Your favorite girl is back with a new title, Ifunaya Martina Nwokedi, IJGB. You read that right. I have finally travelled outside this country and I’m sure you know that it means I am no longer your mate because my full baby girl mode has been activated.
Before that trip, my life was a roller coaster and if not for the black igbo man blood in me, I would have perished by now, but my chi refused to let that happen.
While I was on my small trip to Lagos, I considered dating only Fowi on my return, seeing that all the drama I was chuking head inside was complicating my life too much. But you see these awon enemies of progress, they don’t want me to be great, never ever, they keep bringing new temptations and provocations my way. How do they expect me not to fall? I know you will say, “resist the devil and he will flee’, but I am not Jesus, so nobody should test me biko.
I came back to the Akin-Cole mansion to meet Tola Akin-Cole, Demilade’s mother, alias my co-wife, or senior mate. She had come into town just after I had left and was doing a fine job of keeping her children company while our husband was away.
When Sophie took me to meet her, I couldn’t help but notice how beautiful she was. Tola was such a babe and she didn’t look older than 40. Her skin was so soft and supple, her face, too fresh for a fifty something year old woman. She looked regal, wearing a flowing bubu and a turban on her head, on her neck were two strings of pearls and she had the biggest rock I had ever seen on her wedding finger. She looked like a trophy wife who did nothing else but spend her day at the spa, getting vampire facials and body massages. A part of me wondered how Babatunde would have ever cheated on such a woman. Then I remembered, it was the Naya effect, no man could resist it.
“Mum, meet my friend Naya, the one from camp?” Sophie introduced me.
“My name is Naya, It’s nice to finally meet you ma.” I said to her.
“It’s nice to know that Tolu has friends, she never brings anybody home.” She smiled as she pulled me into an embrace.
Is it Uncle Rex you want her to bring home?
“But that’s not true mummy, you met Rita when we came back from London.” Sophie said.
“Rita bawo? That child that has absolutely no home training? Ehen? If not that I objected, I’m very sure that girl would have led you astray.” Mrs. Akin-Cole said.
“She wasn’t that bad now, haba.”
“Help me o!” she turned to me, “ejo, somebody that smokes like a chimney and drinks like a fish is what? Is the person not bad?”
“She’s bad ma.” I affirmed.
“Ose jare, oko mi.” she patted my back.
Sophie rolled her eyes at us and shook her head. Tola seemed like a really nice person and she was so easy to talk to. We talked like we had been friends for ages, despite our age difference. She spoke about her days as a spinster and how she too, used to work a lot till she got married to her husband and started living the jet setting life, globetrotting and shopping in the most expensive places around the world.
Sophie wasn’t too interested in the conversation because she had probably heard it a million times before, but I listened carefully, paying attention to every word that came out of Tola’s mouth and making mental notes. It was like a mentoring session for me because she was already living the life I wanted for myself and if I wanted to be a baby girl, 101%, I had to humbly learn at the feet of a master and that master was Tola.
“It was on one of my trips to Milan that I decided that I wanted to start a fashion business. I needed something to keep me busy because honestly, I was tired of travelling up and down.”
Tired ke? How will somebody say she is tired of enjoyment biko? Me I had never heard that one before o and trust me not to keep quiet.
“You were tired of enjoyment, sorry, travelling?” I asked with a lot of concern.
Mother and daughter laughed out loud just as Demilade walked in. He walked up to his mother, held her face and kissed her forehead, typical rich kid style. If that was my mother, that kiss would have been followed by her saying,
“If it’s money you’re looking for, enweghi m ego o. So you better come and take your kiss back.”
Mrs. Akin-Cole asked Demilade how his day was as he proceeded to greet Sophie. He kissed her on the cheek, sat down beside her and started narrating how his day went, completely ignoring the fact that I was sitting there.
I looked at him and smiled.
This boy hadn’t changed.
He was still carrying his jealousy round like shoulder pad and he didn’t even try to hide it from his mother. So if she asked him why he didn’t greet me now, what will he say his reason was? He’ll probably say he expected me to greet him first since I was his assistant. So I decided to greet him, in the grandest way ever. If he wanted to move mad, I was going to show him that an Anambra girl who had lived in Mushin before was no match for him.
“Good evening Demilade, sorry, sir. Good evening sir.” I interrupted him.
His mother and Sophie looked at me, finally realizing that Demilade hadn’t said a word to me since he entered the room. Demilade ignored me and continued talking.
“Bro, my friend is saying hi.” Sophie interrupted him.
“I heard her.” He answered.
“Then respond to her greeting.” their mother said sternly.
A little reaction finally.
Demilade turned to me, heaved a sigh and said,
“Good evening Naya.” Then turning back to his mother he continued talking almost immediately.
I excused myself and when Sophie asked where I was going, told them I was going to unpack my box and take a shower.
“Dinner at 7!” Mrs. Akin-Cole shouted as I walked out.
Of course I didn’t enter my room immediately. I stayed behind the door and listened to the ongoing conversation in the room. If I was correct, Sophie would report Demilade to their mother for all the times he treated me badly and their mother in turn would chastise him. Something I think she had wanted to do before but didn’t because I was there.
