Wura had recently moved out of her parents’ house to a new and posh flat located at Oniru. She had a good job at one of the big telecoms giants in the country. Her kid sister, Funmi, had called her to come home that Saturday, and she had gone over, not minding the expected insults from her mother.
Everyone gathered round Funmi as she displayed the diamond rock on her fourth finger. Her boyfriend had finally proposed and they were already talking marriage. Wura had tried to be happy for her sister, but the joy just wasn’t coming. She caught Funmi’s eye which said many things, above all; “Why aren’t you happy for me?”
Theirs was a family of five children. Brother Femi was the first. Wura was the second, and the first daughter. After her was Rolake, then Tade, and Funmi. Brother Femi had gotten married about four years ago, and Wura had been twenty eight at the time. She had not really felt the pressure that much then, because Brother Femi was older, and by nature, he was supposed to get married first. Even though his wife had been the same age with Funmi, she had supported the wedding all the way.
Barely six months after their wedding, Rolake of all people, brought home a man. Not only was he a hot male, he was also a wealthy one. The Lagos today London tomorrow kind of guys. Rolake was usually very unlucky with guys and her longest relationship had lasted about three months. In the twinkle of an eye, and in the flash of lightening, the wedding had happened, and she had heard rounds and rounds of “ti e na a de” (Your wedding will come soon.) Soon, Rolake relocated with her husband to the UK and she became one of those people that said things like “I can’t live in that your Nigeria again o.”
Tade announced to the family last year that he wanted to have an Introduction ceremony with his girlfriend. Wura had thought it was too soon because they had only been dating five months but then, their mother had shushed and insulted her.
“Justice Wuraola, please when you bring home your own man, you will have the right to decide if it is too soon or not. Boyalomo pe o ti pe thirty two. (I hope you know you have clocked thirty two years of age.)”
Wura couldn’t control her tears. She had been so embarrassed that she left the house. Her father tried to console her but she knew within her that he desperately and anxiously wanted to walk her down the aisle very soon. Funmi had come over too, to console her.
“Sister Wura, don’t worry God will give you your own husband soon.”
Wura knew the “Sister” was out of African respect but she felt it was more like an insult. Sister Wura of life. She remembered when Funmi had brought home her fiancé. The young man had been too shy to call Wura by name. He had bowed his head and said “Oh so this is Sister Wura. Funmi has said so much about you.” Wura smiled, but not without thinking at the back of her mind what Funmi must have told the boy.
Probably things like “My agbaya sister who has refused to marry.” Or “She’s thirty two and not even in a relationship.”
Later down the line, two of her friends in the looking for husband club also announced they were getting married. Wura had agreed to be both their CBMs and unfortunately, at each wedding, she hadn’t caught any bouquet. Funmi had been the one to catch it instead.
Funmi’s wedding eventually came and Wura decided she would support her 150%. Funmi was her favorite sister, and even if she was jealous, she decided she would do everything to make it a memorable one. But when the MC called for the single ladies to gather for the bouquet, Wura looked at the forming crowd and saw that the oldest of the lot would not be older than twenty six years old. Majority of them were Funmi’s friends from the university and NYSC. She looked away, and continued to pick from her plate of wedding jollof rice and coleslaw.
They say the church is the best place to meet a responsible husband. Wura decided she would re-dedicate her life and attend church very often…more often than she had ever attended in her entire life. She hoped that her dedication and commitment to the Lord would send the right message across to a godly man. She had a good figure, and that had been one of the things that attracted her ex-boyfriends to her back then, but somehow they never stayed. It was either she dumped them or they gave the usual line: “I think you deserve someone better.” One of them had even been married, and she had no idea. It was his wife who had gone to her parents house and caused a scene, giving room for more insults from her mother.
But three consecutive Sundays had passed with her getting to church very early, and even staying back for the second service, yet, no show.
Bolaji Adeleye-Haastrup was a quiet and calm young man who had recently relocated to Nigeria to take over the family business. Their business was one of those Lagos old money kind of businesses since the 1980’s. His grandfather had inherited the business from his own father, and had passed it on to Bolaji’s father, who had recently passed away.
He was looking for a good and decent godly woman to get married to. Yeah he had had his own share of ladies back in the USA but most of them had been entirely materialistic.
For some Sundays, he had been attending the new church down the road, and had noticed the beautiful caramel skinned lady that always sat in front. He wanted to approach her to get her details, but he decided it was best if he took his time.
The following Sunday, he had come early because of her but she had been absent. The next Sunday, she hadn’t come too. He asked one of the ushers if they had her contact but they didn’t.
Wura was the only caramel skinned one of her two sisters. Funmi and Rolake had come fair skinned like their mother. Wura on the other hand had taken her father’s complexion.
She had stumbled on a Nigerian gossip blog and saw a post about a celebrity who was selling whitening creams. Perhaps she had been led to read that post. Maybe she needed to re-package herself to attract a man. If caramel wasn’t doing the magic, maybe being light skinned would. And so, she bought whitening cream and started a mission I would call bleaching.
About many Sundays after, she decided to go back to the church, but this time, she would go re-packaged. She decided to go when the praise and worship was over, and when the congregation was seated already. That would draw more attention to her as she walked down the aisles and rows in the church auditorium.
Her dress was a short purple plunging neckline, and her metallic sky high heels gave her the bounce she needed and wanted, as she cat walked behind the usher who was trying to get her a seat. Men sure did turn, to look at the live-walking-photoshopped edition of her old self. The lights in the hall exaggerated her blonde waves of weave and her deep red lipstick.
The vacant seat was the one beside Bolaji. He looked at her about twice again, and realized it was supposed to be the decent and lightly made-up woman he had been eager to meet these past Sundays. She smiled at him as he said hello, like a lioness recognizes prey, she decided she was going to hold on to this one. The kingdom of God suffereth violence and the violent taketh it by force. He had smiled at her, although her extra long false lashes had scared him for a second.
At the close of service, an usher came to him and smiled saying: “She finally came today.” Bolaji smiled, trying to end the conversation but Wura caught the scope. So he had been taking an interest in her all the while. Hmmm…how sweet.
“Are you talking about me?” Wura asked, smiling.
Bolaji shook his head, facing the usher.
“No she isn’t the one I was looking for.”
He gathered his bible and iPad then began to leave. Wura ran after him. There goes hubby!
“I didn’t get your name!” She said, pulling up her neckline which was revealing an excess amount of cleavage.
Bolaji unlocked his Porsche cayenne and then looked at her.
“Bolaji Adeleye-Haastrup.” He said then got into his seat. As he said his name, all she heard was $$$$$.
“Word of advice, next time you come to a House of Worship, please try to be more decent. And please, show God some respect by sticking to your natural skin color.” He said, then drove off.
She watched as he drove off, and she didn’t know what hit her. Maybe it was the polite insult that she was dressed like a slut, or that Bolaji Adeleye –Haastrup of Adeleye-Haastrup Holdings $$$$$ had just passed her by!
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