Good Girl, Bad Girl "The Story of a Runs Girl" Part 3 - Wedding Digest Naija
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Good Girl, Bad Girl “The Story of a Runs Girl” Part 3

by Vicky Bon Uzuazor

Omote was having more trouble than usual falling asleep all through the night. Her thoughts were jumbled with the fear that pressed in on her like a swirling tide of darkness.

Taking an exasperated breath, she opened her eyes and sat up, clasping her arms around her folded legs.

She was still thinking about her sister’s engagement to the taxi guy. And then the thoughts of her phone popped up.

The only time in Omote’s life she had to panic and feel disappointed in her own self-came.

Morning came, and she had thought of how she was going to get her phone from Roland.

She was in the bathtub for a long time, with the water running on her face as she thought of her phone. She had imagined how Roland went through it and got sad at the tremendous sight of the conversations she had with other men.

Her tears mingled with the hot water, she told herself how foolish she was to forget her phone in a man’s car. Not just a man, her lover.

She was exhausted when she finally turned the shower off, half an hour later. Roland was probably going through all the messages she had with her side male friends, and he was now going to know that Omote was not the woman he thought she was.

She thought of calling Roland with her sister’s phone, but she was afraid, the tone of his voice might literally kill her.

She went to the kitchen to make herself a cup of tea. After she mixed the milk and the chocolate together, she stirred it for a while, almost forgetting herself.

She strolled to the sitting room stirring the tea gently. She sat on the sofa, falling on it. Something fell to the ground, it sounded like a steel. Omote bent down to check what it was, and then saw a silver coated steel ring under the sofa.

“Tega, who has this ring?” She asked aloud. She held the ring boldly in her palms.
Tega came out of the room, holding a big bible in her hands.

Her countenance changed when she saw the ring.

“He gave it to me. That is the real ring he gave to me. I changed it to my original sterling steel because I didn’t want you to feel that he couldn’t afford a good ring.” Tega said softly.

“But now I know. You should never have said the truth anyways. So you know better thing abi? you know that sterling steels are better than cheap steels? but you steel want to marry something equal to a cheap steel.” Her tone was sharp, her manner indignant, and her eyes sparked like a hammer on an anvil as she threw the ring on the center table.

Tega took the ring, stared at it for a while and went inside the room sluggishly.

Omote shook her head in disgust.
“I don’t feel that it is my duty to enlighten a matured woman like you. At 30, you still think like a teenager,” she muttered to herself.

The door bell rang, and Omote sluggishly walked towards the door. She opened it gently, and her heart trembled at the sight of Roland.

“Good morning” He said in a husky voice.

She closed her eyes, and opened it, looking startled when she saw her phone right on Roland’s hand.

She realized that Roland said just good Morning, he didn’t add sweetheart.

…………………………………………………………………….

“Can we talk outside?” Roland asked softly, handing the phone to Omote. 
His question almost tore out Omote’s hearts, and the look of anguish in his eyes was even worse. Omote walked glumly behind him as he led the walk to where he packed his car.

“Are you alright?” Omote asked looking devastated. They were both looking devastated.

“Mom is sick. The maid said she has been rushed to the hospital. I was on my way to the hospital this morning when I saw your phone on the car seat. I had to bring it here as soon as possible.” Roland said, putting his hands on Omote’s face firmly.

“Pray for my mom baby.” Roland said with a sigh.
Omote’s heart melted. She stared at Roland straight in the eye, and held his hands tight.

“She will be fine.” She said softly against his ears. He drew in a shuddering breath.

“I should be leaving now to avoid traffic.”
He said, and kissed Omote on the lip. He got into his car immediately and drove off.

Omote stood there for a while, watching the car until she couldn’t view it anymore.

She rushed into the house, and after she switched on her cell phone, she dialed Chief’s number.

“Hello my Baby love. I am so disappointed. you know I am not happy with you at all?” Chief said, his voice was deep, and his accent more pronounced.

“oh chief. my phone is bad. I can’t pick calls anymore with it, I am the only person who can call. I am sorry sir.” She said girlishly.

“Can you see me this morning?”

“Yes.” She responded excitedly.

“Meet me at Lagos Oriental Hotel. I will be there in an hour.”

Omote hung up the call and immediately vanished into her bedroom. She applied a light make up on her face, and topped up a Mac ruby woo lipstick on her lips generously.

She heard the horn of a car from inside her bedroom, and ran out to see if it was a taxi. She knew that calling a Uber cab guy was going to keep her at home for extra twenty minutes, and she didn’t want to disappoint chief in anyway.

As she pulled the curtain, she saw a Blue old Peugeot 504 packed at frontage. Her sister Tega rushed out from her room and ran towards the car. A young man dressed in a faded jean and black tee-shirt and was also wearing a baseball cap hurriedly came out and hugged Tega.
He was the owner of the Peugeot, and Obviously the famous Chetachukwu the cab guy who wants to marry her sister.

“My younger sister is inside, let’s greet her .” Tega said aloud and excitedly.

Omote stared at Chetachukwu in a disgustful manner, until they got to the stair case. Tega laughed, falling on his neck as he cracked a witty dry joke.

As they stepped into the house, Omote sat gently on the sofa, she crossed her legs and waited for her sister to make the introduction.

“Omor, meet Cheta my fiancé.”Tega said excitedly.

“Welcome bros.” Omote greeted him sternly.

“Ah sister I have hear a lot concerning you, iwetago?
I am a humble somebody. I use to sell tire for ariaria. I jus say mek I come Lakos come hustle like a man, since the tire business no work. I be born aken Klistian. sometimes I dey enter lod plich of Kod mercies and kudness. you are welcome, iwetago?” Cheta said in a clear, anglicized local accent.

Omote fell silent, she was amazed. She wanted to clamp her mouth shut, but she knew it would do no good.

……………………………………………………………………..

Cheta was not the same man Omote had imagined. Even though she was aware that he was just a cab guy who had never seen the four walls of a university, she didn’t know he was going to be such an handsome illiterate, whose English accent could cause goose pimples on her body.

