All sweaty, Alma bounced on the couch, wholly disgusted in her own skin by the verity that she was soaked in sweat, with her outfit all gummy to her body. It had been a long day for her at work. She’d quickly glanced at her phone; she was expecting a call from Nnamdi, nevertheless she was already missing him; although she was with him a night before.
The door crashed open, as if there was a more evil force than the wind. She laid still on the couch as she observed the scurry and restive breath of the unknown at the entrance; equally struggling with the knob-such a boisterous visitor.
It was Mama.
“Mama,” she could hear herself mutter as she quickened to her feet. “You didn’t inform me you were coming.”
“It wasn’t necessary,” was the restless reply.
“Okay,’’ was the stammer. “Let me help you with your things.’’ Alma was still disturbed.
“It is not necessary,’’ Mama tightened her grip to the bag. “I will be leaving today. In fact, immediately I deliver my message, I should be going back to Enugu.’’
“Is everything okay?” Alma continued. “Have you and papa exhausted your monthly allowance already?”
“Obiageli just put to bed of her second child,’’ Mama’s reply was out of the question.
“So, is this the message you came to deliver all the way from Enugu?” still perplexed.
“Obiageli was your junior in secondary school, Onyinye.’’
“You are thirty-six years old nwam, thirty six.’’ the old lady fell to her knees. “Even Virgin Maria didn’t plan on remaining a virgin after bearing the Christ, she got married to Joseph.”
“Mama, haven’t I warned you to quit bringing this topic up?’’
“I have tried. It hurts me to see the children you nanny, become the mothers of tomorrow while you wallow in your own private solitary district.’’ Tears began to form. “You should have just told me you wanted to be a nun.”
“Mama,’’ Alma muttered silently. “Do not allow me send you out of my house, please don’t.”
“I would go only if you will follow me to Madam Nwokoro’s temple for spiritual cleansing.” Mama stood to her feet with a keen look.
“God forbid,’’ Alma bellowed. “I thought you were a deaconess at the church, when did you start consulting Madam Nwokoro?’’
“My daughter you leave I and your father with no choice,’’ It pierced her to see her highly literate mother talk unreasonably and complacently. “Oyin, you are our only child, our only hope; don’t you want us to hear the cry of our grandchildren?”
“Mama, it’s not my fault. I am still waiting for Nnamdi to propose to-
“Nnamdi my foot,’’ Mama aggressively cut in. “That boy that doesn’t know the difference between his manhood and anus. He does not mean well for you, can’t you see it?”
“Mama, it is not Nnamdi’s fault.’’ She always supported him. “He is a very busy man-
“What can make a man so busy to keep a lady after his own heart on standby for seven years, without a word of promise? Is his work more important than your presence in his life?’’
“Enough! Mama, Enough,’’ Alma yelped. “Did you come here to insult Nnamdi or what? He knows that I understand he is busy and I’m willing to wait.”
“Mama I love Nnamdi, much more that you can imagine.’’ Alma said. “He loves me so much, and I’m willing to wait for him.’’
“Wait bukwu’ owengi,’ did mama really mean that? “Will you wait till you shrink out of the earth? What have this young man given you to eat eh?” Mama could hardly squeal anymore. “I love him, he loves me-a wandering lady at your age mustn’t depend on love. They search for partners, not lovers.”
“I am being patient, Mama. You don’t expect me to propose to him, do you?” Alma had bounced back.
“Your father needs to see this for himself.’’ Mama had adjusted her gown and held grip of her bag. “This is not normal, I must invite Madam Nwokoro. I am leaving, happy waiting.”
I must invite Madam Nwokoro; Alma couldn’t believe Mama would go this length. Madam Nwokoro was a prophetess who believed she sat at the left hand side of God. She believed she had the solutions to all problems; by flogging sinners at Agwu riverside-she wasn’t obviously going to try that with her.
The words still rang in her ears as she watched her mother storm out of the house. She’d wondered why the rush to marry, besides she had everything she needed-a house, cars, money, and a man; or maybe he should be seen as her semi-man, because he wasn’t fully hers yet.
Nnamdi. He was a male version of her-independent, strong, painstaking, focused, and most importantly they were both rich. She wouldn’t ask more from him, although he was visibly richer.
He was her better half.
Suddenly Alma’s phone flashed from a message alarm. It was Nnamdi, she was already blushing.
‘Bia this woman, did you take my golden rolex wristwatch along with you? Check your bag very well, you might have picked it up. I need it as fast as possible-and haven’t I warned you to stop leaving your inner wears behind.’
Well, she didn’t mind waiting-waiting for this kind of man.
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