Daisy said nothing, she was dumbfounded. How had mama known, she had guided the secret carefully. But mama was insinuating otherwise. She was still aching inside from the hurt and even felt a strong force to protect her man from the claws of those ‘oloriburuku’ girls that filled Lagos.
Mama stroked her arm gently,
Mama: ‘am really glad that YOU are the one who likes Jide, maybe also love him, and even though he might not seem the best option of a man for you right now, i believe that you are what he needs, your charm is enough to get him on the right tracks, and i want you to help me’
Daisy: ‘Me? What can i do’ daisy asked confused, she wasn’t sure where mama was headed.
Mama: ‘Yes you, iwo ni mo fe’ (its you i want)
Daisy: ‘mama i….’
Mama: ‘it’s my plan to get him settled, and i want you to be his bride’. Mama dropped the bombshell, it hit Daisy like a tornado.
Daisy: ‘Bride!’ daisy exclaimed standing up. ‘you don’t…are you…i…will be…i mean…its sudden…i don’t…there’s Peter…and what…’ she was stuttering for She was nervous.
Mama: ‘Daisy calm down please’ mama pleaded. ‘i know you and Peter broke up last month, or did…’
Daisy: ‘No we’ve not’ Daisy replied
Mama: ‘Then that’s not the problem, please think over this issue I know it’s a bizarre request i make, but help me out, lets save this man we love’
Daisy sat down. What was she to make of this request? Marry Jide! Like Marry Jide! Was that a dream come true or what? She didn’t know whether to laugh or cry.
She slowly raised her head to see the expectant look on Mama’s face. Mama was indeed serious!
Daisy: ‘what about Jide, has he agreed to this?’ she asked.
Mama: ‘He has…i mean he will, he has no option than to, your acceptance is what i need now’.
Daisy: ‘Let me think over this’ Daisy replied calmly.
Mama stood up and patted her back.
Mama: ‘Goodnight my child’ she said and walked out.
Daisy kept still, she was deep in thought. Was he worth the risk?
The next morning, Daisy had told the over joyed woman that she accepted. That became a catalyst to series of quarrel, fights, austerity measures to subdue Jide.
Soon the proposal was ‘exported’ to Nigeria, its ‘importer’ Jide’s father and the ‘consumer’ Jide himself. It hadn’t been easy but the wedding occurred at last amidst fire and brimstone.
Daisy placed the last of the food on the dining table, the time showed that Jide would soon be back. All that travel through Memory lane was making her dizzy and emotional, she needed so much to rest.
If she had been thrilled and happy then, when she had accepted the proposal a month ago, she wasn’t now. She was living on hope that the man whom she had left everything in Boston to come ‘save’ would one day, see and and atleast thank her for her unsolicited gamble of taking chances with him.
She left for her room when she heard the noise of the gate signifying that he was back.
Jide walked into the parlour and headed for the dining, he was really hungry, today had been so hectic that he had skipped lunch, the only food he had eaten was the Fried plantain and eggs Daisy had prepared this morning. So far so good, his choice of eating her meals hadn’t been a bad idea, she didn’t do bad atall.
He opened the dishes in front of him. Rice and stew it was, not bad, he thought and went about the business of dishing it.
After two spoonful of rice, he noticed something was amidst, what was it? he ruminated. Bingo! It hit him, the parlor was unusually quiet today, Daisy would have been in that favorite seat of hers directly opposite the television, lost in the world of all that make-believe she so enjoyed, for him Africa Magic was disgusting, they showed nothing but annoying Nigerian movies all day, Then there were Mnet, MTV base, Channel O, Trace TV, E! these were the Stations he would see her watching everyday, whenever he passed on his way out or back to the house, that was what his ‘dear’ wife dedicated her time to. He grunted, it was totally her business if she decided to stay out of reality.
She practically owned the television set, not that he minded for he didn’t have time for all that nonsense, give him his Super sports and then, sometimes CNN, then he was ok. He completed taking a sip of water.
Soon Jide was perched in a chair watching a repeat broadcast of a football match on Super sports, he was filled to the brim and satisfied, Daisy had been right when she had noted that he had a big appetite for he had downed most of the rice. He looked up at the clock, it was few minutes to eight, he expected Daisy to walk in any moment, there was this soap-Tinsel or something-she was so crazy about, he knew that it started by 8pm, and if he happened to be in the parlor by then, he would press away at his phone to kill his boredom and irritation. She never missed it.
Watching television at nights had always been done like an unspoken agreement, Daisy would watch all her innumerable movies and soaps till 9pm then he would take over to listen to the newscast of the day after which he would retire to his room and Daisy would continue with her ‘business’ till way into the night. He wondered how she managed to wake up early inspite. They always watched in silence, just the way he liked it. The cold silence pact they signed was yet to be dissolved. Jide knew that it might just as well stay that way for a long while to come. The time now was half past eight, yet there was no sign of Daisy. That was strange he thought.
Jide: ‘oh well, maybe i get to colonise the television for today’ he said, stretched lazily and picked up the remote. Tomorrow was Saturday and that meant no work, unless something came up, he doubted the possibility of that happening, therefore there wasnt any need to retire early.
Hours later, Jide gave up the fight of trying to stay awake. Listening to the news had proved the hardest task, he had had to force himself to stay awake through out, he realised then that maybe Daisy’s presence the other nights had beefed up his ability to seat through a programme, that thought angered him.
Jide: ‘What was that supposed to mean?’ He asked no one in particular as he switched off the Tele and started for his room. In the hallway, he stopped in front of Daisy room, he heard no noise from within, that again was odd, he thought. That girl never kept quiet especially when she was inside, she would unrelently sing alongside her phone, sometimes that had irritated him, other times it had amused him.
He couldn’t help but wonder what was wrong with her this night? For close to a month now that they’ve lived together, he very well knew her nightly routines. He wasn’t sure about daytime for he was mostly out by then. He made a mental note to call Adamu later and confirm if she was actually in the house.
That said, he continued to his own room, but again he stopped, cast a glance back at his former room then at his study now his room, he felt his anger rise, it wouldn’t have been like this. He, jide, now settled with sleeping in a room that had been his study ever since he packed in. His anger increased now. He entered his study banging the door.
Now on his bed, his mind slowly drifted to the very discussion that had changed his life for good.
Names have been changed to protect the identity of the narrator and other individuals in the story.
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