Thursday, 9 November 2017

Bukky Alakara Episode 17

Chike and Bukky walked into the large compound, dragging their luggage. A man and a woman in their late fifties came out of the three-bedroom bungalow, stood at the entrance and waved at them smiling. She could tell that they were Chike’s parents. He had a slight resemblance with his mum, but, he was the younger version of his father.
“Dad, mum, evening,” he beamed at them, “I will like you to meet Oluwabukola Folorunsho, the woman I am going to spend the rest of my life with.”
Two pairs of eyes observed her. She felt like a specimen under a microscope.
“Good evening sir, ma,” she spoke politely.
“Evening dear, how are you doing?” his father smiled at her.
“I am fine sir,” she smiled back at him.
“She is so pretty,” she winked at her son and glanced at her, “You are welcome to Owerri.”
“Thank you ma,” their warm reception eased her troubled mind.
“Let’s go in. Your elder brother and his wife are around.”
They followed the elderly couple into the house.
“Where is this boy when you need him?’
Chike chuckled, he could discern that his father was looking for his younger brother. The boy came out of one of the rooms.
“Help your brother and his fiancée with their bags,” the man instructed his youngest son.
Chike and his younger brother shook hands, “Who are you competing with? You are just growing taller each time I see you.”
The boy laughed loudly, picked up the bags and dragged them out of the sitting room.
His younger sister came out of the kitchen and ran to him.
“I thought you were not coming home for Christmas,” she embraced him.
“I had to come, meet my heart beat, Bukky.”
She glanced at her elder brother’s fiancée. “Welcome to our humble home. When you are free, I will tell you all you need to know about my
brother, especially his little secrets.”
Chike eyed her, “Trouble maker.”
Bukky chuckled. She liked the girl. If she wasn’t mistaken, they were age mates.
“Please, come in, sit while I get you something to eat,” his mother led her to a chair.
She sat down and looked around her. The room was large, arranged with brown leather chairs, cream coloured rug, and brown and cream
curtains. A glass table was at the centre of the room, decorated with colourful flowers in a brown vase. A flat screen television was supported by a wooden divider close to the wall and the DVD player and DSTV decoder was placed in front of the television.
“Look who is here,” an older version of her fiancé came into the room, holding the hand of a pretty dark lady. Her baby bump was obvious in the cream short-sleeve feet-length dress.
“Eh bros…” Chike and his elder brother shook hands.
“The Lagos boy.”
“Pretty woman, hope he is taking care of you,” he winked at his brother’s wife.
She smiled, “Yes he is.”
“Come and meet my Queen,” he drew their attention to Bukky who was feeling a bit self-conscious.
“Ah-han, this boy carry eye go market o,” Chike’s elder brother seized her up.
Everyone started to laugh.
“Biko, come and give your brother and his fiancee food to eat,” she addressed her only daughter.
The girl followed her mother into the kitchen. Chike’s father settled on a chair in front of the T.V set.
“How are your parents?” his warm eyes settled on her calm ones.
“They are fine sir.”
Chike’s sister returned carrying a tray of food. His younger brother followed carrying a pack of juice, a bottle of water and two glass cups.
Chike and Bukky sat on a bench under the mango tree outside the bungalow. The moonlight illuminated the compound.
“My parents like you,” he turned to look at her.
She smiled at him, “I could tell.”
“They are ready to come with me to Lagos to meet your family.”
She sighed with relief.
“We will fix the introduction ceremony for the week of my convocation.”
She nodded in agreement, “Okay. I will convince my parents.”
“I hope they will agree. Nevertheless, I will accept whatever date they set.”
“Don’t worry, my parents will not stress us,” she assured him.
He sighed with relief, “Okay then.”
“I like your siblings.”
He grinned, “They like you too, especially my sister. I think she wants to be your friend, but, she is shy.”
“Oh really? I will like to be her friend too. I don’t really have female friends, aside from the girls I grew up with and some of the girls I met at the Adult Education Center.”
“I know you two will make good friends.”
“Me too.”
“Tomorrow, I am taking you to see my dad’s siblings and my mum’s siblings. They will never forgive me if they hear that I came to Owerri with my wife and I didn’t bring her.”
She smiled, but, felt a bit uneasy. His family might have accepted her, but, she had no idea how his relatives would perceive her.
“Then, I want you to meet my childhood friends. None of them are married and they are going to be green with envy when they see you.”
She shook her head at him.
“What? They say ‘If you’ve got it, flaunt it’,” he winked at her.
“So, you want to turn me into a trophy and carry me round the whole town ba?’”
He grinned from ear to ear, “Nothing wrong with that.”
“You are on your own.”
He laughed lightly, “I will also take you to all the fun spots in this town. My friends will bring their girlfriends along and we will all catch fun.”
“Better idea.”
“The thirty-first night in this time is crazy. You need to witness it first-hand,” excitement filled his voice.
“Hope there will be no knock-out wars. I have seen how quickly people get injured while playing around with these things.”
“Don’t worry, I will protect you.”
She eyed him, “That is not comforting.”
“Thank you for coming with me to Owerri,” he changed the subject.
She smiled back at him, “I am glad I came. You have a wonderful family.”
“So do you,” he moved closer and wrapped his arms around her.
Their gazes locked.
“Finally we are together. My waiting paid off.”
She laughed quietly, “Thank you for not giving up on me.”
“I didn’t have a choice. My heart chose you. It would have been impossible to love another woman.”
She felt thrilled by his words, “I want a sweet kiss right now.”
“Nice. One sweet kiss coming up,” he kissed her lightly on the lips.
She knotted her hands around his neck and kissed him back.
