Tag Archives: arranged marriage

The Wait – Chapter 8

Kokumo walked home dejected. The joy and happiness he had initially felt coming home had been stolen from him and he saw no reason to be home. He would have turned back to school if not that all his roommates would have also left the campus by now and locked the room. He just wanted to be alone to lick his wounds. He sauntered into his compound, taking out his own key to the padlock on their door. He opened the main door, dropped his travel bag on the floor in his room and flopped on the mattress. He had suddenly lost his appetite and also lost interest in everything. He knew his mother would still be at the market but he did not even look forward to seeing her. If only she had pushed him a little to take action the day she had the discussion about Ajoke with him. He sighed as he tossed on the mattress. The day took its toll on him and in a few minutes, he was snoring loudly.

 

Iya Kokumo arrived home to meet the padlock to the main door of their house open. Only Kokumo had a key to the door. Did that mean her son was home? She thought. She quickly dropped her basket of left-over fruits by the door and rushed to her son’s room. She saw him sprawled on the bed snoring loudly and smiled. Her son was home. She closed the door to his room quietly and went to the kitchen. He must be tired and hungry. She set to work as her hands moved in quick motions to prepare a meal for her son.

Kokumo woke up at about 7.30pm and heard the melodious voice of his mother as she sang praises to God in the kitchen. He stood up and stretched lazily. His tummy began to rumble announcing the arrival of hunger pangs. He walked to the kitchen to see his mother and to assist her with the food she was preparing.

“Ëkáalé màámi.” (Good evening, my mother). He greeted touching the floor in a half-prostrate.

Iya Kokumo turned round to look at her son as she smiled. “Kòkúmó, ömö mi. Káàbò. Báwò ni ilé-ìwé.” (Kokumo, my son. Welcome. How was school?)

“Daadaa ni mà. Mi ò mò pé ë ti dé lé láti öjà.” (It was good. I did not realize you had arrived from the market.)

Iya Kokumo returned to the amala she was preparing. “Èmi náà mö bê. Mo ri pé ó rè é gan.” (I know. I could see you were very tired.)

“Kínni ki n bá a yín se?” (What can I do for you?) Kokumo asked.

“Má yö ara ë lénu. Ìwö lö jòkó, ko ma wò ní tìë. Óúnjë ti fé jiná.” (Don’t bother yourself. Just go sit and watch. The food is almost ready.)

Kokumo picked up a small stool by a corner of the kitchen and sat down as he watched his mother. He was lost in thought that he did not realize when she finished the food and dished his meal into a bowl.

“Kokumo, Kokumo.” Iya Kokumo called.

Kokumo suddenly jerked up and looked at his mother. “Maami.”

Iya Kokumo dropped the bowl of amala and ewedu she was holding on the kitchen stool which served as her table and touched Kokumo on his forehead to feel for a temperature.

“Kílódé, ömö mi.” (What is wrong, my child?)

“Kò sí ìyönu màámi.” (There’s no problem, my mother).

Iya Kokumo looked at her son unconvinced. Kokumo noticing that his mother was getting worried, stood up from the low stool and picked up his meal.

“Ë jé ka lö jëun.” (Let us eat). He said to his mother. He needed to get himself together, he did not want his mother getting worried unnecessarily; he thought.

 

Kokumo refused to step out of his house for the next one week. His mother had expected him to visit his farm to see to what his workers were doing but he had no pleasure in that. She asked him every day what the problem was, but he continued to state that he was fine.

Two weeks after his arrival at home, he was sitting down with his mother outside the house when an old friend of his from secondary school passed by. His friend spotted him and his mother and walked up to them smiling. “Ah ah Kokumo!” Ajirebi said stressing his name. “Ojú ë rèé.” (Is this you?)

Kokumo stood up to hug his friend. “Ajirebi, long time. Where have you been?”

Ajirebi did a half-prostrate to greet Iya Kokumo. “Ëkú’ròlé mà.” (Good evening ma)

“Kú’ròlé Ajírébi. Àwön òbí rë n kó?” (Good evening Ajirebi. How are your folks?)

