Ujanga Maa (The Saviour)
“Wake up, child.”
Efie stirred, and yawned, rubbing her eyes almost violently. She struggled to sit up.
“Where-?” She asked, squinting at Ujanga Maa, not quite remembering anything.
“We are back at my cave, child. You are safe, now.” Ujanga Maa reassured. With a voice filled with resigned acceptance, she said, “But my brother is not.”
“Come, now, child. Do not keep picking at a fresh wound-” “I am weary. I am weary of it all.” Efie interrupted. “If you have something to say to me, say it. I am weary.”
Ujanga Maa stood, and held out a hand.
“Come with me, child. I want to take you somewhere. A place you will hear the words that will give you rest. Come.”
Efie looked up at him, and smiled sadly, not believing that she could ever find rest. How could she? Her only brother who had depended on her for protection, was dead. She had failed him. Nonetheless, she stretched out her hand and grasped his, allowing him to pull her up. Her knees buckled, but he held her firmly, so she did not fall.
“My wound!” Efie cried, patting herself in frantic, jerky movements. “I tended it while you slept.” Ujanga Maa reassured. “Come now, child.”
Together they walked, one leaning, the other supporting. One a ragged mess, the other a pillar of succor and strength.
Once more, they were back under the wormwood, and he helped her sit close to him on the leafy forest floor. And Ujanga Maa began to speak.
“Nineteen years ago, a man came to our village, with nothing to boast of, but a small book. This man spoke of a God. One who created all, but was created by none. Who had no wife, but had a son. Who had no other son except that one, yet sacrificed him for a world filled with people who did not know him, or even care.”
“What foolishness.” Efie spat, turning her head away, disgusted at such blatant waste.
Ujanga Maa smiled. “Foolishness, you say? Well, perhaps. But what made God foolish?”
Efie hissed, and kept her head averted, saying nothing.
“Efie, why did you rush into the arms of the ones who took your brother, knowing that you might die? Not caring for yourself, but consumed with the desire to bring him back? Tell me.” “I loved M’idawe. He was my blood! What would such a god know about love?”
“My child. He created love. Brought it into being with His sacrifice. And because he loved, we too have the ability to love.” Ujanga Maa said, pleased that Efie had turned towards him.
“But, why? You said we did not care. He did not have a reason to sacrifice his son. So why?” Efie asked, genuinely puzzled.
Ujanga Maa stood.
“I do not know, child. I do not know.”
Efie stirred and awakened. She looked around and saw that she was still under the wormwood. And Ujanga Maa was nowhere to be found.Puzzled, she held onto a branch of the tree, and struggled to stand.
“Efiesisi!” A familiar voice cried. Efie swung around to see M’idawe running towards her, a huge smile on his face.
She sank to her knees.
“Brother, my brother!”
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Toyin Uzoma is a vocalist, writer, motivational speaker, editor, content writer and TV presenter. A student of Imo State University, studying English Education and Chinese Language.