One quality I hereditarily picked from my dad was boldness. Dad could confidently, conveniently speak the truth to a despotic ruler (however vampirous he might be) not minding that he could end up in a solitary incarceration for daring to abide in the lions’ den. Dad feared no one, and that he instilled in me big time. Ọmọ tí ẹkùn bá bí, kò lè jọ adìye, ẹkùn náà ni yóó jọ.

Madam felt her mum might like me but dislike my dress style. I wasn’t bearded then. My chin was a desert. The hairs therein could be counted within a twinkling of an eye. She would only have a problem with my trousers, apparently. “Let’s go,” I built confidence in her.

I adorned myself in a fabulous designer jean-trousers with a fittingly fantastic to-match shirt. I wore my best palm shoes and had my body – especially my hair – creamed elegantly with a little spray of a perfume whose fragrance could make her mum yearn to see me again. So we moved.

A few steps to our destination, I had myself repackaged adjusting my walk style and changing my physiognomy. Truth be told, my heart trembled and palpitated. Ọmọdé ò débi ẹ̀rù lẹ̀rù ò bàá. But I was calm like a settled ocean, courtesy of the boldness quality. We visited her at her business station – in the market – so all eyes were on me. I greeted her smiling artificially. Same gesture was accorded other women in the area. Of course, she had given me that expo before getting there. Ha! It was hectic.

I was entertained with a chill soft drink and I sipped it, not like a student, but like an affluent young man. A bottle that would ordinarily be taken within a few seconds was sipped till departure time. So madam introduced me to mum as her would-be spouse. Mum welcomed me and gave some questionable, fearful look. I was quizzed, and by my estimation, I got a pass mark. I spoke quietly like a complete gentleman. Irọ lasan! If not for the scripted drama I was there to act, I could have picked some pieces of the roasted fish on commercial display and devour them to happiness.

Mum and daughter took to a corner leaving me wallow singularly on the seat. I was no more comfortable as mum’s colleagues were periodically gazing at me. I insinuated they must have known my mission. I wish it were the era of smart phones, I mightn’t have been bothered by that. I would have busied myself with some social media posts. After a while, madam signalled that it was time to leave. We left.

I was curious to know mum’s remark about me. I needed to know if my prayer was answered. She said mum was worried about my frowned face. “Hope this frowning man would not be wicked?” she was said to have asked. Imagine what I caused myself. I wore an artificial look to impress her not knowing it would be against me. Lesson – be yourself, you will be loved for who you are. Anyway, I was glad to hear that I was described handsome. At least, she would pardon me with that. A dupẹ! She was said to have asked if I was tableegh to which she answered no. Lo ba tan. Examination passed.

I was quick to meet her dad. The encounter was fantastic. I was asked a few questions, and that was all.

We needed to solemnize our union. We didn’t intend to date, as that wasn’t Islamic. I was just a prospective corps member with no job to feed a woman and no accommodation to shelter her either. There ensued another big problem.


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