Anna runs hysterically to the landlord’s place. She knows that if it is not him, nobody will throw her things out. “Open the door, open the door!” she pounds on his door.
“Who is that mad person that wants to break down my door?” the landlord thunders from inside.
Anna: “It is me, please open the door” she says tears flowing down her cheeks.
Landlord: “You who?”
Anna: “It’s Anna, your tenant”.
The landlord opens the door and when Anna attempts to go in, he bars the entrance preventing her access into his room.
Landlord: “Say what you have to say here, you don’t have to enter my room to talk”.
Anna: “Can we just go in…”
Landlord: “Oh, I almost forgot. How is your mother’s health? I didn’t know that you will return this soon”.
Anna: “Erm, my mother, ah…”
Landlord: “What? You lost your voice in the village?”
Anna: “I mean my mother…”
Landlord: “Save yourself the explanation. I already know everything”.
Anna: “You know what? What on earth are you talking about?”
Landlord: “Oh, so you are still lying? You think I don’t know that you lied to me concerning your mother’s health?”
Anna’s countenance changes and she begins to shed more tears.
Landlord: “Oh yes I know. That day after I gave you the money for your mother’s medical bill, I followed you and hid behind your window because I was afraid that your boyfriend may harm you after he caught me with you. I listened to everything you discussed with him; I heard when you told him that you were shedding crocodile tears to deceive me so that I can give you the money for his mother’s treatment. I felt like barging in on you two that night to collect my money and throw you out of my house but my Church mind prevailed”.
Anna gets on her knees, bows her head at the landlord’s feet and begins to sob.
Anna: “I am very sorry. I didn’t mean to lie to you; I was just desperate to raise money for Ken’s mother’s treatment. Please forgive me”.
Landlord: “I am not God who forgives people. Anna, you have the guts to lie to me after all that I have been tolerating from you. How many months rent do you owe me and yet I allowed you to stay in my house. At your demand, I dropped charges against your boyfriend who threatened to kill me and yet you could still deceive me. Anyway, I don’t want to see you or that good for nothing nincompoop anywhere close to my house again. I will get you and him arrested if I see you around here”.
Anna: “Ah, please. I don’t have anywhere to go, I don’t even have a job. Please forgive me, where do you want me to go now?”
Landlord: “I want you to go to your boyfriend’s mother’s place, the same woman whom you lied to me to please”.
Anna: “I am not interested in them anymore, I have agreed to be your girl, I will do whatever you want. I just broke up with Ken”.
Landlord: “Oh, I see. Well, I am also not interested in you anymore. Oh, so your boyfriend has sent you to accept my request so that he can come and harm me. No way! Pack your things and leave my house”.
He goes back into his room and bangs his door on Anna’s face leaving her motionless.
Anna arrives her village where her parents live around 5pm the next day. She had stayed hours the previous night pleading with her landlord to forgive her and allow her in all to no avail. She had spent the night with a neighbour who felt for her when she saw her outside in the cold crying. She alights from the bus and takes a bike to her house.
“Aunty Anna oyoyo, aunty Anna oyoyo, what did you buy for us?” the children in her compound keeps shouting as soon as she gets down from the bike.
“Papa good afternoon, mama good afternoon”, she kneels down before her parents in the sitting room.
Mama Anna: ”Welcome, my dear. What happened? You don’t look too good. Are you sick?”
Anna: “I m fine, mama”.
Baba Anna: “So, how is work and how is Abuja? I heard the city is getting finer everyday”.
Anna: “Everything is fine”.
Mama Anna: “What about what we discussed on phone yesterday, when will your husband and his people come?”
Anna: “Which husband, mama? I am not in any relationship right now. I haven’t met the right man, when I do, I will tell you”.
Mama Anna: “You no need meet any right man. Just drag any man where dey your left side to your right. You don dey old small small be that and very soon the thing wey no dey allow women born go begin do you. Shey you no want make I see your pikin for this world?”
Baba Anna: “Your mother is right, Anna. You are a woman and time is no longer on your side. For how long shall you continue to select men? All your mates are married. Don’t you know there’s something called menopause in a woman’s life?”
Anna: “I know papa but what I’m I supposed to do? After I went to Abuja, I dated different men but none of them seem to love me enough for marriage. I have done things that I never thought I could do just to keep a man’s love. What do I get at the end of the day? They leave me broken hearted and go and marry people who are younger than I. Is that my fault? Will I drag a man and take him to the altar?”
Mama Anna: “If that is the problem, then wipe your tears. You know my friend whose sister is the wife of our local government chairman?”
Anna: “Yes, what about him?”
Mama Anna: “The chairman’s son just returned from the city to pick a wife. His aunty even talk to me about finding a responsible girl for him to marry. I go introduce him to you, I am sure he go like you”.
Anna: “But mama, what if I don’t like him or he doesn’t like me? I mean what if he is not my kind of man?”
Mama Anna: “Keep quiet, jooor! Yeye dey smell. You are still selecting at this stage? Who told you that you have a choice? If he doesn’t like you, then you have to make him like you. If this opportunity passes you bye, that’s is all, you no go ever see husband marry again”.
Baba Anna: “The boy is from a good home, if you love him when you see him, I would advise that you don’t take chances. Time and Tide wait for no one; a word is enough for the wise”.
Anna: “Mama, you can’t force me to get married to anybody simply because you know them, I am not a child. I have the standards that my man must meet and any man who doesn’t meet up to my expectations is not for me”.
Mama Anna: “Anna, whether you like or not, you must marry him. You cannot continue to put us to shame in our family. Na you be my first daughter and na you no get husband because of your stupid standard. Why the standard never bring you husband since? You want dey single so that you go dey follow men up and down dey enjoy your life, no way, I no born prostitute. As I marry born you, na so you too go marry born my grand pikin”.
In anger, Anna storms out of the living room.
Question: Should Anna agree to meet the man her mother talked about? Should she just go ahead and marry him or ignore them and return to the city? What if the man doesn’t meet up to her expectations?
… SEE Episode 16 Below (You don’t want to miss this!)
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