Hello Guys, This is not the beginning of May, but this is the story of May. Again, I’m always gladdened by tweets, messages, and mails from people asking when the next series will be published…Here we are. Don’t forget to hit the share button, and drop a comment. You can also join me on twitter, as we continue the discussion in the days to come. Enjoy.
“My daughter, all that glitters is not gold…hmm…heyyy…all that glitters is not gold.” Mrs Falope looked straight into the eyes of Alero , who looked above her mother’s eyes at the little children playing under the mango tree in the compound. Humid air aerated the dank room that was filled with different piles of clothes from expensive organza laces, taffeta , and ankara. The pile of clothes reminded Alero of the good old days when her mother used to sell clothes at the popular Gbagi market in Ibadan. There was another pile of expensive oriental pyrex dishes of different sizes. The good old Ibadan days were now gone, and Alero wished her mother would understand that this was a new millennium.
“Maami, you need to understand that I’m no longer a child”. Alero frowned.
“Yes, you are right, but I’m your mother and you are my daughter. You grew up sucking my breasts and so I want you to listen to me.” Moremi knew Alero extremely well as the palm of her hands; once she decided to do a thing, it was almost impossible to have her mind changed, but the decision to choose a life partner was not one to be left to the willfulness of a twenty-eight year old lady with little experience of the vicissitudes of marriage. She hoped she would listen this time.
“Mummy, you are now old, and you will not understand a lot of these things. By the way, I have my Pastor’s blessings”. Alero snapped in exasperation. The conversation had gone on for over an hour and it was obvious she had to do something drastic for her mother to let her off the hook.
“I will like to see that Pastor of yours who will open his eyes and watch you walk into fire. That boy will do you no good. And don’t ask me how I know. I just know. I feel it in these two breasts that you sucked”. Alero watched her mother undo her wrapper and kneel down lifting her two hands up to the heavens.
“As long as I serve God Almighty, you will not marry sorrow. The covenant I have with God is a covenant of life. I may let you go, but God will close all doors as you plan to marry that young man”.
“Mummy, are you cursing me? Don’t you want my happiness?” Alero had forgotten the last time she saw the nakedness of her mother, and the sight before her at that moment was scary. The sixty-five year old woman sustained her hands in the air, as she shook her flabby breasts praying to God that her daughter will have a change of heart.
“Maami, my time is far spent. I am going back to Lagos”. Alero picked up her handbag, in preparation for her journey back to Lagos. She had been worn by her mother’s incessant petitions to her to change her mind from marrying Kunle, and it was imperative that she got to Lagos early enough to rest from the emotional stress she now suffered as a result of her visit to Ikare.
“God be with you *Omo mi”, Moremi stood up and tied her wrapper around her wrinkling body. She had decided to be discreet about her latest plan on the issue at hand. If summoning Alero down to Ikare was not sufficient enough to change her mind, then she would make the most unexpected visit to Lagos.
She waved at her daughter as she drove out of the compound, shouting instructions and reminding her that as a mother she would have nothing but the best from Alero especially as regards her marriage. Her daughter was the true daughter of her husband, Obafemi and her father, Baba JC warned her many years ago that people from Abeokuta may be simple but they could be dogged and determined to a fault.
“Ethnic traits cannot stand the power of the God I serve!”
Alero’s drive to Lagos was not without a few hiccups; rain fell as she left the outskirts of Ikare all the way to the ancient city of Ibadan. The ominous sight of lightening on the horizons ahead of her made her a little worried, and she got scared stiff when one of her front tyres ran flat at top speed as soon as she drove out of Ibadan through Iwo Road. An attendant at a nearby fuel station assisted her with a change of the tyre informing her that she was whiskers away from death, as similar mishaps on wet roads would usually cause the car to summersault.
It was 6.30 pm as Alero veered off the Third Mainland Bridge into Gbagada, where she rented a three bedroom serviced flat at the instance of Kunle, who believed she should live close enough to her workplace in Ikeja, and to his apartment in lekki. He had spent close to two million naira renting and furnishing the apartment with exquisite furniture that could only be typical of an Architect of his standing. The red car parked opposite the gate to her compound was very familiar. It belonged to her former fiancé, Kenneth, and she wondered what he was doing in front of the house he could never have been able to afford if they had gotten married as planned.
“Would Mummy prefer I marry Kenneth?” She thought to herself while watching him step out of the car walking towards the gate as her car approached. After three months, she could not believe Kenneth’s die-hard attitude. Did he think their relationship stood a chance? She planned to keep her windows wound up and drive straight into the compound as soon as the gateman opened the gate , but her fingers depressed the unlock button of the car, and Kenneth hopped in beside her.
“Hi.” Kenneth’s voice was irritatingly low.
“Hi.” Alero could not believe this was the guy she dated for two years to be married to until she met Kunle. Everything was in Kenneth’s favour except that he just couldn’t cut his teeth with the kind of money that Kunle threw around. He struck deals that could scarcely afford the luxuries Lagos had to offer and his lifestyle was not fast enough to match the Lagos hype.
“How have you been, and how may I help you?” Alero spoke without looking at his face. His aura was strong enough to sweep a girl off her feet; her only problem was he could not wad up his pockets.
“ Alero, I’m sorry to disturb you, but I haven’t been able to sleep for the past one week. I can’t help but believe we are meant for each other.” Kenneth’s voice was full of confidence with traces of sadness.
“ Grow up Ken. Grow up! Look at my fingers. I have since moved on. I have always told you that I do not have anything against you. Just needed to step up my game, and move on to the next level.” She brandished a 17karat diamond ring Kunle had given her, when he proposed to her at a private beach in Lekki the previous month.
Kenneth’s demeanour was cool and calculated even though his face was lined with marks of stress and sadness.
“We had an agreement the last time we spoke.” He looked into her eyes.
Looking away Alero replied, “I honour another man’s agreements at the moment, and as you can see we will soon be married.”
“We agreed that we were going to pray about this again.” He retorted.
“Pray about what? A broken relationship? Kenneth I’m done. I’m done with you. Thank you for the good times we shared, but I’m sorry I have met another godly man like you. Please understand”.
Alero wanted to say more, but she still had respect for the young man she had known for the better part of her post- teenage years. She owes him all the confidence she now displays. He stood by her through difficult moments at University, when she had an extra year and even through her time at Law school. His love for the things of God was unparalleled, and they had planned to get married until Kunle showed up at her office to see her boss three months ago. She wished Ken could be as rich as Kunle. Every young woman needs the pampering of a few Lagos naira notes mixed with some dollars. And that had nothing to do with faith.
“I came to tell you that I honored my part of the agreement.” He said.
“And what did God tell you?”
“That may not be important anymore. It appears your mind is made up. I only thought to follow up since our discussion two weeks ago.”
Alero watched Kenneth as he alighted from her car, shut the door, and walked towards his car. He moved with the usual confidence of a man on a mission, and without looking back, he sped out of the crescent.
The brake light of his Toyota Corolla bounced out of the mirror and hit her eyes. It was a sign of caution.