The Congruence XXXIII
The occupants alighted…it was Captain Festus Awodiya alright
How could I forget him?
He hadn’t changed one bit…although I saw him in another light now, going by the new discoveries about him. The part of his mean past that he swept under the carpet when I was pestering him to know why his wife would leave such a good and faithful man.
I can’t think of a word to capture his reaction when he saw me…he was obviously more shocked than I was. He looked at me intently but others were too busy to notice the silent drama.
For Folahan, seeing his mum froze his confusion as he ran to the car and gave her a hug. He almost made her fall…he dragged me along and was trying to introduce me
The mum hugged me as well…it was such a warm hug. I could tell she loved her son and was already extending it to me
“Who are you introducing?
I may be meeting her for the first time but she doesn’t need any introduction.
‘Shebi’ it’s Aramide, our Aramide…now I can match the face with every good thing you have told me about her
She is so pretty
O m’oju lo s’oja (you chose right)”
Folahan’s sisters…Folake and Folarin (the ones that just got back from America) were all over me as well. With all the love going around, my mind was clouded with the pain and reality of how this had already ended before it started.
Folahan’s mum had to literally snatch me from her daughters…she held me by the hand and walked me inside
“My dear, welcome home
This is your home
Feel free and do whatever you like
Do you like Ankara fabrics? My friend just brought me some a few days ago…I’ll let you pick the ones you like
How is work?
How was your trip?‘Awon mummy nko?’ (How’s your mum?)”
She just kept talking…she was so excited.
Why not? Her first born brought home his fiancée. Wedding bells were about to ring…grandchildren on the horizon.
I looked back and saw Folahan talking to his dad…who by the way, still had his eyes fixed on me.
Inside the house, there was a beautiful birthday cake made for me and someone was in the kitchen cooking all kinds of food. There were lots of gifts, wrapped with my name on them.
“Aramide baby, we are going to make your day special
We have a lot to celebrate and a lot to be thankful for as a family” Folahan’s mum told me
When Captain and Folahan finally came inside, the mum brought me to him and she introduced me as Folahan’s wife. I knelt down and greeted him, it was so awkward…he could not look at me straight in the eye; he tried to hug me but it was even more awkward.
Then he started to pray…the way parents bless their children. Folahan’s mum signaled to him to come over and he knelt down next to me. Captain prayed some more, he stopped abruptly and started to sob. Then he pulled Folahan up, hugged him and with tears said
“I love you son
I love you so much
I’m sorry for the hurts of the past
Can we put it where it belongs?
Can we be one happy family again?”
Folahan nodded and everyone else came over in a group hug.
I was dying inside but many things were happening simultaneously and quickly that I could not pause to gather my thoughts…they were running riot in my mind.
“What does this mean?
What should I do?
What would I tell Folahan?
Should I play along like Captain was doing? I knew I couldn’t do that because I was on the verge of “exploding”
What if I ran into one of the people I knew back at Captain’s guest house?
How could God let this happen?
How could He let this congruence happen? My past and future in an unholy matrimony.
All the merry-go-rounding only to end up where I thought I had walked away from.
I don’t see a way out of this…
I’m back to square one
I’m losing everything…God why? How could You let this happen?”
I’m sure everybody else assumed my tears were tears of joy…they must have thought I was sharing in the emotional reconciliation of the family.
After a while, Captain said he needed to go see a friend.
The wife discouraged him but he insisted that it was very important and had something to do with Folahan’s wedding…so she let him.
When the rumpus died down, I told Folahan we needed to talk, so we went into a room that had been prepared for us.
I wasn’t sure how to start but luckily, Folahan had something to say too
“Ara mi, what’s wrong?
Talk to me
You know I am very good at reading body language
I have been watching you since we got here
Did someone do or say something you don’t like?
Do you have something against Military people? Because that seemed to have triggered this whole thing.
If it’s still because I didn’t tell you before now, I already explained why and I am sorry for that.
Today is supposed to be a day of joy…
I finally made up with my father and my family totally adores you
Even my dad said it while we were talking outside
We shouldn’t let anything ruin it”
By this time, hot tears were hanging loosely from the corners of my eyes…
“I’m sorry Folahan
I messed this up”
“You didn’t mess anything up
You did nothing wrong” He responded
“I did…I messed this up way before I met you
I ruined this in the past and it just caught up with the present”
“I don’t understand
What are you saying Ara mi?”
I tried but I couldn’t bring myself to say it…
“I’m so sorry Folahan” I said as I grabbed my handbag and ran.
Before Folahan could snap back to reality, I was already outside…the soldier by the gate was too confused to stop me. I jumped on the first commercial motorcycle I saw and instructed the guy to just take me away from that vicinity as fast as possible.
Folahan was running after me and calling my name but I just had to leave.
Somehow, I found my way to the Airport…I just wanted to get back to Abuja, although I didn’t know how that would help me.
I needed to be as far away from all of this as possible. But the farther I went, the clearer the picture became….the louder the bells of reality rung. I had turned my phone off because I knew it would be ringing nonstop.
After speaking a lot of grammar with the Airline people in Lagos, I made it to Abuja and the moment I stepped in my room, I knew I had made the stupidest mistake of my life.
My sadness soon turned into anger…I could only blame someone, God.
How could God send Folahan my way? He knew the story and the connection…was He just trying to be funny?
I crashed into my bed and started to cry…
Continues in episode 34