The day was still young, cocks were still crowing hungrily waiting for the first stray millet when they both knocked at their door with Akanke in tow. Morenikeji had been getting ready to go pick her sister up…
Adeniyi: “Honey are you sure you don’t want me to go with you?” he said as he walked to the door to open it for whoever was knocking that early morning.
Morenikejji: “I want to go alone dear. Do not worry unnecessarily about me. I have driven myself all these years without you being my chaperon”
Adeniyi: “Okay o madam independent” he replied unlatching the door at last. the trio walked in, shivering from the morning cold.
“Ekaaro sir, ekaaro ma” he prostrated before them as typical of the Yoruba men to their elders.
Olori Ebi: “Kaaro. Se daadaa lo ji (morning, hope you woke well)” he replied hardly able to finish his sentence as his quivering voice was complimented by his chattering teeth.
Adeniyi: “Bee ni sir (yes sir)” he replied rising to his feet. He noticed Akanke for the first time and knew the reason for their impromptu visit.
Akanke: “Good morning sir” she greeted on a bended knee trying to avoid his gaze.
Adeniyi: “What has brought you all here this early morning?” he asked when they had all had their seats.
Iyabeji; “We have come to return your wife to you. Where is that your first wife again or cnt she hear our voices? I said it that she is just too disrespectful. We brought a respectful wife for you who wuld give you rest of mind but you allowed your wife to send her out. Please where is she?” she boiled inside.
Morenikeji strutted into the sitting room, clutching her hand bag and scarf in one hand, oblivious of their presence. Her mind was too preoccupied with thoughts of her sister to take note of her surroundings.
Adeniyi: “Honey!” he called to her when he saw the distant look on her face. She snapped to the present immediately and seeing the visitors went on her two knees to greet them immediately.
Morenikeji: “I am sorry, my mind was too far away. Welcome sir and ma” she apologized then went to take her seat beside her husband.
Iyabeji: “Sebi we are to small for you to notice us. It is not your fault, it is the fault of the man who has refused to listen to his family” she retorted, hissing loudly.
Adeniyi: “Aunty what is all these now? Did you come here this early to insult me and my wife or what? Please say what you came for fast, we don’t have time to waste on frivolities on a early morning like this one” he slide his hand into his wife’s and squeezed it reassuringly when he noticed her discomfort.
Olori Ebi: “Why did you send Akanke away? We brought her here so she can bear children for you. Children who will carry on your name when you are no more so why did you send her back to us with tears in her eyes rather than a protruding tummy?”
Adeniyi: “Didn’t I tell you people I needed no second to begin with? My father was never a polygamous man so why do you guys want to make me into one? Why were you trying to frustrating my mourning wife out of her house, a house we built together in my absence? Why are you guys trying to run my home for me? Is it because my parents are dead or because you feel I am not man enough?”
Olori Ebi: “I know your father would have done the same thing if he were alive. You their only son and they will be turning in their graves restlessly now knowing you have no heir to carry on the family name after you. We are doing this for your good not for ours. Your wife can no longer bear children so why do you want to waste away like this?” he said every word with care after several pauses to catch his breath.
The next day, he went from one office to another, bribing and cajoling. They all promised to help however they could but he could see from the smiles on their faces that they were enjoying themselves seeing him in distress like that. Only few of them sympathized with him and promised to have his back at the next board of directors’ meeting. The weight of the recent events were so weighing him down that when he got home, he could hardly reply to his wife’s many queries.
Mary: “Are you not the one I am talking to?” she asked impatiently sitting at the edge of the bed as he laid there with his eyes closed.
Joseph: “Can you please allow me to rest only for tonight?” he said in between clenched teeth. It was at that time he began to miss Morenike. At a time like that, she would have known what to do, who to talk to, the right words to say to calm him down and quell his fears. He wished she was there, holding his hands like she would have and prayed healing to his troubled soul and mind. While watching his children do their things would have made him smile and laugh wholeheartedly.
Mary: “No oo I cannot allow you to rest, I need to at least know my fate. I need to know what my fate as your wife would be. So talk to me, were you able to garner support for yourself or you impotently came back empty handed?”
Joseph: “I have support now. You don’t need to worry”
The children started coming alive while staying with the commissioner. Because their schooling had been put on hold until things were settled, the commissioner occasionally took them along with him to work so they don’t feel house sick all on their own since his wife was a busy woman herself. That day, they stayed back at home with his wife, helping her with her gardening.
Commissioner’s wife: “who thought you little cuties gardening?” she asked smiling as Kemi struggled to plant a little hibiscus flower .
Abiodun: “Our mummy. She used to plant many many things at the back of our house”
Kemi: “But why is this one in front?”
Commissioner’s wife: “This one is to beautify our house. We don’t plant eatables like your mummy used to, just flowers and you know I am an horticulturist” she explained.
Kemi: “Horti…” she tried to pronounce it but couldn’t.
Abiodun: “Horticulturist, that is what she called it”
Kemi: “Yeees! But what does horti… do?
Commissioner’s wife: “You children will not kill me with laughter here o. I swear my life span has been increased just by having you around me. How I wish I can have other children. Horticulturists plant and nurture flowers. We also make a living from selling flowers but this ones are just to beautify this big house you see here” she said pointing at the duplex.
Kemi: “I see! I want to be like you when I grow up. I will marry commissioner and plant make and plant flowers too. We will live in big house but I will not marry someone like my daddy. I don’t like my daddy anymore, he sent my mummy away. Commissioner did not send you away” she said glumly.
Abiodun: “Don’t cry o”
Commissioner’s wife: “Don’t forget happy girls are the prettiest so clean your tears now” she went over to her, lifted her into the arms and used her forearm to clean off her tears. “Your daddy and his wife will pay gravely for treating you badly. Don’t worry”
How can that miserable girl not like this two bundles of joy? My children are all grown up and no one has been able to make me this happy since they grew up. How I wish I can just adopt these little ones. I am so in love with them. She thought and hugged the girl close to her heart.
Question: Would you rather have the commissioner’s wife adopt the two children? Will there mother agree to such arrangement?
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