“Oh no! Grace and her daughter have finally succeeded in bringing my fears to life. So they will be laughing at me and my daughter now? No! That can’t be, I have to beg Oluba, I have to produce fake tears to see if I can mellow him down. It will be a shameful thing that my daughter was rejected by the man who came to marry her. No, that can not be. I have to do something”
When Oluba tried to leave, Chibugo fell on his feet and burst into tears begging him to forgive Nana, that she was only a child, that she never knew what she was doing, that it was Efe who kept deceiving her. She then pleaded for a second chance on behalf of her daughter.
“Madam Chibugo, can you please stand up?” Oluba calmly asked
“No, I won’t stand up and I won’t let go of your legs until you promise me you have forgiven my daughter” Chibugo remained adamant, still shedding fake tears, begging as Nana joined suit, and knelt in front of him, begging and crying.
Grace who felt that her job was done left.
“I have done my part in revealing Nana’s true nature, it’s now left for Oluba to decide on what’s best for to do” she said and then left.
Oluba who couldn’t take their cunning tears anymore ordered in a deep harsh voice: “I said stand up!”
And they stood, looking at him, to hear what he will say. But he remained mute and began walking out of the compound.
“Won’t you say something my in-law?” The in-law Chibugo called irked him bitterly and he bursted.
“Please, withdraw your statement. God forbid that I will become in-law with a woman like you, what kind of a mother are you? Madam Chibugo, I’m sorry, I can no longer marry your daughter anymore. You even said it yourself, that she doesn’t love me, what is the need of marrying her again? Please I have to be on my leave now.” Oluba said, walking away
“Mummy, is he walking away? Please stop him Mummy, please stop him, I promise you, I won’t see Efe again. I can’t afford to lose Oluba, stop him mother” Nana cried, trying to run after Oluba but her mother called her back.
“Do you want somebody to see you begging him? Allow him to go. He is very angry and can not do anything at this moment. Just let him be”
“Mummy, I swear, I will kill Grace for doing this to me. She went and called him over here. Is she not an enemy of progress? What concerns her with the type of lifestyle I’m leaving?”
“But Nana, you now believe me? I warned you to forget Efe for now, but you wouldn’t listen and now see the mess you have dipped yourself into. We will be a laughing stock among the whole villagers. And the worst is still yet to come”
“And what’s that?” Nana asked
“What if he ends up marrying Grace?”
“No, that can not be possible. Grace is too local and ugly, she is unstylish. I know Oluba’s taste, and Grace doesn’t fall into such category. I am so sure of what I’m saying”
“I just hope you are right, because I don’t know how I will carry my face if that happens. Please let’s just leave from here” Chibugo said, as they left Efe’s compound.
Efe was still running around, searching for a carpenter who will fix their door before his parents return. He wasn’t so interested in what was happening between Nana and Oluba. All he cared was the door, because he knew his parents will query him if he failed to repair it before they arrive.
When Grace reached home, she was so happy that she had finally exposed Nana’s true colours to Oluba. She expected her mother to praise her for what she did, but instead, she was wearing a gloomy face. So Grace thought that, she did not understood what she said. She began repeating herself.
“Mama, seems you were not listening to all I have been saying. Right now, Oluba is at Efe’s compound where he caught…..”
“Grace, I heard you loud and clear.” Patience cut in: “Now, I’m scared more than ever, because Chibugo and Nana won’t let you be in peace. You should have told me before doing this. There are still many ways of exposing Nana without getting involved directly. You shouldn’t have let them know you were the one who invited him over. Now, their hatred for us will be doubled.”
“Mama, you are worrying yourself for nothing. There is nothing they can do. My hands are clean, there is nothing they can do to harm me. So I am not scared of them” Grace boldly affirmed and just then, Oluba angrily entered their house and sat down..thinking over what he just saw.
“Oh my God! I can’t even imagine that I almost married such a girl.”
“Calm down my son, it’s a good thing you found out on time”
“That is it o! Mama Grace.. And help me and thank your daughter, otherwise I would have been in a very deep mess after marriage. And I can’t even imagine that I bought her a very expensive car, thinking she will be my wife. In fact, let me call my brother to come down here to drive that car back to the city. She doesn’t deserve it”
“You are taking back the car?” Patience asked
“Yes, the car is for the person who will be my wife, and since she is not going to be my wife anymore, there is no point leaving it with her” Oluba replied, dialing his brother’s number.
And when he answered, he instructed him on what to do and also asked him to get the spare keys
The whole thing was making Patience nervous.
“He is aggravating matters the more. Taking back the car means adding more salt to the injury. I’m sure that Nana and Chibugo can not stand the humiliation and they will stop at nothing to see us pay for this one mistake my daughter made today. I’m more scared than ever.” She feared in her heart.
When Nana and her mother reached home, they found Oluba’s car.
“Mama, he is still here, look at his car. Should I go to Grace’s house and continue begging him?”
“Nana, forget it. He has made up his mind. Let’s go inside” Chibugo said and then, they went inside
About 50 minutes later, Nana checked and found out that he was still around, she became worried.
