Hey guys, meet your new favorite story and probably the best Nigerian historical romance you’d ever read. Haha yeah, I feel myself so.
Eyin Ese is a yoruba word which literally means, the back of the leg/heel. However, it has a deeper meaning. I removed it from a saying in Yoruba which is, “Ti Okunrin ba tatorin, ti Obinrin tatorin, a ma wo eni ti o lomi leyin ese ju ara won lo”. Yeah, you’ve got to understand Yoruba to get it. It’s a deep saying which right now I can’t translate in English. However, I intend to ask my mother tomorrow and tell her to help with the translation so I can tell you guys.
Until then, introducing, Eyin Ese, an historical romance. You know how I love to tell love stories. I know you love it and I love writing them.
It is a story of two warring families, who have hated themselves for years but who now have their children falling hopelessly in love with each other. The odds are against the children of course, so this story is the tale of how they both fight for their love in the midst of all of that war and hate.
The Heroine, Adeola, is a woman who wants more than marriage in a world where a woman is only seen as good enough to be slept on/with. She seeks to be taken as seriously as her brother, Aderopo who is the heir to the throne but will she ever get the opportunity? Especially when she goes ahead to fall in love with the enemy, the man who killed her father?
The Hero, Oyekunle, wants his late father’s father’s throne back. He is going to fight dirty for it. So when he falls for Adeola, the question is, is it for real? Or just he just need someone to hand him the throne that was taken away from his late Grandfather years before?
Eyin Ese will run as a marathon from today till Wednesday. The, we would pick up from there on Saturday. Eyin Ese will be posted on Saturdays. And no, it will not disturb SDC.
PS: I know this image is hideous, but I just threw something together Lol. Would work on it with time.
The Lion could sense his breathing. He’d thought he had succeeded in throwing it off but now, as he heard its steps, closing in on him, he knew the end was near.
He let out a cry, pleading for the mercy of the gods, asking for them to come to his aid.
His hands holding tight to the Iroko tree, his forehead joined to the strong tree, he began to sob like a little child.
The Lion was closer now, breathing heavily, ready to pounce on its prey.
“Sango o! Sango!! Sango!!!” he screamed like a little boy. He was the Crown Prince of his Kingdom; he was not supposed to die like a commoner in the middle of nowhere, his body food to animals, just because some stupid elder’s council had deemed it fit for him to go through the rituals of Kings in Oyo.
He had loathed the idea from the moment it fell off the lips of the Elders, spoken to him by the Eldest Elder Ojedokun.
One of the oldest men in the Kingdom, Ojedokun was referred to as one of the wisest. Something he, Aderopo disagreed with. If he was such a wise man, why had he sent him on the most useless journey under the guise of a ritual?
The Lion roared, digging its paws into his trousers, it wrestled with Aderopo as he held on to the Iroko tree for his dear life.
Aderopo began to sob like a little child. Crown Princes were not known to cry, the crown prince of the biggest Kingdom in the West was not supposed to cry but here he was, standing face to face death, his hands holding on to a Tree that was currently betraying him. He was going to cry.
Struggling to climb higher, he tried to grab the closest branch. His bare feet failed him and he landed on the floor in a thud, the Lion rising above him.
He shut his eyes tightly, willing to go on to the journey to the great beyond now that the gods had refused to save him.
The weight he suddenly felt on him, followed by the loud cry of the Lion jolted his eyes open.
Opening an eye while he surveyed his environment, he saw that he had company.
A Spear tore into the belly of the Lion, followed by a Sword which severed the head of the animal. Blood splattered on him and the face of his Savior as the beast that had almost sent him on a journey to meet his forefathers closed its eyes in death.
She reached out her hand to him. Disgruntled, he took it, his body finding balance on his feet.
“What do you think you are doing?” he asked coldly, smoothing the Dansiki he had almost been buried in. He kicked the Beast beside him to be certain it was dead.
“Saving you. You’re welcome, brother” she replied, her sarcasm heavier than the animal that now lay dead at their feet.
“I did not need your help, Adeola” he spat, his leather slippers, a pair only he and his father owned in the entire Kingdom caught his eyes some spaces away. He sauntered towards it, his gait unwavering.
Aderopo was widely known in all of the Kingdoms and Villages under the Oyo Kingdom.
He was the tall, lean and extremely handsome Prince and heir to the Oyo throne.
His skin was the color of roasted groundnut; it was brown and certain women had called it edible because it made them want to lick it. His body shone like Shea butter and his voice was more rhythmic than the voices of all the best singers in the Kingdoms put together.
And Aderopo was aware of the physical qualities he possessed. He was aware of it and he wielded the power that came with both the looks and the crown whenever he wanted.
“You should have left us, I had it handled” he muttered, his feet were firmly held by his leather slippers now. He adjusted the beads around his neck and the ones that adorned his wrists.
Adeola’s eyes fell on the slain animal and then, back at her elder brother. “Didn’t look like that to me” she responded.
