The Price of Envy

Envy is considered to be the vice of all vices. Since day one, all it has done is bring downfall to whoever dares open his heart to answer its knock. Take Lucifer for instance, bright and morning star, head of choir of angels and the most beautiful of them all. All he had to do was let envy rear its ugly head in his heart and stir up rebellion in him.


He envied God and sought to be greater than Him; mission impossible. Envy must be feared. Isn’t it frightening enough that the first form of sin to occur rose as a result of envy? Isn’t that enough testament to the fact that envy is a no-go? Alas, some of us leave it to experience to teach us, either making it the best teacher, or making us fools.

Envy taught Maame Adwoa a lesson as the second wife of Agya Yaw who bore a baby girl whiles Maame Abena was called many names, teased and even accused of being a witch who had “chewed” all the children in her womb. The new baby, Yaa, made the situation worse and unbearable for Maame Abena to a point that she wanted to commit suicide but was advised by a close friend not to.

Exactly a year later, Maame Abena conceived and bore unto Agya Yaw, Ama, a baby girl. Ama was loved so much by her dad and also brought smiles to her mum as Agya Yaw’s love extended to her too making the bond greater than the former. Maame Adwoa did all she could to draw Agya Yaw’s attention and love back to her and her daughter but all her efforts went futile. Maame Adwoa couldn’t stand it when the love became stronger and greater than her expectation, she was out of options and the only thought that kept hitting the back of her mind was to poison Maame Abena. Yes, she did that but unfortunately for her, the poisoned meal was enjoyed not only by Maame Abena but by Agya Yaw too. Ama who escaped the food poisoning, survived because she was running an errand for her dad.

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Weeks after the burial of her biological parent, Ama had nowhere to go other than to live with her stepmother. Living with her stepmother was like “hell in a cell”. Ama was made to perform all the household chores and run all kinds of errands while Yaa, Maame Adwoa’s only biological daughter, relaxed comfortably and did what she could do best, which was to complain of hunger and any service Ama delayed in rendering to her. Ama did her best in any situation she found herself, even when it was time for her to blend her tight household chores schedule with learning how to sow dresses. She did that perfectly. When her stepmother learnt she was doing well whiles Yaa performed badly, she did not allow Ama to continue learning how to sew dresses.

Ama was loved by everyone in the Kumikrom community due to her affable attitude. She never hesitated in helping the weak and aged in carrying out their tasks and also anyone who needed her services.

The feeling of envy grew stronger as both girls became of marriageable age. Maame Adwoa kept turning down people who wanted to marry Ama because her daughter, Yaa was never approached by any man. For the second time, Maame Adwoa tried killing Ama by poisoning her food, but this time around greedy Yaa exchanged her food with Ama’s because of Ama’s big fish. Yaa died and that was the second lesson for Maame Adwoa.

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Maame Adwoa didn’t end there. She went to a powerful fetish priest, to kill Ama but it seemed that Ama was well protected by her ancestors and her mother’s spirit. This made the “juju” row back to Maame Adwoa making her blind and crippled. It was then that she finally gave up and allowed Ama to marry one rich cocoa farmer in the community. After all that she did to Ama, Ama kept catering for her in her state. Few months later, Maame Adwoa’s conditions became worst and she couldn’t hold on to secrets any longer, so she confessed all  she did in the past to Ama including killing her mum and dad and even her only daughter which she did unintentionally. She asked Ama to forgive her and advised her to never allow envy to rear its ugly head in her heart.

Her last words were, “If you hit a ball against the wall, it bounces back to you”, meaning that if you plot something against someone, you suffer the results at the end. She passed on right after she said that. Ama wept bitterly but later tried to convince herself and moved on in life with her husband.

Author: Richard Onwona Anim, #360WritersChallenge Participant


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