I sat there staring at Gabriel as though an angel had fallen
from above then quietly, I smiled revealing my thirty set of teeth- two had
fallen off some time ago due to the fights I’d gotten myself involved in.
“How are you Abosede? It’s been long.” Gabriel asked.
“I dey ooo…na economy wan kee pesin but body full ground.”
I replied.
He smiled at me.
“Abosede, can’t you maybe…speak good English?” He asked.
“Me? Speak good English? Wetin you mean?”
“I’m wondering if you’ve ever made a complete good sentence
in your life. Please don’t take it the wrong way but right from the time I knew
you, you’ve never bothered to speak good English.”
“Wetin do pidgin? Na our country get de language ni….or
you nor know?” I defended. “If we nor speak our pidgin, na so all dis dem
African countries go dey claim say na dem get am.”

“No one is arguing over that but I was just wondering…you
know…”
“I fit speak good English but pidgin dey sweet for
mouth….” I said.
He smiled at me again and brought out his phone to scroll
through.
“I nor get ya number ooo…” I said.
“Oh…true…” He said quietly.
“Give me ya number na or make I give you my own?”
“Sure…I’ll errr…take your number.” He said politely.
“Nut seven nut…” I started.
Gabriel shook his head at me.
“The way you sound, no one will know that you went through a
college of education.” He said. 
“What’s nut seven nut? Isn’t it supposed to be
zero seven zero?”
“Wetin carry my college of education come dis talk?” I ask
trying to mask my annoyance at his superior tone.
“I’m just saying…I mean…you attended a college of
education didn’t you?”
“Ofcourse yes, but I never graduate…dem talk say I get to
do more course….you can imagine! Course wey I don do before….dem tell me
say I go do am again. Na so I carry my bag leave dem for dia.” I said.
“What? You mean you had spilled over courses and you didn’t
do them? That’s wrong!”
“Wetin consign me? Na so so money dem want for dat school.”
“But what happens to the fact that you have no certificate?”
He asked appalled.
“Abegi leave dat thing jare! All de people wey don graduate
for dis we country, how many don find better work?”
“That’s not the point! You started an education and you owe
it to yourself and your family to finish it!” He said to me.
“Abegi dat one nor dey my mind now.” I said.
“What’s on your mind?” He asked, clearly tired of our gist.
“I wan marry, you know…start family, get husband and
pikins dem…” I said.
“That’s not a bad idea…” He said.
I smiled and bat my eyelashes at him.
“You nko? You never wan marry?” I ask.
“Me? Ofcourse I want to settle down but I don’t need to rush
it if I haven’t found the right woman.”
I smile again and stand up from my chair to walk to the door
leading out of the shop, I peek out and turn back stylishly, walking over to
sit beside him on the bench.
“You know say…oyibo people talk say…better tin fit dey
for ya front and you nor go see am.” I said.
“That’s very correct…” He said.
“Ahem!” I clear my throat. “Well…”
I had just started my sentence when brother Chimezie’s son
runs into our store.
“Sister Abosede, I wan buy coke, three bottles and Andrews liver
salt.” He said breathlessly.
I was so upset that the little boy had come to interrupt our
discussion so I say quickly.
“We nor get.”
The boy looks at the crates of coke in the shop and at the
huge box of Andrews liver salt hanging by the wall and says.
“You get coke and Andrews na.”
“Which kain pikin you be sef? When pesin tell you say
something nor dey, you suppose challenge am?” I fired.
Gabriel stood up from the bench and walked over to open the
small freezer in the store.
“How many bottles did you say you want?” He asked the boy.
“Three bottles sir.” The boy answered, scowling at me.
Gabriel brought out the bottles of drinks, the Andrews liver
salt sachet and handed it over to the boy in exchange for money. Loaded with
his goods, the boy turned to leave.
“Better bring back my bottle ooo…” I warn.
“Na now you know say you get customer!” The little boy said
and left.
“Which kain insult be dat? I go scatter dis boy ooo…I go
destroy am ooo…” I warn.
“Keep calm Abosede. The least you could have done was attend
to him.” Gabriel said to me.
“Dem nor born am well!” I hiss.
“You need to take charge of things. You need to be more
responsible! C’mon, look at how that young boy openly disrespected you. There
must be something you can change about yourself.”
“Na de reason I wan marry…you see ehn, de kain insult wey
I don get for dat our compound and even our street sef don pass be careful. And
I know say dem dey insult me anyhow because I never get husband. If I don marry
ehn, all deir insults go fly comot.”
“That’s not true. Alot of married people still get insulted
each and every day. It’s not about the marriage, it’s about the couple and how
well they carry themselves. Do you understand?” He asked looking at me. “Marriage
comes with responsibility. Can you manage a home? Can you make decisions? Can
you take responsibity for your actions?” He asked.
“Yes…” I reply, facing him. “I get all dat quality one
hundred percent.”
“Okay then…if you feel you have it, then what’s stopping
you?” He asked.
“You.” I say.
“Me?” He responded, taken aback.
“Yes…you…”
“How?”
“Gabriel…you too funny ooo…you just dey talk like say
you nor even know anything. Na you I dey wait for na. You never propose to me.
Na you I wan marry!”
Gabriel’s eyes widened, he looked stunned.

To be continued next week…..

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