Just before you read, if you missed Episode 5, you need to read it so you can follow the story and I also posted a SISTER TAG VIDEO ON YOUTUBE, FUN!
Jaiye walked into his father’s compound; whistling, shoulders squared and with a very wide grin. Shortly afterwards, he started humming a traditional love song.
“Boda mi, this your smile is not ordinary”
“What?” Jaye turned startled and saw his sister winking at him.
Kike laughed and urged him to sit beside her on the wooden stool to which he obliged her request.
“So, did you see her?”
“Her! Don’t pretend to me. I overheard your conversation with Chief yesterday and how he was giving you the tactics to use”
“What? Truly walls have ears! You mean I am not safe in my father’s house again?”
“No, you are safe, I was just busy doing something around your side of the compound at that time, but I am wondering why after studying and living in London for years, you still need Chief to teach you how to woo a girl”
“Actually, it is not the way it seems, Nigerian girls are different, I have always heard about Chief Ojo’s daughter and I needed full information from our father.”
“So, do you like her?”
“Yes, I do, with the little I have seen. I only hope she agrees to marry me because she may already have someone in mind or may even be dating”
“It means you have to be snappy about it because I heard that she is going to a university in America in some weeks’ time”
“Oh really?” he stood up shocked
“Yes, very soon!”
“I have to do something very quickly then. Thanks sister, that is why I love you!” he grinned and hugged his sister
Kike mockingly nodded her head “keep your love for your future wife” she scoffed.
“Okay then, I will” Jaiye smiled as he went back to the book – Oliver Twist he was reading before heading out”
My sister’s wedding was filled with the usual pomp and pageantry associated with Yoruba weddings. The groom’s family had to bring a number of gifts in the dowry list given to them, the gifts were inspected and once certified, the event could then proceed. In my sister’s case, they brought more than requested probably in a bid to show to my father that they would value her. She watched from one of the rooms in the house. There was a lot of dancing, dropping of token money gifts or better still offerings before the groom was called in. He was dressed in a navy blue Agbada with a well crafted matching ofi cap. He prostrated several times before he was called to take his seat. He sat smiling like a man with a bowl of his favourite food at the table.
“Now let the bride come out” the Alaga said excitedly
Heads strained in the direction of the beautifully dressed bride, my other sisters and friends accompanied her as we all danced out. People clapped and cheered, the drummers beat the drums with so much energy while the local flute player skilfully played on his instrument forming a harmony with the beat from drummers. Jumoke was smiling from ear to ear as she danced with all her energy. The Alaga continued to conduct the ceremony and people were feasting alongside.
By night fall, the ceremony was rounding up and people had eaten and drunk to their fill. Various groups of dancers came out to dance: once your family name is mentioned, you will dance towards the party band, give them some money, dance a bit and then return to your seat. Jumoke and her groom were exhausted and left the party after some hours.
As I was busy attending to various guests, my eyes kept meeting that of Jaiye and each time, my heart skipped a beat or so it felt like but I tried to remain calm. By the time the party ended, I sat at a corner of the compound exhausted and trying to eat some food.
I was a little startled as I looked up, “Oh no, not you again”
“Hi” I managed to say as I continued eating
“I can see you are really tired and hungry” Jaiye said as he grabbed the nearest chair and sat by my side
“Yes” I said and barely looked at him
“But at least try to invite me to join you” he said with a smile
“It would be insufficient for both of us and besides I saw you eating during the ceremony”
“Oh, so you noticed me?” he said with excitement ‘this looks good, she noticed me’ he thought.
“I noticed everyone eating, I was in charge of service so I made sure everyone ate to their satisfaction” I said as I dropped my plate on the floor
“Now, you want to cover up right?”
“Cover up what?” I said and blinked, pretending to be confused.
I stood up to put away my plate and and wash my hands
“Please, I will be right back” I signalled to Jaiye
He nodded his approval
“This girl is trying to be smart, she doesn’t know I am smart as well. Anyway, let’s see who is smarter” he said to himself
It was getting dark and he wanted to use the opportunity of the ceremony to converse with her. Actually, she was the reason he attended the ceremony.
“The things we do for love” he said to himself as he smiled.
I walked up to him and sat on the chair I was initially sitting on,
“So?” I said matter-of-factly
“So, I am Jaiye Akande, A son of chief Akande and I would like to know you and also be your friend”
I smiled, “quite confident! anyway, I am Titilayo Ojo and I am sure you already know my parents”
“Okay, I know. So, tell me about you – your education, likes, dislikes and interests” Jaye said
“Well, on one condition” I said as I raised my index finger in front of him
“What?” he asked
“You will tell me yours as well”
“Oh no problem” he said with a wry smile.
Jaiye and I talked late into the night about so many things. By the time it was dark, we had exchanged postal and residential addresses in the various countries we would be travelling to. Finally, I bade him farewell at the entrance of the compound as he walked back home with the moonlight shedding some light on his path.
He felt like a man who just won the election for the seat of the President.
I felt confused, something did not add up but I could not place it. “It’s Uchenna or no one else” I said as I walked back to my mother’s hut.
“Where have you been?” mother asked sternly
“With Jaiye, the son of Chief Akande”
“Okay, just be careful but do not block your heart. I hear he is a good boy”
“Oh, we will see,” I said and laid on the mattress on the floor. Not everyone in Oola village could afford a mattress and I relished the privilege.
Before long, I slept off.
Stay tuned for the next episode. Remember to share this lovely story with a friend of a friend and drop your thoughts in the comment section. Cheers!