She left them at home, while she rushed to go see Chief at Lagos Oriental.
She had thought that even if their mother was not educated, she would never approve of Tega’s marriage to Cheta.
She had wondered if it was ordinary, that a graduate would fall in love with someone who was not rich and educated. She had no idea what her sister loved about Cheta, apart from the fact that he had a fine face.
They were both in love with each other, and Omote was aware, she saw it in their eyes.

As she alighted from the cab, she gave the cab guy some money and walked into the hotel premises elegantly.
By the time she got to the receptionist, she felt a hot thrush rush into her panties.
After she passed through the receptionist, she walked as fast as she could towards chief’s hotel room.

She knocked the door twice, and chief didn’t allow her to wait an extra seconds, he opened the door.

“My baby love.” he said and laughed out so loud, causing an echo in the large hotel room.
He hugged her tight and carried her to the bed.

“My chief.” Omote called him softly.
It was going to be her first time of making love to chief. She had wore her favorite Victoria’s secret pink lace panty, and her brazier had a purple and turquoise blue flower print on it; she had wanted to show all of this to chief.

Chief’s eyes was steady on Omote’s cleavage, she had started kissing him on the forehead, when another hot thrush rushed into her panties, she was feeling wet and quite uncomfortable.

“My chief, chief, please let me ease myself, I will be back soon.” she said softly. Chief excitedly removed his clothes and threw them carelessly on the floor.
He finally removed his boxers and singlet, and went under the duvet, anxiously waiting for Omote to come out of the bathroom.

Omote’s heart skipped as she saw red blood stains on her panty liner. Her menstruation had started, and she didn’t remember what date it was.

She became sad. She knew Chief was not going to take such news, but she was going to tell him.

“Baby, come out o,I have a meeting with some clients this morning at the office.” Chief said aloud from the bedroom.

Omote walked into the room with a sad countenance.

“Chief, there is problem o.” She said in a panic whisper.

“Whatever the problem is baby love, I will give you money to sort it out.” he boasted.

“My period just came.”

” What is that?” Chief asked.

“It’s menstruation. women’s menstruation.”

“Before nkor? do men have menstruation? ” Chief said. He glanced at the ceiling, anger sweeping through him.

“Do you know how much I paid for this hotel? you are now telling that you are seeing blood? How many times have you disappointed me?”

He flew out of the duvet, wearing his clothes angrily. He counted some money from his wallet and threw it on the bed.

Chief gave her an angry look and walked out of the hotel room, a frown ceased his face.

…………………………………………………………………..

Omote counted the money chief kept on the bed, it brought a smile to her face, in spite of the circumstances. She left the hotel room with a mixed feelings.

She was dialing Chief’s number several times. He had warned her via a text message, never to call him anymore.

She was happy that at least he gave her some dollars, she was sad that he was never going to see her anymore. She had learned to let things go, after all, she had lost one alhaji who had promised to give her eight million naira to start up a business.
The day she went to see the alhaji, he died on top of a call girl at the le meridian hotel in Uyo. She had to tearily join a night bus back to Lagos with her last penny.
At that time, she had promised to open a big super market for her mother in Warri.

********

As she stood by the hotel premises to call a cab, she remembered that Isioma’s office was close to the hotel, she dialled her number immediately.

“Baby girl.” Isioma said shrilly.

“Good morning. I am close to your shop.” Omote’s tone was low. “Do you have someone you can send for a pad for me?”

“Yes, my girl. Come over to Adegun Adebidi close VI.” Isioma said.

Omote took a cab to the shop.

It was a Mac make up studio. Decorated with foreign wall papers and chandeliers.
It had a small office in it, which was meant for the boss. As Omote alighted from the cab, she became delighted at the sight of her friend’s shop.
The two women exchanged pleasantries and hugs. Isioma noticed that Omote wasn’t looking bright.
Omote dropped into the rocking chair and leaned her head back as she rocked.

“If you see the maga wey pass me today.” she frowned and shook her head.
Isioma broke into a loud laughter.

“You never see something…” She paused and then yelled at her sales girl” Martha!”

Martha appeared in a black and white uniform. ‘The Mac studio’ was written on her badge.

“Get me a bottle of wine.” Isioma said. “Continue my dear.”

“This man gives me so much cash, you won’t believe that the first time I just said I should do, my period came.”

“Ahhhhhhaaa. Which kind thing be that now?”
Martha dropped the red wine on the table.
“leave it there. I will open it myself.” Isioma said. She snapped the wine open and poured it into two disposable cups.

“How is Roland?” Isioma asked, while handing the cup of wine to Omote. She purposely changed the topic of discussion.

“The mom wasn’t feeling too well. He is at the hospital with her.”

“Oh no. Roland really loves you. I knew you were his kind of girl, but I didn’t know he was going to love you at first sight.” Isioma said, sipping her wine.

“I think Roland and I are just friends for now. He has refused to sleep with me.”

“Haba Omor! calm down abeg. na Yankee guy him be, dem no dey rush woman. Is there someone else in your life? She asked openly. Omote nodded and took another gulp of wine down her throat.

Moments later, Isioma’s phone rang.

“This is a Scotland line, it should be my husband. he has never called with this line before.” She said, looking absolutely convinced as she placed the phone to her ears.

“Hello? Yes this is Mrs Isioma.” She said, feeling nostalgic. It was a female’s voice, and she didn’t care to ask who it was.

“What?” Isioma screamed. The phone fell off from her hands.
She looked sober.

Omote couldn’t tell what the tears in her friend’s eyes meant.

……………………………………………………………

The world tilted a bit for Isioma as
tears gathered in her eyes.

“My husband is dead.” She said in a choking voice.

“Oghene!” Omote exclaimed. “Who just called you?”

“I suspect it’s his mistress, the white girl.” She lowered her voice.

“What are you going to do now? You will inform his family?” Omote asked desperately.

