The Abandoned Child Episode 26

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I went to the orientation camp along Abuja-Kaduna express road and spent three interesting weeks there. I was the platoon leader of 3rd platoon. I had introduced my self to the Camp Commandant, Captain Kefas Dalong immediately I got to camp and I got acquainted with his soldiers too. We usually drank beer together at the camp mammy market every night. Most of my fellow corps members respected me because they thought I was a serving Army officer who came for the NYSC programme. Two of my serving Colleagues visited me while still at the camp in their military uniforms, they were with me in my room and at the parade ground until we went to the mammy market at night, I invited three of my platoon girls to join us in the fun at the mammy market at night and with the permission of the camp commandant, we all left camp for town that night to club and afterwards we went to the Officers quarters in the barracks. We did not return to the camp until the second night.

After three weeks I was sent to the command and staff college Jaji for my primary assignment as a junior instructor. One of the Officers that visited me while on camp was also an instructor at the college Jaji.

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The marriage introduction slated for February 3rd was done while I was at the camp. My dad had insisted on rushing everything as if he was about to leave this world. The traditional marriage was slated for April during the Easter holiday.

Now, Baba landlord my father is a man of enormous wealth by the layman’s standard. He is a pensioner and has little to spend his money on. His six daughters are happily married to wealthy men in different fields. The women also own their own businesses and showers Baba with material and monetary gifts. They pay monies into his account at random trying to impress baba, it was like competition among the ladies.

 Meanwhile Baba was tired of buying Lands and building farms. He does not brag nor show off his wealth for fear of the Village witches and wizards. He has four Exotic cars parked in his compound at home. The cars were given to him by his sons’ in-law. But he told the Villagers that they belonged to the husband of the second daughter who happened to be a popular car dealer in Lagos.

My proposed wedding was to be the first Baba would sponsor as the grooms father and not as usual. He brought out an old custom of ours and told me that it is the father’s responsibility to sponsor the first son’s wedding. There was no need to argue with Baba because he still has that Nigerian police thing in him.

Aiye agbo! Orun a gba ! The earth will hear! The heavens will concur! He kept boasting about the day of my wedding day. But in all of this, Baba was more interested in his grand children or sons as he preferred. I told him yemisi and I preferred a girl as our first but he insisted it must be a boy! He said I must not start like him. So we said okay.

My father had given me all the keys to his cars and every land document in his possession; he took me to his mechanized farm lands at Akure, Ado-Ekiti and Ibadan. His palm plantations, plantain plantations, Cocoa plantation, rubber, cotton, and cashew plantations, he introduced me to the managers as the new owner, his son and heir. Baba pays a total of two hundred and thirty-seven workers wages on weekly and monthly basis yet most people in the village thought he was a stingy man. This man who looks so simple in the Village is actually a millionaire.

On the other hand, my step sisters were all inviting me to their homes. Each wanted to use me to brag to their friends as their last born and an Engineer for that matter. Luckily I am one guy that any one would like to flaunt as a younger brother because of my natural endowment and my academic achievement. For example my father cannot introduce me without telling them that I am an engineer with ‘first class’ he pronounces the ‘first class’ with emphasis, and the same goes with my sisters too.

I had problem adjusting to this new life. I had never being a family person so these guys were really encroaching in my space. I had my life planed out but my father is now planning my life for me too and he is too domineering. He was all over me.

Baba wants me to settle down at home and set up a company of my choice. He also wants me to be over seeing the affairs of his farms. He wants us to build a clinic in Ado Ekiti for yemisi immediately she graduates from Medical school; he wants us to start having children like from yesterday.

For me, I do not want to come home and settle down for now, I want to secure a paid employment and work for some years, I want to work with my certificate, I want to acquire more experience as an employee before becoming an employer. I even want to further my education but Baba wants none of this. I have learnt not to argue with him, but I will do what is on my mind

After reporting the Command and staff college Jaji, I was granted one week pass to travel home and bring my belongings to Jaji. I was given accommodation at the Boys quarters of the School’s commandant in the barracks officer’s quarters.

I went straight to school to meet Yemisi. I went putting on my NYSC uniform. She stays in the hostel; I went to meet her at the lecture room and waited for the end of an ongoing lecture. I saw her when she and other students were leaving the lecture hall, our eyes locked briefly but she did not recognize me. I stood smiling from ear to ear like some one who had eaten enough mushroom. 

When she walked past me, I started following her, some students noticed the way I was grinning behind her, and they started watching out for what was to happen.

Hello pretty damsel! I called from behind. She did not answer; she kept walking on at a faster pace.

The love of my life! I called again with a strange voice.

She stopped abruptly in her track and turned back to face me. With wide eye, she opened her mouth to scream but I quickly covered her mouth with the back of my palm as I hugged her. She jumped on me and I spun her 360 degrees round. There was a round of applause from the students watching me earlier.

To say she was flabbergasted is an understatement as she kept jumping on my back and hitting me on the shoulders.