Sophie did report just as I thought. She told her mother how Demilade had been badly behaved towards me since I met him, how he had told them to lock me out of the house and all the derogatory things he said to and about me. She even told her about how he talked me down because he found out Fowi was asking me out. Instead of this woman to concentrate and actually shout at her son, do you know the next thing I heard?
“Wait o, which Fowi? Fowobi Carter?” Mrs Akin-Cole asked.
No o, Fowobi Osibanjo.
Olufowobi is asking your friend out?” I felt their mother mock me with her laughter.
“My exact sentiments mum, how can Fowi want to date that kind of girl?” I heard Demilade say.
Both Demilade and his mother are mad, two raving mad people. What utter rubbish did I just hear them say? See me that was admiring the woman, thinking she had a good head on her shoulders. I was even having small guilty conscience for sleeping with her husband, mscheww, a total waste of guilt. If I was having second thoughts about dating Babatunde, this definitely helped me decide that I was going to die there.
“I don’t understand both of you, what is wrong with Fowi dating my friend?” Sophie asked them.
“Oh honey, there’s nothing wrong with that.” Her mother said. “However, Fowobi is going to have a problem with his parents, especially his mother, if he intends to take that relationship seriously.”
“Why?” Sophie enquired.
Mrs. Akin-Cole proceeded to explain how Fowi’s mother was a high society queen who would never allow her only son marry a girl from a middle class family, talk less of being Igbo.
“Folake would rather die than let that happen.”
“Who still thinks like that in this century?” I heard Sophie say.
Mrs. Akin-Cole laughed so loudly that I was certain the people downstairs heard her.
“It’s not about that Tolu. People don’t marry from other social classes. Different tribe I can understand, but social classes, definitely not.” She lectured. “So you think if Demilade or Lamide brought that kind of girl home, I would let either of them marry her?”
I heard a laughter which sounded like Demilade’s.
“But you can let me be friends with her?”
“Ehen, kini big deal? Friendship is not that serious my dear, but you see marriage? It’s very serious. You can change friends like you change clothes, but can you change a wife just like that?”
“Mummy!” Sophie sounded shocked.
Even me sef, I was shocked to say the least. So it was no longer a tribe problem, it was now a social class thing?
Heiii God! I have suffered in this my life.
I don’t even blame the woman or her son sef, it’s my father I blame. Is Babatunde older than him? Is it not the money that he refused to make that is now giving Babatunde’s wife the liver and effrontery to insult me, talamabout social status.
Social status kill you there, ewu Gambia.
So last last, I could not even end up with Fowi sef, seeing that his family would never agree to it.
Everybody should hold their husbands o, Folake inclusive. They should hold them very well, tie them to their waists if possible, because if I get hold of any of them, that’s the end, God will understand. If Iya Demilade thinks I am not good enough to be a wife, I’m sure she will understand if she finds out that I am her husband’s side chick.
I was so engrossed in my thoughts that I didn’t hear them make any moves to leave the room till they opened the door. I bent down immediately and pretended like I was looking for something. Mrs. Akin-Cole was surprised to see me there. She asked me what I was searching for and I went on to explain that my hand chain was no longer on my wrist and I wasn’t sure where it had fallen off. Sophie offered to help me search for it but I told her not to bother herself, insisting that I had it under control. Demilade obviously didn’t say a word or show any sympathy, he looked away and walked to his room.
“Dinner at 7, don’t forget.” Their mother shouted as she walked away too.
Nri abali na-egbu gi n’ebe ahu.
Just then, my phone rang and it was Fowi. I was in no mood to talk to him, considering what I had just heard, but he didn’t stop calling. He called me two more times before I finally answered.
“Pretty woman.” I heard him say.
I couldn’t help but blush. If they were giving awards for the smoothest talker in the world, Fowi would win effortlessly. He had a thing with words, he was like their master and they seemed to come to him so easily. He always knew what to say and combined with that sexy ass accent of his, his words could make any woman grin from ear to ear.
“Hi Fowi.” I greeted.
“A hundred thousand says you can’t stop blushing right now.” He said proudly.
“I am not blushing.” I said with a straight face.
“No it’s fine, you definitely can’t help it.”
God I hate his guts, urrghhh!
He went on to ask me how I was settling in and I told him about how I had spent my evening with Demilade’s mother.
“Aunty Tola!” He said fondly. “I didn’t even know she was in town.”
“Yeah, she’s been around for a few days now.” I said uninterestedly.
“I should come say hi tonight. She’d kill me and go singing to my mother if I don’t show up.” He said.
There was a small silence as I didn’t know what to reply till he added,
“It will give me a chance to see you too, I’ve missed you.”
“Awww.” I blushed.
He laughed, told me he was going to see me in a bit and hung up. I walked into my room and went in to take a shower. I stood under the shower for what seemed like ages, like I was trying so hard to wash something off my body, maybe the igbo tag or more importantly, the averageness of my family. I wished I was on the same level with the Akin-Coles or the Carters. At least, nobody would have to be refer to me as middle class.
But why is this thing paining me so much?
I sighed and came out of the shower. After drying my body and putting on new ones, I headed to Sophie’s room to gist with her before dinner. After knocking on the door twice, I opened to see that no one was in her room. I looked at the clock in her room and noticed the time was past 7pm. She was definitely downstairs so I headed down. I was almost at the end of the staircase when I heard The Akin-Coles talking. There and then, I knew that my problems were just beginning.