✴MOVEMENT FOUR ✴
Stage opens revealing Emomwoyi and her daughter seated on a mat, as she combs her hair.
Emomwoyi: You look beautiful, my child. (Smiles admirably)
Itohan: (Laughs and looks at her) Thank you, Inenen. You know I take after you a lot.
Emomwoyi: Oh, my beautiful princess; the one that makes me smile. You bring joy to me, my dear. May the gods bless the day you came into my life. (Stops combing and holds her firmly)
Itohan: (Calls sweetly) Inenen. Inenen, do you have to flatter me all the time? (Blush and turns to face her) You know I love you very much and there’s nothing in this world that’ll stop me from loving you.
Emomwoyi: (Sheds tears) Oh, my child. Promise that whatever happens, we will always be together.
Itohan: I promise, mother. You don’t need to cry.
Emomwoyi: (Looks down at her and bites her lower lip) There’s something I need to tell you, my child. Something that went on eighteen years ago. (Sobs bitterly)
Itohan: (Confused) Eighteen years ago?
Emomwoyi: (Nods) Yes. I’m so sorry I kept it from you, my child. I’m really sorry.
Itohan: (Arch a brow) I’m confused. Did you do something, mother?
Emomwoyi: No… No, my child.
Itohan: (Holds her tight) Then what is it, Inenen? What is bothering you?
Emomwoyi: (Swallows and throws her head away) Oh, why does it have to be today? I can’t bear to lose my beautiful Itohan. I can’t bear it.
Itohan: (Laughs and wraps her arms around her waist) Stop, mother. You’re not going to lose me.
Emomwoyi: (Wipes her face with the extended part of her wrapper) I know, my dear. But you know, I just… I just can’t bear the thought of doing so, but I vowed I wouldn’t keep this secret from you once you turned eighteen.
Itohan: (Baffled) Secret? Mother, is there something you’re not telling me?
Emomwoyi: I’m so sorry, my child, but the time has come to reveal the truth to you. (Sobs harder and pulls her in her arms. She narrates everything to her and Itohan listened with mouth agape)
Itohan: Mother… Mother, please tell me this isn’t true. (Almost in tears) Tell me that I am your daughter, your Itohan. Tell me I am the only one you’ll love and no one else.
Emomwoyi: Of course, my child. You’ll always be my daughter. I don’t care if we’re not of the same blood. I don’t care at all. Just know that our love is stronger than anything in this world.
Itohan: (Softens) Oh, mother. OH! But if I’m not your daughter, Inenen, then who is? Who am I? (Stammers)
Emomwoyi: That’s what I can’t say, my child, but I do know you came from across the river, and the only people that dwells there are the Ukogho people.
Itohan: The Ukogho people?
Emomwoyi: (Sighs as a sad expression coated her face) Yes
Itohan: (Notice her expression) Inenen, are you okay?
Emomwoyi: (Swallows) Yes. Yes, my child.
Itohan: (Thinks) If you’d let me, mother, can I go across the river?
Emomwoyi: (Breathes) You want to leave me?
Itohan: No, mother. You know I won’t leave your side.
Emomwoyi: (Smiles and cuddles her) I know that, my child. I’ll let you for sure.
Itohan: And I’d love you to come with me.
Emomwoyi: (Turns pale) Will that make you happy?
Itohan: (Smiles) Yes, Inenen. I’ll go as long as you’re with me.
~Lights fade out~