“Dáadáa ni wón wà mà.” (They are fine ma).

“Ìwo àti òyìnbó ë yìí.” (You and this your English). Ajirebi said as he looked at Kokumo. “You no dey tire.”

Kokumo laughed as he slapped his friend on the back. “Wetin you wan make I do? Make I no speak am again?”

Ajirebi suddenly pulled his friend by the arm. “Wetin happen to Ajoke? I hear say she don marry.”

Kokumo looked at his mother and noticed she was looking at both of them. Even though, she was not literate, she understood pidgin English.

“Yes, she should be married now.” Kokumo said looking away.

“Ah…ah, no be say both of you dey carry yourself for secondary school as husband and wife. Women!!!” Ajirebi lamented.

“It is not Ajoke’s fault.” Kokumo shouted at his friend.

Ajirebi looked at his friend, shock written on his face. “Wetin I talk?” He asked gesticulating with his hands.

Kokumo took a deep breath as he calmed down. “It is not her fault. Her father married her off against her will.”

“Hmm…” Ajirebi said as he squeezed his face. “I no no. Ah, the thing go pain you gan oh.” He continued as he bit his forefinger.

Iya Kokumo noticed her son was uncomfortable with the discussion with his friend and decided to step in.

“Ëìn Ajírébi, kí àwön òbí rë fún mi o.” (Ajirebi, send my regards to your folks). She turned to her son. “Óyá nínu ílé. Èyí ta se ní ìta ti tó.” (Let us go inside. We have had enough outside).

 

Kokumo obeyed his mother as he walked into the house without looking back to say good bye to his friend. He sat down and there was a look of misery on his face. His mother sat beside him as she walked into the house.

“Kòkúmó, ìdí tí gbogbo nkan ò se wùn é se mó leléyìí, àbí?” (This is the reason why nothing has been of importance to you anymore, right?)

Kokumo sighed as he looked at his mother.

“Sé o féràn ömö yën tó bè?” (Do you love her that much)?

Kokumo nodded his head unable to utter words.

“Mo dè sö fún ë nigba yën o. O ní pé àdéhùn tí èyin méjèjì jö ní nipé ë ma féra tí o bá ti se tán ní ilé-ìwé gíga.” (And I told you then; but you said it was the agreement between you both to get married after your university education).

Kokumo put his head in his palms. He did not want to be reminded about the mistake he had made. It still hurt and his heart was still tender and broken. Iya Kokumo noticed her son’s hurt and pulled him as she rested his head on her bosom. His mother’s action broke him and he groaned as he hid his face in her bosom and shed tears of hurt and pain; his body wracking with each sob. He had tried unsuccessfully to put the matter behind him; and right now, Ajirebi had brought it to the fore and reopened his wounds.

Iya Kokumo prayed for her son that evening that he would find his own wife when it was time. She also admonished him to put the love he had for Ajoke behind him and focus on his studies.

Kokumo went back to school a week later. The love he had for Ajoke could not easily be forgotten but he was going to make an effort. She was now married to another man and wishing things were different was only going to keep him depressed.

——
The story continues

Photo Credit: http://www.wikihow.com

The Wait – Chapter 6

Ajoke’s letter got delivered to Kokumo’s department a day before his exams were about to start. He was handed the letter by the departmental secretary. As he collected it, a smile played on his lips as he recognized Ajoke’s handwriting. He closed his eyes briefly and imagined being right by her side. He had missed her so much. He put the letter in his book folder and quickened his steps towards the hostel. He longed to read from her and he wanted to do it while relaxed. He knew she would have written to fill him on the happenings in her village and also gists about her friends.

As he hastened towards the hostel, he thought about when next to pay her a visit. Exams were scheduled to end in a month’s time and he looked forward to going home just to be with her. This time, he was going to take her home and make sure his mother accepted her. He was now a grown man and if he wasn’t in the University, he knew she would have been asking about his marriage plans.

