All through the drive to the village, Funke is quiet as lots of things run through her mind ranging from how her parents will react when they see her and how her inlaws will react to the situation on ground. Kenny notices that she is unnecessarily quiet and sober.
Kenny: “Baby, are you okay?” he asks, touching her cheeks
Funke: “Yes, love. I am fine, just a little bit excited.”
Kenny’s Mother: “Leave my daughter in law alone, jare. Can’t you see she is shy? It is expected. First time I met your daddy’s parents, I was very shy too, I had to cover my face with my veil.”
Kenny’s Father: “Your mother is one hell of a woman. Do you know that she didn’t allow me enjoy my honeymoon because she was crying that she wanted to return to her parents? I know she will deny it now”
Kenny’s Mother: “Kenny mi, dont mind your daddy, jare. I was the most beautiful maiden during my time and your daddy said if I don’t marry him, he will jump into the village stream and kill himself. I had to pity him and help his life. If I didn’t marry him, by now, he would have been dead and forgotten.
They all burst into laughter. Even Funke who is preoccupied with her thoughts could not help but laugh. Ever since she met Kenny’s parents, it has been exchange of jokes between the couple and she is looking forward to being a part of their family. Silence falls on them and before a blip everyone is sleeping in the car except Kenny and the driver. Funke doesn’t even know when she falls asleep; she is immersed in a dream- it is her usual dream.
Funke is back to the orchard, under the same apple tree waiting for her friend, the old man. He appears this time he doesn’t wear a smile,
Funke: “Baba,what’s wrong?”
Old Man: “Funke! Funke!! Funke!! Funke!!! How many times have I pronounced your name?”
Old Man: “This war isn’t a child’s play but it isn’t for the swift or strong either. It is for one that has being engraced. But asides grace you have to brace yourself! Be ready! The one who sends me has said He is going to be with you all through but you have to look up to him only then can victory be guaranteed. You have to look up to him, up to only him” he walks away as he makes his finally speech.
Funke: “Baba! Baba!!”the closer she moves to him the farther he goes, “Baba!!!”
Kenny taps her,
Kenny: “Baby,what’s wrong?”
Kenny: “You were calling Baba! Who is that?”
Funke heaves, Kenny’s parents are still asleep they didn’t hear her scream; she tells Kenny about the dream just like she did with the previous ones she have always had.
Kenny tries to make light of the issue,
Kenny: “You and this baba. I don’t mind meeting him someday,” she giggles.
Funke: “You aren’t serious, go joor!”
Kenny: “when you go on that dream journey again, tell him, I’d love to meet him or just pluck one of the apples for me!”
They laugh about it; the words of Old Man keeps playing in her mind throughout the remaining part of the journey
They get to the village after some hours and Funke directs the driver to her parents’ house. When they get to the street before her house,
Funke: “Park over there!” she points to a direction to the driver.
Cars cannot move beyond that for the road that leads to the house is very bad that even bicycle find it difficult to skim through, the rider must be familiar with the road and know how to meander through if not stones will be the pillow to one’s butt and bruise the knees too.
“Aunty Amelica oyoyo, eka’abo o”, Funke’s last sibling Tobi, who is just about seven years old, runs out to hug her.,”What did you buy for me?”
Funke carries her little sister up not minding the dust on the little one’s body. “When I am married, I will go with her to my husband’s house”, she promises.
When they get to her compound, it is busy as neighbours are helping her mother prepare food for her Introduction ceremony. Funke is grateful that Wahidi and his people have not arrived. She approaches where the women are cooking and when they see her, they break into joyous exclamation.
Woman 1: “Iyawo ti de o”
Woman 2: Iyawo Amelica ti bo o. Eka’a bo o. Eku ojo meta o.”
Funke is visibly embarrassed but forces herself to smile. “Ese ma, eku ise, ma”, she manages to respond as she makes for her mother who is busy packing fried meat in a container.”
Funke: “Good afternoon, ma mi.”
Mama Funke: “Welcome o, my daughter. I know you will come to your senses and come and marry Wahidi. Look, everything is almost ready and Wahidi and his people will be here in an hour’s time and they can’t come and meet you like this. Go inside and bathe and change.”
Funke: “What are you talking about? I am here with the man I spoke to you about. Please, they need to see you and Ba mi now.”
Mama Funke: “Ehhn, what are you saying? Funke, do you want to embarrass me before all the villagers? What have I done wrong? This girl will not kill me before my time. My own mother is still alive, I didn’t kill her, you can’t kill me. Go in now and do as I say”
“Baby, is everything okay? My parents are tired of standing. Can we go in and meet your parents and get done with this?” Kenny calls at her from where he and his parents are standing.
Funke on noticing that her mother may create a scene on seeing Kenny, drags him away to the corner where his parents are waiting.
Mama Kenny: “Funke dear, is this how your people celebrate when their daughter brings a suitor home? I mean the activities here can pass for a wedding celebration.
Before Funke can respond, she sees her mother coming towards them cursing and pointing the spoon she was using in the kitchen at them.
Mama Funke: “So, it is you that is deceiving my daughter? It is not enough that you didn’t allow her complete her studies abroad, you still want to prevent her from marrying Wahidi. ”
As she draws near them wielding the long spoon, Kenny and his parents runs back to where their car is parked. They get in and instruct their driver to drive away but Funke kneels before them.
Funke: “Please, don’t leave. Don’t take my mother serious. She is only over reacting because I withdrew from the University to come back with Kenny. Please, you have to meet my father, he is more understanding. Be patient with me, please”
Kenny: “Mummy, daddy, it’s true. I told you all about it when I came back. She gave up her studies to be with me.”
Kenny’s Father: “In that case, let’s meet her father. This girl has really tried for you. I understand why her mother reacted this way.”
Kenny’s Mother: “Yes, my dear. No woman will be happy seeing her daughter leave school because of a man. I am sure she will understand after I talk to her.”
They get down and Funke leads them back to the compound. Her mother is now in the midst of women who are trying to calm her down. Funke leads the way to the sitting room as they all sit waiting for her father. He emerges from the sitting room and shakes hands with Kenny’s father. Funke kneels down to greet her father.
Funke: “Ba mi, good afternoon si…”
“That is the stupid man that has been deceiving my daughter. He is not satisfied with deceiving her in America, he still followed her here to deceive her and his parents have shamelessly followed him her. So, you people still have the mind to come back to my house, I go show una the kind of a mother I am…”, her mother comes in saying.
Baba Funke: “Woman! Will you keep quiet? Who asked you to talk? I am the head of this family and you only talk when I ask you to talk. Young man, what are you and your parents doing in my house? I can’t remember inviting any of you here”
Kenny gets up and is about to speak when Wahidi rushes into the sitting room wielding a sharp cutlass.
Wahidi: “Who be that craze person wey say na my Funke im wan marry, ehn. Show yourself if you know say you be man, if I no marry Funke for this world, nobody go marry her. Emi, Wahidi omo Babalagbara, say person collect my babe for this village? Na lie, the person dey dream be that. I go kill the person, kill Funke come kill myself join. We go jam for hell continue the fight, na only God fit do the referee for this fight.” He scratches his cutlass on the ground as they all run out of the room.
QUESTION: Is Wahidi the person behind Funke’s misfortunes? Or her mother is responsible? Will her father behave like her mother by sending Kenny and his parents away?
…SEE Episode 13 Below
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