‘Kiss & Tell’

I got introduced to my ex wife around late February, 2005.

Events unfolded like a flash subsequently, I remember driving down to her office from a client’s.
With me in the car was my female assistant, Deola.
She must have been so impressed by the entire package that she could not hide it from me.
Problem was, how was she going to communicate that to me . . . Her oga pata pata.
Like I usually teach my people . . . There’s always a way, find it.

She found a way round it . . . Sending me a text that night:

‘Please, Mr. Gbenga . . . Don’t miss this one’

What effrontery ?
I had thought.
Anyway, it was all in good faith so I let it pass without raising an eyebrow.
Indeed, many more said things in the same light.

Funmi was remarkable, almost an unbelievable catch for me . . . She said same about me:

‘You are more than I asked God for’

. . . Always emphasising her fondness and affection for me:

‘I love you MEGA’

She said again and again.
This was to be one of what propelled and fast tracked our relationship.

I had met the father first, it was one of the days I had picked and dropped her at home. He was tendering to the flowers in front of the fence.
I got down to greet him and that was it, each and both of us taking to one another instantly.
This enabled me frequent their house even more; a five bedroom, 2 floors and 3 living areas plus 2 rooms boys quarters.
So I had gone visiting one late Sunday evening and had met the father all alone in the main living room down stairs and after our then usual tet a tet, urged me to go meet the daughter upstairs.

Everyone up there; herself, the two brothers still at home and their girlfriends looked so very surprised, an element of acknowledgement that I’d positively scaled the hurdle . . . I knew it too.

One down, the other to follow.

This other being her Mum, who was at that time holidaying with the second son in America.
Moni, my friend that was dating her third brother, had told me, scale this hurdle and you’ve done a great job of it all.
On their Mum’s return, my performance was spotless and pinpoint.
She also took to me like a fish takes to water.

The stage was set. Eyes fully and very firmly by now fixated on the prize.
I had in a jocular manner asked her one night to marry me and she had laughed it off. Not outrightly saying no . . . I knew I stood a good chance.
I slept over the matter, also praying fervently and then changing my strategy
by taking my pitch to her father one afternoon, during office hours. Afterall, the man was retired and I was most likely going to meet him at home.

I did met him as predicted and I hit the nail straight on its head.

“Daddy, I want to marry your daughter and I’ve come to ask for your blessings”

I had shocked him. Come see the man, all smiles. Sheepishly too.
We had a man to man talk and then a father / son discussion.
Therein, he advised me to proceed to the mother’s shop in Agege market to tell her exactly what I told him.

I did as advised . . . Over there, it was also smooth sailing for me.
On my drive back to the office, I had called their daughter to inform her of the
coup d’etat that just took place.
I was in charge.

Few days later, the father and I met with him asking when and how to meet a few members of my family.
I informed my Mum of the development and she was most ecstatic. She informed my sister and her own sister too while asking me to inform my uncle in Ikeja.
We then planned how we were going to see my big brother at his place in Ikorodu as well as my late Dad’s younger brother.
Myself, Mum, Sister and her daughter went on this trip on a Saturday morning, quite early too. We were at uncle’s first before my brother’s.

Prior to now, my brother had been having issues with the family, this had dragged for almost 2 years by now. He had stayed away from all family functions and members.
So showing up at his doorstep, he was taken aback to see up . . . He let us in anyway . . . Then.

My big sister had taken the mantle and had explained nitty gritty the reasons behind our coming.
By the time my brother started talking, the atmosphere was heated up more than a bakery. He took on my sister and then my mother. Painfully as it were, I sat quietly and grabbed a newspaper to read. I was boiling up inside of me nonetheless.
My brother compounded my state when he insisted I dropped the paper. I did and then confronted him. I was having none of it anymore. He can talk to me as he liked but I wasn’t going to look sideways if he should further insult my Mum or sister.

What followed in the next few minutes made operation desert storm child’s play.
On the long run, he and his family attended neither the introduction nor the wedding ceremonies.

We went ahead with the introduction first. Buying all sorts as gifts for the family of the would be bride.
We all gathered at the Adeniyi Jones Avenue home of my uncle, the Otunba and my late father’s first cousin and principal executor of his will. My father’s
younger brother and his wife had come there from Ikorodu. My big sister and her husband joined us at home, alongside my Mum’s younger sister, Mum and myself.
We joined the rest of the party at uncle’s Ikeja abode and set off to would be in law’s therefrom.
Only one friend, K-Fad did I inform. I was one of his groomsmen while also giving the toast at his wedding barely a year earlier.
He joined us over there.