He sauntered into his room, all his thoughts on his beloved. He took out the letter from the book folder and dropped the folder on his mattress which lay by a corner in the room. As he lay on the mattress, he tore the envelope carefully.  He took out the letter and began to read.

“My darling Kokumo,

How are you and school? I hope you are doing well.

I am writing this letter with so much pain because my father is marrying me off very soon. The man to whom I will be married to is coming for my mo mi mo o in two weeks’ time.

My eyes are filled with tears as I have no choice in this matter. I wish it did not have to be this way.

I don’t know what to do any longer. I am confused. I love you with all my heart.

See you whenever you come home.

Ajoke.”

 

Kokumo must have read the letter a thousand times but each time, he failed to understand what he had just read. Marrying her off? To who? Why? What about their plans to get married once he graduated? Then it hit him like a thunderbolt. Ajoke had mentioned during his last visit that she had overheard her parents discussing about getting her married. The moment it dawned on him, tears dropped down his cheeks. Ajoke, Ajoke, I can’t afford to lose you. He said to himself. God why? First, you took my father. Now, you want to take Ajoke away from me. He put the letter on his chest as he cried silently, hot tears making their way down his cheeks. Ajoke wasn’t the only one confused; he was as well. His exams were starting tomorrow and it did not make sense to go home now. Besides, from the date on the letter, the introduction had already been done. His mind was in disarray as he thought of what to do.

Throughout that evening, Kokumo could not concentrate. He knew he was meant to read for his paper the next day but every time he did, he saw the words in Ajoke’s letter dancing before his eyes. As much as he tried to get his mind off it, he kept on seeing the words; the man to whom I will be married to is coming for my moomi mo in two weeks’ time.

After a fruitless hour of not being able to concentrate, he decided to pack up his books and go to sleep. Maybe when he woke up, he would realize it was all a dream; and Ajoke would still be waiting for him to finish school and they could get married.

Kokumo woke up fitfully the next day. He could not remember how he slept or if he did at all. He kept on seeing Ajoke crying out to him for help. While she did, he stood afar with his arms folded and watched as she struggled with someone he couldn’t recognize. The person held her tightly by the hand and he made no attempt to rescue her. Her cries filled his ears calling him and pleading with him to save her from her captor but he shook his head, turned back and walked away.

As he was walking away, he saw his mother walking towards him. She pulled his ears as she got to him and repeated their last conversation over and over again.

“Sé bàbá ömö náà mò é?” (Does the girl’s father know you?)

“Rárá mà.” (No ma).

“Kí ló wá fi é lókàn balè pé to bá padà láti ilé ìwé gíga, o yì ma ba l’ómidan?” (What gives you the assurance that when you graduate from the University, she would still be single)?

“Àdéhùn t’émi àti è jö ní ni.” (That is the agreement between us).

“Ölórun á bá ë sé o.” (God will do it for you, I hope).

He sat up on his mattress and noticed that the tee-shirt he wore to bed clung to his body. The tee-shirt and his mattress were wet with sweat. He shook his head as he sighed deeply. What sort of nightmare did he just have? He would do anything within his power to rescue Ajoke from danger but why didn’t he do that in his dream. It made no sense to him. He loved her and would never allow anyone endanger her life. Who could have been holding on tightly to her? Was it her father or the man she was to be married to? Why had he made no attempt to save her from her captor? Instead, he had turned his back on her when she needed him most. The dream was all so confusing and he could not fathom what it meant.

To Love & to Hold 40

He stood up from his mattress and stretched. He looked at his other room mates who were still sound asleep. He needed to concentrate if he wasn’t going to fail his exams. He thought about responding to Ajoke’s letter but words were not enough to convey everything he had to say. He would rather see her in person and they could discuss their next line of action. Just give me three weeks and I will be with you, Ajoke. He said to no one.

