Episode 9 here
“Waka don scatter o. Mope can like to crack silly jokes sha. I know it when she wants attention. She will just start throwing tantrums and bringing up different issues. This pregnancy joke is an all-time low sha. I have to put her in her place”.
Lekan was fuming. His earlier disagreement with his mother was already playing checkers with his mood before Mope’s call added to it. His mood was a combination of annoyance, anxiety and feelings that transcended being pissed.
After some minutes, he got up from the bed, paced for a few minutes and looked outside. The weather was favourable, neither sunny nor cloudy. He picked his car keys and stepped out of the room. His mother was sprawled on the living room settee and sat up as she saw him walk out of the room.
“Olalekan oko mi*, come and sit with me. Let us talk”, his mother tapped the space beside her on the sofa.
He looked at his mother, smiled and shook his head. “Maami**, I have to go out now. Whatever you want to say can wait please. I’m sorry”. He did not wait for her to reply before walking out of his mother’s house to nowhere in particular. He just wanted to go away from all the issues plaguing his life.
He got into his car and drove out like someone in a movie scene. His mother was shocked at the screeching sound of the car. She got up and ran to the window to draw the curtain and take a look outside. She was naturally fearful and thought the worst had happened. All she saw was a hail of dust in his wake as he sped off.
Lekan’s mood was a mess. He did not know how to get out of the quagmire in which he found himself. There was the opposition to Mope, there was the recurring decimal that Dabira was, the rate at which Mope was trying to get into his life and change everything, and of course the new joke – Mope’s unconfirmed pregnancy.
“Can life just stop being so complex. Haaa!!!”, he soliloquized and banged his car steering, hooting and transferring aggression to the person in front of him who was driving rather slowly.
“Will you get your pangolo*** out of the way?”, he rolled down the glass and yelled at the fellow road user. The normally calm Lekan was a shadow of himself behind the wheels.
His head was heavy, he knew he had to talk to someone. Tade was out of the way because of the way their last interaction ended. His high school friend, Chinedu, was his next option. He drove a bit further and cleared off the road abruptly. He picked up his phone to call Chinedu only for Mope’s call to come in again.
He allowed the phone to ring while he stared at the screen, undecided about answering the call. He left the phone to ring till it stopped after which he dialed Chinedu who answered the call at first ring.
“Nna**** wey you?”. He did not bother greeting at all.
“Ogbeni***** Loko. I dey lounge for the bar close to the one where we all chilled after the last alumni meeting. I dey do some barbecue for the weekend abi wetin you wan make bloody bachelor like me do?
“I’ll meet you there in a bit. We gazz relate on top some issues”
“Is everything okay? You don’t sound too good bro”
“All is not well. I’m not fine at all. I’ll be with you shortly”.
Lekan did not wait for Chinedu to respond. He just ended the call and joined the road without caring who was coming behind him. The oncoming car swerved to the other lane, almost ramming into another. There was a deluge of curses and abuses hurled at Lekan as he matched the gas pedal and sped off without bothering to give a second look at the ranting people.
If dem like, make dem dey dia dey curse.
He made a right turn onto a busier road and was caught in a slight traffic jam. The rambling thoughts came back and he felt as if the thoughts were humans who took up the other seats in his car. He still refused to believe that Mope was pregnant but the percentage of it being true was not negligible either.
“If this girl is truly pregnant it means I have bitten more than I can chew”, he soliloquized yet again. He tried to reminisce about his relationship with Mope and came to conclude that while she is not a bad person for a wife, things were happening too fast.
Remembering how he often made jest of one of his colleagues who impregnated one of his stray babes, Lekan burst out laughing behind the wheels.
“So me sef don become baba ireti to nbo lona****** be that if she’s truly preggy”. Mope getting pregnant was going to change a lot of things for him so he began to strategize on how to solve the problem that her pregnancy was. Lekan stayed using the conditional word “if”, refusing to believe that Mope was indeed pregnant.
“Momsy no wan accept this babe and here comes the likelihood of her expecting my baby. This is not good at all, not good at all at all!!!”. He moved his car as he kept finding a solution to the puzzle and how he was going to break the news to his mother who was hell bent on not accepting Mope as her daughter in-law.
The matter was complex because Lekan was starting to feel good about Dabira again, especially after learning of her change of church. Information about her was filtering to him from people and despite the fact that he unfollowed and blocked her on twitter, he still found ways of stalking her on Facebook. She looked better in his eyes and he was starting to consider making things straight with her. Her Facebook posts were increasingly religious and showed more maturity.
How to get the ‘return’ started remained a huge problem that was now getting compounded with Mope’s possible pregnancy.
“If this girl is really pregnant, show don spoil be that o”, he mused again and was only brought back to consciousness by the continuous hooting of other road users who he was obstructing.
“I have to see Mope after Chinedu”, he said and moved the vehicle.
“If Mope thinks she can tie me down with pregnancy, she has failed. Epic fail!”, he said as he matched the gas pedal, willing the car to move faster.
Single young men in Dabira’s church had started falling over one another to get her attention. Brothers were competing openly for the right to have a go.
Most of them had secretly picked her contact details either from the youth weekly bulletins or from notice board in the church.
Brother Nosa, one of the very vocal ones had been bold enough to approach her and tell her how he ‘received’ her in a ‘vision’. Dabira could not control herself on the day Nosa told her, she burst out in a fit of laughter.
“You did what? Received me? From who Brother Nosa?. You are very funny o. Your receiver is working according to your wishes bro.”, she replied, laughing hysterically.
“See Sister Dee. I hardly dream except God has a message for me. You just go ahead and pray about it. Give it a good thought as well. I am sure you will receive from God too”.
Dabira heard him out, although she did not stop smiling. She thanked him and got on her way home.
The immediate past Youth President, Brother Caleb, was not left out. He had started taking more interest in her spiritual and personal life. The Church activities they were both asked to coordinate was affording him the opportunity to spend some quality time with her and their friendship was blossoming. Both of them had made it a point of duty to talk on phone several times in a day.
Tade on the other side had noticed this on few occasions he was with her and was jealous about it but he could not complain because he had not developed enough courage to tell Dabira he still had feelings for her, despite her former partner being his friend. He was stuck firmly in the friend-brother zone.
* oko mi (Yoruba)- translated as ‘my husband’. It is an affectionate way in which Yoruba mothers refer to their sons
** Maami (Yoruba)- My mother
*** pangolo (Yoruba) – tin. A derogatory term used to describe low quality stuff
****Nna (Igbo) – brother
***** Ogbeni (Yoruba) – a term referring to a man
****** baba ireti to nbo lona (Yoruba) – expectant father