I left home very early on Friday morning. I needed to see Lizzy at the bank where she works. She introduced me to some policies which I was very much interested in. On my way down the banking hall, I ran into my roommate back in school.
“It’s a lie... Bola!” I couldn’t believe my eyes.
“Pamilerin!” she called out and we hugged each other.
“What are you doing here?” I asked.
“I’m doing my internship here.”
“Wow! Bola, I’m so happy for you. I’m glad you did not give up on yourself.”
“Thanks! I got an admission a year later when I left school and here I am today.”
“Congrats dear! The downfall of a man is never the end of his life. How are your parents?”
“They are fine. They never stopped talking about you when we got home that day.”
“Really? I’m sorry I lost your contact.”
“Pamilerin! I almost gave up, but I held on to your advice and made up mind to become a better person.”
“Bola, I never knew you were expelled from school until that very day when your parents came to pack your things,” I explained.
“I believe you, I knew you had no idea. But those who knew preferred to gossip behind me, rather than telling me the truth.”
“Anyway, people can be funny at times, that’s why it’s good to surround yourself with good people.”
“You are right! I’ve learnt my lessons. Now I only associate myself with people who add value to my life.”
“Nice, I feel elated to see how well you are doing. Thank God for your supportive parents.”
“My dear, I couldn’t have done it without them. I’m grateful to God for given me such parents.”
“My regards to them.”
“I will tell them. By the way, what brings you to the bank?” she asked.
“I came to see a friend for some official and unofficial matters,” I said smiling.
“Who is that?”
“Mrs. Lizzy Paul.”
“The loan officer!? She’s my immediate boss; I work under her. I’ll lead you to her office.”
Bola tapped the door lightly and it opened. She let me in first.
“Good morning banker,” I said with a smile.
“You finally showed up. Thank God for midterm break. Good morning dearest,” Lizzy stood up from her seat and hugged me.
“Please have a sit,” she offered.
“Thanks. How’s your hubby and your little man?” I asked, referring to David, Lizzy’s son.
"They are fine, both of them are now 5 and 6."
"That's good. I like that."
“Bola, thank you for bringing her in. You can leave now,” Lizzy said.
“Bola is actually my friend. I ran into her on my way down here.” I informed her.
“Really? I thought she just led you to my office,” she said innocently.
“Bola is a friend I lost contact with. My coming here today was really worth it.”
“Happy reunion day,” Lizzy said, smiling.
“That reminds me, Bola let me have your contact,” I said.
We exchanged numbers while Lizzy got herself busy with some paperworks.
“Lizzy, I need a favour o.”
She looked up, “Let’s hear it.”
“Please help me retain Bola after her internship. At least you wanted to help me secure a job here but I declined because I don’t like banking jobs.”
“So you want to engage in batter trade, right?” she said laughing.
“Whatever, just help me please…”
“No problem, I’ll try my best,” she said.
“Thank you!” Bola and I chorused. She was so happy.
“Now back to business,” Lizzy said.
“Yes, official mode activated,” I said jokingly.
“Bola, please make some coffee for your your friend.”
“Alright Ma,” she said and prepared the coffee.
“I’m not in charge of the policy program, but I’ll take you to the person in charge,” Lizzy stated, while I sipped my coffee.
“Okay. Can we leave once I’m done with the coffee?”
“Cos I’ll be going to Daniel’s place.”
“You mean his office?”
“No, the mansion.”
“He didn’t go to work today?” she asked amused.
“We are both on midterm break,” I said and we laughed.
“Anyway, that’s cool. You need to spend time together and talk about so many things. My regards to him.”
"I will, dear. Thanks."
Some minutes later, I was done with the policy registration and I took my leave.
I left the bank for Daniel’s place. His gateman opened the gate for me. He was surprised to see me.
“Good morning, Madam,” he bowed his head.
“Good morning, Papilo. How are you?”
“I’m fine Ma,” He said smiling.
“Ehn en! No wonder my oga no go work today!” he said smiling.
“You don’t want your oga to rest?”
“Make him rest o, body need am,” he replied.
