Getting to the palace they found out that it was guarded but not heavily.
“How do you intend to go through them?” Udodi asked her.
“Well, there was no plan of going in the right way, was there? We stick to the plan and that’s how we are going in,” Binyelum replied. “Let’s go,” she added.
Udodi held her hand as she made to move.
“Binye, wait! What if you get there and he embarrasses you, what will you do? Remember all he said to you,” Udodi expressed.
“Udo, Chidubem is my family. I know he hurt me but my heart won’t be able to get around this until he says everything to my face. It’s been two months already and I should have gotten over it but I can’t. I just need to know why,” Binyelum told Udodi.
“If you say so. I know I can’t change your mind. Besides we’ve come this far so let’s get on with it,” Udodi stated.
They lurked through the bushes and to the front of the palace gate. Binyelum sneaked up on the guard by the left and Udodi, the guard on the tight wrenching their necks. The maidens nodded at each other as they entered the compound.
Cautiously making sure no one saw them, they searched every hut in the palace and hid themselves when anyone was in sight.
The maidens met at the back of a hut.
“He’s not in any of the hut. I searched all of it,” Udodi said softly as she breathed heavily.
“Me too. Just the palace maids going about their duties.”
“Are you sure they didn’t see you?” Udodi asked as she looked out.
“Of course they didn’t,” Binyelum replied.
“I think we should leave now before anyone notices the guards at the front” Udodi suggested.
“I’m not leaving without seeing Chidubem,” Binyelum responded.
“But we’ve……,” Udodi was cut short by a singing voice.
They kept quiet and listened.
“Chidubem,” Binyelum uttered with a smile, “That’s Chidubem’s voice. He’s close.”
She traced where the rhythms were coming from into a nicely trimmed bush. She froze at the spot when she saw Chidubem playing his “ubo” and singing his heart out. When she regained her composure, she sluggishly walked towards him.
“Chidubem,” she called.
Immediately he stopped and turned to look at her. He was dressed in royalty.
“Chidubem,” she said as she knelt down and touched his face.
Tears streamed down her cheeks and it was as if the anger she held for two months till this last minute had vanished. Seeing him again mattered more right now.
Udodi swallowed hard and turned to look around at intervals.
Chidubem, without words stared into Binyelum’s eyes.
“Why didn’t you keep her busy long enough?” Binyelum heard a voice ask.
She turned back and saw the princess standing with Udodi.
“Why didn’t who keep who busy for long?” She asked the Princess.
“I remember you saying that you didn’t want to see Dubem anymore,” the Princess asked ignoring the question.
“That was after you sent your messenger to tell me that Dubem wanted me out of his life,” Binyelum replied.
“Did she touch him?” The Princess asked, this time around making it obvious she was talking to Udodi.
“Yes my Princess,” Udodi stammered.
Binyelum was nonplussed but quickly collected herself.
“What is going on here? Udodi, why do you have to answer to her?” Binyelum asked.
Disregarding her, “One job, Udodi. I gave you one simple job to hold her off but you failed. You’re going to pay for this,” the Princess blurted.
“My princess, I can explain,” Udodi quivered.
Snubbing Udodi, she turned to Binyelum, “And as for you, I’m going to kill you,” she uttered as she made to grab Binyelum’s neck.
Mixed feelings of fear and confusion circumfused Binyelum as the Princess made to hold her but she grabbed her hands instead.
“Binyelum,” she heard him call.
Letting the Princess who was still struggling go, she turned around and their eyes met.
“Dubem,” she said and walked over to him.
The Princess was filled with rage.
“Binyelum, where have you been?” Dubem asked when she got close to him.
She chuckled, “Dubem, you told me to stay away from you; you made it clear that you didn’t need me anymore, that you’re fine without me,” Binyelum explained.
“When did I tell you that?” Chidubem asked her, confused.
Surprised, “two months ago through the King’s messenger after you came to play for him and you never returned,” Binyelum told him.
Chidubem looked at the Princess and gave her a bad eye.
“Binyelum, do you think I’d ever live without you?” He asked as he walked towards the Princess with his hands behind him.
“Sincerely no, that’s why I came all this way to hear you say it to my face,” Binyelum said from behind.
Staring into the Princess’s face, “I felt something leave my body when I felt her hands on my face again. What does that mean, Princess?” he asked the Princess who looked at him with disdain.
Binyelum sighed and closed her eyes as she compassed what had happened.
“I told you that I was not interested. Why did you have to do this?” He asked her softly.
“Why?” He thundered and the princess shook.
Her guards made to move.
“One more step and you’ll all visit the grave very early,” Binyelum threatened. The guards all knew her as a fierce warrior so they all withdrew.
She walked up to where the Princess and Chidubem were standing and gave Udodi an ear splitting slap.
“You deceived me for two months. My friend! You know how long Chidubem and I have been together but you still chose to stab me in the back. Just so you know and I mean both of you,” she said referring to Udodi and the Princess.
“Nothing will ever separate from Chidubem and I’ll fight for us no matter the cost. Don’t ever forget that,” she said spitting in front of them.
“Ever,” Chidubem added.
Binyelum turned to him excitedly, “I missed you,” she said as she took off the beads he was adorned with.
“I can’t believe I spent two months without you,” he uttered hugging her tightly.
“It’s okay my love. I won’t let anyone one come between us again,” she assured him.
He drew her close and with his arm around her neck, they walked out of the palace. She feigned she wanted to hit one of the guard and they all moved back in fear causing Binyelum and Chidubem to laugh out loud.