I got to meet her friends and toasters on campus and they were pleased to meet the elusive first class Engineering graduate of FUTO. One cranky guy actually told me that I do not look like a first class material; he said I looked like a guy man! He asked if I used money to influence my result. I told him that if I was like this five years ago, then I would not have made a first class. Told him poverty and hunger made me to come out with a first class because that was the only hope I had for a secured future. The Guy wanted to ask more questions but his colleagues shouted him down to let me be.

There was another male friend of her, Obiora, we shook hands when she introduced us and I spoke igbo language to him, he was surprised, we chatted briefly in flawless igbo language to the bewilderment of the other students. They clapped their hands and hailed Yemisi, they asked if I speak Hausa language too and I said not yet but I will learn it in my one year in Kaduna.

I lodged at Babatola Hotels along Ilesha road. I invited Yemisi’s friends for a night out at the hotel. It was like a mini party as they came with friends and we partied until mid night before they dispersed.

Yemisi and I retired to the room fagged out. We took our baths separately and talked in bed until we both slept off.

The next morning she went to school from my hotel room, having brought her things with her the previous day I was indoor all day watching movies on the television until she returned in the evening from lectures.

I opened the door to let her in; the faint smell of her perfumed did something to my senses as I hugged her and gave her a welcome kiss.

Let’s go and bath! I said; I have not taken my bath since morning.

Hmm! Dirty man! She teased

I know! I agreed.

I was wearing only my boxers so I quickly pulled it down before assisting her to take off her clothes. I stepped away from her and looked her over from head to the feet. She stood there with her hands across her Bosom, waiting for me. I was burning.

I love you yemisi, I said

I love you too BJ, she replied

We went into the bath tub and washed, I washed her while she washed me. Even though it was cold water, I was feeling very hot all over. The smoothness of her spotless light skin, the softness of the skin when I touched her Unclad body was giving me fever.

Now I was really having a strange fever all of a sudden. I started hearing voices in my head.

Omo youruba! Wetin dey worry you again?

I shook my head vigorously and wiped my face with water

You dey fear this small girl or wetin? The voice.

Slam, na Uncle Adegoke daughter o! I said

And so? No be the girl wey you want to marry? He asked.

Yes! But I never marry her yet nah? I answered.

You dey craze? Wetin dey worry you? Slam challenged

It’s not good nah! I said.

Idiot! See your head like coconut! All my sisters wey you don wire for Owerri nko? E good? He challenged.

Em! ones different nah Those! I said.

Old boy wire this girl! Mumu!

The Dad will not be happy with me! I said

Na who go tell am? He asked.

My conscience dey prick me! I said .

Thunder fire that conscience! Wire this girl before one of those boys wire am for you before your marriage! He cautioned.

Get behind me Slam! How can you say that? I said.

Yemisi noticed that I was some how hesitant as I stood up in the bath tub staring down at her. She stood up and pulled me into a tight embrace.

Obiora! That my class mate that you spoke igbo with! She said

What about him? I asked.

He is asking me out! He has been disturbing me! She said

Hahahahahahahahahahah ! Dj Slam laughed a long one.

I shook my head clear.

Wire this girl before some one else does! DJ Slams warning rang in my head.

I held her tight as my third leg rose to the occasion with angry veins. I knew the limit of my resistance was broken as I lifted her up and took her to the bed. I was gentle with her because it was her first time.

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I travelled home the next morning and spent three days in the village preparing for my traditional wedding in April. My dad ensured I walked the length and breadth of the village in my NYSC uniform and with him by my side, he said by so doing, none of them would come up in future to doubt the fact that I am a confirmed Engineer recognized by the federal government. He mentioned a couple of families whose Children were purported to have gone to school but no one saw them in their NYSC uniforms, he said they did not graduate that was why.

Baba wanted me to return to Jaji with a Nissan path finder but I declined. I did not know how to drive by then. He also started calling me by my professional name instead of Mobolaji that he calls me. I had no input to make towards the wedding except to be there physically.

I returned to my place of primary assignment and worked as a general purpose staff as well as a graduate assistant until the Easter break of 1999. I came back home for my traditional wedding with my heart-throb Yemisi.

The whole pages of this book would not be enough to narrate what took place on my wedding day so I will simply summarize it. It was ASP Fapohunda’s day.

After paying the bride price and fulfilling every other traditional rite at the home of the Adegoke’s, we moved to the reception ground which was the football field of the Holy Trinity grammar School, Agodi in Ibadan. We used the school hall as well as the foot ball field to accommodate our guests.

Baba invited the Nigerian Police Band to entertain guests with music, the popular comedian Gbenga Adeboye A.K.A ‘fun wan tan’ was the master of ceremony rendering rib cracking jokes. I simply arranged for security from the Eleyele Army Barracks. Gun wielding Soldiers were deployed to the venue.

Coca cola and a Nigerian breweries retailer took care of the non alcoholic and alcoholic beverages respectively. Every thing was contracted out. My elder sisters and families invited their various club members and each had a large canopy on the field to carter for their guests, again it was competition amongst them as per who has the largest number of guests and what quality of souvenirs were they giving to their guests as gifts. These Women made sure all their guests purchased and wore the Aso-Ebi that was chosen for the occasion. Baba chartered five Coaster Buses from the state transport company to convey my Village People to and from the event.

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