He picked up his bucket and decided to get ready for the day ahead. As much as he loved Ajoke, he also wanted to make her proud and graduating with good grades was of utmost importance to him. Her friends who had gotten married had been given out in marriage to secondary school certificate holders and artisans. Just like Ajoke whose parents could not afford to send her to the University, most of them either could not afford to do so or did not see the importance of sending their daughters to a tertiary institution. Those who did not see the importance believed it was a waste of funds as she would eventually get married and be confined to taking care of her husband and her children.

Kokumo reckoned it would be a thing of pride when Ajoke stood in the midst of her friends to say she had gotten married to a graduate. She would become the envy of her friends just as his mother’s friends envied her in the market where she sold her fruits. She was no longer referred to as Iya Kokumo. She had been given a new name and was now called Iya Gradue. Even though, he had tried to correct them that he was still an undergraduate, it did not matter to them. The fact that he was even in the University had upgraded his status and that of his mother. He also wanted the same change of status for Ajoke and he was going to make sure he worked towards not just being a graduate but one that finished with good grades.

He walked towards the bathroom to take a shower. Once he was done, he sat down to read as he pushed the contents of Ajoke’s letter behind his mind. In three weeks, he would be done and if he needed to present himself to Ajoke’s father as the man who loved his daughter and wanted to get married to her, so be it.

——
The story continues…..

Photo Credit: http://www.wikihow.com

Omoshalewa – Episode 7

Shalewa drove home with Akin tailing behind. All through the journey home, she smiled as she kept her eyes on the rear mirror. She still could not believe that Akin, her first love was back in town. Oh Akin, how much I longed for you all these years. And now, you waltz back into my life at this time; when all hope is lost. She shook her head as she sighed. Why did you have to wait this long? She soliloquized.

She drove into her residence and asked the gateman to allow Akin in as well. As she eased out of her car, she waited for Akin. Akin got out of his car and strolled towards her. As he got to her, he held her hand and kissed it with a smile on his face. They both proceeded to walk towards the main door hand in hand. As they were about stepping into the main house, Akin whispered something into Shalewa’s ears and she burst out into laughter.

Funke looked up from the fashion magazine she was browsing through when she heard Shalewa’s laughter. Shalewa walked up to her mum and bent halfway to kiss her on the cheeks. She dropped her handbag on the couch as Funke picked up her glasses from the side stool. She put it on to have a good look at the person walking in behind Shalewa. As she recognized him, Akin smiled as he touched the floor in a half prostrate.

“Good evening ma.” He said.

Funke stood up to give him a hug. “Ah..ah, Akin!!!” She exclaimed.

“Yes ma.”

“Wow! It’s been how many years?”

“Fifteen years ma.” He replied grinning.

“How are your parents?”

“They are fine thank you, ma. I spoke to them on the drive down here and they asked me to send their greetings.”

Shalewa beamed with smiles as she looked at her mum and Akin.

“When did you arrive? It is so nice seeing you again.”

Akin smiled. “I arrived a few weeks ago.”

“Ah…ah, Akin!” Funke said stressing his name. “You have grown into a fine young man. Please sit down, my dear. What do we offer you?”

“I am okay ma. Shalewa and I had some drinks before coming. I just wanted to stop by to say hi after a long time. I have missed you and daddy a lot.”

“Oh, thank you. That is nice of you but he is not home yet.” Funke said.

“No worries ma. Since I have seen you, I have seen daddy.” Akin said as they all burst into laughter. “I should take my leave now. Thank you for taking very good care of Shalewa.”

Shalewa blushed as she looked at her mum. “Ah, do I have a choice?” Funke asked as she raised her palms heavenwards.

“Let me walk you out.” Shalewa said to Akin.

Akin did another bow towards Shalewa’s mother as he stretched forth his hand towards Shalewa. Shalewa immediately took his hand and they walked out of the living room smiling.

Akin eased into his car still holding Shalewa’s hand. He started the ignition and looked lovingly into her eyes.

“I almost feel like you shouldn’t leave.” Shalewa said.

Akin smiled. “I don’t want to as well but you know I have to go.”

“Yeah, I know.” Shalewa said looking downcast.