Bukky and the sales girls locked the shop and headed home. Her aunt had not been coming to work for some time because she was very heavy. She hoped the woman would give birth speedily. The last time she visited her, she was complaining of backaches and pain in her legs. She hoped she wouldn’t go through such stress in her own pregnancy period. She wanted the Hebrew women kind of delivery, short and fast, not like the ones portrayed in Nollywood movies. She had heard testimonies of how some women went through painless labour. She wanted that to be her story. On her way to the bus-stop, she ran into her ex. She had not seen him since she returned to Lagos from Owerri. She thought he had already gone back to school.
“Hey… hi, longest time,” he stood by the roadside and seized her up. He liked the blouse she was putting on. It fitted her perfectly. She looked as if she had added some weight.
“Evening, how is everything.” she feigned a smile.
“Good. Thanks. Happy New Year in advance. How is sales at the shop?”
“Happy New Year. Sales is good. God is faithful. Thanks.” She looked around, searching for an excuse to dismiss him.
“I will be travelling to Abuja after the Easter holiday for my Industrial Training in my aunt’s firm,” he informed her. The proud look in his eyes wasn’t lost to her.
“Congratulations. I wish you good luck.” She couldn’t think of a reason why he was telling her. It was none of her business.
He smiled, “Thanks.”
“I am on my way home, see you around.”
“Wait,” he still wanted to chat with her, for reasons he would rather not decipher. “Em… You and Chike.”
She raised an eyebrow, “What about us?”
“When did you two start dating?” he folded his arms across his chest.
She looked him up and down. Why did he want to know? What business of his was the time frame of her relationship?
“It’s rather sudden and I wanted to know if, you were both together, while we were going out.”
She smiled with understanding. “l never cheated on you. I am a one-man person. I don’t two-time. I despise the very act of jumping from one person to the other.”
He nodded in agreement, “l know, I know. I was just a bit baffled, when I saw you two together. It’s not been too long since we broke up.”
She laughed lightly, “Oh, so, you thought I was going to mourn losing you forever, right?’”
“No, of course not,” he didn’t like the way she was looking at him, like she pitied him.
“I got over you Gbemiga. deal with it.”
He eyed her.
“Remember, you were the one who left me for the promise of sponsorship of your education by your family.”
“Ehn… I know.”
“I have to go. Good luck,” she started to walk away.
“Bukky…” he called out to her, but, she didn’t respond.
He frowned and turned around. He didn’t expect her to disregard him as if he never meant anything to her. Her lackadaisical behavior got to him. After all, he was her first love and her first boyfriend, that should count for something.
While she ate her dinner, seated in front of the T.V screen, she got a text from her aunt’s husband that she had been delivered of a set of twins, a boy and a girl. She finished her meal in a hurry and called her fiancé. He agreed to drive her to the hospital to see the happy couple and their babies.
She changed into a jeans and a tee-shirt and went to meet him in his place. The hospital was in Yaba, very close to their shop. They got there in less than an hour.
They found kike in the Maternity ward with her husband and the twins in a cradle beside the hospital bed. They were very happy to see them.
“I thought babies were supposed to be fair,” Bukky stared at them wide-eyed.
“These two are so black,” her fiancé stood beside her.
Chike and Bukky carried the babies.
“They resemble their parents. When you give birth to your own, ask God for fair children.” Kike eyed her niece.
“Your fiancé is dark brown, maybe God will have mercy and give you oyinbo children,” her husband chimed in.
Kike and her husband started to laugh.
“Maybe he will,” Bukky kissed the baby in her arms.
“True, you never can tell,” her fiancé added.
“In your dreams,” Kike kept on laughing.
Baba and Remi adviced their son as he packed his bags and prepared to live for the bus park. He would be staying in his aunt’s place in Wuse, Abuja, while he worked in the company she was a major shareholder of. His six months Industrial Training there would probably create an opportunity for him by the time he graduated the following year.
“Listen to your aunt and do whatever she asks of you,” Remi patted her son on the shoulder.
“You know it is her house, and you are just a visitor, being related to her doesn’t give you the yardstick to misbehave,” his father added.
“I know, I know. I will be a good boy, okay?”
“I don’t just want any complain. You know how our family is, if anything happens, the news will travel far and wide,” his mother shuddered.
“Mum, nothing bad will happen. You should be praying for my success not dreaming up ill-luck.”
She glanced at her husband. He cleared his throat twice.
“You know we only want the best for you.”
“I know dad and I will not disappoint you.”
“Ehn-hen, that is exactly what we want to hear.”
“I am set,” he zipped both bags.
“God will follow you and come back with you.”
“Amen,” Gbemiga closed his eyes.
“You shall be the head and not the tail everywhere you go.”
They continued to pray for him.
His sisters were exceptionally happy. They planned to brag to all their friends that their brother was now living in the capital city. They would be the envy of everyone till he returned home after the long holiday.
Gbemiga hoped that he would make enough money so as to move his family out of their present accommodation. If Bukky could rent a better place for herself, he should be able to do the same. He and his family would be more comfortable in a self-contain apartment, than where they were at the moment. He was determined to save as much as he could.
“I will call once I get to aunty’s place,” he started towards the door.
“Okay, safe journey,” his parents chorused.
“Keep your money properly.”
His sisters helped him to carry his bags out of the house, to the bus-stop. Several buses halted at the bus-stop and each conductor shouted out their destinations. His sisters waved at him when he got on a bus heading to Yaba and retraced their steps homewards. The conductor arranged his bags with other loads at the back of the bus and informed him that he would pay double fare. They argued for a while and agreed on a price.
To be continued..


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