Daisy: ‘Mama please, if there’s anyone to blame here, its me. Am the one who fell in love with a man like Jide, i did nothing to stop this imminent crash because of this…this…this…’she couldn’t describe it. ‘…love, that is causing me so much sorrow’ she completed, still lying down.
Jide’s Grandma: ‘Please don’t be hard on yourself Daisy’ Mama cooed, tenderly stroking her arm.
Daisy: ‘Am okay. I just want to be left alone for now’ She said. Daisy really loved this woman who has been more than a mother to her during her years in the United States, but right now, she was irritating her with her insistence of crying over spilled milk. The best she could do now, was to let her be. Mama as if reading her thoughts, stood up.
Grandma: ‘I also came to tell you that Jide is around now, but he’s having a word with his father. He will join you shortly’ mama said walking away.
Daisy said nothing, what was she expected to say Thank God? Jide could bloody well get missing again for all she cared. Yet deep down in her heart, she knew she cared. The reason she married him in the first place. When mama got to the door, she stood for some second as if contemplating what to say. Finally she uttered:
Grandma: ‘please take it easy on yourself, it will be fine’ then she shut the door quietly.
Daisy still said nothing. She just slept still in her pile of white lace, she wasn’t crying, she just didn’t know how she felt. Some minutes later she heard a soft knock on the door, exasperated, she shook her head mentally ‘why wont this people ever hear!’
The door opened and in came her step mum called softly
Daisy’s Stepmom: ‘Chinwe Are you sleeping?’
immediately she heard her Igbo name, she stood up quickly from her bed. There was only one person in the wedding who knew her by that name.
Daisy: ‘Aunty, no am not sleeping, i was just…’ she stopped talking and looked down at the bulge of her gown, she was tired of putting up appearances.
Daisy’s Stepmom: ‘oh Chinwe’ her step mum said and went towards her, extending her arm to embrace her. Daisy walked into her open arm, she felt a heaviness in her heart, then she knew the tears would soon come. But why now in front of her? The very person it shouldn’t.
Daisy’s Step Mom: ‘Am sorry i couldnt support you enough’ her aunty said patting her back.
Daisy: ‘You tried the best you could, i just wish…wish…my father was here now or even my mother’ the tears had finally let down and Daisy was now crying.
Daisy’s Step Mom: ‘This was what your father had seen that made him put up strong opposition’
Daisy: ‘Even if no one believes me, i love Jide, that’s why i married him’ Daisy said with a teary tone
Daisy’s StepMom: ‘you don’t know what you’re saying child’ her stepmother replied, Daisy disentangled from the embrace and her stepmum led her to the bed. She was still crying softly.
Daisy’s StepMom: ‘He obviously doesn’t love you back’ aunty said as they both sat down.
Daisy: ‘He…he…i don’t know’ Daisy had wanted to defend Jide
Daisy’s StepMom: ‘Its okay, just relax, everything will be fine’ aunty finally said.
Daisy nodded her head and rested it on her aunty’s shoulder. They stayed that way for minutes. This bond they now seemed to share was new to Daisy, it wasn’t as if they were enemies, but they had always been distanced, each acknowledging the other but not really bonding.
Whenever she came home to Nigeria, she often stayed in her father’s house, she couldn’t stand her step siblings attitude towards her, but the few times she did, Mrs Amaka Okechukwu was civil to her and treated her fairly well, Daisy hadn’t cared to get any closer, afterall it was this woman who took her mother’s place, keeping her at arms length was just fine.
The relationship she had with her father didn’t fair any better, she had one or two grudges against him, and the part he had played in this marriage would definitely fuel the grudge. Thinking about all these things made her cry the more.
Daisy’s StepMom: ‘Calm yourself now’ her aunty said softly.
A phone rang just then, it was her aunty’s. Mrs Amaka picked it up saw the caller and cut the call. Daisy shifted away from her as she made to stand up. Standing up she said:
Daisy’s StepMom: ‘That was your father, obviously worried, i must get going now, you know how it is with Lagos traffic at night and on Saturdays?’
She didn’t really know but she nodded, wiping the tears from her eyes, they are now red and a bit swollen.
Daisy: ‘just tell dad… everything was fine’ she said
Daisy’s Stepmom: ‘I will’ her aunty nodded knowingly. Her phone rang again.
Daisy’s Stepmom: ‘its him, i must go, pls take care and stop crying, everything will be fine. See you at the church tomorrow, Okay? Bye’ she finally said and started walking away, her phone kept ringing. When she got to the door, she waved Daisy before stepping out. Then she closed the door softly behind her.
