“I was told by your mother here, that the girl you want to marry is an orphan?”
Trust his mother to always find a way to tell someone else, anything you tell her in secret, no wonder his father calls her; Nigerian BBC.
“Yes aunty, she is an orphan” Jeffery finally answered after giving his mother a deadly look.
“So who are we going to pay her bride price to then?”
“Her uncle of course, she has an uncle and he is going to s£nd the list for bride price this week”
“By her uncle, do you mean the man who trained her and that other girl he is married to?” His mother asked.
“Yes mum, that man” what was wrong with his mother anyway? Haven’t they talked about this before? Why is she here with his aunty to talk about the same issue they have discussed earlier before now?
“Ah, noo… We can’t do that o” his aunty protested, shaking her head and hands in disapproval.
“What do you suggest we do then?” Jeffery asked not un-derstanding where the conversation was going.
“We have to find her family first, before anything is done”
“What? You are not serious right?”
“Do we look like we are joking to you? Abi I will leave my house and come here to joke with you? You have to look for that girl’s family before we can proceed with any form of dowry payment. It’s a good thing she is not pregnant, so there’s no need for us to rush, that was why I asked her not to sleep with you, and I know she is very obe-dient”
His mother’s last statement, brou-ght smile to Jeffrey’s face, for if only she knew half of it.
“What is funny in all I just said?” His mother asked frowning.
“Nothing mummy, but the wedding is in three weeks, how do you expect me to be able to find her birth parents within such a short period?”
“Then we put the wedding on hold, until they are found, at least let us know where she is from”
They were still discussing, when Jane walked down the stairs wearing nothing but Jeffery’s polo, which ba-rely covered her bu-tt. Her hair was disheveled, one could tell she has been involved in some sort of un-der the sheets rumbling.
She was cleaning her eyes with the back of her palm, and didn’t notice Jeffery wasn’t alone in the sitting room, until she got to the bottom of the stairs.
Jane opened her eyes fully, to find six pairs of eyes staring at her. If the ground could open up, Jane would have asked it to, so she could enter inside, and hide away from this humiliation she just brou-ght upon herself.
“Go..od morning ma” she greeted the two women who kept staring daggers at what she was putting on.
“Good morning by this time?” The woman Jane recognized to be Jeffery’s aunt from the family pictures he had shown her asked.
“Sorry ma, good evening ma”
“Just greet us good night now, ehn.. Jane? what was our discussion yesterday?” His mother asked, her eyes still not leaving Jane’s half n-ked b©dy.
“Baby, why don’t you just go back upstairs? I will come join you soon” Jeffery quic-kly intercepted before his mother puts her in a ti-ght sp©t with her questions.
Jane who was glad to be re-leased, quic-kly ran upstairs. The moment she got to the room, she started packing her things. Something she was supposed to have done since yesterday, before she allowed herself to be s£dûç£d.
“I’m sorry, for what happened back there” Jeffery apologized as he [email protected]£ back inside the room, after his aunt and mom had left.
“Why didn’t you tell me they were around?”
“You were sleeping when they [email protected]£, and I didn’t want to wake you” Jeffery smiled as he spoke.
“And what is so funny?”
“Damn you look S-xy in that shi-t”
Jane walked up to him and hit him lightly with her purse.
“Ouch… What was that for?”
“That’s for laughing when you are supposed to be consoling me, for ma-king a fool of myself in the pres£nce of your aunt and mother”
“I’m sorry” he drew her closer to himself, and k!$$£d her on her forehead.
“It’s okay, but I still have to find a way to face your mother though”
”My mother will be fine”
”If you say so, but I’m still leaving, and you will no longer be getting some, until after the wedding”
“Is that supposed to be a joke?”
“Nope, the cookie jar is officially closed, until after we are married.
Jeffery stood there, wondering what he did wrong, to make the women in his life to choose to go against him all at the same time.
“Mum, I still don’t get your point, what are you trying to say?” Jeffery was in his mother’s kitchen, trying to find out what she meant the other day, when she [email protected]£ to his place with her younger sister.
“The same thing I said yesterday, you can’t marry someone you don’t know where she is from”
“And I told you she is from Enugu state, is that not enough?”
“She is only claiming Enugu state, because of that man who helped train her in school, we want to know the exact place she is from, after all you said she was born in Kano, that’s a good place to start looking”
“I still don’t un-derstand why you are doing this, after all, you were okay with Jane’s situation, and it has never bothered you that she is an orphan. Why the sudden change of heart?”
