‘We will be going to the Bibilari’s today’, Mrs Benson declared to her son as they shared breakfast a week after he got back from school.
‘What’s happening there? I’m not sure I know any of their kids well enough to think I’ll enjoy the visit’
‘No you don’t but they are good friends of your father and I. It’s high time our families got to become better friends’
‘Since when did you become good friends with them? You hardly talk about them and they hardly visit, Mrs Bibilari doesn’t even attend your parties’
‘All that has changed, we are better friends now’
‘Well it’s great to hear that but with all due respect; I think I’m old enough to choose my own friends’
‘And who’s disputing the fact that you can choose your friends? I’m simply asking you to accompany me to visit friends, hope you won’t say no’.
How could he blatantly refuse his mum like that? She didn’t make such requests often; Boye found himself consenting to her wish.
‘Ok I’ll go but I’ll have to be back early. I have an appointment with a friend this evening that I can’t afford to miss. He was taking Gbemi out to dinner and they fixed the date over a week ago so she could ask her parents’ permission.
‘Can I leave you there if you’re taking too long?’
‘Fair enough, we’ll leave at 11 am; we’re having brunch with them’
‘Ok mama, I’ll just check in on Lolade, she hasn’t been downstairs today and then I’ll get ready’
Boye wondered how hard it was for his mother to take a no for an answer. She always liked to have her way and would bulldoze anything and anyone contrary to it. He hoped they never had to clash on a major decision because he might not bend for her.
Little did he know that the battle of wills had just started!
‘Hi sleepyhead, don’t tell me you’re still asleep’, Boye said as he walked into Lolade’s room.
She was sitting up in bed dressed in her nightgown and a matching dressing gown, her feet clad in winnie the pooh slippers. She looked pretty, her face void of make-up.
How nice it would have been for her to be married and have a husband doting on her while going through this pregnancy, Boye thought
Lolade had her nose buried in a big black book.
‘Morning, hope you had a good night’
‘Yes I did. What are you reading this morning?’ he moved closer and observed she was reading a bible; she had even underlined some of the passages.
‘‘O.K’, he thought, Lolade is reading a bible; wonders shall never end.
Well, don’t say it, whatever it is. I’m sure you’re stupefied to find me reading a bible. I’m actually enjoying it. It’s giving me some wisdom. Now that I’m here, I’ve been thinking so much about my life and the different decisions I’ve made’.
‘Nice one sis, nice one. I like that, keep it up’
Problems definitely have a way of drawing people close to God. They seek religion or whatever they choose as a means of succour, Boye thought.
‘I need to go get ready; mum says to go with her to the Bibilaris’. God knows what for’
‘Oh, you’re meeting the in laws? That’s good’. Lolade retorted, mischief written all over he r face.
‘Whose in laws? Is someone in our family getting married to anyone in theirs?’
Lolade burst out in uncontrollable laughter, holding her protruding belly as she did.
‘You ignoramus! Brother, you’re so blind! Well for your information, dad and mum have a grand plan for your life that includes Omolewa, the second of the Bibilari’s children that is studying in the UK. They think it will be a wonderful thing for you two to get married. It will be good for business’. She laughed some more.
‘What! I’m sure you’re joking, our parents are more reasonable than that. This is the jet age man! What are they thinking? They won’t match make me with a girl I hardly know. For Christ’s sake, Lolade, tell me this is some sick joke you’re playing on me’
‘I’m sorry but it’s not. I was dumbfounded after I found out and tried to talk mum out of it but her mind seems to be made up. You know the way she is once she is consumed by an idea. I even told her you have a girlfriend to make her back off, that seemed to fuel her determination. What baffles me is the fact that she claims dad is in on it’.
It dawned then on Boye to just go ahead and make his attention known to Gbemi. He could lay no claim to her now. At least if he had something concrete going on, he could make his parents see reason especially his dad. Thankfully his supposed future bride was no in the country, he needed to make a fast move. How funny! A future bride he hardly knew!
‘I’m just going to pretend that I don’t know about this and go on with life. I’m disgusted our parents can stoop so low as to come up with something like this but I don’t think anyone can force my will. We’ll see about it’
‘I’m with you all the way brother, don’t you worry, things will turn out great’.
It was a cool afternoon; the sun was not as scorching as it usually was, so they sat on terrace of their host’s house enjoying a good view of the garden and pool which was so clear one could see the bottom. Brunch consisted of sandwiches and orange juice. Mrs Bibilari turned out to be a very nice woman and an interesting person to be with. Boye found himself warming to her; he after all could not fault her for any other thing apart from the conspiracy with his parents. Mrs Bibilari’s son had also joined them. He and Boye automatically struck a conversation and moved away from the women; both were Chelsea fans, there was so much to talk about especially since it was premiership period.
‘I like Boye; he’s such a well mannered young man. You have done a good job with him’
‘Oh, he has always been a good boy and he is turning into a fine young man’, his mother boasted.
Boye had charmed Mrs Bibilari and she was delighted at the prospect of having him as a son in law. She actually assumed Boye’s mother had talked to him of their plans and that he was all for it.
By 3 o clock, his mother was making no move to leave just yet, she seemed to be enjoying the visit too much so Boye told Bola, the Bibilaris’ son that he had to leave, they exchanged phone numbers and promised to keep in touch.
He walked up to his mum to inform her he was ready to leave.
‘Excuse me’, he told the two women as he butted in on their conversation, ‘mummy, are you ready to leave? Remember I have somewhere to go’
‘Yes, I think we should leave now, I was just about to rap up here and say goodbye’.
That was definitely a lie, Boye thought, his mother had seemed to be enjoying the conversation too much and would probably have gone on for another hour but it was no problem, they were ready and that was it.
‘Thank you for the warm reception, we will definitely see you again soon’. Mrs Benson winked at her new friend…