After learning what had happened to her father, Ezinma felt...nothing. While her mother and her father's other wives and children grieved around her, Ezinma felt numb with shock, as if she had been doused with cold water. She couldn't believe that what had happened. Her father couldn't be dead!
Her husband was kind to her. While others whispered she had no soul for not crying, that a woman must cry when someone dies, he let her be. The first time she felt something was when Nwoye, looking relieved that their father was dead, came back to support the family. He insisted they call him Isaac and tried to convert them to the new faith. "How dare you!" She screamed at him. "How dare you disrespect our father! He did not give you a name so you could abandon it for nothing! That religion is the beginnings of why we've lost so many of our people, including you!"
Refusing to see Nwoye only gave Ezinma short-term gratification. Ekwefi visited her and suggested she tried to forgive him, but Ezinma swore that she'd loathe him until her dying day, and that he was to blame for everything. She wished she could hear her father's spirit and know what he would want her to do.
But she couldn't communicate with her father, she realized. She never, ever could again. When the realization hit, she did not rise from bed for a week. Her father was the only one who she'd been able to tolerate regardless of her mood, and he was gone. What would become of her, and her family?
Provide for her family? But that was a man's job! Yet...her father had always said she could do many things as well as any boy, and had wished she was one...perhaps that'd be the best way to honor her father.
Perhaps you can help your family, Ezinma. Perhaps you can help provide for them. And perhaps, one day, you can find it in your kind heart to understand your brother's point of view. Misunderstanding is a dangerous road to go down.
It took many years, but Ezinma and her family recovered from the loss of her father. As her husband had predicted, she found it in her to forgive Nwoye, and, though she refused to convert to Christianity, she did think of some of the ideas, and agree with them. She never forgot her father, and she sometimes wondered if he'd be proud of her, seeing what she had accomplished.