“Well, it was a tactic. I wanted it to think I had the upper hand and then wham!” he demonstrated with his hands, “I was going to throw it down and tear it with my bare hands”
Adeola nodded, unconvinced. Since she was a little girl, the Princess, Adeola had learnt not to argue with her only brother, the heir to the throne.
Once she argued with him and the result had been punishment for three moons.
She’d been refused favour at her father’s courts and had been refused exit to go out to play with her friends for those three moons.
“Nobody argues with the crown Prince, not even when you’re their sister and a royal blood in your own right. A man is always a man” her mother had chided later after she complained about the unjust treatment.
“What are you doing out here anyway?” Aderopo inquired, his eyes scrutinizing her.
She shrugged, “I was bored”
He frowned, “So you came to play with wild animals instead?” he took another look at her. “You need to stop wearing men’s clothings, nobody, not even your betrothed will want to marry you if you continue. And you know what happens to women who don’t have crowns, they become irrelevant” he grabbed the Sword in her hand.
“I already have a crown, I am a Princess” Aderopo had yanked the Sword out of her hand, he was hitting the dead animal in the belly.
“A man is a woman’s real crown” he spat, dedicated to his current task.
“What are you doing?” She asked him.
“Ensuring I have enough animal blood on my royal clothes to convince the Elders’ council that I murdered the beast with my own hands” the blood from the Lion splattered on Aderopo’s face. He abandoned the Sword when he was satisfied and generously rubbed the remaining blood on his face. Turning towards the path that led back to the Kingdom from the Forest, he ordered his younger sister, “Carry it”
“If I carry it, how would they know you killed it?”
“Because I will take it from you when we are close to home and stagger in with it. Now carry it” he ordered and sauntered down the path that led back home.
The whole Kingdom was informed of Aderopo’s bravery in the forest of the untold when he returned home. The head of the Lion and its headless bloodied body he returned with had confirmed his strength and the manner with which he told his tales of the sojourn to the forest of the untold had convinced the Elders’ council, the Kingmakers and the whole Kingdom that Aderopo was fit to be the next King.
His father, the King had been overwhelmed with pride and had placed him as the Commander of Akangun; the Warriors that had led many successful battles against the Kingdom’s enemies.
Aderopo was being prepared for his future; ruling the biggest empire in the land.
That night, the wealthiest and most powerful families came together for a feast in the Palace of the King. They also brought gold, elephant tusk and slaves as gift for the King and his prince.
The ones that had daughters even brought their daughters, some of the fairest maidens in the land for Aderopo to wife when he was ready to ascend the throne of his fathers. Because as it was known, Princes only wed their wives after they had been crowned King.
The ones that did not have daughters brought their nieces, willing to pledge them to the throne and the Prince, so they could find favor in the eyes of the biggest kingdom that was.
As the wealthy and powerful drank, the biggest entertainers known in the Kingdom providing entertainment, meat and wine flowing like water, Adeola, dressed in male clothes, sat with the head of the Akangun, the one who answered to the Commander who was now her brother.
Her hand held firmly to a Bow, an arrow ready to be shot into a tree sitting behind the large Palace where merriment was currently ongoing for her brother.
Akangun Ajagun stood behind her, his hands guiding hers, lowering it so she could hit her mark; a mask hanging on the Tree right in front of them.
“Do not tense your shoulders, my Princess” Ajagun told her softly. His voice was strong, it thundered on days when he was angry or when he was commanding his large army but to her, he spoke softly.
Adeola once told him she wanted him to speak to her like he spoke to his Soldiers.
“It means you are taking me seriously” she’d said.
Ajagun had smirked, “My Princess, I take you seriously. But you are my Princess” he’d bowed before continuing with their lessons on said day.
Adeola eased her shoulders now, her eyes on the mark. Releasing the bow, she watched as it hit the mark just above the mask. She pouted.
“I missed” she said, disappointed.
“My Princess, you can keep trying”
Eyes filled with disappointment, she faced Ajagun. “How is that I can wield a Sword, can use a spear but cannot shoot an arrow?”
“We all have our strengths, my Princess”
Adeola sighed, “You should go in there now and eat and drink” she chuckled, “I hear there are also beautiful women from around the Kingdom, as plentiful as the drinks and meat”
Ajagun chuckled, “Those I believe are for your brother, the Prince”
“So many to pick from, I wonder which one will warm his bed tonight”
“The perks of being the man of the Kingdom”
“Such perks” Adeola said, Ajagun laughed.
Since she was a little girl, Ajagun had been the man willing to teach her what the others believed she was too weak to learn. He had seen in her what the others never saw and what the others thought was not in her place to know, or learn.
He told her the history that her mother and the royal tutors never thought was her business to know and he brought tales of the battle field to her after they won a war.
Ajagun was Adeola’s best friend.
The gallops of an approaching Horse startled them both, assuming a position, ready to protect his Princess should it be the Horse of an enemy, Ajagun gently pushed Adeola behind him.
