The weeks and months that followed Tinye did everything possible to make Azor comfortable in her new home. He loved Azor deeply to the envy of other women in the community.

They were happy together. Soon Azor took seed and gave birth to a baby boy and Tinye name him Zola. Not long after, Azor took in seed again and gave birth to a boy and this time around Tinye name him Tinyini.

A year later, Tinye fell ill and died suddenly. Azor was shocked and confused about the demise of her husband. She was accused of her husband’s death and was made to go through the widowhoods’ rites to proof her innocence. The ordeal was muted to her by her fellow women within her Tinye’s clan.

Azor’s beautiful long black hair was shaved with a razor by these women. They sung traditional songs while clapping and dancing in the compound. Then the water that was used to bath her dead husband was handed over to Azor to drink. Azor relentless took the corpse water in tears and drunk it without a word. As she drunk the water tears began to flow down her cheeks.

Finally as part of the widowhood’s rite hot water was supposed to be poured on her; if she gets burnt then she is guilty but if she doesn’t get burnt then she is innocent.

Azor was taken to the bathroom and stripped naked, she stared at the bucket at the center of the bathroom, and it was a bucket of hot water mixed with herbs. The women chant and sin whiles they splashed the water on her. As they splashed the hot water on her she felt the pain, the heat and humiliation at the same time but was now numbed to all emotions. All she could do was to cry; cry her grief and pain away.

Azor cried throughout the process, nobody told her the outcome of the rites. She cared less about what they had to say about the outcome of the widowhood’s rite after all, she knew she was innocent.

The widowhood’s rite made Azor cold and indifference towards members in her husband’s clan. What shocked her was the brutality she received from her fellow women. She never knew they could this wicked and mean. They didn’t allowed her to mourn her husband. They neither consoled her nor empathized with her.

All Azor wanted now was space to think, to process everything that has transpired and to come to terms with her grief. At night she will toss and turn on her mat hoping that everything was a dream. She kept wondering what will become of her and the kids. The black beautiful, cheerful Azor was now a shadow of herself the days that followed; she looked paled, tired, confused and unkempt.

One day Azor was summon before the elders of the clan. They were brief and straight to point. “Azor as per the traditions of the land, we called you here to tell you that you are to take Aiyator henceforth as your husband”.

Azor was shock and lost for words, why would the elders of land hasten to provide her with a new husband when she hasn’t finished mourning her late husband. Why would they give her Aiyator as a husband when they knew Aiyator was married?

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