“Mama Tolu, I need money to buy a new pair of suit for the upcoming conference” baba Tolu asked authoritatively. Tolu had thought her mother would refuse her father but she was wrong.
“How much do you need?” That question had always infuriated Tolu and it still did. Her father has always been a liability. She had thought men were the breadwinners of the family but such wasn’t the case of her father. All he did was to stride in suit, which of course was gotten from her mother’s hard-earned cash. His favourite sermon was “wives, be submissive to your husbands”.
She wondered who made him a pastor. What he did with his salary remained a mystery as she was very sure her mother footed all the bills.
She didn’t want to be like her mother. She didn’t want to marry a poor man. She wanted an enormously rich man. One who wouldn’t bat an eyelid to spend all he had on her. Emeka seemed like he would end up being like her father hence, her refusal to his proposal. She remembered the last Valentine’s Day.
“Who’s there?” She asked as she adjusted her chiffon top. “Come in please”.
He walked in with the most awkward smile she had ever seen. In his right hand was a bouquet of rose flower that looked like they weren’t happy. She quickly scanned him with her eyes from his body to his left to see if he had anything than the withered flower he held. She found nothing. She was about to mutter some words when he quickly went on his knees professing his love for her. He hurriedly dipped his hand in his pocket and brought out a neatly folded paper. He unfolded it and read it in an annoyingly loud manner. Not the slightest of romance could be detected in his voice.
“Happy falentine day nyala’m. Udala nmicha’m , last night ehn sleep did not come oo. Your love is distobing me in the night when I want to sleep. Before, I think I should take you to fass food place but I did not have money. Please accept the flower I buy come for you”.
She couldn’t hold the laughter that threatened to burst. Emeka thought his proposal was already considered. “Chai! Ladies and their shakara ehn” he said, making way to her side of the room.
Immediately he felt like a bag of cement was dropped on his face causing him to stagger. Tolu had just slapped him. “You’re a very big fool. So, you think I’ll stoop so low to date someone like you, ehn? You can’t even speak a correct English word. I’m irritated at the mere sight of you. You no even get money abi na spirikoko I go chop? Oya get out of my room”.
Emeka was dumbfounded. Tolu had just exhibited a character he least expected. She slapped him really hard. He shamefully walked out of her room, determined never to talk to her about marriage or relationship although he was convinced she was made for him. He heard it from God. He dreamt about her.
“You can’t even speak a correct English word” those words ached his heart as a drop of tear rolled down his cheek.
He remembered thirteen years ago.
He had just arrived from school that afternoon. 13th of November 2005. The day was an unforgettable day or better said, the worst day of his life.
“Aunty Chioma, good afternoon oo” he greeted as he moved towards his aunty who didn’t seem to hear him as she had her head bowed to the earth like she was in a deep thought. He tapped her lightly in a bid to jolt her to reality. She gently raised her head which surprised him as he had expected her to be startled. Her eyes seemed like they had been weeping for days.
“Aunty, what happened na? Why are you crying like this? What about mama?” Like he had said something that poked her tear ducts, she started another round of tears before him.
“Eme…..ka” she screamed, stressing on the last syllable of his name. “My sister oo, chai! My sister don pekem oo” She replied amidst sobs.
“Aunty, wetin be ‘pekem’ na? Which language be that?” He questioned worriedly, making a face that seemed like he would break into tears at the slightest chance.
“Your mama ehn, wey be my own sister don dieeeee. Ewooooo” she dropped the bomb.
Surprisingly, he burst into a heavy laughter. Chioma thought he had gone mad as he laughed uncontrollably. “Chineke, Emeka no craze oo, biko”.
TO BE CONTINUED
Author: Donatus Mercy
I am Donatus Mercy, an undergraduate of the University of Ibadan. I’ve always loved literature (everything about literature) but somehow, I’m not studying a course that relates to it in any way. I love to use the literary prowess God has endowed me with to touch lives of people especially the youths of our generation. Writing stories that will spur your inner man into activation and making you see that your relationship with God means more that whatever you think. Most importantly, I’m a lover of God.