It was not strange to hear or see an Horse approaching the Palace on a night like that one but none came from the back of the Palace.
This route was not for outsiders.
Emerging from the shadows was a man, clad in the expensive attire only known to some of the wealthiest and most powerful families in the Kingdom.
Ajagun recognized him immediately.
“It is Ojediran” he muttered.
“Who is he? I have never heard of him and what is he doing riding in from the back of the Palace?” Adeola asked, the Horse had pulled to a stop now. It was only then they saw three other Horses with its riders approaching behind Ojediran.
“He is Ojediran, the son of Ojekunle, the son of the masquerade.”
Adeola eyed Ojediran, he approached them with a chip on his shoulders. Dressed in the regalia only known with the rich and the powerful, his eyes gazed at them with condescension she hadn’t even seen in her cocky elder brother’s eyes.
“I am here to see the King and to wine and dine at the feast prepared for the rich and powerful” he said as if talking to them was one of the things he hated the most in his life. “Which of you is taking me inside?”
“The Princess does not lead guests, that will be my job” Ajagun replied, making way for Ojediran.
Ojediran eyed Adeola incredulously, his gaze darting from Ajagun to Adeola’s ill befitting clothes. He chuckled, “This is the Princess of Oyo Empire?”
Miffed, Adeola spat, “Do you have any problem with that?” she asked.
Ojediran shrugged, “None at all. I just expected my betrothed to look like a Princess not a commoner”
Shock replaced the irritation on Adeola’s face, she gasped, “I am not betrothed to anyone” she said slowly.
“Well, neither was I, Princess” Ojediran replied, he was looking her over again. “Until last moon, when your father was pleased with my father’s loyalty and he asked what my father wanted. He asked for us to be married.”
“Nobody told me anything”
“I cannot say that is a surprise, I am not sure anyone would take you seriously dressed like a commoner, a male commoner, when you’re the Princess to the throne.” He hissed, “I should have visited the Palace more often, I would have known my future bride likes to present herself as a commoner and my mood would have at least been good tonight” facing Ajagun he said, “Please lead me inside. I need to get myself together before this wedding holds in seven days”
Adeola watched as Ajagun led the man who would be her husband to the event where her brother was being celebrated for the strength he did not possess.
Surely, just as Ojediran had announced, she was getting wedded to the only man cockier than her arrogant elder brother in days.
Saddened by the prospect of being wedded to the man who spoke in such condescending manner to her the first time he met her, she longed to retire to her chamber early.
Escaping the inner chambers of her father, the King, she waded through the crowd that had gathered to celebrate her brother’s return from the Forest of the untold and made for her inner chamber.
Instructing one of the maidens waiting on her to prepare water for a warm bath, she entered her bed chamber, shedding the clothes she had been wearing all day.
Standing in front of the mirror in the room, a rare gift from the far easterners who had come to visit her father moons before, she stared long and hard at her body.
Womanly curves, flat stomach and breasts that stood like the ripe fruits of a blossoming tree, she was sensuous. Her womb was ready to hold the seeds of the man that married her, her hips ready to birth the babies the seeds eventually grew into and her back ready to carry them while she swayed on days they had trouble sleeping.
But she wanted more than to be the wife of a man who only touched her when he was bored. A man who thought of her as an accessory and a claim to the biggest royal house in the land, a man who thought of himself as her biggest achievement.
She wanted to rule, wanted to own the throne like her brother Aderopo. She wanted to be King.
Sadly, that was never going to be. A woman’s crown was a man like her brother had pointed out.
A woman’s claim to the throne of her fathers was not reasonable. It was impossible.
Startled by noises from the Palace, she grabbed a wrapper lying on the floor and darted out of her chamber.
There were screams of terror and shouts for help.
Confused, she looked around at the guests who had been merry just a few minutes before, running for their lives.
Desperate to find the reason for the commotion, her feet dug in the sand as she ran for the entrance to her father’s Palace.
Her eyes caught a figure moving towards a lone horse just as she was about to enter the Palace where people now fell over themselves to find safety.
Inching closer to the figure, which now closed in on the lone Horse, Adeola watched in utmost shock as the figure, a man, built strongly, his chest bare, his loins girded by animal skin, hid a bloodied knife in his pouch.
He suddenly turned to look at her, his gaze locking with hers just before he mounted his Horse.
His eyes danced with laughter, the corners of his mouth giving way into a mocking smile.
He bowed slightly, “My Princess” he said and rode into the darkness.
“The King is dead!” Adeola heard from behind her. Standing rooted to a spot, Adeola realized she had just watched the killer of her father walk away free.
She who had killed a Lion with her spear and her sword, had watched a man ride away into the darkness after murdering her father.
Overtaken by revenge, she went in search of the best horse in the Stable.
Please, if you are still having reasons buying Squadi on Okada Books, please and please, mail me at Tomilolaadeyemo@gmail.com Thanks.