I handed over to him a loaf of bread and a pack of juice that I brought for him on my way there. He was so happy. He thanked me for more than two minutes.
Daniel was working on his laptop when I walked in. He was so happy to see me. He had already prepared breakfast by the time I got there. I ate and watched him work on the laptop.
Some minutes later, he closed the laptop and we began to talk.
“There’s something I’d like to show you,” he said.
“What is it?”
He held my hand and lead the way. He took me to one of the empty rooms in the house.
We entered and I saw the room stocked with home and kitchen gadgets.
“I want to make sure you are very comfortable when we are married,” he stated.
Wow! Thank you.”
“I don’t want to stress my children too; I want them to enjoy life like I did in The States.”
“This is Nigeria; our children won’t be using all these until they are of age. No washing machine, no dish washer. I’m training them to do chores with their hands.”
“That’s mean. Who washes with bare hands these days?”
“A lot... lot of kids do, my dear. We will only introduce them to this when they are mature.”
“Are you serious?”
“I’m dead serious. The last thing I want in my life is a spoilt kid.”
“I pity my unborn children in advance, their mum is so mean!” he said sarcastically.
“Are you seriously saying that to my face?” I hit him on the chest.
He held my two hands to stop me from hitting him further. He drew me closer and kissed me on the lips.
“I love you my baby,” he muttered. “I can’t wait to have our kids running around in this house.”
“Hmm, I love you too.”
He held me in his arms and kissed me passionately. The romance was getting intense and we had to stop.
“Dee, let’s go back to the living room,” I said and refrained from his embrace.
We went back to the sitting room. We talked about the wedding, the number of kids we want to have and some other things. He also said we would have to go to USA together to meet his family before they come to Nigeria for the wedding. He said I can even cease the opportunity to shop for the wedding there.
I can’t believe my ears o. So I’ll be traveling to the US just to meet my parent-in-laws?
“I want you to quit your job. I think you should go into business,” he said.
“I’d love to have my own business too, but all the businesses I have in mind requires large capital.”
“Just think of one and we’ll know what to about it."
“OK. But do you know the funniest thing? I’ve falling in love with teaching and I wouldn’t mind if I have my own school,” I said.
I nodded my head in affirmative.
“That’s not bad. Running a school is a good business too,” he said.
“Yes!” I nodded.
“That reminds me... I spoke with your dad last night,” he said.
“He said so, but he didn’t tell me what you guys discussed. He said he’ll tell me later.” I said.
“I’m seeing him next week so we can start making wedding arrangements. I told him we would have to skip the introduction part since my parents don’t live here, and he agreed,” he explained.
We cooked lunch together in the afternoon. After cooking, I served Papilo some of the food.
“Papilo!” I called out when I opened the front door.
“Ma!” he answered, walking hurriedly towards me.
“Here’s your lunch,” I handed over the tray to him.
“Thank you Ma, God bless you,” He bowed in appreciation.
“You are welcome.”
“Only me, you gave me food in the morning, now afternoon food too,” he said smiling.
“Hope you are not expecting food in the evening o, because I dey go my papa house.”
“Ha… how you take know wetin dey my mind? I think say you go sleep here today o.”
“No o, my papa get house.”
We both laughed and he went back to his post.
I went back into the house; Daniel was already waiting for me. I joined him on the dinning table. Afterwards, he started working on his laptop again while I watched a movie.
My phone ranged. I checked the caller ID and it was Joy, my cousin.
“So you now neglected me because I’m married abi?” she asked.
“It’s not like that o. But we do chat online, don’t we?”
“It’s not the same as seeing you in person. I really miss you.” “You know my tight schedules abi? I’m always busy.”
“But not too busy to check on your man, right?”
“Haha. I don’t have an excuse. I’m sorry, dear cousin of life.”
I promised to check on her the following weekend. I miss her too. When it was 6pm, I told Daniel that I was leaving.
“I wish you can sleep over, but I don’t trust myself with you,” he said and held my hands.
“Hmm, me too.”
“Thank you for making things easy for me,” he said.