“Mama, what is he still doing at Grace’s house? He has spent close to an hour but still not making any sign of leaving. What do you think is keeping him? Mama I think I should go and find out”
“No Nana, but why are you all tensed up? I thought you were certain that Oluba can’t think of marrying Grace?”
“Mummy, you know that Grace can be so unpredictable. But what if your speculations happen to be right, what do you think I should do? Because shame will kill me.”
“You asked a very good question. Nana listen, its very clear that Oluba has jilted you, there is nothing you can do to have him back again. Our focus now should be on him and Grace. Don’t ever see them get married, because if that happens, trust me, you will be humiliated for life. And I fear for your life, because you can’t bear the shame. The thought of it alone is scaring me to the bones right now.”
“Mummy, I have an idea. I used to be in good terms with Grace until recently. I can still rekindle that relationship. I will make her feel as if we are still friends again.”
“Mummy, keep your friends close, and your enemies closer. I will make her think that I regretted my mistakes, that she has helped me see the truth. That from now on, she will be the model I will be emulating from”
Nana was still revealing her plans when she heared the sound of a car engine inside their compound.
“Who could that be?” Chibugo asked as they stepped outside together
“My car? Where are you driving it to?” Nana asked widening her eyes in confusion
But Oluba did not utter a word.
“No, no you can’t do this to me. You want me to die in shame? Don’t disgrace me like this, please? What will people say?”
“Nana, there is nothing between us anymore, so I’m taking back my car” he managed to say and then entered his own car and left, as his brother drove suit.
“My car?” She muttered, looking at them, driving out of their compound. When she turned her left, she found some of their neighbours looking, asking themselves what was happening.
The car he took back from her truly pierced her heart. She sobbed bitterly about it.
Enraged Chibugo couldn’t endure all that happened to her and her daughter, she approached Patience for a fight.
But her daughter ran and stopped her.
‘What are you doing mother?”
“Nana, leave me to disfigure this woman here, she is a witch. She has succeeded in bewitching my Oluba against you.”
“Stop it, Mummy It was all your fault. Stop disgracing me, can’t you see that people are watching?”
“What do you mean its my fault?” Confused Chibugo asked
“Because you failed to teach me what is right and what is wrong. Grace was the one person who tried opening my eyes to the truth, but I refused to heed to her advise. If I had listened to her, what happened today wouldn’t have happened. So don’t blame Mama Patience nor her daughter, they are very good people” Nana said, giving her mother a sign that she was only acting and she captured the signal immediately.
“What? Are you now telling me that I have failed you as a mother?” Chibugo asked
“I am sorry mother, but that is what it looks like. You are nothing compared to Mama Grace. See all her children, well mannered and cultured.”
“Nana!” Chibugo called, pretending to be burning deep in anger, pointing a warning finger at her. She continued: “I won’t have you insult me again otherwise I will reject you as a mother”
“I don’t care anymore, mother. You keep stopping me from having something to do with them, but now, I have refused to follow your ways again. I need to reshape and reform my life. I need to be in good terms with Grace again so that I will learn moral behaviors from her. I want to change for good now so that what happened today will not repeat again”
Patience and Grace were astounded, watching them play out their drama. They did not even care to interfere. They were only standing ready for Chibugo incase she start fighting with them again.
“Nana, you have insulted me today” Chibugo said, releasing fake tears.: “You said you preferred her over me, right? There is no problem. See her, she is now your mother and do not call me your mother again” she said and walked away
Patience who thought that they were serious, tried calling her back.
“No Mama Grace, allow her to go or are you going to reject me too?” She asked, looking pitiful.
And Patience was touched.”No my daughter, I’m glad you have realised your mistakes, but you shouldn’t have talked to your mother the way you did.”
“But she failed me as a mother. Just look at me, I have lost Oluba due to my stupidity. But thanks to Grace, she has made me realise my mistakes now. Though I have lost Oluba, I still have hope tomorrow. Another better man will come for me”
Grace who couldn’t understand Nana’s sudden change in attitude approached and asked her: “Nana, do you mean you are not angry with me?”
“Grace, I was mad at you before but I have seen the clear picture now. You saved me from destroying myself. From today, I will accept all your advises. And I’m also sorry for the way I talked to you the other day, can you forgive me?”
“Really? I have forgiven you already. Wow! I’m so happy Nana.. So which means we are in good terms again?”
“Nana nodded, smiling” as Patience stood delighted that Nana wasn’t mad over what happened.
“Thank God she took the incident the bright way. Now, I won’t have to worry about anything.”
“Grace, I had to go through a lot today just because of you. I will have to face public ridicule just because of you. Let me see how Oluba will marry you. You are too smart to expose me, but too naive to understand the drama that just played out now. Anyway, tomorrow is another day.”
Nana said in her heart.
To be continued
The author of Dare the Truth is Ngozi Lovelyn O.
Warning: No part of this work should be copied, used, reproduce, redistribute either electronically or manually without prior permission from the author.
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