Isioma became silent and turned away.
It hurt Omote deeply to see tears in her friend’s eyes. She had never seen Isioma that way since when they were kids. She must have loved this man, despite his flaws.

“I and his late brother were his only family Omote.” Omote shook her head and held Isioma’s hands tight.

“Take heart my friend.” Omote could tell from her tone that she wasn’t ready to talk more about her husband’s death. She sat gently on the rocker and watched Isioma weep softly for a while.

“I miss him already. He made me who I am today. He took me from the streets, not minding if I have been married before.” Isioma sobbed.

Omote didn’t know what to say anymore. ‘Sorry’ wasn’t going to bring her friend’s husband back. She had forgotten that she was menstruating. Time passed, and still Isioma was sobbing. She wiped her eyes with the back of hand, and took her phone gently.

“let me inform the lawyer.” Her voice quivered.

Omote’s eyes were filled with pity for her friend. She sat with her till she had made all the phone calls, informing people of her husband’s death.

Omote followed Isioma to her beautiful house for the first time. She could not let her drive home alone.

While she settled in the beautifully furnished executive sitting room, she overheard the cook scream in the kitchen “tufiakwa, oka nnofid die!” Isioma came out with a red swollen eye.

The cook had started crying aloud, causing a moody state in the house. Isioma’s phone rang countless times. She picked some calls and ignored some. Sympathizers started trooping in and out of the house that night.

Omote took her arm and escorted her upstairs, after the sympathizers left.

********

Omote got back home the next morning looking tired. She didn’t sleep all through the night. She had wondered why her sister Tega didn’t call to find out why she didn’t come back the previous night.

She opened the window and stood staring outside for a time before she started to undress.

“You are back.” Tega’s voice said from the bedroom.

“Isioma lost her husband.”

“Oghene!” Tega screamed from the room, running out with a Mint green color bridal gown in her hands.
“How? What killed him?” She asked in a shaky tone.

“We don’t know yet.” Omote noticed the gown in her sister’s hands. “What’s that for?” she said, navigating her eyes to the gown.

“oh okay. Chetachukwu and I are getting married in court today.”

Omote became amazed.

“What? Without even informing Mama or I.” Omote said angrily.

“It is just a court marriage. I will be meeting his family next month in Umuahia. I just told you now of our court wedding. Cheta informed me yesterday, he wanted to surprise me.” Tega said, releasing a soft smile.

Omote leaned against the casement, wondering what she should do to stop her sister from marrying Cheta.

“That guy is using local Umuahia charms on you Tega.” She said in a loud voice.
Tega watched her flinch at her angry words.
She pressed her hands over her ears, as she walked into her room excitedly.

…………………………………………………………

Trying to suppress her anger, Omote gulped a full glass of ice water down her throat. Her sister was going insane and she didn’t like it. 
She had attempted to discourage her from marrying Cheta, but it was obvious that she was wasting her time.

Chetachukwu and OgheneTega had a registry marriage.
Tega had finally taken Cheta to go see her mother in Warri.
Omote was disappointed, but she didn’t have any other option but to love her brother inlaw. She had wished her sister had chosen someone better, but there was nothing she could do about her choice of spouse.

Isioma’s husband was buried at old Carlton burial ground in Scotland. Isioma never wanted to see his remains anymore, after the autopsy confirmed he died of sodomy.

She was ashamed.

Few weeks after her husband’s burial, the lawyer came home with his will. Isioma’s late husband had handed everything to her; Including his houses In Scotland and Nigeria.
His companies in Ghana and Tokyo, and all his life savings were given to Isioma.

She had wondered why her husband would give her all his life earnings, she felt undeserving of all that were in the will.
Isioma had planned to go carry his son Freddy in south Africa, it was time to sit up and face the only family she had.

*********

Omote’s mother loved her son inlaw. He was loving, caring and very supportive.

“I like him o.” Their mother said, laughing excitedly. She squeezed the five hundred note Cheta handed to her into her breast.

Omote’s smile varnished, she had wondered what her mother loved too about Cheta.

“Mama, remove the money from your breast doh. Breast cancer is real.” Omote said aloud. But her mother didn’t respond, she was busy dancing and removing her legs forward and backward delightedly.

They all went back to Lagos in good minds. Omote left Warri by flight, while Tega and Cheta had left the same day by night bus.

They had started planning for a small Wedding. Tega never wanted to inconvenience her fiancé at all. She preferred a simple parlour traditional marriage to a big church wedding.

“Cheta said we should cut Cost. He has only hundred thousand naira. We have to budget everything well.” Tega said calmly. She was writing list of things they had planned to buy in the market. “Thank God we are in Lagos, things are cheaper here.”

Omote laughed and clapped her hands.

“Please, you people should go and beg your pastor to join you for free without reception. must you even wed in church? buy drink and go and meet uncle Akpors now o. Do a small parlour TM.” Omote said amusingly.
Tega kept writing. She thought her sister was ignorant.
“I will support him.” She said softly.

Futile anger banded Omote’s chest. She became silent and didn’t talk about her sister’s love life anymore.

Moments later, the door bell rang. Omote clicked the door open immediately, her eyes beamed with delight as she saw Roland.

“Mom and Dad wants to see you.” He said, his lips curved with a smile.

Omote was excited, she knew what meeting Roland’s parents meant. It was going to be the beginning of a deeper relationship with her lover.

……………………………………………………………….

Omote knew that it was going to take a lot to win Roland’s parents love, so she got her mom Oh Lala, a Marc Jacobs perfume; and got his father an expensive Brandy from a wine shop.

There was one thing that was certain on Roland’s mind, he loved Omote; and even if his parents didn’t like her, he was ready to spend the rest of his life with her.

Roland’s family house had the smell of queen of the night flower.
The huge duplex was the biggest in the estate.
Roland glanced quickly around and did not see his Parents. Moments later, his mother appeared in a gingham gown.

“Oh dear Omote” she said stylishly as she walked elegantly towards Omote. Omote stood up immediately and bended her knees. She felt easier, when she saw that Roland’s mom liked her.
Her height was beyond what Omote expected. She was tall, elegant and stylish.
She was smelling of Vanilla sugar body scrub, and Omote had thought she got the perfume gift for the right person.