“Do you think it’s easy to be around a beautiful lady like you without imagining things, coupled with the fact that I’m deeply in love with you!?”
“Really? So how did I make things easy for you?”
“Baby, you have a way of reducing the pressure. You don’t dress seductively, and you know how to keep your distance when you feel we are about to stray.”
“Daniel, I know it’s your dream to marry as a virgin. I don’t want to be the one to ruin that.”
“Thank you for respecting our decision.” I smiled.
Sincerely, it hasn’t been easy for me too.
“Will you drop me off?” I said and picked up my bag.
“Yes, at your service my Queen. Shall we?”
“Yes!” I smiled.
We got to my place and he walked me in. He greeted my parents before taking his leave.
The following weekend, I visited Joy as promised. I walked into her cozy living room. I met her husband, Kola, in the living room as well. I hugged them one after the other. It was good seeing them again after such a long time.
“What can I offer you?” Joy asked.
“I’m okay for now, maybe later.”
Her husband excused us, ”I’ll be in the room.”
“This your engagement ring will cost a fortune o,” she said.
“I’ll have to go and keep this ring in my closet before you guys rob me o,” I said jokingly.
Sincerely, everyone I met who have eyes for real gold always give me the same remarks.
“How far with the pregnancy issue?” I asked.
“We are still waiting on God.”
“Hope your doctors knows about your history, because in this life there are three people you should never lie to.”
“Really!? Please go ahead and mention them.”
“Your doctor, your lawyer and your pastor. If you lie to them, then you are on your own. They can only help you by telling the truth.”
“You are right o. Anyway, my doctor knows about my history.”
“Better. I’m sure they know how to handle your case.”
“Medically, the doctor assured us that there is 50-60% chance that I’ll conceive.”
“Make sure you go for second opinion, don’t just stick to one hospital. I suggest you try government hospitals too,” I said.
“I’ll give it a try. Thanks.”
“Maybe you should try IVF. There’s no point wasting time, it’s more than a year now. I know it’s expensive, but you guys can afford it,” I advised her.
“I've started the IVF treatment already. We are just hoping to get good results.”
“It is well. I believe God will answer our prayers."
"Joy, I’m scared too.”
“Come off it. Just because I have fertility problem doesn’t mean you’ll experience it too. I know some ladies who aborted more than three times and still had children later. Our grace differs, my dear.”
“You are right. What is good for the goose is also good for the gander, but that doesn’t mean that the goose and the gander are equals”
“Hmmm…” She sighed deeply. “You are absolutely right my sister”
“How’s your husband taking it?”
“Truth be told, he has been very supportive.”
“You need to act fast before pressure starts mounting on you o.”
“Thanks sis. Now what will you eat?”
“I’m not a visitor. If I’m ready I’ll let you know.”
“No need to let me, just go into the kitchen and sought yourself out whenever you are ready.”
Kola joined us later. The table was reversed and I became the topic of discussion. We talked about Daniel and all that is there to know.
Daniel called during our conversation and we talked for a while. He talked with my cousin and they also made plans to meet. Joy’s husband spoke with Daniel too.
“When are we going to meet him?” he asked.
“Don’t worry, I’ll bring him here one of these days,” I replied.
“We’ll be expecting him. Just give us a call when you are ready so we can prepare ourselves.”
“What kind of preparation do you need? Do you want to kill a cow because he’s visiting?”
“That’s none of your business. If we like we can kill an elephant. We must receive him powerfully you know!” Joy replied.
“Really? I hear you.”
“Have you eaten?” Kola asked.
“Your wife refused to give me food o. She said I should go to the kitchen and prepare something for myself because I’m not a visitor.”
“Anyway, she’s right. But I’ll fix something for you. What will you like to eat?” Kola said.
“Brother-in-law of life! Any other brother-in-law is a counterfeit.”
He gave me a high five.
“I’ll eat anything you prepare, thanks.”
We all went into the kitchen together. We watched while he prepared the food. Kola is a sweet guy. I silently prayed to God that minute to please give them children.
To be continued...
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