Rays Of Love And Blood! (2)
Continued from last week Saturday
IT was Sunday, the D-day. Chioma and Lekan were having their breakfast when Lekan’s parents, Mr. and Mrs. Olulana, knocked and entered. They were accompanied by Toun, the young lady they wanted Lekan to marry. Lekan was the first to greet them followed by Chioma.
“Good morning ma, good morning sir,” Chioma greeted Lekan’s parents and curtsied gently, but they didn’t answer or acknowledge her greetings.
“Let me get you a glass of water,” she gestured.
“No, thank you,” Lekan’s mum replied sharply.
“And, for your information, we are here to see our child, not you. You can go to hell!” Lekan’s dad retorted. Chioma could sense trouble instantly.
“Take it easy, mum, dad, please just take it easy…” Lekan begged.
“Lekan, take a good look at me very carefully,” his mum said, adjusting herself smartly, “this young lady accompanying us is your wife-to-be. Toun get up. Let him see you properly.” The lady stood up .
Surprisingly, when Lekan’s eyes met that of Toun he felt the enchanting power of the love potion all over him.
“What have you got to say?” His mum asked.
“Em…em…nothing mummy…But…” he stuttered. Lekan was confused. The love charm had taken control of his entire being and mental faculties.
“Toun, take good care of our son,” Lekan’s mum said, “we’ll soon do a traditional wedding in a matter of weeks to formalize the relationship.”
“Oh, thank you ma, thank you sir,” Toun said delightedly while all this drama unfolded. Chioma had gone inside the bedroom in tears. Without much ado, Lekan’s parents bade them farewell and left. Toun was a typical Lagos lady. She was short and rotund with a sallow and totally burnt colour depicting someone who had bleached her skin too much in the past. Toun was carrying a big bag containing her personal effects and clothes.
“Where do I put this bag?” she asked the confused and befuddled Lekan.
“Follow me to the bedroom,” he replied, apparently under her magical spell. When Lekan entered his bedroom and saw Chioma sitting all alone and weeping his countenance changed.
“What are you still doing here, Chioma?” he asked.
“I thought you had left my flat, I don’t want to see you here anymore! Is that understood?” he threatened.
“Okay, but please Lekan, let me sleep in the sitting room…I’ll excuse you, please in the name of God…” she begged in tears.
That was it. For the next two weeks Chioma was sleeping in the living room. Toun would come to her and poke very insulting and provocative jokes at her. The poor lady would cry and cry. She was so confused. She was now three months pregnant for Lekan. One day, Toun called Lekan and told him point-blank that she was fed up seeing Chioma, that he should send her away from the house. That day was the most disheartening and terrible day for Chioma. It was the month of June and the weather was very chilly and cold.
It was raining heavily that afternoon. Lekan, who was still under the powerful juju and charm imposed on him by Toun, with the connivance of his parents, didn’t know what came over him. He beat the daylight out of the pregnant Chioma and dragged her out in the rain, throwing her bag at her. Drenched with the rain waters and in tears, the troubled young lady left for the house of her old friend, Nkechi, who lived in Agege, on the outskirts of Lagos. Nkechi was married with two kids; she allowed Chioma to squat with her, with the consent of her husband. She stayed with the kids in their room.
On a particular Thursday afternoon, something spectacular happened that changed the charmed mindset of Lekan. He had gone to a popular eatery for lunch and after he finished eating and was about leaving he suddenly saw Toun giggling heartily and hugging a pot-bellied, bald-headed elderly man standing beside a Mercedes Benz Jeep. From all indications, it showed clearly that the elderly man was the sugar daddy of Toun. That very morning before Lekan left for office Toun had told him she wanted to visit her mum who lived in Ondo State, and that she would be back the following Sunday. For a long period of time Lekan was transfixed on the same spot and sweating like a young first offender jailed for life. His mouth was agape with shock and bewilderment-nay, complete sadness. He wanted to cry, but something far greater than him withheld the tears. He started shaking while moving towards Toun, who was still enjoying herself with the pot-bellied man.
“Toun! Toun!! Toun !!!” he screamed, “Is this true?”
“En…hen, what’s the matter? Any problem mister man?” Toun said, sounding as if he had not seen him in her entire life.
“Who is the young man, Toun?” the elderly man asked.
“I don’t know him, he looks like someone out of his mind,” she said while chewing bubble gum in a carefree manner. At that very moment the veil of charm covering Lekan’s eyes suddenly cleared, thus making him realize the true situation of things for the past few weeks. He knew he had been charmed. The first thought that came to his mind was Chioma!
“Chioma…” he whispered to himself, “what is happening? Where could she be at this moment?” he asked again. When Lekan got home that evening he wasn’t himself. He tried to remember what had happened a couple of months ago. He could remember that he beat Chioma and drove her out of his flat. He wondered how he met Toun. It was through his parents who wanted him to marry a Yoruba girl by all means. ‘What kind of bad dream is this?’ he thought. How could he do this to her, a lady who was disowned by her parents simply because she was dating him. Tears gathered in his eyes, he cleaned it with his right hand.
The love that existed between him and Chioma was deep; so deep that he’d confronted his parents when they broached the idea that he should marry a Yoruba girl. Their love was beyond tribal or cultural boundaries. Throughout that day he couldn’t eat. The following day when he got to the office he couldn’t concentrate on anything. His colleagues in the office knew something was wrong with him, but he didn’t disclose it. He was just brooding and moody. The third day he still could not do anything at home, he was in deep melancholy. When he got to the office he thought he had to pour out his feelings to his colleagues. He did open up so he could get relief.
When he got to his parent’s house the fifth day he opened up his repressed emotions. He felt so bad to have injured the real love of his life.
“Mum, dad,” he said, “I really can’t understand how the girl you brought to my house that day became my live-in-lover. It’s a mystery to me! Why I am here today is to let you know that I caught the said girl red-handed with a sugar daddy. She is a harlot of the highest order. Please, mum, dad, Chioma is gone and I don’t know her whereabouts…are you listening to me? I am confused…”
“Go on with your talk,” his dad said, “we never knew that Toun could be that bad and irresponsible.”
“That is a most horrible and detestable thing to do,” his mum interjected, “if we had known her to be so bad and wayward we wouldn’t force her on you. It was a mistake on our part. It is our culture and tradition that our children marry from our tribe. We are so sorry. So, what are you going to do now? You said you can’t find Chioma, and you mentioned that she’s pregnant…hmm… I pray nothing bad happens to her… if you can find her we’ll welcome her back with our whole heart. We’ve learnt our lessons. Sorry, Lekan, you look so sad, depressed and worried.”
To be concluded next week Saturday
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