March 9th, 2013
Standing in that compound, I wasn’t happy. I wasn’t happy at all. This was supposed to be the start of something beautiful. This was the last thing any of us had anticipated.
I watched as Phillip lit yet another cigarette, and my heart broke. My brother hasn’t smoked in over a year, so it was clear that he wasn’t taking this well.
“Should I go to him?” I asked Patrick, not quite knowing what to do. My Mom, Uncle, and other relatives were talking in hushed tones, in their own group, and they didn’t seem like they knew how to resolve things any time soon.
Before Patrick could answer, Phillip started walking towards us.
“Let’s go,” he said gruffly.
“I think we should wait a while. Things might still…” I protested feebly.
“Look, there’s nothing left for us here. We need to…” his voice trailed off.
I turned in the direction of his gaze, and saw Diana walking towards us. Patrick and I took the cue, and walked away, to give them some privacy. Looking back, I saw Diana take Phillip by the hand, and lead him to the other end of the compound.
As they talked, I tried to deduce what was going on from their body language. It started off cold and formal, with Phillip’s arms folded and an irritated look on his face. Then it became heated, as they spoke with a lot of animated gestures.
At that point, my younger brothers came to join us.
“How far? Wetin dey happen?” Eteka asked.
I shrugged, and pointed in the direction of the couple.
“They’ve asked that guy to bounce oh!” Eteka remarked.
“Which guy?” Patrick and I asked in unison.
“That Yusuf guy…abi is it Yakubu,” he replied.
Before we could ask any more questions, I saw Diana put her hand on Phillip’s arm…and for the first time since they started talking, I saw a smile break on my brother’s face. And then she smiled. And soon, they were wrapped in a warm embrace.
And my heart soared.
“Have they settled??” my mother asked excitedly, scurrying to where we were.“Thank God!!!”
I guess we weren’t the only ones watching them with rapt attention.
“Look who’s leaving.” Patrick whispered.
I had to restrain myself from letting out a long hiss as Yakubu walked across the compound, and got into a sleek Mercedes convertible. Yeye man!
Yeye fine man!
Very shortly afterwards, we were all back in the living room. After a very profuse apology, the introduction started afresh, this time with Diana’s older uncles steering discussions. Jacob sat there, looking angry and deflated, but I was relieved to see that he was the only one who seemed unhappy. Everyone else seemed relived, and even excited. By the end of the evening, the earlier unfortunate event was pretty much forgotten. It was agreed that the wedding will be in Abuja, at the end of May. They had initially suggested August, but had agreed to bring it forward because of me. I don’t think I want to be struggling with a crying baby on the day of my wedding.
And if we were to say the truth, I don’t think that’s the only baby everyone had in mind.
As they had a lot of making up to do, Phillip and Diana had driven away in the only decent car in my family’s convoy, so Patrick and I had to accommodate a number of them in the taxi we had hired from our hotel. This meant we ended up driving to Kubwa in the end. So much for trying to avoid the place.
And of course, we couldn’t just drop them and leave. By the time we sat down to gist with the relatives, ate dinner, and received prayers for a safe delivery from some of my Aunts, it was almost 10pm. By the time we finally got to our hotel, it was almost midnight. And to think I was daydreaming of all the rest I would get!
March 10th, 2013
Getting to the airport, we saw that Phillip and Diana were already there, and apparently on the same flight Patrick and I were on. My mother, Aunt Imoh, and my other uncles have decided to enjoy another day, and will fly back to Lagos tomorrow (Monday), while my brothers are scheduled to leave in the evening.
Smiling as we approached them, I could see that they had truly done plenty of making up. You could hardly pass a whiff of air between them! So intertwined in each other’s arms were they!
As we waited for our flight, Patrick and Phillip decided to take a walk, and I moved to sit closer to Diana. She smiled shyly.
“Yesterday was something, abi?” she remarked.
“I know right!” I agreed, smiling and shaking my head. I wanted to ask more, probe more, but I didn’t quite know where to start.
“My late husband was so good to me…he was like a father, you know…” Diana started saying, but I placed my hand over hers. There was no need for her to explain.
“I understand.” I assured her…and truly, I did.
“But nothing…absolutely nothing compares with what I have with Phillip. With Audu…it was like a father-daughter…or big brother-little sister type of feeling. But with Phillip…” she smiled, and she didn’t even need to say the words. With Phillip, there was passionate love.
“Do you think Mom will hold what happened against me?” she asked, her eyes wide with fear.
And that fear wasn’t misplaced at all! Knowing how vindictive my Mom can be, I sincerely hope not.
“Nah, don’t worry about that! She’s forgotten already!” I lied.
I made a mental to speak with my Mother, to make sure she would well and truly forget about what happened in Abuja.
We absolutely don’t need any more drama abeg!