Akin pulled her closer as he raised up her chin and planted a kiss on her forehead. He caressed her face with his thumb and smiled.

Shalewa smiled back. The unspoken feelings between them saying a thousand words with their eyes.

“Give me your phone.”

“It’s in my handbag. I dropped it in the living room.” Shalewa replied.

Akin picked up his phone from the passenger seat and handed it over to her. She typed in her number immediately.

“Expect my call.” Akin said as he saved the number.

“Definitely.”

Akin engaged the gear and drove towards the gate. The gateman opened up and he drove out of the Samuel’s residence.

Shalewa walked into the house smiling to herself. She met her mum shutting the window blinds as she sauntered into the living room. Funke sighed as Shalewa walked in.

“Mum?” Shalewa said as she gave her mother a curious look.

Funke sat down and tapped the couch. “Please sit down.”

Shalewa obeyed as she sat beside her mum. “Is anything the matter?”

“Yes. I watched the display between you and Akin.” Shalewa’s smile faded immediately. “I don’t think it is right considering that you are getting married very soon.”

“Is that all you have to say, mum?” Shalewa asked beginning to get upset.

“Omoshalewa, listen to me. Tunde loves you….”

“And Akin doesn’t?” Shalewa asked cutting her mother short.

“Shalewa!!! You should concentrate on your wedding preparations.” Her mother said scolding her.

“I have had enough of this, mum. Can I leave now?” Shalewa asked as she picked up her bag from the couch and stood up in anger.

Funke looked at her daughter as she sighed deeply.

Without another word from her mother, Shalewa stormed to her bedroom slamming the door shut.

Shalewa’s phone began to ring. She had been lying down on her bed fully clothed the last one hour. She stood up and walked towards her mini-library where she had dropped her handbag in anger. She took out her phone, looked at the caller ID, hissed and flung the phone on her bed. The phone rang three more times but she refused to pick up the call.

Ten minutes later, her mum tapped on her door once and walked in. Shalewa’s back was turned to the door. “Yes mum.”

“Tunde has been trying to reach you. He says your phone keeps ringing out. He was worried and called me to ask if you were okay.”

“I’m okay.” Shalewa said; not turning back to look at her mum.

“Don’t you think you should pick up his call or at least return the call to let him know that?”

“I’m not interested. If he calls back, you can tell him I am fine.”

“But not interested in picking his call?”

Shalewa turned to look at her mum. “Mum, I really want to be alone. Please can you do that?”

Funke shrugged and sighed as she walked out of her daughter’s room.

*******

Shalewa was beginning to doze off when her phone began to ring again. “Oh goodness.” She said as she picked up the phone in anger. She was about to switch off the phone when the Truecaller app on it brought up a name. She rose up immediately and picked the call.

“Hey.”

“Sounds like you were not expecting my call.”

“I was.”

“Maybe your heart was but your body wasn’t.”

Shalewa smiled. Even though they were apart, he still noticed the seemingly minute details. “I did not realize I had dozed off.”

“I should allow you rest then. You are probably tired.”

“No, no, please.” Shalewa said with a tone of urgency. “I really want to talk to you.”

“How are you doing?”

Shalewa sighed. “Akin, I really can’t say I am doing fine.”

“So what happened between when I left your place and now?”

“It’s mummy. She won’t let me rest.”

Akin laughed. “Let you rest? I don’t understand.”

“It’s about my wedding to Tunde.”

“Okay, so what about it? I remember you said you were not in love with him?” Akin asked chuckling.

“Akin, this ain’t funny. I’m not in love with him but why is it so difficult for everyone to understand?” Shalewa asked irritated.

“Everyone except me.”

“I don’t know what to do, Akin. I am confused.”

“That is because you haven’t told them what you want.”

“But I have, they just won’t listen.”

“Then make them listen.” Akin said matter-of-factly.

Shalewa was quiet for a few seconds. She nodded her head and said; “Right? I think I know what to do.”

“That’s my Shally babe.” Akin said laughing.

Shalewa smiled as she closed her eyes and listened to the sound of Akin’s laughter. Fifteen years had not changed anything between them.

