Amaka refused to look at her mother, how could she look the woman who shamelessly threw her self-respect away-in the eye? Her mother stood at the doorway of her room and looked at her, she was lying on her bed, reading a book or trying to at least, what else could she focus her mind on aside from what she had seen that afternoon?
“Nneamaka!” Her mother called out to her, addressing her in her full name.
“What do you want?” Amaka asked rudely.
Her mother chuckled and walked into the room, shutting the door behind her and walking to sit on her bed.
“I don’t want company mom…” Amaka continued.
“Are you going to be angry with me forever? I am your mother, whether you like it or not!”
“You disgrace me mom! How could you stoop so low? He is daddy’s driver for Pete’s sake! You’re bringing shame to our family.”
“Many women do it! I’m not the only one who has had to stray in order to stay in my marriage. Nne, being married to a man like your dad is boring, he is plain, he’s not spontaneous and he’s always busy! I could have walked out of this marriage a long time ago if not for these affairs of mine that has been sustaining me.”
“That’s no justification…”
“Okay, let’s drop the topic. What brings you home?” Her mother asks her directly.
“What kind of question is that? Can’t I come home to see my family?” Amaka spat.
“Are you on leave at work?”
“I’m just home for the weekend, that’s all.” Amaka said.
“Hmm…how’s Soluzo? I hope her wedding plans are going okay.” Her mother asked.
“I really don’t care about that.”
“What happened? Are you guys quarreling?” Her mother asked.
“Then what’s the matter?”
“I just don’t get it mom! Soluzo is so lucky! She’s always had the best family, the best grades in school and even though I graduated before her and everything, she’s got a good job and now, she’s getting married before me. Is it fair?” Amaka said with eyes welling up in tears.
“Life is not fair…” Her mother said.
“I can’t bear to see her get married in while I’m still single. I like her husband Odili a lot and I wish he were marrying me and not her. Can’t someone get what she wants in this life?”
“You want her husband?” Her mother asked her incredulously.
“Don’t look at me that way mom…you are screwing dad’s driver!” Amaka shot at her.
“It’s okay…I didn’t mean to sound the way I did but Amaka, why don’t you wait for your own time?”
“I am prepared to wait ooo…but I can’t wait while she’s happily married and popping out kids…I need this wedding to be canceled.” Amaka said vehemently.
“What do you want to do about it? Do you have any ideas?” Her mother asked.
“I was thinking…you know…I know that there are some people that are really good in magic and stuff and …”
“Wait! Do you want to jazz your friend?”
“Yes! If that’s what it’ll take to stop this wedding!”
“Are you sure about this?” Her mom asked.
Amaka sat up and faced her mother.
“I am very sure mom…I want to do this! I want to stop Soluzo’s wedding from happening!” Amaka said with a firm resolve.
Nosa stood before the sprawling duplex in GRA and almost shouted in amazement. So this was where Uyi, the trouble-maker who had shared his soaked garri and fish, lived. This was unbelievable. He remembered calling Uyi last night and after exchanging pleasantries, he had given him his house address, in GRA Benin City. Now, as he stared at the mansion, he shuddered in self-consciousness. Looking at his scruffy shoes, he gulped the bile in his throat in shame and checking the house number again to be sure he was in the right place, he knocked at the door. A gate man opened the gate and stared at him questioningly.
“Good afternoon sir, please I am here to see Uyi…Uyi…Isibor!” He said, in respect to the gateman.
“Oga Uyi? Okay…wait outside, I’ll inform him.” The gate man said and closed the gate.
Nosa stood by the gate with shaky legs as he heard the gate man speak into his phone, as soon as he ended the call, the gate man opened the gate and spoke to him.
“You can come inside…”
“Thank you sir.” Nosa said politely as he walked into the huge compound in awe.
“Just go to that door and ring the bell, someone will attend to you.” The gate man said, pointing at the huge door of the house.
Nosa murmured his thanks and proceeded to the front door of the big house. He had hardly rung the bell when the door opened and a maid in uniform greeted him and ushered him in. The cold blast from the air conditioner chilled his bones and the lovely scent of Jasmine which filled the air almost made him cry in disbelief. He was ushered into one of the sitting rooms where he sat on the plush leather chair, pausing to look around in amazement.
“Sir, can I get you anything?”
“Err…what do you have?”
“For drinks we have, champagne, beer, fruit juice, energy drinks, soft drinks, and different types of red wine. For food, we have spaghetti jollof, pounded yam, rice and pepper stew and banga soup.”
Nosa blinked in surprise at all she had just said.
“Can I ask you a question?”
“Please go ahead…” The maid answered.
“Is this a hotel?”
“No sir, it is the humble abode of Mr. Uyi Samuel Isibor.”