“My son chose the right woman for himself, beautiful.” she said.

“thank you mom.” Omote said, shyly looking at her shoes as if examining them for flaws.

“Roland, get us a bottle of sparkling water from the refrigerator.” Roland’s mom said softly as Roland rushed out of sitting room. Omote took her handbag and brought out the gift she had bought from the perfume shop, she handed it to Roland’s mom humbly, as she bends her knees again.

“I got this for you mom.” She said. Omote lowered herself slowly on the soft, silky sofa, as Roland’s mom expressed her excitement in a dramatic way.

“Thank you my darling. I won’t let any other woman take my son away from you ” she said with a beamed smile. Omote got the joke and laughed shyly.

Roland soon came out with a bottle of sparkling water and four glasses on a tray.
He put the glasses on the table and waited patiently for his father to come out.
Not long, Roland’s father appeared in his blue overall. His gaze rested on Omote for a while as she stood to greet him respectfully. He shook hands with Roland and sat comfortably beside his wife.

“You are welcome, my daughter. It’s good to have you here. Sit down and make yourself comfortable.”

“Thank you sir.” Omote said softly.

The four of them soon settled onto easy banter, and Omote began to relax. Roland’s father had the polished manners of a trained captain. He was knowledgeable and funny. She realized that she was having fun, and that hadn’t happen to her in a very long time.

“My brother will be here soon to see his first nephew’s wife to be.” Rowland’s dad said excitedly.

They had just finished the last of Roland’s mom small chops when a shadow fell across Omote’s face, and she glanced up to see Chief Akporo in front of the door.
She tensed and drew back, resisting the urge to scramble to her feet and runaway from the house.

“I hope I am not interrupting anything.” Chief Akporo said in a trembling voice. “What did I miss already?”

“We are about to eat right now. You came in at the right time.” Roland’s mom said excitedly.
At that moment, a young girl dressed in a blue and white check material and had a white apron tied to waist, appeared from the kitchen, she was smelling of curry and thyme.

“Madam, lunch is ready.” She said shrilly.

“We will be there in a bit Oka.” Roland’s mom said and then turned to Chief Akporo. “Akpo, this is your nephew’s girlfriend.”

Omote met Chief’s gaze and found his expression as sharp as the blade of a knife. The heaviness of his presence laid on her like a weight.

…………………………………………………………………

Roland couldn’t see that Omote was nervous around his uncle Akporo, he was irritated that his uncle could not take his eyes off his woman. 
Roland was aware that his uncle was a womanizer. He had multiple children out of wedlock through young Girls, leaving his wife who lives In London in tears.

It was as if Akporo was deliberately trying to make her uncomfortable.

It was only the sounds of cutleries that was heard until Chief Akporo broke the silence.
“Tell me Omote dear, how long do you intend to date my nephew?” Chief akporo asked.

“As long as we want to.” Omote replied in a shaky tone.

Chief Akporo was not satisfied with the answer, he tried to pin her down. “I hope this is for real?”

Roland smiled at his uncle. “We will be getting married uncle, give us time.” Roland said as he reached for the chicken and took a bite.
Chief Akporo smiled tightly and wiped his mouth with the serviette. Roland wiped his hands too and joined him.

“Thank you my brother. Omawumi nnem, doh. thank you all for a palatable lunch.” Chief Akporo said.

Omote became even more uncomfortable as Chief and Roland sat closely on the sofa. They were having a conversation in soft whispers.
Omote couldn’t stare at them, she was afraid.

“Are you okay my dear?” Roland’s father asked. She nodded.
Roland’s father took his wife’s hand and helped her to her feet.
“Thank you baby.” She said softly. Omote stared in disbelief, she could not believe that Roland’s parents still gave each other endearments, despite their old ages.

“Omote, do you need more rice?” Roland’s mom asked pleasantly.

Omote’s lips were trembling when she said “No ma.”

She was the last to leave the dinning table. She felt her legs shaking as she walked slowly towards the sitting room.

“Are you okay my love?” Roland asked .
Omote shook her head in disagreement and lowered herself on the sofa.

“I am having fever” She said weakly.

Chief chuckled.

“Oh dear sorry. Do you need to see a doctor?” Roland’s father asked, holding her hands tightly. Omoted nodded again.
She stared at her hand as if measuring it smallness compared to Roland’s father’s hands.

“Let me take her home.” Roland said, as he rose from the sofa and gave his mother a peck on the cheeks. Omote gently hugged Roland’s mom and dad in a warm delight. She laced her hands into Roland’s hands as they both walked gently towards the car.

Omote was relieved that she had left Chief Akporo’s presence. She had wished in her heart that Chief should just die or disappear and never show up again. Out of the corner of her eye, she noticed Roland’s countenance had changed to sad. She laid her hand on his. ” I enjoyed today, your parents are fun loving people.”

“So I did.” He took his hands away from hers.

“Oh baby, I forgot to greet your uncle when I was leaving.” She said.
Roland drove the car slowly to a corner and stopped. He looked deep into Omote’s eyes. It was strangely silent as a line of tear rushed down Roland’s eyes.

“You used to be my uncle’s girlfriend.” He said in broken whispers. Tears moistened Omote’s eyes. She became mute for a long time. Roland’s gaze became cold and hard.
He knew that even the most innocent looking person could become dangerous, that was especially true of this woman.

Roland clicked the car door open. ” Get out of my car, get out of my life you whore!”
He screamed.

Omote closed her eyes, her face flushed with embarrassment at the methodical and detached manner with which he ordered her. Even Chief at his worst had not made her feel this kind of shame.

“I never slept with him.” She said tearily.

He threw her handbag away and pushed her out of the car, leaving her on the sandy floor. He drove away without turning back.

………………………………………………………….

Tega pulled the drapes open, allowing sunshine to flood the sitting room. She turned to get the AC remote and then stumbled on Omote lying on the cold tile. 
Her head was facing the pillow. She didn’t want her sister to see that she was crying.