Daisy: ‘Why is everyone saying everything will be fine when nothing looks fine’ Daisy wondered as she started Laying down again, midway, the door opened, she stood up abruptly and in came the object of her woe, Jide.
Jide: ‘Mrs’ its time to go, forever after awaits’ he said with sarcasm. then started walking away, but stopped when he noticed she hadn’t made a move to stand.
Jide: ‘And you better not keep me waiting!’ he almost shouted and stormed off.
Daisy slowly stood up and walked out to the future that awaits her.
The drive home at half past eight was not smooth sailing, Jide was very angry and irritable all through, he cursed and yelled at any motorist who was unfortunate enough to make a reasonable mistake, or those that were not in line with Jide’s ‘driving rules’. He shouted at hawkers who came to sell their wares at his window and screamed abusive words at motorcyclist who flooded the road.
Jide: ‘Does it look like i need bread or anything?’ he yelled at one of the hawkers who displayed bread on his window during the ‘hold-up’
Hawker: ‘okay make i call the guy wey dey sell champagne’ the bread seller replied innocently.
The guy had noticed that he was speaking to newly wed’s, even though all the decorations on the car were gone and the ‘just wedded’ insignia that was pasted at the number plate of the car, had been ripped off by Jide and tore into uncountable pieces.
JIde: ‘you must be very S.tu.pid’ Jide shouted hitting his hands on the wheel
Hawker: ‘Abeg oga take am easy, no be marry, you just marry’ the seller replied angrily.
Jide wanted to come down and beat the lights out of the guy if not that the traffic jam they were in just cleared and the car in front of him had moved on, while those at his back started their impatient horn.
Jide: ‘God saved you’ he screamed at the guy through his window before driving off.
Jide: ‘I don’t know why this riff rats are allowed to stay on the roads to become such nuisance’ he muttered angrily under his breath. Daisy was calmly seated at the other side, she would have loved the bread, at the mention of which her stomach churned, she had only eaten a hurried breakfast before the church service, and then there was that cake that almost choked her and a little wine she drank after the toast. That was all the meal she had eaten today. But she dared not mention it to Jide ears else he would turn her into white bread either verbally or physically.
One thing she had learned about her husband was that he had a very bad temper which can make him irrational and impulsive, whether he regretted his actions later was one fact she didn’t know or wish to know. She wondered what kind of newly wed’s drove home by this time, but then, her wedding wasn’t the conventional type, it was fraught with scandals and dramas, everybody in the Olukoya’s family were angry, all except her offcourse, she was now part of the family indeed, this thought made her smile briefly, she caught herself and cast a side glance at the man who was now her husband, even now, she reasoned, he looked devilish and handsome- if ever a combination like that existed, that lips which had attracted and seduced her in the picture were now curved in a frown, she concluded that he had obviously eaten for him to have all the will power to stay angry.
Her stomach was seriously rioting, none of the assorted meals that were cooked at the wedding tasted her lips. She just hoped she could find something to eat at the new home which awaits her. A home she was visiting for the first time.
Daisy woke up with a start, how long she had been sleeping she couldn’t tell, she had slept off in between all her musing, she looked out of the window to discover that they were no longer on the busy road, they were on a street with identical houses on both sides, the houses were predominantly bungalows with few scattered one-storey buildings, they were patterned the same nevertheless, must be an estate she thought and stole a glance at Jide.
He was driving slowly now and his face didn’t hold so much scowl and anger it had some while ago. Whatever calmed him down she thought. Unknown to her, while she was sleeping, her gown had tumbled around her in disarray and her hair carelessly strewn around her face, the pins that held them up had fallen since, Jide had gazed at her, she looked prettier to him when she was asleep, all traces of sadness gone from her face. A sadness he knew he contributed in, even caused. The neckline of her gown had shifted a bit exposing her cleavage, they were lovely, just the size he liked, something in between big and small. Immediately he caught himself, not liking the path his thoughts were taking. He felt guilt for admiring a woman whom he had plainly shown he hated,
Jide: ‘well, she’s supposed to be my wife’ he defended, but deep down he knew that he didn’t really hate her, he was angry over the fact that she allowed herself to be manipulated by his family, he should be justified for the anger he felt at everyone-his family and even his wife…what was her name again…Daisy. And so he forced himself to concentrate on the road. Not long after, Daisy had woken up.
The car stopped in front of a black gate, Jide horned severally, no response, he was getting impatient and his temper was ascending. Daisy felt like cursing whoever it was that didn’t open the gate.
Just then a middle aged man dressed in a long flowing robe came out through the small gate, bowed and muttered something before disappearing inside to go open the bigger gate.
