Bukky and the sales girls locked the shop and headed home. Her aunt had not been coming to work for some time because she was very heavy. She hoped the woman would give birth speedily. The last time she visited her, she was complaining of backaches and pain in her legs. She hoped she wouldn’t go through such stress in her own pregnancy period. She wanted the Hebrew women kind of delivery, short and fast, not like the ones portrayed in Nollywood movies. She had heard testimonies of how some women went through painless labour. She wanted that to be her story. On her way to the bus-stop, she ran into her ex. She had not seen him since she returned to Lagos from Owerri. She thought he had already gone back to school.
“Hey… hi, longest time,” he stood by the roadside and seized her up. He liked the blouse she was putting on. It fitted her perfectly. She looked as if she had added some weight.
“Evening, how is everything.” she feigned a smile.
“Good. Thanks. Happy New Year in advance. How is sales at the shop?”
“Happy New Year. Sales is good. God is faithful. Thanks.” She looked around, searching for an excuse to dismiss him.
“I will be travelling to Abuja after the Easter holiday for my Industrial Training in my aunt’s firm,” he informed her. The proud look in his eyes wasn’t lost to her.
“Congratulations. I wish you good luck.” She couldn’t think of a reason why he was telling her. It was none of her business.
He smiled, “Thanks.”
“I am on my way home, see you around.”
“Wait,” he still wanted to chat with her, for reasons he would rather not decipher. “Em… You and Chike.”
She raised an eyebrow, “What about us?”
“When did you two start dating?” he folded his arms across his chest.
She looked him up and down. Why did he want to know? What business of his was the time frame of her relationship?
“It’s rather sudden and I wanted to know if, you were both together, while we were going out.”
She smiled with understanding. “l never cheated on you. I am a one-man person. I don’t two-time. I despise the very act of jumping from one person to the other.”
He nodded in agreement, “l know, I know. I was just a bit baffled, when I saw you two together. It’s not been too long since we broke up.”
She laughed lightly, “Oh, so, you thought I was going to mourn losing you forever, right?’”
“No, of course not,” he didn’t like the way she was looking at him, like she pitied him.
“I got over you Gbemiga. deal with it.”
He eyed her.
“Remember, you were the one who left me for the promise of sponsorship of your education by your family.”
“Ehn… I know.”
“I have to go. Good luck,” she started to walk away.
“Bukky…” he called out to her, but, she didn’t respond.
He frowned and turned around. He didn’t expect her to disregard him as if he never meant anything to her. Her lackadaisical behavior got to him. After all, he was her first love and her first boyfriend, that should count for something.
While she ate her dinner, seated in front of the T.V screen, she got a text from her aunt’s husband that she had been delivered of a set of twins, a boy and a girl. She finished her meal in a hurry and called her fiancé. He agreed to drive her to the hospital to see the happy couple and their babies.
She changed into a jeans and a tee-shirt and went to meet him in his place. The hospital was in Yaba, very close to their shop. They got there in less than an hour.
They found kike in the Maternity ward with her husband and the twins in a cradle beside the hospital bed. They were very happy to see them.
“I thought babies were supposed to be fair,” Bukky stared at them wide-eyed.
“These two are so black,” her fiancé stood beside her.
Chike and Bukky carried the babies.
“They resemble their parents. When you give birth to your own, ask God for fair children.” Kike eyed her niece.
“Your fiancé is dark brown, maybe God will have mercy and give you oyinbo children,” her husband chimed in.
Kike and her husband started to laugh.
“Maybe he will,” Bukky kissed the baby in her arms.
“True, you never can tell,” her fiancé added.
“In your dreams,” Kike kept on laughing.
Baba and Remi adviced their son as he packed his bags and prepared to live for the bus park. He would be staying in his aunt’s place in Wuse, Abuja, while he worked in the company she was a major shareholder of. His six months Industrial Training there would probably create an opportunity for him by the time he graduated the following year.
“Listen to your aunt and do whatever she asks of you,” Remi patted her son on the shoulder.
“You know it is her house, and you are just a visitor, being related to her doesn’t give you the yardstick to misbehave,” his father added.
“I know, I know. I will be a good boy, okay?”
“I don’t just want any complain. You know how our family is, if anything happens, the news will travel far and wide,” his mother shuddered.
“Mum, nothing bad will happen. You should be praying for my success not dreaming up ill-luck.”
She glanced at her husband. He cleared his throat twice.
“You know we only want the best for you.”
“I know dad and I will not disappoint you.”
“Ehn-hen, that is exactly what we want to hear.”
“I am set,” he zipped both bags.
“God will follow you and come back with you.”
“Amen,” Gbemiga closed his eyes.
“You shall be the head and not the tail everywhere you go.”
They continued to pray for him.
His sisters were exceptionally happy. They planned to brag to all their friends that their brother was now living in the capital city. They would be the envy of everyone till he returned home after the long holiday.
Gbemiga hoped that he would make enough money so as to move his family out of their present accommodation. If Bukky could rent a better place for herself, he should be able to do the same. He and his family would be more comfortable in a self-contain apartment, than where they were at the moment. He was determined to save as much as he could.
“I will call once I get to aunty’s place,” he started towards the door.
“Okay, safe journey,” his parents chorused.
“Keep your money properly.”
His sisters helped him to carry his bags out of the house, to the bus-stop. Several buses halted at the bus-stop and each conductor shouted out their destinations. His sisters waved at him when he got on a bus heading to Yaba and retraced their steps homewards. The conductor arranged his bags with other loads at the back of the bus and informed him that he would pay double fare. They argued for a while and agreed on a price.