A PASSAGE FOR NNENNE is a short story chronicling the challenges of a single lady proposing marriage in Igboland. Let’s get started!
Ninety-five words, Five hundred, and twenty-four characters. That was all, a mother’s letter to her son:
If you are reading this letter, my dear Arinze, the deed is done. Thanks for finally making your mum happy – a to-be grandmother. I don’t think it was the best of choices given that she has flipped past the pages of youth, but that’s life – it sucks sometimes. The most important thing is that you’re happy. Please come home immediately after work on Friday, so that we’ll have ample time to prepare for the big day. I also need to discuss with you, mother to son, before your father catches the wind.
After reading the disquieting letter, Arinze passed it to Ezechi to decipher. His flatmate of three years. They sat on the couch to a bottle of Merlot. The calendar on the wall read March 27, 2040, and the screen before them beamed a news broadcast. Donald Trump is still the president dolling out mean tweets and rediscovering America lost bonds to Protectionism (Donald Trump Jr., I mean).
“I don’t understand what mum implies; could it be this letter is for my sister, Nkechi?”
“If I tell you what I think, you’ll think I am crazy,” Ezechi interjected
“What’s on your mind?”
“I think an audacious princess charming has gone to ask for your hand in marriage.”
“What arrant nonsense!”
“Mark my words, pal. These days good men are gold – hard to find.”
“Trash! Utter balderdash!”
“Plagues and wars make such a prodigious scarcity in the male sex.”
“The problem with you is that you don’t face reality. It’s 2040, not 1994. Times have changed; men are in high demand. Didn’t you read that someday seven women will grab hold of a man demanding that they fend for their livelihood if only he would do the honors and take away their reproach?”
“What a joke, I tell you, Ezechi, too much reading corrupts the mind, mostly that book – the Bible.”
“Believe it, 2020 Pandemic like the Glorious Revolution of 1688 and the Biafran war changed the demographics, driving O-Town half-mad by the scarcity of virile men. Plagues and wars make such a prodigious scarcity in the male sex.”
“Um, maybe I have to visit home to find out what the heck this letter is about.”
“Obviously. Do that without delay,” Ezechi concurred while taking another sip of the grape wine.
© Ugo Nkwoala| 2020 | All rights reserved.