I was scared to show any real reaction because of my uncle, so I watched through the side mirror because there was nothing I could do even though I was tempted to jump down the car and run to her. Tears welled up in my eyes but I kept it at bay.
I squeezed my eyes shut to prevent myself from seeing how she ran after the car with her arms in the air. Soon, she gave up on chasing the car with slump shoulders of defeat then she sat down on the middle of the street and began to cry even worse than before.
I leaned forward and buried my face in my hands and thankfully, my uncle said nothing. I didn’t know how long I’ll be gone but I was determined to get rich so that I can come back and help Zainab get well.
Ten Years Later…
I returned to the village. I worked abroad as a medical doctor and I was already successful. I had dated several women, both white and Black-American but none of my relationships ever lasted. I didn’t feel deeply attached to them and I didn’t want to stay committed.
The ones who got fed up with my bullshit gave up on me while the ones who stubbornly wanted to hold on and make the relationship work at all cost, eventually threw in the towel. I dated close to fifteen girls but they never worked out, meanwhile I had forgotten all about Zainab. Who wouldn’t, ten years was too long a time to hold on to any puppy love.
In fact, I suspected she might be dead or probably carted off the street to an asylum by the state government. I had a break from work and decided to return home. I was already 27 years old and it had been long I had set my eyes on my family. When I arrived the village, my parents were overjoyed to see me.
I didn’t meet my sister at home. I was told she had gotten married and had left to live with her husband in the city. My mother served me my favourite dish and I had enough rest. Two days later, my mother began to talk about marriage. She mentioned my getting married because I was not getting any younger.
Much to my surprise, a lot of girls started to troop in to greet me and welcome me with gifts. A particular woman even came with her three daughters just to welcome me back. All the girls I used to know in my secondary school and always snubbed me began to offer to wash my clothes, break firewood for my mother, sweep the entire compound, fetch water from the village borehole and even assist my mother in the farm just to win me over but I was attached to none of them.
It was obvious that they were just gold diggers seeking whom to devour and I wasn’t going to fall for any of their antics. Desperate girls would do almost anything to get married. One even returned to our house at night, sneaked into my room and tried to seduce me. I politely offered her 50k and threw her out.
To be continued…
© Angela Okoduwa