His mother ignored him as she stirred the food she was cooking. “plea-se [email protected] me the salt” she pointed to the salt container which was closer to Jeffery.
“What are you scared of mum?” Jeffery asked as he handed his mother the salt container.
“Who says I’m scared of anything? I’m just trying to be careful, that’s all”
“Being careful of what exactly? You alre-ady know who Jane is, or weren’t you the one who kept telling me she was a nice girl, and that I should hasten up and marry her?”
“And I haven’t changed my mind about her, I still want her as a daughter in-law, even though she can be a little disobe-dient. All I’m saying is; let us find out where this girl is from, at least know her family and her linage. You don’t even know if madness runs in her family or something even worse. Or do you want to tell me, you don’t want your children to know their mother’s cultures and traditions?”
“And I keep telling you, they will learn the culture of the Enugu people” Jeffery was alre-ady getting piqued with the line the conversation was going.
“Jeffery, I just want us to be careful, I don’t want us to repeat same mistake twice”
“What mistake are you talking about?”
“Your sister’s marriage, if we had investigated well enough before she got married to Desmond, we would have found out that; his father was a woman beater, and maybe all these issue your sister is having now, would have been avoided”
Jeffery un-derstood his mother’s fears, when Erica had brou-ght her husband to be to introduce to them; she was alre-ady a month pregnant, so they had to rush the wedding, because his mother saw it as a thing of shame, for people to know her daughter got pregnant out of wedlock. So, that didn’t give them enough time to investigate Desmond, and Erica kept going on and on, about how they were in love with each other.
In as much, as he could un-derstand where his mother was coming from, he wasn’t going to allow her fears, to st©p him from going on with his marriage plans with Jane.
“Mummy, I un-derstand what you are saying, but I need you to un-derstand that; everyone is not the same, people are different, we shouldn’t allow what happened in the past, to prevent us from enjoying the joy of today”
“I know, but I still insist we find her family first before anything is done”
“Mummy, I’m sorry but I’m not doing that, I’m getting married to Jane, and her bride price would be paid to her uncle in Enugu state” With that said, Jeffery placed a k!sson his mother’s forehead, and then turned to leave.
“So you are going to disobey your mother, because of a girl you ba-rely know?”
“I’m not disobeying you mum, I’m just standing on my decision. And she is not just any girl, she is the girl I love and I’m going to marry. Good day mum”
“Won’t you stay to at least eat lunch?” His mother asked.
“No I have some £[email protected] to run”
On Jeffery’s way out, he met aunty Ajoke at the door, she was just arriving.
“Just the person, I wanted to see” she said as Jeffery prostrated in greeting before her.
“Stand up my dear, how are you?”
“I’m fine thank you ma, and how are you too aunty?”
“I’m fine, I’m fine.. ehnn have you thought about what I and your mother discussed with you yesterday?”
“Yes aunty, and I have made up my mind on what to do”
“Ehn…very good, you know we only mean well, we don’t want you marrying someone we don’t know where she is from, and for all we …”
“I’m marrying her regardless of where she is from aunty”
“So you are not going to make any enquiry about where she is from? Come let me ask you, what if she comes from the linage of witches? or even mami water(water goddess)”
“This is my wife to be you are talking about, so plea-se I suggest you watch what you say about her”
”All I’m saying is; if we don’t know where she is from, then we might not attend your wedding”
”The wedding is in three weeks ma. Enough time for you to decide if you are going to attend, or not. Now, if you will plea-se excuse me aunty, I have some £[email protected] to run”
”Then I won’t attend”
”Then, plea-se don’t attend”
”What did you just say to me Jeffery?”
”You heard me aunty, don’t attend. That will be minus one mouth to feed at the wedding”
Jeffery didn’t wait for her to respond before he strolled out of the house, aunty Ajoke just there dumbfounded, staring at him as he walked away. He wasn’t going to allow some busy b©dy family member come tell him what or what not to do. If he doesn’t nip this in the bud now, she will think she can always come and dictate what goes on his family, even after he is married to Jane.
Jeffery was almost late for his suit fitting with his designer. He was supposed to be there with Dele his best man by 3pm, he was grateful Jane had set a reminder for him about it, if not he would have totally forgotten it was today. Dele alre-ady called to let him know, he was on his way there.
“I still don’t un-derstand the meaning, of these stunts mummy is trying to pu-ll” Dele said to Jeffery as they rounded up at the designer’s. The suits were a perfect fit, save for some few bu-ttons that needed fixing, after that, the designer was going to have it brou-ght to them.
