Chike and Bukky walked into the large compound, dragging their luggage. A man and a woman in their late fifties came out of the three-bedroom bungalow, stood at the entrance and waved at them smiling. She could tell that they were Chike’s parents. He had a slight resemblance with his mum, but, he was the younger version of his father.
“Dad, mum, evening,” he beamed at them, “I will like you to meet Oluwabukola Folorunsho, the woman I am going to spend the rest of my life with.”
Two pairs of eyes observed her. She felt like a specimen under a microscope.
“Good evening sir, ma,” she spoke politely.
“Evening dear, how are you doing?” his father smiled at her.
“I am fine sir,” she smiled back at him.
“She is so pretty,” she winked at her son and glanced at her, “You are welcome to Owerri.”
“Thank you ma,” their warm reception eased her troubled mind.
“Let’s go in. Your elder brother and his wife are around.”
They followed the elderly couple into the house.
“Where is this boy when you need him?’
Chike chuckled, he could discern that his father was looking for his younger brother. The boy came out of one of the rooms.
“Help your brother and his fiancée with their bags,” the man instructed his youngest son.
Chike and his younger brother shook hands, “Who are you competing with? You are just growing taller each time I see you.”
The boy laughed loudly, picked up the bags and dragged them out of the sitting room.
His younger sister came out of the kitchen and ran to him.
“I thought you were not coming home for Christmas,” she embraced him.
“I had to come, meet my heart beat, Bukky.”
She glanced at her elder brother’s fiancée. “Welcome to our humble home. When you are free, I will tell you all you need to know about my brother, especially his little secrets.”
Chike eyed her, “Trouble maker.”
Bukky chuckled. She liked the girl. If she wasn’t mistaken, they were age mates.
“Please, come in, sit while I get you something to eat,” his mother led her to a chair.
She sat down and looked around her. The room was large, arranged with brown leather chairs, cream coloured rug, and brown and cream curtains. A glass table was at the centre of the room, decorated with colourful flowers in a brown vase. A flat screen television was supported by a wooden divider close to the wall and the DVD player and DSTV decoder was placed in front of the television.
“Look who is here,” an older version of her fiancé came into the room, holding the hand of a pretty dark lady. Her baby bump was obvious in the cream short-sleeve feet-length dress.
“Eh bros…” Chike and his elder brother shook hands.
“The Lagos boy.”
“Pretty woman, hope he is taking care of you,” he winked at his brother’s wife.
She smiled, “Yes he is.”
“Come and meet my Queen,” he drew their attention to Bukky who was feeling a bit self-conscious.
“Ah-han, this boy carry eye go market o,” Chike’s elder brother seized her up.
Everyone started to laugh.
“Biko, come and give your brother and his fiancee food to eat,” she addressed her only daughter.
The girl followed her mother into the kitchen. Chike’s father settled on a chair in front of the T.V set.
“How are your parents?” his warm eyes settled on her calm ones.
“They are fine sir.”
Chike’s sister returned carrying a tray of food. His younger brother followed carrying a pack of juice, a bottle of water and two glass cups.
Chike and Bukky sat on a bench under the mango tree outside the bungalow. The moonlight illuminated the compound.
“My parents like you,” he turned to look at her.
She smiled at him, “I could tell.”
“They are ready to come with me to Lagos to meet your family.”
She sighed with relief.
“We will fix the introduction ceremony for the week of my convocation.”
She nodded in agreement, “Okay. I will convince my parents.”
“I hope they will agree. Nevertheless, I will accept whatever date they set.”
“Don’t worry, my parents will not stress us,” she assured him.
He sighed with relief, “Okay then.”
“I like your siblings.”
He grinned, “They like you too, especially my sister. I think she wants to be your friend, but, she is shy.”
“Oh really? I will like to be her friend too. I don’t really have female friends, aside from the girls I grew up with and some of the girls I met at the Adult Education Center.”
“I know you two will make good friends.”
“Tomorrow, I am taking you to see my dad’s siblings and my mum’s siblings. They will never forgive me if they hear that I came to Owerri with my wife and I didn’t bring her.”
She smiled, but, felt a bit uneasy. His family might have accepted her, but, she had no idea how his relatives would perceive her.
“Then, I want you to meet my childhood friends. None of them are married and they are going to be green with envy when they see you.”
She shook her head at him.
“What? They say ‘If you’ve got it, flaunt it’,” he winked at her.
“So, you want to turn me into a trophy and carry me round the whole town ba?’”
He grinned from ear to ear, “Nothing wrong with that.”
“You are on your own.”
He laughed lightly, “I will also take you to all the fun spots in this town. My friends will bring their girlfriends along and we will all catch fun.”
“The thirty-first night in this time is crazy. You need to witness it first-hand,” excitement filled his voice.
“Hope there will be no knock-out wars. I have seen how quickly people get injured while playing around with these things.”
“Don’t worry, I will protect you.”
She eyed him, “That is not comforting.”
“Thank you for coming with me to Owerri,” he changed the subject.
She smiled back at him, “I am glad I came. You have a wonderful family.”
“So do you,” he moved closer and wrapped his arms around her.
Their gazes locked.
“Finally we are together. My waiting paid off.”
She laughed quietly, “Thank you for not giving up on me.”
“I didn’t have a choice. My heart chose you. It would have been impossible to love another woman.”
She felt thrilled by his words, “I want a sweet kiss right now.”
“Nice. One sweet kiss coming up,” he kissed her lightly on the lips.
She knotted her hands around his neck and kissed him back.