They chatted for another two hours moving from one topic of discussion to another until they both began to yawn continuously into each other’s ears. They laughed over that as well before they bade each other good night.

——-

Photo Credit: http://www.wikihow.com

Omoshalewa – Episode 3

Shalewa opened the door and standing before her was a handsome young man who was probably in his mid-thirties. He held a bouquet of red roses and a bottle of wine in his hands. “Hi Shalewa, it’s a pleasure meeting you again after a long while. You still look as pretty as you did years ago.”

“Thanks for the compliment.” Shalewa said.

“This is for you.” Tunde said as he stretched out his hands to handover the bouquet of flowers.

“Thank you. Please come in.” Shalewa said as she stepped aside to usher him in.

“Oh….Tunde, welcome. You were right on time. I love that.” Bayo Samuel said walking into the living room and stretching out his hands to shake the young man. Tunde shook Bayo’s hands with a little bow of the head and also greeted Funke as well.

“Hmm….still very cultured, I must say. Please sit down.” Bayo noted, obviously impressed.

While the women left to the kitchen to organize lunch on the dining table, the men took their time to talk about issues.

“So, do you recognize him?” Funke whispered to her daughter in the kitchen.

“The face does look familiar but no, I still can’t place it.” Shalewa answered, peering into the living room. “He’s handsome, though.”

“So, you like him?” Funke smiled looking at her daughter’s face.

Shalewa gave her mum a puzzled look. “Mum? I never said that. I just said he’s handsome. Please can we go set up the table before the men start to wonder what happened to lunch?” She said stepping out of the kitchen before her mum could utter another word.

 

One hour later

“Thanks for the lunch, ma. It was nice.” Tunde said as they all stood up from the dining table and moved to the living room.

“You are welcome, my dear and I hope you visit more often.” Funke answered smiling.

“On Shalewa’s request, I would.”

“You do not have to wait for Shalewa’s consent to come over.” Bayo Samuel said matter-of-factly.  “This is like your second home. Remember, your late dad and I were buddies way back in the university. You are free to visit anytime.”

Tunde nodded his head.

“Shalewa, your mum and I would be in the study so you can have some time to catch up on old gists with Tunde.” Bayo smiled as he led his wife out of the living room.

“Okay daddy.” Shalewa answered, not appreciating the gesture. What gist did she have to catch up with Tunde? There was no history between them, so what was there to talk about?

They both sat down on opposite ends of the room watching the television. Since there was no history between them and they had nothing to talk about, they discussed about the issues on the television. Shalewa tried to be a good host but wondered if her parents knew that she wasn’t enthusiastic about their match making efforts.

 

Over the next six weeks, Tunde tried as much as possible to impress Shalewa. He would buy her gifts, send her roses and cards and take her out on dinner dates. She liked him, no doubt; but she did not love him. She told him anytime she had the opportunity to but he was adamant that she would grow to love him. “It’s only a matter of time.” He would say.

******

One evening, Shalewa and her mum were seated in the living room watching a late night sitcom on the television. When the commercials began to run, Funke looked at her daughter. “How is your relationship with Tunde going?”

“Relationship?” Shalewa asked, looking at her mum with a confused look on her face.

“Yes, your relationship.”

“Mum, we are just friends. Nothing more.” Shalewa said as she turned back to face the television.

“Tunde does not take you as a friend. It is obvious he loves you very much with the way he dotes over you.”

“Oh mum!!!” Shalewa protested. The commercials were through and she was not ready to have this discussion.

Funke picked up the remote control and switched off the television.

Shalewa groaned, looking at her mother. “What is it, mum?”

“Do I have your full attention now?” Her mother asked.

Shalewa sighed. “Yes mum.”

“Why don’t you give Tunde a chance?”

“I have tried but it’s just not working.”

“What do you mean?”

“He’s a very nice and caring guy but I don’t see him beyond being a friend. I have no feelings for him.”

“Don’t worry darling. You would grow to love him.”