“You know how that woman can be at times, what even baffles me the most, is that she was okay with the fact that Jane is an orphan, I don’t un-derstand why the sudden change of heart” Jeffery said in confusion.
“I’m sure, aunty Ajoke has a hand in this, you know she specializes in sowing the seed of discord? But I’m glad you have taken your stand on this, if they are not okay with it, then that is their problem”
As they walked to the car park where their cars were parked, Jeffery saw Lauretha coming down from her car, with a boy who looked to be between the age of twelve, to thirteen years. “Isn’t that Lauretha?” Dele pointed out.
“Yes she is, and I need to talk to her” Jeffery quic-kly ran to where Lauretha’s car was, as she was locking it.
“Hey Lauretha, how are you?” Jeffery asked not taking his eyes of the boy for a second.
“Remi, why don’t you go inside? Mummy will come join you soon” Lauretha said to the boy.
“Okay, mummy, good afternoon sir” the boy greeted Jeffery before walking away.
“Is that my son?” Jeffery asked after the boy was off earsh0t.
“You have no son by me”
“I don’t get you Lauretha, first you keep the boy away from me for this long, and now you won’t let me see him. Then why did you tell me about him in the first place?”
“I alre-ady told you what to do, if you want anything to do with your son”
“You know, you are asking for the impossible. I can’t leave Jane, and come marry you”
“Then, we are done having this conversation” Lauretha walked out on Jeffery.
When Jeffery got back to where his car was, he saw Dele still standing there. “Guy, you are still here? I thought you would have gone”
“How could I? When you hurried off the way you did, what’s up with you and Lauretha anyways?”
“Does that boy look like me?”
“Oh was that the boy?”
“Yes, and she wouldn’t even let me talk to him”
“Guy na wa o, it’s as if everyone is against you getting married to Jane”
“And they are not going to succeed, come rain, come shine, I’m getting married to Jane and there is nothing anyone can do about it”
Jeffery got into his car and drove off, it was alre-ady too late for him to go back to the office, he was just going to finish what he was supposed to do at the office, later in his house.
He decided to call Jane, “hello handsome” [email protected]£ her sweet voice which always sounded like a melody to his troubled heart.
“Hi, beautiful how is your day going?”
“You know, the usual wedding preparations and all”
“Remember not to stress yourself too much, that’s why we got a wedding planner to handle all the stress and planning”
“I know, I’m trying not to overwork myself”
“Good, are you busy at the moment?”
“Not really, what’s up?”
“I want us to inspect some houses”
“Because I want us to get another house to leave in after we got married”
“But what about the one you alre-ady leave in?”
“Babe I will explain, when we see. Just get dressed, I’m coming to pick you up in the next thirty minutes”
When Jeffery got to Jane’s place, she was alre-ady dressed waiting for him. He hvgged her so ti-ght, he didn’t want to let go.
”Baby, are you okay?” Jane asked.
”Yes I am, come on let’s go”
”I have something I have been thinking to tell you”
”What is that?”
”I think, I might be pregnant”
”Are you sure?” Jeffery leaned back to have a proper look at her face.
”I really don’t know, my period is two weeks late, and you know these contraceptives can’t be trusted 100%” She has been so carried away with the wedding preparations, she didn’t notice she was late. Not until her period tracker had s£nt her a reminder this morning, that she was due to have seen her period two weeks ago.
”Okay, I need you to calm down” Jeffery could see Jane was clearly scared. ”There is one way for us to find out, I will quic-kly rush to the nearby pharmacy, and get us some pregnancy test kits okay?”
”Okay” Jane nodded.
Few minutes later, Jeffery [email protected]£ back with several pregnancy test kits. “I didn’t know which [email protected] to get, so I decided to get several [email protected] instead, just incase one fails”
”Okay” Jane said, without ma-king any effort to take the bag containing the kits from him.
”Come here baby” Jeffery drew her closer to himself, and used his hands to frame her face. ”I want you to know that; we are in this together, and no matter what the result turns out to be, we are a team, okay?”
”What if, I’m truly pregnant? what then becomes of me, my dreams to own a business before I start having children?”
”And I’m going to make sure, all of that happens. I’m going to make sure, you live the life of your dreams, that I promise you”
”Oh Jeff, I’m so scared” She held him ti-ghtly, resting her head on his shoulders.
”You don’t have to be scared baby, now just go into the bathroom, and do the test”
Jane collected the test kits from him, and went into the bathroom to find out if she was about to be a mother or not.
WATCHOUT FOR EPISODE 29