An entry in The Crocodile Prize
People’s Award for Short Stories
UP in the high ranges of Mt Wilhelm lived beautiful Weywey, full of elegance and taste. Wherever she walked, the people had a positive comment on their lips.
When Weywey was only an infant, her mother had died of heart failure. Her loving and protective father raised her under strict rules which Weywey observed.
Her obedience earned her the admiration of the whole village as Weywey kept to her daily chores. After school she brought the pigs back to their pen, fed them and prepared the family meal. This was her life.
One day as Weywey was preparing for school, her dad called her over. He hugged her and said, “Weywey, you are a big girl now. A lot of boys in the village will be keeping an eye out for you. Be careful and choose wisely. Don’t be lured by them.”
At school Weywey could still hear her dad’s firm voice of advice echoing in her mind. She felt she had been given the freedom to exercise her womanhood but with caution.
This was a new beginning, a new chapter, in her life. She felt satisfied and loved her dad for trusting her and making allowances for her after all the strictness she was accustomed too.
One afternoon walking back home from school, she bumped into a young handsome man, Bakaie, who came from a mixed parentage of Simbu and Southern Highlands.
Bakaie’s parents had migrated to Simbu after a terrible tribal fight 10 years previously. Bakaie was their eldest son who had just completed his law studies at the University of Papua New Guinea.
He was on his vacation and would return to work as a lawyer in one of the city’s law firms. Even though he lived nearby, Weywey had taken him for a stranger.
When Weywey’s eyes met Bakaie, everything changed. She felt that he was the guy for her. She tried to brush the thought aside but her inner voice told her, “Weywey, that’s your man. Go get him.”
After many sleepless nights and an endless burning desire for Bakaie, Weywey collected her courage and did something that was against her culture. She went to Bakaie’s house, stood at his door for some time, collected herself and then knocked on the door.
She was thrilled when Bakaie opened the door himself. Lost for words Weywey just pushed a note into his hand and hurried away.
In her note she wrote, “Bakaie, please say that you will wait for me. I will grow up to be a mature woman soon. I will save all my kisses for you. I will shine with a love that will be forever true.”
In no time Bakaie was at the door of Weywey’s house. She was happy to see him responding to her note. They both stood looking at each other.
Finally, Bakaie found his tongue. He spoke softly and slowly. “Weywey , beautiful mountain butterfly, love is one thing and age is another.
“I am 22 years and you are only 15. I cannot wait for you. I have to live my life.”
With these few words, Bakaie left.
An emptiness filled Weywey’s heart.
Bakaie left for Port Moresby, a few days later.
Weywey was down-hearted. She was not a cheerful girl anymore. All her hopes and desires for Bakaie had gone like the wind. One minute she was in love and the next minute she was in pain.
Is that what dad meant when he told me to choose wisely with caution, she asked herself. The question kept coming back to Weywey again and again.
As weeks went by, Weywey, finally learn to let go of her feelings and move on in life. She went about her daily chores again, secretly hoping that Baikaie would one day return and ask her hand in marriage.
One fateful day, Weywey’s dad felt ill and died.
Weywey felt the whole world was against her. Life had no meaning. She just wanted to accompany her dad on his eternal journey to meet her mum.
The village could see that Weywey had given up on life and they had kept a close watch on her.
But one thing kept Weywey going: the commitment she had whispered to her dad during the funeral. She promised to be the successful woman he wanted her to be. She promised her dad she would always make him happy.
Weywey learnt to accept her dad’s absence and went about her life. Time went by.
Five years later, Baikaie came back to ask for Weywey’s hand in marriage.
In the cold of the morning, he strolled to Weywey’s house and knocked softly on the door.
The door flew open and there standing facing him was the most beautiful woman he had ever seen. Weywey was shocked to see Bakaie. He had come back for her. She was stunned.
They both stood looking into each other eyes for some time then Bakaie said, “Well, aren’t you gona let me in. It’s freezing cold here.”
Weywey was furious because this was the moment she had been dreaming of and now it had arrived she could not enjoy it.
She stood speechless for some time. Finally, she spoke softly trying not to show her emotion.
”Bakaie, its’ being five years since we last met and I’m now married to your best friend Joseph.”