Finally, I got the chance to know him. After over three months of failed attempts at that. And over twenty minutes of sitting idly on the balcony outside the church premises last sunday. You ask who? Who else? Of course, the ‘prince’ to my charming lady; the lady with the unreserved beauty.
When for over a month I no longer saw her in the church, probably because I wasn’t looking well enough, since she no longer sat on her regular seat (this, I found out recently), or I had been away for too long, I’d thought she had left. The most probable reason being that her husband had been transfered in his place of work, and he’d instantly whisked her away with him.
I was elated beyond expectation when I saw a familiar figure getting up to go to the altar during second offering collection. I looked more closely. It was her.
Initially, I had already begun to grumble inside that the celebration was taking too long. But the moment I saw her, it stopped. And my intention to know who her husband was took over with rubbing me soothingly on the mind while reminding me that since they seemed to be commited christians, if I was really bent on knowing him, then I needed to wait till the celebration ended. I didn’t decline.
Being the period of harvest, I had to wait for the seemingly endless calls and responses of families to thanksgivings. I heaved a mind-shutting sigh when we rose for the dismissal prayer. That was when my eyes took over the work of my legs; going after her wherever she went.
I watched her as she moved about greeting her friends, while I knelt on my pew feigning prayer, with my eyes wide open. As soon as she exited the church with her children trailing behind her, I made the sign of the cross, got up and followed suit.
She stopped when she got to the entrance of the exit door to buy sacramentals. I thought to lean against a pole near there and wait, but had a better idea. There was a balcony some distances away, so I just walked there and took my seat. From there I watched as herself and her children picked the items they wanted. I thought she would retrieve the items from them and return them. But no. She brought out money from her purse, calculated how much things they had picked and paid. Big woman.
As she left the place, her youngest son began to disturb for something. She opened her bag, brought out candies and shared to every one of her children, both young and old. Fact was they were all young sha. The eldest couldn’t be over twelve years old.
When I expected her to start moving towards the car park, she turned and began to walk to the back of the church. Today na today, I said to myself as I adjusted to seat more comfortably. At this moment, I looked around to see if anyone could notice what was happening. Everyone seemed to be minding their businesses. Better! I Sighed.
Since my mind was already made up to end my curiosity that day, I wasn’t concerned with how long I was staying. I whiled away time with watching the different groups of people clustered everywhere.
Then, all of a sudden, I heard the sound of a car horn behind me. Immediately, the children emerged from the back of the church and rushed towards the car. ‘unreserved beauty’ came out last. At this instance, I was already feeling reluctant to look back. I waited for them to get into the car, determining this moment with the sound of opening and closing car doors. I took the chance to turn when one of the children began to whine. From where I sat, I couldn’t see the person behind the steering wheel through the front windscreen. What if the person was their driver? The thought occured to me suddenly. I rejected it immediately. After spending over twenty minutes idly? No, abeg. I decided to wait till the car began to move. Then I would look through the passenger’s seat. But alas, as soon as the woman got in, she wound up her window. No way, I said to myself, turning my eyes till they were now fully on the car. I no longer cared whatever anyone thought, or who might actally be watching.
I took in his look in one quick glance as the car moved away, and what I saw didn’t leave me feeling disappointed at all. I knew it was ‘him’ because he looked exactly like his last son.
He had a well built body. Dark, tall. He also had the sort of face required to keep such a woman. Handsome? That wasn’t what was on my mind. Grim. For me, I didn’t consider it a wise idea to keep a smiling face with having such a lady. If you did, before the smile left your face, another man would have disappeared with her. Besides, some of your naughty friends would be bold enough to crack jokes with you about how well they would fare with your wife if you left her with them for a moment.
As their Toyota Avensis car took off, I took another quick look around me to see if anyone had been watching. And when no face seemed to register any suspicious look, I made my way home gallantly.
For me, it was a fulfiling sunday. Wasn’t it?