Shalewa’s jaw dropped as she looked at her mum with shock. “You also believe that?”

“Of course. Just give it some time.”

“It is almost two months since we met and I still can’t bring myself to love him. Don’t you think maybe, we are just destined to be friends and nothing more?”

“Your father would be disappointed, Omoshalewa. He’s already making plans for both of you to be together forever.”

“Together forever? Dad is making plans for us to get married without my consent?” Shalewa asked with shock.

“But you haven’t had any relationship that was even close to the altar. Now that you have one, your dad is not letting it slip off your hands and in case you want to know, I’m in total support of it. All the men you previously dated were after your father’s wealth. Tunde is a fine young man who is established and building a good name for himself.”

“So, am I supposed to take it that I do not have a choice?”

Funke sighed as she took her daughter’s hands in hers. “Omoshalewa mi, you are no longer a child. You do have choices but life has given you a golden opportunity to be happy for the rest of your life. What else do you want?”

Episode 3

“I need to love him to get married to him, mum? Is that so difficult for everyone to understand?” Shalewa asked in frustration. “He says I would grow to love him. I am yet to find the root of the love and you want to send me on eternal misery living with a man I do not love?”

“I would leave you to think about it.” Funke said resigning. She stood up as she switched the television on and left her daughter alone in the living room.

*****

Tunde parked his grey Toyota Landcruiser in front of an apartment. He pulled down the visor in front of him and took a look at himself in the mirror. Picking out a small comb from the glove box, he brushed his hair. When he is satisfied with his look, he stepped out of the car, opened the back door and took out a plastic bag. He touched the lock button on the car remote as he walked towards the apartment. The close is quiet as usual.

He tapped the door gently and waited a few seconds before tapping it again. The door is opened to reveal an elderly woman. She is wearing a flowing boubou and her face and hands are wrinkled. She smiled as she hugged Tunde who was already going downwards to prostrate. “Ömö mi, káàbò.” (My son, welcome).

The elderly woman allowed Tunde in as he took a look round the apartment. She never ceased to amaze him with the way she organized things. She had a habit of arranging and rearranging things to keep herself busy. He placed the plastic bag on the dining table which is sparkling as if it had just been polished.

“Öjó wo lo dé láti South Africa?” (When did you come back from South Africa?) She asked as she sat down on a single leather couch.

“Ó ti se díè mà.” (A little while ago, ma).

“Ah….ah, o wá n sèsè n bò wá kí mi.” (And you are just coming to see me?)

“Ë má bínú mà. Bí mo se dé ni isé ti bèrè.” (Please don’t be angry, ma. As soon as I came in, work started).

“Hmm. So how is your business faring?” She asked.

“Adúpé l’ówö Ölórun.” (We thank God).

Tunde moved closer and knelt before her. “You are the only one I have left and I have something very important to tell you.”

She smiled without saying a word.

“I have found a wife.”

“Olúwa o sé o.” (Thank you God). She said as she lifted up her hands to the heavens. “So when are you bringing her here?”

“Very soon, very soon.” Tunde said. “I wanted to inform you first before bringing her.”

“Ìyén náà da.” (That is good).

“Hmm…..” She exhaled. “If only your parents were here, if only Aduke did not have to die at child birth…..” Tears began to make their way down her cheeks.

“Màámi, ë má se báyìí.” (My mother, don’t do this). Tunde pleaded. “Sèbí èyin lë tó mi dàgbà?” (Were you not the one who took care of me?). I never felt motherless because of you.

“Ah, kíni ì bá se?” (What would I have done?) Nígbàtí Àdùké fi é sílè tó lö s’órun (When Aduke left you and departed to the heavens). I had no choice my son.

“Grandma, please it is enough. Today is supposed to be a joyful day not a day of mourning.”

She took a deep breath and touched Tunde gingerly on the cheeks. “Yes, my son. Today is not a day of mourning.”

Tunde walked out of his grandmother’s apartment two hours later after she ensured he had had a meal of amala and ewedu.

——-

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