“Omor, you missed the most important day of my life. You won’t believe that Cheta tricked me.” she said aloud excitedly. “Cheta isn’t a taxi guy for real. He is well to do.” Tega Said. Omote lifted up her teary face immediately, trying to remove the catarrh from her nose.

“What do you mean Cheta isn’t a taxi driver for real?” Omote asked tearily.
Tega noticed the tears in her sister’s eyes, she paused and watched her for a moment.

“Why are you crying?” She asked softly.

“I am fine. I had headache.” Omote replied weakly.

“You will be fine.” Tega held her sister’s hands. “Cheta lied to Me.” Tega repeated. Tears ran out of her eyes as she began to laugh at the same time.
She rushed her hands into her handbag and brought out a car key. “See, he gave me a car. He is the MD of Sweet winery, his father used to be former minister for information.”

Omote turned to her sister in amazement, she knew that her sister was not a good liar, so she didn’t argue with her. She just listened to her talk about Cheta with joy.

“He lied about his school. He graduated from American business school last year. He lied to me.”

“Why was he doing all of these?”

“Because he wanted to find his one and only true love.” Tega said excitedly and hugged her sister.
“He wants us to wed in London by May.” Tega said.

Omote became ashamed. Her elder sister had found the love of her life, and she had just lost hers. She kept calling Roland’s line, but he always rejected her calls.

Most nights, Omote drank herself to stupor before she could go to bed, and in the day, she accompanied her sister to the shop.
She had wanted to tell Isioma about the breakup between her and Roland, but she didn’t want to bother Isioma with more problems.
She always crawled back into her shell of loneliness.

***********

OgheneTega and Chetachukwu got married at Hackney town hall, Mare street London.
Cheta had gotten visa for Tega’s mother and Omote. It was their first time in London.
Omote took a deep breath as she accompanied her sister to walk down the aisle. Their mother had smiles flashed on her face all through that day.

When the priest joined them together in holy matrimony, Omote became amaze at Cheta’s British accent, he sounded stunned. His eyes were gentle and loving. Omote could not resist weeping like a Baby as she watched her sister Kiss Cheta with full joy.

Cheta and Tega had their honeymoon at Royal Tunbridge Wells in London, while Omote and her mother slept at Cheta’s family house in Hurley.

Omote had wished she was still dating Roland. He would have been proud to know that his woman had traveled to London, for the first time in her life.

“When will you be getting married?” Her mother asked skeptically, and the tone of her voice grated on Omote like fingernails on a board.

“I don’t know.” Omote replied quietly, which spoke volumes to her mother.

They were in the guest room at Cheta’s family house. The both of them were lying on the bed and backing each other.

“So you don’t have boyfriend?” Her mother asked with an obvious edge in her voice, Omote hesitated answering her for a very long moment. She didn’t want to bicker with her mother, so she closed her eyes and slept off like a baby.

She dreamt of kissing Roland and caressing him, but he pushed her away when he Realized it was her.

……………………………………………………………..

A fluffy cloud had pass beneath the sun, Omote wore her sunshade as she and her mother alighted from the aeroplane. They had left London for Nigeria as soon as her sister and the husband got back from Honeymoon.

Tega and Cheta finally relocated to Ottawa, Canada.

Tega handed her clothing business to her sister Omote. She gave her some money to rebrand the shop and make it to her taste.
Omote was grateful, but it wasn’t what she wanted. Owning a small boutique in the heart of Lagos was not just enough, she wanted more.

As she arrived Lagos, the feeling of going to stay at home alone without her sister fell on her, she suddenly became sad. Her mother had left for Warri, and she was left alone to find her way home.

The only friend she had was still in mourning, and she had wondered when she was going to come out of it. She decided to call Isioma and let her know that she was still around in case she needed her.
She dialed Isioma’s Number, Isioma picked the call within a second.

“I was just about calling you. Are you back from London?” She asked in a delighted tone.

“Yes oh. I am really bored already, can we hang out this evening?”

“My son is around, he visited from South Africa last week. I will drop him at my neighbor’s house and then come to pick you.”

“Are we clubbing?” Omote asked shrilly.

“If you want us to. I haven’t had fun for a while.” Isioma said calmly.

Omote became excited. She took a cab home, had a warm bath and waited patiently for Isioma.
She arrived moments later with her G-wagon.

Omote wore a short and a pink sweater with a pair of sneakers. It was the simplest outfit she had ever wore to a club.
The sight of Isioma’s new car caught her breath.

“This is beautiful!” she exclaimed. Isioma didn’t say a word, she only smiled.

“My husband’s old car.” She said at last.

Omote was mute till they got to a bar on Victoria Island.

“I think Roland is here.” Isioma said. Omote’s heart skipped as Isioma called the name Roland. She wished that she had dressed a little more attractive.

“How did you know?” Omote asked.

“I know. I just saw his car. Are you not aware?” Isioma asked in dismay.

“We broke up.”

“Since when?”

“Two months ago.” Omote said and jumped out of the car.

Isioma knew that Omote didn’t want to talk about Roland anymore, she brought up another conversation.

“I just hope this club will have my favorite vodka tonight.” Isioma said.

“They should.” Omote retorted.

As they stepped into the club, Omote’s heart trembled at the sight of Roland. He was looking so handsome like never before. Their eyes met, and Omote became weak instantly.

“I told yaaaa, Roland is here.” Isioma said and walked passed Omote towards Roland. She gave him a warm hug and talked slightly with him.
Roland was sorry about Isioma’s husband’s death. He had wanted to talk about his separation with Omote, but he wasn’t just in the mood.

As Isioma walked back to where Omote was sitting, a lady dressed in a purple tight gown, walked seductively towards Roland. She kissed him on the lips deeply. Roland held his hands around her waist and hugged her so tight around him, laying his eyes on Omote.

