Written by AMAH’S HEART
The dealer paid five shillings to a fat woman by the pool to bath me and one other slave girl who looked worn out.
The fat woman shaved my hair and gave me a new wear after the bath, she gave me a small turban to wrap my head so that no buyer would be discouraged by my look, I wrapped the turban round my head as it was instructed.
We journey to another district, and the other slaves got buyers quickly and as usual, no buyer wanted to give me a second look.
Most of the beautiful ones among us were either bought to be temple prostitutes or household slaves. I stood there hoping to get a good buyer so that I could be free from the dealer who was already getting frustrated with having me, he didn’t want to run at loss, he worshipped money and liked making profit. No matter how he convinced customers to take me for a negotiable rate, no one wanted to buy me because they thought I would probably die soon or that I had an illness due to how skinny I look.
The dealer who bought me for twenty-five shillings wanted to sell me out for thirty-five shillings, he was determined to make ten shillings of gain from selling me.
A man in a white ruber decorated sash, was headed to the public well with his wares, he was obviously a merchant and he looked rich.
My dealer increased the money to forty-five shillings when he saw that the rich merchant was looking at me interestingly.
“She is very strong, her look is deceptive, she can travel far by foot, she walked from the Sahara to lakey Iceland, she can do all sorts of job… She has been washed and cleaned up too. I don’t deal in dirty slaves, ask about me around here and my slaves are all healthy and hardworking, she is going for forty-five shillings…”
The rich merchant replied, ”She is just a child, she looks sober. I have watched her from afar and seen that she doesn’t have a buyer, nobody wants to buy her from you. I felt pity for her, I just hope my wife will like her. I need a household slave for my wife, she already has two, but she complained that they are lazy, she wants a stronger slave, and if what you said is true then I will take her for forty shillings…”
“Bring the money and take her then, she will serve your wife and the entire household well.”
I was sold for forty shillings surprisingly, just same amount meant for two small slaves like me.
I was happy as I journeyed with the merchant who bought food and water for me along the way. He was silent through out the journey and was not harsh to me, he later spoke:
“I don’t know what pushed me to buy you but it must be some unseen god because I can’t explain it. paying forty shillings just to purchase you was too much. The highest amount I paid for a slave was thirty shillings, and they were full and beautiful. The kivi slaves girls are beautiful and my wife likes beautiful slaves, she hates some certain set of slaves. It’s better to know now so that she will not take you to ludrus temple. What god do you serve?
”I have no god, I only serve my master and mistress.” I replied boldly, hoping he and his wife will atleast keep me as a household slave.
The man is nice to me, after buying food and drink for me, he spoke softly without any harshness like the other dealers uses to communicate to me
“Don’t be afraid, I’m not like everyone you have encountered. What god does your household serve? Are your parents still alive? What god do they serve?” He asked calmly
”my parents and siblings are all dead, they served the unseen God, they were Christians…”
“Shhhh, don’t say it loud. That religion is an abomination to the ear. For your safety, don’t tell anyone or you will be stoned to death or they feed your meat to the circus animals by the entrance gate. My people think Christians act like they know it all, worshipping an unseen god who can’t save them, it’s a good thing you told me. Listen, When we get home, tell my wife you worship lucrus, the goddess of fertility and production. my wife will be happy because we are hoping on the gods for a child..”
I thanked him for his kind heart.
When we finally got home, the merchant’s wife was on the stairs. She was beautiful, she spoke from there as the household slaves came to unpack what the merchant returned back with.
” Lami, you have been gone for four days, and you said you will only spend three days. who is the little witch with you? Don’t tell me you bought a slave girl looking like she was a left over by the gods, hope you didn’t spend money to buy her? The merchant wife queried him immediately she saw me.
“Can my beautiful wife come down to greet her husband whom she has not seen for days? I’m sorry I took an extra day, I needed to sell all the wares before returning home…”
The woman came down and gave her husband an angry look before turning to me. She looked at me all over and pulled off the turban on my head, she became angrier as she saw my bare head with no hair.
”Lami, no, no… I don’t want her, and there is nothing you will say that will convince me to take her. Hope you didn’t spend up to fifteen shillings on her? Return her and get your money from the wicked dealer that sold her to you, I can’t allow her into my house!” She barked more angry
“Just give her a chance first, she is strong and she also worships lucrus, I know she looks too slender but with food she will add more flesh to her skin and her hair will also grow. Give her a chance of fourteen days and if you still don’t want her, then I’ll sell her off at your pleasure…” The merchant said to his wife.
”I swear by the name of lucrus if she comes into my house I will send her to the circus animals and her blood will be on you because I warned you, I said I don’t want her! Look at those eyes of hers, so deep and sunken like the blue sea, she makes me to me shiver in fear, take her away from here now!” She stormed out in rage.
The merchant took me out at the wife’s command, I wrapped my head with the turban again. He didn’t know what to do with me. He rode on his horse wheel searching for buyer, he was willing to resell me for twenty shillings, he didn’t want to be at a total loss and if he had told his wife he paid forty shillings to purchase me, the woman would have torn him into pieces. After sometime, he saw a young man who was coming from the slave market with two male slaves with him.
He said to him, “She is for sale, very strong for your household, add her to your slaves. I could have kept her but my wife didn’t want her, please, take her and give me what you have.”
The young man looked at me and smiled, making me feel at ease. He gave the merchant fifteen shillings which seemed like the only money with him and I silently followed.
When we got to the big beautiful gate, he looked at me for sometime before speaking quietly to me.
“There is something about you, you are special. this big beautiful house belongs to the second prime ruler of this whole kingdom. He and his wife are kind, they have two children, Vim their son is ruthless, he does whatever pleases him and the princess whose name is Zity, She is full of life and may be of same age with you. I am the head of the household slaves, you can call me Abel. We have enough slaves here but my master has ordered me to get two male slaves for his shipping business. I don’t know why I bought you from that merchant, but I know that the madam is looking for a little personal slave girl for her only daughter Zity. Zity may not want you but don’t be afraid, for God will soften her heart. I was also little when I came down here. I was just eleven then and I’m thirty-two years old now. My master and my mistress just got married back then when I arrived here and I was here when they gave birth to all their children, both the ones that died and the two that survived. Vim is twenty and Zity is fourteen. My master and mistress are good people, they have wanted to free me on several occasions but I told them I wasn’t ready, may be because I had become used to them. I feel comfortable here and they are kind to me. What is your name and how old are you? What god do you serve? Tell me the truth, don’t be afraid.”
“My name is Tamar and I’m fourteen years old. I used to be a Christian before loosing my faith, I’m ready to serve my lord…”
”I’m not your Lord Tamar, Call me Abel. Now, I understand why God led me to the path I took today. He wanted me to meet you. I’m a Christian too but I hide it well from everyone. it’s very dangerous to announce such faith here,. I will help you believe again, but keep your faith to yourself and don’t let anyone to know about it. I can see you have been through so much, You have survived what killed others and is obviously not because you are stronger but because there’s a reason for that and soon you’ll find out why God kept you till this time. Lets go inside, the prime ruler and his family are all in..”
I quietly followed him into the big beautiful gate.
My life is about to take a serious turn which I may not be prepared for but as Abel said whatever reason God kept me is a mystery and I’m about to find out.
To be continued
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