Wale and Kunbi arrive back in Lagos on Sunday evening sans drama. The engagement ring still sits in Kunbi’s bag undisturbed. Both of them by an unspoken agreement steer clear of discussing her mission to Ola’s place. For Wale, she is an adult; besides, it is her life. For Kunbi, love covers all sins.
The week rolls by with Sola and Kunbi still having lunch as usual every afternoon. Kunbi decides not to wear her engagement ring as she is unsure of what Sola’s reaction would be. He is already heartbroken as a result of Tolu’s betrayal, I don’t want to hurt him as well. She resumes her weekend journey to Ibadan every Saturday and everything seems to go smoothly.
One Saturday, she forgets to put on her engagement ring before leaving for Ibadan. As she approaches Ola’s apartment, she looks at her hand and realizes the mistake. Oh goodness, how could I have forgotten? She contemplates on what to do but then shrugs as there is nothing that can be done at the moment.
“Hello darling”. She says as she walks into Ola’s apartment. She had requested for a spare key last weekend since Ola had previously changed the locks and he had obliged her.
Ola is seated in front of the TV engrossed in a video game he is playing and barely notices her presence. Kunbi drops her weekend bag on the floor and stands akimbo. “Helloooooo”. She stresses.
Ola glances at her and smiles but goes back to playing the game without responding. Kunbi upset that she is being ignored, walks to the TV and stands before it.
Ola’s face changes all of sudden and he screams. “What do you think you are doing?”
Kunbi maintains her posture. “Did I travel all the way from Lagos to be ignored?”
“You ain’t a visitor, go ahead and make yourself comfortable”. He says. “I’m in the middle of something right now, as you can see”.
Kunbi stamps her feet on the floor refusing to budge.
“Kunbi, please don’t get me upset. We both know it is not a pretty sight when I do”.
She gives up the fight and slumps her shoulders as she heads towards the kitchen.
“Can I have a glass of water?” Ola calls as she is walking away.
She comes back to the living room with a glass of cold water and places it on the side stool beside Ola. He looks at it briefly and notices that Kunbi is not wearing her ring.
“Why are you not wearing your engagement ring? He asks as he pauses the game to look at her.
“I forgot to wear it”.
“How can you forget to wear it?”
“I just forgot, okay? She says upset.
He drops the handheld controller on the settee and looks at her critically. “I assume you forgot to wear it means that you take it off. Isn’t it meant to be on you always?”
“I don’t know why you are making this an issue”. She says. “I wear it every day but forgot to put it back on after I did some washing”. She lies.
Ola frowns giving her an angry stare.
She looks at him afraid he is going to hit her but he picks up the handheld controller and goes back to playing his video game.
She breathes out quietly and walks towards the kitchen. I wonder what was on his mind.
After about an hour of playing his video game, Ola walks into the kitchen, his senses assaulted by the glorious aroma of jollof rice. He stands behind Kunbi circling his arms around her waist. “When are we going to see your mum and tell her about our plans?”
Kunbi smiles. “Whenever you are ready”.
“This is March, we should plan towards a June wedding”. He says.
“June? That is three months away. Why the rush?”
“What do you mean by a rush? Don’t you want to get married?” He says taking his hands off her.
“I do. What I mean is we should take our time to plan instead of getting married in a hurry”.
“It is no hurry. Three months is enough for you to get everything planned. Pick a date when I can come see your mum and let’s get started”. He says with finality walking out of the kitchen.
Kunbi sighs. Do I really want to get married in three months’ time? Am I ready to spend a lifetime with Ola? Her mind drifts to Sola and her heart sinks. I can’t deny that I am in love with him. Oh God, please help me.
Kunbi leaves for home four hours later. She meets her mum reading the day’s newspapers at the dining table and kneels down to greet her. “How are you, Kunbi?”
“I’m fine, mum. Can I talk to you for a moment?”
“Yes dear”. Wunmi says as she drops the newspaper on the table.
Kunbi pulls out the chair closest to her mum and sits down. “Mum, Ola wants to meet with you sometime soon”.
Wunmi looks at her daughter intently.
Kunbi expects a reaction from her mum but receives nothing. “He has proposed and I have agreed to marry him”.
Wunmi takes a deep breath. “Hmmm…..Kunbi, do you understand what you are getting into? Do you realize that marriage is a life-long commitment?
“Yes mum, I do. I love Ola”. Kunbi says.
“Love is not enough. Can you tolerate his excesses? His jealousy, his pride, his insecurities. Are you ready to deal with all that for the rest of your life?”
“Mum, Ola loves me and is just looking out for my good. Isn’t that enough?”
“I think you should sleep over your decision. You are my only child and I want the best for you. I am your mother, I won’t deceive you”.
“Mum, can you just give me a date when Ola can come visiting?” She says beginning to get irritated.
Wunmi shrugs. “Next week Saturday”.
“Thanks mum”. Kunbi says as she stands up to leave for her room.
Her mum watches her as she walks away. How else do I make her see that disaster lurks at the corner. She looks heavenwards as she shakes her head. I can’t let my daughter make the same mistake I made. She picks up her mobile phone and dials Wale. He picks up on the first ring. “Hello mum”.
“Báwò ni Wálé?” (How are you doing, Wale?)
“Adúpé mà. Sé dada l’ëwà” (I’m fine, thank you ma. Hope you are keeping well).
“Adúpé, O seun. Mo pè é nitorí àbúrò ë ni”. (I am, thanks. I called you because of your younger sister).
“How come you never mentioned that she is engaged to Ola?”
“What? She agreed to marry him?” Wale asks in shock.
“Nkan tó sö fúnmi ní ìròlé yìí nìyën”. (That is what she told me this evening).
I am surprised that you are not aware.
“I’m not aware, mum. She knows I can’t stand Ola, so she won’t mention it to me”.
“Jòó bàmi ba sòrò” (Please talk to her). “I don’t know why she is bent on this relationship. “Sé kò s’ókùnrin tó da ní Èkó ni”. (Aren’t there other good men in Lagos?)
“Mum, I have tried talking to her but she won’t listen”. Wale says.
“Try harder. Ègbón è lo jé (You are her elder brother). She may feel I am old school but she would listen to you”.
Wale sighs. “Okay ma. Màá tún ba sòrò“. (I will talk to her again).
“Osé ömö mi”. (Thank you, my son).
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