“Ehen! Lemme see the ring again…” Ogonna said to Mabel.
Mabel flashed the ring at her and Ogonna’s eyes widened.
“That must have cost quite a lot ooo…that your bobo is
rich…” Ogonna said.
“Well…he works hard…” Mabel said flashing her a smile.

They were both headed to the departmental library and Ogonna
couldn’t believe Mabel’s luck. When they had started their masters programme
some months ago, Mabel had been booless, 
fiance-less (if there was ever a word
like that) and to top it off, she wasn’t all that pretty.
“Congrats…” Ogonna said in envy, she wondered why whenever
it came to her, men weren’t in a hurry to propose.
“Thanks…” Mabel said.
“So, when did you say….you guys met?”
“Six months back…and our wedding is in four months…”
“See ooo…in less than one year ehn!” Ogonna said in a
pained voice.
Mabel smiled and continued.
“He even wanted to get me a ride because of school stress
and all but I shrugged it off, I don’t need a ride, do I? I mean, I live not
too far away from school and the bus is okay…” Mabel ratted on.
Ogonna’s mind was not with her course mate anymore, it kept
wandering about. ‘Did my parents curse me? Do I need to change my name? Should
I resort to bleaching? Do I have too much pimples? Why then, is it hard for one
man to propose to me ehn? One rich man….considering that we have over a
million rich men in Nigeria and the good thing about me is, the fact that I am not
choosy, as I don’t care if he’s already married.’ She thought to herself.
“Ogo…Ogonna…” Mabel called.
“Huh?” Ogonna startled jumping out of her reverie.
“I just remembered that I left my jotting book at the class,
I want to go and get it.”
“Sure…congrats again.” Ogonna said, still staring
wishfully at the sparkly diamond ring that graced the fourth finger on the left
hand of her course mate.
Mabel left her and hurried off on her way while Ogonna walked
into the library, as hurt as ever.
********
“You haven’t touched your food.” Morayo said quietly.
“I am not hungry…” Gbade replied flipping through the
newspaper on the table while his plate of food sat beside him growing cold.
“I’ll cover it for you…” Morayo started.
“Take it away, I’m not hungry…” Gbade started.
“Gbade…how long are we going to live like this?” Morayo
started. Seeing that he wasn’t ready to speak, she continued. “It’s almost two
years since we lost Lolu, maybe it’s time to try for another baby…”
“Ha! Another baby? With you? Over my dead body!” Gbade spat.
“Excuse me? That was an insensitive statement. I am your
wife and not a dog.”
“I will repeat myself, over my dead body, Morayo, will I ever
try to have another child with you. So, you honestly expect me to have a child
with you after you successfully killed the first one abi?”
“Gbade! You know it was an accident…” Morayo said with
tears in her voice.
“Really? It was an accident? How many mothers do you know
and how many of them have ever been involved in accidents with their kids? Many
women have more than one child and not one of their kids are missing but we had
just one, Morayo, we had just one and you killed him.” Gbade accused.
“How many times do I have to tell you that he was crying at
the back-seat and I just turned back for a minute to see what was wrong and
before I could focus on the road, a reckless car hit our…car and…and…”
Morayo started crying.
“Don’t you ever speak to me of another child! No child can
ever take Lolu’s spot in my life, none!” Gbade shouted.
“You would have preferred if I had been the one who died in
the accident right? I also would have preferred it but God has given us another
chance to have another child, if only you would touch me…” Morayo started.
“It’s obvious that you want to continue your useless conversation…I
am going to bed.” Gbade said and picking up his newspaper, he stormed off from
the dinning room.
Morayo crouched to the ground and hugged her knees, she
couldn’t remember how much tears she had shed for her son’s death but she
recalled wishing death upon herself while on her hospital bed. She wished she
could bring back the hands of time, she wished that on that day, she had
ignored Lolu while he cried and instead, parked at a safe spot on the road to
attend to him, she wished so many things but unfortunately, she was getting
none.
**********
Nkiru walked the short mile home from the bus park, her parents were in the
sitting room watching football with her brother. She greeted them and walked
towards her room but her brother’s voice stopped her.
“Didn’t you buy anything for chops?” Kene asked.
“Which one is anything for chops?” Nkiru retorted, upset by
her brother’s laziness.
“So, you mean that you hurried back from work, flinging your
arms like a buffalo…”
“Hey watch it! Don’t insult me…” Nkiru started.
“Am I insulting you? I am just telling you of the things you
neglect to do….so you mean that when you have kids, you won’t buy chops for
them when coming back from work.”
“Ofcourse I will besides, they are kids but you are a grown
man.” Nkiru said.
Her father chose that moment to reduce the volume of the
television set. He cleared his throat and spoke.
“Speaking of errr…children, when are you give your mother
and I, our grandchildren?” He asked.
“I don’t know…do I look pregnant?” Nkiru fired.
“Nkiru…I wonder why you always pick offence when we bring
up the issue of marriage. Do you want to die a spinster?” Her mother asked.
Nkiru recalled her attempt at sex with Patrick and fired
back.
“Is it a crime to die a spinster? Lots of women die as
spinsters and many men die as bachelors. It doesn’t change anything.”
“We just want you to know that age is not on your side. All
your mates are married and many of them have even stopped having kids…” Her father said.
“I don’t…” Nkiru started.
Her father rose to his full height and turned to stare at
her in anger.
“Will you shut up? You have a deadline in this house or don’t
you know that? I am giving you from now till the next three months to present a
man to me or else…” Her father shouted.
Nkiru almost asked ‘or else what?’ but decided to keep mum.
“Hahaha…tell her daddy, tell her….nonsense girl.” Kene
laughed in glee. “Old mama….mtchewww….instead of her to humble herself and get married, she’s spitting fire. Nonsense!”
Nkiru rushed into her room in anger, she wished she could
slap the smirk off her stupid brother’s face. Infact, she wished she could do a
lot more but her strength failed her every time.

To be continued….

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