the death of your father, mother and sister”, Nonye still couldn’t recognize the beautiful woman so she just stared at her wonderingly.
“Uju is my niece. I used her to get you so I could punish your father for refusing to marry me after Oluchi came into his life. The rumour about me being married to a wealthy man in the city was never true. I actually left this village to go and arm myself with the charm I used in destroying your family. Your father never for once hate Oluchi. I turned him against her and you against him. Please, you and your sister should find a place in your hearts to forgive me. I know my time is up and I’ll die soonest”.
” Who are you? “, Nonye asked after she found her voice.
” You mean you don’t recognize me? I’m Aunty Chidimma now!”, she said in disbelief at the failure of the girls to recognize her.
“What? You…”, Kamsy went to her and started to beat her but the thugs held her.
” What about our father? Where is he?”, Kamsy asked amidst tears. The whole drama was too much for her. All in one day!
“He’s dead”, she said with a distant look in her eyes. “I visited him in the prison and confessed to him. He suffered a heart attack and was rushed to the hospital. He died some hours later”.
Nonye was speechless. She had put herself through so much torture thinking she was the cause of the calamity that befell her family only for this… She couldn’t believe her ears, her eyes…No! This is not happening.
” What is your gain now?”, Nonye asked her in tears as she held her by the neck. “Are you finally happy now?”, she cried out all the more, screaming in her ears. The thugs did not hold her back this time, they looked on sympathetically at her and her sister.
The Village Head had tear in his eyes. He had never seen a case so twisted and pathetic as this. His heart yearned for the two girls. He resolved the case and set Nonye free. Chidimma bursted into another bout of her hysterical laughter again, this time harder with tears running down her cheeks. The Village Head was taken aback and was about to order for shackles to chain her when she slumped and died.