Omote’s guilt was growing by leaps and bounds. She became heartbroken at that moment. Isioma knew she wasn’t happy. There were tears in Omote’s eyes, she carelessly brushed them away as she stood up angrily and walked out of the bar.
Roland pushed the lady in a purple dress and ran after Omote.

……………………………………………………….

Roland held Omote’s hands forcefully. It was all he could do to stop her from leaving angrily. Isioma had walked passed them, she got into her car and waited patiently for Omote to join her.

“What are you doing here?” Roland asked, his eyes alive with all the feelings he had been fighting.

“Leave me alone. Go back to your girlfriend!” Omote yelled. She was weak and tired. Her body shook violently like she was catching cold.
Roland focused on her eyes. “Answer me! what are you doing here? To find another sugar daddy right? My uncle slept with you! He paid you like a prostitute!” Roland said angrily, he wanted her to say no. He wanted her to deny it the second time, but Omote gave him a hard slap on the face.

“Go to hell! I do not ever want to see you again.” She said, as she wept uncontrollably. Her heart rose to her throat.
Isioma rushed out of the car and held her.
“What is happening between you two? Isioma asked with a worried face.
But Omote pushed her off and bounced into the car.

Roland raised his head in the dim moonlight, with his left hands on his cheeks. He thought of what to do to Omote to hurt her even the more, she was making him crazy.
The lady in purple came out of the bar, looking desperate.

“Where have you been baby?” she asked shrilly, looking down on Isioma snobbishly. Roland grabbed her by the waist and kissed her gently on the forehead.

“What is happening here Roland?” Isioma asked in a loud tone

“Go ask that bitch!” Roland said. He was obviously drunk, and Isioma was not going to ask him another question.

“You came to me some months ago and said you needed a girlfriend, someone serious. And I introduced my best friend to you, now see? you’re hurting her because you think you are manly right?” Isioma yelled. She was angry and could not stand the sight of the lady in purple. She walked angrily into her car and drove off.

Roland pushed off the lady the second time when he couldn’t view Isioma’s car anymore.

“Get off me you bitch! I don’t want this.” He said angrily and walked into the bar.

***************

Omote slept at Isioma’s house that night, drunk and sad.
She felt Roland flirted with a girl to get to her, but she wasn’t sure.
She slid out of bed to the floor and began to sob.
It was her first heartbreak in the history of her life.
She had taken several shots of vodka, and said miserable things to herself. She puked all over the toilet, feeling like a loser as she laid slowly on the toilet floor till the next morning.

Omote determined she was never going r love any man again. She had promised herself to concentrate on her new boutique business and not date anyone.

“Good morning Omor, you were terrible last night. You are not good with drinks.” Isioma said jokingly.
Omote gave an audible sigh of relief as she watched Isioma weakly.

“I messed up.” she said weakly.

“My son is here to say hi.”

“Oh let him in.” Omote said excitedly.
A young teenage boy walked into the room, he was dressed in a denim shorts and white tee. He had curly hairs like the black Americans.

“Good morning aunty.” He said shyly, not looking directly at Omote’s face.

“Good morning my cute boy, what’s your name?”
“Roland.” He said calmly. Omote’s heart trembled. Her countenance changed as Isioma gave a loud laugh. Omote felt bad that his friend’s son would bear the name of the man who broke her heart.

………………………………………………………………………..

Omote woke up with a new thought. 
She was going to change her life, and make her business her best companion. She had opened her boutique, and customers had started trooping in and out. She deleted Roland’s number from her cell phone and changed her lines. She wanted to start up a new life and probably find a boyfriend sometimes in future.

She had started traveling to Dubai and Turkey to buy dresses, shoes and bags for sell.

********

One morning, Omote had just finished attending to a customer when a lady walked in, accompanied by Roland. Omote comported herself, and acted like Roland was a stranger to her.

Roland was shocked to see her. He turned suddenly to look at her, his gaze was daring.

“Good morning, please do you have a pink gladiator sandals?” The lady asked pleasantly. Omote nodded.

“No ma’am. But we will have them on Monday.” She said nicely.

The lady turned to Roland, “Honey, she doesn’t have. maybe we should check somewhere else.” She said gruffly.

Omote met Roland’s steady gaze on her. She quickly took away her eyes and stared at the mannequins that were lined in the shop.
But Roland had lost control over himself, his eyes had a rather endearing expression of confusion.

He didn’t want to leave Omote’s shop, he wanted to just stare at her natural afro hair, at her oval face and pink lips. He wanted to kiss her, and tell her how much he still loved her despite her flaws.

He wanted to hold her in his arms again, and tell her how much she has changed in his eyes.
He wanted to tell her how he had tried her like countless times, and how he is so excited to see her again.

“Baby, let’s go.” The lady said.
Omote looked at the lady from her head to her feet and took off her eyes when she saw that Roland was still staring at her.
Roland knew that the lady wasn’t whom he truly loved. Omote was more beautiful, elegant and Attractive. Above all, Omote was the woman he was in love with.

His voice became husky, when he answered the lady.

“Okay.”

Omote caught his stare, she couldn’t look away. She looked directly into his eyes as he winked her and walked out of the shop.
She had wondered why Roland would even think of dating a girl with tiny legs. She expected more from her competitors.

*******
Roland removed his jacket, unfastened his tie, and rolled up his sleeves before delving into the stack of papers on his desk at the office. He could not concentrate on his work. His mind was on more complicated matters. He was more sure than ever that he had made a blunder were Omote was concerned.

He swiveled his chair around, propped his foot on a stool and closed his eyes. He was thinking about how he would summon the courage to date a girl his uncle had slept with. He got up immediately from his chair, took his car keys and drove to Omote’s shop.

He had suddenly become bold enough to listen to her talk about Chief Akporo.

…………………………………………………………………..

At the time Roland got to Omote’s shop, she was almost closing the doors.

When she saw Roland’s car, she wondered if he had forgotten something in her shop. She checked around to see if she was going to find any thing that belonged to him. She clamped her lips together, then said after a few moments, “I don’t sell men’s stuffs. you can go further, by your left, you’ll see men’s boutique….” He cut her off before she could complete the rest.

