Gbemisola was now feeling odd at the way the lady was staring at her. It was not uncommon for people to stare at her in this manner, but the people that did this were men. Virtually all the men that came across her stared lustfully, – but not women – most ladies that stared at her did so with jealousy instead. This was very different, it was the stare of someone desiring her canal knowledge.
“Please ma, is Iya Alate around?” Her soft girlie voice requested. Although, it seemed unnecessary to ask, the lady sited could well attend to her if she knew the prices of what Gbemi wanted to buy, but Gbemi was not here to buy, neither was she here to disturb the unfamiliar lady sited.
“What do you want to buy?” The lady asked, not taking her eyes off Gbemi’s full chest. Her eyes then traveled all over Gbemi’s body – noticing the several unique features about her. Gbemi blushed irresistibly. It was almost the first time she felt this much appreciation of her body. It hadn’t made much sense to her when men stared, but now that a lady did likewise, it did make sense!
“I’ll come back ma.” Gbemi said in response, when she realized the devil was the one behind her appreciation. She was afraid of what might happen if she kept standing there receiving the burrowing looks from the beautiful observer, but the observer was too distracted to hear.
“Wait!” The older lady gathered herself suddenly as Gbemi turned to go, “you are the daughter of Pa Fakunle, right?” Gbemi was shocked, ‘is that why she had been staring at me lustfully?’ She wondered. If the big lady had been trying to remember her, she should have been staring at her face rather than examining her body parts.
“Yes ma” she responded promptly, then she positioned her mind combatively as if the lady would accuse her of something she was ready to defend.
“Oh, that’s incredible. I can’t believe you have grown so fast, it’s like you’ve been feeding on just pork.” Gbemi laughed even though she didn’t immediately remember the literal meaning of pork, she however felt she had not eaten it before.
“You can’t remember me, can you? You were very young when I last saw you. You had not grown breasts like this.” She pointed at Gbemi’s full chest.
Gbemi smiled shyly and responded; “I am still a young girl ma.”
“Really?” She exclaimed, making Gbemi wish she had not protested, “With this rapid growth of your breasts and buttocks, you have become a woman!” Her gesticulation made Gbemi wince quietly, on the outside, her face revealed a plastic smile.
“I was the choir mistress in Papa’s church before going to Kano.”
Gbemi examined the lady’s face properly, and she made the connection. “Aunty Esther?!” It wasn’t very hard unraveling the natural face of the older lady hidden beneath a heavy mascara and makeup.
“Very correct!” The now smiling lady nodded.
They exchanged further greetings. Even though Gbemi could not remember the face in person, she could see the semblance by remembering one of the big old pictures of her father’s church. All the then church workforce were in the picture. A pretty teenage girl with a neat punk cut and shinning chubby cheeks had the same face the older lady now wore. Although the lady was now very much different, the face was still the same.
“Daddy always talk about you!” Gbemi exclaimed, “I hope you will be visiting us before you go back to Kano.”
The lady laughed, “Of course I would. Please inform your parents that I would come visit them today. I was planning to do that earlier. Funny thing was, just yesterday, myself and Iya Alate were talking about your father’s church and I heard a lot, that made me decide on coming to see you later today.”
Gbemi tried to imagine what the women could have talked about. She feared that she knew – the current financial insufficiency of her parents was widely gossiped in the village. There was no one who didn’t know about it. Iya Alate had been a good confidant, although she kept an updated record of all the items they came to collect on credit, and so if anyone was in the best position to reveal just how drastic the old prophet’s family suffered, it was Iya Alate.
As Gbemi turned to leave, the lady called her back and counted seven new 1000 naira notes from a big bunch in her purse and offered the young girl. Gbemi received it shyly after much attempted resistance. She appreciated the lady and ran home excitedly.
Esther looked at the young girl wriggling her big round rumps as she jogged home. She imagined how very desired this commodity was in Kano. Since she got back to village, there was obviously no other lady as beautiful and perfectly featured as Gbemi. But there was only one challenge however – Gbemi’s parents were religious figures. The real problem was religious figures believed and trained their children to believe in modesty, and with this, the kind of life she wanted to expose Gbemi to, would definitely not be easily accepted.
To be continued…