“This is serious!” Nosa said more to himself than the maid.”Okay, can I have fruit juice with rice and pepper stew…?”
“What would you rather have, fish, meat, chicken or turkey?”
“Auntie…anything will do, as long as it’s on top of the meal.” Nosa said, already salivating.
The girl nodded and left while Nosa kept staring around the place in silent wonder.
“Is this how life is? So unpredictable! So uncertain! While we were growing up, I was the brainy one, the boy who always Aced his scores in school and Uyi…” He shakes his head “Uyi was doomed to be a failure by all the teachers. He barely passed his exams and had to repeat classes twice in a row. What happened to my future? What happened to my sky-scraper that I was to build at twenty-five? Look at me…a thirty-one year old man with nothing to his name, not even a dime.” Nosa said in regret.
Ten minutes later, the maid appeared, bearing in her hands a very large tray filled with food, drinks and fruits. She turned on the very large television and left him to enjoy his meal and Nosa rushed his food like a hungry dog. Not even a drop of rice fell to the ground as he picked every scrap up and licked it in a swoop. By the time he was done, the maid came back again and cleared the dishes. Nosa sat and waited for his friend and after an hour had come and gone, he fell asleep on the sofa.
Odili stared at the picture of his fiancé and his heart swelled with love, he loved Soluzo so much and he was so sure that his decision of making her his wife was the best decision he has ever made in his entire life. He was seated behind his desk staring at the picture the both of them had taken some months back when they visited one of the most beautiful resorts in Nigeria. He hadn’t known that the place existed till he’d seen an advertorial
and decided to check it out. It was indeed beautiful and he was up for seeing newer and more beautiful resorts in Nigeria, at least for their honeymoon. He had resolved that he and his wife to be weren’t travelling to any foreign countries for their honeymoon, rather they’ll spend it here in Nigeria. He picked up the calendar on his desk and slowly ticked off the day’s date, the date of his wedding was drawing closer and he couldn’t wait! His phone rang and he picked the call, seeing that it was his mother.
“Mummy…how far…good afternoon ma…” He greeted playfully, he was quite close to his mom and they chatted like pals.
“Nna…how is your day going? Hope all is well?”
“Yes ma…we are up and about…” He replied.
“Ehen…I called to relay a terrible dream I had last night. The dream was so terrifying that I jumped up and started sweating.”
“Mommy! You and your dreams!” Odili joked. His mother had a strong affiliation with dreams and she never joked with them, she always told everyone that cared to listen that it was through her dreams that her husband, Odili’s father was revealed to her as her husband.
“E’ biakwa! When I tell you about my dreams and you start joking around, I begin to get annoyed…” His mother warned.
“I am sorry mom…please tell me the dream…”
“Ehen…it started with when the priest was proclaiming you and Soluzo as husband and wife, then, suddenly, just before the priest could utter, ‘I now pronounce you man and wife’, things like rotten earth-worms started coming out of Soluzo’s body, she started screaming and then from nowhere, there was a gunshot and that was how you fell to the ground in a pool of blood. Of course when I woke up, I read the Psalms and rejected the dreams but I’m still feeling uneasy.”
“Don’t worry mummy…it’s just a dream. I guess you’re just carried away with the preparations for the wedding and you are beginning to feel a bit queasy about it. It is normal.”
“Did you say it is normal? Odili…weddings are the most delicate periods of every couples lives. Do you know that the devil hates weddings? Yes, he hates the fact that what God said in the beginning ‘For a man shall leave his father and mother and cleave to his wife and they shall become one’, is coming to pass day by day. I am not happy about this dream at all.”
“But you’ve prayed about it…it’s going to be fine…the wedding will come and go and you’ll see that you were just hallucinating.”
“I want you and Soluzo to find time to come for prayers…I will book a prayer programme for you at the Adoration ministries at…”
“Mama mba! No! What is it? You are putting your fears to life and it’s bad! Soluzo and I have no time to go to any adoration of any sort. We are getting married in soon and we still have a lot of things to sort out! How can we leave our wedding plans to go for prayers? Jesus is all powerful, He will destroy whatever problems he sees in our paths if indeed
there is any…”
“Odili…you know that you are Mr. I-know-it-all! I suggest you drop all those plans first and seek God’s face about this wedding ooo…”
“Mom…I’ve got loads of work to be done. I’ll call you later…bye…” Odili said and hung up the call, suddenly angry that his mother had spoilt his day with her hallucinations. “If she’s having second thoughts about this marriage all because I’m her favorite child, she has to stop it. I can’t marry my mother!” He said.
Matthew 2: 12– ‘And having been warned by God in a dream not to return to Herod, the magi left for their own country by another way.’
To be continued…