The place was set.
Mrs. Tosin Daramola, Bola’s mother, had jokingly commented earlier that morning on how she wished Bola would go through so many pains to make her house look like it did for the party, on a regular basis. The decorations were mostly in soft colors; light yet very appealing as the decorators took advantage of all the space and how bright the room was in the daytime, thanks to Mrs. Daramola’s beloved floor-to-ceiling windows. Most of the furniture in the very expansive living room had been either taken out, or neatly arranged to line the walls and this was done with the intention to create enough room for dancing as well as to make socializing a lot easier, considering guests would be able to see each other from across the room…provided there wasn’t a gathering of six-footers between them.
This advantage was of particular benefit to the proud mother of the groom-to-be as she excitedly waved at the familiar face she spotted entering into her home.
“Mummy Lola! Mummy Lola! See me here oh!”
The woman looked around for several moments, in search of the owner of the voice calling out to her and then her face cracked into a smile as she made her discovery. She waddled her chubby frame over, clutching firmly a bottle of expensive wine and a fat envelope in one hand, and the loosely tied rapper on her waist in the other.
“Ah, my darling Mrs. D., congrats oh jare.” She inclined her knees towards the ground, in the typical female Yoruba expression of respect, and handed her gifts to Mrs. Daramola with both hands. “This is for the gorgeous couple, from me and Lola’s daddy.”
“Oh oh, why now? You didn’t have to.” The huge, pleased grin on her face let the younger woman know just what a lie that statement was. “How are my brother and the children by the way?”
“They are fine my sister. But I’m afraid I will be celebrating on behalf of them all today because Femi took everyone with him to California over the weekend.”
Mrs. Daramola looked very surprised, and almost anxious. “You’re joking! Lola too?!”
“No no, Lola declined. She told her father she had work to do so he didn’t even pressure her; you know how he is about her career now. Me, I almost had to beg to be granted a leave of absence but he was willing once he heard my need to be here concerned his boy Bola.”
“Ah, eyah, he still has that soft spot for Bola shebi?”
“You have no idea my sister. But not to worry, they will all be present at the wedding definitely.”
Mrs. Daramola nodded and gestured that they go sit down. “But wait oh, didn’t you all receive the invite I sent to you concerning this party?”
Lola’s mother confirmed the negative. “That’s why Femi didn’t know; else he would have probably postponed his travel plans. It was even Lola who informed me of it last week or so.”
“I’m so sorry about that dear. It was my oversight. Bola thought it would be a great idea for his lady and I started organizing it about two weeks ago.”
“Please sister it’s fine, honestly. What I really want to know is what aroused this tension I heard is growing between my daughter and her hero?”
Mrs. Daramola laughed then. It always amused her when the woman talked of Bola like he was this epitome of goodness Lola worshipped.
“Hero ko, hero ni.” She shook her head and then her countenance became one of concern. “The story is sha very complicated oh my dear. Did you know of any Kole whom Lola dated while in University?”
“Sure now. He used to come around the house every now and then. If I recall correctly, they started their relationship about the time Lola’s music career started blossoming.”
“Oho! So it is true? Ah, my friend you are more current than I. I only heard of this super story when Bola came back from his hang-out with his pals oh, fuming like a mad bull about the friend he trusted being a goat in reality and bla bla bla.”
“Yeh!” The younger woman exclaimed. “You mean neither Lola nor Kole ever told him?”
“Lai lai. If Kole hadn’t made a suspicious statement when they were all gisting he might never have gotten to know. Bola said they began their relationship after he’d gone to the states for his masters. Then, he and all his friends were done with University and most of them had left the country; except Kole and Nedu that is, and he and Lola only got to see on skype. Lola was just finishing her SSS3 then abi?”
The woman nodded, still shocked.
Mrs. Daramola clucked to acquire more sympathy for her son. “My Bola was really hurt oh. He felt betrayed, considering he’s the one who took Lola to visit him one day in his final year and was the one who introduced her to them sef.”
“Eyah. And I know how much he treats Lola like his pet. Right from time, people always used to mistake them for a couple.”
“I know oh.”
Both women sighed.
After a few moments, Lola’s mother turned to Mrs. Daramola, her eyes wide with sudden realization. “Do you think the history between Lola and Kole is what caused her to take offence at Bola’s statement? Maybe it embarrassed her or made her feel guilty or something.”
Mrs. Daramola looked thoughtful. “That’s a possibility my dear. Although I can’t be sure considering I’m unaware of how their relationship came to an end oh, but-.”
“Oh Lola dumped Kole. I can’t really recall what she gave as explanation to me but I know it had something to do with her rise to fame in her music career.”
At that moment, Bola entered the room holding hands with a very lovely slender young woman. Bola smiled warmly at both women and bowed his head slightly.
Lola’s mother squinted. She had never seen the girl before. Or was it her eyes…?
“Sister, e jor excuse me, let me go and greet my son.”
“That’s all right my dear; I have to hurry the cook anyway. We have only a few hours before guests begin to arrive. We’ll talk more during the party ok?”
Lola’s mother nodded and clutched her wrapper again as she stood up, eager to get a closer look at the lady beside her dear Bola.