“I want us to talk.” He said in a husky voice. Omote looked surprised, she walked inside the shop with piles of denim jeans on her hands, while Roland followed her behind.

“I want to know the truth, did you sleep with Uncle Akporo?” His voice became deep, as he lowered himself into a chair.

Omote became silent for a while before she spoke. She dropped the piled denim jeans on a table. “I almost did, if not that my period came on that day. That was why he stopped seeing me.” She said defiantly, then used a mop stick to clean the floor.

“I have dodged dates with Chief a lot of times because of you. I was always with you. I met chief few weeks before I met you.” She said, and then pondered.
“I used to be a bad girl. I wasn’t lucky like other women. I had to sleep my way through a lot of men before I got what I wanted.” Her eyes quickly darted upward to collide with his gaze.

“Who should I believe now, you or my uncle?” Roland asked.

“any of us. I do not force people to believe the things I say. If your uncle said he slept with me, then he should prove it.”

Roland looked at her pensively and then said “prove it first. Prove to me that he didn’t touch you.”

“How am I gonna do that?” Omote asked amazingly.

“Call him.”

“I do not have his number anymore. I got a new Sim card.”

Roland removed his phone from his pocket and handed to her. “I saved his line as Uncle A. Get it and call him with your phone.” She was amazingly weak, as she got the phone reluctantly from him.

“Why are you doing this?” She said in a quivered voice.

“Because I want you back into my life. And I want to trust you, prove it.” Tears gathered in Omote’s eyes as she dialed in Chief’s number from Roland’s phone to her phone.

Chief’s phone rang twice, but he didn’t pick. Omote frowned and shook her head.
Few minutes later, Chief Akporo called back.

“Answer the call.” Roland said authoritatively. Omote placed the phone slowly on her ears, as her heart skipped at the sound of chief’s voice. She gently pressed the speaker button.

“Hello, who is this? Chief Akporo speaking.” He said in a loud baritone voice.

“Hello Chief, this is Omote.”

“Which Omote?”

“Your nephew’s….” She paused.

“Ohhhh….You deceived me and ran away to marry my small nephew who was born just yesterday. If you had allowed me to touch you at least once, I wouldn’t have told him we had anything doing. But you ate my money and ran away.” He said. She lowered her head for a moment and sighed.

“So why did you tell him that I slept with you when I didn’t?” She asked.

“Because it hurt me to see that he was enjoying what I couldn’t have.” chief said in a proud tone.

Omote hung the call.

Roland smiled down at Omote and walked slowly towards her. She held her hands. Omote pushed him away, She took her shop keys and carried her handbag.

“I want to close.” She said boldly.

Roland’s face broke into a grin.

“I love you.” He whispered.

Her chest rose and fell with anger. “I am not flattered! Go to your numerous girlfriends, go to your whores and leave my shop! I don’t wanna date anybody! I just wanted to prove to you that I didn’t sleep with your uncle.” She said boldly.

He watched her turn away with tears swimming in her eyes.

………………………………………………………………….

For a moment, Omote was angry. She was angry that Roland flirted with a girl at the club, just few months after their breakup. 
She was angry that he coincidentally walked into her shop with a lady.

Roland wanted to appease his guilt. He wanted to ask Omote to marry him. But he was afraid she was going to say no. Her thoughts were still in chaos.

He held Omote’s hands tight. She struggled to get her hands off his, but couldn’t.

“I will be leaving Nigeria soon, and I don’t wanna leave without you baby.” He whispered into her ears.

A slight breeze stirred the scented paper on the wall, wafting its delicate scent through the air.

He moved closer to her, forcing her to look up to see him.
“I loved you, even when you saw me with the lady at the club, I still did. I did that to hurt you. It was on purpose. It’s you I love, it’s you I will always love.” He placed his hands on either side of her face and bent toward her.
“I want to marry you. I don’t care about your past anymore. All I care about is the future, what it holds for you, I and the kids.”

Omote became soft hearted and speechless as he laid his cheek against hers.
“Please Marry me, let’s rock this world together. My life will be meaningless without you.” He whispered in her ears.

Omote’s heart was beating so fast, she could hardly speak. She only stared at Roland straight in the eye, as he poured out his heart on her.

It began to get dark, and all Omote could see was the sparkling eyes of Roland, and the shape of his lip.

The mood was interrupted by Omote’s phone. It was chief calling her back. She stared at the screen of her phone, looking confused. Roland took the phone from her hands and answered the call eloquently.

“Uncle, please I think it’s high time you stopped calling my girlfriend.” He said huskily and kept the phone slowly on the table. Slowly he drew her to himself and began to kiss her neck. Before she could protest, he brushed his mouth against hers, and a flickering flame fanned to life within her.

She wanted to give Roland a tough time to get to her, but she didn’t want to suffer her heart and emotions. She was tired of waiting for his kisses and touches.
Roland wasn’t gentle and his mouth ravished Hers, moulding and shaping it to fit his. He put all his frustrations in the kiss, and then gentled it when he felt the rise and fall of her rapid breathing.

When she raised her head, she stared into his passion filled eyes. Without guilt, he was using all his male prowess to his advantage.

“I love you very much.” He said in a low whisper.

He held her hands and helped her walk through the dark paths without hitting herself on something.

As he drove her home that night, Omote knew that her love life was about to be renewed, but in a more different way. She had wished her sister was around, so that she could describe the things Roland did to her at the shop. But she called Isioma, and they both talked that night over the phone till the next morning.

**********

Morning came, and Roland couldn’t wait to go pick Omote so that they could discuss their wedding.

There was joy in his husky tone when he called out her name in mere whispers. Her name suddenly sounded like a beautiful magic to his ears.

………………………………………………………………….

For a moment, Omote was angry. She was angry that Roland flirted with a girl at the club, just few months after their breakup. 
She was angry that he coincidentally walked into her shop with a lady.

Roland wanted to appease his guilt. He wanted to ask Omote to marry him. But he was afraid she was going to say no. Her thoughts were still in chaos.