What we met on ground was most unthinkable, a grand carnival so to say with an attendance of who is who . . . Canopies laid out and a catering stand for food, ikokore inclusive.
It can be said that they overwhelmed us with their crowd; uncles, aunties, cousins, brothers and sisters jam packed their compound.

We entered their living room first, my uncle and his wife with me and my Mum
following, then my father’s brother and his wife, my big sister and her husband, etc.
My father in law to be, grinning like a child had welcomed us into his home and instead of waiting for protocol to follow, had asked like a husband in too much of a hurry to see his wife:

‘Is this mummy ?’ pointing at my uncle’s wife.

“NO” I said categorically, holding unto and introducing my Mum.

Anyway, that aside . . . We were ushered to the canopies where the ceremony then took place.
We introduced ourselves, laughed and bantered as well as prayed fervently for the union to be a blessing unto the 2 families.
Worthy of mention is my mother in laws prayer to her daughter . . . She concluded this with tears streaming down her face:

‘Funmi . . . Ile oko, ile eko ni ooooo’

We wined and dined thereafter, with loads of photo sessions to follow too.
My soon to be brother in law, Kole had secured the services of a photographer . . . He had shockingly come to ask me for his fees the week after . . . Huhnnnnn.
I was dumbfounded, but gave him the money all the same. What I did after made them realise I wasn’t going to take such nonsense.

I took home the album upon delivery . . . Abi now.

Paying for a service I did not seek nor negotiate. One that I had a much better person I could have used . . . Gosh.
I had it all coming, but didn’t take it all too serious, looking sideways instead.

My Mum was born on Boxing Day . . . So
every 26th of December, we host a small gathering of family and friends . . . My would be in laws played a return leg on that day, visiting my family as well.
Aside family bonding, the wedding date discussion was also to start in earnest.

In January of the following year, my big sister’s mother in law passed to the great beyond. As it’s customary, all roads led to Oshogbo for the 30 days fidau prayers and party.
My Mum had gone days before . . . My own in laws, driven by their driver with me and would be wifey driving behind them also landed in Oshogbo on the morning of the event.

We stayed for the entire duration till night fall after which I followed them kilometers away to their hometown, Iragbiji . . . On her parent’s exact street, the father pointed out Ojuyobo’s family house to me. Her maternal grandma’s house is also on the same street, with theirs the last before a huge pile of rocks.
We had called on the grandma first to pay homage and then proceeded to their family house . . . A very big affair, one that made me wonder yet again why people put up such a waste in their villages. Anyway, the old man and I went round on a tour showing me this and that and a whole lot of stories behind every detail. Lastly, he pointed in the direction of a corner in his vast compound:

‘When I die, that’s where I want to be buried’ . . .

At night, he ordered his driver to take both myself and his daughter to the massive golf course in Ada, owned by his friends . . . The Ponles.
We came back tired and ready to sleep . . . I had in my mind more than the sleep though. I knew that was one huge opportunity I had longed for . . . Sleeping on the same bed with wife to be all night
long . . . She had evaded and outrightly resisted all my overtures till date . . . Not even a kiss . . . For me, this was the night. A kiss was even going to be child’s play . . . I was gonna roost her . . . . Damn.

I had all those thoughts going through my mind when the daughter asked very loudly to everybody’s hearing:

‘Daddy, where is Gbenga going to sleep ooooo ?’

In unplanned unison . . . Both parents screamed at her . . . ‘You both are sleeping in your room, on your bed . . . He’s your husband now’ they concluded.

What da f.ck ?
I couldn’t believe my luck. They had presented her to me for slaughter . . . On the plater of gold.

That’s how we entered the room ooooo . . . I yanked off my clothes while she covered herself all up.
“Hahnn hahnnn now . . . Baby kilode ke ?”

That was my story all night long . . . An effortless struggle.
No show oooo . . . Then I remembered I was driving back to Las Gidi around 3.00 am.

That’s how I kun kun put my head on the pillow and jejely slept off.
I suffer mehnnnn.

Lagbaja nothing for me !


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