Jide: ‘The f.ool! always sleeping on duty’ Jide said angrily. Soon they were driving into the compound, Daisy eyes instantly became busy scanning her environment.
When the car stopped. Jide got out first and slammed his door, this jolted Daisy who gathered her gown, opened the door and came out. The gateman was already at their side.
Gateman: ‘Oga, good evening’ he greeted, Jide didn’t answer him, he just pressed the lock button in his car keys and started walking.
The gateman waved to Daisy smiling, she waved back. It really was a shock to him to see a lady on a wedding gown with his Oga who is also on suit. Jide had kept his wedding a secret, his house keepers didn’t know, much less his neighbours, but then it was a ‘mind your business’ neighbourhood which suited Jide just fine.
Gateman: ‘Oga, Madam fine well well’ the gateman exclaimed, Jide heard him from where he was fumbling with the door.
Jide: ‘Why don’t you stick to your business for once Adamu’ Jide shouted back, before entering inside.
Daisy: ‘Its okay, thanks for the compliment’ Daisy said, she had a slight American accent, developed during her years in the States.
Daisy: ‘what’s your name?’ she asked
Gateman (Adamu): ‘Adamu ma’ the gateman replied smiling sheepishly
Daisy: ‘Adamu it is then, see you tomorrow’ Daisy said walking away.
Adamu: ‘Ok madam’ Adamu replied.
He walked down to his tiny room that adjoined the gate, he looked back severally at the retreating figure of Daisy, he was going to like this his Madam he thought.
Daisy walked in between the shrubs that led to the door. The shrub formed a ‘Y’ shape towards the front porch of the blue painted bungalow. It was well trimmed, the compound she noticed, was a bit spacious, to her left was a tennis lawn with an adjoining basketball post,
Daisy: ‘no wonder he looks fit’ she thought.
To her right was a small swimming pool with few chairs arranged close by, that man sure liked to be comfortable.
Daisy: ‘not bad…’ she said ‘i will surely need that’.
She moved on, she had been standing during the exploration. When she opened the door, what she saw didn’t amaze her, the parlour had the aura of a bachelor crib, It was decorated predominantly with blue. The settee were dark blue, the curtain that led to the hallway was blue, the wall paint was a light blue, they were hi-tech musical appliances at one side of the parlour, she could also see the dining room, typical male, she thought as she went to seat on one of the settee.
Daisy: ‘Home it is’ she said drily, kicking off her heel shoes, she felt sore all over. What a day indeed, she thought. Jide was nowhere in sight, ‘good’ she said to herself, she didn’t feel like seeing him now. Slowly she lay on the settee, she was very tired and hungry.
The pangs of hunger jolted her again, she sat up and now wished to see Jide, if atleast to get a meal, her eyes moved to the clock hung just above the Plasma television, it was quarter to 10! And she was still on her gown? This was worst than a nightmare! She almost exclaimed.
Just then, Jide walked in, he was all freshness, he had taken his bath, the light jersey he wore clinged to his body just too perfectly, Daisy thought, that had earned her a feeling way down in the pit of her stomach.
Daisy: ‘For Jeez sake, Daisy!’ she chastised herself silently ‘this man has treated you less than human and you still feel this way for him?’ she mentally gave herself a knock.
Jide didn’t even act like there was someone in his parlour, he just walked past Daisy, picked up the remote on a nearby side stool, pressing it, he sat down on the chair directly opposite the television.
Immediately the television lights came up and few seconds later, a wrestling match surfaced. He threw the remote onto a nearby chair, raised his legs unto the chairs and focused his attention on the match.
Daisy was short of words to say, she felt so like crying, did he hate her that much? She thought. Yet nothing, not a move or realisation from Jide. It was then obvious to her, she had to make a move if she wanted to come out of these annoying gown,
Daisy: ‘cos that man sitting over there doesn’t seem to care one bit. As if to confirm her thought, Jide smiled, obviously at something or someone in the wrestling match. Maybe he had forgotten her or he was just pretending. Daisy wasn’t sure.
Daisy stood up slowly, she was too spent to feel angry, had she expected Jide to carry her high up in his arms unto their ‘matrimonial’ bed and give her the best wedding night ever?
Daisy: Yeah right that’s if pigs finally knew how to fly, she snorted. ‘Jide i need to freshen up and i’m hungry’ she said calmly. Somehow she knew that she dared not raise her voice if she didn’t want to bring his irritable temper to fore for that would only worsen her situation.
Names have been changed to protect the identity of the narrator and other individuals in the story.
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