He held Omote’s hands tight. She struggled to get her hands off his, but couldn’t.

“I will be leaving Nigeria soon, and I don’t wanna leave without you baby.” He whispered into her ears.

A slight breeze stirred the scented paper on the wall, wafting its delicate scent through the air.

He moved closer to her, forcing her to look up to see him.
“I loved you, even when you saw me with the lady at the club, I still did. I did that to hurt you. It was on purpose. It’s you I love, it’s you I will always love.” He placed his hands on either side of her face and bent toward her.
“I want to marry you. I don’t care about your past anymore. All I care about is the future, what it holds for you, I and the kids.”

Omote became soft hearted and speechless as he laid his cheek against hers.
“Please Marry me, let’s rock this world together. My life will be meaningless without you.” He whispered in her ears.

Omote’s heart was beating so fast, she could hardly speak. She only stared at Roland straight in the eye, as he poured out his heart on her.

It began to get dark, and all Omote could see was the sparkling eyes of Roland, and the shape of his lip.

The mood was interrupted by Omote’s phone. It was chief calling her back. She stared at the screen of her phone, looking confused. Roland took the phone from her hands and answered the call eloquently.

“Uncle, please I think it’s high time you stopped calling my girlfriend.” He said huskily and kept the phone slowly on the table. Slowly he drew her to himself and began to kiss her neck. Before she could protest, he brushed his mouth against hers, and a flickering flame fanned to life within her.

She wanted to give Roland a tough time to get to her, but she didn’t want to suffer her heart and emotions. She was tired of waiting for his kisses and touches.
Roland wasn’t gentle and his mouth ravished Hers, moulding and shaping it to fit his. He put all his frustrations in the kiss, and then gentled it when he felt the rise and fall of her rapid breathing.

When she raised her head, she stared into his passion filled eyes. Without guilt, he was using all his male prowess to his advantage.

“I love you very much.” He said in a low whisper.

He held her hands and helped her walk through the dark paths without hitting herself on something.

As he drove her home that night, Omote knew that her love life was about to be renewed, but in a more different way. She had wished her sister was around, so that she could describe the things Roland did to her at the shop. But she called Isioma, and they both talked that night over the phone till the next morning.

**********

Morning came, and Roland couldn’t wait to go pick Omote so that they could discuss their wedding.

There was joy in his husky tone when he called out her name in mere whispers. Her name suddenly sounded like a beautiful magic to his ears.

……………………………………………………………

As September unfurled, all the plans in their lives seemed to be happening the way they wanted it.

Plans were made for Omote’s mother to join Tega in Canada, as she and Cheta were expecting their first child.

Omote and Roland had gotten a Visa for their honeymoon trip to Laplaya Beach and Golf resort, Naples, Florida.

Their traditional wedding was three days away. Omote had started becoming nervous.

“Is everything ready for the big day?” Isioma asked delightedly.

“Yes.” Omote replied softly.

They were in Roland’s large sitting room. Isioma had left her house early that morning with her son to go help Omote pack for the village.

“I have something for you.” Isioma said.
Her son handed over a small portable box, while she gave it to Omote.
“This is from us to you.” she said in soft whispers. Omote gently got the box and tried to open it hastily. Little Roland helped her in clicking the box open.
Omote’s eyes widened as the sight of the gold colour Indian wrapper caught her eyes. She was amazed.

“Aweeeeee…..Isioma, you gave me a husband and then this?” she said in a quiet and tremulous voice.
Isioma stared at her with a beamed smile.
Omote took a breath and squeezed her hands, then held the wrapper. “This must have cost you a lot.” she said, as she placed the wrapper on her body.
“Thank you.” she said in broken whispers, and then stood to hug her friend tightly.

“My son and I will be leaving for Florida after your wedding. I will sell out the shop. I am tired of this country. I really want to spend special time with him in a brand new place.” Isioma said boldly.

“What a coincidence!” Omote exclaimed. ” That’s our honeymoon location! Roland has a house in Florida and we will be staying there after we leave Naples.” Omote said excitedly.

“You see? We were meant to be friends forever.” Isioma said excitedly. The two women laughed out loud in unison and started packing for the Village.

***********

The most memorable day of Omote and Roland’s life came, and even the birds of the air sang tremendously, until the canopies were set and the DJ began to roll some traditional music into the air.

Invitees began to troop in with their cars.

It was one of the biggest traditional wedding ever held in Omote’s village, and even the villagers were marveled.

Isioma was right beside Omote all the while, while Roland was with his friends, father, mother and uncle Akporo drinking palm wine and eating roasted goat meat. Boisterous laughter was heard from were they were seated.

There was joy and excitement in the air as a black jeep drove into the compound.

Tega stepped out with her protruded belly. Omote screamed and ran towards her, hugging her so passionately.

“I thought you wouldn’t make it?”

“I wanted to surprise you.” Tega said softly. Her mother ran passed everyone and hugged Tega so firmly.
“Maama, I will be taking you along with me after the traditional marriage.” She said delightedly.

“Who will take care of the goats and my market?”

“Ah mama, we can pay someone to do that.” Omote said, as he hugged her sister firmly again. She placed her face playfully on Tega’s stomach. “It’s your Aunty’s big day!”

Everyone laughed as Tega began to hug Isioma, Roland and then hailed the village women in their native dialect.

The Marriage ceremony started at about 6pm, and Omote could not wait to make her first bridal dance to her husband.
Marriage rites were conducted and Omote was finally allowed to see the face of her Roland. She danced out elegantly, accompanied by Isioma and some young maidens.

Just then the fireworks began to rain brilliantly from the sky. The arbor reflected the colors, red, blue and gold, bright as day one moment and dark again the next. Omote had jumped when the first volley went off, but Roland wrapped her in his arms. They whole village were marvelled, as they’ve not seen something like that before.

Roland suddenly swept her into his arms, as they kissed so passionately. It was a kiss that sealed their love forever.

******* THE END

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